Wednesday, November 15, 2006

TENANTS, TAXPAYERS WIN VICTORY AT AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON MANHATTAN AVE

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.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Whenever I hear Paul Feiner announce another win-win, my antenna goes up. He said the scandalous and probably illegal WestHelp deal was a win-win. He said Taxter Ridge was another great accomplishment. He went so far as to call it the Central Park of Westchester County. Such nonsense. The lease to Frank's Nursery was yet again another one of Feiner's follies until it was scuttled by someone who actually read it and realized that it would cost the Town millions for environmental cleanup. So when you hear Feiner proclaim win win, be very afraid.

Anonymous said...

The reason why the Frank's nursery deal was scuttled was because the Supervisor insisted on the proposed lease being released to the public. His oversight led to the agreement being rejected.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

The supervisor did not insist on it being public, the residents demanded it.

Anonymous said...

Ain't true. The Town Board was planning to hold a meeting to approve the temporary library location while Feiner was on vacation.The Supervisor e mailed the Board, requested a delay in the vote and also requested that the lease be made available to the public before a vote on Frank's took place. Initially, there was substantial opposition from members of the Town Board to the concept of releasing the lease to the public in advance of the vote. Persistence paid off and the lease was rejected.

August 21, 2006 supervisors report said...

On August 21, 2006 the Supervisor posted a supervisors report on the town web site (check the archives of supervisors report). The message says "REQUESTING THAT TOWN BOARD PROVIDE PUBLIC WITH ADVANCE COPY OF FRANK'S LEASE BEFORE VOTE."
The message continues...
"THe Greenburgh Town Council has scheduled a vote on Tuesday at 6 PM re: authorizing a lease agreement with Franks nursery owenrs for a temporary location...over the weekend I sent my colleagues a few e mails requesting that the vote be delayed. I feel that before there is a vote authorizing a lease with Frank's the public should be provided with a copy of th lease agreement and have at leat 48 hours to review the document. I also believe that the Town board should provide the public with disclosure, in advance of the lease authorization, of all tax reduction agreements for Frank's nursery."
Check out the entire message- which is posted on the archives supervisors reports.

TruthTeller Part 1 said...

The Dupervisor's nose keeps growing like the slush fund:

From the 9/4 Journal News:

Town Supervisor Paul Feiner favors moving to Frank's and does not want satellite libraries, which has been dubbed "Plan B."

"I think Plan B is a ridiculous plan," he said. "It'll mean you'll have no functional library."

Paul Feiner said...

During the past year the members of the Library Board requested - at every library/construction meeting- that the town rent Frank's for use as the temporary library. I want to cooperate with the library board --we had a referendum, the voters spoke. It's my job to implement the wishes of the public. Frank's would have been a great location for a temporary library if the lease terms were acceptable and if there were no environmental issues. It was spacious, would have created little or no inconvenience to library users.Unfortunately, the terms of the proposed lease were unacceptable. I could not vote for the lease. I am working with the Library Board and Town Board to find additional space for satellite library locations and additional ways to bring library services to residents.
I resent the personal attack about my nose.

hal samis said...

"Niagara Falls..."
This blog topic is about Manhattan Avenue affordable housing. How did Frank's creep into this topic?

Because readers and bloggers who don't attend meetings, don't do their homework and feel compelled to revisit even the most innocent of topics through their tunnel based vision of not the "hook" used to yank failing acts off the stage but instead plotting their own 15 minutes of fame.

In this case the hook is an admittedly over-used phrase "win-win". Howev, how it applies to the Frank's situation is really stretching literary license.

