Monday, October 29, 2007


I spent some time reviewing the $405,000 comprehensive plan contract that the Town Board wants me to sign. I am currently reviewing the terms of the contract and have some initial concerns. The big concern: wasting taxpayer dollars unnecessarily.

The contract includes initial costs that could be done in house – not by expensive, outside consultants. In the coming months taxpayers will be asked to pay for a survey, survey analysis plan, mailing lists, survey tabulations, analysis and presentation, outreach. These costs are expensive: $19,500 for community meetings, public participation, issue formulation and communication: $35,000; data collection: $34,410; data analysis: $61,440.

I am convinced that each of the above outreach initiatives could be done by our capable town staff, at significant savings to the taxpayers. We don’t need to hire a consultant to help us determine what people are thinking. If we are going to hire a consultant we should use the consultant to help us with technical matters—work town staff cannot do in house.

We have a difficult budget coming up – with a significant tax hike. This is the time to prioritize spending. I hope that the Town Board will reconsider their decision to hire a consultant to complete a comprehensive plan and suggest that the contract be reviewed, modified and that the costs of the proposed plan be decreased.


Greenburgh Town Supervisor


Anonymous said...

Paul if you can save the residents some money the hell with Sheehan and his followers.
This is very good to hear that most of the work can be done inhouse.
That's why we have good people working in the Building Dept. who know the rules and regulations like the palm of their hands.
I don't know what other dept is considered part of the comprehensive plan,but I know those involved will be looking for the benefit of the taxpayers.
Sheehan was working just for one side and not the whole town.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Paul the message is loud and clear.
the heck with the rest of the board ,do not sign this contract.

Anonymous said...

don't sign the contract. Listen to your gut.

dnd said...

Mr. Feiner doesn't understand the necessity of a comprehensive plan, most particularly for Greenburgh, and the role of the outside consultant. Matters such as issue formulation, data collection, and survey analysis, for example, shouldn't be done in-house as a matter of principle.

Mr. Feiner's statement, "I don't know what other dept is considered part of the comprehensive plan," concerns me greatly. If the senior manager of the town doesn't understand the basics of what a comprehensive plan is, then he's not qualified to talk about what is and is not appropriate spending. Having an active comprehensive plan actually saves taxpayer money in the long-run. I think it's time for Mr. Feiner to take some elementary MBA courses before commenting on matters of organizational planning.

dnd said...

Comprehensive Plan: A document, or series of documents, that serves as a guide for making land use changes, preparation of capital improvement programs, and the rate, timing, and location of future growth. It is based upon establishing long-term goals and objectives to guide the future growth of a city. It is also known as a Master or General Plan. Elements of a Comprehensive Plan include Economic Development, Environment, Housing, Land Use,
Recreation and Open Space, Transportation.

dnd said...

Preparing a Comprehensive Plan

Step One: Plan to Plan
Step Two: Structure and Schedule the Process
Step Three: Gather and Analyze Data
Step Four: Identify Problems, Issues, and Concerns (PIC's)
Step Five: Develop a Vision for the Plan
Step Six: Develop Plan Goals and Objectives
Step Seven: Generate and Evaluate Plan Options
Step Eight: Select and Develop a Preferred Plan
Step Nine: Adopt the Plan, Set an Implementation Schedule
Step Ten: Monitor for Results and Impact

And someone in the building department can orchestrate this process?? Without professional, experienced, objective coordination, it would become discombobulated and political.

Have you looked at the comprehensive plans of our neighboring municipalities? They're rather extensive, and those implemented properly have been serving those communities so well.

While $405K is on the higher end of what it should cost, Unincorporated Greenburgh needs to make an investment and start thinking beyond yesterday and next month.

Anonymous said...

the $405,000 is a big waste of money.

Anonymous said...

dnd doesn't realize that some of us can't afford to pay these excessive consultant costs

Anonymous said...

If you have that kind of money put it up to pay the consultant.
With the money that you make it would be a good tax deductible.

hal samis said...

Posted this earlier on another topic relative to the Comprehensive Plan.

hal samis said...
I would like someone to explain to me and readers why it is necessary to go forward (start) with the comprehensive plan now.

Even if it was partially funded in 2007.

