Tuesday, July 31, 2007

GREENBURGH DEMOCRACY week of July 30...POST YOUR COMMENTS

Please feel free to post your comments about town issues.

THIS WEEK
Hartsdale Farms re-opened on E Hartsdale Ave
The bakery on E Hartsdale Ave is scheduled to re-open

TOWN BD TO DRAFT LETTER SEEKING AN OPINION FROM NYS ATTY GENERAL--IS THE NEW ETHICS LAW LEGAL OR DOES STATE LAW SUPERCEDE ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE ISSUES?

130 comments:

Anonymous said...

So Paul, are you forming a new political party?

Have you picked out a motto or a symbol? Lets see, elephants and donkeys are taken, how about $$$?

Anonymous said...

His symbol should show a picture of Lady Justice.smart ask me no questions.

one party politics is a bad thing said...

has the greenburgh republican party declared bankruptcy? i think the last time they ran a candididate was nearly 10 years ago? one party government is a bad thing. feiner, of course, is no alternative. in fact, a feiner slate running things is pretty scary.

Anonymous said...

Bass, Barnes, Juettner, SHeehan's illegal meeting with Bernstein and a developer that could have led to Edgemont breaking away from the town is going to cost taxpayers big bucks. Hope Bass, Barnes, Juettner and Sheehan don't retain an outside law firm on my dime.

Anonymous said...

Jim?

Anonymous said...

Who said that EDGEMONT is going on their own. Why because Bernstein and McNally want it so .This will not happen without a good fight from the residents. Who are they to make decisions for the residents. Enough is enough with these two civic leaders. They do illegal things and the residents have to suffer. I hope they have enough money to fight their case.

Jim Lasser said...

A response to Anonymous at 10:47AM-
Actually I was the Republican candidate for Greenburgh Town Supervisor in 2003. A whopping 11% of the eligible voters turned out and 70% of them voted for the incumbent.

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make if your dime pays for outside counsel or an unusable park or to cover the damages awarded because the Town didn't bother with maintenance. Want to save money? Get rid of the spendthrifts (ALL of them) and incorporate as a village.

name a single illegal thing said...

illegal things? like what?
bernstein and mcnally are private citizens. can you name a single law they broke?

Anonymous said...

"Who are they to make decisions for the residents. Enough is enough with these two civic leaders."

Then you should get involved with the Edgemont council, especially if you think that the members are not representing you appropriately. Its purpose is to determine community opinion on civic matters, coordinate community action thereon, and to plan and promote the general welfare of the Edgemont community. The next meeting is Monday, September 10, EHS faculty lounge, 8pm.

P.S. FYI, Mr. Bernstein and Ms. McNally have violated no laws whatsoever. You may not agree with their actions (ergo, you need to participate in Edgemont council meetings), but the only potential lawbreakers in that situation are the members of the town board.

hal samis said...

I apologize to Ms Berger for accusing her of having no opinions on Greenburgh issues.

I had overlooked the reality that whereas the Town Supervisor only has one position, that which he has taken and acted upon, Ms Berger, on the other hand, must bear the burder of having two differing positions thought out and this means twice the work.

Not only must she at some time be prepared to answer a question, she must also be able to complete the session by taking the opposite point of view if she gets feed-back that the first opinion is not going over well.

This is most true just in case the long lasting Bernstein lawsuits ever are resolved. She doesn't want to run the risk of speaking for the losing side so she must be prepared for any outcome.

Thus, the delay in identifying and putting forth a platform.

Hopefully, Ms Berger will one day be able to face potential voters and tell them what she stands for not just that she is not Feiner.

feiner past his sell by date said...

hal - glad you realize being feiner is a liability. feiner is in his worst 2 year cycle as dupervisor.

Anonymous said...

condemn Sheehan for a disfuntioal board. He came aboard to challenge the supervisor in every way that he could. The big bully that he is. He has changed everything to suit his madness.Let's face it Feiner cannot do what is right for Greenburgh as long as Sheehan runs the show. He controls the rest of the council plus the respective department heads. He has become a true dictator who will tear this town down to the ground. Who ever thought this angelic man could be a devil in disguise. Feiner is a good honest man, who has worked for the town diligently.What ever was asked by the associations he made it his business to comply with their wishes. He has been discredited many times but he always bounced back for the good of the people.Hopefully this present board will go to the wayside real soon and the residents can get back their town.A good open Government,not one that works behind closed doors.

hal samis said...

Dear 3:15,

Get yourself new reading glasses,
do they make above 3.00?

Where do you see I wrote that Feiner is a liability?

Other Berger supporters have a similar reading disability.

still waiting said...

still waiting for the list of the illegal things bernstein and mcnally did.



still waiting....


waiting here.........






hello.....

Anonymous said...

I am still waiting for someone to defend the Town Council members attempt to defeat the open meeting laws. All the hypocrites that claim they are for open government have been very quiet. There must be two standards in this Town one for Feiner, and another for everyone else. Private citizens can act how they chose, but our elected officials need to be held to a higher standard. If they played games to circumvent the rules, they need to be held accountable

hal samis said...

Still waiting for the list of "illegal actions" or "bad for the town" actions that Feiner did for the "tens of thousands of dollars" that he received in campaign contributions.

Still waiting...

Waiting here...

Hello...

Still Waiting said...

Still waiting for Jim Lasser's statements on the following: whether or not Bernstein was charged by the Edgemont Community with creating a Park District. Also, when was Bernstein charged by the Edgemont Community to lobby Steve Bass on their behalf to have a referendum placed on the September Ballot to approve this Park District. Finally, whether or not Bernstein was charged by the Edgemont Community with accepting this parcel personally. Come on Jim, where exactly in the ECC Minutes does it state this and where was the public referendum in support of it?


still waiting.....



waiting here.....


hello......

Jim Lasser said...

Dear "Still Waiting" -
First, sign your name. You know mine, why are you afraid of my knowing yours?
Now, look at your question - a referendum IS a public vote. IF there were to be a referendum, THAT would be YOUR opportunity to say Yea or Nay.
ECC's role is to go to public officials BEFORE they make a decision, while the concepts and ideas are still in formation. As I wasn't there, I cannot know what, if anything, transpired between Bass and Bernstein; but neither can you. You are relying on rumor and innuendo coming, most likely, from a highly interested political source - how about applying some common sense and judgement to what you are hearing?
If you would prefer to have a Town Official make all of your judgements for you (saving your thinking time for more important thoughts) - just say so. You have every right to abrogate all of your responsibilities as a member of the community, including the right to complain when something, of which you do not approve, happens. Democracy is a participatory sport - so come to ECC meetings and get involved.

feiner is corrupt to the core said...

What did Feiner do for the tens of thousands of dollars in contributions he solicited from developers with applications pending before the town?

He did plenty. In exchange for the contributions, Feiner acted in each case as the applicant's own private lobbyist.

Feiner took $1,000 from D'Allessio, the developer with a controversial application in Edgemont to cut a number of trees, and, without telling the neighbors that he was paid off, offered to "mediate" the dispute. D'Alessio later took matters into his own hands, cut down the trees, and Feiner did nothing.

Feiner took plenty of money from Madison Square Garden and its counsel and, in exchange, Feiner lobbied for approval of MSG's plans to have a personal helipad installed for its CEO.

Feiner took $1,000 from Peter Gilpatric, a NJ executive with LCOR, while LCOR had applications in the works to create the largest residential development in town history. Feiner's been a big backer of that development.

Feiner's taken thousands of dollars from executives with the developer Robert Martin. In exchange, Feiner's supported the Martin's Avalon development (right now, the largest residential development in the town), and more recently, Feiner's been acting as a private lobbyist to support Martin's plans to build a shopping center on Route 119.

Feiner also took money from the lawyers representing Shell Hydrogen. Shell Hydrogen had wanted to convert one of its gas stations in a residential Edgemont areafor use as a hydroden dispensing facility. Feiner promoted that project for months on the town's website, and arranged private meetings with Edgemont residents to garner support for the project. It failed.

As is also well known, Feiner took money from the lawyers representing Sunrise, which had wanted to acquire the old Town Hall property. In fact, Feiner had negotiated a sweetheart deal to sell the property to Sunrise at well below market price. That deal fell through when town residents blew the whistle.

Need more examples? There's plenty more.

The fact is that Feiner has been allowed to become probably the most corrupt politician in Greenburgh's history, which is why the town board was justified in passing that tough new ethics law.

Anonymous said...

Jim, how about clarifying your position on the open meetings laws. I am curious why you have been so silent on the alleged secret meeting. Democracy is a participatory sport, but only if the games is open to all not a select few who manipulate open meeting laws.

Anonymous said...

THe town board has not passed the new ethics laws. Read the other blogs, where it states that Sheehan and his sidekicks have requested the hiring of outside concil to give them a good set of rules. Yes Sheehan wants new laws so the interpitation will cover his you know what and his followers.

Jim Lasser said...

Dear Anonymous -
Post your name and get on the roster to participate in democracy.
I am absolutely in favor of, and have a strong, public track record supporting not only the letter of the Open Meetings Law, but its spirit as well.
Neither you, nor I, nor anyone else seems to be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt that Town Council members violated the Open Meetings Law, I leave it to the proper authorities to make a determination. As for Bernstein and McNally, as private citizens they have no legal culpability for attending an allegedly illegal meeting - and neither of them needs me to defend them.

feiner lying to divert attention said...

The alleged violation of the open meetings law is a product of Feiner's paranoid imagination -- presumably to divert attention away from Feiner's substantial ethical problems of which there are plenty.

There is nothing in the Troy affidavit, which Feiner points to as evidence, which states that there was ever a quorum of town board members present for any meeting in his presence. Feiner simply spun the allegations out of whole cloth.

And why has he done so? Because Feiner has a lot of wrongdoing of his own to answer for right now.

For example, documents have now been made produced and made available to the public showing Feiner lied to the Ethics Board about his involvement in that March 2004 fundraiser where he denied "soliciting" the tens of thousands of dollars in contributions he received from developers with applications pending.

It's also now becoming clear that Feiner lied about the so-called WestHelp accounting.

First, even though he knew it was illegal to give $100,000 per year to the Mayfair Knollwood civic association, he admitted money was spent "for neighborhood purposes" -- but didn't say how much.

Then he said his prior statement about the money being spent for that purpose was wrong. He insisted that no money was spent for that purpose.

Now, it's coming out that Feiner's been lying about this all along. Money was spent on the neighborhood, improperly and wastefully, and there are documents to prove it.

Anonymous said...

10:41 were you present when Feiner according to your allegations received all these monies. Who is feeding you all this information. Where they present. Whatever you have wriiten is hearsay. Bring out the proof or shut up. You hate the supervisor so much that you think in writting these lies the whole town of Greenburgh will believe you.

Anonymous said...

Jim, you can not honestly believe that the Town Council was not operating fast and loose with the Open Meeting Law rules when they met with the developer. You are right private citizens are not governed by these rules, but the Town Council should know better. You lose credibility when you try to defend the allegations made in the sworn affidavit.

hal samis said...

Jim,

Private citizens are within their rights to attend any meetings to which they are invited. Of course there is nothing illegal in attending; we are all aware that publicly and privately owned corporations often schedule private meetings with analysts to give them access to the inner workings of corporate affairs. However, it how these analysts (registered as such) use this information that opens the worm can. Clearly were they to personally benefit from such private meetings, then there would be rightful consequences.

The question, not statement, in my mind is whether Bob Bernstein was appearing as a private citizen (even as a civic association leader) at these meetings or as a representative of the Town, albeit ex officio.

It would seem that the draft gift agreement which is the product of Mr. Bernstein's "penmanship" (even if following directives) is either the working of one performing legal services for the Town although without any record of his "hiring" OR
he was there as a private citizen, a conclusion that I find fits better because I read the draft agreement as a sale between a private consenting seller and a private consenting buyer. Were Mr. Bernstein only a stand-in for the Town as buyer, it would be a cumbersome and awkward exercise to substitute for a direct sale among another set of consenting parties, the Town and the Developer.

If he was acting on behalf of the Town without any commission, even from a "field promotion" awarded unilaterally by members of the Town Council, then this demands further investigation as private citizens can neither go about "impersonating" Public officials nor can individual members of the Town Council engage or even "subpoena" citizens to represent the Town. Especially at those meeting which are claimed were not of an "official" nature.

If Mr. Bernstein was there as a private citizen and merely seeking a means to effect a private transaction to purchase a parcel of land at a "bargain basement" cash price (resulting from benefits accruing from the then presumed tax credits), then it is a different story. What was assumed at the time was that the plot would support a 100,000 foot building and whereas the Developer was only interested in residential development, the assumed zoning would also embrace office or retail use as well. Who can rule out conclusively that Mr. Bernstein, his partners or assigns would not seek to benefit from a property that would be purchased for approximately $20 a buildable foot.

I, having no other documents to draw from and thus dependent entirely upon viewing the draft agreement, what this document reduces to after subtracting all that does not survive the transfer of the property, is that if both the Developer and the Purchaser, Robert B. Bernstein honor the clause that the agreement remain secret, then the Town would not know of any of its presumed rights contained therein. Only after the transfer was recorded, would the Town be aware that some entity with perhaps a corporate veil of ownership had acquired the property.

Now, mindful of the subsequent events and the conditions assumed, it is clear that the draft agreement could not be consummated by either party. The tax angle was improbable; the zoning became questioned and even the ability of a frequently alluded to, but not obligated alternative buyer, the Nature Center, would unlikely be able to raise the necessary funding.

The worms are clearly out of the can.

Anonymous said...

Samis and Anon 1055 are exactly on point.

feiner said...

huh? - do you mean the worms out the can have eaten away at their brains. feiner and his minions are in for a rude awakening - heavy documents are about to be released that blow away any notion that feiner can ever be trusted on anything.

samis part of huge feiner coverrup said...

Samis is either stupid or he thinks the rest of us are stupid.

According to the draft that Bernstein put together, no matter who comes up with the money, the Troys would have been obligated to transfer all right, title and interest in the Dromore property only to the town, and for recreational use only.

Bernstein would have gotten nothing. There is no provision in the draft Samis purports to quote from that would have given Bernstein the right to purchase any and.

The developer was promising to give the land to the town if he had received a cash payment equal to his purchase price plus out of pocket expenses by Dec. 31, 2007.

All Bernstein did was put together a draft that would have made that promise legally binding.

So why is Samis repeating these false statements that Feiner is spreading about Bernstein trying to buy the property for himself?

Because Samis is working for Feiner's reelection and Feiner is desperately trying to create a smokescreen to cover up what's about to be disclosed about some huge ethical, legal and financial problems of Feiner's own making.

feiner said correction said...

regarding "feiner said" - should have been titled
"feiner to be exposed"

hal samis said...

Of course I don't have the "heavy" documents that 1:41 assures us are about to be produced.
While to 1:48, I guess I choose the second option that I think the rest of you are stupid.

All I have is a copy of the draft agreement written by Bernstein.
There is a subtle provision, enabled by the secrecy proviso, which allows Bernstein or his assigns to pay for the transaction.
If Bernstein were to honor the terms of his agreement, then he would be bound by secrecy not to divulge any of the contents of the draft agreement. Thus, with his mouth shut, how would the Town know about its alleged right and/or obligation to consummate the purchase. All the nonsense about conveying to the Town would be moot once the transfer of title occurred -- transfer to Bernstein, his assigns, his partners, his buyers, whomever. It could even include the Town. However, once Bernstein closes title, he is not bound by the language to convey title to the Town, the Nature Center or any of the usual suspects.

Likewise, Bernstein doesn't even have to close. He can assign all his rights in the contract to any of the above mentioned parties.

But the real test is, if the intent was only to convey the parcel to the Town, why was Bernstein needed? Why does the draft agreement not state clearly and definitively that the buyer IS the Town of Greenburgh. Instead seeing the signature line for Robert Bernstein does not give me any reason to believe anything to the contrary. Assuredly, the Town of Greenburgh does not need the good services of Bob Bernstein to negotiate on its behalf and, in fact, no such authorization was ever given.

I repeat that Bob has every right to attend any meeting he is invited to; he has every right to speak; he has every right to suggest solutions or alternatives.
In these meetings, however, he had no right to act as Counsel for the Town.

Without such portfolio, that and the language which says that he is the buyer (that he MAY assign these rights to anyone, including the Town) does not deny that Bob can be the owner at the end of the day. Certainly Bob knows enough legalese to have written that only the Town would be the fee simple owner of the parcel upon closing.

If there are other documents which contradict what it says in the draft agreement, then put me near the top of the list for those interested in reading them. If the documents prove the poster's allegations right and me wrong, I shall admit my mistake. One would even think that they would want to show me these documents since I am the lead doubter.

Until such a release, let me assure readers that Feiner is not behind my suspicions. I can do my own homework and what I conclude is solely from examining the draft written by Mr. Bernstein.

And everyone can read this document for themselves and reach their own conclusions. I retyped it on this blog under a different heading. I'll be back shortly with the location.

Just because anonymous poster(s) says things are false do not make them so.

