Thursday, November 01, 2007

HOUSECALLS TO DISCUSS 2008 BUDGET ...YOUR INPUT WANTED

The 2008 proposed budget has been released. We should look at the budget as a first draft. I welcome the opportunity to meet with residents to discuss budget issues and budget options during the next two months. The budget must be approved by the Town Board by December 20th.
If you would like to organize a meeting of your neighbors and want me or any other town officials to attend the meeting and provide you with a personalized briefing--- please contact me at 993-1540, 438-1343 (cell) or 478-1219 (h). I'm available weekdays, evenings and weekends. Other town officials may not be available on weekends. Meetings can be held at your home or at Town Hall.
Government must be a partnership with the citizens and elected officials. We need to have a community discussion: what services we need, what services we want, what services we can afford. We also should focus attention on looking for additional ways to save money, to stretch our dollars so we get the maximum value for our tax dollars.
Thanks for partnering in the decision making process of government.
PAUL FEINER

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I want money in the budget to litigate Dromore Rd. The cost to residents, in traffic, etc. will be huge.

Anonymous said...

I want Feiner to explain what he knew about the 23% tax increase and when he knew it.

Did Feiner know about the increase when he promised residents in Greenburgh Central during the primary that the town would pay for the operation of the school district's fitness center?

Did he know about the increase when he promised during the primary to expand the hours of the Theodore Young Community Center so that it would be open 7 days a week?

Did he know about the increase when he promised during the primary to fund Sonja Brown's SAT camp?

Did he know about the increase when he promised during the primary to give away to the Village of Dobbs Ferry -- for $1 --property on Main Street reportedly worth more than $700,000?

A 23% tax increase is too huge for someone like Feiner not to have known it was coming.

time to get serious said...

Taxter Ridge was a huge mistake. See if the county or the state or someone else will buy greenburgh's portion.

Take an inventory of all parks - which ones can we sell or lease? Which ones can generate additional income at little expense (think Veteran Park).

Anonymous said...

Glad the comprehensive plan isn't being funded. $405,000 is too much money to spend on another study.

Anonymous said...

3;09 YOU ARE 100% RIGHT.
We have to think of a way to bring in some revenue.
Taxter Ridge could be sold to a developer for a golf course and town houses.
Paul try to reach out to someone who can do this for the town.
The other parks should also be looked into.
Veteran park should be opened to all for a fee.
The other parks are constantly in need of repair ,get rid of them.
Most of the schools have play yards that can be used by the ones that use these parks.
What is happening each year money is being put into fixing this or that.The same work done and redone.
We do not need all this parkland.

Anonymous said...

Selling Taxter makes as much sense as selling Cotswold park or the land owned by Edgemont High school. People move into a community for quality of life purposes. The parks are needed to enhance our life styles...

sell taxter now said...

Taxter is useless. It was not bought for open space it was bought to help the irvington school district and with a dubious tax break for the moonies. There is no parking. It is a gift to the adjoining landowners. It should have been a special district for them not a townwide park that no one can use and which costs millions.

Anonymous said...

Taxter Ridge was purchased as a favor to Irvington and I think his name is Golden.
I think we should sell it to Irvington or see if it can be sold to a developer.
We need the money now.
About the other parks how many residents use these parks.
Many have pools of their own and enough land to have family gatherings.
The strip in cotswalk can be made into a little park since Edgemont wants a kiddie park.
No matter whatis said WE IN gREENBURGH ARE IN TROUBLE.
Yes we all like the best quality of life but not at this tremendous cost.
Has anyone counted the amount of parks in Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

To those who want to sell parkland -
When a government purchases parkland its like a strict Catholic marriage - no divorce ever. Selling a park is a nearly impossible feat - and in the case of parks where Federal or State funds were used to acquire the land, as Tony says, "fuggedaboudit!"
Adding to the rateables by properly charging the ENTIRE parks and recreation budget EXCEPT Veteran Park, to the "A" Budget is possible as a matter of law, but politically impossible for Mr. Feiner.
Reducing the hours at the TYCC is only slightly less difficult, but possible.
Doing away with the political patronage / no show jobs in the Town would be a good idea too.
Poor fiscal management, by both the Supervisor and the rest of the bozos on the Town Board have landed us here - it will take real effort to lift ourselves by our bootstraps and get out of it.
Everything comes with a price tag attached, and if you permit some politicos to build excessively large reserves (which got us our AA bond rating) other politicos will raid the cookie jar (which got us zero percent tax increases despite increased spending).
We need to send a message to all the folks involved - WE'VE HAD ENOUGH!
On Tuesday instead of voting for any of the organized party candidates, write in votes for Hal Samis and Bob Renninger as a Board Members - and write in Bill Greenawalt for Town Clerk. Sure, it is unlikely any of those individuals will be elected, but a couple of hundred write-in ballots would send an unmistakable message to both the Paulitburo and the Sheehaningans.

