Friday, May 30, 2008

Work Session Agenda 6/3 and summary of last week

Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32 and are streamed live. Work Sessions and Town Board Meetings will be aired each Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:02am and 4:45pm. Each segment will run for approximately 6 to 7 hours, depending upon the length of the two meetings.)
2:00p.m. WestHab Follow-up: Janet Giris
2:30p.m. 2007 Town Financial Statements – Michael Kolesar
· Actuary’s Report on Post Retirement Medical Benefits (OPEB)
· Accrued Liability Related to Tax Certioraris
3:00p.m. Interview – Lorraine Cantori
Candidate for Appointment to Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

3:15p.m. RFP for Vending Services / Follow-up – Marc McCrum
(The town should get commissions on machines.)
3:30p.m. Contracts for Sculptures Displayed at DiSanti Plaza

4:00p.m. Library

Work Session Summary – May 27, 2008

Leaf Blower Ban Laws

The Village of Dobbs Ferry and Hastings have both passed laws regarding leaf blowers. Both laws will be referred to the CAC for review. We will also seek input from the Building Inspector and Police Chief.

Paper Street Requests

Deferred to June 24, 2008.

Hevelyne Road

Ed Lieberman, attorney with the Office of the Town Attorney, discussed the court case involving Hevelyn Road. The question is this: Should the road be considered a town road? The Knollwood Country Club has threatened to litigate this matter if the town assumes ownership of the road Elmsford officials attended the meeting. They are also involved in litigation. The road conditions impact the ability of their fire department to respond to residents who have emergencies. Some residents want the town to take over the road. Other residents do not. The town will issue a summons to residents of the street. We hope the Judge will mediate the dispute.

Library Construction and Triton

Genie Contrata and Al Regula provided an update regarding the status of the library construction as well as the completion status of projects covered by specific grants. A follow-up discussion regarding the status of grants and funding requests to support the library will be held during the June 3rd Work Session. The town will discuss with the Library Foundation and Board an aggressive fundraising effort. Significant contributors can request to have the library named for themselves. Rooms at the library can also be named for significant donors.

Housing Action Council

Rosemary Noonan, Executive Director of the Housing Action Council discussed the SHORE affordable housing in Ardsley. Members of the Board expressed a desire that affordable housing be affordable in perpetuity. Rosemary Noonan and the Housing Action Council agreed to work with the Town Board and provide advice and direction regarding requests from all prospective developers who express a desire to build “affordable housing” in the Town of Greenburgh re: selection process for applicants re: affordable housing.

RFP for Vending Services

As a strategy for increasing revenue, the Town is moving forward -charging a commission on all vending machines. A follow-up to proposal will be addressed during the June 3rd Work Session.

Town Board Rules and Procedures

The rules and procedures were distributed and briefly discussed. Board members will continue to review the rules and procedures in preparation for adoption at the June 11th Board meeting.


In 2007 the Town Board authorized the funding of the dog park at Rumbrook Park. On Wednesday night the Town Board unanimously approved the contract. The dog park will open this fall.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


In recent years I have received many complaints about a property at 24 Joyce Road. It’s a big eyesore –a property owner started building a home but never completed the work. The abandoned property has been boarded up, impacting the quality of life for neighbors. It’s been frustrating . We’ve issued violations and summons over the years. The owner of the property requested that the town provide him with extensions so he could complete the work. We granted an extension a few years ago – but construction was never completed.

Today the case was scheduled for trial. This is what happened, according to the town atty:

The above captioned case was scheduled for trial today (5/28/08) and the defendants retained counsel to negotiate a plea. Both property owners pled guilty to violating several NYS Property Maintenance Codes. They agreed to demolish the structure that is presently at 24 Joyce Road after obtaining a demolition permit as well as any other necessary permits. They contend that they lacked the finances to complete the building so they opted to demolition it. They agreed to grade the property and plant grass seeds once the building is demolished. Judge Friedman granted them until September 1, 2008, to complete this work. The defendants were ordered to apply for the demolition permit within the next week and fully cooperate with town officials in completing the work. The defendants received a total fine of $7,500. The remaining summonses will not be disposed of until September 3, 2008 so as to assure compliance with this stipulation.

Over the years I have suggested that the town adopt an abandoned property law to enable the town to take quicker action to address these eyesores. Neighbors of 24 Joyce Road have been living next door to an eyesore for a number of years. Other people should not be placed in a similar situation.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Town of Greenburgh
Revised (5/19/08) Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32)
All Work Sessions are now streamed live.
2:00p.m. Leaf Blower Ban Laws

2:15p.m. Paper Street Requests – Follow-up
• Steve Xydas
• Debra Jaldane

2:45p.m. Hevelyne Road follow up
3:15p.m. Library Construction and Triton – Al Regula and Genie Contrata
3:30p.m. Rosemary Noonan – Executive Director of the Housing Action Council
(SHORE and Hastings Affordable Housing) – Supervisor Feiner and
Councilwoman Brown
4:00p.m. RFP for Vending Machine Services – town should get commissions on machines Marc McCrum
4:15p.m. Town Board Rules and Procedures – Councilman Morgan
4:45p.m. Executive Session – Personnel (committee appointments discussion)
5:30p.m. Adjourn -- This meeting will adjourn promptly at 5:30 PM

