Town Board rescinds Chappaqua Train Station lease

12:15 a.m. Wednesday, June 25

Editor’s Note:  Late last night after adjourning the public hearing on Chappaqua Crossing, the Town Board adopted a resolution rescinding the Chappaqua Train Station lease resolution by a 5-0 vote.  A new RFP—“request for proposals” process will begin.  Discussion of the RFP process is on the Town Board’s work session agenda for Tuesday, July 1.  Below is a statement from Supervisor Rob Greenstein as well as the text of the new resolution.

“This year, when this Board decided to reopen the application process, the second RFP helped create a level playing field and get all of the applicants on the same page.  All of the applicants saw the second RFP.  All of the applicants had the same opportunity to respond to the second RFP.  The overall result was more applicants, and better proposals, in my opinion, than at any other point during this 2-year process.  Nevertheless, we’re going to do it again.  When the Board reviewed the referendum petition and weighed its options, the most prudent choice was to rescind its lease award and reopen the selection process once again.  We invite all prior applicants for leasing the Chappaqua Train Station to resubmit their proposals for consideration.”


Council Member Katz moved, seconded by Council Member Chapin to approve the following resolution;

WHEREAS, by Resolution adopted on May 20, 2014 (the “Approval Resolution”), the Town Board authorized the Town Supervisor to execute a Lease Agreement with Love at 10514, LLC; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Town Law § 90, the Approval Resolution was subject to a permissive referendum; and

WHEREAS, on June 18, 2014, a Petition for a Permissive Referendum on the Approval Resolution was filed with the Town Clerk of the Town of New Castle; and

WHEREAS, the Town Board has concluded that rather than contest the Permissive Referendum’s validity, the interests of its residents will be best-served by repealing its Approval Resolution and reopening the application process for a lease award; and

WHEREAS, the Town Board has the authority to repeal the Approval Resolution pursuant to Town Law § 93, which statutory provision was expressly incorporated in its Lease Agreement with Love at 10514, LLC;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board’s Approval Resolution is hereby repealed pursuant to Town Law § 93, and that by operation of law, the Town’s Lease Agreement with Love at 10514, LLC is rescinded; and it is

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Administrator is directed to publish an RFP for leasing the Chappaqua Train Station in substantially the same form as the RFP that the Town published on March 19, 2014; and it is

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board invites all prior applicants for leasing the Chappaqua Train Station to resubmit their proposals for consideration.

VOTE                       AYES       NAYS

Supervisor Greenstein         X

Deputy Supervisor Katz       X

Council Member Brodsky     X

Council Member Chapin       X

Council Member Mottel       X


Approved June 24, 2014

We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

I’m very pleased to see this.  Annoyed that citizens had to resort to this referendum, but glad that the Town Board finally acknowledged our voices and did the right thing.

By Kate Brady on 06/25/2014 at 2:21 am

I am glad to see that the town board has made this decision. Now they can do everything the way the Chases and Carla want legally- without a chance at any other stipulations before the newly awarded winner will take over at the station. After the RFP is over and the winner selected- let’s move on with building the town.

Adam, Rob and the others- you are doing the right thing to silence those angry contestants. We know the board will choose who they feel will best serve the town of Chappaqua and please make sure that your T’s are crossed and your I’s are dotted… So we do not have any problems next time. Enough problems have been caused by Carla and the Chase’s. Do not give them any opportunity to reach out to the public again.

By Positive energy on 06/25/2014 at 5:18 am

What is/was the difference in rental payable under both leases

By Please some one answer me on 06/25/2014 at 6:32 am

Will have to see whether this has any impact on the final outcome. Good message to send to TB. No plans to hit Via Vanti anytime soon unless they are paying the bill.

By Time will tell on 06/25/2014 at 7:14 am

This is great news.  Thank you to those who supported this effort, to the Chases and Carla for leading it, and to the town board for listening. I’m hopeful that a new RFP process, one that is open, fair and good for our town, is put into place.

By Robin Murphy on 06/25/2014 at 7:40 am

The Board realized it messed up big time.  This new group of amateurs is not what this Town needs or wants.  At least we save the money by not having a referendum but the Board’s handling of this does have a cost in terms of its credibility.  Again and again.

By Amen on 06/25/2014 at 7:45 am

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put SOMETHING in there QUICKLY!  I understand the process may not have been fair, but EVERYTHING is taking FOREVER in this town.  We have so many vacant storefronts and this train station project has been discussed for a LONG time!  The town needs ACTION and commercial businesses ASAP!

