Gerard Talks III: NYPH Needs 10 Bldgs Instead of 2 to Build in Hist. Distr.

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WPCNR Common Council Chronicle-Examiner. By John F. Bailey. June 11, 2002. 12:02 A.M. E.D.T.: Susan Habel, Commissioner of Planning, put on her master builder’s hat Monday evening and presented her concept of how New York Presbyterian Hospital could fit their planned biotech/proton accelerator complex into buildable areas in the historic district of their property.

SUSAN HABEL TO THE RESCUE: The Commissioner of Planning presents a plan that would fit new buildings into the historic districts on the New York Presbyterian Hospital property, at the third session of “The Gerard Talks” at City Hall Monday evening.
All Photos by WPCNR

This exercise was requested by Councilmembers Benjamin Boykin, Rita Malmud, Glen Hockley, and Tom Roach last Thursday.

The Hospital, to fit an equivalent amount of square footage into the historic district, would have to build 10 buildings instead of two. Michael Gerard said this violated the spirit of “practicable” environmental solutions.

Ms. Habel made the presentation at the third session of “The Gerard Talks,” the sessions scheduled by the Common Council with their environmental lawyer, Michael Gerard, to discuss legal issues involved in their acceptance of the NYPH Final Environmental Impact Statement.

The meeting adjourned to yet another Executive Session at 8:15 PM last night, where they were expected to ask for a one-week extension to accept and prepare their Acceptance of the Final Environmental Impact Statement until June 24. According to the SEQRA regulations, the Council must accept the FEIS by June 17, six days from now.

Habel Presents Her Own Site Plan for Historic District.

In a meeting where Michael Gerard had very little to say, Ms. Habel did most of the talking, showing the building footprints that could be accommodated under the exacting restrictions dictated by the State Historical Preservation Office.

The bottom line, according to Ms. Habel, who along with her Deputy Commissioner, Rod Johnson, and the Planning Department prepared a hypothetical Historic District Building Plan requested by the Council, over the last two working days, requires the hospital to build 10 buildings instead of two.

Gerard Advises Habel Plan Fails the “Practicality Test.”

Gerard after digesting Habel’s one-hour presentation, said that at the heart of the spirit of complying with the SEQRA statute was to form a mitigating course of action that was “practicable,” for the applicant, rather than dictating steps that were “physically possible”

His statement was meet with a very quiet silence by the council.

Gerard Dismisses Conservation Board Concern on Contiminating Water with Soil Runoff.

Mr. Gerard was asked by Councilman Glen Hockley about the Conservation Board letter worrying about possible contimination of Cassaway Brook with soil runoff, due to a reported high amount of mercury in the soil samples on Site 6.

Gerard dismissed this as not a problem as long as no construction was undertaken on site 6. He also pointed that the contiminant concentration in the soils were less than normal drinking water, and the mercury level was .1 above the level allowed for drinking water. Ms. Habel advised the Conservation Board got their letter in too late to be included in the original draft Final Environmental Impact Statement.
Mayor Delfino said, “Don’t believe everything you read in the papers (to Mr. Hockley), listen to him (Gerard), he’s getting the big bucks.”

Hockley Concerned About Solid Waste.

Mr. Hockley said he wanted to know how many more trucks and trips to transport solid waste out of the facilities would add to the impact of the site. Ms. Habel said this was addressed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Boykin, Hockley Both Await Further Clarification on Research Being Conducted at Other Hospital Sites.

Ms. Habel stated that she was awaiting information from Cornell, Mount Sinai Hospital and NYU campuses on the nature of Safety Level 3 biotech research they were now working on. At this point, she said, she has heard from NYU that they were working with Turburculosis, their only Level 3 research on only 300 square feet. New York Presbyterian Hospital, she said, was working with only “a small amount of Level 3 research within their system and was going to get back with specifics, that it was not a major problem element.”

She said the hospital was doing a small amount of AIDS research, which she said was a Safety Level 2 concern, since it was not spread by inhaling. She expected more information on the kinds of research within the NYPH system by the end of the week.

More Time Needed.

Ms. Habel said that the Plannind Department needed approximately one week more beyond June 17 to marshall the material for the Acceptance of the FEIS.

The Council adjourned to Executive Session to consult with Mr. Gerard about the feasibility of extending the June 17 deadline.

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New Sheriff In Town: Mayor Offers Public Safety Job to Outsider.

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WPCNR Evening City Star. By John F. Bailey. June 10, 2002. 11:45 PM E.D.T.: The search for a new Commissioner of Public Safety could be ended shortly as tomorrow. The Mayor’s Office announced this evening that a decision has been made, and the job of running White Plains Police and Fire Departments has been offered to a man outside the departments, at direction of the Common Council.
George Gretsas reported Monday evening that Mayor Joseph Delfino has offered the Public Safety Commissioner’s job to a candidate with “a public safety background with broad experience in law enforcement, with he unique aspect to his background. He is a certified firefighter.”

Common Council Demanded a Person Outside the Department.

Mr. Gretsas said the candidate has been offered the position by Mayor Delfino, and the city is awaiting the person’s acceptance of the position, prior to announcing who he is. Gretsas would not revealwhat part of the country or area he is from.

Gretsas said the Mayor followed the wishes of the Common Council that the position not be filled by one of the three members of the police department who applied for the position.

Acting Commissioner of Public Safety, Daniel Hickey, Captain Peter Viviano, and Police Chief James Bradley had all applied for the position. Gretsas reported that the three internal candidates had been informed the job was being offered to someone else.

