Mystery Solved: Noam Bramson a Part-Time Mayor

Written By: Robert Cox

We reported two weeks ago on how Noam Bramson was passing himself off to the public and media as a “full-time” Mayor, New Rochelle’s “Full-Time” Mayor Moonlights His Way to Six-Figure Income.


Mayor “Moonlight” Bramson

We interviewed Mayor Bramson for that article:

Asked to comment for this story via e-mail, Bramson told Talk of the Sound that “the full-time vs. part-time status of the position of mayor in New Rochelle is not, as far as I know, formally defined by law”.

A Talk of the Sound reader obtained a copy of Mayor Bramson’s Personnel Form from City Hall and sent it to TOS:

noampersonnelform2The document, signed by Bramson, makes it clear that not only is the part-time status of the Mayor formally defined by law but that the legal document which makes that clear is a document prepared and signed by Bramson himself. Click the image below to see the entire document:


In our original article we questioned Bramson’s equivocation on this issue of whether he is or is not a full-time Mayor:

Not only is the City Charter not unclear on this point, it is very clear on the very limited role of the Mayor. New Rochelle, like many municipal governments in the United States, has a “weak-mayor” form of mayor-council government where the City Council as a whole possesses both legislative and executive authority. The council as a group — not the Mayor as an individual — appoints officials and exercises primary control over the municipal budget. In this form of government, the mayor, though elected, has little real political power and less independence, serving through largely ceremonial duties. Just as there is no “full-time Mayor” position in New Rochelle there is likewise no such title as “chief legislator” on the City Council.

The only ethical or legal issue here is whether Bramson is actually doing work to earn a $3,750 month retainer. Bramson described his work for Lowey as campaign related which raises more questions. What campaign is he working on now? Lowey was justed re-relected in November and it is hard to see what sort of campaign she is engaged in at this time. Having not come clean on the nature of his job status, voters may wonder whether Bramson is being paid to work on a Lowey campaign or whether developers and other interested parties are donating money to Lowey which is then finding its way to Bramson. We invite readers to peruse Lowey’s list of 2007-2008 contributor to identify any such “interested parties”. If you find a match between people doing business with the city and Lowey contributors let us know and we will knock on some doors to learn more.

This is hardly the first time Talk of the Sound has found Mayor Bramson to be playing fast and loose with the facts. Last September, Bramson sought to dismiss criticism from a Talk of the Sound contributor that there is a “North-South Divide” in New Rochelle Schools. Back then Bramson lashed out at the Journal News for even raising the question, accessing the paper of “playing with fire”. As threatening a newspaper that is widely viewed as in the back pocket of the New Rochelle City government is hardly the road to higher office so Talk of the Sound took notice when Bramson accused paper of fomenting violence: Allegations of favoritism harm pupils. Of course, this being an Op-Ed in the “paper of record”, the story has been removed from the website so there is no trace of the story on the Internet; we will put up a PDF document with the article by the end of the day.

stillsonhumanshield.jpgIn the Op-Ed Bramson seeks to “rebut” the complaint from a South End resident that children are treated differently in South End schools by noting that he (Bramson) attended the public schools in New Rochelle and that his kids will attend public schools in New Rochelle. As Bramson grew up in the North End and now lives in the North he went to school in the North End and his kids will go to school in the North End. So, how exactly is sending his children to North End schools a rebuttal to concerns about South End schools? It isn’t. It is an entirely fatuous, disingenuous claim which cynically uses his own children as a sort of human shield by inserting them into a debate over the legitimate, documented concerns shared by many South End parents that their children — especially Latino and Black/African-American children are not being treated the same as North End children — especially White children.

If the Mayor is so convinced of his own argument there is a simple way he can prove it — enroll his children at Columbus or Jefferson or Trinity and, when they are older, to Isaac. There is a long line of parents who would gladly have their children trade places with Mayor Bramson’s children at Ward or Albert Leonard.

We hope the Mayor will discontinue the practice of using the term “full-time” when describing his role of Mayor and using his own children to try (and fail) to score points in a political debate.

19 thoughts on “Mystery Solved: Noam Bramson a Part-Time Mayor”

  1. Is any city not a tale of 2
    Is any city not a tale of 2 cities? Mt Vernon, Yonkers, Whit Plains, NYC? An arguement as old as Moses

    1. Perhaps so, however, it is
      Perhaps so, however, it is in the way it is handled that is crucial. Cowtowing to provide the priviliged their own Camelot at the exclusion of the rest is fundamentaly wrong, in Mt Vernon, White Plains NYC or anywhere else it may occur. What IS important is how we go about providing the same quality of life and oppurtunities to All citizens without regard to your address. That is what we need to look at. Does it happen in New Rochelle? Take a look around , then you decide. Ted Kennedy (not quite as old as Moses) said” the fundamental test of a society is in how we treat the disenfranchised”

    2. Did the more afflent areas
      Did the more afflent areas in Mt Vernon, Yonkers, Whit Plains or NYC attempt to secede? Moses lead his people from bondage where is Bramson leading “his people”?

  2. In response to Check it out,
    In response to Check it out, the north end

    Ok, Mr mason or are you Dixon? Have you ever crossed that line and spent time in in the North end? If so than fine. Also what about those in the Glenwood Lake section? Do they share your brothers in arms south end crying game

    1. Response diatribe off
      Response diatribe off base

      Indeed there are areas in the south end that are affluent but can you name a section in the north end which is financially challenged? I didn’t think so. I have had many meals at Cosi, shopped in the Quaker shopping center, purchased many gifts from Big Top, attended the Greek Church’s annual festival and witnessed the “caregivers” take their employers’ children to the children’s public library. How many times have you dined at Coramandel, shopped at a dollar store on Main Street, purchased gifts from Merry-Go-Round, attended the St. Anthony’s Feast or witnessed a convicted pedophile mingle with our children at the main library on Lawton Street?
      Without a doubt New Rochelle is a tale of two cities!!!!!!

