On Thursday, I was at Columbus Elementary to observe Eat Healthy NY Day, alongside several School District and County officials, as well as the leadership of the Food Bank of Westchester. The kids were great! Here they are showing off bushels of fresh fruit.
New Rochelle’s public safety record in 2014 was the best in 54 years. You read that right. According to final statistics just compiled, there were 1,429 Part I crimes committed during the past year. The last time New Rochelle recorded fewer crimes was 1961.
New Rochelle’s public safety record also compares favorably with other communities across the country, putting us in the top 10% for safety among cities of similar population.
The scale of the drop in crime is perhaps best illustrated in the burglary statistics. Last year, there were 147 burglaries in New Rochelle. Twenty years ago, there were 476. Thirty years ago, there were 713!
There’s no bad news here, but it is important to add a few caveats.
First, some of the year-to-year fluctuation is statistical noise, and it would not be surprising for the stats to bounce up or down a little bit in 2015 simply through random fluctuation. So while it is nice to highlight a record performance like 2014, it’s probably more useful to focus on longer term trends, which have shown consistently low crime levels for about a decade now.
Second, even one crime is one too many. The fact that burglaries are down about 80% in the last thirty years is not much comfort to the 147 households that were burglarized last year. So we will continue working to prevent crime from occurring and to respond effectively to crime when it does occur.
Third, like all cities, New Rochelle must also continue working to strengthen the bonds between our Police force and our community. To that end, the City has established a new task force with exactly this purpose, and we are looking forward to constructive recommendations by the end of this year.
Big thanks to the men and women of the NRPD for their impressive accomplishment and their dedicated service.
I am delighted once again to offer summer internships to qualified college students (or students graduating from high school this year and entering college in the fall.)
For the right young person, it’s a great opportunity to learn about government, have daily interaction with decision-makers, and apply talents and skills to civic goals.
There is much more information in this flyer.
To apply, please send a cover letter, resume and one personal reference letter to email@example.com.
The annual State of the City Address has been rescheduled yet again – this time to Tuesday, March 24th. (The speech’s original date was snowed-out, and the first rescheduled date conflicted with other community events.)
I hope this calendar hopping is not too inconvenient and that all who planned on attending will still be able to join us. Prior reservations will be honored on the 24th.
If you haven’t reserved a spot and would like to come, then please be in touch with the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event, at 914-632-5700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The speech starts at about 7:30pm and is free. The Chamber also sponsors an optional dinner and cocktail hour just before the speech for $50. Everything takes place at the Davenport Club on Davenport Avenue in New Rochelle.
With New Rochelle on the cusp of the most significant economic development opportunity in its history, this year’s State of the City Address is especially important. I hope to see you on the 24th and will welcome your feedback on my comments.
Last night, the City Council unanimously authorized a $200,000 expenditure for urgently-needed pothole repair. The funding will enable the City to retain contractors to supplement our very small in-house staff.
The contractors should be able to get working in early to mid-April (it takes a little time to receive and accept bids and then mobilize field crews,) but at least help is on the way. In the meantime, the City will attempt to address the worst locations with our own workers.
Next week, the Council is likely to take an even more significant step by issuing bonds for road resurfacing. The amount of the bond is still being determined, but in rough terms, we will double our typical paving budget. Usually, the City’s road work is covered entirely by a State grant, but the amount of that grant is simply insufficient to maintain a road network as extensive as New Rochelle’s, which means we fall behind just a little bit more each year. This supplementary funding will enable us to play catch-up and provide a longer-term fix for several major roads.
New Rochelle’s City government is very frugal. We watch every penny and are careful about issuing debt, but this strikes me as a necessary and appropriate expenditure that will stabilize vital physical assets, not to mention improve our safety and quality of life.
Democrats and Republicans may be having some difficulty getting along in Washington, but we’re setting a better example here in New Rochelle, especially when it comes to important causes like saving our local YMCA.
On March 26th, all the elected officials from our city — at all levels of government, and from all parties — are co-hosting a special event to raise funds to repair the YMCA’s pool.
The Y serves hundreds of families in our community and region, and is a vital part of the fabric of New Rochelle. Without a pool, however, it is doubtful that the Y can survive. So please join us on March 26th.