Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January: 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!

189 comments:

Anonymous said...

New year and there is no longer any need to ask.

There will be no investigating the fact that Mr. Kaminer made threats against the Valhalla Superintendent because some members of the town board authorized him to do so. If you do not believe this, ask Mr. Kaminer, who will be very willing to throw the inappropriate Council
members under the bus.

Now that we are on a roll, let's also ask Mr. Kaminer if he would like to identify the conduit as to whom provided a copy of the Comptrollers WESTHELP report illegally to the Journal News. Interesting that there is no "outcry" from the some of the esteemed members of the board on this one either. The silence on this issue is as illuminating as their Kaminer threat silence.

It would also be interesting to see what Council Members have the guts and stop bloging anomalously and admit that they authorized this individual to make such threats. Isn't it time that both the employee and the Council members be harshly dealt with in the context of an ethics investigation. Contrary to existing Greenburgh standard operating procedures, it is not worth spending $20,000 to investigate. Maybe this council member would like to get his own pro-bono lawyer, or just do it himself.

The balance of the Town Board’s silence on this issue as to the behavior of the others should be noted very unfavorably and remembered at election time. Even though the others did not authorize the threat, their
willingness to be bullied by those whose vote is exactly equal to
theirs, should no longer be tolerated. If they are not willing to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities, they should step down and allow those who will not tolerate such thuggish behavior in the Town of Greenburgh, to take charge and stand up to the bully. If there are any council members that are appalled by this behavior, you would never know it by their public reaction.

Is the threatened “retribution” from members of the board towards the Valhalla School District / Mayfair Knollwood for having the “audacity” to dare speak in public the release the confidential Comptrollers report to David McKay Wilson ? Are we surprised at the level that some of the council members will stoop to in their unprofessional behavior?

EDGEMONT CIVIC LEADERS who proclaim with their "do the right thing" pompousness, where is your outcry over this behavior? In 2007, make a study of your own integrity and get back to us with the results.

My new year's prediction: The legacy of the lack of integrity and honesty and the preponderance of cowardliness from the majority of the town council will continue through 2007. Anyone willing to bet against
me?

hal samis said...

I probably agree with many of your allegations but what stops me from getting into them is that inconsistency always irks me.

Thus, from your entry...

"It would be interesting to see what Council Members have the guts and stop bloging anomalously..."

While right at the top of your own blog I see: anonymous said...

Sign your piece and I will respond.

I have no respect for ANYONE who avoids responsibility for their work product. Anonymous is just a license to lie, to provoke and not be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

These continued scurrilous and unsubstantiated personal attacks are an attempt to divert attention away from the Valhalla scandal and the town's failure to account for more than $1.8 million in town funds that were illegally and irresponsibly put in the hands of group of residents from a school district where two-thirds of the residents don't even live in Greenburgh.

As for the comptroller's report, there is no evidence that town council members or town employees leaked anything to anyone.

Indeed, it's hard to believe they'd be so dumb as to leak it over Christmas, when few would be around to read it.

On the other hand, it's no secret that before the Journal News even got a copy, for partisan political reasons of his own, Feiner shared the report with Valhalla School District personnel and Mayfair Knollwood leaders, so that Feiner's personal lawyer and others could work on a rebuttal.

It's also no secret that with all this much money floating around, with so little control over its use, some of it may have found its way into the hands of private individuals.

Evidence of overseas trips, cruises, trips to the Grand Canyon, tens of thousands of dollars in payments to school officials, and tens of thousands of dollars in payments to a private foundation, coupled with representations, later proved false, of how the money was spent, would seem to place everyone involved under a cloud of suspicion.

That is why the State Comptroller must conduct a second audit to account for the money and, if necessary, to make referrals to appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Based on what's been reported thus far, Greenburgh taxpayers have a right to be outraged over what occurred.

But in fairness we should wait until the state completes its investigation before any final conclusions are drawn.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Town Board should order an investigation to determine if Gil Kaminer or any member of the Council leaked this report. Releasing a report that contains information that is not true is unfortunate. I hope that Gil Kaminer will not allow members of the Town Board to use him for illegal activity.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Town Board should order an investigation to determine if Gil Kaminer or any member of the Council leaked this report. Releasing a report that contains information that is not true is unfortunate. I hope that Gil Kaminer will not allow members of the Town Board to use him for illegal activity.

Anonymous said...

Remember the NY DAILY NEWS headline:
FORD TO NY: DROP DEAD
a new suggested headline:
KAMINER, BASS, SHEEHAN,BARNES,JUETTNER TO MAYFAIR KNOLLWOOD, VALHALLA SCHOOL DISTRICT:
DROP DEAD

Anonymous said...

If any of the Maywood Knollwood people speak at the next town meeting, lets ask them do they have copies of the report and where did they get it from

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

If they show up, we should ask for our money back.

Anonymous said...

"a school district where two-thirds of the residents don't even live in Greenburgh"

This is just another example of how the school districting around here makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Steve Bass, Diana Juettner and Eddie Mae Barnes also vote for the WESTHELP partnership? If the deal was bad why did they endorse it?

Anonymous said...

I thought a gaggle of lawyers endorsed it. Or was it a flock of philanthropists?

Anonymous said...

Bass et al voted for it after Feiner reassured them he had a legal opinion. After being pushed and pushed, Feiner finally made the "opinion" avaiable, and it turned out to be a meaningless unsigned piece of paper that did not address all the issues.

Anonymous said...

Another inaccurate statement. The former Town Attorney, Susan Mancuso, presented all the members of the Town Board and Supervisor with the contract at the same time. The legal research that the town attorney did seemed to indicate that the WESTHELP partnership was proper. The entire Town Board, including Feiner,Bass,Juettner,Barnes voted for the agreement. Bass, Barnes, Juettner have never relied on legal opinions by Feiner - a non practicing attorney. They depend on the town attorney for advice.

Anonymous said...

This is revisionist history at its rank worst.

First of all, Feiner himself negotiated the contract, not Susan Mancuso. Even the folks from Mayfair Knollwood will tell you that. He's been their patsy for years.

Mancuso must have had doubts about its legality. After all, there was a 1990 legal opinion from the state comptroller's office that said towns may not give gifts to school districts unless the money was being used for a town-wide purpose, like a playground, which all town residents could use.

As recently as three months ago, Feiner was confidently telling the world he had at least four legal opinions saying the contract was legal.

When residents asked to see them, it turned out Feiner had no written legal opinions from anyone.

What municipal executive in America would ever agree to give away millons of dollars of municipal funds without first getting a written opinion from counsel that what he was doing was legal?

The Valhalla deal was approved in March 2004. That was about the time Feiner stopped talking to Mancuso. (She left a few months later with the town agreeing to pay her an 18-month severance).

Coincidence? You be the judge.

Anonymous said...

I reside in the Mayfair Knollwood neighborhood. Paul Feiner encouraged the neighborhood to reach an agreement with HELP USA but he did not negotiate the contract. The legal work was done by Paul Bergins, special counsel. He worked with Susan Mancuso, the Town Attorney on the contract. Attorneys for HELP USA and the county also reviewed the documents before it was presented to the entire Town Board for a vote.
I am outraged that some of the members of the council who voted for the agreement now act like they had no knowledge of what they were voting for. Steve Bass, Diana Juettner and Eddie Mae Barnes knew what they were voting for.

Anonymous said...

Paul Bergins is a tax certiorari lawyer. He didn't negotiate anything and he certainly never signed any written opinion to the town that said the agreement was legal.

Was it Bergins or Feiner who allowed the town to give away $6.5 million without so much as requiring any written accounting from the district as to how the money was to be spent? Was it Bergins or Feiner who allowed the agreement to provide for 15% of unspent funds to go to a private foundation in violation of the state constitution?

However, there must have been someone looking about for Greenburgh's interests. Was it Bergins or Feiner who required the Valhalla School District to indemnify the town for any liability or damages resulting from the grants?

By the way, there's a recent tape of a meeting of the Greenburgh Council of Civic Associations where the president of the Mayfair Knollwood Civic Association says, with a chuckle, who it was he negotiated with. Guess who it was?

Regardless of who it was, Greenburgh taxpayers have good reason to demand that it be invoked to get their money back.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5.39 asks

"Was it Bergins or Feiner who allowed the town to give away $6.5 million without so much as requiring any written accounting from the district as to how the money was to be spent? Was it Bergins or Feiner who allowed the agreement to provide for 15% of unspent funds to go to a private foundation in violation of the state constitution?"

It was neither. It was the entire Town Board which approved the arrangfement, after getting a legal OK from Susan Mancuso and the outside lawyer, Bergins.

It was a wrong deal, but it was neither crooked nor deceptive. it was all open. The Town Board thought that it was a proper deal and a legal one. It happens that they were wrong on both counts, but that knowledge has only come recently.

I don't like the effort to make Feiner the fall guy when all the Board members agreed to the deal. They should now act together to fix things according to law, and quit the finger-pointing.

Anonymous said...

It was a wrong deal for sure, but "neither crooked nor deceptive." That remains to be seen.

The town council seems to have been told back in 2004 that the money was being used to compensate the school district for the cost of educating homeless kids from out of the district. The town council was being told the same thing this past fall by VSD officials. It's on tape.

The state comptroller is saying that's completely false. That sounds like deception to me.

And crooked? With so much money floating around that hasn't been accounted for, it may well turn out that there was something crooked here.

We'll just have to wait until all the investigations are completed.

Anonymous said...

"We'll just have to wait until all the investigations are completed."

Fair point. And until then, can the jackals hold their incessant insults and attacka based on anger rather than evidence.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear from the state

1. When will the investigation be finalized and the report issued?

2. Why do Feiner and Kelly have a chance to refute inaccuracies and not citizens?

Anonymous said...

Enough with all of this Valhalla nonsence. Lets deal with what is going on now, like no responce to our DPW concerns.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, the Valhalla School District is going on now, as the longer we wait to demand for the return of our money, the less likely it is we will get it back.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to interrupt the Valhalla topic, but great news ...

"Yonkers and Greenburgh's long-simmering war over development on their common border appears to have reached detente in its latest battle over the expansive Ridge Hill project."

Yonkers will finally go forward with the full, unaltered project that it needs, and Greenburgh gets money to mitigate the traffic.

I'm very happy for Yonkers, and hopefully Greenburgh will be satisfied with the cash until it can find another anti-Yonkers topic to whimper about.

Anonymous said...

Now that we know how irresponsible the town was with the WestHelp money, residents from both the villages and unincorporated areas better see to it that the same mistakes are not made with respect to the Ridge Hill money.

We cannot afford to let Feiner take responsibility for the spending of this money. And town council members will have only themselves to blame if the spending of the Ridge Hill money becomes Greenburgh's latest screwup.

Anonymous said...

someone should ask the police
chief why a disbared member of the
force who happens to be african
amercican was promoted to lieutnant
over a white officer with an
unblemished record..in fact how
does a disbarred attorney who
violated his oath as an officer
of the court get to stay on
the police department who job
it is to uphold standards and
morality in the community

Anonymous said...

Feiner did a good job with Ridge Hill. He fought the fight, got funds for the town so safety improvements can be made. He's a smart administrator and negotiator.

Anonymous said...

Let's move the WESTHELP housing to that land in Edgemont.

Then let's get the majority of the Town Board make some promises to them, which of course they don't intend to keep, and in about 14 years they can find someone else to lie to and then move it some place else.

Do you think the Edgement folks will go for that deal?

Anonymous said...

How about homeless housing or better yet housing for sex offenders at that Edgemont open land?

I heard from some speakers at town hall meetings say that it really isn't a problem so far, so maybe that can fullfill Edgemont's share of that town wide purpose they like to mention.

Anyone from Edgenot need a dime to call Andy Spano?

Anonymous said...

Why do these angry people from Mayfair Knollwood blame Edgemont for their problems?

They have no one to blame but themselves and Feiner.

Edgemont didn't declare the agreement illegal. The state comptroller did.

Edgemont didn't find that Feiner's justifications to entering into the deal were bogus. It was the state comptroller who came to that conclusion.

joeasdfsdfsdf said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Does anyone have contact with Verizon? It is great we have a contract but what is there timetable for laying fios lines?

Paul Feiner said...

Dear anonymous: If you e mail me with your address I will contact Verizon re: Fios line. PAUL FEINER
pfeiner@greenburghny.com

Anonymous said...

This is for the wise men who say that Mayfair Knollwood has nothing to worry about with Andy Spano's Sex Offender Housing at the Westchester Medical Center, because it is across the border:
-------------------------------------------------
Cops: NYC sex offender raped Brooklyn girl, 12, in Ardsley
By JONATHAN BANDLER
THE JOURNAL NEWS

(Original publication: January 8, 2007)



ARDSLEY - A high-risk sex offender from Manhattan is in custody on charges that he kidnapped a 12-year-old girl in Brooklyn and raped her at an Ardsley motel, authorities said.

William Davis, 45, of West 148th Street was arrested over the weekend on kidnapping and rape charges.

