Wednesday, June 25, 2008



Earlier this year the NYS Commission on Efficiency on Local Government recommended that local governments consolidate, share services and look for ways to reduce property taxes. A suggestion that might enhance the chances of getting results quickly:
The New York State Legislature should provide voters in NY State with the ability to circulate petitions and to place consolidation/shared service proposals on the ballot. If elected officials are not responsive to efforts to make government more efficient – the voters (who will be impacted by proposed savings) should have the ability to vote on specific recommendations. Initiatives that address sharing, efficiency, making government more competitive, consolidation should be placed on the ballot – if voters collect a specific number of petition signatures. Currently, in New York State there are no initiative and referendum procedures. If elected officials are unresponsive – voters can’t take any action to overturn the decisions or non-decisions elected officials make. If the taxpayers have the ability to circulate petitions to get government efficiency measures on the ballot I believe that the recommendations of the Commission will not gather dust.
I intend to urge the members of the NYS Legislature and the members of the Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness to support state legislation to authorize voters to initiate government reforms and to get the voter reforms placed on the ballot.

I also believe that voters should have the ability to vote on town budgets, the library budget (the Library Board has the ability to shift funds from their budget without town board consent). Currently, voters can vote on school budgets.
Greenburgh, NY Town Supervisor


Overtaxed and underwhelmed said...

Why not just elect a community representative to a local soviet?

The idea of placing specific initiatives without consultation with those who must implement them is what has nearly destroyed public education. Commissioners and Regents sitting in Albany decide how local districts must service, for example, special education - but provide no funds to do so.
Unless the initiatives require including the amount tax levy in the ballot proposition, this is another feiner idea that isn't.

Anonymous said...

Dear Supervisor Feiner,
There is no reason you, as Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, cannot set the example. Offer the next Town Budget as the object of a town-wide referendum AFTER it is adopted by the Town Board but BEFORE it goes into effect.
This is EXACTLY what school districts do. You can do it too.
It would set a very positive example.

H Red Mountain said...

Proposition One for the Consolidation of Services

Consolidate all parks and recreation services of the Town of Greenburgh and its constituient Villages into a single department.

Such consolidation will eliminate six departments and their costs, promoting efficiency and harmony within the Town, and allow centralized planning to prevent the unnecessary and inefficient duplication of services among what are currently seven uncoordinated entities.

Anonymous said...

Proposition Two -

Combine the various fire departments (including the volunteer companies) into a single Town-wide department.

Better still, combine the fire departments, emergency ambulance corps AND the police departments into a unified Town Department of Public Safety.

This single change would consolidate more than 20 service units under a single command. The savings would be very significant.

Anonymous said...

Don't stop there!
Combine all the village councils and their respective governments.
It would put at least six village halls back on the tax roles - and eliminate millions in graft and corruption in government.

Anonymous said...

Please demonstrate competency in managing the everyday business of Unincorporated Greenburgh before proposing changes for other agencies. Since you don't have the managerial ability to even get our streets, medians and storm drains cleaned, how can your opinions regarding state, county and regional management matters be respected?

Anonymous said...

the town has a triple A (AAA) bond rating.

Anonymous said...

and that means what?
what rating does the rating company have?

Anonymous said...

The AAA rating referred to simply means that the Town has more than enough taxable property to cover the interest and principal on its currently outstanding debt.
Or, in layman's language, the Town of Greenburgh hasn't yet maxed out its credit cards.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if unincorporated Greenburgh had its own representatives and didnt have a boardd that is elected by villagers and can vote a 23% budget increase and no one cares.

get real said...

you mean the board that spends 99% of it time on unincorporated greenburgh and mostly fairview?

Anonymous said...

I dont really care what they spend their time on - that is useless. I care what they spend my money on. Understand the difference?

Anonymous said...

More people vote from unincorporated Greenburgh, not the villages in town elections.

hal samis said...

The topic really sets up an interesting proposition. At first reading I admit that I thought, here's another gambit by Paul to distract residents from the real world problems in Greenburgh.

Then it sunk in.

It really is, even if unintended, a good issue to start people thinking. Even anonymous peoople.

The more I thought, the more intrigued I became.

Reactions included, why should voters want to bypass the officials they elected? Didn't they elect them to make the right decisions, pull the trigger on the wrong ones?

The last time (I don't follow school districts, fire districts, etc) the public voted on an issue, we got the $19.9+ Library which, while not responsible for the 21+% increase is a part of it. Does having the public vote on these kind of issues guarantee a better barbeque?

As the issues become more important they also become more complex. Do we really want them to be decided based upon emotion or by rational thinking?

The counter is that such decisions as school budgets have always existed and their track record is?

If we send more of these topics to ballot, can we send town government to pasture?

How many voters or potential voters actually take the trouble to vote? Do we want a relatively small number of residents to decide for the population.

Is electing a government a lazy person's way of deciding the course of events.

Will such a system work in non-homogenous communities like Greenburgh?

