November 2009

City Workers Claim New Rochelle Community Service Officer Made Unauthorized Traffic Stops

November 13, 2009 - 17:52

City of New Rochelle employees have informed Talk of the Sound that a Community Service Officer working for the New Rochelle Police Department has, on three separate occasions, attempted to pull over and detain drivers for alleged traffic violations such as running a red-light and aggressive driving. In each instance the Community Service Officer was driving a police department "code enforcement" vehicle with amber lights. The workers who came forward asked not to be identified.

Community Service Officer (CSO's) are not sworn officers and do not carry guns. They are not certified by the State of New York and have no powers of arrest. They can issue ordinance violations and parking tickets, but can not detain someone.

Talk of the Sound has independently identified the CSO as Elmo Palomino.
Palomino has worked for the NRPD as a CSO since May 1990. According to Freedom of Information Request filed by the Journal News, Palomino earns a salary of $48,558. With overtime and a uniform and equipment stipend his total income in 2007 was reported as $49,523. Palomino reports to Police Sergeant Myron Joseph. Attempts to reach Sergeant Joseph were unsuccessful.

Disgraced Former New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent Fred Smith Made Late Night Threats at Home of New Rochelle Residents

November 12, 2009 - 15:27

09A2EE11-A4A0-414C-A9A0-64216FC5F0A3.jpgTalk of the Sound has learned that on April 18th, 2007, while serving as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for New Rochelle, Dr. Fred Smith went unannounced, late at night, to the home of Arthur Praete, a New Rochelle resident, sought to gain entrance to his home and, when rebuffed, made a hostile, threatening statement to Praete's wife. No charges were filed at the time.

Mr. Praete quoted Smith as saying "Tell your husband to stop writing letters about me".

Informed of the incident in a letter from Praete, Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak acknowledged the incident, calling it an "error in judgement" by Dr. Smith:

Our Corrupt Mayor

November 12, 2009 - 14:38

On December 13th, Mayor Noam Bramson will orchestrate a fund-raiser so that he can get elected mayor again next year.
This Mayor has marginalized this community since he was elected; since he was appointed. He is, by all indications, the most corrupt mayor in the history of New Rochelle. He has disenfranchised the working class by empowering developers to displace them at all cost, particularly by lining his pockets with money. He has no interest in moving any closer to uniting the diverse community in New Rochelle; His lip service to diversity issues and carefully created soundbites are beyond annoying, they're lies. His current ride as Mayor is simply a path to higher office. Through his corrupt ways, he will get there at our expense leaving a trail of incomplete projects and a debt that all of us will have to pay for years to come. His dictatorial management style bemoans his public persona of being joyful and medicated. He is a janus personified. So on Dec 13th, instead of sending him a check, send him something else. Pay him a visit at his function. Give him a piece of your mind. Ask him hard questions publicly at the City Council Meetings. Remember your City taxes will be going up by at least 10% - 10% - 10%. Is that ok with you?

City School District of New Rochelle Superintendent Boasts on the School Community Facilitator Position

November 11, 2009 - 18:17

In an article written in District Administration, The Magazine of School Management in September 2009, titled 9th Annual Salary Survey: Administrator Roles Shift With the Times by Alan Dessoff, City School District of New Rochelle Superintendent, Richard Organisciak showcases the creation of the School Community Facilitator Position here in New Rochelle.

Under the heading of Family Issues Alan Dessoff writes the following:

Language and social integration issues in racially and ethnically diverse districts are largely behind the creation in many such districts of a school community facilitator position, as was the case in the City School District of New Rochelle (N.Y.), which established the position last September. “It had very much to do with the nature of our district,” which is about one-third white, 40 percent Hispanic and 25 percent African-American, says Superintendent Richard Organisciak. “We just didn’t feel that there was an active, involved connection between the district and the community,” he explains.

New Rochelle Drops $144 Million Budget with 8.9% tax increase

November 11, 2009 - 16:38

I have requested an electronic copy of the budget but the short version is as follows:.

The proposed budget is posted online at the City's web site.

