Monday, May 28, 2007

GREENBURGH DEMOCRACY- WEEK OF MAY 28-POST YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT TOWN ISSUES

Please post your comments about town issues.

Our veterans and soldiers fought so we could have democracy---so that you could speak out about issues of concern. Honor our veterans, reflect on their contributions. Attend the memorial day parade in your community this morning.

86 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for having the grass mowed across the street from Midway Shopping Center on Central Park Avenue northbound. I'm presuming that the pre-existing litter will be picked up and that the mowing/weedwacking will be finished on Tuesday. After that, basic social psychology should prevail and we should see a noticeable reduction of litter along that stretch.

hal samis said...

Something else to remember.
Just 3 votes.

Anonymous said...

"Edgemont tops area high schools in Newsweek ranking"

http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070528/NEWS02/705280350

Congrats also to Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, and Hastings-on-Hudson.

Anonymous said...

Didn't see Valhalla in that article, despite getting all that Westhelp money.

Anonymous said...

Schools love to trumpet how many AP courses are offered and tests taken. Few, if any, actually publish results. How many students pass the AP exam with a 4 or 5?

Anonymous said...

"Why do you count only the number of tests given, and not how well the students do on the tests?"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18728337/site/newsweek/

Anonymous said...

SAVE WEBB FIELD!

Anonymous said...

We need attendants to supervise activity at Webb field. I am a Hartsdale resident and I cant take my kids their because it is being over run by huge volleyball and soccer parties.

Anonymous said...

Where are the people going to go.Living in Geenburgh, you have so many parks that you could take your child to. They too probably live in Greenburgh,but are not accepted into the parks because of their ethnic backgroung, as someone else wrote. Shame on you.There only there once a week or maybe two. Maybe they do need some supervision ,which the town should put into place. he town should set rules and regulations as what they could do and what they can't. We have a few officers who speak their language which will make it easier for them to understand how to conduct themselves.We cannot throw people to the wayside.

Anonymous said...

No one is suggesting we throw people to the wayside.

All we want is a rationale allocation of Web field. Certain times for team activities. Teams to register with Parks and REc, show residency and get a permit. Other times for non-team activities. Rules for such to be posted. Parks official to stop by. Phone number to be posted which can be called on weekends if issues. Doesnt White Plains do this???

Anonymous said...

You are right White Plains does, thats why all of the weekenders found their way to Greenburgh!

hal samis said...

Yes but White Plains doesn't have is an athletic field which doubles as a 9/11 memorial; thus we have two miffs in one. And since FEMA funds were used for the wall, how people pay or play tribute is a matter open to interpretation. Or perhaps the Rotary Club's side of the wall needs a kicked ball to be rotated by spectators.

And just because you haven't seen the application of the going on for three years of the separate $97,000+/- approved federal grant for improvements to the playing field and mitigations to "hide" the wall, then being a resident and seeking exclusivity is no longer possible, the park is open to all.

So, too, I believe the 9/11 wall has already generated four photo ops; there is now another one in the making, the renaming of the park for Richard Presser. Oh tis spring and the Town Board turns to electioneering with fervor. Smile please.

So in addition to reminding that all this came about, not from just 3 votes, but 5, everyone should register their particular satisfaction with Diana Juettner in two years; she's the Town Board liaison to the Parks Department.

pop quiz for juettner said...

Quick Diana:

1. name all of Greenburgh's parks
2. give us directions to Taxter Ridge park
3. please explain why someone from an incorporated village should be the liasion from the town board to parks that are paid for almost exclusively by taxpayers in unincorporated greenburgh
4. please describe in 25 words or less what the wall in front of webb field is about and how if at all it relates to 9-11

Save Our Children said...

Congrats to all the surrounding school districts, now lets close C7 and send the kids to white plains, elmsford, ardsley, edgemont and other districts that are willing to save our children!!!!

Anonymous said...

If the children from C7 must be educated, the other school systems should accept them . No child left behind.Grants could be had from the government to help out.

Anonymous said...

No Child Left Behind transfers are allowed only for students in failing school districts. Greenburgh Central certainly isn't a good system in comparison to most of the schools in the county, but by state and federal standards it's nowhere close to being classified as "failing" or even "in need of improvement." Therefore, NCLB transfers are not allowed. Hopefully the new superintendent will raise the instructional expectations in the district.

Anonymous said...

Aw man, I was really hoping to see that the cleanup would have continued today on Central Park Avenue across the street from Midway Shopping Center. Maybe tomorrow? (See first posting at the top of the page.)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:17
Apparently you have too much time on your hands. Why don't you volunteer your time and clean it up the way you think it should be.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should check out the blog on the sewer district audit. Some very interesting points are being expressed.

Anonymous 6:17 said...

I wish I had too much time on my hands. It's just that I drive past there 2-6 times a day. Though yes, I've actually thought about doing it myself, particularly the litter pickup, but then I remember that I pay taxes and, therefore, have a right to have simple expectations of the town's highway department.

Anonymous said...

The DPW got spoiled with the homeless man who was picking up all the debris along central avenue. He started at one end and finished at the other. What ever happend to him. Homeless or not we can readly see how much work he did without compensation from the town .He really was a volunteer.Where ever you are thank you.

Ellen said...

