Monday, March 26, 2007

GREENBURGH DEMOCRACY- week of March 26th--POST YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT TOWN ISSUES

(Please feel free to post your comments about town issues on this blog. Your input is appreciated.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

With such nice weather for the rest of this week, perhaps the DPW will do a major clean-up of Central Park Avenue between the Yonkers border and just north of Arsdley Road. It's all such an embarassing entrance into Greenburgh - the median strips and the wooded area across from Midway Shopping Center.

As the median strips, in particular, haven't been swept or weeded in over two years (at least), perhaps this week provides a great opportunity to handle this matter. It's not a complicated task at all - a weedwacker, push-brooms, rakes, street sweeper - but it will be somewhat time consuming if done properly since it's been neglected for so long, despite previous requests.

Thank you for your consideration.

P.S. The median strips at the intersection of Mount Joy Avenue and Central Park Avenue are looking pretty nasty, too, due to a few years of basic maintenance negligence.

Anonymous said...

People should stop posting entire newspaper articles to the blog - this breaks copyright law. Just put a link to the article.

Elmo said...

Greenburgh Town shocker

It was all over the place, in local newspapers and on the TV. The incident that some Greenburgh High School kids (Central 7) beat up another kid so badly that one of his legs was broken in two places. What is more concerning was that the leading thug in this case, also a student of the Greenbugh High School had just returned from jail from a previous criminal incident and the school welcomed him back. Now a number of decent citizens are saying that they may want to take their kids out of the school and even leave the town of Greenburgh. If this trend happens, the more decent and wealthier individuals will leave the town and over time, the property tax base of Greenburgh will decline.

While such incidents are unavoidable, the Town should now step in and try to do something. Perhaps, counseling programs should initiate so that schoolchildren learn to settle disputes through dialog and not by giving another student a thrashing. Perhaps, counselors in schools who could listen to two sides of a story and act like a student court. Students could be encouraged to act like jurors in a court of law. It will also make them feel responsible.

In another incident, one kid has written racial slurs on the pages of another child’s books. Now the High School has a large mix of African-Americans and from more recently some Hispanics as well. Children must expose to racial tolerance as part of their curriculum on civic behavior. How can a child blame for his or her accidental birth to a race that he or she did not choose.

The other scary thing is that such incidents can lead to the loss of property values in the Town of Greenburgh.

John said...

What is all this rigmarole that blacks can't swim. Today the fastest short distance swimmer in the USA is black. People should watch the movie Pride soon to come out. As Philadelphia did, Greenburgh should encourage black children to swim and show the rest of the USA that black kids can swim. It is high time that some black leaders take the initiative to do something for blacks instead of using history as an excuse.

Anonymous said...

Woodlands is a discrace. Just curious how many Hartsdale residents have to sent their kids to private school or even pay to go to other public schools. Im sure it got to be over 70%.

Elmo said...

There are many young families in Greenburgh who send their kids to private schools. That is a real pity cause the school tax is purely for that purpose, to provide a good public education. There is rumor that many kids at Woodlands are not from Greenburgh but from other towns but staying with some relative and attending this school; some scams some think.

Anonymous said...

Why won't the Town Board approve the job training program and SAT camp that Sonja Brown proposed last year? These kinds of programs could help keep our kids off the streets and will give our children opportunities. This is the kind of program Woodlands needs.

Anonymous said...

The children should have every oppportunity to learn diffrent skills.WHY THE FOUR MEMBERS OF THE TOWN BOARD REFUSE TO GO ALONG WITH FEINER,is because he is in favor of the plan.If Feiner was against the plan the four would have voted for it a long time ago.The people of Greenburgh,are getting tired the constant fighting for the wrong thing.Since Sheehan was elected the situation got worse.He wants to rule the universe.I wish the young lady luck ,since she worked so hard on this plan,keep trying .When you come before the board don't be so nice.MAKE YOUR DEMANDS HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR.

Anonymous said...

Sonya Brown came forward with a very expensive proposal for an SAT "camp" -- costing far more than any Princeton Review course --that may have guaranteed Ms. Brown a healthy salary at town expense for the summer, but which would have served very few kids.

Her plan was also marred by sending out letters to parents of children from only one of the town's ten school districts -- Central 7 -- telling them that they if they showed up for a Feiner-sponsored rally supporting the "camp," they'd get first dibs on getting in.

The end result was that even though an educational program such as this should by law be open to children of all town residents, including children from the villages, it became clear that this was a program intended only for children from the Central 7 school district.

It also became clear that Feiner wanted the entire town or at least the unincorporated areas to pay for it. (Feiner took both positions)

Residents understandably wondered why, if Ms. Brown's "program" was so important for Central 7 students, why the Central 7 school district didn't itself decide to sponsor it, and why, if the school district wasn't endorsing it, or even asking the town to endorse it, why Feiner wanted the town to get into the education business and use town tax dollars to subsidize a school district.

