Monday, June 23, 2008


The Library Board has decided to discontinue cybermobile service. A 3 month grant from a foundation has run out. Although I personally believe that there are ways to continue the cybermobile service (within the budget that was approved by the Town Board) –the NYS Education Dept has advised me that the Library Board is independent of the town and has the ability to shift funds WITHOUT the consent of the Town Board. The Library Board might want to consider the suggestion posted below: Another option would be to park the cybermobile at a few different locations during the week and to send a librarian to the location where the cybermobile is parked during the limited hours that it is open. In effect, the cybermobile would be a branch library…. We could use existing drivers for these limited runs.



Lacking funding, what is going to happen to the cybermobile?
I suggest that it be permanently tethered in Hartsdale, either at the parking garage (electricity) or on the street.
Hartsdale represents a central, densely populated area of unincorporated which is NOT within walking distance of the existing Library outposts.

Thus "stationed", it could be opened on a limited basis, as budget or grant affordable, and serve the Seniors domiciled along Hartsdale Avenue and those either using the train station or picking and dropping those that do.

Given that the only serious cost remaining (no repairs, gas) would be personnel.

Town of Greenburgh

Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board

Tuesday – June 24, 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. Agenda Review

2:15p.m. Paper Streets: Follow-up

2:45p.m. RFP for Vending Machines: Follow-up

2:55p.m. Town should invited Dobbs Ferry to participate in RFP re: 27 Main Street

Property – update Waterwheel

3:00p.m. Library Update: Budget, Construction

(Howard Jacobs, Marilyn Greiner, Al Regula, Triton)

3:40p.m. Schedule department meetings to discuss budget cuts - 2009

3:45p.m. Executive Session – Personnel

4:45p.m. Questions re: Westhab – Follow-up

5:00p.m. Interview: Walter Rivera – Ethics Board

5:30p.m. Adjourn

East Hartsdale Farmers Market Jazz Series – Performances to Date

June 28th –

July 5 –

July 12th – The Blues Dogs with Al Frankel

July 19th and September 6th – Westchester Harp Ensemble

August 2nd – Julie Corbalis

October 11th – Ceasar Cantori

We are looking for more jazz artists! Please contact Judith Beville, Town Clerk at: 993-1500

July 1, 2008 Work Session – Tentative

Begin Budget Meetings with Department Heads

House calls / Community Outreach Meetings:

Monday, June 23rd 8pm – Juniper Hill (meet at Town Hall)

Monday, June 30th 7pm – Fulton Park (door-to-door)

Monday, July 7th – Stone Oaks, Poets Corner (time to be determined)

Monday, July 21st – Irvington (time to be determined)

Monday, July 28th – Valimar (time to be determined)


Anonymous said...

Don't you understand how the library board is playing games with you and the town board.
Are you demented to a point that you cannot see further than your nose when it comes to the library board.
They had the funds for the cybermobile right along.

where is juettner? said...

where is diana juettner in all this?
she is the town board representative to the library?

juettner - where are you?

Anonymous said...

Forget Juettner, where was Feiner in all this? He's the one with the ties to the Lanza family, which has given him thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Juettner never got a penny from the Lanzas.

So what happened here? The Library was supposed to provide data to the Lanzas on usage and costs. Did Feiner see to it that the data from the library to the Lanzas? If not, why not?

Maybe before blaming the library board for terminating the Cybermobile when the Lanza grant ran out, Feiner should have called the Lanzas to find out for himself what the story was here.

Maybe the fault lies with Feiner himself. If you think the state comptroller's condemnation of Feiner in connection with the sewer audit was just about town sewers, think again.

hal samis said...

