Friday, July 13, 2007

EXTRAORDINARY SECRECY, FAVORITSM, VIOLATIONS OF LAW

On July 9, 2007 Richard Troy, a principal of S&R Development Estates, filed an affidavit with the Greenburgh Zoning Board of Appeals contesting a determination made by the Town’s Commissioner of Community Development that the 1 Dromore Road property is in a particular zone. The underlying issue is whether this property can be developed as a multi-family structure or whether it cannot be so developed. The Town’s zoning map shows this property to be in a CA-1 zone, which permits prescribed multi-family development Without getting to the merits of the zoning issue, the affidavit, which everyone should read, reveals extraordinary secrecy, favoritism, avoidance of proper procedures, and violations of law by the Town Council. It also shows the power given by the Town Council members to Bob Bernstein and Michelle McNally to harm the rest of unincorporated Greenburgh in their secret dealings with the Town Council, and with Steve Bass and Francis Sheehan in particular. I am requesting that it be placed on the Town’s website at www.greenburghny.com, but in the meantime anyone who wants it can email me and I will send it to them.. pfeiner@greenburghny.com

POSTED UNDER SUPERVISORS DOCUMENTS-- FORM/DOCUMENTS www.greenburghny.com

The affidavit deals with the demands made by Bernstein and McNally earlier this year for a moratorium. The ostensible reason for the requested moratorium was to prevent an increase in the Edgemont school population. The real purpose appears to be much more devious and malign --to acquire property for a town hall for Bernstein’s plan for Edgemont’s secession from Greenburgh. These secret dealings with the Town Council are a threat to Greenburgh. While the entire affidavit is chilling reading, a few paragraphs bear special mention and I will quote them.



Paragraph 41 (relating to a January 27, 2007 a meeting between Mr. Troy and several of his associates, and Steve Bass, Francis Sheehan, Bob Bernstein and Michelle McNally.)



“Prior to the meeting, Councilmnan Bass directed that we could not have our attorney, Mark Weingarten, attend this meeting nor could we inform him that the meeting would take place. At the meeting Councilman Sheehan stated that if there was any discussion about this meeting with Supervisor Feiner he would ‘walk away’ from any agreement. Moreover, we were expressly forbidden to relate any discussion that took place at the meeting with Hal Samis, an outspoken commentator on Greenburgh politics. While we were uncomfortable with these gag orders and the ad-hominem attacks of Councilman Sheehan on Supervisor Feiner (“Feiner screws everything up. I have to stay up all hours fixing his screw-ups”) and their attacks on Mr. Samis, we reluctantly accepted these condition and proceeded with the meeting in the hope of working out an agreement to develop the Property. We reached an agreement that the EEC would create a new “park district” and accept a conservation easement covering a portion of the property...”



Paragraph 44



“Soon thereafter, S&R received a letter dated February 2, 2007 from Robert Bernstein of the EEC contemplating S&R’s gifting of the Property directly to him. He sent us his draft of a Gift Agreement (Exhibit 19).”



Paragraph 46



“On February 3, 2007 ... another meeting organized by Councilman Bass and attended by Councilman Francis Sheehan, Councilwoman Eddie Mae Barnes and Councilwoman Diana Juettner, Robert Bernstein and Michelle McNally of the EEC... Councilman Bass and Councilman Sheehan had suggested that it would be appropriate for Councilwoman Barnes and Councilwoman Juettner to personally meet the principals of S&R since they would be formally voting to implement the Agreement. At this meeting, the parties again agreed: (a) S&R would grant a conservation easement on a portion of the Property; (b) S&R would grant an option to the EEC to purchase the Property for a price equal to S&R’s investment in the Property inconsideration of: (i) the Town’s agreement to modify the language of the proposed moratorium so that the Property would be excepted from its application, and (ii) the agreement by the Town and EEC to support our development application of a ten-unit town home development instead of the contemplated 37-unit development if the EEC did not exercise its purchase option.”



Paragraph 47



“At the February 3rd meeting, Robert Bernstein said that he would have Edgemont purchase the property through a bond offering by an Edgemont Park District he would create....Bernstein indicated that initially he would want to lease the land to the GNC [Greenburgh Nature Center]; thereafter he would want to use the land as the possible site for an Edgemont Town Hall if and when Edgemont seceded from the Town of Greenburgh. He stated that Edgemont did not own any other land as the possible site for an Edgemont Town Hall in the future. Regarding the park district, Robert Bernstein explained that S&R would grant the conservation easement to the park district and after Edgemont raised the funds to purchase the balance of the land Edgemont would own the entire property and be able to create a new town hall for itself upon secession...”



Paragraph 54



“[At about February 21, Mr. Troy] received a telephone call from Councilman Bass, who told me that he wanted to arrange for a referendum to be placed on the September primary voting ballot to approve a bond offering for the to-be-created Edgemont Parks Board to purchase our Property.....He asked me to ‘trust’ him that the bond offering would pass in September and asked me to make a gift of the Property immediately, without first being exempted from the moratorium. I declined his proposal.



Paragraph 55



“On February 26, 2007, breaching our prior agreements and after his ‘Trust Me’ telephone call, Councilman Bass sent out a ‘blast’ e-mail (Exhibit 24) ... stating that our Property was zoned R-20 (single family homes on half an acre). He went on to write that ‘The Town Council understands that the Greenburgh Nature Center’s board and Edgemont residents may prefer to see the Dromore Road Property not developed at all and have it preserved as open space. The Town Council will continue to explore with community leaders that possibility.’ Councilman Bass’ arrogance and his capitulation to the EEC and GNC is evident in this sentence. He continues to assert that the GNC and Edgemont residents should get to control our property.”



What all this means is clear.



First, as has become their standard operating procedure, Councilpersons Bass and Sheehan operate in secret about matters in which the public has great interest. The moratorium, which was really directed only at the Dromore Road property, would have very significant effect on the Central Avenue area. Discussions cannot be kept secret, especially when the matters discussed have such profound impact. The January 27 meeting, at which Councilman Bass commanded that S&R could not even tell their lawyers about it, is extraordinary, almost as extraordinary as Councilman Sheehan’s threat that if the Supervisor and/or Mr. Samis were told about the meeting he would walk away from any agreement -- an agreement that he was not authorized to make. I will not comment on the disrespectful and improper exclusion of the Supervisor in this matter because it is so obvious.



Second, instead of having public discussion, the discussions were limited to Bass, Sheehan, and Bob Bernstein and Michelle McNally. The latter two are not elected officials. It has been noticed for some time that Bernstein and McNally effectively run the Town Council, but this is the first time that this has been documented.



Third, at the February 3 meeting, all four Councilpersons attended. This was a blatant violation of the open meetings law. It is required that whenever a majority of the Town Board meets on town business, it must be a meeting open to the public. All four of the Councilpersons know this, and thus their violation of the law is all the more severe. It is interesting, by the way, that Bass and Sheehan said that Barnes and Juettner were there because they would vote on the agreement when, of course, the Supervisor also would vote on the agreement, but the Supervisor was not even told about the meeting.



Fourth, at the February 3 meeting, Bernstein made it obvious that his intention was for Edgemont to acquire the property not for park purposes, or to keep Edgemont school enrollment down, but to acquire the only possible site for a town hall upon Edgemont’s secession from Greenburgh. I suspect that what was meant was the implementation of Bernstein’s long campaign to make Edgemont a separate village, though it is not impossible that he actually means to secede and make Edgemont a separate town.



Fifth, Bernstein’s secession plan was obviously approved by the four Councilpersons, all of whom were present when he made his announcement. This is further evidenced by the fact that Bass called S&R to expedite the agreement, even asking Mr. Troy to transfer the property on trust -- an invitation Mr. Troy wisely declined.



Sixth, this entire story demonstrates that the Councilpersons have essentially turned over their governmental authority to Bernstein and McNally, to the great detriment of the rest of the town. The secession of Edgemont, or its incorporation as a separate village, would dramatically reduce the tax base of the town. Edgemont, which has the most expensive homes in the town, obviously pays relatively larger town taxes than less wealthy areas. Edgemont’s town taxes would be cut by more than 90% if it becomes a village, and disappear altogether if secession takes place. This would cause the town to eliminate or sharply reduce many of its services and programs, to the detriment of every other section of unincorporated Greenburgh. The effect on Hartsdale, Fairview, East Irvington, Donald Park, Orchard Hill, North Elmsford, Mayfair-Knollwood, and every other area of unincorporated Greenburgh would be enormous and these areas would suffer greatly. And yet, the four Councilpersons were, and are, quite prepared to let it happen in order to give Bernstein and McNally what they would like, irrespective of the impact on others.



I urge you to read the entire affidavit. You will be shocked and angry. And you should show both your shock and anger to the four Councilpersons.



You may call or write to me if you have any questions.

PAUL FEINER

pfeiner@greenburghny.com






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259 comments:

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feiner's sorry record said...

the petition by the dromore folks is laughable - they paid 1.4 million dollars for the parcel which they knew could only mean one thing - development of one or two single family dwellings and not multi-family. a quick look at the tax assessors records will most likely show the property is listed as ok for single family residences - not apt buildings.

if you want to find favoritism, secrecy and violations of law its spelled:

PAUL FEINER, WESTHELP, NEIGHBORHOOD PURPOSES, FLEXIBILITY, OFF BUDGET ACCOUNTS.

Remember, you can tell alot about a person by what he threatens you with. now re-read the heading of this blog topic.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a little introspection is called for Mr. Feiner. Perhaps you should ask yourself (and inform all of us) why, after 15 years of your administration, Greenburgh has reached this pitiful point.

Shaahan and Bass should be removed said...

The 11:05 blog is typical of the lies and diversions that the Town Council and their friends always use. Attack, Insult, etc.

The Troy affidavit is amazing. Whatever the zoning answers are, there is no possible justification for holding secret meetings, violating the open meetings requirements, giving Bernstein effective governmental power, giving support for Bernstein's admitted goal of getting the property for a village hall for his plan for Edgemont village, AND ALL OF THIS IN SECRET, WITH THREATS IF MR. TROY TELLS ANYONE.

There is possible criminality to this conspiratorial behavior, and no amount of lying and accusing Feiner will save the Council on this one. Bass and Sheehan are the worst and most dishonest persons we have ever had on the Town Board. Barnes and Jueetener are equally guilty because they let Bass and Sheehan do all these things.

How about a little decent principles here.

Anonymous said...

This is what many of us in GREENBURGH have been saying right along. The council is in Bernstein's and McNally's pocket. Not only are they the bosses of Edgemont But they have taken over Greenburgh without firing one shot.This was said sometime ago on one of the blogs that town matters were being fed to Bernstein and Mcnally by Bass and Sheehan.This way they would have their hot air speeches ready at every town hall meeting. I think it's about time that this is bought to the proper authorities. Bass And Sheehan should be held accountable for their parts in all the failures of town government. Bernstein and McNally should receive their do in what ever court of law that would incriminate them. If a law suit has to be brought forth so be it. It's about time that these two are put behind bars for what they have done with the Dromore property and the harm that they brought to many residents acroos Greenburgh.Thank you for bringing this to light. We always knew that they were bad news this proves that most of us were right on the button.
As for not allowing the supervisor and Samis to the meeting goes to prove how crooked the four of them are. If Samis were there we would have known about these meetings a long time ago.This should be printed in the newspapers asap. Don't wait to give them the story. But one word of advice be careful of the dummy Kaminer.If the developer requests a varience on this property let's see if the BErnstein and Mcnally team together with Bass And Sheehan,have influenced their decision.IS THIS OPEN GOVERNMENT'I do not think so.As a taxpayer and a law abidding citizen I resent the action of these four people .If a law suit is initiated against the four I will gladly pay my share to do the right thing.

Hartsdale Home Owner said...

To anony 11:24:
Please fill in a relative new comer to Hartsdale (four years) how I'm being harmed by all this. All i know is that in the last four years my taxes have increased substantially and my school district has declined.

Anonymous said...

The four members of the town council should be removed imediately .Their dishonesty cannot be accepted, by the residents, What else have these four people done behind closed doors.The are trying to ruin our way of living and our freedoms. Is this America. They should step down asap. Are there any special avenues to let them leave there present positions, and ban them from their outside positions. Bass should be thrown out of the Legislature,Juettner loose her law license,Sheehan his so called teaching position{I can't see him teaching forensic sciences }Barnes should retire completley.,I don't know what her jab is outside town hall.

Anonymous said...

Your taxes will be going up so long as Edgemont keeps running the town . Whatever Edgemont wants they get and we all have to pay. THey do not want development to continue in their part of town but it's ok somewhere else. They want to acquire more park land this costs money. You pay. Has anyone checked into the budgets, of Edgemont for the school system. I mean really look into every line. I don't think so. The residents of the other parts of town check everything that's why budgets get turned down. Edgemonts budget in all the years that I could remember was turned down once. No one in that area checks things out. WHY,They listen to the people who are running the show rather than to check their own pockets to see if they could afford what they are asking for. There are many smart people in that area but they have become followers. Too bad. When you receive your bill for taxes check it from one end to another and don't be afraid to speak up.

Anonymous said...

Does Bass, Sheehan, Barnes, Juettner favor the breakup of our town?
Why do they let Bernstein dominate their decisions?
Bernstein wasn't elected to represent us.

Anonymous said...

Why would Bass, Barnes, Juettner and Sheehan agree to allow the developer to give a gift to Bernstein (exhibit 19)?

a pocket full of holes said...

if bernstein has the town council in his pocket, why did they vote 5-0 to appeal his court victory that the whole town has to pay for taxter ridge?

This Town Council must go! said...

To answer Hartsdale Home Owner, if Edgemont becomes a separate village, then Edgemont residents will pay between 5% and 10% of the town taxes that they pay now. Since Edgemont has the highest-priced homes in Greenburgh, this would remove a large part of Greenburgh's tax base, and if that happens Greenburgh would have to cut or eliminate many of its services, programs, parks and recreation, and so on.

The affidavit about which Paul Feiner writes shows that the Town Council, especially Steve Bass and Francis Sheehan, are supporting Bernstein's efforts to separate Edgemont from unincorporated Greenburgh. It doesn't matter to them, because Edgemont will still be in the town as a separate village and therefore be able to vote for them. Eddie Mae barnes and Diana Juettner are no less guilty since they have supported Bernstein's plan to have Edgemont get the property for use as an Edgemont Village Hall.

It is disgraceful behavior. I hope that their rewars wil be to be voted out of office. Bass and Barnes this year, and Sheehan and Juettner next time around.

