Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fire district voters reject bond issue

The results of The Fairview Fire Dept election for a Bond issue were defeated by the voters
of the district.
The Results

No- 98

Yes- 43


Anonymous said...

===========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================WELL IT'S ABOUT TIME RESIDENTS ARE STARTING TO REALIZE THAT THINGS HAVE TO CHANGE AND THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO FIGHT BACK.

hal samis said...

Yes, but more residents should vote.

Anonymous said...

Good job, Fairview! The rest of us in Unincorporated Greenburgh need to follow their lead. For the sake of efficiency (cost and operations), hopefully a few more rejections will require the three departments to merge as one unified fire department (with three stations), just as we have one police department.

Anonymous said...

If the vote wasw actually publicised more people would have voted no.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you wanted an oompapa band to go thru the streets notifying the people to come out to vote.
If this few voted I do not think that they were the only ones told .
The people spoke and yes other departments should follow suit.
Things are getting out of hand with the fire departments also.
The town board caanot oversee these departments but I do think they too are screwing the public also.
Who can investigate the fire departments as to what they do with all the money they collect and why does their budget go up every year.

Frank Lee said...

I agree with Mr. Samis: more residents should vote, with one proviso: residents should educate themselves before voting (and/or rendering their anonymous opinions on the Supervisor's blog).

Unfortunately, it appears to be easier to hide behind the "anonymous" cloak, make incorrect assumptions and spew venom with no accountability.

Fairview's public notice of the election of the bond issue was apparently posted on the Town's website on March 7, 2008. Yet only 141 voters voiced their opinion.

Residents are starting to realize they have to "fight back"? Give me a break. If residents don't exercise their RIGHT to vote, why should they have the RIGHT to "fight back"?

When an informal advisory vote was taken at the end of a community meeting open to all residents of Greenburgh to discuss the acquisition of 200 acres of Taxter Ridge as open space in May, 2003, the vote was approximately 200-l for the acquisition; in fact, Supervisor Paul Feiner indicated that he received only 3 (yes, 3) e-mails against the acquisition. But let's "fight back" now?

When the $7.5 million Hartsdale Fire District expansion and renovation was approved in March, 2005, only 201 people voted. But let's "fight back" now?

When the $19.8 million Library Expansion Referendum was approved in May, 2005, only 15.7% of eligible voters cast their ballots - 84.3% did NOT. But let's "fight back" now?

When Paul Feiner defeated Suzanne Berger in the 2007 Democratic primary for Town Supervisor, approximately 6,317 of 26,877 registered Democrats voted (a whopping 23.5%). But let's "fight back" now?

Anonymous, Anonymous, Wherefort are thou Anonymous?. . .and where hast thou been sleeping, oh disembodied voice?

For the record, Town Law probably does not require the "special step" of a cadre of oompapas roaming the streets, notifying people to come out to vote. Or, in the case of the apathetic Greenburgh voting public, would you prefer a Monty Pythonesque proclamation of "Bring Out your Dead"?

Anonymous said...

Hip hip horray for the ninety eight of you.

landslide said...

re: When Paul Feiner defeated Suzanne Berger in the 2007 Democratic primary for Town Supervisor, approximately 6,317 of 26,877 registered Democrats voted (a whopping 23.5%).

Mr Feiner crushed Berger in the primary. It was a landslide by any measure.
Apparently most folks are quite happy with the supervisor and agreed that he needed a new team to get things moving again.

Watch for more changes in 2009.

Anonymous said...

These large bond issues should be held on regular election days when we traditionally go out to the poles, so even if you did not know about the bond you could read about it and vote on it that day, also the hours would be all day compared to the mere 4 hours we had to vote on it on Tuesday.

frank lee said...

"Anonymous" Landslider:

During the past 20+ years, I've voted for Paul Feiner for County Legislator and Town Supervisor, and while I don't necessarily agree with him on every issue, he will ALWAYS have my support. That's not the point.

I also supported Kevin Morgan and Sonya Brown, and I applaud them for their efforts on the Town Board. That, too, is not the point.

Your "pointed" denigration of Ms. Berger and past Board members for their "crushing" defeat does not address the issue at hand.

The point is, as stated by the omnipotent Mr. Samis, "more residents should vote". No partisanship, no venom, no anonymous pot shots . . . just the facts, ma'am.

23.5% of all registered Fairview voters, 201 of all registered Hartsdale voters and 15.7% of all registered Library voters does NOT equate to "most folks"; rather, it equates to "less than half of most" folks or "some" folks or, better yet, "an overwhelming majority of non-apathetic" folks.

Once again, I ask, if residents don't exercise their RIGHT to vote, why should they have the RIGHT to "fight back" and complain?

voter observer said...

why dont more people vote?
one answer is that they dont really care.
another is they are satisfied (knowing incumbents will most likely win.
another is they dont think it matters.

perhaps a better question is why do people vote.

civic pride. civic duty. cultural norms.

either way, those who voted backed feiner big time.

as he told the totally biased ella
the nitpicker preiser, he has been elected 9 times - he must be doing something right.

