Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Some bloggers have suggested on this blog that library staff will be given comp time on Sunday --when the Library Board will be holding their ribbon cutting ceremony for the new library. The ribbon cutting ceremony is being held for civic leaders and some people who were active in the library expansion efforts.
I received an e mail from Howard Jacobs indicating that no comp time or overtime will be offered to library staff on Sunday. Staff will not be in attendance and the library will not be open for library services. The new library opens on Monday.


Anonymous said...

the new library will be open on monday and then closed tuesday through friday, then opened saturday and then closed sunday.

isnt that the future of this albatross?

hal samis said...

Ask your Town Board why they will turn over $3 million+ of taxpayers' money to an "appointed" Library Board of Trustees and not seek to have some assurances of what the Library will provide in return by way of services to residents.

The Library, even though not an independent library district (residents vote on the budget and for the trustees -- like a school district) claims that it is a special hybrid class of library falling somewhere between an independent library and a town department. As such, the Town Board can only vote a dollar amount of annual funding but thereafter brook no argument or dissatisfaction with how this money is disbursed. Several citizens have disputed that the Greenburgh Library status is what it claims to be.

In 2008 the Library eliminated Sunday hours and cybermobile service claiming that they did not have sufficient funding to maintain them (partly restored by Lanza grants). At year end, this shortfall was proven to be a lie with around $200,000 remaining unspent until the Trustees started moving it over to funding the expansion project -- even though the project is "not over budget".

As 2009 approaches, the Town Board refuses to take action to protect taxpayer money and insure that the Library remains open during its traditional operating hours. This could be done by a memorandum of understanding or contract that in exchange for "x" dollars, the Library agrees to remain open "y" hours per week. Furthermore, there needs to be an understanding of what "open" means -- the whole library, just the children's room, what...?

As the Library Trustees have not addressed the past years irksome matter of compensation for the higher staff levels (they don't disclose this until long after the fact), there is no way to know in advance how this compensation compares with other town employees.

In short, because the Town Board is afraid to deal with this (not knowing how the political wind is blowing), the Library Trustees will be again able to laugh at taxpayers all the way to the bank. And, 2009 may well be a repeat of 2008 when the Library chose to cut back the most sensitive services so that the public will direct their anguish to the Town Board and not the Library Board.

When will this Town Board ever learn, long time passing.


Hal: A memo of understanding with the library is a great idea. PAUL FEINER

lucky said...

they should be lucky to have jobs.

Anonymous said...

Well Paul it's about time that you started to listen to the public especially the guru of the library system HAL SAMIS.

Has he ever made a mistake with the way the library runs it's business.

They say it is never to late to listen .Thank GOD you have finally seen the light.

Hal thank you.

Anonymous said...

First you start with convenant how many hours you open, the next one they want a convenant about what you read, then you end up having a review board to see who reads what.
Does that sound familiar.
Yes, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Stalin all implemented convenants to regulate education and its system, that included what you could and when and how many hours.
All dictators operate de same way. Freedom is not free!!!!

Nat Cohen said...

A covenant to force operation will be illegal as a conditional foundation of the library. Entering in conditional contracts to operate will be easy litigated and won.
Find one library in New York State with such restrictive agreement to operate.
You can negotiate via funding not via imposition; you leave imposition to Chavez and Castro.

Anonymous said...

dear 11:54 --

they'ld be luckier to have no-show jobs at TDYCC

Anonymous said...

the library board owes it to us to be oben 7 days a week!

Anonymous said...

It is unsafe but the town saves a bunch of money having the cops do the ems stuff. Most residents have no idea how often there are only 1 or 2 cops available for the entire town when you have 3-5 guys at different hospitals. Sometimes there out at hospitals like Phelphs, Lawrence, Dobbsferry, or St johns. All Hospitals which are nearly impossible to get back to in an appropriate time frame should police be needed for an emergency. I'm a cop in town, and I can tell you there's nothing more frustrating than being stuck in the hospital when a legitimate police emergency comes over the air. The department needs more civilian medics and emt's but with the financial mismanagement that has occured in town the past few years, not only is that not going to happen, but we also lost a civilian medic that they will not be replacing, which will increase the ems responsibilty of the police medics and emt's. The way the town see's it, they get a cop and a medic for the price of one which is cheaper than two salaries for 2 employees.

Anonymous said...

They should get rid of some management in most departments the town can get a 2 for 1 deal for every useless manager they get rid of they can hire 2 competent people in their place.

question for police blogger said...

question for police officer

do we need swat?

Anonymous said...

