Monday, March 31, 2008


I spent Monday morning (March 31st) working with Ralph Damiano. Ralph is approaching his 80th birthday and delivers meals to senior citizens who are homebound. Ralph earns $10.50 an hour from the town – he is supposed to work three and a half hours a day (9 AM to 12:30) but typically puts in five or six hours and he does not charge the town for his extra time.
Ralph is one of a handful of dedicated part time employees responsible for delivering between 435 to 500 meals a day to seniors. He has worked for the town for 11 years, after retiring as an operating engineer. When I agreed to work with him I thought my morning would be relaxing. I was wrong. Ralph did not waste a second, we delivered 36 meals to needy seniors and stopped off at a nutrition site along the way. We climbed over 300 steps during the morning hours – it was hard to keep up with Ralph who runs up the steps like a 20 year old, not an 80 year old.
Before I arrived (Ralph was at the Parks & Recreation office at 7:30 PM) the kitchen staff were preparing delicious meals for the seniors: todays menu included stuffed pepper, mashed potato, broccoli, milk and bread. Canned fruit is provided. Diabetics get a fresh apple. Seniors are asked to pay $3 a meal (which includes delivery).
To say I was impressed with the effort is a big UNDERSTATEMENT. Ralph is an awesome public servant. He’s friendly with the seniors, treats his customers like family. He is a true hero. He looks out for his seniors. He once found an elderly woman laying on the floor. No one had helped her. He called 911 and got her the help she needed. We visited her on Monday – she is getting back to herself. When it snows he has cleared the steps of snow for some of the seniors. When we stopped by at a woman’s apartment – he took out her garbage and threw it out. None of these duties are job requirements.
Ralph knows the habits of people on his route. Some of the seniors have alzheimers. Others are in the beginning stages of alzheimers. We dropped off food at the homes/apartments of a few people who were legally blind. We kidded them: they’re like the new Governor. One of the seniors that Ralph drops off food at is 102 years young. We walked up very steep, narrow steps at a 100 year old building in Hastings (this is a town wide program). Other apartment buildings were also in pretty bad shape.
Ralph does not get sick time. He does not get vacation time. He gets no health insurance from the town and no benefits. In fact, a number of years ago –while working- his vehicle hit his leg. Ralph was not injured. Bruised a little. But, not injured. According to Deputy Commissioner of Parks Joe Lucasey Ralph continued delivering meals to seniors and then put in a claim ----------for a new pair of pants.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

NEXT MONTH: I’m going to be working in a different department. I’ll provide you with a report


Anonymous said...


answers needed said...

paul - this is all very nice but what about

a) the valhalla school district audit?

b) the sporttime contract

millions of dollars are at stake as well as our own belief in the quality and intelligence of the town's leaders.

time to level with the voters and taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

The town is well run. We get great value for our taxes.

Anonymous said...

Shame on Ralph for not putting in for all the hours he works. Im sure the Town would go after him for every penny if they over pain him!

Anonymous said...

The town is well run? Give me a break. Ralph may be doing fine, but we elected Paul to be Supervisor, and handle executive matters.

Why is that no one is looking into getting Yonkers to comply with the court order that Austin Avenue be opened up?

Anonymous said...

"Ralph does not get sick time. He does not get vacation time. He gets no health insurance from the town and no benefits."

Yea, but he's a retired engineer, so I assume he'd be getting benefits as a retiree, and that this job is not his main source of income. It's definitely great that he does good work for this important job, and it's nice that you recognize him, but this type of employment is common for retirees to keep busy and to make a little extra spending cash.

P.S. Regarding another's comment, it would be very beneficial for Greenburgh traffic (Jackson Ave) if Austin Ave in Yonkers were re-opened after all these years!

Anonymous said...

My understanding is the court required it. I hope we didnt just give away on any settlement over Ridge Hill. Maybe one of the attorneys can weight in?

frank lee said...

Mr. Damiano:

Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

I appreciate you efforts.

Don't let the anonymous individuals who litter this blog with their irrelevant anonymous criticisms detract from the compliments rightfully accorded to you by Supervisor Feiner.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Does one underpaid employee balance one overpaid employee?

hal samis said...

There are many private citizens who spend countless hours at their own expense working for the betterment of the Town.

Sometimes they take the same side as the administration; sometimes they do not and sometimes they are just a pain in the neck.

And like Ralph, they don't seek recognition.

They just keep rolling along.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to know we, the taxpayers, are getting value for our dollars. Ralph makes me feel good about the town.

Anonymous said...

What Ralph saves the town is spent on overtime.
Paul who are you trying to kid.

ed krauss said...

