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Home Government $300 Whitby Tab? Police & Fire M&A?: Items on the Rye City...

$300 Whitby Tab? Police & Fire M&A?: Items on the Rye City Council Agenda for February 8, 2012

Heather     Pattersoncityhall

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

The city council's agenda for its meeting on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 is out. See you at 8:00pm in Council Chambers in City Hall. 

Meetings are also aired on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon Channel 39. We'll also see you on the Internet (live and archive). *Office Hours of the Mayor will be held at 7:30 pm in the Mayor’s Conference Room.

Let's check the batting order and highlights from the 20 agenda items.

  • Doug's Details. Mayor’s Management Report – Update from the Golf Club Commission ($300 Whitby Tab?); Legal Update
  • Police & Fire M&A. Consideration to set a Public Hearing to amend the City of Rye Charter: Article 13, for the creation of a Public Safety Commissioner to head the Police Department and the Fire Department reporting directly to the City Manager.
  • Gimme Some. Consideration of a Home Rule Message to authorize the City of Rye to collect a transfer tax on the sale of real estate.
  • Open Mic. Residents may be heard who have matters to discuss that do not appear on the agenda. Always a crowd pleaser…
  • Patronage. Three appointments to the Flood Advisory Committee for three-year terms and three
    appointments for two-year terms, by the Mayor with Council approval; Designation of the Chairman of the Flood Advisory Committee by the Mayor; One appointment to the Board of Assessment Review for a five-year term expiring on September 30, 2016, by the Mayor with Council approval; Appointment of one member to the Emergency Medical Services Committee to fill a term expiring on June 30, 2014.
  • In Memory of Michael Kenny. Acceptance of donation to the Rye Police Department from the National Philanthropic Trust/Edward and Elisabeth Wolfe Foundation in the amount of one thousand five hundred ($1,500.00) dollars.

The next regular meeting of the City Council will be held on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.

  1. New Contest!-New Contest!–Win & $ave –Win & $ave!-Win & $ave!

    February is Officially –GROUCHO MONTH! – in The City of Rye!

    “WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE – ME – OR YOUR OWN EYES?”

    $ave Big Bucks!- Amazing! New Contest for Rye City Single Family Home Taxpayers! –

    THE GRAND PRIZE for this “in-credible” new contest – open to any Rye City Single-Family Home Taxpayer – will be a re-designation by the Rye City Tax Assessor to deem your single family home a Legal Two-Family Residence! with the resulting sizable decrease in your annual property tax payments falling – Ka-Ching!- di-rectly into your Personal Pocket – BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! – AND! – to go along with that – any 2nd STAR Tax Exemption will be ignored on your Rye home(s) so you can simultaneously claim Two Primary Residences at the Very Same Time and for years and years and years! – Ka-Ching again you SUPER lucky dog!

    THE SECOND PRIZE winner will receive a re-designation by the Assessor deeming your single family home a Legal Two-Family Residence! with the resulting sizable decrease in your annual property tax payments falling –Ka-Ching!- di-rectly into your Personal Pocket!

    THE THIRD PRIZE winner will have any 2nd STAR Tax Exemption ignored on your Rye home(s) so you can simultaneously claim Two Primary Residences at the Very Same Time and for years and years and years! – Ka-Ching Baby!

    All entries must be posted by 6pm on City Council Meeting Night and the discretion of the judges (5 fully conflicted people in a closed room) will be arbitrary, capricious, purposely uninformed and absolutely FINAL! This contest is illegal anywhere but in the City of Rye – where it’s also illegal but, what the heck; who there even cares about one more so called “controversy?” Rye Political Class members and their families are strictly prohibited from entering as they apparently already have these advantages – and more.

    Let’s Kick Off With Today’s Daily Lucky Question – which is:

    Match the recent Public Meeting “Misstatement” – to the Current Rye City Official:

    A. “That, is a phone call recording!”
    B. “It’s not a violation.”
    C. “Yeah what’s recorded is someone called in and made a complaint.”
    D. “Every accusation you’re making is false!”

