Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FREE BUS SERVICE FROM E HARTSDALE AVE/HIGHPOINT TO LIBRARY STARTS NEXT WEDNESDAY

Last night, members of the Greenburgh Town Board ( Kevin Morgan, Sonja Brown, Francis Sheehan, Diana Juettner & I ) met with residents of E Hartsdale Ave to discuss our efforts to try to encourage the Library Board to restore the cybermobile and Sunday library hours. A suggestion was made at the meeting that the town offer bus service to the library from E Hartsdale Ave and Highpoint (two locations with many senior citizens – some who don’t have cars).

As a result of the meeting – the town will begin offering free bus service to take seniors to the library/town hall from East Hartsdale Ave and Highpoint BEGINNING Wednesday, February 6th. The bus will leave E Hartsdale Ave at 10 AM and a few minutes later from Highpoint. The bus will return from the library around noon and at 3 PM. The town will use an existing bus and driver for this service so no additional taxpayer dollars (other than gas) will be spent.

Those wishing to take advantage of the service are requested to call 693-8997 by Tuesday to make a reservation. They can also e mail lmaranino@greenburghny.com If we find that seniors/residents would like the bus service expanded to more than one day a week – we will accommodate their request and expand this program.

Efforts will continue to take place to encourage the Greenburgh Library Board to restore the cybermobile and Sunday library hours

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

test test

feiner mess up again said...

once again feiner and his merry band of dolts are chainlinked to the past.

there are a seniors who work m-f. why not arrange for the bus to provide this service on a saturday in lieu of a weekday?

feiner, never having a real job, didnt, as usual, think this thru.

incidently, does anyone have statistics on how many people use this service?

Anonymous said...

snow parking at meeting?

This will be the first January in 75 years without snowfall: http://www.nysun.com/article/70437?access=434420

hal samis said...

There is always a snow job by someone at Town meetings; you must be referring to the weather outside.

Why are seniors only in two parts of town being provided this free service?

Are some seniors more equal than others?

Why are some seniors who are library patrons being offered this service while all unincorporated
taxpayers who are library patrons and pay taxes to support the library are not being offered this free service?

Why are all unincorporated residents who do not own cars or have driving licenses not being offered this free service?

Why are children who may NEED to use the library and not have transportation because of working parents -- why aren't they eligible for free transport?

This is an example of a Town Board succombing to the demands of a few residents who have bought the Library's line and brought pressure to bear upon the Town Board.

At times like this I find myself forced to agree with the 2:28 comment.

The recent outflow of press releases attempting to show concern for the void left by the cessation of the cybermobile and Sunday hours is not the fault of the Town Board.

There is ample evidence to prove (using the Library's own accounting) that the Library is using the cybermobile and Sunday hour operating dollars to build up instead the Library's inventory in advance of a 2009 opening -- items which properly should be charged to the 2009 budget, not appearing in 2008. Does anyone except a brainwashed Library supporter believe that the only time the Library can secure timely inventory is by ordering nine months in advance? But the Trustees fear that by waiting until 2009 they will wake up and find that the milk train doesn't stop here anymore.

But that is not a given and providing lacking services in 2008should be their immediate concern -- especially as they promised these withdrawn amenities to their patrons when moving the Library to Town Hall became the default choice.

And frankly, I am alarmed by the outright lies being planted by the Library Trustees amongst their flock and Town Board members Juettner and Sheehan. It is always easy to blame the Town, someone else, for their own decisions and mistakes -- also much, much easier to pass the buck when Feiner is wears fall guy target.

Even when he wears it voluntarily, like now, when seeking to please.

True to form, he has proposed a smorgasboard of aid proposals from the sublime to the absurd. Grants (where was the Library having lunch when they never pursued what seems so obtainable today since the Town took an interest); Advertising (an absurd concoction bearing few dollars especially when the cybermobile doesn't travel many streets and is all but invisible when at the town pool or High Point or elsewhere; a movable politico office (State education laws prevent the Town from determining how 10 cents of the Library budget is spent to keep the Library free of politics)lo and behold, witness a scheme to rent space on the cybermobile to politicos; an idea to rent the cybermobile for birthday parties (just take it away from all the patrons who weren't invited to the party) etc.
One stupid pet trick after another.

Such is the attempt to diffuse a difficult situation and make the Library and its branches available to their patrons.

Something that should not be the responsibility of the Town Board.

Rather than letting this matter go further along the carnival route, to everyone's embarrassment, I would sooner pay the Library their pound of flesh, their blackmail and free their patrons from being held hostage.

But that is a today solution and does not stop the Library from repeating their game (pick the most popular service and remove it) in the future; thereby forcing the Town Board to cave in.

Nor does it set a good example for all of the other Town departments who are watching with interest.

The real test of the new Town Board is how determined they are to stand by what is right, not repeat the gamesmanship of the past when recruiting an auditorium full of irate residents was the password to gain whatever was on that night's shopping list -- be it Taxter Ridge, the Health Center or...the Library.

I'm hoping that the new Town Board will exhibit guts and tell the Library Trustees to go to hell.
Of course, that is not liely what an elected official will choose to enact. However, there is something to be said for courage too. Incidentally, for all of you who assumed the Library budget has been cut, be aware that this year they are getting more money than last year -- they are not getting the full amount they requested, something around $4 million but the Library, unlike all other Town departments, is not opertating at full capacity as the other Departments are.

One would think that having said that the Library could no longer provide a high standard of service in the old building (22,000 feet); that they needed a larger building (46,000 feet); that being in 5,000 feet for 2007 and 2008 would be reasonable proof that some funding cuts would not be taken as vindictive behavior on the part of the Supervisor...you might think that unless you were the Library Board of Trustees.

And which institution rises above all criticism because it isn't involved in politics...and you answer, the Library.

If you are willing to buy that story and close your eyes to the reality, I suggest you go to Town Hall (maybe there will be a free bus), get a copy of the Town Budget and read it. Then, for desert, FOIL the Library's 2008 Budget REQUESTS (showing a 5 year history) and their December Treasurer's report and READ them.

Then, hurry back to the blog, and tell me if you still believe the story put out by Howard Jacobs and Susan Wolfert.

One thing for certain, operating the cybermobile does not cost $157,000 but $85,000 and I can find that money in just 30 seconds.

Would it come as a surprise to learn that the Library didn't even spend over $15,000 of its $85,000 2007 book budget yet they are getting $150,000 for 2008 but don't have money still to keep the cybermobile rolling. What's the point of buying if the patron's can't use these materials?

So what it looks like is that the Library spent $3,070,000 in 2007 and their 2008 approved budget is $3,440,000 (after the $200,000"last minute" cut). Does this look like the Library is in dire straits? And has anyone ever heard of a car wash or a raffle or anything proposed by the Library Board to raise money?

Just blame it on the Town Board, particularly Feiner.

And, the over $400,000 Library Fund that was "stolen". Did anyone wonder how they got so much money, while they had it why they also needed an annual contingency line item (not appearing in other departments) and WHAT the Trustees intended to use it for.

Like the hairpiece commercial, "Why would I lie, I'm a club member and President of the company"...

Lies are all around; welcome to Greenburgh.

Bernstein said "Don't tell me, show me". On this, he was right.

After you read the above financial reports, then you can wait in line to ask Howard Jacobs a few question when he returns from his vacation.

But in the mean time, Mr. Feiner and the Town Board, don't jump through hoops just because a few citizens are upset. When you know you're on solid ground, you don't have to bring the party favors with you to the party, like last night's show on East Hartsdale Avenue.

Anonymous said...

If you want a snow job about the library, just listen to Samis.

He claims that the library has plenty of money in unspent funds from 2007 to operate the bookmobile and even have Sunday hours too. So convinced he is of his own BS, he even talked Feiner into believing it.

Turns out the library's unspent funds for 2007 totaled all of $2,000. Can't do much with that, can ya Hal?

Samis claims that "one thing for certain" is that the bookmobile did not cost $157,000 to operate, but $85,000. Oh yeah, says who?

To get to his $85,000 number, Samis counts only the $39,800 cost for "requested projects" and the $45,832 cost for the bus driver.
However, Samis ignores the line item for part-time employees, even though the library staffed the cybermobile with part-timers; he ignores the line item for equipment repairs, even though he's complained for years that the cybermobile was in the shop for repairs; and he ignores the line item for the bookmobile's share of the westlynx or computer hookup, which is what makes the bookmobile a "cybermobile."

In other words, the wool Samis is pulling over everyone's eyes is 50%orlon.

So why does Samis play this propaganda BS? Because, as is clear from everything he's said and done over the past four years, he opposed the library expansion, he has contempt for the residents that voted for it, and more than anything, he hates the library board members who've volunteered their time to make the library's expansion the success he's determined to prove it's not.

Anonymous said...

If you think Samis is lying let's make a report to the State Comptrollers office for an investigation of their books.
This is the only way that we could really see if there are funds or is the library working with two sets of books.

hal samis said...

Maybe Samis should explain what Samis did for calculations, not what someone named anonymous says.
And this appears on earlier blogs so it was not created for this blog.

Samis said let's take part-time driver/cleaner (190.6) $15,000, the bus driver/clerk (101.3) $46,935, the gas, grease and oil
(425.0) $6,000, the satellite service contract (449.2) $2,582 and the equipment repair bureau 903.0) $14,990 in 2007 although "projected" to $25,019 in 2008 and the total is $85,507 and adding in today's email from Al Regula who said that because the cybermobile will be another year older, he is comfortable with the additional $10,000 for repairs. So correct my $85,000 and call it exactly $95,526 projected for 2008.

