Author Archives: news

WGO

What’s going on in Eastchester

Eastchester 5K run

The Eastchester 5K will be run on Sunday, Sept. 27. All proceeds from this year’s race will go toward improvements at the Eastchester Public Library. More details to follow.

Free museum passes

Looking for something to do during the lazy, hazy days of summer? Thanks to the Friends of the Eastchester Public Library, the library offers free museum passes to 11 different museums. Ask for more details at the reference desk or visit eastchesterlibrary.com for more information.

Storytime program

Fall Storytime programs will begin in October this year. New registrants must come to the library with proof of their child’s age, using a copy of their passport or birth certificate in order to sign up. Returning registrants who participated in Storytime during the spring of 2015 and had regular attendance may pre-register via email, and will receive an email with instructions on how to do so.

Eastchester and Tuckahoe library cardholders receive priority for Preschool Storytime. Non-residents will be placed on a waiting list; if there are still openings one day prior to the beginning of the program, spots will be offered to those on the waiting list. More information is available at eastchesterlibrary.org. Please note the change in dates.

Bronxville Public Library

Family Film Fridays

The library’s weekly film series will continue with “Epic” on Friday, Aug. 28, screening from 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group of characters in order to save their world. Rated PG, running time: 102 minutes. The next film in the series will be “Miniscule,” screened on Friday, Sept. 4 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Join a little lost ladybug as she is thrown between two feuding colonies of ants in this groundbreaking animated masterpiece of insect proportions. The race is on as her unlikely new friends must transport the ultimate treasure, a stolen picnic basket, back home to their colony. With a fierce army of fire ants standing in their way, the little insects must work together to make the perilous journey home. Running time: 89 minutes.

Wednesday Movie Matinee

The library’s weekly movie matinee will continue with “Unbroken,” screening on Wednesday, Sept. 2 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, only to be caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. Rated PG-13, running time: 138 minutes.

Adult Summer Reading Grand Finale

This year’s adult summer reading workshop wraps up with a final party on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Grand prizes will be raffled off at the event.

Alphabet Storycraft

Each month, the library will turn the spotlight on for a letter in the alphabet. This month, the storytime and craft will be about the letter A. This workshop is open to children ages 3 and up and will take place on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Annual Book Swap

Trade in gently-used books that you no longer want for other books. Take books to the Yeager Room on the lower level and pick up a ticket with the number of books you have returned written on it. Bring your ticket to the book swap and take the same number of books you dropped off, then return your ticket to the circulation desk on the first floor. Books that are traded in can be either fiction or non-fiction children, teen or adult books and should not be molded, stained, have yellow pages, broken pages, highlighted lines or broken spines. Textbooks, encyclopedia sets or reference books are not allowed to be traded in. Maximum amount of books traded in is 30 per family. The annual book swap will take place from Monday, Aug. 31 through Saturday, Sept. 5 during open hours.

Social Needlers

Join the library for a knitting and crochet hour every Wednesday, 11 a.m. to noon. Chat and socialize while making beautiful items that will be donated to the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. For more information, call 337-7680 ext. 63 or email cutchel@wlsmail.org.

Tuckahoe Public Library

For adults

Join the knit and crochet group that meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Please call to register at 961-2121.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Did you know that every 67 seconds an American is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Or that the price tag for this disease, which has no cure, no effective treatment or way in which its course can be slowed, will total $226 billion in the U.S. in 2015 alone? Alzheimer’s affects more people in the U.S. than any of the other top 10 diseases, yet it receives the least financial support.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the single greatest source of funding for research, education and treatment. Please join the walk with your spirit and energy. To locate a walk, for information on how to form a team, join a team, contribute time or make a donation, visitalz.org/hudsonvalley. The 2015 walk for Westchester County is taking place on Sunday, Oct. 4, meeting at the White Plains High School, 550 North St., near the Bryant Avenue entrance. Check-in is at 9 a.m., with a welcome and the walk starting at 10 a.m. To sign up, visit alz.org/walk or call 800-272-3900. For more information, contact Terry Kean at 253-6860 or tkean@alz.org.

Bronxville Women’s Club

Guest artist exhibit

The guest artist exhibiting for the month of September at the Bronxville Women’s Club is J.M. Henry, showing a collection called “Yours, with ghosts drawn on my back.” The exhibition at the Bronxville Women’s Club at 135 Midland Ave. in Bronxville, will run from Thursday, Sept. 8 through Tuesday, Sept. 29 with an opening reception on Sunday, Sept. 13 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Henry, originally from New York, now resides in South Carolina. His works have been exhibited throughout the country and are in several museums and private collections. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to the public free of charge. For more information, call the BWC at 337-3252 or visit bronxvillewomensclub.org.

Book discussion

The Bronxville Women’s Club will discuss the book “Gone to Soldiers” by Marge Piercy on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Bronxville Women’s Club at 135 Midland Ave. in Bronxville. The meeting chair will be Carole Michaels.

Movie classes

There will be two movie classes with instructor Collin Simon at the Bronxville Women’s Club. The movies are viewed with a discussion following the screening. “Big Fish” will be screened on Monday, Sept. 14 and “The Princess Bride” will be screened on Monday, Sept. 21. Doors open at 7 p.m., movies begin at 7:15 p.m. There is no charge for attendance, but donations are accepted. Open to the public, reservations not necessary. For more information, call the BWC at 337-3252 or visit bronxvillewomensclub.org.

Recital for Nepal earthquake victims

The Bronxville Women’s Club, at 135 Midland Ave. in Bronxville, will be sponsoring a cello/piano recital to raise funds for the victims of the earthquake in Nepal earlier this year. The concert will take place on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 3 p.m. Donating their talents are Paul Wolfram, cello, and Manon Hutton-DeWys, piano. Donations are tax-deductible. Suggested donations are $10 for adults, $5 for children. If paying by check, please put “Nepal” in the memo section. There will be a reception immediately following the concert. Chairing the benefit are Oxana Mikhailoff, BWC music director, and Kathleen DeRusso, BWC philanthropy chairperson. For further information, call the BWC at 337-3252 or visit bronxvillewomensclub.org.

Deadline for our What’s Going On section is every Thursday at noon. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com.

 
WGO

What’s going on in Harrison

Harrison library events 

The Harrison Public Library will be closed for renovations and will reopen on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. Visit harrisonpl.org for updates and more information.

