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Anne McCarthy
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The situation at RGC has gone from bad to worse but is adding a profit layer at this time the answer? We can debate the pros and cons of subcontracting but can we agree on the perils of decision-making under the current Mayor and City Manager? Doug French loves to say, “Government shouldn’t be in ‘X’ business or ‘Y’ business”. What a tiresome talking point that is - a blanket view on fiscal policy that doesn’t take into consideration anything about what’s best for Rye right now. The combined lack of transparency, recent profit layers (RM Staffing), and ongoing mismanagement by Pickup make it impossible for us to have a clear view of the Club’s finances. Why is the fox guarding the hen-house? Doug French is a Republican in the mold of George W. Bush: mismanage public resources to the point where they “need” to be privatized. And Doug has one of the best mis-managers out there: Scott Pickup. Please! No decisions under Doug!
A. Dapolite efficiently outlines Jovanovich’s failures and character flaws, making a strong case for why he would be a dreadful mayor. An important point to note about Jovanovich’s refusal to hold Pickup accountable for the RGC fleecing is his apparent lack of understanding of the word SCOPE in an audit. I’d guesstimate Jovanovich has said at least a dozen times that the auditors who raised concerns about financial controls at RGC didn’t say anything about fraud or embezzlement. Therefore, Pickup gets off Scott-free. It would seem Jovanovich, a former CEO, would need to be spoon-fed a fraud report before taking action. CEOs should be familiar with the scope of an audit, as outlined in the engagement letter with the auditing firm. In most cases, the purpose of an audit is to prepare and present financial statements and opine on the effectiveness of internal controls (among other purposes agreed upon in the engagement letter). It would seem the audit firm did just that. It wasn’t in their scope and they didn’t have the resources to investigate fraud and embezzlement. Peter Jovanovich, a former CEO, has demonstrated he lacks the financial acumen to be mayor. Perhaps if he had spent less time harassing his CFO and more time on financials, he might have a clue about the word SCOPE.
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2013 on Jovanovich To Run For Rye Mayor at MyRye.com
This video is a gem! Here’s a Filippi-flop I’d add: At the May 9, 2012 City Council meeting, Filippi commented on neighborhood requests for a flood-study amid concerns that the Central Ave Bridge may cause worse flooding if something like a tree or a dumpster (both went down Blind Brook during hurricanes) were to cause a backup. Here’s what Dickie had to say on 5/9/12: “Some people have made certain statements which are false and misleading. Um, the fact is, we do, the the they point to flooding. We flooded in ‘07 when the [Central Avenue] Bridge was there. We flooded in 2011 when the Bridge was gone. So, having a bridge there or not has no impact on flooding” (arrogant sneer here). He’s entitled to his opinion. Sure. But is he consistent? No way. Less than a year later, at a 2013 City Council Meeting, The Dick requested demolition of the Loewenstein Bridge (roughly 100 yards from The Dick’s den) agreeing that the reason he was requesting demolition of that bridge was because debris would cause a backup and worse flooding. THE REALITY IS Loewen and Barbara Courts are built on wetlands. Many of those houses get ground-water, always have, always will. So, having a bridge there or not has no impact on flooding. Is Dickie Filippi a flip-flopper? Frankly, that’s generous. Seems to me, he’s a self-serving power monger. Oh, as a side-note, the Central Ave Bridge won’t be opening on August 18th.
Oh, I'm there...look again. Put a space between Mc and Carthy. Not only am I a taxpayer (fully current) but I also have a legally obtained certificate of occupancy for my 3rd floor. I don't mind you checking though. Hey, I didn't see you on the taxpayer roll, Hugo Sack-vez. Or should I look under Ball-less Wonder?
My understanding is Mr. Lamont is no longer a candidate for City Council. Is that correct? Talk about switching the topic Old Garnet! The topic is the lack of Democratic Party candidates. Oh, there are many reasons why. Rod Brown didn't hit any of them. Instead, he took a page from the pathetically weak Filippi playbook, whining about divisiveness and personal attacks against candidates. This goes part and parcel with Rod's letter to the Journal News where he tells readers they should support Catherine Parker's County Legislator candidacy because a bunch or really old Rye Dems do. Rod says Catherine is being attacked by people with ulterior motives. Rod sounds paranoid. There aren't ulterior motives. Catherine has put herself up as a candidate. People have every right to vet her qualifications, including examining her actions and decisions throughout the many Rye scandals during her tenure. When will the attacks on the First Amendment stop?