In March 2006 the Frank's lease was in negotiations. Everyone wanted it (maybe I was bitching because the location was poorly served on weekends by the one bus route) but everyone else wanted it.
This includes the Library Board, the Supervisor and the Town Council because it would accomodate the space requirements of the Library and it was immediately available. However, even back then, there were some problems. In order to portray to the public a lower rent (remember the Library Board had fatally screwed up by assuming they would occupy the old town hall), the Town Attorney attempted to work a deal by allowing a reduction in the real estate taxes to show a corresponding lower rental. A pity that this had not gone through because I would have had a field day tearing that charade apart. Feiner, seeking outside advice on the matter (after all the dubious deal had originated with the Town Attorney, Tim Lewis) asked advice of a friend and that started the great witch hunt of the Spring. That the location and interest of the Library was published in The Journal News gave rise to accusations that Feiner really wanted to scuttle the deal proved false since the Town was still negotiating through August and, anyone who is interested can still cut a deal with the owner.

Months passed and still the mysterious negotiations were underway. Keep in mind that the lease for the Library would only be for two years.

Finally as the end of August approached, the lease came together but the Town Council (Bass, Barnes, Juettner and Sheehan) resisted the idea of letting the public review it. Concurrent with this was an environmental review of the premises which was rightfully requested by Sheehan. Once this review was completed, a second battle to allow the public to review this document began and again the Town Council resisted.

Then a number of things happened almost simultaneously over the Labor Day weekend. Those who examined the documents (myself included) found a number of problems ranging from the news that the environmental review was only allowed inside the building and then no walls or ceilings were allowed to be opened for further inspection...despite the presence of water stains on ceiling tiles and the viewing of mold inside the building. Agreeing to these dubious conditions was the Town's resident expert, DPW head Al Regula The lease, in turn, shifted all the reponsiblity for these conditions to the Town which was a major liability and despite Town Attorney Lewis' "opinion" it was shown that rent was not a capital item and thus the Library could not pay it from the bonding proceeds. Mr. Lewis clearly established his bonafides for being clueless in both the time and extent of the protracted lease negotiations and his lack of understanding of what a capital expense is. Following this episode he is destined to make even more miscalls on unrelated matters.

So when the Supervisor says he was in favor of Franks what is accurate is not that he wanted to sign a lease on a contaminated site or that he wanted to disguise the true rental cost or that he wanted to use bond proceeds illegally BUT that he favored the location as did everyone. That he arranged, over Town Council objections, to make the relevant documents available to the public for review is also true. That he and ultimately, the Town Council, recognized that the lease could not be signed in light of the responses from the public is not a negative or fault of the Town Board. Truth teller also omits that outside counsel was hired to work over the Labor Day weekend to review the lease but that was overkill because the deal was already dead five minutes after it was made public.

All in all the negative comments made in these off topic smears make one wonder why "critics" consider everything as fair play regardless whether or not the facts fit their conclusions.

So when the response to any stimulus is the same, that always brings to mind the Abbott & Costello routine, "Niagara Falls...
step by step..."

Anonymous said...

I attended last nights Town Board meeting and am so proud and delighted to have Paul Feiner as my Supervisor. He pushed hard for the tenants. He showed us that he cares. He's for the people!

Anonymous said...

Tenants at 90 Manhattan can now sleep at night - we don't have to worry that we will be forced out of our own homes. Thank you Supervisor Feiner.

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful that my friends who reside at 100 Manhattan Ave won't lose their homes because their rents will double. Thank you Paul for sticking up for us!

Coroner's report said...

The lease for the Frank's location died because of many causes. None of the causes of death can be attributed to the Supervisor's oversight. To the contrary, the Supervisor zealously pushed for the Frank's location and even secretly consulted with White Lie Rosenberg as to the legality of the rental payment for the Frank's location being paid for in part by the town out of the A budget. When the truth about the environmental liabilities came to light, as Hal correcly notes, the lease was declared dead and do not revive order was issued. It was essentially a natural death, unrelated, again to any noteworthy oversight by the Supervisor.

Paul Feiner said...

Dear Coroners report: It's brave of you to make anonymous accusations. But-- you are wrong. I expressed concern about Frank's..demanded that the proposed lease be made public..requested an independent review of the proposed lease and voted against the lease.