May 20, 2008 Work Session Summary
Greenville Fire District
Commissioners from the Greenville Fire District requested that the Town of Greenburgh provide them with one hundred thousand dollars to support their purchase of technical rescue equipment – equipment that is used throughout the Town. Supervisor Feiner recommended that the Greenville, Hartsdale and Fairview Fire Districts consider applying for a grant to explore sharing services (similar to the Dobbs Ferry/Greenburgh police sharing services study). Further discussion is required regarding the request for funding.
Library Construction and Triton
Deferred to May 27, 2008 Work Session.
Proposed Real Property Tax Committee
A proposed resolution was discussed and reviewed “…to form a committee, (to be initially co-chaired by Mr. Paul L. Sterne, private citizen of the Village of Dobbs Ferry and Ms. Edye McCarthy, Assessor, Town of Greenburgh,) to investigate the current system of real estate taxation on all types of property within the jurisdiction of the Town of Greenburgh and report on its findings to the Supervisor and Town Board…”
WestHab developers, who propose to build an affordable housing residence at 22 Tarrytown Road and Old Kensico Road (near Verizon, Staples, County Center), presented a new design to the Town Board – their 3rd design. The building is being reduced from 5 floors to 4. The number of units has also been reduced. Residents and Town Board members suggested some additional design modification – using red bricks similar to the exterior of the Fulton Park apts. The May 28th scheduled public hearing will be postponed to June 11. WESTHAB will finalize their design and meet with the community prior to the 11th.
GHA Accounts Receivable
The Greenburgh Housing Authority members and attorney are disputing the amount of funds owed to the town for designated police presence at the Housing Authority sites. The Housing Authority agrees that they owe the town funds for 2007 but they claim that they do not owe the town money for services provided in 2006 and 2005 since they claim there was no contract. The GHA agreed to provide the town Attorney’s office with minutes of the Housing Authority meetings covering the last three years. The Town Board will follow up on this after the review of records is completed.
Capital Budget Presentation
The Town Supervisor submitted a proposed Capital Budget for the amount of $4,018,468 which reflects an adjustment of $3,802,059 between what was originally requested by Department Heads ($7,820,527) and what was saved due to a collective effort on the part of the Board to reduce spending in the Town.

End of Work Session

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I had a pre-application meeting with a developer who advises that his company will be submitting plans to the town in the near future to build some luxury rental units at 250 Central Ave in Hartsdale. Will keep you posted...



Paul Feiner

Last night, Code Enforcement Officers from the Building Department and officers from the Police Department went out on an inspection for overcrowding and illegal boarders at 206 Warren Avenue. They found evidence that although the owner does not live in the house, a one-family residence, approximately 15 to 16 people do reside there. We are processing approximately 30 to 40 summonses for various violations that were discovered. Recently, I forwarded a report to the Town Board revealing that in the 15 months since the Town Board approved the hiring of the Code Enforcement Officer, $134,000 was collected in fines for a range of quality of life violations, including harboring illegal boarders. The summonses were issued by all of the staff members but I used the window of the time since the new member of the department came on board. Last night’s accomplishment indicates to me that the public is not aware of the harsh fines now being meted out by Justice Friedman in these illegal and unsafe living circumstances. John Lucido, Building Inspector


have submitted to the Town Board the proposed Capital Budget for 2008 in the amount of $4,018,468 which excludes the last portion of the new Library construction project and the anticipated capital plans for years 2009 and 2010. In recent weeks members of the Town Board and I have spent some time meeting with all departments heads who requested funds from the capital budget The recommended capital budget is approximately 36% below the 2007 Adopted Capital Budget amount of $6,307,395 and approximately 51 % of the amounts requested by the various activities for 2008. As you know, the Town is facing a challenging fiscal environment related to many factors, some local and some national and international in nature. The 2008 Recommended Capital Budget is also less than the 2006 Adopted Capital Budget of$5,105,000 by approximately 21 %.

In addition to the format that has been used in prior years, this year's presentation includes a new section beginning on Page 17 created by the Town's Comptroller, Michael Kolesar, that aims to present this data in a clearer and more meaningful manner as well as present a forecast of the impact of this Recommended Capital Budget on the 2009 Debt Service Costs for both the Town Entire and Town Outside Villages funds. This projection indicates that debt service costs for the Town Entire will increase approximately $143,000 and contribute to an increase in the Town Entire 2009 tax rate of .24%. Debt service costs for the Town Outside Villages are anticipated to increase by approximately $350,000 and would contribute to an increase in the Town Outside Villages 2009 tax rate of 1.11 %. If the last portion of the Library project that must be funded this year were excluded, the debt service costs for the Town Outside Villages would project a decrease of approximately $ 207,000.

The entire capital budget in its entirety will be posted on the town’s web site ( forms). One can also obtain a copy by e mailing me at

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The Greenburgh Town Board will be holding a special meeting on Thursday May 21 at 7:15 PM at Town Hall to set a public hearing for May 28th on the following resolution. THe hearing will be held at our Board meeting on the 28th. Last Friday there was another hit & run death on 9A--the 3rd fatal accident on 9A since January. We have been in touch with CDBG officials and have been working with the county CDBG program to fund sidewalks and other pedestrian safety initiatives.

These initiatives, if approved, could reduce the potential for another fatal accident on 9A.


FOR 2009 – 2011 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT FUNDING FOR SAW Mill River Road (Route 9A) improvement project

WHEREAS, the Town of Greenburgh is a member municipality of the Westchester Urban County Consortium and, as such is eligible to submit applications for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to Westchester County; and

WHEREAS, after meeting with the Community Development Advisory Committee, community members, as well as Town Agencies and non-profit organizations, the Town has developed a series of projects designed to address both the needs of low and moderate income citizens and the priorities for funding established by Westchester County (the development or maintenance of Affordable Housing Opportunities; Sustainable Investment; and Opportunities for Youth); and

WHEREAS, Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) is located in the heart of the CDBG target area and serves as the primary pedestrian and vehicular traffic route into and out of the area for local residents including public housing tenants and others in the immediate vicinity; and

WHEREAS, New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) and determined that DOT would upgrade the pedestrian crossing signal and improve pedestrian crossing safety time; and

WHEREAS, the Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) improvement project will include a sidewalks, curbs, drainage improvements and traffic calm devices that would be part of New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), to upgrade road access and pedestrian crossing along Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A); and

WHEREAS, the proposed project would compliment the redesign plans by NYSDOT for Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) and would be a two phase project; and

WHEREAS, the first phase would include improvements from Payne Street to Old Country Road and the Second phase would include improvements from Old Country Road to Hunter Lane: and

WHEREAS, the proposed project would also include pedestrian scale lighting as lighting plays an important role in the overall character of any area. This type of lighting would be used along the sidewalks and pedestrian areas to illuminate and identify routes and provide safety at night; and

WHEREAS, the project will include but not be limited to sidewalks, trees, tree grates, tree guards, plants & planters, sidewalks, curbs, drainage improvements, traffic calm devices, and new pedestrian scale lighting; and

WHEREAS, local residents have requested additional sidewalks be installed in the interest of easier pedestrian access and enhanced safety; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh hereby endorses the submission of an application to Westchester County for $800,000 ($0.00 for the first year, $0.00 second year, and $800,000.00 for the third year) in CDBG funds for Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) improvement project; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town of Greenburgh will support the project with construction supervision and management, materials and labor in addition to the estimated cash amount of $200,000 ($0.00 for the first year, $50,000.00 for the second year and $200,000 for the third year).


