Friday, August 08, 2008


Thomas Madden, Commissioner of Public Works, has advised the Town Board that WESTHAB has submited a modified affordable housing proposal to the Town Board. The proposed affordable housing apartments would be located in the Fulton Park section of Greenburgh - near the Westchester County Center. There have been a number of public hearings, public meetings, give and take sessions about the proposal in recent months. The modifications are being made as a result of community input.
1. The height of the building has been reduced from four (4) stories to three (3) stories.
2. As a result of the reduction in the height of the building, the number of proposed units in the building, and the unit mix has now changed; the number of units in the proposed building has been reduced from 34 to 28 with a unit mix of 3 two-bedroom units, 13 one bedroom units and 12 studios. Accordingly, the number of proposed parking spaces has been reduced to 33, 10 of which will be located in a structure beneath the building, and 23 of which will be located at grade. The number of parking spaces provided remains consistent with the parking regulations of the M-174 District.
3. The size of the building has been further reduced from 28,494 square feet (FAR of 0.93) to 21,573 (FAR of 0.70). The reduction in FAR is a significant reduction in the overall size of the building compared to the June Submission, and from the original proposal in January, 2008 which was 34,465 square feet (FAR of 1.13).
4. Suitable open space for the project is now provided at grade level in accordance with the requirements of the M-174 District, and is no longer proposed on the roof of the building. The Applicant still intends to construct the green roof for purposes of LEEDS Certification, the roof level will not be accessible to residents of the building.
5. The main stairwell has been relocated from the west side of the building to the east side of the building.
6. The proposed playground has been shifted to the north in order to accommodate the additional open space at grade level.
7. The loading space has been relocated to be closer to the rear entrance of the building.
Additional Submissions
The applicant has also submitted the following, as part of the revised submission:
1. A revised long Environmental Assessment Form, together with parts 2 and 3, prepared by Saccardi & Schiff, and revised August 8, 2008; and
2. A "Third Updated Traffic Impact and Access Analysis" for the Project, prepared by Frederick P. Clark Associates, Inc. dated July 25, 2008.
I have put the revised Westhab submission on the Town’s website.
The submission can be found under the Community Development and Conservation section on the Documents and Form’s page of the Town’s website.


Anonymous said...

Sounds good. Go for it. (Wasn't this already officially announced a few weeks ago?)

hal samis said...

Still doesn't sound good. Don't take it. The Town will see a better offer a few weeks after rejecting this one.

Anonymous said...

A one sided release by Feiner. It is outragesous how supportive Feiner has been. What happened to Feiner not supporting applicants. I would like to see a list of what variances they still want.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is what Westhab wanted all along (which I think is still in excess of FAR, etc.) but started with earlier outrageous proposal to wear us down. Some one explain to me why they should get any variances. To me, variances are for unusual situations, such as trying to preserve exsiting historical or landmarked building, existing building or operation which has shown itself to be asset to community.

Anonymous said...

Paul why are you shoving this project down the residents throat.
They told you from the beginning that there wasn't enough property to go ahead with the plan but you insist to put this plan in action WHY?????????
Could it be possible that you are starting to not give a dam to residents attitude and you could do what you want.
Paul people do not forget the problems in Greenburgh so quick.
Work with the public you know that we are facing hard times now and more to come down the line.
This project will only bring more problems than can be handled by you and the board.

Anonymous said...

"Starting" to not give a dam about residents???????


Feiner has played to one special interest group or another for so long he wouldnt even know how to care.

Is this only open to Villagers said...

Dear Ardsley Residents:,

The Real Property Tax Committee was established by the Town of Greenburgh in June to look at ways to make the property tax system easier to understand, fairer, more transparent and more efficient. For example, right now, the current tax system makes local governments look less responsible than they really are because the Assessment Roll does not keep pace with inflation or rising real estate values, in fact the Assessment Roll generally declines, and consequently local tax rate increases are exaggerated. To date, only a few jurisdictions in Greeburgh have put forward nominees for the committee. Given the fiscal pressures on both government and taxpayers, this committeeĆ¢€™s mission is increasingly important and deserves your support. This is an independent, non-partisan committee and it is not pursuing the agenda of any politician or interest group. Paul Stern of Dobbs Ferry has been appointed Chairman of this group. The Village of Ardsley is seeking potential candidates to serve on this committee. If you are interested, please submit your name as soon as possible for consideration by our Mayor to the attention of Village Clerk Barbara Berardi at ardsleyclerk@...

don't be fooled said...

Any Feiner-established committee that starts with the premise that the "current tax system makes local governments look less responsible than they really are" is neither "independent" nor "nonpartisan." The fact that the committee chair was appointed by a Feiner supporter from the villages should have been the most obvious tipoff. It may be difficult to resist joining the committee -- lest one be accused by Feiner and his supporters of being unwilling to work on solving the problem -- but if the first premise is that the current system makes the town look less responsible than it really is, then this is a committee that's going nowhere fast. A true waste of time, in other words. Why can't the town establish a committee to look into this problem without starting off with a built-in bias? That way the town could look into issues such as whether commercial properties are being reassessed in a timely manner when they make improvements (which is the town's responsibility" and why doesn't the town encourage the development of fully assessed ratable properties, instead of developments that, by their nature, almost always qualify for tax exemptions (which is another town problem) and why is it that the town has hundreds of tax cert applications pending (another town problem)?

Herb Rosenberg said...

The Don't Be Fooled" writer is exactly what is wrong with Greenbuirgh and why solutions to problems are almost impossible to come by. To Don't-Be-Fooled, anything that can somehow be attributed to Feiner shows bias, and anytime any resident of the villages are involved that also shows bias. Oh, if only Don't-Be-Fooled had any notion of what this is all about and what the problems are that need to be addressed.

Whether or not this committee was established by Feiner, or the Board, or (as I think is the case) is part of a county-wide approach is something that I don't know, but it really doesn't matter (except, as I have said, to those who live only to point fingers). Accusing Paul Sterne of bias is quite another matter. I know Paul because he has been active in Dobbs Ferry, but his activities are not generally addressed to purely local issues, but issues that have a larger focus and come from causes that don't originate in local municipalities. He has been for years an immensly successful businessman, highly intelligent, analytical and focused on root causes of problems. Greenburgh wouold be lucky indeed if he could be persuaded to involve himself in more Greenburgh issues. He has no political goals, except to do what he can for his community. In this case, chairing this committee, he is bringing to bear the immense knowledge that he has about assessment matters and their causes and problems and possible solutions. To hire a person of his stature would cost six figures, and you couldn't get a better person at any price.

Don't-Be-Fooled should be grateful for Paul Sterne's volunteering for this, though I mmust say that Don't-Be-Fooled doesn't deserve to get the benefit of such a great volunteer. Rather, he deserves persons like himself, who runs off at the mouth, runs them into the ground, and gets nowhere.

Oh yes, Don't-Be-Fooled will now dismiss everything I say because I too live in a village.

But why doesnt unincorporated Greenburgh said...

If the committee wanted to be fair, they would have invited representatives from TOV

Anonymous said...

There are many people in TOV who volunteer. Paul just doesnt give us a chance. Why should he? He represents the villages and Fairview. The only hope of Edgemont and Hartsdale is the Bernstein litigation.

won't be fooled again said...

What Rosenberg doesn't seem to understand is that "don't be fooled"'s critique is aimed at a committee with an obvious bias -- not because the chair is from a village (much as Rosenberg himself was a much maligned chair from a village) but because the committee's charge is to show that "the current tax system makes local governments look less responsible than they really are."

Nothing like starting off with a controversial premise for a supposedly serious committee with which many people, particularly those in unincorporated Greenburgh, might disagree.

But all Rosenberg sees is a personal attack against his friend and neighbor from Dobbs Ferry. That's truly the problem with Greenburgh. When someone tries to point out a systemic problem, it's dismissed as a personal attack.

Take a look to see if Rosenberg has anything substantive to say in response to "don't be fooled."

Herb Rosenberg said...

See what I mean?

