Wednesday, August 13, 2008

200,000 VISITS TO THIS BLOG

This blog has now had over 200,000 visits. The blog was established almost two years ago and provides residents with the opportunity to express their views on town issues. This blog is democracy at its best -- you have the chance to comment anonymously about town concerns. And--to exchange comments about town matters with your neighbors.
Although some of the comments have been critical -- I appreciate the fact that so many people take time to express your views on town issues. I have learned alot, reflected on your comments and modified some of my policies as a result of your feedback.
Keep on blogging. Democracy should be a partnership between the people and their elected officials.

53 comments:

Feiner needs to update emials/blogsite said...

Paul or anyone who knows what is going on with the old Gaseteria property on Central Avenue? On Wednesday it was nice to see one of the eyesoars to be taken down but What is going on here?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! The success of this blog is due to the squelching of the public speaking freely at town meetings. This is the only venue left to do so and still, concerns fall on deaf ears.

Anonymous said...

Have any of the comments been taken seriously. I doubt it since nothing has changed .
The complaints still are coming in and nothing is being done by anyone in any of your departments.
How many visits are on your blog mean nothing what is important that you listen to us and act accordingly.

blogs rule said...

two things have happened:

juettner has been exposed as not worthy of reelection and rumor has it she is not running in 2009 because of the blog.

secondly, a new term has entered greenburgh politics - sheehaningans.

Anonymous said...

I like this blog, but it seems weird that Mr. Feiner doesn't participate in his own blog.

Anonymous said...

Feiner does participate, but he posts anonymously, like most everybody else.

Anonymous said...

Feiner has posted on the blog. My guess is that rather than post, he reads.

Anonymous said...

" ... nothing is being done by anyone in any of your departments."

I understand that some things do take time and discussion, but there are small matters that keep getting reported here and neglected that the supervisor could opt to simply pick up the phone and direct his staff to handle right away.

Though maybe this blog should be for big issues, and a simple webpage application like Yonkers has could be created for smaller issues like roadway maintenance, illegal apartments, clogged sewer grates, etc. Yonkers does such a great job with professional follow-up for everything submitted here:

YONKERS PROBLEM SOLVER

paul feiner said...

Spoke to the Building dept. Starbucks is going to replace the gaseteria.
PAUL FEINER

Anonymous said...

Ah! Brings new meaning to term "make mine high- test, please".

Anonymous said...

Paul thanks for the update but Starbucks? Am I mistaken or did they announce a couple of weeks ago about closing 600 store nation wide?

Anonymous said...

"Director of Greenburgh Housing Authority resigns"
JN

Anonymous said...

The commentator at 12:25PM on 8/14 just doesn't get it. This is Greenburgh and every problem, no matter how small, must be reviewed by the Supervisor and understood in its proper political context.
For example, the trash needs to be picked up from Central Avenue. The political rewards for such an action might include more Parks Department overtime (yes Commentator, it is the Parks Department which picks up the trash from Greenburgh's byways) allowing more money to flow into the ultimate pensions of certain union workers who are probably not residents of either Hartsdale or Edgemont. On the downside, cleaner streets would be a nice, quality-of-life enhancement for Edgemont and Hartsdale - hence likely to make residents of Fairview jealous. The deciding factor: How will the Villages feel about this?

And that, dear Commentator is the difference between a professional managed city like Yonkers and a politically-based community like Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

So the manager resigns,BUT what happens to the half million owed the town??????????
The housing authority is still responsible for the money they received the service of Greenburgh police dept.so pay up.

Anonymous said...

WHEEEEEE! GHA is still getting police services!!!! We've been robbed & will continue to be robbed! Greenburgh town council likes to play Robin Hood. They just haven't realized that the "rich" are really middle class and the "poor" get every service available to mankind for FREE!

Anonymous said...

Cora should also resign from the housing authority.

Anonymous said...

Cora should resign from the school board as well.

Anonymous said...

9:27

Why is it whenever anyone wants something like police protection or clean streats, we are told it would cost OT. Where do our taxes go? Must every dollar go to Fairview???