The Lanza grant was a grant to the Library; their other contributions are not the issue.The recipient of the Library grants (cybermobile and Sunday hours) from the Lanza Family Foundation is not Feiner but the Library.  As such, it is the Library that is responsible for conforming to the requirements of the grant.  It is not Feiner's responsibility to go begging every three months for the Library AND, if the Library expansion project were really not removing some items from its budget, the project would, without hiding in syntax, be way over budget.  In fact, were this not so, the Greenburgh Public Library Foundation could just as easily be raising money to operate the cybermobile as it is beating the bushes for money for furniture.That said, I believe that the Library did submit the required documentation in a timely fashion.And the Library, through the Town's grant office did also submit a request for the six months of additional funding that is required to finish out the year.It should also be acknowledged that the Library, seeking to plan for the remainder of the year, did ask for six months funding rather than in three month installments which was the Lanza preference.It should also be further acknowledged that the Library had the chutzpah to also ask the Lanzas for $3500 to fund the shortfall of the two weeks remaining in the already announced service period ending June 30.  The Trustees voted to end service with two weeks to go in the month and then, thinking more rationally, did a 180 and voted to continue service through the end of the month.Like the Library did not have $3500available.This may not have made a good impression on the Lanza family. The big "maybe" that a particular Edgemont resident likes delivering -- as though indicating some insiders conclusion which warrants another opportunity to beat up on his arch enemy -- simply doesn't work here.  "Maybe" when used as a statement versus used as a question is a typical construction used by those who operate from the dark when spewing their venom.Faithful blog attendees need only scroll back and see several entries by Feiner which clearly are attempts to seek contributions and assistance for the Library.  But the anonymous poseur of 4:02 doesn't like to dwell where balance resides.As for the sewer district news, yes it stinks.  However, there is a similar smell present at the Library Board of Trustees meetings.And, don't forget to remember Mr. Sheehan's part in trying to shut down the scandal.  Those who watched the Town Board meetings when the topic was discussed will remember just how eager Mr. Sheehan was to threaten "the sewer guy", Dominick, and intimidate him.The party may have been held in Feiner's house; however some of those on the reception committee were viscious -- as well as being wrong.Whereas I shall personally suffer by the absence of the cybermobile, I can see reasons aplenty against continuing its shaky existence, especially during the summer months when patrons are away, even those patrons without private police protection.But more to the point is that the Library Trustees chose to ignore their pre-referendum promise to maintain services during the disruption of construction and despite the Library having substantially more money to spend in 2008 on operating expenses, they said they had no money to operate the cybermobile.  "Maybe" that was nothing more than an out and out lie.
The Town Board and Feiner have been especially generous with the Library and its problems during the construction period.  The Town has allowed the Library to occupy Town real estate (owned by the Town entire) at no expense to the Library.  There was no provision for rent in the referendum and, in any case, rent cannot be bonded.  So, were the Library to rent Frank's at the time, the rent could not have paid from bonds.And the temporary space that the Library occupies was not vacant space either; it was used for other purposes causing inconvenience and hardship to the Town and its staff.Even the brief return of the cybermobile was made possible not only by the Lanza grant but also by the decision that paid the driver's salary, not by the Library, but by the Community Center budget.

And in case you haven't guessed, the citizen suggestion was mine.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there hasn't been much demand for the Cybermobile or for Sunday hours. What were the three-month usage stats submitted?

dump juettner said...

probably more demand for cybermobile than taxter ridge.

juettner is the liasion from the town board to greenburgh parks and recreation.

once again - everything she is involved in is a fiasco.

dump juettner.

hal samis said...

Dear 2:57 AM (I'm impressed),

The Lanza Foundation requested monthly reports. That would be April and May and no, I haven't seen them myself.

Anonymous said...

Who does Samis think he's kidding?

Spewing his usual venom against the library board, Samis says that "maybe" the real reason the Lanzas didn't renew the grant was that the libary board wanted the Lanzas to fund the additional $3,500 needed to keep the cybermobile going for an additional 2 weeks to finish out the month (but then changed its mind).

Does Samis have any basis for saying this other than his desire to beat up on his "arch enemy" -- the library board? So maybe Samis' statement was nothing more than an "out and out lie."