To Anon 5/29/2007 6:15 PM

Greenburgh Central 7, about 3 years ago, was considering accepting a No Child Left Behind grant. Not sure why, or how, but they decided not to accept it. I learned that when touring with my child before we made the decision to move to another school district. C7 school district is broken, and like Yonkers needs to be fixed.

Anonymous said...

If a school cannot meet their obligations to teach our children it should be closed down.The residence pay enough taxes that should be for education,but it seems the only ones getting ahead of the game are the teachers. Wether they are doing or not doing their job they still get mega bucks. C7 can't make it close it down. The school system here in Greenburgh is public not private.

Hey Suzanne said...

It will be interesting to see if Suzanne Berger, a devout Sheehan supporter, still endorses her dear boy Francis. Since Sheehan has come onto the scene we have had the female superintendant of the Valhalla School District threatened by Kaminer and the Sheehan led Board did nothing. Now the Shhehan led Board has violated the Constitutional rights of hundreds and possibly thousands of taxpayers by refusing to address the clearly illegal and unjust sewer district taxes. So Suzanne, can we expect more of the same from you???????????

feiner's game plan revealed said...

hey distraction:

last i checked mr sheehan is not running for office this year. mr feiner is. are we now seeing the feiner re-election game of running against everyone who is not running for office knowing they will not respond. thats a clear distraction from the fact that feiner is now past his sell by date. and lets not forget what was declared unconstitutional - feiner's westhelp deal which sheehan had no part in.

Anonymous said...

Don't say that Sheehan had noyhing to do with westhelp. I seem to remember at one of the meetings he released somr monies to them. Don't think that Sheehan's hands are clean. Yes we know that he is not running for reelection[thank God},But many of us is asking for his resignation.He is nothing but a liar and a manipulating one at that.Yes Feiner is running for reelection.and I hope he wins,along with Morgan And Brown.. Let's see where Sheehan power ends up. He did enough damage in 17 months.As for westhelp,Feiner did not vote on the resolution himself.He had the help of four supposedly smart people assist him. If he were wrong I'm quite sure they would have voted against it.As hal say's you need three votes.Feiner did not actalone,as Sheehan wants you to believe.Sheehan your goose is over cooked.For the other three council members they too are sinking and you have to take the blame ,but they were foolish in thing that you knew everythig. Monkey sees ---monkey does====

the truth about feiner and westhelp said...

lets review:

1. feiner said he had a legal opinion saying westhelp deal was ok - that was false

2. feiner said valhalla needed the money for homeless kids who would use the school system - another lie

3. feiner said shelter impacted on property values - another fabrication rejected by the state comptroller

4. off the books slush fund - created by feiner and kept secret from the rest of the town board

not to fully excuse the then town council, but feiner was the full time supervisor. thats why the current board does its own homework now and doesnt believe feiner. neither should the voters.

for more facts on feiner and westhelp see valhallavoice.com

Anonymous said...

Feiner here Feiner there.... If it were not getting close to election time westhelp would have been a thing of the past.Lets face it.you want to get rid of Feiner,but your forgeting about the rest of the board. Too bad you have four friends sitting there making belive that they represent us the residents.You forgot that three members voted in favor AT THAT TIME,now four members voted for it again.Does Feiner stand alone ,I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

On another blog someone wrote that it's ok to want Feiner and his team to win. I have not seen any political posters or clippings as to who is running for what and with whom. Yes we need a change of the council members,and yes I do want Feiner to win.

Anonymous said...

Lots of stuff is wrong about the last posting.

Feiner does have a legal opinion. It is in the form of a memorandum from the lawyer, and just because it isn't signed doesn't mean that it isn't a legal opinion. The Feiner haters are splitting hairs.

If Feiner believed that the school needed the money for the expected students from Westhelp and if he thought that it would affect property values, the other four aren't robots. If they are, let's get rid of them. They had as much ability to make judgements as Feiner. They were enthusiastic then and only now are they hiding.

The off the books fund was reported to the entire Board in 2005 when the Special Budget Committee revealed it in their report. The Town Council ignored it.

So quit your complaining about Feiner.

Anonymous said...

Feiner has been up front with all of us, It's the council that is hiding because the truth hurts, Council the fun is just starting, After Feiner wins let's see what the two old members could do or say. Maybe they will both resign. boy that's stretching a miracle. FOUR NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS,that's what is needed in Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

The Bd does its homework? They allowed Elmsford to sign a contract with Ardsley for library services. They wouldn't meet with Elmsford. Unincorporated Greenburgh residents lost one million dollars. Which means higher taxes. And, guess what? Elmsford residents still use our library. Thank you Steve Bass, Francis Sheehan, Eddie Mae Barnes, Gil Kaminer & Diana Juettner for doing your homework.

Anonymous said...

Feiner had a legal opinion, but it wasn't signed? That is like a check that isn't signed. Worthless, but he may be able to fool someone into taking it. Feiner believed that the Westhelp money was needed to educate shelter kids, but not a single grant was ever earmarked for those kids. Feiner broadcasts what Fairview is now spending Westhelp funds on. Where were those pronouncments when Valhalla was taking moonlight cruises and grand canyon trips?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 4 pm is blowing smoke.

First, Feiner had no legal opinion on WestHelp saying the agreement was legal. The unsigned memo from the attorney Paul Bergins, which was not written on any letterhead, never said the agreement was legal. No hairs need to be split on this.

