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December 2009

City Administration Out Of Touch With Reality; JN Reports on Six Figure City Salaries UPDATED: Capelli MOU Extended

December 22, 2009 - 02:02
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UPDATE: New Rochelle City Council granted Louis Cappelli a 13th amendment on the LeCount Square project (see below)

strome.jpgON his latest “In the City” radio show on WVOX, City Manager Chuck Strome was reviewing the current budget and discussing the tax increase. Strome stated that a few years ago a $100,000 income was the upper class benchmark for New Rochelle residents, whereas, today it is the average necessary to reside here. Strome further stated that the median income in New Rochelle is $85,000. I called in to challenge his numbers because the New Rochelle website identifies the median household income as $55,513. Strome’s response to my challenge was that he stood corrected and that the website was more accurate then his estimation.

New Rochelle city employee salaries, 2008

Pink Slips

December 22, 2009 - 01:03

On Monday December 14 the City of New Rochelle handed out pinkslips to their employees. 5 Firemen, 3 Community Service Officers and 1 employee from CSEA. I want the residents of New Rochelle to know how serious the loss of these positions will be. We already know the obvious about the Fire Department, but what you dont know is how important a CSO really is. Not only do CSO's generate alot of money for this city by enforcing parking violations, but they are the voices on the other end of the phone when your life is in danger, when your loved ones need an ambulance or when you just want to call and complain. CSOs are responsible for answering your calls and dispatchng the Officers to your homes. 2 of the CSOs being laid off do just that. Laying off these CSOs will mean they have to be replaced. Besides losing the 3rd to be layed off from outdoors , Management will have to take 2 more CSOs who handle parking enforcement and put them in communications to cover the shortage. If they decide not to do that, then Police Officers will be taken off the street getting paid an Officers salary to do a CSOs job. This will keep 2 more Officers off the streets from protecting you. Do you see the trickle effect. I think it is an outrage the City cant see it. They have the nerve to tell their Employees to give up their raise for 2010 to save their Co-Workers job.

Will New Rochelle Address the Health Hazards of Air Pollution?

December 21, 2009 - 17:48

The New York Post (12/16/09) told how Mayor Bloomberg at the Climate Change Copenhagen Summit admitted that a survey of the air quality in some of New York City's neighborhoods showed that several of them are very polluted.  Surprisingly, some of the wealthier areas of the city had more air pollution than Tottenville or Canarsie.  Midtown, University Heights and Greenwich Village were among the most highly air-polluted areas.  Causes of the pollution were listed as the combination of many  high-rise buildings which burn heavy oil and the air pollutants from the high number of vehicles on the streets.

Westchester's air has not met federal standards for ozone and particulate matter.  In New Rochelle recently constructed tall buildings and increased traffic in the downtown area are evident.  Both create the potential for health problems for residents.  Several weeks ago the New Rochelle City Council was presented with a proposal for a small EPA grant.  Two areas were required to obtain the grant, so the Clean Air Act and air pollution and toxic substances were suggested.  This grant could be used to make residents aware of the dangers of air pollution.  Apparently the City is hesitant to apply for the grant because it was so competitive.

Great job by New Rochelle DPW on Blizzard of '09

December 21, 2009 - 15:10
2 comments

I just want to take a minute to thank the
Department of Public Works for the great job they did on getting our streets ready for Monday's commute.
I think it's about time we pointed out some of the good things that go on in this city instead of all the negative things that are said about our city. (although most of them are very insightful and right on the money)I think we should point out some of the good work that goes on here in New Rochelle.
Rember to thank A DPW worker the next time you see them.
Remember everyone likes a pat on the back once in a while.

Firefighters walk the streets

December 20, 2009 - 22:42

On Sunday December 20, 2009 I noticed that a number of New Rochelle Fire Fighters were walking along Drake Avenue distributing literature stating that a fire house may be closed in January; this really concerns me. I had a chance to talk to the firefighters and this is what they said. The City Manager (Chuck Strome) had an opportunity to save firefighters by signing off on an application (Safer Grant) and that the money would have saved firefighters from being laid off. This is outrageous! I understand that we are in a difficult economy, but for the life of me I can’t understand why they wouldn’t support this until it was explained to me.
Firefighters claim that its part of a big plan to cut the fire department even further and for those firefighters that they have already cut, the city has no interest in saving. This really concerns me because I live on Drake avenue, so what they are telling me is that the next closest fire truck is on Webster Avenue, but if they are on a call, they have no idea when or where the next one will come from.

