Tuesday, October 21, 2008

LIBRARY PROBABLY WON'T BE OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK NEXT YEAR DUE TO BUDGET CUTS

The Library executive director met with the Town Board during our work session today and advised the Board that the Library probably will not be open seven days a week if library cuts are made in the 2009 budget. All departments in the town expect to share some of the cuts in the budgetpain. (thanks, in part, to the bad world-wide economy).
One possible initiative the library should take is to step up private fundraising. I think the library should place a big board on the outside of the library encouraging private donations and offering room naming opportunities for big contributors. We have a beautiful new library that is going to open up soon---I am sure that there are wealthy admirers of the Greenburgh library who would welcome the chance to contribute. This could help the library maintain the level of service residents are used to.

59 comments:

ed krauss said...

Last years budget miraculously yielded a six figure operating budget which the library powers that be,aided and abetted by you Paul and your fellow board members gave a "blind eye" to the library taking that money and transferring it to the Library construction budget. You know, the one's that's ON TIME, ON BUDGET. No money for the Cybermobile, but newly found money for the $20+ MILLION library.

Now, even before your budget is finalized, the Executive director of the library "WARNS" the library "won't be open 7 days a week" DUE TO BUDGET CUTS!"

Maybe, if they look hard enough they'll, just like this time, find enough money to stay open all 7 days.

Maybe, if they can't, we can find someone, fiscally responsible enough to allocate the $$$$$$$ of dollars in their budget, to keep the library open for 7 days.

WHo do these people think they're fooling?

Isn't screwing up a $19.9 million referendum ( which is expandig like the population of China ) enough to instill a sense of shame in them? Maybe the town board needs to show some courage and give them money, with a guarantee they open 7 days/week. Maybe, the profligate spending will have to stop.NO MAYBE ABOUT IT!

I know you can't tell them how to spend their money...after you've approved a budget.

But, HELLO, you can "negotiate" BEFORE you approve their budget.

Isn't it bad enough we are saddled with a "glass elephant" with a 30 year payout, now we have to "suffer these arrogant fools" who think they can blackmail the town because if you deny them, you will be potrayed as "anti education."

We can't put the tooth paste back into the tube- for good or bad, we have an overpriced, underfurnished, ski jump- but we don't have to put up with overpriced, "underfurnished," library staff and/or Board.

For years, they've accuulated their own "fund balance,' which means they overstated expenses and understated revenue. The pendulum is swinging contra the library.

Ladies and gentlemen, the town's in trouble. Your whining gose to deaf ears. Open 7 days/week, on what you get!

Paul Feiner said...

Next year there will be a new Library Board. I believe they will think out of the box and come up with creative ideas that will help the library carry out its mission.
As you know, I did not support the library expansion referendum. The people spoke--they rejected my recommendation. We have a new library that the people of Greenburgh paid for. I want to do what I can to make the library a success.

Anonymous said...

The library can be closed on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings with minimal effect on patrons.

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.

Anonymous said...

Oh well did you not see this BS coming.
These demands that are being made today will continue year after year.
You can wait for the new board to come in but this old board already did the damage.
We did not need this new expansion.
We do not need someone telling the board that to run the library it has to be their way or no way at all.
Both you and the board followed what the library board wanted right along now the tax payers have to keep paying out money to keep the place opened.
Truthfully I dont give a dam if the palce closes.
I am very happy going elsewher.

Anonymous said...

How many people have said wait for next year things will change.
This is what we were told so many times and guess what things keep getting worse and worse.
Many of us have lost our jobs will this be considered in the way our taxes should be paid.
Will we receive a discount.
Maybe you should declare the rest of the unincorporated area as destitute as Fairview.
Paul there is nothing that can help you now .You together with the town board put us in this position with no way out.
We will be looking at double diget tax rate for many years to come because you all gave everyone carte blanche to do what they wanted .You poor managerial skills put us where we are today.

If the library has to stay closed for two days a week so be it.
You will save money on maintenance plus salary wise.
If you have to make this cut don't wait too long because you will be falling into another trap by the library board.
Stand firm and show them that you all mean business instead of falling for their sob stories.

juettner must resign said...

the library fiasco is spelled JUETTNER (the town board liaison to the library)

Diana - you are a failure - do the right thing - resign now (better yet - leave the town asap)

no $200 for you
no klondike bars for you
no soup for you
just go

Anonymous said...

So the library board is holding the public hostage because they need more moneyr to open on time .
Well listen you should have stayed where you were in the building that you had instead of breaking our pocket books. So now you're starting to play games.
Well we knew from the beginning that there was an awful smell in your presentaion but as usual the board saw things differenty.
Sure this board will give you what ever you want because they know they already did the damage so why not add more to the pot.
Thanks Feiner and the boards for stealing our money over and over again.
Just remember pay back is so sweet.

Anonymous said...

The town needs to start selling some of its assets to fund operations. I suggest putting the cybermobile on Ebay. It shoulda worked for Palin in Alaska, with her airplanes, had she not lied about it, and it should work for Feiner in Greenburgh. Nobody wants this expensive albatross, and if the town can pick up $20K for it, then that's $20K more than the town had before.

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...

10/22/2008 5:50 PM thank you

Anonymous said...

What was that white envelope Gay Silverman passed to Valerie Whitehead - Pay off money??

Whitehead is a thief paid 4 people fifty thousand ($52,000) for 4 weeks work during the summer.

Silver Streaks has not paid the town the $20,000 she owes PAY YOUR BILL Stop slipping Valerie cash!!

Anonymous said...

What was that white envelope Gay Silverman passed to Valerie Whitehead - Pay off money??

Whitehead is a thief paid 4 people fifty thousand ($52,000) for 4 weeks work during the summer.

Silver Streaks has not paid the town the $20,000 she owes PAY YOUR BILL Stop slipping Valerie cash!!

Anonymous said...

Oh - Whitehead needs cash for her lawyer fees. The police invade the Community Center daily for more records on Whitehead stealing. THIEF stealing from the mouths of babes

Anonymous said...

Just back from vacation - same SH__it different day!

Valerie Whitehead still in place as Interim Commissioner - WHY? WHY?

What the hell is wrong with Paul Feiner -

I was suspended for for misspelling a word; being late with a report which had no bearing on the finanaces of the TOWN. Others have been suspended for much less.

This woman (Whitehead)is under a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION fraud, misappropriating funds, paying no show employees ($52,000)- WHY is she being allowed to squander more tax dollars?? What is the rationale?? Maybe tighten the noose around her neck??

Explain this to us Paul, Francis, Kevin, Diana - We know Sonia Brown is on the take being paid on the sly by Gay Silverman to. This is ridiculous.

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...

