Sunday, April 29, 2007

SOME E HARTSDALE MERCHANTS ANGRY THAT CONTRACTORS BEING TICKETED ON E HARTSDALE AVE

Some E Hartsdale Ave merchants contacted me this weekend - angry that contractors working for merchants on E Hartsdale Ave (who were flooded out) have been ticketed. These tickets increase the costs of the repairs/renovations. I intend to reach out to the Parking Authority and will recommend that contractors who are helping the merchants reopen be exempt from parking fees during the coming weeks.
We need to do everything possible to assist the merchants re-open.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that the town should be helpful regarding the East Hartsdale Avenue merchants. Yet I feel that contractors (and everyone else) should park legally.

Anonymous said...

This is yet another one of Feiner's half-baked ideas.

Why half-baked? Because like most of what he proposes, he hasn't bothered to think through who should pay for the cost of what he'd like to do?

For example, does Feiner also intend to recommend that the town compensate the Hartsdale Parking Authority for the loss of revenue that would be incurred if contractors are permitted to park there for free?

If so, that would be a first because even though the revenues from the tickets he's complaining about are town-wide revenues, he's never permitted a dime of that money to be used to compensate the Parking Authority for any of the services it provides.

If that's not what Feiner has in mind, then those who use the facilities must ask themselves why it's fair they should be forced to bear the cost of Feiner's generosity.

The destruction of Hartsdale's business district is a town-wide problem, caused in part by a failure on the part of Feiner, a town-wide elected official, to address persistent drainage problems he's apparently known about for years.

It therefore seems only fair that if the contractors needed to clean up the mess are entitled to free parking, then the costs should be paid for town-wide.

Jim Lasser said...

As noted by Anonymous at 7:50, this idea has all of the hallmarks of a Greenburgh solution. Shifting the responsibility from the Town's failure to maintain an adequate drainage system to the Hartsdale Parking District for enforcing the law is political pandering at its most disgraceful.
Surely the merchants and the craftspeople working to restore their businesses deserve every reasonable consideration and assistance. Call a special session of the Town Board and introduce a law which addresses the temporary situation in a fair and effective manner. Respect the concept of due process and do not abrogate the rules (yes, even something as seemingly insignificant as parking rules) in the name of expediency. To those who will call me a Feiner-basher, this is only about Feiner because he has, for more than 16 years, demonstrated a willingness to substitute his personal judgement for the law. Tyrants start by ignoring "little" rules in the name of efficiency and suggesting they can make distinctions the law has overlooked. The difference between petty tyrants and the larger variety lies only in how long the citizens are willing to tolerate their arrogance.

Anonymous said...

The merchants should be helped.Since you must be a retired person,you do not seem to understand the poor business person who is trying to make an honest living needs all the assistance posible.The parking authority has plenty of money ,since their fees have gone up considerably.They could allow the contractors to park for a short time,but the authority has become so greedy for money,that they do not care about the business district.This parking authority should be given to the town to handle in full.The people in charge are not doing the job that was promised the patrons. The contractors must park somewhere to finish the work.The problem is that you do not shop in this area ,so you do not give a dam about the apartment dwellers and the merchants.If Feiner wants to help us ,let it be. Stop throwing a monkey wrench in whatever he suggests for the betterment of the town.

Anonymous said...

The merchants on East Hartsdale Avenue are not stupid.

They know full well that the Parking District is self-sustaining. They know full well that the Parking District covers all its expenses, including the cost of renovating the garages, by the fees it charges those who use its facilities, and that it collects nothing more than it needs to cover its costs. They also know full well that when parking tickets are issued, the money goes to the town and not a penny comes back to make parking in Hartsdale village any more convenient or cheaper.

And the merchants also know that the folks who patronage their shops also know this too.

So, when Feiner comes alone and says, "Oh no, we can't allow the contractors doing the work on East Hartsdale Avenue to be ticketed," everyone recognizes a self-serving panderer when they hear one.

If Feiner wanted to be constructive here, he would ask the town attorney to draft a motion (1) suspending all metered parking in Hartsdale village until further notice and (2) authorizing the town entire budget to reimburse the Parking District for their expected shortfall in revenue.

Perhaps if Feiner were required to put his money where his mouth is, he'd sing a different tune.

hal samis said...

Dear Jim:

Ok let's say that the special session of the Town Board is convened and ready to take your advice: however, you left what they're supposed to do out of your posting.

Let me remind you that Hartsdale Parking is an independent agency and that the Town cannot make them forgo their lawful collections.

Of course, this would be a good jump in spot for me to remind everyone that this is also exactly what the Hartsdale Parking District does for the Cybermobile when it closes off three parking spaces for Cybermobile use -- before and during its visits. Despite my pointing this out, the Library parks for free. The loss of revenue is subsidized by those that pay parking fees to the District.

