The Scoop: Dr. King Stood for Empowerment Through Education.

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If there is one benefit to the School District firing of Saul Yanofsky, the District Forums focusing on what the district needs in a new Superintendent of Schools have revealed there is much work to be done in the fields Dr. Martin Luther King concentrated his efforts for equality. WPCNR learned this at Centro Hispano at St. Bernards Church last Sunday, the Bethel Baptist Church last Wednesday, and the PTA Council last Thursday evening here in White Plains.

It should be remembered this week, that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stood for the rights of children to go to school and to receive equal education. It should be remembered that Dr. King stood for equal employment opportunity. It should be remembered that he stood for non-violence. It should be remembered that he preached about the good in all races and how deep down every person, white, black, or whatever wished for the same things for their children: an equal chance for happiness. Dr. King made the individual responsible for their own actions in an open environment.

Wednesday we learned things have changed, and have not changed.

Last Wednesday, about 250 persons, African-Americans, Hispanics, some Asians, some Hispanics, and some Caucasions, expressed their concerns at Bethel Baptist Church to Dr. Deborah Raizes and Dr. Diana P. McCauley, consultants hired by the School District. The two consultants have been hired to conduct a Superintendent of Schools search, and were gathering input about the strengths of the White Plains City School District and the what characteristics different segments of the community want to see in a new Superintendent of Schools. They got an earful.

WORKING THE ROOM, Dr. Deborah Raizes, (with clipboard, standing in aisle), of Hazard,Young Attia & Associates, consulting firm hired by the school district to find another Superintendent of Schools, takes comments from the overflow crowd at Bethel Baptist Church January 16, the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Photo by WPCNR

What emerged was a consensus of sobering evaluation, self-criticism about their own family efforts, concern about instructor attitudes towards the potential of minority students, an alleged willingness by administrators to classify minorities for Special Classes, and an alleged failure to educate the brightest minority students.

Clergy submits letter

The Concerned Clergy introduced a letter documenting their concerns for education of minority students. The letter had six main points as to what the White Plains minority clergy wanted in a new superintendent:

1. The clergy felt that “overall the person (new superintendent) needs to have experience to deal with a diverse district.

2. “The courage to stand up to the PTA and the Teachers Union to advocate for our children.”

3.”To let us know what their vision is, and be willing to fight for that vision.”

4. “A level playing field competing for Honors Courses,”

5. “Support for Special Programs, and not just fill them up with African-American Children,”

6. And the need for more black male teachers.

Other comments were made by parents (who were teachers themselves), made much of what they feel is a double standard exhibited towards minority students by teachers, that minorities cannot learn, with a tendency to move minorities very quickly into special education classes.

The prevailing attitude WPCNR heard was not anger. It was not resentment. It was of parents presenting the situation as they saw it. A feeling of pathos, of wondering how the district can change this hung over the hall by the conclusion.

PROMISING TO BRING THEIR CONCERNS TO THE BOARD, a determined Dr. Deborah Raizes, addresses the Bethel Baptist crowd at the conclusion of last Wednesday’s meeting. Dr. Raizes and Dr. Diane McCauley who handled the Bethel meeting with her, told WPCNR that the White Plains attendances at the Bethel Baptist and Centro Hispano forums were the largest they have experienced in their superintendent searches for Hazard Young Attia. Raizes said the White Plains concern and interest was the most participatory and concerned of any superintendent search she has ever conducted. Photo by WPCNR

A national problem?

The perception, and apparent reality that African-American and Hispanic students who are serious students are not achieving, is not new, and certainly not new with White Plains. It is happening elsewhere too.

We spoke to a veteran teacher in the Montclair, New Jersey, School District over the weekend, because Montclair is a similar community to White Plains with a large African-American minority. This source advised us that the inability of minorities to achieve high scores on SAT’s as their white classmates at similar academic achievement levels is being seen in Montclair, too. She advised us that the Montclair District found a “learning gap” exists in minority students which is documented as early as kindergarten.

As she put it, minority students arrive in kindergarten not having learned as much before schooling as their caucasian counterparts.

Gap does not close.

This “gap,” does not close over the school years. It is a gap that holds them back, whether this relates to the problem of families where both parents work, or there is only one parent, or broken families, or a language barrier, all these factors, our veteran teacher (who works with minority and majority students every school day), said factor into creating a learning gap.

Her district has documented that the minority children simply have not acquired as much knowledge going to preschool as the majority classmates.

It has been the experience in the Montclair School District that this “gap” does not close. Our teacher reports the district is still grappling with this problem.

Gap shows up in White Plains at high school level in honors courses.

In White Plains, evidence of this “gap” has recently surfaced in a study done involving advanced placement and tracked classes at White Plains High School. It was first voiced by Barbara Holland at the Bethel Baptist Church meeting last week. The concern was echoed by two minority members of the PTA Council meeting with Dr. Raizes on Thursday evening.

