Last month New York State Assemblyman George Latimer, in partnership with the League Of Women Voters, invited Robert Freeman of the New York State Committee on Open Government. This is "must-see" TV for any loyal readers of Talk of the Sound.
Larchmont-Mamaroneck League Of Women Voters Productions: Robert Freeman Q&A on Open Government July 21, 2011
If you read watch the 60 minute video, read New York State Freedom of Information Law and New York State Open Meetings Law you will know more than 99% of public officials in New Rochelle. Talk of the Sound contributor Peggy Godfrey wrote up an excellent summary article of the Freeman Q&A last month.
Iona College voluntarily withdrew its proposed dormitory plan for Mayflower Avenue in a "collaborative planning process" which included a temporary plan to increase the occupancy levels of the present dorms. But this arbitrary agreement of New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson with the new Iona President, Dr. Joseph Nyre, was hotly contested. At the original meeting of Mayor Bramson (D) and Dr. Nyre a decision was made to withdraw the l0-story residence proposed in return for an agreement by the City to "adjust the local occupancy standards" for two years to less stringent New York State Dormitory Authority codes to allow more students to live in the present dorms. However, it is necessary for City Council to hold a public hearing before adopting new occupancy codes. The original occupancy levels relative to zoning were set in 2002. According to Chuck Strome, City Manager, this was an agreement of the City Council and Iona College at that time.
With the election cycle almost upon us, 1 question to ask every politician, especially Mayor Bramson & those running for city council is the following:
Are you proposing or planning to propose a budget that stays within recently enacted tax cap or are you planning a budget that will require an override the tax cap?
A simple question that should decide the election.
A couple of years ago I was with my family near the shore of Echo Bay when I spotted a green, white and yellow bird in a tree. I am no bird-watcher but I know enough to know a parrot when I see one. Figuring that the bird must have escaped and there was some distraught owner looking for their bird, I had the brilliant idea of trying to catch it, put it in a box and deliver it to its owner. While my family tried to lure the bird closer, I called the SPCA of Westchester County to report the bird and see if anyone had put in a claim. The bird actually did come closer, landing on a nearby railing. In a moment of stupidity I used my lightening fast reflexes to grab the bird. As visions of my heroic welcome from the relieved owner danced in my head, the bird began squawking loudly, viscously biting at my hands, breaking the skin, and causing me a good deal of, in hindsight, well-deserved pain.
New Rochelle, NY, August 29, 2011- - District 5 City Council candidate Ilyse Spertus' is taking New Rochelle by storm with her refreshing, clear positive message for a revitalized, energized and prosperous Queen City of the Sound.
Upon announcing her candidacy, Spertus received endorsements from the Republican and Conservative parties, established a strong following of Democrats and unaffiliated New Rochelle voters, and is now seeking to secure the Independence Party vote in the September 13 primary.
Spertus' broad appeal stems from her thoughtful, independent, inclusive approach and her ability to distill the essence of what matters most to the people of New Rochelle. A dedicated advocate for New Rochelle, Spertus' platform centers on attracting new business and revenue, controlling taxes and stewardship of parks, roads, historic properties and development projects.
With little fanfare, the New Rochelle School Board extended Superintendent Organisciak’s employment contract with some interesting perks:
1. Healthcare coverage for life with New Rochelle taxpayers footing 100% of the bill when he retires.
2. A late model (that is, new) car for his personal and professional use. We will also pay for his gas except in the case of “extended” vacations.
3. 40 vacation and sick days and each year he can exchange up to 5 unused days for cash!
4. A restoration of his salary even though the Board broadly advertised that he would take a pay cut.
Worse, we just had an election which put some fresh faces on the Board, and yet the new contract was rushed through before the new members were entitled to vote. What were the motives of the Board and its outgoing members?
“The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.” - John Galt