And why is anonymous poster saying these things about me and Feiner?
Because they address the problems that have been raised not particularly by Mr. Bernstein's presence or participation at these meetings, but by the troubling actions of members of the Town Council who are, in turn, embarrassed by the revelations arising from the sworn affidavit of the Developer as compared with the unsworn comments of those caught with their pants down. That little is being revealed is just another aspect of their shortcomings. And that is the root of all the "methinks anonymous doth protest too much".

hal samis said...

My retyping of the Bernstein draft agreement is under the topic

"Letter to the editor contains inaccurate charges"

I posted at July 26, 10:01 PM.

Read and hurry back with YOUR comments.

samis can't read or write said...

Samis is either dumb or he thinks the rest of us are.

The draft agreement says that if the money is paid, the deed goes to the town.

Here's what the draft says: "Upon receipt of the Cash Investment payment, S&R will convey to the Town by deed outright ownership of the entire premises."

Samis either can't understand what these words say, or he's hoping no one will actually bother to read what these words say.

Contrary to what Samis says, there is absolutely nothing in the draft which makes Bernstein or his assignees the "buyer" of any land.

According to the agreement Samis is relying on, all Bernstein ever would have gotten was the right to make the cash payment, but all he would ever have gotten in return was the right to insist that the property be deeded to the town as promised.

So why does Samis persist in repeating these falsehoods? Because Samis is hoping that readers will be distracted enough by the fake story he and Feiner have cooked up over Dromore that they won't focus attention on the hugely embarrassing disclosures to come involving Feiner himself.

Dear Jim said...

Dear Jim,

You stated: "Now, look at your question - a referendum IS a public vote. IF there were to be a referendum, THAT would be YOUR opportunity to say Yea or Nay."

Isn't it appropriate to discuss issues openly PRIOR to a referendum being set? Especially one that could cost the residents of Edgemont millions of dollars?

You go on to state: ECC's role is to go to public officials BEFORE they make a decision, while the concepts and ideas are still in formation.

Is it also the ECC's role to go to Public Officials PRIOR TO consulting the public they are supposed to represent? When was the idea of obtaining the Dromore Road Property ever circulated amongst the general population of Edgemont?

Finally, you state: If you would prefer to have a Town Official make all of your judgements for you (saving your thinking time for more important thoughts) - just say so.

Now Jim, isn't that what we have Francis Sheehan for?????

the real "criminal" in Greenburgh said...

Who's the real "criminal" in town government?

The judge hearing the Fortress Bible lawsuit against the Town yesterday said Feiner's e-mails show that he acted "nefariously."

Fortress Bible is suing the town for millions of dollars in damages because it was denied the right to build on property it purchased on Dobbs Ferry Road.

The lawsuit is based on Feiner's having said that the church might get approval if it were to donate a fire truck to the Fairview Fire District.

Feiner's comment suggests that the town did not a valid basis for withholding zoning and planning board approval -- that such approvals would have been forthcoming if only the church would make the required "donation."

If Fortress Bible prevails in this litigation, Feiner's erratic behavior could end up costing the town millions of dollars -- that that cost would have to be borne town-wide.

feiner against open space in Edgemont said...

Anon at 5:56 is just shilling for Feiner who in 16 years has never acquired any open space in Edgemont.

In order for Edgemont to have an opportunity to hold a referendum on whether to acquire the Dromore property, the town board would first have to create a park district -- and that couldn't happen unless and until someone from Edgemont made such a request, which never happened.

Then, once a request is made, by law, the town can't create a park district without first giving Edgemont residents notice and a hearing. That never happened here because there was never any request to create a park district and because there was never anything for sale for Edgemont or the Town to purchase.

If one were interested in such things as open space, there were plenty of good reasons to create a park district.

First, the town would never have spent the money on its own because the money would have to be town-wide money and after the Taxter Ridge ruling, Feiner vowed never to spend a dime of town-wide money for open space.

Second, Edgemont already has two park districts -- Cotswold and Greenridge. So the idea of a third park district for Edgemont would be nothing new.

Finally, there's nothing secret about the idea. Bernstein was quoted in the Jan 5 Inquirer has having suggested it at the January ECC meeting.

Anonymous said...

the people who live in that area cannot afford to have another nontaxable property . They have to many churches in that small area. The traffic would be ridiculous,and then if it is a Mt.vernon church why come to greenburgh. The property does not meet the building laws with steep slopes and then again to close to the parkway. We do not need another church in that area period.

Anonymous said...

Will the Town Board revoke Berger's law firm contract on August 15th?
Will the Board invite other firms to compete for the work?

hal samis said...

Despite what 5:48 says, I do hope that residents can read the entire gift agreement and recognize what I have stated as being the hidden and possible intent.

What the stupid anonymous has snagged is from section 4.
What I have focused on is what follows in section 9, To wit:
"This agreement shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to any third party unless required by law to do so".

Signatories to the agreement (if executed) are only these two parties, Richard Troy for S&R and Robert B. Bernstein.

In section 3 is this line:
"Bernstein or his designee (which MAY include the Town) SHALL have the right to make to S&R the Cash Investment Payment..."

Note the word MAY and the following use of SHALL and also that not only Bernstein but his designee or the Town may be the buyer. Now the stupid blogger (so defined because I do agree and think his/her (there is a rest of us?) posting is stupid, is listening only to the wisdom of Mr. Bernstein and ignoring what exists in Bernstein's own print. All anonymous has to hang their hat on is section 4 which begins:
"In contemplation that such payment will be made, upon entering into a gift agreement with the Town..." and section 6:
"It is expressly understood and agreed that Bernstein MAY assign any rights he has hereunder to the Town, that the Town MAY enter into its own gift agreement with S&R..."

All that is fine and dandy and looks like the bride getting the wedding ring is indeed the Town but before you run out to buy wedding gifts, read again and observe the word "MAY".

And finally the beginning of the Bernstein drafted gift agreement which starts "This gift agreement dated as of Bebruary __ 2007 is between S&R Development Estates, LLC (S&R), a limited liability company having in principal place of business at....AND Robert B. Bernstein, an individual residing at...and is is in contemplation of a gift agreement to be entered into with the Town of Greenburgh."

So let's put humpty dumpty back together again and see what we end up with. Two "MAYS" which are not the legal equivalent of will or SHALL (MAY is conditional whereas will or SHALL are definite).

Then we read a private party, Bernstein, is speaking for the Town? negotiating for the Town? signing HIS name for the Town?

Then we have the "right" to pay the cash portion of the purchase price -- pick one, by Bernstein, by his designee, by the Town.

Then we have a lot of language which talks about the intention of conveying the parcel to the Town but after the sale closes, the Seller has no surviving obligation or right to insist that this be carried out. Remember the Seller has all of his cash back and a useful tax credit also -- he doesn't care who ends up with the land. And if Bernstein or his designee are the buyers, WHERE in the agreement does it state that they are BOUND to convey the land to the Town or even the Nature Center and failing to find that did Mr Bernstein also forget to state at what PRICE this conveyance would cost. On the other hand, the Developer has been quite clear about what his price is.

But the real gem is the section 9 line which says that THIS AGREEMENT shall be kept CONFIDENTIAL and SHALL NOT BE DISCLOSED unless required by law to do so. Let's quickly dispense with the simple part, perhaps in a lawsuit they would be required but if it is an agreement by two private parties it is not subject to FOIL.
But now we are left with the Confidential part. Do any of the stupids question why honest Bob would agree to keep this agreement confidential between himself and the Developer? Do any of the stupids ask how the Town is:
1) to know about the agreement given the confidential intent
2) to exercise its right to make the payment if it is not told of this agreement and its contingent rights
3) the agreement could generously state that the Town is only required to pay $1 for the property but like any of the language which is contained in this section, if the Town does not know the terms of this "secret" agreement then it cannot participate in the results if Bernstein chooses to honor the agreement (his drafting) and keep it confidential. Elsewhere on these blogs the Berger campaign (Berger being Bernstein's foot soldier) make merry at the expense of the tens of thousands of dollars of Feiner campaign contributions. What would they have to build mileage on if the fundraisers were similarly secret and Feiner and or his fundraisers did not have to disclose the contributions? If it is required to report contributions, would it not be similarly required, at least necessary, to alert the Town of a forthcoming $2 million expense but a secret is a secret.

I conclude that none of this is the picture of forthrightness. I do not accuse Mr. Bernstein of any wrongdoing. All I am doing is to point out the potential for what could easily be taken for the appearance if not the actual impropriety. There is absolutely nothing in the Bernstein draft that insists that the Town be the new owner. In fact, if the Developer gets his cash and the tax benefits, he is on the next train. He does not require Bernstein to convey the property to the Town. Bernstein does not state that he will without question convey the property to the Town. So if he puts up the money, doesn't tell the Town (citing the confidentiality section), the Town will never know of its "intended" rights and therefore will not come running with the check. Bernstein could close in the name of a LLC and even after recording the deed, no one need know of his involvement. Of course none of this is meant to be construed as an accusation, but let me state again that if the property was thought then to have 100,000 feet of development rights (residential, commercial, retail or mixed use), paying $20 a foot is a very, very cheap price.
By way of no comparison, developers in NYC routinely pay in excess of $1000 a developable foot.

So if the intended buyer was the Town, why was it not an out in the open straight sale between the seller, S&R and the buyer, the Town of Greenburgh. Why was the Town Supervisor excluded from these meetings/negotiations and why was the seller's attorney not allowed to attend and why was the real Town attorney not present and why did Bernstein not create a conveyance naming the Town as the buyer and leave his own name off the agreement?

I think these are legitimate questions and certainly not deserving of "Samis must be stupid or thinks the rest of us must be stupid" and "Contrary to what Samis says there is absolutely nothing in the agreement which makes Bernstein or his assignee the "buyer" of any land." and "So why does Samis persist in these falsehoods". The author of this is an anonymous blogger at 5:48.
And this person further claims that I am hoping that no will actually read the document that I posted, typing it out by hand, on another topic heading earlier this month and reminded readers of its location today on this current topic at 3:26 PM.

It is easy to understand why I support the re-election of Feiner; he is not the opposition.

It is even easier to understand why the Town Council insisted that I not be told about these meetings.

hal samis said...

Just a quickie to remind 6:09 that in reminding us that in 16 years Feiner has not acquired any Edgemont open space.

Obviously you have forgotten that sitting alongside him was fellow Edgemont resident Eddie Mae Barnes.

But that leaves three other members of the Town Board who could have, just by themselves, voted to acquire such land.

Maybe you should spread the "blame" around; there is enough that you can be more generous and share equally.

Just three votes.

hal samis said...

Has anyone missed Eddie Mae Barnes?
She is on vacation.
As if that mattered.

hal samis said...

Why doesn't Steve Bass sponsor a Resolution expressing concern about the bridge collapse in Minneapolis?

Yesterday the United Nations voted additional assistance to DARFUR.

However, they did not give the proper credit where it was due.

The Town Council should hire outside Counsel to sue the United Nations for not naming Greenburgh as the "behind the scenes" presence.

hal samis said...

Finally,

Hurry to Suzanne Berger's website. She has commented on issues. Don't let me influence anyone in making up their own mind.

However, tomorrow evening I shall be like Fiorello LaGuardia and read you the funny pages.

Jim Lasser said...

To 8:40 -
Come to an ECC meeting. Write a letter to your neighbor civic association. Call your Paul Feiner appointed Town Board liaison person. All are legitimate ways to make your opinion known while the matter is under discussion. But, as long as you hide behind an anonymous screen tag, no one will be able to come to you to solicit your views.

Jim Lasser said...

Sorry - meant to address my comment to the person who posted on 8/1 at 5:56PM -

samis and feiner still lying said...

Samis must really think the people of Greenburgh are stupid.

Like Feiner, he keeps repeating the same falsehoods over and over again.

That draft agreement he keeps invoking still says that if the payment is made, the Dromore land gets deeded to the town. It doesn't matter who makes the payment. The land still gets deeded to the town.

And what happens if the payment is not made? The Troys get to build up to 10 luxury "townhouses." Just as Troy says in his affidavit.

And how do we know this? Because the draft agreement says so.

So, no matter how many times he and Feiner says it,there's no possible way in which Bernstein could have ever gotten the land for himself, his assignees, or anyone else.

Why do Samis and Feiner persist in lying like this?

Because they both know that Feiner has just been caught big-time in having lied, in writing, to the town's Ethics Board.

data not drama said...

"At 8/01/2007 11:43 PM, hal samis said..."

Oh man, I can't stop laughing! Even if we see things differently with some matters, I completely respect your wit! (Still in hysterics ... Thanks!)

feiner caught lying to town's ethics board said...

Feiner has been caught lying to the Town's Ethics Board about lawyer Mark Weingarten's involvement in a March 2004 fundraiser that netted Feiner tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from developers with applications pending before the town.

In his October 6, 2004 letter to the Ethics Board, Feiner made no mention of Weingarten when he described the $1000 Feiner picked up that night from Michael D'Allessio, the developer who had an application pending before the town to cut trees in Edgemont.

Feiner wrote as follows: "Mr. D'Alessio attended a fundraiser that William LoSapio of Gregory's Restaurant in White Plains hosted for my campaign account on March 29th."

Bernstein, who first raised the issue of Feiner's ethical problems, wrote to the Ethics Board on October 18, 2004 and said Feiner was playing fast and loose with the truth.

Bernstein wrote: "In fact, Mr. Feiner told The Scarsdale Inquirer that the fundraiser was organized by Mark P. Weingarten, a member of the White Plains law firm of DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Tartaglia Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP, and that it was Mr. Weingarten, who issued the invitations on behalf of Mr. Feiner’s campaign committee. See The Scarsdale Inquirer, "Residents Question Feiner on Campaign Contributions," September 17, 2004. Mr. Feiner also omits to mention in his letter that Mr. Weingarten was then representing Mr. D’Alessio and that, in addition to Mr. D’Alessio’s $1,000, his law firm contributed another $500."

On Wednesday, August 1, 2007, the Town made public the actual invitation to the event. The invitation, dated March 4, 2004, was on the letterhead of Weingarten's law firm and says as follows:

"On Monday, March 29, 2004 . . . Bill Losapio and I will be hosting a fundraiser for Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner." Weingarten cited Feiner’s “strong support for economic development within the Town of Greenburgh” and said, “I know you have been helpful to Supervisor Feiner in the past. . . A minimum contribution of $250 is recommended. Paul has earned our support in the past. . . .” Contributions were to be mailed to Weingarten’s law firm, to Weingarten attention, care of his secretary.

The invitation was mailed to numerous developers with applications pending before the town.

The invitation proves that Bernstein was right: Feiner was lying to the Ethics Board in October 2004 when he tried to claim someone other than Weingarten was responsible for the fundraiser.

Other documents show that Feiner lied to the Ethics Board about other matters pertaining to that fundraiser as well.

Anonymous said...

Show us the proof of all the millions that Feiner received from the developers and lawyers. They should have cancelled checks since all contributions are tax deductable. Put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein come up with some proof concerning contributions made to Feiner by lawyers and developers. Your still harping on the case that pulled the wool over your eyes in your area. Who would do such a thing in Edgemont.Well it was done and forget about it.the person was smarter than you.

Anonymous said...

Who ever is feeding you this information should come foward with cancelled checks,as someone said before .Was anything or said to Feiner concerning these contributions. This is takeing center stage, since Feiner wants stricter ethic laws concerning contributions to the respective political parties,why because the candidates that are running cannot raise a dime on their own,and they need their party to help them out. This is why all these alligatons are coming back after three or four years.

hal samis said...

To the world's most obvious liar at 3:07 who is understandably afraid to be identified,

Where does it say that Mr. Bernstein is to tell the Town about the wonderful job he has done in arranging the purchase by the Town? Mr. Bernstein has absolutely no obligation to inform the Town about the terms of the sale. This remains true even without inviting the Supervisor to attend the meetings.

To me whispering "the building is on fire" versus yelling it at the top of one's lungs are different "methods" of communication. In the presence of a fire, most people would respect the person who yelled and look with scorn at the whisperer.

Regarding this transfer of valuable property, Mr. Bernstein does not even whisper.

If Bernstein does not tell the Town that it is at the head of the line to buy the Dromore property, the Town will not know. How could it? The Buyer and the Seller have agreed to keep it secret. Why would Bob go along, much less draft that?

If Bernstein is "allowed" to pay the Cash Investment and acquire the property because that is what happens when the payment is made, then where does it say that he MUST then transfer it to the Town.
Nor does the agreement state that such a Cash Investment from himself would be on behalf of the Town.

If Bernstein is an honorable man then it follows that he would want to obey the stipulations that he himself wrote with the intent to sign. Thus: "This agreement shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to any third parties unless required by law to do so"

Why would Mr. Bernstein write this and include only himself (second party) and the seller (first party) as the sole signatories?

How would the Town fund the acquisition without even knowing that they were buying it?

Why would Mr. Bernstein draft such an agreement and not the Town Attorney?

Stop mouthing Bob's words and answer the questions. I've posted the draft agreement on the blog; readers can make their own conclusions. What I would like from you or Bob are the answers to my questions. And I think they are very reasinable compared to what I could have written.

It is a very simple exercise. Read the entire gift agreement as written by Bernstein, find the sections that cancel each other out and from what's left, show me what confirms that the one who pays is under any obligation to convey it to the Town.

