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Sustainable Playland President Steps Down After Tax Issues Revealed

Two of the founders of the organization chosen to revamp Playland resigned after information on the back taxes they owe were publicized.

Two leaders of the non-profit organization the county executive chose to renovate and redesign Playland have stepped down from their position after a local paper published information on back taxes they owe.

Dhruv Narain, the president of Sustainable Playland Inc. (SPI)  and his wife Sandhya Subbarao, a board member, are about $233,249 behind on their city and school district property tax payments, according to SPI spokesperson Geoff Thompson and the Chris Falcone’s article in The Sound Shore Review. The money is owed from 2009, 2011 and 2012 and Narain is working with the city to pay the debt, Thompson said.

Narain and Subbarao, own two adjoining properties at 4 and 6 Martin Butler Court, bought in 2007 and worth nearly $9.2 million combined, according to Falcone’s article. Narain had a lien placed on his property in 2009 and 2011 due to $145,000 in unpaid property taxes, Falcone reports.

Narain has been in ongoing, cooperative discussions with the city and has agreed to have all matters settled by next spring, SPI public relations manager Geoff Thompson said. He made a payment of $387,000 towards the debt over the last two years, Thompson said.

“His personal real estate taxes have nothing to do with Sustainable Playland,” Thompson said of Narain. “He and his wife are very committed to seeing the SPI dream and concept come true and they didn’t want to hurt that in any way. They felt the tax issue was being made an issue and they voluntarily stepped aside and resigned from the board and he resigned as president of organization so that SPI can stay focused on what it is doing.”

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Two weeks ago, Nairan joined county executive Rob Astornio at a celebratory press conference to sign a letter of intent for SPI and the county to enter into a 10-year management agreement, which includes a $34 million renovation of Playland. SPI was chosen from among 12 applicants who submitted a vision to revitalize Playland.

Narain currently works as the managing director and co-head of the restructuring group at Goldman Sachs, and was volunteering his time to SPI. He, Subbarao and Rye resident Peter Rukeyser founded SPI in 2010 when the county first sought management proposals for Playland.

“Mr. Narain and his wife have done a tremendous job and given a lot in terms of their own personal time, investment of their own money and organizing the group. They are integral to the entire concept that is now up and running,” Thompson said.

Board members Peter Rukeyser and Kim Morque will now serve as co-presidents of the organization. The board hopes to expand and aims to have the management agreement in place by the end of the year, according to Thompson.

To read more about Sustainable Playland’s plan, click here.

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Do you think Narain and Subbarao should have resigned? Tell us in the comments. 

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