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Home Government Speaking French: Mayor's Update - Shew, Social, Recycling, Run for Council

Speaking French: Mayor’s Update – Shew, Social, Recycling, Run for Council

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

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

City Council Updates from Mayor Douglas French

2012-13 Adopted New York State Budget
The State Legislature passed the 2012-13 NY State budget that preserves municipal aid at current year levels as well as keeps transportation aid flat. This is good news as reductions in funding levels during this economy were possible.

Rye Recreation Update
The Recreation Department and Commission had a successful year in meeting its mission to provide quality leisure services to all residents of Rye despite challenging times in 2011 – and achieved over a 40% return on revenue for programs. Goals for 2012 include: Complete the field study and provide a recommendation for greater use; maintain fiscal vigilance; create a foundation to raise private money to support recreation activities; and to increase summer programs for the seniors.

Rye Town Park
As Rye Town Park gets ready for the new season, improvements continue to be made. As many of you know, the beach was re-opened this past off-season for residents, and the Rye Town Park Commission has just voted to do away with the $2 beach entrance fee on Fireworks nights. In addition, financial measures are close to being finalized for Commission consideration to include the installation of a car counter, the adoption of the Port Chester parking model of displaying parking receipts in patron car windows; to accept credit cards, and the submission of a breakeven budget. The Park Commission has also established a Capital and Planning Committee to review the long-term capital needs of the park. Rye representatives on the committee are Kristina Bicher (Chair), Rye Planning Board member Peter Larr, and Zoning Board of Appeals member Serge Nivelle.

Upcoming Environmental Sustainability Initiatives
As part of the celebration of Earth Day, the City of Rye is joining with the Village of Larchmont, Town of Mamaroneck, and the Village of Mamaroneck to declare Monday, April 23, 2012 a day of awareness about the harmful effects of engine idling and to encourage our community to take action to reduce unnecessary idling. Further, the City's plastic bag ban goes into effect on May 7th. The Jay Heritage Center has underwritten the cost of posters, cards and information packets for merchants and have been distributed by the Sustainability Committee and Chamber of Commerce to inform and create awareness.

Settlement of the Shew Matter
The Council approved on April 4th a stipulation of discontinuance on the litigation with respect to former City Manager, Paul Shew. Paul served the City well in his 6 years as Rye's City Manager with improvements made in flood mitigation, pedestrian and traffic safety, and recreation to name a few. The City is pleased that both parties can move forward amicably in the best interests of all. This matter has been settled in principle with no exchange of money, but with the withdraw of an appeal to the Appellate Division, Second Department, on condition that a letter of recommendation is signed by me in my working relationship with Paul when I was Chairman of the Recreation Commission.

Social Media and Rye PD
The City is looking at rules and regulations of the Police Department regarding "Social Media" based on a model policy published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. About 48% of Police Departments have adopted such policies and social media is being used extensively in law enforcement and also provides multiple communication vehicles for notification and communication to the public.

The City Engineer Position
With the retirement of the City Engineer last year and the temporary hiring freeze, the City evaluated the utilization of a consultant engineer over the last 6 months. Given the workload and infrastructure needs of the City based on general maintenance, flood maintenance, flood recovery, flood mitigation and current and future capital projects, the Council has authorized the City Manager to hire for the position — that also serves to supervise the Department of Public Works.

Recycling Collection
You may have noticed two different recycling trucks for cans and newspapers. The current recycling trucks are not adequate and need to be replaced, and the City is looking at different ways of collecting recycling for data purposes.

Appointment Process for City Council Vacancy
Contact me or one of the Council members if you are interested in being considered for the vacancy on the Rye City Council. Based on our charter, the Council will fill the vacancy for the balance of the year with a separate election to be held in November of 2012 to complete the term which expires December of 2013. The Council will make the appointment at our June 13th meeting, and I will ask those that are interested to address the Council and public at our second meeting in May.


    “I was born at night. But not last night.”

    Lawrence Lehman, former President and Chairman of NYS Board of Professional Engineer’s and Land Surveyors – Co-Founder Berger Lehman Associates ( http://www.bergerlehman.com ) – 50 year Rye resident – discovers what engineers and other local professionals already have – that things are not right in management – or elected leadership – at Rye City Hall today.

    See video here of Item 6 (AKA Public Comments) http://ryeny.swagit.com/play/04182012-706

    I think Mr. Lehman chose wisely. And none too soon.

    After all, when another highly skilled NYS Licensed Engineer and former Senior IBM Executive complained about illegal construction practices that destroyed a historic swamp – he was first tested for mental illness – and then brought up on phony charges – and then arrested and his public freedoms restricted. He died shortly thereafter.

    And then of course, unfortunately, there are these –

    “That was a phone call recording!”
    (AKA not a Violation, which it was)

    “Yeah, somebody called in a complaint”
    (AKA not a Violation, which it was)

    “Everything you’re saying is false!”
    (It, of course, wasn’t.)

    “..was done when I was in the 3rd Grade.”
    (Yet oil became gas heat in 1995)

    “The meeting was not recorded.”
    (Puh Leese Mr. Pickup.)

    “Nobody cares!”
    (umm – did you see that polling data councilman?)

