Saturday, July 05, 2008

COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS TO VOTE --POSSIBLY ON TUESDAY--ON 13 MILLION PURCHASE OF DILAPIDATED OFFICE BUILDING...A WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS...

THE WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS MAY VOTE ON TUESDAY NIGHT TO SPEND 13 MILLION TO RENOVATE A DILAPIDATED OFFICE BUILDING AT 450 SAW MILL RIVER ROAD IN GREENBURGH. THIS BUILDING HAS BEEN VACANT FOR MANY YEARS. THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE HAS RECEIVED CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE OWNER. THE TOWN, FIRE DISTRICT AND ARDSLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL LOSE SUBSTANTIAL DOLLARS IF THIS ACQUISITION GOES THROUGH. IF THE COUNTY ACQUIRES THE BUILDING THE PROPERTY WILL COME OFF THE TAX ROLLS.
COUNTY LEGISLATOR TOM ABINANTI IS AGAINST THIS PROPOSAL. COUNTY LEGISLATOR LOIS BRONZ HAS NOT COME OUT AGAINST THE ACQUISITION YET-- PLEASE CALL HER. SHE REPRESENTS GREENBURGH.
THIS IS BAD FOR GREENBURGH.
THIS IS BAD FOR THE COUNTY.
THERE ARE OTHER LESS EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVES.
THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR THE COUNTY TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL BUILDINGS.
I WILL ADVISE OF THE DATE/TIME OF THE MEETING AS SOON AS IT IS CONFIRMED.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope Lois Bronz will come through for Greenburgh. WE are there for her.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't the purchase of Taxter Ridge bad for Greenburgh for the same reasons?

Oh, I forgot.....Danny Gold lives in East Irvington, not Ardsley.

Anonymous said...

Can't you idiots think of anything other than Taxter Ridge?

Anonymous said...

We must get on the phone to Governor Patterson for him to stop this crazy spending just to bail out of trouble a friend and big time contributor of Spano.
We know what friendship can do especially when it happened to us in Greenburg with Danny Gold. The outcome was the purchase of Taxter Ridge dump.
If Spano refuses to listen we have to go to a person who has been listening how our money is being spent and that is the govenor.

Anonymous said...

Taxter Ridge cost the taxpayers of Greenburgh millions to purchase and millions in lost tax revenue. It is unquestionably FEINER'S FOLLY. Feiner and the Town Board have liostened to the Danny Golds' of Greenburgh for too long. These NIMBY'S have cost us millions.

I say cut down all the trees and place thousands of windmills at Taxter Ridge. It will generate much needed electricity and teach Mr. Gold a lesson.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could trade Taxter ridge for this property.

county board -- listen to this, most people in Gburgh hate Feiner.

Anonymous said...

Dear County Board,

The people in Ardsley want everything without paying.

1. The Ardsley library lured away the Elmsford library contract (one of the few villages without a library) from Greenburgh for a substantially lower price. The contract of course allows Elmsford to be part of the Westchester MLS system and use the new Greenburg library at no additional cost.
2. Ardsley has lobbied and Greenburgh has now allowed that Greenburgh will give to Ardsley property for low income housing, to benefit the predominantly white Ardsley Fire Department. No consideration for many of the minority fire fighters of Greenburgh’s Fairview district.
3. Ardslsey fire fighters and other first responders continue to be eligible to use parks and recreation of unincorporated Greenburgh, even though only unincorporated Greenburgh pays the taxes for such.


Dear County board, we are sick and tired of Ardsley getting everything they want and paying for nothing. With of course Paul Feiner’s Villages First policy.

Soft Serve Klondike Bar said...

Dear 7/6 3:52 PM:

Soft serve Klondike bar can stand only so much disinformation.

