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Home Government Sack Ignored, Thwarted, Questions Unanswered @ Rye Golf Club - Letter

Sack Ignored, Thwarted, Questions Unanswered @ Rye Golf Club – Letter

The following Letter to the Editor is from Rye Councilman Joe Sack. Note, readers can see the referenced Rye Golf Club FOIL'd documents.

LETTER:

As a councilman, I believe that it is my responsibility to ask tough questions, and to demand straight answers.  Unfortunately, my questions surrounding recent issues at Rye Golf Club have gone mostly unanswered.  The key to faith and trust in our government is disclosure and transparency.  The city needs to ensure that faith and trust by revealing immediately everything that there is to know about this matter.

Over two months ago, on July 21, I submitted an e-mail request to the city manager – the individual who is hired by the city council to run the city – asking him for information on RM Staffing.  I never received a response from the city manager.  Instead, I received an e-mail from the mayor telling me that he was handling this and that he’d get back to us.  When I pressed for information directly from the city manager, the mayor suggested that I was not entitled to ask for information unless a majority of the council supported my request.

On September 13, I learned that a Rye citizen had submitted a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the city on this same topic, and had been provided with a partial response, including various billing records.  Having still never heard back from the city manager or the mayor, I submitted my own FOIL request for a full accounting on this matter.  To this very day, I have yet to receive a response to my FOIL request.

On September 19, and as reported in the September 21 edition of the Sound Shore Review, I was disheartened to learn that the mayor called me “ugly and dirty” in connection with my repeated efforts to obtain information.  The deputy mayor followed up the mayor’s comments in an e-mail calling this matter “tiresome,” one of many “mini-controversies” that would “amount to less than a hill of beans,” a “faux cause célèbres,” the “latest mini-drama,” and “just another Rye City Council sideshow.”  He urged the council to focus on the “real challenges” that face the city.  These comments were similar to comments he made at previous council meetings in regard to my objection that recent ethics matters – including the Andrew Dapolite matter – had not been handled properly.

On my own, I have since been able to piece together parts of the Rye Golf Club story through conversations with members of the golf commission and the public, a review of documents FOIL’d by members of the public, a review of videotaped golf commission meetings, and a review of partial pieces of information subsequently parceled out by the city manager.  But we need the city to tell the entire story now.

When I, as a city councilman, am ignored or thwarted in my attempts to seek information, it is a big problem.  Because my requests are made on behalf of the people of Rye.  And when my requests are disrespected, the public is being disrespected.  That needs to stop now.

Joe Sack
Rye City Councilman

27 COMMENTS

  1. Not getting the information you request and not being told that others are being given even portions of that information seems like a fundamental problem, Joe. At a minimum, were I on the Council (no thank you), I would expect each and every Council member to be informed about all FOIL requests on a regular basis along with access to the same information provided to the person submitting the FOIL request.

    If your FOIL request is ignored, do you not have the right to appeal, file a law suit (painful way to force disclosure in what should be a collaborative, collegial body), etc? Such actions should not be necessary – certainly not be a member of the Council itself.

    I want to look on everyone on the Council in a positive light for multiple reasons. And there are usually multiple sides to a story. But it would seem that a public accounting [ pun most certainly intended ] is required.

  2. I understand LausDeo10580.com has a new story out just this morning with video of this deeply troubling Rye Golf meeting last week.
    But to answer Bob’s query here – there is no reason to sue anyone – we need to simply follow the New York and Federal FOIL laws.
    This administration refuses to address this fundamental violation of law and as such has put Rye in jeopardy of sanctions, fines and more.
    Bob, the 3 story links below have been up (and talked about) all summer….
    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/08/ny-state-official-confirms-city-of-rye-attorney-kristen-wilson-acting-in-violation-of-law.html
    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/08/city-of-rye-corporation-counsel-hired-to-perform-duties-in-violation-of-nys-law.html
    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/08/let-the-games-begincity-clerk-puts-olympian-effort-into-withholding-damaging-records-from-lausdeo-now-that-the-grown-ups-wh.html

  3. ” The key to faith and trust in our government is disclosure and transparency. The city needs to ensure that faith and trust by revealing immediately everything that there is to know about this matter.”

