NEWRO RUMOR MILL: 2014 Promises Lots of Changes in New Rochelle

Written By: Robert Cox

Noam Bramson’s crushing defeat in the race for Westchester County Executive, effectively ending Bramson’s political career (at least for now) has thrown New Rochelle Democrats into disarray. There are a lot of rumors flying around that could bring significant changes to New Rochelle.

1. At the top of the list is the rumor that Noam Bramson will resign as Mayor before the end of 2014. Word is that Noam’s family wants him out of elected office. Working as a lobbyist or a college professor are said to be on the table.

2. Next up is the rumor that Barry Fertel will leave City Council. Word is that Barry is first in line to be appointed to the newly created “fourth judge” position in the New Rochelle City Court. Also reported to be vying for the position are school board president David Lacher, Library Trustee Greg Varian and Noam’s Campaign Treasurer Matt Costa, among others. No word yet on who would be appointed to replace Barry should he be appointed.

3. It is rumored that Arnie Klugman may be replaced as Democratic Party Chairman. Mitchell Tarnapol has long coveted the position although Noam Bramson is said to have his own person in mind. I tend to doubt this one as Klugman has long had the support of County Clerk Tim Idoni, who is the highest ranking New Rochelle Democrat in the County.

UPDATE: Mitchell called to laugh off this particular rumor by issuing a Shermanesque statement, denying any interest in becoming Chairman of the local democratic party. Mitchell’s statement was a bit more in the vein of Lyndon Johnson’s version: “I do not seek, and will not accept, a leadership position in the New Rochelle Democratic Party”.

4. It has long been rumored that Jared Rice would be Bramson’s choice to fill any unexpired portion of Noam’s current term. Every member of City Council that is not Barry or Noam is thinking about themselves as the next elected Mayor of New Rochelle.

5. Police Commissioner Carroll is said to be preparing to step down. His house has been on sale since last Spring. Word is that Carroll, Murphy and Strome will take another whack at padding pensions after their previous effort to do so by creating civilian Assistant Police Commissioner positions for the current police captains (thus increasing salaries and moving the current captains into the far more lucrative civilian pension system with significantly higher annual payouts). This time Carroll will be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Murphy leaving his spot open for Captain Joseph Schaller who would stay on long enough to qualify for a civilian pension at which point Captain Kealy would become Deputy Police Commissioner.

6. Rumors concerning two other department heads, have Finance Commissioner Howard Ratner and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bill Zimmerman gone by the end of 2014.

7. It is not a rumor but a fact that Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak has gone on sick leave for the rest of the year and a new full-time replacement will be hired and in place by July 1st. Word is the board has narrowed the choices down to three candidates with Board President Lacher supporting one candidate and the rest of the board opposed to Lacher’s choice. In the meantime, Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff is holding down the fort.

Who can say which of these rumors will pan out but it appears quite possible that New Rochelle will have new faces filling a number of major positions by this time next year — new Mayor, new Police Commissioner, new Schools Superintendent, new Parks Commissioner, new Finance Commissioner, New Council Member for District 5, a new City Court Judge and possibly more. When they say “elections have consequences” they were not kidding!

To be continued…

2 thoughts on “NEWRO RUMOR MILL: 2014 Promises Lots of Changes in New Rochelle”

  1. Disarray or the dysfunctional step child, our government has bee

    Disarray or the dysfunctional step child, our government has been like this for some time!

    I don’t know what you are talking about, could bring significant changes to New Rochelle? Has thrown New Rochelle Democrats into disarray, It is not just the Democrats. What New Rochelle has seen as to the state of New Rochelle City Hall over the last several years has every hint of already being in much disarray. But you have to admit there is a problem before you fix it and no one has every accepted the fact that things were not right in New Rochelle for a very long time. Let’s see what the next State of the City Address has to offer for 2014.

    With that said, We have already seen several high level positions turnover involving some very good employees and also some not so good employees here in New Rochelle. We will surely miss the good employees that left and to the others that resigned in disgrace of corruption, don’t let the jail cell door hit you on the ass. For those that don’t want to give The City of New Rochelle 100%, than it may be time to move on.

    As I said, we have lost some good employees; one of the good ones that got away was Corporate Council Kathleen Gill. Kathleen Gill’s announcement if there was one, was lost in the uproar about Forest City Ratner Echo Bay vote. I am sure that not many people know that New Rochelle just recently lost the services of The City of New Rochelle’s Corporate Council Kathleen Gill this month as she moved on to another position with Iona College. I have to say, during all of my dealings with Kathleen Gill, she was always very professional and pleasant. I wish her well in her new position at Iona College. Kathleen Gill was hired in 1995 as the Assistant Corporation Counsel, 1997 was appointed Deputy Corporation Counsel and was appointed Corporation Counsel in November 2009. Good Luck Kathleen!

    Another valuable employee we lost was back in September of 2012 when New Rochelle Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth had all of a sudden resigned to run The Capitol Region Development Authority in Connecticut.

    New Rochelle Development Commissioner Resigns
    By Robert Cox on Fri, 09/21/2012

    New Rochelle Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth has resigned, according to sources inside City Hall.