In reguards to people asking if we need SWAT. FOr those who don't know SWAT means Special Weapons And Tactics. Greenburgh police's SWAT team is made up of a group of dedicated, motivated , and , highly trained police officers, who week in and week out train and run drills to prepare for the worst this cinical world has to offer. What am i talking about you ask. In a world that is post 9-1-1 we face uncertain threats from many extreamists. Take insidents like: the world trade center, the Russian school massacare, the Utah Mall attacks, Mumbi, the pirate seige on oil tankers, Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Fast food blood baths, the mandees store shootings, the wendy's shooting, the ohio sniper attacks, the hollywood, california bank shootings, the Europe train bombings and the UNION CARBIDE BOMBING right in our back yard.to name a few.If any of you people are not familiar with all of these insidents i suggest you google, search, or what ever it is you do to research events. U can even go to that fancy library to research these events.
In reguards to the residents who feel the need to live with their eyes closed and not realize what is going on. SWAT is definately needed and under funded. These guys should be training more.
****ASk yourself how you will feel if you cut SWAT and you send a cop to a school shooting or hostage situation, since we have about 20 schools in greenburgh and your children and love ones are in danger or harmed because you sent a cop with a 40 caliber hand gun and not SWAT with their automatic weapons and tactical gear. I m sure the cops will sleep good knowing they have done all they can because in spite of Greenburgh Police officers giving parking, speeding summonses tickets and enforcing the laws they are dedicated and there service is unsurpassable. After all someone has got to enforce the laws.
For your information homeland security has stated they believe a mass casuality attack is possible we must do all we can to prevent it.

Greenburgh Police = under budgeted

SWAT= under funded


Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!

I don’t understand the upper crust complaining about SWAT. Is it that they have deluded themselves into believing that they are so special, they will be unaffected by an act that might require a SWAT team?

They pay insurance for their BMW’s, they pay home insurance, life insurance, health insurance. Why would they not want to pay to INSURE that in they event of a catastrophe, they will have the best protection available to them?

Is it that it’s more important to pay less taxes and be able to buy Junior his own BMW then it would be to protect him should we ever experience a Columbine type situation?
Could be.

Anonymous said...

9:23 AM - you may be totally right, but why not give examples of SWAT successes which saved lives instead of dozens of examples of law enforcement failures where citizens died? Your list of disasters is hardly convincing - actually it does the opposite and suggest that terrorists and maniacs cannot be responded to by "special police forces", but must be stopped before they act. Investing money in social services to treat "at risk" youth or Homeland security surveillance would have done a lot more than SWAT accomplished in all your examples. Make a better argument, I'm willing to be convinced.

Anonymous said...

This is almost too dumb a post to respond to but, why don't you google information and find how many hostages and potential victims have been saved in various circumstances, when SWAT took out the perp?

Oh wait, you may be too dumb to google.

Anonymous said...

If I google Greenburgh Swat, would it show the one time I know Swat was activated, throwing a grenade into the wrong apartment and scaring the woman who lives there?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it would.
You're right. let's do away with SWAT. Let's shut down the police department too.

Go buy your wife a nice diamond necklace for the holidays. Give it to her over dinner at the club. Go home and sleep with your rifle in case burglars show up at your house that night. Since you know it all, you should be well equipped to handle it.

What would we find if we googled you? haha!

swat not needed said...

its seems swat is unnecessary,

paul and his board may think greenburgh is mumbai but its not.

swat is nice but not necessary
scarsdale does not have swat.
yonkers does not have swat.
white plains does not have swat.

Anonymous said...

How much do you think SWAT costs each household in Greenburgh? 2 dollars a year?

hal samis said...

Dear anonymous 12/10 @ 6:44 (1) and
"Nat Cohen" 12/10 @ 7:00 (2),

Nonsense! And I love the use of the words from the dark side: "covenant" and "imposition". What's your problem with "memorandum of understanding" and "contract"; is it just that these have no problems attached to them whereas covenant and imposition come with a lot of baggage. Perhaps you don't realize that your postings are subject to be used for training purposes, however; find some other sucker to construct your "strawman" arguments around.
If you want to discuss what I have asked for, stick with what is on the table, not on the floor.

(1) Providing funding for a Library but insisting that in return for this money, the Library must remain open is not a violation of any laws. Nor is this the first step on the road to fascism.
Is your alma mater the Xposure program?

(2) "negotiate via funding not via imposition" Thanks for your words of advice. The problem is how to get the Library Board of Trustees to honor the results of such negotiation, especially since the Trustees already acted in bad faith this year by claiming they didn't have the money to operate the cybermobile or maintain Sunday hours in their budget -- when they actually did. I call this technique, lying, to the Town Board, the taxpayers and to library patrons.

On the other hand, negotiate does not mean throwing in the towel. Were the Town Board to increase the Library budget by a million dollars, I would feel reasonably secure that there would no need for such a "contract" or what you call "imposition" as though being open were a cruel and unusual punishment being forced upon an unwilling Library Board.

