Thursday, January 11, 2007

16 acres of parkland in E Irvington could be dedicated

A few years ago the Unification Church donated 16 acres of land to the town. The Parks & Recreation Advisory Board has approved a resolution urging the Town Board to dedicate the land as parkland. At the Town Board meeting on January 24th the Board will be asked to vote on a resolution I intend to introduce dedicating 16 acres along Taxter Road as parkland. The intent was always to use the property as open space.

52 comments:

Overtaxed in Greenburgh said...

So Mr. Feiner, architect of the "no one knows where it is except for danny gold taxter ridge gift from greenburgh to irvington school district" where is the church the moonies (thats who they are) promised to build in exchange for the 3 million property tax exemption you, iagallo, and the then town council members gave them in order to purchase taxter ridge? Please provide a map to Taxter Ridge with your answer.

Anonymous said...

Just remember, in accepting this "gift," the villages will be assuming their fair share of the cost of maintaining this parkland. Documents show that these 16 acres were part of the original Taxter Ridge deal, having been swapped for the 17 Taxter Ridge acres that were in the village of Tarrytown.

Anonymous said...

"At the Town Board meeting on January 24th ..."

Please hold this kind of stuff until later in the meeting after fundamental town service matters of the agenda are fully covered. Town council meetings include way too many superfluous matters, resulting in neglect of essential town operations matters such as leaf collection, garbage collection, tree laws, building sidewalks, creating a fund balance policy etc.

hal samis said...

Well my good friends from Edgemont, hang on and enjoy the ride.

If there is one part of Greenburgh which is the least deserving of any townwide largesse, it is East Irvington. Edgemont may have its activist lawyers but East Irvington has Danny Gold.

Mr. Gold is single-minded in purpose and that purpose is to turn his backyard into northwestern Connecticut, before Manhattanites came a knocking.

In fact, when I looked up the Yiddish word chutzpah in my dictionary, there was Danny Gold as the third usage.

Now if I quarrel with Edgemonters regarding their desire to status quo their School District, it is because I see that they intend to fuel this, not from their own pockets, but from seeking to do irreparable harm to those owners of Central Avenue property. And I have some serious problems with how they are presenting their story to the Town; such matters have to do with positioning themselves as victims and that they are blameless for their current plight.

But at least what they are defending is their creation of a world-class school system and they have the good sense to let people know that they are proud of this accomplishment. On the other side of Town, what does anyone know about East Irvington schools other than the Town has spent a lot of money to attempt to make their turf as land locked as is possible in the new millennium. In East Irvington, Mr. Gold has managed to convince a, perhaps too willing Town Board, that they absolutely had to acquire 200+ acres of land to preserve open space so that the already existing open space bordering it wouldn't get lonely.

Nevermind that while the Town was nearing the completion of new laws regarding steep slopes and wetlands that would easily knock 40% off the land value to a developer (not from the acquisition cost but from profit potential realization as the Taxter Ridge parcel would lose almost 50% of its developable acreage. Taxter Ridge, which was studiously portrayed as home to many wetland species and "brands" of wild grasses and mushrooms etc. in their pre-purchase Town sales presentations, was hastily downplayed as these land use restrictions became law and the open space, clean air story become prominent, even while the Town taxpayers were being taken to the cleaners.

These comments are not intended to restoke the frisky and elusive history of the "deal" but one thing is certain, The Trust for Public Land, ignore the name, they are real estate brokers, walked away with a hefty commission, the moonies bailed out just in time while East Irvington homeowners benefitted by an average 35% increase in the value of their homes because they gained 200 acres of deeded parkland literally in their backyards, Mr. Gold included. However, it is not quite a full bowl of cherries in East Irvington and Mr. Gold is, as I type, still trying to convince the Town to add to its holdings. Don't be squeamish, just substitute Developer for County and Avalon II for homeless shelter and you'll have many a late ending Town Board meeting discussing this. Perhaps it is not nice either to make this comparison, but the land acquisition agenda of East Irvington reminds me the german word, anschluss, which gave new meaning to the real estate term, assemblage.

Don't ignore that there is already other parkland and nature preserves along Taxter Road but like the character in "Oliver", 'please sir I want some more'.

So what do we have before us now.
We have Greenburgh Parks people saying we need this parcel. An aside to Edgemont leaders, you put the words in the mouth of the GNC, don't be shocked when you see the real masters of the genre at work.

