Catherine Parker Is Sworn In As County Legislator

Some of you might remember seeing Catherine Parker at the Rye City Council Meetings, now she is officially a part of the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

Catherine Parker/Photo courtesy of Westchester County Board of Legislators/Aviva Meyer
Catherine Parker/Photo courtesy of Westchester County Board of Legislators/Aviva Meyer

Catherine Parker, a former Rye City Councilwoman was sworn in last night as a member of the County Board of Legislators. She will be representing the county’s 7th Legislative District, which includes the Town of Mamaroneck, Village of Larchmont and a portion of the City of Rye. Parker’s predecessor was Judy Meyers who has retired.


“I thank all of the residents of the Seventh District for bestowing me with the privilege to serve them,” said Parker. “My experience in public life has taught me that party politics sometimes unnecessarily distracts us from our common purpose. We are at our better when we work together; and we are at our best when we do so with respect for one another.”


Parker added, “The challenges ahead are significant, and it’s important that we make real progress on a number of important issues, like lessening the tax burden on residents and business owners, protecting our environment and making proper investments in infrastructure improvements, including flood mitigation. I’m excited about working with all of my colleagues on the Board of Legislators in order to strengthen our communities for the future.”


Parker was instrumental in re-establishing the Rye Chamber of Commerce in 1998 and served as its president. In 2003, Parker worked to reinvent a local chapter of the League of Women Voters, and served as the group’s president for four years. Art is significant, to Parker, who also serves on the advisory board for the Rye Arts Center.

Parker resides in Rye with her husband David Walker and two children, Julia and Aidan. Parker has also owned and operated a travel store in downtown Rye, for over 15 years, which sells clothing and luggage. 

Parker’s ties to the Rye community includes: being a member of the Rye Presbyterian Church, Rye Lions Club, and Rye Middle School Parent's Teachers Association.