Samis at the same time objects with righteous indignation when a blogger suggests that "maybe" the real reason the Lanzas stopped funding was that Feiner himself didn't take responsibility for getting the library board's documentation on usage submitted to the Lanza family in a timely fashion. Samis just assumes (because he thinks he knows better than the rest of us)that the library board was submitting the documentation directly to the Lanzas. He leaves out the part that the library board submitted the documentation to the town, and that it was the town's responsibility to get it to the Lanzas, which apparently it didn't do.

And since Feiner seems to have the relationship with the Lanzas (what with all those contributions he's gotten over the years), one might well ask whether Feiner made sure that the town transmitted that documentation, because if he didn't, and it wasn't, that might well be the problem right there, wouldn't it?

Reading the sewer audit, which blasts Feiner for both incompetence and indifference, one would think it would.

hal samis said...

Well, whose toes did I step on?

The delightful souls who masquerade as the Library Board?

An Edgemont resident who hides under the cloak (must get warm in summer) of anonymous for his sneers and provocations?

Does either party above want to change stripes and say that the Library is now a Town Department and that the Town should choose what books to buy how the Town Board and not the Library should spend the Library operating budget?
Like not "intending" to spend $180,000+ more in 2008 than 2007 for "books and media" instead of maintaining the cybermobile promise to patrons. Books and media that would do better arriving under the 2009 budget when the Library is up and functioning in the new building? Patrons will have been short-changed for 22 months and couldn't have waited 2 months more including Thanksgiving-New Year's when the Library is under-utilized.
This extra spending in this one area alone could easily have maintained the Cybermobile and Sundays without having to go to the Lanzas.

If the Greenburgh Public Library Foundation is the entity set up to raise money for the Library, then why not ask the Foundation to do just that and have the Foundation call the Lanzas? Or even have the Foundation seek cybermobile funding from other resources. I still can't understand why they are so stressed out since the $19.9million bonding was supposed to provide for a turn-key operation and everyone knows that the project is not over budget.

If the Greenburgh Public Library says that it can't solicit money, then clearly it was not the Library that sought (and obtained) grants from New York State. It certainly wasn't the Foundation. So, maybe it was Feiner or myself since no one else has appeared on the horizon.

Or more realistically, the Library applied for these grants in Albany and was successful. Mysteriously, they just can't quarterback getting requested information all the way from their offices in Veteran Park all the way across Town to far-off Edgemont.

Suddenly the Lanza money is only available to Feiner, personally, and that the Library has nothing to do with it. And, what is the proper Ethics Law answer to the Town Supervisor personally asking the Lanza Family to solicit money on behalf of the Library? Should he be grateful for their response?
Still the Library didn't hesitate to request the Town's grant coordinator to ask the Lanza Foundation for six month funding.

Now the accusations can fly back and forth and direct the blame to anyone but the Library. I don't have time to follow the paper trail of who sent what to whom but, one thing for certain, the Library was not prevented from sending the usage figures directly to the Lanzas. Indeed, they may well have but I simply don't know. And even the "concerned" anonymous blogger doesn't know because despite his insinuation that the Town (Feiner) has somehow screwed up and may not have sent it to the Lanzas, he stops short of allowing that the Library may have sent a copy to the Town AND a copy to the Lanzas or that the Supervisor (or the rest of the relevant Town staff) did not forward a copy. We just don't know. But we do have an anonymous accusation.

However common sense says that asking to change the conditions of the funding from three month periods to six months (which understandably works better for the Library) may have been the deal killer (if the funding is not forthcoming) but also asking for another $3500 is the height of pettiness and would not be a "plus" following a $50,000 (six months) request.

Somehow I suspect that the Lanzas have made their (or haven't yet) or will make their own decision despite these "screw-ups". None of this is meaningful in the larger picture which will be apparent next year with the arrival of a new Library Board.

Just you wait Henry Higgins, just you wait.