1.Regarding the Village of Elmsford / Ardsley Library arrangement. If the Greenburgh Library Board wasn’t so arrogant and demanded something like a 25+% increase in the amount paid by the Village of Elmsford in the first place, the Village of Elmsford would have never looked elsewhere. Not withstanding the WLS “rule” about contiguous borders, the Village of Elmsford is THE ONLY land locked community like this in all of Westchester. That meant that according to some, the Village of Elmsford couldn’t negotiate with any other party. Well the WLS saw that this was unfair and so far has upheld the agreement between the Village of Elmsford and the Ardsley Library. Another boffo decision by the Greenburgh Library Board that has brought the taxpayers of unincorporated Greenburgh the glass elephant rising off Route 119 Tarrytown Road at a cost so far of $19.8 million and trust me folks that’s not all. Hal Samis has is dead right.

2.The facts are that more transactions take place from residents of unincorporated Greenburgh at the Ardsley library than Ardsley residents at the Greenburgh Library. That’s a fact folks. How do you care to explain that away? By the way, more transactions take place by unincorporated Greenburgh residents at the Scarsdale Library than by Scarsdale residents at the Greenburgh Library. What’s fair here? Should there be some kind of “revenue” sharing based upon net transactions? It wouldn’t be very difficult to set up.

3.Re the “Waterwheel” – I don’t know the specifics yet and I doubt that you do to. How many of these units will go to “Ardsley” volunteers and how many to individuals affiliated with the Town of Greenburgh? Mr. Supervisor, why don’t you release the specifics so we’ll all be better informed. However, remember, that this property lies within the Village of Ardsley and is subject to the Village of Ardsley’s code for this lot. If the Village is going to give something up, it better get something in return or the taxpayers of Ardsley are getting the short stick once again. This property will never pay the amount in school district taxes to support however many children from this development attend the schools of the Ardsley School District. Oh, by the way, the Ardsley School District is comprised of about 45% from the Village of Ardsley, 45 % from unincorporated Greenburgh and 10% from the Village of Dobbs Ferry. Oh, the Ardsley Engine Company provides fire protection at a very reasonable cost to two fire protection districts located entirely within unincorporated Greenburgh, namely the South Ardsley Fire District ( yes, the Supervisor lives in that district ) and the Chauncey Fire District. Once again tangible benefits provided to unincorporated Greenburgh.

4.As to the Town parks, take it away. Who cares? The Town’s Finneran Committee is studying the economic impact of permitting individuals from outside of unincorporated Greenburgh to use the facilities (and this is not just Village residents, but also individuals from White Plains, Yonkers, Vallaha, etc.), and it appears that if all of these parties are excluded, the taxes for unincorporated Greenburgh would be even higher. That means that these people are helping to hold down the taxes in unincorporated Greenburgh. Go ahead and stomp your feet for higher taxes – you get what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

Any time unincorporated Greenburgh wants fair value for something, Feiner guarantees it wont happen. When TOVers complain, we are called less than human. So just sell Waterwheel. I am tired of Ardsley saying any property within the village belongs to them. Just aint so. Thanks anyway for your comments Mike.

Anonymous said...

Dear 6:19, Don't get upset. I would guess both the NAACP and the ACLU will sue for Greenburgh residents to get spots at any affordable housing subsized by Town of Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of Feiner whimpering all the time. His victim mentality gets so exasperating such that if he's whining against something, the county will surely vote for it.

the original klondike bar said...

didnt the TOV just steal the old town hall site for their library?

that property was owned by the whole town including the villages and was worth millions - now its off the tax rolls and no compensation has been paid to any village by the library for its use.

doesnt veteran park sit on 4 acres of village of ardsley property for which no taxes are paid by the park's users? this means the village of ardsley is subsidizing the park at not benefit to ardsley.

regarding taxter - the villages paid over 2/3rds of the cost of the park thru state and county taxes.

regarding waterwheel - the town owns the property - the town is seeking a developer who can create affordable housing at the site. no one knows if they will be successful. there are so many unknowns about this project that its laughable for people to comment on who will live there.

re: 450 saw mill river road - the whole town should unite and oppose this graft. feiner is right about this one.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner: Where on Tuesday's agenda is this topic? I searched the county board agenda documents for Tuesday and found nothing. Please clarify.

