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Rye City Council Candidate Joe Sack

MyRye.com has invited all city council candidates to complete a Q&A for our readers this week. The election is this coming Tuesday, November 8, 2011. Today we introduce you to candidate and sitting councilperson Joe Sack:

Joe Sack & family

Your Name: Joe Sack

What are the three most important issues for Rye in 2012?

  1. Open government – ensuring that ALL decisions are open and transparent, like with the defeated proposal to re-zone the Lester’s site. 
  2. Quality of life – from flooding to pedestrian safety, and balancing the need for maintaining essential services while controlling taxes.
  3. Fighting for Rye – at Playland and Rye Town Park.

What current issue in Rye gets more than its fair share of attention?

I don’t think local issues can get too much attention.  The more discussion of issues that affect our lives in Rye, the better.

Which of the current Rye Playland alternatives do you favor?

Sustainable Playland Inc. seems to best match the guiding principles outlined by Rye.

Beyond efficiencies through shared services, cooperation with non-profits or other initiatives, should Rye City consider reductions in various service levels to reduce expenditures?

We need to balance what we need and what we can afford, and everything should be on the table for discussion.  This is the toughest and most important part of the job.

How did you come to run for Rye City Council?

My Jesuit education instilled in me a commitment to public service.  I caught the politics bug as a young man while working for Andy O’Rourke as my day job, while putting myself thru Fordham Law at night. When I finally put roots down in Rye and started raising my own family, I was proud to get the opportunity to serve.  It’s not for everyone, but I really enjoy it!

What Rye citizen (non-elected official, non-city employee) do you hold as a role model for the rest of us vis-à-vis their contribution to the city and its social fabric?

He’s going to kill me for singling him out, but it’s got to be John Carolin.  John has more vitality than a man half his age.  He is highly engaged, and has a compassionate but no-nonsense approach to issues in Rye.  I’d be lucky to one day attain John’s level of wisdom and respect.

Where do you live in Rye?

Thorne Place, the lovely cul-de-sac next to Disbrow Park.

How long have you lived in Rye – since what year?

10 years.  We moved to Rye right after 9/11.

What’s your day job?

I am a securities litigation attorney.

If your co-workers (from your day job) were to describe you in a single word, what word would they use?


As a young person, what was your first paid job?

Newspaper delivery boy, and then a caddy.

Tell us about your family.

Kerri and I have three beautiful daughters, who attend Osborn school and Rye Pres nursery school.

What’s your favorite Rye area restaurant for “date night” with your partner?

When we can get a babysitter, Ruby’s or Town Dock or the Roadhouse.

What’s your favorite Rye area restaurant for take-out or delivery when you are having dinner at home with your family?

Piazza Pizza for dinner, and Dock Deli for breakfast.  

Where might we find you on a Sunday morning?

Reading the Sunday papers before the rest of the family wakes up, getting ready for mass at Resurrection, and then preparing for a travel soccer game with the kids.

What is your political affiliation?

Registered Republican.  I have an independent streak, and was pleased to receive the Independence endorsement and then win the Independence primary in September.

Your favorite major league baseball team: Yankees.

Your Facebook page: I mainly just re-connect with old high school and college friends on Facebook. 

Your twitter call: I signed up for it, but I have yet to arrive in the tweet generation.

Your campaign web site: www.BESTforRYE.com


  1. Joe – You’ve got my vote – and that’s because you don’t let a party affiliation get in the way of asking the right questions and driving in the right direction. Would that more of our elected officials (and candidates) acted the same way.

    You and your family are actively involved in Rye – schools, sports, civic service, etc. – unlike some others running for City Council.

    Oh, and you don’t hesitate to respond to questions asked directly of you, again, unlike some of you competitors who have chosen to ignore questions posted on this site, despite their willingness to have the same individual Q/A posted as have you.

  2. I have watched Joe on the City Council for the past four years and he has always had a very good grasp on who the players are and what their MO is. Good, bad or somewhere in-between.
    His report on Rye’s structural reform of the City’s law department was excellent but ignored by French and his followers including Parker and Gamache currently running. Joe wants to get away from the present “Show Me the Money” legal structure that cost residents thousands and thousands of $$$$$$. Mayor French and his other followers on the City Council would like to stay with the current political patronage system.
    He was trying to cut taxes long before the other copy cat council members needed and used the same ploy to get votes.
    I don’t believe Joe Sack wants or needs my endorsement and I am not sure what his position is on the Hen Island controversy. What I do know is that from the very beginning Joe was the only councilmember willing to look into the controversy in full view of the public.
    He rightfully so, publicly spoke out against the controversial photo shop photos, we used to bring attention to Hen Island before they went public.
    I do agree they crossed the line and do apologize to anyone that was offended by them.
    But the residents of Rye should understand that when ordinary citizens are ignored, when they bring serious health and safety issues to the attention of authorities that are sworn to uphold and enforce the law, sometimes those same ordinary people become outraged and will go to extra ordinary levels to make a point and make things happen. Joe understands that point and spoke about it in this article below.
    Catherine Parker and Paula Gamache have been consistently silent throughout their term. Mrs. Parker has toured Hen Island with me personally and even though she has witnessed what goes on first hand she still refuses to take any position even if it was to state that my complaints are unfounded. That in itself speaks volumes as to her independence.
    On the other hand Ms. Gamache signed a Heal the Harbor petition in 2007 supporting our efforts but after her husband Serge Nevelle (On the Zoning Board of Appeals) approved a new home to be constructed on Hen Island without meeting health or septic code requirements, she became permanently silent on the Hen Island controversy.
    Why reward council persons for not speaking up against pollution, health and safety risks? On November 8th help send a message to Mayor French and the entire Rye City Council by voting for Joe Sack and not reelecting Paula Gamache and Catharine Parker to the Rye City Council.

  3. I agree with Bob and Ray below.

    It’s long past time to clean out the barn and send compromised and crooked local politicians a big fat message.

    This election cycle – Best for Rye – is getting lots of votes – including mine.


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