Your vote, one single vote, will in fact make all the difference in how District 3 and the city as a whole will be represented in the coming year. Your vote, will have to answer the question of "who will benefit" from my decision? Will it be the Louis Cappelli's , or will it be the people in district 3? Will it be big business or will it be the quality of life that seems to slip just a little each year.
Truth be told, most of us want the same things out of our government. A sound, stable environment so we can maintain safe homes for our families, affordable taxes, good education and programs for our kids and so on. Idealistic, yes, but not a bad goal. So why is it when you look around district 3 you might get the impression that the city could do better, should do better. Thank heavens for the many community activists and all those who are involved in community affairs for they are the glue holding things together, but they could use some help.
Could there be a relationship between the party of power and the conditions we find ourselves in? Are you better off than you were 3 years ago,5 years ago, have YOU benefitted from Democratic control? If we keep making the same choices at the voting booth, how will anything ever change?
The next District 3 councilman must be part of the community. He needs to have a sense of the many facets of the district and it's diversity of people and economics. So, on one hand we have Mr. Rice. I believe he moved into New Rochelle in 1986. After 8 years in college, you could say he spent about 16 years in New Rochelle. It wasn't until September of 2010, I believe, that he moved into District 3 so I have a problem believing his claim of "from the community".
There even seems to be skepticism about Mr.. Rice's qualifications from the community he wants to represent. At the Citizens to be Heardpart of the 9/15 City Council meeting,a Ms Donna Henry ( a very involved community activist in her own right) calls Mr Rice's nomination a "conflict of interest" and goes on to say "we need someone in the community that has hands on... that knows about District 3"(look for her at the 4:17:50 point in the recording). Look also at the 10/12/2010 Citizens to be Heard segment as a Ms Lydia Rose calls MrRice's residency qualifications into question and states"how is he supposed to represent district 3...doesn't have any idea of what the issues are..." and calls the process of his nomination a "disgrace" as she wonders if this will leave the city open to a lawsuit."He shouldn't build his political career an the back of district 3". Pretty compelling stuff.(you'll see her at the 3:51:40 mark)
Someone on this site mentioned the "48 laws" in relation to Mr.Rice and sure enough, on his MySpace page Mr. Rice listed the book "48 Laws of Power" under his "interests". Here's a sample of some of these laws;
-Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies
-Conceal your intentions
- Always say less than necessary
-Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit
-Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky
-Learn to keep people dependent on you
-Pose as a friend, work as a spy
-Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability
-Do not commit to anyone
-Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.
Qualities you would like to see in your next councilman? As a role model for the younger members of our families? I didn't think so.
From his "4 point plan" - he will freeze all salaries and pensions. Can one councilperson really do that? Why hasn't anyone on the democratic controlled council thought of THAT in previous budget sessions? And, apparently, Mr Rice will be "the" negotiator with upcoming developer deals even though the law gives the I.D.A. power to deal outside of council's constraint. Mr Bramson, Mr Fertel, Ms Sussman, have you been holding out on us? Does Mr Rice know something you all don't know?
In stark contrast to the hollow truths of Mr Rice is Peter Parente. Lifelong, multiple generation resident of New Rochelle. He didn't have to move into District 3 to meet any residency requirements. He's been here all along. Serving the community and the city for years. If you ever had the chance to work with him you would witness his ability to bring groups together with successful results. Doesn't matter where you're from or who you are, they all become part of a common cause. Hard charging and motivated yet always thankful and the first to acknowledge everyone who takes part. A successful business owner who doesn't negotiate budgets, he manages them.
At the end of the day, there is no one person who will solve all of the city's issues. That being said,I would contend that in these uncertain times, I have to go with the proven performer, the one with a history of doing for the city simply because he loves the city he lives in. Born and raised here and one of New Rochelle's true natural resources. Someone I can count on to listen to what the community is saying,regardless of it's makeup and apply a common sense approach to solving the issues at hand.
This upcoming year will be challenging for everyone on the city council, and if I can have a say as to who will represent me, I have to go with the experience and the ability to help pull the city back together. Join me and vote for Peter Parente on November 2nd, I will thank you, Peter will certainly thank you, but most of all, the city will thank you.