Read it and Don’t Weep

Written By: Warren Gross

Last night I attended the City Council Meeting prepared to give a brief comment on the importance of working together as a community as well as some steps that should be taken to rebuild and restore New Rochelle.

Preceding general citizens commentary was a presentation to 5 young women students athletes who received awards for excellence on the field and in the classroom. Four of the five were present.

Excerpts from their narratives stating why they should receive these rewards were read and they were exceptional. Thematically these young people knew about the power of positive thought and actions, or as Colin Powell puts it, continuous optimism. They spoke of teamwork, family and community values, and more.

Noam was very gracious and you would hope that he and all of those on stage would take this message to heart.

Following this were the usual diatribes about traffic, failures in governing, checkbook diplomacy, and favoritism in filling slots on committees and other community roles.

These are all valid, but there is the need for so much more. The youngsters seem to have gotten it, but we have not. Obama hasn’t a clue, neither does the GOP House of Representatives, nor the European nations and certainly not the Mideast nations by and large.

You may not think, you are likely very bored with this sort of thing, but I think it is unquestionably valid and necessary to get off our asses, tone down the volume, speak more of restoring than destroying our world and our nation.

I want to say to you that it begins here at home. That is my message and in closing this off I want to point out the highlights from the most important restorative document of our times, the Simpson-Bowles Report. I will only cite the paragraph text on “Our Guiding Principles and Values.” The rest is up to the Bramson Administration and the community to see both the need and the relative clear mindedness of this work, called in more exact terms, “The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.”

In my brief remarks last night, I offered my services in any capacity. You should too. I am supporting our City Management despite all of its omissions, exclusionary behavior and inappropriate management of its City Charter. It is a personal decision based on a simple fact that I am a citizen here and bear responsibility for my actions.

Before I list the Commission’s Guiding Principles and Values, I want to thank Bob Cox for generously reaching out to me yesterday offering excellent advice on constructing a blog that might attract more readership. I will follow his advice although my subject matter and technique of presentation are not to the popular taste.

More important, Cox offered his personal service to come to my home to set up a better editing scheme. I respect that; in my view he showed his community value to me personally in a way that assists a member of this community. So has my friend, Bob McCaffrey. Bob is aware of my situation and generously invites me to accompany him to events and meetings. Thank you both and thank the group who sponsered these splendid young women and the young women themselves for an uplifting experience.

Now to the “Moment of Truth.” the “Our Guiding Principles and Values” from Simpson-Bowles.

. We all have a patriotic duty to make America better off tomorrow than it is today.

. Don’t disrupt the fragile economic recovery.

. Cut and invest to promote economic growth and keep American competitive.

. Protect the truly disadvantaged.

. Cut spending we cannot afford — no exceptions.

. Demand productivity and effectiveness from Washington.

. Reform and simplify the tax code.

. Don’t make promises we cannot keep.

. The problem is real and the solution will be painful.

.Keep America sound over the long run.

I urge the City Administration to reflect on these values an principles and translate them to our situation where we can make a difference and impact. I urge my community comrades and my unmet neighbors to substitute New Rochelle for Washington D.C. and get off your butts and protect your assets, community, families and all that you value.

When I pedanticly wax on over the need for a new paradigm required by the horror of September 11, this is what I largely use as a source document. If you come my my generation or are like one of the award recipients, you get the point before your elders seem to want to get it and act on it.

I repeat, Noam Bramson, put me to work and start by restoring and rebuilding the business base and it starts with Team Tocci on the Armory.

One thought on “Read it and Don’t Weep”

  1. New Rochelle, there is a need for so much more!
    Warren any time,

    When we went to Citizens To BE Heard Tuesday to speak, before we got to chambers we came upon an event sponsored by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts. They had an event called, The Art and Music of Christopher Brown. It was in what is called The City Hall 1st Floor Rotunda Gallery I believe. It was great to hear Chris sing and we enjoyed the art displays. We have a lot of very talented people living in New Rochelle.It would be great to see a permanent venue to celebrate the art and talents of the many people that live here. Many of our schools and colleges have wonderful programs, shows and events like Madame Butterfly up at the Mooney-Hancock Arts Center Ursuline School. Imagine a permanent Arts Center based at the Armory. Maybe a dinner theater, Art shows, Ballet, concerts and more. That is a vision to grow on. If we had a vibrant Armory that could bring people to the city to visit and shop, we could build off of that success and bring greater value to the Echo Bay area and have that vibrancy move into downtown.

    Yes warren you were right, it is the same diatribes about traffic, failures in governing, checkbook diplomacy, and favoritism in filling slots on committees and other community roles. Why, because people have not seen any change. It is the same diatribe but in different locations in New Rochelle usually south or east on completely different topics. Unfortunately even some of the same topics that were never addressed. No change in response. People become frustrated and angry.

    At Citizens To BE Heard Tuesday some spoke of the Comprehensive Plan (EnvisionR) Workshop which I attended on June 8th along with many others last week. Most of our group came away with positive impressions. EnvisioNR a committee that could work, but they face challenges that they do not control. It’s up to our City Council Members to step up. Some of the challenges go beyond the scope of the committee. If this group remains non-political and focused on point of the New Rochelle Comprehensive Plan, there could be some very useful sharing of information. Get people from the community with some of the needed expertise involved. Don’t keep going back to the same pool of people that are on other and the current committee. Branch out for once and make this process a true New Rochelle EnvisioNR Comprehensive Plan. As many on this site have stated, New Rochelle needs to do some homework so that the mistakes from the past don’t haunt us. Let this be the time New Rochelle breaks out of its shell and become the jewel it was believe it could become.

    “Common Sense for the Common Good”

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