Thursday, September 27, 2007

WANTED: TOWN BD COOPERATION ON BUDGET PREP

Last night, a majority of the Greenburgh Town Board decided to make a request of the Town Supervisor for some professional assistance into a political issue. The Town of Greenburgh will lose the services of the present Town Comptroller, Mr. James Heslop, effective Friday, October 12, 2007.


As Town Supervisor, I have a statutory responsibility to the taxpayers of the Town to prepare and submit to the taxpayers a preliminary budget for 2008 by October 31, 2007. Our Town Comptroller, who has played an important role in this process , will not be available to me for much of the time the budget is being prepared. I requested the services of a particular individual (at a cost of up to $5,000-five thousand dollars), and instead the Town Board asked that we issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for such assistance. That proposal, which is a time-consuming process and will not yield the professional expertise that I need for the short-term, makes little sense. I need the services immediately – I am required to submit a budget to the Town Board in one month. I requested the retention of this individual for a variety of reasons:


- His educational and professional background includes a BA in Accounting from Queens College of the City University of New York, an MBA in Finance from the Columbia university Graduate School of Business, he's been a practicing CPA in the State of New York and he has held various senior financial and accounting positions with entities that are much bigger than the Town of Greenburgh.


- On the public service side, he is a former elected Trustee of one of the Villages within the Town and in that capacity he has a very public record of having saved the taxpayers of that community approximately $300,000 annually out of a much smaller budget of about $7,000,000 vs. the $70,000,000 plus budget of the Town of Greenburgh. He has been through a governmental budget setting process twice in this capacity.


- Positive comments about this individual were received by myself from individuals from both unincorporated Greenburgh and our Villages and many of those are not or have not been my supporters. In fact, this individual supported my opponent in the 2005 Democratic primary. He has spoken at Town Board meetings and has been critical of many of our budget practices in the past. I’m not looking for a yes man. I want someone to help me find ways to cut spending and reduce the impact of any tax hike. I am looking to retain the services of someone who is familiar with the town budget since the entire contract will be only for a few weeks.


The request was for a limited amount of funding of $5,000 at $75 per hour or about 65 hours of his time, hardly an excessive rate when one looks at a variety of professional service providers. His findings, any work product and report would belong to the entire public, not just the Town Supervisor or the Town Board. The other members of the Town Board approved an engagement of a law firm , not an accounting firm, back in January to review the accounting related to WESTHELP with no RFP and rates at up to $475 per hour.In my view, the taxpayers of Greenburgh would be beneficially served by the Town Board reversing its position and approving this engagement immediately. I should also point out that following the departure of Mr. Heslop, the Town will not be expending the balance of the Comptroller’s salary.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paul,

Given the controversy around this gentlemen, pls post his resume.

Anonymous said...

What is Mr. Kolesar doing now and what has he done in the last 5 years?

Anonymous said...

Paul,

This is Sheehan's last hurrah. He still controls the Board until January and does not want you to forget it. Sheehan does not care who he hurts as long as he gets his way.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan wasn't elected Supervisor. Stop the obstruction.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar has gone from blogging that he had a lucrative 400/hour consulting practice (which was why he didnt volunteer for the Town) to temporary work, that he is fighting for a 75 temp job with the town.

Either this is resume fraud, or whatever. I dont mind the 5 grand, but I want a real Comptroller, not Feiner's political hack.


We have had more investigations, more threats by Paul that he is not bound by stete comptroller.

Anonymous said...

The crazies will never give up insulting their betters. Luckily their support structure on the Town Council is coming to an end, and then they can talk to themselves (as the 7:35 writer is doing) while the town government begins to function again to serve the residents.

Anonymous said...

Can Sheehan be removed if he continues to obstruct?

Anonymous said...

We all know whatever Feiner suggests the dictator Sheehan is against.
Sheehan has not learned his lesson that the public is fed up with him and we cannot wait for the day for him to resign or be defeated if he should run for reelection.
He should go out quietly as to not to embarace his family.

Anonymous said...

It's just a preliminary budget, so do it to the best of your ability for now. Forget about the consultant and get to work on hiring a new Comptroller ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Paul,stand firm on Kolesar.He is the person to get to help with the budget.
Sheehan and his good friends from Edgemont will do their best to stop this appointment.
Yet they gave a six figure contract to Bergers firm without blinking a eyelash,not thinking of the tax payers.
You have the opportunity to save us money go for it,Kolesar is the man to do the job.

hal samis said...