Anonymous said...

This is Ardsley's battle. They could care less about unincorporated Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Just let the county buy it and get over it

hal samis said...

Dear soft serve Klondike Bar,

At the risk of biting the bar that feeds me I must beg to differ with your assessment of the Ardsley-Elmsford-WLS situation.For this one time only I support the Library Trustees with regard to their actions...adherence to the concept but not their choice of timing. Elmsford always had a service agreement with the Greenburgh Library and this agreement was always unfair to unincorporated residents whose taxes support the Library.  The unfairness was due to the fact that on a per capita basis, Elmsford had a much better deal going for its citizens.  The increase demanded by the Greenburgh Trustees was justified to bring the per capita cost in line. For the record, Elmsford does not have its own library. Thus an unincorporated Greenburgh resident was paying more than a Elmsford resident to use the same facility.  Since the Library is equidistant between Elmsford (abutting) and unincorporated, there is no reason to assume that it is nay more inconvenient for Elmsford residents to use the location; indeed Edgemont, the area most distant, is just as likely to use the library in Scarsdale (or so they say). So on an operating basis, the cost to use the library should be equal for Greenburgh and Elmsford.  However, Elmsford objected to stepping up to the plate and doing the "right thing". To go a step beyond, Elmsford residents were also not being charged for the capital spending program; this cost being underwritten solely by the residents of unincorporated.  Thus, Elmsford was not asked to participate in the cost of the $19.9 million expansion although it would surely benefit more from the expanded Library. That said, the Trustees were correct in their desire to increase the service fee paid by Elmsford. And that said too, note the next step. The Trustees were wrong in their TIMING to seek this parity.  They, typical of their arrogance, wanted to increase the fee to Elmsford (again reasonable in theory) at the time when the existing service contract expired.  Thinking they held all the cards, they refused to budge because they were doing what was fair for unincorporated residents who were paying the freight, at least to the extent that it was costing Greenburgh residents more than Elmsford. But, BUt, BUT: if you were wearing the eyeglasses of the Elmsford government, would you see it as reasonable to pay MORE for Library use WHEN the Greenburgh Library was downsizing from 23,000 feet to less than 5,000 feet because of the need to close during construction.  Pay more to get less? And the WLS rules only added fuel to their common sense which argued: shop around for a better deal.  Once any community is affiliated with a WLS member library, the community can avail itself of the services offered by all of the libraries -- including Greenburgh. In effect, Elmsford looked for a better deal and got it.  I don't fault Ardsley either because they only took advantage of the system AND the disarray at the Greenburgh library.  So, in retrospect, perhaps it would have been smarter for the Greenburgh Trustees to wait for the new library to open and then disguise the service fee increase when it could be justified due to the greater benefits the library is assumed to be offering. That would have been the better wheel although, under the WLS rules, Elmsford could still strike a deal with Ardsley or elsewhere and thereby still use the new Greenburgh library.  A really tough call to make. And what if Elmsford had signed up with Greenburgh?  Would they be in litigation with Greenburgh now citing that they agreed to pay the service fee based on the commitment by the Library Trustees to increase cybermobile service to "pick up the slack" and then find that cybermobile service had been eliminated and Sunday hours eliminated (Sunday only revived due to grant funding).  Think, "ok, we knew that the main building was going to close; we still agreed to pay you more with the understanding that you were going to maintain at least a certain level of service.  Now you have reduced even this reduced level; send us a refund". I never said I was King Solomon but I think that sometimes asking for too much too soon is akin to cutting the baby in half. The Library Board of Trustees, on the other hand, have been known to cut off their nose to spite their face.

soft serve klondike bar said...

Dear Mr. Samis:

At least we can have a civil discourse without name calling.

With respect to your point about "one rate", there are at some examples within the WLS where a community shares the Library with another and doesn't pay the same rate per capits. One specifically is Sleepy Hallow, which pays about 25% less (I'll have to check the exact numbers) as the per capita paid by the Village of Tarrytown residents.