Second, all SCOBA said about Feiner's off-book slush fund was that it should be allocated to either the A or B budgets.

Specifically, SCOBA says "the Town Attorney [should] consider the appropriate budget placement of the funds (now held in a reserved account)."

Shockingly, it never occurred to SCOBA that there was anything wrong with having a slush fund in the first place. Here's all SCOBA had to say about that:

"Because the Town was advised by the Michaelian Institute that the grant of Town funds to a civic association was unlawful, the grant to the civic association has not been paid and the funds so allocated have been segregated and are in an account at a financial institution."

That's it folks. No red flags, no warning that this was wrong, nothing about it not being recorded anywhere in the town's financial statements or in the town's budget documents that SCOBA claimed to have studied so carefully.

So what happened? Feiner didn't read the report as telling him he couldn't keep the slush fund anymore -- to the contrary, he continued to keep it off the books in the town's 2006 budget and again in his proposed 2007 budget.

It wasn't Feiner but the town council that finally woke up and said this was wrong.

Here is what Feiner defends! said...

From Valhalla Voice on the WestHelp Fiasco engineered by Paul Feiner:

The Comptroller is now separately auditing what Valhalla did with the money. Some of it paid for a moonlight cruise on the Hudson, some paid for summer trips to the Grand Canyon, some paid for a second full time job for the Kensico School principal, some paid to hire a “teacher” to do the Kensico School’s principal job while he worked on the grant. Some was illegally channeled to a private foundation. Some went to Greenburgh residents whose children went to private schools to pay for college review courses, there were tickets to the opera, sorties to Caramoor, lunch at sunset cove and McMenamins. Adult programs for “children of all ages”.

Herb Rosenberg said...

There are not many people who have read the SCOBA Report and are sufficiently familiar with it to be able to intentionally quote it improperly. Hence the identity of anonymous at 4:43 is fairly clear. He criticized a prior writer who said that the Special Budget Committee (meaning SCOBA of course) informed the entire Town Board that the “off the books fund was reported to the entire Board in 2005 when the Special Budget Committee revealed it in their report. The Town Council ignored it.” The ubiquitous Mr. Anonymous went on to quote one sentence from the SCOBA Report which, he said, showed that there were “no red flags, no warning that this was wrong, nothing about it not being recorded anywhere in the town's financial statements or in the town's budget documents that SCOBA claimed to have studied so carefully.”

So the ubiquitous Mr. Anonymous is wrong again, and probably intentionally so. I take some pride in the SCOBA Report, and I think that all of you should read it (I think it is available on the town’s website).

The SCOBA Report was delivered to the entire Town Board on September 20, 2005. Here is what the SCOBA Report says on page 17 relating to the accounting for the WestHELP rent:

“We note that this transaction is recorded on a “net” basis, i.e., the net rental after the grants. We suggest that the Town Comptroller consider whether this transaction should be recorded on a more transparent basis -- i.e., that the entire rent of $1,222,844 be recorded as revenue and the grants be recorded as appropriations.”

SCOBA did not suggest an opinion about the legality of the grants because that was not its role -- that was for the Town Attorney to do. It sought to inform, so that the Town Attorney and the Town Comptroller and the Town Board could have the information to make appropriate decisions. It certainly informed with respect to the WestHELP moneys. That, by the way, was not the only time that the Town Board was informed in 2005 of the off-the-books funds.

Too much of the disparagement that comes from the ubiquitous Mr. Anonymous is untrue, out of context, distorted and misleading. He gets away with it much of the time because he can rely on the fact that few read, and almost nobody remembers, reports such as the SCOBA Report.

A little truth would go a long way.

Anonymous said...

What Rosenberg quotes from his SCOBA report shows that Anon at 4:43 was right on the money when he or she said SCOBA failed to blow the whistle on Feiner's slush fund.

SCOBA telling us that the entire amount of the WestHELP rents and the grants should be recorded "on a more transparent basis" does not say word one about the slush fund or how improper it is for Feiner to have maintained it.

Indeed, what Rosenberg points to doesn't arguably even deal with the slush fund because all SCOBA says about it is that it is NOT money that was being awarded as a grant because it was determined that giving a grant to a civic association was illegal.

But a close examination of SCOBA shows that in many respects, the document is nothing more than a compendium of what Rosenberg thinks the law on A and B budgeting ought to be, not what it is.

After all who but Rosenberg would report in SCOBA that if all parks open town-wide were charged to the entire town, instead of only to the unincorporated area taxpayers, village taxes would "triple" without disclosing that for most village taxpayers this "tripling" amounts to an increase of perhaps $250-$300.

Anonymous said...

I think had Rosenberg had said 250 or so, and the Town had negotiated a settlement, it could have led to Ardsley having use of Veterans, Taxter Ridge having some athletic fields to be used by all, etc. But Rosenberg and Feiner wanted to fight this -- where does it leave everyone. With legal fees, and no parks.

Herb Rosenberg said...

I said once that it doesn't pay to write facts on thos blog because all that happens is insults and attacks. I should follow my best insticts, and I will except for this rebuttal of the truly ridiculous distortion of the SCOBA Report.

