Monday, September 03, 2007

GREENBURGH DEMOCRACY-WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 2 --post your comments

This blog is about a year old. During the past year the blog has seen more than 97,000 visits!
Post your comments about town issues. My guess is that we will reach the 100,000 mark this week.

215 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 215   Newer›   Newest»
not with paul said...

Im not with paul. paul said he would serve 8 years. paul now wants 18 years. paul lied. im not with paul.

Anonymous said...

Question for Steve Bass:

Today's lead story in the NY Times , details the increasing chaos in Darfur.

As you know, the solution to this problem has not been solved yet by any of the World Powers or the UN. You however, boldly introduced a resolution in our little town hall.

In light of the unfortunate escalating problems in Darfur, what leadership can our community count on from you in this time of need?

Anonymous said...

Kaminer has confessed to Town employees.

There is not three votes currently to "investigate" this threat.

The investigation of the event and whom on the Town Board told him to make it may be moot if Team Feiner is elected. Mr Feiner has stated that one of his first actions if elected with his slate is to elimninate the Kaminer political patronage position and the $80,000 in wasted taxpayer dollars inappropriately spent on the position.

Anonymous said...

Whatever Paul said many years ago was said and forgotten.
Tell me how many times have you changed your mind along the ways of life.
How many wrong decisions have you made that you are sorry for today.
He's happy with this position,which I must say he's done a great job.
Yes he did have a few set backs since Sheehan took over town hall but that, to will be changed.
I'd rather have Feiner for another 18 years than to have Berger for one day followed by Sheehan.
We know what we have, but believe me what's waiting in the wings is a total disaster to happen.
Feiner,Morgan and Brown all the way.

Anonymous said...

WESTHELP has become the standard battle cry whenever the heat gets a bit too hot for the oposition.

Illegal town meeting with developers....blame WESTHELP.

Traded land deal for Edgemont town hall (in other towns it might be called extortion)...........blame WESTHELP.

Kaminer threatens a woman superintendent..........blame WESTHELP.

Bass, Barnes, Shenhan, Jutner unable to tell the taxpayers what happened with Super Bob's meeting ............ blame WESTHELP.

Williams trying to keep her part time hours at full time pay.........blame WESTHELP.

Yes boys and girls, the mere mention of the magic word "WESTHELP" is like the good old get out of jail card free in Monopoly.

Anonymous said...

Right on 8:37 the truth will finally come out on this blog as to whom Kaminer confessed to,and who told him what to say [Sheehan].
They cannot hide what took place anymore because the people are getting fed up with Sheehan and company.
If I were Kaminer I would be looking for another job before the November election,and maybe with some luck Juettner and Sheehan would resign.PEACE AT LAST.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Team Bernstein is so interested in getting an Andy Spano led takeover of Greenburgh?

Any clue as to how the political payback will accrue to Sheehan & Bass?

Anonymous said...

Watch it, Bass will blame Feiner for the chaos in Darfur.

Anonymous said...

No need for Sheehan & Jutner to resign, if Paul's slate prevails.

With just three new votes:

The unethical ethic laws will be overturned, and perhaps used to prosecute any town board members that may have tried to extort land fom a developer for an additional town hall; Kaminer's number will be retired; Super Bob will be limited to his 5 minutes and nothing more; the waste of the bogus library expenses will be corected.

And whomever is ripping down all the "I'm with Paul" signs will have to live with the fact for the rest of their political lives, that illegal acts just don't cut it in Greenburgh anymore.

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:55 pm,

I'm sorry to correct you, but I think Bass might try to blame WESTHELP, for the problems in Darfur first.

Anonymous said...

Mr Samis come on back to us. I will like your input on some of the comments before I make an attempt to answer.You have called every shot so far,with precision.

feiner needs to update blogsite/emails said...

Yes Mr. Feiner 97,000 visits and comments. But the Question is How many percent have you anwered and responded to? I would say under
5 % and i think I'm being generous.People have asked you to update on the conditions of the drains in Hartsdale, Starbucks Moving into gaseteris, the greeat meeting with Toby Ritter, The bank moving into the old Mobil Station and Never or hardly an answer.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Mr. Feiner take a leadership role regarding roadway maintenance in Unincorporated Greenburgh.

The neglect of the Central Park Avenue median strips is a well-known, multi-year embarrassment. And for the first time in over a year, this weekend I drove on 119 under and over 100A, and wow, what a disgusting mess! Yet, for both locations, it's such a simple fix: weedwacker and street-sweeper.

It doesn't matter whose responsibility it is - town county, state. It's a negative reflection directly upon Mr. Feiner if he doesn't have the ability to make a few phone calls to direct that this work be done by whomever is responsible. And even if it is not the town's responsibility, I wish that Mr. Feiner would care enough about Greenburgh's filthy appearance to direct the town highway department to just do it anyway.

Are there other locations around Unincorporated Greenburgh similarly neglected and similarly a poor reflection on Mr. Feiner's leadership capabilities to get routine municipal expectations met? While I'm no Berger fan, I just can't bring myself to say that "I'm With Paul" when such everyday basics are neglected.

Anonymous said...

9:56 when Feiner gets his license to sell realestate he will answer your questions. Read on the blog where an engineer was hired to study the flooding problem.
As far as the other places that you are interested in, maybe they are still in the talking stage and there is nothing to report.
So for the time being,keep cool until the plans get passed the talking stages.If you can't wait that long walk arround to the businesses and see if they have any answers for you.

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:14

What makes you think that Feiner has not had talks with the head of the DPW to clean up the mess that you speak of? If the job is for the county to clean up we do not have the option of having our men do the work and then try to recoop the monies from the county.
It's not a simple task when there are different governing bodies involved.

Don't you think if Feiner could have cleaned these areas he would have done so? Central Avenue is a State Road. Greenburgh CAN'T do work there. Doing work on a road that another Government has responsibility for would create significant liability issues as well as union issues. It simply can not be done unless there is a contract in place to perform those services.

Greenburgh can only be criticized for not maintaining Greenburgh roads.

Anonymous said...

"Central Avenue is a State Road. Greenburgh CAN'T do work there."

Actually, for basic maintenance like the medians, that's not true. Greenburgh can't re-design intersections and such, but the Town is legally permitted to do basic weedwacking and street-sweeping (and more if it chooses, i.e. like Yonkers and Mount Pleasant opt to do on their state road medians). Otherwise, if Greenburgh prefers not to do so, regular requests need to be made to the State DOT by Greenburgh Town Hall (with a lot of following up).

Similarly with County Road #78, the eastern end of Ardsley Road, the Town is legally welcomed to sweep up the accumulation of trash and debris along the median barriers down the hill to the BRP if it so chooses. Otherwise, regular requests need to be made to the County DOT by Greenburgh Town Hall.

Doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense, but that is the way it works.

Paul Feiner said...

I requested the Town Board to clean up state roads earlier this year but the other members of the Town Board turned me down and did not want the town to assume responsibility.

westhelp - another feiner hoax said...

Westhelp - a scandal involving millions of town dollars given away by feiner is a serious matter. The state found all the reasons feiner gave for this illegal gift were bogus. A vote for feiner and his slate is a vote to continue this giveaway. No wonder Garfunkel never mentions Westhelp in his rants.

Sheehan Constantly Violates Ethics said...

Sheehan needs to be brought up on ethics charges right away!

1. He ordered Gil Kaminer to threaten the school superintendant, violating her 1st amendment rights under the US Constitution.

2. He initiated a pay for play with Suzanne Berger, securing a no bid contract possibly worth up to a million dollars for her law firm in return for her financial and political support. It must be noted that Berger supported Sheehan, A REPUBLICAN WHO BECAME A DEMOCRAT ONLY TO SECURE PERSONAL POWER. That does not say much about Suzanne Berger!

3. He violated new york state's open meetings laws by meeting with devopers at the behest of Edgemonters Bob Bernstein and Michelle McNally.

4. He was cited two years ago for lying about Kevin Morgan's record.

5. He has now violated new york state campaign disclosure laws.

Anonymous said...

Ed Krauss did not go to Andrew Jackson High or run track. I sat along side him Millard Fillmore Tech in Carnarsie. We were both in the auto shop class. Ed drove a 1947 Hudson and after school he was drafted into the infantry, shipped overseas, and worked in shop maintenance in Kuchi, South Korea. I assume he is the same Krauss who lost his hair when the base was hit by friendly fire napalm attack?

Anonymous said...

Poor Ed. His hairpiece looks like a pelt from some small animal. You would think an Edgemonter could do beter than that.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:56 You finally got an answer concerning Barnes and Nobel.I did mention to you that when Paul received an aanswer to his inquiries he will give you an answer.Patience is a virtue.

Anonymous said...

Paul can not accomplish what is necessary to make Greenburgh a better place to live.With Sheehan at the head of the clan Paul is outvoted in whatever he tries to do.
There's only one answer to that, first the primary and then election day,
FEINER BROWN AND MORGAN.
Paul tried to get the roadways cleaned but was outvoted by the Sheehan clan.
The four council members are at fault with a lot of work not being done properly,So please get in touch with Sir Sheehan with this problem.Put the blame where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

Dear 7:28 am :

Feeling the heat?

Throw up WESTHELP, the univesral defense mechanism.

Pathetic effort.

Stop blogging and return to ripping down the "I'm with Paul" signs. That might make you feel better.

hal smis said...

Dear Edgemont homeowner seeking whacking,

You don't want your prospective buyers to come to Greenburgh from Yonkers, in any case.

Tell them to take the Bronx River Parkway and get off in Scarsdale, much more impressive and you can have them drive past the Teen Center as well.

Or you can go to the blog topic regarding the proposed study for North Elmsford flooding where an anonymous poster complains that he doesn't want a penny of his taxes spent on studies or remediations that would be the proper responsibility of the the State or Federal government.

Or, see if Spitzer sponsors a blog and, if so, you can post your complaints there. I'm sure he has staff which can weed out the wheat from the chaff.

Cleansing this blog of minutia is long overdue.

feiner is a disaster said...

Westhelp is just the tip of the feiner iceberg sinking greenburgh.

from the taxter ridge mess to the ignoble webb field wall to the inadequate insurance to the decay in municipal services to the white lies to the anything for a press release mentality to the move by the villages to leave town to the investigations into his unethical campaign practices - all of this can be laid at the feet of the past his shelf life dupervisor.

and feiner just wont stop lying about the bryan cave contractor or edgemont incorporation. feiner has nothing new to say (how could he after 16 years on office) so he just repeats his mantra - bernstein bernstein bernstein.

but feiner cannot answer the detailed charges made by bernstein against him regarding his unprecedented taking of money from those with applications pending before the town.

no does feiner deny that a victory by him and his slate will cost the town millions by his eagerness to fund the illegal WestHelp deal on a no accounting for the use of the funds basis.

feiner still has refused to return the money he took from chase caro to his victims and feiner still takes money from the town's so called independent auditors.

and lets not forget- feiner promised he would serve 8 years - now he wants 18! enough is enough.

wants to know.... said...

Can anyone please tell me how this has come about and why this is not questioned?

1)Edgemont rec receives money from the town to run its programs. (this in alone is bothersome)

2)Edgemont rec makes large donations to both their school district & the scarsdale teen center.

Explanation please. Why is unincorporated taxes going to support these programs?

Edgemont Village Incorporation said...

The June 2005 Report To The Community on Village Incorporation lists Bob Bernstein as being on the Governance Committee. CHARLES McNALLY is listed as the Chair of the Economics Committee. Paul is not lying about Edgemont Incorporation. These people have been after it for years. Bernstein started this process in the Fall of 2003.

feiner's nose is growing again said...

outside of a few folks in edgemont, incorporation is going nowhere - thats why feiner is lying about incorporation

the other lie is that there is nothing illegal about incorporation

thats why feiner is a liar

feiner's fibbing said...

here it is 4 years later (after 2003 when mcnally was on this so called committee) and incorporation is not even on the drawing board

so why does feiner keep talking about incorporation (which berger is opposed too also!)

hal samis said...

Why I'm not with Suzanne
(A series in multiple parts)

I shall admit that I was, on first airing, dubious about the hiring of the law firm that she works for (not herself a partner and that itself a question) and saw it as a non-issue. I even tried to convince Bill Greenawalt that it lacked traction.

As time went by and I realized that it wasn't going away, I looked into it further and the telling moment became Ms. Berger's defense, at the CGCA "debate", of the awarding of the contract, absent interviews. Suzanne said that the interview process was unnecessary because everyone already knew the other bidders and that "her" firm was known to the Town from its work on a previous assignment.

That statement, unfortunately, is not how the world operates in the field of competitive bidding. Each job is a "new" job and the process is repeated. Perhaps it could be speeded up by a "no material change in ownership" or the appropriate in-kind stipulation, but still there remains a respect for how the process is managed for all other and those who are "unconnected" applicants.

Suzanne has claimed that her position as the Chair of the local Democratic Party chapter is the equivalent in administrative experience to the office of Town Supervisor. Needless to say that I disagree with this but for this discussion let me attempt an "apples to apples" comparison.

In the process of selecting Democrat candidates for office and for choosing among these candidates, the Democratic committee (remember, Suzanne is the Chair) conducts "interviews" of those applying. The meetings of the Party are open to registered Democrats and I have attended several. but if you haven't already figured out where I am headed let me put it clearly.

Everyone voting already knows the candidates.

Why would Feiner and Greenawalt and Berger have to be interviewed by the Greenburgh Democrat Party?
Why didn't Suzanne as Party Chair with this administrative background at her disposal just say that these interviews are unnecessary because everyone knows the candidates?

And whereas everyone DOES know Feiner, Greenawalt and Berger, does everyone really "know" a large law firm with changing partnerships?

Suzanne's answer that there was no need for Bryan Cave LLP to be interviewed as per her "debate" answer really means:
how well do we really know Suzanne?

Lacking a platform with specific insights, "I'm not Feiner" is not even submitting to an interview.

Conclusion: Bryan Cave should have been interviewed by the Town Board. Town staff were used to do the preliminary vetting but Town staff do not do the actual voting.
Without this necessary staff being followed, the "appearance of impropriety" was registered and those members of the Town Board who accepted campaign contributions from Berger own the Town an explanation.

I was wrong. The issue is not an easily disposed of as Suzanne would like voters to believe.

Perhaps, albeit after the Primary, Mr. Sheehan would like to allow a Public Hearing on the matter so that he cannot stack the deck speaking on the matter while being protected from Public rebuttal.

Anonymous said...

Let's see................

Super Bob wants a gift of land from a developer, in exchange for favors from the majority of the town board (if there is a legal or ethical term for that type of transaction, please let us know) on a legal form not created by the Town's Attorney.

Do you think that Edgemont wants to create their own Nature Center too?

Get real, label "incorporation" any way you want. Parse and spin, parse and spin. Are you the only one who doesn't get how transparent you really are?

Everything about the meetings with the un-authorized Town Board members without the Supervisor, developers and un-authorized civic leaders smells as bad as the new rotten Ethic laws.

Time for the truth. Who is really lying now?

Anonymous said...

For those of you who think Edgemont incorporation is a thing of the past, let me tell you that Bernstein and McNally have told several people that if Bernstein wins the lawsuit he will be delighted and if he loses the lawsuit then that means that he will be able to mount a successful Edgemont village campaign, and therefore it is a win-win situation.

Maybe some people in Edgemont have given up, but Bernstein never gives up. He lives for this, and he has the obsessiveness to pursue it. And he has friends in Edgemont.

Beware. And watch for the court's decision.

questions formr samis said...

question #1 for hal - what stopped mr feiner from conducting any interviews?

he didnt because either he agreed with the assessments of his staff or he is just incompetent or was too busy issuing more press releases.

question #2- are their any problems with bryan cave's work?

feiner, bernstein and incorporation said...

but does bernstein have the votes?

to date, edgemont incorporation has received very little support.

and lets not forget what caused the lawsuit - feiner's foolish purchase of the unnecessary "park" known as taxter ridge. so if incorporation gets a lift- its due to feiner's heedlessness.

hal samis said...

Dear questions for:

Between now and the Primary you shall be witness to lots of shorter writings by me. Re your question #1, wait for why "I'm with Paul".

As for #2, what exactly did Bryan Cave do? I certainly hope that no one hired them, or any law firm, to negotiate terms versus seeing that what was agreed was formalized in a proper legal manner.

But in an evasive manner, you take care not to respond to my comments that Suzanne has no valid ready answer why interviews were not conducted. And the issue is not whether Bryan Cave is capable but whether they were awarded their contract in a manner consistent with how new contracts are bid and awarded.

So if you want new material discussed deal first with what is already before you.

I'm thinking you have found your defense stymied.

Anonymous said...

"so if incorporation gets a lift- its due to feiner's heedlessness"

Exactly

So if other parts of the town do not want to see Edgemont incorporate, they would be well advised to vote for a supervisor who will try to think things out, not push untested through with bullying, etc.

feiner making it up again said...

first - hold your breath - exale when you get answers to the following questions for mr feiner (as hal didnt know the answers)

what stopped you from interviewing bryan cave?

what questions would you have asked?


better exhale now - feiner has no answers

do you really want two more years of this?

SUPER BOB'S OWN WORDS said...

In My View: Edgemont may need to incorporate

By BOB BERNSTEIN

Recent efforts to discredit the Edgemont Village Exploratory Committee report on Edgemont's incorporation are a needless distraction from the central issue, which is whether to incorporate at all. As residents of Edgemont will soon discover, the reasons for incorporating become more compelling every day.

For one thing, the Midway Shopping Center is demanding tax refunds from the town that could cost Edgemont taxpayers millions of dollars. Specifically, the owners of Midway have filed tax certiorari claims which would reduce their assessment, lower their taxes and, if successful, force Edgemont taxpayers to cover as much as $5 million in back taxes.

Instead of protecting Edgemont's interests, the town seems inclined to favor a quick and generous settlement - thereby forcing Edgemont's school board earlier this summer to hire its own outside counsel. In addition, the town has stopped enforcing zoning code violations at Midway, and the town attorney has informed Edgemont Community Council president Michelle McNally and myself that unless Edgemont residents go along with that no-enforcement policy; the tax settlement might cost Edgemont even more. Some people think that kind of "shakedown" is illegal; and if it isn't, it ought to be.

Other prestigious school districts in Westchester are part of villages that employ their own tax assessors. Edgemont does not have that protection. As a result, Edgemont is at the mercy of its commercial property owners and whatever the town chooses to do.

But after three years of double-digit school tax increases - and with the latest crisis over possible ramifications of the Midway tax certiorari - there are a number of us who believe that, if assessments continue to be left to the town, Edgemont's "crown jewel" - its school system - may no longer be able to afford to support itself or to provide the high level of education that it is known for nationally. As a parent and a homeowner, I've got a long-term interest in getting this problem solved - and incorporation may be the answer.

But the problem is not just with assessments, but with our quality of life as well. In order to accommodate zoning changes needed for the Greenburgh Health Center to build a facility on Knollwood Road across from the old town hall, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner favors changes to the zoning code that would allow state-regulated methadone clinics, abortion facilities, STD treatment centers and other outpatient health facilities to open up "as of right" - and not just there, but in existing storefronts and office space along Central Avenue in Edgemont and along East Hartsdale Avenue in Hartsdale - in close proximity to schools and residential areas.

Edgemont residents were understandably alarmed. As a result, McNally and I submitted an alternative in the form of written amendments to the zoning law that would have permitted such use only on a "case by case" basis. We also excluded Central and East Hartsdale avenues because of their large residential components. The planning board, consisting of seven members, only one of whom is from Edgemont, rejected that approach by a 4-2 vote.

But what made the situation even worse for Edgemont residents is the fact that the chairman of the planning board, who lives in East Irvington, refused to allow the Edgemont proposal even to be circulated to her fellow board members. Yet the chairman of that board had no problem meeting privately with the health center's lawyer, who happens to have been Feiner's leading fundraiser.

While some might find it distasteful, there's nothing wrong with their meeting as I understand this sort of thing goes on in Greenburgh all the time. The lawyer in question is a well-paid, and obviously well-connected, lobbyist. But thumbing one's nose at Edgemont in this fashion is inexcusable. If Edgemont were a village, we would have our own planning board and wouldn't have that problem.

Significantly; and predictably, Feiner's running mate in this year's election, planning board member Kevin Morgan, did not even show up to vote. And Arnold Laubich, who once warned on these pages that incorporation might result in adult bookstores opening on Central Avenue, knew all about the situation - we told him - but he never publicly uttered a word in opposition.

