Friday, June 22, 2007

WESTHELP PARTNERSHIP-TOWN BD TO PROVIDE WESTHELP PARTNERSHIP FUNDS TO FAIRVIEW

The Town Board will vote at the July Town Board meeting to release funds from the WESTHELP partnership to the Fairview Fire district! We made a promise to the district. I'm pleased that the Town Council will keep that part of the promise.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Let's remember all the promises!

Anonymous said...

Is this money going to be spent to benefit the entire town?

Is this a total waste of money?

Anonymous said...

does the chief need a new car.

Anonymous said...

Why should we all pay for Fairview. Give to the other fire dept. also

Anonymous said...

Count on a lawsuit and suits against any board member who votes in favor of this illegal act.

public hearing promised and required said...

The public was promised a hearing to show that disbursement of the town's revenues from the rent received from the county for the WestHELP shelter will be used solely for town purposes and for a town-wide benefit.

That promise must be kept.

After the state comptroller found the town's $6.5 million giveaway of these town revenues to Valhalla schools was illegal and in certain respects unconstitutional, the public cannot take these matters on faith anymore.

The state comptroller's 50-page report on WestHELP said there was no documentation to support Feiner's assertion that the money going to Valhalla schools was needed to compensate either Mayfair Knollwood or the school district.

The grant to the Fairview Fire District must be subjected to the same scrutiny. If there's documentation presented at a public hearing of a town purpose and a town-wide benefit -- both must be shown -- then it's okay to release the funds.

It's not okay otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I hope that the Board will renegotiate the entire contract, as suggested by the state comptroller. They should recognize the fact that they made a promise, they need to keep the promises made. To the Fairview Fire Dept, to the Valhalla School district.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:22

Not to worry. Bass and Barnes will join Feiner to defeat Sheehan on this one. Bass and Barnes do not want to lose the entire Mayfair Knollwood vote.

Anonymous said...

The "promise" made to the Fairview Fire District did not require that the money be used for town purposes or that the money be used for a purpose that serves all residents town-wide.

As such, the "promise" was illegal, and illegal promises are not only unenforceable, but when they involve town revenues, continuing to honor such illegal promises amounts to fiscal recklessness and contempt for taxpayers everywhere else in town, including the villages.

Anonymous said...

I think the way to solve this is take the Valhalla and the Fairveiw money. Add it up and give to all Greenburgh FDs on some rationale basis (square miles covered, per capital, tax basis, anything objective) and let everyone take a share fairly.

Anonymous said...

To 11:59 you can't just do with the money what you want. There is the law, remember? The State Comptroller said that the Valhalla gift has to go to the town-wide budget and spent for town-wide purposes. The same thing is true with the Fire District gift, but the politicians are afraid to make the Fairview Fire District unhappy so they will give them money anyway.

The Fire District is self-supporting. It gets its own taxes. It isn't supposed to be financed by the town.

When is Paul Feiner going to get that through his head. And when are Barnes and Bass going to stop pandering.

Anonymous said...

Keep the promise to Fairview and to Valhalla school district. Eddie Mae Barnes, Steve Bass & Diana Juettner should honor their commitments.

Anonymous said...

Westhelp does not pay taxes. This money should help off set that. Only Fairview responds to Westhelp. Why should other departments get money?

Anonymous said...

No fire district should get money. That's the law. If you start ignoring the law, where do you stop?

Anonymous said...

Why must the government body that represents me keep this promise? Does the "promise" contractually bind Greenburgh? Was there offer, acceptance and consideration? Has Fairview F.D. demonstrated that it has detrimentally relied on this "promise"? Is this a quasi-contract? A promise - as opposed to a contract, or evidence of intent to create a contract- is not enforceable.

Anonymous said...

Paul Feiner, Steve Bass, Eddie Mae Barnes, Diana Juettner approved a contractual agreement with the Fairview Fire Dept promising to give the fire district and Valhalla school district funds every year. The NYS Comptroller's office did not issue any findings objecting to the contributions to the Fire district. They indicated that the town could renegotiate the contract with the school district.

Anonymous said...

The "contractual agreement" that Feiner is talking about is nothing more than a gift of town revenues for fire district purposes -- not town purposes -- to be spent on the fire district's needs, not those of the town at large.

As such, the "contractual agreement" with the Fairview FD that Feiner wants the town board to ratify is illegal on its face.

If the town wants to work within the law, it should do as promised: it should hold a public hearing during which the Fairview FD can demonstrate that the money will be spent on town purposes -- not fire district purposes -- and that all residents of the town will benefit, not just those in the Fairview FD.

Feiner forgets that, as the state comptroller made clear, the WestHELP revenues belong to all taxpayers of the town, including those in the villages and in other fire districts, and should be spent not as Feiner would like to spend them, but in accordance with the law.

Anonymous said...

8:20 is absolutely right. The only problem is that Feiner's blog says that the Town Board will vote to release the funds. The Town Board is acting illegally because it has a political motive to break the law. Residents should press the entire Town Board on this.

Mickey (not anony) Mouse said...

