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A Vocal City Council Meeting; Legal Work for $1/Year & Taxing the Tiki

Rye citizens were out in force Wednesday night at the Rye city council meeting to protest various cuts including the Rye PD D.A.R.E. program and reductions in the Marine unit (read the statement from Rye PBA head Franco Compagnone).

Perhaps most interesting was late in the evening when part of the crowd had emptied out. Former Rye City Mayor John Carey offered to do legal work for Rye City for $1/year. Confirming his comments after the meeting, Carey told MyRye.com "I said that if they deduct from the Law Dept budget the fair market value of a deputy corp counsel working twenty hours a week, all but $1, and pay me the $1, I will serve as Deputy."

Carey also suggested city staff look at the legalities of placing a property tax levy on the Wainwright House and on the private concessions in Rye Town Park and Playland (Seaside Johnnies and the Tiki Bar, subject of the recent expansion controversy). Some say he Wainwright House has transformed from a non-profit to a Wedding event mill. City Manager Scott Pickup said the city was already looking at these three properties.


  1. Every year around this time we put our portfolio companies through a business review where we evaluate things from top to bottom and get to hear from a wide range of people we generally don’t see and hear during the year. This includes department heads, product managers and lots of people who do the actual creative work that powers enterprise organic growth and have no people reporting to them at all. And every year in my 2+ decades of doing this there are surprises – both pleasant and unpleasant.

    Sometimes the executive team is hitting on all cylinders. Sometimes despite herculean efforts by all market factors punish the enterprise in a way the employees can’t overcome. Sometimes it becomes clear that we have a rock star manager or CEO that is making all the difference between our success and failure. And sometimes a manager’s subordinate or a subordinate’s subordonate is found to be carrying his boss.

    On Wednesday night I arrived home after one of these sessions and clicked on to the televised council meeting from city hall. And I was surprised and delighted to see a modest, experienced and wise Chief of Police-in-waiting standing within the ranks of the rank and file. I think the council could not have avoided noticing it also.

  2. Wow Ted, that’s a lot of words to just get to the “CoP-in-waiting” part. You’re gonna need to expand on that a little…

    I’m interested in hearing who (Det. Wood?), and also your thoughts on PC vs. CoP (both have their advantages/disadvantages).

  3. I am all for tightening the belt as most of us have done in these bad economic times but I have to agree cutting public safety and grass roots programs such as DARE which gives kids the life skills they need to avoid involvement with drugs, and violence is a big mistake.

    Cutting back on the marine unit could turn out to be a deadly mistake as emergency services on the water is limited as it is. It involves a tremendous amount of skill and training for those who participate. Every year thousands of experienced and inexperienced boaters use the Rye waterways for recreation. It is our duty to protect them in times of need and many of those times can be life threatening emergency situations. I realize that making budget cuts is a very difficult position to be in but it is my hope that the city council takes a long hard look at it actions when it comes to cutting back on Public safety and youth education on street drugs and violence.

  4. does ANYBODY in Rye understand that during an economic Depression , raising taxes is insanity ? If you want to criticize French and crew for specific cutbacks , please have the common sense to name the alternative area the cutback should be made from ? If you can’t , then you are just useless noise in the background offering zero real help . Westchester County has the highest property taxes in the nation !!!! Read that 5 times . Do you really believe you are going to fix Rye budgets taking the highest property taxes in USA higher ?

  5. The front page of today’s Journal News carries a Phil Reisman column that focuses on the political obituary of a NY state senator, this one a Republican named Leibell, who was all set to become Putnam County Executive. This kind of story is so common now, and yet so atrocious by any normal standard, that Mr. Reisman kind of unloads in a way that many NY voters and taxpayers can immediately recognize and relate to.

    Here in Rye, we’ve spent a year waiting for a clean up of the legal department. But apparently the big flow of dollars out of our treasury and the cover-up of longstanding now blatant malfeasance are more important to some group or someone. By one estimate, remove these excessive and unnecessary billings and our city taxes could be reduced this year by upwards of 2% – without of course any of the painful cuts discussed dramatically at last weeks meeting. And yes, I’ll still take Judge Carey at $1 a year any day of the week and twice on Sunday. But for now take a look and consider instead how Mr. Reisman might well someday write about Rye –

    “The hard fall of Vincent Leibell from the pinnacle of power only amplifies what everyone has known for years: New York’s political system is fatally clogged with the fetid stink of corruption. It’s so laughably bad that reform seems like a mild prescription.

    What’s really needed is a colonic, a thorough cleansing to flush out all the cynical, greed-driven crud that is sucking the life out of the state.

    We don’t have political parties anymore. Instead we have rackets, owned and operated by an incestuous gaggle of bosses, lobbyists, fixers and, perhaps worst of all, vainglorious incumbents who have been in office so long that they can’t see the difference between right and wrong.”

    And lest anyone think these words don’t apply HERE please be assured, there’s a pre-Christmas evidence laden present being wrapped up for our ostriches on the council. In the meantime those who live in the real world can find the rest from Mr. Reisman here –


  6. Following is taken from RyePatch (Jaclyn Bruntfield reporting) re D.A.R.E.’s effectiveness in achieving it’s stated objective – reduced illegal drug use. Sounds to me like eliminating the D.A.R.E. program as presently configured should have a “Go”.

    “Rye Superintendent Edward Shine said that while Detective Wood has succeeded in identifying with students and fostering a positive relationship between the school community and the police, research has indicated that the D.A.R.E. program is largely ineffective in deterring teen drug use.

    “Most of the research I’ve read, by the junior year of high school the effects on kids who participated in the D.A.R.E. program versus kids who didn’t were negligible.”

    He said the issues of drug and alcohol use discussed in the D.A.R.E curriculum are “covered and reinforced” in semester-long health programs in the eighth and 10th grades.

    In 2001, the Surgeon General released “Youth Violence: A Report by the Surgeon General,” which noted that “overall, evidence on the effects of the traditional D.A.R.E. curriculum, which is implemented in grades 5 and 6, shows that children who participate are as likely to use drugs as those who do not participate.”

    The Surgeon General thus categorized D.A.R.E. as a “Does Not Work” program, citing research that indicated the program was “developmentally inappropriate.” ”



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