Anonymous said...

1. This is an affidavit filed by one party to a lawsuit -- that against the town.

2. This started because the land is not in multi-family, but the map was wrong.

3. That Feiner would choose to support a developer in a suit against the town is incredulous.

Anonymous said...

It is not incredulous -- Feiner is in developer's pocket.

Feiner publicly supporting someone litigating agaisnt town is unbelieivable

Anonymous said...

The vote against Bernstein 5--0 was just a good show. Sheehan and his follies were planning bigger and better things to go against the supervisor . THAT WAS JUST THE GROUND WORK .One has to see and read between the lines that ever since that court case everything has gone in Bernstein's favor.No one on the board has challenged him in any of his no nonsense speeches.The Edgemont's representatives and the town four have been working together for some time behind closed doors,planning in what ways they can overthrow Feiner. Do they have each board,zoning and planning board reporting to them. I hope not,but only time will tell . It looks like everything is coming out in the wash.

Anonymous said...

Hal could it be possible that more than a department head will resign.After this hits the fan maybe we will be luckey that more will resign.

Anonymous said...

Can't 12:33 and 12:36 understand that this isn't about Feiner or about a developer? This is about the Town Council operating in secrecy, violating the law, agreeing to give Bernstein a Village Hall for Edgemont, and pushing people around.

How terrible does the Town Council have to be before these knee-jerk defenders admit that the Council is doing harm? It can't get much worse than this.

hal samis said...

Hold your horses, there was no reason that I should have been invited to the meeting (I carry no portfolio). What the Town Council wanted to prevent was my LEARNING about the meeting because I might publicize it which would be dangerous because anyone but the chosen few dispersing their brand of information is thought to be a threat by Mr. Bernstein, Ms McNally, Mr. Sheehan and Mr. Bass. It is always nice to know that even though I have never professionally used my Journalism degree, that my writing and advertising credentials can "still strike fear in the hearts of men (and woman)".

Mr. Troy's affadavit is truly an extraordinary document and we can expect the opposing responses to talk around it and instead raise the old Feiner criticisms.

But there are some major issues that should not be permitted to be deflected. A "secret" Town Board meeting that the Supervisor was not told about? Three or more Town Board members meeting together constitutes a Town Board
meeting. Where are the minutes from this meeting attended by the four Council members? A proposed moratorium for fraudulent purposes?
The moratorium talk only ceased because the Town received a report from the County which says that the County likes Central Avenue fine the way it is: as a mixed use district. But to attempt to arrange a moratorium just to devalue the property so that it could be purchased by Edgemont investors so that Edgemont could ultimately withdraw from unincorporated? This is not the job or purpose that Bass and Sheehan swore to in their oath of office. Barnes and Juettner knew too but that they never know what's going on is not news. They are responsible as well but it is pointless to criticize them for pro-active behavior; they just don't have it in them.

There's lots more to write about but I want to think about this issue further. Personally I doubt that the majority of Edgemont will ever vote to become a Village. However if the intent was there, what Bass and Sheehan attempted to enable is something that would prove to be very costly to what would remain of unincorporated; taxes would soar. Bass and Sheehan fully understand this. Playing the ends against the middle never lasts forever. They played; they lost.

For once I find myself near "speechless". The enormity of the revelations in this one document of 25 pages is truly shocking and I understand that there are also 75 pages of exhibits.

As residents go forward on this blog topic, I caution about getting sucked in by the usual deflections to WESTHELP etc. We have seen this happen many times before and while I can understand that those anonymous posters think they are still relevant, still that is no excuse to avoid dealing with this new matter.
The WESTHELP etc matters took the position that the Supervisor was, if not wrong at least devious. Those that were eager to attack him (the Town Council and Bernstein) did so proclaiming that they, the attackers, were nobler than Caesar. Now it turns out that their own sheets are soiled. Perhaps they shouldn't be so quick to be attacking Feiner for at least a few days.

So it would be interesting to see how residents react to this new matter, not just more of the same old same old.

feiner's incomptence again said...

Feiner has plenty of time to comment about a partisan affidavit but no time to come clean about the WestHelp funds he spent on "neighborhood purposes." Too bad Feiner was busy spending our money as he saw fit instead of properly certifying the zoning map. seems what feiner critics say is true is just that - we cannot afford feiner and his incompetence

Anonymous said...

Samis, your wise words are in vain. The very next blog after you urged that people don't divert by saying Westhelp promptly diverts by saying Westhelp.

I like to think that the number of such self-defeating fools is small but they spend their time at the computer composing anti-Feiner diatribes.

Maybe someone should give a prize for the most creative anti-Feiner blog. Trouble is that they would all lose, since everything is, as you said, the same old same old.

Anonymous said...

Well it's about time that finally what many people have been saying about the four on the town board,has come to light. In one way or another they have been giving us all in Greenburgh, the shaft. Now will some of the people believe what some have been writing about. Bernstein not only betrayed his oath of law he also betrayed all the people of Greenburgh. Did one think because he sued Greenburgh he was on all the residents side. no way.He was out to see what he could get. Edgemont you see. The board members should resign since their plight came to light. What a shame. Thank you for telling us what was going on with dromore rd. property. Did these people who hid behind closed doors to have a meeting on this property ,,would not be known by the public. They must think that the residents are always sleeping so they can pull the wool over their eyes.

These board members are the same ones that want an ethics board, I do hope that the first cases that they hear will be concerning BASS,BARNES,SHEEHAN,JUETTNER,AND WITHOUT A DOUBT THEIR ADVISOR KAMINER., THANK YOU TOWN BOARD FOR WAKEING MANY OF US UP. Thank you Paul for this great news on those who thought they they were untouchable.As Bernstein and McNally, you should put your face in the mud. disgraceful.Some in your area always said that you never represented them . They knew more about you than we thought.

feiner pushing for violation of law? said...

One reads the affidaivt and notices it fails to say if any of the applicant's experts carefully read the actual zoning resolution which, as i may recall from newspaper or blog accounts, seemingly said no multifamily development is allowed on properties without frontage on central avenue.

if non-expert councilmember sheehan found the error, then others should also have found it.

Under these circumstances, the appeal must fail. It is also the law that zoning error maps cannot be used against a municpality to force it to violate its actual zoning laws or to confer rights in contravention of the zoning laws even where there are harsh results.

What we truly see here is developer greed in turning down the $6,000,000 offer. As for the claim the property would be used for a future edgemont town hall -thats a joke - if edgemont became a village (an incredibly unlikely event), it would need a village hall.

so, is feiner if favor of the developers being able to violate the town's zoning law?

Anonymous said...

Paul.

You need to go directly to Channel 12 news with this blockbuster! The Journal News and The Scarsdale Inquirer will not properly cover this story. What you also need to do is set up a website so that the 75 supporting documents can be viewed by the entire public. Michelle McNally must resign immediately from Sheehan's Committee To Control Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

This case proves the power of your stinging words. Expand your horizons past the library and Sheehan & Co. will offer you a peace treaty, say Al Reula's resignation.

feiner indicted by developers said...

This is what appears in the affidavit - "concerted action and conspiracy by Supervisor Feiner...."

Anonymous said...

To ANON 3:34

Post the entire statement, not just a Bernstein/McNally directed few words taken out of context.

Anonymous said...

The affidavit is on the town's web site -under archives.

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading the entire 25 page affidavit. It seems to me the Bernstein and McNally are in for one heck of a lawsuit against them. I guess that is one way to rid ourselves of the dynamic duo, bankrupt them with lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Holy snakes in the grass Batman!
after reading that whole thing I'm speachless too! There is just too damn much to comment on. I don't know whether to laugh or be sicken by it all.

I think the non-Edgemont unicorpotaed area should persue legal action against the ECC and town council members.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think that anything could make me vote for Feiner and his running mates, but that affidavit did. Just as I wouldn't vote for Bernstein, I won't vote for his servants on the Council.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be interesting if the developers tape recorded the two meetings held at their office??????????

Anonymous said...

Jim Lasser, where are you???? Aren't you going to come to the aid of your fellow Edgenotters?????

Feiner violating ethics laws again said...

This isn't about Bernstein and McNally at all. Nor is it about secrecy, favoritism or violations of law.

No, this is all Feiner doing a huge personal favor for a developer who wants to put up 37 luxury condos on prime Edgemont property that's always been zoned single family residential.

The Dromore developer is represented by the same attorney who raised tens of thousands of dollars for Feiner from other developers with applications pending before the town.

Feiner and that lawyer know that if Feiner and his "team" can get elected this fall, they would be able to force through a zoning code change so that the Dromore developer could end up building those 37 luxury condos after all.

And the Dromore developer, who paid only $1.4 million for the property, would get a huge windfall in profits worth millions of dollars.

Thus, in exchange for the Dromore developer making false allegations against Bernstein, McNally, and several town council members, which allegations have nothing whatsoever to do with the merits of the developer's appeal before the zoning board, Feiner is using these allegations to promote himself politically.

Feiner obviously could care less about the impact that these 37 luxury condos would have on Central Avenue or the Edgemont School District.

The Dromore developer's affidavit, which Feiner hastily posted on the town website, is by itself a Feiner campaign contribution.

All Greenburgh residents should take note. Feiner has been bought before by developers and he's so desperate to be reelected, he's just gotten himself bought by yet another one. And yes, what Feiner's done is indeed another violation of the town's ethics code.

Indeed, this is all about Feiner getting yet another campaign contribution from a developer, using town resources to promote his campaign, and the quid pro quo for all this is his now going going to bat for that developer.

The loser here, if Feiner prevails, will be Edgemont.

But your community might be next.

Isn't it about time we put an end to Feiner's corrupt and divisive brand of politics?

Anonymous said...

Bob,

You are a smart attorney. Why in the world did you participate in a clearly illegal meeting?

Anonymous said...

Feiner violating ethics laws again has rocks in his head.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner It's one thing to post this on your blog sight but to use the Town's email to send this junk you should be ashamed of your self. Note to all politician's please eliminate all mud slinging and stay with the topic's that effect our town.

Anonymous said...

All edgemont pots please meet kettles.

BW said...

I'm not active in town government matters, nor too interested in most of the dramas, but this situation seems interesting, so I replied to the Town Council's and the Supervisor's e-mails, and just thought I'd share here, as well:


Just one resident's two-cents:

I think it is wise for Edgemont to plan for space for its town or village hall. (I don't think that Dromore Road is an ideal location, but that's a different matter.)

However, if the affidavit's excerpts are accurate, the process sounds inappropriate. Politically motivated or not, I do think that it was proper in this situation for the Supervisor to pass on this information to the town's residents.

I look forward to Edgemont's secession, and I hope that this matter is rectified using appropriate procedures.


P.S. Reading some comments above, I really do think that the lack of a simple balance sheet for the WestHelp funds is a much more potentially criminal matter than this situation.

Anonymous said...

BB, writing under another pseudonym at 6:32, does his best to change the subject but it doesn't work.

I read the affidavit and it is clear that Feiner wanted the moratorium. He said that he would try to raise the money to buy it from the developer through grants. So it is typical BB bs that Feiner is doing anything for the developer.

What Feiner did by posting the affidavit is to reveal the shady and illegal behavior of the Town Council, the improper secret arrangements with Bernstein, and the contemptuous things that Sheehan and Bass have done and are doing. No amount of perfume will change the odor of that bs.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to get suckerd into the beating of the westhelp drums here.

This is very serious and there's no way in hell throwing westhelp at me is going to make me think any less of just how disgusting and disturbing this is.

Feiner tale getting fishier said...

Feiner is lying when he says the meetings were illegal.

There is nothing illegal about a meeting between residents, one or two town board members, and a developer.

According to the affidavit, Feiner himself was the first to set up such a meeting.

Before any meeting with Bernstein and McNally, Feiner arranged his own meeting attended by Bass (a second town board member), the developer, the developer's attorney, and directors from the Greenburgh Nature Center.

Not surprisingly, because Feiner doesn't talk to them, Bernstein and McNally apparently weren't invited.

So why would Feiner's unpublicized meeting with the developer, another town board member and representatives of the nature center be legal and the later meeting that Bernstein and McNally allegedly attended be illegal?

The answer is that neither meeting was illegal.

Feiner is also lying when he says the proposed moratorium that Edgemont wanted was specifically intended to stop the developer from building a 37-unit condo development.

First of all, if the property was zoned single family, as the town has ruled, they couldn't build 37 condos anyway.

Second, the affidavit Feiner relies on makes clear that Edgemont made its moratorium request in late September 2006 -- which was several months before anyone ever heard about the Dromore property. The affidavit even attaches a copy of McNally's October 6 letter following up on the request, followed by Feiner's press release in December 2006 that first warned about the possibility of condos being built near the nature center.

That Feiner would embrace for this developer an allegation that he obviously knows to be untrue demonstrates that he and the developer are indeed in cahoots.

Why else would the affidavit read like it was written by Feiner's campaign, why else would Feiner be so eager to put the contents of a zoning board submission on the town's website, why else would Feiner use this as an excuse to issue a long hysterical e-mail blast attacking residents who criticize him?

The fact that these Dromore guys are using the same lawyer that represented all those other developers that gave all that money to Feiner when they had applications pending before the town just can't be ignored either.

The only logical explanation for any of this is that Feiner must have promised this developer something huge in return.

Feiner must have promised the developer a zoning change -- just like the one that same lawyer tried to push through two years ago for the Greenburgh Health Center -- the one that would have allowed methodone clinics to open on East Hartsdale Avenue and along Central Avenue near the elementary schools.

Feiner must have promised these Dromore developers a zoning change so they can build their condos.

Yes, there's something very fishy going on here, and the odor's coming entirely from Feiner's direction.

Jolly Blogger said...

We love you Eeeeeeedgemont
Oh, yes we doooo!

Busted on Dromore Road.
What will you doooooo?
Town Hall slips thru your hands
Boo Hoo!

Oh, Eeeeeeeedgemont we love you.

Anonymous said...

Bob "feiner tale getting fishier" Bernstein, stop already. Quit cherry picking phrases from the affidavit and hiding the important ones.

You used to have a reputation as a good lawyer. Now you are getting the reputation as a good liar. Keep it up and you will be laughed out of Town Hall.

new Feiner ethics violation said...

Did Feiner cross the line today when he used town resources to post that press release on the town's e-mail system and website?

Section 570-6 of the town's Ethics Code says "No officer... shall... use Town-owned...
equipment ... or property for personal convenience... except when such services are available to the public generally or are specifically provided by the Town Board for the use of such officer ... in the conduct of official business."

