Monday, July 09, 2007

GREENBURGH DEMOCRACY--WEEK OF JULY 9

Please feel free to post your comments during the week of July 9th.

***TONIGHT---Conservation Advisory Council takes up issue of banning leaf blowers.

***CONCERTS AT YOSEMITE PARK --this Thursday night!

***RICHARD BOUKAS BRAZILIAN JAZZ CONCERT AT DESANTI PLAZA THIS SATURDAY ON E HARTSDALE AVE

86 comments:

account or resign said...

another week and alas - no accounting from feiner on the westhelp funds. even feiner's disciple garfunkel is quiet about this one. feiner must account or resign,

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the hard work the Town Board spent drafting the proposed ethics law concerning campaign finance. I wish the federal & state governments would also adopt campaign reforms.
Unfortunately, the town may be preempted by state law which imposes limitations on this kind of law. The Office of the Attorney General issued an Informal Opinion No. 95-46 September 22, 1995 which is on point.
If the town would adopt a voluntary system of contribution and expenditure caps in exchange for public financing of elections, some form of campaign contribution limits could be established.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy going to Vetran Park the pool is great. The thing I dont understand is how they charge $3.00 for a soda, and then after you pa they tell you they are out of regular, diet only. Way too overpriced. Does the board have any eay to put on price caps for the food? Soon it will be like going to a movie or a Yankee game.

Anonymous said...

ASK THE COMPTROLLER FOR HIS REPORT ON THESE FUNDS. HE IS THE ONE THAT YOU SHOULD ASK,THAT'S HIS JOB.

something is rotten in feinerville said...

feiner said he spent $75,000 on neighborhood purposes - well, what did he spend it on?

the money at issue was collected by the town before mr heslop was hired - again - why is feiner unable to account for the missing funds?

Anonymous said...

oh you mean to tell me that the town board did some productive work for a change concerning the ethics board. Some work,, they selected someone who had problems with Greenburgh in the past, and to boot he never handed them a resume. You can't say that they did a good job.They would get anyone who sees things the way that they {The big four} want decisions to be made.

Anonymous said...

You're the one that is saying that there are funds missing. the comptroller said differently.Why can't you wait till the comptroller let's us see bank statements. and balance sheets.

Anonymous said...

Why can't Feiner's defenders from the neighborhood, who's purpose was funded come forward and tell what the funds were spent on. Surely they must remember. It was $75,000.

Anonymous said...

To 4:54 ... Yes, the comptroler should be working on this for Mr. Feiner. Ultimately, however, it is Mr. Feiner's responsibility.

Anonymous said...

No matter how many times the Comptroller tells the public that the mention of $75,000 spent for neighborhood expenses was an error, caused by an erronepus assumption, the gang will continue to howl about detailing how the $75,00 that was never spent was spent.

God help Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

The concession at Verterans has been awful for the past 4-5 years now. I as told that the contract for each season is a bid. I suppose lowest gets in. I could be wrong.

Regardless, I no longer take my kids on a hot summer night for dinner & a swim. Not only is the food cost totally unreasonable, the food stinks. REALLY STINKS!

At one time, people started ordering food to be delivered to the pool. The town put a stop to that.

It's really a shame. I don't even think about going much anymore.
It was a huge convience at one time.

Anonymous said...

I dont understand why when the food / beverage is overpriced bad, and out of stock we are not allowed to have food delivered. I thought recreation was about enjoying ourselves. I know food delevery is not a constitutional right but when you can get a pie and 2 liter bottle of soda delevired for the same as 2 slices and a fountain soda at the snack bar...I go for delevery. Should we start filling the pool with tea???

hal samis said...

Dear couldn't recognize a priceless mastercard moment if it came up and bit your $3 hot dog,
(aka anonymous at 4:53),

First off you're not acknowledging the accompanying ambience of a great epicurean experience. And how about that service with a smile too?

But more seriously, you don't understand the relationship between keeping property taxes down by the application of rising "use" taxes.

Vendors bid for this food provider contract. Generally, the highest bidder wins the right to provide your snack/meal/brunch. To recoup the costs of the contract with the Town, the vendor must charge accordingly to maintain his profit margins. If to win the contract he had to bid twice the amount, you would be writing about a $6 soda.

