Friday, November 30, 2007

HOW A 5% CUT IN THE POLICE BUDGET WOULD IMPACT YOU..

During the budget hearings I asked department heads to provide members of the Town Board with a list of possible cuts. Chief Kapica followed up on the request and submitted the following statement. If his department is cut by 5% there will be a savings of $750,000. The tax increase would go from 23% to 21% if all of the following cuts are made.
PAUL FEINER

As per your request, I have re-examined the Police Department's budget in an attempt to find other non-essential areas where cuts can be made. Even though you previously informed me that you would prefer not to cut programs, I am assuming that your new posture on this makes everything fair game and obviously, I would prefer to eliminate programs rather than diminish our ability to respond to calls from the public or investigate crimes. The elimination of our Drug Abuse, Resistance Education Program (D.A.R.E.) would result in a savings of $10,090. If you intend to do this, you will need to advise me very soon as the schools will need to find an alternative curriculum to address the drug and alcohol issue in next year's school year and we will need to advise Ardsley that we cannot assist them with their DARE program. The elimination of the Summer Youth Camp will save about $32,050 and elimination of all other Community Affairs Programs ( 3 on 3 basketball; our Police Explorer Post and the Youth Court) will realize $7,430 more in savings for a total of $49,570. I think we would need to refund a contribution made by Pat Lanza that was specifically for the Youth Camp in the amount of $5,000, which would reduce these savings to $44,570. All these programs continue to be well attended and have been enormously successful. I have also done some preliminary calculations as to the impact of a 5% budget cut on the Police Department. Essentially, such a reduction, which would approximately result in a savings of $750,000, would require laying off 14 police officers. In order to somewhat mitigate the devastating effect this would have on the department would require the following action; 1) Reduction of the number of patrol sectors in town from 7 to 6. This would increase response times but help offset the loss of 6 positions; 2) Eliminate all community policing and housing posts. This would offset the loss of 7 positions but obviously have an adverse impact in Fairview and Hartsdale; 3) Eliminate one position in the department's training unit, which would affect our ability to train personnel. While this reorganization would help offset the loss to the Patrol function, it would provide no backup resources to address filling the positions of officers lost to long-term disabilities (presently there are four), child birth, attendance at school, etc. Realistically, to further mitigate this would result in the loss of one traffic officer and several detectives who would need to be returned to the status of police officer and assigned to patrol. This would obviously affect our ability to investigate crimes. Under this scenario, our ability to provide services would be seriously reduced. I have not projected 10% or 15% cuts because it would be impossible for us to function with any effectiveness under either of these scenarios. IN CLOSING, I WISH TO EXPRESS MY STRONG OBJECTION TO ANY CUTS IN POLICE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL. WE ARE BARELY ABLE TO KEEP PACE WITH THE DEMAND FOR SERVICES WITH THE PEOPLE WE HAVE. TO REDUCE PERSONNEL LEVELS WILL ENDANGER THE PUBLIC AS WELL AS THE POLICE OFFICERS WHO SERVE THEM WHILE SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASING RESPONSE TIMES AND RESULT IN CUTS IN OTHER POLICE DEPARTMENT SERVICES THAT PEOPLE IN GREENBURGH HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO AND DESERVE. Chief Kapica

132 comments:

Anonymous said...

don't cut. approve the supervisors budget

Anonymous said...

What have the other department heads done?

Anonymous said...

do not cut the police department budget. do not. do not.
approve the budget.

what have the other public safety services done?
will the firemen get cuts too?

the police has been studied to consolidate... have the fire departments done the same?

Anonymous said...

the town has no control over fire depts

Anonymous said...

There are so many other easy cuts to make in the town budget that I don't think any cuts will be necessary in the police department. DARE is the only thing that is expendable; it's a very nice idea but research shows it's been ineffective; an increasing number of school districts have chosen to abandon the program.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the DARE ooficer only makes 10,000 dollars

Anonymous said...

The $10,000 for DARE is for materials and such. It might also includes a small stipend for the officer.

Anonymous said...

There are too many issues to debate on this subject, so I’ll just express a feeling.

There is a resounding feeling by many families residing within the GC district that they can no longer afford to live here and it’s depressing. Afford includes the approaching tax hike, services cut, decline in their home values, the school district mess and the overall, and the continued feeling that their quality of life here is of no concern.

These middle class families, for the most part, send their children to private schools. Apart from town taxes, they contribute roughly 6 million each year in taxes to GC with little and diminishing return. The school board continually threatens to remove the only valuable service it provides these families, busing; each time there is a school budget vote. Many of these families are being squeezed. They feel that because they choose to send their children to private schools, they have been treated by the Town & GC school board as less worthy citizens.

Recently, due to a variety of reasons, we are observing that more and more home sales include expanded families. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews…as the GC area provides a more affordable (deceptively) home price. These expanded families put more pressure on Town and school services provided and there is a feeling of concern on how to keep up with the growing population without the added tax revenue.

Many families are very concerned about their diminishing home investments, higher taxes and their ability to keep their homes with the approaching recession. This tax hike issue is of great concern. They cannot afford to move into another school district yet they may not be able to stay here.

So, I don’t really have any specific remedy for this tax issue right now except to say that the Town Board needs to tread lightly here. There will be fallout from this tax hike, no doubt. Suggesting to remove any services that affect the children will not be received well. But then again, sadly, I’m not sure that the Greenberg public at large, really cares.

Anonymous said...

If cuts have to be made MAKE THEM.
The dare program should be taught at home.
What ever services are to be cut must be cut.
The raises also should be lowered.
Paul the cuts are for everyone.
We just can't afford these tax hike.
If you let one department off the hook it's not fair to the other.
We need reductions across the board.
Raise fees for special permits, fines and what ever else will bring in revenue.
The police have too much training classes which are not needed.
Most of the new hires come from other police dept,where there was extensive training,why do it again.
When new hires are at the town meeting and introduced to the public the chief always says that money will be saved because they need no training.
So what's happening now.

hal samis said...