Art exhibition

Artists who are interested in exhibiting at the Harrison Public Library for approximately one month during 2016 are invited to submit samples of their artwork for review by a juried art committee sponsored by the Harrison Council for the Arts.

The samples and related items may be submitted in person at the library on Friday, Oct. 2 after 9:30 a.m. and must be picked up the next day, Saturday, Oct. 3 after 12 p.m. No registration or appointment is required.

Art eligible for exhibition must be two-dimensional. Samples must include two different pieces of the actual art, preferably framed, the artist’s resume and 12 copies, all different, of the artist’s work in the form of 35 mm slides, photos or prints.

All entrants will be notified by Monday, Nov. 16 by mail. Ten winners and three alternates will be selected to participate. Choice of month will be on a first come, first served basis. February and March are not available.

For more details, visit harrisonpl.org and click on the “Events and Programs/Juried Art Program” tab or contact Dan Briem at dbriem@wlsmail.org or 835-0324 or Connie Perrotta at cpcpone@yahoo.com or 315-1922.

West Harrison library events

Hours starting Monday, Aug. 3: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; closed on Sundays. The West Harrison branch will be closed on Labor Day, which falls on Monday, Sept. 7.

Citizenship and English classes

Free citizenship and English classes for adults 18 and older. Registration starts on Wednesday, Sept. 2 through Friday, Sept. 4. Class begins on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Space is limited. Please call 524-9214 for more information.

Story Time

Great stories, music and fun for ages 1 to 5. No registration necessary, bring your friends. Monday, Aug. 31 at 10:30 a.m. for 30 minutes.

Open Play Time

Come into the library and meet other parents, grandparents, caregivers and children. Open for children ages 1 to 5. Make new friends, play, read and have fun with some special toys. Meets Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Crochet and knitting class

Want to learn how to knit or crochet a simple scarf? Join the class. Come anytime between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. Bring hooks, needles and yarn or practice with materials provided. Walk-ins are welcome. No registration needed. Call 948-2092 for more information.

Mother Goose Time

Songs, dancing and fun for the little ones ages 3 and under. Meets Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Harrison Recreation

Download brochures and applications for all recreation programs, unless stated otherwise, at harrison-ny.gov/recreation. For more information, questions, suggestions and/or comments, email recreation@harrison-ny.gov.

Flag football league

For boys pre-K through grade six. Girls are encouraged to join, and a separate girls’ league will be formed if the numbers dictate it. Registration is currently underway. For more information visit harrisonyouthflagfootball.com or call Joe Gallace with any questions at 924-8380. Fee for program is $180, after Sept. 17 $200. Check payable to Harrison Youth Flag Football, mailed to 156 Lakeview Ave., West Harrison, N.Y. 10604 or may be dropped off at either the Sollazzo Center or Mintzer Center.

Event rentals

Available at both the West Harrison Senior Annex and the Veteran’s Memorial Building in downtown Harrison, the building rental fee for events is $450 for 5 hours with a $300 security deposit. Add on additional space at either center for $100 plus an additional $100 security deposit. For questions and available dates call 670-3035. To rent the facility, you must have a 2015 Harrison resident identification card.

Volunteer opportunities

The Harrison Recreation Department has many opportunities for high school students through senior citizens to volunteer with youth programs and senior programs. For more information, call 670-3035.

Harrison Senior Centers

Harrison has two very active senior citizen clubs sponsored by the Recreation Department.

The West Harrison Group meets on Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. at the Leo Mintzer Senior Annex Building, located at 251 Underhill Ave., to discuss items of interest, play bingo and discuss activities coming up in the near future.

The Downtown Group meets every Friday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, located at 210 Halstead Ave.

The membership fee for both groups is $24 per year and refreshments are served at gatherings.

There is also a drop-in center at the Harrison Community Center, at 216 Halstead Ave., Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where you may enjoy television, cards and socializing.

Come by the Tuesday exercise classes from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the community center.

For more information on recreation and social activities, call the Senior Citizen Center at 670-3000 ext. 3172.

Deadline for our What’s Going On section is every Thursday at noon. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best  to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com

WGO

What’s going on in Rye

Rye Free Reading Room events

Art exhibit

Rye resident and multi-award winning artist Elizabeth B. Derderian will display a collection of still-life, landscape, cityscape and figurative paintings in an exhibition called “A New Chapter: Recent Paintings by Elizabeth B. Derderian.” The exhibition opens on Wednesday, Sept. 2 and will run until Wednesday, Sept. 30. Derderian’s paintings can also be seen hanging in Ruby’s, Sotheby’s, On The Way Café, on the postcards of the Pearl Restaurant Group and on the cover of the 2010 and 2015 Rye Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Guide.

Mother Goose Mondays

Join “Granny Jean” Klein, well-versed in early childhood development, as she introduces babies and toddlers to playful rhymes, songs and puppetry. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate with the children at the library . Because the program is often a child’s first experience in an audience setting, it is important that adults strive to arrive on time and actively help children focus on the presentation. This workshop is appropriate for children ages 6 months to 3-and-a-half years. The program will be held every Monday at 10 a.m. for 20 minutes in the Meeting Room.

Storytelling Guild

The Rye Storytellers’ Guild meets at the Rye Free Reading Room one Tuesday evening a month at 6 p.m. to share traditional and personal tales and trade tips on storytelling techniques. On Sept. 1, the group will tell stories about “School Days or Autumn’s Ways.” Listeners and tellers are welcome to join the Guild members at their meetings. To learn more, contact Angela at Booksamc@aol.com or Meg Stackpole at 967-0480 or mstackpole@ryelibrary.org.

Playland Park

International Friendship Day

On Saturday, Sept. 2, Rye Playland will celebrate International Friendship Day by giving park-goers $15 ride admission specials all day and will provide fun giveaways and activities featuring the Westchester Knicks, New York City Football Club, News 12 and the Scared by the Sound Haunted attraction. This International Friendship Day special cannot be combined with other offers and coupons will not be valid on this day.

Rye Recreation

General registration

Resident online registration for programs hosted by Rye Recreation begins on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. Registration for senior citizen programs begins on Monday, Sept. 14 and can be completed in person. Most programs have minimum or maximum requirements and may be cancelled due to low enrollment or may fill up quickly, so early registration is encouraged. Rye Recreation has moved to an online enrollment process for most of its activities, excluding senior citizen activities. To make the online registration process quicker, create an online account in “Community Pass” at ryeny.gov/recreation.cfm and follow the link provided. You may only register for your own family members. Full payment for registration is required whether registering online or in person. Rye Recreation accepts cash, credit cards or checks. Checks should be made payable to The City of Rye.