To me, it is obvious that Bob, while representing the ECC, became privvy to an insider position in acquiring a very desirable piece of land at a bargain basement price thanks to the miracle of a proposed and maybe allowable tax angle. If the parcel could be purchased by a veiled LLC, the members of this LLC would profit handsomely due to the then assumed allowable buildables.

So when the document became public, what better way to throw the hounds off the scent than to launch a diversion as witness the latest blog attacks.

Now this could equally be said of both sides in this year's election. But my opinions and the document itself have been out there for at least a week. Across the aisle, the other team is hastily opening envelopes, files and lobbing spitballs in reaction to their leader being put under the harsh glare of the interrogation lamp.

All we have heard from Bob so far is that he was just "joking".
HaHa.

TOWN COUNCIL MUST REVOKE BERGER'S LAW FIRM CONTRACT said...

Berger's law firm contributed to her after receiving a six figure contract from the Town Council. They didn't even have to compete against any other law firm that was interested in the job. SLEEZEY OLD FASHIONED POLITICS.

If the ethics law applied to challengers - Berger would be in trouble. The Town Council passed a law that gave her a free pass.
The Town Council must revoke her firms inappropriate contract.

hal samis said...

To "Gotcha Feiner" @3:55,

First wipe the drool off your mouth and then listen carefully:

You ain't got nothing other than conclusions. If this is an example of Mr. Bernstein's craft, then it is no wonder the Courts are still weighing his earlier slam dunks. They too must have been accompanied by heavy pleadings.

Using quotes from Bernstein in the newspaper is only proof that Bernstein said it in the newspaper.
Bernstein's accuracy is not enhanced by Bernstein vetting himself. And when are you going to introduce the matchbook from Gregory's Restaurant as important evidence?

Feiner didn't mention Weingarten in referring to the $1000 contribution...
Is this an example of a lie? Was he asked and did he deny? What?

William LoSapio, the owner of Gregory's Restaurant, hosted the event. Who paid? LoSapio, Feiner, Weingarten? Feiner's campaign?

Mark Weingarten's name was on the invitations and his office mailed them and received the replies...
Tsk, Tsk.

Were the invitations mailed only to developers who had applications pending before the town? It must have been a very small guest list. Call me crazy but I'm thinking that the invitations went to a lot of other people, some of the guest list may have been developers, some of whom may have applications pending..
But there are many ways to convey this information and naturally you wrote the most damning but damning of what?

But since we've got a new Ethics Board, new Ethics laws and now even Counsel for the Ethics Board, why is this matter being tried on Feiner's blog and not by the Ethics Board?

If you've got a case, so far you haven't presented it.

samis still can't read or write said...

Why does Samis keep lying about that draft agreement?

He says: "If Bernstein is "allowed" to pay the Cash Investment, and acquire the property because that is what happens when the payment is made, then where does it say that he MUST then transfer it to the Town."

First, the draft doesn't say that Bernstein will "acquire the property because that is what happens when the payment is made."

To the contrary, the draft says: "Upon receipt of the Cash Investment payment, S&R will convey to the Town by deed outright ownership of the entire premises."

It therefore follows that because the town would have gotten automatically "by deed outright ownership of the entire premises," there is no need to require that Bernstein "MUST then transfer [the property] to the town."

If Samis and Feiner are both willing to lie about what's in this draft again and again, as they both have done, it's reasonable to ask what else they've been lying about.

One doesn't have to look far. Judging from what appears on the blog about Feiner's ethical problems, it seems Feiner's been lying quite a bit.

I bet someone will soon publish the list of the contributions each developer has made to Feiner over the years, the specific applications that were pending, and the actions that were taken.

The public deserves to know how Feiner has sold out the town.

hal samis said...

What can I say to a person who lies about lies?

What it says in section 3, before the blogger's lift from section 4 is:

"Bernstein or his designee (which may include the Town) shall have the right to make to S&R the Cash Investment payment, but such Cash Investment payment must be made no later than December 15, 2007."

Please note the use of the word "may" and after that the word "shall".

"May" is a term of option.
"Shall" is a term of instruction.

What is Bernstein's designee is not the Town because he chose not to make it his designee?

It could have read "Bernstein's only designee shall be the Town"

It could have read "Only the Town shall have the right to make to S&R the Cash Investment..."

It could have said a lot of things but worded as it does, it allows Bob, Bob's designee which may not be the Town or the Town to pay.
Lawyers pride themselves on being precise and not leaving writings open to multiple interpretations.

When they do so, it is for a reason. I submit that the reason was likely to allow Bob or anyone of his choosing to be the purchaser.

Like I say, if it was only meant as a conveyance to the Town, the language we would be reading would be much different.

Which brings me back to the secrecy section. The only way the Town would know that it had the opportunity to make the Cash Payment would be if it were told.
If Bob adheres to his own secrecy language, the Town would not be told by him of its rights to anything stated within the agreement.

All the language about the intentions and the recipients will not survive the passing of title if the Town were not the buyer. The only reasons that this language exists is for precisely the purpose that the anonymous blogger is stumbling over -- to protect Mr. Bernstein if the draft document ever became public -- which it did. That language, which might only become applicable if Bob broke the secrecy section and told someone, is his escape from serious peer charges against him. With this language, never meant to be applied, Bob can say the property was intended for the Town, see it says so here. Remove that section and everything else in the draft agreement allows Bob or some friendly to him designee to acquire the property.

I have posted the draft agreement on the blog. Read it. My exchanges with Bob's dupes can only take on the appearance of the blind men and the elephant. That is why I have asked the questions I have in my earlier posts on this subject. Bob's dupe never addresses any of these questions but only keeps pointing to the section that would have no use if the Town were not aware of its contents.

Since by no stretch of the imagination would anyone attempt to let Bob off the hook by claiming he was in the employ of the Town, there is nothing that the draft agreement can possibly deliver as an assurance that the Town is the buyer; that the Town has the money ready to complete the transaction and that the Town has even agreed to purchase the property. A lot to put in place by December 2007 when the agreement is dated February 2007 and the party of the second part, the buyer, is Robert B. Bernstein. This entire issue is so off-the-wall that no one other than Bob's dupe would be expected to believe this scenario was intended to be staged.

On the other hand, the opportunity to buy developable land in Edgemont at $20 a foot might be just too tempting an opportunity to resist.

That the 100,000 feet may not be attainable pending the outcome of Zoning Board and perhaps the civil courts rulings is not the point. In February 2007, it was assumed to be so and the agreement accepts that premise.

hal samis said...

The risk of any blogger lying even in part is that readers will not believe any other part of the posting.
When Bob's dupe returns, consider ignoring everything else that is written.

But on to other topics. I have read Suzanne Berger's platform, issue and bio. If Feiner is convicted of murder, that might be reason to vote for her instead.

Suzanne comes to our hour of need by way of during her college days, she was an auditor for the IRS.
Nuff said?

As a long time Democrat she has been involved in backing the win by Francis Sheehan.
Nuff said.

She says she knows how to ROOT OUT WASTE in government. I'll ignore the verb and settle on the noun.
Suzanne backed the prior campaigns of Eddie Mae Barnes and Diana Juettner.
Nuff said.

She is a long term attorney from Dobbs Ferry but thinks Greenburgh is spending too much of its time in Court. That could be taken to mean the Bernstein suits and the battle against Ridge Hill.
Nuff said.

She thinks the problems with the School Districts can be solved if teachers can find affordable housing so they can live near to where they work.
Not nuff said.

She says she has the right approach to holding the line on property taxes.
Not nuff said.

She hints that the entire Town Board is responsible for all the chaos and mismanagement.
Not nuff said.

She made the effort to find some problems.
She hasn't a clue how to solve them beyond what would fit on a bumper sticker.
Not near nuff said.

She avoids any conclusions about the A and B issues.
Knowing nuff said.

What her website says about her is like the early talking pictures wallcards:
All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing! Suzanne is just a paragraph short of recycling Eddie Mae Barnes' "Why can't we all work together".

And while being of the same sex, Suzanne ain't no Hilary yet. Nevertheless they both head up the list of female "musts to avoid".

Like the changeover to the talkies,
many of the silent screen stars couldn't make the cut. Next up for Suzanne, speaking in public.
I'll be there to bring you the who, what, where, when, why and how.

Michael Kolesar said...

When I was in the public practice as a CPA and as a CFO, I have been involved in drafting footnotes and other disclosures in various documents and worked closely with many attorneys. I must agree with Hal Samis that the language, if it intented to be specific, would have been specific. Mr. Bernstein is too accomplished not to have intended the wide latitude that that the proposed contract offered. I have sat and watched attorneys debate where to put a comma, forget the use of "shall", "will", "must", etc.

I would submit that if that draft was given to a first year law student and asked to comment on what was intended, one would not get the "answer" that some have provided under the "Anonymous" id.

kolesar is wrong again said...

Kolesar, once again, doesn't know what he's talking about.

The draft agreement says that if the Troys get their supposed out-of-pocket costs paid to them by December 15, 2007, the Dromore property gets deeded to the town as a gift, in its entirety.

The draft agreement also says that if their out-of-pocket costs are not paid to them as of that date, the Troys get to keep 20% of the land to build 10 luxury townhouses, assuming they get the requisite approvals, and that the town gets the rest of the property as a gift to be used for recreation only.

Bernstein gets no rights anywhere in the draft to purchase any of the Dromore property.

So what is this "wide latitude" that Kolesar is talking about? Kolesar himself surely doesn't know because he's just repeating what Samis told him to say.

The sad fact about Kolesar is that he is an unemployed and apparently unemployable accountant who will say or do anything he can for Feiner because he's hoping that if Feiner is re-elected, he'll get for him the town job he so desperately wants.

Two years ago, Kolesar bet not on Feiner, but on Greenawalt, hoping Greenawalt would do him the same favor.

There's a reason Kolesar was a one-termer on Ardsley's Board of Trustees. It's the same reason he's unemployable today.

Anonymous said...

Mike does not need help in getting a job. He does not side with anyone. Bernstein made a terrible mistake from the beginning,in trying to get this property by illegal means. What kind of a lawyer is he. Fisrt he said there was no meeting with the board members now the Scarsdale inquirer states from articles by Mcnally and Bernstein, that they did have meetings. Who's lying now.

who's lying? Feiner is lying said...

Who's lying?

Feiner is lying -- big time. He says that Bernstein tried to get the Dromore property "by illegal means." But there's no evidence in the Troy affidavit that Bernstein tried to get the property at all.

Feiner says he wanted the town, state and county to purchase the property. But under the Taxter Ridge rulings, the town money would by law have to come, in part, from village taxpayers, and Feiner's on record saying he'd never allow that. So Feiner's lying when he says the town would have purchased the property. (McNally was more polite -- in today's Inquirer she just says Feiner is being "disingenuous.")

So what's really going on here? The Troys have filed a notice of claim against the town seeking to have the property re-zoned multifamily. If Feiner and his "team" get elected, they will "compromise" the claim and ram those 37 luxury condos down Edgemont's throat.

This would not be the first time Feiner has done this. The last major luxury townhouse development in Edgemont was Stone Ridge Manor, which consists of eight buildings and a total of 40 units, squeezed in behind Treasure Island on Central Avenue.

Its developers gave Feiner thousands of dollars in campaign contributions while their applications for town approval were pending. Edgemont residents tried mightily to get the project scaled back; but Feiner would have none of that. He got the project rammed through.

So who's lying here? Feiner is lying, over and over and over again.

hal samis said...

Thank you Mike,

Now let me ask another member of the identifiable bloggers for a similar vetting.

This request is made with trepidation because I recognize the predicament that it will cause the person "reached out to" but I have faith in the innate sense of fairness of the individual to do the right thing.

The object of my courting is a well known moderate who has earned his bonafides from his years of dedication and devotion to serving his School District. He is intelligent, reasoned and concerned not only with Edgemont but also Town wide issues. And he brings to the table, like Mike Kolesar (you'll have to wait your turn for my equally effusive praise) an understanding of accounting procedures. On the other side of the ledger, he has a sarcastic side but one with miles of subtlety separating the two of us.

That said this blog is witness to our frequent differing opinions but still we can address each other as friend.

Why I am airing this in public is to counter the increasingly disturbing campaign that has been mounted against me to discredit my observations. Not because it affects me personally but because it may detract from anything that I write. The acuteness of this has intensified recently because I have raised the possibility that Edgemont's sacred cow, Bob Bernstein, may not be all that he says he is and his methods and hence his credibility are becoming more questionable as he mounts his campaign to get Feiner and take no prisoners along the way.

What follows is a lengthy (blog record) discourse because I have a the time today to do it. Impatient readers can skip down to the paragraph starting with ***** where the threads of my introduction will be picked up.

As for this lengthy posting, NO ONE IS FORCING ANYONE TO READ IT (use the scroll down bar to avoid) AND OTHERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO WRITE THEIR OWN LENGTHY REPLIES.

However the extra length provides the background and hopefully the justification for the request I shall make of the mystery guest.

Not to clap for myself too loudly, I recognize that I pose a threat to the attainment of Bernstein's goal not only because I "may" know what I am talking about but mostly because I can present it in an intelligent, if not entertaining, manner. But the most vexing problem is that residents recognize that I am not a 100% all Feiner all the time supporter; that I have issues and points of disagreement with his policies, present and past, and that makes me and others like me more dangerous. The strategy from the Bernstein camp from the start has has been to try to marginalize the support for Feiner by attacking the gamut of his supporters ranging from Garfunkle on down. Bernstein has his share of crazies and groupies also but they hide out on this blog under names such as anonymous. Don't be fooled into thinking that there is no organized program underway to razzle dazzle, hit and run with new Feiner atrocities on the hour each and every hour. Gee, isn't the Primary approaching?

My politics are clearly not to elect Berger; she has no understanding of the issues and what she knows is being spoon fed to her. She is emblematic of the party hack and had she guts she would have resigned as Party Chair while she was attempting to rally Democratic voters to support her in the nearing Primary. Even in a little pond like Greenburgh, being able to dispense small favors and support for various Democrat office seekers has a return receipt value. Were she to win, she would have to surrender this Party position so let's do our best to see that she can hold on to her Party job. The other problem with Berger is that I truly believe that she would not serve out her term and would find some judgeship opening up and resign as Town Supervisor -- somehow allowing Mr. Sheehan the opportunity to succeed (legally to the role he already performs) Berger during the absence of a deposed Feiner while still holding onto his (Sheehan's) Council membership while the vacancy gets filled. Tough luck, Mr. Bass. Your advance upward keeps getting sidetracked and you will forever be known as the 60 second candidate.

But there's more. There is a loosely formed "conspiracy" at work here to accomplish this. Alliances shift like the tides.
The problem earlier this year was the presence of the spoiler, Bill Greenawalt who would divide Berger's paper thin mandate so Greenawalt had to go. Understand that Berger was chosen not only because she was the only one willing to accept the terms of her sponsorship but also because she was perceived as the wedge to split Feiner's traditional village support. This support drives Mr. Bernstein, in his role as kingmaker, up the wall and even though his "assumed" power base is Edgemont (and his preference to see it become a village) he does what he can to antagonize the villages that he aspires to sit as an equal at the brotherhood of villages table. The only way to have his bleatings heard in the villages is if he can say them through the mouth of a village resident, a precious commodity that may be limited to Ms. Shimsky, Mr. Rappaport (thank me for your 15 minutes) and a very few others. Meanwhile a few years back when Mr. Sheehan (after failing to get Feiner's endorsement as his running mate -- shocking but true) and his utterly useless sidekick, Juettner, ran as Democrats, they followed Berger's advice and totally shunned Greenawalt's first campaign try against Feiner. Only now is Berger trumpeting Sheehan's victory as one of her accomplishments as Democratic Chair.

Jump shift to the Town Council. For years they sat in silence because it was the easy thing to do. Feiner would campaign, he would pass out his literature and the members of the Town Council names and pictures would be on it.
That was their total effort in running for office. For this support, they would get what is now close to $30,000 a year for a part-time job with full-time benefits with a four year job security contract despite the disparity between the Supervisor's two year role and the Council's four year hitch. So what you are looking at when you vote for anyone for Town Council is a $120,000+ paycheck plus accrued benefits. Nice work if you can get it.

But that was then and this is now.
Mr. Bernstein, in overdrive, recognized that he was getting nowhere in rallying support for first a United Edgemont and second an Independent Edgemont dressed as a village. With his pride at stake, he raised the ante. Instead of the slower route of peeling back the onion layer by layer, he went directly to the core assuming that if he could change the leadership, the outer layers would no longer matter. Unfortunately, while this may be the most efficient course, it completely destroys the onion because to get to the core, the layers must be sacrificed being cut off from life support. It was this decision that awakened my newly dsicovered political sensibilites. What Bernstein was trying to do was to mount a four member team of Brutus type assassins, a group of former allies closest to the head of the government. In Greenburgh, Feiner would be Julius Caesar and Brutus and his crones are the Town Council, former trusted members of the inner circle.
All of this turmoil, led the Town's Department Heads to focus not on doing their jobs but to do what they thought would appeal to wind blowing from an ever changing direction. The inside joke was the public concern for the Katrinka victims while hurricanes were raging in Town Hall. Needless to say, I see myself as Marc Anthony.

