Monday, April 07, 2008

MEETING CALLED TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER COUNTY GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED

GREENBURGH SUPERVISOR PAUL FEINER AND YONKERS COUNCILWOMAN JOAN GRONOWSKI ANNOUNCE FORMATION OF CITIZENS COMMITTEE TO LOOK INTO ABOLISHING COUNTY GOVERNMENT
FIRST MEETING TO BE HELD ON WED APRIL 30TH AT WILL LIBRARY, TUCKAHOE ROAD,YONKERS AT 7:30 PM TO 9 PM
ABOUT 75% OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS ARE MANDATED BY THE STATE OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS. COUNTY GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITIES COULD BE HANDLED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OR THE STATE
CONNECTICUT DOESN’T HAVE COUNTY GOVERNMENT. TAXES ARE LOWER
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and Yonkers Councilwoman Joan Gronowski announced the formation of a citizens task force to explore the possibility of eliminating Westchester County government. Feiner, a former Westchester County Legislator, has advocated the abolishment of county government since he was a County Legislator. He wrote an op-ed in the NY Times in 2000 –while serving as a Legislator. Councilwoman Gronowski also has experience working in county government. She served as assistant to former Westchester County Executive Alfred Del Bello. The Councilwoman is serving her first term.


A community meeting/strategy session will be held at the Will Library in Yonkers on Wednesday, April 30th at 7:30 PM. We’re looking for people who are willing to spend the time to research the steps Connecticut took to successfully eliminate this level of government. We also want to explore the potential impacts the elimination of county government would have on services and taxes.



Councilwoman Gronowski and Supervisor Feiner decided to hold the meeting on April 30th –the last day taxpayers can pay their county taxes. We feel that the combined municipal and county real estate taxes are forcing people to consider whether they can remain in Westchester. It’s becoming unaffordable and decent, hardworking, long -time residents are moving out.



Approximately 75% of the $1.78 billion dollar county budget are mandates from the state and/or federal governments. If the county has limited control over three quarters of the budget –do we need to have this added level of bureaucracy, said Feiner and Gronowski. County government services could easily be handled by local governments or by the state.


The meeting on the 30th is open to the public. We’re looking for citizens who have expertise in budgets, finance, research, government to help. This is the first of a number of meetings that will be held on the topic. At future meetings we expect to invite officials from Connecticut. We also will invite budget experts, county and state officials to upcoming meetings. Please e mail Paul Feiner at pfeiner@greenburghny.com or Councilwoman Gronowski at Joan.Gronowski@yonkersny.gov if you are interested in participating. Feiner’s phone is 993-1545 and Gronowski’s phone is 377-6633.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greenburgh chooses to ignore basic responsibilities like street-cleaning and weed-wacking, so I don't think that Greenburgh is in any position to take on any additional responsibilities.

The idea of eliminating county government is not bad, and perhaps well-managed municipalities such as Yonkers, Mount Pleasant and Ardsley (for example) could handle expanded responsibilities, but Greenburgh is nowhere near caliber.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Greenburgh would also charge the TOV for all county services to both TOV and the villages.

Anonymous said...

More power to Al Regula and Tim Lewis????? Is Paul kidding. The last thing we need is to empower entrenched Department Heads.

lets do it said...

paul - who will run the buses?
what will we do with county parks and recreation facilities?
county roads? police? jail? hospitals?

on the other hand, why not just go to the blue pages, eliminate every other page and see what happens.

invite spano and let him defend his regime.

hal samis said...

Thank god we don't have any pressing problems in Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Doesnt anyone besides me and Hal (boy that's scary) think that Paul has enough issues to deal with in Greengurgh, for example:

1. Finnerman law, use of parks by Village residents.

2. 23% budget increase to B Budget.