Teresa Gilli of the Special Olympic, Hudson Valley Region will be the guest on Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner’s radio program this Friday May 23rd between 10 AM and 11 AM on WVOX Radio in New Rochelle (1460 AM). . Feiner and Gilli will discuss the June 6th Bresnan Bike tour from NY to Vermont to raise funds for the Special Olympics and Westchester Arc Foundation.

Supervisor Feiner has been cycling to Vermont with the tour since 1990. The ride is 200 miles. Each cyclist is asked to collect a minimum of $2,000 in pledges.

Last year the group raised over $410,000 for the two organizations. Since 1990 over $3,535,000 has been raised. In 1990 John Kennedy, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, Jr. participated in the weekend charity bike ride. The Special Olympics is a non profit organization providing programs and events to children and adults with disabilities. Year round sports training programs and athletic competitions are organized. Westchester Arc helps children and adults with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities live as independently and productively as possible.

Teresa Gilli is the coordinator of the event. The program is streamed live on the WVOX radio web site ( People can call in at 636-0110. Bresnan Bike Tour Website:


The proposed WESTHAB workforce housing proposal was scheduled for a public hearing for May 28th. Yesterday, at our work session, some residents made some constructive suggestions re: design of the building. WESTHAB, which hopes to build 35 affordable housing units (down from the original 42) for working people, has agreed to re-design the building and will be having a dialogue with Fulton Park neighbors in advance of the hearing. The hearing will be rescheduled for June 11th at the Greenburgh Town Board meeting. This will be the 4th new design for the building.


from the applicant

Thanks to you and the Town Board for meeting with us yesterday afternoon, and for accommodating our schedule. In light of our meeting, and the comments received from the Board and members of the public, I am requesting on behalf of Westhab that the public hearing be adjourned from May 28 to the Town Board's next meeting on June 11. This would allow Westhab and its architects more time to revisit the design of the building and to try to address the comments of the Board and those members of the community who were present at the meeting. It would also allow Westhab the opportunity to meet with the community in advance of the public hearing to discuss any revisions. We would also present any further revisions to the Board at a work session prior to June 11.

Since the beginning of the process, Westhab has tried to be a good neighbor, and has tried, at great expense, to be responsive to the comments and concerns raised by the Town Board, the Planning Board and the community. We look forward to working with you and the Town Board toward the conclusion of the process for this very important project for the Town of Greenburgh.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008




There have been 3 fatal hit and run accidents on 9A this year. On Friday night a Hispanic victim was hit in the southbound lane while crossing the road just north of Payne Street around 10 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene. In March, 51-year-old Manuel Guaman Saca of Elmsford was found dead in the snow on Route 9A near Hunter Lane after being struck by a vehicle. On January 14 Harminder Singh died on Route 9A between Park Ave and Whitehouse Road. I am contacting the NYS Department of Transportation and Greenburgh Police Dept and will be asking for a pedestrian traffic safety study to be conducted for 9A. What action steps could be taken on 9A (a state road) that will reduce the possibility of another fatality? More sidewalks…crosswalks…signs advising pedestrians that there have been fatalities and warning them to be more careful… We need to be proactive and think of ways to reduce the possibility of another fatality.

What: Ride of Silence – 8 mile, slow-paced bicycle ride to honor all cyclists injured or killed on public roads, will also be filmed as part of a documentary film THE LONG BIKE BACK

When: Wednesday May 21st 2008, gather at 6:30pm for a 6:45pm start

Where: Central Avenue in Greenburgh – from Midway Shopping Center (1001 Central Ave just south of Ardsley Rd) to Pathmark (at Battle Ave) returning to Midway Shopping Center

Contact: Julia Wrona (914) 576-1727,

The Ride of Silence is a one day, one time, worldwide slow-paced, silent bicycle ride to honor all cyclists injured or killed on public roads. The ride's goal is to increase awareness of the rights of cyclists and peacefully ask all to share the roads. In New York State in 2006 5426 bicyclist were injured by motorists, 45 were killed. May is bicycle safety month.

This year the event will be filmed as part of the documentary THE LONG BIKE BACK ( THE LONG BIKE BACK is about a local bicyclist's recovery from a crippling hit-and-run accident and his quest to ride across America to inspire bicycling and encourage road sharing. The cyclist, Pearson Constantino, was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident while riding his bicycle on Central Ave in June 2006 and he will lead this year’s ride.

Please contact Julia Wrona at (914) 576-1727 or for more information.

Monday, May 19, 2008


A band stand has been placed at DeSanti Plaza (across from the Hartsdale train station). We’re looking for bands to perform during the summer/fall months—especially during the Saturday farmer’s market on Saturday mornings and early afternoon. We also want to explore the possibility of having outdoor concerts in the early evening, to help bring business to some of the restaurants serving our area. There is an electrical outlet at the park. Unfortunately, we don’t have any corporate sponsors to pay the musicians this season. However, musicians who are interested in showing off their musical talents can get some good visibility. We will put promotional posters around town, highlighting the band. And, will also promote the band on our web sites. Video’s of the concerts may also be broadcast on our public access channel.
If you are interested in performing please e mail or the town clerk, Judith Beville at You can call Supervisor Paul Feiner at 993-1540 or Town Clerk Judith Beville at 993-1501.
OUR GOAL—Make E Hartsdale Ave fun…a destination point…promote the talents of local residents who are musicians…provide a showcase for musicians to perform…help the businesses.


Friday, May 16, 2008


Town of Greenburgh

Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32)

All Work Sessions are now streamed live.

