Saturday, October 04, 2008

BUDGET MEETINGS, OUTREACH SCHEDULED

The Greenburgh Town Board has started to review the budget requests of each department. On Thursday evening we met with three department heads: Town Attorney, Assessor and Planning. Each department head proposed budgets that will cut spending in 2009 from 2008 levels. Our goal: To come in with a budget with a spending cut of about 5%. Because of the severe economic downturn - a 5% spending cut (and service reductions) will only reduce the size of a tax hike, not eliminate a tax hike. A proposed budget will be released by the end of October and the Board will approve a final budget in mid December.
This Tuesday the Town Board will review department budget requests for three departments: Parks Department (2:15); Public Works (3:45 PM) and the Theodore Young Community Center (7:15 PM). Our meetings are streamed live on the internet and can also be watched on public access TV.
IN ADDITION COUNCIL MEMBERS SONJA BROWN, DIANA JUETTNER, KEVIN MORGAN, FRANCIS SHEEHAN AND I WILL CONTINUE COMMUNITY OUTRACH. WE WILL BE AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS SEEKING YOUR INPUT:
Monday, October 6th – 4:30pm to 5:30pm – Knollwood A& P

Friday, October 10th – 4:30pm to 5:30pm - *

Saturday, October 11th – noon to 2:00pm - *

Monday, October 13th – 3:00pm to 5:00pm - *

Saturday & Sunday, October 18th & 19th – Knollwood A& P, Scarsdale A& P

The 2009 budget is going to be a difficult one --for Greenburgh, for every community in the nation. Mortgage tax revenue is down, we are receiving less financial assistance from the state, interest on investments is down, certiorari's are reducing the tax base. We have to make difficult choices. However, your input is important during this process. Are the cuts we are making adequate? Should we cut less or more? Members of the Board are willing to make housecalls. If you would like us to stop by at your house to discuss the budget in greater detail please e mail townboard@greenburghny.com.

PAUL FEINER

185 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now is the time to look at TDYCC budget. It is clear that the town has no controls over expenditures there.

Anonymous said...

we the CSEA need to demonstrate at all locations

Anonymous said...

Will any raises, promotions, or hirings by Whitehead by revisited??

Anonymous said...

Does a 5% budget cut mean that our tax increase this year will be 17% instead of last years 21%? If you are thinking of raising taxes 17%, please think again and make more than 5% cut.

Real leaders have the courage to cut. They are rewarded with victory on election day.

Anonymous said...

The Town has no control over expenses. It is time for unincorporated Greenburgh to join or become villages.

Anonymous said...

Stop the BS and start making cuts to lower our taxes .
You have sat back and let the center, daycare center,housing eat up all our money.
They have received plenty in grants which we had to match plus our tax dollars ,,,,without showing the town where and if it was spaent or did it all go into someones pocket.
You have to have hands on with most of the people that you trusted with our money instead you made them do what they wanted.
They asked and you gave without checking.
We are in this bad way because you were too trustworthy in those that you put in charge. Now we pay the price.
Start lixstening to the residents and see how much money you can save.

Anonymous said...

Please don't cut stuff that we ALL pay for and we ALL need - sewer maintenance, trash pickup, street cleaning, code enforcement, police protection. etc. Start cuts with optional stuff like the community center, the nature center, the dog park, arts staff, etc. which may be cute things to have, but certainly not essential.

hal samis said...

How is this topic any different than one posted by the Supervisor on Wednesday October 1 "Budget Department meetings Difficult economy"?

It would that the sole purpose is to prevent a discussion/dialogue from developing on the topic; that when things get "hot", it is time to switch the channel; or that the topic is regarded with the same superficiality as is the reality.
Put up the topic, make an appearance and then on to the next topic -- perhaps next week something for cat owners.

Anonymous said...

6:06 is one hundred percent right.
We do not need the center,the daycare the nature center and all the parksespecially the forest of Taxter Rd.
Get rid of all of them and just stick to the necessary needs of the residents.
The center,daycare and many of the parks are not being used by all the residents. Fairview residents use whatever is at their finger tips. We use none of them.
These are the things that you should take out of the budget for this year and years to come.

ed krauss said...

The introduction to this section sets up the "straw man" for the "blame game." Lower sales tax; mortgage tax; state funding; certiararis further eating into our assessables and so on and so forth.

What it does not state is the fact that the economy last year was signficantly in better shape and we still were "handed" a 22% increase by the Feiner, Sheehan and Juettner Budgeteers. What it does not state is the lessons "unlearned" from last year's mismanagement result, will be with us this time around once more.The only change, is we now have a competent Comptroller who back in May said, publically, a 17% increase is light. Yet, nothing of note was done to take avantage of his "head's up." To the contrary, a house-to-house, self-promoting, roadshow was initiated to take "input" from constituents, while shutting out the pro.

The disingenuous seeking of input and help, when everyone who's lived in Greenburgh for more than a budget period, knows the Feiner, et al (accessoriies)block out what was said and do as they please. This, irrespective of the fact they are ALL financially challenged, and amateurs, who've proven inept at putting together a meaningful budget, during the time they've been in office, (some for as long as 18 years.)

When one is bleeding, and Greenburgh is bleeding big time, one does not spend $400,000 on a comprehensive plan-whose results can not be inplemented for lack of funding- and before the results are even out, are in the process of drastically changing zoning at 22 Tarrytown Rd.; underwrite a $334,000 contract with an after school program vendor whose track record and program are superluous; continues to flounder in deep water with regard to the REAL cost of the Library, after TOTALLY neglecting oversight of this $19.9 MILLION project since its inception 2 1/2 years ago (relying on the now famous"on time, on budget mantra of one man,without even once checking on the veracity of the statement, thus wasting approxiately $2-3 MILLION of tax payer money; is, at this point in time, permitting the library to funnel more than $100,000 from an operating budget surplus (which not too long ago was so poverty-stricken it could no longer fund the cybermobile) into the Capital budget to pay for that which was part of the $19.9 million referendum allocation-convoluted, maybe, but in Greenburgh it's commonplace (in some cicles this would be deemed an illegal transferrance of funds), demands a carte blance 5% cut from each department when they know little or nothing about the daily operating proceedures of the department, (in point of fact, an examination of the workings of each department could yield a more intelligent, informed method of operaton, i.e. some departments could spare 10-15%while others may be short handed and NEED more help.

Just because you've put "X" number of budgets together over a period of "Y" number of years, does not make you knowledgable, since there was no one knowledgable there to correct your mistakes.

Without question, there are gross ineffeciancies in our town government. How do I know? I listen to the nonsense discussed at the televised work sessesions. "Should we spend "$600 when we can spend $400?"

Good grief, we have a town budget of more than $70,000,000 and an October deadline. And, the folks in charge of the ass-ylum are tormenting over whether we choose the "blue" fire extinguisher or the lavander one...all the while the house is burning to the ground.

My advice is as follows: we now have a board that only listens to itself, and, therefore, it would be waste of time to posit good advice.Wait until we have the opportunity to advise a new board that will listen to, and act on practical suggestions.In my opinion, this year is a dead cause, Tighten your belts because a solution is not within the purview of this board. Another 20%er will be with us...and will be with us until we retain these small minded, wasteful, incompetent hacks whose only objective is to get re-elected and DAMN those whose foot the bill.

The ball is in your court. Get a new administration, get a second job or get a moving van.

Einstein said something like the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

I know your garbage is picked up twice a week, your streets are shoveled when it snows and even the weeds on Central Ave were cleaned up...for now, election time. What you also must be aware of is the hand going deeper and deeper into your pocket.

It doesn't take 3 votes, it takes 3 intelligent votes and 50.1% of all the votes.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Ed Krauss who spoke out in favor of the 20 million library construction prior to the referendum? How soon he forgets...

Anonymous said...

To 11:16 AM who says
"we the CSEA need to demonstrate at all locations"

We, the Taxpayers, need to demonstrate at all locations.

Anonymous said...

Ed Krause, was that you at 8:57pm or Mike Kolesar hiding behind your mouth/skirt?

Anonymous said...

Kolesar is not afraid to voice his opinion. He puts all the cards on the table and he lets tthe residents know what's really going on in TOG.

cross your fingers said...

Residents should count themselves lucky that Kolesar is the Town Comptroller. He is doing one sensible thing after another, and the Town Board shuts him up because they only look for reelection, not answers or advice.

We should raise holy hell about the Toan Board's dissing of Kolesar. if he is forced out we will pay a big price.

Anonymous said...

The board is afraid of the results found by a competent comptroller because it shows the mistakes made by their spending of tax dollars.
It would be a crime if Kolesar steps down,
Honesty is the best policy and that is what is lacking in our town government.
This man not only shows us the way to make correction he gives you a chance to clarify all the problems that you created.
Are you all going to listen NO you never did that is why we are in such a state of complete disaster.
Kolesar stick to your guns in showing us the taxpayers that there is a way to start lowering our taxes.
We have been taken for a ride for too long by this administration plus by the no brains comptrollers of the past.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think Kolesar knows what he's talking about?

Anonymous said...

Yes. 9:25, Kolesar knows. Obviously you don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

If things are so bad let's take away all Towns cars from going home, eliminating work force at the sanitation by putting the garbage on the curb, closing the Library one a week, raising fees for programs, and cutting non-union salaries, including yours Paul.

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:01am. Kolesar knows what he's talking about. He just doesn't know what he's doing. Is he the controller, the town crier or simply the inside reporter to his cronnies. Please get on with being the controller and stop the political posturing.

Anonymous said...

Why are Whiteheads summer hires still working at $40.00an hour?

Seasonal means Seasonal?? Summer camp is over.

Anonymous said...

kolesar has a hidden agenda!!!

Anonymous said...

Kolesar doesn't have a hidden agenda. It's as plain as the nose on your face. It's a political agenda. Wasn't he a politician (Ardsdley) before he became town controller? Do you think he checked his political agenda at the door when he became controller?

Anonymous said...

THE ONLY AGENDA KOLESAR HAS IS TO BRING SOME STABILITY TO THIS TOWN.
AND IF HE DOES SO WHAT???
I'M INTERESTED IN SEEING HOW AND WHEN HE COULD ADVISE THE BOARD THAT THE TAXES WILL BE COMING DOWN TO NORMAL.
WE CAN'T HOLD OUR BREATH SINCE SO MANY THINGS DO NOT ADD UP AND THE COMPTROLLER AND HIS DEPUTY HAVE A LONG HAUL IN FRONT OF THEM TO BALANCE THE BOOKS.
LEAVE HIM BE AND YOU WILL SEE THAT ONE DAY OUR BOOKS WILL BE BALANCED THE CORRECT WAY.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar has publicly posted on the Ardsley Village website that he strongly supports the use of Veterans by Ardsley Village residents, even though they are not taxed to support Town parks and rec. I dont agree. I say either court decision was fine, people should either not have access or pay taxes. The user fees dont cover the parks budget.

Anonymous said...

The only agenda Kolesar has is to bring instability to the Town. How else would he acheive his politicla agenda? What is that you ask? Get rid of anyone in management or on the board that disagrees with his enlighted managerial expertise.

ed krauss said...

To 10/4 9:14 PM. Yes, I was for the library. However, you neglect to mention that I was also for an "OWNER'S REP." I wrote an article which was published in the Scarsdale Inquirer. I wrote that this is too big a project not to have INFORMED oversight. And Al Regula does not have the time, inclination or experience to oversee a project of this magnitude.

With that kind of oversight, we probably would have saved a couple of million dollars.

Like some prominent members of the Town board, you engage in half truths. Per chance, are you a member of the board? Or, a half informed individual? No answer necessary, your anonymity says a good deal.

To 10/04 10:03 PM.: No! it was me writing as I ALWAYS do under my own name. What is yours? Whose skirt are you hiding under?

To the rest of the blog: The issue is not Mike Kolesar, he has no vote. If you want to help yourselves, keep your eye on the ball before it bounces up and hits you twixt the legs in a very sensitive part of the male anatomy.

You don't have to trust me, of course, but then take it from me, Mike Kolesar is too honest to be a politician.

And, by the way, I to am very much in favor of Ardsley getting into the Tony Veteran Park. THey pay for it via lost taxes, and other related items like giving the unincorporated a road to get into the park without having to build one from Seor Rd...which would dwarf the cost of any capital project in Greenburgh excepting the Library fiasco.

So don't be so quick to judge that which you know zippo about.

And if you disagree with that which: I, Me, Ed Krauss wrote last night, tell me where and how I was wrong.

Inuendo doesn't cut it.

Step up to the plate, whether you wear your mask of anonymity or not.

If you think there's hope for this town with these elected official, show me what they will do differently than they've done for the past 18 years. On what and from where will this epiphany come from?

We're all on the same side. Whether you're for Feiner, or Sheehan or Juettner, or Morgan or Brown, this is not about politics. This is about informed governance. That's something sorely lacking in Greenburgh.

Wake up. Open you eyes. Check your tax bill. Think about how much longer you can go on paying taxes that are rising at a rate of 20% annually.

And whether you believe me or not- and I've said this before Mike Kolesar was appointed- it's here to stay...+20 in '09, +20% in '10 and until someone gets a handle on how to run this town in a financially prudent way.

So trash me if you must.I'm a big boy.

Anonymous said...

Employees of Greenburgh to Town Board: Look at overtime, p/t hiring practices in the Town Comptrollers office.

Anonymous said...

Ed. If you said "it's here to stay before Kolesar was appointed, 20% in '09, 20% in '10..." why did the town hire your buddy Kolesar? To tell us the same thing? Wasn't he going to show us the way to the promised land or was his hire simply politics as usual in Greenburgh?

Anonymous said...

