Sunday, December 31, 2006

December: Miscellaneous

The purpose of this Miscellaneous topic is to discuss any town related issues you feel are important. Please post any issues you wish to discuss in the comments section of this post. Thanks!


Have a happy and healthy 2007. I will be releasing my 2007 goals in early January--hopefully at the first meeting of the Town Board --a week from Wednesday. If you have some suggestions please post them on this blog or e mail me at At the beginning of the year I voluntarily put $5000 of my salary in an escrow account. Part of the $5000 is returned to the taxpayers at the end of the year -if goals are not met.
A partial list of possible goals is posted on the town web site:

Friday, December 22, 2006


The NY State Comptroller has been reviewing the WESTHELP partnership agreement. A draft report was presented to me and members of the Town Board. On each page of the report there was a sentence requesting that the draft report not be shared with the public. During meetings with the State Comptroller's office all the town officials present were told that the release of a draft report would be very damaging to the integrity of the process. The reason: The Comptroller's office indicated to the 5 members of the Town Board (Eddie Mae Barnes, Diana Juettner, Steve Bass, Francis Sheehan and myself) that there could be errors in the report. The State Comptroller's office did not want to release a document that contains errors in it.
The State Comptroller's office has given the Town Board and me until January 3rd, 2007 to respond to their draft. There are some errors in the draft report that need to be corrected.
Today, a newspaper reporter from the Journal News contacted me and advised me that the highly confidential report was leaked. I believe that the integrity of the comptroller's report (which contains inaccuracies) is at stake. I also believe that it was highly unethical and improper to release a confidential draft report that has errors in it to a reporter.
The proper response from the Town Board should have been to wait until a final report was prepared that is accurate. We anticipate that the final report will be released in early 2007. The public has the right to review the comptroller's opinion and findings.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

dobbs ferry hospital files lawsuit so they won't close down

The Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the closure recommendations of a state commission. There is an article in the Journal News today about the lawsuit (
The Greenburgh Town Board & river villages approved resolutions calling on the state to keep the hospital open. This hospital makes money. Why should the state close down a hospital that is successful?
I will be working very hard to do whatever we can to save this important hospital.

Empire Blue Cross/Blude Shield Cutting Back Service

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield has sent out important hospital termination notices to Greenburgh residents who are members of Empire Blue Cross advising that effective January 1, 2007 that they will no longer be a participating provider with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. As a result, area residents will no longer be able to obtain services from Lawrence Hospital, Northern Westchester Hospital, Phelps Memorial Hospital and White Plains Hospital Center.
I will be contacting the NY State Dept of Health and Insurance and others to object. This decision will create great inconveniences for residents who have health needs.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tappan Zee bridge study approved...

If the Tappan Zee bridge is replaced Greenburgh (villages/287 corridor which includes unincorporated Greenburgh) will be impacted. The state is moving forward reviewing various options. Before plans are finalized by the state we want to make sure that our quality of life concerns are addressed. the Greenburgh Town Board voted yesterday to appropriate $30,000 in the 2007 budget to retain the services of a consultant to assist us in the review. The vote was unanimous.
Hopefully, since we are being proactive, some of our concerns could be addressed by the state before final plans are announced.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fire in Edgemont..Board approves budget

A fire caused extensive damage to a home at 4 Seely Place in Edgemont. A captain suffered a leg injury...other firefighters suffered exhaustion and smoke inhalation.
The Greenburgh Town Board approved the 2007 budget unanimously. The budget includes tax cuts for unincorporated Greenburgh and the villages.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A possible E Hartsdale Ave goal: Summer jazz concert or jazz concert series

A possible E Hartsdale Ave goal: We should consider an East Hartsdale Ave summer jazz concert or jazz concert series -at Desanti Plaza, near Starbucks.
What's your thought? Would you be interested in helping me organize such an event? If yes, e mail me at

Sunday, December 17, 2006


The Greenburgh Town Board will vote on the 2007 budget this coming Tuesday, December 19th at 4 PM at Town Hall. I submitted my proposed budget to the Town Board at the end of October. The members of the Board have been working hard - reviewing the proposed budget since early November. There are two budgets that I submitted: a B budget (unincorporated Greenburgh only) and an A budget (the villages and unincorporated Greenburgh. If you combine the A budget and the B budget the total budget is 72 million dollars. The Town Council members are recommending that expenditures in the proposed budget be reduced by only $37,000 out of a total of 72 million dollars.
In the B budget the Board reduced expenditures by $111,000 from a budget of $47,242,815. In the A budget the Board members are recommending an increase in expenditures by $76,000 from what I had proposed.
The Town Board members are able to reduce the taxes by cutting into the fund balance. In the B budget I had originally recommended a tax increase of about 1%. The Board is recommending that an additional $750,000 be deleted from the fund balance -which will enable taxes to go down by less than 1%.Taxes in the A budget will go down by more than 10%. The issue before the Board on Tuesday is this: Should we use up more of our fund balance now in the B budget and provide residents with a very slight tax cut? Or, would it be more prudent to use less of the fund balance now and keep tax increases lower during the next few years --rather than have fluctuations in tax rates, as we have seen at the county level (a few zero percent increases followed by substantial double digit hikes). I think people want stability and predictability.
The Town Council members made some good positive changes. I am enthusiastic about the community policing that will start in Mayfair Knollwood. I am very pleased about the $20,000 additional funds for leaf collection - this is good public policy and will enable the town to pick up leaves faster. I am grateful that the Town Board is open minded about the SAT/summer BizCamp. The Board members indicated that if the Community Center Advisory Board endorses the camp they can implement the initiative. I am pleased that the Board has agreed to fund the TZ bridge review and will support the comprehensive plan initiative.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

proposed amendment to Town Board rules--meetings must end by 11:15 PM unless there is unanimous consent

I intend to propose a rules change to the rules of the Town Board in January that all Town Board meetings and work sessions end no later than 11:15 PM unless there is unanimous consent by the members of the Town Board. In 2006 many of our meetings ended after midnight. This is unfair to town staff. A tired Town Board is more likely to make mistakes. In addition, post midnight meetings is not real open government. How many residents will stay up to attend, speak at or watch Town Board meetings/work sessions after midnight?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Westchester Disabled on Move expresses concern about Ardsley site for Bd of Elections

Last week I reported that the Ardsley School district expressed concerns about the proposed move of the Board of Elections from White Plains to 440 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley. The major concern school officials had was the loss of taxes. When the county purchases a building the property becomes tax exempt. Frank Harrington, a school board member, also raised an interesting issue: the lack of accessibility of the site to people with disabilities. The building is set back from the street, has hilly topography and the path from the street to the entrance is too steep to be considered accessible.
I wrote to some organizations that advocate for the disabled. Mel Tanzman, Executive Director of Westchester Disabled on the Move, conducted a site visit. He determined that the objections were valid. I hope that the county looks elsewhere.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Some Edgemont bloggers have posted comments in recent weeks about the failure of the town to acquire more open space in Edgemont. They object to the open space acquisitions that have happened in other neighborhoods around the town.
The town has been asked by some members of the Board of the Greenburgh Nature Center to presrve a former single dwelling residence at 1 Dromore Road as open space. A house on this property has been demolished - the property is included in the Central Ave mixed use zoning area.
It's important to preserve the 3 parcels, totaling 2.34 acres, as open space. It would be an important addition to the Center's 33 acre preserve and would provide a direct link to the Greenburgh Nature Center's open space and the Edgemont Jr-Sr. High School open space. Continguious open space is crucial to preservation of wildlife habitats. If this property were developed for commercial or residential use it would have a very negative impact on the center's functioning as a sanctuary for wildlife in lower Westchester County. Preserving this property as open space is important on the local, county and regional level. I will be reaching out to Edgemont civic leaders, the school district and the Westchester Land Trust - as well as other public officials so we can preserve this precious parcel of land.


The Town Board took an important action step that will lead to the development of 444 units of housing in E Irvington when the Board adopted the findings statement pursuant to SEQR. OVer 10 years ago the property owners sought permission to build about 800 units of housing at the site. We worked cooperatively with the Village of Elmsford and E Irvington Civic Association reviewing this proposal. The Town Board adopted steep slope laws and an open space plan. We acquired 200 acres of open space in E IRvington (Taxter Ridge). Eventually, an agreement was reached. 444 units of housing will be built, 10% affordable housing.
Special thanks to Danny Gold, head of the E Irvington Civic Association for negotiating a compromise that we could live with. 444 units of housing is better than 800!
If the town had prohibited the developer from building on the property or if we had downsized the project by much more - the developer could have brought an action in court against the town - claiming that we were "taking his property". Local governments cannot prohibit development on property unless we purchase the land.


Every year, since 1999, I have returned part of my salary to the taxpayers voluntarily. At the beginning of the year I announce goals. I place $5000 of my salary in escrow. At the last Town Board meeting of the year the Town Board reviews the goals and determines how much of the $5000 should be returned.
This past Tuesday, during the Board's work session, the Town Board members reviewed my goals and determined that I met 79.41% of the goals that were announced at the beginning of the year. At last nights Town Board meeting the Board voted that $1,029.41 should be given back. The status of each of the goals will be posted on our town web site:
I am currently working on goals 2007. Please continue to provide me with your suggestions.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

leaf collection overtime to be increased

I am very pleased that the members of the Town Board will vote to increase the leaf collection overtime budget by $20,000. The overtime will go from $56,750 to $76,750. Hopefully, the additional overtime spent on leaf collection will enable the town to expedite the pick up of leaves. The Town Board will hold its final hearing on the budget on Wednesday (tomorrow). It's possible that the Board will approve a final budget for 2007 tomorrow. The budget must be approved by Dec 20th.
Bloggers who have visited this blog spot have been most helpful --a number of suggestions have been proposed that could result in better leaf collection in the future. Among the suggestions besides increased overtime:
* Paying landcapers to drop off piles of leaves at our dump site.
* Hiring additional seasonal employees.
* Issuing an RFP to private landscapers/contractors who would assist the town in collecting leaves.