So, perhaps during the special meeting the Town Board could address this as well.

The idea of free parking is not part of the District's mandate and it is allowed by the usual response of: if you don't like it, sue us.

Another egalitarian response from the Mr. and Mrs. Howard Jacobs family (Howard of the Library and Ruth of the Parking District).

On the other hand, providing free parking to the Contractors (also a violation of their charter) could very well be viewed as an admission of guilt and thus not a strategic response.

And I'm not so sure that the Hartsdale Parking District is off the hook regarding responsibility regarding the drains. The pipes, aged, were never replaced and some damage may have occurred during construction what with all the heavy equipment passing overhead.
Ms Kavorias and Mr. Regula are very intent on telling us that it is not their fault(s). If I were an affected resident or shopkeeper, I would be hiring an outside, independent engineer to study the drain layout.

Ms Kavorias' explanation that the drains weren't blocked and that there was just too much water doesn't "hold water" by saying that the water was visibly overflowing...this is also what you would see if they were blocked.

However, minimizing the municipal responsibility is exactly what I would argue that Feiner, Regula and Kavorias should do to protect the Town from legal action. The nickel and dime buy-offs like no charge for permits, late filing of tax returns and free parking would pale in cost if those affected by the disruption and economic loss were to become "angry" and seek judicial relief.

So, if I were a shopkeeper or displaced resident, I'd skip the small potato peace offerings and go right to banding together and hiring my own engineer. Perhaps the Town would consider paying the fee for this. This would be a good faith gesture that would mean something, if not only to resolve the responsibility issue but also to determine the cure for the future.

Depending on Al Regula for the answer is hardly going to an unbiased source and his Library protective reports have established that he is capable of selectively ignoring the facts.

Merchants, you're not in good hands with Al Regula. Everything with Al is ok.

Jim Lasser said...

Dear Anonymous at 11:11 -
You are dead wrong. I shop in Hartsdale all the time. I am also in a service business and am pleased to count several of the businesses among my clients. Over the years I have paid more than my share of parking tickets - virtually all of them because I chose to spend an extra ten minutes to completely service my clients rather than leave them hanging while I went out to move the car (remember, feeding the meter is not permitted). I'll respond to Hal's posting later because it actually takes some thought.

Anonymous said...

The perceived need for and establishment of the Hartsdale Parking District in 1952 is no longer relevant today. Since it serves only Unincorporated Greenburgh anyway, it would be logical to do away with this unnecessary special district / layer of bureaucracy altogether, and just merge the staff in with the police department and/or the public works department.

More specifically regarding this topic, of course contractors need to pay for their parking, just like anyone else. There is no need for or benefit to offering special exceptions.

Anonymous said...

The contractors are getting paid for their work. They are not doing it for free. They should pay just like anybody else.

Anonymous said...

The Hartsdale Parking District does not serve "only Unincorporated Greenburgh." Anyone in the entire town is free to park there day or night, as long as the meters get fed.

The only benefit that unincorporated Greenburgh residents get is "priority" when it comes to obtaining monthly commuter permits. However, residents of Ardsley have been issued permits there and, when space permitted, even residents of Scarsdale were entitled to permits.

The reason public parking districts were created in the first place was to protect village taxpayers in towns with incorporated villages, like Greenburgh, from having to pay their fair share of the cost of public parking spaces.

The reason is that state law mandates that the cost of public parking spaces is a town-wide expense.

The way around that is to create a public parking district, which is precisely what Greenburgh did. The two wrinkles unique to Greenburgh are that (1) the parking district is in fact only a small part of the town's unincorporated area and (2) the district supports itself not by taxes, but by user fees.

If the parking district were abolished, by law, its expenses would become town-wide expenses.

There is no state authority expressly permitting towns to charge the costs of public parking areas to a town's unincorporated area.

Hartsdale Wine & Liquor Store said...

Behind all the stores affected by this Inland Marine Property Loss is a “supposedly” private service road owned by Mr. Ritter and Mr. Aronian. ALL Contractors (like the guys I’m using) should park there. If you park at a meter and get a summons for a time lapse, I feel you are in the wrong. My personal parking space behind my store is currently being occupied by a dumpster and loads of debris. I park in the lower level of site A. I PAY. I do not support the idea of waiving fees.
Street parking is for patrons. The other side of the street that has not been affected by the water damage, but, it will be if contractors are parking on east Hartsdale ave.
As far as the issue of feeding the meter. A lot of this is done by employees of NYSC, the new tanning salon, Pampered Paws, and various customers of Beauty Mania. For the salon 1 to 2 hours is the norm. I have no problem with that. But shop owners and employees that do not have parking spaces available to them, should own permits.
Again street parking is for patrons.
The cyber mobile has always annoyed me. I complained to the town supervisor during the garage construction. I felt since the garage was crippling customer access wouldn’t it be a good idea to temporarily park it elsewhere. Those spaces where very important to the stores. Nothing was done about it.
There are so many things wrong with the store area of East Hartsdale I don’t know where to begin. We should not be wasting time on parking summonses.
Anonymous? Why are people afraid to name themselves? This is just a blog. Robert Troy 914.723.3535

Hartsdale Wine & Liquor Store said...

