Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DIFFICULTY IN PREPARING 2009 BUDGET

I have been reading some of the blog comments about the budget preparation and have reflected on your insight. When I release the budget next week I will not point fingers at anyone. I accept responsibility for the decisions I will be making. I believe that all the members of the Town Board want to do the right thing. The question is: what is the right thing?
This budget is a difficult one. The Board has to make some hard choices---do we raise taxes substantially to offset some revenue losses or do we cut services and quality of life?
Most people who I speak to want the Board to CUT TAXES and to MAINTAIN SERVICES. That cannot be done.
Each major cut will impact services--
If you want your tax increase to be more affordable we will need to close down the library one or two days a week...we will need to cut some terrific police programs...we will need to eliminate some quality of life enhancements like non curb side pickup of garbage...we will need to shut down some parks/community center programs...we will have to reduce the workforce (which will reduce the response time you are used to receiving from town employees). We can't replace retiring employees with new employees.
If you want to maintain the best of Greenburgh lifestyle - you'll have to pay for these services. More taxes. No way around that.
I hope to find the right balance. There is really no right answer. There is no wrong answer. It depends on your finances and philosophy. Greenburgh town taxes are about 17% of your entire tax bill. So-- some major cuts will only impact your wallet by less than $100 a year. The question: Is it worth the quality of life reductions?
THe Board members and myself have been reaching out to residents - trying to find the right balance. Your input is appreciated.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Is it worth the quality of life reductions?"

Absolutely! We have so many optional services and programs that can easily be cut back or eliminated; most have been listed elsewhere on this blog. And the library can be closed on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings with minimal effect on patrons. Just keep in mind what the primary purposes of a township are, and the budget will be fine.

Anonymous said...

The Library is already closed on Sunday mornings. Close it on Mondays like it used to be years ago. You can save a lot of operational costs for those 52 days throughout the year. I saw your work session yesterday even though I couldn't hear too much because of your great sound system and agreed that parking meters should be installed at the new Library to offset the additional expenditures they will be incurring.

Anonymous said...

Stop giving into the what the library representative demands.
She knew from the onset what was in store with the enlarging of the library.
Now she is seeking more money for the full maintenance .
It is a disgrace that the public now has to be hit with another tax hike to put the library in full operation.
The people in charge should have done their homework before they jumped into this project.
If the library cannot function so be it.There are other libraries arround town that we can and have been using.
If it dosen't work out sell the building .
Getting now to closing the parks. Well your best bet is selling the properties. You were told some time ago that we did have too many parks that are not being used one hundred percent.
Just the maintence alone is crazy.

Getting to the garbage.
Well this is a different matter.
Curbside is not for many homeowners.
Yoy have some homeowners that are pigs. No covers on their garbage pails.
Tell The DPW head to tell his men to stop picking up garbage at certain homes four times a week.
Who will clean the garbage when the animals get to the pails during the night or day.
We have a filty town as it is this will add more dirt.
Think befor you leap.
The library needs money well what else is new . They will come back over and over again for more.
Paul you asked if some of the space could be rented well she snaped back and said NO> tell me who is the boss you or this demanding woman.
You have turned out to be a whimp.
You know that we cannot pay for this white elephant that she says is the state of the art building.

Anonymous said...

TDY C/C ACTING COMMISSIONER UNDER POLICE INVESTIGATION

FACTS
Police arrive at Community Center on Sept 13th
Upon their arrival, Valerie Whitehead abruptly leaves Center.
She doesn't return until 5 days later.
She doesn't contact staff.
At least 15 staff members are asked to report to Greenburgh Police for questioning.
Center’s security tapes taken by Police.
Time cards taken by Police.
5 p/t staff including Whitehead's nephew somehow put in 50 hours per week.
The Center is closed for evening programs during September.
Whitehead authorized these hires and their excessive hours without the knowledge of the Town Board.
Whitehead stops staff meetings.
Whitehead attempts to block transfer of James Robinson to Center.
Whitehead offers no statement on occurrence or explanation.

HAL SAMIS IS RIGHT, THE PUBLIC DESERVES ANSWERS.
PAUL WE ARE WAITING.

REVAL NOW! said...

While Town taxes are "only 17%" of the total tax bill, the Town's failure to reassess and maintain accurate valuations effects the ENTIRE tax bill.
Revenues lost through certiorari proceeedings force the remaining values to absorb the costs.
It is truly inconceivable that during Mr. Feiner's tenure at Town Hall, the assessibles in Greenburgh have actually DECLINED!
Moeny spent on a revaluation will pay dividends ffar in excess of the costs - and in a very short time.

Anonymous said...

The next step for garbage pickup will be a dumpster at the end of each street and each one of the home owners dump their garbage.
You have got to be kidding if you go ahead with your curbside pickups.
Where has the money gone that the Dpw collects from sewers hookups ,engineerings fees for new projects,street opening fees and the selling of old equipment?
He collects all this money and he has the nerve to say those that do not have the ability to put garbage curbside will have to pay extra money.
By the way he just purchased four new small garbage trucks if he wants curbside pickups why did he purchase these new trucks.
Has anyone looked into this recent spending.
He made sure that it was done before he sat down to give all the lies about how his budget standings .
Guess what, the entire board went along with what he said.
Fools that they are.
The only one that had a fantastic budget was the Building dept. He stated all the revenues that have been received up to date plus those that will be coming in for next year.
That's the way to go,
Honesty is the best policy.