Howard Jacobs says $157,000 to support his statement "the only possible decision was to discontinue cybermobile service ($157,000). Ever were I to allow his $157,000, it was not the only possible decision.

Mystery blogger says Samis has forgotten about the part-timers that worked on the cybermobile so let's look at the two types of part-timers shown for the Library.

There are part-time clerks (190.0) and part-time librarians (190.3).

Whereas the Approved Budget doesn't show the five items above because they disappear with the elimination of the cybermobile, we can look at the part-time numbers because they are survivors.
Thus, part-time librarians does show a decrease from 2007 ($53,000 to 2008 ($45,000) or $8,000 there is also a sizeable increase in part-time clerks from 2007's $126,200 to 2008's $160,000 or $33,800 so please explain how Mr. Jacobs got to $157,000 and who other than the cybermobile drivers was laid off.

Wool comes from sheep and the anonymous blogger is one such dip that just got sheared. And he might just as well take those Library "volunteers" along for the ride -- just not on the cybermobile.

Where the stupid blogger gets really screwed up is in attributing to me and not to their own warped mind is that the requested project item (474.5) is not cybermobile related.

However, if the Library wants to invite a fishing trip they might explain the profession fees/consulting (450.8) jump from $9,550 in 2007 to $19,692 in 2008, and the contingency fund (499.0) going from 2007's $26,884 to $73,372 in 2008 -- far more than needed for csea raises.

Again, how did the Library grow their $400,000+ Library Fund, by misrepresenting their expenses and banking the difference.

And if I'm playing the propoganda game, then the Library and the Town Comptroller must be in on it too because all the numbers I cite are taken from the Town Budget and the Library's Budget Request and the Library's Treasurer's Report.
And given the mis-attributed to me numbers, the numbers are real and taken from the Town's Budget, it is just that anonymous, apparently taking the trouble to get to the right pages, still does not know where to look.

And, since the Town Comptroller has not yet closed the books on 2007, the quote of the Library unspent balance is not yet convincing. And the questions in this area come not from the expenditure side but from potential unrecorded income.

Fortunately there are a lot of residents who have taken a different view of everything I've said and done in the last four years. What have you done?

Paul Feiner said...

The free bus service is available for all residents, not just seniors. Just a clarification...

Samis to Truth: Drop Dead said...

Memo to Samis:

The town comptroller has done the work and the library's total unspent funds for 2007 really does turn out to be only $2,000. Why not just ask to see Bart's calculations?

Unlike most Greenburgh residents who'd have to file a formal FOIL request, you can just ask Paul for the calculations on his "Feiner98@aol.com" account (the one he ironically uses to shield his private communications about town business from the state's FOIL requirements) and he'll tell Judy Beville right away to go get it for you.

And as for that $157,000 calculation, under FOIL, you're just as entitled to know how that calculation was arrived at as any other citizen is. Here, however, because the information is in the hands of the library board, like every other citizen, you can get the information by filing a proper FOIL request, which you have never done. Had you done so, you'd have had the information weeks ago.

But that of course might have made it harder for you to insist to all foolish enough to believe you're capable of telling the whole truth about anything, that your $85,000 calculation (now amended to $95,000) is correct, and you wouldn't want to let facts get in the way of the whopper of a tale you're telling, now would you?

Oh, one more thing. You argue that the $400,000 in accumulated fund balance for the library that the town board depleted for this year was accumulated as the result of the library deliberately "misrepresenting their expenses" and "banking the difference."

Oh really. By the same logic then, can we assume that the $10 million in accumulated fund balance in the B fund, and the $14 million in accumulated fund balance in the A fund, is similarly the result of the Town Board deliberately "misrepresenting their expenses" and "banking the difference."

Could it be that the town had a policy over the years of deliberately inflating its expenses and banking the difference so that Feiner could use up some of that fund balance to offset the impact of tax increases?

The reality is that all municipal entities tend to be somewhat generous when it comes to estimating expenses, and conservative when it come sto estimating income, so that the municipal entity doesn't run the risk of running out of money before fiscal year end.

As a result of this practice, municipal entities, including library boards, can accumulate a fund balance to cover future obligations, if needed, which is generally considered a prudent way to manage municipal finances.

But in the Samis world of hateful conspiracies, prudent fiscal management is twisted unrecognizably into deliberate financial chicanery.

Anonymous said...

Let's see the skills of this present comptroller if he can disect the library budget completely as Samis did.
I an an accountant and I have come up with many wrong doings and accounting errors.
They sure are hiding a lot of money.
Did they spend the money SHOW US THE BILLS.
Something really stinks bad with this library group and it is up to the present comptroller to check it out before we get into more trouble.
No one has ever done a good audit on the library up till now. They have had carte blanche to do what they wanted for too long.
The public has the right to know what they have done with their money
One does not have to be a rocket scientist to see that the library figures do not add up.

hal samis said...

Dear drop dead:

I did ask for the accounting/explanation of the $157,000 -- at a Town Board meeting and Diana Juettner took that pass and ran in the opposite direction of the goal. When I asked for confirmation from Library Trustee Vice President Susan Wolfert, Ms. Juettner block that saying that Ms wolfert wasn't at the Town Board meeting to answer questions.

Then taking advantage of the new Town Clerk's policy of submitting unanswered questions to her office for answers from the appropriate answers, I made that request either Friday or Monday and await the response.

Does your knowledge of whether I filed an actual FOIL report indicate that you are someone connected to the Library? I don't believe that anyone has filed a FOIL request to see who has recently filed FOIL requests. However, the Library would be the department that would receive FOIL reports regarding the Library and either the staff themselves or, more likely, someone on the Library Board of Trustees would respond. If you were on the Library Board, you would be in a position to know if I had filed a formal FOIL report.

If this is correct, the point is that you are further trying to muddle the waters by anonymously blogging and polluting the environment by consistently posting false information.

Furthermore, another citizen has repeatedly, repeatedly written to PFeiner@GreeenburghNY.com, the offical email communication address for the Town Supervisor. He has asked to see Bart's calculations and the Acting Comptroller has not responded in the two week period of these requests.

It is also curious in light of this that you are in a position to "verify" Bart's calculations when the public is not privy to such work product. I'm sorry to inform you that your calculations are not the final step.

Since you're pretending not to have read my previous blog comments, you have chosen not to recognize that I have made and posted and said at Town Board meetings, the only matter that we agree on -- how fund balances grow.
I believe I used the phrase that the Library learned from the master (and you can take it to mean either the Town, Feiner alone, previous Comptrollers) that the Library does what the Town does: understate revenue and overstate expenses.

However, as I have also pointed out before this "dialogue", the Town versus the Library is not a match unfolding in the same league.
Whereas the Library knows, almost to the penny, what revenue is coming its way in the upcoming year, they are able to control their expenses accordingly. I say "almost" because it cannot predict exactly things like Library fines but these items are of no economic consequence.

However the Town cannot predict its revenues with the same degree of certainty. Some of the revenue items like mortgage tax are estimated by the County and can have huge swings. Real Estate Taxes and interest and penalties and fees are only estimates. On the other side, cert settlements also can alter the landscape.

But the Town too has historically overestimated expenses.

There's no arguing with the fact that growing Town fund balances came from somewhere.

HOWEVER, THE TOWN IS WILLINGLY RETURNING THIS MONEY TO THE TAXPAYERS TO BUY DOWN TAX INCREASES.

THE LIBRARY, HOWEVER, IS OUTRAGED THAT THEIR FUND BALANCE HAS BEEN RECLAIMED FOR RETURN TO THE TOWN FUND BALANCE WHERE IT BECOMES PART OF THE TOTAL AND THESE DOLLARS, NOW BEING PART OF THE WHOLE, ARE USED TO REDUCE TAXES.

The bottom line is that the Library's Fund Balance came from the taxpayers and now it has been returned to the taxpayers.

Do I need to FOIL what use the Library had intended for the over $400,000. I doubt that this exists on paper (not nefarious but likely never discussed) but perhaps you know and would care to share.

And since the Library may be the only Town department that has/had both a FUND and a Contingency Line, perhaps the need for a sizeable Fund Balance to pay for an unanticipated increase in the New York Times subscription rate is not the basis for accumulating over $400,000. This years contingency line will use some of its $73,000 to pay CSEA increases but there will still be more than needed money remaining to pay for legitimate, unanticipated emergencies.

So far, for all your bluster, I don't see that you have shown me to be wrong on any of my posts.
Since you know (for a fact?) that I am wrong about the $157,000...instead of misquoting my claculations, why don't you substitute your own calculations on this blog. All you have to do is follow what "Howard Jacobs" presumably did: identify, list and add.

That way we won't have to wait for my request to be fulfilled and either you or I will right.

Feel free to ask for help.

Anonymous said...

The library board of trustees have their backs to the wall.
We needed an expansion to a building that was not needed and higher taxes to let us realize that the library was juggling their figures.
Well now is the time to come clean and I will advise the comptrollers office to investigate the library budget from start to finish.
Maybe we could go back to some previous years to see what they did if anything.

Samis gets clock cleaned again said...

Samis keeps getting his clocked cleaned, but he's so blinded by hatred of the library expansion and the library board trustees personally, that he continues to play fast and loose with the truth.

