64.9 F
Rye
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Home Government Speaking French: Mayor's Update - Financials, 1037, New Keith

Speaking French: Mayor’s Update – Financials, 1037, New Keith

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

2011 Financial Performance
While the final year-end financials are still being prepared and will be presented by the City's auditor at the May 23rd meeting of the Council, the initial projections look promising. During a time when governments at all levels are grappling with rising costs and drops in revenue, the City's costs were $500,000 below budget and revenues were $700,000 above budget for a net gain of $1.2M. This is good news as the City's undesignated fund balance is projected to be at $3.8M or 12% of our annual operating budget. After several years of a rapidly declining fund balance, the City has been able to stem that trend the last two years in 2010 and 2011. Having a healthy fund balance is good for the City's financial position and strengthens the City's AAA rating. Restoring the City's financial outlook was a key priority and the results speak for themselves.

1037 Boston Post Road Decision
The Council is to hold a special meeting on April 25th on a vote to authorize the first step of a potential sale of the property. The City purchased the property in 2006 for $5M (not including future lease payments that were offset) on the property which was appraised at $4.5M at the time, and a balloon payment that was due for the full amount in 2010 – but no money was ever put aside to pay for the building. In 2010 the City paid off the building. Here is what I wrote 2 years ago in this column as the City began to look at long-term options: "One option discussed is to address the City's need for a larger court house and police facility by splitting the two and putting the court at 1037, however, the City would lose ongoing property tax revenue and the cost for transformation may be extremely high. Selling the property for commercial use is another option, but commercial rates are low and could result in a substantial loss to the City. Residential use is the final option for co-ops or rentals in the downtown area and may prove to increase the potential value. Any option, however, would need to include a shared municipal parking scenario. This is the beginning of a long planning process and we currently have a valued tenant relationship, but it is important we begin to review our options and share them with you." Two years later, the City has gone through an exhaustive planning process and explored these options with experts in the real estate market, City staff, the Planning Commission and the public. The action before the Council is to authorize the sale of the property to the current tenant with the terms being presented at press time.

Joint Resolution for Mandate Relief by the City and School District
At our joint meeting on April 21st, the Rye City Board of Education, Mayor and Council passed a joint resolution for meaningful mandate relief to be enacted by the New York State government. Specific issues for change included: Suspending state statutes such as the Triborough Amendment that would immediately improve the ability of the school district and city to control costs by improving the conduct of local collective bargaining by incentivizing negotiations that are more responsive to current economic conditions, the suspension of the Wicks Law which would also provide immediate savings in the cost of capital improvements by reducing the requirements for multiple contractors on construction projects, and limiting the costs of the public employee pension contributions that are increasing at a rate that is unsustainable with the current exclusion language in the tax cap levy, and should be limited so that the state-mandated employer contribution rates are capped at the same 2% growth rate increase as is allowed under the current tax cap.

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 May 23rd meeting.

Building Permit 40 years Later
On personal note as it drew some Council attention, I received a retroactive building permit for my rental property on work that was done by the previous owner some 40 years ago. There was no illegal construction at the property as deemed by the building inspector, but this is an issue many residents face when properties are put up for sale and proper due diligence by the homeowner/buyer, legal community, real estate community and the City Building Department is required.

  1. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Bill Clinton
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otBFsw3O8VA

    “I received a retroactive building permit for my rental property on work that was done by the previous owner some 40 years ago.” Doug French
    http://healtheharbor.com/french/MLS-listing-French.pdf

    “There was no illegal construction at the property as deemed by the building inspector” Doug French
    http://lausdeo10580.typepad.com/.a/6a0168e5e944ea970c0163001bd44e970d-popup

  2. SPEAKING FRENCH?

    C’est dommage. Here’s some bad news in any language –

    ETHICS BOARD REPORT: PUBLIC’S FAITH IN INTEGRITY OF RYE CITY GOV’T MAY BE ERODED

    “…we believe that public faith in the integrity of the Rye City government, its officers and employees may be eroded by the less-than-civil tone of the Council discussions on the matter referred to us. The adversarial nature of the interactions during the council meetings risks undermining public confidence in your actions.”

    Ouch! Not exactly what not what you expect to hear from two of your biggest campaign donors, one of which led the committee that chose you to run for Mayor.

    Read the full story here –

    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/05/ethics-board-blasts-adversarial-city-council-publics-faith-in-rye-govt-erodingthis-is-not-the-kind-of-treatment-you-expect-f.html

  3. “ETHICS BOARD REPORT: PUBLIC’S FAITH IN INTEGRITY OF RYE CITY GOV’T MAY BE ERODED”

    Then again it may not be. Good thing we have an Ethics Board to come up with these brilliant observations. I think the Ethics Board should stay out of the politics and rule on what they were asked to rule on. Let the people decide in Nov. what they think. If Mayor French wants to punch the bullies in the face, that’s his right. If it cost him politically, so be it. That’s his right as a political player. Funny how one of the bullies, tedc, advocates the right to attack while the ones being attacked are required to stand there and take it without fighting back. Typical bully.

  4. The reason we need “building permits to breathe” is so we don’t have communities like Hen Island that have no regard for the health and safety of the public. If Rye required building permits on Hen Island for all the years they negated to do so, we would not be where we are today. Mayor French needs to enforce the law for everyone. Just because you are the Mayor’s friend and neighbor shouldn’t mean you get a free pass on code enforcement on Hen Island.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy0aBtzUbXQ

  5. Monsieur French omitted quite a few things from his rundown above.

    Laus Deo 10580 has spotlighted one that long time residents like me will not soon forget –

    HURRICANE LARRY: ENGINEER QUITS FLOOD CMTE–SLAMS MAYOR; SLUICE GATE PLAN AS ‘VERY CONTRACTOR FRIENDLY’

    April 18, 2012– “My name is Lawrence Lehman… I’ve lived in the same house for 42 years and in and around Rye for 50 years–despite my obvious youth. I’m afraid I’m going to detract from some of the levity here tonight. My comments are basically directed at the mayor.”