Ms. Holland, a former member of the school board raised this topic towards the end of the Bethel Baptist Church forum, by revealing a survey reported conducted by Assistant Principal for Special Programs and Services at White Plains High School, Narcita Medina. Ms. Medina is said to have reported the results of the survey to a meeting of the Miniority Student Achievement Network recently.(The White Plains School District has been a member of the network since 2000.

Minority students score significantly lower in advanced classes

Medina’s survey shows that African-American and Hispanic high school students in honors classes and advanced placement classes are scoringsignificantly lower than their white classmates on college SAT’s and Advanced Placement tests among students in the same classes. Hearing this, as a reporter, I found this disturbing.

Concern echoed at PTA Council

Two minority parents on the PTA Council forum also raised the concern the next night. One young mother whose daughter is five, was concerned that though her daughter is achieving now, will she continue to achieve, given this apparent “gap” affecting minorities?

LISTENING TO THE PTA, Dr. Raizes hears of the strengths of the district from 30 PTA representatives and interested parties. Attendance for the forums was approximately 25 for the first forum, 5 for the Friday the 11th, Forum, over 200 each at the Centro Hispano and Bethel Baptist forums, and 8 on the Wednesday afternoon forum for community organizations.Photo by WPCNR

There were many strengths of the district voiced during that PTA Council forum, which we will report in due course, so many, in fact that there is no reason to think White Plains and its new superintendent can move to address this apparent underachievement by the minority population with a community effort.

PTA representative after PTA representative listed the strengths of the White Plains school district: that we were the first with a school choice program. That we introduced Learning Studies two decades ago, among others. Now, the district faces a new challenge.

It is well to remember Dr. King’s message.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 34 years after his death, things have changed, but they have not changed enough. Educational opportunity, personal effort, individual responsibility are still the keys to minority success. Two minority personalities pictured in stride with Dr. King on the front page of The Journal News today, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, are African-Americans Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would be proud to have by his side.

We all should raise our personal level of activitism to look within, instead of wanting the system to change for us and make things better. The system should change, but it is a two-way street. We all have to work for change and buy into it to change ourselves, another Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. challenge.

That’s what I remember most about Dr. King. He reached me with the simple rationality and truth of his message. The new Superintendent of Schools and the School Board need to address and respond to this minority community that sees this problem and has brought it to our attention. They indicated Wednesday evening they had to look within and do a better job with focusing their children and called for the School District to do a better job of treating their children equally.

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Forums Roundup: Hispanics in Force for Superintendent Forum.

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Special to WPCNR: Isabel Vilar, Director of El Centro Hispano of White Plains reported at the beginning of this week that Hazard Young & Attia consultant Dr. Deborah Raizes’ visit to Centro Hispano Sunday brought out from between 225 to 250 persons from the Hispanic community to comment on the qualities their community wished to see in a new Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Raizes heard specific requests for a new superintendent who would be as “accessible” to the Hispanic community as Dr. Saul Yanofsky is.
Villar, talking to WPCNR by telephone this week, said that the El Centro Hispano practice of scheduling community meetings after church services, at 346 South Lexington Avenue had long been a way to encourage her community’s participation in city issues, such as police, fire and New York Prebyterian Hospital.

Sunday was no exception, as she reports a crowd of 225 to 250 parents and children appeared to share their superintendent concerns with the consultant conducting the White Plains superintendent search.

Ms. Villar told WPCNR several issues emerged. She said the Hispanic community was concerned about the level of implementation of district programs for Hispanic students, saying they were happy with what the district has done to date in the Yanofsky era but more enhancements were needed.

She reports the community raised the following policy concerns for the district to consider, and for the new superintendent to be able to implement: “We need to keep what we have, and enhance and strengthen (services), with new programs. The parents want instruction to be completely bilingual (for their children) to learn English, because that is the principle language of this country. They want (more) full-day kindergartens. More bilingual staff to talk to parents.”

Asked what is meant by “bilingual,” Ms. Villar said that at the end of their education, Hispanic children would be fluent in speaking and writing both Spanish and English.

Ms. Villar also noted to WPCNR that Dr. Yanofsky often brought his entire District cabinet of Assistant Superintendents to meet with the Hispanic community and said that many present yesterday hoped any new superintendent chosen would continue this accessibility. It was a way of “taking the school to the community,” Villar said.

The Centro Hispano leader said the Parents Choice Program was very successful in achieving balance in the five elementary schools in White Plains and that Hispanic parents indicated yesterday they were very pleased with it. She reports they also like the Newcomers Center.

Friday Education House Forum Attracts Only 5 residents.

In contrast, the previous Friday January 11 meeting at 10 AM was sparsely attended. The District held a forum for Dr. Raizes to meet with parents, and only five persons were there. WPCNR interviewed two who attended, and they said that the conversation centered around the strengths of the district.