An anonymous blogger suggested on this site that if Samis really wanted to know why the library board beliieves the $157,000 figure is correct, he should file a FOIL request, which he obviously had not done. Samis responds that the anonymous blogger had to be one of the hated library board members, because who else would know he hadn't filed the FOIL request?

Sorry Hal, but one didn't have to be a library board trustee to see you hadn't filed a FOIL request. It may surprise you to learn that your infantile howling at the last town board meeting that a library trustee in the audience should be made on the spot to give you an answer to your $157,000 question doesn't satisfy the requirements of the state's Freedom of Information Law. If you think such howling on your part should suffice for FOIL purposes, perhaps your next hateful blog should be directed to Spitzer.

Samis then confuses the issue by saying "another citizen" has requested not information about the $157,000 but the town comptroller's calculations that show the library's total unspent funds for 2007 came only to $2,000 and that two weeks have gone by with no answer.

Well, if that "other citizen" had filed a proper FOIL request two weeks ago, he should have gotten a response under FOIL from Judy Beville within five days. At least that's what the law requires. Are you suggesting Hal that Feiner's new town clerk doesn't know how to respond properly to a FOIL request?

It's also possible that if the town comptroller's calculations were truly asked for two weeks ago, that they didn't exist two weeks ago. And if that's the case, Ms. Beville wouldn't have had anything to give out, now would she? Maybe that "other citizen" -- let's call him "Mr. R" -- should ask again.

Samis then rants on that there was nothing wrong with the town board reducing the library's accumulated fund balance to zero, because that's just returning taxpayer money back to the taxpayers.

However, just as it would be reckless and senseless for the town board to reduce to zero its own accumulated fund balances in the A and B funds by returning the money to taxpayers, it's just as reckless and senseless for the town board to do the same with the library's fund balance -- especially in the months before the new library is about to open.

Finally, Samis doesn't deny that he's been e-mailing Feiner about town business at his "Feiner98@aol.com" account. And he also doesn't deny that he does so because they both think that's the way to shield their communications from having to be produced in response to FOIL requests.

Perhaps you and Mr. R might want ask Bob Freeman of the State Committee on Open Government whether such communications about town business to a town supervisor's private e-mail account, and the town supervisor's responses to such e-mails, are outside the scope of FOIL.

Wanna bet they're not?

Anonymous said...

To the guy with the clock fixation, for a year or more Samis has been raising proper issues with the library expansion and construction, with considerable knowledge and attention to detail, and he has been stonewalled by those (the Library Board, the Town Board, and people like you who think that the library is like Mother Teresa)who want to change the subject because they know that there has been a massive screw-up.

Very few people have the guts to admit error, and Howard Jacobs and Susan Wolfert certainly don't have guts, except to punish the town because they didn't get what they wanted. And of course Diana Juettner, who has never shown guts of any kind, sits by and won't own up to the truth.

Let's get away from personalities and personal attacks. The books of account will show whether Samis is right (and I am sure they will show it because Samis has been vindicated time after time). Instead of calling Samis names, why don't you join him in insisting that the Comptroller and the Town Board make the financial books and records available. Then we will know whether Samis or you are right.

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON//////That's what is needed to get to the bottom of the library scheme.
The comptroller and the town board should check all books pertaining to the library.
Only in doing this many bloggers will have to give Samis an apology.
We know he is right but there ae many St. Thomas's that do not believe.
So to the comptroller and the town board the ball is in your court.

hal samis said...

Thanks for the show of support.

Anonymous said...

The bus idea seems silly; I can't imagine it would be used much. The cybermobile and Sunday hours weren't even used much. Despite the politics and blackmailing and whatnot, cutting the cybermobile and Sunday hours was actually a wise financial decision. I'd like to see more cuts throughout the town of other services that are not used much.

hal samis said...

Now on to the meat.

Dear overwound clock,

Even the Library Board of Trustees wouldn't be as aggressive in word manipulation so I'm now thinking that the anonymous author might be that rotund fellow from Edgemont, you know, the one whose star has long since faded and is looking for a comeback vehicle, perhaps the cybermobile.
But how can I know for sure? After all it could just as well be the long-winded person seated on the Town Board.

Facing the uphill battle to restore some respect for one and pretending to work together with his new mates for the other, why not defend the Library and its Board of Trustees, especially since one of its members is a reporter for The Scarsdale Inquirer. You never when you're going to need good press. And while doing this, why not try and discredit outspoken me because there's bad news coming for those who attended Dromore and there is another with two Council seats to be filled -- both in less than two year's time.

What is most surprising is that those who stalk this blog would be so concerned that the Supervisor has a personal email address separate of the Town while themselves writing poison-pen posts under an anonymous cloak.

Why it was just a few years ago that famous lawyer Bob Bernstein requested people to no longer use his office email address and instead write to his personal one about Town matters but of course there is a world of difference: Bob is a nobody and the tenant of feiner98 is the Town Supervisor. Again.

Still, all of the following comments refer to the posting on this topic written by 2:38 so you can scroll up to check my reporting accuracy and see the complete sentences.

"Samis doesn't deny that he's been emailing Feiner about town business..." Gee, when was I ever asked but in typical fashion, it is the leap from his own comment to his own conclusion that leads to the whopper not unlike what a certain napoleonic figure attempts from time to time and this approach as often finds its way to the dais with its star pedant; here on the blog it resurfaces as "Also he (Samis) doesn't deny that he does so because they (Samis & Feiner) both think that's the way to shield..." Well, no real Democrat would write that because it is absolutely the antithesis of civil liberty. Do Greenburgh residents now have to list and deny every action that they haven't committed or suffer suspicion?

Have you stopped beating your wife?

I am still a private citizen in America and there are no restrictions where I send my mail, at least when sent to a consenting adult.

And, by chance if having a private mailbox is suspect, do any other town employees, including Town Council members, maintain personal mailboxes in addition to those provided by the Town. Members of the Library Board can be reached at their personal email boxes or as Trustees c/o the Library. One might ask, for example, does Francis Sheehan use a personal mailbox for receiving and sending some communications regarding town matters? It is a slippery slope being trod by an anonymous blogger.

Is it now a crime or not cricket to maintain a personal mailbox apart from work? Let's get that ethics board out from the mothballs.

But the poster who writes as anonymous thinks there is something sneaky about personal mail; somehow a way to subvert the system so I confess, here and now, that I have also talked to Feiner privately in the lobby of town hall, in his office and even just last night on Hartsdale Avenue.

Get ready to read "Samis doesn't deny that he talked to Feiner on Hartsdale Avenue about town business". This is highly suspicious, especially since the next day on this blog I criticized him. However, what's a fellow to do when he isn't invited to Town Board meetings at the Dromore developer's office.

Who knows, I may even unwittingly have had private conversations with the anonymous poster and sent mail to one or more of his email "drops"; this disclaimer in case the FBI is monitoring this blog.

If Mr. Swatch wants to FOIL Feiner98, let him try. You would expect him to do so since he appears so concerned about what information is being exchanged with feiner98 as the nexus. However, this is another trick of writing, Mr. Swatch never comes out and says that such communications are FOILable, he just attempts to leave the impression that they are which further reinforces his pronouncement that dark deeds are being discussed. More hot air, more unleashed mouth foam.

Or he is fishing for a reason to search.

"Samis keeps getting his clock cleaned..." any proof of that?..."he's so blinded by hatred...he continues to play fast and loose with the truth." Again, words from not only anonymous but delivered without any proof. Certainly the author is not without demonstarting hate himself.

"Sorry Hal, one doesn't have to be a Library Trustee to see you hadn't filed a FOIL request" but I wonder how do you know that? I haven't been asked if I filed one and unless you want to charge the Town Clerk's office with leaking information to anyone or you want to say that you have FOILED for a list of residents who have filed FOIL requests, I think that the list of those who would know this is limited, so how are you on it?

"Your infantile howling at the last town board meeting that a library trustee in the audience should be made on the spot to give you an answer to your $157,000 question doesn't satisfy the requirements of the state's Freedom of Information law..."
Again another self-important slap on the back to himself. When did I ever propose that the question was a proper FOIL request? Even though I think that Inquirer Reporter Susan Wolfert, the Vice President of the Library Trustees, is also on their Finance Committee (or not) and would know "on the spot" even just as being the Vice President should, I didn't ask the the question expecting an answer. I asked the question to test the new policy of the Town Clerk to get answers to unanswereed questions at Town Board meetings. So I asked Diana Juettner, if she knew and, if not, would she ask the Library Trustee seated 10 feet away. Since I didn't get my question answered by Ms. Juettner, I asked the Town Clerk to pursue my unanswered question to a member of the Town Board. I don't do things without a reason, you should know this by now. You and I both know that FOIL requests are only good for existing documents; that the subject/department cannot be forced to create new written material to fulfill the FOIL request, so just in case the Library Trustees had discussed a $157,000 question but not written it down, I planned on using the alternate approach. Come on, be real, anyone sitting next to Juentter would certainly be aware that I would not be asking Ms. Juettner anything with the expectation of her being able to provide an answer.

"Samis then confuses the issue by saying "another citizen" has requested not information about the $157,000 but the town comptroller's calculations that show the library's total unspent funds for 2007 came only to $2000 and that two weeks have gone by with no answer."

Again Mr. Swatch seems very well informed of a communication that went to the Town Board and the Acting Comptroller but he also omits that this request was repeated and repeated and repeated up to and including last night and no response has been forthcoming. So how would this blogger know more unless he were a member of say, the Town Board. So, the answer is not the suggestion that the new Town Clerk is not doing her job (because the Town Board is working together) but that the Acting Comptroller is not doing his. And the other citizen, indeed "Bob R" as we both can play cute when asked.

