New Rochelle Development Commissioner Resigns

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Michael FreimuthNew Rochelle Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth has resigned, according to sources inside City Hall.

UPDATE: City Manager Chuck Strome has confirmed Freimuth's resignation.

UPDATE: Michael Freimuth tells Talk of the Sound he be around New Rochelle until October 12 and be available "as needed" until December. His official start date at his new job, according to the CRDA, is October 1.

Word of the resignation comes two days after New Rochelle Mayor Bramson rammed through a controversial decision to award development right for the New Rochelle Armory to Good Profit although the time is said to coincidental. These same sources, however, say that Freimuth had complained that he had become fed up with Noam running the Department of Development and Bramson's actions with regard to the New Rochelle Armory were the final straw.

Freimuth was highly regarded in New Rochelle for his professional demeanor and thorough approach.

Freimuth is leaving to run the Capitol Region Development Authority which is responsible for overseeing the Hartford Convention Center, Rentschler football field and other area developments.

“Certainly, we are sorry to see him go, but given the opportunity Mike was offered by the State of Connecticut, I fully understand why he accepted the position." New Rochelle City Manager Charles Strome. "Mike managed the department well and New Rochelle benefitted from his expertise, particularly with regard to land use and zoning. We will begin our search for a replacement immediately, and wish Mike the best in his new position."

Freimuth's departure was reported in yesterday's Hartford Courant without any announcement from the City of New Rochelle.

The Courant quoted a statement from Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy.

"Hartford's legacy as a busy center of commerce and entertainment is a history worth repeating, and CRDA will be at the forefront of that effort. With Mike at the helm, we have the leadership in place to revitalize our capitol region. His extensive background in economic development will be a strong asset to the organization."

Freimuth served under Malloy when he was Mayor of Stamford, CT.

City officials said that no departure date had been set. According to the Hartford Courant, Freimuth will start in his new job on October 1. In a call to the Development office, staff would only say that Freimuth was not in the office.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

catcher10us on Fri, 10/12/2012 - 15:57

I guess my question is: What development? Having lived here and owned a home here for 35 plus years I am still wondering what the development and BID people do? Trump? Cappelli? Avalon? Please, give me a break. We have a downtown that has been, is and will continue to be a bad joke. Yonkers, can you imagine, has Ridge Hill, an Apple Store, Stew Leonards and we have? Bike lanes and New Roc, the worlds largest empty building. Whether this guy leaves and is not replaced or we hire another guy at $150K/year the result will always be the same. This town used to be a great place, look at it now. Plenty of time for things to have progressed. I believe it is too late. The only answers we get now are tax increases to cover the mistakes.

BMWCH's picture
BMWCH on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 14:44

The article in the Journal News has numerous opposing points and what appear to be FACTS - not derived from so called 'sources'.

Please confirm.

QueenCity on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 13:27

" People will forget what you did, and people will forget what you said, but people will NEVER forget how you made them feel".
An old proverb that can be defined by the kind of person Gnome is.
I can remember years ago when Gnome was a councilman, and at a Citizen to be Heard meeting he brutalized an elderly woman who was trying to convey her feelings toward the attempted closing of the firehouse in the west end.
So humiliating was this display of arrogance toward this woman, that it compelled a firefighter to stand up and challenge Gnome to a boxing lesson.
The hand writing was on the wall than about Gnome.
Where is that firefighter now.

NROld Timer on Sat, 10/13/2012 - 01:05

He is retired and living in Texas but I bet he will gladly come back to give Gnome the boxing lesson promised.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 12:21

Will Bramson accept responsibility for driving Freimuth out of New Rochelle?

No.

So, what will he do?

He will seek to convey the idea that Freimuth left for greener pastures and that his departure had nothing to do with him or the situation in New Rochelle.

When he (and City officials kow-towing to Bramson) attempt to do this readers should keep a few simple facts in mind.

1. The State of Connecticut issued a statement on Wednesday September 19th that Freimuth had accepted his new position with a start date of October 1st at which point Freimuth submitted his resignation to New Rochelle.

In other words, Freimuth did not even give 2 weeks notice.

When people like Jeff Coleman resigned from DPW and Ray Kiernan from NRFD, they gave over a months' notice -- as is fitting of a department head for a City the size of New Rochelle.

No matter what else Bramson, et al. have to say, this is a damning fact that they cannot get around.

2. Freimuth resigned the day before the much anticipated Westchester County Association Showcase New Rochelle event. The event was a unique opportunity which brought dozens of developers, lenders and business people to New Rochelle. Freimuth made speeches and served as tour guide for the event. Bramson had to sit there on the bus, knowing Freimuth had quit the day before, while putting Freimuth forward as the face of development in New Rochelle. As the tour was ongoing, the Hartford Courant was running a story on Freimuth's new position in Hartford.

There are incontrovertible facts.

Add to this the timing, the day the Mayor unexpectedly bum-rushed the City Council into voting to give the development rights to the Armory to the Mayor's hand-picked developer. Freimuth had previously laid out a timeline that would have had the vote in October.

Sources have told me that Freimuth had been offered the position in Hartford months ago but that he had turned it down. These same sources say that it the Mayor's behavior in overriding Freimuth that prompted Freimuth to go back to the Governor and agree to take the position not because it was a better opportunity but because he was fed up with Bramson's micro-managing of his department.

