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Indian Village, Poke Me!, Play Ball, March, Run, Walk : Items on the Rye City Council Agenda for March 28, 2012

Heather     Pattersoncityhall

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

The city council's agenda for its meeting on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 is out. See you at 8:00pm in Council Chambers in City Hall.

The Council will convene at 7:30 pm and it is expected they will adjourn into Executive Session to discuss real estate matters. Office Hours of the Mayor available by appointment this week.

Meetings are also aired on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon Channel 39. We'll also see you on the Internet (live and archive). There will be no office Hours of the Mayor this week.

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

  • Indian Village Relieved… Bid Award for the Bowman Avenue Sluice Gate Project (Contract #2012-01). Roll Call.; Authorization for the City Manager to enter into an agreement with WSP Sells for the Bowman Avenue Upper Dam Resizing Flood Control Project.
  • Doug's Details. Update from the Recreation Commission; Update from the Sustainability Committee on energy saving projects: Biofuels, Energy Audit, the Plastic Bag Ban implementation and the April 23rd No-Idling Day; Legal Update
  • Poke Me! A Rye PD Social Media Policy. Presentation by Commissioner William R. Connors on the proposed revision of the Rules and Regulations of the City of Rye Police Department: General Order# 121.04.
  • Engineering a Hire. Discussion of the position of City Engineer and Public Works Superintendent and the upgrade of an existing staff position to Assistant Civil Engineer; Resolution to transfer funds from the Contingency account and the Building and Vehicles fund, to fund the position of City Engineer/Public Works Superintendent and Assistant Civil Engineer.
  • 55th Time, Play Ball! Consideration of a request by the Rye Little League to approve a parade to kickoff Opening Day of the 55th Little League Season on Saturday, April 21, 2012 beginning at 12:00 p.m.
  • March! Consideration of a request by the Midland Elementary School PTO to approve a parade to
    precede the Midland Elementary School Fair on Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to
    10:15 a.m.
  • Run! Consideration of a request by the Rye YMCA for the use of City streets for the 24th Annual
    Rye Derby on Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Walk! Consideration of a request by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the use of City streets for the 24th Annual Great Strides Walk on Sunday, May 20, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Open Mic. Residents may be heard who have matters to discuss that do not appear on the agenda. Always a crowd pleaser…

The next regular meeting of the City Council will be held on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.

  1. Indian Village on the agenda?

    “New York’s Secretary of State, Cesar Perales, has confirmed that his Department will not issue new interpretations of the NYS Residential Code (RCNYS or the Code), which local officials had feared would require onerous and expensive repairs to homes in flood prone areas.”

    The division listed below is under Perales’ Dept of State. It is the division that issued the ruling on Indian Village.

    New York State Department of State
    Division of Code Enforcement and Administration

    One Commerce Plaza
    99 Washington Avenue, Suite 1160
    Albany, New York 12231-0001

    Look familiar?

    Wonder what they say about the SEASONAL RESIDENCES on Hen Island and whether Mayor French is enforcing the laws out there?

    Wonder if HealTheHarbor has called them yet to confirm Mayor French and Mayor Otis HAVE BEEN enforcing the potable water laws on Hen Island? Why is HealTheHarbor being so stubborn and not finding out the facts?

  2. New rumors abound today that transparency may be at hand for one of Rye’s long festering environmental crime scenes. Could this be true? I’m getting too old to believe in miracles. Yet – the thought of today’s phony environmentalists sitting on the council bench finally being forced to deal with this situation is simply delightful. It lifts the spirit. So – with proper apologies to Messer’s Lerner and Loewe – let’s recall a famous song from their huge 1960 Broadway hit musical…..

    Orchestra Down – Bad King Douglas, spoken:

    ”I know what my people are thinking tonight,
    As home through the shadows they wander.
    Ev’ryone smiling in secret delight,
    They stare at the castle and ponder.
    Whenever the wind blows this way,
    You can almost hear ev’ryone say:”

    Orchestra Up – Bad King Douglas, Sung:

    “I wonder what the king is doing tonight?
    What merriment is the king pursuing tonight?
    The candles at the court, they never burned as bright.
    I wonder what the king is up to tonight?
    How goes the final hour
    As he sees his Outhouse Tower
    Being regally and legally prepared?
    Well, I’ll tell you what the king is doing tonight:
    He’s scared! He’s scared!