It is my understanding that when police officers function as part of programs they receive their police department salary plus participation money for programs etc.

For example those working on the ems detail get an average $10,000 over and above their police salary and that this is not for additional hours.

This is one of the issues I was coming to in Democracy week budget blogs.

Anonymous said...

Why does housing have their own patrol.
They should be paying for this themselve.
Let Kevin Morgan go over what cuts should be made .Better than a retired police person who served for many years should be the one looking into this budget thoroughly.
Leave it to the professional.
Don't give the pay hike that is beging asked for this coming year,
It seems that it is only to boost retirement which I think the residents pay for.

Anonymous said...

Hal you are so good.
I have to say that you have the so much knowledge of what goes on in this department.
You should get together with Morgan to go over what is not needed and above all what we can save.Another thing I have to say
"boy do you have you know what to come out to teach us so much ,your knowledge in so many matters is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Why should a police person receive an extra token of so much money if that is his or her job.
Are they not hired to serve the public and uphold the law.
How much compensation goes for uniforms an personal clothing.

Anonymous said...

Who are the residents that have become so accustomed to services?
Paul you seem to forget that many of the residents come from places where we had the same services.
Here we seem to be paying too much money for the same.
If you have the power to raise the sales tax, do so.
Much revenue in taxes is lost because our sales tax is much lower than WP and yonkers.It is not that much lower but raising this could brobably help budget wise.
My friends shop here in Greenburgh because the sales tax is lower.

Anonymous said...

The 10K for the DARE program isn't going to really solve the tax hike but since it's come up, I'd like to address it.

IMO, the DARE program has had a positive impact of both of my children. Not sure how it can be taught in the home unless parents attend classes on what to teach their kids. Honestly, I though I was pretty well informed in this area yet my kids came home with information I wasn't aware of. Is it expendable? Sure, just like anything else.

That said, I would like to add that there is money given to Edgemont Rec each year by TOG Parks & Rec. Edgemont Rec. donates money to both the EDGMT SD and the Scarsdale Teen Center. Also, I believe Bass assisted in getting Edgemont Rec grant money as well and that money went to Scarsdale Teen center to fund a partnership for Edgemont teens to thwart drug and alcohol use. GC kids need not apply. Maybe ,if invited, you can be a guest, as long as you sign a waiver and don't stay too long. Maybe.

So, before ya all go talking about saving 10K in the one and only drug prevention program the rest of GC kids have, I'd like an explanation on the above.

Hal? Can you ring in on this one? I'd like to know if I'm off base here.

Anonymous said...

GET RID OF THE "DARE" PROGRAM,
THE LINE FOR MATERIALS ETC. EXCEEDS
THE AMT. LISTED, THE OFFICER(S)!!
ADMINISTERING THE PROGRAM ARE NOT ON PATROL WHEN THEY ARE CONDUCTING THE PROGRAM-
ALSO USE CIVILIAN (POSSIBLY "RETIRED") PERSONAL TO RUN AREAS SUCH AS COMMUNICATIONS, RECORDS, ETXC. & GET THE UNIFORMED & "DETECTIVE" TITLED PERSONNEL OUT ON THE STREET, THEREBY REDUCING SALARIES & BENEFITS & # OF POLICE PERSONNEL TO SAVE TAX DOLLARS-
FIND OUT HOW MANY "UNIFORMED" PERSONNEL ARE "INSIDE" HQ @ ALL TIMES IN THESE POSITIONS--
YOU MIGHT BE IN FOR A SURPRISE!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:11

Ok, I'll run with you on this one. GET RID OF THE DARE PROGRAM!!!! GET RID OF THE DARE PROGRAM!!!!!

LOL.

Now, what about the 30+K we're giving to edgemont rec? Are you saying that this funding should be continued?

Anonymous said...

What is there to teach childen about drugs.
Every parent should sit down with their children and explain to them about the goings on in the outside world.
They could read newspapers,they watch tv what more schooling do they need to learn about drugs.
The problem is leave the job to someone else to teach them the do's and dont's.
We as parents should be the one not the schools .The problem is we don't have the time.
Well make the time.
As far as all the other cuts mentioned,we pay for a center where there are so many programs.
Why do we have to have duplications of thes programs overseen by the police dept.
Either get rid of the center or the police programs associated with
baksetball and the such.
The schools also have after school programs.
Not only do we have duplicate programs but we also are counting triplicate.
Study this part of the budget carefully.Many cuts to be made.

Anonymous said...

Paul a five percent cut in the police dept is not enough after reading the comments on the blog.
Consult with others to see what's happening throughout the years in this dept.
No one was really watching the ship.It has been going full speed ahead and now it has hit an Iceburg,being we have no more money .

Anonymous said...

Instead of cutting departments, services or individual jobs we should visit the logistics of slashing all town employees salaries by a percentage at least until a better budget/plan is adopted.

This is a common business practice when companies are in trouble. Some employees would prefer a temporary reduction in all salaries in lieu of total department cuts. Certainly under the current circumstances, all salary reviews and further hiring should be put on hold. This is another common business practice.

Not pretty, not ideal, but effective and fair.

Anonymous said...

Cutting salaries is simply not possible. Salaries and benefits are contractual obligations - changes need to be negotiated between the unions (primarily the PBA and CSEA, though I think there are some contracts with the Teamsters)and management (Mr. Feiner as Supervisor). Changes cannot be imposed arbitrarily.

Anonymous said...

How about the recreation department or the TDYCC?

COMPARE GREENBURGH TO NEIGHBORING COMMUNITIES said...

before people go bonkers on the budget we should compare the costs of municipal services in Greenburgh vs. the rest of the county. I understand that even with the 23% increase, Greenburgh taxpayers do not overpay for services, compared to other communities.

Anonymous said...

1:37. Gottcha. Would that preclude them from instituting a hiring freeze?

Anonymous said...

Dear Gotcha -
Refusing to hire is very different from firing. So what's the "gotcha"?

Anonymous said...