“A fresh look” Needed: Boykin

WPCNR asked Common Council President, Benjamin Boykin, why the Common Council would want to bring in someone new to head the Public Safety Department who was unfamiliar with with the department. Boykin said the council felt he would bring “a fresh look” to the department, but would not elaborate on what that was.

Mayor Would Have Filled Job from Within.

Privately, WPCNR has been told that Mr. Hickey, Mr. Viviano, and Mr. Bradley never really had a chance at the job, because the Common Council had told the Mayor they would not give him the votes.

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School District Nears Selection of High School Principal

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WPCNR Evening City Star. By John F. Bailey. June 10, 2002. 11:15 PM E.D.T.:Dr. Linda Ochser, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for the White Plains City School District, reported to WPCNR Monday evening that the district was near to selecting a new principal for White Plains High School.
In comments made exclusively to WPCNR at the Board of Education meeting, Dr. Ochser, said the district had a “very successful site visit” Friday of last week, and had narrowed the search to one candidate. She said, she expected to make a decision “one way or another” by July 1.

Though she could not reveal the male finalist, she said he was from the immediate tri-state area, not from Westchester County.

Donna McLaughlin, President of the Board of Education, told WPCNR that Timothy Connors the new Superintendent-Select of the City School District had had meetings and been involved with selecting the finalist for the Principal position.

She also said Connors had been in meetings with Dr. Saul Yanofsky, outgoing Superintendent, preparing to assume his new position in mid-July, and, in fact, had even read to students at George Washington School recently.

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WPCNR Westchester County Clarion-Eagle, From WC Department of Communications and John F. Bailey. June 10, 2002. 11:15 E.D.T. UPDATED 4:30 PM E.D.T>: Five leading developers who submitted “excellent” preliminary proposals will now vie to design and build Westchester’s new medical research park on a 60-acre site at Grasslands, according to an official announcement. The finalist is expected to be announced this fall.

Ms. Lyn Bedell, spokesperson for the Westchester County Department of Communications, told WPCNR, it was premature to consider the nature of the research which would be conducted by future tenants. She said, “we’re not into specifics (of research) at this time. We’re primarily looking at proposals and the design of the buildings.”

Ms. Bedell said the county would lease the Grasslands property to the selected developer, and said she would check for WPCNR to see if the County planned to set limits on what kinds of research could be conducted by tenants of the developer selected.

Bedell told WPCNR Monday afternoon, that there were no plans at this time for the county to stipulate what kinds of research would be acceptable at the proposed facility. She said she assumed the county would “not permit anything dangerous.” She did not rule out the county forumulating guidelines as to “acceptable research” once the developer is selected.

The American Health Foundation is currently planning to be a major tenant at the proposed Grasslands facility, she said.

The American Health Foundation specializes in cancer research and preventive medicine, according to their website,

Formal Proposals Coming Up.

Each of the firms or partnerships, who already submitted their qualifications and made some preliminary suggestions, will soon be invited to prepare formal proposals detailing exactly how they would develop the property. The proposals will be reviewed by an ad-hoc committee organized by the Westchester County Office of Economic Development and a final developer should be selected by September.

Spano Enthusiastic About Westchester Appeal for Biotech Development.

“This project has generated an amazing amount of enthusiasm,” said County Executive Andy Spano. “When we set out to see who was interested, we were hoping to come up with two or three qualified firms or development teams. The fact that we ended up with five – all of whom submitted excellent proposals – says a lot about the potential of this project.”

Westchester County is working with the Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College and New York State Empire State Development to develop up to 1 million square feet of lab and incubator space on a county-owned site next to the hospital in Valhalla. The plan is to attract well established companies as anchor tenants, as well as small and start-up medical and biotechnology firms.

Financial Arrangements in the Millions Being Suggested: Carrera

Salvatore J. Carrera, head of the county’s Office of Economic Development/Real Estate, said the developers have already made a number of suggestions and indicated what type of business arrangement the county might be able to work out. The complex would generate millions of dollars in income for the county as well as hundreds of new jobs.

“The developers gave us more information than we asked for,” Carrera said. “Some provided additional information about the financial viability of the site – which was encouraging. They also addressed prospective ground rents and the actual development of the property, which would come into play when they submit formal proposals.”

Designs Suggest Cluster Buildings

So far ideas range from a campus environment with clusters of 20,000-square-foot buildings connected by atriums and common areas to a core lab facility surrounded by satellite support offices. One noted that the buildings would certainly include amenities such as fitness rooms, teleconference centers and auditoriums equipped with the latest technology.

Thumbnail Profiles of Biotech Developers:

Tishman Urban Development Corporation of New York City, an affiliate of Tishman Realty & Construction Co., which developed E Walk, a large retail/entertainment center on 42nd Street in Manhattan, and oversaw the restoration of the New Amsterdam Theatre.

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, headquartered in Cranford, NJ. One of the nation’s leading real estate investment trusts, Mack-Cali owns and manages over 28 million square feet of office properties, primarily in the Northeast. The firm is currently developing several business parks.

Lyme Properties & MetroNexus , of Boston and New York City. These development partners have designed and developed biotechnology and medical research facilities for clients such as Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Merck, Pfizer and Vertex. Principals of MetroNexus, a real development company, developed, managed and financed over $3 billion in development in the U.S., including AvalonBay Communities in New Rochelle, Bronxville and Mamaroneck.