    “But we need the city to tell the entire story now.”

    You can apply those comments to this;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WrsFBClZ1s&feature=em-uploademail-new

    or you can apply those comments to this;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6nWzVM99R8

    or you can apply those comments to this;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXEW4XU2ZJw&feature=plcp

    or you can apply those comments to this;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hlplz2GyruU&feature=plcp

    or you can apply those comments to this;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op8ejfpaNsY&feature=plcp

    or you can apply those comments to this;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr5p-UjisnU&feature=plcp

    or you can apply those comments to this;

    https://vimeo.com/47034186

    Or any of the other problems that has plagued the French administration;

  4. Joe, Your continued efforts at participating in a functioning government are appreciated. Good luck! Words can’t adequately describe disappointment in the current administration. Not paying taxes, illegal rentals, the Dapolite affair, the Jovanovich Journal, the Golf Club…it’s all a well documented mess. What’s troubling, too, is the rest of the Council just sitting there while you’re bullied by the gang of 4 (no need to define). What hyprocrites we are as a society to think we can teach children not to bully one another when we set poor examples and don’t recognize it in our own behavior.

  5. Councilman Sack,

    Every Rye resident can say the same….”When I, as a city RESIDENT, am ignored or thwarted in my attempts to seek information, it is a big problem. Because my requests are made on behalf of the people of Rye. And when my requests are disrespected, the public is being disrespected. That needs to stop now”.

    I think this says it all…..question is…when is someone going to do something about this???????????????

    Who makes up all these H.S. Rules anyway??? Scott Pickup is insobordinate & acts with DISRESPECT on EVERY LEVEL but when you a Councilman “supposably” step over the line in seek of the truth on behalf of the people you are told you ARE NOT ENTITLED unless it is supported by majority???

    When Scott Pickup plays his games and crosses lines how many times did he seek YOUR SUPPORT FOR HIS ACTIONS OF ENTITLEMENT????????

    BULLS***!!!!

  6. Great to see Rye embroiled in classic Andy Griffith small town insanity . Good distraction away from the real problems like we’re so broke we’re going to float bonds to pave our roads ( hopefully you are all dead of old age before your kids discover they gotta pay that bond off in 20yrs AND struggle to figure out how to pay for paving needed again ) .

    Nor does it allow discussion on the explosion of apartment buildings flying up all over Rye that will soon have another 50 SUV’s parked out front with another 75 kids jammed into our crumbling overcrowded schools but only enough additional property tax revenue to pay for maybe 10 kids . What bad crack is our planning board smoking to allow that monster new complex on upper Purchase Street ? I’m sure Midland / Osborne schools will love the extra 20 kids about to pop in from nowhere .

    Is it true another huge apartment complex going up behind Midland Avenue ? Can you imagine walking the streets of Rye in a few years with another hundred big SUV’s extra rushing around our disintegrating streets ? We’ll need a red light on every corner in Rye by then .

    I hear a rumor most of these apartment buildings all one builder who shrewdly will charge top rent for families who want in to Rye schools but doesn’t want to buy a house and pay obscene Rye taxes . Smart builder taking advantage of Rye Planning Board stupidity .

    yes , by all means . Lets focus on Mr Floatie and his Hen Island rants or similar high priorities as Rye rushes off the fiscal cliff .

    Its coming .

  7. Divman,

    You would be correct and I agree with all your assessments!!!

    There are 4 more Duplexes going up on Cedar Place. That translates to 8 NEW FAMILIES at an average of 2 vehicles per, that’s 16 MORE “ENTITLED” MONSTER TRUCK DRIVERS!!!