Even if the taxpayers won't have to pay for the balance of the work until 2009.

Even if a lot of volunteers spent a lot of their time on it. It should be noted that these volunteers were the ones in favor of having this comprehensive plan.

Even if it can be placed in the capital budget, $405,000 = $405,000 wherever it enters the bookkeeping, it has to paid.

Things change.
One thing is that it it likely that there will be a reconfigured Town Board come 2008.
It is is also likely that this new Town Board will not be so congenial to taking on this expense.
So what.

If there is a new Town Board it is because the public wanted things to change. Is the existing Town Council rushing this expense through just for spite?

I also want to point out that calling something a "comprehensive plan" makes it sound like something important but the name and the reality are often at odds.
Furthermore much of what makes up a comprehensive plan already exists in the Town's deparments and in the files of the County and the State. Hiring a firm to outsource running a copier is a very expensive proposition.

I really, really want to know reasons why there is a current, PRESSING need for spending the big bucks on a comprehensive plan, reasons relating to what a comprehensive plan will bring to the Town, not the political polemics above.

One idea put out to circulate is that somehow a comprehensive plan will stop the erosion in rateables -- as though lack of having one is the cause. Raising assessments will raise rateables. Who's for that? So, please explain to me how having a comprehensive plan will stop the erosion and raise rateables -- be forewarned: that if anyone's going to say...I'm going to come back and remind you about privately owned property vs. town owned property.

And explain how the comprehensive plan is going to anticipate the real effects of Ridge Hill, the Tappan Zee crossing, what White Plains decides to do in the future, precict the outcome of various and forthcoming court cases (provide or compensate for their results) and then tell me the delivery date of the comprehensive plan, the acceptance of it by the Town Board and when any needed Town Laws will be passed to implement the Plan's recommendations.

And while you're at it, what public funding will be needed to reap the benefits?

i.e. I'm betting that a truly comprehensive, comprehensive plan will recommend that some streets in town should have sidewalks. Wow! How much would that conclusion have cost?

Just because the Town Council promoted this during the throes of a 2007 palace overthrow and a hard fought pre-primary campaign concurrent with the ethics law debacle, it doesn't mean that this was something that the Public at large was focused on. Then too, most of these committee meetings were scheduled for the benefit of the committee members, not the working public.

Personally, I think the idea stinks. I think it smacks of politics; I think it smacks of spending $400,000+ for one single purpose: to create the paper supporting the need to remove residential development from what is currently allowed on Central Avenue in Edgemont; that a deal has been struck to spend this money to achieve this result and that the bill for helping Edgemont achieve this is being spread among the other areas of Town which will receive no benefit for their tax dollar support.

I would like to see this whole monument to Sheehan/McNally/McLaughlin tabled and brought back to life next year when this year's competing emotional issues of 2007 have faded away and left the center stage for good.
I would like to say that next year the jig's up but I'm not sure of the above trios musical preferences.

But again don't focus on the diversion of the history and work that went into arriving at the $400,000 payoff, there is no reason why the houses of the three little pigs can't be put back together again -- because no one used bricks the first time.

And as a technical question, if the RFP defined the job specs, how can you award a contract to the firm that reduced their price but, in doing so, left some of the original work out of their lowered price? Did the other firm have a chance to match the "winning" bid by also leaving out some of the work?

10/28/2007 10:19 PM

hal samis said...

and this because I had responded to data not drama (dnd) there as well.

hal samis said...
Dear Data with side order of Drama,

"Comprehensive Plans are how organizations are run".

Too simply put.

Most "organizations" are unilaterial in operation and objectives.

Town government does not make decisions based solely upon its own judgement or even the judgement of outside consultants. Those running the Town still have to deal with the interests of those most affected by development proposals before the Town. Thus the recommendations of a Comprehensive Plan exist in a perfect vacuum and do not address the political realities which bring pressure to bear.

The Town of Greenburgh is not like a private or public company. Greenburgh's Board of Directors does not run a monolith with the objective, say, to increase profits and thus all divisions are directed to pursue all opportunities leading to this goal. On the contrary, Town government is charged with a responsibility more to protect its stockholders, the individual residents. Since the interests of all its stockholders are not the same, a Master Plan or Comprehensive Plan cannot be all things to all people (east side, west side, all around the town, incorporated and unincorporated) which is why your premise is invalid.

