Wednesday, December 24, 2008



2008 is now history. The following are highlights of the year in review.

* NEW BOARD/TRANSITIONS - 2 new members of the Town Board (Kevin Morgan & Sonja Brown) were sworn into office. Judith Beville was sworn into office as Town Clerk. Al Regula, Commissioner of Public Works and his deputy, Butch Nanna, announced their retirements at the end of the year. Bill Carter was appointed the new Commissioner at the Theodore Young Community Center. Mike Kolesar is our new Comptroller. Police Chief John Kapica will retire in 2009. Councilman Kevin Morgan, a former Detective, is assisting the Board as we prepare for the interviews with candidates for Police Chief.

* NEW OPEN GOVERNMENT REFORMS - Work sessions are now televised live. Work sessions are now streamed live on the internet. Work session agendas are also archived. Work session agendas are posted 24 hours in advance of work sessions. Town Clerk Judith Beville sponsored a community meeting with Robert Freeman, executive director of the NY Committee on Open Government. He answered community questions about open government. Councilman Francis Sheehan has been posting all resolutions on the town web site in advance of all Town Board meetings.


* S & P INCREASE BOND RATING TO AAA, A DISTINCTION SHARED BY LESS THAN 3% OF ALL LOCALITIES. This is the highest possible bond rating a municipality can receive. We are proud of the upgrade --especially since these are difficult economic times.

* NEW LIBRARY - The $20 million library that was approved by the voters two years ago is now open. It's a beautiful, new building with state of the art features. Councilwoman Diana Juettner worked very cooperatively with the Library Board -- overseeing the transition from the old library to the new. I am hopeful that in 2009 a job club can be organized. The Library Board decided to discontinue the cybermobile. Three new Library Board members will assume office in January--Frank Musantry, Diane Creston & Tom Saez.

* COMMUNITY HOSPITAL AT DOBBS FERRY SAVED - The Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry has been saved.

* DOG PARK OPENS - A new dog park opened at East Rumbrook Park. It's in a beautiful, wooded setting and is very popular.

*XPOSURE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM - The Town received a grant of $167,500 from the Lanza Family Foundation to set up a very creative after school program at the Theodore Young Community Center. Children open up their own bank accounts, invest in the stock market, host radio and TV programs and are exposed to different professions. The Greenburgh Xposure program will be featured in Scholastic Magazine in early 2009. Councilwoman Sonja Brown was instrumental in expanding the indoor skating program at the center, among other initiatives.

* TOWN CLERK INITIATIVES - The Town Clerk has created a "Hot Line" for town residents to call regarding cable TV issues. The number is 831-3031. The Clerk coordinated and sponsored several mentoring initiatives at Town Hall for area high school students including, the WISE program, the newly created Town Hall/Xposure mentoring initiative and opportunities for individual students to experience the work environment. Lee Mouzakitis, Records Management Clerk, upgraded Records Management. A Records Management Advisory Committee was established.

* NEW ENERGY CONSERVATION COORDINATORS - Allegra Dengler and Deann Cartwright replaced Nikki Coddington as Energy Conservation Coordinators/Outreach. A climate action task force was formed.

* GREENBURGH HEALTH CENTER WON'T MOVE. Although the Health Center received approval to build on Knollwood Road. Because of escalating construction costs they decided to stay at 330 Tarrytown Road.

* COMPREHENSIVE PLAN – the Town of Greenburgh started our comprehensive plan review with numerous community meetings in different neighborhoods--soliciting feedback from the community on issues: taxes, traffic and infrastructure, affordable housing, public facilities, services.

* A committee was established to review possible actions the town could ask the NYS Legislature take to amend the Finneran law to allow a tennis bubble to be built by a private company at AF Veteran Park. The town would receive significant rent and infrastructure enhancements. The Appellate Division of the NYS Supreme Court reversed the Taxter Ridge case (re: who pays/can use the park). The case is being appealed to the NYS Court of Appeals - the highest state court.

* AFFORDABLE HOUSING - at the urging of the Planning Board the Town Board approved a zoning code amendment extending 10% affordable housing requirements to three zones. The Town Board also approved a rezoning request made by Westhab to build 28 units of workforce housing at 22 Tarrytown Road (across from Staples, Verizon, Deli Delicious). 4 units of affordable housing on Warburton Ave. in Hastings opened up. 2 town employees moved into the housing.

* EAST HARTSDALE AVENUE SUMMER CONCERTS - In 2007 the town received a grant to have music concerts at DeSanti Plaza. In 2008 we lost the grant. However, Town Clerk Judith Beville organized over a dozen concerts at no cost to the taxpayers. The musicians donated their talents.

*JOB NETWORKING - I have set up a small program helping unemployed residents find work. Residents who are working are encouraged to contact their personnel office and advise me of job openings. I share the information with people who ask for help finding employment. I am hoping that a more structured job club will be established at the library in 2009.

* REMEMBER MICKEY’S OLD FASHIONED HOT DOG STAND ON JACKSON AVE. The stand had operated for 78 years but was closed down after Mickey's son took over the business from his father. The Zoning Board of Appeals granted the hot dog stand permission to re-open.

* THE TOWN OF GREENBURGH AND VILLAGE OF DOBBS FERRY received a grant from the state to study the feasibility of sharing/consolidation of police services and selected a consultant.

*911 MEMORIAL - We completed the re-landscaping of the 9/11 Memorial at Richard Presser Park on Central Ave. New plantings, benches have enhanced the park.

* WESTCHESTER GOLF RANGE TO STAY IN BUSINESS. In 2002 the Town of Greenburgh considered the possibility of acquiring the Westchester Golf Range (Dobbs Ferry Road). Golfers went crazy and the town withdrew the effort. The owners then tried selling the property to a housing developer but that application fell through. Good news. The golf range was sold and will stay a golf range.

* A STUDENT INTERN, ANDY LAUB, used his internship time to set up a Greenburgh You Tube initiative -- featuring aspects of living in Greenburgh.

* THE WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS, over the objections of Legislator Tom Abinanti and me, voted to purchase and renovate 450 Saw Mill River Road for $13 million to house voting machines. We objected to the fact that the property will be taken off the tax rolls. The county could have saved millions by placing the voting machines at existing county owned buildings.

* BUDGET - The Town Board worked very hard to keep tax hikes single digit, successfully avoiding a projected tax hike of between 17% and 23%. The tax hike in 2009 is 7.7%. A citizens budget committee headed by Don Cannon worked hard during the year and came up with recommendations. Thanks to their efforts we were able to reduce the size of the tax hike significantly. Council members Sonja Brown, Kevin Morgan, Diana Juettner, Francis Sheehan and I spent many evenings during the spring/summer/fall months making house calls to residents -- seeking their input. We made significant cuts in the budget and have reduced the workforce size.

* ABANDONED PROEPRTY AT 24 JOYCE ROAD FINALLY DEMOLISHED - for at least five years we have been pushing to have an abandoned property demolished. The property was a big eyesore. Finally, in May the property was demolished.

* GIS TRANSPARENCY - A video of all roads, sidewalks, curbs, properties in the town can be accessed on our GIS system. Road conditions are rated by a private company (excellent, good, poor, horrible). In the future, residents will be able to compare their streets to streets that have been resurfaced. It will all be done on merit!

* MORE ROOM FOR THE COURT - the Town will be purchasing a trailer to provide more space for the Town Court.

* PORTABLE WEIGHT SCALES - the Town will purchase portable weight scales to test commercial vehicles for compliance with weight limits on town roads. The weight scales are expected to generate significant additional revenue to the town.

I would like to thank all the members of the Town Board - Sonja Brown, Kevin Morgan, Diana Juettner, Francis Sheehan and Town Clerk Judith Beville for working so hard in 2008. Although we do not always agree on everything - one of the highlights of 2008 was how we all worked together in a cooperative manner. We were able to accomplish a lot this past year. I hope 2009 is also a big success.

Monday, December 22, 2008


If you are feeling charitable and want to help the less fortunate - the following area organizations are worthy of your support. I obtained this information from the Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless website:

Greenburgh town employees had a holiday party this Friday at Town Hall. The employees raised $300 for the town's nutrition program which feeds the elderly. For more information about the Greenburgh nutrition program and how you can help out - please call 693 8997.


