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In the last issue, Mitch Silver wrote about the “preying” mantis in his backyard. I have no idea if the praying mantis on the mirror that we have leaning against our back porch wall is the same one or a relative of Mitch’s. (Actually, I don’t know if praying mantises have relatives. I do know that being a father mantis is a dangerous occupation.)

Perhaps our mantis thinks her reflection in the mirror is an attractive suitor and will stay there until he makes his move. Anyway, we have alerted all butterflies on our property to lie low.

— Allen Clark

I wanted to take a minute and say thank-you to the Rye community for being a wonderful place to work.  I am thankful for the six years that I was privileged to work in the city at the Recreation Department. I enjoyed every one of them. The community and its residents really made me feel good about what I do for a living. I also want to thank Sally Rogol and the rest of the Rye Recreation staff for the memories.  It is a special department and I will miss it.

Now, I am off to continue my career in Eastchester, N.Y.  I wish the entire Rye community happiness and success.  I hope to see you all down the road…

Your friend,

Doug Scott

It is time for positive change in Rye government. Mayoral candidate Josh Cohn and City Council candidates Sara Goddard, Julie Souza and Ben Stacks are four dedicated community volunteers. We know them, and they really care about our community. They have the willingness, as well as the professional skills, to find solutions to Rye's inadequate roads and sidewalks, periodic flooding, tight parking, and other issues that are important to us. 

The City is spending our tax dollars on hopeless lawsuits and neglecting to apply for readily available grants that would help pay for mandated infrastructure projects. Josh, Sara, Julie, and Ben all have financial backgrounds and would do a better job of fiscal stewardship. 

If you have ever gone to a City Council meeting, you may have been disappointed in the way you were treated. Josh, Sara, Julie, and Ben would make our local government more respectful and welcoming to the people of Rye.

As moms of elementary school children at Milton, Osborn, and Midland, we believe Josh, Sara, Julie, and Ben are the leaders we want for our community — candidates who are positive role models and candidates who have the type of leadership ability that will Move Rye Forward — the type of leadership that Rye deserves. 

— Sabrina Bunn, Claudine Hanley, and Erin Pymm

I write to address misstatements set forth in the letter to the editor published in the last edition (October 20, 2017) by the Democratic candidates for Mayor and City Council. They accuse Mayor Sack of attempting to silence campaign speech by making a complaint to the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee. What the candidates attempt to gloss over is the fact that their campaign material was found to be “unfair” and “misleading” by the committee. For the full text of the finding, go to www.faircampaignpractices.org/findings/sack-v-moving-rye-forward-092817.

This is a bi-partisan, independent committee whose function is to ensure that “political candidates must provide the public with accurate, truthful information so that informed decisions can be made in choosing our leaders.”  

These same candidates seem to feel that whatever untruths they spew forward must be accepted. Shockingly, even <after> their statements have been determined to be misleading, these candidates continue to mislead the voters by spewing forth the same exact misleading statements. This is outrageous.

So, to adopt the Democrat’s position, they should be free to mislead the public with no ramifications. Making a complaint to the very committee set up to determine if their statements are misleading is “an attempt to silence campaign speech”. I guess their definition of “campaign speech” is to use whatever lie is convenient to get elected.

This is exactly the type of fear mongering that we all should reject. Rye is better than that. 

A rigorous truthful campaign on the issues is what our residents deserve. Mayor Sack and Councilman McCartney have a solid record of great achievements in the past four years. The Democrats have not even attempted to dispute this solid record. Unfortunately, the Democratic candidates have lost sight of their obligations to the voters. It appears that they have lost their moral compass, still putting forth statements that have already been determined to be misleading. Lying to the public to win an election should never be rewarded. Our voters are smarter than that. 

Reelect Mayor Joe Sack and Councilman Terry McCartney and elect Susan Watson and Elizabeth Parks. Send a message that fear mongering will not result in success and that candidates should run on the truth, not lies. 