Behind all the stores affected by this Inland Marine Property Loss is a “supposedly” private service road owned by Mr. Ritter and Mr. Aronian. ALL Contractors (like the guys I’m using) should park there. If you park at a meter and get a summons for a time lapse, I feel you are in the wrong. My personal parking space behind my store is currently being occupied by a dumpster and loads of debris. I park in the lower level of site A. I PAY. I do not support the idea of waiving fees.
Street parking is for patrons. The other side of the street that has not been affected by the water damage, but, it will be if contractors are parking on east Hartsdale ave.
As far as the issue of feeding the meter. A lot of this is done by employees of NYSC, the new tanning salon, Pampered Paws, and various customers of Beauty Mania. For the salon 1 to 2 hours is the norm. I have no problem with that. But shop owners and employees that do not have parking spaces available to them, should own permits.
Again street parking is for patrons.
The cyber mobile has always annoyed me. I complained to the town supervisor during the garage construction. I felt since the garage was crippling customer access wouldn’t it be a good idea to temporarily park it elsewhere. Those spaces where very important to the stores. Nothing was done about it.
There are so many things wrong with the store area of East Hartsdale I don’t know where to begin. We should not be wasting time on parking summonses.
Anonymous? Why are people afraid to name themselves? This is just a blog. Robert Troy 914.723.3535

Jim Lasser said...

I found I knew less than I needed to know in order to answer Hal's intelligent question of exactly what it is I would propose the Town Board and Supervisor to do. Then I realized that, like everyone else, I had again been taken in by Mr. Feiner's activism. With his promise to take action, to do something, to get the HPPD to do something, Feiner implied that there was actually some concrete thing he could do - and we all bought in. Actually, there probably isn't a single legal thing that either he or the Town Board can do. They/he can politely ask the HPPD to suspend collections - whether HPPD can legally do that may raise other legal issues, and I don't know the answer to that.
So, what can the Supervisor do? He probably can't and shouldn't pledge Town funds to reimburse HPPD because that would continue his longstanding but clearly illegal policy of making a gift of taxpayer funds to non-Townwide purposes. As has been pointed out in this thread, the HPPD exists because of a desire to avoid the use of Town-wide funding to pay for parking in a specific locale. So what else can he do? Use his moral suasion to assist? Not much there, but welcome as a gesture. Pledge his campaign warchest to paying the tickets received by contractors? More concrete and with fewer long-term implications on the Town's budget.
And the Board? Well, they could follow suit, promising to discuss the matter with the HPPD and pledging their campaign warchests to assist.
The bottom line here seems to be that the long term policy decision to separate the financial responsibility for the HPPD from the Townwide budget has had an unintended consequence. The Town, whether Supervisor or Council, have lost the ability to legally step in and mitigate an unforeseen issue. HPPD is, I believe, comprised of reasonable people - we should be addressing our concerns to them. We should not be addressing them to folks, both Supervisor and/or Councilpeople, who went out of their way to insulate themselves and delegated their responsibilities to others. Shame on us, all of us, for turning to our politicians to help us with a situation we encouraged/permitted them to create in furthering their own careers.
So Hal, the short answer is, I was wrong. There should be no legislative or executive action taken at this time. We may have to turn out the current officeholders and start with a fresh look at the policy issues and how we, Greenburghers all, wish to resolve them.

town could help HPPD said...

Lasser couldn't be more wrong when he says there is not a single legal thing that either Feiner or the Town Board could do.

New York law gives town boards the authority to make gifts of town taxpayer dollars to parking districts provided the gift serves a town-wide purpose.

All that's required is that the purpose be one for which the town itself could spend money and that the gift be used to benefit all town taxpayers.

Here, Feiner wants the HPPD to give free parking to contractors. Some might argue with some justification that all of the merchants on East Hartsdale Avenue would benefit from a moratorium on metered parking altogether. That way, in this make-or-break time for many of these stores, customers from throughout the town would be encouraged to shop there.

In order to impose a moratorium on metered parking, the Town Board would have to use general town funds to subsidize the parking district for the loss of revenue which it needs to cover operating expenses, including debt service on its new construction projects.

That's perfectly okay under state law as long as promoting public parking is a permissible use of town funds -- which by law it is -- and as long as the free parking would benefit all town residents, which it would.

