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Home Government Jovanovich Gives Joe the Sack on RGC Emails

Jovanovich Gives Joe the Sack on RGC Emails

A Guest Column from Rye City Councilperson Peter Jovanovich

The public should be aware of the background to Joe Sack’s complaint about not getting information from the City.

For over a year, Joe as been admonished by the Corporation Counsel, the Mayor, and the City Manager about his use of his private email address for public business. All Council members are told, explicitly, to only use their rye.gov email addresses for public business. As the Corporation Counsel Kristen Wilson has explained: this procedure ensures that information requests can be fully complied with.

Joe Sack, uniquely, refuses to comply. All other Council people do. Recently, the Mayor and the City Manager warned Joe that they would no longer reply to his emails from his private address. They said they would answer, and provide information, if he adopted his City email address. He still refuses.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the City struggles with a budget, which is being eaten up by skyrocketing benefit and pension costs.  With the little money that’s left, we try to provide crossing guards, keep the library open more hours, and generally serve the City while not overburdening the taxpayer.

Joe Sack’s recent sally against the Mayor and the City Manager accomplishes nothing while chewing up time. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s an expense of spirit in a waste of silliness.

Peter Jovanovich
Rye City Councilperson

34 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Councilman Jovanovich:

    I see you have returned from your weekend at Bernies.

    Since you profess that French only uses his City of Rye official e-mail address, it should be no problem for French to provide all of the e-mails he sent and received from Pickup, a City of Rye official, to Councilman Sack or to anyone else who requests them.

    If you insist on blathering some more to facilitate the further coverup up these e-mails related to the Rye Golf Club investigation, please do it at your own personal peril on the Jovanovich owned Rye Record where this type of idiocy is standard operating procedure.

  2. Peter J.,
    Thank you for joining the conversation. However, your attack on me from left field is misguided, and unfortunately appears meant to distract from the relevant issue. First, I am under no obligation to use any particular e-mail address, which you surely know. Further, any of my e-mails from any e-mail address which pertain to city business, you are free to see. Ironically, the reason you cite for wanting to maintain all e-mails on one e-mail address (i.e., to make it easier to produce the e-mails upon request) has not resulted in my receiving ANY of the e-mails I’ve requested between the city manager and the mayor, whom you are attempting to defend. If you would care to address any of the points I made in my original column, I would be interested to listen.
    http://www.myrye.com/my_weblog/2012/12/sack-wants-pickupfrench-email-trail-on-rye-golf-club-public-guest-column.html
    Your colleague, Joe Sack

  3. After reading all of the posts & comments made here over the last few months instead of trading petty barbs in this crowded field of dirt and grime perhaps I coud get an answer to this one question? If the money behind leon’s very crafty blog were tallied up and put to better use could we not hire more crossing guards? Then in his free time he could become the city’s new FOIL compliance officer. This would solve a bunch of Rye’s problems, no?

  4. Ok, I will weigh in on this since Councilman Jovanovich was so kind to insert his foot into his own mouth!!!

    What the hell difference does it make what email address is used?

    So Peter, your saying if the request was made from a City of Rye email address rather than a personal the information being requested would have been released?
    Peter, I can’t see my forehead w/out a mirror, can you tell me if there is a giant “S” stamped on me??? REALLY PETER??????

    Lets get real sir, what if I or any other Resident foils the same request as Councilman Sack?
    Would we get a response of:”your request is denied because it was not received from a City email address”???

    Councilman Sack,
    Lets humor Peter on this, send them another request from your “city email address” and lets see how that makes a difference!!!

  5. Councilman Jovanovich,

    Please tell us that you have something more to add to this den of impropriety than which email address YOU THINK it is appropriate to use. I would encourage Councilman Sack to continue his quest to source not only ryeny.gov email, but the user names and passwords of ALL private email address of French and Pickup (i.e., yahoo, gmail, hotmail, aol, etc.), and do so under whichever address he chooses. As we know, there is no privacy issue here according to the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. 2701.

    Lastly, Councilman Sack is being very benevolent in this regard, for, if it were another individual, he/she might just file a Motion with the requested relief of impounding the ryeny.gov mail server. We are talking about serious violations, among other laws, of New York Pubic Officers Law here that carry fines, suspensions, terminations, and possibly, prison sentences where the Rye City Court would certainly not be involved…thank God.

