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Home Government Speaking French: Mayor's Update - Hazing, Audit, Bridge & More

Speaking French: Mayor’s Update – Hazing, Audit, Bridge & More

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

Hazing and Bullying
Hazing and bullying have no place in any community and anyone found responsible will be dealt with to the full extent of the law and within School Board policy. While this incident is not a reflection of Rye, the collective and immediate response by the Board, City, parents and children will deter these types of incidents happening in the future.

City Audit
The City heard the presentation from the auditor who presented that the City is in a good position heading into 2012 even though it must deal with issues such as rising pension and health care costs; expired labor contracts; the issue of the 1037 Boston Post Road property; and the tax cap.

The Central Avenue Bridge
The City continues to close out all remaining regulatory and compliance issues with the NY State Department of Transportation in order to move the project forward. The State has agreed to work toward a date of July 1st to have all matters resolved so the City can finally put the project out for contractor bidding. The City is waiting on one Utility Agreement issue with Con Edison and the City Engineer will submit the final package addressing all of the comments that came out of a joint meeting with the DOT.

1037 Boston Post Road
The City has been offered $3.6M for the building by the current tenant – Lester's. The site was appraised at $4.5M prior to the City's purchase in 2006 and the subsequent decline of the commercial real estate market. The City has decided not to build a $25M police station/courthouse at that site and continues to explore all options and alternatives. The offer includes some designated parking for the City and also puts the building back on the tax rolls. The City is also considering hiring a broker to market the building more broadly.

Making a Difference
The City celebrated its unique volunteer form of government by honoring former Mayor Steve Otis with a photo/portrait of him displayed in Council chambers with other former Mayors. On the same night, outgoing Councilwoman Suzanna Keith was recognized for her contributions to the City, and Julie Killian was appointed by the Council to the vacated seat who was one of 3 people who sought the appointment. The City Charter states – "If a vacancy shall occur in the office of Mayor or Councilman, the Council shall, by a vote of a majority of the members of the Council remaining in office, appoint a person to fill such vacancy."

Potential Infrastructure Bond for Public Safety Needs
The City has held several public meetings to discuss critical infrastructure and public safety needs for potential bonding for the General Election in November. The estimated size of the bond for consideration is between $5M and $10M to fund City critical needs that have been neglected over time and are too large to fund through annual operating surpluses. Some of the projects for preliminary consideration include the expansion of the Bowman Avenue Dam Upper Pond for flood mitigation, the Boston Post Road retaining wall, Smith Street reconstruction, safety upgrades to the Police Station/Courthouse, flood prevention measures for the library, and additional sidewalk/pedestrian safety improvements. A sixty percent majority vote of the Council with a Mayoral vote will be required to go forward with the Referendum.

Tree Ordinance
The City held public hearings on expanding the existing tree ordinance based on community and committee feedback to review the law. Many residents have participated on both sides of the issue. Some spoke of the benefits of trees to a community and the environment; said that the law would remove a loophole in the current law and prevent the unnecessary removal of trees; and that the new law would bring Rye more in line with what other communities are doing. Others spoke of concerns that the rights of property owners were being taken away; that there was no real need for the new law; and that the proposed law was too restrictive. The public hearing was closed with no action taken on the suggested recommendations and the Council asked for further review.

Dapolite vs, City Manager
The city was pleased to approve a settlement of the article 78 employee matter brought against the City. No financial terms were part of the settlement. The pending ethics allegations which are before the Board of Ethics will resume now that the litigation has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “The city was pleased to approve a settlement of the article 78 employee matter brought against the City.”

    Mr. French can’t tell the truth to save his own life.

    Mr. Dapolite sued Mr. Pickup, his boss’s boss, for issuing an official reprimand in reprisal for Dapolite blowing the whistle on Mr. Pickup’s illegal order to conceal the existence of a public record – IE “The meeting was not recorded.” Mr. Dapolite didn’t sue “the City,” but because “the City” knows that Mr. Pickup would likely testify under oath that Mr. French personally directed Mr. Pickup to suppress this recorded meeting video – multiple felony counts here – then “the City” intervened on behalf of Messer’s Pickup and French and spent up to $15,000 in taxpayer funded legal fees to attempt to crush and smear Mr. Dapolite into recanting.

    Now the matter heads back to the so called Ethics Board who has zero city charter standing to investigate anything and no power to take testimony under oath. Mr. Pickup can say the tooth fairy told him to do it and Mr. Jovanovich will again smile and opine “See, there’s nothing wrong going on here.”

    Let’s recall another recent French fiasco:

    “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?”
    (pause)
    French: “You can continue with your remarks.”
    (pause)
    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?”

  2. Mayor French,
    Referencing the “shall” clause as it relates to City Council seat replacements.
    Rye City sewage Code 161.1 also states;
    “In addition thereto there shall be an annual inspection of all private sewage disposal systems by a contractor duly approved by the Westchester County Commissioner of Health on all properties bordering on all watercourses, including Long Island Sound, Milton Harbor and all tributaries thereto, and wherever else directed by the Sanitation Committee of the Common Council. A written certificate of such inspection shall be submitted to said Committee for such action thereon as it may direct.”

    Why did the City of Rye spend over ten thousand dollars in attorneys fees not to enforce that Code? I guess the City has plenty of money to throw away when it comes to legal fees and they would prefer the sewage going into the Sound. Just one more French Mistake.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMK6lzmSk2o

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