If Lasser wants a tutorial on how this all works, he doesn't need to consult a lawyer -- the state comptroller explained the relevant law in its report on the WestHELP debacle. But consulting some of his lawyer-friends instead of listening to Samis might in this case have been a good idea.

hal samis said...

Dear Town Could Help,

Perhaps you were familiar with the concept of a "straw man" argument and that is what you decided to replicate.

The parking in Hartsdale Center does not benefit the entire Town by any measure.

Therefore when Lasser says there is nothing the Town can do (short of taking over the Parking District) it is pointless to call him wrong by discussing various points of law which you even cite.

The parking in Hartsdale Center
does not benefit the entire Town by any measure. Need this be written again?

"That's perfectly okay under state
law as long as promoting public parking is a permissable use of town funds -- which by law it is --
and as long as the free parking would benefit all town residents, which it would." That is what you wrote. So without resorting to John Donne's "no man is an island entire unto himself..." as a philosophical reference point, how does free parking for say, a contractor working on the bakery, or the dry cleaner or the fruit market etc. benefit someone in Hastings, Fairview, Broadview... It seems like a long trip to buy a jelly doughnut, get a suit cleaned or buy a banana, not to mention wasting costly gas.

Mr. Lasser wasn't listening to me; he was responding to my question which followed from his posting.

The one who needs a tutorial is you. And check to see if you took your pompous pill this morning.

town could help hppd said...

The straw man here is Samis' argument that the parking in Hartsdale Center, even if open to all residents town-wide, which it is, does not benefit the "entire town."

The test in measuring a town-wide benefit is not, as Samis assumes, whether a service or facility is being used town-wide, but whether the service or facility is available so that anyone town-wide could use it.

A public parking area, by definition, is available to everyone town-wide, which is why the state mandates that such costs are supposed to be town-wide expenses.

Here, however, the public parking is run not by the town, but by a parking district. Therefore, in order for the town to aid the district, it must make a gift. However, gifts to districts may be made only if it can serve a town-wide purpose, i.e., it must be something towns are authorized to spend money on and the benefit must be available to everyone in the town.

Here, allowing free parking to anyone willing to shop in Hartsdale Center is obviously a benefit that is available to everyone town-wide, regardless of where they live.

Were an incorporated village to be stricken, as Hartsdale Center was stricken, that village would almost certainly impose free parking for everyone in the stricken area in order to help out those merchants who are still open.

Because Hartsdale Center is not a village, and is subject to a dysfunctional town government led by a town supervisor that listens to Samis, common sense short term remedies that would help the businesses still open in Hartsdale Center,like free parking for everyone, are routinely ignored.

bernstein nonsense said...

Mr. town can help hppd, better known as Mr. B. Bernstein,manages to turn everything into (a) an argument fot town-wide taxation and (b) a screed against Feiner. If he said one-third of what he says, he would make three times as much sense as he does. Pardon me, three times zero is still zero, so maybe three times no sense is still no sense.

Jim Lasser may be right that the Supervisor and the Town Council can't do much. At least they have shown some heart, which is more than Mr. Bernstein town can help shows.

As far as helping out in this crisis by having the HPPD give some help being a town-wide expense, one must conclude that there is no issue that Bernstein will not try to turn into a town-wide budget expense. Except the Veteran Park pool, which he wants to keep for himself and his smug friends.

Anonymous said...

a simpler proposal: everyone who parks at a metered space must pay the meter ... period ... silly little drama concluded

Bernstein (?) was right said...

The personal attack by anon at 4:12 was unwarranted and kind of spooky. (Guess Feiner must be running that sitemeter after all).

But let's review the facts:

The author of "Town Could Help HPPD" - whoever it is -- said costs of public parking places are normally a town-wide expense. Town Law 220(4) lists "public parking places" as a "general town improvement" that must be paid for town-wide. On that point, the author was right on the money.

The author also said that if public parking is provided by a district, the only way the town can help fund it is by making a gift. That law is set forth right in the state comptroller's report on WestHELP. It says there that the gift must be a for a town-wide purpose, that the money must be for a benefit that towns can offer, and that it must be for something that everyone in the town could use if they wanted to.

Sounds like "Town Could Help HPPD" had it exactly right there too.

So the only real issue is whether offering free parking is the right thing to do. To know that, town officials should first see what it could cost and then see whether that offer, however well-intentioned it may be, would actually help or hurt the merchants in Hartsdale Center.

Given the chronic shortage of residential parking in the area, an offer of free parking may result in the elimination of parking spaces for anyone patronizing the stores over there.

Such a proposal therefore needs to be thought through very carefully.

hal samis said...

So it is ok to give money to one Fire District if it should ever respond townwide.