Rye Girls Softball camp

Softball camp will take place from Monday, Aug. 31 to Friday, Sept. 4 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Disbrow Field. Camp will be split into two groups, with rising third through fifth graders in one group and rising sixth through eighth graders in another. Register at ryegirlssoftball.com by clicking on “2015 Summer Clinic Registration” in the left-hand column menu.

Summerfest

Leaders of Tomorrow and the Rye Recreation Department present the 22nd annual field day of fun for kids of all ages on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 3 p.m. at Rye Recreation Park. The day of fun will include a bean bag toss, potato sack races, a cupcake-eating contest, the Jack Nye Memorial wood-racquet tennis tournament, hot dogs and John Carey Jr. Memorial music and dance program. For more information, contact Douglas Carey at rye1904@yahoo.com.

Jewelry and Beading Workshop

This two-session workshop is appropriate for children kindergarten through fifth grade. The first session, held on Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Damiano Recreation Center will allow participants to create and design from a selection of material including lead-free charms, pendants, crystal, sea glass and leather.

The second session, held on Tuesday, Nov. 3 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Damiano Recreation Center will allow participants to tap into their artistic and visual skills to create beautiful and wearable beaded jewelry and accessories. Everyone will create three projects to take home, including a necklace, a bracelet and a surprise project. The instructor, Melanie Rose, is the owner of Westchester-based jewelry and party service, Beadz. The fee for both sessions is $40 for residents and $50 for non-residents.

Rye Youth Soccer
fall 2015 registration

Rye Youth Soccer will now be accepting online applications for fall intramural teams for coaches, as well as girls and boys grades K through 5. The season will begin on Saturday, Sept. 19 and runs until Saturday, Nov. 14. Complete details on dates and times of the program can be found on Rye Youth Soccer’s website, ryeyouthsoccer.org, under the “Intramural” link on the left side of the home page. For more information, contact registrar Patti Adimari at pattirys@optonline.net or 967-5273. Scholarships are available upon request.

Deadline for our What’s Going On section is every Thursday at noon. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com

Tease_C

Ex-Rye Golf GM sentenced to state prison

After two adjournments, former City of Rye Golf Club General Manager Scott Yandrasevich will serve a sentence of one to three years in state prison for failing to make restitution to the City of Rye in the amount of $271,120. The sentence was handed down in Westchester County Supreme Court in White Plains on Aug. 6, where Yandrasevich, seen here with wife Anna, was handcuffed and taken into custody.   Photo/Andrew Dapolite

After two adjournments, former City of Rye Golf Club General Manager Scott Yandrasevich will serve a sentence of one to three years in state prison for failing to make restitution to the City of Rye in the amount of $271,120. The sentence was handed down in Westchester County Supreme Court in White Plains on Aug. 6, where Yandrasevich, seen here with wife Anna, was handcuffed and taken into custody.
Photo/Andrew Dapolite

By JACKSON CHEN
Scott Yandrasevich, the disgraced former general manager of the Rye Golf Club, will serve a one-to-three-year sentence in state prison for grand larceny and two counts of falsifying records.

The sentence was handed down on Aug. 6 by Supervising Judge of Criminal Courts Barry Warhit after he denied another request by Yandrasevich’s lawyer, Kerry Lawrence, to adjourn the case once again in Westchester County Supreme Court in White Plains. With three charges, the former general manager will serve each of his one-to-three year sentences concurrently.

Following the sentencing, which was attended by Yandraseivch’s wife Anna, he was handcuffed, escorted out of the courtroom and taken into custody.

While the former manager would have received a lower sentence if he paid back restitution to the City of Rye, Yandrasevich was unable to come up with the $271,120 within the time allowed after multiple adjournments. Furthermore, he seemed to show a lack of remorse, according to prosecutors with the Westchester County District Attorney’s office.

The former golf club manager, according to Warhit, was allowed four months’ time since the first adjournment on April 9, 2015. As a defense, Yandrasevich’s attorney said he was unable to pay up due to the recent passing of his mother, who he expected to be a source of restitution.

However, Warhit said that given a four-month timeframe, Yandrasevich’s mother would have given him the money, but didn’t. On top of his mother’s money, the judge added that Yandrasevich made no effort in liquidating his own real estate assets to attempt to reach the restitution amount, leading to his ultimate denial of another adjournment.

“The case was really about decisions and choices that were made,” Warhit said. “It happened over a long period of time and involved many steps on his part, many deceitful acts and of course couple with that undermining relationships with people who trusted him.

“He had to, in order to pull this off, lied to them all the time, routinely. And he did it for greed and he’s now going to go to state prison as a result.”

In assessing the impact that Yandrasevich had on the city, Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican testified in court on Aug. 6 that the former golf club manager contributed to a “severe undermining of trust in our community, our government in general and has caused turmoil with other issues related to the trust of the City of Rye government.”

In Sack’s eyes, the restitution amount was a far more conservative estimation regarding the money he believes Yandrasevich stole from the city during a six-year period—2007 to 2013—in question. According to a Rye City Council commissioned report that investigated Yandrasevich’s actions, the former manager may have stolen upwards of $7 million through invoices from a bogus shell company called RM Staffing.

Unable to recoup any of the money to date, the city filed a lawsuit against its own insurance company, Travelers, to attempt to expedite a $2.1 million insurance claim that has seen no movement since August 2013, back when Yaandrasevich was originally being investigated.

For Leon Sculti, chairman of the Rye Golf Club Commission, Yandrasevich’s sentencing was representative of the efforts of the club’s membership to speak out about the suspicion of wrongdoing initially.

“We had to fight the city manager and the council who did not want this exposed,” Sculti said. “The fact that the Rye Golf Club members could fight through and have a general manager be found guilty of grand larceny just says a lot about the character of the members.”

Yandrasevich was originally charged with 10 felony counts of falsifying records and one felony count of grand larceny in the second degree after forming several shell staffing companies which allowed him to embezzle approximately $342,120 from the city’s golf club.

