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Home Government Speaking French: Mayor's Update - $5.6M Sale, $300K Investigation, Not Speaking French...

Speaking French: Mayor’s Update – $5.6M Sale, $300K Investigation, Not Speaking French & 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

Sale of 1037 Boston Post Road Set to Close

The City will be closing on the sale of 1037 Boston Post Road next week on April 17th now that the building has been cleared through environmental testing.  The sale of $5.6M to a family-owned real estate company restores the City’s fund balances, maintains some parking and puts the property back on the tax rolls at about $80,000 per year.  The Council will discuss how best to use a portion of the proceeds to reinvest in much needed City capital improvements such as roads, sidewalks, sewers and parking.

Rye Golf Club Update

The Rye Golf Club Strategic Committee the Council established will be making its operating recommendations in the next few weeks that will range from keeping a General Manager model to run all operations, to leasing out the restaurant/catering operations, or to re-organizing all of the operations, among other recommendations.  All accounting functions will be centralized within the City and not separately for the Club. Other checks and balances are being developed between the Commission and City for implementation and will be outlined in the next few weeks.  The Council allocated additional funding for the investigation which has well exceeded $300,000.

Rye Arts Center

At the upcoming Council meeting on the 17th, the City will be discussing next steps in renewing the 30-year agreement with the Rye Arts Center which is set to expire in 2 years.  The relationship has been mutually beneficial for all and the organization provides a great deal to the community and our children in enhancing our cultural opportunities and quality of life.  Both parties are committed to renewing the agreement and are going through the process of due diligence before renewing the contract some time this year.

Changes in the City’s FOIL Procedures

The City has begun to centralize its Freedom of Information Law procedures and work flow that will require additional investments in time and resources into records management. One of the issues with large requests is the need to search multiple locations and systems for records.  The proposed changes to the current procedures include:  Centralizing initial requests to one records access officer (City Clerk); making it easier to submit FOIL requests electronically on the City website; and, changing the appeals process to make the (City Council) the appellate officer. The City has seen an increase over the years not only in the number of FOILs submitted, but in the amount of information requested.

Commission Updates

Two items of note from our Boards and Commissions:  The Recreation Commission is concerned with the maintenance of playing fields and will be looking for funding to help restore existing playing fields.  The Cable and Communications Committee will be assisting the City in coordinating a communications list to network out to other user groups that can communicate for the City in emergency situations.

Rye Town Park Community Forum

The Rye Town Park Commission in conjunction with the Friends of Rye Town Park and the RTP Advisory Committee will be holding a community forum for RTP on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. at Damiano Recreation Center/Recreation Park.  Here’s your chance to voice your thoughts on the operations of the park and what improvements can be made.


Given the demands of my career, I cannot commit to another 4 years as Mayor, but volunteer public service is what we do in Rye so I will continue to be active — just not in the top job.  The first question I asked was, do I want to do it — and the answer is yes. Serving Rye is an honor and great fun to give back something larger than yourself. The second question is, can I do it for another 4 years — and the answer is no. The 12 to 13 hours a day in and out of NYC plus business travel makes it impossible to sustain for another 4 years. If it were 2-year terms like other municipal governments, then I would.  For the balance of my term, the focus will be to continue to strengthen the City's financial position and finalize the 4-year plan, continue the implementation of the rebuilding Rye initiative — roads, sidewalks, sewers, and flood mitigation, to complete emergency preparedness planning and communication, to finalize the City Code revision project, and to re-structure the RGC and Boat Basin operations for the long-term.

    87 percent of New York voters say corruption is a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem in government according to a Quinnipiac University survey released today.
    But unless I’m mistaken, a look at the agenda city council meeting tonight would show – business as usual. And that would be (as a member of Rye Golf Club might say) par for the course. How is it possible that those who sit up there professing they “don’t condone” lying and stealing to then go on – condoning lying and stealing?

    I’m stopped constantly around town with praise and encouragement for our good government group’s work in sun lighting the serious crimes perpetrated on the citizenry by this and past Rye City administrations. These conversations usually include an insistence that I run for office. I reply that a free media is society’s watchdog and that is the role I care to play here given it happens to be my profession also. But I always encourage others who I believe are honest and have firm moral convictions to please run for council instead and help make the changes we need to re-establish Rye to its better days. And I always assure them that the media doesn’t bite – but crime does. And so, as I’ve been repeatedly asked to do, here is that draft of a Help Wanted Ad for what I believe Rye needs in a leader. Parlez-vous français?

    WANTED: Rye City reform candidates for City Council who are not conventional Rye political class – i.e. – they have not been groomed for so-called “service” in other Rye minor committees or organizations in how to think, who to check first with and who to obey before expressing their opinions publicly – especially about our widespread city corruption created by them. Shrinking violets need not apply (nor half-truth specialists) and candidates should have stood before the council and cameras at city hall and expressed an opinion about a matter of significance in the last year. If you haven’t found your voice by now it’s assumed you don’t have anything to offer except more of the same.

