Thursday, October 09, 2008

THIS IS WHERE YOUR COUNTY TAX DOLLARS ARE GOING...UNNECESSARY BODYGUARDS

Spano's security squad costs $100G above estimate
By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon
The Journal News • October 9, 2008

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WHITE PLAINS - Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano's security detail cost taxpayers $412,224 last year - nearly $100,000 more than the estimate previously provided by county officials.

The three-detective squad last year amassed $138,514 in overtime pay on top of $273,710 in base pay to protect Spano, payroll records reviewed by The Journal News show.


That trumps numbers provided by county Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Belfiore for an Aug. 24 article, when he told the newspaper that the security detail would cost taxpayers about $320,000 this year.

That number was based on an average of $5,000 in combined overtime pay per month through the first seven months of the the year - averaging out to a year-end total of $60,000 - plus combined base salaries of $261,600, Belfiore said.

But based on the 2007 records, the overtime costs were significantly higher last year, when the three detectives averaged a combined $11,542 per month in overtime pay, the records show.

"I don't have any quarrel with the county executive having a driver sometimes and a car," said George Oros, R-Cortlandt, the minority leader on the Westchester County Board of Legislators. "But I do think it is a little excessive that it totals almost half a million dollars.

"That's a lot of money at a time when people are really hurting out there in so many ways and are worried about losing their jobs or may already have lost their jobs," Oros said. "Now's the time to really look seriously at all these types of things."

Officials at the County Executive's Office did not return calls seeking comment. Officials at the county Department of Public Safety said that neither Belfiore nor the department's spokesman was available for comment yesterday.

Spano, a Democrat, is one of only two top county leaders in the state who have taxpayer-funded security details. Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, who leads the state's second-largest suburban county, is the other. Westchester ranks third in population, outside of New York City.

In Westchester, taxpayers also pay for hotel accommodations for the detectives when they travel with Spano. Those costs totaled $5,435 since 2003, according to county records. The newspaper reported the costs Aug. 24 as part of a continuing series of articles on spending by county officials.

The reports included revelations that Spano and his two top aides cost taxpayers $171,000 over five years in travel, meals, fuel and cell-phone expenses, including $93,000 for the county-owned vehicles that they drive.

Other newspaper reports focused on the county board, which spent more than $150,000 in travel, cell-phone and food costs between 2003 and last year, including taxpayer-funded trips to conferences in Hawaii and Scotland.

The Journal News also reported June 1 that Gary Kriss, a top aide to county Board of Legislators Chairman William Ryan, D-White Plains, spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on electronics, software and books, with some of the merchandise shipped directly to his home in South Salem, and with at least one of those items purchased in his wife's name.

Kriss' spending records were subpoenaed by Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore two days after the article appeared. Following the subpoenas, county board officials asked Kriss to turn in his county-issued cell phone and BlackBerry and he has since been on paid vacation leave while the investigation continues.

The County Executive's Office defends its travel, phone and food expenses. Belfiore said in the Aug. 24 article that the security detail was necessary, saying that some of Spano's critics "are perhaps too passionate in their reaction and sometimes just mentally unbalanced."

But Oros, the board's minority leader, questioned the extent of police protection afforded Spano.

"I don't see the need for a 24/7 security detail," Oros said. "I don't see any problem with him having a driver: It does help him operate more efficiently. But I don't think you need one to ferry you around to social events and governmental events on the weekends and in the evenings."

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is where your TOWN tax dollars are going ... an unnecessary third dog park, an unnecessary new afterschool program for just one neighborhood, an unnecessary arts curator position, unnecessary land purchase (Taxter Road) ... anyone else want to add their favorite unnecessaries?

Anonymous said...

Paul go back to the county legislature, you were very effective in that position.

Anonymous said...

Town Board = Unnecessary Expense

Anonymous said...

Just another tactic to take your eyes off what is really going on. Its like a magician getting you to look away so you don't see the real trick.


Like for a good example lets cut a skilled employee from a certain Park department, In which the title has existed for more than the past 20 years. Yet lets keep a supertintendant position that never existed, up until 10 years ago. I understand rough times need desperate measures but this is easy to figure out. 75 thousand plus a year plus town vehicle to travel back and forth to Sloatsburgh N.Y. Sounds like an easy cut to me. Unneeded position there is already 2 forman in this department.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner -
Shame on you! The cost of Mr. Spano's security detail pales in comparison to the waste of Town taxpayer dollars on things like a river patrol boat for the Town's 100+ YARDS of Hudson River waterfront.
What? The Town no longer owns the boat? True - it gave it as a gift to Dobbs Ferry. Screw the TOV, Villages First!