Take the Police resource officer out of the schools. What a waste!!
Stop training for Tech-Rescue when you already have firefighters trained for this. Makes no sense!!
Do not have Police paramedics for $90,000 when you can hire civilan medics for $45,000-$50,000 plus when they go to the hospital, they are off patrol for an hour.
Just need to look at the spening in the PD closer.

Anonymous said...

Check out the police budget carefully.
You have very good ideas as to how to spend and save the money needed to help lower taxes.
There is too much waste in this dept.
Check thoroughly and you will see that the writers are on the right track.
The chief could say what he wants but the residents know what is needed and what could go bye-bye.
I do hope that you take these comments seriously if not you're just wasting our time and that you're just playing games with the public.
we have spoken now just as we did on election day.

hal samis said...

Dear comparing Greenburgh,

If the goal were to remain comparable to other communities, then maybe Greenburgh's taxes and the coming years' increases are just dandy.

However some people cannot afford the tax increases and others deplore waste.

There is a book on this subject that I suggest you read.

"Over the Cliff" by Hugo First.

It may still be in print.

Anonymous said...

4:48 you should get your facts straight. These police paramedics save the town a lot of money by not dishing out for additional benefit packages. Also the police paramedics serve two functions rather than a civilian who serves one.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiousity Hal, Have you looked at teh G7 budget??

Gotcha said...

Dear 3:23,
I was letting you know that your information enlightened me. That's it. I also asked another question. What did you think "Gotcha" meant although I added an extra "t" by mistake.

Anonymous said...

9:27AM
What officers receive $10,000 over thier salary for EMS?

These cuts in PD operations could affect EMS coverage as well.
As the chief pointed out a delay in police response service could mean slow response for EMS

On about geee doesnt the police department deter and prevent crime?
What about that !

Anonymous said...

do town council members who get insurance coverage elsewhere get coverage by the town? this could be cut

hal samis said...

Now what did the Chief of Police say at the Public Hearing on the Budget?

He's only sticking around for two more years because he has kids in college? Fair enough.

He's given notice of this intention now because he doesn't want to leave the Town "high and dry" like the former Comptroller.
Not a nice thing to say about a guy who isn't there to defend himself.

But that begs the question of whether the Chief is all wet.

It seemed to me like an open threat that if you cut his Budget that he's not sticking around.

It was a well-reasoned defense of his management, department and staff.
Truthfully, the other department heads lack the knowledge, the balls or even the ability to act similarly.

But working your way up through one department over a 37 year career serving many Supervisors does not give one much perspective from outside the litter. And that is why outsiders can see line items of the department (and all its footprints on other pages and budgets) that are more of empire building rather than practical. That is why Towns conduct Public Hearings. Because residents have a right to express their own concerns and to try to staunch the flow of dollars out of their wallets.

And the Public Hearing is not the proper place for the response that if I don't get my way, I'm outta here. Even when exhibiting your passion and belief that you are right.

Reminds me of the old song by the Moody Blues: "if you gotta go, go now".

hal samis said...

I don't do school budgets.

hal samis said...

Dear 10:07,

I'll be getting around to Parks and Recreation in due course.

However you are substantially correct. And justified.

In the meanwhile, try and be a better parent and give your children more money so they can buy drugs and alcohol. If you give them sufficient so that they can buy enough to share, then maybe they will be accepted at the Teen Center.

And don't forget gas money so they take the Lexus over to Scarsdale.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

If you are so concerned re rising taxes, I interpret your not wanting to look at G7 as politically motivated. You are so quick to attack Edgemont for overspending, but G7 has higher salaries on average.

hal samis said...

When did I attack the Edgemont School Board for over-spending. If memory serves, I once did discuss that Edgemont has some classrooms that were dedicated to programs but could in fact be used as classrooms to solve their famous alleged "at capacity" issue which was trumpeted as the reason that they couldn't handle more students from newly built condos.

I don't get involved with School Boards because not only do I not have a horse in the race, my kid grew up in NYC, went to private school and thus I don't have a clue about school issues while, as you know, I don't pay school taxes as a renter.

But since I write so much anything is possible but not discussing G7 being politically motivated is assuredly not the reason.

Anonymous said...

Lets get some facts straight.

1. the Dare Officers dont get an extra "stipend"
2. Police paramedics dont make an "extra" $10,000
3. nor do police EMT's
4. The Greenburgh Housing Authority does Pay for the housing police.
5. The cops reieved $750.00 a year for uniform and equipment (split 2 times a year)
6. the tech rescue training for PD is done in conjunction with the FD without any OT.

GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT !!!

PEOPLE WILL DIE WITH CUTS TO THE PD BUDGET.

hal samis said...

Dear 10:52 from Saturday,

See the Town Budget page 31.
Department 4530, Advanced Life Support, line 100.3.

Stipend for 6 Police/paramedics
2007 $60,000
2008 $65,000

Stipends are additional compensation above the employees regular pay. While they are working in Advance Life Support they are not doing the job they were hired to do. If their job, then, is really Advanced Life Support, why pay them more even more by calling it a stipend?

But don't think that there is no one else in the Advanced Life Support Department.

Recognize that there are as per line 100.2, 9 Paramedics who were paid $487,063 in 2007 and their salaries are being raised to $504,563 in 2008. And there is also $30,000 for part-time help.

But if that weren't enough, there is still more money allocated to overtime, $60,000 in 2007 and $65,000 in 2008.

Oh, there's one more person, a Paramedic Supervisor at $74,293.

But don't be alarmed, there's a higher cost coming too when the 2008 CSEA renewal contracts are negotiated.

The issue is not that there is a need or that saving lives is high priority. The issue for taxpayers is whether the same can be achieved without waste.

Let's say that in the real world you are an attorney. In addition to your hourly fee, should you claim a stipend because you carry your briefcase with you to Court?

Anonymous said...

Hal,

If you dont pay school taxes, then you dont pay Town taxes. Any part of your rent related to property taxes is driven more by School taxes than property.

