Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Westchester Federal Credit Union (which rents space at Town Hall) will pay for six attractive new WELCOME TO GREENBURGH SIGNS to be placed at the entrance of Greenburgh. In return the town will let the credit union place an attractive sign at Town Hall announcing that they have offices at Town Hall.

Special meeting NEXT TUESDAY at 7 PM requesting that the NYS Legislature amend chapter 891 of the laws of 1982 re: Finneran Law. Amendment will permit tennis bubble to be built.



TODAY, for first time, we streamed our Board work session live on the internet.


Anonymous said...

Where will each of the new signs be placed? Or is that up for discussion? I'm thinking 1) Central Park Avenue, Yonkers city line 2) Central Park Avenue, White Plains city line, 3) Tarrytown Road, White Plains city line, 4) Ardsley Road, Scarsdale town line, 5) East Hartsdale Avenue, Scarsdale town line, 6) Saw Mill River Road, Yonkers city line.

Anonymous said...

what does "Finneran law" mean?

bad idea said...

the town is already suffering from visual clutter and pollution.

for every road sign that is put up at least two should come down.

please reconsider this.

Anonymous said...

There already is a "welcome to Hartsdale" sign at the EHA Scarsdale border. It is only visible when the weeds are cut back which isn't very often. Are you planning to remove that sign or leave it and add another?

Anonymous said...

By the way who will maintain the grass and weeds that will grow arround the signs.
Will this be another eyesore for Greenburgh?

Anonymous said...

Will the sign posted by the credit union at Town Hall be required to conform to the Town's sign ordinance - or will another "Friend of Paul" receive yet another exemption?

Anonymous said...

This is a bad idea, paul. If they need a sign then charge them a monthly fee, that will bring in some money for the town

Anonymous said...

The Fairview Fire department want to build a new fire house. Enough is enough we cant afford this dont let the fire comissioners sneak this past the residents like Hartsdale did!

Anonymous said...

And we dont need a Taj Mahal for a new public safety building either. I wish people who stop focusing on the library -- WHICH IS OVER AND DONE WITH -- and start planning for the future.

Anonymous said...

Why do we keep on building the new complexes with tax money it is a waste.

Anonymous said...

Wht do all the fire departments in greenburgh need new firehouses. Hartsdale has a huge firehouse expansion project, ardsley a a very nice looking new fire house and tarrytown has two brand new firehouses being built. Why do we need all of these new fire houses. Our tax dollars dont seem to being spent right.

ardsley firehouse facts said...

dear curious: the ardsley fire house that was replaced was built in the 19th century. it was previously a school and the village hall.

among other things, modern fire fighting equipment especially engines required a new facility.

the new firehouse was built on time and on budget.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be great to have Greenburgh signs. It's like we're embarrassed to be known. From the south, for example, people think they're entering Scarsdale or Hastings because of the addresses. And from the east, people think they're entering a municipality called Hartsdale that doesn't really exist or that they're still in White Plains until they get to Elmsford.

Anonymous said...

Greenburgh services are legendary. A proud sign will encourage more people to be proud of the awesome services provided.

hal samis said...

There are several aspects to this topic that should be mentioned.

Having attractive welcome to Greenburgh signs is not a contested issue; the need is justified and this is not my issue.
Depending on the cost, the taxpayers might want to consider paying for them -- if the following makes sense.

The credit union desired to locate in Town Hall for years before finally being allowed to rent space. The Town Hall is not on a busy commercial road, there are no storefronts and there is little pedestrian, walk-in traffic. The hours of Town Hall operation did not seem to be desirable either for such a commercial enterprise.

Thus, at the lease signing, several residents could never understand why the credit union was so persistent about leasing space in Town Hall. Particularly with a paragraph in the lease specifically denying the tenant any right to an outdoor sign.

As for the rent, it represented a fair value for second story office space but the total income to the Town is not significant either, being in the mid to high $20,000s annually by the end of its five year lease.
The existence or absence of this "income" will have no effect on the Town's budgets.

So we have a tenant who now seeks to obtain an outdoor sign because "business is bad" and this sign will turn things around, not just at this location but also perhaps better the problems that are being experienced at their other locations.