By How long will this take? on 06/25/2014 at 7:52 am

Happy to see this result. The town board really needs to fully grasp the health code issues involved with this space. And the traffic/ parking situation.

By Grassroots democracy in action. on 06/25/2014 at 8:15 am

Do not blame the Chases or Carla. This was caused by the underhanded way the board handled the process. Great that we proved “you can fight city hall!”

By Long Time Resident on 06/25/2014 at 8:53 am

This was the right thing to do. Thank you TB for accepting that.  It is vital you start to restore your crebility by doing the new RFP thoroughly.

By Great on 06/25/2014 at 8:56 am

Also thank you Chases and Ms, Gambescia. You too did the right thing for our community. The process was wrong from the start and it was not going to end well if it kept on going. Not with no one paying attention to the health code.

By Great on 06/25/2014 at 9:03 am

Glad to see that the town board has listened to the public and is going to issue a new RFP. Now please take your time with this so that there will be no repercussions going forward. As a town we have been speaking among ourselves and not necessarily participating on these boards. Yes we read them, but many of us do not find the information satisfying so there has been no reason to comment. I will take this time however to say that I believe the behavior from the Erin, Peter and Carla has been disturbing. When the new presentations are made I hope that the board considers their inappropriate actions and slanderous public statements which have put our town under unnecessary duress. I also hope the board realizes that while the losing candidates were throwing cheap shots at everyone including the chosen selection, that Leslie Lampert stayed true to her brand and did not take part in any of this nonsense.

Carla and the Chase’s are behaving in a manner that would never service this town and it would be a travesty if they were chosen to move into the train station. I would rather see the space remain empty forever and lose the rental income, than to see an injustice like this take place.

By Justice Please on 06/25/2014 at 9:54 am

Funny how they did this under cloak of darkness after almost everyone had gone home, when they could have done it before the public hearing. Did they think no one would notice? This group is sorely lacking humility, but I suppose that’s what you get from a bunch of lawyers who are trained to deflect, dodge, and deny.

By nice try on 06/25/2014 at 10:34 am

To “How long will this take” –

Yes it has taken too long, but bear in mind that Via Vanti would be up and running in the station RIGHT NOW if the current board had not decided to reopen the whole matter on a pretext.

Let’s make sure the board takes sufficient time this time to attract additional bidders, to run a fair and open process, and to make a thoughtful choice about something we can all be happy with for the next decade or more.

By Haste Makes Waste on 06/25/2014 at 11:37 am

There is some very interesting information and history here:

By bob on 06/25/2014 at 1:05 pm

This is wonderful news.  Bravo Carla, Erin and Peter for standing up for a fair and transparent process and the kind of governance we as a community deserve.  It would be a mistake to rush into another RFP process that is “substantially the same” especially when the process and resulting decision that precipitated the referendum were so obvious and egregiously flawed. We can all wait a few extra months to be sure that moving ahead we truly have a fair and open process—one in which objectives and decision criteria are clearly stated etc. This is a decision we will live with for a decade or more.  I hope the Board has learned from this.

By Let’s not rush on 06/25/2014 at 1:53 pm

I am very encouraged by the Town Board’s response to its constituents.  This a sea change from the prior Town Boards that were strictly focused on the political “Agenda” and had no care or concern for the feelings of their actual constituents.  Well done Greenstein & company.  I knew I would be glad I voted for all of you in the last election…

By Very Encouraging!! on 06/25/2014 at 4:10 pm

Why the criticism of the Chases for explaining the health code issues If Leslie did not know the health code, that is her fault. I don’t understand it, but I am happy they let us know.

By Resident on 06/25/2014 at 6:47 pm

By all means, critcize the chases for showing that the food that was supposed to be sold at the station couldn’t legally be sold there. What despicable people!

By Anon on 06/25/2014 at 9:59 pm

Way to go Greenie. You’re on a roll.  You’ve yet to get anything right.  Added bonus, we’re funding your pals too.

By billy b on 06/25/2014 at 11:14 pm

Bob—linking to a hatchet job masquerading as journalism? so glad we can always count on you to spread distortions and disinformation.

By hachet job on 06/26/2014 at 1:17 am

Editor’s Note: Say it more nicely.

By Be sure to wash your hands on 06/26/2014 at 8:32 am

@hachet job,
What distortions exactly? Are you claiming that the emails quoted in the article were fabricated? Didn’t think so, as you only make allegations and offer no proof. I urge everyone to read this fully reported article, which now even includes Carla’s non-denial denial, and form his or her own opinion.