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 8/15 9:27 AM,

Right ending sort of, but a bad example. Professional and more than professional, competent management is what is needed. However, your example of Yonkers must be a cruel, cruel joke. Have you looked at the compensation data on The Journal News web site about Yonkers police. If you think Greenburgh has abuses, you need to look there. Report back to us as to how many members of the Yonkers police force had earnings in excess of $200,000. I recall that the top was about $250,000. It makes Greenburgh look down right "efficient". Not.

Anonymous said...

Heah, in Yonkers, the police are in a war zone.

Anonymous said...

Yonkers police really work hard, and often in dangerous situations (southwest area); they deserve as much overtime as possible. And even though the policing is much different in Greenburgh, that doesn't mean that Greenburgh management can't be run as a professional business operation like Yonkers.

Anonymous said...

If Cora Carey resigns from the Housing Authority, we will have a commission that might care about living conditions.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess her people know if she is the right person for that position.
She fought like hell to get it at a town meeting saying that Feiner was against her.
One can see that it was not Feiner but her own people who are disgusted with her and the housing authority.
She should also take a walk from the school board.
We need good people to run the schools to oversee that our children are receiving a good education.
If one cannot prove herself in one position how can she do a good job in another.

Anonymous said...

Cora should pick one board to be a member of and should spend her time doing a good job. She is on the Housing Authority (which has not paid its bills to the town). She is on the Central 7 School Board (low test scores) and she is on the TDYCC Board (numerous controversies).
Important jobs need to be spread out. Give others a chance to serve.

Anonymous said...

The only Board Paul kicks people off of is the library. TDYCC wastes money beyond belief, employss felons, but Paul doesnt care.

Anonymous said...

Cora should not be on any board.
Since it was stated that many whites attend The school,the center and live in affordable housing she cannot serve the residents,since she is anti-white.
She has expressed her feelings many times over and over again at town meetings.
The residents need open minded people to sssist in running programs that the public pay for.
Sorry Cora but this is payback.

Anonymous said...

"Central 7 School Board (low test scores)" Actually, Greenburgh's scores are good. They're not extremely high like Edgemont, Pocantico, Ardsley, etc. but Greenburgh Central rates above-average overall. It's just in comparison to the neighboring districts that GC appears to be low.

Anonymous said...

Comment pulled from the JN blog regarding the Catholic school strike and response to another blogger that thinks the Catholic schools should close down. I think this is interesting.

I won’t attack or berate you and I both agree & disagree with your opinion. It’s true that some Catholic schools have about 8-10%, depending where you live, non-catholic students. Some may not want their kids to “have their kids sit next to others”, some may feel that PS doesn’t address moral issues to their liking, and some just live in a PS district that does not do a good job of educating kids.

Two schools effected by this strike (Maria Regina & Stepinac ) have a large population of students residing in the Greenburgh Central school district. Greenburgh Central has 1,863 students enrolled and they bus 1,613 out to private schools. This SD is the #1 highest spending per pupil SD in the entire COUNTRY.$25.6K It ranks #38 out of 44 in Westchester County. I won’t go into any more details about this SD as there are many other problems district wide.

In this case, I don’t blame the parents’ one bit for sending their kids to these schools, if they can afford to do so. Many who do, struggle to keep up with the outrageous high Greenburgh town & schools taxes, while paying tuition's. It’s true that they can move to another SD but many can’t afford that either.

So, I’m sorry that you feel that these Catholic schools should close. There offer a terrific education and employ many dedicated teachers. I believe, in this case, these teachers deserve every bit they can get from the archdiocese. Why should it cost 26K for a substandard public school education and only about 6k for a documented, far better, education?

Do you really think that Greenburgh Central could withstand an influx of 1,613 students? Hell no! They have the tax dollars collected from these families spent 10 times over on the existing 1,613 students! It would be very interesting to see what would happen if everyone in the GC district enrolled their kids. What would the district do? If you live in the GC SD, you should expect your SD taxes to double, no?

Anonymous said...

Tell me do you just want the Catholic schools to close .I do hope that you are also including the Schecter school across the street from Maria Regina.

Blogger 4:15 said...

6:11

Huh? What are you talking about?

I posted that because it had had interesting information about the GC school district. The article in the paper refers to the Catholic school strike. Solomon Schechter has nothing to do with it although some of those 1,613 Greenburgh bussed students surly go there.