But in one respect, I sympathize with Edgemont. They are near fully matured, in devlopment terms, section of the Town, most of their land mass has been covered with brick, concrete and asphalt and the current fighting is over the remaining table scraps. And, honestly, they do not have sufficient play or recreational fields or open space. There is nothing comparable to East Irvington in the rest of Greenburgh. If acquiring parks and open space was a boardgame like Monopoly, Edgemont has but one of the purple properties (Baltic); the rest of unincorporated has the the other purple (Mediterranean) and the light blue (Vermont, Connecticut and Oriental); the Villages have the violet, orange and red (St. Charles, States, Virginia, St. James, Tennessee, New York, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois); while East Irvington has the rest of the board, the yellow, the green and the dark blue (including valuable Park Place and Boardwalk) plus the railroads, the utilities, "go" and "community chest", especially community chest.

If you haven't followed, suffice it to say that East Irvington does not need more parkland. So where am I headed?

The Town of Greenburgh is growing, not just by population or by new development, but by the belated realization that there are many neglected capital expenses that have over the years, kept taxes low but bond ratings high however these expenditures can no longer be put off. A new Town Hall was the first out of the starting gate and quickly followed by the Library. And taxpayers will be paying for these for many years to come. Lagging behind even as the backstretch nears is the already acknowledged and on everyone's radar is sidewalk construction and what will become the big momma of capital expenditures, a new Courthouse/Police station.

The experience of the Library expansion is proof enough that building on an existing site exacts penalties, both in design and disruption due to a scarcity of relocation solutions. The existing Court/Police building is situated on a difficult plot to expand the building footprint, even building up, and the increased parking needs simply are not there on the non-building footprint balance. This means that a new site will have to be obtained, a site which will likely cost more as time goes by and the choices get picked over by buyers able to step in with cash and no questions. All the hopes of the Town to acquire the perennial dark horse candidate, the Bailey School, may not blossom or in time.

But what does all of this talk have to do with the blog topic.

Wait for the drum roll.

16 acres in East Irvington is a valuable asset of the Town which could be worth nearly $5 million from a developer who would build the likely allowed 5-6 very, very expensive homes that being surrounded by all that protected from development land; value that that town laws have, more than market factors, created.

The sale proceeds would go a long way toward reducing the high capital needs of the Town in the very soon coming years.

I hope you will join with me and see that Danny Gold loses some sleep over this. It doesn't matter which side of the social benefit issue you are on elsewhere. East Irvington has already benefited by ways no other area in Town has, or ever will. Using the 16 acres to reduce the Town's capital expenditures of the coming years is both needed and necessary. And, if the Town has to throw a bone to Mr. Gold and Company, why let's allow him one of the to-be-built sidewalks so that County-wide residents and visitors from Buffalo can walk into and actually enjoy Taxter Ridge.

Anonymous said...

Danny Gold is a great advocate for the community. He has enhance our quality of life. He knows how to compromise, how to get results for the community. I am pleased that 16 acres of land will be preserved.

Herb Rosenberg said...

I do not know the history of the 16 acres, but I do know that declaring this to be parkland may start a new round of acrimony and possible litigation.

These 16 acres are different from the Taxter Ridge property because unlike Taxter Ridge, there is no joint ownership with the State and the County, and therefore there is no obligation to permit the general public to have access to the park.

I remind you that the Finneran Law expressly says that town parks and recreational facilities shall be restricted in use to the residents of unincorporated Greenburgh. Thus it will not create problems if the Town follows the law and restricts the use to residents of unincorporated Greenburgh. Some. like Anonymous who wrote at 5:38 P.M., will argue that it should be charged town-wide because to him, and his group, everything should be charged town-wide. But the Finneran law is clear. Problems have arisen because the Town was lax about complying with the law. But now you have been alerted, and I strongly urge you not to make another mistake.

Not so fast Herb said...

Rosenberg proclaims that these 16 acres are exclusively town-owned but he may want to take a closer look at the documents that led to the creation of this 16-acre parcel.

He may see that this was all part of a single transaction, in which 17 acres of the original 200-acre parcel that were situated in the village of Tarrytown were swapped for 16 acres in the unincorporated area.

This was done at Feiner's request so that the town could argue that unincorporated area taxpayers were not paying to purchase parkland on village property.

As part of the deal, the 16 acres were given to the town for $1, so that the total purchase price with the state and county assistance, would remain the same. In addition, there was additional consideration for the Taxter purchase in the form of a four-year $3 million tax abatement.

There are documents which show the Moonies would not close the Taxter deal with the state and the county unless and until all of these pieces were agreed to as part of the same package.

If that's true, the town may have a hard time explaining to the state and the county that this property may only be used by unincorporated area residents.

It should also be noted that the issue of whether the Town must always restrict use of its parks to unincorporated area residents only, as Rosenberg suggests, is being hotly disputed in the courts.

Thus far, no court has ruled in Rosenberg's favor on this issue.

The other side argues that the town has a choice, that it can restrict use to unincorporated residents, in which case unincorporated area taxpayers are responsible for the costs, or it can open the parks town-wide, in which case costs must be covered town-wide.