Consider if you will, if you must read into this but it was the first example that came to mind.
What if the Comprehensive Plan recommeded that the best use for property along Central Avenue in Edgemont should be solely residential development. The Plan could say this after determining that there is a already too much retail and office development and that the nearby Ridge Hill project will absorb all future needs for the forseeable future (until the next Plan). The land is too valuable to become open space and thus residential development becomes the by default highest use.

Now, how do you suppose Edgemont leaders would react if that were the conclusion? I'm betting that the Town would hear quickly enough that the conclusions of the Plan were flawed, required more study and that a moratorium is needed while the experts redo their studies.

No plan, even one costing $405,000 and taking years to develop, can truly be called Comprehensive. By the time, it is completed, the earliest segments are already showing their half-life. If people are truly concerned about an "incident" at Indian Point, such an event would render the Comoprehensive Plan useless. If the Tappan Zee crossing were relocated, the Plan would be useless. If the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Sprain became linked one direction only roads, the Plan would be useless. There are so many events and unforseen possibilities that exist, that the Town would still be in a reactive role rather than what the Plan's advocates would like to think can be pro-active stances.

I offer up a very real and actual circumstance as an example.
Knollwood Road (a concern of the Broadview Civic Association) will in the next five years be witness to the opening of the expanded Greenburgh Public Library, the Greenburgh Health Center, the new townhouse development, the disposition of the Fortress Bible Church property, the development on the golf driving range, (one day after a new use for the Frank's nursery site) and the completion of the now BMW-owned former County Limousine building. In addition, the State plans changes to the Tarrytown Road underpass and an open questions remains as to the future use of the Westhab property adjacent to the Library. What will the Comprehensive Plan determine about this area in the coming years? What if they said that the Greenburgh Health Center should go elsewhere as a result of the conflux of all the other proposed uses?

Those people advocating a so-called Comprehensive Plan are taking advantage of the unfortunate but presumptuous name. No Plan is comprehensive in reality. And, if you will grant even a small portion of what I am pitching, then it follows that the immediate, economic harm of higher taxes facing taxpayers in 2008, dictates that now is not the time to allocate to low priority items and that the $200,000 already allocated can find a better home
for the bitter pill that is the Budget.

It is a shame that the Town Council responds to a small, vocal public and not to the larger group known as all Greenburgh taxpayers.
Even the recent Primary results could not drive that inbalance home to roost.

10/29/2007 10:12 AM

hal samis said...

Which brings me to addressing dnd's most recent foray into the world of google.

The only elements of the Comprehensive Plan that cannot be handled in-house (be generous, we've got more than one department in town) are affordable housing which is properly the concern of the County and Central Avenue and/or Tarrytown Road of which re transportation is the concern of the County (Bee Line bus system) and the roads themselves are State roads.

In short, as has been amplified elsewhere, this need is really the need of Edgemont to throw enough bucks out the window disguised as fees and hope that whoever finds our largesse will see things Edgemont's way.

Otherwise, why do you see the fingerprints of Michelle McNally and Madelon O'Shea all over the "needs" requisition form?

As for communities with Comprehensive Plans, maybe we can "borrow" the White Plains model because that one is working so well there. I'd love it if Greenburgh would encourage high rise development to raise rateables or found a place to build its own Ridge Hill as we can't even tolerate the existing Midway Shopping Center. But it is astounding that you would cite our neighbors as owning Comprehensive Plans and look how envious we are of them. Maybe one day our Comprehensive Plan will even provide Yonkers the opportunity to sue Greenburgh.

And, thank's for supplying the justification that I keep forgetting to address: "having a Comprehensive Plan actually saves taxpayers money in the long run"

Maybe we won't be here in the long run to see if you were right but I'm curious today to hear an explanation of how the Comprehensive Plan does that?
Personally, what with all the energy that the Library is going to save us in the long run and now with a Comprehensive Plan to save us dollars in the long run, I not sure that I'll have enough deductions to handle all this money that I (meaning taxpayers) will be saving. And if one Comprehensive Plan can save money, then perhaps Greenburgh should go to the Bond rating Agencies and say, forget about the ability to tax residents, we've got a Comprehensive Plan! Even after computing the present value of $405,000 to through the long run, I still would like to learn the reasons why taxpayers will be saving money.