Residents understandably wondered whether this was just another attempt by Feiner to pander to a constituency.

Of course, the state comptroller has aleady admonished Feiner for illegally funneling millions of town tax dollars to the Valhalla School District, so this is nothing new for Feiner.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Young Kaminer was not instructed by his boss to threaten Ms. Brown so that the whole public disclosure and the corresponding anoymous Town Board responders don't have to spend their time making excuses for their behavior.

Anonymous said...

We already waste enough money on Greenburgh Central #7, we pay the highest per student ratio in the state!!!!!!!!!! Let the schools educate the kids and let the parents pay for it! People are always looking for things for free.
We alredy waste town money on a school resource officer.

Anonymous said...

The SAT camp would have offered low income students the chance to excel, to better themselves.

Anonymous said...

"The SAT camp would have offered low income students the chance to excel, to better themselves."

Perhaps. But as was previously decided, this is a topic for the school district, not the township.

Anonymous said...

How come anonymous does not complain about the police summer youth camp sponsored by the police dept? That is educational too.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, springtime... time for ridiculously loud motorcycles to roar down our streets. I really can't think of a more selfish act... I'd love to see a police operation with sound meters ticketing them. Do we have a noise ordinance in Greenburgh like in NYC?

DRW said...

To anonymous at 9:28pm:
The Central #7 taxes, ironically, are low for the area (except for White Plains, all the surrounding districts pay much more). In fact, Greenburgh is very appealing to childless adults who want a nice house and decent commute with relatively low taxes. The reason the per/student school tax rates are so high in Greenburgh are because relative to typical "suburbs" so few unincorporated Greenburgh residents have children or, if they do, a very high proportion is sent to private schools. Just look at the population numbers: unincorporated Greenburgh is slightly more populous than Scarsdale, but Central 7's class sizes are less than 1/2 the size of Scarsdale.

Anonymous said...

You are right, that Gburgh 7 homes are appealing to residents with no children or who want to sent to private school Some people who send their children to Solomon Schechter woudl do that no matter how good the schools are.

I disagree as to cost though. The cost per student is high. Why is that? It could be becuase many children require expensive special services. It could becasue there are too many admin people.

Michael Kolesar said...

Tried to call in to comment about sidewalks, but the telephone number isn't working.

Anonymous said...

You have to be crazy to send your children to the schools here in Greenburgh.

The school district acts as a contraceptive. No kids...no worry !!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul - Wheres the Bullet Proof Glass for the Front desk area at Police HQ's ?????? If I remenber correct, You promised it 2 years ago....wonder what the cost will be now ???? (sound familiar ?)

Going to be a shame when a nut walks into Police HQ's and injures or kills a cop and the Town gets sued for millions for lack of security and poor planning on the purchase of an already approved item........

Anonymous said...

The money for the glass is being wasted on training the cops to be firemen

Anonymous said...

We really don't need to have the circus come entertain us in Greenburgh -- we have the televised Town Board meetings to do that for us.
The meetings are getting nastier, and Mr. Sheehan is getting shriller. He glares at speakers, refuses to make eye contact with the supervisor, and has his personal aide at taxpayers' expense, Mr. Kaminer, whispering in his ear during the meetings. From a viewer's standpoint, it looks like the Army McCarthy hearings. But then he has the gall to question Feiner about his motives? Why does the Town Board (Mr. Sheehan, actually) need a $60,000 aide? Why do the taxpayers in Greenburgh put up with this nonsense? It's the worst display of public servitude this town has ever seen.
Sheehan accuses others of playing politics, when it's abundantly clear that he's the real politician here, the Boss Tweed of Greenburgh. He's named himself chair of a zoning board review committee, and bristles when he's questioned about it. If he's challenged, he accuses his challengers of politics.
When are the other three members of the council going to wake up and realize that aligning yourself with Mr. Sheehan could be a serious liab ility? How many enemies can one person make in such a short period of time?

hal samis said...

Dear Greenburgh,

OK I am blog addicted. Sitting at my keyboard with milk and cookies and thinking back on the Town Board meeting which I've just returned from, these comments require venting. Stop reading now those of you who know they are going to disagree and won't be happy with what I've posted.

First off, the Town Board's rules on speaking limits during Public Comment (5 minutes; this is not to be confused with Public Hearings or Public Discussions) again went out the window. Even though I was not allowed to have more than 5 minutes (Public Comment), others were and it was a better meeting for having these dialogues between the Residents and the Town Board. It should be the rule rather than the exception.

