Monday, November 24, 2008


I have been contacted by representatives of an assisted living facility. They are interested in purchasing the property on Knollwood Road that was going to be developed by the Greenburgh Health Center as a new health center. The health center is selling the property because construction was too expensive. An assisted living facility would require a zoning amendment. Before the applicant pursues this further they are interested in hearing from the community. Assisted living facilities generally have very little traffic.
Please e mail or with your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Will it generate revenue??
What is needed here in Greenburgh is a money making project.

Anonymous said...

No it will only tax our already over burdened services. Check with Ardsley on what happened when a assisted living facility opened up in their village.

Anonymous said...

What kind of variances?

Disgruntled Greenburgher said...

Mr. Supervisor - please do at least a little checking BEFORE making statements about things you apparently do not grasp.

Yesterday Sunrise's facility on Crisfield Street in Yonkers held its annual Thanksgiving party. The line of cars trying to get into the non-existent parking stretched back onto Central Avenue. The local streets were jammed with illegally parked cars - and the staff said that Christmas is worse!

While it is absolutely true that on a day-to-day basis there is only a manageable, though still significant, amount of traffic, planning for everyday event has led you to significantly under-insure the Town, purchase an unusable but very expensive piece of parkland, and run Greenburgh's tax rolls into a ditch.

Please stay on as an ombudsman for individual constituients but resign now as Town Supervisor and let a professional manager take over.

Anonymous said...

Whose ambulances respond when the residents code, and that triggers PD which is being reduced, and maybe even the FD
Fogettabout it

Anonymous said...

Let the police do police work and let the civilian paramedics/emt's take care of the medical calls alang with the fire dept's

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

If Paul does need to go there, who wants to bet he gets a room at a sweetheart deal?

hal samis said...

Is construction really too expensive? Or is that just a story?

Things that go up also go down.
Anybody checked the spot price of steel, copper, oil (asphalt) recently?

Probably, the Library awarded the construction contracts just under the top of the market.

Now with financing for new construction dried up and the finished product lacking buyers, lots of deals have cratered or being postponed until "market conditions" improve.

This means a slowdown in new construction, a lessening in commodity prices and more competition for those industries that feed off this construction.
Fortunately the Library Architect and Construction Manager snagged a whale and they will be able to live off this fat for years. However others in their industries may not have been as fortunate.

The result of this is that I suspect the Library could be rebid today and, if managed properly, come in below the original $19.8 million price tag. Librarians and Xposure students take note: the rush to build and the fiction that things always go up should not be shelved under non-fiction.

But letting bygones be bygones, let's consider another scenario. Had the Town been in less precarious financial footing today, this current downtrend might have been the ideal opportunity to build the assumed needed, larger Court/Police complex. It might even have been the opportunity to buy the land wherever that location would be. But, as John Belushi would say, "nooooooh" because we no longer have the money. You see, the Town Board needs to take the money earmarked for this project and use it instead to reduce taxes. Putting aside that this money originally came from taxpayer pockets when being "billed" to build up funds for a worthy purpose, the worthy purpose was never explained as really being stand-by to correct the wrong turns (whoops, sorry) of a malfunctioning Town Board.

You see, what the Town Board should be doing, when prices are dropping, is buying and building because they had built up an impressive kitty to start the ball rolling. Instead the Town Board needs to steal this money today to save face and the current cover story is that we never really needed to expand -- a few trailers will do just fine and here's this money just laying around doing nothing but drawing interest...Of course, they could have used this money years ago to purchase trailers if that was the intention.

But instead, the Town Board voted in the Spring capital budget to bond $350,000 for trailers -- even though this money was just laying around collecting declining interest. So astutely, we borrowed at higher rates to preserve the principal just in case there was some yet unmentioned need come bob bob bobbing along, not that fellow in Edgemont.

And isn't that where we stand now?

By the way, the Health Center which had to shut because they were being kicked out years ago, apparently has renewed their lease and is set to expand the usable space within the walls. "Now don't that take the rag offa the bush" (Li'l Abner)? And Mr. Feiner forgot to mention that the GHC blew their financing opportunity when they failed to complete an IDA application in time, about a year or so ago and it has been downhill ever since.

But going forward, is this assisted living facility about to go to contract on this parcel? I assume that they will be smart enough to do so with an "out" if they are unable to secure the required zoning change. However, in Greenburgh where you can't follow the Supervisor around 24/7 to overhear what he says to whomever he pleases, you never know. History is not taught here with the intent to learn from past mistakes; instead history is taught as repeating itself.

Anonymous said...


it's so easy to be a Monday morning
quarterback, isn't it??,

by the way & you can check w/your
friend Kolesar-

capital money usually hasn't been
borrowed in advance in the past-

Anonymous said...