1:45p.m Greenville Fire District – Helene Orce

2:00p.m. Executive Session – Tim Lewis / David Fried

2:45p.m. Executive Session – Ed Lieberman / Al Regula

3:15p.m. Library Construction and Triton – Al Regula

3:45p.m. Proposed Real Property Tax Committee – Paul Sterne

4:00p.m. WestHab – Request to Present Alterations – Janet Giris

4:30p.m. Capital Budget Presentation to the Board – Supervisor Feiner

5:00p.m. Executive Session – Boards and Commissions

5:30p.m. Adjourn

May 27, 2008 Work Session – Tentative

Leaf Blower Ban Laws
Town Board Rules and Procedures
Dept. Head Evaluations - Schedule
Paper Street Requests – Steve Xydas, Debra Jaldane
Hevelyne Road

June 4, 2008 7 PM Glenville Woods meeting

June 9, 2008 Town Board ‘housecalls’ walk – Secor Road

May 13, 2008 Work Session Summary

Proposed Real Property Tax Committee

Issue was deferred to next Work Session – May 20, 2008.

Richard Greenspan Property Bridge

The Town’s portion toward the necessary repair of this bridge will come from the capital budget.

Tappan Zee Bridge

Mr. Bodin has been closely monitoring decisions and actions taken by planners and state decision-makers regarding the Tappan Zee Bridge. He advised the Board to focus on attracting “…better bus service to the Town of Greenburgh. Thomas Madden, Commissioner for the Department of Community Development and Conservation, indicated that these concerns are being addressed through the Comprehensive Plan meetings/hearings.

Greenburgh Housing Authority May Visit

Members of the Town Board will visit Greenburgh Housing Authority sites on Saturday, May 31, 2008. They will convene at Town Hall at 10:00am and invite all anyone who is interested in joining them to arrive at Town Hall between 9:45am and 10:00am.

Bar Out List

At the request of Councilwoman Sonja Brown, Chief Kapica provided an overview of the “Bar Out” policy as it pertains to Housing Authority property. According to the Chief, the Town of Greenburgh currently does not have a Bar Out policy. The intent of such policy, however, is to target “undesirable” individuals (those with chronic criminal histories) for the purpose of barring such individuals from private or public Housing Authority properties.

Capital Budget Review

In an on-going effort to reduce spending, Supervisor Feiner and the Town Council approved nearly $600 thousand more dollars in cuts from the proposed Capital Budget. This actions reflects the Board’s commitment to continue to reduce spending without critically affecting the quality of services to town residents.

1st Quarter Financial Review and Internal Controls, Tax Certs Analysis: Period 2000 to date; 2009 Financial Model

Comptroller Michael Kolesar discussed overtime documentation, internal controls, tax cert’s and a proposed financial model.

End of Work Session

Thursday, May 15, 2008



NEW ENERGY CONSERVATION COORDINATOR NAMED—funding from building permit fee






Greenburgh participates in a CDBG program and is eligible for grants. At last nights Town Board meeting the Town Board unanimously voted to support the following grant requests. Although we are endorsing almost $900,000 worth of grants the county (which administers the program) will be screening each of these applications and will probably approve between $100,000 and $200,000 of the applications. A more detailed summary of the grants that we are seeking can be found on the town web site: (look for resolutions, Town Board meeting). My personal favorites: the Solar Hot Water system, the expansion of the after school program (we’re going to model the expansion on a very successful program that exists in Brooklyn) and the initiative to revitalize Manhattan Ave. I thought that the Commissioner of Planning, Thomas Madden, did a first class job highlighting ways that the town can enhance the look of one of the most important streets in our town – Manhattan Ave.

Installation of a Solar Hot Water System at the Theodore D. Young Community Center

Requested CDBG Funds: $168,750 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $56,250 (cash)

Expansion of the After-school Program at the Theodore D. Young Community Center

Requested CDBG Funds: $120,000 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $300,000 (in-kind)

($40,000 per year) ($100,000 per year)

Department of Community Development & Conservation Manhattan Avenue Street Revitalization

Requested CDBG Funds: $250,000 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $50,000 (cash)

Greenburgh Parks and Recreation – Yosemite Park Play Equipment Replacement

Requested CDBG Funds: $150,000 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $50,000 (cash)

Greenburgh Police Department – Travis Hill Park Crime Suppression Video System

Requested CDBG Funds: $40,500 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $13,500 (in-kind)

Greenburgh Police Department – Youth and Senior Programs

Requested CDBG Funds: $31,500 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $13,500 (in-kind)

($10,500 per year) ($4,500 per year)

Town of Greenburgh – Mentoring and Leadership Development Program

Requested CDBG Funds: $67,500 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $22,500 (in-kind)

($22,500 per year) ($7,500 per year)

Greenburgh Public Library – Young Adult Technology Engagement Plan

Requested CDBG Funds: $16,680 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $5,560 (cash)

Greenburgh Nutrition Program – Double - Deck Convection Oven

Requested CDBG Funds: $9,150 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $3,050 (cash)

Theodore D. Young Community Center – 16 Passenger Bus

Requested CDBG Funds: $30,277 Matching Town Funds Proposed: $10,092 (cash)

The Town Board also appointed Allegra Dengler as our new energy conservation coordinator. She will replace Nikki Coddington. Her part time stipend will be split with an energy conservation outreach coordinator. That appointment will be made within the next month. The Board also voted to increase fees for building department permits to pay for all energy conservation initiatives. The combined stipend for our p/t energy conservation coordinator/outreach coordinator will be about $29,000 a year.

The Board also approved a resolution by the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh authorizing the Request For Proposal (RFP) for development opportunity for a mixed affordable housing and market rate multifamily development located at 330 Saw Mill River Road (commonly referred to as the Water Wheel Inn Property). This property is owned by the town due to a foreclosure but is located in the village of Ardsley. Approximately 15 homes may be built at this location. The town, working with Ardsley, will review various proposals and then decide who to sell the property to.

The Board voted to schedule a Public Hearing for Wednesday, May 28th at 8:30 PM, to consider a petition submitted by Westhab, Inc. for amendments to the Zoning Map and the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Greenburgh affecting property located at 22 Tarrytown Road, White Plains. WESTHAB is proposing to build 35 affordable apartments for working families. The building is proposed to be 4 stories high. The proposal has been downsized.

The Board voted to start the review process for the proposed super Stop N Shop on Route 119 in Tarrytown at 600 White Plains Road (next to the Sheraton). We will be scheduling many community meetings during the review process. The first community meeting is scheduled for June 4th at 7 PM. A zoning ordinance amendment is required.