This committee is not supposed to study issues which are at the heart of the town-village disputes. Moreover, the committee has asked for more members, including TOV residents.

Yet all this group of antagonists come up with, again and again and again, is nonsense like "If the committee wanted to be fair, they would have invited representatives from TOV" when the committee has done so, and "Paul just doesnt give us a chance. Why should he? He represents the villages and Fairview" notwithstanding that this is exactly the opposite of the truth.

God help Grenburgh. May He protect the town from these paranoiacs.

Anonymous said...

Herb I'm very sorry to say that this time you are so wrong.
Paul does and always has represented Fairview .Do you think that the other residents don't see how he tries to give in to all their demands at our expense.
The center which does not bring in any revenue to pay for itself.
The housing authority that owes for private Greenburgh police protection which amounts to almost one half a million dollars.
Monies given to the Fairview fire dept. which was stated by the State comptroller to be divided town wide.
A center for baby sitting [ the Lois Bronz] complex ,we all pay for baby sitting ,here they all get freebees.
All this for the Fairview area and you say that Paul is not only for Fairview.
Herb just check the budgets and see how tax dollars are given to this area and no one seems to know where the money went.
Check the work sessions how demanding the center is when it comes to monies for their programs.
Meals on wheels to other area receive money from the users but those that go to the center day in and day out how much do they donate.
So let's put the cards on the table .The residents of the other areas are being screwed over and over again by the fairview area.
Herb look into what Fairview gets in comparison to the rest of the town .Ziltch,nada,niente,and lastly nothing.

Anonymous said...

Start big and keep fighting because in the long run what you ask for and wanted in the beginning will be granted.
Smart move by Westhab and a great strategy.
But very bad for the Fulton Park residents.
Westhab knew just the right buttons to push on the board but let's see if the variances are granted by a more intelligent board.

Anonymous said...

After reding Fridays' Scarsdale Inquirer may I make a suggestion to Samis and Krauss.
First of all print the entire article on this blog.
Many residents don't even know about this newspaper which tell all about the town .
Set up outside the supermarkets where I'm sure you will receive plenty of signatures on the petitions which will be saving tax dollars for the residents.

Herb Rosenberg said...

To Anonymous 8:05, who wrote nicely. Let me say, also nicely, that it is not I who miss the point.

What I read and hear too much is the sound of a broken record, repeating and repeating the same angry criticism irrespective of whether they apply to a given point.

The posting that started all this, which referred to a committee that has been established (by Feiner? by the Town Board?)stated that "The Real Property Tax Committee was established by the Town of Greenburgh in June to look at ways to make the property tax system easier to understand, fairer, more transparent and more efficient."

What does that have to do with the operations of the TDYCC, the Housing Authority, Fairview, and the other things that you criticize (and I am not commenting at all on these matters or your criticism). To answer my own question, it has nothing to do with these matters. So why do you raise them in response to my comment, which was directed at the tendency of some people to turn everything into the same old subjects -- parks, TDYCC, etc.

Will you (and the others who write the same)understand that there are other issues? I think that you (and these others) can agree, if you think about it, that the question of making the property tax system easier to understand, fairer, more transparent and more efficient is something that should be embraced and not twisted into the same tired old accusations. And if the person most able to chair a committee to deal with that issue happens to live in a village rather than the TOV, so what? These is not a village issue. This is a general issue.

It is, believe it or not, possible to address issues substantively if you want to address them rather than venting anger at Feiner, even if there is grounds for anger. What you and the bloggers at 5:50 and 6:09 are doing is making it difficult to address issues substantively. And that is your loss.

Try saving your criticism until the committee has done its work -- or participate in good faith in the committee's work. That would be productive instead of destructive.

I say again, you are lucky to have someone of the quality of Paul Sterne to volunteer to the town.

Anonymous said...

My recollection is that Paul Sterne is a Democratic Committeeman in Dobbs Ferry. He might have been appointed to this new committee by Mr. Feiner but if I remember correctly he did not vote for Mr. Feiner at the convention. It is to Feiner's credit to appoint independent thinkers to town committees.

tax committee is partisan said...

Despite all its pretense to the contrary, this tax committee is obviously partisan. Feiner will be criticized at next year's election for the 21% tax hike this year in unincorporated Greenburgh, and for next year's big tax hike as well. The villages don't have much to complain about in that department. One of the big reasons for the tax increase is of course the huge decline in the value of the town's tax base. Again, that hits unincorporated Greenburgh and its school districts much harder than it hits the villages, and to the extent it hits the villages, village residents can elect a village mayor and trustees to do something about it. Those of us in unincorporated Greenburgh can't do that. So what better way to deflect that criticism that Feiner knows he'll be getting from unincorporated Greenburgh next year than to appoint someone from the villages to chair a committee whose purpose is to show that the "current tax system makes local governments look less responsible than they are"? And even better than that is to get unsuspecting people from the TOV to join in this dubious effort in order to prepare a report that shifts blame away from Feiner and places it elsewhere -- anywhere but in his lap. Feiner even went so far as to brag about the committee at the last meeting of the Democratic town committee.

That's why when people call this committee anything but nonpartisan and independent, it looks like they have a point -- a point that Rosenberg sadly keeps missing over and over again. Stern may have something valuable to contribute, but why must he chair a committee whose purpose is to "show that the current tax system makes local governments look less responsible than they are"?

Hopefully those who've volunteered to serve with Stern will be mindful of the political purpose behind this committee, and steer clear of it.

Anonymous said...

The Edgemont school Board & Central 7 School Board have designated members of the committee from unincorporated Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Edgemont and Central 7 did so after being assured that the committee's work would be nonpartisan and independent. They were not told that the committee's purpose was to "show that the current tax system makes local governments look less responsible than they are." Hopefully, they'll see through this charade.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the relationship between Greenburgh and the villages. If I lived in a village, I'd be annoyed to pay even a penny of township taxes. What specific services does Greenburgh provide to the villages?

Herb Rosenberg said...

A few postings ago I used the word “paranoiacs” to describe some of the writers to whom I responded. I thought that I was probably too harsh. Now, having read the posting at 11:18 PM by “Tax Committee is Partisan” I realize that I was correct.

I am pretty sure that I know who the writer is. I have heard that kind of convoluted logic, expressed in well-written prose (and well-articulated conversation), from this person before. For this person (and for some others) every idea, every suggestion, every offer of help, represents some kind of conspiracy between Feiner and the villages to victimize the unincorporated area. It is the unincorporated area which pays the price for such paranoia. What a pity.

Fortunately for the unincorporated area the influence of these persons has largely evaporated since last September.

Herb Rosenberg said...

You should reread the blog at 10:14. It states that the purpose of the Tax Committee is to look at ways to make the property tax system easier to understand, fairer, more transparent and more efficient.

The group which attacks everything has focused on the words in the partial sentence "the current tax system makes local governments look less responsible than they really are" because taking words out of context is useful demagoguery. The complete sentence is "For example, right now, the current tax system makes local governments look less responsible than they really are because the Assessment Roll does not keep pace with inflation or rising real estate values, in fact the Assessment Roll generally declines, and consequently local tax rate increases are exaggerated." That is a statement of fact, not the purpose of the committee.

What the writer is saying is that there are forces beyond the Town Board that affect tax rate increases, and gives examples. Can ahyone disagree with that? Yes, if disagreement is all that one is interested in, and disagreement is a cottage industry in parts of Greenburgh.

Some people may not like the findings of this committee. but it won't be for lack of independence -- not if Paul Sterne is the chair.

Herb Rosenberg said...

Anonymous 5:58 expresses annoyance that village residents pay any town taxes and asks what services the town provides the villages.

The answer is practically no services. If I remember correctly, the town highway department is required to stripe village streets. All other services (though I may foget some) are as a result of intermunicipal agreements and the villages pay for those. I'll spare you the town costs with which the villages are charged but they are enormous.

The reason village residents pay town taxes is because of antiquated laws. If you want to understand more, let me have your name and email address and I will send you a copy of the SCOBA Report which explains it all, including an exhaustive compilation of the laws involved. And don't be deterred by those chronic naysayers who malign that report because it doesn't fit their agenda.

ed krauss said...