Berger had no business running for supervisor. The voters saw that she was in the pockets of people like Spano (and edgemont perhaps) and
that she didnt know the issues. More importantly, she didnt know a think about Greenburgh.

correction from observer said...

a thing about Greenburgh.

btw - just because you dont vote you dont lose your right to complain.

Samis for Town Council said...

if samis runs, more people might vote.

Hal, Greenburgh is waiting.
Juettner has been there since 1991 and is bereft of any ideas or energy.

Samis is the future.

Anonymous said...

Think about this. Councilman Sheehan is "playing" Mr. Nice Guy. Why? Because he knows that if Feiner "dumps" him as a running mate in the next election cycle, he will be toast, just like Elliot Spitzer. He knows that Steve Bass had a "war' chest of about $40,000 going into the last election cycle, put an additional $15,000 of his own (Steve Bass') money into the campaign and still lost. The Supervisor has about $100,000 + to play with and will surely build the "defense" / "war" chest over the next months. He can't and won't raise that kind of money to compete in a "contested" campaign. Why do you think that all of a sudden the "criticisms" of the Supervisor have stopped? Francis, we (the voters) are not as dumb as you arrogarantly think we are. We see through you like a clear plate of glass.

hal samis said...

Tonight the Fire District vote was discussed at the monthly meeting of the Greenburgh Democratic Party.
Even I learned some things.

I didn't take notes so the numbers may not be accurate but the overwhelming reality is that whatever might be said about the election process in general pales in comparison to how Fire Commissioners get elected.

Get elected?
Yes, you vote for Fire Commissioners. And if I am in the ballpark, about 24 people come out to vote for them. A number that is attainable by a candidate making a few dials within his or her friendship circle.

However when you have the opportunity to cast your vote is not only an unpublicized and assuredly obscure date but also may consist of a three hour window on that day.
I shall have to look into this to confirm this information but please don't let me stop anyone else from getting there first. Francis Sheehan, though, is aware of the laws regarding Fire District voting but he didn't feel it important to use any of his time at bat to share this information with the general public. He only had time to vote in favor of the $100,000 gift to the Fairview Fire District because Firemen are not only heroes but also and even more important, voters.

So, in the matter of how Fire District's honchos are "elected" and in how they try to ram past voters costly projects with only the minimum legal notice IS a matter that should be publicized so that all residents within the Fire District are alerted as to when these votes are being conducted.

Riding the tails of someone else's motion tonight, I added that the Town Board during its numerous opportunities to communicate with residents should certainly be aware of and responsible for bringing these crucial matters to residents' attention, especially using the Announcements format used at the beginning of the Town Board meeting (someone even found some lines for Juettner to speak) if not also the Town's email list.

DISCLAIMER: the Town Board is not responsible for the behavior or operation of independent districts.

Still, the comment (hold elections and votes on traditional dates) made by anonymous today at 1:14 is particulary astute and reasonable
But what it doesn't recognize is that those seeking to rush, important and mostly costly undertakings, intentionally choose these inopportune dates (maybe with the intent and blessing of friends at the State level) specifically for the purpose of insuring minimal voter turn-out. These odd dates, times and locations are chosen so that voters will be unaware of, or unlikely to respond.

One may look to Mr. Brodsky and Ms. Cousins to lead the charge to change these laws which allow for the legal rape of taxpayers. Oh yes, they recognize that uniforms are voters too. So, keep looking.

However what seems so obvious to Fire District honchos was also picked up and endorsed wholeheartedly by the Library Board of Trustees when they set their Referendum date in early May of 2005. This date was chosen because "a successful outcome would mean that construction could start in Spring of 2006", or so they said. Pick one: Library construction has been underway two years and counting since Spring 2006 or construction started the end of January 2007. Note that whichever you picked, Al Regula will say that the project is on track. But, the Library Trustees were wearing the white hats so why would they lie? Meanwhile, wearing the black hat, was the villain, Paul Feiner who argued that the Referendum should be held concurrent with the November election. Why? Because he cautioned that the project was being rushed and that questions hadn't been answered AND that the Library Trustees didn't understand their own project.

Let's test that meddlesome but prescient observation. The residents, who had a spare $20 million lying around their wallets (a yes vote they were told would only cost them $68 per average $15,000 assessment) were comfortable with turning over the responsibility for the project to the Library Trustees whose building committee was headed by a woman, Estelle Palevsky, whose resume indicated that she was well qualified to teach reading -- a necessary job in the world but hardly one that would prepare her to oversee a major construction project, a $20 million "experiment" consisting of new construction and renovation.

The point is that residents do not always listen to (or even want to know about) logic and that, if the expense is huge, it assuredly will correlate to the haste at which its sponsors will attempt to bring it to a vote.

And if no one eligible to vote is aware of this matter, so much the better.

So while you sheep are still out there growing wool over your eyes, let me remind you that the Library Trustees sponsored "information sessions" during which they manipulated the public into believing that they, the sponsors, had a grip on reality.