The Board also referred the proposed Avalon Green II Site Plan Application and amended Avalon Town Green Site Plan Application to the Planning Board for review and recommendation. This proposal has been reviewed by the town for over a decade (440 units of housing)—we’re nearing the end of the review process!

There will be a new food concession at the town pool this summer. The Board authorized a license agreement with O’Neill’s Concession to operate a food concession at the Anthony F. Veteran Park Pool and Tennis Complex

We also promoted Glenn Bryan to Police Captain and appointed Bryan Ryan as Lt. Police Officers Norman Hall and Thomas Foltin are Sergeant and we have a new detective: Timothy Carroll.

We also honored two student interns: Chadwick Campbell and Victor Griffith, senior interns from Woodlands High School WISE programs.

These are some of the highlights from our Town Board meeting: May 14th.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


David Yarnold, executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund, will be the guest on Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner’s radio program this Friday, May 16th from 10 AM to 11 AM. The program, aired live on WVOX Radio (1460 AM), is also streamed live on the WVOX web site:
Yarnold, a resident of one of the villages in Greenburgh, won the Pulitzer Prize and spent 27 years at the San Jose Mercury News. He authored the Environmental Defense’s California Strategy and was a key leader in the passage of the nation’s most sweeping climate change legislation.


Volume 2 Issue 3 May, 2008

It seems that the Department of Transportation has buried its head in the ground instead of burying our traffic (via a tunnel) in the ground.
Thus far there has been no credible explanation as to why a tunnel option has been eliminated as an alternative to replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge. Even the concept of a supplemental tunnel to compliment a refurbished bridge has been left out of the process. This tunnel could remove trucks and mass transport from the bridge greatly reducing wear and tear on the bridge thereby extending its lifespan and lowering annual maintenance cost. It also offers the best opportunity to remove highly toxic truck fumes from the air. A tunnel could give us quicker construction time and consequently, a less expensive and a more readily achievable project. It could be major step in mitigating our poor air quality rating and reducing noise pollution.
Following is a summary of the reasons given by the D.O.T. for eliminating any tunnel consideration:
D.O.T. 1. “Interchanges 9, 10, & 11 will be bypassed resulting in the need for back tracking.”
Facts: With a tunnel dedicated to trucks and trains and a refurbished bridge for cars, there would be no need for any changes to the above interchanges.
D.O.T. 2. “A tunnel would require long and steeper grades that exceed recommended highway standards.”
Facts: Grade requirements can be met with the building of a 7-mile long tunnel which will still offer a competitive cost advantage to a new, much larger bridge.
D.O.T. 3. “A tunnel would require relocation of the toll plaza to Rockland.”
Facts: The Tarrytown toll plaza would stay intact for cars with a supplemental tunnel. A truck toll can be built at one end of the tunnel.
D.O.T. 4. “Property acquisition.”
Facts: Premature argument since there is no bridge design with realistic foundations. It is highly unlikely that a tunnel would require more land taking.
D.O.T. 5. “A tunnel would require several large vertical shafts, some in the river.”
Facts: Tunnel technology has advanced a great deal and now does not require large, unsightly construction shafts
.D.O.T. 6. “Extraction, handling and disposal of more than 8 million cubic yards of soil, some of which would be contaminated.”
Facts: The excavated soil from a bored tunnel is often a valuable bi-product which can be sold to developers, thus defraying part of the costs. There is no expectation that soil from below the river bottom will be found to be contaminated.
D.O.T. 7. “Duration of construction (of a tunnel) that would be expected to be 2 to 3 years longer than a new bridge, even with work progressing on multiple tunnel tubes.”
Facts: New machinery for drilling tunnels is spectacularly fast. Modern tunnel technology would allow for a bored tunnel to be built faster and more quietly than a new bridge. Furthermore, this statement is premature since there is no bridge design available for comparison.
D.O.T. 8. “Disturbance of the river bottom at the rock/soil access shafts on both shores to an extent greater than for a bridge (up to 50 acres of underwater habitat could be affected).”
Facts: Premature argument to use for discarding tunnels without knowing basic bridge designs and foundations. There is a strong argument that a bored tunnel beneath the river bottom would have little effect on underwater habitat.
D.O.T. 9. “Displacement of 25 acres of wetlands in the Talleyrand Swamp in Westchester County.”
Facts: Depends on routing of tunnel and exit points.
D.O.T. 10. “Visual impacts of ventilation buildings, which would be large, conspicuous structures.”
Facts: See item 5 above. Again, no comparison can be made without knowing basic bridge designs and foundations.
D.O.T. 11. “Capital costs for the highway tunnel crossing would be 2 to 3 times that of a new bridge.”
Facts: It should be noted that tunnel construction, world wide, has been coming in at one quarter to one third less than bridges. Once again, without knowing basic bridge designs and foundations, this argument is without validity.
So why won’t the D.O.T. let the tunnel alternative have its day in court during the Environmental Impact Studies? It’s a question that cries out for an honest answer.
If you agree, please ask our governor, congressional representatives, county officials and the D.O.T. this question.
George Sherman, President, Rockland Branch,
Sherwood Chorost, President, Westchester Branch
“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead


On November 29, 2007, the Town Board received a petition for amendments to the Zoning Code. If the Petition is granted and the requested amendments are adopted by the Town Board, White Hickory intends to construct an approximately 75,000 square foot Super Stop N SHop supermarket, approximately 50,000 square feet of office space, approximately 15,000 square feet of general retail uses, and approximately 8,600 square feet of other free-standing commercial space, which would most likely be used as a bank and/or restaurant space (the “Project”), on the property located at 600 White Plains Road (near the Sheraton Hotel on 119).

At tonights Town Board meeting the Board will formally start the review process. We will declare our intent to be lead agency for the review. We are also going to refer the petition to the Planning Board for a recommendation in accordance with our Zoning laws. Members of the community have been meeting with the applicant in recent months. A community meeting for residents of the Glenville section of town has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 4th at 7 PM in Glenville (near the Tarrytown Boarder). There will be many additional meetings with the applicant and residents in the coming months to discuss community concerns.