Now for the hard details. Al Regula gave his Library Report and sure enough there were lies, fabrications and deflections. To repeat my comments (during the Public Comment after all, it was just a Library "Report"). The Geothermal Drilling contract (unsigned by the vendor) is dead. The original bidding package included the Town's Contract. The successful bidder altered this contract (all bidders have to respond by the same contract) and thus the Supervisor was advised not to sign with the changes. The contract was resubmitted to the winner without his winner's changes. The winning bidder, however, has not signed the contract. It has been over 3 months since the award. The contract needs to be rebid. That is just regarding the original drilling specs but we know that they are no longer planning to go with the original drilling plan. It has changed grossly to avoid obtaining drilling permits. This by itself is reason to rebid. But Al Regala doesn't want to admit this so he answers that the Architect and the Construction Manager have to decide what next to do but they haven't yet. In early November the "team" was caught and had to acknowledge that they hadn't even applied for drilling permits. And by February came up with a new plan so as not to have to apply for them. Of course this is after the bidding (package sent out to bidder in early fall even though they knew that there were no drilling permits but don't worry the Architect is an expert on geothermal).
The Library Board/Town Council by way of Al Regula would have the public believe the project may be behind schedule but if so it was because, a year ago, they had to appear before the Zoning and Planning Boards for two months. During that two month exercise, nothing was done regarding a place to move to during construction and nothing was done regarding obtaining the drilling permits. But everything is ok.
The Construction Manager who gets enriched every month they stay employed is really responsible for the delays; that is why they are called the Construction MANAGER. Their original $612,000 fee which became $680,000 but ends this November. Thereafter they get an additional $21,000 a month. In the revised budget of 12/5/06 this shows an allocation of $21,000 which is their payment for December 2007. At that meeting they agreed not to charge for Jan/Feb/March 2008. The construction period is supposed to last two years which would end December 2008 (ground breaking was January 2007). Thus following March is April-December 2008 or 9 months times $21,000 or, an additional $189,000 for which there is no funding left in the budget. Where is this coming from? And, the written agreement that they promised in December? Still not produced. Ms Barnes says don't worry they'll sign. It has been three months Ms. Barnes, three months of reminders. No problem says Mr. Regula. Feiner asks, won't the new geothermal plan affect the work done by the other contractors? Regula answers the geothermal drilling doesn't have to begin immediately. He says "it won't invalidate the other contracts". No, but but what he doesn't say is that if the drilling scheme falls apart it will cause change orders in the other contracts which will cost money and, if in a worst case scenario, they have to return to conventional HVAC, the project may go down the tubes. But you won't get a glimmer of a problem from Mr. Regula. Regula is the fall guy for the Town Council because they can always say that Al said this and Al said that.
But not only does the Library budget no longer have any money to pay the Triton obligation, it already also doesn't have the funds to buy furniture or technology or what was portrayed as costing $1,165,000 in the original budget. The Library hopes the Library Foundation can raise this money. But the project is not over budget. Have I made my points clear yet? Does no one on the Town Board beside the Supervisor care? Can anyone contradict my statements. Generally this results is the pit bull response or Feiner campaign contributions. Ok, final Library point. Last meeting I questioned the $310,000 repairs and maintenance line in the 2007 Library operating budget, reduced by $1000 from 2006. Or in other words, without having a Library, they are only spending $1,000 less than the year there was a Library building. This is deep Al Regula territory. So after I brought this up then (during the 5 minute Public Comment) Regula responded (knowing I would not be allowed to challenge because Town Board rules don't allow rebuttals except for tonight) and here's his story. The Library in Town Hall requires additional maintenance so some of the $310,000 will be spent on paying its share. The Library in Town Hall occupies the former cafeteria, the upstairs former training room and a circulation desk in the lobby. Before it was a Library these spaces were a cafeteria and one would think it too needed to be cleaned. Before it was the children's room it was a training room and this too had to be vacuumed and garbage pails emptied.
Before it was a circulation desk it was part of the building lobby at the front door entrance. People going anywhere in Town Hall had to pass through the lobby. Mr. Regula also cites increased usage of the elevators to get to the children's room on the second floor. So how much do you think would be needed from the allocated $310,000 of the Library 2007 maintenance line to apply that to the Town Hall maintenance? Just so the Library is paying its fair share? Ignore that the Library is the Town's guest. First, two facts to consider. The old Library was 22,000 square feet. Town Hall is 46,000 feet, the same size as the to-be-completed Library. Ok, knowing this what's your guess?
Oh, one thing you didn't know, the maintenance for the entire Town Hall (including six months occupancy from the Credit Union, think increased elevator usage and cleaning for their space) for 2006 was $321,000. Budgeted for 2007 is $334,000, a fair $13,000 increase allowing for higher wages, etc. So again, how much of the Library's $310,000 should be used to reduce the entire Town Hall maintenance expense of $334,000? I think $1 is a lot closer than $310,000. They just won't admit that they have erred, even though I raised the matter before they voted to approve the 2007 budget. It is your tax dollars and the common element to seeing them go down the toilet is the head of DPW, Al Regula. Anyone have any ideas on why he leads such a charmed life as a Department Head. He was in charge of the infamous sanitation truck garage construction, the over-budget multi-purpose center construction and not everyone is so very happy about their garbage pick-up. Seems like he would be the obvious candidate to be the point man on the $30 million Library expansion. At least to the Town Council. Meanwhile the Supervisor, not being a Professional Town Manager, has argued for an independent Project Manager.