One can only hope that the independent members of the town board - Steve Bass, Diana Juettner and Eddie Mae Barnes - will fix this grievous mistake before Feiner's zoning changes get written into law. The health center doesn't seem to have a problem with our proposal, but overturning the recommendation of the planning board, no matter how ill conceived and ill considered it may have been, won't be easy. If they fail, the real losers here will be the residents of Edgemont, providing further proof that the cost of incorporation may well be worth the price.

And what is that price? We concluded in the EVEC report that the anticipated cost to an Edgemont resident with a $30,000 assessment would be about $1,000. That amount would cover the cost of a village hall, a new police headquarters, a community center and a pool. That cost, about a 5 percent increase overall in our property taxes, would be on a par with what taxpayers in Greenburgh's existing villages currently pay.

We also concluded that if the town were to shift 100 percent of the costs of Greenburgh's parks and recreation facilities from the unincorporated area to the town as a whole, the cost of incorporating would increase to about $1,630. However, we also pointed out that there was uncertainty as to whether this would happen.

Laubich stated in last week's Inquirer that the EVEC report "makes clear" that unless I "lose" the appeal of the ruling in my favor on the Taxter Ridge Park allocation, the resulting tax increase will in fact be $1,630. That is not accurate. The appeal is limited to the Taxter Ridge tax allocation, which is a tiny fraction of Greenburgh's parks and recreation budget.

Indeed, Greenburgh is taking the position that even if the ruling on Taxter is correct, it can lawfully charge only unincorporated Greenburgh for the rest of the parks' budget because of an exemption in the law for parks receiving federal funds. Taxter, by contrast, was purchased without federal funds. While that position may be a stretch for Greenburgh legally, it may well be a position that Greenburgh will have to live with, for better or worse, should Edgemont incorporate.

The author, a lawyer, is president of the Greenridge Civic Association, and has formed a post-EVEC committee to work on incorporating Edgemont as a village

more feiner fabrications said...

and in the two years since that piece, is edgemont any closer to incorporating?

no.
thats why edgemont incorporation is another fabrication by feiner.

The Village of Edgemont said...

Dear 3:53

In the two years since that piece, Bob and Michelle have certainly been plotting, now haven't they????? Could it be that the illegal Dromore Road Meetings were a way to jump start the process of Edgemont becoming a Village?

incorporation of edgemont - old idea said...

how could that be possible?

the property was going to be deeded to the town.

for your information, the issue of edgemont incorporating precedes bob and michelle appearance on the scene by about 40 years

feiner has no record (other than a poor one these past 2 years) so he is running on this phony issue.

facts on incorporation said...

NY Times of January 22, 1967 had a story about the referendum on edgemont's incorporation

edgemont incorporation - very old idea said...

I read the article. Apparently incorporation had been discussed for the 20 year period before 1967!

Anonymous said...

Wow. 40 years of this nonsense. Can't Edgemont get it together?

Anonymous said...

Dear 4:09

"the property was going to be deeded to the town."

Really?? Not if you read what Bernstein wrote. Had the Troy's caved in to the Sheehan/Bernstein position, the property was going to none other than Super Bob.

Anonymous said...

Dear 3:44

Great Post!!!! The amount of postings in a short period of time demonstrates that you have scored a direct hit on the Bernstein/McNally crew. Keep up the good work.

edgemont incorporation - phony issue said...

huh? feiner was caught lying about the edgemont incorporation issue, an idea that goes back at least 60 years.

incorporation is not taking place anytime soon, if ever.

but feiner keeps raising it. its a phony issue from a phony career politician.

all quiet on the feiner front said...

still waiting for feiner to tell us what questions he had for bryan cave (and why he didnt interview them.

hal - hope you exhaled.

Anonymous said...

For: 1:05 and 1:57 PM Anons
If you had any doubts about the illegal meetings over Dromore Road, then read into Bernstein's recently posted diatribe. I note He stated, and I quote, "nothing wrong with their (Feiner and the health center's lawyer) meeting..." That seems to me a justification of his alledged, exploratory meeting with the Board and Richard Troy over the Edgemont land grab. (Troy's paraphrased statement, not mine!)

For those who doubt that he wants to incorporate Edgemont, read his own words. It certainly leads credance to the Troy affidavit regarding his wishes to build a village hall. Any doubts now?

Of course, Mr. Bernstein accuses Supervisor Feiner of favoring methodone maintenance clinics, abortion clinics and adult bookstores as new tenants for Hartsdale. Maybe he acquaints herroin and the "right to choice?" He seems to lump them together. But that isn't new. In 2005 his allies posted the accusations at the Hartsdale RR Station, and his friends Sheehan and Juettner accused Paul's running mates as being soft on "choice." The ruling of the Fair Campaign Practice Board quashed that lie!

Now Supervisor has a "slush" fund ala Richard Nixon, and the push pollers equate Kevin Morgan with George W. Bush. What's their next level of campaign slander and smear?

So Bernstein says that the "reasons for incorporating become more compelling every day."

I say to whom? His math seems out of whack. Some bloggers state that the incorporation issue has been around for decades. If it wasn't compelling for decades, how come now? Maybe "Super Bob" Bernstein has his own agenda, not yet revealed. Even his math seesm out of kilter also. He's already adding thousands to each household, but all of that won't reduce the impact of school taxes, (65%)on the average homeowner. Ff he drives out the commercial interests from the "new" Edgemont, the taxes will skyrocket. The bottom line is that incorporation will hurt badly the average resident of Edgemont with no discernable tax relief or benefit. The cost of a village hall, a court house, a police department, the staffing, the benefits, the insurance will add another level of government and bureaucracy. Of course the impact will be devestating on Fairview and other parts of Greenburgh. But what does that mean to the "liberal" Bernstein, "let them eat cake!" Why should he pay for the Young Facility? He doesn't use it. Maybe he won't pay his Federal taxes because he doesn't use the Abrams tanks in Iraq!

Besides all of that daunting news, if his suit wins, taxes on the villages could go up 300%. No one denies that!

By voting for his puppet, Suzanne Berger, and her slate, Greenburgh will be in his hands to manipulate.

Its all there for you to read. It is his justification of the meeting with Troy, the Board, McNally and himself. He wants Edgemont independent, he wants a new town, he wants Greenburgh reduced to nothing and destroyed, and he wants Fairview to sink in its own pool. Nice!

Richard J. Garfunkel
VOTE FOR FEINER,BROWN, MOPRGAN AND BEVILLE!

Anonymous said...

"Besides all of that daunting news, if his suit wins, taxes on the villages could go up 300%. No one denies that!"

To which I ask,

1. If his [Bernstein's] suit wins, doesn't that mean he was correct?

2. Aren't we talking about 300% of the Town taxes on the villages, which is a very, very small piece of their taxes?

3. If Bernstein is correct, shouldnt Feiner have thought about this before he pushed the acquisition of Taxter Ridge?

Bernstein is baaaaad said...

I live in a village. My town taxes are now $200. An increase of 300% would mean that I would pay $800 in town taxes -- not chicken feed -- for a park and recreation system that I have no use for and for which the Finneran Law says the village residents should not pay and which are supposed to be restricted to unincorporated area residents. Except for parks bought with federal grants, for which everyone pays.

The reason we have the problem is that the town has violated the residency restriction without asking the villages, and Bernstein wants to parlay that into making the villages pay despite the law. And he talks about law, this person who sneaks into secret meetings and negotiations to get property on Dromore Road.

Anonymous said...

" ... but the other members of the Town Board turned me down and did not want the town to assume responsibility."

Thanks for the follow-up, Mr. Feiner. Then could someone from Town Hall call the State DOT to get the work done?

Anonymous said...

"You don't want your prospective buyers to come to Greenburgh from Yonkers, in any case."

Wow, that's a pretty snobby thing to say. Plus, I really appreciate that Yonkers DPW doesn't stick to the fuzzy boundary lines; they've done great work in taking care of our neighborhood streets in southern Greenburgh, so I'm very pro-Yonkers. When my youngest graduates from Edgemont, I think I'll move two streets over for lower taxes and higher quality services while still living in the same neighborhood. Greenburgh could learn a lot from Yonkers.

Anonymous said...

Bass & Barnes are now trying to confuse voters into thinking feiner's for them
their signs say:
I"m with steve and Eddie Mae

They haven't been. But, they're running away from Suzanne quickly.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein's writings from 2005 express a sentiment that he clearly still holds here in 2007. This missive makes the Harrison Meetings even more suspicious. The Town Council needs to be held accountable for their "private" dealings with the Troys and with the Edgemonters Bernstein & McNally. Bernstein's vision of a Village of Edgemont would be devestating for the rest of the Town. Clearly, Sheehan supports this vision or else he would not have been present at the Harrison Meetings and would have objected to the Bernstein draft where the property would be deeded to him. If Sheehan supports Bernstein's vision, so does the rest of the Town Council, including Edgemonter Eddie Mae. Suzanne Berger says she does not support a Village of Edgemont yet she does not call to task the Town Council and Bernstein and McNally for setting in motion a land acquisition that would have led to property being in place for a Village Hall. Suzanne is obviously lying about her true feelings.

The ONLY way to stop Sheehan, Bernstein, McNally and their minions is to vote for Paul and his team on the 18th.

Anonymous said...

Question for Steve Bass:

Now that Darfur is in good shape, would you consider a resolution against dog fighting in Greenburgh?

That would be the responsible thing for you to do.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a copy of the Team Bernstein handout that tells folks how to rip down "I'm with Paul" signs, but not to get confused and rip down the "I'm with Steve and Eddie" signs?

This is getting so hard to remember!

hal samis said...

And I've got just the person to follow-up -- Gil Kaminer. His bosses are involved for most of this month in politics and I'm sure that Mr. Kaminer is not being paid to assist them in their campaigning, so what else does he have to do?

Call Town Hall and ask for Mr. Kaminer. Actually his job is to be the on-call representative of the Town Council who hold part-time jobs and aren't available.

Just be sure that no Agent Orange is used in the defoliation. Orange is not a favored color as per the Barnes & Noble topic on the blog.

Now that we have the overgrown weed problem solved...

hal samis said...

To still waiting to exhale,
I can understand you confusing one anonymous poster with another but the name Hal Samis is spelled nothing like Paul Feiner. Thus when I post, why would you be expecting Feiner to respond to you about my posting?

To everyone else.
Perhaps the good friends of Mr. Bernstein can explain this one.
On July 16, Mr. Bernstein EMAILED the Town Clerk a FOIL request to identify the parties to the notice of claim filed re the Hartsdale flooding.

Mr. Bernstein is an Attorney. Some even say a good one. As even a mediocre Attorney knows, there is a high probability that when a "notice of claim" has been filed, there is is by then another Attorney and thus these individuals and business are already represented by Counsel. Mr. Bernstein, under BAR ethics and law canons, you should be contacting the Attorney representing these parties rather than contacting them directly, without his knowledge or consent. If the already retained Attorney had no objections, I'm sure he would be happy to supply their names to Mr. Bernstein or even to forward Mr. Bernstein's communication directly to the plaintiffs.

It is possible that Bob may not have had any intention to communicate with these parties and he was just adding more information to his files.

And maybe Bob was distracted by hearing another ambulance speed by.

Most likely he was just collecting names for his Christmas card list.

Or maybe he just wanted to give them some some free advice, in case they ask, because he is "concerned" about them.

But since he has already told us that Feiner was aiding and abetting the Dromore Developer who had a notice of claim against the Town, one would have thought that Bob had been sincerely concerned about consequences to the Town from the shocking admission that Feiner assumed the Zoning map hanging in Town Hall was accurate.

So, it could not be possible that Bob, 100% concerned about Greenburgh liability, would then want to aid those plaintiffs that have similarly given notice of claim against the Town.

Why then, Bob or friends of Bob, do you suppose that Bob would want to know who were the parties to the notice of claim?

Be careful and try to avoid using the word "divisive" in your reply.

I'd really like a good laugh this week, so please give me the favor of a reply.

And one more thing, on the very same July 16, there appeared a draft version of the Bass/Williams Town email FOIL acceptance Resolution. A law that had been passed a year before by New York State. Mr. Bernstein had assured me that indeed Greenburgh needed to pass its own redundant version of the State law (apparently Greenburgh doesn't have to comply with the laws of the higher authority unless it so chooses, per Bob). So ye who respond, would you also explain why Bob sent the FOIL request by email, asked to have the information sent back by email if possible...when Greenburgh had not yet passed its own "enabling" legislation which it didn't do until the Town Board meeting two weeks ago in late August.

Stoking all those fires is getting to be an overwhelming task for Mr. Bernstein. Being the Town know-it-all is taking his attention away from remembering the lawyer's "code" of professional courtesy, if not law: that parties are allowed to retain their own Counsel and when same is appointed, communication to these Client(s) must be done with the consent and foreknowledge of their representation.

Participating at a meeting with the Dromore Developer which was conditioned on the Developer's Attorney not be informed of such a meeting, entering into negotiations with the Developer and preparing a binding agreement for execution...these are all not "cricket".
And preparing to contact the Hartsdale plaintiffs directly, this is also questionable behavior.

Under the "those who live in glass houses" doctrine, are you so sure that Super Bob should be the one bringing charges of misconduct before the Greenburgh Ethics Board?

Attested charges which are also factually deficient?

Because what comes readily to mind is "it takes one to know one".
Excluding myself, of course.

Ethics Board Tomorrow said...

Don't forget. Tomorrow is the meeting of the Ethics Board. This is what Sheehan and Bernstein have been planning for months. People need to show up and voice their opinion. Sheehan and Bernstein have manuevered their Edgemont crony Sigal to head this Board. This is a set up. Sheehan needs his "october suprise" to derail Feiner's re-election. Everything is in place. Kaminer has already written the press release. I hope Samis and Garfunkel will be there to voice their opinions. I think that Feiner is in trouble, not because he did anything wrong but because Bernstein and Sheehan have orchestrated this coup d'etat.

feiner full of hot air said...

still waiting for feiner to tell us what feiner would have asked bryan cave had he interviewed them.

one trusts that on 9/18 feiner will learn that you cannot fool all the people all the time.

feiner is a fraud.

hal samis said...

Let's also hope that the Ethics Board shows up. We know that Mr. Sigal does not schedule the meetings for either the convenience of the working public or even the working Ethics Board members.
Ethics Board business goes so much more smoothly when there are only the three floundering fathers in attendance.

why feiner is in trouble said...

feiner is in trouble because he is incompetent, corrupt and divisive.

this is the rope feiner gave his opponents to hang himself with.

hal samis said...

Dear Waiting for Gonads,

I am not Feiner but since you may not be able to sleep without a reply from someone and despite your boorishness I do worry so about your weakening mental state...

Feiner might have asked if the law firm or its partners had made any campaign contributions to any incumbent or person(s) seeking election (I know that at "interview" time, Ms Berger may not yet have announced. On the other hand, then you also probably believe that Edgemont (ECC) wasn't tipped off by the Planning Department about Dromore long before the Moratorium talk started. And Santa Claus is an off-season member of the Edgemont School Board).

Feiner might have asked would they be willing to cap their fee at a set amount.

Feiner might have asked how long they expected the assignment to last and what their expectations were of obtaining a desireable outcome.

Feiner might have asked if, other than Greenburgh, had the firm done work for other Westchester Municipalities and for the names of contacts to ascertain whether their expectations were fulfilled. Feiner might allow that the employment of representation which is paid by the adversary, while not uncommon, should be reason enough to initiate a little due diligence.

Feiner might have asked how much staffing might be assigned to the matter, who would be the Partner that would be overseeing, what that Partner's background was and what his case track record was.

It is my impression that when hiring firms, you really seek to hire specific talent and their availability to work on your business. For example Advertising Agencies pitch not only the full service capability but also introduce the creative and account team that will be assigned to the Client. Bryan Cave is a large firm; who's doing the work for the Town? Surely not everyone on the letterhead?

Would Suzanne Berger be working on the matter? Even if not, would she have access to confidential information that might be obtained during fact finding. For all intents and purposes, Ms Berger was and is the Chairman of the Greenburgh Democratic Party, she and her husband are residents of the Villages and are active in local politics. She has endorsed in the past candidates who have run successfully against the Feiner team. Feiner would want to be assured that a Chinese Wall exists.

Feiner might have asked, if prior to their previous hire by the Town, whether the firm had ever worked for the Developer and whether the firm would accept future employment from the Developer after the Town's business was concluded. Such concerns should be obvious to all.

Feiner might have asked who would the firm expect to be reporting to? the Town Attorney, the Town Legal staff for the Zoning and Planning Boards or the Town Board? The Town has employed outside Legal talent before and they have reported to different Town supervision.

Feiner might have asked if the firm was in any talks to merge or acquire another law firm.

There are lots of questions that Feiner could have asked had they been interviewed by the Town Board. Since I am sure that those who had previously "vetted" Bryan Cave have their notes still available, I am sure that the answers to these questions or to those questions asked and the responses made are FOILABLE, then we could all see just how much due diligence was undertaken by the Town staff who gave Bryan Cave the green light.

Would Feiner have asked them? Perhaps you should ask "The Shadow".

Sweet Dreams.

hal samis said...

Dear 10:43 aka stupid acolyte rope trick,

Didn't you read or watch the Ox Bow incident?

No matter, there are few states that still employ hanging.

The other states favor gas, lethal injection or the Greenburgh Democratic Chair.

I don't know about New York laws but I'm sure that Bass is at work drafting the Greenburgh approved version.

Town Clerk Williams will read about it during brunch at home.

Eddie Mae Barnes will say whatever is handed to her.

But if it turns out that it is gas, then the budget conscious Town Council will assuredly approve using Bernstein as the source. Thereby locking Bernstein in with Feiner in a sealed chamber.

Yes Feiner might suffocate from inhalation of noxious fumes but, like the dirty job for DPW cleaning up after King Kong hit the ground, who wants to be the one assigned to open the door?

Anonymous said...

Bob Bernstein must be on drugs if he thinks that Feiner wants to place methodone clinics and other undesirable locations on Central Ave. Bob's actions to incorporate Edgemont will lead to X rated zones in Edgemont. Federal law requires local governments to designate areas. Edgemont now benefits from being part of a larger Greenburgh so does not have to place these kind of facilities in our community.

Anonymous said...

what stopped the supervisor from interviewing bryan cave or any other applicant? probably too busy planning more fundraisers for developers.

Anonymous said...

Dear 7:03


Ask the head of the town board.I think his name is Sheehan.

Anonymous said...

Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men!

The Shadow Does!

Slowly but surely new signs are emerging on the lawns and rights of way along Greenburgh roads. They are the "I'm with..." variety. It seems that the firm of Barnes and Bass have once again violated the copyright laws or in their case the copywrong laws.

Didn't they read the 1927 ordinance that specifically gave universal ownership to any creative work done by the artist or writer for 17 years? What fools these mortals are.

The famous "I'm with..." signs were created and licensed to the Feiner Team. Just check with ASCAP!
In the same way the the song, "I'm just wild about Harry!" is owned lock, stock, and barrel, by Comden and Green, and "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written by George Gershwin, "I'm with Paul" is also a copyrighted trademark.

So as of 6am this morning, the plagiarism police led by Lt. Steve Amrose, and and Sergeant Doris K. Goodwin will be picking up those offensive copies forthwith. In fact, if you read the Greenburgh Town ordinance #757a, page 7, paragraph vii, any sign not picked up and removed within 36 hours will be destroyed and a fine of $500 per sign will be levied.

A court order has already been issued by Judge Roland Crater of the NY State Court of Appeals. Board members Bass and Barnes will also be brought up in front of the Fair Campaign Practice Board for plagiarism under fire and for violating the ordinance against Siamese Twins running for two different offices. These two seem joined at the hip by Crazy Glue. Maybe if it rains again in Greenburgh and they get caught in the deluge they'll separate!

As the the Son of the Shadow has often said, "the truth shall set ye free!"

The Shadow LLC Group!

feiner is beat said...

feiner sure looked tired last night. he was basically reduced to begging for votes knowing his support is tissue thin (2 ply - not 3 ply.

he simply had no oomph and got weaker as the debate went on.

Berger is right. We need fresh new leadership after 16 years of feinerist gimmicks.

hal samis said...