    1.The Mayor
    2.The Corporation Counsel
    3.The City Manager

    (No cheating, do not view “13 Richard Place” time codes 10:52–11:00 & 12:22–12:30)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6nWzVM99R8&feature=related

  2. Ted,

    You forgot one small little detail…this contest only applies to those who were in the 3rd grade when their house was built or remodeled, therfore making you exempt from any and all responsible or irresponsible acts from that point forward!

  3. Whew – what news a day.

    The Mayor elsewhere here unloads yet another attempt to sidestep the growing pile of questions about his illegal rental home and its related tax status – and – the lies fall away under bombshell revelations about another city scandal – the supposedly unrecorded Fire Department Meeting. Existence denied by Senior Rye City Officials for 2 full weeks – and suddenly – it’s here – http://ryeny.swagit.com/play/02062012-509

    OK – so let’s get back to our game with only one more day to go before the big prizes will be awarded.

    “WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE – ME – OR YOUR OWN EYES?”

    (See Contest Prizes and Rules above – and Good Luck!)

    Today’s Daily Lucky Question – is:

    Match the recent Public Meeting “Misstatement” – to the Rye City Official:

    A.“We’ve had this conversation so I think let’s not play to the cameras. You’re not telling the truth and at least you can sit here and tell the truth.”
    B.“We’re here to do the city’s business – the accusations you’re making are false.”
    C.“Unless this is city business I don’t think it’s appropriate for you to present it to us.”
    D. “If I got an exemption I wasn’t entitled to absolutely” –Follow-up Question: Do you know if you got that exemption sir? – “Um, I’m gonna find out.” (1)

    (1)This bonus question should be easy since the speaker (and the City Assessor) knew 8 months before this was asked that he had in fact received that exemption – and for 10 full years. And none of it had been paid back.

    1. The Mayor
    2. The Deputy Mayor
    3. The City Manager

    (No cheating, do not view Rye City Council Meetings here –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCRJfm3CJv8 time codes 6:19-6:23, 7:29-7:36

    or here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySsAAcf7KxE&feature=related time codes:48-:53

    or here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSqIOZYCuok&feature=related time codes 6:41-6:48

  4. Much to do here at our investment firm today so I’m putting today’s contest questions up early. Later I may have some thoughts on the disquieting converging orbits of Rye’s premier city hall influence peddler and the current Deputy Mayor (an honorable man albeit misguided here) and the future revelations of misconduct that are likely to soon come. Hope to get to it but for now, here’s the final questions –

    “WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE – ME – OR YOUR OWN EYES?”

    (See Contest Prizes and Rules below – and Good Luck!)

    CONFLICTS IN APPEARANCE – AND CONFLICTS IN FACT.

    And the Final Day Lucky Questions! – Are –

    In the recent Board of Ethics “Do Over” session, with the previously recused City Manager and City Attorney ex-officio board members now specifically declining to recuse themselves again, the Chairwoman wasted little time (1 min, 45 seconds) in moving for the public to leave the room. But Judge Alfano and Former Mayor Dunn were not so eager to comply. And so viewers can watch the previously recused City Manager and the City Attorney prod and cajole these somewhat reluctant participants into ‘moving along’ into a so-called Executive Session – and getting the public out of the room. Thus the public gets a 13 and a half minute glimpse of how issues were being reframed, and by exactly whom, and who raised objections, and who gets promised what – if the process results were later questioned, before the public finally gets evicted and a 90 minute closed door session begins.

    So for today’s challenge, match the following quotes to the speakers below –

    A.“In this matter, um, again, because this is a SEPARATE MATTER from what you had, um, discussed previously, um, the corporation council and I have discussed this and WE FEEL that this is a matter based on what the council had asked that we would participate in this discussion.”
    B.“What right now is before the Board of Ethics is to respond to 2 specific questions from the Deputy Mayor and OUR OBLIGATION is to answer those questions TO HIM. Notwithstanding what THE PUBLIC or anyone else might think or might not like, you’re I think that the process that’s been followed so far as its written in the code and it’s OUR JOB to look at those questions and respond.
    C.“The obligation or the right to investigate lies with the City Council and when I got that letter my gut reaction was to kick it back to him and say: Well? WHAT ARE THE FACTS? Usually when an issue is presented to an Ethics Committee, they write out the facts and you give an opinion based on those facts.”
    D.“I’m worried because there are allegations of favoritism or whatever to be criticized for asking either hard questions, softball questions or leading questions. I’d rather have INDEPENDENT COUNSEL asking a question.”
    E.“If we as our committee, without written depositions, without stenographers, without additional counsel – if we meet go thru OUR PROCEDURE as the Ethics Committee and come to a conclusion will they accept that conclusion?..I guess all I’m trying to avoid is our going thru a process and then being told afterwards that ‘that’s not an ‘ACCEPTABLE PROCEDURE.’”