Ever hear of Starbucks? I'm joking, of course --because Starbucks sells coffee almost everywhere. Lawyers for Starbucks were spotted at Town Hall today - the company plans to submit an application to open up a Starbucks on 9A in N Elmsford, near the movie theater and Sam's. The application is expected to be submitted within the next few weeks.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Police presence might happen in Mayfair Knollwood

The members of the Greenburgh Town Council announced steps that could result in providing residents of Mayfair/Knollwood with the police protection they want. Community leaders want the same police protection in 2007 as they had in 2006. The additional police presence is requested as a result of a county shelter that opened late last year at Grasslands. This shelter provides housing for sexual offenders. Some of these sexual offenders were found to have sexually abused, raped, or were involved in the attempted kidnapping of small children.
During the past year the Town Board has funded police overtime for this neighborhood - providing the neighborhood with the protection that had been sought. Today the council is suggesting that the Board hire a new officer --that the police dept expand to 3 new officers in 2007. A new officer might be less expensive than overtime.
If this is done the officer would enable the police dept to expand the commuity policing post to Grasslands Road, which would incorporate the Mayfair area of town. Currently, it ends at Old Tarrytown road.
I spoke to Chief Kapica today and he indicated that for 34 weeks policing may not be at the same level it has been this year --because the officer will be receiving training. After the 34 weeks the police will have more resources to provide residents of Mayfair/Knollwood with police protection.
I continue to believe that the town should continue to keep the promises we made to the community - that we should provide the same level of police protection in 2007 as we did in 2006.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Every year I announce goals at the beginning of the year. I am starting to compile a list of goals for 2007. I would appreciate your suggestions. The goals will be announced in January.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I attended a terrific community event this morning- the 6th annual benefit pancake breakfast and coat drive at the Bailey School sponsored by F.A.C.T. (Fathers and Children Together). The pancake breakfast was a real community happening --hundreds of residents (most were from Fairview) attended - and donated pre-owned coats. The coats are being given to patients who use the services of the Greenburgh Neighborhood Health Center. The funds raised at the event are going to the 6th grade class.
This event was one of the best events I have attended over the years --many people from the community (including people who are typically not active in the community)--attended,and donated coats to a worthy cause.
F.A.C.T. is planning to get involved in our snow angel program --fathers and kids will assist the elderly clear their driveways and walkways of snow.
This is the kind of excellent program that makes people proud to live in Greenburgh. It's what a community should be about. Hat's off to the organizers of F.A.C.T. for a terrific job!

Friday, December 08, 2006


A few years ago Greenburgh became the 2nd municipality in the nation and first in NY to mandate energy conservation in new residential construction. Nikki Coddington, our energy conservation coordinator, proposed today that the town consider promoting energy conservation in new commercial construction over 5,000 sq feet. The suggested options: the town should require or incentivize applicants to build commercial buildings that meet ENERGY STAR standards. Development incentives could be offered if we do not require builders to build green buildings.
What do you think? Mandate...or provide incentives? If every local government promoted energy conservation we will not have to rely on foreign oil as much as we currently do. It's my hope that the Town Board will give serious consideration to this important issue.

Chase Bank to replace gas station on Central Ave

Chase Bank is proposing to demolish the existing Mobil gas station building at 353 N Central Ave and construct a one story 4,056 sq ft, one story Chase Bank building with two drive thru lanes, parking stalls and drive aisles, landscaping, improved drainage and storm water collection, a landscaped buffer between the adjacent lot and improved site lighting.The site plan proposes to improve the ingress and egress of southerly shopping center driveway entrance by closing the current opening curb cuts and providing for a new one curb cut. The applicant also proposes to make improvements to internal site circulation, handicap access, and safety as part of the application.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Westchester May purchase 450 Saw Mill River Rd for Bd of Elections--impact to schools major

Westchester County is considering purchasing the property located at 450 Saw Mill River Road for use by the Board of Elections. The property is located in the Ardsley School district and the unincorporated Town of Greenburgh. If the county purchases the property the property will be taken off the tax rolls. The Ardsley school district will lose $192,170.86 in taxes. This would be a significant loss of revenue to the school district and could result in substantial increases in school taxes. The town/county/fire district will lose $99,411.62.
I am urging the county to consider a pilot - providing the town/fire district/school district with the taxes that we would receive if the building is not acquired by the county. I have contacted the County Executive Andrew Spano.


I am asking the Town Board to consider adopt abandoned properties legislation - requiring property owners that start construction to complete construction within a reasonable period of time. There are some properties in the town that are eyesores -construction started but never was completed. Neighbors feel this has a negative impact on property values. What are your thoughts? What suggestions do you have for legislation?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

library update

The Greenburgh Town Board held a work session on the library construction meeting today. The meeting was open to the public. The architect, working with Triton, has presented the Town Board with a proposed master budget. The scope of the work bid has been reduced to meet the budget constraints of the project. Our construction attorney, Thomas Tripodianos of Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, has provided the town with a memo of law detailing the law on post bid negotiations and rejection of apparent low bids. The question is this: has the scope of the work that has been bid been reduced by a significant amount to require re-bidding? If the amount is significant than all bidders should have a chance to revise their bids in accordance with the reduced work. There have been court rulings that indicate that a municipality may not "engage in post-bid negotiations through which a contractor other than the low bidder may become the low bidder, or coerce a low bidder to make unfair and unwarranted concessions through the threat of rejecting all bids." (Matter of Fischback & Moore V NYC Trataros.Auth -1981). In another case (Acme Bus Corp v Bd of Education of Roosevelt Union Free School District) the court stated that "favoritism or irregularity in the bidding process may ostensibly produce monetary savings, but the use of such means to meet that singular end is still unsustainable because the complete public interest is ultimately promoted by fostering honest competition."
Re-bidding will delay the library project and could result in additional architectural costs.
I want to make sure that we are extra careful and that we comply with the competitive bidding laws. I suggested that we reach out to the Attorney General's office or some other state office and seek their advice. A copy of Mr. Tripodianos's memo was distributed to the public at the Board work session.

Monday, December 04, 2006


The Greenburgh Town Board appointed Herman Killebrew as an entry level police officer at the Greenburgh Town Board meeting on Monday evening. Officer Killebrew is the first graduate of the Police Summer Youth Camp to be appointed a police officer. The camp has provided young people with an opportunity to learn about policing and law enforcement during the summer mnths. At the our budget hearing that the Town Board held on Monday evening many residents of Greenburgh supported the proposed SAT/college prep summer camp. Who knows? One of the SAT summer camp graduates may one day win a Nobel Prize or become a corporate leader!
The Town Board will vote on a budget on December 13th.

The Town Board also approved a resolution urging the State Legislature not to close the Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry. The vote was unanimous!

The Greenburgh Town Board will meet at work session on Tuesday at 4 PM to discuss library construction bids.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


The December 3rd issue of the NY Daily News ( has a great story about one of Greenburgh's six villages- Hastings on Hudson. The story "Smarty Town" suggests that Hastings on Hudson has something in its water -- something that flows into the town's small public schools. There are a record number of Nobel Laureates per capita. Six former Hastings on Hudson residents/students have received the Nobel Prize. This year Edmund Ned Phelps (Hastings High School Class of 1951) will win the prize. The first Hastings on Hudson Nobel Laureate was Max Theiler. His daughter Elizabeth Martin resides in Dobbs Ferry. Robert C. Merton (brother of Hastings activist Vanessa Merton) received the Nobel Prize in the 1990s.
Hastings on Hudson is a very special and unique community. We're lucky to have this village in our town of Greenburgh.

Hastings educators/parents/public officials have always worked hard to motivate young people to reach for the stars. One of the reasons why so many students succeed at reaching the top is because of the impressive programs and support offered to students.

Next week the Greenburgh Town Board will be voting on the 2007 proposed town budget. The proposed budget that I submitted includes funding for an SAT summer preparation camp and a summer BizCamp. Some of the students who enroll in the camps would receive scholarships (if they are income eligible). It's my hope to provide students with the tools so that they, too, can reach for the stars. The camps are designed to provide students with a stronger foundation that will help them succeed in life. Perhaps, enrollees in these camps might be inspired to study harder, to learn new skills. Who knows -- we may motivate a student to become a future Bill Gates or Nobel Laureate.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I continue to have concerns about the temporary satellite library locations proposed when the library closes for construction. I do not feel that the proposed locations are adequate. The proposed plan calls for 70% of the library books to be placed in storage for 2 years. The satellite library locations that have been proposed so far at Town Hall, the Multipurpose Building/Veteran park and at the Community Center are very small spaces.
A few weeks ago a good suggestion was made to place a trailer at the Greenburgh Nature Center. The town needs a temporary location on E Hartsdale Ave.
Another suggestion that I discussed with some residents today was to ask the schools if the library could use existing school libraries for temporary satellite library locations after school hours. The town would staff the school library (which could become a children's library) with a town paid librarian. If the school library has extra space some of the books that we were going to place in storage could be offered to the schools while construction is happening.
What are your thoughts? The purpose of this blog is to exchange ideas and to try to think of constructive ways to make our town a better place. Having a functional library during the 2 year construction is of great importance.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Great news! Police Chief John Kapica has advised me that the members of the patrol division of the Police Department arrested a suspect who has been responsible for 5 robberies around Westchester. He told victims he was wired with dynamite and would blow himself up. He was arrested at Duan Reade drugstore on Central Ave.
Hat's off to the police department for their excellent work. Serious crime in Greenburgh continues to be at its lowest level in recorded history!


