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Rye
Friday, October 7, 2022
Home Government Speaking French: Mayor's Update: Bondage, Fire, Taxes, Labor, Floods

Speaking French: Mayor’s Update: Bondage, Fire, Taxes, Labor, Floods

Here is the next edition of Speaking French, the Mayor's Update.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

A Decaying Infrastructure May Lead to a November Bond Referendum
Just as the Rye City School District is grappling with its long-term planning issues and an expanding student enrollment, the City Government is also facing major capital needs with a crumbling infrastructure to include roads, sidewalks, sewers, storm drains and flood mitigation needs. By City Charter, any public referendum on City matters must be held on Election Day and so the City is targeting Election Day 2012 as a potential date to go out for bond. The City is in dire need of making repairs and improvements to the infrastructure that has been neglected for quite some time. Should the Council decide to move to a bond vote, the Council is in full agreement that only critical projects tied to the general safety and well-being of the public should be included. An initial rough estimate would range the total cost of the bond from $5M to $10M in projects depending on the assessment the Council has asked to be conducted and reviewed with the public over the next 6 months. The key project for flood mitigation would be the expansion of the Upper Pond behind the Bowman Avenue spillway.

Public Hearing on Organizational Alignment of the Rye Fire Department
There are three phases the City is undertaking in its review of the organization of the Fire Department. The first is a legislative step as the Council has set a date for February 29th for a public hearing on a change to the City Charter for the Board of Wardens and the volunteer firemen to report to and work in conjunction with the City Manager as opposed to the relationship now whereby the City Manager is only advisory to the Board of Wardens. This is an important step in creating greater organizational alignment with the career firemen and volunteers who currently have separate reporting structures. This follows a year of discussions with key stakeholders to include the Fire Chiefs, volunteers, career personnel and the Board of Wardens. The second phase is an interim transition plan with the mandated retirement of the Fire Inspector and how best the City can maintain those services. The last phase is to determine the best long-term organization design which could include a Director of Public Safety or other possible scenarios that Council will review over the next few months.

Transfer Tax Consideration
The City continues to look at many ways to offset property taxes while maintaining the level of services and facilities that keep the quality of life and property values high in Rye. One item for consideration is to seek from New York State home rule authority for a transfer tax on the sale of real estate of 1% on all cash sales of homes that are over $1M. It is estimated that there were $65M in home sales with that criteria in 2011. Currently the City receives 1% on mortgage taxes but nothing on all cash sales which is a growing trend and other Cities in Westchester have the tax in place.

Funding for the Rye Free Reading Room Labor Negotiations
As part of its annual Inter-Municipal Agreement with the Rye Free Reading Room to contribute $1,080,000 to furnish library services, the City requested last year that it also assist in labor negotiations for the library. The labor agreement between the library and the Communication Workers of America expired at the end of 2011. The City's agreement with its Fire union has been expired since the end of 2009 and the City is currently in arbitration with the Police union whose contract expired at the end of 2008.

Appointments Made to the Newly Formed Rye Flood Committee
At the last Council meeting, I appointed the following individuals who were confirmed by the Council to serve on the newly formed committee: Rafael Elias-Linero (Chair), Larry Lehman (Vice-Chair), Annette Guarino, Dean Neely, Richard Mecca, Bernie Althoff, and Holly Kennedy. The role of the flood committee is to advise the Council and assist the City in the implementation of the City's flood mitigation plan, to educate residents on personal flood mitigation measures, to monitor land-use development upstream and surrounding areas and study their impact on storm-water as well as to look at potential legislation and funding options. The City's first flood mitigation project, the Bowman Sluice Gate should be going out for bid in March now that all permits, approvals, funding and Inter-Municipal Agreements have been secured.

  1. Commrade Vladimir very happy. Get to watch “Communists who don’t appear on agenda”. Always please Vladimir. Commrade Vladimir love Commrade Tedc, Commrade Amico, Commrade Tartaglione, Commrade Schulti, Commrade Neary and Commrade D’Angelo. President Krushchev very proud. Commrades love state control of all aspects of our lives. Commrade Neary love state control of our privately owned trees. Make Vladimir happy. Commrade Tartaglione want state control of all private land, make Vladimir happy. Commrade Tedc want state to commandere Gates’ private land for state inspection. President Krushchev very proud of work commrades have done. Commrade Schulti turn in fellow commrades to the state for punishment. Comrade Vladimir very pround of Commrade Schulti. Commrade Tartalione turn in Hen Island to state. Commrade Vladimir very proud of Commrade Tartaglione. President Krushchev love commrades who love gov’t control of our lives. Commrade Amico want gov’t control of all traffic and construction. Commrade Vladimir very proud of Commrade Amico. Commrade Amico turn in all construction companies to state for punishment. Commrade Amico do very good deed for state. President Krushchev very proud. Commrade D’Angelo turn in Grace Church street to authorities for punishment. Commrade Vladimir very proud of Commrade D’Angelo. Commrade Tedc want cradle to grave bus service. President Krushchev very happy Tedc so dependent on state run services. Commrade Vladimir waiting to see what Commrades talk about this week! President Krushchev very proud of all commrades.

  2. Today’s Westchester Guardian Newspaper – features – Mayor French and his Merry Band! See Page 21 for Mayor French’s Rye “Update!” Look’s exactly like the one above. Boy I’m almost overjoyed everything’s just great in Rye Government!

    oh no – wait – wait – what’s this on the bottom of Page 21? No, no, no – just ignore it, there’s nothing to this, there’s nothing to see – take it from me, that issue has been resolved.

    oh wait, what’s this back on Page 18 – no! – that’s not fair! – that’s not what happened, that’s not what’s happening – No, No, No a thousand times NO!

    http://westchesterguardian.com/3_1_12/wg_3_1_fin.pdf

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