Has the Mayor Forgotten About Middle Class New Rochelle?

Written By: Deprecated User

It seems to me that Mayor Bramson is constantly using PR gimmicks to lure outsiders to New Rochelle but does little to address the needs of long-term residents in the south, east and west ends of the city. Many people who came to NR several decades ago did so on middle-class incomes at a time when living expenses were more in sync with their earnings. Today, middle class residents find themselves overwhelmed by high property taxes, gas prices and the cost of food.
The children of long-term middle class New Rochellians who wanted to leave home and find a roost in NR found themselves confronted with high rents and home prices that made the city an impracticle choice. Instead of working on ways to help the middle class, the Mayor and his mentor, Tim Idoni, went off on a tangent to lure upper class individuals into NR. Their feeling was that if they flood the downtown with people who had “disposable income”, retailers would flock to NR and turn it into another White Plains.
They were wrong. The philosphy that they thought would help NR is in fact, bankrupting the city, driving people away, and reducing the quality of services NR residents deserve. Since intiating their revitalization plans, Idoni and Bramson have continually had to come up with excuses and schemes to raise revenue in order to bring their “disposable income” philosophy to fruition. This included removing the library from the city’s budget and instituting a library tax, adding a garbage fee, and convincing George Latimer to lift Ron Tocci’s property tax cap. At the same time, they claim how the cost of employee pensions and tough economic times are making difficult to provide services like adequate police protection, street cleaning and internal safeguards to prevent incidents of fraud like in the Fevang case.
Bramson further denouncines people like Councilman St Paul for “wasting” the council’s time on insignificant issues while he (Bramson) is worried about getting his picture in the centerfold of the next Government Review magazines for things like GreeNR and the sweetheart deals he gives to developers like Forest City Ratner. Fact is, that both GreeNR and the Echo Bay redevelopment project will force middle class residents to fork over even more in property taxes. Between having to replace the city’s infrastructure to accomodate more density in the downtown (as per GreeNR), and giving away a million dollars plus worth of real estate to Forest City, NR residents can be assured more schemes are on the horizon to generate revenue.
Bramson would do a whole lot better if he would focus on the needs on ALL NR residents rather than just catering to the northenders. He is more consumed with a desire to transform the city into a great metroplis that he has lost sight of its people. He forgot that the costs associated with such a transformation are unrealistic and unbearable for a great many people. It is not that his desire is not noble in theory. It’s that in practice it isn’t working.
Fact is that Mayor Bramson is coming off like a little kid who keeps going back to mommy asking her for money to buy candy with. He comes to residents with excuse after excuse asking for more money and one more year to turn NR around. In the background, is City Manager Chuck Strome, who, true to form, uses his strong arm tactics to extort money from people. He constantly claims NR lacks the “resources” to deal with the issues confronting it and unless taxes are raised or new sources of revenue uncovered, the city will collapse. This nonsense can be tolerated for a while but it is now getting tired. For 17 years now, the Bramson/Idoni/Strome regime has been stringing people along and getting nowhere. We have a few luxury high rise buildings and a failure of a mall that has cost NR more that it contributed. Home Depot came along and Caruso Lumberama, Benders Buiding Materials and Charles Librett Hardware disappeared. The small businesses disappeared so they could be replaced by the big box store, Screw the long-term little guy and pave the way for the rich outsiders. This is NR. It’s time for a change in leadership.

3 thoughts on “Has the Mayor Forgotten About Middle Class New Rochelle?”

  1. RE: I too agree with you.
    I agree with you totally. The Current Mayor and his cronies MUST ALL be voted out of office for good. Their legacy, which very few seem to notice at all, shall be one of utter failure. Three semi occupied towers, which look like BORG cubes ( alien space ships) dotting the dirty, chaotic, crime ridden downtown district does not a successful Gentrification make. Do not blame the sour economy for the failure of other projects either, please remember that the Empire state building was built during the hardest chapter of the Great depression. Where there is a will, there is always a way. The status quo benefits the current Mayor and his henchmen and as long as the people of NR close their eyes to this reality, the longer this hideous nightmare shall continue. The current Mayor’s legacy is one of moral, political, and economic FAILURE no matter how he and his cronies twist, spin, or fabricate the numbers. Go take a walk around the downtown area, I dare you ! Everything about it is substandard. It is a third world entity-it smells, it is dirty, it is chaotic. And, as we all noted yesterday, it is dangerous. Walk around at night and what does one see? Beggars, drug pushers, and whores. It looks, feels, and sounds more like the South Bronx during the 1970’s than the Queen city of the sound. No amount of marketing nor slick media campaigns can erase what is there. Video cameras, a laser show, and fire works will not ameliorate it it either. The ONLY remedy will be a total PURGE of the current corrupt, failed administration. Wake up, people ! People of New Rochelle unite, you have nothing to lose but your shackles. Election day is coming up. Do your duty, bring about change. Save your city !

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