Feiner - the true believer in Frank's lease said...

Here is part of the JN story just after the death of Frank's lease - note the last sentence - Feiner was always a true believer even after the DNR order was issued. Truth teller was anatomically correct.

GREENBURGH - Three "satellite" libraries will replace the Greenburgh Public Library when the building closes for construction this fall, the Town Board decided.


Board members scrapped their first choice for a temporary library - a shuttered greenhouse on Dobbs Ferry Road - because of a contract dispute with the owner of the former Frank's Nursery.

The lease would have made Greenburgh liable for any problems found on the property, including an underground oil tank and possible contamination from pesticides and fertilizers.

"We certainly weren't taking on that responsibility," said Juettner, the board's liaison to the library. "It made no sense."

Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said he wanted to give Frank's a few more days to change the contract, but Juettner said enough time had passed already.

Paul Feiner said...

I still believe that Frank's would have been preferable to the satellite library locations if the lease terms would have improved and if environmental issues had been cleared up to the satisfaction of our experts. The satellite library locations that have been authorized are very small rooms --over 70% of the books the library has will be in storage. Frank's would have enabled the town to maintain library services -at or almost at- the current level. That's why the library board pushed so hard for frank's to be approved.

hal samis said...

Dear Coroner:

Are you sure you successfully completed med school?

The correct universal language for a DNR order is DO NOT RESUSCITATE not your version, Do Not Revive.

Perhaps you should follow your own advice when greeted by new business. When they wheeled the Frank's lease up for autopsy, the patient was dead and those in the medical field are expected to honor the patient's wishes or those of the law guardian. Therefore, why can't you give up the corpse and get on with your life. I'm sure that you will soon find something more exciting to cut apart.

EVeryone wanted the lease to work; it took a long time to negotiate, it didn't happen and it was the LIBRARY BOARD VOTED which voted to take the available small spaces so the project could go forward.

Perhaps one day you will have your own forensic medical show on network tv some day (CSI Greenburgh) and you can use this case as the season premiere. But for everyone else who were closely involved with this chapter of the Library expansion, the lease was DOA which may also have been explained the day you cut class as DEAD ON ARRIVAL or perhaps you are familiar with the phrase, stillborn.

And anyone who has depend on a Diana Juettner quote is confirmation that they are at least 86 beats short of a normal pulse.

Truth Teller Part 2 said...

And the supervisor had the temerity to demand that elmsford pay the full rate for use of a library where 70% of the materials would be in storage and the satellite offices would be in very small rooms. first we have a growing nose problem now it seems we have a forked tongue. If the glove fits, you cannot acquit.

Anonymous said...

The Journal News reported today that the tax breaks to the building owner was originally going to be one million dollars. This agreement reduced the tax reductions to $50,000. Good job!

The Coroner said...

Dear Mr. Samis:

Do not revive is a medical term albeit less common than the one you mention. You apparently did not read my report carefully. I concluded that the Frank's lease died due to circumstances other than Mr. Feiner's oversight. Mr. Feiner's response to my report does nothing to dispel that finding. The same is true of your posting.

hal samis said...

Dear Truth Teller 2,
Please contact coroner report immediately and alert him that he may have new business coming his way. Your frothing at the mouth is not a good sign.

Your posting name is so far removed from your actual postings that one wonders if you are indeed of this planet or from some parallel universe.

No one including those at the Library will agree with you that Feiner was involved in the Elmsford negotiations. In fact, Howard Jacobs of the Library Board made a point of excluding the Supervisor. Even though I think that by title the Supervisor had an absolute right to sit at the table, I don't think that under the circumstances he would have been able to alter the outcome.

But I do concur with the premise that a resident of Greenburgh should not pay more of the opertaing cost of the Library than a resident of Elmsford -- whatever the status or condition of
the Library. Greenburgh residents are solely burdened by the the capital expenses including the expansion. However, were the Library to adopt a more reasonable budget during its "down" time, the cost to both Greenburgh and Elmsford residents would be considerably lower and that reality has been swept under the rug because the Town Board is loathe to challenge the Library which controls a lot of voters.