Using the town's e-mail and website for electioneering is strictly forbidden.

What Feiner did today looks like a flagrant violation.

The Ethics Board should look into this.

Anonymous said...

Bobby B-

Any chance that you have a video of your performances at these illegal meetings that you would like to share with us?

Anonymous said...

Barnes.................TIME TO RESIGN!

Anonymous said...

Jutner, Barnes.................TIME TO RESIGN!

Anonymous said...

The actions the Town Council took should be brought to the attention of the District Attorney's public integrity unit.

Anonymous said...

Bass, Jutner, Barnes.................TIME TO RESIGN!

Anonymous said...

..or attorney general cuomo. Illegal meetings. Sheehan's threats are unreal. Disgraceful

Anonymous said...

Sheehan, Bass, Jutner, Barnes.................TIME TO RESIGN!

TIME TO RESIGN!

TIME TO RESIGN!

TIME TO RESIGN!

Anonymous said...

Do you think Young Kaminer is going to threaten someone now?

Too bad that there are no women in the story on the developer's side.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how the rightous Sir Francis, so interested in the "law", has a separate set of standards for himself.

Interesting how Bobby B., the next to last batter in the inning, for all his preening, and "learned" in the law, seems to think that the law must be followed by others, but not when it doesn't meet his needs.

Interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

The 8:52 blogger who complained that Feiner violated the ethics law because he posted news of the Council's violations and secret dealings and agreements (which they then broke) on the town's email system. What does he think about the letter on the town's email system that the Council wrote a few weeks ago with a false accusation against Feiner about Westhelp money? Is that OK?

I'm sure that you will find some differences that no sane reader woud find.

We are dealing with serious breaches of fiduciary duties and some violation of law, in addition to favoring one section of the town over others. Let's get to the bottom of it instead of trying to whitewash your friends.

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:52 pm:

Are you proposing that the Ethics Board review the e-mail issue before or after Sheehan, Bass, Jutner, Barnes are required to resign?

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve........"Trust us"................TIME TO RESIGN!

Anonymous said...

Well well, 51 responses and not one simple four letter abbbreviation used.
Do I here RICO anyone?
Bernstein disbarred?
The Gang of 4 wearing Striped PJ's?

Once the Fed's drop in on this bombshell RICO will be the least of their problems.

Hooray Greenburgh. We won!!

Anonymous said...

Yes!!!

RICO, the hammer that falls on Sheehan, Bass, Bernstein et al.

What a cell that will make at Sing Sing.

Anonymous said...

For entertainment's sake......

Has anyone heard if Mrs Supervisor Candidate (Democaratic party head) publically disavoved the actions in this matter of her running mates and the other members of her PARTY yet?

Just wondering.

PS- Should we hold our breath?

Anonymous said...

People of Darfur:

Time to rise up and support your friend Steve Bass in his time of need.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan, Bass got caught doing something illegal.

Anonymous said...

The Bd should hire Carter Ledyard to investigate this inappropriate action.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Feiner is attacking Bernstein and McNally by taking the word of a developer who's suing the town to seek a zoning change -- as if he would be a reliable source about anything.

A public official who'd do that has got to be incredibly naive or venal or both. It sure makes Feiner look like the developer's got him in the palm of his hand. Regardless, it certainly doesn't sound like responsible behavior from a public official.

It also doesn't look like Feiner even asked Bernstein or McNally if any of the allegations are true. I bet Feiner didn't talk to any of the town council members either.

There's something downright offensive about a public official who would use taxpayer resources like this to smear people without that public official first talking to them or at least giving them the opportunity to respond.

A public official who would do something repulsive like this usually has something embarrassing he's trying to hide.

Does anyone know if Bernstein and McNally have said anything public about any of this?

hal samis said...

Dear 11:59,
Want the answer?
Walk over to the mirror and ask.

feiner desperate to avoid accounting said...

there is no merit to the dromore appeal - the property is not zoned for multi family - end of discussion. as an earlier blogger wrote - none of these alleged meetings resulted in anything happening. last i checked edgemont was still part of greenburgh and feiner still has not accounted for all the WestHelp money.

Anonymous said...

One thing we have all learned from this new episode of "How Greenburgh Turns" is Bob Bernstein and Michelle McNally are not what they are cracked up to be. If the affidavit is correct, they attented a meeting held in the developer's office along with Bass, Barnes, Sheehan and Juetner. This violates the open meetings law of New York State. The developer has witnesses to this meeting and in all probability, the meeting was audiotaped.

Not a smart move by Bob B or Michelle M.

Anonymous said...

If I were Bernstein or McNally, I would want the appeal to go thru. I would not want to be part of a lawsuit that is sure to follow. Behind the scenes the Edgenotters know thay have been caught red handed and will use their money and influence to order that the appeal be approved.

no open meetings violations said...

There can be no tape of any meeting in the developer's office attended by Bernstein, McNally and the four town council members because no such meeting ever occurred.

The Dromore developers wanted to meet all four town council members, just as they had met Feiner, because they wanted to lobby for changes to the proposed moratorium that Edgemont civic leaders were seeking.

A meeting of three or more town council members in a room to discuss town business would violate the open meetings laws.

Therefore, to be able to meet the Dromore developer, and at the same time avoid any violation of the open meetings law, no more than one or two town council members were ever in the developer's building at any time. The developer knows this and Feiner knows this, and there is no evidence to the contrary.

Just as important, there were never any agreements reached with the Dromore developers about anything.

And for good reason. Careful examination of the affidavit shows that by proposing to make a gift, take a gift tax deduction, and insist on certain favors in return, like an exemption from the moratorium, the Dromore developers would have been engaged in an effort to violate the federal income tax laws.

The Dromore developers were told to take a hike. No one wanted to be party to a scheme to defraud the public and the IRS.

Undaunted, the Dromore developers went so far as to draft the specific change they wanted made to the proposed moratatorium.

Their request was ignored. Unless they were prepared to make their gift free and clear with no strings attached, no one wanted anything further to do with these people.

Their get-rich-quick scheme unraveled when town records showed the property was zoned single family all along.

The Dromore developers have now sued the town. Their only hope is to get Feiner elected with his "team" so that Feiner can settle the claim by giving them the zoning change they tried to fool the town into thinking they had all along.

The irony is that Feiner himself is responsible for the error in the zoning map that allowed the Dromore developers to argue that their property which they purchased for a single family price of $1.4 million -- was actually zoned multifamily.

As supervisor, Feiner is supposed to make sure that the town's zoning maps are accurate and up-to-date. He's supposed to do this by signing and checking the maps every time the town board makes a zoning change.

Turns out Feiner has never checked the maps in his 16 years in office.

This entire Dromore episode thus shows Feiner to be corrupt, incompetent and divisive all at once -- everything is critics have been saying.

amen to 7:47 am said...

amen. feiner is 16 years past his sell by date. no wonder greenburgh is sick.

Anonymous said...

To 7:47 a.m.,
I suggest you read page 23 of the affidavit, item 58: "Robert Bernstein is quoted in the aforementioned article (Scarsdale Inquirer, March 2, 2007), stating that while he felt 'the town is on solid ground in disclaiming reliance on an apparently erroneous zoning map...the matter is not entirely free from doubt.' The Town code states that the official zoning map is 'the final authority as to the current zoning classification of any land within the boundaries of the unincorprated Town of Greenburgh' and the developer could argue that the erroneous map was still the official one, and thus, the final authority. Bernstein said more oversight needs to be done in the future. Bernstein admitted that '[t]he ultimate bible is the town's zoning map.'"

Of course, it hasn't yet been proven that the zoning map was indeed erroneous, or if perhaps it was doctored to avoid a CA-1 classification. Would the Sheehan-Kaminer two-headed monster do such a thing? But, I digress.

So, to 7:47 a.m., and to Mr. Bernstein (or are they one in the same): how can the town be "on legal ground in disclaiming reliance on an apparently erroneous zoning map..." if "the ultimate bible is the town's zoning map?"

It's About Time said...

The 7:47 blog could only have been written by someone who was in the room, or by someone who knows enough about this tawdry deal to be able to spin and distort, if not outright lie (and I suspect thsat it is an outright lie). That means Sheehan or Bass. It doesn't sound like either one. So it leaves Bernstein or McNally. it sure doesn't sound like McNally, who is too smart anyway to indulge in the egomaniacal need to answer every critical blog and to use or create every opportunity to shift blame and accuse the Supervisor, even if the Supervisor was kept out of the loop.

I have a feeling that Bass, Sheehan, Bernstein and McNally plus the two subservient Councilwomen, will have to answer questions under oath. Then we will see in the open the capitulation of the Town Council to Bernstein and the scummy behavior of Bass and Sheehan.

hal samis said...

Now the Town Supervisor is supposed the check the zoning maps?
Why do we have any staff at Town Hall if Feiner is supposed to do...
Town Departments should all be dismissed, save the residents money and then "anonymous" would write that Feiner bought too big a building for just one employee.

"No more than one or two were ever in the building at one time..."
And you, anonymous, know this, know that the developer knows this, know that Feiner knows this and you want proof?

The developers are already "rich" so they don't need a "scheme" to get there quickly. That scheme, per anonymous, would be to buy a parcel, knowing in advance that it was in the wrong zone and then just build condominiums and that would be the road to quick money? And if the developer just wanted to meet the Town Council, the Town Council should have said come to our office, Town Hall. We are here most Tuesday afternoons.

Can you imagine any developer wanting to "meet" Eddie Mae Barnes and Diana Juettner? Something sounds a little bit off here.

Despite what reads like Sheehan and Bass doing their laundry together, with Robby and Michelle separating the whites from the colors and Kaminer pouring the bleach at 7:47, there is much, much more to the story than "Hello, my name's Troy I live in a shoe. I just arrived in Town, bought a parcel of land and help me get rich quick too. Why don't you guys come over in ones and twos. What's that? Oh, I should not tell Feiner and we don't want any witnesses? Not even my attorney? What's that again, we have a bad connection. Oh don't breath a word about this to Samis. Ok. Hey another thought occurred to me, perhaps you should use the back door. Right, see you soon."

Anonymous said...

The Edgemont Insurance Policy:
Block future construction of any multi-family development within its borders = block the possibility of any future affordable housing developments = block any chance of substantial minority enrollment in its 98-99% white school district. Hmmmmmmmm.

Oh, that's right, we forget that after they tried to pull that sleight of hand, the intent of their moratorium was questioned by Westchester County. Just the mere mention of the word "NAACP" had Mr. Bernstein & Co. running for cover. Of course, Ms. Affordable Housing Eddie Mae Barnes never even questioned such an intent. It didn't take the County long to express such concerns, Ms. Barnes. That Sheehan, Bass, Barnes and Juettner chose to travel down that road in the first place is appalling.

The next affordable housing development in Greenburgh belongs in Edgemont. Don't our disadvantaged children deserve the chance to go to the finest school district in the town? Or are they all releagted to Greenburgh Central 7?

What say, Eddie Mae?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:13 PLEASE go to next Wednesday's Town Board meeting and ask Eddie Mae Barnes that question. And do not let her not answer.

Anonymous said...

Barnes cannot answer that question truthfully,because she lives in Edgemont.And you know the saying not in my back yard. Does she really care about housing for the poor NO. She has to say something because she is the go between for the town and affordable housing authority.

Anonymous said...

Samis Line of the day:

"Can you imagine any developer wanting to "meet" Eddie Mae Barnes and Diana Juettner? Something sounds a little bit off here."

This is great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Jeeze, I wish Bobby B would come on line here, and let us know if that canard that some anonymous said that only two town board members were in the room at a time.

It would really clear up a lot of the confusion here.

Does Bobby B. even read these blogs......or is he too busy doing civic duties like helping little old Edgemont ladies accross the street?

Anonymous said...

"Don't our disadvantaged children deserve the chance to go to the finest school district in the town? Or are they all releagted to Greenburgh Central 7?"

Remember, however, that GC7 *chose* to disassociate with GC6 (Edgemont) and that GC7 *chose* to merge with GC8. Back then, it was Edgemont that was left out; even Scarsdale, where Edgemont kids used to go to high school, cut its ties with GC6 and GC7.

I'm not saying that Edgemont shouldn't have affordable housing. But do understand the fact that the Edgemont school district's "exclusivity" was forced upon them forty years ago by Hartsdale voters.

Anonymous said...

Of course there were only two Councilpersons in the room -- at the first meeting on January 27 (the meeting in which Sheehan threatened that if the developer told his lawyer or Samis, etc)

But there was a second meeting, on February 3. That's the one BB conveniently omits from his spin and that was the one in which all four of the Town Councilpersons were present, illegally. And that is the one where Bernstein talked about an Edgemont Town Hall, or Village Hall because I think the developer doesn't know the difference between a village hall and a town hall.

They will admit this only under oath.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Bernstein states that such a meeting NEVER occurred. If that is so, we can expect Bob Bernstein filing suit immediately for defamation. After all, the affidavit states that Bernstein took part in an illegal meeting. Bernstein would be in a position to win alot of money off of the Developer in Court. If Bernstein/McNally don't file a lawsuit, their silence will speak volumes.

who to believe? said...

who should one believe - bernstein and mcnally or career politico feiner?

bernstein and mcnally by 10 lengths

Anonymous said...

Where's Jim?

Jim Lasser said...

To Anonymous at 10:13 0n 7/14 -
Your description of Edgemont as 98-99% white is as inaccurate as many of the entries made by the most politically motivated commentators. Edgemont is a very diverse community - while "white" students may be a plurality (that means there are more of them than of any other single identifiable group), less than half the students in the district are "white". It is interesting to me that you, for whatever reason, do not choose to recognize the large the large Pakistani, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese and other populations which make unique contributions to Edgemont's community life. I surmise you divide the world into black and white - what a shame, because the majority of the world's population is neither, and you are missing out on some extraordinary opportunities.
One, and it is only one of many, reasons Edgemont's schools are arguably among the best public schools in the State, is that Edgemont voters have chosen to tax themselves to pay for, and maintain, faculty and facilities which mirror the community's devotion to excellence. The ability to do that has become more complicated - in part because multi-family housing, which was unusual in Edgemont 25 years ago, has become a large part of the housing stock. Condos and co-ops are assessed on a different basis than single family detached homes. Their assessments are lower - though the number of children attending Edgemont schools in the average 3 bedroom condo or co-op is probably higher than the number attending from the average 3 bedroom single family detached housing unit. Once upon a time (not so very long ago) commercial properties contributed disproportionately to the school tax revenues. If memory serves, about 16 years ago the commercial properties supplied 60% of the revenue and all residential properties supplied about 40%. That ratio is now reversed. Why? Well, among other reasons the Town of Greenburgh has not conducted a revalution since 1958. Commercial properties regularly either negotiate with the Town or sue the Town for a reduction in their assessments - and because the Town has failed to stay current in its valuations, the commercial properties win. That means that the residential properties must suffer increased tax burdens to maintain the same level of revenues. Despite the increases
Edgemont's residents, whether in multifamily or single family housing, have consistently shared a dedication to quality education -and have voted to put their money where their mouths are.
Education is a shared value among all members of our community - we stress it at home and we consistently provide our schools with the appropriate support.
The issue has nothing to do with color and everything to do with commitment.

