Sunday, May 13, 2007

MEETING TUESDAY NIGHT TO DISCUSS E HARTSDALE AVE FLOODING...BD TO BE ASKED TO VOTE ON RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING STUDY AT NEXT TWN BD MEETING: MAY 23

There will be an important community meeting this Tuesday evening at 8 PM at Greenburgh Town Hall to discuss the flooding on E Hartsdale Ave. Short term and long term action steps will be discussed that could reduce the possibilities of a repeat of the recent flood disaster. At the meeting of the Greenburgh Town Board on May 23rd I will introduce a resolution calling on the Board to authorize the initiation of an independent study to determine the reasons for the flood and to come up with recommendations. I plan to actively pursue the suggestion to place a temporary library on E Hartsdale Ave -- a proposal that so far has received widespread support from businesses and residents of E Hartsdale Ave.
We need to analyze the reasons why the stores suffered so much damage. What were the causes? There may be a number of reasons why we experienced the flood. We need to give this the highest priority attention. 2 stores opened last week, Lia's and Harry's Restaurants are expected to open within the next two weeks. We need to act now. If we experience another storm we can have a repeat incident unless we take steps to reduce the possibilities.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has the pipe been fully cleaned out? Clearly that is the first step; no committee is needed to decide that.

Anonymous said...

have Regula's department clean out all the catch basins in that area.
Prevention is always a cure. It seems the basins are cleaned out when homeowners complain of flooding.This shoud be part of their jobs,to be done a few times a year.

hal samis said...

Maybe there is $310,000 just floating around for no purpose in a maintenance budget that can be used. Hint: see Library.

Can Carnac the Magnificent see a budget transfer forthcoming?

Anonymous said...

There was significant water damage on east hartsdale ave due to a stream which is on private property.

Meeting conflicts with school budget vote said...

Why schedule an important meeting such as this on the evening of the school budget vote?

Was scheduling this meeting that night your idea, or did the Town Council schedule it with you?

I sure hope this isn't another instance where you were so anxious to issue a press release to show you're being "pro active" that you didn't even consult with your colleagues?

If so, a little truth in advertising may show this meeting may be nothing more than another one of your exercises in self-promotion.

If that's not what you had in mind, please re-schedule the meeting.

Don't you realize that many who would otherwise want to attend are working to make sure their friends and neighbors come out and vote that night?

Or are you oblivious to the fact that May 15 is the date all school districts in New York vote on their budget and school board candidates?

Yes virginia, oblivious. said...

Feiner is our own debris. Time to clear him out of office.

Anonymous said...

The school bd budget and elections are held from 6AM to 9 PM. The meeting starts at 8 PM. The Town Bd will be at the meeting since its during their normal work session--on Tuesday. We need to move quickly and address the E Hartsdale Ave flooding problem.

Anonymous said...

If feiner does he's damded if he does't he's damded. Make up you minds. Flooding questions should be answered asap.The school vote,as we all know passes every year whether we like it or not .Flooding must be addressed,for many reasons. Insurance companies are refusing to pay claims but at the same time premiums are going up. The people in the flood areas need answers.

Anonymous said...

School budgets don't pass every year whether we like or not.

Who's to say that Central 7's school budget will pass this year? Residents there who want to see it pass will be working very hard Tuesday evening to make sure their friends and neighbors get to the polls. And residents who object will presumably be working just as hard.

And don't think Edgemont's budget is so secure either.

Two years ago, Feiner's campaign worked mightily to try to defeat the Edgemont school budget and it lost by 13 votes. (On a re-vote, it won by more than 900 votes).

So yes, a lot of people will be busy Tuesday night -- after all, school taxes account for 55% of the property taxes we pay. This really matters.

But getting answers to what happened with the flooding is important too.

Given the millions of dollars in damage -- much of which might have been minimized if only the town had been candid about what it knew about the inadequacy of the drainage system there and warned businesses and residents to move their property to higher ground -- solving the flooding problem should be the town's number one priority right now.