3. Westhelp money - ask for refund (OK , joke) Paul to figure out a way to keep paying.

4. Sewer District Audit

5. Get ready for State Comptoller to come in on Fairview Fire District payments.

6. Get ready for HUD auditors on renters with income in excess of allowable.

Anyone else fee free to add in, but you get my point.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes I forgot

1. Completion of library (Ok maybe that is a library board issue)

2. Parking on Hartsdale Avenue (answer -- I think they should just pay for it, but I am certain we will have a committee and meetings).

3. New public safety building -- trailers?

Anonymous said...

"CONNECTICUT DOESN’T HAVE COUNTY GOVERNMENT. TAXES ARE LOWER."

Correlation is not causation. Maybe you should examine all of the reasons why Connecticut taxes are lower before you make the above statement your battlecry.

Anonymous said...

Connectiucut doesnt provide as generous welfare, medicare, etc, which are charged to the counties. The state mandates these things.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Paul object to the library expansion? Paul wanted a less expensive expansion.

Anonymous said...

1137 ===you are 100% right.
Paul was against this library plan and now the two left from the old board will grant the library their demand for more money.
Sheehan and Juettner gave themselves away at the work session.
The money is needed after the fact.the library was granted the money that they first demanded and now they are seeking another large sum.
What ever was said at town meetings ,,that they were on target,,,they had enough money,,,
the best materials will be used well that was all a bunch of BS.
Lady Juettner knew very well that what was being preached to us was a bunch of lies.
The other half of this disaster Sheehan also knew what would be coming down the line ..more money is would be needed.
The vote for the library was put into play by Sheehan because of his hatred for the supervisor,and the other board members his puppets followed suit.
That's the whole story ,now the library is making a request that they need ANOTHER $400.000.00
for extras that were added .The handicap ramp was in the original plan the only extra that was added after the plans was a generator.
I'm sure that other things will be coming up by the way they still don't have the furniture.
There's nothing like sitting on the floor to read.

Anonymous said...

Paul and his cronies have 3 votes. So Paul controls everything. Yes he was against library expansion, but had he not been so strong on selling the property to a developer friend/contributer there might have been more discussion

hal samis said...

Dear 1:39,
Let me jog your memory.
The Library Trustees said that they didn't need the old Town Hall site. Later they were told that they did. Thereafter, they said they did.

I know this because I told them that they did -- at least until they developed their Library plan.
However, the Library architect, Todd Harvey had no such qualms; he believed that even with a shared plot, the Library would still be able to have their then sought 160 parking spaces.

Still, the proposed senior living use was the most compatible with the Library -- a natural synthesis and that it would create little on-site parking and the resulting traffic made it an acceptable use to the neighbors.

And since the neighboring civic association didn't choose to play the open greenspace card like others did, development on the town hall site would create a town ratable -- something that is increasingly elusive.

Ultimately, with his three votes mathematically assuring control, this proved not to be the case. A rare exception to the just three votes thesis.

juettner must resign said...

juettner, a village resident, has no business being the liaison from the town board to the greenburgh (unincorporated division) library.

this is an outrage. juettner resign your post now.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Goebbels -
Feiner was NOT a county legislator in 2000. He was, and has been since 1991, the elected Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh. Your revisionist denial of his responsibilty for our current dysfunctional Town government is appalling - one can only conclude you have been in a prolonged coma. Under Feiner the value of the Town's property has DECLINED at an annual compoud rate of about 1%. The vaunted "zero tax" increases only happened if you are lucky enough (or rich and white enough) to live in a village. Those years' increased expenses were offset by using the fund balance and increasing taxes in the "B" budget. The average annual increase in Townwide taxes has been about 5% - meaning the taxes have MORE THAN DOUBLED up to this year - at about 24% beginning this year and continuing for 2009 and 2010 as the controller anticipates, will mean the taxes will double again.
Stop the financial lunacy and bring some semblance of truth back to Town government!

Anonymous said...

If Feiner was a County Legislator when he wrote Times OP-ED in 2000, Kolesar should ask him to refund his whole salary, plus accrued interest, for that year. Or perhaps Feiner should do a better job of vetting his press releases.