Tuesday, June 10, 2008

REQUESTING AMENDMENT TO ETHICS LAW SO SUPERVISOR, TOWN BOARD MEMBERS CAN APPEAR BEFORE PLANNING BOARD/ZONING BOARD

The current Ethics laws should be amended. Currently, the law prohibits me --as Town Supervisor--from appearing before the Zoning Board or Planning Board to advocate or oppose a proposed development. These two Boards are independent of the Town Board. The members are appointed by Town Board members.
I feel that the law, as it currently is written, violates the first amendment. I also feel that as an elected official I should have the ability to express my views to both Boards on applications that impact the town. I met with the Town Board and Ethics Board today to discuss my concerns.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

You and town board members should perhaps be allowed to appear as residents when there's a matter near your homes, but never in your official town capacities.

Anonymous said...

Sorry the answer to this question is NO.

How many times was the supervisor accused of taking money from a developer ?

This will open the door for many more cheap shots at anyone who holds a political position.

WHY ASK FOR MORE TROUBLE?

Anonymous said...

Why would you want to sway the planning or zoning boards with your appearance.

I think they are doing a very good job without your interferance.

They have compitent representatives from the engineering and building dept. always present to help just in case they need help.

Let the boards do their jobs and you all try to do yours which is
really nothing to speak of.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever hear of the words graft or payment under the table.
Well watch out these could come back to haunt you even if it is fabricated to hurt your reputation.
Quit while you're ahead.

Anonymous said...

The town code, which Feiner voted for, PROHIBITS the town supervisor and members of the Town Board from accepting campaign contributions from developers and applicants. The law was approved last year so Feiner and the Board members would not be able to accept contributions from applicants.

Anonymous said...

MEGALOMANIAC

hal samis said...

Why all the fuss?

As though the members of the Town Board can't make known their opinions already.

In fact, what this only portends is that, if done a during a hearing, that it will be part of a permanent transcript.

And, what do you suppose the liaison to the Planning and Zoning Boards, Francis Sheehan talks about anyway?

And, what do you suppose the head of the Comprehensive Plan steering committee (members of the Planning and Zoning Boards on board), Francis Sheehan talks about anyway?

And, what do you suppose the head of the Land Use committee, Francis Sheehan, talks about anyway?

Water already flowing under the bridge; just get rid of the potential violation.

Besides which, won't the completion of the Comprehensive Plan be the strict guideline from which Town Board appearances before these Boards will have no effect because, after all being COMPREHENSIVE, leaves no room for deviance.

Finally, wake up and smell the coffee. Who but the Developer is pitching development? Meanwhile with ratables declining, wouldn't it be helpful to have the Town's economic interests represented alongside all those citizens complaining about rising taxes and defending the green in Greenburgh?
Possibly just one more precinct reporting for the transcript.

Allowing or not allowing the Town Board to speak before these Boards does not in any way address the more serious potential conflict of the Town Board appointing and voting for all "independent" Board members. So this issue is really junior to the fundamnetal issue.

I say let the Town Board speak away.

Anonymous said...

I'd prefer that the town board members, especially the supervisor, attend less meetings. Many of the department heads need active supervision.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we need more involvement by Paul and the board, then we can have more lawsuits like Fortress. GOOOOO legal team.

Anonymous said...

Talk about ethics -- I would like to hear more about the communication that went out to employees to urge them to come out to a public meeting to support the Westhab project in Fulton Park.

Anonymous said...

What is this about the Fairview Fire against the Westhab development -- guess the Fortress Bible people will add that to their appeal as to unequal treatment.

Anonymous said...

9:57
What are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

9:57 Could you please tell us what you are drinking or smoking.

If the answer is neither of the two please get medical attention asap.

ed krauss said...

Mr. Supervisor Feiner, et al appearing before the planning and/or zoning boards present a conundrum. Is it better for them to express their opinions "on the record," for everyone to see, or twist arms behind the scenes?

One thing is certain, they can't appear before a board as "private citizens."

I wonder why, however, why go through the labor of crafting a new ethics code a few months ago, only to alter it now? Is there some project Mr. Feiner-who I assume is the "father" of this "amendment" wants to tell the good folks of unincorporated he is for or against.

In any event, I for one think "the Devil you see," is preferable to the "Devil yet to show him/herself."

Is the 10 pounds of dung in a 2.5 pound bag, AKA the 22 Tarrytown Rd. "affordable" housing project the showcase for "grandstanding?"

Let's look forward to, "the rest of the story."

Anonymous said...

Absolutely a bad idea. When one enters certain public offices one must go so far as to place one's investments in a "blind trust." The Ethics rules which prevent our Town officials from appearing in front of certain bodies are intended to prevent the officials from unduly influencing those bodies - a good idea.
When one becomes a public official one is accepting a public trust - even though that means giving up some of the rights inherent in being an individual. If Mr. Feiner chooses not to give up those rights, he is free to give up his office.

Anonymous said...