Of course, if we don't actually have the money to implement the plan's recommendations, I won't hold that against you just don't include the money we don't have to spend as part of your total of money we've saved. Instead assume that taxpayers are willing to follow the recommendations, dig into their pockets to do what the Plan invokes and then when the "long run" has ended, how did the taxpayers save money? And how much?

Clearly, by not buying the Plan, right off the bat the taxpayers are ahead $405,000. So for comparison sake, let's start with making back the $405,000 plus the interest it would earn compounded to the end of the long run and compare that number to the savings you claim.

Don't take it personally but I'm loathe just to take it on faith that we're going to save money because someone named date not drama says so.

Don't rush; just get back to me before the Public Hearings on the 2008 Budget.

Anonymous said...

government has a habit of ripping off the taxpayers. this $405,000 study does just that.

dnd said...

Just a few quick comments:

1. If it's already been approved by the board, then there's not much use in any of this banter.

2. Without long-term objectives, Greenburgh maintains its roll-with-it management style with minimal accountability. As we witness the demise of Greenburgh's infrastructure, perhaps it's time to start investing in operating in a business-like manner as normal municipalities do.

hal samis said...

Dear DND,

There's nothing to stop the Town Board (read Town Council, read Bass, Barnes, Juettner and Sheehan) from reconsidering their vote and thus what you participate in but now call "banter" is never too late.

And since you specialize in hit and run, I be waiting for your answer to my question regarding what you wrote (10/29 @ 5:50): How does a Comprehensive Plan actually save money in the long run?

Not only is a so-called Comprehensive Plan useless now in light of external factors beyond Greenburgh control, but $405,000 is the wrong expenditure at the wrong time. This would not be inconsistent with your idle call for operating in a "business-like manner" which the current being a splintered Town Board refuses to allow.

Point the finger at the departing members who refuse to recognize the mandate of the Primary. What the Town Council, particularly Sheehan, want to do is act as the spoilers, pitting their preferences against what a November election will shortly sustain.

I suggest that it is your comments which amount to banter if you are expecting a change of direction while there are still lame ducks comprising the majority direction from the dais.

God may have directed Ms. Barnes to continue to run but I suspect it has a more secular purpose -- to vest in a State pension with 20 years of employment. At least Mr. Bass has given up the ghost. However both of them voted to put their hands deeper into taxpayers pockets.

Wait until January 1. "What a wonderful world that will be".

Anonymous said...

don't sign the contract: haven't you learned from the library debacle?

Anonymous said...

From now on please refer to Mr. Samis by his new name - Hal the shill. The idea that on January 1 all of Greenburgh's problems will melt away under a new town board is pure fantasy. The last politician that claimed everything starts on day 1 was elliot spitzer. Last i checked his poll ratings were just about the same as george dubya.

hal samis said...

Speaking live from the land of the shill, not from the whereabouts of the Sheehan.

It really bugs you that I have changed sides doesn't? It was ok when we were traveling the same road.

Well, stop and smell the coffee.
The villain is no longer Feiner but those who sought to unseat him.
Waging a battle being fought on any and all fronts, it made hypocrits of people who for years built their credentials based upon the perceived presumption of doing what was right for Greenburgh. Recent events have shown that what was once, perhaps righteous indignation at best, has quickly given way to the adoption of the end justifies the means dogma. The problem, though, is that there has never been agreement of what are the proper "ends". More to the point, recent events have shown that the "ends" are really those goals that favored Edgemont over the remainder and what is now recognized as "send the bill" to the Town. During the "battle", one truth, however, emerged which clarified the battle lines: that Edgemont was not a one horse town; that Edgemont had many different publics and that all of Edgemont was not being represented by those who appeared at town Hall and wrote regularly as though they represented the whole.

That they have no broad mandate is one of the things that has laid the foundation permitting my presumption of a better Greenburgh come January 1. Come then, they are welcome, if they so choose, to sit on the sidelines and bleet their shopworn demands to themselves.