Anonymous said...

Hey, wait a minute, Mr. Samis. You ask "what does anyone know about East Irvington schools?"

I know, my children know, and my neighbors know. We too have "world class schools" - and that's why we moved here.

Lots of other folks know this too. That's why we have had (in the last five years)to pass multi million dollar bond issues to buid a new middle school and enlarge the high school. This has allowed us to accommodate the 80% increase in school population (about 800 new students) that has occurred in the past 10 years. Taxter Ridge was not the only undeveloped land in our School District.

I suggest that you become better acquainted with the rest of us folks in the Town so that your blogs are better informed.

Perhaps if you lived here for a number of years you would know that as a community we have had to come together to stave off horrific proposals for the Taxter Rd. area - like vast Town incinerators, which are thankfully no longer in vogue - but they wanted to put one here, as well as three 20 story apartment buildings in the middle of Taxter Ridge - the list goes on and on and it makes the residential proposals for the Edgemont area of Central Ave. pale in comparison. We lost plenty of sleep for a long time over all of this.

Danny Gold has done superb work for East Irvington and the Town. But when one considers the on-slaught of unbelieveable proposals for Taxter Rd. that faced all of us through the years, it is not surprising that he and the rest of us determined long ago that we would make every effort to fight against the destruction of our area.

If you can persist for 30 years like we have, and have a committed Civic Association with a wonderful leader like Danny, you too can see good things happen where you live in Greenburgh. But it's a long haul, and never easy, even to this very day.

Anonymous said...

When the town acquired this property the intent was to dedicate the land as open space. I hope that all the members of the Town Board will honor their pledge.

Anonymous said...

When the town acquired this property the intent was to dedicate the land as open space. I hope that all the members of the Town Board will honor their pledge.

Anonymous said...

Herb,

Just how do you think that the town can possibly restrict the use of the land to unincorporated residents -- this is not like a town pool or golf course where admittance is checked. So -- there is no way the town can restrict and THE TOWN KNEW IT WHEN THEY ACQUIRED THE LAND, WITH THE COUNCIL VOTING FOR IT AND THE MAJORITY OF TOWN VOTERS ARE VILLAGE RESIDENTS.

hal samis said...

Dear Anonymous:

I waited a minute, I reread, I waited another minute, I reread; even more than you requested.
And this is the result.

Too bad about losing the three 20 story apartment buildings. They probably would have offered spectacular views of the lower Hudson valley. I'd have signed up to buy. They would have been a terrific asset.

Too bad about all those horrific proposals. Your part of Town with all of its stories of doom and gloom had originally been considered as the ideal location for filming what was then called the "Blair Witch Project", which had been originally pitched to investors under the name,
"Taxter Enrichment Project". The original plot was that three kids from Buffalo, on a dare, set out to find Taxter Ridge Park and camp out overnight. They search and search, retracing their steps but can't find any entrance. Finally they give up and stay at the Marriott.

And, I did not mean to belittle your School District. If you read carefully you will discover a somewhat oddly stated thought following "world class school system":
"...and they have the good sense to let people know..."

As you may be aware I have been feuding with Edgemont leaders over their proposal seeking a moratorium on Central Avenue. The reason for it is to stop residential construction because more families would mean more stress upon their School System, something you can sympathize with. Something I don't, whether it be in Edgemont or East Irvington.

However what I was inserting into the argument was a "mole"; that part of Edgemont's problem is that they have done such a good job in publicizing and promoting their schools to sell their homes to new buyers, that they have caused their own problem -- parents of school age children want to move to Edgemont because of the excellent schools, not a unique or recently discovered reason.

Herb Rosenberg said...

It would be nice if the person who addresses me as "Herb" would show his name so that I could address him by his first name.

How does the town restrict the use of the land? That is a legal matter. By adopting a resolution to that effect, that's how.

Does that mean that the town has to place police to patrol the land? No, unless it wants to. But as a legal matter, for purposes of complying with the law, it depends on whether the town takes steps to formally open the land to the general public.

Now you may say, as can often be said, that the law makes no sense, and often that is the case. But all the arguments about toen-village budgeting are dependent on a slew of laws that are antiquated and make no sense. Nonetheless we are stuck with them. It is possible to have the laws changed by a special statute for Greenburgh, and the village officials have suggested that, but that depends on cooperation from the unincorporated area and so far that has been rejected.

Paul Feiner said...

One possible solution: The town could put up a sign that says "park for residents of unincorporated Greenburgh only"

Anonymous said...

Putting up a sign that says "for unincorporated area residents only" is a really bad idea.

First of all, the land is not really "for unincorporated area residents only." It's part of Taxter Ridge, which the town has made open to everyone regardless of where they live.