"Samis then rants on that there was nothing wrong with the town board reducing the library's accumulated fund balance to zero..." And then some nonsense about reducing the town's balance to zero would be reckless (agreed) but how that relates to the Library has no relevance. First of all the Library extracts a contingency line ($73,000 for 2008) and all the Library is responsible for is, itself, not all the other town departments. Let's put out heads together and try to think of an "emergency" that the Library would be unable to shift money around to handle or the Town would not come to its aid. For example, if the Library burned down, they could stop buying books for a few quarters. However Mr. Swatch already has such an example "especially in the months before the new Library is about to open".

Is the Library lacking funds in the months before it is about to open? Wow! Hold the presses Susan.
You don't mean that the Library despite being on budget and on schedule needs money? And it needs over $400,000?
It's not like they forgot to order yellow pads or ink for their printers. The Library has lots of supplies, materials, furniture, equipment etc. in storage. And for many of these 2008 operating budget line items, they're even getting more money in anticipation of this event. So, if the Library needs more money to open, why don't we hear the Trustees affirming this -- they'll have the opportunity to do so at the next Town Board meeting. Let's listen carefully so we won't miss this announcement.

However, and once again, let me remind all readers that the challenge that I left for anonymice to answer was that if I am so wrong about the cost of operating the cybermobile, why don't these informed bloggers correct me? I said $85,000 based on the Library's budget submission and Treasurer's reports. I had sluffed off an extra projected $10,000 (over the 2007 $15,000) for cybermobile repair, this additional cost based upon the cybermobile being a year older. Accept my apologies and I'll stay in the game with my final bid of $95,000 or $62,000 less than what Howard Jacobs (Library Trustee President) put forth as $157,000.
Clearly the higher number looks more foreboding to a financially beleaguerd Library which "had no choice" but to eliminate the cybermobile but oodles of additional funding for books, cds and dvds. So failing to find any other items attributable to the cybermobile, I asked for proof that it actually costs $157,000.

As a result and because I use my name, I got slammed on this very blog topic by "anonymous @6:59 jan 30, "Samis to truth: drop dead @ 11:26 jan 30, by "Samis gets clock cleaned again @2:38 jan 31. And I have responded, each time saying if I'm wrong, prove me wrong.

Earlier today @10:12 AM, I wrote:
"So for all your bluster, I don't see that you have shown me to be wrong on any of my posts. Since you know (for a fact?) that I am wrong about the $157,000...instead of misquoting my calculations, why don't you substitute your own calculations on this blog. All you have to do is follow what "Howard Jacobs" presumably did: identify, list and add (them up).

That way we won't have to wait for my request (to Town Clerk) to be fulfilled and either you or I will (be) right. Feel free to ask for help."

The comments by 2:38 (who acts as though he is licensed to explain the Trustees position) describe my "hate", my "howling" etc. but don't provide one line of information to support the claim from the Trustees that it would cost $157,000 to operate the cybermobile.

More of the old lies fade away regimen?

Samis clock cleaned again said...

Samis as usual wastes infinite amounts of blog space once again spewing his hate-filled obsession with the library expansion and the library trustees.

Now he's obsessed with who he thinks is criticizing him anonymously, and who ratted him out for not bothering to file any FOIL requests to get the correct information about the library's $157,000 cost estimate for the cybermobile or the library's meager $2,000 in unspent funds from 2007.

Get over it Hal. The anonymous blogger is not who Samis thinks it is and the fact that he didn't file any FOIL requests is, as the anonymous blogger pointed out, obvious from the way he behaved.

Samis didn't ask for facts he could have easily gotten because he didn't want them to get in the way of the phony story he keeps peddling to smear anyone he feels disagrees with him.

At bottom, though, Samis has nothing new to say.

What's interesting, though, is that Samis again doesn't deny e-mailing Feiner about business at Feiner's personal "Feiner98@aol.com" account and he again doesn't deny that he thinks (wrongly) that such communications with public officials about official town business are outside the scope of the state's FOIL law.

Samis says that it's unfair to say he doesn't deny these things in the same way it's unfair to ask when he stopped beating his wife (assuming he had one).

That's not so. It would be easy for Samis to say, no, he didn't do these things. He can't say that though because he can't be sure how many of his "secret" e-mails with Feiner might be circulating out there or worse, what they might say.

So instead, in Samis's world, the rules governing "open government" in New York apparently do not apply when a newly minted "big shot" like Samis wants to communicate in secret with Feiner about how to screw the library. It's their business, you see, not ours.

Remember what happened when Republican staffers in the White House tried to shield their improper communications about firing U.S. attorneys by writing their e-mails using Republican National Committee e-mail addresses? They all had to be produced.

Why should Feiner and Samis think that their communications about the library using Feiner's personal e-mail address should be treated any differently? And what exactly were they trying to hide in the first place?

Samis thinks he still must have a point because the anonymous blogger left untouched Samis's earlier suggestion that there's something wrong about the library having both a line item for contingencies and an accumulated fund balance.

The town of course has both a contingency line item in its budget, as well as an accumulated fund balance, but because Samis is only at war with the library, Samis sees nothing wrong with that.

In fact, prudent budgeting requires a line item for unforeseen contingencies by the town, for all its departments, and by the library, for itself. This is because in any given year, unforseen contingencies usually arise and, to avoid running out of money before the fiscal year end, the municipality includes a contingency fund for the departments under its control, and the library includes a contingency fund so that the town allocation for the library is large enough to cover any unforeseen contingencies as well.

It would be irresponsible budgeting to omit a line item for unforeseen contingencies and to rely instead only on an accumulated fund balance.

The library's accumulated fund balance is available just in case, just as the town's accumulated fund balance is available just in case. Bond rating agencies like to see these additional sources of funds.

But Samis is so filled with rage against the library, that all he sees is a conspiracy to rip off taxpayers.

Unlike those relatively quiet but diligent taxpayers who did their homework, came to the town raising serious concerns about the way the town calculates their sewer taxes and were wrongly turned away, Samis has raised nothing but mud about the way the library does its calculations.

It's a shame anyone still listens to him.

Anonymous said...

It seems Samis has gotten caught shooting blanks. He doesn't have any facts to back up his questioning of the library's $157,000 cost figure for the cybermobile and he doesn't have any facts to question that the library had only $2,000 in unspent funds from 2007.

But what's really troubling about Samis's blog posts are his personal attacks against town residents. He attacks the same four or five people in every posting. To me they read like some Nixon-era enemies list. Nixon was a paranoid nut-case. Samis, what's our excuse?

Anonymous said...

What is going on with the sewer district audit? I understand that the state comptroller is conducting an investigation. Where can I find out more information about this issue?

Anonymous said...

I guess the heads of the Edgemont civic associations are starting to feel the heat.
Samis has been right with many issues concerning town business which included some wrong doing from this association.
If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen Edgemont.

Anonymous said...

Why would any Edgemont civic associations give a rat's ass about what Samis is saying about the library? Is he attacking them too? For what?

Anonymous said...

Wanna know more about the sewer audit? Ask Feiner to leak it. He and the town council were all given copies of the state comptroller's draft which slams the town for two decades of financial mismanagement.

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:10 AM

There is a website called www.sewerdistricttruth.com which was created by one of the citizens who brought the information foward to the Town.

Herb Rosenberg said...

I read this blog because it reveals much about issues and people, but I stopped writing on it because those who sign their name inevitably are attacked, smeared, insulted -- you can add a few verbs.

I should start by saying that as a village resident I have no standing to argue over the library, and I do not do so. I have plenty of standing, however, to argue about the method of some people to slime anyone who dares to try to speak against the self-appointed and self-anointed spokespersons in Greenburgh. The person who anonymously signs himself as "Samis clock cleaned again" is clearly one of those. I have nothing but contempt for him.

First, he offers no facts (in either of his postings) to controvert what Hal Samis has said. One would expect that a person so enraged by what Hal Samis wrote would offer some facts to counter Samis. But not a single fact, or alleged fact, appears in his attack. Only insults and non-sequitors.

Second, he makes a huge issue out of the notion that Hal Samis didn't FOIL something or other. (Apparently neither did Mr. Clock-cleaner). As I read Samis' postings, I note a person who has gone through the budget and budget request with a fine tooth comb. I notice that Samis has asked for information time and again and has been stonewalled. There seems to be much more credibility to what Samis writes than what Mr. Clock-cleaner writes. If Samis is right -- and so far he seems to be -- then he is to be commended for sticking to his questions in the face of such institutional stonewalling. Even Mr. Clock-cleaner would ultimately benefit from Samis' stick-to-it method.

Third, I would suggest that before throwing that red herring about Samis "not denying" that he wrote to Feiner on Feiner's personal email address when there is no reason to deny it, he should stop denying his identity by hiding under a pseudonym. His emails (sent and received) might be FOILed as well, if he is right. I sincerely hope he is not, because if he is then President Bush's efforts to invade the privacy of American citizens would be minor by comparison.

I now expect that Mr. Clock-cleaner will take after me, again hiding his identity.

What....No leak yet????? said...

The fact that no one has leaked the sewer district audit is a clear indication that it is very bad news for the Town. If the State didn't find any wrong doing, Feiner or Sheehan would have leaked the results to the media already.

juettner a disaster said...

for good measure - lets not forget that diana juettner is and remains a disaster. lets hope she has the same fate as barnes and bass.