This is more schlock from the Jovanovich Journal. I’ve heard of spring cleaning, spring planting and spring nesting. I’ve never heard of spring complaining. Robin’s using the “shoot the messenger because he’s uncivil” strategy. It’s an old strategy and an unpatriotic one. In this country, it’s broadly accepted that a basic tenet of democracy, freedom of expression, inherently conflicts with civility. There are Supreme Court cases which essentially acknowledge uncivil behavior as a cost of protecting freedom of expression. Just recently, NYC paid a settlement to a man who was (wrongfully) arrested for giving his middle finger to the NYPD. Giving the middle finger is on the less civil side. That said, this man was using his Constitutional rights to express himself to government. Patriotic Americans tolerate a few insults and low blows in the name of democracy. Not this Rye City Council. Instead, we get endless whining from the uncivil attempting to silence their critics. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Lastly, do these people have any shame? What is with Peter Jovanovich ordering us to get back to a respectful and attentive attitude? Aren’t we (hopefully) about to read how attentive and disrespectful he was to Ms. Hill? It’s hard to argue Ms. Hill’s case isn’t relevant to current Rye City issues. The fact that a former employee sued Jovanovich absolutely has an effect on how he views the Dapolite case. The timing of Robin’s desperate plea for “civility” is interesting.
Mrs. Dooley may be a thoughtful, caring person but she clearly went to the Dickie Filippi School of Logic and Reasoning (say one thing and do another - like, demand civility while acting like a boar). As Jim said, her initial point was Jim shouldn't say "we" and then she proceeded to "we, we, we" all the way home. "A crisis of confidence" is well-put but an understatement, Councilman Sack. In just the first few weeks of construction at the Central Ave Bridge, a sewer line was hit - apparently the City told the contractors it wasn't in use but it was. My first thought was the City Manager has a friend in the sewage business. Also, I was awakened early Wednesday morning by a plow on Laurel St., a private street that I and my neighbors are responsible for plowing. Since the Bridge has been down, volunteer fireman have plowed the street. For 6 years, they've keept they're plow high enough not to cause damage. The plow on Wednesday morning was large and tore Laurel St. to shreds. I'd like to ask our City Manager about both the sewer line and the now torn up street for which I'm partially responsible for re-paving. Will the busted sewer line cause delays? Cost more? Did the City plow Laurel St. because of construction on the Bridge. Insert Scott Pickup lies here. We have a crisis of confidence and an unsustainable situation.
We're not judge and jury...seeking to convict beyond a reasonable doubt at this point. It's clear from the report, however (isn't it?), that the RGC manager benefitted economically (stole?) from members by setting up a shell corporation that billed members more than services actually cost, capturing the "increasing margin" for himself (and perhaps others along the way). Can a crime be proven? The D.A. will decide. In the meantime, it's reasonable for RGC members and City tax payers to ask tough questions of the City Manager (a confessed and consistent liar) about actions that led to this fleecing.
"Rates were raised to accommodate an increasing margin." Who benefitted from the increasing margin? RM Staffing! Beginning on page 7,the report clearly describes RM billing for higher rates than it paid employees. The difference (the increasing margin) appears to have gone to RM without RGC members benefitting from a competitive bidding process.
Thanks Andrew. This was fascinating to watch. You're right. The facial expressions are telling. While I was looking through the meeting cablecasts for this particular Pickup lie, I came across a Finance 101 lesson from someone whose resume should be shredded! June 13, 2012 City Council meeting, Dickie Filippi - advocating to accept Lester's $3.6MM bid for the old CVS - gives us a lesson in collateralization, saying the days of commercial real estate collaterlization are over! Prices aren't coming back! "I'm in the business." If buyers can't get the financing, there won't be frothy bids. Ok, Dickie Filippi, less than 9 months later we have a bid that's 55% higher than the one you wanted to go with, based of course on your financial knowledge and experience. Where's the shredder?
The report describes Pickup acknowledging he knew that counsel hadn't reviewed or approved RM Staffing when he stated during the 9/27/12 Council Meeting that RM Staffing had been reviewed and all was above board. Pickup said he was trying to calm everyone down. Now, this is the same person who said we work from an assumption of trust and we have to believe the people who work for us are honest. Mr. Piscionere and Mr. Sculti aptly pointed out the error of Pickup's logic (checks and balances!). Despite its clearly flawed logic, it's still hard to stomach the comment. We have a City Manager who encourages us to assume he's honest while consistently and conveniently lying to us. This isn't the first time Pickup's been caught lying with tangible, drastic consequences. It won't be the last. Who will bear the consequences? BTW, the 9/27/12 meeting cablecast doesn't seem to be on the ryeny.gov site.