Authorities said Davis and the girl did not know each other before meeting on Friday. He allegedly drove her to the motel, raped her and then returned her to Brooklyn. He was later found at the motel by New York City police detectives.

Davis was sentenced to six to 12 years in state prison in 1991 for sodomizing two girls, one 10 and the other 8. He was classified a Level 3 sex offender upon his release from prison.

Police are expected to release more details about the arrest this afternoon.

-------------------------

Do we need to wait until one of our daughters or wives get raped or murdered before you take this seriously?

hal samis said...

President Bush wants to address the nation while the Town Board meeting is in progress. What a shameless attempt to upstage the Town's Resolution supporting Darfur aid.

Feiner's attorney arrested said...

Chase Caro represents Supervisor Paul Feiner with respect to the WestHelp case on a pro bono basis. Guess what? Mr Caro was arrested Friday and charged with grand larceny after stealing $310,000 from an elderly client. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

True he hasnt been convicted and is presumed innocent but its quite interesting that Chase Caro was attracted to the defense of what is increasingly looking like a major theft in Greenburgh. Stay tuned. Its not stopping with Hevesi.

Anonymous said...

Greenburgh Attorney Arrested For Stealing
Written by Westchester.com
Monday, 08 January 2007
White Plains, NY - The Westchester County District Attorney's office has announced the arrest of Chase Caro, 48, of White Plains, New York on one count of Grand Larceny in connection with a theft of over $470,000.
On August 1, 2006, the defendant, an attorney, received approximately $470,143 on behalf of an elderly client which represented monies received involving the sale of a home in Westchester County.
Despite numerous requests from his client to transfer the money owed after payment of litigation related fees, the defendant failed to do so. On November 28, 2006, the defendant provided his client with a check in the amount of $310,000, which was returned by the bank for insufficient funds.
The defendant instead used the funds owed to his client to pay the defendant’s personal and business expenses.

Bail was set at $5,000.
Caro’s next court date is January 9th, 2007 in Greenburgh Town Court.
He faces a maximum of fifteen years in state prison.
Assistant District Attorney Brian Conway, of the Public Integrity Bureau, will prosecute the case.

Anonymous said...

I hope he was able to finish the response to the State Comptroller, pointing out all the inaccuracies in the WestHelp Audit, before he was arrested.

Anonymous said...

inaccuracies? such as? please illuminate as mr chase caro is obviously busy looking for a toothbrush

Anonymous said...

Caro’s next court date is January 9th, 2007 in Greenburgh Town Court.

Maybe he can stop by Feiner's office and finish up his comments.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he could get a 15 year extension.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the tennis bubble will ever be approved at AF Veteran town park? I heard that if the town doesn't approve the agreement that taxpayer dollars will have to be used to repair the tennis courts. YIKES!

Anonymous said...

Dear bubbles: I don't play tennis. My daughter says the tennis courts are in horrible shape. She told me that if the town signs a contract with the private bubble operator that the tennis courts will be restored to the shape it should be in at their expense, not ours. I think that we should lock the Town Board members in a room and not let them out until they solve this problem.

Anonymous said...

It isn't a problem that the Town Board can solve. Sport Time won't go ahead until there is a resolution to the two lawsuits that Bob Bernstein has started. They know the law and they understand that they may be unable to conduct their business.

Anonymous said...

I think Bernstein would probably take exception to that last comment. His lawsuits are not about stopping the tennis bubble deal. They are about requiring the town to charge all town residents for the costs of town parks that are open townwide.

The villages don't want to pay their fair share for such parks. They say the town doesn't have the legal authority to open its parks townwide.

Feiner agreed with the villages. As a result, Sporttime can't enter into the tennis bubble deal with the town unless the courts rule in Bernstein's favor and against Feiner and the villages.

Of course, the parties could always settle their differences. That's what Bernstein was quoted as saying he wanted to do. But Feiner and the villages said no, they want a court ruling instead.

Paul Feiner said...

The state comptroller has issued an opinion on certain A & B allocations this week. I have been asked by the Town not to release it publicly until after tonights Town Board work session. It is a public document, however.

Anonymous said...

The Town Board must implement recommendations of the Comptroller in the 2007 budget and make appropriate changes to the current budget.

Anonymous said...

Previous post sounds ominous. Make changes to 2007 budget!

Like, let's charge the villages for one half of Town's rec budget - there must be at least 10% of village folks who use unincorporated Greenburgh's rec programs - and they pay an extra fee as it is - but that's not enough for some greedy folks.

Or give us the money VSD gets for having homeless and pedophiles in their neighborhood - cause that's no big deal. We'd take Westhelp and pedophile prison in our back yard, but not in the 2 acres empty land the Town will buy in Edgemont (or anywhere else in Edgemont.)

OR - and I suspect this is the real motivation - let's get the villages so angry that they vote against Feiner so that the Elite Coterie in certain unincorporated areas who feel that they are smarter and are deprived when good things happen in any other areas of the Town, can take over. After all, why should they pay for anything if it doesn't make them richer.

They want to make sure that when the Greenburgh Town budget pie is cut, they get the biggest slice.

Anonymous said...

what about putting the westhab or other facility on land the town already owns, the waterwheel property -- in Ardsley

Anonymous said...

The WestHELP facility is on County property and does not have to be moved. It has been there for 16 years, with no problem. From what I read, some people don't think the town has any right to any money and should not have any say as to where it is. If we start debating where it should be, someone is going to figure out it is well placed and could cost the County nothing to keep it there.

Anonymous said...

The town does have a right to the money.

In 1991, in order to induce the town to accept WestHelp within its borders, the county agreed to give the town a 30-year lease of the property, commencing in 2001, with the understanding that the town could then convert WestHelp's 108 homeless housing units to senior citizen housing.

In 2001, the town agreed to let WestHelp remain for another ten years, gave up its right to convert the units to senior housing, and also gave up the rental income it would have received had such conversion taken place.

A ten-year sublease was then entered into in which the county agreed to cover the cost of WestHelp subleasing the premises from the town at a cost of $1.2 million per year.

The $1.2 million rent was the figure the county agreed to pay in order to compensate the town for the loss of rental income.

There was nothing legally wrong with either transaction.

However, the town's decision to give a portion of the rent money away to the Valhall School District was legally suspect from the beginning.

On February 28, 2002, the Journal News reported as follows in that regard:

"Town Attorney Susan Mancuso said the payment could pass legal muster as long as the payments were not exclusively for the benefit of a single neighborhood, but for the town as a whole. A new park or playground in the Mayfair-Knollwood section, for instance, would be open to all town residents, benefiting residents beyond the immediate neighborhood."

According to the state comptroller, Mancuso was right all along.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 11:31 has it right, but when he says

"Like, let's charge the villages for one half of Town's rec budget - there must be at least 10% of village folks who use unincorporated Greenburgh's rec programs - and they pay an extra fee as it is - but that's not enough for some greedy folks."

he is off. 3% would be high

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:35

Some villages use the rec programs more than others. When the Union Day Care Center was asked for residence of its clients, Elmsford had a high %. My guess is that many of the rec programs have heavy usage from people living on or near 119 -- which includes Tarrytown and Elmsford, in addition to unincorporated areas.

That being said -- NYS has laws for how towns are suppsoed to charge amounts. The town isnt supposed to just make up the allocations based on what you or anyone else thinks is right.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 3:03, who said:

"That being said -- NYS has laws for how towns are suppsoed to charge amounts. The town isnt supposed to just make up the allocations based on what you or anyone else thinks is right."

You are right. The law should be followed.

But the comment is often made that the parks are open to the entire town, including the villages, and the argument is usually made that it is unfair and discriminatory to charge only the unincorporated area, even though that is what the law actually says.

So it is worth noting that only an infinitesmal number of village residents use the parks, and then only because the Town has invited them to do so.

As far as the Union Day Care Center and the Theodore Young Community Center are concerned, they have also invited residents from outside unincorporated Greenburgh to participate. I understand that they both receive federal grant funds which require popen admission, and the law specifically provides for an exemption for Greenburgh parks and recreational facilities which receive federal grants.

So yes, follow the law, but don't make it seem that unincorporated Greenburgh is being overrun by non-residents. Village residents have their own parks and recreational facilities, for which the town residents pay zip.

Anonymous said...

Someone's playing fast and loose with the law here.

The courts will decide whether residents of Greenburgh's villages are legally excused from having to pay their fair share for town parks open townwide.

The courts will also address the notion that the town board, acting for the unincorporated areas, have merely "invited" village residents to use their facilities and that they shouldn't therefore be required to pay for them.

In addition, the courts will probably also address the idea being floated by the villages that taxation to pay for town facilities should depend not on whether village residents have a legal right to use them, but on whether they actually use such facilities.

Those parts of the unincorporated areas that don't really use the day care center or the Theodore Young Community Center, but must pay for them just the same, will be very interested in the answer to that question.

However, the suggestion that the courts have already ruled in favor of the villages on all these issues, or that this is in fact what the law requires, is wrong.

The day care center comment deserves special mention. The state comptroller has just issued an opinion stating that the rent the town receives from such town-owned property should be credited to the town-wide fund.

That being the case, it stands to reason that the town's costs to support the day care center should now be charged town-wide. Village residents use that day care facility. However, the costs are currently charged only to the unincorporated areas.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 5:15 who said "The state comptroller has just issued an opinion stating that the rent the town receives from such town-owned property should be credited to the town-wide fund. That being the case, it stands to reason that the town's costs to support the day care center should now be charged town-wide."

The trouble with you and your clique is that when a statute, or a Comptroller's opinion, doesn't say what you want it to say, you just make it up.

I read the Comptroller's opinion, which is available on the Town website. It says nothing about the Day Care Center at all. I suppose it doesn't say anything about the Day Care Center because the Day Care Center doesn't pay any rent, so there is neither the A budget nor the B budget to allocate it to.

hal samis said...

"Come Ye, Come Ye, Come Ye to the Fair..." department.

Tonight was a new Greenburgh first.
THE GREENBURGH DEMOCRATIC PARTY RENTED THE GREENBURGH TOWN BOARD MEETING, not room, the acutal meeting to fete Ms Cousins. The meeting, normally scheduled to begin at 7:15 tonight was changed to provide for a reception at 6:00 with the actual meeting to being at 7:00, which it did. The meeting was called to order, the Pledge of Allegiance was spoken, roll call taken. Then Ms Cousins was sworn in and congradulatory speeches and assorted reminiscences were shared with all. At 8:00, the Cousins portion, (LOOKING NOTHING DIFFERENT FROM A POLITICAL RALLY) of the night was ended and the Town Board announced a 5 minute break to 8:15 to clear the room of well-wishers. This took a bit longer as the Town Board members too had to offer their congrats and be interviewed and photographed.

Finally at 8:35, the Town Board meeting picked up again starting with the Supervisor's comments and from there it was almost business as usual.

Political parties have used Town Hall on occasion. After all, even Democrats or Republicans are residents. I am a registered Democrat as are the 5 Town Board members and the Town Attorney and the Town Clerk as is...Ms Cousins.
However this was not using the room or hiring the hall; this was a prolonged Democratic Party rally which occurred within the bookends of a Greenburgh Town Board meeting and not one member of the Board objected.

Continually the Town Board reminds the Public that Town Board meetings are about conducting serious Town business. Tonight was an example of "do as I say, not as I do."
There were, in fact, other residents there, including myself, to attend the Town Board meeting, not to be part of a Party rally. It was an insult to have to wait to 8:35 for the Agenda business to commence.

But that is not the only situation that marred the first Town Board meeting of the new year and belied the alleged seriousness of these meetings. Having no problem with getting to the meeting Agenda an hour and twenty minutes late, during the Supervisor's comments was this topic: the desire to have the Town Board change its meeting rules to having Town Board meetings end no later than 11:15. The argument is that people have to go to work the next day, that no one can do good work late at night, etc.
And that to change this rule, if it comes to pass, a unanimous vote by the Town Board is required. Pretty strict. Never mind that an examination of the meeting tapes will prove that the time wasted at Town Board meetings is not, on balance, because of comments from the Public but because of the bickering among the Board members, of them being unprepared to handle the night's matters because they haven't done their homework and because they all feel the need to speechify on every topic.

The loser, if meetings run late, will be the Public because their right to speak to the Town Board will be the first item to disappear on these nights.

Of course, this was acceptable to two Edgemont leaders who spent their time at the podium sucking up to the Town Board, as they often do when they want something, say a mortorium for instance. And before them was a Hastings resident who thanked the Board for its work on Ridge Hill and the Board thanked her for her work on Ridge Hill. And all god's children were thanked and even Dave Kreiness' spirit, may he rest in peace, was thanked. It was an evening full of love and good will except for yours truly.

All of which you can see for yourselves by watching the meeting rebroadcast. Don't take my word or that of some outraged blogger. Watch. Let's roll the tape.

