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Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Home Government LETTER: Thruway Bill's Benefit to Public is Illusory

LETTER: Thruway Bill’s Benefit to Public is Illusory

DSC_0406Meg_palm_card

(PHOTO: Meg Cameron)

Today we carry a letter from Rye resident Meg Cameron opposed to the Otis Thruway bill facilitating the sale of the state property to the private Rye Country Day School. Last week we carried a letter (in Q&A form) from Rye Mayor Josh Cohn, also in opposition. Former Mayor Joe Sack has also been opposed and he accused Otis back in September of playing "favorites with his rich friends".

Letter to MyRye.com: Thruway Bill's Benefit to Public is Illusory

by Rye resident Meg Cameron

Thank you to MyRye for hosting a lively dialog about Assemblyman Steve Otis’ Thruway bill. I’ll add my two cents. Hidden under a lot of blah, blah, blah, the truth is that Otis undermined our local elected officials to benefit an elite private school to which he has deep, extensive ties. He used his Assembly position to give RCDS a special deal on land owned by us, the public. He hid his actions from Rye City’s government, which was negotiating an agreement regarding that same land.

Otis says Rye’s young athletes will get to use the facilities. This is misleading. RCDS will build a turf field, track, parking lot, etc. for its students. Though it is supposed to share those facilities with the public, RCDS alone decides the shared use conditions. It could offer the space for rent only during the summer, when youth athletic groups don’t need it. It could charge rental fees ten times the going rate. Or a hundred. This bill is nothing but a sweetheart deal for Otis’ alma mater. Its toothless shared-use provision guarantees no meaningful benefit to anyone else.

-Meg Cameron

Cameron is writing on this issue as a private citizen. She ran for Rye City Council in 2013 and currently heads the Rye Democratic Committee.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I normally wouldn’t pay attention to “two cents” from Meg Cameron because it’s probably only worth one cent. But to hear Cameron criticize an “elite private school” that has only done good things for Rye is too much.

    While living in her $10 million waterfront home and driving her husband’s million dollar custom cars, Cameron masquerades as a Democrat while she attacks the actual Democrats who supported a law to bring new fields for Rye kids at no cost to Rye taxpayers: Assembleyman Steve Otis and Sen. Shelley Mayer and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    Instead, she defends Mayor Josh Cohen who is not a registered Democrat and she apologized to former Republican mayor Joe Sack in the Rye Record. Both Cohen and Sack would rather have the thruway property developed into a shopping center at the expense of Rye kids who desperately need field space.

    Meg Cameron is not a real Democrat. Much worse, she is completely out of touch with our community. That explains why she was beaten so badly when she tried to run for city council herself.

    My two cents for Cameron: Stick to your fancy cars and stay out of politics.

  2. I have no use for Steve Otis or Democrats in general given the direction of NY state finances under the mix of Cuomo and DeBlasio
    But the non-stop attacks on Otis for getting the deal done on behalf of Rye Country Day by Meg and Mayor Cohen are utter jokes .
    Have you noticed neither identifies what they believe would have been a better outcome ? At least they have the brains to avoid claiming Rye governnment would have bought the land given the town is so broke it can’t even repair its roads and we all drive around with our cars smashing into deep potholes as if we are residents of Zimbabwe vs one of the highest taxed people on planet earth .
    The longer that piece of land remained unsold , the better the chances of some massive disaster sale to an apartment developer , a state run low income project or a shopping mall . Already Rye is dealing with a monster apartment development on its border with Port Chester … can you imagine if the Thruway land got sold to yet another developer ?
    Lets be thankful the wealthy alumni and parents of RCDS are instead bailing us taxpayers out buying the land and be thankful for the usage they allow us on the property which is all additional space beyond what Rye has .
    Now maybe Mayor Cohen can stop talking about this red herring and get back to the task at hand of controlling Rye’s spiraling costs problem by reducing head count / privatizing city run functions / etc

  3. When Josh Cohn was running for mayor, I had a short conversation with him outside of Starbucks. In his awkward way he claimed he supported the Otis legislation. That was important to me because my young children love soccer and lacrosse.

    Now we know Cohn broke his promise to me and to all citizens of Rye. I told friends that even though Cohn was a little weird he would be different than Joe Sack. But it turns out he’s just another lying politician.

  4. Why would anyone be opposed to a private school spending $30 million of their own money to create new athletic facilities that can be used by Rye residents?