Who gets the contract proceeds? Why the Town, either directly to a Town Department (hopefully this money went to the proper budget because the Villages haven't won the right to buy $3 sodas and must instead pay I think $1.50 at their stand across the street ($1.00? at the vending machines behind the stand). So they have a lot of catching up to do with unincorporated. By collecting these contract revenues, the taxes for everyone in the proper budget are kept lower because of this offsetting revenue. Like the ancient "salt" tax, where only the wealthy who could afford meat would be using salt, the high soda charge is only applied to those who actually order soda. Presumably non soda imbibers get the benefit of lower taxes that your purchase brought about. On the way back to your towel, stare hard at those soda abstainers that you are subsidizing.

This is but one of the methods that governments can counteract (read disguise) rising expenses and still say that taxes have not gone up. By raising the cost of fees and services, money is "taxed" only against those that use Town services such as building permits, pool permits and application fees. Probably a very fair way to go about keeping taxes down for all that don't require these services.

So just because you read that taxes aren't going up or are rising a very small percentage, don't think that the money to pay for the Town's operating and capital budgets comes out of thin air. It has merely shifted to the pocketbooks of those who need things, things which some doubters say should be included in what everyone pays taxes for already.

None of this is shocking to those who understand economics, at least as far as understanding that there is no free lunch and no free shipping. You at least have now learned the part about lunch.

And, go with the diet soda. If you can't afford the soda, chances are you can't afford the calories either.

And here's some good entertainment advice. There are never that many good movies during the year and the Yankees, go if you consider yourself a Berger fan. But here's an entertainment idea and soda/juices in the nearby vending machines are just $1.50 for a larger size.

Come to Town Board meetings at Town Hall.
They are heaps 'o fun and it's all free!
Next meeting Wednesday July 18 @ 7:15.

Anonymous said...

There is a more recent opinion of the NYS Attorney General's office which indicates that the state election laws supercede campaign regulations at the local level. The proposed ethics laws must be modified to comply with NYS law.

hal samis said...

Dear 10:50,
Please address your comment to sbass@greenburghny.com.

Mr Bass' specialty is writing local Resolutions that duplicate laws which are already passed by New York State; those that must be complied with locally. If Brodsky's phone is busy when Steve calls, Bass can always fall back to his sideline. Steve is in charge of Resolutions which Greenburgh has no control over the implementation but might look good on his campaign flyers.

Perhaps Mr. Bass can save us all time and several trees by sponsoring: Resolved that Greenburgh comply with all existing and future laws such as are or may be passed by both New York State legislative branches.

That will still leave him the odd Federal law that "needs" local reiteration. If given the opportunity by winning another four year term, Mr. Bass promises to sponsor local Resolutions supporting the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Anonymous said...

The Town Board could pass a resolution asking the NYS Legislature to authorize the town to adopt the proposed ethics law as written. The current version violates NYS law.

hal samis said...

Have the Dems lost their minds?

Practically every local Pol recognizes the supremacy of the Democratic Party when it comes to turning out the vote.

For years it was customary for the winner of the Democratic Primary in September to seek out a tailor to be fitted for his November victory party.

This year, the Greenburgh Democratic Party chapter is taking on a riskier tack. Suzanne Berger, the chair (who as a good Dem should know better) has agreed to run against Feiner. And so far she has won the support of the Greenburgh Party machine. However she must still face Mr. Feiner in the Party Primary in September.
And here is the dilemma, if Berger wins, Feiner will run on another Party line and she will again face off against him in November. If she loses in September she will ease back into the woodwork and remain as local Chair. Albeit, a disappointment to Richard Brodsky, Steve Bass and Robby Bernstein.

However, if anyone can overcome the Democratic stranglehold it is Paul Feiner who I expect will thrash Berger soundly at the polls in the November general election. To the electorate at large Feiner, if not a god, is at least familiar and over his many terms of service, nothing of lasting negative import has stuck.

Thus the result will assuredly be that Paul Feiner will be returned to office, just not as a Democrat.
And this is the crux of the matter. In supporting Berger, the Party faithful will be shooting themselves in the foot and opening all future campaigns to all contenders, from whatever Party line they choose.

No longer will Democrat be the insurance policy to get elected and this is something that is going to haunt Dems throughout Greenburgh in the coming years.

Congratulations to the Party that snags Feiner pending an unfavorable Primary outcome. But Dems will have to acknowledge that they did it to themselves. Being a party faithful is about seeing Dems in office, not booing from the sidelines.

The author is a registered Democrat, Jewish a part-time Cabal member.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

2 years ago the party nominated Bill Greenwalt, who didnt win, but came close. Sure I would have liked to see Bill in, but the world didnt fall apart.

hal samis said...