Moving on to the evening's big event. Again, Al Regula on hand to lend support. The topic: sidewalks. Last year the Supervisor proposed a sidewalk policy (remember the A/B budget issues of who pays, remember who is responsible for maintaining them, remember where do they get built) and his proposed policy was roundly booed by the Town Council which then set about to create its own Sidewalk policy. Not such an easy matter after all. So tonight, eight months after the Supervisor struck out (and two years since residents including Mr. Bernstein began demanding them) the Town Council unveiled part one of their terrific work. They decided that sidewalks should be build for reasons of (drum roll) safety. They had renditions of the town streets done in-house (informing us that they were conscious of saving the taxpayers money) which showed where the existing sidewalks are located. Of course they problem is not where the existing sidewalks are; it is where they AREN'T. And it seems that Central Avenue and Tarrytown Road have gaps between the existing sidewalks. Thus the first effort would be made to fill in these gaps (watch the videotape) and then the NEXT phase would be schools etc. Apparently the Police Department has been looking carefully into where sidewalks are needed and Chief Kapica becomes very emotional when he thinks the Department is being attacked (which it was not, only the Town Council). You see, as Mr. Sheehan put it, Feiner's proposal lacked data, a list of what streets, etc.
So what did the Town Council have to show for their own 8 months of travail with Mr. Kaminer's help? The drawings of where the sidewalks are, the concept that safety should be the main concern but they had no list of what streets to do first. Yet most people at the meeting thought that the Town Council had done a great job. Count me out. Again if you doubt me and doubt the videotape, ask the Town Council for their list of which streets to start with...other than Central Avenue and Tarrytown Road "gaps" which they have no substantiation supporting the assu,ption they are needed.

Then we have a longish period in which the residents of a recently sold Housing project came to protest some recent events. It is likely that they have cause for concern but their issues were very "interesting" to the Town Board and they allowed these residents to speak for far more than the five minutes, multiple times and in tandem. Watch it on viedotape. I don't have a problem with the Town Board response, only that they disregard their own meeting rules when it serves their needs.

Then we get to another longish discussion of a draft proposal of laws to be forward to the new ethics board. Don Siegel at the podium was allowed to speak for longer than 5 minutes; he was allowed to engage in a dialogue with the Town Council; all the things that the Town Board won't do when, for example, the Library is brought up. The Town Council (that would be Bass, Democrat from Hartsdale running for re-election; Barnes, Democrat from Edgemont running for re-election; Juettner, Democrat from the Villages and Sheehan, Democrat from Hartsdale) wants to give the impression that they are proposing really tough laws. I have two thoughts: 1) the new Ethics Board should write its own laws and the Town Board should ratify them and 2) any Town Official or Candidate for office should be FAMILIAR with the laws on accepting campaign contributions. (Please we have to start somewhere and go forward so those of you who don't read my "screeds" don't have to revisit the whole sorry contribution story concerning SEVERAL members of the Town Board) That understanding should be a condition of accepting or running for office. The onus is not upon someone who makes the contribution. This is America and supporting candidates is a given right. The onus should be on those who accept them. Accepting a check is ok but depositing it may not. Rushing to the bank is no longer the thing to do. If you accept money, before depositing it, take a day or two to consider whether you want to accept it and what the ramifications may be. Consider what business the giver is in. Consider do they have any current or upcoming business before the Town. Think about any potential conflicts, real or perceived, that could be of interest. After this reflection, deposit or return it. If you're not smart enough to choose wisely, you're not smart enough for the office. But if you're wrong, if you get caught, it will no longer be enough just to return the money. Tough ethics laws will raise the ante. If you wrongfully accept $100, then you must return $100 and pay a fine of say $400 to the Town as a penalty.
This will make the giftee more responsible and it will also have an effect on the giver. Under the old game, if the contribution had to be returned, willingly or otherwise, the gifter got credit in the candidate's mind: "So and so was willing to make a contribtuion but it had to be returned. Gee, I'm not going to blame him but it sure was nice of him to want to give me money." Now if the candidate keeps the money and gets caught, it will cost the candidate and the remembered impression of the gift may not be so positive.