    Read the whole story here –

    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/05/rye-resident-engineering-expert-resigns-in-disgust-from-flood-committee.html

  6. @buildingwithoutpermits

    I didn’t vote for Mayor French. I also didn’t campaign to elect Mayor French. I didn’t have coffee with him at my house for 2 hrs to discuss Hen Island issues nor did I ever show up at the train station to campaign for him every time he called me from his cell phone. I think you were the one who did that stuff. I’m fully aware of the structure of our City’s government and wouldn’t waste my time campaigning for any Mayor. You and that group of Rye Good Government Activist were the ones who are responsible for Mayor French. Don’t try and put Mayor French’s victory on anyone but yourself and that group of clowns. I could care less who the Mayor is or who the next Mayor will be.

  7. @tedc

    Since you seem to have all the answers, why don’t you run for Mayor? Since you’re the ring leader of Rye’s Good Government Activists, why don’t you guys enter a candidate for Mayor next election? Start your own party under the same name and run candidates for Mayor and the City Council.
    That would be much more “activist” and constructive than starting a two bit blog with innuendo and rumor as it’s foundation.

  8. @NEED TO BREATHE,

    When I insult people intentionally
    I have no problem letting you know it is me.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, if you want to sling then how about a “real name”?

    As for Mayor French, I stand behind the decisions I made back then, none of us have a crystal ball. Given the same circumstances all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing…I was certainly not going to vote for Otis.

    For someone that has no interest in who our Mayor was, is, or becomes…you seem to have a very strong bitter opinion on the subject.

    If you don’t care then why speak at all….zip it and go away!

  9. @Jim Amico

    “When I insult people intentionally
    I have no problem letting you know it is me.
    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, if you want to sling then how about a “real name”?”

    You only seem to be concerned about a person’s identity when they don’t agree with you.

    “As for Mayor French, I stand behind the decisions I made back then, …..”

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    “Given the same circumstances all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing…I was certainly not going to vote for Otis.”

    Then why didn’t YOU run for Mayor?

    “For someone that has no interest in who our Mayor was, is, or becomes…you seem to have a very strong bitter opinion on the subject.”

    Bitter opinion? Just pointing out the fact that the people doing all the complaining in Rye are totally off base as to how our gov’t functions.

    “If you don’t care then why speak at all….zip it and go away!”

    I know how much it sucks when you’re trying to bamboozle the public and someone keeps bringing up the facts. I understand your urge to censor me. If I was you, I’d want me to go away too. But, I think we should just let the IDEAS speak for themselves and let the cards fall where they may. Don’t spend tour time worrying about who I am, your time is better spent thinking about what I have to say.

  10. @ Need To Breathe,

    I don’t consider you disagreeing with me and could care less that you do, you are entitled….the point on identity is something I believe in, has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing!

    I have no interest in censoring you or anyone what so ever, I simply suggested leaving the insults (clowns) out!

    Since you seem to know so much about me then you know I do not shy away from confrontation, say what you will.

    HAVE AT IT!!!

  11. @Jim Amico

    “the point on identity is something I believe in, has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing”

    You believe in it when the person isn’t agreeing with you . If the identity is trashing Rye’s government then you’ve never questioned them on their identity. I see what’s going on. Show me one time where an anonymous poster trashed or insulted a Rye gov’t employee and you demanded to know their identity. You can’t.

    “I have no interest in censoring you or anyone what so ever, I simply suggested leaving the insults (clowns) out!”

    Sounds fair. You seem to have turned over a new leaf and I will do the same.

    “Since you seem to know so much about me then you know I do not shy away from confrontation, say what you will.”

    I’m not here for confrontation. I’d rather not be confrontational BUT sometimes you need to fight fire with fire. The Rye Good Gov’t Activist Group is as confrontational as they come. There’s no sensible dialogue that comes from them, it’s accusations and innuendo first then ask questions later.

    Can we agree that Rye’s form of government is a City Manager form of gov’t where the Mayor or the Council are not directly responsible for the enforcement of City code? Do you agree with that?

  12. @ NBPTB,

    They are responsible for their “enforcer” and his actions/inactions and it would be nice to see them kick him to the curb or in the very least HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE….I am a business owner, self employed for 30 years, I would have sent Pickup packing long long ago!!!

    Half of what he says is lies, the other parts are made up of little truth and the lack of knowledge!

    This is certainly not the City Manager/Management I envisioned!

    And yes I am trying really hard to curb myself, in the past I was very angry, bitter & hurt…now it’s mostlty hurt so I am easily able to sustain myself from the past!

    “Don’t spend tour time worrying about who I am, your time is better spent thinking about what I have to say”.

    You may not have meant this as but me having to worry about what you have to say sounds like confrontation when it comes my way.

    I ask for identity when someone slings insults, yes I have slung many insults in the past, but you always always knew exactly whom was doing the slinging.
    My opinion is that it’s real easy to be all that without a name, with all respect…. it’s cowardly!

  13. Well said Jimmy – from the heart and it sure rings true. So here’s my take –

    REWARDING CRONYISM?

    That was quite a written blast last week from the so called Rye “Ethics Committee” don’t you think? So just what are the four “Change for Rye” slate still doing up there on the council bench?

    Led by a Mayor who now can’t even candidly say that he did – or did not – replace his home heating system (and lots of other things) in the 1990’s without any required City of Rye permits or inspections.

    Likewise this same Mayor is surprised (shocked!) when confronted with the fact that he had illegally taken a STAR tax exemption on his Rye rental property for a decade – yet then somehow provided his handpicked Ethics Committee with a wholly different set of recollections about a supposed existing process path to repayment for their closed door contemplation – leading invariably to their hollow local public absolution of him from felony wrongdoing. Sort of.