Given that, why wasn't the flooding meeting scheduled for some time last week, or the week before, or even for tonight?

Why is it so important that the meeting must take place on Tuesday night?

Anonymous said...

In addition to the School Budgt, Edgemont has 2 other votes. One is for candidates for school Board. The other is to allow the district to accept over 600,000 in certain state aid. Please vote.

hal samis said...

Let's see, criticize Feiner for scheduling the meeting the same night as the School District votes.

Or you can criticize Feiner for scheduling the meeting when members of the Town Council cannot
attend.

Or you can criticize Feiner for scheduling the meeting when the merchants cannot attend.

And you can ignore that tonight (Monday) there was a meeting of the Conservation Advisory Committee scheduled (since cancelled), Wednesday, the Planning Board is meeting and Thursday the Zoning Board meets.
Must be a widespread conspiracy to disrupt the vote on the Edgemont School budget.

Of course if Edgemont were an independent Village, then they would have their own Planning and Zoning Boards and they could schedule their own meetings whenever they wanted. Another reason to become a Village, hurry, time's a wasting.

Or they could vote on the school budget before the flooding meeting or they could skip the flooding meeting. But then who would show up to do the criticizing?

Or you could include the Town Council in your finger pointing.
Perhaps saying that all they are interested in is scheduling meetings which concern proposed supermarkets, Tarrytown Road and those nearby civic associations.

Finally, the Journal News reports that Ossining's new Town Manager was hired @ $160,000 and quit.
Greenburgh, larger than Ossining would have to pay much more to retain such talent. So, if we should hire a professional Town Manager, then we also need to do away with a paid Supervisor and paid Town Council and paid Town Council legislative aide. All in favor, say aye.

Anonymous said...

WHILE I GENERALLY AGREE WITH WHAT MR. SAMIS BLOGS ABOUT, IT IS HIGH TIME TWO OF HIS ITEMS NEED TO BE CLEARED UP!
#1- THE "PHANTOM" $310M LIBRARY MAINT. LINE IS STRICTLY A %AGE
OF WHAT IS CALLED THE "I" FUND-
IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT IS COSTS TO TOTALLY RUN THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL
SERVIE FUND, BLDG. MAINT. DEPT., REPAIR SHOP, STREET LIGHTING, ETC.
THAT AMOUNT IS DIVIDED BY THE # OF THE VARIOUS DEPTS. & EACH DEPT. IS "ASSESSED" THAT AMOUNT-- IF THERE WERE NO LIBRARY, THE TOTAL SALARIES, PARTS, BENEFITS, WOULD NOT CHANGE, JUST THE NUMBER OF DIVISORS WOULD DECREASE & THE BUDGET LINE "903.0" IN EACH DEPT.
WOULD RISE & THEREFORE TOTAL THE EAXT SAME AMOUNT.
THEREFORE MR. SAMIS'S MYTH #1 IS NOW GONE

#2. AS FOR THE CONSTANT HARPING ON MR. REGULA'S DEPT. RE: THE ISLANDS & MEDIANS, LET IT BE KNOWN ONCE & FOR ALL THAT THE RESPONSIBILTY FOR THOSE BELONGS TO
THE RECREATION DEPT. & WHILE HOURS ARE SPENT HAND PLACING FLOWERING BULBS & PLANTS A ALL THE ENTRANCES TO OUR PARKS, WALKS, MONUMENTS, WALLS ETC. THE MAINTENANCE OF THE ISLANDS, MEDIANS, ETC. GOES UNDONE!!
IT IS UNCONSCIONABLE THAT THE PARKS
SUPT. & COMMISSIONER OF RECREATION
ALLOWS THIS MISINFORMATION TO CONTINUALLY BE REPEATED INSTEAD OF TAKING THE HIGH-ROAD!!

day late and a dollar short said...

