Thursday, August 30, 2007


The Town Board authorized a contract for Hartsdale book watershed and flood study in the amount of $60,880 at the Town Board meeting on Wednesday night. It's my hope that the study will identify ways to reduce the possibility of another major flood on the Ave. Many businesses were out for months. The town, Hartsdale parking district, Scarsdale golf club, apartments, businesses must work cooperatively on this problem. The study will identify causes of the spring flood and come up with recommendations. It is expected that the study will take about 20 weeks to complete.


data not drama said...

In the meantime, are the grates being cleared on a regularly scheduled basis, and have the current pipes been thoroughly flushed clean?

Jim Lasser said...

Dear Mr. Feiner -
The study is a good idea - especially if it will pinpoint areas in need of improvement.
Will you promise that when the recommendations are delivered that you will budget for and/or actively support a referendum to bond whatever capital construction is necessary to alleviate the shortcomings of the current system?
Will you further promise to include in your annual budget sufficient funds to perform all advisable maintenance in a timely and complete manner?
Finally, will you promise not to substitute your own plan for that of the experts to whom the Town is paying a professional fee?
Failure to answer an enthusiastic "YES" to each and every question above renders the hiring of the experts moot - and makes it both a fraud and an incredible waste of taxpayer money.

Jim speaks said...

Dear Mr. Lasser,

Will you promise to ask your fellow edgemont civic leaders Bernstein and McNally to come clean regarding their Dromore Road Activities?

Will you promise that the members of the edgemont civic association will never again take part in engaging in land acquisition discussions which could cost Edgemont taxpayers money without first consulting with those taxpayers?

Will you promise to call for the members of the Greenburgh Town Council to give us a full accounting of their Dromore Road activities under oath?

Failure to answer an enthusiastic "YES" to each and every question renders the concept of being a respected civic leader moot.

data not data said...

To Jim Speaks: I know you're trying to be funny, but understand that Mr. Lasser is asking for something that Mr. Feiner, as the town's CEO, can choose to control, whereas Mr. Lasser is not the CEO of Edgemont. Especially due to the expense involved for this consulting venture, Mr. Lasser's questions/expectations seem quite fair.

I'm still wondering, though, what physical labor has been done since April in regards to this situation. I'm not asking for any controversial opinions, assumptions or such, just the facts: What, precisely, has already been done?

Anonymous said...

And will Feiner stop having discussions and making decisions that actually cost Edgemont AND Greeenburgh money? Forget a conversation that "could"?

feiner needs to update email / blog site said...

dear Mr . Feiner I am glad you included the Golf course as the creek runs mainly on there side of the property. They should be the ones who pick up most of the cost. Please I know this is hard for you to do but KEEP US UPDATED ON THIS IMPORTANT SITUATION. Do not let it go like most of all lf your other posts.

Jim Lasser said...

To 4:24PM -
Thank you for affording me the title of Edgemont leader - but I think you credit me with far more persuasive powers than I possess. I can no more control other members of my community than you can - the difference is that I am not uncomfortable with that while you seem to crave simple absolute answers. I have none to offer, and don't trust them when they are proffered. My request of Mr. Feiner is somewhat rhetorical, but goes to the heart of my discomfort with the way the Town of Greenburgh is run. Knowing what needs to be done is important - and the study will hopefully provide a framework. Doing it is another matter - and my opinion is that too often the choice has been to not spend money because it would be politically inexpedient. As others have noted, we are the second largest municipality in Westchester - but we conduct our civic affairs as if we were Mayberry RFD. I think we can do better - and if we want to do better we need to hold our elected officials accountable.

Jim speaks said...

Dear Data Not Drama
I grant you that Mr. Lasser's questions were appropriate.So are mine.As a long term established civic leader in his community,Mr.Lasser is in a unique position to ask the right questions and hopefully get some answers.

Paul Feiner said...

I am committed to do what needs to be done so we don't have another catastrophe on the avenue. I am not an engineer. I look forward to implementing sound recommendations presented by the firm we retain.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Paul. There you go Jim, service returned and its a winner for Feiner!

Now, what will YOU DO to get your Edgemont bretherin to tell their side of the Dromore Road story????

Jim Lasser said...

I am very pleased Mr. Feiner has committed to doing whatever is necessary - and I hope the community will vigilantly hold him to his promise.
I do not view this as a tennis match or even a debate where scoring points matters. Rather it is a matter of our elected officials doing what they have been elected to do. The resources required to solve the problem are greater than those available to the folks immediately effected - and it is a legitimate exercise of government to raise the necessary money across the broader tax-base and make those resources available.

