In case you haven’t heard of the latest sneak attack to destroy the Armory, or the backlash from citizens, all resulting in Senators and members of the Assembly alike scrambling to put distance between themselves and our very own Mayor, well now would be a good time to review. In reading the stories above, you’ll see the mayors attempt to move legislation forward, on his own behalf, without the “courtesy” of notifying the complete city council. Talk about backfiring! Within, 36 hours (impressive considering this happened over a weekend} , Senators Klein and Oppenheimer, along with Assembly Members Latimer and Paulin told constituents they would not proceed with the pending legislation. To his credit, Senator Klein was reported as saying he was told ( by Mayor Bramson himself)the Armory issues were resolved. Also to his credit, he felt it important enough to actively remove his name from the bill. A small gesture, but not unnoticed. The rest left their names on, to presumably let the bill “sunset” until next year. Mr. Latimer issued a lengthy statement revealing perhaps more than he intended. In his letter of explanation, he states “I/we did not, at any point in time, assert that I/we are in favor of demolishing the Armory, or endorse the development plan for Echo Bay.”. Really Mr. Latimer? Your carefully worded legislation reads “The City of New Rochelle has requested that legislative authority be granted to the city regarding the aforementioned parcel in order to advance plans to develop the waterfront, a proposed mixed use project of residential, retail and recreational uses.” (underlined for emphasis). Tell ,me/us Mr. Latimer, do you know of any other proposed development for Echo Bay other than Forest City’s plan to destroy the Armory? A11554 is, by it’s construction, an explicit approval to move forward with an existing development plan. That’s what I/we assert. Remember, any project that is in keeping with the public benefit caluse of the Armory deed restriction will never need a home rule request.
” The bill itself was written to describe the meets and bounds of the parcel”. The Metes and Bounds established in the bill are a ver- batim account of the legal description in the deed that conveyed the Armory to the city, with one exception. The last line of the Armory Deed states “the above described parcel is shown on a map entitled “Boundary Map of New York Armory at City of New Rochelle, Westchester County” …..” Could there be a reason the A11554 description stopped short of the last line? I/we were just wondering.
As we continue to read Mr Latimers letter, one paragraph refers to the “problems inherent” with the draft. This leads one to believe, that without the identified problems, Mr Latimer would have supported the bill. Truth or fiction?
All’s well that ends well I suppose. The Armory dodged a bullet this time and perhaps we’ll never really know if it was because of a poorly constructed request from the mayor, a poorly crafted bill, outrage from the voters, politicians who heard their voters, or a combination of some sort. We do know, the mayor acted outside of full councils knowledge and that’s probably the worst part of all this. The State officials know what they were told and maybe they’ll go public with that, but for now they’ve gone through great lengths to put some distance between themselves and Mayor Bramson. Actions speak louder than words sometimes. I/we thank all involved for raising the awareness of our State officials. For bringing this issue to the front burner, so to speak. In the end, decisions about the Armory, development, quality of life, all need to withstand this type of scrutiny. If it stands the test we will know we’ve done all we can to promote the well being of New Rochelle, for everyone. Thanks also to Sen. Jeff Klein. True to your word, your immediate removal of your name from the bill spoke volumes. Sen. Oppenheimer and Assemblywoman Paulin, we thank you for hearing before committing. Please keep the door open. Last but not least, Mr Latimer. As I was writing this, I was notified of your latest letter where you finally put the last nail in the bill. And while you stated there is no way the bill could go on, “striking the enacting clause” of the bill puts an end to our speculation on your direction. Thank you for your support.