Seems inconsistent to me that you care about one and not the other.

Anonymous said...

I dont think we should be talking about police cuts until we here from all departments. I would much rather see cuts in parks and recreation. Police are a necessity. We pay a fortune in salaries at TDYCC.

Anonymous said...

I have two children that are going to college but the difference is I can't ask my boss for a $ 10,000 dollar raise. Get real.
Whether we have all the services that they say the police department offer,the fire dept.has the same emt services with qualified personel.The only thing the fire dept.does not do is transport to a hospital.
There are many programs that can be taken off the roster.
We need to save money and the demands from the police are too high.
Yes college does cost a lot of money,but to come foward to say that you still have two children in college that's why I need this raise.
The problem in todays world is that we cannot afford this hike in taxes.
Therefore cuts have to be made.
When you are a civil servant does not mean that you get what you ask for.
As someone stated your contract comes up next year,how much will the figure be and how much will the taxpayer have to contribute.
The services have been the same .Yes you have added to the pot,but now changes have got to be made.
I cannot sell my home to pay for the tax rate this year,and most likely for years to come if we do not kick this spending in the gut.
SORRY>

Anonymous said...

The fire department does not have paramedics. the police department has one of the best and most competent paramedic services in the county. You just dont become trained like this overnight.

Anonymous said...

The fire dept. may not have paramedics but believe me they are qualified to handle any thing that comes their way.
Maybe they should ask for a grant to send their firepersons for this program.
It is woth looking into.
It would cost tax payers less than what we are paying for today.

Anonymous said...

1:48, why would waste grant money when the police do it already. What happens when there is a fire?

Anonymous said...

Does the police department recieve income from their EMT program from billing for services?

Anonymous said...

There have to be othe departments that have a lot of waste. Stom printing the Program Guide to Activities. That jus goes to waste and is not very green. It is availble online.

hal samis said...

Dear 12:28,

Seems inconsistent to you...
Now don't trouble your little brain any further. Just pick any of the following and try to live with it.

a) I can't do everything
b) Being interested in the town budget and not the school budget is part of a diabolical scheme
c) Therefore I shouldn't be interested in the town budget
d) I should find an alternate way to pay these taxes
e) Not having a child in the school district but living in the town has some consideration
f) Renting vs owning means I have nothing to sell
g) Why do you care?

Dear 1:29,

"the police department has one of the best and most competent paramedic units in the county"

Since elsewhere I have raised the question of how do we know how well the town department heads perform, whether they are doing poorly or could do better or even doing a great job, then I should ask you to cite the standards which allow you to make that statement. Because being anonymous it is easy just to say whatever you want.

How do you know? Do you any proof that you would care to share?

Anonymous said...

Dear 12/2 11:48 AM,

I am afraid madam or sir that you do not have certain facts correct.

Police officers who are qualified as paramedics will receive an additional $8,856 over and above whatever their base salary is, which is based on grade and thus length of service. Police officers who are EMT qualified will receive an additional $3,378.

FOIL Chief Kapica's budget submission for all of the details

Anonymous said...

Dear 12/2 2:29PM,

The budgeted revenues for EMT services is $575,000 for 2008, down from a 2007 projected total of $610,000. See page 83 of the Town preliminary budget - account 15.1640.00 "Emergency Medical Service".

Anonymous said...

Is Police Chief the only department head who has bothered to respond?

what about Parks and Rec?

Anonymous said...

Put parking meters at the library. Don't hire parking attendants. Have the police patrol periodically. The town could generate lots of revenue.

Anonymous said...

The police paramedics receive detectives pay, a 10% increase over patrol. That's not the worst. Having them out of service at the hospital for an average of 1 hour is. It means they can't patrol. They should hire more civilian medics amd Emt's for EMS and let the police officers do police work. No other Police dept. around does this work. The system has to change. I know Kevin knows how to do it, but we shouldn't wait until the new year! Stop sending the police offficers to the hospital and all also the waste at summer camp.How many officer's work with the camp during a 8hr day. They are nothing but over paid counselers. Stop the nosense NOW!
PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

Rachel K. said...

Cut the animal control officer. Do we really need them on the road for an 8-4 shift and a 4-12 shift. There can't possibly be that many stray animals. And don't forget to cut the sargeant who oversees this unit. Thats a huge waste in my opinion. do we really have that much of an animal problem.

Anonymous said...

Parks and recs?

Anonymous said...

Dear 12/1 8:59.
Ditto. I was shocked to hear of the many Hartsdale families seriously considering moving or have put their homes on the market, for the reasons you state. They don't want to go but they simply can not afford to stay either.

It's very sad. It will have a town wide effect. Noticeable right now is the disproportionately big dip in home prices in Hartsdale. Also, enrollment at Sacred Heart is down where in past years they had to turn children away.

There is a sentiment of "move if you can" due the the many factors taking place and being discussed town wide.

It is shortsighted to not take notice as the ripple effects have started before the real hit.I will add that some is due in part to the real or perceived possible efforts for an Edgemont Village.

Anonymous said...

Why would Edgemont becoming a village have any impact of how Hartsdale people feel?

Anonymous said...

If Edgemont were to become its own village, Unincorporated Greenburgh would lose the tax revenue of those households in Edgemont. It would be impossible for the remaining households to absorb the short fall. Virtually all services will be cut and taxes will increase. So if you think this coming tax hike is scary, think again.

Percieved or not it's threatening! It also gives a glimpse of the mindset of a very large, contributing Greenburgh population. No reading between the lines here. It's pretty well known that a great deal of Edgemont would rather cut & run than solve the problem as a whole. I can't say that I don't blame them but "if" it ever happens, it will be devastating the households left behind.

Anonymous said...

There is a decline in housing prices country wide. Maria Regina has more applicants than in a long time. Things go up and down.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon at 1:49,

The best response would be for the Town to stop sticking its head in the sand and budget A and B as indicated by courts, get the Westhelp money back and be more responsive to Edgemont zoning issues. Paul has no intention of doing so.