Now that the warm weather is about to break - it's time for our annual snow angel appeal. I'm looking for volunteers who will help senior citizens and disabled residents clear their driveways and walkways of snow during the winter months. I started this program 15 years ago. We have helped many individuals each year. Some of the beneficiaries of the program are individuals who are frail elderly --who depend on a clear walkway for food/medical services.
If you are interested in volunteering your time to this program - please e mail me at
If you are a student and are willing to have your name posted on a web site - please provide me with a letter from your parents authorizing your name to be released on a public web site.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

November: Miscellaneous

The purpose of this Miscellaneous topic is to discuss any town related issues you feel are important. Please post any issues you wish to discuss in the comments section of this post. Thanks!


James Foy, President & CEO of Riverside Health Care (which oversees the Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry) will be my guest on my WVOX AM Radio program (1460AM) this Monday, December 4th at 11 AM to noon. A committee established by NY State has recommended the closure of this hospital. Listeners can call in live at 636-0110 to chat with
I have introduced a resolution before the Greenburgh Town Board urging the state to save the hospital --which has served Greenburgh residents and residents of the river villages for over 100 years. The hospital is a short term non profit health care facility that has 50 beds -- the average length of stay is seven days or less. It provides general acute in patient, out patient and emergency medical and surgical care to patients. The Town Board meeting will take place at Greenburgh Town Hall at 7:15 PM on Monday night, December 4th. This hospital is a very special place. Many people appreciate the personalized care given to everyone who goes to the hospital.
If you are interested in joining the citizens campaign to save the hospital please e mail me at

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

library update

I have been advised that the library construction, which had been scheduled to start this fall, has been delayed. I have been told that the bids are over budget in excess of a million dollars. I will be working with the Library Board and the Town Board to bring the library construction costs within the approved bond dollar approval ($20 million referendum). I have asked that this be discussed at the Town Board meeting on Monday, December 4th at 7:15 PM.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry may close

Sad, bad news for Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry. A state panel has recommended that the hospital (which has served many Greenburgh residents for years)be closed down. The panel that made the recommendation was charged with reorganizing NY's health care system. The Hospital is affiliated with St.John's in Yonkers.
The hospital plans to wage a campaign to keep the Community Hospital open. Interested in getting involved? Let me know.
This is not the first time that the hospital has been threatened with closure.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Why commuters are standing on the train this week...

Metro North has taken 124 trains (one third) out of service to repair flat wheels. This has caused many commuters some inconvenience - there are fewer seats and overcrowding on the trains. The wet weather, falling leaves, caused slippery conditions on tracks causing train wheels to slip. Wheels flattten out. The wheels have to be made round again. Hopefully, commuters taking the train from Hartsdale and other train stations in Greenburgh will see some improvement next week.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Ardsley Mayor Jay Leon has advised me that on Thanksgiving day, in a driving rainstorm, four Ardsley firefighers returning home on the Saw Mill River Parkway saved a family that was stuck in a submerged car within the overflowing rapids of the Saw Mill River. The 4 firefighers saved the family which included a 3 and 1 year old. They did not seek or expect any credit.
A special thanks to firefighters Don Black, PJ Murray, Lenny Breindel and Michael Carson for their valor and their spirit of community service. I would like to honor each of the volunteers at an upcoming meeting of the Greenburgh Town Board.
During the past year Ardsley Mayor Leon has pushed the town to turn foreclosed property at the waterwheel into affordable housing for volunteer firefighters. Our volunteer firefighters are always ready and willing to be of assistance to the community. They give to us. We should give back to them. If we lose our volunteers because of the lack of affordable housing - Ardsley and Greenburgh will lose a great volunteer department made up of very dedicated, brave individuals who always put your safety first.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Edgemont civic leaders are encouraging the Greenburgh Town Board to approve a moratorium on residential development on Central Ave. Residential development does not generate the same amount of taxes as commercial development. Commercial development on Central Ave generates taxes for the Edgemont school system and no additional students to educate. What are your views?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Opposition to Indian Point Extension Mounting...

Entergy announced the day before Thanksgiving (when no one was paying attention) that they will seek permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the license of Indian Point through 2035. The Town of Greenburgh was the first locality to approve a resolution a while back opposing the re-licensing. About 20 local governments have joined Greenburgh in opposing the re-licensing. Hundreds of elected officials from the Hudson Valley also oppose Indian Point. Governor-elect Spitzer, Congresswoman Lowey, Congressman Engel, Congressman-elect Hall also oppose Indian Point.
These are some concerns:
*** Indian Point continues to be a terrorist target. President Bush, in his State of the Nation Message shortly after 9/11, stated that maps of nuclear power plants were found in Afghan caves. Indian Point is a high profile location, just like the World Trade Center.
*** 20 million people live within 50 miles of Indian Point. A meltdown would have catastrophic consequences to the entire metropolitan area.
*** There is no viable evacuation plan for Indian Point. No where to where to hide!
*** Radiocative water was found under Indian Point's power plant. The radioactive water has grown to the size of the Central Park reservoir.
*** Insurance companies won't cover damages from nuclear accidents.
*** Emergency sirens keep malfunctioning.
You can join the effort to close down Indian Point. Visit the web site: or
Entergy claims that Indian Point is safe. If they are wrong - the consequences would be enormous. We can't take a chance.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


During the holiday season lots of Greenburgh residents are interested in helping the hungry and homeless. This is a time to appreciate our good fortune. Bloggers may be concerned about leaves, A & B budgets, parks & zoning issues. These are important issues. Unfortunately, there are people out there who worry about issues that are evening more important: finding shelter in the evening and food for their children.
There are many organizations that provide help to the less fortunate. Here are a few:
*Union Baptist Church, Manhattan Ave, Greenburgh (948-6439)--the church has a food pantry for the hungry. They welcome donations.
*Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless - 48 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 35-37, White Plains, NY 10601 Phone: 682-2737. The coalition has a long list of many organizations that seek donations.
*The Sharing Community, 1 Hudson Street, Yonkers serves a Thanksgiving Day meal on November 23rd at noon. Volunteers needed. Call 963-2326.
*YWCA of Yonkers (shelter and food pantry), 87 S Broadway, Yonkers -will distribute holiday food for Thanksgiving. Volunteers needed 963-0640 X 102
*El Centro Hispano (St Bernard's Church), 346 South Lexington Ave, White Plains distribute holiday foods to clients. Donations of spanish foods, rice and non perishable items are needed. Call 289- 0500.
* Grace Church Community Center, 33 Church Street, White Plains serve Thanksgiving meals. Donations welcome 949-3098 X 100
*ARCS Hawthorne 40 Saw Mill River road, Hawthorne --food donations welcome 785-8356
*Community Opportunity Center of the Tarrytown's, 105 Wildey Street, Tarrytown 631-7340. Food donations welcome.
The above is just a small sampling of groups. If you know of any other organization that is searching for volunteers or donations please post your comments on the blog.

ON another matter- a few weeks ago I reported that a Dobbs Ferry family faced eviction from a Greenburgh owned apartment that the town acquired due to foreclosure. The building is substandard and is unsafe. Good news---the family found a new apartment in Greenburgh and will be moving into their new new home on December 15th. We raised $1241 to help the family pay their one month security. Thank you for your help! This family will have a happy and stress free holiday season.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

nature center suggests nature center as satellite library

The Town Board met tonight with representatives of the Greenburgh Nature Center. The center came up with an interesting suggestion: setting up a trailer at the nature center as a satellite library location. This concept is very interesting. After the library closes for construction the nature center (satellite library) might want to house books dealing with the environment, energy conservation, science, animal life, farming, etc... The nature center has a loyal following - lots of visitors. The satellite location at the nature center would probably be very popular. The nature center is conveniently located - on Central Ave and would provide Edgemont residents with a convenient library location. Many parents bring their children to the nature center year round. Some additional children library programs could be provided at the nature center.
During the summer months visitors to a nature center library satellite location could read a book and enjoy nature at the same time.
A very interesting and helpful idea...

East Hartsdale Ave gets holiday lights donation from Westchester Greenhouse Farm

In recent years I have received a number of complaints about the lack of holiday spirit on E Hartsdale Ave. The holiday decorations looked old and uninviting. Thanks to a generous donation form Westchester Greenhouse Farm (450 Secor) we have placed attractive new holiday lights on the avenue. The street looks very attractive. We're grateful for the donation and look forward to your additional suggestions - regarding ways we can make East Hartsdale Ave and the rest of the town more holiday friendly. Your comments and suggestions, as always, are welcome. In addition to decorations - your suggestions for additional holiday programs would also be appreciated.
Happy holidays!

