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Rye Residents Sing Park Commission's Praises

RYE, N.Y. - Residents from Rye, Port Chester, and Rye Brook gathered at the Damiano Center in Rye on Saturday morning to give feedback to the Rye Town Park Commission at it's third community forum.

The commission consists of six community leaders including Mayor Doug French of Rye, Mayor Joan Feinstein of Rye Brook, Mayor Dennis Pilla of Port Chester, Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin, Rye City Commissioner Joe Sack, and Rye Town Commissioner Benedict Salanitro. Only French Carvin, and Feinstein were in attendance.

"This forum is a complete 180 from our last forum," French said in his closing remarks. French was referring to the influx of compliments and praise given to the commission for its efforts since the last community forum.

One of the compliments came from Rye resident Lee Sandford, trainer for Boot Camp by the Beach, when she thanked the commission for hearing her plea to open the beach at Rye Town Park.

"Mayor French deserves the credit for getting the beach open," Carvin said. "Ultimately Rye City has really taken the lead."

Rye City Council member Catherine Parker, who was in attendance as a spectator, supplemented Carvin's statement with praise for Sandford.

"Lee, I haven’t had a chance to publicly thank you to get our beach open. It was a pleasure to come to last meeting and speak with you," Parker said to Sandford regarding her individual effort. "Clearly the commission has been responsive and I think this a great step in the right direction."

Although the majority of the meeting was positive, there was still forum for discussion and improvement. Meeghan Corbett suggested that the commission look into building a cell phone tower in Rye Town Park to help offset the lost funds from the 2 percent tax cap.

"We’d have to look into it because the building is on a historical property,” Feinstein said. "But it is a way to generate additional non-property revenue, which is terrific."

French added that he believes that community relations within the park is something that the commission needs to address. "Some residents have been aggressively treated by park security, and I know it goes both ways but it is something we should look at," French said.

In his closing remarks Carvin took the time to deflect some of the praise back on to the people in attendance.

"If you didn’t take the time to come out, our parks wouldn't be what they are," Carvin said. "Our community works better due to the extraordinary participation from all of you."

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