LCOR and HRH Construction. The New York City-based LCOR is the owner/operator of the Landmark at Eastview, one of the largest multi-tenanted science parks in the county, and is now constructing Bank Street Commons in White Plains. HRH served as construction manager for several Memorial Sloan Kettering research laboratories as well as the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Reckson Associates, a real estate investment trust which owns over 200 properties in the tri-state area (35 in Westchester and Fairfield counties). Reckson built research and development space for Grumman and other blue chip defense and technology companies, and is currently constructing a 39-acre business park next to MacArthur Airport on Long Island.

Centerpiece of County Executive’s development Plan

The research park is a key component in Spano’s economic development efforts, which include strengthening and expanding the biotechnology and research sector. With about 8,000 employees, Westchester already has the state’s largest concentration of biotech and pharmaceutical workers. The research park site is conveniently located within a nucleus of biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms and close to New York Medical College and the American Health Foundation, as well as the medical center.

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From Michelle Schoenfeld. June 10, 2002, 11:00 AM E.D.T.: White Plains Middle and High Schools were accepted a Gilder Lehrman Schools, affording the district access to resources of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American
History, enabling five District Teachers to study this summer.
Among the resources to member districts are summer institutes for teachers, and five White Plains High School Social Studies teachers have been accepted for summer study this year.

Susan Altman and Richard Dillon will attend an institute at Oxford
University on “Looking at America from the Outside – the View from Britain.”

Arlene Garcia and Dennis O’Brien will attend Yale University, to study the Cold War.

Susan Brumer will attend Columbia University’s institute
on “New York in the 20th Century – the Transformation of the American
Metropolis.” Each receives tuition, room board, books and a stipend for the weeklong institute.

Founded in 1994 by businessmen and philanthropists Richard Gilder
and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting and promoting interest in the history of the United States.

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Council Bids NYPH Define Research Exactly, Put Facility in Historical District.

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WPCNR Common Council Chronicle-Examiner. By John F. Bailey. June 6, 2002. 4:00 PM E.D.T. Benjamin Boykin, Common Council President, and Councilpersons Glen Hockley and Rita Malmud are demanding much more information on the nature of the biomedical research laboratories New York Presbyterian Hospital is planning for their White Plains campus. Ms. Malmud and Mr. Boykin made it clear they did not see why the research and proton accelerator facilities couldn’t be located on the oval within the historic district.

COUNCILPERSON RITA MALMUD CONSIDERS THE IMPOSING DRAFT FEIS, at Wednesday’s council work session. The document is 171 pages in length, with 10 Appendices.
All Photos by WPCNR

The councilpersons articulated their positions in the opening night of a work session with their environmental lawyer, Michael Gerard, to formulate their Lead Agency Response to the hospital proposal as part of the FEIS. The Council session on the FEIS continues this evening at 6:30 PM at City Hall. The FEIS is due for filing by June 17.

The session got underway at 7 PM, with the Mayor, Mr. Boykin, Mr. Hockley, Robert Greer, Ms. Malmud present and Councilman William King absent, and the city’s environmental consultant, Michael Gerard of Arnold & Porter on board to advise the council. An entourage of New York Presbyterian Hospital personalities, and Concerned Citizens for Open Space were also present After two hours of discussion, the council adjourned to Executive Session for an hour, emerging at 10:15 PM.

LEGAL PERSONALITY MICHAEL GERARD, well-known environmental law expert offered opinions on council strategies in considering the FEIS. His salient points made to the council were that approval of location of the new buildings on the hospital oval in the historic district depended on whether alternatives to placement on the oval (such as Sites 5 and 8) would not suffer severe impact from locating the facilities there instead of the oval.

At the outset, Mayor Joseph Delfino suggested they would take up the issues of Hospital use, the location of the proposed facilities on the oval, and the safety issue, which was agreeable to the council.

Boykin Troubled By Lack of Specifics on Nature of Research.

Benjamin Boykin, Jr., Common Council President, said the location of the project could not really be considered until it had been decided “this is an appropriate project for White Plains.” Boykin made it clear the hospital description of what was going on in the New York Presbyterian Hospital “system” (all of its campuses from Columbia to Cornell), did not answer the key question of what specific research was being targeted on the White Plains campus.

Gerard pointed out, “(the research) has to be related to this system. There has to be some kind of nexus between what’s going on there (in the hospital system), and the hospital in White Plains.”

BOYKIN CALLS FOR MORE SPECIFICS AND MOVING ALL CONSTRUCTION TO THE OVAL HISTORIC DISTRICT: Benjamin Boykin was deeply concerned about the nature of research going into the New York Presbyterian Hospital biomedical facility, as related to medical waste volume, as well as dangerous microbes.

Boykin responded to Gerard, by saying, that, in regard to echoing research done on other campuses “I’m not so sure it’s (research being done in the hospital system on other campus) an ancillary use.”

“I want to know who you are doing things with, and who you are going to do things with. The document points out clearly they don’t (know).”

Boykin, appearing to echo an argument used by Thomas Whyatt, the Concerned Citizens for Open Space attorney Monday evening at the Common Council, said that if the nature of the research was with an eye to profit, commercial research, with commercial partners, “then we’re not talking about a special permit, but a zoning change.”

Rita Malmud pointed out the council should consider citing the safety level of research which could be conducted on the site, eliminating dangerous virus research, for example.

Malmud agreed with Mr. Boykin on the sketchy description of the research: “It’s not clear to me it’s been established this (research) will not have commercial applications…So little, if any information has been given to us about who’s going into this space.”

Historic Sites Coordinator The Boss on Locating on the Historic District

Messrs. Boykin and Ms. Malmud expressed an interest about moving the facilities within the hospital oval, the sacrosanct “historic district” of the property.