Two years ago I supported Bill Greenawalt. Not only didn't the world implode, Feiner got stronger.
But shouldn't the comparison be apples to apples? Two years ago, Greenawalt chose not to run in November. This will not happen this year. And that is my point!

Save Presser Park said...

stu
White Plains, NY · May 23, 2007

"My name is stu. I run a volleyball game in westchester (yonkers in the winter, webb park in the summer) and we're always looking for more players. This is not a professional league, we are not competitive, we're here to have fun. damvolleyball.net"

Anonymous said...

"Thus the result will assuredly be that Paul Feiner will be returned to office ..."

Noooo, enough already! I think it's so selfish for him to run again. The Supervisor position isn't supposed to be a career. Term limits, somebody, please!

Save Presser Park said...

New member: Dennis
Joined May 15, 2007
"Hey all!! I play with another group in Yonkers during the winter months indoors and during the summer at Webb Park in Greenburgh/Hartsdale on mondays and wednesdays. One of our players was telling me about your group so I'm looking forward to playing"

Save Presser Park said...

We used to meet at Kensico Dam Park in Valhalla, but the Westchester County Parks department seem to think that excercise is bad for us and is no longer allowing sports of any kind except for rollerblading, bicycling and of course, lawn darts at Kensico Dam Park. So now we play at Webb Park on central ave just south of the Westchester County Center. We meet every Monday and Wednesday that it's not raining. Actually, that's not entirely true. We meet at Webb Park during the summer

Save Presser Park said...

FOUND! 4 different websites all reporting organized volley ball games at Webb Field.
You can actually sign up to jpin a game at this website:
http://216.239.51.104/search?q=cache:AwB5Nk58brEJ:deadpelican.com/vball.cgi%3Fd%3D05272004+volleyball+webb+hartsdale&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&ie=UTF-8

Save Presser Park said...

YAY! The Westchester Packers are a football team that will begin practice at Webb Field on 7/14!!!!!

Here is the published calendar:
http://eteamz.active.com/WestchesterPackers/calendar/

"Wednesday, June 13
***UPDATE***PACKERS TO BEGIN PRESEASON ON JULY 14TH
This is an update to the previous post about the start of the preseason. We will open camp on 7/14 at Webb Field from 10 AM to 1 PM and every Saturday and Sunday from that point on at that same time. Beginning 8/5 and every Sunday from then on we will be in pads @ Tibbetts Brook Park from 10 to 12 PM. We will continue to have practices (none contact)on Saturdays during that period @ Webb. Please click on the calendar on the left to view the times and dates of all our practices. "

Anonymous said...

We love you Eeeeeeeeedgemont!

Oh yes we dooooooooooo

Parks are your special gripe
That much is truuuuue

Webb Field has gone to hell
but you're blind to this pooooooo!

Oh Eeeeedgemont, we love yooooooou.

Anonymous said...

why is greenburgh not protecting presser.

Save Presser Park said...

Paul and Town Board members are not protecting or care about Presser Park because:

1)It's not in Edgemont
2)It's not in Fairview
3)It's in Hartsdale
4) All of the above.

pat m. leavy said...

I have just sent Paul these posts from "save presser park" and again asked him to respond.

I have contacted him in the past about it. I know that I am not alone in trying to get an answer as to why this has been allowed and continues to be allowed to happen at the park.

He has not responded to anyone except to say that he'll talk to Byrnes about it. That's it.

I fear he's going to have his hands full pretty shortly with a deluge of complaints and I believe there is a petition ready for circulation demanding action.

Anonymous said...

Complain to the Greenburgh Council of civic Associations. I think Madelon O'Shea is head. Maybe Ella Preiser.

Anonymous said...

and please, save presser park.

Edgemont has nothing to protect. Feiner does nothing for us.

hal samis said...

Presser Park not a pressing matter because the Town has already accepted a Federal grant of just under $100,000 for mitigations (hopefully shrubs to hide) to the memorial tile wall area and some of the money to be used in the playground area.
The vote to accept these funds was made by all 5 Town Board members.

The downside?

Federal Funds = anyone can use it.
But even with this glitch, it is doubtful that letting non-residents use the park would justify fencing it in or employing guards to keep it for Greenburgh resident use only.

The ongoing issue is whether the Town should apply for County, State or Federal grants if it wants to thereafter exclude non-residents from exercising their rightful claim upon the facility.
Since Presser Park is open on all sides and parking is permitted, the Town cannot use the same ploy as used at Danny Gold Park: with no parking no one can use it. Such a result was another group effort of the entire Town Board.

