City of New Rochelle Denies Reports of Free Parking; Scanner Audio Says Otherwise

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City of New Rochelle Denies Reports of Free Parking; Scanner Audio Says Otherwise

February 22, 2014 - 15:02

I put out a tweet yesterday reporting that NRPD was not going to be enforcing parking regulations in New Rochelle.

My report was based on listening to the police scanner. The New Rochelle Police Department dispatcher twice gave instructions over the air not to enforce meters or "pay to display" machines.

City spokesperson Kathy Gilwit said that mounds of snow and ice were to blame for the lack of collection -- that coin meters are stuffed with coins -- but that people could pay be credit cards in some meters and in the parking lots.

In fact, the lack of collection has nothing to do with snow and ice. It is due to lack of manpower in the collection department; two people are out, one is injured and the other is on vacation, leaving only one person. One person cannot do collection because the boxes, when filled with coins, are very heavy and require two men to lift.

The City had two people collecting yesterday. I observed a building inspector, working out of job description (where is the union on this?), assisting a collections person on Main Street.

For the City to say that the lack of collection is due to mounds of snow and ice raises a rather obvious question: if there own employees can’t get to the meters or machines due to mounds of snow and ice then how do they expect the public to get to them to feed the meters?

There is more to this.

The City has recently sent out an RFP for a meter collection service.

RFP-NR-5014 Parking Management Sevices

The City is seeking proposals from qualified parking management firms to manage, operate, and administer the City’s parking system as outlined herein in a superior manner and with a high level of financial control to improve the delivery of parking services to City residents and businesses. The successful Operator shall provide “best practice” management services for the City’s parking system.

I suspect what is going on here is that a certain person (i.e. Development Commission Luiz "The Terminator" Aragon) is trying to make the people who work in the collection department look bad to justify replacing them with a private company. This department ran well for years with no or little problems but now there is a new Department head (Aragon) looking to make a mark and suddenly everything is "wrong". Of course, our Mayor has been pushing to outsource the DPW for years so this may be coming from Noam Bramson.

Here is my tweet:

My sources tell me this tweet ricocheted around City Hall like a stray bullet looking for a place to land.

Ken Valenti of the Journal News picked up on the tweet and asked City officials about it.

City spokesperson Kathy Gilwit denied the report to the Journal News:

New Rochelle: Coin-stuffed meters do not equal free parking, officials say

...officials say motorists should pay no mind to a report that the police are not enforcing the local parking meters.

Word seemed to be getting around that police would not be writing tickets for failing to pay for parking because mounds of snow and ice have made collection difficult, allowing meters to become stuffed with coins.

“Not the case,” city spokeswoman Kathy Gilwit wrote in an email.

While some meters may be unable to accept more quarters or otherwise rendered non-functional by snow and ice, there are other ways to pay. Many of those meters also accept credit cards and parking lot spaces can be paid for at machines stationed nearby.

“The lots are a good choice and credit cards are a good choice,” Gilwit said.

Unfortunately for the City, I have the audio of the scanner traffic from 1:44 p.m. Friday February 21st.

Listen for yourself and decide who is telling the truth!

Audio of NRPD Dispatch Instructing Officers Not to Enforce Parking Regulations in New Rochelle

Central, all units.

Do not enforce any meters including "pay and display" until further notice.


Do not enforce any meters including "pay and display" until further notice.

One more thing. There are no more "Pay and Display" parking machines in New Rochelle. The last one were removed over a year ago.

"Pay and Display" appears to refer to parking lot spaces that can be paid for at machines stationed nearby which are the machines Kathy Gilwit is telling Ken Valenti should be used despite knowing very well that there is no enforcement going on.

So, pay if you want to help support the City but until further notice no one is checking to see if you paid.

There is 1 Comment

Robert Cox's picture

I added the following comment to the story by Ken Valenti linked above:

So the Journal News says there is a "report" that "New Rochelle police are not enforcing the local parking meters" and THEIR effort to "investigate" this report consists entirely of sending one email to City Hall, asking if the report is true and then publishing, without question, the answer provided by City Hall. The report came from EyeonNewRoc/TalkoftheSound.

The players in this little drama are Robert Cox, James O'Toole, Ken Valenti and Kathy Gilwit.

This report went out via Twitter on EyeonNewRoc (James) and TalkoftheSound (Robert). Ken then emails Kathy and prints her words verbatim.

After Ken's bogus story concerning Kathy's false statement, Ken was shown our response to his bogus story:

City of New Rochelle Denies Reports of Free Parking; Scanner Audio Says Otherwise

In the article, we include the audio of the police dispatcher telling officers not to enforcing parking regulations.

All of us know each other and we each have each other's cell phone numbers.

Given all of this, I would ask Ken to respond here (meaning below the article on, in a comment below, to 2 questions.

1) Why didn't you call me or James BEFORE you ran your story and ask us WHY we reported that NRPD was not enforcing parking rules in New Rochelle as of Friday afternoon?

2) Why was this bogus story run in the print edition on Sunday despite the fact that it was not only false but that YOU KNEW it was false the day before?

Maybe instead of parroting the official line at City Hall, you could do some ACTUAL reporting and pick up a phone and call the folks reporting that NRPD was not enforcing parking regulations as of Friday afternoon and then perhaps we could have played for you the audio recording we have of the NRPD dispatcher announcing to all officers NOT to enforce parking regulations.

For those interested to do what Ken and the JN did not, you can click here, scroll to the end and click the link to listen to the audio:

And this is why Talk of the Sound has become the trusted source for news and information in New Rochelle and why fewer and fewer people believe the Journal News, the New Rochelle City government or the New Rochelle Board of Education.

Talk of the Sound reports the truth. City and School officials lie. The Journal News, acting as their stenographer then prints whatever lies public officials care to spew and then Talk of the Sound demonstrates with hard facts -- public records, audio, video, etc. -- that officials have lied and the Journal News has willingly and happily printed those lies.

What I find most amusing is that all of these folks -- City officials, school officials and the JN are constantly seeking to disparage our reporting and we are constantly exposing their false statements and false reporting.

If you want REAL news about New Rochelle, you can get it at

What I would encourage readers and New Rochelle residents to consider is that this sort of hand-holding between the Journal News and New Rochelle public officials has been standard practice for many years and why it has taken a long time for residents to UNLEARN so much of the false narrative promulgated by our public officials.