This is weird. I find myself agreeing with both Herb Rosenberg and Bob Bernstein AKA "Don't be fooled." However, I have lived in this town a long time and since the Feiner Dy-nasty, emphasis on NASTY, I have seen "Feiner committees" set up to PROVE A POINT, rather than SOLVE A PROBLEM. And more often than not, their conclusions are rarely followed.

One of the earlier posters made a point that I have tried to preach for a very long time. When a committee is formed, the problem should be stated in unambiguous terms, free of ANY preconceived ideas. In other words the committee should be given a BLANK PIECE OF PAPER.
Unfortunatly, Paul doesn't operate that way. Because if Herb call some of the responders to his points,"paranoics," he should know they are lead by the "PARANOID-IN-CHARGE." Yes, Paul, you do have enemies.

Let me digress to the first time Paul ran for the County Legislature. As chair of the Ardsley Democratic Committee, he called on me for my support. I asked him if I supported him, would he, if elected, support Ardsley's RIGHT to get into Town Park. Without hesitation he said Yes. And that was the first of many lies which have sustained his "career." Later, when he was town supervisor, and I lived in Edgemont- yet still believd as I do now- Ardsley should be allowed into Veteran Park, he "appointed" a committee to "look into the matter." When I saw the names of thoe "unbiased members," I knew Ardsley had a better chance of winning a real "get out of jail card, free." "Good guy," Paul appointd every outspoken anti-Ardsley zealot from 10-15 years before.

Paul doesn't "place a bet," unless he has all four aces AND the other players are neophite card players.

So, Herb, as much as I respect the work you and your committee did, please tell me which of your suggestions were adopted?

Now, back to the topic at hand, WESTHAB. The good thing about Paul's intro to the topic is, he's showing his hand BEFORE it's time to vote. Why bother going through Planning and Zoning when the Town Board already has one vote for this ridiculously large-scale project?
Since there are three votes necessary, pressure the others... unless you feel his support for Morgan and Brown are all he needs for you to be saddled with this ten pounds of barnyard byproduct in a two and one half pound bag.

If this plan passes, I for one am convinced there is a payoff of some sort and should be investigated.There is, more to this than its size that should disqualify it from seeing the light of day. For openers, in my experience, developers requiring a variance with so many problems, OPTION a piece of land rather than buy it outright. And, If as WESTHAB did, BUY IT, they must have known something.

Paul muti-tasking: Committees set up to who knows what and variances designed to SCREW a communiy...YOUR TAXES AT WORK.But remember, Paul sets
aside a piddly portion of his salary each year so his fellow board members can "vote" for what % of his goals were accomplished. Does you alot of good.

Anonymous said...

What Herb neglects to add is that the Entire Town budget also receives substantial revenues such as mortgage recording tax from the TOV (thoses taxes relating to the villages goes straight to the villages) and court fines. Herb would be better focused on working with the TOV people to find a supervisor who would attempt to control costs.

Anonymous said...

Kudo's to the Supervisor for communicating with residents. It's nice to know what is happening. The Town Super and Council have been listening to the people. Evidence: WESTHAB's modifications and downsizing.
If Feiner and the council were arrogrant (which they are not) we would have a six story building.
They listened to us.

Herb Rosenberg said...

Ed, to comment on your posting and to answer one question:

Don’t be fooled (who may or may not be Bernstein), is a fraud. He states “The fact that the committee chair was appointed by a Feiner supporter from the villages should have been the most obvious tipoff.” Stating an assumption as a fact is standard demagoguery. In fact, Paul Sterne (along with Bernstein and the CGCA activists) supported Suzanne Berger in last year’s primary. Next he states that something is a premise when it is no such thing (see my earlier posting). He then asks why a committee cannot be established to look at issues which he regards as important, and which may indeed be important. But that is a reed herring since it is likely that the committee which has been created is going to look into those things. And that is why I took such strong issue with his posting -- it is the usual distortion to support an agenda.

I still don’t know how this Tax Committee was created and who named Paul Sterne chair (an inspired choice, by the way). I will find out and post the information. I doubt very much if this is Paul’s doing, but if it is it is still worthwhile based on the committee’s charge.

You ask me which of my (you mean SCOBA’s) suggestions were adopted. None, but there were no specific suggestions and that was by design -- we made no recommendations because we didn’t want to be accused of influencing policy. What SCOBA did was to investigate and describe how expenses and revenues were allocated and why they were allocated in the way they were (indicating imbalances on both the expense and revenue side, including the mortgage recording tax as Anonymous 10:09 should note), with a compilation of the applicable laws and precedents. If there was a suggestion, it was that the Town Board, together with village governments, consider setting up a committee of informed and objective persons to study the statutory structure and make recommendations as to amending some statutes. This was not followed, but not because Paul Feiner didn’t listen, but because the Town Council didn’t want the report in the first place and tried to scuttle it. Diana Juettner side-swiped it by suggesting a mediation, which was doomed from the beginning. Steve Bass actually insulted the SCOBA committee and me personally. Eddie Mae Barnes was her usual nice self and ignored the report. Timmie Weinberg was on her way out, and Francis Sheehan, when he took office, joined the others in ignoring SCOBA.

But truth will out. The result of the Town Board’s attempted scuttling of SCOBA was the creation of the Village Officials Committee, and things haven’t been the same since.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Rosenberg chortles the way he does. Things have gotten so bad for unincorporated since the last election, when Feiner and his slate ran on a "villages first" platform, that the only place unincorporated Greenburgh is going to get a fair hearing these days, at least until the next election, is before the courts. We all know that Rosenberg's a pro-village zealot who demonstrated his true biased colors when he refused to allow any presidents of civic associations in unincorporated Greenburgh to sit on his deservedly trashed SCOBA committee. Who does he think he's kidding when he says his committee didn't have an agenda? It had his agenda. I don't know who this Stern guy is, I'd like to believe he's truly nonpartisan, and interested in helping out, but if the only guy out there vouching for him is Rosenberg, put me in the "don't be fooled" camp.

Anonymous said...


We know the Villages have more voted, no need to keep emphasizing that. But by encouraging Paul not to care about expenses that are allocatd to the TOV (right or wrong), you have given TOVers no choice but the courts.

Herb Rosenberg said...

The 10:51 writer doesn't deserve an answer. He is so off-the-wall that he ia almost dangerous. He is demonstrating that my comment about paranoia was right on. In his case the truth hurts so much that he goes into deliriums.

As to the 11:12 writer, two comments (although I have little faith that he will acknowledge them).

First, it has been established by records from the Board of Elections that the unincorporated area has more registered voters than the six villages combined, that it has more enrolled Democrats that the six villages combined, and that there was a larger voter turnout in the past few elections in the unincorporated area than in the six villages combined. The statement that the villages can outvote the unincorprated area is a falsehood propagated by the same-old same-old group.

Second, please tell me where I have encouraged Paul not to care about expenses that are allocatd to the TOV. If you can do that, I'll pay off your mortgage. If you can't do that, all I want is an apology.

Anonymous said...

"Kudo's to the Supervisor ..." I always get a kick out of this person's silly postings. I can only assume that it's someone in Feiner's family.

Anonymous said...

I don't see where 10:51 is off the wall at all. Feiner really did run on a "villages first" platform. It's in his literature -- distributed only in the villages of course. Things haven't been good for unincorporated since then. We've been hit with a 21% tax hike which Feiner had to know was coming, but kept his mouth shut. The villages had their town taxes, already a pittance, reduced even further. It's also true that Rosenberg wouldn't allow presidents of civic associations from unincorporated Greenburgh serve on his SCOBA committee. The proof of that was posted on the Grassroots for Greenburgh website. And as for SCOBA having Rosenberg's agenda, well that's pretty obvious from Rosenberg's pronouncement that the disputes between the villages and the unincorporated area are all due to "antiquated laws." That's pure bunk. There are lots of places in New York that have towns with villages and an unincorporated area. Close by, there's the Town of Mamaroneck with the Village of Larchmont, and the Town of Eastchester with the villages of Bronxville and Tuckahoe, to name just two. But nowhere, under these same "antiquated laws" do any of these other places have the terrible inequities we have here in Greenburgh. I don't think that's due to "antiquated laws" at all I think it's because we have politicians in Greenburgh, like Feiner, and his apologists like Rosenberg, who game the system and exploit these differences to their advantage.