Part of the problem was always residents/bloggers who can't read as witnessed by the blogger just before (1:19) who writes that I have shilled that "ALL of the problems will melt away under a new Town Board". You ain't gonna find that in my postings or in letters to the editor. But since I do feel that many of the problems are of "Edgemont" parentage and exacerabated by a willing messenger, Mr. Sheehan who controls the Town Council -- which, in turn, owns four of the five votes (just three are needed for action). With voting control in new hands, Greenburgh will celebrate the return to the whole being more important than some of the individual parts.

And with this swing in power, hopefully it will attract a new generation (those of more recent vintage because Greenburgh will never again be the same as it was forty years ago) of informed citizens who shall make it their business to ride herd on the Town Board to make sure that they stay on the right path.

So I am optomistic about the future. The phrase "just three votes" will take on a new meaning and, on a January 1 two years hence, with the sucessful retirement of the remaining two current Council members, I hope that the problems thereafter will be correctly characterized as having "melted away".

And that the local Democratic Party will no longer be a Party for rent and will find its way back to its existing adopted platform.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Samis and I have differed on style more than substance over the past few years. What encourages me about the future of Greenburgh is that a thoughtful introspective individual like Hal Samis, who has faithfully come to almost every Town Board meeting in my time, can be open to new ideas, and new realities. In his own way, he started to understand that the Supervisor did not possess "malice of fore thought," amd that he really did have the interests of the citizenry at heart. The Supervisor, like all of us, is not all-knowing and all-seeing, but he is a 24/7 guy, who has the needs of the public at heart, and takes his job seriously. His statement on the front pages of the Journal News reflects that sense of responsibility. But, all in all, Hal Samis has taken the time to analyse the issues, he has taken the time to speak out, and he has taken the time to challenge the system. He has seen the problems from both sides and vantage points. He shills for no one.

My sense is that the Supervisor will look to the advice of many, and make the changes that are necessary, but he needs a sincere Board, which will work for the future of Greenburgh, not for the needs of the political bosses, who are in the business of manipulating the public for their own ends.

Richard J. Garfunkel

The Sunshine Company Limited said...

Hal -
If the problems seem to you to be primarily of "Edgemont parentage" then the solution should be equally apparent to you -
Just let Edgemont walk away from the Town Outside - support its incorporation as a village on an equal footing with the other six incorporated villages within the town.
Let it be responsible for its own future buying and implementing its own comprehensive plan.
Let it determine what works best in its community - the Town's rateables will increase nicely if property values continue to rise because there are fewer seats in its schools.
Let it not interfere with the needs of Fairview where the TYCC is the focus of the community.
Let Edgemonters not look to the Town to create employment for its voters - let Edgemonters continue to commute back and forth to Manhattan and their outsize salaries.
In short, if everything which is wrong with Greenburgh finds its locus in Edgemont, just say goodbye.
If you're right, they'll come crawling back and think of the revenge you'll be able to exact then.
On the other hand, while you hate the idea of an elitist community with enormous property values - you sure as hell love to collect the money that comes from the pockets of Edgemonters, don't you?
Hypocrite. Your jealousy is showing with every poisonous word you write about Edgemont - and taking up with Fall Guy Whiner, Reeking Carbuncle, Keep-on Moron, Judas Beastly and Sonya Brown-nose is in keeping with your new persona. All Hail Hal and the Paulitburo.

Anonymous said...

Gaffe-funkel - wake up and smell the coffee - there is no such place as Greenburgh. Its a relic of another era. Its middle class has abandoned its school district. Its largely ugly. Its villages want to leave. Its politics lurch from fiascos like WestHelp to Taxter Ridge. Its dysfuctional. Its being sued all over the place. The place is a circus and you are one of its ringmasters.

hal samis said...

Dear Sunshine Company
Limited (excellent choice),

Are you sure that you don't represent the 1910 Fruitgum Company as well?

Personally (not speaking as a Politician), I think that if Edgemont feels it doesn't belong and that the liabilities exceed the benefits, they should leave.
However, the costs will clearly exceed the perceived savings. Just let Ardsley know about the impending Library deal.