32 Manhattan Avenue
White Plains, NY 10607
(Theodore D. Young Community Center)
10 A.M. – 4 P.M. Tues., Wed., Thurs.
Amanda Kyle-Shaw (Area Director)
914-761-6605 ex. 3
Office open 9 A.M. – 5 P.M. FAX: 997-7107

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31 Manhattan Avenue
White Plains, NY 10607
Serves at 5 P.M. on Tuesdays to people brought to church from hotels (except July / August)
Contact: Patricia Coleman 914-948-6439 Ext: 10 (church office)

White Plains


65 Fisher Ave.
White Plains, NY 10606
For emergency only
Contact: 914-761-4397 Rev. Virginia Sanders
Fax: 914- 428-4296)

Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry
3 Carhart Ave.
White Plains, NY 10605
7:30am – 10:30am on Fridays
(Accepts food donations Thursdays & Fridays 7:30am – 12:00)
428-5770 (church)
Contact: Lorraine Buonocunto 428-5076 (home)
Thursdays & Fridays only
Mail to: L. Buonocunto
31 Ogden Ave.
White Plains, NY 10605

346 S. Lexington Ave.
White Plains, NY 10606
Noon – 7 P.M., Mon. – Fri. In St. Bernard’s Church Basement
FAX 289-0550
Contact: 914-289-0500 - Isabel E. Villar, Director
or H. Judith Aucar, Assistant Dir.. also Claudia

180 Juniper Hill Rd.
White Plains, NY 10607
2pm on 3rd Thurs. and 8:00pm on 3rd Sat. each month
Contact: 914-948-3695:
Elizabeth Pulliam (684 -9417 church)

16 Sterling Ave.
White Plains, NY 10606
9:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. 1:00PM-3:00PM Tuesdays
Contact: 914-949-2908 - Captains Antonio
and Jennifer Rosamilia
and Claire Wares

New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Westchester Division
21 Bloomingdale Road
White Plains, NY 10605
Quarterly food & coat drives.
(Calls of need: i.e. house burned down or new baby – their volunteers will
locate items needed)
Contact Ginger Vaccaro: 914-682-9100, Ext. 2325
FAX 682-6927

70 Ferris Ave.
White Plains, NY 10603
9 A.M. - 4 P.M. Mon. - Fri. Emergency Only,
for people referred by DSS, while they wait for food stamps.
Contact Walter Bowen/Beverly Stith: 914-428-7030

YWCA WHITE PLAINS (see also shelter below)
69 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
No fixed hours or days. Agency provides food for the 185 women who live in its 2 buildings.
Contact Lori Stanlick, Director: 914-428-1130, Ext. 301
Anne Timmons (Ext. 303);
or Juanita Dawson-Rhodes (Ext. 313) for food donations
FAX: 428-1439

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65 Fisher Ave.
White Plains, NY 10606
3 P.M. - 5 P.M. Fourth Sat. each month
Contact: 914-761-4397 - Rev. Virginia Sanders
FAX 428-4296

188 Orawaupum St.
White Plains, NY 10606
4 P.M. - 5 P.M. First and fifth Sat. each month (Closed July and August).
Contact: 914-948-2875 - Rev. Lester Cousin

33 Church St.
White Plains, NY 10601
Mailing address:
52 N. Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Mon. - Fri.
Contact Magdalena and Anna Serrano (soup kitchen): 914-949-2874, ext. 24
Paul Anderson-Winchell (Exec.Dir.): 914-949-3098, Ext. 110
or Alice Conrad (Dir. Of Admin), Ext: 100

65 Lake St.
White Plains, NY 10604
Hours: Last Friday each month: 11:00am – 1:00pm
Contact: Bertha Session, 914-997-8421 (home)
948-6372 (church)

82 Prospect St.
White Plains, NY 10606
11:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M. on Sundays
Mail to:
226 Church St.
White Plains , NY 10603
Contact: 914-949-5577 - Art Bonagura (home, 761-4393)

177 Davis Ave.
White Plains, NY 10605
Daily delivery of meals and bags of food from St. Bernard’s Church (348 So. Lexington Ave., White Plains 10605) to people who are HIV+ or have AIDS, and their caretakers and children (Friday delivery is enough for the weekend.)
Contact: 914-682-4306 - Joan McGovern or Norma Lento
Kitchen open 2-6p.m. daily

THE SALVATION ARMY (See also pantry)
16 Sterling Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606
1:30P.M. every Sunday
Contact: 914-949-2908 – Captains Antonio
and Jennifer Rosamilia (Claire, Secretary)

130 S. Lexington Ave.
White Plains, NY 10606
4 P.M. - 5 P.M. on second Saturday each month, except June, July and August
Contact: 914-592 -6548 - Annette L. Dimmie;
(Church 914-761-3605)
(914-328-7841 - minister Nathaniel Grady's home)
Mail to:
7 Paulding St.
Apt. 1D, Elmsford, NY 10523

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123 East Post Road
White Plains, NY 10601
Residents are homeless families referred by DSS; maximum 100 families FAX: 946-3371 or 686-5113
Contact: 914-949-1000, Ext. 113 - Julie Chisolm, (Service Coordinator)
or Tanya Brown,(Admin Asst) Ext. 116

190 East Post Road
Suite 401
White Plains, N.Y.10601
Contact: 914-595-0971 - Deborah L.Perkins, LMSW. (Director, Hudson Valley Programs)
Main 914-683-1010
FAX 683-6158
Email: (Chantel Chenault)

OPEN ARMS SHELTER (run by Grace Church Community Center)
86 East Post Road
White Plains, NY 10601
38 bed shelter for men, generally referred by DSS
Contact: 914-948-5044 - Denise Maxwell (Food Coordinator);
John Rubin (Director)
FAX 948-9059

PROJECT TRUST (run by Grace Church Community Center)
52 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
Location of service: 96 E Post Road, White Plains, NY 10601
Day drop in center for homeless not in DSS Shelter system Mon-Fri 5:00am – 7:00pm
Clients referred by police department, hospital, mental health agencies and DSS, and walk-ins
Contact: 948-5044 Emilio Acosta

SAMARITAN HOUSE (Run by Grace Church Community Center)
33 Church St.
White Plains, NY 10601
Emergency domestic violence
Residential, 24 hours a day, for single women only. (Maximum 19)
Contact: 914-948-3075 Deborah Williams (Assistant Director)
914-948-9441 (shelter)
Fax: 914-922-9930
Food Donation: Jackie Jeffress

95 Church St.
Suite 200
White Plains, NY 10601
Transitional housing for disabled mentally ill, at sites all over Westchester county.
Contact: 914-428-5600, Ext. 228 (24 hours/7 days)
Mr. Ashley Brody, (Coordinator)
Or Sharon Amuroso, Ext. 219
FAX 428-3388

13 Longview Ave.
White Plains, NY 10605
Mail to:
5 Hudson St.
Yonkers, NY 10701
Men over age 18, referred by DSS or a drug treatment program (must be alcohol- and drug-free for 6 mos.).
3 permanent and 8 transitional units.
Contact: 914-965-0445 – Jessie Johnson (Director
(Shelter: 914-682-1458)

1 Westhelp Drive
White Plains, NY 10603
For homeless families or pregnant women. 108 families.
Contact: 914-683-2559":Pat Gray, Exec. Dir – Ext: 226
or Scott Giblin, Asst.Dir – Ext: 203
or Eulalee Kettle, Ext: 202

YWCA WHITE PLAINS (see also pantry)
69 N. Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
The Awakening Program for ex-offenders (women only, 12 beds)
173 Permanent units of housing for women only
Contact: 914-428-1130, Ext. 301 - Lori Stanlick, (Director)
or Ann Timmons, (Asst. Director) Ext. 303
or Juanita Dawson-Rhodes, Case Manager Ext. 313 for donations
FAX: 428-1439

Friday, December 19, 2008


Town of Greenburgh
Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board
Tuesday – December 23, 2008 – 2:00pm
(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32 and are streamed live. Work Sessions and Town Board Meetings will be aired each Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:02am and 4:45pm. Each segment will run for approximately 6 to 7 hours, depending upon the length of the two meetings.)
2:00p.m. Sidewalk Sales: (Planning & Building)

Currently, permit fees are not charged for these sale days. We believe the Town could realize significant revenue if the Town Board offers the weekend sidewalk sale days each weekend from Palm Sunday weekend through Thanksgiving weekend and applies a fee of $25 for each weekend a business participates. If a business participates in every weekend, one week at a time, the amount for the entire season will be $600. There could be an offer that if a business wants to apply for all of the weekends at the beginning of the year, the fee for that business for all of the weekends from Palm Sunday through Thanksgiving will be $500. the Building Department will monitor the businesses to ensure if they have sidewalk displays they have their permit and if not they either secure the permit or receive the violations stated in 240-7(B)(4). I see nothing in this law to prevent the Town Board from acting on this proposal. Additionally, the law sunsets each December 31 so it’s not something that can’t be adjusted if there is abuse. Given the economic times we and the businesses are in I think it’s worth experimenting with.
2:15p.m Taxi Insurance Fees – Town Attorney
3:00p.m. Parks & Rec – TDYCC Summer Camp Fees
EXPLANATION: Summer camp fees at the TDYCC and Parks Dept are different. Currently camp fees at the parks dept are significantly higher than the TDYCC. We will discuss changing the fee structure so that the fees for both camps are the same or close to the same. The town will continue our policy of offering scholarships to any camper who meets scholarship criteria and is facing financial hardships. No one will be denied camp experiences because of inability to pay.
3:30p.m. Executive Session - Legal
5:30p.m. Adjourn
The Town Board approved the WESTHAB workforce housing zone change at last nights Town Board meeting and also approved the 2009 budget.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


During the past 18 years my office has sponsored a snow angel program for Greenburgh seniors/disabled residents. Volunteers (including myself) clear snow from senior citizens/disabled residents driveways. We try to give priority attention to people who are on fixed incomes (who cannot afford to pay for the service) and people who have medical disabilities. The program provides people with accessibility. If you would like to volunteer for the program please e mail me at or call my office: 914-993-1545. It's great exercise and a rewarding experience. If you have a son or daughter who is interested in volunteering or helping out (for a fee--paid by a resident), please advise my office as well. In recent years some people have found it difficult getting people to clear the snow from their driveways/walking paths. Some residents are able to pay students who help out. But--don't know who to contact.
If you are interested in taking advantage of the program - please feel free to contact me. My home phone is 478-1219, my cell is 438-1343 and my office is 993-1545.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I plan to contact the US Postal Service and will ask them to change the address of the Greenburgh Library from Elmsford to Greenburgh. Shortly after the Greenburgh Town Board moved to the new Town Hall we contacted the Postal Service and they permitted Greenburgh Town Hall to use the address: Greenburgh, NY. Shouldn't they do the same for the library?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I spent part of this evening at our new Greenburgh library with my daughter. People seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere at the library. Should the town modify hours at the library and have Saturday evening hours instead of some morning hours? Saturday nights at the library could be very popular --especially in these difficult economic times.