As far as the library goes they asked for the ninteen million plus stating that it was enough for a new building now they need more money.
The lady that demanded more money was out of line when You Paul asked her if it were possible to rent out space and she answered No. Is she the boss as to which way our money has to be spent.
What if we all refuse to continue to use the facility will it just stand there empty.
Why do you listen to her??
Her demands every week change.
Now she is worried about the electric ,cleaning and other bills that will have to be paid.
Where was she when the plans were set up?
Now out of the blue she has more expenses.
Paul you and the town board made the biggest mistake in not listening to Krauss and Samis.
they both told you all from day one that something was not right but as usual you all poopooed them.
Juettner should stop with her playing along with the demands that the library reps.make.
Their demands are way out of line.

If you think that you are having difficuly now wait till the next one comes up.

Anonymous said...

Have Regula charge contractors that bring their gargabe from jobs to be picked up at their home at least four times a week.
Why must the home owners suffer with this curbside pickups when others get away with murder.
Why is there so much favoritism practised with some home owners.
Not only do they putout stuff to be recycled but you also have household garbage.
Homes that are refurbished have a habit of putting out construction debris every day and guess what it is picked up .
two days for regular garbage and two days for recycling.
Since we have enough trucks why not pick up garbage with one truck followed by the recycling.
If this is done twice a week we will be saving a lot of money.
Regula makes a big deal out of nothing, He has the equipment why not use it wisely.
Regula insisted on the new leaf law tell me how many tickets were given out so far.
Many home owners are blowing leaves to the oposite side of the roadway unto other property owners because they do not want to spoil their lawns.
Is the public supposed to be the watchdog in this new practice.
You have enough supervisors out there that ride up and down the streets why not let them report as to what is happening.
If someone has not a pile of leaves on their property you can very well assume that his gardners blew them to someone elses property who may in turn receive the ticket .Is this fair.

You say that you need more revenue then instruct you men to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Why did you wait so long to check on your department heads and their spending habits.
Why can't you listen to the comptroller when he say that things should be done the right way or no way at all.
He has found some mistakes that Sheehan does not understand.
He feels that the comptrollers is wrong every time he {comptrollers] tries to correct some line in the existing budjet.Why.
He was hired to be comptroller why not let him do his job.
What is the board afraid of?
Could it be possible that spending was not reported correctly.
Maybe improper figures were put into different funds to cover up mistakes.
Listen to the guy instead of fighting with him.
Yes it could be possible that the previous comptrollers were a little lax in their findings well this one is on top of things.
He cannot report on what he cannot see.
He is showing you the right way but for some reason that is not what you all want to hear.

Anonymous said...

Definitely close the Library one day a week. Monday would be best. Or open at 1:00pm on Mon and Tues.

Anonymous said...

"Some major cuts will only impact your wallet by only $100 a year." That doesn't make sense. If the saving is only $100 a year, they must only be tiny cuts in budget.

Anonymous said...

Close the library on Mondays and Start the work day after twelve each day for rest of the week.
This will save some money for now and let's see how this works out.
It may be to the residents favor but we don't know until we try.

Anonymous said...

Major cuts equal $100,00 a year.
I*f you cannot put your garbage curbside it will cost you $150,00 extra a year .SO TELL ME WHERE IS THE SAVINGS.

Anonymous said...

Major cuts equal $100,00 a year.
I*f you cannot put your garbage curbside it will cost you $150,00 extra a year .SO TELL ME WHERE IS THE SAVINGS.

hal samis said...

Who would be hurt were the Library to close weekday mornings?
Senior citizens.
Why doesn't the Library want to close weekday mornings?
Because Seniors support the Library through thick and thin.

Has anyone heard any declaration from the Library Director, Assistant Library Director or the Assistant to the Library Director that they won't be seeking raises this year?

Should they even be offered raises when the Library is contemplating reducing operating hours?

Is it news to the Library management that a building twice the size would cost more to operate?
Is it news that having a building with glass walls will be costly to maintain? Nevertheless, what happened to the offset of savings from geothermal energy? What about the "savings" from electronically tagged media?

What are the four positions that the Library is operating without?
They wouldn't be including the public relations assistant as one would they? They wouldn't be including the cybermobile drivers since there is no longer a cybermobile, would they? They wouldn't be referring to the PR/special events coordinator, would they? Surely the lack of these bodies would not impede the normal hours of operation? Those who watched the work session, does anyone recall any Town Board member asking for an explanation?

Typical. Just typical.

If the Library reduces service hours, then there will even be less of an opportunity to see the Sheehan ramp from nowhere costing$175,000 in use. But it will still have to be salted and cleared when it snows.

Which gets checked out more? The book "A Tale of Two Cities" or the dvd of the various sequels to "Rambo"?

What do the Library's children's section and Xposure have in common? Both are examples of profligate spending that should more properly be the concern of the school districts. Both are examples of providing Disney-like daycare under the guise of an educational opportunity.

Why not tell it like it is. The main function of the Library of today; the Library of ten years ago and the Library of tomorrow is to provide circulating copies of popular dvds, the top 10 trash fiction titles on the Times bestseller list and a place to read the daily newspaper. Not as high minded a sense of purpose that the Library advocates would like the public to realize.