In the future there should be a needs assessment to review whether a few bucks today will have longer term implications.

Ask the Town Board when the money has been spent because this is another photo op that I'm sure residents won't want to miss. So far, there have been five at the Park, but who's counting?

The Town Board (all 5)needs to understand that this does not make residents very happy.

At least let Diana Juettner, the Town Board liaison to the Parks Department, know. There is a day approaching when the milk train doesn't stop here anymore.

Paul Feiner said...

I will ask Gerry BYrne, commissioner of parks and the parks advisory board to look into the issues that were raised by Ms. Leavy

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Samis,

I do not beleive that accepting federal funds automatically results in non-residents being able to use. Perhaps you are aware of the terms of the grant. I am not. Alternatively, federal funds which do provide for use by non-residents generally (and I say generally) allow for reasonable charges to non-residents. We need a system such as White Plains, where permits for groups must be obtained. If there are non-residents, there should be fees and deposits (to cover any damage to grass, etc.) Rules prohibiting poles etc. The GPD must work with parks, there must be a phone number of whom to call on weekends. White Plains can do this. The County is evidently restricting damaging uses of parkland. All the damaging use will end up in Greenburgh. Lets get on it.

leavy said...

Paul,

You gave me the same answer months ago. "I will ask Gerry Byrne..."

Also, please read below.

Hal,

Indeed you are correct that if federal funds were accepted, the park can be used by anyone. I understand the problems that come along with accepting these monies and I agree with everything you have said above.

The issue becomes if the field is now being used to hold organized, regularly scheduled sport practices and games (which it is as these schedules are posted at web sites) who is going to pay for the maintenance of the field? Surly $100k won’t go far as to date the field has lost roughly 40% of the grass, holes have been gouge out in many places to adhere spots equipment, and garbage is continually strewn around the park and along Harvard Drive daily, a port-o-potty has been installed and requires maintenance. Hundreds of out-of-towners use the park each week.

As I understand, restrictions banning these activities are in place to preserve the field for its intended use. Have these restrictions been changed? If not, will the town board do the wrong thing, now that people have legitimate complaints, and revise the restrictions to sanction it’s current use because it will be easier to let the field go to hell then to enforce current restrictions? This is exactly what I fear. Complaining will lead to lifting a ban on certain activities and there will be no maintenance to the field. Who the heck would pay for it?

As far as parking goes, you are incorrect. There has not been adequate town parking available to those currently using the field. The spillover parking falls into the office building (private property) and there groups of people erect volleyball nets and BBQ’s and picnic. I will be contacting the building management to find out how they are handling the situation. In the past residents always felt welcomed to park in this lot as it is sometimes more convenient to the field especially in winter, for sledding. The entrance flower beds to the office building lots on Harvard have been continually run over by vehicles of those using the lots to gain access to the field. Much garbage is left behind in and around the lots. I’m sure that the building owners/management will soon consider gating the entrance to protect the property. How awful.

Also, everyone fails to notice that there is a SCHOOL located behind the field and that visitors now park in the upper school lots as well. Highview school children and children attending Greenburg camps use the playground as part of their programmed activities. So, if the playground and fields are open to everyone now due to the grant, what measures have GC and TOG Park’s & Rec’s day camps put into place to ensure safety now that these kids play in a PUBLIC playground used by the masses.

So, Presser Park is pressing for many reasons and I’m incredibly offended that Paul is on a mission to find park space for Edgemont, while he lets a perfectly good park be destroyed. He has completely ignored this issue that many, many residents are rightfully concerned about.


As for the wall, I’ve made my feelings know about it. As a relative of a 9-11 victim I'm embarrassed that the wall, the state of the wall, the appearance of the wall, the placement of the wall, and now, the money obtained for the wall, cause it to be an unfitting tribute.

Anonymous said...

When the announcement was made about Nita Lowey arranging for this grant the question was asked whether it came with the requirement that the park be open to everybody. The answer that was given was that there was no such condition to this grant. If this is so, then it may not have to be open to everyone.

Can we have an answer?

Anonymous said...

Thank you anon,

I am not so quick to assume the Village/Feiner/Samis position that federal funds means a facility has to be open to all.

Amen - Webb Field wall must go said...

As for the wall, I’ve made my feelings know about it. As a relative of a 9-11 victim I'm embarrassed that the wall, the state of the wall, the appearance of the wall, the placement of the wall, and now, the money obtained for the wall, cause it to be an unfitting tribute.