Sadly, it looks like tomorrow night's so-called "community" meeting is just another Feiner publicity stunt.

Feiner plans to grandstand for the benefit of the media he's invited; he's got nothing substantive to discuss -- whatever he thought needed to be said to the merchants was said at last week's work session.

Of course, that was before it was reported that the town's known since 2005 that the drainage system protecting East Hartsdale Avenue was inadequate, that the town knew flooding there was inevitable even for a moderate storm, and that prior to the nor'easter,measures could have been taken to warn the merchants and property owners to protect their property by moving it to higher ground or covering it up.

Merchants and residents might want to know about that, but as far as future steps are concerned, Feiner's so far drafted no resolution for anyone to look at.

The only resolution he's got is the one suggested weeks ago to form a drainage district in order to fund any future long or short-term study.

That's right -- as far as things stand right now, if you don't like floods, Feiner's prepared to help alright, provided the nearby property owners first agree to pay for the help themselves.

Anonymous said...

Just VOTE NO!!! for the Greenburgh #7 Budget.
It's a waste of money, just like the Library exspansion is.

Anonymous said...

I was reading the local paper today, the headline is Mt. Kisco Cops get support. Deputy Mayor expects officers to be cleared.

Would be nice if the Town of Greenburgh Police Department Officers had YOUR SUPPORT in the upcomming federal law suit mess that you have created !!!!

Should be funny when you come ask the POLICE OFFICERS for their support in your upcomming election ...... just makes me laugh

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I was reading the local paper today, the headline is Mt. Kisco Cops get support. Deputy Mayor expects officers to be cleared.

Would be nice if the Town of Greenburgh Police Department Officers had YOUR SUPPORT in the upcomming federal law suit mess that you have created !!!!

Should be funny when you come ask the POLICE OFFICERS for their support in your upcomming election ...... just makes me laugh

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I was reading the local paper today, the headline is Mt. Kisco Cops get support. Deputy Mayor expects officers to be cleared.

Would be nice if the Town of Greenburgh Police Department Officers had YOUR SUPPORT in the upcomming federal law suit mess that you have created !!!!

Should be funny when you come ask the POLICE OFFICERS for their support in your upcomming election ...... just makes me laugh

Anonymous said...

The only person who created the police mess was Sheehan. He was the top gun in the investigation,and the others had to follow suit.We have to get ready for the law suit that is expected to take place, One will be settled real soon then the other one will take place,money,money and more money coming out of our pockets.

hal samis said...

Dear 12:21,

The "myth" as you would have it is still alive.

A budget is a financial proejction of how the money in the coming year is to be spent. It is supposed to be accurate based upon what is known at the time of preparation and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

What everyone concerned with drawing up and passing the budget knew, well in advance of the final, approved version of the budget, was that there was no library building in sight. Thus if the DPW overhead was $100 divided by 10 departments, then within some tolerance it can be assumed that each department was consuming $10 of the total expense. However, if known in advance that there were not going to be 10 but 9 departments, then the cost for these 9 would rise to $11 and the 10th, the Library would be $0. This correction could have done before even the Supervisor's version was set in type. And it certainly could have been corrected at the same time that the Town Council's adjustments were added.

Alternatively, financial statements are accompanied by a little device known as the "footnote". The Town Budget even has scattered a few of these among the many departments. However, such an explantion was "overlooked" for the Library line item, building maintenance.

So the second way to justify the $310,000 was also ignored. And the footnote was the easiest way, requiring no new calculations to spread the "fixed" cost over the remaining user departments.

But no. The powers that be chose to ignore common sense, accounting principles and instead remain committed to their "business as usual" way of doing things.

