Issuu on Google+ Vol. 13/Number 3 LUCK OF THE IRISH (L-R) Joe Mauro, Mike Hynes, Tania McMenamin and Shannon Pujadas. Members of the Sound Shore St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee celebrate the naming of the 2013 grand marshal, James P. Hynes at a sash presentation ceremony held at Orienta Beach Club on Jan. 12. The parade will take place St. Patrick's Day. For more, see page 8. Photo courtesy/Sandra Wong Geroux City plans FOIL function for gov website By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR The oft-discussed efforts to streamline the city’s FOIL process seems finally underway with a process that will allow for document requests online. However, critics of the city say the technology update does little to address the problem of a lack of government transparency in Rye. Over the past year, the city has been routinely criticized, by some members of the public, for being unresponsive to specific Freedom of Information Law, or FOIL requests. City officials have countered that they can no longer accommodate the increased demands for information from certain residents. Under the New York State Officers Law, laws involving FOIL are meant to provide the public with transparency of governments and FOIL continued on page 11 Safety projects to gain traction due to grant By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR A recent federal award will allow the city to move forward on four pedestrian safety projects that mainly target area schools and are estimated to cost $223,000 in total. The infrastructure projects, which otherwise would not have been un- dertaken without the award, aim to improve conditions around Midland, Osborn and Milton elementary schools and the Rye Middle School/ Rye High School campus. The initiatives are part of the Safe Routes to School Program–a federal aid transportation reimbursement program administered by state Department of Transportation. State funds in the amount of $223,952 were awarded to the city through its Safe Routes to School Program. On Jan. 9, the grant was presented to the City Council on behalf of the Rye YMCA, which coordinated the application last year. City Manager Scott Pickup said GRANTS continued on page 14 January 18, 2013 Personnel officer being mulled By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR against the city manager and another Rye TV employee about first hiding, then altering a video taped With high-profile controversies meeting involving the City Council. surrounding several prominent city The concern is the amount of employees, one councilwoman be- time the City Council has been lieves Rye government needs to add forced to spend on personnel issues a personnel officer function to its instead of focusing its efforts on hierarchy. policy decisions. In both instances, City staff has been cut consider- City Manager Pickup faced some ably over the past few years, down pressure from some members of the from what was once a 170-person public due to his roles in each saga. organization to just 148 employees The Rye Golf Club controversy today. The downsizing has stemming from quesled to criticisms regardtions over alleged mising city oversight and management and illegal operational management. practices brought about Scandals involving Rye a City Council led inGolf Club, the Boat Basin vestigation that remains and Rye TV all within the ongoing. Brett said past 12 months have led the first question that some critics to question was raised—whether whether the staff size of the the club manager had city has been cut too small. a relationship with anCouncilwoman Laura other club in Norwalk, Brett, a Republican, wonConn.—could have ders if some of the incidents Councilwoman been forwarded to a could have been prevented Laura Brett seems personnel employee, or better handled if the to have garnered instead of the city manfor her city had a personnel func- support ager, who could have proposal to add tion in City Hall. Part of a personnel looked at city policy the function of someone in officer to the city and decided how to repersonnel would be to talk payroll in an effort spond. “That question to employees and receive to avoid future could have started with complaints or questions controversies like a personnel person,” those that plagued they have about roles and Rye in 2012. she said. responsibilities. “I think The position of a that function is missing in city gov- personnel officer is one the city has ernment,” Brett said. “Right now, been without since 2003, dating [City Manager] Scott [Pickup] fills back to when Julie Novack served that role.” as city manager. At that time, the Brett said when a Rye TV scan- city manager post had two assistant dal unfolded in February 2012 her positions; and one was dedicated first question was who fulfills the almost exclusively to personnel iscity’s personnel function. She was sues. After the city manager’s office surprised to learn that it was the city was eventually downsized to one manager, since the city had cut that assistant, the function of a human position years ago. But in that scanPERSONNEL continued on page 3 dal, an employee leveled charges

Rye Sound Shore Review 1-18-13

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