Then toward the end of the night, we had the voting for the Comprehensive Plan Committee. Mr. Sheehan, whose motion this was, made himself Chair of the Committee which gives him lots of public exposure over the next two plus years. Feiner wanted to hold the slot open for the Chair of the Zoning Board. What followed was a childish exchange by both Feiner and Sheehan. What should have occurred is that the committee members be accpeted and then this committee elect its own Chair. The result probably would have been the same but Mr. Sheehan has got to be in control. And for those who were wondering how the Michelle McNally on the committee, off the committee issue would end, Friends of Steve Bass relax, Ms McNally is now on the committee. Thus, Edgemont's selfish interests will be heard.

A few final business matters and the evening ended. A typical night in Dogpatch USA.

Anonymous said...

Right on Hal. Sheehan has to suck up to Michelle because he needs the Edgemont money for his campaign chest. Sheehan has managed to aggravate people in many areas of the Town but he will never go against Edgemont. That is where the money is. Last nights meeting should give people pause to think of what a Suzanne Berger victory means to Greenburgh. If she has endorsed Sheehan, campaigned for him and given him $1,000 then a Suzanne victory means TOTAL CONSOLIDATION OF POWER for Frances. We might as well hold a coronation ceremony next January and name him Sir Frances 1st Emperor of Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan,last nights meeting was a circus and YOU WERE THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES.

Anonymous said...

As far as the comprehensive study,the head of zoning board should have spearheaded the investigation.But, as we all know everyone on the town board should step down and give Sheehan the power and glory that he is seeking.The way he runs the show we do not need the rest of you.

Anonymous said...

O SHEEHAN SHUT UP.WE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU .

Anonymous said...

Siegel lied last night when he said Suzanne Berger gave Sheehan $1,000. He just made it up.

Sheehan's financial contributions are a matter of public record. Berger contributed $250 as chair of the Greenburgh Democratic Party.

By contrast, Feiner has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from developers, lawyers and professional consultants all with active applications pending before the town.

When asked in 2004 to return the money, Feiner refused. When residents complained, he said he'd stop taking money from the applicants themselves.

But that didn't stop him from continuing to accept money from their lawyers and professional consultants who, unlike the applicants themselves, actually come directly before the town board to make their pitches.

Can you imagine what village residents would do if they found out their mayors and trustees were doing this sort of thing -- and getting away with it?

Anonymous said...

Sheehan received a campaign donation from Berger. He then rewards Bergers law firm with a big contract. He now is fighting an ethics reform that would ban contractors like Bergers firm from donating to candidates.
PAYOLA? The town is giving Berger's law firm big bucks to represent the town. The law firm will be able to pay the councilmembers who voted for the contract back. This stinks!

hal samis said...

Would the anonymous blogger at 7:03 be the famous Mr. Sheehan?

Remember "What's My Line"...
"Would tonight's mystery guest please sign in and take a seat."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:23 is probably Feiner.

He is desperately trying to use the Berger donation as a smokescreen to cover up his corrupt practice of taking thousands of dollars from developers with active applications before the town.

Feiner's charge is ridiculous on its face. Berger gave Sheehan $250 in 2005 and two years later, in 2007, following a bidding process in which five law firms participated, the Town Board voted to give firm Berger works for the engagement.

The Town Board's vote was based on the unanimous recommendation of the town attorney and the town's planning department, which had worked well with that firm for the past ten years on the Avalon project.

Hopefully the Ethics Board will look into this matter and clear the air once and for all.

The problem here is Feiner. It begins and ends with him and the damage he's done.

Anonymous said...

The Berger/Sheehan ethics issue is legitimate. I hope the Ethics Board takes up our concerns. Francis Sheehan is working hard to prevent the new ethics legislation from covering contractors who receive business from the town. Shame, shame, shame. Sleeze, sleeze, sleeze.
The Berger donation on its face is politics. An ethics code that does not cover contractors is shameful.

No, it's a smokescreen said...

Anonymous at 8:18 is probably Feiner again.

Feiner knew that there were several law firms vying for appointment by the town, he knew that the town attorney and town planning department unanimously recommended the firm Berger works for, and yet Feiner never bothered to interview any of the other firms to see if, contrary to what the town staff was saying, any of these other firms were better.

This shows Feiner is playing politics with this ethics charge. It's baseless and he knows it.

What's truly sleazy though is the business Feiner's running whereby he takes thousands of dollars from developers with active applications pending, and then acts as their private lobbyists with community groups trying to get their support.

