In the Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes was able to deduce that the killer of Colonel Ross's racehorse was the owner of the stable dog. As the fictional Holmes chronicler Dr. John Waston explains:
Colonel Ross still wore an expression which showed the poor opinion which he had formed of my companion's ability, but I saw by the inspector's face that his attention had been keenly aroused
"You consider that to be important?" he asked.
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
The author notes "The only person at whom the stable dog would not bark warnings was the dog's owner. Hence, the dog's silence indicated that the only one who could have entered the stable and killed the horse, was the dog's owner. Since then, the metaphor of the "dog that didn't bark" characterizes the import of any conspicuous silence.
There is a good deal of conspicuous silence in the Mayor's Green R Plan. Below is a partial list of questions not even asked let along answered in the 100+ page document prepared over the past 18 months.
1. Building permits open beyond the maximum allowable two-year period.
2. Buildings occupied without a Certificate of Occupancy.
3. Proliferation of illegal STAR exemptions.
4. Already dangerously overcrowded schools and the cost of building new schools and hiring new teachers and staff to accommodate the influx of thousands of new residents anticipated in the plan and the tax implications of that.
5. Illegal use of residential property for commercial purposes.
6. Failure to address the large increase in illegal housing over the past 20 years.
7. The large increase in illegal immigrants living in New Rochelle (the plan calls for teaching non-English speakers how to speak English but does not address the underlying cause -- people living in New Rochelle that are not permitted to live or work in the United States?
8. The exploitation of illegal immigrants by slumlords and companies that do not pay payroll taxes or pay into social security for their workers.
9. The inexplicable projections that New Rochelle will add 5,000 people and 2,500 households (i.e. no children will be part of the expected population growth).
10. Illegal garages, storage sheds and other free-standing structures on residential property.
11. Failure to enforce zoning code generally.
12. Failure to enforce City Code requirement that owners of multi-family dwellings of a certain size file income statements on revenue producing properties.
13. Insufficient number of firefighters and equipment to deal with fires in existing high-rise buildings; this plan calls for as may as six new "Avalon-type" buildings.
14. How the "tolling technology" describe in the plan might be applied to New Rochelle?
15. No mention of "Impact Fees" even though the President of the Regional Planning Association (the organization charged with leading the development of Green R for New Rochelle) has testified in Albany about the importance of "Impact Fees" in Sustainability Plans developed by RPA.
16. "Cost to Serve" fee structure for taxes and provision of City Services. For example, would the City charge for trash pick up based on distance from City Yard and/or Waste Transfer Station with North End residents paying more to cover increase man-hours and equipment costs to reach properties farther from downtown New Rochelle?
There are just a few thoughts. It is often difficult to identify these "dogs not barking" issues because it is the absence of some thing that begs a particular question. I am sure I have missed many. Please contribute to the list by adding your "dogs not barking" in the comments section