Your next misinformation is in the timing. At the time, the negotiations with Elmsford were underway, the Library and the Town were still involved with the Frank's lease. The choice to move to the small spaces and the 70% storage situation only came about after the Frank's lease fell apart and the Library Board decided to go with Plan B. By then the Elmsford/Ardsley deal was well past the fail safe point.
Here again, the Library remains silent on how to make a bad situation better. The Supervisor offered to provide rent funding to enable the Library to rent some storefronts but the Library Board refuses to take him up on this offer. That is not acting in the best interests of the Community.
Pride goeth before a fall and this is not the first nor the last time the Library Board has tripped.

Obviously you have a grievance against the Supervisor but if you have read these blog pages and the newspapers as you would have some of us believe, surely you can find some other issue to exploit where your "abilities" to put things in reverse perspective could be better employed.

I'd like to help you out, where did you come in? Certainly your comments could find some better home, even on this blog, than within the topic "Tenants, Taxpayers, Win Victory..."
Perhaps we could meet in the "November" postings. Same rules of duel? Epithets at 20 feet?

Coroner's Post Mortem said...

Dear Mr. Samis: I understand you live in B Budget land - unincorproated Greenburgh. Perhaps then you didnt see the meeting of the Ardsley Village Board when Mr. Feiner sent a seemingly angry Ms. Wolfert (from the Greenburgh Library Board) to read his threatening letter to the AVB of all sorts of dire consequences if they approved the Elmsford libary deal. Feiner also spoke against the deal at the hearing before the Westchester Library Board. It seems Feiner can speak up when its convenient or expedient for him to do so and his relationship with the Library Board is not as strained as you constantly assert.

Btw, neither you nor Feiner have rebutted my central claim that Frank's lease died due to causes unrelated to Feiner's oversight.

hal samis said...

Dear Coroner,

Oversight in the context of your letter would mean watchful and responsible care. The Town Supervisor is a position which supervises. His role is to turn singular aspects of adminsitration over to the appropriate town departments. This he did. What part of this is so confusing?

The Town Attorney, the DPW and the Library were involved in the actual negotiations. The Town Council (Sheehan) was involved in so far as insisting that an environmental review be conducted.
The Town Council aide was still wearing diapers in terms of his town employment.

At the point final documents were produced, the proposed lease for signatures and the environmental report, the Supervisor stepped in over the objections of the Town Council and made these documents available to the Public. As you know, the insight of mere residents was the factor which killed the deal.
RECAP
Residents: 5 minutes
Town Attorney/DPW/Library: 6 months.
Proposed Frank's Lease: 2 years
Library Proposed Alternatives: 0

If your pique over oversight has any validity, it would be that the Supervisor should have fired the Town Attorney, Tim Lewis and the head of DPW, Al Regula. If this would be your conclusion, I would be in total agreement.

hal samis said...

Dear Coroner,
Guess I was posting and just missed your additional misconceptions.

I know you haven't got Ms Wolfert's acknowledgement of your assertion that she was "sent" by the Supervisor. Ms. Wolfert does not work for the Town government, cetainly not for Mr. Feiner. Her relationship to the Library (as the Library would say, a Department free of Town control) is that she is the Vice President of the Library Board of Trustees and a member of both its finance and new building committees. Her appearance in Ardsley was somewhat ex-officio as the Greenburgh Library has no standing in matters regarding the business practices of the Ardsley Library and her reading of the Supervisor's letter was only to convey his interest (oversight as you will) even though he, too, has no standing with the Ardsley Library but may have some influence as the
Town Supervisor of Greenburgh -- over Ardsley, a Village, which is still subject to his presence. Whether Ardsdley has any control over the Ardsley Public Library is another matter and not relevant for the purposes of this exchange.