Monday, December 15, 2008



I spoke with Genie Contratra, executive director of the Library, about setting up a job club at our beautiful new library. The library has a great computer room. The club could provide residents who are unemployed with an opportunity to chat with other people who are out of work. Club members and advisors could provide residents with assistance re: resume writing, contacts, etc... We hope to set up the club in January, 2009. In the meantime - I have been compiling a list of people who are looking for work. Other residents have been e mailing me info about job opportunities in their businesses. If you know of available jobs or want to be put on the list of residents who are advised of job opportunities (as I learn of them) please e mail me at



TDYCC President Obama Inauguration Event

The Theodore D. Young Community Center is hosting a special viewing of the President Obama Inauguration on January 20th, 2009. This event will be shown via satellite on a movie-size screen. All are welcomed to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

The gymnasium, the studio and the lounge of the TDYCC will be utilized for viewing. The lounge will be reserved for only seniors. Children must be accompanied by an adult for admittance to this function. Attendance will be limited to 200. A fee of $2 for pre-registration is required by January 14th.

We urge you to bring lunch and a snack as a busy day of activities is planned. Doors will open at 9AM. At 10AM we plan to hear from local politicians and our seniors, who can share memories from 40 years ago, and relate those times to today. Children may read poems or essays they have written with regards to this momentous occasion. The inauguration is scheduled for Noon. Following the ceremony, Washington, DC has scheduled a parade with commentary from select TV stations. We will close our doors at 2PM to allow for normal after-school programs.

Lunch is available with prior reservations at $5.50 for those under 60 years and $2.50 for those 60+. If interested in joining us at this event, or ordering lunch, call 989-3622 by January 14th or register at the Community Center.

We look forward to having you join us in celebration.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Week of December 14th: Miscellaneous

The purpose of this Miscellaneous topic is to discuss any town related issues you feel are important that are not addressed in other topics. Please post any issues you wish to discuss in the comments section of this post. Thanks!

(From December 28th until January 18th, I will be unavailable to create posts and make revisions to the blog, as I [Marc Herman] will be traveling in Israel. However, I have set up the blog to automatically create Miscellaneous topics for each week so that discourse may still take place on topics other than those posted by Paul. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please email me at (at) and I will attempt to resolve them as quickly as possible. Thank you for your feedback!)

-Marc Herman

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Genie Contrata, director of the Greenburgh Library, sent members of the Town Board some photos of the library--which opens to the public on Monday morning. Hope you enjoy our new library.

PS: If you are interested in learning more about room naming/library naming opportunities (for big financial donors) please advise. If you know of people who might be interested in donating to the library - we would appreciate that information.

Friday, December 12, 2008

work session agenda Tuesday

Town of Greenburgh
Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board
Tuesday – December 16, 2008 – 2:00pm
(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32 and are streamed live. Work Sessions and Town Board Meetings will be aired each Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:02am and 4:45pm. Each segment will run for approximately 6 to 7 hours, depending upon the length of the two meetings.)
2:00p.m Executive Session - Personnel
3:00p.m. I-Fund (Mike Kolesar, Al Regular, Bill Carter)
3:45p.m. Outstanding Budget Issues – Department Heads
4:45p.m. Tax Receiver
5:00p.m. Planning Commissioner
5:30p.m. Adjourn
The Board may resume the Work Session at 7:30pm
to continue discussion of the 2009 budget.

I have been reading the blog comments. Some people are so nasty. Sad--especially during this holiday season. Wouldn't it be great if people had a positive attitude on life? And-- on the town. Think positive this weekend!


THE Greenburgh Town Board will be voting on the WESTHAB zoning this Thursday at 8 PM at Town Hall. The proposal: workforce (not homeless) housing.


The Town Board will discuss final changes to the 2009 budget Tuesday and will be voting on the budget Thursday evening. The work session begins at 2 PM and will be televised live.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo released a proposal to authorize citizens to initiate petitions to consolidate/dissolve local government entities in NYS. If 10% of the people in a jurisdiction or 5,000 voters sign a petition there would be a referendum.
It is very important that the concept be expanded to county governments. Voters should have the ability to petition to elminate, consolidate, require sharing at all levels of government--including county government. This could save taxpayers significant dollars and reduce our property taxes. A new group: has been formed. Our committee is contemplating life without county government. Connecticut abolished county government in 1960. Rhode Island has no county government. And, Massachusetts authorized county governments to go out of business in the mid 1990s--and many county governments decided to dissolve.
The Attorney General's proposal is a step in the right direction --let the people initiate consolidation, dissolution of local governments.

Home > Media Center > 2008 > December 11th
State’s Patchwork Quilt of over 10,500 Governmental Entities Buries Residents with Nation’s Highest Taxes and Outdated Services
New Law Proposes to Eliminate Legal Barriers that Make it Virtually Impossible for Citizens to Reform Local Government
ALBANY, N.Y. (December 11, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo outlined today a new legal proposal to give communities across the state the power to reform local governments. As the current fiscal climate continues to financially squeeze communities and residents across the state, Cuomo’s proposal is designed to cut government waste and reduce taxes. Currently, the state is home to over 10,500 governments that saddle residents with the nation’s highest taxes and leaves the state with layers of antiquated government entities and special districts.

Cuomo today announced he will work with Gov. David Paterson, leaders of the state Legislature, government reform groups and local government leaders across New York to introduce a comprehensive legislative package to streamline the often Byzantine and cumbersome process of consolidating local governmental entities, including the myriad special districts across the state.

“Despite New Yorkers drowning for decades in some of the nation’s highest taxes, local leaders have been blocked from reforming local government in an effort to cut government waste and reduce the tax burden,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “During this economic crisis, leaders have an historic opportunity to fundamentally reform this state’s patchwork quilt of local government entities. These layers upon layers of taxing entities have a chokehold on state residents, and antiquated and arcane laws governing them perpetuate government inefficiency. Our goal is to reform those laws so communities, where appropriate, can reduce local government burden and reduce the cost of living in this great state.”

In all, there are more than 10,500 governmental entities imposing taxes and fees across New York State. This includes towns, villages, districts and special districts such as water, sewer and lighting districts.

Attorney General Cuomo’s Proposal Compared to Existing Law
Existing Law
Attorney General’s Proposal

Multitude of confusing laws scattered throughout the Town Law, Village Law, General Municipal Law, Municipal Home Rule Law and Election Law.
Single law applicable to all local government entities, which eliminates irrational inconsistencies and anachronisms in existing law

Confusing and inconsistent procedures to consolidate or dissolution, which vary depending on the type of local government entity involved
Uniform and simplified consolidation/dissolution procedures that comprehensively address transition issues.

Disempowered governing bodies are barred from initiating process with respect to certain kinds of local government entities
Empowered governing bodies can initiate consolidation/dissolution process for all local government entities.

Disempowered citizenry are barred from initiating process for certain kinds of local government entities.
Empowered citizens can initiate consolidation/dissolution process for all local government entities.

Confusing and hyper-technical process frequently leading to litigation and/or disqualification both of signatures and of whole petitions.
Simplified petition process and petition form for citizens to initiate consolidation/dissolution process

Higher and wildly different signature requirements depending on the kind of local government entity involved.
Uniform signature requirement of 10% or 5,000, whichever is less, to initiate consolidation/dissolution process.

Must own taxable real property to petition for or vote on proposed consolidation/dissolution of certain local government entities.
Abolish all land owning requirements to petition for or vote on proposed consolidation/dissolution

Counties barred from abolishing outright inefficient or moribund local government entities.
Counties empowered to transfer and abolish local government entities subject to mandatory referendum requirements.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Some bloggers have suggested on this blog that library staff will be given comp time on Sunday --when the Library Board will be holding their ribbon cutting ceremony for the new library. The ribbon cutting ceremony is being held for civic leaders and some people who were active in the library expansion efforts.
I received an e mail from Howard Jacobs indicating that no comp time or overtime will be offered to library staff on Sunday. Staff will not be in attendance and the library will not be open for library services. The new library opens on Monday.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Town of Greenburgh

Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board

Tuesday – December 9, 2008 – 2:00pm

(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32 and are streamed live. Work Sessions and Town Board Meetings will be aired each Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:02am and 4:45pm. Each segment will run for approximately 6 to 7 hours, depending upon the length of the two meetings.)