Anonymous said...

Rosenberg's blog entry is puzzling.

Based on Samis's hate-filled screeds, one doesn't have to sign his or her name to a blog entry in order to be "attached, smeared and insulted."

Rosenberg thinks it's okay to attack these people because he thinks they are nothing more than "self appointed and self-annointed spokespersons in Greenburgh."

Well let's see if he's right. Two of the people Samis regularly attacks are members of the town board, elected by the voters; two others are members of the library board of trustees, appointed unanimously by the town board; and one individual is the president of the Edgemont Community Council, who was elected at an annual meeting of residents, and who presides over an organization which represents 7,000 Edgemont residents, holds regular monthly meetings, and regularly posts its minutes.

By contrast, Rosenberg and Samis don't seem to be elected or appointed to anything in Greenburgh. They themselves seem more like "self-appointed and self-annointed spokespersons."

Herb Rosenberg said...

Well, the blogger who wrote at 12:39 criticized me, but not in the vitriolic terms of the past. Maybe the niceness of the latest Clinton-Obama debate is reaching the grass roots.

But the blogger misses the point. To begin with, I am not a spokesman for anyone but myself, and I have never tried to pose otherwise -- at least without disclosing it. I am not a spokesman for Samis, although I respect his efforts and have been impressed by him. And I certainly respect the fact that he is open and doesn’t hide behind a pseudonym

More important, my criticism was against those who make angry and insulting statements anonymously, and the 12:39 blogger cleverly evaded that criticism (as well as the truthfulness of it) by talking about people who have been elected and appointed to various positions. I did not criticize members of the Town Board, the Library Board, and the chair of the ECC, unless the blogger is saying that it is those people who are hiding behind the name “Anonymous.”

To stress the point, I have no comment on the Library Board because, as I have said, as a village resident I don’t have standing to get into the library argument. I did not criticize the Town Board at all in my posting, nor did I criticize the chair of the ECC in my posting (unless he is the clock-cleaning blogger -- and if he is, I doubt that he got ECC clearance to write what and how he did).

My point -- an others have made it -- is that it is cowardly to level nasty comments against a person who has signed his name without identifying himself. Whether the clock-cleaner or Hal Samis turns out to be right will come out, but anonymous insults are out of line in any event.

Anonymous said...

"But what's really troubling about Samis's blog posts are his personal attacks against town residents."

Which is precisely the reason that so many of us post as Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Just because Mr. Samis signs his name doesn't give him any more of a license to "attack, smear and insult" town residents than it gives you, Mr. Rosenberg.

Herb Rosenberg said...

I'd like the Anonymous poster at 4:06 -- and I think the term "Anonymouse" that others have used is a good description of those who hide)-- to tell me when I have attacked, smeared ot insulted anyone, especially one who has signed his name. What I do attack is the cowardice of those who, instead of answering on the issues, slime people anonymously, and almost always with false statements of facts and false descriptions of the law.

On the occasions when I have written I have tried to point out issue matters, and with a factual or legal basis that I have plainly articulated.

There is always a basis for arguing issues, and dealing with differences in an honest way. That way leads to solutions. But that doesn't seem to be the operating procedure of the anonymice.

And now, back to letting others do their battles.

hal samis said...

It is interesting to read the degree of hysterics that anonymous bloggers when they are, if it is them, the objects of my derision.

Whether it is they the anonymous posters who have been "attacked" or their sympathizers -- it doesn't matter.

What I do ask is for you of the anonymous pen(s) (who fear so greatly that you will be attacked in my "rants", let's have some examples of what you feel is a meritless "attack".

Clearly, there are many people that people attack and it doesn't offend anyone. Hitler, Bin Laden, George Bush, Clinton vs. Obama, even Feiner. I didn't create the standard. The issue is not whether someone is "attacked" (while it pains me to use this term just to move this along) but whether or not they earned this treatment. If someone screws up, they don't get out of jail. Hence, there should be some standard or reason to hold residents up to ridicule. I think those that I "attack" or criticize earn their hall of shame recognition; anonymous bloggers do not. So let's put it to the test.

Let's see which comments are being called personal attacks unwarranted or otherwise.

But first, some ground rules.

Being an official volunteer is not the ticket to avoid criticism.
Being an activist or a "civic leader is not a teflon shield.
Being paid by the town is certainly not a mechanism to avoid criticism.

Since I get attacked often on this blog, especially when I am portrayed as attacking the innocent and the weak, I am issuing this challenge: let's have some examples of what you consider the unfair Samis treatment.

You are complaining about something aren't you, so be specific -- and I'll respond.
As I see it, the anonymous posters are doing as much harm attacking me as they say I do to others.

So, if it is so troubling, let everyone in on your concerns.
Don't tell me, show me.

Hope you do a better job than you did when failing to respond or to prove that the cybermobile expense is the $157,000 that Howard Jacobs of the Library Trustees said it was. Clearly it would be to his advantage to say it cost more than it does because that would make it sound convincing that the Library just doesn't have the money.

If you want to choose the above as an example, then prove me wrong. I've given my breakdown of the cybermobile costs which totals $95,000 allowing for a $10,000 higher projected repair cost in 2008. I'll add it in my total but I don't automatically agree that this is a reasonable statement, the cybermobile just doesn't go anywhere -- and in 2007 it cost $15,000+ to repair but it also was out for about a month for this work. Thus, little mileage and lengthy repairs does not add up to $25,000. But, hey, I can be generous, even with the higher figure it is still my $95,000 to Howard's $157,000. All of this information is available from the Library's Treasurer's reports (which I did FOIL for), from the Town's Tentative and Approved Budgets (which no one need FOIL) --and neither source shows that the cybermobile operation costs $157,000. I don't know why anonymous is obsessing over whether I FOIL or not, I have the necessary data. But if anonymous has different, then produce it. However if anonymous or anyone can't prove that it is I who is wrong, perhaps it is they who should do some FOILING.

But being concerned with how I got my information is just a detour away from the point, isn't it. It is not how I got the facts, but what the facts show. So, if you don't have any that prove your side, the only monkey wrench you have is a pointless excursion into whether I did or didn't FOIL.

Now, if you still think I'm wrong and Howard Jacobs is right, SHOW me and those that read this blog how you or Jacobs get to $157,000.

That's how it's going to go if you're interested. Bring your list of items that you think I've unfairly blamed those poor souls who I hold accountable and we'll hash it out right here in public.

You've got the advantage being anonymous. Now put up; I doubt you'll shut up.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting the feel that 'Mr. Clock" in reality is a "Ms. Clock"

I could be wrong though.

Anonymous said...

Sami's figures do add up to showing us the public, many wrong doing of the library personel.
He has backed up all his accounting but I have not seen any bloger come up with their figures.
Is it because you are part of the library personel.
You had better come up with something before your library will be investigated by either New york State or the Federal government.
We hsve seen and heard enough to request a good audit of all the monies that you received throughout the years.

Anonymous said...

Samis's facts and figures add up to pure baloney.

He ranted and raved for weeks that the library had more than six figures left over in unspent funds for 2007, but he shut up when the acting town comptroller said the number was really $2,000.

Now he continues to rant and rave that the real cost of the cybermobile is not the $157,000 that the library board chairman has said, but is really $95,000 -- a $62,000 discrepancy. But when an anonymous blogger pointed out that, among other things, Samis didn't take into account the cost of part-time employees, which he knows the library used to staff this service, and he didn't take into account the cost of the computer hookups which are what make the bookmobile a cybermobile, and he didn't take into account such things as gas, grease, etc., and when Samis himself admits his FOIL request hasn't been answered yet, it's pretty hard to take Samis's whoop-te-do allegations of wrongdoing very seriously.

The reality is that Samis has spent the last four years campaigning against both the library expansion and the library board trustees, desperately trying to prove that he was right and the voters who approved the $19.8 million library bond were wrong.

Virtually all of Samis's arguments over the years have proven to be red herrings, whether it was his outrage over the timing of the referendum, or his outrage over the bond referendum amount (he insisted it should include interest), or his outrage over the number of parking spaces, or his outrage over the geothermal wells, or his outrage over the library's design, or his outrage over the temporary satellite libraries, or his outrage over the cybermobile, or his outrage over the decision to eliminate Sunday hours -- the list just goes on and on -- it all adds up to the same thing: Samis is obsessed with trying to trash an effort that will be completed pretty much on schedule without having to ask the voters in unincorporated Greenburgh to approve a penny more in construction costs.

By contrast, there's plenty of financial mismanagement by the town that Samis doesn't talk about -- just look at the community center or the sewer district audit (the sad results of which the town won't yet release), the continuing problems at the courthouse, or the multi-million dollar giveaway in unaccountable funds to the Valhalla School District.

Samis's ranting is a distraction from these much more real problems because contrary to what he says, he's shown no real evidence of any financial mismangement of the library project.

Anonymous said...

Yes Hal,

Why have you been silent regarding the sewer district fiasco??? It is hard to believe that you are not aware of it. Why no comments??

Anonymous said...

There four things that people who are wrong always do:

1. Refuse to accept reality
2. Refuse to admit error
3. Change the subject
4. Blame others

1:26s, along with the clock-clear's friend, do all four.

If there is one thing that can no longer be denied it is that the libraty expansion has been a disaster, managed by a library board that does not begin to know how to do such a huge and complicated project. They also refuse to accept the reality of the mess. They also refuse to admit error and they blame others. And they also try to change the subject.