Today the Ethic Board is supposed to meet at 4:00 to handle Mr. Bernstein's complaint. The posted Agenda indicates that the meeting may be held in Executive Session.

The rush to deal with this matter; the inconvenient time for those who "attend" work and now the contemplated refuge under the screen of Executive Session: all are the low water marks of a kangaroo court.

Feiner has already been trashed by Bernstein's press release.
By definition the process is to determine if an offense has been committed.
What purpose then is served by holding it in Executive Session, who is being protected, the accuser?

If the President of the United States were to be impeached, the public would not even have to demand that the sessions be televised. In Greenburgh, the opposite is the reaction, instead there is a scramble to hide under "privilege".

I believe that Bernstein's allegations, even those that remain after the contradictory statements are surgically excised, will not be sustainable.

Otherwise the entire Town Board is at risk under the same charge.

But the single most important concern is why the Ethics Board feels that this matter has to be dispatched so hastily. This action itself, initiated by Bernsetein (the primo Berger supporter) and now taken up by the Board just three weeks later gives an odious and distasteful "appearance" of local Politics performing at its worst.

We are all aware that the Primary is immediate and that fact makes it very hard to separate what might qualify as truth from the opposite perception. Certainly if compliance and justice were the objectives, then the matter could as easily have been taken up after the Primary. Even if Feiner lost the Primary, he still remains as Town Supervisor.

One would expect that since this matter is deemed so urgent, that the entire Ethics Board would even be on hand to participate in this significant decisions.

Executive Session is not the right message to send to the Public. And being held two weeks before the Primary does not lend assurances that the Ethics Board is operating under the same criteria that it would apply against those who appear before it.

Finally, Mr. Sigal's circulated evaluation that the matters remaining to be discussed are "very serious" was entirely inappropriate for one holding the position of Ethics Board Chair, even if he was "self-appointed".

no more delay said...

The ethical charges against Feiner have been pending for at least three years. How long do we have to wait?
Feiner via "Judge" Facelle (former head of the ethics board) stalled consideration of the matter for at least two years.

If Feiner violated the law, then the voters have a right to know that. And if Feiner disagrees, he can use some of his $150,000 campaign war chest to argue otherwise.

hal samis said...

Please note that the matter under review is the Ethics Board acting in response to the questions asked of the Board by Feiner. Bernstein has added his own embellishments to the pending matter.

However, should these matters be taken up in the current climate of a "high stakes" Primary race?
Could the Ethics Board have not waited another two weeks?

That is the issue.

Anonymous said...

no - if feiner did wrong shouldnt the voters know it now before the primary?

what happened to open government or was that all feiner fluff?

Anonymous said...

The ethics board under the supervision of a public person not a politician[Bernstein]and the new head of the town board[Sheehan]are calling the shots.
Both of them
have so much hatred that it is getting sicking.
Sigal follows their call,what a shame.
Being a neighbor of Bernstein,Sigel,has to do what bernstein says.
We should not have outsiders like Bernstein and his clan run the town of Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Ethics Boards are supposed to be concerned about appearances as well as actual conduct when they investigate alleged ethics violations.

I am sorry to say that the ethics Board's "appearance" is one of jumping on the political bandwagon by accepting Bernstein's press release complaint and, even though they say they have no jurisdiction, commenting on Bernstein's outrageous claim about the alleged misuse of the town's email list, calling it "serious" without investigating whether it is serious or more Bernstein flim-flam.

The ethics process has been badly politicized by the Town Council, but one hoped that the Ethics Board would act responsibly. Mr. Sigal, who is a very capable lawyer, is now politicizing the Ethics Board and hiding behind clever language. Shame.

Anonymous said...

How come no one has complained about the BAss,and Barnes signs up on the telephone poles.
Everyone complained about Feiners' signs, but now the same ones are mute.
I guess laws just apply to Feiner,that's the problem ,the town board four fools have set forth laws just to govern themselves.
That also goes for the laws that they put together,with plenty of loopholes,to protect themselves of wrong doing.
This will change by voting FOR
FEINER ,BROWN AND MORGAN.AND BELVILLE

Anonymous said...

Bernstein,his clan ,And Sheehan will not be satisfied until they have the entire board,supervisor,planning ,zoning,
and ethics boards working for them entirely.
One can see that EDGEMONT ,is the only part of town that will have any say in the town government.
The only way that this could be stopped, is by voting for Feiner,Brown and Morgan.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein has started so much trouble in this town that it will take Feiner and his running mates some time to get back what is due to all the residents of Greenburgh.
Edgemont rules since they yell and demand the most from the town.This has to come to an end by voting for FEiner,Brown and Morgan.

Anonymous said...

When Edgemont and the other civic assoc,along Central,stop[ with what business's could do and can't do],they all deserve a reduction of taxes.
Their constant complaing,about sinage,outside tables,parking,lighting,and the such is getting to be a sickness with them.
The also had the nerve to complain that there was too much lighting at an ATM machine at the bank in the Midway shopping center. Are they all going crazy.
The reason for a large turnover of establishments ,plus the lowering of their taxes is because of the civic associations.
The lowering of business's' taxes puts a larger burden on homeowners when it comes to the school tax.

Anonymous said...

I am still holding my breath waiting for anyone to name three things the town has done for Edgemont.

Two?

kevin's view? said...

would really like to know kevin morgan's postion on the elmsford libary deal with the ardsley library.

morgan is from elmsford. berger made the unrebutted point that this happened on feiner's "watch."

so kevin - your view?

feiner for life? said...

im still waiting for any reason we should not hold feiner to his promise to serve only 8 years - now he wants 18!

feiner says he is in favor of keeping promises when it comes to westhelp (of course - that was an illegal promise)

Anonymous said...

I thought The library board wanted Elmsford to pay the monies while the library was being constructed,so they decided to go to Ardsley.
Yes Berger was right that it was under Feiners' watch,but she forgot to state that Feiner was against the library project from the beginning..
Yes maybe the best candidate for the job of council person.,Morgan can answer the question.
One can see how behind times the candidate running against Feiner is
or is she playing dumb to many of Greenburghs,problems.
Feiner,Brown,and Morgan to give us back open government.
te

Anonymous said...

Mr. 1:10 says that the Elmsford-Ardsley library deal happened on feiner's "watch." The honest thing would have been to say that it happened on the Town Council's watch.

Have you noticed that since Sheehan was elected, Feiner can't do anything. The Town Board no longer really exists for governing purposes. Every release is by the Town Council -- that is, the four Councilpersons. Often Feiner is not informed until a Board meeting, when he is confronted with an arrangement that the Town Council has made.

I don't know who was too stubborn and lost the Elmsford library deal, but of one thing I can be sure, that Feiner had nothing to say about it,thanks to Sheehan.

on to victory with BBB said...

good news - feiner has been tamed by the current board. before sheehan, feiner ran amuck. bravo to sheehan on this score. now the millions he gave away to valhalla will stay in greenburgh. under a berger admininstration, that money can be used to pay for either affordable housing or to address inequities in the A/B budget.

Berger Bass and Barnes all the way!

victory with bbb said...

clarification - feiner gave away millions to valhalla

Sheehan is the king of sleeze said...

Dear 3:05

To Date Francis Sheehan has been responsible for the following:

1. The creation of the Gil Kaminer position. This is something no other Town in Westchester has. Kaminer costs us taxpayers about $75,000 a year.

2. Ordering Gil Kaminer to threaten the female Superintendant of the Valhalla School District.

3. Engaging in a pay for play scheme with Suzanne Berger. In return for her political and financial help, Sheehan secured a no bid contract for her firm. This contract is potentially worth upwards of a million dollars.

4. Meeting illegally with developers concerning their Dromore Road Property.

5. Supporting the concept of Edgemont breaking away from the Town. Why else would Sheehan demand that the Harrison Meeting be secret and why else would he not object to the documents that Bernstein drafted which would have deeded the property to him.

Anonymous said...

SHEEHAN IS A WOLF IN SHEEP CLOTHING.
The truth will be exposed shortly about this so called GOOD man.
He should have never been voted to the position of council person,and made to be the head of every board that exists in the town of Greenburgh.
After this election he will be singing a different tune.
All his friends in Edgemont will have no where to turn to make illegal deals.

upset coming? said...

i notice one thing - people may not like sheehan (the one or two bloggers from valhalla) but feiner has no one in his camp. after 16 years his support is tissue thin.

you could see it last night - feiner is out of steam and got weaker as the debate continued.

do we have an "upset" in the making?

Concerned Parent said...

In the debate, did you notice no questions about the GC7school district. Nobody wants to touch that issue! Were giving money to Valhalla school district; great that means are children can go to that school district instead

Anonymous said...

All C7 questions are to be sent to Terry Williams, because he is such a wonderful role model for our community.

(hide the garbage cans)

Anonymous said...

Dear 4:34 pm-

I haven't seen any "I'm with Sir Francis" lawn signs , have you?

newsflash said...

newsflash - francis isnt running this year. ps to paul feiner - neither is bernstein.

feiner might want to update his resume. his time as supervisor may be up.

Anonymous said...

feiner's legacy - a failed school district and a dysfunctional town government. and he wants two more years. he promised 8 - no way to 18!

Anonymous said...

Dear Newsflash:

If Bernstein isn't running, then who is moving the marionette strings on Berger then?

Anonymous said...

"Edgemont rules since they yell and demand the most from the town."

Then perhaps it's time for strong leaders to emerge from Fairview and Hartsdale.

And no, Samis doesn't count as pro-Hartsdale. His focus used to be pro-Greenburgh, but now it's purely anti-Edgemont, which is just getting monotonous.

Anonymous said...

"feiner is out of steam and got weaker as the debate continued"

Understandable after 16 years in the same job. Perhaps it's time for him to move on.

Anonymous said...

Why must the civic assoc.representatives from Edgemont have a say as to what and who can build on the property purchased for one reason that being to build homes.
I don't think one buys property just to look at it.
So what if the subdivision takes away from the neighborhood.
Thats all Edgemont is interested in. What the neighborhood will look like.
Are they afraid that the builder will build a better looking home than theirs.
As one can see the trouble makers are always ready to give a speech.But tonight Bernstein was not heard from.
Was he missing from this clan meeting.

hal samis said...

To all who have taken the trouble to write,

Table of Contents
(if you don't like a chapter(s) heading, please scroll beyond)

1. The Library
2. Failing School District
3. Bass to fill Clinton Seat
4. Dysfunctional Town Government
5. The Return of Oral Roberts
6. Edgemont, Ruining with Scissors
7. Bass drops out of Clinton race
8. Bass plans move to Idaho
9. Bass reversal no place like home
10.Ethics Loophole Allows Condos



1) No one was responsible for the Elmsford-Ardsley contract -- not even my "good friends" on the Library Board of Trustees. Elmsford was asked to pay more for Library services because their use fee was set at a lower per capita rate than Greenburgh residents were paying while only unincorporated residents were held responsible for the capital costs.
Assuming that Elmsford has a government that is looking out for the best interests of Elmsford residents, Elmsford rightly decided to take advantage of loopholes in the Westchester Library System rules which allowed Elmsford to contract with Ardsley and pay a negotiated lower rate than they had been expected to pay to Greenburgh and would still under the WLS rules be allowed to use the Greenburgh Library as well as all other WLS member libraries.
Thus they ended up with a great deal for Elmsford residents.
But the topper is that they also recognized that the Greenburgh Library would be effectively "closed" during the construction period lasting around two years. Why would anyone want to pay more for Library service and not have a full service Library at their disposal during a substantial portion of the contractual period?

Now, as the Library reminds us only when it suits them to, it exists in some netherworld of independence from Greenburgh government. The only issue that I half-heartedly question is whether or not the Library could have signed Elmsford to a longer term contract before announcing the expansion program. The Referendum sent a clear warning to Elmsford that if they signed with Greenburgh, they would not be getting full value for their money during construction. But even I can't envision a scenario which would force Elmsford to pay a higher fee at a time when the Library would be closed. However, on this point, it was not anyone's fault, not Feiner, not the Town Council, not the Library Trustees and it certainly was not Elmsford.

However there is one valuable lesson that can be salvaged from this loss of revenue. That is, it has presented a no-obligation "look-see" into just how little Suzanne Berger understands of what goes on in unincorporated Greenburgh. She, from the villages, does not financially support the Library by her taxes because the villages have their own. So, is she so clueless about the Greenburgh Library because she lives in the villages, because she asked the village idiot, Diana Juettner, liaison to the library about the situation or is she clueless because no one had bothered to write her a position paper? Saying it happened on Feiner's watch gives no proof that she can even tell time while also overlooking that Feiner cannot represent the Library any more than he can represent a School District. What he can do as the Town CFO is to sign contracts and checks but that is where his control ends. So, if you were of the opinion that the unfortunate situation could have been rescued if only Berger, the negotiator/lawyer/auditor were at the wheel, then consider yourself lucky that it only took around $1 million of lost Library revenue to set you straight on Berger's bonafides for Town Supervisor. Finally, be assured that this lost revenue did not affect the Library at all; their annual operating budget has not been trimmed to reflect the loss of Elmsford money and the Referendum funding will not suffer either.


2) Since when is the office of Town Supervisor responsible for the financial well-being and operation of any school district?
Even any which are alleged to be "failing". Do I detect a cry of help to allow the Town Supervisor to take on an expanded role regarding the maintaining of school districts within Greenburgh?
Probably not; so let's not wander too far afield from matters that actually involve the Supervisor.

3) Councilman Steve Bass today announced at a Press Conference that he is seeking to fill the remaining term of Hilary Clinton should she win the Party Presidential nomination.

4) So it finally can be acknowledged: we do have a dysfunctional Town government. What is lacking though is the explanation of why residents are burdened by one. And the answer is, to no surprise, due mostly to the Town Council. First off, not only Feiner has been around for a long time, so have Eddie Mae Barnes and Diana Juettner and Alfreda Williams. Lest you be thrown off track by the number of "terms", remember that the Town Council members serve four year terms while the Town Supervisor serves a two year term. And here is the tricky part, how can you argue that Feiner has been around too long while preserving Eddie Mae Barnes "get out of jail free card" when she has served the same number of years as Feiner. While the same can also be said for Juettner, and Town Clerk Alfreda Williams. Wait let me correct that: it is not fair to hold the mornings against Alfreda since she never comes to work before noon so over her years in office, divide by
2 to reflect her absence from service. But that brings us to Bass (appointed by Feiner to fill the term of Les Adler) and Francis Sheehan who is in the backstretch of the first two years of his four year term. Only since Mr. Sheehan joined the Dais Club, though, has dysfunction come into play. Before him you had the three deaf, dumb and blind, (Larry, Curly and Moe if that image suits you better) Town Council members who were there only to collect a paycheck and be the needed quorum to vote into existence all the issues which seem, only now, to concern greater Greenburgh. However, with the shit hitting the fan, the Town Council including Sheehan, are having a hard time figuring out who they really are. They know that they have to support all the Resolutions because in order to maintain their own names on the marquee. They know that most of the matters voted upon are the necessary political compromises but that bothers Mr. Sheehan. How can he expose Feiner for his superficiality and still recognize that Sheehan need follow suit by being the fifth vote in support. And that is very troubling for one who has in his day planner, the reminder to be Town Supervisor. So the only thing he can do is manufacture diversions to make people think that he and Feiner are worlds apart. Sheehan's problem is that he has contracted out the fulfillment of these issues to Chinese mainland suppliers and they appear in Greenburgh Town Hall lacking the warranty and about two months before recall. With his supply lines also about to be subjected to quarrantine, Sheehan has taken to ape the Jerry Lewis telethon but he has tried to surpass the telethon formula by turning the Town meeting into a talkathon where he alone spins every issue into a tri-semester no credit course. It is the continuous drip drip drip of this professorial bleating that has turned the running of the Town into disorder and chaos. And this is just from his part time appearance. Can you imagine the Town run by Sheehan? I suggest that it would be so bad that everyone would even beg Edgemont to take them along. Even Edgemont under Bernstein would not be as daunting. And, if Berger is elected as the caretaker for Sheehan, it may be too long to endure before Berger's connected friends find her a suitable slot and she can step aside in favor of Sheehan. I submit that the accurate synonym for dysfunctional (as in Town government) is spelled S-H-E-E-H-A-N.

5) I too watched the Channel 12 "debate" and I disagree with the anonymous viewer. In fact, I thought that as the evening progressed, Feiner got stronger and stronger and more sure of himself. Perhaps the healing hand of Oral Roberts returned to touch the tv screen but the "you can take it to the bank" conclusion was that Berger has no grasp or reference point for details. We already have had 16 years of Eddie Mae soloquizing that "everything would be fine if we could all put aside our differences and just work together" and now we have Suzanne, posing as the breath of fresh air, "we have to put aside our differences..."

On a lighter front...

6) Historians have just found secreted within the architurally "significant" historic house belonging to and adjacent to the Candlelight Inn

(Suzanne, take Ardsley Road to Central Avenue, make the left turn at the light and continue north about 3/4 mile to the light at Old Army Road. Continue past the light to the Burger King on the right and look left just after the Sexauer Building at the subject property)

a set of documents which have been labeled by the Planning Department (100% Planning) as DA McNAMARA CODE which confirmed the existence of plans to create the independent Village of Aedgemonte in the year 1557. Claimed in the name of Kaiser Bernstein, these lands and open spaces were to be held in perpetuity as greenspace with Kondominium Konstruction verboten. However, the Charter was revoked following his defeat in the Feiner-Demacouncil War by Sir Richard of Troy (a direct descendent of Helen) and the lands soon came up for grabs under the ancient law of First In, First Out. As noted Court watcher, the Earl of Freberg said, "land not good for anything; only thing that grow well is concrete and asphalt".

450 years later, the Feiner-Demacouncil War still being fought and the land now reduced to a mere School District within the Town of Greenburgh. There are still rumblings of independence led by descendants of the orginal settlers. However, those familiar with the situation reaffirm that there are no widespread leanings to what was once considered a cutting Edgemont loose theory. Instead, those who did the analysis saw no savings in taxes and in fact, a 10 to 15 year period of costly start-up surcharges because of the need to set up and house an operating government. On the other hand, if there were only some way to house Village officials and functions within some centrally located permanent structure...
Anyone with any suggestions please write Bernstein c/o the E_dgemont
C_onstruction C_lub, at their new offices in Harrison.

7) Councilman Steve Bass announced today that he is no longer interested in taking over any unfinished Clinton term. His recent donation of a kidney to a needy Darfur orphan has left him too weak to contend with the rigors of a state-wide campaign. "People thought that when I introduced my Darfur Resolution that I was just pissing in the wind. This should shut them up."

8) Councilman Steve Bass announced today that he has had enough with all the bickering and back-biting at Greenburgh Town Board meetings.
"Despite the bond rating being raised almost twice since I served on the Town Board and having worked to acquire nearly 600 acres of parkland, I need go get away where there is less development."
Asked where he would move, Mr. Bass said he is looking into the political opportunities somewhere out west, perhaps Idaho, somewhere where there is lots of room to rest in.

9) Councilman Steve Bass said he had decided not to move to Idaho after he learned more about the State from diaries posted on Craig's List. "Just kidding" he said when asked about his turnabout. Prodded to explain he winked and added mysteriously "I'm with Eddie Mae".

10) A loophole in the Ethics laws allows members of the Town Board to accept contributions from Developers if they are minority investors in the project. Should a Developer recruit three members of the Town Council as minority investors in the project, grant them an ownership position as a campaign contribution, these three part-time Public Officers are no longer considered Town Employees under the new Ethics laws. Should the Ethics Board conclude that the three as investors are really doing business with themselves as applicants and as elected officials or Public Officers but not Town Employess, they might be forced to recuse themselves in lieu of being denied their lawful right to pursue "happiness".
However should such a condition prevail, then there would no longer be a quorum to vote on such applications as zoning changes. And like laws which do not make any provision for businesses such as adult entertainment within the Town, the higher courts have ruled that such zoning is exclusionary and areas must be allowed for these businesses to open. Likewise, not allowing residents to participate in lawful enterprises, i.e. condo development and as for those Town Council members, if it can be shown that such interests did not interfere with the performance of their elected duties, then you might witness such a situation.
How can they create an appearance of impropriety if they announce that they are doing business with themselves? And as long as they don't solicit or accept Town employee wedding gifts in excess of $75 value, all's well.
Furthermore, if the Ethics Board does send a message of disbelief and admonition to the Town Board for their consideration, then who would be allowed to vote on the Ethics Board recommendation?

