Thursday, October 30, 2008

2009 BUDGET RELEASED

October 30, 2008
TAX HIKE IN “B” BUDGET WILL BE 7.7% Total appropriations: $61,767,273
TAX HIKE IN “A” BUDGET 9.6% Total appropriations: $14,791, 264

Dear Citizens of Greenburgh:
Earlier this year the Town’s bond rating was increased by Standard & Poors to AAA, the highest possible bond rating a municipality can receive. Few municipalities have this top bond rating. We also were recognized by Money Magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the America” – one of only four municipalities in New York State to earn this prestigious distinction in 2008.
During the good economic times your Greenburgh government responded to your demands for many outstanding, high quality services. Greenburgh residents have enjoyed superior programs, incredible services and responsive employees who work hard to make you happy.
The world, nation, state, county, private sectors and local governments are now all experiencing hard economic times. In response, we have to make financially responsible adjustments to the Town’s budget. The Greenburgh Town Board has been unified in working to address expected shortfalls in revenue, offset inflation and minimize the impact of the world-wide economic crisis. Together we have identified effective ways to cut expenditures and increase revenues while minimizing the impact on Greenburgh residents. This has been all the more difficult because we have little or no control over many revenue and expense items. Our health insurance costs will increase by an estimated $1 million in 2009 over 2008. We expect to ask all employees to contribute to health costs when we renegotiate our labor contracts. In addition, the New York Power Authority has advised us that utility costs will increase by over 34%. Revenue drops include a decrease in New York State financial assistance. Interest income has also fallen as rates have dropped to about 2%, down from 5%. Compounding this, our mortgage tax revenue has dropped approximately $600,000 to $700,000. Unfortunately, the list is very long.
Nine months ago I recruited a diverse and talented committee of Town residents to help address the 2009 budget. This Citizens Management and Budget Review Committee was created for the purpose of examining ways and making recommendations on how to hold any increase in the Town’s real estate tax to single digits for fiscal 2009. The Committee has been meeting regularly since February, 2008 and submitted a 2009 proposed budget report to the Town Board on April 28, 2008 – projecting a 2009 tax hike of at least 17%, while the Town Comptroller predicted a tax hike in 2009 of over 20%. The Committee insisted that we make deep cuts to address this unacceptable tax increase.
The proposed budget that I am submitting achieves the goal we announced last year to hold 2009 tax increases in unincorporated Greenburgh to under 10%. We have succeeded. The unincorporated tax increase is 7.7%. The villages will also be kept under 10% with an increase of 9.6%.
The Town provides many services to unincorporated Greenburgh. We do not have a large “A” budget (serving unincorporated Greenburgh and the villages) so the dollar amount is very small. To keep the tax hike in the A budget under 10%, I will be asking the Town Board to un-designate some funds that had been allocated to future court house expansion. Because of the economic conditions, I believe it is unwise for the Town to undertake a major courthouse expansion at this time. Delaying this capital expenditure is important in this time of belt tightening for all. We have turned the 2009 budget challenge into an opportunity to remake the way the Town does business. The new proposed budget reduces the size of government.
The Town has to live within its means and that of our taxpayers. I recognize that many people will be unhappy with some of the service cuts. These are hard choices. However, we must be responsible and prepared for what many believe will be a deep and prolonged recession. The 2009 budget significantly reduces spending without cutting the heart out of Greenburgh services.
RESTRUCTURING GOVERNMENT - COMBINING MAINTENANCE STAFF, ELIMINATING NEED FOR NEW LIBRARY MAINTENANCE HIRES - The proposed budget restructures the way the Town is operating. In the past the Theodore D. Young Community Center (TDYCC) and Town have had separate maintenance departments. In the 2009 budget all maintenance will be under one department, Public Works. This restructuring will eliminate the need to hire new maintenance staff for the Library (which had been requested). We will now be able to secure more productivity from the existing workforce. Another area for consolidation that will be pursued in 2009 is merging the transportation departments of the TDYCC and Parks Department. We are also reviewing the possibility of privatizing part of our payroll operation – replacing a payroll position with a private payroll company. The Town Board will be meeting to evaluate such companies at the end of November.
CONFERENCE EXPENSES - I have directed the Purchasing Department not to process any requests for transportation, meals or hotel reimbursement for any conferences in 2009 other than contractual travel requirements (for example, police officer training).
PART-TIME - The Town has a number of part-time employees working at the Parks Department and TDYCC. Some are receiving high hourly wages. I believe that we could reduce some of the part-time costs by soliciting bids from contractors to provide specific programs and services. We want to make sure that the hourly fees we pay are in line with what other municipalities, community centers and YM/YWCAs, pay for their programs. We will give this serious attention in 2009.
ENERGY COSTS - Our energy conservation coordinator will be devoting significant time and effort to help the Town develop a plan of action to reduce our internal energy usage and the prices we pay. Last year the Town Board hired a firm to complete a comprehensive plan, which calls for an evaluation of Town operational facilities. The consulting team chosen will visit and provide a preliminary overall condition assessment of the Town facilities, as well as the police station and the fire stations, judging each building’s general condition using a standard ratings system. Necessary improvements will be ranked according to their urgency (immediate, 2 years, 5 years, etc.).
In particular, the Consultant team will identify improvements that could reduce each building’s energy consumption and overall environmental “footprint”. The primary focus will be on reducing electrical and fossil fuel consumption and increasing comfort and indoor air quality through air sealing, insulation, window and door glass, mechanical equipment (HVAC, plumbing and electrical) and lighting fixtures.
The consulting team will also suggest “green” retrofit strategies that would be appropriate for those buildings, such as “green” roofs, geothermal heating and cooling, solar water heating, photovoltaic electrical generation, porous paving, site storm water management, etc. Consideration will also be given to recommending green building guidelines for incorporation into relevant Town codes and ordinances.
OUR GOAL: a 10% reduction in Town utility consumption in 2009 in municipal properties and facilities.
SANITATION - We will be eliminating non curb-side pickup of garbage, saving the taxpayers approximately $300,000 and $400,000 in salaries and benefits per year with the elimination of five positions.
PARKS and RECREATION - This department will reduce expenditures by approximately 7% or more in the B fund, totaling approximately $300,000 or more (not including benefits savings). To achieve this reduction, the department is eliminating three full-time positions, cutting back on part-time/seasonal personnel, curtailing pool and tennis hours and reducing or eliminating some special events and programs. Co-sponsored programs for summer youth baseball and softball will continue, but will no longer receive Town funding support.
In 2009 the summer outdoor swim season at Anthony F. Veteran Park will be reduced by three days (Sunday May 24th (Memorial Day Opening Weekend), and the last weekend of the season after Labor Day – September 12th and 13th) to a total of 87 days. Hours of operation at AFV Park will be reduced in June and late August during weekdays only. Massaro Park will be reduced by six days to a 77 day season. The swim season at Massaro Park will be from June 14th – Sept 7th with reduced hours.
The following activities/events will be cancelled: Massaro Park Adult Summer Basketball League, Movie in the Parks, the Celebrate Greenburgh drive-in movie, Breakfast With Santa and the Adult Open Gym program (the program will now charge a fee). In addition, special events hosted or sponsored by the department will be scaled back.
TOWN ATTORNEY - The Town Attorney's Office proposed 2009 budget is approximately $1 million. This reflects a spending reduction of approximately $200,000, a 14%-15% decrease from 2008. The Town Attorney’s Office will accomplish this spending decrease by eliminating a Deputy Town Attorney position, reducing Litigation Disbursement expenses, and by eliminating the $65,553 Town Attorney’s Confidential Secretary position, instead allocating roughly half that amount for part-time general secretarial services. Significantly, the 2009 proposed personnel salaries reflect no increases over 2008. Note also that Litigation Disbursement expenses are generally incurred when the Town is a plaintiff in litigation or when the Town is a defendant and there is no insurance coverage.
TOWN ASSESSOR - The Assessor’s proposed 2009 budget represents an approximate 7% decrease from the previous year.
POLICE DEPARTMENT – The 2009 proposed budget reduces the number of police officer positions by approximately six. Overtime will be reduced as well.
DATA PROCESSING - For 2009, the Data Processing Department’s proposed budget has been decreased by approximately $20,000, or 4%-5% from 2008. The Data Processing Department will accomplish this decrease by reducing the use of consultants and decreasing hardware purchases.
PLANNING DEPT - The 2009 proposed Planning Department budget eliminates the Deputy Commissioner position and cuts overall expenses by approximately 13%. The department is planning to institute new fees and cost recovery measures on applications to help generate additional revenues.
TAX OFFICE - The proposed 2009 Tax Office budget eliminates conference and seminar expenses and reduces part-time hours during non-collection months. The overall budget has been reduced by about 3%.
THEODORE D. YOUNG COMMUNITY CENTER - The proposed 2009 Theodore D. Young Community Center budget, like the Parks Department, reflects reductions of approximately 7% or more compared to 2008. Under new management, a total departmental review of all components of the operation is already in progress. The Center will increase fees and secure program and activity sponsors to defray costs such as summer camp trips. The Center will also pursue creating entrepreneurial initiatives that will provide monetary benefits to the Town.
5% REDUCTION IN TOWN FUNDING FOR LIBRARY - The new Library will receive a 5% funding cut. I do not anticipate major cuts in services to the library.
I believe that in 2009 the Library must use all means necessary to raise private dollars so they can maintain services to the town. For example, we should be allowed to name Library rooms for generous benefactors. We should also consider renting space at the Library to offset increased costs. We should even accept dignified advertising. I pledge to work hard with the Library Board and Library Foundation on library grant outreach efforts.
BUILDING DEPARTMENT - In 2009, the Building Department’s proposed budget contains little to no increase in spending.
GREENBURGH NATURE CENTER - In 2008, the Greenburgh Nature Center (GNC) received 32% of its operating budget from the Town. To compensate for a proposed budget cut from the Town and additional expected cuts in state funding, the GNC will reduce cleaning services from an outside contractor, reduce expenditures to operate its gift shop, reduce animal collection costs, increase the number of staff members writing foundation grants and further increase organizational emphasis on developing financial support from the private sector.
I am very pleased that the anticipated double digit tax hikes will be avoided next year. I also believe that the Town should look at these cuts and reorganization as just the beginning. We have to reinvent the way government is run. Residents of Westchester pay the highest taxes in the nation. We must end that distinction. In the coming year I will work aggressively with members of the Town Board to find additional ways to cut spending and to manage the Town in the most efficient manner possible.
This year the entire Town Board worked with me in helping to prepare the 2009 proposed budget. As I did, they insisted on getting tax increases below 10%. Members of the Board met with department heads on a weekly basis, going over the budget line by line. The entire Board, Sonja Brown, Diana Juettner, Francis Sheehan and Kevin Morgan, also made house calls with me during the summer months – asking residents for their input on spending, taxes, services, etc. I am very grateful to them all for their hard work and dedication. They have spent many weekend and weeknight hours on Town business, which is way beyond the call of duty.
This proposed budget should be considered a work in progress. The Town Board will start reviewing this proposed budget immediately. We will continue to call in department heads and look for ways to make the budget better. The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed budget. Modifications may be made until the middle of December.
We look forward to your input and advice.
Sincerely,


Paul Feiner
Town of Greenburgh Supervisor

Note: Last minute changes were made in this year’s budget to make the tax increase as low as possible. The approximations used in this budget message will be updated by the Comptroller.

