Monday, September 01, 2008

BLOG DESIGN MODIFICATION - INPUT APPRECIATED

Sometime this week, I'll be making a few aesthetic improvements to the blog to improve usability and encourage an easier method of posting comments. I have noticed that several posts have fallen into a state of disarray due to spam/advertising comments, and this will hopefully be remedied in the near future to allow for clearer discussion of the topics at hand. It should be prepared and implemented by this Friday. Any suggestions should be posted in the comments section, and I will see if they are feasible to implement. Your input is appreciated!

-Marc Herman
Binghamton University Student

50 comments:

thx klondike said...

smile - this is juettner's last labor day while on the town board.

thx klondike!

Anonymous said...

perhaps a general weekly feedback/questions section for topics not posted but of concern to taxpayers

Anonymous said...

Roper for TDYCC Commissioner

Anonymous said...

why not add some instant polls

hal samis said...

I too lament the absence of the all-purpose weekly "Democracy in Greenburgh".

I like the idea of some form of polls but caution the usefulness of such an effort which presumably would allow anonymous voting.

Assuming that I am at least 100,000of the 200,000 hits, I hope that there are more than just a few other writers in the other 100,000 using this blog for venting steam and learning other points of view.

Still, this blog (say, under the Democracy heading) and the Town website would be a good location to recap the scheduled board and agency meetings for the coming week, with perhaps comments or alerts as to significant Agenda items at these meetings. It would be a good venue for the Supervisor to notice and alternatively "testify" without appearance re the Town government's position on important issues. Currently, the Town website lists future meetings lumpted together on a monthly basis (some with, some without Agendas) but the Town website HOMEPAGe does not highlight what is happening that week.

Would it be possible to add the bold, italics and underscore without the html tags?

The original posts provided by Supervisor Feiner should be introductory as they generally are. However, from time to time, they become a soap box for, not the Supervisor, but for the cause itself or the "letter writer" or the cause advocate. The result is that the introductions become lengthy (ok, I am the pot calling the kettle) but we do not, for all their length, get Mr. Feiner's POV. As it his blog, readers would very much like to know his "take" on matters that he considers important enough to introduce as topics. Given that it is his blog and he is free to do with it what he wants, I would not presume otherwise to dictate my wishes; however this posting by Mark provides some "rope" to urge what other bloggers have written repeatedly: that the Supervisor should be more involved in his blog by responding. Although this blog does provide him with feedback and information, his opinions and position as host are the missing ingredients to dialogue or "trialogue" (Supervisor, public pro, public con).

On purely technical matters, the right margin often leaves unwarranted spaces causing the following line to unnecessarily indent or merge with the last word of the line above. What you see in not what you publish. I'm not sure whether the first comment on a post still gets printed over the topic. And for first time bloggers, the "choose an identity" seems needlessly complex. I assume that the only options needed here are just "name" and "anonymous" although the hosting mechanism may not allow deviations.

In summary, what this blog needs is more Feiner and "signed" posts from the Town Council. It is very odd for this blog to exist as long as it has and not to be used as an avenue of communication by the Town Board members.

Who knows? Perhaps it is just "stage fright" that discourages Diana Juettner and Kevin Morgan from speaking in public. Maybe the blogger's "pen" would be a way to overcome their fear of public speaking.

hal samis said...

This comment is directed to the Supervisor as well.

This is not design but your utilization of the topics.

Too often, you introduce a second or even a third round of discussion on the same matter as covered in previous topics.

Not unlike this comment being added after the fact when it should have been included in my just published previous post.

The result of these multiple topics is that it moves newer (or divides) comments from one chain of responses to begin anew or repeated under the newest gneration. See the TZ bridge topics as the current offenders.

There would be nothing wrong for the host (Feiner) to offer new information on the same topic as a blogger making a comment -- and doing so within the structure of the existing topic.

On the other hand, if it is so important that it needs immediate recognition and awareness, perhaps there is an alternative way to doing so without creating a new topic on the same matter.

And this is where Mark should step in and perform his magic.

Can a new headline from the host (the Supervisor) be added to an existing topic on its home page?
And, if so, perhaps even a way of setting it off from the older headline so that the new "hot off the presses" information can stand out from the already existing?

Thus, this would consolidate all the postings under one topic and accommodate whatever needs the Supervisor has to introduce "new" information in a way so that it will be noticed by all interested parties.

