Follow Up on the News

According to City Council member Julie Killian, Port Chester’s interest in the Thruway property sought by Rye Country Day, and perhaps, by the City of Rye, was short-lived. At the October 4 Council meeting, Killian said she ran into Port Chester Mayor Fritz Falanka who explained that his village became interested in the property completely separate from Rye’s own interest. Killian said he told her, “When I found how much it was going to cost, there was no way we were going to be involved in it;” to which Killian added, “So, issue dead. It’s off the table.”

She also took the opportunity to say Falanka’s comments showed that there was no collusion between Rye’s Mayor Joe Sack and Port Chester, a charge that Council members Emily Hurd and Danielle Tagger-Epstein had previously made. Sack called allegations “untrue and unfair.”

Although not on the agenda, the Thruway property and the possibility of Rye moving DPW there, creating City playing fields there, or sharing playing fields with Rye Country Day raised its head a short time later.

Rye resident Anthony Dicaprio commanded the podium for about forty minutes, during which he calmly, methodically walked Sack and the Council through the issue, with the Mayor respectfully taking exception to several points.

Dicaprio asked Sack about his June 20 letter to the Governor requesting he not sign a bill allowing a sale of the land to Rye Country Day. “Under what authority were you making that request?” he asked. “My authority as Mayor of Rye,” responded Sack. Dicaprio then asked who the “we” were in the letter, and whether the letter was discussed or voted on in a council meeting? The Mayor laid out his thinking. Dicaprio continued to probe.

At one point, the mayor said, “I’d like to find ways to work with Rye Country Day.” Dicaprio admitted to having a child at the school and also to being a lawyer who did mediation work. He urged the Council to renew talks with the school and tell them their needs. Councilman Terry McCartney volunteered to meet with the school and RCD Headmaster Scott Nelson who was present agreed.

A formal meeting date had not yet been arranged at press time. Mayor Falanka did not return calls seeking confirmation of Port Chester’s loss of interest or to say if he would rescind his own letter to the Governor trying to prevent the sale to the school.

– <Tom McDermott>