Anonymous said...

Dear 1:49. True! Maria Regina is enjoying the fruits of an abundance of applicants. The difference is that the studant population in MR comes from outside of Unincorporated Greenburgh. It's about only 5 % of their student body that comes from the GC population.

Sacred Heart is a neighborhood school and I believe 85-90% of all students enrolled live in GC.

Anonymous said...

Also, 1:49 As always when things go up & down, Unincorporated Greenburgh, GC homes prices fall disproportionately lower than its surrounding city, towns, villages and school districts. It's a fact.

Anonymous said...

Dear 2:02,

If you want to improve Hartsdale housing prices -

1. Run for the School Board. Work on improving and/or lowering costs.

2. Work on getting fair A/B budget -- and it wont matter if Edgmeont does become a village.

Anonymous said...

2:24.

1)Which school board are your refering to? Where have you assumed I live?
2) Working on it. Are you?

Anonymous said...

2:24, I was writing in response to 8:59 who was complaining re situation in Hartsdale, so I meant G7. Even if you do not have children in schools, you can run for Board.

Anonymous said...

dear anon 2:24,
I don't see any mention of Hartsdale in that post nor do I see complaining.

That poster expressed a feeling of concern. If you think that person was complaining, how would you categorize the outrageous rants posted all over this blog?

Anonymous said...

How much of our taxes do we pay for fire protection in the paid districts? How many fire chiefs and firefighters do we have working in the town at any given time? How many fires do they respond to a year? How many expensive fire engines do they duplicate? Paul please help!

Anonymous said...

I recently looked online to find out that in Greenburgh including paid and volunteer departments their are over 17 Fire Engines, 8 Ladders, and 4 Tower ladders. Seems to be a bit overkill. How about consolidating these departments and selling off some of the million dollar rigs. Hal please look into this!

Anonymous said...

Sorry 6:13,

It was 6:52 am responding to 8:59.

Anonymous said...

PAUL PLEASE SAY NO TO ALL RAISES.

Anonymous said...

Greenville has 1 pumper 1 ladder and 5-6 people working, not enough
Fairview has 2 pumpers 1 Tower ladder 1 resue 8 firefighters working, not enough
Hartsdale has 2 pumpers 1 tower ladder and 8 firefighters working, not enough
Elmsford,Tarrytown,Ardsley,Hastingsand Dobbs Ferry do not have enough
manpower either. Thats why even for a small fire everybody has to call mutual aid. WE should go to a county fire dept.

Anonymous said...

22 firefighters per shift in Greenburgh. How many cops work per shift? I bet we are paying more for fire protection rather than police.

Anonymous said...

At least we see firefighters when they are called to a fire.
Where are the police?

Anonymous said...

I see the police plenty. What a great job they did catching the guys stealing copper the other night.

Cut parks and rec

Anonymous said...

Problem is most people dont have any reason to encounter the police. Anytime they do it is a a time of crisis or not for a good reason like getting a ticket. It makes them an easy target when it comes to cuts.

Anonymous said...

12:20am

To answer your question - someetimes there are as little as 7Officers patrolling the streets of greenburgh, while there are 20 firefighters cooking and cleaning in their firehouses.

Anonymous said...

Make cuts in the fire budgets !!!

When you call the fire dept - they save the foundation of your house....when you call the Police, they save your lives !!!!

Firefighters in Greenburgh are the best kept secret !!!!

Anonymous said...

Do you expect the firemen to patrol the streets too.
What planet do you live on.
We need a good cut in the waste that is in all departments,but the police is the first one to be checked out.
Sorry\\\\\\\\

Anonymous said...

I guess alot of firemen read this blog !

Anonymous said...

CONSOLIDATION OF SERVICES:
POLICE ARE BEING STUDIED NOW.


AND FIRE ???????


Hartsdale fire doesnt even come out when someone is in need of EMS!!!!!!!!!

GREENVILLE AND FAIRVIEW DO !!

Anonymous said...

I am neither a fireman nor a police officer. I value them both. These brave people are the most valued of our employees. Along with DPW they form the basis of what local govt is supposed to provide. These are the essentials, not the luxuries, likes parks and rec

Anonymous said...

Dear 12:47 -
The Fairview, Hartsdale and Greenville Fire Districts are independent governments. They do not, in any way, report to the Town. Their budgets are independent and appear as separate items on your annual Town tax bill - the Town is, by law, the Receiver of Taxes for the fire districts. The Town just collects the taxes, it has no say in the budgets.
If you really hate the amount you are paying your fire district, elect a new commissioner. Wow! You're in luck! The election is next Tuesday - December 11th. Want to make changes - get out and vote!

Anonymous said...

Can the town government absorb these districts?

Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding me with personnel cuts in the Police Dept! This Department has worked with essentially the same manpower quota since the 60's and 70's with a substantial increase in call volume and services provided. Why is it when they want to make cuts, it’s the hard working cops who have to loose their jobs! How about eliminating take home cars for Chief and the 3 Captains! 4 Cars @ 30K each=$160K, plus milage, etc WOW, that a savings. And why does 1 Captain take a car home to Dutchess County each day ? Maybe you could keep the DARE program or other service in place and start looking at the bigger picture.

And by the way, if you really want to look a budgetary waste, start looking at the fire departments in town. Unfortunately the town board has no control over that but you voters do!

Anonymous said...

As far as not providing fare raises to the police officers! Remember this, if you pay the police officers low salary’s such as in NYC and other police departments in Westchester which do that, you will run the risk of eventually having a cesspool of a police department.

Anonymous said...

Everyone that posts that the Fire Departments should run EMS, get real! Have you ever looked at their salary’s? Much more than police salary’s! The Journal New has been trying to get that information for some time now. They have minimum manning requirements. If they ran EMS, they would have to hire additional personnel, do the math! What is already overpriced will get even higher!

Anonymous said...