The former golf club manager, who resigned from the club in January 2013 and was arrested in November of that year, accepted a plea deal on Nov. 6, 2014 and as part of the agreement was required to pay restitution to the city for the money he stole from the golf club and its members.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com 

 
HARBOR11

Red clay runoff resurfaces in harbor

A third incident of red clay runoff from the Sportime tennis courts leaves the Mamaroneck Harbor with a rusted hue, despite the remediation plan that’s in effect. Photo/Jim Desmond

A third incident of red clay runoff from the Sportime tennis courts leaves the Mamaroneck Harbor with a rusted hue, despite the remediation plan that’s in effect. Photo/Jim Desmond

By JACKSON CHEN
The Village of Mamaroneck Harbor was tinted red twice after discharge from the nearby clay tennis courts yet again seeped into the village waters over the past two weeks.

The more recent discharge on Aug. 11 showed the flowing storm water, muddled with the reddish-brown stone dust from the Sportime tennis courts, rippling into the Mamaroneck Harbor. The contamination, which was recorded by nearby resident and Marine Education Center staffer Jim Desmond, was a result of the early morning thunderstorms of that day.

According to Desmond, the August discharge was the third time this summer that the tennis court material flowed into the harbor. Besides the most recent spill, Desmond also caught pollutants entering the harbor on July 18 and July 30 and reported all three instances to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

“All that suspended stuff in the water goes down and settles on the floor of the harbor,” Desmond said. “And whatever is down there is being suffocated by silt.”

While the recent discharges were just a few incidents proving the red clay courts’ impact over the years, the village needed to address the issue after they were issued a violation on Oct. 1, 2014 by the DEC. According to the violation, the village would be subject to a $37,500 fine for each incident of discharge and each day the issue wasn’t resolved. Although Sportime operates the red clay tennis courts, the village is the ultimate owner of the property, making them responsible for the fines or violations.

When asked if the DEC would be issuing any fines to the village upon news of the recent discharges, the department’s representatives said they are aware of the incident, currently investigating the matter and have been in contact with the village about it.

Village Manager Richard Slingerland said he is unsure if the DEC will issue any fines, but added, “It’s anticipated that the village is going to receive some violation.”

To address the long-term issue of discharge, the village submitted a remediation plan to the DEC that included retrofitting the catch basins around the tennis courts and installing the Stormceptor, a storm water system that retains sediment for later removal and traps oils and debris through floatation.

Still, even with the remediation plan in effect for the July 30 storm, the tennis court material leaked into the harbor because the intensity of the rainwater flow proved to be too many gallons
per minute for the Stormceptor, according to Slingerland.

As part of the remediation plan, Slingerland said the village added a third level of protection by including a pump system that digs into the catch basins and spews the contaminated water into the nearby fields where the water is expected to be absorbed into the ground soil instead. The manager added that the pump process would cost an extra $45,000.

However, despite the three levels of defense in the remediation plan that cost the village approximately $100,000 in total, the August spill was a result of the newly-executed pump system failing. Slingerland said the pumps could not be primed and couldn’t draw in the contaminated water to be mitigated into the nearby soil. The village manager added that a plug deflated, which was supposed to stop the flow of polluted water within the pipes.

The village manager said the new three-level system of the Stormceptor, the pump system and the natural bio-filtration greens around the courts, should still prove to be more than 90 percent effective. However, Slingerland said there is red stone dust material still sitting in the storm drains, despite the village’s efforts to flush and clean them out three times.

With the expected costs ballooning, Slingerland said additional expenses were something that would have to be discussed with the village’s Board of Trustees when looking at further improvements, although the board isn’t just focused on a temporary fix.

According to Trustee Dave Finch, a Democrat, the long-term future of Sportime has always been a topic of discussion.

“While we’ve got to continually mitigate immediate problems, spending an undue amount of money on the current location wouldn’t seem to be prudent,” Finch said of the remediation efforts. “Part of the long-term discussion is, does Sportime move further inland up behind the wastewater treatment plant?”

Finch said the relocation is still a matter of discussion, and the village is working with Sportime to come to a compromise.

As for Desmond, the decision can be as simple as changing the surface of the courts to prevent further discharges and subsequent punishments, but nothing has happened so far.

“Three weeks these [discharges] have happened and no resolutions from the powers that be, whether it’s the village or the DEC,” Desmond said.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
After two adjournments, former City of Rye Golf Club General Manager Scott Yandrasevich will serve a sentence of one to three years in state prison for failing to make restitution to the City of Rye in the amount of $271,120. The sentence was handed down in Westchester County Supreme Court in White Plains on Aug. 6, where Yandrasevich, seen here with wife Anna, was handcuffed and taken into custody.  
Photo/Andrew Dapolite

Yandrasevich sentenced to state prison

After two adjournments, former City of Rye Golf Club General Manager Scott Yandrasevich will serve a sentence of one to three years in state prison for failing to make restitution to the City of Rye in the amount of $271,120. The sentence was handed down in Westchester County Supreme Court in White Plains on Aug. 6, where Yandrasevich, seen here with wife Anna, was handcuffed and taken into custody.   Photo/Andrew Dapolite

After two adjournments, former City of Rye Golf Club General Manager Scott Yandrasevich will serve a sentence of one to three years in state prison for failing to make restitution to the City of Rye in the amount of $271,120. The sentence was handed down in Westchester County Supreme Court in White Plains on Aug. 6, where Yandrasevich, seen here with wife Anna, was handcuffed and taken into custody.
Photo/Andrew Dapolite

By JACKSON CHENScott Yandrasevich, the disgraced former general manager of the Rye Golf Club, will serve a one-to-three-year sentence in state prison for grand larceny and two counts of falsifying records.

The sentence was handed down on Aug. 6 by Supervising Judge of Criminal Courts Barry Warhit after he denied another request by Yandrasevich’s lawyer, Kerry Lawrence, to adjourn the case once again in Westchester County Supreme Court in White Plains. With three charges, the former general manager will serve each of his one-to-three year sentences concurrently.

Following the sentencing, which was attended by Yandraseivch’s wife Anna, he was handcuffed, escorted out of the courtroom and taken into custody.

While the former manager would have received a lower sentence if he paid back restitution to the City of Rye, Yandrasevich was unable to come up with the $271,120 within the time allowed after multiple adjournments. Furthermore, he seemed to show a lack of remorse, according to prosecutors with the Westchester County District Attorney’s office.