159 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great Job Kolesar!!!!!!!!!

feiner's forked tongue said...

The devil here is in the details. How many million of dollars is being drawn down from the fund balance? Is the drawdown in violation of the town's fund balance policy? Isn't the persistent drawdown of the fund balance, so as to conceal the true cost of town government, precisely how the town got itself into trouble in the first place? If the drawdowns of the fund balance is what caused this year's 21% tax hike, what's to prevent another double digit hike next year, after the Democratic primary is over?

What assurance is there that this 7.7% hike is not just another election year gimmick?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kolesar for making this present board understand what was in store for the residents if changes were not made.
Yes you all worked very hard to achieve this percentage.
Kolesar was very persistant with his explanations even if someone on the board shouted him down.
Thanks to the whole board and the comptroller.
One can see that with all the shouting and fighting working together was very rewarding.

Anonymous said...

THEODORE D. YOUNG COMMUNITY CENTER - The proposed 2009 Theodore D. Young Community Center budget, like the Parks Department, reflects reductions of approximately 7% or more compared to 2008. Under new management, a total departmental review of all components of the operation is already in progress. The Center will increase fees and secure program and activity sponsors to defray costs such as summer camp trips. The Center will also pursue creating entrepreneurial initiatives that will provide monetary benefits to the Town.

BLINK BLINK
What or who has been cut? "proposed"? 7% compared to 2008's extra large budget. Wasn't the 2008 budget substantially higher than years past?
What programs have been cut?

Anonymous said...

Paul. This was an amazing result. Congratulations to you and your team.

Anonymous said...

5:51 PM
Are you the same guy who suggested this summer that the tax hike would be enormous? Face it. Feiner, Kolesar, the Board is making real cuts.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a job done well

Anonymous said...

Good news. Thanks, Paul. Thanks, Mike.

Anonymous said...

A good budget draft.Glad everyone is working together for the good of the town. I am relieved that there is no 20% tax hike.

Anonymous said...

Isnt there a requirment to release a budget to the public, not just a press release??

Anonymous said...

The 2009 budget released statement from Mike Kolesar and Paul Feiner is very good news, indeed. We were fearful of a large tax hike. I feel relieved that the town is listening to the call for downsizing, restructuring. Very good news.

Anonymous said...

From an incredibly bloated budget they made some cuts. Big deal.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Not good enough.

Anonymous said...

The Center will increase fees and secure program and activity sponsors to defray costs such as summer camp trips. The Center will also pursue creating entrepreneurial initiatives that will provide monetary benefits to the Town.

Defray costs of summer camp trips?

What programs have been cut at the TDYCC? Why haven't the hours of operation been reduced? What positions have been eliminated?

What's going on here?

Anonymous said...

Will we also seek restitution of amounts paid to no-show workers?

produce the numbers please said...

6:36 pm

The person who suggested this summer that next year's tax hike would be enormous was Feiner. Until we see the numbers, it's impossible to know whether the budget cuts are meaningful or just window dressing. What's disturbing, among other things, is this reference to the "fund balance" being used to reduce taxes. What would have been the real cost of town government without drawing down the rainy day fund?

I'm with the blogger who wants to see the numbers. I would hope this isn't a phony tax hike number designed to curry favor with us in an upcoming election year, yet I fear that that's exactly what this may be. Produce the numbers please.

STO THE FOOLISHNESS said...

REDUCE THE TAX INCREASE ENTIRELY SELL THE LIBRARY. OR RENT THE ROOF TO SKIERS

Anonymous said...

I am very happy that taxes are not increasing by the amount that some predicted this summer. Come on guys and gals -- when something happens that is good in this town, just acknowledge it.
Don't be a sore loser.

Anonymous said...

Good move, stopping the unnecessary court house renovation. We can't afford another public works project. A court house would have cost 40 million or more. Not on my dime.
Seems like a good budget.

Anonymous said...

I agree with deferring court house. Lets first cut heads in police, get more out on the street, less at desks, then we can see how much space we really need.

hal samis said...

Before I address this posting I want to bring this matter to the public's attention. This was learned at the monthly meeting of the Library Board of Trustees, held tonight at the multi-purpose center. Sent to the Town Board et al.

"There is a world of difference between what Mr. Feiner represented on his blog, as the basis for the Library being issued a temporary certificate of occupancy, and what is happening in 80th ranked Greenburgh.

First off, as I already stated elsewhere, the intention of the Library is not to have access for the stated purpose of shelving books but to favor special classes of Greenburgh residents over the general public. These include, but are not limited to, the Greenburgh Library Foundation (already visited) and civic associations.
This is a blatant attempt to curry their partiality and raid their wallets. Since all unincorporated Greenburgh taxpayers are charged for the Library expansion and operation, allowing pre-opening courtesies to a select few somehow strikes me a false note; not the first one being played to an unsuspecting publc.

Secondly, another indication of the need to obtain a TCO is to allow the shelving of books to be performed by Library employees. At tonight's meeting, Mr. Reninger and myself learned that the actual shelving of library materials is work allocated to and contracted with the professional movers. Whereas this may itself require a TCO, my objection is based upon being fed false information; however, I can see no justification in allowing only presumed "friends of the Library" to have an advance look.

Furthermore it is indicative of the continuing closed-minded approach of the Library Trustees to only allow "cheerleaders" onto the premises while excluding critics of the project as well as the general public who might be able to provide useful input while the workers are still onsite. It is not as though the project has led a charmed life and free of costly mistakes or ongoing issues.

The Building Inspector should review the application for the TCO and see whether the use that is being made of this document is that which is covered under its issue. My concern is that a lot of civilians and non-library personnel are being allowed on a construction site and in Kapica format "What if someone were to die" (or be injured) this event would leave the Town vulnerable to legal actions.


Regarding mistakes, at the meeting tonight, Estelle Palevsky (the building committee) in responding to my goading made a slip-up which, following the Trustees' SOP, was allowed to pass without challenge. In public comment at the beginning of the meeting, I spoke about the recently presented $75,000 change order (an increase in cost) and stated that flooring and its installation was a basic element of the construction as noted in the original budget and that any change orders for basics, especially, at this late juncture, might be necessary to reduce project costs, not to increase them. Miss Palevsky said that the change order was a mistake but did not elaborate further; this report was not questioned by her fellow Trustees and of, course, dead-to-the-world Diana Juettner, who voted for the change order last week, did not question what was meant by "mistake". With regard to Juettner, think "what me worry". Is the Town Board continuing to vote for change orders that are mistakes, rightfully the financial responsibility of the contractors, so that faulty work can be hidden while charging its cost to the public, or, worse, are the change orders really false representations standing in for undefined work, performed or not, but still being charged to the project while the truth remain hidden from taxpayers?

When I hear the word "mistake", my ears prick up. However, apparently to those who are charged with protecting the public's money, this becomes the signal for the Library Trustees and the Town Board to shut down. Pavlov apparently wasn't conducting his experiments using watch dogs as subjects."

Maybe the need for the Library operating budget (which continues to shelter the capital costs of the expansion project with a collaborative wink by the Town Board) is a result of the above irregularities. Bringing this to the public's attention under this topic serves as my raison d'etre.
Be assured that I shall be dealing with the 2009 Budget shortly.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a thorough review of the TDYCC budget. Doubt it will ever come.

Anonymous said...

parks and rec can save another 75,000 by sending the assistant to the commissioner back to the center. When will this happen??

Anonymous said...

there is a COMPLETE review of the TDYCC in progress. Heads should roll. As to the unhappy losers who wanted a 20%+ budget acknowledge the board has done a fine job. And by the way they made the needed cuts not mr happy kolesar. He should stick to the job at hand and not try to sabatoge the town.

Anonymous said...

Acknowledge, you are right, that the Town Bd worked together to come up with a half decent budget. The Board did such a good job that these comments about the budget make me bored!

Anonymous said...

Kudos, this is great news

Anonymous said...

Ok Paul you show how each department is scaling back;
Ex. Tax Dept. is scaling back on part-timers hours, reducing conference and seminars.
When we look at your precious Assessor's we just read she has cut back by 7%, what does that mean? Is she cutting back the hours of her part-timers, her much needed conferences, how about the staff members that made the 2 Million Dollar error????
Incredulous!
I guess if us Tax-Payers flitted & switched around Town Hall we could get our taxes reduced!
Parks and Rec. is cutting 3 full-time positions, why not cut all of the deputies and the department head?
Maybe if the board would let Kolesar speak we could find out the real deal.
Hey Samis what is going on?

hal samis said...

OK, even a quick look at Mr. Feiner's introduction yields a wealth of information that explains the miracle on Hillside Avenue. However the actual documentation supporting my challenges will be forthcoming after looking beyond the introdution and dealing instead with the lien by line numbers.

It is good news for taxpayers to learn that they will have to shell out less in taxes than they had assumed was in the cards. The bad news is that there is no escaping the economic principle that there is no free lunch. Taxpayers have a brief moment of breathing room but the bell WILL toll -- perhaps even as late as after the September 2009 Democratic Primary.
And remember that the Town Board has now demonstrated that the adopted budget means diddly-squat. They say they can amend and do so at will. So taxpayers have to confront a budget in which the observance of the numbers presented as line items (presented to give the public the false assurance that a department was actually going to conform to what was on display "for training purposes only" is no longer the end of the deception, now even the total by department, by A or by B can be altered by amendment. What you see; what you discuss; what the Town Board votes in mid December means...nothing. "You put your tax dollars in, they take your tax dollars out, they do the hokey pokey and they turn the budget all around, and that's what it's all about." Short of being charged for tickets to attend the Town Board Public Hearings on the Budget, understand that what you think you see, what you think you heard; none of it matters in the end.

What is missing of course from the Feiner introduction is any show of gratitude to Town Comptroller Kolesar and Assistant Town Comptroller Talamani. Apparently the Town Board arrived at this budget solely by traipsing around neighborhoods and with the assistance of the Citizens Management and Budget Review Committee. Incidentally, this report was only signed by a majority of Committee members and dissenting opinions are in the works. And, again despite the self-praise of some committee freeloaders, the Report itself should be presented as a weekly feature of SNL. Some of the members still like the idea of acquiring open space which should give you an idea of how demented this volunteer effort is.

