Category Archives: Letters

LETTER

Letter: Rock chipping law shows council failure

 

 

To the Editor,

At its last meeting, the Rye City Council gave builders the right to increase rock chipping over what the appointed volunteer committee’s compromise restrictions would have allowed. The result is little relief from the oppressive rock chipping noise our neighborhoods are now facing. The new law allows rock chipping with these provisions:

•More days than even the modest restrictions requested by the volunteer committee’s recommendations.

•More equipment than had previously been allowed.

•No noise abatement.

•Time extensions unaccompanied by any extra fees that would discourage their routine use and provide the community with any compensation.

This failure by the city council to respond to more than 550 Rye residents who showed their support for the 30-calendar-day rock chipping limit is proof that it puts our needs second to those of builders.

Rye residents deserve a city council that is transparent and that responds to our concerns
instead of selling our community out to the highest bidder.

 

Emily Hurd

Danielle Tagger-Epstein

Jeff Taylor,

Democratic candidates for Rye City Council

 

 

LETTER

Letter: On Rye’s current master plan

 

 

To the Editor,

There have been comments from both the Democratic candidates as well as the Republican candidates about the current Master Plan for the City of Rye, and it is time to add some fact to the discussion:

The 1985 City of Rye Development Plan covered the following 10 areas:

•Residential development,

•Central Business District

•Business development

•Our circulation system

•Streets

•Mass transportation

•Pedestrian circulation

•Parks, recreation and open space

•Environmental protection

•Flood control

•Coastal resources

•Historic preservation

•Community facilities

As stated within the document, “The Development Plan is a long range statement by the City’s Planning Commission about its goals and policies for the use of land within the City for a projected period of time.”

The first master plan was adopted by The Village of Rye in 1929. The Rye Development Plan was adopted by the city in 1945 and The Rye City Development plan was updated in 1963.

In many instances, the phrase “you’ve come a long way baby” is very appropriate to describe where we are today with the existing “Development Plan;” however, we live in an ever-changing world, and Rye is no different.

Today, issues exist about each and every one of the above plan sections and needs to be addressed with a new updated “Rye Strategic Master Plan.”

As you review the 1985 Development Plan, you will see a plan that a great deal of thought went into. This same effort, if not more, needs to be initiated in an updated 2015-2016 Strategic Plan for The City of Rye. Scarsdale, Bronxville and Harrison are all faced with similar issues and are addressing some of their issues—including parking, retail and housing projects—through third party partnerships.

We support the city council taking an aggressive approach to make updating the Master Plan for 2016 and beyond a top priority.

 

Councilman Rich Mecca

Leon Sculti

Jim Culyer,

Republican candidates for Rye City Council

LETTER

Letter: Natchez’s political ad

 

To the Editor,

I am writing in response to the outrageous advertisement that was published in the Review on Oct. 16 sponsored by Daniel Natchez.

To suggest that Mayor Rosenblum and Trustee Santoro are solely responsible for cost overruns in the Village of Mamaroneck is simply absurd. Mayor Rosenblum and Trustee Santoro have no unilateral authority to approve or disapprove any project. The Village of Mamaroneck has a village manager-form of government and the manager is the chief executive officer of the village. The village manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the village, which includes overseeing various projects. The board of trustees only sets policy, they do not manage the village.

Mayor Rosenblum and Trustee Santoro only represent two of five votes on the village board. The current board of trustees has been controlled by a “democratic” majority and is sponsored by a small contingent of homogeneous, individual donors for the last four years. It is important to note, each project mentioned in said advertisement was in fact approved by this “democratic” majority.

Mayor Rosenblum and Trustee Santoro have run a positive campaign focused on their proven records and vision for a better community. We are proud of what they have been able to accomplish in a collaborative and professional manner. It is our hope that on Tuesday, Nov. 3, the voters in the Village of Mamaroneck will proudly re-elect Mayor Norman Rosenblum and Trustee Louis Santoro so they can continue their mission and keep the friendly village of Mamaroneck moving forward.

 

Village of Mamaroneck Republican Committee,

Mamaroneck

LETTER

Letter: Where is the accountability?

 

To the Editor,

At the Oct. 13 Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees meeting, it was brought to light that Trustee Leon Potok met privately with Dan Pfeffer, co-owner of Hampshire Country Club. Mr. Potok agreed to this meeting despite the village attorney’s counsel not to do so. Mr. Potok’s transgression is quite frankly an abuse of public trust.

In an attempt to minimize Mr. Potok’s transgression, Trustee Ilissa Miller stated that Mr. Potok’s private meeting with Hampshire occurred more than a year ago, and that “it has been water under the bridge.”

