How dreadful an idea to move Rye’s Department of Public Works to property on Boston Post Road across from Rye Country Day School, which is a beautifully set facility of learning and preparation for life for many young people.
We have all seen what the State of New York DPW does to property on and off the interstates where they need to store equipment and material for their million dollar projects; no thought for the landscape or the vista of drivers.
The residents of northeastern Rye (Hillside, Grandview, Evergreen) have their hands full trying to fight off the traffic incursion to be generated by the redevelopment of the former United Hospital property, and now they are having their backside truly dismantled with a DPW field office and storage lot.
I’m sure the Mayor and the City Council understands how wrong an idea this plan is.
An alternative would be to build a service road, a back door so to speak, from the DPW along the west side of the wetlands to Playland Parkway to be used during the work week by commercial and employee vehicles. It would have to be gated and restricted in its use for the sake of the residents living adjacent to the property.
Then over time, Disbrow Park and the DPW can go their separate ways — one to Oakland Beach Avenue and the other to Playland Parkway and I-95 — at a minimum of expense.
— Tim Harvey
I am writing in response to Howard Husock’s commentary, “Making Rye’s Public Pool More Public”. It was enlightening to see a clear analysis of the Golf Club’s income and expenditures, including the fact that the pool and golf course subsidize the money-losing restaurant.
When my husband and I moved to Rye over 20 years ago, we looked forward to joining the pool but could not because it cost more than twice what we were paying in our former Westchester community for a more elaborate complex. Becoming seniors, we hoped that Rye would offer a senior discount. Unfortunately, Rye does not, although we recently heard whispers that members of the Rye Seniors were able to pay for a one-day admission to the pool. We were, and remain, flabbergasted by the price of a pool membership; when so many comparable communities use tax money to subsidize such recreational facilities, we do not understand why Rye does not.
We reluctantly accept that we are excluded from going to the pool because of the cost. However, I am incredibly offended by the suggestion that having people without high incomes would lower the standards of the Golf Club.
When I came to teach in Rye over 25 years ago, my friends and colleagues urged me not to come here. “You’ll hate it. It’s such an elitist and snobbish community.” I ignored their advice, came to Rye to teach, and eventually moved here. Never did I feel regarded as a “second class” person; instead, I found students and parents, for the most part, to be respectful and appreciative. I was, therefore, shocked to hear Rye Golf Club Commissioner Pat Geoghegan say that lowering the membership fee would “destroy the club atmosphere.” Apparently, I am acceptable as a teacher in this community: I can pay my property taxes, but I am not of the right ilk for our city-owned pool. Geoghegan also asserts that it would be “unfair to the general taxpayer” that might not use the facility. I disagree vehemently. By living in a society, we have an implicit contract to finance certain aspects of life: health and safety (fire, police), infrastructure (DPW), quality of life (parks and recreation, libraries), and the future of our world (education). People say that they do not want to pay for schools, roads, parks, libraries, etc. because they do not use them. However, we have a communal responsibility to pay taxes for items we might not use just as others pay for items we use. We have a responsibility to share in the cost of making our community a safe and comfortable place for everyone. I cannot understand why it is more acceptable to provide playing fields and tennis courts than it is to have an affordable pool. Each benefits the community and should be supported with tax money.
It seems to me that there are two issues: one is the use of tax dollars to benefit all segments of the community; the other is to erase the elitist attitude that using tax dollars to support a city-owned facility and lowering the membership fee to be more inclusive would, somehow, ruin the facility.
I hope that Rye reconsiders its funding for the Golf Club and, perhaps even more importantly, looks carefully at the message it sends to its residents.
— Jane Johnson
The City of Rye has just gone through great effort to beautify the cityscape with the road and sidewalk improvements in the Central Business District along Purchase Street. However, an eyesore remains in our downtown: the open area next to Peachwave.
Who has responsibility for maintaining this area? Whoever it is, gets an “F”. Why is our City government not addressing this eyesore? If the landlord is responsible, fine them for not maintaining the property.
Why did we spend a great deal of money to improve the appearance of our downtown and allow this eyesore to exist a few blocks away?
— Jim O’Neill
Making Rye’s Public Pool More Public
By Howard Husock
Pullquote: The current model at Rye Golf Club makes it difficult for Rye residents of modest means to use the pool.
Scarsdale and Great Neck are, like Rye, among the country’s most affluent and desirable suburbs. All boast outstanding school systems and high property values. But, as the summer season reminds us, there’s one notable difference among them: the cost of admission to a city-owned swimming pool.
A season family pass to the Scarsdale pool complex is $428. A similar pass to the Great Neck pool: $400. The price in Rye: $1,450.
Glad to know about the [reopening] of PepsiCo Gardens, as reported in The Rye Record (July 14, 2017). Just wanted to clarify that the Frick garden that Russell Page designed is the one to the east of the house, and its formal name is the 70th Street Garden. The article in The Record cites the one on Fifth Avenue, which is the older one, from the period of family residence and the 1930s, and was never part of the building project plan that has since been shelved. (Some newspapers two years ago referenced the wrong one, hence the confusion perhaps).
I just thought to share this information in case Rye readers come down to see it. The two gardens at the Frick are quite different, and I want to be sure they know which one to seek out if looking for Russell Page’s work.
— Heidi Rosenau, Associate Director of Media Relations & Marketing, The Frick Collection