7;14 keep checking and you would find more waste.
They have their own cars,to come to work and go home .
If they have to get to headquarters real fast they can have the necessay lights added to their personal vehicle.
You say that they also receive mileage.well isn'tthat nice. I have to pay for my gasoline to go to work why should they be different.

hal samis said...

Dear 7:23,
You might also consider whether being a cop in Greenburgh is a safer and an easier job than being a cop in NYC, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, New Rochelle and thus enough of an offset.

If you're a cop riding around in a Patrol car, does it matter whether you drive past 10 people or drive past 100 per mile. The idea of a ratio between uniforms and the population is the same logic that the Library used during the Referendum. They said you're SUPPOSED to have one square foot of Library per one unit of population. It is the flawed data behind the assumptions that the population is homogenous and one community is like the next that is troublesome. If you recall, the Library said that as compared to other communities, Greenburgh had less square feet per resident and thus had to expand the physical plant to get up to "par". Guess what, the entire population of Greenburgh is never going to be under the Library's roof at one time. Likewise, the Greenburgh Police Department may be lean and mean, I don't doubt that, but whether it has more or fewer uniforms per resident than other communities is really irrelevant.
If there were an unlimited source of funding for the Department, who would object to a cop on every corner? But we're dealing with a 100% union filled Department and the idea of helping out Town Hall and the residents who are taxed is an alien concept to the Police union. The Chief sees no problem in announcing that after four years, the pay is only $86,000 plus all the benefits including overtime and holiday pay. Years ago, when I took the mandatory Sociology 1 course, the concept of socio-economic status was discussed. Roughly teachers have high status and low pay. Garbagemen (see how long ago, when they used to be called that) had low status but higher pay. Doctors had high status and high pay. Today everyone has high pay unless you are employed in retail. Thanks to unions and their tough bargaining positions, more of the blue collar and lower middle class have achieved the vaunted goal of being part of the middle class -- at least regarding compensation. It is bizarre to say this but thanks to 9/11, firemen and the police have become viewed, deservedly for the most part, heros, raising their image from guys who took the firetruck out to pick up a case of beer and the police as guys who consumed a lot of doughnuts. Thus, in addition to more bucks, the police and firemen have also gained in status. The problem occurs when this new status demands even higher pay scales to sustain their new found buying power. And to a growing degree, the former sole occupants of the middle class are being taxed higher and higher amounts to pave the way for the new arrivals. The problem implodes for the town when the police and firemen choose to reside elsewhere and thus don't give back money to the communities, spending their new riches and paying their taxes anywhere but in Greenburgh. Perhaps the idea of residency requirements should be revisited to repatriot some of the dollars going out. With this goal in mind, I would support the concept of affordable housing for police and firemen. Having them live in Greenburgh would not only give them an additional incentive to do the best job (a crime or a fire could happen on their block) but also some of their pay would come back to the town as taxes.

How to create affordable housing in an affordable manner for the town? Provide some incentives to those who are willing to build these units. It doesn't have to be the traditional real estate tax break; it could be something as simple as allowing a higher than normal buildable density, either as a larger footprint on a building plot or a height bonus.

Whereas the creation of affordable housing for firemen and the police would likely not benefit the upper tiers of the departments, those fat cats already get too many bucks and benefits. The affordable housing perk should be strictly offered as an inducement to newer hires who would start at a new lower level of compensation than their predecessors. This incentive would be offered first as a lure to new hires and thereafter as the means to keep them at their job -- assuming that continued residence could be restricted to ongoing employment within the respective departments.

The Town needs to find alternatives to the rising compensation spiral dictated by unions. Thus affordable housing an an incentive is a no-brainer and the only way the union can combat it is, as they have been forced to do elsewhere, to sponsor and create such housing themselves.

Anonymous said...

No SUBISIDIZNED housing. They uniformed services get enough. OK, they start as rookies. Then ten years later, the salaries, the pension, etc.

ENOUGH

Anonymous said...

Another perk for civil servants?

You gotta be kidding.

Anonymous said...

Many seem somewhat content in slashing police positions or salary’s in Greenburgh even though it may jeopardize your safety. How come nobody questions the Sanitation Department’s salary’s and budget? I bet they get paid fairly well! And how come the sanitation workers come off the road every day around 12:300 and sit around the garage until they go off the clock while other town workers are still working? Because their contact allows it! When their route is done, so are they for the day. Why not cut some positions there? It seems that they are overstaffed if this can happen each and every day. I guess that has not been done, or even talked about since nobody wants garbage to pile up in front of their houses. Lets think? Garbage in front of my house or safety for my family?

Anonymous said...

HEY HAL

I THINK YOUR COMMENTS ARE ABOUT AS STUPID AS YOU LOOK ON BROADCASTS OF THE TOWN BOARD MEETINGS.

FOR YOU TO PUT FIREMEN AND BEER, AND COPS AND DOUGHNUTS IN THE SAME FOOLISH RESPONSE - YOU HAVE BALLS. MAYBE ONE DAY YOU OR A LOVED ONE (WELL, OK YOU) HOUSE WILL BE ON FIRE...MAYBE THE FD WILL BE "GETTING BEER" AS YOU PUT IT. MAYBE ONE DAY YOU (FORGET THE LOVED ONE) WILL NEED A POLICE OFFICER.....OH YEAH, THEY'LL BE AT "DUNKIN DOUNUTS" AS YOU PUT IT....

THESE MEN AND WOMEN ARE HERE TO SAVE YOUR LIFE.

WHEN YOU RUN AWAY FROM SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU OR YOU JUST CANT HANDLE, MAKE SURE THE COP OR FIREMAN RUNNING IN YOUR DIRECTION TO HELP YOU DOES NOT TRIP YOU FOR YOUR FOOLISH COMMENTS...YOU FOOL!!!


WHAT DO WE NEED ANOTHER TERRORIST ATTACK BEFORE YOU APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE HERE IN POLICE AND FIRE.... YOU ARE AN A BSOULTE FOOL !! GET A LIFE

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING ? YOU SHOULD BE A CLOWN !!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, you are a dope. Get a life!