Anonymous said...

8:47 NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
There has to be some loop hole that we will be able to sell some parkland.The town is asking for affordable housing this would be perfect.
As far a Taxter property it is of no use for the town ,state or county unless they will allow hunting ,this is the only thing that this land will be good for.
Whereas for a developer he could work wonders.

DON'T SELL THE GREENBURGH NATURE CENTER said...

THose people who want to sell Taxter Ridge aren't looking at the big picture: QUALITY OF LIFE. Do you want more congestion? Next, are you going to suggest that we sell the nature center? THat would help the Edgemont school tax base. Green space is important.

once again - no planning by feiner said...

How much parkland is necessary?
There are several county parks in greenburgh. Plus village parks that are open to all such as scenic hudson park in irvington.

Parks that were acquired with federal funds are also open to all.

Feiner asked for a fund balance policy - he neglected to ask for a parkland purchase policy.

He got suckered in by Danny Gold on Taxter Ridge.

Quality of life has to factor in the tax costs of keeping this land open. What good is parkland if no one can afford to live here to enjoy it??

Anonymous said...

Sorry we do not need all the green space that is in Greenburgh.
Yes the nature center does have too much land that too was a favor for the civic associations in Edgemont.
How about a favor to the residents of all Greenburgh and sell some parkland to bring in some revenue.

Sunshine Company Ltd said...

Dear Anonymous at 9:08 -
There is NO loophole - Fall Guy Whiner and Danny Goldbrick made certain of that and Irvington's schools will benefit from the non-development. The Irvington school district taxpayers will, however, need to cover the lost revenues to the school district - but that amount is far less than the cost of adding a significant number of children to the district's enrollment. Everything has a price tag.
Supervisor Whiner has more than TRIPLED the Town's parkland during his tenure. He bragged about it when he ran against Lasser (who advocated a taxpayers' referendum to decide whether or not to buy). Now the chickens are coming home to roost and the Supervisor's lack of fiscal acumen is showing. Distracted by shiny new ideas, Whiner spends little time or effort analyzing the longer term impact of many of his ideas. That's probably just a hangover from the days when he thought that by 2000 he'd be a Congressman in Washington with access to a larger, juicier public teat.

OUR COMPREHENSIVE PLAN PUSHED FOR OPEN SPACE said...

The same people who want the town to spend $405,000 on a comprehensive plan (BIG WASTE) pushed for the comprehensive plan that resulted in the town acquiring more parkland. HELLO, ELLA. HELLO, MADELEINE, HELLO, CAROLE.

taxter is very taxing said...

So far the courts have declared that Taxter Ridge must be paid for by all of the Town's taxpayers. If that ruling is upheld on appeal, Taxter will forever be known as Feiner's folly.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Eddie Mae and Steve also vote for Taxter Ridge?

Anonymous said...

The four members on the board voted for this fiasco.Yes it was voted with 5 votes. Some favor for Irvington and Gold.
Let's start the cause with our legislatures to sell Taxter Ridge and some other parkland to help with our taxes.

Anonymous said...

Oh, for gawd's sake - it's the new library that's taking the big bucks, 20 million to be exact - the parks are a drop in the bucket compared to library expense. Library fix up could have been done much cheaper. But there is a campaign in the last five or six posts to dump on parks. Wish I knew whose supporters wrote them, so I could vote the opposite.

The Sunshine Company Limited said...

Fall Guy Whiner is SO disliked in Albany that the legislature is likely to come back and demand the Town purchase its one third share at current market price before it will even consider permitting a discussion of a possible sale.
Fall Guy and cohorts are not on Richard Brodsky's "to do anything for" list - and short of Fall Guy resigning and moving to Iceland there is little liklihood of change. Brodsky's memory for slights and insults is even longer and more vindictive than Fall Guy's.

ANITI PARKS PERSON BEING PD BY DEVELOPER said...