Hartsdale Home Owner said...

This is so typical and infuriating. No one takes responsbility for tax increases in Westchester. Feiner points the finger at the county. Spano points the finger at mandated union and state benefits. The schools, fire and sewer districts of course aren't accountable. And we wonder why we pay the highest property taxes in the country when we have such courageous officials.

Anonymous said...

Ditto "shame on you," Mr. Feiner! You, of all people, should feel embarrassed to have posted this.

Anonymous said...

Glad that the Supervisor is fighting this wasteful expenditure. The county is out of control.

Anonymous said...

Andy's security detail could be better used to cut back on crime.

Anonymous said...

Taxes are wasted in the police dept. by training police officers for rescue calls, when the fire dept's are already trained. there is a police officer on this blog who said the police were first for tech-rescue. it doen't matter who was first, it is still a waste of resources. WE can't afford this program anymore! Please Paul put a stop to this now!

Anonymous said...

Why do we need SWAT teams, a marine unit -- these are things that the County should and does provide? This is the pot calling the kettle black.

Anonymous said...

Waste at every level of government should be stopped, including the CE's bodyguards.

Anonymous said...

Here's waste for you: I received TWO of those self promoting, survey forms in the mail from Mr. Supervisor. What does he intend to do with with it when or if he gets responses back? Nothing. More nonsense. How much did this mailing cost us?

Also, Mr. Supervisor is seen in front of the A&P yesterday doing more of the same self promoting. How much does it cost us to have him spend worthless time doing that instead of SUPERVISING?

He claims to want input & feedback? READ YOUR BLOG MISTER GET BACK TO WORK, AND STOP WASTING OUR MONEY YOURSELF!
I swear I was 2 seconds short of pulling up in front of the A&P when I saw him & throwing eggs at him but I didn't want to WASTE my good eggs. I can't AFFORD to.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone else want to add their favorite unnecessaries?"

Yes, thank you. The $20 million dollar new Library. Voted on in the deep of February when supporters knew that most would be unlikely to go to polls, or even know that the vote was being held. 400 people voted and it won by only 41 votes. What a crock! Now we pay on it for the next 20 years.

All other expenditures that you deem unnecessary pale by comparison.

Anonymous said...

The library was voted on not in February but in May 2005; more than 2000 people voted, not 400. There were more than fifty public presentations prior to the vote.

Anonymous said...

No vote on Taxter Ridge?

Anonymous said...

You can blame the previous board for the library.
Feiner was against but the other four were in favor of the voting date and the full expansion of the library.
Feiner had nothing to do with their decision.
They hated Feiner so much and voted to get back at him but they never thought of the consequenses that would follow.
Now we are stuck with a building that will be robbing more of our tax dollars so it could be completed sometimes MAYBE next year.
This time Feiner was one hundred percent right so please put the blame on the two that are left on the board today.
As far as Spano's expenses go Andrew Como would be interested in these expenditures.
There's nothing that anyone of us could do or say without paying dearly.
This has been going on for sometime but now since our money is getting tighter and tighter we are picking up on all the unnecessary spending that is done State,county and town wide.
Paul you did not have to purchase Taxter ridge to give your friend Gold a big back yard.
You did not have to have another dog park.
You did not have to purchase the Geisman estate.
All the parklands that are not being used to their fullest should be sold.
All these purchases were made so that developers could not develope homes..How much revenue would this have brought in?
You all thought of today and the hell with tomorrow.That's why we are in so much trouble here in town and throughtout the world.
Check out the other expenditures of all the officials in White Plains and let us know how much money could be saved from our taxes.
The detectives that Spano has as bodyguards will be ready to retire and the people will be burdened with higher taxes. THey are building quite a nest egg now and we will have to cover the retirement.
Thanks to all our elected officials that know and have been putting the screws to all of us.
No matter who gets elected many of them go into the positions knowing well that there is money to be made legally or illegal.

Anonymous said...

Dose the mayor of White Plains have police protection also.
I have seen Delfino many places without anyone arround him.

ed krauss said...

My most favorite of "unnecessaries," in order of importance,are"
the supervisor, and the four other members of the dais...if not all seven.

Rule by committee, would be more efficient, and cost effective,than those who now vote on our budget, manage department heads who manage departments (under duress of getting fired if they don't do as they're told. Even if it's contrary to what they know should be done)and engage in absentee administrating, and second guessing.