City of New Rochelle 2010 Proposed Budget

  • $144 million budget (down from $147 mm in 2009)
  • Tax increase of 8.9%
  • 31 currently vacant positions will not be filled

31 vacant positions break down as follows:

  • NRPD - 9
  • DPW - 8
  • NRFFD - 7
  • Other (Admin/Buildings/Parks) - 7

City Council Budget Sessions

Nov. 23 5:00 PM
Nov. 24 5:00 PM

Public Hearing on the City Budget

Dec. 1 8:00 PM

Taxes to get Hiked 8.9% says Strome

November 11, 2009 - 16:22

The Journal News reports a 8.9% Tax Increase for 2010 being touted as the only solution to the economic woes New Rochelle is experiencing. Frankly there are many tax payers who feel that the City has yet to cut enough before coming for us once again.
I guess all those developer give aways and PILOTS doled out by Bramsons pals on the IDA are coming home to roost.
Strome is playing us all as he speaks of the large percentage and then the Council can wrangle it down to a mear 5% which is just a sham.
And the New Rochelle Democrats will still reElect these idiots. Lets Remember the Mayor and the Council voted themselves a heafty pay raise a couple of years back. They just voted around the hiring freeze to give their cronie Benny Giles 90K for a clerks position that could be done 2 days per week. The waste in New Rochelle is huge and it never occurs to start some major cutting. I hope the voters finally wake up in 2010 and vote Bramson and the rest of the Democratic hacks out. Nah won't happen open up the check books here it comes.

Veterans Day Observances in New Rochelle

November 11, 2009 - 14:37

The United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association of the City of New Rochelle will observe Veterans Day with a Ceremony to be held today at 10:30 AM at the Veterans Memorial Monument, Memorial Plaza (located on Memorial Highway and Main Street, New Rochelle.

Veterans, City Officials, the New Rochelle High School Symphonic Band and other officials will take part in the ceremony. We hope you will be able to join us in this tribute to the Men and Women who served this Nation.

In case of inclement weather the ceremony will be held in City Chambers, New Rochelle City Hall, 515 North Ave., New Rochelle.

UPDATED: Fred Smith Plagiarized Article for Journal News Op-Ed While New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent

November 11, 2009 - 14:28

09A2EE11-A4A0-414C-A9A0-64216FC5F0A3.jpgUPDATE: The Journal News has updated their story to note portions of Smith's Op-Ed appear to have been lifted from a journal article by Franklin B. Walter and Scott R. Sweetland titled: “School Finance Reform: An Unresolved Issue across the Nation.” It appeared in Education in 2003.

The bad news just keeps on coming for Fred Smith, former New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent, who left New Rochelle last year after learning his contract would not be renewed and took a position as Superintendent of the Pocantico Hills Central School District, a position he suddenly resigned last week for undisclosed "personal reasons".

Veteran's Day Thanks in New Rochelle

November 11, 2009 - 06:25

Some people will go to work, some will have the day to catch up with personal business, and some will meet on Memorial Plaza at 10:30 to stand tribute and pause in rememberence of those who answered the call of their country. From every walk of life, they came together to share the same common experience. There is no greater burden we can place on the shoulders of our youth than when put them in harms way, and yet with a sense of selfless service, honor and courage, they give all we ask and more. So, if you can't be at Memorial Plaza, take a moment to thank those around you who have traded youth for service, and pause to remember those who gave all, for it is said that no soldier ever dies until he's forgotten. Thank you to all who served, and to all still serving, we stand vigilant until the last soldier comes home. May God bless you all.

New Rochelle budget proposal calls for 8.9 percent tax hike

November 11, 2009 - 03:58

The Journal News
November 10, 2009

Hannan Adely
[email protected]

NEW ROCHELLE — The city manager is calling for freezing 31 vacant jobs, suspending raises, and delaying equipment spending under his $144 million budget proposal for 2010.

Despite cutting $9 million in spending, the city still plans to raise property taxes 8.9 percent. The increase means taxes for the average home, valued at $700,000, would go up $257.

Like other municipalities, the city has less revenue due to a drop in sales and property tax income and also is seeing an increase in pension costs, said City Manager Charles Strome.

The city would save $3 million by keeping 31 positions vacant. Those include nine positions in the Police Department, eight in the Department of Public Works, seven in the Fire Department, four in administration, and three more in Buildings and Parks and Recreation departments.

New Rochelle fire union president Byron Gray worried about the vacancies, which he said actually amounted to nine firefighters. He said fire department staffing has not kept up with new development in the city.

"We have a lot of high-rise buildings and we just need more men on duty," Gray said.

The city also expects to save an additional $1 million by planning for 10 to 12 new vacancies next year that will be left unfilled.