Monday, October 29, 2007


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Greenburgh Democracy

HALLOWEEN this week-- police will be patrolling streets


Anonymous said...

the looming tax increase looks pretty scary.

is herb fibbing again? said...

here is the actual decision by the appellate court in the bernstein case on the issue of whether the villages can intervene. contrary to (probably herb rosenberg) a blog post of last week, the court only said the villages can be heard on their argument that they never opted to pay for parks in unincorporated greenburgh - the real issue is whether the statute they base this argument on is even applicable to parks that must be open to everyone but which are only paid for by unincorporated greenburgh taxpayers:

Decided on September 25, 2007


(Index No. 6807/06)

[*1]In the Matter of Robert B. Bernstein, petitioner- respondent,


Paul J. Feiner, etc., et al., respondents; Jay Leon, etc., et al., proposed intervenor-respondents-appellants.

Keane & Beane, P.C., White Plains, N.Y. (Richard L. O'Rourke and
Nicholas M. Ward-Willis of counsel), for proposed intervenor-
Robert B. Bernstein, Hartsdale, N.Y., petitioner-respondent pro


In a hybrid proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 and action for a judgment declaring, inter alia, that the budget for the respondent Town of Greenburgh for the fiscal year 2006 improperly imposes the cost of maintaining certain park and recreational facilities that are open to all Town of Greenburgh residents solely on the owners of property in the unincorporated area of the Town, the proposed intervenors appeal, by permission, from an order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County (Cacace, J.), dated August 11, 2006, which denied their motion for leave to intervene.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law and in the exercise of discretion, without costs or disbursements, and the motion for leave to intervene is granted.

The petitioner, a resident of the unincorporated area of the Town of Greenburgh, commenced this hybrid proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 and action for a judgment declaring, inter alia, that the Town's 2006 budget improperly imposes the cost of maintaining certain park and recreational facilities that are open to all Town residents solely on the owners of property in the unincorporated area of the Town, in violation of Town Law § 232. The Mayors of the Incorporated Villages of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, and Tarrytown, each alleging that they are tax-paying property owners in their respective Villages, and the Villages of [*2]Elmsford and Hastings-on-Hudson, which also allegedly pay Town taxes (hereinafter collectively the proposed intervenors), moved for leave to intervene as respondents. They contend that the method of allocation used in the Town budget is mandated by a special law (L 1982, ch 891), and that they have a substantial interest as taxpaying property owners in the outcome of the proceeding because, if the petitioner prevails, approximately $10 million in expenses will be shifted from the budget for the unincorporated area to the Town-wide budget, approximately 50% of which is taxed to village residents.

We conclude that the Supreme Court improvidently exercised its discretion in denying the proposed intervenors' motion for leave to intervene. CPLR 7802(d), which authorizes the court to allow "interested persons" to intervene, "grants the court broader power to allow intervention in an article 78 proceeding than is provided pursuant to either CPLR 1012 or 1013 in an action" (Matter of Elinor Homes Co. v St. Lawrence, 113 AD2d 25, 28-29). As a general matter, "intervention should be permitted where the intervenor has a real and substantial interest in the outcome of the proceedings" (County of Westchester v Department of Health of State of N.Y., 229 AD2d 460, 461). Since the proposed intervenors, as property owners in the incorporated villages of the Town, face substantial property tax increases if the petitioner prevails, they have a substantial interest in the outcome of the proceeding and should have been granted leave to intervene in the article 78 proceeding. The Villages have an additional interest in this matter since the law upon which the Town relies provides that the cost of a park may be imposed on village taxpayers only if the board of trustees of the village determines by resolution, subject to permissive referendum, that it is "in the public interest of the residents of such incorporated village to use the public park" (L 1982, ch 891, § 3).


James Edward Pelzer

Clerk of the Court

Anonymous said...

In layman terms what is the outcome.
We are not all lawyers who live in Greenburgh.
This is the problem with everything not being brought to the residents in language that each and everyone understands.

Herb Rosenberg said...

I have made it a practice not to write on this blog because the person whose name I try not to mention and his friends usually respond with vitriol and insults. But for the 10:18 posting, probably by the person whose name I don't mention, I'll make an exception.

The 10:18 posting contains the revisions and distortions of the court's language that is typical of the comments by the person whose name I don't mention. Here, however, the reader can read it himself or herself.

The poster says that "the court only said the villages can be heard on their argument that they never opted to pay for parks in unincorporated greenburgh." In fact, as everyone can read, the court said that the mayors "contend that the method of allocation used in the Town budget is mandated by a special law (L 1982, ch 891)" -- quite different from what the 10:10 poster says rthe court said. What is at issue is the meaning and reach of the Finneran Law.