As for parking meters on the campus, first they have to purchased and installed, then some $80,000 policeman must be sidelined away from his or her mission: what if someone were to die? so that parkers will have the feeling that the meters are being patrolled. Then the Chief of Police will be back requesting more headcount because he has lost a patrolman to writing parking tickets...And all of this will kick-in not in 2009 but likely by 2010. Once Feiner gets his teeth into an idea, he never lets go.
Finally since the Library Trustees, the Library management and the Town Board all publicly agree that it is desireable to make the Library an independent Library District (with obligations and responsibilities like a school district) and this agreement has been voiced for years, what's stopping it from proceeding? Make this the goal for 2009 so that come 2010 the Library can not only be the master of its own fate but also so that I won't have to hold the Town Board responsible for their failures regarding their oversight.

One thing that would make the 2009 budget less costly and its removal would invoke minimal displeasure and disruption would be the elimination of the $65,000 Arts Council "department". How about it, Mr. Feiner? Will it appear in the Supervisor's budget? To the public, regard this as the bellweather, the line in the sand, of the Town Board's concern and its ability to reduce your taxes.

How difficult is it to reduce taxes? Not very if you play the three card monte game and spend the last available dollar in the remaining fund balances. Then you won't have to deal with the resulting problem until after the primary in September 2009.

How difficult is it to reduce
taxes? Not very if you play the borrow the money to pay cert settlements and spread the cost over as many years as you can get away with. Now, not only do taxpayers tomorrow have to deal with repaying these loans, they also have to be on the hook for the interest. This won't hurt current taxpayers as much because most of them will have been forced to move and the debt burden will fall on those who bought their home. On the other hand, if the home can't find a buyer, then your children will be feeling the heat.

to be continued.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar was sure quick on the trigger yesterday telling Feiner that no, once you put in parking meters at the library, the money generated belongs not the library, but to the town entire (which benefits the villages). It was amusing to see Feiner then say, well, why don't we just (violate the law) and give it to the library anyway?

Unfortunately, Kolesar was quiet when the town took up the Xposure contract. Where was Kolesar to protect the unincorporated areas of the town from Feiner's efforts to charge the cost of an after-school program for Greenburgh Central, which is properly a school district expense, to all of unincorporated Greenburgh?

Samis is right, though. Feiner will solve his budget problem for next year by drawing down the fund balance (in violation of the much heralded fund balance balancy from last year) and by bonding tax certs (which when Steve Bass suggested it last year, was roundly condemned as fiscally irresponsible.

What Feiner won't do is make the cuts that a responsible elected official should make. And it goes way beyond cutting little things like the $65,000 arts council curator, which is an A fund item that means relatively little to unincorporated area taxpayers.

Unincorporated residents should take a look at the town's B budget. You'll find millions of dollars in costs for personnel and "part-time" help, but virtually no listing of programs to go with those personnel costs. That's the real shell game, and so far, neither the town board nor Kolesar seems prepared to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Last year there was talks of having landscapers bring the leaves to the dump site and pay them per load? Sounds pretty dumb, guys getting payed twice to do the same job. But very typical of bozo land.


Just a suggestion Paul. Sanitation seems to stop collecting trash around lunch, or before. Why not have them go out 5 days a week collecting leaves. Require leaves to be bagged and you can completely eliminate saturday leaf pick up at overtime cost.

Anonymous said...

2:11 why not tell the truth as to what Kolesar said concerning the meters in the library parking lot.
He said that the parking lot belonged to the town and not the library so if meters were to be installed the money would go to the town.Listen to the meeting again and come up with the truth.

Why is it that the library is not paying the town rent for the use of the parking lot.
If the property belongs to the towns people we should be collecting the going rate of rent .

Was this ever brought forth at any meeting????

Answers Paul.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:11 did tell the truth about what Kolesar said. And the reason the town can't charge the library "rent" for use of the parking spaces is the same reason the town can't charge the police "rent" for use of the parking spaces at police headquarters. The town owns both the library and police headquarters. The town can't charge itself "rent." But if the town places parking meters on town property, the revenues received belong not to unincorporated Greenburgh, but to the town entire, because unincorporated Greenburgh is not a legal entity; it doesn't own anything.

Anonymous said...

Bagging of the leaves was proposed several times .If this was done the streets would be cleaner and overtime would be less.
As you know Regula rules this town with an iron hand so what he says is always right.He dosen't care to save money because it's not in his favor.

This guy is Feiners' fair haired boy who never makes any mistakes.
But you see Feiner will not speak to any of his workers to fing=d out the truth how he operates.

Bagging of the leaves is and was the only way to go.
It seems to me that because of past wrong doings the overtime is granted as hush money.

The cover ups by this department are tremendous. But Feiner doesn't care.

Maybe once Feiner goes and Regula either resigns or is fired things may get back to normal.

Paul have you seen Regula walk on water or something.

Anonymous said...

"We have a filty town as it is this will add more dirt."

This is a good point. Greenburgh is already known for its poor roadway cleaning. This would make an already bad situation worse.

Anonymous said...

It would be inappropriate to have parking meters at the public library. Plus, the expenses of purchasing, installation, maintenance and enforcement don't seem worth it in the big picture.

Anonymous said...

There are two positions that should be added:

An additional code inspector would bring in much needed revenue; so many code violations go unenforced in Greenburgh. The person's salary would come from the elminiated arts coordinator position.