Creating a new post just for new information (within a narrow time window) dsicourages comment rather than elicits.

juettner on the blog? said...

hal - do you really think juettner could add anything to the blogosphere?

she may play a mean pinball, but thats probably it.

palin and greenburgh said...

i notice any stories about sarah palin are getting hundreds of comments?

hal - any of those yours?

thought of the day said...

"I can't expect to live in a democracy if I'm not prepared to do the work of being a citizen."


why not have posts like this and let people riff their thoughts or comments.

greenburgh haiku said...

taxing ridge
a tree falls
someone could die

or

no parking
A budget B Budget
Samis blogs

hal samis said...

taxing ridge
a tree falls
who would know

no parking
a budget b budget
anonymous nays

blog america said...

mccain mcsame
palin pain
obama

Marc Herman said...

I'd just like to remind everyone commenting that this post is strictly for suggestions related to the blog; the other topics are suitable for political discourse on their related issues. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

FEINER IS GOD

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the Comptroller does all the work and the Deputy does nothing? Paul please look into this.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the Comptroller does all the work and the Deputy does nothing? Paul please look into this.

Anonymous said...

How id the budget going to get done with the Comptroller working and the Deputy always taking off.
The Comptroller needs help.

Anonymous said...

The Comptroller is the best. He does it all. His department can't function without him. He is the reason things get done.Paul you should have hired him sooner.

its true said...

is it true juettner has done nothing of consequence for 20 years?
yes,its treu (apologies to the beatles)

god said...

no he is not.

Anonymous said...

The comptroller's office was lost and along came Mr.Comptroller. A man on a mission. A man of greatness and stardom. Without him the Comptroller office is lost. He is the reason why everything is running perfect. He is a true Champion. Paul it's me Mike.

hal samis said...

Dear Marc:

Fair is fair.
Can the Town Comptroller use the Town's elist to sing his self praise just like Mr. Sheehan does?

If not, then perhaps you can find some room for the Comptroller on this blog.

And, where else on this blog do you see the appropriate "relasted issues"?

Anonymous said...

I think it's weird that the Supervisor doesn't participate in his own blog.

feiner's vice said...

he is probably reading the daily kos blog for the latest updates on the palin mattter and wondering - maybe he should switch political parties?

greenburgh is alot bigger than wassila.

Anonymous said...

Samis you're getting on my nerves.
Why are you starting up with someone that is trying to do his job as comptroller.
Why don't you try going after the assessor who is shying away from her obligations to the residents of this towm.
This comptroller came into a mess.
Do you expect him to work miracles overnite.
Both of you are on the same wave length to try to save taxpayers some loot.
You both could be helpful to each other if you give him the courtesy.

hal samis said...

Stupid is as stupid writes.
In this case stupid is anonymous at 8:04.

Perhaps with the opening of the expanded Library, you can get some help in mastering reading comprehension.

Because without help, the above paragraph will be more of "I am getting on your nerves" and seen as supporting the Library's waste of taxpayer dollars.

Anonymous said...

Samis you and Kolesar have the same agenda to bring to the publics attention how and why the money was spent.
You were here voicing your opinions way before Kolesar came into the picture.
Kolesar has voiced his findings at every work session,but I do think that a few members on the town board do not like the results.
Their attitude seems to be let sleeping dogs sleep..
HAL YOU HAVE BEEN RIGHT IN SO MANY OF YOUR INVESTIGATIONS GIVE OUR COMPTROLLER A CHANCE TO PROVE WHAT YOU HAVE STATED RIGHT ALONG TO BE RIGHT.
Stop with the bad talk you know and we all know that Greenburgh is all ---- up.
It will be a miracle if things could get straightened out by the end of this year.
We need a budget in place but there is no way in hell that this could happen to satisfy all the board ,department heads,and above all the residents.
We are looking at a twenty or better percent tax hike for the next few years.
You stated this some time ago but the comptroller cannot undo what has been done in the past the coverup of funds.
You are a knowledgable person who should give this comptroller a chance to solve the misteries of previous book keeping.
.

hal samis said...

How come you still don't get it?

I am, have always been, 1000% in favor of what Mike Kolesar brings to the table.

I even like to think that I was instrumental in seeing him hired.

Greenburgh, before Mike, operated like "The Wing and a Prayer Airline".