Again! cut the cops training to be firefighters. The police have 7 or 8 police officers training to do rescue work ,when you already have firefighters in Greenville/Fairview and Hartsdale that do all the training. we also have a new rescue truck with our own trailer and all the tools to do the job. It is a duplication of services.it's a big waste of money and manpower. Instead of training on tech-rescue they should be on patrol and doing police work. I know Kevin Morgan knows this is a waste, I just don't know why he's afraid to do or say anything about it. I hope it's not because he use to work for Chief Kapica

Anonymous said...

It can't be ignorance that some bloggers seem to think that it is Mike Kolesar who makes the tax increases. No, the cause for these ridiculous attacks on Kolesar is to protect the Town Board, because it is the Town Board which makes the budget. All a comptroller can do is to inform the Town Board of what the numbers and the departments and the revenues are, and how to improve things so that they can make sensible decisions. But not in Greenburgh.

For those whose memories are even shorter than their IQ, the 21% budget increase or 2008 was proposed in October 2007 and adopted in December 2007. That budget was prepared by the former comptroller, James Heslop. It wasn't Heslop's budget either, although he was an incompetent and not really a qualified comptroller. Kolesar didn't come on board until February of March of this year, and boy, have we been learning things since then. Why? Because Kolesar is a true professional, and like a true professional he doesn't hide things just because the Town Board wants him to hide things.

We will pay a big price. The signes are already there that the Town Board won't keep him on. We will probably get another hack who kowtows to the Town Board and its wish to cover things up until the roof falls in. By the way, the roof will fall in very very soon.

Anonymous said...

Ed, the arguement that Ardsley "paid" for Veterans with lost taxes is lame. And everyone knows it. The park is in a residential neighborhood. Any single family or even town houses would result in more students in the school, at a greater cost per student than the taxes paid. I realize you used to live in Ardsley and likely have friends still there. There are a number of fair ways for them to get access. Giving away access for only user fees, which dont cover the cost of parks and rec, isnt one of them.

Anonymous said...

My good friend Ed suggests that Mike is doing a bang up job as Comptroller and that the Town Board ain't listening.
Ed--do the community a favor and provide us with specifics. What has Mike proposed that the Town Board rejected? Has he presented the Town Board with budget ideas that they have rejected? What would he cut? What cuts has he made in his department, if any? What controls has he put in place to safeguard our dollars?

Anonymous said...

"summer hires still working at $40.00 an hour"

If this is true, I'm very concerned that the supervisor is not supervising. Also, do summer camp workers really get $40 an hour?!

Anonymous said...

Could someone tell me how Kolesarand his associate do a good job if the entire board will not listen to his requests.
Check the work sessions and see how two of the board members always have something bad to say about his {Kolesar} concerns.

Anonymous said...

May I ask why do you have all theses meetings with residents when you don't give a dame .
We are tired of the promises made to help us with our taxes.
Get rid of the pork given to the Fairview facilities and then and only then maybe we could see a little light of hope.
You don't have to meet with us you all know where you have screwed us royally.

Hartsdale Home Owner said...

I agree taxes and budget are the only issue. Since I bid on my Hartsdale house in the spring of 2003, my overall property tax bill has increased 50% - averaging $1000/year. I've lost empathy for any unnecessary expenses until I feel that waste has been kept to a minimum.

Anonymous said...

What "make house calls"? Stop this silly nonsense Paul. You you darn well what the citizens of Greenburgh think just by reading this blog. Why ask us what we think you should do if you don't give a damn what we think?

ed krauss said...

9:24 PM, What does the location of Town Park have anything to do with why Ardsley "paid" with lost taxes? The Town Park was bought by Tony Veteran from a private corporation, Scarsdale Bath and Tennis.They, along with property owners on the plot paid taxes.No one, especialy me, alluded to lost taxes from potential private development of single family homes and/or town houses.

Olympic Rd-in the Village of Ardsley- used as a means to get into and out of Town Park, saved the Town untold millions, by eliminating the need to build a road from Secor Rd.

For the record, I also have friends in unincorporated Greenburgh as well as the other villages. It must be my friendly personality.

My position is not about friendship, it's about fairness. So please don't call my position "lame," especially if you're short on the facts

To 11:00 PM, It's always nice to find you have a new "anonymous" friend.And since friends are truthful with friends, I'll give you, my newest friend, the straight poop.(No dog park intended.)

I will give the honor of providing the community with specifics about how bang up a job the comptroller is doing to you.

The most obvious one is his May 9, 2008 memo to the five Board members explaning, in simple terms, why the 17% tax increase in the "B" budget, by the Greenburgh Management and Budget Review Committee was light. (By the way this Town should be thankful to each and every member of that volunteer committee, for doing a spectacular, professional, thorough job.)

Because of Kolesar's forecast, most likely unique among previous comptrollers, the Board has begun scurrying around, SEVEN months sooner than last year, trying to come up with ways to reduce the all but certain 20+% increase. You may be aware the Board rarely if ever put up more budgetary "smoke and mirrors," than they have during this 2009 budget process. Knocking on doors. Ordering department heads to cut budgets by 5 percentage points.

Adjuring,appealing, beseaching, entreating and begging for "input," from the public.

Without Mike, we would, most certainly, have had a repeat of last year, the year before and the year before that.It's akin to all-nighters in college. Cramming before a final. And, you probably remember, the end result of information obtained via cramming. Correct! Right after the test, you forget most, if not all, of the information.

Oh, yes, I said I'd give you, my new anonymous friend, the honor of providing the information to the community.

Here goes. Do as I did. FOIL the document in which Mike Kolesar memoed the Board, the entire Board, his 2009 Financial Projections, in early May, 2008.

You see dear friend, teachers teach. They don't take the test for you. So FOIL, and assuredly, and ANONYMOUSLY of course, you are free to communicate the new found wisdom you gain to the community.

I've done the work. All you have to do is serve it.

Are you up to it? Or are you a question man who disseminates...questions only?

Anonymous said...

Ed, I think we have had competent controllers in the past. They did not have Kolesars political background in disseminating information -- but it doesnt mean they were not competent.

As to public access to Veterans, how did people access it when it was the old Scarsdale Bath and Tennis Club? Through a road destroyed by the Sprain? And then if it remained in private hands, would not the state and/or county been able to condemmn unimproved Village land for a minimal price in order to provide access? Wasnt this all hashed out years ago?

hal samis said...

"it short there is not,
a more congenial spot,
for happy everlasting life
than right here in Camelot"
from the musical Camelot...
Camelot was bumped by Greenburgh from 79th place.

"Sherman, set the dial of the wayback machine to May 2007."
'Sure thing, Mr. Peabody.'
from tv's The Bullwinkle Show...

And how do these seemingly unrelated remberances affect Greenburgh residents?

The Town Board may want you to think that all is well and "that by nine am the morning clouds will disappear" but we are not living where it all ends well.

If you made the trip back to last spring with Peabody and Sherman and asked the Town Board, how is Greenburgh doing, you might have gotten a similar picture of Kochian contentment. Until the bad news hit later that year (surprise!) when the Supervisor released the budget and even worse later when he re-released the budget.

This year, edgy residents are aware that there's trouble in store; trouble that even a boy's band or the Xposure program won't solve.
We're facing another double digit tax increase.

Where did this news come from? What brought it to the forefront this May? What sent the Town Board scurrying to ask residents what to do.

The answer is not what but who.

The answer and the difference between Spring 2007 and Spring 2008is Mike Kolesar. Without his alerting the Town Board AND the public, repeatedly, that "terrible, terrible trouble" is coming, the public would be unaware and the release of the budget in November (conveniently after the October Town Board meeting) and the new rules restricting comment at Public Hearings -- together will combine to limit Public discussion IN PUBLIC and on camera. Something that what is said in a resident's living room does not travel as accurately enroute to the center ring. Think "lots of residents call me or stop me on the street..."

In anticipation of what is to come is the current round of the continuing campaign to discredit the Town Comptroller. The few Town meetings meetings that have heard from the public, Mr. Feiner has intervened to prevent the Comptroller from speaking; instead the Supervisor has given his own opinion. What this portends is that this may be the first year of Public Hearings on the budget that the Town Comptroller may not be heard.

Especially, if the Town Board decides to disregard its own Fund Balance policy by their last ditch attempt to buy down the budget deficit. Once that Fund money is used up, the manure will really hit the eco conscious windmill.

Say goodbye to the much vaunted bond rating; say goddbye to the money put aside for the Court expansion; say goodbye to sidewalks; say goodbye to Comprehensive Plan revelations (thanks to neighborhood outreach, they'll know the problems they can't afford to fix) but say hello to Xposure and new software for the Assessor.

In lieu of sidewalks, be sure to visit the $175,000 worth of the Sheehan ramp from nowhere at the new Library.

The Town Comptroller does not allocate the Town revenues amongst the departments. He has no vote on the budget. All he can do is advise the Town Board and try to introduce money saving procedures to department heads. If they don't adopt them, then nothing will happen. The Comptroller can introduce systems to measure productivity but if the department heads don't care, then nothing will happen. The Comptroller can discover money disappearing and improperly spent but if the Town Board and the department heads don't take notice, then nothing will happen.

Those of you who watch or attend Town Board work sessions are aware of the friction between Kolesar and Sheehan. Mr. Sheehan doesn't like it when someone else leads the orchestra -- especially when that someone, who is not even a candidate, upstages him because Sheehan wants to be cast as the wise Professor, seeking to be the expert as counterbalance for his embracing the Feiner team.

Kolesar is not loved by many of the Town's department heads and their online buddies. Go back and reread the attacks on Kolesar and think what would be the basis or information that would cause mere civilians/taxpayers to enter the fray. Residents would be upset by getting information? Only those that seek to stifle open government would object; only those who have something to lose would object; no citizen or citizen wallet has been damaged by Kolesar. The only ones who would be hurt by this brash upstart are those whose collected body of "acumen" is being challenged.

In police procedurals, it is axiomatic to follow the money trail. The only guy in government who's following the trail is Kolesar and where it is leading is proportionate to the attacks on this blog.

I call Kolesar a Town resource and a friend. Ditto for Ed Krauss. However where I differ with Ed is that the Citizen's Budget Committee produced zilch while reaching through the eggplant for the grunch. And, there were several voiceless residents hanging out there as well, a la manner Juettner. When they come forward to claim their certificate of appreciation, I shall point them out.

Either we have open government or we don't. Either we have Kolesar or we get the Heslop rubber stamp.
Since you readers are also taxpayers, think before you attack: will you choose the malady or the tiger?

Anonymous said...

Hal and Ed have missed pointing out one important detail -
ONLY in the "Open" government of Greenburgh does a member of the public need to FOIL even such a basic document as the minutes of a Town Board meeting.
Why should we have to FOIL Mike Kolesar's extraordinarily insightful budget analysis of last May? Because both the Paulists and the Shehananigans don't want basic governance information available to the public.
The current dysfunctional, disorganized, disrespectful, dyslexic and dishonest Board must go. Hal, I offer you the 5D's to go with your "just 3 votes". Greenburgh is better than its elected officials - and deserves caring, competent and non-partisan management - NOW!

we are in trouble said...

I have watched town board meetings in several towns and in a few of the villages in Greenburgh. In every one of those meetings, the comptroller was treated with respect and his views were solicited and listened to.

Only in Greenburgh is the comptroller treated as an enemy by the town board and its claque.

And that, dear friends, is why we are in such deep s**t.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS A TEST! Find the errors contained in this JN article in this town quote! Math errors count for 50% of your over all score! Go!

Students, who each pay $300 a year to participate, yesterday were issued photo identification cards and received brief introductions to the courses they will take. They answered finance and health questions in a computerized version of Jeopardy, wore white lab coats for quick science lessons and attended computer labs and radio and television workshops.

After a month long training period, students will be paid $6 to $12 a week as part of the program, Thomas said. Most of that money will go into bank accounts they are required to open.

"What?" said Adriana Bailey, 12, who didn't know she would have to save most of her money. "I wanted to shop."

Up to 150 students in kindergarten through eighth grades can enroll in the program, but they must live in unincorporated areas of Greenburgh.

The town will pay Xposure $150,000 to run the program, part of a $167,550 grant from the Lanza Family Foundation. The payment includes Thomas' salary of $35,600.

The remaining $17,550 of the grant will be used by the town to purchase electronic whiteboards, laptops, and audio and visual equipment, among other items, said Winsome Gordon, the grants coordinator in the town's philanthropy office.

After-school teachers are town employees and will be paid from additional budgeted funds of $167,550 - money the town saved by eliminating the previous homework help program, she said.

Gordon said she and the town comptroller would oversee the grant portion of Xposure's finances.

Town Supervisor Paul Feiner also has proposed forming an advisory group of town and education officials to monitor the program and gauge its effectiveness.

xposure and jn both jokes said...

Errors in the Journal News article?

Well lessee. First, the Journal News reports that the town is paying Xposure $150,000 to run the program. Wrong. The town is using up the entire Lanza grant of $167,500 for "Xposure" - $35,600 of which is being paid directly to Thomas, the program's executive director, who still hasn't furnished the town with a resume.

The Journal News Reports that $17,500 of the Lanza grant is being used to purchase school related equipment, like laptops and electronic whiteboards. Wrong. That money is coming out of town funds. Yep folks, we may be experiencing a 21% tax hike this year, and a double digit increase for next year, but the town has no problem using unincorporated area tax revenues to pay for an after school program for the Greenburgh Central 7 school district. The program may be "open" to unincorporated area kids, but there's only one school district with kids participating.

Is this whole scheme illegal? You bet it is. But if the Journal News can't get even the basic details right, you can't expect them to report on the more fundamental problems with this program.

More mistakes... lessee. The after school teachers will be paid $167,500 from town funds saved from scrapping the existing after school program. Nope. The "teachers" will be paid $150,000 from funds supposedly saved.

