I Am Taking a Short Leave

Written By: Warren Gross

Under advice from my physician, I am taking time off from my activities. I hope and expect this willl be temporary. I will continue to monitor TOTS as I consider this to be indispensible to the community and, in time, the rebirth of the City.

I am especially happy to sense that my last post on Noam’s Legacy, should he choose it, would engender so many comments. Doing the math, it looks as if 277 reads led to close to 7% response rate. All of these were typical of TOTS, different voices, all who loved the City, and all who were willing to work to make it thrive.

I have tried to walk a road that few people walked. Whatever I offered came from the eyes, ears, and voices of citizens, the rests from the considerable experience as a business executive, senior consultant and educator.

I have not pulled any requests for information through Open Meeting and other channels; preferring to supplement my thoughts with those avaiable in other sources in the Internet.

There was and is a method to my madness. I am not interested in rehashing information, interpreting documents, wondering if I have the correct information or interpretation. My interest, be it naive, misplaced, or rejected comes from a sense of questioning, gauging the results of the questioning, and encouraging people at all levels in the community to take responsibility for their actions.

Unlike most public readers here, I believe in the power of redemption. As noted in my final (to date) blog, Noam Bramson is seen playing ball with his children in his yard. To me, that person is not a giant leap from playing ball with the community. Like many of us in the community, he needs to be tempered by pain, disillusionment, and reckoning. He has the intellect in spades but does he have the will?

One of the men I admire most in the community at large asks for physical evidence on section 8 occupancy in Avalon as apparently it would be a violation of the earlier covenant of which a 30 year abatement was part of the deal. I think my sources, anecdotal or even personal, are correct, but I cannot participate in bringing this to light. We gain little by doing so…. the reason for posting is that the City is neglecting its, minimally, moral responsibility to downtown New Rochelle by not being remotely aware of what is going on in Avalon and other edifices. Their internal management issues, the loss of residents who came because of who they were and what the city was, has been compromised by changes in occupancy, negliect of amenities,and city services.

My concerns on the Bramson administration repeating the “bad deal” has lessened with the hiring of more competent developmental personnel, but the risk in poor development still exists even if the reasons differ. So, I would rather not rake over old leaves, put anyone at risk, for something that is done and has been for years.

That sort of thing would rest heavily on my soul and perhaps explains what I do, how I do it, and who I am. I am, as you are, in transition.

On the Armory point, I have expressed earlier that the citizens armory committee could not go anywhere given the position that it would take over the RFP process. Yet, much of their work, many of their supporters, all and more, requires us not to throw it away. I truly believe Tocci and D’Alois are essential to the project. Both are grown men, with a life history, and I am convinced even in the absence of a single conversation with either, that they would play an active role in the process to come. Would Noam? Now, maybe not… with your support through your coucil members and if you know Noam personally, face to face, would make this happen.

And it should happen and now. Napersink was respnsive and very hopeful in making important concessions to us and it is our time to reciprocate.
I think there are some core process steps that must accompany any future working relation ship with Forest City, but I think that we have one maybe two skilled city staff that can be unbundled from over control and watch, as I metaphorically stated, Abe like you were playing one on one coverage.

I still hold to the fact and am unshakeable on this, that Echo Bay must wait until the proper resources and changes are made to the downtown business district and I outlined them in detail in several prior blogs. If Noam is serious about waterfront development and is willing to lose his sophristic statements like “the majority of the city wants to develop our waterfront” he will see the logic especially expressed by HYdin and Rice that we have an opportunity in hand to put a commercial face on the project that would make the residential, although important, subordinate to the commercial development.

Forgive my arrogance, but damn it, double damn it, I know what should be done, and how to do it…. there I said it, so perhaps I fulfill Noam and Barry’s prophecies that I know too much.

I also know that by ignoring the City Charter/Code, we have supported poor city hall management. They are largely civil service clones, loyal to the Mayor and City Manager, because they know they are safe even if incompetent, even perhaps worse. They are protected when the first providers are sacrificed. Doug Gray was a breath of fresh air at the Council Meeting.