But lets stroll and scroll and look only at what the Supervisor writes here.

I never thought of this before but perhaps it needs be asked: Does the Town have an AAA rating solely due to its own credit or is it the result of purchasing an enhancement of what used to be in yore referred to as "bond insurance"; something that automatically gave bonds an upgrade. I don't know.

However, Money Magazine interviewed cities, not towns and their inability to distinguish between these two municipal units casts a pallor over their entire methodology. Where would Greenburgh rank in competition with all towns? Which, in turn, is why Mr. Feiner chooses to linger upon "best places to live" rather than what other towns were in the running.

Will residents get over their relief when confronted with the notion that the immediate threat to their wallets has not been vanquished, just gone away on hiatus. Do residents really think that the Town Board is so astute so as to escape the problems that beset the rest of the country. I have no qualms about promising that the actual numbers will expose the trickery that allows the postponement of the bad news from a back-to-back yearly increase basis to a biannual assault. My advice is sell, move now and leave your troubles behind. The hard rain is going to fall.

One thing that Feiner mentions is the idea of postponing the expansion of the Courts which we obviously can't afford to fund the balance now and with this agreed upon, then it follows that the funds already accumlated for this purpose should now be allocated, as he has, to reduce your 2009 taxes. What he doesn't explain is that you were already taxed to collect these funds held on call. Each prior year more money was put aside for the Courts and in each year that included some percentage of that year's tax levy paid by taxpayers was directed to that purpose. This Courthouse money has been appropriated for paying down this year's tax increase and came from taxes that were accumulated over several past years -- not new money printed by the Town and put away. It came from taxpayers pockets, not from Town Board magic. Some day there will arrive the tipping point to no longer delaying the Court expansion and on that day residents will have to deal with and expense starting from scratch. Just like the Library had no money going in; so will the Courts require the total amount bonded and younger residents or their children who want so desperately to remain in Greenburgh will be footing the bill. Courts don't grow on trees. P.S. Just like the Library Trustees warned taxpayers, if we don't do it now, each year that goes by it will cost more. Whereas I agree that "now" is as wrong for the Courts as it was for the Library, both insitutions would have benefitted from building a savings account before building their expansions. But the Town Board actually wants to be applauded for spending your money (your taxes built up the Fund kitty) now to reduce your taxes now. What's the big fuss over that?

Mr. Feiner wants to build up the public profile of his lapmate Allegra Dengler so that he will be able to present her to the public as a potential team member come next spring. Thus he wants the public to believe that she will play an integral role in the Town's saving money and energy but no defined dollars of this savings are presented. Of course the future payoff should be reason enough to justfiy the taxpayer cost of keeping her on ice offstage. But how do we know that as the savings in dollars or energy is never broken out. Remember that you have to spend to save and all the current savers are costly -- be they solar, geothermal or wind. On reflection, I suppose I should be grateful for his returning Juettner along with the empty bottles as the trade-off but I think that a better world is possible without either. In any case, Dengler is not on the Town payroll to be the thinker; she is hired just to be the presenter, the Betty Furness of today, for the work that the Town is paying to private consultants to gather. I'm not cynically inventing this, reread Feiner's introduction and you will see that this has little to do with Dengler but with the studious effort of consultants who haven't yet produced a report, identified the needs, stated the costs and implemented the strategy yet Feiner writes about a 10% reduction in energy use (inferring a cost savings) in 2009. You just gotta love a bullshitter unless you recognize that first there is a constipation phase (2009 budget) followed by unstoppable diarrhea arriving the following years 2010 and beyond. And, of course, my sympathies to those who will be paying for the toilet tissue.

So where is the savings coming from? I think that readers need to take another look at the 2008 Town Budget that the Town Board voted for last year. Compare 2009 to 2008 and the mystery will be anwered. The Town Board, greatly fearing the firepower held to their heads by itate residents, decided to apply a little honesty this year and eliminate all those phony line items that they so eagerly voted to fund in prior years -- knowing that hitting taxpayers up for them in the 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 ad nausem budgets for items with costs never incurred or even intended, that this technique just wasn't going to play in 2009 when external circumstances interfered with the ongoing deception. The public never wanted to get involved as long as rising taxes did not get out of hand. And sure, residents pointed out loudly enough that spending down the fund balances was not cricket to such a degree that the Town Board voted for a Fund Balance policy last year. This year the policy is already breached. However, the Public never questioned how these enormous fund balances got there? Manna from heaven? Someone buying low and selling high? At one point, over $17 million sat around which was persuasive to the bond raters. But, the actual answer is that the taxpayers were fooled into building this nest egg in the same manner that successful embezzlers operate -- by stealing just a little each year. Never enough to be noticeable or hasten an enquiry. In the Town Board's version, there was so much money coming in that submitting "virtual vouchers" for no-show line items would be possible as long as taxes rose insignificantly. And all the surpluses (less the Supervisor's pet recipients or consultant fees or study mongerers) were made to disappear by "budget transfers" to the voracious Fund balances. The higher the balance, the higher the rating. So, when tax increases hit the wall last year; the Town Board became wiser and this year are trying to market a "miracle" (turning double to single digits) merely by tossing out all of the items that never really were intended to be spent despite taxpayers being billed for them.
What I suspect I shall find in the Budget is that despite the clean-up, the Town Board will still have left intact those items upon which your tax dollars will really spent on but spent only for the purpose of pleasing certain constituent classes who will remember at the ballot box.

I eagerly await the release of the actual Budget. And thereafter I shall continue this tutorial without Lanza funding or an Xpress checking it out line.

Anonymous said...

FYI: This was emailed to me.

Greeting FAST FAMILY - Parents and Swimmers – Lap Swimmers, Water Babies, Aerobics, Adapted Aquatic and all program participants:

It is with my deepest regret that I inform you the Town of Greenburgh has terminated my employment effective today, Wednesday, October 29th.

Together, as a TEAM, we have accomplished a tremendous amount of things over the past couple of years and I hope the tradition will continue.

As you enter the natatorium, the scoreboard should be a reminder of what can be achieved when we work together. I look at the scoreboard as my legacy to you. Treasure it and strive for more - I will be there with you working harder then ever to make your dreams come true.

As a parent, we want our children to achieve to their highest potential and I am proud of the direction and times our swimmers are currently attaining. Keep up the good work. I will be remaining in the area and will continue to support the efforts of FAST.

See you at practice - Brie will be there at least three times a week. (SMILE)

With my warmest regards,

Patricia Roper

Anonymous said...

Well done. Looking forward to seeing the actual line items.

Anonymous said...

The termination of Roper is outrageous. Does the budget have any reserve for yet another employee lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

More savings in recreation
Send James Robinson back to the center NOW!
Start charging Joe Lucasey the going rate for rent NOW! or offer it to the employees that are getting laid off.
for those who don't know, Joe lives at Hartsbrook for close to nothing

Anonymous said...

Am shocked that the tax hike has been kept to the 7% range.
Great job. Let's get it down even more next year!

Anonymous said...

What kind of potemkin village do we live in? Were all of these threats of 20% increases well-planned fear mongering by Feiner & Co. to make the current 7 - 10%increase seem de minimus? This is politics at its most Machievillian. So, Feiner is going to campaign on a "i only raised your taxes by about 10%!" platform and the idiots will fall for that? Pathetic - we fools get the government we deserve.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:53
The Citizens Budget Committee -which includes Feiner critics -came up with a report in April suggesting a 17% tax hike. Mike Kolesar warned of a 20+ tax increase. Ed Krauss, another independent thinker, suggested high double digit increases. If the Supervisor and Town Board did not take the warnings seriously we would be in big trouble today. The Supervisor and Town Board did a commendable job.

Anonymous said...

You are still considering enhancing programs for the center at residents expense.
That's wrong.
What about the Bronz center will you up the rent from $1.00 to the going rate .
Will you collect the monies owed by the Housing Authority which amounts to over a half million dollars.
These questions have to be answered.

hal samis said...

Hold your cheers. Mr. Feiner (his budget) has thrown in everything because it will always be remembered that he tried to get the budget down even if it remains the responsibility of the Town Council to take the fall for obeying Town law by-laws.

What will Mr. Sheehan to the public when he praised himself for passing the Town Fund Balance policy which essentially said thou shalt not use fund balances to reduce OPERATING expenses. Quite a dilemma for one who is still hoping that Feiner will smile on him come next Primary.

In fact, Mr. Feiner has only cut what he wants to cut while still leaving considerable chaff for voters to wrangle over. But if things have to be added back or removed, it will fall on the shoulders of the Town Council because the Supervisor "wanted" to reduce your taxes and it's not his fault if an impediment is found.

But cheer-up; it is not likely that forward thinking will prevail; it is not for nothing that they call themselves the Feiner team. And shortly the public's team will take on the Town Board albeit on a steep sloped playing field.

The Feiner team gets five outs with unlimited swings per inning whereas the public will be limited to the traditional three outs, three strikes per inning.

Tim Lewis will be the referee; Judith Beville will keep score.
Need I say more?

some comments on the post said...

one wonders if the taxpayers of unincorporated greenburgh will wake up and allow the villages access to veteran park pool so as to add some revenue to make up for the cuts.

sad to see that there is no discussion of getting rid of stupid things like taxter ridge park.


this is at best a necessary first step to get rid of the earmarks and strip government down to providing essential services efficiently.

what took so long? what assurances are there that this is not a one trick budget pony?

rrelease the numbers please said...

At a forum in Edgemont earlier this year, Feiner admitted that included in our 21% tax hike this year were hundreds of thousands of dollars in positions that weren't being filled this year, like various commissioners, the town engineer, and others, but which we were still paying for. So how much of the 7.7% increase for next year is a result of our OVERPAYING our taxes this year? That should be a number that should be on the tip of every town board member and Kolesar. If it's a big number, then all these "budget cuts" we're hearing about are mere window dressing. So let's see what's really go! Release the numbers please.

Anonymous said...

Why did it take so long to see how the center has been stealing our money over the years.
Paul take away the freebees these people can pay for the use better than you or I can.
We have told you the problems every year but you and the board failed to investigate.
Yes we are getting close to your and two members reelection. Could this be a ploy.
We should have never had a double diget tax hike last year.
Put the 20+ from last year and the 10 maybe this coming year makes it 15% for each year.
We were robbed last year .

Anonymous said...

I wish the people falling all overselves with joy for this tax increase (that well exceeds the area cost of living increase) would identify themselves by name so we can know if they are Board members or other parties with conflicts of interest.

Anonymous said...

Well the voters were right on target. Give Feiner council members with no axe to grind and things will change. Sheehan and Juetner were on their political respirator and Con Ed about to pull the plug. Sheehan has changed for the better FOR NOW, however Juetner is plain Juetner. We know how pissed Hal, Ed, Bob and others are that the budget did not exceed 20% and their continued praises for the model maker kolesar is a testament to their stupidity. It really irks you to see you hopes and prayers go down the toliet. Hal what is your next attack maybe Obama. Move out of the town and own a piece of property where you will have the right to complain.