And yes, from what I've read in the papers, Rosenberg has indeed been encouraging Feiner not to allocate expenses properly. For instance, there were opinions issued from the state comptroller's office saying the town engineer's expenses should be charged townwide, and Rosenberg urged Feiner not to comply, and so far, the town hasn't.

hal samis said...

Has anyone noticed that this week the Feiner blog has neglected to create a topic relating to the Agenda of this Tuesday's Work Session and Special Town Board Meeting. Especially since last week's work session was cancelled as is next week's work session.

In the past he has posted the Agenda here.

It's almost as though the Supervisor was looking to avoid comment on the Agenda items by not providing for them an appropriate home.

Does anyone else wonder about this?

Come on, Mr. Feiner, spread the welcome mat out for all the Town matters that the Town Board is discussing.

Otherwise it looks as though you are managing the views.

Anonymous said...

Hal come to town hall or tune in on the boob tube and you will be surprised as we will all be.
Open government?????????

Anonymous said...

Feiner is clearly trying to influence the public with one-sided info re Westhab. Or maybe he is trying to convince Westhab he is. In any event we need a straight shooter, not someone who panders to every side.

Anonymous said...

Just checked out the resolutions for that "special" town board meeting next Tuesday at 2 p.m. (when most of us are at work). One of the items schedules a public hearing on a new 7-year Cablevision contract, but consistent with the town's policy against open government, the contract itself -- the one the town board wants us to comment on -- is only available to the public by filing a FOIL request. That contract must really stink, and so does Feiner and the Town Board for playing this silly cat and mouse game with the public.

Anonymous said...

I think they should have to return the basic channels they took away, and now make money on everyone having to get a box. Can you even get town meetings without a box. It seems like the only thing you can get for basic are networks and informationals.

Herb Rosenberg said...

I said earlier that I would try to find out how the Tax Exploration Committee (or whatever its name is) was created and report that information.

I have now learned that this committee was created by the unanimous act of the Town Board. Its members are persons appointed by the school ditricts in the town, not political appointees. This committee will do its work -- hopefully useful and productive work -- without the acrimonious and divisive background noise made on this blog by the usual haters.

I have said my piece and I won't continue to answer those who cannot accept any facts other than the distorted ones they create to advance their paranoid notion of rhings.

Happily the Town Board is working together cooperatively, unlike the Town Town Board before last year's election. That doesn't mean that I think that they are doing things right all the time -- there is much to criticize legitimately and thoughful people are voicing their criticisms. But at least the haters are limited to background noise.

Have a nice rest of the summer.

Anonymous said...

The "antiquated laws" thing is very real. There is no longer a need for this structure in any part of Westchester County. (Perhaps it's still a beneficial structure in rural upstate areas; I don't know. But I do know that the legal purpose for unincorporated areas - to provide basic services for rural areas - no longer exists in Greenburgh.

Most townships don't care and don't see a problem with the silly structure because they've adapted with professional management and elected reps specifically for their unincorporated areas. To get around the old-fashioned system, unincorporated areas are simply treated in practice as equal villages.

Unfortunately, Unincorporated Greenburgh makes the choice not to have equitable and professional standards like Unincorporated Mamaroneck, Unincorporated Eastchester, Unincorporated Mount Pleasant, Unincorporated Rye, etc. Some day we'll have to, but the wait is going to drive us all nuts.

Why don't the unincorporated areas just secede from Unincorporated Greenburgh like Rye Brook did? Initially was expensive, but now extremely beneficial.

For me, it doesn't matter too much because when my kids graduate in a few years, I'm just moving down the street to Yonkers side. But for those staying long-term, this Greenburgh thing is a mess.

Anonymous said...

Rye City used to be an unincorporated section of Rye Town. It then became a village of Rye Town, and then seceded altogether as its own city. Why won't Greenburgh allow itself to evolve with the times in some fashion like Rye City and Rye Town (two villages - Port Chester and Rye Brook - and one little unincorporated section remaining - Rye Neck - that it shares with Mamaroneck). I'm not saying that that's necessarily our ideal structure, but they've allowed themselves to evolve and opted not be stuck with the antiquated structures that have no relevance anymore.

Anonymous said...

Paul has painted himself into a corner. He depends on Edgemont and Hartsdale and the other parts of unincorporated Greenburgh to pay for all Parks and Rec, even the parts that are open to the Villages. He spends huge amounts for totally useless stuff like Taxter Ridge. Again as long as he doesnt charge to Villages, he doesnt care about costs. If the Villages dont care, they have only themselves to blame if the courts have to decide how to handle.

hal samis said...

Guess that no one wants to write about the blog topic, the WESTHAB modified proposal.I can understand the frustration of bloggers firsthand who want to push their hot buttons because I too want to talk about soemthing else: the petition that Ed Krauss and I are circulating to force a permissive referendum on the Town Board, to let the taxpayers decide how the Library grant money is to be used.Since the Town Board and the Library Board have yet to announce that the project is over budget, I can't understand why the Town Board voted to add this grant money to the Library budget.  They apparently don't need it while taxpayers could use the benefit of every dollar saved which would be the result of reducing the bonds to be sold by $400,000.  Oh well, Mr. Feiner doesn't want to post the Agenda for the Tuesday work session/Special Town Board meeting so that those who write on this blog can post their thoughts to the hisses of a generally hostile audience.So until the Supervisor provides a decent entry point, let me address again the WESTHAB topic.This proposal still sucks.  It only looks good because the earlier editions were so much worse that in comparison to those affronts to the Town zoning code, this one looks like a winner.Except it isn't.  Forget the past.This new proposal is really the starting point to negotiate.  They don't get credit for bringing the height down from excessive; they don't get credit for reducing the bulk from excessive; they don't get credit for lots of things.  Let's just look at what they are asking for now.And what would happen if the Town Board passes on this model?  What if the Town Board just said no?  WESTHAB will be back with an even better model; they've got these renditions already in their "art" file.  It just means pulling out the files that are near to the back of the draw, those harder to reach.  And if the Town Board says take a hike?  What is WESTHAB going to do...what?  What are they, the over enthusiastic parcel owners, going to do with their mistake?  They or their assigns will still have the same zoning to contend with.  Can Greenburgh get over the loss of  these "affordable" units.  I think so.  Will WESTHAB bite the bullet and sell at a loss to the greater fool or comply with the existing zoning.  Let's wait and see.  It is not Greenburgh that is losing money on a bad deal.  Greenburgh has its own ways to lose money.  It doesn't need any help from outsiders.I say, just say no.  Time, inflation, the cost of money, these are the problems of WESTHAB and since they are real problems, they are stuck holding the weak hand while the Town holds the winning cards.  There is no reason for the player (the Town) with the full house to fold to the player (WESTHAB) who turns over no cards commanding respect. In other words, the five card full house beats the 28 card hand with no winning combinations.

It's time for WESTHAB to fold and cut their losses.  With the economy and the worsening problems at lenders, WESTHAB may not even be able to cut the deck after a few more hands. Why would the Town want to use its zoning code for an ante when it already holds all the chips? Tell us why, Mr. Sheehan.  Try this rewrite of your classic handicapped appeal: if maybe even one affordable apartment becomes available, it will be worth it. Your original version, Sheehan's Folly, only cost taxpayers $175,000. How much will Greenburgh residents lose overall on this latest Sheehan/Madden deal from the bottom of the deck?

WESTHAB needs to fold now while it can still leave the table holding some chips. Greenburgh doesn't have to do a thing.
Just blow them a kiss and say goodbye.

Anonymous said...

