Saturday, January 12, 2008


I just learned that the Library Board has eliminated the drop off box service on E Hartsdale Ave. Another unnecessary cut. The library and town should be service oriented. This box provided commuters and residents of the town with excellent outreach.

I am researching whether the Town Board can expand the number of members of the Library Board. The Library Board claims they are independent of the town. In recent weeks they have eliminated some important services:


Anonymous said...

I just learned that residents of Greenburgh are facing a 19% increase in real estate taxes.

Was someone asleep at the switch here? How could this be?

Anonymous said...

how about cutting some library board members.
We do not need people like this to use these tactics of getting back at the residents with taking away some of the necessary features of the library.
They finally got caught doing something wrong that was going on for years,so they are treating us as thiugh we are the ones that are wrong.
The residents deserve better service than what this children are throwing our way.
We should have woken up earlier but we did have a board member that was a laison to the library,who was to keep us informed of all happenings.But I guess she too wanted not only to screw the supervisor but she screwed each and everyone royaly.
Maybe we can blink our eyes and get rid of the white elephant on 119 that will not be fully completed until the middle of 2009.
But we can all be looking at higher taxes than 19% because they will run out of money real soon.
So let us prepare ourselves for the worse.

Anonymous said...

You cant tell me that a drop box that is already their costs that much to operate. I am sure tha there are plenty of librarians sitting around doing nothing during the day and can run down to east hartsdale avenue to empty the box!

Anonymous said...

Though maybe no one uses it. What are the usage stats?

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...

And were the usage stats for the bookmobile and Sunday hours posted? Maybe I missed them. Can't complain about any of the cuts without usage information. Maybe the cuts are justified?

Anonymous said...

What do you suppose motivated the Supervisor to post his little ""'ve just learned" piece?

call them now? said...

maybe the supervisor should post the names and phone numbers of the library board.

Anonymous said...

I dont know of any other towns that provide this serive, not even white plains.

hal samis said...

To several anonymous idiots,

1) On the way to work, someone from the Library could pick up "books" from the "book" drop.

2) Other communities may be in the enviable position of not having libraries under construction and those that do have construction probably had a Library Board which had the brains to have a relocation plan set in place before shutting down their Library. Thus, having to go from a "crowded" 22,000 feet to under 5,000 feet while keeping most of their staff as a good faith measure, the Libary told taxpayers that they would increase cybermobile service to make the transition less severe. When the new Library opens, they can drive the cybermobile off a cliff for all I care. My interest is in holding the Library to its commitment to maintain service during construction. Using their Budget to purchase more materials for an unfinished Library does not maintain even 2007's reduced service level even though the Library is getting over $400,000 or about 8% more money in 2008.

3) Where would you get stats? From the Library...but how could anyone know how many books and cds and dvds are returned when there was no cybermobile service so there are no stats. Since the Library is not about to release information on how popular the cybermobile service was (other than they used to brag how many new library cards were issued on board), the blogger keeps trying to make it seem as though there was no basis to have cybermobile service or Sunday hours and that the protest against continuing is not based on need.

4) Other libraries are open on Sundays. For patrons who work during the week getting to the Library is difficult. For example, I can get to the "Library" when I attend a Town Board meeting on a Wednesday night but to return any items checked out, I would then have to make a separate trip either next week (items are checked out for a week) or do it on the weekend. If I can't go on Saturday, then the trip on Sunday would be just to use the book drop outside town hall because the Library is closed on Sundays and I would be unable to take out new materials.

5) Hartsdale has a lot of senior citizens (concentrated in the apartment buildings) who are unable to get around. The cybermobile and the book drop were their only way to use the Library.
Without even the book drop, they must not only get to the Library to pick up materials but make a separate trip to return them.

6) The Library's budget for 2008 is over $3.4 million dollars vs $3.0 in 2007. Please try and write with a straight face that there is no way the Library cannot even maintain an existing book drop.

7) What is the misplaced intrigue about when and why the Supervisor learned and posted about the shutting down of the book drop. Perhaps more to the point and to the shame of the Library is that the only notice of this decision appears in a sign taped to the book drop. It did not appear on the Library's email announcing service cuts or as of yesterday on the Library website. Perhaps this is another item "discussed" at their December 20 meeting that Diana Juettner did not know about or anyone else for that matter.

8) Lots of silence from the "Greenburgh Library Foundation" and from the "Friends of the Greenburgh Library". Are they not really interested?

9) Of course, each day that goes by without anyone caring is a day of victory for the Library Board of Trustees in their war to screw their patrons over royally.

10) Remember that the Library which doesn't have enough money to operate the cybermobile, keep the book drop open and be open Sunday, does have enough to spend in 2008, $180,000 MORE than they spent in 2007 for books, cds and dvds.