I do hope that you all will not allocate anymore money to the library.
It is a crime what they did knowing right along that there was not enough money in the original proposal to complete the job.
Feiner if you have any decency in your body turn them down.
I could not finish listening to the meeting last night but I do hope if there was a referendum to give the library mor money you all voted it down.

Anonymous said...

So there is twenty thousand dollars owed by some swimmers .
Boy what would happen if my tax bill was not paid would i be allowed to live here as long as I want.

Anonymous said...

The library board should have never lied when they said together with Regula that the money was enough and the library will be on target for it's opening.
Well now they are preaching another story.
They need more money to open it's doors.
Well if this is a problem the library should be opened maybe five days a week.
Another thing the land that is under the building belongs to the town . the library should be paying the going rate of rent.
The town should also be collecting rent for the parking lot.
Why are you giving away what the residents paid for years ago.

Anonymous said...

Collect the rent from the library including the parking lot.

arrest the library board said...

the greenburgh public library is stealing from the villages - you are using our land and not paying for it!!!

Anonymous said...

When is James Robinson coming back to TDYCC?????
we need to save money. we don't need 3 commissioners at recreation.

Anonymous said...

Villages it's about time that someone comes to the aid of the taxpayers.If it is true that the land underneath the library and the parking lot belongs town wide well lets put our heads together and sue for the rent and above all back rent plus interes,
Thank Rosenburgh for the information. BUT Bernstein said it aint so. WHo is right maybe the courts will decide..

Anonymous said...

As Rosenberg said at last night's board meeting, so far when he and Bernstien disagreed on the Finnerman law the court has upheld Rosenberg, not Bernstien. So I'd put my money on Rosenberg.

Anonymous said...

You can put your money on Rosenberg, but Bernstein says Finneran is unconstitutional and the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, has agreed to hear his appeal. So the last word on Finneran has not yet been heard. Of course, Finneran has nothing to do with whether the town can charge the town's library "rent" for the use of town-owned land, which was what Rosenberg was arguing. I heard Bernstein say that Rosenberg's argument was silly. Maybe if the library was a separate legal entity that was contracting with the town for the use of the space, the town could charge it rent. But the library is owned by the town. Even the people of unincorporated Greenburgh, who pay for the library, don't own it. And who ever heard of a town charging itself "rent." One would think that with all of the problems the town has right now, Rosenberg, who seems like a bright guy, would come up with better things to argue about. I also didn't care much for his personal attacks. Doesn't show much class.

Anonymous said...

The courts have knocked the town and Rosenberg on Finneran twice. Once they said all should pay, second time they said, OK only Town outside pays, but only they use. I am OK with either result. What we have now is TOV pays, but Villages can use some. That just isnt fair.

hal samis said...

Neither Bernstein nor Rosenberg are contesting that if there are revenues from parking on the old town hall portion (where most of the parking is located) of the Library site, that these revenues belong to the town entire (A and B).

This means that unincorporated's equal share of the revenue will be small.

But what both of these legal minds fail to acknowledge is that it is the idea, itself, which is the loose screw and before arguing over dividing the spoils, it would be better to "spoil" the idea.

Although it means switching sides, the argument becomes the Greeburgh equivalent of the old vaudeville routine: "Pay the two dollars".
Starting with this question.

Who favors parking meters at the Library?

Certainly not the Library Trustees or the Library management. And on this I side with them. Certainly not the Library patrons.

This "stupid is as stupid does" hat trick was first floated on this blog last spring by the Town Supervisor.
And it was beaten to death then.

However, those who know Feiner know that like the Terminator movie, he will be back. Like clockwork, expenses at the County are always good for a few laughs. Like clockwork, a dog park or concern for just one Senior citizen will find its way to the blog because the Supervisor is a great lover of the pets of others and the hard times facing the few vs. those facing the many.

So, in the four or five months since giving birth to this idea, what has the Supervisor done?
Does he now have a revenue projection?
Does he know how much the paystations will cost?
Does he even know how many parking spaces are at the Library?

Does he know how parking violations will be established?
Does he know who will write up violations?
Does he know how much the cost of writing parking tickets will be?
Does he know how fines will be collected?
Does he know how the paystations will operate? Will they require a credit card? Will they accept change? Where will patrons get change, not at stores or from a parking garage coin changer because none exist nearby? Will the Library have to make change? Do the Town judges want to take on additional administrative functions regarding Library parking fines?
Does Feiner know? No!
He's just the idea man.
Al Regula is the man for the plan.
Someone out there will understand if I add,
"a canal, Panama".

It's just another idea off the top of Feiner's head, his way of doing business that continues to plague residents. What stimulated this newest round of information modeling? He has to cut the Library budget; so to "soften" the blow to those who would object, he offers this solution. Mind you, that we do budgets a year at a time in Greenbugh. None of this bonanza will be realized in 2009 and little of the cost and installation of the paystations will be returned to the Town if this "off the top of his head" gains credence with the Town Board.

Mr. Feiner and I both exhibit male pattern baldness. I attribute my own to telling barbers too often to "just take a little off the top".

In the Supervisor's case, it is all of his lunatic statements that are hair today and gone tomorrow.

p. leavy said...

I will add a few more questions to Hal's list regarding parking meters at the library.
Who will buy/pay for the meters?
Who will do the coin collection?
Who will furnish the sorting and wrapping machines to handle the coins?
Who will do the sorting and wrapping?
Who will make the bank deposits?
What bank will handle the transactions? (many banks will not handle coin deposits, some will and charge fees)
Who will handle the accounting?
Who will fix broken meters?
Who will keep record of broken meters so that if a ticket is issued, it can be vacated.

and one more:
If the parking lot has been finished, who's going to pay to tear it up to install meter posts?

Herb Rosenberg said...

I KNOW that I shouldn't be answering the anonymous blogger who wrote at 2:27, and that it will do me no good, but what the hell.

1. Yes, the last word on Finneran wil be spoken by the Court of Appeals, and I am quite comfortable with that. In response to your comment about Bob Bernstein's claim that Finneran is unconstitutional I will simply repeat the comment that I made at the Town Board meeting, which you described (wrongfully) as being a personal attack and showing a lack of class. I responded to Bob's dismissal of my statement about the special state law regarding the issue of whether the A budget had to be compensated for the old Town Hall property as being silly, and in doing so I pointed out that when it came to the description of state statutes I had a better track record than Bob. If you think that this doesn't show class, after Bob said that my description was silly, I'll accept that criticism though I hardly think it is worthy criticism.

2. As far as the substance is concerned, I don't recall my exact words, but what I think I said, and certainly meant, was that the A fund had to be compensated for the give-away of that property for library use -- whether that credit to the A budget is the appraised value of that property or the equivalent of a fair-market value "rent." And it will take much more than someone saying that I am silly to make the case that I am not right. I'll rely on my record, even if you don't want to acknowledge it.