The strengths that emerged, they said were that White Plains diversity of population was a strength and should not be regarded as a drawback. They pointed out to Raizes that the community had a strong tax base, and a growing economic base. They said the district had many unique programs in drama, video, and technology not available in smaller, more homogenous districts.

Asked what the five who attended Friday wished for in the character and strengths and style of a new Superintendent of Schools, the two we interviewed said, following the Mission Statement of the District in the School Calendar articulated the kind of personality needed.

That statement, for those of you who are not familiar with it reads: Our mission is to provide a dynamic educational environment which,

• challenges all students to achieve a high degree of economic success.

• reflects and respects individual differences and cultural diversity.

• nurtures talent.

• creates opportunities for the development of responsible and productive citizens, and

in sum, enables all members of the school community to reach their full potential.

The statement continues for a full three columns, and is on the introductory page of the White Plains Public Schools Calendar.

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Delgado Challenges Hockley to End Legal Actions and Have the Election

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Larry Delgado kicked off his third campaign in six months for Common Council Wednesday afternoon, calling on Glen Hockley to cease legal action to stop the vote and participate in the new citywide election ordered by the Appellate Court this week at a date to be determined by the Board of Elections.

DELGADO AND DELFINO START CAMPAIGNING FOR THE EMPTY CHAIR: Larry Delgado, right, announced the beginning of his campaign Wednesday at noon at Republican Headquarters in White Plains.
Photo by WPCNR

Standing beside Mayor Joseph Delfino, Republican Larry Delgado said, “Last night I challenged my opponent to end legalities. There has to be an election. Let’s have court activities take a back seat. In his press conference Thursday morning, I hope he agrees with me…There should be an election…If it hadn’t been for my opponent, we wouldn’t have an empty chair (on the Common Council).”

Delfino: We need a Latino on the Common Council

Mayor Joseph Delfino opened the conference, praising Mr. Delgado as the first Latino to be voted on the Common Council, and said White Plains needs a coalition government which, he said, Mr. Delgado’s election would assure. Pointing out that election of Mr. Hockley would pit six Democrats against one Republican (himself), the Mayor said he needed Mr. Delgado as a bipartisan voice.

The Mayor said, “Not having Larry Delgado there doesn’t meet the right structure for our city. He is our only Latino. To have him there is a heartful feeling for our city.”

DELGADO ANSWERS A QUERY from El Aguila reporter Carlos Zequeira at his Wednesday high noon news conference.
Photo by WPCNR

The Mayor praised Delgado as a listener to all the people in White Plains, and complimented him for working with the Mayor to achieve the growth the City is now experiencing. He fondly recalled the day he spent five and a half hours convincing Mr. Delgado to run the first time five years ago at Graziella’s Restaurant.

“A long ordeal.”

Delgado, taking centerstage, said, “We’ve been through this once before. I thank you all for you all for supporting me then and this has been a long ordeal…It took a Supreme Court Justice to determine a machine was broken. Judge Nicolai (Francis) wrote a remarkable decision, ruling that if a machine was broken there’s got to be a remedy. That single vote is sacrosanct. We fought hard for it. Judge Nicolai set an election date. Mr. Hockley asked for a stay and appealed.”

Pleased with Appellate Court ruling.

Delgado continued, saying “I’m pleased the Appellate Court said ‘yes, when there’s an error in the vote, there’s got to be a remedy.’ I’m happy they’ve ruled. I won November 6 on the citywide vote. I won on November 6 in District 18. I gues I have to win 2 out of 2 elections.”

Getting the message out.

Delgado said, “We’re going to get our message to the voters of accomplishment, what we’ve done…There will no learning curve for me (on the Council). I’ve done it.I’m going to produce results, and I’m going to spread that word I’m going to do it again.”

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People suffering from depression and manic depression can find support and information through a group that meets at White Plains Hospital Medical Center several times a month. Members of this mutual-support group help one another by sharing strategies for coping with daily life. For information, contact Liz at 476-4720.

The group is sponsored by the Westchester Self-Help Clearinghouse, a program of Westchester Jewish Community Services.

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Bradley: Appellateers Denied Cross, Noted Technical Errors, Agreed on His Remedy

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Adam Bradley, Glen Hockley’s attorney and orchestrator of the Hockley appeal, denied by the Appellate Court in Brooklyn Tuesday, contacted WPCNR Wednesday morning to provide insight into the murky depths of the Appellate Court decision.
Court Called for Special Election

Tuesday, the majority opinion of judges denied Glen Hockley’s appeal for the court to dismiss Judge Nicolai’s ordered District 18 election on petition and jurisdictional grounds

Bradley’s insight.