Anne McCarthy January 07, 2014 at 02:58 PM
Hope Catherine listens to her own advice and treats people with respect in her new position. She certainly did not treat people with respect as a Rye council person (Bob Shubert & Andrew Dapolite, among MANY others). Her recent smug assertion to Deirdre Curran that she had only received positive emails about SPI was a classic Catherine performance (a sickening blend of arrogance & ignorance). If anyone has the final votes by city for her squeaker victory, would they please share them or direct me to them? Good riddance.
Bob Zahm January 07, 2014 at 03:06 PM
Congratulations, Catherine.
HEALtheHARBOR.com January 07, 2014 at 08:31 PM
“protecting our environment” Really Catherine??? How about: Protecting Polluters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njx5JLOgxMA
Deirdre Curran January 08, 2014 at 08:27 AM
Actually Anne, while Catherine Parker *has* shamelessly publicly continued the pro-SPI line of "overwhelming public support" even while fully knowing there were many people in Rye opposed to it (and I know she knew about them, because back in Feb. when I first started trying to figure out what was going on, she gave me several names and phone numbers of local residents who had contacted her expressing displeasure and concern about the SPI plan and suggested I should reach out to them for help in fighting it - I believe your name was one of them, along with Mack Cunningham and a couple of other people), I'm pretty sure the episode you're referencing here came at the 10/23/13 City Council Meeting. After they all basically had a collective coronary at the number of people in the room and Doug French tried to suddenly take the tactic that of COURSE the City leaders were there to protect the interests of Rye residents first and foremost, Catherine Parker pandered to the SPI group again by spending over eight minutes reading their "fact sheet" like an automaton. If they'd wanted their fact sheet read to the public they could have -and should have - been there to do it themselves. But clearly, they had her in their pocket pre-election and she wasn't going to do anything to remain neutral, she was going to suck up to them all she could. Shortly after she was done with that exercise in shamelessly selling out, around minute marker 14:25 she makes the comment about how over the previous two days they'd heard from approx. 70 people via email and all of them supported SPI. While Mack Cunningham held in his hand paper petitions with over 200 signatures at that point opposing the Field Zone. Just want to be fair. it *was* indeed smug of her, and completely inappropriate for her to say that and at no time mention that she has been contacted in the past by many local residents opposed to this, but it wasn't directly aimed at me that night, it was aimed at the whole room as she spoke on behalf of SPI like a cheerleader rather than telling them to get themselves in there and speak for themselves. Copy and paste this link to view it: Agenda Item 18, part 1, minute marker 14:25-------------http://ryeny.swagit.com/play/10232013-1022
Deirdre Curran January 08, 2014 at 09:08 AM
It's quite an agenda for tonight's first City Council Meeting under new Mayor Joe Sack. DIFFERENT START TIME!! 7:30 pm instead of 8pm. (let's hope that's permanent). After the State of the City address there is LOTS on the agenda, including DESIGNATION OF AN OFFICIAL CITY NEWSPAPER! Which one will it be???? Also, appointments to the Playland Advisory Committee, the Planning Commission among others, and of course, we get to find out who the two new "mystery" Council Members will be. Should be an interesting evening. Here's the Agenda ------------------------http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/rye/published_documents/City%20Council/Agenda/2014/Agenda%2001-08-14.pdf
Charmian Neary January 08, 2014 at 10:55 AM
Deirdre and Bob and Anne know that I've been asking questions about the financials of SPI for some time. I spoke to Catherine in person on more than one occasion, by telephone and by email, and I was clear in my opposition. I find it hard to believe Catherine would actually say publicly that she's only heard positive remarks about SPI. That would be a measurably false statement. Of course I found it hard to believe that Catherine had signed the Petition nominating Peter Jovanovich for Mayor that Doug French was carrying, but sure enough she had. I saw her signature front and center myself. So anything is possible. Regardless, even the most popular public initiatives, which SPI is not, have opposition, so to characterize the response as positive without acknowledging the opposition by respected community members like Mack Cunningham, is an amateurish act of hubris. I'm hoping to see Joe Sack name people to the council more representative of the range of opinions in Rye and maybe even possibly more honest about their intentions.
tedc January 08, 2014 at 11:55 AM
To Charmian I can only add: Amen. Separately, I've been researching when specifically the main Playland Parking lot was expanded into that area down around the lake. By my recollection it was done in the mid 1960's as a response to repeated traffic overflow incidents. The Rye neighborhood signs likely went up concurrently with that expansion. The point is a "successful" Playland requires more parking not less. Doing a so called 'scientific traffic study' during 4 years here when the park is being unsuccessfully managed with attendance down is not relevant. And that doesn't serve Rye or the county. Anyone recall this mid-60's expansion of the main lot?
Jim Amico January 08, 2014 at 01:22 PM
"smug", "inappropriate".....if I were to use words of insult directed at any single individual I would not use any that define myself...JUST SAYN!!! Just for kicks and giggles lets pretend CAI were to get the nod on Playland & they are a success, what, this would not cause the same traffic problems that everyone claims will occur from SPI's plan??? Have any of you ever been to Great Adventure on the weekends when cars line up 10fold to get in??? Why, for all these years has it been ok on July 4th for cars to line up on PLAYLAND PRKWY from Playland all the way back to 95??? Where were/are all the concerns for traffic on this??? ALL THIS YADA YADA YADA S*** CRACKS ME UP!!!
French Toast January 08, 2014 at 01:46 PM