Now that the Town has almost run out of gas (Fund Balance) and we are running the planes on fumes, we face buying fuel in the open market and the volatility in oil pricing will result in steep tax increases for both 2009 and 2010.

What Kolesar can do (he works on the budget, not creates or votes for it) is provide the Town with systems and means of accountability.

Unfortunately members of the Town Board resent being made fools of by an outspoken and fearless Department head. This takes some getting used to as the 20 year running script calls for acquiescence and no rocking the boat.

Mr. Sheehan who is positioning himself as "indispensable" is particularly miffed when his take on matters is no longer viewed as the operative system.

Mr. Feiner has a choice: either get the house in order now and move on or fight a delaying action. Given the state of the national economy, I would think that this is a terrific opportunity to unlock all the doors and let the bad news out -- while the villains (gas prices, sub-prime fallout, etc.) are available to take the blame.

To go forward, a Comptroller like Kolesar is needed. The risk is that the old boy network of the other Department heads will be exposed for their lack of skills and accountability. Such a circumstance clearly creates a lot of anonymous anomosity on the blog and within Town Hall but it should come as no surprise that I have no love for these Departments: DPW, Town Attorney, Planning and the Assessor. A year ago I included the Comptroller. So, some progress has been made.

The problem at Town Hall lies "not with our stars" but that before Kolesar, no one actually knew how many employees were needed to screw in a dim light bulb.

What Mike seeks to provide is put in efficient light bulbs and stop screwing taxpayers.

Give him a break and some time to apply his skill set.

Isn't it refreshing to have someone who can answer: 1 + 1 = 2, not, what do you want it to be?

Anonymous said...

Right on Samis.
I knew you would come to the defense of Kolesar.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar needs no defense. He is not only the best Comptroller we have had, but is the first Comptroller in many years who is actually qualified to be Comptroller. If Samis had anything to do with Kolesar being hired then we should all thank Samis.

Let's not play the old us versus them game here. It is going to take real digging and truth-telling to get us out of this fiscal and management mess that we are in. Kolesar can do a lot. but we need more honest and professional folk who are not focused on their reelection.

Anonymous said...

The Town has had competent comptrollers, but Feiner refused to give them information. Kolesar is a Feiner appointee who has publicly written supporting Villagers use of Veterans park without being taxed for such. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar for Supervisor. Feiner is done. Hail Kolesar "The King of Greenburgh" Feiner will be his servant.

two that must go said...

greenburgh will be done unless we get rid of juettner and sheehan.

these two brought us the ramp to nowhere at the new ski slope ... library.

ed krauss said...

To 9/3 9:08 PM
Whoever you are, you are obviously affraid of Mike Kolesar exposing all the untoward policies which our administration- from top to bottom-has perpetuated and perpetrated on the taxpayers, and non-taxpayers of Greenburgh lo these, nearly two decades.

By chance, are you ONE of the perps?

Probably, else why would you not praise him for his professionalism-whether it's an A budget or B budget issue? Why not look at what he brings to the table, compared to the absence of programs and systems offered by previous comptrollers? Has he shown ANY favoritism toward the villages vis-a-vis the unincorporated? That's a rhetorical question, because the answer is a resounding NO! NO! NO!

This town is in for double digit tax increases for the forseeable future if things don't change( spelled PEOPLE) Mike will help us to locate the "iceburgs" in our path, unlike ANY other comptroller in my more than three decades living in this town, and ways to deal with them.

So, it is in all of our best interest to praise Kolesar, and not to- in weasel-like fashion-trash him.

9:08 PM, if you're so interested in captious research, give us your findings re our "policy decision makers," and let's see where they stack up.

Finger pointing is easy, anyone can criticize. Solving problems is quantumly more difficult.

I wonder which description fits you best?

central ave modification said...

regarding that hideous 9/11 wall on central avenue.

the candidate who says tear this eyesore down should be elected.

guess who wont say it - sheehan.

Anonymous said...

Ed, you have always supported Ardsley Village residents being able to join Veterans, without paying TOV taxes, which support it. So does Kolesar. I dont. If he wants to influence policy decisions, he should run for office, not be comptroller.

Anonymous said...