1. SCOBA reported that the WestHELP funds weren't properly recorded. We didn't refer to it as "Feiner's slush fund" because we didn't indulge in the spewing of hatred that the writer indulges in. To SCOBA it was improper accounting and that is what it is. If the writer wants to call it "Feiner's slush fund" then one cannot have a reasonable conversation. Insults won't do.

2. What the writer calls a "slush fund" is the $100,000 per year which was slated for two civic associations. Not only did the SCOBA Report say that this was held to be unlawful, but on page 18 the SCOBA Report said"

"We suggest that the Town Attorney consider ... the appropriate budget placement of the funds (now held in a reserve account) originally granted to the civic association."

So much for the false implication that SCOBA didn't refer to the money which the Journal news called the "saved" funds and that the writer calls a sluch fund.

3. As to the writers truly ridiculous comment that "the document is nothing more than a compendium of what Rosenberg thinks the law on A and B budgeting ought to be, not what it is" I think that anyone who reads the SCOBA Report will find that it says nothing whatsoever about what I, or any other member of SCOBA, thought what the law on A and B budgeting should be. We gave absolutely no opinions on that point. We gave facts -- something that the writer has real difficulty with.

4. Whether the tripling of the town taxes paid by villagers is $250 or $300 (actually $450 to $600 would be more like it)is irrelevant. If it would raise the village resident's town tax by $300 as he claims, it would decrease the unincorporated are resident's town taxes by a similar or smaller amount (we did the comparative arithmetic on the move of expenses from B to A). I won't try to tell the writer how to spend his money and he shouldn't tell village residents how they should spend their money. The implications of the park dispute go far beyond this point.

As I said, it is impossible to have a useful and honest discussion with some of these people. Iraq seems tame by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rosenberg-

Do you honestly expect civility from the same people who condone the suppression of a woman's first amendment rights, in the Greenburg Town Hall of all places?

My friend, you should have saved some more wishes from the genie's bottle.

I agree that these folks, aside from their memorable and meaningful efforts towards the people of Dakfur, have a better chance of voting for a peace in the Middle East than they are to deal with Greenburgh issues like big boys and girls.

Remember there is always Supervisor Paul to throw under the bus whenever they start feeling like they might get blamed for something that they are getting paid to do.

Anonymous said...

I wonder...before the SCOBA report was prepared, did Rosenberg ever talk to anyone who had a different view of the law than he had?

I doubt it. I remember he wouldn't let presidents of unincorporated area civic associations be on his committee because, even though he tried to intervene on the side of the town and on behalf of the vilages in the Taxter Ridge lawsuit, he said civic association presidents would be "biased."

I remember that Feiner let him get him away with that.

So I wonder whether SCOBA really reflects anything more than Rosenberg's self-serving views.

The report just seems so one-sided.

I mean, even on something as important as the tree settlement, SCOBA doesn't say the accident occurred in a park district -- no, all it says is that the accident occurred "in the unincorporated area."

Because the decision to charge the settlement town-wide turned on negligent acts committed by a town-wide elected manager of a park district, that's just the kind of misleading statement in SCOBA that really contributes to a lot of misunderstanding.

But Rosenberg pretends SCOBA didn't make these errors and was unbiased. Unless Rosenberg can say with a straight face that he's talked with those who hold a different point of view, it seems pretty clear that SCOBA is not a reporting of facts, as Rosenberg said, but just a piece of self-serving advocacy by someone who'll say or do anything to sow more divisions between the villages and the unincorporated parts of town.

I guess we'll find out whether SCOBA had anything useful to say when the Appellate Division rules.

Anonymous said...

Steve Bass, Eddie Mae Barnes and Diana Juettner were honored by the valhalla school district for proudly supporting the WESTHELP partnership shortly after they voted for the agreement.

Anonymous said...

"C7 school district is broken, and like Yonkers needs to be fixed."

You may prefer other school districts and their higher performance, but understand that in the eyes of the state and the federal government, Greenburgh Central is fine:

https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb/County.do?county=Westchester

Herb Rosenberg said...

Debating with the ubiquitous and well-known Mr. Anonymous is like trying to pick up a batch of rancid jello with one’s hands. When his first set of statements about SCOBA in his 9:45 posting was revealed to be false, he naturally doubled up with more false statements at 11:34. So let him enjoy himself, because it isn’t worth it to show up his falseness. It will only lead to more doubling up.

Anonymous said...

While it is not universally true that one gets what one pays for, it is certainly true that if one refuses to pay for it, one certainly won't get it. Edgemont, Ardsley, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings pay hefty school taxes - is it really surprising that when people pay enough in taxes they take a direct interest in where their money goes? It's called "accountability" or "responsibility" and even sometimes "grassroots government". In short, giving ordinary people the power to determine, by directly voting on the budget, how money is spent is a great safeguard against waste. I doubt the Town would have purchased all that non-tax producing parkland if residents voted directly on the Town budget - certainly there are residents of villages who feel that even an additional $12 per week per property is too much for parkland. If they'd known they were going to pay for it, they would not have been so fast to snap up the great bargain at Taxter Ridge.

Anonymous said...

Rosenberg can't defend the many false and misleading statements he injected into the SCOBA report.

When a lawyer has the facts against him, he argues the law; when the law is against him, he argues the facts. When both the facts and the law are against him, the lawyer pounds the table.

Rosenberg is pounding the table.

Anonymous said...

