Thursday, January 25, 2007

Residents Ask Town Bd to Re-Negotiate WESTHELP partnership

At last night's Town Board meeting a number of residents asked the Town Board to renegotiate the WESTHELP partnership with Mayfair Knollwood residents and the Valhalla school district. The NY State Comptroller's office has advised the Town Board that the partnership can continue--provided that the Town Board is willing to re-negotiate the terms. WESTHELP can legally give funds to the Valhalla school district.
The residents who spoke at last nights Town Board meeting stated that the Town Board had approved an agreement with the Mayfair Knollwood community a few years back. The community agreed to support the continued operation of a large homeless facility in their back yard. The town/county/WESTHELP agreed to give the Valhalla school district $650,000 a year in return.
Members of the Town Board who voted for the WESTHELP partnership were Steve Bass, Diana Juettner, Eddie Mae Barnes myself and former councilperson Timmy Weinberg.
The issue --as I see it is this--can residents trust promises made by elected officials?
The town must comply with state law. The state comptroller's office provided us with a means to continue the partnership----legally.

48 comments:

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.

Anonymous said...

Paul, it is time to give up!

It is obvious that however well-intentioned you were, and maybe still are, the Valhalla School District deal is a fiasco, for several reasons.

One, there is really no problem with the homeless population, and this was all a scare tactic.

Two, the deal is illegal, period.

Three, it has become clear that this has been a boondoggle for the Mayfair Civic Association and the school district. Much of the money has been spent on insider goodies, and some of the extra educational expenditures are questionable at best. The next comptroller audit will be a doozy.

Four, it is also obvious that this was a payoff for a group that was angry about a NIMBY sitiuation. We should have learned that paying hush money, or extortion, doesn't solve the problems, it makes it worse.

There are other reasons, but these are enough. There are many people who sympathize with your good intentions, but if you continue you will lose those people as well. Better you find some way of closing this out. You are making it easier for the Toan Council to escape the criticism that they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Residents? Greenburgh doesnt have a Supervisor - Feiner apparently represents Valhalla, not Greenburgh, most of which isnt even in Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

The entire Town Board (Bass,Barnes,Juettner and Feiner) voted for the WESTHELP partnership and made commitments to the community. No one forced any of them to vote for the partnership contract at the time they cast their votes. They did so voluntarily.

Anonymous said...

And hopefully no town board member will ever be so naive as to do anything like that ever again.

The state comptroller's report couldn't be clearer: not only was the agreement illegal, there was never any justification for entering into it in the first place.

And who was to blame for this debacle? The state comptroller report answered that for us too: Feiner was to blame.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing to re-negotiate. No special kickbacks are allowed - period.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

Fish or cut bait, which of the states "solutions" do you recommend and how would you implement it?

Or are just trying to pander to the Valhalla group and you already know there is no real solution

Anonymous said...

Thankfully, the State Comptroller's office provided the Town Board with a solution: re-negotiate the lease and provide HELP with the ability to make payments directly to the school district. The State Comptroller said that this is legal. I hope the Town Board members who previously made promises to the Mayfair Knollwood community will honor their word.

Feiner's illegal deal is over said...

An illegal contract is no contract at all. In the same manner, an illegal promise does not have to be honored. Feiner's continued attempts to revive this ill-conceived payoff to the Valhalla bigots only demonstrates what a patsy he remains. If this is his priority, it further shows he needs a course in management. There are urgent matters that require attention in Greenburgh - renogatiating WestHelp is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

The state comptroller said that the WESTHELP partnership can be legal if WESTHELP gave the funds directly to the school district, bypassing the town. All the town board has to do is agree to re-negotiate the deal. Keep the promises that have been made.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 11:07

Yes Westhelp can give money directly to Valhalla, but only if the Town still receives fair value for the property. Please stop with distorted messages.

To Mr. Feiner -- what do you think fair value is? You argued before it was 1.2 million per year?

Paul Feiner said...

The responsible thing for the Town Board to do would be to take steps to determine fair market.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner,

How can anyone justify the value less than 1.2 million?

Anonymous said...

Why exactly is this the "responsible" thing to do?