You believe that no reduction in overhead would be forthcoming during the current year to recognize the building's disappearnce from the maintenance roster. I suggest that there may be other things afoot that will account for the presumed excess funding. However, speculation aside, one way to have made the issue go way was to listen to the Public (me) at the Public Hearings on the Budget and make the changes so that the Budget would accurately reflect the proposed expenditures for 2007. Whereas predicting the financial future is bound to produce budget transfers based upon changing conditions and expenditures, the Library item was not born of such circumstances. Accurate posting of income and expenses is basic to both the early draft (Supervior's budget which reflects what is already known and agreed at its preparation) and the changes that can come from not only the Town Council but also the Public during the Public Hearing.

I submit that this issue is far from over and the resolution from the Comptroller (when he is finally apprised of all the facts) may shed some light.

So what is now a myth to you may emerge as a moth that nibbles away the wool pulled over your eyes.

Anonymous said...

HAL. YOU JUST DON'T GET IT OR YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO ADMIT THAT YOU JUST MIGHT BE WRONG-- YES MAYBE THE LINE SHOULDN'T HAVE APPEARED IN THE LIBRARY BUDGET, BUT THE FACT REMAINS, THAT THE BOTTOM LINE COST OF PAYING, UNIFORMING, SUPPLIES & BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE REMAINS THE SAME, WHETHER IT IS DIVIDED BY 8-9 OR 10 DEPTS. THE $310M WOULD BE REQUIRED LIBRARY OR NOT, IT IS JUST A PAPER # AS IS THE COMMUNICATIONS COST IN THE SAME AREA OF EACH DEPARTMENTAL BUDGET SECTION, & THE EQUIPMENT
REPAIR LINES!!!!

hal samis said...

I love how "I just don't get it or don't want to admit that I just may be wrong" IN CAPS and then
"maybe the line shouldn't have appeared in the Library budget".

Guess what, it should not have appeared PERIOD And even after the approved budget, the first week of 2007 it should have been transferred out, so what is the Comptroller waiting for?

And assuming that the $310,000 includes what you say it does, does that mean that DPW is inflexible and has to maintain the same level of expenses even when there is one less Department to cover?

And wherever the Library is located it will have equipment to maintain and communications charges so pick another example.

Nor does the maintenance line cover employee benefits; thus the true number is more like $400,000.

And all this pre-supposes the assumption that the DPW cost is really divided among departments equally. How about DPW and the Comptroller do the work and see how many man hours are spent actually in maintaining a particular Department and not just give taxpayers the average.

So, assuming things are what you say they are, then I would be stupid too.

But all this will be resolved when I receive the Comptroller's ruling.
And I don't expect HE will be replying anonymously.

Anonymous said...

You can ask the Police officers for support during an election, but it doesn't really matter because not many of them live in Town to Vote.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner: What is the purpose of having a community meeting about the flooding? Just clean and/or replace the pipe, no?

Feiner costs us too much said...

The purpose is for Feiner to look like he is doing something when in fact the time to have done something was in 2005 when the Town knew the pipe was inadequate.One has to wonder how Feiner sleeps knowing his ineptitude has cost millions and helped destroy several local businesses. We cannot afford Feiner any longer.

Anonymous said...

How do you know that the problem was reported to Feiner. I dont think so,because he would have acted immediately. Put the blame on the person who was supposed to do a thorough cleanup job all thru the town.

Feiner's silence can only mean he knew said...

Has Feiner denied it!!! His press release machine is generally always on. Silence here indicates guilty as charged.

Feiner 's dilemma said...

If Feiner says he didn't know about the memos, people will think he sits around all day, as the full-time supervisor, issuing press releases instead of talking to his managers. (This increasingly seems to be the case).

If he says he knew about the memos, then Mr. Open Government is guilty of incompetence for not doing anything about them and worse, for not warning everyone to move to higher ground when the storm was predicted.

Anonymous said...

This happened on private property, not town property.

Town Property? You decide said...

If so, why was Feiner cleaning the drains?? I strongly urge you to heed Alfred North Whitehead who said - see simplicity and distrust it.

Anonymous said...

The closed pipe drainage system that was installed underneath properties on East Hartsdale Avenue may be located on private property, but it has always been the town's responsibility to maintain and/or upgrade.