By bob on 06/26/2014 at 8:44 am

I sure hope the town board takes this opportunity to step back and reassess the situation. Maybe something can go in there other than a restaurant. Maybe it ends up being a restaurant. Who knows what our options are. It really has not has not been properly explored yet. Now is the time. Please don’t compound the problems by rushing to reissue basically the same RFP as before. It clearly was not up to snuff even for a restaurant but there could be other types of interest solicited IF the board does it right this time. This should not be just about what some of the board thinks fits the site. Let’s see if others come up with enticing ideas.

By Joanie on 06/26/2014 at 10:39 am

That Inside Chappaqua article and Rob giving it ” kudos” for its supposed accuracy are further proof that our supervisor consistently puts his own interests above the interests of the community. His current focus is proving he was not wrong about Carla. He is never wrong, is he? This leads to his next focus being to prove he was not wrong about Leslie.  One way or another he wants her to go in the station. Wait for it folks it”s a comin’. He won’t come right and admit it but he will try his best to make it happen. This is not about him and his obvious personality disorder. It is also not about Carla or Leslie. It is about doing this in a complete, careful, fair and open manner. That shouldn’t be so hard.  However, his only on line post on the rescission shows he really hasn’t learned anything despite the turmoil. Nothing. It is very worrisome for the community.

By Worried With Good Reason on 06/26/2014 at 11:00 am

Someone seems really intent on defending Leslie bec she has been slandered. I don’t see it that way. She made some decisions that were wrong and she bears responsibility for those

By Resident on 06/26/2014 at 11:32 am

Carla, Leslie, Erin, Peter and, yes, Rob . . . MOVE ON AND TB DO YOUR JOB CORRECTLY THIS TIME.  What kind of advice are you people getting anyway?

By Long time resident on 06/26/2014 at 11:46 am

“bob” –

What a surprise: you refer people to an article about the board’s decision to rescind its train station lease decision—at least that’s what its headline promises—which turns out to be mostly about bathrooms.  Hmmm…

It seems as though Team New Castle and those who still support them are intent on changing the subject to anything but their blatant mishandling (or worse) of the whole situation and the resulting referendum initiative which forced it to rescind.

By TRJ on 06/26/2014 at 12:03 pm

Such viciousness towards the Chases and Carla on this article and under the code issue one from whichever of Leslie’s friends or employees are on mission to remind us all what a great person she is.  She is community minded. Great. She is a wonderful boss. Great too. You are obscuring the true issues though by these frantic attacks and messages about she is above reproach.  Her concept was not right for the site or the town. That is clear. If she is hurt or embarrassed by what has happened, that is just the way it goes sometimes in business. Our supervisor makes things worse of course. He probably created the impression it would all work out because he would see that it did.  That is the way he operates. if the end result was a rude awakening to Leslie, maybe she should have known better

By Rez on 06/26/2014 at 12:26 pm

bob, the Inside Chappaqua article was just spitting out Dear Leader’s statement and spin. That article was sticking this talking points but had nothing to do with the petition to rescind the resolutio, which had nothing to do with the bathrooms. If the bathrooms were the reason for pilling the desl from Via Vanti, once she said she’d open them, the matter would have been finished and we would all be enjoying gelato by now.

By Bobbin on 06/26/2014 at 1:25 pm

Thanks as always bob for showing what you are all about. Nothing more than a shill for Rob’s talking points. Your predictably is much appreciated. Thanks again.

By ResidenT on 06/26/2014 at 1:33 pm

For Inside Chappaqua to continue the baloney about the bathroom non issue speaks to the poor reporting by the writer, Eileen Gallagher.  If she wants to be a reporter than she should do her work.  The publisher, Grace Bennett does no service to the community with this drivel.

By resident who reads on 06/26/2014 at 1:53 pm

The Inside Chappaqua article is all about bathrooms? Learn to read. Here is the reporters’s response to Carla’s non-denial denial:
“Carla, I appreciate that you read my article. I am curious as to your assertion that the town “abrogated an agreement of the previous town board.” Are you disputing the fact that you never finalized an agreement with the previous town board? Or that your tentative agreement with them was not the result of a response to an RFP? If there are any untruths in the article, please specify.”
Well, Carla? New Castle Democrat committee men? Let’s deal in facts. Name the untruths.
Carla’s proposal of February 2013 (accepted by Carpenter) was NOT in response to any RFP. (The May 2012 RFP had long expired.) So it is not a case of a flawed RFP; there was NO RFP at all. This was the “transparent process” for by Carpenter’s board, including Jason Chapin.