According to the state comptroller, the town board was evidently misled by the "town supervisor" into believing that the $6.5 million gift was needed to compensate the school district for the cost of educating homeless kids, which wasn't true.

The comptroller also rejected as baseless the "town supervisor's" arguments that the money was needed to compensate the neighborhood. The report also rejected your arguments that the school district money was part of an overall agreement with the county, finding no evidence to support that either.

On top of that, there are all sorts of unanswered questions about what Valhalla did with the town's money.

So why is taking steps to determine the fair market value the "responsible" thing to do?

By making the findings that it did, the state comptroller's report demonstrates that your giving away this money was not only illegal, but irresponsibly bad policy from start to finish.

It would be irresponsible for the town council to have anything further to do with it.

Of course, once the fair market value is calculated, it would be clear to all that there's no additional money to be given away to Valhalla in any event.

Anonymous said...

Steve Bass, Diana Juettner, Eddie Mae Barnes: You made a promise to the people of Mayfair Knollwood. After you made your promise, the residents decided to vote to keep the homeless shelter open. They believed that you would keep your word. If you did not plan to keep your commitments - the residents of Mayfair Knollwood would have voted against the homeless shelter and the shelter would have closed down. You have an obligation to keep your word. If you can't be trusted, no elected official will be trusted in the future.

Anonymous said...

In a few years the WESTHELP lease expires. Perhaps, it should not be renewed and no payments given to the school district. However, a lease was approved by the entire Town Board --the comptroller has provided the board with a means to continue the payments. PAUL, STEVE, DIANA, EDDIE MAE should honor commitments they previously made to the community.

Anonymous said...

If Westhelp made payments directly to Valhalla, they would be payments in lieu of taxes. They would not go through the town and Mayfair, with one seat on the Valhalla board, would have no control over the funds. All you would be doing is squeezing money out of a homeless shelter to reduce taxes in Mt Pleasant and North Castle. Stop wasting time and effort and get our money back.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous who doesn't like the WESTHELP partnership--
Steve Bass, Eddie Mae Barnes, Diana Juettner should have thought of your points when they voted for the agreement. They knew what they were voting for. If the council entered into an agreement, they have an obligation to keep their commitments.

Anonymous said...

Agreements like this, that are illegal or entered into under false premises, are void and unenforceable in New York. This isn't about honoring a promise anymore.

It's about promises that should never have been made in the first place to an angry bigoted mob that should never have been entitled to anything, let alone veto power over the location of a homeless shelter.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 12:50 who wrote:

"Agreements like this, that are illegal or entered into under false premises, are void and unenforceable in New York. This isn't about honoring a promise anymore."

It is totally hypocritical for the Town Board to say promises they made don't matter just because they have been determined to be illegal. It is a better definition of chutzpah than the usual one of a person who has murdered his parents and then asks for sympathy because he is an orphan. Promises have their own importance.

It is also hypocritical for bloggers to refer to "their money" when they talk about money that was never intended for the town's treasury and that never came out of taxes. How greedy can one get?

How about approaching this with some understanding of how this came about. It may not be possible to pay out the grant to the Valhalla School District, but stop treating the Mayfair Knollwood community as though they are a bunch of white collar criminals.

Maybe if Bass, Sheehan, Barnes and Juettner admitted this as a problem that they helped cause, instead of an occasion to slam Feiner, we might have a reasonable dialogue instead of these disgusting blogs.

Anonymous said...

If Valhalla had spent their money more prudently, people might be more understanding. But that is not what happened.

Anonymous said...

The Council tried to be understanding, but then the Valhalla people who showed up at the meeting tried to be intimidating. You have brought this on yourself. REspect breeds respect.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by "you have brought this on yourself. Respect breeds respect."

I happen to live in Hartsdale. I don't see this as a civil war between Mayfair Knollwood and the rest of the town. I don't think that any money should be paid to Valhalla. Or to anybody under that Westhelp deal. If it is illegal then so be it.

But it is disgusting how people in town behave. Mayfair Knollwood people didn't deceive anybody when the deal was done. And don't start with the paranoid business that they did because everything was in the open. The Town Board did make a grant and that is a promise. Tha Mayfair Knollwood people have a right to feel betrayed by the circumstances. The Town Board should stop hiding behind politics.

