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Civility in Rye, a Conversation this Wednesday

In a follow-up to a program created in the wake of the Rye school hazing incident last year, The Rye Youth Council is holding a program Wednesday to discuss "Civility in Rye". It is curious the announcement does not make explicit reference to the hazing incident – why is this?

An important conversation:

The Rye Youth Council invites all members of our community to participate in its second “Community Conversation” at the Community Synagogue on Wednesday, April 3 from 7pm to 8:30pm.  “Civility in Rye” will be the theme of the discussion.  Any member of the public interested in attending the meeting is urged to RSVP either by calling the Youth Council office at 967-3838 or by emailing civility@ryeyouthcouncil.org.

This event is a follow-up to the first conversation that took place in mid-October, when more than 60 community leaders gathered to begin an honest and meaningful dialogue about the values in our community.  A draft “Civility Statement” was created as a result of that meeting and can be viewed at www.ryeyouthcouncil.org.  It will be shared and discussed on April 3.  The goal of the evening will be to build community-wide support for this initiative and to find meaningful ways in which both individuals and organizations can promote and actualize civil behavior in all aspects of community life.

The following community organizations are supporters of the Civility Initiative:
Christ Church, Rye Community Synagogue, Midland School, Midland School PO, Milton School, Milton School PO, Osborn School, Osborn School PO, Church of the Resurrection, Resurrection School, Rye Board of Education, Rye City Council, Rye City School District, Rye Country Day School, Rye High School, Rye High School PO, Rye Middle School, Rye Middle School PO, Rye Police, Rye Presbyterian Church, Rye Presbyterian Nursery School, Rye Recreation, Rye School of Leadership, Rye YMCA, Rye Youth Council, Trinity Church. Any other local organization interested in adding their name to this list is asked to contact the Rye Youth Council.



The undersigned leaders and concerned members of the Rye community strive to promote respectful human relations and a culture of caring in all aspects of our community life.

We recognize the inherent rights and dignity of each person. We believe that all interpersonal exchanges, even adversarial ones, can be conducted with integrity and respect. We aspire to be part of a community that is rooted in respect, honesty, inclusion and cooperation.

We are aware that the success of maintaining a respectful community depends upon ongoing reflection and a commitment to recognize the inherent rights and dignity of each person, group, family, and organization.

We accept our obligation to hold ourselves and each other accountable for our behaviors. We commit to living as observable models of positive civic behavior.


  1. Here is a transcript and video of one example of incivility by our Rye City Council. I’m sure the Nazis and the KKK, that Filippi refers to in his rant about civility, told their victims how civil they were too.


    Filippi (04:30): Um…there’s uh, there’s another announcement I’d like to make. Um, We I sp- when we came to um…we were elected started in 2010, uh we started this announcement aspect to bring out the best part of Rye. To show- to highlight the volunteerism, let people know about what other activities were happening in uh in and around Rye. Um, so I- but I’d like to talk to you about something else that is more sinister. It’s kind of like acid reflux eating away at your esophagus and eventually causing cancer.

    (05:08): At the last City Council Meeting, Mayor gave his uh assessment of the City of Rye. And it was upbeat and he talked about the volunteerism like the hard work the people of the Sustainability Committee do and the other thing twenty eight-twent nine uh committees that we have. Uh, yet, um… Mr. Sculti who everyone knows from the Rye Golf Club etc. uh, became very agitated and uh angry and yelling and screaming and really inappropriate behavior. Uh, not just here, but also with other people uh within, within the City government. Um, sending nasty emails to people. Um, stating that he is, you know, um….um…. he’s-he’s going to be um… uh…you know… doing things or-or just nasty emails. And-and I don’t think it’s appropriate, I ask you to think, consider if it was your wife, or your daughter, or your mother who was being um… uh attacked in this way. Barging into City Hall with a videocamera and showing it in fro- in the face of our ninety pound…uh…uh City Clerk, you know, then…then…uh or other people and…and uh firing off questions etc. and then re-editing it so it looks different.

    (06:26): Um, also, you know, nasty things such as uh the fact that Eleanor Militana’s children work at the Golf Club, somehow making that somehow sinister and that it was part of this whole um…this whole fiasco which we have at the Golf Club which is very unfortunate to someone like that.