Monday, November 20, 2006


There is a report in today's Journal News ( that the satellite library that was going to be placed at the E Hartsdale Ave parking site is on hold so the Library Board can study legal issues. The Parking Authority is expected to make a decision by late December. The parking authority had offered to absorb some of the costs associated with placing the satellite library at this location. Critics had expressed concern that the permit holders were subsidizing the library.
I think that an E Hartsdale Ave satellite branch library is very important and thought that this proposed location would have been one of the most successful temporary sites while construction of the library is taking place. It's my hope that this can be worked out. One possible compromise suggestion: If it is determined that the Parking Authority does not have the legal authority to absorb some of the costs - why can't the Library pay rent for the satellite location?
When the Library closes down for construction of the new & expanded library - there will be only a few very small satellite library locations. Current possible locations include small rooms at the Town Hall, Multipurpose Room - Veteran Town Park, Theodore Young Community Center. Over 70% of the library books will be placed in storage.
We need to find additional temporary locations so that library services can be provided for our residents. East Hartsdale Ave is a very important location!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Yesterday, the Town Board met with the Commissioner of Public Works and with representatives of TRITON & the library's architect to discuss the status of the library expansion. We were advised that bids were over what had been estimated.The architect indicated that the bids were not substantially over budget estimates so the project can proceed without re-bidding/major delays. The architect is currently reviewing the bids and will recommend sometime in the next few weeks whether the low bids should be accepted. Design alternates (cutbacks in the project) are being considered to keep the library expansion within budget. The current estimate is that construction won't start until mid to late December of this year or early 2007. The construction should take about 2 years once work starts. For over a year I have called for a project manager to oversee the library construction. This expansion is currently about 7 months behind schedule (before the construction starts).

Should the Town fine candidates for campaign signs that are not removed after an election is over?

Should the Town Board approve a new law that would require all campaign signs to be removed after a specific number of days after an election? If signs are not removed by the candidate - should town public works crews remove the sign and fine the candidates for each sign that we remove?
Your input would be appreciated.
How many days should we give candidates to have their signs removed?
What should the fine be?
In some communities candidates must provide the locality with a deposit at the beginning of the campaign -before any signs are placed at given locations. The deposit is refunded at the end of the campaign after the signs have been removed. Should we require deposits?
In other localities candidates are required to advise the locality where signs are going to be placed. Any thoughts?

Friday, November 17, 2006

leaf collection ideas --alternatives to proposed law

I have some concerns about the proposed new law that would authorize summons to be issued for leaf piles on streets/sidewalks. These are some concerns:
1)The law will pit neighbor against neighbor.
2)The proposed law could be costly - everytime a summons is issued the officer/town employee who issued the summons will have to appear in court (which could include overtime).
3)The proposed law is impossible to enforce fairly. How can one be sure that the person who gets the summons was responsible for placing leaf piles in front of his/her house? It's possible that a neighbor had their landscaper put the pile of leaves on the neighbors house. How can we make sure that we're giving summons to the right party.
4)If different town departments are asked to enforce the law (police, public works) it's possible that some people may receive multiple summons from different departments - which will get people real angry.
5) We should step up efforts to encourage property owners to be good neighbors and to voluntarily place leaves off the roads.
NEW IDEAS--------------WHAT CAN BE DONE-------------
1)We should consider doing what Scarsdale started doing a number of years ago: paying landscapers a dollar figure for every load they dump at the dumpsite. This will reduce the amount of leaves our own highway department has to pick up.
2)If this is done the Town Board should license landscapers who work within the town.
3)The town should immediately take steps to increase the leaf collection process. We should contact our work force and offer overtime --increase the number of hours for leaf duty. NEGATIVES: If we require our workers to work 7 days a week and there is a snow storm in December - will our overworked & tired employees be able to do their snow removal duties at the level we expect? I would like the Board to authorize more overtime for leaf collection.
4)If our full time employees are not able to work more hours on leaf duty or if we still need additional help we should issue an RFP to private contractors to help the town with leaf collection duties. The private sector could assist our town employees. In the past we have been told that most of the contractors are busy during this season -- however, if we issue an RFP and reach out to the private sector we will know for sure.
The above are just some thoughts that I have. I'm posting this on the blog because I want to do the right thing -- and want your input.

energy conservation coordinator saves taxpayers almost a million!

An article in today's Journal News ( about the Town Board decision earlier this week to authorize the sale of a federally subsidized housing complex reported that "the company agreed to give up a request for a $1 million tax break, opting for a one year tax break worth about $50,000." Special thanks to Nikki Coddington, our energy conservation coordinator for her efforts. Nikki advised town officials and the new building owners that they could be eligible for technical and financial assistance through a state program for energy efficiency in multi family buildings. This informaiton addressed some of the building owners financial issues and was a major factor in their decision to drop the tax break request. The vote highlights the fact that energy efficiency technical and financial assistance is out there and can improve residents quality of life. For more information about our energy conservation initiatives call Nikki Coddington at 993-1649.
Hat's off to Nikki for her excellent work. This most recent accomplishment is just one of many contributions Nikki has made to our town.

Departmental Budget Review

The Town Board will be reviewing my proposed budget. This is the schedule of meetings with department heads:

November 9, 2006

To: Department Heads

From: Alfreda Williams

Re: Departmental Budget Review

Please note the following schedule for Budget Review by the Town Board. In addition, please have copies of your original budget request available for Town Board members.

November 14, 2006

4:15 PM Police

5:00 PM Building

5:30 PM Library

6:00 PM Planning

6:30 PM Town Comptroller

November 21, 2006

3:30 PM Public Works

4:45 PM Town Justices

5:45 PM Purchasing

6:15 PM Nature Center

6:45 PM Town Attorney

November 28, 2006


4:30 PM Parks & Recreation

5:30 PM Tax Receiver

6:00 PM Assessor

6:30 PM Town Clerk

Please notify my office if your appointment date needs adjustment.

CC: Paul Feiner, Superintendent

Town Council

Gil Kaminer

Thursday, November 16, 2006


In recent days some people have expressed some concern about the way WestHELP funds have been treated in the town's budget. A number of people have expressed their views on this blog. I would like to address that question.
When we did the sublease it was agreed by everybody, including the entire Town Board, that grants would be made to the Valhalla School district, the Fairview Fire Department and the Mayfair Knollwood community. How this would be treated on the budget documents and accounted for is something we all left to the Town's Comptroller. None of us are accountants.
We were then told that the grant to the civic association was not legal and therefore we didn't pay it. But because the Town Board had unanimously approved an agreement and had approved a negotiated agreement commiting to help out the Mayfair-Knollwood neighborhood for supporting the 108 room homeless shelter, we decided to keep that money aside and looked for ways to honor our commitment to the community. For me it was simply a way to do what we all, the entire Town Board, had promised to do.
Now I am told that this was wrong. But two Comptrollers before Jim Heslop, and also Jim Heslop, handled it this way. I may be the chief financial officer of the town, but I don't maintain the books. This is done by a professional staff. I don't try to second-guess them. If it was the wrong way to do it, then it will be fixed. But no one can say that I did anything other than what the the entire Town Board agreed to do all along. The Town Board has looked at the budget in past years. The Town Board changes lots of things in the budget but they didn't change anything about the way the WestHelp money was treated.
As I have said often, I don't act alone and I am not a dictator. Everything that I know about this all the other members of the Town Board knew as well. If I made a mistake, the entire Town Board made a mistake. If I am accountable, the entire Town Board is accountable, as well as the Comptroller and the outside auditors who approved what had been done.
All payments and disbursements relating to WestHelp have been recorded, accounted for and audited annually. Only funds authorized by the Town Board in the form of resolutions, have been released to the Valhalla school district and Fairview Fire district. In addition to being audited by our independent auditors the Town provided the NY State Comptroller's office with all documents concerning WestHelp in the summer of 2004. We received a few telephone calls from the auditors in 2004 but heard nothing from them regarding our accounting of WestHelp funds in 2004 or in 2005. We received a draft report from the Comptroller's office regarding WestHelp this week and have not met with the Comptroller's office to discuss as of this writing.
I do not believe in closed government. Every aspect of the WestHelp partnership has been discussed publicly. All funds distributed have been approved at public meetings and citizens have had the opportunity to comment about the distribution of the WestHelp partnership at every meeting. There is no secrecy concerning WestHelp and the partnership.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Tonight, we held an SAT Preparation Review/College Prep Course/BizCamp Information meeting at Greenburgh Town Hall. About 25 Greenburgh students from different school attended the meeting and learned about the proposal - which is included in the 2007 proposed budget. Some of the students were so motivated about the program that they walked from their homes to Town Hall for the meeting. I was impressed with the students -who seem excited about their future. This proposed camp is designed to give our youth the training they need to achieve and exceed their goals. For more information about the camp please read my budget message which is posted on our web site: (look at forms- budget).
If you have a son or daughter who is interested in signing up for the camp (assuming funding is approved in the 2007 budget) please e mail me at We will provide you with the information you need.


Tenants who reside at 90 Manhattan Ave, 100 Manhattan Ave and 33 Oak Street won an important victory at a late night Town Board meeting on Tuesday/Wednesday (meeting ended at 1:15 AM). The Town Board unanimously approved a resolution consenting to Fairview Housing Development acquiring Fairview Manhattan Apartments.
The new property owner agreed to make capital improvements at the buildings in an amount not less than $8.25 million. Rents for tenants who do not qualify for voucher programs due to income, will not double -as tenants had feared. Over income tenants will see their rents increase by 12 and a half percent each year until the tenant pays portions of the rent that equals the then current HUD approved rents.
In the event that the federal government terminates the enhanced preservation voucher program the new buyer agrees to forego one hundred percent of the reduced amount of the voucher for the first 12 months, 50% for the 2nd 12 months and 25% for the 3rd 12 months.
Finally, the new agreement authorizes a one year tax break. For about 30 years the building had received tax breaks. At the end of the one year there will be no additional tax breaks for the building. This will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Special thanks to Nikki Coddington, our energy conservation coordinator, for saving the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. She located energy conservation grants that enabled the buildings to be renovated without town tax dollars.
I am very pleased that this agreement was approved. Tenants had expressed concerns for over a year. We involved the tenants in the process. They attended numerous meetings. Instead of feeling neglected by the town - they partnered with us. This became a win-win for everyone. We will keep 3 buildings of affordable housing affordable. Tenants will see their lives enhanced as a result of major building improvements. Tax breaks for the building will end. Rent hikes won't result in tenants being forced out of their homes. We will maintain the diversity of the buildings.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


On Tuesday, November 28 from 3- 7 PM the county is sponsoring a Safe Teen Driving Education Fair. The fair will be held at the Westchester Marriott, Tarrytown. This is an open house highlighting prevention programs and resources that schools and communities can use to help educate teens and their parents about safe driving. Featuring Driving simulator, Multi Media Presentation, SADD, MADD, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and more. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for 16-21 year olds in the United States. This fair is designed to prevent and reduce these tragedies in our communities. For more info call 995-4115.