The Council received a letter Wednesday evening sent to Roderick Johnson, the City’s Environmental Officer, from Julian Adams, the Senior Historic Sites Restoration Coordinator, describing the process and possibility of locating the new buildings within the historic district.

The letter was prompted, said George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer, by a request of the council to explore the possibilities of the State Historic Preservation agency of allowing the complex on the oval.

COUNCILMAN ROACH AND GERARD DEFER ON POSSIBILITIES OF UNDESIGNATING THE HISTORIC DISTRICT: Councilman Roach at right and Michael Gerard at head of counciltable on left, talk about feasibility of the state allowing construction on the oval.

The letter repeated its comments made on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, saying locating the new facilities within the historic district would have “significant adverse impacts on historic resources that would occur if the proposed project or its research component were to be located within the historic district….” And that, “its landscaping, the locations and scale of the buildings, their relationship to each other and the landscape would be irreparably altered and its overall historic character and value would be lessened.”

Possible Delay in State Funding?

More to the point, Mr. Adams, in effect, says that any building within the historic oval has to be approved by his agency, before any other agency can fund the biomedical and proton accelerator projects if they are sited within the historic district.

He writes, “It is important to note that consultation with our office under the State Historic Preservation Act is a requirement before state agencies can fund, license, or permit any undertakings that may impact historic resources. Our role in this process is more than simply offering a “finding”. The agency must show that consultation was successfully completed by way of either a letter or agreement document.”

The letter also states that “there would still be the obligation (by the city,hospital), to consider the historic resources in question under the provisions of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and to avoid or mitigate adverse impacts on historic resources.”

Mr. Roach noted that the “mitigate” word would be an avenue where the buildings might be located on the historic district, saying that this ambiguity “created a hole big enough to drive a bus through.”

Gerard disagreed, saying, “I don’t think you can drive a bus through it. This statute (the State Historic Preservation Act) is stronger than SEQRA.”

Boykin Notes Square Footage could be fitted on the Historical Oval.

After Susan Habel noted the square footage available on sites within the oval, Councilman Boykin noted that the hospital could almost fit the square footage they require (384,000 square feet) onto three sites in the oval.

He wanted to know what steps the hospital has taken to resize the project to fit in the historic district. Boykin noted that, based on Habel’s information, 178,000 square feet could be fitted on Site 3, 102,000 on Site 4, and 82,000 on Site 5…just 20,000 square feet less than the proposed buildings, all could be fitted within the historical district.

Mr. Gerard explained it was not as easy as just fitting the buildings to the historic site. He noted that the city and hospital would have to make a case that locating the biomedical facility and proton accelerator on the alternate sites 5 & 8 was more adverse to the environment than locating them on the oval would be.

Rita Malmud feels pressured.

Ms. Malmud was asked by the Mayor for her comments on why siting the projects on Sites 5 & 8 was objectionable. Ms. Malmud said, “312 trees.” When the Mayor asked her to elaborate, she said she did not agree with the city staff findings in the FEIS, but wanted to reserve her comments for Executive Session, saying,
“I’d rather wait, because the hospital lawyers are here, hanging on every word, so they can use our words against us and sue us.”

The Mayor expressed sorrow, at that remark, saying, “Rita…Rita…”

Glen Hockley expressed the hope that all parties would sit down and talk this out.
Shortly thereafter Executive Session was begun and reporters were escorted from Mayor’s Office, though Mr. Hockley was inadvertently locked out of the Executive Session.

Mr. Gretsas said the legal rationale for the Executive Session was “attorney-client privilege.”

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58th Remembrance of D-Day.

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WPCNR Stars and Stripes. By John F. Bailey. June 6, 2002. 12:00 E.D.T. Fifty-eight years ago on June 6, 1944, in weather very similar to this a flotilla of hundreds of ships gathered off the shores of Normandy, France.

Thousands of allied troops stormed beaches into the teeth of machine-gun fire, felling hundreds of them before they reached the beach. Their comrades landed, scaled cliffs, took out pillboxes and successfully at fearsome cost of life and hideous bloody combat, began the liberation of Europe from the Nazi war machine.

The young men who died on those beaches should be remembered today. It was not like a movie. It was a very very very hard thing they did. But they did it. It had to be done. We all owe them a debt that can never be repaid except by remembering that debt.

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Bradley, Favorite Son, Challenges Matusow for 89th,

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WPCNR Afternoon Tribune. By John F. Bailey. June 5, 2002. 4:00 PM E.D.T.: Adam Bradley, Chair of the White Plains Democratic City Committee. announced Tuesday he will primary Assemblywoman Naomi Matusow in an effort to unseat her as representative of the 89th Assembly District in the New York State Legislature.

ADAM BRADLEY CHALLENGER FOR THE 89TH, as he appeared on the March 15 edition of White Plains Week, where he first revealed his interest in primarying Ms. Matusow.
Photo by Rita Santos, Public Access Television

This will be the first run for public office by Mr. Bradley. He told WPCNR he is mounting his challenge to Ms. Matusow because of his concerns she is insensitive to issues of vital financial importance to White Plains.

Big Slice of White Plains Factor.

Matusow who previously represented only a small portion of White Plains, now represents 75% of the suburban residential area of the city, East-Southeast of Post Road, “the Southend of town” in the newly drawn 89th Assembly District, and 50% of the city’s population. The legislature redrawing of the state’s assembly districts based on the 2000 census, has split White Plains.