Amen. Another disturbing aspect of the wall was that it was partially funded by $15,000 of FEMA funds.

Lets hope the next Supervisor sees that this divisive wall must be taken down.

Anonymous said...

If Samis & Leavy are wrong about Presser being open to all, then enforcement at the park becomes a nasty, un-PC issue (could this be why the town won’t enforce restrictions at the field?) as most believe that a majority of non-residents using the park are illegal immigrants or of a particular nationality. I’m not sure to what extent this is true but when one can find websites with teams scheduling games and practices to be held at the field, it really doesn’t matter. They are people, using the field outside of restrictions set forth to preserve the field.

No sports= no destruction of field, no large gatherings, less trash, and so on.

The “who” really isn’t the issue, the “what” is. I don’t know, maybe they are one in the same? Does it really matter? Will enforcing the “what” address the “who”?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the complaint on this blog are viewed by the DPW. Again I say pails should not be left a curbside by home owners, today there was some sort of pickup where some of the reidents had their garbage picked up with either recycles or yard waste. Regula we all pay the ame taxes for sanitation I think you should do something about the way this should be handled. As someone said on another day,different color platic bags will quite well. If new york dose it why can't we.Garbage pickup for a normal week is twice a week, the pails are picked three and four times a week.This is not fair to home owners who abide by the sanitation laws . These people are starting to think that they have garbage pickup three and four times a week. Regula do you have any inspectors arround to check this out.If you dont, go out yourself to do the checking you get paid enough money to make the system work for all the people of Greenburgh.most the people leave their garbage in the garage they take it out on designated days for that area. Yes we are compelled to place our garbage curside in the winter if the driveways are not cleared of snow,but this now has ,become a habit of many home owners to put the pails curbside.

Anonymous said...

Al that's the way to go, plastic bags,for recycles. This way your workers can see what is inside. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

I am an attorney. I have read the NYS Attorney General's opinions concerning campaign finance. It's clear that municipal entities cannot have stricter provisions than the state has.
The Town Board may wish to petition the New York State Legislature to authorize local governments to adopt stronger campaign finance rules than NY State has.

Anonymous said...

Even if the field is now open to all (which I doubt) -- there is no reason why permits can not be required for groups. EVERY OTHER PLACE DOES THAT -- INCLUIDNG IRVINGTON SCENIC PARK. In Greenburgh, we pay more money for more useless facilities. Permit useage can be limited. If we have more groups applying, then we can deal with it. Feiner/Samis,etal are so focused on making certain that the Village residents get access to Town parks without paying, that they will open everything up to anyone. Presser Park is particularly susceptible because it is right on Central Avenue.

Anonymous said...

If the Federal funds were paid to the Town of Greenburgh, or to some other municipal agency, then yes, Presser Park/Webb Field is open to all.

I like that the park is being used so frequently by so many different people. What I don't like is that 1) the Town does not do proper maintenance (no surprise) and 2) the Town does not enforce its basic municipal park policies.

Anonymous said...

anon,

and even if that were true, that federal funds = open to all,

it does not preclude chargning nonresidents for group permit.

LETS DO IT -- WE ARE GETTING OVERRUN

AND WHY DID FEINER INSIST ON THIS WALL -- grrr

Anonymous said...

Special Permits. No person, group or organization shall erect any structure, stage any performance or conduct any race, athletic contest, parade or hold any meeting or public gathering of ten (10) or more people in any park or park street except by special permit.


No person shall, in any park or park street, throw, catch, kick or strike any baseball,
golf ball, tennis ball, football, basketball or other object, not shall any person engage
in any sport, game or competition except in places designated therefor and pursuant
to rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner governing the use of
equipment and playground in the park.

And…

Except as otherwise specified, the use and enjoyment of the parks shall be available
only to residents of the unincorporated area of the Town of Greenburgh and their
guests. All residents shall hold an approved identification permit issued by the Town.

The regulations are right in plain view for all to see.

The TOWN REFUSES TO ENFORCE THEM.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 11:14 (probably Feiner) seems to have a problem with the proposed ethics laws -- claiming that it goes beyond what the state attorney general says is permissible for campaign finance.

But anon at 11:14, claiming to be an attorney (like Feiner) doesn't come out of the closet and tell us how the town's proposed ethics law goes beyond what the state attorney general would like.

The town's proposed ethics laws impose campaign finance restrictions solely on public office holders, like Feiner, which is perfectly consistent with Article 18 of the General Municipal law and the attorney general's opinions.