Monday, November 13, 2006

New TZ bridge could lead to bus/train station in Greenburgh/Elmsford

An interesting article in today's Westchester County Business Journal ( that if the Tappan Zee bridge is replaced that there will be up to 15 new transit stops along the way. Elmsford/Greenburgh was listed as a possible stop. This could include bus terminals or train stations. There are a variety of options: buses, commuter trains or small light rail trains. As the business Journal article pointed out - once an option is chosen there are other questions that must be answered. WHere will commuters park their cars? How many parking spots are needed near the planned stops? How many acres of property will need to be set aside for parking areas?
I have included $30,000 in my 2007 proposed budget for a consultant study to identify issues that will impact the town regarding the TZ bridge option. The study has the support of other local officials and the Conservation Advisory Council. We want to make sure that your interests are advocated before the state finalizes any decision.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


In my proposed 20007 budget I included $50,000 in funds to commence the updating of the Town's Comprehensive Master Plan. The plan update will provide a framework for future development in Greenburgh. The updating of the comprehensive plan has the support of the 3 land use Boards in the town - the Planning Board, Zoning Board and Conservation Advisory Council.
The issue as I see it is whether the plan should be done all at once - the cost would be a minimum of $300,000 in 2007---perhaps as much as $600,000 over the course of the review, according to town officials. I prefer studying a section of the town at a time, reviewing the recommendations, implementing the suggestions and then moving on to another section of town. Obviously, if the study is done in segments the costs associated with the study will be less in 2007.
I think that this is the more fiscally prudent option. Consider a homeowner who wants to renovate a house. Most people do one room at a time and live with it. Then, when more funds are available they do another room. In addition, while a master plan is important - we have to recognize that unforseen events or laws passed elsewhere by a nearby community can negate the recommendations of our consultant. We can anticipate the future - we can't guarantee that our predictions will take place. Look at Ridge Hill - in Yonkers. 10 years ago no one in Greenburgh anticipated a Ridge Hill development. If we had completed a master plan 9 years ago that did not include Ridge Hill it would be outdated today. 10 years ago no one even considered the possibility that the Tappan Zee bridge would be replaced. Now, a master plan has to incorporate the impacts of a new TZ bridge on Greenburgh.
I believe that this will be a major discussion during the budget process and welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Turco's food market on Central Ave has been sold to Morton Williams. Morton Williams sells similar high quality/fine foods in NYC. Turco's has been one of the major food stores and destination locations on Central Ave in Hartsdale since 1976. Welcome Morton Williams. Thank you for the memories, Turco's.

Friday, November 10, 2006


In the capital budget that I submitted to the Town Board this year I included funding for sanitation back up safety cameras. This project will place cameras on the back of the refuse trucks allowing the driver to view activities behind the truck. This safety feature is a benefit to employees that work on the back of the truck and the public. There have been major accidents around the region and nation. This is an important safety enhancement. The Greenburgh Town Board, this past week, awarded a bid for 19 Safety Vision Rear Vision Camera Systems to Tri State Equipment Rebuilding for $11,305.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


In the 1990s the town completed an open space study. The study led to the acquisition of parkland, a new steep slope and wetlands ordinance. Other recommendations were made. At last nights Town Board meeting I requested Mark Stellato, Commissioner of Planning, to provide the town with a detailed analysis highlighting what recommendations have been implemented, what suggestions have not been implemented, what is under active consideration. I also believe that the public deserves to know if any of the recommendations were rejected.
That study cost the taxpayers over $250,000 to complete. It's important that when the town completes a major study that its recommendations not be allowed to gather dust. I also believe that the Town Board should require annual post reports to be issued after consultant reports are commissioned.


The Greenburgh Town Board broke all records last night -- our meeting ended at 2:04 AM. We started the meeting at 7:15 PM. A number of tenants who reside at 90 & 100 Manhattan Ave, 33 Oak Street attended the Town Board to express concern about a proposal to convey the apartments from the current owners to Fairview Housing development Fund Company.
Tenants are concerned that the proposal could result in substantial rent hikes for some of the tenants. They also expressed concern that the proposal relies on enhanced vouchers keeping apartments for some tenants affordable. However, there are no guarantees that the enhanced voucher program will be continued by the federal government.If the program is discontinued those who had vouchers could see significant rent hikes. We are trying to figure out ways to protect tenants who live in affordable housing from having to face significant rent hikes - which could force them out of their homes. We also want to make sure that the landlord can't evict tenants without cause.
The Town Board met with the applicant, tenants, and agreed to continue negotiating the terms of an agreement. A special meeting has been called for Tuesday at 8 PM. We will be asking tenants to meet and provide the Town Board with their recommendations prior to our vote.
I am pleased that the tenants are being consulted --and are partnering with the Town Board in the decision making process. One tenant indicated that he is so worried about the proposal "that he is losing sleep." It's important that tenants impacted by the proposal see government as their friend - and that they recognize that we're not going to give special treatment to a for profit making business unless it's advantageous to the tenants.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The Town Board met on Tuesday evening from about 7 PM to midnight to discuss the proposed tax breaks for the owners of 33 Oak Street, 90 Manhattan Ave, 100 Manhattan Ave. These buildings provide some Greenburgh tenants with affordable housing. We met with representatives of the Fairview Housing Development Fund Company and Oak Street housing. Tenant representatives also attended the meeting.
I am requesting that the Town Board not vote on the tax break proposal tonight. Among issues discussed at the meeting are the following:
1) Some tenants are concerned that if the agreement is approved their rents could double within a year. There should be a longer phase in period.
2) Before approving any tax break proposal there should be an inventory of the building-- an independent assessment of the condition of the building, what repairs/renovations have to be completed.
3) Tenants should be given a voice in determining what repairs will be completed in their buildings.
4) The potential owners of the building claim that most of the residents won't see their rents double because they will be eligible for vouchers. What happens if the voucher program is discontinued by the federal government --or significantly cut? Will the building become unaffordable.
Before tax breaks are given we should do our due diligence and address these concerns.


Edye Beth McCarthy, former President of the NY State Assessor's Association, will be Greenburgh's next Town Assessor. Mrs. McCarthy, who also served as President of the Westchester County Assessor's Association, has been the City Assessor of White Plains since 1999. SHe previously served as Rye City Assessor. She also worked as Assistant Village Assessor for Hastings on Hudson and Pleasantville. She has a Master of Science -Real Estate Degree from NYC. We welcome her to our town. We are lucky to have her work for us -- since she has so much experience in the field and is highly regarded throughout the state. Special thanks to Interim Assessor Dan Whittemore who has worked for the town as our Real Property Appraiser since 1986. He was responsible for a smooth transition after Gerry Iagallo resigned as Assessor this summer.

Monday, November 06, 2006

East Hartsdale Ave to have mini library in 2007

This winter the Greenburgh library will close it's doors for about 2 years. Construction of a new library will start. The Town Board voted to set up mini satellite library locations around the town. Among locations: The Town Hall & the multipurpose center, Veteran Town Park.
I have called for additional library satellite locations so that services can continue to be offered to library patrons. I am very pleased that the Greenburgh Library announced today that a mini branch of the Library will be located in Hartsdale sometime in January. Through courtesy of the Parking Authority, a 40 foot trailer would be located adjacent to the lower level of the Parking Garage "A". Patrons would access the trailer via the alley between Harry's and the Bank of NY or drive into the garage.
The rent is cheap - about $1 a square foot. The parking authority will absorb the cost of electrical hook up (AC, heat and lights) and service. The mini branch will be larger than the cybermobile, hold more books and will be open t hroughout the day including weekends. The cybermobile will not make the stop at the train station thus freeing up more hours for expanded stops.
Thanks to Stephanie Kavourias of the Parking Authority for her help in coming up with the idea. Your suggestions regarding the library during the 2 year construction period are welcome and appreciated.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

STILL THE TORTOISE--I ran in the marathon in 5 hours, 18 seconds, coming in 29,684 out of 38,000

Over the years I have participated in many long distance charity bike rides. I've ridden from northern Westchester to Vermont and from Hartsdale to Washington DC. I almost always finish at the back of the pack. I have been given the name "THE TORTOISE" to highlight the fact that I'm slow but finish the event.
Today I tried the NY Marathon for the first time. In fact, this was the first time I ever ran more than 13.2 miles. I completed the race in 5 hours and 18 seconds. This will never appear in my resume! I finished 29,684 out of 38,648.
My brother in law - Michael Trenk - who persuaded me to give the race a try did much better. He came in 1032 out of 38,000 - completing the race in 3hours, two minutes and 51 seconds. He was about two minutes behind Lance Armstrong.
I also was a bit of klutz during the race. Close to the Central Park finish line - I missed a step and fell. I received some cuts. Fortunately, I have an excuse for my slow run so I don't feel that bad. I was not injured.
The race was a tremendous experience - a true life highlight. Participants enjoy the diversity of NYC -- we ran 26.2 miles through every borough in NYC. There was music from different neighborhood groups throughout the race. And, tremendous cheering from the spectactors throughout the run. I met runners from all over the world - from Japan, Latin America, Europe. I even spoke to a blind Japanese runner from Tokyo who was holding someone's hand while he ran. There were amputees running, a numer of disabled marathon runners. It was a great event. I encourage everyone who has a chance to participate in the run next year to do so.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I'm all excited! This Sunday I will be running in my first NYC Marathon. Actually, this will be the first time I will run more than a half marathon. I ran the Westchester half marathon in about 2 hours and one minute.
I will be wearing a NO WHERE TO RUN -CLOSE DOWN INDIAN POINT TEE SHIRT when I run. During the race I hope to chat with other runners about the need to close down Indian Point. There won't be any place to run to if there is an Indian Point meltdown or terrorist attack.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


TO: Greenburgh Town Board

FROM: Greenburgh Planning Board

DATE: November 2, 2006

SUBJECT: Comprehensive Plan Update

The members of the Town of Greenburgh Planning Board strongly request the Town Board to fully fund a Comprehensive Plan Update in the 2007 Budget in order to provide a framework for future development in Greenburgh. The vote was taken at the Board’s November 1, 2006 meeting with all seven members present. Six voted in favor and one abstained.