Jim Lasser said...

Oh, in case you really want to know where I've been, I'm away on my honeymoon.

Anonymous said...

It is too bad that this discussion has gone into questions about the excellence of Edgemont schools and the reasons for it. No one doubts that, and no one doubts that Edgemont parents are devoted to excellence in the schools.

The topic here is the doings of the Town Council, their secrecy, their exclusion of the Supervisor from government, their willingness to let Bob Bernstein and Michelle McNally effectively dominate town policies, their willingness to go along with their demands for policy decisions that favor edgemont at the expense of every other area of Greenburgh (not counting the villages which are separate), Steve Bass' efforts to have the developer transfer the property on the basis of trusting Bass, etc.

If what the sworn affidavit says is true -- and we have no reason to doubt it because the answer by the Town Council on the town's email did not even resemble a serious denial -- then we have the kind of lawlessness and violations of fiduciaty duties that everyone should denounce. Even supporters of the Town Council should denounce what they have done here. Lawlessness and secrecy and the rest are bad whoever does it.

I would like to see Jim Lasser, who is an honorable man, address this. Indeed, I would like to see other friends of the Town Council, such as Bill Greenawalt, Suzanne Berger, members of the Greenburgh Democratic Committee, address this. This goes way beyond politics.

Anonymous said...

"Town of Greenburgh has not conducted a revalution since 1958. Commercial properties regularly either negotiate with the Town or sue the Town for a reduction in their assessments - and because the Town has failed to stay current in its valuations, the commercial properties win."

Wow! This should be the basis for a lawsuit against the town by the residents - not just Edgemont, but all of Unincorporated Greenburgh. It sounds to me that all of us should be paying lower school taxes.

Aren't the chief responsibilities of a township roadway maintenance, garbage collection, and taxes?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that we all fully understand why any meeting would want to exclude Mr. Feiner. However, we can't always get what we want. It was inappropriate (though understandable) to exclude the Town Supervisor, so now we have yet another drama on our hands. Good thing nothing was finalized or else this whole thing would result in criminal charges.

Anonymous said...

Criminal charges could be in order.

Anonymous said...

You all notice Mr. Lasser has not presented a defense of Bob B or Michelle M.

Anonymous said...

To Jim Lasser at 5:13 p.m.:
Excellent point on Edgemont's Asian population. An admitted oversight (and poor owrding). So, let's amend that post at 10:13 a.m. to read as such:

The Edgemont Insurance Policy:
Block future construction of any multi-family development within its borders = block the possibility of any future affordable housing developments = block any chance of substantial African-American or Hispanic enrollment in its school district. Hmmmmmmmm.

Oh, that's right, we forget that after they tried to pull that sleight of hand, the intent of their moratorium was questioned by Westchester County. Just the mere mention of the word "NAACP" had Mr. Bernstein & Co. running for cover. Of course, Ms. Affordable Housing Eddie Mae Barnes never even questioned such an intent. It didn't take the County long to express such concerns, Ms. Barnes. That Sheehan, Bass, Barnes and Juettner chose to travel down that road in the first place is appalling.

The next affordable housing development in Greenburgh belongs in Edgemont. Don't our disadvantaged children deserve the chance to go to the finest school district in the town? Or are they all relegated to Greenburgh Central 7?

What say, Eddie Mae? What say, Mr. Bernstein and Ms. McNally? What say, Emperor Sheehan?

Anonymous said...

The town board should hire a special investigator to conduct an impartial review and to make a report to the Town Board re: whether illegal activities took place on the part of Sheehan, Bass, Barnes, Juettner.

Anonymous said...

"Remember, however, that GC7 *chose* to disassociate with GC6 (Edgemont) and that GC7 *chose* to merge with GC8. Back then, it was Edgemont that was left out"

You mean to tell me that some where, along the way Edgemont never *chose* to form its own school district before the GC7 & GC8 merger. Who did they *choose* to leave out of that? Why were teens going to Scarsdale High instead of Hartsdale (established at the time) high? Everyone fails to mention that even back then Edgemont was “happy” to be left out of it all. More importantly, why does any of this matter today?

Edgemont uses “left us out” defense ever time there is any talk about why GN and Edgemont don’t share. Could it really be that this is the best defense it has? Yep.

Jim Laser tells us about “plurality of white” and goes on to to say it’s a shame that we look at it as “black & white” White =75. 7% Black =2.41% of the Edgemont population, The rest are white with a few of those other “we accept then as whites, but look! We’ll throw you guys out there when we need to defend our diversity” hispanics.4.22%. Asian 19.7%. So if Jim say’s that “less than half are white”, which group of people is it that is officially recognized as white, that Jim uses as non-white?

Edgemont demographics are no where near in line with average demographics of Westchester County.

Can anyone tell me of a town or village in Westchester co that has only 2/41% black? Any town in any state? Surely there must be many as Edgemont would have you believe this is common and normal.

Anonymous said...

There is an article in today's Journal News. Some of the Town Board look bad but Mr. Feiner looks like a total fool by using the town website to post this.

Anonymous said...

That article and this entire thread makes me think more & more that all of our government & civic leaders are a just and awful, embarrassing, unconscionable, bunch of self serving loonies. They all need to disappear. They are all equally rotten to the core.

criminal - look to dromore developers/feiner said...

the only thing that begins to look and sound criminal was the apparent attempt by the dromore developers to engage in tax fraud

one might also add the encouragement of cheerleader feiner to have the town violate its zoning laws

Anonymous said...

As the Journal News makes clear, the multi family zoning was an error. When did Feiner know this. It is his job to supervise this. He met with developer. Does he take money from them or their attorneys.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that everyone but Feiner met with the developer. Who elected Bernstein and McNally to create policy for the rest of us in Greenburgh?

Anonymous said...

And Feiner encouraged the developer to talk to GNC -- who elected them. They are a non-profit.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Feiner advised Alberto Gonzales about firing the US attorneys and also met with Scooter Libby and showed him how to testify falsely before the Grand Jury? He did this between the meetings he never had with the Dromore developer.

Anonymous said...

I can see why Feiner is using this blog to attack this situation. He will nolonger be able to get money from developers and their lawyers if he cant deliver.

feiner and weingarten - again said...

feiner has gotten lots of money via weingarten. dromore developers were represented by weingarten - coincidence? of course not. they went to weingarten because he has feiner in his pocket.

Anonymous said...

Isn't is strange? All these blogs about Feiner, and these anti-Feinerites don't say anything about the gross malfeasance of the Town Council, the illegal meetings, the deals with Bernstein, the agreements with the developer which they made and then broke, the demands that nobody know about them meeting, and so on.

Well, it isn't strange. These people won't admit that their idols have violated laws and their responsibility for honest and open government. They have done this cover-up before but this time it won't work.

Anonymous said...

Again, where is trhe defense of Bass, Barnes, Sheehan, Juetner, Bernstein and McNally? We all know that the anti-Feiner Cabal is alive and well. Why can't they mount a serious defense of their actions? All they seem to cry is Westhelp (which Bass, Barnes and Juetner also voted for) and contributions to Feiner. Everyone forgets about McNally's contribution to Bass which made him change his vote on tree legislation.

Anonymous said...

What this guarantees is Feiner's re-election. The other parts of Greenburgh will realize that Feiner is needed to act as a guard against the Dynamic Duo of Edgemont from controlling all of the Town. No one elected Bernstein and McNally. The rest of the Town is tired of them. This affair makes people realize the power of their money and the influence that it buys. The rest of the Town despises Edgemont because of them and they will support Paul because of it.

Anonymous said...

Where is Bernstein's suit against the developer for slander? Or McNally's? If the affidavit is false, put up or shut up. File suit in Court for Slander. No lawsuit, no slander. Simple.

Anonymous said...

The supervisor did the right thing in bringing the Dromore meeting to us via the blog. We all know that Sheehan and Kaminer influense the newspapers in terms of what is printed and how the story is done. The advantage we all have as citizens is to bypass the established media and go right to the people via the internet. Given the Journal News' printing a story about an illegally leaked draft report that contained numerous errors (errors which suited Sheehan's purposes), why should Paul trust them to get this story out? Rebecca Baker is a part time Greenburgh Reporter at best. The Scarsdale Inquirer is clearly controlled by the Edgemont Forces who certainly would not want this story out. Paul did the right thing and outmanuevered all of them. The truth is out in the open and we are here debating it as a sound democracy should.

Anonymous said...

I am keeping an open mind until Jim comments on this topic. Jim please do not let Edgemont down.

Anonymous said...

Can't you see that Jim is lost for words. His counterparts in his area are in grave trouble. He's doing the right thing in not getting himself mixed up with them at this point.

Anonymous said...

The only two who have let Edgemont down is Bernstein and McNally .Their influence on the four councils have gotten the six of them in deep deep trouble. I guess the courts will decide their destiny.

Anonymous said...

The reason no one is suing for slander is that it is very difficult to use statements in court to substantiate slander. Feienr is a lawyer and he knows this. If he is reelected all he will do is spend more money -- like taxter ridge.

Feiner is unglued said...

After seeing today's Journal News story, I read over the affidavit on the town's website and then turned to the comments on this blog.

I'm convinced that Feiner's finally become totally unglued.

How could a public official like that publicly attack Bernstein and McNally, both private citizens, for attending a private meeting at the developer's office that the developer invited them to attend.

And why were they invited? Because the developer was looking to get community support for his project by offering to donate some land for public use.

What's wrong with that? Isn't that what developers do when they want community support for an otherwise unpopular project?

And aAccording to the affidavit, Feiner himself met with the developer first for the exact same reason.

I'm also annoyed that people on this blog would suggest that Bernstein and McNally were trying to block affordable housing. In looking over the documents, it's clear that Bernstein and McNally were looking to get the developer to commit to setting aside 10% of the project as "affordable" -- and the developer refused.

And now Feiner has taken the developer's side?

That's truly amazing. Feiner's career should come to a close over his and his hysterical behavior over this, along with these baseless attacks against Bernstein and McNally, show that he thinks so too.

Why else become so unglued like this?

hal samis said...

The zoning issue will be heard in the appropriate forums, starting with the Zoning Board of Appeals.
The developer says he exercised reasonable due diligence; the Town says he did not. This is a legal issue to be decided by the ZBA and later the Courts, if that need be the destination. Mr. Bernstein, often known as anonymous, may have written on this blog his "opinion" but he has couched it as though it were an uncontested result which it is not. His own litigation bears witness to the consideration with which even "lay-ups" are regarded. He or someone posing as him often does this to add his formidible "weight" and the blog's tolerance for anonymous comments is the perfect playground for such nonsense as would never be delivered within a courtroom. Or be written with the author's name attached.

This is not the appropriate forum for a rehash of the Edgemont School District's "problems". Suffice it to say that the proposed moratorium never went anywhere because there were a lot of "problems". Nor did fear of the event unleash any residential development applications either so the reality would appear that all the furor was only over this one property and the affidavit makes it quite clear that the developer speculates that the moratorium talk was begun with only his property in mind, likely with the aim of driving the value of his property down. And, if the Nature Center wanted the property, where were they before it had been sold? Those seeking to expand their facilities or property lines take pro-active steps such as maintaining dialogues with nearby property owners so that their interest as a buyer is already out there. This interest should also have included the High School as well. The problem is that people not in real estate can't imagine a piece of property without the existing structure. But that's America. Them that do, does.

Nor is it, as the Town Council would rather discuss because it is a road leading nowhere, a forum to argue what is legitimate news and what is campaigning. Both the Supervisor and the Town Council make liberal use of the Town gblist. What one did and the other did would appear to cancel each other out.

Nor is it a forum to discuss the profit motive of the developer or the value of the property. If he felt he had discovered gold, what he paid for the land on top is not important. If he bought a piece of land that he thought had a greater value under a different use, then that is what makes a horse race. In the stock market, transactions are known as zero sum equations. Other than tax exchanges or a need to raise cash, most buyers/sellers buy because they expect the price to be worth more than what they have paid whereas sellers think the price is fair or going lower. Which is equally true about this real estate transaction but is fraught with more risk because the market is not as liquid as the stock market and there are carrying charges, development costs and a long interval of time to get permits, build and find buyers. That is what real estate development is about. Just because there are large potential profits when successful, this is not what the issue here concerns. More of the distractions and deflections away from the bigger story.

What it is an appropriate forum is for a discussion of how the entire Town Board conducts its business. Whether some residents are more important than others, whether some neighborhoods get consideration, whether the Town Council is abetting the departure of Edgemont (or even the few homes which want to leave Greenburgh and call themselves a Village, i.e. pop. 73) and whether the posting of this affidavit has given residents a rare insight into how neighborhood deals are cut.

Were I Feiner, I would weigh how the affidavit portrays his actions and how it portrays the actions of the Town Council. Feiner does not come out entirely smelling like a rose but looks far better than the withered collection of former blooms that are the Town Council and their controllers, Mr. Bernstein and Ms.
McNally.

It is an election year and that cannot be denied. However, the developer is not going to get better treatment from either side by his actions. His victory or defeat will follow without their direct involvement although I am not so naive as to assume that the ZBA and Planning Department are not under a lot of pressure at present. Few people have seen the 75 or so pages of accompanying exhibits but the least fungible postings are those which say the developer is lying; the kind of charge that can be made with impunity on the blog because it is made by "anonymous".

The one aspect which remains unclear at present is the "comment" by Mr. Sheehan in today's Journal News that 'he cannot comment on the allegations because Troy has filed a civil lawsuit against Greenburgh'. "It's frustrating to me not to respond. We must respond through depositions".

Any matter which shuts Mr. Sheehan down from making his lengthy tutorials cannot be all bad but I wasn't aware that a civil suit had already been launched. I would have assumed that the developer would have first exhausted his remedies before the Town, the ZBA appeal being such. The affidavit that we have all read is clearly one that was prepared for ZBA docket 07-15 and whereas the format is the same as would be usable in Courts, the cover page clearly states that it is Zoning Board jursidiction. If anyone knows whether the civil suit has also been filed, please advise.