2:00p.m WestHab (definition of workforce housing)

2:30p.m. Town Attorney

2:45p.m. Storage Needs (Town Hall and Library)--possible cost savings measure - using vacant

space at municipal buildings --avoiding rent

3:00p.m. Agenda Review

3:15p.m. Budget Reviews (Mike Kolesar, Bart Talamini & Dept Heads as called)

5:00p.m. Executive Session - Legal

5:30p.m. Adjourn

We may resume the Board work session at 7:30 PM to discuss the 2009 budget.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


The new Greenburgh Public Library will open a week from Monday--December 15th. There will be activities for children and adults all week. Tours will be given to library patrons during the week. The Library Board has invited civic association leaders to a ribbon cutting ceremony a week from Sunday. The library will not be staffed that day.
We are planning an aggressive effort to raise private funds. If you would like to donate significant dollars - a room or even the entire library could be named for you or a loved one.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


During the past few months I have been e mailing Greenburgh residents who are out of work information about job openings as soon as I learn of the openings. A few people have been helped. More and more people are losing their jobs and I want to step up the effort.
We need your help identifying available jobs that Greenburgh residents (your neighbors) can apply for. Before you leave work today - please speak to your personnel officers and ask them if there are any jobs out there that need to be filled.
If you are out of work and want to be notified of openings - please e mail me at
So far - most of the jobs that I have learned about have been low level. For example, the postal service has been hiring people for temporary jobs during the holiday season. The Census Bureau is interviewing people for jobs. However - most organizations need to function with top management. In Greenburgh, the Commissioner of Public Works & Deputy Commissioner of Public Works will be leaving. The town is starting to review resumes for these two key jobs. The Greenburgh Housing Authority (which is independent of the town) still has not hired an Executive Director-- another good job. If we all work together we should be able to help neighbors who need to find work.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I am the president of the Westchester Putnam Town Supervisors Association. At our last meeting we discussed healthy eating programs. A program suggestion: We might want to (during the spring) create a community garden. The kids would grow food, cook food and learn healthy eating habits. This could also be an interesting intergenerational program. Funding could be secured via a grant.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Greenburgh's energy conservation office is sponsoring an interesting program this Thursday. Hope you can attend the meeting. Today all department heads met and discussed ways to reduce the town's energy usage by 10% in 2009.
If you would like to volunteer your time to this worthy cause-- volunteers are needed.

Going Green is Good Business

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

6:30 – 8:30pm

Greenburgh Town Hall

177 Hillside Ave, Greenburgh

"Being green", "triple bottom line", "eco-efficiency".

Come find out what this jargon means!

Learn how your organization can reduce environmental impacts, improve performance, and add value.

Deann Cartwright, Conservation Outreach Coordinator


Lea Cullen Sustainability Coordinator for Westchester Pks

*Why Green in Business Matters*

Steve Slavin Owner, Szuma Contracting Corp.

*Green Roof Project in Greenburgh*

Alicia Kelligrew Owner, Coffee Labs Roasters

*Inside & Out- Coffee Labs Green Practices*

Elyssa Rothe Coordinator, Energy Smart Communities

*Incentive Programs for Energy Efficient Changes*

Judith Martin Principal, Green Home Consulting

*Green Business Practices and Home Office*

Co-Sponsored by the

Women's Enterprise Development Center &

Town of Greenburgh's Dept of Energy Conservation.

Deann Cartwright

Conservation Outreach Coordinator

Town of Greenburgh

177 Hillside Ave

Greenburgh, NY 10607


Monday, December 01, 2008


Town of Greenburgh
Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board
Tuesday – December 2, 2008 – 2:00pm
(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32 and are streamed live. Work Sessions and Town Board Meetings will be aired each Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:02am and 4:45pm. Each segment will run for approximately 6 to 7 hours, depending upon the length of the two meetings.)

2:00p.m Library - Budget Review

3:00p.m. Personnel – Update - Applications for Comm. Public Works

3:15p.m. Department of Public Works – Al Regula

5:30p.m. Adjourn

7:30p.m. Parks and Recreation – Gerry Byrne
8:15 PM TDYCC- Bill Carter

APOLOGIES-- We try to release our work session agenda the Friday before the Tuesday work session. Because of the Thanksgiving holidays we were unable to finalize the schedule until today. Sorry!

GREENBURGH HOUSING AUTHORITY ISSUES TOWN CHECK FOR $78,000-- town to pursue additional arrears

Last week the Greenburgh Housing Authority issued the town a check for $78,000- part of the arrears owed to the town for community police at the Housing Authority. The authority has agreed to pay the town additional funds in April: the total amount that they will pay the town will then be $126,000.
The comptroller's office has advised the Town Board that the authority owes the town much more: the total is $433,385.92. The $433,385.92 includes the $78,000 that was just paid. Members of the Town Board and I believe that the town should pursue the arrears owed. Some comments on this blog have indicated (incorrectly) that we are planning to waive the arrears. We will seek reimbursement for every penny owed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


At the Town Board meeting and budget hearing on Monday evening Robert Bernstein, leader of the Edgemont Community Council, called on the Greenburgh Town Board to stop funding the SWAT team. His predecessor, Michelle McNally, wrote a letter to the editor to the Journal News earlier in the week suggesting the same thing.
Todays terrorist attacks in India highlight the importance of being prepared. The media is reporting that NYC is on the alert for a major possible terrorist attack in the NYC transit system.
Investing funds and resources on a SWAT team makes sense --in these very difficult times. Our police are highly trained and specialized. Greenburgh is better prepared than most other communities in the region to respond to terror attacks.
I am not sure if Mr. Bernstein or Ms. McNally are speaking for the ECC. I hope that they aren't. And, also hope they will reconsider their recommendations.
For more information about the SWAT team and the highly trained Greenburgh police department - please visit and log onto the police department.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I have been contacted by representatives of an assisted living facility. They are interested in purchasing the property on Knollwood Road that was going to be developed by the Greenburgh Health Center as a new health center. The health center is selling the property because construction was too expensive. An assisted living facility would require a zoning amendment. Before the applicant pursues this further they are interested in hearing from the community. Assisted living facilities generally have very little traffic.
Please e mail or with your thoughts.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week of November 23rd: Miscellaneous

The purpose of this Miscellaneous topic is to discuss any town related issues you feel are important that are not addressed in other topics. Please post any issues you wish to discuss in the comments section of this post. Thanks!

(If anybody has any suggestions for the blog, please contact me at Thanks in advance for your assistance!)

-Marc Herman


The Greenburgh Town Board will hold our second budget hearing on the 2009 budget tomorrow evening (Monday, November 24th) at 8:30 PM. Before the hearing begins the Board will honor Ardsley girl scouts who helped veterans on veterans day. We will also hear a report from the state re: status of Tappan Zee bridge. The TZ bridge construction alternatives will impact Greenburgh and our villages. This briefing is one of a number of TZ bridge briefings we have had in recent years.
Since the proposed budget was submitted the town comptroller's office has been reviewing the document -looking for technical corrections.
First, we have some "technical" corrections to headcount information - these are non controversial as they adjust the parenthetical disclosures for certain lines to conform with what is in the current budget.
Second, there are the changes resulting from the corrections to the "I" fund. Not debatable per se, must happen, although there are some tax rate implications if no other revenues are found or appropriations reduced.
Third, there is the combination of minor revenue changes (lower interest income) and some changes to heat, electric and gas and oil based upon establishing some consistency across all departments. These changes would result in a small additional increase in taxes. However, I am urging the Board to look for revenue increases or additional cuts and anticipate that we will avoid an increase in taxes over what the projected budget recommended.
The Town Board will be spending substantial time reviewing the 2009 proposed budget in December. The budget must be approved by December 20th. I anticipate that additional public hearings will be held and that some additional cuts, modifications to the proposed budget could be approved.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Dear Supervisor Feiner:

Thank you for sharing your constituent’s interest in the Citizen’s Task Force on the White-tailed Deer and Forest Regeneration.

After two years of meetings, presentations, and site visits, the task force will be formally submitting their final report to the County Executive this month. The final release of the information is at the discretion of Mr. Spano.

As you can see, we consider the population of White-Tailed Deer in Westchester County an issue of major concern and are taking a very close look at deer management methods and applications.


Linda Lovallo

Westchester County Customer Relations

Friday, November 21, 2008


The Town Board will be reviewing the proposed 2009 budget during the next few weeks---looking for additional cuts and modifications that could be made.
We encourage your attendance at the meeting. The first of our reviews will take plae on Tuesday afternoon. Feel free to watch the meeting on TV or on the internet (

Town of Greenburgh

Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board

Tuesday – November 25, 2008 – 2:00pm

(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32 and are streamed live. Work Sessions and Town Board Meetings will be aired each Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:02am and 4:45pm. Each segment will run for approximately 6 to 7 hours, depending upon the length of the two meetings.)

2:00p.m Library – Budget Review

3:00p.m. Planning Department – Budget Review/Revenue Update

3:30p.m. Building Department – Budget Review/Revenue Update

4:00p.m. Police Department – Budget Review

5:30p.m. Adjourn

Thursday, November 20, 2008


In recent weeks bloggers have requested info about town cars being taken home. In response to the inquiries I asked the commissioner to provide members of the Town Board with a list of town employees authorized to take home a town car. This is the response. The Police Chief and two of the captains are also currently authorized to take home cars.
I have again advised dept heads that they must comply with the rules and also have advised them that the town is not going to assume any liability if there is an accident involving a town vehicles unless the driver (during non working hours) has written permission to use town cars.