The second event to show how concerned the Town Board is about conducting the serious business of the Town was the introduction of Fall candidate for reelection Steve Bass' Resolution to ask the President of the United States and the United Nations to.....Darfur.
DON'T PUT ME IN THE INSENSITIVE BOX regarding the topic. What I am objecting to is the waste of meeting time to discuss and pass a feel-good Resolution with no teeth which no one will listen to in Washington, a Resolution that no one in the Greenburgh Town Government can do anything about as a government, and that whether others have done similarly or not, the real aim of the Resoltion was to garner good feelings about the Town Board, not the expectation of having achieved anything. Town Board members are not elected for their views or experience, or lack of, on international affairs and I am sure that there are minor local matters such as leaf collection, garbage collection, tree laws, building sidewalks, creating a fund balance policy etc. that they should instead be doing but ARE NOT. This also speaks to the point whether they should go home at 11:15 if they have still not earned their pay for the night.

So given that there were no Public Hearings or Public Discussions, no kids to get awards, etc. scheduled for the night, that even with the Cousins rally, the meeting ended early. But this will not be the set pattern for nights when there is real business before the Board.

I conclude with the thought that if the Town Board wants to encourage respect for the system, they must respect it as well. They should at all times be the example, not the exception. And they are elected to represent us in Greenburgh matters, not in the matters that are the province of the County, the State, the Country. We have elected other representatives for that, including Ms Cousins. The members of the Greenburgh Town Board are not those officials and we do not need to make they think they are higher in the food chain than they are. And the inherent goodness of whatever global issue is at hand is not the excuse to become more self-important. How they think or want to respond personally to world's problems is their own business. However I did not given them any power of attorney to represent me in the world outside. This very night the President announced he is sending more troops to Iraq. He didn't ask Greenburgh first. Nor do I think he would change his plans if the Greenburgh Town Board sent him a telegram not to.

Anonymous said...

Ever hear of the first amendment? Steve Bass,Francis Sheehan, Diana Juettner and Eddie Mae Barnes want the Town Board to pass a resolution directing the Town Attorney to explore the possibility of taking legal action against a citizen for mentioning Greenburgh on his web site and his role regarding the Westhelp situation. Even President Bush hasn't gone that far. I urge the Town Council to go the Greenburgh Library and read the US Constitution.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous at 5:55 am. Sounds like another great idea from the Peoples Republic of Greenburgh- the crime of mentioning. Try going after the valhalla voice. I understand he went to high school with Andy Cuomo.

Anonymous said...

The US Constitution guarantees people the right of free speech. The Town Board should not be taking legal action against citizens who mention "Greenburgh" on their web site. People have a right to express themselves.
Read the constitution!

Anonymous said...

If the Town Council is thinking of taking legal action against a citizen for mentioning the name Greenburgh on his website regarding Westhelp, I assume that they will also take legal action against the Grassroots for Greenburgh website.

Anonymous said...

RE Hospital Closing

from todays NYTimes -- how did their attorney get this??

A State Supreme Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order halting the state from proceeding with plans to close Westchester Square Medical Center in the East Bronx. The ruling last week by Justice Mary Ann Brigantti-Hughes, will remain in effect until a hearing on Jan. 29. Westchester Square is one of nine hospitals statewide that a state panel recommended be closed. Several other hospitals are seeking to reverse the commission’s decision.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Mayfair Knollwood crowd wants to defend Mayfair Knollwood lawyer Chase Caro's right to post on his website the fact that he purports to be representing Paul Feiner, Greenburgh Town Supervisor, in connection with WestHelp matters.

This is really a misguided effort.

Mr. Caro, who was arrested last week and charged with grand larceny for alleging stealing $310,000 from an elderly client, was supposedly told he could not represent Mr. Feiner, but Mr. Feiner apparently continued using him anyway.

However, the problem with Mr. Caro's continuing to advertise his representation of Mr. Feiner (aside from the obvious embarrassment to Mr. Feiner, the town and its residents) is that only the Greenburgh Town Board has the authority under state law to retain counsel on behalf of any of its members, including the supervisor.

The supervisor himself has no power under state law to retain counsel.

Therefore, Mr. Caro's advertising his retention by Mr. Feiner may be improper lawyer advertising, and in such circumstances, the Greenburgh Town Board certainly does have a right to take action.

Anonymous said...

I've read the state comptroller's opinion and it sure looks to me like the costs for the day care center, which serves village residents too, now need to be charged town-wide.

The opinion says that rent from town-owned buildings, including rent from the alcohol treatment facility, should be credited to the town-wide or "A" fund, even if such buildings are located in the unincorporated areas.

The 2007 town budget states that the day care center was purchased by the Town of Greenburgh from the State of New York, that St. John's Riverside Hospital rents space there for its alcohol rehabilitation center "and the rest of the building houses the day care center."

The Town argued in the Bernstein lawsuit that it was only fair for the town to charge the costs of the day care center only to the unincorporated area because the rent from the alcohol rehab center was being credited only to the unincorporated area or "B" fund.

Bernstein argued that both the revenues and the expenses belonged in the A fund.

Looks like the state comptroller would have to agree with Bernstein on this one.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan brings his laptop to the Town Board Meetings. Is it possible that Gil Kaminer is e-mailing him statements to make. If so, since Gil is not the Town Attorney and Sheehan can not claim attorney-client priveledge, would these e-mails be available under the Freedom of Information Act. Also, why shouldn't the authorities be contacted regarding the incident when Gil threatened the Valhalla School District Superintendant. Kaminer and the Town Councilman who ordered this action violated her basic right as an American Citizen to participate in the Democratic Process. I'm sure that some law must have been broken here.

Greenburgh library land grab? said...

The old town hall site belongs to the Town which includes the villages. If the library (which is paid for and operated solely by unincorporated greenburgh taxpayers) plans to use the site for its new building, why arent they paying fair market rent to the villages for the privilege? It seems under the comptroller's opinion this may be required. Mr. Samis? Mr. Rosenberg? Ms. Juettner (liason from the town board to the greenburgh public library and village resident)? We await your thoughts.

hal samis said...

Dear Greenburgh Library Land Grab,

Thanks for paying attention. This past Monday I sent an email to the Town Board and the Library and to persons who would distribute in accordingly to the Villages. Of course I have received no respone from any elected official.

The position of the Villages is in fact boosted by the recent Comptroller's opinion letter which has been posted on the Town website.
However, posting is one thing, the Town Council intends to disregard this notification,

I have also brought to the Town Board's attention that despite the joyful announcements by the Library and all the thanking of Diana Juettner last night, the Library ground-breaking is not exactly an event which has goes without notice.

As of this writing, the construction contracts have not been signed and there are issues unresolved. The news in yesterday's Journal News regarding the Tarrytown Hall construction contracts shows how a community which is willing to legitamately tackle a problem has responded. In Greenburgh the Town is attempting to act like the project is on budget by executing contracts that the dollar amount is suuficient to stay on track. What our Town is doing is to simultaneously issue change orders which reduces the actual expenses by eliminating amenities etc. and thus the contractor is now directed to perform and deliver less work product while still receiving the same paycheck. If the contractor actually had to deliver on all that was contained in their original bid, they would be taking the Town to Court. However the change order eliminates that obligation.
Just another game to hide the truth.

If that weren't enough, the Town has not received approvals from the NYC DEP to allow the geothermal drilling (which provides the HVAC system) because of the proximity to the NYC water aquaduct. Where the DEP wants the well drilled may be beyond the property line on the West and to have to do East of the protected zone may not be doable or efficient; thus causing a new change order to use traditional oil or gas. While, even if drilling is permitted, the Library is not home free if they don't find usable quantities of subsurface water.

Then we have the issue you question which pre-dates even my Monday notice. It was brought up during the Sunrise issue and then just as quickly forgotten but there are other people in the Community, beside me. who do remember these details.

Finally, the disposition of Town files which are still stored in the basement of the old town hall has not yet been arranged. The Town Clerk is very busy and doesn't have time to look into this. Perhaps she should come to work before 12:00.

I'm in the phone book, the 0426 number. Call and leave a message and I'll send you the Monday email or ask your Village officials for a copy.

But it is a problem as are the other issues above. But the Library wants to match their pre-mature closing with a "photo op" so residents will feel that project is moving ahead. If they had to delay more, then I would be reminding everyone that the start is now a year behind, not just 10 months.
After all, if the Referendum is held in May 2005, we can have a Spring 2006 start...the public didn't know then what the temporary Library would end up being.

So come to the ground-breaking and congratulate the Library Building Committee, Howard Jacobs, Estelle Palevsky and Susan Wolfert on a job, not the construction, but the snow job on the public.

Town Hall for Hire? said...

If mr samis is correct, ms stewart cousins or the democrats of grennburgh owe fair market rent for their lenghty occupation of town hall per the comptroller's recent opinion.

Anonymous said...

The suggestion that the library should pay fair market value to the villages for using the old town hall site is silly.

The library is owned by the Town of Greenburgh. It is not a separate legal entity and it is certainly not owned by the unincorporated areas; they just have the privilege of paying for it.

The town cannot charge rent to itself. Because the library is owned by the town itself, the library cannot be required to pay rent. That would be like asking the police to pay rent for the space the town gives them at police headquarters.

As for the villages, they have no legal right to any rental payments and there is no nothing in the comptroller's opinion that would suggest that they do.

Anonymous said...

"matters such as leaf collection, garbage collection, tree laws, building sidewalks, creating a fund balance policy etc."

Yes, these are the precise matters that should be at the top of each town council meeting. Superfluous resolutions, awards and such can be handled after fundamental town services matters, if time allows prior to 11:15.

George Bush would luv sheehan,bass, et al said...

George Bush would luv Sheehan, Bass, Juettner & Barnes for their resolution calling on the town atty to initiate legal action against a private citizen for mentioning greenburgh on a private web site. The issue is simple: should the town go on witch hunts? Should the town initimidate citizens from expressing their views? Should the town use the police for political investigations? Francis Sheehan, a registered Republican before he became a Democrat, would make President Bush proud!

Herb Rosenberg said...

Since Greenburgh Library Land Grab -- whoever that person is -- asked for my view on the matter of the old Town Hall being given over to the use of the Library, I will respond.

The matter was studied by SCOBA and on page 9 of the SCOBA Report it states the following:

"The old Town Hall, purchased from the A budget, will be turned over to the new library. it will be necessary to make the appropriate transaction so that the Town transfers from the library appropriations to the A budget the value of the old Town Hall property."

I constantly have to remind certain people in unincorporated Greenburgh that SCOBA had sixtreen members, nine of whom were residents of the unincorporated area and seven were residents of the villages, and that the SCOBA Report was adopted unanimously. So those who often attack SCOBA -- as I am sure will be the case here -- should be seen as people who can't take yes for an answer.

I have also advised the Town Board that in my opinion the fair market value of the old Town Hall property has to be paid to the A budget from the library fund, just as the library fund would have had to pay rent if the old Frank's Nursery had been acquired or leased for the library's use.

Anonymous who wrote at 5:36 P.M. doesn't, or won't, understand the budget issues. It is not a matter of who pays rent to whom, it is a matter of how the rental payments (or purchase price) from the library is allocated in the budget. For example, the Town Board salaries are paid by the Town, but the amount of their salaries and benefits are allocated to the A budget. The police are paid by the town, but a portion of the police budget is allocated to the A budget. I can go on, but you get the point. Since the A budget paid for the old Town Hall, if the old Toewn Hall were sold to a third party, the proceeds would have to be credited to the A budget. It is not different if the purchaser, or lessee, is the library.

By statute, the library and its costs, must be charged to the unincoporated area. If the costs of the old Town Hall had been charged to the B budget, then it wouldn't matter. But since the old Town Hall was charged to the A budget, and the costs of the library must be paid by a charge to the B budget, the library must pay back the value to the budget that paid for it.

It is really not a difficult issue if you understand the law and the accounting principles.

Rosenberg is Wrong said...

Rosenberg doesn't seem to understand that the library and unincorporated Greenburgh are not separate legal entities. They are not "districts." They are part of the town.

If the town had wanted to make the library a separate legal entity, it could have asked the state to create a library district. Library districts are separate legal entities that can own property and, if they use town property, they may be charged a rental fee, which would go to the town entire fund.

Rosenberg is correct when he says that if the old town hall site were sold to a third party, the proceeds would be credited to the A fund.

But by law the town board may sell the property only if it no longer has any valid municipal purpose.

Here, the library is unquestionably a valid municipal purpose. Thus, it is entirely within the authority of the town board to allow the library to make use of the old town hall site, and to do so free of charge.

Village residents actually benefit because they will get to use a new and improved library they don't have to pay for free of charge, provided their own villages maintain libraries that meet state requirements.

Rosenberg would be well advised to study the latest comptroller opinion carefully.

He would learn that there is nothing in that opinion which states that unincorporated area residents ever have to make any payments exclusively to the A fund for anything.

The only circumstances described in the opinion where a part of the town would ever be required to make payments to the entire town for anything is when the part of the town to be taxed is a town improvement "district."

It's understandable that Rosenberg, a self-proclaimed pro-village advocate, would try to pull the wool over the public's eyes by asserting that the unincorporated areas must pay rent for use of town-owned facilities.