"The test in measuring a town wide benefit is not, as Samis assumes, whether a service or facility is being used town-wide, but whether the service or facility is available so that anyone town-wide could use it".

"anyone town-wide COULD use it".

Anonymous said...

The test is whether the service or benefit could be used by all town residents, regardless of residence.

In the case of the town's $1 million gift to the Fairview Fire District, the town argues that, if a fire is severe enough, Fairview might be called upon to respond to any fire in the town, including in any of the villages.

The problem with that argument is that it may not be true.

The only way to know for sure is at a public hearing where the fire district can show that yes, in fact, it does offer service to the entire town.

But the same public hearing may also demonstrate that, besides Fairview, the town has other fire districts which employ full-time firefighters, like Greenville and Hartsdale, and they may also service the entire town.

If so, then the town's plan to make the gift only to Fairview would appear to be arbitratory and discriminatory.

In other words, giving the money only to Fairview would be pitting one tax district (Fairview) and against others (e.g., Greenville and Hartsdale), when all three arguably offer the same service town-wide (and together all subsidize the all-volunteer fire departments in the villages).

Giving the gift to Fairview in such circumstances might be legal, but it would also be wrong and extremely bad policy.

Michael Kolesar said...

What some of the comments fail to point out is that most of the "Village" based engine companies, which are independent of their respective municipal governments, also provide fire protection services to portions of the unincorporated Town. Keep that in mind in any proposal to distribute funds for a "Town wide" benefit.

One could also be reminded of a recent fire event in Dobbs Ferry, where in addition to volunteers from Dobbs Ferry, it was reported in the Journal News that volunteer firefighters from Hastings, Ardsley, Irvington, Elmsford, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow also assisted. Pretty wide group supporting one another.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar is right. And that Journal News report didn't mention the Fairview fire district coming to the aid of the other companies. An interesting omission. The bottom line - the $100,000 to the Fairview fire district is wrong and illegal.

Anonymous said...

This is for Michael Kolesar and anonymous behind him. Do you think it is crazy to have Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley,Irvington,Tarrytown,
Elmsford, Sleepy Hollow and Hastings Fire Depts respond for a routine house fire ? I'm not as smart as you, but I do. It just shows, that these departments are under staffed.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Mr. Kolesar, the village fire departments help the other villages. At a recent fire in Edgemont, Arsdaley did not respond, but Yonkers, White Plains and Scarsdale did.

Anonymous said...

The fire departments that serve the villages are generally all-volunteer and, for that reason, their costs are much lower than the costs the districts in the unincorporated areas, which generally employ full time professional firefighters.

When there is a major fire in the villages during the day when most volunteers are at work, their respective fire departments typically turn first to the professionally-staffed fire districts for help.

And when there is a major fire in the unincorporated areas during the day, as there was last fall on Seely Place in Edgemont, the volunteer fire departments in the villages typically do not respond because they can't.

Because these professionally-staffed fire districts respond, no questions asked, to major fires in the villages, the end result is that taxpayers in the unincorporated areas where these districts are located are in effect subsidizing the fire departments in the villages.

Giving incentives to encourage more volunteers would help the village fire departments which, as Kolesar and others have pointed out, do serve several unincorporated areas too. However, what Kolesar omits to mention is that these village fire departments get reimbursed fully for the cost of providing fire protection to the unincorporated areas they serve.

There is no reimbursement, however, when village fire departments, because they depend on volunteers and are understaffed, must call in an emergency on the professionally staffed fire districts in the unincorporated areas.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Anonymous 5/2/07 10:27 AM,

It would be nice it you would publicly identify yourself although your writing style gives you away.

The Engine Companies that are reimbursed are reimbursed based on a formula of the assessed valuation of the property in the unincorporated portion of the Town in the fire district covered as a ratio to the total assessed valuation including the Village property in that same fire district. This ratio is reviewed annually by the Town Comptroller and the Town Counsel and based on data from the Town Assessor. No matter how one slices it, the reimbursement is not 100% or "fully" as you state.

Of course by hiding behind "Anonymous" postings, your errors just go away as I'm sure you won't acknowledge an incorrect statement.

kolesar misses point said...

Kolesar once again misses the point.

The issue raised in the prior post was not, as he wrongly assumes, whether fire districts that receive their service from volunteer fire departments in the villages are properly reimbursed.

No, the issue raised was whether the paid professional fire districts that provide assistance to the volunteer departments (which during the day are often understaffed) ever get reimbursed for the service they provide.

Mutual aid agreements between the Ardsley Fire Department and let's say, the Greenville Fire District, do not provide for any such reimbursement.

That suggests that taxpayers in the paid professional districts may be subsidizing the fire service received by taxpayers in those jurisdictions served by volunteers.