Anonymous said...

Will the illiterate creep at 10:10 please stop posting comments? I'm sick and tired of your thinly veiled racist insinuations which you repeatedly post. We are addressing serious issues here. We who question the competency of the 16 year Feiner administration don't need our cause discredited by paranoid, Klan-sympathizers like you. (BTW, for students of U.S. history, 10:10 is an excellant example of the racist-populist rhetoric that has been recurrent in elements of working-class white America since at least Reconstruction).

where's the beef? said...

That's right folks! Chicken Little Feiner had everyone going! Double digit increases! Double digit increases!!!
Now he takes taxes already collected and plays the shell game moving it around and takes credit, wants kudos. "lookie! It's only going to be a ten % increase! Yippee! Isn't this wonderful?"

He goes ands spends hundreds of thousands on total crap (Xposure) while people lose their jobs, services get cut and no real substantial cuts to the budget are made.

No monies owed us are collected, no real fees charged, no rent paid. His "charities" that we fund, go unaffected. Grants writers still busy coming up with money we'll be matching.

Meanwhile pool hours are slashed yet we still pay Edgemont to cut into public swim time for use of its day camps. The TDYCC, separate summer camps intact, will operate as usual, will make an attempt to collect fees and beg others then the town for more funding. No consolidation of summer camps going on anywhere so the public has even less time for recreational swim as the pool will have limited hours of operation.

They will merge the TDYCC & Parks Dept transportation dept? Heeeeello? Why does the TDYCC need a transportation department? Anyone?

We'll be paying for the courthouse AGAIN in the coming years.

We continue to pay exorbitant school taxes (GC) so that we can bus a few kids to various child care/after school programs/ enrichment programs aka babysitting all the while paying town taxes to cover the programs they are destine to go.

And notice how much air time is given to Feiners Greening. How nice. What the heck does this have to do with budget cuts? If you listen to the news, you’ll find that every energy supplier will only increase costs to make up for the decline in usage. So, while we spend money on a “greener” plan will not be saving any money at all. In fact, we’ll be spending more!

We are in this mess because of years of frivolous spending, pandering to "groups”, and Feiner’s self serving, personal interests.

Not a pretty picture at all. Very disturbing.

Anonymous said...

10:25. I call BS on you. While there are many racists living in every community its disheartening to find it within our own government.
The term racist does not just apply to those intolerant of blacks.
There seems to be just the opposite going on here and it's still considered raciest and terrible.

Anonymous said...

10:25
The person commenting 10:10 to be exact is not a racist.
He or she is presenting the facts the way they are.
If the truth hurts so be it.
What is there will not change until our government changes.
To me it does seem that this town is swayed in one direcrion.
If it upsets you that's tough.

bah humbug - tricks not treats said...

why is the town involved in something like the tdycc?

what other towns or cities have such facilities?

crap like taxter ridge still remains.

what about the art curator at town hall?

this is looking more and more like all trick and little treat for the taxpayer

Anonymous said...

10:25 I agree with 11:10. You are way out of line.

Regarding the budget, cutting 7% from TDYCC seems too small given a $4 million budget.

I also worry that most of these are not cuts in the operating budget. For example, using the courthouse funds or the fund balance.

I do admit that it is a good start though.

hal samis said...

Review of the Supervisor's comments part deux.
Still haven't seen the budget but what has the Supervisor really said. In no particular order and with more forthcoming.

Town interest income has declined. True.
The other side of the coin is that Town borrowing expenses will decline from lower rates.

Eliminating the need for new Library hires by combining maintenance. (even though the Library asked for more). Yes but the Town maintained the Library maintenance position by absorbing his salary into the existing maintenance expense of cleaning Town Hall. humanely done to preserve this job (no criticism intended) but the fact is that the Town paid this salary two years as a make work assignment. Now that there will actually be a Library to clean, Mr. Feiner gives the impression that the wheel has been invented by announcing that the combined maintenance conglomerate will reduce Library maintenance costs.
This is also patently false as there will be non-employee costs generated by the need to clean all the windows in the reading room -- likely to be performed by an outside contractor.

And pardon my implied French but anything that leads to expanded oversight by DPW (Al Regula) fails to thrill.

"Pursuing" combining transportation fleets does not invoke the conclusion that this will actually occur or that cost savings will be generated; thus the implication that costs will decline will be dealt with instead by post Budget adoption transfers or Budget amendments should such savings never materialize.

Legal Department savings...the Town will reduce the costs of Lititgation Disbursements? This is a plan, something extracted from a fortune cookie, a promise of the Supervisor not to open his mouth for all of 2009, the result of firing the Town Attorney -- choose the answer that best appears to resolve the problem. And what is the mumbo jumbo about not paying for a confidential secretary but restoring half of the cost by moving it to a secretarial pool? This "$200,000" departmental savings will be discussed later in detail.

However, where's the give-back from the Town Supervisor? He too has a confidential secretary last year taking home $66,190 (plus benefits) who is a nice lady but whose only real function is not to squeal on the Supervisor (aka hush money) and tell callers that she can put them into Paul's voicemail.

As for the Assessor's Office, the 7% decrease matches the 7% increase from 2007 while the public should also be aware that this in turn was a 29% increase from 2006. Then too, not mentioned was the sizeable capital expense in 2008 for the purchase of new software programs and the elsewhere expensed retention of appraisers and lawyers. Pretty "harsh" treatment for a Department which continues an unabated hemorrhage of town ratables. The Supervisor really larned them a thing or two.

What has Feiner said about part-time employees? He mentioned that they exist, some of they earn a lot and...he will give this serious consideration in 2009.

Do you get the picture yet? There really aren't budget cuts (with the visible Parks Department as the poster child exception) being proposed, just vague assurances that the Town is going to take a good look over the course of 2009 while "spending less" because the spurious line item authors were told to "cool it" and instead Feiner is dipping into your town's savings account to whittle down the shortfall.

None of this criticism would be so pointed if Feiner just told the truth about what he is doing. Instead he wants to make it a praiseworthy event to celebrate his prowess as a magician. Of course there's no glory in saying, we have a small tax increase this year because we reduced the games playing and borrowed from the future paid by you yesterday.

More to follow.

Anonymous said...

Some people are real upset because there is no 20% tax hike. Sour grapes!

mind boggling said...

The parks department seems to have been the only department that took the task of reducing the budget seriously. Here we find a solid, well thought out plan and EXACTLY what they intend to do.
TDYCC : “will be pursued” “will also pursue creating”, ‘reviewing the possibility of” . WTH?

The Veterans Park budget 2008- $511,070

TDYCC 2008 budget-
$3,066,600

Two questions…1) Why in Gods name are we spending over 3 million dollars on running this place? 2) How is it the Veterans Park, although only open ¼ of the year, serving many more people, able to operate at 17% of the cost to run TDYCC?

How are we allowing the TDYCC to pass off giving us a real, substantian reducion in costs?

Sorry, that was 3 questions.

Anonymous said...

correction "substantial reduction in costs?"
Oh and Paul at 6:47, 6:34, 7:18,11:35 & 1:19. STFU already. It's embarrassing!

got taught good at the CC said...

parks and rec can save another 75,000 by sending the assistant to the commissioner back to the center. When will this happen??

lol! You must be the dumbest person alive.

tired of the BS said...

Actually, I take that back. 11:10 isn't the dumbest person alive. We're the dumbest group of tax payers alive!

11:10 just mimics the crazy sh*t that gets said to get what they want at TDYCC. Yes, 11:10, you are right! We can reduce out budget $75K more from Veterans Park if we add it to the 3 million dollar TDYCC budget! Hell! Why not close Veterans and move the entire budget to the center? Think of of the children! They will suffer!!! Oh nosssssss!

We're getting exactly what we deserve because we have allowed it to happen.

part time cuts said...

The TDYCC is getting a cut in p/t assistance
$292,000 to $242,000 in 09
P/T Summer help is being reduced $322,000 to $270,000

Anonymous said...

So that makes 102K out of 3 million. Yay! .033%!

send out the clowns said...

what is most troubling is the failure of the town board to admit that the way they have conducted themselves over the past few years has lead us to this abyss.

they have been on a an absurd spending binge without any concern how to pay for their extravagance esp for parks and recreation and the tdycc, a unique creation no other town or city in westchester has.

once again, its true - we have met the enemy and its us for voting for these clowns.

Anonymous said...

Will you now release the monies you put away for the CSEA and give them at least what the Police, Teamsters and Management received in 2008 or are you still going to hold them hostage? It's time that you start to be fair to all your employees.

Anonymous said...

http://www.greenburghny.com/FCpdf/2008%20Adopted%20Budget.pdf
Go to page 70. A real eye opener.

FALSE AD said...

Read the Edgemont page of the Inquirer. The ECC took out a large paid advertisement suggesting a double digit tax hike. The ad is disgusting, scaring senior citizens.

Anonymous said...

4:25, Since I don't happen to aan available SI, could you possible tell me what the ad says?

Anonymous said...

The ECC has egg on its face. bernstein called the meeting expecting a 20% tax hike. He used ECC dues to pay for an advertisement in the Inquirer that contains inaccurate information. How will he explain?

ECC DUES SHOULD NOT PAY FOR AD said...

Edgemont residents pay dues to the ECC. These dues should not be spent on political activities. Bob: Pay for the advertisement with your money, not ours.

Anonymous said...

"why is the town involved in something like the tdycc?"

Built with Federal funds 40+ years ago with the mission to provide recreational and educational services to minorities and the poor, the Fairview Comminity Center came under town control in 1994 when a Federal contract expired. (Source NYT)

No clue why the Town chose to take control of a facility intended for one neighborhood, rather than the Y or some other nonprofit, but that's the history.

Anonymous said...

hahahaha! I'm disapointed in Mr. Bernstein. He fell for Paul's folly.
Is it a coincidence that Paul posted this proposed, kinda, sorta, we will pursue, approximately 3.5 people, I believe that we could reduce some of the part-time costs, identify improvements that could reduce, defray costs such as, budget?

Anonymous said...

"crap like taxter ridge still remains"

From the Town website: "The recently acquired 183 acre Taxter Ridge Park Preserve, Glenville woods and Hart’s Brook Park and Preserve offer majestic scenery, hiking and contain an abundant variety of native flora and fauna, with streams, ponds, meadows and geologic features of interest."

I didn't think there was any parking or any trails at Taxter Ridge. Am I wrong or is the Town website wrong? Maybe now there are hiking trails? Can you just park on the street wander around Taxter Ridge?

Anonymous said...