3:31?/08 6:06

It's tiresome hearing from people like you, platitudes like "the town is well run, and we get value for our tax dollar."

How do you know if the town is well run? Have you audited each and every department? Have you examined the checks and balances imbued in the system- if in fact there is a system- to prevent fraud or at least innocent misappropriation of money? Is there a paper trail for tracking purchases from start to finish? Is there a job review system in place so management can, objectively evaluate performance, or are we locked in to a union contract which puts a salary on a job description irrespective of need- yes NEED, or perfrmance? If a department head, supervisor (not that one) group or team head leaves for a better job, moves out of town, retires or is just fed up, is there someone on board who can pick up "the baton," and not lose a beat? Or, is there a need for a job search to replace a necessary midde management person, thus loosing time and clogging the wheels of this "well oiled" well run, organization?

How about the nonsense that we "get value for our tax dollars?" Through no fault of their own, the roads are filthy, the parks are in bad shape, the building department has gotten us into many law suits, the library construction project is all screwed up, the Anthony Veteran Park is in a negative cash is the TYCC, the new head of the planning department must have trained under Hillary Clinton,the tax assessor's department is sitting on a volcano ready to erupt but is guarding this information like "W's" weapons of mass destruction info, and we, the tax payers of unincorporated Greenburgh are looking at double digit tax increases for the forseeable future, with little or no fund balance (sucked up like the last drop of water in he canteen in the Sahara) and nothing but hollow atta-boys from someone who hides behind the ubiquitous "ANONYMOUS."

I have not expounded on all the "lack of well run problems," nor the "value for our tax dollar," bromides, but you heard it here first: THE SKY IS FALLING, and we'd better stop kidding ourselves with superfluous chestnuts, roll up our sleeves and DEMAND competent systems and external or internal management for our $70 million "business."

A recession is coming; sales taxes will be down; mortgage taxes will be down; interest income will be down and contributions to the NYS pension fund WILL BE UP!

So 3/31/08 6:06 PM and all who for some insane reason believe him, wake up; "the fit is ready to hit the shan.

Hooray for Ralph, I'm sure it was worth the time to post his altruistic contributions to the town, while more"mundane" items listed above could take a back seat.

Anonymous said...

6:06 pray tell what part of town do you live in ????
With all the taxes that we pay 20% plus we should not have any problems with the parks, and above all the library.We have been robbed of our funds.
.If you have better facilities than all of us let us know this way we will come to your block to live.

Anonymous said...


I agree there are mgmt issues, but your point re TDYCC and Veterans running at a deficit, parks and rec run at a deficit, that is what public facilities do. They may or may not be run efficiently -- but the fact they are running at a deficit is not dispositive.

Anonymous said...

Give up and Move!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ed krauss said...

11:32 PM

Did your finger get stuck on the "shift" and #1 keys, or is that your succinct

Which anonymous are you?
(A) Coward Anon,
(B) Craven Anon,
(C) Dastard Anon,
(D) Poltroon Anon,
(E) Recreant Anon,
(F) Caitiff Anon,
(G) Lacka Courage Anon, or the run of the mill,
(H) Yellow Belly Anon?

If you're too stupid to understand the gravity of what I was saying, and all your greymatter challenged head can muster up is
"give up and move on," I can readily understand why you're ashamed to use your name.

I sincerely hope there aren't too many of your intellect in our community.

If ignorance is bliss, you must be the happiest guy (if you are a guy, because women aren't generally as rude) in the galaxy.

hal samis said...

"his (Ralph's) vehicle hit his leg"

Paul, are you sure no one's pulling your leg?

Wasn't there a movie, "Christine", based on a Stephen King story, about a car which murdered people?

Sounds more like Mr. Lucasey should have a stern talk with Ralph's vehicle.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Ed Krauss the new oracle (or oral) of delphi. W/o his Seerness we would have descended into the depths of despair, depravity, debauchery and disaster years ago. Woe to the fools that don't listen to the Gray Matter Guru of Greenburgh, the Seer from Southern Westchester, the Maven from Mount Moriah. He's all knowing, all hearing and able to understand what is way beyond the ken of others!

One thing is crystal clear, Big Ed sign's his pieces, so we are fully aware that his marvelous mundane mouthings are his own. Personally I have always thought that there were many Ed Krausses. No one can convince me that this one individual can have a monopoly on all the clearing-thinking out there. It would seem to any reasonable person that EK was an amalgam of all all of the great widsom makers from Bob Bernstein to Billy Joe Thornton.

Right on brother, keep on telling is like it is. Keep casting those pearls of wisdom before swine!

Omar Q. Beckins