However, no one in the villages or the unincorporatd areas should be fooled into believing that Rosenberg is right about this, or that he has any legal authority to back him up, because he doesn't.

Herb Rosenberg said...

Mr. Rosenberg is wrong" says, among other statements demonstrating his lack of knowledge, that:

"However, no one in the villages or the unincorporatd areas should be fooled into believing that Rosenberg is right about this, or that he has any legal authority to back him up, because he doesn't."

I refer him to Chapter 642 of the 1960 N.Y. Session Laws which specifically mandates that the Greenburgh library must be charged only to the unincorporated area. However, since if he doesn't want to believe the facts nothing can stop him, I don't think that even as specific a statute as the one I have cited will persuade him. No matter. His statement is filled with holes, especially regarding the false notion about districts and the failure to understand the recent Comptroller opinion (which has nothing whatsoever to do with this issue), that it would be waste of time to write a long demolition of his argument. As I said, if he doesn't want to believe the facts nothing can stop him.

Anonymous said...

If the Town Council is afraid to take a stand on the library issue (regarding the A & B budget), what about going before an arbitrator? We need to address this issue.

Anonymous said...

An arbitrator or mediator could be helpful to the Town Board and assist our lawmakers determine if the town must reimburse the A budget for the old town hall property that will be used for the library.

Anonymous said...

Chapter 642, the statute which authorized establishment of the Greenburgh library, and further requires unincorporated area taxpayers to pay for it, doesn't say anything about the library or unincorporated areas having to pay any rent to the town for use of an already-existing town-owned facility.

It requires capital costs for constructing a library to be paid by the unincorporated area. It also says that costs for operating and maintaining the library are the unincorporated area's responsibility too. But not a word about paying rent to the town or the town having authority to charge rent.

If Greenburgh had wanted the right to charge rent to the library for using town-owned space, it could have asked the state to authorize creation of a library district.

Districts are separate legal entities that may be required by towns to pay rent to use town-owned facilities.

Nowhere in any state statute or comptroller opinion will Mr. Rosenberg find any authority for the proposition that an unincorporated area of a town may be required to pay the town rent.

For example, the zoning and planning boards are part-town activities authorized by state statute, and required to be paid for by only unincorporated area residents, but I don't hear Mr. Rosenberg suggesting that the unincorporated areas owe the town any rent for using town hall for their meetings.

It may be difficult for him to admit it, but Mr. Rosenberg might want to consider the possiblity that he just might be wrong.

Herb Rosenberg said...

I have no difficulty admitting being wrong when it has been demonstrated to me that I am wrong. It has happened many times in my life. Mr. Anonymous, who has been debating with me, has made no such demonstration.

I said earlier that there is no point in arguing, especially with anonymous writers. If he thinks that the notion of districs are the only legal avenue, and that zoning and planning have relevance to this old Town Hall matter, so be it.

Anonymous said...

Can Greenburgh open a "dump" or leave a dumpster availble so that residents can dispose of garbage when we only have 1 pick up a week??? I think that would cost nothing and make a lot of residents happy. Mabe keep on town facilities like town hall, various parks etc where they have town dumpsters there already.

Anonymous said...

I think that the A budget should be reimbursed by the B budget. My guess is that Steve Bass & Francis Sheehan will be afraid to take this action because they don't want to get on the wrong side of some political backers. This is why arbitration or mediation is a sound idea.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think that Timmy Weinberg would have stood up to the bully of the board and prevent a good deal of the foolishness currently going on?

Anonymous said...

The question:

Does anyone think that Timmy Weinberg would have stood up to the bully of the board and prevent a good deal of the foolishness currently going on?

The answer:

Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

NO. Timmy Weinberg would have missed everything while she was outside having a smoke.

valhallafacts.blogspot.com said...

check out the new blog:
valhallafacts.blogspot.com for info on what is happening with WESTHELP

Anonymous said...

Woke up today and realized it is a holiday sanitation week! Time for our trash to pile up. But dont worry our paper and comingled will both be picked up this week , on seperate days of course.

Anonymous said...

I see that some political signs were finally removed from Knollwood Rd (January last week.) I guess someone needs glasses since Mr. Kuper of Family Court's sign is still there - next to the Water Dept.
But, we now have in their place, "We buy houses" signs. How about calling these 800 numbers and fining them - something has to be permanently done to improve the look of our town. A little cleaning up of the strewn garbage along the roads would also help.

Beware of Emperor Sheehan said...

I understand that Sheehan is involved with something known as the Greenburgh Land Use Committee. Does anyone know about this? Anything that Sheehan involves himself in is an area of concern. Lets not forget that Bass, Juettner and Barnes had a combined experience of over thirty years on the Town Council without the need of a "Legislative Assistant." As soon as Sheehan is elected the need for this position seemingly developed overnight. And how does the Professor use his Legislative Assistant, as a thug who threatens a woman so she would not exercise her right to participate in an open discussion. Way to go Francis!!!!!
Does anyone else feel that Sheehan cares more about his personal power than the rule of law?

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way. The Sheehan I voted for, the bright reformer, has become the arrogant know-it-all who is hell-bent on destroying others to gain personal power. Do we ever learn?

Anonymous said...

Francis Sheehan did a terrific job on the zoning board of appeal and he's doing a terrific job as a member of the town council.

Francis is careful, methodical, and always respectful of the law. Unlike Feiner, who shoots from the lip, Francis does his homework.

Because Feiner has such disdain for the law (which is why the town is in so much trouble legally these days), Francis is Feiner's worst nightmare.

As a result, Feiner tries to smear Francis every chance he thinks he can get.

There never was any secret "land use" committee. Feiner leaked to Hal Samis an internal staff memo about a meeting Francis had set up with town staff to discuss land use, and the two of them tried to suggest something sinister was afoot.

In fact, Feiner meets from time to time with town staff to discuss land use too. It's one of the thing town officials do.

Mayfair Knollwood is also trying to smear Francis. This is what happens when an elected official stands up to bullies and has the courage to say the Valhalla deal is dead and should not be renegotiated.

Anonymous said...

Women's Rights Groups need to be contacted and informed about the tactics that Sheehan and Kaminer employ. What they did to the Superintendant of the Valhalla School System is a disgrace! If Sheehan is not called to task for this, he will only become even more powerful. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and we are witnessing the beginnings of it here in Greenburgh.

Agree with Absolute Power said...

I agree with the post that describes what is happening to the Town Board before our very eyes. Francis was a life long Republican before he switched parties to gain power. Can any of us deny that Francis has gained absolute power on the Board? He routinely keeps them in place until the wee hours of the morning until he gets his way. Francis gives every indication of being a control freak who is obsessed with his personal power. The one thing we have going for us is that Francis bullies everyone with equal enthusiasm so he will only be a one term politician, he makes far too many enemies.

back off mayfair said...

This Feiner-inspired Sheehan bashing seems to be coming from the Mayfair Knollwood bullies who've been whining for months about how the Valhalla school superintendent was supposedly intimidated by a town employee.

This is their way of trying to divert attention away from the fact that the Valhalla superintendent was caught making false and misleading representations to the town board during work session about how the WestHelp money was needed to compensate the district for the cost of educating homeless kids.

Her statements, all of which are on tape, were wrong. Indeed, one of the state comptroller's findings was that the representation that the money was needed to compensate the district was false.

And who caught her in these lies? Why none other than Francis Sheehan.

Anonymous said...

To Back Off Mayfair, face up to it. Sheehan is not the hero. He is a Johnny Come Lately to the Westhelp problem. The Comptroller's report says that a resident asked the Comptroller to look into the Westhelp deal three of four years ago. The Special Committee told the Town Board about it more than a year ago. Sheehan is just grabbing credit, as he usually does. Only after it became known that the Comptroller was going to issue an audit report did Sheehan suddenly try to own the issue.

I am not from Mayfair and I am mad as hell at the Westhelp deal, and I am mad at the Town Board which approved it because they didn't have the guts to say no to a payoff demand.

But Sheehan is a nasty bully who is definitely trying to position himself to take over the Town. I find him to be a big disappointment.

Gil The Conqueror said...

Has anyone ever wondered what exactly Francis is looking at on his computer screen? Is Gil passing him love notes or is Gil really the brains behind the Sheehan Operation, telling Francis what to say in e-mails?

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely astounding at this point that the silent majority refuses to address the issue.

This is their opportunity to get the upper hand back from the bully.

And to those who say it is "alligations", go ask Mr Kaminer. He has made statements as to who put him up to the task.

And now to the "honorable" bully himself.

Let's intrepret the threat and see what way that it turned out. Mr Kaminer told the Superindentent that if there was any "demonstration" in support of the WESTHELP funding, then there would be negative consequences.

Either the bully fullfilled the consequences or he is a liar.

Which is the more "noble" path for our political animal?

Congradulations Greenburgh for the budren with which you are saddled with. Does nightmare come to mind?

Is he a man hiding in the shadows who put a boy up to do his dirty work or is he just a liar?

And to those up there who sit and watch this debacle, shame on you.

Anonymous said...

TO: MAYFAIR KNOLLWOOD (INCLUDING ABOVE POSTERS)

FROM: GREENBURGH TAXPAYERS

Your attempts to distract us from reviewing the present illegal funding situation by complaints about how you were treated by Council and reps not only will not work, but is like throwing oil on a fire -- it is only making the situatin worse.

Dear Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

Research the Westhelp Issue all you want, it will never change the fact that Emperor Sheehan and his Charge Gil Kaminer, are mirror images of each other: arrogant, pompous, know-it-alls. However, they have made one significant error, their abuse of the School Superintendent was done in public and has been revealed. Should an investigation occur, either by the media or another Government entity charged with investigating violations of rights, Kaminer will sell out Francis in a heartbeat. Francis will be forced off the Board by Public Indignation and his reign of terror will come to a well deserved end.

Anonymous said...

Get real.

Stealing taxpayer money (by Valhalla) v.

Not showing proper respect (by letting them steal money)

Sheehan deserves thanks said...

I disagree with the poster who calls Francis Sheehan a "johnny-come-lately." Francis has been just the breath of fresh air and energy the town board badly needed.

It is also awfully ironic to say the least that the same blogger also takes credit for the so-called "Special Committee" or SCOBA pointing out the problem a year ago.

When the WestHelp deal was first announced in 2002, residents of unincorporated Greenburgh complained about it. One of them, from Fairview, wrote a widely circulated column in the Journal News saying it was morally wrong to make these payments.

Another resident, the president of a civic association, went so far as to get himself publicly quoted in the Journal News back in 2002 saying the deal was illegal. He was right.

And where was the blowhard SCOBA chair? He complained in letters to the editor about a lot of things in 2002, but not a peep about this.

In March 2004, when the Valhalla deal was before the Town Board, that same civic association president who was quoted in 2002, not only spoke out in opposition, but he complained to the state comptroller.

And two other civic association presidents also spoke out against the deal. The Town Board didn't listen.

But where was the blowhard from SCOBA in 2004? He again was complaining in letters to the editor about all sorts of problems. But not about this.

Feiner formed SCOBA in 2005. It's chair publicly refused to allow any civic association presidents to be a part of his committee. And he invited none of them to any of his meetings. Nor did he ever consult with the fellow from Fairview who wrote that column back in 2002.

When the SCOBA report came out, it actually made only a passing reference to WestHelp and never said it was illegal. Instead, consistent with the SCOBA chair's pro-village agenda, he argued that the WestHelp revenues belonged in the A rather than the B budget, and that all $1.2 million belonged there, not just the $372,000 the town had placed in the B budget.

When the issue of the Valhalla grants came up in the spring of 2005, the civic association presidents again made their arguments, but the SCOBA chair was silent.

And again in the fall of 2006, the only person who spoke out publicly at a town board meeting against the Valhalla grants was a civic association president. The SCOBA chair, now a regular attendee at town board meetings, stayed away from those sessions and never uttered a word.

Francis Sheehan is the unsung hero here because throughout this process, both before he was elected, and after, he had an open mind. And through his own dogged efforts, he was able to persuade the other town council members.

The SCOBA chair likes to claim that the town board ignored his warnings, but throughout the debate from 2002 to 2006, he consistently brought nothing to the table except perhaps some hot air.

Anonymous said...

"Throwing oil on water"????

Seems that whenever the bullies don't get their way, then we get threats!

Listen, hear is the deal. It goes like this. The Controller issued their report. Which by the way, with the insecurity of the bully, felt that he had to force his hand to release the draft report, even though he knew it included inaccuracies (all in the name of slimy politics).We dare the bully to deny releasing the draft report to the reporter who thinks nothing of distorting the facts too. What is it they say about you are who you associate with?

The legality and enforceability of the existing report will be determined by either agreement with the Town Council or judicially.

That notwithstanding, making threats like was done in a democracy should have consequences. First Amendment stuff. Do you remember?

Does Greenburgh want: 1) a bully making threats (or being a liar)preeening on the cable TV making a mockery of Greenburgh Town goverment and / or 2) having the silent majority cowering up on the stage along side the bully (alternatively falling asleep or feigning mild interest).