The former golf club manager, according to Warhit, was allowed four months’ time since the first adjournment on April 9, 2015. As a defense, Yandrasevich’s attorney said he was unable to pay up due to the recent passing of his mother, who he expected to be a source of restitution.

However, Warhit said that given a four-month timeframe, Yandrasevich’s mother would have given him the money, but didn’t. On top of his mother’s money, the judge added that Yandrasevich made no effort in liquidating his own real estate assets to attempt to reach the restitution amount, leading to his ultimate denial of another adjournment.

“The case was really about decisions and choices that were made,” Warhit said. “It happened over a long period of time and involved many steps on his part, many deceitful acts and of course couple with that undermining relationships with people who trusted him.

“He had to, in order to pull this off, lied to them all the time, routinely. And he did it for greed and he’s now going to go to state prison as a result.”

In assessing the impact that Yandrasevich had on the city, Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican testified in court on Aug. 6 that the former golf club manager contributed to a “severe undermining of trust in our community, our government in general and has caused turmoil with other issues related to the trust of the City of Rye government.”

In Sack’s eyes, the restitution amount was a far more conservative estimation regarding the money he believes Yandrasevich stole from the city during a six-year period—2007 to 2013—in question. According to a Rye City Council commissioned report that investigated Yandrasevich’s actions, the former manager may have stolen upwards of $7 million through invoices from a bogus shell company called RM Staffing.

Unable to recoup any of the money to date, the city filed a lawsuit against its own insurance company, Travelers, to attempt to expedite a $2.1 million insurance claim that has seen no movement since August 2013, back when Yaandrasevich was originally being investigated.

For Leon Sculti, chairman of the Rye Golf Club Commission, Yandrasevich’s sentencing was representative of the efforts of the club’s membership to speak out about the suspicion of wrongdoing initially.

“We had to fight the city manager and the council who did not want this exposed,” Sculti said. “The fact that the Rye Golf Club members could fight through and have a general manager be found guilty of grand larceny just says a lot about the character of the members.”

Yandrasevich was originally charged with 10 felony counts of falsifying records and one felony count of grand larceny in the second degree after forming several shell staffing companies which allowed him to embezzle approximately $342,120 from the city’s golf club.

The former golf club manager, who resigned from the club in January 2013 and was arrested in November of that year, accepted a plea deal on Nov. 6, 2014 and as part of the agreement was required to pay restitution to the city for the money he stole from the golf club and its members.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com 

 
With the cause of the damaged greens identified as a contaminated fungicide, Rye Golf Club is working to have the putting greens playable by Labor Day. File photo

Golf season nearly lost due to wrecked greens

With the cause of the damaged greens identified as a contaminated fungicide, Rye Golf Club is working to have the putting greens playable by Labor Day. File photo

With the cause of the damaged greens identified as a contaminated fungicide, Rye Golf Club is working to have the putting greens playable by Labor Day. File photo

By JACKSON CHEN
After the confirmation of a contaminated fungicide, the Rye Golf Club greens have been closed off for a majority of the golf season, leaving members upset and demanding refunds. 

However, club officials said with recovery efforts, the greens may be open around Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.

According to Chip Lafferty,
the golf club’s superintendent, around nine to 12 of the greens may be playable by Labor Day. Lafferty added that the club management may consider opening every other day after Sept. 7 to allow for more turf recovery and limit the amount of foot traffic.

“I can’t reiterate enough, the foot traffic is going to be extremely detrimental to these things,” Lafferty said of the recovery process.

The putting greens at Rye Golf Club were officially closed off on June 1 after membership alerted the club’s management of the turf’s degrading health.

While the cause of the damaged greens was previously unknown, a recall notice from the manufacturers of a fungicide known as Armor Tech Alt 70 was issued on June 16. The golf club used the fungicide, provided by NovaSource TKI, an agricultural crop protection company, for the first time last year and only recently saw the effects of the contamination.

As for the recovery efforts, the superintendent has been over-seeding the greens to promote growth. On top of re-seeding the damaged areas, Lafferty said they have been plugging a few of the greens, and then transplanting healthier turf into the affected areas.

Additionally, more than four consultants have visited the Boston Post Road golf course to help the club tackle the extreme turf degradation they have faced. Leon Sculti, chairman of the Rye Golf Club Commission, said that many of the consultants estimated a similar reopening timeframe of Labor Day, if the weather cooperates.

According to an on-site visit report by the United States Golf Association’s Northeast Regional Director David Oatis, the recovered greens looked great, but had very little wear tolerance. Oatis added that subjecting the freshly-recovered greens to heavy traffic would result in even more damage.

For Jim Buonaiuto, the club’s general manager, patience with handling the greens will help the club avoid reopening them too soon and be subject to the lingering effects of improper recovery for next year.

As for the contaminated fungicide, it also caused notable damage to at least seven other golf courses, with the nearest two being in Darien and Greenwich, Conn., according to Rye Golf Club Commission Chairman Leon Sculti. But for Rye Golf Club, the damages can be translated into a monetary loss.

“Our general manager has taken photos every day and kept detailed records on our revenues last year versus this year day-by-day,” said Rye Golf Club Commissioner Patricia Geoghegan. “So there are a number of financial losses that can be documented that will go into this as well.”

According to Sculti, the club is down $140,000 in revenue from the June 1 closing date to July 15 when he asked Buonaiuto for a projection of monetary loss.

While the golf club manages to get a hold of the damages from the contaminated fungicide, the club members are becoming increasingly agitated over services that are not being provided.

“If you’re not going to have [the course] open until September, give us our damn money back,” said Andrew Papataros, a member of the club for 22 years, who added that golf season is basically over by Labor Day. “I didn’t get the services I paid for in advance and we believe we’re entitled to the refunds.”

However, Papataros, a New Jersey resident and former Rye native, said the golf club is not meeting the members’ demands because they are beholden to a no-refund policy. The member added that since the golf club hasn’t closed its doors, his American Express credit card was still charged with a payment around early June, when the greens were already deemed unplayable.

According to City Manager Marcus Serrano, when the members sign the application, the document clearly states there will be no refunds even if the golf club is closed for any reason at all. The manager added that while there are no refunds, there are still temporary greens as the golf club remains open.

When tackling the legal recourse for the damage to the greens and lost money from customers, the City of Rye has filed a notice of claim against NovaSource TKI and its insurance carrier, according to City Attorney Kristen Wilson.