Wouldn't it be intersting to actually use this topic as the opportunity to seriously exchange viewpoints without playing pin the tail on the donkey?

Hey bloggers, can we vote on it?


If it ain't gonna work here, it ain't gonna work offline.

sue the bast..ds" said...

one way to bypass elected officials is to sue them in court to challenge their actions.

Anonymous said...

Let me warn you if the Edgemont residents vote on any budget you could rest assured that the tax rate will be over twenty five percent.
They love to vote for large amounts. Take their school budgets.
When ever the school budget was defeated they did their best to intimidate students so their parents would vote the budget in.
Guess what it passed the second time arround.
Having the public vote on budgets is ok but anyone can see even with the publics' input the town board votes for what ever they want.

Just start doing what has to be done to lower taxes.
Another thing the library's demand for money has to stop.
The same goes for the center.
How can someone be so blind as not to see how the publics money is being wasted.
The library did not need this monster of an expansion. Are we going to be taxed over and over again for the maintenance and pray tell what will the library do to raise money.They cannot depend on the tax payers anymore.We have had it.
As far as the center goes,how much money does it bring in a month. Does it cover it's expenses NO.
The center neither brings or tries to cover expenses.
If the residents in Fairview want this center they should be solely responsible for the upkeep.
The center is used for baby sitting also free of charge . We pay good money for this service why should they not pay.
The town officials had better see how our tax money was stolen without seeing or given an account as to where it went.
There must be a lot of fat cats arround.
We elected the members of the town board to oversee Greenburgh.
If you cannot do this job resign.
You too have got to have accountability as to who,what and where our money went.
Stop with the nonsence of services.
They are the worse.
I have to say the only thing that is done in a timely fashion is the garbage pickups.
The sanitation men should be given
many cudos for job well done,but this does not go for the commissioner.
Police ,recreation and highway dept. are the pits.
Start making changes in the three departments.
You have plenty to say as far as unions go so you had better start standing up to them to let them know who the bosses are.
One of our representatives in congress has stated that she does not believe that property owners should be paying taxes to support schools.
Check the scarsdale inquirer today and see what Edgemont stated as their breakdown of schhool personel
Pretty soon they will have more teaches than students.
Their breakdown of teachers is more than any one high school in New York City.
This only shows that they don't care how the residents are taxed.
Someone has to put a stop to their spending also.
Thank you govenor Patterson and especially to Con. Cousins.You have shown us that you are truly for the people no matter where they live in the state.

sheehan is a failure said...

dont count on the town board for anything. they say there stone silent while racist venom spewed from the mouth of some speakers in the hearings on fulton park. disgusting.

and the biggest phony is sheehan, the father of the comprehensive plan (which he lied about in saying it was required by state law when its not)

sheehan and juettner (greenburgh's own version of the deaf dumb and blind tommy) are still wrong for greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

There was no racist venom spewed from the mouths of any of the speakers in the hearings on Fulton Park. Fulton Park residents were welcome neighbors for many years to a homeless shelter. Unlike a certain other notorious neighborhood, they never asked for nor did they receive any "social dividend" for having a homeless shelter a few feet away from their homes. Fulton Park residents also said they'd welcome affordable housing in their neighborhood -- all they ask is that it conform to the zoning code. Ain't nothing racist about that. In fact, it's downright disgusting that anyone would suggest such a thing.

cliff notes needed said...

try listening to the words of pat weems. fulton park folks were fine.

weems seems to see everything through the prism of race.

now there were some references to the bronx. most folks did not leave the bronx for the glory of open space.

the town board should have asked what speakers meant by "the bronx"

of course juettner said nothing all night.

Anonymous said...

Pat Weems drew an important distinction between the people who live around the WestHELP homeless facility, who've done nothing but complain about the dangers of poor unwed African American mothers with small children living in their midst, even though the shelter is a mile away from their homes, and the good people of Fulton Park, who welcomed Westhab's homeless shelter which was right in their neighborhood. You can draw your own conclusion, but when the people around the WestHELP shelter tried to block it from opening by creating their own village, the NAACP was among the organizations that joined forces to stop them doing so. Is the NAACP racist? I don't think so.

Ms. Weems was terrific the other night; watching her from home she was eloquent without at all being inflammatory. You go girl!

follow weems at your peril said...

you must have been watching another show - weems sees the world in black and white in the same way she sees the town as incorporated villages vs. unincorporated greenburgh.

weems is the angry past.

soft serve klondike bar said...

Dear Mr. Samis,

In your posting of 6:26 11:24PM, you wrote "As the issues become more important they also become more complex. Do we really want them to be decided based upon emotion or by rational thinking?"

What makes you think that the Town Board has ever really displayed rational thinking? Just look at the current WESTHAB proposal. It should have been DOA (Dead On Arrival). How can the Town Board even consider approving this? Why are they consuming so much precious time when there are big issues to address? Rational? Hardly.

Further on you wrote "How many voters or potential voters actually take the trouble to vote? Do we want a relatively small number of residents to decide for the population." (sic ?)