10:18 says that "the real issue is whether the statute they base this argument on is even applicable to parks that must be open to everyone but which are only paid for by unincorporated greenburgh taxpayers." That is certainly the issue that the person whose name I don't mention argues, but what the real issue is what the court said in its last sentence, "The Villages have an additional interest in this matter since the law upon which the Town relies provides that the cost of a park may be imposed on village taxpayers only if the board of trustees of the village determines by resolution, subject to permissive referendum, that it is "in the public interest of the residents of such incorporated village to use the public park" (L 1982, ch 891, § 3). That, of course, is exactly what the villages have maintained all along.

I make it a practice not to predict the outcome of cases in the appellate courts, but I cannot imagine that the person whose name I don't mention could have been happy to read that last sentence. Still, I will wait for the decision -- then we will know.

Now will come the vitriol and insults.

rosenberg misses the issue said...

Herb is spinning again (at least now we know he was the anonymous blogger of last week)
all the court did was allow the villages to make some arguments and otherwise said the obvious - that the villages will be impacted if bernstein prevails - as such they have an interest and right to be heard in the case(apparently the town's legal representation has been inadequate).

rosenberg puts alot of stock in the "opt in" language - thats debatable - that would only seem to apply to parks that are restricted in use to unincorporated greenburgh residents but which villages might want to use - of course, under such circumstances, its right that they pay for such requested use.

here in greenburgh, the town has allowed many of its parks and rec facilites to be used by everyone but only charges taxpayers of unincorporated greenburgh for their upkeep and operation

when something is a townwide facility, it has to be paid for by the whole town - thats what rosenberg keeps missing.

Herb Rosenberg said...

I knew that I shouldn't write. This is the last.

I was not the anonymous blogger last week. I don't know what the anonymous blogger said, but if the poster is blasting it then it must have been right.

I will not argue law with any anonymous person, especially one who seems incapable of reading simply-written statutes.

The Taxter Ridge decision should come down soon. The all arguments can cease.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie if you lost the decision live with it.
Do you know how to read ?
Do you know more than a former judge?
Enough is enough we have heard enough of your BS for a long time.
Wake up and smell the flowers,this is a new year coming up with new people on the board,who will not listen to your cries as Sheehan and company did.
You lost and that's all we have to say.
Oh by the way I think you should resign from the democratic party as a leader,you lost our respect in that category too.

hal samis said...

Dear Ms. Berger:

8 Days to the Election.

Please advise when is Unity Day.

Anonymous said...

Unity Day OH !!! how could I have forget. I was on the train to the city, had to get my nails done, went to the Sheehans for dinner, met BOB at the hairstyles, took a walk with my friends through Dromore Rd. Gosh how time flies. I knew I had something to do but it slipped my mind. They really should have asked for the five grand like I gave to myself. Well ta te ta I'm off to support anyone other then democrats.

Anonymous said...

watch your back

Anonymous said...

Yeah because they don't have the nerve to bring it to your face. Gutless wonders.

rise above the pettiness said...

The Town Board - old or new - should agree to listen to anyone who presents reasonable arguments at town board meetings whether its Bernstein, Samis or anyone else.

In fact, given the recent history of the Board such as the foolish purchase of Taxter Ridge, the illegal Westhelp deal, the pathetic 9-11 wall marring Webb Field/Presser Park, the inadequate insurance, the unfair taxtion of sewer districts etc., the Town Board would be well advised to consult carefully with its citizens as to its plans and not enage its penchant for feel good photo ops and issuing self serving press releases.

rosenberg comes up empty said...

"when something is a townwide facility, it has to be paid for by the whole town - thats what rosenberg keeps missing."

exactly right.

Anonymous said...

Will someone please tell me where it says that when something is a townwide facility, it has to be paid for by the whole town.

I looked at the Finneran Law and it says that federal-financed parks have to be paid by the unincorporated residents even though they have to be open to everybody.

Or are you just blowing smoke.

here it is said...

See Town Law Section 232 and Amended Taxter Decision on the town's website under documents and forms -

btw - the court rejected the federal funds argument. further, finneran only says that if you take federal funds you cannot restrict use - there is no provision that you must tax only unincorporated greenburgh for parks using federal funds.

you might also want to read the briefs that are on the town's website.

again - its undisputed that a townwide facilty must be paid for by all town taxpayers under ny law
(see Bernstein v Feiner, 787 NYS2d 357)

Anonymous said...