  6. Louse Dumas,(aka,,,,”MY HERO”)
    What funds do you think will benefit Rye more….the funds that Leon might be spending to uncover the funds being stolen from Rye Taxpayers,,,(I’m guessing you would fall into the taxpayer category), or the funds being stolen from Rye Taxpayers???

    your words: “If the money behind leon’s very crafty blog were tallied up and put to better use”

    Louse,are you off your meds?

  7. Council Jovanovich,

    Did you seriously mean to put this statement in publiuc view?…

    “Meanwhile, in the real world, the City struggles with a budget, which is being eaten up by skyrocketing benefit and pension costs. With the little money that’s left, we try to provide crossing guards, keep the library open more hours, and generally serve the City while not overburdening the taxpayer.”

    In the real world?
    Sir, in the real world we all know of, the criminal acts being uncovered everyday are punishable by law, how about you start punishing the guilty and you can start with the guy who sits 4 chairs to your right by FIRING HIS A**!!!

    With the little money that is left?
    The millions that were stolen from us and allowed to be stolen from us by our City Manager and Commissioner Connors have nothing to do with the little that is left???

    We try to provide Crossing Guards?
    Sir, are you joking? When did you or any Council member “TRY” to provide our children with the safety they so deserve….WHEN???

    Generally serve the City?
    Any answer I give here might be punishable by law but I will say this and I say it with the upmost respect Peter…..please, if for no other reason than health, you need to step down from the Council!

    I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT YOU WOULD PUT SOMETHING SO INSULTING IN WRITING!!!

  8. Peter,
    You are the ever loyal friend and deputy mayor, or deputy dog, as you are fond of saying.

    Too bad it was you who had to carry the mayor’s water here. Doug needs to be accountable for himself, now more than ever. But as we both know, support is waining.

    As a publisher, you are well aware that the words you choose matter. In this case, it is the words you chose not to use that are most relevant. Those words? Rye Golf Club.

    You chose to distract and attack. You chose politics above the well being of the city.

    As an added insult, with the back of your hand you wrote, “Meanwhile, in the real world,” as if the readers of this blog and the citizens of this community are living in a dream world. As if they’ve collectively dreamed up the ongoing independent investigation at Rye Golf Club. I’m afraid it is you, Peter, who has become increasingly isolated in your own alternate universe. A place where crumbling sidewalks take precedent over the deteriorating morals and values of men.

    The final irony is the unusual convoluted path of reason you trip upon in your post.

    You argue, I suppose, that since Joe sends emails regarding public business from his private email, that somehow makes them less transparent, or more difficult to retrieve should need be.

    Yet, Joe’s emails, sent from his private account, regarding Rye Golf Club have been made public on the city’s website for all interested parties to see.

    While Doug’s emails, sent from his public account, remain private.

    To quote Shakespeare, “Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?”

  9. Councilman Sack,

    The goal, as you know, of any investigation of RGC is to determine how high up it goes…in that regard many of us would support you requesting Yandrasevich’s public and private emails as well. You may be surprised at what you find. I say this in light of the 2011 Commission election that I lost by 15 votes where Scott nearly “freaked out” when I contacted the City Clerk. Heck, throwing her into the mix, you might as well just impound the mail server.

  10. oooooh! I like this guy Republican Trust!

    “You chose politics above the well being of the city.”

    “A place where crumbling sidewalks take precedent over the deteriorating morals and values of men.”

  11. “Yet, Joe’s emails, sent from his private account, regarding Rye Golf Club have been made public on the city’s website for all interested parties to see.

    While Doug’s emails, sent from his public account, remain private.”

    I BELIEVE THIS PRETTY MUCH SAYS IT ALL!!!

  12. Mr Jovanovich is nothing more Mr French’s bubble head doll. I challedge MyRye readers to name (1) piece of legislation the Councilman of 3 years has brought forward.
    Thanks to Mr Jovanovich Rye’s Metro North Parking Commuters were slapped with back door 50% tax increase in depths of the 2009.
    recession.