Anonymous said...

Samis, Mrs. Lanza lives not in Edgemont, but Scarsdale, where Feiner lives (or used to). So we gotta wait for the new library board, do we? Perhaps you'll tell now us all about Tomas Saez, the new library board appointee. Aside from being a Hartsdale retiree, who is he, why is he being appointed now when the vacancies don't occur until next January, and what pray tell does he bring to the table?

Tell us, Samis, inquiring minds wanna know.

samis is the man said...

clearly samis is the go to guy on library issues.

agree with him or not, when samis speaks (or blogs), people listen.

Anonymous said...

Samis is the go-to guy only if ya wanna hear someone bash the library board volunteers. He's regularly spews venom, is rarely right on the facts, changes the subject when corrected, and has almost never had anything constructive to say about the library, its renovation, or any individuals associated with it.

The sad part is that Feiner has joined in this bashing, creating a vicious "us and against them" attitude which has done terrible damage to the library.

Right now, thanks to Feiner and Samis, anyone who would even be interested in donating to the library wouldn't dare because every dollar donated looks to be a dollar cut from the town's annual library allocation.

Who loses? Not the rich kids in Edgemont. Nope, the real losers here are the disadvantaged kids who really need a properly run library.

Anonymous said...

At todays session the two representing the library could not understand that they will not be getting the money to take care of the library ie windows ,electricity,carpets and all the other things necessary for the upkeep.
At the rate that the economy is going we will not be able to support our own household non the less the library.
Yes Feiner was right when the people voted for the library[which was a big mistake]no one thought that things will be getting this bad with the economy.
He also said that we will be looking at a good tax hike so the library had better look for ways to bring in revenue.

hal samis said...

Dear anonymous 4:46,

Before I adjourn to the newest Library blog topic, let me remind you of this routine from Abbott & Costello.

"Yes, she went to Niagara Falls."

'Did you say Niagara Falls?'

"Yes. I said Niagara Falls."

'Niagara Falls...Slowly I turned, step by step...'

When I hear "Samis spews" it always reminds me of that foolish Edgemont attorney who is headed for a big upset come deposition time. I'm talking Dromore here, again. About a contract drafted by that attorney which conveyed the subject property to him or his assigns, which stated that the contract must remain a secret between the buyer (the buyer being identified in the contract as Robert Bernstein -- the name appears where the signature goes) and the knowledge that the party who drafted the contract was none other than Robert Bernstein and that he was not retained by either the Town of Greenburgh nor the ECC to negotiate their interests.
This gives rise to the wisdom that a lawyer who has no one for a client is foolish.

And, lest anyone forget, these negotiations came about at secret meetings to which the Town Supervisor was not invited but Francis Sheehan, Eddie Mae Barnes and Diana Juettner did attend while Steve Bass, one of the hosts, found it opportune to go out of town.

I apologize to readers for going astray but everytime I read "Samis spews" or the equivalent I give in to the compulsion to repeat this story.

Every time.

We'll return to the Library shortly at its new topic location but first I have to watch "must see" television and watch the rebroadcast of today's work session whenever it is going to appear.

I hope that someone votes these Library volunteers out of their misery.

And thanks for the "almost never had anything constructive to say about the Library" because it shows that you can read and understand about qualifiers. You must have taken some courses in law too: the "never" being regularly overturned in my posts.

And let's go out on that number from Carousel: "Jean is busting out all over, all over the meadow and the hill...just because it's June, June, June..."

Anonymous said...

Samis,a blogger asked if you knew anything about this new library trustee, Tomas Saez, who he is, why he was being appointed now, etc., and you started raising all this innuendo about Bernstein. I don't get it? Is there a connection between the two of them that only Town Hall insiders like you know about? Please tell us, heh heh, "spew" what you know. All I know about Bernstein is he's fighting like hell for the rights of taxpayers in unincorporated Greenburgh. You, Samis, seem to be just fightin'.

hal samis said...