Funniest line in story is the part about the town comptroller "overseeing the grant portion of Xposure's finances."

How's he supposed to do that? Under the town's contract with Xposure, all Xposure (which is really Thomas) has to do is ask for the balance of the $167,500 (after paying Thomas his separate "salaried" portion), and he gets the money. There's nothing for Kolesar or any other town comptroller to "oversee."

Houston we have a problem said...

Kids pay: $300x150= $45.0k
Lanza: $ 167.6k
TOG Tosses in : $167.6k
Total take= $380.2k

We pay Xposure: $150.0k
We pay kids ($9 per wk avg):$70.2k
We pay for equipment: $17.6k
We pay teachers: $167.6k
Total expenditures: $405.4k
Balance: (-$25.2k)

Howmadoin? Yep we're going to GIVE these kids $70,200. Um, haha! Who is paying for that?

HILLAROUS said...

We charge $300 per year for this babysitting service. $1.15 per day and then pay them $1.8 per day back!? WTH? I'll bet those who signed up for the program are getting it as a freebie too!

hal samis said...

Who "owns" the equipment?

The Lanza Foundation, the Town, Mr. Thomas?

Who "gets" the $300?
The Lanza Foundation, the Town, Mr. Thomas?

Who's on first?
The Lanza Foundation, the Town,
Mr. Thomas?

The last question is there to remind readers that the world of Abbott & Costello and the world of Greenburgh are not so far apart.

Anonymous said...

The program may be "open" to unincorporated area kids, but there's only one school district with kids participating.

Almost right. There is only one school district with kids participating in it and only those kids who attend those district schools, which is 1/2 of the population of kids in that entire district.
This program was not broadcast to the entire GC school district kids. Only the public school kids.

Anonymous said...

More importantly - Who comes first?
It certainly isn't our children.

Anonymous said...

Spending per child GC SD: 24.6K
Spending per child Xposure- $2.7k
Total spending to educate the 150 privileged kids in the program-
$27,300 per child.

What local private schools charge this in tuition? NONE!

Anonymous said...

The Edgemont school district has an afterschool program too. It consists of older kids tutoring younger kids. It's all volunteer and costs the district nothing. It's called community service. Why then must Edgemont taxpayers, who are already taxed plenty, pay town taxes to cover the town's after school program for Greenburgh Central?

Anonymous said...

Edgemont kids can participate too. Why don't you register them.

Anonymous said...

The absence of any Edgemont kids in the Xposure program demonstrates that Edgemont parents realized on their own that this was not a program that would in any way benefit their kids and that the town's statement to the press that the program is open to all kids who live in the town's unincorporated areas is nothing more than a cynical attempt to justify charging the costs of this program not to the school district which benefits, but to the entire unincorporated area, which consists of 9 other public school districts, none of whom have parents who thought their kids belonged in such a program.

At a time of 21% tax increases when elected officials are supposed to be cutting costs, it's hard to understand why the Town of Greenburgh insists on charging its entire unincorporated areas with subsidizing costs intended for only one of its school districts.

If the school district thought it was worthwhile to invest in the program, its taxpayers should be asked to pay for it. If those taxpayers choose not to pay for it, who on earth gave Feiner and the rest of his town board the legal authority to charge everyone in the town's unincorporated areas else for it?

Anonymous said...

Are parents of participating kids actually writing checks of $300? If so, to whom are the checks made? I'm skeptical many parents are actually forking over this cash out-of-pocket. Is the town really underwriting this portion too? And if Prof. Henry Hill Thomas runs off tomorrow, do they get their $300 back?

Anonymous said...

2:24,
This has nothing to do with the school district. It has all to do with Fairview. It's a coincidence that Fairview resides in the C7 district.

As another blogger pointed out, 1/2of the kids living in the C7 district don't attend school there and none of those parents would have thought to enroll their kids into this program either. It's the double whammy for these families. They pay, pay, pay and get nothing.

Anonymous said...

I strongly encourage every one to register to vote as a Democrat TODAY. Their is still time to change your party affiliation in order to vote in next years all important democratic primary. You have until the November general election to do so. For too long, the town council has been accountable only to Fairview and the Villages (the latter happy only as long as they dont have to pay, we will see if that changes).

Anonymous said...

You don't have to be a democrat to vote .
When you go into that booth you as a citizen has the right to vote which ever way you may think will be the best for our town ,county,state or Washington.
Party means nothing.

Anonymous said...

But the Democratic Primary historically determines who is elected to Town Council in Greenburgh. Of course, you can vote in the general election however you want. No one will know how you voted. But, as they say for the lottery, you gotta be in it to win it. In Greenburgh, that means you must be able to vote in the primary.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymoous 10/05/2008 9:17 PM AKA Greenburgh Firefighter. How dare you talk about waste. All fire departments in the Town of Greenburgh are a waste of Taxpayer money. Building codes in the town have worked and fires are rare. Volunteer firefighters work in the villages and can work in the town. Lets give people tax incentives to volunteer as firefighters. By the way you duplicated the service. The police were progressive and started technical rescue. You only got involved when you realized that there are no fires in the town and you needed a service to substantiate the enormous fire tax that each resident pays annually.

Anonymous said...

TO: 10/05/2008 11:13 PM
YES, TDYCC SUMMER EMPLOYEES MADE $40.00 AND CONTINUE-OTHERs $30, & $25. Whitehead under investigation - Feiner does nothing. Get Whitehead out she's raping the budget and paying her felon nephews-
WHY WHY IS THIS WOMAN (WHITEHEAD) STILL MAKING DECISIONS??????????

Anonymous said...

Dont we have civil service rules? Qualifications, etc? If TDYCC has money it is budget to do this, it is time to really really cut the budget.

Anonymous said...

Bet ya that Edgemont parents will recognize value of xposure and will start sending their children to the program.

Anonymous said...

*points and laughs at 11:29*

Can I have some of that stuff you're smoking?

Anonymous said...

I assume that 11:29 was being sarcastic.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:51 I'm not a firefighter, matter of fact far from it but, I bet you will be the first person crying if your home were to catch fire. Maybe nobody will help you and you can blame it on trying to save a few bucks. Maybe we should get rid of every service in the town. or just smarten, up you don't need all this management in some of these departments, In most cases that I have experienced its mismanagement that hurts that tax payers and the town employees more than anything else. To many Chiefs not enough ..... Yah you can finish the phrase. Don't believe this ask town employees that aren't in management that don't get to plea for their job at the useless workshops the town board has

Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:51 you are a complete
idiot, if you think our town can switch to all volunteers! I'm not a firefighter either, but I know the volunteer service is dying or is dead already. If the police are training as firefighters, it is a duplication of services. The police officers should be out on patrol! If you were a taxpayer, maybe even someone like you would understand this is a waste. The town needs to cut somewhere, and this would be a good start.

Anonymous said...

9:51 on 10/7 must be a Paulist - if not Paul himself.
"Building codes in the Town have worked and fires are rare." Sounds suspiciously like the Supervisor's oft stated and acted upon maxim of "Don't bother with adequate insurance, it's a waste of taxpayer money because when a tree falls on Central Avenue it only is heard if there is a car underneath."
The emphasis on substituting volunteers for paid professionals (read also CSEA members who remain without a contract) is an important Paulist plank.
Finally, the consolidation of emergency services - that is, bringing police, fire and emergency ambulance under a single unified command - which was the subject of a Feiner committee which researched the idea for several years before Feiner dumped their report in the garbage. Sadly the report isn't subject to FOIL because the committee was appointed by Feiner, not officially by the Town Board.
At the very least it is a work of a Paulist apologist - and entertaining as a bit of light fiction.

T A N S T A A F L said...

Do not buy into the politicians' wet dream that a grant from the state or federal government doesn't cost you a dime.
Who do you think pays the taxes to the state and federal governments which get disbursed as grants? You do!
This area pays far, far more in taxes to the state and federal governments than it receives back in services and grants. Do you really believe that some magnimous government somewhere just sends along money it has lying around doing nothing so that Greenburgh can have a dog park? If so, may I please send you my children's lists for Santa Claus because you obviously know where to go with them.
Taxter Ridge cost taxpayers in Greenburgh the whole $10 or $12 million - unless you have a magical purse which pays the Town, the State and the Federal government from different sources, YOU paid for all of it.
TANSTAAFL!

Anonymous said...

"Building codes in the Town have worked ..."

Perhaps the ones that are enforced work well, but sooooooooo many are ignored. Strict code enforcement would bring in some well needed income.

Anonymous said...

4:18 is really reaching. Yes Greenburgh residents pay all of the $10 million for Taxter Ridge. But the amount that we pay for the state's and county's contributions to the purchase price is pennies, or less than that, out of the multi-billion taxes that the state and the county receive.

There is lots to be unhappy about regarding Taxter Ridge, but our contribution to the state and county's payments isn't one of them. My suggestion to 4:18 is to get over it.

Anonymous said...

6:31. Like the "not a church" chruch on Central ave in Hartsdale with stained glass replicas in the windows and holds services that sits in front of the 'not a multiple family dwelling" multiple family dwelling on Lawton Ave?

Both brought to the boards attention too many times to count but they lie and say it all legit!!

Anonymous said...

"Do as I say, not as I do"- Michael Kolesar

Why was an $11,000 raise given to the payroll clerk and CSEA hasn't received any increases and there are talks of layoffs?

Anonymous said...

To 10/8 8:32 PM

The policy decision regarding the CSEA contrat or lack thereof sits with five people, the Town Board, not the Town Comptroller.

As to the raise, it wasn't $11,000 and it went to a CSEA member, one of your own.

Anonymous said...

well, since you seem to know more than me, how much was the raise?

Because he is a CSEA member should the rest of us throw a parade. One person gets $11,000 and the rest of us are left to deal with the failing economy and rising cost. Gas bill just came $430.00. $11,000 would come in very handy about now.

Anonymous said...

An 11,000 raise? This is absurd. The Town Council keeps throwing out raises.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Not a firefighter and my friend 9:51 who called me an idiot..Everyone is a genius at least once a year. Sorry to inform you this isn't that one time. But I will have to admit when your right your right. I would be the first person crying when my house caught fire and I had to call the fire department. At that time I would have to realize that the Greenburgh Firefighters never stop a house from burning they watch it burn.So yes I would be upset that my property would be lost. How many fires do they fight a year. Give us some statistics. Lets face it they piggy back the Police Department for calls for service from the EMS program to the Trench Rescue Unit. Lets correct one misunderstanding in both your emails THE FIREMAN ARE TRAINING AS POLICEMAN. The Police Department is the originators of the Trench Rescue Unit you are involved because they asked you to be. The Police Department realized that the Greenburgh Fire Fighters union needs to justify there existence. Thats why you are involved. Ask your self one question. If the Greenburgh Police Department decided not to include the fire department in EMS or Trench Rescue? Would we need so many firefighters or there ENOURMOUS BUDGETS OR THAT DREADED FIRE TAX ....HMMM I bet your telling yourself.We shouldn't go there. Don't worry I won't call you an idiot BECAUSE your just too stupid to know the facts.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 10/08 9:50 I just looked at my fire tax. HOLY @#%$. Who is in charge of this. Ok i am ignorant. I never realized the fire department was independantly taxed from the rest of the town services. How come they are not held to the same cut backs as the other departments. Mr Feiner please address this issue.There budget is bigger than the police and sanitation combined. The fire department has less personal then both departments. How come you never addresed this issue or there budget.You should be ashamed with all the public safety cutbacks that you placed in the budget and left non essential personal alone like the Fire department.

Anonymous said...

Paul has no control over the Fire Departments or Schools. So what are we paying the Town taxes for? TDYCC???

Anonymous said...

The only ones to blame for money being thrown away is management. Yet nobody holds them accountable. Instead what they do is pick a guy out of a hat to tell him they are going to lay him off. Well the problem is that doesn't fix the problem, it just temporarily takes some money of the tax bill, that will be filled the next year by the price of the fuel increase. Instead of laying people off STOP FILLING OPEN POSITIONS. You heard it first, it happens all the time in Greenburgh. What happened to the hiring freeze. Well the answer is nothing if you know the rite person. Take away all vehicles that go home until this budget is fixed. What about the people that have town vehicles that drive 50 to 60 miles each way to work. Now double that number and times it by 5 days a week (100-120) now times that by 52 weeks a year (5200-6240) I will use 5700 miles a year as a median and times that by the $3 a gallon or so the town pays for the gas. Must be niece can I have a town vehicle. Im sure nobody with a vehicle minded last years gas increase.

Anonymous said...

ITS ALL ABOUT BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME.

Place: Comptrollers Office
Time: Now

Breaking News
Line up, Comptroller giving outrageous raises, hurry up, you may still have time to get a raise before the budget is voted on. See you there !!!!!

Anonymous said...

After Kolesar and the Temporary head of TDYCC are gone, can we get rid of these ridiculous raises? No one is getting raises like this in todays economy.

Kolesar as Watchman said...

Kolesar doesn't award raises. Raises are either contractual (in the case of workers covered by contract) or voted by the Town Board.
(Wave to the voters, Paul)
Blaming Kolesar is like blaming your watch because you are late. Both only report what is happening - neither has the power to make you do anything. Both let you know where you stand - but is is solely your responsibility to act.
For far too long the Supervisor and Town Board have not chosen to do the responsible thing - now it may be too late to prevent a DOUBLING of Town taxes over a 3 year period.

outraged said...

I just had a family conference with my spouse to discuss family budget cuts. We are very afraid of how we will survive the current financial crisis and the rise of costs in most every service or consumable we pay for. We are fearful of unemployment and are in the process of formulating our own “bail out” which will include selling our home should we find ourselves unemployed.

We have left no stone unturned for consideration as we attempt to slash spending. In the past few days we have lost 40% of our retirement savings. We are not young yet we have children. We discussed what will happen if our soon to be college students can not secure loans. They may not be able attend college.