Whether it happened a year ago or a month ago, does Ms. Miller see nothing wrong with Mr. Potok disregarding the advice of our experienced village attorney, and meeting privately with an entity the trustees were irrefutably told not to have private contact with?

Does Trustee Miller see nothing wrong with Trustee Potok holding a private meeting with Hampshire, while Hampshire had their rezoning application before the Board of Trustees?

Ethics, accountability, and transparency are the building blocks of good government, and it is troubling that certain village public officials aren’t living up to that.

The village’s battle with Hampshire over their development plans isn’t over, and Mr. Potok’s private meeting with Hampshire begs several questions: Did Mr. Potok make a deal with Hampshire? Whose interests is Mr. Potok looking after? How has Hampshire benefited from meeting with Mr. Potok?

 

Angela Giraldo,

Mamaroneck

LETTER

letter: The problem with development in our village

 

 

To the Editor,

For the last six months, we and many of our neighbors have been fighting against a developer’s plans for a subdivision that we are convinced will forever alter the character of our neighborhood and contribute to existing environmental problems in the community. After attending the Village of Mamaroneck Planning Board hearings, we learned just how difficult it is to stop unwanted development.

A lot of the village would say we are newcomers, but even during our 21 years here, we have witnessed an incredible increase in traffic on our main arteries, as well as our formerly quiet neighborhood streets. Our taxes have more than tripled to pay for the consequences of over-development within the village. Our sewage systems are already over capacity, and storm water runoff, exacerbated by new construction, has been nothing short of catastrophic for many of our neighbors in Rye Neck.

The village has enacted codes that must be adhered to, and is obligated to follow New York State Department of Environmental Conservation rules, but too often these are overlooked, either through expediency or apathy. The result is that residents’ quality of life has greatly diminished.

Talk to some of the old timers who have resided here for 50 years, and they will tell you about how easy it was to park on a street, or how much open space has disappeared. “Progress” happens right under our noses, but so insidiously that by the time we recognize how our community has changed, it is too late. Now, all that’s left to develop—the rock ledges, wetlands, the remaining sizable, sub-dividable properties—will for sure be attacked by the rock chipper and the bulldozer, huge structures will go up, and the character of the village will be gone altogether.

To be sure, there are many responsible officials, boards and agencies in our community that want to do the right thing and have tried to balance the needs of the community with economic development. We have seen this in action, and we commend the planning board for listening to the citizens’ voices.

However, more must be done to change the culture of development in the village. This is why we support the candidacy of Natchez and Burt for mayor and trustee. If we can’t stop development, at least we can develop responsibly, where it makes sense to do so, and according to stringent interpretations of the village code. These two candidates are our best chance to see that this happens.

 

David and Ellen Styler,

Mamaroneck

LETTER

Letter: Bigger isn’t always best

To the Editor,

Anyone who loves the Village of Mamaroneck wants bigger and better things for our beloved community. Different people interpret this differently. Here’s what I want from the leaders of this village:

More concern for the quality of our water, bigger effort to fix pipes causing the contamination, better enforcement of laws protecting our water and better planning to ensure that we accomplish these goals.

“Bigger” and “more” appear to be the hallmarks of the Rosenblum/Santoro regime, as evidenced by the numerous, huge signs plastered all over the village. But during the past six years, our water quality has gotten worse, not better. Now we have a bigger problem: we are now surrounded by water that is even more unsafe for human contact. Furthermore, Rosenblum and Santoro have promised that, if re-elected, they will continue their drive for bigger and more development, which means more density, more parking and traffic congestion, more property taxes, more impact on our failing sewers, more dirty water and more flooding. Is this better? Is this what you want?

Mayor Rosenblum and Trustee Santoro have the biggest campaign signs, and more of them. The mayor also shouts the loudest, with the biggest voice at village board meetings. But I submit that bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to vital quality of life issues in the Village of Mamaroneck.

Better leadership is crucial to this community’s future. Don’t be fooled by the big signs. They indicate big promises that have not been kept. Better leadership equals better water quality.

I’m voting for Dan Natchez and Thomas Burt on Nov. 3. How about you?

 

Allison Stabile,

Mamaroneck

LETTER

Letter: Re: senior citizens and affordable housing

 

To the Editor,

Last month, Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker issued a press release congratulating herself for bringing affordable senior housing to Rye and led her constituents to believe it was all for Rye residents. She said she took action to help senior citizens remain in the communities where they have lived for many years allowing them “to age comfortably in a setting which they are familiar to [sic].”

But before we pop the champagne corks, we need to unpack the rhetoric embedded in this announcement and evaluate the details of this plan. Specifically, we should ask three questions:

What does it cost?

