"Sustainable Playland" a flawed plan for Westchester and Rye


    At a debate between County Legislator candidates Tom Murphy (Mamaroneck) and Catherine Parker (Rye), two sharply different views of the future of Playland were presented.

    County Executive Rob Astorino has selected a Rye-based not-for-profit corporation “Sustainable Playland” as the new operator of the historic park and earlier this month inked an agreement with it to turn over management this fall. The original plan called for reducing the number of amusement park features and parking lots, expanding fields and other recreational facilities.

    Parker, a Rye City Councilwoman, supported the plan and explained that she had been the liaison between the City Council and the Playland Strategic Planning Group. She characterized Playland as a “nice to have” not a “must have” in the County and said it had not been “sustainable.”

    Her comments drew a sharp response from Murphy who called the plan an oxymoron as it is neither “sustainable” nor would it continue to be “Playland.” He explained that the Astorino administration had not properly vetted the plan and conducted the necessary studies. Noam Bramson, the Democratic candidate for County Executive has called upon the Astorino administration to conduct an expert analysis of the financial and operational assumptions in the Playland proposals.

    Murphy expressed surprise that Ms. Parker had voted to endorse the plan, together with the Republicans on the Rye City Council, before it was vetted and before “we knew what the implications are.”

    Murphy also pointed out that Ms. Parker seemed to be repeating the “Republican argument” that Playland is not financially self sustaining. According to Murphy, unlike other County Parks and recreational facilities, certain capital costs are included in the financial analysis that leads to the conclusion that it is losing money.


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