Did the Village of Elmsford have any representation on the Greenburgh Library Board of Trustees so they could have some direct input into the what you have cited is a pattern of generous salary increases to members of the Greenburgh Library staff? How about the rest of the spending habits that you have cited time after time. Maybe the Elmsford contribution was a fair rate if the Greenburgh Library just operated a little more "efficiently"? If the Greenburgh Library Board of Trustees wants to be in competition with Blockbuster, so be it, but why charge Elmsford? Could they (Eolmsford) have voted on the Library referendum? Taxation without represenation?

You didn't respond to the question of fairness. Should Elmsford be a "captive" market to the Greenburgh Library because they are "surrounded" by unincorporated Greenburgh? How many other "land" locked municipalities exist like this in Westchester?

Nice to have a pleasant and substantive exchange of views.

hal samis said...

Dear soft serve,

Per capita rate is the fair measure; what other communities do is their business.

Elmsford did send a representative to the Library Board of Trustees meetings. Allowed to contribute input and ask questions and privy to the Library reports etc., this "envoy" did not have a vote in decisions.

As a matter of record, I wrote to the Elmsford mayor and tried to persuade him to get involved with the then approaching referendum. I explained that the expanded library would take on greater operating costs and this, in turn, would affect the renewal terms of the service fee calculation.

What the WLS rules are is not my business. Whether they are "fair" or not is up to the determination of its member libraries which determine its governing rules. So, whether Elmsford is landlocked or not under the WLS definition, is not a goliath that I intend to fight. The WLS provides a great service to all Westchester residents by unlocking the assets of each individual library and making them available to all -- this generally is a positive.

However, counseling a revolution within the WLS membership, would mean either dismantling the WLS or cause it to splinter into clusters of libraries, each with its own rules. Administratively this could easily become a nightmare for all the libraries and the victims would be County-wide library patrons. So whether the WLS rules are "fair" is another example of having to abide by the majority; WLS membership is not mandatory.

Do I think this particular rule is fair? For what it's worth, which is nothing, the answer is no. As I have written before, Elmsford did what is best for its residents, Ardsley did what is best for its residents and the misfortune is that Greenburgh had little to offer Elmsford with construction presumed to be imminent. In poker, ofen you fold when you don't have a winning hand.

Anonymous said...

As a regular library patron, it never has mattered to me what actual library a book comes from. Though I know the reality of taxes and such is different, in my mind it's just one county library system, like the NYC system. I check for a book online and either go to that library if it's nearby or have it transferred to pick up at the Yonkers library (since I drive up Central Ave every day).

Anonymous said...

I agree, its the WLS libraries. But when some people dont have their own library, it gets kinda tricky. Feiner encourages teh villages to want something for nothing (or at least soemthing for less than their fair share).

chicks for free? said...

something for nothing? yeah, like the unincorporated library stealing the old town site for nothing.

Anonymous said...

So file a complaint with comptroller.

Anonymous said...

Paul how come the question on the old town hall site was not answered .We all would like to now how you can give up this building without the knowledge and the ok of the residents.
This building belonged to all the residents.
Could you tell me what you and the town board were smoking at that time.
I thought that smoking some stuff would give you clear minds but maybe it burnt out what minds we thought you all had.
ANSWERES AS TO HOW THIS HAPPENED.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. The town giving away property.Firt the old town hall and now the Water Wheel property.
Are you all going crazy?
How about giving up the center that is costing the taxpayers a good penny to fill the pockets of some individuals.
How about giving up some parkland for development?
The things that would bring in revenue you refuse to take hold of but those that cost us you hold on for dear life.
What's wrong with you?
We know that you all don't give a dam about the residents .Playing make believe is a childs game and that's what you are doing with peoples lives.
We sacrificed plenty to live here in Westchester but you are making it hard for us to continue .
If you were elected by the people and FOR the people why in Gods' name do you not listen to us.
You are all stealing our hard earned money to make youselves look good.
Beware this is starting to backfire and when it happens there is nothing that can save your reputations.