Sunday, January 07, 2007

SHOULD THE TOWN BD PURSUE A TOWN SIDEWALK POLICY OR SIDEWALK DISTRICT?

Last spring the Town Board unanimously approved a resolution directing me to submit a proposed sidewalk policy to the Town Board by September. I complied with the request and submitted a proposal to the Board. So far - no action. I hope that the Town Board will hold a public hearing on the proposal in 2007 and adopt a modified sidewalk policy. One of the goals that I am considering proposing on Wednesday is for the town to pursue the creation of a sidewalk district for unincorporated Greenburgh. This proposal, if implemented, will enable the town to build new sidewalks around town. The district will be the entire unincorporated Greenburgh. Any thoughts?

14 comments:

Beating a dead horse said...

Paul, you're beating a dead horse.

The state comptroller issued an opinion last year saying that you couldn't legally create a sidewalk district consisting of the entire unincorporated areas of the town - a 19 square mile area - because all parts of the proposed district would not benefit equally.

This makes perfect sense. Why should some unincorporated area neighborhoods, which have no sidewalks and don't want them, have to pay for sidewalks, like the ones in old Edgemont, which are there for aesthetic reasons and just enhance the value of the homes there?

Your problem is that the comptroller has already put you and the town on notice that, because the town never created any sidewalk districts where they should have been created, state law requires that those existing sidewalks (like those in old Edgemont) must be paid for town-wide.

That understandably troubles village residents who don't want to pay for anything in the unincorporated areas.

So nothing happens. But that's not good either.

There are also places where sidewalks are needed for public safety, and the town has no policy to determine when such sidewalks get put in and who should pay for them.

As a result, someone walking along one of these dangerous streets will eventually get injured.

Bottom line: The Town Council needs to create a sidewalk policy, but your proposal Paul was as much a non-starter then as it is now.

If you want to be constructive, why not craft a new policy based on the comments the Town Council received when it held a hearing on the issue last June. You didn't show up for that meeting, but it was archived. You can still watch it.

If you don't want to help, then we'll just have to wait for the Town Council to come up with something.

Paul Feiner said...

I do not believe that village residents should have to pay for sidewalks in unincorproated Greenburgh. Residents of unincorporated Greenburgh do not pay for sidewalks that the 6 villages maintain and build. I am disappointed at the lack of follow up regarding having a sidewalk policy and want to work with the Town Board in developing a sidewalk policy. I believe that the Town Board should devote some time to this issue in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

There are legal requirements -- please stop ignoring them. Yes sometimes the villages have a benefit (they get their own mortgage recording tax and a share of the towns) and sometimes a burden. That is how NYS law works. Please stop ignoring the the law - it will only come back to bite all taxpayers in the future.

Safety is important.

Herb Rosenberg said...

At the time of the big discussion following the receipt of the Comptroller's opinion, there was agreement by representatives of the villages and of unincorporated Greenburgh (including Michelle McNally and Bob Bernstein) that the proper way to proceed was under the Suburban Town Law rather than a sidewalk district. Why wasn't anything done? Why is this coming up again as though all the discussion has evaporated and nothing was agreed on. Don't you remember, Paul? If not, I am reminding you.

Take the appropriate action under the Suburban Town Law and get it over with.

hal samis said...

Dear Mourning for Flicka,

Since it is such a simple problem, why are we still awaiting salvation
when the Town Council, as you note, held their hearing last June.

We are still waiting for the Town Council's version of the Fund Balance policy.

Does assistant Kaminer need an assistant?

Or are some of these problems not the fault of the Supervisor and not so easily solved either. As we're still also waiting, months later, the Court rulings on I and II, perhaps everything is not the black or white, slam dunk that on-line nameless residents have postulated.

Maybe some of today's problems still exist because not only do they pre-date Feiner but also because existing and in place, have made it harder to redress.

I think that bloggers know full well what they are doing when they switch to phrases like "the town" instead of their usual finger at Feiner as the "subject" of the sentence. In other words, the code is when a blogger writes "the town" he is referring to a pre-Feiner condition; when a blogger writes "Feiner" he is discussing an action occurring during Feiner's terms of office.

Not recognizing the code, one would assume that Feiner is responsible for everything that ever happened.

"Bark, bark" said the pit-bull.
In dog code, this means you're sniffing the wrong tree.

Paul Feiner said...

Thanks Herb for your comments about the suburban law. I hope that we will see some movement on the sidewalk policy in 2007. PAUL

Anonymous said...

I have my FIOS service and am very happy with it. Glad to dump cablevision.

Anonymous said...

Herb Rosenberg makes a good point. The Town Council should get off their you know what and take some action on the sidewalk policy.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Town Board had already approved a sidewalk policy. Wasn't there an article in the Inquirer last year quoting all the Councilmembers?

hal samis said...

You hit the nail on the head.
Lot's of talk from the Town Council.
No action.

You'll probably read in the Inquirer Friday how the Town Board passed a Resolution (tomorrow's meeting) for the US to continue aid to Darfur.
Lot's of talk.
No action required.
But don't you feel good!

Or would you prefer a sidewalk?
Or would you prefer your garbage picked up?

Maybe Mr. Bass' campaign manager can be convinced that these are things that not only can be accomplished but can be accomplished by the Town Board.

If he can take a minute away from telling Washington and the United Nations what to do.

God knows the whole sorry matter rests on having Greenburgh weigh in.

Anonymous said...

The entire Town should have sidewalks.How many fatalities have to occur? before we realize that the 21st century has come to Greenburgh.
Some morning take a look at where the school children have to stand waiting for a school bus.

Anonymous said...

The entire Town should have sidewalks.How many fatalities have to occur? before we realize that the 21st century has come to Greenburgh.
Some morning take a look at where the school children have to stand waiting for a school bus.

Anonymous said...

The Town Council will never vote on a sidewalk policy because they are afraid to make a difficult decision.

hal samis said...

Nonesense 9:40!
They're just very, very busy.

The Town Council spends countless hours conferring amongst themselves re meeting and interviewing outside legal counsel or xeroxing documents for delivery to them; all this effort for the sole purpose of building a better mousetrap to catch the Supervisor.

Which is the reason, so many papers and files can't be located by the Town Clerk's office to comply with resident FOIL requests: they're all in the ops center of this mission, Kaminer's office.

With the Ridge Hill legal battle, at least there were deep pockets to reimburse legal fees. With the Town Council, their leitmotif is "damn the expense, find more torpedos".