Both of you (or one in the same), back to the drawing board. This roll did not move past go and you cannot collect $200. You're welcome to roll again.

Anonymous said...

yonkers, and white plains both have SWAT teams in the form of ESU. FOr those of you that are ignoriant thats Emergency, Service, Unit. Every tragity named about would have been far worse had SWAT and Tactical teams not interveined. In a few short moments when a page is sent out SWAT is organized. well maybe SWAT members should be on the road in a small group all the time. time equals casualties in these situations. Maybe Greenburgh should put SWAT on the road more then 4 days a month. Or maybe we should wait for something bad to happen so we can say, damn we should have used SWAT. I hate to tell the people of Greenburgh but you are not immune to tragity. we have alot of targets in this town. targets your loved ones frequent. think about if there was a situation and we had no SWAT waiting much longer for other tactical teams to show up. the life a terrorists could take may be yours or your family members.

Anonymous said...

the smaller villages do not have SWAT because they are to busy relying on other departments for resources. lets not follow the guidlines concerning the resources they have. we are not like them we are 22 square miles of major roads. roads that are easily accessable hundreds of thousands of people, these little towns are not as accessable. count the highways that run through greenburgh

Anonymous said...

Those same highways run through many of the villages. And trains.

Anonymous said...

last i checked, 287, and the saw mill do not run through scarsdale.scarsdale is baseded around the brp ans rt.22 with not even close to as much pass through traffic as greenburgh hascheck the traffic surveys

Anonymous said...

OK, 287 runs through rye and harrison. 95 runs through mamaroneck. etc etc

Anonymous said...

last i checked this was not a discussion about highways and boundries but greenburgh has access to the most highways and major roads except the cities. we have the railways very close to us, in tarrytown, white plains, and hartsdale, the amount of people that pass through our town daily far out numbers any town or hamlet you named. i am pretty sure we have more police calls then these towns as well. traffic surveys show that over 150,000 cars pass through greenburgh in a 24 hour period alone. and those are cars. How many people fit in a car? i know for a fact that Rye, Harrison, Mammaroneck, Scarsdale, etc. do not have even close to as many people passing through their towns. with people comes crime, drugs, problem, and accessibility to major incidents. thats why we should have SWAT around. the funny thing is i live and have a business in greenburgh i get hit by taxes twice and i don't mind paying. maybe people should realize whats more important in life.

swat swat said...

why are the swat proponents unable to cite any instances where the swat team was needed?

we know they screwed up big time

lets admit that swat exists so suburban police can get to be real police on the weekends while training.

Anonymous said...

there are quite a few instances where SWAT was sent out and suppressed situations and was victorious. i am not a cop i don't know. why dont you ask them... SWAT exists so we can have additionally armed officers with heavier equiptment to succeed in major situations. it would be too expensive to train every officer like a SWAT officer and and give them all the eqiptment. You fail to realize that most of the money goes into training so these guys are competant for the high risk situations. lets put u in a high risk situation and see what happens with NO TRAINING. have a nice day i m done

Anonymous said...

Once again, no answer

Anonymous said...

SWAT teams are good to have. But please don't justify them by creating the notion that there is a terrorist hovering at every street corner.

The question is whether, with limited and dwindling resources, do we keep SWAT and get rid of something else, or do we keep something else and get rid of SWAT. We don't have the money for both.

Anonymous said...

SWAT teams are good to have. But please don't justify them by creating the notion that there is a terrorist hovering at every street corner.

You're a disgrace.

Do you really think that those few THOUSANDS that perished on 9-11 really ever thought terrorists could be capable of death and destruction of this magnitude, in this country?
How bloody UNBRELIEVEABLE was that!?
Hate to break it to ya, pal, but have you checked the map that plots the flow of water should the Kenisco Damn get blown up?

You, my friend, just might be swept away. Unbelievable, right?

Anonymous said...

Is the Kensico dam in Greenburgh?

Couldnt the 911 bombers have been stopped by good old fashioned police work -- no need for swat, just enforce rules?

Anonymous said...

I'm with 2:29. Have a nice day I'm done.

Anonymous said...

How did this blog site become a SWAT discussion? Let's get back to the memo of understanding with the Library? Is that the same memo of understanding that 3% was put away in the 2008 Budget for CSEA raises which they still haven't received? We understand that you put it away but somehow you have forgotten about it!

hal samis said...

Dear 1:16,

"last time I checked"...are you one of those people who use the express checkout lane with more than 12 items? Of course this topic when I checked was out the Library grand opening but I can play in all the league games too.