But now once burned, you sadder and wiser taxpayers know that this time, when the Comprehensive Plan, follows the same game plan "come on out, make it your Library; tell us, we need to know..." that the Compexpensive Plan is somehow going to be the holy grail. You are the Who, "who won't get fooled again", "the sadder but wiser girls". After all, this time it only costs $400,000 to buy the gift wrap, to use the plan inside will cost far more than the Library's "only" $20 million.

Actually, what the $400,000 is funding is Mr. Sheehan's campaign for re-election. "Keep me before your eye" as the Plan goes forward over the next two years; then he'll be safe for another four years.

So taxpayers get what they deserve: a useless Plan (because taxpayers who can't afford to live in Greenburgh will certainly want to start paying for the $30-40 million of costs that needs to spend to implement the Plan's conclusions. What did you think, traffic would go away if the Town just added another stop sign?

At least the Fire District didn't spend your money on finding ways to spend more of your money.

In both the Library and the Comprehensive Plan, the burglars are not cruising around in Edgemont following Police patrols; for these important matters of state, the perps, after your money, turn out to be your neighbors.

Don't despair; refreshments will be served.

run samis run said...

get rid of juettner and francis - replace with samis

hal- will you forego one salary ?

Anonymous said...

It's been State law since the beginning of time. Fire Commissioner elections are held on the second Tuesday in December every year rain/sleet/snow or shine

hal samis said...

Since the beginning of time, clocks and measuring time have improved.

The public weal need not continue to be hindered by political hacks that are looking out for their own.

What is the great Brodsky and the great Cousins doing about this?

Anonymous said...

WE NEED SPANO BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
cousins hasn't done anything since taking over.
Brodsky ? forget about it! if it does not concern NYC than he doesn't care.
When was the last time anybody saw him?
Maybe Hal can run for assembly too!

Anonymous said...

The Valhalla audit is in! Check it out at:

Anonymous said...

Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations
The Board did not provide sufficient oversight over District financial operations. We identified significant deficiencies in the internal controls over the accounting for and disbursement of WestHELP Grant monies, payment of employee compensation and fringe benefits, the Treasurer’s office and computerized data. For example, of the approximately $1.7 million expended for the Grant, approximately $456,000 was not expended in accordance with the Grant agreement, proposals or applicable laws. Furthermore, the Business Administrator chose to be reimbursed for a term life insurance policy that combined death benefit protection with the opportunity to direct the investment of net premium dollars into a broad portfolio of investment options. This selection provided him with benefits greater than provided for in his contract, resulting in $38,500 in unnecessary costs to District taxpayers. Finally, District officials paid a retired transit police officer as a vendor, while also occasionally paying him as an employee through the normal payroll process. As a result, this employee may have received retirement benefits in excess of the amounts allowed by law and the District may be held liable for taxes, penalties and interest.

hal samis said...

Here's the answer, let's all move to the Valhalla School District, get registered and then we can vote for new School Board members.

Like, the Greenburgh Town government, the County government, the State government and the Federal government don't waste or misspend funds.

What's the news that some eager bloggers are pasting it on every topic with this "revelation".

Greenburgh's Town Hall has no control over its own contained School Districts. Why is it a surprise that it has no control over a neighboring School District?

Unincorporated Greenburgh can't even control how its wholly contained and supported Public Library uses its funds.

In a hierarchy of municipal structures, can any structure withhold a financial obligation just because they don't like how the money is being spent.

On an individual level, if you think the government is wasting money on Iraq, try withholding your tax obligation because you have done your diligence and don't like the result.

The wheel was already invented. News of its existence need not be posted on all the blogs.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lee your consistancy with voting for Paul Feiner is amirable. And your complimenting Morgan and Brown somewhat premature.After all, they voted to give Fairview $ 100,000 dollars while illegally amending the the town budget, addig another 2+% on top of the nearly 20% already voted on.So please hold your kudos until there is a body of work deserving kudos or trashing. So far I've seen little of import coming from his or her mouth.(that's not a dig, merely an observation.)

Regarding the Fairview "nutriSystem"voter turnout, I'm so sure i'd bet the farm on it. If Kevin, Sonya and their cohorts casually voted to underwrite the full cost of the Fairview project because the Fire District does a disproportionate amount of coverage and deserves it, the turnout would have been staggering, no, record shattering. 100%, less those on vacation, babysitting or working overtime to pay for their tax increases compliments of the Town Board.

Keep n keeping on, Mr. Lee, somewhat like stagger Lee.

Anonymous said...

So the latest nasty rumor that is being circulated is that the town board illegally amended the budget.

Can you show why it is illegal? And if you can't then cut it out.

frank lee said...

Dear Anonymous 5:42 pm:

Your point is well taken, although I still applaud them for their "EFFORTS" on the Town Board; I reserve decision on whether their "EFFORTS" will yield long-term benefits for the community.

However, with respect to your comment regarding the Fairview "nutriSystem" voter turnout, I'm not sure I completely understand what exactly you're "betting the farm" on.

Please explain.

Thank you.