A Vote for McCartney Is a Vote for Rye
Dear Rye Record,
This election gives our city a welcome opportunity to elect Terry McCartney to the Rye City Council. Knowing Terry for 13 years, I can attest that he brings a healthy mix of intelligence, decency, and the ability to listen and evaluate to any situation.
Terry simply gets it — there’s no ego or pretense — watching him use his ability to pursue various goals with focus, energy, wisdom, and humility genuinely sets him apart from many of his peers. At a time, when many in Rye are calling for more civility and a toned-down partisan brinksmanship, there is no doubt that Terry McCartney will do what is good for the City of Rye as a member of the City Council.
Mehler Will Make Rye Better
Dear Rye Record,
As a member of the Westchester business community and a colleague of Jason Mehler’s, I want to express my support of his candidacy for a position on the Rye City Council on the Independence Party line in the November 5 election. Jason wants to be part of the process to “Make Rye Better.” His extensive financial background and understanding of budgeting, employment issues, financial statement and cash-flow analysis will be a great addition in helping the Council with its essential task of fiscal accountability. I believe that he has experience, coupled with a passion to keep Rye’s local government strong, and he will help bring new ideas and new solutions to the Rye City Council.
Jason serves on the Rye Town Park Advisory Committee and the Rye Recreation Commission. He is fully committed to serving all of the people of Rye.
* Pedestrian Safety, Safer Sidewalks and Crosswalks — with an emphasis on child safety issues;
* Supporting Rye’s Police Department, Fire Department, Public Work Employees and all Rye City employees in future contract/labor negotiations;
* Financial Accountability/Implementing Internal Controls for Rye Golf Club and Boat Basin;
*Continuing to Analyze and Address Flooding Issues;
*Transparency in Local Government;
* Executive sessions only when absolutely necessary;
*Downtown Parking Issues/Concerns.
I’ve worked with Jason at Rand Realty and hope the people of Rye get to know him as well.
Paul Adler, Esq.
Sports Arena Crowding Out Playland Redevelopment Plan
Dear Rye Record,
You owe it to the residents of Rye, and indeed, to all the citizens of Westchester County, to open the books on SPI’s plans regarding Playland. In the beginning, their proposals seemed well intentioned and a good solution to Playland’s troubled finances. But it’s come to light recently that, among other things, they plan to build a 95,000 square-foot “indoor sports arena” complete with two soccer fields, six volleyball courts, four batting cages, a full-service café, and twenty (yes, 20) large-screen TVs. Just to be clear, 95,000 square feet is just 6,000 square feet smaller than Port Chester’s Home Depot. Think Big Box in the Playland parking lot. And we’re only talking footprint here – as yet we have no clear idea what the height specifications for this monstrosity will be. But for those people who live on streets overlooking Playland, it’s a sure bet that they won’t like what they see from their front windows once the project is complete.
The thing the residents of Rye need to understand is that SPI took over the Playland project with the intent, so we understood, to re-imagine and redevelop Playland, which is and always has been an amusement park. It would seem that somewhere along the way their focus changed. The most important question that needs to be answered is do we really need a ginormous sports arena in Rye — especially one that, though it will be open and presumably heavily trafficked year-round, won’t be for priority use by Rye residents? And the second question is, quite naturally, if the parking lot is all about a sports arena, where are people who just want to enjoy Playland going to park? It’s beginning to seem as if the rides and other longstanding amenities of Playland are now of only secondary importance.
Playland, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, needs to remain an amusement park. It belongs to the citizens of Westchester County, and anything that is done to it will directly affect the people of Rye, which would, as the plan now stands, most certainly include diminishing the home values in surrounding neighborhoods.
We need, and deserve, full disclosure from SPI and the Rye City Council. And with an election just weeks away, we need to know exactly where each candidate stands in the matter and which of them is going to have Rye’s and Playland’s best interests at heart.
Once we’ve all naively drunk our little cups of SPI Kool-Aid it will be too late to wonder if we did the right thing.
The City and Rising Health Care Costs
Dear Rye Record,
I disagree with a recent Op-Ed from the Executive Director of the Republican Party politicizing the City’s position in labor negotiations — particularly with the PBA. We greatly value the contributions Rye employees make to our safety and well being; yet, in order to achieve financial sustain ability, the City must balance the dramatically increasing benefits’ costs and salaries while working within the mandated tax cap. The gap between health care costs and employee contributions as a percentage of pay is widening. That is why we continue to seek contracts that will lessen the impact of higher benefits’ costs in order to limit the tax burden on Rye residents.
Salary increases are permanent and compound with benefits such as pension, overtime and holiday pay which are based on salary, and increase labor costs even further. The City’s proposal reflects the current economic realities facing the City and is consistent with agreements negotiated with other bargaining units in Rye and in neighboring communities.
The City needs to remain strong, but fair in its negotiations given the long-term impacts on its financial position.
Douglas French, Mayor
Fortunate to Have Choice This Fall
We are writing to say how fortunate Rye is to have an electoral contest for the position of mayor in this fall’s city election. Until August it looked like there would be only one name on the ballot. But with more than one individual now seeking the mayoralty Rye voters will benefit from the debates and campaign position papers highlighting the issues to be considered as they cast their votes.
More importantly, Rye is fortunate to have Peter Jovanovich as one of the candidates for mayor. He brings extensive, valuable experience to the position.
Voters probably know that Mr. Jovanovich is currently a member of the Rye City Council, even that he has been Deputy Mayor for the past two years, serving effectively and collegially. But they may not be familiar with his other contributions to public service in Rye. He served on the Board of the Friends of Rye Nature Center, including the role of Treasurer for a period. He was also a member of the Rye Planning Commission and the Board of Architectural Review, and Council Liaison to the Rye Free Reading Room.
Peter had a long, successful career in the publishing industry that evidenced varied business experience that he can bring to bear in Rye. That experience ranged from editorial and marketing positions to several senior management roles including President of a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill, a Fortune 500 Company, and Chairman and CEO of Pearson Education, the world’s largest education company.
Philanthropy also features in Mr. Jovanovich’s world, particularly with the Alfred Harcourt Foundation providing college scholarships to approximately 110 low-income students each year. He has served as pro bono president of the foundation for several years but more noteworthy has been his role interviewing each student and, where appropriate, helping to organize tutors and mentors.
Arthur H. Stampleman, former Democratic Rye Councilman
Carolyn Cunningham, former Democratic Rye Councilwoman
Editor’s Note: Peter Jovanovich is one of three candidates running for Mayor this fall. Nancy Silberkleit is also running as an Independent. Councilman Joe Sack is heading up the Republican ticket.