Incidentally, this was not a subject that I particularly wanted to pursue, but the notion of having parking meters for the benefit of the library was just too much. I'll now rely on Samis' description of events, since he is usually correct.

hal samis said...

Thank you Mr. Rosenberg.

The issue to me regarding the ownership and the use of the land that was under the old Town Hall and its surrounding parking was never one of "who ended up with it and to what use was made of it" but one of "a simple matter of compensation for a 'taking' of property".

I'm not getting into Finneran and all of the derivative issues that are being decided by the Courts. What does intrigue me is the reverance and desire not to look at the issues solely because the beneficiary of avoidance is the Greenburgh Library. More clearly, the tenant is the Library for the unincorporated section of Town which is important to recognize because the villages own, operate and in all respects pay for their own libraries. In no way should they be involved with the financial and other obligations involved with the operation and maintenance of the unincorporated section's own Library.

And nothing in this discussion has to do with my issues regarding the Greenburgh Library's Board of Trustees or the Library management. It concerns assumed legal issues and a discussion of fairness, right and wrong.

The easterly portion (Knollwood side) of the plot is owned by the town entire (the A budget if that makes it more understandable). Under the existing zoning, when vacant, it could have been utilized by many commercial uses including what had once been proposed, a senior living component. Regarding any of these commercial uses, a value could be established as though it were offered for sale or a value could be established as though it were rented to a tenant who would "improve" it with a viable structure. At the time it became available, the value of the property would have been in the $2-$4 million range and any use other than municipal would have created either a heap of money or a steady stream of rent to the A budget. Either a sale or lease would also return the land and land + improvement to the tax rolls and a substantial amount of revenue would be due the A budget every year.
Again, in the event of either a sale or lease, the proceeds (sale or rents) and the accompanying real estate taxes would be revenue belonging to the Town entire (A budget).

Since the property was owned by the Town entire, the unincorporated section cannot remove it from the town entire's roster of assets and claim it solely for itself. Neither can it sue itself or force eminent domain upon itself.

Whereas under the Town's own zoning, the Library needed the additional plottage to provide the required parking for the 46,000 foot structure, the villages are not required to support a library belonging to unincorporated. Understand too that both the unincorporated library and the individual libraries of each village must allow all residents of either (including the County) use of their facilities under a separate agreement arising from membership obligations of the Westchester Library System (WLS).

So, in the spirit of cooperation and good neighbor, it would be reasonable to allow the unincorporated library to be the occupier of the jointly owned parcel but, like in divorce actions, when the husband and wife cannot agree on an asset split, they generally resolve the issue by partition -- selling the asset and dividing the proceeds. This was not the case here; the Town Board merely usurped the villages rights and said this is going to be used by the Library. Ok.

However, what the villages did not seize upon at that time was insisting that they be compensated for their rights and interest in the land and only now is the since percolating issue beginning to boil over. Let the Library, by all means, let the Library use the land say the villages. We agree it is a higher and better use than say, a car dealership. We might even be willing to discuss cutting the Library a break in determining the rental value of the land because, we are reasonable co-owners. However, agreeing that the Library (or the unincorporated section) is not going to pay fair market for the use of the land, we still expect to be paid something for our ownership interest. We can find some use for the money, even if only to reduce A budget taxes.

And because the Town Board does not like to deal with messy details, even to the extent of not wanting to pay for a survey of the parcel to the dismay of title insurers everywhere, the matter has been shoved to the side because the villages have not been agressive in pursuing relief up to Wednesday night when Mr. Rosenberg fired a shot across the Town Board's bow.

The matter should and needs to be resolved. What if the Town went to a private property owner and said, sorry but we need your driveway; we're not going to pay you for it but from now on it is ours. Fair is fair. The villages have a right (in dollars not prestige) to obtain the unrealized proceeds from the disposition or deployment of their part-ownership of real property. They might even argue that they are entitled to their share of real estate tax revenue had the property been conveyed or leased to private ownership. But of course these are legal issues of which I and Town Attorney Tim Lewis are not qualified to answer.

But, intellectually and morally, I believe the villages have a reasonable basis to proceed with collection efforts.

There is one other wrinkle which I had brought up and like most of the things I broach, it remains unanswered. When applying for those State grants, the Library Director checked off the box which allowed that the Greenburgh Library had legal ownership of the land and premises. From the grantor's side, they wouldn't want to give a grantee money to build something on land that wasn't owned or controlled. Like someone who might have the right to say: get out but leave the improvements behind. The Library did not wholly own or have an executed lease (even at $1 a year, villages permitting) to the property so the Library Director lied on the application. In doing so, she relied upon the Town's legal department which typically decided to bury its collective head in the sand. Of course, they reasoned, who is going to sue?

Maybe someone will. In every age a hero or sage arose to our aid. This year's Bernstein may be Rosenberg. Wouldn't that be a fitting paradox?

Anonymous said...

Changing subjects a bit, why are we only collecting $1. per year rent from the Lois Bronze CC, land & building owned by the town?

Anonymous said...

I hope the libraqry is open everyday with what we paid for it!

Herb Rosenberg said...

I don't want it to seem that Hal samis and I are writing mash notes to each other, yet I do want to make two short comments in response to his 12:48 posting.

The first is that Hal is absolutely right when he says that fundamental fairness requires the A budget to be compensated for the use of town-owned property (the old Town Hall land)by the unincorporated Greenburgh library. However, fairness isn't the basis for my earlier comment. My comment was (and is) based on the fact that New York law requires it. See Chapter 642 of the 1960 Session Laws, and try to ignore the fanciful twist given it at Wednesday's Town Board meeting. That statute -- not the Finneran Law -- provides for how the Greenburgh library will be financed and its costs allocated. It happens to be one of several statutes that the Legislature enacted over time to provide fairness in the allocation of costs to the villages who happen to provide the services to their residents instead of the town doing so.

Second, I don't want to be seen as this year's (or any year's) Bernstein. The explanation for that sentiment would provoke a storm of blog postings, so I will spare you the explanation.

questions for mr rosenberg said...

dear mr rosenberg - would you kindly post the session law governing the funding of the greenburgh public library and give some brief commentary on it.

to the extent there is some disagreement, would you favor submitting the matter to the state comptroller's office for a ruling?

has the VOC obtained a formal legal opinion on the matter.

thanks again for your valuable posts.

Herb Rosenberg said...

To the blogger who wrote to me at 10:38 AM.

The special NY Session Laws are not available to me on the web, so I can't copy and paste them. I don't have a scanner and thus cannot copy my hard copy of the statute. Therefore, I cannot post the statute on this blog.