A professional operations manager for DPW would help to eliminate the inefficient staffing and scheduling operations. As is, many DPW employees can do side-jobs during work hours in lieu of street cleaning. Also, a professional OM would be able to analyze and eliminate the well-known special deals that many receive in regards to services. Eliminating a middle management community center employee could cover the salary for this much needed position.

Anonymous said...

the library parking lot will be used for people that carpool to NYC and also take the bus to WP because they can park for free

Anonymous said...

kolesar gives ridiculous 11,000 raise to payroll clerk and pays part timers 40 p/h.

Anonymous said...

2:11, get it through your thick head, Kolesar doesnt care about unincorproated Greenburgh. He has blogged on the Ardsley Village site how they should be entitled to use Veterans.

Anonymous said...

Why would a town park not be equally accessible for all town residents, including village residents, especially when the park is located in a village. Seems odd and petty.

Anonymous said...

Because their taxes dont pay for it. Yes that is odd. That is the Finnerman law.

Anonymous said...

Paul, Diana, Francis you are toast. You know damn well why you are looking at a 20% increase for 2009 and it has nothing to do with the current economy. It's because you grossly mismanaged the use of fund balance in 2005 & 2006 to give us Greenburgh taxpayers a 0% tax increase thereby prolonging your sorry careers as board members on our backs. I have had enough of your lies, hypocrosy, ignorance & arrogance. It's time for you to go before you do irreparable damage to this good community.

Anonymous said...

INVOICE FOR GAY SILVERMAN

Whereas you have entered into an agreement to rent space at the Theodore D. Young Community Center, and as a good responsible taxpayer, conscientious of the financial burden placed on our valued town residents, this letter serves to remind you that you owe $20,000.00 in rental fees which was duly noted from last January. Simply put, we taxpayers don’t know where you get the chutzpa from, to go to a town board meeting and play victim while shamelessly pandering to temporary commissioner, Valerie Whitehead. Add to the fact that you put down the efforts of the entire staff, who work hard every day to put out the best programs possible plus contrary to your comment, do indeed welcome everyone who enters through the center’s doors.

Now let’s figure this out:

A Valerie desperately needs money.
+ B You haven’t paid your bill.
= C: More shady wrongdoings!

Can you smell kickback?

It’s highly suspect when the department head praises the efforts of a space renter who is ten months behind in her rental fees. The temp lady should have initiated some efforts to collect money that was due to the town!

Paul, please investigate this.

PS. Gay, I’m sending you some kneepads. They should be useful at your next town board meeting.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 2:59pm
Do you think that the Town Board or Paul would actually let Al Regula enforce the bagging of leaves. The residents would be in an uproar when their landscapper doubles thier bill for such a service.

Anonymous said...

As someone mentioned at the meeting last night whomever uses the pool should pay up.
I do think that that your rates are too too low.
Tell me what was the person saying about scholarships that the children receive.
Does this allow them to swin free of charge.
Well if this is so this is bull.
They swim they have got to pay.
We have to pay for the existance of the center so why should they get this special treatment.
Paul you have taken advantage of the residents too long to further your stay as supervisor.
Well I think with all the harm that you have done to all of us you have become a personna ingrata.

Anonymous said...

So you finnally listened to the Fulton Park residents.
Alleluhia!!!!!!
Those poor people were telling you right along that there was something wrong with the project but you jumped the gun as usual and put them all down.
Do you realize how much damage you have done to this group of good people that have been fighting for what they worked for for years.
Well they have proved you wrong with the first decision that you made.
You should learn to keep your mouth shut when it comes to hurting residents the way that you do and will do down the line.

village subsidizes veteran park said...

20% of veteran park is in the village of ardsley yet no taxes are paid for this land because its "owned" by the town of greenburgh but its use is restricted to only unincorporated greenburgh - this means the village residents (and the ardsley school district taxpayers) have to pay higher taxes to make up for the loss inflicted on them by the town's non payment. conversely this is a subsidy to unincorporated greenburgh by getting a free ride from ardsley for use of its land.

one wishes unincorporated taxpayers would admit the truth about this instead of making foolish comments that ardsley taxpayers are looking for a free ride to use veteran park.

Anonymous said...

Ardsley had a chance in the beginning to join the pool, but they chose not to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Housing authority ------$500.000.00+ interest
The amount for the swim team is $20,000.00 and maybe more.
When will you retrieve these funds.
We payed the taxes now it's about time the payback is made to lower our taxes.
You have to lower the taxes and this is a good way to start without loosing any jobs.

Anonymous said...

10:55,

Please stop with the ludicrous argument that the Village is subsidizing Veterans. If this were not park property, it would be single family, which as we all know, does not pay its way with school taxes. That area is not zoned commerical, and I doubt anyone would want it commercial. This is why Irvington fought so hard for Taxter Ridge, as they did not want development which could swamp the school district. Veterans is smaller, but same principal.

I realize most ot the time, Feiner just gives away anyting to the Villages (which Kolesar agrees with), but so far this hasnt happened with Veterans.

Anonymous said...

Unlike Ms. Silverman I never found TDYCC to be a fearful place before Valerie Whitehead was there as temporary commissioner. I have always been greeted with a smile and a hello. As someone who is very shy and doesn't like to talk to people, I was pleasantly surprised to feel accepted and even at home in the TDYCC.

