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Saturday, February 4, 2023
Home Government Speaking French: Mayor's Update - $, Infrastructure, Lifestyle

Speaking French: Mayor’s Update – $, Infrastructure, Lifestyle

Here is the next edition of Speaking French, the Mayor's Update.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

As the City approaches its Election season, here is a checklist for residents on the work before the Mayor and Council as candidates formulate their positions over the coming months.

A Strong Financial Position

The City’s auditor presented strong financial results for 2012 at the last Council meeting consistent with the conservative fiscal management approach the City has taken while maintaining levels of City services.

  • Hold City Spending:  The trajectory of City spending has flattened from years ago and has gone from $29.5M in 2009 in the General Fund to just above $30M in 2012.
  • Limit Tax Levy Increases:  The increase in the tax levy the last four years has totaled 8.1%, or an average of 2% compared to over 6% per year over the previous 10 years.
  • Replenish City Reserves: The City’s reserve fund is back to a healthy 16% of operating expenses at $4.9M.  Up from $2.7M in 2009 (not including the sale of the 1037 BPR building).
  • Fair Labor Agreements: In order to achieve financial sustainability, the City has negotiated fair and affordable labor deals and continues to seek ways to balance dramatically increased benefit costs in retirement and healthcare along with higher salaries.
  • Four-year Financial Planning:  A four-year financial plan that outlines revenue and expenditure trends and summarizes assumptions is being instituted to advise the City and educate the public.

Reinvest and Improve City Infrastructure

The City has developed and funded a series or programs as part of the “Rebuilding Rye” initiative that are in different stages of completion.

  • Passage of the Infrastructure Bond:  Development, passage and implementation of the City’s infrastructure bond this year of $1.86M for roads, sidewalks and sewers in and around the downtown to include Locust Avenue sewer, Central Business District improvements, Boston Post Road Retaining Wall by Louden Woods as well as pedestrian safety projects around schools.
  • Sale of 1037 Boston Post Road:  A shift in the long-term development strategy from building a Police Station Courthouse or a parking lot to selling the building and putting it back on the tax rolls.
  • Re-open the Central Avenue Bridge:  Support and advocacy to complete the project and push NYS for regulatory approvals and funding to rebuild a central roadway that connects Rye.
  • Flood Mitigation:  Opening of the Bowman Avenue Sluice gate and conduct additional analysis for other flood mitigation projects.
  • MTA Parking Lot Improvements:  Finalize planning and approve funding to improve the decaying train station parking lot and roadway.
  • Completion of other funded capital projects:  Old Milton Road Drain, Cedar Place Sewer, Peck/Midland Avenue intersection, Theodore Fremd retaining wall, Hewlett pump station, Milton School sidewalk improvement, Theall/Osborn Road Pedestrian Improvement, Midland School crosswalk, and paving of BPR from Rye High School to downtown.
  • Technology Committee:  Incorporate recommendations from the Technology Committee to improve efficiency of overall City systems.
  • Affordable Housing:  With the completion of the Cottage Street units, continue to look for affordable housing opportunities.

Quality of Life Partnerships

There are many fundamental partnerships the City has with other organizations that make Rye what it is.

  • Re-invent Playland:  Support of the implementation of the County’s agreement with Sustainable Playland (SPI) to maintain and create activities for Rye and Westchester families.
  • Rye Free Reading Room:  Continued collaboration with the library to include the recent implementation of capital projects.
  • Rye Arts Center:  Renew the lease with the Arts Center that is set to expire to ensure long-term arts and cultural experiences for residents.
  • Rye Town Park:  Continue to improve the financial and operating practices of the park.  Resolve potential impacts of the Town of Rye dissolution process.  Identify the long-term funding options for the RTP administrative building.
  • Rye Golf Club:  Should the City be running a restaurant/catering facility?  The City will be reviewing recommendations and deciding on a long-term operating structure for the Club that balances necessary professional oversight and member representation.
  • Environmental Sustainability:  Finalize and begin incorporating elements of the City’s environmental sustainability plan.



    “Deputy Mayor Peter Jovanovich delivers The Rye Record. And with it, Mr. Jovanovich–who is married to the publisher of that paper–brought home one of the most audacious separation of “state” and “media” conflicts of interest in recent small town memory. The sheriff, Mayor Doug French, however, wasn’t going to be outdone. During his second year in office, His Frenchness was served multiple violations by building inspector Maureen Eckman for owning an illegally constructed, illegally occupied investment property at 13 Richard Place in Rye.”

    See and hear the rest –



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