    And the speaker is –

    1.Judge Alfano
    2.The City Manager
    3.The City Attorney
    4.Former Mayor Dunn

    (As always, no cheating – “The Do Over” – Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3spwYSwPOE )

  5. JULY 1, 2011 – VIOLATION #V0000758 – BUILDING WITHOUT A PERMIT

    Whew – what a night. But from my own all too real life experience, some pretty standard stuff at any “for-profit” company who’s Board of Directors is having difficulty digesting the fact that the General Manager, Company Attorney and CEO have been caught lying to the board to cover-up wrongdoing so as to protect the CEO’s personal pocketbook.

    On cue, the CEO’s board backers circle the wagons and try foisting a superficial friendly review of the affair on the more independent directors and tell them there’s “nothing here.” This of course backfires and the room erupts in acrimony. But here “the room” is on television, and the company’ “treasury” is the public purse. And again on cue, the CEO lashes out playing offence because there is apparently no defense to his and his top managers acts – the independent investigator (here a filmmaker) has confronted the CEO in the boardroom and the CEO can offer ZERO factual rebuttal. And thus we witness the CEO’s management subordinates, after personally reasserting the CEO’s falsehoods, then suddenly fall and remain silent in the face of the facts. The meeting then ends in a standoff with nothing resolved and everything still on the line.

    I’ll provide some more thoughts later but find it ironic that the same questions and untruthful replies from Day 1 of our contest this week were front and center last night.

    But be not discouraged – tabulation of the results of our GROUCHO MONTH contest is now underway! And while we await the envelopes, let’s run down the now factually supported answers. Here are Monday’s questions with the speakers revealed beneath –

    Match the recent Public Meeting “Misstatement” – to the Current Rye City Official:

    A.“That, is a phone call recording!”
    This would be – the City Manager
    B. “It’s not a violation.”
    This would be – the Mayor
    C. “Yeah what’s recorded is someone called in and made a complaint.”
    This would be – the Corporation Counsel
    D. “Every accusation you’re making is false!”
    This would be – the Mayor

    See “13 Richard Place” – time codes 10:52–11:00 & 12:22–12:30

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6nWzVM99R8&feature=related

  6. Let’s see…. The City manager lying about who paid for the retirement party for Susan Morrison at Rye Golf club and also giving her full medical health care coverage after only 7 years of employment. The City manager lying to journal news reporter Therasa Juva when he was questioned about the coyotes. The City manager covering up what happened with Mr. shubert property and then going to commissioner Connors and having him arrested. The City manager attempting to have the party who stuck his home with a car served an order of protection to stay away from his home and sued,again with the help of Commissioner Connors and having the arresting officer change his report. The city manager that said there was nothing wrong with the police building and yet there was asbestos and mold found by independent investigators. These are just a few incidents that show how City hall operates why would this cover up with the Mayors second residence be surprising? They have had signed complaints at the police department disappear and ignore calls for an investigation. They have exposed the residents and the city to civil litigation for refusing to entertain complaints such as the Caspi family. Requests that could have prevented 7 years or litigation between the victim and the City. With leaders such as the City manager , Mayor and Police commissioner no one should be surprised at the curren state of affairs.

  7. “WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE – ME – OR YOUR OWN EYES?”

    July 1, 2011 – Violation #V0000758 – Building Without a Permit.

    Dear Anxious Honest Rye City Taxpayers – Tabulation of the results of our GROUCHO MONTH contest are still underway! So while we await the envelopes, let’s run down the now factually supported answers. Here are Tuesday’s questions with the speakers revealed beneath –

    MATCH the recent Public Meeting “Misstatement” – to the Rye City Official:

    A. “We’ve had this conversation so I think let’s not play to the cameras. You’re not telling the truth and at least you can sit here and tell the truth.”