On November 29, 2007, the Town Board received a petition for amendments to the Zoning Code. If the Petition is granted and the requested amendments are adopted by the Town Board, White Hickory intends to construct an approximately 75,000 square foot Super Stop N SHop supermarket, approximately 50,000 square feet of office space, approximately 15,000 square feet of general retail uses, and approximately 8,600 square feet of other free-standing commercial space, which would most likely be used as a bank and/or restaurant space (the “Project”), on the property located at 600 White Plains Road (near the Sheraton Hotel on 119).

At tonights Town Board meeting the Board will formally start the review process. We will declare our intent to be lead agency for the review. We are also going to refer the petition to the Planning Board for a recommendation in accordance with our Zoning laws. Members of the community have been meeting with the applicant in recent months. A community meeting for residents of the Glenville section of town has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 4th at 7 PM in Glenville (near the Tarrytown Boarder). There will be many additional meetings with the applicant and residents in the coming months to discuss community concerns.

Monday, May 12, 2008


WHO: Residents are invited to attend a Public Town Hall Meeting, hosted by NY State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Present Oral/Written Testimony.

WHAT: A Public Town Hall Meeting hosted by NY State Senator, Andrea Stewart-Cousins ( 35th District) and her Task Force on Alternative Funding and Fiscal Reform for Public Education (AffirmEd) to hear public comment
on AFFIRM Ed’s mission of exploring public education funding alternatives
to alleviate the tax burden on individual and corporate real property owners, while preserving the goal of providing excellence in public education for children throughout Westchester County.

WHEN: Friday, May 16th 5:00-8:00pm

WHERE: Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Avenue, Greenburgh, NY

WHY: Funding public education is a priority of Senator Stewart-Cousins
resulting in her creation of the AFFIRM Ed task force. AFFIRM Ed will: explore alternative sources of school district funding to augment or replace funding through local property tax levies; explore measures by which school districts can contain and control costs; inform legislation proposed by the Governor’s Commission of Real Property Tax Fairness to ensure that any cap on property tax does not have the effect of reallocating, rather than alleviating the high tax burden of Westchester County Residents; and propose legislation that will help school districts in Westchester County and throughout NY State attain excellence in education for high needs school districts without sacrificing the quality of education that has already been attained in high performing school districts.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


An article in today's NY TIMES (REAL ESTATE) discusses using office parks as sites for new affordable housing. What do you think about the proposal?

Published: May 11, 2008
GENERATING both praise and criticism in a county with plenty of expensive housing but not much of the budget-friendly kind, a Department of Planning report urges towns and villages here to use land in existing office parks as sites for new housing, some of it for moderate-income families.

There are two big reasons that he believes the plan would work, Richard Hyman, an independent housing and planning consultant hired by the county for the study, says. To start with, office parks are typically created with more parking than they need, to meet standard zoning requirements. Additionally, the complexes are often built in campuslike settings, with room for more construction — in this case new residential buildings.

The recommendations came in response to a severe shortage of moderate-income housing in Westchester. Demand is expected to reach 19,083 units by 2015, yet between 2000 and 2005 only 970 units had been built, according to Deborah DeLong, the county’s housing director.

Because the roads and utilities in existing office parks are already in place, the study asserts, further development of those properties would not be as costly for developers.

Builders could afford to set aside as much as 15 percent of the housing for moderate-income families without relying on public funds, Mr. Hyman said.

Put another way, said Robert F. Weinberg, an Elmsford developer of mixed-use projects in Westchester: “Here we have already cut down all these trees, put in the sewer and water lines, so there’s no hole to be dug, no addition of parking lots and no extra runoff. It makes sense economically and environmentally.”

Mr. Weinberg, the president of the Robert Martin Company, is a shareholder in Mack-Cali Realty, which owns more than 25 office buildings and several office parks in Westchester. He was an adviser during the preparation of the report — one of several business executives whom the county interviewed, according to Mr. Hyman, who explained: “We didn’t want just an academic study. We wanted a report that was realistic.”

Five office parks in the county were cited in the report as examples of where the housing could be built.

One of them, Talleyrand Office Park, on White Plains Road in the village of Tarrytown — which is owned by Mack-Cali — has 178,000 square feet in two six-story office buildings and a restaurant, on a 75-acre wooded site. It also includes an apartment complex with 300 units, 60 of them designated as moderate-income.

Village officials in Tarrytown were less than receptive to the report’s suggestions. “On the surface it all sounds wonderful,” said Thomas T. Basher, the village’s deputy mayor, “but only if the office park has enough extra space for that. In our office park, it would be like squeezing 10 people into a Volkswagen, and I don’t mean a bus. It just won’t hold it.”

Mr. Basher also questioned why Tarrytown should shoulder more responsibility for moderate-income housing when “we’ve already done more than our share.”

During the 1990s, Tarrytown built 123 units of such housing, 56 more than the county had allocated for the village under a plan developed by a Housing Implementation Commission created by the County Board of Legislators.

But the panel issued a new plan in July 2005, updating the benchmarks for Westchester’s 43 municipalities to a 2015 timetable. According to that plan, Tarrytown has built only 6 of 111 additional allotted units.

Ms. DeLong, the county’s housing director, explained that the case studies in the report were meant only as examples of the feasibility of using office parks as sites for moderate-income houses and not directives for what any particular municipality should do.

She said the report would be circulated to other towns and villages throughout the county in the coming months. So far, only Tarrytown and Greenburgh have reviewed it.

Existing office parks are attractive sites for housing in part because they are already zoned for high-density development, although new regulations would be needed in some cases to permit residential use.

Additionally, the plan would enable municipalities to meet allocations established for moderate-income housing by the county without using undeveloped land, which is often in short supply.

The other four sites used as case studies are also along White Plains Road, but in the adjacent town of Greenburgh, where county officials met with Town Council members two months ago.

“There was no opposition here,” said Paul J. Feiner, the supervisor, “but no commitment either. In principle, though, if people can live close to where they work, they will spend less on gas, which is one of the reasons mixed-use developments make sense.”

The county’s plan to retrofit office parks is one of the first of its kind, Mr. Hyman said. Many mixed-use projects nationwide offer residential, office and commercial spaces, but they are mostly designed either from scratch on vacant land or as a major redevelopment project in a downtown area.

Mr. Hyman observed that local zoning laws governing small towns like those in Westchester — as opposed to downtown areas — were developed before the concept of mixed-use development was revived late in the 20th century.