"Happiness runs in a circular motion, everbody is a part of everybody and everyone wins..."
Donovan

Just playing with the Ethics Board, don't take it seriously.
That's all folks...

feiner = political dead end said...

A short counter view on feiner's reign:

1. feiner said he would serve 8 years. he now wants 18! why shouldnt he be held to his promise?

2. feiner claims mayfair knollwood is entitled to a social dividend for having the WestHelp facility in their midsts - this phony theory shows feiner the venal who will demonize the homeless and lie about their use of the school system and their criminality. lets not forget feiner's illegal westhelp scam (in addition to costing the town millions) allowed money to be funded to the valhalla school district without any form of accountablity for how it was spent. no wonder the money was used for padded salaries, opera tickets, cruises and all sorts of other frills and benefits (all now subject to an audit by the state comptroller).

3. feiner's corruption remains in full display in the chase caro affair (he refuses to return $10,000 he got from this convicted felon). lets not overlook that feiner's retention of now disbarred attorney chase caro was also illegal.

4. feiner's ego saddled the town with the hideous wall in front of webb field. FEMA funds were used for this ponderous block of concrete - an outrageous expenditure that feiner still defends. that called fiscal irresponsibility and political insensitivity in light of katrina.

5. feiner's heedlessness is further on display in the taxter ridge acquisition that has divided the town.

6. feiner should stay out of school matters? huh? westhelp was for the benefit of valhalla schools and taxter was to benefit the irvington school district.

7. more townwide divisiveness was caused by feiner's recklessly having inadequate insurance for the town when a tree fell down near central avenue (oh - feiner had no tree maintenance plan in effect) and killed a man and paralyzed his wife. as a result of feiner inept handling of this matter, the villages started exploring how to leave greenburgh.

8. both the tree case and the taxter ridge case preceded mr sheehan's arrival. the same is true of the westhelp matter.

9. feiner brazenly flouted the rules governing the solicitation of campaign funds. there is a clear correlation of feiner receiving contributions and then acting as a private lobbyist for developers and others with active applications before the town and its boards.

10. in 2005, feiner was aware of a serious flooding risk at east hartsdale - what did feiner do about it - nothing.

feiner's legacy - a town adrift and at war with itself and a career politcian isolated from his party and its leaders.

with feiner, the town has reached a political dead end.

Feiner is a problem said...

Feiner claims to be a problem solver. He is more like a problem creator. Oh, he does solve problems for developers.

Anonymous said...

I would vote for Feiner if he would promise to take down the "problem solver" sign from his station wagon. I'm sure he'll be re-elected but I can't help wondering whether, on the off chance Feiner loses, will he keep the sign up? Any votes on this?

Anonymous said...

I will vote for Feiner because I prefer him to the Berger-Sheehan-Bass-Bernstein combo, but I do wish he would take that foolish sign off his car. It may have served a purpose once upon a time, but now it seems silly and immature.

Anonymous said...

The sign isnt the problem. The sign is just a sympton -- the disease is Feiner.

cure said...

and the cure is to vote him out of office on september 18 (the primary is the election)

Anonymous said...

Question of the Day for Steve Bass:

Appreciating your insight into the pressing issues of the day, can you answer this:

Does Apple's price reduction in the I-Phone indicate problems with the Apple Organization itself?

Would you be willing to introduce a resolution in support of Apple?

PS - Please don't hand this off to Eddie Mae, I think she is still sleeping.

Anonymous said...

Question:

Does anyone else have a problem with the generic clean air & water campaign mailer from Steve & Eddie?

Don't they understand that they are purchasing materials that are available to every candidate in the country and merely inserting their wonderful pictures?

Just another reason why............

I'm not with Steve & Eddie.

Bernstein by any other name said...

Dear 6:29

AKA Bob Bernstein

If you are not Bob Bernstein, you sure sound like him. YOU are the one who is dividing the Town. You didn't get your way so you had to initiate legal actions would cost the thousands of people living in the villages alot of money. Your own community is now rebelling against you as evidenced by Hugh Schwartz's letter to the Scarsdale Inquirer. Mr. Bernstein, you have acted as Francis Sheehan's hitman for along time and the public is getting tired of your act. If there is a devisive figure in Greenburgh, it is you.

Edgemonters at it again! said...

This letter demonstrates that it is EDGEMONTERS who have been after Paul for years. I wonder how O'Shea, Bernstein, McNally and Krauss would pass their free time if they did not have Paul to abuse.


November 8, 2004

Jeanine Pirro, District Attorney
Westchester County Courthouse
111 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.
White Plains, NY 10601

Dear Ms. Pirro:

On behalf of the Council of Greenburgh Civic Associations (CGCA), an umbrella organization comprised of 40 dues-paying civic groups located throughout Unincorporated Greenburgh, I write to request that your office open a formal investigation into whether Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul J. Feiner broke any laws in connection with his political fundraising. The contributions at issue appear to have been raised in connection with a fundraiser for large donors that Mr. Feiner held on his behalf at Gregory’s restaurant in White Plains on March 29, 2004.

The contributions were disclosed in a statement filed by "Friends of Paul Feiner" with the Board of Elections on July 15, 2004. Following a series of reports about these contributions in The Journal News and The Scarsdale Inquirer, this matter was discussed at our regularly scheduled monthly CGCA meeting on October 19, 2004.

Greenburgh’s Code of Ethics specifically prohibits town officials from soliciting political contributions from "any party who has an application pending for a permit, variance, change of zoning, favorable construction of law or regulations or other material benefit not available as a matter of absolute right from the town…." It appears that several substantial contributions were solicited/received from persons (or their counsel) with applications pending before the Town. Questions have been raised about whether it is possible that what occurred exceeded a mere appearance of impropriety.

One application was from a developer seeking a controversial permit to cut down trees. The Town’s "forestry officer" planned to grant the permit without ever having visited the site. The developer made a substantial contribution to Mr. Feiner’s campaign twelve days after neighbors filed an appeal of the decision of the "forestry officer" with the Town Board. After the appeal was heard – but before a decision was reached – the developer cut down trees. It is the perception of the neighbors that the Town did little to enforce the law or help them.

In another instance, a developer sought approval for a subdivision involving a controversial "flag" lot at a time when the Town Board was considering amending the law to prohibit flag lots. Two weeks after the town’s Planning Board unanimously recommended banning flag lots, two partners in the law firm representing the developer made contributions to Mr. Feiner. Subsequently, a member of the Town Board loyal to Mr. Feiner had the matter taken off the Town Board’s agenda. As a result, the subdivision application was approved before the Town Board could act. Significantly, a member of the town’s Planning Board reportedly told The Scarsdale Inquirer that the Planning Board was being pressured to "fast track" the subdivision application.

Another questionable contribution came from a law firm representing a developer seeking to purchase the former Town Hall building/property at a price many considered to be less than full value. At the time the contribution was made, Mr. Feiner was actively advocating a sale to the developer.

Other questionable contributions came from:

a New Jersey executive with LCOR seeking subdivision of the Landmark at Eastview property and an extension of approval from the Town Board for a $300 million office/laboratory project;
developers seeking approval to construct Avalon II – a large residential housing project on steeply sloped Nob Hill;
persons working on behalf of Westchester BMW which ran into trouble when its construction deviated from plans previously approved by the town’s Planning Board and Zoning Board; and
the Greenburgh Health Center and its affiliate, the Mount Vernon Health Center, which had its application to relocate its facility challenged by a neighborhood civic group.
Mr. Feiner was asked at the Town Board meeting on September 8, 2004 to return questionable contributions on, in effect, a "no questions asked" basis. He refused. Instead, he offered to write a letter to the Town’s Ethics Board to ask its opinion on the matter. As laudable as that approach may have been, Mr. Feiner waited nearly a month before sending the letter, and when he did send it, he was less than candid in identifying the issues. For example, he addressed only one of the contributions and insisted at great length that his conduct regarding that application had not been influenced by the contribution. Mr. Feiner also shifted responsibility for the March fundraiser from himself to the restaurant’s owner. He blamed all other questionable contributions on the results of mass mailings to thousands of prior contributors.

Based on what we already know has occurred, we are troubled by Mr. Feiner’s response and concerned that his response could possibly be indicative of more serious misconduct. This is not the first time he has been accused of taking money from persons having applications pending before the Town. This is also not the first time the CGCA has raised concerns about this practice. (See attached copy of minutes of the CGCA meeting on December 15, 1998.) Our membership considers this matter sufficiently serious enough to request that your office open a formal investigation. We understand that another umbrella group – the Edgemont Community Council – has already made such a request of your office.

We look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

/signed/

Madelon K. O’Shea
CGCA Chair

feiner wrong and costly said...

confused here. we have courthouses in america for the purpose of bringing civil lawsuits (no, we dont do summary executions or condone street justice).

so far the courts have found bernstein is right and feiner is wrong.

and the state comptroller found feiner was wrong on westhelp also.

feiner's giveaway on westhelp cost the town millions.

feiner selling out town said...

feiner's appearance of corruption seems quite apparent.
no wonder his sycophants like gaffe-funkel always try to change the subject when feiner's sorry record of taking money from those with active applications before the town is exposed.

Anonymous said...

Bass and Barnes VOTED IN FAVOR OF Westhelp as well as Paul. Regarding Pay for Play, Edgemonters should consult Michelle McNally and ask her for advice as to how much it takes to get a Councilman to change his vote.

feiner doesnt get it said...

except bass and barnes have accepted their "mistake" which was based on the false statements by feiner he had legal opinion saying westhelp was, in fact, legal. feiner also said the homeless kids would use the valhalla school district - this was a double lie as there were no school age kids at the shelter when the the comptroller investigated. the comptroller found the westhelp deal illegal since it violated the state constitution.

feiner still wants the millions to go to valhalla. berger is opposed to that. berger is right.

Anonymous said...

The money for Westhelp came from the county;
It was never part of the taxes that the residents pay.
could someone tell me how we lost millions and millions of dollars.

dear 9:46 - im not bernstein said...

Sorry to disappoint you.

And who in Edgemont does Hugh Schwartz represent other than himself? He is a Feiner crony and one of his appointees to the Planning Board. He's never been a member of the ECC. Nor is he active on behalf of the school district committees or organizations. Schwartz' open letter was silly because he said people in Greenburgh had no right to read about the undisputed evidence that Feiner had taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from developers with applications pending before the town. Pretty foolish sounding.

Anonymous said...

Berger knows nothing about Westhelp.
She only knows what is told to her by Sheehan and his clan.

millions lost explained said...

The town leases the facility to the county. (i assume the town owns the facility or has the rights of a landlord). The county pays the rent to the town (apparently on behalf of WestHelp). The town in turn gave the rent money away (so far about 2.1 million) to the valhalla school district. Thats how we lost millions. ($100,000 of the rent money was given to the Fairview Fire District - arguably a town purpose but perhaps doubtful). Town money can only be used for a Townwide purpose - not to aid a school district which serves only a portion of the residents of the town of greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Today a new flyer came in the mail from Barnes and Bass,where both of them are taking credit for many things that were passed by the entire board.
One can see that they have nothing concrete to offer the public.
When did Barnes and Bass all alone do the following.
Cut taxes
Tax exemptions
A strong bond rating
Hired police officers
purchased open space
new library renovations
I'm sure the entire board voted on the above.

words of kevin morgan? said...

And when Elmsford bypassed the Greenburgh Public Library Kevin Morgan (of Elmsford) said:



Remember - a vote for Morgan is a vote to give millions of dollars of town money to valhalla school district for river cruises and padded salaries

morgan is for westhelp - help us said...

A vote for feiner and his slate is a vote for fiscal irresponsibility as they want to continue the westhelp "arrangement"

from Valhalla Voice

WestHELP Audit Released

Read the first of two Comptroller's Department audits of the Westhelp Deal. This audit focuses on whether it is legal for the town of Greenburgh to gift $6.5 million to the Valhalla School District. The Comptroller has found that it is not. The next audit will focus on Valhalla's spending, controls and accountability.

It is everything we have said it was, and more. It is illegal, there is no accountability, there are no controls on spending. It a side business run by private individuals using the public accounts and facilities of the Valhalla School district and Westchester County taxpayer money. Money flows to private individuals, private foundations, yacht cruises, added salaries and capital expenditures not approved by the voters. It is all off budget and unaccounted for.

Anonymous said...

Dear 5:11 pm :

Feeling the heat, again?

Why not throw up WESTHELP, the univesral defense mechanism (again).

Yet another pathetic effort.

Stop blogging and return to ripping down the "I'm with Paul" signs. That might make you feel better. Remember, however, not to rip down the "I'm with Super Bob and his lackies" signs.

Anonymous said...

The Vallhalla Voice....

Hardly the bastion of journalistic excellence.

If that is the basis of your case, you have just lost.

Alternatively, are there any quotes that you feel might be more appropriate to make your case from the National Inquirer?

Will the Vallhalla Voice be the next to report that Elvis was seen last week doing the Macarena with Martians?

Stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Well here is to the moron who posted about Morgan being a village person. If I am correct he lives in unincorporated Greenburgh, North Elmsford, Pocantico Schools NOT THE VALHALLA SCHOOL DISTRICT with an Elmsford mailing address. He also lived on Babbitt Court, Unincorporated Greenburgh not Elmsford, and On East Hartsdale Avenue.

The fab 4 or killer B's are responsible for the Elmsford Library debacle. THEY cost all unincorporated residents $1,000,000.00 not Morgan or anyone else and this was not GREENBURGH money STATE money. If the deal was not reached the money would NOT have gone to THE TOWN.

So as Slithering Steve would say GET THE FACTS AND CHECK THE FACTS !!!

Their new mailing is a joke. Wonder what JUTTNER and SHEEHAN have to say about B & B doing all the work. As the ship sinks the rats attack each other to stay afloat.

Their support for Suzie Cheeseberger is apparent ???. But then again Stevie golden Brodsky has a history of the kiss of death to alleged friends. He is an equal opportunity back stabber of the worst kind. So check the facts and you will see how real they are and not democrats.

feiner lost the elmsford money said...

Feiner and his no-nothing town attorney are responsible for the town library losing the Elmsford revenue.

State law requires villages within towns to pay for the cost of town libraries unless the village has a library of its own which meets certain requirements, in which case the village is exempt.

Elmsford is the only village within the town that doesn't have its own library. Accordingly, under state law, Elmsford is legally responsible for its share of the cost of the town's library.

Feiner knows his and knows the town could sue Elmsford for its share, but he wouldn't dare do so because the only elected official in the entire town supporting his re-election is Elmsford's mayor, Bobby Williams, who also happens to be a Republican. (Yep, there's not one single Democratic officeholder out there who's endorsed Feiner for re-election, which tells you something).

Of course, Elmsford might argue that the state law that set up Greenburgh's library excused all of the town's villages, including Elmsford, from having to pay for it. The problem with that argument is that while there may be a rational basis for exempting those villages that had their own libraries from having to cover the town's cost, there's absolutely no rational basis for exempting Elmsford, which has never had any library, from having to pay.

That statute is therefore plainly unconstitutional and by not bringing suit against Elmsford to challenge it, the town -- under Feiner -- has allowed the town to lose over $1 million dollars in badly needed revenue.

Feiner is therefore to blame here for the loss of the Elmsford money.

Sheehan To Blame said...

Feiner's hands have been tied for over 18 months by the man who runs the Town, Francis Sheehan. Sheehan is a despot. The only wat to end Sheehan's rule is to elect Paul and his team on the 18th. Sheehan's Reign of Terror must come to an end.

Anonymous said...

Dear 6:02
The stock market is taking a great beating.I'm loosing my shirt.
Should I blame Feiner for this also.
GET A LIFE.

hal samis said...

To Anonymous at 6:02 trying to give the impression that he is Bob Bernstein.

You did a good job. Your pompous self-applauding writing style mimics Bernstein's exactly. But since we all respect Bob so much, we know that he wouldn't attempt so many "errors" and omissions within a single posting. That was the real giveaway.

But I've got to hand it to you, you really had me convinced most of the way that it was actually the great one writing.

The Greenburgh Library belongs to the Westchester Library System which allows its 38 member libraries to circulate the books and media owned by individual libraries among members to share these items throughout the system.

Clearly there are benefits to patrons everywhere from having a larger collection available to all and the means to physically transport requested items to and returned from the member libraries.

Unfortunately, belonging to the WLS has certain obligations as well. One of them is that the member libraries must abide by the regulations of the WLS. Even when regretably, one of those regulations permitted exactly what happened: that Elmsford was free to seek out and contract for a better deal than Greenburgh could or should have offered.

I could be wrong but I vaguely remember that Bernstein had so informed the WLS that such a stance was not in compliance with your interpretation of the law and they told him in no uncertain terms to take a hike. And the contract continues to remain in full force and effect. Suing Elmsford is such a kind of action that would not make sense to anyone other than Bernstein while it would not result in voiding the existing contract and would be parried by Elmsford opening a "free" Library stocked by donations of 5 books and 3 dvds to line the shelves.

No one other than the poster or a Bernstein would argue that the Elmsford/Ardsley agreement was unconsitutional but the writer just throws in anything to Mrs. Murphy's chowder that suggests there is some serious basis to such frequent gibberish.

But your best "joke" (Anonymous, you really should consider a stand-up career if this posing as a lawyer doesn't work out) is in these lines of you the author's self-promotion. "Feiner knows his and knows the town could sue Elmsford for its share..." Is that the cousin to "asked and answered"? What if Feiner doesn't know, what if Feiner knows and disagrees...you know I love to tear apart how words are used and Bernstein knows this too from other occasions that I am not going to stand by when he or anyone attempts to prove their argument solely on the basis that they say they are proven correct because others should have agreed with them. And you too have constructed such a similar construction to how Bob argues that it is scary to suppose that there could be two of him posting on this blog. If the Town Attorney bought into the self-promoting posting, then I would be forced to agree with you, the Bernstein doppelganger, that this would be more proof that Tim Lewis is a no-nothing attorney.
However, when and I say similar, I say that without being being burdened by being an attorney myself and I don't have any of the professional standards among attorneys to maintain. Since you are not Bob and from your writing not a member of the BAR Association, your justification for doing so must be that you write as anonymous.

So when you stray from the one true element (that State law says have your own Library or pay) it is only this element which remains costant while what follows is only your opinion or fabrication in explaining the rest but still lacking anything actually stated in law that prohibits Elmsford contracting with other Libraries located within the Town.
All that the State is concerned with is that some of the residents within the Town do not get a free ride at the expense of the others.

And since the Library operates under a different set of laws, trying to recast Bernstein's A and B arguments to fit this matter solely to have another round at Feiner is why Bernstein is losing credibility even among his supporters who would recognize your attempt to write like Bernstein would and thus assume the same liability. This is 2007 not 2003.
No one trembles anymore when Bernstein bloviates and recites "Bernstein's laws"; today they laugh at him to his face. So unless you want to inherit the same result, perhaps you should develop a writing style of your own.

And if you were correct in your conclusions there should be no need to constuct any straw man arguments like "Elmsford might argue". I'm sure that Elmsford would argue what their Attorney proposed and not that which you introduce as what their Attorney might argue. There is a difference.

You certainly do try every cheap trick in the book. I mention that because Bernstein, writing as Bernstein, would never do that.

And not even the Town Council will ride this horse. Nor will the Library Trustees join you onstage because they recognize that there is are no true stitches in your tapestry. I suspect that if you and that Bernstein fellow self-publish your individual memoirs, Greenburgh librarians are going to have a difficult time deciding where to shelve them -- under fiction or non-fiction.

Be grateful that you are not Bernstein. Otherwise even more scorn would be delivered to your front door. You've got to admit that he has been getting sloppy lately in the instances where it is undisputedly Bernstein as perp.

I certainly enjoyed our little conversation. If you should see Bob, let him know that he is still welcome on this blog -- in person.

Anonymous said...

i still think the election should be a referendum on whether the problem solver sign stays on the station wagon.

hal samis said...

Now, back to the continuing series on Suzanne. This chapter could be entitled "how to look for a job".
Otherwise consider it an open letter to Ms Berger. I just don't get much from these short answers at "debates" and less from your literature or web site.

First, to the writer who dissed her and wrote Suzie Cheeseburger.
That is distasteful, unkosher and incorrect.
What you should have said ala Mothers of Invention if you wanted to Zappa her is: "Suzie Cream Cheese, what's got into you?"