But the problem is still the same old, same old one. Someone gets on the blog or stands up in Town Hall and speaks as though THEY represent the sentiments of Edgemont -- which they don't. I'm not jealous of Edgemont property values; I grew up on a very nice block (Soundview) in White Plains on an acre and a half of property and I couldn't wait to move into NYC. There are some nice homes in Edgemont and there are some not so nice. It is no special place to live in most respects other than one: it does provide an outstanding school system which is the driving force which raises the value of many, small and average homes in Edgemont. So, parents supporting the school system are merely investing their money (taxes) with the only downside being the short term benefit of providing an excellent education for their kids while waiting for the long term benefit to be realized in the higher sale value of these homes. Nice work when you get it. You don't need either an advanced degree or praise for subscribing to this enrichment program. But the main problem is that not all of Greenburgh benefits from this math while Edgemont (some residents) advocates expect the rest of Greenburgh to turn the other cheek when Edgemont petitions the Town Board to prime their pump.

Were this long standing formula not so successful, then the price of parks and open space in Edgemont would not be so dear as to preclude purchase. Thus Edgemont falls victim to its own ability to raise the bar and make unlikely the vary things that "Edgemont" says it wants.

The point to take home is that Edgemont, even as a School District, is not homogenous and those that pretend to speak for it do not represent even the majority of its population. The problem in having to continually point this out is one of stylistic license. It is just less cumbersome to say Edgemont than re-direct readers to the footnotes. On the other hand, if any but the few are offended, they, being residents who are offended by the elitist tag, could from time to time affirm that the Bernsteins, McNallys and anonymice are not everyone's cup of tea.

I would think that by now "real" residents of Edgemont would understand the distinction and either tolerate the shorthand or become more active to sever their connections with the vocal "leaders".
You may all be bozos on the bus serving Edgemont as we living elsewhere are bozos on our bus; however it is time for you to retain the services of another driver. In a very real sense, other than the schools, you are on the same bus everyone rides; it is only your driver who thinks it is a stretch limo.

And, in case you are unaware, the economic system in the former Soviet Union has changed. Communism is out; capitalism is in. Hence, Paulitburo is not a pejorative term. I welcome being accorded affiliation with same, more so when considering the alternative.

Anonymous said...

Getting back on the topic of this particular section, it is a shame that the Council did not understand that spending $200,000 for "half a loaf" is a complete waste of taxpayer money. What do I mean by half a loaf? Well, say they (excluding the Town Supervisor) go forward, like maybe even the Deputy Town Supervisor, Mr. Sheehan, executing the sweet heart (was it rebid?) deal because the Supervisor won't. This is very real by the way.

After a new Town Council is elected, and it will be a new Town Council, they stop the "project". What happens then? Kiss our "B" tax monies good-bye. Thank you Mr. Sheehan. Read and weep folks. Every action from here on out only digs his grave deeper for 2009. Keep a list. I have a feeling it's going to get very, very long, because he just doesn't get it yet.

The "Other" Shadow

Anonymous said...

So BOB B you still have that little mans disease. Call people names and lie. We will not miss you when your gone. How many kids kicked your ass in school and made you the dick you are.

dnd said...

"How does a Comprehensive Plan actually save money in the long run?"

It's similar to long-term investing - invest early, stick to your plan, reap the rewards.

Or, what's that proverb ... something along the lines of "When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees." Greenburgh does a lot of corn planting, but doesn't seem to have any broad, long-term vision.

Anonymous said...

From the group of people, which I am one, who would like to see an Edgemont Village, I cant say enought to thank Paul Feiner. If Edgemont does become a Village, we will have to thank Paul Feiner, who has done more to encourage it with unfair tax policies and pandering to developers at the expense of Edgemont than anyone. Why is the town fighting Fortress in court, but not developers in Edgemont?

Again, thanks Paul

hal samis said...

Dear DND,

You got up early to type your no-answer answer?

You don't know do you? You can't say that Greenburgh will save $____ because of_____.

And even your quote doesn't apply.
A Comprehensive Plan IS more like planting corn. You have to reseed at 5 year intervals if you want to harvest a crop. Otherwise, Greenburgh had already planted trees that those who now want to spend $405,000 are content to uproot.