I live in Unincorporated Greenburgh and I've always wondered why villages pay anything to Greenburgh. Is there some service that Greenburgh provides to the villages or is it more like a state-mandated membership fee of some sort?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Money Magazine, they thought that Greenburgh was a small city, so that's why we were accidentally ranked. Plus, they included the villages, so it's even more invalid. Money Magazine corrected the error, and Greenburgh will not be considered in the future (unless they decide to create an unicorporated township category in the future). I'm surprised that the town still boasts of this publicly corrected error.

Anonymous said...

"what about the art curator at town hall?"

Mr. Feiner: Please verify that that position has been cut.

who authorized ECC ad said...

An open letter to Bob Bernstein, President of the Edgemont Community Council (ECC)
Who authorized the ad containing false information to appear in the Scarsdale Inquirer?
Was there a meeting of the ECC?
Were Edgemont residents notified that you would use Edgemont residents money to pay for the advertisement?
Did you ask permission of Edgemont residents before you spent your neighbors money?
How much did the advertisement cost?
Are you going to reimburse the ECC?
Who told you that there would be a double digit tax hike? 8% is not 20%?
Do you check your facts?

ecc ad was appropriate said...

These personal attacks against Bernstein really ought to stop. The ECC ad warned of "another double digit tax hike," with a question mark. There was nothing false or misleading about the ad. The ECC was just repeating what Feiner himself has been saying for the past several months, and what's been publicly reported in the Journal News and the Scarsdale Inquirer.

According to Feiner's own press release announcing the budget, his budget committee warned earlier this year of a 17% tax hike. Town comptroller Mike Kolesar predicted the increase could be more than 20%.

No one wants to see a double digit tax hike, least of all people in Edgemont who pay the most in town taxes. Edgemont residents should therefore attend the ECC's meeting and ask the town officials whether the 7.7% hike is real, based on deep cuts in town spending, or whether it's based on election-year gimmickry.

Wouldn't it be awful if it turns out that the tax hike was based on gimmicks that won't be available in 2010? The ECC is giving the town board a forum in Edgemont to address that question. That sounds like a good thing to do.

Anonymous said...

The Ad was voted on at an ECC meeting.

Anonymous said...

I am certain we will all be picking apart parts of the Budget. My contribution for the day. The Xposure has a budget item of 150,000 replaicng a 58,000 aftershcool item in 2008. What an austerity budget !!!

Anonymous said...

The ECC paid for a political ad that contained false information. They got egg on their face. Big deal.
No one is perfect. Even the ECC!

Anonymous said...

How much does it cost to live in unincorporated Greenburgh?
How much does it cost to live in the villages.
It's more for village-ites. We get a great deal living in unincorporated Greenburgh.

ed krauss said...

A long time ago my dad told me if you buy peaches @ ten cents a piece and sell them three for a quarter, you won't make it up in volume.

I also learned the means don't necessarily justify the end.

Here's the conundrum I have. If Town revenues are decreasing ( mortgage taxes, sales taxes, etc.) and they are, and Town expenses are increasing (insurance, union contractual obligations, etc.) and they are:

HOW DO THE MAGICALLY FISCAL GENIUS'S ON THE TOWN BOARD "REDUCE THE TAX INCREASE FROM 20+% TO 7.6% WITHOUT ELIMINATING THE SINGLE LARGEST LINE ITEM IN THE BUDGET...EMPLOYEE SALARIES AND BENEFITS?"

Where is this "manna" coming from?

Are the "magicians" not revealing the "secret" behind the illusions on purpose?

Is this a $ multimillion bait and switch with the primary objective- AS ALWAYS- to get reelected in 2009, and have two more years to fool the "audience?"

Remember when then governor Cuomo was selling portions of the NYS Thruway to increase revenue?

Remember what happened? HE RAN OUT OF ROADWAY!!!!

Well dear reader, when "one-shots" are used up, they can't be used again. When the fat is trimmed from the Pastrami, you're left with the first cut and only the first cut.

Given the obvious, revenue down; expenses up; no real changes in personnel= PAY ME NOW, OR PAY ME MORE LATER.

10:24 AM, as further "testiment to my STUPIDITY," I will say this: Next tax year( budget 2010) will increase in double digits IF there's no further depletion of the fund balance.

Let's stop trying to kid ourselves, the board as it's constituted does not have a manager; an administrator or a knowledgeable fiscal member. So how can we not get into trouble?

We farm out litigation; we farm out certiorari defense; we hire consultants of all sorts.

WHY? Because our law department is incapable of handling real law suits. Because our tax assessor is incapable of handling cert cases. Other departments, i.e.energy csar, are incapable of handling their designated conversancy.

It's like an ad agency working out of the back of a car. Need copy, farm it out to a copywriter. Need art, farm it out to a commercial artist. Need a marketig plan, a media plan, production? FARM IT OUT! FARM IT OUT! FARM IT OUT!

Am I happy with the 7.6% tax increase? Not if it delays the inevitable next year. You see, I intend to live in Greenburgh next year.

One thing keeps bouncing around in my head. If THEY can cut a 17%-20% projected tax increase in 2009, by making very few real lasting changes to the expense side of the budget, why did we have a 20+% increase in 2008? And will 2010-after Feiner may be reelected- be a repeat of 2008?

No folks, I am in a wait and see frame of mind. I can't tell you how to feel, but I will tell you to try to examine the budget and see how it was arrived at.

10:24 AM,"STUPIDITY: was harsh word. You could have tempered it by using, say, ignorance. And "TESTIMENT" seems to have religious connotations, so I wish you would have consulted a Thesaurus, and used a more nondenominatonal term.

But thanks for grouping me with Mike and Hal, two of the brighter and more honest minds in all of Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

6:14 -- I dont understand your comment. Their is waste fraud and abuse throughout the Greenburgh budget. We could all move to White Plains and have lesser taxes.

Anonymous said...

Do we still have our "Energy CZar" -- we should be getting rid of her before we get rid of house side house-side garbage pickups.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the budget on-line. I get it. 3.8 million of fund balance used to keep the village and unincorporated tax rates down. More of the same budget gimmickery.More of the same budget nonsense.Paul can't make the really tough budget decisions so he grabs for the fund balance year after year. He's a fraud of the greatest magnitude and the Greenburgh taxpayers are the victims. I feel sorry for the Town and its residents that are unable to understand the magnitude to which Feiner (and the Town Board by its complacency) is raping this Town for his (their)personal gain and career extension(s).Feiner (& Co.)is a cancer. Cut them out! We're dying!

Anonymous said...

Well to the gimmick at 7:41 you are the real dunce. Cant appreciate some positive work by the board. You an senile ED make no sense. Maybe ED's hair piece is to tight and it effects his brain. Edgemont BOB thought he had the upper hand NOTTTTT continue to spend your money. After the good work by the board FEINER will be there until he wants to leave. I did not vote for him the last time but after all of you and his work I will support him.

Anonymous said...

The only cancer here is the scum who post negative remarks and they should leave

The real facts said...

Let's quit the name-calling and deal with the facts and numbers. The simple fact is that almost $4 million of fund balance was used to cover operating expenses and that is why we have a lower tax hike than expected.

This tactic -- paying annual expenses out of accumulated fund balance -- cannot last. It was roundly criticized last year when it was admitted that for the previous two years the fund balance hd been used in order to create a political no-tax budget. The fund balance won't be available anymore. And the tax hikes will be cumulative in effect.

The realities were that the town should have adopted a serious management study in order to increase productivity and reduce costs. They haven't done that. We also have to recognize that there are contractual increases. It may be that the town will have to deal with those by a bankruptcy, since as long as these contracts continue we will always have lerge increases in expenses.

I am not an anti-Feiner person but I have to confess that I see an effort to get by the next election rather than dealing with the crisis in Greenburgh's finances.

Paul Feiner said...

I do not support spending 30-40 million on a new court house, especially in these difficult economic times. The Town Board had designated money for a court house expansion in a savings account. I do not anticipate that the Board will move forward with the expansion in the near future.

feiner, uh, uh, said...

Heh, heh, y'see, that courthouse money was, uh, gonna do nobody any good, uh, sitting in that savings account, cuz it's gonna be years before we spend what's required on that new courthouse, uh, uh, and even though we were putting money aside every year to defray the ultimate cost -- something we never did with the library -- what the hell, if we didn't spend courthouse money this year we would have had a double digit tax increase and, uh, uh, I couldn't have run for reelection with two double digit tax increases in a row, now could I? Uh, uh, even the Journal News would oppose me, and I'd be a laughing stock in the county. Of course, I dunno what's gonna happen in 2010, but I don't care about that now. It won't be an election year and the only people who ever complain, uh, uh, are those, uh, uh, community organizers from Edgemont that I thought we'd shut up pretty well this year. So there.

ed krauss said...

7:59. Calling someone a dunce when he has the shell game figured out, doesn't say very much for your grey matter.

BSing about "not voting for him last time, but you will this time, is guilding the lilly. That's a nice way to say you're a plant and full of $#!T. As far as my senility and tightness in the cranium is concerned, show up at the Edgemont forum on Monday night, reveal yourself, if-which I seriously doubt- you have the gonads, and let's have an honest debate.

You're as funny as a rubber crutch and a prime prospect for buying any Brooklyn Bridge.

Anonymous said...

From 10:53, AKA Friend of Feiner

"Of course, I dunno what's gonna happen in 2010, but I don't care about that now. It won't be an election year and the only people who ever complain, uh, uh, are those, uh, uh, community organizers from Edgemont that I thought we'd shut up pretty well this year. So there."

Well I guess thats Feiner's idea -- push this past the 2009 election.

Anonymous said...

Bob Bernstein suggests that in 2010 there will be a big tax hike. Is this the same Bob Bernstein who took out an ad in the Scarsdale Inquirer (representing ECC) suggesting a double digit tax hike in 2009. He was wrong this week. He will be wrong next year.

Anonymous said...

how great is it to see Bob and Ed stutter more than Feiner. Must be tough to sleep when you are proven wrong and you have to slither away in your own human waste. The town with the council working together may just make us proud and turn the corner for the better. I CAN sleep knowing how hard the board has worked to reign in spending and get rid of waste and bad management. There will always be those who find fault in hard work however as a tax payer I HOPE AND PRAY the board especially Morgan and Brown will continue their positive influence on Feiner and the board. Finally useless Juettner must GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Anonymous said...

Bumbling Bob may have to move out of Edgemont after they realize how he spends their money. His history of fruitless attacks and useless law suits embarrass their great community. He has single handed cost ALL TAX PAYERS money and aggravation and pain. Please move I bet your neighbors will buy your house to see you leave.

Anonymous said...

Ed, Edd, Eddd, EDDY know when your time is up. Retire along with your bad hair piece and fade away in the seinor sunset. You are pathetic. Your rambling and uncomprehensible diarreha have to go.

don't kill the messenger said...