Mr. Bradley points out, that the majority of justices, in addition to the denial of Hockley’s contention of jurisdictional and petition irregularities, also dismissed Delgado’s Cross Appeal in which Mr. Delgado sought a judgment declaring him the winner of the election.

Key sentence in brief.

The Hockley advocate also pointed out to WPCNR that Mr. Delgado had wanted a District 18 only Special Election and that was denied by the court. Bradley advised WPCNR that the sentence at the conclusion of the majority opinion reading, “The remaining contentions raised on the appeal and cross appeal are without merit.” effectively referenced the dismissal of Delgado’s Cross Appeal asking him to be declared winner.

Bradley Backgrounder: Why Court Agreed with Hockley Ground Rules for Election.

Mr. Bradley advised WPCNR that, in his opinion, “the court agreed with Hockley’s contention of what the remedy should be: a citywide election.”

The court refers to the Buffalo case involving Doherty v. Mahoney, a case cited in Mr. Bradley’s brief as the basis for the court calling for a citywide election instead of Judge Nicolai’s District 18 only “continuation” with all six candidates contending.

Mr. Bradley described this race as being virtually a dead ringer for the White Plains situation that developed November 6, except that it was a council primary race. Bradley said there were six candidates involved, two won handily, the middle two were very close, the fifth and sixth vote getters way behind. There were 3 election districts with irregularities. The middle two candidates were very close in vote totals sued.

Bradley reports the appellate court ruled for an election in the disputed districts among all six candidates, but had that ruling (virtually identical to Judge Nicolai’s), reversed by the Court of Appeals which ruled for a citywide election between the middle two candidates contesting the third seat.

Bradley said the Court of Appeals decision in that Buffalo case was the basis for his argument that any special election should be citywide. Bradley said his arguments on the index number and petition irregularities were essentially acknowledged by the Appellate Court, though deemed by the court to be “correctible.”

Bradley commented that “This decision (the Appellate decision) is very unusual because it opens the floodgates that the Court of Appeals say should not exist.”

An appeal to Albany?

Mr. Bradley advised WPCNR that he was “entertaining it. The dissenting opinion is very persuasive.” He said the Democratic Party was holding a news conference at 9 AM Thursday morning at their 170 E. Post Road headquarters.

Courts lack precedents for New General Elections in Council races.

In a later telephone call Wednesday morning, Bradley said that “Case Law is very rare in new general elections. The statutes authorize new general elections in primaries, and only in 1992 did we have the first case in the state calling for a new general election in a council race. It’s why we don’t have many cases to guide us.”

Westchester Board of Elections awaits Nicolai Instructions.

Mr. Lafayette, one of the Board of Elections CO-Commissioners told WPCNR that the Board had to go back to court (before Judge Nicolai), to get instructions on who would be eligible to vote in the new citywide election. He said it was too early to speculate on how soon the new election could be held.

What would have happened if the Hockley Appeal had been granted?

The Westchester County Board of Elections would, had the appeal been granted, according to Reginald LaFayette, Commissioner, Westchester County Board of Elections, certify the canvass (including District 18 results), as it presently stands (Hockley ahead by 47 votes).

“It would be exactly like what happened in Florida,” LaFayette told WPCNR Wednesday morning.

For the record, the Delgado camp suggested in their arguments to Judge Nicolai in December that they were comfortable with a variety of election remedies. It was also argued by the Delgado camp before the Appellate Court that the Doherty case Bradley explained to WPCNR, was supportive of the Delgado position demanding a remedy.

WPCNR could not contact Bradley Tuesday evening because of our Planning Board coverage until 11:30 PM.

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Inside the Decision: Appellate Judges Rule 3-1 to Hold Special Election,Citywide

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UPDATED, 1-16-02 12:15 PM:Justices Sandra Feuerstein, William D. Friedmann and Robert W. Schmidt found in favor of former Councilman Larry Delgado Tuesday evening, calling for a new citywide election between Delgado and Glen Hockley. Judge Gabriel M. Krausman dissented in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department of the New York State Supreme Court 5-1/2 page decision handed down from Brooklyn Tuesday evening. Mr. Bradley, Glen Hockley’s attorney comments. Here’s WPCNR’s first look at the decision:

A review of the decision faxed to WPCNR reveals that the majority opinion denied Mr. Hockley’s cross appeal of the Judge Francis Nicolai decision to hold a continuation of the election only in District 18 to dismiss the Supreme Court decision to throw out Judge Nicolai’s ruling on a technicality, yet disagreed with Nicolai on the remedy. The judges also called for a citywide Special Election between the two.

WHOSE NAME WILL GO ON THE COUNCILMAN SIGN? The sign that formerly bore Pauline Oliva’s name stands neatly painted over in the City Hall parking lot, awaiting a Special Election between Glen Hockley and Larry Delgado, providing Mr. Hockley does not appeal the Appellate Court decision handed down Tuesday.