Giving a brief comment on a statute is dangerous. One of the first rules given to us at law school is "never paraphrase a statute." Let me simply say that the statute, and its bill jacket (i.e., the legislative history) make it clear that the cost of having, constructing, maintaining and operating a library is to be charged to the TOV. The specific reason given in the lagislative history is that four of the six villages (now five, since Ardsley built a library some years ago) have their own libraries which each village supports and the villages shouldn't have to support a library in unincorporated Greenburgh as well. The legislative history also noted that two villages (Elmsford and Ardsley) do not have libraries and arrangements could be made with them. So much for not paraphrasing a statute -- my professor would be annoyed.

The State Comptroller gives opinions on statutory matters. However, I have had conversations with the General Counsel at the State Comptroller's office and have been advised that they don't give opinions on special statutes, only general statutes. Hence, asking them about the library wouldn't get an answer. Ultimately, it is a court that would have to clear up any dsagreement. I really don't think that the statute itself leaves much room for disagreement, but I am sure that some will take issue with that.

The VOC has discussed this matter but has not sought a formal opinion. It has not been necessary.

Anonymous said...

It is amusing to see Samis attack Paul as a "lunatic" when Hal was Paul's most vociferous proponent (ok, Garfunkel gets that honor) less than 12 months ago.

thank you - now lets sue said...

dear mr r - if that is the case, it seems the villages must commence an action against the town for use and occupation of the old town hall site.

or in this case - it seems to be a de facto sale so a purchase price should be set by the court in consultation with appraisers.

either way, this theft of village property has to end.

rosenberg is wrong on library said...

Dear Mr. Rosenberg:

I think you would have done yourself a favor if you had refrained from paraphrasing that library statute.

Mr. Bernstein said that the town was authorized to charge unincorporated Greenburgh only for the "cost of the building and its furnishings." I'm quoting him because I checked the tape. You said that Mr. Bernstein was wrong, that the town was authorized to charge unincorporated Greenburgh for the cost of the land as well.

You were asked to post a copy of the statute so those of us who wanted to see who was right could read it for ourselves. You declined to do so.

So I went to the law library and looked it up.

Here's what it says: The Town of Greenburgh "is hereby authorized to raise money by tax, to equip and maintain such library and to provide a building or rooms for its use. Such tax shall be a charge upon the taxable property" of unincorporated Greenburgh.

Read literally, the town is authorized to charge unincorporated Greenburgh only for the library building, its equipment and maintenance. It says nothing here about charging unincorporated Greenburgh for the land.

However, after specifying what what "shall" be a tax upon unincorporated Greenburgh for the library, the statute then goes on to address the land. It states that the town "is hereby authorized to acquire real or property property for the purposes of such library by gift, grant, devise, bequest or condemnation, and is further authorized to take, buy, lease, sell, hold and transfer real or property property for the purposes of such library."

There is nothing in the statute following this specific authorization that says these costs, i.e., to take, buy, lease, sell, hold or transfer real property for the library, "shall" be charged to unincorporated Greenburgh.

The legislature knows how to charge costs to unincorporated Greenburgh. The fact that it did not do so here, with respect to the acquisition of land for the library, demonstrates that it never intended unincorporated Greenburgh taxpayers to pay for the land upon which the town library sits.

Those costs are, and were always intended to be, town costs. Therefore, Mr. Rosenberg, you can encourage your fellow village residents to bring whatever lawsuits you'd like, but it doesn't look like you've got a case here at all. On this one, Mr. Bernstein appears to be right on the money.

And this makes sense too. The old town hall property could only by sold, by law, if it could no longer serve any public purpose. Library use is obviously a public purpose. Therefore, the town board was entirely within its rights to take that land and give it to the library, without cost, because the land is still being used for a public purpose. Mr. Rosenberg, once the library opens, even you can use it.

Anonymous said...

I would have to beleive that the reason that neither the Villages nor Mr. Rosenberg has sued, is that they know they have no leg to stand on.

They argue equities when law is not on their side, conveniently forgetting that when law, but not equity, is on their side (such as having the benefit of more mortgage recording tax).

hal samis said...

Dear 1:40,

Thanks for recognizing my attempt to amuse in these are the times that try men's souls.

What I actually wrote was "lunatic statements" which is a reflection more on the statements than the speaker. But hey, in 2008 he is acting like a lunatic, no qualifier needed. What I tell people is that this year he is not content to get in trouble on his own side of the street; stalking bigger game he crosses, not at the corner, just looking to get in trouble on the other side. Hard times bring out the inner lunatic, n'est ce pas?

Let me assure you and others that there is a masterplan afoot.

Last year's support of Feiner was not that he was the best thing since sliced bread but to educate the public that it is not him alone that gets the Town in trouble. The Town's major events and commitments are the result of the affirming vote of the 5 member Town Board. A simple three person voting majority is required to pass or reject appointments, laws, monetary expenditures, etc. Hence just three votes. Still laughing?

Whereas I did then and still do want to believe that Feiner is not all bad; that he has a root concern for individuals and that one issues beyond our borders he generally lands on the right side of the hullabaloo. However he IS a terrible manager.

The next step in the process was to recognize the realities of the process and acknowledge that there are few to none worthy candidates that could defeat him in an election. That and the stranglehold that the Democratic Party has over the Town. (I am a registered Democratic and a District leader so I am not knocking the Party). Feiner has name recognition, a substantial war chest, the power of incumbency and a willingness to campaign 24/7/365. Fighting the good fight has always been the problem from those who would run against him.

None of this would be dismaying if a strong candidate would emerge to run against Feiner at next September's Democratic Primary.

However, with a ticking clock, and I mean a two year clock, I decided that what was doable would be to let things reach bottom by allowing him the luxury of a 5 member team. Things could not get worse than having a 5 vote majority on the same side of a matter before the Town Board. The proof of this is in the wormwood served out at Town Board meetings.

At this point I see you've become less amused but let's examine what was the situation last November. Eddie Mae Barnes, Steve Bass and Alfreda Williams were not the answer. They had their opportunities in the batter's box and they chose instead to be occupied with the pressing local issues of Darfur and capitol punishment while ignoring library oversight etc. They were not the answer and were sent to the dugout after some seventy strikes apiece.

Given their failings and deciding that touching bottom for two years would be a viable plan, I was willing to tolerate the replacement team and give them their turns at bat. That meant not only enduring the existing free loader Diana Juettner bult also recognizing that at the other end of the dais was her counterpart, the ever silent (but oh so attentive) Kevin Morgan who during the campaign looked good on paper. Since then his function is to flack for the Police Department. He blew through his six month immunity period in just 60 days.
Sonja Brown started out like a house on fire and bringing new ideas and leadership to her community through an out with the old and in with the new clean sweep at the Community Center. Either she was sold a bill of goods by Feiner or sold him a bill of goods, I don't know but now nine months into her freshman term, her false starts and feigned interest in other areas has cost her the welcome mat. Which brings me to Francis Sheehan. If I am amusing to you, then Mr. Sheehan must have you rolling on the floor.