Are we going to get some action on Prospect Ave. by Fair St. to stop the homeowners from storing their garbage at the curb 24 hrs a day?
Paul and the Town Board, please help !!!!!! Ask Gabe to check this out. I can't believe he still misses this.

hal samis said...

Time to weigh in but guardedly.

I haven't read SCOBA and I haven't read the Comptroller on VSD.
As a renter, things I don't pay taxes on, don't or won't use, are not my primary concerns.

However, as an interested reader of comments and certainly a freqent blogger on topics which do interest me, let me comment on the comments of others.

As much as I would like to agree with any Town Council/Kaminer misdeeds, the Elmsford/Ardsley library services contract was not one of them. In fact, neither the Library Trustees (another group that I generally don't praise), the Town Council or the Supervisor can be blamed. Nor can Elmsford or Ardsley.

In another era, the idea of allowing Elmsford to pay a lower per capita rate than Greenburgh cannot be justified, particularly as their use fee was based solely on the operating budget, not the capital expenditures. So Elmsford was getting a good deal and unincorporated Greenburgh was not.
But that was another era.

With that contract expiration and renewal negotiations occurring in advance of a presumed earlier start of construction, If you were the Elmsford Mayor, would you justify increasing the cost to your residents at a time when the Greenburgh Library was going to be mostly "out of business" or would you look around for a better deal, knowing that paying for WLS membership at one library provides the ability to use all the member libraries and resources. Elmsford did right to take full advantage of the WLS rules and the availability of the Greenburgh Library. Ardsley was clever to yell the loudest "Call on me, call on me".
But now that the dust SHOULD, but obviously hasn't, have settled on that issue, there emerges a more significant issue: why did Elmsord even bother to execute a contract with anyone?
As most of the WLS members receive State grants for various items, these libraries receiving these grants, like Taxter Ridge Park, are open to all and include all privileges. For example I have a New York Public Library card with my Hartsdale address. Since Greenburgh has applied for and been awarded a grant (a one time $120,000) then why should any neighbor ever pay a fee to allow its residents to use the Greenburgh Library? So, because the project was over budget since inception, the need for such grants has "poisoned" future negotiations with Elmsford when their Ardsley contract expires. So, the $1 million lost now, will not be coming back in the future either, especially when the Greenburgh operating expenses have increased to sustain the larger plant.

The other issue I have with what is being written on the blog concerns the hubris over a "legal" opinion and a "legal" memorandum. Signed or otherwise, letterhead or not.

It is not, as some will expouse, legal opinion vs. legal memorandum.

Start with removing "legal" as though it were a term to describe undeniable, provable truth. What you then have is an opinion or a memo. There is no technical word or word of art that defines either writing as anything other than an "opinion" or a "memo" written by a lawyer (likely drafted by a paralegal). If lawyers letters and memos were the basis for judgement, then there would be very little need to expand courtrooms. And, most often these opinions and memos are confounded by opposing opinions and memos.
So let neither side in this ongoing debate seek satisfaction from the mere presence or the absence of these "documents" which are just pieces of papers without sustainability or documentation.
When a Judge or the Comptroller issues a ruling or even an opinion, that would be the proper occasion to question whether it was signed, written on letterhead or otherwise. In the meanwhile, other than claiming forgery (not yet), no crime or subterfuge has been attempted regarding these supposed "legal" writings.

Carry on with the fray.

Anonymous said...

Samis tells only part of the library story -- he leaves out the part that probably makes Greenburgh responsible, legally, for the loss of Elmsford's revenue.

Consider the following: If the town library is open to all, which it is, then state law requires that its costs be paid for by all taxpayers of the town unless exempted.

State law exempts residents of villages from paying town taxes for libraries if they have a library of their own, their library meets certain state standards, and they contract with the same library "system" as the town.

Here, all the villages in Greenburgh meet those requirements, except Elmsford. Therefore, by law, and regardless of what the WLS advisory board might say -- and so far they've said nothing -- Elmsford is legally liable for its full pro rata share of the town's library costs.

The only wrinkle is a 1960 state law which established the Greenburgh library. It exempts Elmsford and the other five villages from having to pay for it.

But a closer look at that peculiar 1960 statute suggests that it may no longer be enforceable today.

But would the town-wide elected government of Greenburgh go to bat for its unincorporated areas when it comes to defending a legal right to collect the fair share that Elmsford owes for the town library?

Rest assured it won't be town government that vindicates the rights of the town's unincorporated areas.

hal samis said...

Dear 4:01,

Do I detect an inference that I did not fully disclose the whole picture by telling only part of the story? As though I were holding back something on purpose?

To that I reply. "The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain".
This has as much relevance as the missing piece that that you have so thoughtfully supplied. However it has nothing to do with what I wrote. I was not making a case of who pays for libraries, the town, A or B, villages, whether they have their own or not. That is how you choose to bend it to work in your concluding twist.

Whatever the position of the WLS, the Greenburgh Library Board, The Town BOARD, the higher authority remaining is the State. And clearly, when State money, even in part, funds local libraries, these libraries are obligated to open their doors to all residents within New York State.

So the burden has been lifted from Elmsford's shoulders by those libraries which have accepted State aid. Which means that Elmsford residents can go to ANY library which has requested and accepted State or Federal aid. This may or may not include all 38 member libraries of the WLS but then the question becomes whether a library card of an aid-assisted library (with all New York residents as Patrons) must be honored, with all ensuing privileges, at all non-assisted libraries under the existing covenants of the WLS.