As to Ms Wolfert's emotional state, I don't think that was due to her reading Feiner's letter (which she was under no obligation to do other than she in her "official" capacity clearly agreed with and it is not often that the two agree).

As for Feiner's appearance before the Westchester Library System, he did so as a concerned Town Superviser of a Town which just saw its revenues decline by over $250,000 a year through a loophole in WLS language. Whereas this loss of income does not affect the Greenburgh Library operating budget, it is still a loss to the income of unincorporated and thus Feiner was rightfully in attendance and registering his disapproval with the WLS, an entity separate of both Greenburgh, the township, or the Greenburgh Public Library. This is called oversight although he has no power to regulate the WLS.

You criticize Feiner for your claim that he is not exercising oversight, for exercising oversight, for exercising oversight when he is powerless to alter the result, for exercising oversight when he is not involved 24/7 on every issue.

You criticize him when he says win-win; yet everything he does is by you, loss-loss. There is not a pole high enough to set the bar according to your standards.

Clearly my living in B budget land is no prohibition to obtaining the facts. It appears that you live in A budget land, right in the heart of your topics, and still it appears you are unaware of what is going on other than somehow Feiner is under every rock which is quite a feat for your concurrent criticism that he doesn't exercise any oversight or doesn't exercise enough -- either position taken by you when it fits within your unstable framing.

Taking another look said...

What makes this deal so great for affordable housing? It seems to me that Feiner negotiated a deal that allowed at least 40 units occupied by tenants with high incomes who no longer qualify for affordable housing to remain in their apartments with relatively modest rent increases. These high-income tenants have been living in taxpayer subsidized apartments for years. By allowing them to remain in their units on relatively sweetheart terms, Feiner kept 40 units of affordable housing off the market. That's some victory.

Anonymous said...

Feiner protected long term tenants from being evicted. His delaying tactics resulted in taxpayers saving almost a million dollars in tax breaks to the building owner. The building is affordable and major renovations will take place at the building. Excellent work. We appreciate Paul's efforts.

Anonymous said...

I think this shows an important lesson. When a developer comes in and wants a subsidy, it may not be necessary.

Wait a sec said...

Is is really true that the long-term tenants that Feiner protected from eviction were already making too much money to qualify for low income housing? Is it really true that the new owner would have been more than willing to let those 40 units become available for affordable housing if Feiner had not intervened on their behalf and gotten them all sweetheart deals?

It sure looks like most of the delays that Feiner created over the past few months seem to have been for the benefit of these 40 rather well-off tenants. I hear one of them sells real estate and owns a Mercedes!

Looks to me like the tenants who really do qualify for low income housing had the deal held up just so Feiner could swing a deal for the 40 who don't even belong there in the first place. I want to believe Feiner when he says it was a "win win" but that just doesn't sit right with me. It almost sounds like Valhalla all over again. Why did Feiner, who always says the town needs more affordable housing, feel that these folks, who didn't need it, were owed anything? Why was this such a priority for Feiner? I just can't understand it.

I guess when the true facts come out about, we'll hear Feiner once again making excuses that he didn't do this himself, that if he made a mistake, so did the other town board members who voted with him on this, and so on.

Anonymous said...

Dear wait a sec: You may not like Feiner but you should be man or woman enough to give the Supervisor credit where it is due. The Town Board was ready, willing and able to give the owner a one million dollar tax break. After Feiner prevented the vote from taking place the owner of the building withdrew the tax break request. Who benefits? WE DO, the taxpayers.

i'm not buying it said...

Maybe all you Feiner fans know more about this than I do, but from what I've been reading, the PILOT was taken off the table not because of any bargaining Feiner did but because the town found substitute grants (other taxpayer money) that the new owner qualified for to get him the cash he needed to make the deal work. This had nothing to do with hard bargaining by anyone. A town employee, Nikki Coddinton, simply found another source of cash.