    Lets not leave out the fact that we are also bringing up the danger level for the children as we SATURATE our neighborhoods to go along with an almost INVISIBLE ENFORCEMENT on the every day commnon laws already in place!!!

  8. Councilman Sack,
    I support you 100% and its why I voted for you. You truly stick up for the people of Rye and try your damn hardest. I have finally seen it, I defended Mayor French but the past few months I saw how he and the council have treated city employees, hide things, cheat, lie and plain old dirty politics. The city Manager needs to go. Everyone wanted a change from Otis which I agree with. He was in a long time and change was needed but this is bad. Only thing I say to the people of Rye is vote no on the bond. Rye has money its just where is all the money going? bad investments!? And we live in a democracy, and in a year? you can vote half of the council out and the Mayor. I predict already whoever runs against French will win in a landslide. Mickey Mouse could run against him and I guarantee a victory.

  9. Need Change is right. What the city council did by refusing to investigate the city manager over the Dapolite boy’s letter is beyond shameful. He was born and raised in Rye and by all accounts he did nothing wrong whatsoever except tell the truth. Yet he no longer works for us and the city manager does. The city manager needs to pickup and go. And take the mayor with him.

  10. THE TRUTH MIGHT BE TOO GOOD.

    “He now says he’ll replace Obamacare and ensure all the good things in it will be in there … is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they are too good?”

    Wednesday night really wasn’t the President’s best debate but he did occasionally tag his opponent with a memorable retort. And this one was in that small number and it’s pretty good and also pretty apropos to Rye City Government corruption in general – and the now sizzling Rye Golf Club powder keg specifically.

    It’s like if the financial and managerial arrangements for the Rye Gold Club are so good – “too good” as the President termed it – then why has everyone who cares about club operations and finances been stonewalled now for so many months? Is this a secret managerial sauce too good to share? Like the secret formula for Coke locked up in that Atlanta safe? Or is it something else entirely?

    Last night I got a preview of additional new Rye Golf secrets – to be made public at some point. Like the partial payroll data that’s already been put into the club member’s hands, these items of course have been sourced outside of Rye City Hall where Ms. Wilson and Mr. Pickup have so far locked down everything they can, even from Joe Sack.

    Ms. Wilson, and her ex-boss and mentor Kevin Joseph Plunkett, By-The-Way, have a history in advising municipal clients who practice some pretty curious disclosure trade-craft. And for the lawyers among us, who know much about such things, one look at nearby Greenburgh NY, might be enough to tell you that it’s not a particularly comforting history –

    CHURCH v. FEINER – United States District Court, S.D. New York – August 12, 2010.

    http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=In%20FDCO%2020100816492.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR

    “In addition to destroying evidence and not placing the appropriate litigation hold on documents in the Town’s possession, Defendants failed to produce certain evidence to Plaintiffs. Such was made clear at trial…”

    FORTRESS BIBLE CHURCH v. FEINER – United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit – Decided September 24, 2012.

    http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?page=1&xmldoc=In%20FCO%2020120924061.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR&SizeDisp=7

    “For the reasons described above, the Town’s arguments on appeal are without merit and we conclude that the relief ordered by the district court was within its discretion. The judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.” (Short version: Greenburgh taxpayers will now pay millions.)

    And so fellow Rye taxpayers – please prepare for more Rye Golf secrets – sourced, collected and being confirmed without one single thimbleful of help from our paid Rye City Staff or our current crop of less than credible elected officials. And lest anyone next week be tempted to fall for the old “independent outside investigation” shtick again, I’ve got a pile of “destroyed” evidence recovered by subpoena and compelled testimony under oath about Schubert’s Pond to show you. But it can wait. Some secrets are just too good.