    (06:44): He mentioned that his blog is Laus Deo, which is- got his inspiration from the Washington Memorial, that it’s up higher than any other um uh… nothing higher in the city of Washington D.C. Um…

    (06:57): The uh… you know, the…this….this escalated now he feels that- I have to ask him, does he feel he’s above the law when he barged into a Police Arbitration Meeting here in the Mayor’s Conference Hall which is private, it’s not something that is open to the public. Me, or anybody else. It’s between the City Manager, Police- Police Union, and the arbitrator. And he barged in and had to be ordered from the room. I think that is very inappropriate behavior. And then, and then what’s going to be next. If we don’t stop this type of behavior now, he is going to start stalking Laura Brett home, or Mr. Sack from- on the way home from the train.

    (07:36): Um… you know, it’s a concern I think- talking to people about the Rye Golf Club, they- some people are afraid of joining because they don’t want to be tagged for some reason by him and being put on Laus Deo. I think that- I think that’s unfortunate. Um, you know, there’s uh… there’s many- there’s things like that.

    (07:57) This vendetta against the Mayor and City Manager, um, he keeps referring to the Andrew Dapolite incident. Um, I’d like to take a minute and run through that incident uh…if I might, even though it was a- should have been left as a internal HR uh issue. It was a workshop with the Fire Department and the Board of Wardens, workshops aren’t filmed, um… it was uh… it was- he went in there, he manipulated the cameras, etc. um…he was, he was- felt a little a little funny about it sometime later, he was asked to speak to the to uh…he felt that he should maybe speak to somebody, somebody told him to speak to Scott and that never happened.

    (08:37): Uh, next thing we knew, you know, there was um, there was all this stuff in the newspaper um uh…. You know, there- we asked the Board of Ethics to interview uh um the the people involved, um they were able to interview Andrew, then uh other things cam- got in the way. There was a lawsuit that was given to us by John- uh filed by John Carey for him uh… um, cost the city $30,000, that’s $30,000 that’s uh… a crossing guard we could have used for… for during the construction.

    (09:17): Um, you know I…I understand he’s got a friend Andrew. They’ve worked together and uh you know he’s upset about the letter being in the personnel file. That was for hostile work environment um… that’s- that has- you can’t just ignore that sort of thing I’m sorry about that. Um, but you just can’t ignore that. The um… and um…no one would have known uh if if if people didn’t come here to the podium and talk about that so again, uh that’s the problem. You know, um… this…you know this this uh you know he also- excuse me (drinks water)

    (10:08): I’m sorry he’s not here. Leon um also was upset by the fact that he had an email- I’m not sure how he got that- saying that, asking that- the Mayor asking Nicole Levitsky to keep the camera off of Mr. Floatie and he felt that somehow that was um infringing on someone’s um…um… freedom of speech. But do people remember what it was like here in the uh in the uh prior administration where the the the three ring circus it would be with the uh with these cartoon characters and and facemasks. Now Ray likes to- Ray Tartaglione who brought them in here likes to tell the story about how he made a deal with the Mayor that if the Mayor uh…. That he wasn’t going to bring them in. The truth was we told him anyone who comes in with a mask we’ll call- we’re going to have them arrested because that’s against the law under the Ku Klux Klan Law.

    (11:00): So, um… you know that’s- there’s other things like that as well. You know, I understand that again, about uh about Andrew, but you know- to Andrew Dapolite, from me, you know I never steered you wrong, I’ve never gave you- I worked with you but you know I but I don’t think what you are doing is right where um Nicole Levitsky had to file a police report because of the way you behaved. That’s that’s not right. Um, I think your anger at her his misappropriated. I think you anger should be focused on the older adults that told you to go to the press and file the lawsuit. That all becomes public information now—

    French (11:45): Richard, Richard I think—

    Filippi: I’m sorry, I’m sorry!

    French: Okay

    Filippi: But unfortunately, you know, when you’re a very talented per- when a when an employer sees that a very talented videographer and and the HR department goes and looks up on google and see’s these issues come up, they just put that resume into the shredder and I’m sorry for you uh for that.

