Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Greenburgh Democracy--say what you want about our town.

TOWN BOARD WORK SESSION 2-5:30 PM Executive session resumes at 8:30 PM


Town Hall


Anonymous said...

What a hypocrite Sheehan is. He is complaining in todays Journal News that he was not consulted about open government initiatives. Did he consult Feiner with his midnight appointments? Did he consult Feiner before ordering the police to conduct an e mail investigation? During his two years he only started televising Town Board work sessions after Feiner's team won.

Anonymous said...

I support Feiner, but he really should have made his decisions and announcements in conjunction with the entire Town Board. I'm sure that he will be more careful in the future.

Anonymous said...

With whom has Francis consulted with all the decisions he has made for the past 2 years.
The hiring of Kamineer,the hiring of more police personel,the firing of officer Ward.
The expansion of the library,giving
Regula the job to oversee the construction of the library.
If one stops and thinks with every decision that he has made whas costs us big time and the worse is yet to come.
He has worked against the supervisor and behind closed doors for all this time.
The party is not over yet Francis it is about to start big time.
What ever you said or done will be biting each resident in their pockets for many years to come.
Why should You Francis be consulted with anythng concerning Greenburgh.
We don't want you and you friend to represent us in anyway shape or form.
It's a crime that we will have to wait 2 years for both of your exits
but who knows maybe both of you will resign.
You have made plenty of deals behind closed doors with civic leaders,so stop the BS.
Juettner you did the same with the library which set us back twenty million plus after all is said and done.You knew very well what was going on behind closed doors but you did not give a dam.
Both of you have done what you are accusing Feiner of doing.
MAybe you were talking about youselves in the newspaper .

Anonymous said...

Whomever had very close ties with Sheehan should be let go.
We all know who they are let's see what happens in the next few months.
Big changes will be coming to the betterment of Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

I think that letting William Bland go from the Community Center is nuts !! He would run that place the way it needs to be run as long as hopeton White is gone.



Get rid of HOPETON !!!!

Williams ideas for the future of the center should be heard!!
He will be able to implement the ideas he has to bring the center foward. Hopeton has held him back.

Ask the people that use the center, ask the folks that work there, ask the Police Dept, ask the Fire Dept.


And if it is because of a SONYA personal vendetta because she wasnt hired by the center years ago...than SHAME ON YOU !!


Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 10:29

Feiner is not Sheehan. Just because Sheehan was a bully for two years doesn't mean that Feiner should exact revenge and be a bully for the next two years.

We will have better government if Feiner acts wisely and doesn't imitate Sheehan.

Anonymous said...

I think the decision to replace Hopeton White and William Bland is a very good one. The Center needs a breath of Fresh Air, with new Idea's. It's a long time coming.
Thank you Paul and the Town Board
for making this wise decision.
Now let's make another good decision with top notch replacements!

Anonymous said...

The replacements will be an act of political patronage. Can't wait to see who they are and how they're connected to Sonja Brown!

Anonymous said...

Changes should be made periodicaly.
These people have been on the scene too long.
Whomever is chosen will be a great asset to the center. I do think that every one on the board will make the right choice.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone expect President Hillary Clinton or Obama to keep Secretary of State Rice? Administrations always change their cabinets.

Anonymous said...

What makes you say President Hillary Clinton,aren't you jumping the gun.
We need guts in the White House not a cry baby.

Anonymous said...

11:25 you're an idiot

Anonymous said...

Paul Finer for President

Anonymous said...

You asked your question and answered it.
What do you have for a brain.

Anonymous said...

Could someone tell us what Bernstein was trying to tell us about Dromore RD,
The bunch of them made a big mistake,which I'M sure that the town will be paying for dearly.
As one can see one of the gentlemen that made a big mistake by changing the zoning map without proper authorization,has been let go.
Bernstein and McNally wanted to serve their own greed when it came to this parcel.
What was he resolving.If the town will be sued some time down the line we know who is to blame.
Each of them should be sued individually to teach them a lesson.
Bernstein and his friends in Edgemont have ruled too long.We need commercial development to help with tax revenue.
They have said too long that they did not want anything done with certain properties well this has got to stop.
As Samis said stores on the bottom and apartments above,
What is the town waiting for.
You have been poopooed on so long with these associations that we the taxpayers are feeling it very badly this time and for more years to come.
Wake up town board the residents throughout Greenburgh need help.Don't wait too long because more problems will be coming up that you cannot control.
The mistakes of yesterday will hit us in the butt some time later.
Are you prepared to handle more tax reductions or more law suits.
I do not think so.

