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For Immediate Release:
September 1, 2011
Contact: 518-486-9846
Info@dos.ny.gov
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Secretary of State Cesar Perales Commends Work of Volunteer Code Enforcement Officials
and Pays Tribute to Rye City Building Inspector

Albany – New York Secretary of State Cesar Perales commended members of the Department of State’s volunteer Disaster Recovery Unit (DRU) during a visit to Rye last evening. The Secretary was in the city to tour damaged buildings affected by Hurricane Irene and to meet with code enforcement officials from around the state who are part of the Department’s volunteer DRU. While at the meeting, he praised the work and devotion of Rye City Building Inspector Vincenzo Tamburro who died after working tirelessly to assist with efforts to provide for the safety of city inhabitants.

Secretary Perales acknowledged the role that Mr. Tamburro has played in the City of Rye during this and other times of need. “It was late in the day and Mr. Tamburro was still in the field trying to help Rye residents put their lives back together,” said Secretary Perales. “His passing is a tragic loss to his family and loved ones, and also to the community, to which he responded heroically in the wake of Irene.”

Local officials accompanying the Secretary included State Assemblyman George Latimer, City of Rye Mayor Doug French, Senator Suzi Oppenheimer’s chief of staff, Westchester County Legislator Judy Meyers, Rye City Councilwoman Suzanna Keith and others. They joined the Secretary in expressing sympathy for Mr. Tamburro’s family and noted his efforts in helping Rye recover from the effects of Hurricane Irene. They also voiced their appreciation to Governor Cuomo, his commissioners, and Secretary Perales for their leadership during this crisis.

In response to the Governor’s Executive Order declaring a State Disaster Emergency, Secretary Perales deputized 45 code enforcement officials from across the state to evaluate buildings for habitability and qualification for financial assistance from state and federal disaster agencies. A team of six volunteer local code officials and two Department of State Division of Code Enforcement and Administration representatives were on the ground in Rye for the past 48 hours.

“Governor Cuomo is deploying resources throughout the state to ensure the safety of New Yorkers in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene,” said Secretary Perales. “Part of our mission at the Department of State is to ensure that our buildings are constructed, operated, and maintained safely. During extraordinary times such as these, we are particularly grateful to those who have answered our request to voluntarily serve during this post-disaster period.”

The volunteer code enforcement officials surveying the damage in Rye conducted preliminary evaluations of flood damaged buildings in the affected area in an effort to help keep residents and properties safe. They also assisted locals in seeking assistance from the state and federal government.

“I'm extremely pleased that Secretary Perales and his team visited our community to assess the damage from Hurricane Irene,” said New York Assemblyman George Latimer (D-Westchester). “The timeliness of his visit underscores the commitment of the Cuomo Administration to address our needs as urgently as possible, which I greatly value. The businesses and residents of Rye deeply appreciate this immediate attention.”

State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) stated, “I am very appreciative for the strong response of Governor Cuomo in the mobilization of all state agencies before the storm, and now, during the cleanup effort. We must redouble our efforts to accelerate the construction of flood mitigation projects in Westchester and around the state to reduce flood damage in the future. Our tenacious residents need help in ending the cycle of repetitive flood loss that we have experienced.”

“Rye will restore, rebuild and renew, but now is the time for not just disaster relief but for meaningful investments and commitments from all levels of government to partner on preventative upstream measures that can mitigate these events,” said Rye Mayor Douglas French.

“This quick action on the Governor's part and through the Secretary of State can make the difference between spending weeks out of one's home because of hurricane damage and spending a night or two,” said County Legislator Judy Myers. “This is made even more meaningful for homeowners and tenants whose children will be going back to school in a matter of days.”

Governor Cuomo is continuing to coordinate the state government-wide mobilization of resources in response to the storm. For more information, visit www.governor.ny.gov.

 

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