    French: Make you point and stay away from personnel issu-

    Filippi: My point is also, you know that…that…you know people might say well you know I’m doing this because I don’t like to take the heat. Well that’s not true because actually they don’t really know- they havn’t targeted me- a couple of silly emails from Chittenden

    Killian: Until now…

    Filippi: ‘Til now! Yea (laughs) Um…but um…

    Jovanovich (12:30): Have you renovated your house recently? (laughs)

    Filippi: But uh that’s not the point. The point is that it’s very corrosive. I’ve talked to people about joining committees, I’ve talked to people about getting involved in in politics here in Rye, and they all say “No I don’t want to- I don’t want that aggravation. I don’t want to be singled out for something that I decide on. I think that’s sad. That’s a sad situation we are now in, and that’s affected the number of people we can get for volunteer such as CCAC which we’re short people. We need people. Are they going to be actively pursued because they say things that someone doesn’t like. And, you know, the other thing is, people tend to say, “Oh it’s just them. It’s just the City Council being- handling this”. But, from history class I remember uh… a story about um… someone who had wrote down in Nazi Germany. When they- first they came and they took the Jews and the Gays because I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t Jewish and I wasn’t gay. Then they came and took those who were politically active, and I didn’t speak up for them because I wasn’t politically active. And then they came for the Catholic Priests, but I wasn’t Catholic so I didn’t speak up for them. And then they came for me, and no one was there to speak for me.

    (13:48): So that’s the type of thing that I want people in Rye to be aware, that you know, it may be directed in one place now, but it may come back to you as well. Um…that that there’s…I think people are- should ask- should demand an end to this insanity. Um, there’s no reason why we can’t talk and share ideas etc. in a uh in a in a normal way without shouting and screaming at one another. I think that these personal attacks on people- you know, we’re all volunteers here. The City Manager is a hired City employee, the City employees don’t- shouldn’t have to uh uh bear these uh uh types of of of problems at work. They should be able to come to work and do the work the best they can.

    (14:38): Um, so… it’s…there’s- I always say there’s three types of people. There’s schadenfreude, people who derive pleasure from other people’s misery. I want to know, is there anybody here like that? Anybody like that sort of thing? And then there’s the other group. Those who are spineless, those who- people you know, who they don’t they don’t stand up for anything. Is anybody like that?

    O’Brien: May I say something?

    Filippi: No, no I’m not finished. And then there’s the other people with the backbone that would stand up and make a stand uh… ask to stop this insanity. You know emails saying you know…to to Scott Pickup calling him a fool because he didn’t- the City Golf Club was scheduled for the same night as this. He has no say in that. He has no- things like that. That’s unacceptable behavior. I think we should all move back to more civility. And, and stop these personal attacks on each other because we’re only hurting Rye which is a place we all say we love. So that’s my point.

    French (15:47): Richard, thank you.

    Filippi: Sorry. Sorry I took so long.

    French: Julie?

    Killian: I just want to say, being the newest person here, there there there clearly are some frustrations to working in government, to working in City Council and some of our groups, but I just want to not let things that you highlighted and some of the things we might see here to put anyone off because the large majority of what we do- I really like being on City Council. I… I like it much more than I thought I would and the large majority of people that we deal with are really terrific. There’s a lot of talented people and a lot of really good things that we do, so for any of you in the audience and anybody watching, if you are thinking about running for City Council or being on a Board or Commission, we welcome you, and please do not let uh, any of the negative things you might see cuz there’s a lot of really good people and good things that that go on here. So…

    French: Okay. Um thank you. Uh yea, as I prepared for my State of the City speech I did a lot of reading about history of Rye and this is an extremely passionate community as evidenced by Councilman Filippi but—

    Lefkowitz: Can I respond to him?

    Filippi: Uh…Section 9.

    French: We will uh… you know, we’re committed to not make comments personal, and keep the debate up front and move forward. Now we’re going to move on and take comments in the Resident’s Section.

  2. Dear Mr. Tartaglione,

    Thanks for correcting the pronouncement of his name to Evonavich. The proper pronouncement of Evonavich is much more important than Evonavich, French, Filippi and others on the City Council holding Pickup accountable for reported lies, concealing public records, corruption and official misconduct.

    Need Change,

    From your lips to God’s ears.

    Could there already be a canary talking to the feds about RGC, the obstruction of the investigation of RGC, the $5,000,000 pilfered from City accounts to pay for 1051 BPR, the concealment and destroying of public documents, the personal motivations to conceal and destroy public documents, French’s misdeeds and the coverups of French’s misdeeds?