Years ago I backed him for Town Council -- he lost. So much for the value of my support. Three years ago he ran without my support and won. He did so by stabbing Bill Greenawalt in the back and withheld support in favor of Suzanne Berger. Suzanne, well-meaning (which you might say for Feiner) would probably be no better a manager than Feiner while not having the advantage of being well-versed in local issues. Feiner's team cleverly kept her public appearances monopolized by keeping her endlessly on the defensive involved with explaining the contract to her law firm which in term lost her the chance to talk about Suzanne Berger and why she would be good for Greenburgh. The perception at the time that was light on local issues and her public appearances were consumed by defending the contract. Nice work Feiner strategists. At the same time, Feiner was expanding his reach to include non-voters who were unaware of what went on at Town Hall and would have little cause to cast out the incumbent when persuaded to try voting as a prelude to being part of the community. "You can always reach me at my office, my home, my cell..."

Anyway, supporting Party Chair Berger, Sheehan knocked out Greenawalt who he used to support and instead ran with Juettner to gain entry to the supreme dais This excised the well regarded Greenawalt from the Party support. After the November Feiner triumph, the short-lived palace revolt ended and Sheehan and Juettner returned to the fold.

With his elective longevity on the line, Sheehan saw the writing on the wall, capitulated and now wants to be a charter member of the we love you Paul crew. However it is rumored that once scorned Feiner never forgets. Juettner, worn out and mute, is a sure candidate for the junk heap and her seat is likely to be offered to the forever waiting in the wings, Allegra Dengler.

I apologize for this deranged history of local politics but I've churned it out to assure you that sides change as perceptions change and realities change. My involvement was then to arrange the hastening of the bottom, direct the blame to just three votes and hope a new, committed hero or heroine would emerge.

If all this is just as amusing to you, let me take it a step further.
Politics has never been my thing.
I never voted before moving to Greenburgh; I've harbored a lifelong mistrust of politicians and their antics to get elected. Strangely Feiner's ploys to get media attention were not as alarming when I realized that the office of Supervisor is but a two year gig and that anyone wanting to stay employed, MUST, start campaigning for the next term upon assuming the current term. Understanding that, I became more sympathetic to much of Feiner's petty provocations and assumed that his role was just the paid greeter to new arrivals in Town and that the real business would be handled by the Department heads and made reality by the vote of the Town Board. Ok, I ignored not only that the quality of hypocrisy is strained but also that garbage in, garbage out. That the department heads were in in the fun and the Town Board didn't want the responsibility for introducing a bull into the china shop was the atmosphere when myself and others saw the opportunity by Heslop exercising his get out of Greenburgh card, leaving an opening for Mike Kolesar.

Readers of the blog can take sides but in my mind there is the unrefutable win-win with Mike. So obvious is this that Mr. Sheehan takes every opportunity to attack Mr. Kolesar which is no surprise as Sheehan see's how own star fading.

A laugh a minute, yes?

Somehow, I saw that changes could be made if only the phoenix could be set free and two by two the Town Board could be replaced because they would tie the noose around their own necks. My role was not to be the hangman but only the commentator. As for Feiner, let him stay in place, rendered puerile by an absence of Town Board support. Pay him his salary but work around him. Give him an allowance to hatch his media eggs but let the rest of the Town advance by circling around him.
Until such time as a candidate announces. Maybe this time, sweet charity. But it ain't me babe.

However there are some change for the better ideas being bandied about. Just be patient.

Live, love, LAUGH and be happy.

herb Rosenberg said...

For the gentleman who "checked the tape" he will recall that I said that I didn't intend to argue the law with Bob Bernstein. Neither the Town Hall or this blog is the place for it.

I will leave you with only one thpought. Bob Bernstein ignored the word "and" in his description of the Finneran Law and he seems to be ignoring the word "and" again. As well as the rest of the statute and the legislative history. So does the blogger.

The town should be happy that the villages are not as litigous as Bob Bernstein. But there are limits.

And now, no more, at least by me.

hal samis said...

Back after reading 4:11.

Again, not a lawyerly premise on my part.

"I have met the enemy and it is me."
The arguments presented do not seem to fit the condition of a Town dealing on behalf of itself with itself.

Obviously unincorporated should pay for its library building and operations. Were it to seek a new location, only unincorporated would pay for the acquisition of the new land.

However reading what you interpret and quote does not make a believer of me insofar if it pertains to land which is owned by one Town consisting of two separate legal constituencies.

Imagine an LLC with a managing partner(s) and passive investors. If the LLC were to purchase a parcel of land, who would pay for the acquisition and the maintenance including taxes? Who would benefit from any rents derived from the land? Who would benefit from any gain or loss if the land were sold?

Any partnership or business combination does not operate for the sole benefit of one partner, member or stockholder to the exclusion of the others unless permitted to do so under their agreements, charter or statement of purpose.

Isn't land owned jointly by the unincorporated section of Greenburgh and the incorporated section of Greenburgh to be viewed as a similar merging of common interests. Meanwhile and clearly, the sustenance of the unincorporated Library does not serve a common and mutual interest.
Is it "who get's there first" the guiding priciple? Had the villages desired to replace the old town hall with, say but not limited to, an annex of a village library (perhaps Ardsley to better serve its Elmsford cardholders) reason (grounds?) enough to claim for itself the sole right to use of the land?

Just because the unincorporate user is a Library does not forsake the vested rights of the partnership's varied interests.

But whatever the resolution of the claim, I still maintain that excluding the notion that unincorporated can seize the parcel owned in partnership with the villages and offer it to the unincorporated library without any compensation to the villages, and excluding the notion that the same arrangement can be manifested to lease the premises without a percentage of fair market rent directed to the benefit of the town entire, I still maintain that the exercise of the "assumed" rights need to be fortified by a Resolution or some formal, written contract. "In writing" still remains a fundamental condition of contracts and real estate law.

I don't pretend to understand the State statutes and I certainly can't represent that there may be other case law examples that aren't before the blog jury, but my sense of fair play, if your argument is sound, is again being eroded by application of what is presented as the law.

Aren't we all human?

Anonymous said...

Yes, we are all human. But Mr. Rosenberg, where were you --

1. When many in unincorporated Greenburgh complained about the Taxter Ridge purchase?

2. When many now are concerened re no-show jobs at TDYCC, unvetted programs like Xpsosure, etc.


You know you carry considerable weight at Town Hall. When you say, well its not our issue, we are the Villages, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Stand up and be counted.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Rosenberg:

I am not Bernstein. I read the library statute because you didn't post it as requested. And you are wrong. There is no "and" that makes unincorporated responsible for the cost of both the building and furnishings, on one hand, AND the cost of the land on the other. Read the words, Mr. Rosenberg, and you'll see the word "and" just isn't there.

