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Journal News Columnist Reisman on Rye Playland

Earlier this week, Phil Reisman, Journal News columnist, spilled on Rye Playland. There were a few gems in "Playland figures in Astorino's political future":

"It is emblematic of Playland's financial health that the 19-member citizens committee charged with weighing options to "reinvent" the 83-year-old amusement park included a priest… Some day he may have to give Playland its last rites…

Playland is a historic landmark. But it actually has two parallel histories: as a beloved attraction for wholesome family fun and as an unsolved political conundrum…

Astorino may call Playland a "magical place," as he did last week, but he is also a fiscal ideologue who made it clear he has not ruled out the possibility of shutting down the amusement section of the park next summer to help close a $100 million budget deficit…. Don't be surprised if he does…

The county executive is nevertheless treading carefully on this issue because Playland is a third-rail in Westchester politics. Nostalgia consumes the place. Even residents who haven't ridden the Dragon Coaster since they were children like to think that the park will remain unchanged, whether it operates in the black or not…

Astorino is up for re-election in 2013. That may seem like a long way off, but time has a sneaky way of accelerating in a recession. It'll be here before you know it.

Winning the first time made him a comer in the Republican Party. But winning a second time will make him a star.

How Astorino balances sensitive issues like Playland against a rigid philosophy of reducing the size and cost of county government will go far in determining his political future…

But their [the all-volunteer reinventing Playland committee] report is in danger of ending up in a closet, which was the fate of all the other detailed reports that preceded it."

  1. Phil Reisman and Jerry McKinstry make the Journal News worth reading. I do miss our Theresa Juva. I could always spot her at school board meetings because she had that glowing copper hair.

    Hey Jay are you going to write about the accusations of cheating in the Myers/Keith race? You know there were questions about the way Suzanna Keith gathered her signatures in the first place. Some say she jumped the gun, so to speak.

    McKinstry did here:

  2. Note to self – reconnect once again with Gannett Corporate and re-express interest in buying The Journal News for our media investment fund. If successful, close transaction and install this guy as managing editor.

    “Westchester’s rigged game of politics” by Phil Reisman.


    “There are no political parties in Westchester, not really. What we have mainly are teams that compete for jobs, power and money. Idealogy is a secondary concern so forget about what the parties theoretically stand for. It hardly matters. Even character doesn’t matter all that much if you’re a team player in good standing with the bosses. What matters is winning and manipulating the system to ensure that goal. It’s one big fix, orchestrated through a maze of back-room deals and dubious third parties whose ostensible reason for being centers on patronage.”

  3. http://bit.ly/pU4ORH

    From the same Phil Reisman article – a must for anyone who wants to really understand Westchester politics – there’s this about Suzanna Keith’s latest failed attempt to gain the “independence”party line.

    Reisman writes:
    There are plenty of dead-end alleys as well.

    For instance, there are those three ballots in the Independence Party primary in a county legislator race that were found in a voting machine on Sept. 24, three days after the machine was recanvassed. It’s a mystery about which no one has supplied a satisfying answer.

    You can’t explain it. Don’t even think about it.

    It’s just magic.

    So Jerry McKinstry and Phil Reisman have written about Rye’s own little cheating scandal. From our local media??

    Interesting story from Ray Tartaglione about Doug French making promises prior to the election, btw. Doesn’t surprise me.

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