I will do nothing - including posting on this or any other blog - for several days. I am going to have some surgery this morning which will put me hors de combat for a while.

Best of luck said...

Best of luck Jim on your surgery. It was you who started the tennis reference when you stated:

Jim Lasser said...
Which returns us to the original question I posed to Samis and he volleyed back over the net.

Anyway, get well soon and we'll start up again when you make your "return."

hal samis said...

To Mr Lasser upon his return to "service",

Jim: A study is underway. Presumably ways to eliminate the problem will be "unearthed".
However, not knowing where the source of the problem lies, not knowing the solutions, not knowing the costs...taken together these are a lot to ask the Town Supervisor to promise to cure before he knows what is involved in the remediation.

If the study is required, then I presume it is needed precisely because of a need to provide this information.

What you have requested is unreasonable. Your reason, no doubt, is to forestall inaction but still the method of your choice is to request a commitment for follow-thru but one not unlike guaranteeing payment for both the horse and the cart before checking the balance in your checkbook.

What if the source and the solution to the problem are on private property? What if the cost is upwards of $_________?
You are asking for the promise to cure without first knowing the extent of the problem.

Sadly I see that your collaboration with the Bernstein movement to get rid of Feiner has caused you to leverage your credibility which is diminishing because of postings like this.

But what is of greater concern is the message that this sends to those who read between the lines.
Edgemont is all ga-ga over the Town's funding of a new Comprehensive Plan and the attendant "studies". I have always viewed it as a waste of dollars, not only because what land remains left to develop are only a few parcels but because it is really, underneath the costume, a very expensive route to provide Edgemont with new Town Zoning barring residential development along Central Avenue.

Apparently in Edgemont, if you go to the trouble and expense of a study, then you must do something thereafter to prove that the was justified. In the case of Hartsdale Center, Feiner MUST guarantee that the problem be solved because the Town Board has committed the dollars to find the answers.

You see when it suits your purpose, you seize upon my observation "just three votes". When it doesn't, as in TOWN BOARD AUTHORIZES HARTSDALE AVE FLOOD STUDY, then it is just Feiner.

And the need to embrace studies, regardless of their conclusions or consequences, is what is behind the Comprehensive Plan studies. Edgemont already "knows" that the conclusion will be the one that it provides the Planning Commission and Town land use Czar, Francis Sheehan.

That's why it is good to be on record as early as possible to say that studies must be acted upon.

When the Edgemont Village runs the help wanted ad for their own Village Manager, I'm sure the copy will include under desired qualifications: "individual willing to commit the Village to implementing all conclusions from undertaken studies".

I think that following Bernstein & Company is going to prove to be a tremendous loss of face for people whose opinions used to be taken seriously. Your latest posting needs some serious rewrites.

And lest I forget since the field of battle has shifted away from another blog topic. When you (Jim) opened the door for an "anonymous" visitor to come to the blog to attack Danny Gold, you did so knowing that this is based entirely upon speculation. Being aware, that the Trust for Public Land does not have to disclose their dealings, allows anyone to make hit and run comments because they have no means to prove their allegations. I know that the Trust for Public Land is a real estate broker and receives commissions for executing land sales designed to comply with tax avoidance gimmicks. But lacking any means to connect Mr. Gold with these riches is just not "cricket" when leaked upon this blog. I'll admit that I would just love to see it proven as I opposed the purchase which had limited benefits town-wide while being paid town-wide. But it is reprehensible behavior to vent these thoughts on this blog and it follows in the footsteps of those who have performed similar cowardly attacks upon Herb Rosenberg, Mike Kolesar et al.
UNSUBSTANTIATED character assassination in public has become the stock in trade of those hiding as anonymous who see as their targets anyone who has ever made any statement supporting Feiner.

Loading the gun with bullets as you (Jim) did and leaving it just outside your door just doesn't stand up to the test of decent behavior or non-complicity.

And for those of you who don't know what I am referring to, see the blog post "Democracy in Greenburgh" or whatever it is labeled, the week of August 19/20, somewhere near the bottom third of the comments.

Anonymous said...


Feiner needs to update email / blog site moe often said...

Thanks Mr. feiner for updating. care to go for two in a row? Does anyone have any idea about what's going on with the Old Barnes and Nobel? i just drove by and they're painting the out side orange. Also treasure Islands windows are half covered up with brown paper. Any update will help.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner is not a real estate broker.If your so interested in the property, why don't you stop buy and check it out.
You seemed to be obsessed with vacant properties,maybe you could get a real estate license to put your mind at ease.

feienr neeeds to update email / blogsite said...