As for you, Mr. Samis, if the town had wanted to buy land for the library, it would not have had the legal authority to charge only unincorporated Greenburgh for the cost. You just can't find that authorization in the statute.

As a practical matter, had the town wished to purchase land, it would have sold the parcel on Knollwood Road and Route 119 and used the proceeds to purchase land elsewhere.

Mr. Samis, you seem to be under the impression that the library is some legal entity separate from the town. It's not. It never purchased the land on which the main building now sits (the town obtained in a tax foreclosure sale) -- which was the same way the town acquired the old town hall site.

You guys with your axes to grind would be a lot better off if you'd focus your creative talents on the town's many REAL problems instead of these contrived issues.

Start with the tax hike. Feiner wants to draw down millions of dollars in the accumulated fund balance for the town entire (basically eliminating the millions set aside for the court house that's needed). Mr. Rosenberg, what say you to that? This screws village residents who are legally required to pay for that courthouse. You think that's a good idea?

Mr. Samis, Feiner wants to bond tax certs, which will require unincorporated Greenburgh taxpayers to borrow at least $2.5 million plus interest, or more than half this year's capital budget, in order to reduce next year's tax hike. What say you to that Mr. Samis? You think that's a good idea?

Let's focus on the town's problems that really matter here for a change.

Herb Rosenberg said...

To answer the bloggers who posted at 7:59 and 8:25.

I said that I won't debate the law on the blog and I won't.

As to the more pertinent question about where was I when Taxter Ridge was purchased and why I don't speak about other things. Like almost everyone else who lives in one of the villages (except Irvington, I guess), I didn't know anything about the Taxter Ridge purchase until I learned about the first Appellate Division decision in late 2004 or early 2005. And while I do have views, and strong ones, about things that I see and hear at Town Board meetings, I try to limit myself to issues that affect the villages. It isn't because I don't care. But if you follow these things, to a number of people in unincorporated I became an immediate devil when I was appointed SCOBA chair, and I think that my comments are generally resented by many of these people. Still, I sometimes cannot restrain myself, as you might notice if you watched the end of last Wednesday's meeting. I think that I have to leave many battles to residents of unincorporated.

Now good night.

Anonymous said...

Now that everyone is paying such close attention to this years budget, who is looking into the five year plan. Nobody. How about a 3 year plan. Nobody. That is exactly why nobody saw 2 double digit tax hikes.

Now since nobody else is looking into town projects that will eventually need to be done for safety reasons alone. Maybe it is a good time to ask department heads what future projects they perceive and the town board could figure out how to allocate funds for such necessary projects.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rosenberg's still telling white lies. He knew all about the Taxter Ridge purchase well before the first Appellate Division ruling in Bernstein's favor. As readers of the Grassroots for Greenburgh website know, Mr. Rosenberg tried to file a brief in support of the town's position against Bernstein after the first Appellate Court argument in November 2004, and the Appellate Court returned his brief, unread, because it was submitted in violation of the rules. He's been working with the town against unincorporated Greenburgh ever since.

hal samis said...

Dear 8:25,

Did you get here late because of traffic?

"You guys with your axes to grind would be a lot better off if you'd focus your creative talents on the town's many REAL problems instead of these contrived issues."
and...
"Start with the tax hike.
Feiner wants to draw down millions of dollars in the accumulated fund balance for the town entire (basically eliminating the millions set aside for the court house that's needed)."
and...
"Mr. Samis, Feiner wants to bond tax certs, which will require unincorporated Greenburgh taxpayers to borrow at least $2.5 million plus interest, or more than half this year's capital budget, in order to reduce next year's tax hike. What say you to that Mr. Samis? You think that's a good idea?"

In The King and I there's a song lyric "So if you become a teacher, by your pupils you'll be taught"
so...
thanks 8:25 for pointing out the REAL problems. Did you learn about them from my posting under the Feiner topic "Difficulties in preparing 2009 budget" when I wrote about them two days ago on October 22 @ 1:56 PM.

While the judges are marking down the final score of the match above, let me remind everyone to use caution regarding my and others speculations about what the Supervisor's budget will reveal. Not only can it change radically and has day by day but between what he learns from comments on this blog and from all the concerns that residents have shared from their front door or from their living rooms -- anything is possible. Hopefully the Supervisor disregarded most of what various department heads said. Expect the unexpected. No one will know for certain until next Friday or thereafter when the hard copy becomes available. Just in time for Halloween and the meeting in Edgemont. Anonymous posters will want to wear costumes to both events. However, I hear the judges coming back and they are announcing the winner of the Samis/8:25 match... And the winner is......................................Samis..
Game/Set/Match

Apart from all the excitement above, clearly your comment that if the Town had to purchase land for an unincorporated Library, it would be a townwide expense would seem to be co-existing with what unincorporated is fighting incorporated about in various Courts.

However, I'm not writing as a lawyer and I'm only writing about the Library which is an unincorporated operating expense. My problem is that I don't see the justification (spelled fairness) in wanting Village residents pay for their own libraries and to pay for the unincorporated library. This is what I assume you feel is proper from your comment:

"As for you, Mr. Samis, if the town had wanted to buy land for the library, it would not have had the legal authority to charge only unincorporated Greenburgh for the cost. You just can't find that authorization in the statute."

Doesn't double jeopardy take precedence over state and local statutes?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Samis, even you know that double jeopardy in America means being tried twice for the same crime. Some in Greenburgh may think it's a "crime" that village residents pay for their own library and effectively pay in their town taxes for the cost of the land for the town library. But then again, some in unincorporated Greenburgh, think it's a crime that village residents get to double dip when it comes to the town's mortgagee tax revenue. When the county divvies up the mortgage tax booty it collects from Greenburgh, the villages get to share the first 22 1/2 percent; the town then gets the rest, but New York says the money can only go to the "town entire" so that village residents who live in towns can benefit twice. In Greenburgh, where the highest property values are usually found in places like Edgemont, that means that Edgemont effectively subsidizes each and every village budget through the mortgage tax allocation.

And you, Mr. Samis, are crying crocodile tears over village residents effectively paying for the land upon which the town library sits which involved no out-of-pocket expenses to village residents at all?

The town has a lot more serious problems to worry about than this, Mr. Samis.

Herb Rosenberg said...

My last communication on this subject, I promise.

The anonymous 10:54 blogger caught me in a memory lapse, not a white lie. My previous posting responded to the question of where was I when the town bought Taxter Ridge. I responded that I didn’t know about it until the first Appellate decision came down. Actually it was while the Appellate decision was still pending, and I forgot the precise timing. In any event, it was well after the town bought Taxter Ridge, which was the point of my answer.