Anonymous said...

The people who spoke out about the center are nothing but a bunch of racists.
The center belongs to all the people of Greenburgh,regardless of race or color.
At last night meeting the words I and we were used too many times which made me think that they think the center is theirs.
We all pay taxes for this center and don't even get a chance to use it.
And another thing who are they to dictate who should stay on a job
For x amount of years.
I think the town had good reason to let these 2 gentlemen go,if the members don't want to attend the center that's ok too.
If the center should be closed that's ok too.
Whatever the town decides should be accepted because they are in the position to help the young and the old of All Greenburgh.
This tax hike has proven to be a blessing since many things that were taken for granted will be looked into.
We all know how money was spent and where favors were granted to friends in all departments.
The center is no exception.
Whomever uses the center should be made to pay their way.
Why is it that there are freebees.
In today's world every person one way or another receives assistance.
We want the best for our children but showing them that they can get what they want so easy and not pay is a step in the wrong direction.

Anonymous said...

The trustee of the library made no sense last night.
LISTENING to him one can see what is wrong with the library system here in Greenburgh.
He wants money without services.
You see Mr Feiner no one ever looked into how money was being spent up until this tax hike.
Well now is the time to cut this spending once and for all.
The Gov. of New york in todays' paper proposed a tax cap on all schools.
It's a little too late for many of us but he too is going in the right direction.
Schools an the library system do not report to the town,that is why our money throughout the years has been spent without anyone investigating why.
As the govenor said no matter what rebate is given out the schools eat it up.
Thank you for finally seeing what many of us have been complaining about.
School budgets are out of line.
Does anyone stop to think that to send a child to a private school is cheaper than what the school charges per child in their system.
The only thing is that a person that sends their child to a private school has to pay the school taxes for her area.
This too is unfair.
I will write the Governor to look into this matter,that maybe he could do something to help those that choose this method of schooling.
As for library an investigation should be initiated with the comptrollers office since it is under the juristiction of New York state,as to why they need so much money to run a non existing building..

Anonymous said...

Why does the town continue to support the developer seeking to build luxury condos on that land next to the Nature Center?

The Zoning Board of Appeals ruled 5-1 in October that the property was zoned only for single family residences on half acre plots, that the town's zoning map had been mismarked, that the error cropped up when the town created the conservation overlay zone in 1997, that there was never any town board ordinance adopted between 1977 (when the Central Avenue zone was created) and the present day which placed that property in any zoning district other than the one for single family residency on minimum half acre plots, that the price the developer claimed to have paid for the property in May 2006 ($1.4 million) was based on the property being zoned for single family residences on half acre plots, and the developer received notice in writing in December 2006 that the town believed the property to be zoned single family only.

The Greenburgh Nature Center doesn't want the developer to build luxury condos on the property. It passed a resolution strongly urging the town to defend the zoning board's decision. It did so after the town attorney presented the nature center's new executive director with a map showing where the developer's condos would be built.

The nature center was so concerned that the town might be pulling a fast one here that it asked the Edgemont Community Council to pass a resolution of its own, urging the town to defend the zoning board's decision.

The ECC unanimously agreed to support the nature center's position. Bernstein read that ECC resolution at last night's town board meeting.

It's a sad commentary that certain hate-filled Feiner supporters are contending that Feiner fired Mark Stellato, the planning commissioner, because he acted improperly in changing the zoning map.

Once town personnel discovered that an error in the zoning map had been made, it was Stellato's job to make sure the zoning map got corrected.

Anonymous said...

No it was not Stellato's place to change the map without the full approval of the whole town board.
The change was made because Sheehan told Stellato to make the change without the town councils vote.
So stop trying to cover up from this wrong doing on Sheehan's part and then followed by Stellato.
Business is not conducted this way when changes have to be made.
Sorry you have your facts wrong.
INstead of working things out legally things were done illegal.