And that is exactly the issue. What's got into you? You have a decent job at a large law firm. Ok, maybe not such a dream job, no one said "Suzanne, we want you to become our Partner" even after you brought in a great piece of business from Greenburgh.

Instead what they did was send you going away gifts in the form of campaign contributions, presumably hoping that you found a new job and wouldn't be back.

And you told us that you had done so well at the firm, using your skills at bringing parties together and thus not having to go into Court. And you can even analyze financial records because before you were an attorney, you were an auditor, working for the IRS. Is an auditor the same as an accountant, is an auditor the same as a CPA? What did you actually do at the IRS, did you audit corporate financial statements, did you audit companies doing say, $75 million in sales? I know someone who once had some problems with the IRS on her personal tax return. She had to go to talk to an auditor. I guess what I am really asking is what did you do at the IRS because I want to believe that it justifies being promoted as experience which would prepare you to be Town Supervisor. And whether we should eliminate the position of Town Comptroller since you possess the same skills and same lack of CPA credentials.

But I'm really troubled by the thought that you would abandon your thriving law career, mid-life, to run for an elected office which only lasts for two years.

Ok, so you are concerned about the Town where you live and you want to offer your talents to the Community in the hope that you can make a difference. Fair enough.

But again there is something that troubles me. It appears that you view the job of Town Supervisor as an entry level position. The incumbent after filling all his two year terms is attacked for everything, apparently he can do nothing right. And all those years that he held the job, he was backed by the local Democratic Party of which you are still the Chair. Since you are the "leader" of the local Party, why do you suppose that so many Democrats continued term after term to back someone who was doing such a bad job? A good Party Chair should know her constituents just like a good Supervisor should know his constituents, so I don't think it is an unfair question to ask your opinion on how so many Democrats could be wrong about someone for so many years. What have you observed that they had overlooked?

But getting back to starting at the top, you are of course familiar with the alternate route, a good way to get your feet wet and to build confidence in your abilities as viewed by voters. You could have run for Town Council, hung out there for a few years and then run for the Big job. With a little local experience under your belt. And I'm sure that your fellow Democrats, Steve and Edie...sorry Steve and Eddie, who are only interested in having the best for Greenburgh, would have welcomed you to the race. To my way of thinking, you getting some experience first would make sense and you could still have continued as the renowned attorney that you say you are. Then with some hands on experience, you might present yourself as an asset instead of a trainee. You see the problem is that it is a two year job. You weren't planning to run for only one term were you? Because if you were really sincere about the job and the great difference you could make, you wouldn't want to stop at just two years. And this being the case, at some point during those first two years, you'd have to think about starting your re-election campaign for the second term, just as Feiner always has to be thinking ahead.

But here's the difference. Feiner already knows the job. Taxpayers get good value for their $130,00 (that's around $1.50 per resident of Greenburgh entire) because he already performs the job. Let's face it, you haven't had similar experience; it is going to take you at least 6-9 months to even approach getting up to speed. And you're going to take vacations and you're going to continue to wish your Democrat friends up the line well and attend their gatherings because that's who you are, a party hack. And one hand washes the other and you owe them big time for endorsing you. This obligation even goes beyond all the aid and support you've swung their way in the past. Which is why, of course, that they now endorse you. But the way this works is, you still have to help each and every one of them as they face their coming campaigns. So the way I view it, the more people in office who support you, the more time you are going to have to devote to "washing" their hands. And that might even be acceptable if you were...experienced. But you are not. Running a meeting for Democrat party junkies is not the same as running the Town.

And that brings up another matter, there is a little problem at hand, the unincorporated is facing off with the villages and Edgemont is facing off with unincorporated and what does Fairview and North Elmsford think about all this. Coming from a village you are presumed to be partial to where you hail from but you're getting so much backing from Edgemont who brought the discomfort to the villages and again, you owe so much to Edgemont and you owe so much to the villages, that these matters taken together with your friends higher up the political food chain; that it is not an unreasonable or outrageous question to ask a politician, who owns Suzanne Berger? After all, your supporters argue that developers own Feiner so my question is not so easily tossed aside when viewed in the arena of this year's local politics.

Now, permit me this observation. You are obviously a woman. Women are making stronger showings at the voting booths. And Hilary is leading the charge on behalf of all women. But unlike you, Hilary, for better or worse, has some bonafides which you do not. Would you blame voters for assuming that you are looking for a free ride on her efforts to open more public offices to women. Because, no one should be fooled that all women come to the table or dais with the same skill sets.

So what do you look like to me? In a word, unseasoned. You haven't told voters why you should be the Town Supervisor. You are instead hoping to successfully surf the backlash against Feiner and your platform appears, not only to the opposition but also to your own supporters, to be "I'm not Feiner". Unfortunately for your candidacy, that just isn't enough. Everyone else who doesn't carry the name Paul Feiner, is not Feiner either and you make no effort to distinguish yourself from Feiner by committing yourself to specifics and it is recognized that such a campaign is followed only by those who don't know the specifics.

Now I do recongnize that you are bright and can learn the job in time but I'm back to thinking about your first term.
6-9 months in training, 2 months to honor political obligations and 3 months at the back end to mount a re-election campaign. So what the taxpayers get is at most 10-11 months of value.

And where and from whom do you learn? Which is the real sticking point. Everyone sees your mentor, indeed your successor, as Francis Sheehan. Let's face it, Francis blew it. Many of us had high hopes based upon his willingness to actually read and analyze issues. So we supported him to supplement Feiner's energy and progressive innovations and quality of life enhancements. Once Francis won his seat, a new Francis showed his true stripes: a Democrat who was the antithesis of Democracy and more pointedly, as near to a dictator as can be mustered within the framework of a seat on the Town Council. This glimpse of Sheehan has people scared of seeing him ascend any higher than his current level. And everything points to him as your mentor. In fact, I envision that you will receive good news from your Democratic endorsers that there is a job in Albany or a judgeship somewhere that will be just too tempting for you to turn down, even during your first two years if you win the Supervisor's seat.

In effect, you are running as "I'm not Feiner" and many people opposing you are doing so because "Feiner is not Sheehan".

You needed to build some creds which you might have done if you had run for Town Council. Instead you obliged Bernstein by being his tool to split the village vote and unseat Feiner. Once you fulfilled that mission, none of your Edgemont backers gives a damn what you do.

But you made your bed. Now sleep in it. The professional bloggers who fill these pages with the anti Feiner venom forget one thing, they can't think of a single reason to vote for Suzanne Berger without mentioning Feiner.

Meanwhile, your main backer, Bernstein, has such overwhelming ego problems and so lusting for the kill, that he won't even support you because he is too involved with telling everyone that Bernstein calls the shots.
So you are also falling victim to the Bernstein backlash.

Speaking in the language of a litigator: you just haven't made your case. And that makes the jury's job simple, there are no grounds to hand the job over to you.

Conclusion? Don't give up your day job.

feiner must go said...

one is at a loss to find any reason to support the re-election of 16 year incumbent paul feiner in hal's lengthy post other than the lukewarm suggestion that "feiner knows the job." thats debatable. under feiner, the town has reached a political dead end. feiner's record (esp over his last term) has been abysmal. time to throw the rascal out. we are not marrying berger - its a two year trial period. we cannot afford two more years of feiner the problem creator. "im not feiner" is good enough for government work.

Anonymous said...

Under Mussolini the trains ran on time.
While we are all tired of hearing about WESTHELP, it still stands as a reminder of a Feiner-created initiative that the Town Board negligently bought into.
We are equally tired of hearing that Bernstein/McNally/O'Shea/Lasser/Krauss and the Edgemont community is the source of all the Town's problems. Please remember that Mr. Feiner, from the dias, told Mr. Bernstein that if he thought the Town-wide recreation budget should bear the costs of Taxter Ridge, he (Bernstein) should sue. It was a tactic that worked in Mayberry RFD, but baby, we ain't there anymore.

Anonymous said...

Question of the Day for Steve Bass:

While, we all know your focus is on global issues, I was wondering if you could do me a personal favor?

Summer is my favorite time of the year, but it always seems to go by so quickly.

Could you offer a resolution that will extend Summer by several weeks?

PS – Is it possible that I saw a picture of Eddie Mae on the side of my milk carton this morning, being reported as a missing person?

Anonymous said...

Voting for Berger,Bass and Barnes, is not voting for the democratic ticket it's voting for the Bernstein and McNally platform.
Bernstein and McNally are pulling all the strings for this election.
I think people have had enough,of Bass,Barnes and now johnny come lately Berger.
It's about time that the people of Edgemont start to realize that their area is under a dictatorship,under the leadership of Bernstein and McNally.Take notice of the biggest crime that they both tried to unsuccessfully complete.
DROMORE RD.
IN becoming a village as the duo is proposing the residents of Edgemont will be paying much ,much more for services,than they are paying for now.
Please make sure that you take the opportunity to vote,we have to save our town from a dictatorship.
Vote for Feiner,Brown,Morgan and Belville.

Anonymous said...

The blogger at 6:02 last evening, writing under the name of "feiner lost the elmsford money" but who is unmistakeably Bernstein -- no one else writes with such pompous omniscience -- is pathetic.

If Bernstein wants to be taken seriously he must lear to do something which he seems unable to learn. He must make his accusations aboout things which have some basis in reality. If he blames Feiner for everything, as Bernstein constantly does -- he should expect that even those accisations which have some merit will be discounted. Remember the story about the boy who cried "wolf?"

The blogger who hits the spot always because he is honest as well as informed (and is fun to read as well) is Hal Samis. Long may he blog.

Gimme a break! said...

I saw the signs that Bass and barnes put up. Are you kidding us, they are a bad attempt to make fun of pauls slogan. These are the people that want to represent the town of greenburgh. Time to remove them from there positions!

hal samis said...

To 7:51,

So the Town Board negligently went along with WESTHELP and you think that this grudging admission is the end of the story?

What happened by the end of your posting regarding Taxter Ridge?
On that matter, the Town Board were stepping all over each other to get their names associated with favoring the purchase.

We've got to save some birds and frogs and some mushrooms...and the School District.

Just within the few lines of your blog posting we get a completely different snapshot of what happened when we focus the truth camera on the subject.

And wasn't it the entire Town Board that voted to appeal the Bernstein decision?

But it is simple enough to say "we ain't there anymore" ". All we have to do as in "you've come a long way baby is to ask Suzanne whether the purchase should have been made and we'll see how tight she really is with the Democrat party.

So if your reference point is old tv sitcoms, maybe you should have switched channels to "The People's Choice" and studied the "tactics" of Mayor Peoples.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to whoever wrote the blogpost at 6:02 last night about Feiner being responsible for losing the Elmsford money.

The arguments presented were logical and compelling, and regardless of who wins the election, it looks like Elmsford may have a big problem on its hands.

It doesn't matter that Elmsford has a contract with Ardsley. If Elmsford is legally required to pay the town, because state law says villages without libraries of their own must pay for the town's library, then it doesn't matter that Elmsford entered into a separate contract with Ardsley.

Nor does it matter that the Westchester Library System may have rules which might have allowed Elmsford to enter into that contract with Ardsley. WLS rules are voluntary, vague and unenforceable -- Greenburgh itself found no basis to sue under them, but again it doesn't matter. State laws cannot be trumped by local regulations, in any event, even if the local rules had been clear, and here they're not.

I don't know whether Feiner is to blame for the town not taking legal action against Elmsford, but judging from all the nasty and irrelevant personal attacks being made by Feiner supporters against Bernstein, the Edgemont lawyer they claim to be the author of the argument, I bet Feiner really is to blame.

Feiner's obsession with Bernstein is weird. It doesn't reflect well on Feiner at all. Makes him and his supporters sound downright unhinged.

Anonymous said...

It's not Feiner who has an obsession with Bernstein. it is the other way around. bernstein's life is Feiner-bashing.

But if the 6:02 blogger (probably Bernsteion, but whoever)claims thet State law requires villages within towns to pay for the cost of town libraries unless the village has a library of its own, then let this blogger cite the law, not just pontificate about it (which, by the way, is Bernstein's customary way about law). And let him cite a law that says that Elmsford is stuck because they are now part of the Ardsley library. And let him sho why the special law about the Greenburgh library doesn't override everything else.

In short, stop making false statements just because you are obsessed with Feiner.

Anonymous said...

Where are the police patrol cars in the areas that have been burglarized.
Don't tell me that there are unmarked cars cruising the areas.
The unmarked cars are busy going after traffic offenders.
Why is it that we as residents see so many things that should be picked up by a policeman,that go without being checked
Does the public have to be the constant lookout for the police.
Must we become prisoners in our homes.
I see that recently more police were added to the force.Where are they.
I think all the residents of the town should be protected by our police force.
How about sending more police down in the areas of all these breakins. We pay taxes also.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you Feiner supporters keep bashing Bernstein about the Elmsford library problem. There are a lot of us out there that have been looking into the problem.

The law that says villages must pay for town libraries unless the village has a library of its own that meets certain state criteria is State Education Law Section 256(2).

The law that excuses Greenburgh's villages from having to pay for the town's library is Chapter 642 of the 1960 Sessions Laws, which authorized the establishment of the town's library.

To the extent Chapter 642 excuses Greenburgh's villages that had their own libraries from having to pay for the town's new library, there's no problem. But to the extent Chapter 642 also excuses Elmsford, which has never had a library of its own, and still doesn't, Chapter 642, at least as applied to Elmsford, conflicts with State Education Law 256(2) and may be unconstitutional insofar as it deprives the unincorporated residents of Greenburgh of due process and equal protection.

That's pretty serious stuff, and whether it's Bernstein making the argument, or whomever, there's clearly a problem here that will have to be dealt with no matter who gets elected.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein started this feud against Feiner some time ago.
What Bernstein is looking for is POWER,so by doing what he doing together with Sheehan and company makes him feel that he is winning the battle.
The power he is seeking is to become the big boss of Edgemont if and when it becomes a village.
The people that live in this area are in for some more troubles if this takes place.
We as residents of other areas in Greenburgh will be affectect also,but not as much as the residents of Edgemont.
BERNSTEIN LET THE PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES,and please stop this vendetta that you have against Feiner.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein started this feud against Feiner some time ago.
What Bernstein is looking for is POWER,so by doing what he doing together with Sheehan and company makes him feel that he is winning the battle.
The power he is seeking is to become the big boss of Edgemont if and when it becomes a village.
The people that live in this area are in for some more troubles if this takes place.
We as residents of other areas in Greenburgh will be affectect also,but not as much as the residents of Edgemont.
BERNSTEIN LET THE PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES,and please stop this vendetta that you have against Feiner.

Anonymous said...

Dear 11:51 am-

Concerning crime in Greenburgh, you must not have received the latest campaign flyer from "Steve & Eddie".

They take credit for the lowering of crime in Greenburgh. (In fact they take credit for everything other than solving the Lindberg baby kidnapping).

After receiving it, you should feel free to leave your house.

Just don't get hit by the car of any of those wacky Team Bernstein campaigners ripping down the "I'm with Paul" lawn signs. Now that's dangerous!

Anonymous said...

To Samis -
The "admission" isn't grudging - it is a statement of fact, foreign as that concept may be to anyone involved in "real estate".
And you fail to answer anything else in the post - which, using your debating tactics, means you cannot defend another position.
I recommend you declare intellectual Chapter 12 as you clearly have a better grasp of old television shows than current realities.

hal samis said...

To 6:02PM and 10:36 AM,

Here's a simple solution and the test of the assassination, sorry I meant assumption. Let the Courts decide.

How to get there when Feiner is shirking his responsibility to his employer, The Town and all its taxpayers and instead favoring Elmsford for political reasons?

Or so you claim.

It is simple. Just redirect the efforts of Mr. Bass away from having Greenburgh end the problems in Darfur and the pressing need to create more dues at local Union chapters and INSTEAD offer up a Resolution that the Town sue Elmsford for the $1,000,000 that it "owes" Greenburgh. It apparently won't take much argument as the issues are so clear and I'll even support using all of the Elmsford proceeds toward building AND maintaining sidewalks in Edgemont. Call it a finder's fee to Bob for bringing this matter to the forefront, even if it is well over a year later but then there isn't a primary every year.

Mr. Bass too busy? Well Eddie Mae Barnes now claims to know how to use the internet so she can introduce the Resolution. Too busy, Ms Barnes? Well how about Diana Juettner? Now there's a good choice, she's the Town Board's liaison to the Library so who would be better acquainted with the problem? When can we expect the Resolution, can you have the language ready in time for one of the work sessions or special meetings? Get Gil or Bob to help. Shouldn't be too difficult and according to Bernstein's doppelganger, the action is another lay-up like Bernstein's other lawsuits. Oh Juettner is too busy being an "educator" and the fall term has just started? Well, how about Sheehan. Whoops, he's an "educator" too and he must also be busy still "working" on his
Doctorate. **Did you ever notice how Town government attracts so many people who never go "all the way" in their chosen careers. Sheehan and no Doctorate (and he's so good on research and speechifying too); Berger another local superlawyer and no Partnership, Town Comptroller Heslop still not even a CPA...**

So maybe Gil Kaminer could draft the Resolution. Since I'm certain that he "hasn't" done this before, this could be his big break. Then all that any of the Town Council members would have to do is introduce the Resolution under their name. Easy enough.

And since the lawsuit is so easily won, why the Town wouldn't even have to hire expensive outside hourly talent. Maybe Bob when he gets finished testifying about those meetings when he represented the Town re Dromore, why he could handle this just to restore some credibility to the family name. And it would be as easy as apple pie. All HE would have to do is appear and Elmsford would flee the Courtroom. Verdict: in favor of the plaintiff, Greenburgh. Who should the check be made out to?

And why not, after all there is $1 million lying around Elmsford that "rightfully" belongs to Greenburgh and it is there for the taking. Since Feiner won't do it, then when can we expect the Resolution from the Town Council members?

Just three votes.

Any combination of Bass, Barnes, Juettner or Sheehan and Greenburgh taxpayers can see their Town Budget reduced by $1,000,000.
Now's the time to start, before the 2008 Budget gets submitted.
$1,000,000, a lot of money that's there for the taking.

If Bernstein's doppelganger is correct, then I say let's go claim those bucks.

On the other hand, maybe Bernstein's doppelganger is just shoveling more manure outside the polling places.

But maybe Ms Berger, a lawyer, would care to opine on this matter?
Love to hear from ya. Even though it's not a village issue, the Town Supervisor is responsible for unincorporated. So where do you stand, with Ardsley and Elmsford or with Greenburgh unincorporated?
Shouldn't voters be entitled to know what you think regarding specific issues. You don't need to know anything more that what Bernstein says, so nobody walks, candidates talk.

straight talk about law said...

To Anon 12:14 (alias BB) who said this:

"The law that says villages must pay for town libraries unless the village has a library of its own that meets certain state criteria is State Education Law Section 256(2)."

Now the sly blogger answered the request to cite the law by quoting a law that does NOT say that villages must pay for town libraries, etc. Luckily the laws are available on the web, so here is Education Law section 256(2)

"2. When the municipality agreeing to make the payment or grant is a town in which there are one or more incorporated villages, which village or villages jointly with such town contract with the trustees of a cooperative library system, a free association library or with another municipal district or body having control of a public library whether or not such district or body is an incorporated village in such town, the amount appropriated by the town board in such town shall be a charge upon the taxable property of that part of the town outside of any such incorporated village."

In other words, 12:14BB is making things up as usual.

So, CITE THE LAW OR ELSE SHUT UP. WE HAVE ENOUGH PROBLEMS WITHOUT HAVING TO KEEP TABS ON YOUR LYING WAYS.

hal samis said...

Dear 12.52, reminding us that you were still not thinking clearly when you wrote at 7:51 this morning,

Do you mean that I didn't comment on Mussolini and the trains running on time? I'm saving that for when I write about Sheehan.

As for it being tiresome to hear that the whole list of Edgemont residents are responsible for all of Greenburgh's problems, well you haven't heard that from me. I think that just two of the names, Bernstein and McNally, are responsible for all of Greenburgh's problems.

And the problem for Edgemont taken as a whole is that their silence allows the few to speak for the many. The ECC DOES NOT speak for everyone in Edgemont; it speaks only for its membership. And lately, Bernstein and McNally are speaking, not for anything that has been formalized as a position by the ECC, but speaking only as two individual residents while still passing out the business card of the ECC. Thus benefiting from what is known as "after image", the picture the optic nerve retains of the image for a brief period after taking it in.