There is always more, for example, the School District, but even here there is hope. There is always hope. Thanks to you, and especially Bob Cox who invited me back close to a year earlier for reasons he is always welcome to disclose, we are making strides. I cannot mention names….. read the blogs even you up north or elsewhere who do not respond. This is a community full of heroes and thus, hope.

I love the City and in I hope a manly way, I love all of you. I have faith in the new Council, the new even the more settled members. I hope that Strome sits back and acts like he reports to the council and puts the effort to make his reports more accountable, more proficient. Council, you are the real power in the City… use it. Barry, you showed me something a few nights ago… please show us that it was not a mirage.

Noam I end with a hope, as I always have, that you see and sense what is right to do and you throw off old ways, crippling, suffocating ways that hold more than half the city hostage to ambition and sometimes worse. I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS. Now show my friends who God willing, will join me for a
Guinness in the near future.

6 thoughts on “I Am Taking a Short Leave”

  1. Oh boy…
    Warren, hurry back. You are the voice of reason in a city gone to hell, thanks to greed and avarice and hubris. I know you have hope for New Rochelle, I do not. Those who voted in Idoni, term after term, as he killed New Rochelle, and now vote in his clone, term after term, as he continues to kill off what is left of New Rochelle, are to be pitied.

    Sorry, Warren, Noam can’t do it, because he doesn’t want to. Perhaps if the people of New Rochelle ever wake up and vote in Noam’s opponent, things MIGHT turn around. Then again, it also might be too late for New Rochelle, and downtown New Rochelle will NEVER be revitalized. I wish you well, Warren.

  2. Warren, all the best and a speedy return
    Warren, I appreciate your admiration and admire you as the keeper of eternal hope. Hope for New Rochelle is always there but ever fleeting. The admitted bright spot is what appears to be council driven by fact, something you despise, tempered by common sense and personal values. I’m not interested in a Gotcha moment or taking Noam down by verifying section 8 in the Avalons. I am trying to level the playing field for the average taxpayer who bears the burden of the corporate welfare the Avalons represent. I hope your break is related to moving, as stated in a previous post, as opposed to health concerns. I found the moving to Avalon post quite interesting in that while your eternal hope became blatantly evident, that decision was based on the FACT that your wife had been accosted multiple times. You see Warren, facts and hope can work together, even in your world of eternal hope, when taken in totality and not dissected individually. We all want New Rochelle to prosper but take different paths to that end.

    Should you need help of any kind you have my contact information. As Spok would say; live long and prosper. I look forward to your speedy return.

  3. Please Come Back Soon
    Warren, Does that mean you will not be having your morning coffee on Huguenot Street? I would like to meet before you take your hiatus. I only hope you realize that I wish you the best and value your insight and knowledge of Noam and New Rochelle. Hope to see you soon.

  4. It Won’t Be the Same Without You
    Lord knows, 10,000 words at a time would take its toll on any mere mortal! You can’t change the world if you’re not tip top so take a break (not too long mind you) get yourself to where you want to be and have a pint along the way. You might find the off time suits you. TOTS will be here when you choose to pick it up. Stay well and best to the Mrs. 🙂

  5. We Care for Warren Even More than Warren cares for NR

    The Readers and Posters of TOTS all highly respect you, your opinions, your decency, and the way you phrase your thoughts. I am sure everyone concerned about your health.

    We will miss your Postings and hope you are able to return to Posting your thoughts here in the near future.

    But your health is of utmost importance, and I am glad that you are following your doctor’s advice. I hope that the problem is not serious. But the main thing is take care of yourself, and to enjoy life.

    – Brian

  6. Under advice from my physician…stop it!
    “Under advice from my physician” what kind of doctor would tell you to stop writing?, What did you come down with writers cramp or did you get a bookworm? Stop the bs and get back to writing.

    “Because of his strength and toughness as well as his constant attention to the welfare of his army, his soldiers affectionately called him Old Hickory. Hickory was as tough a substance as they knew, and General Andrew Jackson was, in their minds, indomitable.”
    — Robert V. Remini, The Battle of New Orleans

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