Why can't people in Greenburgh act like civilized persons instead of always blaming everybody else and grabbing whatever they can. Greenburgh is becoming a bad place to live in with all the fighting.

And quit talking about "your money" when what is involved is not very much at all in terms of taxes. A community is worth something.

Anonymous said...

Why can't get the people of Greenburgh act like civilized people????

Give me a break. I watched the Town meeting on TV. The Valhalla crowd were bullies and meanspirited and would not allow others to talk.

I agree. This is not a civil war. This is a budgetary/accounting issue. Mr. Feiner is only making things worse by making it appear that there is an answer that will allow Mayfair Knollwood to recieve the funds. There is not. The state "solutions" are illusory, and if anyone trys to come up with details, it becomes clear that proposals are unworkable.

Whether some choose to regard this as unfortunate or not is irrelevant; there is no way to accomplish this.

If I were on the Council, I would be concerned about my own personal liablility if I did not press for return of the funds pursuant to the indemenity and did not wait for a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

The state comptroller's office took great pains to come up with good suggestions. They came up with a reasonable plan that will enable the WESTHELP partnership to continue. Please, please, please Eddie Mae Barnes, Steve Bass, Diana Juettner KEEP YOUR PROMISE. We relied on your word.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

The controllers office suggestions are fine. So pick which one.

1. First -- home law rule allowing the arrangment -- even if the town council supports it, the state legislature will realize that the town population is not united behind it. It wont happen.

2. The money can be spent on things like parks, open to the public, but located in Mayfair Knollwood, but open to all Town Residents.

3. Westhelp can pay VUFSD, but the Town must still get fair value for the property.

Could you please respond? With some specificity? Not just, the Town Council should re-negotiate?

the truthtellers said...

To the kind person from Hartsdale who wonders why the blogs are getting so nasty -- I have an answer for you. Many of these blogs are clearly being written by two people from Valhalla who vote no for every Valhalla budget, year in and year out, and also maintain a web site that is full of lies that sound exactly like some of these blogs. They do nothing but call yes voters names, especially the Mayfair Knollwod neighborhood because those folks work really hard to get the school budget passed each year. They are most likely the bloggers calling Mayfair residents "bullies" and working overtime to repeat their warped version of the comptroller's report. The only questions that have been raised about the way Valhalla spent the WestHelp funds were actually raised by the Town Board, which is clearly speculating because to them, some of the charts included in the Comptroller's report are confusing. But that's because the Comptroller's staff didn't get all their facts correct. There were embarrassing mistakes in the report, and the Town Board's response was pathetic. Instead of doing their own research, they quoted The Journal News in their response, as if that coverage were accurate in any way. The reporter got many of his facts incorrect and published the contents of a draft report because it was handed to the press by some over-eager Town Board members or their legislative assistant because they were all anxious to make their predictions come true. Well, their predictions did not come true. Since when has the comptroller's office ever listed a series of alternative means of funding in an audit??
And yet all the opponents keep repeating lies, and predicting the financial ruin of the Valhalla SD, when nothing could be further from the truth.
The members of the Mayfair Knollwod Civic Association should sue the whole of you for defamation, libel and slander. You should be ashamed of yourselves for characterizing a whole group of people you don't even know as crooks, criminals, greedy people, even "morons."
There is evidence in the Town Board's response that whoever wrote it did so with malicious intent, with knowledge in advance that many of the "facts" printed in that response were untrue. And yet they simply went ahead, with blinders on, and repeated what they knew to be false. The nonsense about the grant administrator having to work "a majority of his time" on the program, the allegation that they were lied to about the payments to the Valhalla Schools Foundation, the very interesting reference to the Valhalla International Fund's grant to send two students overseas. They are grasping at straws, willing to stoop to any level to get headlines, to make the public believe that something fishy took place, to make Mr. Feiner look bad because, let's face it, Mr. Sheehan has been after the supervisor for a long time. He finally got himself on the Town Board and now will stoop to anything to topple Feiner. This is strictly politics, folks, and has absolutely nothing to do with the WestHelp Partnership. Don't kid yourselves.
And yet Sheehan and his hand-picked legislative assistant sent a pack of lies, disguised as a response, to the comptroller. What they have done is unconscionable and unethical and some of us plan to get to the bottom of it.