What % of the eligible voters cast ballots in Greenburgh now in the primary, which unfortunately effectively decides who sits on the dais? Pretty small. Even in many other municipalities in anything but a presential election year, voter turnout is awful. What about school district elections, which do not occur in November? Would you have a weekly or bi-weekly series of ballots on the issues of the month? Could it be done? Of course. Would it be good? What a gamble. On the other hand with the current bunch of yahoos ( my apologies to the company) in various offices, including the state level, could it get any worse?

a brave bar said...

i have more confidence in klondike bar than i do with either juettner (has done nothing of merit since 1991) or francis "will he or wont he on fulton park westhab proposal" sheehan.

klondike bar is not afraid if someone wants a piece of him.

Anonymous said...

Did not a small number of residents vote in the library.
Was that fair No?
What should have been done was have the referndum on the ballot when residents do come out to vote in November.
this was the worse travesty that happened in this town folling with TAxter Ridge pk.
The same people that voted for the library went gung ho for this dump.
If voting for budgets is left to the residents ,God help us.
You were elected to comply with the needs of the residents listen to them with their remarks and then follow through.
Up to now you only listened to the commissioners and the library crew.
Why not listen to those that are pleading with you to do what is right to help them keep their homes
Right now many are going into their savings that were put aside for their old age.
When that time comes there will be more people on line waiting for assistance from the state and federal government.
Try to do the job that we expect from each one of you.
There are good comments on the blog plus those expressed at town meetings.
The center should be sold or closed completely.
It does not bring in any revenue to cover expenses.
This center is used only by Fairview residents.
This you cannot deny.
Yes it has programs ,baby sitting.
gathering hall for seniors but all for Fairview.
Since it is used only by Faieview they should pay for it the same way the golf parks conduct their business.
Start a membership program to see how many will pay to join.
I will tell you now that you will not get one good paying member that will want to pay since they are so used to getting everythin g for free.
The rest of the unincorporated area should not be made to pay for this center.
When we express our sentiments we are called racists but the problem is that taking our money to keep this center alive does not help our pockets.
Why should the town have facilities that do not generate money to pay for their existance.?
The problem is there are too many freebee places being paid by many that will not or never use these facilities
You keep saying money is tight.What are you doing about it we are tired of promises..

talk is cheap said...

talk or its blogging equivalent is cheap.

find candidates. raise money.

thats real work.

anyone can vent on the blog.

it will take alot more to get rid of deadwood on the town board.

Anonymous said...

The voters keep re-electing Feiner. We like him.

Anonymous said...

FEiner is a good man but his loyality belongs to the north end of town,
We have to pay taxes so the center stays alive.
Paul you are a good man but as far as a business man goes you are a real smuck.
Youwant to save he taxpayers money close the library.
We have schools that have the same programs as the center.
Here at the center there are too many freebees that are draining the monetary system in Greenburgh.

Stop to think how this center could always be running in the red.
We are loosing a lot of money on things that has been going on for some time .
OUt right thieverie.
Stop covering up for a failing center.
Close it for a while just to see how much money you could save.
Let's see if you have the B---S to take this on.

ed krauss said...

Having the public decide via a vote on every or nearly every decision is not very practical. And also very costly.

That's why we have a Repubic and not a Democracy. We elect a handful of people to make decisions for us. For example, we elect a congressperson, i.e. Nita Lowey to represent approximately 250,000 people, and Hilary Clinton to represent, along with Chuck Schumer, NYS.The same thing applies to the county legislature, assembly and senate. And, G-d help us, the Greenburgh Town Board.

There's the rub. Governmnt is as bad as you the voter( that is, IF you vote) allow them to be. If you don't like what you get, vote for someone else. If you don't like either choice, put up your own candidate.

There's an old saying; "there are those who KICK ass, KISS ass and those who get splinters in their ass from sitting on the fence."

Greenburgh has returned Paul Feiner and Diana Juettnet for 17 years. so you, or the majority of you, must have liked what you received.

For those who voted them in, I hope you're happy with your choice. For those who voted against them,I hope you're looking into alternatives. And for the majority, YES! majority who didn't vote, you deserve everything you didn't vote for.

The "problem is not in our stars," it's of our own doing and wll continue until WE CHANGE!!!!

The system works. It's the misapplication of it that comes up with idiotic ideas like, "Let the voters bypass elected officials and place government efficencies on the ballot."

What makes you think that a remedy tried and failed in California, will succede in Greenburgh? What makes you think that voting for or against a nearly $20,000,000Library Refendum, voted on by fewer than 12% of eligible voters,will achieve different results...given the same infomation voters had BEFORE the known facts of today?

School budgets are voted down. Always by a handful. School budgets are the ONLY tax we the tax payers can affect, and yet not many come out to vote for or against.

No, the answer is voters have to work on getting candidates they have faith in. And make fast changes when we see no results.

We should also consider "term limits." After being in office for 10, 15, 20 years, one gets complacent, feels powerful and evn G-dlike.