The cars authorized for take home use are as follows;

Car 10 – Commissioner of Public Works

Car 11 – Deputy Commissioner of Public Works

Car 30 – Ass’t Sup’t of Water and Sewer

Car 97 – Park Superintendent

This list does not include any Police vehicles.

You do not mention whether the vehicles that have been observed are vehicles with Town Seals on the doors or not. From my understanding the Code Enforcement Officer in the Building Dept is out on the streets during off hrs. at least two nights a week and an occasional Weekend day. In addition, the pump station operator from the water shop is out often at unusual times checking reports of water leaks and other emergencies. Is it possible that the vehicles being observed are unmarked Police cars? If you get any additional details such as vehicle numbers or license plate numbers please advise. Thanks

Albert S. Regula

Commissioner of Public Works

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


A new website: has been launched. The goal: to consider life without county government. When I was a County Legislator in 1990 I wrote an op-ed for the Westchester section of the NY Times suggesting that the county government be eliminated. Connecticut has no county government. There property taxes are less than hours. Massachusetts authorized the elimination of county government in the mid 1990s and there taxes are lower than ours. And, Rhode Island has no county government. There taxes are also lower.
We had a meeting tonight at the White Plains Women's Club to launch the new website. The turnout was excellent--I estimate that close to (or about) 200 people attended the meeting. Among attendees (listeners) was the Deputy County Executive Larry Schwartz!
We highlighted the successful Massachusetts & Connecticut models and heard from a variety of speakers.
Please visit the website. We will be setting up a county blog on the web site within the next month or so-- so bloggers will have an additional site to express yourselves on.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The Greenburgh Town Board decided today to advertise for a new Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner of Public Works. We will reach out to other municipal officials and public works trade organizations --in addition to other outreach efforts. Commissioner Al Regula and Deputy Commissioner Butch Nanna will be retiring in mid December.

Bill Carter, our new Commissioner at the TDYCC, started his new job yesterday. WELCOME! We wish you the best of luck in your new job.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Greenburgh's cybermobile (library on wheels with internet access) has not been in service for months. The cybermobile is parked outside Greenburgh Town Hall. No books, no gas, no driver, no librarian.
After the library at Town Hall closed down today (because they are moving to the new expanded library in mid December) a suggestion was made by Hal Samis in one of the blog posts to reactivate the cybermobile. Librarians who are on staff could be assigned to the cybermobile. A schedule could be announced and the cybermobile could continue offering Greenburgh residents library services until the new library opens up. Perhaps, the cybermobile could continue providing services to residents even after the new library opens up. Some people might even want to rent the cybermobile for parties and events. Advertising could help pay for the mobile library too.
In your opinion, should the cybermobile be reactivated? Or--should the cybermobile be sold? What do you think?
E mail We will share your thoughts with the Library Board which is the decision maker re: future of the cybermobile


The Greenburgh Library is in the process of moving. As a result there will be some inconvenience to library patrons. The adult library at Town Hall closed today and the children's library will close tomorrow AM. Books are being moved from the Greenburgh Town Hall to the new library. We anticipate that the new library will open in mid December

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Week of November 16th: Miscellaneous

The purpose of this Miscellaneous topic is to discuss any town related issues you feel are important that are not addressed in other topics. Please post any issues you wish to discuss in the comments section of this post. Thanks!

(If anybody has any suggestions for the blog, please contact me at Thanks in advance for your assistance!)

-Marc Herman

WEDNESDAY MEETING: 7:30 pm White Plains Women's Club, 305 Ridgeway, White Plains RETHINKING WESTCHESTER GOV

Westchester county residents pay the highest taxes in the country and as the economy slips further into recession they will be asked to pay even more.

* Yonkers residents county tax increased by 24% along with a 71/2% local real estate tax increase in 2008.

* Yonkers announce a 200/300 city employee reduction starting in December 2008.

* New Rochelle announces a 8% tax rise

* Harrison announces a 13% tax rise

* Peekskill announces a 11% tax rise

* Ossining is fighting an 18% tax hike

* Greenburgh's tax hike for 2009 is 7.7%

The state will be cutting the school funding for towns/cities which will put further pressure on them to increase local taxes and or dramatically reduce services.

It is time that we rethink our local, county and state governments structure and spending. Such things as sharing local services and even eliminating or dramatically reducing county government.

On Wednesday evening at 7:30 in the White Plains women's club at 305 Ridgeway Avenue, there will be a presentation by a group of Westchester county residents on how successful our two neighboring states Massachusetts and Connecticut were in eliminating county government. We can apply this successful transition to reducing or eliminating Westchester county government. There will be a recommendation which will involve our state legislative delegation.

In addition to the presentations we will be announcing a new web site that will be devoted to keeping Westchester county residents and their political leader informed on matters relating to county government.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The Greenburgh Neighborhood Health Center worked long and hard to obtain permission to build a new and larger Neighborhood Health Center on Knollwood Road. Although they received final approval to build, the long approval delays, escalating construction costs and horrible economy took a toll. The Health Center does not have the funds they need to build their new building. As a result, the Health Center has put up the Knollwood property for sale. They will stay at 330 Tarrytown Road for the time being. The Health Center provides a wonderful service to the community.

The Town Board unanimously approved a new Zoning Code amendment last night expanding affordable housing. Any new residential development in three zones (PUD, Central Ave & Urban Renewal Zone) must have 10% affordability. In the past the requirement was only in multifamily zones. There is a lack of affordable housing for seniors, young families who are starting their careers. This new law was proposed by members of the PLanning Board who have been working on this initiative for at least four years. The current law has resulted in two affordable housing units being built on Knollwood Road. 44 units will be built when Avalon is complete. The new zoning change will probably result in additional affordable housing opportunities in the years to come. Affordable housing is not low income. Families eligible to purchase homes will have pretty good incomes but won't be making enough money to buy market rate housing (80% AMI).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Good luck Al Regula, Commissioner of Public Works and Butch Nanna, Deputy Commissioner of Public Works. Both town officials have advised the Town Board that they will step down from their positions in mid December. We anticipate a smooth transition and have started the search for permanent replacements.
Al Regula, Commissioner of Public Works has worked for the town since 1974 -- for 34 years. He has been Commissioner of Public Works since 1992. Butch Nanna has worked for the town for 33 years - since 1975. He has been Deputy Commissioner since 2000. NYS pension provisions discourage many long serving employees from continuing their employment --they actually are working for next to nothing if they continue their employment with the town.
Both officials deserve our thanks for the excellent services offered. They were responsible for overseeing roads, sanitation, snow removal, water, engineering, construction projections, road repairs and drainage issues. Some major capital projects were completed on their watch: a new Town Hall, an expanded and new library (to be open in mid December, 2008), two major police headquarter renovations, a new garage for our fleet, a second floor at the Theodore Young Community Center, Irvington-Greenburgh RUmbrook joint venture pump station, a new multipurpose center at AF Veteran Town Park, renovations at the water shop and much more. The town's recycling program also expanded during their tenure in office.
We will be conducting a search for replacements. E mail:
In the coming months the town will review current operations and continue to look for new approaches to manage the town in the most efficient manner possible.


The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) can help seniors on fixed incomes or low income residents pay for electricity, oil, gas, wood, kerosene, propane or coal heating.

The federally funded HEAP program, administered by the county Department of Social Services, assists eligible low-income, elderly and disabled persons with their home-heating costs. The amount of payments will vary depending upon what type of fuel is used and on whether heat is included in rent payments. Generally, those who qualify can get up to $800 off their oil bills or $585 for other fuels such as natural gas.

The state, which funnels the federal funds to Westchester, announced that because there is more funding for the program this year people with higher incomes who previously would not have qualified for assistance, may be eligible for emergency assistance through HEAP starting Jan. 1.

Changes to the 2008-09 HEAP program also include:

· Increasing benefits to $800 for eligible households heating with oil, propane or kerosene,

· Raising the maximum regular benefit to $585 for all other eligible households that incur a heating expense

Temporary Assistance as well as Food Stamp customers can apply for HEAP by contacting their case managers. In addition, the elderly, disabled and SSI recipients not receiving Temporary Assistance and Food Stamps may receive assistance in applying for HEAP by calling (914) 995-5619.

All others should call 211 to find out if you meet income guidelines, or to get more information about HEAP. Applications can be downloaded from the county’s website at

Consult the table below to see if you meet current income guidelines.

Gross Monthly Income











Monday, November 10, 2008


The first of the 2009 budget hearings will be held Wednesday night at 8:30 PM at Greenburgh Town Hall. Hope to see you at the hearing.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Klaff’s expands to Scarsdale
BY JOHN GOLDEN Westchester Business Journal
After 87 years in Connecticut, a family owned, upscale home-design company will open its first retail store in New York next spring on Central Park Avenue in Scarsdale.
Klaff’s Inc., with headquarters and a flagship store in South Norwalk, Conn., is completing a $4 million gut renovation of an approximately 79,000-square-foot space at 331 Central Park Ave., Joe K. Passero, Klaff’s chairman and chief operating officer, said last week. The company expects to open by the second quarter of 2009 and hire 30 to 40 employees, he said.
The two-story retail location has been vacant since Treasure Island Inc., an outdoor and home furnishings store, closed when its New Jersey-based parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2005. Passero said Klaff’s has signed a 15-year lease with landlord Seville Management. Other building tenants are Charles Schwab financial consultants, with about 26,000 square feet, and a recently opened 1,200-square-foot Natural Selection Furniture store.
Passero said the Scarsdale store will be similar to Klaff’s flagship store and its expanded Danbury store with a complete high-end design line of lighting, kitchen, bath, decorative hardware, tile and stone products. The Klaff family also operates a specialty lighting showroom in Westport, Conn., and a wholesale plumbing and electrical supplies business in South Norwalk. “We’re retailing to the trade,” Passero said “We also have a very large business with builders, designers, architects.”