Mayfair and racism said...

"Truthtellers" are anything but.

They are the leaders of the Mayfair Knollwood Civic Association who think, wrongly, that the state comptroller paved the way for their group to continue to reap millions of dollars in supposed compensation for having a homeless shelter in their midst.

In fact, as others on this site have noted, the state comptroller's report not only found the town's agreement to give the money away to be illegal, but also found that the presence of the homeless shelter at WCC provided no basis for compensating either the school district or the Mayfair Knollwood neighborhood, and that Mr. Feiner's statements to that effect were false.

This is the latest chapter in an extremely ugly history that began in the late 1980s when both the town and the county agreed to have a homeless shelter built on county property at the WCC.

February is black history month and it is well reviewing that history here.

According to a 1989 opinion of the United States Court of Appeals, the Mayfair Knollwood Civic Association did not want the shelter there because most of the homeless families living there would be African-American.

The court reports that Mayfair Knollwood responded by trying to incorporate as a village by drawing its borders to exclude African-Americans and by proposing to enact zoning laws to prevent the shelter from opening.

Tony Veteran, the former supervisor, stood up to the racist bullies from Mayfair Knollwood and refused to certify their petition for incorporation on that ground.

For this act of courage and principle, Mayfair Knollwood sued Veteran and others who tried to stand in their way.

But Mayfair Knollwood lost that legal battle. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in Veterans' favor.

This was probably one of the most important victories for civil rights and racial equality in Greenburgh's history.

But the battle continued when Veteran was replaced as supervisor by Feiner. Feiner openly sided with Mayfair Knollwood and for the past 18 years, he's been their patsy.

So, "truthtellers," as we approach black history month, and read the angry blogs you post about anyone willing today to stand up to you, be it town council members, their aide, a courageous Journal News reporter, and just plain citizens from the Valhalla school district and Greenburgh itself, it's time the truth is told about who you are and what you stand for.

Anonymous said...

The issue is not whether the WESTHELP agreement should have been signed a few years ago. It was after Feiner,Bass,Juettner,Barnes & former Councilwoman Weinberg voted for it. An agreement was reached. The Mayfair Knollwood community relied on the agreement. As a result, the homeless shelter continues to operate as a homeless facility. WESTHELP was prepared to close if the community wanted the shelter closed. The Board has a responsibility to keep its promise to the community.

Anonymous said...

Mayfair Knollwood still doesn't get it.

If the reasons given for entering into the agreement were never valid to begin with, the fact that the town council members went along with it when they did is irrelevant.

And no, despite what they say, Mayfair Knollwood never had "veto" power over the shelter. The town had a choice in 2001. It could have converted the facility to senior housing or it could have accepted the county's financial offer of $1.2 million a year to keep the shelter where it is.

The fact that Mayfair Knollwood held a meeting and voted 90-10 to accept the county's offer is irrelevant and binds no one because civic associations, while free to voice their opinions, don't have any legal say in such matters.

Equally nonsensical is the idea that the "community relied on the agreement." The implication is that Mayfair Knollwood gave up some rights it might have had to keep the shelter from operating at WCC.

Because Mayfair Knollwood never had any such rights, it could never have "relied on the agreement" to give them up.

If anyone in Mayfair Knollwood has any doubts about that, they should check with the lawyers who represented Mayfair Knollwood when it lost in federal court against Tony Veteran and the NAACP.

the truthtellers said...

So now the Mayfair Knollwood neighborhood consists of a bunch of "racist bullies"? Who's bullying who here?
We think that the anonymous bloggers are having a field day with their vivid imaginations, not to mention with libel. You can't be serious! And we couldn't help but notice that you never responded to the charge that you're one of two Valhalla opponents.

A "courageous" reporter? Are can't be serious. That reporter has managed to have his assignment changed a number of times in the last few years because he makes so many errors in fact. He's so courageous that he keeps writing non-stories just so he can win some kind of journalism prize. But that will elude him, because he's an ambulance chaser, always thinking that he has a scandal on his hands and they don't pan out.

