Most of Rye Opposed to “All Rye” Proposal

0:00 Recently, an ad ran in this publication, suggesting any objections to the handling of the Disbrow Park/Thruway property decisions by the City Council majority […]

Published September 14, 2017 12:33 AM
3 min read

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Recently, an ad ran in this publication, suggesting any objections to the handling of the Disbrow Park/Thruway property decisions by the City Council majority are merely partisan rhetoric.

In response, I want to simply review the proposed actions and timelines put forth by the Council majority. No additional “partisan analysis” is required to show why many Rye taxpayers are concerned about the potential cost and impact of the Council’s plans.

At the June 7th Council meeting, although not listed on the agenda, the topic of the Thruway property/DPW redesign was introduced in relation to a “possible referendum ballot on fields or parking in November 2017.” For this to occur, final language would be required by September 8, before the September Council meeting; leaving only a single meeting in July for further discussion.

Councilmember Kristin Bucci dismissed concerns about the condensed timeline, stating that the Council could come up with a plan and final language by September, and recommending that people who have questions or want to see data send her an email. She even suggested scheduling a special August meeting, if necessary, because the opportunity was “too huge.”

I am curious how the “All Rye” team can explain this timeline as anything but the Council majority trying to finalize a huge decision with little public debate, and on an extremely accelerated timeline.

In addition, the All Rye team is now tying the Thruway property sale to the Disbrow Park reconfiguration.

However, Rye Country Day, Louden Woods and Rye Park neighborhood representatives all spoke at the June 7 meeting, and described likely <strong> neighborhood opposition to any move of the DPW to the Thruway location. This makes it unlikely that, even if DPW was moved, the City could use the Thruway location.

The current City Council majority refused to participate in the purchase of the Thruway property, leading to an agreement to have Rye Country Day purchase it, with an agreement to create field space for the City of Rye use. Further delay in the sale of the Thruway property might lead to an auction to the highest bidder. How can the All Rye team assert that this is in the best interest of the community?

Steve Otis’ proposed legislation does not require a sale to Rye Country Day, just allows it. And, the City of Rye has veto power if we don’t agree with the land use. Why does the All Rye team feel it is important to block a <potential > sale to Rye Country Day?

Finally, with a sale of the Thruway property to Rye Country Day, we might get a field that the City can use for $0, versus an estimated cost of $39 million for a DPW move, before cleanup or the purchase of property. With those costs factored in, the total could easily be northward of $50 million. How is this fiscally responsible?

There is little the public support for a complete reconfiguration of the park, and DPW move, based on the consulting work touted in the All Rye ad, in fact, a staggering 56% of respondents noted this option as “least favorite. In addition, the consulting work did not include any review of the existing recreational facilities in Rye, and how a Disbrow Park reconfiguration would fit into an overall master plan.

Although the Council majority scuttled their plans to ram it through, after a massive public outcry, I’d like to submit to the All Rye team that this proposal was poorly planned, extremely rushed, and certainly NOT best for all of Rye.

— Shari Punyon

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