The proposed ethics law does not purport to impose restrictions on candidates for public office unless and until they get elected, in which event the ethics rules will kick in.

All of this is consistent with the purpose of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, which is intended to encourage municipalities to come up with ethics rules that protect the integrity of town decision-making.

Feiner's having solicited tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from developers with applications pending before the town is squarely at odds with protecting the integrity of town decision-making.

Anonymous said...

Where are the regulations that the last blogger posted?

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, things move so fast in Greenburgh. I mean the 11:43 blogger.

Anonymous said...

The proposed ethics law also seeks to muzzle the Supervisor and others. It makes it an ethical violation to disclose that whatever the Town Council decides should be confidential. Much of this secrecy is in executive sessions, and the ethics law violates the open meetings laws.

Anonymous said...

The confidentiality clause in the ethics proposal is designed to keep government closed to the public. The public will be shut out.
The law, as proposed, is probably illegal.
Sheehan? Ever hear of the first amendment?

Anonymous said...

For anon 12:36

Town of Greenburgh website
Department of Parks & Recreation
link to Park rules

http://www.greenburghgov.com/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=10&TPID=4388

Dan from Hartsdale said...

oh, i'm sure that in an election year, Feiner really wants the P.R. and photo-op resulting from the Parks Dept/and or GPD marching up to Presser/Webb and shutting down soccer and volley games attended by hundreds of people (many clearly minorities) until proper permits are obtained.
Open use does not trump procedures and rules that, in a non-discrminatory way, apply to all users of the field. What's going to happen when the football team's practives conflict with the soccer leagues games? Proper permits requirments and scheduling rules need to be clearly posted and the Parks department needs to take charge. Why is there no similar problem at Ridge Road - where the beautiful, flat, large field is never used? Because permit rules are vigorously enforced there.
BTW, as a parent who frequently takes his kids to use Presser/Web, I can attest that the playground equipment and surrounding area is ALWAYS filthy and generally depressing. I don't blame the Edgemont people for wanting a new park. Ridge Road has a smaller, but nicer and less busy playground.

Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't it be unethical for a member of the town board, including Feiner, to disclose confidential information that the town board agrees in executive session should be confidential?

Such confidential information could include such matters as information about town personnel like medical and credit histories which, if disclosed would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; or it could be information which, if disclosed, would impact present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations; or it could be information which might interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings.

This is not about keeping government "closed." To the contrary, it's about keeping government open.

Thus, if the town board agrees to keep confidential any information which, in the opinion, of one or more board member, should not be kept confidential, it is the duty of that board member, even if it's Feiner, to bring that matter to the public attention's in open session and call for a vote on whether the matter should be disclosed.

But if a town board member believes a matter designated confidential should NOT be confidential, it could be potentially damaging to the town for any board member to decide to release such confidential information unilaterally, on his or her own initiative, without asking for a public vote of his or her colleagues on the town board.

What if Feiner guesses wrong and releases information which prejudices the town in its negotiating position? What if Feiner, because of some personal feud he may be having with a staff member, releases that person's confidential medical or credit histories? What if Feiner blurts out information relating to a pending law enforcement investigation?

Making it an ethics violation for a member of the town board, like Feiner, to violate such restrictions on confidentiality makes good practical sense. One hopes it would never have to be invoked.

Anonymous said...

It is always easy for people like Anon at 2:03 to make everything about Feiner. But Feiner is not the issue.

There are laws which define what is a proper executive session issue and those that are not so defined are supposed to be discussed in open meetings. It is not enough that some Board members want to keep something confidential for whatever reason.

The problem is that this Town Council has been the most secretive in Greenburgh's history. They -- and recent history has shown that it is mostly Francis Sheehan -- use executive sessions to keep things from the public just because Sheehan (or another Town Council member) doesn't want the public to know, often because it would be embarrassing. Embarrassment is not a legal ground for confidentiality. To the contrary, it is a good reason for disclosure.

Ethics laws concern themselves with conflicts of interest. The proposed Greenburgh ethics law is the first one in history, I suspect, that tries to make it unethical for a Board member to speak publicly about a public matter that is not covered by executive session rules. We know why. It is because the Town Council wants new grounds for attacking the Supervisor, so they are trying to create one.

It has been pointed out by others that two of the ethics board members are highly political and we will soon see whether thay act politically or, if they are really ethical, they tell the Town Council that this attempt to create an unethical behavior out of speaking out will be tolerated by them.

leavy said...