By bob on 06/26/2014 at 2:16 pm

Bob, The Town Board rescinded the lease with Love at 10514 as a result of public pressure (in the form of 520 New Castle petitioners) who considered the RFP process highly irregular and the decision neither justified nor in the fiduciary interest of the Town.  The rescission had exactly ZERO to do with the bathroom “misunderstanding”—Councilman Brodsky’s characterization, not mine.  I find it perplexing that you and certain others only want to rehash the bathrooms with regard to this matter.  Via Vanti! had an agreement and an interim contract with the Town that was in force at the time the “misunderstanding” yet negotiations were ended unilaterally and the agreement was abrogated without notice. One could choose to characterize that turn of events an a variety of ways. I will not deign to do so. However, believe it or not, I have moved on. My future is full and bright.  I was a participant in the March RFP.  It was irregular in myriad respects that have been previously enumerated.  The decision was not justified in the opinion of many, including myself, which is why I actively supported the Chases’ efforts.  The decision of the Board to rescind is only related to THAT process and THAT decision. Why must you interject the bathroom “misunderstanding” in every comment you post about this? It is now TOTALLY IRRELEVANT.  Also, please reveal your true identity instead of relentlessly taking silly potshots in your cloak of anonymity. Or, might that require a measure of honestly and even some courage?

By Carla Gambescia on 06/26/2014 at 2:23 pm

I would not want to eat in, nor purchase food from, any establishment that doubles as a public restroom.  This whole thing was bungled from the start by Team New Castle.  Take a bow!

By eating elsewhere on 06/26/2014 at 2:33 pm

Inside Chappaqua is glossy ad publication with puff pieces.  Who would read it for the news?

By ?????? on 06/26/2014 at 2:56 pm


One “thanks” is enough. Thanks.

By bob on 06/26/2014 at 3:40 pm

Hopefully they select Leslie again.  Love has a far better product then Via Vanti.  Eat @ both, I’m sure you will agree. 

On another note – Did anyone read the RFP responses? On page 16 of Carlas proposal she proposed a vision statement for the community that begins with “Everything we do we do with thoughtful discrimination…”

Considering the 1. Berenson history, 2. whats going on with the Conifer project, and 3. the Muslim society application – is it really smart to put the word “DISCRIMINATION” in our community vision statement?  Let alone, say that we thoughtfully discriminate in everything we do?  It is devioud of good sense.   

By Fritz on 06/26/2014 at 4:10 pm

Bob,  Thanks for directing us to a completely irrelevant article that is a great example of poor journalism.  As I recall, it is the Chases that filed the petitions that caused the Board to rescind the 2nd RFP.  Why are bathrooms and Ms. Gambescia germane at this point?  The article is only a lame attempt to try to discredit Ms. Gambescia because she refused to go away quietly the way the new Town Board wanted.  Let’s face it, the new Town Board was in a negotiation with Ms. Gambescia and decided they wanted to bring in their friend instead.  They found an excuse to run a new RFP and then held a sham process, which appears to be close to malfeasance.  That Ms. Gambescia once objected to bathroom hours or that it was one of countless in a lease document mark-ups is irrelevant.  It is the way the process was run from start to finish that made the public angry enough to act.

By Jonathan S. on 06/26/2014 at 7:04 pm

None of the individuals who presented warrant being called horrible things. Those who are now doing this in “defense” of Leslie are doing her more harm than good. Some say her name has been dragged through the mud.  If you want to talk mud, how about what Carla has been through, being villified for months. The Chases have gotten it of late. I don’t think anything written by Carla or the Chases is an attack on Leslie. It is about how wrong this effort to select a tenant has been. If she feels hurt by the rescission, it is just a taste of what the others have endured for far longer.

By Misguided on 06/26/2014 at 9:03 pm

So which is worse, a sham RFP process or no RFP process? (serious question.)

Carla was originally awarded the lease under no process what-so-ever. She just made a handshake deal with Susan Carpenter. Because of this, she feels like she deserves something. Maybe she’s right, maybe she’s wrong.

The new process was certainly not handled well. Was it worse than the original process? I don’t know.

Was the rent Leslie Lampert agreed to higher than the rent that Susan Carpenter was able to secure?

By all shook up on 06/26/2014 at 9:48 pm

The reason nothing ever gets done in Chappaqua is due to the habitual complainers. Carla overplayed her hand.  Rather than cave to the demands of the only applicant, Greenstein reopened the process.  Now sore loser Carla complains.  Sore losers Chases complain.  Sore losers New Castle Democrats complain, anonymously of course.  Robin Murphy complains, of course. 