The Comptroller is doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar has not demonstrated that he's any better a manager than his predecessprs were, he's just better at preparing lists and pointing fingers.
Wasn't Kolesar heralded as the Town's savior and leader to the single digit tax rate promised land?Wasn't he supposed to "model" our way out of this quagmire that the previous comptrollers' expressed and implied incompentence got us into? Aside from some sketchy model presentations that anyone with excel 101 skills could construct, what has Kolesar contributed to the organization from an organizational standpoint? What has he done personally to improve the productivity or efficiency of the organization? Oh, that's right. He needs "resources" (a.k.a. other people) to do that for him; the other people the previous comptrollers didn't have available to them to do the job as "competently" as he could if he only had those additional resources. Suck it up Kolesar. It doesn't get any better than this. If you're going to prove that you are better than your predecessors, you're going to have to do it with the same resources that your predecessors had. I think they call that a level playing field.

I wiil say though, that the most significant contribution that Kolessar has made to the town (residents) is the greater access that they have to the comptroller's office and the information that flows freely from it (directly to his benefactors and supporters, Samis, Kraus and Renninger, to name a few). So, it's no wonder that his three greatest fans are falling all over themselves, heaping endless praise and admiration upon the man that Samis has claimed "was instrumental in seeing him hired". It's almost as exciting as having inside information on a publicly traded stock, isn't it Hal? And Bob, you don't seem to have a problem with your wife feeding from the same trough that you allege the rest of the Town's incompetent employees are feeding from do you? Does the public know that you were also instrumental in getting Kolesar his job by way of your position on the citizens' committee for selection of the next town comptroller? And now she has a job in the comptroller's department. Why not take advantage of the town's bloated salary and benefits while you can, just like the rest of the town's employees do, right?

So Kolesar, that makes three out of thousands of residents that are thrilled with your "accomplishments" to date. By the way, what were they again? Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot. No resources available to accomplish anything.

Anonymous said...

People like Anonymous 9:27 P.M. deserve to have incompetents like Jim Heslop as Comptroller, and see large errors, failure to record things properly (like the Westhelp money) and kiss the butts of the Towm Council members instead of opening up and trying to correct the mess.

But the rest of us deserve better, and Kolesar is giving us better in spite of the fact that some members of the Town Council (especially Sheehan) are stepping on him and trying to shut him up.

We now know just how big a mess we have. Kolesar can't solve it by himself, and yet he has done very much already. Comptroller is not a policy position. But Kolesar presents the truth. There is so much that has to be done to unravel the mess that he can't do it alone, and he is getting no help from the Town Board. Maybe because they are afraid of what will come out.

We need honest and capable people like Kolesar to head up every department, and then we can start getting a handle on thingss and fixing them. But it won't happen. There is to much of a need by the Town Board to cover up so they can be reelected.

Anonymous said...

Right on.......
Kolesar keep on looking and proving that the previous comptrollers Jim and Nora were good coveruppers for their friends,
{certain department heads}
The truth is coming out slowly but surely.
You are doing an excellent job.
Some people want answers yesterday but where were they when all the coverups took place.

Anonymous said...

These Kolesar defenders are all full of blather. What exactly has the man accomplished? Have the town's financial statements been submitted to the town auditor yet?

Anonymous said...

The town auditors have been a fixture here for too long.
The comptroller has sumitted his requests at many work sessions but remember the call rest on the supervisor and the board to follow through.
Yes Kolesar found an awful lot of problems which he has presented to the entire board over and over again but have they acted on his findings. I do not think so.

Anonymous said...

i see Mike Kolesar's friend are supporting him on this blog they don't know how things get done around the town do they

ed krauss said...

Eliminate all Anonymous postings.

Match all postings to the email address from which the posting comes.

The quntity will shrink, the quality and believability will be better.

If print media require identification and still survive, so too will this blog.

If it doesn't, maybe it is because racists, false rumor mongers, cowards, back stabbers, character assassins and the like can no longer hide. So like a true mental and moral midget, they fade away.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ed. I guess your comments would include your buddy Kolesar as well because I'm sure he posts anonymously on this blog as well.

Anonymous said...

I dont know if Kolesar is any better than previous comptrollers, but for those like Ed that think he is, what does it matter. Nada. We will see anohter disastrous budget. Paul doesnt care.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar for Supervisor...........

Anonymous said...

Kolesar for Supervisor. Yes we need a real man to head Greenburgh not a little boy.............

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