    And dutifully assisted by a Deputy Mayor who forced a second referral of the whole stinky mess back to this same Ethics Committee – but this time he slyly knew in advance that the “implicated for lying” City Attorney and the “implicated for lying” City Manager would NOT recuse themselves from the second session – and would if fact close the doors in the public’s face and then call in multiple direct subordinates to testify without any oath’s or session recordings about their supervisor’s integrity?

    What would you do were brought into a similar room and wanted to keep your key paycheck job in an economy like this? Is this an example of how the Deputy Mayor did it in the big leagues? Or didn’t perhaps this false absolution from a flawed secretive process just give this same attorney and manager the confidence to soon assure the public that – “The meeting was not recorded?”

    As for the two other “Change” team members – well – they’ve had their hands full dutifully trying to distract the public’s attention from these and other dirty top-of-ticket shenanigans into grander local visions. Misguidedly loyal soldiers to a defrocked transparency and good government cause. A little independence would have served them and us well.

    All of this is very germane when today, out here in the real world, managerial and board credibility is pretty critical to constituent trust and thus any legitimate executive managerial mandate. Perhaps it might be instructive for Rye taxpayers to follow this current example of real world credibility evaluation through to its ultimate outcome –

    Yahoo’s CEO takes a credibility hit in proxy battle

    http://paidcontent.org/2012/05/04/yahoos-ceo-takes-a-credibility-hit-in-proxy-battle/?utm_source=General+Users&utm_campaign=3648804b10-c%3Amed+d%3A05-04&utm_medium=email

  14. @Jim Amico

    That’s right Jim, the Mayor and Council need to hold the people underneath them responsible to enforce the code BUT how do they do that when they don’t know the code or even qualified to know the code?? Does the Mayor write the building code violations? Who wrote the building code violation on the Mayor’s rental property? Did the City Manager write the code violation? Is the Mayor a building code or traffic and safety code expert? Is the City Manager a qualified building inspector or traffic and safety expert? No, they’re not Jim, but if you listen to all the rhetoric on MyRye and at the Council Meetings you would think that’s their responsibility. It’s not their responsibility to know or enforce the codes it’s their responsibility to pass along the complaints. Did The Mayor, City Manager or Council ever not pass along a complaint about code enforcement? I can’t think of one instance. Why is anyone even wasting their time complaining to or about them when they aren’t the people who are paid to know and enforce the laws? Why are the Mayor and the Council on the Flotiemobile for not enforcing the code when they don’t even know what the code says. It’s ludicrous.The people you’re associating with are being extremely disingenuous to the public about how things work in this town.

  15. @ Jim Amico

    “This is certainly not the City Manager/Management I envisioned!”

    Of course it isn’t Jim, because if the City Manager enforced the code, you wouldn’t be getting a stop sign. Putting a stop sign at your intersection is not the code. It’s extremely suspicious that none of the Rye Good Government Activist Group hasn’t rallied around such a blatant disregard for the Traffic and Safety Code. Because you see, all the BS that’s been going on for the last 5 years has nothing to do with the code. It has to do with personal interests and made up conspiracy theories to try and circumvent the code for personal gain. That’s it. If you were so interested in the code being enforced you’d tell Scott Pickup not to put a stop sign at your intersection.

  16. @NBPTB,

    Nice blast, I’m gonna walk away from this conversation, not because your right but because I disagree & have already been down this path and have zero desire to rehash this, especially not with someone I have no clue whom I am speaking with and certainly not on MYRYE…Have a wonderful weekend!!!

    Anytime you wish to reveal yourself feel free to knock on my door and we can discuss it in length then, I’m quite sure you know my address!

  17. REWARDING CRONYISM? – (WSJ Saturday Front Page Update Below)
    Prior Commentary: That was quite a written blast last week from the so called Rye “Ethics Committee” don’t you think? So just what are the four “Change for Rye” slate still doing up there on the council bench?

    Led by a Mayor who now can’t even candidly say that he did – or did not – replace his home heating system (and lots of other things) in the 1990’s without any required City of Rye permits or inspections.

    Likewise this same Mayor is surprised (shocked!) when confronted with the fact that he had illegally taken a STAR tax exemption on his Rye rental property for a decade – yet then somehow provided his handpicked Ethics Committee with a wholly different set of recollections about a supposed existing process path to repayment for their closed door contemplation – leading invariably to their hollow local public absolution of him from felony wrongdoing. Sort of.

    And dutifully assisted by a Deputy Mayor who forced a second referral of the whole stinky mess back to this same Ethics Committee – but this time he slyly knew in advance that the “implicated for lying” City Attorney and the “implicated for lying” City Manager would NOT recuse themselves from the second session – and would if fact close the doors in the public’s face and then call in multiple direct subordinates to testify without any oath’s or session recordings about their supervisor’s integrity?

    What would you do were brought into a similar room and wanted to keep your key paycheck job in an economy like this? Is this an example of how the Deputy Mayor did it in the big leagues? Or didn’t perhaps this false absolution from a flawed secretive process just give this same attorney and manager the confidence to soon assure the public that – “The meeting was not recorded?”

    As for the two other “Change” team members – well – they’ve had their hands full dutifully trying to distract the public’s attention from these and other dirty top-of-ticket shenanigans into grander local visions. Misguidedly loyal soldiers to a defrocked transparency and good government cause. A little independence would have served them and us well.

    ALL OF THIS is very germane when today, out here in the real world, managerial and board credibility is pretty critical to constituent trust and thus any legitimate executive managerial mandate. Perhaps it might be instructive for Rye taxpayers to follow this current example of real world credibility evaluation through to its ultimate outcome –

    UPDATE – WSJ – Front Page – “Résumé Trips Up New Yahoo Chief”

    “Pressure is mounting on Yahoo Inc.’s board after revelations that the Internet company’s recently hired chief executive’s academic record was misstated.