  11. To Joe Sack:
    Thank you for your efforts to uncover the truth on behalf of the people of Rye. I’m sorry you are being stonewalled by the same elected officials who are supposed to have our best interests in mind, but we can see that is far from the reality of this administration.
    I read in one of the local papers that this RM Staffing, which seems to be a ghost of a business, was paid almost $2 million dollars from January to August of this year to provide part-time work to the club, without Scott Yandrasevich having consulted anyone on the RGC Commission. And what a coincidence that Mrs. Yandrasevich works at this business, while her husband does consulting work for them. Talk about a conflict of interest, if this doesn’t reek of impropriety, nothing does. He needs to be held accountable for this gross mismanagement of funds.
    Seems Scott Yandrasevich adheres to the Doug French method of managing, self-serving and without regard for the people who they are supposed to work for. Doug French calling you “ugly and dirty” while trying to do your job seems like a pathetic attempt to detract from the serious issue at hand. Frankly, I think these words he projected onto you are exactly what the majority of Rye residents think of him. I don’t know about anyone else here in Rye, but I can’t wait another year for Doug French and his cronies to vacate their undeserving positions.

  12. Yes Mr. Amico , you got it .

    The recent multi-family buildings on upper Purchase were immediately filled by families with kids and a 2 SUV’s per family parked out front . Some folks on the Planning Board seem to tell all these apartment buildings will be inhabited by folks walking to town and stores and school but as we all know , nobody can survive in Rye without a car and families with kids buy SUV’s .

    The flood of new apartment buildings going up all over Rye is the beginning of the end . They will all be occupied by families looking for cheap entry to Rye’s school system and will result in yet large numbers more of kids jammed into the schools and the school not getting much more in way of tax revenues . Look for the well meaning moms in town to hyperventilate as they tell you we must further go into debt fast to save our schools or else our houses will be worthless in next bond vote coming much sooner than they would ever think .

    Get ready for the grade schools to soon announce they need a bond floated to cover expansion . They can only add so many more trailers . The flood of additional SUVs might soon bring Rye’s insane school drop offs and pickups to its gridlocked knees .Can you believe we live in a town where they freak out about leaf blowers and plastic bags but same hypocrites see no benefit to school buses ? Yup . Real logical folks those enviro nazis are

    Funny thing is everybody seems to indicate they know this rash of apartment building is a disaster for the town and yet the Planning Board rushes forth to give them permits . Why is this ?

    Where is the School Board to tell the Planning Board our schools are at breaking limit ? Am i the only one aware that town sports groups like Rye Youth Lacrosse have officially shut down offering access to their teams for all and that for newcomers to Rye , it will be lottery only as to whether your kids will be let in . Too many kids and too few fields to take them all now . Great job Rye Planning Board . Somehow , they seem to think the crowded crumbling streets of Queens is something we should strive for . Then again , they thought a pile of condos where Lesters is what a good idea too .

    Rye real estate is going to hate our future . Overcrowded schools , multi-year waits for a parking spot at train station , crumbling roads that can’t be fixed because budgets are shot , jammed roads in and out of downtown , stop lights at every intersection , and sky high tax increases every year miles beyond govt inflation rates .

    I thank god i caught the good years of Rye as its all downhill from here with the current mooks making policy .

  13. MAYOR FRENCH TO APPEAR AT RGC BUDGET MEETING TONIGHT (OCT 9TH) AS SCANDAL GROWS; RECORDS SHOW GM’S STEPCHILDREN WORK FOR RM STAFFING; MEMBERS TO CITY MNGR: PASS BUDGET YOURSELF
    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/10/rye-golf-club-commission-set-to-approve-budget-as-gm-scandal-deepens-yandrasevichs-step-child-found-working-for-rm-staffing.html
    “In an interview Tuesday (Sept 18), Mayor French said Sack was simply trying to spin an important matter that the city is handling, calling the councilman’s actions “dirty and ugly.” “Rye expects better from its elected officials,” French said.”
    http://www.hometwn.com/hometown-media-group/rye-sound-shore-review/golf-club-contract-spending-scrutinized/
    Yes we do Mr. French, we most certainly do…http://www.lausdeo10580.com/