If you want to read the article :
http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080814/NEWS02/808140419

3:11: Your post prompted me to make my 4:15 post. Low scores combined with the rest of the stats at GC make it one of the "worst" SD's.

Anonymous said...

Dear 8/18 at 6:59PM -
Can't you read? Money Magazine named Greenburgh the 80th best Small City in which to live.
I guess you can't believe everything you read - especially if you learned to read in Greenburgh Central.

ed krauss said...

200,001 visits to this blog.

Windmills on the Tappan Zee.........$0.15

Door-to-door research
$1.50

Solar powered You Tube Concerts.........
$2.35

Annual Dog Swim.......
$2.65

LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION FINAL COST OVERRUN....
$,$$$,$$$ PRICELESS!!!!

Childish naivete is easier to cope with than confronting raw, unedited reality.

After all is said and done, the $68 per household per year for the 25 year bond will be supplemented with yours and mine tax dollars. But what's another $million or so when you have a spanking new Rembrandt meets Picasso, state-of-the-artless, IKEA furnished, Carpet Remnants building/cultural center, which is,once again, a FIRST for Greenburgh?

FIRST what? Not even the (plagiarizing another blogger) Hillside 5 Who Couldn't Shoot Straight, knows.

The plot thickens ladies and gentlemen. Law suits, exposes, raw incompetence,and official misconduct will cost this town.

You thought the $6,000,000 shortfall due to being under insured at the time of the Central Ave tree debacle was bad. Well, this time, ONLY Unincorporated will foot the bill...the "B" budget.

I eagerly await the comments from the "Defenders of Trilogy"...Paul, Francis and the ever vocal Diana.

I'm certain there are other "usual suspects," but let the Horror Movie play out.

Like Sgt. Schulz from Hogan's Heroes, "zay saw nazing," and they'll stick to their story.

For the record: I have a Greenburgh library card; I'm 100%supportive of a library, not the construction project thereof; I do not hate Paul or Francis...and who could possibly hate Diana; and am a card carrying member of the ACLU (Americans for Consrtucting Libraries Under- control)

It may be too late to change anything, but exposing the culprits, and learning an expensive, very expensive lesson, not to be repeated(providing the "players" are changed) is worthwhile.

hal samis said...

Sent to The Scarsdale Inquirer tonight.


Monday at 10:00 (tomorrow) at the multipurpose center, the Library Board of Trustees is holding a special meeting.
On their Agenda is only one item, marked budget transfers. It should be noted that the Trustees scheduled a similar special meeting earlier this month but as promptly cancelled it. The timing of this new meeting is likely meant to dissuade the working public from attending.

From the minutes of the July 24 Board of Trustees Monthly meeting under New Business:


"Director Contrata suggested the transfer of $119,669 from the operating budget to pay for items that under normal circumstances would be paid for out of the operating budget but were currently budgeted for in the construction budget. Director Contrata recommed the following transfers:

$38,000 Utilities
$ 1,251 In wall book drop unit
$ 1,296 Depressible book bins to receive returns
$ 4,122 Telephone system installation
$75,000 Tables and chairs for patron use

Director Contrata said that the $38,000 cost in utilities incurred in the building during construction was less than the $50,000 cost incurred for electricity alone in the old building. Director Contrata said that the expenses for the in-wall book drop unit, the depressible book bins, and the telephone system installation were typically expenses paid for out of the Library's operating budget. She said that it was reasonable to expect to have to replace these items in the course of regular operations. Director Contrata said that tables and chairs would normally be purchased out of the operating budget when the need arose.

Trustee McCarthy made a motion to transfer $119,669 from the 2008 Library operating budget for the expenses listed in the chart above. Trustee Palevsky seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved." (this ends the meeting minutes portion)


You should be aware that in the 2008 Town adopted budget, in the Library's total allocation of $3,440,000 (after the $200,000 reduction) were these line items submitted by the Library:

210.0 Furniture/Furnishings $1,000
250.0 Other Equipment $1,000

Since Ms. Wolfert has been quoted in The Scarsdale Inquirer that the Library Trustees had "no choice" but to eliminate the cybermobile because of the $200,000 reduction, I ask how it is possible that midway in 2008 the Trustees "found" over $115,000 to transfer from operations to a capital project while they claim that they still cannot maintain the cybermobile, a proper operating expense -- even for the remainder of 2008.