All-volunteer village fire departments say that the question is academic because they say paid professional firefighters rarely if ever assist the volunteer departments.

But evidence and common sense seems to suggest otherwise -- and that's why the question is an important one that needs exploring.

Anonymous said...

There are some people (maybe one) who answer every problem by slamming Feiner, however little Feiner may have to do with it. There are some people (maybe one) who answer every problem that can't somehow be connected to Feiner by saying that the unincorporated area is subsidizing the villages, however contrary to fact that may be. Can that person have the initials BB? Is that person capable of any sense of reality or community? Obviously not.

Anonymous said...

Because of BB and his group of civic leaders,Many of us have to sell our homes .Their demands are getting out of hand.Do they know the meaning of budget,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Anonymous said...

I must be living under a rock or something but what exactly has "BB and his group of civic leaders" been demanding that's offensive to anyone?

I know about a lawsuit that seeks the end the town's discriminatory practice of charging only unincorporated area taxpayers for the town's cost for all parks and recreational facilities that are open townwide to all residents.

That sounds pretty fair and reasonable to me. After all, if we can use the parks, and get to elect the town officials who opened them up to us, why shouldn't also be pay for them.

It's also difficult to understand why we in the villages don't agree right now to pay our fair share for town programs that help the town's low income and minority families, since those programs also serve our own low income and minority families.

I realize that in years past, we may not have had very many low income and minority families living among us, but we do now, and let's face it, some of them don't have the advantages the rest of us have and they really do need our help.

Thankfully, the town is addressing those needs, but I question our own sense of "reality and community" when some among us object as angrily as they do to paying our fair share of the town's costs for these much needed programs.

And for goodness sake, why shouldn't those of us in the villages cover our share of the costs of the town's day care center. The center welcomes children from low income families in the villages and a fair number are using it.

I frankly find it embarrassing and disturbing that in this day and age there are still people among us in the villages who say no, our residents may be entitled to take advantage of all these programs, but no, the costs must always be paid for only by unincorporated area taxpayers.

That kind of talk sounds like something we used to hear back in the days when Rosa Parks had to fight for a seat on the bus. I can't believe we're hearing it today.

Feiner's political lifeblood said...

Your hearing it because this is the divisiveness that Feiner breeds and feeds on.

Anonymous said...

Glad that the Town Supervisor is fighting for our merchants and flood victims.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Feiner's helping all right. He's offered to help us fill out FEMA forms, like we can't fill out a form, for 8% loans we don't need or want. All this guy wants is another photo-op. He doesn't care about us at all. He should be ashamed of himself.

Anonymous said...

RUMOR HAS IT...that the Town Board was lied to by TRITON. They promised the Town Board that they will give the town 3 months of free services (because of delays they helped cause regarding the library). Now, they may renege on their verbal promise. Sheehan and the other councilmembers believed that the verbal promise was enforceable. They are going to look real foolish if TRITON doesn't keep their promise. Samis and others warned the Town Council that a verbal commitment ain't worth anything.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that this election year Feiner will say or do anything he can to trash the library renovation project -- including trash talking the firm that's managing the project's construction.

He's so determined to find a campaign issue for himself that he thinks will give him traction, that he'll blog about it even under a heading devoted to the Hartsdale flood -- particularly as it seems his desire to exploit the flood issue for himself doesn't seem to be working quite as well for him as planned.

Trash talk from Feiner, of course, is no substitute, for prudent management or oversight, with respect to either the library or managing recovery from the flood.

When all is said and done, the list of things that Feiner has done to oppose this library project, delay the construction, make it more costly, expose the town to needless risks, and all the while misleading the public, keeps growing longer and longer.

His gross mismanagement of the flood recovery -- and his mismanagement of the situation there pre-flood -- will become more and more apparent to everyone the longer the stores on East Hartsdale Avenue remain closed.

Anonymous said...

It's really amazing, that those who always attack Feiner even attack him for telling the truth about the librarty referendum, that it was too hasty and preparatory work hadn't been completed. He was right, but after the referendum was approved he worked to do the project.

The failings aren't his. They are the Library Board's failings, and the Town Council's failings by putting blinders on so that they could pretend that everything was OK, and this way they fool the public.

I haven't heard Feiner say anything bad about the library project. I guess he has been silent because he knows that there is nothing he can do as long as Sheehan and company behave as though he isn't there. We have been learning about the project disaster because Hal Samis has studied what is going on and telling us all about it. I haven't heard a single persuasive answer to anything that Samis has revealed.

So, Mr. 12:34, when you say that "the list of things that Feiner has done to oppose this library project, delay the construction, make it more costly, expose the town to needless risks, and all the while misleading the public, keeps growing longer and longer" you are talking out of the wrong end of your body, as do others who think that they can blame the Council's and the Library Board's failures on Feiner. We know who is responsible. We also know how this will end, a library that is far less than we were told and will cost far more than we were told. All because people like you think it is better to make ridiculous accusations against Feiner rather than facing up to the truth.