Me think that a developer is behind the "unrest" in Greenburgh. Maybe, the developer orchestrated this A & B fight so that the builder could force the town to sell the land,make big bucks. Developers have five or ten year plans. They'll wait us out. Is it possible that anon who wants to sell the parks is really an agent of a big developer?

Anonymous said...

I think that if a civic association leader is lobbying the Town Council to sell parkland because he represents a developer there should be disclosure. It's unethical to think otherwise.

dnd said...

Getting approval for selling parks would take quite a long time. When I think of financial waste in Greenburgh from an everyday perspective, the highway department operations is the first thing that comes to mind. There's minimal accountability, poor operations-personnel scheduling, etc. Given the number of employees and available resources, it's amazing what they get away with not doing during the regular work week. Overtime should never be approved for the highway department; higher performance standards should be enforced during the regular work hours.

Anonymous said...

Can Dnd specify --what do you mean: higher performance standards?
Specifics would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

The DPW workers know just what and how much work to do during regular hrs. so they can get double time for Sat.and Sun.
This is one of the biggest expense the town has ,
If we had good management the workers would get all of their work done at regular time.
Since no one is watching this boat we all have to pay more taxes.
Whatever work they do seems to be done over and over again.
Could it be possible that after all these years they do not have skilled workers doing the job.

Anonymous said...

The library construction should be managed by some who know about construction.
The man in charge now will sell us down the river since he has been talking about retiring.
Before this happens take the job away from him and try to get someone else who knows which end is up.

Anonymous said...

To 5:28 p.m.,
Brodsky isn't exactly Mr. Popularity up in Albany himself, which is why he was spurned for the Attorney General post. His days are long past him and it's time for him to get the boot next election. He's the biggest waste of time and doesn't even know the meaning of the word "constituent." It's time to give the boot to all these loser Democrats, first Eddie Mae, Steve B. and Alfreda, then Bronz, Brodsky, Juettner and Czar Sheehan.

dnd said...

Agree fully with 12:46pm.

Anonymous said...

5:46
Your right the people you mentioned should realize that their days are numbered.
It's about time many of us are on the same wave length.

where are the candidates? said...

ok - replace these losers with??

Anonymous said...

The present four members on the board were out to get the Supervisor from day one that Sheehan took office.
Every idea that Feiner had was defeated by them but what they wanted to be voted into the record was done with ease with Feiner obstaining.The four knew ahead of time which way their vote was going. Follow the leader Sheehan.
Guess what you did so much following that you lost your jobs.
Tell us was Sheehan a good role model for all of you.
Oh I forgot Kaminer's salary will also save us a few pennies.
Every cent counts.

Anonymous said...

Paul listen to some of your blogger concerning different dept. not doing their jobs ,and too top heavy.
You see they see more than you.
check your dept. from top to bottom.
I do think DPW and Parks dept.should be the first one checked.
You have too much dead wood in both these groups.
.

Anonymous said...

BE SPECIFIC. WHERE IS THE WASTE? CLAIMING THAT A DEPT IS TOP HEAVY IS NOT ADEQUATE

hal samis said...

"The Calendar of Events"

being a comedy in two acts by Independent Thinkers supporting Eddie Mae Barnes and Alfreda Williams

16 years in office and marketers are trying to position Eddie Mae Barnes as an independent thinker.
There must be sheer panic in Dogpatch if they are trying to package that lie.

Not that The Scarsdale Inquirer's Susan Wolfert did anything but open the floodgates to let all the dirty water wash over their pages; of course this was the last issue before election day so anything goes. Ms. Wolfert, when she isn't writing editorials for the paper, is also on the Library Board (19% deparmentmental budget increase for 2008, not counting the expansion bonding) and she needs an intact Town Council to say no to budget cuts. And she invited all her friends to comment at length as well. It is always curious to see reporters write about the lack of decorum at Town Board meetings while having no scruples about using one of the local papers to spew false venom.
But more on this later.

Let's examine a two sided sheet which was distributed in Hartsdale Center over the weekend.

Act One
(Before the Democratic Primary)

As bullet points we have Feiner promised millions of dollars to the Valhalla School District; Feiner promised taxpayer dollars to the fitness center and to keep the Young Center open 7 days and to pay for a SAT camp; Feiner offered to give Dobbs Ferry a property "worth" $700,000 for a $1 and sidewalks to anyone who wanted them; Feiner promised to put the villages first.