Unlike Mt Kisco who is getting a new restaurant,our train station sits empty thanks to the habitual complainers & sore losers.

By Habitual Complainers on 06/26/2014 at 10:12 pm

The Board’s decision is to be applauded.

It is however, tiresome to read the posts complaining about the complainers, sore losers and whiners, the posts dragging the Chases and Carla through the mud, the posts comparing Via Vanti with ladle of love, the posts about Leslie Lampert and the fireman of 9/11.  Characterizing and personalizing misses the point entirely.

The current Board has comported themselves horribly.  The process was bad, the decision was misguided.  Perhaps residents speaking out in the way that we have will be a wake up call. Maybe some members will shed some huberis. Maybe Lisa Katz will break free. Maybe there will be more accountability maybe even a soupcon of transparency

By Maybe on 06/27/2014 at 1:09 am

We await Carla’s response to the substantive questions posed. To wit:  “Are you disputing the fact that you never finalized an agreement with the previous town board? Or that your tentative agreement with them was not the result of a response to an RFP?”
Meanwhile we can reflect on the fact that those who opposed the current board’s RFP “process” as not “transparent” and not “open,” have nothing to say when confronted with the reality that the past board made a deal with Carla that was neither transparent nor open. There was no process at all. There was no RFP at that time at all.

Editor’s Note:  Bob, what does the deficiency in, or lack of process by, the previous board have to do with the process in the early months of 2014?

By bob on 06/27/2014 at 7:55 am

@Jonathan S,

I see from your post that you’ve read the mark-ups to Carla’s lease. Why was that?

By bob on 06/27/2014 at 7:59 am

The Chappaqua train station is a LOUSY location for a restaurant! Car traffic between 4 and 8pm every day is slow speed chaos. This is a bigger station than Mt Kisco with regards to number of trains and commuters.
Traffic patterns at Pville and Mt Kisco train stations are different than Chappaqua’s.

By reality check on 06/27/2014 at 10:54 am

This sore losers theme is so juvenile and unfounded The people involved did an awful lot of work to provide thoughtful explanations for why the process was wrong. The reason nothing gets done is because our town board is dysfunctional.

By Joanie on 06/27/2014 at 11:28 am

I really hope that the board goes with the Chases.  Heard their presentation was great.  While I love Leslie and her enterprises, I really think that it is time to get people with some more varied successful experience in town to try and turn things around.  There are a lot of people spinning interesting concepts and ideas but we need experienced, successful business people.  I don’t see the point in bringing into Chappaqua train station a establishment owned by the same person who owns the not very busy, not very good Mt Kisco train station establishment.  I like that we are hearing from Dan Barber and WF about interest in Chap Crossing, time to get the same caliber of people interested and involved in businesses in town!!!!

By Get some experienced new business people in town! on 06/27/2014 at 11:57 am

How does our town board explain spending more than $10,000 of taxpayer money negotiating a lease that could not be put into full effect without violatimg the law?

By Q on 06/27/2014 at 11:59 am

Dear Editor,

I don’t want to speak for Bob, but I will give you my own answer. It matters because Carla drummed up support for her petition by screaming, “LOOK AT THOSE MEANIES, LOOK WHAT THEY DID TO ME!”

She suggested that all was copacetic with the previous town board. However, we’ve learned that all was not copacetic with the previous town board. Carla in fact benefitted from a “poor process”—she just didn’t complain about it when she was the beneficiary.

Worse, she has accused the new board of fabricating the bathroom issue to push her out of the lease. She has used bombastic worlds like “CLANDESTINE” to describe the board’s actions regarding the bathroom. In fact, as the public record shows, bathroom access was a requirement from the start of the process in 2012. Carla was unable to finalize an agreement with the previous board for this very same reason. Town records make this plainly visible.

Carla has been successful at drumming up opposition to the current town board. My personal favorite was the morning she actually wore a plastic “sandwich board” at the train station with a stop sign on it (“STOP OUR EVIL TOWN BOARD,” or something). I laughed.

Now that the record is more firmly established, it’s pretty clear she has been “less than honest” throughout this entire affair.