Ergo, if Greenburgh gets State aid, can anyone apply for a Greenburgh card and with such in hand, present it at a WLS library which has not obtained State aid.
Hence, a new arena for anonymous pontification.

But, with the conclusion that I have made, the question really becomes (view it as akin to A or B budget if you want) whether the Libary (or any entity) should perhaps not be so quick as to apply for or accept grants which come from the State or Federal government. The cost of receiving these fundings may be greater than the amount awarded; thus it may be cheaper in the long run to just say no.

And if the rain falls on Taxter Ridge no one will know.

Anonymous said...

No Samis, the conclusion is not that accepting state aid is wrong; if you believe that, then you believe that accepting $1 in federal aid for a park open town-wide allows Greenburgh to charge the entire cost to the unincorporated areas.

No Samis, the conclusion is that everyone, including Elmsford, must pay their fair share in accordance with state law which requires residents of villages without libraries to pay for their respective pro rata share of the town's library.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to our schools and districts recognized by the State today as "High Performing."

Richard J Bailey School
Greenburgh CSD

Highview School
Greenburgh CSD

Edgemont UFSD (district overall)
Edgemont UFSD

Greenville School
Edgemont UFSD

Seely Place School
Edgemont UFSD

Edgemont Junior-Senior High School
Edgemont UFSD

Pocantico Hills CSD (district overall)
Pocantico Hills CSD

Pocantico Hills Central School
Pocantico Hills CSD

Valhalla UFSD (district overall)
Valhalla UFSD

Kensico School
Valhalla UFSD

Valhalla Middle School
Valhalla UFSD

Ardsley UFSD (district overall)
Ardsley UFSD

Ardsley Middle School
Ardsley UFSD

Concord Road Elementary School
Ardsley UFSD

Dobbs Ferry UFSD (district overall)
Dobbs Ferry UFSD

Springhurst Elementary School
Dobbs Ferry UFSD

Dobbs Ferry Middle School
Dobbs Ferry UFSD

Alice E Grady Elementary School
Elmsford UFSD

Hillside Elementary School
Hastings-On-Hudson UFSD

Farragut Middle School
Hastings-On-Hudson UFSD

Irvington UFSD (district overall)
Irvington UFSD

Main Street School
Irvington UFSD

Irvington Middle School
Irvington UFSD

All schools and districts that serve Greenburgh students are "In Good Standing" with the State. So even if it's not listed above as "High Performing," there are no significant problems (from the State's perspective) with any of the schools or districts that serve Greenburgh students.

(Yes, I'm a school administrator. I live in Greenburgh but work in a district that doesn't serve Greenburgh students.)

hal samis said...

No Anonymous, you don't really need me if you want to make your own conclusion which has nothing to do with my postulation. What does accepting State aid have to do with who pays, villages or unincorporated re the library/Elmsford/Ardsley? I never posed it as an unincorporated/village issue. If that is your issue then drive it where you want but don't call it Samis.

No Anonymous, the State does not SPECIFY that Elmsford, a village without a library, must contribute their pro rata share of the Greenburgh Library. Are you suggesting that Ardsley residents and Elmsford residents have parity in sharing costs? And what Elmsford put forth at negotiations was that it couldn't afford to pay a pro rata share; much less add in their share of capital improvements. Because I like to mix the pot, I even contacted the Elmsford Mayor before the Referendum and suggested that Elmsford ask to be included in the Referendum because surely they should be asked to contribute toward the capital cost. What the State does insist is, when State aid is accepted, that the grantee (Library) must offer its services to the taxpayers (aka residents of New York State) whose taxes make these grants possible.

Again, since you are reading challenged and thus not likely a candidate to use any library, the issue remains that if an entity accepts State aid, and this entity has to make the subject facilities available to residents of the State as a result, is it worth taking the money? If Greenburgh takes $120,000 and Elmsford in the FUTURE determines that they don't have to pay Greenburgh because Elmsford is in New York State, then accepting $120,000 and losing upwards of $300,000 in annual service fees from Elmsford, may turn out to be seen as a mistake. Even if $120,000 is needed today. And, if so, Library budgeting issues should not handled like Wimpy buying hamburgers. "I should like two hamburgers today but I shall pay you on Tuesday." As I see it, there are two conflicting issues: villages without libraries and libraries grabbing State funding. Both may have a basis in law, however;
which one supercedes in not clear to me. But NOT on the table is a discussion of A and B issues.

I've already stated that I'm not interested in that game.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

Since you seem to think that a lot of these anons are Bob Bernstein (I'm not) -- it seems he wins a lot in court.

hal samis said...

Dear School Administrator (Anonymous, naturally)

Perhaps you have already started your summer break and have forgotten about a fairly well known practice in schools: grading students on their performance.

And while it has been a long, long time since I have been in school and gotten grades, I think I remember that "D" while not a good grade was still passing. And a "gentleman's C" was acceptable. However even back then there was pressure to get into the "right" college and I believe the cut-off point was defined starting at the B+ (ok for captain of the football team) up to and including an A+ grade point average rather than those grades below which of course were still acceptable and certainly not going to trouble the State.