Um, you know, um, um, you know. Filippi‘s public speaking needs some work. Yes, everyone is entitled to vocalize their views but really, I can’t make heads or tails out of half of Wednesday’s tantrum. Filippi said he and the Mayor threatened Mr. Floatie with arrest if he showed up at City Council meetings in costume, citing an anti-masking law. The anti-masking law he refers to is from 1845, N.Y. Penal Law 240.35(4), and reads: “Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised…”. The law is currently being challenged (again) in NYS courts but there’s no disagreement that the law applies when more than one person is in a mask. Mr. Floatie is within his rights to appear at public meetings in costume. What Filippi really said on Wednesday night was, “Mr. Floatie doesn’t come to meetings anymore because we stifled him by threatening to arrest him under a law that doesn’t exist.” Filippi also described difficulty in attracting people to volunteer for committees or political involvement. He accurately identifies a real problem but comically attributes it to people being afraid of being singled out for their ideas. That’s just what people tell you, Filippi. The real problem is no one wants anything to do with Doug French, Peter Jovanovich or you. If people are genuinely afraid of being singled out for an idea, they’re probably not a good candidate for a committee. Filippi cited Pastor Niemoller’s “First they came for…” quote in an attempt to encourage people to push back against those that criticize Rye City government. The irony here is mind-numbing. He’s citing a quote about not speaking out against tyranny in a tyrannical attempt to silence average citizens who are exercising their civil rights by criticizing him. A more appropriate time to reference Pastor Niemoller would have been when Filippi announced that “No one cares” about Mayor French’s numerous scandals. Key take away from a foundering Filippi: continue to hold Rye City government accountable for its actions. It’s taking its toll.
Toggle Commented Jan 26, 2013 on Sack: Dapolite, Truth and Justice at MyRye.com
This is comical and grotesque at the same time. Mayor French has no shame. We may, in fact, have a psychopath as mayor. Let's be clear on the characteristics of a psychopath: shallow emotions, coldheartedness, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, and criminality, among others. From his address: "In a book about Rye’s history, former Rye Librarian Marcia Dalphin wrote: “First as a Village and then as a City, Rye has had an efficient government; its Presidents, Mayors, Trustees, Councilmen, (and Committees) have been sincerely devoted to its welfare – men and women with no financial gain, have labored faithfully and long – often at personal sacrifice – to direct their Village into ways of progress, to keep it financially sound, and to make Rye a pleasant place in which to live and bring up children.” That is Rye. That is who we are and what we continue to strive to be. And it works. In that spirit, 2012 was the year of accomplishment." That is the statement of a psycopath. It's the complete opposite of what's actually gone on in Rye since the French team has been in charge. It's been scandal after scandal and revelation after revelation culminating with a $6MM+ fleecing of RGC members. Scott Pickup and/or Mayor French have been at the center of every single one of these scandals. Let's not forget what we learned before 2012, either: Mayor French is a slumlord who rents firetraps with illegal 3rd floors and sleeps like a baby while collecting $48,000 a year in rent. This personal financial windfall was further boosted by French claiming a double STAR exemption (stealing from the rest of us who pay our taxes). Now back to 2012. Does anyone remember Mayor French aggressively calling out Councilman Sack about his golf club inquiries? Now reread the passage cited above and make the case it's not the work of a psychopath. Does this comment have anything constructive to add? It serves only as a reality check. We have to wait and vote these creeps out of office. In the meantime, let's not let them get away with rewriting history and pushing false talking points.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2013 on State of Rye City 2013: The Transcript at MyRye.com
And where is the Central Avenue Bridge on this agenda? It's been months since the Filippi fistpump and City Council self-congratulatory shenanigans for securing the funding for the bridge 5 1/2 years after its destruction. At the last meeting, Pickup said the equipment ELQ was going to mobilize for the Central Ave Bridge had been diverted to help with Sandy cleanup. It's been nearly one month since Sandy and I can tell you NOTHING is happening at the Central Ave Bridge (fistpump that Filippi, you flippin' fool). I guess, like RM Staffing is the only staffer in the area, ELQ is the only company with heavy equipment. According to the City website, we should be having a opening ceremony for the bridge some time between May and August 2013. I just went to the Second Last Annual Scary Bridge Party for Halloween. I'm sure I'll be going to a Third Last Annual Scary Bridge Party. Given the incompetence at every level of the current Rye City government, odds are good there will be a Fourth Last Annual Scary Bridge Party. A fistpumping Filippi will be a great costume!!!
Joe, Your continued efforts at participating in a functioning government are appreciated. Good luck! Words can't adequately describe disappointment in the current administration. Not paying taxes, illegal rentals, the Dapolite affair, the Jovanovich Journal, the Golf Club...it's all a well documented mess. What's troubling, too, is the rest of the Council just sitting there while you're bullied by the gang of 4 (no need to define). What hyprocrites we are as a society to think we can teach children not to bully one another when we set poor examples and don't recognize it in our own behavior.