Eddie Mae Barnes
Steve Bass
R.I.P.
12/31/07

Just three votes!
1/1/08

dnd said...

Preface: I don't know anything about this matter other than from the townwide emails from Mr. Feiner and from Mr. Sheehan.

If it is true that Mr. Kolesar is not a licensed CPA, then this matter is moot.

If Mr. Kolesar publically endorsed Mr. Feiner, I don't see that as any big deal. But if Mr. Kolesar contributed to Mr. Feiner's campaign, then it would be inappropriate to hire Mr. Kolesar (or anyone who contributed funds to any member of the town council).

Also, an RPF is a wise business practice that should be supported (even if it hasn't been consistently done in other matters). And being such a quick turnaround RPF works well for all parties. So, if Mr. Kolesar is a currently licensed CPA who did not contribute to Mr. Feiner's campaign, Mr. Kolesar could submit his bid by Tuesday, a decision could be made on Wednesday, and a CPA could get to work on Thursday.

Paul Feiner said...

Mike Kolesar did not contribute to my campaign. He did not volunteer in my campaign. I spoke to him once before the election- at a Dobbs Ferry street fair.
I want him because he is familiar with the budget and because he has been critical of many aspects of the budget in the past. I want someone to help out who will be looking at this years budget much differently than it has been in the past. That's the way we can avoid significant hikes.

Anonymous said...

Issue a directive and get Kolesar to help with the budget.
The hell with Sheehan and his cohorts.
They voted to give Kaminer a position,a nothing job .
All that money wasted for Sheehan and company to work behind your back.
Now is the time to fight back.

Anonymous said...

As much as Mr. Kolesar has said that he told all employers/clients that he was not a current CPA, he clearly did not explain this to the Town, Mr. Feiner, et al. It was clearly a surprise until Mr. Bernstein brought it up.

Anonymous said...

You character assassinators keep saying that Kolesar is not a current CPA.

He is a current CPA. He is not currently registeres to practice public accounting because he gave up practicing public accounting.

There was no reason for him to tell the current Board anything about his CPA status because until Feiner asked him for a short period of consultation there was no communication with the Board. And whether Kolesar is currently registered to practice public accounting is totaly irrelevant.

Bernstein seems to be devoting his time to looking into people's past to see if he can find stuff to make irrelevsant comments for no better purpose than creating confusion and character assassination. That's your hero.

Disappointed with Sheehan said...

One would have thought that Sheehan, having seen the results of the election, would have reverted to the thoughful person we thought he was before he came on the Town Board. Instead he has remained the obstructionist he became after he came on the Town Board.

His behaviour in the Kolesar matter is amazingly dishonest. His continued alliance with Bernstein really sad. He wil serve no useful purpose after January 1.

kolesar won't help unincorporated areas said...

This business about Kolesar not being "registered" in New York to practice as a CPA is probably more a red herring than a red flag.

Registration requires that Kolesar pay annual dues and take continuing accounting education courses. The accounting profession in New York requires this and there are some pretty serious ethical violations for anyone holding themselves out as a CPA who does not meet these continuing education requirements.

That's how the accounting profession in New York regulates itself.

Kolesar has chosen not to meet these continuing education requirements, and admits that he hasn't kept up with these requirements for decades. That means that even though licensed in NY as a CPA, he's not allowed to hold himself out in New York as a CPA -- and for good reason.

But that doesn't necessarily disqualify the man from advising Feiner on the town budget if that's who Feiner wants.

However, earlier this year, the state comptroller issued opinions on the A and B budgets. Heslop asked for advice from the town attorney on these recommendations and that resulted in Heslop making a series of recommendations. The net result of those recommendations would be a shift of several hundred thousand dollars in costs from the B budget to the A budget.

The town board never acted on those recommendations. They are opposed by village officials, advised by Herb Rosenberg, who don't want to see any shift in costs from the B budget to the A budget, even if it would help take some of the sting out of the tax increase we're told to expect for next year.

Watching the meeting, it was pretty obvious that Rosenberg wants Kolesar to get this appointment very badly, perhaps even more than Feiner does.

Kolesar is a former member of the village officials committee and supports what they do. That's the real red flag here.

Putting Kolesar on the town payroll is a way to make sure that Heslop's recommendations are not implemented for the 2008 budget.