    On Friday, one of Yahoo’s largest shareholders gave the company an ultimatum that Chief Executive Scott Thompson be fired by noon on Monday or the investor “will consider it grounds for further action.”

    The dissident investor, hedge fund Third Point LLC, first brought to light on Thursday that Mr. Thompson didn’t earn a college degree in computer science as stated on Yahoo’s website and recent regulatory filing. Yahoo acknowledged soon after that Mr. Thompson has only an accounting degree, citing an “INADVERTENT ERROR,” without providing further explanation.”

    Read the rest of the story here – http://on.wsj.com/Kar73p

  18. @Jim A.

    That’s funny Jim. You seem more than willing to discuss all the other “code violations” in Rye on MyRye but you don’t want to talk about the code when it comes to your stop sign. Is it because it’s not code and a stop sign in front of your house would be preferential treatment? What’s more corrupt, preferential treatment or not enforcing the code?

  19. @NBPTB,

    Nothing funny other than you think you will be making this something it is not!!!

    This is not about my home or me, never was, never will be, and I most certainly refuse to discuss this further if your intentions are to make this about me!!!

    We obviously have different beliefs so what’s the point?

    I believe in saving lives you believe in codes!!!

    Have you watched the news lately?

    2 kids struck by cars in Yonkers, 2 different intersections totally unrelated incidents…guess what – Regardless of any code the intersections were furnished w/traffic lights and or Stop Signs!
    7 people killed on the BRP, most likely would not have happened if the van wasn’t speeding…guess what – the roadway has now been furnished with guardrails, etc.

    This is not your fight, and if you plan on making it your fight you better show your face and come well armed my friend, I won’t make it easy for you, that is MY CODE!!!

  20. @ My Little Friend (NBPTB),

    Since your so hell bent on “preferential treatment”, here is a little taste for you to chase…. 2 years ago my wife and I went through a very difficult crossroad in our lives, I was arrested and in an attempt to protect my family I asked the RPD to not release this to the press – their answer….”We have no control over what is released to the press”! Now of course I am not dumb enough to believe this, none the less this was their reply to my request. They completely disregarded & disrespected our privacy and our concerns, so be it!

    Now, recently Lt.Joe Verille was in an accident on 684 w/a City Issued Police Vehicle, this was not volunteerely relinquished to the press, the press heard about it thru rumors and when they pursued it they received very little info.

    Even more recent, like this weekend, a very certain Council person went cookoo, that’s the rumor, the incident is very true, the facts behind it are not clear because the RPD once again has not released the info.

    THIS MY LITTLE FRIEND IS CALLED…..”preferential treatment”!

    KNOCK YOURSELF OUT, HAVE FUN WITH IT, AND BY ALL MEANS DON’T LET THE DOOR KICK YOU IN YOUR A** ON THE WAY OUT!!!

  21. @ NBPTB,

    WHERE DID YOU GO, CAT GOTCHYA TONGUE!!!

    JUST IN CASE YOU CRAWLED BACK UNDER THAT ROCK, I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT THE STOP SIGNS WILL BE INSTALLED IN 2 WEEKS!!!!!!!

  22. @Jim Amico

    Congratulations on your stop sign! I never said I didn’t want you to get your stop sign, Jim. What I was saying was that you want the City to enforce the code and I was just pointing out the inconsistencies in your own issue regarding that. Jim, Nothing is black and white. I see you agree with me on that now. I’m glad we agree now. I don’t want confrontation all I want is for people to see the truth. Nothing is black and white, even “the code” isn’t. You now agree with that and I’m glad. Press releases aren’t black and white, tax evasion isn’t black and white, Traffic code isn’t black and white, the building code isn’t black and white, being arrested isn’t black and white, people “going cuckoo” isn’t black and white, Traffic safety laws aren’t black and white, reasons for 7 people being killed on the BRP aren’t black and white. I just hope you keep your new found vision going forward.

  23. @Jim Amico

    BTW Jim,

    You seem to believe that I’m a Council and Mayor supporter, well I’d just like to say that I respect people who volunteer their time to help this City whether they’re perfect or not. They spend a lot of their own personal time to put up with the BS that gets thrown at them. I would never volunteer my time for those jobs when all you get for it is grief. Rye has gotten to the point where we might not be able to find anyone to do those thankless jobs given the amount of crap they’ve had to deal with in the last couple years.

  24. NBPTB the “crap” -as you term it – is completely self-inflicted by our current top elected officials and paid administrators.

    Keeping election supporter promises is incredibly hard if you’re already suborned to local special interests that know and then exploit personal secrets (like a fully illegal house) about you. This is where influence peddling clout shines and it has had tremendous citywide financial consequence as in “very contractor friendly,” “no wetland permit was required,” “all’s this (building rezoning vote delay) does is delay our process,” “this reorganization will not affect the volunteers” and more.

    Is it any wonder people are afraid to speak up at city hall? Is it any wonder the public speaking agenda item has been near the council meeting end for many months now? Is it any wonder Rye’s government is being equated with Yonkers almost every day now? Are you proud of what “Change for Rye” really means?

  25. @tedc

    There is no such thing as special interests. There are two interests, your interests and “their” interests. Jim Amico’s stop sign, Bob Schubert’s pond, Ray Tartaglione’s Hen Island, Rye’s flood prone residents, etc… are all “special interests”. You fail to see the distinction. Just because YOUR interests aren’t being serviced to your liking doesn’t mean they’re not special interests. The promises made to you by politicians about YOUR special interests don’t control those decisions. It’s like the President saying he’s for Roe Vs Wade, he has nothing to do with Roe vs Wade, it’s a state’s right not a Federal right. It’s YOUR fault you don’t know who controls the decisions about your interests. The Mayor and the Council are just figureheads.