By Let’s look at the facts on 06/27/2014 at 12:06 pm

What does the deficiency in, or lack of process by, the previous board have to do with the process in the early months of 2014?
Transparency and openness. When the current board opened the RFP process (and reasonable people can argue about its transparency, openness, and validity), Carla cried foul because she already had a deal. But she neglected to mention that the deal she had was not negotiated transparently and openly at all. She did not respond to an RFP because there was none. The members of the past board who currently serve also conveniently forgot to mention this history. Carpenter and Penny left Carla out to dry when they couldn’t close their flawed deal. Egged on by the New Castle Democrats, who lost the last election, people took up the mantra of a flawed process. But these folks were never made aware of, or ignored, the true story of a lack of process, transparency, and openness that went down with the Carla/Carpenter deal, the history of which was detailed by Eileen Gallagher. The Chases were goaded to start a petition; inexplicably, they were not formally joined by Carla, who, along with her political advisors, have yet to address the questions raised about the deal Carla had made with the past board. Bottom line: no matter what you think about the current board’s handling of the RFP, many of the prime actors in this saga have not been honest. And dishonesty carries over from the past to the present.

By bob on 06/27/2014 at 1:03 pm

Jonathan S (and others with similar posts):  These are the relevant, undisputed facts:  1.  Carla had the lease if she would agree to terms.  2.  Carla would not agree to terms that had been stated repeatedly by the old Board to be necessary, e.g., access to bathrooms, which many residents find essential.  3.  The Chase’s and Carla did not object when Carla had been given months to come to terms on a lease.  4. Carla supported the petition wholeheartedley.  Remember the flyers in her shop in the train station and her relentless, one sided discussion about the supposedly unfair process seemingly everywhere?  Suggesting she was uninvolved becuase the petition was filed by the Chase’s does not withstand scrutiny.  5.  A petition is not a vote.  My bet is more people refused to sign than actually signed it.  That’s what I observed. 

Bottom line:  If it is about the process, Carla and the Chase’s should have filed a petition when Carla was negotiating her lease because Carla did not get that chance based on a response to an RFP.  This “bottom line” answers the Editor’s Note above—It shows that Carla and the Chase’s did not care about the “process.”  The facts only support the conclusion that they did not like the Board’s choice.  The fairness claims thus ring hollow. 

These are the undisputed, and indeed dispostive, facts. 

Facts can be an inconvenient thing. 

Best regards, A Person with a Mind of His Own


By Joe Friday on 06/27/2014 at 1:50 pm

Yes, the train station seems lousy. What is the big deal anyway?

By dear reality check on 06/27/2014 at 1:51 pm

Dear Joanie,
Carla certainly did not put much effort into explaining why the original process was wrong (the one where she was awarded a bid with no open RFP and no competition).

By Anonymous on 06/27/2014 at 3:14 pm

Reality Check, you’re exactly right.  This is no place for a full-service restaurant.  Beyond the traffic issues, the space at our station is much smaller than the Mt. Kisco station, and is configured in a way that’s much less conducive to use as a restaurant.  At Via Vanti you don’t have to walk through the main “dining room” to get to the rest rooms.  While the selection process was obviously and embarrassingly flawed, the Love 10514 concept (at least as originally proposed) is much more appropriate for the building than the round peg/square hole Via Vanti proposal.  Leave well enough alone with Cafe LeTrack’s morning fare, but offer high quality salads, sandwiches and the like that people can eat casually during the day and interesting, well-prepared take-out dishes that commuters can grab as they get off the train in the evening.  That’s the ticket for “The Station at Chappaqua.”

By Jon on 06/27/2014 at 3:58 pm

OMG…….This effort to lay blame is all such nonsense. The current town board—not the last one and not any individual—made a series of wrong decisions including spending a whole lot of money and time on a deal that could not work in the space as is.  Let’s do it over. Do it right though. Rob and Adam stop trying to spin this to exonerate yourselves.  Here’s an idea:  GOVERN!!!!!

By Resident on 06/27/2014 at 7:38 pm

Enough with looking at the past and laying blame.  Let’s move on and get it right this time around with an open and fair process. 
Will the board (any board, though at this time the only one that matters is the current one) do it the right way with a clear description of what is wanted and required along with a public ad that brings some new people/ideas.  It would be amazing if the board reached out and put together a group of residents and downtown merchants who could give board members some feedback, either on the RFP or even the applicants. 
The point is, let’s get whatever option is the best all around for the town.

By Move on on 06/28/2014 at 7:02 am


You are mistaken.  There is room for a restaurant in that space and the town wants a restaurant in that space.

By wrong Jon on 06/28/2014 at 11:42 am

@wrong Jon.

“the town wants a restaurant in that space.”

Did you conduct a survey?

By bob on 06/28/2014 at 2:30 pm

Dear Move On,

Now that the Town Board has been forced to rescind its vote and the income-generating lease of our train station is again further delayed, now you no longer wish to lay blame? Our train station will remain EMPTY for months.

