Mount Kisco Village Board Believe Code Enforcement is Overbearing

On March 10, after a phone call from a resident complaining about a neighboring property, I published a picture of a car on Lawrence Street parked on a property’s lawn. When I returned over the weekend to see if the car was moved, the car was not moved. Instead, I noticed a second car parked on a neighboring lawn (see picture below). That is, however, what happens. When there is no enforcement, infractions increase.

On the other hand, according to the minutes of the Village Board’s February 22 meeting (page 4), Deputy Mayor Griffin, Jr. noted he has received numerous complaints about some of the tactics of our Code Enforcement people. He complained that a summons is issued to certain homeowners instead of confronting the home owner or the person responsible. First, the Village of Mount Kisco does not have “Code Enforcement people,” it has one part-time Code Enforcement Officer. If Deputy Mayor Griffin has an issue, perhaps he should confront the person instead of issuing a broad proclamation. Second, in my ten years as a Trustee, the only complaints I heard about overzealous code enforcement was from Village Board members who either received summonses or had their friends receive summonses. Lastly, many properties have absentee landlords who cannot be easily located.

Trustee Morreale stated that when he and Trustee Farber were campaigning, the feeling among some of the residents is of a lack of professionalism in Code Enforcement. He continued “I think if people are concerned about this we should take a position and take a look at it and see if it goes beyond just giving summonses and not dealing with people.” He added that Code Enforcement should “not be punitive.”

Trustee Morreale must not have talked to residents around Spring Street who are crying for code enforcement from landlords who are taking advantage of Mount Kisco and less fortunate residents by creating hotels out of their properties and creating fire hazards. Trustee Morreale must not have spoken with residents around Grove Street and Leonard Street who are begging for code enforcement. Maybe he should speak to a few of Mount Kisco’s first responders who have been injured responding to fires caused by unsafe conditions. The next time a first responder is injured in a fire caused by a negligent property owner, Trustee Morreale should go to the hospital and ease the injured party’s pain by telling them “don’t worry, the Village of Mount Kisco acted extremely professional to the landlord that caused the situation leading to your injuries.”

There are many code violations that are causing unsafe conditions in Mount Kisco. If there are a few isolated incidents where the “Code Enforcement people” were unprofessional, speak with them. To, however, make a public proclamation that may result in a chilling effect on proper code enforcement is dangerous for the residents of Mount Kisco.

Posted in News, Opinion | 3 Comments

Quotation of the Week

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. – Irish Author Samuel Beckett

Posted in Quotation of the Week | Leave a comment

Pictures from Mount Kisco’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The pictures below are from today’s Mount Kisco’s St. Patrick’s Day. George Griffin (upper left) served as the parade’s grand marshall.

Posted in News, Pictures | Leave a comment

Photo of the Week

This picture, titled “NO GAME TODAY“, is from Mount Kisco Daily Photo. The picture is one of the baseball fields at Leonard Park currently under water. Soon, however, these fields will be able to host Little League games soon.

Posted in Mount Kisco Daily Photo | Leave a comment

Make the Ask, Mr. President

Years ago, I recommended to an elected official I was advising during the jittery heights of New York City’s crime wave that he ask his constituents to take part in a citizen anti-crime initiative being run out of local police precincts.

He was aghast.

Elected officials provide things to their constituents, he instructed, they don’t ask of them.

This was a famously talented local politician, and an enormously learned man, but I found I couldn’t disagree with him more on the point. It made me question my judgment at the time, but 20-some-odd years later I hold the exact same belief, only more so.

Here was/is my reasoning: People follow leaders. Leaders ask things of them. Define the cause and solution – and commandingly make the ask – and you will lead the movement. At the end of the day, isn’t that what every politician dreams of?

Benjamin Franklin advised that the best way to build friendships is to borrow something – in Franklin’s case a book – and then return it promptly. That little sacrifice – that tiny outlay by the lender – establishes trust , he noted, and, over time, long-term bonds.

President Kennedy – and his speechwriter Ted Sorenson – understood that. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” is remembered for a reason. It is ennobling. It tapped into something inherent in man that wants to sacrifice to serve a greater good.

President Obama has several “ask” opportunities that I think would well serve him:

1.Ask the American public to voluntarily reduce gas and electricity consumption to lower demand – and prices at the pump (tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a terrible and short-sighted idea.);

2.Ask young and middle-age Americans to begin discussing postponing retirement plans by a year or two to save the Social Security system;

3.Ask American businesses – large and small – to begin identifying job opportunities for returning veterans, and while he’s at it…

4.Ask the pot-smoking American public to voluntarily lay off the stuff –at least for a while – to help our Mexican neighbors stabilize their country.