That's what he did with Madison Square Garden and their request for a heliport; that's what he did with Shell Hydrogen and their request to open a station in Edgemont; and that's what he's doing with this new supermarket being proposed for Route 9A.

There's probably no politician in all of Westchester County other than Feiner brazenly engages in that kind of sleazy corrupt behavior.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan's background needs to be investigated more thoroughly. Up to what year was he a Republican?
In his statement to the Greenburgh Democrats where he announced his candidacy, Sheehan lists all of his community activities. He noticeably fails to list his Chairmanship of the committee to investigate consolidation of the fire districts. Why? Because this committee was a total failure or did Sheehan not want to inform people of his anti-union stance (Sheehan was in favor of consolidation before the Committee even started. Consolidation would have eliminated union jobs)?
His methods of taking over the Town (keeping the Town Council up to 4:00 A.M. until they gave into his demands) was the most anti-democratic thing to happen to the citizens of Greenburgh. This Sheehan/Berger donation seems to be a clear quid pro quo. This is exactly what happens when a Dictator rises to power. Berger's endorsement and support of Sheehan must be called into question. Does Berger support dictatorship? Does Berger support the scare tactics used against the Valhalla School Superintendent? WIth a Supervisor in complete lock step with Sheehan, what kind of Government will we the people have?

Anonymous said...

Sheehan is not up for re-election this year -- Feiner is -- so why is Feiner working so hard right now to smear him?

Perhaps it's because he knows Sheehan has not only put together a compelling case showing Feiner to be corrupt, divisive and dysfunctional, but lays out the evidence of his lawlessness in such a clear, calm and utterly convincing manner.

Contrast that with Feiner's hysterical stammers these days about a $250 Berger contribution in 2005 and about Sheehan's involvement as a community volunteer in some long-forgotten study more than ten years ago on consolidating fire districts.

Anonymous said...

As Warner Wolf says, let's go to the video tape. I have no recollections of Sheehan objecting to Don Siegel's assertion that he received $1,000 from Berger. In fact, Sheehan repeated the $1,000 figure during his discusions with Siegel. More propaganda from the Sheehan/Kaminer Axis.

Paul Feiner said...

A previous blogger asked about the bullet proof glass at the police HQ. I received an e mail from Police Chief Kapica on Thursday. The chief indicated that "the PBA has indicated that the money that would be expended for this purpose (About $60,000) should be saved and put towards a new facility."

Anonymous said...

Not everyone has forgotten the shambles that Sheehan made out of the Fire District study. For those of us that do remember, we find it hard to believe that he has now taken over the task of the Comprhensive Study! Sheehan is a failed manager who now wants to manage every aspect of Greenburgh. It took him three years of failure before he finially concluded the Fire District Study with issuing no report. He now says he can do a Comprhensive Study of all of Greenburgh in two years. I'm sure Mr. Sheehan must spend his spare time selling bridges in Brooklyn.

hal samis said...

To anonymous at 10:29,

"Sheehan is not up for re-election this year" is correct.

"So why is Feiner trying to smear him?" he asks AND answers.

Whereas the Sheehan re-election statement can be proven, the proposal that Feiner is an anonymous blogger smearing Sheehan cannot.

The author, "anonymous" could very well be Sheehan. Or not. The only way readers would know (not for absolute certainty because there is always the so far undocumented possibility of forgery) would be if bloggers signed their postings.

Again, anonymous is an online license to lie.

Anonymous said...

Feiner supporters love the big lie.

Sheehan's contributions when he ran for council in 2005 are a matter of public record.

Berger gave him the $250 after he won endorsement by the 130 district leaders of the town's Democratic Party who voted at the party's convention.

Just because Sheehan didn't deny something during an angry shouting match when Don Siegel, a Feiner supporter, simply lied about the $1,000, doesn't make it true.

Siegel's gutter tactics are well known.

In 2005, he led the unsuccessful campaign in 2005 to defeat Edgemont's school budget. Among other things he did, Siegel sent a letter to Edgemont residents misrepresenting a number of facts, including facts about teacher salaries.

When Edgemont residents confronted him with the true facts, he refused to issue a retraction.

So determined was he to win that losing battle -- he was thumped by Edgemont residents who came out in historic numbers and voted 9-1 to approve the budget -- the truth meant nothing to him.

Siegel hasn't changed a bit.

Anonymous said...

There goes the civic association smearing one of their own because he tells the truth about who is taking campaign contributions.Edgemont your constant protest about what Feiner does or does not do ,is becoming an epedemic.Funny when two contributions were mentioned at the town meeting,the two receivers admitted it.One received a contribution from an Edgemont person the other from a person who will be trying to govern Greenburgh.Contributions were always made toward a person running for office,so why do a chosen few always say that Feiner is out of order.

