Thursday, March 22, 2007

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE MEETINGS SHOULD BE TELEVISED

The Town Board recently appointed members of a Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee to review land use issues and to help oversee the comprehensive plan that is being drafted. I am urging the committee to televise their meetings and to provide residents with the opportunity to phone in (dial democracy) during portions of their meetings.
I am also asking the Town Board to stream Town Board meetings live on the internet - so that residents who are out of town during Town Board meetings can watch meetings and call in live.
It's important that our government be open.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

SHEEHAN IS IN CHARGE OF THIS STUDY,IT WILL BE A TOTAL DISASTER.WHY IS IT THAT PEOPLE CAN NOT SEE HOW OVERPOWERING HE IS ?HE WILL LET YOU BELIEVE WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE. HE WILL SELL ALL OF US DOWN THE RIVER.

Anonymous said...

To what end? And would it be worse than what we have now?

Anonymous said...

Worse you better believe it. Just look back at all the town meetings, what was accomplished.NADDA.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan does not even comprehend what his existing position is,on the town board.Why did someone elect him to be in charge of this study. what a mistake.

Sheehan The CEO said...

Sheehan has a need to control everything he involves himself in. Does anyone remember the shambles he made of the investigation a dozen years ago into consolidating the fire departments? Sheehan ran that group right into the ground. Committee members dropped out due the fact that Sheehan kept expanding the powers of the committee and it was all leading nowhere. After three years of accomplishing nothing, Sheehan finally handed in a study of some consolidation that was done in the State of Washington! Sheehan is a case study in management failure.

neither feiner nor sheehan said...

The study is a good idea. However, the Greenburgh attitude towards studies is decidedly Mayberryesque - "Let's get someone to volunteer!" An excellent suggestion for a town with a population of, say, 40,000. An idea doomed to fail in Westchester's largest town. Greenburgh has the population and complexity of a modestly sized city - and doing the job right requires a level of professional expertise that we should expect to pay to receive. We need to grow up and stop acting like we're some semi-rural small town. We're big and filled with promise - why not act like it?

Anonymous said...

"Form a committee!"
"Get volunteers!"
"Find a kid to do it"
"Let's put on a show!"
Amateurs teach amateurs to be amateurs. I agree Greenburgh has outgrown Mickey Rooney - now we need to replace him as supervisor.

Anonymous said...

ARE YOU SAYING THAT SHEEHAN SHOULD REPLACE THE SUPERVISOR.YOU REALLY NEED A HEAD DOCTOR,SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU BRAINS.

Observer said...

Dear Anonymous at 12:17
Ya know, as a simple matter of netiquette, one ought not to write EVERYTHING IN CAPITALS because it looks like you are shouting. Well, perhaps you are, and it might be because having nothing to say you think we'll all be frightened if you say it loudly...
I didn't identify the Supervisor - you did. Actually I was thinking of the whole gang of five who couldn't find the floor without help. Of course if you think the Supervisor is guiltier than the rest, you are entitled to your opinion.

Anonymous said...

The supervisor is trying his best to work with what he's got,and that is nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hey Samis, you should be the one to be in charge of this study. You seem to know more about realestate than you know who. Here we go again,with another failure.Samis help.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan said this study will take 2 1/2 years. Ha Ha Ha. He took three years just to study the fire departments and couldn't even come up with his own report.

hal samis said...

Dear 3:25,

Thanks for the vote of confidence but my idea of comprehensive plan is that we don't need one. If the need is to cure a townwide situation that changes over time,
then the time portal has closed.
What is left to develop is decidedly on the near bottom of the bell curve. There just isn't that much land left while it assumes that every parcel remaining will be developed.

My overall view is that of preserving property rights. If someone owns or acquires a piece of property and the zoning changes, then the property is protected for that owner and one subsequent owner as "grandfathered".

If a municipality wants to change and downzone someone's investment, they can try the path of eminent domain but they have to make a case.

Down zoning follows from the haves already having and not wanting to allow anyone else to participate.
Thus if someone owns an undeveloped parcel on a block, the neighbors have been "benefitting" or freeloading while the owner pays the taxes for their enjoyment. As soon as the owner wants to reap the reward for his investment and taxes, or to harvest the rewards for his heirs, the neighbors suddenly view that land as their personal greenspace and unleash the processes to block development. No one offers to offer the owner the profit potential to keep it as green; they just want to block the development or sale tied to potential development.

The Comprehensive Plan is the scheme of the few who own little property themselves but want to exercise control over the fate of those who do.

There isn't much that needs the total Comprehensive Plan treatment. The procedure is very costly, takes a lot of time and its shelf life starts eroding as soon as it is complete and published.

Consider the joke before the Town already in the form of studying Central Avenue, a State road with a County-owned busline operating along its frontage. Few parcels remain for development and the idea of consolidating parcels and/or changing the present use is limited by the reality that most of the lots are not very deep. After the study is completed, does anyone think that stores will immediately be rented and fine-tuned to the unique needs of local shoppers who say they don't like the idea of regional shopping (or traffic on Central Avenue) venues...just ask them as they park their cars in these very places. The mom and pops are over and the soft goods chains won't touch Greenburgh Central Avenue. What does anyone expect to learn?

Furthermore, Greenburgh is not a community which is going to be beset with major development such as planning for an airport, a large university, a gambling casino/resort. The won't be any changes arising from closing an army base. There are no large factories that need saving to maintain the labor force. The major roads are not under Greenburgh administration. There will be no new railroad lines and there will be no new east-west thorofares. The Tappan Zee Bridge resolution will be commence years after the Comprehensive Plan is printed. There will not be any new elementary schools built and there is no commercial space to build another large shopping center. In short, Greenburgh is mostly a mature community with residential potential perhaps limited to under 5,000 units townwide and 575 rear decks to be expanded. The only place to build is up and I'm betting that the Committee as proposed already have that answer in mind.