  3. In response to To verify the
    In response to To verify the north south and teh line “Don’t forget that at one point the north end wanted to secede from New Rochelle!”

    That was a poin brought up by a a guy running for office who was looking to make a splash with outrageous comments and you buy it.

    Why should the North end not leave? They get city services but do not get city amenities.

    1. Check it out, the north end
      Check it out, the north end did consider seceding not just a rant from a wanna-be politician. What amenities does the north end lack? The diversity New Rochelle is noted for? The dollar stores which dominate our downtown business district? A 24-hour CVS? The lack of affordable, work-force housing? A day laborer center? There is no Cosi or Starbucks in the south end. The reality is New Rochelle is a tale of two cities and Eastchester Road is the Mason Dixon line!

    2. and don’t forget about the
      and don’t forget about the HUGE population of ILLEGAL ALIENS who do not pay 1 single cent in taxes to our city state and country. The fact is, if the North End left our city, the city would completely fail. The south end of the city provides just under 30% of total GDP for New Rochelle. BOBBO can rant all he wants about the north end/south end divide, he’s merely trying to gain readership for his crummy website. Bobbo is running out of stories to tell and since he’s not a person who hails from New Rochelle and he’s not a homeowner, he wishes to play off of everyone’s fears. He also knows i’m 100% correct and he won’t post this. There is a blog being created specifically about him. Stay tuned folks, I hear it’s going to be extremely informative about the life and times of Robert Cox, and why he came to start this blog!!!

      1. This is a typical strategy
        This is a typical strategy that is applied when you can’t disprove the facts; attack the messenger! Refute Bobbo’s comments, embarrass him factually in public if you can but since you can’t you will attempt to drag him through the mud! This is nothing more than cowardness!!!!!!

  4. The mayors salary of under
    The mayors salary of under $90,000 is lower than many neighboring municipalities (ie. White Plains = $150,000; Yonkers = $90,000; Pelhams Village Administrator = $125,000). Maybe he should be paid more if residents want a committed, “full-time” mayor.

    1. I referenced this point in
      I referenced this point in my original post on this subject.

      The issue is that our form of government is a “weak Mayor” form where the Mayor has no more authority or responsibility than any other member of the City Council and all executive decisions are made by the the City Manager.

      While there are certain accountability issues with this system – and a case can be made that the 7th largest City in New York should have a full-time Mayor – there are is a good reason we have this form of government. There are others who can explain the history of corruption in New Rochelle better than I can but this City has had a bad history in this regard.

      The comparison to make is between the salary of the City Manager and other Cities that have a “strong” Mayor form of government.

  5. To verify the north south
    To verify the north south divide it should be noted that Eastchester Road has an alternative name; THE MASON DIXON LINE! For further verification go the the Westchester Government website and look up stats by zip code, you will find the truth about income status, property values and racial make-up in contrast to the diatribe spewed above. Don’t forget that at one point the north end wanted to secede from New Rochelle!

    1. North End-vs-South End is
      North End-vs-South End is not drawn upon racial lines and maybe not socieconomic lines either.
      The North has zero section 8 housing….
      The North End has little English as second language issues at 99&44/100th of the residents are Citizens residing and there are no illegal immigrants draining resources.
      It would take bussing comingle the above. Won’t happen!
      New Rochelle is 2 Cities due to those 2 reasons above.
      There are plenty of Wealthy Sound End Residents up and down the Waterfront and Historic issue. Maybe the City needs a North End, A South End, A Urban End and a English as a second language end because this is more telling of the divide.

  6. There is a reality that
    There is a reality that overall, the northern end of the city is more affluent than the southern end. Still, the wealthiest sections of the city (both in income and property value) are to be found not in the 10804 zip code, but the 10801 zip code that covers New Rochelle’s mid-section (in case you were wondering). Students living in the zone for Davis School include those from Wilmot Woods, Beechmont, City Park and even Rochelle Park. Students attending Albert Leonard are from Bonniecrest and Pinebrook Estates as well as from Glenwood (in case you wanted some more examples to dispel your “North/South Divide” myth. And guess where all the students in the city go to high school? NRHS. Good kids attend all of the city schools, and good kids are succeeding in each and every one of them.

  7. wow, fasat and loose? How
    wow, fasat and loose? How about you trying to string 2 stories togther that are not really related

    1. Not related? They’re
      Not related? They’re directly related. They both involve Talk of the Sound.

  8. I think our mayor puts in
    I think our mayor puts in full time hours and is only paid part time. Stop attempting to destroy a system which functions extremely well.

    1. Extremely well is loosely
      Extremely well is loosely used in this context. While there have been successes, it cannot be denied that this administration has headed down a path of “what works best for ME”. Read ALL of the reporting, from ALL sources and it becomes self evident. I to believe he is a good enough person, but that doesn’t have anything to do with his political aspirations and the methods he chooses to achieve them. This is part of the natural evolution of politicians. Watch the movie, “The Seduction of Joe Tynon” and you’ll see the correlation. The truth is out there !

  9. Maybe the Wheels have begun
    Maybe the Wheels have begun to come off the Bramson Bus more like the Bramson Steam Roller. Here is a son of New Rochelle who siezed power in a batton hand over from Idoni while morphing the position to fit his agenda. Ceremonial Mayor running the City Council like Tammany Hall. When they throw out the Baby with the Bath water they need to throw out Fertel, Sussman and Stome also as they allowed this to happen and supported it every step of the way.
    Too bad he probably is a good guy but he lost touch and I hope its the beginiing of the end of his mayoralty.

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