On December 13th, Mayor Noam Bramson will orchestrate a fund-raiser so that he can get elected mayor again next year.
This Mayor has marginalized this community since he was elected; since he was appointed. He is, by all indications, the most corrupt mayor in the history of New Rochelle. He has disenfranchised the working class by empowering developers to displace them at all cost, particularly by lining his pockets with money. He has no interest in moving any closer to uniting the diverse community in New Rochelle; His lip service to diversity issues and carefully created soundbites are beyond annoying, they're lies. His current ride as Mayor is simply a path to higher office. Through his corrupt ways, he will get there at our expense leaving a trail of incomplete projects and a debt that all of us will have to pay for years to come. His dictatorial management style bemoans his public persona of being joyful and medicated. He is a janus personified. So on Dec 13th, instead of sending him a check, send him something else. Pay him a visit at his function. Give him a piece of your mind. Ask him hard questions publicly at the City Council Meetings. Remember your City taxes will be going up by at least 10% - 10% - 10%. Is that ok with you?
The Journal News
November 10, 2009
NEW ROCHELLE — The city manager is calling for freezing 31 vacant jobs, suspending raises, and delaying equipment spending under his $144 million budget proposal for 2010.
Despite cutting $9 million in spending, the city still plans to raise property taxes 8.9 percent. The increase means taxes for the average home, valued at $700,000, would go up $257.
Like other municipalities, the city has less revenue due to a drop in sales and property tax income and also is seeing an increase in pension costs, said City Manager Charles Strome.
The city would save $3 million by keeping 31 positions vacant. Those include nine positions in the Police Department, eight in the Department of Public Works, seven in the Fire Department, four in administration, and three more in Buildings and Parks and Recreation departments.
New Rochelle fire union president Byron Gray worried about the vacancies, which he said actually amounted to nine firefighters. He said fire department staffing has not kept up with new development in the city.
"We have a lot of high-rise buildings and we just need more men on duty," Gray said.
The city also expects to save an additional $1 million by planning for 10 to 12 new vacancies next year that will be left unfilled.Read more
In New York State, the Department of Education asserts that a school district is making progress if 55% of its students graduate from high school. 55%! This is progress? It is what schools aspire to attain. It is what schools do. Is it a service to our children and our community that so few graduate and graduate on time? Let’s look at some numbers. Our New Rochelle High School has over 3400 students. It’s fair to say that there are 850 kids in each of the four grades there. Yet, only 65% of the Latino and 71% of African-American children graduate on or near 4 years upon entering the 9th grade. Note that Latino and African-American children make up 60% of our school population!Read more
The cost of illegal housing to the taxpayers is in the million. Many of the homes being used as multi-family residences are single family houses being used as 2 or 3 family or 2 family houses being used as 3 or 4 family houses. These owners are paying very little in property taxes and school taxes, however, they have multiple families with many children in the school system. They reap the benefit of large rent rolls and the rest of the tax payers gets stuck paying their bills. Some of these houses pay as little as 2500.00 a year in taxes yet have 3 families with 9 kids in the school system at a cost of over 100k a year. It's a tough situation to remedy because some of the city hall bigs own some of these properties. An easy start would be to cross reference the property records with school records. It should take a matter of minutes in a database query. If you have a 2 family house that has 4 families using that address in the school system = RED FLAG. a single family with 2 or 3 families using it as an address in the school system = RED FLAG. It's a start.Read more
A short while ago two of us went to visit Isaac E. Young middle school. Our purpose was to find out about the instruction in the classroom. The guard told us the principal was "in a meeting," but when presented with the fact that George Imburgia had been given permission to visit the schools by Superintendent of Schools, Richard Organisciak, we were escorted by a guard to the Principal, Anthony Bongo.
We inquired about Isaac's test scores which are lower than Albert Leonard's. When Mr. Bongo denied these differences in the scores, we asserted they had been presented by Robert Cox at the last school board meeting. Bongo then called Organisciak and the lower scores were verified. I was then directed to Laura Marinara, chairperson of Humanities. She pulled up the language arts scores on her computer and then discussed instructional improvements that have been made at the school, emphasizing teaching strategies and techniques used to raise reading scores. I told her my personal view that for students to understand what they are reading that knowing the content and vocabulary was important and should be emphasized along with techniques. She was receptive to my conversation.
If you read Aman's latest attempt at journalism, http://www.lohud.com/article/20090911/NEWS02/909110329/-1/SPORTS/New%20R... ,I wonder if you come away with the same questions I did. Closing a pool because of safety issues "in cooperation with the Westchester County Board of Health" . What does that really mean ? If it's dangerous enough to warrant closing the pool , why was it kept open to allow the summer programs to continue. This is very disturbing to think the school board would put "summer programs" above the safety of the people using the pool. Who would have been responsible if something happened to a swimmer ? Was the district exposing itself (the taxpayers) to more law suits as a result of their negligence? We may never know since it would seem Mr Ali can't seem to form a simple question. So what did he really report ? Was it really that dangerous ? How did the B of Ed hold off the Board of Health ? Was delaying the work cost effective to the taxpayer or did it cause added expense by requiring an alternate location to be secured for the swimmers ? How did the bidding process apply .It can't be considered emergency work if they knew about it since the end of the last school year. Who is performing the work ? Was anybody in danger as they used a pool that is non compliant from a safety standpoint ?Read more
The information you are requesting leaves no room for redirection or obfuscation should that information be released to the public. Sad but true , I wouldn't hold your breath while waiting for those answers .
Regarding the statement about the 2 million dollar surplus . Just what are we to imply about that ? Are the residents of Avalon secretly paying the costs of their children's education out of pocket ? If we convert all of the housing in NR to senior housing wouldn't we eliminate all "costs associated with the children's education" ? Why , we could actually get rid of the whole school system and cut our taxes by 70 % (assuming seniors won't have any more school age kids). Every family in New Rochelle is providing a revenue surplus by not having another child . Such a deal !
Isn't it ridiculous ? Besides , the 2 mill dollar surplus fantasy is more than offset by the huge Tax abatement given to these sites , meaning we are actually getting nothing in revenue from the properties ? Approaching a BILLION dollars in development (Avalon 1&2 , Trump , New Roc) and the city is struggling . Revenues basically the same as pre development and this was true before the economic downturn .Read more
In reading a little dity from the website www.donteatpoop.com , apparently Aramark and the Eastchester Schools have shared an "experience". The food service vendor of choice for the New Rochelle School System seems to have been fined $3,450.00 for "serious and minor violations ". The violations occured between Dec . 18th and May 22nd , 2008 . I guess the nearly half million dollar settlement from New Rochelle BdofEd will help ease the pain . Read the story at www.donteatpoop.com/inspect%20arch/2008/May%202008.htmlRead more