Rye Playland: New SPI Letter 'Astonishing,' Says Kaplowitz

Whoooo's on first? Who, who, who,who...
Whoooo's on first? Who, who, who,who...

(Elizabeth Ganga at The Journal News has The Scoop)


“Sustainable Playland seeks clearer answers from county”

April 15 2014 – 4:12 PM EDT

“After suspending its participation in the county's review of Playland Park's future, the nonprofit chosen to run the park for Westchester County has laid new conditions on returning to the process, making it decidedly less likely that its vision for the park will move forward.

Sustainable Playland sent a letter to County Executive Rob Astorino on April 9 asking for a clearer definition of what the county wants to see at Playland and saying it will not come back to the table until county officials come to consensus on what they want at the park.

"We're looking to not spend time and money pursing concepts that are not acceptable to the county," said Geoffrey Thompson, a spokesman for Sustainable.

Legislative leaders took the letter as an announcement by Sustainable that it was withdrawing completely from the county's review. Board Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, D-Somers, said it was "astonishing," in a statement.

"The County Executive chose SPI in the first place because of SPI's vision for Playland," he said. "The problem is not SPI's or the County's vision, the problem is SPI's inability or unwillingness to provide answers to the critical parking/traffic, environmental and financial concerns."

But Thompson said the letter simply asks for more direction so Sustainable can avoid going down dead ends. The first step is to set an attendance goal, the letter says. Plans for parking, a business model and a capital plan will follow. The county must also decide if it wants the controversial field house proposed for the parking lot.

Regardless of what happens with Sustainable's plans, the park will open May 10.

The request for a clear direction is complicated by the different perspectives within the Board of Legislators and between the board and Astorino.

Astorino chose Sustainable Playland to take over the management of the park, invest in the historic buildings, rides and public plazas and bring in new elements to make it a stronger draw. But the Board of Legislators has yet to approve Sustainable's plans. The board had been hoping to vote by May before the review was suspended April 1 because of questions over Rye's role in the review process.”

(Reach author Elizabeth Ganga at eganga@lohud.com or @eganga on Twitter)




Deirdre Curran April 17, 2014 at 11:48 AM
BOL PRESS RELEASE: http://westchesterlegislators.com/newsroom/2462-sustainable-playland-withdraws-from-review-process-legislators-exercise-due-diligence-sustainable-playland-backs-out.html
Deirdre Curran April 17, 2014 at 11:49 AM
Article that includes another BOL press release from the Democratic Caucus: http://whiteplainscnr.com/2014/04/16/board-of-legislators-caucus-stops-just-short-of-telling-sustainable-playland-come-back-to-the-playland-reviews-or-else/
Rye Reader April 18, 2014 at 09:36 AM
Champagne chilling indeed! But I won't pop the cork until SPI's demise is official.
Deirdre Curran April 19, 2014 at 09:58 AM
Right, Rye Reader. I'm with you. Waiting for the official Death Notice.
Deirdre Curran April 19, 2014 at 10:00 AM
See this News12 Link for an interview with Rye Mayor Joe Sack - as he gets it right and talks good old plain Common Sense. Joe is featured in approx. the last third of the clip: ==========YAY FOR RYE MAYOR JOE SACK!! He's the last half of this interview and he's talking common sense! http://westchester.news12.com/multimedia/interviews-on-future-of-rye-playland-1.7730120


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