Anonymous said...

My Gripe about the new sidewalks in town is they build the with telephones smack in the middle of the path. Shouldnt the town work with con ed on relocating the poles. The virtually render the path uselless to babycarrages etc.

Anonymous said...

You want sidewalks ok but now you want telephone poles moved so baby carriges could pass by.
Now you are not only asking for the town to do their job now you want to get the utility companies involved.
Where do you want the utility poles to be placed.
Will you pay for the moving of these poles onto some ones property.
Did you ask the residents along the route if they want all this construction work to be done.
The town has given you a hand but now you are asking for the whole arm.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:48 has his or her facts wrong.

By law in Greenburgh the zoning map can only be changed if the zoning law in Greenburgh is amended.

The Dromore property does not face Central Avenue. When the Central Avenue zone was created in 1977, the Dromore Road property wasn't included in the Central Avenue zone. It was instead part of the R-20 single family residential zone.

All of the town's zoning maps from 1977 through 1996 marked the Dromore Road property as R-20. The zoning map in 1997 marked it as being in the Central Avenue zone.

However, no change in the map could be officially made without the town first adopting an amendment to the zoning law providing for such change.

Here, however, there was no act by the town board in 1996 or 1997 which re-classified the Dromore Road property as being in the Central AVenue zone. Nor has there been any such act of the Town Board since then.

It is the job of the town supervisor to affix his name to the town's official zoning map whenever the map is changed. That way, the supervisor is the ultimate authority to make sure the map is done correctly.

Feiner has never performed this part of this job, and an error was made in 1997 and until February 2007, it was never corrected.

When the error was discovered, it was Stellato's job to correct the map. No further action of the town board was needed when Stellato corrected the map because the town board had never authorized the zoning change for that property, from R-20 to Central Avenue Zone, in the first place.

In New York, a scrivener's error cannot serve as the basis for a zoning change.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

On whose orders did Stellato make the change.
Check it out and you will find out it was done without the knowledge of the WHOLE town board.

hal samis said...

When what is represented as the "official Town Map" is shown to civilians, it should not be done in the spirit of "buyer beware".

It is consistent with the argument that the government should stand by its word -- a theory which of course is equally under attack. In this case, the map was the word of the Town. Mr. Stellato's Department was of course the ultimate consignee of Town maps.

However I can appreciate that the matter needs the Courts to rule when there is a conflict between what is represented as the "official" map with an existing Town law as "kicker" and another Town law which would appear to presume the opposite. That is why we have Courts. And that is why the matter has gone to Court.

The matter has gone beyond "he said, she said".

As for the she said part, apparently Michelle McNally has also left the house. As for the he said part, maybe he can someday be the Planning Komizar for the Village of Edgemont.

But they'll always have Maris.

Anonymous said...

Why the hateful personal attacks against Bernstein and McNally?

They did not testify in the Zoning Board proceeding involving the Dromore property because the Zoning Board chairman ruled that the only issue before the Zoning Board was whether the property was zoned single family residential or was in the Central Avenue zone.

That issue turns on whether the town board ever amended the zoning code to change the property's zoning classification, which everyone agrees was originally zoned single family residential, and that issue turns on what the minutes of the town board meetings show. Even though the developer (and Feiner) attacked them personally, that issue doesn't turn on anything Bernstein or McNally might have said.

Instead, the zoning board of appeal heard everything the Dromore developer's attorney had to say. When all was said and done, the zoning board concluded 5-1 that there was no evidence that the town board had ever re-zoned the Dromore property from single residence half acre to Central Avenue zone.

That being the case, the Zoning Board upheld Mark Stellato's finding that the property had always been zoned single family. Stellato did his job and the zoning board found in this instance that he did it properly.

Attacking Stellato personally for doing his job is part of the pattern of character assassination against well-meaning people in Greenburgh that is so typical of entries one finds on this blog.

As for the developer's legal challenge, it's meritless. The developer has no constitutional due process claims because New York's Article 78 procedure for challenging zoning board rulings gives the developer "due process" by giving him his day in court.