The real losers here will be taxpayers in the unincorporated areas. They are already facing a stiff tax increase, and putting Kolesar in charge to make sure Heslop's recommendations are not implemented, will only make those taxes for next year even higher.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, Mr. Kolesar wont help unincorporated areas.

This approach of Kolesar/Rosenberg/Feiner to just not charge the Village residents won't just hurt the unincorporated areas. It will hurt everyone, because as sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West there will be litigation, and the Town will lose. So in the end, the village residents will not only pay appropriate charges, they will pay legal fees, and lose any chance of compromises which could result in the Town covering village park maintenance costs, the villages having access to Veterans parks and the tennis bubble at Veterans.

brave to anon said...

bravo anon at 10:33 am. more and more it seems herb rosenberg is the true obstructionist to a solution to a situation where everyone in the town is very unhappy. feiner has an amazing opportunity to show real leadership here and fashion a grand compromise.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan's response on the Greenburgh website is a disgrace. All of a sudden he cares about no bid contracts. He wasn't quite so eager to issue an RFP when Byran Cave was involved. This is a $5,000 expenditure which will go a long way to save money. It should be done. Sheehan and Bernstein do not understand that the public has tired of their antics.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan together with the hateful Bernstein you have cost us more tax money.
Because of your hatefulness you refuse to get Kolesar to help with the budget.
You voted for a six figure contract for Bernsteins friend and gave a nothing spying job to KAminer and now you refuse to get help for $5000,00 to oversee the new budget.
Sheehan leave, just remember the democratic party will never back you again.By the way the other parties will also refuse to endorse you.
We need a budget,now.

Anonymous said...

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
The Town's Chief Fiscal Officer (Mr. Feiner) needs help preparing the draft budget. The Town loses yet another controller at a critical moment. Where is a competent assistant controller who can assist the Supervisor? Oh, we don't have such a person? Why not? The Town is the second largest municipality in Westchester and it lacks a backup for one of its most important positions? Ah, Mayberry RFD and the mentality that we need not plan for contingencies because God would never subject us to such circumstances surfaces again.
Leave TYCC closed on Sundays and get competent assistants for the Town's senior non-elected officials!

16 years later..... said...

poor greenburgh - still lacking professional town management.

more feinerite spin - bryan cave's fees are paid for by the developer not the town's taxpayers

Herb Rosenberg said...

Yes indeed, I support Paul Feiner's wish to have Mike Kolesar's help. It is because I respect professionalism and thinks that the town needs more of it and less of the character assassination that typifies the objections, both from Bernstein and from Sheehan.

Kolesar's consultation will have no effect on the town taxes village residents pay. Unincorporated area residents pay more than 90% of town taxes, and if Kolesar can help find new areas that reduce taxes then it is the unincorporated area that benefits.

In a normal world, that would be understood and appreciated. But in a world dominated by the insults and obstructionism and conspiracy theories that is practiced by some, on both side of the dais, we get these kinds of nonsense. Too bad for unincorporated Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

We need a budget in place asap.
If Kolesar is willing to do the job in the meantime so be it.
Again the hell with Sheehan and His phony friends from Edgemont who want to send Greenburgh in a frenzie.
We do not need Sheehan and friends to make decisions that will probably cost us dearly.
Sheehan and company are only out to save Edgemont.

Anonymous said...

Herb Rosenberg has made excellent points regarding the budget and the Supervisor's right to bring in the best person available, who understands completely the "lay of the land."

Already the Feiner haters, the CABAL, have their blades sharpened and ready, regarding any prudent decision or suggestion, the Supervisor offers. There is no indication that Mr. Kolesar would favor village over the unincorporated area. This is another "red herring" thrown in the face of logic.

None of us feel that these efforts, promulgated from the Town Board, and on this blog, to limit the Supervisor's ability to control expenses, and therefore limit tax increases will prove fruitful to Greenburgh.

Sheehan's duplicitious actions, along with Robert Bernstein's hectoring will not convince any enlightened electorate that the Supervisor's actions are not in the best interest of the Greenburgh community.

We have had almost two years of direct confrontation emanating from the Board and its unofficial master and spokesman, Francis Sheehan. The Board has abrogated its responsibility to the Town and the public by its self-serving and destructive actions, mostly directed towards the Supervisor.