On Delgado failure to purchase a second index number, the court refuses to budge.

After stating the circumstances surrounding the alleged technicality violation the majority opinion ruled,

Hockley moved to dismiss the (Delgado) second order to show cause and petition on the grounds, inter alia, that Delgado failed to purchase a second index number and filed the second order to show cause and petition after it was served. The Supreme Court (Judge Nicolai), inter alia, denied the motion to dismiss, and upon determining that the voting machine in the 18th Election District had malfunctioned, directed that a continued election be held in that district only. Hockley appeals, arguing, inter alia, that the Su[preme Court erred in denying his (Hockley’s) motion to dismiss the second order to show cause and petition. Hockley urges on appeal that, having brought to the Supreme Court a second order to show cause and petition, Delgado was required, pursuant to CPLR 304 and 306-b, to purchase a new index number and file the petition before serving it. We disagree.

Mislabeling of papers not enough to sidetrack the vote

The three judges continued into the labyrinthine flurry of those eight fateful days beginning November 7 when the petitions and the show cause orders flew between the parties over the District 18 impasse. Originally Delgado had filed a petition to impound the voting machines Wednesday morning, November 7, when results in District 18, known as a Republican stronghold, showed him running 100 votes behind his fellow Republicans, indicating to him something was wrong up in North Broadway.

A week later, it became clear to the Delgado camp there was no human reporting error. They theorized the machine appeared jammed. Delgado filed a second set of papers on November 14, 2001, labeled a petition instead of a motion, requesting a ‘hand recanvass and court review’ and ‘a review and correction of the canvass of the machine case ballots.’ Mr. Delgado did not buy a second new index number “in connection” with his second order to show cause.

The show cause order came before Judge Francis Nicolai. Adam Bradley, Glen Hockley’s legal counsel, argued with Judge Nicolai that the missing new Index Number was grounds for dismissing the Delgado petition outright, and not proceeding with examination of the Election District 18 voting machine, which he also opposed a not being specifically called for by Election Law. Judge Nicolai resoundingly rejected his argument, saying he was not going to “throw out a case this important on a technicality.”

The Appellate Court Agrees with Nicolai Tuesday evening

In the decision from the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, the Brooklyn three, dated January 14, the majority wrote:

“While it is true that Delgado labeled his second set of papers an order to show cause and petition instead of an order to show cause and motion, in his second order to show case, he indicated that the canvass which he had originally requested was incomplete. Further he requested relief which was related to and contemplated by the relief which he requested in his original order to show cause, and which properly could have been sought in a subsequent motion. In addition, Hockley failed to specify any prejudice as a result of the mislabeling of the papers. The Supreme Court (Nicolai) therefore correctly refused to dismiss this otherwise meritorious claim simply because the second set of papers presented to it was mislabeled.

Moreover, Delgado’s second order to show cause included a general prayer for ‘such other, further, and different relief as this court may find to be just and proper’. Generally, a notice of motion or order to show cause must state the relief demanded and the grounds therefore (see, CPLR 2214[a]). A court may grant relief, pursuant to a general prayer contained in the notice of motion or order to show casue, other than that specifically asked for, to such extent as is warranted by the facts plainly appearing on the papers on both sides (decision cites 3 previous decisions). It may do so in the absence of surprise or prejudice (citing a case and commentary), and the determination of whether to grant such relief is discretionary with the court ,(citing two cases).

Appellatteers note a Delgado ambiguity.

The three magistrates in the majority opinion did single out this oversight, but dismissed it:

“Although the prayer for relief contained in Delgado’s second order to show cause did not explicitly request leave to amend the pleadings, he did request such relief in paragraphs 28 and 31 of the “petition” appended thereto, which, we have already noted, was in actuality a motion for additional relief in connection with the first order to show cause and petition. Under the exceptional circumstances of this case, we therefore would find it appropriate to grant Delgado leave to amend his original petition to add the calims raised in the “petition” appended to the second order to show cause.

Accordingly, we conclude that there was no necessity for Delgado to purchase a new index number and file anew in accordance with the provisions of CPLR 304 and 306-b.

Judges open up the election to the entire city – only between Delgado and Hockley

They judges expanded Judge Nicolai’s remedy :

“The Supreme Court (represented by Judge Nicolai), however, should have directed a new citywide election, instead of a continued election in the 18th Election District only, between Hockley and Delgado for the third contested seat (see, matter of Doherty v. Machoney, 42 NY2d 1069). It also should have afforded sufficient time before the new election to enable the Board to provide proper notice to the voters pursuant to Election Law * 4-120(1), and to provide for the casting of absentee ballots. We therefore modify the order to direct that the new election be held on the earliest date deemed practicable by the Board (of Elections) taking into account these considerations.