Here's an idea to end the controversy. Mr. Feiner made a promise and the Town Board didn't make him renounce it. On this one point all agree.
A group feels that once a promise has been made it must be kept.
Another group feels that illegal promises cannot be kept.
Let Mr. Feiner and the members of the Town Board who are recorded as voting for the promise make personal contributions from their campaign funds to cover the promise.
It isn't illegal, it keeps the promise and it ends the controversy.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong. The entire Town Board made the promise. It is a formal grant which was voted on unanimously by the Town Board.

feiner misleading the public again said...

Any grant or gift of town revenues, whether "formal" or otherwise, if made illegally as is the case here, cannot and should not be enforced.

Feiner is also conveying false and misleading information in announcing on his blog that the town board will be giving the money away this Wednesday.

There is nothing on the town board's agenda for the meeting this coming Wednesday which says the town board is going to release any funds to anyone.

Instead, what the agenda says is as follows:

"A local law is in development and will be introduced at the next Town Board meeting (Wednesday, July 18) that will provide for reimbursement to the Fairview Fire District for certain expenses."

The fact that the town board is working on a "local law" to deal with funding for the Fairview FD is significant in several respects.

First, it's pretty obvious that if the town needs to address the "grant" in the form of a local law, the town council understands, if Feiner doesn't, that the Fairview grant can no longer be enforced as written.

That's a good thing because it shows that the town council has respect for the law, even if Feiner does not.

Second, local laws cannot be enacted in New York without a public hearing. That means that the town council will honor its promise to hold a public hearing before agreeing to disburse any town revenues from WestHELP to anyone.

That's the best way to ensure that any decision to give away town revenues -- assuming that's what the town council decides to do -- is given away in accordance with the law.

Third, the announcement speaks of giving money to the Fairview FD for "reimbursement" of certain expenses.

That's useful too, because it tells us that the town council is limiting the grant to expenses already incurred -- which will make it much easier to see whether the grant would be for town purposes (as opposed to fire district purposes) and provide a town-wide benefit (as opposed to a benefit only for the Fairview FD).

Finally, we're told the local law is in "development." That means the town council is at least taking the time do whatever is necessary to make sure that whatever is proposed is consistent with the law.

Feiner evidently could care less about such details when it comes to disbursing town revenues, but the rest of us in town who pay taxes should.

illegal promise is unenforceable said...

one again, an illegal promise is not a promise - its nothing. zero. zilch. nada. capeesh valhalla.

Anonymous said...

Westhelp funds should not go to Fairview.They have a budget in place every year which is paid by the residents of their areas. They receive as much money as they demand no questions asked..

just a few facts said...

Westhelp pays no taxes,westhelp is a burden on the Fairview Fd I do not know how many calls they respond to there every year, but i know it's alot and it cost money for fuel and personel/equipment. Greenburgh police do not respond there county police do. Transcare ambulance responds there not Greenburgh. Why should'nt there be some kind of compensation? plus fairview goes all over the town even every village educating the kids of those towns with a SAFETY TRAILER and also they run a car seat program free of charge for residents.including the villages, another thing, the Fairview fire district has 47% of there district tax free.
Town Hall,police Hq's, Youth center,the waste of money new Library, WCC,20 churches, Hebrew Home, BOCES,New York school for the Deaf, Baily school, 7-8 half way homes for handicap people ,all of these proprtirs are tax free. and there are alot more properties that I know I'm forgetting

Anonymous said...

qestion for the Town board. Is it possible to use the westhelp money on a new building inspector and code enforcement inspectors who actually do something? Please look at the over crowding in single family homes and the houses on Prospect Ave, who store thier garbage at the curb 7 days a week against town code. It is a big eye sore. I've mentioned it to Gabe the garbage inspector but as always,nothing gets done.could we use it to stop the people from stealing the shopping carts? I know it's been taled about but nothing ever gets done around here!

Green Burgher said...

Dear Anonymous at 2:12PM -
The Fairview Fire District is an independent taxing authority. The fire department supported by those taxes is the same as the Hartsdale Fire Department and the Greenville Fire Department.
Townwide services? Hartsdale provides the support services necessary for Town's "fun" events like the upcoming concert series to be held at DeSantis Plaza. Greenville provides emergency first responders for accidents on the Sprain Parkway. Do these activities make them somehow less deserving of Town revenue dollars than Fairview?
As for the large number of tax-exempt facilities in the District - perhaps the Town should have consulted with the Fire Commissioners BEFORE inviting those institutions to base themselves in the community. Now the Town might use some of its influence to suggest those organizations (many of which are actually quite wealthy - especially the "half-way" houses -make voluntary payments in lieu of taxes (formally called a PILOT program).
Even so, I am skeptical that the total value of exempt properties is higher in Fairview than in either Hartsdale or Greenville. Perhaps the Assessors Office could assist in determining the truth of your assertion.
Also, according to a post in another section of this blog, there is no such thing as the "Westhelp Partnership" - that seems to be just a name created to describe a method for disbursing politically controlled money. What seems to really be happening is that Town revenues are being distributed for maximum political effect in an election year.

Anonymous said...

green burgher said
you can be as skeptical as you want, go to Town hall and check, you will find out that about 45% of the properties in Fairview are tax free. How much afordable housing, homeless shelters or group homes are in Hartsdale or Edgemont? not many I bet.How many religious buildings(churches etc)? Fairview is loaded with them and they want to put another tax free school/church on Dobbs Ferry Rd. never mind the traffic! Please do not write about things you don't know much about.