Our family health insurance premium was just adjusted to $1800 per month. We are considering only insuring our children. We told our children to be ready to dress warmly when home as we will have to lower the heat to 60o day and night. No budget for entertainment, dining out, haircuts, dry-cleaning. There will be no vacations, no parties, no Christmas. Lunch will be brought from home to school and work. Only grocery items on sale will be purchased. Do not expect well rounded meals. Every single can or bottle will be recycled back for the 5 cents. Clothes will be worn more than once before washing. The dishwasher will be run 3 times max per week, no heated drying. Public transportation will be considered for any travel.

How in the world can Paul and this board sit there and spend one plug nickel of our money without doing exactly what I am doing with my budget so that hopefully, my family can survive these next few years?

What I read here, what I see being spent on frivolous things has me sick. My family will do without while the town thinks that’s ok to support raises and programs and libraries and BULLS$IT!

Make no mistake! This is a very, very bad time and I’ll be grateful if my family survives the near future without losing our home, our health, our life savings.

Paul, if you think for one minute that any single dime you spend is not meaningful to me, you are out of your mind. You should be thinking of me & my kids as we freeze this winter. You want to pay a bunch of kids $70,000?! while mine may not have enough to eat? I’m just sick…….

Anonymous said...

Don't blame this outrageous raise on the town board, this was done without their knowledge. This is all Kolesars doing. Foil it and let us know if you find a signature of any of the town board members approving this raise( I can tell you right know that you won't)

Kolesar is a con artist, he gives away ridiculous raises and hires p/t workers at $40 per hr

Anonymous said...

Wow, 9:31AM hit the nail right on the head! We as employees should be happy we have a job! BUT as he/she said why is the Town Board and Paul still approving costly budgets, giving part-timers 40.00 and hour? "Selective" CSEA members getting raises and change of titles without even contacting the Union President. Heck the union finds out after all this is done!
I am sure Paul will have an excuse as usually, this is truly a smack in the face to all of us who work hard in the Town of Greenburgh and for us that live here and pay taxes.
You read the papers everyday about County employees that are driving around in new cars, new cell phones and high bills, why are we not learning from example?
Does Paul even read this blog? If he does why doesn't he follow some of the suggestions as opposed to making more excuses. It seems that anything goes in the Town and the Taxpayers are paying for it! I agree the Paul needs to tighten his "grip" and go back to his old way of governing the Town. Ed Krauss hate him or love him, makes a lot of good points as well as some of the other regular bloggers, they sure have made us(employees & taxpayers) aware of issues we would have never known about.
Is this the reason that it was made known that the blog may be shut down?? To keep us in the dark?

Anonymous said...

As an accountant for a very large firm, I do think that the town board had better listen to Kolesar for his many suggestions to trim the budget.
He has pointed out to you what can be done and what should not be done.
The hatred coming from Sheehan mouth is deplorabe when it comes to the comptroller.
Look at what the rec commissioner stated a couple bucks here and there which really amount to nothing considering all the tax money that is needed to have all these parks in full operation.
You all are a complete failure when it comes to union rules which you all implimented thru the years.
How much do you want to fool the public ?
You want to do something for the public get rid of a few parks especially your friends extended back yard.
It seems to me that you want all the services ,parks,centers,housing,and the library to be run in the samr manner without layoffs.
You have a dpw commissioner who has mega years on the job where he has been a total disaster,give him a buy out.
You have a police commissioner who could be offered the same incentive.
You now have an assessor who is not doing the job to the fullest. Why keep her.
How much money has she made the town spend in the short time of her employment.
Kolesar is not in charge of raises the entire board is.
HE MAKES RECOMENDATIONS.
I'm sure he will lead you on the right path if you would listen.
The problem here in Greenburgh there are too many chiefs and no indians.
Onw thing for sure is with my business background I would never work for this town.
In this town you are not allowed to speak your mind or tell the truth.
Kolesar you are doing a great job without having the needed harmoney of the whole town board including above all the supervisor.
It seems to me that they don't know their rear eand from their nose when it comes to union laws.

Anonymous said...

I am really surprised at the hate mail against Kolesar. What do these haters want? Do they want a lapdog like James Heslop who did whatever the Town Board, or rather Sheehan and Bass, wanted and to hell with being a real comptroller?

Or do they want a comptroller who controls the finances of the town by setting financial models, checking on efficiencies, shows ways to reduce expenses, and reports out loud to the Town Board so that the public knows what is going on. What is there not to like about Kolesar's work --- unless, of course, you are a supporter of the Board members who want to keep things secret and hope that nothing comes out until after the nexr election.

Anonymous said...

We should be talking about the tax dollars going to Westchester county for Spano's police protection.
Read today journal news and see how our tax dollars are spent.
Tell me why he needs police protection to the degree that he is getting.
Why not look into the amount of tax dollars that this board oks for the county.Why not see if the county is doing right by the residents of Greenburgh.
The problem is that no one wants to take the first step.
Well it's about time that this town checks into what and where our tax dollars are being used by the county.
Check to see what the savings would be for each household.
Ypu not only have the obligation to save money in this town but you have to save money county wide.

Anonymous said...

Does kolesar think anyone is going to respect what he has to say after this? He is an imbecile.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who thinks Kolesar is good for the town has there head in the sand. Just watch the board meetings, he argue's the whole time and nothing gets done. Then Kolesar just throws his hands up and gives into the board. If you listen carefully you will notice he wants to increase spending. The town will be in a bigger mess when he leaves.

Anonymous said...

Like I said, he is an imbecile.

Anonymous said...

Excellent question. All of you who know about the supposed $11,000 raise to the CSEA member, since you have theinside information, find out who gave the clerk the outragios raise, why it was given, and most of all, what are th credential of the guy who got it.

It seems alot ofyou out here know, unless you're Feiner and Sheehan. I'm sure the rest of us who don't know, would like to.

According to my calculatons, given the average Greenburgh union workers raise, when they finally get one,at 3%, thatmeans this payrollclerk was making $366,666.66.Ridiculous? You bet it is.

So I don't think Kolesar did it. It sounds more like another dumb Feiner move to cover his ass. This guy or some of his friends must have somethng on Feiner, the move will help him get reelected.

Most pople know he panders to special interest groups.

I really don't know, but I don't think the controller has the ability to give raises.

I thank you, all of you who have brought this to my attention. Now, why not finish the job and expose the real guilty party.

Anonymous said...

The comptroller does not give raises. Raises are up to the board.

Anonymous said...

I assume he recommended it. Do Kolesar and the Council not realize we are in a depression???

Anonymous said...

10/09/08 11:04 am. If you are an accountant for a VERY LARGE FIRM, I shudder to think what LARGE FIRM that is given your keen insight into the intimate details of Greenburgh's financial condition. No, I would rather suspect that you are just another front for Kolesar.

Anonymous said...

Feiner, his Paulists, Sheehan and his Sheehanigans and certainly the followers on the Board are ALL economic illiterates.
Kolesar has done nothing but report the truth - and is unbelievable courageous for doing it.

Anonymous said...

Courage has nothing to do with it. This is all about Kolesar's campaign for Town Manager; right Ed?

Anonymous said...

Dear 10/09@11:04,11:09,11:11
AKA Kolesar, take notes

Paul, you should subtract this wasteful spending (raises and $40hr wages) from Kolesars salary. He is a bad example for other department heads. The person that is responsible to curtail spending is acting like a "rich uncle" with the taxpayers money.

Anonymous said...

Tell me how can Kolesar curtail spending.
He only pays the bills that are presented to him by the department heads.
How can you say that he is the spender when his function is to report his findings to the board and they make the final decisions.
You're giving the wrong person a bad rap.
The board does not want to hear about his findings because it will prove them responsible for our high taxes.
The board neverhad hands on with all projects.
They believed what they were told then they sat back and were happy with the final stages.
Things are different now the comptroller is showing them the errors that were made in previous years.
And you know the end results they will not listen to his{comptrollers}advice so we will find ourselves in a worse position than before.
How many of us want to be told that we have been wrong for sometime.Remember the board is always right and they never make mistakes ,believe this and you will see why they will not listen to Kolesar.

Anonymous said...

There is no point in correcting those who make the nonsensical accusations against Kolesar. Some are dumb and don't know, but most know very well but have a killer agenda and want to cover things up. In short, they are like the Palin followers -- or Palin. It's the accusation, stupid. The facts don't really matter.

So let them go on with their nuttiness. When Kolesar leaves, and we get another yes-man in there, they will get their just punishment. Unfortunately, we will get our undeserved punishment.

ed krauss said...

Well, I spent the better part of today in temple absolving my sins. So now, after I've eaten,and on a full stomach, I can start with a clean slate.

Boy, working sure caused me to miss Blog Gems.

I won't rehash all of the pros and cons- especially the Supervisor con of Greenburgh- but go back to a common sense approach I've mentioned several times.

Greenburgh is tooooo big to be administered by four parttime people, and a managerial, administrative and most importantly, financially-challenged full-timer who spends much of his time working on getting re-elected.

I know he's been there for nearly 20 years.However, it should be clear to anyone who spends some time at Town Hall, the mere fact of BEING there, has not taught him ANYTHING about,managing, administering or spending the kind of money passing through this town...tens of $millions. And as the collecter of school taxes, much more. You see, in order to learn about the not so obvious mistakes, one must have someone to point them out to you-and Paul's paranoid personality prevents any negative feedback-or, previous experience from which to draw on. Paul's entire work career was as a county legislator and as the Greenburgh supervisor.

In White Plains, Ed Brady thought so little of him that he was officed in the room with the copying machine used by the entire eigth floor. He has no supervisory experperience except for supervising himself. He had no budgetary experience because Brady wouldn't allow him within 2-3 FLOORS of budget meetings. So his time was spent, as the majority of his time today, with constituent services.Even at that he was less than a success. Richard Brodsky complained to me about Paul's method of problem solving. If a constituent had a problem, whether it was Ablany-related, DC-related, or Greenburgh-related, he gave people Brodsky's office number. Richard complained that Paul's misplaced "help" was tying up Richard's phones. Even then we should have known what a "once over lightly" problem solver Paul is.

Then came his opportunity in Greenburgh. Tony Veteran, who had served Greenburgh well, became ill, and Paul jumped in. As you know he won. In so doing, WE lost.Without an iota of what to do, and who to do it with,his paranoia took hold. He only appointed people he could trust, to important jobs. He appointed a "copyeditor for a book publishing company ( that's a euphomism for a proof reader) as comptroller; he appointed a lawyer with no management nor municipal law experience to headup the law department...just to name a few.

With that kind of a start, how or from whom could he learn anything?

AND HE DIDN'T. EVEN TO THIS DAY!!!!

With all that said,

WE NEED AN EXPERIENCED TOWN MANAGER.

Someone who has municipal experience running a town with a budget, and work force as large as ours. We need one NOW!

The sky IS falling. We ARE going to hell in a hand basket.Paulo IS fiddling while Geenburgh is burning.There is no one on that Board qualified in any aspect of running this town on a part or full time basis. This board, like its titular "leader" votes on "will this get me reelected,or lose me votes," and damn the voters AND nonvoters alike.

If the Board can prove me wrong, let them speak up, and show me the error of my way. (But, remember, I spent nearly an entire day cleansing any sins I may have accumulated over the past year, so try to be truthful. I know it's difficult for you, but unlearn what got you elected.)

I read on a a recent posting, "LOVE ED OR HATE HIM." I would like to modify that. "LOVE YOURSELF OR HATE YOURSELF, because it's not about me you Paulists, Sheehanigans and their accolyes. It's not only about my tax dollars wasted, it's about ALL OUR TAX DOLLARS wasted.

If you have the balls to take me on, on this posting, use your name so when I prove you wrong and a masochist, everyone will know who you are.

My characterization of "none of the names changed," are the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me G-D.

Anonymous said...

Ed: Do you think the Comptroller was right in giving one of his employees an $8,000 salary increase during the past few weeks? Watch the work session on TV. Then, respond.

Anonymous said...

Ed, you words are null and void. You think Kolesar is the best thing since sliced bread and he goes and pulls a stunt like this. Too bad you weren't anonymous when you were singing his praises. Lesson learned- when you think you know someone well enough to stand up for their character, think twice.

He is robbing the taxpayers!!!

KOLESAR FOR TOWN MANAGER MY A$&

sadly, krauss is right. said...

krauss is right. sad but true.

ed - hope you atoned for putting the dim bulb juettner in office also.

lets hope bloggers and voters listen to krauss this year.

Anonymous said...

CSEA, demand anwsers regarding the doings of the Town Comptroller. He has the nerve to call us unessential and hand out raises in his dept and hire workers at 40 per hour. Annualized that equals a yearly salary of 72,800.
Enough, this behavior is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute who is robbing who
Have you been watching the budget work sessions well see if you can tune into one of the repeat sessions and then tell me who is robbing the public.
It seems that all the talk was centered to accomodate the Fairview section.
The rec,com. was on for about one and one half hour or maybe more and what did he accomplish. How much money did he save us.
All the talk was about the center and parks in that area.
Reguloa decided with the supervisor that garbage will be pickued up curbside for all homes.
Those that cannot bring the pails up to the curb will have to pay up to $150.00 dollars more for pickups.
Well if this is the case I will fight to have my taxes lowered since I will not be handcuffed into a plan for one day pickup plus pay more for a service that is included in my taxes already.

Anonymous said...

Who's robbing who.....Kolesar

Anonymous said...

How much money are they going to save with curb side only pick ups? For years, my entire neighborhood brings all trash to the curb. At least 10 years or so.

Anonymous said...

Why is the Town Clerk pontificating on theory of parks? Another usesles expenditure -- tell her we didnt elect her to be a another council person.