Chaos would be better than what Geenburgh, especially unincorporated Greenburgh residents, have to endure.

Now that money is tight, and many of our citizens are hurting, I wonder how or if they will continue to vote for someone who is a RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION. Commonly known as a POSTERIOR CAVITY.

This Town is rapidly becoming unaffordable, and unless we get someone into elected office that knows even a skosh of how to run things,we may be doomed to unnecessarily having to move.

Isn't it bad enough to have a moron in the White House? Do we also need one in the "Green House?"

The reason HE'S so wrapped up in other elected official's foibles is because he brings NOTHING else to the table.

Anonymous said...

The Taxter Ridge and other parkland acquisition happened because of the substantial support the park acquisition plan had from many other elected officials at all levels of government. History will find that this was a good investment. The acquisition will be appreciated by our children, grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

Ed. Didn't you support the library expansion? 20 million dollars that you asked us to spend could have been used to keep taxes down? You are part of the problem. The referendum lost by less than 70 votes.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon: The referendum passed by less than 70 votes. It did not lose. You are correct: Ed Krauss was for the expansion.

ed krauss said...

Yes, 10/11 10:56, I didsupport the referendum.

BUT!BUT!BUT!, I ALSO recommended the Town hire an owner's rep.

They didn't so the project is all messed up. A qualified owner's rep would have questioned the "sky jump." He would have questioned the various change orders. He would have questiones the tardy response time on approved submittals, and approved shop dawings. He wouldhave questioned progess made, vis-a-vis schedule. He would have questioned redos not caused by town error, but rather someone elses.

In short, he would have questioned that whch Triton should have questioned and didn't.

I was never for a laissez faire approach to constructing a $19.9 million structure..

Who approved the shape of the building? The cheapening of of specified items? The "RAMP?"

Yes I was for the referendum, so bury it already. If you bring it up again, TELL THE WHOLE STORY, not that which you want told to demean me.

What went wrong with the new library, is the fault of the Town Board for appointing someone not knowledgable enough and with time enough to handle it. Blame thoe who rubber stamped hundreds of thousands...no, millions of dollars to pay for something they knew nothing about, even after itwas pointe out to them. Blame the Architect for doing something for his portfolio and not inthe best interest of the Town. Blme the Construction Manager who should have been fired once he "altered" his successful bid from $612,000 to $680,000, and did a drive-buy to see
how much it would cost to renovate the old town hall.

Anonymous said...

Paul was right. We didn't need a 20 million dollar new library. The same council people who urged the new library also came up with a no increase in taxes for 2 years. So that means in the 3rd year, last year, we had a 21% increase in taxes, instead of the 7% we should have had in the 2 years of no increase.

Ugly politics by a small clique of activists who wanted Fiener out - at play in the above. But these demagogues lost the election by a landslide.

Hold on to your wallets the next time these "we know better than the majority" folks try to stage their next coup.

Grassroots for Greenburgh archives said...

GRASSROOTS FOR GREENBURGH ON LIBRARY REFERENDUM
May 11, 2005

The Library Wins!

In a hotly contested race in which the non-partisan Library Board and its supporters were pitted against a formidable politician, who worked diligently [and some say illegally] to defeat the Library’s bond referendum, the Library pulled the day. And that is because the Library and its supporters worked tirelessly to explain to Greenburgh residents the dire need for a new and expanded Library.

GfG applauds the Library’s efforts. The Library’s success demonstrates that a community of good and civic-minded citizens can defeat the political machine of Paul Feiner.

Yes, it was a close vote, 2,252 YES to 2,186 No, a difference of only 66 votes. But one must consider the well-financed opposition of Paul Feiner. Also, 4,438 people went to the polls, exceeding the last Democratic primary vote, in which only about 3,600 voted. The primary vote is Town wide, including the villages, whereas the Library vote was restricted to residents of unincorporated Greenburgh. Thus, the community was engaged in this issue. Good, that is what democracy is about.

The success of this effort was due to the grassroots effort of ordinary citizens. GfG knows of one district where two dedicated volunteers went door to door to over 300 households, distributing personalized, hand—annotated flyers, asking their neighbors to support the Library. And the neighborhood did support the Library by a margin of 77 to 30. Quite an achievement. Other neighborhoods had a similar effort and result.

We thank you for your interest in GfG.

Anonymous said...

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

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

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

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

Kolesar you are not trustworthy.

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

I give up said...