By turns, the Town Council, led by Brutus (Sheehan) would attack and harass Caesar (Feiner) and proclaim that Feiner was all evil and that they were all good. Nevertheless, as Greenburgh is not just a stage for a play but is a real world entity, matters of opertating the business still had to be conducted and it is in this that the Town Council had to revert to business as usual, politics being politics, and align themselves with the Supervisor as the traditional five joined at the hip votes.

This gave me the entree to note the contradiction at the bottom line and provide the shorthand, just three votes. How unassailable and simple. You say you don't like or agree with Feiner, so confirm that by voting, not with him but against. Bernstein, the behind the scenes controller, was furious because this effectively thwarted his plan to get Feiner through a compromised Town Council. How long could they get away with blaming Feiner while still joining him in the vote. If Feiner was compromised by accepting campaign contributions, then how to explain their unanimous voting record? The Town Council members still wanted the $30,000 paycheck so they had to play the politics game and vote the same way as Feiner. What little roadblocks, the housekeeping issues, that they could throw in his way, these gnat bites they would continue to perform as pet tricks hoping that Bernstein would not flog them when they voted with Feiner on the major issues. What could Bernstein do; he wasn't paying them in dollars, only by his blessing and promise to set up or vet most of their written arguments. Suddenly Juettner and Barnes had things to talk about, talk about things they don't understand.

Thus, rather than choose the newcomer I don't trust or the devil in disguise I have chosen to support or "love the one you're with". Feiner is a known quantity whose failings include speaking out before thinking the matter through, not looking "presidential" of which Greenawalt may hold the exclusive franchise, he is not a good public speaker and bound by the limits of a two year term, he spends a lot of time securing the next two year term. Something that the Town Council do not have to do as frequently. Finally, he is too lenient and accepting of the mistakes of the Department heads. This is even more curious at a time when they openly scorn him.

On the other side of the coin is a guy who is genuinely concerned about people; is honest and hard working and is accessible. Even though he shoots from the hip, the community ultimately gets the benefit of his never-ending introduction of quality of life enhancements which after they travel the rocky road of skepticism and exploitation end up as well received enrichments. Some such as the dog park are undeniable successes. Others such as the memorial tile wall and the Taxter Ridge purchase are not so successful. Yet the Town Council appears at all the photo ops generated from the good and the bad; they are entitled to share in the nachos or boos because they voted for them.

So, even if by default, if you will I say stick with Feiner. And, if he gets out of line, I expect that "just three votes" will save the day.

But what does this leave for Bernstein? His star was rising in the Edgemont mafia but here is this little pisant Samis threatening the master plan. Samis just wouldn't shut up.
No matter how many anonymous writers he would send to the blog to say Samis lies, Samis sucks, Samis and Feiner, Samis shilling for...Samis has the energy the will and the skill to play the on-line blog version of pac man and keep shooting back. Rational people would acknowledge that the blog, like the ECC, does not really represent the populace at large but is only a sounding board for varying opinions from those playing the game. But Bernstein doesn't like it when anyone questions his own supremacy and omniscience and when Edgemont came under attack he ignored his own assessment that no one reads or pays attention to the blog and stepped up his attacks through both his own efforts (very thinly disguised by pomposity leeches through every paragraph) and by the concerted efforts from those of his loyal cadre who would write as anonymice.

However, a curious thing happened along the way. What was earlier dismissed as a mere gimmick and not attracting any following of consequence fooled everyone, including Feiner. The blog population began to grow. When this became evident, Bernstein tried to shut it down claiming that the link on the Town website was both a waste of Town resources and improper if not illegal. This argument not gaining traction, he then started a campaign to "warn" bloggers that if they used their own name, dire consequences would follow. Then came the admonition that even anonymous was not a defense because Feiner could track every incoming piece of mail. Despite this, anonymous comments flourished.

By now Bernstein was heavily invested and blog comments were beginning to be discussed in the open, off the blog. The Blog, not Bernstein, became the go-to place to find out what was happening in Greenburgh. This was dangerous because unlike the Town Board meeting which could be controlled from the dais, Public Comment could appear immediately and in its entirety. Whereas the Town Council could always dispute or disparage Public Comment either by their "right" to speak untimed and at any opportunity, they were guaranteed to always have the last word and leave the Public's side undefended. And if members of the Public were not all of the same mind, then the Public could be depended to turn on each other with the same speakers claiming their right to be the last speakers standing. Something I was willing to tolerate from those that had "earned" this right but subsequently lost their claim when they turned out to be of different stock than represented over the years.

So controlling the Town Council became less of an asset as the accessability of the Blog increased. What's Bernstein to do while the Court decision and his moment of triumph is still trapped in the freezer section? What he needs is a headline gathering event. Something that will prove he means business and that he has the resources to pull it off.
Something pre-emptive like...an Edgemont Village Hall. What's the downside? At the time no one disputed that the Dromore property could produce a 100,000 foot building. Only thing though was the owner wanted to build multi-family project and this would conflict with Bernstein's public position opposing new residential development. But Bernstein recognized that what was true for residential was also true for other permitted uses as the assumed zoning allowed for building 100,000 feet which could be retail feet, office feet, mixed use feet, not just residential feet. If we can scare the owner away with all sorts of dire consequences, we can buy the property on the cheap as the owner just wants to pack his bags and walk away whole. Maybe a few friends (aka Edgemont associates or coworkers as investors) could get together and buy the property and develop it themselves, say as an office building. We could "give away" 25,000 (Greenburgh Town Hall is 46,000 feet) feet to serve as a Village Hall (where else in Edgemont is there a rental property or vacant land that could economically satisfy this purpose) at either free or, at or below, market rental and our "profit" could come from the remaining 75,000 feet. And when we become a Village, we could probably work a deal with the GNC to use their empty weekday parking lot.

Buying buildable rights today at $20 per foot (100,000 feet divided into assumed $2 million purchase) is a steal, especially in Edgemont.

But how to do it. There is a large risk if this were to be made public ahead of a managed announcement. The owner just wants to get out and move on to his next project far away. What if it were possible to buy the property directly and if we get found out, we could always say that it was really intended for the Town of Greenburgh. Of course that would be probable if the "Town" only were let in on the secret. After all the Town is a public entity, you just can't commit $2 million of funds ($800,000 per acre) without due dilengence and Public knowledge and discussion. It took almost 3 years for the Town to spend $4 million as its contribution to the 200 acres at Taxter Ridge ($60,000 per acre). So was it reasonable to assume that this would be done in 10 months to close by 12/15/07. Extend the closing? The Taxter Ridge seller was selling at a profit; Dromore was only getting his investment back. Those who remember the movie "Dr. Strangelove" will be familiar with the doomsday device which only serves it purpose when "you've got to let people know it exists".

The whole affaire Dromore was never intended for public consumption. Bernstein got sloppy when he shifted gears with the breaking news that the zoning map was wrong. What else could he do? He had argued publicly against residential development and thus he had to get on the bandwagon to prevent it when "armed" with the justification to do so. However, in looking for his moment of trytrump, Bernstein seriously erred; even though he felt confident that those present would have no reason to squeal because of their own potential problem from attending these secret meetings in Harrison without the Supervisor's knowledge (it has been argued that Feiner also has such meetings but these do not include the admonition not to have the Developer's lawyer present and not to tell Samis, neither conditions are taken from Feiner's playbook) but because he left a paper trail albeit one artfully constructed to disguise the hidden intent, Bernstein's reputation if not livelihood was at risk. No one anticpated the spurned owner to play the next card and circulate a sworn affidavit prepared for the Zoning Board and Civil Court but instead containing not only the pertinent zoning arguments and exhibits but also the history of his interaction with the Town and the ECC leadership. This became a real, not potential, threat to Bernstein "only Edgemont business as usual" and he had to embark upon a course of damage control which leads to, on this one blog topic alone, since July 30:

*Name a single illegal thing said
*Feiner past his sell by date
*Feiner lying to divert attention
*Samis part of huge Feiner cover-up
*Samis can't read or write
*Feiner against open space Edgemont
*Samis and Feiner still lying
*Samis still can't read or write

And Samis is just a private citizen
while Bernstein, also a private citizen found comfort in Town Attorney Lewis' admonition to the Town employees not to discuss this matter in Public because the developer had filed a notice of claim. Bernstein, even though not a Town employee, clearly saw this as the shield to hide behind and thus he has been silent on this matter ever since. That silence has not extended, however, to his foot soldiers.



***** So, JIM LASSER, I turn to you, not to validate my entire view of the world but just for a specific piece of it: the draft gift agreement. I am sure that you are familiar with the contents and have followed the "dialogue" on this topic and elsewhere as it apppears on the blog.

I recognize that this puts you in an awkward position as you also consider Mr. Bernstein to be a friend; likewise you are a resident of Edgemont; you attend the ECC meetings and Bob was voted to be its succeeding Chair.

But perhaps to save you from agonizing over this bind let me quote Jim Lasser back to you on this very blog from August 1 @ 8:40 AM. A Jim Lasser who has so far avoided any comments on the Dromore meetings because:

(to still waiting)
"You are relying on rumor and innuendo most likely, from a highly interested political source -- how about applying some common sense and judgement to what you are hearing" -- Jim Lasser

So I ask you not to consider rumor and innuendo and comment just on the Bernstein (free, white and over the age of 21) drafted gift agreement yourself and see if what I have raised makes any sense as opposed to what the anonymous authors have decreed.

In case you haven't downloaded the document I retyped it on the current Feiner blog topic titled "letter to the editor contains charges" on July 26, 10:01 PM.

"Democracy is a participatory sport so come to ECC meetings and get involved." -- Jim Lasser.

This is a thorny issue because I presume Mr. Bernstein as Chair and Ms McNally as previous Chair likely have their insider point of view which they may or may not have shared.

"If you would prefer to have a Town official (HERE I WOULD SUBSTITUTE BOB BERNSTEIN FOR TOWN OFFICIAL) make all your judgements for you (saving your thinking time for more important thought) just say so.

"You have every right to abbrogate all of your responsiblities as a member of the community..."
-- Jim Lasser

It is on these comments that I charge you to step forward and tell this blog whether the draft gift agreement provides for what I have written earlier on this blog and have been denigrated for same.

1) In what capacity does Mr. Bernstein write this agreement (Mr. Troy is also an attorney and it is customarily the seller who draws the contract)? Is Bob the agent of the Town? Is Bob a private citizen?

2) Is there anything in this agreement that acknowledges Mr. Bernstein's position as the Town's Agent. I point out that he is identified by his home address, not his NYC office or an address at Town Hall while the owner is identified by his office address.

3) Does Mr. Bernstein make any reference to the source of funding being that of the Town?

4) Does Mr. Bernstein anywhere state ABSOLUTELY his intention or obligation to convey the title over to the Town?

5) Is there any consideration associated with "forwarding" title to the Town? Without such mention or limitation and without any position of Agency by the Town, Bob could reconvey the property to the Town at his cost plus any mutally agreed upon sum.

6) Why would the agreement not mention the buyer is the Town of Greenburgh, the seller already being clearly identified?

7) Why does Mr. Bernstein write in section 3 "Bernstein or his designee (which MAY include the Town) SHALL have the right to make to S&R the Cash Investment payment... Doesn't this language afford Bob or his designee the opportunity to be the money portion of the purchase and if so, why would he do that -- because he's a good guy? Why of all the parties cited, Bernstein, designee, the Town, is the Town mentioned last? Why has Bob used MAY for the inclusion of the Town but SHALL for the obligation? I don't think that he thought it was for literary merit.

Alternatively, if Bob or his designee (which could be a LLC with Bob being a member) were to make the Cash Investment for the purpose of owning the property, would this section need to be rewritten to allow this or is all the necessary language in already in place?

8) What explanation can there be for section 9:
"This agreement shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to any third parties unless required by law to do so."
and section 10:
"The foregoing sets forth the complete agreement of the parties as of this date and supersedes all prior undertandings and agreements. This agreement may not be modified except by a writing signed by the parties hereto".
the parties are:
Richard Troy for S&R and
Robert B. Bernstein for Robert B. Bernstein

If Bob is acting as an undercover agent representing the Town, why is the Town not identified right here, in this section, as a third party and thus the entire contents of the agreement may be divulged without recrimination or claim of default by violating this section.

Aren't the signatories to this agreement expected to abide by the terms of the agreement. If the agreement was meant to be disclosed to others, why would this section exist?
How can Mr. Bernstein represent the Town and not be so identified?
Are there any Town Board resolutions or appointments to sustain this? Does he have any power to negotiate on the Town's behalf? Does he have any authority to agree to any terms on behalf of the Town? Does he have any authority to bind the Town, not a private entity, to close by 12/15/07?

If the entire agreement falls under the constraints of the confidentiality section, then any third party knowledge of sections 4 and 6 which do mention the Town as the anticipated beneficiary would not be known to the Town and therefore the Town would not be able to exercise any of the rights mentioned in these sections. How would the Town know anything about this deal between two private parties if both parties agreed not to release the details for third party consumption.

And "if required by law", this invasion of the agreement's confidentiality could be in recognition that Town Documents are recoverable under NYS FOIL laws. However this right does not extend to the private papers of private citizens, i.e Richard Troy and Robert B. Bernstein.

Actually what it says in section 6 is that "It is expressly understood and agreed that Bernstein MAY assign any rights he has hereunder to the Town..."
With the MAY in place it is equally true that
'Bernstein MAY choose not to assign any rights he has hereunder to the Town...'

The word MAY is worlds away from:

"It is expressly understood and agreed that Bernstein SHALL assign any rights he has hereunder to the Town..."

And I could go on. But what I am herding you into the corner is to read what THIS document says, not "relying on rumor and innuendo coming, most likely, from a highly interested political source." and upon such examination tell the blog world if:

Samis can't read or write
Samis and Feiner still lying
Samis still can't read or write
Samis part of huge Feiner cover-up
etc.

I already know that you don't put much faith in the wisdom of anonymous but I think this is such a situation where "you can either participate or not" or 'have Robert Bernstein make all your decisions for you'.

As I have discussed with you, Edgemont's standing in the community at large would be more enhanced and tolerable were it not being publicly represented by the vocal minority. They are after all just mortals and as I believe this gift agreement illustrates, they can screw up too.

But in the Politics of the absurd that we have in Greenburgh, to admit that, is to also cause one to take another hard look at those headlines:
"Feiner against open space in Edgemont" and
"Feiner lying to divert attention"

That the headlines are attached to the imbroglio over the gift agreement does not serve all of Edgemont very well when the writers have lost all credibility.

That does not stop anyone from re-issuing a new imnproved version with a little more attention to the facts not just denigration.
But in the meanwhile, just as I have noted above re Ms Berger's stranglehold over the local Dems and should thus resign as Chair, so do I carry a similar message to the ECC:

Robert B. Bernstein should immediately tender his resignation as ECC Chair. His actions have brought embarrassment to the ECC, discredited the organization and caused irreperable splintering and damage within the group.

Seems I remember similar points lodged against Feiner and why he is not fit to serve. Perhaps in well under 16 years, Mr. Bernstein is already "past his sell-by date".

Jim, I leave it to your capable keyboard.


Note
As one would surmise, this posting has taken a while to write and in doing so I remain unaware of what may appear as prior postings before this publication.

samis off his meds said...

The only explanation for this latest lengthy screed from Samis is that he's off his meds. Or maybe it's the fumes from the express bus he's now taking to the city.

Like Feiner, he keeps repeating the same falsehoods over and over again.

That draft agreement he keeps invoking still says that if the payment is made, the Dromore land gets deeded to the town. It doesn't matter who makes the payment. The land still gets deeded to the town.

And what happens if Bernstein keeps the agreement a secret from the town? Or the payment is not made?

The draft says the Troys get to build up to 10 luxury "townhouses." Just as Troy says in his affidavit. And the town gets 80% of the land to be used solely for recreational uses.

And how do we know this? Because the draft agreement says so.

But if the draft says the agreement is confidential, what happens if nobody tells the town about any of this?

Troy said in his affidavit that he wanted to make a gift of the land to the town in order to take a federal gift tax deduction. By law, you can't take that deduction by giving the land as a gift to a private citizen.

So, no matter how many times he and Feiner says it,there's no possible way in which Bernstein could have ever gotten the land for himself, his assignees, or anyone else.

Why do Samis and Feiner persist in lying like this?

Because they both know that Feiner has just been caught big-time in having lied, in writing, to the town's Ethics Board.

And because there's now a master list being compiled of the tens of thousands of dollars Feiner received from developers and others with applications before the town.

And because every Edgemont resident will soon know that Feiner is planning to ram through a zoning change for the Dromore property so those 37 condos can be built -- just as he did when he got paid off for Stone Ridge Manor -- those 40 luxury townhouses stuffed behind Treasure Island off Central Avenue.

Got paid off you say? You betcha. Feiner bagged $2K and two weeks later, he got the town board to approve a zoning change. The documents proving it are all a matter of public record.

Make no mistake, Feiner's up to the same tricks here.

hal samis said...

More of the same old, same old. One would think that with all the ammunition coming that they would not need to defend so voraciously the draft gift agreement.

But as usual, when lawyers dance they don't necessarily dance to the tune playing on the dance floor.

Consider:

"And what happens if Bernstein keeps the agreement a secret from the Town? Or the payment is not made?
"The draft says the Troys get to build up to 10..."

Here's the trick.