    You wonder what the king is wishing tonight?
    He’s wishing he were on Hen Island fishing tonight!
    What occupies his time while waiting for the tide?
    He’s searching high and low for some place to hide.
    And oh, the expectation,
    The sublime anticipation
    He must feel about the exposure soon to come.
    Well, I’ll tell you what the king is feeling tonight:
    He’s numb!
    He shakes!
    He quails! He quakes!
    And that’s what the king is doing tonight.”


  3. “New rumors abound today that transparency may be at hand for one of Rye’s long festering environmental crime scenes.”

    Collecting rainwater, using solar energy and defecating in composting toilets is an environmental crime scene?

  4. @tedc

    You cried like a little baby who had their rattle taken away when the City made their selection of a hydrologist with respect to the Shubert issue, and NOW you’re saying that RON GATTO re-inspecting Hen Island “lifts the spirit”. Ron Gatto and YOU are rolling around in the mud at the Tartaglione Pig Farm. The “transparency” that is at hand is the transparency of yourself and your fellow pigs. This is corruption of the highest order and I’m sure it goes higher than Ron Gatto. Since you knew about this way before Scott Pickup announced RON GATTO’s name at the Council meeting last night, tell me tedc, who from “the state” ordered this inspection?

  5. Here is Gatto’s report from 2007. It speaks for itself.


    Maybe we should let all the sewage systems that Jay Sears reported on here, continue here in Rye. Or is Jay one of my shills also?

    If Gatto is not hampered on this investigation maybe we can put an end to the cover up that started with the Otis Administration and is allowed to continue with the French Administration.
    Common denominator = Pickup

    So at last night’s City Council meeting City manager Pickup stated he tip off the criminals that the cops are coming. Doesn’t sound like a city manager that wants to protect the public from polluters and West Nile Virus to me? Sounds more to me like a City manager that is pissed at me and wants to do the opposite of anything I request, even if that means allowing the pollution. I practically had to pull the words out of his mouth. And the Mayor supports him.


    ”Around the world, water supplies face relentless threats from industrial waste, agricultural pollution and poor sewage treatment. The battle to protect water purity must be fought not just by national governments but also in every town and village on the planet.

    Even in the U.S., which has some of the toughest environmental laws, safeguarding rivers and reservoirs is a constant struggle. While many companies obey the rules, others still try to use waterways as dumpsites. American environmental-enforcement officials have been bombed, shot, run over and sued while trying to perform their duties.

    But the most demoralizing blows invariably come from their employers: the Governor or commissioner who wants to shield a political contributor or recruit polluters to the state by shutting down environmental enforcement.”
    “Environmental injustice is morally equivalent to any other form of racism — it has immediate health impacts and in the longer-term destroys the cultures and vitality of our highest risk communities. Above all else, pollution is a human rights violation. We need to make sure that our laws, our enforcement and all of our institutions recognize, understand and eliminate environmental racism.
    The solution to environmental racism remains the same: Better, stronger, environmental enforcement that protects every community and every citizen from pollution.”
    — Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

  6. So now it’s Pickup. That’s a new theory. First it was Meyerson, Otis, Platt, Shew, the judges that ruled against you, everyone who dissagreed with you, etc…. and now it’s French, Keith, Jovanovich, Parker, Gamache, Levitsky, the Assessor,etc… and now the new one in the cover up is Scott Pickup and all the while YOU are the lily white personality in this whole charade. LOL. So now, you’re going back to the well a second time with GATTO. The first time GATTO’s report was full of lies. GATTO is the only person in America who has agreed with you despite scores of visits from every govermental agency imaginable to Hen Island. There are people who believe YOU wrote GATTO’s report and GATTO just handed it in and now I’m sure the results this time will be no different. At least you have brought some “transparency” to your charade.

  7. @Ray Tartaglione

    Are you worried the composting toilets will be installed on Hen Island before RON GATTO can corruptly close down Hen Island? Don’t you have a relationship with GATTO thru the Westchester Environmental Police which is stationed in White Plains , the same place your business is stationed?