The City between Matusow’s district, the 89th, expanding the 89th into White Plains from Harrison, while narrowing Assemblywoman Amy Paulin’s portion of White Plains in her district, the 88th. Paulin’s District contains the Northeast portion of the city West of Post Road and North Broadway, where the other half of the city population lives.

“Need Legislators In Forefront on Isssues.”

In an interview with WPCNR Wednesday Bradley said, “I plan to bring my message to the people, constituents and residents of the 89th Assembly District. I believe that we need vigorous leadership committed to reforming the backroom politics of Albany, and bringing back the government to the people. I also believe we need legislators who are in the forefront on issues on which they are deeply committed to.”

Need Assemblypersons who take stands.

“I look at my right and I see Amy Paulin, who on the issues she cares about is deeply visible, deeply public and in the forefront,” Bradley explained. “ I look to my left, and I see Richard Brodsky, and I see a similar legislator, who on the issues he cares about, is a leader in the forefront, visible, and deeply principled and committed to those issues. I look further up and I see Sandy Galef, and I see another legislator, deeply committed, because she really cares about those issues. I don’t think we (White Plains) have a legislator (Matusow), in our district that’s like that.”

“I think we deserve that type of representation. I may not agree with any of the three people I mentioned on all the issues, but I deeply respect the fact they are out there visible, in public, on the issues that they’re deeply concerned about. ”

Matusow’s Opposition to the White Plains Sales Tax Motivates His Run.

Bradley wants to bring this kind of representation to White Plains: “We need that type of vigorous representation, particularly as we deal in White Plains, in a small way with our half-percent sales tax.. She has been very clear she will oppose it. She will continue to oppose it.

Tried to Reason With Her.

We have tried to work with her on that particular issue on a number of occasions, and she was definitely not responsive.

I think it’s unfortunate, because when I was on your show, (White Plains Week) I made it very clear that I understood any principles she might have, but she had to look at very unique circumstances here in White Plains. I think it’s unfortunate that she (Matusow) is unable to do that. And she knows the circumstances.”

White Plains Sales Tax Less than 3 Other Cities.

Matusow has consistently voted against the extension of the White Plains ½% sales tax. Elimination of the sales tax, according to Eileen Earl, City Budget Director, would result in a 30% increase in property taxes for homeowners in White Plains.

Failure of the legislature to extend the 1/2% sales tax in 2003 would create a minimum $9 million budget gap in the 2003-04 budget.

Advocate’s Stance.

“People need to understand why White Plains is very unique from any other community,” Bradley said. “You also need to know, that our sales tax even with the ½ % is less than Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Yonkers, the three comparable cities to White Plains in Westchester County.”

“This does tie in to why other communities should be supportive of me, because I view, obviously, my representation in the legislature is very different than is viewed by the present person (Matusow), because my belief is that if I’m elected Assemblyperson I am responsible to my constituents.”

“And when a community in my district in a very bipartisan fashion makes clear they have a particular need, I believe as a legislator representing that community I have an obligation to at least attempt to the best I’m capable of.”

Troubled by Matusow’s Incalcitrance.

Asked about the number of meetings White Plains leaders have had with Matusow on the issue, Bradley reported, “There have been numerous discussions between councilmembers, between me, and the positions have been made very clear. There’s certainly been a whole lot of discussion.”

Calls for Indian Point Decommissioning. Opposes Pipeline.

Asked about other matters he intends to press in the campaign, Bradley said he believed the Indian Point nuclear power plant should be decommissioned “as soon as possible, there’s no doubt about.”

He said ” the evacuation plan in place is deeply, deeply flawed, because it underestimated by 80,000, the people in the 10-mile zone. It’s flawed because it expects bus drivers in the middle of a nuclear catastrophe to drive into the catastrophe to pick up people.”

“It’s flawed because it underestimates the amount of traffic outside the 10-mile zone that the bus drivers, even if they can get there are going to be stuck in traffic. It’s flawed because it doesn’t account for a town like New Castle which has different schools, some in the 10-mile zone, some of which aren’t in the 10-mile zone. What are the parents supposed to do, decide which child they are to be dealing with?”

Bradley said he opposes the millennium pipeline, and the watershed is an issue, and so is open space.

“Open space is an issue in White Plains…and the preservation of it and the stabilization of our communities is equally important in all our communities because people chose to go to Bedford and Lewisboro for a reason. Preserving is very important in preventing the over encroachment of development.”

Working the New District.

Bradley is building bridges to other communities in the 89th District. He reports: “I’m been in New Castle, Beford. I’ve talked with people in many of the towns. I’ve been going to different committees, which I’m continuing to do.”

Awaits Legislature “Go-Ahead” on Petitions.

Bradley said he would begin collecting signatures to get on the ballot by June 18, but the number of signatures he is required to collect has not been determined yet by the legislature due to the delay in formulating the congressional district boundaries.

“I’m very comfortable. I’m running on a slate with two other people running for state committee, also from New Castle, also deeply committed to reform and open government. I believe that’s very important.”

“Decisions should not be made by political officials based on political expediency, they should be based on honest evaluation as to what they think is best for their constituents. I think that is something that’s very important here.”

He said he also would work for our getting a fairer share of state education aid.

Fundraisers coming up.

The newly minted candidate said he was planning on holding fundraisers shortly: “There are many people who are deeply committed to having more effective representation in this district. The fact is the present person has represented a small sliver of White Plains for many years, but was really not seen in our community because she simply did not attend to it.