He also has no valid Article 78 claims because even though the developer and his attorney could have searched the town's archives to find proof that the town board changed the zoning for the Dromore property, they deliberately chose not to look, and for good reason: based on what was said at the zoning board hearing, there's no evidence that the town board ever did anything of the sort.

hal samis said...

Now "who" would be defining it as such and then complaining about "hateful and personal attacks against Bernstein and McNally" and then go on to present an argument why the case brought to Federal Court shouldn't be there?
Any guesses? Here's a clue.

"Attacking Stellato personally for doing his job is part of the pattern of character assassination against well meaning people..."

It appears to me to be the footprints of "someone" very anxious about the case coming to trial -- and whatever depositions might be taken. Why argue the merits or, lack of, on the blog?
The Developer, represented by Counsel (Bob and Francis couldn't prevent it this time) has initiated his action; it is doubtful that the Judges read this blog. So why go through all the fuss and bother?

Last night the Town Board was scared to death by Bob Bernstein who brought the news that the ECC didn't want the case settled by the Town. Of course not, these cases take forever and by then perhaps they'll have enough deliverables from the Comprehensive Plan to be an acceptable precursor to initiate a moratorium.

However is there anything else lurking the shadows, something more than that which appears on the surface? Think hiding is plain sight. Readers and Town Hall watchers know only too well how eager the Feiner slate is to appease Mr. Bernstein and accede whatever he asks. Chances are that Mr. Bernstein has a fair idea of this as well and that he has the snowball's chance in hell of getting them to go along with whatever his "ECC" resolution asks.

So why ask?

Maybe Mr. Bernstein would really like, as would Mr. Sheehan and Ms. Juettner, to have the matter go away quickly and quietly. I suspect that the Mayor of Edgemont is going to have to answer some tough questions under oath about his interest in acquiring the property as would his fellow travelers at those secret meetings.

I think that we shall be hearing a lot more from B'rer Bob and a lot more desperation of the "whatever you do, don't throw me in that briar patch" variety as time goes on.

So when Bob says 'please, please try the case', he really means settle. Selling out Edgemont to save himself and his co-conspirators would not be out of the question.

Otherwise the case will he heard, won or lost, in the Court; here on the blog means nothing.

Anonymous said...

It is gratifying to see new faces on the Board this year. In fact, it is the first time in almost two decades that new people were elected to the Board that weren’t appointed, as were Eddie Mae Barnes and Steve Bass, or backed by the party bosses. These new faces have a responsibility to promulgate and support open and transparent government. I note that in the other day's Journal News there was an article about a new initiative to bring “open” government to Greenburgh.

In one of the most ironic and hypocritical statements that I have seen in print, Town Board Member Sheehan decried the proposal to have live streaming and broadcasts of the work sessions by the Supervisor because he wasn’t consulted. In fact, he had one of his acolytes, a Hartsdale resident and Democratic District Leader, who has opposed Supervisor Feiner’s every move, call the proposal “just words” and wants the idea bogged down in another “public hearing.” The town will then spend more time talking about reform, as delay and obfuscation will be served as the usual cast of characters put in their pearls of wisdom. It seems that Mr. Sheehan, who was taping the last few work sessions, as he decided to take government into his own hands, now questions the new initiative. Maybe the new Board wants to put the government back into the hands of the electorate and out of the hands of the “shadow” wannabe supervisor.

It is ironic that we just went through a long campaign that exposed the hypocrisy of the former Town Board. It was this former Board that acted, it is alledged in sworn testimony, in secret and colluded (or met) with developers and private citizens to manipulate the ownership of private property abutting the Greenburgh Nature Center. These actions involved excluding the Supervisor, changes in the zoning map, and meeting in private in violation of the open meetings law. (In the Scarsdale Inquirer these meetings were basically conceded.)

Of course, even according to their own remarks, they played fast and loose with the facts regarding this sordid affair. The four members of the previous Board, according to a sworn deposition, went in and out of a room to meet with a developer, and a lawyer who wears the hat of a neighborhood association president. This was their way of skirting the state regulations regarding open meetings. What was the purpose of that series of meetings? Why did it they come about? Why was the Supervisor excluded? What was the purpose of this manipulation that was to drive an expensive referendum on a piece of property? Was this property to be controlled by a private citizen? And in conclusion, was this piece of property, known as Dromore Road, to be used as a Village Hall for the new proposed village of Edgemont? I think everyone would want to know the answers to these questions. It should be the first order of the business of 2008, along with the getting Greenburgh’s financial house in order after four years of legislative dictatorship.