But this business of Feiner holding the deal up just to protect 40 above-income tenants from making their apartments available for low income housing sounds really rotten. Why no answer to that Feiner fans?

Paul Feiner said...

Nikki Coddington became aware of the Manhattan Ave controversy only because I held up the vote. I spoke to Nikki about the energy conservation grant opportunities the day after I exercised my right to delay the vote.
As a result of the delay Nikki advised me and the new building owners of energy conservation opportunities (financial assistance to multifamily building owners that take advantage of energy conservation).
The taxpayers will be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Central 7 school district will also be saving many dollars that won't be given to a private company for tax breaks. I'm proud of what I did.

Still sounds fishy said...

So, if Nikki, your appointee, doesn't back you up on this story, will she be joining the long list of other high ranking women who once worked for the town, like Susan Mancuso, Norah McAvoy, Ann Marie Berg, all of whom had to leave town employment because, according to the New York Times, they too wouldn't back you up or worse, blew the whistle on the bad things you were doing?

And will the other town board members and Mr. Soja agree that you deserve credit for killing the PILOT? All I remember from watching this on Channel 76 was Mr. Soja saying that instead of working Halloween night with all the other board members, you left to go trick or treating and never came back. That sure left a big impression on me.

And how come you keep not answering that blogger who keeps pointing out that what you really did here was give a sweetheart deal to 40 high income tenants so they could remain in their apartments and thus keep those 40 desperately needed units from being made available to the low income folks in Greenburgh who could really use them?

hal samis said...

Dear Sounds Fishy,

Who voted for what you characterize as a "sweetheart deal"?

Clearly you say Paul Feiner.

And how did Steve Bass, Eddie Mae Barnes, Diana Juettner and Francis Sheehan vote?

And how did they reply to your charges when you asked them why they voted the same way?

I'd like to know how they responded? Their mouthpiece Gil Kaminer surely was available to get back to you.

Because I'm sure that you pulled out all stops in trying to understand what happened.

There he goes again said...

Aw gee Mr. Samis, it's just like that blogger said earlier -- every time Paul gets caught doing a really dumb deal (before it was giving away millions to the Valhalla school district and now its giving away 40 units of affordable housing to some well-off tenants who shouldn't have been there in the first place), he blames the other town board members for letting him get away with it. Isn't that what you're doing? Judging from this blog, which you seem to monopolize with one endless screed after another, it seems you're Paul's alter ego, chief apologist, attack dog and spokesman, all wrapped in one very angry guy?
Well I'm no insider like you Mr. Samis. All I know is what I see on channel 76. And what I saw was Paul blocking the other town council members from voting on a deal that would have given the low income tenants the protections they needed, plus some $8 million in building improvements, and as far as that PILOT was concerned, it sure looked to me like the guy doing all he could to keep Central 7 from getting screwed again with another long-term PILOT was not Paul, but Francis Sheehan who (unlike Paul) actually lives in Central 7, puts his kids through the schools there, and pays the taxes there.
So why did the town council go along with Paul's sweetheart deal for the high income tenants who didn't belong there? Maybe it's because they felt the low income tenants who'd been held hostage to the high income tenants who (like the Mayfair Knollwood civic association before them) clearly had Paul under their thumb, truly needed the town's help and had waited long enough.

Anonymous said...

No one should make excuses as to why the Town Board unanimously agreed with Supervisor Feiner on the Manhattan Ave affordable housing vote. It's obvious - the Board members thought the agreement was a good one. It was a good deal for the taxpayers of Central 7 and the town. It was a good deal for the tenants. As Iris McLee said in the Journal News the Town Council worked hard but Paul Feiner worked harder! We say thank you to all of them for getting a better deal.

hal samis said...

Dear here he goes again:

Perhaps when Verizon starts offering service, your reception on cable will improve and with it your distorted viewing experience.

There was no package, take everything or nothing. The purchaser would be delighted if he could raise the rents or gain possession...so it is unlikely that he wasn't in favor.