Two questions, each one separated by their own question mark. Thus there are two conditions being answered.

However what the nasty blogger has done is combine both conditions into only one possibility and refer to what is contained in the section which exists merely to be the smokescreen if Bernstein gets caught.

Because what if the above two questions were really separate conditions, as they are, and they were rearranged as follows:

The payment IS MADE by Bernstein.
The secret is maintained and the Town never knows of its rights.

What happens? Bernstein now owns the property.

Anonymous said...

Samis, your recent commentary seems to indicate that you may not be all that you say you are, and your methods and, hence, your credibility are becoming more questionable (paraphrasing what you wrote about Bernstein; just seems more relevant to yourself).

I'm not intending to be disrespectful, but some of your statements and conclusions have become increasingly defensive and illogical, making you sound like a foolish old dolt. I don't think that is your natural state of being, but I think over-blogging has had a negative effect on you. Perhaps you just need a blogfree weekend.

hal samis said...

Dear Jane (4:49) you dumb slut,
aka I'm not trying to be disrespectful but
Still watching SNL reruns?

Try the credibility recipe yourself.

Just add two fresh eggs, a half a cup of water and your personal name.

Stir don't shake, then pour it over your head.

See, now the yolks on you.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Anonymous 8/3 4:26PM,

Your words "Got paid off you say? You betcha. Feiner bagged $2K and two weeks later, he got the town board to approve a zoning change."

Where the f--k were the other TWO who voted for this? It takes three votes? What was the "ACTUAL" vote? 5-0?

I would respond to an earlier posting about myself but it is so inaccurate that it is not worthy of a response

Anonymous said...

4:26 you speak with a forked tongue. Get your facts straight. Feiner CANNOT I REPEAT CANNOT CHANGE the zoning maps. Find out who made the change if a change was made and find out who designated the person to make the change. To make any change it must be done at a town meeting included in the resolutions. No such meeting took place to make this change and it must be voted on by the whole board,

Anonymous said...

If 37 or 40 Condos are to be built on Dromore rd. so be it .If the law favors the developer who are we to stop him. More power to him. It;s about time developers fight back to do what they can do without breaking the laws. He invested his hard earned money so he could get back o good return.

Anonymous said...

What is fascinating to me is the amount of "hate" directed toward the Supervisor. Frankly I am amazed. When I campaign with Paul I constantly see people come up to him and thank him for his service to Greenburgh. He has an excellent memory, and can usually remember the most minute details of the their relationship. I find that most remarkable. I was an advanceman for many politcal office holders and wannabes from Basil Patterson to Arthur Goldberg to Howard Samuels to Dick Ottinger and many others, and Paul relates to the public with the best of them. He's genuine, a terrific public servent, and honest as old Abe Lincoln. I am sure that he has helped more people in his decades of service than almost all the politicians I have met collectively. He may not be perfect, but who is?

Of course, I sense that most of these anonymous blogs are written by a handful of people. They must be the card-carrying members of the notorious CABAL. Who else would care?

In the years that I have sat in on the Town Board meetings, it seems to be the same faces that bleat, carp, and slander. Most people that I have come in contact with in this campaign, and also in 2005, seem to like the Supervisor and appreciate his hard work and dedication. Most people seem to object to the constant harranguing and the bitterness that has been spawned and hurled at him by the charter members of the CABAL. But of course there is no honor amongst thieves, and thieves do fall out. Therefore with that in mind, the CABAL has had some notable dropouts and a defector here and there.

My sense is that Paul and his slate will do very well on September 18th. Paul has always had to do it on his own. He was the ultimate "outsider" that came from nowhere to win time and time again. He has never built an organization and probably has survived longer, as an office holder, without a machine than any other office holder in Westchester history.

Maybe the key to his success comes from trusting in his real "bosses," the people. They trust him, and even though the last Primary campaign was close, he still won against all odds. Small turnouts always help the political "bosses." I am sure that in this election cycle Paul's legion of supporters will understand their need to come out and make a statement. Hopefully Kevin Morgan and Sonja Brown will take their seats on the Board and progressive government will return to Greenburgh.

But, of course, no one can stay in office that long and not create enemies of one stripe or another.

For my money, I'll bet on Paul, and I am sure that this time around he will get a great outpouring of support and win going away!

Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Samis thank you for your straight foward article lengthy yes but truthful as one could write. I never thought that people would call you a liar, You have been a straight shooter all the way. It must be that the people who say that you lie must not want to hear or see in print the truth. TOO BAD.

Anonymous said...

Berger's campaign illegally accepted contributions from some Judges who are prohibited from donating to political campaigns. She's a lawyer. She should know the law. Check the NYS Board of Elections site.

Anonymous said...

the NYS Board of Elections posts campaign contributions.

Anonymous said...

How about printing all of Berger's contributions on this blog so everyone can see .We have to be fair. Your so willing to air contributions received by Feiner now it's Bergers time to see how and what she has to return.

Anonymous said...

Ethics for Sale

It is interesting how Suzanne Berger, a lawyer for many years, and the Chairperson of the Greenburgh Democratic Town Committee, seems to not understand the law when it comes to contributions. Of course, she talks of “ethics” and her main patron and supporter, one Francis Sheehan, a member of the Greenburgh Town Committee, has crafted his own version of the Town’s new loop-hole infested “ethic’s code,” but she doesn’t seem to practice what she preaches.

A review of her latest campaign filings shows contributions from “Friends of Judge Ecker,” “Judge Berliner for Supreme Court,” and “Colangelo for County Court.” This seems to be not only unethical, but also illegal under New York State law. One would think a lawyer would know better? Besides those gifts, why is she receiving gifts from the Yonkers Democratic Chairman’s Trust Fund and the Mount Vernon City Committee? Greenburgh certainly has been in conflict over roads, development, and large future projects with its neighbor Yonkers. Does this mean that a potential Supervisor Berger would have to recuse herself from negotiations with Yonkers? I also see that Tim Iodoni and the Oxman, Tulis law firm also made contributions. Why are these Judges, politicians and Democratic Committees taking sides in a primary?

Ms. Berger also said at the last Greenburgh Town Board open meeting that the 38% of her political gifts, which came from her law firm, Bryan, Cave were from people she knew for twenty years and were friends, but her previous law firm merged with Bryan, Cave in 2002! Could it be that these were rewards for her work in securing a six-figure contract through a no-bid process engineered by Town Board Member Sheehan? Was there a payoff to him also? These are significant “ethical” questions that must be addressed. Is this influence peddling at its highest level? I hope that this “insider” contract is removed at the next Greenburgh Town Board meeting.

Richard J. Garfunkel

Jim Lasser said...

Dear Hal -
There is much you would have me respond to that I will decline to do because I am not in possession of the facts.
I am appalled by the lack of civility and believe that the whole tenor of what has now become a confrontation needs to take several steps back. While I count Bernstein and McNally among my friends, I also include Hal Samis in that group. Spirited debate and passionate argument are, in my opinion, good things. Character assassination, innuendo and outright lying are not acceptable behaviors - regardless of source or intended target.
Hal has legitimately pointed out provisions in what alleges to be a draft document prepared by Bob Bernstein. Those provisions give me pause - I find them hard to accept as terms of an agreement which would be acceptable to either of the parties involved because of the ethical issues involved. On the other hand, the document is clearly identified by all parties as a DRAFT. What distinguishes a DRAFT document from a FINAL AGREEMENT is that it must be viewed as a work in progress. It is, to echo a phrase, not yet ready for prime time. I know of no one who is always prepared to have his drafts viewed as final work product. I have criticized the Supervisor and members of the Town Board loudly and frequently for their repeated failures to appropriately vet their ideas before presenting them. I respectfully suggest that we may be witnesses to a similar phenomenon here. Many people seem to have taken the position that the document presented is a completely edited, ready for signature, legally binding contract. I hope that it is not. Just as the Town has, on more than one occaison, been embarassed by the publication of a draft document containing obvious errors, mistakes, exclusions and poor grammar, so it would appear that Mr. Bernstein and Mr. Troy are not immune from the same bedevilments.
My recommendation, in fact, my plea to both sides, is to take the rhetoric down a couple of notches and then begin a civil discussion of the issues without the distracting and demeaning personal references.

Anonymous said...

Lasser--Bernstein intended to do wrong whether the draft is in it's final stages or not.It's clear amd simple.what he was going to do.

Anonymous said...

Jim, you make some valid points, but what I think is most troubeling, is the Town Council members attempt to keep this a secret. It appears they played musical chairs to get around the Open Meeting Laws, it is an acknowledgement that they knew they should not have been meeting in secret. They should not be given a pass on this issue. someting that can not be

Lets' hear from the ECC said...

Bernstein and McNally have obviously lost alot of support amongst their Edgemont neighbors. If the best that Jim Lasser can come up with is that it was only a "draft" agreement and not in its final form, I can only imagine what people not associated so closely with Bob and Michelle must think. No one likes official secrecy. What we need to determine is were Bernstein and McNally operating on their own or where they carrying out the policies voted upon by the Edgemont Community Council. If the ECC wanted the creation of a Park District to end any chance of building on the Dromore RD property or if the ECC wanted the property for a future Edgemont Village Hall, it should be clearly stated so in the minutes of their organizational meetings. So here is an easy question for anyone to answer: ARE THEY??????????

If there are no entries in the minutes of the ECC concerning the above issues, then Bernstein and McNally were operating on their own in secret and not acting in their capacity as Edgemont Civic Leaders.

Jim Lasser said...

To Anonymous at 11:26AM -
Unless YOU are Bernstein, you cannot KNOW what he intended. If you are specially gifted and are sure, please sign your comments as I would like to chat with you about the apparent intentions of the Supervisor and other Town officials. I know what some of the statements made by Mr. Feiner sound like to me - and they seem clearly directed at punishing Edgemont for daring to ask questions. I will, however, refrain from jumping to conclusions and allow his actions to speak for him.
Similarly to Anonymous at 11:43 - there is no independent, verifiable information that the members of the Town Board did, in point of fact, gather as a group of three or more, at any time. We have only the conclusions drawn by interested parties that such a gathering took place, and that should not be enough to repeat a supposition as the truth. We have only the word of the Fortress Bible Church fathers that Mr. Feiner solicited a bribe in the form of a fire engine - can you say for certain that the Supervisor either meant the comment the way it has been interpreted, or perhaps that he didn't make it at all?
My point is simply that if one would like to grant certain elected officials the benefit (and courtesy) of allowing them to speak for themselves, fairness demands the benefit and courtesy be extended to all - even if you don't like them.

Anonymous said...

The reason the aqreement is a draft and not final is because Sheehan found a new way to squeeze the owner of the property.

What cannot be denied except by lying apologists, is that Bernstein was the focal point of the entire transaction and that he, rather than the town government, ran the transcation, that Sheehan and Bass and their willing co-eds kept it secret and tried to keep the Supervisor ignorant of what was happening, and that an Edgemont Village Hall was discussed without a peep of protest from Sheehan and bass and the co-eds.

Lasser, don't be cute with distinctions between drafts and final agreements. It would have become final if Sheehan hadn't come up with his newly=discovered and probably fraudulent map.

Anonymous said...

Not only did Bernstein and McNally put themselves in a criminal state of mind,they also jeopardized the future of each of the town council members. Not that they will be missed in a way we should thank both Bernstein and McNally for speeding the process to get new council members.

Anonymous said...

Where did the map come from. Did Sheehan and company decide to draw up a new map. This is something that we should all be told.

Anonymous said...

The map was altered in March of 2007. The problem is the Town Board did not vote on the change in violation of the law. Whoever authorized this change is in significant trouble.

Ed Krauss said...

In the 1800's they hid their cowardly acts by wearing white sheets. Today's cowards use the blodosphere in ad hominem attacks hidin behind "anonymity." These pusillanimous purveyers of barnyard bovine byproduct who attack other anonymous bloggers are just your run-of-the-mill "hit and run" punks. But thse worthy of Hall of Shame induction are the ones who personally denegrate those who feel secure enough to voice their opinions and signing their names.
Althought I'm not an avid, or for that matter, passive blog reader, it was brought to my attention that one of the "hidden snipers" attacked my friend Mike Kolesar. It was an over-the-top attack, bringing in personal information, which for one thing is FALSE, and even if it, orany part of it, were true,has no place in a blog...least of all with an "anonymous" sign off.One should havethe right to face and defend himself against his accuser. Even Joe McCarthy of the "I have a list of names of Commies in my breast pocket," showed his face while ruining thecareers and lives of many, merely through innuendo.
Mike Kolesar is one of the most astute financial analytical minds I have met. He is obviously "employable," because he is employed.He is not sucking up to Feiner for a job, becaue he has one. Besides, is everyone who supports a candidate looking for a job? He worked with Bill Geenawalt because he thought Bill was the better candidate...and he was 100% on the money. At no time did a job in the administration come up, overtly covertly or ESPly.
He was a one-term trustee because when Mike undertakes a task he doesn't do it half-asses, and he was putting a disproortionate amount of time into the job and away from his family. In his makeup, famly comes first, and therefore he opted out. He wasn't defeated, he wasn't asked out by the committee, and had he run would have been elected handily.
Mr. or Ms. Anonymous 8/01/07 @ 12:47 PM I understand way you wouldn't put your name on this bag of fertilizer, but it'a not "discretion is the better part of valor." You can look up that last word because you sure as Hades don't have it in your vocabulary or your makeup.

Anonymous said...

Ed Krauss,I'm happy to see that you too are defending Kolesar .I did that also. What happens if someone speaks the truth about certain wrong doings in this town they are considered quacks. He knows his business and as far as accounting, if his knowledge of accounting was taken into consideration when he first spoke up ,we would not have had all the trouble with the budget.He may not be a lawyer but looking at the goings on in Edgemont the lawyers don't even know the laws as he does.If they knew right from wrong they wouldn't be in the position that they are in today.Mike keep telling us the way it should be,and keep calling during town meetings.You make meetings more meaningful.,with your input.

hal samis said...

I want to first thank Mr. Lasser for weighing in. Needless to say I wish he had taken it further but I see that some bloggers have seized upon some of the points that have perhaps been a little too softly treated.

The word "campaign" I am going to use hereinafter is not per se the
word which describes the competition between Feiner and Berger for the Democratic nomination and eventually the election for Town Supervisor.

"Campaign" as I intend it has to do with the "take no prisoners" and mean-spirited approach to "get Feiner, whatever the price". In high school debating and college philosophy courses, this topic was covered by "do the ends justify the means"?

Now, as most of you know, I am not the poster boy for politeness and respect. However, my recollection of my public comments (either on the blog or at Town meetings) is that I have criticized, mocked, even verbally "attacked" many people in this town, be they elected officials, town employees, or citizens of high public profiles. I believe I have done this while restricted my sarcasm to their role or function in particular issues. I do not recall that I have discussed their non-town issues or personal lives (as is now being undertaken by anonymice) as a lever to force my point down peoples' throats. If I have, I'm sure the team leader or his minions will be back with citations.

But in recent months, perhaps as the September Primary approaches, the level of "personal" attack in the campaign has increased, not only in the posting headlines but also in the content.
These attacks are written by poseurs who post as anonymous or in headlines using the target's name as the entry point. Some campaign people believe that auditors like Google will be dropping by and send these negative postings to the subject's Googled pages.

The attack on Mike Kolesar was the lowest of the low; not only for the reason it appeared (to discredit) but also in its total inaccuracy of content.

If you post on this blog or speak out in public meetings and have some reasonable, if not provocative, issues, in the absence of reasoned disagreement, the team leader of the campaign will employ, either himself or by using a network of foot soldiers, a reply which will try to denigrate the writer. When there is not content or context, condemnation is the only open door.

Now there is no doubt that there are people out there who support Feiner and there are people out there who support Berger and both campaign camps write under the "anonymous" moniker. Although I don't like it and can't stop it, I am not really disturbed by anonymous authors if it nurtures an exchange of opinion -- whatever the viewpoint. What is disturbing is the plan to use these postings as a means to eliminate the competition through intimidation and the underlying "we know where you live" and "we know where your kid goes to school". What's next, a rock thrown through a the computer video screen?

Mr. Kolesar's "crime" was that he had agreed with comments I made about the Bernstein draft agreement. Mr. Kolesar lent credence to the proposition that things are not necessarily what they are made out to be. Apparently this did not go over well in the Bernstein camp.

Some months ago I was characterized as living in a small apartment, not making much money, a question was written about whether I contribute to my son's private school education... All the topics which would have "anything" to do with Greenburgh issues.

On Friday I wrote a lengthy posting on the Bernstein draft memo, on my overview of the political scene and the kitchen sink. This caused a reply in the introduction "Samis off his meds said" on August 3, 2007 at 4:26 PM.
The posting started with:

"The only explanation for this latest lengthy screed from Samis is that he's off his meds. Or maybe it's the fumes from the express bus he's now taking to the city".
And goes on to:
"Why do Samis and Feiner persist in lying like this?"

On another posting I have become a foolish old dolt. I am 62. This type of comment reflects an opinion and it not troublesome.

But what is the comment about "express bus" supposed to mean? It is the writer's way of playing Big Brother and stating that we are watching you.

Thursday afternoon I called someone who I usually train home with, that I had decided to take the Express Bus in August. This same person trains to the city in the morning with Bob Bernstein.