Dan from Hartsdale said...
oh, i'm sure that in an election year, Feiner really wants the P.R. and photo-op resulting from the Parks Dept/and or GPD marching up to Presser/Webb and shutting down soccer and volley games attended by hundreds of people (many clearly minorities) until proper permits are obtained.

Too late. It's already happened! Well, almost as you had predicted it would.. A few weeks back, the day the field was changed from Webb to Presser. The field was emptied! Not knowing about the ceremony, my husband & I were scratching out heads as to why, on a lovely weekend afternoon, only sunbathers and small children were on the field. WOW! It was so serine. Despite the missing grass, it looked clean too! OMG! Someone put planters in front of the wall!!!

Being totally silly, we assumed that finally, someone got the message and did something.

We laughed when we realized that this emptying, cleaning, planting was for the photo-op and ceremony! I wished I had seen it being done and who did it. We didn’t find any photos in the news though. Too bad. What a waste of perfectly good day of park preservation! :D

All returned to normal that very evening.
No permits issued.

Anonymous said...

Here you go again Leavy,implicating only the minority who use Presser Park.

leavy said...

Dear anonyWIMP at 7:13

Do I know you? Could be I do!

Please point out for the crowd exactually what I've said to cause you to make a defamatory, slanderous and liabelous remark about my character. Unlike your chicken sh*t self, I identify myself. You on the other hand are a complete wimp.

You know, you can't hide behind "anonymous" as all IP addresses can be traced, So if you have something to say to me undestand that you're really not anonymous.

leavy said...

exactually.......? lol. I mean exactly.

hal samis said...

Every time I see the same blogger attack only Feiner on Feiner's blog, I just mentally add the names Bass, Barnes, Juettner and Sheehan, think Town Council and picture the power of just three votes.

But then I realize I've go to add:

Even Bass, Barnes, Juettner and Sheehan could
1) release information that prejudices the Town's negotiating position (ok, Juettner is not a threat when she is asleep)
2) blurt out confidential information about employees because they are having a feud with someone
3) blab about someone under investigation
4) release the names of anonymice

hal samis said...

this just in...
Mr and Mrs North America and all the ships at sea...

What Department Head is about to call it quits? I have no sympathy because he could see the end from the very beginning.

Anonymous said...

oh man, don't tease us like that ... hopefully the dpw chief ... nothing against the man personally, but it's time for an organizational systems expert to get in there

Anonymous said...

Then who is going to oversee the huge multi million dollar library project?

Anonymous said...

Give us a hint Regula or Heslop. ,or were you referring to the head of the town board Sheehan.Come on make my day.The three really should go.

Hal, do tell said...

Inquiring bloggers what to know.....

Anonymous said...

HAl, how could you keep this a secret. You have been up front right along . PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY BOY.

Anonymous said...

Samis is probably referring to the town engineer, Mike Lepree, who quit two weeks ago. Old news.

hal samis said...

I said Department head.

hal samis said...

Coming soon to a blog near you.
And unrelated to the other blind item.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King's horses and all the King's men,
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Humpty should spend the rest of the summer jogging between The Bite, Lattanzi's, Linda Jean's, and the Black Dog.

hal samis said...

Just returned from another futile trip to Suzanne Berger's web page.
Still nothing.

Who'da thunk that it was so hard to find issues in Greenburgh?

And of course, what your internet browser sends back is "the page can't be found".

Just like real life if you've been looking for the candidate.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

You should not pretend to have inside knowledge of something as big as a Department Head resigning unless you are absolutely sure. I enjoy your posts but you will be ridiculed if this one does not pan out. I hope for your sake you are right.

Anonymous said...

Paul.the newspaper has published for the last few weeks car breakins,on the ABC streets in Edgemont, Ardlsey Rd., Pheasant Run, Sprain valley Rd. and so on. Where are the policemen who are supposed to be patroling the streets. I know what the answer will be "we can't be everywhere." I do know that crimes of this kind do not bring revenue into Greenburgh as do traffic infractions, they should be concentrating on street crimes not only giving summones along Central Ave, and 119. If they don't kick this in the butt now we know what will be coming next. House breakins. Very seldom does one see a patrol car on the side streets because they are all on the main streets. The answer to this will be "we have unmarked cars". Answers will not help the area residents especially the senior citizens. Paul some action has to be taken by the police or maybe we should start our own patrols and ask for a reduction in taxes.

Anonymous said...