Think about it. Electing officials is more than, or should be, more than just pulling down a lever.

You have an awesome responsibiliy, and surprise! surprse!! the responsibility is to YOU!!!!

term limits needed said...

ed - in a one party town like greenburgh, term limits are even more essential.

feiner at least still shows interest in the job.
juettner is a cipher who has fooled everyone for 17 years. her reign of error stops in 2009.

ed krauss said...

6/29 9:02 AM
Juettner is not only a "CIPHER," which is bad enough, she is as, or more importantly, a "SIPHON."

I don't know how many of you out there are keeping score at home, but MISJUETTNER has collected (siphoned off) nearly half a $million, PLUS benefits. If correct, if she's reelected again, she will have 20 years of service which entitles her to lifetime health benefits.

And since I don't wish her ill, she'll still be costing $$$$.

Because of his time on the County Board, Paul is already vested.

Just pulling the lever one time too many can cost BIGTIME!

soft serve klondike bar said...

Ms. Juettner is already vested in lifetime health benefits. They fully vest after 10 years. Timmy Weinberg and Edie Mae Barnes are collecting their just rewards as well.

How about the bigger question, why? How much will this beneit cost the taxpayers of Greeburgh? What about all the other Town employees who get this benefir? A few work sessions ago the Town Comptroller briefed the Town Board that the accumulated cost as of January 1,2007 was $122 MILLION.

Wake up taxpayers!!!

Anonymous said...

Its pretty clear no one cares about the taxpayers of gburgh

who cares? said...

people who do care like samis are ignored by the so called civic assciation leaders.

samis has exposed the fact that most of these folks speak for practically no one but themselves.

politicians like feiner care also but lack the skills to reform the system.

hacks like juettner are just that - hacks without a clue.

who cares? said...

people who do care like samis are ignored by the so called civic assciation leaders.

samis has exposed the fact that most of these folks speak for practically no one but themselves.

politicians like feiner care also but lack the skills to reform the system.

hacks like juettner are just that - hacks without a clue.

Anonymous said...

Samis has made it clear he does support the schools. Most of our property taxes actually go to schools. He does not have the vision we need as a leader.

better? said...

so, who you got better than samis?
juettner? sheehan? howard jacobs? madelon o'shea?

ed krauss said...

Let me get this straight. Because Samis supports the schools he doesn't have vision?

You win the Mr. Anonymous 2008 Award. I know it's only June, but no one can be more illogical than that.

P.S. You're also in the running for NON-SEQUITUR Award of the decade.

Needless to say, it will be awarded anonymously.

Paul, thank you very much for creating this blog. It's funnier than the answers given by you and your colleagues at Town Board meetings.

The only known things about the person who concluded that Samis has no
vision...because, is: that person did not go to a Jesuit school, failed Philosophy 101,2&3, and is trying to replace George Carlin.

Way to go, chachum (look up the meaning in a Yiddish-English dictionary.)

Anonymous said...

Samis has never tried to throw a monkey wrench into the school systems.
Why have you come up with this crazy story.
Yes samis was for the library BUT he was against the construction that was taking place. He called every shot about the wrong doings in the manner of how the money was being spent.Was he wrong?
He was aainst the goings on in the Police dept. Overtime and not having police personel out of headquarters patrolling the streets.Was he wrong?
The only things that he brings foward are all what is necessary to save us taxes.Is he wrong?
He wants to see certain people who are representing us on the board to go home.Is he wrong?
He goes thru the budgets line by line so do many others, Bernstein and Preiser.IS he wrong?
He goes after certain commissioners about the mismanagement in their department.Is he wrong?
We have many that express their views on tax matters especially concerning the center.
It's a crime when someone who does not own property here in Greenburgh has to be sujected to so much because he is trying to help the residents see what and how our tax dollars are being spent foolishly.
I'd take Samis for any position on any board because I'd know he was there fighting to save my back.
Keep it up Samis maybe someone will finaly listen to what you say as Mr. Public and do some good things for the residents.

who you gonna call? said...

well said. who you gonna call? the ghost juettner?

among other things, samis responds to all blog posts.

does juettner even own a computer and if she does, does she know where the on switch is?

samis is both mr public and the real ghostbuster.

Anonymous said...

Why is it when people asked for a vote on Taxter Ridge, Feiner wouldnt allow it?

Anonymous said...

Danny Gold-- Danny Gold is the reason for a no vote on Taxter Ridge.

Anonymous said...

The reason has more to do with the risk that the true facts concerning the property tax deal that Feiner struck with the Moonies would come to light. The Taxter price was a lot higher when the tax deal gets factored in. And with all the focus these days about property in unincorporated Greenburgh that's been taken off the tax rolls, maybe it's time the public took a closer look at that tax deal and see whether all that land truly qualifies for a "religious exemption."

juettner voted for it too said...

wasnt that dubious tax deal with the moonies voted on by the whole board including sleepy head juettner?

Anonymous said...