I like the Westhab proposal. Appropriate size and use for the location.

hal samis said...

And what, Mr. Feiner, do you think about the area makes it an appropriate use. Would next to Boulder Ridge also be an appropriate use of the area? If the owner of the land was willing to sell it to WESTHAB, would it still be "appropriate"?

Do existing Zoning laws and Planning laws have some relevance as to what is appropriate size?
Or should we just go along with what an invisible anonymous says would be ok? Perhaps, if WESTHAB was planning an invisible building.

Anonymous said...

Scarsdale and Bedford also have intelligent township organizations to avoid the antiquated NYS system. They are different from each other but both serve the residents in equitable ways:

Scarsdale township and Scarsdale village are exactly the same; no unincorporated area; pretty smart way to get around the system.

Bedford, on the other hand, is all unincorporated; no villages. It has three broad region names, sort of like Hartsdale - Katonah, Bedford Hills and Bedford Village - which really isn't a village, just a neighborhood name - so there are no dramas between villages and unincorporated, and everything is fair.

I wonder when Greenburgh will opt to update itself. Nine villages and no unincorporated might be the most fair thing for all of us.

Herb Rosenberg said...

Anonymous 5:08 makes a well-intentioned suggestion. Unfortunately, because of the antiquated laws which some don’t admit, the suggestion has a major drawback, perhaps a fatal one.

It is OK to have a town and village be coterminous (like Scarsdale) or to have no villages at all (like Bedford). However, when you have villages the law requires that they have to be part of a town (something which is no problem for Scarsdale because it is both a village and a town). If unincorporated Greenburgh divided itself into three villages (thus making up the nine that 5:08 referred to) all nine villages would have to be part of the Town of Greenburgh. The Town would not have to provide the kinds of day-to-day services (public works, planning and zoning, building department, etc.) but would still have to have a Supervisor and a Town Board and a Town Court, and possibly a few other services that the law assigns to towns. The Town government would still have the right to tax and spend. Further, the Town would receive substantial revenues from sales taxes, mortgage recording taxes, state aid, etc., and the Town government would have the right to determine how those revenues would be spent or applied. The village governments could not command the Town government on these points. The Town Board has power, and they would be elected just as Town Boards are elected now, and there may well be complaints from the smaller villages that the larger villages control the elections and that the revenues and expenses are biased. Sound familiar?

It ain’t easy!!!

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Rosenberg:

I may be wrong, but if there were nine villages, each "Village" would get its own sales tax apportionment from the County, so this issue goes away. As to the Mortgage tax, that would just fund the skeleton Town operations, which would be pretty much useless. What "functions" would it perform? Each Village would have its own Court, so if there is a need for a Town court, it would be much smaller. The Assessing function would stay. What would a Supervisor and Town Board do? The same as they do now. Fiddle, while Rome burns.

Herb Rosenberg said...

To Anonymous 6:33. You are making the mistake of being logical, which is not the same as doing what the law either requires or permits.

A Supervsor and a Town Board can exercise power, and the villages can't stop them from doing so. If the mortgage tax gets to where it was -- and it was huge and it still is large -- the New York Tax Law determines what the villages get and what the Town gets -- and I assure you that the amount the town would get would fund much more than a skeleton -- and what the Town gets is for the Town Board to spend, even if the Town Board has to put plenty of meat on that skeleton. Same with the sales tax. The N Y Town Law determines that a town should have a Town Court and I have yet to meet an elected body that doesn't use all the powers that it is given, and to do it as it wishes. Moreover the larger villages are more likely to determine who is on the Town Board than the smaller villages, and you can imagine that such a Town Board will use the legal resources that it is given by the Town Law to favor those villages. That's both human nature and politics.

Maybe there are answers. All I meant to show in my explanation is that "it ain't easy."

Anonymous said...

Paul how about getting a new assessor. This dame will be nothing but trouble to the resdents since she really doesn't want to do the job she was hired for.
Can't you see that she has already made her way to another job which at this moment is said to be part time but And boy is that but important.
Smarten up we need someone with hands on and believe me with the little business that I had with her she is not qualified for the job.
As a realtor I need some answers well with her it was like talking to a wall .She must have a problem because she was always smiling.
No self confidence.

Anonymous said...

We should not allow department heads to take on outside work. Plain and simple. Too many isssues.

question for mr r said...

herb - perhaps a special law could be passed for only greenburgh like finneran which provides an exception to town law?

however as you correctly note - none of this is easy and the state is not interested in municipalities getting smaller - its just the opposite.

perhaps a better tactic would be for parts of the unincorporated to merge with existing villages.

there have been no new villages in westchester since 1982.

Anonymous said...

Paul how many of your department heads are on another municipalities payroll.
This lady should be fired.
Not only is she trying to screw all the residents of this town but she has taken a position away from someone that may need a job.
I think her salary is too much for doing nothing.
Give her a boot and try to get someone that would appreciate employment for this town and this town alone.

Anonymous said...

Whatever size Westhab will try to put up is just too much for that area.
The people said no so why can't you go along with them this one time.

Anonymous said...

Why should this lady worry about polution from leaf blowers when she has all that hair blocking her eyes,nose and mouth.What a sad sight.

Anonymous said...

I guess you are commenting on the lady that spoke at the work session. Yes she should do something with that har. It was very annoying to look and listen to her.

Anonymous said...

The work session lasted too long .
Budget hearings should be kept for other sessions so as to not cut into the time allotted for other town business,
The chief was on for about an hour presenting his case as to what he can do or can't do to decrease his budget.
Guess what we were back to square one .What was accomplished.
Did anyone mention the money that the Housing Authority owes the town that would have decreased the budget by some money.
Nothing was mentioned about the almost one half a million owed.
Will this be for the swept under the rug.
If it does than I would like to have the same thing happen to my yearly taxes too .
They should not get away with it. They knew what they were doing and getting at the expense of the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Worst of all, the court money is still screwed up. Did you hear the jusge at the work session making excuses and ducking responsibility?

Good for Sheehan and Brown for insisting on proper accounting.

memo from juettner said...

here are my views on westhab:

ed krauss said...

I feel, very strongly it is the responsibility of the voters to hold the Board responsible for the deception and continuous lies they utter with impunity.

To this day they won't admit the library project is OVER budget, yet pass a dishonest resolution tagging on $400,000+ to the $19.9 million to "complete" the project. If it was "ON BUDGET," why would they need even a penny more? And please don't say "enhancements." Because book shelves are nowhere near enhancements.

To this date they won't admit the project is NOT ON TIME, else why would they vote a $49,000 increase for black top whose price went up because of a "delay?"

If it were on time, why would Triton's contract be extended by close to a year? Why, indeed?

FACT: The $400,000+ can indeed be used to reduce the $19.9 million bond. Our bond( specialist) council said so. THAT'S NOT MY OPINION, IT IS DOCUMENTED VIA AN EMAIL. (To those of you, including Mr. Sheehan, other than your opinion, do YOU have any documentation? If so, show it or stop lying about it!)
Not only did the bond council say it, our Town (Board) Attorney knew it when he said nothing to stop the Town( his bosses) Board from voting on a fraudulant resolution.

To those who say otherwise, what evidence other than the the "Boards" word do you have. I have a FOILED document which proves me right and you, gullible or worse.


Also, Kolesar has nothing to do with me and Samis, so stop denigrating him you cowardly illegitimate offspings. He has no dog in this fight.He comes from a village.

Oh, yes, my reason is not spite. How did we get a $19.9 million budget? Via a referendum. People, you and I had an opportunity to vote it up or down. But, we had a choice. Why shouldn't the democratic process continue? Put the $400,000+ on to a referendum. Let the people decide.

Why are you blaming me and Hal for trying to restore a democratic process in Greenburgh? Do you blame the American court system for spending money for trials of felons? If the Town Board did not pass a deceptive resolution, (fraught with lies)That was known to each of them and enabled by the Town(Boards') Attorney, to be lies from the first WHEREAS to AMEN, we would not be working so hard. Not to as some morons with post graduate degrees say our goal is to prevent the library from opening.