I also note that this District leader, who was quoted in the paper, wants a hearing to again waste the time of the public, and to debate an issue, which every one currently sitting on this Board has expressed interest and support of for many years. Of course, she calls for a new revival regarding the political theater of the absurd that has been going on for years. But I call for the Town Board to request that the “Ethics Board” appoints a special “master” or prosecutor to investigate and get to the bottom of the Dromore Road fiasco. I call for the former and current Board members to be put under oath, and to testify about the facts regarding this issue. They should be asked which commissioners they met with, when they met, and what the real purpose for their actions were? In other words, let us learn the truth of Dromore Road, and whether the secessionist movement in Edgemont was alive and well and be pushed by this former Board?

Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Garfunkel for formally proposing the creation of the Village of Edgemont -
no one else has.

Anonymous said...

Say what you will about Greenburgh - it's clearly schizophrenic!

Anonymous said...

Why are people afraid of the changes being made at the community cenetr ? We need new leadership. It's not a place just for people living around the center, but for all residents of Greenburgh. A new leadership will come in and run a more productive place,with new Ideas. I think it's a great start for the new year. I might even show up to the center again after being turned off by the place years ago. This change was a long time coming!

Anonymous said...

The residents who live arround the center have made this facility theirs and theirs alone.
The center belongs to many residents of Greenburgh.
Maybe getting a new leadership we who do not live in the Fairview section may have the chance to see what the place looks like on the inside.
We too pay taxes to keep the center going but do not have the chance to go inside without someone wondering what we are doing there.
We understand the services are great and much more will be implimented to help All the residents of Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Edgemont, the secessionist movement has been around for 7 decades. I am sure that my mention of it has broken no new ground. The people of Edgemont have always had the right to pursue their own destiny. I do not live there, have never lived there, but I do know and like many people who do live there. Informally, most of those people are opposed to secession or creating their own village. I do not attempt to speak for them or their community. They have that right. There have been many attempts, I have been told, to research the viability of creating their own independent village. From what I have been told, all of those studies have reflected the negativity of any such action.

But each new generation of owners and residents should explore what is best for their community and their own situation.

From the perspective of a resident of unincoporated Greenburgh, the removal of Edgemont from the taxes rolls of Greenburgh would probably have a very negative impact on the town, without really benefitting the current Edgemont residents. But again that is up to the residents of Edgemont. They do benefit by having a Scarsdale post mark, and their schools will still remain expensive and highly respected. They will need a Village Hall, village government, and would have to incur many other large start-up expenditures.

With regards to Greenburgh, budget creep with more expanded services will result in a continual uncomfortable increase in taxes. All of Westchester is under the same pressure. There are too many layers of government, many of these school districts are too small and may have to be merged, and services must start to be shared.

The county is turning into a rich and poor environment and the property tax as the major way to support municipal and education budgets may have to be capped. Without future reforms, the only way to fund may have to come through a local income tax paid through the state and reimbursed back through the locality.

Of course by consolidating government, maybe we do not need village or county government, and we should concentrate our resources in city and town government. I am not proposing these actions, but the former Gannett Newspaper editor, the well-respected Milton Hoffman, has written extensively on this subject. He has pointed out that Westchester has too many layers of duplicate governments and therefore wasted spending.

Personally I commend the Supervisor and the New Board for starting to take on some of the problems that are plaguing Greenburgh.

Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Rabble rousing from any group begs the issue. There was always a view from the community about the center. The rumor was spread that the center's programs would be cut, not true! But concerns about who uses the center and who should use it should not be the issue now and in the future. The center is there for all in Greenburgh and is paid by the taxpayers of the town.
If Holton and Bland were universally supported and there were not numerous complaints, nothing would have been done. Better to leave sleeping dogs lie. Better to not rock a steady steaming boat. In other simple words, where there was smoke there was fire and there were numerous documented complaints, accusations and problems. These issues did not start three weeks beofre the primary. They were hanging about for years. The new board must take on the challenges of 2008 and not worry about who did what five years ago. Feiner was given a strong vote of confidence and so was his team. They were not elected to conduct busness as usual. So lets see what happens?