I don't know anything about the new Trustee, I wasn't even aware that he is a "retired Hartsdale resident". My speculation, though, is that he is someone that will also be "fighting like hell for the rights of taxpayers in unincorporated Greenburgh": with his vote as a Trustee, not by his service of papers.

As for my Bernstein comments, I have my suspicions about who is the author of the posting accusing me of spewing. It comes down to two individuals, one of whom I suspect is Mr. Bernstein. I'm just laying out the ground rules; if attacked I'll respond in kind. And innuendo is not the correct term for what was taken from the draft contract.

Finally, this blog is not a game show. There are no prizes for correct answers. I don't feel I'm under any obligation to respond to everyone who asks a question without using their name.

But in the interest of going forward, if I don't respond assume it is because I don't know.

While as I have posted before, if you don't like what I write, just say no and scroll down. There are no surprises; my posts begin with my name.

Anonymous said...

We all know that the trustees of the library board do not give a dam about the taxpayers.
They only have one concern that being keeping a state of the art building opened no matter what the expenses are or where the money will be coming from.
The library expansion was voted for and passed because the supervisor was against the issue.
Had the supervisor been in favor the vote would have gone the opposite way.
Take that vote todayand see what the outcome would be.
We have no money to keep this madness going.
We are not in a recession but we are in a depression.
Right now we are complaining about food and gasoline prices. In a few months it will be the electric and fuel bills also.
And the library board has the right to demand money from us to pay for the maintaining of a building that we all did not vote for.
Just remember you on the library board cannot get what we do not have which is money.

Anonymous said...

One would think a persistent library critic like Samis would take the time to find out who the new library board trustee is. The fact that he hasn't, or doesn't seem to care, speaks volumes about where his priorities really lie. What's the matter Hal, isn't Paul answering your e-mails anymore or picking up the phone when you call?

hal samis said...

Dear 9:00,

Since I don't vote for the new Trustee it doesn't matter.

And, given that the existing Board of Trustees will be in place through the passing of the 2009 Budget and the opening of the new building, observing and reacting to the new slate of Trustees which doesn't take office until January2009 would seem to be a waste of time.

Something you obviously take pride in doing.

By the way, have I told you about a fellow named Bernstein who tried to buy the Dromore parcel for himself.

Got a few minutes?

Anonymous said...

Hal, didn't you have a post the other day about three new library board trustees taking control over the library board come January 2009? At yesterday's work session, Feiner likewise referred to the three new library board trustees that will be put in place and will presumably do the town board's bidding from now on.

This guy Tomas Saez must be one of those three. Why won't you tell us about him Hal? Sounds like he's being put on there just for spite, isn't he? You don't seem to be objecting to the town board taking the time away from your 5-minute public speaking time for this very important board appointment. How come?

You haven't got your head stuck in the sand like some ostrich, do ya Hal? Is this some Samis form of "don't ask, don't tell"?

Anonymous said...

Why all of a sudden is Samis obsessed with Bernstein? Does he have a dog in this fight?

hal samis said...

To 10:48,

Bernstein does have a dog but
Bernstein barks more loudly.

And why all of a sudden is anyone obsessed over whether I know the new appointee to the Library Board?

To 10:22,

I haven't watched yesterday's work session yet although I have heard about it.

Had you also watched the June 17 work session you would have learned about the plans to appoint three new Library Board Trustees. This is where I heard about it and from reading the Work Session and Town Board meeting agendas.

Whereas I don't agree with your conclusion about the appointment and appointments being done for "spite" and I don't know the backgrounds of any of the appointees or even who the other two are, I assume that the new appointments reflect the desire to get rid of the existing members and this I hail as a pro-resident/patron/taxpayer victory.

You probably don't want to read a recitation of the existing Board's failings (try posting the "they're volunteers" line again) but if you did watch yesterday's work session, you probably were treated to a typical show of arrogance by Jacobs and Wolfert and their exits will be loudly applauded by many.