Juettner was lied to. The town board, including Juettner, was assured by Feiner and former tax assessor Iagallo at a televised town board meeting that there was absolutely no connection between the Moonie tax deal and the Taxter purchase. Feiner and Iagallo, however, knew otherwise. They knew the Moonies wouldn't do Taxter unless and until the tax deal was done.

Anonymous said...

to investigate the monnies land you need an assessor that has brains.
It happens to be a complicated endever since it was all done behind closed doors .

Anonymous said...

A tax deal made with the moonies .
How many more people were in on this?
If this is so why can't they be made to start paying taxes now.
You made the deal which to me sounds illegal,so how could you not make a change to charge them taxes now.

Anonymous said...

Oh please 4:58, you gotta be kidding. All one needs to know is how much land the Moonies don't have to pay property taxes on because of the religious exemption Feiner agreed to, which is a matter of public record, and then figure out how much of that property the Moonies actually use for religious purposes, which requires visual inspection.

juetter's sorry record said...

lets get real - is there any evidence juettner saw taxter ridge before she voted to buy it?

juettner was sitting right in her chair when every objection to the purchase was raised by samis and others - including that it would be charged solely to unincorporated.

juettner just sat there and voted to buy taxter ridge.

Anonymous said...

Hey 5:10, who does your research?

Town board members, including Juettner, went to Taxter Ridge several times before the property was purchased, going back to 2001 when the town first got an option on the property.

And Samis' objection was not that the cost was to be charged solely to unincorporated. No one knew at the time which budget, A or B, would be charged when the town agreed to buy it, and Feiner wasn't saying. That info didn't come out until later when you know who first made a big stink about it.

Samis' beef was that the cost was just a huge tax subsidy to East Irvington property owners who didn't want development in their backyards, and because there was no parking at the Taxter property, he said it was a farce to call it a public park.

juettner is guilty as charged said...

if she went there, why cant she provide directions how to get there?

samis also said the price was too high - the town (juettner, feiner et al) refused to get a current appraisal.

that it was going to be charged to unincorporated was known before it was bought.

why is juettner the liaison from the town board to unincorporated's rec dept? under finneran she isnt even allowed to use the facilities.

a dish from klondike bar said...

klondike bar feels the better question is when did juettner do her homework on taxter?

didnt she see there was no parking?

why didnt she propose a special district to be taxed only to perhaps the irvington school district who pushed for taxter to be bought?

juettner is probably the worst town board member in history.

Anonymous said...

Why is Juettner the liaison to the town's parks and rec dep't? Why don't you ask Feiner? He put her there. Or is he somehow immune from your one-dimensional attack?

Anonymous said...

Hey Klondike, didn't Feiner see there was no parking at Taxter? Don't you think Feiner should have proposed a special district to pay for Taxter? After all, he's the town's chief fiscal officer, not Juettner. Don't you think Feiner should be responsible for anything? Sorry Klondike, you're leaving a bitter taste. Very unbalanced.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that all the parkland is dumped on the unincorporated area .
They must have fools written across their forehead.
Are we the only suckers?

Anonymous said...

Nah, just the only one's whose interests are represented by anyone - except Bernstein.

Anonymous said...

Did you mean the only ones whose interests are NOT represented by anyone except Bernstein.

Anonymous said...

Did you mean the only ones whose interests are NOT represented by anyone except Bernstein.

not a bench warmer said...

klondike bar is running for town council - not for supervisor.

where is the evidence that mr feiner made ms. juettner the town board liaison to either the dept of parks and recreation or the library?

as a village resident, she has no business being either.

ms. juettner comes in for special scrutiny because she voted to appeal the taxter decision which meant she voted to untax herself (under the original court decision all taxpayers including village residents had to pay for taxter(now only unincorporated pays). thats why juettner has to go.

again, klondike bar is running to replace ms juettner. reading the poltical tea leaves, it does not seem that Greenburgh is finished with feiner - he will win in 2009.

but Greenburgh can no longer afford the disaster that is the clueless diana juettner who has been a bench warmer since 1991.

for obvious reasons, klondike bar with the distinctive "polar bear" logo and foil wrapper will not be a bench warmer.

Anonymous said...

Hey klondike -- you've been in the deep freeze too long. Feiner's been voting to appoint Juettner to parks and rec every year that she's been liaison. And Klondike, even with global warming, the only tea leaves you can read are frozen in time. If you lived in unincorporated, which you obviously don't, you'd know we don't care much for this year's 21%tax hike, we won't care much for next year's either, and we're also not stupid. We know who the town's chief fiscal officer is -- and it ain't Juettner. It's Feiner.

hal samis said...

Dear Klondike Bar,

Don't let these anonymous zealots confuse you. Just because you only encounter the Town Supervisor at the Supermarket, don't think that the rest of the Town Board doesn't go food shopping.

All these things that happen, happen not because of interchangeable job titles, i.e. Town Supervisor, Chief Financial Officer, but because the entire Town Board voted for them; in the past it was just three votes, today just five votes.