So when you assure us that "in good standing" means that there are no "significant problems" which I read as "it is safe to go back into the water", surely you are jesting or otherwise defending the administrative policies of the school where you do work.

However, let's wake up and smell the Starbucks. The metro area is very much possessed by the widening gap between the top earners and the rest of the population which toils in the service sector. If your standards are to turn out students fit only to take the road to being a Starbucks barrista, then "no significant problems" is the slow lane for trucks on an incline. Whizzing by are the BMWs in the passing lane. So if your standards are calibrated by the knowledge that your students will never get a speeding ticket in the slow lane, then of course you will applaud those schools which turn out drivers with driving licenses "in good standing". Which is fine because the world, according to Starbucks store opening stats, will continue to need barristas.

However those that can afford to buy coffee at Starbucks versus working at Starbucks will likely be those who got better educations, certainly better than those who were characterized as "in good standing".

And even though my analogy is well worn out by now, permit me one final application. Westchester schools are selling education at Starbucks prices, not at the price of the House Blend at 7-11.
Let's not praise mediocrity because your children have to market their diploma in the outside world and trying to upgrade the hosting school's image will add lustre to its graduating class. Let's instead start upgrading the schools' self-serving administrators, even if they write as anonymous. The quality of education that kids get and are entitled to is the issue.
Don't turn, "it matters not that you won or lost but how you played the game" into a School District business plan.

hal samis said...

Dear 8:11,
You need to take a few reading classes at some of the schools the school administrator has warned us about.

When I detect Bob, I write "Dear Bob" or "Anonymous Bob".

Do you see me reply to you as such? And how do you equate HIS court wins with what you have written.

However, if you like, I can refer to you as "Bob's posse".

Anonymous said...

"The quality of education that kids get and are entitled to is the issue."

Of course! (And yes, these ratings are ONLY based on student performance.) I just thought I'd pass on some nice info, particularly since some people say that Greenburgh Central schools are "failing." I wouldn't be inclined to send my children to Greenburgh Central schools if I lived in that district, but it was certainly nice to see some bright spots that surpass mediocrity in student performance.

hal samis said...

And,
"The quality of mercy is not strained..."

Concerned Parent said...

Dear school administrator,

Even you see the problems with C7, the last thing we need is a rosie picture of the situation. It is time for people like yourself to stand up for the children in unincorp greenburgh and let the state know that C7 is broken. Only people like yourself can make the state see a merger into surrounding successful districts is the only way to succeed.
My children and I thank you for your support.

Dear Concerned Parent said...

When is the last time the state ordered a merger? It has taken over districts that where in much shape than Greenburgh7 (which apparently is not in bad shape, just not what you want). Actually, I only know of one takeover, in Long Island.

Anonymous said...

One of the very few, if only state takovers of school districts was Roosevelt, in Long Island, an extremely poor and minority school


Only 7 out of 117 Roosevelt High students graduated with a Regents diploma in 2001. Meanwhile, in an adjacent predominantly white school district, 190 out 227 students received Regents diplomas. Furthermore, Roosevelt High had one of the highest dropout rates in the state.

And Roosevelt was not merged with any adjacent districts. So where you get these ideas from is comical. The G7 administratores are not going to give up their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Concerned Parent:

There can be no State action regarding Greenburgh Central since student performance is "in good standing" and there's no fiscal crisis.

The only way to effect change in Greenburgh Central is though the Board of Education and the Superintendent - residents demanding the same high quality instruction offered by other higher performing districts. Every district has the same State standards, but how they're achieved is a local school district matter.

I don't live in the Greenburgh Central district, and my job is not with a district in the area, but I hope that the Greenburgh Central residents can band together tightly to demand higher quality instruction (and discipline at Woodlands, from what I hear).

Anonymous said...

In life (and in the education business) the fish rots at the head as they say.

If you have ever watched a C7 Board of Education meeting either in person or on cable you would quickly understand why things are as they are.

The disgraceful behavior by some members of the Board, particularly Mr. Williams, towards the Superintendent would turn your stomach. I can only imagine what quality caliber of potential Superintendent candidates would be willing to subject themselves to that type of foolishness, in the midst of all the serious issues that the district faces.

If the students in C7 behaved like some members of the BOE, I hope that they would be disciplined.

The BOE sets a terrible example for the C7 students. Let’s hope they are not watching.

The BOE is reaping what they sow.

new vision needed for the town said...

another example of a poorly run town
see the vines covering the street sign at west hartsdale just across from the karate/dance studio

see the faded street signs all over the town

maybe the person in charge spends too much time promoting himself and his relatives instead of seeing the decay and neglect

hal samis said...

Or because the office of Supervisor cannot be everywhere, truly concerned residents would contact the DPW directly and follow up with the Supervisor if no action is taken.

And since the Town Council does no politicking of its own and they have an aide in Town Hall with nothing better to do than hear from you, why not call Mr. Kaminer for FAST FASt FAst Fast fast fas fa f ...relief.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hal,

How come young Kaminer has not been able to stem the tide going against his employers on the l'affaire Sewer District blog??????

Anonymous said...

Has anyone experienced difficulty with Verizon in regard to getting Town Hall broadcasts? The Town of Greenburgh meetings have been replaced by Irvington meetings.