The Planning Commissioner has recommended the amount of $300,000 be added to the Budget in order to implement a thorough and useful Comprehensive Plan Update. In the opinion of the Planning Board this amount is on target. The amount of $50,000 that was added to the Budget will not achieve the goal of producing a useful document that will provide the framework for a code revision and assist the Town’s Land Use Boards in their future decision making. The Planning Board does not wish to invest its time to participate in a process that will not achieve the desired end result.

The update should address all areas referenced in Section 272-a (3) of New York State Town Law including the identification of the goals, objectives, principles, guidelines, policies, standards, devices and instruments for the immediate and long-range protection, enhancement, growth and development of the town located outside the limits of any incorporated village or city, including land use, resource protection, public services and public infrastructure;

To this end, the Planning Board recommends that the Town Board add the amount of $250,000 to the $50,000 put in the 2007 Budget for a total of $300,000 as recommended by the Planning Commissioner and appoint a Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee to initiate the process.


Zoning Board of Appeals


As part of our 2007 budget discussion the following report is presented for your review regarding our building department. This is the 4th in a series. Previous reports were posted for the police, recreation dept, assessors office.

Building Dept

PERMITS issued 1735 in 2006 compared to 1,507 in 2003 (January through September) 1779 in 2005

New single family residences: 11 in 2006 compared to 14 in 2003 11 in 2005

Residential additions/alterations 209 in 2006 compared to 229 in 2003 197 in 2005

Commercial additions/alterations 102 in 2006 compared to 70 in 2003 77 in 2005

Plumbing permits 305 in 2006 to 286 in 2003 313 in 2005

Electrical Permits 430 in 2006 to 446 in 2003 524 in 2005

HVAC permits 72 compared to 85 in 2003 88 in 2005

Elevator permits 161 compared to 91 in 2003 1157 in 2005

Other permits (sign, tent, tank, etc..) 445 compared to 286 in 2003 412 in 2005


1,845 in 2006…1,970 in 2005…1956 in 2004 and 2,615 in 2003


Notice of violations issued

404 in 206…623 in 2005..780 in 2004…272 in 2003

Summonses issued 288 in 2006…106 in 2005…134 in 2004

Complaints answered 217 in 2006 (not available for 2003-2005)



Earlier this summer I cycled from Hartsdale to Washington DC to raise funds for Lorraine Valentini, a Hartsdale resident and former volunteer firefighter. Lorraine fell off her bicycle on memorial day, 2005, injured her spinal cord resulting in paralysis below the neck. Over a dozen of us cycled to DC. We met with Senators Clinton & Schumer, Congresswoman Lowey and leaders of organizations promoting stem cell research. We raised over $40,000 for Lorraine.
Some good news --- Lorraine is back home! She is still paralyzed below the neck. For more information about Lorraine please visit the web site:
Contributions to help offset some of the medical costs are still being accepted and are appreciated. Contributions can be dropped off at my office and should be made payable to National Transplant Assistance Fund.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


This is the 3rd in a series of interesting facts about Greenburgh. In recent days I posted info about the police dept and parks & recreation dept. on this site.

Special thanks to Acting Assessor Daniel Whittemore for providing me with this info…

*Assessors office responsible for assessment of 28,150 parcels.

13,650 parcels in the villages…14,497 parcels in unincorporated Greenburgh


Village gross worth: 11.5 BILLION DOLLARS

Unincorporated Greenburgh worth: 13.5 BILLION DOLLARS

Total Gross worth: 25 BILLION DOLLARS

Total Taxable Worth: Greenburgh 20 BILLION DOLLARS

Compare to White Plains: 8.5 BILLION DOLLARS…Compare to Yonkers: 16 BILLION DOLLARS

2,430 veterans received veterans exemptions

3,400 seniors receive STAR exemptions

In 2006 858 grievances filed—total =850

164 residential, 624 commercial, 25 condominium, 45 cooperative

In 2005 there were 773 grievances

126 residential, 562 commercial, 32 condominium and 53 cooperative.

Hope you find the above info as interesting as I found it. PAUL FEINER


Bids for the Greenburgh Public Library expansion were opened today at Town Hall. The contracts that were bid on were: general construction; HVAC-Mechanical; plumbing; electric. The bids seem to be within the $20 million library budget. The next steps: we will review the bid documents, review qualifications of those who bid on the job; review the proposed contracts with the attorney and then make a recommendation to the Town Board. It does not appear that there will be any need to reject the bids or require the architect to modify his proposed expansion plans so that the construction can stay within budget.

I have asked the Commissioner to post the bids on our web site –which should take place within a few days ( –under forms).


Fairview Manhattan Apartments


Serge Joseph, the attorney representing the tenants of Fairview Manhattan Apartments . In short, the attorney for the tenants offers several recommendations:

1. That the Town require the current owner or Marathon to retain an independent and licensed engineer to undertake a physical condition survey of the subject premises and to supply the Town Board and the tenants with a copy of any report generated therefrom. (This recommendation suggests that proposed rent increases are unsupported the rehabilitation that is contemplated).

2. That in the event the “enhanced Section 8” voucher program is de-funded, and preservation vouchers are unavailable, that the proposed new higher rents not be sought by Marathon Development. (This recommendation may be agreed to and supported by Marathon Development).

3. That the Town require Marathon Development to afford financial protection to tenants whose rents would increase because they are not eligible for preservation vouchers. (I do not think this recommendation is one that the tenants believe will be seriously considered).

Several Alternative Proposals are also offered by the tenants..

Alternative 1. Permit Marathon Development to purchase Fairview Manhattan pursuant to the Private Housing Finance Law but limit rent increases to those deemed reasonable by HUD after application based upon needed capital improvements and renovations in the building, as opposed to the current proposed increases of $1,050 for a one bedroom apartment; $1,260 for a two bedroom apartment; and; $1,460 for a three bedroom apartment.

Alternative 2. Allow the Tax Pilot and regulation of Fairview Manhattan under the Private Housing Finance Law to expire in 2009 and allow the Development to become subject to the EmergencyTenants Protection Act of 1974 (“ETPA”), which regulates housing not subject to the Private Housing Finance Law and allows an owner to apply for rent increases based upon (a) lease renewals (b) major capital improvements and (c) hardship.

Alternative 3. Allow the tenants at Fairview Manhattan the option of purchasing the Development and preserving it as affordable rentals or converting it into Affordable cooperatives or condominiums.

Tim Lewis

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween police patrol-should there be organized halloween block parties and teen activities?

Tonight, for the 15th consecutive year, the Police Chief, John Kapica, and I patrolled the streets of Greenburgh on Halloween night. When I first assumed my job as Town Supervisor halloween was one of the most feared evenings of the year. Lots of mischief, vandalism, problems. People were concerned . Chief Kapica responded to the concerns by devoting substantial police resources to Halloween. Police are asked to work overtime. Prior to Halloween we reach out to the schools advising them that we will not tolerate illegal activity.
For 15 years the chief and I have toured the streets of Greenburgh --we stop by at homes that had experienced vandalism in years past. We check up on these homes --hoping to leave residents with the impression that the town wants to make sure that the problems they experienced in years past will not happen again.
Tonight - we conducted our tour and "housecall visits". The biggest problem we had was in Edgemont. Some kids placed fire crackers around a house under construction. There were large groups of kids off of Longview in Edgemont. A suggestion was made that I think deserves some consideration: Since hundreds of kids walk the streets of Longview each halloween - maybe the town should close the street on Halloween night and have an organized block party on Longview. Maybe, there should be some organized halloween parties on halloween. What do you think?

October: Miscellaneous

The purpose of this Miscellaneous topic is to discuss any town related issues you feel are important. Please post any issues you wish to discuss in the comments section of this post. Thanks!

Why are tax rates different in the "A" budget and "B" budget?