Beyond that, Bradley said, “she now represents 75% of the area of this city, 75% of the homeowners, and encompasses almost 2/3 of the election districts in this city, and 50% of the population.”

Not happy with Redestricting.

Bradley said, “I was not happy (with the redistricting). I’ll be candid. I thought we had always been represented in the past in our city with a large portion of majorities.” He said he felt the district had been well served and should have continued, mainly in Assemblywoman Paulin’s district. “I certainly attempted as much as I could to try to see that that would happen. But it is what it is. And, as far as I’m concerned, I’m deeply committed to making sure White Plains has more effective representation in Albany.

What ails the Matusow Approach.

“The sales tax issue is a microcosm of the lack of representation we are getting right now. I also believe, firmly, in speaking to other people, that is the singular most important issue that comes out of Albany for the City of White Plains. 30% real property tax increases with drastic cuts in city services is not what you want your legislator forcing on the city.”

Gathers outlying town support.

Asked about support from leaders outside White Plains within the 89th district, Bradley said he’d been endorsed by George Latimer, (of Rye), by the Co-Chairs of the Town of New Castle, and the support of every elected official in White Plains, and elected officials in Harrison.

He has supporters, he says, from various towns in the District in place to begin collecting signatures for his petitions, beginning June 18. The petitions according to the Board of Elections is now due July 8 to 11, but may be moved up because of the legislative delay of the petition-signing kick-off.

He has been endorsed by the Independence Party, an endorsement sought by Ms. Matusow. Bradley characterized the Independence Party as primarily interested in “reform.”

The 89th Assembly District as newly configured, encompasses the towns of Bedford, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, New Castle, North Castle, Pound Ridge and 75% of White Plains.

White Plains 25% of the New 89th District.

Bradley, a meticulous student of election law, and a numbers expert when it comes to organizing campaigns, likes his numbers:

“White Plains is the largest community in the (89th) District. The piece of White Plains…represents approximately 25% of the district. It represents approximately 30% of the Democrats in the district. And, it represents probably a larger number than that of prime voting Democrats. I know it has more voters, and a community that is deeply affected by this race.”

White Plains Issue is Everybody’s Issue.

” The issue that resonates in White Plains is an issue that affects everybody else in this district. The community that I am representing has a bipartisan concern, I have an obligation to do what I can to aid that community. It’s one thing if it’s a political hot potato, it’s another thing when Republicans and Democratics share the same identical concern about the needs for their community.”

” In White Plains, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Republicans and Democrats alike recognize how important that ½% sales tax extension is every two years and what it means to our budget, our property taxes, and city services.

” It would be regressive not to allow for that. The 50,000 residents should not pay for the 250,000 people who come into our community Monday through Saturday. It would require increased taxes for those services. That would be regressive.”

Interested in Appearing with Ms. Matusow to Discuss the Issues.

Bradley used the interview opportunity to say he would “welcome every opportunity to appear with Assemblywoman Matusow and present our perspective and discuss the important and weighty issues we face in this state and this assembly district. I would welcome that type of discussion or debate on a regular or frequent basis so people can see for themselves what representation they want in this district.”

A Favorite Son.

Adam Bradley is a dashing and flamboyant figure on the White Plains political scene. His family moved to White Plains in the 1950s. His mother was the founder and first President of the Westchester Woman’s Bar Association and was a Family Court Judge. His father was active in White Plains, and a former Democratic Chair himself, and a Democratic State Committeeman representing the White Plains Assembly District.

Bradley himself has lived in White Plains all his life except for six years in Harrison. Bradley was counsel to Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, drafting legislation, speaking on his behalf and handling constituent relations. After leaving Brodsky, he asked Bradley to serve as his counsel for his county executive campaign, and an advisor.

Relentless, Fearless Political Competitor.

Bradley has been the guiding light in the White Plains Democratic circles for the last decade. He engineered a Democratic Party majority on the Common Council for the last eight years. From December through March of this year, Bradley won a highly visible legal battle over the call for a special election to decide Councilman Glen Hockley’s seat. Bradley, won a reversal from the Court of Appeals in March over lower court rulings for a special election between Glen Hockley and former Councilman Larry Delgado.

That dispute has not been forgotten. The issue of the jammed voting machine in District 18 is awaiting an Attorney General decision to open a quo warranto proceeding at this time. The Attorney General has had the case for consideration since March 22. Delgado attorneys promise a thorough presentation of their side of that story to the attorney general shortly.

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Tony Sayegh Gets Republican Nod at Convention

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WPCNR Evening Mail. From Christopher Sullivan. June 3, 2002: Tony Sayegh, candidate for the New York State Assembly in the 88th District, was unanimously endorsed by the Republican County Committee at their convention last week to unseat one-term Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
An enthusiastic and energetic Sayegh thanked the Republican supporters from the 88th district, which includes Eastchester, Pelham, New Rochelle, Scarsdale and White Plains. He vowed to run an upbeat and vigorous campaign that will reveal the ability of a Republican candidate to appeal to a wide array of voters.

Republican Chairmen Mario Faustini of Eastchester and Frank Cantatore of White Plains had the honor of nominating the young Sayegh for endorsement.

“It is a great privilege for me to be endorsed by the Republican County Committee of Westchester,” said Sayegh. “This may be my first run for public office, but I am no stranger to the issues that are of importance to the 88th District or to the legislative process,” continued Sayegh.

“Over the next months, I intend to continue meeting residents across the five towns to better learn what needs to be done in our state government. I truly believe in a government for and by the people. It is the residents that know best where and how government can help locally, and that is why it is so important to have a representative that has their finger on the pulse of our local communities.”