These personal attacks on Bob Bernstein are disgusting. All he did was point out in today's Journal News that next year's single digit tax hike is the result of using $3 million in savings that the town had set aside for the courthouse renovation, plus a one-time sale of property for $750,000. Take that money away, and we would have had a substantial double digit increase next year. The fact that next year's budget is an election year budget should make everyone in Greenburgh worry about what's in store for 2010 because those millions of dollars used to keep the tax hike at 8% next year won't be available in 2010.

I remember back in 2003 when Paul put out a five-year plan for where taxes were expected to go. Not anymore. The Town needs to do a lot more than it's doing to get its financial house in order. Bernstein just pointed out the obvious.

Anonymous said...

Brown is positive -- GIVE ME A BREAK - she is destroying TDYCC by champioining a person who gives out no-show jobs. Add that to the problems with Silver Streaks and Xpsoure.

Don't Scare Us, Bob said...

Bob is doom, gloom, all fiction. The paid advertisement his organization took out in the Scarsdale Inquirer tried scaring people into thinking that there would be a big, double digit tax hike. Now, with egg on his face, he claims there will be a double digit tax hike next year. He doesn't know what he is talking about.

feiner to blame for tax scare said...

Where do you guys come off blaming Bernstein for warning of a huge double digit tax hike in 2009? Feiner's been doing that for months. Even his own press release acknowledges the warnings. He says his budget committee warned earlier this year of a 17% hike and that Kolesar was warning that the hike could be even higher. Just the other day, Feiner issued a press release saying that mortgage tax revenues were down 36%! So, if anyone's been scaring anyone, it's been Feiner.

But the problem is that Feiner was able to come up with an 8% tax hike not by making really deep cuts in spending, but by using town reserves, like that $3 million that had been set aside for the future court building. If that money hadn't been touched, we're looking at a 15% hike. So Bernstein is dead on when he warns about the 2010 budget.

I haven't seen the Inquirer ad, but this much I know: if it warns of a potential double digit tax hike in the town, it's not misleading at all, and if it gets taxpayers to show up at a meeting with town board members to ask about it, then I applaud the effort.

Paul Feiner said...

I read the above statement--which is inaccurate. The Town Comptroller had advised me that the projected tax hike for unincorporated Greenburgh was going to be 9.2% before we dipped into the court renovation budget. Because of the cuts that we decided to make we were never looking at a double digit tax hike in the unincorporated Greenburgh budget. PAUL FEINER

Disgruntled Greenburgher said...

All through the postings there is not one word about the cost of certioraris - and how they will be funded. The last posting from Mr. Feiner on the subject was that he wanted to bond them over as long a period as legally permissible. At the time he indicated, I believe, that the Town's portion of the certs might be in the $5 million range.
Bonding the certs is legally permitted. As an individual you can buy a lottery ticket and in your personal budget fantasy you can assign the lottery winnings to your Town property tax bill. The problem you will face is the same one the Town will face - failure to realistically plan will cause problems when the bills come due.
If the Town fails to revalue, the following results are guaranteed.
1. The commercial entities which regularly file for certs will continue to do so. They will win every time and the Town's unpaid liabilities for property tax rebates will continue to grow. If you borrow $5 million right now (in the 2009 budget year) to get current, you will still have to borrow again next year (the 2010 budget year) to cover the new certs settled during the 2009 budget year.
2. Every cert settlement reduces the assessibles. The amount of taxes collected from the remaining properties must increase. The decline in the Town's assessibles during the last 18 years is a significant problem which remains unaddressed.
3. Declining assessibles and increasing debt service will eventually cause the rating agencies to reduce our AAA rating - and the increase in borrowing costs will further accelerate the rising tax rate.
The idea that the Town can borrow its way out of trouble is nonsense - promulgated by the economic illiterates who created the problem in the first place.
Operating expenses must match operating revenues - or we must be willing to face the consequences. Using one shot gimmicks - like the sale of land (more about this in a later posting) or bonding a settlement - is not the answer.
Finally, remember that at a mere 7.2% annual increase in the budget means it will double in 10 years - and so will the tax revenues necessary to support it. I'm not sure I'd look at this year's budget with unalloyed joy - in fact viewed in the long term, it is an exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

ed krauss said...

To 12:50 AM
I don' stutter and to my knowledge neither does Bob. My advice to you is to wait until the budget is finalized, keep in mind the 2010 budget and go see an audiologist beause you're hearing echos that don't exist.

To 12:58

you are a very brave man hiding behind your anonymity. How cowardly must you be to be so frightened by a senior citizen that you're afraid to use your name.

You are a pathetic excuse for a bully-in-waiting.Oh, I forget, bullies show themselves.

Why are you afraid to confront me face to face and see what happens.

A,An,Anon,Anony, Anonymous, my time will be up when G-d says it's up. Not some pusillanimous, gutless punk who has nothing better to say than critiquing my hair weave, and mixing metaphors. The word you were looking for is "incomprehensible,"uncomprehensible is not in the English language. And, even if you used the proper word, "incomprehensible DIARRHEA" is a non sequitur. Maybe in a moron's vernacular it works.

At 12:58 AM you must be sleep deprived but your mean-spirited posting is still inexcusable.

Get a life. Stay out of mine!

ed krauss said...

Bravo, 10:35 AM. I wish your posting was picked up by the J/N and the Scarsdale Inquirer as well as Cable 12, and run for one week straight so all Greenburgh residents eyes' would be opened to the reality we face.

And certs is but one of our financial problems. Too many people posting to this site, are complimenting the board and paul(lower case intended) when in the real world virtually nothing was changed to undo the mess created over the last two decades.

Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

As I read teh budget, it notes that salaries do not reflect any changes due to the CSEA labor contract. Only a 310,000 reserve for any labor, and other things. Are we expecting a minimal CSEA increase? Do only the Comptrollers staff get great raises, and everything else nothing.

Anonymous said...

Ed: There is no mess. The town is run reasonably well.

Anonymous said...

1:58

Please explain our current labor situation to me. It is now 2008. The budget seems to indicate that the current contract is expired. So we are expecting no retroactive payment when a contract is signed and a what , 1% increase? Couuld someone familiar with the status of the CSEA contract please post? thnks

Listen, people said...

It is sad that so many of the people who praise the surprisingly low tax hike are in denial and they don't understand the flimsy basis behind it. or as someone said in other circumstances, you can run but you can't hide. The realities are there and if those people don't see them they will be clobbered over the head by them.

Hal Samis, Ed Krauss and the anonymous 10:35 AM poster are right. Remember the old story, Cassandra warned and warned but the Greeks didn't listen and then they were attacked and ravaged. There is a lesson there. LISTEN!!!!

is feiner math-challenged? said...

Two comments:

1. Feiner insists that even if he hadn't raided the $3 million in town savings for the courthourse renovation, there would still have been a single digit tax increase in unincorporated Greenburgh next year. He might want to doublecheck his math. The courthouse expense is a town-wide expense. 55% of the town's ratables are in the unincorporated area and 45% are in the villages. That means for every dollar Feiner took away from the courthouse, it costs unincorporated taxpayers 55 cents and the villages 45 cents. What this means is that the $3 million for the courthouse translates into an additional $1.6 million for unincorporated area taxpayers. Coming up with another $1.6 million next year would have raised taxes in the unincorporated area another 5 points. That means the total tax hike would have been around 12.2% which, contrary to what Feiner says, is double digits.

2. The town didn't elect to bond certs. The $2.5 million in the budget for this year to pay certs is in the budget for operating expenses for next year too.

hal samis said...

There, there. Did little bitty anonymice get scared by big bad bob's teensy weensy ECC meeting anouncement in the bad, bad newspaper. Maybe someone else named anonymous will offer to kiss you on your boo boo and make it all well. And the ad appeared on Halloween too which must have made it even more frightening. There, there, everything's going to be alright.

Or, you could just consider it more of trick or treat.

Or, you could call the entire Feiner Budget "Trick or Treat".

Yes, the treat is that come April 2009, you won't have to write as large a check as you feared and yes, whew, you made it through another year intact.

However, residents who care are not thrown off course by the treat; instead they focusing on the trick.

Late last year a crowing Francis Sheehan patted himself on the back and announced that at last the Town had a Fund Balance policy which would prevent taxpayers from experiencing the roller-coaster ride such as was experienced in the blindman's bluff that was the underpinnings of the 2008 Budget. Hey, was 22% enough or do you want more? And expenses rose by the traditional 5%.

So Sherman and Peabody set the wayback machine to Spring 2008 when the Town Comptroller sent out a memo which postulated that if expenses increase at the usual rate and the Town Board does not invade the Fund Balancess as they did in 2007 for the 2008 Budget, then Town Board, you're looking at another whopper of a ride.

Not a pleasant thought to the Town Board and residents alike. Hey, in addition to the usual cost increases, we got a few more bucks of Library funding to take on and, by the way, revenues are falling all over the lot. Of course the Town Board chorused: "We don't know nuthin bout double digits, Miss Scarlet, we best be getting ourselves to the neighborhoods where they know how to balance a checkbook". And go to the nabes, they did.

There, the Town Board learned that the lord helps them that helps themselves and that meant fill up the holes, prime the ammunition, keep your powder dry and head to the hills and hide. Which they did all summer.

Coming back from their vacations, the Town Board, their faith in Paul renewed, they felt sufficiiently invigorated to first stop hiding all the money in coffee cans sqirrelled about the various Town Department budget lines. Lines that seemed to indicate that the expenses allocated to each department were actually intended to be spent by that department -- which was a lie.
Nevermind that the budget book simply doesn't mean anything the second it leaves the printer, knowing that they can "budget transfer" these lines at will is a powerful laxative to the Town Board. But in Fall 2008, "Houston we have a problem" set off bells and alarms all over Town Hall. So, the Town Board, already deep in the doo-doo, said maybe this time we're going to have to forgo our traditional musical chairs with the taxpayer's money, so this budget we'll remove all those phony numbers that appear convincingly after those line identifiers. If there is no one doing the job, we'll stop paying joe the plumber on the budget. True, we won't be able to move and hide joe's "salary" where and when we choose but maybe we have to listen to what the drums are saying this year. Poof! And many, but not all, of the hide in plain sight items disappeared from the budget -- lowering the increase. Could have been done in 2008 and in 2007 and in 2006.....

But this was still not enough to make Paul look good. Edye to the rescue: let's sell all those parcels of land that are just lying fallow, bereft of affordable housing or bank branches and maybe we can goose up the revenue lines.
And while we're inventing revenue from land sales, let's also invent revenue from grants -- because grantor's must be flush with cash.

