In an advisory opinion sought by the Talk of the Sound and published on June 10, 2010, the New York State Committee on Open Government has informed the City Council of New Rochelle that the given reason for going into executive session is not valid.
Robert J. Freeman, Executive Director of the New York State Committee on Open Government writes:
...the Open Meetings Law is based on a presumption of openness, and meetings of public bodies must be conducted open to the public, except to the extent that an executive session may properly be conducted in accordance with paragraphs (a) through (h) of§ 105(1). Consequently,
a public body, such as a city council, cannot enter into an executive session to discuss the subject of its choice.
Freeman continues:Read more
The Westchester County Board of Legislators will hold a public hearing on a bill to allow county employees to join in the New York State Early Retirement Incentive Program on Monday June 14th otherwise known as the "Double Dipping" Program.
The intent of this bill to allow retiring county employees to double dip (i.e., to get the benefits of both the county voluntary separation plan and the New York State early retirement plan). With the State of New York teetering on the brink of insolvency, it sounds like the County Board of Legislators has come up with a great way to push New York over the edge and into the abyss.
Taxpayer groups and good government advocates will want to be on hand to watch as the pigs line up at the trough.
148 Martine Avenue (Court Street entrance)
8:30 AM (Monday June 14) to sign up to speak at this public hearing.Read more
An entity controlled by Louis Capelli made an unauthorized $700,000 loan to itself, according to Capelli's partner in the New Roc Entertainment Retail Center. As a result of the unauthorized loan, the investor, Entertainment Properties Trust (EPT), terminated the management agreement with the Capelli entity and seized all bank accounts related to the project. EPT subsequently installed CB Richard Ellis as the day to day manager of the property.
UPDATE: Louis Capelli has responded to our story here, Entertainment Properties Trust Grossly Misrepresented New Roc Deal to Wall Street Analysts Says Capelli, Demands Retraction
Capelli is a partner with Entertainment Properties Trust in New Roc City and, through an affiliate, was also the property manager. EPT began legal action against various Capelli legal entities in 1Q10, including New Roc City in New Rochelle, City Center in White Plains and the Concord Resort in upstate New York.Read more
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (Scarsdale, Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Pelham, Pelham Manor, and parts of New Rochelle and White Plains) introduced legislation against telemarketers that "spoof," or alter the number that appears on a person's Caller ID. The proposal has passed the Assembly and will now move on to the state senate.
Her communications director sent out a press release, which reads as follows:
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin’s legislation to ban telephone ‘spoofing’ has passed the Assembly. The legislation (A9390) would outlaw ‘spoofing,’ a practice where telemarketers and others seek to mask their true identity by altering the number that appears on a person’s Caller ID.
The ban will protect residents from deception, harassment and possible fraud over the phone lines.
Some telemarketing firms have used ‘spoofing’ to get users to pick up the phone, because the call seems to be a personal call from a local area code, rather than an 800 number.
Over the past year we have been telling Talk of the Sound readers about the "camel's nose under the tent" approach to establishing requiring BMI data collection for every child in the United States. What began as a voluntary program may now soon become the law of the land with parents compelled to allow government officials to measure and weigh their children to "fight obesity". How does measuring and weighing children "fight" obesity? It doesn't. The first step in these sorts of "do goody/big brother" initiatives is to create voluntary programs and take measurements to establish baselines.Read more
In one of the races that will determine whether or not the GOP retakes control of the New York State Senate this November, Scarsdale resident Bob Cohen, 55, has been chosen by the GOP to challenge 25 year Democratic veteran State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer to represent the 37th district. On Monday May 3rd, the Westchester County Republican Committee nominated Cohen to take on 25-year veteran Suzi Oppenheimer. A primary for the GOP nomination appears unlikely.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) held a press conference in Albany this week to announce the Smart Growth Agenda for New York State. Joining with colleagues Senators Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) and Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo), along with numerous coalition groups, the Senator outlined her vision for more sustainable environmentally sound planning.
“There is growing concern that modern development practices have led to urban and suburban sprawl that is not serving the state’s long-term interests,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “Development without regard to the environment or to a particular community’s needs and desires makes no sense.”
“As a lifelong environmentalist, I believe strongly in smart growth principles. That’s why I am the lead sponsor of the smart growth policy bill, which establishes smart growth infrastructure criteria and obligates state agencies to fund public infrastructure projects in a manner consistent with those guidelines (S. 5560). It would also require the relevant agencies to consult with residents, environmental groups and other stakeholders before approving state infrastructure projects.”Read more
Senate Committee Approves Oppenheimer Co-sponsored Bill
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce that groundbreaking reform legislation to create an independent redistricting commission has been approved by the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee and will be brought to the floor for a vote by the full Senate. Senator Oppenheimer co-sponsors this bill, S. 1614A, as well as other pieces of reform legislation. She has long been a proponent of independent redistricting.
“At long last, we are poised to end the offensive practice of partisan gerrymandering and create Congressional and state legislative districts that are cohesive and honestly drawn,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “New Yorkers have a right to a fair and nonpartisan reapportionment process.”
The bill would establish a nonpartisan citizen apportionment commission that would draw congressional and state legislative district boundaries and submit those boundaries to the legislature for approval, in accordance with the State Constitution. Redistricting occurs every ten years following the U.S. Census and allows boundaries to be redrawn to account for changes in a state’s population and to bring districts back to equal numbers of residents.Read more