I think that you read what you want to read. I am more impressed by the final sentence in the recent court order and it is opposed to your version of the law.

I would be happy to see the court uphold Bernstein's view because it would lower our taxes. But since I read the Finneran Law and the recent court order I don't think that it will happen.

keep dreaming said...

keep dreaming herb or herbalike.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for the lay person version of the court order.
please enlighten us to what it means.

which version? said...

maybe you are reading an unoffical copy of finneran - perhaps the edition printed in dobbs ferry?

hal samis said...

Although this in no way alters my desire to see the Town Clerk, Alfreda Williams, not win re-election, I feel honor bound to report that she has returned the $200 campaign contribution from Mike Segal, the Chair of the Ethics Board.

However, I have been unable to view through the NYS Board of Elections site, any recent filings of Eddie Mae Barnes. Perhaps those who have better access to this information, can tell the rest of us whether Ms. Barnes has similarly seen fit to return her $500 contribution from the generous Mike Segal. At the recent Town Board meeting, Ms. Barnes was loathe to even acknowledge accepting this but I shall be happy to report any status update regarding the current whereabouts the $500.

Anonymous said...

How ironic is that the Union Baptist Church, which as a tax-exempt facility, allowed Edie Mae Barnes and Alfreda Williams to speak at last Sunday's two services and they are not members of the church. But Judy Beville and Sonja Brown were not allowed to speak and their families have been worshippers there for a total of one hundred years. Was there some type of political pressure used to create this unfair political climate?

I thought churches and other houses of worship should remain out of politics or non-partisan. On the other hand, they could be fair about it, and let both sides speak. Is this the old guard still struggling for power in the last hours and minutes of their long tenure?

This could leave a bad taste and a divided congregation for many years. How strange! Williams and Barnes never showed up for George Brown's funeral. Why weren't they there then?

Anonymous said...


I am a resident from the Greenburgh area who usually watch what’s going on from afar.

One thing I must say-
I, like the anonymous writer, have no clue what a district leader is or the purpose of the GDP. I don't even know who my district leader is.

As for Mr. Garfunkle-Good for you. I am not happy with most of the phony people who preach that they are for the people of Greenburgh when they do not do anything but stay with their negative clicks. Some people (even after many times) some people , well - you just can't be nice to. Some people need to be hit with hard words after attempts of using soft words.

I say - Go get them Garfunkle. Bring government back to us - by any means necessary!

feiner guilty too said...

Hal - has Mr. Feiner returned the $10,000 he got from Chase Caro, the disbarred attorney who stole from the elderly?

Has he returned the $ he got from the town's so called independent auditors?

Anonymous said...

People like 10:51 always try the "you're another" way of answering questions that can't be answered.

Mike Sigal is the chair of the Ethics Board and he is supposed to have judgment about appearances, and about not putting Eddie Mae Barnes into a violation of the Ethics Code.

Caro was an independent person, not a part of the town government. He turned out to be a thief, but nothing of that was known many years ago when he mnade a contribution that he was entitled to make and that Feiner was entitled to accept.

Try something else, but whatever you try it won't clean up the fact that under the new Ethics Law Sigal shouldn't have made the contribution and Barnes should not have accepted it.

Anonymous said...

so it was ok for feiner to take money from the town's auditors?

i dont think so. would the supervisor of an irs agent approve of his taking $ from someone he is auditing?

in fact, such conduct may be akin to commercial bribery

Anonymous said...

It was OK under the old Ethics Law, when Feiner took it, but not under the new Ethics Law (when Barnes took it from Sigal). But you are right, it smells bad.

Anonymous said...

You are probably Sheehan or Bernstein.
You constantly bring up the name of Caro when talking about ethics.
You are the ones that set up the ethics laws so live with it.
The next time both of you set out to hang the supervisor think first
of what you can do to your friends,in not doing your homework.

Anonymous said...

eddie mae & steve took from the auditors too--indirectly.

hal samis said...

Call me crazy but I'm thinking that Suzanne Berger, CHAIR of the Greenburgh Democratic Party, does NOT intend to hold a unity rally to support all the Deomcrat candidates and that she does NOT intend to, in any manner, disavow, former Democrats now turncoats, Barnes and Williams.

Anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

Anonymous said...

I heard that Lois Bronz refused to join the primary winners mailing because it will include Feiner's team and not Barns. Is this true?
Someone please answer. As an African American Women, I would like to bring this to media's attention and denounce her as a real democratic as well as an African American real leader. The public should know! If this is true, I want to make it known and you all should write to all the editors!

We are done with phony leaders!




Anonymous said...