Week of November 9th: Miscellaneous

The purpose of this Miscellaneous topic is to discuss any town related issues you feel are important that are not addressed in other topics. Please post any issues you wish to discuss in the comments section of this post. Thanks!

(If anybody has any suggestions for the blog, please contact me at Thanks in advance for your assistance!)

-Marc Herman

Thursday, November 06, 2008


During the past few days I have been meeting and speaking with some residents about new revenue generating ideas. Here are some of the suggestions made so far....

1) RENT OUT THE INDOOR POOL TO A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION FOR SUNDAY USE ONLY-- The pool at the TDYCC is closed on Sunday. The town could generate some revenue if we rented out the pool on Sundays---and swimmers could benefit by getting access to the pool another day of the week.

2) RESTAURANT AT HARTS BROOK NATURE PRESERVE-- The Rockefeller's rented out space at their Pocantico park to a top notch restaurant. Should we rent out the old barn at Hartsbrook to a restaurant---require the restaurant developer to fix up the barn (which needs work)? The police chief indicated that the restaurant could be required to hire police to direct traffic from Ridge Road to the park.

3) PUSH HARD FOR THE INDOOR TENNIS BUBBLE---WE should push hard for state legislation that will make it easier to rent the tennis courts at AF Veteran Park to a private company so they can place a bubble on top of the courts---renovate existing tennis courts (at their expense) and build (at their expense) a club house.

4)LIBRARY SHOULD RENT SPACE AT NEW LIBRARY--town should consider placing parking meter stations at the library so that non residents of the town can help us with library expenses.

What do you think about these suggestions?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


The election of President-elect Obama is exciting and very historic. Our children should be inspired by the life of our next President. I was speaking to Commissioner-designee Bill Carter of the Theodore Young Community Center today about the inauguration. It would be nice if the town could organize a bus trip for students who live in different sections of the town so they can watch the inauguration in Washington DC. The big date: January 20th. A bus trip will cost some money. We’re looking for donors who can underwrite the costs of the trip.
We are also going to invite adults to join us on our trip to DC (they will be asked to pay for the costs associated with renting the bus). If you are interested in attending the historic inauguration please advise. If you have the time and want to be part of the committee that will be planning the event, please contact me at


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Week of November 2nd: Miscellaneous

The purpose of this Miscellaneous topic is to discuss any town related issues you feel are important that are not addressed in other topics. Please post any issues you wish to discuss in the comments section of this post. Thanks!

(I hope everyone voted and had a great Election Day!)

-Marc Herman

Monday, November 03, 2008



Stamford may dim half the lights on streets
By Martin B. Cassidy Staff Writer 11/03/2008 02:55:45 AM EST STAMFORD -
To combat rising energy costs, city engineers are considering shutting down
about half the street lights between midnight and dawn starting next year.
Engineers requested $300,000 for the project in the 2009-10 capital budget,
but the initiative cannot move forward until Connecticut Light & Power
establishes reduced rates, which state energy regulators must approve, City
Engineer Louis Casolo said. It's unlikely the change would be considered for
downtown streets that are busy at night, Casolo said. "This is a concept
idea with a lot of merit, especially today, when everyone is looking at
other ways to conserve power and fuel," Casolo said. "It is definitely a
smart thing to consider in the right locations." Under the proposal, about
half the city's 9,600 street lamps could be outfitted with one of two
systems, Casolo said. One system would place timers on street lamps that
switch them off at 2 or 3 a.m. The second system uses wireless technology to
shut off the lights from a central site, Casolo said. The city now pays
CL&P a flat nightly rate per street light, whether the light is on or off,
Casolo said. The proposal could save the city $250,000 a year or more, said
Benjamin Barnes, director of the Office of Operations. "Certain lights
would shut down at an earlier time," Barnes said. "We could save a
considerable amount of money by having some of our lights having reduced
hours of operations. Of course, there are other reasons not to do
Advertisement it that have to be considered." Residents said the
reasons include the potential for increased accidents and criminal activity.
Peter Passaro, 38, who lives in Springdale, said he would be concerned about
darkening the streets. "Anywhere they did it would have to be on a trial
basis and should depend on how the people in that area feel about it,"
Passaro said. Jewel Evans of Sundance Road said residents will be concerned
about safety. "I think it would have to be looked at pretty hard," Evans
said. The project would have to be approved by the Planning Board, Chairman
Duane Hill said, before being sent to the mayor as part of the proposed
capital budget. "Our consideration of this is in the preliminary stages,"
Hill said. The state Department of Public Utility Control ordered CL&P to
file a proposal to establish rates for "half night" street lighting for
cities the next time it seeks a rate hike, DPUC spokeswoman Beryl Lyons
said. CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross said the company has not set a date for
filing a proposal or seeking a rate change. "We're still working out
details as to that proposed rate," Gross said. "We cannot introduce it until
we file a rate case, and have no plans to file a rate case for the
foreseeable future." - Staff Writer Martin B. Cassidy can be reached at or 964-2264.

UPDATE: budget cut--garbage pickup to be curbside

Next year the town will require garbage pickup to be curbside. The estimated savings: between $300,000 to $400,000 (when you factor in benefits). The elimination of this service enables the town to eliminate 5 sanitation employees (via attrition). At the present time we anticipate the need to provide an elvated level of sanitation servcies to residents who are unable to bring their garbage to the curb for collection.
Exactly how this service will be provided and on what frequency (could be once a week) and at what cost) needs to be resolved. Given the fact that there will be a labor cost, as well as fuel utilized --we anticipate that the price for this service will be approximately $300- a year per home.

What is going to happen to the small expeditor trucks that the town currently has?
The small ‘expeditor” trucks will continue to have an application in our operation. Even though they will not be driving up driveways they will still be used to expedite the work of the larger trucks as they move through their routes. The small vehicles will also be used for the collection of homes that opt for the elevated level of service for which we will most likely impose a special charge. The small trucks are also used extensively in the collection of yardwaste as well as pick-ups missed by the larger trucks. The fact that their use may be somewhat reduced will only tend to extend their useful life in the fleet and the replacement of older units will become much less frequent.

If the town does not make any cuts in services-- the tax increase will not be as low as we anticipate (currently 7.7%). The tax hike would exceed double digits without cuts in services---which is unacceptable. I have indicated that I will NOT support a double digit tax hike this year, next year or in the forseeable future. Residents cannot afford double digit increases.

The service we currently offer (non curbside pickup) is only taken advantage of by some residents. The town can't offer the service to some, but not all. If everyone in the town takes advantage of the non curb pickup --it will cost the town millions of extra dollars.


Governor Paterson’s office contacted me. The Governor will be in area on Wednesday at 3:30 PM and asked me to provide their office with a list of 10-12 residents who reside in Greenburgh who are concerned about budget issues. If you are available to meet with the Governor in a Town Hall setting on Wednesday between 3:30 and 5, please advise by emailing me at I need your name and e mail and phone.


Friday, October 31, 2008


Every halloween, since I have been Town Supervisor, the Police Chief and I drive around the town - monitoring conditions. The town asks many police officers to work Halloween night- - trying to make sure that you and your property are safe.
Tonight the chief and I knocked on doors of residents who have had complaints in the past. We also drove around different sections of the town. I am very pleased to report that this was the most quiet Halloween night in memory. The police radio was, for the most part, quiet. We did not see lots of kids walking the streets and did not observe any mischief. During the time I was in the police car - there were no reports of any defacing of property. I was pleasantly surprised -- I had thought a warm Friday night (no school tomorrow) would have encouraged more kids to walk the streets.
I would like to thank Chief John Kapica and the entire police department for a job well done. The police presence on Halloween is making a difference.


LEAF ANGELS WANTED I just received a call from an 89 year old woman who was advised by a police officer that she will be fined if the leaves in front of her house are not removed. She does not have the physical ability to rake the leaves that are on the road and comply with the law. Her gardener comes once a week—cleaning up the leaves from her home. But, some leaves somehow land in front of her house after the gardener leaves.

A number of years ago the town started a program: SNOW ANGELS. We help senior citizens shovel their driveways. I’d like to extend the program and have leaf angels. Leaf angels will help seniors and disabled residents comply with the law –so they can avoid the fine. If you are interested in volunteering – please e mail me at or call me on my cell: 438-1343.



Last year the Town of Greenburgh adopted changes to its Sanitation Code that prohibits the piling of leaves on any public street or pedestrian walkway. While it had always been illegal in Greenburgh to pile leaves in the roadway, enforcement was not possible unless a police officer or Sanitation worker actually observed the leaves being piled in this manner. This change in law creates a presumption that the resident or landowner, whose property most closely abuts the leaf pile or leaf bags, actually "directed, suffered or permitted the leaf pile to be placed in this location". This subjects the resident or landowner to a fine of no less than

Leaves may continue to be piled on the public right-of-way or on the resident’s property closest to the road for Town collection provided this does not obstruct a pedestrian walkway. Residents whose property contains a wall, shrubs or other obstruction that prevents the piling of leaves on the right-of-way or on that portion of their property closest to the road, must bag their leaves for collection and place the leaf bags as close to the roadway as possible. Under no circumstances shall leaf piles or leaf bags be allowed on any public street or pedestrian walkway.

