WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL-CHRONICLE EXAMINER. By John F. Bailey. December 9, 2013:
The decision on the Findings statement on the French American School of New York will have to wait at least a week because the Common Council voted to table the Findings Statement resolution because changes by certain Coucilpersons they wanted included in the Findings Statement could not be incorporated soon enough for all the council to read.
The Mayor called the Special Meeting to order at 7 P.M. sharp as is his habit. He made a brief statement saying the Council was going to table items 1 and 2 because changes received just Monday afternoon from council people had not been incorporated into the Findings Resolution about to be voted on.
He asked for a second, and the resolutions were tabled to a date to be decided. One councilman told WPCNR it was expected to be taken up December 17.
The vote to table was greeted by boos from the full chamber of citizens who turned out for the go or no go Findings decision. The Mayor scolded the audience for booing, calling it “inappropriate.”
Councilwoman Milagros Lecouna told WPCNR after the meeting that statements were being added to make it clear specifically the steps involved in meeting a raft of conditions what the French American School of New York has to do to build the project. Lecouna said the council choice of entry was the North Street entry to the FASNY property, which involved moving of the White Plains High School driveway, and city Board of Education approval.
Robert Stackpole, an opponent of the project and a member of the Gedney Association, commented to WPCNR, that the Findings Statement was “an environmental fantasy.”
Michael Zarin, lawyer for the French American School of New York had no comment on the content of the Findings Statement, and neither did two members of the French American School Board of Directors.
In order for the project to proceed, the Findings Statement needs a 4-3 favorable vote by the Common Council, and the Special Permits the French American School needs to receive must be approved by a 5-2 vote, according to John Callahan, City Corporation Counsel.
To be continued next week.
The meeting took two minutes by the clock on the Common Council Chamber wall. It had been scheduled for six days.
WPCNR MEDIA-GO-ROUND. December 9, 2013:
The Mayor’s Office has decided to televise the French American School of New York Findings meeting of the Common Council this evening.
Reversing its field, the Mayor’s office called WPCNR this afternoon and said arrangements are being made to televise the meeting.
Previously, the office had told WPCNR the meeting would not be televised.
The proceedings will be available live on Public Access Channel 75 on Cablevision and on FIOS, Channel 44.
WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER By John F. Bailey. December 9, 20013 UPDATED 5 P.M. E.S.T.:
The French American School of New York Findings Statement expected to be approved by the Common Council this evening sets up thousands of conditions that the school will have to satisfy before they lift a shovel of dirt to build.
It has just been announced to WPCNR by the Mayor’s Office that it has been decided by the city to televise the meeting on Government Access, channels 75 and 44, according to the Mayor’s Office. Previously WPCNR had been told the proceedings would not be televised. Now they will be.
And anything can happen, including no vote.
Among the conditions among thousands in the document:
1. 75 foot setbacks from all borders of the property to school facilities and parking lots.
2. Closing of Hathaway Lane subject to Council approval
3. Apparent elimination of the ball field
4. Individual special permits for each building.
5. An entrance on North Street, (requiring school district approval)
6. Limitation of traffic flow to 530 vehicles a day.
7. A mandatory busing plan
7. Most significantly, the Findings Statement envisions cutting school capacity to 950 students, 250 less than the school proposed originally (1,200).
The Common Council is holding a special meeting this evening at 7 in City Hall to consider a resolution determining the Finding on the French American School of New York proposal to build their 7-building campus on the former Ridgeway Country Club.
The proposal has been in the approval process for three years.
The Findings statement is expected to be approved by the Common Council following the lines of the 5-2 approval of the Draft Final Environmental Impact Statement, October 16.
In that vote perquisite to tonight’s meeting,( which as of 11:30 A.M. is still scheduled), Mayor Thomas Roach, Councilmen Benjamin Boykin, John Kirkpatrick, James Martin, and Council President Beth Smayda voted in favor, while Councilman Dennis Krolian and Milagros Lecuona voted against finding the Draft Environmental Impact State complete and accurate.
Since that date, the Common Council and city lawyers, consulting firms have been preparing the Findings Statement, which if approved by the Council will allow the project to proceed under the conditions set forth in the Findings Statement.
There are thousands of specific conditions, applications for special permits on a building-by-building basis, for example, plus it does not give the school what it wants: 1,250 student capacity. The hoops the school will have to jump through are painstakingly detailed in the 126-page Findings Statement the school would have to meet and have approved in site plan process, the next step, in order for FASNY to lift one shovel of dirt. These conditions can be read on the City website in their entirety at
The Findings Statement approved the project subject to meeting the conditions and changes and restrictions in the various matters addressed in the statement, to wit:
In view of the foregoing, the Common Council as Lead Agency finds that the Modified Proposed Project using North Street as the primary access, as further modified by these findings and subject to the conditions contained herein, including but not limited to reduction of the proposed student body to 950 students, which is consistent with the projected needs of FASNY at least through the 2018-19 school year and it is also consistent with the reasonably projected compliance with mandatory busing and other variables addressed herein, will avoid to the maximum extent practicable the significant adverse environmental impacts addressed in these findings.