11) If the Trustees want to initiate a war, perhaps it is still not too late for the Town Board to reduce their budget even more.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone use the drop box? If it's not used, then it may make sense.

Anonymous said...

When the library opens in 2009 or maybe after that year will the trustees have special hours.
They probably open at 9 close at 12 reopen at 4 and then close at 8.
That will be the next thing on their agenda.
But with all the cuts that they will be making their salary goes up.

hal samis said...

Dear 7:21, (the vice of reason)

Why don't you ask the Library which maintains the drop box?
Asking the question on the blog won't get the answer because the public does not have access to the information -- unlike their budget which is a public document.

However, one can always work backwards and surmise: if the Cybermobile, Sunday hours and the dropbox were not utilized and hence unneeded, then the only reason the Trustees discontinued them was because the Library extorted less money this year.

However, I believe these services were popular, much used and will be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

Hal you finally used the right word extortion by the library.
If this were done by a citizen he or she would be tried and convicted.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 7:25AM -
The library board are all volunteers - they get paid nothing at all and give freely of their time.
While it is entirely legitimate to complain about service cuts, it is unfair to impugn the personal integrity of volunteer board members.
It is also grotesque to hammer the library for some of the things folks are unhappy about. The library budget was directly reduced by more than $350,000 from its requested amount - more than any other department. It was targetted by the Supervisor because he believes that what you cannot control you must destroy.
Of the actual budget reductions, the library bore almost 50%. The community center, parks and recreation, dpw and the police bore almost nothing.

question no one answers said...

in the age of netflix, google etc etc - why do we need expensive public libraries ?

Anonymous said...

Because they had 66 more votes!

hal samis said...

To anonymous at 3:53 (aka fact challenged),

You wrote:
"While it is entirely legitimate to complain about service cuts..."
and also wrote
"It is also grotesque to hammer the Library for some of the things that people are unhappy about."

But the Library Trustees are volunteers so it is ok to hand over to their exclusive stewardship $3,440,000 which they did get or the over $4,000,000 they asked for. The Library Trustees, of course, being those wonderful folks that gave us the Greenburgh version of Pearl Harbor, known as the $19.8 million expansion.

And to criticise them is unfair.

Because as you argue:

"The library budget was reduced by more than $350,000 from its requested amount - more than any other department."

If they asked for $20 million and got $3,440,000 you would be able to say that their budget was reduced by $16,560,000 (83%) - more than any other department.
Have you ever heard the phrase "it's not where you start but where you finish"? Just because they asked doesn't legitimize their claim.

What doesn't register with you either is that: of ALL the OTHER Town Departments, ONLY the Library will not be operating at full capacity for the entire year, such getting up to full steam will not occur before October 2008 and may not happen until 2009 either. Why should taxpayers contribute to a spending plan that just isn't justified for 2008 even though those tireless volunteers asked for it?

And why should the Library need to further downsize, go in the opposite direction and provide even fewer services than in 2007?
The answer is not because their piece of the pie was lessened; the Library is getting over $400,000 more in 2008. Since the Trustees (volunteers) claim that their pot to piss in is smaller, how can they afford to spend over $180,000 MORE in 2008 versus 2007 on book, cd and dvd purchases when they claim they don't have enough to keep the cybermobile, Sunday hours and a book drop in operation?

I always thought that if you got less money, you were supposed to spend less.

"It (the Library) was targeted by the Supevisor..." yet still voted for by not only Supervisor Feiner but also Diana Juettner and Francis Sheehan and earlier when packaged (the Town Council's Budget) for the final vote, onboard were Steve Bass and Eddie Mae Barnes. Thus, the Library allocation was the product of last year's entire Town Board, not to be confused with the new members.

But since it is ok to criticize the Supervisor because he:

1) is not a volunteer
2) is a full-time Town employee
3) won his office by the Greenburgh equivalent of a landslide
4) is responsible for ALL of the Town's Departments
5) singularly takes the heat for a presenting a sizeable tax increase
6) shares the glory when there are 0% tax increases

and thus as you post "he (Feiner) believes that you must destroy what you cannot control" is doing that by leaving the Library with only an 8% higher budget for 2008 over 2007 -- both years the Library is living rent-free in Town Hall and providing minimal library services because the Library Trustees (volunteers giving freely of their time) screwed up the construction period relocation planning.

How fortunate it is to write as anonymous and not let others know how "stupid is as stupid does".

hal samis said...

Well maybe the Library has relented because the drop box is still there and the sign saying it would be picked up today has been removed instead.

Now all the Library needs to do is inform their patrons along East Hartsdale Avenue that what was posted is no longer in effect.

Because if no one knows about the 180o turn of policy, then no one will take advantage of it and the Library would be correct to eliminate a service that no one uses.

Or they could just tell their patrons.