Anonymous said...

Article 11 of the Town Law (§170 et seq.) generally governs the establishment and dissolution of fire and fire protection districts in towns. Article 11 authorizes towns to undertake proceedings to abolish fire protection districts (Town Law §185) and to establish fire districts (Town Law §170). In each case, the proceedings may be commenced either upon a proper petition of taxpayers (Town Law §§170[1], 171, 185[1]) or on town board motion and without a petition (Town Law §§170[2], 185[1-a]), subject to public hearing (Town Law §§170[2], 171, 185[1], [1-a]). In the case of proceedings to dissolve a fire protection district commenced on board motion, permissive referendum requirements also must be complied with (Town Law §185[1-a]; Report to the Governor on Legislation for L 1966, ch 907, Department of Audit and Control, June 17, 1966) [1] .

Anonymous said...

Does Greenburgh have that many fires that it neeeds three paid fire departments?

Anonymous said...

Why do we dismiss our police officers. They are the ones who we call to solve our childish problems that we cant resolve, they are the one who it is "ok" to spit on , yell at and curse at. They really dont get too much respect. How would you like to go to work and have people spit at you jus because you are doing your job?

Anonymous said...

Dear 11:20PM -
You ask a good question - but the answer does not lie in how many fires does Greenburgh have, but rather, how long does it take to respond to a fire.
The multiple departments are a result of the need to have a fire department close enough to respond quickly. Anyone who has tried to drive from Hartsdale Station #2 to Yosemite Park on a Saturday during the Christmas shopping season can tell you that it can easily take 10 minutes - and that there is no shoulder on which an engine can drive if the roads are crowded. The time it takes for a fire to go from an easily managed spot to a full structure involvement is, depending upon conditions, well under 10 minutes. The ideal is for a unit to be on scene in less than 3 minutes - and that means having fire stations scattered throughout the service area.
It really doesn't matter whether they are independent departments or under a single unified command as one department. No station would be without a commanding officer (a Chief) and a second-in-command (a Captain) - and the titles really aren't important, the civil service titles are controlling - as to pay scales too!
The question is not whether we have too many fire departments but rather are the ones we have run in an efficient, business-like manner.

brain explodes said...

Dear 10:53
I'm perplexed. Hal stated:

It is bizarre to say this but thanks to 9/11, firemen and the police have become viewed, deservedly for the most part, heros, raising their image from guys who took the firetruck out to pick up a case of beer and the police as guys who consumed a lot of doughnuts. Thus, in addition to more bucks, the police and firemen have also gained in status.

Either you or I have a problematic reading comprehension difficulty.

I read this as him stating that they deserved to be thought of more highly than in the past. Also, he never said this was his impression of them.

What do you think the man said here?

???????????

Anonymous said...

The person who is misquoting Samis is an idiot.
You see Samis has more brains than he does,and he doesn't like that.
Samis has showed us how to make changes budget wise but as you know his ideas will not be taken up by this present board.
He has yet to be wrong with his computing the figures that are in the budget.
He has shown us line by line as to what is wrong with the present budget.
Have you taken the time to check the budget out. I don't think so,because if you did you would not take the stance that you are taking against one person that is trying to help the residents that being Samis..

Anonymous said...

BLAH BLAH BLAH,,get a life, ALL OF YOU!!

Anonymous said...

Why are we only talking about cutting police and firemen?

WHAT ABOUT PARKS AND RECREATION???

Anonymous said...

How about the TDYCC?

Anonymous said...

anon 1:55
hello pot! meet kettle!

Anonymous said...

TO ALL MY JEWISH NEIGHBORS/////

HAPPY HANUKKAH.

Anonymous said...

well, it looks like the people her eare her to fight. But in reality, the fire a police depts are very effective and active in prevention programs. If you dont like payiing for the services we get here then pack up and move to another com where there is nothing. Then you might see how lucky you have it. I have been on both sides of the fence and enjoy what i have here and have no problem working a bit harder to pay for the services i get. With that being said, what i payed in taxes for the area that did not have many services was not that much less then i am paying here!!!! In seeing the Chief of police speak on cable, He seems to be very involved, and cares about his men and women and the twon of Greenburgh. I believe he wants whats best for Greenburgh and what he needs to keep his officers safe!

Anonymous said...

cut the pd. crime goes up .. cut the FD responce times may go up. look at other places in the town.

Anonymous said...

Those advocating cuts in the police budget are the same ones who scream loudly when it takes 5 minutes for an officer to show up. As far as training, ongoing training is obviously needed for members of the pd to be kept abreast of the laws, new innovations in police work, etc. Other places throughout the country have cut budgets or abolished their departments, often with disastrous effects. Will you be next?

hal samis said...

To: Greenburgh Police Department

Re: Missing Property

From:Concerned Resident

I would like to report the theft of the 2008 Town Of Greenburgh Budget. No one seems to know where it is. No one seems to know what was in it. No one even seems to know when it was last seen. There is growing concern that the Budget, having been rejected by the vote of the entire Town Board at their November 28 meeting, may have become depressed and taken its life.

It is hoped that bloggers, reading this posting, who possess information which can lead to the apprehension and detention of this elusive document, will come forward and share this information with the proper authorities and the general public. As usual, your anonymity shall be protected. Please contact TOG c/o this blog, box how a 5% cut...

Time is crucial. Please repond before the next Public Hearing on December 12; otherwise taxpayers will be stuck with the 23% increase.

Anonymous said...

sAMIS FROM THE LOOKS OF THINGS I HATE TO SAY YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME AND KNOWLEDGE ON DEAF EARS.
The departments where money SHOULD BE CUT will not happen.
You have done your best to help us the residents and tax payers with all your comments .
I hope that I am wrong but the way the board has been going I doubt it that they are in favor of a good reduction.
They saw this coming a long time ago but they thought that Feiner would loose the election and they would come out victors.
Things did not work out for them and now we are stuck with what they did.

Anonymous said...