“The main tenets of my campaign will focus on education, fiscal responsibility and giving government back to the people. In the ensuing weeks, I look forward to further discussing these and other significant issues as they relate to the people of the 88th District as well as New York State as a whole,” concluded Sayegh.

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Council Ponders Ponderous NYPH FEIS on 5,6, 10th. New WPHA HQ Referred D.O.A?

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WPCNR Common Council Chronicle Examiner. By John F. Bailey. June 3, 2002. 10:30 PM E.D.T. UPDATED June 4, 2002 11:30 A.M. E.D.T.: In a listless Common Council meeting, the New York Presbyterian Hospital hearing on the amendment to the special permit hearing was opened, comments heard and adjourned to July.

The White Plains Housing Authority proposal to build a new headquarters on a site adjacent to the Bethel Baptist Church was referred out to city departments for comment, despite all six councilmembers saying “we heard you (the opposition) loud and clear.”

WHAT A LOVELY PLACE FOR AN OFFICE BUILDING: The parcel of land, with the Bethel Baptist Church in the background, where the White Plains Housing Authority wants to build their new headquarters.
Photo by WPCNR

4-Wheel Drive Scofflaws Targeted.

In matters of direct impact on the public, the council acted on White Plains Parking Authority Commissioner Albert Moroni’s proposal to “boot” 4-wheel drive vehicles that cannot be towed. They approved an ordinance allowing the “booting,” or immobilization of such 4-wheel drive vehicles with long histories of unpaid parking fines.

Moroni, in his request for the new ordinance last month said, White Plains is owed approximately $600,000 in fines from repeated scofflaws. According to Moroni, because vehicles can be damaged if towed, towing companies refuse to remove them, and owners simply ignore the traffic tickets, and let them build up.

The new ordinance allowing “booting” will force the owners to pay their outstanding fines before they can get their vehicles back from the city.

In another action, the council voted improvements to Gardella and Tibbetts Parks.

This is the Hearing that Never Ends: New York Presbyterian Hospital Hearing Resumes, Continues, Resumes in July

The familiar lineup of six hardcore anti-New York Presbyterian Hospital personalities appeared before the Common Council to comment on the amendment to the Special Permit for the hospital to construct a biomedical facility on their Bryant Avenue site. Allan Teck, President of Concerned Citizens for Open Space commented lead-off followed by Don Wilson, Carrie Kyzivat, Marc Pollitzer, Barbara Benjamin, Doris Simon, and Thomas Whyatt commenting last.

Pollitzer called for the present proposal to be defeated and then the hospital and the city and community groups to meet together to consider how the hospital could build the biomedical research facility on the medical oval.

Wilson: Build on Medical Oval.

Wilson, in a statesman-like address, called for a park to be created at this hoped-for future conference, reversing the position the Concerned Citizens for Open Space group took in the late eighties, resulting in designation of the medical oval as an historical district.:

“It is my suggestion tonight, that the city ask the hospital to work out with (the state historic preservation agency) major modifications in its preservation master plan to permit approval of the hospital’s new facilities in architecturally appropriate facilities on the medical oval, and at the same time, the hospital and the city collaborate to plan for and devote a large portion of the remaining property as a city park.

CCOS FOUNDER IN LAST DITCH PLEA FOR CONCILIATION WITH HOSPITAL: Donald Wilson, addressing a plea for a hospital/city/citizen group summit to move the the biomedical facility complex to the hospital medical oval with parkland throw-in. Mr. Wilson is pictured in the live telecast of Channel 72 of the Monday evening Common Council meeting.
Photo by WPCNR

It is my opinion…the state would readily give its support to this ‘everyone wins’ resolution of the city’s long-standing issue. This strategy will require that the hospital indicate its willingness to pursue such an option, and that the various city agencies and citizens groups assure the hospital of their support for such an approach….It will require trust, compromise and faith on all parties and the future of this city. Is this ambitious? Absolutely? Is it practical? Absolutely. Are there any here willing to support such an approach? Let us know.

Teck said the proton accelerator was a target for terrorists, and said he was dead set against it, but would accept a biomedical facility if it were located on the oval. He said the Council should require a new SEQRA proceeding and DEIS procedure for the new combination site plan of sites 5 & 8 which is proposed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Mr. Whyatt called for a scaled-back footprint on the biomedical research facility in order that it could be built within the design configuration of the medical oval, implying the hospital was not being reasonable in their insistence on such a large facility. He again questioned the commercal feel of the proposal, cautioning that commercial research was not permitted under the special permit.

This Weekend’s Beach Reading:

A new issue raised by Ms. Kyzivat was the alleged inability of the general public to acquire copies of the completed Final Environmental Impact Statement in time to digest its contents. Kyzivat said it was not available to her when she asked at the clerk’s office and at the White Plains Public Library. The massive statement consists of 171-pages and 400 support documents according to the mayor.

The FEIS was quietly made available last week at the Planning Department with no publicity about its availability. It was distributed to persons on a list requesting it. WPCNR, for example, was not notified in any way where or when the completed FEIS was available to the general public.

The Mayor said copies of the document were made available to Presidents of neighborhood associations and interested parties. Comments in the statement, the Mayor said, are on the city’s website at

Mayor Delfino pointed out the length of the FEIS made it impractical to distribute to all 53,000 residents of the city, and that it was available at the Planning Department, the city clerk’s office and the White Plains Public Library.