I would challenge each and every member of the Board, as well as former members, to show what they have done for the library vis-a-vis what Hal-especially Hal- and I have.

Their sitting on their hands, with zippered mouths for more than three years should not give them a right to even speak no less trash two of those who worked for the town...sans pay.

This referendum is not a joke.The joke is the "INdecision" makers who we've returned to office year after year.

Wake up. Their lies and incompetance have to stop.If a $20+ million failure is not a wake up call, ignorance is truly bliss. So keep throwing darts because the obvious lack of information (ironically due to the Board you defend) you peddle anonymously doesn't help anyone...including you.

To the poster who calls me a fraud and wishes the town's highest elected public officials would come out of the closet and tell the public just how they are being misled by this "motly crew".... This "motly crew" eagerly await their factual presentation rather than the BS they spread.

We, you see, can show documents, they can only continue to lie about documents that even if they exist, contradict their positions. Instead of trashing us, ask them to prove:
*the library project is on budget,
*the project is on time,
*the grants will be forfieted if not used the way they(the Board) says they should be,
*the building we will end up with is the very same building we voted to spend $19.9 million for.

Maybe, if you ever get a straight answer from the "town's 'highest' elected public officials, then you you can spew with knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Ed? Did you vote for the library referendum?

nicely put mr k said...

Ed - well said.

Best of luck with your petition. Lets hope its the start of an end to sheehanigans.

Anonymous said...

Krauss gives off a lot of heat, but doesn't shed much light. Why do we need a referendum? Surely not for the $1.22 it might save us, but because Krauss says the town board's a bunch of liars. Krauss has been saying that for years. So how does he know it this time? Because of some e-mails he saw between Kolesar and the town's outside bond counsel in which Kolesar personally took issue with the wording of a town board resolution as if that were somehow in his job description.

Look, if you never liked the library project, or you don't like Sheehan, I suppose you'll buy anything Samis and Krauss and now Kolesar are peddling. But if their overheated blog posts are any indication, these guys are acting out of some misplaced anger.

Has Krauss read the grants? Has Kolesar? I doubt it. If they are like any other grant awarded, they'll say something like the grant must be used for the purpose it was granted, and may not be used for other purposes, such as the retirement of municipal debt. But G-d forbid, Krauss would never want to read something that contradicts what he, Samis and Kolesar have concluded based on their crabbed reading of some e-mails they've been misleadingly calling the bond counsel's "legal opinion."

Krauss is just looking to kvetch. Next time you see him, just for laughs, ask if he's got a Greenburgh library card.

Anonymous said...

These are people who still mad about then library to begin with. At least we were allowed a referendum on the library. Unlike Taxter Ridge.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6:58 must be Bob Bernstein. How do I know? Because he lies and lies.

The sentence "Because of some e-mails he saw between Kolesar and the town's outside bond counsel in which Kolesar personally took issue with the wording of a town board resolution" is just such a lie. It was made up, and the reason for making it up is to set up something as a fact from which to then criticize, when the thing never happened at all. A typical Bernstein ploy. When will those who believe him finally wake up.

And that is just one of the lies in the blog.

For some reason this crown has decided to try to discredit Kolesar. It won't work. Whatever doubts we may have had before he became Comptroller have been dispelled. Kolesar is doing incredible work straightening out the fouled up finances of the town, and he tells things like they are. In fact, he is so good that the Town Board may not reappoint him after the next election, and if that happens there will be hell to pay.

hal samis said...

You've got to admire someone who can use the word anonymous, god (written g-d as though the poster was religious) and trying to wield an attitude of being knowledgeable.

If $400,000 is, per anonymous, only a tax savings of $1.22, then were the Town to save 25 times that amount on $10 million, hey let's go all the way and let's not spend anything next year ($60 million of spending divided by $400,000 results in a factor of 150) and save 150 times the $1.22 per $400,000 of savings supplied by anonymouse and the average taxpayer will save $183 in taxes or $2.44 in Edgemont where assessments are higher, their tax bill will go down $366.

If you accept what anonymous writes.

Nor has anonymous read the grants because he refers them "if they are like any other grant
awarded" and then goes on to marry his own views of what the grant language says. In the same spirit I'll say that if they're are like any other government grant, they are meant to ease the burden on local taxpayers by providing funds to the project so that project and the taxpayers won't be burdened by overwhelming debt. And, god forbid that anonymous would want to read something that contradicts what he or she have concluded.

Readers will have noticed that a lot of emphasis has been expended to forge a secret conspiracy between Mike Kolesar and Ed Krauss and myself. We certainly have done a terrible job in covering our tracks, going so far as to leave Mr. Kolesar's name on emails. What is the bad deed that Mr. Kolesar has performed? Responding to recent and legal FOIL requests -- submitted through the Town's Record Access Officer; he responding in the same manner that the Library has also responded when providing me with information. What's next? the Library must be in cahoots with us as well.

And even without FOILING for this, I'm willing to bet (for dollars, not laughs) that the Library has not issued any library cards in the name of anonymous.

OK, so anonymous doesn't like the Town Comptroller. That is his or her choice much as I don't like the new Francis Sheehan. But, do I critize anonymous for supporting Sheehan, does anonymous beat up on himself for disliking and expressing his dislike for Kolesar?
Greenburgh is an equal opportunity Town (or City based upon the extensive research of MONEY magazine) for disliking other residents. Advance token to #79.

But surely the Town's Bond Counsel hasn't offended anyone. What you've read is his opinion -- in writing. Perhaps the logical next step is to have him fired because you don't agree with his opinion.
However, since these differences have been around since January, why doesn't anyone who knows, post the language of these grants or the laws per Richard Brodsky and the matter will be settled. All I want to see is some language that says that the grants CANNOT be used to reduce the bonding. If the Town Board weren't moaning about high taxes and silent on the project budget status, then it would be reasonable to supply language that said that the grants could be added to the budget since that was how they voted.

But under the circumstances, I think it is entirely reasonable for these parties to vanquish the enemy and show us something that says the grants cannot be used for the purpose of reducing the bonding. Certainly Mr. Brodsky, who has a staff, would have at his fingertips such material. C'mon Richard, you told us, now show us.

And again either the subtlety or the ignorance of the anonymous poster. Consider: "and may not be used for other purposes, such as the retirement of municipal debt".
Perhaps the rest of that opinion would include "municipal debt created for the project as opposed to any debt". In other words, you can't use grants applied for by the Library to reduce the debt for police vehicles.

You see you think you're reading something useful when all you're reading is misdirection.

And the accusation is that what we're "crabbing" which I assume is cribbing which is our mistake for reading what the Town's Bond Counsel wrote when responding to questions from the Town Comptroller and, that neither of those two professionals are as smart as anonymous. I guess we're wromg for assuming that what the Town Bond Counsel writes is for real and ignoring that he is really kibbitizing and won't be sending the Town a bill for his time.

Better to stay with anonymous, no brains, free advice.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar has accomplished nothing. We are facing a huge tax increase next year. And Samis, you know darn well all Bond Counsel opined on was that it was OK to use the 400K to pay down bond, as far as he knew. The state, which is giving the money, said no.

hal samis said...

Sent to The Scarsdale InquirerI am going to tip you off to a subtlety of grant language with the hope that you "err" on the side of accuracyThe $300,000 of State Grants can be used to reduce intended but yet unfunded debt on the project.Since the remainder of the Greenbugh Library bonds are not yet sold, the grants can be used to reduce the amount that were expected to be sold.However the grants cannot be used to retire existing bonds.As for the $100,000 of Federal grant money, it comes without any restrictions and therefore can be used to reduce new bonding or even to retire existing bonding.The proposed Referendum is not only about reducing taxesThe argument is not that the annual savings to a taxpayer is mind boggling; it is whether the Town Board has followed the law or the advice of their Bond Counsel, instead submitting to the temptation to avoid embarrassment by conveying the grants to the Library budget so as to increase the budget.  And to do this, they have set up a defective apparatus which includes managing the truth.  The result of this is to allow the Town Board to say with a straight face that the project is still on budget.The savings to taxpayers, however small, is still a savings, and even $30,000+ a year serves the taxpayers just as well as eliminating a $30,000+ program elsewhere to reduce taxes.  By choosing to use this annual savings for the benefit of the Library, the Town Board has effectively already made a decision that will affect the 2009 and 2010 and next 20-25 years of annual budgets which will have to exist without $30,000+ now committed to servicing this portion of the debt.This is what I darn well know.

kolesar meddling with library said...

