August 2008

A Dialogue on the Pelham Road Corridor

August 30, 2008 - 20:10

On February 28th, Mayor Bramson and I held a District 2 meeting for residents of the Pelham Road corridor. The meeting was well represented and allowed residents an opportunity to express their concerns on a wide range of issues, including development on Pelham Road, the proposed bike route designation by the City and traffic issues.

As a result of concerns expressed at that meeting, the City Manager has been asked to better enforce traffic and speeding regulations on Pelham Road, and to explore the feasibility and cost of introducing new tree plantings along the Pelham Road corridor. We will continue to follow up on these and other issues and will also take into great consideration other suggestions made that evening.

Residence Park

August 30, 2008 - 20:10

In the 1880’s Adrian Iselin began acquiring property for what would become Residence Park, a “park-like” neighborhood with open green spaces, setbacks and winding streets. It is located between Main Street on the north, Pelham Road on the south and between Centre and Drake Avenues on the east and west, and is an easy walk to both the train station and the waterfront.

In response to a request from the neighborhood, New Rochelle’s Historical and Landmarks Review Board (HLRB) obtained a grant of $12,500 from the State Historic Preservation Office for the preparation of an Intensive Level Survey to document the historic character of this residential neighborhood and to determine its eligibility for local, state and National Register nomination as a historic district.

A Pleasure to Serve You Once Again

August 30, 2008 - 19:51

Dear Neighbors:

It is a pleasure to serve you once again as your representative on the City Council. Although I was not on Council when many of the current proposed development projects were approved (the Simone Church/Division proposal, M Squared at the former Palladium property, Louis Cappelli’s proposed development at LeCount/Anderson, and the Trump/Cappelli project on Huguenot Street), I was pleased to participate in the selection of a developer for the Echo/ East Main Street waterfront project, and look forward to the day that we can reclaim this waterfront
property for the benefit and enjoyment of our residents.

Consistent opposition to the relocation of City Yard to Beechwood Avenue

August 30, 2008 - 19:42

I have consistently voted against the relocation of the City Yard to Beechwood Avenue. This relocation raises a plethora of safety and environmental concerns about impacts on the abutting neighborhoods. In February, I continued my opposition to the relocation of the City Yard
to this site by voting against legislation that would allow for the purchase of one of the necessary properties by the City for the new yard.

Protecting the Armory

August 30, 2008 - 19:42

Since running for the City Council in 1999 I have advocated for the protection and re-adaptive use of the New Rochelle Armory. Working with so many of you to ensure that the Armory continues to stand tall in dedication to all those in our community who suffered the supreme sacrifice to protect our freedom. I, along with many of you, have fought hard to protect this historic treasure and I will continue to work hard to bring re-adaptive use of the Armory to fruition.

The West Main Street Gateway Initiative moves forward

August 30, 2008 - 19:41

As you know, the Chamber of Commerce, businesses, residents, City Staff and the Council have been dedicated to making the New Rochelle Gateway from the I-95 Exit 15 along Main Street to Pintard Avenue a better place to work, while creating an aesthetically pleasing commercial corridor. In January 2007, the City Council received the West Main Street and Union Avenue schematic streetscape design. Several actions were suggested to enhance these gateways. The staff is evaluating and prioritizing specifics and will present their recommendations to the City Council later this year. In addition to this, the City Council approved the refurbishing of the Civil War monument located on the West Main Street Gateway. I was successful in reaching out to Senator Jeff Klein to begin to target additional areas in the West Main Street area for possible future funding.

Testifying before the Zoning Board to prevent future Night Clubs that negatively impact the downtown and neighborhoods

August 30, 2008 - 19:41

In January 2007, I contacted residents, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Improvement District in an effort to organize public support to rescind the zoning variance that allowed the Palladium Night Club to occupy 595 Main Street. Our testimony convinced the Zoning Board to approve changes that would prevent another nightclub from occupying this property ever again. We all remember how dangerous concerts and other activities at the Palladium degraded our downtown as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. I am happy to report that the Zoning Board unanimously agreed. Thanks to everyone who participated for this important protection.

Creation of City Housing Unit to address housing code violations

August 30, 2008 - 19:36

In the past members of City Council and I have advocated for improved methods and procedures to better manage illegal housing, code violations and other housing issues. One major step taken recently by the City Council was the establishment of a City Housing Unit to begin to effectively target the many housing issues that plague so many areas of the city. After its initiation, I will propose increasing fines for unscrupulous property owners who consider the current fines “the cost of doing business.” This proactive approach will increase public safety and reduce the financial burden on City residents.

Protection against tax increases, the refuse fee, and debatable expenditures

August 30, 2008 - 19:31

For the fourth consecutive year, I voted against the budget, the tax increase and the residential refuse fee. As was the case previously, I believe that specific spending proposals should have been reduced or eliminated. Could I have totally eliminated a tax increase or the refuse fee? Of course not. However, if my suggestions were approved, the impact on the taxpayer would have been less onerous. Future capital improvements would have been easier to achieve, specifically vehicle replacement in DPW, Police and Fire. We need to reduce spending and bonding to save for the proverbial “rainy day”.

Unwavering opposition to Reassessment

August 30, 2008 - 19:27

As your representative, I have been consistently opposed to reassessment, whether it is on a local (City) or regional (County) basis. This action drastically would increase taxes for a large number of property owners in Council District 1. Earlier in 2006, I stated my opposition to a City Council proposal that authorized the City Manager to hire a consultant to evaluate whether the City should undertake reassessment. I will continue my opposition to City and County reassessment in an effort to protect my constituents from burdensome tax increases that would further divide New