  26. LOL….LOVING ALL THIS!!!

    JUST ONE THING I WANT TO SAY ON ALL OF TODAY’S POSTS…..

    HAD ALL THE “SPECIAL INTERESTS” GROUPS/INDIVIDUALS or WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN MET BY PAST & PRESENT ADMINISTRATIONS WITH 100% INTEGRITY & RESPECT….THAT WOULD MEAN TRUTH & HONESTY, WE WOULDN’T BE THE LAUGHING STOCK OF WESTCHESTER & WE MOST CERTAINLY WOULDN’T BE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION!!!

    C U IN THE WAR ROOM @ 9!!!

    OH, BTW – I could give a rats a*** who you are, it’s your opinion I am speaking too!!!

  27. Jimmy was never uncivil to Dempsey – and Dempsey was never uncivil to Jimmy. Dempsey totally honorable and just plain wrong – just like I told him and the whole city. The Palisade/Midland intersection is dangerous, always has been, needs a stop sign and another kid will certainly die if it doesn’t get one. Now tell me I’m wrong cause Dempsey does traffic for a living. Then tell us all your real name and gain some cred – or just maybe go away…

  28. @Tedc

    “Jimmy was never uncivil to Dempsey – and Dempsey was never uncivil to Jimmy. Dempsey totally honorable and just plain wrong – just like I told him and the whole city.”

    Never said Jimmy was uncivil to Dempsey tho Jimmy did question what kind of friend he was.

    “The Palisade/Midland intersection is dangerous, always has been, needs a stop sign and another kid will certainly die if it doesn’t get one.”

    I have never questioned how dangerous that intersection was. Show me any comments from me that says otherwise.

    “Now tell me I’m wrong cause Dempsey does traffic for a living.”

    I didn’t say anyone was wrong because they didn’t agree with Dempsey. I just pointed out that Dempsey was honest with Jim and that he was communicating the traffic code to the Council with integrity BUT, like I said, this has nothing to do with the code. Listen, I’m happy Jim is getting his stop sign but to say the presence of a stop sign is because the City/County is now finally enforcing the code is a little disingenuous. I know the reason why Jim wants a stop sign there and I have no problem with the reason. The problem I have is when City officials stick their neck out to put one there and all we hear is how they’re all dishonest and corrupt.

    “Then tell us all your real name and gain some cred – or just maybe go away…”

    I already have credibility because I use facts to back up my statements.

  29. @ NBPTB,

    No, it’s not – “So now it’s about honesty and integrity”.

    IT STARTS WITH THAT and should NEVER WAVER FROM THAT!!!

    Are you going to actually sit here and say I was never lied to by anyone from the Otis Admin. or Pickup in the last 6 years?

    The only issue I had with Brian other than him being ANTI STOP SIGN is the emails I received from my Foil Request. I didn’t appreciate him repeatedly citing friendship and our Rye History and in the same breath taking part in what I witnessed.

    I don’t hold grudges, it is water under the bridge, I still consider Brian a friend, our past can never change and I am as proud of it as Brian is, it is past tense, as a matter of fact I had forgotten all about it until now, that is how little I held onto it.

    You seem to be stuck on this whole “code” thing! Listen, I never said that codes shouldn’t be followed, I also never said that they should. Codes exist for a reason and they serve their purpose, doesn’t mean they are always right and it doesn’t mean Officials can’t think outside the box!
    When a tragedy strikes we should jump into action….I had to force this and I shouldn’t have!
    Do you actually think if it had not been for me that that intersection would have been given an ounce of attention….you know the truth so be honest?

    I haven’t had a moments peace since Jarrid was killed, my son’s tragedy was never given the proper respect on many levels and from various departments.

    I didn’t ask for the impossible, they tried to make it impossible!!!

    I will now have CLOSURE, take the summer off from attending Council Meetings, enjoy life a little and spend some much needed quality time with my Wife & Daughter!

    Thank You for your support!

  30. @Jim Amico

    “Do you actually think if it had not been for me that that intersection would have been given an ounce of attention….you know the truth so be honest?”

    You are correct Jim, if it wasn’t for your advocacy there would not be a stop sign there. OTOH, If it wasn’t for the City Manager, there wouldn’t be a stop sign there either. He could have just said NO.

  31. @NBPTB,

    Thank You, but you could have stopped just short of…
    “If it wasn’t for the City Manager, there wouldn’t be a stop sign there either. He could have just said NO”.

    Other than the Stop Signs failing this is pretty much a done deal, so I will stop short of elaborating, I don’t think anyone needs me rehashing facts and events as they unfolded the last 6 years!

    Time to move forward, I will be taking the summer off from attending Council Meetings to spend some much needed quality time w/my family, I need to step back, breathe and return w/a renewed positive outlook on the tasks ahead of us!

  32. SUNDAY UPDATE –
    – So Rye City Hall is Now OFFICIALLY Fresh Out Of Excuses For Mayor French’s Multiple Illegal Activities and Lies in Rye – LausDeo10580 Has the Details –
    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/05/to-catch-a-serial-liar-lets-work-on-this-one-together-at-the-last-city-council-meeting-two-weeks-ago-and-again-in-print-la.html

    – And at Yahoo today, the INVESTIGATION led by the special three-person COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE of the board, who hired an OUTSIDE LAW FIRM, seems to have surfaced the relevant FACTS –

    “Yahoo Inc. CEO Scott Thompson agreed to resign this weekend after the company’s board obtained evidence that contradicted his claim of innocence over his misstated academic record, people familiar with the matter said. The board is continuing its probe of the matter to determine whether it can fire Mr. Thompson with cause, meaning he would lose out on millions of dollars in severance pay, one of these people said.”

