From the Mayor and Town Hall

From the Mayor and Town Hall

September 15, 2014

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 13th Anniversary Remembrance service at the 9/11 Memorial at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. It was a solemn yet moving commemoration. Westchester County Executive, Robert Astorino also attended and was joined by Westchester family members who lost loved ones on 9/11. Family members, and elected officials, read the names of over 100 Westchester residents who died in the terrorist attacks. In addition to a bagpipe procession and a choral performance, the ceremony also included a Laying of the Wreaths and a Benediction. It was a thoughtful and somber tribute to all who were lost that day.

It was a pleasure to see many friends and familiar faces at this year’s annual Harrison-Rye football game. Although our team was defeated, the Harrison Huskies have taken steps to improve the football program. These steps have laid the groundwork for a successful season and I look forward to watching the team meet their potential.

While the Harrison Public Library is closed for renovations, Brown Bag Cinema, a popular program at the Library, will continue to be offered in the courtroom in Town Hall. On Friday, September 19th at 12:30, bring a bag lunch and join the Library for a free screening of “The Fault is in Our Stars”. For additional information, please contact the Library at 835-0324.

In closing, it has come to my attention that there is erroneous information, being put forth, regarding Project Home Run (PHR) and the ongoing proceeding to obtain a freshwater wetlands permit with the NYS DEC in connection with PHR. I would like to take this time to resolve the issue by clarifying certain inaccuracies.  Originally, in January of 2014, the Town of Harrison was considering modifying the PHR plans to simplify the project, and eliminate the need for a hearing over wetland disturbance, as we were considering no longer disturbing the wetlands.

As early as November of 2013 it was indicated that, if Rye received our CAD files, the dispute may be resolved. The Town of Harrison has always maintained that all the data in our CAD files were contained on the hard copies of our plans which all parties already had in their possession, for several years.

On February 21st, 2014 the Town of Harrison was informed that Rye's consultants wanted to review the CAD files, prepared by Leonard Jackson Associates (LJA), and as long as any discrepancy between the conclusions of the consultants were within a reasonable degree of difference, Rye would accept our consultant's conclusions and would consider an initial plan to remove the pond.

Based on those representations, the Town turned over the CAD files to Rye on March 19th, 2014, via email, and not in May.  The mediator was not brought in to negotiate the release of any data, but to discuss an omnibus resolution to Harrison's application.  Rye had the CAD files on March 19th and was advised that Harrison was expecting Rye to conduct an expedited review of the CAD files, i.e. within 2-3 weeks.  

On April 23rd, the Town of Harrison reached out to Rye to see where they were in the review process.  Rye responded the same day, via email, that Rye's consultants were still in the process of reviewing the files.

On May 8th, Rye finally responded, via email, stating that they believed their consultants would have a recommendation to the City of Rye in approximately one week.  It was also indicated that Rye's consultants had a few questions for LJA and the Town of Harrison advised Rye that they were free to contact LJA for any questions they may have.  LJA was never contacted by any of Rye's consultants.  

During a conference call with Judge Wissler, the DEC mediator on May 2nd, Rye indicated, once again, that they still wanted to settle the proceeding if Rye's consultants were on the same page as the Town of Harrison’s consultants.

Curiously, the conclusions of Rye's consultants, who reviewed the CAD files for 3 months - from March through May, were never shared with the Town of Harrison or any of the parties.  Rather, Rye advised all parties that they had authorized the hiring of other consultants, on May 22nd, at a cost of $10,000. I hope that this timeline has explained the issues and clarified any misinformation.