Monday, December 31, 2007


Sonja Brown & Kevin Morgan assume office as our new Greenburgh Town Board members tonight at midnight. And, Judith Beville will be the new Town Clerk. Three swearing in ceremonies are being held: Thursday, January 3 9:15 AM at Bailey School (Hillside Ave); Friday, January 4th at 9:15 AM at the NY School for the Deaf (Knollwood Road) and on Wednesday January 9th at 7:30 PM at the first meeting of the Greenburgh Town Board, Town Hall. Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner will also be sworn into office at the same times.


Supervisor Feiner, Councilmembers-elect Sonja Brown, Kevin Morgan & Judith Beville announced some major open government initiatives:

1) Work sessions will be televised by the Town Board.

2) Work sessions will be streamed live on the internet so people can watch the work sessions if they are unable to get to Town Hall.

3) The Town Board meetings will be streamed live on the internet.

4) All agendas of work sessions will be posted 24 hours in advance of work session meetings. In the past agendas were not posted until the mid morning of the afternoon work session.

5) The public will have two opportunities to speak at each meeting—at the beginning of each Town Board meeting and at the end of the meeting. Meetings of the Town Board will start at 7:30 PM. From 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM residents will have the chance to speak on any town topic for up to 3 minutes. Residents can sign up in advance of the meeting by contacting the Town Clerks office and will be told how many other speakers previously signed up to speak. Residents can also sign up at the Board meeting. This will enable people to schedule themselves appropriately. Those who wish to speak on topics will not have to wait till the end of the meeting to express their views on issues. At the end of the meeting (after the Town Board votes on legislative initiatives) the public will have a chance to speak again – for up to five minutes.

6) All meetings of the Town Board will end no later than 11 PM.

7) Written minutes of Town Board meetings will also be posted on the town web site. In the past written minutes of the Board meetings were not posted on the web site, making it difficult for residents to review records of past meetings.


1) By March 1st a plan must be presented to the Town Board by the Supervisor regarding posting detailed spending summaries by department on the town web site. We want all spending to be open and transparent.

2) Department heads will no longer be authorized to hire part time/full time staff without consulting members of the Town Board. Before any hiring takes place the department head will be asked to justify the position, advise the Board of the ramifications of keeping positions vacant longer. This new initiative will enable the Board to control and monitor spending and hiring.

TOWN BOARD TO HOLD WORK SESSION (EXECUTIVE SESSION) TO DISCUSS PERSONNEL MATTERS ON Wednesday evening, January 2nd from 7:15 PM to approximately 8:15 PM.

Paul Feiner


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If you want an open goverment, open the books and start slashings positions in the various depts.
It's the only way you are going to save money.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the three of you.
Kevin and Sonja you have a tough job ahead of you.
You know what has to be done so do it.
Kevin you know where cuts have to be made so make them.
This is your trial period to bigger and better things.
Make us proud of you and above all start lowering the taxes.

Anonymous said...

These are NOT open government initiatives at all. To the contrary, this is a return to the lack of transparency that characterized much of Feiner's tenure.

First, public comment on agenda items is being cut from five minutes to three minutes. In addition, the public comment period itself is being restricted to one hour.

By slashing the time for members of the public to comment on agenda items, Feiner is deliberately stifling public discussion of matters on the agenda about which town board members may not be aware. In other words, Feiner is slashing the time to stifle public dissent.

Feiner responds that this is okay because members of the public can still speak for five minutes apiece when the meeting is over. What he does out is that this is when when the television camera is turned off and the public won't be able to hear what the problems were.

Feiner also wants people to sign up for their 3 minutes in advance of the town board meetings. That way he can determine how many people have signed up, and if there's a controversial issue, he can line up enough supporters to use up the entire hour. He's done this before on a number of issues, and in this manner, no matter how reasonable opposing points of view may be, he'll see to it that neither his colleagues nor the public at home will hear them.

Feiner just doesn't seem to get it. On the one hand he announces that town board work sessions will be streamed live on the Internet, and then he announces that the first work session will be held in "executive session" to discuss "personnel matters."