“It is available at those three locations,” Mayor Delfino wearily said. “Every neighborhood association has been advised (of the FEIS availability), some haven’t even picked them up yet. That was over a week ago. We did exactly what we discussed (in work session).”
Doris Simon protested that the hospital proposal if approved would contribute to air pollution, by bringing 900 more cars to the city.

Transit specialist, NYPH employee, Serena Russell support hospital.

John Lyons, The head of Metropool, a nonprofit organization which promotes mass transit and car pooling said they felt the New York Presbyterian Hospital was acting in good faith in preparing for the traffic generated by their proposal because the hospital was working with his organization, approaching them about transit alternatives.

Serena Russell commented that she felt many persons in White Plains supported the hospital proposal and that the council should be aware of that, and not take the vocal opposition as being representative of the entire city sentiments. She suggested the council query residents at random to get more of a range of public opinion on the issue.

An employee of the hospital, Lissette Rodriguez, a White Plains resident, said “Development is condoned as long as it’s not at New York Hospital,” and she felt this was a double-standard, calling for “equal employment opportunity for medical research.”

Council Digesting Ponderous Content, Plans Work Sessions to Formulate Lead Agency Response.

After the commenting concluded, Benjamin Boykin, Jr., Common Council President said the council was going to take up the Final Environmental Impact Statement with their environmental lawyer, Michael Gerard, at work sessions beginning Wednesday, June 5 and continuing Thursday, June 6 and Monday June 10, all at 6 PM. The deadline for the council to accept the FEIS as complete is June 17. Councilman Boykin sheepishly floated a trial balloon, hoping the New York Presbyterian Hospital might extend that June 17 deadline.

Housing Authority Headquarters Moves Ministerial Fellowship Council to action.

The Reverend Daly Barnes, Jr., spoke eloquently in opposition to the locating of the new White Plains Housing Authority headquarters proposed to be built on the grassy slope between 225 Martin Luther King Boulevard and the Thomas Slater Center. He was supported by the Reverend Jacob Stukes, and Reverend Alice Hughes, and the longtime nemisis of and former member of the Housing Authority, Ron Jackson. A large number of Winbrook residents appeared to be in the audience.

Barnes said that the Bethel Baptist Church might have to move out of White Plains, saying the new headquarters construction would disrupt services, “box us in” and block access to the church, and intrude on the character and “spiritual nature” of the community, if the council approved the proposed location.

Five councilpersons and Mayor Delfino, expressed appreciation for the large number of residents from Winbrook, who turned out to have their say on the project.

Rita Malmud said that the Housing Authority had a right to be heard, and that she would vote for referral of the plans to the city departments, as did Councilmen Greer, Boykin, Roach and Mr. King. Glen Hockley bristled about the idea of referral and sharply criticized the Housing Authority for being out of touch with the community they manage, and voted against referring the headquarters plans.

The council voted to refer the headquarters plans to city agencies for comment, not withstanding their comments about “hearing (the people) loud and clear.”

Hockley accuses Housing Authority of reneging on its promise to him.

Glen Hockley was particularly hard on the Housing Authority: I met with two members of the Board of the White Plains Housing Authority, and with the executive director and the deputy director. We all took a walk on the grounds of the Winbrook property, to view sites that…possibly would be looked at (for the office building). During that tour of sites we talked. I explained to the four gentlemen that the concerns of the people of Winbrook were not being heard sufficiently regarding issues on security, drugs, crime in general, sanitation, repairs, senior issues or the location of this particular office building.

I continued to explain that a better relationship and understanding needs to be built between the Housing Authority and the residents of Winbrook. The key is communication. And it starts with the Housing Authority. One of the Board members stated to me in front of the others, that communication is most important, and that we need to have a cooling-down period and that additional meetings would take place to look for other potential locations for this office building. I know these four gentlemen are sincere, honorable, and keep their word.

HOCKLEY HAMMERS HOUSING AUTHORITY, on the Government Access Channel 72 live telecast of Monday evening’s council meeting.
Photo by WPCNR

Hockley said he attended the Ministerial Fellowship Council where he heard the Reverend Barnes say unequivocally,(loud and clear were his words), he was opposed to having the new headquarters building erected next to his church.

COUNCILMAN AND SCRIBE: Glen Hockley, right, and Jim Benerofe on site of the proposed White Plains Housing Authority Headquarters Tuesday.
Photo by WPCNR

Work session shocker

The Councilman said, At the recent work session, I was befuddled and shocked to hear the Chairman of the Housing Authority state that his board is still moving forward with the process of developing that site without consideration to the history of events that I just expressed.

In addition, I heard the tale from the Chairman, that there is no sentiment on the part of the board to move to another site. Obviously, these comments do not add up with the experiences that I just had with the four board members of the housing authority.

Hockley said he heard the comments that the Housing Authority had retained attorneys to imply a lawsuit if they didn’t get their way.

Hockley, his voice rising in indignation, Winbrook residents supporting him with shouts that reminded this reporter of a revival meeting, slowly said,

Winbrook is public property, and that means as a councilman, I will protect the property that the public has paid for with tax dollars, and there will not be any threat that can, or will intimidate my position or principle when it comes to the people’s right and freedom. And that means the people of Windbrook’s right to enjoy, utilize and preserve the green grass on the corner of Reverend Martin Luther king Boulevard and Fisher Court. Therefore I will not vote in favor of continuing the process on this project at this particular site.

HOUSING AUTHORITY PROPOSED LOCATION: Building outline to right is the footprint of proposed building. Building outline to left is the Bethel Baptist Church. Street at right is Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Street at top is Fisher Court.
WPCNR File Photo

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