A new day will come in Greenburgh, and the bad stuff (and dishonest and disinterested politicans ) will either lose reelection or will be shamed out of office. Take your pick.

Anonymous said...

Please -- making these statements against Kaminer and Sheehy is getting old. No on cares, even if they were rude, as you suggested, it pales in comparison to the financial issues. Why dont you complain about rude Feiner and his supporters were to people at the hearing who didnt support the valhalla thefts? Who tried to shut up anyone agaisnt valhalla? That was on tape? Unlike your statements.

But this is also insignificant, when compared to

WHEN IS THE COUNCIL GOING TO GET OUR MONEY BACK

Not either or said...

The point that the poster who said "Stealing taxpayer money (by Valhalla) v. Not showing proper respect (by letting them steal money)" is missing is: This is not an either or situation. Clearly, the Westhelp deal has many illegal aspects to it. Every penny sent to the VSD that was legally unjustifiable must be returned to the Town. Just as clearly, Francis Sheehan has taken over control of the Town Board and has attempted to bully just about everyone he has come in contact with. Also, the act against the Superintendent probably violated her Civil Rights. This incident needs to be fully investigated by the proper authorities. Sheehan & Co. have compounded their initial mistake by covering it up. This is potentially a very explosive issue. It should also be noted that between pay and benefits, Kaminer costs the taxpayers about $75,000 a year. Quite an expensive hatchet man indeed!

Sheehan wrongly attacked said...

These attacks on Francis Sheehan are part of Feiner's re-election campaign.

His campaign manager sent an e-mail to Feiner's inner circle of supporters last week specifically targeting Sheehan for attack, not because he is up for reeelection this year (he is not, Feiner is), but because his election was a victory for a determined grassroots effort from voters who are sick and tired of Feiner's politics of personal villification and who will, if given the chance, put Feiner himself out to pasture this year.

In addition, the attacks on Sheehan are coming from the SCOBA chair. He is waging a one-man campaign of smear against all town board members for not agreeing with him on all matters pertaining to disputes between the villages and the unincorporated areas.

How comtemptible can these attacks be? The suggestion that the "act against the Superintendent probably violated her Civil Rights" shows how. There was no "act," only shrill and baseless allegations, and the only civil rights violated were those of a town employee being wrongly smeared by anonymous bullies who don't like it when town council members, like Sheehan, showed they won't be cowed.

And as for the VSD superintendent, anyone who watched her performance saw that she pulled out all of the stops in her emotional plea to get the town board to release more town funds in further violation of state law.

Thus, the only rights violated that night were the rights of Greenburgh taxpayers when, at Feiner's insistence, the town board caved and agreed to allow the VSD to use $440K of unspent funds that the town had previously released.

Anonymous said...

To the Valhalla people,

put up or shut up

tell us exactly what Kelly says Kaminer said, and we will judge whether it was rude, or just not what she wanted to hear.

If she has a civil rights complaint, tell her to take to the Federal AG

you know what -- she wont -- why not

PERJURY, FILIGN A FALSE COMPLAINT, ETC.

Anonymous said...

Will we get a satellite library on East Hartsdale Ave?

doc stockmann said...

And you didn't think they read the blog or smelled the coffee department...

Town Council member Steve Bass' face is still red from being caught wasting the precious time of the Town Board Meeting (their slogan is "All business by 11:15 or bust") when he introduced a Resolution to tell the President of the United States and the United Nations that Greenburgh is concerned about the situation in Darfur. And the Council as a whole is playing bumper cars with each other reacting to persistent rumors regarding their legislative assistant, Gil Kaminer, having being hired as Francis Sheehan's hit man.

Accordingly, rather than subject themselves to similar charges or waste more of Mr. Kaminer's time, the Town Council wants to know if there is any interest from residents in the newest, proposed Resolution for Steve to "sponsor" as part of his reelection "information" sessions.

The Resolution is rumored to be concerned with the rapidly increasing global problem of underweight fashion models. Not only regarding their personal health safety but also their effect on the world teenage population which views these mannaquins as role models. The following portion of the draft was borrowed from the Council office. Although the outside consultants (the low bid @$15,000) did a fine job of cut and pasting from new laws of Brazil, these following sections are thought to be particularly releavant to Greenburgh.

"....Whereas this problem of declining weight is only increasing and causing worldwide health concerns; Whereas the Town is still on notice about the imminent closing of the Greenburgh Health Center; Whereas the Greenburgh Library of the Future will be replacing the New York Public Library as host to "Fashion on Sixth"; And Whereas this event will soon be relocated to either Taxter Ridge or Edgemont, wherever both open space and parking can be found jointly;

Therefore Be it Resolved that upon the final expiration of the Central Avenue Moratorium in December 2009, that exotic, underweight fashion models be banned from the catwalks of the Town when and if such structures are situated on or about Town owned property."

Town Attorney Tim Lewis is still forming his opinion of the tightness of the Resolution language however Comptroller Jim Heslop has stated that it is not expected to have any discernible effect upon either the A r B budgets. DPW head Al Regula forsees no problems and has assured the Council that the catwalks can be built on time and on budget. Police Chief Kapica believes that the event can be handled without increasing his force beyond the 71 new officers hired last year. And the Resolution is not expected to have any negative effect on the populations of the Edgemont and Irvington School Districts as everyone knows that models don't have to go to school. Or need to.

Meanwhile Edgemont's most famous resident will be conducting the next installment of his "Politics from the Pulpit" poll and touring the area's churches and synagogues this weekend to see what religious leaders are saying to their congregations about this timely and important matter.

Anonymous said...

I wish all of ths Valhalla contreversy would stop clogging the "miscellaneous" blog. Valhalla is not really miscellaneous, it has its own blogs.

Anonymous said...

To Mr Anonymous (the put up or shut up guy):

Let me get this straight, you (yourself) are going to investigate this complaint against the Town Board member who put Young Kaminer up to the threatening task?

Do you suggest that we get a Controller's report first to see if you are legally charged to do so?

Or are you (yourself) a "town wide purpose".

This is not being investigated and will never be investigated as long as the bully has the upper hand on the rest of the silent majority.

What is it they say ... all is fair in dirty politics.

Anonymous said...

If Ms. Kelly was threatened, she should take her complaint to the county, state or feds. They investigate civil rights violations, as you allege. The state report on Valhalla came out becaseu someone complained. AS you recognize, having the allegedly guilty party investigate is not workable. In short, if she has credible acusations, she should take them to the right place. We are tired of inneudo, it will not change anyones mind on the school funding.

Anonymous said...

What Kaminer said to Kelly can't be taken to the authorities because it wasn't a crime. It was unethical. If Sheehan and his buddies on the Board were ethical they would deal with it. Since they are not ethical, forget about Kaminer being punished.

Anonymous said...

This goes round and round.

So it was not a civil rights violation (that would be a crime). So would people stop asserting that.

But is was unethical. The best thing to do would be for someone to post what was allegedly said. But than you could not continue to keep up this little charade of first civil rights violation, then no, unethical. And then it will be just rude or more likely, not what she wanted to hear.

In the meantime, why is you dont complain when Feiner, as chair, wont let othersspeak without jeers. Feiner should wathc the videos and think how, if the sides were reversed, what his reaction and how he would maintain order. But he wont.

Anonymous said...

Please...I wish all of ths Valhalla contreversy would stop clogging the "miscellaneous" blog. Valhalla is not really miscellaneous, it has its own blogs...

Anonymous said...

Yeah let's brush the fact that a town employee under the instruction of a town board member issued threats to someone who sought to follow proper channels and speak in public as is their first admendment right.

You are right, this is only a Valhalla issue ....... until other town employees under instruction from Town Board members issue other threats (maybe even to EDGENOT).

Then we can create new blog categories, when we don't want to bother anyone else who is not directly effected by the unethical behavior by people who are paid by your tax dollars.

That would make it so much easier for the bully and the silent majority. The more the taxpayers think that threatening people is a "Valhalla" issue, the easier it is to make believe that it never happened.

Too bad that idea can't be given to the UN for resolving all the world's problems. I'm sure that they are waiting for the latest insights out of Greenburgh.

Maybe the Town Board can hope for another Dominatrix case. They seemed real attentive for that one!

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, the state comptroller's report provides the town board with a legal way to keep the commitments that Feiner,Bass,Juettner & Barnes made to the school district. Once an elected official gives a community their word they should keep it. The community trusted Steve,Diana & Eddie Mae --they shouldn't break their promise.

Annoyed with Valhalla said...

Well if the Valhalla people want to use this thread, let me respond. The state offered three alternatives -- look at the current Valhalla board. They are all unworkable.

1. Town can get state to pass legislation allowing arrangment. Doubt state will -- as most of Town is not behind it.

2. Town can use $$$ for town improvements, like parks, that will aid all, not just School district residents.

3. Westhap can pay School District $$, but must pay Town fair value rent. See discussion on the other board for fair value. Feiner had said duruing negotations fair value was 1.2 million. That would leave nada for Valhalla.

If the Valhalla people stop using this board, I'll stop responding.

Anonymous said...

and PS as to keeping word -- didnt the Valhalla people say that no funds went to School Foundation when they did

Anonymous said...

Residents of Mayfair Knollwood are busy taking a look at what the fair market value is. Many believe that the Town Board can rewrite the lease to comply with state law. Money still can be found for the Valhalla school district. All we need is a Town Board that keeps their commitments to a community.

Anonymous said...

But the comptroller's report finds there is no reason to give the Valhalla School District any money. Why should the town now even bother with a renegotiation? The state comptroller says Feiner's representation that the money was needed to compensate the school district was false.

Seems clear that had the town board known the true facts, the agreement would never have been entered into in the first place.

Anonymous said...

No one should even think about giving Valhalla more money until the state finishes the investigation of what the school disctrict did with the earlier money. Although they have shown that they can not be trusted with money (by giving money to the Foundation and then by telling the Town Council they had not).

Also, "researching" what fair value means? The Mayfair people the arrangement can be redone? This is nonsensical.

hal samis said...

According to Sheehan's explanation in today's Journal News, he goes, not where no man has been before, but only where State Comptroller has been. Thus, if he speaks for the Town Council and they vote accordingly, then Greenburgh is really being run from Albany; the Town should be under martial law and there is no need for a costly Town Board, just clerks to administer the instructions of the Comptroller.

We elect and pay representatives to make decisions. No doubt some of those decisions will turn out badly, some will be great, some will be so-so; the whole gamut. If we are exceedingly disappointed with the decisions and their results, we will seek new officials, at all levels of government, come the November opportunity.

However, if Mr. Sheehan is encouraging a do-nothing posture unless it is expressly directed by the Comptroller, then the Town can ill afford to pay for this bad advice or wait until he responds. There are hundreds of decisions that must be made each year. Feiner at least, is a doer and oftentimes, responding solely to a heart directing to the right place but not stopping for the yellow or red lights. The result of his enthusiasm and desire to help residents often creates a newer set of unanticipated problems. These issues are so easy to see and judge in retrospect but equally easy to harness if the Town Council were more "above board" and less "on board". Even when they publicly express concern, they continue to get on the same train, leaving from the same station, Town Hall. Only after something goes wrong, do they jump up, mug for the camera and proclaim that the stationmaster led them to the wrong track.

The Town Council seems prepared to only find and publicize the problems while unable to provide the solutions. This is not what they are paid to do. Leave the forensics at John Jay, Mr. Sheehan. Let's instead hear you deliver the Town Council's sidewalk policy, the fund balance policy, the tree laws, resolve the mess at DPW and just once, be honest about the impending $20 million disaster, the Library expansion program; which still hasn't applied for permits to drill the geothermal wells but 10 months late is scheduling a "ground breaking". Hope this doesn't puncture the aquaduct and ruin their photo-op.

Feiner is the Supervisor, a title which envisions a Town with full-time employees heading various departments. No one person (Feiner) is expected to know everything. Greenburgh has the necessary departments, they in turn are run by deparment heads. It is their responsibility to carry out and enforce the Resolutions of the Town Board. If three people on the dais didn't vote for these Resolutions, then nothing would be done and nothing could be traced back to the Board. But a Town requires action and what I do fault Feiner for is that he is too tolerant of the ineptitude of the department head hires. This human resources sympathy is costing the Town time, money and annoyance. I can think of at least three departments whose heads should be rolling, not accepting pay raises.
There is no incentive to do the job right in Greenburgh and that is really why so many things go wrong or slip through the cracks.

But, doing nothing until it is expressly spelled out by the Comptroller or some day maybe by the Courts is not the answer. The Town Council needs to walk the walk not just wear the outfits or hog the reserved parking spots.

Anonymous said...

Before the anonymous Town Board bloggers weigh in, let me be the first to say today:

.... I like this Hal Samis guy!

It is ridiculous that we are wasting good cable time watching the mini UN masquerading as the Town Board when we could be looking at a blank screen, with the foolishness that is being done in the name of dirty politics.

Why is it that the silent majority is willing to sit and let the bully have full run of the board?