The abrupt nature of his departure, the failure to give proper notice, the timing with regard to the Armory all would serve to confirm what I have been told -- that Freimuth was sending a message to the Mayor. The timing was even more exquisite (from Freimuth's point of view) considering that all of those people who participated in the Showcase New Rochelle event and were introduced to Freimuth as the Development Commissioner will now find that when they call back to talk business with Michael Freimuth they will be told he no longer works for New Rochelle.

Several years ago, the City held a referendum and voted down changing our form of government to a strong-Mayor form of government. Due to an incredibly weak City Manager who is steamrolled by Bramson at every turn and an intrusive Mayor who always believes he is the smartest guy in the room despite ample evidence to the contrary we not have the worst of both worlds -- a Mayor able to dominate every decision, interfering in every department, taking credit where it suits him with no real accountability in a Council dominated by democrats in a City with 3:1 registration edge for his party.

And so what do we get from one-party rule dominated by our boy Mayor? Platitudes and speeches by our modern-day Tantalus about a future that is always just out of reach.

If ever there was an indictment of Bramson's oppressive, meddling, swarmy management style, Freimuth's departure would be it. Will Bramson's supporters accept this reality or blindly follow him off the cliff?

The answer is obvious.

Look out below!

John Imburgia on Sun, 09/23/2012 - 02:12

I am glad Mr. Freimuth didn't cater to Bramson's BS. Freimuth was probably one of the best Commissioners the City had and scum bag Noam drove him away. The Boy Bliunder needs a spanking.

Political Forechecker's picture
Political Forec... on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 19:01

We have a Weak Mayor City Manager form of Govt the City Manager is the one who should run interference for the Commissioners. This City Manager plays ball with the Mayor which gives Noam all the power. Then we have Fertel the mayors first rubber stamp, and the second comming of Marrianne Sussman Shari rubber stamp #two.. As long as Rice gets what he wants for his folks he is rubber stamp#3 and Ivor who knows what he is doing.............
So this is the land of Bramson his game his ball his rules and you don't get to play unless he likes you. The City is in the crapper for years while Noam looks for a hook to hang his political future on... So far nothing working....So far its a mess.
How does this keep going sooner or later there has to be a slip up a link to something that will tar him for what he is...

NewRochelleUSED... on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 16:20

what are the good citizens of New Rochelle going to do about it?

Above you all on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 21:48

Freimuth left for greener pastures for sure, why? becuase of all the crap staining of the New Rochelle pasture from our jackass of a Mayor.

NROld Timer on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 02:08

Bramson's micro-managing every department is responsible for another true professional leaving New Rochelle. Whether you agreed with Mr. Freimuth's positions or not everyone acknowledged Freimuth was a professional, a class act, someone who was underachieving by accepting the New Rochelle position. While the Boy Blunder's paranoia was the main reason for Freimuth’s resignation, he was also frustrated with the parking manager who was protected by the city manager.

The DPW commissioner resigned just before TOTS broke the Fevang case and Freimuth resigns before a MOU is issued for Good Profits, the chosen Armory developer. Freimuth did not want his name on what will be another boondoggle in New Rochelle’s failed development and I don’t blame him for jumping ship.

How much more evidence will the north end need before realizing they keep re-electing the captain of the Titanic?

NewRochelleUSED... on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 09:35

so how long before the good citizens of New Rochelle do something about this? How about the veterans, why don't they mount a protest?

Remember, Idoni II will keep being elected and the sky's the limit ... sorry, the sewer's the limit ... on the degradation of New Rochelle.

John D'Alois on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 21:21

Here's a guy who knows more about development than the whole city council combined, certainly more than the mayor, ( I challenge anyone to prove that wrong) and yet he has been bullyragged to "tow the party line" so as to fit the mayors personal agenda.WATCH THE LAST COUNCIL MEETING! Can you not see a difference in his demeanor? Incredibly obvious he was not happy with having to make his decision at that time. He knew the information for a proper evaluation on both sides was not flushed out. As we'll find out, the mayor pushed the voting prematurely to get a lock on his own personal developer (again). Nobody who wasn't in his circle knew this vote was going to happen. When the talks about issuing the RFP were in session, Mr F was asked about the timeline for the process. Again, with his experience, and knowing the intricacies of such a process he outlined a process that wouldn't have the other night's vote happening until october, the soonest. He understands what it takes to get things right, for the city, not getting a narrow agenda to serve the mayor. As usual. like a pouty child the mayor uses anyone he can to grind his ax about past defeats and unpopular viewpoints. This time he ran into a guy who is too classy to put up with it. Good luck Mr Freimuth, I'm sure anyplace will provide a better environment than this inbred cabal of mayorial puppets. Again WATCH THE VIDEO all stated that both plans had issues not answered, so why not get the answers. Figure it out yet? Why rush the vote on one of the single most important issues for the city? Why did they REFUSE to view the SOA plan from Shop Architecture? They were gaming the system.

NewRochelleUSED... on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 22:14

are they just going to let this happen?

I don't want proof THIS early that New Rochelle is well and truly doomed, and that all the optimists are dead wrong, I really don't.

This entire situation smells, where is the exposure?

Above you all on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 20:02
Title: Good to see

Good to see he didn't like being Norms New Rochelle Development Commissioner puppet

NewRochelleUSED... on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 20:24

Maybe this guy will do some talking about the corruption.