However, what would be ill advised would be for the Town Council to appear at the Zoning Board hearing.
The issue is one that concerns them directly however the larger issue is whether the Zoning Board of Appeal is truly an independent body, having to face the Town Council during the proceedings is intimidation. The matter before the ZBA is not who attended what meeting; the issue is the legality and warranty of Zoning maps and the veracity of information which the Planning Department provides the Public. Whether an improperly drawn Zoning map can be the equivalent of re-writing Zoning determinations or the obligation of the Town to re-write the codes to conform to what the Town provides residents, developers or intersted parties alike. Probably, the ZBA appearance is a mere formality, the necessary step on the way to Civil Court rulings.

But, what concerns all Greenburgh residents here and now is how the members of the Town Board conduct themselves. That they may not do so appropriately or even legally is not shocking news. Oftentimes their attitude is screw you, take us to Court knowing that the costly and eventual decision only makes them comply with the law as opposed to exacting punishment. However, as it is an election year, we should be grateful that this matter is being aired before the Primary and the General Election.

Oddly enough, the party we have not heard from is the other candidate for Town Supervisor, that being Suzanne Berger. Admittedly her sources of background are some of the mentioned names -- and not so favorably -- so she would be wise to seek different guidance not so close to her campaign but, really, Suzanne isn't this an important issue before the Town? How would you handle the matter and your constituents as it approaches determination? Wouldn't you applaud Feiner for releasing the affidavit? As for who attended these meetings, alone, together or en masse, the meetings themselves were improper weren't they? Why weren't they held at the office of the Town Council, Town Hall?

While I await Ms. Berger's response, I think I'll watch the Marx Brothers, "Night at the Opera". There's a scene with a crowded ship's stateroom that may provide some insight.

Anonymous said...

Did Bass, Barnes, Sheehan and Juettner participate in an illegal meeting?
Did Sheehan prohibit the developer from having any secret conversations with Feiner?
Did Sheehan violate any laws by doing so?
Did Bass, Barnes, Sheehan and Juettner participate in any meeting and offer the Bernstein land for an Edgemont Town Hall?
Who is Bernstein? Is he an elected official? WHy should he be included at a meeting? Why should Feiner be excluded?
Who will investigate the Town Board members?

Anonymous said...

Who will investigate the Town Council to determine if the council members (SHEEHAN,BASS,etc..)were involved in illegal activities?

Anonymous said...

Bernstein is also tied in with Berger. He is supporting her candicay. Bernstein has been seen walking the streets of Edgemont with Bass. None of these are illegal activities of course but you can see what type of Government you will get should Bass and Berger win. Bernstein will be the puppet master pulling the strings. The rich Edgemonters will get their way in all Town decisions.

Anonymous said...

As usual, Hal Samis at 2:37 poses all the right questions and makes all the right comments.

As far as Sheehan's statement to the Journal News that there is a pending civil lawsuit, that is a typical Sheehan falsehood. There is no pending cvil action. It is known at Town Hall that the developer has filed a Notice of Claim. A Notice of Claim is something that is required to preserve someone's right to start a civil lawsuit, but a civil lawsuit may never be started.

For example, if the Zoning Board grants the developer's appeal, then there will br no need for a civil lawsuit. If the town and the developer reach some kind of compromise there will be no need for a civil action.

Sheehan saying that he can't speak about this because there is a pending civil action is his excuse for not denying the allegations in the affidavit. For sure, it is because they cannot be denied.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan lies and lies. Unfortunately, too many people find him reliable. Thankfully, most live in Edgemont.

Anonymous said...

"Can anyone tell me of a town or village in Westchester co that has only 2.41% black?"

School District Data:

Ardsley 3%
Bedford 5%
Blind Brook-Rye 5%
Briarcliff 2%
Bronxville 0%
Byram Hills 0%
Chappaqua 1%
Croton-Harmon 2%
Dobbs Ferry 5%
Eastchester 1%
Edgemont 1%
Elmsford 34%
Greenburgh 56%
Harrison 1%
Hastings 3%
Hendrick Hudson 4%
Irvington 4%
Katonah-L'boro 1%
Lakeland 6%
Mamaroneck 3%
Mt Pleasant 0%
Mt Vernon 76%
New Rochelle 25%
North Salem 1%
Ossining 17%
Peekskill 45%
Pelham 6%
Pleasantville 0%
Pocantico Hills 13%
Port Chester-Rye 9%
Rye City 1%
Rye Neck 3%
Scarsdale 2%
Somers 1%
Tarrytown 7%
Tuckahoe 14%
Valhalla 10%
White Plains 20%
Yonkers 29%
Yorktown 2%

Source:
NYS DOE
2006 data

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Greenburgh 56, Edgemont 1.

Any wonder why Edgemont welcomes McMansions but excludes apartments?

Anonymous said...

"Can anyone tell me of a town or village in Westchester co that has only 2.41% black?"


County:

Westchester: 14.2%


Cities and Towns:

Bedford 7.1%
Cortlandt 4.6%
Eastchester 2.8%
Greenburgh 13.1%
Harrison 1.4%
Lewisboro 1.2%
Mamaroneck 2.8%
Mt Kisco 6.0%
Mt Pleasant 5.1%
Mt Vernon 59.6%
New Rochelle 19.2%
New Castle 1.4%
North Castle 1.8%
North Salem 0.8%
Ossining 14.3%
Peekskill 25.5%
Pelham 4.6%
Pound Ridge 1.2%
Rye City 1.3%
Rye Town 5.1%
Scarsdale 1.5%
Somers 1.7%
White Plains 15.9%
Yonkers 16.6%
Yorktown 3.0%


Greenburgh Villages:

Ardsley 1.5%
Elmsford 20.3%
Tarrytown 7%
Dobbs Ferry 7.4%
Hastings 2.4%
Irvington 1.4%


Unincorporated Greenburgh CDPs:

Greenviille: 2.4%
Hartsdale 8.7%
Fairview 73.1%


Source:
US Census
2000 data

Anonymous said...

Back in the day, African-Americans were only allowed to live in certain locations:

- South Yonkers and Mount Vernon in southern Westchester

- part of northern Unincorporated Greenburgh, part of Elmsford, and part of White Plains in central Westchester

- not sure about northern Westchester

That's the way it was, and the residential trend hasn't shifted all too much over the years. So I really don't think that the history of county racism can all be blamed on Edgemont.

Anonymous said...

" ... to argue what is legitimate news and what is campaigning. Both the Supervisor and the Town Council make liberal use of the Town gblist. What one did and the other did would appear to cancel each other out."

Hmmm, I dunno. I tend to agree with many of Mr. Samis' perspectives, but Mr. Feiner's e-mail was clearly inappropriate, whereas The Town Council was responding because it had no choice. I don't tend to take the side of the Town Council, but their e-mail response was pretty convincing and, in my eyes, made Mr. Feiner's initial e-mail seem inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

POPULATION:
The percentage of African-Americans residing in Greenville (Edgemont) is the same as in Hastings-on-Hudson (2.4%). And that percentage is higher than in Ardsley, Irvington, Harrison, Lewisboro, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Rye City, and Scarsdale.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS:
The percentage of African-American students in the Edgemont schools is the same as in the school districts of Chappaqua, Eastchester, Harrison, Katonah-Lewisboro, North Salem, and Rye City (1%). And the Edgemont's percentage is higher than in the school districts of Pleasantville, Mount Pleasant, Byram Hills and Bronxville - albeit pretty insignificantly higher than 0%, still worth noting in the big picture.

Anonymous said...

Samis seems to be doing as much flailing about as Feiner. Both are flakes.

Who cares if McNally and Bernstein had a meeting with a developer? They say they were invited to come, don't they? Were they supposed to clear such meetings with Feiner?

I doubt it.

Feiner had arranged his own meeting beforehand with the developer, didn't he? But he didn't invite McNally and Bernstein. I can't imagine he was supposed to.

If the developer in this case wanted community support for a project he was building in Edgemont, wouldn't it make sense to invite McNally and Bernstein? Isn't one of them the ECC president?

Feiner's peeve seems to be that other town council members left him out of the loop. So what. If there was ever anything to vote on, he'd have had to be in the loop.

Samis seems to think he should have been invited to the party as well. Why would anyone who was serious about anything concerning the town ever want Samis to be present for any kind of meeting?

His crazy rantings on the blog are nothing compared to the hysterical tirades he regularly puts on at town board meetings.

Feiner and Samis argue that Edgemont's requested moratorium was aimed at the Dromore property. In fact, as they well know, the moratorium was requested in September -- months before the Dromore property was on anybody's radar screen.

At the end of the day, this all seems to be a story about a developer who tried to pull a fast one, and about a gullible Feiner who, for partisan political purposes, has bought the developer's story hook, line and sinker.

That tells us plenty about Feiner and the company he keeps, Samis included.

Bravo to the Journal News for seeing through this charade.

It's time we learned said...

Why was the Town Council's email convincing? They didn't deny anything in the affidavit. All they did was to call the Supervisor names for using the town's email system to reveal the information.

Well, I'm glad he did it. How else was the town going to learn about the illegal shannigans of the Town Council, and especially the tactics of Sheehan and Bass, and the submission of the town to Bernstein. If the affidavit is half true, the Town Council ought to be removed. If it is entirely true, they ought to be prosecuted.

This is what comes from Sheehan and Bass making war on the Supervisor. The town is being hurt every time, and there is no point blaming the Supervisor, or talking about past campaign contributions ot Westhelp. He has his faults, but it is Sheehan and Bass, and the two women who do whatever these two men want, who are at fault.

Anonymous said...

Jim.....Oh Jim.....The Dynamic Duo have sent out their Big "E" Signal. Where are all the Edgenotters to defend their non-elected leaders??????

Anonymous said...

How is the town being hurt by Bass and Sheehan trying to protect residents? The land was never zoned multi-family as Sheehan discovered (who knows, may be Feiner knew it, but didnt want to point it out). Feiner will sell out to any developer who supports him. We cant afford that.

Anonymous said...

The Town Council's e-mail is a red herring. There is no defense of their illegal meeting. Juetner might be subject to disbarrment for her participation in this illegal activity. Sheehan's hatred for the Supervisor has become an obsession. It has clouded his thought process and the rule of law has become meaningless to him. Sheehan & Co. have shot themselves in the foot. Their illegal activity has guaranteed a Feiner victory in November. The fallout of this disgraceful event is yet to be written. It would not suprise me if the activities of the Town Council and their benefactors will be reviewed by the Westchester County District Attorney.

Anonymous said...

Jim is a gentlemen. He is not going to comment on this subject. He seems to stand for open and honest dialogue. He appears to be a strong beleiver in the public meeting laws, I can not image he would sanction these meetings.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 4:55 p.m.:
The difference between Edgemont and all the other school districts you named (Chappaqua, Eastchester, Harrison, Katonah-Lewisboro, North Salem, Rye City Pleasantville, Mount Pleasant, Byram Hills and Bronxville) is that NONE of those communities acted to get their town council members to impose a moratorium on future multi-family developments in order to avoid the prospect of affordable housing coming into their district.

Anonymous said...

I think the time has come to take the link for this cite off the town website. When Paul uses this to support developers suing the town when they have no rights, its time to say byebys

Anonymous said...

This is what comes from Feiner declaring war on Edgemont. It was not enough when his supporters wanted the Edgmeont school budget voted down.

DING! We have a winner! said...

Dear anonymous 5:52,

What you say is true and this is the very issue.

new feiner scandal said...

Paulie Feiner sat on a wall
Paulie Feiner had a great fall.

The flooded Hartsdale merchants have all decided to sue
Because Paulie Feiner had no clue what to do.

The suits (he's kept it quiet) show Feiner's lacking in candor.

And since he has no defense, he engages in slander.

Private citizens he libels, the town council and commissioners as well.

But voters are smart and will soon see the truth Feiner can't tell.

Anonymous said...

Where is the council Email located,please advise.

Anonymous said...

Edgemont's argument for a moratorium on multifamily developments was that with more than 900 apartments -- more than a third of its housing stock -- it had more than its fair share when compared to other parts of Greenburgh.

Those who say Edgemont is trying to keep out affordable housing conveniently forget that fact.

Anonymous said...

6:24; Interesting statement. If you read the affadavit I think you will come to a different conclusion; namely that Bob Bernstein still holds out for his Village of Edgemont. The property was needed for Village Hall so that Mayor Bernstein would have appropriate surroundings when he assumed leadership of his not so merry little Village.

Anonymous said...

When all is said and done, Feiner will be re-elected. At the end of the day most voters do not care, nor do they pay attention to all this nonsense. Paul's opponent has given the voters no reason to vote for her. To the average Greenburgh resident Feiner has done a good job.

Anonymous said...

towncouncil@greenburghny.com

hal samis said...

4:56 speaks with forked-tongue, hope he does better at the casino.

In no particular order...

The property changed hands well before the moratorium call to arms began. The tearing down of the home on the property was also a signal. And talking to the Edgemont listening post at the Town Planning Department was like picking up the direct line to the ECC. Try again anonymous. You need Robby to give you all the story before you start setting up his amps.

Samis SEEMS TO THINK...lots of exits from this one unless you just like the sound of the words.
I had no reason to be at the meeting; readers are aware of what is called a straw man argument which is used when you can't win on the issues. Anonymous bloggers get ther kicks from finding weakness in arguments that have not been made. I never knew about or would expect to attend such a meeting. When I read the affidavit was the first I heard about it. I don't feel left out. But it was news to me that the Town Council felt that if I were to know what went on, even after the fact, that it would be so threatening. It must be troublesome to have someone around who reports things in their entirety.

Another straw man argument is that there is controversy over Bernstein and McNally going to the meeting. Who cares if they went? The ISSUE is who WASN'T there. What is troublesome is what the two of them proposed and that the Town Council entertained the idea and the Council was almost a part of it. I guess we really owe thanks to the developer for not agreeing.

Now what is the sinister connotation of Feiner having had his own earlier meeting with the developer. Feiner wanted to buy the property as parkland -- for Edgemont or the Nature Center, even Abinante for County money got snookered (think Bass) on that one. None of this is news but if anyone is interested, this was all thrashed out on the Feiner blog last Fall. As for the Town doing business, tt would be a little awkward if the initial contact on EVERYTHING in Town had to be done with the presence of the Town Board. Think matching their part time schedules with the developer and the rest of Feiner's schedule. And if there was a Town Manager, then it would be just the Town Manager doing the meeting. At that time, did anyone know there would be anything further to talk about? Of, if Feiner didn't meet with the developer, then Edgemont would be accusing him of ignoring their interests.