    Would you rather have a Department of Public Works facility in the center of Rye like Joe Sack proposed? (And that the city couldn’t afford anyway.) Would you rather have a low income housing development?

    This is obviously some personal vendetta against Steve Otis. Otis should be given an award instead of having to face such nonsense from Meg Cameron and Josh Cohen.

  5. There are two themes when it comes to the Rye City Council and electeds like Otis who are supposed to serve their constituents, and party operatives:

    Privilege and lack of transparency.

    Watching Otis, Cohn, City Council members, and now Cameron opine on who was “right” or speculating on betrayal for the thruway deal is like listening to a concert where everyone is playing air guitar, drums, bass, and keyboards. Posturing without substance. No one in the audience cares.

    This is a territorial, he-said/she-said game in which we the people have no say and the handful of players on the stage grow risible and irrelevant. Yes, we are laughing at you when we’re not puzzling over the purpose of such squabbles.

    And all this is in the interest of more sports fields. More lawns, more mono crops, as we face the breakdown of our food system due to climate change and global heating.

    This pissing match between electeds and party operatives has wasted enough of the public’s time and space. The commons includes City Council meetings, blog posts, and local paper space as well. We are weary.

    Here’s a suggestion for the City Council and other electeds: Rather than opining in an endless game of “gotcha!”, survey the effective use of our commons. Does the use of public space proportionally represent Rye families that have seniors, people with disabilities, or those who do not participate in organized sports? How proportional are the public discussions of land use? Are we planning for the future this community and the communities around us – our neighbors – face?

    There has been no community discussion. Residents are in a supplicatory position – begging for information or input while Otis, Cohn, and the City Council continue to bicker about who betrayed whom in the back seat of the car.

    As for operatives such as Cameron, “Real Democrat” has hit the nail on the head: Wealth and status do not equal knowledge, wisdom, or skills.

  6. It’s insulting to read Meg complain about special deals and hidden actions. In just 2 years of Meg’s Mayor, Rye has lost it’s top 3 senior employees. The Assistant City Manager was replaced with Kristin Wilson’s running coach (special deal). The City Manager was replaced with Cohn’s pal (no one else was interviewed/special deal). We have zero years municipal government experience in the City Manager’s office due to Cohn’s special deals. We also lost our Public Safety Commissioner. No explanation given. He found a new job in 12 weeks. Rye hasn’t looked for a new Public Safety Commissioner. City Hall doesn’t comment on personnel issues but there hasn’t been any discussion about what the plan is for that position and there are plenty of credible rumors about what went down at City Hall that led to the departure of a qualified Public Safety Commissioner. Too many special deals, hidden actions and hidden agendas in just 2 years with Meg’s Mayor.

  7. Steve Otis also voted for eliminating freedom of religion in personal vaccine decisions violating peoples civil liberties to practice their religion as they see fit. The First Amendment to the US Constitution. If you can violate the first amendment of our Constitution, your capable of any type of corruption.

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DSC_0406Meg_palm_card

(PHOTO: Meg Cameron)

Today we carry a letter from Rye resident Meg Cameron opposed to the Otis Thruway bill facilitating the sale of the state property to the private Rye Country Day School. Last week we carried a letter (in Q&A form) from Rye Mayor Josh Cohn, also in opposition. Former Mayor Joe Sack has also been opposed and he accused Otis back in September of playing "favorites with his rich friends".

Letter to MyRye.com: Thruway Bill's Benefit to Public is Illusory

by Rye resident Meg Cameron

Thank you to MyRye for hosting a lively dialog about Assemblyman Steve Otis’ Thruway bill. I’ll add my two cents. Hidden under a lot of blah, blah, blah, the truth is that Otis undermined our local elected officials to benefit an elite private school to which he has deep, extensive ties. He used his Assembly position to give RCDS a special deal on land owned by us, the public. He hid his actions from Rye City’s government, which was negotiating an agreement regarding that same land.

Otis says Rye’s young athletes will get to use the facilities. This is misleading. RCDS will build a turf field, track, parking lot, etc. for its students. Though it is supposed to share those facilities with the public, RCDS alone decides the shared use conditions. It could offer the space for rent only during the summer, when youth athletic groups don’t need it. It could charge rental fees ten times the going rate. Or a hundred. This bill is nothing but a sweetheart deal for Otis’ alma mater. Its toothless shared-use provision guarantees no meaningful benefit to anyone else.

-Meg Cameron

Cameron is writing on this issue as a private citizen. She ran for Rye City Council in 2013 and currently heads the Rye Democratic Committee.