Anonymous said...

Tom DeLay was reprimanded by the U.S. House of Representatives for accepting thousands of dollars at a fundraiser from a special interest group with legislation pending before his committee.

DeLay's defense was that the people should trust him.

He was subsequently indicted and thrown out of Congress.

Feiner accepted thousands of dollars at a fundraiser from developers with active applications pending before the town.

What's the difference between what DeLay did and what Feiner did?

SHEEHAN SHOULD ASK FOR AN ETHICS OPINION ON GIVING PARTY BOSS FIRM CONTRACT said...

If Sheehan is so convinced that what he did was ethical why doesn't he ask the Greenburgh Ethics Committee (he appointed the committee!) to rule on what he did?
Sheehan should ask if he should have recused himself from voting for a contract with Suzanne Berger's law firm since he received a contribution from Suzanne.
Sheehan should ask if he should give back his campaign contribution. Seems to me like Sheehan paid Suzanne Berger's firm back for prior support.
Councilwoman Eddie Mae Barnes, who also voted for the contract with Berger's firm, should ask the Ethics Board if she should have recused herself from the vote to give Berger's firm this contract. Barnes wants party support for her re-election campaign. Berger is the head of the party. If Barnes or Sheehan voted no, and if Berger's firm lost the contract don't you think there would have been ramifications?

Anonymous said...

I assume Sheehan will be afraid to ask the ethics board for an opinion. He knows his actions were ethically improper. Berger's firm should not have received a contract from Town Board members after she donated to Sheehan's campaign.
Why doesn't someone else ask for an ethics opinion, if Sheehan won't write the request.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan is sowing the seeds of his own ethical destruction with the new ethics laws. Without question, he will become the target of an ethics probe. If the new Ethics Board has any integrity at all, they will find Sheehan GUILTY!

Anonymous said...

Under the new ethics rules that Sheehan is proposing, any resident can file a complaint with the Ethics Board and get a ruling.

The Ethics Board then gets to conduct a preliminary investigation in order to separate valid claims, like the ones being made against Feiner, and the politically motivated claims that Feiner's supporters are raising in an effort to shift attention away from the truly terrible things that Feiner has done and apparently continues to do.

Anonymous said...

The ethics charges against Sheehan are valid and serious. Suzanne Berger gave Sheehan a contribution. Her law firm was rewarded with a big contract.

Anonymous said...

Feiner clearly can't defend himself against the charges that he's raised his $130,000 campaign warchest by taking money over the years rom developers with applications pending before the town.

So what does he do intead? He attacks Sheehan, who brought the matter up, and accuses him of doing special favors for supervisor candidate Suzanne Berger in 2007 because in 2005, as the town's Democratic chair, she gave him $250.

But as other bloggers have pointed out, there were no special favors given to Ms. Berger in 2007, or at any time. The town's decision last month to hire the law firm she works for was based on a unanimous recommendation from town staff -- and Feiner, who could have interviewed other firms if he had wanted to buck the staff's recommendation, never bothered.

Under these circumstances, there was never an appearance of any impropriety in Berger making that modest $250 conribution to Sheehan in 2004 -- and Feiner knows it.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Sheehan AKA anon 11:31,

The Sheehan/Berger financial contribution must be explored by the newly formed Ethics Committee. I can guarantee you it will as you have included the ability for us citizens to raise ethics issues ourselves in your new legislation. Thank You Frances! You must have thought you were above the law. I can assure you that you are not. You should have recused yourself from voting on the Bereger Contract but did not. How can you possibly state that your staunch supporter Susanne is now not the apple of the eye of all the partners in her law firm for the massive contract that you awarded them? Is this why you are fighting so fiercely to get this type of a donation NOT TO BE included in your new legislation? Frances, you enjoyed making applicants cry when you were on the Zoning Board, you enjoyed bullying people when you got on the Town Board, you had a women threatened by Gil Kaminer (Don't forget Frances, there ARE WITNESSES to Gil's confession), you had Gil leak a Confidential State Comptrollers report to the Jounal News. In short, you are a walking, talking ethics code violation and your convinction will give many in Greenburgh great joy and relief.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan needs to ask the ethics bd if he acted illegally or improperly by giving his friends law firm a big contract without interviews by the Town Council. Berger's firm did not get a small contract. Her firm will make hundreds of thousands of dollars, thanks to Francis Sheehan.

Anonymous said...

How come Feiner didn't interview any of the other law firms that were vying for the job that ultimately went to the law firm where Suzanne Berger works?

How come he didn't ask other Town Board members to conduct interviews with him?

According to the tape, he'd known about these other law firms for months and did nothing!

Two weeks ago he asked the Democratic Town Committee's executive committee for its endorsement.

