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Home Government Red, 86ing the 76, 1% Fights the 2%: Items on the Rye...

Red, 86ing the 76, 1% Fights the 2%: Items on the Rye City Council Agenda for December 7, 2011

Heather     Pattersoncityhall

(PICTURE: Rye City Hall by local artist Heather Patterson)

The city council's agenda for its meeting on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 is out. See you at 8:00pm in Council Chambers in City Hall. The Council will convene at 7:15 p.m. and it is expected they will adjourn into Executive Session at 7:16 p.m. to discuss personnel.

Meetings are also aired on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon Channel 39. We'll also see you on the Internet (live and archive). There are no office hours of the Mayor on December 7th.

Let's check the batting order and highlights from the 19 agenda items.

  • Red. Approval of the election of one new member to the Rye Fire Department.
  • Doug's Details. Mayor’s Management Report – Central Avenue Bridge Update; Legal Update
  • 86ing the 76? Discussion of the Westchester Bee-Line Route 76 Line through Rye.
  • (Paper) Bag it! Continuation of Public Hearing to add a proposed Local Law to prohibit the use of plastic
    bags by Rye Merchants.
  • Speak! Public hearing on the proposed 2012 Budget.
  • Flooded! Public hearing to amend the City Charter, Article 21, “Financial Procedures” to address the issuance of bonds for use in natural disaster reconstruction efforts.
  • Revised, Down. Public hearing to adopt the revised City of Rye Financial Policy.
  • 1% Fights the 2%. Public Hearing to adopt a Local Law to override the State enacted tax levy limitation.
  • Open Mic. Residents may be heard who have matters to discuss that do not appear on the agenda. Always a crowd pleaser…
  • Welcome to the Rye FPD.Consideration to set a Public Hearing to amend the City of Rye Charter for the creation of a Public Safety Commissioner to head the Police Department and the Fire Department reporting directly to the City Manager.
  • eBay. Resolution to declare certain equipment as surplus.

The next regular meeting of the City Council will be held on Wednesday, December 21, 2011.

  1. This week once again the “Residents may be heard-open mic” is way down the agenda list.
    Forced once again to sit thru discussions about paper & plastic bags.
    Presentations are long and some are extremely boring, residents fill the room for these presentations.

    Seniors & often children are forced to stay into the late hours of the night to speak on “open mic”.

    If a grand total of 4 residents (usually the avg.) speak at “open mic” and use the full allowment of time which is 5 minutes, providing there is no feed back this takes a whopping total of 20 minutes….yet they are asked to sit thru HOURS of “PRESENTATIONS”???

    And usually at the end of the presentations the room empties out,as it did after the last 2 HOUR FREAKING MARATHON ON “PLASTIC vs PAPER, leaving these residents with zero opportunity to comment on the residents speaking at “open mic”!!!

    Someone please explain to me how this is in the best interest of RYE? Please explain to me why Mayor French continues to say the residents and children always come first?

  2. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    “When Jiminy is unable to break the padlock, the Blue Fairy comes to discover that Pinocchio played hooky and as Pinocchio lies, his nose grows into a tree-branch with a bird’s nest. The Blue Fairy explains the consequences of lying to Pinocchio that lies can “grow and grow, until it’s as plain as the nose on his face”.”


  3. New investigative efforts by Heal the Harbor have uncovered official NYS tax records indicating that Rye City Mayor Douglas French has apparently been illegally claiming NYS STAR tax relief exemptions on his rental property at 13 Richard Place in Rye. The resulting tax reductions total over $10,000.00.

    According to The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website, you must own your home and it must be your “primary residence” in order to qualify for a STAR tax exemption.

    Mayor French’s multiyear property tax records on the Rye City website indicate exemptions for the STAR relief program simultaneously on both his 13 Richard Place rental property and his current home located at 46 Meadow Place. According to MLS records and Mr. French’s own public statements, the 13 Richard Place property has been an income producing rental property since December of 1999.

    For context, after a recent six month investigation in a similar situation involving rental properties claiming STAR exemptions out in Long Island’s Suffolk County, 17 people were arrested and charged with felony filing of a false instrument and defrauding the state.

    Our ongoing investigation into Mayor French’s local property violations has already uncovered his multi-decade local building and zoning compliance violations. Now we’ve found him apparently cheating the Rye City School District and the rest of Rye’s taxpayers out of thousands of tax dollars over multiple years.

    This pattern of conduct supports our thesis as to why Mr. French lied to us about finally cleaning up Hen Island. And here, given the improper benefits Mr. French apparently obtained in plain sight of the Rye City Assessor, we have to wonder if this long-running charade has cravenly emboldened his frequent public praise of that Rye City department as one of Westchester County’s very best.

    Our findings here, as always, are based squarely on PUBLIC RECORDS and we believe they indicate a pattern of behavior contrary to the standards of public service, public officials and state law. This new disclosure, coupled with his apparent disregard of local building law and evasion of assessment laws, resulting in the loss to Rye City of substantial “improved property” related taxes and fees, is shocking. Two decades of deceit – that’s quite simply disgusting.


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