Get real 1:26. We have been hoodwinked, and it is continuing. Every thinking person knows this by now, including those who don't like the Supervisor.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 3:17,

Yes, please accept reality. The new library was voted on by the residents. So please accept it.

There are much, much greater financial issues the Town is facing.

1. If the property records were not correctly kept for the Sewer district, what about the other special districts, fire, school, etc?

2. Need for new public safety building?

3. Town budget?

4. New head at TDYCC -- doubling salary of "staff assistant"

Hal, dont any of these interest you??

hal samis said...

Does anyone else who reads this blog get the feeling that I am communicating with someone who is learning disabled or, more graphically, retarded or, at the very least a very unhappy and lonely person who lives to attack from the safety of the barracks.

How else to explain why this person continues to dwell on making FOIL requests and not the information at hand. If the writer had done their own FOIL request, then wouldn't they have the accurate figures which add up to $157,000? What this pond scum writes turns out to be is only a second or third hand ejaculate.

My challenge was to provide an open forum and let readers make their own decision after hearing from opposite sides. I provided my figures before and I am doing so again now. Where are yours?

How else to explain why this person contines to ignore my earlier detailed listing on these blogs of all the cybermobile items by the line number, the line description and the dollar cost.

How else to explain why this person apparently thinks that my $95,000 figure came from thin air.

I'm not going to take the time now to type budget line numbers, just the description and the cost; then I am going to quote the blogger whose post tells us that I have not taken into consideration these items.

Here goes, for the last time.
For 2008:

Part time Driver/Cleaner $15,000.
Bus Driver/Clerk $46,395.
Gas, Grease and Oil $6,000.
Satellite Service Contract $2,582.
Equipment Repair Bureau $25,019.
Total $94,996.

From the anonymous blogger:
"But when an anonymous blogger pointed out that, among other things, Samis didn't take into account the cost of part-time employees, which he knows the library used to staff this service, and he didn't take into account the cost of the computer hookups which are what makes the bookmobile a cybermobile, and he didn't take into account such things as gas, grease etc., and when Samis himself admits his FOIL request (note: I have publicly quoted and attributed information from the library treasurer's reports -- obtained by FOIL) from the library hasn't been answered yet, it's pretty hard to take Samis' whoop-te-do allegations of wrongdoing very seriously".

Have I made my point?

The only thing I haven't covered is the other part-time employees who worked on the cybermobile BECAUSE they, as before, continue to work in the Library. Since the library is still paying their salary, they could just as well be working on the cybermobile while with the removal of the cybermobile and Sunday hours, one would assume that the staff dollars would show a subsantial decrease -- which it doesn't. Howard Jacobs said the library doesn't have $157,000 to operate the cybermobile and thus I would expect that by eliminating the cybermobile the library would instead be saving $157,000. I say that by eliminating the cybermobile, the Library only saves $95,000. However, the library does have more than $157,000 that could be used to maintain the cybermobile; they just chose not to make cutbacks from other budget lines.

As another blogger suggested, the anonymous comments could be originating not from rotund lawyer or long-winded pedant but from a woman. Not that sex would be the determining factor, I now agree, at least, that none of my top five male candidates could be as dumb as this poster unless on purpose; the parroting and ignoring the facts are more likely the work product of either the hag on East Hartsdale Avenue or the hag near Poet's corners -- both of whom are consumed by their dislike for men.

About two years ago, I suggested to Feiner that he should start a program of having interested resident volunteers adopt a department or budget and be thoroughly conversant with it.
Perhaps still reeling from his proposed and aborted block leader program, he never took up this idea. However, consider if knowledgeable residents "adopted" departments and made their findings public, whether or not Greenburgh would benefit from this additional layer of scrutiny.

Even without Feiner's backing, I stayed with the Library because starting with their mishandled expansion, it was only a short leap to realize that they didn't know the operating side either while there can be no quarrel that the Trustees are not sypathetic to those who pay the library bills.

Yes there are plenty of things that Samis doesn't talk about -- do I take that as an invitation?
Let me guess no because you already don't like reading what I do "talk" about.

Finally, I note that you are enamored of "rant and rave". I'll try to go out on a gentler note.
On your best day, you are pliant and naive. The other 364, muck off.

hal samis said...

Dear 4:09,
(not the same one as the Beach Boys?)

#3 but, department by department.
Some "departments of interest" following the library are Police, DPW and Assessor.

I've got plenty of rants and raves to share, so no one need feel left out.

Anonymous said...

I am blogger 3;17, who was supposedly answered by blogger 4:09.

Blogger 4:09 proved my point exactly. He refuses to accept the reality of the library mess, and he keeps changing the subject and blaming others.

Sure the public voted for the expansion and I accept it because I have to. I am not saying that it is illegal. But that doesn't address the question of how the library board lied and then screwed up royally -- the point being that even though we have to accept the library, we don't have to accept this library board's words or excuses or judgment.

Sure there other problemms, and we want to know about the sewer district and the other things you referred to, if there is something there. But those other things don't erase the horror of the library mess and the need to challenge the library board when they lie and they spite the public when they don't get the money they want. And we don't fall for their garbage about their"savings account" when we know that this is overpayments on prior budgets.

There is plenty wrong in town, but among the worst is the library board, who are also the most arrogant.

disgusted by samis' behavior said...

Samis, you ignorant slut.

You condemn whoever it is writing anonymously that you don't have your facts right about that pesky $157,000, which you say is really $95,000, as if the entire fate of Western Civilization depends on your being right, and that anonymous person(s) out there being wrong, and lo and behold, in the accounting you use to prove that you know more than everyone else, you left out the amount that the library must pay for in Westlynx charges to operate the Cybermobile.

According to the library's budget, the total WestLynx number is $110,000, but we can't tell from looking at that number how much of that is or would have been attributable to the Cybermobile in 2008.

What's WestLynx you say? It's the computer system that links all 38 libraries in Westchester County's public library system. The cybermobile is equipped with that service, which enables patrons to get access to materials from all 38 public libraries. But it's expensive to use and it's a huge cost that Samis didn't take into account. How come? Would it have gotten in the way of his story? Would it have undermined his credibility? Would this latest outrage of his have to be tossed on the trash with all of his other outrages?

And, for those who still don't understand why it is that people don't sign their names to this blog, consider how Samis addresses those anonymous people who had the audacity to criticize his portrayal of the "facts."

In just one blog entry, he refers to the anonymous critic(s) as "pond scum," and "second or third hand ejaculate." He then identifies his suspects as either the "rotund lawyer" or the "long winded pedant," or the work of the "hag on East Hartsdale Avenue" or the "hag from Poets Corner," "both of whom are consumed by a dislike for men."

Sad to say, this is precisely the kind of x-rated trash-talk we have come to expect over the years from Samis and other close associates of Paul Feiner who feel it's their mission in life to intimidate anyone who wishes to disagree with them.

Proudly anonymous, I challenge Mr. Feiner to repudiate these these foul and disgusting personal attacks from Mr. Samis and take them off your website. Either that or try explaining to your daughter or other children who might read this public officials' blog what "second or third hand ejaculate is."

Anonymous said...

I'm not Samis, but I have read this blog from the beginning. I have never seen Samis trash anyone who actually signs his name. So, you self-righteous 5:07, you have nothing to be proud of.

As for the $110,000 WestLYNX cost, are you suggesting that this is atrributable to the cybermobile? I hope not because I don't want to see you more ignorant than you are. I'd be shocked -- and I'll apologize if I am wrong here -- that the $110,000 number is the cost whether or not the cybermobile uses that link or not.

Yes, Samis can be rough, but considering the ignorant insults that are thrown at him, I don't blame him. At some point you mud-slingers have to own up to the numbers and the facts.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:35, you've got to be kidding. Samis has been trashing people by name since this site first got started. He's one of the reasons people like you and me don't risk signing our names, or maybe we'd get added to his list.

And as for the ignorant insults thrown at Samis, I don't see anyone making fun of the fact that he's overweight, bald, divorced, lives alone in a tiny apartment, doesn't have much a career, has way too much free time on his hands, and seems to be both a misognynist and a homophobe.

But when Samis goes over the top, as he did earlier today, by referring to his critics as men-hating hags and their criticism as "second and third hand ejaculate," I'm assuming those in the fray know exactly who in the community he's talking about, and I think he needs to take his trash talk elsewhere or no one will take him seriously. I also think the supervisor should use some judgment and take that sort of crap off his website.

And I don't know how Westlynx works, but I find it hard to believe the town gets charged a flat fee for the service regardless of the number of terminals, where they happen to be located, and whether they are in a mobile unit like the cybermobile. I suspect there's a cost there and Samis should at least have checked into that before declaring, as he has, that the library board's chairman was guilty of some wrongdoing.

Anonymous said...

So you don't see anyone "making fun of the fact that he's overweight, bald, divorced, lives alone in a tiny apartment, doesn't have much a career, has way too much free time on his hands, and seems to be both a misognynist and a homophobe."

No, you did a good enough job on him didn't you?

I suppose that you are tall, slim, handsome, rich and live in a mansion, so you have a right to look down on lesser people, even if you are wrong in your nasty description.

Anonymous said...

I think the point the blogger was making was that it was wrong for anyone, Samis included, to engage in these personal attacks.