Private property owners are responsible only for making sure that the storm drains on their property are not obstructed. The rest is the town's responsibility.

Anonymous said...

A town's closed underground drainage pipe system, located almost exclusively on private properties, would be subject to an implied easement on the part of the town to do what's needed to repair, replace and/or clean such system.

Anonymous said...

What happened on E Hartsdale Ave also happened in Bronxville, Mamaroneck, Yonkers, Rye, New Jersey-- all over the metropolitan area.

Anonymous said...

But as far as we know, only with respect to East Hartsdale Avenue in Greenburgh was there a town memo from 2005 which warned of flooding there because of inadedquate infrastructure, a clogged underground concrete pipe to carry the water off, and a surface debris blocking the drains.

And only in Greenburgh did the full-time town supervisor there have the time to issue a press release pre-storm congratulating himself for getting the drains cleaned -- but somehow didn't have time to warn merchants and property owners on East Hartsdale Avenue that their property needed to be moved to higher ground or otherwise protected.

That's the difference between what happened on East Hartsdale Avenue and what happened everywhere else.

hal samis said...

Anyone using "moved to a higher ground" owes Bob Bernstein royalty (one it loses at one end, it gains on the other) payments. But why would Bob want to pay himself?

Anonymous said...

There was flooding all over NYS and New Jersey. Only in Greenburgh are officials willing to retain the services of an outside firm to determine who is to blame. That's good.

Anonymous said...

Only in Greenburgh has it been revealed that the town knew two years before the flooding was inevitable on East Hartsdale Avenue, even from a moderate rainstorm, because the town's drain pipe was too small and too clogged with debris.

Only in Greenburgh was there a town supervisor who had time to issue a press release two days before the big storm, congratulating himself for getting the town's drains cleaned, but didn't have time to warn the merchants and property owners on East Hartsdale Avenue that flooding there was inevitable, that cleaning the drains there wouldn't do much good, and that the best thing they could do was protect their property or move it elsewhere.

And only in Greenburgh is there a town supervisor so utterly incapable of knowing what to do that he thinks the proper response from the town is to conduct a "study" -- provided the immediately impacted property owners agree in advance to pay for it -- rather than order the town to come up with an emergency plan to deal with the flooding the next time the forecast is for a moderate storm.

Anonymous said...

The town has tried to help the merchants and residents of East Hartsdale Ave. The town staff did a great job.

Anonymous said...

In the Supervisor's town e-mail this afternoon, he states, "A resolution will be on the agenda next Wednesday night when the Town Board meets authorizing the initiation of a professional study to determine the causes of the flood and to make recommendations."

I truly hope that this resolution is voted down. No "study" is needed. Just keep the drains and pipes fully clear of debris at all times, and issue an RFP for installing a larger pipe within the next few months - period.

hal samis said...

Dear 4:49,

And writing this you have to do so as anonymous?

Anonymous said...

NOT only do the basins have to be cleaned of the debris,I understand that there is a stream that runs under the buildings, this should be checked by the landlords also.The town and the landlords should be working together for the remedy.

Hartsdale Wine & Liquor Store said...

The only people who can actually check the brook for debris are the supers for 150,160,170,180 east hartsdale ave.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect Mr. Hartsdale Wine and Liquor, whom I support, the Town has the right and the responsibility to inspect the brook, the drain, etc.

hal samis said...

With all due respect to the Town Council (and I give them what is due) which I don't support, why don't you brave folks post the 2005 memo on the website? Or is there some other reason that is more appealing than assisting residents?

My sole interest is to see that the "heat" is distributed evenly; why should only Feiner take the blame?

Anonymous said...

SHOW US THE MEMO,if you have a copy Bernstein please print it.If not advise Mr, Bass to do it,

Anonymous said...

Hope Francis, Diana, Eddie Mae, Steve will support a study and won't play politics when it comes to this important town issue- rain, storms, floods.