May I remind you again, that the Trustees had promised their patrons that the cybermobile service would be expanded during the construction period to compensate for the service impairment incurred by the move to temporary space(s).

Given that Ms. Wolfert is both a writer for The Scarsdale Inquirer and a member of the Library Board of Trustees (thus the go-to source for all things Library) and, that given reporters are hired to report on news dependably, accurately and honorably, it is a serious matter when the Library position overrules the journalistic position vested with the assumed credo not to mislead intentionally. That Ms.Wolfert would knowingly direct her employer/newpaper to reporting false conclusions would seem to cast a larger shadow upon her work when she functions as a staff writer -- writing about Town issues with mostly the same cast of characters. And, all of these conflcting allegiances present a horrific disservice to the newspaper's loyal readership.

You will perhaps recall at the time of last year's Library budget uproar that what was reported to the public was:
the Library simply could not afford to operate the cybermobile and maintain Sunday branch hours because the Trustees had no choice. I argued at the time that this was nonsense and that even using Howard Jacobs' expense estimate of $157,000 for the cybermobile, there was a reasonable choice and that it could be exercised painlessly by not spending $180,000 more on media than was spent in 2007, especially since there would be no place to store these items as the larger Library would not open (predicted almost a year ago) until late November, if not early 2009. Therefore, more media purchases would make sense out of the 2009 budget.

Lo and behold, now the Library Trustees have found "extra" money to use from their operating budget, not on operating budget items but instead for capital budget (expansion project) expenditures which is what they absolutley are despite Ms. Contrata's hasty assurances otherwise. Thus, their scheme to save face by helping to buy down the expansion project overage and missing items, is delivered to you on a platter herewith.

I suspect that there will be additional sums dedicated to this purpose, perhaps announced as early as tomorrow's meeting, and that by year end there would have been a surplus of some $300,000 not spent. as requested, for operations.

I believe that you have won a standard of reportorial excellence to maintain and that you will do the right thing in correcting the erroneous impression that your newpaper's articles and editorials may have left in the minds of your readers. The Greenburgh Library had sufficient funds in 2008 to operate the cybermobile; that its limited operation need not have been the result of outside funding; and that the Trustees did willfully seek to blame the curtailment of the cybermobile service solely upon the Town Board (who acted reasonably to reduce expenses) and evade the responsibility for a political, not economic, policy decision made by the Library Board.

Furthermore, their actions were not subject to the defense of victimless crimes. The Town Board were made out to be villains and enemies of the Library and members of the public, myself et al, were ridiculed and mocked for daring to understand their financial statements better than the Library Trustees, themselves.

It is for this reason, especially, that I charge you with righting the wrong that the newspaper has perpetuated.

Samis (the abridged version) said...

Here is the abridged version of Samis's comments: He doesn't like the choices the library board has made. He thinks the board should have funded the cybermobile and Sunday hours instead of using its budget to pay for furniture and book shelves for the new library. He would much prefer to see the new library open without those things. That would make him smile.

But Samis cannot smile. The library board made its decision. No matter how responsible, reasonable and correct in retrospect that decision now seems to be, the board members must be personally attacked for as long as Samis finds a sympathetic audience who'll listen.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst you bubble but Samis has been on target as far as all the money spent and where the library board needs more money to complete the white elephant.
The truth hurts but that is life.
Samis stated from the beginning that something was wrong but the board did not listened and now you have the nerve to criticize him for stating the truth.
He is trying his damnest to save taxpayers dollars.

Anonymous said...

Samis is not a property owner so if he tries to save taxpayers money what is wrong with the idea.
Has he been wrong up to now??????
Where ever he sees some thing that smells he's right there to bring it out to us the taxpayers.
What's wrong with that??
Could it be that your beebee brain could not come up with what is and what was wrong with the enlarging of a library that cannot be completed as stated by the library board and construction manager..
Get a lif.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Samis has been wrong on just about everything concerning the library project. His most recent error was in assuming the grants could be used to reduce the $19.8 million bond to pay for the project, when the grants could only be paid once the $19.8 million had been exhausted. Now he says the library board should have paid for the cybermobile and Sunday hours instead of furniture and bookshelves for the new library. How responsible would that have been?