Anonymous said...

The Comptroller was directed by the Board to revoke the salary hike given out to his employee.

Anonymous said...

OK, not what about the employees/raises etc at TDYCC?

Anonymous said...

If 10:34 is correct, that would confirm that the comptroller gave this raise without the the town council knowledge. So instead of Kolesar being part of the solution, he is part of the problem. The board needs to investigate what's going on in that dept. You have a payroll clerk receiving an $11,000 raise, in addition to overtime. Debra Lawrence who resigned months ago and is still coming in to make $40 hour "helping out" . There is also another woman in there during the day working. How much is she making?

Anonymous said...

If a a raise was given without Town Council approval, wasnt that fraud?

Hasnt the council said all parttime jobs must stop?

Anonymous said...

10/10@11:23 The town has additional expenses with these salaries for both the person getting the raise and the part timers, such as FICA and Medicare employer match and employer contributions to the Pension System. Paul, the taxpayers want anwsers.

allin said...

IMPORTANT NEW CHANGES TO LEAF COLLECTION REGULATIONS
Last year the Town of Greenburgh adopted changes to its Sanitation Code that prohibits the piling of leaves on any public street or pedestrian walkway. While it had always been illegal in Greenburgh to pile leaves in the roadway, enforcement was not possible unless a police officer or Sanitation worker actually observed the leaves being piled in this manner. This change in law creates a presumption that the resident or landowner, whose property most closely abuts the leaf pile or leaf bags, actually “directed, suffered or permitted the leaf pile to be placed in this location”. This subjects the resident or landowner to a fine of no less than $150 or more than $500 per offense and under the law each day the violation continues constitutes a separate offense.
Leaves may continue to be piled on the public right-of-way or on the resident’s property closest to the road for Town collection provided this does not obstruct a pedestrian walkway. Residents whose property contains a wall, shrubs or other obstruction that prevents the piling of leaves on the right-of-way or on that portion of their property closest to the road, must bag their leaves for collection and place the leaf bags as close to the roadway as possible. Under no circumstances shall leaf piles or leaf bags be allowed on any public street or pedestrian walkway.
These changes were adopted to address the public safety issues created by leaves being piled on public roads. Although we are in the process of notifying residents and landscapers about the new law through the use of various types of media, you can assist us by advising your gardener, landscaper or neighbor of this change. Thank you for your assistance in this matter and for your cooperation in helping to keep Greenburgh safe.

Anonymous said...

Dear 10/10 11:23 PM,

Since you appear to know so much, why don't you FOIL all of the emails that the Town Board has received on these arrangements? The Town Board might be shown to have been fully informed and never said a word in opposition.

Anonymous said...

Check the comptrollers office to see who got raises, overtime, p/t jobs.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Kolesar I have never seen another department head behave so narcissistic. Definition-characteristic of those having an inflated idea of their own importance. I just had a chance to watch the 10/07/08 town board work session A. What a display. If you haven’t had a chance to watch yourself, you may want to take a few minutes out of your “busy day” and take a look see. Your behavior is embarrassing.

Kolesar you have clearly given your payroll clerk a raise without the Town Boards knowledge. Paul Feiner said and I quote, “Nobody told us”. Then you went on to conceal the raise. You said, he was promoted to Senior Payroll Clerk, but you didn’t indicate the promotion on your budget proposal with his new title. Instead of showing a separate line for Senior Payroll Clerk, you indicated that you had two payroll clerk positions and hid his increase, this is fraud and deceit. You were trying to hide it because you did not have authorization from the board. Along with this raise, your senior payroll clerk is still doing overtime.

You have a part time person coming during the day, and Debra Lawrence coming in at night for $40.00hr. According to what you said, Payroll busy days are Monday and Tuesday. So why does Debra come in on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday? What is she doing that somebody else cannot do for less? You said, she resigned in April, I can understand helping for a few weeks, but 6 months, who are you kidding.

Even more disturbing, you included more promotions in your budget for 2 of your data processing staff. I guess all that ranting and raving about the budget does not apply to your department.

Kolesar you are not trustworthy.

CSEA SEE YOU AT THE OCTOBER 22ND TOWN BOARD MEETING AT 7PM, SPEAK UP ABOUT WASTEFUL SPENDING.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar, this is outrageous. Payroll clerks in the real world do not make 40/hour. You have no juddgement.

Anonymous said...

I do not think that this clerk is just a general clerk.
She does some special work that she did when she was a full time employee in the comptrollers office.
Do we know how much she was paid before?
Kolesar did warn the town that there will be hell if the payroll checks do not get to the employees on time.
We thought we have problems just wait to see if this does happen.
This town is failing because of poor management.
In any corporation if someone wants to go for his or hers'CPA the company will pay so long as they pass the course and get their license.If they fail they get no compensation.
The supervisor is smart.the assistant comptroller will go for this course and then he{Feiner] will make sure that his brain is picked to help the town to get out of its' misery.
One must remember the troubles in this town did not start with Kolesar .These problems have existed for many years but were constantly overlooked by the board.
Why were they overlooked because the previous comptrollers were too busy covering up for their friends.
When you have the comptrollers position one must not have a relationship with one of the department heads,and one must not be too friendly with the board members to change zoning maps.
Why is it that Kolesar is so hated by this board?
What were his findings?
Remember Kolesar was not the one in charge when many of the deals were made which are costing the taxpayers a double diget tax and more to come for a few more years.
There is no one that can bring this town back to a low single diget .
We are only looking at the town budget how about someone looking into the fire and school budgets.
Both of these budgets are way too high.
Do the teachers have their children attending our schools?

hal samis said...

Enough is enough.

I have read this blog thoroughly and seen what apparently is a planned ambush of the Town Comptroller. And I suspect that the authors are perhaps two members of the Town Council. Readers may have their own candidates but consider this clue:

Anonymous at 10/12/08 at 1:49 PM
"You (Kolesar) said, he was promoted to Senior Payroll Clerk but you didn't indicate the promotion on your budget proposal with his new title."

Now, think, who would be privy to that?

My understanding is that the Comptroller's department currently has 9 employees although the 2008 budget shows it being budgeted for 10. The difference in head count is that one of the payroll clerks (CSEA) resigned in favor of a better paying job elsewhere -- after being denied a raise. So much for calling her bluff! If the Town is not prepared to offer raises at this time, so be it. However there are consequences and this departure was the result. Bottom line is that the Town lost an experienced payroll clerk. However, she has, by negotiation, agreed to assist the Town on a part-time basis for an hourly fee and no other benefits. Thus, the Town is "saving money" in this transaction by not paying out her former annual salary plus benefits while the hourly rate is paid from her already allocated 2008 budgeted line expense.

If you stop and consider that the Town Comptroller's office handles or oversees all the Town's revenues and disbursements; for all of the Town departments; handles all of its human resources issues and that it is done by just l0 (now 9) full time employees, I think that the staffing level and their compensation is not a provacative issue. Somehow, because the Comptroller is associated (oftentimes incorrectly) with the budget and providing control systems, it makes him subject to the criticism that his department and its staff should not ask for what other departments ask for and have been granted. In the anonymous comments, no one has given any reasons why what is called a "raise" or part-time work is inappropriate or done without the knowledge and consent of the Supervisor and the Town Council. What the anonymous bloggers have done is merely plant the seed that something must be wrong and hope that readers will carry the ball from there.

The payroll work has to be done by someone and it cannot be done by just one person; nor can it done by one person when they are on vacation or out sick...UNLESS all Town employees are willing to be paid late and the unions are agreeable.

As for the "$11,000 raise" for the CSEA employee, it is my understanding that a review of the Payroll Clerk positions was undertaken by the County -- which apparently monitors all CSEA staffing and job responsibilities and it was the County which determined that the position merited higher pay. This look-see was initiated by the departing clerk, not the Comptroller. The remaining clerk, the subject of the "increase" now had to assume the responsibilities of the vacant position and became entitled to that position's higher pay scale. This was not at the option of either the Town Board or the Town Comptroller.

But what if this newly promoted Payroll Clerk were to leave? It was mentioned at the work session that he had already taken a County test during the summer and that he was the third highest on the County's list. What if he is offered more money elsewhere? What if the Town rigidly enforces the no raise edict and does so with no exceptions? Then the Town will have no one administering payroll because it again "called the bluff" like before and lost. With two empty desks, there will be no paychecks.

I have defended Kolesar before and shall continue to do so because I believe that he is an asset to the Town; even if this entails him being a thorn in the side of those that "run" the Town. However, even lay residents who watch the work sessions and Town Board meetings can recognize that Kolesar is under hostile fire by members of the Town Board.

In a skewed view of events, the stepping up of attacks to discredit him is proportionate to the realization that he has become a greater threat to how the Town Board operates. Those who attend Town Board meetings are aware that the Supervisor takes great pains to avoid allowing the Comptroller to answer questions from the public. On the other hand, Al Regula, Thomas Madden and Chief Kapica are regularly trotted out to respond to any trivial question.

But readers don't have to accept my partiality to the Comptroller. Just attend or watch the Town Board work sessions. They are this term's required text.

But, returning to the source of my posting's provocation, I ask readers to submit their own guess as to who is writing the poison pen letters to Mike. Is it Mr. Sheehan who sees his role of expert on everything challenged? Has it fallen upon him to protect the Town Board from exposure? Is it Mr. Morgan, team member, who doesn't have anything to say publicly but has learned how to spell the word anonymous? Who knows? This year even The Shadow has disappeared.

In propoganda the art of deception is the deciding ingredient while what makes deception believeable is when an element of truth is included within the framework of the lie. Earlier an anonymous blogger wrote that 'the Town Board never voted for an $11,000 increase'.

I have already explained that this is a promotion and that it is the consequence of a County authored directive. Promotions are generally not regarded as a raise unless one wants to confuse readers. A raise is being given more money for doing the same work: not more money to assume a higher level of responsibility. However in the $11,000 false alarm, it is a County mandated promotion not an $11,000 raise. I consider myself a careful reader so when I see such mention that 'the Town Board did not vote for an $11,000 raise', I am impressed by the clever misappropriation of the truth because this was not a "raise". This in turn causes me to speculate that, having found one rotten apple in the sentence, next to it is another and question the $11,000 amount. If either or both of the elements are false, then the accuracy of the statement is intact -- the Town Board did not vote. However, the true test is: instead of what has been portrayed as a fait accompli, what has actually transpired. The anonymous authors have led readers to believe that someone has authorized an $11,000 raise and thus the subject employee is taking home $11,000 more.

Simple enough to check. Call the Town Supervisor.

Name withheld by request said...

Thank you Hal. Your presentation was on target and unlike the impassioned and misdirected postings, makes a coherent argument.
One minor correction: The Civil Service is not the CSEA. The CSEA is the union which negotiates on behalf of those employed under the Civil Service laws. It was the Civil Service which classified the payroll job in question differently than did the Town - and the Civil Service has the authority to make its classification stick. The Town of Greenburgh has a long and distressing history of interpreting State (among whose agencies is the Civil Service) and Federal rules and regulations incorrectly. The Supervisor's sworn testimony in the Fortress Bible case finally and definitively puts that previous allegation into the category of fact.
In this instance, the Supervisor and/or Town Board were told by the Civil Service that a particular job slot was incorrectly classified and therefore the individual holding that job was not being correctly compensated. The Civil Service ordered the Town to make amends, and the non-discretionary task was performed by the Town Controller because that's his job.
The Town fathers (and mothers) might have continued their long-standing policy of ordering Town employees to violate a valid judicial or civil service directive, but Mr. Kolesar upheld his oath of office. Both the Supervisor and other members of the Board should follow his example.
Government by personal whim is tyranny. We must return to being a government of laws and not of men.

Anonymous said...

Better words were never spoken by you and Hal.
Hal you have set the public straight many times that is why in the eyes of the board you are a person not to be believed.
Kolesar is hated because he tell them the truth.
If this comptroller resigns this town will be in serious trouble since we now know of all the wrong doings thru out the years.
The supervisor picked Kolesar because he knew that hew was the most qualified BUT now that the truth is coming out of how the previous work was done no one on the board likes what he says.
Now isn't that too bad.

Anonymous said...

I will agree that civil service reclassified the job, but they did not tell you to give an $8,000 increase. You should use common sense Kolesar. If anyone is confused about what the facts are, there is a simple solution. Watch 10/07 town board sesssion A. It is there for all to see.

Herb Rosenberg said...

Thank you Hal Samis for once again providing clarity and truth and integrity to this blog, and also thanks to the two bloggers who followed your posting.

But as the blogger who wrote at 10:49 has demonstrated, clarity and truth and integrity will not stop the assault on Mike Kolesar by those anonymous character assassins. To them agenda means everything and good government means nothing. It explains a lot about Greenburgh's problema.

For the sake of Greenburgh, I hope that Kolesar doesn't decide to chuck this job. I sure as hell would, if I were in his shoes. Life is too short.

Anonymous said...

Hal at 10/12/08 11:05 pm. You couldn't have said that any better than Kolesar but then I'm sure that you're only repeating what he told you anyway. If any previous controller pulled this stunt, I'm sure you and Kolesar would be all over them for throwing the town's money away. You're losing credibility, Hal. You're defending your friend, not the town, but that's what politics is all about, isn't it? And Herb R., Kolesar won't chuck this job. It pays more than he could get elswhere (135K + 30K? benefits) plus it appears he's having too much fun digging up stuff for you and Ed Krauss to foil and talk about.

Anonymous said...

I just watched the 10/07/08 (a) town board work session and heard Sonja Brown make the argument that if you cut the community center programs, there will likely be some consequential increase in the police department budget but when the conversation turned to cutting the parks and rec programs, there was no similar argument made. What are you trying to tell us Sonja?

Anonymous said...