You are dead on when you note that all we hear is complaints from that crew.

What about the idea of more solutions from the Town Board every time they note a "problem", rather than that they are looking to stab the Supervisor in the back?

The bully has made his intents very clear, and ethics be dammed. He will let Young Kaminer take the heat for his instructions. Quite the guy, wouldn’t you say?

What could possibly be the excuse for the others who idly watch this travesty? They can not be happy, but they sit in silence. It doesn't appear that any of them are interested in the Supervisors seat. If they don't like the existing Supervisor, how exactly to they think the bully will act, if he should ever ascend to his desired throne? Maybe he will start eating some nice pills and start treating the silent majority with respect (don’t hold your breath though).

Go to the window and yell out, that you are not going to take it anymore.

Another question... why doesn’t Hal Samis get quoted all the time in the Journal News? EDGENOT Civic leaders seem to have no problem getting their esteemed opinions in the ink.

Anonymous said...

I don't know this Hal Samis character, but I must echo that I also respect him very much. I live in Edgemont, and I'm not pro-Feiner, but Mr. Samis says it as it is, no holds barred.

I think it's important to state (re-state from Mr. Samis) what is clearly the most significant problem with the Town of Greenburgh:

"... and what I do fault Feiner for is that he is too tolerant of the ineptitude of the department head hires. This human resources sympathy is costing the Town time, money and annoyance. I can think of at least three departments whose heads should be rolling, not accepting pay raises.

"There is no incentive to do the job right in Greenburgh and that is really why so many things go wrong or slip through the cracks."

Alternatively stated: Mr. Feiner needs to take a few basic MBA courses in organizational behavior and business policy. When election time comes for a new Supervisor, I'm voting for the person with the strongest background in organizational behavior.

Anonymous said...

WARNING TO EDGEMONT RESIDENTS (AND ALL OTHER GREENBURGH RESIDENTS): Imagine if the Greenburgh Town Council gave you its word and then entered into an agreement that prohibited any and all the future construction of housing units along Central Avenue, and then a few years later went back on that promise and ok'd further building. Would you be outraged? Please don't insult us and say not. If you can understand this concept of betrayal then you can understand how the Mayfair-Knollwood and Knollwood Manor residents feel. If they can try and do this to us, they can do it to you as well.

It's no coincidence that the current obnoxious and arrogant attitude of the board has developed since the last election and the arrival of the two masterminds, Sheehan and Kaminer. These new players at Town Hall are dangerous, treacherous, unethical and immoral. They are arrogant bullies. They have no regard for the rights of private citizens and no respect for their constituents. They are driven by their own political greed and agendas. The Valhalla superintendent is not the only one who has experienced the threats of Mr. Kaminer, the henchman of Mr. Sheehan. Is this what you want from your local elected officials (and town employees)?

Perhaps the two Town masterminds have a more ambitious master plan that just overthrowing Feiner? Perhaps they want more? By orchestrating the Mayfair-Knollwood betrayal, presenting now their revisionist history of events to advance their objectives, the two masterminds obviously don't care if they drag the previously good reputations of Ms. Barnes, Mr. Bass and Ms. Juettner with them. I hope Ms. Barnes, Mr. Bass and Ms. Juettner are reading this blog. I hope THEY will not be bullied behind closed doors any longer by the two masterminds.

Anonymous said...

The Town Council has become too political. In the long run, if the councilmembers kept their word they would have more community support.

Anonymous said...

I guess the Valhalla blog thread disappeared because there were too many rationale issues being raised.

The reason that Albany and the courts are involved with Greenburgh is that Greenburgh is constantly entering into arrangements not in accordance with state law. Mr. Feiner does not need a management course, he needs a legal course. Oh wait, he is a lawyer. These illegal arrangements, such as Valhalla, whic the state has said can not continue, or budget practices, whcih the courts have knocked down, will only cost the taxpayers more in the long run.

Constant complaining about employees will only leave the complainers open to lawsuits. Employees are already complaining that they did not agree to the Valhalla "hide the money" financial statement approach. When the "tone at the top" is to ignore the law, the consequences are not hard to predict.

Anonymous said...

The vanishing Valhalla Blog can still be found by clicking on the January 2007 link on the right side of the main Feiner blog.

hal samis said...

"Constant complaining about employees will leave the complainers open to lawsuits"?

Has the Town Council ruled that Halloween is a 365 day holiday in Greenburgh? Boo!

On the way to launching their law suits, their OWN attorney will ask:
are the complaints valid?
what damage have you suffered?
OK, give me $20,000 to start the ball rolling.

SLAPP that on for size.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Samis,

see below.

Former town comptroller clarifies facts on WestHELP agreement

By NORAH McAVOY

(Original Publication: December 8, 2006)

I was appalled to hear my name mentioned repeatedly in a derogatory manner at a recent Greenburgh Town Board meeting. There have also been references to my tenure recently in Journal News articles and editorials (referencing bookkeeping of money received by the Town of Greenburgh as rent from the WestHELP homeless shelter). I would like to set the record straight regarding my involvement with the recording of the initial receipt of funds pertaining to the WestHELP agreement.

On Aug. 12, 2003, the town received a check for $1,950,948 from WestHELP. Since I had not received the executed contract pertaining to this receipt, I was unable to determine if any of these funds were to be used for any purpose other than rental income, such as capital improvements or as a security deposit. The money was immediately deposited into the town's bank account and credited to the deferred revenue account, pending receipt of the executed contract.

At the time I left my position as town comptroller on Sept. 12, 2003, I had not received the executed contract and the funds remained in the deferred revenue account. It is my understanding that the documents were received by the comptroller's office after my departure, and the entries were made prior to year's end to allocate the funds per the approved agreements.

I would like to note that the budget process was still open for revision at the time I left my employment and I am not aware if the contracts were received prior to the December 2003 adoption of the 2004 town budget. I am curious as to how two additional budgets were prepared after my departure (2005 and 2006) for which it appears no questions arose regarding the receipt of a significant amount of additional funds from WestHELP in each of those years.

I am sure that the town's auditors reviewed the contract as well as the documents pertaining to these transactions when they performed their audit of the town's financial statements. The auditors should have been consulted by the Town Board to explain why they had no major concern over how the receipt of this sizeable amount of money was recorded on the town's accounting records.

When funds are received by the town, the procedure I established several years ago was to create an easily followed audit trail of funds received. The current town comptroller should be able to produce the documents pertaining to the Aug. 12, 2003 receipt for the town board's review indicating when the funds were received and how they were credited.

I would hope that this issue pertaining to my reputation as a dedicated public servant, who always operated with the highest level of honesty and integrity during my nearly 20 years of employment with the town, will be resolved without additional litigation.

The writer is a former Greenburgh town comptroller.

hal samis said...

That's what's referred to as a letter to the editor, not a law suit.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

It's also what is referred to as a warning.

I would also take a quess that the settlement with Ms. Mancuso precludes the Town from saying negative things about her.

hal samis said...

Dear Legal Warning,
When do the guys in black shirts with masks arrive?
Can there actually be lawsuits from anonymous?
Isn't the onus upon the claimant to actually present a meaningful case?
Not only that criticisms were made but that they were wrong or malicious. Seems like an uphill battle to me.

Anonymous said...

I see that on the Agenda for this weeks meeting is the reappointment of Ms. Jacobs of the Parking Authority. I would like the following issues addressed at the public hearing.

1. Why are Agendas not posted (and this is a library comment also) -- only really notice of meeting?

2. Why are meetings always at 4:30? Many of the users of the parking work in NYC -- 1/2 of meetings should be later.

3. Why cant meetings be in Town Hall and put on TV?

We can disagree as to what should be done with parking, but open access to meetings should be a given.

I can not understand why with all the work that has been done, the parking facilities were not expanded. In addition to the parking issues of residents of hte Hartsdale Ave area, the residents of Ardsley Village have no place to park. All these issues must be addressed and communicated to the public.

Anonymous said...

Why do we need a hartsdale parking authority? The Town Board sets parking rates. Why can't they be responsible for all parking issues?

Anonymous said...

Good points about the Hartsdale Parking District. It's never made sense to me that there be a separate legal entity to handle a parking area. Strikes me as an unnecessary bureaucratic layer.

Why isn't it handled by the Town, just other municipalities? I wonder when/why/how it was allowed to be created in the first place. I just checked hartsdaleparking.com, but there's no info as to why it was created in the first place as a "special district" in 1952. (Probably some shady 1950s political thing with mob ties or something ... Haha.)

It's always nice to get rid of unnecessary bureacracy. I wonder if we could just have it be a regular simple Town function.

Anonymous said...

The parking district has been formed, and I do not think it would be easy to liquidate it. It owns the parking. But it should be more transparent.

Anonymous said...

check out www.valhallafacts.blogspot

Anonymous said...

www.valhallafacts.blogspot.com:
Hey folks:

It might be time to remind the Greenburgh Town Board about its own Ethics Code. Here's what the preamble to the Code, adopted in 1970 and revised in 1991, states (the highlighting is ours):

"Public service should be considered the highest calling of a citizen, and the public interest should take precedence over all private interests. To achieve these ends, a Town government should require that public officers, employees and agency members be honest, fair and responsible to the people; that they exercise independent and impartial judgment; that they give their undivided allegiance to the public weal regardless of factionalism or transient political majorities; that public office and employment not be used for personal gain; that public officers and employees observe in their official acts the highest standards of integrity and faithfully discharge their duties regardless of personal consideration; and that the public have confidence in its government and the officers and employees thereof, and that those officers and employees avoid even the appearance of impropriety. In recognition of these goals, there is hereby established a Code of Ethics for officers, employees and agency members of the Town of Greenburgh (hereinafter sometimes also referred to as the "Town") and a Board of Ethics to render advisory opinions with respect thereto, to investigate alleged violations thereof and to facilitate compliance therewith."

1. "be honest, fair and responsible to the people..."

2. "highest standards of integrity"

3. "that the public have confidence in its government and the officers and employees..."

4. "...regardless of factionalism or transient political majorities..."

5. "avoid even the appearance of impropriety..."

Some residents and taxpayers believe the Town Board should take heed -- its own Ethics Code warns them that it's not OK to conduct personal witch hunts, it's not OK to leak a draft audit to the press to gain the upper hand and get ahead of the facts, it's not OK to conspire with the press to bring down an entire neighborhood, school district, and school officials because their lawyer friend said go ahead, it's OK. (He also advised them that the agreement was "unconstitutional." Wrong again.)

Let these public officials know what you think, and that you will remember their kindnesses when you're in the voting booth. Tell them it's unacceptable to hire a "legislative assistant" to serve the political interests of some members of the Board, issue warnings to members of the public, and gossip about taxpayers with the press. Tell them it's unacceptable to lie in their response to the state audit, claiming they thought the intent of the agreement was to compensate Valhalla for the cost of educating children living at WestHelp. Were they asleep at all those meetings they attended? How inept are the three members of the Board who voted for the agreement? It's no surprise, then, that they are being bamboozled by the councilman who took office Jan. 1, 2006 (and insisted on hiring the legislative assistant).

Violating their own Ethics Code is not a wise move.

Feiner is ethics violator in chief said...

The cheerleader in chief of the illegal valhalla payoff is none other than supervisor paul feiner. When is feiner appearing before the ethics board of the town of greenburgh with regard to his taking $ from attorneys of developers and others with applications before the town board? Oh, that board (appointed by feiner) hasnt met in years. So Valhalla, this is your champion. Now. please send us our money back and stop the posturing. Im sure feiner will waive interest.

Anonymous said...

In case anyone cares, Valhalla continues to spend the Westhelp money, as evidenced by the agenda from their school board meeting last night. A Choreographer and a Music Conductor, it must be showtime in Valhalla. Two years ago, the choreographer was an office clerk.

http://www.valhalla.k12.ny.us/800.html

Click on News and Media then Meetings Agendas and Minutes.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I want to hear at the next Town meeting with the word Valhaal is a demand for return of money.

Anonymous said...

Valhalla has a right to spend that money -- it's legally theirs to spend. What -- you even want to apply those small stipends to lower your tax rate? You've got to be kidding...

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 6/21 pm: The reason why valhalla continues to spend the westhelp money is because last year the entire Town Board (Feiner,Sheehan,Bass,Juettner & Barnes) voted unanimously to authorize hundreds of thousands of dollars to be released to valhalla. The Town Council wanted to honor part of their commitments, not all of it.

Anonymous said...

Stop the charades. It's clear as a bell that some of these bloggers are either members of the Town Board or a certain former Valhalla Board of Education member who we hear is still rattling the cages, making phone calls to the District Office, and talking to district employees about the WestHelp Partnership. Get a life, would you?

hal samis said...

Oops they did it again.

The Town Board voted to renew the appointment of Ruth Jacobs to the Hartsdale Public Parking District, ignoring the testimony by yours truly at tonight's public comment period.