Second, because this is open space, there's no practical way to restrict access to unincorporated area residents.

Third, there's no benefit going only to unincorporated area residents that would warrant taxing only them. The most direct benefit goes instead to residents of the Irvington School District, most of whose residents live in the villages of Irvington and Tarrytown.

It would thus be unfair to tax only unincorporated area residents, most of whom don't reside in the Irvington School District.

However, if the town is intent on charging the costs only to a part of the town, the fairest way to do it would be to create an East Irvington Park District.

That way the good folks of East Irvington, who worked so hard to acquire this land to keep it from being developed, can pay for its upkeep themselves.

That's probably how the Taxter Ridge property should have been acquired in the first place.

Time for Truth Mr Rosenberg/Feiner said...

We are still waiting for either mr rosenberg or mr feiner to explain the fairness of taxing only unincorporated greenburgh for parks such as Taxter Ridge (changed per court order but on appeal) and Harts Brook which are open to any resident of the villages and cannot be restricted to non-village residents.Edgemont residents pay state and county taxes just like village residents but only Edgemont (and all other unincorporated taxpayers) are billed for Harts Brook(acquired with State and County money) Unacceptable answers are that either life is unfair or thats what Finneran allows. Unless you concede there is a free lunch law operating in Greenburgh, how can this unequal taxation be justified? If it can't, its time to admit this.

Herb Rosenberg said...

To "Time for Truth from Mr. Rosenberg/Feiner:

I told myself to stop answering those angry blogs from people who will hear only one side, and here I go again. BUT NO MORE AFTER THIS, NO MATTER HOW OFF-BASE THE DEMAND OR ACCUSATION.

I'm sorry that you don't think that the life is unfair point is an acceptable answer when you regard yourself on the short end, but are perfectly happy with it when you are on the long end.

Do you think -- do you really think -- that it is fair for the village residents to be charged millions of dollars for the Town Comptroller, for the Town Attorney, for the Town Courthouse and the Town Justices and their office, for the Town Hall, for the Town data processing system, for the Town Engineer, for the Town's large Central Services, for the Town Purchasing Department, and many other Town expenses, none of which provide any services, or virtually no services, to the village residents because the village governments provide those services to the villages? No, you cannot think it is fair, and you will argue -- as your self-appointed spokespersons argue -- that these are required by law to be charged to the town-wide budget, for which the villages pay approximately one-half.

So unless you are prepared to concede that these approximately $10 millions of expenses are unfairly charged to the town-wide budget, you should not regard the Finneran Law as an unacceptable answer. The Finneran law was one of the few statutes that was enacted to remedy the incredible imbalance that the New York statutes impose on the incorporated villages.

And that is my last blog on the subject, because the unidentified blogger and his group will never be satisfied anyway. They have much to learn about fairness and the laws.

Anonymous said...

So herb,

would you also have the village residents give back the share of mortgage recording tax collected from the town properties? considering they also get there own tax? no -- this is a one way street to you.

maybe what bothers you is that dobbs ferry isnt one of the villages that gets favored treatment

1. Irvington -- taxter ridge

2. Elmsford -- parks and rec

If you had stood up and stopped some of that, we would not be having the allocation problems. You could have addresses some of this with SCOBUS.

Anonymous said...

The E Irvington property must be saved as parkland. This was factored into the "package" -that resulted in E Irvington residents supporting the Avalon project. Town Board members should not be influenced by the anonymous bloggers who fight everything and anything.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like this was a deal ready-made for East Irvington, not unincorporated Greenburgh.

Either the property should be paid for town-wide, or the town board should create an East Irvington park disrict and donate the property to the district so that East Irvington taxpayers can pay for it.

And if the East Irvington taxpayers won't pay for it, and the town won't agree to charge it to the entire town, then the property should be sold.

Why should the town board burden unincorporated Greenburgh with having to maintain it? We didn't ask for it.

Anonymous said...

This is what Bernstein has done to the town, turned it into an us against them town. Every part of the town is an us and every other pasrt of the town is a them.

I liked things better before, when we prided ourselves as a town, not as Edgemont, Hartsdale, East Irvington, Fairview, etc.

Herb Rosenberg admits Bernstein is right said...

Herb, it is now 100% clear in my mind that you just acknowledged there is no justification for taxing only unincorporated Greenburgh for Taxter Ridge and Harts Brook. Thank you for finally admitting what everyone suspected.

Anonymous said...

I agree --I liked Greenburgh better when we were all working cooperatively. Can't we stop the feuding? There are lots of positive things happening in our town. No one wins when with all this nastiness.

time for a change said...

Let's all get together this year behind a new candidate for supervisor.