Mr. Sheehan has constantly undermined the Supervisor with his tactics in Town Hall, regarding the Commissioners, and their assistants, with his policies of "divide and conquer." All evidence points to a continuing pattern, initiated by Sheehan, with regards to challenging the authority of the Supervisor, to the detriment of the Town. The Town Board is a part-time legislative body and no one there is elected as a deputy Supervisor with executive privilege or rights. The idea is not confrontation with the executive, but constructive support. Ironically this antagonism comes from people who are supposedly Democrats. Just rememberthat the Supervisor was active in the Democratic Party twenty-five years before Sheehan before dropped his Republican registration in the mid-1990s. In fact, he is quite possibly a stealth one today.

Ten days ago, the public spoke loud and clear. Ms. Suzanne Berger, the Democratic Town Chairperson, with the backing of a majority of her district leaders and running on a joint platform with Board Members Barnes and Bass was decisively smashed. Her loss was historic in proportion, and no one could say that she was under-financed. In fact, she bankrolled her campaign with $40,000 of her own money, many thousands from party people and committees, money from local judges (which is illegal) and a great deal of money from her friends at Bryan, Cave, a law firm that has benefitted mightily from her connections to Francis Sheehan.

In fact, outside of party regulars, beholden to her influence, a great deal of her money came from non-Greenburgh people, who understood little of the issues regarding this Town. She even sent an unethical, and unauthorized appeal to Barnard of Westchester for support.

Sheehan and Berger, like to claim that the Bryan, Cave contract was not a "no-bid" insider gift. But in truth, even Bass voted with the Supervisor against it, and the Town officials that recommended it may have been intimidated, and convinced that their new boss would be Berger, and their jobs would be threatened if they voiced opposition. That is the problem with even the specter of influence-peddling. Of course, at this time there is no "smoking gun," but human nature is to be protective of one's livelihood and therefore no Town Hall workers should be exposed to such potential risk.

The risk is there, and anyone who denies that reality is a fool, naive or a liar.

With regards to character assassination, the CABAL is well-practiced at its art. They have been creating problems at Town Hall for many years. One of the underlying reasons that Town attornies and controllers have left, is the feeling that Town Hall has been so divided by backbiting, confrontation, and rumor mongering. The Board's selection of Kaminer as their personal political operative is a prime example of this activity. He has been a tool used to undermine the authority of the Supervisor and promote the legislative dictatorship of Francis Sheehan. Unfortunately, other Board Members, who should have known better, have fallen asleep at the proverbial switch.

Supervisor Feiner's choice of Michael Kolesar is a prudent one, and compared to the outlay for Kaminer and his benefits, and the legal expenses incurred by the Bernstein litigation, it is a pimple on a dinosaur.

I look for great and positive changes in January with a new Board, who will work for the betterment of Greenburgh, not the cyncical politics of ambition, and the tactics of slash and burn.

Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Truer words were never spoken.Thanks Garfunkel.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sheehan all of a sudden you want to be civil at town meetings BS,
You don't know what the word means.I read your comment on the Greenburgh Website,boy can you lie.
Do you think the people are stupid.
We have had enough of you it's about that time for you to move on,completly away from politics.

Anonymous said...

KOlesar is a good choice to help with the budget.
For one thing he's not a whimp,he will call it as he sees it.
We need someone with his knowledge,to help put something together that will favor all the residents.
Paul use whatever power you can to override Sheehans fighting ways in this matter.
He's wrong and that's all there's to it.
He teamed up with the Edgemont crew not thinking about the other residents of the town.
Kolesar can help,the heck with Sheehan.
If Bass and Barnes just would ponder how they lost the primary,they will vote along with you to hire Kolesar.
Sheehan has been nothing but trouble and he will continue to be the same idiot until the end of his time on the board.

gaffy wrong again said...

if there ever was a master at balkanizing greenburgh, its the current supervisor.

the town only exists on paper. lets stop this delusion that there is a town of greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