If Samis thinks his point is made more forcefully by referring to his critics as men-hating "hags" from East Hartsdale Avenue and Poets Corner, and referring to their supposed criticism as "second and third hand ejaculate," he's wrong. He comes off like a low-brow moron.

And if Samis's defenders think it's okay if Samis uses this kind of "rough" language -- but not okay if Samis himself gets a taste of his own medicine -- then they too are low-brow morons.

Anonymous said...

The answer here is very simple. This blog is paid for by the Town Supervisor out of his personal (campaign) funds. If you don't like the discourse, don't bother to read or post. Then those of us who may have reasonable differences may have them and have a "private" dialogue.

As to the original question at hand, the Library Board of Trustees made an assertion that the cybermobile costs $157,000 per year to operate. Just show us (the public) the beef. From a PR perspective, if you (the Library Board) can back up your statement, you should rush to publicize it and deflate Mr. Samis. Where's the analysis?

If Mr. Samis is wrong, it will become readily apparent. Unfortunately (for the taxpayers and library patrons), if he is right, all of the "anonymice" posters will quietly slink away and never have to face the music.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Samis,but I play him on cable some evenings. All Of you critics fail to give any proof whatsoever( on alternate evenings I play a short rotund lawyer) that your figures are correct,

While he proves mathematically that his numbers are indeed correct. He also plays by the rules by asking Dianna"the Sphynx" Juettner- the liaison to the library( who should know the facts,but doesn't know where to go except to pick up an unearned paycheck)what the numbers are.

Surprise! surprise! the "sphynx" responds ( few who have ever heard her voice are shocked by the epiphany) but "unansweringly."With V.P. of the library board sitting in the front row, and for all intents and purposes the spokesperson for the library board, the one who should really have all the answers does not answer.Why, because Juettner the "protectress",thinks( yes even she thinks...occasionally) it inappropriate for Wolfert to answer because she is at the board meeting as a repoter for the SCARSDALE INQUIRER. Which begs the question, "if she has the answer, why-eventhough she's there for reporting- she can't respond with the facts that she has. Oh, silly me. She can't because "Sphynx" "thought" there may be a "conflict of interest." I guess she plays an unsuccessful lawyer on cable in her day job, and a "successful" politico two Wednesday evenings a month for $30,000 a year for as long as the fools in Greenburgh keep bringing her back.

As with champions in boxing, Samis is the winner and still champion, until "pond scum," "second or third hand ejaculative material" or the mysterious( and with good reason) "clock cleaner,"( who must be a verrrrry boring person) cleans his clock with All Purpose Facts.

Son-of-Sam-is

Anonymous said...

Dear7:08
Did you ever hear the saying that good things come in small packages.
He may be small in stature but he has more brains than you will ever have.
What studies have you made on the budget?
Did you understand line by line? well I have to say that I didn't know my rear from my elbow but this man made me understand that there is a lot of wrong doings with the library building plus it's budget.
What have you brought forth to the public?
Can you match his knowledge?
I don't think so.

hal samis said...

You forgot divorced twice.
Also you forgot, no car (although I have a license.
My apartment is not tiny, probably has as many square feet per occupant (1, as in alone) as many who live in homes with their family.
I will be 63, do I need really need a career past 60?
But without a car, a career, being bald, and overweight, it is not likely that women are beating a path to my door but I'll always have the blog.
I spent years on Fire Island, two years in the Pines, so strike the homophobe -- I just prefer those who are gay to be open about it -- not that there's anything wrong with it and it probably is no bigger deal than being against "choice".
And, I inhaled.

IF you are right about the westlynx contract although you don't seem very certain, the difference between the Tentative Budget listed amount and the Approved Budget where cybermobile lines were removed, there is a difference of $5,000 which you can add to the $95,000 and arrive at $100,000, now leaving a difference of $57,000.

But, why does the cybermobile need the westlynx terminal. I enter the WLS system from my computer by logging on to the WLS website. Thus, what is the costly need to have westlynx onboard when the staff could either make WLS inventory queries through their existing satellite service contract or by computer as I do or, failing that, place orders, queries by cell phone to a staffer at the library's "main" branch -- or even when they return to home base. Items not on the cybermobile when it sets out in the morning, won't be there later in the day for all the time saved. In any case, I don't think there really was a great need for the westlynx hook-up on the cybermobile (if it existed) and the Trustees could just as well have saved taxpayers the "$5,000 cost". There are ways around the WLS rules as Elmsford found -- but only if you're "hungry" which the Library trustees are not. Witness a building program without fund raising -- no bake sales, no car washes, no raffles. Now that they need money because the furniture and technology that represented $1.3 million of the $19.8 is long gone, they sent the alarm to the Greenburgh Library Foundation last winter to please raise money. Don't trust the Trustees, this money is not being raised to buy paperclips and inkpads.

In any case, now you refer to the $157,000, or not, as "pesky", like something bad that just won't go away.

The point is that the Library Board of Trustees had said that they were forced to eliminate cybermobile service (a very popular service) and Sunday hours because their budget was cut and they had no other place to turn.

But they could red pencil other places but THEIR CHOICE was to buy $180,000 more books, and cds, and dvds than they did in 2007, just in case the new building opens in October or beyond.

Kill the bird in hand, there might be one 10 months later in the bush.

They had the choice not to do this.

What they chose to do was ignore their promise to their patrons that they would provide increased cybermobile service while the new library was under construction. And there always were Sunday hours at the old Library.

Because they are angry at the Town Board for taking away the Library Fund that they needed to hide the Referendum budgeted shortfall, they became spiteful and decided to toss a live grenade at Feiner and the Town Board. They elimnated amenities that they knew would provoke patron anger and, then, by lying about the circumstances, they hoped to divert that anger away from themselves and redirect it to the Town Board. The result is they created the situation that used their patrons as hostages and made them bear the brunt of their choice to buy more for their collections. They are doing this now in 2008 and not in 2009 because they are doing what any show or film does -- they are dressing the set hoping to hide the flaws from the camera angles that would reveal that it is all just some flats and a backdrop. $19.8 million worth.

I don't deny the "over-the-top" charge but then the anonymous bloggers who write about my hateful rants and lies were building legitimacy solely by repetition.

That said, I am happy to know that people have some existing idea of who the hags are; it is true that, if I were them, I would want to be known as anonymous.

Finally, the idea of writing as anonymous is consistent with the idea of not naming names and thus if there are problems, you can play "who's to blame". If people sign on for responsible positions, only by publicizing their mistakes is there any sanction to stop them from making the same mistakes again.

That those who write nasty comments and sign them as anonymous take the position that names should not be used in public, even of those who have violated the public trust, that is the essence of self-serving.

And if the only volunteers that the Town can attract to fill important positions are those who
(fill in what you think I would say) then perhaps we would be better off without their services and leaving the positions empty.

Only the Library Board (not the Zoning Board, not the Planning Board, not the Ethics Board, not the CAC, not the Antenna Review Board) has the power to spend money -- considerable money as it happens, $3.4 million for 2008 AFTER their cuts. They maintain that no one but themselves can determine how this money is spent. And the "they" are merely appointed officials not elected. Lacking the legal right to change this status, residents, patrons and taxpayers should at least have the oppotunity to exercise oversight and demand honesty about how the Trustees choose to cut their pie's slices.

If this doesn't make any sense, you can return to avoiding discussion on the remaining $57,000 slice.

Anonymous said...

I don't approve of Samis language in that posting, but there is a difference between Samis and the 6:25 writer. Samis didn't name anybody and his language, foul as it may have been, was not directed to named people. The 6:25 writer directed his foul lanuage to Samis by name, and deprecated his appearance, his profession and his life. That was worse.

Now if everybody will just tone it down and demand that the Library Board give us facts and numbers, and quit protecting them.

Anonymous said...

Samis left out the part about how he's such a misanthrope he's not only twice divorced, as he says, but doesn't even have a relationship with his own son, but no matter.

He defends his use of far worse perjoratives about others because he assures us his targets in town all hold some elective or appointive office and, because he, Samis, serves as self-appointed chief prosecutor, judge and lord high executioner, he can get away with it (wink, wink).

Well, he can't, or at least he shouldn't. This may be Feiner's blog, paid for supposedly out of his campaign funds, but it's a public space, he uses his public office to promote it, and if Samis feels that his close relationship these days with Feiner gives him a license to use this site to spew hate about people he doesn't like, he has to understand that some of us don't have to sit back and say it's okay.

And "rough" or not, if all we're talking about is, as Samis now concedes, $57,000 out of a total annual budget of $3.4 million, which is about 1.4% of the total, Samis's ranting, raving and disgusting name-calling, are the ranting, raving and name-calling not of a conscientious taxpayer (oh yeah, Samis doesn't pay taxes either) but of an attention-craving lunatic and clown.

It's sad that the supervisor and his supporters encourage this dysfunctional behavior which has turned which might have been a very promising public forum into a truly ugly hate-filled place.

hal samis said...

Clearly it ddidn't take two to tango unless, you are the rotund one.

Anonymous said...

The last time I checked, there was a link from the Town website to this blog. I think either Feiner should rein in Hal, or get rid of the link.

Anonymous said...

I knew that it wouldn't be long before the usual suspects put this on Feiner's plate. To them it is always Feiner.

hal samis said...

I find it especially telling to recognize the paradox, if not hypocrisy, represented by the concerns about my writings, the content and that it appears uncensored on the Supervisors blog -- particularly so since the persons most concerned seem to be those defend the Library from me.