Will someone remind Feiner that the town board must first vote in open session to go into executive session, and that it is not sufficient under New York law to simply announce you're going behind closed doors to discuss "personnel matters"?

Paul Feiner said...

Hi anonymous! The first hour of each meeting will be allocated to public comment so people won't have to wait around till the end of the meeting. People can sign up. Or, they don't have to sign up in advance. If they call in ahead of time they'll be able to be heard earlier than if they don't. At the end of the meeting people can speak for 5 minutes. At the beginning for 3. The entire meeting will be televised. The goal: to encourage public participation, not to stifle it.
Regarding tomorrows work session- the board MUST vote in open session to hold an executive session before any executive session is held. Personnel matters are authorized to be discussed in executive session.
I can assure you that during the next two years the government will be run in an extremely open manner. PAUL FEINER

Anonymous said...

paul - i dont see you calling for a full accounting of the westhelp funds you gave away.

Anonymous said...

The new schedule from sanitation was received. Thank You.
But there is one question that Regula has to answer====
do his employees know what should and what should not be picked up.
How is it that whatever home owners put out three and four times a week is picked up because it isw put curbside.
What do they tell home owners put it at the curb and don't worry it will picked up.
You have certain days for garbage and certain day for other materials why is it the because it is curbside the residents can co-mingle all their garbage.
This is something that has got to stop.
We all pay for the service and we should all be treated equally.
With the past holidays we all had plenty of garbage but the ones who put their garbage curbside had pick up everyday.
If we have to put our garbage curbside everyday for pick up so be it.
Which way do you want homeowners to go.Regula we all want answers to this garbage problem.

Anonymous said...

Please do not let people store their garbage at the curb 7 days a week. There are houses on Prospect Ave. by Fair St. that store it there, I never see Gabe the inspector driving around taking care of issues like this. Also behind the car dealer on Gibson Ave they have a Dumpster in the Road. This has been reported often and nothing is done. Please look into it and answer back on the blog

Thank You

Anonymous said...

Regula doesn't give a s--t about how the streets look with all the garbage at curbside.
Take a look at the piles of leaves on the streets. Sure he's waiting to give overtime for the pickups.
I often wonder if we need an new commissioner to do the job that has to be done to clean up the streets.
In plain english he is not doing his job.
Curbside garbage should not be picked up everyday by his men.
why does he not ride arround the streets and see what is going on. Does he need proof we will take pictures and send him the tape.
The streets never had so much garbage being put curbside as we have now.
Has the program changed or is this favoritism being shown to some residents.
Either you set the same rules for each household or resign.
We all pay taxes and we should all get the same treatment.

Anonymous said...

"This has been reported often and nothing is done."

I wish there were a way to report problems other than calling the DPW office. I think that the receptionist who answers the phone makes decisions as to what to pass on and what to not pass on. Yonkers and NYC have simple online reporting systems with tracking numbers for accountability. I know we're just a little town, but adding such a function to the town webpage wouldn't be too difficult to implement. Actually, this would be a beneficial project for a high school intern who can do the initial setup and coding under the supervision of one of your MIS people.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous at 4:27 -
The Town has never had as many people as it has today. More people means more garbage and that requires more people to pick it up - this community is more than twice as large as when Mr. Feiner took office - but has fewer sanitation workers and trucks on the job than it did at that time.
Grow up - the Town did!

Anonymous said...

7:39 the town has enough employees to do the work that they were hired for.
You must be related to a sanitation person to speak that way.
We pay taxes and we want the service to be equal.If we all have to go curbside to get the service others do so be it.
We keep the garbage close to our homes and bring it curbside on the proper day.
Special treatment for for some homeowners cannot be tolerated if your one that does get preference it will stop.
Things with a new board will bring many changes because our complaints will be heard.
Sorry if you have to keep your garbage for a week along side your house but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Anonymous said...

The "open government and financial initatives" look like they were adopted in violation of the state's Open Meetings Law.

It is a violation of the open meetings law for a quorum of the town board to meet privately --without prior public notice -- for the purpose of conducting town business.