I think there is plenty of blame to go around. I blame Carla Gambescia, Erin Chase and Peter Chase for being sore losers who did not like the outcome of a fair board vote and pretended to protest the “process.” I blame the New Castle Democrats and their myopic supporters who were looking for something, anything, to gin up opposition to our town board. I blame Robin Murphy for stirring up the pot, just so she can claim a modicum of independence from TNC. I blame Christine Yeres for not doing any actual reporting on this issue, and instead letting her blog be a free platform for Carla Gambescia to spread half truths and misplaced outrage.

I also blame the town board for failing to manage this process at the level required. Let’s be clear: They did a better job than their predecessors, who didn’t even bother with an RFP and handed a lease to Carla Gambescia with no open competition. However, they did not properly recognize how their every action would be scrutinized after dethroning long-term New Castle “powers-that-be.” I am hopeful this will be a lesson to them on how they’ll need to handle future issues, no matter how inconsequential, in a very fractured environment. I am confident they will move forward in sensible and practical manner.

Finally, I blame myself, for actually reading up on this nonsense, and spending the time to comment (anonymously) on such a ridiculous issue. For crying out loud, it is a restaurant lease. Don’t we have anything better to gripe about? On to the next…

By grrrrrrrr on 06/28/2014 at 2:52 pm

Since there is no lease and no RFP yet- why is Carla still in the concession stand. She has done nothing but cause the town trouble in every way possible. I stop at dunken to get the coffee in the am. I know many people are doing the same thing- you can tell when you walk by and see the stacks of unsold newspapers…. This is a clue that she is not welcome in this town. Bagels or bagels or bagels- I can’t wait for that spinach egg sandwich that Ladle of Love makes, they said that they will have that sandwich available every day. The commuters are tired of bagels and more tired of someone being in the concession stand that didn’t take their needs into consideration. Get her out- she should have left a long time ago I read. No lease, no stand- it is as easy as that!

By Concession stand consumer on 06/28/2014 at 4:25 pm


520 residents do.  If there was more time there would have been many more signatures. 

Is anything you contribute worth anyone’s time ?

By 520 do on 06/28/2014 at 4:46 pm


I think the point is that blaming is not productive.  Learning from past missteps can be productive. 

Sounds like you are heavily into blame and are using this thread to vent and accuse all
those with whom you disagree and find fault.  Feel better now ?

As far as this town board coming under unusual scrutiny, you really must be joking.
I do hope that you are right in that they will move forward in a more transparent and sensible manner.

By resident on 06/28/2014 at 6:05 pm

Glad to see the Ladle of Love booth packed as always today at the market. Good for you Leslie, even with the rescinded lease you and your staff are all smiles doing your thing. Chappaqua wants you – the one percent minority of the town is just one percent. As I watch across from my booth to yours it is incredible to see how the public flocks to your booth.

The 99 percent shows you louder than the one percent can ever speak!

By Cathy on 06/28/2014 at 6:10 pm

Dear “concession stand consumer”:

Rob, shake this out of your head. Give it up. The handling of the lease was botched. If you’re not going to concede that, at least stop taking pot shots at one of the victims of your board’s ineptitude.  We New cAstle residents are the other victims.

By Give it a rest Rob on 06/28/2014 at 9:54 pm


Why humiliate yourself?

By bob on 06/28/2014 at 10:03 pm


According to Wikipedia, the Town of New Castle had a population of 17,569 in the 2010 census.  One percent of that figure is 176.  The number of resident voters who signed the petition for a permissive referendum was 520.  Unless the town has grown threefold in the last four years and all of its children have reached voting age since 2010 and everyone other than the petition signers agrees with you, I don’t see your “calculation” (or argument) makes any sense.

By Go to the Back of the Class on 06/28/2014 at 10:15 pm

Dear “Let’s look at the facts” & “Joe Friday” (are you the same?)—

The current board instructed its lawyer(s) to only negotiate with the ingoing LOW bidder and then it settled (after an unjustified lease extension concession and considerable legal expenses) at a rent agreement barely above the high ingoing cash bid.  How does that square with your sense of a fair process, your dispostive (sic) facts and the best interests of the town?

By Riddle Me This on 06/28/2014 at 10:46 pm

To “Concession stand consumer” –

Gambescia is operating the morning commuter concession because she was the last party to have an non-rescinded lease from the Town to operate that concession.  (And because, presumably, she pays rent for it.)

