WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. From the Gedney Association. June 19.2014:
The Gedney Association amplified its public statement by its President Terrence Guerriere Thursday, claiming for the first time the city administration exerted its influence on the Common Council on the implications of its Findings Statement on the Environmental Review of the French American School of New York plan to consolidate their three schools on the former Ridgeway Country Club.
The release alleges: “The City admitted that they tried to circumvent the Open Meetings Law by having Council members meet with the City’s attorney behind closed doors to discuss the FASNY Environmental Finding and as a result the Court required the City to answer those secrecy claims asserted by the Gedney Association”
The complete statement reads:
The Gedney Association announced it was pleased the Supreme Court Decision of June 16, 2014 did not dismiss the Gedney Association Lawsuit—–contrary to the statements of FASNY.
This Decision permits litigation against the City of White Plains to continue. The lawsuit stated various claims regarding the City’s review of the French American School of New York’s (FASNY) application to build a large regional school complex in the middle of the low-density Gedney Farms residential neighborhood.
The Gedney Association asserted that the City violated requirements of the State Environmental Review Act (SEQRA) as well as the Open Meetings Law (OML) and other City rules and procedures in its review of the FASNY application. Speaking of the Supreme Court’s Decision Terence Guerriere, President of the Association noted
“We are pleased that the Court did not dismiss on the merits any of our claims regarding the ‘Environmental Findings’ of the Common Council, but only found that some were not ‘ripe’ for determination at this time—but these same claims will be ripe for determination when the Special Permit and Site Plan are decided.”
President Guerriere also remarked that the Court rejected FASNY’s and the City’s assertion that the Gedney Association and Members did not have “standing” to sue. Significantly, the Court did not dismiss the Open Meetings Law claim against the Common Council.
Gedney Association Attorney Dennis Lynch, of FEERICK LYNCH MACARTNEY, remarked “The City admitted that they tried to circumvent the Open Meetings Law by having Council members meet with the City’s attorney behind closed doors to discuss the FASNY Environmental Finding and as a result the Court required the City to answer those secrecy claims asserted by the Gedney Association”.
President. Guerriere remained confident all claims will be later decided in the residents’ favor noting, “The City’s violations of law made the environmental review process so defective that the Gedney Association and others were compelled to file this lawsuit”.