My advice to Kolesar would be to resign and tell these automatic-pilot critics to go f**k themselves. Let them see what the town would be like if we had a comptroller, like the last few, who say "yes" to whatever the Town Board wants and help dig a deeper hole. Maybe the critics can find a way to reverse the crisis. It sure won't be reversed by a Town Board that doesn't want to listen and doesn't want the residents to hear. And it won't be reversed if you put in charge those people who spend their entire time tearnig down the government irrespective of whether the government deserves to be torn down.

We have a lousy Town Board because these vicious people attack and attack and make demands after demands. Maybe it is too late to turn things around and we will have the inevitable bankruptcy. But it sure doesn't help if we hound out the few good people, like Kolesar, and are left with the ass-kissers.

Anonymous said...

This is not the time for salary hikes. No salary hikes for the Town Board. No salary hikes for Management. No salary hikes for CSEA. No salary hikes in the Comptroller's budget.

Anonymous said...

We dont have a lousy Board becuase of attacks -- Feiner has been in for 16 years. So dont blame the board, if you dont like them, on attacks. As to Kolesar, if he overpaid employees he is part of the problem. As to old comptrollers, they wer not yes men or yes women. They complained and were forced out.

Anonymous said...

Please provide the public with a list of suggested cuts per department that were recommended but that the Town Board rejected. Facts, please.

Anonymous said...

Now that we have a compttoller who is laying the cards on the table is is no good.
Make up your freaking minds.
He stands up to the board ,takes no garbage from them and has told them that they are not managerial material.
Yes he is abrupt but with this board you have to show them your teeth.
No one likes to be told that what they were doing before was wrong.
No one wants to be told that nothing adds up in looking at the different funds.
No one wants to listen that most of the jobs are union controlled and they have to abide by the rules.
In todays world when a skilled
part timer receives $40.00 an hour that's a steal.
He or she does not have the same benefits as a full time person.
How much will the salary be after taxes.
The only thing the town does for them is the deduction of taxes and gives her the check which is much much less than the original stipend.
We must not forget that she is a skilled person who deserves the money for the work that she does a few days a week.

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting that the comptroller should stand up to the Town Board and demand more pay for his employees and less pay for the rest of the town workforce? Equitable? Fair?

Anonymous said...

An $8000 pay hike for one employee in comptrollers office when rest of town work force may be given pink slips is unjustified.

Anonymous said...

A pay increase is justified for his department. They are the ones that keep this Town running. Without payroll, no one would get paid. Without data processing, there will be no one to fix your computer when it breaks. These people are well deserving and it they dont get what they want, they are going to walk. Then what??

Anonymous said...

If 6:19 bothered to watch the telecast of the work session he would know that the civil service rules reclassified the employee's position and the raise was required by civil service.

If people only knew before they carried on.

Anonymous said...

7:23, and arent the police and public works important.

Its hard to beleive the town is getting more dysfunctional.

Anonymous said...

8:09 how much of the $8000 was required due to the postion being reclassfied?

Anonymous said...

how much was not?

Anonymous said...

A quick check with the civil service reveals that the MINIMUM additional salary required by reclassification is $8,000

Anonymous said...

So Kolesar did what was legaly necessary. A fresh and novel approach by our law-challenged Town Board.

Will this stop the crazies? I don't think so.

Who will they point to when the town follows the example of the country, which is disaster because like the federal government, the Town Board didn't want to know the truth.

Anonymous said...

You talk about the county ,
What are you doing.
The monies going for the library were more than enough according to Regula so why did that dame come back as she usually does ask for more money and she got it.
When will this stop.
This dame should get a job in a collection agency. Boy did she sell you a good pile of S--t and you fell for it.
Stop critisizing the other governments when you yourselves do the same thing.
They do it in one manner and you do right in the open where we could all hear the rape that is going on.
Thank you Paul you keep falling into these traps over and over again.
Was the question ever answered by your team if it were legal to amend the original amount for the library after the fact.
You have all unseated youself since you have shown to all the residents that your managerial skills are sending this town in bankruptcy.

How about that said...

If the town needs money, you do not have to look any further. All you have to do is drive around on ANY public street and find Leaf piles on the street. Which is a $150.00 fine. But why should we,that means someone has to get up and do something they call WORK.

Anonymous said...

That's right Regula the roadway already have leaves piled up.
Gardners are already blowing leaves from one side of the road to another on peoples property that are not at home.
Your plan will not work unless the fines are given out on the spot.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR TO PUT YOUR PLAN IN ACTION.

