Bob McCaffrey's blog

What is going on here in New Rochelle?


The elections are over and people are slowly getting their lives back in some type of order after Hurricane Sandy and a Nor’easter. So much must still be done. While there has been some good work out there we have also seen some under performers here in The City of New Rochelle. Over the past several months many public servants have been in the news and The City Council of New Rochelle is about to start discussing and voting on several important decisions that will set the path for the future of The City of New Rochelle and its tax payers. My purpose is not to point fingers or accuse, but to review some of the last few months and some of what I have said to The City Council.

"The City of New Rochelle Selling yet another poorly maintained building?



Are we selling off yet another City Owned Property that has been poorly managed and cared for, for how much and why?

I didn’t even realize it was owned by the city. There is some great work going on in that area and I sure hope this is part of the plan and we see the true value for that property.

I saw this today when I received an e-mail from the city because I have subscribed to Current Bids & RFPs on which sends out updates and new items. If you go to the city web site you can sign up to get information sent to you on several different items. Just go to the city site and click on the "Notify Me" heading on the lower left hand side of the page and you can sign on to receive e-mails on many different important things going on in the city.I see these things because I subscribe. What about the citizens that don't. We need to develope a better way to let the community know what is being done with our tax dollars.

New Rochelle City Council Approves Extension for Iona Dormitories



Last night in a 7-0 Vote the New Rochelle City Council vote to extend the “Waiver” for the 150 students in the North Avenue Dorms. To City Council it sounded like the committee process was moving along and should be given a chance to work. There were several members that didn’t seem to want to go for the full five years. The neighbors would agree. They would have rather seen the extension only for another year so they could see the final plan. Once a plan is shown, then a discussion could be had about a further “Waiver extension” going forward.

Please, it is not about the 150 students! The neighbors realize this is not a process that can be completed over night. But it should be more forth coming with time lines and holding Iona College and The City Council accountable. Right now they write the rules and change them as needed, as is their right under their personal CR1 Zoning. The neighbors are unhappy about the situations that continue to resurface time and again with Iona College asking for changes and extensions with little to no push back from The City Council or Planning Board. Iona College has not just started this process; they have some goal or objective in sight. They just aren’t saying.

Iona College and City of New Rochelle on the Road Again!


Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends,

New Rochelle City Council prepares to vote on yet another site specific zoning amendment for Iona College with no Master Plan in place. There has got to be some kind of plan. They just don’t acknowledge it like the City Council does not acknowledge the City Charter. That way there is more flexibility especially if no one challenges their decisions.

Let me start by saying that this is not an Anti-Iona campaign. We want to see Iona College succeed. Iona College is part of this city and can be a part of the fix for the North Avenue corridor with proper planning and management. The concerns are the continual problem of poor planning; procedures, policies and past bad planning decisions on the part of Iona College, The City Council, City Management and City Staff of New Rochelle. They all have a bad habit of letting history repeat itself when it comes to planning and development. We need to get it right this time.

New Rochelle, It’s our city and we want it Now!


It’s not just about the Armory and Forest City,

New Rochelle residents need to step up and take an active role in what happens in New Rochelle. Be informed with regard to our City Government and School Board decision making and leadership. A lot of very poor decisions have been and are being made. These are the people we entrust without tax dollars, our families and our children. So many people walk up to me and say what can I do. Well people, you can speak up at Citizens To Be Heard on the second Tuesday of the month, go to School Board meeting write to a Council Member. If that doesn’t work go up the chain of command until you get a response. Politicians get stronger when they see the people have given up trying. As a matter of fact, they feed on it like sharks in a fish tank. So speak, vote attend a meeting, it could be the best investment of sixty minutes you ever made.

New Rochelle, The Lost City Found! We have the staff to prove it!


Cameroon debt forgiven, Churches for a dollar, City Yards to be moved at great expense, sweetheart deals for developers and colleges, what else is next? We have a city management system with no accountability that can only accomplish thing with deals and give-a -ways. New Rochelle City Management is nickel and diming the citizens to a point where hard working families can’t afford to live in New Rochelle where they were born and raised any longer. Residents are forced to make some hard choices while management makes one bad decision after another. That is not what they are paid for and paid very well for I might say. They receive great salaries and benefits while working and in their retirement. The citizens will be paying for poor performances for a life time. It is time for a reality check.

Don’t you just love April? Spring into Change!


It’s April, Federal taxes are hopefully done and now it is time to drop off or mail the April tax bill for the New Rochelle Tax Collector, more money going out without seeing any noticeable return. Every time I write out the check, I want to cry. It is just a painful reminder of what poor shape New Rochelle is in. Over taxed, over staffed except for police and fire and just very poorly managed. We cannot continue to do things here the same way. Someone needs to step up to the plate and lead and clean the slate and start with a fresh mind and fresh ideas on how to correct all the wrongs of the past and present. This is not Charles Dickens; there are no ghosts of governments past to send a message to The City Council and Mayor. They had their own demons to deal with back then. The massage needs to come from the living breathing citizens of New Rochelle before it is too late!

Echo Bay Development? What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate


Development, Development, What we need is development? Not of buildings and parks, we need to start with building a community. A community that communicates. A City that communicates with its citizenry. A communication of ideas and visions that work towards the betterment of New Rochelle. Not any Outside developer or organizations regardless of what they stand for. No one stands up for New Rochelle more than the citizens of New Rochelle. Now we need our City Council Members to do the same tonight. Use Echo Bay as a catalyst for bringing the citizens and government of New Rochelle together towards one goal, a better, brighter, thriving and community minded New Rochelle. Below is an E-Mail I sent yesterday to The City Council:

Mayor Bramson and City Council Members,

Let me start by saying that my comments have no political motives attached. I speak only in the interest of the betterment of The City of New Rochelle. We cannot continue to keep going about business the same way. Change is hard but change is necessary.