One who recognizes that the town has problems but who, unlike Feiner, will act as an honest broker.

One who recognizes that the political process in Greenburgh has been tainted by ethical problems, but who, unlike Feiner, won't take political contributions from developers with applications pending before the town.

One who understands the need for professional management, but who, unlike Feiner, won't enter into illegal deals, provide false information to justify them, or state falsely that lawyers have given their approvals when they clearly had not.

One who understands the need for proper financial reporting, but who, unlike Feiner, would record all income and disbursements, in the proper places, and not try to hide them.

Yes, it's time for a new candidate who, unlike Feiner, can find common ground between the villages and the unincorporated areas, and instead of doing what Feiner has been doing (like with this parkland proposal), which is finding even more ways to drive everyone apart.

Anonymous said...

Part of your blog is right. We should change Supervisors because Feiner just doesn't get it.
But mostly you are wrong in putting all the blame on Feiner. What we need is a completely new slate. The Town Board has screwed up as much as Feiner.

We need a Town Council which

- doesn't make excuses and blames Feiner for everythinbg that has gone wrong without admitting that they voted with Feiner every time.

- doesn't deny that they played a full role in the Westhelp mess.

- doesn't let the Comptroller get away with bad accounting practices, like hiding Westhelp receipts, and quit protecting the Comptroller in order to make feiner the bad guy when they are all at fault.

- doesn't pick and choose which legal opinions they will accept and which ones they won't, and recognizes that the Town Attorney isn't up to the job.

- doesn't think that its primary role is to put down the Supervisor ten times every meeting.

- works cooperatively with the elected representatives of the villages instead of stiffing them in order to please certain people in Edgemont.

- recognizes that the town consists of areas other than Edgemont, even if the other areas don't come to every meeting and make demands.

In other words, this November get rid of Feiner, Bass and Barnes, and put up a slate which doesn't kiss the butts of some people and ignores others, depending on how much the Board thinks it will benefit them politically.

Haven't we had enough of the madness of the past two or three years?

Anonymous said...

Before we place the blame on the entire town board here with respect to the WestHelp mess, let's see what the independent counsel has to say.

Having just read the state comptroller report, the response from the town council and the separate response from Feiner, it sure looks to me like the town council is trying to do all it can to protect us from Feiner's continued screwups.

It also looks like the state comptroller's office changed its report to make clear that Feiner himself was responsible for what went wrong here, not the town council.

Anonymous said...

You anonymous guys keep on blaming Feiner for everything. Our services are good. Our tax increases, under Feiner's leadership, have been lower than surrounding communities. The town has provided leadership in the areas of recreation and energy conservation. Crime is low and the police do a terrific job. Paul Feiner is working for us day and night. He does a great job. By the way I live in Edgemont and don't like the crew that wants to secede.

Anonymous said...

The fighting and bickering is not Feiner's fault. It's the fault of ambitious politicians and deal makers who want Feiner's job or control of Greenburgh's budget.

Anonymous said...

I live in Edgemont too; the talk is not about seceding; it's about incorporating as Greenburgh's seventh village.

I'm keeping an open mind about that. Taxes have been stable,but services, like garbage and leaf pickup have declined a lot, Feiner's fought against sidewalks for our kids, and I haven't forgotten his taking campaign contributions from developers with applications pending.

My neighbors on Round Hill Road really got screwed by Feiner over that, and I'm really worried that he'll screw us again on Central Avenue.

This WestHelp scandal doesn't give me much comfort either. And I just read in yesterday's Inquirer that Feiner was refusing to distance himself from a lawyer he hired who was just arrested and charged with stealing money from an elderly client.

So, I beg to differ with my Edgemont neighbor. I sure hope the Democrats put up another candidate this year.

And by the way, I think Edgemont's leaders are doing a terrific job. I frankly don't know how they can stand all the crap they get from Feiner partisans.

Paul Feiner said...

Regarding the garbage collection in Edgemont - I do not believe that the quality of garbage pickup has deteriorated. Please provide me with specifics - and I'll make sure that the public works dept gives your street more attention. I receive very few complaints re: sanitation services.
Re: leaf collection - I asked the Town Board earlier this year to increase overtime. I am pleased that the Board agreed to increase funding by $20,000 in 2007 for leaf collection.
Re: Sidewalks--last year the Board (probably at the urging of some of the anonymous bloggers) approved a resolution directing me to propose a sidewalk policy for the town. I complied with their request. I submitted a sidewalk policy to the town board to consider. What did they do with the proposal? They held one meeting --the sidewalk proposal has not been discussed in recent months. The Board seems to have lost interest in the issue of sidewalks. I urge the Board to review my proposed sidewalk law and to make modifications. Herb Rosenberg came up with a good suggested modification: use suburban law.
Re: Round Hill Road--after trees were cleared on Round Hill Road residents of that street urged the Board to approve a tree law so that this situation could never happen again. The Conservation Advisory Council met for months, developed a proposed law that would prevent another Round Hill situation. I indicated that I would like the Town Board dto vote on a tree law --even a modified tree law that would provide some extra protections against massive tree clearing by developers. The Town Board has taken no action -the CAC recommendations are gathering dust.
Re: your charge that I hired a lawyer. I never have hired a lawyer to represent me. The Town government has not hired a lawyer to represent me regarding WESTHELP.No taxpayer funds or personal funds have been used to represent me regarding WESTHELP.