ON THE NET NOW
JOHN BAILEY, THE CitizeNetReporter
JIM BENEROFE, WHITE PLAINS MOST RESPECTED JOURNALIST
THE METRO NORTH WRECK SOLUTION
THE FASNY FINDING MEETING ANALYSIS
THE BOYKIN DEPARTURE FOR THE COUNTY LEGISLATURE
THE CITY SURVEILLANCE ORDINANCE — THE CITY WATCH IS ABOUT TO NEVER STOP.
THE POLICE RETIREE FREE HEALTH CARE CRUSADE FOR AMERICA’S LABOR
CITY KEEPS STARBUCKS BY SLASHING RENT
TONIGHT AT 10 P.M. CHANNELS 45 AND 76
ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD–
THE COUNTY’S VANGUARD TALK SHOW OUT IN FRONT OF THE TRENDS
WESTCHESTER COALITION FOR THE HUNGRY AND HOMELESS
ON RISING NUMBER OF HUNGER AND HOMELESS IN THE COUNTY.
SEE BOTH SHOWS ON
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MONDAY AT 10 AND WEDNESDAY AT 10:30 ON
WHITE PLAINS TV CHANNELS 45 AND 76
WPCNR White Plains Law Journal. By John F. Bailey. December 5, 2013:
The police retirees fight for guaranteed benefits for life they felt had always been guaranteed will continue to trial, police retirees attorney Albert Pirro told WPCNR today.
Albert J. Pirro is the attorney for 98 White Plains police retirees (hired before 1996) who are fighting the City of White Plains over the city decision to require they pay 15% of their health care costs, a measure arbitrarily introduced by the city in 2010.
The retirees sued the city in federal court, and yesterday, Pirro said, Federal Judge Cathy Seibel denied the city’s motion to dismiss the case, allowing the sensitive case to move to trial.
Pirro said the sensitive case that could affect hundreds of public employees across New York State, could now proceed to discovery and a trial, pending a city appeal of Judge Seibel’s decision. Pirro said he did not know if the city planned to appeal at this time.
Pirro told WPCNR Thursday morning, the judge denied all three city grounds for dismissal advanced by the city-employed law firm of Lamb & Barnosky.
“The judge denied the first city grounds for dismissal that Federal law was not involved, because the city had won an arbitration award from the police in 1997. The judge said that did not apply to the pre-1996 hires. Second, the judge denied the city motion to dismiss the case on grounds that the retirees’ constitution rights were not violated. We were able to convince the judge that citizen’s contractual rights were violated which are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”
WPCNR notes: That constitutional clause appears in Article I, section 10, clause 1. It states:
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
“Third, (Pirro said) the city maintained police retirees should not have depended on the full health benefits being maintained forever (even though they had been receiving them for 20 years or more0 . We showed that the resolution of 1967 ( adopted 43 years prior to the demand the retirees pay 15% of health costs), guaranteeing full health cost benefits for life said it.”
Pirro estimated that the city has spent a half million dollars paying lawyers to fight the suit nearly half what the city would have to pay the affected police retirees.
Mr. Pirro said he had not received a copy of the decision yet, which Judge Seibel delivered yesterday at the Charles Brient Federal Court House in White Plains.
Previously, Judge Seibel in December 2011 had overturned the police retiree injunction against the city prohibiting the city from collecting from retirees. The Wednesday decison was her ruling on the city motion to dismiss, the city police retirees’ suit altogether. The action has been in dispute for three and a half years.
WPCNR RAILROADIN. From the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 3, 2013:
For Wednesday, December 4, Metro-North will operate more than 98% of regular Hudson Line service due to one track being returned to service following the train derailment in the vicinity of Spuyten Duyvil.
Customers should expect scattered delays of up to 15 minutes due to limited track capacity in this area and crowded conditions during peak periods. Please refer to the Hudson Line timetable or our schedules page for train information.
The following trains will be combined:
-The 7:15 AM from Scarborough to Grand Central Terminal is combined with the 7:16 AM train from Croton-Harmon, which will make all stops of both trains.
-The 7:37 AM from Ossining to Grand Central Terminal is combined with the 7:40 AM train from Croton-Harmon, which will make all stops of both trains.
-The 8:45 AM train from Greystone to Grand Central Terminal is combined with the 8:22 AM train from Croton-Harmon, which will make all stops of both trains.
Metro-North forces continue rebuilding track and restoring the signal and power systems on the remaining two tracks in the area of the derailment. Our goal is to bring back full Hudson Line service as soon and safely as possible.
For Spuyten Duyvil Customers: The Hudson RailLink bus service will serve the station, but there will be no parking at the station because of the ongoing rebuilding effort and investigation.
- See more at: http://web.mta.info/supplemental/mnr/mnr_weather_info.html#sthash.FnU06mba.dpuf
WPCNR CITY HALL CIRCUIT. From the City Clerk. December 3, 2013:
The White Plains Common Council, it was announced by the City Clerk office today will hold a Special Meeting Monday December 9 at 7 P.M, to make a Findings Statement on whether or not the Council will allow The French American School of New York to go ahead with developing the former Ridgeway Country Club property into a 7 building campus for the internationally known school.