The fact is that Samis has saved taxpayers in unincorporated Greenburgh not one penny in taxes. In fact, he has cost us. Every time he demands more and more information from those under contract with the town, they charge us for the privilege. Now much of this was built into their estimates, but when it comes to Samis and his accusations of wrongdoing (all of which have been proven to be unfounded), these guys have had to spend a lot of wasted time at our expense.

Of course, Samis is just a private citizen. He can say whatever he likes. The real irresponsibility lies with the town board, and Feiner in particular, for letting him get away with this shtick - all at our expense.

hal samis said...

To anonymous (abridged),

The point of my most recent comment was: not how the Library Trustees decided to spend the Library money; not whether they should have funded or not funded the cybermobile BUT that they made their decision to end the cybermobile as though they didn't have a choice -- that the loss of $200,000 automatically translated into no cybermobile. Had they said that they had looked at all the items which could be cut or reduced and then made the tough decision to choose the cybermobile would have been the honest approach. Instead they chose to blame others as though it had been up to them. The aftermath of course is that the Library could have funded the cybermobile and this recent transfer of $119,000 is the proof.

To anonymous at 11:26,

You are just parroting the party line. There has never been a shred of written proof -- either specific citations from the grants themselves or the general provisions of DASNY funding -- that supports the assumed conclusion that the grants cannot be used to reduce the amount of the yet to be sold bonds. I would agree that the grants cannot be used to reduce outstanding bonds but that does not address the remaining amount of bonds to be issued. All you have to support your theory is vague language reported in The Scarsdale Inquirer from an employee of a NYS Agency whose stake is to assist libraries in whatever way it can. Between this Library Agency, DASNY and Mr. Brodsky's office (and this matter dates back to at least January of this year), all of them together have not been willing to present a written opinion or offer any proof of their assumptions. On the other hand, in support of my claim, I defer to the written opinion of the Town's independent bond counsel (a very, very well regarded firm and individual) who has opined that the grants can be used to reduce bonding.

Why don't those who take the opposite view of mine just make me eat crow and present their touchstones in a provable manner. And, not knowing what questions were actually asked of the other side's "experts", I cannot begin to assess how big a cakewalk is being thrown at the media.

And the only information I can get is the information that the Town already has in written form. I don't demand or expect to get information from those under contract with the Town. But even if I did, perhaps it is information that the Town should have and doesn't for lacking the questions to ask.

Finally, your anonymous introduction that I have been wrong on just about everything regarding the Library project...that could only come from someone who is? Since, if I am wrong, it must be that the Town and the Library that are right, then why or whom would the anonymous blogger fear and thus not use their own name? Why would, as has often been cited, Feiner retaliate against anyone who is making the case for the Town.

On the other hand, isn't anonymous a little off point when he states that the $19.9 (not $19.8) bond has been exhausted and thus it would be in poor form to support the cybermobile instead of buying chairs? The real point is that the project is over budget and even with the grant money there is still not enough left to buy chairs.

I can direct the horse to water; I can't make it drink. Had the Town Board and the Library Board instead followed my direction, I would indeed be able to claim that I have saved taxpayers large sums of otherwise wasted project money.
Don't turn the failures of others to follow my lead as proof that taxpayers would not benefit.

How stupid do you think those who read these posts are?

Anonymous said...

Whoa, Samis now admits he hasn't saved taxpayers any money, concedes he's actually cost us, and says it's the town board's fault for not listening to him.

hal samis said...

Dear horse run over by the cart aka "whoa" at 1:57,

I am not on the Town Board; wherefore then this "news" that I haven't saved taxpayers money? If no one is willing to follow my advice, what is it that you don't understand about how the voting process works?

Again, you are putting your words in my mouth. Where do I "concede that (I've) cost taxpayers (money)"?

And, you've got one part right: it is the Town Board's fault for not listening to me.

Not really much of a comeback. Try again.

Anonymous said...

Hal, I think the blogger was trying to point out that your efforts to get more information out of the town, by demanding that Triton and others, like the architect, appear at public meetings, and answer your charges of wrongdoing, have wound up costing us money and not saving us anything. You didn't respond except to say that all you asked for was information in FOIL requests. We all know that's not true, which was probably why the other blogger said you conceded the point.