The ruling goes on to state that “the matter must be remitted for entry of a judgment declaring the rights of the parties in accordance herewith,” and rejected Mr. Bradley’s other arguments as being “without merit.”

UPDATE:In new information brought to WPCNR’s attention by Adam Bradley, Mr. Hockley’s attorney, Mr. Bradley informed WPCNR that not only his arguments, but also Mr. Delgado’s Cross Appeal, and request that he, Delgado, be declared the winner was also rejected by the appeals court. He added that the majority decision also follows the Bradley/Hockley contention the election should be citywide, between the two candidates. Bradley said the sentence “The remaining contentions raised on the appeal and cross appeal are without merit,” denied the Delgado cross appeal and request to be declared the winner.

The Delgado View:

Larry Delgado, speaking with WPCNR Tuesday evening said, this means the two parties will return to Supreme Court, go before Judge Nicolai, and receive Nicolai’s instructions on how the election should be run.

It was said by Jeffrey Binder, another Delgado election attorney who prepared the case with John Ciampoli, that this means only the voters who voted in the November 6 election could vote in the new election, since the Appellate Court Justices did not address that issue, which was part of Judge Nicolai’s decision.

Appellatteers leave the details to Judge Nicolai

Delgado weighed in with the further opinion that the judges did not wish to involve themselves in the “day-to-day, nitty gritty” of the new election.

On the basis of this written decision, it appears that Nicolai’s originally call for an election with all six council candidates on the ballot has also been thrown out, because the Appellate decision species an election between Delgado and Hockley alone. This creates the spectacle of a mano-a-mano race developing over the next 45 days to 60 days. Delgado theorized it would take the Board of Elections at least that long to prepare to notify all who voted November 6 that they can vote again, a total of over 12,000 persons. Delgado blue-skying with WPCNR guessed the election could be held in early March.

Another city hall source told WPCNR that City Clerk Janice Minieri was going to have a job to do outfitting machines to cover all 46 Election Districts. Moreover, how many polling places there would be has yet to be determined.

These kinds of issues are to be determined by Judge Nicolai, according to the Appellate Court.

One Judge Dissents.

Judge Gabriel Krausman went by the book. He passionately demurred with his Appellatte colleagues. He wrote a three page “dissent” (longer than the majority opinion). He strongly supports the Adam Bradley contention that the Delgado faux pas of failing to obtain and purchase a second index number was grounds for granting the Bradley-Hockley appeal that the Delgado petition should be dismissed and Hockley declared the winner.

Krausman cited several cases where the Court of Appeals, Glen Hockley’s next and final stop in fighting a new election, threw out cases on this very technicality. We turn now to the Judge’s writing:

I believe that Delgado’s failure to comply with statutory filing and service provisions require us to dismiss his second proceeding. Furthermore, I disagree with my colleagues’ position that dismissal can be avoided by either treating the second order to show cause and petition as a motion for further relief in the first proceeding, or by amending the petition in the first proceeding to include the additional claims contained in the second petition. Accordingly, I would reverse the order appealed from upon the ground that the second proceeding was not properly commenced.

Cutting to the heart of Judge Krausman’s thinking, he points out his colleagues’ recount of the sequence of events is correct, but highlights the case of Gershel v. Porr, which found that under the filing system, ‘service of process without first paying the filing fee and filing the initiatory papers is a nullity, the action or proceeding never having been properly commenced.’

Court of Appeals agrees.

Krausman writes the Court of Appeals upheld the matter of Gershel v. Porr in dismissal on these very grounds of filing protocol:

The Court of Appeals observed that ‘by withdrawing the order to show cause rather than obtaining from the court a new return date and date by which service would be made of the filed order to show cause and petition, petitioner made the decision to start anew. Along with this decision came the obligation again to comply fully with the statutory filing requirements, that is, to file the notice of petition and the petition, pay the filing fee, secure an index number, effect service, and file proof of service within the prescribed period.’ The Court of Appeals found that the petitioner’s failure to properly comply with these filing requirements was a fatal jurisdictional defect.

Justice Krausman writes on to describe three more cases where “the failure to properly file the initiatory papers in an Election Law proceeding, or effecting service, prior to filing, renders the proceeding jurisdictionally defective.” He refers Connolly v. Chenot, Kurtzberg v Mastroianno and Carnese v. Ferraro.

Dissenting judge finds flaw. Says first petition completed. Second not a clear-cut continuation.

The demurring deliberator writes:

“…the majority reasons that Delgado can be saved from the unfortunate consequences of his failure to comply with CPLR 304 by deeming the second order to show cause and petition to be merely a continuation of the first proceeding, rather than a second distinct proceeding. The flaw in this rationale is that Delgado’s first petition sought only the limited relief of impoundment of voting machines and ballots, in order to ensure the integrity of the voting process. The respondent candidates consented to the relief requested in the first petition, and no other issues remained outstanding once the impoundment order had been carried out.