Anonymous said...

With all the new propaganda about the library, and the "legal expert" saying that there is a proper claim by the town against Elmsford because under the law Elmsford must pay for the Greenburgh library, it is more than high time for Suzanne Berger to give us her views. She has been a litigator in a large firm for 20 years.

This is am important issue for Greenburgh. At least it is if the 6:02 and 10:36 blogger is correct. And since it seems that he is a well-known lawyer who always lectures to the Town Board, he might have a point. Or he might be wrong. But it is $1,000,00 question.

So let Miss Berger give us her view of it.

feiner on the ropes? said...

my sense of things is berger's mailings are hitting feiner hard. he's floundering. berger is right -after 16 years - things just dont seem to work as well.

feiner may just be learning that you cannot fool all the people all the time.

hal samis said...

My sense is that you can try to fool all the people all the time if you remember not to use your own name.

But if you're trying to create a false impression from mere speculation, or even to encourage your campaign workers, then let me get in the fun too.

My sense is that Feiner's already won. Because there can't be much left in the vault that hasn't been dredged up yet. In the final few days before the Primary, the Public is being served the residue from the bottom of the barrel that responsible vinter's throw out, not try to sell.

Or to put it another way, would you buy a used car from Bernstein?

And somebody should be asking why the Town Council was being paid good money but serving "in absentia" for 16 years. Perhaps Bob can find us a State law so that the Town can sue them too.

Anonymous said...

Hats off to the Scarsdale Inquirer for a fabulously well-reasoned and hard-hitting endorsement -- for SUZANNE BERGER. What's more, there couldn't have been a better mix of letters to drive home the point.

Anonymous said...

Letters in the Scarsdale Inquirer,especially one from the democratic committee man[ so he states] ,is filled with lies.He always lies when it comes to facts concerning the supervisor or the entire town of Greenburgh.As someone said some time ago the democratic party is scrapping the bottom of the barrel to come up with such trash,as representatives of the party.Yes lorrin brown I'm speaking about you.
You do not know what a true democrate is or what the party represented days gone by.
I do hope that we could get back to the way the party was ,with honest and true leaders.
Vote for Feiner,Brown and Morgan and give us back Greenburgh.
If the party endorsed Berger for the position to run for supervisor,maybe the party is trying to get rid of some dead wood,or throwing some bait to the vultures.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised that the Scarsdale Inquirer supported Berger. That paper has always been the Town Council's and Bernstein's poop sheet.

And I do mean poop.

Anonymous said...

Poop sheets is right on,and the longer Sheehan and Kaminer stay accepting a pay check the news will be all in their favor.
They have taken away one of our freedoms, that of the press.
We do hope with the coming elections things will get back to a true and open government.
Feiner,Brown and Morgan all the way.
Down with Berger,Bass and Barnes,

Anonymous said...

FEINER: PROUDLY NOT ENDORSED BY THE POLITICAL BOSSES

Anonymous said...

Who is the idiot supposed to represent with a cigar in his mouth ,endorsing Berger,and supposed to represent a developer.
When has a developer said that he was with Paul.
In what respect has Feiner been cozy with the developers.
This is Bernstein's words being fed to the press in endorsing Berger.
By saying this Bernstein and Berger have said that everyone on any board is on the take.
Too bad Bernstien and co. cannot be as honest as the planning and zoning boards.
The ethics board is full of you know what as far as their laws go,which Sir Sheehan put together.
Feiner has proven to all where the money came from.
Because of a chosen few from Edgemont who constantly bring this lie up over and over again,Berger is following their mentality .
How many years did Feiner take to build up a war chest of this magnitude.
Has he not made a full diclosure of thes funds[if he has this amount]
Bernstein and co.Stop with this BS
We are all getting tired of the same story.Berger,
Samis had the right words for you Stay where you are because you fell right into Bernstein and companies clutches.This will prove to be a disaster for you and the town of Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

I'm in traffic every day,going to and from my job.Berger's
flyer is blaming Feiner with this everyday problem. Too much traffic.
Did Berger ever check with DOT to see if they could help with the flow of traffic.
Where is ther overcrowing in schools.oh yes guess where Edgemont.I didn't have to think too long for that answer.
Berger what's wrong with our air,and what does Feiner have to do with that.
Water ,if we had any more water on our properties we would be raising frogs.
Berger you say Paul is vindictive,aw come on ,your buddies are the ones who are vindictive,because some one has got their number.
They have all showed their true colors,starting with the four board members,,,Bernstein and his clan.
This has been the dirtiest campaign ever in the town of Greenburgh.
The reason for this is Power and more Power .
The four members on the board and Bernstein and his clan have demonstrated what fools they were when they got involved with the Dromore rd. property,[power]
Berger you are following in their footsteps,because your flyer states word for word what these nuts have said right along.
..
\

Anonymous said...

We know what we have but we don't know what we are getting into with Berger in the main chair.
She is too green when it comes to running town government.
She may think that because she is the chair person of the democratic party that qualifies her to run for supervisor.
The democratic party is not the town of Greenburgh.
Berger you may be a smart woman,but going for this position is not your cup of tea.

why is steve distancing himself from suzanne? said...

Bass & Barnes are running away from Berger and distancing themselves from her floundering cammpaign. They are doing to her what Francis and Diana did to Bill 2 years ago. Steve & Eddie Mae's signs are imitations of Feiner signs. Smart politics. They want people to think they're with Feiner.

feiner needs to investigate said...

The Bass and Barnes signs were not put up by the Bass and Barnes campaign. Otherwise, they'd say they were paid for by "Friends of Steve Bass" or the "Committee to Re-elect Eddie Mae Barnes." These signs have someone else's name on them.

Could it be that there are residents out there who are so fed up with Feiner's posters that they decided to exercise their First Amendment rights by ordering a bunch of their own Steve and Eddie Mae posters?

Who could be doing this? Maybe Feiner should ask Kapica to launch an investigation.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should get your head out of your a--. You know damn well that B & B ( not the drink although they need one ) are responsible for these signs. They have no platform and we as residents have no use for losers and liars.

Anonymous said...

What residents, Bernstein, McNally, Preiser, Brown, O'Shea. With friends like them suicide would be acceptable.

Anonymous said...

11:57,your so right.The residents in the town of Greenburgh,are fed up with the people that you mentioned.
Could it be possible that they too take money from some of the people that they represent,in their areas.
There must be a reason why they continually harrass people,developers and lawyers.
They say that they represent their areas with such gusto it makes people throw up.
The bunch should retire and leave Greenburgh residents to live their lives the way they see fit.
Stay away from town meetings this way maybe somethings would get accomplished.
Your appearance at planning and zoning board meetings is deplorable. These board member know what they have to do,without you giving them stupid advice.
Your presence at any meeting in the town is not needed.
After the Dromore rd,incident,you have proven the point that has been said so many times on this blo
Get your lives together and let us have back our [the peoples] town government.

Anonymous said...

Question of the Day for Steve Bass:

While we all acknowledge your leadership on global issues, I pose the following.

The stock markets continue to be in disarray and are quite volatile. In fact yesterday’s employment numbers really shook the market.

Could you offer a resolution that will extol the benefits of having the Fed cut the discount rate quicker?

PS – If Eddie Mae was placed in the witness protection program, would she even know it?

desperation from feiner's camp said...

desperation. thats what is coming through loud and clear from feiner's people.

Anonymous said...

9:54 why should we be desperate.,when we are winning all the way.
The Berger team has lost big time.
We in the Feiner camp smell victory all the way.
Better luck next time.

hold your nose said...

all there is coming from the feiner camp is a smell of incomptence and corruption.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful world it will be when...............


WE HAVE JUST THREE VOTES!!!

Say goodnight Gracie! (& Francis)

Inquirer finds Feiner worse than ever said...

The Scarsdale Inquirer had this to say about Feiner:

"Greenburgh's town government has gotten worse, not better as we had hoped. Rather than "putting the town first and politics second" as [Feiner] had pledged to do when he narrowly defeated Bill Greenawalt for supervisor two years ago, Feiner has become even more imperious, impulsive, stubborn and divisive."

This doesn't sound to me like someone deserving of re-election.

Anonymous said...

I hate to put this to you but I think you have your camps out of wack.
Berger and company does not have a platform at all.
They are repeating what has been said over and over again at meetngs.
How could they claim that they lowered taxes .when it was done by Feiner and the entire board.
They say that they purchased parklands,again this was done by Feiner and the entire board,paid by the residents.
they say that they voted on the library project,thank you ,they never really did their homework.
Feiner was against this project from the beginning,which is now coming up with many problems.
Let's face it they have nothing new to offer that has not been taken care of in the past.

electing feiner and slate a disaster said...

About the worst thing Greenburgh could do for itself is to elect Feiner's "slate" and give him the three votes he needs to control the board.

The Scarsdale Inquirer put it this way:

"Much of the friction between the supervisor and the four town council members . . . revolves about the supervisor's wish to charge full speed ahead with contracts and other decisions of all kinds and accuse anyone who wants to take it slowly and carefully of being opposed to the measure. His attention span is just not long enough to last through the often-tedious details of, for example, a contract negotiation with Verizon to bring cable TV competition to Greenburgh. His motto seems to be "just do it!"

"Feiner takes all the credit for good things in town. . . and none of the blame for the problems. He brags about increased bond ratings from Moody's, but plays fast and loose with revenues and expenses -- pads the fund balance and pays scant attention to infrastructure needs like the library, the town court and the police headquarters."

The Inquirer is the only publication in Greenburgh that actually sends reporters to cover each and every town board meeting that takes place throughout the year. As a result, no other publication knows Greenburgh politics as well as the Inquirer.

The Inquirer says electing Feiner and his slate would be a disaster for Greenburgh. I'm going with the Inquirer on this one.

Anonymous said...

What the Scarsdale inquirer is printing concernng this coming election,is not fit to print.
To tell the truth most of the articles and letter to the editors are written by Berger's disfunctional crew and the so called committee people from the democratic party.
How could these people come up with so many lies is unbelievable.
We have to deal with the facts before us,at the moment.
We have a person who has lead the town of Greenburgh to where it is now.
Yes some people in one area speak differently,because there are some who have so much hatred for the supervisor,that it has impaired their thinking.
The newspaper has to sell it's garbage concerning this election,which is given to them by a group of loosers.
Feiner has done a good job in spite of a disfunctional council.
Once the newly elected candidates take over things will change,
When Feiner makes a promise it is a done deal.

Fun blog poll time! said...

Feiner or Berger. Death is NOT an option.(so sorry)

feiner dislike spreading said...

The Scarsdale Inquirer editorial endorsing Berger and blasting Feiner was written by Linda Leavitt. Is Feiner now telling his supporters to ignore the editorial becaus Ms. Leavitt is part of Ms. Berger's "dysfunctional crew?" That's pathetic. And Ms. Leavitt's certainly not part of the town's Democratic committee either.

And what about Mr. Redd of the County Press. He didn't have kind words for Feiner either. Is he part of Ms. Berger's "dysfunctional crew" too?

It's hard to overlook the fact that two respectable and very different publications that serve very different parts of the town both agree that Feiner's got to go. Both publications are telling us that there's something very seriously wrong with Feiner and that there's a very good reason why no other elected Democratic official in the entire region has endorsed him.

Anonymous said...

The Scarsdale Inquirer serves the Village of Scarsdale and covers Scarsdale's little step-brother, Edgemont. It would be self-defeating for the SI to endorse Feiner. They have their clientel to think of.

hal samis said...

Excuse me,

Did I read that the "Editorial" in the Scarsdale Inquirer was written by Linda Leavitt?

I know that Linda Leavitt is on the masthead as Editor.

I know that every editorial is not written by her.

Next week when she is back from vacation, someone should ask.

Anonymous said...

That the Scarsdale Inquirer would support Berger was a foregone conclusion. Its principal readership in Greenburgh is Edgemont. It gives Bob Bernstein acess to its pages through one op ed piece after another, untruthful and unjournalistic those op ed pieces may be, which shows their approach. Its principal reporter, Susan Wolfert, is on the Library Board, and she has hated Feiner ever since he suggested that the referendum not be rushed -- something most people now wish had been done as Feiner suggested.

If the Scarsdale Inquirer really had wanted to get rid of Feiner they should have endorsed him. Then he would have had a heart attack.

Anonymous said...

THe Bass and Barnes flyer that was in the mail today saturday,states that Feiner is polluting the air,and water.
How could this be possible.
All the traffic on any main thoroughfare is going into White Plains.When the cars are made to fly over Greenburgh we will have cleaner air.
How could you blame Feiner for all the traffic,White plains is a beautiful city to shop in.
As far as the water goes,I always thought the water came down from up state ,Does Feiner have anything to do with the water sheds upstate,no but blame Feiner.
What ever property was built on was voted by many for development.
The zoning board and planning board together with the town board. You blame the supervisor for this also..
The overcrowding in the schools,you blame Feiner for this also.
Has he fathered all the extra children,or do you want him as one of his new duties give birth control classes.
Right now there are few parcels for development.The parcel were purchased for the sole reason to build homes.
Who gave both of you permission to stop development on these parcels.
Your poster is the right color,RED
By you sending out all this false information makes you look very stupid.
You have no facts to make the statements that you are making.
The democratic party has delt you a bad hand,which will be sinking your ship..

Anonymous said...

Great article in the NY TIMES today about Greenburgh's energy conservation efforts.

Anonymous said...

would be hilarious to know how many of these anonymous pro-feiner posts are written by our favorite singing duo "feiner & garfinkel", just as i wonder how many of the anti-feiner posts are written by bernstein. can we do a FOIA request on the hits list on this website?

Anonymous said...

Question of the Day for Steve Bass:

It has been a year of many changes, with some things getting worse and some things getting better.

Something of great note this year is the fabulous results being produced by Alex Rodriguez of New York’s very own Yankees.

Would you offer a resolution that will express the Town’s support for A-Rod as the American League MVP of the year?

PS – If Eddie Mae fell over in the forest, would it make a noise?

Anonymous said...

Heah, go away and FOIL for a list of hits. I am waiting for Feiner to send nasty letters to every employer of anyone posting here -- like he did to Bernstein. Talk about not respecting peoples right to free speach. Feiner hits people in their pocketbooks.

Anonymous said...

Let's see....

Suporting Team Berstein are Andy Spano , Richard Brodsky, and Bill Ryan.

Just another reason why............

"I'm not with Steve & Eddie"

Anonymous said...

I am with Steve and Edie. I like the idea that they are there own people. They may support Berger most of the time, but unlikde the Feiner slate, on a bicycle built for 4, arent one package.

Not only will the bicylcle support millions for Valahalla, but the bycylcle also supprts more money for Greenburgh 7, for SAT prep et. Most of us in Greenburgh are NOT in G7, and pay for our own schools and can not afford to support other schools.

Anonymous said...

Steve and Eddie Mae are their own people? (By the way, 2:14 you ought to learn that "their" is not spelled "there"}.

No way. Bass is entirely dependent on Brodsky, and has had no job outside of political do-nothing jobs arranged with Brodsky's influence. If Brodsky told him to praise Feiner Bass would be cloying instead of hostile.

And Eddie Mae? No, she is her not own person. She is an equal opportunity follower. She followed Feiner when she ran with him, and she follows Sheehan and Bernstein when they try to take over. She has never uttered an original or thoughful comment, unless you count "can't we get along" as an original and thoughtful comment.

I'll say this for Bass, at least he has some political motivations, malign as they are. All Eddie Mae wants to do is get reelected permanently, and get an extra $40,000 or so per year plus a state pension. Governing has nothing to do with her.

Anonymous said...

They wont spend town money for school districts, without Feiner lying and bullying.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne Berger and Housing! She and her crew lost the case!

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Luther M. RAGIN, Jr., Deborah Fish Ragin, Renaye B. Cuyler, Jerome F. Cuyler, Open Housing Center, Inc., Plaintiffs-Appellants-Cross-Appellees,
v.
HARRY MACKLOWE REAL ESTATE CO., Harry Macklowe, Defendants-Appellees-Cross-Appellants.

Nos. 1423, 1424, Docket 92-9252L, 92-9282XAP.

Argued May 14, 1993.
Decided Sept. 29, 1993.


Newspaper readers and organization filed suit under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to challenge the depiction of only white models in advertisements for residential housing. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Robert W. Sweet, J., 801 F.Supp. 1213, entered judgment finding a violation of the Act. Appeal and cross appeal were taken. The Court of Appeals, Miner, Circuit Judge, held that: (1) the readers and organization had standing; (2) no expert or survey evidence was needed to establish if an ordinary reader would find that an ad expressed a racial preference; (3) awards of $2500 to each reader were adequate compensation for emotional distress; (4) the organization failed to prove that it was entitled to compensatory damages; (5) the refusal to award punitive damages was not an abuse of discretion; and (6) further proceedings were necessary on the claims for attorney fees.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

West Headnotes

*900 Kerry Alan Scanlon, Washington, DC (Elaine R. Jones, Eric Schnapper, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., New York City, Cornelia Pillard, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Washington, DC, Thomas Holman, Alla Roytberg, Lefrak Newman & Myerson, New York City, of counsel), for plaintiffs-appellants-cross-appellees.

George B. Yankwitt, New York City (Vincent Alfieri, Suzanne M. Berger , Susan B. Teitelbaum, Robinson Silverman Pearce Aronsohn & Berman, of counsel), for defendants-appellees-cross-appellants.

William H. Jeffress, Jr. and Niki Kuckes, Washington, DC (Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, of counsel), submitted a brief for amicus curiae National Fair Housing Alliance in Support of plaintiffs-appellants-cross-appellees.

*901 Before: PRATT and MINER, Circuit Judges, and MISHLER, District Judge.FN*

FN* Hon. Jacob Mishler, Senior District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, sitting by designation.

MINER, Circuit Judge:
Plaintiffs-appellants-cross-appellees Luther M. Ragin, Jr., Deborah Fish Ragin, Renaye Cuyler, Jerome F. Cuyler and the Open Housing Center (“OHC”) appeal from a judgment entered in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Sweet, J.) after a bench trial with an advisory jury. The plaintiffs commenced this action for damages and injunctive relief in August of 1988, alleging that defendant-appellee-cross-appellant Harry Macklowe Real Estate Company (“HMRE”) and HMRE's sole owner and president, defendant-appellee-cross-appellant Harry Macklowe, violated section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c) (1988) (the “FHA” or the “Act”). The gravamen of the plaintiffs' complaint was that the defendants' placement of display advertising for residential apartments in The New York Times violated the Act's prohibition against racial discrimination in residential housing advertising because all the models portrayed in the advertisements were white.

After a fourteen-day trial, the advisory jury recommended: that only HMRE be found liable for violating the Act; that each individual plaintiff receive $25,000 in compensatory damages for emotional distress; that the OHC receive $100,000 in compensatory damages for the resources it was required to allocate to counteract the effects of the defendants' advertisements; and that HMRE be required to pay $62,500 in punitive damages to the plaintiffs. On August 25, 1992, the district court issued an opinion: finding that both HMRE and Macklowe violated the Act; awarding each individual plaintiff $2500 in compensatory damages for emotional distress; and awarding the OHC $20,000 in compensatory damages for the resources it was required to allocate to counteract the effects of the defendants' advertisements. See Ragin v. Harry Macklowe Real Estate Co., 801 F.Supp. 1213, 1230-34 (S.D.N.Y.1992). The district court declined to award punitive damages but entered an injunction prohibiting the defendants from violating the Act by using display advertising that indicated a racial preference.

In its August 25 opinion, the district court directed the parties to “[s]ubmit judgments on notice.” 801 F.Supp. at 1236. Both parties subsequently submitted proposed judgments based on the court's opinion. Each judgment included a provision contemplating further proceedings to determine if attorneys' fees would be awarded. In October of 1992, the district court entered a judgment in accordance with its decision. The judgment granted costs and disbursements to the plaintiffs but, in accordance with an order dated October 19, 1992 denying counsel fees, omitted any fee award.