    This new opportunity in Connecticut just happened to come up right as we saw Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth become more and more frustrated while dealing with Mayor Bramson, The City Council and all the craziness of what was taking place at the time with regard to The New Rochelle Armory and other things. It seemed to me that he had finally had enough of the flawed policies and practices used in New Rochelle that we all have spoken about one time or another when development was involved. You could see the frustration in his face during the last meeting when The Mayor and The City Council voted to approve the Good Profit Groups Proposal for the development rights for The New Rochelle Armory. Another prior blunder for New Rochelle because as we all know, Good Profit Group eventually failed. A new RFI was done for the area under the current Development Commissioner Luiz C. Aragon who started February 11, 2013. Let’s see where that gets us under the current setting at City Hall.

    Like Corporate Council Kathleen Gill, Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth was highly regarded in New Rochelle by those that worked with him and many of the local residents as well. To me he always carried himself as very professional and I am sure that had a lot to do with why he left.

    It is not just the fact that we stuck to the Forest City Ratner people to long that has delayed true growth and change, it is the fact that so much corruption and lies were not seen or even looked for by any honest member of City Staff or The City Council for that matter. I think thanks have to go to Talk of the Sound, many individual citizens that didn’t give up and the coming together of many parts of New Rochelle like United Citizens for a Better New Rochelle. We now have the facts and support needed to clean out the closets and work towards a much cleaner environment at City Hall for the future of New Rochelle.

    The City New Rochelle has lost or fired several other employees for one reason or another over the last few years. Here is a sampling of a few employees that we lost that were not so professional and not so good for New Rochelle:

    1a) Former DPW Commissioner Jeffrey Coleman resigned unexpectedly in July 2010; just days after investigators from the DA’s office visited the New Rochelle DPW City Yard at 224 East Main Street.

    1b) Jeffrey Coleman, New Rochelle DPW Commissioner Resigns, Leaving Effective August 31st
    By Robert Cox on Thu, 07/22/2010

    2a) Westchester County District Attorney Focuses Entirely on Fevang; New Rochelle Plans to Fire DPW Fleet Manager Upon Indictment
    By Robert Cox on Sun, 06/19/2011

    2b) Former New Rochelle DPW Fleet Manager Richard Fevang Pleads Guilty, Sentencing in January
    By Robert Cox on Wed, 09/28/2011

    2c) Former New Rochelle DPW Fleet Manager Sentenced to 5 Years’ Probation
    By Robert Cox on Wed, 01/11/2012

    3a) As Westchester County District Attorney Indictments Loom, New Rochelle Fires Deputy DPW Commissioner Joseph Cotroneo – UPDATED
    By Robert Cox on Fri, 06/17/2011

    The City of New Rochelle today fired Deputy DPW Deputy Commissioner – Operations Joseph Cotroneo

    3b) As Westchester County District Attorney Indictments Loom, New Rochelle Fires Deputy DPW Commissioner Joseph Cotroneo – UPDATED
    By Robert Cox on Fri, 06/17/2011

    4) Tino D’Abruzzo, a building inspector for the City of New Rochelle Unexpectedly Resigns in July 2011.

    New Rochelle Building Inspector “Unexpectedly Resigns” Following Allegations of Extortion, Soliciting Bribes by Robert Cox on Fri, 07/15/2011

    5a) How Municipal Corruption Works in New Rochelle: A Case Study from the New Rochelle Board of Education’s Painter-Working Foreman Position
    By Robert Cox on Tue, 06/28/2011

    5b) How Municipal Corruption Works in New Rochelle: A Case Study from the New Rochelle Board of Education’s Painter-Working Foreman
    By Robert Cox on Mon, 08/15/2011

    5c) How Municipal Corruption Works in New Rochelle: A Case Study from the New Rochelle Board of Education’s Painter-Working Foreman Part III
    By Robert Cox on Thu, 08/25/2011

    I won’t even attempt to get any further into the employees from The New Rochelle School District that lost their jobs due to arrests or other improprieties as that list is too long and continues to grow at an alarming rate. If you are looking for something to read on a snowy day go to the section at Talk of the Sound called “Pigs at the Trough”, Articles about government waste and unnecessary or questionable spending. All of this content is not funny. It speaks to the sad state The City of New Rochelle is in.

    I am hoping that the changes we saw on The New Rochelle City Council lately will begin to correct the course of business for New Rochelle and signal a new beginning not only for The New Rochelle Water Front but for all of New Rochelle. With the approaching New Year comes a chance for a new direction towards a better brighter future for all of New Rochelle. If everyone shows as much interest and fortitude as they did with Forest City Echo Bay there is nothing left to do but change and change we must New Rochelle.

  2. It makes a lot of sense that
    It makes a lot of sense that Bramson would step down. In fact, he would probably make a very good college professor and would probably earn a better living. I wish him luck if in fact he chooses that route.

    As far as Barry Fertel is concerned, all I can say is good ridden. As long as I don’t have to appear before him in court, he has my blessings.

    Jared Rice as mayor? Perhaps as an interim mayor but he could easily be defeated by Al Tarantino. I just don’t believe Jared Rice has the backbone to lead the city.

    Now for the big question, who will replace Domenic Procopio? The Civil Service Commission is long in need of an overhaul and someone with the capability to initiate positive changes to the Commission needs to be in charge. Procopio is just taking up space. I say replace him with Reverend Leak or Margaret Chadwick.

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