Friday I took the day off and spent a lot of it writing my post.
The only person who knew for certain about my commuting plans is
Gary Rappaport of Ardsley who posts on the blog under a number of differing "names". I know this because we discuss his postings on the ride home. Did Gary (now outed) pass this information on to Mr. Bernstein, I don't know; however the actual comments of the posting support the anti-Feiner campaign party line which has been making the rounds while at the same time defending the Bernstein as draft writer position.

Attacking the opposition on the blog is as old as... the blog itself.
The format of the blog and the prevalence of "blackberries" affords an almost immediate response from almost anywhere. However, I urge that some line be drawn in the name of decency. Comments which are contrary to a position are ok; comments about a writer's personal life are not.

Mr. Lasser, in his tempered manner, discussed a lack of civility, character assassination and outright lying "are not acceptable behavior". Many blog readers are even aware that Mr. Garfunkle is writing reasonable and credible comments. You may or may not agree with them but they do not discuss the details of his
opponents personal lives versus their public lives. In fact, the only questionable postings come from the "get Feiner" side of the table. This leads me to believe that catching the cure has become worse than catching the disease. Perhaps that side of the aisle would do well to remeber "I have met the enemy and it is me".

What needs to be stated, here and now, is a comment from Ms. Berger to distance herself from what is going on. As the benficiary of the support of the "get Feiner campaign", she needs to come out and say like Mr. Lasser that such acts of character assassination are "not acceptable behavior".

For your information, in debates I always argued that the ends do justify the means. A position that would be consistent with SDS sentiments in college.

Am I reversing myself years later?
How to explain advocating chaos at Town meetings?

There is nothing askew. It is the cause the depth of the pond that call the shots. Viet Nam, Iraq and Darfur are not quite the same level as a local Greenburgh election. Speaking out at Town Hall is a reaction to Town Council practice which stacks the deck against the Public but there is no such muzzle on the blog.

With the freedom to use the blog comes a higher set of responsibilties because anyone can use it, as often and long as they like, and even when wearing a mask.
Just because it is so easy to get away with does not make it more permissable or acceptable.

Thus, I repeat my entreaty to Ms. Berger to attempt to reign in some of her supporters -- either on this blog or on her own web site.

Anonymous said...

And I would like Mr. Feiner to stop his remarks which border on lible.

Anonymous said...

The anti_Feiner people have a hatred of Paul. They have become obsessed with his defeat and this has led to unjust comments posted on this blog concerning his supporters. This obsesssive behavior has also seemingly led to the incredible event of having four town council members present at a meeting with the expressed intent of leaving Paul out of the meeting in clear violation of Open Meetings Law.

Hal, I say let the CABAL keep doing their thing. Berger has run a horrible campaign and there is the possibility of the four Town Council members being nailed for their illegal antics. The CABAL is riding off into the ashheap of history. Wish them godspeed!

hal samis said...

Dear 4:19,

Was this also a first draft of your comment?

I know you meant libel but I'm not so sure I understand "borderline".

Is it at all like half pregnant?

Isn't it a song by Madonna?

Please give us an example of what your consider borderline behavior or statements to be. I would enjoy a good laugh and maybe this will top the Edgemont Village Hall joke.

kolesar wrong again said...

Kolesar can't seem to believe that two weeks after a developer slipped Feiner $2,000 for his campaign, Feiner pushed through a zoning change from single family residential to multifamily, which allowed the developer to build 40 luxury rental townhouses in Edgemont.

Had Kolesar been paying attention during those debates on the town's new ethics code, he would have learned that one of the problems with New York's financial disclosure laws is that these contributions don't get reported until months after they are made.

So when Kolesar asks, in vulgar fashion, about the other town board members who allowed Feiner to get away with ramming thought this zoning change, he needs to understand that Feiner probably never told them about the contribution.

Feiner certainly never told the public what he had done. But the public is figuring it out, and pretty soon everyone will know.

hal samis said...

Dear 8:59,
Now let me see if I understand this correctly?

The Town Council were unaware that Feiner got a campaign contribution from a developer and that is why they voted for the zoning change. And that is the reason why there weren't three of their four vote willing to just say no. And the property was in Edgemont?

And all this (the vote) happened in just two weeks after Feiner got the contribution? And the property was in Edgemont?

And the zoning change went from a permitted single family to multi-family permitting 40 units. And the property was in Edgemont? And it happened in just two weeks? And it happened at all because the Town Council wasn't aware of the campaign contribution?

This is funny, not as good as the Bernstein joke about the Edgemont Village Hall, but still funny on its own.

First of all, the property must have been deserving of a zoning change because I'm sure that the members of the Town Council have some reasons to vote for zoning changes; not just to vote against them if they should hear about campaign contributions.

Or was this another occasion when the Town Council was sleeping?

This really happened to a property in Edgemont?
When, in the paleolithic age? Where were the famous Edgemont Civic Associations? When it rains it pours and thus they even have an umbrella, the ECC. Today the Dromore skirmish is over a single family home site seeking to build 37, or three less than 40 units which were born solely from a $2000 campaign contribution and for no other reasons. I really have difficulty assuming that this was just a Feiner blitzkrieg and that the rezoning was accomplished over the objections of Edgemont civic leaders and what must have been some powerful arguments; that the Town Council found nothing wrong with the zoning change and voted for it only because they didn't know about a contribution.

Two weeks? A major zoning change?
There were no public hearings, no planning board discussions, no meeting notices, no public hearings?.

Or did you forgot to say that discussions over the zoning change had been going on for quite some time (a time much, much longer than two weeks) and arguments for and against had been made, that the Planning Commissioner made his comments and the "independent planning board" (albeit advised by a Town staff attorney who must have feared being fired by Feiner) and despite all of these potential voices to just say no, the Town Council joined with the Supervisor and voted to change the zoning.

And this happened in just two weeks after Feiner got his contribution?

And this is why Kolesar is wrong again and you are named anonymous?

Instead of going to the videotape, let's ask Mr. Lasser of Edgemont to drop by.

And while we're waiting for his visit, by any chance, are this year's crop of retreads (Bass and Barnes of Edgemont) who are candidates for office, were they two of the votes in favor of the zoning change -- the inherent virtues of the zoning change so evident to them then but virtues which would not exist had they knew of the campaign contribution?
*****
Eddie Mae Barnes is running for a sixth term which means if successful she will have served 24 years.

Paul Feiner is running for his 9th term? which means if successful he will have served 18 years.

Don't they teach math in Edgemont?

Anonymous said...

The $2K contribution to Feiner was made on March 31, 1999; the zoning change was approved on April 14, 1999. Barnes was on the town board at the time; Bass was not. Feiner picked up another $2K later that year when the development's site plan was up for town board approval.

Both the ECC and the Edgemont School Board were opposed to the Stone Ridge Manor development and tried, unsuccessfully, to get its size and scope reduced.

However, it does not appear from the record that anyone from these two organizations was aware at the time that a zoning change was even on the table.

Anonymous said...

Who is defacing Feiner's campaign signs?

hal samis said...

A zoning change and the Zoning Board, the Planning Board and the Department of Planning didn't know about it? If that's true, then things have certainly changed for the better for Edgemont civic associations. In the current matter of S&R/Dromore, Edgemont knew before the developer left the Town Hall building on his first visit to view the zoning map that someone just asked about the property.

See, writing the opinions for Mr. Stellato does pay dividends.

hal samis said...

Dear 10:17,

No one even knew? Or no one even knew from these two organizations?
Why would the developer need to notify the School Board?

As for the ECC, wasn't anyone across the street (Central Avenue) noticed? In addition to the famous Mr. Krauss, doesn't Eddie Mae Barnes live there too? But she couldn't speak out because Feiner was ramming the zoning change down her throat.

If she could speak, she might have said, "Mr. Feiner let's hold the vote on this matter over until the next Town Board meeting. I don't think that many residents who are being affected by this are aware of the matter. As I look out into the audience I don't see Ella Preiser, Madelon O'Shea, Dave Kreiness, Jim Lasser, Michelle McNally here so I think we should be sure that they have been informed..."

Remember Eddie Mae Barnes needs your vote more than ever.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous on 8/04 at 11:34AM -
While Hal, Paul, Richard and Don won't tell you that Arthur Koestler's classic novel, The Darkness at Noon, should be on your summer reading list, I will. The reason neither Lasser nor anyone else can defend Bernstein, McNally, Sheehan, Barnes, et alia against charges the Town Board met illegally is that no such meeting ever happened. The technique of asking "When did you stop beating your wife" is old and tired, but still workable. And it is being worked very hard by the entrenched, but now frightened, Paulitburo.
Mr. Samis gets angry when someone suggests he's failed to take his medication - and he has every right to be angry, but we all remember what was said. Garfunkel has, at least, been willing to sign some of his less offensive writings, but responding to anonymous critics who have no respect for the truth is tough, isn't it Hal? Dislike the treatment? Then stop fronting for folks who think its acceptable political practice and return to your earlier soothsaying.

hal samis said...

"Have you stopped beating your wife" or the equivalent "Are you a dumb Democrat" are examples of fallicies in construction. Either the yes or the no response yields an indictment.

To the person asked the question in the first example, yes signifies that you have beaten her while no signifies that you still are.

To the Democrat yes signifies that he or she is dumb while no signifies that he or she is not a Democrat.

However all questions asked do not produce a similar situation.

That the named parties met the Developer does not appear to be in dispute.

That the Town Supervisor was specifically excluded from attending as a prerequisite for the meeting is the sworn testimony of the Developer.

That a draft agreement written by Bob Bernstein included a section that invoked "confidentiality" re the agreement's contents is also not in dispute.

That the Developer was instructed, as a prerequisite for the meeting, not to have his attorney present is a matter of the sworn affidavit.

That the Developer was instructed as a prerequisite for the meeting, not to tell Samis about what was discussed, is a matter of the sworn affidavit.

That only the Developer has so far submitted a sworn affidavit is a matter of record. Everyone else's "testimony" at this point is rendered without penalty.

Thus these questions have not been adequately answered. And they are not trick questions. However, since the actual participants have elected to be silent because the Developer has filed a preliminary to legal action, they won't be answered. So, BOTH SIDES of the campaigns have been free to make hay since the sunshine has been blocked by clouds. But what is clear, to all, is that perhaps it would have been better if meetings with the above conditions had not occurred.

Personally, since I wasn't there and had no right to be. I am still curious as to hearing the response of the participants to these questions, noting that the Developer's answers to most of them is already on the record as submitted by his affidavit to the Zoning Board.

Did the meeting(s) discuss willful actions and any expenditure of money by the Town?

Did it occur at the Developer's office in Harrison and not at Town Hall?

Even if only Bass, Barnes, Sheehan, Juettner, Bernstein and McNally attended this meeting(s), wouldn't it have been more convenient, logical and closer to have met at Town Hall where document and employee resources would be available and Town business is usually discussed.

Would any agreements that might bind the Town be more properly submitted bearing the Town as signatory?

Would any discussion and/or agreements that might bind the Town be more properly conducted with the Town Supervisor and Town Attorney's office present?

Does anyone seriously suggest that including Barnes and Juettner on the guest list was essential to discussions which were merely "preliminary" or "tentative" or was there some other purpose for their attendance?

Does the guest list at these meeting(s) take on the "appearance of impropiety" by the avoidance of having the definitive "Town Board meeting?

As I remember "Darkness at Noon", the setting was a trial. If the Town Attorney has advised his "clients" not to respond because of a perceived impending lawsuit, that still does not prevent these "clients" from submitting affidavits. Legally, such affidavits would join the Developer's affidavit in any "pending" legal action.

Thus, the members of the Town Council would be doing now only what they would be asked to do later. Why sooner than later?
Because the Public has a right to know what went on before the Fall elections have come and gone. The Bernstein campaign has filled the blog with Feiner actions even before the Ethics Board has "heard" the case. Why is it any different to ask the Town Council what went on as their sworn affidavits would presumably only reflect the truth.

I leave bloggers to reach their own conclusion.

The only anger I feel regarding the "Samis is off his meds" tactic is that I am accused of lying. It is possible that I could be wrong but I think I have made a solid case. Since Mr. Bernstein has not written a response, those writing as anonymous have not answered any of my questions regarding the draft agreement and thus writing as anonymous it is easy enough to dismiss my case as lies. The questions still remain and the discomfort that only Mr. Bernstein can feel I am sure still remains.
His position is not a strong one when he produced even a "draft" which requires his, no the Town's, signature and includes a confidentiality agreement against third parties (first and second are the Developer and Bernstein) knowing the draft contents. Hardly the posture on one with the intention to deliver a property to a third party, the Town. If the best that Mr. Bernstein could do was put the Town in third place after himself, his designees and then the Town with the word "may" as the basis, then I feel I have put forth a reasonable assessment and this can only be construed as "lies" by an advocate.

My name is Samis. I write often and often support/defend Feiner. That does not mean that we are the same person but the anonymous bloggers hope to discredit any independent thought by linking it to the witch hunt surrounding Feiner. So when I write I use my name. I can only take responsiblity for what I write so it is equally unfair to make me responsible for what others have or may write. Anyone is allowed to question the veracity of any blog comment made by anyone. And I am around to see that unsigned "lies" do not go unnoticed.

As for "Darkness at Noon", when the trail begins, the comparison may be appropriate. But in the blog world where the trial is already in the advanced stages, anonymous comments from posters have hardly the effect that the small screen yields. My comments though are in protest of the level of the attack upon residents personal lives; this does not appear to be the hallmark of the Paulitboro but rather how the Bernstein campaign operates.

Samis and feiner still lying said...

There's absolutely nothing in those draft terms that Bernstein put together that binds the town to do anything.

So why do Samis and Feiner keep lying by saying there is?

All the draft tries to do is make the developer agree in a legally binding way to sell his development rights at a fixed price, so that, if the fixed payment is made by Dec. 15, 2007, as the developer had asked,the town gets the property free and clear, no strings attached.

There's nothing in that draft that requires the town to actually make that payment -- it just gets the property as a gift if a payment is made. The draft doesn't therefore bind the town to do anything.

If payment is not made, the draft says the developer had promised to give the town a conservation easement over 80% of the property. That's what's meant by a gift, Samis, the town doesn't have to do anything in return.

So why, if this was all about giving the town a gift, was the agreement intended to be confidential?

Samis, like Feiner, prefers to traffic in innuendo. One can only assume that Samis, like Feiner, has never bothered to ask Bernstein why the draft included such a provision, and because the Troy affidavit doesn't require any kind of response by Bernstein, Samis and Feiner obviously think they can continue to lie with impunity.

So they spew forth nonsense about a "Bernstein campaign" as if the guy were running for office.

The reason Samis and Feiner persist with these lying tactics is that they are a smokescreen for Feiner's own misdeeds, which involves selling out the town for tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from developers and others who stood to make millions of dollars in return -- and did so.

So why the confidentiality? That ain't too hard to figger.

Just looking at the draft, it says the parties were settling a dispute. Private parties often settle disputes on terms which are confidential.

Here, the terms provide that, as part of the settlement, a third party, the town, is to get a gift of land, either 80% if no payment is made, or 100% if payment is made, with no obligation on the part of the town to do anything whatsoever.

Bernstein didn't need the confidentiality. By getting the Troys to agree to a fixed price at which their development rights could be extinguished, and the town gets the land as a gift, Bernstein looks like a hero.

Apparently the Troys were the ones who did not want their settlement made public. The reason is obvious: if the gift to the town was the result of a settlement, it might not be valid for tax reasons.

Of course, if the Troys were pure of heart and had wanted the terms of their generous gift to be made public, regardless of the tax consequences, they could have responded to the Bernstein draft buy telling him to take out the confidentiality clause.

There's nothing in the Troy affidavit to say they ever did anything like that at all.

Anonymous said...

If the deal was legit Lawyers from both sides should have been present. Bernstein and McNally knew dam well what they were doing with the four council members present. Stop covering up for them. Feiner is being mentioned he wasn't even there. So the cat is out of the basg . The edgemont duo,run Greenburgh.One would have to be stupid to believe that the duo plus four were not at a meeting. We were not born yesterday. Stop insulting most of the residents of Greenburgh and especially the residents,of Edgemont. Put them all under oath and let's see who is the liar.

hal samis said...

Ok,

You got me. But gee before I leave town, where does it say in the draft agreement that this is "in settlement of a dispute"?

It seems your newest reading is based on this premise. So if you are not the great Bernstein himself, where did he tell you it is?

Likewise when you say that it was the Troys who didn't want the draft agreement known because they feared that a settlement of a dispute could toss the tax benefit -- and it turns out that the agreement does not reference such a settlement, where are you in the pecking order of anonymous ball busters?

Furthermore, if the town doesn't have to make the payment, what happens if "someone" does? Either Bernstein or his designees could which would of course not be the Town since the Town isn't going to make the payment. But then how do Bernstein or his designee get their money back if the Town has no obligation. If Bob or his designee were then to make the Town this parcel as a gift, that would certainly be "heroic".

On the other hand, what if Bob kept the "20%" portion and granted a conservation easement over the 80% remaining? Certainly the retained 20% could support an Edgemont Village Hall. And it might also support considerably more.