As to the blogger’s comment that I “have been working with the town against the unincorporated area ever since” – that shows (and probably identifies) the blogger’s agenda. Working with the town? Not so – I worked as a village resident, against the strong opposition of the Town Board members at the time. I, like every sensible village resident objected to the effort to impose an illegal tax on village residents based on a purposeful distortion of the Finneran Law? I did then and I still do now. The fact that I have been proven right by the court inspires such a silly conspiratorial charge.

But I like to think that I am an objective person, and so I will say (as I have said many times before) that the statutory structure is unfair to both the villages on the expense side and to the unincorporated area on the revenue side. I have publicly agreed with the point made by the anonymous 8:05 blogger that the allocation of the mortgage recording tax is unfair to the unincorporated area and I also have expressed the view that it would be fair if the WestHelp rentals were allocated to the B budget rather than the required allocation to the A budget. So much for the demagoguery that I am “working with the town against the unincorporated area.” I have advocated a serious effort to modernize the laws to remove the built-in unfairness, but that has been resisted by the agenda-driven folk in unincorporated Greenburgh, so here we still are.

Have a good weekend. I will use it for better purposes than continuing this fruitless dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rosenberg,

With all due respect, the Taxter Ridge was discussed at Town Meetings, and in papers. I find it difficult to beleive you did not know about it.

But as for now, why are you not publicly castigating the Town Council for not acting quickly on gross mismanagement issues, such as no-sho jobs, 11K raises, etc. These things are not acceptable.

hal samis said...

Dear 8:05,

Aren't crocodiles still on the list of endangered species?

I don't think you get it. I keep reminding readers that I am not a lawyer, not because I am entirely clueless of legal obfuscation, but because I want to take a look at this from a logical and fairness point of view AND apart from the Taxter Ridge and Community Center issues that are being well-handled by others more qualified.

To me, the disposition of the Libary parcel is something I stumbled across as an offshoot of what I have spent so much time studying, the Library. I had hoped by introducing this substitute for the existing larger and law tinged arguments over bigger fish, that bloggers could take a fresh look at the same issues but without retracing the footsteps left in the various Courts. View it as my layman's (dummy's if you will) guide to these issues.

Instead I find that this tit cannot be discussed without bringing out the heavy guns by other tats such as you have done by bringing a guest, mortgage tax, to the party.

However, dividing the spoils (mortgage tax) as you indicate is something that Greenburgh (A or B) has no control over; it is a function of the County and the State.

Whereas, the library parking parcel is a wholly Greenburgh directed issue (first there is the land; second is its ownership and third (obscured by the Library presence) is the matter of compensation by who got the benefits of its deployment. I had assumed that residents would like the relief of a chance to fantasize the experience of some shot at home rule from time to time. In other words, the way I had hoped this discussion would go would not to be again lawyered to death but to give everyone a chance to deal with this matter as though laws didn't exist and treat it as a unique chance to render a verdict based solely on what is fair and just.

As to the LARGER issues, do you think that what you define as more important are not discussed at length on the various blog topics in play and that I have forsaken writing or speaking about them? I am nobody's puppet; I speak my mind liberally and literally (throwing in a bit of literature too) on matters which interest me.
I don't do this for a living, my issues are limited as I don't have kids in school here and I don't own a home.

What does irk me is when anonymous persons find that my agenda doesn't match theirs -- even if at the end of the day we agree on replacing the Town Board as the root of all evil.

So, if you come to contribute to a post clearly labeled Library, don't be dismayed by its limited scope. If you get invited to a wedding, I doubt that you feel the need to march down the aisle just because you can hum along with the song.

Anonymous said...

But Hal, we dont agree on replacing the Board. Paul is hte leader of the board. YOU do not want to replace Paul or Sonya. I do. So we dont agree.

hal samis said...

Now back to the Libary as the entree but this is really about the Town Board, especially Mr. Sheehan and Ms. Brown.

The subject relates to the Agenda of the Town Board meeting October 22.
Marked on the Agenda as PW-9, Public Works) it concerns an additional $74,863 expense to the project -- added to the General Construction contract.

I had asked (Ms. Brown) during public comment to have the matter held over (Town Board members have this right even without cause) unless she felt that she could explain what the Town Board was voting on.

I wasn't singling her out for no purpose. Over the Spring/Summmer I had urged her to get involved in another area beside the Community Center, not only because of the ticking clock there but because I hoped she would see the benefit to herself in expanding her interests (and constituency) beyond Fairview. And, I think that in April she was genuinely embarrassed to have voted for the $12,000 change order which bilked the public by making residents pay for work which was done incorrectly the first time by the contractor. So, to her credit, she started asking questions.

In time, it became evident that all she was doing was asking the questions, getting answers was not the goal. She has learned that the answers are never as intersting as the questions. Especially on camera and when answered by Mr. Sheehan.

At a work session, she raised the point that the Town Board should understand these change orders before the work began and that the Town Board's vote on them should not be just to rubber stamp the fait accompli.

By July and early August I knew that there were $160,000+ of Change Orders that still had not been presented to either the Town Board or the Town Comptroller. This was unearthed from repeated attempts to obtain a cost to complete assessment by the Consruction Manager, Triton. Getting this on paper from Triton was a lengthy and arduous task for the Town -- particularly since Triton was loathe to reveal or commit/limit their own monthly fees. No discussion of the nature of the individual change orders occurred; only the dollar amounts and the total for the group was on hand because all that was sought then was the cost to complete for the purpose to ascertain whether there was enough money left in the budget. There wasn't; there isn't...which is why the Library had to feverishly find $120,000 to transfer from their "inadequate" operating budget, establish a capital account and then transfer the operating money to the capital account -- all of this to pay for items such as chairs for the auditorium. Of course the Town Board complied with this request because giving the Library another layer with which to deceive the public is what the Town Board is all about themselves. One thief recognizing another = professional courtesy.

So on Wednesday at the meeting, I asked for this particular Change Order to be held over. And the Town Board was about to until Mr. Sheehan ($175,000 ramp from nowhere) spoke. He said the Town Board had the change orders from August, anyone could have examined them, therefore there was no need to hold it over. Thereupon the Town Board voted on (language from the change order) "Resolution authorizing change order #52..." and the Resolution was accepted that night.

Doesn't the language of these Change Orders seem to imply that the Town Board is giving its go-ahead to the Contractor to do the work for the stated cost? In fact, the work has already commenced if not already completed by the time of the Town Board vote. Doesn't the language imply that the Town Board is on top of things and that not a nickel is being committed without the Town Board knowing.