These changes were adopted to address the public safety issues created by leaves being piled on public roads. Although we are in the process of notifying residents and landscapers about the new law through the use of various types of media, you can assist us by advising your gardener, landscaper or neighbor of this change. Thank you for your assistance in this matter and for your cooperation in helping to keep Greenburgh safe

$150 or more than $500 per offense and under the law each day the violation continues constitutes a separate offense.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


October 30, 2008
TAX HIKE IN “B” BUDGET WILL BE 7.7% Total appropriations: $61,767,273
TAX HIKE IN “A” BUDGET 9.6% Total appropriations: $14,791, 264

Dear Citizens of Greenburgh:
Earlier this year the Town’s bond rating was increased by Standard & Poors to AAA, the highest possible bond rating a municipality can receive. Few municipalities have this top bond rating. We also were recognized by Money Magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the America” – one of only four municipalities in New York State to earn this prestigious distinction in 2008.
During the good economic times your Greenburgh government responded to your demands for many outstanding, high quality services. Greenburgh residents have enjoyed superior programs, incredible services and responsive employees who work hard to make you happy.
The world, nation, state, county, private sectors and local governments are now all experiencing hard economic times. In response, we have to make financially responsible adjustments to the Town’s budget. The Greenburgh Town Board has been unified in working to address expected shortfalls in revenue, offset inflation and minimize the impact of the world-wide economic crisis. Together we have identified effective ways to cut expenditures and increase revenues while minimizing the impact on Greenburgh residents. This has been all the more difficult because we have little or no control over many revenue and expense items. Our health insurance costs will increase by an estimated $1 million in 2009 over 2008. We expect to ask all employees to contribute to health costs when we renegotiate our labor contracts. In addition, the New York Power Authority has advised us that utility costs will increase by over 34%. Revenue drops include a decrease in New York State financial assistance. Interest income has also fallen as rates have dropped to about 2%, down from 5%. Compounding this, our mortgage tax revenue has dropped approximately $600,000 to $700,000. Unfortunately, the list is very long.
Nine months ago I recruited a diverse and talented committee of Town residents to help address the 2009 budget. This Citizens Management and Budget Review Committee was created for the purpose of examining ways and making recommendations on how to hold any increase in the Town’s real estate tax to single digits for fiscal 2009. The Committee has been meeting regularly since February, 2008 and submitted a 2009 proposed budget report to the Town Board on April 28, 2008 – projecting a 2009 tax hike of at least 17%, while the Town Comptroller predicted a tax hike in 2009 of over 20%. The Committee insisted that we make deep cuts to address this unacceptable tax increase.
The proposed budget that I am submitting achieves the goal we announced last year to hold 2009 tax increases in unincorporated Greenburgh to under 10%. We have succeeded. The unincorporated tax increase is 7.7%. The villages will also be kept under 10% with an increase of 9.6%.
The Town provides many services to unincorporated Greenburgh. We do not have a large “A” budget (serving unincorporated Greenburgh and the villages) so the dollar amount is very small. To keep the tax hike in the A budget under 10%, I will be asking the Town Board to un-designate some funds that had been allocated to future court house expansion. Because of the economic conditions, I believe it is unwise for the Town to undertake a major courthouse expansion at this time. Delaying this capital expenditure is important in this time of belt tightening for all. We have turned the 2009 budget challenge into an opportunity to remake the way the Town does business. The new proposed budget reduces the size of government.
The Town has to live within its means and that of our taxpayers. I recognize that many people will be unhappy with some of the service cuts. These are hard choices. However, we must be responsible and prepared for what many believe will be a deep and prolonged recession. The 2009 budget significantly reduces spending without cutting the heart out of Greenburgh services.
RESTRUCTURING GOVERNMENT - COMBINING MAINTENANCE STAFF, ELIMINATING NEED FOR NEW LIBRARY MAINTENANCE HIRES - The proposed budget restructures the way the Town is operating. In the past the Theodore D. Young Community Center (TDYCC) and Town have had separate maintenance departments. In the 2009 budget all maintenance will be under one department, Public Works. This restructuring will eliminate the need to hire new maintenance staff for the Library (which had been requested). We will now be able to secure more productivity from the existing workforce. Another area for consolidation that will be pursued in 2009 is merging the transportation departments of the TDYCC and Parks Department. We are also reviewing the possibility of privatizing part of our payroll operation – replacing a payroll position with a private payroll company. The Town Board will be meeting to evaluate such companies at the end of November.
CONFERENCE EXPENSES - I have directed the Purchasing Department not to process any requests for transportation, meals or hotel reimbursement for any conferences in 2009 other than contractual travel requirements (for example, police officer training).
PART-TIME - The Town has a number of part-time employees working at the Parks Department and TDYCC. Some are receiving high hourly wages. I believe that we could reduce some of the part-time costs by soliciting bids from contractors to provide specific programs and services. We want to make sure that the hourly fees we pay are in line with what other municipalities, community centers and YM/YWCAs, pay for their programs. We will give this serious attention in 2009.
ENERGY COSTS - Our energy conservation coordinator will be devoting significant time and effort to help the Town develop a plan of action to reduce our internal energy usage and the prices we pay. Last year the Town Board hired a firm to complete a comprehensive plan, which calls for an evaluation of Town operational facilities. The consulting team chosen will visit and provide a preliminary overall condition assessment of the Town facilities, as well as the police station and the fire stations, judging each building’s general condition using a standard ratings system. Necessary improvements will be ranked according to their urgency (immediate, 2 years, 5 years, etc.).
In particular, the Consultant team will identify improvements that could reduce each building’s energy consumption and overall environmental “footprint”. The primary focus will be on reducing electrical and fossil fuel consumption and increasing comfort and indoor air quality through air sealing, insulation, window and door glass, mechanical equipment (HVAC, plumbing and electrical) and lighting fixtures.
The consulting team will also suggest “green” retrofit strategies that would be appropriate for those buildings, such as “green” roofs, geothermal heating and cooling, solar water heating, photovoltaic electrical generation, porous paving, site storm water management, etc. Consideration will also be given to recommending green building guidelines for incorporation into relevant Town codes and ordinances.
OUR GOAL: a 10% reduction in Town utility consumption in 2009 in municipal properties and facilities.
SANITATION - We will be eliminating non curb-side pickup of garbage, saving the taxpayers approximately $300,000 and $400,000 in salaries and benefits per year with the elimination of five positions.
PARKS and RECREATION - This department will reduce expenditures by approximately 7% or more in the B fund, totaling approximately $300,000 or more (not including benefits savings). To achieve this reduction, the department is eliminating three full-time positions, cutting back on part-time/seasonal personnel, curtailing pool and tennis hours and reducing or eliminating some special events and programs. Co-sponsored programs for summer youth baseball and softball will continue, but will no longer receive Town funding support.
In 2009 the summer outdoor swim season at Anthony F. Veteran Park will be reduced by three days (Sunday May 24th (Memorial Day Opening Weekend), and the last weekend of the season after Labor Day – September 12th and 13th) to a total of 87 days. Hours of operation at AFV Park will be reduced in June and late August during weekdays only. Massaro Park will be reduced by six days to a 77 day season. The swim season at Massaro Park will be from June 14th – Sept 7th with reduced hours.
The following activities/events will be cancelled: Massaro Park Adult Summer Basketball League, Movie in the Parks, the Celebrate Greenburgh drive-in movie, Breakfast With Santa and the Adult Open Gym program (the program will now charge a fee). In addition, special events hosted or sponsored by the department will be scaled back.
TOWN ATTORNEY - The Town Attorney's Office proposed 2009 budget is approximately $1 million. This reflects a spending reduction of approximately $200,000, a 14%-15% decrease from 2008. The Town Attorney’s Office will accomplish this spending decrease by eliminating a Deputy Town Attorney position, reducing Litigation Disbursement expenses, and by eliminating the $65,553 Town Attorney’s Confidential Secretary position, instead allocating roughly half that amount for part-time general secretarial services. Significantly, the 2009 proposed personnel salaries reflect no increases over 2008. Note also that Litigation Disbursement expenses are generally incurred when the Town is a plaintiff in litigation or when the Town is a defendant and there is no insurance coverage.
TOWN ASSESSOR - The Assessor’s proposed 2009 budget represents an approximate 7% decrease from the previous year.
POLICE DEPARTMENT – The 2009 proposed budget reduces the number of police officer positions by approximately six. Overtime will be reduced as well.
DATA PROCESSING - For 2009, the Data Processing Department’s proposed budget has been decreased by approximately $20,000, or 4%-5% from 2008. The Data Processing Department will accomplish this decrease by reducing the use of consultants and decreasing hardware purchases.
PLANNING DEPT - The 2009 proposed Planning Department budget eliminates the Deputy Commissioner position and cuts overall expenses by approximately 13%. The department is planning to institute new fees and cost recovery measures on applications to help generate additional revenues.
TAX OFFICE - The proposed 2009 Tax Office budget eliminates conference and seminar expenses and reduces part-time hours during non-collection months. The overall budget has been reduced by about 3%.
THEODORE D. YOUNG COMMUNITY CENTER - The proposed 2009 Theodore D. Young Community Center budget, like the Parks Department, reflects reductions of approximately 7% or more compared to 2008. Under new management, a total departmental review of all components of the operation is already in progress. The Center will increase fees and secure program and activity sponsors to defray costs such as summer camp trips. The Center will also pursue creating entrepreneurial initiatives that will provide monetary benefits to the Town.
5% REDUCTION IN TOWN FUNDING FOR LIBRARY - The new Library will receive a 5% funding cut. I do not anticipate major cuts in services to the library.
I believe that in 2009 the Library must use all means necessary to raise private dollars so they can maintain services to the town. For example, we should be allowed to name Library rooms for generous benefactors. We should also consider renting space at the Library to offset increased costs. We should even accept dignified advertising. I pledge to work hard with the Library Board and Library Foundation on library grant outreach efforts.
BUILDING DEPARTMENT - In 2009, the Building Department’s proposed budget contains little to no increase in spending.
GREENBURGH NATURE CENTER - In 2008, the Greenburgh Nature Center (GNC) received 32% of its operating budget from the Town. To compensate for a proposed budget cut from the Town and additional expected cuts in state funding, the GNC will reduce cleaning services from an outside contractor, reduce expenditures to operate its gift shop, reduce animal collection costs, increase the number of staff members writing foundation grants and further increase organizational emphasis on developing financial support from the private sector.
I am very pleased that the anticipated double digit tax hikes will be avoided next year. I also believe that the Town should look at these cuts and reorganization as just the beginning. We have to reinvent the way government is run. Residents of Westchester pay the highest taxes in the nation. We must end that distinction. In the coming year I will work aggressively with members of the Town Board to find additional ways to cut spending and to manage the Town in the most efficient manner possible.
This year the entire Town Board worked with me in helping to prepare the 2009 proposed budget. As I did, they insisted on getting tax increases below 10%. Members of the Board met with department heads on a weekly basis, going over the budget line by line. The entire Board, Sonja Brown, Diana Juettner, Francis Sheehan and Kevin Morgan, also made house calls with me during the summer months – asking residents for their input on spending, taxes, services, etc. I am very grateful to them all for their hard work and dedication. They have spent many weekend and weeknight hours on Town business, which is way beyond the call of duty.
This proposed budget should be considered a work in progress. The Town Board will start reviewing this proposed budget immediately. We will continue to call in department heads and look for ways to make the budget better. The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed budget. Modifications may be made until the middle of December.
We look forward to your input and advice.