    “We’re here to do the City’s Business!”
    (No. You’re here apparently to “do” the City)

    Then, most regrettably, there’s this – http://bit.ly/HTkKSk

  2. Our 3rd grade Mayor French was not looking so good at last night’s meeting;

    “My comments are basically directed at the Mayor”
    “There is no more pressing issue in Rye than flooding”
    “Flooding in Rye is not a political issue, never has been, never should be”
    “I understand English perfectly, I was born in this country”

    Our 3rd grade Mayor French was not looking so good at the meeting before that one.

    “There is a stain on our community”
    “No one should ever be asked to lie, they should never be asked to lie to a City Council person”
    “This is not how business should be conducted in Rye”

    And our 3rd grade Mayor French was not looking so good at the meeting before that one either.

    “Having a violation Doug is not right, It means that has been a violation of the housing code”
    “Collecting two STAR exemptions when you are not permitted to means something has happened that shouldn’t have happened”
    “Forgive me Doug for not believing that your explanation is completely fulsome”
    “How disgusting Doug how disgusting you are to try and slim people like that”
    “ I understand you are under a lot of pressure and I understand it has taken its toll on you personally”
    “Doug, you should be ashamed of yourself”


    The Rye City Council is seemingly committed to realizing what most expect to be a whopper of a loss on The Otis Building (AKA 1037 Boston Post Road or Lester’s Clothing Store) – but with all the corruption and other news this week the “reveal” of the basic terms of this potential sale deal still remain firmly cloaked in secrecy. That actually wasn’t supposed to happen.

    More here –

    Mayor Challenges GOP Leadership

    Mayor Doug French(R), who was caught profiting from an illegal rental property he owns in Rye while he’s been mayor, and who recently paid over $16,000 in restitutions for ten years worth of improper school tax reductions, has now been busted trying to circumvent the authority of city and county Republican Party leaders.

    Read more here –



    “I solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New York, the Charter of the City of Rye and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the Office of Mayor of the City of Rye to the best of my ability.”

    Late in the evening – at the April 18th Meeting of the Rye City Council –

    Item 11: Residents may be heard on matters for council consideration that do not appear on the agenda. http://ryeny.swagit.com/play/04182012-706

    Initial 3 minutes –

    Tartaglione to French: “Congratulations on your building permits. It’s good to hear that you finally got them. You stated earlier that you didn’t do anything illegal referencing your 13 Richard Place property. Umm – did you put a new heating system in that house in 1995 sir?”


    French: “You can continue with your remarks.”


    French: “Finished?”

    Tartaglione:” I asked you a question sir – did you put a new heating system in that house in 1995?”

    French: “You can continue with your remarks – we’re not going to go thru my personal history sir, let’s go.”

    Tartaglione: “You said you didn’t do anything illegal. I’m just asking if you put a new heating system in the house. I’m asking you if you took out an oil heating system and you converted it to gas in 1995?”

    French: “You have my statement – continue on.”

    (10 second pause)

    Tartaglione: “What was your statement sir? I didn’t hear it.”

    French: “I’ve already made my statement on the matter. Do you have motion here you’d like to make to the council?”

    Tartaglione: “Your statement on the matter was that you didn’t do anything illegal. So I’m asking you if you put in a new heating system in 1995.”

    French: “Again I’m not going to get into the personal situation of, of my property.”

    Tartaglione: “Well you got into it earlier when you said you didn’t do anything illegal.”

    French: “That’s correct.”

    Tartaglione: “Why wouldn’t you get into it now?”

    French: “Sir, continue with your remarks. Go ahead with your remarks”

    Tartaglione: “I just asked you a question – these are my remarks.”

    French: “No.”

    Tartaglione: “Why don’t you give me an answer?”

    French: “This is not a back and forth.”

    Tartaglione: “I’m sorry?”

    French: “Do you have a statement you’d like to make – for the council?”

    Tartaglione: “I just asked you a question sir about your illegal building – you said you didn’t do any illegal building. My question is did you convert the heating system in 1995 from oil to gas..”

    French: “I’ve already addressed that…”

    Tartaglione: “Could you address it again – it’s a simple Yes or No.”

    French: “No it’s not.”

    Tartaglione: “Oh?”

    French: “Because I’m not going to get into this tonight. Or at any time. If you’d like to make a statement to the council, this is your time.”

    Tartaglione: “You wanted to get into it earlier when I couldn’t address you but you’re not willing to get into it now when I confront you with it?”

    French: “Umm – you know, we’re going to move on. Jim?”

  6. Ted C,
    Even though the Mayor is at odds with his own party, you got to give credit when it’s due. Mayor French is a man of his word in this clip. During his election campaign he promised to “change the tone and tenor of the City Council meetings.” They went from bad to worse.


    Jack A. (Mr. Floatie’s ass-istant)



    Rupert Murdoch admits NoW phone-hacking culture of cover-up – Apr 26, 2012

    “Murdoch said he also made a major mistake listening to lawyers when Goodman alleged that others on the News of the World knew about the phone hacking.

    “I should have thrown all the lawyers out of the place and seen Mr. Goodman one on one and cross-examined him myself and made up my mind, maybe rightly or wrongly, was he telling the truth? And if I had come to the conclusion that he was telling the truth, I’d have gone in and torn the place apart and we wouldn’t be here today,” he added.”



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