The HPPD has a strict and narrow mandate, something they have never been loathe to point to when East Hartsdale apartment dwellers plead for more parking. Our mission is to provide parking to commuters and to provide parking for downtown merchants and their customers.
The HPPD is funded solely from parking fees, both from their garages and from parking meters. When expenses rise or they need to undertake construction, they do so with these fees as their bank. If they need more money to operate or cover bonding debt service they raise parking fees, either by charging more or reducing the allowed parking time. Like buying a roll of Bounty with smaller and fewer sheets.

However as a condition of issuing bonds to pay for their improvements, implicit is the agreement to provide their full revenue stream and their ability to raise fees as required to keep these bonds from falling into default. To assure lenders that this can be accomplished, the Parking Authority had to represent that they operate a fixed number of parking spaces whose revenues would cover the debt service, interest and principal. What the Parking Authority is doing is not counting the three spaces used by the cybermobile as revenue producing. If they continue to fulfill their debt service, all is well. If they default then there will be someone around to whisper fraud.

The Town of Greenburgh is not permitted to give gifts or make charitable contributions. While one could argue that Hartsdale Parking, a quasi agency but one whose bonds are guaranteed by the Town and whose Board is appointed by the Town, would fall under the same State laws; however that would be unnecessary because Hartsdale Parking has no authority to perform similar good deeds without the consent of its parking patrons and probably not even with their permission. They cannot refuse potential income just to support good deeds or charitable contributions. Nothing is stopping any employee or Board member from doing so from their own pocket. However, by choosing to allow the Library's cybermobile to park, without feeding the meter, at two prime location parking spots and remove a third space from metering to allow the vehicle to maneouver in and out is simply not only bad business but also violating their Charter. By not accepting or seeking revenue is to endanger the financial well-being of Hartsdale Parking and replacing the needed lost revenue by further burdening its customers, contributes to an unending upward fee spiral.

And the merchants have already spoken their preference favoring freeing three parking spaces.

Of course we are not talking about millions of dollars or even hundreds of thousands. But we are talking about several thousands of dollars which the Library can well afford to pay, just like they pay their staff, pay for books and pay for gasoline for the cybermobile.

Ms Barnes, liaison to Parking defended the practice because the cybermobile is an asset. Timmy Weinberg called in to say the cybermobile is used by people who shop. Both of these statements are factally correct. However, one would question Ms Barnes usefulness, if as Town Board liaison, she still doesn't understand that allowing free parking to the Library violates the Parking Charter. And like lunch there is no free parking because someone has to make up the lost revenue. Ms Weinberg made a statement which is not debateable as to being true but, like Ms Barnes, it ignores what is the underlying issue. The Parking Authority cannot give anyone a free ride just because they are an asset to the community. The Library receives more than adequate funding every year, more than is needed to support its operations which is why the Library Fund Balance continues to grow. And part of their annual budget is funding a separate contingency fund. Certainly paying for parking is a legitimate contingency. And if the Library continues to show a profit, each year spending less than they receive, then on what basis can anyone view them as needy.

The Library serves the entire unincorporated population and everywhere else as a member of the WLS. It is unfair to ask those who use the parking facilities to subsidize, with their parking fees, the Library more than what they already pay in taxes to support the Library. Parkers may not even be Library users. If the Library feels it is underfunded, that is something they must address at the Town Board level, however skipping out on their parking tab is not the allowable way to grow their Fund balance.

So, why is this issue being raised?
Because the two-faced Town Board has voted to look the other way, ignore their obligation to appoint only those who agree to assume the obligations of a Director of the Parking Authority.

Skeptic that I am, I suggest that the reason the offensive policy remains in effect is that the person reappointed tonight is Ruth Jacobs and she just happens to be related to the Library's Board of Trustees Chairman Howard Jacobs. And if coincidences appeal to your view of something tells me this is Denmark, Timmy Weinber is also their neighbor.

So, our hypocritical Town Board voted tonight to reappoint her over my objections. And how long ago was it that the Town Council has registered their version of "concern" about the job performance of the VSD grants coordinator?

I am a regular patron of the cybermobile. I need it and appreciate it. This does not interfere with my sense of justice however. The Library should and is able to pay for their parking. The only reason they don't is that it has powerful friends at the Parking Authority. Friends who are willing to look the other way and ignore their obligation as Directors.

When is the Town Board going to stop looking the other way when anything connected to the Library intrudes upon their looking out for the next undecided vote? Perhaps, like their dealings with WESTHELP and the VSD, they just aren't capable of breaking the business as usual cycle. But how many times can they cop the plea that they didn't know it was wrong?

And Ms Barnes, even though you again side-stepped the actual issue, with the anemic "the cybermobile is good"; if you still don't understand your job, maybe the Library can supply you with some textbooks on your next visit to Town Hall.

Anonymous said...

Stop the Charade?

Unfortunately bloggers can not be limited to Greenburgh residents.

And when the Council voted, there was an indemnity. Time to demand the money back. The state said the present arrangment was not acceptable. To not ask for the money back is fraud.

feiner like bush has squandered his office said...

Had Feiner not made stupid decisions like Taxter Ridge and WestHelp, and were he not blinded by his overall arrogance and ethical shortcomings(and his increasing isolation both on the Town Board and in his own political party), he might have had the opportunity to do something constructive about village-town issues or the fiasco of the town library. Instead, he is more than ever seen as the fool on the hill, who offers gimmicks instead of government. Feiner (and this goes for co-fools like Juettner) offers no substantive answers to the central problems of Greenburgh. No wonder everyone wants to leave and form their own villages. Feiner is the problem not the proble msolver.

Anonymous said...

It would have been stupid if the town had not acquired taxter ridge as parkland. Do you want overdevelopment in the town? The state comptroller objects to the way the WESTHELP agreement was structured but provides the Town Board with options so that the partnership can continue.

Anonymous said...

It only benefits Irvington.

Feiner only gets support of villages by paying them -- OUT OF TOWN MONEY.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

feiner's weakness costs us $ said...

The way feiner acquired taxter ridge was wrong. It should have been a special district paid for by east irvington residents. Feiner then got the state and the county involved. This requires Taxter to be open (what a joke - you cant even find the place) to all residents of the town. Then feiner charged only unincorporated greenburgh for town's share of the costs. This lead to the bernstein lawsuit (successful so far) that this was illegal and everyone in the town including the villages has to pay for what they really dont want. lLts add that Taxter was never really a development parcel because most of it is steep slopes and wetlands. Feiner was seen as an easy mark by people like danny gold (same was true in valhalla where he caved into a mob in his ever pandering for votes to give millions of town money to the valhalla school district (another illegal venture) and they took advantage of his foolishness.The arrogance and incompetence of this career politician is costing us big time.

The party's over said...

Feiner is making things much much worse for Mayfair Knollwood by not being candid with the residents there about the prospects of any renegotiation of the WestHelp agreement.

First of all, the state comptroller is now conducting a second audit, this time of the Valhalla school district itself, to determine what happened to the $1.8 million in town funds that the district received.

With all the questions that have been raised about the money having been spent improperly with no accountability,it is difficult to believe the town board would even consider a renegotiation right now.

Furthermore, the state comptroller questioned the justifications for the agreement in the first place. According to the report, the state rejected as lacking in evidence Feiner's suggestion that the money was needed to compensate the school district for educating homeless kids and it rejected as baseless his suggestion that the money was needed to compensate the neighborhood generally.

But even if no second audit were underway, which it is, and Feiner's justification for the gift had not been questioned, which it was, Feiner is not being honest about the "fair market value" that the town is entitled to receive as rent.

WestHelp has 109 one bedroom units. If the town had converted them to senior housing, as it was entitled to do in 2001, there'd be approximately 54 two-bedroom units.

The average rent over a 10-year period beginning in 2001 for a two-bedroom unit in that area is at least $1,850 per month, give or take a few dollars either way.

That comes to about $100,000 per month.

Under the town's deal with the county and WestHelp, the town receives $1.2 million per year in rent, or $100,000 per month.

So, the likelihood that there would ever be any money left over for the Valhalla School District is nil, even assuming the town board were still inclined to give them any of it which, under the circumstances, is highly doubtful in any event.

So why does Feiner think it's okay to assure Mayfair Knollwood that he is committed to a renegotiation so that the town could make good on its "promises"?

That sounds like very cynical pandering.

Post the letter said...

At the Town Board meeting there was reference to a letter from a developer threatening to sue the Town over the proposed moratorium. The Town should post the letter on its website.

Anonymous said...

Feiner "is more than ever seen as the fool on the hill, who offers gimmicks instead of government. Feiner ... offers no substantive answers to the central problems of Greenburgh."

Wow, I couldn't have said it any better. I haven't lived here long, but I'm amazed at how many matters not related to the primary services of Unincorporated Greenburgh that Mr. Feiner gets himself involved with. I wish he'd focus on the supervision of the town departments - period.

Maybe he'd be better in a regional or county lobbying job of some sort, but he doesn't seem to be appropriate for management level.

Anonymous said...

Under Feiner's watch tax increases have been non existent or low. The bond ratings have gone up 3 times. Crime is at its lowest level in recorded history. Recreation programs are outstanding. The snow gets cleared promptly. Sanitation services are excellent.

Anonymous said...

Sanitation services are excellent?! Apparently you don't drive around the town much.

Anonymous said...

Questions for Mr. Samis, or for anyone in the know ... Does the cybermobile have those three spaces reserved 24 hours a day?

If so, how much does it cost to park for a 24 hour period? Multiply that by three (spaces), and multiply that by seven (days a week).

That is the amount, I feel, that the library board needs to pay to the parking department per week. We just can't enter into special deals. The intention may be nice and neighborly, but it's illegal.

Michael Kolesar said...

For consideration: Should the positions of Town Council member be elected by representative distict rather than by the entire Town as is the current practice? (Maybe this should be a separate topic for focused discussion?)

At the Town Board meeting on Wednesday, January 24th, an individual, I believe from Mayfair Knollwood raised this question.

My proposal would roughly be the following: Create four districts being the following: Using the Hudson River and starting from the south, Hastings, Dobbs Ferry and Ardsley, along with any nearby areas from unincorporated Greenburgh possibly as far east as the Sprain Brook Parkway would form one district; proceeding north from this district's boundry, we would have Irvington, Tarrytown and again parts of unincorporated Greenburgh; starting again from the eastern side of the Town and the southern border (Jackson Avenue) north to whereever the appropriate population cut off line (Hartsdale Avenue?) would be the third and then the last quarter of the Town. These approximate districts would total about 22,000 residents each, so no issue about equal representation (the specifics of the boundaries would need to be worked out, but that should not be a major problem)

There is no fundamental "gerrymandering" in this proposal, just a reasonable attempt to apportion the Town into roughly four equal population districts that also share closely other common interests.

Reactions?

Anonymous said...

My sanitation crew do a great job. The guy/gal who complains about sanitation must be living on another planet. The services that this town provides are fantastic, 2nd to no other community.

kolesar way off base said...

Kolesar's proposal is a non-starter intended to make it easier to elect as many village residents to the town board as he can.

Thus, he strains to create districts that would give village residents a clear majority in at least two of his so-called "districts."

This is self-interested village-centered gerrymandering at its worst.

What Greenburgh really needs is a way to place the unincorporated areas, who pay 95% of the town's taxes but have no elected representatives of their own, on the same level playing field as the town's villages, which do elect their own representatives.

By making it easier to elect more village residents to the town board, Kolesar is trying to tilt the playing field in more in favor of the villages.

And why?

To make sure that village residents continue to be excused from having to pay their fair share of town services and facilities open town-wide.

Kolesar's proposal thus sows the seeds of the very resentment that responsible leaders from both the villages and the unincorporated areas are working to avoid.

Anonymous said...

The blogger who said Kolesar was way off base has it exactly right.

The problem with at large elections of town and village officials is that in certain racially divided communities it tends to prevent minorities within a town or village from getting elected.

Thus, in Portchester, the federal government has brought suit to end at large elections because the system there effectively disenfranchises a large Spanish-speaking minority.

Here in Greenburgh, though, residents of the villages are already a majority of the town's population. Therefore, we don't need to put an end to at large election of town board members in order to make it easier for village residents to hold town office.

As the majority population of the town, village residents already have plenty of influence as it is, whether or not they hold elected office town-wide.

For example, if village residents didn't already wield a lot of influence in town, why else would they have been exempt all these years from having to pay their fair share of town taxes to pay for parks and rec facilities open town-wide?

And the free ride village residents get is not just limited to parks and rec facilities, but extends to a wide range of services and facilities.

Kolesar isn't being constructive here by any means. If anything, he's needlessly throwing gasoline on a fire.

Too short sighted said...

The more power people like Kolesar get, the more they will overcharge the unincorporated residents, and the more lawsuits. In the end the village residents will pay more.

Anonymous said...

For the blogger who says that village residents get a free ride on a wide range of services and facilities, I'd like to hear his view on the question presented several times. What services do the villages residents get for the following services which cost many millions of dollars, all of which are charged entirely to the town-wide budget of which the villages pay about one-half -- Town Comptroller, Town Attorney, Town Court, Town data processing, Town assessor, the Town central services, and a few others.

