As co-chairperson of the Save Our Armory Committee I and our secretary Lorraine Pierce sat in Senator Klein’s office to garner his support to save the New Rochelle Armory. Without hesitation or a second thought, Senator Klein pledged his wholehearted support and a few days later memorialized his support in a letter dated October 25, 2006. Senator Klein states; “I am writing this letter in support of your group’s effort to save the New Rochelle Armory. The Armory is a site of significant historical importance to the City of New Rochelle and should be preserved”. Now, less than four years later, Senator Klein has stabbed his New Rochelle constituents in the back by co-sponsoring a bill with Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (S08307) which would allow Mayor Bramson “to sell, alienate and convey waterfront real property”. The Armory is not mentioned by name but if you read the entire bill the coordinates include the Armory. This legislation comes on the same day (6/22) of the special election where Sheila Marcotte, a republican, decisively defeated Greg Varian, a democrat, for Vito Pinto’s vacant county legislator seat. It would appear Bramson went into a rage after the loss and pressured our democratic legislators to slip this bill in in the dead of night and in the waning days of the session reminiscent of Assemblyman Latimer’s lifting of New Rochelle’s Tax-Cap. The democrats are so fearful of losing control of both houses that they are trying to ram through legislation prior to the November elections. Klein goes on to say; “In addition to simply saving the Armory from destruction, we must also refurbish the Armory to maximize its public utility. There are multiple ways to transform the current Armory space. It is a prime candidate for a museum or possibly a community center to bring together all of New Rochelle’s citizens”. It would appear that since Senator Klein has been appointed to a position of power in the senate he must now tow the party line. The worm may have turned for Senator Klein but the citizens of New Rochelle will get the last laugh at the voting booth.
NOTE: I am no longer co-chairman of the SOA. Peter Parente & Ron Tocci are now co-chairs leading the fight to save the New Rochelle Armory