My Objection is Sustained, Move On

Written By: Warren Gross

I have been subjected to granola overload on Sustainability recently over the airways. The more I hear, the more I am convinced that few people have any perspective, or much knowledge on the subject. This is fine as an excuse to smack the kitchen table and scream out dumkopf or muttonhead, but it is serious business when it could well represent reduction in property owner equity or even political persperation. We are going through very, very difficult times and all we need are other reasons to shock the system and step all over any sense or sensibility that exists in governance.

Let’s get a grip on Sustainability/GreeNR. Other communities are beginning to see the light and it is our turn.

There have been many other times during the evolution of civilization when we had to change based on natural causes (climate) or technological change (bronze age, iron age). It takes place as a natural process of evolution, of survival of the species. Recently, we have experienced these types of changes we can more readily identify with and these can be correctly define Sustainability and for our community GreeN.

This should not be a discussion around evolution, changes in technology, and certainly no cause for hooking up with ICLEI who have no place on our balance sheet and whose representative, Ms. Newborn, gave a disastrously inept presentation as I understand it, to the League of Woman’s voters. If I have her name or the audience’s name wrong, I apologize but it doesn’t matter much as the debate over global warming, for example, has no significence to people at the Municipal governing level.

If I heard it correctly, Ms. Newborn is making some claims to Sustainability/GreeN, no more likely, ICLEI, having some provenance in recycling. Typical sophistry; an Al Gore claim to inventing the Internet. Recycling, air pollution, New Orleans levees, many more, come from legislation either at the federal or state level. Is it any wonder that Westchester County has separated from these folks. As I understand it, New York City never had a great deal of interest except perhaps for any value as an educational or information source. This is important for you to know as GreeN Sustainability is literally a re-scripted version of Bloomberg’s initiative.

Here is a “modern” example of nature or technological advancement advancing the agenda for what we now call “sustainability. And, unless I am given the wrong impression, I am fully supportive of GreeN technology only not what I think I hear, see, or read going on in our cty.

The Industrial Revolution in the 19th Century is an outstanding example because it both defines and describes a massive change and also indicates support, opposition, and later, the need for another evolutinary action to address the damages it set into motion or caused.

As you know it revolutionized production, created tons of jobs, noveau rich many exploitive of workers, changed other major systems such as financial and banking, import and export, so much more. It was te “sustainability” of its age, although the phrase would have no meaning at this time. Of course there were political support and opposition, much of it in England, some here. Americans, being a more venturesome people, pretty much took it to heart. In England, however, there were large groups of what were known as “Luddites”, who vehemently opposed it… sort of like our conservationists today would have similar problems with fracking, for example.

Unfortunately, despite huge advances in technology and standards of living, many systemic and environmental disasters, and worker exploitation as well, led to subsequent changes in unionizaton and more recently, in Environmental Impact. Sustainability is actually like the nurturance of a culture, a dialectic…. change begets more change until….. who knows?

So we have experienced all this before. Nothing is new, even the errors I fear that our City Fathers will make it not seeing the forest for the trees. This is not a municipal pool to splash around in. We need to see it at our level for what it is and is not. One thing right off the bat is that it is not, repeat not, an opportunity to create any initiative at the community level that can be perceived as a MANDATE. You will know that is going on if you see an additional fee based income placed on your tax bill.

Washington and Albany can handle and should handle intiatives or mandates in energy, climate, other environmental impact areas.

New Rochelle must indeed, look for opportunities to incorporate modern sustainability impact areas into RFPs, new Developmental areas, and indeed, on restoration of municipal and educational facilities. In sum, we need to beef up our flabby and flagging srategic planning processes and outcomes deritivates with such GreeN matters. It is likely that funding can be available on occasion via NYSERDA, Albany, and Washington. I think the end state of a refurbished, redirected Armory is a picture-perfect candidate for GreeN.

I am full bore positive for this; not like a spewing, granola munching uber liberal would be, but as a responsible taxpayer who understands family and municipal finance, planning, prioritization, historical perspectives, and roles and responsibilities. The City can put some folks to work looking at linkages with provicers. Bloomberg did. He came up with a system in partnership with Home Depot, to exchange old fashioned lighting for new technologly. That, along with some incentives for homeowners, is the way to go at our level of governance.