Anonymous said...

Two years ago, Samis walked up to the podium at a town board meeting with a cane, and waved it mockingly in the air at then councilwoman Timmy Weinberg to make fun of the fact that, as sometimes happens to many of us, she needs to use a cane when she walks.

Feiner, who as on the outs with Weinberg at the time, let Samis get away with this behavior.

However, getting away with outrageously bad behavior and being taken seriously are do entirely different things.

No one took Samis seriously then, and except for Feiner and his supporters, no one takes Samis seriously now -- about anything.

Anonymous said...

You better take Samis seriously. It is your last and probably only chance of reducing the disaster of the library construction.

Anonymous said...

The library construction is a "disaster" only in the minds of Feiner, Samis and other opponents of the project in the first place.

Their negative and venal message isn't aimed at getting a better library for the buck. To the contrary, these mean-spirited library opponents want only to trash the project so that they can continue to proclaim that they were right and the voters were wrong.

It's a pity these guys can't move on to offer something constructive for a change.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, Feiner didn't oppose the library project. He only opposed the rushed premature referendum, because many questions hadn't been answered. He has been proven right, and the library apologists cannot bring themselves to admit it.

Samis has asked questions and has pointed out problem after problem. The Town Board and the Library Board havc refused to answer because they can't answer without admitting that they screwed up. At the last Town Board meeting the one question that they answered was that the geothermal permits hadn't yet been applied for. For the other questioons they remained silent as usual.

Samis doesn't have to proclaim he is right. The facts prove that he is right. Instead of defending them, you ought to get after the Library Board and the Town Board to prevent more problems and delays and overruns.

Anonymous said...

Feiner opposed the library project from the very beginning.

He wanted the library to limit itself to a modest renovation so that he could sell the old town hall building to the client of his largest campaign contributor at a sweetheart price.

An April 2004 RFP for the old town hall site explained Feiner's vision for the library. In it, he explained that the site would be shared with a library, that it was contemplated that the library would be expanded, but that the expansion would be no more than 15,000 square feet.

Once the town board refused to go along with Feiner's plan to negotiate a sale of the old town hall property to Sunrise, the library board said it wanted the entire site for itself.

Feiner has been opposed to the project ever since. This business of his being opposed to the timing of the referendum is just one part of his opposition.

hal samis said...

Did I read my name mentioned?

It just shows that you've got to read all the blogs continuously to see where the brush fires are starting.

To May 5 @12:34,
"Trash talking the constuction manager, Triton".
Ask the Town Council. Triton represented that they would knock off three months from their bill.
Their original estimate was $612,000. At contract signing it was $680,000. IF the "construction" which started January 2007 ends December 2008 (2 years) and there is no reduction in their fee, they will have billed the Library project $953,000. The Library construction budget (prepared by Triton) does not have this money to spend.
If this is trash talking, what you are doing is jive talking.

To May 6:48 PM,
This looks a lot like Hartsdale Parking. The incident with Timmy Weinberg did not happen "as characterized". At a Public Hearing on the Greenburgh Health Center, their Attorney filled the room with Health Center clients who all "testified" that the Health Center "had saved their lives". None of this had anything to do with the legal issues and was put on merely to pressure the Town Board. I wanted to mock this and failing to find a pair of crutches to borrow, I had to setttle for a cane. The idea (in my unique style) was to limp to the podium, invoke the name of the Greenburgh Health Center and throw away the crutches and declare that "I was saved". Perhaps not the most tasteful presentation but Timmy's condition was never the target. And I apoligized to Timmy if she felt that she was the object of my derision.

But what happened two years ago is not the point. The reason it has now emerged in a blog posting was to discredit me because I am slamming home some sensitive points which are an embarrassment for the Library Trustees, the Town Council and Al Regula.

To May 6 @10:05,
Here the writer conveniently forgets that the Library Trustees and their Architect had no problem with sharing the entire parcel with Sunrise, a use that would have been acceptable to the neighbors. I can imagine the outcry if the Town sold property elsewhere to the highest bidder for a use that the neighbors would not sanction.

"Once the Town Board refused to go along with Feiner's plan to negotiate a sale of the old town hall property to Sunrise, the Library Board said they wanted the entire site for itself" is what the blogger wrote. So from this readers are expected to blame Feiner for seeking a use for what was before the Town Board vote, just a parcel of surplus property. What were the Feiner roadblocks after the Town Board vote?