Hey, why not attend this Thursday's meeting of the Library Board of Trustees (7:15 at the multipurpose center) and see them in action? Talk is cheap for you but why don't you come see how they run their show. I'll be there and if you come I'll recognize you as the one wearing the mask.

Anonymous said...

The only people who'll be loudly applauding the exits of Jacobs and Wolfert are those like you Hal who opposed the library referendum from the get-go. The problem for you is that the referendum passed and you and Feiner have been trying ever since to make those who voted in favor rue the day they ever did so. The result when it opens will be a library that's not pro-resident, patron and taxpayer. It'll be anything but. Can you imagine? Feiner's already drawn down the library's accumulated fund balance to zero and next year's funding, when the library has nearly double the space, will be less than what the library received in the old building. That will certainly satisfy those residents and taxpayers who perennially say no to school budgets and think libraries are a waste of money. But what a spite-filled travesty will be in store for the majority of voters who voted in favor.

hal samis said...

Dear pitiful 1:09,

Can you imagine that pre-referendum the Library Board of Trustees poo-pooed the suggestion that expanding the Library to double its size would have a serious impact on their operating costs.

Can you imagine that the Library Board of Trustees selected a design for the main reading room consisting of a high sloped glass walled structure that would require extra maintenance? Can you imagine that they argued that this would allow in more natural light and thus reduce electricity.
Can you also imagine that the Library used to be open at night when the sun went down (earlier in the winter); that there are rainy or overcast days and that having a higher ceiling requires more lights to fill the room when it isn't sunny?

Can you imagine that the Library Fund Balance came not from saving taxpayers money; that it came not from bake sales, car washes or library fines but from the surplus earned solely by soaking taxpayers in annual inflated budget requests. Can you imagine that the Library earned interest on this Fund Balance and that it belonged to the taxpayers all along? Can you imagine that the other Town Departments routinely transfer their excesses back to the Town general fund and that under the sloppy accounting of past Comptrollers, the money was left in the Library Fund where it grew?

Can you imagine that there are larger problems in Greenburgh; problems which mirror the national economy and that falling revenues, tax cert losses and higher expenses will cause another substantial tax increase? Can you imagine that the Town Board is seeking either a no-increase or 5% reduction in departmental budgets to hold down taxes and that the Library Board of Trustees feels that the Library should be exempt from such foolishness?

Can you imagine that in a particularly unfortunate exercise in poor timing, that part of the tax increase is due to the commencement of the $19.9 million debt service on the Library bonds? Can you imagine that the Trustees have to find another way to increase their payroll increases which have grown faster than any Department other than the Police?

Can you imagine that after spending an increase of $180,000 in 2008 over the 2007 level for books and media, that the Library just can't keep continuing to spend just to fill all the extra space and that this bad news is not due to "spite" but from the harshness of economic conditions?

Can you imagine that the Library Board of Trustees would accept this news with understanding or would they instead seek to punish (here's where the spite comes in) the Town, their patrons, taxpayers by threatening to close on Sundays, Mondays and evenings and kiss the cybermobile goodbye.

Can you imagine looking through the glass walls and seeing the bookshelves crammed with books but the building empty because they used the money to buy the contents but had to shut the doors instead because they lacked the money to remain open. If so,
then double that impression because instead of 23,000 feet closed, the residents now can stare at 46,000 feet of closed Library.

And if this is a not a validation of why the existing Board of Trustees has to go, perhaps you'll come to terms with the truth that Feiner and Samis were right all along.

And that's even without opening the door marked: Libraries should be getting smaller as Library resources are becoming downloads rather than hard copies.

On the other hand, if Libraries have in reality just become daycare centers for toddlers and seniors, then perhaps there should be individuals with Nursing and Technology backgrounds running the show rather than a Library Director with Library Science on her resume. And instead of civil service Librarian positions, the Library should be staffed with former Blockbuster and Game Stop clerks.