Found in Yonkers said...

Instead of complaining we need to take action. Here is information on how the county government works and how WE can make changes for Westchester County http://watpa.org/lwv/ctznguidbol.html

Anonymous said...

10:14@3:06

Liar, liar pants on fire

Anonymous said...

Anon, 10/14/2008 8:14 PM
That is a great idea, nut the Greenburgh courts wont follow up they will dismiss the cases like they always do.

Henry Strathmore said...

10:14@9:11-
Liar, liar? Why don't you just post the truth rather than act like a three year old?
If the previous poster was wrong, so be it - but resorting to name-calling serves no purpose at all. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Can somone tell me what is the difference in the way the county squanders money and what has happened thru out the years here in Greenburgh.
Did the board not think ahead as to what will happen down the line with all their spending.
We can blame the county state or whomever but we have the same thievery here in Greenburgh.

G'burgh needs a bailout too said...

Feiner himself got the unincorporated part of the town into the budget mess it's currently in with years of unchecked spending for unneeded parkland and wasteful spending for personnel at the community center. For years, he's covered it up with financial gimmickry by using the fund balance to disguise the town's true costs and keep tax hikes below what they should have been. Last year, when forced to pay the piper, Feiner wrongfully blamed the old town board for this year's 21% tax hike, when the record shows he was to blame. Now, it seems, we're in for a lot more financial gimmickry.

By all accounts, the unincorporated part of the town is facing a 22% tax hike next year. Instead of aggressively cutting costs and moving to an austerity budget appropriate for the times we're in, Feiner yesterday directed the town comptroller to prepare a budget using as much of the fund balance as he can, hide as much of the true costs of the community center as he can in the so-called "I" fund rather than the B budget (which unincorporated will still have to pay for), and bond all tax cert costs for next year, thereby recklessly adding several million dollars to town debt.

All gimmicks. All reckless. All putting the town in far worse financial shape than it currently is in.

All residents who want to see what a financially challenged, fiscally irresponsible town supervisor does when faced with having to face the voters next year are encouraged to look at yesterday's work session with Feiner, Kolesar, and the town's outside auditors.

Anonymous said...

Those were the auditors that he does not want to pay sixteen thousand dollars too.
Now he's asking their advice to screw the residents worse than before.
Now he wants to borrow money to coverup all the mistakes that he and the board have made.
He wants to cover up the library that claimed that they had enough money for complete comptition. Bull shit.
The library was represented by some lady that was constantly corrected by our comptroller saying that what she was doing was totally wrong but guess what Feiner agreed to giving up the money.
Great supervisor.
Whatever the comptroller said reguarding the library was wrong.
who is being wronged by Feiners decision, the residents of the unincorporated area.
This lady had some nerve requesting more funding for chairs security gate and something else,
all items that were in the original budget.
Who is stealing now.
This lady has been so intimidating at ever meeting I think Feiner is afraid of her.
Well she lied her way into getting more funds at taxpayers expense.
Paul you are talking about laying off people but at the same time you give up all this money.
Homeowners will have to pay extra money for noncurb pickups.
Pray tell who will pick up after those that never cover their garbage four days a week that flies all over the place.
Yes we do have residents that place garbage curbside for pickup four days a week.
Gardeners that continue to place leaves on other properties so not to ruin someone lawns,which nessesitates them blowing them across the roadway.
Where are Regula's inspectors??????
Water is going up also.
With the fines that will be paid by the homeowners both for the gardeners and the curbside garbage you still have to let workers go,
Your back to square one still stealing from the residents.
Now getting to the center .
Money has been allocated to this place many times over and over again that was put into peoples pockets.
We pay for this.
Ninety nine percent claim that they are poor and cannot pay for the use plus for the meals.
This center has not brought in a dime for many years,
Why should it remain opened to steal some more.
Paul smarten up .The time has come to listen to the residents of the entire areas and not a chosen few.

Anonymous said...

Paul have you ever told the truth as to where all of the taxpayers money has gone to.
Well I'll give you a hint to the Fairview section of town.
Look at how you spend our money first and then think about the spending arround us.

Anonymous said...

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

hal samis said...

THIS IS WHERE YOUR GREENBURGH TAX DOLLARS ARE GOING...UNNCESSARY
PAYOFFS TO "CULTURAL MINISTERS".

In the case of the Sculpture Curator, I'm talking about only $4,000 but the Town Board is determined to make this stick.
Even while they threaten laying off employees or not granting raises.