After seeing the town meeting today I must say Bernstein your hatred of Feiner and the rest of the participants that were at town hall was digraceful.
You say that you are the president of the EEC and a district leader of the Democratic party,well I think it's time for you to step down.
How can anyone represent residents in both capacities that has nothing but hatred in his voice and in his eyes.
You say that you are a lawyer,well I do hope after the Dromore Rd,incident goes to court that you will be disbared.
Anyone with your disposition does not belong in the midst of intelegent people.
Stay home from now on,were getting tired of seeing and hearing you.
We all know that you and Sheehan are out to get the supervisor,but that will soon come to an end.
We also know that you are fed all that goes on at town hall which makes you prepared to go along with the amazing four .
We all can't wait until January,to
see the town really run by true Democrates.
We need someone to help with the budget,Kolesar said that he would helpfor $5000.00 dollars,yoyprobably have someone in mind who will ask for more money.
Has Sheehan made a promise to someone for this consulting position.
Kolesar is knowledgable and deserves the position.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein stay home ,were getting tired of listening to you belly aching at every meeting.
If the taxes go up,blame yourself and associates for constantly fighting for more open space and more parks.
You want you got,and now we all have to pay.
Shut up.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein is organizing an effort, with Kaminer's help, to help Eddie Mae keep her job so that Kaminer can keep his and so control of the Board will stay with Bernstein. THey are depending on the surprise factor, hope that Feiner won't get his troops to the polls.

Anonymous said...

In Bernstein's missive to the Scarsdale, Inquirer, he laments the fact that his Edgemonters did not come out in the same numbers against Feiner as they did two years ago.

What Bernstein does not want to talk about is how many Edgemonters are sick of him, McNally and Sheehan and the devisiveness that they have brought to town government. Sleepy Barnes lost legitametely in September and in November when Independants and Republicans can vote, Sleepy Barnes will be annhilated.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sheehan where can you get a consultant for $5000.00.
Look at what you put on the payroll for $75,000.00.
With $5000.00 spent we will have a good budget under the supervision of Kolesar.
Whom did you have in mind?
Could it be another goopher like Kaminer,a know nothing ,and offer him or her $75,000.00.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, King Zog II, the uncrowned king of Edgemont, who goes by the nom d'plume, Bernie the Attorney, crafted a letter to the Journal News this morning decrying the fact that maybe someone else supports Paul Feiner. In that letter he alluded to the fact that 7000 of his subjects voted in a landslide against the Feiner slate.

Hardly! About 100 more people, out of 600 souls, voted for Suzanne Berger rather than for Paul Feiner. How's that for a landslide. In fact, as the King lamented, in an earlier piece to the Scarsdale Inquirer, not enough of his loyal subjects turned out to support the favored slate of "El Rotundo," the demanding one.
Maybe their lack of interest reflected satisfaction with the status quo, vis-a-vis the Supervisor's race (He failed to mention, that out of the other 6000 or so voters, Feiner crushed Berger by almost 70%!)

As to "Striped" Bass and Ms. Barnes, the Feiner slate split the Edgemont vote pretty evenly.

So much for the numbers! It seems that the local newspaper will print any balderdash without vetting its authenticity.

Hail Fredonia!

The Shadow Group LLC

gaffy is daffy said...

hey shadow (aka richard gaff-funkel)

bernstein's letter blew away that valhalla crank

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ with you.
Bernstein's letter was full of lies.
At this stage of the game the only thing he can say or do is all a bunch of lies.Tell me who listens and who will believe him anymore.
Bernstein you are at the end of your rope,your arrogance and hatred has spilled throughout the town of Greenburgh.
You can't say that the residents of Edgemont are behind you 1%,they have no use for you.
As far as a district leader for the democratic party,this too will be saying goodbye to you.
You have been a disgrace to them.
As far as the so called EEC they too are fed up .Stay home Bernstein,as far as politics go your a has been.

Anonymous said...

KOLESAR ALL THE WAY TO ASSIST IN THE BUDGET SYSTEM.
THE HELL WITH BERNSTEIN AND SHEEHAN.

Anonymous said...

Paul I do hope that you get some help with the budget.
The four dummies on the council will raise our taxes more than anticipated this is a known fact.
Each and everyone of them do not give a dam about the residents pockets.
Their main concern is to make you look like you're the one who implemented the hike.
We may have a new empty building by the end of the construction project but who cares solong as Juettner's friends still will have jobs.
The four council members are a disgraceful bunch.
We will loose two by November and happily the other two will be silenced.
JUST THREE VOTES.!!!!!!!!!

The public should remember that you were against the library plan,which you said would hit us latter on when the plan was implemented.The four council members voted for the plan without considering the outcome.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that Sheehan and his buddies refused to have Kolesar help with the budget for such a small amount.
I do hope that others come up to help you gratis ,this will save a very small amount of taxes.
Maybe Sheehan had somone in mind for mega bucks.
We all know how his mind works if you spend big money the results will be greater.He's a sicko,where can one get the job done for such a small amount,and most likely be done correctly with Kolesar's back ground.

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