The actual resolution was crafted by the Town Council and the Town Attorney. Methinks they doth protest too much, too late in your eyes.

It would have been simple enough to allow the sale by carving any disputed apartments out of the deal so all the deserving held hostage captives would not suffer any longer. And, if the Supervisor had not held the matter over against all "objections" including the possibility of the deal being shopped elsewhere, and if the deal had been voted on at the Town Board meeting, would any of your concerns have been removed?

What do you think the job of the Town Council is? Just to vote yes (however unwillingly) or no (however unwillingly). Everything bad to the critics is Feiner's fault and everything good comes from the intervention of the Town Council.

For your information, earlier in my civic minded days I was an even more severe critic of Feiner than you and some others, and might have even used the Supervisor's blog page, had it existed, as an avenue to attack him, as his critics do under various cloaks of anonymous. The reason I defend him now is not that I think he is the best manager, not that I wish he didn't count to 30 sometimes before he spoke but because I think he is getting a bum deal by those who have nothing to add to the equation but their criticism. If you recall (perhaps it didn't make channel 76) I supported Bill Greenawalt against him last election and would have then supported Francis Sheehan (having supported him in his earlier candidacy) had he also supported Greenawalt. This political circling is tricky business. And today I am glad that I did not support Sheehan because he is so eager to be sitting up there on the dais that after all the things he criticized about the existing administration, he is now guilty of following. As for Bass, he is always looking for any open door and, if you removed his comments uttered just to curry favor with anyone listening to the soundtrack, the residents would realize he has nothing solid to contribute other than trying to trip up the Supervisor or catching him when he does trip up. As for Juettner, when she remained silent, it was still possible to give her the benefit of the doubt, now she talks and it makes me long for the old days. Barnes fills two of the minimum daily requirements for a balanced Board and she, too, has started speaking, most of which is, in fact on target and is well stated -- certainly a relief from her old standard. "why can't we all work together". Both Bass and Barnes join Feiner in being up for re-election next yer.

However, there is no escaping that the Town Council either ignores, remains silent or makes excuses with the same result that it is Feiner who is left standing by himself as the target. Whatever I think of their motives or personna, or lack, it is still a fact that they continue to vote the same way as the Supervisor. What you may confuse as their "independence" is merely static in the transmission and is only rendered to try and embarrass Feiner because it is well established that he is not as good an ad libber.

But before you buy into Mr. Sheehan's vibe, ask him to close his laptop before launching into his classroom mode, or ask Mr. Kaminer not to play Roy Cohen to Francis' Joe McCarthy routine.

All of this show and tell is merely a charade because if they wanted to these weighty issues could be resolved off stage and quicker at the work sessions and all the bickering before and self congrats afterward may make for good television, if you are in to that, but is really not necessary.

For the future, remember that each member of the Town Board has the right to hold a matter over to the next meeting. Knowing that, don't be surprised when it comes up each meeting before they go caucus off camera and away from the Public.

And I like writing these "screeds"; this terms was first used against me by the then active Scarsdale Inquirer reporter, David Gottlieb in an article defending Feiner against me.

Monoplize doesn't seem to stop you from either reading what I write or contributing you own comments. My long comments are due to providing the background, the beef (which doesn't mean complaint here) and not just the bun.

Finally, any comment, which acknowledges how the actual vote went, would gain more credibility if the writer would also direct their beef (used here as complaint) to the entire Town Board. After all, one person can make a mistake once or often; what are the odds that five elected officials do it consistently?

Perhaps some of these "issues" don't really deserves the punctuation that anonymous writers are so eager to provide.

Yeah right said...