Yesterday I released my proposed 2007 budget which is posted in the forms section of the town web site: The budget calls for a 9.20% decrease in the A budget (impacting village residents and unincorporated Greenburgh residents) and a 1% tax increase in the B budget which only impacts unincorporated Greenburgh residents.
Why are the taxes of village residents going down and the taxes of unincorporated Greenburgh residents going up --even if it is only a 1% increase?
These are two different budgets. The budget for unincorporated Greenburgh is $57,354,008 and the A budget is much smaller: $14,679,237. We maintain a healthy fund balance in both budgets -- but have a much stronger fund balance in the "A" budget --enabling us to reduce taxes. We have used more fund balance this year than in past years to offset the costs of running services and to keep taxes lower than they normally would be.
Because the "A" budget is so small (the average village resident will be paying less than $100 a year to the town) the addition of one program could see the percentage tax increase increase substantially. In 2003/4 and 2004/5 there were large percentage increases in the "A" budget -- my recollection is that the village taxes went up by 70% or more. For example, when we initiated special recreation programs for village residents who have disabled children (the program became a town-wide program) village taxes went up substantially.
I am urging the Town Board to approve a fund balance policy which will guide future Town Boards re: fund balance issues. I believe that it is important that we be able to maintain a healthy fund balance -- this is a major reason why the town's bond rating increases have gone up 3 times during my administration. I also believe that residents desire predictability and stability, not surprises that could result in double digit tax increases.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I will be releasing my proposed budget later today. I anticipate a tax hike of under 1% for 2007. Between now and the middle of December the Town Board will be reviewing the budget. I will post facts about different departments on this web site so you will have a better appreciation of the town. Last week I provided readers with info about the Parks and Recreation Dept. Today: the Police Dept.


* 6,158 calls for medical assistance.
* 3,555 responses in unincorporated Greenburgh. 2,603 from the six incorporated villages.
* 920 serious offenses investigated by the police. The lowest number in more than 30 years.
* 36,139 calls for service – the highest ever.
* 1,632 arrests. 6,634 uniform traffic tickets. 5,121 parking summonses.
* Creation of first ever town/village marine unit. A 21’ Zodiac, Center Console Inflatable Boat was secured and eleven officers initially received maritime law enforcement training. In its first abbreviated year of service, the team logged more than 500 patrol hours, resulting in numerous vessel inspections being conducted and summonses issued. The unit also effected an arrest for Boating While Intoxicated, recovered a stolen vessel and investigated successfully a hit and run boating accident.
* The Drug & Alcohol Task Force, comprised of town and village police officers, effected 351 arrests, 95 of which were for felony offenses in 2005. 86 arrests occurred in unincorporated Greenburgh. 215 in the villages.
* The Task Force, since its inception, has seized 622 pounds of marijuana and hashish; 75 grams of PCP; 2453 grams of powder Cocaine and Crack; 324 ounces of GHB; 1,107 bags of Heroin; 512 Ecstasy pills; 50, 10 ml bottles of ketamine; 2.5 ounces of Crystal Methamphetamine as well as a variety of prescription pills, steroids and other drugs and alcohol with a street value of over $2,100,000.
* Over $100,000 in stolen cash and property recovered. 12 handguns and 9 rifles recovered.
* Cash and other tangible assets seized, which includes 18 motor vehicles, totals over $6,000,000.
* Child Safety Seat Inspection Station examined more than 1,400 child safety seats during 2005 – nearly twice the number of any other station in the state.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Westchester Library System to poll member libraries on Elmsford/Ardsley contract

An article in todays Journal News ( reports that the Westchester Library System has decided to poll all the member libraries before deciding what actions, if any, will be taken regarding the Elmsford/Ardsley library contract. Earlier this fall Elmsford pulled out of the Greenburgh library (Greenburgh will lose over $250,000 a year)and entered into a contract with Ardsley which offered the same card at a reduced price. Critics suggest that this action could have county-wide ramifications. Under the current WLS guidelines anyone in Westchester who holds a library card anywhere can use any library in the system. Will communities throughout Westchester enter into bidding wars for library contracts at inexpensive rates? Will smaller communities close down their libraries and enter into much less expensive contracts with a library that offers them a cheap card? This is not about Ardsley/Greenburgh/Elmsford. This issue has county-wide and library system ramifications. The WLS hopes to issue a decision before the end of the year.

ON ANOTHER NOTE-- the town will be opening up bids for the library expansion project on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Carvel's first store to close on Central Ave

An article in this Sunday's NY TIMES (October 29)-Westchester Region section reports that the nation's first Carvel store, located on Central Ave, Hartsdale has been sold. The store opened in 1936. Should the town take any action so that future generations will remember the role this store had on history?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Should the town cooperate with Ardsley in building affordable housing for village/town employees, volunteer firefighters, ambulance corp members?

The Greenburgh Town Board unanimously agreed to take the waterwheel property, located in Ardsley, off the foreclosure auction sale this past Tuesday. This was done at the request of the Village of Ardsley.
I have been working with the Mayor of Ardsley and with other Ardsley community leaders on a proposal to turn foreclosed property into affordable housing for volunteers (firefighters, ambulance corp members), police, teachers.
There is an affordable housing shortage in Westchester. In the blog comments (listed in misc) some people have pointed out that it is becoming more difficult to attract and retain volunteer firefighters. One blogger indicated that it is possible that without affordable housing for volunteers - Ardsley may eventually become a paid fire dept, resulting in major tax hikes. THe reason: Ardsley is too expensive a place to live for many young families. I support turning foreclosed property into affordable housing. I appreciate the fact that the members of the Town Council stopped the sale of the property and expressed a willingness to talk to Ardsley officials about the proposal to build affordable housing on the land.
Should the town be in the business of selling the property to the bidder who will provide taxpayers with the maximum dollars? Or, should we work with Ardsley officials and help our volunteer fire dept stay in business by building affordable housing for their members.


I will be releasing my proposed budget for 2007 on Monday. Among the initiatives will be a new SAT/college preparation camp during the last 3 weeks of the summer and a BizCamp for six weeks.
The SAT/college preparation camp will provide high school students with a grade free course to prepare for the verbal and math portions of the SAT. The course is designed to provide information about the current format of the SAT and to instruct students in test taking techniques to help them realize their full potential.
The college prep component of the camp will teach students how to get into college and will provide instruction on all parts of the college admissions process. There will be tutoring on preparing for college admissions essays; college admissions guidance; which schools to apply to; how the process works; funding and financing their education and mock interviews.
Some communities around the nation have offered students the opportunity to enroll in BizCamps. The proposed budget includes funding for Greenburgh's first BizCamp. They will learn how to think critically about businesses. They will develop a business plan that brings the learning to the practical. Students will also have the chance to earn money on some of their busienss ideas through trading games and exercises.
This camp will work with the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. We are working in cooperation with Westchester Community College for the SAT/college prep program.
Tution for the SAT camp will be $450. Campers who meet certain income criteria will be eligible for full tuition. The BizCamp tuition will be $600, with 10 students eligible for full or partial tuition, based on income.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


The Citizens Insurance Advisory Committee was formed to assess the town’s current insurance coverage and to make recommendations to the Town Board for obtaining optimal levels and quality of insurance in as cost effective a manner as possible. The report, in its entirety, is posted in our comments. Special thanks to Richard Liskov, chair; Joi Mayhawk, Eugene Pepe, Ben Palancia; Jim Reese; Lisa Geoghegan and R. trieff as well as Comptroller Jim Heslop, Assistant Comptroller Pauline Kirkland and representatives of the town’s current broker, Arthur J. Gallagher.

The full report is viewable in the Comments section.


Last night the Town Board met till around 12:40 AM. We started our meeting at 7:15 PM. We held a discussion on a proposed comprehensive plan close to midnight. We heard citizen comments about issues of importance (100 Manhattan Ave) after midnight.
Is this fair to the public? Are members of the council at our listening best during the midnight hour? Is it unreasonable to expect commissioners and dept heads to stay till the end of every town board meeting -especially if meetings continue so late?
Should the Town Board consider holding a 3rd meeting each month - with the understanding that meetings end no later than 10:30 PM?
Last nights Town Board meeting ended relatively early - the meeting before that ended around 2 AM.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Next Monday I will be releasing my proposed 2007 budget. The Town Board will be reviewing the budget during the months of November and will be approving a budget document in December. During the next few weeks I will be sharing with readers of this site some interesting info about each department. It’s important to know where your money goes….


PS: Don’t worry. Any 2007 tax increase proposed will be BELOW the cost of living..

The facts are listed in the comments section.


Hat's off to the Longview Civic Association and to the Parks Dept. During the past few months Stacey Silberzweig, who is active in the association, worked hard--trying to beautify the islands in this section of Greenville/Edgemont. She joined our new beautification committee. She met with Mike Nestler of the parks dept a number of times. The islands look beautiful---many residents of Greenville are delighted. This is a perfect example of neighbors working together -- in cooperation with the town--to enhance our quality of life.
We have a beautification committeee. Next meeting: Tuesday, November 14th, Town Hall. You are invited to help us enhance your neighborhood... Please participate in our committee's activities.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The Town Board will be holding a hearing on Wednesday on a proposed law to ban the piling of leaves on any streets or sidewalks. Residents have been complaining about safety hazards each fall when leaves are placed on public streets, roads, sidewalks. The proposed law will make our neighborhoods safer by keeping them clear of dangerous piles of leaves. The proposed law indicates that a leaf pile located on any street shall create a rebuttable presumption that the landowner permitted the leaves to be placed at the location. Summonses and violation notices will be issued. Fines: up to $500 per infraction.

ON ANOTHER MATTER-- the Greenburgh Health Center received final approval to build their new health center building on Knollwood Road.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Today I received a few e mails from residents who have been critical of me in the past expressing concern about the continued operation of this blog. I have been advised that they are encouraging Town Board members to take action steps to limit my ability to post advisories on the bottom of my e mails about the blog. This is unfortunate. If this blog is going to be successful we need to encourage lots of people to participate -to join the dialogue and discussion of town issues.
This blog represents democracy at its best -- We're encouraging citizen participation. We're encouraging dialogue. We're exchanging ideas. If people give us their name that is great. If they prefer to be anonymous that's fine too. Some comments made on the blog are funny. Other comments are angry. We've received good suggestions from citizen bloggers. My supporters are welcome to use the blog. People who wouldn't vote for me for dog catcher are encouraged to post blog comments on this site.
It's my hope that the members of the Town Board will welcome the blog and participate in it. We should take every step possible to make Greenburgh the most open government in the nation.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

JOURNAL NEWS ARTICLE ON SCHOOL SAFETY-question: should more schools use community police officers in the schools?