The county will spend $4.5 million to fund the 41 proposed housing units on North Street in Rye, but there is a much steeper cost. Federal encroachment in our communities represents a threat to our local zoning laws. By being a cheerleader for the federal housing settlement, Legislator Parker jeopardizes the local autonomy of our cities, towns and villages, and exposes other communities across the country to similar coercion. If HUD succeeds in Westchester, and is not checked by congressional action or a change in administration, it will take this show on the road.

Who pays for it?

You and I and all county taxpayers, that’s who. We’re already on the hook for $50 million, but HUD wants more. The Sound Shore needs a legislator who will guard against HUD’s heavy-handed tactics to impose its view of fairness on our community. Westchester pays the highest taxes in the country, and living here is increasingly beyond the means of not just seniors, but young families as well. That’s not discrimination; it’s economics.

Who will benefit?

Certainly not our local seniors. What Legislator Parker failed to mention is that the HUD housing settlement expressly prohibits any of these units being reserved for residents in Rye specifically or Westchester generally. In fact, the settlement requires Westchester to market these housing units to outside the county, to seniors earning less than 60 percent of median income in locations such as Bridgeport, Conn., Newburgh, N.Y. and the Bronx.

The Sound Shore needs a county legislator who will tell the whole truth about the HUD settlement and resist the federal government’s attempts to quash local prerogatives with threats, fines and rhetoric. Leadership requires strong principles and the courage to defend them. Press releases are no substitute.

 

Susan Watson,

Rye

 

LETTER

Letter: Figuring out the real number of deer

 

 

To the Editor,

In your issue published on Oct. 2, Taffy Williams protested “the madness of a deer cull.” She wrote that the number of deer “could be and is most likely a small population of no more than 20 to 30 deer roaming through Mamaroneck and Rye.”

While her credentials as a “Class One wildlife rehabilitator in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation” may be relevant in some areas, clearly math and statistics are not her strong points.

Since a family of five deer—a mother and four offspring—frequent my front and back yards on a daily basis and take the time to devour every blossom, blade of hosta and butternut squash tendril—including those under protective netting—they would have to be very swift moving to visit the rest of the two towns.

From my observation, the numbers Ms. Williams presents are off by a huge margin and based on pure speculation.

 

Lois Fenton,

Mamaroneck

LETTER

Letter: Why I still support Molly Spillane’s

 

 

To the Editor,

Recently, there have been opinions voiced against Molly Spillane’s. It has mainly been about the noise that irritates some residents that live nearby. I have lived within a half block away from Molly’s and have never been bothered by this noise, or anything else about this establishment.

Prior to Mollys’ existence, I remember a plain, somewhat ugly building on that corner. Watching this restaurant being built, and seeing what is there now, I wish to commend the owner. The completed design has resulted in a welcoming appeal to the avenue. On any given evening or weekend, I notice many people celebrating. Whether it be a birthday, bridal shower, baby shower, Christmas party, Mamaroneck School function, etc., there is always a festive atmosphere. When my daughter was home from college, her high school friends would always gather there and hang out. When she got her first job after graduation, Molly’s was the first place we picked to celebrate.

Molly’s sponsors many community events throughout the year. The restaurant not only brings many people to Mamaroneck, but also adds to the vibrancy that Mamaroneck Avenue was lacking years ago. Since this restaurant opened, many more have opened, which has brought a thriving nightlife to the village. While I have never been bothered by the noise as others have voiced, I respect their opinion. If neighbors are truly bothered, they have a right to complain.

I would like to thank the owner for taking a chance coming to our village. He invested a great deal of money and time with this decision. He could have chosen other towns, but picked Mamaroneck. He has hired local residents in all aspects of his business. For many, it is their first job. He took a dismal piece of property and turned it into a beautiful building. It has become the place to go to watch parades go by, listen to music at the street block party or simply enjoy a good meal. After the annual firemen’s parade or other community celebrations, many people choose to meet at Molly’s to end the day. Every sport is viewed with the many TVs. Watching playoff games is a thrill. Even if you are not a big sports fan, you enjoy the excitement. It is simply the place to go.

I want to thank Molly Spillane’s for the good work they have done and continue to do. Thank you for coming here. I look forward to future celebrations, large and small, at your restaurant. The avenue would not be the same without you.

 

Matthew Westermann,

Mamaroneck

 
LETTER

Letter: Bianchi for town justice

 

 

To the Editor,

I’m writing to endorse Ronald Bianchi for Harrison town justice. Ron has extensive experience. He is a dedicated and trusted civil servant who has served the Town of Harrison as the mayor/supervisor, town attorney and town judge. Ron is also a lawyer in private practice. He has always proven to be a fair and understanding person. Consider the value of experience when making a decision and vote for Ronald Bianchi for Harrison town justice.

 

Christine Hughes,

Harrison