Especially in suburban areas, zoning regulations enacted after World War II separated residential, commercial and industrial areas to protect property values, but at the same time increased dependence on automobiles.

The planning department hopes that as the report circulates, its ideas will gain favor. But because private companies own the office parks and municipalities control zoning, both groups must be convinced.

As Mr. Hyman noted, all the county can do is suggest and advise. “In the end,” he said, “zoning is the prerogative of the municipalities, so it’s going to be up to them.”

Friday, May 09, 2008

work session agenda for tuesday..summary of last work session

Town of Greenburgh
Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32)

All Work Sessions are now streamed live.

2:00p.m. Proposed Real Property Tax Committee

2:15p.m. Richard Greenspan Property Bridge Review – Gerry Byrne

2:30p.m. Tappan Zee Bridge – Murray Bodin

3:00p.m. Boards & Commissions – Review of Expired Terms:

Councilwoman Sonja Brown

. May Visit, Bar Out List – Councilwoman Sonja Brown

3:30p.m. Capital Budget

4:00p.m. Agenda Review

4:30p.m. 1st Quarter Financial Review and Internal Controls, Tax Certs Analysis: Period 2000 to date; 2009 Financial Model – Michael J. Kolesar

5:00p.m. Executive Session – Michael Kolesar
5:30p.m. Adjourn

May 6, 2008 Work Session Summary

Paper Street Purchase Requests and An Unsettled Property Tax Claim

Steve Xydas, an Ardsley resident, requested that the Town approve his request to purchase a paper street on Chestnut Street from the town. The property is currently open space. Mr. Xydas’ wants to clearthe area of rotting and termite infested wood and maintain it. He explicitly stated that he is not interested in developing the land.
Debra Jaldane, a resident of unincorporated Greenburgh, requested to purchase a paper street located on Dobbs Ferry Road near Downing Drive. The property is not developed and has attracted wild animals and rodents. She indicated that she is not interested in developing the land.
The Board intends to revisit these two items at the May 27th work session.

David Doynow, also a resident of unincorporated Greenburgh, has appeared before the Town Board on several previous occasions in an attempt to purchase property from the town that had been foreclosed on previously This matter is being investigated by the Board which plans to revisit the issue at the July 15th work session.

Philanthropy Department

Winsome Gordon, presented the following Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) proposals to the Board for their approval and agreement to support with the required matching funds, if approved by the County. Copies of the CDBG proposals are available at the Town Clerks office.
Solar Hot Water for TDYCC, Nutrition Kitchen Oven (for seniors nutrition program at TDYCC, Travis Hill Park Crime Suppression Video System, Police Department Youth and Senior Seminar, After School Program Expansion at TDYCC, Manhattan Avenue Revitalization (approved for a Town match substantially less than requested), Greenburgh Library Young Adult Engagement (computers) and the Town of Greenburgh Mentoring and Leadership Development Program.
A public hearing will be held during the May 14th Town Board meeting.
Hevelyn Road

For many years (decades) the town has plowed, sanded and fixed potholes on Hevelyn Road. This road is not a town road. The Village of Elmsford is encouraging the town to repave the road even though the road is not owned by the town. There are many large potholes on Hevelyn, creating hazardous conditions for emergency vehicles (police, ambulance, fire) that make calls . The Knollwood Country Club objects to the town taking over of the road.

The Board will reconvene this discussion at the May 27th work session.
Greenburgh Housing Authority (GHA) Accounts Receivable

The Town of Greenburgh maintains that the GHA owes the Town four hundred and thirty-three thousand dollars for police services rendered. This payment, according to the GHA, was waived due to the fact that their income potential was drastically reduced when they were, reportedly, “…mandated by the State of New York to take 40 units off line for renovations…” Board members Feiner, Sheehan and Juettner maintain that the GHA was only given a “postponement of payment, not a waiver.” Unless the GHA pays the dollars owed, the dedicated community police presence agreement for police at the Housing Authority sites will not be renewed.
The Board will further investigate this discrepancy and the matter will be revisited at the May 20th work session.


You can bid on surplus equipment. We participate in on line auctions of surplus equipment (which includes vehicles). SAVE MONEY. GET GOOD DEALS. VISIT THE FOLLOWING WEB SITE...

For those of you that may want to track the progress of our ongoing online auction of surplus equipment I have included the link to the site ... Just click on it and then select the Town of Greenbugh item in the right column.

As you know, with the national economy ailing, the Federal Reserve Bank has been consistently reducing the prime interest rate, which has the effect of lowering what the Town earns on its cash. tHE TOWN IS RECEIVING ABOUT 45% LESS OF LAST YEARS INTEREST INCOME, ACCORDING TO CMPTROLLER MIKE KOLESAR.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


The Search Committee for a new Commissioner of the Theodore Young Community Center held its first meeting tonight. The committee will be recommending 3 possible candidates to the Town Board.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


After the new residents reception tonight (which was very well attended--over 150 people), some of the new residents met to discuss our comprehensive plan. One comment made an impression:
The resident is from California. We were discussing the proposed two year reconstruction of the Ashford Ave bridge. This bridge connects Ardsley with Dobbs Ferry. In California, after the earthquakes, the bridges were rebuilt within 4 months. Why does it take so long for NY bridges to be re-built? 4 months vs. 2 years?


The Rockefeller Institute has a new report out today that’s a great primer on all those governments in New York. It takes a look in particular at layering - how almost half the state’s residents live under two local governments, while nearly ten percent live under three (take out New York City and the percentages rise to 83 percent and 17 percent, respectively).

That’s not as bureaucratically dense as some other states - 61 percent of Illinois residents live under three local governments, while just under half of Indiana’s residents do local goverment in threes.

If you’re dating a policy wonk (or you’re in the crucial courtship phase), there’s plenty of potent stuff to impress him/her, including an analysis of ways governments can be consolidated (dissolve villages, eliminate towns, merge cities with counties) and the benefits and pitfalls of doing so (the downside can be higher taxes or a need to create more special districts).

If you’re looking to get away from all that government, best bests are Hawaii and Rhode Island, which have no duplicative local governments.