And, in deference to those that objected to their Town Hall residency, the credit union wants to throw a bone to residents to ease their concerns.

Well, I too have some concerns and it is not about beautfying the landscape or trumpeting the commercialization of Town Hall.

Anyone reading the financial news for the past six months is aware of the problems facing banks, credit unions, insurance companies, retirement systems, investors who have exposure to financial instruments that are linked to the defaulting sub-prime mortgage packages while the general concern over these has continued the spread to other credit issuers.

When money is lent to borrowers -- home owners, businesses, etc. -- it is obtained in part by using depositors funds which pay out lower interest than their money brings back to the lender after being invested in higher yielding vehicles, like packaged mortgage products. The spread, between what the money is invested in and what the lender pays out to its customers, is the profit to the lender. But what if you have obligations to pay out and your invested money coming in has slowed or stopped?
And that is what is happening today in the credit markets. Defaulting instruments are lowering or wiping out the value of these instruments as the yield stream from these instruments has trickled to a stop.

Credit unions, especially, have long maintained that they pay higher yields on savings and cds.
To do this, they had to seek higher returns on depositors funds so that they could afford to pay these higher yields to their customers. And the one-stop market for obtaining these higher yields are the very products that concern the financial markets today, in particular the higher yielding but highest risk portions of those instruments.

Although I do not have any specific knowledge of this particular credit union's investments, it seems likely that they hold a few problem loans or investments, just like their peers. And even if all their assets are fine, the underlying security (equity) behind these assets, say, mortgages on homes, is unlikely to remain untroubled if the home next door has gone into default or foreclosure.

The point is that these are troubled times for the financial services industry. And it is this concern that makes me question the wisdom of the Town doing more now than is necessary to affirm its support for this credit union. A sign at Town Hall increases the perception that the Town has vetted the tenant and said that "this one is ok". Were the Town and the credit union both tenants in a building owned by a third party, their signs side by side would not be the Town's problem; in this situtation the Town is their landlord.

And with all the problems cropping up daily in the industry, I doubt that the Town has the resources to perform a a forensic financial audit on its tenant.

Finally, the need for the sign just doesn't sound right. People tend to keep their money in local institutions where it is accessible. If the credit union has not been able to tell its story by now to customers and would-be customers that they are located inside the Greenburgh Town Hall, a sign outside is not going to do it either. Locals, residents, already know or will never know where Town Hall is located. A new sign outside is not going to bring those driving by to a screeching halt.

Perhaps, if the credit crunch/crisis were not so much in the face at present, I would be less concerned. But it is. I don't suspect that the sign is going to bring in much new business and I would be concerned about leaving my money with those who otherwise operate from storefronts on commercial, in town locations, but lacked the wisdom to recognize that a second floor location in an out-of-the way location was a good retail destination.

Thus, I think that this is certainly not the right timing for the Town to get more linked with its tenant -- granting a concession that was once specifically prohibited says to me that the Town stands behind and vouches for this tenant.
What the newpaper headlines are saying however is exercise extreme caution.

So, if we should have new signs introducing Greenburgh, let's first heed the signs that the financial markets are posting.
And those few people who are new to our "shores" may miss out knowing where Greenburgh is but maybe they should drive by unaware that the Town, itself, can't afford to post a few outdoor signs of welcome.

Anonymous said...

Lord NO!

Anonymous said...

I have news for you all, Greenburgh doesn't exist. All the Villages want nothing to do with Greenburgh. Signs will just confuse people more.
When you enter Edgemont or Hastings, the sign will say entering Greenburgh. That seems very confusing to me!

hal samis said...

Then does Edgemont exist?

Has the Post Office got it wrong, sending mail to Scarsdale?

Or calling a school district a place is not confusing enough?

Let's see if we can end this confusion. Greenburgh will stand behind signs "Welcome to Edgemont" and Edgemont will lobby the Post Office to change their mailing address to Edgemont.

Simple. End of confusion.

Isn't getting together on the blog simply a marvelous way to work things out?

town needs samis said...

i like the sound of samisville!

run samis run

Anonymous said...

The Greenburgh signs would be posted at major town lines into Unincorporated Greenburgh, not the villages.