Anonymous said...

changes were needed at the center and everyone in the know dealing with the center saw that. We just want imput...!

Anonymous said...

Thelma Washington, George Bush and Francis Sheehan, are three of a kind! Great hair, no brains!

Anonymous said...

Thelma Washington is a liar and opportunist . Just so happens the Library board wants her. Her sleezy backing of sir francis and juettner was an obvious attempt to put the fire out under their asses. Be that as it may the board this week has done more work than boards in 10 years. They TALK, LISTEN and were seen together at town hall. Won't that screw francises plans for supervisor,??? playing nicely !!!! We may even see the town move so forward that calm will replace anarchacy . We can only hope for the best. Word has it that Morgan is the calming factor according to unnamed employees and is getting dialog back to all. God bless him if it works. It is a good start to a new greeenburgh

Anonymous said...

america is a wonderful country, and greenburgh reflects that fact... only in america could a brainless person like t. washington be able to get up in the public and shoot her mouth off and some people clap. a few weeks ago she was hot and bothered over the tax increase, but couldn't connect that to the board or expenses, or to the drop in revenues. now she's screetching dictatorship when the board wants to trim expenses, tighten controls and exercize management. get real! as long as tghe public is willing to listen to her foolishness and not hoot her down, she will be encouraged to enjoy listening to her own voice with no clue how foolish and mixed up she sounds!

Anonymous said...

She never refers to the residents of all of Greenburgh.
Is she the only one living in fairview.
Is she the only one that has problems.
Is she fighting for the rest of the residents who need help in all areas of Greenburgh.
If she is a friend of Sheehan and JUettner she should not be put on any board.
When she needs something she is so sweet in calling out to Regula or any other department head to get her point across .
Who is she kidding.
She should join hands with Loren Brown because they both don't make any sense and do not make things better for me or my brothers and sisters.
She should not be on any board.

ed krauss said...

To 3:28, for a guy with no brains, he not oly fooled this cuntry of ours once, but twice. So the joke is on us.Sadly there's no solace in the fact that Yale and Harvard made a LEGACY mistake.

Let's all learn from this. Do your due diligence and then vote.

To 12:28 If you were at or watched the last Town Board meeting,you are half right. Anarchy 0ne, calm Zero.

*Shouting, positive or negative, from the audience;
*posturing from the dais;
Gross indecision or hypocrisy from the parliamentarian- After one person spoke for 8 minutes, the audience was admoished to "abide by the rules."
* the time keeper started the thre minute clock after the spaker started speaking; sometimes the time on the clock started at 4 minutes, once at 39 minutes;
threats fromthe podium went unchallenged;
misrepresentations from a library board member feeding GROSSLY inaccurate dollar information about what the Town Board allegedly did-a total misrepresentation of the facts- went unchallenged by either of the three members who were on the board at the time these fictitious decisions were made (one of whom is the liaisom- representig the Town Board, and the people in the unincorporated who pay the freight) made no attempt to SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT!!
*The meeting scheduled to start at 7:30 started considerably later, because of the understandable swearing speeches. CALM would have mandated, knowing allof this was going to take place, to forego the new rules for the next meeting.

No, Barnum and Baile set up shop every other Wednesday at Greenburgh Town Hall and until further ntice "the show not only must, but will go on."

Regarding Thela Washington, she is not an elected official and should not be the target of personal attacks, especially from the Anonymous tribe;persona attacks from one anonymous memberto another anonymous member is sort of OK, because boh parties re unknown; name calling from a bylined (gives his or her name) is OK because the recipient of the attack is not known; the reverse,an anonymous person trashing (even in self-defense) a named person is cowardly.

Anonymous said...

Greenburghg wants to be green. Now the county is cracking down on recycling. Why cant we have recycling pick up every week like a few years ago. I thought this new alternating week schedule was just going to be a temporary study. We all know sanitation is done by lunch time , why not recycle more. Most people cant hold on to all of our recyclable waste for 14 days!

Anonymous said...

hope that the request to put up a sign on someone's property that happens to be in a residential area IS NOT GRANTED