I assume that the ARTS COUNCIL position will again be found in the 2009 budget. This is more like a $65,000 expense which despite its impressive name is one person who hangs the for sale pictures at Town Hall and the multipurpose center and conducts poetry readings and contests. Another item that can be cut without causing any brain damage.

The following is my just sent latest version of my ongoing protest to the Town Board regarding the Hartsdale Sculpture Curator contract. That they even have time to continue to meet to discuss its renewal is itself a curiosity.
Sent to Town Attorney, copy to Town Board.

Dear Mr. Lewis,

As Town Attorney, I expect you to protect the Town of Greenburgh against the hidden agenda of the Town Board. I am referring to the amibiguity of attitude with reference to the renewal of the Town's contract with the sculpture Curator.

Given that the Town Board has not acted decisively to eliminate this matter from further consideration -- either to approve or reject -- and,
Given that the Curator has apparently proceeded to select and install sculpture exhibit(s) in Hartsdale and,
Given that the most recent work on display is the work of a New York City resident in accordance with her past policy but in contradiction to her understanding of Town goals and,
Given that I was assured by both the Town Attorney and the Town Clerk that such activity is being done on a non-reimbursable basis by the Vendor and,
Given that the Town has a history of signing contracts with commencement dates taking effect well in advance of the execution of these contracts (i.e. Xposure) and including the proposed contract with the sculpture Curator (commencing July 1, 2008),

Therefore, an agreement between parties is needed to assure the public that the Town Board is not being derelict in their responsibilities. Although I am not an Attorney, I suggest covering the following points even as I strongly urge you as Town Attorney to obtain Town Board approval to create and execute this letter agreement informing the Curator that her contract is not being renewed and that any work done on her part is to be done with the express understanding that she will not be compensated for same. Furthermore, any installation and maintenance of such exhibit(s) shall be done with the full understanding that any such efforts on the Curator's and or the Artist(s)' behalf are the complete undertaking and responsibility of the Curator and Artist(s) and that the Town shall be held harmless from any and all claims which may arise from the installation, exhibition and removal of such exhibit(s) as the Curator may choose to display during the period of her pro bono tenure.

It should be understood further that both the Curator and the Artist(s) may potentially benefit from future sales or interest in the exhibted work or other works by the Artist(s) or offerings at the Gallery(ies) at which the Curator is associated and; that this derived benefit shall be the sole compensation for the installation. Again, the "license" to exhibit such works will constitute the Curator's and the Artist(s)' entire remuneration. The installation of exhibit(s) shall constitute acceptance of the terms of this agreement. It is understood that the Town of Greenburgh shall not charge the Curator and Artist(s) rent for the exhibition space nor shall the Town of Greenburgh incur any cost realted to the installation and/or removal of these exhibits. The exhibition space shall be restored to its original state (at no cost to the Town) by the Curator and the Artist(s) at the conclusion of the last exhibition.

Clearly I suspect that the Town Board is scheming and plotting in a nefarious manner with regard to this contract. The purpose of such secret activity is an unannounced and unvoted agreement among the Town Board members; the purpose of such a secret plan being not to imperil the view by taxpayers that the Town Board is working diligently to reduce Town expenses, including such frivolous items as this at a time of employee contract issues.
Even though the cost of this "amenity" is small, there are few other programs that by elimination of same would adversely affect as few residents. That the Town Board continues to address this issue without closure is clearly a signal that either the Town Board is not serious about reducing expenses or that there is a yet unacknowledged relationship between the Curator and one or more members of the Town Board.

Such a notice to the Vendor will put the matter to rest and prevent the Town from continued exposure regarding loss, damage and a claim for services rendered as though the expired contract was still in effect; or that verbal assurance of its intended renewal was made by one of more members of the Town Board. Since the amount at stake is small, I assume the Town Board strategy would be to sign the contract, retroactively, because of a ready-made argument that it would be foolish to defend against such a small claim if submitted to the Town on or before its appearance in small claims court.

Now that the Town Board is fully aware of the public interest in the matter, hopefully the Town Board will do the right thing by unincorporated residents and eliminate, for certain, such a needless, ongoing expense.

Hal Samis

Anonymous said...

SHAME ON WHITEHEAD

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

Anonymous said...

These excessives are outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Paul stop thinking about where our dollars are going in county government.
Think about your spending to satisfy the so called poooor people in Fairview.
You are not different than county government.
You have been reminded over and over again that the people in Fairview are better off than many of us living in other areas.
We have to pay for every service we receive but they get everything for free.