It's too bad that Ms. Silverman is pandering so publicly to the Greenburgh Town Board. It's shameful that Paul Feiner and other board members seem to believe that because she has been at the TDYCC for all those years, those of us who use the pool for our evening exercise (because we enjoy it just like her team members enjoy swimming) are being squeezed out.

At this point I don't see how any compromises are going to be reached. Obviously the board and Paul Feiner have no interest in protecting our time. I hope that the new commissioner will see Ms. Silverman's glad handing for what it is: a ruse to blind him to the obvious.

hal samis said...

It is true that Kolesar lives in one of the Villages.

It is true that once upon time Kolesar was a Village trustee.

It is likely that once upon a time Kolesar blogged that he favored Ardsley residents being allowed to use the Town pool/park.

The only statement that is valid since he became the Town Comptroller is that he lives in one of the Villages.

When you attend Town Board meetings, when you look at the dais, in front of which seat do you see the name Mike Kolesar?

When the Clerk calls the role, does the Clerk call out Mike Kolesar?

When the Clerk reports the votes on Town matters, is Mike Kolesar one of those whose vote is recorded?

When the phrase "Town Board" is used on letters or emails or on entrances to Town Parks, do you see Mike Kolesar's name?

Then, why is an anonymous writer(s), one whom I assume is one or both of the male members of the Town Council, keep writing nasty posts that repeat the concern that Kolesar:
1) has reason to favor the Villages
2) has the power to favor the Villages
3) has powerful friends in Town government who can assist him in this quest

Clearly the Town Comptroller has upset someone; I'm thinking that it is Kolesar's honesty, integrity and pull no punches attitude that is stepped on someone's toes. Ouch!

When thinking of town departments, I can think of one that might harbor a grudge when their choice to avoid conducting Town business has come under Kolesar's magnifying glass.

When thinking of town departments, I can think of one that might resent being exposed as incompetent.

When thinking of town departments, I can think of two, maybe three, that might prefer not having to answer the questions: what do your people actually do and how do you know how well they do it?

I can think of one Town Board member who might find his "lock" on knowing everything being challenged.

I can think of one Town Board member who might find his "lock" on knowing nothing being challenged.

I can think of one Town Board member who might find his style of lurching ahead without thinking somewhat curbed by not having the cooperation from ALL his department heads.

I have a problem thinking that it is the taxpayers, who will, if not already, benefit from the efforts of this brash, outspoken individual, while considering who are the bloggers who author these oft posted attacks.

My sympathies go out to all the taxpayers who can't recognize that the reason the Town Budget concerns came to light so early in the year was not because the Town Board woke up one day resolved to get a head start finding ways to deal with rising expenses and falling revenues.

These concerns were due, not to the diligence of the Town Board, but to the warnings delivered by the Town Comptroller, Mike Kolesar.

That he is being publicly flogged for being competent and honest is one of Greenburgh's conundrums.

It is really not such a very hard puzzle to unlock.

Anonymous said...

Why can't Kolesar get the payroll out without paying ovrtime?
because he is too worried about the villages

Anonymous said...

You are so right Samis.THe board is afraid of Kolesar because they cannot take critizisim about their failures .
He is the only one that could put the town back on the right and honest way of doing business.

Anonymous said...

It would be beneficial for the town if councilmembers and the supervisor position had term-limits. So many of our problems could be resolved by having new blood in the leadership.

Anonymous said...

Villages, villages, villages, 24/7 with some people.

No, the reason that Kolesar has to pay somepone overtime is because the highly capable payroll clerk got a job offer at a somewhat higher salary offer, the Town Board refused to match it, and now if employees are to be paid their salaries this payroll clerk is helping out evenings.

Bitch all you want. There would be much more bitching if the payroll didn't go out because of a lack of a clerk to get it done.

I suspect that on top of that, Kolesar isn't permitted to hire a new clerk to replace the one that got away. That is our wonderful twn government. samis is absolutely right.

And what does villages have to do with all this? Nothing, except that these compuylsive complainers have to use the word villages over and over and over.

Anonymous said...

If that is what happened (Payroll Clerk quit), the Kolesar will have to do what people in the real world do, which is higher a young person or promote a new hire and train him or her. Kolesar has an asissant (or deputy) Comptroller and is paying someone part time. So why cant he train someone if he is so good? This isnt rocket science.

hal samis said...

Dear 6:15,

With one of the budgeted two payroll positions vacant, (try and follow the math here) 2 minus (-) 1equals (=) 1.

There is, at present, just one payroll clerk to handle all of the payroll.

Or we can get rid of the part-timer for $40 an hour and maybe sometime get a refill for a missing clerk.

Let's put the matter to a vote by all the Town's employees? Here's the question: Are you ok with not getting your paycheck on time so that one of your fellow workers (a lone payroll clerk) can go to the bathroom, have lunch, take a sick day or go on vacation? And for those of you in those departments which authorize overtime, undergo regular promotions and step increases, or are paid under provisions of three separate union contracts, you wouldn't mind if your paycheck contains mistakes from time to time, would you? Finally, if the one payroll clerk gets a little rushed dealing with the first two classes of paychecks, none of you will have a problem if we make an occasional mistake on your benefits, or social security deductions or wipe you off by accident from the medical plan. Mistakes will happen. And he'll be happy to get around to making the correction sometime.