We talk about so many things here while forgetting simple facts of governance. We have no greater responsibility than to rebuild, restore, and re-energize this City and any Council Member who departs from this, rationalizes an escape route from common sense and community sensibility, should step down.

I really have nothing at all against Noam going to Rio as long as it does not lead to any further muddying of what is actually the clear waters of Sustainability/GreeN. If the Council has a problem with his trip, bring it up in public forum. If the community has an issue, bring it up to the Council Members in your districts.

But again, GreeN is nothing more than a means to an end. It is a white roof for a new development, a new type of lighting for a refurbished city building. Perhaps if the City Council demanded a very active role and voice in the IDA function, we would have more clarity and less confusion.

I rest my case.

9 thoughts on “My Objection is Sustained, Move On”

  1. Warren! Welcome back!
    “But again, GreeN is nothing more than a means to an end.”

    Of course, only an idiot would think otherwise. It’s a boondoggle to fatten the accounts of everyone involved.

    Does ANYONE still believe ANY politician connected with New Rochelle is interested in ANYTHING other than their OWN wallets?


    *sigh* If yes, two words. Idoni. Downtown.

    ’nuff said.

  2. NR City Council and Mgmt. only have self-sustaining thoughts!
    Once again you beat me to the punch.

    Sustainability, no one on the New Rochelle City Council or City Management has any ideas on how to sustain anything but their own jobs and careers in politics. They lack any perspective or much knowledge on the subject, on any subject for that matter. That is why they are so easily influenced by their party leaders. Few if any of them has had a single idea that wasn’t lobbied for by the party chairman, the campaign fund contributors and the developers looking to take advantage of the fact that they lack the perspective or have much knowledge. As you see, time and again we never use the word leader in New Rochelle.

    All we ever see is a new committee for this or for that. We/They hire a new commissioner for that or this. All of which is a duplication of something we already have or had. The funding programs and ideas are there at every level. Other Cities, States and Towns are doing things every day. You just need to take the time and effort to look for yourself, have an independent thought.

    I said it in posts before and you touched on here, there are City, County, State and Federal resources for Green Initiatives, IDA’s, Real Estate, Police, Fire, Commerce and Community. Why is it all of the towns and cities around us have adopted changes to lower costs yet we only see a garbage fee added.
    -Peekskill moves its police force down town and sees results in its down town
    -A company from New Rochelle just upgraded the Mamaroneck Train Station
    -A Beer Garden to Open in Port Chester Train Station
    -Glen Cove has significantly boosted the amount of surveillance on its streets. A network of 49 cameras will be trained on municipal parking lots and on the downtown. (Paid for by a Grant)

    All of the cities around us, Port Chester, Pelham, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, and White Plains have added more retail and continue to grow. Why do they get the Concept and not us?

    Our City Council and City Management lack, “Common Sense for the Common Good”

    1. What’s to ‘get’?
      Why do they get the Concept and not us?……

      There IS no concept. They don’t lack common sense, they just ignore it. Everyone has common sense, but you either live by it, or you shove it aside out of greed.

      Think about it. Any idiot can be a politician in New Rochelle. Idoni left a template before he left, even you or I could follow it. It says:

      – ignore your constituents without money;
      – pander and kiss up to the rich;
      – make some excuse for the continuing non-revitalization of downtown (see #1);
      – laugh all the way to the bank (not one in NR)!

      Easy peasy, right?
      Common GOOD? This is NR we’re talking about, remember?

      1. Thanks NewRochelleUSED and re: Sense
        You sadly reinforce the fact that sense and sense not used correctly (my language) occurred this very day as I read the Journal News article on the possible annulment of the Cameroon debt.

        Ok I get it to a point. But Strome continues to confound or is it a parallel to Obama and Biden between Rattner and Strome?

        Heres what I mean… Strome sends an email on May 9 sayng that Cameroon has remitted a payment for all “open sewer taxes.” Howeer the City tax records seemingly show that Cameroon owes $27,622.64 in overdue sewer charges from 2000 moving forward.

        Rattner has said that New Rochelle might forgive the debt (unclear whether it is all or just Cameroon’s). Strome apparently is still “evolving” stating that the City will not reveal what will be the case until the Council discusses it on May 15.

        So, sense, sense misused or unused, maybe nonsense. I am confused. but this is the guy who always speaks in vivid pronouncements… “there is no fat in the budget.”