Why is anon at 8:52 attacking Bernstein who, as far as I can tell, has no dog in this referendum fight although, as a taxpayer in Unincorporated Greenburgh, he should.

I'm one of the many many people in town who got a copy of the emails between Kolesar and bond counsel and Kolesar most certainly did take it upon himself to question bond counsel about the wording of a town board resolution he disagreed with. For example, his e-mail to bond counsel on Sunday afternoon, July 20, 2008, entitled, "Board Resolution," does exactly that. I personally find such meddling by a town employee pretty startling.

Also misleading is this crap from Samis and Krauss that Kolesar was merely responding to a FOIL request. Not true. Kolesar sent his e-mails with bond counsel directly to Samis on July 29, 2008 telling him, "I missed this in my first response to your FOIL request." These documents were not screened by Judy Beville, the town records officer. She is merely copied on Kolesar's email to Samis. The town attorney was not copied.

So what we have here is a town employee taking it upon himself to send Samis a series of privileged communications that Kolesar had with counsel. It's also clear that Kolesar unilaterally disclosed these privileged communications to Samis when the town board decided to proceed with the resolution language that Kolesar either didn't like or didn't understand.

Kolesar's actions are malicious and if they result in the library project being delayed, and apparently they will, they are calculated to hurt the taxpayers of Unincorporated Greenburgh. Not bad for a former village official who campaigned for Feiner in the last election on a "villages first" platform.

Samis and Krauss are merely playing a political game with Kolesar at our expense. This is no laughing matter.

Anonymous said...

So now 11:23 let the cat out of the bag. Kolesar is guilty because he is a village resident who campaigned for Feiner (not true, by the way, Kolesar didn't campaign for Feiner, he didn't campaign for either candidate).

So Kolesar, who as a village resident has no stake at all in the library because he lives in a village and complied with the FOIL law as he was required to do, is bad bad bad. But if he lived in unincorporated and thus had a stake in the library he would not be bad if he had complied with the FOIL law as he was required to do.

Now I understand. It is all so clear.

11:23 doesn't deserve a good Comptroller. He should be saddled with the likes of the f-up that we had before. Then everything would be a mess, we would know nothing, but we wouldn't have a village resident in the office. That would solve everything.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar may have some good qualities but sending documents containing his communications with the town's outside counsel directly to a resident for dissemination to the public, because he is unhappy with something the town board is doing, isn't one of them. It shows he's got an agenda of his own and he's not a team player. I don't know whether or not he's acting to screw unincorporated Greenburgh taxpayers or even whether he thinks what he did is good for unincorporated Greenburgh taxpayers. What I do know is that this is no way to run the railroad. If the town board tolerates this kind of behavior from one of its employees, then the town board is as much to blame for the consequences as Kolesar, the library project be damned.

Anonymous said...

What is your proof that this memo was given as a gift to someone.
I think that this comptroller is more than honest as to how he can bring the town back to a good place to live and maybe become number 1 in that famous magazine that placed us in slot 80.
Let Kolesar do his job and later on critisize him if he didn't make a turn arround in the residents favor.

kolesar not doing his job said...

The "proof" is that Kolesar sent the string of e-mails between himself and the town's outside lawyer directly to Samis without first sending them to Judy Beville who presumably would have consulted Tim Lewis, the town attorney, about whether such communications could be disclosed. What Kolesar did was wrong. If he had a problem with what the town was doing, he should have raised it with Lewis and the town board.Instead, because of his selfish acts, Kolesar's putting completion of the library project at risk and taxpayers in Unincorporated Greenburgh are now at risk of having to pay substantially more to get the building completed. Maybe Feiner thinks this is okay, after all, leaking privileged documents is something he got caught doing himself a few years ago. But if Feiner allows Kolesar to get away with this, Feiner will have a lot of explaining to do to us taxpayers come next September.

Anonymous said...

What 5:18 and his ilk are doing (maliciously) is to say that Kolesar sent these documents as a favor to Samis, and that he had bad motives to do so.

What 5:18 and his ilk try to obscure is that Kolesar was required to supply ALL the emails under the FOIL law. His choice was to obey the law or violate it. Fortunately we now have a Comtroller who knows that he has to obey the law.

5:18 and his ilk can name-call as long as he wants. The town benefits from having a strong and law-abiding Comptroller.

hal samis said...

The email regarding the Bond Counsel's opinion that Kolesar sent me directly is exactly the same email that he included in the package sent to the Town Clerk -- with ONE exception.

And that exception is the FORWARDING of the Bond Counsel's opinion to the email addresses of the Town Board members and the Town Attorney. A major breech of Town Security because now terrorists can send email to the Town Board and Town Attorney without going to the Town website and obtaining the contact information.

Why did i request this? And it certainly was covered in my FOIL request through the Town Clerk. Because without such proof, the Town Board could argue that they were unaware of the Bond Counsel's opinion before they voted -- which they ignored anyway.

That the email with the opinion was forwarded to the Town Board and the Town Attorney completed the chain of evidence that the Town Board and the Town Attorney had their own private agenda regarding the passing of the Resolution and it had nothing to do with what was legally proper.

The blog strategy of Mr. Sheehan anonymously here is similar to how Feiner dealt with his then opponent, Suzanne Berger. Ms. Berger, by no means familiar with Greenburgh issues, never had the opportunity to exhibit what positions she may have held because she was kept occupied with defending her relationship with her law firm and its realtionship with the town.

Here, on this blog, Mr. Sheehan and/or his anonymous assigns want to divert attention away from his heavy hand, ignoring the law and proper procedure, Sheehan's Folly and all of the items that make up the litany of his balancing act to hide his involvment in the Library construction disaster. The buck stops with him. So, he has steered the discussion to the Town Comptroller, not about his performance as Comptroller, but for his co-starring role in the great FOIL un-coverup scheme to convey information about the misdeeds on this taxpayer funded construction project.

That's why the anonymous bloggers have concentrated on Kolesar. And the more pressure they can bring to bear on him, the more defensive he might be when dealing with the Town Board on what is his job -- seeing that the 2009 Town Budget is a fair presentation of the facts.

Facts that the Town Board is taking great pains to hide from public view.

not happy with kolesar said...

The documents that Samis is parading around town don't support what he is saying Kolesar did. He didn't merely forward some e-mail addresses as Samis suggests. Kolesar violated the FOIL law because Kolesar took the law into his own hands by producing a series of emails directly to Samis for no reason other than Kolesar's personal anger over the town board choosing not to do what Kolesar wanted them to do. That's the only way to read these e-mails, starting with Kolesar's cover note directly to Samis on top.
This has nothing to do with Sheehan, Feiner or any other board member. But if the library's costs now go up because of what Kolesar did, in maliciously leaking documents to a well-known opponent of the library project, a lot of us residents in Unincorporated Greenburgh will be holding Sheehan, Feiner and the rest of the town board responsible for allowing a rogue employee, which is what Kolesar is, to do this kind of damage. If I recall correctly, Sheehan was a big fan of Kolesar's when he was hired. So was Feiner, who said he couldn't do the budget without him. Well guys, if this ends up costing us money, you're just as responsible for Kolesar's actions in screwing Unincorporated Greenburgh as Kolesar himself.

hal samis said...

Sent this morning

Ed Krauss and Hal Samis (we) have decided to abandon our quest to obtain a Referendum vote for taxpayers regarding the acceptance of $400,000 in grants.