How come there are so many commercial vehicles parked in peoples driveways. Years ago this was not allowed in residential areas. Has the law changed,or is some dept. failing to do their jobs.I could see this during the day but overnight. Concentration is a little too much on the main thoroughfares.

Anonymous said...

What does one have to do to be safe in this town, Never before have we had this many car breakins.What's next. Years ago with less a force we saw the patrol cars on the streets all the time,today with more ,we see less and less on the streets. If one wants action they have to be the eyes and ears of the police dept. We can't take the law into our own hands,but we do expect to be safe in our own homes.Let's see more patrols,this what makes a thief think twice before he attempts to commit a crime. Most of the crime areas are studied before the crime takes place. If patrol cars are visible this would not happen because the thief will think twice before acting. One can go days without seeing a patrol car. Something is wrong with this picture. Let's see if things change before bigger crimes are committed.

Anonymous said...

From today's Journal News:

"That sparked a dust-up between Trustee Terry Williams and Newland.

As they argued, Williams threw a stack of papers, knocking over a trash can, and stormed out of the room as a recess was called. He apologized but left the meeting before voting on the agenda.

"(Williams) apologized to the board but unfortunately he has behaved, not to this extent, but similarly in the past," Newland said. "It's unacceptable."

Williams said his behavior was "inexcusable," but denied it was part of a pattern.

"Certainly, I've gotten mad before, but I certainly have never behaved as badly as I did last night," he said. "And I hope I never behave that poorly in the future."

------------------------------------

Anyone have any questions why the C7 BOE is such a mess?

Feiner keeps ducking said...

Where is the accounting on the WestHelp funds Mr. Feiner?

Anonymous said...

A simple little balance sheet for the WestHalf funds would do a lot to boost the residents' faith in the Supervisor. Every day that passes thickens the cloud of suspicion.

Anonymous said...

Knowing how the state works ,you have to wait until the full investigation is completed,before one gives out results. Let's wait until all is completed and then we could ask for the results and what is in the comptrollers hand in Greenburgh,

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to forget that the whole board voted for the grant to westhelp. You all put the blame on the supervisor, Yes Sheehan was not in the original group but he voted to release the last of the money to them.

Anonymous said...

UPDATE ON NEWSFLASH:


The state controller's office is still not part of either the legislative nor judicial branch of government.


So guess what, I've got an opinion too....it just doesn't make it law!

Michael Kolesar said...

I say, where's the accounting for the Westhelp funds, Mr. Heslop? I can't accept that the Town financial records are in such bad shape, that even though some of the transactions happened before he became Comptroller, that the Comptroller of the Town of Greenburgh can't find the resources to figure it out. Quite amazing!!!

Has he gone back to the County to get copies of cancelled checks / wire transfers to find out where any monies and exactly how much were deposited before he came into the office? Has the County refused to cooperate? What's the story? If as some bloggers have stated he learned that there was a "problem" shortly after he arrived in June 2004, how did he prepare, present the Twon financial statements and sign an audit representation letter for BOTH 2004 and 2005? Incredible!!!

Reminder, the Town Comptroller doesn't report on the Town's organization chart to the Town Supervisor. The position reports to the entire Town Council. The position is paid for with our tax dolllars. The Town Comptroller works for US.

Anonymous said...

Will Francis Sheehan and Steve Bass agree to an investigation of their illegal meetings by the NY State Attorney General's public integrity unit?

Anonymous said...

Sheehan does not want the findings of any ethic board meeting made known to the public. WHY???First of all he had much to say about who was chosen,even if there wasn't a resume of one of the members who was admonished for some illegal work done to his home.We as residents are entitled to know what goes on behind closed doors.The ethic board meetings should be opened to the public also, this way we could see how rotten our government represatives are doing.

Michael Kolesar said...

Mr. Heslop has now provided the much sought after accounting. Better late than never, but better never late.

This has been a question since last November or so.

Anyway, thank you Mr. Heslop.

Anonymous said...

people get a life please!

the food service in the past 3 year's is 100% better than before

the staff are much more polite and trained and i think you forgot about the previous company which the prices were double and a much less variety

no condiments
no frills quality

at least here we see sabbretts and helmans and no charge for condiments

what happens is people complain and a vendor that is good leaves because they dont want to bother with snobs

i take my children every saturday and sunday and I am thankful that we have a better vendor which has made a very strong effort to improve the service

nice tables were put in the ice cream room

big variety

wraps

fresh pizza

wise up and go to bushwood(caddy shack) if you are not happy

janet hartsdale said...

i have no problem at the pool food stand

its been ok to us

you people are funny