Quit your complaining. If you agree to shift all those expenses to the B budget where they would be if the laws were fair then you may have a basis for complaining.

Michael Kolesar said...

A number of comments in response. First, the proposal came from a person in unincorporated Greenburgh. Anoymous 1/26 11:08 AM is I believe, Mr. Bernstein (and I will tell you why later in this message), who will not identify himself in his postings. What a shame!! Mr. Bernstein was there Wednesday night, so he knows that to be true. Watch the replay of the Town Board meeting on TV or the Internet.

Second, if one stops to think about the proposal, it actually guarantees "minority" representation on the Town Board. Under the present arrangement, the Villages, who are the majority of the Town, could elect the entire Board. This proposal would in effect guarantee two seats to unincorporated Greenburgh, which is about equal in population, although clearly a minority.

I don't have any power.

I agree with Mr. Bernstein, that the unincorporated areas of the Town need a better mechanism to govern broad areas in such activities as planning, zoning, etc. and that the possibility of having a Town Board elected solely by the Villages could be both "dangerous" and really not productive. One should understand that the current laws defining the Town/Village co-existence were formulated when a Village was a population center and the remainder of a Town was / is undevelkoped land, usually farm land (as is still the case in upstate New York). I believe that all agree that the current laws defining this arrangement are outdated for the 21st century.

Finally, why was this blooger probably Mr. Bernstein? He is the only person I have heard use the decidedly misleading number that unincorporated Greenburgh pays 95% of the taxes, when he knows and we have discussed and he has admitted to me, is a bogus number (remember the fundraiser that we both attended in the summer of 2005 for a candidate in that year's primary?)

Why is it bogus? Suppose that person B contributes 40 apples and then gets to keep or benefit 100% from the pies that are made. Then suppose that person B contributes 2 peaches and person A contributes 2 peaches and more pies are made, but they split the benefits about 50/50. Is it fair to say that person B contributed 95% of all of the fruit that went into making some pies? Of course not.

Let's keep the debate at an honest level. And for all you "anoymous' posters, why are you afraid to identify yourselves?

kolesar wrong again said...

So Kolesar thinks it's "bogus" to say that unincorporated Greenburgh pays 95% of the town's taxes. Who is he kidding?

This 95% figure didn't originate with Bernstein.

It has been floating around for years and has even found its way into court decisions involving Greenburgh going back to the 1970s, when unincorporated Greenburgh residents argued unsuccessfully in federal court that it was unconstitutional to permit village residents, who constitute a majority of the population but pay only 5% of the town's taxes, to have the same right to vote in town board elections and residents of the unincorporated areas have.

As for the math, all one needs to do is look at the town's budget for fiscal 2007, which is posted online for all to read.

Real property taxes for the "A" budget in 2007 are $3,671,359. Village residents are responsible for 45% of that total or $1,652,211.

Real property taxes for the "B" budget are $36,979,873. Village resident are responsible for none of that.

Total property taxes to be paid to the town in 2007 for "A" and "B" combined come to $40,651,282.

Village residents are responsible for paying $1,652,211 of that $40,651,262. In 2007, that means village residents are responsible for only 4% of the total.

That means that for 2007, unincorporated area residents are paying 96% of the total town taxes.

Kolesar, who prides himself on being an accountant, should know better than to question these numbers.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar an accountant?

I thought he was a fomer accountant?

Anonymous said...

Wow, those numbers are amazing.

Unincorporated area residents pay 96% of the town's taxes, yet they have no elected representatives of their own.

I thought that kind of taxation stopped in Boston Harbor 230 years ago!

When you have a situation like that, you don't change the system tomake it even easier for the majority that doesn't pay these taxes to hold town positions.

No, you work to find a way to reform the system so that everyone in the town is playing on an even playing field.

Kolesar just doesn't get it.

Anonymous said...

The unincorporated area has a problem with unequal taxation in Greenburgh, while according to Valhallavoice.com the unincorporated portion that is in the Valhalla School district apparently accounts for 33% of the children in that district while only paying 20% of the taxes.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like even without the millions of town dollars that Feiner was caught giving away illegally to the Valhalla school district, Greenburgh homeowners in the Valhalla school district are already getting a great deal on their school taxes, when compared to the 2/3ds of homeowners in that district who live outside of Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

More propaganda.

I looked at the budget on the website. It is tough to read, but the 96% business is not correct. You get that only if you omit important calculations.

But about the villages running the show, I don't see village residents dominating the government. Diana Juettner is the only village resident who has been on the Town Board in fifteen years, and she is more concerned about the voters in unincorporated Greenburgh than the voters in the villages. I doubt that any policymaker lives in the villages.

But if unincorporated Greenburgh feels threatened why don't you work with the villages to have them secede. The you can keep all your services to yourselves, and also the expenses.

Anonymous said...

Fine by me, let the villages go, as long as:

1. The villages take and pay for Taxter Ridge, which was bot only to protect Irvington SD.

2. The towns stops letting Village residents use Young center, and cut down the costs.

3. The town sells its Waterwheel property, located in Ardsley, immediately to the highest bidder -- or uses as low income housing with preference being given to town, not village, residents.

4. The town first establish a fund for the new court building, which is woefully in need of repairs.

and the list could go on, but why bother, the villages are so used to only taking, and not paying their share.

Anonymous said...

Village residents seem to want to take it as an article of faith that the 96% figure must be incorrect.

Seems the best they can do is condescendingly insist that it "omits important calculations" without identifying for the rest of us dummies what any of these calculations might be.

In fact, the 96% figure is correct and thanks to the blogger who told us where to look, that number is easily verifiable.

It also seems to me that before we start talking divorce here, it might make some sense to see whether all of that 96% is being properly charged to the unincorporated area and if not, exactly how much of that 96% should be picked up by village taxpayers.

It's possible that if those adjustments were determined by agreement or the courts and then implemented, it might be cheaper in the long run for village residents to accept those additional charges than it might be if the villages were to secede (and assume by law all the costs associated with the town obligations they'd be seeking to leave behind).

Of course, if cooler heads don't prevail and those calculations are not made, angry residents on either side of the battle might end up shooting themselves in the foot or higher.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 2:15.

You are foolish or ignorant or both. It would help if you knew something about the law, the finances, and who has paid for what. But you don't. You only know that you want and want and want, and you believe all the nonsense that some people spew.

To Anonymous at 2:47.

You also seem to think that the villages have been getting a free ride. I would love to see who is getting a free ride. Right now the Town budget makes the proper charges, but that means that the villages are paying enormous sums for town services that they don't get because the law makes them pay for those services. If there were a Solomon who could look at things wisely instead of from a paranoid sense of being ripped off, the tune would change. In the meantime all you complainers only strengthen the need for a divorce.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:47,

If the Town were making the right Budget allocations, it wouldnt get knocked down in court.

and there are legal allocations, like the mortgage recording tax, in your favor, that seem to forget.

But, fine by me, go for the "divorce" -- alimony wont be up to feiner, it will be litigated.

Anonymous said...

"The services that this town provides are fantastic, 2nd to no other community."

Hahaha ... Thanks for the chuckle!

Anonymous said...

"What Greenburgh really needs is a way to place the unincorporated areas, who pay 95% of the town's taxes but have no elected representatives of their own, on the same level playing field as the town's villages, which do elect their own representatives."

Split the unincorporated area into three villages (north, central, south). Eliminating this old-fashioned unincorporated thing would eliminate so much drama.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, what is holding up the process of the P.O. E. Ward hearing?
According to the news, he was found not guilty of any criminal charges, the Court case was swift and smooth. What could possibly be taking so long.

IN THIS COUNTRY, PEOPLE ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.... IN THIS TOWN, ITS THE OPPOSITE! From what I have heard the attorney for Officer Ward proved his case.

I hope this is not anohter Tawana Brawley case, where we find out that she made the whole thing up.

If he found guilty, the town will open itself up to a huge civil suit, thats what this Town needs...more money being paid out.

Officer Ward MOST SUPPORT YOU AND SEE THRU THIS DIGUSTING DISPLAY LITIGATION ABUSE.

I wish you well and pray the Town gives you your job back - from what I hear, you are a good Police Officer.

Anonymous said...

I live in the same complex that Officer Ward Lives in. I guess you could say that I am of the older population of the complex. I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with this gentleman - he has helped me tremendously in times of need.

It would be a great loss to this Town to see him let go.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

The Town Council members should give up their parking spots to library users.

Anonymous said...

Why should the council members get reserved parking spaces at town hall when senior citizens can't find parking. I'm 85 years old and have difficulty walking. I can't go to the library if it is not accessible

Anonymous said...

When is the letter the developer of the property by Greenburgh Nature Center going to be posted? This should be seen by the public?

Anonymous said...

That anonymous blogger pretending to be the 85 year old who wants the town council to give up their parking spaces because he can't find find a place to park is . . .
Paul Feiner himself, trying to create yet another wedge issue between himself and the town council.

If Feiner were truly concerned about the care and comfort of library patrons at town hall, be they young or old, he'd raise the lobby temperature to a normal level and, instead of frustrating the library's attempt to stay open until 9 p.m., he'd direct the building staff to keep the doors from automatically locking at 5 p.m.

hal samis said...

Dear Sherlock Jr,

What is the issue, who turned the Town Council in or should they surrender their reserved spaces?

Admittedly this is a very minor issue but still very easy to resolve. The Town Council are not full time employees and thus their reserved nearby spaces should not be retained when there is this need since the Library came to Hillside.
What's the big deal? Give them up.

As for the Front Door, as was discussed at the Library Board of Trustees Meeting Thursday night, the door controls are handled by an
outside vendor and DPW honcho Regula is the man to complain to.

Not even a hint of A or B, comptroller opinions or Edgemont, Valhalla or East Irvington in these housekeeping issues so apparently the "nail the Supervisor to the wall crowd" must feel that their other issues are losing traction.

What's up next? Who chose the snacks in the vending machines?

Paul Feiner said...

Regarding the comments re: parking spaces at town hall reserved for town council members -I have never had a reserved parking spot for myself at Town Hall. I don't mind the exercise, walking a few extra minutes to the Town Hall in the morning and to my car in the evening. I have always felt uncomfortable seeking or receiving special privileges. Members of the Town Board should make their own decisions whether they want to have reserved spots or not. In defense of the council members - in most municipalities/governments reserved spots are assigned to elected officials.

Anonymous said...

The new library at town hall needs more books. Use some additional wall space at town hall for book shelves.

Anonymous said...

the town hall is tremendous. There are lots of opportunities to expand the library at town hall.

Did Feiner Lie? You decide. said...

Those who want to know more about Feiner's actions in forgiving the costs assessed against Mayfair Knollwood should read "Greenburgh forgives shelter foes," Reporter Dispatch, December 10, 1993, page B1.

According to the story, the Mayfair Knollwood neighborhood eventually coughed up around $16,000 of the $23,471 that the court required it to pay before Feiner agreed to waive the remaining $7,500.

The waiver was in exchange for a commitment to perform certain unspecified "community service."

The story quoted Feiner favoring the agreement because it shows that "the neighbors realize that WestHelp did not bring crime or lower property values in the area."

Ironically, in 2006, in defending the town's $6.5 million grant to Valhalla SD, Feiner told the state comptroller's office the exact opposite, that the agreement was needed to compensate Mayfair Knollwood because the WestHelp shelter had lowered property values in the area.

The state comptroller's office didn't buy it. It found found no evidence to substantiate Feiner's claim that there was any factual basis to support a need for the grant.

Anonymous said...

Feiner can't waive any penalties himself. Waiving penalties requires a vote of the Town Board.

Anonymous said...

ok - so he agreed to waive the penalties (along with his rubber stamp crew) and then seemingly lied about the reasons for the valhalla gift to the comptroller. what a model for our children.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything that these haters (or is there only one who is wtiting all these hate messages) won't twist into a hate-Feiner message? There are plenty of real things to complain about regarding Feiner. Stick to those, instead of creating these nutty reasons, like suddently this Town Council is his "rubber stamp." That one must make Bass and Sheehan wince.

Anonymous said...

There is plenty of things to like about Paul Feiner's administration. Low crime rate. Lower taxes than neighboring jurisdictions. Great recreation. Great service. We can always call Paul and get action.

Anonymous said...

AGAIN>>>>>

Just wondering, what is holding up the process of the P.O. E. Ward hearing?
According to the news, he was found not guilty of any criminal charges, the Court case was swift and smooth. What could possibly be taking so long.

IN THIS COUNTRY, PEOPLE ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.... IN THIS TOWN, ITS THE OPPOSITE! From what I have heard the attorney for Officer Ward proved his case.

I hope this is not anohter Tawana Brawley case, where we find out that she made the whole thing up.

If he found guilty, the town will open itself up to a huge civil suit, thats what this Town needs...more money being paid out.

Officer Ward MOST SUPPORT YOU AND SEE THRU THIS DIGUSTING DISPLAY LITIGATION ABUSE.

I wish you well and pray the Town gives you your job back - from what I hear, you are a good Police Officer.