Did anybody see News 12 tonight?
another lawsuit against the police dept and police officers. How many millions is this going to cost?
it seems they can't deal with woman prisoners.

Lets get the state police to take over!

hal samis said...

Actually 9:49,

The Town Board often approves and commits to capital expenditures BEFORE the public hearings on the
Capital Budget. Thus, showing their disrespect for the public, the ones that foot the bill.

And, as I recently learned, there is no basis by statute why the Capital Budget
is presented separate of the Operating Budget. Were the two presented together, the complete financial picture would be available to the voters and the public would be able to determine what services and programs actually cost when the capital costs are factored into the equation.

So, with this knowledge also available to the Town Board, when they still commit to expenses on a piecemeal basis which in turn provides the public with only a small piece of the puzzle, this means that any comments or reactions by the public will be, of necessity being after the fact, what you call Monday morning quarterbacking.

However, I am not being paid a salary to plan ahead: the Town Board is. If our team won the game on Sunday, there wouldn't be a need for Monday morning complaints.

As for capital money being borrowed in advance, when you have surpluses over needs in the Fund Balances, you can afford to use these balances to advance the funds as they are needed with the money paid back when eventual bonding is completed. However, as you use more and more of the Fund Balances and the likelihood of being able to replace them is remote (revenue has zero to less chance of turning around in the coming years), then you run into problems and possible violations of borrowing covenants (as well as rating agency criteria) if you "borrow" from these accounts. The next step on the spiral down is Tax Anticipation Notes when you are borrowing against future collections.

Don't tell me that the Town's CFO, Feiner, didn't remember from last year to this that he would go to the Fund Balances to "save the day". Don't tell me that a little thing like violating the Town's Fund Balance Policy would trouble him.

You don't have to be a financial guru to understand a politician on Sunday, Monday or any other morning of the week.

Paul Feiner said...

Please urge the ECC to support the continued funding of the SWAT team. BOb Bernstein wants the town to stop funding this proactive police program. Michelle McNally also wants the town to discontinue SWAT. Does it make sense to have no town-wide SWAT team when there are terrorist threats in NYS?

Feiner wrong to attack ECC leaders said...

The state and county each have SWAT teams. Bernstein and McNally were objecting to Feiner's cutting essential services, including police, sanitation, snow removal, and leaf pickup. They identified services that they believed were less essential, including the subsidy that Greenburgh taxpayers give to the towns of Eastchester and Mt.Pleasant for their nutrition programs, the $100K gift that Greenburgh taxpayers are giving to the Fairview Fire District, the $61,000 "council for the arts," the new $335K after school program which the town shouldn't even be funding and which school districts can get tax free from the YMCA, Feiner's unnecessary $67,000 personal secretary, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in duplicative costs for camps, recreational services and transportation, run by the departments of Community Resources and Parks and Rec, each with its own set of well-paid commissioners, to name just a few of the problems.

Feiner, however, chooses to focus on the SWAT team in an attempt to divert attention from all the pork he can't seem to find a way to cut instead. As Bernstein said the other night at the budget hearing, the Greenburgh SWAT team is something that's nice to have, but in an austerity budget, which we have, when the police chief says he doesn't have enough manpower next year to protect the safety and security of the town, many unincorporated residents think its more important to choose safety and security over luxuries like a SWAT team, particularly when the state and county each have their own SWAT teams and each is available to Greenburgh should the need arise.

It's too bad we have a town supervisor who doesn't know how to differentiate between essential services and non-essential services. It's too bad we have a supervisor who tells the police chief he has to cut his budget, even when the chief tells him that to do so would compromise public safety. It's too bad we have a town supervisor who is so clueless about how to run a police department that he insists that police officers be replaced by civilians who he feels can be hired for less money, even though. according to the police chief, that's sheer nonsense.

As Edgemont residents have said over and over again, when it comes to whose judgment to respect on police matters, that of Feiner, a career politician, and that of Kapica, a career law enforcement individual, they choose Kapica. And Feiner will pay a big price for compromising the public safety of the town's unincorporated area by refusing to allow the police to increase its staff to levels which the town believed were required several years ago.

No one in Edgemont would like to see the SWAT team not funded, but if it the choices comes down to more men on patrol and less crime, they'd choose more men on patrol and less crime.

It's too bad that Feiner feels he has to use his blog to personally attack private citizens who believe Feiner's priorities are screwed up

11/26/2008 11:21 PM

Anonymous said...

get the State Police to take over. It will be alot cheaper and safer>
Cut the tech-rescue team it is a duplication of service

hal samis said...

Dear Mr. Herman,

Please advise the Supervisor that it is not cricket to interrupt the topic HE created when he feels the going is tough. Having started a new topic on the ECC vs SWAT, one wonders why he finds it necessary to divert discussion and readers away from his earlier posts?

