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SACK-ing Steve Otis – Assemblyman “Plays Favorites with His Rich Friends” – Letter

Letter to the Publisher from Former Rye Mayor Joe Sack

Sack: "A career politician plays favorites with his rich friends and does his business in secret in Albany behind closed doors."

Full letter is below:


Remember this one?

In 2017, Otis passed a bill allowing his Rye Country Day School friends to buy the Thruway property in a sweetheart deal. And he did it without telling the City of Rye about it first, and without regard to the City's own interests.

As Mayor of Rye, I called that out as BS. So then Otis had to fib about it. And his political supporters had to run interference for him. Well guess what? Two years later, Otis is up to his old tricks. He just passed another bill, again without telling the City of Rye first, although this time he actually has the chutzpah to admit it. And this bill takes even more leverage away from the City of Rye, and gives even more benefits to RCDS.

This latest watered down bill totally removes any requirement that the City must approve a shared use agreement as a condition of the purchase. He should be embarrassed. But he won't be. Because his political friends — the same ones who gave me grief when I blew the whistle on this nonsense — are now in charge.

And the Rye Record, which reported this development, is typically a little light on the news reporting side of their lifestyle paper, and seems to have amnesia about any of this background. What a shame it all is. Career politicians play favorites. The entitled get more entitled. And the regular citizens of Rye have nobody in office fighting for them.

Sincerely, Mayor Joe

Publisher's note: New York State Assemblyman Steven Otis is a Rye Country Day School alumnus (Class of 1975) and was the school's 2018 commencement speaker.



  1. for god’s sake let it go , Joe .

    we all know you wanted to buy the space and convert it into the Rye Department of Sanitation headquarters and blow $50 million of taxpayer money in doing so and why you and the GOP folks all got thrown out of office

    99% of rye taxpayers will be thrilled to see RCDS buy the land , convert to playing fields and whatever use Rye youth leagues get is a bonus AND IT WON’T COST US A DIME

    Rye is broke Joe . We can’t fix our shattered roads without taking out massive new debt to pay for it . Our taxes are on the moon and why there is record numbers of unsold houses piling up . Stop pretending Rye was going to get involved in buying this land

    Get on with life , Joe . Let RCDS buy the land before we string out any further and somehow / someway the land gets sold to commercial users for something huge and ugly and inappropriate

  2. Joe
    If you think you did what was best for the Rye community, why did you play follow the leader with Otis, French and now Cohen. You have all failed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Rye community by ignoring the pollution, health and environmental concerns on Hen Island. Talk about politics behind closed doors! You have all done what you thought was best for your political careers and not the residents of Rye. No other community in N.Y. state would have allowed what you, Otis, French and now Cohen have closed your eyes to. You should all be ashamed of yourselves! Followers not leaders! Sad very sad.



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