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Jovanovich: Sack Ignored for Using Personal Email Address

Councilman Jovanovich says that the city manager and mayor ignores councilman Sack’s requests for information because Sack is using his personal email address.

City councilman Joe Sack has publicly asked for information about the Rye Golf Club’s relationship with RM Staffing for several months and has stated that he has not received responses from the mayor and city manager to some of his requests. After time sheets and other RGC documents were made public this fall, the Rye City Council hired law firm Brune & Richard to investigate the golf club manager’s behavior and dealings with RM Staffing.  That investigation has been ongoing for the last two months.

Last week Mayor Douglas French told the public that the RGC situation is “very serious” but that the council could not divulge any more information at this point in the investigation. Four days later, Sack wrote a guest column on MyRye, published Dec. 9, and council member Peter Jovanovch responded with his own guest column on the blog two days after Sack’s was published.   

Sack’s letter details a time-line, starting in July 2012 when Sack first questioned the relationship between Rye Golf Club and RM Staffing, to Nov. 20 when Sack last asked the city manager for the emails between him and the mayor.

According to his letter, Sack has not received those emails.

On Dec. 11, MyRye published a letter from Councilman Peter Jovanovich stating that the city manager and French have “recently” informed Sack that if he does not use his government email address then they will not respond to him. “He still refuses,” Jovanovich wrote. If Sack would use his government email address the mayor and city manager would respond, Jovanovich wrote.

Jovanovich ended his letter with:

Joe Sack’s recent sally against the Mayor and the City Manager accomplishes nothing while chewing up time. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s an expense of spirit in a waste of silliness.

Sack considers his requests to be more serious than Jovanovich characterizes them to be. Sack writes that "we need openness and transparency” in city government, and that he believes the release of these emails will help provide that. Sack wrote:

 Although it may not be a common occurrence for a council member to seek the city manager’s e-mails, and although this request may cause some to experience hard feelings in the short term, keeping the e-mails under wraps will not be good and healthy for the city in the long run.

Read both letters in full by visiting MyRye.com.

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What do you think of the council members' opinions on this situation? Should elected officials be required to use their government emails to receive replies from city staff? Tell us in the comments. 

RyeDad December 13, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Jovanovich is a fool who is not fooling anyone so he's not even good at being a fool. Jovanovich should stop trying to cover for French and Pickup because on its face it seems to me he may be willfully and with intent trying to obstruct an official investigation. Obstruction is a crime. Jovanovich's tactics to cover for French and Pickup has worked twice before with his referrals of French and Pickup to the Board of the Unethical but it is not going to work this time around.
Bob Zahm December 13, 2012 at 07:44 PM
“RyeDad”’s statement that Peter Jovanovich “.. may be willfully and with intent trying to obstruct an official investigation..” is a baseless accusation. Peter is not withholding documentation. He has merely published the ostensible reason for Joe not getting what he’s requested. You may not like his explanation (I also find fault with the logic), but attempting to “shoot the messenger” accomplishes nothing other than a typing exercise. And the handful of active myRye posters should have pretty well exercised fingers by now.
Bob Zahm December 13, 2012 at 07:45 PM
The RGC investigation is the joint responsibility of all of Rye City Council members. They’ve done a poor job of explaining what they’re investigating, how they’re investigating, and when they expect to have completed their investigation. That is easily and quickly fixed if they choose to do so. And doing so would give encouragement to the community that they’re doing their jobs. [pause] [pause] I guess we’ll have to continue waiting. I applaud Joe’s efforts to get the material he believes he needs to fill his trusteeship. Hopefully, I would do the same were our positions swapped. However, that Joe continues to pursue documentation on his own says that the Council continues to be unable to work as a team. Is it ego? Is it personal risk? Is it individual loyalties? The public doesn’t know, but the Council’s behavior is hurting the city – in the short term, far more than our fiscal considerations. Elected leaders are expected to lead, but that doesn’t seem to be happening in Rye right now.
dita von struedel van trappyodel December 13, 2012 at 08:55 PM
You're right, my fingers are killing me!
BooBees December 13, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Damn Bob, you nailed it. Fair and accurate.
Committee for Election Equality December 14, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Investigation Timing? Even in the world of Rye politics, this is massive, and the tentacles seem to lead in many directions...the GM to his family and now higher. Be patient while the investigatory team peels back the layers of this onion. We should assume that the perpetrators of the many violations of State and Federal law are smart and have attempted to cover their tracks ($7 million dollars worth since 2007). I support Councilman Sack's request for ryeny.gov emails, but I think he would find a smoking gun or two in private emails (gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc). Brune & Richard looks like a strong group, http://www.bruneandrichard.com/index.html, but they have other cases; I would not expect anything to be resolved until mid-end 2013.

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