When was this meeting of Feiner, Morgan and Brown held? Where was it held? Were Sheehan and Juettner invited? Did they have any opinions on the matter? Was the public asked for its opinion?

The remedy for violating the open meetings laws is to bring an Article 78 action against Feiner, Morgan and Brown, and to ask a judge to declare these "open government initiatives" to be null and void.

Wouldn't it be ironic if someone actually did that?

Anonymous said...

If Paul, Sonja & Kevin met they did so before Sonja & Kevin assumed office. So there would be no violation of the law.

Anonymous said...

But Pauliburo supporters charged Bernstein and McNally with violating the state's Open Meetings Law and they were never elected,. So why are Kevin and Sonja exempt just because they hadn't taken office yet? Did Paul spray them with teflon so the charges wouldn't stick?

Anonymous said...

To the a--hole who thinks that Pauliburo is a clever term.

Nobody ever said that Bernstein and McNally attending a secret meeting was in violation of the open meetings law. The charge was that the Town Council violated the open meetings law by secretly meeting in a musical chairs kind of meeting with the developer. The fact that Bernstein and McNally were there wasn't illegal, but it proved who was really running the town, at least until September 18.

Anonymous said...

Boy Bernstein's clan can't wait to cut into the new members of the board.
What's the problem ,have you realized that you have lost your control over the board.
Wake up, you had your fun now sit back and enjoy the the way government will be run .
I do not think that you lost all your contacts because there are two left that will feed you all the information that you would like to know.
I'm sure that the new members of the council will do a bang up job
and above all will not choose sides.

Anonymous said...

/////IS DROMORE ROAD DEAD.////////

Anonymous said...

To a-hole Francis and Bob your reading glasses were foggy you conveniently missed that this was posted 12-31-07 and they were not in office.As always you try to spin an issue. Open government rules apparently do not apply to all of you though. Speaking of quorum were Bobby, sir Francis, Nasty Ella and sneaky McNally present to write this garbage. Have a nice New Years your time is nearing an end Francis. I think Diana finally realizes she sided with the low life and will do the right thing for the town. 4-1 baby.. Lastly was it a violation of open government when Francis, Eddie mae and Steve USED the Greenburgh Democratic Committee as district leaders to conspire with Cheeseberger and lil bob and others to Oust Feiner. WOW how short your memory.

Anonymous said...

It violates at least the spirit of open government in New York for Feiner to have a meeting with his running mates on December 31 -- the day before they were sworn in -- and then announce new town board rules governing conduct at town board meetings.

The whole point of New York's open meetings law is to ensure that town business is conducted in open meetings. If Feiner was having a private meeting on December 31 with Morgan and Brown, and conducting town business at that private meeting by enacting new rules for town board meetings in 2008, it sure looks like a violation of the open meetings law.

Why couldn't Feiner simply introduce the measure at the public meeting for January 9, put it on the agenda for public comment, and then the entire town board could cast a vote?

Surely Feiner knows the rules; one wonders why he didn't follow them here, and if he didn't follow them here, one wonders what other private meetings has he been having with Morgan and Brown.

A meeting of three town board members to conduct town business is a meeting which must take place publicly. Otherwise, these town board members, Feiner included, are violating the open meetings law.

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously suggesting that every time any board member speaks to another board member they have to make the conversation public? If two them of them are in the same room, does one of them have to leave? If you are really in favor open government, you should be encouraging the free exchange of ideas, the ability to debate an issue, and the openness of thought, not limit one's ability to listen and, where appropriate,change an opinion.

Anonymous said...

New York's open meetings law does not prohibit town board members from speaking to one another. It prohibits a quorum of town board members -- in Greenburgh that's three or more -- from meeting privately without prior public notice to conduct town business. Enacting new rules for town board meetings is conducting town business and should not have been done in secret behind closed doors -- and then announced afterward as a fait accomplis.

Anonymous said...

I heard Brown, Morgan, Juettner and Sheehan met sometime in December, before Jan. 1st - without Paul.

Is this a crime? A violation of the state's Open Meetings Law.


If so, let's do away with the entire board!

Can we get back to real government and real issues!

I am so sick of these childish games.

Let's discuss the 24% tax hike!