The Town Board's Emails About Becky Kittredge's Funeral
Updated September 5, 2013 The emails below are verbatim communications between North Castle's Town Board and the Town Clerk regarding the taping of Becky Kittredge's memorial service and whether to broadcast the tape on North Castle's cable television station (NCTV). This information was obtained by a resident using the Freedom of Information Law.
Wednesday, 8/28/13 @ 2:22PM Town Clerk Anne Curran wrote: "Residents have asked if Becky's funeral will be on cable TV or Town website. John Rik is available to video tape the service on Friday. Minimal production costs associated with taping are available within Public Information budget. Please advise if you have any comments."
Wednesday, 8/28/13 @ 3:02PM Councilman Steve D'Angelo responded: "I think it would be a great tribute."
Wednesday, 8/28/13 @ 3:11PM John Cronin responded: "I think it is inappropriate."
Wednesday, 8/28/13 @ 3:28PM Diane Roth responded: "Show Becky at a parade or other happy event not her funeral."
Wednesday, 8/28/13 @ 5:47PM John Cronin responded: "Let me clarify - if we want to put together a montage of video and images of becky reflecting her career and run that on the town channel I think that would be great and appropriate and I fully support it. I do not think filming a funeral is a good idea."
Wednesday, 8/28/13 @ 11:27PM Mike Schiliro responded: "No issues with taping it. It's a celebration of her life."
Thursday, 8/29/13 @ 10:06AM Howard Arden responded: "I think having Becky's service here at Town Hall honors her last wish. If anyone wants to tape it they can do it themselves."
Friday, 8/30/13 (the day of the funeral) @ 9:04AM Mike Schiliro wrote: "Anne, if John is still available I would have him tape it.. If cost is an issue, I am happy to cover it."
Friday, 8/30/13 @ 9:14AM Howard Arden responded: "Mike, that's very generous of you. I expect All About Armonk will be taping. As you of all people are aware spending public money and using employees for a private purpose can be considered improper. I have discussed this with Roland."
Friday, 8/30/13 @ 9:26AM Anne Curran responded: "Jon Rick is taping the funeral. His time is being paid for by private donations."
Friday, 8/30/13 @ 9:26AM John Cronin responded: "I will remind you Anne that 3 members of this Board expressed that we did not think running this on the cable channel is appropriate. Some other commemoration at a future date should be looked at"
Friday, 8/30/13 @ 12:08PM Anne Curran responded: "I need no reminding, John. This will be communicated to residents that ask why it is not on NCTV.
Town Clerk Anne Curran sent a town wide email on September 3, including the following: "There have been dozens of inquiries requesting information about when the video of the funeral will be aired on NCTV. Unfortunately, a 3-2 majority of the Town Board: Supervisor Arden, and Board members John Cronin and Diane DiDonato Roth, have voted NOT to allow the service to be aired on our cable TV channel."
On September 4, 2013 Councilman Michael Schiliro sent an email saying, The broadcasting of Becky Kittredge's memorial service on NCTV "is only possible if a majority on the Town Board approves it, which would normally be a routine, non-partisan matter that receives unanimous approval.
"In this case, three Town Board members--Diane Roth, Howard Arden, and John Cronin--blocked the request without detailed comment. Their decision is inexplicable. It should be irrelevant whether they agreed with Becky's politics, her substantive conclusions on town issues, or had another personal objection. She dedicated her life to our town and served with distinction. It's a fitting honor to broadcast her memorial service on NCTV.
"It is not too late to right this offensive wrong. Councilman Steve D'Angelo and I have already given our approval for the broadcast. Now we just need Diane Roth. Howard Arden, or John Cronin to change their position."
On September 4, 2013 Supervisor Arden in a letter said, "Given that some residents have expressed an interest in viewing Ms. Kittredge's funeral on NCTV, we will of course schedule to have it shown."
Arden also said, "We provided the procession with an official police and fire truck escort from the funeral home in Hawthorne to Town Hall."
On September 4, Bruce Wuebber sent an email to Supervisor Arden. Wuebber is the Chariman of the Armonk Fire Department Commissioners, but says he was not representing the Armonk Fire Department Board of Commissioners in the email he sent.
Wuebber said, "I just read your email sent today regarding Becky Kittredge's funeral, and I’m very concerned that you don’t know that the Fire Districts do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Town. Your statement 'We provided the procession with an official police and fire truck escort from the funeral home in Hawthorne to Town Hall' is just not correct. “We” (the Town of North Castle) did not provide a Fire Truck. North Castle Fire District 2 (the Armonk Fire Department) provided the Fire Truck escort, as well as the crew.
"Your statement misleads the public and does a disservice to the hardworking volunteers of both the Fire District and the Fire Department."