That would be one way to keep the payroll down and one more attuned to the Library of Tomorrow.

shame of greenburgh said...

good points hal - in the age of netflix and wikipedia - why is the town building a white elephant like this?

feiner was right.
and one last thing - the new building is damn ugly.

Anonymous said...

Samis and Feiner are talking about of both sides of their mouths. They howl about the library not cutting costs like the rest of the town, but when the library cuts the cybermobile, Sunday and evening hours to cut costs, they howl about the library cutting services that its patrons so desperately need.

Sounds to me like the library and its board of trustees are damned if they do and damned if they don't because flamethrowers like Samis (and Feiner too) would condemn what they do no matter what. Can you imagine that?

Anonymous said...

Look the cybermobile was done away with was payback to Feiner for saying that he would not give any more money to the library.
He mentioned it at one of the work sessions where the board demandeed money and the supervisor said no.
He told them to go for some grants that he had no intention to put the burden on the taxpayers.

I hope that the library board starts to understand that money is getting tight and with this resession many of us do not know where our next dollar is coming from.

Instead of always demanding money how about looking into ways to make money.
What kind of revenue does the library bring in. It seems to be a looser like the center is.

We the taxpayers cannot support both of you anymore.
One of you has got to go.

Anonymous said...

Feiner has already answered the question. Once his three appointees to the library board take office as of January 2009, the library will become a warehouse facility, storing records that the town currently stores at Westies.

As long as the people in the neighborhood who use the library can continue to check out books (or borrow them from other libraries), and as long as the library can continue reading to children and remain open after school, the betting is that no one will care -- because all those who might have had a brighter vision for the library will have been removed from the library board.

On the other hand, the community center will not be affected by any budget cuts; it will continue to get millions of dollars in tax dollars and continue to employ hundreds of Greenburgh residents.

hal samis said...

Dear water over the damned,

The cybermobile was cut, not because the Library didn't have the money, but to publicize their supposed "plight". They reacted to belt-tightening by choosing a sensitive and popular program not only because it would create a "flap" but also because it was retaliatory.

My issue with the Trustees is not whether they experienced less funding and had to react accordingly but in the manner that they chose.

The cybermobile and Sunday hours are commodities that the Library owed to their patrons. The entire move out of the building and into temporary space was predicated upon a pledge to patrons that they would do their best to maintain services -- an impossible task even without cost considerations.

Key to the relocation and attendant downsizing was the promise to make greater use of the cybermobile which was nothing more than a gussied up, branch on wheels. Nevertheless this allowed the Library to go to the people.

Thus, the decision to stop providing this service was not only a major break with their intentions but also a snapshot of how the Board of Trustees would flex their muscles when they felt that they were victimized.

The 2008 Library budget is substantial and large enough to allow the Library to spend over $180,000 (I know I keep repeating but the truth is the truth) MORE on books and media than they did in 2007. This needs to recognized in the context that for at least 10months of 2008, the Library will substantially be operating out of its present location, Town Hall. So, could the Library forgo this stepped up book purchasing rather than abandoning the cybermobile?

The answer is a resounding yes.
What the Trustees instead chose to do was direct the monies that they had put in for in their 2008 funding request away from current operations and channel them into lines that would make the new building, if it opened on time (that being an insiders joke for a project that was approved in May 2005), look better and thereby that glory spilling over to make the Trustees, themselves, look better. Where do you think the Grand Opening money is coming from, there is no line item which promises such.

In other words, the cybermobile promise was yesterday; look what we're doing for you now.

So eliminating Sunday hours and the cybermobile is not about cutting costs; the Library is poised to spend every nickel they have gotten for 2008. Rather, it is about how the Trustees decided where to cut back and whether their top pick was the one that was best suited to serving their patrons in 2008 -- not the decision to steal from 2008 money to make 2009 look better.