Jim, the 90,000 sq field house in the middle of the current parking lot undoubtedly creates problems that are not comparable to the 4th of July. By the way, I'm sure Playland will continue their fireworks show even after the field house is built. What's your solution to the parking problem? You're rationale right now is "well there's parking problems now, so who cares if there are parking problems in the future"
Deirdre Curran January 08, 2014 at 07:19 PM
FT - it's ninety-FIVE thousand square feet. That's a whole 'nother 5,000 sq. foot house! And those 95,000 sq. feet don't include the space that the two fields will take up from the lot, that's just the building itself. I cannot imagine that CAI will agree to a business deal where they are expected to run a successful amusement park, beach and pool area, with other added amenities and no where to park patrons' cars. If they pull out of the deal because of the drastically reduced parking, SPI is back at square one looking for an operator for the Amusement park. And then...oh look, more delays while they ask to buy themselves more time to figure out how to make their impossible plan work. It can't work as a business model. Anyone with a modicum of God given common sense can see that once they actually look at it. More Park More Play? More like "More Patrons, Less Parking". What successful business person in their right mind would think that was a good deal to get themselves involved in? Aim to bring in more business to an area that when busy already has inadequate parking and no where to physically expand to, and then reduce the current parking by close to 50%. That's some recipe for success.
French Toast January 08, 2014 at 09:40 PM
DC- Don't let Jim get to you. Sustainable Playland got him early and now in his mind he's in too far to turn back. He has pigeon-holed himself into supporting SPI at all costs (Sometimes, based on his posts, I get the feeling he doesn't even know what he's arguing). Thanks for always bringing facts to the forefront. All Jim does is say "I BRING NOTHING BUT FACTS!!!!!!" and I have yet to read one.
tedc January 10, 2014 at 10:42 AM
Well said Jimmy – the community needs the facts. And its gonna get the facts. And remember, “smelly” is a troll for a reason – he can play agent provocateur and put forth nonsense all day long. That’s his shtick and it’s OK so long as he doesn’t defame anyone either living or dead. The facts on Rye’s former Forest Avenue Swamp are as you say Jimmy. The stolen city documents, the secret illegal underground water diversion system photographs, the scientific confirmations that a neighbor diverted and destroyed an entire wetland ecosystem just to secretly save money, the testimony under oath by her own engineer that he knew what he was doing was illegal, and on and on. Smelly does the truth a favor when he brings up the matter. He practices defamation (deliberately publically spreading falsehoods he cannot support with evidence) when he castigates Bob Schubert, now deceased. We the living will lay down the hard evidence of public management malfeasance when the time comes. Right now in Rye it’s more critical to get Scott Yandrasevich’s side of the story of Rye Golf under oath. Looks like the DA is right on schedule for playing ‘drag out’ as you’ll read in the new Rye Record out today. I’ve previously speculated this would be the tactic to provide cover for Otis, Plunkett & Shew while they craft their cover stories and perhaps while the Playland / SPI thing and Astorino’s potential governor run is in the media & public eye. Meanwhile - lots of secrets in Rye created by 4+ mayoral terms of corruption. Could start a specialty publication just to publish them all. Oh, wait. www.lausdeo10580.com
RyeDad January 10, 2014 at 01:17 PM
We are still waiting for Pickup to testify to the Board of No Ethics about his mistreatment of Andrew Dapolite and under oath to the City Investigators about his role at RGC. ======================================= You may recall when Pickup was being requested to testify under oath about his role at RGC, he asked for the City of Rye to pay for his lawyer and for indemnification. He was denied. What happened? He was allowed to not testify. What a JOKE!!!! Who allowed this? French? Jovanovich? Filippi? ======================================= You may recall when Pickup was requested to testify at the Board of No Ethics, he never testified. ======================================= Now that a Grand Jury is being convened for the RGC fiasco, I'm sure Pickup can't wait to tell his story, under oath, to the Grand Jury. ======================================= Has anyone seen the claim the City of Rye made to their Insurance Company for the alleged theft of funds at the RGC?
dita von struedel van trappyodel January 10, 2014 at 09:13 PM
So a I suspected there will be no exposé anytime soon on schuberts Swamp
Deirdre Curran January 10, 2014 at 09:34 PM
Smelly are you still in St. Barts? If so, you should hunker down there for a while, the weather up here really sucks.
Deirdre Curran January 11, 2014 at 08:31 AM
As we all know we can't count on the overly-biased, poorly written/edited creative writing version of things over at the Rye Wreckord for information...but we've got another local source and they do a much better job. Here is the first in a series of reports that the Rye City Review team has been working on for a while now regarding the Playland/SPI issue. Thoroughly researched, thoughtfully and carefully written, here's the real story. This even includes recent quotes from Doug French and Rob Astorino basically backing off from their usual unfettered support for SPI-----------http://www.ryecityreview.com/neighbors-spi-plan-not-sustainable/
dita von struedel van trappyodel January 11, 2014 at 09:58 AM
Thanks DC for the post. Yes I'm still down here. Coming back next week. I was hoping that Ted C's long promised expose of the Schubert affair would finally be done. Doesn't sound like he is even interested in the subject any longer. Sorry to hear about the weather up there.
Deirdre Curran January 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Seriously, you may want to check the Farmer's Almanac before you get on a plane north. Enjoy it while you can. I don't know about all that Schubert stuff so well, but it *is* kind of sad to see anyone saying anything mean about an elderly man who has now passed away....maybe ease up on those particular comments Smelly? We're all going to get there some day...