The following is a post purportedly by Mike Kolesar on the Ardsley Yahoo website -- is this guy supposed to be impartial

Re: town board giveaway


To all: It would be wonderful if the issue were just limited
to "Ardsley" and unincorporated Greenburgh on this and many other
issues, but that is not the State law and not reality. How do you
justify "giving" away a valuable piece of "Town wide" property to
only one segment? What is the fairness in this to taxpayers from the
Villages of Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington and Tarrytown, who
probably don't use the "Greenburgh" Library?

Second, those from unincorporated Greenburgh should be aware that
there are more transactions by residents from unincorporated
Greenburgh at the Ardsley Library than the reverse. Based upon data
provided to me by Angela Groth when I was a Trustee of the Village of
Ardsley, my recollection was that it was about 15,000 transactions by
Ardsley residents at Greenburgh and 25,000 by unincorporated
Greenburgh residents at the Ardsley Library. This was before the
shutdown / expansion.

Just some facts / opinions to consider.

Michael Kolesar

Anonymous said...

*;31----Kolesar is stating the true facts just the facts.

Anonymous said...

When Kolesar was asked to speak at a residents group of TOV people, he said he could not.

Anonymous said...

8:32 it's about time that someone is in our corner stating the true facts concerning the library.

The lies up to today have been too many for anyone to believe.

It's about time that someone like Kolesar came out and told the truth as to what is going on with that disaster that cost us not quite twenty million dollars and we will be looking at an empty building if grants are not received .

Michael Kolesar said...

Since this topic includes a statement about First Amendment rights, I'm just expressing my individual rights. The Town Board sets policy. I don't.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Kolesar -
Expressing your personal opinion is appreciated - except by the Supervisor, who views any opinion not in agreement with his own as treason. Richard Garfunkel of the Greenburgh Star Chamber will be payinf you a visit soon to remind you that your oath of office should have been a pledge of personal loyalty to Feiner...

Anonymous said...

So Mike, how come you wont speak to TOV groups?????

Anonymous said...

Mike Kolesar is the best thing that has happened to the town in many years. We are learning what the facts and the problems are, and if the Town Board listens we may actually have some answers.

Quit trying to beat up on him. What he said was true and we all must know the truth, even if it hurts a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Since when does any town worker have to show complete loyalty to the supervisor.
I think that you are getting one being loyal as to one respecting a bit mixed up.
I guess you don't like the way Kolesar picks up on certain wrong doing, Well that's tough. If the board has trouble believing his findings that's even tougher.
The problem with the previous comptrollers they had no loyalty and no respect.
By the way when did Feiner ascend to a throne that his subjects should be loyal to him.
Kolesar was hired to do a job that should have been as easy as abc but instead the ledgers are a mess.
Nothing is adding up.
If the town council had hands on with all the goings on in town we would never be in this mess.
He hasn't fully tackeled the library project's facts with figures.
Loyality by the residents went out t.he window but maybe there is still some respect for the supervisor and his crew..
Let Kolesar take care of the business that he was hired to do.
Maybe some council members don't want this to be done to the fullest but that is tough.
If they were honest in their every day dealings they would not have any quams about Kolesar's findings

Anonymous said...

Did anyboby notice that at the last Town Board meeting there were two questions submitted by email that the Town Comptroller should have answered, but wasn't called upon to answer? Both were related to the Library building project. It sticks out like a sore thumb. Watch the replays.

Anonymous said...

Respect for the office does not automatically translate as respect for the current office holder. I wouldn't want GWB as my Supervisor any more than I want PJF to continue in his office.
Loyalty and respect are entirely different. Too bad many politicians confuse them.

Anonymous said...

Mike KOlesar will not be allowed to answer any questions asked via email or by a spectator.
The town board will have no place to hide if he ever got started.
This board is playing dumb but they will be facing quite a few challenges that they cannot hide from.
Dromore Rd. will be one of these cases which involves Sheehan and Juettner.
Can't wait..

Anonymous said...

This is the first time that we have a comptroller that goes by the books.
We have noticed that some members on the board pay no mind to what he says,but boy when the S--T hits the fan they had better listen and change their attitude.
They finally met their match in Kolesar.
A man who is not afraid to stand up to them and tell them where and what he found in checking the books.
Believe me he is just getting started.

Anonymous said...

Your ethics board is just a waste as some other boards here in Greenburgh.

When a certain persons'name was brought upat a few town meetings no one paid attention to why was he selected.
At the last work session the head of the ethics board complained that he has not attended any meeting other than the first two.

Why is it that this town board does not want to listen to what the public is saying.

Smarten up and start listening.

Anonymous said...

Why do you have to appear before the zoning or planning boards.
Those in charge do not need any input from you.
You have one of the board members present at each and every meeting ,why is he there??
Is that not enough.
Tell me do these boards work with the say so of the board member that is present.
Why doesn't your great ethics board look into how your job as board members is failling the public.
Your input at these meetings would make me think that someone will be on the take.