Say Uncle. You're not even in the race on this one.

Anonymous said...

As far as the Fortress chuch goes the people in that part of town have enough churches that do not pay taxes.
How much more can those residents be burdened not only money wise but all the extra traffic that this church will generate.
Edgemont's Dromore rd, will be settled in the courts sooner than later.
The fortress church comes from Mt Vernon let it stay where it is.
We in this area are fed up with the taxes and traffic.

Anonymous said...

well we in this area are fed up with traffic and taxes too.

time for barnes to pay said...

Let Barnes do the in house work on the comprehensive plan as a payback for all her years of collecting a paycheck and doing diddly squat.

Anonymous said...

She has no clue about the town or comprehensive plan KEEP HER AWAY. Close the Barn door and rid off into the sunset.

Anonymous said...

The current Town Board has been caught up in political obfuscation for a number of years now. It has grown old and wearisome. Because Weinberg had lost energy years before, her eventual loss was predictable. She was unendorced by the Greenburgh Town Committee, and the Feiner campaign felt that she had abandoned his positions, especially over the library. She carried petitions in 2005 and was knocked off the ballot by the Sheehan-Juettner forces. Note the loyalty Juettner had for Weinberg, her ally for many years, and her co-sponsor of the effort to build the new library. Of course their actions were not too nice or polite, but it was good politics. A Weinberg campaign may have siphoned enough votes to get Dengler and Morgan elected.

But of course, the Supervisor was under a great challenge from Bill Greenawalt, who had been party chairperson, a perpeptual candidate for one thing another, a State Commiteeman for decades, and a critic of Feiner over the cable broadcasting committee. (Note that topic has not come up in a long, long, time.) A last minute campaign of destroying the Feiner-Dengler-Morgan signs, not unlike 2007, and their slam on choice, authored by Plaskette, not unlike 2007, when it was done again, and various lies about methadone clinics in Hartsdale clinched this phony victory for the author of such tactics, Francis Sheehan, and his willing partner Diane Juettner. She went along because of political expediency.

In 2007 this "dog did not hunt," and the tactics of 2005 did not resonate with the voters. The Dromore Road affidavit linking illegal Board meetings, the effort to create a referendum to buy that parcel of land, the Bernstein suits, the Bryan-Cave inside deal authored by Suzanne Berger and Sheehan, the altering of the zoning map, the do-nothing careers of Barnes and Williams, and the duplicity of Bass changed the calculus of the 2007 primary.

Of course this Board squandered the "fund balance" in spite of the coming certiorie meltdown, which had nothing to do with the management of the Town. The zero tax increases of the last two years were unrealistic, and though the Supervisor objected, and his remarks are all to see in the public record, he made a mistake and went along. But he was only one of five votes, and his objections echoed meaninglessly. Of course the master strategist was Sheehan, who was not up for election. He knew that the budget would have a problem, and continued to add spending item upon spending item, and the Board, led by its noses, and Sheehan's leash went along. It was pure political invectiveness and a grand strategy to defeat Feiner, lift the totally inexperienced Suzanne Berger into the job. Berger had slight knowledge of Greenburgh, talked about hiring a Town Manager, would have been happy to serve a year and let Sheehan, with his lap dog Kaminer, run Town Hall. She would be rewarded with a judgeship, and be quite happy to turn the reins over to Sheehan and ride happily into the sunset. Sheehan would be acting Supervisor and be in pivotable position to win the next election.