Anne McCarthy January 11, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Deirdre, the Rye City Review is just a slight improvement to the Jovanovich Journal. I spoke with them about the busted sewer line on Central Ave during construction of the bridge. Scott Pickup had said there weren't any sewer lines on Central. When they busted it, he never told anyone-, our neighborhood or the gen'l public. Neither local paper covered it (sewage overflowed into the apts on Laurel St). I spoke with the Rye City Review at length and provided contacts for them. That they didn't think it was a story is one thing, that they never followed up with me as their source is another. They didn't return my follow-up calls. I have found the Patch here to be the only unbiased media outlet. Toward that end, the discussions here have generally been constructive lately...with the exception of SmellyPants. Please carry on meaningless dialogue with him on your own space, not here.
Deirdre Curran January 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM
Keep on them about the issue with the Park, Anne. I know it took a while for them to catch on to the whole SPI thing. Not sure how long ago the sewer issue was, it's disappointing that you never heard back from them on that. There's been a new Editor for several months now, so maybe that's been part of the improvement....
Louse Dumas January 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM
how courageous of you! keep up the good fight!
Deirdre Curran January 11, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Oy. Back to Catherine Parker being sworn in as Legislator...This brings up the issue that this week the new Westchester County BOL made some changes. Ken Jenkins (D) is out as Chairman, Mike Kaplowitz (D) is in, with Jim Maisano (R) from New Rochelle as his second in command, so to speak. I know that Kaplowitz, while considered by some Democrats to be a "wild card" has been one of the hardest grillers of SPI on the parking and financials at some of the Gov. Ops Committee meetings. He's no-nonsense. And I know I personally spoke with Jim Maisano last summer and he's a) as best I can tell a pretty good guy and fair and b) was instrumental in helping turn the mind set away from eliminating the amusement park from Playland last summer after all the noise the Save Playland group was making. In addition, they've re-organized the various committees and appointed new Chairs. What *was* the Gov. Ops committee has been broken up and different duties designated out in other directions. That was the group that kind of oversaw Playland, the County Airport issues etc. It looks like Playland will now fall under a committee with a new name (not clear on what that will officially be yet) that covers among other things "Parks & Recreation" - so, I'm assuming Playland will fall under this umbrella, although have not gotten confirmation of that yet. THAT committee is going to be chaired by Pete Harckham (D) who is another legislator who has been asking hard questions of and about SPI and this whole plan from Day One, so I think we at least have people in charge at the County level who are going to be fair and unbiased about handling Playland as the conversation moves forward into the new year. They need to hear from you. Please go on the County web site and look up their email addresses and let them know what you think about SPI. And our new legislator Catherine Parker needs to hear from you too, for whatever good it will do. Just don't make her the *only* Legislator you contact about it. We know her local history of never publicly mentioning all the people here in Rye who came to her with concerns about SPI.
Deirdre Curran January 11, 2014 at 12:02 PM
In a spirit of Bi-Partisanship, new BOL leaders Kaplowitz and Maisano also made sure that each of the 17 Legislators has the responsibility of a committee/set of issues. I believe Catherine Parker was put in charge of Environmental issues. Check the County BOL web site for that info.
Deirdre Curran January 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM
Here's the link-------http://www.westchesterlegislators.com/
Deirdre Curran January 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM
Here's a direct link to new committee Chair assignments. Does not have a list of members of committees yet, just the Chairs. Catherine Parker will head up the committee on Environment, Energy and (gulp) the Tappan Zee Bridge. Hope she handles that major issue better than she's thus far handled the Playland/SPI one.
Deirdre Curran January 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM
Interested Bystander January 11, 2014 at 02:38 PM
Yes, the Rye Review's news analysis on SPI controversy was excellent. Time line was helpful too. Nice to see quality journalism on this. A far cry from the pathetic piece in the RR.
RyeDad January 16, 2014 at 08:12 AM
Mr. Amico has brought about a lot of good change for this community and deserves our thanks. Does he get emotional sometimes? Obviously. Who wouldn't. I would not want to walk 10' in Mr. Amico's shoes let alone a mile. What this man and his family have endured falls under the unimaginable. To add to this misery, certain members of the Rye Police have harassed and threatened this man. One was arrested for attacking him in Eastchester. This was all done while Rye PD and city leadership was doing nothing to address his complaints. Imagine having to endure this too. ====================================== I also admire Deirdre for the hard work she has done in bringing awareness to SPI that was a rubber stamp before she got involved. ====================================== I hope that Mr. Amico and Deirdre can move on from this spat and enjoy happy and productive lives away from this blog. They both deserve it.
Lisa Gentes-Hunt (Editor) January 16, 2014 at 01:08 PM
Folks--We love comments! But please read & review the full Terms of Service here: http://rye.patch.com/terms See something that violates it? Please flag it or email your Local Editor. Thank you!
Deirdre Curran January 26, 2014 at 01:07 PM
Anyone who wants to tell the Westchester Co. BOL how they feel about the SPI Field Zone Project can do so at the BOL meeting Monday 1/27/14, 7pm in White Plains.--------------http://rye.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/tell-the-westchester-legislators-how-you-feel-about-sustainble-playlands-field-zone


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