Anonymous said...

The CAC recommendations were so overly broad that they were useless. They did not target development, but for example would limit a homeonwer taking down one tree. It was absurd.

Feiner Lying About Caro said...

Feiner says he never hired a lawyer to represent him on WestHelp and that the Town Board never hired a lawyer to represent him on WestHelp.

These statements are false and Feiner knew they were false when he made them.

Chase Caro, the Mayfair Knollwood lawyer arrested last week for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from an elderly client has a website, says he's Feiner's WestHelp lawyer. The following statement appears on Caro's website(as of today January 14, 2007:):

"Representation of Paul Feiner in maintaining Westhelp Center housing and job training for homeless mothers."

Check it out yourself at www.chasecaro.com

According to the Scarsdale Inquirer, Feiner also had Caro call the state comptroller's office last month to get an extension of time to respond to the state comptroller's report.

It's amazing that Feiner would so brazenly lie about a matter which any resident can easily see is untrue.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing in the CAC tree proposal that would have prevented another Round Hill situation.

That situation was taken care of when the Town Board unanimously approved an amendment to the tree code in 2005 which denies/revokes any building permit to any developer who cuts down any trees while an appeal of a tree cutting permit is pending.

The amendment was written by Edgemont lawyer Bob Bernstein.

It was made necessary when the developer on Round Hill Road cut down the trees while an appeal was pending and the town did nothing to stop him.

Feiner never told the residents at the time, however, that the developer had given him $1000 when the tree appeal was filed. The developer's lawyer had also just organized Feiner's largest fundraising event.

As for the CAC, its chair opposed the Round Hill amendments because they were not included in her package of changes to the law which, if passed, would have required each and every homeowner, regardless of the size of their lot, to get a permit from the town before any tree having a diameter of six inches or more is removed.

The CAC's position was "their way or the highway."

Fortunately common sense prevailed, and the Round Hill amendments were passed. Even Feiner voted for them.

And the CAC's draconian proposals, which for CAC members are non-negotiable, have been consigned to the dustbin.

Anonymous said...

Paul, you've got to be kidding when you say garbage collection hasn't deteiorated in Edgemont. It's deteriorated not just in Edgemont but throughout the unincorporated area.

Ever since you went to once-a-week garbage pickups during holiday weeks, garbage accumulates and it's a health hazard.

Not only does it attract vermin to our homes, but because of the volume of garbage that has to come out, on windy days it gets blown all over the neighborhood.

Not just in Edgemont Paul, but everywhere.

And what have you done about it? Sure, Edgemont leaders come in and complain, but so do others too, and everyone is ignored.

Okay, so you have a manpower problem, you don't have enough men and trucks. That's not a surprise Paul. It's because you haven't expanded the sanitation budget in years.

You threw a few bucks budget time at the leaf problem this year. But this problem you ignored big time.

And so I think of you when I see all the garbage swirling around my neighborhood, and other town neighborhoods, in front of homes, in empty lots, and along our streets.

Anonymous said...

There are 5 members of the Town Board. Diana Juettner, Steve Bass, Francis Sheehan, Eddie Mae Barnes and Paul Feiner. 3 of the 5 have the ability to change policy re: sanitation pickup. The 4 Town Board members (other than Feiner) spent over a month reviewing Feiner's budget. They made some changes in the budget. How come you are not blaming them for the sanitation schedule? How come you are not blaming them for not increasing the number of employees or equipment?

Anonymous said...

Isn't Paul the town's chief executive officer? Isn't he the only full-time elected official we have? Isn't he the town's chief financial officer responsible for putting the budget together?

Yes, the budget can't be approved without Town Board approval. But leadership under Greenburgh's system is supposed to come from the top, and that means that yes, Paul Feiner is to blame.

The reason is that other town board members are all part-timers who hold full-time jobs.

Maybe we need to change the system. If Feiner doesn't think he has responsibility for lead in such matters, the town really needs to hire a full-time professional manager to develop these proposals and then get Town Board approval to implement them.

Because one thing's for sure, with Feiner blaming the town council for his own persistent failure to do what the law makes him responsible for, something's gotta change.