I know Mr. feiner is not a Real estate broker but he puts out emailss about the following:Bank moving into old Mobil station on Central avenue, Meeting with Toby Ritter, Starbucks moving into gaseteria, and maybe one or two other's. Does he ever update or follow up on these emails or Posts? the answer is obvious!! Hardly ever.So the next question is Why make the posts or emails if you're not planning to update the public on these issues?

data not drama said...

I don't think Mr. Feiner should be handling real estate matters. However, as he does choose to inform us of some plans, it's logical to expect follow-up regarding progress and/or outcomes.

For example, his May 18th announcement about the Gaseteria/Starbucks and other interest in commercial vacancies along Central Park Avenue generated 36 comments - pro, con, related, somewhat related - but the topic fizzled away five days later with no follow-up.

Again, I don't think real estate development is the job of the Town Supervisor. Yet, if Mr. Feiner chooses to inform us (of whatever the matter may be), either 1) inform completely, 2) hold aside the topic posting until more complete information is available, or 3) provide regular progress-outcome updates. When none of those three things are done, it tends to frustrate the audience.

Personally, I'd like to know what has evolved with the Starbucks-Gaseteria, as well as what emerged from that "great meeting" with Toby Ritter (July 6th).

And, by the way, I'm not anti-Feiner. I simply have expectations regarding basic communication standards.

Anonymous said...

"When none of those three things are done, it tends to frustrate the audience."

It also makes the audience question the sincerity of the original post.

feiner needs to update blogsite/ emails said...

Hi everyone out there in Mr. Feiner's reading corner. I would like to update everyone on a post that Mr. update supervisor put on this blog site back on Feb. 01 2007
Yes 7 months ago dealing with Mickey's hot dog stand on Jackson Avenue. If you're interested where the hot dog stand is now located it's by the Getty gas station Next to Charlie Browns In Yonkers on Central Avenue Sorry I know this is not on the topeic of flooding but I had no idea where to post this update since our beloved and dependable supervisor updates us on all or most topics .LOL.

hal samis said...

It is always nice to know that the Supervisor has friends who read his blog for "news".

Before newspapers shrunk in size, that's what they used to be responsible for.

Like the person who just added the follow-up to the Mickey's hot dog story, the blog is a work in progress and perhaps more people would add information to the mix and not just use the blog to criticize.

If Feiner spent all his time writing news updates, he would be reasonably criticized. What he does is introduce topics and lets the public respond on what is of interest. Since there are so many anonymous writers in Greenburgh, it would be a fair assumption that they each have a little piece of news to contribute to the general weal.

data not drama said...

"If Feiner spent all his time writing news updates, he would be reasonably criticized."

Fully agreed. Yet, if you choose to start something, be prepared to follow through with it. And if someone asks you a straightforward question on your own blog, you need to answer it.

The Supervisor certainly doesn't need to be a fulltime blogger, but it doesn't seem like "open government" when information is only partially shared (i.e. the "great meeting" and Gaseteria-Starbucks) with no follow-up by its author.

hal samis said...

Date DND,

It must be nice to be so certain of everything. Not unlike famous attorney. One might even think that there are laws when none exist.

Consider the "law of the blog" in which the Supervisor is required to answer. Maybe those who are so concerned about these matters would do well to "call the Supervisor" which was a state of action that always existed even before the blog. Of course that might require some real effort versus shifting from topic to topic to voice criticism on this blog -- the existence of which is not so shabby in the open government department.

Or one could go to Berger's website and......

feiner needs to update blog site/emails said...

Here is another update from a blogger but not the town supervisor who refuses to update most blogs he posts. Barnes and Nobel being painted orange and black to become a Haunted Halloween castle.

data not drama said...

"It must be nice to be so certain of everything."

I am confident that a CEO of an organization with hundreds of employees and over 80,000 customers should be expected to demonstrate professional communication skills in any forum she or he chooses to utilize.

Anonymous said...

This "call the supervisor" is not the way to run the Town. We need the same rules and the same services for everyone, not just the people who complain, or whose complaints are worthy of the supervisors response.

hal samis said...

Dear DND,

And which of these corporations communicate to their publics directly, daily?

Have you not heard of the fields of endeavor known as Advertising (controlled communication by purchasing time or space in media) or Public Relations (controlled communication dependant on media cooperation).

If you feel such need to bolster your "confidence", then request at the 2008 Budget Hearings that the Town allocate money (your taxes) to engage the services of such professionals.

Perhaps you should return to posting data and leave the drama to named writers like myself.