At some point, Robert Zahm, we have to agree to disagree. I said the Record covers more topics not issues. How much clearer can I be that it's not about whether I like or dislike the Record's coverage but whether the paper is being used as a tool for the Jovanovich's political purposes while seriously bullying anyone who disagrees? Did you not read Andrew Dapolite's post? If that doesn't disturb, like I said, at some point we have to agree to disagree. To be called absurd and a gadfly kind of feels like a big puff of skunk piss in my face...I apologize if the metaphor offends you.
What a bunch of skunk piss from Robert Zahm. Once again flawed logic and adding nothing but insults to the discussion. "Okay so you both feel strongly that the Rye Record doesn't represent your point of view." That has nothing to do with the debate. Wow, left field logic, child-like. Very few newspapers, websites or periodicals represent my point of view. I still read them, use them as a news source, generally respect them and look for differing points of view in them. Although they may not share my view, they report the news. And then he goes on to say how "absurd" it is to say the Record doesn't report on flooding. This is the logic of a simpleton: saying the Record has -in its history - reported on flooding. It did not - FACT - report on the Sluice Gate in the issue that was highlighted. You added nothing but skunk piss to what was previously a constructive discussion.
I would say the Record covers a broader array of topics -not issues- fair enough. And, you're right, the photos -especially Melanie Cane's - are great. But, it seems since Peter Jovanovich has been on the City Council, the paper has become increasingly biased to the point of appearing to take instruction from the establishment, which does not include the School Board. My own recent experience with the Record supports this thesis. It's not a conspiracy theory. The paper is simply being used as a tool. To say the paper is focused on other issues is odd given the importance of the issues not focused on (Sluice Gate, Golf Club).
Interesting post Ted C. Yikes! The Rye Record has completed its metamorphosis into The Jovanovich Journal.
Thank you Judy Meyers for ensuring Westchester residents have accurate financial information about Playland. Astorino - a County Executive with no financial background - has served up a tall tale about Playland's burden on the County. Neither parking fees nor concessions have been included in the top line? Yes, I think an audit is in order before long-term decisions are made about a National Historic Landmark.
Tim: The Central Ave Bridge is listed as a positive because French & Filippi were able to smack me down after my letter to the Jovanovich Journal suggesting the bridge not be rebuilt. In hindsight, I should have been clearer about my recommendation. Neither I nor my neighbors are against the concept of the bridge being rebuilt but we would like the City - after 5+ years - to consider a Plan B. The area is a disgusting mess (the complete opposite of a personal bonanza for us). Every time we ask for it to be cleaned up. Pickup says we have to wait for State funds. Jovanovich said he didn't care if we have to wait 1/2 a century for the funds. So, the end of the street I live on could look like dump for 1/2 a century - wouldn't bother Jovanovich. After I wrote my letter, I checked the Council agendas to see if it would be a topic. It was never listed. But at the early May meeting, French held the public comments section early (9:30 pm) and allowed Mark Hyland (Filippi's neighbor) to speak for 15 minutes on the topic during which he said the only people who don't want the bridge rebuilt are the people on Central Ave who benefit from it being down (not true). French & Filippi planned on putting forth the motion to commit to rebuilding the bridge but didn't put it on the agenda so that no one would have the opportunity to speak on behalf of a cleanup and Plan B. Councilman Sack was the only one with the decency not to vote on a meaningless motion where only one side was heard. Just to ensure we didn't cause any trouble, the Public Comment at the next meeting started at 12:05 am. There are many bigger problems in Rye & the world than the Central Avenue Bridge but it is another example of the Council's disenfranchising ways.
That's helfpul. Thanks Ted C.
I'm neither for nor against the hotel but isn't the Hampton Inn a bit different than Vincent's Motel?
Jim: We see things differently. This letter from Edwards is the smoking gun that says the school district knew but didn't do anything but tell kids to hide. A huge award will likely be won by the victims with Edwards' letter as Exhibit 1. Should Shine have done something? Absolutely. My understanding of him from people is that he's a political animal, adept at thriving. He's about to retire with a 6-figure pension. Other than the 6-figure pension, we should embrace his retirement enthusiastically. At the end of the day, however, I'm thrilled to converse with someone who's able to use their full, real name.
The advice to parents to have their 8th grader lay low is troubling on several levels. Nowhere in her letter does Ms. Edwards describe anything she's done to curb this behavior. Did she communicate with the high school administrators? Did they come up with a plan, like calling an assembly the morning before to talk about this (this is the year the Movie "Bully" is out so it's not random)? What steps did Ms. Edwards take to curb this abuse to kids for whom she's responsible? She told them to hide.