While Wilson couldn’t disclose the exact monetary amount of the claim, she said it was “certainly an all-encompassing claim and takes into account membership fees that have been paid.”

When asked to elaborate on the claim, Sculti also couldn’t provide an exact number, but said the insurance “included everything under the sun,” and expects part of the claim to be for membership dues.

In an attempt to include the club members in the process, Sculti proposed to take a survey that would include what the membership was seeking. However, city council declined the survey, adding that if there was a possibility of a lawsuit in the future, that the survey could be used against the city.

However, for the insurance claim, the city attorney added that she is cautiously optimistic as the company was very responsive and it is probably in their best interest to settle quickly.

Still, some members were unwilling to wait for the result of an insurance claim that could be lengthy. “In my opinion, they’re just leading us down a path of whatever happens, happens,” Papataros said of the city and the golf club handling the insurance claim.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
The Village of Mamaroneck’s Marine Education Center, located in Harbor Island Park, may soon be subject to improvements, as the village Board of Trustees approved of establishing an advisory committee for the center. Photo/Jackson Chen

Village board OKs marine education committee

The Village of Mamaroneck’s Marine Education Center, located in Harbor Island Park, may soon be subject to improvements, as the village Board of Trustees approved of establishing an advisory committee for the center. Photo/Jackson Chen

The Village of Mamaroneck’s Marine Education Center, located in Harbor Island Park, may soon be subject to improvements, as the village Board of Trustees approved of establishing an advisory committee for the center. Photo/Jackson Chen

By JACKSON CHEN
The Village of Mamaroneck’s Marine Education Center will soon have its own advisory committee to foster the sustainability and future of the center.

After the village’s Board of Trustees voted to approve the creation of a Marine Education Center Advisory Committee during its Aug. 10 meeting, they will begin seeking residents who are interested and will review resumes for consideration.

For the center’s director Katherine Desmond, the commitment to form an advisory group shows that the board understands that the Marine Education Center has been a valuable asset to the village.

“The committee should really be a unity of people who really understand the unique qualities that the center has,” Desmond said, adding that it serves as mostly a hangout for residents and out-of-towners.

Desmond originally established the Marine Education Center in April 2013 as a free educational museum for the wildlife that is native to the Long Island Sound. Now three years into the project, Desmond felt that there was room for improvement, but the center’s day-to-day operations were already a handful for her, her husband Jim Desmond and 15 volunteers.

With a modest amount of volunteer employees, the center was only open during the summer season on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Recently, the center was able to see more guests by extending hours until 2 p.m. with the help of a new volunteer. Following the pattern of a small operation, the center ran with only $5,000 in annual funding that all went toward tank supplies and maintenance.

After establishing an advisory committee, the center may be able to extended their hours, begin fundraising efforts, and achieve a wider outreach in the village.

About approving the committee formation, Mayor Norman Rosenblum, a Republican, said there’s a possibility of extending the operation into the winter season or expanding the center into a Village of Mamaroneck museum further down the line.

Desmond agreed with the mayor’s goal of expanding hours and even wanted the center to be open four days a week, but she disagreed with the physical expansion of the building.

“Given the size, we’re not talking about a committee to talk about enlarging our building,” Desmond said. “We’re thinking of a committee that can make it possible for more people coming in.”

While the members of the committee have not been decided yet, Rosenblum said he expects the committee to include ex officio members such as the Recreation Department Superintendent Sandy Mary Korkatzis, and representatives from the village’s boards, commissions and residents.

In the end, Rosenblum said forming the advisory committee is the first step in making sure the center remains an attraction of the village. However, the mayor added that eventually, the marine center should become a part of the village’s Recreation Department.

But for Desmond, she holds some hesitancy in making the center bigger and having it be absorbed into the Recreation Department.

“The mission of the marine center is not recreation,” Desmond said. “We want to make sure where the direction we head in includes input and ideas from entities already existing in the village, like the Committee for the Environment.”

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
vote-2015

Republican primary mayoral candidates: Philip Marraccini

Marraccini_Age: 64

Family: Wife, Jayne; three daughters, Toni, Maggie and Christi

Status: Challenger

Political Affiliation: Registered Republican

Current Employment: Aviation consulting and legal work

Political Experience: Former town mayor, 1994-1998; served on airport advisory board

Community Affiliations: Knights of Columbus, a former member
of the Harrison Zoning Board of Appeals

Years in Harrison: Lifelong resident

 

Q: What type of relationship, if any, do you have with the current mayor?  

A: Back when I was mayor, [Ron Belmont] was in the Recreation Department and I got to know him on a working basis.

Q: How would you describe your experiences as town mayor?

A: I think I tended to be hands on. We had a business approach to government, as opposed to a political one. We instituted reasonable measures for saving, most notably in the legal area. In addition, we put in place financial controls and financial planning that haven’t been instituted to my knowledge in the town since. We had a five-year financial plan, a five-year capital plan and I was very active in attracting businesses into the town not by happenstance.

I went out to get MasterCard into Harrison. When I saw they were looking to move into White Plains, I brought them up, gave them a tour and showed them the IBM building that was going to be vacant. It was more being proactive with a result-
oriented approach.

Q: What are your priorities, if elected? 

A: We have to increase the Harrison brand and bring back financial stability to the town. People are concerned about the rising property taxes, declining services and decreasing property values. There was an article from Houlihan Lawrence that showed while all the other communities around us were going up, Harrison property values declined 26 percent. It’s reflective of the fact that we don’t have a town board that’s involved with the planning for the fiscal stability and elevating the brand.

We’ve had tax increases that are within the tax cap, but that’s not something I’d necessarily beat my chest about when there’s pot holes in the roads, when there’s a reduction in the workforce that compromises services. All of the things that make this a premier community to live in have eroded over time. It’s not easy, it’s not going to be done overnight, but we need to have a plan in place.

Q: As development continues to dominate Harrison’s downtown landscape, like the Playhouse Lofts and 249 Halstead Ave., this is ushering in an unprecedented buildup of Halstead and Harrison avenues. If elected, how would your administration ensure smart development, while also adhering to the concerns of residents in the Purchase and West Harrison areas that would like to retain a farm-like
community? 

