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Home Government Changing of the (Rye, NY) Guard, January 1st 4pm

Changing of the (Rye, NY) Guard, January 1st 4pm

The Rye City inauguration event for Douglas French (mayor) and Peter Jovanovich, Richard Filippi and Suzanna Keith (city council) will be held on (the renovated) Rye City Hall steps on Friday, January 1st, 2010 at 4:00 pm. 


The event is open to the public. There will be a swearing in for each new politico by the Honorable Judge Peter Lane. Outgoing Mayor Steve Otis will be present to make opening remarks and assist in the orderly transfer of power. It is unknown if outgoing council people Andy Ball, Mack Cunningham and George Pratt will be in attendance. A reception in the city council chambers to follow.

In anticipation of the incoming French & company group, Midland Avenue's Jim Amico, never a shrinking violet, sent along this poem:

Twas the week before Christmas, when we all gathered at the Carroll's house

Not a creature was stirring, not even Mayor Otis the mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that Doug French would soon be here.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

We sprang from our seats to see what was the matter.

Away to the window we flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon shined on the breast of our newly crowned Mayor

When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and six of his friends.

With a happy young driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be Mayor French.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Suzanna! now,Rich! now Peter and Joe!

On, Catherine! on Paula! We have got to go!

To the top of the porch! to the top of City Hall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

He sprang to his sleigh,to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim,'ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Times to all, and to all it was a good – fight!"


  1. Last Wednesday night’s Council Meeting was proof in the Pudding why Mighty Steve Otis has fallen!

    I requested a “No Parking Zone” on Midland Ave. from Ellis Court to Goldwin St. I submitted a petition as was recommended by Ass’t. City Manager Scott Pickup.

    This was put on the Agenda on Wednesday Night’s meeting for consideration for a public hearing.

    The subject was #13 on the Agenda for that night. This is an item that took all of 30 seconds and was called at 1am!!!

    I guess Steve and the gang thought I was going to sit there to 1am.

    Nice try Mr.Otis and a Merry X-MAS to you. Hope you enjoyed the poem, it was inspired by your 3rd grade behavior Wednseday Night!!

    See you Jan.1st for one LAST GOODBYE!!!

  2. I unfortunately don’t think its goodbye to Mr. Otis, Jimmy. He’s likely to have a lot of explaining to do about previous undisclosed deals now surfacing. And his partner – Mr. Plunkett – should have “moved on” to maybe the Seychelles rather than just to Astorino’s office. By May – if not sooner – Rye taxpayers are likely going to be calling for explanations, investigations and reparations.

    And be real sure to listen for the following chorus from the other soon to be prior council members coming soon to a newspaper story in your mailbox: “I was not aware, I was not informed, and I’m shocked and appalled.”

    Too bad no one listened to Joe Sack when he sounded the alarm publicly multiple times.

  3. No Guard to Change

    I always thought Jimmy Amico was right about this police mismanagement issue and now I can testify to the terrifying results I witnessed firsthand this morning at my alma mater.

    This morning at about 7:45 AM I arrived into a scene of complete chaos at the intersection of Apawamis Avenue and Milton Road. Dozens of cars and trucks are snaked backwards in lines 20 deep from 4 separate directions and are trying to pass thru the intersection as dozens of high school students dodge among them on their way to school grounds. Motorists stop and start – some get trapped “in the box” at the intersection center – some act like saints, some like callous criminals – and everyone involved is at risk of seeing a fatal accident. Why? Because on one of the busiest and snow slipperiest school mornings of 2009 there is no on site traffic manager – AKA crossing guard – to prevent an accident and direct the flow of vehicles. I went immediately to police headquarters and personally informed the desk officer. It appeared to be the first notice the organization had that anything was amiss at Rye High.

    Mr. Culross – shame on you. We know you spend our precious municipal time writing bureaucratic job waiver paperwork solely to try and retain – at nosebleed rates – a police commissioner who cannot manage the most elementary personnel schedules and backup plans. In the “real world” – where Rye taxpayers earn their private sector paychecks to support this kind of mutated municipal managerial misfit – based on his continuing pattern of apparent negligence to duty and substandard performance this guy would be terminated.

    Taxpayers ask yourselves this question – how many more dead kids are considered acceptable statistically to absolve the failed crony politics of Rye?

  4. Ted,
    I want to say I’m SPEECHLESS but you all know that isn’t going to happen anytime soon!

    I want to say I’m SURPRISED but we all know there is none!


    Why is no one, and I mean NO ONE, in the RPD held accountable. When will Connors and Falk face the public? A Badge and a Gun carries great responsibility and the men & women whom garnish these take an OATH, it only seems right that they be held to this OATH!!!
    A Badge doesn’t put an officer above the Law of the Oath that they swear on.