    A legal degree is not required but a brain, conscience and integrity are. Candidates must have no secrets of the type used to manipulate votes because that is a Rye city management specialty. All this counts because, to be blunt, the taxpayers don’t exactly yearn for yet another hollow shill for the discredited self-entitled ex-politicos who expect winners to throw away every election promise of note and just follow orders from them, their political cronies and their high billing, patronage hustling “advisors.”

    Political party is not important. Both have damaged themselves here over the past decade. Candidates should therefore educate themselves and reflect upon; Schubert’s Pond destruction, the story of city owned 1037 Boston Post Road, the six year saga of the Midland & Palisade stop sign, the Mayor’s illegal 13 Richard Place rental house, the Dapolite Affair, Hen Island’s continued filth and West Nile Virus breeding vats, the Rye Golf Club Rip-Off (biggest in history and still unresolved) and – fresh out – the Rye Police Uniform Bidding Fraud. How much do you know?

    Candidates can expect a thorough public (rather than private) vetting. Successful entrants meeting the above criteria can expect widespread public support and election to office. The Rye grassroots good government reform movement wants you – will support you – will defend you. And this city needs you.

    (Past and present members of the Rye finance committee need only apply if they can bring the public written proof that the city council legally approved the removal of $5M of municipal working capital to pay the final 1037 BPR balloon payment, which has left the city crumbling around us for the past 3 years.)

  2. Obviously a very busy news day….


    Rye TV Public Access Coordinator, Nicole Levitsky, says that she thinks Scott Pickup’s, “bull*hitting people at council meetings” is simply part of the City Manager’s job. Ms. Levitsky, who’s been employed by the City of Rye for more than 10 years (and receives an annual salary of $77,000 per year) also says the “bull*hitting” of elected officials and residents at council meetings, unfortunately, happens “a lot.”

    New audio recording, transcript and story here –


  3. @tedc

    You forgot the requirement that the candidate needs political views left of Karl Marx. The candidate needs to think that government should control everyone’s private property and think there is no such things as problems only government solutions. It would also help if they drink the Flotie Kool-Aid.

    BTW, when are you going to apologize to the posters who you accused of highjacking a thread when it was Mr. Flotie’s fault?????? I noticed you became very quiet when you were made aware of that. I didn’t notice any posts scolding Mr. Flotie for being “filthy” for hijacking the thread.

    Why does Mr. Flotie keep a boat in the boat basin all thru the winter to get access to Hen Island if it’s such a health hazard???????

  4. I find it hilarious Joe Sack is running on a platform of transparency when Kristin Wilson has been waiting 4 years for for Joe’s emails between himself and Mr. Flotie. it seems according to Joe Sack the only people who need to be transparent is everyone but him.

  5. I Never Learn-

    I feel like I know you. Did we meet in Gary Stone’s kitchen that one time? Or perhaps at his New Years Party in 2012 when Doug French was drunk off his a$$ and compared coyote attacks to September 11th? Remember? He told a crowd of people that clearing the brook of debris is “superficial bullshit” to “get people to shut up”, and it really won’t do anything at all to mitigate flooding. I drove Doug and his wife home that night (I’m good friends with the Stone daughters and was hired as a designated driver) and it was then I realized that we have a complete f*cking a$$hole as Mayor- excuse my french.

    The more you post here, the more you sound like Doug. He made the same accusation regarding Tartaglione-Sack emails over a year ago. It kinda blew up in is face, remember?


    Meanwhile, Mayor French has at least two months worth of emails back and forth with Pickup which he has not turned over. These emails are from the time Mayor French told Councilman Sack he is “looking into” the Rye Golf Club Matter (July), to the time the General Manager was put on administrative leave in October.

    What did the Mayor do during that time? Apparently nothing. Why did it take Leon Sculti (LausDeo) spotting discrepancies in payroll records and invoices (as well as 10,000 hours in overtime) before the Council launched a $300,000+ investigation? That investigation reported the largest theft in City of Rye history, as well as the fact that Mr. Pickup lied to the Council and club members regarding the vetting of the staffing company used to pay out the stolen funds. I think the consequences of the release of THOSE emails, between French and Pickup, are a lot more damaging than whatever you are hoping to find in Tartaglione’s email bin.

    See you next New Years?

  6. I wonder if “Andrew” is the proto-typical Joe Sack supporter???? Bitter, disgruntled and dependent on the government for a paycheck or handout. Is that the type of people Joe Sack attracts?

  7. And can you please cite specific examples within the last few years evidenced with public statements or written editorials where Councilman Sack has appealed to the “government handout” type, or government control of private property? I have one example where he was one of the only Council members who voted against government control over private property. But you go first.


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