On April 27th, Village of Mamaroneck Mayor, Norman Rosenblum held a press conference in front of the Village Court House to announce his candidacy for Westchester County Legislator representing District 7, which covers Mamaroneck, Rye, Larchmont, part of New Rochelle, part of Harrison. Rosenblum, who is a Republican will run against incumbent Legislator Catherine Parker, who is a Democrat. You can see the full press conference at our website, www.lmctv.org.
In other political news in the Village of Mamaroneck, Deputy Mayor Lou Santoro will not seek re-election to the Village Board in November. Santoro, who is Republican and a lifelong Mamaroneck resident, will finish his fourth term and eighth year on the Village Board. “It has been my pleasure and truly an honor to serve the Village of Mamaroneck and its residents for most of the past decade,” Santoro said. “The time has come for me to move on to the next chapter, but I am extremely proud of the work Mayor Rosenblum and I have done on behalf of the ‘Friendly Village’. It is my hope the Board continues to work together to better our local community and its citizens.” Santoro, who is also a former Village of Mamaroneck Fire Chief and employee of Westchester Joint Water Works, plans to enjoy his retirement spending time with his family.
Friends and family converged at Mamaroneck High School’s soccer field to honor Douglas Alvarez with religious hymns and white balloons. Alvarez was a 2016 graduate and star soccer player who was killed in a car accident on Saturday, April 22nd in upstate New York. As a freshman at SUNY-Cobleskill, the eighteen-year-old had planned to study business agriculture and nursing. He played soccer for the SUNY school and and for F-C Westchester when he was in high school. On Sunday April 23rd, the Mamaroneck School District expressed their condolences by tweeting “rest in peace”. He is survived by his mother, sister, brother and several other relatives. His sister, Diana Velasquez has created a Go Fund Me page to help cover expenses. The aim was to raise at least $7000. As of April 27th, the page has raised more than $26,000. A wake was held on Friday, April 28th at Coxe and Graziano Funeral Home in Mamaroneck and the funeral was held at Saint Vito’s Most Holy Trinity on Saturday, April 29th.
Village of Mamaroneck police officer, Jose Gomerez, who is of Dominican descent has filed a lawsuit to sue the Village of Mamaroneck Police Department and the Village Police Benevolent Association on the count of racial discrimination. He claims that the police department and PBA changed policy that only affected him to take away seniority benefits that he had been promised and entitled to have. The suit lists Police Chief, Christopher Leahy, PBA President Charles Deshensky as well as seven other members of the Village Police Department. Gomerez claims that they retaliated against him after he complained about the policy change. Two years ago, he found racist literature in his police mailbox. He filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but he was told that there was insufficient evidence to pursue an investigation. Chiel Leahy, declined to comment due to the pending litigation.
Next year’s Mamaroneck School budget is up for a tough battle. During the weekend of April 22-23, an opposition flyer appeared on theloop.com that urged residents to vote “no” on May 16th, citing the tax cap override, reduction in staffing as enrollment increases, a 6% increase in the school’s superintendent salary, the addition of a new assistant superintendent and the elimination of the APPLE program at Mamaroneck High School. Sources say the district’s action on APPLE is the motivation behind this moment. Shortly after the flyer was posted, Murray Avenue PTA President, Melanie Kraut wrote to The Loop to express her support for the budget and to dispute allegations of the superintendent’s salary increase. She explained that the 6% increase is for staffing in the superintendent’s office and a $21,000 retention was awarded to Dr. Shaps by the Mamaroneck Board of Education. Kraut also argued that the proposed budget is fiscally responsible and the redesign of the APPLE program will provide students with support. Community members have expressed their own opinions both for and against the budget. The vote is May 16th and will require a 60% vote in order to pass due to the tax cap being exceeded. If the vote does not pass, district spokesperson Debbie Manetta said that the board would then work on another budget that could remain the same or be slightly different. If the second budget fails, the district would then go to a contingency budget that could potentially require deeper cuts. The Local Live will follow this story as well as the budget vote.
On April 21st, New York State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins gave an impassioned speech to the Sound Shore League of Women Voters regarding the importance of community involvement in government. She underlined the importance of voting, warning that not voting will, “allow a backwards slide…” She said that the LWV is encompassed of powerful people who, with the right organization can make sure that the state does not repeal laws that benefit women and minorities. You can watch the full video at www.lmctv.org.
On Saturday, April 29th, the Village of Larchmont held an unused or expired drugs drop-off at the Larchmont Village Hall lobby which is located at 120 Larchmont Avenue. For more information on this event and possible upcoming events of the same type, please visit http://www.dea.gov.
The Planning Board of the Village of Mamaroneck met on April 26th for further discussion of Ralph’s Italian Ices. A team of five representatives debated for an hour and half regarding recent improvements made to the parking lot and along the side of the building which needs approval from the Board. Ralph’s repeatedly stated that changes were made in response to the many complaints about traffic flow, parking, trash, noise and safety. The Planning Board members were not convinced, causing some members to say that there’s just no way to solve the problem what they referred to as “circulation” meaning the safe flow of cars and customers around the property. Neighbors of Ralph’s also commented and showed video of how unsafe parking, street crossing and long lines of customers were last summer. They stated that this is an accident that is waiting to happen and they made made anguished pleas for the Board to restore the peace and quiet to the neighborhood. Also mentioned was the empty space that lies next door to Ralph’s. The landlord of the building spoke and said that he may rent it to a coffee shop, but would definitely not rent the space to a burger place. Finally, after a two-hour devotion to solely just Ralph’s, the Planning Board gave the ice cream store even more time to address the circulation and safety of customers…as well as a potential new eatery next door. There were many other items on the agenda. You can watch the full meeting on www.lmctv.org.
Our Pets of the Week are Bunny and Lady Bug. Both are three and a half month old puppies. Bunny is tan while Lady Bug is black. They love belly rubs, hugs and licking faces. They are best friends, but can be adopted separately. Currently, they are learning how to walk on a leash. For more information on either Bunny or Lady Bug and other pets, visit http://www.ny-petrescue.org.
If you like our show and want to help keep us on the air, please go to our website, www.lmctv.org and click on the DONATE button. We appreciate any donations.
The Local Live is always looking for new interns and volunteers, so send your emails to email@example.com. We love hearing from you.