Librett

“MammaFrancescaAd”

Mayor Noam Bramson Addresses Gadsden Flag Controversy

Time to read
5 minutes
Read so far

Mayor Noam Bramson Addresses Gadsden Flag Controversy

April 16, 2013 - 14:56
1 comments

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Mayor Noam Bramson, speaking on a local New Rochelle-based radio station, presented a false chronology events and contradicted his own pervious statements in seeking to dismiss a growing controversy over a City Council decision to prevent the United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association from flying a Gadsden Flag.

Appearing on WVOX's Good Morning Westchester with TJ McCormack, Bramson said that City Manager Charles Strome decided to take down the Gadsden Flag but after receiving "push back" decided to informally canvas City Council members and then told the veterans they could pick up their flag at City Hall.

The Mayor's statement is entirely false as a review of emails (below) between the City Manager and the United Veterans clearly demonstrates. The City Manager acted solely based on the initiative of the City Council, led by Mayor Noam Bramson (D-NR), based on a complaint by another City Council Member, Jared Rice (D-District 3). The "push back" consisted of the United Veterans providing information to the City Manager on the historical significance of the flag and its appropriateness in a Naval Armory setting. The City Manager agreed, acknowledging their was no political intent and told the veterans the flag could remain in place.

Hours later, the City Manager informed the veterans that a majority of the New Rochelle City Council had "requested that the flag be removed." At every step of the way it was the City Council not the City Manager that pressed for the flag to be removed.

The Mayor want on to say that he "can't read minds" and that he "doesn't know what the motivation was [to put up the flag]".

In reality, the Mayor, and other Democrats on City Council, have done precisely that. The Mayor has repeatedly stated that the veterans were politically motivated, that flag was raised in support of the Tea Party and even that the leader of the United Veterans is a Tea Party supporter. Peter Parente is not a member of the Tea Party. He is a life-long Republican and ran for City Council on the Republican line in 2010.

Bramson was quoted in the Daily Voice saying "Tea Party supporters like Mr. Parente have every right to display this flag on their own private property. But unauthorized political messages do not belong on public property, where they can be interpreted as an official expression of the city's views. New Rochelle would have taken precisely the same action if someone had erected a sign in support of the President or displayed any other political statement."

Bramson was quoted in the Journal News saying “If someone wants to make a political statement by flying a Tea Party flag on on their own private property, they have every right to do so.”

He continued "Our country has many historic flags. This particular one is now widely recognized as am emblem of the Tea Party".

Council Member Barry Fertel (D-District 5) said “I think it’s inappropriate to have a flag which symbolizes an extreme right-wing organization on city property."

His opponent in that hard-fought race, Jared Rice (D-District 3) took credit for instigating the removal of the flag at a City Council meeting on April 9th. In doing so, Rice made clear his disdain for Parente and his supporters among New Rochelle's veterans, leading Albert Tarantino (R-District 2) to chastise Rice for using his elected office to vent his personal animosity towards Parente and drag the City of New Rochelle into an untenable legal position regarding the Gadsden Flag.

Email Exchange Between City Manager and United Veterans contradicts Mayor Noam Bramson's chronology of events

From: Strome, Chuck
To: devildogpete
Cc: louistrangucci ; TARCOR211 ; Jared Rice ([email protected]) ; Ivar Hyden for City Council ([email protected]) ; Barry Fertel ([email protected]) ; sharibrackman ; Noam Bramson ; Tergis, Alex
Sent: Wed, Mar 27, 2013 3:06 pm
Subject: FW: Armory flags

Mr. Parente:

I have received numerous complaints relative to the yellow flag (pictured below) that was hung underneath the American Flag at the Armory. The complaints are that the flag is a political flag with a political message. I am not sure exactly what the flag is or what it represents but in your email to me relative to the ceremony last week, you only mentioned that you would be replacing the American Flag and never mentioned this flag. I have been advised by several people that this flag is a Tea Party Flag.

The purpose of this email is to advise you that I have directed the City’s Department of Public Works to remove this flag from the Armory flagpole. You may contact DPW to pick up the flag.

Chuck Strome
City Manager

From: devildogpete
To: Strome, Chuck

Please read this first . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadsden_flag

From: Strome, Chuck
To: devildogpete
Sent: Wed, Mar 27, 2013 3:56 pm
Subject: Re: Armory flags

I appreciate the information but a simple google or bing search of tea party flags will show that this flag has been adopted for use by the Tea Party. Additionally, there was no mention of an additional flag in your original email to me. Whether it was your intent or not (and I believe you that it was not) to put something up that is associated with a political group, it is clear that the flag, for whatever reason, is now associated with this group.

From: devildogpete
To: Strome, Chuck

That flag has been around since the conception our our Military. LONG before this great nation was even formed That is what it represents. A strong America. It is sad when we can't even be American anymore because people get offended that some of us are proud to be just that...AMERICAN. Please direct any of those complaint to me and I will be happy to take care them for you. I know you have better things to do. If you search "American Flags"...that flag will pop up too.

Peter P

From: devildogpete
To: United Veterans Mail List
Sent: Thu, Mar 28, 2013 9:42 am
Subject: ARMORY FLAG STAYS!!! SAYS CITY MANAGER CHUCK STROME III

After NR City Manager Chuck Stome researched & slept on making a decision on weather to let our flags fly FREELY at the NR Naval Militia Armory on E Main Street or to order our Gadsden Flag to be removed. LET FREEDOM RING in New Rochelle. The flag Stays says Chuck Strome III.

The City Manager has always been a fair minded gentleman when dealing with the NR Vets and we applaud him on his decision.

The Gadsden Flag was the First Flag of our Nation....the US Navy & Marine Corps fought the American Revolution under that flag and we will stand under it and fight again if we must!!

Peter Parente
United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association -NR

From: Strome, Chuck
To: devildogpete
Cc: Tergis, Alex ; Gill, Kathleen
Sent: Thu, Mar 28, 2013 12:31 pm
Subject: Re: Armory flags

Dear Mr. Parente:

Please be advised that a majority of the New Rochelle City Council has requested that the flag be removed. As a result, the Public Works Department will remove the flag.

Chuck Strome
City Manager

From: Strome, Chuck
To: devildogpete
Cc: Gill, Kathleen ; Tergis, Alex ; Gilwit, Kathy
Sent: Fri, Mar 29, 2013 9:26 am
Subject: Re: Armory flags

Mr. Parente:

Just like there was no vote, public or otherwise, required for the raising of the American Flag, there is no vote, public or otherwise, required for the removal of the Gadsden Flag. I was simply notified that a majority of City Council members want the flag removed.

If you wish to review any documents, you may contact the City Clerk and file a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.

I have checked with the Commissioner of Public Works and he reports that he is in possession of the flag and it can be picked up anytime during regular business hours. (Today – 8:30 to 11:15 or Monday through Friday between 8:30 and 4:30).

Chuck Strome
City Manager

There is 1 Comment

What's scary here is the City Manager of one of the Largest Cities in the State of New York is quoted as : ".........a simple google or bing search brings up ____________".

So now public policy is guided by something as inconsistent and unproven as a 'simple (internet) search' ??? One search brings up X while another brings up Y. His search brings up one political group while my search brings up the 99% ers protesting at Occupy Wall Street rallies with the same Flag in question.

Back to the point. Why isn't there some Legal or other Precedent sighted and only a 'simple search'?
Simple Minds at work it appears...

Pages