This is what many democrates have been saying right along the democratic party of years gone by ,here in Greenburgh has been demolished .
Too many phonies have joined the ranks of chairperson ,leaders and the such.
Well anyway who needs this phony backing.
These so called democrates should remember payback is sweet.

Anonymous said...

Not to be picky, but it isn't "democrates" it is "democrats."

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the spelling but it goes to show you that no matter which way it's spelled the party still sucks.

Anonymous said...

How do you spell the board just screwed the residents. Bye Bye BASS and BARNES

Anonymous said...

Shut the Barnes door indeed!!

Anonymous said...

lois bronz has a childrens center in fairview named after her.

Anonymous said...

GEt rid of the name and rename it to someone who has done some good for Greenburgh.
Look back to see what has she done for us but screw the real dems that were running for office this time arround.
Rename the center to someone who is worthy of this honor.
She was never a supervisor ,she was just a board member and now a legislature who is just occupying a chair.

hal samis said...

God is a Republican?

Despite her efforts to justify her continued effort to win re-election, God is way too busy to act as her campaign manager. Odd too, that her recent whistle stops at Greenburgh's Houses of Worship represents greater effort for herself than she has undertaken on behalf of all residents over the last 16 years (four terms).

God did not tell Eddie Mae Barnes to continue running for re-election despite Ms. Barnes' new found fervor.

Trying to nab down State Pension eligibility for 20 years (her fifth term) is the voice in her ear.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But voting to spend $405,000 for a Comprehensive Plan for the benefit of herself and Edgemont neighbors is not a responsible action of one who represents that she cares about the needs of those seated in the congregations.

God, it turns out, is the only true Democrat.

Anonymous said...

If Barnes heard GODS' voice telling her to run for reelection.something has to be wrong with her head.
This alone is a good reason not to vote for her.
Just for this reason she should seek some medical help.She should ask Sheehan for his advice ,since he seems to know all the answers.
If she had followed her on mind and not that of Sheehan she would not find herself in this sinking boat.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The comments about Ms. Barnes are quite apt. She has been enjoying the fruits of Feiner's fund-raising for years. She has never really been challenged, and for my money has never really contributed much to justify her salary. There is no doubt, there is a crying need for new blood, new energy and new co-operation. This Board is moribound except for Feiner. Sheehan has squeezed them like they were putty. He has become the official opposition leader, and along with Bass, who looks spaced out, and probably is, Juettner and Barnes went along like good little followers.

Where are their ideas, where is the creativity? Greenburgh like many communities, and political entities, is not going to survive and prosper because of more expensive comprehensive plans. Businesses understand the tax consequences and expenses of operating in Westchester. White Plains has been going thru the greatest period of growth that any community has gone through in Westchester's history. What do they have to show? More pollution, more congestion, and higher taxes. Just try to park in White Plains! They are facing problems because their long term investments in growth needed financial inducements and it will take them years to pay off.

Greenburgh needs a financial analyst to give the Town an idea how to re-structure debt, analyse the budget, and see where the bodies are buried. A new expensive master plan, which can only grow in cost, flys in the face of the new realities, which are a declining business base, more certiories and a more costly future. There is no magic wand, but what is essential is for the Town to work in harmony. Deadwood on the Board manipulated for political purposes by Sheehan and Bernstein serve no near, or long term interests.

The library, the courts, the police dept, the DPW, Sanitation and the parking are all critical departments and their services are essential. Parks and Recreation are also essential to the mental and physical health of our citizens, but, as every mature person understands, they cost money. Those revenues come from businesses and our pockets. What we are finding out, over many years, and to our chagrin, is that living here will never get less expensive.

Let this Election Day bring in a new Board to tackle the problems that the old Board was not able to do. The old Board was interested in the politics of division, manipulation and positioning. Well they have positioned us into problems! They spent the fund balance to look good in 2005, and to embarrass the Town in 2007. But, all in all, the Democratic electorate understood this in September, and the general electorate will re-affirm it in November.

Anonymous said...

The comprehensive plan will make it harder for me to plan to stay in greenburgh. My taxes will go up if the plan goes into effect. Please, town council, think before you act.

Anonymous said...

If God wanted Eddie Mae to serve another term, why didn't God tell Democrats to vote for her?

Anonymous said...

Lets hope god is a democrat and there is divine intervention. That and the ousting of the fab 4 can only save us. Pray god will help the new council correct their devilish ways. Fear the tax increase when The TROY lawsuit cames down the pike and we get hammered. If this was the corporate world there would be no golden parachute but an Enron jail cell.

Anonymous said...