An article in the Journal News today (October 22) "Security Tightened Across Region at Local Schools" talks about school safety issues. School shootings across the country have rekindled fears of parents, teachers, children. You should read the article on the web site.
A number of years ago the town of Greenburgh partnered with the Central 7 School district. Both the town and Central 7 school districts share the expense of a community police resource officer who patrols the schools and provides additional services to the district (read the Greenburgh police dept's web site: for more info on the many services offered to school districts via the community police resource officer). The program at Central 7 is a success.
The question of the day is this: Should more school districts have policing in the schools? What do you think?

HELP WANTED-town may evict tenants on foreclosed property

Your help wanted...The town has taken ownership of an apartment building on Main Street in Dobbs Ferry due to a foreclosure. The building inspector has advised the Town Board that there are structural/safety issues at the building. As a result, the town is in the process of evicting a few remaining tenants who remain at the building we now own. I am helping one of the families find an apartment. So far-- no luck! The couple can afford about $1300 a month. The wife works. The husband has a diability. They have a child. If you know of any apartments in the area please contact me at 993-1540 (my home number is 478 1219) or at my e mail address: In addition, if you would like to assist the family financially please advise and I will let you know how you can go about doing so. The family can afford the rent but they can't afford the extra charges: the one months rent, security and additional realtors fee that is usually charged.
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

Friday, October 20, 2006


This Tuesday the Westchester Library System will be holding a hearing at 6 PM at the WLS headquarters - 540 White Plains Road, Tarrytown to discuss the proposed Elmsford/Ardsley library contract. The town will be losing a million dollars+ over 4 years because Elmsford was able to shop around for library services at a reduced price. The Ardsley/Elmsford agreement won't necessarily mean that Elmsford residents will use the Ardsley library. Under the terms of the WLS library agreement anyone can use a library card at any library in Westchester. Many Elmsford residents will continue to use the services of the Greenburgh Library because they have an Ardsley card.
I think that this agreement will create long term problems for the library system. Smaller libraries will probably close down their operations --these communities will shop around Westchester for discounted library card prices. There will be price wars -- communities will compete with each other to sell library cards to other localities at cheap rates.
This is not about Ardsley-- this is not about Elmsford. This is about the future of the Westchester Library System.

cablevision & cable box charges...

Have been receiving lots of calls from residents who are angry that customers are being charged by cablevision for cable boxes to watch programs that previously didn't require boxes (and the associated $6 box fee). This is for TCM service.
I asked the Town Attorney if the town can take any legal action. He provided me with an opinion which said that "Federal law preempts state and local governments from regulating rates for services above basic. Therefore, the town cannot regulate this rate in any way."
Glad we now will be getting cable TV competition with Verizon ( Greenburgh was the first locality in Westchester to approve competition)!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

2007 budget suggestions wanted

Before the end of the month I have to submit a proposed budget for 2007 to the Town Board. The Town Board has till the end of December to approve the final document.
There are some challenges we face: How do we contain costs and maintain the high quality of life and services that people enjoy? We must keep Greenburgh affordable so you and your neighbors can continue to reside here. I invite you to look at last years budget on line ( and to provide me with your thoughts. I'd also be willing to meet with neighborhood groups in the coming days/weeks to discuss various budget options.

library needs to follow up offer re: temporary space

A few weeks ago, after Frank's Nurserywas rejected as a temporary library location, the Library Board suggested that the Town Board move the expansion project forward by placing the temporary library at satellite locations. Among the locations: 2 small rooms at the Town Hall. Another location: a small room at the Multipurpose Center, Veteran Park. I did not want to be blamed for slowing down the library expansion efforts and did what the library board representatives requested.
I feel that the proposed satellite locations for the library is inadequate. In effect, we will have a very inadequate library while construction takes place.I have requested the library and town board consider renting a storefront somewhere in unincorporated Greenburgh for the library. Vic Weinstein, who has experience in real estate, offered to help with the lease. But, the Library Board prohibited the library director from meeting with him. They indicated that the Library Board should be involved in the search and negotiations.
I have sent e mails and letters to the Library Board asking for follow up to this matter -- I feel that a storefront library makes good sense for the library during construction: More locations...more service...less stored items during construction...better use of library staff. Currently, more than 70% of the books, equipment will be placed in storage.
I hope that the Library Board will give this their attention. I can't move forward without their help. The Town Board needs to know if we should include funds for rent in our 2007 budget--which will be released by the end of October.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Join In The Feiner Foot-Fest FORM

Join In The Feiner Foot-Fest For Flora and Fauna!

Support The Greenburgh Nature Center
and Help Motivate Paul Feiner’s Feet To Finish
The New York City Marathon

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is running in this year’s NY City Marathon. He’s asked for your help in motivating him to finish the 26.2-mile course.

Paul wants you to contribute to the Greenburgh Nature Center, his favorite charity. Make your contribution of an amount per mile to “pump him up!”

You can make your contribution in cash, check or charge. The minimum per mile contribution is $.50, which would be a contribution of $13.00. All contributions are tax deductible. Your support will help the Center carry out its mission of conserving wildlife habitat through education, research and cultural enrichment activities for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Name: ________________________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________________________

City/State/Zip ______________________________________________________

Amount of Pledge/Mile: ___________ Total Contribution: ____________

Pay by: (circle 1) Cash Check Credit card (MC/Visa/Amex)

Credit card: exp date: _____ ______


Mail or bring to: Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd., Scarsdale, NY 10583 914 723-3470

John Mancuso
Director of Naturalist Education and Graphics
Greenburgh Nature Center
99 Dromore Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
FAX - 725-6599


Earlier this year members of the Town Board approved a resolution directing me to propose a sidewalk policy by September. I complied with the request. The Town Board held a community discussion on the proposal but hasn't made any changes in the draft proposal and hasn't approved any sidewalk policy. It's a difficult issue - people want sidewalks placed on other people's property. The following information (posted in the comments section) might be of interest to those of you who are concerned about school/pedestrian safety. I'd like to credit the NY Bicycling Coalition for the info.
In the comments section:
TEXAS Study: Bike lanes reduce weaving on roads...
National Center for Safe Routes to Schools Web site....
Transportation Alternatives Study

-Paul Feiner


I am scheduling a meeting with tenants who reside at 100 Manhattan Ave for Wednesday, November 1 at 8PM at 100 Manhattan Ave to discuss the proposed tax breaks offered to the building owners. This complex provides affordable housing to tenants. The complex is older - and the building needs capitol improvements. Some tenants have expressed concern about the proposed tax breaks.
At yesterdays Town Board work session Board members discussed a requirement to tie the existence of tax breaks to capitol improvements. There should be a permanent reserve so we know that the maintenance will take place as needed. Previous pilot agreements, according to tenants, promised capitol improvements. But- these promises were not kept. Will there be a maintenance capitol improvement account?
I think that a meeting is important to clarify what's in the final version of the proposal and to hear from those most impacted by the decisions.


Our new blog is very successful. Hundreds of people are visiting our site daily. I want to create a student blog report --written by students. This new student viewpoint will be posted on our blog site regularly. Readers and those of us in government will get insight from students about issues of concern. Students will learn more about government...about issues...about the importance of participation in government and in democracy. They'll meet periodically as well to discuss their blog report.
No one will tell them what to say --this is the spirit of internet democracy!
If you know of a student interested in being part of the student blog report please e mail me at Or, call 914 993-1540.
By the way - this blog site was developed by a student, Marc Herman who attends the Valhalla schools.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

? What action steps should Greenburgh take re: TZ BRidge?

New York State officials have been studying various options regarding the TZ Bridge. Among the options: replacing the TZ Bridge with another bridge. Establishing East-West rail service connections. Where will the local stations be located? How will this impact traffic/ development? The decision regarding the bridge will impact our community. What role should the town be playing during this review process? Should we hire a consultant...should we organize additional community meetings...what are your thoughts?

Monday, October 16, 2006


It should be pointed out that this 2004 WestHelp contract was in direct
conjunction with the approval of the Volunteers of America shelter across
the street from Greenburgh on the Grasslands Reservation at theWestchester
County Campus. That shelter is technically in the Town of Mount Pleasant,
but is not near any of their residents, only our own. The 2004 issue was not
just renewing the WestHelp lease, but the concentration of shelters in the
I-287 area. The VOA shelter appeased two other County areas - the airport
shelter in Armonk was closed and the Yorktown shelter on Route 202 was
shuttered. The issue of the Valhalla school money was to appease the
Mayfair-Knollwood area, otherwise VOA with its questionable County contract
could have been held up. But the problem of too much shelter concentration
in the I-287 area affects other Greenburgh neighborhoods not in the Valhalla
school district. Neither your e-mail nor the Sunday Journal News lead story pointed this omission out. I was on-board for the approval of this agreement both in 1991 and in 2004, am not in the Valhalla school district, and am on the VOA Community Advisory Board.

-Alice Morone


Question of the Day: Should the Library be an independent Library district? (question submitted by Hal Samis)
The Greenburgh Library Board is appointed by the members of the Greenburgh Town Board. The budget for the library must be approved by the members of the Town Board.
In some communities around the state there is a totally independent Library Board that does not answer to the Greenburgh Town Board. The Board members are elected by the people. The budget process is independent of the town's budget process. The voters approve or reject library budgets each year.
Should a referendum be held in 2007 to establish an independent library district? What do you think? A few years ago (prior to the Library expansion referendum) members of the Library Board discussed this option with members of the Town Board. What do you think?