— Anthony Piscionere

I think the Long-Range Plan proposal recently put before the community is premature.

Before Rye goes down the road of making changes to its existing Master Plan and comes up with an analysis of the wish lists of the community and how to respond to them, I think we need to project, to the best of our ability, what Rye will look like 10, 15, 25 years out; what its needs will be; and analyze Rye’s assets and what use might be made of them.

Then, we can make an informed decision as to what changes should be made to accommodate the projected reality.

None of this was apparent at the recent public workshop. The thoughts expressed as to the proposal were remarkably similar to what must have been those which resulted in the 1985 Master Plan — essentially, an assumption you merely needed to line-extend current issues.

What should we be doing? Following the advice of Wayne Gretsky, we should be “going where the puck is going to be.”

What enrollment figures does the School District estimate going forward?

Where do The Osborn and WESTMED, two of the biggest employers in Rye, see themselves 20 years out? (Remarkably, neither The Osborn nor WESTMED is represented on the Master Plan Committee.)

I think we’re looking at a major change in the business of Rye.

The combination of WESTMED, The Osborn, the desire of more Rye residents to remain in the area as they age (think of the success of SPRYE), and the proximity of White Plains and Greenwich hospitals suggest quite strongly that Rye’s business is going to be more health-centered. Assuming this is correct, perhaps we should look at zoning changes to permit in-law apartments with arguments pro and con.

Next, Rye has remarkably little in the way of significant parcels of free land.

The place to start, I think, is with land does Rye own or control.

Interestingly enough, in addition to Disbrow Park and whatever its claims may be as to the Thruway property (in fact, I believe, none!), Rye does have one significant parcel. If developed, it would increase public access to salt water beyond that already available through Playland and Oakland Beach, or could address affordable housing supported by the City for the folks who work for Rye — police, firemen, City staff.

It’s the Rye Golf Club course. 

As part of this process, should we consider reducing the course to nine holes and limiting membership to Rye residents?

We also need to identify and address the problem created by those who wish to live here for ten years to take advantage of our schools but contribute little to the community. This obviously affects the price of homes and property taxes.

Before getting into wish lists, we need to look at the larger issues and assess foreseeable changes over the next 15 or 20 years. 

Then, with that in hand, we can address the wish lists.

— Howard G. Seitz

 

Respect, open mindedness, dignity, and empathy. These are qualities that we admire in others and hope to emulate ourselves. These are also qualities that we should demand of our elected leaders. We want our leaders to listen to and encourage diverse opinions, to embrace principles of open government, to approach difficult problems in a nonpartisan manner, and to demonstrate compassion toward all of our citizens.

I’ve attended many City Council meetings and interacted extensively with our current elected leaders. In the last three years, I have watched Council meetings become more heated and contentious, largely because citizens and the minority members of the Council feel that their opinions are not valued or respected. We all, myself included, must take personal responsibility for the general decline in civil discourse in our community. We must work together in a constructive, nonpartisan manner. But our elected officials have a special responsibility to set the right “tone at the top.” They must serve as role models and demonstrate respect and openness in their interactions with each other and with all of Rye’s citizens, including those who disagree with them. Earnest debate of important issues cannot be shut down by interruptions and angry outbursts, nor should important policy decisions be made without the full input of all Council members and the public.

This is why I’ll be voting for Josh Cohn, Sara Goddard, Ben Stacks, and Julie Souza on November 7. These candidates stand for an open, inclusive, and fiscally responsible City government. They have assumed leadership roles in a wide range of community organizations and have demonstrated their personal commitment to civic engagement. We need elected officials that are willing to listen, genuinely receptive to our opinions, and willing to work collaboratively with each other and with interested citizens on practical, affordable solutions.

Josh, Sara, Ben, and Julie have pledged to set a new open-minded and respectful tone at the top and restore much-needed civility to our community. I will give them that opportunity and hold them to that pledge.

— Pamela McGuire