Kolesar is not digging into stuff to report to anyone. He is doing what any good comptroller would do to do his job to the fullest.
Too bad that the previous two comptrollers were sleeping intentionally on the job.
He has to undo what they did which was nothing.
The cover ups were a little too many where many corners were cut to make certain people look good.
Well today everything is getting to the public at the work sessions where we are being schooled as to how books should balance.
Kolesar has been doing just that but guess what the board hates it because it shows that they too covered up on many decisions.
The board is afraid to have Kolesar speak up as to his findings.
He challenged the library board because he saw great problems within.
If you are wrong he will challenge you so what is the boards problem
He challenged Feiner when it came to paying for the assessor attending a class at taxpayers expense but it was not the same for the deputy comptroller to attend for a CPA class.
The town pays for one and not the other.
The comptrollers office needs more recent knowledge to run a good office but as far as the assessor she may be using this class to favor her other job across the river.
Paul what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Could there be another reason to pay for the assessor ???
Her particular ties to someone on your staff.

Herb Rosenberg said...

To Anonymouse at 3:10 PM.

I have commented more than once that the anonymice resort only to snide comments and attacks since they have no substance to their diversionary tactics. So...

1. I never FOIL anything. As much as I may deplore some of the actions of the Town Board, I stay away from those actions becauss as a village resident I don't feel that it is my place to talk about things that don't affect the villages. I have plenty to talk about when the effort is made, as it often is, to make the villages the cash cow for the unincorporated area. Village residents have a large interest in having a competent anf honest town comptroller.

2. Whether what Samis said was something he heard from Kolesar or not isn't really the question. The question is whether what he wrote is true or not true, and it appears to be totally true. The fact that you would prefer to slime Kolesar for your agenda-driven purpose doesn't change the facts, only the demagoguery.

3. I don't know who you are but I do know that you know nothing useful about Kolesar and the past comptrollers. I do. And if you think that Kolesar is throwing money away because he is trying to get the job done in spite of roadblocks being thrown in his way, then you deserve the garbage performance that you have had from the last comptroller.

4. For your sake I hope that Kolesar doesn't leave. Given what he is being subjected to, by the Town Board and by the likes of you, he would be well advised to be talking to head-hunters.

Anonymous said...

Herb. It apperars to be true because Hal Samis said so?
It appears to be true because you want it to be true?
It appears to be true because you are in Kolesar's political camp?
Isn't this hearsay judge?
I am a demagogue? Please!

As for headhunters, let him talk. I'm sure he'll use you as reference.

herb rosenberg said...

To 5:46 PM.

As I said in the comment that you didn't like, "anonymice resort only to snide comments and attacks since they have no substance to their diversionary tactics." You have again proved the point. And your posting isn't worth a further comment. When you sign your name I'll reconsider.

Anonymous said...

Herb. Is it the anonymous blogger that you want to discredit or the facts that speak for themselves? I'm not expecting an answer because I'm anonymous. We anonymous folk don't know what we're talking about. How will we ever get it right if you don't respond?

Anonymous said...

I hope kolesar stays he is the best comptroller the town has ever had. He understands the need to retain skilled workers in his department by given them increases. He understands that they have the option to find jobs somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

we the CSEA need to demonstrate at all locations

Anonymous said...

The CSEA should be ashamed of themselves for taking out one of their own. You call yourself a union. Where was your leadership when one of your own members had the opportunity to advance himself/herself. Nowhere to be found but you'll be protesting to get your pay increase simply because a year went by. Let's not talk about raises for productivity gains or improved skills set. That puts pressure on the rest of the union's membership to do something to justify their raises. Horrors!!!

Anonymous said...

the town did not have to give this payroll clerk a raise they can pay him out of title pay like they do through out the town

hal samis said...

Thank you Herb but you are wasting your time.

The issue that the Town Board and their merry band of pranksters face is: what is open government?

Clearly the Town Board, especially what Sheehan and to a lesser extent, Morgan, resent, is that the notion of maintaining open government comes back to haunt them frequently because Feiner publicly parades this as his leitmotif. What the public argues in response is: put up or shut up.
Open government is not one which opens only selected doors or drawers.

Thus, what the free-for-alls of the work sessions are really about is the failure of the Town Board members to adopt to the open government that the Supervisor promotes come campaign season. That the work sessions are broadcast, itself a Sheehan contribution, has put the system to a public test and so far the score is right out of Chorus Line: Town Government (Dance) 10, Public's Right to Know (Looks) 5.

Of course, what Feiner calls open government and what he and the Town Board practice trotting around with this as their calling card are worlds apart from what the public thinks is open.

WARNING! The following section should be read only by those with a minimum of 15 credits split evenly between behavioral and developmental psych.

So, when Sheehan is faced with the openness of the Town Comptroller, his rage knows no bounds because he has to deal with the inner Sheehan locked inside; the Sheehan that was earlier elected to office in the hope that he would be what Kolesar already is by genes. Simply put, no one knowing Sheehan before election ever expected that his thirst for remaining on the dais would become so wanton that he would give himself completely over to Feiner in order to maintain his seat. So, everytime Sheehan sees Kolesar, he is seeing the former Francis Sheehan before inviting himself to become corrupted by "power".

Furthermore, Kolesar knows his business which is especially infuriating to Sheehan who never got his own presumed recognition in an academic world (essentially a trade school for law enforcement) which has been his life's employment. So Sheehan expected that he would have a free hand to "teach" in Greenburgh, especially since his running mate, Juettner aka "teach" suffers from being larynx challenged. First he would teach the Supervisor, then the Town Board and then the public when they attend Town Board meetings. I'm not the only one who has complained about Sheehan's 20 minute classes ostensibly arising from the opportunity to respond (not answer) to a question.

Sheehan used to prepare his work product better. Or at least we thought so, when there was no peer to check his work, that he sounded good. I grant that he is the hardest, if not the only, worker on the Town Board, but that no longer is excuses what he has reaps from these labors.

It doesn't take many psych credits to realize that Sheehan resents Kolesar's background and skill sets -- those which lend themselves more readily to operating a municipal government than Sheehan's background. Now when Sheehan makes a mistake or willful exaggeration, there is someone on board who can catch the "mistake" -- before it results in a waste of taxpayer dollars.

But there is a price for standing up to Sheehan and that is being trashed on the blog and flogged at work sessions.

For example, before Kolesar arrived, Sheehan had the library expansion as his private laboratory. When it was profitable to use it against Feiner he did so; now when he is playing on the Feiner team he backpeddles -- as is Feiner on this issue. Both Feiner and Sheehan want to be snapped smiling in the grand opening photo. But the $175,000 ramp is a Sheehan alone blunder. Now, when Kolesar takes a look at the project, the Town Board looks away.

Without belaboring these thoughts, Sheehan sees Kolesar standing in his way to being recognized as the Town government go-to guy. Not only can you now go to Kolesar direct (as is being done by those on the payroll who calculate the shift in the wind direction), you can also find the glimmer of realization that Sheehan has been throwing his weight around the Town Board and settling for less than the traditional, oft feted win-win solution -- something that was possible to carry off since the rest of the Town Board was only too willing to let Sheehan do the heavy lifting.

How this translates into blog related issues is that the Town Board, while advertising open government, resents that Kolesar does not join them in covering-up the cover-up. If you re-read the blog criticisms of Kolesar, you will find a common pattern of accusation: that he gives out too much information or even tells residents what to FOIL for. In a perfect world, this would be the job of the Records Access Officer to assist the public but no one will argue that a Feiner led world is a perfect world.

If you take the trouble to watch the Town Board work sessions, you will observe a set piece that harkens back to the McCarthy Hearings, prime afternoon live tv in the 1950s. McCarthy would grill and intimidate the weak and the innocent with allegations and refer to waved but unproduced lists of names. Whispering in his ear was his aide-de-"camp", a young Roy Cohen. Together they would beat up on the witnesses and grill them because they could, having the control of the floor from their set's dais. Eventually, the presiding Judge Welch stepped in and gavelled down McCarthy. This is the source of the much quoted "Sir, have you no decency..."

Flip the channel to today in Greenburgh. Town Attorney Lewis is certainly no Judge Welch but observe carefully if you don't see the technology substitution of Sheehan's laptop for McCarthy's lapdog that being Roy Cohen whispering in his ear; tech savvy Francis has his computer to direct his attack.

Francis, have you no sense of decency?

The issue before readers on the blog is not how Kolesar brings the public into an otherwise closed loop but that the Town Board resents that embarrassing information is no longer contained.

This is not only about a clash of egos.

This is about how our Town is run. Perhaps when the money is streaming in and taxes are low, the public is remiss in not being on top of matters. However, when the times get tough, the public needs an advocate. That advocate is Mike Kolesar.

Francis, have you no sense of decency?

Anonymous said...

40/hour = 80G a year. THIS IS NOT WHAT PAYROLL CLERKS GET IN THE REAL WORLD.

Anonymous said...

If a payroll clerk gets 80K per year and 11K increases, we need to totally revist the entire CSEA contract. The amounts are inflated.

Anonymous said...

just lay off 25% of CSEA workers

Anonymous said...

then they can get a real job and feel how it is to do a days work

Anonymous said...

Start with Kolesar and let the assistant comptroller take over. All he cares about is the villages. doesnt care about controlling salareis in his own dept.

Anonymous said...

You only need one comptroller.

Anonymous said...

The person receiving the $40 an hour only works part time so how can she make $80 thousand a year.
Do your math over again.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see how one exaggerated misstatement turns into an avalanche of hate. I have never seen this anywhere except Greenburgh.

hal samis said...

$40 an hour! Positively shocking and to a mere "clerk".

What would be equally interesting is to see what hourly rates other Town departments pay their part time workers.

I suspect that the Comptroller's department is not breaking new ground.

I also think the term payroll clerk, in particular, the "clerk" portion is what is particularly off putting.

So what do "clerks" earn working for the Town?

Does anyone balk at the Town "Clerk" receiving $73,686 plus a $5,500 "stipend"?

How about a Court Clerk earning $58,023?

Well if "clerk" still sounds like an overpaid title, how important is "confidential secretary" like those serving the Town Supervisor ($66,190) who no doubt is swamped by work from the Supervisor when he is out of the office or in meetings. What about the confidential secretary to the Town Attorney ($65,553). These salaries really reflect "hush" money, not about their work but for not squealing on their respective bosses.

But maybe executive secretary is too exotic a title. How about a secretary-stenographer at the Police Department ($60,609)or the Secretary to the Commissioner at the Community Center ($56,828). But how about the Secretary to the Library Director ($57,899), a busy job these past two years.

But which Department heavily involved in producing paperwork (reports, memos, projections, etc.) has no Secretary?

That would be the Comptroller's Department. His budget does not provide for a plain, run of the mill, vanilla secretary.

Greenburgh Town Comptrollers don't fade away; they either run or get chased away.

Anonymous said...

the payroll clerk should not get a salary increase the town can pay HIM out of title pay its done all over the town he might leave an come back at $$50.00 hr no one can do his job an he knows it

Anonymous said...

The Greenville FD has a new Rescue truck for a colapse, why does the police dept. have the same equipment and train their officers to do that work, if the fire dept's are already trained

Anonymous said...

Mabe it could because Greenville does not cover the whole town? It is a tiny part of Greenburgh. With a huge budget.

Anonymous said...

All the tax bills that we receive whether fire or school should be taken apart .
Both budgets are too high .
If the town has to make changes and cuts so does the fire and schools.
We cannot afford to pay without investigating as we have done in the past years.
Things are different now .
Many people who voted for both budgets didn't care about those of us that were living paycheck to paycheck.
Well now the tide is turning so please check these out and see what cuts can be made and above all we have to save money.
We know that the town has nothing to do with both budgets but I'm sure that their input is improtant to lower all taxes.

Anonymous said...

Dear 11:49 -
the ONLY budget you vote on is for your school district.
Within Greenburgh, most of the school districts make a MAJOR effort to hold numberous meetings to explain the budget, solicit resident opinions, and even cut programs. Most of the time the budgets increase because the number of students in the district increases. Budgets also increase because the cost of maintaining the buildings increases - like paying for the cost of heating oil and electricity. By the way, did you notice the amount of water tax the Town charges will almost double for most people - INCLUDING what the Town charges Schools and Fire Districts? The school taxes also increase because the tax base is shrinking - something over which the Town has sole jurisdiction. Sometimes the needs of those students increase and the District is obligated under the Federal statute entitled "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" (IDEA) to respond with more expensive efforts.
Most of the independent Fire Districts are equally happy to explain why taxes are going up - but no one seems to attend those meetings.
Try understanding your civic duties and taking an active interest in them BEFORE you run around irresponsibly calling for budget cuts.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be cheaper to combine all six villages back into the Town?
It must be more expensive to maintain 7 separate departments of public works, 7 separate parks and recreation departments, 6 libraries, 7 police forces, more than 9 fire departments (even though some of those are volunteer).
Or does the thought of sharing a common government make the lily-white villages too uncomfortable?

Anonymous said...

Item Disposal Fee
COMMING SOON TO GREENBURGH !!!!

Passenger Tire $ 5.00 each
Truck Tire $10.00 each
Off-Road Tractor Tire $15.00 each
Propane Tanks (20-30#) $ 5.00 each
Refrigerators $15.00 each
Air Conditioners $15.00 each
Electronic Equipment * $10.00 unit



(* to include TVs, VCRs, DVD Players, CD Players, and any other items that contain electronic componts)

Anonymous said...

Is Anon 5:17 the same person who is always charging the villages with racism. In fact, he seems to be the racist, but in the other direction.

For his information, there is big movement for cost-cutting by sharing services. And do you know who has pushed that? Why, the villages have done it. And the Town Board is beginning to catch on. There will be progress.