Then we must suffer a developer who wants to pull a fast one, says the anonymous blogger. What is the fast one? He exercised due diligence and bought the property with the expectation of building a multi-family development based upon what he reasonably thought was the proper interpretation of code. He is exercising his rights to, first at the Zoning Board of APPEALS and probably later at the Court level if his appeal at the ZBA fails. What about this process makes it "a fast one" because if you are troubled by this, then Bernstein's lawsuits must also be "fast ones".
My understanding of "fast one" as language is something akin to a swindle; neither Mr. Troy nor Mr. Bernstein are pulling fast ones in pursuit of their goals. But if you are anonymous, writing lies becomes the SOP.

Feiner has bought the developer's story? He has reprinted the developer's affidavit which was submitted to the ZBA. If you think the developer is lying, have the guts to say that in Public; the opportunity presents itself at the Public Hearing on Thursday. But what has the Town Council said in response? Of course they need time to get their stories in line but so far we have heard nothing.

What has Bernstein or McNally said?
They won't be the subject of any litigation by the developer re zoning interpretation, so they are free to speak.

The Town Council's email in response doesn't address any of these issues. They coyly evade any statement regarding to the subject by saying that the moratorium didn't happen, implying that it would have otherwise. But the moratorium was nowhere near a done deal, especially with the County opposing it. They complement themselves and their "record" on greenspace and "protecting the Town from overdevelopment". Pity, we won't know what went on at those meetings. They meet with members of the community and cite Fairview Manhattan Apartments and the supermarket. Those meetings were announced, not held in secret at a location which was neither the subject property nor Town Hall, and members of the community did not mean just two people.

Like this blogger, the Town Council email does not address the issues and whereas the developer is accused of lying, the Town Council and the members of the community have not offered their differing version.

And where is Suzanne Berger?

So whereas I am a mere interested citizen, I can rant, make tirades and even be a flake. Since the type of flake wasn't specified, I choose Wheaties, the breakfast of champions.

And if all I do is rant crazily and put on hysterical tirades, then why would the Town Council be afraid were the developer to tell me what went on at the meetings? Who would listen or care?

Finally, Bravo to the Journal News for publishing a fair and balanced summary of events. If those on this blog haven't read it, go to lohud.com and enter Greenburgh for the story search. The praise from anonymous must be for good writing however the blogger's conclusion is his own not from what appeared in the story. But readers already suspected that, right?

Anonymous said...

OH how the council could put their lies in print. After reading their EMail one can see the deciet that they try to put forth, that they meet with residents of the town. Yes they did meet with Barnes group concerning housing but how many times did the residents have to come to town hall to get their point accross.It wasn't acted,and enforced for a few months. This with Dromore rd. was acted .on as soon as Edgemont declared that they wantd parkland for the children.now we find out that this land is wanted to build a town hall for Edgemont. Now they want a center for their troubled youth. What's next.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Jim Lasser is away on his honeymoon.

Anonymous said...

Jim took time out to defend the Edgemont School System. He has yet taken the time to defend the un-elected leaders of Edgenot.

Anonymous said...

We are all waiting for Jim's take on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Regarding "future multi-family developments" ...

Looks about even for single family houses in the township's three official sub-divisions. Fairview has a sizeable percentage of 2-4 family houses, and Edgemont (Greenville) has a noticeably large percentage of 20+ unit housing.


GREENVILLE CDP
Housing units
3,447 = 100%

1-unit
1,733 = 50.3%
(1,548/1,733 owner-occupied = 89.3%)

2 units
7 = 0.2%

3 or 4 units
66 = 1.9%

5 to 9 units
94 = 2.7%

10 to 19 units
188 = 5.5%

20 or more units
1,359 = 39.4%


HARTSDALE CDP
Housing units
4,482 = 100.0%

1-unit
2,195 = 48.9%
(1,935/2,195 owner-occupied = 88.2%)

2 units
39 = 0.9%

3 or 4 units
338 = 7.5%

5 to 9 units
293 = 6.5%

10 to 19 units
360 = 8.0%

20 or more units
1,257 = 28.0%


FAIRVIEW CDP
Housing units
967 = 100.0%

1-unit
459 = 47.4%
(368/459 owner-occupied = 80.2%)

2 units
105 = 10.9%

3 or 4 units
157 = 16.2%

5 to 9 units
43 = 4.4%

10 to 19 units
44 = 4.6%

20 or more units
159 = 16.4%

hal samis said...

Dear 6:24,

I'm weeping as I type.
Is it the apartments themselves or those who inhabit them that troubles Edgemont so much?

People who live in apartments call them their homes, borrowing the same descriptive word as people who own, or rent, houses.

Are we in Greenburgh aware that in White Plains there are what is called empty nesters, people who have sold their houses and choose to live in apartments. Would they do so if they realized that the folks of Edgemont look down with scorn upon people who live in apartments. Ok, I grant that they wouldn't care what the ECC thinks.

Are there laws which determine how many of these ghastly apartments can exist. Are the words Apartment Complex the cousins of the most feared term, Project? Are there ratios to total housing stock? How does Edgemont tolerate Eddie Mae Barnes, she lives in an apartment. And what about poor Buster Brown?

Gosh darn it, aren't empty nesters people whose children have grown up and left home? Perhaps what Edgemont needs are more apartments so that their neighbors whose kids have finished with the Edgemont Schools, can remain in Edgemont by availing themselves of the empty nester option. Of course, who would want to visit them anymore if they moved into an apartment.

Finally, perhaps the apartment complexes need to form active civic assoications and join the ECC. The apartment dwellers need to understand what scum they are --and a voice. And how the house owners are seeking ways to bring even more commercial traffic, their way, to Central Avenue.

The writer lives in Hartsdale in an apartment, with enough closet space for extra rants and tirades.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what Lasser thinks. If he defends Bernstein and McNally, he is doing so only because they are from his side of Town and are probably his friends. If he doesn't defend them, its probably because he feels they are guilty. In any event, why should Jim Lasser's opinion rise to a level greater than anyone else's?

CALL ATTORNEY GENERALS OFFICE said...

The Town Council should ask the NYS Attorney General's office or DAs office(public integrity unit) to investigate whether the council members acted illegally by holding secret meetings with a developer, in violation of the law.
Did Bass, Sheehan, Barnes or Juettner put pressure on the developer to only deal with them, not Feiner? Was that illegal?

Anonymous said...

Eddie Mae Barnes has some explaining to do.
why did she support giving land over to Edgemont for a Village Hall when she knows that if edgemont incorporates it will be harmful to Fairview.

Anonymous said...

Humpty Samis sat on a wall,
defending Feiner, he's having a ball.

But defending the developer, oh you see,
might make him a "fact accessory."

Oh what a tangled web one must weave,
when a developer decides its best to deceive,
Not just Greenburgh, mind you, but the IRS,
When you value property falsely for much less.
Samis might not know the law or facts,
But his blogging just might alert, those at the fed who collect the tax.

Anonymous said...

"the folks of Edgemont look down with scorn upon people who live in apartments"

Mr. Samis, you probably were typing when the data was posted. Only half of the housing in Edgemont is single-family, and Edgemont has more large housing developments than the other two sections of Unincorporated Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

"Finally, perhaps the apartment complexes need to form active civic assoications and join the ECC."

Mr. Samis,

I live in one of Edgemont's 20+ unit buildings, and I know that each of Edgemont's complexes is already part of one of the eight ECC civic associations. We're 50% of the housing stock, so of course we're represented. In fact, one of the eight civic associations is only for apartment buildings. My particular civic association sends newsletters and invites all to meetings.

I know you don't know much about Edgemont and it just seems that you're envious of the stereotype. Almost every time you claim something about Edgemont, it can easily be refuted by facts. I think pro-Greenburgh/pro-Hartsdale is your strength; your anti-Edgemont rants are minimizing your overall credibility.

Anonymous said...

How is Sir Francis going to separate himself from this one?

He spent about one-third of the WESTHELP response to the Contoller's report making sure that everyone knew that it was Timmy W. in the seat that voted for the WESTHELP funds to begin with not him.

Any ideas on how Sir Francis is going to squirm his way out of this mess?

Maybe he outsmarted himself this time.

Anonymous said...

Does the town have to pay the costs of a lawyer to defend the town council if they participated in an illegal meeting?

hal samis said...

Dear 9:10/9:33,

The concept that Edgemont has any percentage of multi-family buildings is exactly my point. Apartments are treated as though they are something to be ashamed of and Edgemont needs to get some type of "credit" for tolerating them. Not at all unlike how communities are anxious to say that even have some "affordable" housing and thus they are as liberal as the next guy.

Apartments are home to many people and they are neither better nor worse than single family homes.
They are all just homes.

But in considering your numbers you say that 50% of Edgemont is multi-family and you feel really good about being "part" of the ECC civic umbrella. Why are you so docile, all of the apartment dwellers being lumped into just one of the eight member civic associations. The way I would look at the numbers if I was 50% of an area is that I would expect 50% of the votes.

And I hope that your fractionated civic association uses not only its individual name but also its members have real names. But just in case you aren't aware, in other parts of Town, each apartment complex that is into civic associations, has its own independent association. That the ECC relegates you to shared status like a separate species is the cage that you tolerate because you accept that you must be inferior to the single family homes.

50% of the homes and all of you together become just 1/8th of the ECC. No wonder you are ashamed.

Anonymous said...

"50% of the homes and all of you together become just 1/8th of the ECC."

Mr. Samis, you are incorrect. Yes, one of the civic associations consists only of apartment buildings. However, all of Edgemont's apartment buildings are not in this civic association; we are in our individual neighborhood's civic associations.

I believe that you, Mr. Samis, are an important asset to Greenburgh overall and to Hartsdale in particular. But you just look silly when you work the anti-Edgemont angle.

Let's get this topic back on track.

Anonymous said...

Don't lose sight of the ball. The issue is not Lasser or Samis or Edgemont for that matter. The issue is whether or not our entire Town Council participated in an illegal meeting in which Greenburgh land use policies were discussed. If so, they need to resign immediately. This type of "Star Chamber" government can not be allowed. Secrecy is an afront to Democracy. The four Town Council members should put their resumes into the CIA or NSA when they leave Greenburgh. Bernstein and McNally should be ashamed of themselves, participating in an illegal meeting. No one should ever listen to or respect the opinions of these holier than thou Edgemonters. When McNally gives her twenty minute pontifications during open hearings, everyone should leave the room. Same for Bernstein. Let them run Edgemont in secrecy. The rest of us want Democracy and OPEN Government.

Anonymous said...

I find Mr. Samis rather insightful and his writing style very humorous. I also find it interesting that at a “secret” meeting on Dromore, there is expressed concern about Mr. Samis knowing about it or of what conversations took place. Someone must feel that he isn’t really that silly. I’m pretty impressed!

I’m also perplexed that all roads that led to this debacle are questionable if not just plain dumb, I mean really! Did Edgemont want to acquire it for :

A) A children’s park
B) GNC
C) Edgemont Town Hall
D) Single family use
E) To prevent “undesirables” from moving in
F) To prevent more children entering the schools
G) To purchase it only to later sell for profit
H) All of the above


Which one is it really? Personally, I find ”C” very much a horse before the cart as I don’t think incorporation is likely to happen. Certainly not if all of this shenanigans keeps up.

Anonymous said...

The issue is not Lasser or Samis or Edgemont for that matter. The issue is whether or not our entire Town Council participated in an illegal meeting in which Greenburgh land use policies were discussed.

True. However, one must wonder what has driven them to conduct themselves in this possibly illegal behavior. One wonders if what drives them is illegal or unethical unto itself. The sheer desperation is questionable.

Anonymous said...

There is no evidence whatsoever of any illegal meeting with anyone. This is just Feiner and his supporters repeating the "big lie."

Feiner should be ashamed of himself for making these false allegations, but as his career is obviously coming to a close, he's desperate to get any kind of attention these days, even negative attention. (My kids do the same thing).

While it's tempting not to dignify Feiner's hysterical allegations with a response, town council members should state unequivocally any meetings they may have had with the developer were perfectly legal.

Feiner's allegations against Bernstein and McNally show appallingly poor judgment on Feiner's part. Bernstein and McNally are not running for office. They do not have a $150,000 campaign warchest like Feiner has. They do not have access to the town's email and website.

How are they to respond to these allegations? They are not being sued by anyone, so how are they to get their "day in court"? The answer is that they won't, and that Feiner's use of the town's e-mail and website to defame these individuals is an abuse by Feiner that should not go unnoticed or unpunished.

Furthermore, regardless of what you may think of their views politically or otherwise, this is America and Bernstein and McNally are free to meet with whomever they wish whenever they want. This is still a free country.

Much more alarming, but not surprising, is Feiner's taking the developer's side in the zoning dispute.

Feiner has taken tens of thousands of dollars from developers with applications pending in violation of the town's ethics code. The developers all stood to make millions. Feiner wouldn't return a dime or recuse himself from any of these matters.

Now he's claiming that the zoning code shouldn't be enforced in order to permit these developers to build 37 luxury condos. These developers stand to make millions too.

There's something very fishy about Feiner's involvement with these developers and there's something just as fishy about these developers themselves.

Anonymous said...

6:21---RIGHTON---ALL OF THE ABOVE.

Anonymous said...

And to the rest of you -- this year Paul is picking on Edgemont -- the next year it could be you. If he is re-elected, we can look forward to:

1. More malicious attacks.
2. More wasted $$ like Westhelp.
3. More purchases of useless parkland like Taxter Ridge.
4. Zoning to protect developers who pay him.
5. Zoning to allow methadone clinics throughout the town.

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:24

"Feiner's use of the town's e-mail and website to defame these individuals is an abuse by Feiner that should not go unnoticed or unpunished."

Well Bob, go ahead and sue the Developer and Feiner for defaming you. You can and should win a significant sum of money if this supposed illegal meeting never took place.

It's all very simple. Three or more Town Council members attending a meeting with a Developer or anyone else is illegal. The Developer says all four were there. He says he has witnesses. He is either lying or telling the truth. If he is lying, Bernstein should chew him up and spit him out in Court. If the Developer is telling the truth, Bass, Barnes, Juetner and Sheehan need to resign immediately.

Anonymous said...

The truth is out, and it is even worse than we expected.