Anonymous said...

verizon has messed up. Town hall meetings have disapeared ,I can't figure what they are showing. Sometime theres a picture of some sort,but the voice is a town meeting coming from Irvington. Most of the time theres a picture and no voice. Whatever happened to their promises,the service as far Greenburgh goes sucks.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the problem with Verizon is similar to the problem with Cablevision? The oversight of the franchise lies in the office of the Town Clerk. Perhaps a full time employee whose hours more closely match those of her constituients would improve many Town functions.
Why is Greenburgh the only government whose regular public meeting minutes must be FOIL'ed? Open government? Not on this Clerk's watch...

Anonymous said...

Verizon officials must be contacted as soon as posible. This has been going on too long. Is there someone on the board who is the laison for cable, we want some answers as to what has happened to this access channel.

Anonymous said...

Many of us left cablevision for better service,maybe that was a big mistake.It seems what is of interest to us since we cant get to town meetings was taken away from us. I'm not interested in Eastchester,or Irvington.If we cannot get back the Greenburgh access channel then we must see that how to reinstate ourselves with cablevision.We also do not have Westchester news on any channel ,as before. We were promised the world but it's starting to crumble.TOO BAD.

Anonymous said...

Touting the idea of "competition" Greenburgh residents were convinced that adding Verizon as a source was a better (Feiner?) idea than a single provider. The reality is that once granted the right to provide the service, neither company has been properly supervised by the Town. The Town Clerk (up for re-election this go around) has the responsibility for overseeing the providers. As Hal notes, "it takes only three" but in this case it takes only one and she is clearly not up to the job. Elect SAMIS as Town Clerk - write his name in on election day!

Anonymous said...

11:23 says "Elect SAMIS as Town Clerk - write his name in on election day!"

Wow. What a great idea. It would shake up Town Hall. The other great idea is not to vote for Alfreda Williams.

Anonymous said...

I don't care who is running for that seat.the problem should be fixed. It has not been availabe to us for more than a week. Some of the programs before this wipe out had no voice. This is no way to run a business. Verizon takes our money but they do not give us the service that was promised. How much longer must one wait for answers.

hal samis said...

Samis is not running.
But by all means get rid of Ms. Williams.

We need an AM Town Clerk.

This does not in any way mean that the Town Clerk's staff does not do a good job -- which they do. But Ms. Williams is tired of the job, acts like it and residents, in turn, are tired of her.

And the Town Clerk POSITION is not one of the "just 3" voters.

Anonymous said...

Is it to late to run against miss Williams for Town Clerk? anybody have any idea's ?

Anonymous said...

Somebody is running against Williams. Her name is Beville.

Anonymous said...

Verizon is not doing a thing to help the channel 32 matter. where do we go from here. Can we go to the Public service commission,or what.This is a disgrace,after all the meetings to give them a chance in coming into our area,they leave the town high and dry.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the Town of Greenburgh does not have an effective Chief Executived

hal samis said...

The problem is that dealing with the cable franchisees has been the job of the Town Clerk, Ms. Williams.

And before the Town Council rode to "the rescue" with the fabulous 10 year deal that they procured for Greenburgh residents (screwed them to the sticking place), there was Ms Williams quietly floundering.

Floundering even in the days when Greenburgh had a citizens cable review board which quit in frustration.

Still floundering in silence is the renewal of the lapsed franchise agreement with Cablevision. Going on three, maybe even four years now. When the going gets tough, the tough don't go they just remain in place, same old, same old.

And quivering and shaking in their boots must be Cablevision because with the Verizon competition and no signed contract, they RAISED their own rates.

Meanwhile, in Town Hall at public meetings, the microphone/speaker system still doesn't work as it hasn't since inception and at the old town hall also. This represents a major non-expense but of course, this is DPW, Al Regula territory.

So you really think the Town Council is better than the Supervisor? And they have a major domo to follow up all these little things? No they have a major don't know and don't do ......unless he is doing it for Francis.

Anonymous said...

Bill Greenawalt was at the hastings Con Ed meeting. He's back in the race!

Anonymous said...

What race is Greenawalt back into .He's got to be kidding.He can't make sense at town meetings with his comments what could he do for us if he's running again. He keeps pushing that he is part of a park committee ,we are not a park. I don't think he's gualified to run for any seat in Greenburgh. In other words he's over the hill.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the sewer investigation blog.

Anonymous said...

Greenawalt is a helluva lot better suited for Supervisor than Berger. He has been coming to Town Board meetings for years. Berger only discovered them once she decided to run. Greennawalt is a resident. Berger is just a politician.

Anonymous said...

Does residency or attendance make a good candidate. What is need young blood. we need people with knowledge of how a town is run. Management is needed. If there is no one right now with good management skills let's stick with what we have until the next time.

Anonymous said...

Neither Berger or Greenawalt are fit to run for supervisor.Greenawalt is too old and Berger does not even know where town hall is. What makes this crazy is because the democratic party endorced someone does that mean that the person is qualified.Right now there is no one in position to run. The democratic party is pulling on straws. the democratic party machine is running out of oil and with the prices going up they may never recover. I'm a democrate but by golly I wont be voting party line this time arround.Feiner must win this election to prove to the residents that he could stand up to Sheehan ,Kaminer and the board.The four members of the board have to go. Sheehan runs the board the way he wants to go. This is not a way to run a government. He's running a circus and he's training the three as to what to say and do.