But do you really think that the villages would be willing to merge themselves into the town, with the crummy government and all the political backbiting at Town Hall? It would be nice, but the villages are not crazy so don't expect it.

ed krauss said...

To all you impresarios of inuendo; melifluent masters of mathematical mischief; and most of all to those who've nothing to gain by slandering a reputation from beneath a white sheet.

Let's say Ms. Lawrence was making $1,ooo dollars/week, (which she wasn't), and let's say her benefits added, conseratively, very conservatively, 40% benefits in Town cost. Let's further say she quit, for whatever reason April 1, 2008. Her "hit" on the town comptroller's office budget would have been $13,000 in salary, which is counted and $5,200 in benefits, totalling $18,200.

Let's further say her absence was felt immediately and the Comptroller had to rehire her as a part timer- doing approximately the same critical function of getting the payroll out on time. (Not even the anonymous board member/s could disagree with that statement...at least not publically.) For doing this vital job she is paid $40/hour. She has a full time job elsewhere, so she can only devote 10/hrs/wk to get the payroll out on time...and succeeds.

So, at $40/hour x 10/hrs/wk = $400.00 a week. and let's say because of the Supervisor's and town board's hiring freeze, Ms. Lawrence has to work, part time for the balance of the year, or the 39weeks (52 weeks per year, she worked 13, that leaves 39.)

During those 39 weeks, at $400 per week, Ms Lawrence earns $15,600. This combined with her $18,200, cost the town $33,800. But wait. Because she is a 1099 (independent contractor) she is not entiled to the 40%benefit package on the $15,600 (the $40/hr x 10/hr/wk x 39 weeks) or,$6,240.

After all is said and done,Ms. Lawrence will at the very worst cost the town $33,800, instead of $50,000 + $20,000 (benefits @ 40% of $50,000), or $70,000.

In essence,
Mr.Kolesar, on just this one employee,saved $36,200

That's $36,200 or 52%.

And all of you naysayers are bitching about $40/hr.

Now to the $11,000"raise,"...if, indeed it is $11,000 (I really don't know the amount, but I do know going from sgt.to Lt., or Lt. to Capt. warrants a chunky increase in the old pay check.) So too, if as mentioned ad nauseum on this blog, the "last payroll clerk survivor," was upgraded to a higher pay grade, and he was the only payroll- knowledgaeble clerk left, and he scored among the top three in the entire county, he would cetainly command a hefty salary elsewhere. (Even if he didn't know the inticacies of his new employer's system) he was clearly worth something "more" for being so highly qualified intellectually and pragmatically regarding the Greenburgh way.

On the hole, being objective, and having managed several companies, I look at these two disparate situations and applaud Mike Kolesar for good mangerial judgement, AND well meaning motivation to do what is best for this town...and its employees.

I haven't created these numbers. they are extremely conservative, and yet, very CONCLUSIVE.

I fully understand why some members of the board and their sycophants take potshots at Mike. What make me incredulous is why the rank and file tax payers do it.

Not all of those negative Kolesar blog postings could come from the keyboards of "two" officials...or could they?

Anonymous said...

Well Ed,
The Comptroller should have used his so call mangerial expertise before deciding to promote someone to a positon that they were not capable of handling, since Ms. Lawrence still has to come in so that payroll can be processed.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anoymous 10/14/2008 10:08 Am or should we say(Greenville Fireman)Think about what you wrote. I think you meant to say why did the Greenville FD purchase a new truck when the Greenburgh Police Department already has the same truck. Can you say FRAUD.The Greenville Fire Department deceived the public when they purchased that Truck. But when you don't have fires to fight I guess you have to look elsewhere for work. Next time you go to the police department to train with them make sure you bring that point up. Maybe you like this forum better, where you can hide like A coward and preach your propaganda. Bring back the volunteers.

Anonymous said...

Dear 6:10PM on 10/14 -
Your posting highlights the core of the problem.
The villages ARE part of the Town - they don't need to be "merged" back in. That they villagers do not choose to participate fully in Town government does not mean anything except they choose not to participate.
The villages have a majority of the voters - and if they were willing to work towards a common good rather than maintain their apartheid stance, Greenburgh might actually become the 80th best small city in America.
If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Why have budget meetings when you can have a representative from the library demanding more money after the fact.
Boy she should get a job in the tax collectors office,
With this construction all involved lied.
That was the only way that all these monies could have been gotten.
Regula said there was enough money for the completion and it would be right on target
What was he smoking?
Lies and more lies and we the residents have to keep paying.You work sessions only goes to prove one thing that you are all trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
Do you think that we are that stupid.
You all have won this round but comes election we will be victorious.
We can't get back that was spent but we can get those that are willing to work with the public instead of burying them.

Herb Rosenberg said...

The anonymous 9:33 AM poster is so wrong that a comment is in order. In light of the postings about combining village departments with the town's departments, I will make the comment, even though it will probably inspire a new round of invective from those who are angry instead of knowledgeable.

You are right that the villages are part of the town but that is only partially relevant. The villages are part of the town because N. Y. law requires that a village be part of a town. However, villages are separate municipalities which are not governed by the Town Board (see Town Law section 60). Villages are governed under the N Y Village Law, and have their own governments. Villages provide municipal service to village residents, while the town government provides municipal services to the unincorporated area. There are a few minor exceptions, but that is the general way the local governments work. Yes, I know that some will bring in their anger about the parks, but that is something that the town did without asking the villages, and the town can undo it as well -- as they are required to do anyway under the Finneran Law.

It is true, as one blogger said, that the Village Officials Committee has suggested to the Town Board that there might be some savings to both the Town and the villages if there was some cooperative action, such as joint purchases, sharing some services to create greater efficiency, and the like. The Town has picked up on that, and it will benefit everybody.

But given the anger and divisiveness and the accusations by some town residents towards the villages, and indeed by sections of unincportated to other sections of unincorporated, the villages will look very carefully at anything which gives power of town departments over the villages, or "participating fully in town government." The town has lots of cleaning up to do, so don't hold your breath.

Finally, as you and everyone else will shortly learn from the Bernstein litigation, it is not true that the villages have a majority of the voters. In fact, the unincorporated area has more registered voters than the six villages combined and in every recent contested election there were more votes cast in the unincorporated area than in the six villages combined. If you want more interesting facts, there are more taxable parcels of real estate in the unincorporated area than in the six villages combined. Will that stop the false propaganda that the villages can outvote the unincorporated area? Not likely.

For those who care about facts, this posting should help.

Now I will sit back and wait for the accusations and insults.

herb Rosenberg said...

Sorry, I meant the anonymous 9:10 poster, not the 9:33 poster.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Rosenberg:

I'm one of the lawyers in unincorporated Greenburgh who's read Bernstein's brief to the Court of Appeals. His arguments about the constitutionality of the so-called Finneran Law do not turn on whether voters in the unincorporated area outnumber voters in the town's villages. Your suggestion that they do is a red herring.

Bernstein argues that Finneran is unconstitutional on its face because it requires unincorporated area residents to pay exclusively for the indebtedness the town incurs to buy town parks, without giving them the right to consent. He says that violates the state constitution. I understand that you and the town believe there is no such right to consent in the state constitution, but Bernstein says otherwise and that's something the Court of Appeals will have to decide. With all due respect, that decision will turn on what the constitution says, not on how many people in either the villages or the unincorporated area are registered to vote.

Bernstein also argues that the town's application of Finneran to the Taxter Ridge purchase was unconstitutional because it was unconstitutional for the town to depart from the terms of the Finneran law which require that unincorporated area taxpayers pay for town parks restricted to their use. I understand that you and the town disagree with that, but here too, that has nothing to do with how many people are registered to vote. It has to do with whether or not the state constitution requires the town to adhere to both prongs of Finneran.

I also have to take issue with your assertion that Town Law 60 says villages are not governed by towns. Town Law 60 says that villages are not governed by towns "except as otherwise provided by law."

That means that if state law says that parks that are open town-wide must be paid for town-wide, then village taxpayers must pay their share of the cost. If the Finneran Law is found to be unconstitutional, then the villages may be required by state law to pay their share of the cost of Greenburgh's parks.

I'm not signing my name to this because I do not want to get involved in a contest with anyone over the merits of Bernstein's case, and Bernstein certainly seems capable of arguing his case without any help from me.

I just thought it was important to set the record straight about what Bernstein is actually arguing.

Anonymous said...

Listening to the work session toaday the center has been stealing our money for some time.
They have duplicate and triple services .
They have five bus drivers.
They spen $10,000.00 of our money on a bus trip to conn. this past summer.
Goes to show you they have all these children not only swimming for free but also attending camp during the summer at our expense.
Could it be possible that no one on the board checked out the swervices granted ,who paid what and who didn't.
It seems to me that all the children are attending the camps for free.
Before any money is allocated to the center there should be an investigation as to why all these free service when we know and you know that Paul wants the Fairview children to receive everything for free.
At the PD budget hearing he was trying to say if people are poor they don't have to pay for EMS thank you chief in shutting him up. You cant charge some and not the other.
Paul ypur center charges the white folk but the others get everything for free.
Paul I do hope that you are starting to look for another job because it will be very hard for many of us to vote you in again.
Sheehan I do think that you had better check the center budget carefully.
It just did not sound kosher to me.
You did a good job in reading in between the lines but you have to do more.
Something smells at the center.

Anonymous said...

It stinks even more in the comptrollers office.

Anonymous said...

The center budget is full of crap.
They have coveredup all there spending by having duplicat and triplicate services.
The children that attend the summer camp go for free at taxpayers expense.
Five bus drivers
One trip in particular to Conneticut cost the taxpayers ten thousand dollrs.
Since when did the town clerk have a say in the budgt making process.
She doen't care who pays for what so long as the children still have their freebees .
Did she join the conversation because the children are all from Fairview.
Boy one can see how people stick together to screw the public claiming that the children come from poor families.
No they do not come from poor families they come from Fairview.
Get the picture.
The person who was talking at the work session must be the person in charge {Whitehead} how can she give line by line figures of the budget knowing that she is the one that put her family to work with no show jobs for mega bucks.
How could the board listen to her describing what monies were needed
knowing that she is under investigation.
Another thing the gentleman at the far end stated that if programs are cut the Fairview you will be in trouble because there is nothing for them to do.
Please tell me not all the children are fortunate to go to summer camp and they are growing up the right way. Let the parents take care of their children the way we do and they will have the cream of the crop.
The problem is that they have been getting everything for free that they cannot get used to the fact that the taxpayers are ready to rebel
You have this center where no one pays their fair share so why are you punishing the other areas to pay for a failing institution.
They don't bring in any money to cover their expenses because they know that Paul will give them what they want.
Well Paul we have had it,

.

ed krauss said...

10/14 9:49PM. Which do you prefer on your sandwich, bread or mustard?

Dah! Ms. Lawrence HAS to come in because payroll requires TWO people.

As to the "promotion?" His UPGRADE was CSEA test earned, and he was capable enough to have scored in the TOP 3 in the county'

If you have any other superfluously supersilious remarks. give them/it some thought because although you are anonymous, your comments are still that of a moron studying hard to be an idiot with a feigned, unsuccessful attempt at humor.

Let's see, you're not pf, because he doesn't write like that (no self praise, even obliquely). And, you're not fs, because he's devoid of humor (even "gallows humor.)

So you must be some schmuk who goes to auctions, bids against himself and wonders why he overpays for everything he buys.

Good grief, 9:49, I laid out the a-r-i-t-h-m-a-t-i-c in a way even a 15-Watter like you could understand.But I guess arithmatic was not one of your favorites.

Maybe by next time, An, (since you take the liberty to call me Ed, I take the liberty to contract your name.)you'll have hired a math tutor to e-x-p-l-a-i-n the numbers to you, and you'll decide I am correct, and praise "Ceasar" not try to bury him...even in a lame way.

Your blog pal E.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lawyer at 5:29 PM.

You missed my point entirely. I didn't write about Bernstein's brief or his constitutional arguments. I replied to the previous blogger who suggested that the villages become fully integrated into the town. In passing I also addressed his comment that the villages have more voters than incorporated, and it is a fact that the unincorporated area outvotes the villages. Check it with the Board of Elections, as I have done.

I did comment that the fact that the unincorporated area outvotes the villages comes out in the Bernstein litigation, and it does. You may have read Bernstein's btief, but not obviously other papers filed in the court. You also probably did not read the town's brief in opposition. And you certainly have not read the opposition brief that will shortly be filed by the mayors who have intervened in this appeal. When you do you will probably have a different slant on Bernstein's constitutional arguments (which, incidentally, do include an argument based on the false assertion that the villages outnumber the unincorporated area). Ask the person who gave you Bernstein's brief for copies of the other briefs.

herb rosenberg said...

The last blog is not anonymous. it is from me.

herb rosenberg said...

The last blog is not anonymous. it is from me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Rosenberg -
You failed to comment on the substance of the post.
Would it not be cheaper to have a single Department of Public Works?
Would one Police Department be cheaper than seven?
Would one local government be cheaper than seven?
The answer, regardless of the number of voters or the amount of assessibles is a resounding, "Yes, it would be cheaper."
Simply because the villages, long ago, decided to duplicate services, does that mean the current population is stuck with a system designed to be inefficient?
If you respond that those inefficiencies are fine, then how can you possibly oppose Edgemont's bid to become a village?
If your opposition argument is based on the financial disaster which would befall other parts of the unincorporated area, you must then admit that recombining into a single service provider will substantially benefit the same area. Where is your sense of social justice? Should an historical accident, like the creation of a village in the 19th century, preclude realignment in the 21st? Remember, when the last village was incorporated in 1923 the law of the land was Plessy v. Ferguson. We have come, thank the Lord, a long way from there. Our community's approach should reflect Brown v. Board of Education, not Jim Crow.

Anonymous said...