    CITY SERVES MAYOR FRENCH WITH BUILDING VIOLATIONS–TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS CITY ASSESSOR ADMITS MAYOR FRENCH ONLY RYE RESIDENT CAUGHT CHEATING ON SCHOOL TAX EXEMPTION ETHICS BOARD MEMBERS CONTRIBUTED OVER $1700 TO MAYOR’S CAMPAIGN; DISMISS COMPLAINT GAME OF CAT & MOUSE CONTINUES AS CITY MANAGER, ETHICS BOARD GIVE COUNCIL & CITIZENS THE BIRD–BOLT FROM EXEC. SESSION MORTGAGE DOCS SHOW MAYOR OBTAINED OVER $400,000 IN LOANS FOR ILLEGAL HOME; FRENCH ASKED TO RELEASE TITLE REPORTS MAYOR FRENCH CHARGED $16,894 IN BACK TAXES; SAYS HE PAID–COUNTY SAYS NOT THE RYE TV/FRENCH CONNECTION: MAYOR USES HIS OFFICE, LEVITSKY TO OBTAIN ‘ARREST’ INFO ON PRIVATE CITIZEN EMBATTLED CITY MANAGER FAILS TO ENTER FALSE TITLE REPORT INTO TIME LINE FOR MAYOR’S ILLEGAL INVESTMENT PROPERTY CITY MANAGER, RYETV SECRETLY RECORD FIREMAN’S MEETING–LIE TO COUNCIL MEMBERS & PUBLIC; WITHHOLD VIDEO NEW YORK STATE: ETHICS BOARDS DO NOT HAVE POWER TO INVESTIGATE A ‘STAIN’ ON RYE AND THE RYE REPUBLICAN PARTY FRENCH IN SACK WITH MR. FLOATIE DURING 2009 MAYORAL CAMPAIGN NEW YORK STATE ISSUES TAX WARRANT TO MAYOR OF RYE; PLACED LIEN ON HIS PROPERTY CITY MNGR, LEVITSKY TO BLOW OFF ETHICS BOARD; EVADE QUESTIONING BUILDING INSPECTOR ISSUES MAYOR PERMITS TO LEGALIZE PROPERTY IN VIOLATION OF ZONING CODE ETHICS BOARD REPORT: “PUBLIC’S FAITH IN INTEGRITY OF RYE CITY GOVT MAY BE ERODED” MAYOR’S RENTAL PROPERTY ESCAPES ZONING CODE WITH ILLEGAL 4TH BEDROOM IN ATTIC INTACT CITY MANAGER FAILS TO COMPLETE 2011 ANNUAL REPORT; IN VIOLATION OF CITY CHARTER FOR 138 DAYS NOW NY STATE OFFICIAL CONFIRMS CORP. COUNSEL, KRISTEN KELLEY WILSON, ACTING IN VIOLATION OF NY FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW–KNOWINGLY CONFLICT OF INTEREST DOGS RYE’S CORPORATION COUNSEL; WILSON KNOWINGLY PERFORMS DUTIES IN VIOLATION OF NEW YORK STATE LAW

  14. Sorry AC. It’s a collage of actual LD10580 headlines from the past 9 months. I’ve emailed the MOMA to see if they’re interested it but they might just forward it to the FBI instead.

  15. BREAKING:

    RGC COMM. REFUSES TO PASS BUDGET; MEMBERS LEARN GM KEEPS TIPS FROM EMPLOYEES TO PAY CASTLE EXPENSES–CITY MNGR BLAMES MEMBERS FOR “MOB MENTALITY”

    Last night at Whitby Castle, Commissioner Frank Adimari–who chaired the RGCC meeting in Dick Verille’s absence–told members that only comments specific to the 2013 budget would be allowed. In other words, do not bring up RM Staffing. There was to be no mention of the general manager–or his wife or his stepchildren–being employed by the company at the heart of an ever growing labor scandal.

