As readers know, I have made repeated attempts to talk with Domenic Procopio, Chairman of New Rochelle's Civil Service Commission but have yet to receive a reply. I called again today and Civil Service Administrator Beverly Silverman confirmed that she had informed Procopio that I was interested to speak with him.
While I had her on the telephone I confirmed that after 30 years of loyal service, Beverly Silverman is set to retire this coming December.
The New York State Department of Civil Service gave the Municipal Civil Service Commission of New Rochelle its highest marks in a review conducted in 2007. With Mr. Procopio not returning messages and Ms. Silverman leaving in a few weeks we can only wonder how the Civil Service Commission will continue to function at such a high level.Read More
The City Council of New Rochelle recently passed a law to prohibit idling of vehicles for more than 5 minutes anywhere in New Rochelle:
[Added 9-21-2004 by L.L. No. 8-2004]
No person shall allow, cause or permit the engine of any motor vehicle to idle for more than five consecutive minutes while parking, standing, or stopping on public or private property in the City of New Rochelle, subject to the exceptions for heavy-duty vehicles set forth in Section 217.3 of Title 6 of the State of New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations.
The motivation for anti-idling laws comes primarily from concerns about air pollution, carbon-emissions, greenhouse gases and fears that humans are causing global warming. Despite or because of this, the New Rochelle School District wasted no time in printing and displaying "no idling" signs in front of public schools in New Rochelle.
A few thoughts on this. First, if the District were really concerned about motor vehicles idling in front of schools they could have created their own policy about vehicles on district property.Read More
November 7th, 2009, starting at 7:30.
Rangoli Presents: Happy Diwali Cultural Experience 615 Main St , New Rochelle , NY
The Rangoli family would like to invite you to our Diwali Cultural Night at Rangoli Indian Cuisine! Diwali is a major Indian holiday, celebrating the festival of lights which represents the triumph of good over evil. We will be providing you with a night the city of New Rochelle has NEVER seen before including Belly Dancing, Henna Tattooing, an Indian clothing bazaar, and live classical Indian Music.
We will have the beautiful Bina performing her scintillating belly dance routine at 7:30, followed by Hardeep Chana and Jasmit Chana, performing on Sitar and Tabla, soothing your ears with the beautiful sounds of classical Indian music. We will be featuring the Indian art of Henna Tattooing, which is a completely safe, removable tattoo comprised of a dark colored paste. A professional artist will be on hand to speak and demonstrate for our guests. We will also have stalls featuring Indian Jewelry, and clothing such as shawls and full outfits.
As you can see from this exchange the City of New Rochelle continues to stonewall efforts to get to the bottom of the STAR and Combat Veterans Property Tax Exemptions Municipal Civil Service Commission Domenic Procopio pocketed for eight years, according to City officials, all supposedly due to an unidentified, unexplained "clerical error".
We will say it over and over again, set aside questions about the basis for these tax exemptions being granted and focus instead on why a public official would see them on his tax bill for eight years and say nothing about them. Read the whole thing until the end.
From: Robert Cox Sent: Monday, October 19, 2009 11:57 AM
To: Strome, Chuck
Cc: Gilwit, Kathy
Subject: follow up meetings regarding Mr. Procopio
I met today with Kathy Gilwit. While I certainly appreciate the opportunity to meet with her it has become clear that she is not in a position to directly answer any of the questions I have asked over the past 10 days regarding Mr. Procopio.
I would appreciate the opportunity to sit down with the appropriate person in the tax assessor's office to discuss the exemptions we all now seem to agree were being applied to Mr. Procopio's property at 7 Pinebrook Road.Read More
Some six months ago, at a school board meeting, I raised the issue of BMI (body mass index) data collection by the school system. Subsequently, I wrote about the possible consequences that could flow from such data collection; separate school lunch lines, denial of services and possible penalties for parents of children identified as too heavy or too thin. No doubt many thought my concerns were the fevered imaginings of a far right conspiracy theorist; a charter member of the vast right wing conspiracy. Would that it were so!
Now we learn that children are being denied health insurance on the basis of their BMI. Rocky Mountain Health Plans recently denied insurance to four month old Alex Lange because, according to his growth chart, he was too heavy. United Health Care, on the other hand, would not insure two year old Aislin Bates because, at twenty two pounds, she is regarded as too thin.
What will happen when the federal government is calling the health care tune. Will federal agents be removing children from their homes and placing them in “rehabilitation centers” to correct their unhealthy eating habits?Read More
Only a small percentage of Americans have served in the military and an even smaller percentage of them served in Combat. Relatively few Talk of the Sound readers would have reason to be familiar with the process of obtaining a property tax exemption related to military service and even less would know how such an exemption would appear on a tax invoice.
A reader who did serve in the military sent in a copy of their tax bill. Readers ought to take a good long look because you will see it would be absolutely impossible for a property owner receiving such a tax bill to not know that they were receiving a tax exemption for military service. This reader informs me that in order to receive the tax exemption it was necessary to file a copy of their discharge papers.Read More
A question that Chuck Strome has so far refused to answer from Talk of the Sound is pretty simply, who within the City government has the power to fire Domenic Procopio as Chairman of the Municipal Civil Service Commission. From our reading of the City Charter it would appear that this power is reserved for the Mayor. Section 175 on "Appointment of Commissioners" reads The members of the Municipal Civil Service Commission as prescribed by law shall be appointed by the Mayor.
The entire section of the relevant portion of the City Charter follows:
Section 173 Municipal Civil Service Commission – 59 – The Municipal Civil Service Commission shall be constituted as prescribed by law and shall elect one of its members President. The members of the Commission who are in office when this Charter takes effect shall be the members of the Commission (subject to the power of removal as prescribed by law) until the expiration of their terms of office and until their successors are appointed and qualify. Their compensation shall be fixed by the Council.
Section 174 Secretary and employeesRead More
The cost of illegal housing to the taxpayers is in the million. Many of the homes being used as multi-family residences are single family houses being used as 2 or 3 family or 2 family houses being used as 3 or 4 family houses. These owners are paying very little in property taxes and school taxes, however, they have multiple families with many children in the school system. They reap the benefit of large rent rolls and the rest of the tax payers gets stuck paying their bills. Some of these houses pay as little as 2500.00 a year in taxes yet have 3 families with 9 kids in the school system at a cost of over 100k a year. It's a tough situation to remedy because some of the city hall bigs own some of these properties. An easy start would be to cross reference the property records with school records. It should take a matter of minutes in a database query. If you have a 2 family house that has 4 families using that address in the school system = RED FLAG. a single family with 2 or 3 families using it as an address in the school system = RED FLAG. It's a start.Read More