Paul Feiner
Town of Greenburgh Supervisor

Note: Last minute changes were made in this year’s budget to make the tax increase as low as possible. The approximations used in this budget message will be updated by the Comptroller.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Greenburgh continues to be a desirable place for businesses. In the coming months I will highlight new businesses that are opening up in town. Please thank them for doing business here in Greenburgh. In these difficult economic times we need to support the businesses. In addition to the businesses that have received temporary or permanent c/o’s in the past month – STARBUCKS is building a new store on Central Ave. Fuji Mountain Restaurant is in the process of demolishing the old Carvel site on Central Ave and will build a new restaurant. Global Gatherings is being replaced by the New Jade Palace on Central Ave. And, Trustco will replace the abandoned bank on E Hartsdale Ave.
Paul Feiner

Renue Day Spa – 100 North Central Avenue, Hartsdale

Cerullo – 570 Taxter Road – 3rd Floor

Community Mutual Bank – Crossroads Shopping Center, Tarrytown Road,

ABCO Refrigeration – 155 Fulton Street, White Plains

Equisearch – 555 Taxter Road

Kinetics – 555 Taxter Road – 1st Floor

Natural Selection Furniture – 331 Central Avenue, Scarsdale

Dream Dinners – 640 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale

Bushido Karate – White Plains Shopping Center - 53 Tarrytown Road, White Plains, NY

Personal Care Dental – 455 Central Avenue, Scarsdale

HomeGoods – Crossroads Shopping Center – 449 Tarrytown Road, White Plains (Scheduled opening in early-mid November)

Bob’s Dry Cleaning – White Plains Shopping Center – 53 Tarrytown Road, White Plains

Royal Beauty – White Plains Shopping Center – 51 Tarrytown Road, White Plains

SpookyTown – 111 S Central Avenue. Hartsdale, NY (temporary for halloween)

Monday, October 27, 2008


The proposed 2009 budget for the town will be released this Thursday afternoon. If you would like to meet with the Town Board to discuss the budget options --members of the Board will be pleased to meet with you anytime between now and mid December (when the budget must be approved).
E mail if you'd like to meet to discuss the budget options.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


County Lines | Greenburgh
A Lesson in Finance Also Learned at Home
Susan Farley for The New York Times

Published: October 23, 2008

FOR the most part, they are shielded, their parents seldom letting on what is really going on. But trouble has an insidious way of making itself known, and 11- and 12-year-olds in the Town of Greenburgh seem to have slowly come to realize that the American economy is dreadfully sick.

Jasmine Bradwell, 11, whose exuberance is crowned by a ready laugh, knew something was wrong when she visited Costco two weeks before Halloween. “They had plenty of candy,” she said. “Last year they were out.”

Her assessment that people are not buying as much candy may be less than authoritative because she was in Costco before the season’s peak, but Jasmine has also seen how many stores are seductively trumpeting sales and she worries that people have become gun-shy about shopping. Christmas and her birthday are coming up, and perhaps she won’t get as generous presents as in the past.

Lordess Turner, 11, was recently selling chocolates to raise money for her school and, she recalled, “People said they couldn’t pay for it.”

“The stock market is going down, and they don’t get as much pay as they used to,” she said.

Jasmine and Lordess were among a dozen children, most of them sixth and seventh graders in Greenburgh’s schools, who sat around a table at the Theodore D. Young Community Center chatting about the economy. They are part of an after-school practical-business program that Greenburgh is running under a $335,000 contract with a nonprofit firm, the Xposure Foundation.

The students will learn the mechanics of applying for jobs and good etiquette and habits at work. They will also receive $12 a week to save or invest as they see fit. Some money may wind up in partial shares in the stock market, so the students could soon learn about the maddening capriciousness of that beast.

The students, for the most part, don’t watch news programs or read The Wall Street Journal regularly, but the bad news is out there in the ether — in remarks dropped at the dinner table, in stray comments from relatives, in sudden moves friends make because a house has been foreclosed on. Some end up worrying and wondering, even if their parents try to cheer them up.

Giovanni Sanchez, 12, learned that an uncle had been fired. Keyonah Bratton, 11, learned the same about a cousin of hers. Awa Nyambi, 11, a slight, bright-eyed young man, has a mother who works at a hard-hit travel company in White Plains. “Mom was talking about the stock dropping and how they may have to let go of some people, people who work on her team,” he said. “They don’t have all the money to afford to keep them on the team.”

Adriana Bailey’s father works for the New York Stock Exchange, though, like many other 12-year-olds, she doesn’t know precisely what her father does.

“Lots of people at his job are getting fired, and he’s afraid he’ll be in the next round,” she said.

Her eyes glimmered, and she looked palpably upset and a little confused. “He used to buy a lot of stuff, jewelry and laptops,” she said. “He has to stop buying it.”

For one thing, these children are clearly sensing the desperate maneuvers of high finance and the United States Treasury.

“Popular banks like Chase are taking over little banks,” Jasmine said. “People are losing their bank accounts. My mom changed to Chase. Before she had her money in HSBC.”

In many ways, they know their parents’ days of wine and roses are over — at least for a while.

Ciarra Williams, 12, has a friend who had to move back with her father after her mother lost her home.

“A lot of people are losing their houses because of the high mortgage, and it’s causing poverty,” she said.

“My mom’s friend, their house is about to go into foreclosure because she couldn’t pay,” Jasmine chimed in. “It was a nice house too.”

Teara Williams, 12, Ciarra’s twin sister, noticed how her school was trying fund-raising gimmicks like talent shows so it could afford to maintain the school and buy supplies.

And the students are mad at the way grown-ups have frittered away money, even as our new Gilded Age has been turning to dross. Jasmine wondered what was the need of a new Yankee Stadium when the old one did the job perfectly well.

“I could see if something was wrong with the building, but who needs a new stadium?” she said.

That sparked an echo of outrage from Ciarra. “They’re going through a depression and they think about a stadium?” she asked. “It makes no difference whether it’s old or new.”

Their sense of the nation’s financial meltdown is already influencing their plans for what they will do with the money they earn. They’re thinking of investing in stocks that rely on what people always do, good times and bad. People have to eat even if a depression hits. So McDonald’s was a stock the students touted.

“I’m going to invest in Apple,” Jasmine said. “They make a lot of money — iPods, iPhones, computers. People like that stuff.”

That brought a chuckle from Raymond L. Thomas Jr., Xposure’s executive director.

“It’s always the kids who know when the next big thing is,” he said.

But Jasmine quickly confessed to some second thoughts about her money.

“I’ll put it in savings,” she decided. “Because the way the stocks are going. I’m going to lose.”