Anonymous said...

No, Paul isn't the chief executive officer. There is no chief executive officer in a town. You haven't been listening because the four Town Council persons keep reminding Paul that he is just one of five and Paul says that also. The Town Council does it to keep Paul in his place and Paul does it to make sure that the blame for anything goes to all five of them, as it should.

Quit letting the Town Council persons off the hook. They are as much to blame for the town's problems as Paul is. Maybe more, because thay can veto anything that Paul does but he can't veto them.

Anonymous said...

These are recent developments. The council has only recently hired its own staff. In the past they were totally at the mercy of Paul. Now, notwithstanding that they are part-time and Paul is full time, they are trying to have some controls.

IF PAUL WANTS TO BE JUST ONE OF 5, HE SHOULD RETURN PAY IN EXCESS OF THE COUNCILS.

hal samis said...

I presume all this new round of blogs calling for a new Supervisor are points tailored to "one" who these bloggers can make fit the resume of Suzanne Berger, Chair of the Greenburgh Democratic Party.

Now that some outspoken critics think they have a stalking horse or bookmark for the next two years, the solution, they think that they can make the problems match the solution.

This was meant to proceed a little more slowly.

Just think if Edgemont actually came out in favor of a resident of the Villages. A woman. Someone with the strongest Democratic ties.

Checkmate Feiner, checkmate Greenawalt.

It is one thing to tear down. But before the construction contracts go out, let's spend a little time on due diligence, examining the background of the "low" bidder.

Hope this exposure doesn't muck up your timetable, fellas.

But having an anonymous candidate supported by anonymous bloggers doesn't inflate my sails.

Anonymous said...

check valhallafacts.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Hal! Read your comments about the upcoming election. Now I know why the party leadership stabbed Bill in the back last election by walking away from him after they promised him support. My philosophy: once a backstabber, always a backstabber. When Suzanne was chair of the Dobbs Ferry committee didn't she encourage party fighting, which led to the Republicans winning the village elections?

hal samis said...

Dear Anonymous,

Suzanne Berger, Steve Bass and Brutus, were they in school together?

As for Valhallafacts truthteller,
Sheehan indeed looks like a contender but he is probably just a hair short of full retirement benefits from John Jay and needs a few more years to maximize the plan benefits at while he is currently facing the drain of his kids college tuition, so the status quo may be desireable for now. That's why I refer to Berger as a bookmark (keeping the position open for someone else)for two years, holding the slot while Sheehan learns on the job, repairs relations with his former supporters. etc. On the other hand, if Sheehan runs now he has the protection of two additional years as Council member if he loses. Berger has little experience in municipal management and would really like to be a judge; this may be the reward if she performs the candidate role for those who want to get Feiner out.

And perhaps, if Berger resigns during her term, Mr. Sheehan may benefit but then I would have to read the Town laws and the Library is closed.

Whatever the scenario, Bass is so over; being Sheehan's sparring partner just doesn't make him look like he himself understands local issues even after knowledge gained from his day job. That's why he hangs out on the safe ground by promoting the feel good issues like Darfur, pro-choice and Cancer fund-raising -- issues that have little to do with running the Town. Hey Steve, warning: this year be prepared to answer how many of the dollars raised in Greenburgh go to cancer research and awareness and how many end up as the commission to the fundraiser?

So if you're willing to turn the reins of government over to someone new, someone without any management skills (a far cry from the old call that we need a professional manager, unless that's really her platform -- hire someone who does then depart quietly) and then suffer both a Supervisor AND a Town Council which are clueless (the Town Council does vote as though they were knowledgeable but then if something goes wrong, they say they were misled).

Of course the idea is to split the Village vote by having a Village resident running, to split the Democratic vote among Feiner, Greenawalt and Berger and by having say, Bernstein's support (assume what say he, says Edgemont for this blog) and this will carry unincorporated.

By creating these fractured blocs, it may be possible to take down Feiner. But that's what makes a horse race. And, more than ever before, his choice of running mates is crucial.

Anonymous said...

Hope that Steve Bass, Diana Juettner, Eddie Mae Barnes and Francis Sheehan will be open minded (please...don't listen to Bernstein everytime). Do what is right. Vote to dedicate the land as parkland, as originally promised.

Anonymous said...

I think the'ld be willing to ignore Bernstein -- its the judges who keep pushing the costs that Bernstein insists belong at the entire level they can't ignore.

hal samis said...

I do take responsibility for falling prey to the conversational stream and deviating from the original topic. That said...

Why does East Irvington need still more DEDICATED PARKLAND?

In the Edgemont Central Avenue proposed moratorium (help the School District fight new residential) at least there is still some remaining practical use for the property along the Central Avenue corridor.