Act Two
(After the Democratic Primary)

Feiner announces 23% tax increase (5% in the villages); Feiner "must have" known this was coming; Feiner is shifting the blame to the Town Council "as local newspaper correctly stated the Town Council used less fund balance than Feiner proposed in his 2007 budget".

Reprise
(to the owners of co-op shares)
"you could be hit with an increase of between $300 and $600..."
"Eddie Mae Barnes is our independent voice on the Town Board"


Now permit me a few comments.
Just three votes. Eddie Mae Barnes voted for everything that contributed to the 23% tax increase. All by her little independent mind she voted in favor of all the items which added up to possible 23% increase.

No vote to fund, no money to the Valhalla School District.

No money is allocated to the fitness center, the 7th day at the Community Center or the SAT Camp so the scary 23% increase got there without these items.
Furthermore, the TOTAL of these items if included in the budget would still be less than the $405,000 Comprehensive Plan which Eddie Mae Barnes voted to fund.

The Dobbs Ferry property giveaway was only discussed and it has to do with creating AFFORDABLE HOUSING which Eddie Mae Barnes puts on her "pained" look of concern whenever Fairview residents come to Town Hall to ask for more affordable housing. Are the authors of the notice suggesting that Feiner is is FAVOR of affordable housing while Eddie Mae Barnes is OPPOSED to affordable housing.

Feiner and team discussing village needs is not unusual considering that he was running against the Chair of the local Democratic Party, a VILLAGE resident.

Feiner and his team won the Primary despite this and this makes people like Gil Kaminer, whose $55,000+ Town Council handout will be shut down come January. Expect some desperation to save it.

Thus, the bulk of the expenses that consume the unincorporated budget are responsible for the 23% increase in the B budget; obviously not having to fund the largest departmental budgets (parks, police, library, community center) the unincorporated residents will have to bear the brunt and the villages, not beset by these monsters, don't. The 23% vs 5% is due to this, not because of political favoritism.

Feiner must have known this was coming even though the departments didn't send their requests to the Supervisor until after the Primary,
even though the Comptroller was on the way out the door and even though the Town Council had access to Department Heads and could have gotten a heads-up and leaked it to the friendly media before the Primary -- if they wanted to do so.

The way the "shift the blame" line is written it leads the reader away from the correct conclusion by offering up a "token truth". The Town Council did use less fund balance than Feiner. However what this statement lacks is the rest of the picture: the Town Council's smaller withdrawal from the fund was an ADDITIONAL withdrawal after they approved Feiner's. So not only was the amount that Feiner wanted to use approved, the Town Council decided to use even more of the fund balance. Shifting the blame is justified.

Finally, whenever Edgemont complains about how unfair it is for co-ops and condos getting away with "tax" murder vs taxes on single family homes, now we are told that the owners of the units on East Hartsdale Avenue could pay a pretty hefty hike in taxes if the 23% budget increase passes.

So, as bad as the tax increase is, Eddie Mae Barnes is demonstrating her independence from Feiner by voting to spend the $405,000 for the Comprehensive Plan that her Edgemont masters want funded. The money already allocated and the money to be allocated could make a sizeable dent in the $570,000 increase in the the Library's 2008 operating budget...but who said independence doesn't have a price.
For those co-op shares, the price of having Eddie Mae around is apparently between $300 and $600, "depending on the number of co-op shares you own".

And voting for Alfreda, they must be kidding. Her brand of independence means working half a day: the complement to the having Eddie Mae Barnes in a part-time role. Two wrongs don't make a right; exercise your independence to rectify this problem.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 5:24 on 11/2 -
Get your F-king facts straight. The new library construction adds less to this budget than the LOSS of ASSESSMENTS (2.23% v. 2.84%) according to Fall Guy Whiner's own cover-my-ass letter.
Tyrants and despots always make libraries high priority targets because as repositories of information they keep the light of truth available to the common man.
Those without computers at home, and there are many, rely on the library - attacking the library is a racist effort to keep poor people from access to the truth.

Anonymous said...

Mr. 9:42, we had a library and it was a good one. I never had trouble parking and enjoyed going there.

The question isn't whether Greenburgh should have a library, but whether we needed a new Taj Mahal building for a library. I didn't think so, and your crude language doesn't persuade me that we did.

Anonymous said...

