Regarding your November 10, 2023, article, “Control of City Council Flips,” which discusses the expected impact of the recent election on the Rye City Council, you write concerning the three election winners, Keith Cunningham, Jamie Jensen, and Josh Nathan: “The threesome plans to join forces with Republican Councilmember Bill Henderson to form a new bipartisan coalition that will have majority control of the Council.” The article later quotes my colleague Josh Nathan as saying that this majority “will not cut the [other Councilmembers] out of decision-making but will work with them.”
I would like to underscore Josh’s point – this is not about competing factions and to the extent there is a new coalition on the City Council, it is, at least in my mind, an anti-coalition coalition. What I expect is a better-working City Council whose members believe we should all strive to work together, be respectful to each other and the public, and engage in open and civil discourse. The unfortunate circumstance of most of the past year has been that the Council was deeply divided into two blocks and not communicating or working collaboratively together. As a Council, we could and should have done better.
We should all be grateful for a lot of things, including that we live in Rye, N.Y. We should be grateful that Mayor Josh Cohn, outgoing Councilmember and Deputy Mayor Carolina Johnson, and Councilmembers Julie Souza and Ben Stacks volunteered, worked hard, and achieved much success for the City of Rye. I look forward in 2024 to working with both my new colleagues, Keith and Jamie, and my returning colleagues, the two Josh’s, Julie, and Ben. We will not agree on everything but will achieve greater success if we all agree to work together, rather than in blocs. It is up to each of us to make that happen.
I want to commend outgoing Councilmembers Carolina Johnson and Lori Fontanes for their dedication and service to our community.
– Bill Henderson