NEW ROCHELLE, NY —- A promotional video created by the City of New Rochelle at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars and launched in February features a tax cheat, a deadbeat municipal tenant and an illegal event. The question on many mind’s is why these three businesses were chosen to represent the public face of New Rochelle to outside developers.
Three months ago, the New Rochelle Department of Development launched the Ideally Yours website, funded by the City’s Industrial Development Agency. The web site features a video where “visitors will virtually meet a group of entrepreneurs from three distinct industries who exemplify New Rochelle’s commitment to foster culture, community and creativity.”
The three featured entrepreneurs are Alvin Clayton, owner of Alvin & Friends Restaurant, Martin and Margaret Barreto, owners of Crossfit1134, and David Krinick, owner of MESH Print
They are on odd trio to highlight:
Alvin Clayton’s restaurant has not paid New York State sales tax for years and currently has a lien for unpaid sales tax that runs well into the six figures.
“We can confirm that Alvin and Friends, LLC, 14 Memorial Highway in New Rochelle, has 1 open warrant currently outstanding for back sales tax owned to NYS in the amount as of today of $117,317,” said Cary Ziter, spokesperson for the New York State Department of Taxation.
Alvin operates out of a building, 14 Memorial Highway, owned in part with his business partners in the restaurant, that has routinely failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes to the City of New Rochelle, the City School District of New Rochelle and Westchester County.
Some have questioned why taxpayer funds should be used to promote a business that does not, itself, pay taxes.
Martin and Margaret Barreto
Martin and Margaret Barreto leased space from the City of New Rochelle at the Marina to establish Crossfit1134 in September 2014. By December 2016, the Barretto’s were in arrears to the City of New Rochelle to the tune of $37,126.81, $25,030.10 in rent and $12,096.71 in Con Edison charges. The City applied $7,800 in deposit money to the outstanding bill, waived the electric charges and terminated the lease in December 2016 with a balance due of over $25,000.
Some have questioned why taxpayer funds should be used to promote a business that does not pay rent for City property and no longer exists.
David Krinick organizes and promotes musical performances at a commercial storefront location at 47 Potter Avenue. MESH Prints does not have a “public assembly”, “place of assembly” or “cabaret” license to stage public performances in its commercial office space. The musical performance depicted in the video is a de facto illegal assembly, violating both New Rochelle building codes and fire codes.
Some have questioned why taxpayer funds should be used to promote illegal activities.
Talk of the Sound spoke with New Rochelle Development Commissioner Luiz Aragon asking why the City would feature entrepreneurs who operate failed, failing or illegal businesses.
“We are working on updating the video”, said Aragon.
We should hope so.
View video here.