As for the bloggers we've been reading on this site, it's clear that it's the same few people writing in, over and over again. That's why the nasty web site in Valhalla has been dormant for a while. Too busy on the Greenburgh blogs?

The folks in Mayfair Knollwood are now immune to your insults and rewritten version of events. It's all the in audit report -- you can read more revisionist history there.

Anonymous said...

I'm not one of the Valhalla posters, and I don't see how the Westhelp arrangement can be re-negotiated. There were speakers at the Town meeting, Greenburgh residents, who voiced these issues. YOu would have heard them if the Valhalla people were so loud and rude, and yes, bullying, at the Town meeting.

Anonymous said...

I'm not one of those Valhalla posters either.

For those Mayfair Knollwood civic leaders who think their neighborhood's racist past is a product of some bloggers' vivid imaginations, guess again.

Read the unanimous opinion of the United States Court of Appeals in Greenberg v. Veteran, 889 F.2d 418 (2d. Cir. 1989).

Here is what the court had to say:

"In January 1988, the Town of Greenburgh joined Westchester County and a not-for-profit organization called "West HELP" in proposing the construction of a shelter for 108 homeless families on property in Greenburgh owned by Westchester County. It is undisputed that most of the 108 homeless families are black."

"In February 1988, manifesting what the district court termed "the NIMBY syndrome" (Not In My Back Yard), residents of Greenburgh opposed to the construction of the proposed shelter formed the Coalition of United Peoples, Inc., or COUP, to stop the project. Pursuant to New York Village Law ("Village Law") §§ 2-200 to 2-258 (McKinney 1973 & Supp. 1989), COUP prepared a petition to incorporate part of Greenburgh as the Village of Mayfair Knollwood; the proposed Village would include the site of the proposed shelter. The district court opinion notes that since Westchester County owns the land on which the shelter would be built, incorporation could not stop the project directly but would enable COUP to tie up the project with red tape and zoning requirements."

"On September 14, 1988, pursuant to Village Law § 2-202, COUP presented the incorporation petition to Veteran, who, as required by Village Law § 2-204, convened a public hearing on November 1 at which oral testimony concerning the project was received. Veteran adjourned the hearing until November 21 to receive and consider written comments on the incorporation petition."

"On December 1, Veteran denied the incorporation petition on six grounds: four aspects of the petition process were defective under the Village Law; the boundaries of the proposed village, where ascertainable, evinced an intent to exclude black residents and thus violated the state and federal constitutions; and obstruction of the shelter project would violate the state and federal constitutions."

Fortunately for Greenburgh and for the cause of civil rights, the court ruled in Veteran's favor.

the truthtellers said...

Gee, it's interesting that you were somehow able to dig out the exact text from a WestHelp court decision -- you weren't sitting at a desk in Town Hall, were you?
Very clever, except that you quote the decision out of context. The court was simply summing up Veteran's belief about the boundaries. The case was thrown out of court on a technicality -- the new boundary lines drawn by the attorneys included a minor mistake and based on that, the case was thrown out.
Revisionist history again.
But no matter. This had nothing to do with race, nor has it anything to do with race now. And if you think your neighbors wouldn't be the least bit worried about a homeless shelter and their property values, you're living on another planet that's, oh, so much more liberal than anyone else's and so much more enlightened than anyone else's.
The race card is something you're just pulling out of your bag of tricks. We're sure you'll be pulling another trick out when that one fails.
By the way, not one member of the Mayfair Knollwood Civic Association lived in Mayfair when the original battle over WestHelp took place. Put that in your bag of tricks!

Mayfair and Racism said...

Truthtellers' ugly statements about the past could not be more wrong. The original legal battles over WestHelp had everything to do with race.

First of all, the entire matter was in federal court because of race.

Normally, disputes involving proposed village borders are heard in state court.

Here, however, because Tony Veteran believed the Mayfair Knollwood was being formed for racist reasons, i.e., to block a homeless shelter expected to house mostly African Americans, the United States Court of Appeals held that the issue of Mayfair Knollwood's incorporation belonged in the federal courts.