Or maybe you would agree that it would be good thinking to have a part-timer on hand to reduce the stress on the one remaining clerk.
And, maybe if you were the Comptroller, you might even want to do your best to ensure that the remaining clerk doesn't go looking for another job. Especially since he is the third down from the top on the civil service list; something that means nothing to the Greenburgh Town Board where a good employee is judged so not by his work but by his total support for all that the Supervisor requests. Which is why the Town Attorney, the DPW Commissioner, the Town Assessor and the Planning Commissioner hold on to their jobs.

However, since you obviously are not one of the town's workers, you're probably just someone bearing a grudge against Kolesar; perhaps someone who he has made a fool of.
Which wouldn't be very difficult if you were on the Town Board.

Or maybe, we should take the Town Comptroller off examining the Town's finances so he can relieve the payroll clerk when he goes to the bathroom or for lunch. Maybe we don't need a Comptroller to wave the red flag regarding the impending budget deficit early enough to hit the brake.

Wasn't it last year around this time that the Town Board first learned that there was Trouble in paradise? Learning about the problem in May of a similar problem didn't help the Town Board prepare? maybe even just a smidge?

There's a hard rain gonna fall in Greenburgh. Perhaps overdue. But let me assure you that it isn't all tied to the collapse of Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers or Fannie Mae, et al. Some of the problems are home grown: raised, nourished, harvested and packaged courtesy of the Town government.

And whatever escape valve the Town Board chooses, the underlying problem is still occupying five seats on the dais. Even a narrow escape won't put humpty dumpty back together again.

Quick fix, moneysaver advisory.

To bring in money for the Town, why not sell, on ebay, the unused microphones in front of Morgan and Juettner?

hal samis said...

Dear 11:15,

I propose a compromise. Just in case the Comptroller and his staff are too busy with the Budget, selling Library bonds and getting the payroll out etc., why doesn't the Comptroller just hire someone who has passed the Xposure course.

That person would be younger, would come with a resume unlike Mr. Thomas and know all about the equity and bond markets and personal finance. Skills that would useful in the Comptroller's office. Since this "new hire" hasn't been earning much working at Xposure (probably under $5 per week), I'm sure that the Town would go as high tripling the trainee's salary and pay out $15. And, I'm sure that there will be no problems; after all, hiring an Xposure grad is to get the
Feinest. What better recommendation can there be than a nudge from the Lanza Foundation?

Note to Comptroller. Get down with this right away; no one will be able to say you were favoring someone from the villages.

Anonymous said...

Kolesar is not to blame for this difficulty.
Blame yourselves for not paying attention to the goings on in town.
Now that a double digit tax boost is coming you're worried.
We saw this coming and told you so many many times over and over again.
You waited too long to start checking into individual departments spending habits.
You gave the ok for spending like money was water.
Kolesar warned you so many times that this would happen but you didn't believe him.
You have a job to do even if you have failed leave Kolesar alone to do his job.

wake up town board said...

you are looking for balance?
these are unbalanced times.

cut all non essential government services
immediate hiring freeze
wake up

Anonymous said...

The kiss of death to Kolesar, Salmis likes him. Continue to prove him right when he is wrong to be political and should worry about his job and the town

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah? The town is in terrible shape. If it weren't for Samis we wouldn't even know it and the town would be in even worse shape. It's idiots like 3:12 who give comfort to the Town Board and let them hide things.

hal samis said...

Thank you, 3:39.

But makes you think that 3:12 isn't a member of the Town Board?

As for what may be coming, think self-service.

Anonymous said...

If Kolesar is worried about his job that's bull. He is worried because the board will not listen to his advice.
The board thinks that they know everything.
You should than your lucky star that Kolesar is trying his darnest to put Greenburgh back on the right tract.
After all the shuffling from column A to B to C toD to E and so forth were previously done to make certain coverups look good.
Let the fella do his job .

Anonymous said...

It was stated in one of the comments that Lois Bronz center pays $1.00 for rent.
WHY??????????

The center is a business and it should be paying the going rate for rent.
This is BS.
The library should pay rent too.
Well Paul I too would like to pay $1.00 rent for my business.
Maybe the courts can help me in this situation.

Anonymous said...

Is the center used by all from far and near?
This place should be charged rent. the services rendered receive money so it too is a business .
What are you doing Paul. We need money to lower the taxes so look into retrieving some rent money from both centers.

Anonymous said...

You know Hal Samis seems to know a lot more than he is given credit. He speaks a lot of truth and that scares a lot of department heads and the board.
I can say that Kolesar may not be the most "approachable" comptroller within the Town, but he knows his stuff and trust me the board consistently shouts him up when he wants to speak up about what is going on with money.
Maybe instead of him trying to cut us "Union Members," he should focus on the department heads that are using up the taxpayers dollars for cellphones, gas, company cars, conferences, new office furniture, computers, newspapers, and other non-essential items!
Paul you should man up to what is really going on within the Town, the taxpayers that attend all the board meetings know what is really going on. I think I will stick with what Samis, O'Shea, Pryser, and other Taxpayers have to say, at least they are for us not losing our jobs!

Anonymous said...