  8. To answer your question about Gatto; I am sure his office is not in White Plains and I believe when he did his original investigation for the County he was stationed at the County Police Headquarters in Hawthorne or in New Rochelle where the Department of Health is. He now is employed by the DEC working for the State and Headquartered in Greenburg. I have never been in either of his offices and never spoke to him or met him before the first investigation on Hen Island and that was in July of 2007.

    According to the Long Island Soundkeeper Hen Island sewage systems need to be inspected and tested:
    Gatto states they are illegal:
    Kennedy calls it environmental racisms:
    Jay Sears states they are Dubious:

  9. I don’t care what Soundkeeper says, what Jay Sears says or what Ron Gatto said. Didn’t you accompany the NYSDEC out to Hen Island on May 8, 2008 and were told by the DEC that the Westchester County Health Dept said “the systems on Hen Island were not unlawful”? Do you have the report dated 8/15/2008? If I have access to it, I’m sure you have a copy of it. I have facts, you have squat.

  10. Here’s a paragraph from the NYSDEC report filed 8/22/2008 by NYSDEC Officer Maude Filmer regarding the septic systems on Hen Island….

    ” I contacted the Westchester Health Department and spoke with Len Myerson. He stated to me that the systems were not unlawful. I contacted Pat Ferracane with DEC Div of Water and explained the issue to him. He informed me that if there is not septage(sic) observed flowing on the ground into the Sound, there is no violation. I contacted the Westchester Environmental Crimes Unit and described the situation. Again, I was told there were no violations”

    Any questions?

  11. “You wonder what the king is wishing tonight?
    He’s wishing he were on Hen Island fishing tonight!
    What occupies his time while waiting for the tide?
    He’s searching high and low for some place to hide.”

    March 29, 2012 – By Christian Falcone


    “A 26-acre island that is mostly unknown to many in Rye has apparently caught the attention of the state’s top environmental watchdog.

    The Department of Environmental Conservation is set to visit the controversial island in the coming weeks.

    A source confirmed that the plan is for regional representatives of the DEC to perform an inspection of the island, alongside city and county officials, to determine if state laws are being adequately complied with.”

    More here: http://bit.ly/HsLF4c

  12. How ironic. A community that is off the public utility grid, which uses solar power, collects rainwater and has more composting toilets per capita than any community in Westchester with the plan to install a composting toilet in every cottage by the end of the year, is being invaded by the local gov’t authorities for an environmental inspection. WOW! This will be at least the 15th invasion the gov’t authorities will be executing. When will the harassment end? When is the gov’t going to say “ENOUGH!” to the harassment inflicted on Hen Island by the gov’t? I’m embarrassed for Mayor French.

  13. Last night at the Council meeting the Sustainability Committee was talking about “Carbon Footprint”. Hen Island’s carbon foot print is close to zero BUT we need to have the gov’t inspect Hen Island for the gazillionth time while the fat cats on the mainland sit home in their air conditioning this summer.

  14. Mister,

    Embarrassed for Mayor French?

    I can’t wait to see all this blow up in all your faces, that Island is a down right DISGRACE!

    All of you should be thrown in jail for what goes on out there.

  15. “All of you should be thrown in jail for what goes on out there.”

    I know, solar energy, rainwater collection,composting toilets and no air conditioning does sometimes make you long for a nice comfortable, air conditioned jail cell.

  16. @ G.L. is a Schill,

    WOW! Any chance you will use your real name when posting garbage like this against a good man?

    I would be very interested in the out come of this “inspection”.

    With your obvious very strong opposition to this “inspection” looks like you are a bit worried…hmmmmmm?

  17. Jay – I know you’re trying to make your blog a place for open discussion and certainly respect the free rein you’ve given to commenters (myself included), but what purpose does this tit-for-tat posting between largely anonyomous commenters bring in terms of value? Please – push this garbage off the front page. I’d also ask that you reconsider requiring use of real-names for posting. Doing so would certainly force people to think before they post – well, most people…

  18. What I think, TedC, is that the back and forth noise is driving readers and real useful [yes, a relative assessment] commenters from this site. Exchanges of personal garbage may be titillating for some, but it is making myRye useless for real discussion about issues facing Rye.

    Yes, Ray T has an issue and can discuss it rationally, but there are, frankly, other [more] important matters in Rye that are being shouted out by the noise of the anonymous posters – regardless of how tongue-in-cheek they take their oh-so-creative posting names and their oh-so-ironic posts.