In their appeal, the plaintiffs argue that the district court erred in: calculating the amount of compensatory damages; declining to award punitive damages; issuing a weaker injunction than they requested; and declining to award them attorneys' fees. In their cross appeal, the defendants argue that the district court erred in finding that the plaintiffs had standing to sue in federal court and in finding that the defendants violated the Act. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the district court's findings with respect to standing, liability and damages, leave the injunction undisturbed and reverse and remand on the issue of attorneys' fees.


BACKGROUND

We assume familiarity with the facts set forth in the district court's published opinion, see Ragin v. Harry Macklowe Real Estate Co., 801 F.Supp. 1213 (S.D.N.Y.1992), and therefore provide only a brief summary of the facts and circumstances giving rise to this action. The individual plaintiffs are two married couples who reside in New York City. All four are African Americans who hold graduate degrees in the fields of law, public policy, medicine or speech pathology. The OHC is a nonprofit corporation located in New York City. Its “mission” is to reduce the amount of segregation in, and to eliminate*902 all discrimination from, the metropolitan residential housing market.

HMRE was the leasing agent and managing agent for two luxury residential apartment complexes in Manhattan. The first building, Riverterrace, is located at 515 East 72nd Street. Between May of 1986 and April of 1987, HMRE placed six half-page or full-page display ads for Riverterrace in The New York Times. One of these ads (“HOME”) featured a photograph of three single white models engaging in sports or recreational activities and a photograph of a white couple embracing. A second ad (“New Year at 5:15”) portrayed four white models gathering around a piano on New Year's Eve. A third ad (“Live It Up at 5:15”) included three photographs: the scene depicted in the New Year at 5:15 ad, two white models at a swimming pool and a white couple on a terrace. The last three ads (“5:15 is the Time”) also each included three photographs: the scene featured in the New Year at 5:15 ad, a white couple in a swimming pool and a white model at a gym.

The second building, Riverbank West, is located at 555 West 42nd Street. Between April of 1987 and December of 1988, HMRE placed twenty-eight half-page or full-page display advertisements for Riverbank West in The New York Times. Three of the ads (“3-D”) featured a recreation of a famous Life magazine photograph depicting a movie audience of seventy-five white men and women wearing 3-D eyeglasses. All the individuals pictured in the 3-D ad were employees of either HMRE or the advertising agency that created the ad. Three advertisements (“Lying on Beach”) depicted a young white woman lying in the sun next to an image of Riverbank West. Four ads (“Beach Bag”) showed a young white woman walking on a beach and swinging a bag with an image of Riverbank West rising out of the surf. Nine of the ads (“Lipstick”) depicted a white woman's lips and fingers applying a lipstick in the shape of Riverbank West. Two ads (“Skier”) featured a white man skiing against a background of mountains among which was nestled Riverbank West. Two of the ads (“Get It”) depicted a white woman wearing a bathing suit and lying in the ocean in front of an image of Riverbank West. The remaining five advertisements (“Beauty & the Best”) showed a glamorous white woman “leaning toward a miniature image of Riverbank West.” 801 F.Supp. at 1221. The Beauty & the Best ads ran from September to December of 1988 and were the only HMRE advertisements that included an Equal Housing Opportunity logo.

The target group for Riverterrace consisted of individuals in the thirty-five to fifty-five-year-old age group with household incomes in excess of $75,000. The target group for Riverbank West consisted of individuals in the twenty-five to forty-five-year-old age group with household incomes in excess of $50,000. All the human models for these advertisements were chosen from stock photograph books, which included both black and white models. The defendants never requested that black models be used in, or excluded from, the display ads for the two buildings.

In addition to placing ads in the print media, HMRE also advertised the two buildings by using direct mail, press releases, classified advertising, on-site brochures and signs, and radio advertisements and by placing ads on the sides of buses, which ran throughout Manhattan, including Harlem. None of the ads contained any language that either explicitly or implicitly conveyed a discriminatory message. Finally, there was no evidence presented that the defendants discriminated against minorities in the leasing of apartments in the two buildings.

The plaintiffs saw the defendants' ads in The New York Times between August of 1985 and late 1988. In June of 1987, the plaintiffs filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights (“SDHR”) against The Harry Macklowe Organization (the “Organization”).FN1 In their SDHR complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that the Organization had engaged in unlawful, discriminatory housing practices. In response*903 to the plaintiffs' administrative complaint, the SDHR initiated an administrative proceeding against the Organization. The administrative complaints were dated June 15, 1987, and contained allegations that the display advertisements for Riverbank West and Riverterrace appearing in 1987 violated the New York State Human Rights Law because they did not include any black models. After receiving notice of the administrative complaints, Macklowe directed HMRE's in-house counsel to conduct an investigation of their obligations under the relevant housing statutes.


FN1. The Organization is a trade name and has been dismissed from this action. See 801 F.Supp. at 1225 n. 3.


On May 10, 1988, the SDHR issued a finding of probable cause against the Organization and recommended that a public hearing be held to determine if further action was warranted. A public hearing never was held, and no further administrative action was taken by the SDHR. After HMRE received notice of the probable cause finding in May of 1988, all new layouts of display ads published in The New York Times included the Equal Housing Opportunity logo, which apparently was smaller than the size prescribed by United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) regulations. See 24 C.F.R. § 109.30(a) & app. I (1992). The logo also was placed on the existing bus posters, and a radio advertisement for Riverbank West included the Equal Housing Opportunity slogan. A video advertisement for Riverbank West also displayed the logo and showed a black man using the health club with three other tenants.

The evidence introduced at trial indicated that the other real estate advertisements published on the same pages of The New York Times as the HMRE display ads also did not use black models and that most of the ads did not have the Equal Housing Opportunity logo. In addition to the testimony of the individual plaintiffs that they were offended when they saw these ads over a period of time, both sides presented expert testimony concerning whether the “ordinary” reader would view the defendants' ads as expressing a racial preference. The defendants also offered the testimony of a black tenant from each of the two buildings. Both tenants testified that they saw some of the defendants' ads but did not believe that they conveyed a racially exclusionary message.

At the conclusion of the trial, the district court entered judgment for the plaintiffs; awarded less compensatory damages than those recommended by the advisory jury; declined to award punitive damages; entered an injunction prohibiting the defendants from continuing to use display ads that expressed a racial preference; and declined to award attorneys' fees. Both sides timely appealed.

DISCUSSION

A. Standing

Section 804(c) of the FHA provides that it shall be unlawful

[t]o make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.

42 U.S.C. § 3604(c) (1988). Section 813(a) of the Act provides a private right of action to enforce the rights granted by section 804(c). See id. § 3613(a)(1)(A).

In those instances in which Congress expressly grants a private right of action to a class of persons to enforce a federal right, those persons have standing to sue in federal court so long as they satisfy the case or controversy requirement of Article III, viz., alleging “that [they] personally [have] suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the putatively illegal conduct of the defendant.” Gladstone, Realtors v. Village of Bellwood, 441 U.S. 91, 99, 99 S.Ct. 1601, 1608, 60 L.Ed.2d 66 (1979); see also Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, ----, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 2145, 119 L.Ed.2d 351 (1992). With these principles in mind, we turn to the defendants' arguments that neither the individual plaintiffs nor the OHC has standing to sue in federal court.

1. Individual Plaintiffs
[1] The defendants argue in their cross appeal that the individual plaintiffs have suffered*904 no injury because they were not in the market for housing when they saw these ads but instead actively were combing the newspapers looking for these ads in order to bring a section 804(c) action. For the purpose of our discussion, we will assume that the plaintiffs were not actively looking for an apartment when they viewed the defendants' ads. FN2
FN2. According to Mrs. Cuyler, she and her husband were looking for real estate investments when they saw the defendants' ads in The New York Times. Mr. Ragin testified that he and his wife began checking into the availability of New York apartments in July of 1985 while they were living in London. By the time the first ad for Riverterrace ran in May of 1986, the Ragins had signed a subscription agreement to purchase a co-op. However, the Ragins continued actively to look for an apartment until the fall of 1986, when a dispute over whether their building would be converted into a co-op was settled. By this time, the HOME ad for Riverterrace had been published in the May 11, 1986 edition of the Times. After they purchased their co-op, the Ragins continued to read the real estate ads and signed a contract to purchase a ski home in Windham, New York in 1991, although they eventually decided not to make the purchase.

The Supreme Court addressed the issue of private party standing to sue in FHA actions in Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman, 455 U.S. 363, 102 S.Ct. 1114, 71 L.Ed.2d 214 (1982). In Havens Realty, the defendants argued that “testers”-individuals who, without the intent to rent an apartment, pose as renters for the purpose of collecting evidence of unlawful steering away of prospective minority purchasers by real estate agents-lacked standing to sue for violations of section 804(d) of the Act. Section 804(d) makes it unlawful for a person “[t]o represent to any person because of race ... that any dwelling is not available for ... rental when such dwelling is in fact so available.” 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d) (emphasis added). The Court rejected the defendants' argument and held that a tester who “may have approached the real estate agent fully expecting that he would receive false information, and without any intention of buying or renting a home,” had standing to sue by virtue of his allegation that his statutorily created right to truthful information about the availability of housing was violated. Havens Realty, 455 U.S. at 374, 102 S.Ct. at 1121. The Court based its conclusion on the long-held principle that “[t]he actual or threatened injury required by Art. III may exist solely by virtue of ‘statutes creating legal rights, the invasion of which creates standing.’ ” Id. at 373, 102 S.Ct. at 1121 (quoting Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 500, 95 S.Ct. 2197, 2206, 45 L.Ed.2d 343 (1975)); see also Lujan, 504 U.S. at ----, 112 S.Ct. at 2145.

Here, Judge Sweet found that “a plaintiff who proves that she read the challenged advertisements and that the advertisements would indicate a racial preference to the ordinary reader ‘has suffered injury in precisely the form the [FHA] was intended to guard against, and therefore has standing to maintain a claim for damages under the Act's provisions.’ ” 801 F.Supp. at 1229 (quoting Havens Realty, 455 U.S. at 373-74, 102 S.Ct. at 1121). We agree. There is no significant difference between the statutorily recognized injury suffered by the tester in Havens Realty and the injury suffered by the Ragins and the Cuylers, who were confronted by advertisements indicating a preference based on race. See Saunders v. General Servs. Corp., 659 F.Supp. 1042, 1053 (E.D.Va.1987). Given the private attorney general provision in section 813(a) of the Act and the Supreme Court's holding in Havens Realty, the district court was constrained to find that the individual plaintiffs had standing to bring this action in federal court.

2. OHC
[2] The defendants also argue that the OHC does not have standing to bring this action in federal court on its own behalf. Like an individual plaintiff, an organization must show actual or threatened injury in fact that is “fairly traceable to the alleged illegal action and likely to be redressed by a favorable court decision.” Spann v. Colonial Village, Inc., 899 F.2d 24, 27 (D.C.Cir.), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 980, 111 S.Ct. 508, 509, 112 L.Ed.2d 521 (1990); see Havens Realty, 455 U.S. at 378, 102 S.Ct. at 1124 (“[h]as the plaintiff ‘ “alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy” as to warrant [the plaintiff's] invocation of federal-court jurisdiction?’ ” (citations omitted)). *905 Conversely, “an organization's abstract concern with a subject that could be affected by an adjudication does not substitute for the concrete injury required by Art. III.” Simon v. Eastern Ky. Welfare Rights Org., 426 U.S. 26, 40, 96 S.Ct. 1917, 1925, 48 L.Ed.2d 450 (1976).
[3] In Havens Realty, the Court also discussed the criteria for an organization to have standing to bring an FHA claim on its own behalf. The Court held that a perceptible impairment of a housing organization's ability to provide counseling and referral services constituted an actionable injury in fact. See Havens Realty, 455 U.S. at 379, 102 S.Ct. at 1124 (“[s]uch concrete and demonstrable injury to the organization's activities-with the consequent drain on the organization's resources-constitutes far more than simply a setback to the organization's abstract social interests”). The Court based its conclusion on the following allegation pleaded in the plaintiff's complaint:

Plaintiff ... has been frustrated by defendants' racial steering practices in its efforts to [obtain] equal access to housing through counseling and other referral services. Plaintiff ... has had to devote significant resources to identify and counteract the defendant's [sic] racially discriminatory steering practices. Id.

Here, the injury sustained by the OHC as a result of the defendants' advertisements was documented by the trial testimony of Ms. Phyllis Spiro, the deputy director of the OHC. Ms. Spiro testified that the services offered by the OHC included providing information at community seminars about how to fight housing discrimination. Spiro testified that she and her small staff devoted substantial blocks of time to investigating and attempting to remedy the defendants' advertisements. For example, Spiro detailed the steps she took to file the administrative complaint with the SDHR, including identifying the buildings' developers, the marketing agent and the advertising agent, as well as attending a conciliation conference. Spiro also testified that the time she and her coworkers spent on matters related to this case prevented them from devoting their time and energies to other OHC matters. Finally, Spiro testified that she personally devoted 150 to 200 hours working on this case after the Ragins filed their complaint in federal court.
[4] The district court concluded that the OHC established that its “activities relating to ‘identify[ing] and counteract[ing]’ the Defendants' advertising practices detracted [sic] the attention of OHC staff members from their regular tasks at the OHC.” 801 F.Supp. at 1233 (quoting Havens Realty, 455 U.S. at 379, 102 S.Ct. at 1124). We agree. Spiro's testimony demonstrated that the OHC was forced to “devote significant resources to identify and counteract” the defendants' advertising practices and did so to the detriment of their “efforts to [obtain] equal access to housing through counseling and other referral services.” Havens Realty, 455 U.S. at 379, 102 S.Ct. at 1124; see also Village of Bellwood v. Dwivedi, 895 F.2d 1521, 1526 (7th Cir.1990) (“the only injury which need be shown to confer standing on a fair-housing agency is deflection of the agency's time and money from counseling to legal efforts directed against discrimination”). That some of the OHC staff's time was spent exclusively on litigating this action does not deprive the organization of standing to sue in federal court. See Saunders, 659 F.Supp. at 1052. Having decided that the plaintiffs had standing to bring this action, we now proceed to address the merits of this appeal.

B. Liability

Two years ago, in Ragin v. New York Times Co., 923 F.2d 995, 999 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 821, 112 S.Ct. 81, 116 L.Ed.2d 54 (1991), we held that a plaintiff could bring an action against a defendant for violating section 804(c) of the Act if the defendant's housing ads “suggest[ed] to an ordinary reader that a particular race [was] preferred or dispreferred for the housing in question,” regardless of the defendant's intent, id., at 1000. We defined the ordinary reader as “neither the most suspicious nor the most insensitive of our citizenry. Such a reader does not apply a mechanical test to every use of a model of a particular race.” *906 Id. at 1002. Although we indicated that the intent of the defendant “may be relevant to a factual determination of the message conveyed,” the message conveyed to the ordinary reader was the “touchstone” of our inquiry. Id. at 1000.

In concluding that the defendants' display ads violated the FHA, the district court found that

HMRE, through its agents, arranged for the ads[,] ... that Macklowe was actively involved in conceptualizing and approving the ads as president of HMRE ... [and] that, viewing the ads as many times and over the same period as they did, an ordinary reader would naturally interpret the ads to ‘indicate’ a racial preference.

801 F.Supp. at 1231. The district court based these findings both on the fact that there were no black models in any of the ads, including the ad portraying seventy-five movie viewers, and on the number of occasions (between fourteen and twenty-five) when the individual plaintiffs viewed the ads between 1986 and 1988. See id. at 1232. Moreover, the district court noted that the advisory jury's finding of liability also was probative of the ads' effect on the ordinary reader. See id.

In reaching its conclusion, the district court did not rely on the expert testimony presented by the parties, finding such testimony to be inconclusive. See id. at 1231. The district court also gave limited weight to the individual plaintiffs' testimony because of their “commitment to their cause and heightened sensitivity attributable to an awareness of historical patterns of housing discrimination and personal experiences with segregation.” Id. The district court declined to credit the testimony of the two black residents living in the defendants' buildings because “they did not view the same variety or number of ads over the same duration as the Plaintiffs” and because their testimony was affected by their experiences after having lived in the buildings. Id. at 1232. Finally, the district court declined to consider evidence of the racial composition of Riverterrace and Riverbank West because that evidence was “not probative of the ordinary reader's interpretation of the ads.” Id.

In their cross appeal, the defendants argue that the district court erred in finding them liable for violating section 804(c) because the plaintiffs failed to present any expert testimony or survey evidence regarding whether the ordinary reader (rather than the ordinary black reader) would find that their ads indicated a racial preference; there was no evidence of discriminatory intent on their behalf; and there was no evidence that the ads had a discriminatory effect on the racial composition of their buildings. We find these arguments to be unpersuasive.
[5] We never have held that a plaintiff is required to submit survey evidence or expert testimony to prove whether the ordinary reader would find an advertisement to express a racial preference, and we decline to do so here. Defendants' reliance on our requirement that plaintiffs submit such evidence to prove confusion in trademark infringement cases, see, e.g., Johnson & Johnson * Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals Co. v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., 960 F.2d 294, 298 (2d Cir.1992), is misplaced. In trademark infringement cases, the inquiry focuses on whether there is a likelihood that a defendant's mark will confuse a group of customers. Id. at 297-98. In contrast, the inquiry directed by Ragin is whether a hypothetical ordinary reader would find that a defendant's ads expressed an impermissible racial preference. Like the inquiry in negligence cases concerning whether a defendant's conduct conformed with that of the reasonable person, this question is one that the factfinder can answer by viewing the ads and the defendants' conduct and then applying common sense. Cf. Washington Hosp. Ctr. v. Butler, 384 F.2d 331, 336 (D.C.Cir.1967) (no need for expert testimony to resolve issue that would not “extend the jury beyond the range of ordinary lay knowledge and experience”). No expert testimony or survey evidence is necessary, although such evidence no doubt is admissible.

[6] In Ragin we explicitly rejected the argument that a showing of discriminatory intent or discriminatory effect is required to prove a prima facie violation of section 804(c). See 923 F.2d at 1000 (intent is relevant but *907 not dispositive). Our holding in Soules v. United States Department of Housing & Urban Development, 967 F.2d 817 (2d Cir.1992), does not, as defendants argue, require a showing of intent. Relying on Ragin, the Soules court observed that “factfinders may examine intent, not because a lack of design constitutes an affirmative defense to an FHA violation, but because it helps determine the manner in which a statement was made and the way an ordinary listener would have interpreted it.” Id. at 825 (emphasis added). Here, Judge Sweet considered the defendants' lack of discriminatory intent and the absence of any discriminatory effect in determining liability and still concluded that an ordinary reader would find that their ads expressed a racial preference. We agree with that conclusion. See Saunders, 659 F.Supp. at 1058 (“plaintiffs need not establish that defendants intended to express a racial preference” to prove that the Act was violated).

C. Compensatory Damages
[7] When a district court sits as a factfinder, we will reverse its computation of damages only if they are clearly erroneous. United States Naval Inst. v. Charter Communications, Inc., 936 F.2d 692, 697 (2d Cir.1991); see Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a). Plaintiffs' attempt to characterize the district court's damages findings as a remittitur of the advisory jury's recommendations does not change this standard. As the Fifth Circuit observed almost twenty years ago:

[A district court] is not bound by the findings of the advisory jury, which it is free to adopt in whole or in part or to totally disregard.... Hence our concern with the trial court's findings is not whether they dovetail perfectly with the jury verdict. We are concerned rather with whether those findings pass muster under the “clearly erroneous” standard of [Fed.R.Civ.P.] 52(a)....

Sheila's Shine Prods., Inc. v. Sheila Shine, Inc. 486 F.2d 114, 122 (5th Cir.1973) (citation omitted); see also Mallory v. Citizens Utils. Co., 342 F.2d 796, 797 (2d Cir.1965) (“When an advisory jury is used, the ‘review on appeal is from the court's judgment as though no jury had been present.’ ” (quoting (American) Lumbermens Mut. Casualty Co. v. Timms & Howard, Inc., 108 F.2d 497, 500 (2d Cir.1939))); 9 Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2335, at 126 (1971) (“it is wholly in [the district court's] discretion whether to accept or reject, in whole or in part, the verdict of the [advisory] jury”). Having articulated the proper standard of review, we proceed to address the plaintiffs' arguments.