Any of the language referencing what Troy could do if no one closed on the sale does not survive the gift agreement when Bernstein or his designee become the buyer. If they are the buyer because the Town did not come forward with the bucks (and as blogger says they are not bound to do so) then he who has the gold is becomes the owner.

And then, here comes the interesting part. What is a conservation easement? Does it strip the entire parcel of its development rights less the 20% or does it really mean that the Developer (Bernstein, his designee etc) have the development rights (the buildable footage) assigned the entire plot but that another entity (i.e. the Town or the GNC) can have the "use" of the 80% but that these rights have been assigned and joined with the 20% balance. In such a case, then you would piggyback the total, say 100,000 feet buildable, to just the 20% of the unfettered land.
The conditions and rights that Troy retained if no one paid are only conditions that apply to Troy, the "jilted"seller. Of course this is just my "draft" of the possibilities so don't be too harsh because I can always present another new and improved version.

Forgive me if I have not "asked" Bob the question directly but somehow I think he already knows my issues.

As for the pure of heart Troys, why would they care if the agreement were or were not public? They are getting their money out and leaving Greenburgh forever. It is Bernstein who is staying. Since Bernstein drafted the agreement, why would the Troys care of even want to change this condition?

I don't know anyone's reaction to the draft. For all I know, the map/zoning Resolution changes may have arrived just in time to eliminate the need for any further negotiation.

Of course, there is always that red herring, the invisible ink settlement of a dispute that you are still searching for and won't find.

As for the "campaign" which as you well know is not about Bernstein runnong for office but is instead about getting Feiner, Berger's running for office an after thought. Such a high sense of purpose this "get" Feiner that it tolerates not only the mystery blogger lying but in the same breath, accusing me or even Feiner of lying because our statements don't preserve the blogger's own lie.

This is equivalent to not only the pot calling the kettle black but also depicting the entire kitchen as well.

And with both sides having equal access to the blog, to the media and to Town Board meetings, do you really think that my comments about the Dromore agreement are intended to make all the charges against Feiner disappear? For the most part I have been committed to discussing what it says in the agreement that Bernstein wrote; since Bernstein is not a candidate I don't see how discussing his document drafting will affect the outcome of the election or any charges against Feiner. I think that Bob's team is capable of both dealing with his "mistakes" and their forward push against Feiner.

So fire when ready, Gridley, but please start with locating a "settlement of a dispute" condition in the draft gift agreement.

samis and feiner continue to lie said...

Samis, like Feiner, continues to lie.

Their latest lie is that there's nothing in the draft about it being a settlement of a dispute. It's one thing for Samis and Feiner to prefer innuendo over asking Bernstein directly about this -- one wonders what they're afraid of -- but gee whiz Samis, did you even look?

The draft says the following:

"WHEREAS, at the request of certain residents of the Edgemont School District, including Bernstein, the Town is now considering imposing a moratorium on all further multifamily development in the Central Avenue Zoning District in contemplation of a zoning change which would eliminate further such development as a permitted use in that Zoning District;

WHEREAS, S&R contends that such moratorium, if enacted, would be enacted solely and unlawfully for the purpose of preventing it from proceeding with its planned development of the Property and has threatened to bring suit to enjoin the Town from implementing the moratorium; and

WHEREAS, S&R is willing to settle its differences with the Town on certain terms and conditions."

Which of these words does Samis not understand?

As part of their continued lies, Samis and Feiner also pretend not to understand the part of the draft that says if Bernstein makes the payment, the property gets deeded 100% to the town.

They keep trying to imagine scenarios under which Bernstein gets the property, but the draft is airtight. If no payment is made, town gets gift of 80% according to map. If payment is made, town gets 100%. It's as simple as that.

Samis earlier proclaimed proudly that his philosophy (and presumably Feiner's too) is that the ends justify the means.

Maybe that's why Samis, and Feiner, have such a hard time with the truth.

Anonymous said...

WHO IS BERNSTEIN TO DRAW A DRAFT,ON THIS PARCEL OF LAND WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE RESIDENTS OF EDGEMONT. WHAT OTHER UNDER HANDED THINGS HAS HE DONE OR WILL ATTEMPT TO DO.

Anonymous said...

I must admit I am confused by the lack of a response from the Town Council. If they did not meet with the developer as is alleged in the affidavit, why not just come out and say that. Two of the parties are up for re-election. As a voter it would make my choice much easier. As it stands now I am leaning toward Morgan and his runningmate.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein has every right as a private citizen to try to reach an agreement with a private developer to limit or possibly avoid development which he thinks would adversely impact his community.

Based on his draft, the deal he tried to do would have obligated the town to do nothing and, if the deal had gone through, it would have resulted in the preservation of open space.

The efforts of volunteer lawyers like Bernstein are made extra hard in Greenburgh by unethical politicians like Feiner who has taken tens of thousands of dollars from developers with applications pending before the town.

And, because Feiner is now siding with the developer in this case, there is every reason to believe that if Feiner and his slate are elected, they will compromise the developer's otherwise meritless "notice of claim" by rezoning the property from single family residential to multifamily so that the developer can make millions of dollars.

Feiner's already done this before with respect to another 40-unit luxury townhouse project in Edgemont where he approved a rezone from single family to multifamily after the developer paid him off.

Anonymous said...

Berstein does not represent every household in Edgemont. So where does he get off saying it's for the good of all the people in Edgemont.He has really gone off his rocker,to think this way. The people in that area have been the laughing stock of all of Greenburgh. With his support of Berger that is the icing on the cake, Could it be that he is looking to get a job in Greenburgh. I hope not, At the moment we have four incompetent members,who turn out to be his very close friends that have to be impeached,because of their behind closed door meeting concerning a parcel of land in Edgemont.Please make sure that you cast your votes for Feiner ,Brown,and Morgan

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:02 am- I am not sure whether I should re-read "Darkness at Noon" or "God's Little Acre." Maybe the latter would be more apropos to describing l'affaire Bernstein and the Dromore property. I don't consider any of my posts offensive. I tell the truth and it feels like they're in hell! Old Harry Truman said, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Usually the sharp glow of light has the tendency to open up to the public's eyes the darkness, and expose the mold that has been festering in those dark and hidden places.

Our opponents, on this blog, usually referred to by thinking people, as the CABAL, have been quite active in their spirited defense of the Board, Bernstein and their nefarious activities.

How our poisoned pen opponents seem to know intimately the inner workings and rationale behind the Bernstein-McNally affair, should surprise no one.

My guess is that they are the authors of their silly and anonymous defense. Have the guts to sign your names so all can see the foolishness of your hatred. Bernstein has exhibited hate-mongering, time and time again while he has excoriated the Supervisor throughout the years. He has become the Man of La Manch of Greenburgh in his quest for Feiner's soul Don't give it up, Paul.

After September 18th, I, for one, will savor Paul's victory over Bernstein, and his puppet's defeat, with relish. I will play my usual weekend load of 10 sets of tennis and smile over the fact that if Bernstein ever got on the court for five minutes, he would have to be carried away. Get in shape Bob! Of course Bernstein told the press two years ago that he puts in two, or twenty, or maybe two hundred hours a week in his quest to defeat and destroy Feiner. He would be better served if he got on a tread mill for two or twenty hours a week and extended his longevity for his family.

Stress and anxiety kills. Counselor Bernstein seems too strung out for this type of activity. Let's face it, why is this guy doing all of this. Does he really hate and despise Paul? Most people like Paul. I go around with Paul to many neighborhoods and he seems to be well-liked and appreciated. I know his wife, daughter, sister, parents and his nieces like him.

Does Bernstein have some kind of secret deal out there? Is he really on a crusade to rid Feiner from our midst? Has Paul stolen his family jewels? Or is he the new Mr. Smith Went to Edgemont? Somehow he doesn't seem to fit the Jimmy Stewart mold.

I for one am always amazed by these individuals who are drawn to political and social suicide like lemmings on their march to the sea. All of this heat that has been generated and not any weight lost.

On the other hand, I must compliment some of the others on this blog, especially Hal Samis and Michael Kolesar. I wouldn't kmow Mr. Kolesar if I bumped into him right after leaving the podium at the Town Hall after my excoriating the CABAL. But he seems to be fair, knowledgable, and willing to sign his name.

As for Hal Samis, we have crossed split infinitives many times over the past five years, and I must admit that his knowledge and reasoning, regarding Greenburgh, is second to none. He does his homework, has no axe to grind, and he clearly understands what is best for Greenburgh.

For better or worse, he knows what cannot pass the "smell" test. He knows that the Berger-Sheehan legal contract smells. He knows that Berger knows zero about Greenburgh. He knows she should resign her party post, right on! He knows that she is a puppet of the party hacks and bosses. He knows that she represents no one, and has zero public leadership experience. He knows she has taken illegal contributions from judges.

In fact, she probably wants more expenses for Greenburgh with her ideas about a Town Manager. She'll stay at her law firm about 35 hours per week, and saunter up to Greenburgh every two weeks for the Town Board meeting. There the Town Manager with his $150 grand contract, and little Gil and his package of $50gs+ bennies will give their report and smile all the way to the bank. Tough life, but unfortunately for them, Paul is in the way!

So hurrah to the honest bloggers who give their names and stand their ground. I for one will back with enthusiasm Paul, Kevin Morgan, Sonja Brown and Judy Beville. They will bring new spirit and vigor to the job, end the double-dealings. They will corner and expose Sheehan, so we can get rid of him in 2009.

Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Restore the Paulitburo - make Greenburgh safe for the dictatorship of the proletariat!
Hail Garfunkel! Hail Siegal! Hail Brown! Heil Feiner!!!

Anonymous said...

Does Garfunkel even know what the acronym CABAL stood for?

hal samis said...

Somewhere on one of these topics is a posting where I mentioned that the angry exchange of postings over the draft gift agreement seemed like the blind men and the elephant.

Lo and behold it was almost accurate, except Bernstein and his angry crew are trying to switch elephants instead.
It turns out that Bernstein had also prepared an earlier version of the draft and when the flack started over the draft gift agreement and Bernstein's ship was hit and taking on water, he now goes to the vault and produces the original version.

Of course, Ms McNally in The Inquirer is playing "I don't know nuttin' about babies, Miss Scarlet"

I don't doubt that it existed all along, just wondering why at this late date it is finally produced.

Apparently it always existed but it was not the draft agreement which was an accompanying exhibit to the Developer's sworn affidavit that was given to the Zoning Board. The agreement that I have been writing about. Perhaps the Developer was protecting Mr. Bernstein by not including it; what little I see does not impair the Developer's position before the Zoning Board. Maybe as has been suggested, Mr. Troy does have a pure heart. One might ask, that if Bernstein knew all along about this other draft agreement
-- after all he wrote both -- why it has never been mentioned before until today's jibber jabber about a settlement agreement. Was it just to get a few more rounds of Samis and Feiner are lying? After all, Bernstein knew when the rabbit was scheduled to be pulled the hat.

Thus all of the language that I find deficient in version 2.0 was not at all the substance of version 1.0. In fact, since Mr. Bernstein is so proud of this work, why doesn't he post it on this blog, in its entirety, so we can read along with him.

What was necessary to post so far was to show some reason for the Developer to want to settle and Mr. Bernstein has now provided it.

"Whereas at the request of certain residents of the Edgemont School District including Bernstein, the town is now considering imposing a moratorium on all further multifamily development in the Central Avenue zoning district in contemplation of a zoning change which would exclude further such development as a permitted use in the zoning district."

Bob seems pretty sure of himself and he must feel that he has the support of at least 3 votes on the Town Board to provide this club. A moratorium which affects Hartsdale whether the hamlet wants it or not. Now, trembling upon receipt of this agreement and the grim future just ahead, what did the Developer do? He said take a hike Bob so Bob came returned with version 2.0, new and improved, the one which is a separate and completely independent arangement from version 1.0; it is this version which Mr. Bernstein has finally gotten around to acknowledging its existence.

Why wouldn't he come forward from the start, even accusing the Developer of withholding material?
Because even from the parts that now appear on this blog, I can see some chinks in the Edgemont mafia's armor.

First: the "at the request of certain residents of the Edgemont School District including Bernstein".

If Edgemont is anything, it is only a School District. It is not yet a village; it is not a hamlet; it exists solely as a School District. Now Bernstein could just have written Edgemont but knowing his and Michelle's resumes, if he said Edgemont that would lead people to believe that the various Civic Associations that they are associated with were in support of this proposed moratorium. Had he done that then he would really be nailed to the sticking place. Because this was never a vote or adopted position of any of the frequently mentioned groups that they claim sponsorhip from. So he makes do with a vague "certain citizens" and apparently this is enough of a mandate for the Town Council and Mr. Stellato because they actually start the ball rolling toward this farce's debut.
But the moratorium later stops dead in its tracks once the threat of Dromore appears neutralized, but that's another story.

But what this partially posted "settlement agreement" really brings to light is that Mr. Bernstein, having eaten his wheaties, apparently feels that he has the power to bend the Town Council to do what he wants and then doesn't disguise waving this blackjack in front of mere supplicants who are expected to cower, back off and sign this agreement.

Is this some game of liar's poker or does Mr. Bernstein really go around citing the Town is in his pocket and that if you don't do what he demands, then you're going to buying Trouble.

Who in Edgemont or Greenburgh, for that matter, has awarded Bernstein this title, official power broker.

And as 7:48 writes, if not by the great one himself, if the "notice of claim" is meritless, then why not have the Town Council, indeed also Bernstein and McNally who should be looking to clear their besmirched names, all of them together submit their own sworn affidavits -- before the Primary.

Don't worry that is not about to happen so fast. There remains a little script supervision that still has to be perfected. Like explaining how they just appeared at the Developer's HARRISON offices on TWO SEPARATE SATURDAY'S but weren't all in the same room at the same time. They just went for a WEEKEND DRIVE and managed on their own to end up at the same place at roughly the same time. And, if so far, there are now two gift drafts (got more, Bob?), how many rewrites of "who was there with whom" are circulating?

Since busy Bob was churning out all sorts of paperwork in lieu of the Developer's attorney doing so (after all his attorney was prohibited from attending so he got to play golf instead), then did Bob have agreement from both parties, the Developer and the Town to be represent both sides as their Counsel? "Hey, don't bring your own attorney, I'll handle it for you". BAR Associations love this kind of talk. Even those Associations that hear tales about borderline libel?

So until I can read the latest addition to the collected worse of Bernstein, I'll stick with my assessment of the draft gift agreement that I did see. A paper which does not persuade anyone that at the end of the day, the Dromore parcel absolutely had to be conveyed to the Town and that Bob or his designees could not end up as the buyer.

And Mr. Lasser, since I now assume that you were aware of this earlier draft, are you going to remind us that this too is only a draft and, if so, what do you call the draft that I was discussing: another draft or a revision of draft 1.0 or more work in progress.
Neither 1.0 or 2.0 is Mr. Bernstein's best foot forward.

And who gave Bernstein the right to represent the Town, even if, as claimed, it was not an official Town Board meeting? And version 1.0, is it like 2.0 -- an agreement to be excuted by S&R and Robert B. Bernstein?

Why not fax a copy Tuesday to Heather Murray so she'll have time to catch this week's edition.

Still lying about Samis and Feiner?
Try the "nobler than Caesar" routine on for size, if Greenburgh is out of stock in you size, I'm sure it can be special ordered.

Anonymous said...

I think you have your salutation of Heil going in the wrong direction. That title should be and is Sheehan. He is the dictator of Greenburgh,or haven't you noticed.

Anonymous said...

Since anon 8-6/9:40 asked, here are remarks I made to the Board 3 years ago.

I am sure that the record will show that it wasn't Paul Feiner, or his supporters that started the character assassination, the mud-slinging, the baseless accusations, and this era of political rancor. I walked into this five years ago, and experienced this Greenburgh version of the Circus Maximus first hand.

Now of course some of the players have left the stage. Others have become bored, others have wised up, but there are a still a few left of these "Band of Brothers."
Like the CABAL of old they are a "not so secret" group who are known on this blog as "Anonymous" and they spread their venon where ever they can place their bite.

But since anon asked, here is the answer to whether I know who were the original members of the original CABAL.

Remarks given at the Town Board meeting for the Town of Green burgh
By
Richard J. Garfunkel
April 28, 2004


Hello my name is Richard Garfunkel, a resident of Tarrytown. Over the last year or so I have had the pleasure of serving on the Greenburgh Parks and Recreation Advisory Board as an unpaid volunteer, not unlike all of the other volunteers who give their service to this Town and other municipalities.

Also I have had the opportunity to re-acquaint myself with the political process after a lifetime of involvement in the City of White Plains. Over the past year, or so, I have attended meetings at the two Town Halls, which have served Greenburgh, and have learned a great deal about this town and what makes it function so well.

One doesn’t need to take a 9th grade course in Civics to understand the need and function of government, and what differentiates good government from bad government. Good government provides services, keeps one’s taxes as low as possible and listens to its constituents, all of its constituents. It has to be creative, has to keep up with the times, and it has to be practical.

But for sure the people’s business should be done in an “open forum,” and I am assured that it is being done in an “open forum.” Citizens of this town have had great accessibility to petition their government and they do.