A: I would have an architectural plan of what our business district should look like. I would have a streamlined process through our Building Department that would encourage development that is consistent with that plan. If you take a look at how our business district develops, it doesn’t develop according to anything but happenstance.

There’s no longevity. You have to see what draws people to the downtown and right now there’s nothing.

This development at the train station [Avalon Harrison] is not going to draw people into town; it’s going to have a negative effect. When there’s intensive residential development, that puts the biggest strain on our services.

Part of what the town has is a fiduciary responsibility to hold the developer’s feet to the fire. What is our plan for Westchester Avenue? I’d like to see a use that is consistent with the community, consistent with taking advantage of the ability to have traffic on and off of I-287 and something that is going to generate revenue, most notably sales tax revenue.

Q: Development is also highlighting some inconsistencies in the zoning code, with the town board having to issue special exception uses with projects that move forward. This is especially important as precedents are being set with the Playhouse Lofts, a five-to-six story allowance in a Central Business District that only allows four stories. If elected, what can your administration do to bring about uniform use and height in certain zones? 

A: You have to take a look at all of the regulations in town. The Building Department doesn’t have the resources to help with enforcement, or to help with execution on the codes that exist. You have to look at the regulatory process and what regulations can be paired down.

I think you have to look at how you can streamline that whole process in the Building Department to expedite conforming development.

Take a look at our signage, we have banners that say “we accept EBT,” to neon signs. There’s no brand to the town. First brand it and then elevate that brand.

Q: For a time, the Chamber of Commerce in Harrison fell by the wayside and went inactive. What could be done to ensure that the new, revitalized efforts, started in April of this year, are sustained and Harrison grows a stronger business community? Are there any business initiatives that could foster a healthier business district? 

A: What the businesses need are customers. We have very few non-service businesses in the town. You really need to put into place, to help this chamber grow, someone who will listen to [businesses’] needs and that will help them achieve what they have to achieve.

Q: Parking is another major concern for residents as seen with the high turnout and initial backlash over the implementation of a residential parking permit system earlier this year. What would be some of your plans to address parking headaches in the town? Would you like to see other areas of the town, such as West Harrison, enact a similar residential
parking model? 

A: I have a plan to be instituted rather quickly to increase parking significantly, but I think it needs more study from a traffic flow perspective before it could be implemented. I understand the reasoning behind the residential permit system. It’s going to be interesting to see how they’re going to enforce that. It’s nice to put the rules in place but when you keep cutting employees and staff, and now you have to patrol a significant area of town, what resources are going to be used to patrol that area. You add another complexity to the town government.

Q: What accomplishments as mayor are you most proud of? What do you see
as the town’s biggest failure during
your tenure?

A: One of the big things we brought was fiscal stability to the town; we were able to make tough decisions that had long-range benefits. Most weren’t put into place because I wasn’t in office to see them through.

We had a plan to improve the town’s infrastructure. The Gleason Place [DPW garage] still needs to be done to be Occupational Safety and Health Administration-compliant and to provide a working environment that’s safe and reasonable for the employees that work hard for the town. We had plans in place for a garage facility up in West Harrison as well. When you look at the fact that all of our DPW trucks get dispatched from Gleason to go to West Harrison, that’s not an efficient way to operate our business.

I think I’m most proud of having that stability to elevate the town. When you can’t maintain what you have, you’re really taking away from the brand of Harrison.

Q: Avalon Harrison, a proposed 143-unit, mixed-use development alongside Harrison’s Metro-North train station, is going to be a hot topic in the months ahead. This is especially true with the recent addition of seven units of affordable housing—a controversial subject in Harrison—added to the plan. Do you think there needs to be more affordable housing options in the town and which locations are suitable? 

A: Harrison has been criticized [over affordable housing] and I don’t know what that definition is or what they mean. I don’t think we should be mandated to put low-cost housing anywhere. I think the town is looking to impose low-cost housing standards on the community, but I don’t think that benefits the town or its brand. I think somebody has to undertake a study, is there reasonable cost, housing opportunities in Harrison. I would suggest there are. I don’t think there has been a study to show how many Section 8 tenants we have here, but I know our food pantry is a robust business. I don’t know if there’s been a study to say, Harrison is unique with the number of two-family homes, are those being counted in the pool of affordable units? I may suggest we may have met our burden already if you count those units.

Q: Transparency is always in the foreground during an election cycle with many candidates touting it as a campaign platform. How will you respond to old criticism that your tenure wasn’t the most open—citing in particular, a 1997 New York Times article claiming there were denial of requests for details about municipal contracts and expenditures under the Freedom of Information Act and failure to disclose the agenda of town meetings ahead of time. 

How can you ensure voters that things will be different this time around? 

A: At the time, there was nothing ever substantiated about that article. I can tell you [those claims] were not true. We had one of the most transparent administrations I think out of any administration that’s ever been. This [current] administration, there is no transparency and I can suggest that the mayor is not even the guy in charge of the town board.

At this point in time, I’m not running with a team, with a ticket. I’m running for the people of Harrison. I’m not beholden to anybody and I have an interest in making sure that everything is open and transparent.

vote-2015

Republican primary mayoral candidates: Ron Belmont

Belmont-Ron-2Age: 62

Family: Married; two children, Michelle and Matthew

status: Incumbent

Political Affiliation: Non-affiliated


Political Experience:
Four years as mayor/supervisor of
Town/Village of Harrison

Community Affiliations: Former supervisor for the Department
of Recreation for 20 years

Years in Harrison: Lifelong resident

 

Q: It is extremely unusual for a sitting mayor to face a primary challenge. How surprising was it to hear that Philip Marraccini was back in the fold? 

A: It was surprising to realize and to find out he was challenging me in the primary.

Q: What type of relationship, if any, do you have with the former mayor? 

A: We’ve always had a good relationship. I was superintendent of [recreation] when he was mayor, so we’ll just let it go at that.

Q: What do you remember of his tenure as Harrison’s mayor? 

A: I’d rather not talk about the past.

Q: How would you describe your experiences as mayor? 

A: I think it’s been great. I started calling residents last night, and my wife was helping me, the response was overwhelmingly positive. My people don’t know why this [primary] is happening, but it’s all part of the political process.