These might not top the President’s list of asks, but you get the idea.

The thing I remember fondly of President Carter – perhaps the only thing – was his leadership in asking Americans to sacrifice during the 1970’s energy crisis. His simple ask: turn out the lights when leaving a room. I do it to this day – even though my wife says I don’t – because it still makes me feel just a little patriotic.

President Obama has a leadership crisis because he is not leading. That’s not from lack of opportunity.

Bill O’Reilly is a Mount Kisco resident who writes the blog The BlackberryAlarmClock.com

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment

Mount Kisco Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday at 2:00

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Frank H. Fox Division 16, will hold their Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 12, 2011. The parade will line up on Moore Street and start at 2:00 p.m. The parade will head north on Main Street before making a “U” turn and heading south on South Moger Avenue. George Griffin will be the Grand Marshall of the parade.

Honored as Hibernian of the Year will be Anne Cullinane. Anne is an outstanding volunteer for many worthwhile causes in both Mount Kisco and for other organizations, such as the Rosary Hill Nursing Home. The annual friend of the Hibernian is Lou Roberti and Armand Basi of Mount Kisco Chevrolet, generous supporters of the St. Patrick’s Day parade

In connection with the parade, there will be a mass held on Saturday, March 12 prior to the parade at St. Francis of Assisi Church at 11:30 a.m.

Posted in Events, News | Leave a comment

Troll, Reveal Thyself: Why we need to get rid of anonymous comments.

Reprinted from Slate By Farhad Manjoo

Once or twice a week, I get a letter taking me to task for Slate’s commenting policy. The reader wants to tell me that I suck, but he doesn’t want to log in to Slate’s comment system using his credentials for Facebook, Google, Yahoo, or Twitter. Obviously this requirement doesn’t bother everyone; hundreds of people happily sign in every week to tell me I suck. Yet I imagine that there are lots more people who are itching to chime in but who are put out by the login process.

. . .

I can’t speak for my bosses, who might feel differently than I do. But as a writer, my answer is no—I don’t want anonymous commenters. Everyone who works online knows that there’s a direct correlation between the hurdles a site puts up in front of potential commenters and the number and quality of the comments it receives. The harder a site makes it for someone to post a comment, the fewer comments it gets, and those comments are generally better.

I think Slate’s commenting requirements—and those of many other sites—aren’t stringent enough. Slate lets people log in with accounts from Google and Yahoo, which are essentially anonymous; if you want to be a jerk in Slate’s comments, create a Google account and knock yourself out. If I ruled the Web, I’d change this. I’d make all commenters log in with Facebook or some equivalent third-party site, meaning they’d have to reveal their real names to say something in a public forum. . . .

Web sites should move toward requiring people to reveal their real names when engaging in all online behavior that’s understood to be public—when you’re posting a restaurant review or when you’re voting up a story on Reddit, say. In almost all cases, the Web would be much better off if everyone told the world who they really are.

Posted in Opinion | Leave a comment

Neighborhood Pictures

After a phone call from a resident complaining about a neighboring property, I took this picture of this car on Lawrence Strret parked next to the road facing traffic (not illegal because it is not on the road) and without license plates (property owners are allowed one unregistered vehicle). The vehicle, however, is not parked in a driveway and may be parked in the Village’s right of way. Hopefully, the car will be moved soon.

Posted in News, Opinion | Leave a comment

Matt Karle Makes State Finals in Two Swimming Events

Matt Karle made it to the final round of the New York State Swimming and Diving Championships for two events, the 200 Yard Individual Medley and the 100 Yard Breast Stroke. The only swimmers that can make the finals are the best eight swimmers in New York State in each event. Very few swimmers are able to make it to the State Championships much less make the finals in two events. Matt finished in eighth place in the State for the 200 Yard IM and seventh in the 100 Breast Stroke. Congratulations to Matt Karle on his swimming and representing Fox Lane High School.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Pictures of Lake Leonard (Park)

If you look at old maps of Mount Kisco, the area now known as Leonard Park used to be known as Lake Leonard. When we have heavy rains, especially when coupled with melting snow, the land tries to revert back into Lake Leonard. The pictures below by Art Nelson capture the recent flooding in Leonard Park.

Hopefully, the bridge that is under water is not lost. It is very expensive and time consuming to replace bridges in Mount Kisco.

Posted in News | Leave a comment