But what I have been noticing of late is a concentrated effort by a small cabal of politically motivated obstructionists who have taken advantage of “open government” and have made these meetings into a “circus.” The term Cabal originated in England during the reign of Charles II. It was a secret group of advisors, known only by their initials, Clifford, Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington, and Lauderdale. Unlike that Cabal, these people are well known, and they are not a secret and they are certainly not advisors, but rather obfuscators and negativists.

Today’s cabalists have their own agenda of carping criticism, which manifests itself in long-winded, self-serving nit-picking diatribes against the town’s elected government. In other words, the election campaign never ends, and for these folk it goes on, and on and on.

Like the classical allegory of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, in dramatic lore, known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction, and Death. Here, in a metaphoric sense we have our own local Horsemen: jealousy, avarice, slander, and bellicosity.

No matter what the issue, no matter how profound the conclusions are, this cabal continues to rail against the purchase of Town Hall, the purchase of Taxter Ridge, and numerous other issues that should be considered “old news.” As an example, the sale of the old Town Hall site, will bring in immediate revenue, help defer the costs of the library expansion and bring in a continual stream of well-needed tax revenues every year. But, this is not good enough. It is never good enough for this cabal. The debate over the library expansion is healthy, but being fiscally responsible is also healthy. I ask is this cabal is really interested in the library? Is this cabal really interested in the Greenburgh Nature Center? Is this cabal really interested in Taxter Ridge as a preserved “open space” buffer against more out of control development? Is this cabal really interested in cable television access? Or it is really interested in a political agenda of obfuscation, interruption, delay and character assassination. Meanwhile, speaking of Taxter Ridge, I was over at the “special” Town Board meeting on April 3rd, in the Tarryhill Recreation Center, and I watched an enthusiastic overflow audience come out to celebrate the official “opening” of Taxter Ridge Park. There was uniform praise for the farsighted view and effort of the “Save the Ridge” committee, headed by Mr. Danny Gold, and great full credit to the Greenburgh Town Board and its Supervisor Paul Feiner for their wisdom and skill in negotiating the purchase of Taxter Ridge and their thoughtfulness in understanding its critical importance. I also ask where were our new Greenburgh variety of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Where were they to protest and object? Where were they to carp and complain? Why didn’t they rear their critical heads?

I have been listening to this Cabal rail about local cable access television for two years now. I have spoken to Mr. George Malone, who is in charge of the technical aspects of the Cable local access system. He has assured the community time and time again, that they all have had ample opportunity to be tutored and instructed in the art and methodology of putting on programming. Personally I am convinced that they really have no interest in programming.

We have members of this cabal who spend their evenings, and it seems every waking free hour pouring over tapes and transcripts looking for some type of smoking gun. We have a legal wizard looking for some conflicts of interest and some other conspiracies. We have others who want to spend $75,000 of the taxpayers’ money on their own cable studio to assuage their vanity. We have another member of the cabal who parades around interrupting and yelling from the audience. What also astounds me is their ability to delay the people’s business. Their only agenda is a political one, and certainly not one of good or open or responsive government. I urge all of you who are interested in the workings of good government to come here to the next meeting and to see in live living three dimension the real political side-show that we must all constantly endure. One can readily understand why people of good motive and talent shy away from getting involved in government. Who would want their character and motives to be smeared constantly with this ongoing barrage of hatred?

Remarks given at the Meeting of the Greenburgh Town Board
By

Richard J. Garfunkel
5-12-2004


My name is Richard J. Garfunkel, a resident of Tarrytown, and a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Here we all are gathered again. Its is our next chapter of the bi-monthly Kabuki dance of political theater by our regular players, This Cabal of political malcontents shows its toothless grin, not unlike the a jack-o-lantern meant to scare the smallest of children. Not unlike the apocryphal “bad penny” that turns up unexpectedly, these Cabalists are back with their boorish rapidity. Of course, when this meeting was at Town Hall, their usual playground, they had their full team on the floor. It was political guerrilla theater at its best when these Apocalyptical Horsemen spewed forth their dire warnings and threats of conspiracy and malfeasance. But at the last meeting on April 28th, at the Highview School, far away from their usual hunting ground, and in front of strangers, regular citizens not used to their antics, in a neighborhood that had legitimate concerns; the venom of their usual bite was tempered. No one really cared about their tired insipid tirades about Town Hall or the cable studio.

Town Hall is a marvelous reality, which will stand to serve as a beacon regarding and symbolizing excellent planning and forethought for into the future, when the dust of these Cabalists is long forgotten. Of course local cable access is another “smoke screen” issue for this group, and it is obviously available for their vaudeville act when they get it ready to go on the road. But, in truth, all of Greenburgh is waiting for their “See it Now” programming. Maybe the Cabal will go back in history to re-enact Henry IV or Richard the Third. The public pines with desperation to hear these closet Walter Cronkites or Ted Koppels bring exposé after exposé to the waiting public ears. Of course this cry for access to public cable is not unlike Cato, whom Plutarch often quoted as saying “Delenda est Carthago” or “Carthage Must Fall.” Of course the real meaning of this Cabalist refrain, which like Cato, who added this mantra to the end of all of this speeches, is really politics and more politics. This tagline about cable access is their hypocritical attack on real “open” government. Their sign off always serves to remind us how deprived they really are. Of course they think by making a mockery of the public’s time and turning these important meetings into a recreation worthy of the circus maximus, they can win what was lost at the ballot box!

Of course, many of us are not entertained by these lothario wannabes. These Cabalist conspirators do not entertain us and we will not be intimidated by their distortion of the facts by their promulgation of half-truths and their feeble attempt at intimidation.

As Aristotle said in the 4th Century BCE, “Liars when they speak the truth are not believed.”

Anonymous said...

Garfunkel - as usual you are silent on feiner's westhelp fiasco/scam and unethical campaign contribution practices (some now outlawed with feiner kicking and screaming all the way in opposition).

funny how white plains seemed to have improved once you left. maybe its time you did greenburgh the same favor?

hal samis said...

If you mean by White Plains has improved by hosting all kinds of high rise buildings (which are fine by me) and other new construction, then try and sell that view to your fellow residents.
Please report back with the results of your poll.

I'm sure that Edgemont, for one, will be eager to court similar multi-family development projects.

While White Plains represents a city which is entirely at the mercy of developers, you can continue your napping, happily knowing that your Town Council is always there to protect you.

It only took three votes for Avalon Green to pass. How many did they actually get?

Probably the same number that will agree to LCOR.

Concerned citizen said...

Are there going to be any debates between the two candidates for supervisor. I have not heard a peep from either candidate.

Anonymous said...

Anon-Moron 11:02

I thought I described the history of the CABAL, and its current class of malcontents and low-lifes quite well. I sold a very large house in Prospect Park and enjoyed White Plains for 33 years. All cities go through changes, some good some bad. As to my time there, I think we did well, my son went to Princeton as a EE major, was at the top of his class, a lettering runner, and was on Westchester's top academic team for four years. My daughter did quite well also and works for the Kennedy School at Harvard. So I'm happy, married to a great gal for 38 years and will be on the winning side on September 18th.

As to You Anon-Moron 11:02 keep on banging your head against the wall.

Richard J. Garfunkel

garfunkel out of control said...

Is it true that Garfunkel, Feiner's campaign manager, was actually caught on tape threatening and otherwise trying to intimidate the chair of the town's Ethics Board if the board were to issue a decision against Feiner before the September 18 primary?

Garfunkel is supposedly heard saying things to the Ethics Board chair like "you're gonna be history after January 1, you know that don't you?" and worse.

Rumor has it the threats took place outside town hall after the last town board meeting, the one where Garfunkel organized Feiner's supporters and running mates to heckle and shout down anyone not supporting their "team."

It's disgusting that Greenburgh politics comes down to low-life behavior like this. Feiner, it seems, is as bad as they get.

Anonymous said...

10:58==Who was present when you overheard this supposedly remark. First of all what you are saying is hearsay. In other words it's BS.Your hatred of Feiner and his assoc. is pretty bad. PLease go to the doctor before your condition gets worse.

Anonymous said...

It's getting close to the primaries and boy the lies will be flying all over the place.Everyday a new story arises about the supervisor. What a shame. Do the Feiner haters think that tey can change the way the people would be voting. Heck no.The more lies that one spreads arround Greenburgh the stronger the vote will be. You see there are a lot of residents who are pleased the way things are in Greenburgh and especially with the supervisor.We do have minds of our own.

Anonymous said...

Garfunkel should know who was present when he threatened ethics committee chair Mike Sigal the way he did, but either he's in denial about it or, more likely, he was so angry when he made the threat that he just wasn't conscious of everyone who was outside town hall at the time and could see and hear him.

Let's see if Garfunkel himself denies the charge, or at least "explains what he really meant" when he said those things to Sigal.

hal samis said...

It would be nice if Greenburgh were in the United States where accusers are asked to identify themselves. Instead of doing so, they want Garfunkle to incriminate himself?

Personally, I think the Ethics Board should not WANT to be around in January. First for allowing their "name" to be used for a Sheehan authored product and second for having to work with this inferior and loophole ridden set of laws.

A new Greenburgh first: a new set of laws of which the amendments and corrections will exceed the draft that was accepted.

Eddie Mae Barnes has made one correct call so far this year: that was to be on vaction when the laws were passed at the "needed" Special Town Board Meeting.

$30,000 a year and her best work is being away from Greenburgh.

Remember 6 terms for Ms Barnes is 24 years in office. 9 terms for Feiner is 18 years of office. Where does the Town Board want to draw the line?

Anonymous said...

A Sheehan authored law is not what the residents of Greenburgh wanted. This man Sheehan has made Greenburgh what he wants to rule in the future,and we are letting him take over.
Samis you are so right in your writings. Too bad they are not printed in our local newspaper,so everyone would see for themselves what a sneak and crooked person Sheehan really is,in company with the other three members on the board.
We could get rid of two board members with the coming election,and hopefully the other two will resign.

Anonymous said...

Garfunkel could always deny having threatened Sigal, but then there's the problem of all those people who heard him do it, and the possibility that one of them had his or her tape recorder running --and therefore can't wait to hear what Garfunkel has to say on the subject.

Of course, threatening people he doesn't agree with is what Garfunkel does. He did it in White Plains to keep out lower income African Americans and he's doing it here. All one has to do is read his hysterical rants about this cabal he keeps posting to see that.

Feiner should be judged by the company he keeps.

hal samis said...

Dear 4:07,

Anonymous of course!

What I read is that you and your ilk have taken to bypassing the "threatening" and gone directly to slinging mud without any proof. Typical behavior for those who don't have to bear any responsibility for their comments.

What is your proof that Garfunkle tried to keep out "lower income African Americans" from his neighborhood.

It so happens that I grew up (years 1-22) in White Plains on Soundview Avenue about a 1/2 block from where Garfunkle lived -- although we didn't live there at the same time -- and take my assurance that the area would not be affordable (I'm talking single family homes on acre+ plots) for "low income" of any persuasion.

So save your charged charges for those without any capacity to judge hate mail when they read it.
If you don't like Garfunkle, why do you persist in "walking in his footsteps"?

Because if you're judging Feiner on this basis, then everyone else is has grounds to judge the opponent Suzanne Berger the same way. If she permits the mud, then she needs to wash off as well.

Anonymous said...

Samis conveniently forgets that the story about Garfunkel's efforts to keep low income African Americans out of White Plains was reported in the New York Times back in 1995 in discussing Garfunkel's group, "White Plains Foremost." His bad behavior then, as now, is a matter of public record. He, Samis and Feiner are all cut from the same cheesy cloth.

hal samis said...

Samis conveniently remembers and if he forgot, one of your ilk posted it on the blog a week ago.
What I noted then (thanks to the poster's introduction) and please feel free to post it again was the absence of anything in the article
that supported your thesis. Yes the New York Times does write articles, did the New York Times write an article that supports your conclusions? No.

On the other hand, maybe White Plains needs to change its name because people like you might think that the entire City is against low income African Americans.

Take your two hands out and count on your ten fingers how many low income African Americans live in Edgemont just to add another dimension.

Or is this just another walk on the blog like in "Annie Hall"
Alvy walking with Rob
"not, did you, didchoo eat? Jew? no, not did you eat but jew eat?

You write what you are predisposed to write, it doesn't require the truth and that is not righting but wronging.

Anonymous said...

Again I remind the anonymous CABALISTS who contribute to this blog, that I am having Paul Court on my radio show tomorrow morning. Paul Court is the lead history teacher at Mount Vernon HS. It is at MVHS where I cordinate the Jon Breen Memorial Fund that has raised $30,000 in scholarships for MVHS students, who happen to be mostly (about 90+%) minority students. I also serve on the MVHS College Scholarship fund, and have supported minority programs and efforts in White Plains and my old home town for many years. I can recall raising money for Charles Evers on the streets of White Plains, being asked to be Harry O. Bright's campaign manager and I ran and won a Democratic primary for alternate Delagate to the mid-term Democratic Convention with an African-American running mate. I have been on Mayor Ernie Davis's radio show many times, and I have been a close personal friend of Randy Forrest (the Dean at Woodlands for 25 years) for 46 years. I would like one of you anonymous louts to tell Jim Finch, the Commissioner of Public Works of MV that I am a racist. I am sure he would give you a piece of his mind.

My record on civil rights and civil liberties needs no defense. Our Prospect Park neighborhood/White Plains Foremost Association was supported in its efforts by blacks (Fenton Solis, is one name that I remember) and whites and it was aimed at SHORE, a group which had a history of mixing religion, real estate and block-busting. Census track 87, which I believe that my home was located, had the highest percentage of tax exempt real estate usuage in White Plains and possibly Westchester, with nursing homes, assisted living facilities and homeless shelters. No one in our group ever expressed, or opposed, any existing facility and when I moved into Prospect Park, I knew exactly where I was moving. In fact for the previous nine years, I lived across Route 22 in Battle Hill, which was a totally integrated neighborhood. I would say a helluva lot more integrated then the neighborhoods where the CABALISTS crash. My children attended White Plains HS, an integrated high school and did quite well. White PLains houses a disproportion amount of homeless, 90% from other communities, and I still believe they need relief for the school burden. I thought that then and I do today. I called for communities like Scarsdale, Bronxville, and other areas, which did not house homeless people to contribute to White Plains' burden.

Anonymous accusations of racism are ugly and that is why I have spent this time ansering them. Usually no one should bother dealing with sheet-wearing anonymous mud-slingers, but I don't mind telling the truth.

But race baiters seem to be prevalent in the anti-Feiner campaign.

Speaking of race-baiters, here is a note that I wrote Suzanne Berger about your buddy Francis Sheehan!

April 28, 2005

To Suzanne Berger and the Greenburgh Democratic Town Committee:

On May 26, 2005 you will be faced with a very important decision. You have the power to designate candidates for the position of Greenburgh Town Board Member on the Democratic slate in the upcoming election. This is a powerful and important position, as that person represents one of five votes and is responsible for setting policy, overseeing services and taxes and maintaining the overall well being of our town. The person you designate is not only the face of the Democratic Party, but if elected, represents all residents of Greenburgh.

Last night, April 27, 2005, at the Greenburgh Town Board Meeting, Mr. Francis Sheehan, a candidate for the office of Town Board accused Mr. Don Siegel of being a racist. Many people, including the signers of the letter, witnessed this accusation. Mr. Siegel challenged Mr. Sheehan to repeat his "slur." Mr. Sheehan demurred and attempted to "bait" Mr. Siegel into a "low-level" exchange of charges.

We believe that this type of behavior is not only antithetical to the principles of the Democratic Party, but clearly demonstrates that Mr. Sheehan lacks the qualifications to be a member of the Town Board. Will he behave this way to residents of the town if he was elected? Would his election make for a cohesive Board, prepared to move forward in a spirit of open mindedness and cooperation regarding the many serious issues facing the town, or will Mr. Sheehan engage in this type of behavior of character assassination? This is not a political issue. The accusations Mr. Sheehan made are serious. We believe that he does not deserve the designation of the committee.

The Chairperson of the Greenburgh Democrats should institute an investigation of his conduct immediately. In this day and age of race sensitivity, Mr. Sheehan's conduct is abhorrent and irresponsible. We are asking the Chairperson and the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party to ask Mr. Sheehan whether he did indeed made this spurious and uncalled-for attack and personal insult to Mr. Siegel. If he made this statement, he should apologize immediately, and withdraw his name from any consideration for the designation. These are not the ideals that the Democratic Party represents.

Regards,

Richard J. Garfunkel
Jason Gooljar


Of course this letter was signed by Jason Gooljar, who is non-white, and myself.

It was a well-known, well-witnessed incident that involved Thelma Washington, Eddie Mae Barnes, and numerous other particiapants regarding Paul Feiner's right to appoint Deputy Supervisors. Sheehan attempted to fan the flames of an incident, which had nothing to do with race, into a racial conflagration, and Berger, who was a witness went along with his actions.

Let the chips fall where they are, and take off your sheets and get them washed, they are full of mud!

Richard J. Garfunkel

scary man garfunkel said...

After reading these posts by garfunkel, im more convinced than ever that the sooner he leaves greenburgh, the better we all will be. i am not alone. garfunkel scares people.

gaffe-funkel gaffes again said...

ha ha
gaffe-funkel the democrat and campaign manager for feiner who is running his own political party - united greenburgh or something sa absurd