Raises should be halted at this time. We have no way to pay our hike as it stands.
We would all like raises this way the hike would not hurt that much but that is impossible.
So please cut this budget by the percentage that is needed to help the residents.
There will be no cut in essential services the only cuts made will be the ones that we do not need at this time.
I think it is only right that these patrol persons can look back and say that this is the first time that this request is being made.
Therefore there must be a good reason for this cut.
What would happen if all homeowners would get together and not pay the taxes?.
Does someone have an answer?
Hal Samis look into the book of knowledge and see if you could come up with an answer.
I know that you are not a lawyer but one of your friends can come up with an answer.

Anonymous said...

Paul-
Kindly approve the budget for '08. Make necessary cuts where needed across the town, but i dont think police officers should lose thier jobs over: fund balances, not raising taxes, and poor budget mismanagement.
You Paul- should continue the great services in the town.. approve the budget.

Anonymous said...

Why are we just talking about police officers. Im sure that their are plenty of people that work for the town and do nothing. By the looks of the town facilities, I would say that there is no reason to have so many people working for building maintinence. They are surley not working with the way thing are falling apart.

Anonymous said...

People in this Town are Blind.
there are more cops working inside than on the street.There are to many special details. Just put the cops in patrol cars and drive around the neighborhoods like the old days

Anonymous said...

Oh the good old days when cops were cops.
That's the way to go.
Chief you said at almost every hiring of new personel that the town would save money since many of the new hires come from other police dept.
Now you say that a budget cut will affect traing process.
Did I hear wrong at the town meetings or am I reading something
wrong.

Anonymous said...

The PD just tells you what they want you to think!

Anonymous said...

In service training. Dont you think that things change over the years since an officer was in the academy?

Anonymous said...

WHY HASNT PARKS AND REC EVEN RESPONDED? wHY ONLY POLICE????

Anonymous said...

C.ould it be possible that they are not guilty of over spending

Anonymous said...

Hey Town Board did you ever think about closing the Police dept all together ? We could contract out to the County Police and the State Police like The Town of Cortlant does. The only difference for those people up there, is they save alot of money and we don,t.

hal samis said...

The Police must have been very busy today saving lives and fighting crime.

So far they haven't found the missing Town Budget.

And I thought they were tight with Francis, too.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the stupidity that I have read in these posts. Before you actually say or type something...maybe you should-
1- be able to SPELL it
2-actually know what you are talking about
3-actually know the FACTS (never let a good story get in the way of the facts)

Learn what a VILLAGE is, What the Town government includes, What a fire district is. What an EMS system is and how it runs. What the PD actually doese other than police. Actually ask someone who knows. And lastly....come back to reallity and off the drugs you are taking that you believe a civil servant can afford a house and the taxes in edgemont on their salary.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 6:42!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I know plenty of civil servants who live in Edgemont. Most live in apartments (actualy condos or coops), but live in Edgemont just the same. Not that I understand the point. I also know residents who actually volunteer in the FD, including paying taxes.

Anonymous said...

Great job Paul Feiner ! Instead of putting $5000 in escrow, put $25,000 in escrow. With this amount, you will work harder to achieve goals.
Forget the snow angel program and going to people's homes to clean the driveway! Stick to the important things on hand. The Town is slowly going down hill. Instead of worrying about nonsense, lets try plan for the future of this Town. The Town needs sidewalks installed in various parts. The Greenburgh Town Court is the second busiest Town Court in the State. The facility is a disgrace! Illegal parking along a busy Rt 119 has to be used for court parking. Are you making future plans to correct this problem or are you going to wait until a disaster occurs, the lawsuit is filed and then raise taxes another 23% for a new facility!
There are big projects in store for the Town! Are you planning for the future or are you just worried about cleaning a driveway to get more votes?

Anonymous said...

I guess someone saw a post in regards to the take home cars for the Chief and 3 Captains. Well it's a start anyway, one Captian lost his take home car! How about the others now?

Anonymous said...

Nobody lost there take home car, chief and all his captains have take home car.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure about the car? A source within the Dept. said the Staff Services Captain lost his take home car since he lived in Dutchess Co. ?

THE TRUTH said...

I AGREE WITH HAVING MORE COPS.TOO MANY SPECIAL UNITS.ALSO USING COPS IN DISPATCH CANT UNDERSTAND.HIRE A BOOKING OFFICER SO COPS CAN GO BACK ON THE ROAD.EMS HIRE OR CONTRACT OUT LIKE WHITE PLAINS.LETS DO POLICE WORK,NOT HAVE COPS IN HOSPITALS FOR HOURS.LEAVING SOUTH END OR NORTH END OF TOWN WITH NO COPS.

THE TRUTH said...

NEW LIBRARY SHUOLD BE POLICE STAION,AND OLD POLICE STATION SHUOLD BE LIBRARY.MAKES ALOT OF SENSE.THAT HOW YOU BALANCE THE BUDGET.

RESIDENTS said...

I WILL TELL YOU HOW TO CUT THE BUDGET ELIMINATE TAKE HOME CARS IN ALL DEPT,REMOVE EMS FROM POLICE DEPT,REMOVE A AMBULANCE THAT COSTS OVER 100 GRAND FROM PATROLING 24HRS AS A SECTOR.SPECIAL UNITS AND ITS SEARGENTS THAT SIT INSIDE.DEPT SHOULD CONCENTRATE ON PATROL THE BACKBONE OF DEPT.WHY SHOULD THE RESIDENTS OF GREENBURGH ONLY HAVE 6 COPS ON PATROL FOR THE MIDNIGHTS?

RESIDENT said...

MR. FEINER DONT YOU USE YOUR OWN CAR.WHY DO THESE POLICE CAPT HAVE TAKE HOME VEHICLES?IN ALL OTHER DEPT IN THE COUNTRY TAKE HOME VEHICLES ARE FOR PATROL OFFICERS WHO RESPOND TO CALLS.I DID NOT KNOW THAT CAPT. RESPOND TO CALLS.