The only people talking out of both sides of their mouth are the Library Trustees and Al Regula, not Feiner and not Samis.

If this still is hard to swallow, consider what you must still believe is true because the Trustees and Al Regula say it is so: the project is on time and on budget!

Would you buy a used cybermobile from these people?

For the record, renting space in the Library is a silly idea and one which will not produce any meaningful revenue.

And I sincerely hope that the above, lone paragraph is not the only one that you will take to heart.

Anonymous said...

The only support Samis seems to have for his theory that the library trustees somehow conspired to cut the Cybermobile and Sunday hours for retaliatory purposes is the undisputed fact that the library trustees didn't agree with Samis (and presumably Feiner) that the trustees should have first cut the budget this year for buying books.

Not to worry Samis. Once Feiner gets his three votes on the library board come January 2009, buying books won't be a library priority anymore. Books, mags and periodicals can all be borrowed from White Plains.

Instead, we'll see an awful lot of the gussied up Cybermobile tooling around town, expenses be damned. The library facility itself will be open evenings and weekends, you can bet on that, but because of the sad change in priorities, it won't be getting much in the way of visitors. In a few years, residents of unincorporated Greenburgh won't even know they have a library.

And as for Samis, well, he doesn't drive, he doesn't have any kids, hell, he doesn't even pay property taxes. For years, Samis has been ridiculing the library for his own entertainment. He'll be laughing his ass off that Feiner and others actually listened to him.

Anonymous said...

And you forgot, Samis said his child went to private school. No wonder he has no support for schools or libraries. And he is Feiners pit bull.

hal samis said...


Effective Thursday, I am moving to the blog topic "Another way to save the cybermobile".

This location is likely headed to the limbo that only Edgemont researchers frequent.

And, the Library Board of Trustees meets Thursday at 7:15 at the multipurpose center. With all the interest in and concern for the volunteer Trustees, come see for yourselves what goes on.

Anonymous said...

If you say that Samis is a pit bull he is a smart one.
He doesn't fool arround and he knows of what he speaks.
Too bad he only has a limited time to voice his opinion but even in the short alloted time he makes his views known.
Too bad his view go right over the boards head.
He is smarter than a few that are sitting up there making believe that they represent the residents.
Could you just imagine if they had followed all the clues he has given all these years together with all the firings that he suggested,we would be living a somewhat good life and not what we have to do now is pray where and how to keep up with our mortgage
He has done his homework over and over again.
If he's wrong he admits it,but that rarely happens.
I would rather have a pit bull in my corner than have something that could never defend me other than to bark..

ed krauss said...

How's this for a suggestion? If the Library Board can't find enough money to keep their promise to maintain the Cybermobile during the construction period, fire the "budget maker" and use that money to live up to your promise.

It's a shame when the "erudite branch' of government can't seem to add. All budgets have slush, just look at the construction budget/referendum $$$$, there must have been several $millions there. So stop the poor mouthing and find the few, very few, dollars needed.

Anonymous said...

We all know that the library is hiding funds.
Would they accept a federal audit to check them out. That will be our next step.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the book bus!! Move on to something important like how to make money with this nitemare library the board has created a monster.
People are afraid of change. books are now on tape and/or internet.

Anonymous said...

There will not be enough funds to keep the library alive.
They should be looking into ways of leasing out space.
First of all with todays technology we never needed this huge library.
The town board put us in this position to get even with the boss,but the fact is that they gave us the huge tax hike for this year and a big one for the years to come.
We cannot blame Feiner for the library.
He was against it from the beginning,and now he is standing firm in saying that he will not give them anymore money.
So what does the library board do --Take away the cybermobile.

Anonymous said...

What will happen with the library if the residents deeds prove that the property used for this expansion partially belongs to them.
The residents have asked the town to look into this matter since 1958
Could it be possible that some part of the land does belong to the residents.
Come on town board give these residents the answers that they have asked for.
Make sure that no changes will be made as was done for Dromore Rd.