    ANSWER: this would be – the City Manager

    B. “We’re here to do the city’s business – the accusations you’re making are false.”

    ANSWER: this would be – the Mayor

    C. “Unless this is city business I don’t think it’s appropriate for you to present it to us.”

    ANSWER: this would be – the Deputy Mayor

    D. “If I got an exemption I wasn’t entitled to absolutely” – (Follow-up question: Do you know if you got that exemption sir?) – “Um, I’m gonna find out.”

    ANSWER: This bonus question was 3rd grade level easy since the speaker (and the City Assessor) knew 8 months before this question was asked that he had in fact received that exemption – and for 10 full years – pocketing in excess of $10,000 in improper benefits.. And none of it had been paid back nor acknowledged until he was “outed.” The speaker here is – the Mayor.

    Please view the appropriate Rye City Council Meetings here –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCRJfm3CJv8 time codes 6:19-6:23, 7:29-7:36

    and here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySsAAcf7KxE&feature=related time codes:48-:53

    and here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSqIOZYCuok&feature=related time codes 6:41-6:48

  8. “WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE – ME – OR YOUR OWN EYES?”

    July 1, 2011 – Violation #V0000758 – Building Without a Permit.

    Dear Anxious & Honest Rye City Taxpayers – Tabulation of the results of our GROUCHO MONTH contest are still underway! So while we await the envelopes, let’s run down the now factually supported answers. Here are Wednesday’s questions with the speakers revealed beneath –

    In the recent Board of Ethics “Do Over” session, with the previously recused City Manager and City Attorney ex-officio board members now specifically declining to recuse themselves again, the Chairwoman wasted little time (1 min, 45 seconds) in moving for the public to leave the room. But Judge Alfano and Former Mayor Dunn were not so eager to comply. And so viewers can watch the previously recused City Manager and the City Attorney prod and cajole these somewhat reluctant participants into ‘moving along’ into a so-called Executive Session – and getting the public out of the room. Thus the public gets a 13 and a half minute glimpse of how the issues were being reframed, and by exactly whom, and who raised objections, and who gets promised what – if the process results were later questioned, before the public finally gets evicted and a 90 minute closed door session begins.

    A. “In this matter, um, again, because this is a SEPARATE MATTER from what you had, um, discussed previously, um, the corporation council and I have discussed this and WE FEEL that this is a matter based on what the council had asked that we would participate in this discussion.”

    ANSWER: this would be – the City Manager.

    B. “What right now is before the Board of Ethics is to respond to 2 specific questions from the Deputy Mayor and our oblication is to answer those questions TO HIM. Notwithstanding what THE PUBLIC or anyone else might think or might not like, you’re I think that the process that’s been followed so far as its written in the code and it’s OUR JOB to look at those questions and respond.”

    ANSWER: this would be – the City Attorney

    C. “The obligation or the right to investigate lies with the City Council and when I got that letter my gut reaction was to kick it back to him and say: Well? WHAT ARE THE FACTS? Usually when an issue is presented to an Ethics Committee, they write out the facts and you give an opinion based on those facts.”

    ANSWER: this would be – Judge Alfano

    D. “I’m worried because there are allegations of favoritism or whatever to be criticized for asking either hard questions, softball questions or leading questions. I’d rather have INDEPENDENT COUNSEL asking a question.”

    ANSWER: this would be – Judge Alfano

    E. “If we as our committee, without written depositions, without stenographers, without additional counsel – if we meet go thru our proceedure as the Ethics Committee and come to a conclusion will they accept that conclusion?..I guess all I’m trying to avoid is our going thru a process and then being told afterwards that ‘that’s NOT AN ‘ACCEPTABLE PROCEDURE.’”

    ANSWER: this would be – Former Mayor Dunn

    (See “The Do Over” – Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3spwYSwPOE

  9. LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S PODIUM ADDRESS OF JORDAN GLASS – PART 2

    The second question posed by Deputy Mayor Jovanovich was:

    2) Did Mayor French seek or receive preferential treatment from City employees in the manner the City and its Building Department handled a complaint regarding a potential violation of the building code at 13 Richard Place?