Susan Wolpert should not be on the library board.
Her articles are the best way to sway people into believing that the new library was needed. PS the old library was more than enough in todays world.
How many people used this library.
The idea was a total waste for not getting tax money that would have been generated from the old town hall.
For this we have to thank the library board and especially the four members on the town board who screwed all the tax payers but in particular the one who voted against the library from the beginning The supervisor.
.

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:22 -
We had a library that, like the school district it's located in, fails every test for current adequacy. White folks don't use the schools, and for EXACTLY the same reasons, had begun to avoid the library. There are better facilities only a short cart ride away - just as there are much better schools only a short car ride away.
Poor people, many many of whom are black or brown, need to demand excellence from both their schools and their library, or things are going to continue to decay and decline. No white community would stand for as bad a library as the white community wants to foist off on Fairview - Edgemonters go to Scarsdale, the villages have their own libraries with NO publice transportation nearby -
Time to wake up people - vote against Feiner and his running dog team and take back the PUBLIC LIBRARY and the PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Remeber, it was FEINER who gave away millions to Valhalla schools, and wants to continue doing it with a new Town Clerk.
Stop them NOW!

hal samis said...

Clearly 7:39 makes a demonstrable case of a product of inferior schools and libraries. However, by the same token, we don't know which school and which library failed this blogger.

No one has questioned the LOCATION of the Library so why has that become an issue? How much money was to be spent on a library in its existing location, though, was a legitimate question.

The Town government has little to do with the school districts: I understand that C7 spends well near the top of the chart per student. So, if you have a problem with the result, you who have expressed interest in dogs should continue barking at those who are responsible for all the noise, not the Town Board but the School Board.

And before you wake up people, best to rub the sleep out of your own eyes. Please explain how having lots of dvds, cds, a coffee cafe, an auditorium, a costly design and wasted construction money are going to help "poor families" obtain a better education for their children.

Clearly you have wool covering your eyes but don't pass that sass onto a better informed citizenry. If you are so concerned with millions going to Valhalla, ask Eddie Mae Barnes why she, talking the talk of an independent, but walking the walk of one too lazy to read, voted to give away those "millions".

Then when you've done that, ask the Town Clerk Alfreda Williams (only after noon thank you) where she spends every morning in lieu of appearing at Town Hall.

And ask those folks in Edgemont (those backing Eddie Mae) who oppose Feiner why they also desire to incorporate as a Village and leave the Theodore Young Community Center in the lurch when their tax dollars go with them. Ask Eddie Mae how come she lives in Edgemont next time she comes to Church in Fairview to tell you about her "calling" and how affordable housing, market rate housing, any housing is something that her fans in Edgemont oppose for their turf.

Maybe you should rethink whether having Ms Brown who favors SAT summer camps for Fairview kids is a better choice than Ms Barnes who voted against them. That is, if you really care about the kids who should have all the excellence they deserve, then you would be thinking just how much Eddie Mae Barnes didn't do for the community (16 years in office) that you think she cares about.

Anonymous said...

"Clearly you have wool covering your eyes but don't pass that sass onto a better informed citizenry."
How much racial insensivity and crassness can Samis cram into one sentence? Maybe he's watched the "jive talking" scene from Airplane too many times.

samis needed now! said...

its not too late - samis for supervisor. ask at the voting booth how to write in a candidate!

Anonymous said...

Many of you are trying to place the blame on various departments within the Town that are filled with hard-working, educated people (e.g., the parks & recreation department). This department, for example, provides excellent programs for you & your families throughout the year, as well as acres & acres of beautiful parkland. If you're not using it, why not get out there and enjoy it?!?! Instead of being miserable & complaining about all that is wrong with the Town, why not participate in some of the great things that the Town has to offer? How often do you see postive postings on this site? Rarely. How about thanking Town employees for a change? Did you attend Spooktoberfest? That was a GREAT event! How about youth basketball? Baseball/softball? Summer Camps? Breakfast with Santa? Think about it. The hard-working people who plan and implement these programs deserve our thanks (and their annual salary increases), as do the hard-working DPW employees, and the employees at the library, radio department, water & sewar department, etc.

Like many of you, I am a resident of the Town of Greenburgh, and I wish that the tax hike wasn't so extreme. I just think that many of you are trying to place the blame where it doesn't belong.

Anonymous said...

11:43 tell me are you living on the same planet as the rest of us.
There are too many do nothing employees in the park and DPW departments.
Sorry to break your bubble.

Anonymous said...

Great response, genius (1:38pm). Could you be more specific? Enlighten me.