If the town charges the Bronz center rent even if it is $1.00 this means that the center is receiving some special favor. If it pays rent regardless of the amount they should be paying the going rate for rental fees.
Since when do places of business pay $1.00 rent and the tax payers have to pay for the maintenance.
Someone should look into the contact for this center .
The community center should be investigated also since it costs tax payers about four million a year to run.
How could this be possible ???
Could it be possible that no one pays a dime to use this place to swim,play sports have lunch and exercise.
Paul how could you allow this to continue.
You have screwed the taxpayers for
too long.
These are questions that you never answer whether they are presented on the blog or at meetings.

Anonymous said...

Sammis isn't the only one who's kept the town informed. If it weren't for Kolesar's May memo warning the town board there might be another 20% tax increase, the five of them would have sat on their asses like the five different ones did, last year, and the increase would become a reality.

So, I for one say thank you Hal and thank you Mike.

No matter what the board does or doesn't or doesn't know how to do it,those two guys and a handful of others may have given the rest of us hope.

Anonymous said...

For a little guy Samis has some punch.
Thanks to Samis,Krauss and above all the comptroller for showing us and telling us about what was coming down the line.
The board has screwed up several times with what they voted for.
A ramp that looks like a maize.more for someone to get hurt.
A library that is an eyesore.
A library that will need more and more money each year for maintenance.
The purchase of a larger back yard for someone's friend that being Thaxter Ridge dump..
The purchase of all the parkland that has to be maintained every year .Parkland that does not bring enough money to stay alive.
The center and babysitting facility that is being paid for by
the taxpayers.
These are things that many residents wanted some answers but the board refused .
We have listened to the three wise men that have showed us the proper way of running a town.
Yes there were other including Bernstein and Prieser.Kudos for them too.
Whatever we say or write it is a little to late to save the taxpayers mega bucks.
The supervisor and the board are not for ALL the people.
We will be looking at double digit tax hike for a few years.
They have dug a deep hole for us and it will take time to make any changes.

juettner is a disaster said...

one thing is true - samis has never backed diana juettner - he has always seen what a fraud she is


juettner is the worst member of the town board and that says alot because the rest of them are nearly as bad.

hal samis said...

$1.00 rent for the Lois Bronz Center? That strikes you as too little?

How about $0.00 in rent for the Xposure Program?

This is an outside vendor, not a program run by the Community Center and its staff.

Anonymous said...

Samis, Kraus, Kolesar; you're doing a great job of self promotion. Are we to believe all of these anonymous accolades are from real Greenburgh taxpayers? If kolesar is as good as your posts are attempting to make us believe, time will tell. You doth protest too much unless of course you're just having too much fun protesting. Samis & Kraus, you should be more concerned about Kolesar's exposure to kryptonite (as you see it). What would you do without him? Get a life?

Anonymous said...

I have been a Greenburgh taxpayer for fifty five years and I do believe in Samis,Krauss and above all Kolesar. This is the worse that the town has been.
Stealing and spending our money without know where how or why.
Just keep spending Feiner and you'll knock yourself and the rest of the board out of their seats.
Whomever defends or even asks questions of this board are constantly ridiculed.
The truth has to be told and if the entire board refuses to stand up to the truth Samis,Krauss and Kolesar has to do it for us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill.

Anonymous said...

More on Vetereans --

If Leon is whining about the development at Gel Sprain, why would development at Veterans be any different -- answer it wouldnt -- it would be net loss. Veterans is saving Ardsley money,


By clicking the link below you can read the cover story in today's Journal News concerning Gel Sprain, a development of 24 luxury houses being proposed by Toll Brothers at a location east of the Middle School off Ardsley Road just beyond Sprain Road and the "S" curve.

The Greenburgh Planning Board recently passed the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project. The 24 houses will bring more students to Ardsley's schools, create more traffic at an already dangerous intersection and create water runoff issues in that area. We all know from similar developments that housing built just over the Ardsley border in Greenburgh brings more traffic to our downtown, more users of our parks and recreation, and yet none of the tax benefits, recreation or "green fund" contributions will be paid to Ardsley. The houses are very large with four and five bedrooms, and so the amount of school taxes it generates are not likely to cover the number of additional students that will be attending our schools..

The Toll Bros. have had this application before the GPB for a long time. It is possible there is nothing more that can be done to stop or reduce the project (it has previously been reduced from 64 to 55 to 25 and now to 24 units). It may be this is the lowest density we can hope for. It may be that these homes are currently unmarketable under the difficult financial climate we are facing. However, it doesn't change the unfortunate reality that it will be Ardsley and its school district shouldering much of the burden for this development, with none of the benefits.

Please read the article, and if you are interested in expressing any concerns about this project, please consider expressing them at the next Gel Sprain public hearing to be held at the Greenburgh Plainning Board's meeting on November 5th at Town Hall.

Thanks for your consideration on this matter.

Jay Leon

http://www.lohud.com/article/20081011/NEWS02/810110372/1216/NEWS0204

Anonymous said...

If you receive no tax benefits from your parks either raise the fees or sell.
Homes bring in revenue which is needed to stay alive.
The school systems are spending to much money they too should do some cutting.

Anonymous said...

The nasties in town keep on dumping on Ardsley when it asks for some modest use of Veteran Park and its pool. But they have no hesitation in dumping costs on Ardsley. First be removing Ardsley land from its tax rolls by purchasing Veteran Park, and now by dumping large costs on Ardsley's school district without Ardsley sharing any benefits.