Library's themselves are supposed to be about the free exchange of information; that is unless some Greenburgh residents truly want to suspend the Constitution and its protections allowing free speech.

Maybe some of those who rally to defend Howard Jacob's and the Library Trustees should avail themselves of westlynx to see if there are copies of Tropic of Cancer, Lady Chatterley's Lover and, gasp, Peyton Place allowed on the shelves of local Libraries.

State education laws recognizing that control of Libraries by politicians and their governments might result in book burnings, lists of approved titles and other measures that would restrict freedom of speech and the right to have your view be heard in today's new media or instead limited to the soapbox on the corner of colonial times.

Thus, it is disconcerting to read that those who are most offended by my opinions and statements would want to bring pressure upon the Supervisor to curtail free speech as it appears on this forum -- even one with such a "broad" reach that it can't be avoided; it being so in your face, as the "offended" go about their daily business.

Therefore, if you can't stand the heat, merely scroll past what I write. There's no mistaking who the author is as I put my name on it and it appears at the BEGINNING of the post. If anyone doesn't want to read Samis, don't.

But if you must read, would you rather a world with only one viewpoint tolerated (likely in such a world it would be the official version allowed) and new dictionaries would appear with words removed.

A blog about a community where strong and opposing viewpoints are held is not likely to be a PG affair -- as passions run high from all camps. But as anonymous bloggers have proven, first to Mike Kolesar and this weekend to me, obscenities can occur even without using George Carlin's "7 words" or their cousins.

It is a kind of perverse logic in itself in that those who write as anonymous feel they have freedom to say anything about anyone, either by name or in general, and think that it is ok to do so even while defending their own anonymous origin because they point to how people are attacked on the blog.

Black history month is not about pots and kettles.

And those who reveal that they know exactly who I am writing about and thereby confirm the accuracy of my caricatures, thank you your awareness.

To the objects of my scorn: there are others beside yourselves who know exactly who you are, even from my barest of descriptions.

In closing, Howard Jacobs is still wrong; the Library did have a choice when faced with budget reductions and it made the wrong choice, the one guaranteed to screw its patrons.

It was also a choice that could have been discussed in public and it could have been made in January or February while these major service changes were contemplated. Because the Library, like the Town, can change how their line item dollars are actually spent, moving them from line to line, there was need to react in haste on what had to be known would be a controversial choice. The approved budget line items can be changed commencing January 1.

Next fall the Library will be seeking 2009 funding, properly called the Library Budget REQUEST.
Best to start planning those car washes, raffles and bake sales now.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that I have not contibuted to this blog in a while. But I have been working on my radio program, "The Advocates" on WVOX-1460 am. One can see all the archived shows at http://advocates-wvox.com.

I do not know Hal Samis very well, but I have been listening to him for over 5.5 years since I started going to Town Board meetings. He has had the courage to sign his name, and in the signing of his name, he has answered numerous critics over the many months that this blog has been active. I believe that anyone who writes anonymously, cannot really be considered accurate or sincere, even if they are accurate and sincere. By hiding under the cloak anonymity they really shouldn't be answered. It is tough answering ghosts!

My public policy comments have been signed, and a handful of others have also signed their contributions. I do not recall Samis criticizing, Kolesar, Lasser, Rosenberg or the few others that were willing to voice their opinions and positions, in any personal way. Regarding the vast amount of his contributions, I believe they have been directed against factual content.

I have taken some heat, but that goes with the territory. The bottom line is that personal attacks should be answered and Samis, for better or worse has dealt with them.

I would suggest that his contributions have been mostly outstanding and that he is the tool of no one. By the way, either am I. As far as I know, the Supervisor doesn't direct anyone to say anything on this blog.

I personally have never talked to the Supervisor about this blog and for all I know he keeps it to stimulate discourse about the issues he wishes to support. I believe that is unique and politically healthy.

Therefore he is not apt to censure anyone. If people do not want to contribute, or even read the blog, so be it. No one is forced to read it, and since Samis doesn't name any names, and takes heat for writing his own opinions, it is his business, plain and simple.

I comment on issues I know about, and one thing is for sure, the library expansion was a costly mistake, and I said that three years ago, and I say it now.

I don't think I was wrong in backing, in public, different alternatives. The Supervisor must run for office every two years, and it would be foolish for him, or any other elected official, to fight windmills. But he like anyoen else has a right to his opinions and he offers them hear weekly. Good for him! What other office holder has the guts, I ask?

He was against the "rush to judgement" on the library, and I have spent a lot of time explaining my understanding of the politics of this library deal. To me it was a boondoggle and it remains one. Time will tell whether the critics, or supporters, were right or wrong.

In our democracy, the voters are given the choice every election cycle to re-elect or defeat the incumbants, reflective of their records.

In this cycle the voters were quite heroic. They defied the party, the library expansion supporters, and history. They ousted three incumbants who were completely endorsed by the party, were well-supported by treasury and party workers, and their own volunteers. Of course this is old news.

Personally I do not care if Hal Samis, or his critics want to debate the amount of "angels on the head of a needle." That is their business. If it gets heated and the reader is offended by some language, find other entertainment.

Meanwhile I have been highly entertained by some of the parodies that have gone to and fro on this blog, and I am a great believer in supporting creative writing.

But, the Town Board and the Supervisor have a big job to do, and conditions will not get better. A recession could and will affect most of us. The Bush presidency is an unmitigated disaster and he is one of the major reasons why the two-party system has almost fled Westchester. That's too bad. We need the two-party system, and I hope that we see it revived all over the county and the country. The public needs choices.

With all that in mind I am voting for Hillary on Tueday. I believe that the Democrats have far superior choices this time around, and that come November, the GOP will be sent to a disaterous defeat.

Richard J. Garfunkel

ed krauss said...

To 2/2 10:44
I don't know how to keep back the four letter words and contempt I have for a pusillanimous punk who feels at ease trashing a man who has done nothing but try to help this community by spending unpaid hours of his time analyzing the town budget and the library portion in particular. Your feckless attempt to discredit him by revealing accurately or not his relationship with his child which is none of your or anyone elses F--king business still does not change the veracity of his findings.

What kind of low life, I ask myself, would do something even a bottomfeeder has enough restraint to avoid. It all boils down to people of your ilk-who, unlike you, don't undress someone's personal life without evidence, and via anonnymity-restating your positions in several different ways, and yet add nothing to the table. Why? Because you don't know what you're talkig about.

Samis doesn't spew hate. The only dysfunctional behavior on this blog is your disgusting comment, and the way "some of us don't have to sit back and take it." Well, Mr. or Ms. none of us have to sit back and take your posterior cavity-like mental meanderings. long winded postings full of the "hate" you're offended by.

I just finished watching the NY Giants not only win the Super Bowl, but also end the potentially perfect record of the N.E. Patriots.

By all standards I should be a happy if not ecstatic person. But a pr--k like you spoils that moment for me. So I have a suggestion for you. No matter how big you are, what sex you are-male,female, asexual or uncategorized,I challenge you to an ultimate rules fight for money, the money to be donated to the charity of the winner's choice.I feel that a punk like you will punk out. But then again who knows, maybe you'll show and have to reveal yourself, somehing you desparately want to hide. On the other hand you may send a surrogate capable of kicking my butt.Nah. An honorable thing like you wouldn't do such a dishonorable thing.

If you want to fight (verbally) don't resort to personal attacks involving outsiders. None of your "some of us" seem to do.

How about it,10:44? Tempess fugit.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Bernstein never signs his name to any comment.
From some of the writings one can see that it is he who complains a little too much about Samis.
Was he not the one that did not want Samis at the Dromore fiasco?

Anonymous said...

Paul ,you have had a bus taking people shopping how about using that bus for library pickups too.
You really do not need the bookmobile.
We would be saving a few bucks in doing this and the issue will be closed .
Why have two buses.
Yes the shopping bus driver will have to do a little bit more driving but we will not have to put up with the library personel punishing the public again.
Let's see what will be the next service that they will cut out.
The library demands are getting a bit too much and in the end we the public suffer.

Anonymous said...

I give credit to anyone who is willing to sign their name and make their positions known. There is a place for anonymity and it should be used for contributing to intellectual discourse regarding public policy. At times, people fear being exposed in the marketplace of ideas.

But, too many people in this town, for their own reasons and hidden agenda, want to indulge in the politics of personal destruction.

I witnessed much of this in the last two election cylces. In public I named many of our carping critics, the CABAL. They may not have been all active conspirators, but their one unifying mantra was destroying the Town Supervisor. I vehemently disagreed with their activities and fought back. I thank my many allies in, and out, of the Town Hall loop.

I believe, that after that light was brightly shined on them by many people in our community, they have gone underground. The underground for many of them is the veil of anonymity offered by this blog.

I at one timed advised the Supervisor to discontinue this blog, it just served as a forum for hate mongers. But he refused, and felt that he could take the heat, and it was well worth hearing the many sides of all the questions and problems that dog Greenburgh and the region.

Most of us know who these character assassins are. We know their modus operendi. We know their agenda. So be it.

Richard J. Garfunkel

juettner must go said...

so its undisputed - juettner is and remains a disaster!

juettner meet barnes and bass.

amen on the sphinx juettner said...

amen - the sooner she meets them the better

Anonymous said...

Why is it stated free bus service,which it is not.
We throughout all Greenburgh pay for this service within the tax we pay BUT many areas are not serviced by the towns' service of going shopping.
Why is this service for a chosen few?