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    « State of the City, Playland, Cops, Joe Biden, MyRye.com Volunteers—Items on the Agenda for City Council Meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2010 | Main | Time to Digitize Official Legal Notices; MyRye.com Volunteers »

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    TheLegalFeesAreTooDamnHigh

    Councilman Sacks made some excellent points especially about getting a full accounting of how the old CVS was paid off.

    From Rye Patch.

    1037 Boston Post Road

    This year, French and the City Council also paid off the balance of 1037 Boston Post Road, a site the city purchased during Steve Otis' administration in the hopes of building a joint police and court facility. Though that plan never materialized, the city rented the building to Lester's Clothing store for $23,000 a month. In March, the City Council authorized the issuance of $2 million in debt to pay for part of the balance it owed for its $5 million purchase of 1037 Boston Post Road. The remainder is covered by state and federal reimbursements. The city paid off the balance in November and will generate an additional $267,000 in interest savings as a result. This year, it will formulate a plan for possible uses of the building.

    A few questions.
    Do the state and the feds know French used $3,000,000 0f their money to pay off the old CVS building?

    I wonder if they were told by French that it was valued at about $2,000,000 below what the City of Rye paid for it.

    I wonder if the $3,000,000 in state and fed money used to pay for the old CVS building was supposed to be used for other projects.

    I wonder if the state and feds know Rye leases the old CVS building.

    Joe Sack

    Jim,

    While I sometimes write guest columns for MyRye, as you know I am not a "poster". But you raise a fair point that my request for feedback has resulted in questions that seek responses. I may not have all the answers, but here is what I know and my own opinion for what it's worth. I am sorry if you have posed these questions directly to other council members or city staff and have not heard back.

    Re: snow -- I too have inquired about sidewalk snow removal and have been assured that the city is working its hardest to remove snow for which it is responsible, and writing tickets for resident non-compliance. However it seems that there are spots that have gone uncleared. As I have said in other situations (e.g., coyote tracking) public safety is a results-oriented endeavor and trying hard is not always good enough. Please send me off-line a list of the spots you identified. It could be that what we need to do in serious situations is -- instead of just writing tickets -- have the city clear a private spot and then send the bill to the owner.

    Re: Participation by department heads at public budget meetings --The city manager runs the city, and this is his prerogative. But I am a believer in the most transparency and information as possible, and I am confident that the next time around all necessary personnel will be present.

    Re: Central Ave. Bridge, sluice gate, Theo. Fremd -- I am told that these projects are stalled because we are waiting for grant money, and that we will not get the funds re-imbursed if we lay out our own money first. We just can't afford to do this.

    Re: CVS -- There are no grant monies waiting for us on this, and if the city didn't pay off the $5 million delayed ballon purchase payment in 2010, the city would have been subject to other monetary costs and penalties. That said, CVS is still a big albatross that was hung on our necks back in 2006, but is just now starting to drag us down, and we need to have a full accounting for where the funds to pay off the purchase price came from and how it affects our balance sheet and budget.

    Re: Bird house -- I do not relish being right from the beginning on this bad deal. A year and a half later, we still haven't received a penny. Even if we ultimately re-coup some of the money, the damage has already been done to our cash flow problem. Even city staff has so little faith we will get all the money back that they haven't even issued the Revenue Anticipation Notes they requested and received approval for last year. We also still haven't figured out the full impact this will have on our already strained balance sheet and budget.

    Re: Schubert pond -- Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, although I was the only council member willing to constructively address the situation, I have now been sued personally along with other city officials. This obviously constrains my ability to respond at this time. But I was very vocal and opinionated in the face of extreme adversity before the litigation was commenced, and I would generally remind you of and refer you to these publically available comments.

    Joe Sack

    Average Citizen

    Jim, I also asked you a question in the post below yours. Do you have time to answer it?

    Jim Amico

    Joe,
    Who is responsible for this snow removal and WHEN is it going to be taken ca

    Why did the City Manager order Connors not to come to a Council meeting about the Rye PD?

    Where is the Central Ave bridge to nowhere?

    Why was paying off the CVS building more important than replacing a bridge vital to Rye's transportation and a sluice gate that is key to the flood mitigation we need?

    Where are the repairs to the Theodore fremd wall?

    Where is the Sluice gate?

    Where is the $1,000,000 in grants for the bird?

    Why is the City Manager paying tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to prevent two subpoenaed public employees from testifying in a public court case?

    Why isn't the Corporation Counsel handling the City's unprecedented legal action to prevent two Rye employees from testifying in the Schubert matter instead of outside lawyer$$$$$?

    Does the Corporation Counsel have a conflict concerning the Schubert matter? If yes, what is the conflict?

    Councilman Sack,
    You have been asked many questions here since your post....How about posting some answers?

    Average Citizen

    Jim, since you feel that the OT is excessive, can you tell us where this OT was incurred? There must be numerous instances that you can cite. Or is it just a "gut feeling?"

    Jim Amico

    Avg,

    That question was not for you, but thank you none the less.
    My opinion is...Poor Management!

    I never said or would say that OT is not necessary.

    Yes, a well oiled PD will have OT as well as a RUSTED POORLY MANAGED ONE!

    Average Citizen

    I'll ask again...

    Fees, you wrote: "Numerous times Connors has withheld vital information from his own cops exposing them to harm and liability."

    Can you expand on these instances. I would love to hear what they are. I am a huge supporter of the police, and if they are put in harm's way unnessesarily, I would like to know more about it.

    TheLegalFeesAreTooDamnHigh

    Mr. Amico:

    First and foremost French and Pickup having no clue how many cops work at the Rye PD is as bad as it gets.How do they control overtime or anything else if they don't have this basic knowledge. How can there be any credible oversight? There isn't!!!!!!

    Stupidity rules the roost at the Rye PD when it comes to manpower deployment and scheduling. This has led to $$$$ millions of dollars for needless and avoidable overtime the last ten years that Connors has been here.

    Pickup seems to me to be in way over his head. French probably chose him so French can micromanage every aspect of city management. Their performance last night in trying to retroactively change their idiocy during the budget process was revolting.

    Average Citizen

    Fees, you wrote: "Numerous times Connors has withheld vital information from his own cops exposing them to harm and liability."

    Can you expand on these instances. I would love to hear what they are. I am a huge supporter of the police, and if they are put in harm's way unnessesarily, I would like to know more about it.

    Average Citizen

    Jim, I have no idea if the OT is excessive or not. Should RPD just hire five more officers? Would that resolve it? I honestly don't know, but just because there is $500k of OT, is that automatically bad? I have no idea, and if you do, please let me know. I would love to hear Franco's take on this.

    Again, I'm not supporting or deriding this amount -- I just don't know what it is being used for. OT is always needed. As a matter of fact, a well-oiled department will ALWAYS have OT. I really don't think that you or I can definitively say whether it is high from abuse or just manpower shortage. Franco, are you OTA?

    And I've posted this before: why would Connors hand out excessive and unnecessary OT to the very people who gave him a vote of "no confidence?" Is he trying to curry favor?

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