Whether a store sign is five feet or six feet high, whether a residential driveway is on the right sight of the property or the left, these are not the factors arguing for such a major project which only feeds the pockets of the same group of consultants.

Historic Preservation is another artifice which finds a home in the rallying call for Comprehensive Plans. You want it? Historic Preservation is simple enough. Just raise money and buy the damn parcel.

What the Comprehensive Plan is really about is to entrench the power base of certain individuals and civic associations in the tapestry which is perceived and promoted by them as for the greater good.

And just a few years ago these same characters tried this show out but only as dinner theater. At the time they called it a Comprehensive Plan but since that wouldn't sell new tickets so soon after the original closed, theyve' renamed the original as merely a steep slopes and wetland rehearsal. And we've had a few specialty acts along the way, McMansion regulation, Hartsdale Business District provisos and a brief fling with cluster development. However none of these count unless they are done during the creation of a Comprehensive Plan. But keep in mind that it is mostly the same cast as the previous editions.

Meanwhile, let me remind residents of the reality of how the Comprehensive Plan becomes simply another empty rescue boat fleeing the sinking ship (of state). Left on board are the residents at large who find the little daily things postponed indefinitely while the bigwigs pose in front of the media attention.

Should a community which cannot resolve small but troublesome quality of life issues have the need to leap onto the broader and more infinite vastness of a Comprehensive (think what the word means, it is not supposed to be a cut and paste job) Plan when it leaves undone sidewalk construction and maintenance, snow removal, on-street winter parking, tree-cutting laws, an out-of-control Library expansion, a basic disagreement over what part of town pays for what and a battle for control of town hall.

Thus I ask, does the timing seem to be right for the expense and distraction of a Comprehensive Plan. I say no.

If this were a magic act, which it is not, the Comprehensive Plan is just the deflection that the magician uses to divert your attention away while he performs his slight of hand. There is no need for a Comprehensive Plan now other than to shift attention away from the problems at hand. Looking to find new problems is just the way to get the same faces in the spotlight and with the same results. Business as usual in Dogpatch USA.

Anonymous said...

Paul as usual Sheehan is only trying to please the Edgemont civic association.We do not need this study. Mr.Samis explained this study from one end to another.Pros and cons. Why is it that Sheenan and company bow down to Edgemont. Is there something going on ? If you dont believe SAmis, talk to other real estate persons.

Televise Feiner's's taking $ said...

Lets televise when Mr. Feiner receives a campaign check from a developer or an agent of someone with an application pending before the town or a town board.

Anonymous said...

Enough,with Feiner's receiving campaign checks.I recall that someone else on the board took a check from a Edgemont civic leader. Did you forget about that one?

Anonymous said...

Yes, didn't a $500 check from Michelle McNally's husband cause Mr. Bass to change his vote?

Anonymous said...

Right on. So you could easily see what goes on between the town councils and Edgemont Civic assoc.this seems to be alright,no ethics committee,because of where the check came from,and what was the reasoning behind this payoff.What ever Edgemont does is Ok.Wrong.

Not feiner but really foul said...

The slandering of Edgemont is too easy for you and your friends Mr Feiner. Along with Goebbels you subscribe to the theory of the BIG lie. Pander to the creeps and racists (of all colors) and play upon the fears of old people - much more your style than admitting you took a check from a charity (violating Federal law, not some piddling local ethics rule). Don't tell anyone about how you got your apartment (Thank you Mr. Ginsburg) or why you continue to live on Fox Meadow Road...

Anonymous said...

What's your concern as to where and how Feiner got his home. I think his money is the same color as yours.

Not Feiner but really foul said...

If Mr Feiner received, at below market rate, a "sponsor's unit" from Mr Ginsburg it most certainly should be your concern too. It's called GRAFT and in a Town as corrupt as Greenburgh, the rot starts at the top.
Constituent service is wonderful -accepting a freebie from the largest developer in Town is ILLEGAL!

Anonymous said...

Why not televise all Town activities and instead of Town officials pocketing checks for their re-election campaigns, require those with business in front of whatever Board, Commission, Study, Committee or other decision-making body to purchase the airtime?
Speeches and "presentations" would become exercises in concise ideas and well-chosen words. Precision thinking with a real return on investment! What a concept! No more half-baked plans to have "someone do something" filling the air. Instead, we would be able to reduce taxes because the budgets of the various organs of Town government would be self-funding.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah - I fortgot to mention that we would be unlikely to hear the dulcet tones of Samis, Garfunkel, Seigal, Bernstein, Preiser or O'Shea on any but the most important issues.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention that we would be unlikely to hear the dulcet tones of Samis, Garfunkel, Seigal, Bernstein, Preiser or O'Shea on any but the most important issues.

Anonymous said...

It's on the record how much Feiner paid for his condo.Mr Ginsburg charged him the same amount of money as the others. How dare you insult a business man like Ginsburg. Get your head on straight.Business is business .

Anonymous said...

Actually the Town GIS link to documents shows that particular document is not available. Wasn't available when the question came up at the time Feiner moved in; wasn't available when the question came up during the last campaign; isn't available now. Open government?

Anonymous said...

I dont know if the GIS links are dispositive, but I am livid that there are so many errors and omissions in the GIS/Town Mapping system.

Paul and his good friend Iagello insist that the system is 100% accurate, when it clearly isn't. The last problem was when the town maps had the Dromore property wrong.

We need professional management and less politics.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

With Sheehan we get neither, just Dictatorship!