Isn't Ms. McLee the lady who sells real estate and drives the Mercedes? Isn't she the high income symbol of just what was wrong with this deal? Paul, why was it you felt that the 40 high income individuals like Ms. McLee who live in these units should walk away with sweetheart deals that kept 40 units of affordable housing away from those who truly need it? Why was it you put Ms. McLee's interests, and whose of other high income tenants, ahead of those who truly needed this deal to go through? It looked to me like the other town board members were bending over backward to do all they could for the low income folks there who really needed assurances that the new owners would rehab the units, so they're not the ones to blame for the hold up here. It was you Paul. It's like that blogger before said. The high income McLees in that complex had you under their thumb just like those civic association leaders at Mayfair Knollwood did. And we all know what happened there.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Samis guy,making all these ridiculos,long drawn out comments about decisions made by Paul Feiner and his council members.Are you for any thing they do?Get a life,you are not helping the community by dogging everything they have tried to accomplish.I guest you are running for office,but this is not the right platform.You have a little too much to say.

Anonymous said...

The anonymous blogger who insulted Iris McLee should be ashamed of him/herself. Iris has done more for tenants who reside at 100 & 90 Manhattan Ave & 33 Oak Street than anonymous (whoever he/she is) has done for anyone. Guaranteed.
Anonymous does not have any credibility with the remarks that the Town Council members did not support Feiner's negotiated compromise. They voted for the agreement. Feiner and the Town Council voted unanimously. Mr/Ms Anonymous: You may not like the deal (maybe, you are the landlord?) but the entire Town Board liked it. You can't reinvent history!

hal samis said...

Dear anonymous @6:27,

I am not running for office; I don't have any interest in supplying kleenex to every voter who is in a snit about something that isn't perfect on their block.

However I am interested in some issues and shall continue to express myself in the manner you have come to love so much.

My consistent point, since reading and comprehending is not your long suit, is that Feiner is just one vote of five on the Town Board.
Critics of Town policies should remember that these policies were created and put into place not by the Supervisor alone but with the support and assistance of the other four members, Bass, Barnes, Juettner and Sheehan.

As for getting a life, I am waiting for the traditional sales the day after Thanksgiving. If I see any with tiny brains, I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

Iris McLee is our hero. She fought for the tenants. Tenants can sleep at night. The agreement the Town Council approved was much better than the agreement they were planning to approve. Supervisor Feiner's efforts saved the taxpayers money and provided the tenants with protection.

Anonymous said...

Response to Wait A Sec,

One thing I can say to you as an observer who does not live in these buildings. It appears that these are good working people who are raising their children and who want to continue to live in our town. It appears that you have some type of a problem, and I do not want to go there. Do you pay these people's bills or their rent. My hat goes off to our town Supervisor, who has save us tax payers money. I am personally glad that Paul Feiner did not listen to the other members on the board and vote right away to give a tax break to these developers without first checking out how it would effect our schools and the tax payers. This is what we want in a Supervisor who knows how to step up to the plate and not give away the store to anyone who comes in asking for tax breaks. It shows that Paul Feiner is a leader and I appreciate that he is watching over our tax dollars. Kudoos to you Mr. Feiner. Hopefully the rest of the board will will not be so easy in the future to give away the store when they don't have to.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Iris McLee and some of our other Tenant Leaders are our heroes. How do you know what her salary is? It seems that either you are working for management and getting money from them to do their dirty work. Are that you are the new Owners. Isn't it great when you have people like her and the other tenants who just don't go along with whatever the old owners or the new owners want. Do they really care about the tenants. I am happy that we have someone like her and Paul Feiner our Town Supervisor and the board who was able to get a better plan together, so that everyone is guaranteed some type of protection. What is your true motive. By Ms. McLee efforts I feel that she was able to get the town not to give Big Business a tax break that they did not deserve. In fact she and Paul Feiner save the tax payers monies and protected our school system and the Town Board passed this resolution unamiously. I feel that you should be a shame of yourself. Don't be a hater or a divider. "We need more people like McLee's of this world who is not afraid to take on the Big Business of our world and fight for the rights of all people. I am happy to see that the tenants of the Fairview Greenburgh area Fight for their rights and maybe gain some respect from the new owners.