We have secured about half of the required signatures to date and acknowledge that obtaining the balance before next Thursday's deadline will be burdensome although possible. We have also chosen not to pursue legal remedies for technical violations procedural defects such as improper noticing, etc. The realities of obtaining signatures during a summer vacation period accompanied by the recurrence of inclement weather together with the time involved in explaining this resident by resident and not at an assemblage of residents such as may be found at a Town Board meeting -- combined to make the decision to pursue this at this time an unrealistic venture.

Furthermore the actions of Francis Sheehan to cause the Construction Manager to issue an absurd and erroneous email (obediently reported in this paper) warned that a Referendum delay would cause irreparable damage to the project -- $1.7 million worth at this final winding down stage -- added to the burden by its desired intent to add fear and confusion to gullible residents within the limited time period to complete the Petition.

We have decided to not be viewed as roadblocks to the project but instead to let the project go forward without challenge as per the July 22 Town Board vote and instead to wait out the remaining days to the October 1 date when the Town Supervisor advised that "construction" would be substantially complete; thereafter allowing the Library to open for public use in late November. At such time, before then and/or thereafter, we reserve the right to make public comments about the Town Board's efforts to complete the project at this newly suggested completion date and at this newly announced higher project budget. Even while we continue to believe that this new amount will not be the final budget or that the project will resemble the Library promoted prior to the May 2005 Referendum.

However, we believe that we have succeeded in our goal of bringing daylight to the actions of the Town Board in increasing the Library Budget; that they have misrepresented their reasons for doing so and that they did so without what a reasonable man would view as sustainable proof even while ignoring the advice of the own Bond Counsel in their narrow interpretation of what relief the grants could provide to either the project or taxpayers.

We have made the public aware that the Town Board did accomplish this at a Special Town Board Meeting held during the afternoon when it is difficult for working taxpayers to attend and they did so protected by the structure of the meeting , itself, which does not provide for public comment.

Thus, with our decision to forgo our legal rights regarding the matter at hand, we free the Town Board to go foward without interference in performing their responsibilities with regard to completing the Library so that it may be wholly enjoyed by enraptured Greenburgh residents.

And let the future bring what it brings.

Hal Samis
Ed Krauss (by permission)

hal samis said...

To 10:14,

A lie by any other name still smells like manure.

The series of emails that you describe were the emails provided by the Town Comptroller to the Town Clerk in compliance with the requirements of the FOIL laws.

The only beef you have is that the additional email which was sent directly to me and I think the Town Clerk was that the last email in the chain was the previous email (with the forward to the Town Board and Town Attorney) with the additional information being that it had had been overlooked (from my memory) in sending the original package of requested documents.

Later, I shall find the email and post it here.

Have a nice day and try the wormwood special for lunch.

disappointing news said...

hal - i think you are pulling your punches. the truth is that the so called civic associations are running scared of crossing the town board under some misbegotten notion they have to work with them.

shame on them.

Anonymous said...

The civic associations? Are you nuts? What have they got to do with any of this? They generally don't even meet during the summer, and none of them are under any illusions about working with the current crop of town board members, from Feiner on down. It hasn't happened so far. Why would it happen now? If anything, this is about Kolesar trying to hold onto his job.

civic assocations failed town said...

dear anon - i suggest you speak to mr samis. you can find him on the metro north train every morning leaving hartsdale station heading south.

the civic assocations could have easily contacted their members and had them sign the petition en masse. instead they ran scared.

hal has inadvertenly shown them to be paper tigers. no wonder the town board ignores them as you claim.

Anonymous said...

Even if there was only a 10% chance that the referendum would keep the library from opening and result in costly delays, how could civic associations ever ask their members to sign anything like that?

Anonymous said...

The civic associations are a myth. What you have is a handful of people who want things their way and they claim to be speaking on behalf of civic assiciations. Even when they meet, which is rarely, it is these same self-appointed and self-important wannabe legislators who dominate. I have not ever seen a civic association which told its "leader" that he (or she) is wrong.

Anonymous said...

and the bigger myth is ella preiser.

hey ella - has francis ever explained to you why he voted to appeal the bernstein decision?

Anonymous said...

To 2:08. Maybe Francis voted to appeal because it was the right thing to do. The appeals court has shown that the earlier decision was wrong. For people like you, who don't care if a wrong has been done as long as you profit from it, doing the right thing is foolish. Not for those of us who think that it is an official's duty to do the right thing. I'm sure that you would not have objected if Bernstein had lost and he appealed.

miss the point said...

you miss the point - when sheehanigans voted to appeal he told ella preiser he would explain his vote at a later date.

seemingly he never did.

now, why did diana juettner vote to appeal and thus reduce her own taxes as the lower court held that all town taxpayers including villagers had to pay for taxter.
juettner should have abstained.
so unincorporated, unless the case is reversed by the court of appeals, juettner voted to increase your taxes while reducing hers.

thanks to the feiner blog, and televised work sessions, juettner has been exposed as a true do nothing and disaster for the entire town.

hal samis said...

Sent to the Town Board et al

It has come to my attention (and that of the Library Director of the Greenburgh Library) that the Greenburgh Library Foundation has not filed its 2007 tax returns nor is there any record of an extension being filed either.

With that in mind, it is possible that the Foundation may no longer be eligible for 501c3 status with regard to giving its blessing to tax deductable contributions for the Library while, any gifts already tendered may have been solicited under false pretenses.

Until this matter is cleared up, I recommend that the Town no longer make meeting space available to them on Town owned property and that the Library remove the foundation's web-link and all references to the Foundation from the Library website. Futhermore, it may be "good business" for Greenburgh Library employees and members of the Library Board of Trustees to sever their associations should further irregularities emerge.

Failure to file tax returns is a serious crime and the Town should not want to be seen as providing safe harbor for those not in compliance with any laws, federal, state or local.

Now it is becomes clearer why they seek to remove themselves from the openess responsibility of a "public body" and therefore allowed to hide such "oversights" from witnesses.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Samis is back and guess what? The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Again! Again! He claims the library foundation hasn't filed its tax return for 2007 yet! And it didn't even ask for an extension! OMG!! Of course, Samis once again has his facts wrong. The library foundation may have its problems, but filing its taxes isn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

How does smart-ass know?

At least Samis gets his facts straight.

hal samis said...

Dear 5:43 of OMG fumes,Hie thee hither to the Office of the NYS Attorney General.  501c3s are required to file with the AG.The Foundation has not filed for 2007.Even their "business address", now that of the Greenburgh Public Library, does not have a return.  Hold it right there, the Library does have a copy of 2006 which is also available elsewhere online (note that Timmy Weinberg gets 2% of what she raises) so your notion that the Library would not have one is wrong.  Non-profits must have certain documents available for inspection at their reported place of business -- even those that claim they are unaffiliated with other "public bodies".This IS one of the Foundation's problems.  In fact, if my attempt to attend their meeting at the multipurpose center warranted four police units, I would call their failure to file easily the justification for the Police to send a dozen units.And if you were outside, you would indeed recognize that either the sky is falling or god is pissing on Greenburgh.But, you clever insider, care to share with us outsiders what those other Foundation problems are?

ed krauss said...

To Helen "anonymos" Keller (HaK, fr short) on 8/13 6:58:There aren't enuf lasers on earth to give off enuf light to make you see.

It's not the $1.22, it's the arrogance of passing fraudulent resolutions. And, yes, I have pointed out their lies when and wherever I can. The latest is "the library project is 'on,on budget'"and you bought the Brooklyn Bridge from them for a basemen price.

Oh yes, I do have a Greenburgh library card and can prove it. You on the other hand can't lest you forego your anonymity. That is the "lock of the century."

11:23, it is a laughing matter. When jokes like you anoint a public document as "privileged information,"your blogging keybord should be silenced for "X" number of weeks. And, when you group Kolesar with me and Hal, without a stitch of evidence, you and those who "think" like you, are the joke...a sick joke.

8:49. consult Tim Lewis about the law? You mean the guy who sat silently by asthe town Bored passed a resolution full of lies, which Lewi knew were lies. Nah, I wouldn' depend on him on that kind of judgment.