Dear Mayor Otis and Councilmen,

I am writing you regarding the many current issues presently in front of the City of Rye Building Department, the County of Westchester Department of Health, and the County Environmental Police Unit.

I have been a stockholder/homeowner on Hen Island for over ten years. During that time I had been a member of the Board of Directors for two years and President of the Board for one. I have first hand knowledge of all of the inner workings and intensions of the Board of Directors for Kuder Island Colony Inc.

For many years I have not agreed with the Board of Directors, in not only there thinking, but also their intensions and direction for the health and safety of the residents and guests Hen Island.

The present Board as well as the past Boards has told it's stockholders for years that the present systems for water supply and Sewage removal had been a right of use, due to a grandfather clause within the City of Rye building codes. I only discovered this to be a fallacy after investigating another mistruth being circulated as gospel from the board of directors with regards to mosquito control. We presently have a mosquito infestation that has caused one cottage owner not to occupy his cottage for much of the summer, as his grandchildren cannot tolerate the multiple severe insect bites. It also restricts children from using the playground areas during certain times. The current use of Horse throfs to store household water encourages mosquito growth, contrary to county guidelines for mosquito abatement. The Board of directors has instructed in writing for cottage owners to install mosquito dunks in the very same water storage systems used for household water. This water is used for washing dishes and also for showering.

Kuder Island Colony has been allowing cottage owners to install and operate illegal sewage disposal systems and water supply systems since the formation of the Corporation in 1952.

The present Board of Directors continues to encourage illegal construction projects evidenced by the recent violation of Joann Molloy's building of a walkway, and extending a preexisting wall, over ten feet in two directions, under the pretense that "the project was a repair" and "the walkway was necessary to connect a safe walkway between two cottages". Please take note that Ms. Molloy is currently a member of the Board of Directors. (See attached letter to stockholder dated Feb 11th, 2007 defending Molloy's actions and board approval) 

Also, last week I personally brought to the attention of Vincent Tamburo that a cottage that has been abandoned for over ten years, has recently been gutted including the removal of flooring support and main support beams with the intensions of rebuilding it in the near future. It is my belief, that this cottage should have been condemned and taken down years ago along with other abandoned structures on the Island. It is my understanding that if a preexisting non-conforming use, has been out of use for over six months, a variance is needed in order for any work to commence. Please take note that the new owners of the cottage in question, is the son of Martin Ederer a present member of the Board of Directors.

I must say Mr. Tamburo has and does respond to any and all complaints. The problem is that the Board of Directors only reports violations of stockholders that they do not approve of to the city. These situations along with many others have been taking place for years.

During my administration as president I tried to embrace the City of Rye along with any other government agency that would help make Hen Island a safer and better place to live. Only to be removed as a director for doing so.
In 2001 at my request we held a meeting involving Rye Fire and Marine Police Departments along with the New York State and County of Westchester Departments of Emergency Management, the New York State Forestry Service and The Department of Environmental Conservation with regards to fire hazards on Hen Island. Jim Diani being a very important part of this meeting, made several suggestions including the installation of dry hydrants throughout the island. To date none of Jim's suggestions, or any of the other City, County, or State, recommendations have been implemented by the Board of Directors.

As you may be aware of, last season there was a propane explosion on Hen Island. Had it not been for the fast response of the responding Rye Fire Department there may have been two fatalities on Hen Island. The Piping used to supply propane as well as the electrical systems used on Hen Island have never been inspected and many are improper or inadequate. Again if you ask the Board they will tell you the systems predate building codes, once again that is not true as there are many 6,12,24,volt systems as well as 120 volt solar systems, along with newly installed propane refrigerators, installed within the past ten Years.

I, as well as, all similarly situated on Hen Island, have recently brought a action against Kuder Island Colony Inc. in The Supreme Court for the State of New York to force compliance of all Federal, State, and local, health and building codes, and well as compelling Kuder Island to Comply with the covenants to its deed of 1952. One of the convents in particular, state that Hen Island “at all times be kept free of litter, garbage, and all sewerage and drain water shall be carefully contained therein and sanitarily disposed of and no litter, garbage, sewerage or drainage shall be discharged or permitted to be discharged into the environing waters.”

My decision to bring this action was contemplated for many years, and has not come without opposition from other cottage owners.

For informational proposes only, my cottage, and yard have been vandalized twice in the past month, my gas tank on my skiff was contaminated with water just last week, not to mention my boat being cut loose from its mooring twice last year sustaining over thirty thousand dollars in damages between the two losses.

In conclusion, I am respectfully asking the Mayor and Councilmen to assist in my effort to make Hen Island just as safe and healthy as any other residential community within the City of Rye. I assure you my intensions are purely for the safety, health, and well being of my family as well as the health, safety, and well being of all who visit and reside on Hen Island. I would welcome a personal meeting with the council at anytime, if you should feel it necessary.

Respectfully Yours,
Ray Tartaglione