“In contrast, Delgado’s second petition sought additional relief not contemplated in the first proceeding, including a review of the canvass and recanvassing of votes, with particular scrutiny of the voting machine in the 18th district which may have malfunctioned. Along with Delgado’s decision to request this additional relief, and seek either adjustment of the canvass of votes or a new election, came ‘the obligation again to comply fully with the statutory filing requirements’, including paying the filing fee and securing and index number. (Gershel v. Porr).

The minority opinion concludes dismissing the majority’s clinging to the additional claims in Delgado’s second petition:

“According to the majority, we may grant this relief to Delgado because his second petition contains two paragraphs requesting leave to amend the pleading, as well as a general prayer for ‘such other, further, and different relief as this court may find to be just and proper’. This position does not withstand scrutiny. First of all, the two paragraphs in the second petition which contain requests to amend the pleading clearly do not refer to the petition in the impoundment proceeding. Rather these two paragraphs…state that the petitioner ‘requests leave to, and reserves the right to submit further proofs by way of witnesses *** and *** evidence upon the date set by this court for the trial and hearing of this matter, and to amend these pleadings to reflect the facts adduced by way of further investigation and/or a canvass of the ballots.’ This language cannot be fairly interpreted as a request to amend Delgado’s first petition.

Krausman ties up the loose ends

The Justice strictly interprets the statutes, too, contending that,

“the broad prayer for such other relief as may be just and proper, which is contained in the second petition, does not provide us with the authority to revive the impoundment proceeding, which was no longer pending when the second order to show cause and petition were purportedly filed. Logic dictates that a complaint or petition which is no longer extant cannot be amended (Hummingbird Assoc. v. Dix Auto Serv., Louden v. Rockefeller Ctr.) Morover, CPLR 3025(c), which authorizes the court to freely grant leave to amend a pleading ‘upon such terms as may be just’, cannot be used as a device to circumvent a dismissal of a prior action (cites case), or the filing requirements of CPLR 304. While dismissal may be considered a harsh result in this case, it is mandated by statute, and may not be circumvented by expanding the petition in the completed impoundment beyond its intended scope.”

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FLASH! Appellate Court Issues Ruling on Hockley-Delgado.

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Special to WPCNR: The Appellate Court in Brooklyn issued its ruling in the Glen Hockley appeal of Judge Francis Nicolai’s decision on Hockley/Delgado inconclusive election early Tuesday evening.
John Ciampoli, one of former councilman Larry Delgado’s attorneys, reports to WPCNR this evening that the court has upheld Mr. Delgado’s challenge.

The attorney reports the judges have ruled a new election be held between Mr. Delgado and Glen Hockley, with the stipulation that the election be held citywide in every election district,(not just District 18), between the two contenders.

The Appellate Court in Brooklyn ruled in favor of a new election between Mr. Delgado and Mr. Hockley Tuesday, calling for a citywide election between the two. Details will be issued as they become available.PHOTO BY WPCNR.

Ciampoli, speaking to WPCNR by telephone at 7:15 PM Tuesday evening, called it a “big win for the voters, and a big win for Larry Delgado.” The “Voter’s Voice,” said that the court “tinkered” with Judge Francis Nicolai’s decision by extending it beyond District 18 to a citywide canvas.

Ciampoli also reports the 4-judge panel ruled that the Board of Elections can set the date of the new election.

It is not known at this time whether Mr. Hockley will appeal Tuesday’s Appellate Court decision to the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany — the next step.

Delgado: “The Court believes in Justice!”

Larry Delgado, in an exclusive interview with WPCNR Tuesday evening said, “I’m very gratified the courts believe in justice, and not in striking down a result on a technicality. I didn’t know when it would come, but I’m very pleased with the result. Now, it goes back to Judge Nicolai (Francis — writer of the original decision), for the grounds rules to be set.”

Delgado sees a 45-day window. Election possible for early March.

Asked to speculate on what comes next, former Councilman Delgado, just off the phone with his attorney Jeffrey Binder said, he felt that it would take the Board of Elections approximately 45 days to ready voting machines in all 46 White Plains Election Districts, but the actual date of the election will be set by Judge Nicolai. Delgado speculated the election might be held in early March based on that 45-day timetable.

Delgado added the Appellate Court did not want to be involved in the “day-to-day” procedural of setting the election and that the case would be sent back to Judge Nicolai who would call in both parties and the Board of Elections to “lay out the ground rules” procedure from here.

Delgado said he was holding a news conference at 12:30 PM Wednesday afternoon to discuss the decision and launch his campaign, “I’m going to get my sleigh and go door-to-door and ring bells.”

Delgado said the Appellate Court decision meant that “every vote counts, and that’s a real win.”
Possibility of Appeal?