Joining in the defense of Tony Veteran and former town clerk Susan Tolchin were the national and local chapters of the NAACP. The national and local chapters of the NAACP wouldn't have bothered if this issue were not about race.

After the Court of Appeals ruling, the issue of whether Veteran acted properly was tried before a special referee in federal court.

The referee found that the borders themselves were not drawn to purposely exclude African Americans. However, the referee found that the borders had not been measured correctly and upheld Veteran's action on that ground.

As a result, the referee and the lower court did not have to consider the much more racially charged issue of whether the village was being created for the racially improper reason of trying to block construction of a homeless shelter expected to house mostly African American families.

In fact, because the town and the NAACP had already prevailed, the racial issue was withdrawn from court consideration.

Because Veteran and the NAACP won the day, the court imposed costs against Mayfair Knollwood in the amount of $23,471.

The court's decision may be found at 752 F. Supp. 630 (S.D.N.Y. 1990).

Upon becoming supervisor, for partisan political reasons (Veteran and Tolchin were political opponents), Feiner has for the past 18 years openly sided with Mayfair Knollwood.

And what about that $23,471 that the court ordered Mayfair Knollwood to pay?

Feiner forgave the debt.

I am not a Valhalla poster. Nor am I a Greenburgh Town Hall official or employee.

I just find it awful that public officials would ever stoop to paying off a neighborhood that objected to having racial minorities living in their midst, and I find it just as awful that the current crop of Mayfair Knollwood leaders would be so callous as to suggest, as they do, that any other neighborhood in Greenburgh would act as they have acted.

The state comptroller was right to declare the WestHelp agreement illegal and to go out of his way to say it was never justified in the first place.

Feiner has made clear repeatedly where he stands on the matter.

But Greenburgh's other leaders at the state and local level should stand up and be counted among those who condemn this ugly behavior on the part of Mayfair Knollwood for what it is and has always been.

Anonymous said...

It's absolutely ludicrous that you're painting the current residents of Mayfair-Knollwood with a broad brush based on events that happened nearly 20 years ago! I'll guarantee you that if you look at the history of home sales since the 1988 decision you're reading from you'll discover that nearly all of the current residents of M-K moved here in the 1990s and thereafter. Here we are being painted as rascists when we never even were around in the late 1980s. All I know is fast forward FIVE years ago and this community overwhelmingly voted to accept the shetler again, because of the deal that was hammered out.

the truthtellers said...

That's right -- and the blogger with all the legal information leaves out the fact that Veteran did not "prevail" if the court case was decided on a technicality. By the way, does the blogger have two homeless shelters on either side of HIS neighborhood? And yet he can stand up in his bully pulpit and cast stones? Ironic, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

The Mayfair Knollwood "truthtellers" just don't seem to get it.

Mayfair Knollwood was ordered by the court in 1990 to pay the sum of $23,471 because the prevailing party in the dispute was Tony Veteran. It was Feiner who then let the neighborhood off the hook.

And while houses in Mayfair Knollwood may have changed hands over the past 20 years, the neighborhood's behavior has not.

The ugly comments and intimidating threats that they make today against town council members, their aide, a courageous Journal News reporter, residents from the Valhalla School District who've posted their concerns on valhallavoice.com and anyone in Greenburgh who has the temerity to disagree with them are reminiscent of the ugly and intimidating tactics used 20 years ago when Mayfair Knollwood sued not only Veteran, Tolchin and the town, but everyone, white or black, who publicly disagreed with them, including private citizens.

There are still people around who got served with those papers who remember that.

Anonymous said...

And how much of that ugly behaivor has been encouraged by Feiner?? His turning the Town Council meetings into a circus, by encouraging outpourings by the Mayfair Knollwood group, and his refusal to maintian order, in his role as chair, and let others speak, should not be forgotten.

Let me give some advice to the town council, the next time Mr. Feiner attempts to put you on the spot, with yes or no, how do you stand on blah blah with questions worded in an incendiary manner, just politiely ask, "Is there a motion on the floor?" Trust me, there will be no seconds.

Anonymous said...