Paul you and the board are to blame for high taxes.
You have stoped all development in Greenburgh that would have helped keep taxes low.
The whole town board made sure that all large parcels were purchased as parkland which we now we have to pay for maintenance,rather than have the land developed.
If the properties were developed we would have a good revenue to help the tax base.
Taxter Ridge should not have ever been considered as a park but as a favor to a dear friend you gave him a big side yard.
You chased away Home Depot .
You chased away many developers that wanted to build large homes plus park areas.
Yes the residents were right in one sense but without commercial development we are at a loss.
You could have all the meeting you want but it doesn.t change the fact that we are and will be in trouble for some time to come because of your poor managerial skills.
The problems are right in front of your faces but you pretend to be blind.
The facilities in the north end of town cannot remain opened. They do not bring in any revenue.
Almost everyone gets the services on the arm.

You want to keep these place opened for what reason?
Just think if these places had good money coming into the town how much would you save the tax payers but we all know how you feel about the rest of us.
Well now the rest of us are feeling a big crunch from this recession .We too are loosing our jobs.What happens now.??
Where will the money come from for you to direct to Fairview?
Have you not heard how many jobs the city has lost and will loose .
That's where many of us work.
Will you help us the same way by giving us free police protection,free camps for our children so they wont be out on the streets, free meals,free programs for all of us including swimming.I don't think so.
You only want our hard earned money to go to one area and that is it,
Too bad for you and the rest of the board .
Election time is not too far away and I am quite sure payback will be sweet.
If Sheehan comes to his senses and recognizes that we are tired of paying all this money to those that have squandered it elsewhere
he may have a shot at reelection. Now the ball is in his court since watching yesterdays' work session with the representatives of the center we can see how they misuse all our tax dollars.
Just imagine Sonya asking to get a reduction in electricity from Con Edison for the center since the area is considered a high disadvantaged part of town.Is she kidding.
Paul step down ,you are no longer qualified to represent the residents of this town.
The more you try the many more mistakes you are making along the way.
We need a boss who is not one sided and one that treats all with equallity.
Sorry to say this but I for one voted for you everytime but this time my vote will be given to someone else.In my househld alone you will loose four votes.I have seriously thought of changing political parties because of the way this town has gone downward.
80TH MY FOOT.
.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Rosenberg:

You state that Bernstein's constitutional arguments include the "false assertion that the villages outnumber the unincorporated area."

I'll let Bernstein, the lawyer, deal with the constitutional arguments, but you may want to doublecheck your facts before accusing him of making false statements.

According to the 2000 census, the entire town population was 86,764, of whom 44,936 (or roughly 52%) reside in the villages. So the villages do outnumber the unincorporated area.

Now you may be right that there are more registered voters in the unincorporated areas; or it may be that more unincorporated area residents vote in town elections. That's not surprising since we pay 95% of the town's taxes and have a lot more at stake that you do Mr. Rosenberg.

But there's something truly unfair about a system of local government that allows half the town's population that pays next to nothing in town taxes to elect a town government that can legally charge 95% of the taxes to the other half. And it's especially unfair when some of the town services we pay for (like parks and the social services offered by the community center) are available to all, including village residents like you, Mr. Rosenberg. Village residents have to pay for their own governments, of course, but there's a lot of room for mischief here.

Feiner last year ran on a "villages first" platform, and he's working hard to increase services for the Fairview community. That leaves the rest of unincorporated Greenburgh, which had a 21% tax increase this year, and is looking at another such increase this year, holding the bag.

An alliance between the villages and Fairview truly outnumbers the rest of us when it comes to election time. That doesn't seem right to me.

Herb Rosenberg said...

To Anons 9:34 and 10:35 who addressed my posting:

First to Anon 9:34.

1. It probably would be cheaper to have one DPW and one Police Department and one Planning Department, etc. Whether it would provide better government for such very local issues is another question and I have no answer for it. Put another way, if there were one DPW for such a large area, would you not have to have substaions? If one Police Department, would you not have top have some local stations? Some real questions have been raised as to where economics and efficiencies bisect, and I don't have the answer. If you look at the SCOBA Report, which so many of you like to dump on, you will notice that we pointed out that the structure of laws was antiquated and we suggested that a comittee of informed and objective people study the structure and make redommendations for changes in the law. I have since found that there are not many people in Greenburgh, especially in unincorporated Greenburgh, who are objective, and few indeed who are informed. I am not trying to insult anyone, but the poison that has been injected into the communication process has had its effect.

2. I don't think that I have ever voiced any opposition to Edgemont becoming a village. That isn't my business.

3. I think that you are way off base questioning my sense of social justice. Them's fighting words, and I don't think that you should do it by hiding your identity.

4. Speaking of social justice, please don't play the race card, as some of the residents of unincorporated have been doing. It spoils whatever logic your other arguments have.

Now to Anon 10:35

1. The 2000 census (which was based on estimates, of course) may have shown a majority of residents in the villages, but (a) it was eight years ago and (b) residents are not necessarily voters or property-owners, and it is voters and property-owners who count in these matters. Current factual date shows that there are more registered voters in the unincorporated area and the unincorporated area outvotes the villages. I mentioned this earlier only to try to put to rest the demagoguery that the unincorporates area is being ganged up on by the villages, and that is indeed the cry from some of the activists. Call the Board of Elections and verify what I have said. Whatever just cause these activists may have, the "majority village voters" is not one of them. It does not surprise me that when faced with facts you start making excuses such as that there should be more unincorporated area voters because they pay 95% of town taxes. The point that was made is that the villages control (assuming they vote in a bloc, which is silly), and that is not true. So please quit dodging the truth.

2. if you think it is unfair for the villages to not pay for parks and the TDYCC because those facilities are available to all, then complain to the Town Board. They are the ones who made them available -- the villages didn't ask for it. And if you bother to check the facts you will find that few village residents have taken advantage of the town's opening of the TDYCC. On the other hand, a large number of people from White Plains and other towns have used the TDYCC. I say this only because you should know the facts before you make unsupportable claims. If you think the system is unfair, complain to your Town Board -- they have the power to change it.

3. Your attempt to make yourself a victim by suggesting that there is an alliance between the villages and the Fairview area is dishonest and despicable. No more needs to be said about that.

4. Whatever you may think of Paul Feiner, he won last year in both the unincorporated area and the villages. He won everywhere except in Edgemont, where he lost narrowly. I think that your argument about Feiner's election is nothing more than whining.

Since the blogs tend to be repetitious, I won't answer any more of them unless thay have something new and relevant.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Rosenberg:

You and John McCain both seem to suffer from similar anger management issues. Obnoxious comments from you like there are not many people in unincorporated Greenburgh who are objective and few who are informed makes me think that just the opposite must be true - you just don't agree with them. It's like McCain saying last night that Biden's ideas on Iraq are cockamamie. Do you really think that obnoxious comment of his made me think McCain was right? I think the same can be said for you.

I also think you're way off base in dismissing the concern about an alliance between Fairview and the villages. When you said the suggestion was dishonest and despicable, I thought, sure, you white folks in the villages wouldn't want anything to do with Fairview. How dare anybody suggest such a thing?

But I think the point the blogger was making was that politicians like Feiner may see a way to reelection year after year by harvesting votes from Fairview, which pays comparatively little in town taxes relative to the rest of unincorporated Greenburgh, but gets a lot of services, and the villages, which likewise pay little in town taxes, and get services that the villages don't have to pay for.

Edgemont may have figured this out before the rest of us in unincorporated Greenburgh. But more and more of my neighbors in Hartsdale aren't happy with what we're seeing in town government, and we don't take much comfort knowing that angry guys like you, Mr. Rosenberg, apparently have Feiner's ear.

Herb Rosenberg said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous 12:29

Since you address me by my name, I will address you by your name.

If you are an example of what you think is an informed and objective person, you have proven my point.

If you think that making an honest observation about what I have seen in almost four years of attending Town Board meetings is an obnoxious statement showing the need for anger management, you have further proven my point. Most of the dialogue on any issue, but certainly on town-village issues, is angry and accusatory. Or read the Grassroots for Greenburgh postings for laughable examples of objectivity. All this is an unfortunate by-product of the poisonous statements and misstatements that have been propagated for a number of years.

I admit that every time you, and some others, talk of "white folks in the villages" I do get a bit angry. Charging racism when the facts are against you is a rogue's tactic. Since you bring up McCain (and I had a good laugh at that) I think that your tactic is Palinesque.

If you want to cling to your myths, nothing that I or anyone else can say will disabuse you. I certainly will not try. On the other hand, if you want to have a serious conversation, you know where to reach me.

Anonymous said...

Paul and the board was warned about budget fiscal prolems by Heslop and Paul ignored that warning. Paul admit you are to blame for this financial crisis and do the rite thing by dividing your salary to each department to ease tax payer burdin.

Anonymous said...

Deear Mr. Rosenberg -
In your recent posting you refer to the facts being against another poster - the reference apparently being the discrepancy between the villages and the Town outside in racial composition.
Are you saying that the villages are not overwhelmingly white? Or that the TOV is not overwhelmingly non-white?
As you are well aware, property ownership in several of the villages was restricted by deed covenants until well after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled such restrictions illegal. While anyone may now purchase any property, the aftereffects of officially sanctioned and legally enforced segregation remain.
The continued, artificially constructed barriers, designed to reinforce that now outdated way of life, must be dismantled. Part of that process should be the re-integration of services and governance of the villages and the TOV.
Efficiency and economy suggest it - true justice demands it.

herb Rosenberg said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous 9:01 A.M.

I don't like to be put into the position into which you and some of your think-alikes are trying to put me -- that is, arguing for racial discrimination. The problem is that your selective facts don't make a case for the point that you are pushing.

As far as I have seen, the TOV is not "overwhelmingly non-white" as you say. Fairview is overwhelmingly African-American. I don't have the impression that the other sections in the unincorporated area have significant African-American presence. I gather that the villages have a largely white population, although some of the villages have a significant number of African-American residents, and an even more significant number of Latino residents.

What does that have to do with the "efficiency" argument that the poster advanced -- i.e., one central police department and one central DPW department is better than having separate such departments in the villages? It has nothing to do with it. Re-integration of services and governance of the villages and the TOV has nothing to do with efficiency of governmental services. If it did have something to do with it, why not create one town out of two or three towns, or eliminate towns altogehter and have a single county government? Do you see the illogic that you get into when you try to address an efficiency argument by advancing points about black and white skin, or saying "social justice."

My point is, and was, that if you want to address the waste and inefficiency in the form of government that we have, then you have to address what causes the waste and inefficiency. There are plenty of such causes. Racial or ethnic clusters, and any social implications, are not such causes, at least not in Greenburgh (unincorporated and villages).

As I have argued, seemingly in vain as far as some are concerned, is that introducing race into a discussion aboout how to fix governmental efficiency, distracts rather than helps.

And now enough. I will not let myself be dragged further into discussions about race in matters of the legal structure determining town-village budgets. So don't take my further silence as evidence that you have made a point by trying to make race the issue.

Anonymous said...

The fact that even Mr. Rosenberg admits that Greenburgh's villages today have a significant number of African American residents and an even more significant number of Latino residents makes it even more outrageously unfair that the villages won't pay a nickle for any of the millions of dollars of social services that the town provides to its economically disadvantaged residents townwide (mainly through the TDYCC), all at the expense of the town's unincorporated area residents -- a discriminatory practice which IS a result of the town's racist past when the town's village residents wouldn't pay for any services for the town's African American population (the town's library being another case in point).

Anonymous said...

Did the chief mention the money owed by the Housing Authority.
I did not hear this mentioned at all at the work session.
Was the police protection given back to them for free??????
The money owed is over one half milion dollars.
Paul this too will be one of your freebees given to the so called poor people.

Anonymous said...

SHAME ON WHITEHEAD

How dare you go around saying they "gave" the position to William Carter! Are you kidding us? Dr Carter, in the most extreme contrast possible to you, got the job based on merit, qualifications, and established a work related track record. You on the other hand received a gift. You deserve credit for one thing and one thing only, selling a bill of goods to Sonia Brown. Don't feel too bad Sonia, she's fooled many others before you. While many dedicated staff worked hard at their jobs, you gave Sonia a steady stream of lies which misrepresented your limited abilities. You're doing the same now to Dr Carter.
Ok, fast talkin' got you the job, but then you BLEW IT! Taxpayers had to settle for an under qualified person placed in her FIRST leadership position at the Center. However then you introduced your personal problems to the Center. You dragged the whole Department in your mud. Why should Teddy's name be tarnished because you felt a need to hand out no show jobs? Many of our young men need jobs and are willing to work hard when they receive an opportunity. But no, you had to hand over paychecks to felons! Did you really think you could trust them based on their past history? Everyone knows they have been milking you for years.
The Whitehead freebies: $10,000 for a one day trip to Playland; Free all you could eat BBQ at Family Day (Imagine doing that at Veteran's Park?); Full staffing when the building was closed to programs in September. You're very generous with Taxpaper's money!
You could have been Deputy. You could have done something that would have made a name for yourself. You could have retired with honor and respect. You could have respected Paul and Sonia. You decided to embarrass the Town Council, the Center, your Church, and the Community, by your shady wrong doings. Now the place is under police investigation because of you.
Hay Girlfriend, they had a party for Hopeton and William, they ain't gunna have nothin' for you except scorn. Everyone will look back at your time as temporary Head as the worst chapter in the Center's history.
The only reason you're still on payroll is due to Paul's charity.
RESIGN NOW!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Who was the lady giving the responses to the center's budget hearings at the work session?

Anonymous said...

The lady that was sitting in at the budget hearings is Whitehead the one that is under investigation for no show jobs to fellons.

Anonymous said...

All CSEA jobs should be outsourced. They are not necessary. This could save a lot of money.Especially with benefits.
CSEA should be done.........