Next time you’re in Dunkin Donuts take a good look at the surfaces behind the counter.  You will discover that they consist of tile, aluminum and perhaps some other non-absorbent materials.  Such surfaces are required by the Westchester County Department of Health for any establishment engaged in preparing and/or heating or cooking food.  If you were looking forward to your fresh, warm spinach egg sandwich at Love at 10514 you would have been in for a letdown, because Love at 10514 was the ONLY candidate in the new town board’s lease competition that did NOT plan on funding the capital improvements to Cafe La Track required to make it compliant with Westchester County health code for food preparation and heating.  The best you could have hoped for would have been your spinach egg sandwich prepared and packaged off premises and not heated.

This is the same constraint faced by anyone operating in the current Cafe La Track with its absorbent wooden surfaces.  But if either of Love at 10514’s two competitors had been awarded the station lease, then the capital improvements WOULD have been undertaken to provide different offerings (e.g., freshly prepared and/or heated on site) than are presently allowed. 

If you wish to learn more about this important public safely requirement as it applies to the Chappaqua station, please check out this link:

By An Educated Consumer on 06/29/2014 at 12:23 am

Rob, “Educated Consumer” has a good point: your fresh, warm spinach egg sandwich was pie in the sky!  Think this thing through and do better. Stop defending your town board’s mistakes.

By Pie in the sky on 06/29/2014 at 6:58 am

Confronted with the facts, the New Castle Democrats and their minions once again circle the wagons.

By bob on 06/29/2014 at 9:48 am

Dear educated consumer: while you are probably one of the losing contenders- who simply can’t bring yourself to put your real name….

Dunken donuts is one of the most successful franchises out there- selling items that are warned on site. People some times get list watching the big picture and don’t see that the little pictures could be just as successful!

By Dunken patron on 06/29/2014 at 12:59 pm


looks like you are the only “greennie”  left….. btw, what facts ?

By bobaloo on 06/29/2014 at 1:50 pm

Everyone hates everyone!  Bring back Bill Tribou and he will sort you out so you would all work together.  We need a Robert Moses dictator because it seems this democracy of the goody two shoes, predatory business types and conspiracy theory fans do not want to improve the town as much as they hate the other side. Are you channelling Congress?

By Football dad on 06/29/2014 at 1:55 pm

Thanks for the confirmation of my point!

By bob on 06/29/2014 at 2:25 pm

To Dunkin Patron: Rob, you’re intent on putting as much crap all around New CAstle as possible. You never met a spa, a shopping center, a gym, a warmed-over spinach omlet you didn’t like. YOu just want to see sh%$ happen. YOu don’t give a damn about whether it’s hi-class or low-class.

By Rob just wants stuff to happen on 06/29/2014 at 3:56 pm

I think a bright idea would be no more letters to the editor. They are really not proving anything and are basically filled with blah blah blah and puleeeeze….

Let’s wait and see what the next RFP looks like, after all isn’t this nonsense just spiraling out of control?

By Bright idea on 06/29/2014 at 4:49 pm

You blame Christine Yeres for not reporting this? That is just laughable.

You blame Robin Murphy for “stirring the pot” , I think it’s more like she took the lid off of the toxic stew that is current town board’s operation. The pot needed no stirring it just needed exposure to the public.

By to grrrrrrr on 06/30/2014 at 7:24 am

This is why we eat at home!  Better food. Better people.

By I don’t eat in Chappaqua! on 07/01/2014 at 2:33 pm

Aren’t people happy to have this unfeasible lease rescinded before this project goes any further?  It wasn’t going to end well. Maybe food regulations should have been known to someone involved but they clearly weren’t taken into account before the lease was signed.

By Anonymous on 07/02/2014 at 5:06 pm

Oh Erin, I mean Carla, I mean anonymous…. Will the real writer use their name? I thought we were supposed to be past all of this silly finger pointing…. And past speculating on what someone may or may not have done…. Are you someone who is in the oval green-team office that knows information that nobody else does? Or, are you just someone who likes to keep suggesting things without information? Please move on with your life, everyone else has…

By Chrissy on 07/02/2014 at 8:27 pm

Did “Football Dad” really cite Robert Moses, the horrible designer of the Saw Mill Parkway with all of its turns and curves to avoid any trespass on certain privileged properties? The Saw Mill Parkway is an abomination and definitely not something I would like to replicate in New Castle.
Why can’t NY have decent signage and roads? C’mon governor…even though it is your wedding week (cough, cough), can someone please address the sorry state of roads and signage….the worst in the union.

By C. M. on 07/02/2014 at 9:22 pm

How can “Chrissy” be so hyper critical of anonymous posts, when “she” or “he” is always anonymous too ?

By Q on 07/03/2014 at 10:32 pm

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