I just gave candy to someone dressed up as Eddie Mae in a nuns outfit for trick or treat. The trick is what she and the board pulled. The treat will be in January when she is gone with Bass.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Bass was at my house as one of the village people singing YMCA
Y - YOU finally figured me out
M - Money what a greedy bastard I am
C - Can't touch that stuff
A - Anything goes I will follow the golden fleece.

HOWARD HUGHES has risen from the dead. Stevie is a politician again??? I guess he is the designated attack dog on Paul. If you listen to him you can see Gepetto Sheehan pulling his strings. Hope his nose does not grow to much he may accidentally stab big mouth Bass.

Anonymous said...

I'm still checking the streets for the no parking signs that were up in prior years about no parking from one month to another, I don't recall the months.
We have many new residents who do not know about this law.
The DPW has many men who could put these signs up again.
Still waiting to see some progress within this dept.
Up to now nada.

Anonymous said...

Well now I have seen it all. Eddie Mae and Alfreda have an ad in the County Press, ( Paul Redd ) full back page that says

So the TRUE DEMOCRATS are showing their true color, liars, cheats and whatever it takes. No one should vote for them. At least BASS had the balls to back out and maintain his dignity or preserve his democratic job in the county ?

It will be a fitting swan song for them both. They will go down in history as two of the worst do nothings and back stabbers in the town. SO LONG GIRL"S

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute...hold on...WHAT!!!


Barns and Williams are two sick individuals. I thought they were "real democrats"????

They are both Greenburgh Dem District Leaders. They should remove themselves from their positions and denounce themselves as Democrats.

Who the Hell is their campaign manager??? He, she, or it is setting these two up for deep failure.

Damn Shame.

They should have went out like Bass.

As least he will be able to keep some decency.

I done heard it All!

Brown, Morgan, Feiner, Bevelle all the way "ROW A".

And when is UNITY DAY?

Anonymous said...

I had no clue that Barnes and WIllams are district leaders.
As one said some time ago the democratic party sucks.
I am a democratic but after this election I am changing my party affiliations.
How could one say that they are democrates and run on the independence line,and to boot seek some help from the republicans.
As much as I dispised Bass I congradulate him for not following in both these ladies foot steps.
Bass you have taken defeat like a man.See you arround.

Anonymous said...

Just read Lois Bronz's campaign piece! One could call it claptrap at best! We need a new sharp and clear thinker, who can start accomplishing substantive things. The past is the past, and her resume is quite nice, but we need some one who can initiate and follow through. The County Board of Legislators needs to be re-vitalized with new and fresh blood. Bronz is past the Geritol stage. I hope at the end of this term she retires before she starts to embarrass herself even more. We need to field a strong primary opponent against her in Sept, 2009, or a real opponent in November of the same year. No more free rides for hanger-ons. There are other women, African-Americans or others who should take up the cudgel.

Anonymous said...

Barnes and Williams, with their power printer Paul Redd have played the race card to the hilt. Is this a case of friendship, political loyalty or downright power politics?

Does he know of their lack-lustre, no-show record, or is he just afraid of new young African-Americans, who he has been bad-mouthing, and cannot control?

All of Westchester recognizes the need for multi-cultural representation. But there are many Asians, Indians and Hispanics who are not represented on Town, Village, City, and County Boards. There is not a God given right for any one group to have one or all seats. Up to 25 years ago, most if not all, of the seats were dominated by white males, mostly Christian and some Jews. They represented the lawyers, the small business people and the wealthy. Today there is more of a meritocracy and their are more groups to split the political pie.

But what we really need is constantly new folks with new ideas and people who are willing to fight for change. Not change for change's sake, but change reflective of new approaches. In fact, we need a real two-party system, where one group is a real opposition party.

In Greenburgh it is Barnes and Williams who have patently outlived their useful political lives. Forget personality and insincerity, they are over the proverbial hill. In the next cycle it will be Juettner, who is without a thought, no less an idea. She has been virtually silent and bereft of ideas for years. Her resignation or removal will come and go quickly and few will remember her prescence. As to Sheehan, he isn't old or over the hill, but dangerous, sneaking, divisive and his removal by resignation, or indictment, or electoral defeat will only help political discourse in Greenburgh. Let him go back to his forensics and his video taping of every word and every meeting. I call that anal retentive. When did this town, or any other, elect a proto-facist like this guy? My suggestion is that he join the Conservative Party and build his own local goose-stepping organization. His divide and conquer tactics will be perfect for a small place like Paraquay.

hal samis said...

I guess I missed it.
Would someone please tell me how the unity day event went?