Now Mr. Sheehan is a great one for deceiving the public -- and even his fellow Town Board members who are not known for doing anything unless it leads directly to a photo-op or press release. Mr. Sheehan has learned well from the master, Paul Feiner, and some like myself see Sheehan as the greater threat to the Town because has created the job description of indispensible for himself and because the preference of the other four Town Board members is to do no Town work they can avoid, having Sheehan carry their load is the more tolerable SOP. The result is that it de facto grants Sheehan enormous power on the Board.

Still, the public has questions but no time at Town meetings or a viable venue at which to ask them save these limited blog opportunities.

If the Change Orders were in place as early as the beginning of August; if the Change Orders are authorizations to proceed; if the Town Board has held, Town Board meetings, Special Town Board meetings and work sessions on multiple occasions since Mr. Sheehan says the Change Orders were available, why has there never been any public discussion of them before at all these meetings AND why are they first being voted upon on October 22 with only a few weeks of work remaining on the project?
As a reminder, on Wednesday, the Town Board voted to approve a total of $109,542 for 5 Change Orders. I have singled out one because of the amount of money and the relatively non-technical work explanation. Note too that the Supervisor is proud to announce that the Library has already received a temporary certificate of occupancy.

Once more, Sheehan, no Spiderman but a spider nevertheless, has been caught in his own web.

Now, as for the Change Order itself, see if you agree with what I question.

"Whereas it was determined that the installation of rubber flooring was required, as well as the installation of carpet tiles provided by the Owner through the state contract; and
Whereas E.W. Howell (the General Construction vendor) has submitted a proposal to install carpet tiles and furnish and install rubber flooring in the amount of $74,863; and
Whereas approval of this Change Order has been recommended by both the Project Manager (Triton) and the Architect (Beatty Harvey Associates)...Now, therefore be it Resolved..."

It should come as no shock that the original Library estimate (the Referedum amount, $19,867,000) included flooring and it doesn't take a great leap of faith to believe that when the original RFPs before the Contracts were awarded (to Howell et al) that flooring was included. One would assume that traditionally flooring is not meant to remain in boxes or rolls but to appear to be joined to the concrete floors in some fashion requiring the step known as installation.
Therefore, Howell in its bid (Howell is presumed to be a reputable and experienced vendor) was aware of what they were bidding on (having done so on many construction projects) and that if there is flooring of some kind that it most definitely must also be installed. Thus, that this function making its debut as a Change Order for an additional cost is to put it mildly, puzzling. It raises all kinds of speculations among them that it is a phony charge to cover (regretably) another aspect of the project that Triton does not want to make public or (hopefully) that the Contractor should eat at its own expense, not taken from the public trough. Doesn't it seem simple enough, the Contractor should know that carpeting (such as it is) should, if not specified, includes/requires installation.

Then too, think about those reassuring words "installation of carpet tiles provided by the Owner through the state contract" which would seem to assure that they were purchased at the lowest cost through the astuteness of the state's purchasing power.
Were carpet tiles the first choice of the project? If rolls of carpet were purchased would that selection include installation. Do cheap carpet tiles plus additional installation end up costing more? In the more heavily trafficked areas of the Library, could rolled carpet sections be replaced just as easily, if not more so, than tiles?

If this entire installation charge were put out to bid instead of allowing the vendor to do get it done (he may have subcontracted with a mark-up) as a change order (mind you I believe it should have been included as an element of their bid) perhaps it could be done for a lower cost.

What makes specifically carpet tiles subject to purchase by state approved vendors. I don't see a notation that the vendor is/has purchasing rubber flooring through the state.
I don't believe that the bulk of materials purchased for the project was done by contractors only from state designated purveyors.

These are but a few of the questions that come readily to mind. Pop quiz, how many of the Town Board members could answer my questions if asked right now? Silly question: they wouldn't be able to answer them after coaching even next week.

However, thanks to Mr. Sheehan, the public won't get a chance to ask these questions before the Town Board voted. Of course, Ms. Brown didn't need to have the answers in front of her before voting; the question asked during public comment left plenty of time for Diana Juettner, liaison to the Library or Al Regula, signature authorizing Change Orders, could have answered. But they weren't asked.

It doesn't stop does it? Even before the Budget arrives, the Town Board, especially Feiner and Sheehan, are determined to waste your money. Please don't bring them no bad news.

P.S. I called Ms. Brown on Thursday to discuss this matter. She was rushing to attend the photo-op but she said she would get back to me in the follwing two hours. I advised her on what she would be getting back to me. I never heard from her, by phone or email. I even left a follow-up message.

There are "just five" slots on the Town Board that need replacing ASAP. Three are available next fall. Remember, Town Board members must be bagged for pick-up and left at the curb or risk a $150 fine.

Anonymous said...

Far worse is Sonya and Paul's support of Whitehead, who after having pushed Whitehead's appointment, and allowing her back into TDYCC AFTER Whitehead allowed no-show jobs, and not demanded action re the no-show jobs.

Anonymous said...

So the library will be closed for two days a week.
That's the beginning. When the residents cannot afford the paying their taxes let's see what will happen with this white elephant.
The building loks like it belongs in outer space.
The ski slope is the craziest thing and above all the raqmp for the disabled.
Will you have a lift to allow the disabled get to the top of the ramp and then down again.
Will you have a basket to carry the books.
Sheehan what a stupid mistake tell me how many disabled people will be coming by bus?
Do you have any more smart ideas if so please keep them to yourself.
You have cost us enough money.

Anonymous said...

Another work session is coming up let's see what the library asks for .
Everytime they get to the session it is always anothe sad story that there is not enough money in the kitty to finish the project.
Guess what she'll make the demand with an iron fist and get what she wants.
She should be hired by someone as a collector of funds.
One word out of her mouth and they would cough up the payment.

Anonymous said...

Heah, better than TDYCC with no show jobs.

Anonymous said...

The TYDCC is in a class of it's own they have gotten away with stealing money for some time not just this past year.
It's just that these people got caught because of the tremendous tax hike given to the residents. Had we had a very low hike it would have continued because there was no accountability to anyone as far as money allocated to them.
No one cared no one was looking so it continued.
Has Feiner said one word about the goings on .The same can be said for the board except Brown who is in favor of what the center brings to her community.
So the library funds are short so the cuts have to be made.
MAKE THEM AND SHUT UP.
We had enough of the threats right along concerning this coming hike. in taxes for the next year and the years that follow.
You have done what you wanted right along when things get to this point you want the residents input.
The next time LOOK before you leap:
It seems that the longer you Feiner and this board stay in office the more mistakes are being made.
The saying that things get better with age is BS as far as this town government goes.
Again make the cuts and shut up.
The library board wanted this bulding let them see how they could get the funds.
Tell them to leave the taxpayers alone.