    This, too, is not a relevant question as it’s not yet ripe. The matter has not been settled. You can’t yet know whether such a complaint was proper because the Mayor hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet. Every reasonable inference of guilt is there by his own admission and the publication of documents. But he’s entitled to a presumption of innocence and a trial in whatever forum is appropriate. This ethics hearing was not it.

    (My personal concern is the hope that you will not allow anyone to occupy that third floor until this is resolved. That’s another matter which I may address another time.)

    So the issue to address is whether the documents sought under the FOIL and title reports were manipulated, hidden or otherwise not disclosed, who did so and whether the Mayor was involved in the attempted cover-up. If so, that’s a problem. If not, wonderful for the Mayor, but not so for the City employees … those documents didn’t just get up and walk away and then walk back. That’s an important and separate investigation.

    And again, it comes to the question of conflict of interest: should someone who has building violations be voting on laws dealing with not just building codes but the ENFORCEMENT of building codes. And here Hen Island is, in fact a perfect example, because no matter what you may excrete about Ray Tartaglione wanting to turn it into high-priced condos, the issue is how can the Mayor preside over a body addressing enforcement when he himself has not been the subject of such legislation and enforcement.

    You must see how it appears that someone who is in violation of the building codes, who then votes against enforcement, gives the APPEARANCE of having a conflict of interest, even if doing so behind the guise of a court ruling.

    Those are the issues an honest inquiry would address. Anything less casts a pall over the Mayor which he may not deserve – or he may – and over the entire governance of the City of Rye, because the rest of the populace are not governed by the same rules and standards. That’s what’s at stake here: the feeling, the PERCEPTION, that when we seek redress that we will NOT be treated by the same rules and under the same standards as the otherwise powerful or privileged.

    The Mayor is entitled to a detailed description of proper, relevant allegations, a full and fair hearing, and to be exonerated or adjudged based upon the evidence presented.

    Democracy, Deputy Mayor Jovanovich, is slow, expensive, inefficient and often inconvenient. No one knows that better than Jimmy Amico, Ray Tartaglione, and, of course, Robert W. Schubert.

    I have offered you a path toward the allegations. I hope for everyone’s benefit that you step onto that path.”

  10. LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S PODIUM ADDRESS OF JORDAN GLASS – PART 1

    Democracy, Deputy Mayor Jovanovich, is slow, expensive, inefficient and often inconvenient.

    “In contrast to a letter I’m going to read you separately, I disagree with the performance and activities before the Ethics Board because instead of exonerating the Mayor, which would have been perfectly wonderful, they created further doubt and the appearance of a cover-up through obfuscation of the questions to be asked.

    Here’s how. The first question posed by Deputy Mayor Jovanovich was:

    1) Did Mayor French seek or receive preferential treatment by City employees in the granting of STAR exemptions for his properties at 13 Richard Place and 46 Meadow Place?

    No one disputes that the STAR exemption was received prior to the Mayor’s tenure, so the question was irrelevant and answered nothing.

    This question by itself creates an appearance of impropriety, because you don’t have to be a political science major or attorney to understand that nothing which happened in the 1990’s could have anything to do with an allegation of an improper exemption existing today. The question is whether the Mayor violated his obligations as Mayor by allowing those exemptions to exist today while he was Mayor.

    You can argue about whether he should have self-reported; that’s an issue. You can argue about whether it creates a conflict for the Mayor to address building department and tax issues when he is in violation of the code himself; that’s an issue. In fact those ARE the issues.

    But to inquire whether he received special treatment for something in the 1990’s or at any time prior to his being the Mayor is ludicrous and insulting to all the people watching. They’re not all on a telephone line at the same time talking to each other … they’re looking at the question and saying to themselves, “Did I just hear that?” And then instead of wondering about the issue itself, they’re wondering if they’re being gaslighted. And, in fact, they are.

    That question was irrelevant and if you want to ask something which matters, the question to ask is not whether someone was sufficiently vetted, but whether someone sitting who has violated a law in such a way should be sitting in judgment of laws and creating laws which may impact his own present actual financial standing, not just possible or general community financial standing.

    The ethics issue to ask is whether it was proper for the Mayor or any elected official to continue to hold office based upon a now-undisputed wrongdoing, for which most regular citizens would have received different treatment … and whether the Mayor received special treatment NOW because he is the Mayor.

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