1. Damages Awarded to Individual Plaintiffs
[8] It is axiomatic that civil rights plaintiffs may recover compensatory damages for emotional distress. See, e.g., Baskin v. Parker, 602 F.2d 1205, 1209 (5th Cir.1979) (per curiam); Fort v. White, 530 F.2d 1113, 1116 (2d Cir.1976); Steele v. Title Realty Co., 478 F.2d 380, 384 (10th Cir.1973). The district court awarded $2500 to each of the four individual plaintiffs to compensate them for the emotional distress they suffered as a result of viewing the defendants' ads. In determining the damages suffered by the individual plaintiffs, the district court found that “[t]heir testimony credibly established that they took offense at the ads and that the indignation, humiliation and distress they suffered was directly attributable, at least in part, to the Defendants' conduct.” 801 F.Supp. at 1233. However, the district court declined to credit their testimony that their distress was caused only by the defendants' ads. Instead, the district court found that the individual plaintiffs' emotional distress partly was caused by viewing display ads that were not published by the defendants and that their distress was aggravated by their past experiences with, and heightened sensitivities to, racial discrimination. See id. at 1234. Finally, the district court found that the emotional distress sustained by the individual plaintiffs was not so severe as to justify a damage award larger than $2500 per person. See id.

Plaintiffs principally argue that the district court's damages award should be set aside for two reasons, neither of which we find persuasive. First, plaintiffs argue that, in discounting their past experiences with racial discrimination, the district court ignored the *908 well-established principle of tort law that a tortfeasor “takes the plaintiff as he finds him.” Maurer v. United States, 668 F.2d 98, 100 (2d Cir.1981) (per curiam); see also Restatement (Second) of Torts § 435, at 454 (1965); W. Page Keeton et al., Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 43, at 292 (5th ed. 1984). This argument ignores the fact that the “eggshell skull” doctrine has been applied only in cases where the plaintiff suffered physical injuries. See, e.g., Munn v. Algee, 924 F.2d 568, 576 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 900, 112 S.Ct. 277, 116 L.Ed.2d 229 (1991); Keeton et al., supra, § 43, at 291 (“[t]he defendant is held liable when the defendant's negligence operates upon a concealed physical condition”) (emphasis added).

Plaintiffs also argue that the district court's finding that they failed to establish a strong causal link between the distress they suffered as a result of viewing the defendants' ads and the distress they suffered as a result of viewing other ads was based on a misinterpretation of their testimony. In Ragin, we emphasized that “liability may not be based on an aggregation of advertisements by different advertisers.” 923 F.2d at 1001-02. The district court's findings with respect to the issue of causation were based on its assessment of the plaintiffs' credibility. After reviewing the trial transcript, we see no basis for disturbing the district court's assessment of the plaintiffs' credibility. Cf. Morgan v. Secretary of Hous. & Urban Dev., 985 F.2d 1451, 1459-60 (10th Cir.1993) (ALJ's award of $5000 to FHA plaintiff for emotional distress not supported by substantial weight of the evidence where plaintiff failed to prove causal connection between distress and defendant's refusal to rent based on familial status).

In affirming the damages awarded by the district court for emotional distress, we echo the view expressed by the Ragin court that there exists a “potential for large numbers of truly baseless claims for emotional injury,” that “there appears to be no ready device, other than wholly speculative judgments as to credibility, to separate the genuine from the baseless,” and that it is the responsibility of district courts to “keep such awards within reason.” 923 F.2d at 1005. Although the Ragin court expressed this view in the context of the potential for unreasonably high damage awards against newspapers, we find it pertinent to all section 804(c) cases in which plaintiffs recover damages only for emotional distress. Cf. Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Inc. v. Cincinnati Enquirer, Inc., 943 F.2d 644, 666 n. 12 (6th Cir.1991) (Keith, J., dissenting) (where an FHA violation is “based only upon the use of white models, individual emotional distress damages would, in the ordinary case, be too speculative as a matter of law”).

Finally, we agree with the district court that the damages awarded were appropriate in light of the plaintiffs' failure to prove severe emotional distress. See 801 F.Supp. at 1234 (“[N]one of the Individual Plaintiffs fe [lt] further inhibited or deterred by his or her experience with these ads from seeking housing wherever desired[, and n]one sustained depression that has affected their relationships, ability to work or ability to function.”). The damages awarded here were commensurate with those awarded in the only other reported section 804(c) case, see Saunders, 659 F.Supp. at 1061 ($2500), and with those awarded in section 804(d) steering cases, where the causal connections between the defendants' acts and the plaintiffs' damages were never in doubt, see, e.g., United States v. Balistrieri, 981 F.2d 916, 930-33 (7th Cir.1992) ($2000), petition for cert. filed, No. 92-1690, 61 U.S.L.W. 3742 (U.S. Apr. 19, 1993); Douglas v. Metro Rental Servs., Inc., 827 F.2d 252, 256-57 (7th Cir.1987) (damages awarded to plaintiffs remitted to $2500 per plaintiff because emotional distress was not severe); Hamilton v. Svatik, 779 F.2d 383, 388-89 (7th Cir.1985) (court affirms $12,000 damage award for emotional distress but emphasizes that award was “very close to being excessive”). Cf. Littlefield v. McGuffey, 954 F.2d 1337, 1348-49 (7th Cir.1992) ($50,000 emotional distress award upheld in FHA action where jury found defendant intentionally inflicted emotional distress and distress was severe); Secretary, United States Dep't of Hous. & Urban Dev. v. Blackwell, 908 F.2d 864, 872-73 (11th Cir.1990) ($40,000 award to FHA plaintiff for emotional distress affirmed where defendant refused to rent on the basis *909 of race and where plaintiff's distress was severe enough to include physical manifestations).

2. Damages Awarded to OHC
[9] The OHC argues that the district court committed clear error in declining to award it damages to compensate it for the cost of the time and effort it must devote in the future to counteract the adverse effects of the defendants' ads. For example, Spiro testified that she would like to buy a full-page ad in The New York Times for $35,000 to inform the public that the defendants' ads are misleading and that people have the right to live where they want. The district court declined to compensate the OHC for these costs, finding that the OHC failed to establish that ts efforts to assist equal access to housing have been frustrated by the Defendants' ads.... [T]here was no evidence that the OHC was forced to increase its educational, counselling or referral services due to the Defendants' ads in particular.... [T]he OHC received no complaints about the Defendants' ads and Spiro conceded that she was unaware of the impact of Defendants' ads on anyone other than the Individual Plaintiffs.

801 F.Supp. at 1233. While the court in Saunders awarded the organizational plaintiff damages similar to those requested by the OHC, see 659 F.Supp. at 1060-61, we cannot say that Judge Sweet clearly erred in his analysis of the evidentiary record that was before him.

D. Punitive Damages
[10] Plaintiffs next argue that the district court erred in declining to award punitive damages. Punitive damages may be awarded for violations of federal law where a defendant acts with “reckless or callous disregard for the plaintiff's rights, [and] intentional[ly] violat[es] federal law.” Smith v. Wade, 461 U.S. 30, 51, 103 S.Ct. 1625, 1637, 75 L.Ed.2d 632 (1983); see Balistrieri, 981 F.2d at 936; see also Saunders, 659 F.Supp. at 1061 (plaintiffs must prove that defendants acted “wantonly or willfully or were motivated by ill will, malice, or a desire to injure the plaintiffs”). We review a district court's decision not to award punitive damages for abuse of discretion. McCann v. Coughlin, 698 F.2d 112, 127 (2d Cir.1983).
[11] In declining to award punitive damages, the district court held that the absence of any intent to discriminate on the part of the defendants in placing the ads precluded, as a matter of law, “a finding of wanton, willful or malicious behavior.” 801 F.Supp. at 1235. The district court also found that the defendants' continued use of display advertisements that failed to include any black models after the SDHR determination of probable cause did not constitute a reckless or callous disregard for plaintiffs' rights or an intentional violation of federal law. See id. The district court based this conclusion on the facts that: (1) the issuance of a determination of probable cause was not dispositive of whether a federal right was violated because it merely concluded that “no Blacks were used as human models” and that probable cause existed to support the allegations in the administrative complaint; (2) Macklowe subsequently consulted with HMRE's in-house counsel to determine whether HMRE had violated any federal laws; and (3) HMRE, after it received notice of the administrative complaints, “included an Equal Housing Opportunity logo in [its] print and bus ads and included a verbal advisory to this effect in radio ads.” Id. Based on the above analysis, the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to award punitive damages.

E. Injunctive Relief
[12] The district court's injunction prohibited the defendants from continuing to use advertisements that “violate[ ] [the FHA], and indicate[ ] to the ordinary reader any preference, limitation or discrimination based upon race or color, or an intention to make such preference, limitation or discrimination or that the housing or dwelling being advertised is not open to all without regard to race or color.” We review the scope of a district court's injunction for abuse of discretion. Nikon Inc. v. Ikon Corp., 987 F.2d 91, 94 (2d Cir.1993).

*910 The plaintiffs argue that the injunction was inadequate because it did not require that “the models should be clearly definable as reasonably representing majority and minority groups in the metropolitan area,” Appellants' Brief at 35 (quoting 24 C.F.R. § 109.30(b)) (emphasis added in Appellants' Brief), and because it did not require that defendants' ads include the Equal Housing Opportunity logo, as required by 24 C.F.R. § 109.30(a). Notwithstanding plaintiffs' contention that these provisions often are included in consent decrees resolving section 804(c) litigation, we do not believe the district court abused its discretion in declining to include the requested HUD regulation language or logo in the injunction. As the district court wisely observed, entering an injunction requiring the use of proportional representation for blacks in real estate display advertising would put district courts in the position of becoming “an abettor to discrimination against other groups.” 801 F.Supp. at 1236.
[13] The plaintiffs also criticize the injunction for failing to “set any standard to constrain or guide the defendants with regard to future all-white advertising programs” and for acting as “an invitation to future litigation.” Appellants' Brief at 34; see Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(d) (injunction must “describe in reasonable detail, and not by reference to the complaint or other document, the act or acts sought to be restrained”). This argument might have merit if it were being made by the defendants. See, e.g., International Longshoremen's Ass'n v. Philadelphia Marine Trade Ass'n, 389 U.S. 64, 74, 88 S.Ct. 201, 206, 19 L.Ed.2d 236 (1967); Keyes v. School Dist. No. 1, Denver, Colo., 895 F.2d 659, 668 (10th Cir.1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1082, 111 S.Ct. 951, 112 L.Ed.2d 1040 (1991). However, in the absence of a claim by the defendants that the injunction regulating their future conduct is vague and impossible to follow, and given the plaintiffs' ability to bring contempt proceedings if the defendants fail to comply with the injunction, see, e.g., Still's Pharmacy, Inc. v. Cuomo, 981 F.2d 632, 635 (2d Cir.1992), we cannot find an abuse of discretion on the part of the district court.

F. Attorneys' Fees

Finally, the plaintiffs argue that the district court erred in declining to award them attorneys' fees. Prior to 1988, a district court could award attorneys' fees to a prevailing plaintiff in an FHA action if the plaintiff was “not financially able to assume said attorney's fees.” 42 U.S.C. § 3612(c) (1982) (the “unamended statute”). The amendments to the FHA, signed into law on September 13, 1988, and effective 180 days later on March 18, 1989, provide that a district court “in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party ... a reasonable attorney's fee and costs.” 42 U.S.C. § 3613(c)(2) (1988) (the “amendment”).

Although the district court did not hold a separate hearing on the issue of attorneys' fees, it declined to award attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs, apparently basing its decision on some evidence of the financial situation of the plaintiffs that was adduced at trial. In its one-and-a-half-page order declining to award attorneys' fees, the district court stated: “In view of the evidence concerning the financial ability of the plaintiffs ... and the nature of the action and the relief granted, ... counsel fees are not necessary or appropriate to further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act....” The district court's reference to the “financial ability of the plaintiffs” indicates that it was applying the unamended statute to all legal work performed. Because this action was commenced before the effective date of the amendment and was concluded after that date, we will address separately the district court's decision to apply the unamended statute to legal work performed both before and after the effective date of the amendment.

1. Legal Services Rendered After the Effective Date of the Amendment
[14] In declining to apply the amendment prospectively to legal services rendered subsequent to the effective date of the amendment, the district court apparently reasoned that, because this action was filed prior to the effective date of the amendment, all legal work performed in the case “related back” to the filing date. In *911 Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. v. Republic of Palau, 971 F.2d 917, 922 (2d Cir.1992), we held that attorneys' fees may be awarded for services performed subsequent to the effective date of a statute that authorized the award of such fees even though the action had been commenced before the effective date of the statute. Thus, the district court improperly declined to apply the amendment in determining whether plaintiffs were entitled to attorneys' fees for legal work performed after the effective date of the amendment, and it must make such a determination on remand.

2. Legal Services Rendered Prior to the Effective Date of the Amendment
[15] The issue of whether the amendment should be applied retroactively is one of first impression in this Circuit. HUD recommends that the amendment be applied retroactively, see 54 Fed.Reg. 3232, 3259 (1989), and one of our sister circuits has adopted that recommendation, see Littlefield, 954 F.2d at 1345. In Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp. v. Bonjorno, 494 U.S. 827, 837, 110 S.Ct. 1570, 1577, 108 L.Ed.2d 842 (1990), the Supreme Court noted, but failed to resolve, the tension in its retroactivity jurisprudence. Compare Bradley v. School Bd. of City of Richmond, 416 U.S. 696, 711, 94 S.Ct. 2006, 2016, 40 L.Ed.2d 476 (1974) (court should “apply the law in effect at the time it renders its decision, unless doing so would result in manifest injustice or there is statutory direction or legislative history to the contrary”) with Bowen v. Georgetown Univ. Hosp., 488 U.S. 204, 208, 109 S.Ct. 468, 471, 102 L.Ed.2d 493 (1988) (“Retroactivity is not favored in the law. Thus, congressional enactments and administrative rules will not be construed to have retroactive effect unless their language requires this result.”). Recently, in Butts v. City of New York Department of Housing Preservation & Development, 990 F.2d 1397, 1409-11 (2d Cir.1993), we decided to adopt the retroactivity rule articulated in Bowen. Thus, the district court properly declined to apply the amendment retroactively to legal work performed prior to the effective date of the amendment.
[16] Even though the district court properly applied the unamended statute to legal services performed prior to the effective date of the amendment, it nevertheless erred in declining to award fees on the basis of the plaintiffs' ability to pay, given the limited evidence that was adduced at trial and the expectations of the parties that further proceedings would be conducted on this issue. For example, although the plaintiffs testified about their household incomes, no evidence was presented that would have allowed the district court to compare the plaintiffs' net worth with the amount of the fee request. See Johnson v. New York City Transit Auth., 823 F.2d 31, 33 (2d Cir.1987) (per curiam); Faraci v. Hickey-Freeman Co., 607 F.2d 1025, 1028-29 (2d Cir.1979). The proposed judgments submitted by the parties indicated that they contemplated that further proceedings on the issue of attorneys' fees would take place in the future. In the absence of such proceedings, a remand is required also to determine whether the plaintiffs met the criteria established in the unamended statute for attorneys' fees incurred prior to the effective date of the amendment.

CONCLUSION

The district court's findings with respect to standing, liability, damages and injunctive relief are affirmed. The district court's findings with respect to the award of attorneys' fees are reversed and remanded for further proceedings consistent with the foregoing.

C.A.2 (N.Y.),1993.
Ragin v. Harry Macklowe Real Estate Co.
6 F.3d 898, 142 A.L.R. Fed. 683

Briefs and Other Related Documents (Back to top)

• 1993 WL 13029887 (Appellate Brief) Reply Brief for Defendants-Appellees-Cross-Appellants (May. 07, 1993) Original Image of this Document (PDF)
• 1993 WL 13029888 (Appellate Brief) Brief for Cross-Appellees and Reply Brief for Appellants (Apr. 22, 1993) Original Image of this Document (PDF)
• 1993 WL 13029889 (Appellate Brief) Brief of Amicus Curiae the National Fair Housing Alliance (Mar. 30, 1993) Original Image of this Document (PDF)
• 1993 WL 13029886 (Appellate Brief) Brief for Appellants Cross-Appellees (Mar. 08, 1993) Original Image of this Document (PDF)
END OF DOCUMENT

West Reporter Image (PDF)

(C) 2007 Thomson/West.

Anonymous said...

If this is the best that Feiner can do (dredging up a case from 1993 that Berger worked on), they've really got nothing.

The fact is that Berger and Co. got a pretty good result.

Berger's firm represented an owner of Manhattan real estate that was accused of racial discrimination because the display ads it ran for apartments in the New York Times featured models who were not racially diverse, and thus may have created the impression that certain of the apartments were for whites only in violation of federal housing law.

In a victory for Berger's client, the court found no evidence of intent to discriminate. However, the ocurt did find that the ads created the impression of discrimination. The court then imposed a small amount of damages, issued an order that the defendant not violate the housing law, and awarded no legal fees. The appeals court affirmed on all grounds, but ordered that the issue of legal fees be re-examined.

In the grand scheme of things, this case from 14 years ago is no big deal.

What is a big deal? Contrast that with the News12 debate from last week, where Feiner declared it to be good public policy to pay upper middle class whites living in Mayfair Knollwood a "social dividend" worth millions of dollars in town revenues because they happen to live within a mile of a homeless shelter that houses primarily poor black women and their pre-school children.

Feiner's policy is racially discriminatory, morally offensive, and just plain outrageous. His calling these payments a "social dividend" -- when they are nothing more than bribe with taxpayer money -- is an insult to the intelligence of every fair-minded resident of Greenburgh.

It's a good thing the state comptroller declared it to be illegal.

hal samis said...

Well here's another idea that I would support. Edgemont can have its moratorium if it agrees to the Town relocating WESTHELP to Edgemont.

And permit me to raise the stakes. I will sign and go door to door with a petition asking the Attorney General to permit Edgemont to receive a "social dividend" for their forbearance.

How about it? Bob and Michelle? You guys ready with the press release?

"Edgemont agrees to take in poor black women and their pre-school children."

In the grand scheme of things, this should be no big deal either.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Samis!

Anonymous said...

Hal, fine if Hartdale, where you live, gives back the Harts property purchsed by the Town.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Bernstein and McNally take Westhelp into Edgemont under any conceivable terms. Never happen. Westhelp children don't fir the social standing of those oh-so-liberal Edgemonters like Bernstein and McNally.

feiner/samis both racially intolerant said...

Feiner and his supporters should just leave the WestHELP shelter where it is and stop this race-baiting, Edgemont-bashing nonsense about a "social dividend."

Most communities in Greenburgh, even Edgemont, have had to bear the burden of a socially unwanted facility in their midst. And they've never had to be paid a "social dividend" for it.

Edgemont, for example, has a group home for adults, located not a mile away from the neighborhood, like WestHELP is from Mayfair Knollwood, but right smack in the middle of a neighborhood. To be sure, when it was first proposed, many Edgemont residents objected to it. But the group home was permitted to open, and over the years, as the Journal News reported earlier this year, its residents have been treated as welcome members of the Edgemont community.

Feiner and his cynical racially divisive supporters, like Samis, Garfunkel and the angry "upper middle class" mob from Mayfair Knollwood, could take a lesson in tolerance and acceptance from Edgemont -- yes, Edgemont.

Anonymous said...

The group home was never wanted in Edgemont,it was Feiner and the board at that time who insisted on having it in that area.
After all these years, the members of that group home are finally accepted in the community,big deal.
Their acceptance should have been taken place from the onset.
But that's Edgemont.

Anonymous said...

How long has the group home been established,and after all this time Edgemont is coming up to the plate to say that their members accept the the group home residents.
Wasn't that nice of Edgemont .This is the area that wants to and is ruling our town government,with the assistance of our present four council members.
As for Edgemont it's a little late for acceptance .
This should have been done as soon as they moved in,but you were so busy fighting Feiner and the board at that time,that it took you all these years to realize that they were human beings and very good neighbors..

Anonymous said...

TOLLERANCE from Edgemont, you must be kidding.
Where have you lived all these years.

Anonymous said...

No one paid in Edgemont was paid a dime for "allowing" the group home to be located there. No would should have paid a dime to Mayfair Knollwood either. The idea of making these payments is a disgusting social policy agreed to by a patsy of a town supervisor who will soon be turned out of office. He represents the worst in people, not the best.

Anonymous said...

No one is saying that Edgemont was paid for the group home ,were just saying that they never wanted it there.
Do you know something of a payoff to Edgemont that we don't know.
The record speaks for itself,Edgemont did not want this group home while the town board in office at that time together wih Feiner made it happen.SORRY.

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