Ok, tax increase going further down, now we're passing the home furnishings floor (hold the elevator, the Library needs to get off) and now we're at the basement level where we learn that the crafty Town Supervisor is holding a Fund Balance Sale. We'll just take and take and get through another year. Look, there's some money on that shelf marked new Court. Aah, we're not gonna need it so let's borrow from mortar to pay Paul. Ok, everyone have a fun ride down? We all know that the Supervisor isn't so hot on providing infrastructure anyway. Last stop, all off, 7.7 floor. Come back and visit us again. And when you do, go to rooms 1355, 1420,1450,1610, 4540, 3120, 7050, 7180, 7310 6155, 5110 and of course 7010 and 7410. I should think that there are still some items in need of a mark-down.

Elevator going up, all aboard. Those looking to return used Fund Balance Policies need to speak to the Town Council first. Remind them that they voted not to use the Fund Balances for operating expenses. If that fails, those looking to exchange the Town Board with improved models, wait for the grand opening announcement in your local newspapers.

Anonymous said...

ACTING TDY COMMISSIONER WHITEHEAD LAUGHS AT AQUATICS DIRECTOR FIRING

I have been using the TDY pool for four years. But today was the last day I will ever enter through the doors of that Community Center. When I asked about what happened to Patricia Roper, in a vivid illustration of almost demonic proportions, Whitehead gleefully implied that she was no longer working at the Center. I was disgusted as to how giddy and cruel her mannerisms were at the point of my question. It was very clear that she took some type of perverted sick pleasure over someone’s loss of employment.

In the last two years Ms. Roper has been the Aquatics Director, I’ve seen a tremendous improvement in programs, staff courtesy, and equipment upgrades including a brand new electronic scoreboard, not to mention her determined advocacy of the FAST swim team. I don’t know what happened to cause Ms. Roper’s apparent termination but there was no reason for me as a Greenburgh resident to be subject to Whitehead’s attempt to denigrate and take joy from someone else’s pain. It seems hard to believe that with Whitehead’s attitude she’s employed at a community center. Her vindictive display is a poor example to our children.

Does Whitehead’s unprofessional behavior reflect the integrity, ethics, and motus operandi of you and our council members? Please answer this Paul.
OUTRAGED GREENBURGH TAXPAYER.

Anonymous said...

Some of you just can't accept good government? Assuming that Feiner came up with a double digit increase - you would have been all over him. He didn't. You are upset. He ruined your plans. A low tax hike means that there is no chaos in the town. Now you have to try to convince people there is chaos when most residents of the town are happy with our Town Board and town officials.
Does anyone think that the ECC would have scheduled a meeting the day before election day, a few days after the budget was submitted if they had known that the budget was going to be a low tax hike budget?
Sorry to disappoint the handful of people who pray that Greenburgh will file bankrupcy.
I love our town. Most of my friends do too.

hal samis said...

Dear 6:44,

If there WAS a double digit increase, then the ECC scheduling the meeting on Monday would have been okay in your book of rules? Why didn't you call them last week so they would have had time to cancel?

If the Town Board sold the Library and this meant no tax increase as the result, that would also be okay by you?

If there was no trouble on Halloween, why is Feiner thanking the Police (first blog topic), for a good job wearing uniforms? Isn't that what Halloween is all about?

You think like an Xposure graduate.

"A low tax hike means there is no chaos in town". By this logic, a low cholesterol level means you aren't eating enough Big Macs or since Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merrill and AIG said there's no problem, there wasn't.

If General Motors sold a car with a known defect, you'd poo poo the idea of a recall. Just cause confusion.

If Philip Morris sells cigarettes that cause cancer and the Surgeon General warns but doesn't stop their sale, that is sufficient as long as people can afford to pay the tax on cigarettes.

If the Town Board creates and passes a Fund Balance Policy less than a year ago, (Thou shalt not use Fund Balances to cover Operating Expenses), it is okay for Feiner to use the Fund Balances to cover Operating Expenses.

If low paid CSEA workers are left holding the bag and chant
"We wish somebody would pay us", it's okay as long as there's no chaos.

And if someone made their mortgage payment by stealing from petty cash, all's well that ends well.

Fortunately, if the Town had to file for bankruptcy, it would do so in Federal Court: there's not enough room to bring such a proceeding in Greenburgh's over-burdened court system. And thanks to the Supervisor, curing this problem will be further into the future.

So, as long as there's no chaos, residents should stick with the Feiner team and shut up.

What's the name of that holiday we celebrate on July 4?

Anonymous said...

Good job Paul

Anonymous said...

WE do not need 3 Commissioneers in the parks and rec dept.

We do not need V.Whitehead at TDYCC

Anonymous said...

That Valerie is still there after giving away no-show jobs makes me question all of hte towns mgmt and employees.

Anonymous said...

Face it, Hal. You were looking forward to a big tax hike.
Face it, Bob. You also wanted a big tax hike.
Big tax hikes result in Town Board meeting attendance going up.
And, a circus atmosphere--everyone yelling at the Board. That is what some people live for. Not me. I want a town government that does its job. Our town government does its job and the job is done to the satisfaction of many.

Anonymous said...

Double digit increases like the increases predicted in the Inquirer ad make good entertainment. Sorry it ain't happening.

did feiner lie about the hike said...

No taxpayer in Edgemont or anywhere else in unincorporated Greenburgh wants to see another double digit tax increase either next year or any year. But when we see a budget that avoids double digit taxation by using $3.8 million of fund balance money, I begin to think there's something funny going on. Last year, Feiner told us that using fund balance money was what got the town into trouble in the first place. He promised he had learned his lesson and the town passed a fund balance policy that said it was wrong to use this money for operating expenses. Yet that's exactly what we're doing all over again.

I did a little calculation. I'm willing to bet that if Feiner had not used the $3.8 million in fund balance money that there would have been a 22% tax hike in unincorporated Greenburgh next year. If that's true, and it sure looks like it is, it means that none of Feiner's spending cuts did anything to reduce the tax hike over this year's tax hike.

If that's true, that shows that the town is in pretty pathetic shape right now. That's hardly good news for me and my neighbors. A number of them have just lost their jobs. And if Feiner is fooling us (and judging from this press release it sure looks like he is), I'm going to be really angry, and my friends will be too.

Anonymous said...

Everyone, even Paul, has to admit it will be funny if for the next twenty years every election year the tax increase will be 8% and every off year it will be 20%. Now, that is comedy!

hal samis said...

Aftermath (Dictionary)
a consequence, especially of a disaster or misfortune

Aftermath (Rolling Stones album)
under my thumb, doncha bother me,
out of time, take it or leave it, what to do...

No one writing on this blog hoped for, wants, and would take pleasure in seeing a double digit tax increase or any increse at all.

We are all concerned about the aftermath.

The issue is how the Supervisor got to his budget and what it portends for the future. Last year, the year before that, next year, this year -- what is done in one year affects the other years.
What writers on this blog topic are raising objections to is how this budget arrived at its low increase and what it means for coming years.

Borrowing from the future, using money collected from taxpayers in the past, maintaining excessive spending in some departments -- these all should concern residents because they are paying for them yesterday, today and tomorrow (The Beatles).

Those who write "nice job Paul" pretend not to understand what was done to arrive at the announced increase (admittedly low in relation to what might have been).
However, even though this might be viewed as good because this year you will spend less on taxes, this was not a good thing long term.

If you are a "live for today and hang the future" person, this appeals to you. That is your choice. To others who know what is at stake in the longer term, they are correct in their criticisms of the financial trickery deployed in making this budget announcement.

And tricks come home to roost.

Maybe you are even a little aware of financial news reported in the national media.
These failed companies too were hard at work to devise methods to please their shareholders and they got away with it for years.

Just like the Town Supervisor has.

The sun does not always come up tomorrow.

And in Greenburgh, the reign must fall.

Anonymous said...

Isn’t it funny that when someone brings up a concern about the TDY Center, a blogger here responds by saying, “Close that place!” Mr. Feiner, is that you???

PAUL FEINER said...

SOme bloggers (or blogger if the anonymous is the same person) suggest that next year there will be a double digit tax hike. There will be no double digit tax hike in unincorporated Greenburgh in the next few years. This is a promise.
If revenues go down we will cut expenditures.
PAUL FEINER

feiner cannot be believed said...

Recognizing that reckless use of the town's fund balance is now the town got into this financial mess in the first place, Feiner also promised last year when the town adopted its fund balance policy that he would never again use the accumulated fund balance to fund operating expenses, and yet, this year he's using $3 million of reserves for the courthouse expansion to fund town-wide expenses, and another $800,000 in reserves from the highway fund to pay for B fund highway expenses.

If Feiner didn't tell the truth then, why should anyone in Greenburgh ever believe he'd tell the truth in the future?

Anonymous said...

SORRY PAUL. THERE WILL BE DOUBLE DIGIT TAX INCREASES IN THE FUTURE BECAUSE YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF FUND BALANCE TO RAID.

IT'S NOT ALL YOUR FAULT, THE CONTRACTS AND THE ECONOMY ARE MAKING IT NECESSARY. BUT PLEASE DON'T MAKE PROMISES THAT YOU CAN'T KEEP.

YOU CAN'T AVOID LARGE TAX INCREASES IN THE FUTURE. AT LEAST KEEP A LITTLE BIT OF BELIEVABILITY.

Anonymous said...

Eliminating police officer positions and reducing police overtime are inversely proportional. Less cops equals more crime, equals more overtime for the police left to work on solving/reducing the rising crime. It's a vicious cycle, why even put those two proposals in the budget together?

Anonymous said...

OK, we have it! A promise in writing from Paul Feiner that there will be no double digit tax increases for a few years (trumpets, fanfare please). Paul, will you put your money where your mouth is and promise to resign if there is a double digit increase during the next few years?

Anonymous said...

Paul you have done a great job with the budget. It seems like you just cant win with some of these people. If the tax is 20% they complain. If the tax is 10% they complain.

Anonymous said...

Are all of the taxpayers that uninformed? He didn't say how he wopuld do it. As usual, his "objectives" lack specificity. He can use more fund balance, he could borrow for all or some of the tax certs, it can go on and on. What's needed is a commitment to no financial gimicks.

The rest is just blowing smoke and apparently a lot of people are buying. As Abraham Lincoln said, "If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. You may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." And Paul Feiner is no Abraham Lincoln.

Reality check said...

I wish Paul was right. But how much fund balance is left? Not enough to keep next year's taxes low and still save our bond rating.

NEXT YEARS BUDGET WILL BE RELEASED BEFORE ELECTION DAY said...

Paul can't win with some people. He told us last year he would work to keep tax hikes under 10% and he kept his word. He now is making another promise (in writing, I might add) that he won't give us a double digit tax hike next year. He is required to release his budget before the November, 2009 Town Supervisor elections. If he doesn't keep his word we have the ability to show our anger.
I believe that Mr. Feiner will keep his promise not to raise taxes. I also believe that the town is well run, well managed and think this years budget is a good one.

Anonymous said...