East Irvington is fighting against
not only residential but also retail and office construction. In short they want no development and they want this to be paid for by everyone else in Town.

As PARKLAND there is no supportable need for creating any additional for this USE. As a source of income to the Town, however and whatever budget it assists, the sale of this clearly surplus piece of land should be what concerns the Town Board, not just adding to a vanity project which exists as a ruse to hide the enrichment of the homesteads of East Irvington residents: this largesse being sustained by the taxes paid by non-beneficiaries.

East Irvington really wants the Town to acquire every piece of undeveloped land in their neighborhood. They make no secret of this ambition.
The purchase of 200 acres at Taxter Ridge was the main course. Now they are after the appetizer, soup, salad and desert courses too. And while there is not a morsel of justification for the Town of Greenburgh to allow them use of the Town's credit card.

Enough is enough. What about the other sections of Town, where is their 200 acreas. Open space is obtainable not just by seeking undeveloped properties. Open space can be created by buying existing, improved properties and tearing them down. Be they adjacent homes or commericial buildings. Instead of the Nursery (sold to GHC) and the adjacent Alpine Tree parcel (sold for residential) why didn't the Town acquire these parcels as open space?
Instead of now fighting Fortress Bible, why hadn't the Town acquired the parcel for open space? Instead of fighting the Baker Brothers, why hadn't the Town acquired the parcel for open space in Orchard Hill? Instead of fighting Toll Brothers, why hadn't the Town acquired the parcel off Ardsley Road? It seems that the Town only has money to buy property for East Irvington. Isn't this odd?

Now that the Town already owns a piece of property that there is no reasonable arguement to sustain its use as PARKLAND, the Town wants to forever remove it from the grasp of Developers who might make an embarrassing unsolicited offer to purchase -- if it were declined. Why is the Town so anxious to add to its maintenance expense by making this land Parkland? Why the rush? Since Taxter Ridge is so far inaccessible to the Public, why do we need to make this additional parcel "off bounds"?

If this land were located in parts of Town where there is little to none of "open space" I would think differently. But in East Irvington?
The Town wants to preserve a status quo area with few homes served by a school district which is sized to few homes. That would be the argument for every school district and the argument for zero population growth everywhere. There would never be any incentive to build a school that would serve the anticipated needs of the future because the future would always be frozen to today.

Unless, of course, you are building the Greenburgh Public Library which is expanding to serve the needs of an expanding population even though every school district fights against allowing any growth within its borders.

The East Irvington School District has had enough help. And, if this particular piece were to be developed under the new steep slopes and wetlands laws, the development would yield probably 5-6 new homes producing not a staggering number of new school age children. Certainly the studies of the District's growth cannot be so accurate that they don't have room for these kids whenever they materialize: after Town declares the land surplus, after land sale, after permits, after construction, after purchase of the homes; we are talking about a threat maybe six to seven years from yesterday.

Stop making these contributions to the Danny Gold and friends retirement program, or at least offer the same benefits to all Town residents.

Stop treating it as a fair accompli. Before the "Dedication" talk, is the the need to talk whether this property should be kept or sold.

memo to samis said...

There is no "East Irvington School District."

It's the Irvington School District and it principally serves residents of the Village of Irvington (plus some residents from the Village of Tarrytown). The district also covers East Irvington, which is the only part of the district in unincorporated Greenburgh.

And East Irvington isn't asking the entire town to pay for these additional 16 acres. No, they're asking only to have unincorporated Greenburgh pay to maintain this property.

Gee, this sounds like unincorporated Greenburgh is being asked to subsidize a part of the town where most of the residents live in the villages.

Kind of has a familiar ring. Not unlike the town as a whole being asked to subsidize the Valhalla school district where most of the residents live in the separate towns of Mount Pleasant and North Castle.

hal samis said...

Dear Memo:

I sit corrected.

But fear not, the Town Council will never go along with this. After all, they have done their homework and they understand now and no one can make them vote denying their understanding. Right?

Anonymous said...

Samis is right on this one. If East Irvington wants this land preserved, let them create a special district and pay for it themselves. Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

I thought all the town board members were on board -and had agreed to dedicate the property as parkland.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

I dont think anyone disagrees the land should be parkland -- the issues raised are who shold pay.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of people disagree that it should be parkland. As to who pays, are we looking for more litigation? Let these 16 acres be developed and produce some taxes. East irvington has plenty of subsidized psrkland.

hal samis said...

People may not agree with me but I still deserve to be counted among "anyone".
And, I don't think these 16 acres should become parkland.

My turn and I land on Community Chest. My card says:

Roll again, advance token the number shown but do not pass "go" until the 16 acres are sold.
Collect $6,000,000.