"What's in a name? It is neither hand nor foot nor any other part of the body..." Consult your Town Budget and look for the line item,
Chief Financial Officer. Do you see one? Do you see any salary paid for such a position? What it really seems is that depending on the topic or argument or author, Feiner is either the Town Supervisor or the Chief Financial Officer but whatever portfolio he carries, his is but one vote out of five (or maybe six if the Town Clerk continues unchecked).

So, next time the Supervisor passes by the freezer section, give him a big shout-out and if you have the opportunity, ask him where your good friend Diana Juettner shops. Who knows, maybe even the Sheehan's will stop by enroute to and from all their many trips to Mercy Hospital.

Of course, now that you're a candidate for Town Council, be prepared to take a position on the proposed supermarket on Tarrytown Road.

In the meanwhile, I support Klondike Bar as the official ice cream bar of Veteran and Taxter Ridge Parks.
It matters not a mouthful to me where Klondike Bar is manufactured; Klondike is fun, tasty and melts in your mouth, not by a politic stand.

on the trail to a better greenburgh said...

thanks hal and my condolences on the loss of mr carlin.

Klondike bar is always in favor of expanding shopping opportunity throughout the town.

when was the last time you heard anything like that from Juettner?

hey greenburgh - have a great summer.
enjoy my multipacks.
see you on the campaign trail. look for the polar bear with the silver umbrella at town parks.

Anonymous said...

Guess Samis didn't bother reading the state comptroller's sewer audit. It says right up front that Feiner is the town's "chief fiscal officer." That makes him more than just one of five votes. It makes him the guy in charge. Too bad Samis and Klondike are so eager to give Feiner a pass. They might otherwise have some cred.

hal samis said...

Did the State Comptroller also say that the Chief Fiscal Officer can overrule the vote of the Town Board? Where does it say that?

If there is wrongdoing or mistakes and, as long as the Town Board members continue to accept their paychecks and benefits, then ALL them are individually and collectively responsible for their own equally weighted vote.

Anonymous said...

Samis, there's a difference between showing up to cast a vote at a town board meeting every other week and being the only full-time elected town official responsible for managing the town's financial affairs which, like it or not, is what Feiner is supposed to be. Too bad you can't see the diff, which is why you don't have any cred.

cred? said...

so who has cred?

samis was right about the library and taxter.

i think you should read the blog more carefully - samis is more well known and respected than either juettner or sheehan who whose days on the town board are probably numbered.

Anonymous said...

This is about the 65th post to this topic.
The second post asked the Supervisor whether he was willing to set an example and put the Town Budget up for a vote. NO RESPONSE.
One might reasonably infer:
a.) Feiner doesn't read this blog
b.) Feiner is concerned that the Town Budget wouldn't pass, so he won't set an example and permit the public to vote
Klondike Bar and friends haven't said anything about the suggestion either. Would we be wrong if we inferred they'd rather not talk about an idea which embarrasses them? Hey Klondike, make voting on the Town Budget a campaign platform plank.

hal samis said...

Hey, 3:53, scroll up.

Around the 14th post of the 65 is my contribution to "I guess they'd rather not talk about an idea that embarrasses them".

And, any of the five Town Board members (just one second) can introduce the topic, not just Feiner, while only three have to vote in favor.

Do you need a summer school class in "just three votes"?

Anonymous said...

Feiner is the CEO but he has always had four idiots vote against him.
You cannot run a good ship when you have no one voting with you.
He was truely disliked by the previous board so much so if he said something was white they would say it was black.
One good example was the library fiasco, Feiner voted against the board voted for.
You cannot say that he didn't try.
The board also had every department head eating out of their hands this is why we are in the mess that we are in today.
They all had carte blanche to do what they wanted but now things have changed.
Now Sheehan and Juettner are playing nice nice with Feiner but they have already done the damage.

Anonymous said...

What has the recreation deptartment done to decrease their budget?

The commissioner is always asking for money to refurbish what he did the previous year.
How can one refurbish the same thing year in and year out without someone checking it out.
Why is it that this board feels that they are dealing with all honest people.
The parks are in shambles-so pray tell where has the money gone.

Anonymous said...

Heu 8:40 -
FOIL the minutes of any Town Board meeting you choose - and then look at the vote on virtually any issue. You will quickly come to the conclusion that 5-0 votes were the rule rather than the exception. Feiner may complain, but he almost always voted with the majority - or vice versa.

hal samis said...

Let me share a thought that occurred to me at dinner tonight.
It is dressed as a short lesson in economics and how it affects your stock market portfolio.

But I warn you in advance; some of you are not going to like my etch-a-sketch of things that go bump in the night.

Nevertheless, bloggers, wake up and smell the coffee.

You'll just have to do it at 600 less Starbuck's locations. Any banks or financial companies that you particularly admire? How about car manufacturers? How about retailers? How about drug manufacturers. Home builders, media companies, etc.