  13. Just a little added fuel to a well lit fire; We pretty much know what our City Manager is capable of and more so what he is NOT CAPABLE OF…… Those 2 1/2 shift $12,000 Crossing Guards they finally budgeted for….Pickup wanted to spend $20,000.00 on a study for this???

    Councilman Jovanovich’s words:
    “The City struggles with a budget, which is being eaten up by skyrocketing benefit and pension costs”

    Tell me again what the problem is Counciman???

  14. Councilman Jovanovich,

    I suppose when Scott Pickup said at the September Golf Commission Meeting, “Scott (Yandrasevich) recommended RM Staffing based on his prior experience with them” he was mistaken- or lying- since RM Staffing had not even been incorporated? I’m sorry sir, but sooner or later your friend Scott Pickup needs to be reviewed- as does as Doug French who evidently sat on this issue for months. There are too many questions.

    Your guest column is disingenuous and a pure distraction. You try and say that the email address Councilman Sack used prevented his access to info. Mayor French actually answered Councilman Sack’s email unsolicited, and told him basically to F*CK OFF. The Mayor’s answer wouldn’t have been any different if Councilman Sack had used his ryeny.gov address.

    What did Scott Pickup and Doug French know, and when? That is the question. Maybe their emails are a start, an uncomfortable and embarrassing experience- which is why I predict Laura Brett will avoid this entirely and begin trumpeting her usual remarks (“for the good of the city” ). But honestly, I’m noticing a recurring theme with all these issues. Information has intentionally been withheld from Joe Sack, the Fire Department video that “didn’t exist” being a prime example. If Councilman Sack didn’t request the City Manager’s emails at this point, considering past history, as well as Mr. Pickup’s public comments, it would be a dereliction of his duty as a Rye City Council Member.

    http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/12/rm-staffing-with-no-experience-hired-by-yandrasevich-a-week-before-company-was-formed.html

  15. Since a political party on the local level doesn’t matter the republicans should enjoy their time now as a majority because over the past year or more all of you have lost any chance at being reelected in Rye. Councilman sack is the only council member that the people trust and will support. Oh and I’m hearing some interesting things coming out of the PD. some under the table practices that if they come to light will make 2 people look bad and lawsuits will roll. people need to resign quickly.

  16. Jim,
    Are you kidding me?
    “I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT YOU WOULD PUT SOMETHING SO INSULTING IN WRITING!!!”
    From town crier to town hypocrite. You too were once a hero now just part of the mental mob.

  17. If there is nothing to hide release the documents. The longer these things take the more suspicious it is. Are you trying to filter the information. If there is nothing to hide and no wrong doings they would have been released immediately. The Mayor, City Manager & Council members not looking or asking for complete disclosure are “THE BLACK EYE on RYE.” Give up the information or get off the DAIS. I watched the video of the Rye Golf Club meeting back in Sept. How is it the City Manager is not on leave. As the “boss” of the club a manager and knowledge of this conflict he isn’t doing such a great job. No wonder he can release what he knows.

  18. Louse,

    First, thank you for the consideration but I do not consider myself a hero! I have always and will continue too repeat….it is and should never be about me!!!

    Yes, I wear my heart on my sleeve, in some eyes to a fault, but with me there is no middle, you either hate me or love me, and no matter what side you stand I will always stay on course!

    Hypocrite? Now there is a first, I can’t imagine why anyone would consider me a hypocrite? My values don’t change, therefore neither will my opinions!!!

    As I have always said, I do not side with individuals or play favorites…..facts are facts, truth is truth!!!

    As the cartoons go; sugar? yes! how many lumps?

    And boy oh boy does Jovanovich ever deserve his lumps on this one!!!

    So far all you have done is attack people, how about you give us your thoughts on Councilman Jovanovich’s statements???

  19. A councilman’s email requests were ignored because of personal vs governmental email accounts being used? That sounds totally bogus to me.

    First of all, if there is to be transparency in government, then why does the type of email account matter?

    But even if it does matter, there were ample other ways to respect Mr. Sack’s position and not just ignore him on a technicality. For example, why didn’t the response get sent to Mr. Sack’s governmental email account? In the alternative, why didn’t Mr. Sack get a response reminding Mr. Sack that he needed to make such requests via his governmental email account?