  3. Subject: DYSKFUNCTION
    Sent: Saturday, April 06, 2013 11:13 AM
    To: Scott Pickup; kwilson@HarrisBeach.com
    Cc:Catherine Parker; Julie Killian; Joe Sack; Laura Brett

    Mr. Pickup:
    Thank you for personally seeing to it that I received a disk Wednesday night with the much anticipated catering proposals and invoices from RGC on it. Unfortunately, there is not one catering proposal or invoice on that disk of “57” records. As a matter of fact, there is not one record on the disk that is responsive to any of the outstanding FOILS you have failed to answer since December of last year.

    Furthermore, there is not even one new record on that disk at all. Every single file on the disk you gave me, every one, has been posted to the City of Rye website under the old “Rye Golf Club FOILS” for months.

    Ms. Brett, I don’t mean to bog you down in the negative: “Councilwoman Laura Brett says, ‘The lengthy criticisms by a few residents at Council meetings are more than a distraction. I feel bogged down by the negative.’

    But, can you please explain the city manager’s continued and lengthy incompetence and/or outright refusal to comply with the catering FOILS requests alone? Is my email here pointing out Mr. Pickup’s complete dysfunction a distraction for you? Or is Scott Pickup’s continued misrepresentations from the dais and apparent willful negligence the true distraction here?

    What should I do now, Ms. Brett? According to your comments in the Rye Record, I guess I should just accept that Scott Pickup is above the law, beholden to no one, and sit down and shut up. Is that how it works Ms. Brett? Are your quotes in the Rye Record, attributed to you by your neighbor, accurate and in context?

    What would you recommend I do Ms. Brett? I do not want to be a distraction for you.

  4. Leon,
    Welcome to my world! There is nothing new here. I have been playing this game of charades for years with Mr. Pickup, Mrs. Wilson and Mayor French. Watch below how they try to push non enforcement blame on the County even though the Supreme Court has told them that they have the right to stop Hen Island residents from polluting and breeding mosquitos. The entire City Council with the exception of Joe Sack (who has requested the City Council look into this long avoided matter) has condoned this behavior. This is the reason Rye residents cleaned the slate at the last elections. My guess is, in November we are going to see a repeat performance.

  5. “Everyone except Joe Sack..”
    Very interesting
    Perhaps Ray may have to buy the the Democtatic party nomonee for Mayor..
    emm the citizen from portchester up to his arm pits in Rye government

  6. The last election saw Catherine Parker winning re-election even tho Mr. Flotie opposed her candidacy. I think the evidence proves Mr. Flotie is irrelevant in Rye politics and it may even be good for your candidacy if he opposes you. I miss the Flotie mobile. I think Mr. Flotie should bring it back.

  7. Mr. Floatie opposed Paula Gamache and Catherine Parker due to their silence on the Hen Island issues. One of the main reasons Parker refused to take a position on Hen Island was because she was afraid to lose customers at her business on Purchase street. Many of her decisions on the council are personally financially driven. Then and now, silence can be considered the same as allowing the problems to continue. This is the same problem that we are dealing with now on the Scott Pickup issues where some of the council fail to take a position. You have to sh*t or got off the pot if you want to be effective! Gamache got her head kicked in and Catherine Parker wow by only one vote. As of this year I am a registered voter in Rye. That one vote would have made a difference in that election. Ask Gamache and Parker her if they think Mr. Floatie affected the race. People speak to the voting machines. Voters just don’t like people polluting their waters and breeding mosquitoes. Sooner or later you will figure that out Doug.

  8. Comments deleted from the Rye Record website copied below.

    # French Surrenders, Jovi next? — 2013-04-08 20:49
    French should have resigned.

    As a lame duck he should not be permitted to push his own personal or political agendas onto the taxpayers he has so miserably failed.

    The roads are so bad because French, [censored] J and Filippi took $5,000,000 from Rye operating funds without any authorization to do so. This money was earmarked for Rye’s infrastructure but these guys took it from Rye’s taxpayers and now our infrastructure is horrendous.

    I thought the bond that we were hoodwinked into voting for was going to go towards fixing our roads, sidewalks and sewers?

    French is worried about his career? Maybe Shew will return the favor and give him a letter of recommendation.

  9. hahahahahahahaha, oh Doug, that’s a good one. “Career demands” forcing you out of the next mayoral election. Couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that you were a complete FAILURE as a mayor, and brought embarrassment and shame to the government and residents of Rye, with no shot in hell winning the next election? Your decision saves you and your family further embarrassment. You elevate euphemism to an art form.

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