    When asked which among them, specifically, decided to limit the speech of their fellow members to the budget, the commission responded clumsily, then with silence–no one accepted responsibility for the embargo.

    TIPS TO WORKERS KEPT BY GM TO “OFFSET” EXPENSES

    When asked what the club does with the gratuities left on member’s credit cards for servers at the Whitby Castle, there was silence again. Then an admission. General manager Scott Yandrasevich answered the question by saying the club treats the tips left by members for the workers at the castle as revenue to the club. He said that, instead of dispersing the tips to the staff, the club uses the gratuities to “offset” the club’s operating expenses.

    That revelation was met with shock from those in attendance, with one member summing up the feelings in the room by telling Mr. Yandrasevich, “that is shameful, you should be ashamed of yourself”.

    Councilman and RGC liaison, Joe Sack, was in attendance at the meeting, as was Rye TVs camera’s. Mayor Doug French, who was expected to show, did not. LD10580’s video of the meeting is in the cooker.
    Read the full new story here –
    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/10/rgc-commission-refuses-to-pass-budget-members-shocked-to-learn-their-gratuities-are-not-going-to-ser.html

  16. NOTICE

    There will be a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Rye on Wednesday,October 10, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. in the Council Room of City Hall. The Council will convene at 7:30 p.m. and it is expected they will adjourn into Executive Session at 7:31 p.m. to discuss Rye Golf Club and Boat Basin personnel issues.

    AGENDA

    1. Pledge of Allegiance.
    2. Roll Call.
    3. General Announcements.
    4. Draft unapproved minutes of the regular meeting of the City Council held September 12, 2012.
    5. Mayor’s Management Report
    ● Update on outstanding union contracts
    ● Rye Golf Club Update
    ● Legal Update

    (other items follow)

    http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/rye/published_documents/City%20Council/Agenda/2012/Agenda%2010-10-12.pdf

  17. IGNORANCE OF THE LAW…..IS THE FIRST EXCUSE

    Not content with sitting smack in the middle of an unresolved multi-year, multi-million dollar financial and managerial fraud, the Rye Golf Club “old guard” is still up to their old tricks.

    NEW – “DESPITE MASSIVE FRAUD AT RYE GOLF CLUB, COMMISSION CONTINUES TO CONDUCT BUSINESS WITH NO PUBLIC NOTICE, OUT OF VIEW OF MEMBERS”

    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2013/07/the-legacy-of-scott-y-rgc-comm-continues-to-meet-in-secret.html

  18. C’mon, Tedc, you both grew up in this town, so you KNOW the current Commission Chairman has been angling for his perceived position of “power” for years, and, finally, when the former Chairman got exposed, he jumped at the chance. This guy wouldn’t know how to run a business if he went back and repeated his everpresently announced B.A. in Economics 10x’s over. When a “newbie” like Lamont, as he referred to him, runs for the Commission and the Chairman warrants to use all of his “power” to block, this is school yard BS, only the only school yard is where members got ripped off for years and years, and NO, I don’t believe this was the “Sole Criminal Genius of Scott Yandrasevich.” Finally, stating it publicly, lots of nickels and dimes fell into the wrong pockets of very small time, wannabe Rye Mafiosas, and their gun molls — all the pieces fit from French and Pickup’s try at controlling the investigation to Pickup’s BS at the September meeting (mob mentality? People drinking? Present city attorney vetting conflicts of interest, no I mean the former city attorney, Mr. Untouchable, vetting). Tell me, is this why we are paying this guy $250k a year including benefits? Unfortunately, with Mr. Pickup’s friend controlling the investigation at the DA’s office these are details you and I will NEVER know…and Joe, you want information, go the civil route, and I don’t mean “civility”, I mean civil court.

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