    Relying on this email account technicality is “transparent,” all right — a transparent attempt to snowball the public about why a councilman’s tough but perfectly reasonable information requests were being avoided. Shame on anyone in Rye City government who had a role to play in that.

  20. CuriousTom and the rest of you posting under assumed names are perfect examples of what I want my neighbors not to be. If you really cared about anyone involved, you’d be make comments using your real names that would actually elighten or improve the situation. Your snide, rude commentary has no relevance to the issues in Rye and reflects more poorly on yourselves than those directly involved. Get a life. Get involved, but do so constructively and openly.

  21. Bob,

    We don’t really care about your standards for your neighbors- and I am grateful that we live on opposite ends of town (maybe 😉 ). My standards for my Deputy Mayor would not include sexual harassment in the workplace, or anywhere else for that matter. That is why these issues are important and need to be vetted.

    “Rye faces major problems. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Roads and bridges need repair, sidewalks must be built or improved, and crosswalks made safer. Underneath our roads lies millions of dollars of sewer and other infrastructure that need to be fixed.” These are the words spoken by a man who possibly chased female employees around his desk leveraging his position of authority.

    Is it your position that sexual harassment in the workplace is acceptable so long as we fix the infrastructure? Good government is not just about the issues that affect you personally, Bob. As we have come to learn in Rye, the integrity and values of our leaders are important.

    How about we invite Judith Hill to our next City Council Meeting to provide her perspective on our Deputy Mayor?

  22. Mr. Zahm,
    I feel this has everything to do with issues that are now and have been on the front pages of every newspaper in town, including the spin from the Rye Record that the Deputy Mayor and his wife own.

    Are you aware in that very same case, Deputy Mayor Jovanovich’s company paid out approximately $450,000.00 in damages for wrongful termination? Isn’t that what the Dapolite case was all about? Wasn’t the reprimand placed in Andrew’s file, the beginning?
    http://www.kroplaw.com/win_hill.html

    I understand from the victim’s attorney that there was one holdout on an eight-member federal jury – a gentleman in his 70’s – who declined to find for the victim on the sexual harassment claim that would have entailed statutory attorney fees in addition to the award. That’s seven to one, that is pretty good odds, wouldn’t you say? They did prevail on a breach of implied employment contract cause of action.

    Ms. Hill’s attorney also stated that his client in that case, Judy Hill, is a very hard-working, professional, and level-headed woman.

  23. @ the latest mask wearer (JH) – your comments would have some relevance if a.) they were made under your real name; b.) there was a valid link between personal dirt that has been dug up to smear someone and the ability to serve as a trustee. But you really only care about spreading dirt. Glad to hear that you live in a glass house.

  24. Mr. Zahm,

    Named in at least six additional suits by former stockholders, Mr. Jovanovich’s company defended a case where investors were misled about the financial position of the company. The suit also claimed that false information was distributed by executives that violated securities law and artificially inflated the value of the company’s stock as they strapped the company with nearly $3 billion of debt at the same time. This suit has nothing to do with Ms. Hill’s claims of sexual harassment.

    Now I ask you, would you have someone handling your personal money and running your business that was involved in these types of issues? I don’t think so and it is my guess that most of the residents in Rye would feel the same way as I do about having that same person serving as a trustee of our city.

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1992-03-13/business/9203130427_1_preferred-stock-suit-jovanovich

  25. Dear Judith:

    We here in Rye apologize for anything you were forced to endure at the hands of Jowannasnatch and McGraw-Hill.

    Unfortunately for us here in Rye, it seems around the same time that your allegation of sexual harassment and other allegations were filed, Jowannasnatch moved here to Rye. We have been stuck with this guy and his wife since then.

    When a dedicated City of Rye employee accused his boss, City Manager Pickup, last year of lying to the Rye City Council and withholding official records, Jowannasnatch referred Pickup to a non-investigative Board of Ethics rather than perform a credible investigation of the serious allegations.

    Jowannasnatch also used this ploy when his friend the Mayor of Rye, Doug French, was accused of having an illegal STAR Tax Exemption and for building code violations.

    Jowannasnatch has also refused to detail what City of Rye operating funds he and others on the Rye City Council took $5,000,000 from apparently without any authorization to do so.

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