A Legacy of Less


By Robin Jovanovich

This year we celebrate our 20th year as Rye residents. We’re finally longtime residents of a community we love.


Over the 13 years that I’ve been reporting City news for The Rye Record, I’ve seen my fair share of dissention and frustration over the lack of progress on important issues.


legacyThe Milton Cemetery Bridge has been closed for several years.When the Republicans had a 6-1 majority on the Council and used every opportunity to demean Mayor Steve Otis, I was ashamed of them. When the Council hired an engineer, who was patently not an ‘outsider’, to look into the Schubert Pond debacle, it was more than bad form. If a Council promises to investigate, residents trust them to do so.


There will always be residents who stand too long at the podium, and Councilmembers who use the dais to opine ad nauseum. Nobody’s perfect.
The public has a right, however, to question how civic matters are handled and be treated respectfully. In turn, they need to be respectful at meetings. The Mayor must use the gavel when public comment gets ugly and the Council must deliberate with all good speed.


As I walk among the municipal and Metro-North parking lots, picking up trash and watching drivers on cell phones making illegal U-turns, I pay close attention on the roads and sidewalks that are in need of immediate repair lest a Navigator or Hummer owner who’s barreling down the street take me out.


I wonder why the Rye Police are writing fewer — close to 37% fewer — traffic tickets, when the number of violators is growing like Topsy. All that money could be put to good use fixing the roads.


Would the creation of a Public Safety Commissioner position, as the City Manager has recommended, improve traffic safety?


Passing by the Central Avenue, Rye Nature Center, and Milton Cemetery bridges, I wonder which one will be repaired first or ever.


When residents aren’t away and I and dozens of other business people, shoppers, and diners drive around for 20 minutes or more in search of a parking space, I wonder why I haven’t heard that the creation of additional downtown parking will be part of a sizable bond that the City will ask residents to vote on in November.


I think fondly back to when Allen Clark, Dolores Eyler, and I did a video on the urgent need for more parking over a decade ago. Many of the longtime residents we interviewed joked that the City was all set to add more parking back in the ’60s, and they’re still talking about it.


With so much City and Council staff time being devoted to what the Mayor, the City Manager, the Corporation Counsel, the Building Department, the RyeTV Coordinator did or didn’t do, very little else is happening. And things need to happen. Otherwise, no bridges will be built, 1037 Boston Post Road won’t be sold and back on the tax rolls, not enough tickets will be written, and the intersection of Theodore Fremd and Purdy will remain an accident waiting to happen.


Go forth, City Council.

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