To the “untruth teller”. You criticize certain people for voting “no” year in and year out. Maybe it has something to do with the FACT that Valhalla’s budget increases have averaged 10% a year for the last seven years. Why don’t you tell us all how much is enough Mr.(s) all knowing untruth teller. I mean can you put some kind threshold or cap on when we are justified to vote no? Or is there never enough? Are you of the thinking that more is better? Well if you believe in unlimited funding then do it with your own damn money! You untruth tellers are certainly very adept at spending other peoples money. I’m sure you wouldn’t be so quick to finance boat cruises, Grand Canyon trips, opera tickets, and the other totally non-academic spending if it were coming directly out of your pockets. Even the few things that are touted as absolutely justified spending can be brought into question. Like Money for SAT prep. First, why shouldn’t the parents pay for this? And secondly, if Valhalla students were receiving a better education, why would they need an SAT prep course? No, I’m sorry, In the last seven years The Valhalla School District has shown how well they can waste money, not spend it wisely.

Anonymous said...

Those Mayfair Knollwood "spin doctors" should know better than to suggest that Veteran was not the "prevailing party."

Not only did Veteran succeed in fending off their attack on his decision not to accept their racially-tainted petition for incorporation, but the court expressly upheld "respondents' rights as the prevailing parties to reimbursement of the costs of the special referee."

And it should be noted that the "respondents" who prevailed in this case included not only Tony Veteran and the local and national chapters of the NAACP, but the National Coalition for the Homeless too.

Feiner let racists off the hook? said...

And what about that $23,471 that the court ordered Mayfair Knollwood to pay?

Feiner forgave the debt.

Apparently Feiner's ignoring the law has a long history. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

The Mayfair Knollwood secession effort took place before Feiner was supervisor. Can you provide anyone with any written documentation indicating that Supervisor Feiner took any action against a court order. This is another false charge.

Feiner must answer questions about fine said...

If that is not the case, why was the fine not paid? Mr. Feiner, I think the public is entitled to an answer to the question. Did you waive the fine and if so, why? If you didn't waive it, who did?

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Tony Veteran and the council that served with him waived the penalty?

The more you know 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...

To the person who commented at 10:22 a.m.:

You ask the question: ...is there never enough?
We ask you: What, if anything, has the Valhalla SD done that will ever make you happy, short of some kind of payment for years of ripping you off personally? (We know that you already tried to get $500 from a former Board of Ed member -- what, you want more?)
--You criticize the district for spending money, and you criticize the district for not spending money.
-- You jeopardize the WestHelp Partnership funding, like a sore sport, because you can't stand to see money spent at all on public education. Well, congratulations -- you will probably get your wish. No money can be spent on kids from now on.
-- you keep bringing up the Grand Canyon trip. In what way is that not an educational experience for the kids who went -- kids from every town in the school district, by the way.
-- in what way does a revamped physics lab not benefit Valhalla students, thereby benefiting the district, thereby making the district a place where families will want to live because their kids might get a decent education and possibly even raise property values?
-- in what way do SAT prep classes not benefit kids academically?
-- in what way do SmartBoards not benefit kids academically?
-- in what way do teacher mini-grants, some for items as basic as extra graphing calculators and overhead projectors, not benefit kids academically?

If SAT scores don't go up in Valhalla, you will be first in line to criticize the District. If the WestHelp Partnership chips in for PART of the cost of prep classes, you criticize them, too. The enrollment for those classes, by the way, has been tremendous. And kids from all three towns in the District have benefited. So much for your tired "preferential treatment" charges.

As for the accusations about how Mayfair Knollwood is a bunch of bullies, nothing could be further from the truth. They're the ones being accused here, being called names for trying to defend themselves, accused of an endless list of lies. The real bullies here know who they are and what they have illicitly done. There is a totally transparent shared conspiracy here, and if you think it's not obvious, you're fooling yourselves.
You can all conspire to bring an end to this, and you might succeed and pat yourselves on the back when it's over. But many people around you know that you could only accomplish this using a pack of pathetic lies, non-stop phone calls to the comptroller's office, and unethical leaks to a gullible reporter you call "courageous."

Anonymous said...

to anon at 12:39,

I am not from Mayfair Knollwood, and I watched the televised Council meetings and saw the VUFSD as bullies, egged on by Feiner. I do not really care about your squables with another Mayfair Knollwood person.