Paul Feiner said...

The barnes and noble building will be used for 2 months as a halloween store. the colors will not be permanent

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Mr.Samis,
The comments on any blog topic are realy a drag without your knowledgeable input..

data not drama said...

"And which of these corporations communicate to their publics directly, daily?"

Again, I understand your point. However, as the Supervisor does make the choice to do so, it should be done in a professional, complete manner. No special allocations for communications professionals are needed; I'm just talking about elementary expectations for anyone in a corporate or municipal manager's role.

hal samis said...

So what you're saying is that if he introduces a topic, he should stay with it until it is over.

And if something else comes along that may be of interest to constituents, he should stay with it until it is over.

And if something else comes along that may be of interest to constituents, he should stay with it until it is over.


Or, like the vaudeville routine, you could just pay the two zuzim.

data not drama said...

Yes, exactly. If the Supervisor makes the choice to introduce something, it's just natural that the audience would expect updates and responses to questions. And, when applicable, provide a conclusion.

Three examples of introduced topics that have just been left hanging:
- How are the contracts coming along with the fire protection districts?
- What's the timeline for Verizon to comply with its Town contract to make cable TV service available in all sections of Unincorporated Greenburgh?
- What decision was made about the Town renting the Woodlands fitness center?

These are just some of the blog postings that are of interest to the everyday citizen - particularly when the Supervisor chooses to introduce them on his blog - that have just been left hanging.

hal samis said...

You are a student and your term paper needs to be finished. You intend to go to the Library so that the reference room librarian will help you with your research. While having breakfast, you hear on the radio that the Library is closed for "mechanical repairs".
What do you do?

1) You don't hand your paper in, explaining to the teacher the situation at the Library.
2) You look elsewhere

Feiner is not running a research bureau. He introduces topics and information as they happen or are brought to his attention. He cannot follow every topic through to the end or that would become his entire job.

It is still possible for interested everyday citizens like yourself to get the answers to those issues which you are interested in.

One way would be to contact the appropriate Town Department and not wait for it to report to Feiner and then Feiner posting it on the blog. Are they still playing "telephone" in kindergarten at your school?

Fire District contracts and most other contracts are handled by the Town Attorney,Tim Lewis and his staff.

For specific performance under the Verizon contract you should contact the Town Clerk, Alfreda Williams (suggestion: try after 1:00 in the afternoon) who handles these franchise matters. Or you could try Francis Sheehan, member of the Town Council. As these Council positions are not full-time and they may not be readily available, Mr. Sheehan has an aide, Gil Kaminer, whose job it is to find the answers for the Council members and the Public. Mr. Sheehan, you will remember, took credit for obtaining a much better Verizon contract than the one that Feiner would have accepted -- so I suggest that you take the matter up with Sheehan directly. When you do speak to him, ask what benefits have flowed to residents from the increased competition and the really great deal he negotiated.

As for the Town renting the Woodlands Fitness Center, I suggest you ask the people running the School District or Gerry Bern of the Parks and Recreation Department or even, the Town Attorney.

Or you could always call the Supervisor, perhaps you have his number handy? If not, you can visit the Town website and go to the "contact" link and email your questions directly to the appropriate Department.

And if all this fails to produce the answer to your concerns (frankly, none of these matters interest me in the least but you have every right to pursue answers), there is always the old fall back position of appearing in person at the Town Board meeting and asking the Town Board your questions during public comment. And if you can't attend, you can always call in by phone from home during the meeting.

When I was in school, I think the best thing I was taught by my teachers was not to wait for the answers to come to me but to go out and find them. It is always easy to sit back and wait for the answer to come to you but a good education is one which teaches the student how to get the answer just in case you ever leave home and your mommy isn't around to answer your questions.

For someone who represents that they deal in data, your constant whining, gimme this, gimme that has all the appearances of drama.

I don't think the Town needs or wants a Supervisor who spends all his time on the blog playing "Ask the Answer Man". It is enough that he introduces topics and generally residents respond abd provide input which leads to the answers you seek. You yourself have posted information for the benefit of fellow bloggers.

Finally, sometimes issues take a long time to conclude and there is no news on even a weekly or monthly basis.

In case this is a new thought, you might also ask your mommy why even newspapers and television news format shows don't follow their stories to the end.

Now be a good boy and try and collect some serious "data" and we'll talk again.

data not drama said...

Wow, Mr. Samis, you are so defensive and over-protective of Mr. Feiner. I don't think you can see this, but your response above - in content and in tone - makes him look even weaker.

I'm done with this blog topic, but I'm sure we'll meet in another section soon.