    Put the garbage in a landfill and let myRye return to celebrating successes and airing issues like the pending Rye City Bond, naming of a the replacement City Council member, Rye City School District budget and tax rate, RoboRepublican calls impact on support for/against Bob Cohen, will the Bowman Ave sluice gate have any real impact on downstream flooding, etc.

  19. Bob I’d love to join you in the other issues the council wants to address – but without public official credibility (as I told the Ethics Board this morning) we literally have nothing. Here’s an excerpt from a letter I wrote them last week. It is a bit longer than my comments to them today.

    “Thanks for a copy of this very encouraging FOIL law update. It’s pretty clear now that the so called Rye “Ethics” process is a sham. We even have Judge Alfano and Mayor Dunn questioning it on camera before the door got shut in our faces last time around. Judge Alfano said plainly that typically an investigation is done prior to such a session, and the results are submitted in writing for the board’s due consideration. Also mentioned was testimony provided under oath and tangible documentary evidence of fact gathered using legal compulsion.

    You can see those statements and others questioning this “process” at points throughout the public portion of the prior session here:


    And Judge Alfano and Mayor Dunn were correct in being concerned. They WERE almost certainly misled behind those closed doors. You can see that story and some of the related documents here:


    In addition – and despite all Mr. French’s repeated denials – the now 45 days plus of FOIL silence by the Rye Building Department concerning the secret conversion of the 13 Richard Place heating system from oil to gas (very very flammable stuff) speaks loudly that the work was in fact apparently done while Mr. French owned the property in the mid 1990’s and was accomplished (as was customary for this structure) without any required city permits and required SAFETY INSPECTIONS. And this is the same home Mr. French is still allowed to rent out to the general public as you read this today. Thus is it any wonder or coincidence that so many senior Rye Fire Department members physically attended the recent Rye City Council Meeting which decided their newly configured reporting arrangements – yet none of them – would approach the microphone to speak? And this despite repeatedly being encouraged by Mr. French to please do so?

    And did this same Ethics Board get to actually see any tangible historically contemporaneous evidence that Mr. French and The Rye City Tax Assessor documented their April 2011 discovery of his so called “error” in taking a STAR Exemption on a rental property in New York State (a felony in certain jurisdictions) for a full decade? Or was the board’s fact memo timeline created to back-story a fictitious “intent-to-repay” rather than “intent-to-pocket” for this illegal benefit? Certainly the multiple directly conflicting PUBLIC STATEMENTS recorded on video and reported in the newspapers from Mr. French himself, and the City Assessor herself, about who knew what and when as they were publicly exposed by Mr. Tartaglione in December brings into question the truth about everything we’ve read and know about this singular issue to date.

    It’s a fact that sometimes in life we tell small children harmless lies to protect them at certain tender ages. But in this matter (and several others) the residents of Rye deserve nothing but the whole truth. Because despite the condescending semi-nonsense we are currently being peddled, those who are now forced to watch Rye City Government operations more closely than we ever cared to are certainly no longer in the 3rd grade.

  20. @Robert Zahm

    The biggest issue facing Rye is the trampling of rights, whether they be the rights of individuals or the rights of private organizations. George Latimer has violated the public trust with his latest decision to investigate Hen Island for the ,at least, 16TH time. I think the public needs an explanation from Latimer as to WHY, all of a sudden, there is a need to trample the rights of Rye temporary residents when every other inspection/investigation on Hen Island turned up NOTHING. Why has he disturbingly chosen RON GATTO as the lead investigator? He needs to explain himself.

  21. How ironic. A community that is off the public utility grid, which uses solar power, collects rainwater and has more composting toilets per capita than any community in Westchester with the plan to install a composting toilet in every cottage by the end of the year, is being investigated by gov’t authorities for ANOTHER ( 16TH ) environmental inspection. WOW! This will be at least the 16th inspection the gov’t authorities will be conducting on Hen Island in which ALL the previous inspections have turned up NOTHING!. When will the harassment end? When is the gov’t going to say “ENOUGH!” to the harassment inflicted on Hen Island and respect the rights of every Hen Islander? Just think, the next one on the list may be YOU.


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