October 2011

New Rochelle Judge Made Illegal Campaign Contribution to City Council Member Barry Fertel in Violation of New York State Judicial Ethics

October 20, 2011 - 17:01

Kettner FertelJudge Susan Kettner appears to have engaged in inappropriate political activity after she was sworn in as a judge earlier this year. Kettner may have violated New York State Judicial Ethics by making a $500 contribution to the campaign of New Rochelle City Council Member Barry Fertel this past April. Mr. Fertel, a Democrat, is running for City Council in District 5 against Republican Ilyse Spertus on November 8, 2011.

Judge Kettner did not respond to emails or messages left at her office. Mr. Fertel did not respond to emails sent to his City Council email address or his campaign address asking if he intended to return the the campaign contribution from Kettner.

Retrofit Revisited

October 20, 2011 - 14:43

Recently I posted a blog challenging all TOTS readers, especially the regular contributor, to get behind the issues facing Retrofit regarding what appears to be differential treatment and unanswered support from BID. You can pull it up from the archives.

I wanted to see how many readers or bloggers would get behind an issue which has all the ingredients of being in the mainstream of the issue base of posters. We have a local guy, with a large segment of members from the community, an organization which apparently is being treated differently from major corporations external to New Rochelle such as CVS and Planet Fitness. In fact, the manager is a poster as I understand it, on TOTS.

I wanted to see if criticism of the Administration, with or without merit, would extend to postive assertive action in favor of some organization who contributes to our tax base, who supports a number of small businesses in the vicinity of the health club.

SHOCKER: Scarsdale-Based Developer of Maple Avenue is a Bramson Donor

October 19, 2011 - 21:22

Talk of the Sound has confirmed that the Scarsdale-based developer behind the 35 Maple Avenue project gave money to New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

Joel B. Mounty of 700 White Plains Road in Scarsdale, NY contributed $1,000 to the Bramson for Mayor campaign just weeks before a proposed a deal was made public to convert ownership for the senior housing building at 35 Maple Avenue from not-for-profit to for-profit.

Mr. Mounty owns Mountco Construction and Development Corporation.

Under the deal, as originally proposed, the City of New Rochelle would get $60,000 per year for 30 years, going up 2.5% a year annually. The new owner would pay a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) of $150,000 upon signing the agreement. Additional funds for the City were negotiated based on some last minute negotiations which reportedly secured an additional $170,000.

Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth told City Council the renovation project would cost about $11.8 million. Most of that ($7.3 million) would be funded through federal tax credits. The balance would come from then-unnamed private investors.

Real Estate

October 19, 2011 - 00:18

I have nothing against churches or religion. I am
religion neutral.

Where is our downtown development department when we now have a total of 4 churches on Main St., none of whom pay taxes.

Try to find a parking space on Main St. on any given Sunday. It's not possible.

Was someone in our city government asleep at the wheel? I realize that it would be difficult to deny a church a location, but I am equally certain that there are ways to get around this.

Downtown Parking Fees

October 19, 2011 - 00:12

Who was the brilliant person on the City Council or in city government who proposed to raise the meter rates 100% and make the meters on Main St. and city parking lots effective until 12 mid. ?

Talk about sticking it to the residents and visitors, this was truly a brutal display of a local government gone wild.

Restaurants, bars and any other businesses that stay open beyond 6 PM are going to suffer.

Don't the City Fathers (I use that term loosely) stay tuned to other places in the County that have done this (notably White Plains) and have received justified criticism from everyone?

Unfriendly and totally blind to residents and visitors alike. Is this what we want our city to be noted for? Shame, shame.

New Rochelle Parents Levels Serious Charges Against Staff and Administration at Davis Elementary School Following Violent Lunchtime Incident

October 18, 2011 - 23:19

DavisSchoolThe parent of a Davis Elementary School second-grader filed a complaint with the New Rochelle Police Department over a harassment and bullying incident at the school alleging that the building principal, William E. Harrell, refused to speak with him about the incident or even acknowledge the incident had occurred. The complaint also alleges that when the sister of the victim sought to contact her father to notify him of the incident and get her sister help she was refused. The complaint also says that the child was not provided medical attention following the incident.

The incident was instigated by two children, a boy and a girl, either cousins or siblings, who have known bullying issues, according to the report. The girl is a fifth-grader who is in the same homeroom class as the sister of the victim.

New Rochelle City Manager Cracks Down on City Hall Smokers, Threatens Complete Smoking Ban

October 18, 2011 - 20:32

City Manager Charles B. Strome issued the following statement to all employees at City Hall:

I have received numerous complaints again from employees in City Hall relative to the secondhand smoke coming from the stairwells and along the outside of the building.

Last year we established a location for the smokers outside of the main entrance of City Hall which is clearly marked as "Designated Smoking Area." This means that smokers should not light up along the sides of the building, but only once inside that designated area.

Again, I must emphasize that all inside areas of the building are NON- SMOKING areas, as are all other outside areas of the building other than the designated area.

Please comply - otherwise I will have no alternative but to prohibit smoking on the entire campus.

Thank you.


Leg. Maisano Joins Leg. Marcotte’s Request to NY State to Modify Lottery Formula to Bring Funds Directly to Westchester

October 18, 2011 - 18:12

CONTACT: Matt Richter
[email protected]

Legislator Sheila Marcotte Calls on State to Evaluate Decades-Old Lottery Formula, Westchester Not Getting Fair Share

It has been said that your chances of winning the lottery are the same whether you play or don’t play. Legislator Sheila Marcotte ( R )-Eastchester, believes for Westchester County residents that statement has become a reality. Westchester County has been on the losing end of an antiquated state lottery revenue distribution system that has been in use since the lottery’s inception in 1966. According to information received directly from the lottery last year in Westchester County, retailers collected $335.5 million only a fraction of that, $64.6 million was sent back to the county in the form of school aid.