City of New Rochelle Declares Snow Emergency Effective Noon Saturday

December 19, 2009 - 15:44

This is the City of New Rochelle with an important message regarding on-street parking. Due to anticipated snow accumulations, the City has declared a snow emergency beginning at noon today, Saturday, December 19th, and ending Sunday at noon. During this period, parking is prohibited along all streets signed as snow emergency streets. Free parking is available during this time period in Downtown municipal parking lots including the Transit Center. Thank you.

To hear the message listen here.

NRPD Calls Out New Rochelle High School Principal, More VADIR Lies from Don Conetta

December 19, 2009 - 10:42

The Journal News is reporting that the New Rochelle Police Department is denying claims by New Rochelle High School Principal Don Conetta that the recent "isolated incident" at the school was reported to police by school district officials.

Principal Donald Conetta has said the school notified the police youth officer within minutes. But Hearle stands by the department's statement that the incident was not reported officially to police until the mother of the injured teen reported an assault a day after the incident.

A student suffered a fractured jaw after being punched in the face. The police have determined that the student who threw the punch acted in self-defense and that the injured student had attacked the other student.

New Rochelle Board of Education's Cindy Babcock-Deutsch Says BoE "held so much more responsible"

December 18, 2009 - 18:38
1 comments

There been an interesting little dance going on at the last two BoE meetings. The District surprised the board a few weeks ago by asking them to approve a purchase of a new garbage truck for $175,000. BoE member Jeffrey Hastie expressed concern that there was only one bidder on the truck. Mr. Hastie has been raising questions all along at board meetings -- a welcome sign -- but Cindy "Amen Chorus" Babcock-Deutsch has never questioned ANYTHING done by the administration that I can recall.

Her sudden interest in this garbage truck -- now pun intended - smells.

Cindy Babcock-Deutsch is a woman who has board president repeatedly lied to residents regarding contract negotiations with F.U.S.E. that there was no deal with the union then tried to peddle the deal announced by the union the day after the budget vote as a zero percent wage increase "for the first six months". In reality, between a delayed wage increase and the contractual "step" increases built into the contract, the contract was actually more like a 5% across the board pay increase with no givebacks on medical or pension benefits.

So, after approving millions of dollars in new spending amidst what President Obama is now calling "The Great Recession", Cindy Babcock-Deutsch is now worried about whether the district got the best deal on a garbage truck?

Cover Up Continues; New York State Assistant Commissioner David Abrams Now Protecting Thomas Shoeck

December 18, 2009 - 17:33
3 comments

Yesterday I received a reply to my email last week asking why the New York State Department of Assessment has shown so little interest in my allegations of significant improprieties regarding my son's 2007 Chemistry Regents Exam. Setting the many, many other issues I wish here to focus for a moment on just one.

I have alleged that I have in my possession two different versions of my son's answer sheet. The school district has denied this to state officials despite the fact that I presented both versions of the answer sheets to the school board and administration of the district in executive session in September 2008. The district is lying not just to me but to the Assistant Commissioner of Education for New York State.

In response to my claim that I have two different versions of my son's answer sheet, Mr. Abrams writes:

I spoke with Mr. Conetta earlier today and he assured me that the information you requested has been shared with you. He also informed us that there was never a second answer sheet generated in the school.

I say there IS a second answer sheet. The district says there is not a second answer sheet. Is this not a matter easily resolved? And yes, I did get the NYSED letter of 8-25-08...16 months after it was sent! Gee, thanks.

Abrams writes:

As Obama Heads to Copenhagen to Climate Summit, ICLEI Infiltrates New Rochelle

December 18, 2009 - 02:41
1 comments

3D882EAD-BC6E-49E9-9E50-375EDBD03824.jpgWith President Obama on his way to Copenhagen tonight for the close of the Climate Summit tomorrow, now seems like the perfect time to publish our complete 7-Part Report on Mayor Bramson's plans to inflict European-style socialism on New Rochelle.

Click "read more" to the entire table of contents.

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