Anonymous said...

What school district is the property in? Assisted living facilities will pay no tax and be used as an easy collection of votes in support of school budgets as districts use taxpayer funds and facilities to curry favor with AL residents in return for their votes. The valhallavoice website writes extensively on this even citing the school board president shuttling AL residents to the polls.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Paul has opened his re-election campaign for 2009!

Anonymous said...

I would have thought the Assisted living facility would pay property tax, as does the nursing home in Edgemont. Feiener supporters prey on these older people, telling them they must vote down school taxes or the nursing home will close. Provide buses, etc.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember when,the swat team broke into the wrong house and set off a stun granade and scared the old lady? I think she sued the Town and won some money, not sure though. Paul do you know how much money the lady received?

Anonymous said...

More like the Milk Duds,

Anonymous said...

Bernstein and McNally want the town to fund the 6 to 9 cops that Feiner wants cut from the Greenburgh PD next year. Why is Feiner against that? Why doesn't he find the money in his budget to bring the PD up to staffing levels that the town had long since agreed to? If cutting SWAT won't cut it, find something else for goodness sake.

Anonymous said...

Paul needs the money for TDYCC!

Anonymous said...

Cut the marine unit, inside cops,tech rescue and make the EMS civillians!!! or privatize EMS like the big cities do.

Anonymous said...

Back to the original topic -- the New York Times has had an article on how assisted living centers, which once had waiting lists, are now looking for residents, as older people can not sell their homes and are staying their. Todays Wall Street Journal had an article that said buildings built for over 55 are trying to decrease age limits. Same problem.

In short, anything built as assisted living, over 55, will quite possibly end up as general residential. Accordingly, no variances should be given on the assumption that the property will stay asisted lviing.

Anonymous said...

No worries. If the assisted living portion fails the building can always be re-purposed to Section 8 housing.

hal samis said...

Sunrise, presumably not the operator for Knollwood, is a well-known friend to Greenburgh having appeared before the Town Board on several occasions. However, Sunrise is not unique in its industry.

Today SRZ is trading at 57 cents a share up from the recent low of 27 cents but down from the year's high of $31.98.

Does the Town Board ever bother to look into the financial condition of those who express an interest in getting Zoning changes or variances?

The following is a November report from Reuter's.

UPDATE 2-Sunrise Senior Living shares drop on loan concerns

NEW YORK, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Sunrise Senior Living Inc (SRZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), an operator of senior living facilities, on Friday swung to a loss and warned that it expects to violate two financial covenants by the end of the fourth quarter, sending shares down as much as 38.8 percent.

The company posted a third-quarter loss of $68.7 million, or $1.36 per share, compared with a profit of $38.2 million, or 74 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 1.5 percent to $436 million.

It said it does not expect to be able to satisfy its leverage ratio and fixed charge financial covenants by the end of the quarter, which means it will be unable to borrow under its facility unless its lenders agree to waive them. The covenants at risk were themselves instituted in order to waive previous requirements, it said.

"With this disclosure, there is a higher bankruptcy risk," Avondale Partners analyst Derrick Dagnan said.

Sunrise said on Friday that the company and its lenders intend to revise and restructure its credit facility by Jan. 31, 2009.

"We are fully committed to continuing to grow and strengthen the company," Meghan Lublin, a spokeswoman for Sunrise Senior Living said.

Should the bank terminate Sunrise's credit agreement, the company would have to repay what it owes. If the company does not have the capital to do that, it is questionable whether it has other sources of financing that would give it that capital, Dagnan said.

Sunrise's chief executive, Mark Ordan, said on a conference call that the company was "working closely" with its banks and "other banks and other non-bank capital sources to explore various sources of liquidity" and was "optimistic."

Ordan said the company would make major reductions in its development pipeline, cease funding in its Trinity subsidiary now, and switch to wait-and-see capital funding for its Greystone subsidiary.

"Sunrise ... is trudging through these terrible capital markets," Ordan said on the call. "While I won't join the ranks of CEOs who say all is well when it isn't, I will point out some facts. We have been proactively clamping down every outflow of cash that doesn't immediately support our core business. We work hard openly and carefully with our banks."

analysts cut their rating on Sunrise shares to "sell" from "hold."

Sunrise's shares have had a rough ride. On Oct 31, they fell as much as 41 percent after the company announced that a sale of 29 properties had fallen through, wiping away a cash infusion. The company's shares are down 93 percent year-to-date, compared with a 36 percent decline in the broader market, as measured by the S&P 500 index .SPX."

Anonymous said...

My point exactly, if we give variances to any assisted living facility, the building will be there, but who knows how it will be used.