Posters say: seeking to have the referendum in November rather than March (first proposed, held over to May because of problems with absentee voting). Triton, remember them, supplied the project estimate which became the bonding number of the Referendum after two weeks of their number crunching (they didn't go inside the old town hall which later caused another set of problems) and this rush to Referendum and the inexperience of the Library Board are the direct line to why the project is in trouble today and behind schedule.

The Library that will be built is not the quality of the Library promised before the Referendum. Only the size is being maintained because to change that would have further delayed the project and resulted in a public realtions disaster. And if having a Library depending on the uncertainties of outside funding for furniture and technology (but included in the original $19.9 estimate) can be said to be a project on budget, then they are doing a great job. The bonding amount clearly must remain fixed. However even with the other degradations in quality masked as "value engineering", I suspect that additional downgrades are in order once the "construction" (we are only in the destruction phase now) begins and the unplanned change orders mount.

Value engineering is a cutesy phrase to mask using a nail instead of a screw. On the other hand if the nail is JUST AS GOOD as the screw and substantial money is to be saved by using nails, then I suggest the project should have been originally designed calling for nails and thus the original project would not have cost as much.

Of course if Feiner had suggested that, then he would be accused of trying to denail the project.

hal samis said...

Did I read my name mentioned?

It just shows that you've got to read all the blogs continuously to see where the brush fires are starting.

To May 5 @12:34,
"Trash talking the constuction manager, Triton".
Ask the Town Council. Triton represented that they would knock off three months from their bill.
Their original estimate was $612,000. At contract signing it was $680,000. IF the "construction" which started January 2007 ends December 2008 (2 years) and there is no reduction in their fee, they will have billed the Library project $953,000. The Library construction budget (prepared by Triton) does not have this money to spend.
If this is trash talking, what you are doing is jive talking.

To May 6:48 PM,
This looks a lot like Hartsdale Parking. The incident with Timmy Weinberg did not happen "as characterized". At a Public Hearing on the Greenburgh Health Center, their Attorney filled the room with Health Center clients who all "testified" that the Health Center "had saved their lives". None of this had anything to do with the legal issues and was put on merely to pressure the Town Board. I wanted to mock this and failing to find a pair of crutches to borrow, I had to setttle for a cane. The idea (in my unique style) was to limp to the podium, invoke the name of the Greenburgh Health Center and throw away the crutches and declare that "I was saved". Perhaps not the most tasteful presentation but Timmy's condition was never the target. And I apoligized to Timmy if she felt that she was the object of my derision.

But what happened two years ago is not the point. The reason it has now emerged in a blog posting was to discredit me because I am slamming home some sensitive points which are an embarrassment for the Library Trustees, the Town Council and Al Regula.

To May 6 @10:05,
Here the writer conveniently forgets that the Library Trustees and their Architect had no problem with sharing the entire parcel with Sunrise, a use that would have been acceptable to the neighbors. I can imagine the outcry if the Town sold property elsewhere to the highest bidder for a use that the neighbors would not sanction.

"Once the Town Board refused to go along with Feiner's plan to negotiate a sale of the old town hall property to Sunrise, the Library Board said they wanted the entire site for itself" is what the blogger wrote. So from this readers are expected to blame Feiner for seeking a use for what was before the Town Board vote, just a parcel of surplus property. What were the Feiner roadblocks after the Town Board vote?

Posters say: seeking to have the referendum in November rather than March (first proposed, held over to May because of problems with absentee voting). Triton, remember them, supplied the project estimate which became the bonding number of the Referendum after two weeks of their number crunching (they didn't go inside the old town hall which later caused another set of problems) and this rush to Referendum and the inexperience of the Library Board are the direct line to why the project is in trouble today and behind schedule.

The Library that will be built is not the quality of the Library promised before the Referendum. Only the size is being maintained because to change that would have further delayed the project and resulted in a public realtions disaster. And if having a Library depending on the uncertainties of outside funding for furniture and technology (but included in the original $19.9 estimate) can be said to be a project on budget, then they are doing a great job. The bonding amount clearly must remain fixed. However even with the other degradations in quality masked as "value engineering", I suspect that additional downgrades are in order once the "construction" (we are only in the destruction phase now) begins and the unplanned change orders mount.

Value engineering is a cutesy phrase to mask using a nail instead of a screw. On the other hand if the nail is JUST AS GOOD as the screw and substantial money is to be saved by using nails, then I suggest the project should have been originally designed calling for nails and thus the original project would not have cost as much.

Of course if Feiner had suggested that, then he would be accused of trying to denail the project.

hal samis said...

Explanation

Double postings occur when in the original send, the transmission appears to stall and not knowing if it has been sent, in frustration you hit enter again.
This has been observed several times on the blog and when writing longish pieces, one is reluctant to risk losing these pearls of wisdom and hence the "be ye of so little faith" reaction. Sorry.