After all, how many times do you have to get booed off the town hall podium before you realize that the public is on to you and your always combative and never constructive approach.

hal samis said...

Wow, with all the friends I have on the Town Board, how nice of them to summon Triton and "others" just so that I can't ask them questions. Perhaps, I raise some questions that the Town Board, not knowing the answers, might reach the collective concession that they better find out to protect their own rear ends.

What I don't get is that apparently you don't think it is necessary to have these professionals who are wasting your money to appear from time to time so that they can acknowledge that they making fools of you.

If I were a taxpayer, I would be plenty pissed off, not at citizens, but at the Town Board and the Library Trustees which permit a $19.9 (and then some) project to proceed without any supervision. Such a construction project is a full time assignment for an "owner's rep", not a job to be handled while also running the DPW. That the then Town Council (now two surviving members) was happy with appointing someone to "don't bring me any bad news", will ultimately be the cause of the conclusion of their hobby as elected officials.

And if there are boos at Town Hall meetings, then this is yet another example of the Town Board not doing its job.

blog trivia said...

paul feiner: 200,000+ blog visits
ella preiser: 0 visits to the blog
anonymous: a/k/a francis sheehan
hal samis: ef hutton of the blog
diana juettner: typo

franklin roosevelt 1932 said...

from acceptance speech in chicago:

good then- better now.

town board - please pay attention (except juettner - let her sleep)


"Statesmanship and vision, my friends, require relief to all at the same time.

Just one word or two on taxes, the taxes that all of us pay toward the cost of Government of all kinds.

I know something of taxes. For three long years I have been going up and down this country preaching that Government--Federal and State and local--costs too much. I shall not stop that preaching. As an immediate program of action we must abolish useless offices. We must eliminate unnecessary functions of Government--functions, in fact, that are not definitely essential to the continuance of Government. We must merge, we must consolidate subdivisions"

ed krauss said...

It's heartening that someone,for three years, travels up and down this county preaching tax savings. You deserve some kind of medal.

It is surprising that this deed of yours goes unrewarded because only know who you are. Anonymity has its rewards and its drawbacks.

Keep up the good work, whoever you are.

Anonymous said...

To Ed Krauss -
Why not suggest to your buddy Samis and the hoohaws on the Town council that they "consolidate subdivisions" by beginning the process to dissolve the six villages and merge them back into the Town? Certainly eliminating six duplicative structures will save everyone lots of money.
Or will Herb Rosenberg and Danny Gold raise too much of a stink?

Anonymous said...

The Comptroller is doing a great job, The Deputy Comptroller should learn from him. The Comptroller will lead us to the promise land. Only he can help the Town. Paul give a raise. Better yet take it from the Deputy salary and give it to him.

rivertown said...

danny gold lives in the "town" which is the non-village part.

herb rosenberg lives in a village - dobbs ferry.

a better scenario would be for the river-villages to split off from "the town" and create rivertown - the rest of the town should consolidate into hartsdale.

greenburgh is like palin - a bridge to nowhere.

hal samis said...

Greenburgh is like Michael Palin of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Hereabout we must deal with
The Life of Lying

Therefore, if you are:

Tired of Jabberwocky?
Ready for And Now For Something Completely Different?
Want to know The Meaning Of Life?

Remove Sheehan and Juettner from your favorite places next year and restore the voting balance to just three votes. That will give the remaining team two more years to shape up or be shipped out.

Think of it as A Wish Called Wanna.

Anonymous said...

I personally work for the Deputy Comptroller. He does an excellent job for the Town. Without him the Town would be in serious trouble. His services to the Town should be appreciated and recognized. He is a true winner.

Anonymous said...

The Deputy Comptroller is a Prima Donna. He always looks like a million dollars.

Anonymous said...

9:05

Would you like for him to go arround looking like a slob.
That would be another comment you would be making.
Get a life .

Anonymous said...

The Comptroller is the Town Savior.
The Town needs to straighten out a lot of problems. There are many problems at TDYCC. There is a enormous tax hike for this upcoming year. Let us listen and take some ideas from the new Comptroller and act on them. Because if we don't then I think we should all be blessed.