    Read the rest here at WSJ.com – http://on.wsj.com/IOX8fA

    – So in Rye, despite Mr. Jovanovich’s silly gamesmanship and political maneuvering to keep Mr. French away from a lawful city council led INVESTIGATION assisted by OUTSIDE LEGAL COUNCIL, we now officially have a Mayor who continues to repeatedly lie to the public about his illegal activities – and an administration wholly lacking in credibility, standing or authority to govern anything or anyone.

    Mr. French and Mr. Jovanovich need to resign immediately – and beg our collective pardon’s for putting our city employees thru such an extended tawdry farce in the name of their “small town solutions.”

    Who’s calling the Westchester County DA?

  33. Ted – just want to check the logic of the post you’ve trumpeted.
    1. FOIL submitted for document(s) saying that no illegal building took place
    2. Response: no such documents exist.

    are you suggesting that there should be a document for each property in Rye saying that nothing illegal has been constructed – of course, only for those properties where nothing illegal has been constructed? That’d be an awful lot of documentation and it would probably need to be updated on a regular basis.

    Doesn’t the City (as most organizations) file documentation for exceptional cases as opposed to the default / expected case?

  34. Thanks Bob. I know you’re not as focused here as our local good gov group but let me assure you in summary form that the pattern is now stark and clear – Mr. French has lied and lied and lied and somehow cannot stop lying. He’s paid two family house level taxes for 2 decades but – unlike you and me – he’s had an illegally converted single family home that whole time which he personally surreptitiously improved without lawful city oversight in the form of renovation permits, safety inspections and board approvals. All this has been done to avoid a reclassification of the home on his assessment office “property card” and thus an upward recalculation of his taxes. Despite the substantial benefits of this illegal property tax evasion he also contrived to be served with warrant by NYS for nonpayment of his already illegally reduced state taxes.

    Deputy Mayor Jovanovich, who I thought would know better, has played defense for Mr. French and gamed the Ethics Committee process to avoid a real and legal investigation of the matter as outlined in the city code. But the city staff now knows they’ve reached the end of the line in trying to prove the Mayor is not a crook – thus the terse response to the FOIL query about compliance absolution. Neither Mr. French nor Mr. Jovanovich have any standing to stay on the council having jointly and with intent made a mockery of process and having compelled city employees to repeatedly lie to save the “Change for Rye” council voting majority.

    All the relevant documents can be found here –

    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/

  35. Change is a very vague term but a good term for someone who doesn’t know what they really want. The “local good gov group” got change with the new Council and new Mayor but it’s just not the change they were envisioning. Mayor Otis didn’t have any hidden problems with building violations on his house or back STAR taxes he didn’t pay BUT the Rye good government group wanted change anyway. Actually, the Bowman Dam Pond and Jim Amico’s stop sign are changes the Rye good gov’t group wanted which the current corrupt Mayor delivered on. So, since the Mayor is corrupt, so are ALL the decisions he’s made so far. It only makes sense. Either he’s corrupt and every decision he’s made is also corrupt or he’s not and every decision he’s made is credible. Because tedc commented “Neither Mr. French nor Mr. Jovanovich have any standing to stay on the council having jointly and with intent made a mockery of process”, tedc is of the opinion he’s corrupt. It follows that the specfic changes the Rye Good Gov’t Group asked for are corrupt and hence, thru reverse engineering, the Rye Good Gov’t Group is corrupt as well. Since the Mayor ,as well as the Rye Good Gov’t Group are corrupt, the only logical thing to do is roll back all the decisions the corrupt Mayor has made so far and start all over with a new non-corrupt Mayor and disband the Rye Good Gov’t Group.

  36. @NBPTB,

    Being we have no clue who you are and most likely never will know, leaves us asking questions that we might already know the answer to if we had known your identity.

    So I ask you….On the subject of codes:
    Do you believe in codes that were written before you were born and are still on the books, thus being seriously out dated and in need of review?

    Do you not believe that some codes should be over looked because maybe, just maybe they are wrong and do more harm than good?

    Are you pro or con Stop Sign?

    Is it wrong for officials to think outside the box when making a decision, thus going against the grain(code)?

    Oh, and just what code exactly do you keep referring to as it pertains to Stop Signs?

  37. @Jim Amico

    My last post was just using reasoning based on tedc’s logic. It has nothing to do with what I believe.

    Code is just guidlines for the addition of new stuff. It really can’t apply to old stuff because if it did the old stuff would need to be replaced using the new guidlines which would not be economically feasible. The stuff Brian Dempsey talked about were guidlines he uses when making a decision on a traffic issue. I don’t know much about traffic safety code but it seems to be more flexible than the building code because there are more parameters that go into a decision. As far as your stop sign, I’m fine with the decision but it will be interesting to find out if any of Brian’s concerns play out in the future. Only time and experience will tell. The only thing you can do in life is learn from your mistakes and make an effort not to repeat them. Sometimes that has to be a trial and error type learning experience because every situation is unique and unforeseen consequences are sometimes only seen by the act of doing.

  38. @NBPTB,

    My take on Brian’s opinion…..way way too much by the book. Brian, like most Engineers I have come across over the past 6 years are against Stop Signs. I have brought several other intersections in Rye that need Stop Signs to Brian’s attention and he shot them down.

    He wasn’t just against a Stop Sign on Midland he is against installing them anywhere, this I have a problem with.

    Stop Signs exist for a reason, if they were a bad thing the Country would remove the millions that exist!!!

    Stop Signs do not create accidents,
    discourteous, selfish, entitled, careless distracted DRIVERS do!!!

    Brian is good at what he does and he is FREE to us, this no one has denied and will take away from him, but his approach & that useless T&TC he chairs on – NO NO NO, YOU CAN’T YOU CAN’T YOU CAN’T approach on everything is crippling progress and putting pedestrians & children at risk!

