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Amidst Controversy, Rye Golf Commission Meets Tonight

Members spent hours at the last meeting questioning the Commission and General Manager on its dealings with a private company.

The Rye Golf Club Commission will meet again Tuesday night, two weeks after dozens of members crowded its last meeting asking questions about the Club’s dealings with a private staffing company, RM Staffing.

Tonight’s meeting is at 7 p.m. at Whitby Castle.

At the Sept. 26 Club Commission gathering, Rye Golf Club general manager Scott Yandrasevich explained he was responsible for hiring RM Staffing, a local private company owned by Suzanne Ruggiero-Madeo several years ago. That company’s $2.2 million bill in salary costs—$400,000 attributed to about 11,000 hours of overtime over an 18-months—has caused members to question Yandreasevich and the Commission’s management of the agreement.

Members and commissioners questioned Yandrasevich on his involvement with RM Staffing and the costs associated with their agreement with the Club last month. After much discussion, the Commission wanted to understand the overtime costs and potential conflict of interest regarding RM and Yandrasevich before voting on the final budget at that meeting.

Commissioner Patrick Dooley explained that after “potentially” excessive overtime costs were revealed in the beginning of September, the Club’s Finance Committee met to look into the situation. Since at least 2009, the Club has been using outside service agencies for employees because “it gives substantial flexibility to reduce costs associated with having full-time employees,” Dooley said.

One issue the members and some commissioners have with the current situation is that Yandrasevich has worked for RM as a consultant and his wife, Anne Marie Yandrasevich is a salaried RM employee.

Yandrasevich emphasized that neither he nor anyone in his family has any ownership interest in RM Staffing. He also said he has made under $1,000 doing contractual based consulting work for RM.

Yandrasevich also confirmed that he worked as a representative of RM Staffing with the Oak Hills Park Authority in Norwalk to negotiate an agreement to have RM run that club’s restaurant. He said that deal has not been finalized and he was not paid for that work.

Club Members questioned Rye City Manager Scott Pickup on the ethics of the situation. Pickup said “[the agreement] is 100 percent by the book,” and that he did not see a problem with  the situation.

“You’re talking about a person who has derived income from a company, [and] he is now recommending to fill a contract—and you see no problem with that?” said resident Tony Piscionere. “That is astonishing to me.”

The city’s code of ethics states,

“no officer or employee of the city shall have any interest–financial or otherwise, direct or indirect–or engage in any business, which is in conflict with or might reasonably tend to conflict with the proper discharge of his duties.”

City Councilman Joe Sack and Club member Leon Sculti both submitted Freedom of Information Requests over the last few weeks for the contract between the Club and RM Staffing. After his Letter to the Editor was published on MyRye.com on Oct. 2, Sack told Patch he received some of the requested documents.

To view some the documents referenced, click here.

The Club’s Board of Commissioners are predicting a $60,000 short fall for 2013, and had planned to increase membership dues to make up the difference, Commissioner Chris O’Brien told the Rye Sound Shore Review’s Chris Falcone.

The Rye Golf Club was set up as an enterprise fund in 1965, which means it is a city owned property that is self-sustaining, not subsidized by tax payers.

“I think you guys have a crisis at this point,” Former Councilman Mack Cunningham told the Commission towards the end of the Sept. 26 meeting, adding that they should budget in anticipation of a decline in membership due to the controversy.

The Commission will meet again at 7 p.m. at Whitby Castle.  

Check back with updates on Tuesday’s meeting.   

tedc October 09, 2012 at 09:28 PM
MAYOR FRENCH TO APPEAR AT RGC BUDGET MEETING TONIGHT (OCT 9TH) AS SCANDAL GROWS; RECORDS SHOW GM'S STEPCHILDREN WORK FOR RM STAFFING; MEMBERS TO CITY MNGR: PASS BUDGET YOURSELF http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/10/rye-golf-club-commission-set-to-approve-budget-as-gm-scandal-deepens-yandrasevichs-step-child-found-working-for-rm-staffing.html “In an interview Tuesday (Sept 18), Mayor French said Sack was simply trying to spin an important matter that the city is handling, calling the councilman’s actions “dirty and ugly.” “Rye expects better from its elected officials,” French said.” http://www.hometwn.com/hometown-media-group/rye-sound-shore-review/golf-club-contract-spending-scrutinized/
tedc October 09, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Yes we do Mr. French, we most certainly do…http://www.lausdeo10580.com/ CITY SERVES MAYOR FRENCH WITH BUILDING VIOLATIONS–TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS CITY ASSESSOR ADMITS MAYOR FRENCH ONLY RYE RESIDENT CAUGHT CHEATING ON SCHOOL TAX EXEMPTION ETHICS BOARD MEMBERS CONTRIBUTED OVER $1700 TO MAYOR'S CAMPAIGN; DISMISS COMPLAINT GAME OF CAT & MOUSE CONTINUES AS CITY MANAGER, ETHICS BOARD GIVE COUNCIL & CITIZENS THE BIRD–BOLT FROM EXEC. SESSION MORTGAGE DOCS SHOW MAYOR OBTAINED OVER $400,000 IN LOANS FOR ILLEGAL HOME; FRENCH ASKED TO RELEASE TITLE REPORTS MAYOR FRENCH CHARGED $16,894 IN BACK TAXES; SAYS HE PAID–COUNTY SAYS NOT
tedc October 09, 2012 at 09:30 PM
THE RYE TV/FRENCH CONNECTION: MAYOR USES HIS OFFICE, LEVITSKY TO OBTAIN 'ARREST' INFO ON PRIVATE CITIZEN EMBATTLED CITY MANAGER FAILS TO ENTER FALSE TITLE REPORT INTO TIME LINE FOR MAYOR'S ILLEGAL INVESTMENT PROPERTY CITY MANAGER, RYETV SECRETLY RECORD FIREMAN'S MEETING–LIE TO COUNCIL MEMBERS & PUBLIC; WITHHOLD VIDEO NEW YORK STATE: ETHICS BOARDS DO NOT HAVE POWER TO INVESTIGATE A 'STAIN' ON RYE AND THE RYE REPUBLICAN PARTY FRENCH IN SACK WITH MR. FLOATIE DURING 2009 MAYORAL CAMPAIGN NEW YORK STATE ISSUES TAX WARRANT TO MAYOR OF RYE; PLACED LIEN ON HIS PROPERTY
tedc October 09, 2012 at 09:30 PM
CITY MNGR, LEVITSKY TO BLOW OFF ETHICS BOARD; EVADE QUESTIONING BUILDING INSPECTOR ISSUES MAYOR PERMITS TO LEGALIZE PROPERTY IN VIOLATION OF ZONING CODE ETHICS BOARD REPORT: "PUBLIC'S FAITH IN INTEGRITY OF RYE CITY GOVT MAY BE ERODED" MAYOR'S RENTAL PROPERTY ESCAPES ZONING CODE WITH ILLEGAL 4TH BEDROOM IN ATTIC INTACT CITY MANAGER FAILS TO COMPLETE 2011 ANNUAL REPORT; IN VIOLATION OF CITY CHARTER FOR 138 DAYS NOW NY STATE OFFICIAL CONFIRMS CORP. COUNSEL, KRISTEN KELLEY WILSON, ACTING IN VIOLATION OF NY FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW–KNOWINGLY CONFLICT OF INTEREST DOGS RYE'S CORPORATION COUNSEL; WILSON KNOWINGLY PERFORMS DUTIES IN VIOLATION OF NEW YORK STATE LAW

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