        I am seeing more and more that this guy may be a luxury we can no longer afford. The Council cannot or will not discipline this guy and whatever conersations he has with Rattner sound like those that go on between Peter Griffin and Meg Griffin. Maybe he should go and maybe reading Bob’s 2011 postiing under most popular today…. “new rochelle city manager defends finance”, is timely.

        Love your stuff New Rochelle USED and keep it coming

        1. Thank you, Warren, high praise indeed…

          I wonder if Phil Reisman reads here? I hope so, since apparently lohud is going to CHARGE to access old Journal News articles? What a joke.

          Phil said ‘money talks’ in this country. Ain’t that the truth.

  3. Warren Welcome Back
    Warren, you have been missed. To me GreeNR means a safe and clean environment. This is surely missing in every area of New Rochelle. What we do have going for us is a small group of new businesses on Huguenot Street who are willing to get involved and make our city better. I have just returned from a trip to Boston and noticed that an Apple store opened on Boylston Street it was very busy to say the least. I thought this would have been great in the Trump building, two floors of retail, easy parking, all glass front, what a great store for New Rochelle, but as Bob McCaffrey states we must have a plan and we do not. Warren, Bob, John D, etc. when will city hall listen and take notice what other cities and towns are doing before it is too late.

    1. thank you all
      I’m back as much as I can. Knitter, as I said, GreeN is important if the administration would concentrate on what it is and should be and set a proper course to ensure this takes place.

      downtown New Rochelle and North avenue is a disgrace. Planning is imperative, with oversight from the council and involvement from the communities, not the ones the administration chooses but people from the neighborhood groups and those chosen by the downtown council members. It is a no brainer.

      What disturbs me is the fact that most of our new high rises have unsightly and unoccupied street level space. The condominium on Main Street, built by a high end realtor in the late 90s or in the period closely after 2001 ia prime example.

      i actually think that one or more have a very insidious form of an abatement that pays the deveoper for non-occupany. I would bet on this and if so, what is the incentive really to bust a move on leasing.

      I actually think there are also strong reasons to look at what tanspire on renewal leases. Tait is one I am concerned about….. his renewal lease rates are NYC equiavalent per square footage and welcome vacancy.

      It all adds up. You eithr commit to examining the policies that thwart restoration an renewal of our belove City or you wind up as an installment of Mt Vernon or Yonkers redux. It is inevitable.

      I do have faith in Hydin, Trangucci, Rice, Tarantino to understand and act. Stacie, Barry and Noam need to go beyond conventional thinking and understand what a failure to act decsively and focued like a laser on two or three key priorities is the death knell of the City. We in the community have to understand we need to come forward, be willing to collectively act, be associated with our community, and yes, support our elected officials if they would act correctly.

      Today Obama “evolved.” What a political snake. He is like the other guy who says he made the auto bailout work. No value anyway it seems.

      I hope you are well and your point on Boston is spot on. Look close to home as well. Portchester, Mamaroneck, further up Saugerties, Goshen even Peekskill. The combination of sensible green technology an commitment by these communities to the heart of their communities via restoring recreation, culture, restaurants, museum space, and things like this NOT new residential spaces, college or non-profit urban sprawl, Jesus I am boring myself and might relapse.

      Bless you and thanks to all.

      1. So good to see you, Warren….
        “Planning is imperative, with oversight from the council and involvement from the communities, I do have faith in Hydin, Trangucci, Rice, Tarantino to understand and act… Stacie, Barry and Noam need to go beyond conventional thinking and understand what a failure to act decsively and focued like a laser on two or three key priorities is the death knell of the City.”

        I love that you are optimistic. Why should any of them or the Idoni clone change a 40+ year old pattern, when it’s been SO very beneficial for them?

        “We in the community have to understand we need to come forward, be willing to collectively act, be associated with our community, and yes, support our elected officials if they would act correctly.”
        See above.

    2. *sigh*
      They HAVE noticed………….they don’t CARE.

      Before it is too late?

      How much later does it have to get than 40 years on? Downtown NR has been a toilet for at least that long.

      So……….will Idoni’s, um, Bramson’s clone get voted in after he finally has enough money? Will the NR voters grow a brain?

      Tick. Tock.

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