Monday, May 05, 2008


I spent some time at the construction site of the new Greenburgh Library. I was advised that most of the work will be completed by August. It is still anticipated that the library will open the doors to the public in October. The building is very big, the windows are being installed and the parking lots are being paved.
Among the additional expenses - after the library opens - will be periodic cleaning of the large windows (inside and out). Because special equipment will be necessary for the cleaning (windows are so high) to take place - this could be expensive.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Governor Paterson today announced that Greenburgh will receive a grant to study the possibility of sharing police services with the Village of Dobbs Ferry. This is taken from the Governor's press release. Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins advised the town that we will receive this grant last week.

Town of Greenburgh – $75,855.15
The study will: describe the services provided by the village and town police departments and identify those that could be provided more efficiently and economically through a sharing and/or consolidation of services; and recommend a detailed course of action to implement the preferred alternative.


New Residents and volunteers will be recognize at our New Residents Reception this Tuesday at 6 PM at AF Veteran Park, Multipurpose Building. Some area restaurants are donating delicious treats from 6 PM to 7:30 PM. After the new residents reception we will continue our comprehensive plan review. Hopefully, some of the attendees will stay and provide town officials with the benefit of their thoughts on the future of the town. All dept heads and elected officials will attend the new residents reception—and will interact with the guests –answering questions about their department and the services offered.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32)
All Work Sessions are now streamed live.
2:00p.m. Philanthropy Department: CDBG Matches – Winsome Gordon

2:15p.m. Steve Xydas – Request to Purchase Paper Street

2:30p.m. Debra Jarldane – Request to Purchase Paper Street

2:45p.m. David Doynow—Request to Purchase Small Parcel of Town land

3:00p.m. Hevelyn Road – Revisited – Highway Law 189 / Town to “take-over”

3:15p.m. May Visit, Bar Out List – Councilwoman Sonja Brown

3:30p.m. TDYCC Advisory Board Appointment

3:35p.m. GHA Accounts Receivable, 1st Quarter Financial Review, Internal

Controls (findings to date) – Michael Kolesar

4:00p.m. Executive Session – Michael Kolesar

This meeting will end early due to the New Resident’s Reception which will begin at 6:00p.m. at Anthony Veteran Park – Multipurpose Room. The Comprehensive Plan

Meeting will take place following the reception.

Work Session Summary – Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cabrini Affordable Housing

Cabrini of Westchester presented a proposal to the Town Board to convert two side-by-side buildings on Main Street in the Village of Dobbs Ferry into senior affordable housing. Concerns expressed by the Board are that the property stays “affordable” in perpetuity. The Board requested Cabrini to make sure that Dobbs Ferry village and school officials are kept in the loop. Supervisor Feiner will write a letter to the Village Board and the School Board. This matter will be revisited by the Board and the Town Attorney in two weeks. UPDATE: Supervisor Feiner sent a letter to the school board and village board on Wednesday.

TDYCC: Commissioner’s Salary and Job Advertisement

The Board agreed that a salary range “…up to 105K…” would be considered for the next appointed Commissioner of the Theodore D. Young Community Center. This salary amount is consistent with the salary of the former Commissioner. The job announcement will be posted through the Office of the Town Comptroller. Pauline Kirkland, Assistant Comptroller and Human Resources Director will forward the resumes to the search committee.

update: flood control study--E Hartsdale Ave

We are currently developing flood control alternatives for the Hartsdale Brook Study. We anticipate providing your office with a preliminary draft report for your review and comment in 12 weeks.
Please note that our surveyors have completed a detailed survey of the existing storm drainage system which passes through several buildings along East Hartsdale Avenue. Certain sections of the existing system were inaccessible and our surveyors are not equipped to handle confined space entry (i.e. oxygen tanks, fans, back-up sensors etc). The survey data we have obtained is adequate to define the nominal capacity of this existing system which will likely be paralleled with a new system.

Lori Bello

Leonard Jackson Associates

26 Firemens Memorial Drive, Suite 201

Pomona, NY 10970

(845) 354-4382 x 0

Thursday, May 01, 2008

editorial-albany times union---work for taxes

A bright idea on taxes

First published: Monday, April 28, 2008

So you're a senior citizen living on a fixed income and having trouble paying your property taxes. What can you do, short of hoping taxes will someday go down or picking up and moving out of New York state?
If you happen to live in the Town of Greenburgh, Westchester County, there is now a third option, thanks to the enlightened leadership of Supervisor Paul Feiner. Earlier this month, the Greenburgh Town Board endorsed a pilot program put forth by Mr. Feiner that will allow some senior citizens to offset their property taxes by working for the town. Other communities should take note, and so should the state Legislature.

Under the Greenburgh program, as many as 15 senior citizens with incomes of no more than $36,000 will be hired at $8 an hour to perform tasks that are compatible with the talents they developed during their working years. Last December, Mr. Feiner told The Associated Press that he hopes to attract retirees with a variety of skills who can help in Town Hall and elsewhere in the community. "There are lots of things people can do for the town, and it wouldn't cost us that much to pay them," Mr. Greenburgh said.

His program is a win-win. The town will offset its labor costs by hiring experienced workers at minimum wage, and the seniors will be able to pay down some of the taxes on their homes. And in Greenburgh, where property taxes are the third highest in the country, homeowners need all the help they can get.

Should similar programs be adopted in the Capital Region? The answer is yes, but with a caution that any program must be free of politics. As most Albany residents know all too well, any jobs program can well turn into a patronage haven. That's not being cynical, either. Albany's Democratic machine was often criticized in years past for efforts to politicize its summer jobs for youth program. In Colonie and Saratoga Springs, Republicans have been accused in past years of doing the same.

Presumably, the $36,000 income ceiling is low enough to prevent big campaign contributors from taking advantage of it. But that's not to say that administrators couldn't find a way to make exceptions -- by raising the ceiling for lawyers who have "unique" experience, for example -- or allowing political operatives to screen out opposition party loyalists from any list of applicants.

The best way to prevent such abuses would be to have the program administered by a senior citizens center, or a bipartisan screening of local officials and seniors. The goal must be to help seniors stay in their homes and stay in New York. And, as far as work programs go, stay free of politics.

THE ISSUE:A town experiments with giving seniors a chance to work off tax bills.

THE STAKES:The idea deserves close study statewide.