[this article originally appeared in the Feb. 3, 2009 Westchester Herald]
"Nothing will happen (to the New Rochelle Armory) without the State being the lead agency." These words by Peter Parente at the Save Our Armory (SOA) meeting set the tone on January 26 at the American Legion, Post 8 in New Rochelle. Both Ron Tocci and Peter Parente, co-chairs of the SOA Committee, wanted to get the city to agree on uses for the Armory. Parente mentioned that there are federal grants and loans that could be used to develop a good business plan for the Echo Bay area.
Forest City Ratner's financial problems according to Tocci have caused the company to cancel some of their pending projects. With this possible void, putting a new roof on the Armory might create "a plan that makes sense," Tocci continued. Councilman Lou Trangucci questioned how to validate that Forest City Ratner is "close to bankruptcy." He added the company is "still committed to the project." A neighborhood needs not only a plan to save the building. but also funding. When asked about the stimulus program and funding for the city, Councilman Trangucci suggested that the $10 million project on storm water was a current priority of the city. Parente and Tocci were asked to go on WVOX to explain to the public where the SOA committee is today.Read more
Students at an elementary school in New Rochelle, NY, a largely Democratic suburb of New York City with a City Council and School Board dominated by Democrats, were recently assigned an in-class assignment to color in drawings of Barack Obama to mark the occasion of the inauguration of the 44th President. The drawings depicted Obama in various heroic poses, flags waving in the background, but one drawing went beyond adulation into overt political activity disguised as a pedagogical exercise. The drawing is a campaign button, in the center of a circle Barack Obama is smiling surrounded by another circle with the words "Students for Obama 2008".
At least one student objected but her concerns were ignored. "I was mad", the second grader told Talk of the Sound. "I wanted McCain to win".
Do public school employees cross the line with this sort of thing? New Rochelle Superintendent of Schools Richard Organisciak, an Obama supporter, did not respond to emails requesting comment. What do you think?
Superintendent of Schools
How does the new Sustainability Coordinator make "New Rochelle a model city ecologically sustainable development" There is no statement listed in her duties that tells how the city will assess the present amount of pollutants in the area. At the New Rochelle Citizens Reform Club on January 22 questions relating to her position were referred to Councilman Lou Trangucci.
How can this Coordinator be a "catalyst" to develop sustainability initiatives when questions about air, noise, water, wind and other types of pollution are not measured or acknowledged? What cost effectiveness can be made when clean-up costs are rarely given to residents? What will this coordinator say to community groups when she is confronted with neighborhood problems such as excessive noise or overpowering wind (created by high rise buildings)?Read more
As I watched a recent council meeting, there was a moment in which I thought, "I'm glad I don't have to run the city". What with all the recent budget cutbacks and wrangling over development issues, parking, how to collect garbage,et al.it's a wonder anything does get accomplished. Kudo's to those who serve. With all of this going on, can you really justify adopting changes to ordinances and or traffic regulations because of one car? If there is that much time to spare please consider the following.Read more
New Rochelle Parks Commissioner Bill Zimmerman, asked to respond to our ice skating story from the weekend, told Talk of the Sound that with Mother Nature's cooperation "it was wonderful seeing families enjoying some good old fashion winter outdoor recreation!"
Zimmerman told Talk of the Sound that Park Department staff will provide an update tomorrow on the remainder of city pond and lake skating conditions - they need to meet the City's minimum requirement of four inches of ice thickness from center to edge. He reports that his crew was out today clearing additional sections of ice (in addition to their other park related snow removal assignments).
Asked about the possibility of the New Rochelle Fire Department spraying the ice to smooth it out and thicken it, Zimmerman said it was discussed earlier today but may not be possible.Read more
On the December 9th City Council Meeting, once again proves that our elected officials love to waist hard working tax payers money on useless purchases.
That evening City Council Members approved the unnecessary purchase of a $44,000 pickup truck for the Parks Department.
Question: Why in the world would anyone want to spend $44,000 on an unnecessary expenditure, such as a pickup truck during frightful economic times that we are experiencing today?
Answer: It’s easy to spend when it’s NOT THEIR MONEY!!!!
Mayor Bramson, along with all the Council members once again, did not hesitate to spend money that isn’t theirs.
If this is the kind of government the people elected and allow them to run it in this manner, then the people that elected these “idiots” deserve what they get. Unfortunately, everyone else must suffer as well.
Our elected and appointed officials are elected to watch out for its tax paying citizens. But once again, we are talking about New Rochelle. Common sense, during terrible economic times, is to cut spending, not spend more. You don’t need a degree in economics to realize this.Read more
This is to let everyone know that The City Government of New Rochelle ordered and received four brand new Plow/Salt trucks. Don’t get me wrong, these vehicles are beautiful. One was actually on display at the FireFighter’s Car & Bike Show that was held at Glen Island on Sunday, October 19th.
There are a few problems with this purchase:
1. Each truck cost was $180,000 for a total of $720,000.
2. These trucks can only be used on main roads. The trucks are huge.
3. The DPW only has 2 people on staff that are truly qualified to navigate these monsters, so why did they purchase four of them?
Who gave the “Okay” to purchase such equipment?
Why wasn’t any though put behind this purchase? It would have been more cost effective to purchase 6 new smaller snow/salt trucks that would be able to fit on all of our City’s roads.Read more
About two weeks ago City Officials put into play a Hiring Freeze. Not that it is illegal to do so but at the same time, there are people who have taken tests for a city position and whose names are on a list.
One would think that the logical and ethical thing to do is to extend the list expiration the same amount of time that the hiring freeze is in effect. But then again, we are talking about New Rochelle City Officials.
I would like for everyone out there whose name is currently on a list to call up Beverly Silverman @ (914) 654-2172, and leave her a message is she doesn’t pick-up. Inform her how unfair it is to let lists continue to count-down to expiration while a hiring freeze is in play.Read more