Response to Sorry Paul--
I differ.
There doesn't have to be double digit increases if Paul and the Board continue to do what they started to do this year--cut, cut, cut and do more cutting, cutting, cutting.
A good start. Must be continued.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:09 doesn't seem to remember that in Greenburgh, town elections are fought and won not in the November general election, but in the September
Democratic primary. That's why, when Feiner announced a 24% tax hike for 2008 in late October 2007, after the Democratic primary results were over, the Journal News condemned his "October surprise." If you believe Feiner will keep his promises, by all means re-elect him. But if you've seen his track record in this regard, now is the time to be looking for a credible alternative.

Anonymous said...

Wait one moment Paul,,,,what did you save the homeowner that cannot put their garbage curbside??????

You are charging them $150.00 more a year for the service but in the meantime Regula got five new small trucks that do go to homes to pick up the garbage.

Paul who are you trying to kid.

Did you or your boy Regula checked which homes can or cannot abbide with your new ruling??

Why should homeowners get fined for leaves pilded onto the roadways when it is not their fault.

Go after the gardners.

Anonymous said...

I BETTER NOT SEE A NEW CHARGE ON MY TAX BILL FOR GARBAGE PICKUP.
I WILL SUE THE PANTS OFF OF YOU.

SELL THE NEW SMALL DUMP TRUCKS THAT REGULA PURCHASED .
WERE THEY REALLY NEEDED???????

IF ALL GARBAGE IS TO BE PICKED UP CURBSIDE WHY IN HELL DID HE MAKE THIS PURCHASE.
WHAT DID HE RECEIVE IN RETURN THIS TIME?

BOY DOES HE KNOW HOW TO BUDGET HIS SPENDING BY COMING UP WITH THE IDEA OF CHARGING HOMEOWNERS $150 TO HAVE THE SERVICE, WHICH IN TURN PAYS FOR HIS NEW TRUCKS.

FEINER WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO SEE THROUGH THIS GUY.

hal samis said...

Small garbage trucks are needed to cart away from Town Hall all existing copies of the Town's Fund Balance Policy.

Anonymous said...

Paul did you question as to why Regula purchased the small dump trucks.
He will not be using what he has so why get new ones,
Was he thinking ahead a few years from now.

Anonymous said...

Paul and the town board are never going to get it. Crime is not going to go up if the town makes cuts in the Police dept. They just have to make all the paramedics/emt's civilians so the police officers can fight crime.Stop the police training in resue and put them on patrol

hal samis said...

How does this work?

The Town is "saving" money by not filling vacant sanitation positions.

This produces an instant savings because without these workers, the Town won't be able to continue making off street garbage collections.

This means that residents will have to lug their garbage cans to the street for pick-up. Thus requiring fewer workers.

However, if you can't lug your garbage to the street, you can pay extra for this privilege.

Who's doing this pick-up?
Are we filling those vacant positions so that those than can afford the extra service will be appeased?

Are the regularly dispatched workers being told the pick up "Joes's" garbage from his door because Joe is a charter member of the collection club?

Is there a secondary fleet of garbage pickups employed exclusively to accommodate those who can afford better service?

I don't get it.

What it does sound like is the old joke about who's a whore.
She won't for $20 but will for $1000. How about $100. I'm not a whore she says. We've already established you're a whore, now we're just negotiating.

So if you have fewer workers, who's going to pick up the garbage for those that can pay more for the extra service?

Anonymous said...

Hal you are the greatest.

How about running for supervisor???

Anonymous said...

Hal has no support -- his running will guarantee another 2 years of Paul.

Anonymous said...

Hal is a physco with no life. Read his rambling and agree he need help. He and his possee Ed and Ella days are numbered. They cant stand to be wrong with is often and operate with malice.

I'm for Hal said...

5:15 is the anonymous cowardly name-caller, like other anonymous name-callers who get their jollies by attacking Hal Samis -- the most informed and courageous and honest resident of Greenburgh.

Listen to him, schmucks. He might yet save this town.

ed krauss said...

5:15PM. FYI, I'm from the Bronx and not Jamaica. We had gangs not possees.

As to your worthless comments, should we refer to you as PhD Anonymous, for your pointed analysis of Hal Samis being a psycho?

Why is Ella deserving of your wrath? Or are you an equal opportunity A-Hole?

I don't, and to the best of my knowledge neither does Hal" operate with malice," unless telling the truth is malicious.

Maybe, before you "publish" your trash, you should hire a copy editor to make sure you dont sound like an illiterate...if that is possible.

I don't know if Hal could beat Feiner, but I do know if he did the town would be better for it.

If nothing else Hal deals in truth which is 180º away from your obvious diety.

I hope supporters of Feiner like you demonstrate why we need a change...any change.

BTW, since you're such a fan of Paulie, maybe YOU could ask him how he arrived at $750,000 of unencumbered, net dollars from the sale of 3 parcels of land owned by the town and used to further reduce the propery tax.

You would be doing a service to all of unincorporated tax payers...if it's a legit number.

Since he wouldn't answer me, after he had diarrhea of the mouth, at the ECC meeting, while responding in overkill mode to questions asked of him- mind you not answering even one.

BTW II Hal does indeed have a life, part of which is incentivizing an anonymous person like you to get out from under your rock and carping at those who are obviously more, much more intellectually gifted than you.

hal samis said...

Hal Samis is not running for Town Supervisor.

Hopefully my not running doesn't guarantee another two years of Feiner.

Anonymous said...

Thank God, it would take you too long to get your point across.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to know those that think a 7.7% tax hike it great. Any tax hikes sucks! I belong to that population that did not get a raise last year, and probably won't get one this year, and only 2% in previous years before that. I'm bringing home less and less to pay for things going higher and higher. I want to see 2% tax hikes!!!!

Anonymous said...

Not only am I not getting a raise, I am not getting the bonus I did last year -- and I DONT make millions.

Anonymous said...

wait this budget is somewhat low but the next one will be mch much higher.

They have played enough games to get a lower hike but God knows what the end results will be coming down the line.

The entire board are very good in playing games.

Anonymous said...

How much will my taxes be lowered if the sanitation dept. did not pick up my garbage anymore????????

Paul I need an answer.

Anonymous said...

its like the school tax everyone pays

Anonymous said...

Lets get a private sanitation company in to give us a proposal.
A lot of towns do it! Why not us!

Anonymous said...

Well now we know Ed is the wizard from Oz and Hal in the cowardly lion looking for courage. Get a life and yes 7.7 upsets us all however 20 + would have killed us. Instead of looking for little things to complain about offer constructive ideas.

allin said...

TOWN OF MOUNT PLEASANT
private sanitation company



The town will not pick-up building and construction material. Homeowners must make their own arrangements.
When is my garbage collected? Regular trash is picked up on either Monday & Thursdays or Tuesdays & Fridays depending on which area you live in.


All material must be placed curbside by 7:00 am
All loose material must be in plastic bags, containers or tied.
Appliances will be collected curbside by appointment only
The following will not be picked up: leaves, grass, branches tied or otherwise. No stumps, no blocks, no dirt, no concrete, no plastic, no tiles

Anonymous said...

I agree, we should look into private saniation. Paul, how much does it cost an average tax payer for sanitation cost. The problem is if you have 1 can or 10 cans we pay the same. I do npt think it is fair

Anonymous said...

when private sanitation workers go on strike who will pick up the garbage

Anonymous said...

One constructive idea for 12:23 AM, would be when criticical of someone's courage, to be courageous enough to use your name.

Hal uses his name so he's an easy target for people like 12:23 AM. He's far from a lion.

Ed is a "wizard" according to Mr./Ms. anonymous. Is that a put down? I don't know how he feels about it, but if someone referred to me as a wizard, I would be happy.

A this writing, there are 150 comments. I would like to reserve judgement until such time as the other four come up with their additions or deletions to the budget. I'm eager to see Mr. Sheehan's handling of the use of Fund Balance which he singlehandedly prohibited by a law he wrote just 11 or so months ago. He will either be a hypocrite for going along with using that which he legislated against, or a stand up guy and looking to reduce as much of the increase as possible without using the Fund Balance dollars.

Since Sonja and Kevin are new at this "game," I suspect they will go along with Paul.

Diana Juettner, 'nuf said. She has a history of "go along to get along." So, why should 2009 be different.

I also think that which is cut as a one-shot will come back to haunt us next year. But it won't haunt Paul because the budget will come out after the coronation.

Anonymous said...

Paul you did not make an effort to retrieve the money from the housing authority-raise fees at the center-raise rent at the Bronze center-raise fees at the parks-charge for summer camp but above all you dug into the fund balance to cover up your failures.

Well we know that this low hike is a great ploy to start you campaigning for reelection.
Do you think the people will be fooled again.
We know this hike is low but we will be looking at am much higher hike come the following years,
Instead of taking away services become a money collector.
Not only have you given away the horse but you also gave away the cart together with the stable.

Anonymous said...

This tax hike is a game.

The payoff will follow with a double diget.

Start saving now for what's to come.

Anonymous said...

RYE TOWN - The town supervisor is proposing a 14.2 percent tax reduction for next year's budget.

Anonymous said...

Southeast taxes decrease

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Roper firing is not justified the truth is she was fired for trying to collect money from Gay Silverman - Valerie Whitehead "sugar daddy" - Valerie on the Silver Streaks payroll.

Gay Silverman still has not paid for using the pool- $20,000 that belongs to the TOWN taxpayers. Roper was a employee who collected fees and did an excellent job and made the lazy lifeguard work! Yes, I was there when they did not sit in the lifeguard chair-Ms. Roper enforced this and other aquatic protocols. People have you forgotten the child who drowned in that pool with the full time staff. Who will have the last laugh?

Whitehead on the other hand is stealing town money by hiring no show job workers. What's the District Attorney doing with the investigation? If she's not proscuted for her crime we know it's you Paul. Paul you want ways to raise revenue - How about collect the fee's already owed by your campaign contributor GAY Silverman-$20,000 a chunk of change taxpayer deserve.
Step up to the place Paul - and fired whitehad for stealing because she should not have been working while under a criminal investigation and we would still have a great employee - Mrs. Roper

Anonymous said...

Ms. Roper should have been fired a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

To the person who left the comment
Roper should have been fired long ago.
This comment's got to be from one
of Whitehead's cronies. Get a job!!
Stop stealing from us Whitehead.
Ditch that bible at town board meetings...you break commandments
every day, you're a disgrace to the
center and to taxpayers sick of
your inside deals. Sonya and Paul
know of your evil ways...lying is like a boom a rang...it's gonna
bite you in the a--

Anonymous said...

there is no reason for anyone to take a town car home its cheaper to pay the mileage charge and you would save ware and tear on the cars they would last longer and you would purchase less cars and gas also. whens the last time you had to call the police chief in or the parks dept. please the parks whats he need for someone put a hole in the grass come on..you will save alot of money right there alone do the math per car + gas + service on the car etc..