What do these companies all have in common? Other than wrecking havoc with your retirement portfolio? One thing is that when all the cylinders are firing and the economy is chugging along at full speed, there are no clouds on the horizon. Then, every once in a while, or blue moon, or hell freezing over, these companies write off in one year more than they've earned for the past 10 years but generally, this is shared with the public after they have already enriched their officers with obscene bonuses.

So what is it that these companies and industries share in common? Try this on for size:

These companies are run by so-called professional managers.

You see, losing billions can happen even with intelligent, professional, long-standing, well-paid managers behind the helm.

So, to those who say that all Greenburgh needs is professional management and term limits, I would remind you that it happens "here" but it more often happens "there". And, not just today because of rising oil prices.
You might remember from a few years back, a little company named ENRON...

Oh sure, there is no protection against those who would commit intentional fraud even if the "those" are the people that run the show. Because, everyone knows, for example, that the Greenburgh Library is on schedule and on budget; so things like lying to the public and/or stockholders could never happen here.

Those who would have you believe that hiring "professional" management is really buying an insurance policy against rising taxes and holding the line against inflationary spirals are guilty of not understanding that if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. And professional managers will often hitch a ride to wherever a higher paycheck beckons.

Read the business news and then ask if the Town's AAA bond rating is a fluke or whether the Town is run better or as well as the bond rating agencies or the bond insurer's themselves.

Last I heard, the toilet is overflowing from all the professional management that is clogging the pipes.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Hurry, bring out your big guns and take aim at the messenger.

Operators, in India, are standing take your comments.
All of the answers may be right; please choose the answer that seems most right.

a) I strongly agree with what was said.
b) I agree with most of what was said.
c) I agree with what was said.
d) I agree with some of what was said.
e) I don't disagree with what was said.
f) I disagree with some of what was said.

Thank you. I can see from your response that you must have already completed the Library and Comprehensive Plan polls.

walmart needed said...

hal - you seem to be emphasizing the failures and not the quiet successes.

here in greenburgh we finally have a straight talking intelligent, hard working fiscal watchdog in place - mike kolesar

the state comptroller's office has also done excellent work
its an old adage that one apple can spoil the whole barell - like a rating agency that engages in fraud

what we really need is a team from walmart to squeeze out the waste and duplication in the supply chain of services from police to dpw to parks and rec.

why not try term limits or professional management and see what it brings. we have tried the other way and we are in a deep and growing hole that has greenburgh in near municipal bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

Hal has a point. In a rotten economy professional management may be no better than the bunch of amateurs we have in Greenburgh. Sadly however, Greenburgh struggled through all those years of prosperity with amateur management and wasted both opportunities and millions of dollars.
It tries credulity that, during the greatest period of prosperity in American history, Greenburgh failed to add to the assessed value of its taxable property base. We're not talking about adding significantly, we're talking about a failure to add anything at all. Only a corrupt professional or completely inept amateur could do that.

Yankee Doodle said...

Let's bypass our elected officials and refuse to pay our town property taxes when they come due.
Especially for TOV property owners,
Happy July 4th - the Birthday of Freedom!

hal samis said...

Dear 6:25 and 9:37,Please do not stand behind me.We know that you are only pretending to agree but that you are still tethered to the same sticking place.

Professional management is not the tool of good times; the point was that professional management fools everyone into believing that the times are good.  When they get to the point that they have too many balls to juggle, enter the bad times.

Term limits only insure that a new backside gets to sit in the comfy seat.  It does not offer any assurances that things could have been better or that things will get better.  The point I had hoped to make is that the idea of "professional management" brings no assurances of things getting better: they may equally get worse or stay the same.The Walmart formula is simple: bigger makes better.  With bigger you eliminate competition; with bigger you have more clout with vendors; with bigger you achieve economies of scale.

In Greenburgh, you have mom and pop stores (the villages and the would-be villages) surviving because they get to use the big store's parking lot and don't have to build their own.  What this suggests if you want to follow the Walmart model is that the villages be merged into the department store and the economies of scale will benefit everyone.Of course this will never happen but, if it did, then you are back with the same problem.

The Walmart team doesn't want to give up their jobs to run Greenburgh.  So that means you are left with the uncertainties of the "professionals" that would be drawn to the low salary and no upside.  And, whatever you are willing to pay, this does not mean that you will get anyone better than those unemployed executives that have already caused their company's/muncipalities stock to implode.  So, the point is not that one top dog is better than another; the point is that we need better people to run the Departments which are (or should be) the hands-on decision makers.This is where the dollars should be directed if needed to get the overhaul underway.  For years I have called for getting rid of Al Regula, Tim Lewis (what's your take on how dim light bulbs can screw the public) and now add to that list the "new" Assessor and the "new" Planning Commissioner.  As for Kapica, he is already on the way out the door and what we need in his department is a lower salaried replacement, one who is less free with the public's credit card.