Steve Bass has been telling people that there was never a meeting with the four Council members. The others have been doing the same.

And here is the catch.

The four of them were there, but they made sure that there were never more than two of them in the room at the same time. In and out. Musical chairs.

And that is how they will say that the meeting wasn't illegal.

They can't even claim ignorance. They knew that they couldn't meet legally. So they played musical chairs. There could not be a greater awareness of what they were doing was wrong. It won't work.

The non-Edgemont community should be even angrier now that the gimmick has been revealed. It is a gimmick, by the way, that is quite typical of Bernstein, who probably thought it up.

A conspiracy to obscure an illegal meeting.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:55

Can you verify that this indeed is true or has any of the 4 said this to you directly?

Anonymous said...

If this scenario is true I believe it would stil constitute a violation of New York State Open Meeting Laws. The four went there with the knowledge that they would be violating the law and came up with this technicality that would avoid potential legal fallout. It won't work.

Anonymous said...

The four council liars are planning their defense. The other two citizens are following too. They intended to commit a crime, whether there is two ,four or six in the room. They all have a good mouth piece who is also looking for power in Greenburgh.

dromore and feiner duping us said...

more facts are coming out and it looks more and more like dromore developers knew all along the property was zoned for single family use. feiner, in his haste, failed to post the 75 attached documents - these and other documents not yet disclosed reveal that dromore guys knew what they had bought all along - something that wasnt zoned for multi-family development.

Anonymous said...

The devious four should make a sworn affidavit, just like the developer did. If they deny that all four were at the meeting, I want them to say whether they were switching chairs so that all four were there and conspiring a technicality.

Anonymous said...

11:09 how would you know this .It was said from the onset that this property was zoned for multifamily homes. When Edgemont found that the land was going to be developed ,all hell broke loose. If the map was not correct it is not the developers fault, but I find this very hard to believe that the map was wrong. When he purchased it the map read multifamily was ok, when he goes to develope it, the map is wrong. Who had the map changed mid stream.
We have had a lot of faith in the zoning board but now one has to think that Sheehan and company has reach them to do something illegal,since the four council members are willing to do anything for Edgemont civic representatives..

Jim Lasser said...

I go away for a week on honeymoon and somebody notices - thank you.
I made no comments because I was not in a position to download and read the affidavit and supporting documents.
I have now had the opportunity to read the affidavit, but the supporting documents which are essential to understanding the context of the affidavit are conveniently not posted.
A pair of disclaimers to begin.
First, someone commented that I probably know Michelle McNally and Bob Bernstein - I do, and I am proud to call them my friends.
Second, someone else commented that I am very committed to observing both the letter and spirit of the open meetings - I am.
So, if you're still interested, here are my initial impressions.
I note, along with others, that paragraph 46, the only paragraph which might be construed as alleging an illegal meeting, does not indicate that the 4 Town Board members were present at the same time on February 3rd. A nit-picking lawyers' truth, which cuts both ways. Absent the supporting documents, we cannot tell whether all arrived together and two departed when they realized too many were present - or whether tag teams "swapped out" as one commentator suggests. Nor can we tell whether the statement in the affidavit, while technically the truth, actually alleges an illegal meeting was taking place. If it was, why did the developer participate then and develop a conscience later? He might simply have walked out and protected himself from any conceivable charges of trying to exert improper influence. Absent the documentation, we just don't know. We do not know who called the meeting, or where it was held.
What I do know, from personal experience having served on the Edgemont Board of Education with Michelle, is her devotion to the Open Meetings Law is on a par with mine - and I cannot believe she would have knowingly participated in any attempt to skirt that law.
If my fellow commentators are permitted to discern Bob Bernstein's prose, or the Supervisor's prose, or Richard Garfunkel's or Don Siegal's from the anonymous postings, I suggest the wording of paragraph 62, subparagraph C is a discernible fabrication. The word "secession" in any of it's forms has never crossed Bob Bernstein's lips in any discussion of Edgemont's future - I learned from him the correct word is "incorporation". Nor has he ever used the word "town" when the proper word is "village". Either Mr. Troy's memory has been stimulated by someone who uses those words for their shock value or he has created an allegation from whole cloth.
Finally, Mr. Troy's complaint in Paragraph 65 is one I've raised frequently. The Town of Greenburgh seems to have a policy of non-compliance with NY State's Freedom of Information Law. That is VERY wrong and within the scope of any of the members of the Town Board to correct. If I were the Supervisor, I'd be very embarrassed that even one of my major contributors' clients cannot get an answer to a document request within the legal timeframe.
I'm willing to read the supporting documents, if they are made available - until then I am willing to watch this unfold, apparently in the Courts as I understand a notice of claim has been filed.

Anonymous said...

Jim your friends have been planning their defense. Did you ever stop to think that the whole meeting was being taped. I would never meet with anyone of the town council without taping the whole meeting. That's something I have learned a long time ago,especially when one speaks with forked tongue.Sorry but i do not agree with you on your comment,I feel having those present who represent the Edgemont area was in poor taste. We all know that they did not want the property developed,and they would go to any length to stop it .You see they made their mistake when they took up this cause some time ago at town meetings. Put two and two together and you see that the developers are telling the truth.Too bad that we do have this town council and most of all that people in Edgemont have bad representation.

By the way congradulation on your wedding, Many happy years ahead for both of you. Shalom

Anonymous said...

For Mr. Lasser,

I am sure that Mr. Troy doesn't know the distictions between secession and incorporation, and between town hall and village hall. The bottom line is that, if his allegations are true, Bernstein spoke about getting the Dromore property for a village hall and the four Council persons said nothing. Indeed, according to the affidavit, Bass followed up with a call pushing Bernstein's plan and asking Mr. Troy to transfer the property on trust. This was a few days before the Town Council forced the Commissioner to change his opinion.

It is not Mr. Troy's responsibility to bow out of a meeting if there was gaming going on with swapping chairs. It is the Town Council that has the responsibility to know the law and follow it. Playing games with the law is the same as disobeying the law. For sure it is hypocracy of the highest order, aside from the super-secrecy. These are the people who are always accusing the Supervisor of violations, big or small, real or contrived.

I would also like to see the supporting documents. Perhaps the ZBA would publish them on the web.

I hope that your honeymoon lasts forever.

Anonymous said...

If Edgemont incorporates, doesn't that pretty much reduce the need for a full-time paid supervisor, part-time paid board members, and reduce the need for town administrators, staff and police officers? Again, as a Hartsdale owner, is the departure of Edgemont necessarily a bad thing for the rest of us? Or is it really a bad thing for an eternally reelected supervisor b/c his position should be reduced to part-time or even eliminated?

Anonymous said...

As a fellow Hartsdale resident I assure you that the incorporating Edgemont will be a very bad thing for us. It will reduce our tax base significantly so either we have to pay up or our services will be slashed. Our property is already greatly undervalued because of GC school district. I believe that almost 90% of Hartsdale students attend private schools. Can you afford to pay more in taxes for less? Can you afford to see your property values tumble because of this?

Edgemont has successfully put into place things such as Edgemont Rec that receives monies from us. Hartsdale has been asleep on this and many other important matters that affect us greatly. I’m saddened by the lack of concern from other Hartsdale residents.

hal samis said...

Dear Jim,

Welcome back but I fear that some part of you is still on vacation.

The affidavit, in its entirety, is part of the ZBA files. Sometimes the Town allows you to read files of Applications which are open without a FOIL request and some times they do not.

There is nothing is the exhibits that Feiner would seek to hide in plain sight. On the other hand, what is not yet posted is lots of supporting material that the property should be zoned not as Mr. Stellato now argues but as part of the Central Avenue mixed use district which was the green light for the purchase. This is a "complicated" dispute between the applicant Mr. Troy and the Town and may yet have to be settled by the civil Courts. This portion of the affidavit referring to the zoning history is not really controversial; at least when compared with the incidental material which suggests that the Town Council, with the assistance of your honorable friends, Bernstein and McNally, conspired to get around circumstances which might cause the meeting(s) to be viewed as official Town Board meetings without notice and discussing policy matters AND a second portion which details plans both to devalue the property by a specious moratorium and to find means to acquire the property for "another" use.

What I do take issue with re your analysis Jim is that while you preserve an image of impartiality, allowing from time to time that the Town Council also bears some responsibility for matters, the overall bias still remains and often emerges directed against Feiner, but done so in subtle ways.

For example, when you discuss the exhibits you say "conveniently not posted" and this somehow implies that Feiner is responsible for this when coupled with later the embarrassment you feel that the Supervisor may feel when the client of a major contributor cannot get FOIL satisfaction. This is like a two-for one special on hitting below the belt.

This one-time client, the developer Rick Troy, probably has no interest in who sits in the seat of the Town Supervisor. Certainly his problem is immediate and the solution is not dependant upon the seat's occupant this time next year. And I agree that not having had the opportunity to attend Greenburgh 101, Troy may not be on track when using town/village or secession/incorporation. Likewise those who know the differences are capable of misusing terms solely to throw the hounds off the track.

But most interesting is dragging the developer in under the casually mentioned "exerting undue influence". This would be one dumb developer (which he is not) to lay the groundwork in his own affidavit and provide the proof of it in the exhibits. "Absent the documentation we just don't know" say you Jim. There are lots of things we don't know but there is no basis to raise this issue other than to build an air of mystery around the exhibits. Is there any basis to suggest that the developer held some chips at the table, chips that he could exchange for some benefit to him.
Would any of the participants be interested in letting the developer build his 30+ units in exhange for what goodies? If true, it is not going to appear in a voluntarily submitted affidavit.

For the record, Mr. Troy lives in New Rochelle and his office is in Harrison. I'm sure that the Town Council will not be putting in an expense slip for mileage to Harrison.

Anonymous said...

Jim, since you trust Bernstein and McNally, you should be the first to call for the State Attorney General's Public Integrity Unit to investigate these allegations. It is vital that we get this matter behind us. Only an investigative body like the Attorney General's office which has subpeona power and can put people under oath with the possibility of facing criminal charges should they lie, can get to the bottom of this mess quickly and professionally. Jim, you owe it to your friends to clear their names. Call for an investigation by the AG and have Bernstein and McNally sign up for it as well.

Anonymous said...

Because Feiner didn't post the exhibits to the Troy affidavit, Mr. Lasser doesn't realize that the document Troy attached purporting to show that a document request was made is not dated and not signed.

Why on earth would anyone ever believe the affidavit of a developer seeking a zoning change who is represented by Feiner's largest contributor?

nothing to investigate said...

There is nothing to investigate. If Feiner thinks there was a violation of law, let him file a complaint. Time for Feiner to see if he believes his press releases.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the residents of Greenburgh should file a complaint against the six that attended the meeting.If not the attorney generals office it should be turned over to the DA.

Anonymous said...

In order to file a complaint, it generally helps to find a law that you think's been violated.

As far as the town council is concerned, no one's come up with any. Town board members, including Feiner, meet with constituents all the time. That's what they're supposed to do.

There's no violation of the open meetings law as long as there's no quorum to conduct town business. Feiner may claim there was, but he's got no proof. Feiner's paranoia isn't admissible evidence.

As far as McNally and Bernstein are concerned, they are private citizens and in America they can meet with whomever they like. No laws violated there.

As far as the town is concerned, Feiner's made some statements on the town's website about a number of individuals which appear to be unsubstantiated. False statements disseminated by government with intent to defame may be actionable.

The issue is whether the individuals so named by Feiner have been "injured" by reason of such action by Feiner.

Here, it's not so clear. Not a whole lot of people pay attention to town politics. If no one other than Feiner and his handful of angry supporters have formed negative opinions about these individuals, it will be hard for these individuals to show any tangible injury resulting from Feiner's irresponsible acts.

In other words, it may not matter what Feiner says; as unpleasant and distasteful as it may be for the individuals that Feiner attacks, there's really no harm because nobody pays any attention to Feiner anymore anyway.

Anonymous said...

But when Edgemont incorporates, then the only cuts for Unincorporated Greenburgh would be in proportion to Edgemont's departure, leaving everything proportionately the same to serve the remaining sections of Unincorporated Greenburgh, so I don't see why Hartsdale and Fairview, for example, would be concerned. The Town would receive less tax revenue, but it would be providing proportionately less service.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lasser: Genuine question, not specifically relevant to this topic, but would you please consider being the new Town Supervisor? The pay and the hours aren't too attractive, but perhaps just for two years? Greenburgh needs you. Thank you for your consideration.

Jim Lasser said...

I'm flattered, but I ran for that office 4 years ago and was not elected.
Having had the experience of watching sausages being made, I no longer eat them.
I have suggested a professional town manager as an alternative to our current government of amateurs, but when I do, I am accused of being a Feiner-basher.
The one thing I can hold up my head proudly about is that I have chosen to sign my name to my personal opinions. As Hal Samis will no doubt concur, it is both liberating and responsible citizenship.

Anonymous said...

I hate to sound like a brokern record. but Dromore rd .is wanted by Edgemont for themselves. First for parkland, children playground,and now for future use for a town hall for that area. BB an MN went to the meeting with one thing in mind .is to get this property. To bad it went into a criminal act by them and the town council. How dumb can one be.There is no excuse for their behavior,Whether there were two,three,or six gathered to speak about up comming projects,it's illegal .One can say that it was a friendly meeting ,I doubt it, since The supervisor and. Mr. Samis were excluded. The reasoning was that they didn't want the public to know how crooked they are.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bobby B (aka 5:22 pm):

Is your unwillingness to make the alleged "slander" a legal action in reality, an admission that:

1) The facts are against you on this one; and

2) To the extent that you fight this, you will knock over the stack of playing cards, otherwise known as the majority of the Town Bored?

Anonymous said...

Jim, I have been usually impressed with the positions you take on the issues, but on this one I believe you have punted. If our council members played games to circumvent the open meeting laws, its disgarceful. Plese do not give them a pass on some technicality As for private citizens meeting with politicians, we all know that is how the games is played. This will never rise to a criminal level as some bloggers believe. This is just politics as usual, unfortunately, and congratulations on the marriage

Anonymous said...

Politicians can meet with constituents, that's OK.

In this Dromore Road case the politicians met secretly and made sure that word wouldn't get out to those who didn't agree with them. That's what is so rotten. And whether they like it or not, the Supervisor was elected and he is chief executive officer of the town, and they have no right to treat him as an outsider.

This kind of stuff didn't happen before Sheehan.

hal samis said...

