The following remarks were made by Rye Mayor Doug French at today's (Sunday, January 1, 2012) 2012 Inauguration ceremony and Rye City 70th anniversary ceremony.
Good afternoon, I am Mayor Douglas French and welcome to a special ceremony at Rye City Hall where we swear-in our newly elected Rye City Council and celebrate the 70th Birthday of Rye becoming a City.
Let me first recognize current and former elected officials.
I want to note the recent passing of former Mayor Mary Ann Ilse and Councilman Ed Collins – both of whom made Rye what it is today with their unconditional public service to our community. And it is in that respect I want to congratulate the newly elected and re-elected Councilwomen and Councilman – Laura Brett, Catherine Parker and Joe Sack. Few people raise their hand to serve, let alone two of you are looking to serve another 4 years. You should all be commended. And it is that commitment to public service – with no pay or benefits – but simply to volunteer to make ours a better community with which our City was born 70 years ago on this day and at approximately this hour. Charles Collins who Chaired the City Charter Committee said at the time and I paraphrase –“There is no place for politics in Rye and constant vigilance must be kept to see that the harmful effect of political contests never become a reality.” That is how we were founded – and that is how we govern today.
With that – let’s begin the swearing in.
Two years ago one of my first acts as Mayor, was to appoint a Judge to replace outgoing Judge Peter Lane who served the City with distinction for 18 years. It is a pleasure to introduce the Honorable Joseph Latwin.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary, the City has prepared a proclamation to tell the story of its founding followed by a reception at the Square House
City of Rye Proclamation
WHEREAS the City of Rye came into existence seventy years ago on January 1, 1942; and
WHEREAS the design of the City seal which depicts a ship surrounded by three important dates in the City’s history, 1660, the year the City was settled; 1904, the year Rye became a Village; and 1942, the year Rye became a City, was designed by George Snowden as part of a contest, for which he received a prize of $100; and
WHEREAS work on the City’s Charter was begun well before 1942 by a Charter Revision Committee headed by Charles Collins, who declared that “there is no place for politics in Rye and constant vigilance must be kept to see that the deleterious effects of political contests never become a reality”; and
WHEREAS the Charter of the City of Rye was approved by Governor Herbert H. Lehman in April 1940 leading the way for the official establishment of the City in 1942; and
WHEREAS the first Inauguration ceremonies for the City of Rye were held on January 1, 1942 and fully covered by the Rye Chronicle with the headline “City of Rye Launched with Impressive Ceremonies”; and
WHEREAS, in his inaugural address, given less than one month after war had been declared, Mayor Platt said that the world “…was in troublesome times …had we known such times were coming I sometimes wonder whether we would have undertaken this course … In any event we have a job to do, we will carry on…”; and
WHEREAS, the newly formed City of Rye was very active in the cause of Civil Defense with its Civil Defense Commission given the task of preparing for a scenario of what would happen if New York City were bombed and 5,000 people arrived in Rye for safekeeping; and
WHEREAS, the first budget adopted for the new City of Rye was $852,348.88; and
WHEREAS, residents of Rye in 1942 dealt with many of the same issues that are familiar to residents of Rye today such as parking and Blind Brook flooding;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of the City of Rye pauses in its Inaugural Celebration in order to recognize the 70th Birthday of the City; acknowledge the contributions of all those who have served before them; and offer the hope that they, and all who serve after them, will heed the words spoken by Mayor Platt at his inauguration and “… govern wisely for the greater benefit of all.”
Signed and sealed, this 1st day of January, 2012.
Mayor Douglas French