Clearly Kolesar was the right first step.  But he is just one man fighting the tide.  He is capable and willing but what he is doing is really what should have and should be the work of the department heads.  So, what I mean by he is "one man" is that he should not be running (or setting up) each department but rather checking their work.  We need department heads that KNOW how to set up systems, not just people who will pretend to follow Kolesar's systems. And the ratable story is neither unique to Greenburgh or the fault of Greenburgh.  Why not start with the State and the County and see which will want to start the ball rolling on reassessment or review the concept of equalization.  In the meanwhile, if increasing ratables is really the goal, then let's not tie the hands of developers or listen to the residents at the Comprehensive Plan outreach who uniformly say let's keep the green in Greenburgh.Clearly the land that exists as parks can be put to a profitable use and returned to the tax rolls -- if that is what it takes "to add to the assessed value of Greenburgh's tax base".Starting next week, void the WESTHAB hearing over how many apartments, how much bulk and how high and force the sale to a commercial developer while allowing this developer to build at will.  If he builds 150 high rise apartments, I guarantee that the assessed value of the property will skyrocket.

RX: follow this formula and repeat.

Prognosis: reversal of declining ratables.

Anonymous said...

and lets add to our list, please get rid of our environmental czar, another political unemployed hack

clean house said...

hal, you should visit bentonville - walmart wrings savings for its customers from the giants - either they meet walmart's price and terms or they dont get into the store

walmart constantly pushes itself to reduce waste and duplication in its supply chain.

greenburgh would be wise to file for chapter 9 bankruptcy and let a trustee clean house.

Anonymous said...

Oh big deal, allow Westhab and the assessed value will go up. And the cost to Greenburgh 7 would be huge. Of course, Hal is such a big supporter of Paul it doesnt bother him to have increased school taxes that more than offset any decrease in town taxes.

hal samis said...

For the record, jerk, I opposed WESTHAB at the hearings.

What I wrote was get the land back and allow a for profit developer to build at will -- this would increase ratables.

However, no one would tolerate this which is why I wrote it in the first place -- this being a response to a similarly uniniformed earlier comment.

And Central 7 has desks to fill.

Anonymous said...

Hal, residential property does not pay sufficient taxes to cover school taxes. I know you understand this, that you are not stupid, and I will not call you a jerk. Desks are the smallest part of eductational costs. Teachers cost money, and must be added for more students. You just want to support Paul. Which is your priviledge.

samis v feiner, juettner sheehan said...

to say hal supports feiner is laughable.

among many other things feiner seems to support westhab - hal is opposed

feiner supports a budget with nonsense frills like art curators - hal is opposed

hal has called for al regula to be fired - has that happened? seems feiner and the board want al around.

feiner supported the purchase of taxter ridge - hal was its most vocal opponent

hal has been very critical of the town board's "public comment" limitations. so far no change from the champion of open government

hal is against the comprehensive plan - feiner extols it at every meeting and goes to all the planning sessions.

these are just a sample of issues where they disagree.

now for extra credit - where does juettner differ with feiner on any of these?

juettner and sheehan now always vote with feiner -so who supports feiner - juettner and sheehan because they are so desperate to avoid him bumping them off like he did to the undynamic due - bass and barnes

Anonymous said...

I believe Bernstien raised issues on Taxter Ridge. And Hal cares nothing about property taxes. He would encourage residential development which would overburden schools and increase school taxes. He doesnt pay property taxes.

Anonymous said...

Hal is not a property owner but he has been fighting for the residents for some time.
Don't bad-mouth a person that has presented the pro's and cons of certain referendums that would hurt the residents.
He is not there to harm anyone but he's there to show the board what they are and what they will be doing to all the taxpayers.
Had they listened to his concerns about the library we would not be paying this rate hike .
He is still trying to straighten out the matter but the board is determined to ruine the residents and that's final.
Boy could you imagine if he were a property owner we would not be paying taxes at all.
He would make sure that what we have would bring in enough revenue to keep the town going.
He knows his business.

Anonymous said...

How long has Samis asked about the police department overtime listings.
Has he ever gotten his answers.
Well now the board is trying to reduce police overtime because they are trying to lower taxes.
They waited all these years to notice that overtime in this one department was out of sight.
Whenever Samis sets his sight to correct something that is not right you can be sure he has backup.
He is not a property owner but he sure fights as though he was.THANKS.

samis vs. juettner said...

samis is more effective in two months than juettner could ever be in 20 years.

now we learn she knew about the sewer district problems?

juettner - please resign now.

Anonymous said...

Not only did Juettner know about the sewer problems her side kick Sheehan also knew.
They may say that it is news to them but they have known for close to three years .
You can't shove this under the rug.
The ruling of the State Comptroller favors the residents.
What the town board should do is have the sewer guy investigate the rest of the town sewer districts.
Don't leave the job to the DPW commissioner,Tim lewis,or the assessor who knows nothing.
The town is at fault no matter how you twist it or turn it.
The ones in charge of the overseeing the sewer construction knew what they were doing ....No excuses.

Anonymous said...

Well well the board finally admitted that there was some wrong doings with the sewer district.
Let's see how this will be played ou.
Will it go away or will the residents be reimbursed big time.I do hope that they understand what the sewer person sorry I can't remember his name ,was asking of them.