In order for the process to go ahead the council needs a super majority of votes, 5-2. Presently two members are opposed and in order for the proposal to be defeated, another member of the council must defect to the two members now opposed
Dennis Krolian and Milagros Lecouna were observed devising strategies at City Limits restaurant last Friday. Mr. Krolian and Ms. Lecouna voted against approving the Final Environmental Impact Statement that was approved in October by the Common Council.
A 4-3 vote at that time would have said the statement was not complete and the council could have demanded more information. However, Mayor Roach, Benjamin Boykin, John Martin, Beth Smayda and John Kirkpatrick voted for the the environmental impact statement as being complete at that time.
The Gedney Association has announced intention to file a suit against the city if a positive finding that the project can go forward is adapted by the Council
The Agenda:RESOLUTIONS: 1. Communication from the Environmental Officer in relation to the application submitted by the French American School of New York (FASNY) for a Special Permit and Site Plan Approvals to develop a private elementary and secondary school with accessory nursery school at 400 Ridgeway, White Plains, New York, and a resolution adopting an Environmental Findings Statement.
2. Environmental Findings Resolution of the White Plains Common Council
adopting the Findings Statement issued under the State Environmental Quality
Review Act, Environmental Conservation Law Section 8-101, Et. Seq. regarding
the application submitted on behalf of the French American School of New York
(“Applicant” or “FASNY”) in relation to Special Permit and Site Plan Approval and
related approvals for a private elementary and secondary school, and an
accessory nursery school, to be located on the property of the former Ridgeway
Country Club, such property consisting of four parcels (Section-Block-Lots SBL
131.14-9-3, SBL 131.14-2-3, SBL 131.10-1-6 AND SBL 131.10-3-32) and having
an address of 400 Ridgeway, White Plains (“Application”).
WPCNR DEVELOPER DEVELOPMENTS. From the Carhart Neighborhood Association. December 2, 2013 UPDATED DECEMBER 4, 2013:
THE Wednesday night White Plains Zoning Board of Appeals Public Hearing to hear an appeal by Sunrise detox to reverse a decision made by Commissioner of Building Damon Amadio on February 27, 2013 has been postponed until January.
Amadio’s decision was that Sunrise does not meet the criteria as a “Community Residence”, an opinion expressed by the Carhart Neighborhood Association at last year’s Public Hearings.
According to the White Plains Zoning Ordinance section 10.4.1, an appeal must be made within 60 days.
Sunrise submitted their appeal on October 10, 2013 more than 220 days after Amadio’s determination.
Therefore, it is the opinion of the Carhart Neighborhood Association, and its supporters, that an appeal to reverse the decision is invalid and should not be considered.
For additional information, please contact the Carhart Neighborhood Association at firstname.lastname@example.org
WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators, December 3, 2013:
The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL), nearing the end of its review of County Executive Robert P. Astorino’s Proposed 2014 County Budget, formally approved Monday a $2.5 million increase of funding support for the Title XX child care program, as well as the restoration of two professional positions, as additions to the final spending plan.
The BOL approval was made during a meeting of the Budget & Appropriations Committee, chaired by Legislator Judy Myers (D-Larchmont). The total spending increase would be paid for through expected revenue from a forthcoming operations deal at Playland, offset savings found in another child care program and a reduction in staff spending already proposed in the budget.
“It’s important that the 2014 County Budget provide a crucial umbrella of protection for the lives of Westchester residents and our natural resources,” said BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “We have focused on balancing the needs of our residents and making decisions that are fiscally responsible in these budget additions. I’m confident that they’ll be part of the final budget negotiations with the Administration.”
Enrollment in the Title XX child care program has been frozen since 2010. The BOL’s spending addition will increase program enrollment to approximately 400 slots, which many residents and child care advocates stated at the last two public budget hearings as being necessary to meet community needs.
“This is simply a matter of the Board responding to the concerns we’ve heard at the budget hearings over the past few years,” said Myers.
The two professional positions the BOL is seeking to restore are the Director of Water Agency and Environmental Project Director, both of which are involved with the County’s responsibility in complying with Federal law requiring the maintenance of a safe public drinking water system.
“These two staff members have a great deal of experience and institutional knowledge,” said BOL Majority Leader Pete Harckham (D-North Salem). “Right now, the County is in a sensitive situation regarding environmental protection, and letting these two veteran professionals go at this point seems like a bad idea.”
Two groups of additions are being made for the sake of greater budget transparency. First, a number of Department of Social Services staff positions are being moved out of trust accounts and into the operating budget. (These are positions are fully paid for by Medicaid administration and have no affect on the tax levy.) Second, program funding is being broken out of the Community Based Initiative line in the Proposed Budget’s Miscellaneous budget and placed in the proper Department budgets.
The BOL Budget & Appropriations Committee will consider deletions to the Proposed 2014 Budget on Friday, December 6. A special meeting of the BOL will be held on Monday, December 9 at 10:30 AM in the BOL Chambers to consider an Act adopting the 2014 County Budget.