Ma Riis Park has been rejuvenated, the library is going to open Sept. 12, that was a great combination of the community, a private individual and the town pooling all the resources together. Verizon FiOS is in town, no other mayor could do that. I don’t boast my accomplishments, but FiOS, I started that before I was sworn in and we got it done. The Metro-North project, it has been in existence for 20-plus years, everyone wanted to do something there, but nothing was ever done. It got done. I’ll be a lot happier when I cut the ribbon and people start living there, but we’re on our way.

These are some of the things that I’ve done, but I don’t say “I”, I say “we” because some people don’t like the way I govern, where everyone’s involved. Fred Sciliano’s been involved, he’s a construction guru, he’s been involved with the library, he’s there two, three times a week. Negotiations, [Councilman] Cannella has experience with that. When it comes to finances, that’s [Councilman] Malfitano’s forte. Councilwoman Amelio has her specialties, the downtown revitilization efforts that have been done. Our bond rating has gone up three points, now it’s a AA1, hopefully maybe we can get triple A.

Q: What are your priorities going forward if you are re-elected to a third term? 

A: I’m going to try and help everyone, and that’s huge. If you live in an area that floods, that’s a priority for you. It’s got to be a priority for me. We’ve done some small flood relief projects; we’re still waiting to do the big ones. We’re in final design for those, once those are done and working with the army corps of engineers, that’s a reality.

If you’re a business owner downtown, our business district needs to be rejuvenated. It looks the same as it did 20 years ago, so it’s in the process of changing. The amount of shops and restaurants that have opened in the last four years is unbelievable, because there’s confidence back in town.

Another priority is getting rid of zombie houses, but when it comes to government, everything’s a process. We need a new courthouse, the [downtown] recreation center is 106 years old, the recreation center in West Harrison is nearly 100 years old. So these are things that have to get done. Our DPW garage needs to get done. Our police station took over a school [more than 30]  years ago. We could really use a new police station, we’ve outgrown it.

Q: Development continues to dominate Harrison’s downtown landscape, like the Playhouse Lofts and 249 Halstead Ave., ushering in an unprecedented buildup of Halstead and Harrison avenues. If re-elected, how would your administration ensure smart development, while also adhering to the concerns of residents in the Purchase and West Harrison areas that would like to retain a farm-like
community?
 

A: Development is good. We’re going to do it reasonably, that’s why we have a planning and zoning board, so we get it done in the right fashion. If we don’t develop, we’re going to dry up on the vine because we have to expand our tax base. We’re trying to develop downtown Harrison and we’re trying to bring people there. We have to get our shops going, our restaurants going. Port Chester did it. Mamaroneck did it—it’s booming now. But those areas took 20 years, it didn’t happen overnight. The development plan is to start moving slow and keep moving in a positive direction.

The other area that has to be developed is Westchester Avenue. Right now it’s empty office space, and office complexes are history. To put luxury, one-to-two-bedroom and studio apartments there makes sense to me. It’ll widen our tax base and keep our services where they are. The infrastructure, sewer and roads are there, it just needs to be re-purposed.

Q: Development is also highlighting some inconsistencies in the zoning code, with the town board having to issue special exception uses with certain projects that move forward. This is especially important as precedents are being set with the Playhouse Lofts, a five-to-six story allowance in a Central Business District that only allows four stories. What can your administration do to bring about uniform use and height in certain zones, or is there a plan to examine the zoning code and make amendments in the future? 

A: We study everything, and as I mentioned earlier, I have complete faith in the planning and zoning boards. It’s examined constantly, we look at everything. Everything has to be very specific and everything is looked at individually.

Q: For a time, the Harrison Chamber of Commerce fell by the wayside and went inactive. What can be done to ensure that the new, revitalized efforts, started in April of this year, are sustained and Harrison grows a stronger business community? Are there any business initiatives that can foster a healthier business district? 

A: We’re going to work very closely with the chamber. Holly [Sharpe], the president, is a great person and she’s not even a business owner in town, she just cares about Harrison. My thing is, I try to work with someone on whatever they need—be it signage, parking or sanitation—but I would always work with the chamber and the businesses in town. I don’t want to govern the chamber, they’re on their own, but if they ask me for something, I’d try to get it done.

Q: Parking is another major concern for residents. What are some of your plans to address parking headaches in the town? Would you like to see other areas of the town, such as West Harrison, enact a similar residential parking model? 

A: When it comes to parking, what I tell people is: it’s not that there’s not enough parking spots, there’s just too many cars. When I grew up, there were five of us and we had one car. Today, there’d be five cars. It’s a problem.

For the parking system, it’s moving forward. Permits are being issued, but the signs have not gone up yet. It’s not going into effect until after Labor Day. We tried to do the same thing in West Harrison, but the problem with parking is it has to be a state initiative. We can’t just make parking rules and regulations; it has to come from Albany. The boundary for Harrison [was] in the attorney general’s office and no one addressed it, so I got involved and now it’s a reality. It may not work, but we’re trying new initiatives.

We have to try new things. The easiest thing to do would be to say, don’t park on the streets at night, but that can’t happen. So we’re trying to do the best we can. If we had no overnight parking in the town, sanitation and snow plowing would be much easier.

Q: What accomplishments as mayor are you most proud of? What do you see as the town’s biggest failure during your tenure?

A:  I just think the positive outlook people now have of the town. Everything else leads to that—the bond rating, FiOS, Avalon Harrison and development—flow and the positive atmosphere that people want to live here. Other communities envy us now.

When I first became mayor, we went to other towns to look at sanitation, snow plowing and the police cameras. Now, people are coming here to see how Harrison mulches and looking at our police cameras, and finding out what we’re doing because we’re on the cutting edge of getting things done.

Q: Avalon Harrison, a proposed 143-unit, mixed-use development alongside Harrison’s Metro-North train station, is going to be a hot topic in the months ahead. Is your administration softening its stance on affordable housing and is there more to come? Do you think there needs to be more affordable housing options in the town and which locations are suitable? 

A: We’re studying every locality of every development. We’re always exploring options, as part of the [federal] mandate, and we’ll keep exploring options.

Q: Transparency is always in the foreground during an election cycle with many candidates touting it as campaign platform. Grade your efforts at transparency since taking office in 2011. 

A: I think it’s an A+. I have a weekly column, I call people on the phone—we hide nothing. What we do is out there. My office is always open; I mean that’s part of the reason why I’m always late on things, people walk in and out all day. I think that’s why our meetings go by quickly; people don’t come to the microphone. They don’t have to come to a town board meeting to see me and address an issue.