    The RSRC that I took part in got more accomplished in the single year we existed than the “NO NO NO COMMITTEE” has!

    We never took the NO approach, when we were told why not, we looked for a way to make it work, we worked with passion and high energy, we were led by two very caring and determined individuals!!

    We did not exist to serve the personal beliefs that any Council Member or City Manager might have, we existed to serve our community and our children!!!

  39. @Jim Amico

    Dissent is always a necessary evil. Take a look at yourself, Jim, you’ve evolved from being a dissenter to being the status quo while Brian Dempsey has evolved from the status quo into the dissenter. Tread lightly because that intersection could end up proving Brian right even tho it has proved you right so far. You never know.

    “We did not exist to serve the personal beliefs that any Council Member or City Manager might have”

    I think you are mistaken about those personal beliefs. The City Manager and the Council get their opinions from the proffessionals in charge of Traffic Safety for the City and County. They are just a conduit for those opinions and probably not their own personal beliefs. You’re too hard on the Council and take it too personally when the existing laws don’t conform to your views. What you need is a dictatorship that coincides with your view of the world. That would be the ideal situation for you.

  40. “The City Manager and the Council get their opinions from the proffessionals in charge of Traffic Safety for the City and County. They are just a conduit for those opinions and probably not their own personal beliefs.”

    So in the opinion of this secretive political class fanboy or fangirl Jimmy – if Pickup, Wilson or Dempsey told the council that to improve public safety, the council needed to jump off the roof of city hall they would most certainly comply. What choice would they have but to do else wise? Who are they to put their personal judgment up against professionals?

    This get’s to the crux of who’s supposed to supervise who in a governing board – which as we can see for example at Yahoo last weekend – that when the board discovered (thru a legally instituted independent investigation assisted by outside council) – that they had been had – they then immediately and legally acted – no cover-up, no “small (company) solutions,” no “I’m Vincent Toomey and I’m here to help out for free!”

    Need Building Permits to Breathe appears to be a “conduit” supporting weakling board tradecraft straight out of Mr. Jovanovich and Mr. French’s shabby playbook. Perhaps Mr. Pickup could provide them with both a ladder long enough to reach the roof – and his professional encouragement.

  41. @tedc

    You make absolutely no sense to me. Are you advocating that a person like Jim Amico who has extreme emotional ties to his intersection is the guy who’s gonna be the level headed one to make the right decision and keep the professionals in check? That idea is laughable. As I’ve said many times before, you have NO IDEA what you want. When it comes to investigating the Mayor you want an independent investigator. When it comes to YOUR issues you want the most biased and emotionally attached person to that issue in charge. WTF? Tell me with a straight face who has more interest in a stop sign at Palisades and Midland, Jim or Scott Pickup… Jim or the Mayor… Jim or the Council??????? Give me a break. You come up with these conspiracy theories about issues where the ones committing the conspiracy are the ones who could give a rats ass about the issue and the ones emotionally tied to the issue are the credible ones who the City should heed their unprofessional advice and when they don’t heed their advice there’s some sort of Yahoo-type corruption. And to think people thought I wore a tin foil hat, WOW.

  42. Actually Miss or Mr. Phony-name, I stood before the city on television (recorded television in fact) and told Mr. Dempsey and the council that he was mistaken and wrong about that intersection.

    Please tell us where we can see a recorded vision of you doing anything at all. Even typing conspiracy theories.

  43. @NBPTB,

    Sadly I have the most interest, and I don’t mean sadly because my son was killed or another child nearly killed….I mean sadly because Scott Pickup, Brian Dempsey, City Council,Kristen Wilson, and any other you wish to parade out onto the front line should all HAVE THE SAME INTEREST as I!!!

    When tragedy strikes your suppose to leap into action, not put the families effected thru holy hell.

    We are expected to come to the rescue of our fellow man, to do what we can to help them and to do all possible to keep tragedy from repeating for the same reason!

    It is not expected, although around here it seems to be a common practice, to look the other way, to kick people while they are down.

    That arrest on me back in January 2010 was all about CONTROL!!! It was absolutely a false arrest, I could have sued the B**** off of the RPD/City and I didn’t!!!

    What took place in Yonkers and on the BRP is how it’s done, those families didn’t request a damn thing, they asked for nothing, what took place after the fact took place because Officials with the power to do so DID SO!!!

  44. @tedc

    What does you telling Brian Dempsey to his face that he was wrong have to do with your hypocrisy when it comes to getting an independent investigator to inquire about Mayor French but allowing a extremely biased person like Jim to inquire about his issue? The answer is “absolutely nothing”. By you, who is emotionally attached to Jim and that intersection which makes you also extremely biased, telling Brian Dempsey he is wrong only strengthens my argument.

  45. @Jim Amico

    “I mean sadly because Scott Pickup, Brian Dempsey, City Council,Kristen Wilson, and any other you wish to parade out onto the front line should all HAVE THE SAME INTEREST as I!!! ”

    Sadly Jim, your buddies on the Rye Good Gov’t Group have made it impossible to have the same interest as you because to have the same interest as you would require close relationships BUT, as tedc’s group has made sure, the Mayor, members of Council or employees of City Hall can’t have a relationship with their neighbors for fear of it being used against them. See how it works Jim, you want the gov’t to care but, they can’t care because if you’re friends with them they would be accused of preferential treatment towards you and hung out to dry at the Council meetings. Sound familiar? How about the Ethics Committee? How about Meadow Place?
    As you can see, the people who volunteer to run our gov’t can’t have relationships with any of their neighbors because it could be detrimental politically for them and potentially detrimental to their reputation and it’s all because of the Rye Good Gov’t Group. The group you approve of. See how good and caring the gov’t has become because of that group? So if you want people to care as much as you and NOT have it “common practice, to look the other way, to kick people while they are down” we need to come together as a town and all be friends instead of having being friends a political liability. It’s really up to you and the Good Gov’t Group.