Editorial note: The response to the Freedom of Information Law request of the emails regarding the airing of Becky Kittredge's funeral service from the Town Clerk's office failed to include one additional email from Councilman John Cronin. The first publication of this article was printed with all of the FOIL information that was received then by the public. This publicly circulated collection of emails was missing an email from Councilman Cronin from August 28. The Town Clerk's office subsequently provided this email that was part of the thread. This story was updated a second time so as to remedy the first publication's missing email.
"8/28/13 @ 5:47PM John Cronin responded: Let me clarify - if we want to put together a montage of video and images of becky reflecting her career and run that on the town channel I think that would be great and appropriate and I fully support it. I do not think filming a funeral is a good idea."
Becky Kittredge Dies at Her Home in Armonk after a Short Illness
Rebecca Ann Kittredge died on August 25, 2013, at her home in Armonk after a short illness. The former North Castle deputy supervisor and town councilwoman was 69 years old.
Becky was born on November 15, 1943, to Ellis and Lucille Answorth Kittredge. She attended elementary school in Armonk and graduated from Pleasantville High School in 1962. After graduating high school, Becky attended Berkeley Secretarial School in White Plains.
During the Vietnam War years (from 1968-1969), Becky was involved with the youth group at the Armonk Methodist Church, where she led a peace march around downtown Armonk. In the late 1960’s, she marched in Harlem during the Civil Rights movement.
Becky began working at the White Plains School District in 1964. She then left New York briefly for a job at Bermuda Aviation, located at the United States Air Force Base in Bermuda. When her father became ill, Becky returned to New York and to the White Plains School District;
she eventually became an administrator and contract negotiator there and later became the administrator in charge of the classified staff. She retired in 2011 after 37 years of dedication to the White Plains School District.
In 1975, Becky began attending North Castle's Town Board meetings. They called her “Madame Defarge” (the name refers to the knitting fiend in "The Tale of Two Cities") because she always knitted during the meetings.
After four years of attending Town Board meetings, Becky ran for office in 1979 on the Democratic ticket. She served her hometown with distinction for 32 years. During her tenure, she was appointed as deputy supervisor to long-time Town of North Castle Supervisor John A. Lombardi. Her responsibilities involved acting as Town Board liaison to the Police Department, HIghway Department and the Beautification Committee.
Recently, Becky helped answer phone calls, spending many nights at the Highway Department during Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. When Becky used to buy lottery tickets, she said if she won millions, she would give a million toward building a new police station and two million for a new highway department building. Becky thought of all the town employees as her extended family.
During her tenure on the North Castle Town Board, Becky was a guiding force in the thoughtful and responsible development of the Town of North Castle; the town transitioned from a group of three hamlets into a thriving and vital town under her guidance and leadership.
Becky retired in 2011. While she may have retired from public service, she certainly didn’t retire from public life.
She served with distinction on the Board of Directors of the North Castle Historical Society for more than 20 years. She will be remembered by the local school children as "The Butter Lady" during the annual Smith's Tavern Colonial Crafts Day.
Becky was the unofficial ambassador of North Castle's Zero Waste Day, where she personally welcomed neighbors who arrived to drop off items for recycling.
An active volunteer at the Armonk Lions Club's annual Fol-de-Rol and the Friends of the North Castle Library's Armonk Outdoor Art Show, Becky was also involved in the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration and orchestrated the town's first anniversary observation of the 9 11 terrorist attacks on America.
In 2012, Becky was the recipient of the Pat Bresha Award for Distinguished Community Service given by the Armonk Lions Club at a dinner held in her honor; several years earlier, she had been the guest of honor at a dinner held by the Armonk Rotary Club, which recognized her contributions to the Town of North Castle.
Most recently, Becky served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Frosty, the group that sponsors the annual Armonk Frosty Day to honor Armonk as the hometown of Frosty the Snowman. She was an integral force in gaining the support of the town to have that distinction. She cherished escorting Frosty as he paraded down Armonk's Main Street to the cheers and smiles of hundreds of children.
When Becky was not on the golf course, she was a generous hostess and her door was always open. She was a lifelong Democrat and had an extensive collection of Americana memorabilia.
Becky married Marino Rotondo Jr. on April 26, 1992, at Kings Wood Estate, which was located at the time on Route 120 in North Castle. She was predeceased by her husband, her parents, her sister, Judy Kittredge, and her uncle, Harold C. Crittenden.
Becky is survived by two children, her son Peter Marino Rotondo of Alexandra, Virginia, and Frances Michelle Rotondo of Virginia Beach, Virginia, as well as by three grandchildren: Isabella Sorano, Zachary Rotondo and Alaina Rotondo. She is also survived by her beloved Old English Sheepdog Jenny, and by hundreds of friends.
A viewing will be held at the Hawthorne Funeral Home on Wednesday and Thursday, August 28 and 29, from 2:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. A service in Becky’s honor will take place on the steps of the North Castle Town Hall on Friday, August 30 at 10 a.m. with a private interment at All Souls Cemetery in Pleasantville.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The North Castle Historical Society at 440 Bedford Road, Armonk, NY 10504.