Typical unincorporated Greenburgh justice.

Anonymous said...

Oh please -- more Ardsley whining. When you guys dont get everything for free -- like Waterwheel, you go nuts. The Waterwheel property should be sold to the highest bidder. Any workforce housing should be open to all Greenburgh residents, with people on waiting list at GHA first in line. As can be seen by the Leon letter, there is no cost to the Village re the Veterans park, it is a benefit. If the Villages had stood up WITH unincorporated re Taxter Ridge and excessive TDYCC costs, you MIGHT have some friends in unincorporated. Instead, you and Leon chose to stand with Fiener.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when Jay Leon says the Ardsley Schools may be overwhelmed by 24 new single family homes which require no variances, Hal Samis remains silent?
When Edgemont requested a moratorium on new construction requiring extensive variances, Hal Samis attacks the community as elitist? Does having a village make their request superior? How about it Mr. Rosenberg?

Anonymous said...

The Toll bros. invested a good amount of money in this property.
They lowered the amount of homes so what else does the mayor want.
ONE HOME.
Where were you Mr. Mayor when the other end of town needed your input.
As far as Samis goes if he is quiet he see nothing wrong with the project. If there was something that he had to comment on you can be assured you will hear from him.

Anonymous said...

The point is Samis attacked Edgemont for even asking -- yet doesnt attack when the villages ask. Next time he attacks anyone on land use, we will bring this up.

Anonymous said...

What does Edgemont have to do with what goes on in Ardsley.
Ardsley has ben fighting this battle for some time so their loosing to a developer.
Constantly stopping developments is ruining the tax base.
You don't want commercial you don't want homes to be built.What the hell do you want.
We have enough of parkland that brings in NO REVENUE .
I bet if the land was to be developed as affordable housing Ardsley would accept the proposal with open arms without caring about the impact on their school district.
The project was cut down to less than half of the original proposal so let it continue.
We all take chances as to where we purchase our homes if we want to live along a vast woods section we would have to believe that one day we will have many neighbors.
The town purchased the Geiseman estate can you tell me what is the town going to do with this vast land.
Do you think that it will remain as is after we are gone. No, some smart town official will come along and see the opportunity to make good money .
No neighborhood can remain the same.
Where there is money to be had changes will be made regardless of schools expenses.

Anonymous said...

Its not only Edgemont, I didnt hear Leon talking about the Westchab development in Fulton Park. Different standards for villages v. unincorporated. As to affordable housing in Ardsley, they only want it if the Town pays for it, and it reduces the cost of their volunteer firement. Sell waterwheel and let Toll Brothers do dwhat they want.

Agreed Hartsbrook is useless.

hal samis said...

The point is that Samis spoke in opposition to the project when it was before the Town Board(s) a year or so ago.

Samis is definitely against blog hijacking, though, and he sees little synergy between Toll Brothers and "Difficulty in preparing 2009 Budget".

Anonymous said...

Hal,

Somehow, when the project is in Edgemont, you moan and moan re the lost taxes. When it affects Ardsley, the home of our Supervisor, you dont comment. Or are you agisnt it???

hal samis said...

Huh?

Is your post supposed to be the blog equivalent of one hand clapping?

Anonymous said...

Hal, so why are you against Gel Sprain development but for developemnt in Edgemont?????

hal samis said...

It has been a long time since Toll Brothers was a topic at town Hall so my memory needs refreshing.
However, I do recall that my concerns then were that the applicant claimed something like less than two school age children for new 5 bedroom homes and the exit/access was a problem on a windy, hilly (Ardsely Road). I think those were my only objections.

I've never been involved with development in Edgemont beyond the Central Avenue corridor zoning. However, I have been and am interested in what restrictions are contemplated on vacant and occupied property along both sides of the strip.

Its attraction as a retail destination has waned over the years; the land parcels do not support the office use floorplates in demand and limiting the owner's use to retail puts property owners in the position of being forced to rely on the less and less dependable retail use -- especially when Edgemont wants to curtail population growth which is not a desirable market circumstance for national retailers.

But can we table this for a future occasion as my number one priority in the next month is the Town Budget while the Library crawl toward opening remains number two. Both topics will implode by year's end and then my keyboard will be clear.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

Why are you sympathetic to the cost to educate children in the Ardsley school district and not the Edgemont School district???

Anonymous said...

Oh but wait, the Edgemont development at Stone Manor which purported it would have 2 or so school children and had appreciabley more, was put up by a develper whose attorney donated to Feiner's campaign. I guess that is why it was OK wiht you Hal.

hal samis said...

Insofar as your playstation must be on the blink, try again jerk.

Were there any 5 bedroom units with an estimated 2 schoolchildren proposed for Central Avenue?

And Stone Manor precedes my involvement with Edgemont by years.

Need to borrow a washcloth? there's egg dripping down your anonymous face.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Greenburgh is practicing birth control.
If someone moves into your area who is pregnant should this woman be made to abort her baby because you don't want anymore children in you schools.

Anonymous said...

If business is blooming here in Greenburgh how about raising the sales tax to help with the revenue and especially to lower the taxes..

hal samis said...

What a good idea.
Then Greenburgh residents can pay higher sales taxes.
Of course, if no one buys anything in Greenburgh, then business won't be blooming either.
Did you study economics at Xposure?