  46. @NBPTB,

    The group I approve of?
    I do not consider myself part of any group and would rather you didn’t as well, and I’m quite sure the memebers of the “good gov’t group” as you have labeled it do not consider themselves part of any group either.

    I am 4th Generation Rye, there is always a welcome mat at my door, one of these individuals you refer to has been a friend since I was born, the others became friends and because of that we are a “good gov’t group”?

    We all support different issues, some of us choose to support the facts on these issues, there have been coutless times we have told eachother we are wrong, you can’t, you shouldn’t, etc., sorry you missed that memo!!

    Not sure what level of Amnesia you have but I have none, my memory can take me back to day one 6 years ago when I simply asked for a Stop Sign, what took place after that is not on me!

    Our Governing body then and now had every opportunity to have the “same interests”, not all chose a different path but a majority of them did.

    A SPADE IS A SPADE!!!

  47. TWO DISFUNCTIONAL PUBLIC BOARDS – A CASE STUDY

    “In the Undoing of a C.E.O., a Puzzle” – NYT – May 18, 2012

    “Interviews this week with people involved in the fast-moving events and the board’s decisions reveal how what at first seemed a small and improbable allegation from an annoying dissident shareholder turned into a major crisis, thanks largely to Mr. Thompson’s own evasions and missteps. In the end, the board had little choice but to sever ties with its chief executive of only five months…”

    Read this story here –

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/19/business/the-undoing-of-scott-thompson-at-yahoo-common-sense.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&nl=business&emc=edit_dlbkam_20120521

    “City Hall Can’t Hide Brazen Lies in Mayor’s Council Updates–GOP Must Be Proud” – LausDeo10580 – May 9, 2012.

    Mr. French – Council Update – May 1, 2012 “There was no illegal construction at the property as deemed by the building inspector,..”,

    City of Rye FOIL Inquiry on May 1, 2012:

    a. The specific documentation from the building inspector that deemed (or stated or indicated in any way at all) that there was no illegal construction that took place at the property at 13 Richard Place (as published in the city council update by Mayor French 5/1/12).

    b. Any documentation anywhere in city hall at all that supports the following statement published by Mayor Doug French on 5/1/12 regarding 13 Richard Place: “There was no illegal construction at the property as deemed by the building inspector.”

    City of Rye FOIL Response on May 3, 2012:

    “There is no document responsive to your FOIL request.”

    Read this story here –

    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/05/to-catch-a-serial-liar-lets-work-on-this-one-together-at-the-last-city-council-meeting-two-weeks-ago-and-again-in-print-la.html

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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

2011 Financial Performance
While the final year-end financials are still being prepared and will be presented by the City's auditor at the May 23rd meeting of the Council, the initial projections look promising. During a time when governments at all levels are grappling with rising costs and drops in revenue, the City's costs were $500,000 below budget and revenues were $700,000 above budget for a net gain of $1.2M. This is good news as the City's undesignated fund balance is projected to be at $3.8M or 12% of our annual operating budget. After several years of a rapidly declining fund balance, the City has been able to stem that trend the last two years in 2010 and 2011. Having a healthy fund balance is good for the City's financial position and strengthens the City's AAA rating. Restoring the City's financial outlook was a key priority and the results speak for themselves.

1037 Boston Post Road Decision
The Council is to hold a special meeting on April 25th on a vote to authorize the first step of a potential sale of the property. The City purchased the property in 2006 for $5M (not including future lease payments that were offset) on the property which was appraised at $4.5M at the time, and a balloon payment that was due for the full amount in 2010 – but no money was ever put aside to pay for the building. In 2010 the City paid off the building. Here is what I wrote 2 years ago in this column as the City began to look at long-term options: "One option discussed is to address the City's need for a larger court house and police facility by splitting the two and putting the court at 1037, however, the City would lose ongoing property tax revenue and the cost for transformation may be extremely high. Selling the property for commercial use is another option, but commercial rates are low and could result in a substantial loss to the City. Residential use is the final option for co-ops or rentals in the downtown area and may prove to increase the potential value. Any option, however, would need to include a shared municipal parking scenario. This is the beginning of a long planning process and we currently have a valued tenant relationship, but it is important we begin to review our options and share them with you." Two years later, the City has gone through an exhaustive planning process and explored these options with experts in the real estate market, City staff, the Planning Commission and the public. The action before the Council is to authorize the sale of the property to the current tenant with the terms being presented at press time.

Joint Resolution for Mandate Relief by the City and School District
At our joint meeting on April 21st, the Rye City Board of Education, Mayor and Council passed a joint resolution for meaningful mandate relief to be enacted by the New York State government. Specific issues for change included: Suspending state statutes such as the Triborough Amendment that would immediately improve the ability of the school district and city to control costs by improving the conduct of local collective bargaining by incentivizing negotiations that are more responsive to current economic conditions, the suspension of the Wicks Law which would also provide immediate savings in the cost of capital improvements by reducing the requirements for multiple contractors on construction projects, and limiting the costs of the public employee pension contributions that are increasing at a rate that is unsustainable with the current exclusion language in the tax cap levy, and should be limited so that the state-mandated employer contribution rates are capped at the same 2% growth rate increase as is allowed under the current tax cap.

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 May 23rd meeting.

Building Permit 40 years Later
On personal note as it drew some Council attention, I received a retroactive building permit for my rental property on work that was done by the previous owner some 40 years ago. There was no illegal construction at the property as deemed by the building inspector, but this is an issue many residents face when properties are put up for sale and proper due diligence by the homeowner/buyer, legal community, real estate community and the City Building Department is required.