Dear 6:28,
Thanks for the mention but I had no claim or credentails to be at the meeting and those that met had NO REASON, or obligation to invite me. It might have been more lively as I would have attended, particularly since I was probably the only vocal member of the Public to argue against the moratorium. But what the Bass/Sheehan partnership did arrange was get the developer to agree not to TELL me afterward what went on. You see, knowledge can be dangerous unless Mr. Sheehan is the teacher and teaching a subject that HE has on HIS syllabus. Those who hold differing opinions, flunk the course.

Regarding 5:24, the budget cuts don't follow as easily as you would believe. The Theodore Young Community Center in Fairview is one of the larger unincorporated budget items. Mr. Bernstein has argued that the Community Center which serves Greenburgh entire is supported just by unincorporated. More to the point, Mr. Bernstein argues that Edgemont doesn't need and doesn't use the Community Center. Were Edgemont to become a Village, it is likely that Edgemont, the Village, would choose not to contribute to its operation and what remains of unincorporated would be wholly responsible for footing the entire bill. In 2006, their budget was just over $3.1 million. By removing Edgemont's tax revenues, the programs would be slashed sharply leaving the Community Center bleeding, perhaps from a fatal wound. I am using this as an example not to strike fear or accuse Edgemont of anything untoward. In fact, what Bernstein has argued in his law suits against the Town is that the six Villages should be contributing and making the Community Center, for example, a town-wide expense thus alleviating the unincorporated tax burden. Naturally, the existing Villages oppose this for the same grounds that Edgemont Village would also oppose. Simplified as this may be, it is the crux of the A B budget flummox.

But take heart, what is being discussed on this blog topic are intimations that Edgemont (as represented by Bernstein and McNally) wants to get their hands on the Dromore property so it can become under their stewardship, their new Village Hall. And by reciting this gibberish, each mention, it is hoped, firms up the notion that BM, the movement, are in touch with Edgemont residents and the balance of the population actually support their quest. To date this has been absolutely an exercise in futility. Mainly because the good folks of Edgemont don't want their taxes to rise either; something that is inevitable were they to become a Village. Under the blueprint, the parts are more expensive than the whole. So despite the embarrassment of this pipe dream becoming real through the good gracelesses of Bass, the acquiring of Dromore by Edgemont LLC or its equivalent is just fiction, the local version of "Waiting for Gufman" done in the manner of "Saw" with the balance of unincorporated held as the hostages.

However the reaction to these excesses is taking hold and consumers are tiring of this trend.
So, like the newest crop of horror movies, as the population matures, the talk of "incorporation" is similarly fading to the extent that though the BM lessens, their candidate, Berger, continues the run.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of excesses, the community center could probably trim a few positions right now, whether it be to prepare for Edgemont's incorporation or just as a means to reduce town expenses. There are also a few middle management positions in various town departments that could be cut and/or done by lesser paid clerical staff.

Anonymous said...

Letter to the Editor of the Journal News
7-16-07

Secrecy and Manipulation in Greenburgh:

Maybe it is time to have the Westchester DA’s office, and the NY State’s Attorney-General, find out why developer Richard Troy is swearing in a deposition that the Greenburgh Town Board is conspiring with lawyer Robert Bernstein on how to manipulate the ownership and the price of a piece of property that abuts the Greenburgh Nature Center. Does Bernstein want this property for his own personal use? Will this property be used as an eventual Edgemont village hall, if Bernstein is able to engineer Edgemont’s secession from Greenburgh? It seems to this observer that Richard Troy and his partners, according to his sworn testimony, met Town Board members without the Supervisor’s knowledge. He may have not known that it was against the law for the Greenburgh Town Board to meet secretly, but for sure the Town Board understood the provisions of the state’s “open meetings” statutes. Only a proper investigation will expose how much real influence Mr. Robert Bernstein is exercising in Greenburgh, as he seems to lead the Town Board into one tangled web after another.

Richard J. Garfunkel

PS: A complaint has been filed with the NY State Committee on Open Government. Based upon a reading of numerous advisory opinions, by the Committee on Open Government, it is a violation of the Open Government law for a quorum of a legislative body to meet for any purpose. A letter of request to open an investigation has been sent to the Westchester County District Attorney's Office.
A complaint will be filed with Public Integrity Unit, of the NY State Attorney-General's Office. An Article 78 will be filed im the NY State Supreme Court.

It is interesting that any fair reading of Mr. Troy's affidavit would show that Mr. Robert Bernstein and Ms. Michelle McNally, who have been torching Greenburgh and Supervisor Paul Feiner for years, have opened up a "can of worms" that will be difficult to close.

It seems, with out much embellishment, that Supervisor rejected, out of hand, the request regarding the disposition of the property. He stated clearly, in the deposition on page 8, paragraph 18,

"Supervisor Feiner publicly aaounced his opposition to any developement on the property, he noted in his December 10, 2006 web log entry, his desire to initiate efforts to protect the Greenburgh Nature Center from possible developement."

On page 10, paragraph 23,

"Supervisor Feiner recognised Janet Gris, Esq., and we had an impromtu conversation while standing in the hallway. Supervisor Feiner told us "don't listen to the Commissioner and to the Deputy Commissioner and we must go to the Nature Center."

In other words, forget what deals you are making with the Commissioners, and who are influencing them. So Supervisor reiterated his positions clearly. The Supervisor wanted the Greenburgh Nature Center protected, plain and simple!

But what was the real reason for this whole charade played out by Bernstein and his merrie little band of secessionists?

Did the "puppet-master" care about housing or the property? It seems that on the surface he didn't want the children of a larger developement to enter the Edgemont School District. That seems obvious and he seemed to state that in the deposition. But what about his dealing with Bass and the Board? All of this makes fascinating reading. In February of 2007, Bernstein, according to the deposition, is already planning, with the secret help of the Board, it seems, a special district, a bond issue to coincide with the primary in September, 2007, an inside deal over the ownership of the property, and loop-holes in the proposed moritorium, so he could drive his own truck through. What a coup d'etat he was planning and who were his conspirators? Guess? The Board. There seems to be double-dealing here!

Well what are we to make of all of this? On the surface, the deposition certainly seems to indicate that Bernstein, McNally, and others of their CABAL, wanted to use the property for their own purposes. It will be eventually determined what those purposes were, and how much the Board were in on the deal. Were there illegal meetings? Was there a conspiracy to subvert the will of the citizens of Edgemont or the Town of Greenburgh? These complaints will eventually be aired.

But we for sure have now seen who is the real "puppet-master" and who are being dangled on his strings. This half-decade attempt to smear the Supervisor has been revealed for all to see.

In the deposition, on page 22, paragraph 54, Councilmember Bass is already arranging the coup. The CABAL is ready to put in place all the pieces. He is already arranging the referendum to coincide with the primary. This is a way to insure a big Edgemont vote that will also (his plans)obviously favor the Bass, Barnes. Berger, and Bernstein ticket, the Four Stinger Bees! Of course, in the same paragraph, Bass asks (Troy) to "trust" him!

It is all there to see! So all of you judge what has gone on. All of you see who is the "puppet-master" and who are being strung along.

But there is one tried and true remedy! Either they all resign or it is the cruel fate of the election booth.

Their "handlers" had better use the "committee of vacancies" to replace these losers, because come September they will be blown away by the wind of indignation that will spread from one end of Greenburgh to the other.

leavy said...

As a non-Edgemont newcomer to "all things Edgemont" I have many questions.
For example, if Edgemont incorporates but before it does, TOG purshases property within the Edgemont SD as parkland, who pays off the bonds after the incorporation?
Also, if TOG makes any improvements to the infrastructure to Edgemont, roads, sidewalks (big issue) and such, will unincorporated get stuck paying this off after Edgemont incorporation?

garfunjel unhinged? said...

someone please send a nurse to check on whether garfunkel is off his meds.

investigate feiner not citizens said...

what needs to be investigated is feiner's relationship with weingarten...oops that already under investigation by the ethics board.

leavy said...

Another question. I can not fully understand this:

If TOG partially funds Edgemont Rec and Edgemont Rec denies access to non-Edgemont residents and gives its money to Edgemont school district or any other organization that excludes providing services to non-Edgemont residents, how is this legal?

Anonymous said...

I would investigate the issue of "The Map" changing. Supposedly Sheehan found an error from several years ago. My personal experiences in dealing with Sheehan indicate that he couldn't find a tree growing in the middle of Yankee Stadium. His reputation is far greater than is actually warranted. I seriously doubt that Sheehan found a "mistake" going back several years. I would investigate whether the map was altered recently to suit the anti-Feiner cabal's purposes. Gil, what have you been up to lately????

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Paul Feiner for fighting back and getting the facts on the table. The bottom line is that the entire WestHelp Partnership "controversy" was a political ploy on the part of Frances Sheehan et al to make Paul the Supervisor look bad at the cost of the reputations of many innocent people who did nothing wrong. Not a penny was misspent, not a penny went where you guys seemed to think, unless you happen not to like the fact that funds went to the Valhalla schools. And obviously, a handful of people who live in other part of town didn't like it and wanted the money to be used for "townwide" purposes even though WestHelp is not located on their doorsteps. In other words, don't give us the homeless, just give us the dollars that come from the homeless. We won't share the burden, but we will happily cut to the front of the line for a handout.
Then Mr. Sheehan et al pulled out all the stops -- let's use the race card, let's malign private individuals because we can, let's use Gil Kaminer's friend(s)at Gannett to write one-sided stories so people will actually think the information is true instead of nothing more than baseless innuendo, let's have a field day with the decent, law-abiding residents of Mayfair Knollwood and make them look like the bad guys and horrible, greedy people.
(By the way, Greenburgh taxpayers, wake up. Mr. Kaminer was hired at your expense to be a political hatchet man for members of the Town Board. He spends town time and money to spread rumors and undermine the supervisor, just because other people want the job. That's it. That's what he does. Someone should ask Mr.Kaminer to account for his time -- hour by hour.)
Then Mr. Sheehan and friends decide to have their own illegal, secret meetings to discuss their own agendas -- to prevent a multi-family housing developer from building anything that might possibly attract families they don't approve of into the insular neighborhoods of Edgemont, where no homeless shelters exist but where they so piously believe that the WestHelp dollars should go to them.
Some of us have known from the beginning who the real bad guys are. Some of us have been patiently waiting to watch the bad guys self-destruct.
It took less time than we thought.

Anonymous said...

Only a moron would pay much attention to the anonymous crackpots that continue to blast the Supervisor, his supporters and the truth. The hatred and vitriol that feeds this angst is amazing. The effort made by the CABAL over the years has been quite remarkable. They spend hours making video tapes, they attend board meetings with religious intensity, they pursue the study of the law with zeal beyond comprehension and they bean-count and nit-pick with the ferocity of a roadrunner bird pecking at the sand.

What motiviates these "killer bees?" What drives them like grunnion in their a self-destructive run to the sea? I am constantly amazed by their energy, their passion and their desperation. Are they really after the "blood" of Paul Feiner. Would Paul Feiner have embarked on this public career in high school if he would have known of the mine fields he would face in middle age?

Paul was an innocent teenager who started this long journey registering voters, integrating the Scarsdale Town Club, creating bike paths, when he graduated up to the minor leagues to take on boss Ed Brady. Wasn't it Ed Brady who locked away the County copying machine so that Paul couldn't send out his missives?

But, if I only could of have looked into a crystal ball and have seen the Wicked Witch of the North and her merrie band of CABALISTS flying through the air like the winged monkeys of OZ, I would have screamed out a warning. Go back, go back, don't challenge Ed Brady, don't cross swords with O'Rourke, don't get in over your head! The CABAL will be awaiting, as sure as "The Ides of March" were upon Caesar. The assassins are at the gates of Town Hall as they were at the Senate. They drool each Wednesday, they are armed to the teeth with their honed daggers of hate, and they are prepared for mortal combat with their implacable foe!

But, alas, time has moved on. Now we face the real onslaught! Hark, hark and beware, they are comming, they are coming. They look normal, just like other citizens. But like Kevin McCarthy warned in the movie, "The Body Snatchers," could they be really be celestial pods floating in from outer space. They look almost like us. One is rotund, so rotund that he could roll easily into a room. A few wear woven headpieces like ancient warriors from some sort of a pre-Columbian religious cult. Others look almost like the people who like Paul Feiner. They are in our midst, they act normal on occaisson and they may even see their own children between board meetings.

But what really drives them? Are they fanatics, are they ready to continue this relentless crusade with a final banzai charge to oblivion?

We won't really know until it is all over.

I am now known as "The Shadow" and remember, "who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men (women too!)"

So I will periodically report on this ongoing saga, this epoch, this ultimate struggle between good and evil, this final cataclysmic "Twilight of the Gods."

The world waits with baited breath to see its outcome, so all come on Wednesday night and a witness to history.

"The Shadow"

Anonymous said...

Who keeps letting Garfunkel out of his cage?

Because he is Feiner's campaign manager, his unrestrained over-the-top hate-filled rhetoric is one of the reasons Feiner is in so much trouble these days.

There are other reasons are, of course, like his acting illegally on Taxter Ridge, his acting illegally on WestHELP, his continued failure to account for the WestHELP money, his taking tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from developers, his refusal to return the money or recuse himself,and his failure to come up with a short-term emergency contingency plan for East Hartsdale Avenue, and his inability to get along with just about anybody else in the town who disagrees with him, to name just a few.

Anonymous said...

Stop all the bs you have repeated this comment on the blog too many times, Whatever you say has already been cleared up. Too bad you don't want to hear this but the truth will set you free.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Garfunkel speaks the truth about Feiner. He is defending an honest man who up until this time has sat back and watched his council say and do things to oust him. Well now is payback time. Did the four council members plus two citizens think for one min. that they would go their merry way after their meeting on Dromore rd. which was illegal.Did they think that residents of Greenburgh would take this sitting down. We had enough of all of them .from the council down to the two citizens who are at every town meeting make their demands for one thing or another,

Mr.garfunkel never makes demands,what he does he show the errors that are made with certain decisions.Is this bad. Is he a friend Of Feiner,sure is. Feiner is a friend to many of us. If he's wrong we tell him so. when he's right we congratulate him.
If one feels that Feiner was wronged by this last meeting they should thank Garfunkel that he has taken some action.We want good government here in Greenburgh,right now it has hit the bottom of the barrel thanks to a council that shows their hatred for Feiner every moment possible. The other two involved in this lastest scandle should have known better as to what they were doing Especially that one is a lawyer.
Did they think that they were beyond the laws of open government.

Again thank you Mr. garfunkel and I do wish you well with your case and investigation into the Dromore rd. scandal.

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