Coincidence? Or was Feiner, in seeking that endorsement, just as conflicted as he claims Sheehan is?

The answer is that neither of them were. The recommendation to hire that particular firm was made unanimously by the town attorney and the town's planning department and no one on the entire Town Board -- including Feiner -- thought he or she had any reason in the world to second guess their judgment.

Feiner's tactics are beginning to sound desperate. Greenburgh voters are not as dumb as he thinks we are.

Anonymous said...

OH YES THEY ARE!!!
THEY ELECTED EMPEROR SHEEHAN,
WHO HAS DONE NOTHING OTHER THAN
CREATE A MESS & SPEND A LOT OF OUR TAX MONEY ON AN EMPLOYEE, EXPENSIVE OFFICE FURNISHING FOR SAME & A BUNCH OF COMPUTERS FOR HIM & HIS PUPPY TO TAKE HOME!!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice Sheehan, a computer for the fellow who whispers sweet nothings in your ears from time to time .What a nice position he's got.I would like to have a job like that.Whispering is not hard to do. I see that your laptop is gone, tired of hearing the comments,about the messages sent to you by the Whisperer.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan - ask the ethics bd for an opinion. You should have recused yourself. Feiner and Bass did the right thing. They voted against giving Berger's law firm a contract with the town. Sheehan voted for the contract after receiving a donation from Berger. This is the kind of politics that we don't like in Greenburgh. Berger's firm is going to make hundreds of thousands of dollars thanks to you. Bet you that her firm will reward you with big donations in the future. Seems sleezy to me.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what Verizon's schedule for expanding FIOS service is? The town made such a big todo about signing the contract but when it is actually going to be avialable? Some people may have service available, but I dont.

Anonymous said...

Samis says...Feiner says...Jacobs says (or doesn't say)...Triton and Lushington and Juettner and Bass and on and on and on.
Samis makes some excellent arguments - and then fails to follow through to the logical conclusion. After reading the sad story of mismanagement and incompetence and maneuvering for political advantage one is left with only one possible conclusion.
To wit, Greenburgh's affairs, from Library construction to Town Garage construction to Town Hall purchase to Ethics have been ignored by a majority of the residents and have, by default, become the source of livelihood for a varied cast of incompetents and thieves.
Samis has identified the issues and within reasonable parameters has assigned responsibility for the mess. (Though you missed one salient point Hal - once property is declared surplus the prescribed method for disposition is a sealed bid auction. I do not believe the auction would ever have been held, as it would have made the outcome subject to marketplace economic forces, not political influence.) Now, Hal present the solution - a professional Town manager and the relegation of ALL Town Board members to ceremonial and policy setting roles. Removing the operational responsibility for our governance from the lacksidasical, venal, egocentric and corrupt is the starting point. How about it - let's insist that the candidates for Town Supervisor explain how they will move Greenburgh forward towards an efficient, well-managed model of a 21st century town and out of a cute but increasingly disaster prone, Mayberry-esque model of 19th century partisan political bastion.
If you don't think we're still in the 19th century, look at Don Siegal's complaint about Francis Sheehan - $250 to buy a council person's vote? Absurdly cheap - one can barely buy dinner for two with a decent bottle of wine for that amount. At least Feiner holds out for more signficant sums. For example, the $1,000 from the tree murderer in Edgemont only bought Feiner's efforts until other members of the community made it clear that the sum of their $25, $50, and $100 donations exceeded the proffered $1,000. The comment from the deforester was that he didn't mind dealing with a corrupt politician, he was just upset that once paid, the politican has an obligation to stay bought... Tammany Hall would be proud of today's Greenburgh Democrats - though ashamed that truly magnificent levels of graft are beyond the dreams of our small-timers....

Anonymous said...

Great Post 11:56. This is what happens with one party rule for 34 years. Without any competition, we get bottom of the barrel candidates from the Democrats. No matter who they throw up there will win, so no efforts are initiated to get great candidates. The Democrats don't even care when they throw up a Republican like Sheehan to run for office.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the post about the decision of the Town Council to hire the Greenburgh Dem's law firm (Suzanne Berger) to review a land use application, one should listen to councilman Bass's comments about the firm. Councilman Bass was not happy with the work the firm did on the Avalon review. Bass, who joined Feiner and voted against the firm, made the case why the Town Bd should have interviewed the politically connected law firm before giving them a contract without an interview process. Francis Sheehan is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Berger's firm may not have received special favors from Sheehan and the town council in 2006. The firm received special favors from SHeehan and the council in 2007. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal work from the town.
Now SHeehan wants the ethics laws to let him receive additional campaign contributions from berger and the law firm in 2008, 2009 and beyond.