    PLEASE TELL US, whom was the RPD “Protecting & Serving” this morning from 7:30 – 8???
    It sure as hell wasn’t the children of RHS/RMS!!!

    Frank Culross has no intentions on disciplining Connors, hell….he will probably just ignore this!!!

    It is VERY OBVIOUS to all by know that the only way to get rid of Connors is to get rid of Culross.

    The 2 biggest cancers left behind by Steve Otis to carry on Steve’s legacy is Connors & Culross!

    I sit in my shop on Theodore Fremd Ave. at the intersect of North St. every day since August and watch accidents and near accidents occur.

    The County mill & paved the intersection and never returned to re-line the street of a “9 LANE INTERSECTION” I brought this to the Council’s and Frank Culross’s attention and they could care less!!! This is the guy (Culross) WE PAY $200,000 a year to!!!

    Mr.Culross and Commissioner Connors are very lucky I’m not in charge…I WOULD FIRE THEIR A**ES!!!

    It seems to be that Culross is no better at managing than Connors!!!

    Since the week before Thanksgiving, RPD (Connors)has put an initiative on enforcement around Midland School & RHS/RMS.

    I am, as many of my neighbors are, very pleased to finally see Police presence on Midland Ave. and we are Thankful!

    The 1st 10 days tickets were being issued. Since then the officers presence has been sporadic.
    Now, when they are there you can see a few of the officers sitting in their patrol cars with their lights flashing.
    This morning a patrol car was parked in the Midland School circle watching cars drive by doing well over 20MPH.

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out someone is SPEEDING in a 20MPH SCHOOL ZONE!!

    Why have the officers stopped issuing tickets???

  5. As the City Manager, Mr. Culross is responsible for performance of city personnel, reporting to the City Council. The police commissioner is responsible for the “keeping of the peace”, reporting (I believe) to the City Manager and through him, to the City Council. While you may / may not be satisfied with how things are done in Rye and as a result you may complain about the performance of the City Manager and/or Police Commissioner, the real issue lies with how THEY are being directed / managed by the City Council. Unless the City Council is willing to dig into the details of City Operations, set clear expectations of the City Manager and hold him and the supporting managers accountable for performance gaps, there will likely be no change in what we as citizens see in the operations of the city. This is the case when it comes to law enforcement, pedestrian safety, facilities prioritization, protection of individual property rights, etc.
    My fundamental problem is that I believe the City Staff are good people and are doing the best that they can, but that their decisions and results do not consistently meet my expectations. As an individual, I have no right to expect that the staff “dance to my tune”. Therefore, I can only hope that continued communication about issues and a willingness to engage with whoever necessary to develop and implement solutions will achieve results. But I think Dilbert put it well by defining insanity as the expectation of a different outcome when continuing to do things the same way. We’ll see what happens post Jan 1, 2010, but fixing governance is a non-trivial, complex activity that can be very difficult to explain.
    I wish the “retiring” council members well and hope that they continue to contribute to Rye. We should all respect their willingness to “put themselves out there” for our collective benefit.

  6. Bob,
    In other words, they are being told/directed by the PRESENT and OUTGOING Council to ignore an Intersection with “9 lanes of Traffic” and no directionals!

    That it’s okay for 100’s of children to cross @ Milton/Apawamis with NO crossing guard!

    That it’s okay for residents and other drivers to SPEED around Rye and use streets like Midland Ave. as ones own PERSONAL SPEEDWAY!

    Let me get this right,
    Otis and the gang told Connors & Falk it’s okay for the crossing guard to be absent at probably the busiest school crossing we have?

    Otis and the gang told Culross not to be concerned with the IN- COMPLETION of a 9 lane intersection since August?

    I do agree with your chain of command and agree to some extent with how they are being directed.
    But, at the end of the day it is Otis and the gang who are responsible for the hiring of personal whom CAN’T MANAGE!

    Connors & Falk are SOLELY responsible for putting those children in DANGER!

    Culross is responsible for making sure this never happens again!

    These individuals were hired to do a job!

    I concur, we will see what happens post January 1,2010.


  7. I doubt that anyone has given direction “to ignore an Intersection with “9 lanes of Traffic” and no directionals!”. This seems to more likely be a case of gaps in operational management.

    I believe that the City Council has not delved deeply enough into how the City is being run because they are willing to trust (remember that old refrain about “trust but verify”?) that the City Manager “knows what they want done”.

    Effective verification is required to make the City Manager-style of government successful and that is what I think has been missing. At some point, this can become micro-managing, but all external appearances would indicate that our local government is nowhere near encountering that risk.

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