Funny how things work out. The Troy litigation will expose a great deal and my assumption is that both Juettner and Sheehan will be forced to resign. I would be amazed if Juettner, a lawyer with a good reputation would want to go through that ordeal. She used to be an ally of Feiner, but understood that the boss-controlled Greenburgh Democratic Town committe would not endorse her in 2005, so she split with him over the library re-building, a costly mistake, and other issues. She linked up with Sheehan, a former Republican, a defeated office seeker, a supporter of GOP candidate Jim Lasser, an ally of Bob Bernstein, and one of the most frequent critics of Feiner and the Board. He was always there with his banal and meaningless questions about minor items on the Town Board's bi-monthly agenda. His specialty was commenting on $300 awards to people whose cars had been damaged by city vehicles or others where citizens had their bushes trampled on by the sanitationmen. Of course every single question he raised, wasted time, and was fully justified. Not once did he save the taxpayers a red cent. He built his so-called reputation by filming all the Board meetings and making sure he attended every zoning and planning Board meeting, so that he would be the "land use" king. He was part of a twice monthly verbal barrage that included a number of others; Preiser, Krauss, Samis, Renninger, Lorrin Brown, Greenawalt, Bernstein, McNally, the O'Sheas, and others. They spread their invective thought their website and created a phony legitimacy through their control of the Greenburgh Council of Neighborhoods. Eventually some of this crew got bored, or started to see that they were being used by Sheehan and Bernstein. Certainly Samis and Renninger, who had long been independent critics of the Town Board, on many legitimate issues, started to become much more objective. Meanwhile note how Sheehan's knowledge and inside information on "land-use" probably assisted the Dromore Road adventure. His inside knowledge, the altered zoning map, and the legalese of Bernstein seem to have their fingerprints all over that event.

Now the Town faces and promotes more "pork" in the waning days of 2007. They still haven't seen the forest through the trees, and their record of accomplishment, the Bass-sponsored Darfur amendment aside, has been one of confrontaion, excessive spending and invective and political failure. What else is new?

dnd said...

"Say Uncle. You're not even in the race on this one."

Wow, I was being truthful and caring regarding Greenburgh's need for a comprehensive plan. I didn't realize that it was all just a game to you, Mr. Samis.

Anonymous said...

The plan is just for the civic leaders who regularly speak at the town meetings,starting from the first to the last.
Do they think the people who are present and those mwho watch on tv are stupid.
Havenot you noticed that whatever is uttered by Sheehan is baked up by the civic leaders,and some time visa versa.
It looks like these meetings are gone over word for word way before air time.
I have yet to see anyone of the four board members speak against anything put forth before them by these so called representatives of certain areas who say that they represent the residents.
Hold up this plan,and don't listen to these phonies.
The problem is that throughout the years they have had the upper hand now Paul you have to stand up for what is right for ALL the residents of Greenburgh.

hal samis said...

Dear DND,

You may write that you are being truthful and caring but you are also lying. That is your game.

When the going got tough was when I asked you to support your nonsense that a comprehensive plan saves money. That you shut up.

So pack up YOUR wounded feelings and find another place to cry. Here we worry about the effect of large tax increases upon the not so well off and those living on fixed incomes. With such real concerns, Edgemont can wait a few years more for the Town to spend $405,000 in the hope that this will cure its problem on Central Avenue.

hal samis said...

correction to the above

"That you shut up" should read

"That shut you up"

because you had no answer.

no data, just drama.

Frank Musantry said...

The Comprehensive Plan will be a valuable tool for Greenburgh to grow in the near and distant future. That should not cause us to lose control of our budget adn resources.

Being a consultant, I am very familiar with contracts and what they should and should not contain. Too many times I have been asked to perform tasks that could be performed by my clients, and at a less expensive cost.

Greenburgh, as the client, should review which tasks it can perform and allow the consultant to manage the technical tasks. Perhaps add a few new committees to take charge and lead individual efforts to assist in keeping our costs down while providing needed functions.

We should let any of the previous work performed by Mr Sheehan and the Comprehensive Plan committee go to waste. We should build upon it.

If there is anything I can do to help support this process, please let me know.

Anonymous said...

You're right Hal the comprehensive plan was only for the benefit of Edgemont.
This plan can wait until dooms day.
We are looking for means to generate revenue not what they want to do.
Edgemont has gotten their way for too long,now the residents have to fight back.
If people have buildable lots why can't they build.
It may generate more school children in our local schools so
what.Tell the teachers to get their children out of the schools to make room for residents children.
How many outsiders are in our school system ?Has anyone checked?

Anonymous said...

Don't be too hard on Edgemont. If Bob Bernstein didn't make himself the face of Edgemont we would find that it is a pretty nice and decent place and a good part of Greenburgh.

hal samis said...

Dear 5:27,


Anonymous said...

at least edgemont is pretty in many places. hartsdale is the land of signs that read: dont feed the birds.