Issuu on Google+ Vol. 13/Number 10 City looks to wrap up golf probe in coming weeks By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR The city’s investigation into Rye Golf Club continues even after an 18-page report went public Feb. 27, accusing the club’s former manager of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Investigators plan to conduct two more interviews as well as a continued financial analysis of former Rye Golf Club manager Scott Yandrasevich’s bank records and credit card statements. A firm hired by the city to conduct the investigation, still plans to interview former city manager Paul Shew and one other current city employee. After those interviews, the 18-page report will be amended, according to City Attorney Kristen Wilson. There were already 29 people interviewed in connection with the investigation. Wilson said much of the holdup in completing the investigation has been waiting for Chase Bank to turn over Yandrasevich’s bank records. “We were hopeful [investigators] would have them by now,” the city attorney said. “[Chase is] not being incredibly cooperative.” The initial report, which came after nearly five months of investigation, accused Yandrasevich of stealing from golf members through various shell corporations that he created beginning in 2007. The district attorney’s office continues to look into the case and may soon launch a criminal probe. Released last week, the findings did not uncover evidence that any other former or current city employees benefited financially from the mismanagement, though those in charge of the city’s operations, in particular City Manager Scott Pickup, continue to face scrutiny for allowing potential criminal activity to go unchecked for years. The City Council-led investigation centered on nearly $8 million worth of purchase orders for outside services submitted to the city for billing through Yandrasevich’s shell companies. Without many checks and balances over Yandrasevich’s management of the city-owned golf club, the former manager was able to funnel GOLF continued on page 9 Oversight of development a concern for land use boards By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR There is concern over a lack of regulation of development within the city. Part of the land use boards’ concern is that developers are now seeking to utilize “110 percent” of development potential, said William Fegan, of the Board of Architectural Review. Also, many of the newly constructed houses are not code compliant, according to Barbara Cummings, a member of the Planning Commission. “The volume of the building is becoming very large and becoming disproportionate to our community,” Fegan said. “People are building buildings not as we approve them.” He added applicants are cutting down trees before they even request permission to do so. “There’s a lot of shoot first, ask question later. They just don’t care,” Fegan said. And the fines the city levies for such offenses do not seem to be much of a deterrent. LAND USE continued on page 14 Mayor looks to create volunteer technology committee By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR The city is considering the creation of a volunteer Technology Committee. Mayor Douglas French, a Republican who first kicked off the idea, said the plan is to have the City Council formally establish the committee at an upcoming meeting and then collaborate with city staff on rolling it out. The proposal was expected to be discussed publicly at the City Council meeting on March 6, after press time. The volunteer committee, if created, would temporarily consist of five members charged with exploring how technology can enhance services to city residents. French said every other city department has a citizen oversight committee to assist staff in new initiatives and ideas “except the one area that could have an immediate impact on the resident experience here in Rye, and that is technology.” The goal of the group would be TECH continued on page 11 March 8, 2013 Lester’s disputes sale of 1037 The conceptual plan of what 1037 Boston Post Road will look like after it’s sold to a Long Island-based corporation. Rendering courtesy/Bill Wolf Petroleum By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR The sale of 1037 Boston Post Road to a private investor was motivated by what officials said were the best interests of the City of Rye. However, the property’s current tenant, who claims he was treated unfairly, may contest that decision. The City Council was expected to finalize the contract to sell the building for $5.6 million to the newly created 1037 Boston Post Road LLC on Wednesday after press time. The LLC was formed by Bill Wolf Petroleum, a real estate holdings and gasoline distribution corporation based in Long Island. Adam Wolf, vice president of Bill Wolf Petroleum, said the building and property would be redeveloped, and he would look for a high-end tenant. “It’s going to be a beautiful building,” he said. But Lester’s owner Perry Schorr, the current tenant, said his bid to buy the building included a provision in which he would beat any legitimate offer by $50,000. “That was our way of telling you clearly that we wanted to buy the building and we would do whatever it took,” said Schorr. “A $106,000 more in the coffers is somewhat irresponsible for you not to take, in my opinion.” If the city had selected Lester’s, it would have only paid a 3 percent fee to the broker instead of 4 percent, which would have saved the city an additional $56,000. Republican Councilwoman Julie Killian said although the bidding process for the city-owned property was a competitive one, the council’s decision came down to the gasoline corporation’s ability to offer cash for the purchase as well as its experience with environmental issues. “That was the piece that made me more comfortable,” Killian said. “So, we took the deal that was the most certain for the city.” Despite talk of potential environmental issues on the site, City Attorney Kristen Wilson said she is not aware of any specific contamination at 1037. LESTERS continued on page 10

Rye Sound Shore Review, 3-8-2013

Related publications