Mr. Delgado when asked if he expected Glen Hockley to appeal the Appellate Court decision, said yes, but pointed out that he did not think, given the trend of New York State to uphold the right to vote, that the Court of Appeals in Albany would take up the case.

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CNA Opens Doors – Schedules New York Presbyterian Hospital InfoForum.

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Special to WPCNR:The White Plains Council of Neighborhood Associations voted at its regular monthly meeting last week to open its monthly meetings to all residents of White Plains neighborhoods.

They have also arranged for executives of New York Prebyterian Hospital to present details of their biomedical complex proposal for Bryant Avenue to the public at Education House on January 23 at 7:45 PM. The meeting will be open to all, including the media.
Carl Barrera, of the Hillair Circle Association, newly elected CO-President of the Council for Neighborhood Associations; Jesse Crell of Colonial Corners, Ron Shakeridge of the Rosedale Residential Association, and John Bailey of the Haviland Manor Association, worked for the last year to make the Council more accessible to the community at large with the purpose of involving more White Plains residents.

Barrera told WPCNR the vote to open CNA meetings up to residents other than just delegates of the member associations (27 in all, 21 of which are active), was to achieve more “outreach,” to allow CNA to achieve “more focus” (in the community).”

Eight neighborhood associations voted to open the meetings, with 2 abstaining. Ten associations are required to be present under current bylaws for a quoram. The resolution which the associations voted on reads as follows:

Resolved, that regular meetings of the Representative Board be open to all members of the CAN’s constituent neighborhood associations, as well as to a limited number of invitees of association delegates, unless a meeting (or a portion of a meeting) is declared in advance to be an executive session limited to association delegates. The attendance of working journalists must be specifically approved in advance. Meeting discussions are limited to association delegates, unless the Chiar of a meeting recognizes other attendees.”

The Resolution allows the Council the right to limit non-delegate speakers, and to exclude the news media to allow more freedom of expression of views, while at the same time giving the right to attend to virtually all neighborhood residents of the city.

Open Meeting Policy in Effect for New York Presbyterian Hospital Special Meeting January 23

The effect of the new policy will be tested in its ability to draw new participants in the Council on January 23, the date on which the CNA leadership has invited representatives from New York Presbyterian Hospital to present details of their biomedical complex proposal for the Bryant Avenue end of their campus, now before the Common Council in public hearings.

Marc Pollitzer, of the North Street Civic Association, characterized the January 23 Hospital meeting as being a Special Meeting to present to CNA delegates, association officers and association boards of directors their proposal and to review highlights of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

This past August, a similar information forum held by the Council of Neighborhood Associations which invited Louis Cappelli to present his City Center proposal, attracted a larger crowd than CNA usually draws. It was credited by many observers with having changed peoples’ minds about the height of his proposed apartment towers and their effects on the downtown.

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New Taxi Rate Chart:Taxi Commission Releases New Hack Rates Effective Feb

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Special to WPCNR: The Taxi Commission has officially issued a new chart showing the new configuration of White Plains taxi fare zones 1 through 8. The Commission now imposes a 50 cent surcharge on radio dispatched calls, a 75 cent charge for each extra fare in a cab, with the first fare paying the full fare. The New Fare Chart and a Map of the 8 Zones and boundaries appear in the following portfolio:

A 50 cent surcharge is placed on calls for a cab from any location within the zones. PHOTO BY WPCNR.

Zones 2,3,4 comprise the Central Business District that account for 50% of all cab fares.
Arrow points to Railroad Station (TransCenter) in Zone 3.

Zone 5 has been truncated to begin at Bryant Avenue, providing relief for drivers summoned from railroad station to south of Bryant Avenue. PHOTO BY WPCNR.

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Wanted: Candidates for the Board of Education Open 2 Seats!

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Special to WPCNR: White Plains residents interested in running for positions on the Board of Education next May, can pick up Information Packets at Education House this week explaining the procedures to get on the ballot. Each potential candidate has to have petitions in by May 1. The election is Tuesday, May 21, 2002.
According to an official news release from Michelle Schoenfeld, Clerk to the Board of Education, the Annual White Plains Board of Eduction Budget Vote and Election of Board Members will take place on Tuesday, May 21. This is a date one week later than listed on the 2001-2002 school calendar.

Petitions for candidates require 100 signatures of 100 qualified voters in order for candidates to appear on the ballot. If you are a resident of White Plains for at least one year, and a United States Citizen you are eligible to run.

Registration for new residents eligible to vote: April 27

If you have moved to White Plains recently, and are eligble to vote and not registered with the Westchester County Board of Elections, you may register on Saturday, April 27, 12 noon to 5 PM at Mamaroneck Avenue School, Nosband Avenue. If you’ve moved within the city, you may also change your address at that time.

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