First, Greenburgh is served by additional rail stations depending on your preferences. North White Plains and Scarsdale might be used by those who live in Greenburgh but closest to the stops. However within Greenburgh borders are also the rail stations of Irvington, Ardsley-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson.

Not that all of these extra travel locations make your argument any more logical or valid unless you believe that a pound of gold weighs more than a pound of feathers.

The underlying discussion has nothing to do with how fab SWAT is; nothing to do with the cool uniforms and weapons; nothing to do with whether it would good to have them around for blue moons...
What is has to do with, and let's include the marine unit, ems, tech support, etc. is whether these goodies are necessities or optional accessories. And this question comes up when the Town faces a tight budget. Why not have them? Well "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride". Residents under present economic conditions cannot afford them. Furthermore, Chief Kapica has a curious business model to justify the extra dollars that go into supporting these extras: the Town is saving money. Not true unless you learned accounting watching "Fractured Fables".
The main job of the Police, the one they perform every day of the year, 24 hours of each day is to mount a town-wide patrol of its seven sectors -- whether to catch perps during or after the commission of an unlawful act or to be a "presence" to discourage would-be perps. This requires manpower and DEDICATED (as in doing no other job) participants.
If there are indeed so many events that justrify the need for EMS or SWAT turnout, these officers are no longer doing their patrol function for the duration. This leaves many sectors untended while those assigned are now doing the EMS and SWAT dance. If you watch commercials, this would be akin to CERTS being a bad breath mint and a candy mint or "two mints in one". However all a mint has to do is dissolve in your mouth, not rush off to perform CPR or surround a building. In either of these situations, they are no longer handling their patrol duties. Note to would-be perps: get a police channel scanner, listen to who is responding to an EMS or SWAT call and then rush to their now unattended sectors to conduct your business. The whole sector's wide open, especially as neighboring sectors also respond as bookends to the call.
You can be sure that the EMS responder is going to be busy for at least two hours. So, if residents want constant police "protection", they're not getting it if their "protectors" are filling out forms at a hospital. On the other hand, paying for civilian EMS or letting the Fire Department respond assures residents that the police will be "tending their own gardens, (Voltaire) doing their patrol function.
Why do police officers like SWAT so much? It's not as though they would be out of work, just returning to that nasty, full-time business of pulling over suspects or chasing after fleeing perps, sometimes even on foot -- if they stopped doing SWAT. And then, there ARE those nifty SWAT uniforms and toys.
But primarily, there is the periodic down time of TRAINING and then more TRAINING. Nothing wrong with this except again, officers not on patrol.

The way I look at it if you insisted on keeping an adequate police force on sector patrol, then if you remove these uniforms to serve other functions, then you have to add in the cost as though you were sending a "refill" -- were you to add the cost of the original patrol officer and the cost of his/her replacement. Looking at it this way, the cost for both would exceed what the Chief allows for other contractors to capture parts of his empire.

But, what if someone were to die?
This could happen even if the Town doubled the Police budget and doubled the number of uniforms. In fact, even the Chief doesn't heed his own warnings. Consider that the Police place crosswalk signs IN CROSSWALKS that say yield to pedestrians. This protects pedestrians as most cars do yield. However, come December and the Chief marches to another drummer: what if it were to snow?
This results in the removal of the crosswalk warnings because 1) if it snows and 2) if it is sufficient snow to warrant snow plowing ten 3) if one of these signs get hit by a snowplow and 4) the sign needs to be repaired or replaced...it is better all around to remove the signs for the entire winter. Strangely enough, the onset of inclement weather, slippery road surfaces, limited driver's visibility: all might argue that these are conditions that would increase the need to protect pedestrians. So, in a real annual occurence (you can count on winter every year), the Chief resists the opportunity to maintain pedestrian safety levels because he is concerned about the "possible" cost of replacing a few crossroad signs.

After all, the few signs that may need replacing must cost almost as much as maintaining a SWAT, EMS, tech support or Navy and, as I would say, you can't have everything in harsh economic times.
Clearly the signs should be the first to go because pedestrians use these crosswalks every day. So what if someone were to die.
Obviously, there's no overtime in leaving out stationary crosswalk signs so they have to be the first to go.

You see, when you come right down to it, it's not quite the drama that the Chief like to promote with blood rushing to his face.
Putting up a $200 sign that may save a life in no way compares to saving a life from EMS or SWAT intervention. In fact, if someone gets hit traversing a crosswalk, that creates an opportunity to dispatch an EMS response. And maybe we could even have a sniper firing off shots that would prevent the EMS provider from coming to the aid of the fallen pedestrian. This would be the best of all worlds for the Chief.

But if you think this is over the top, statistically the pedestrian being hit by a car is more likely to occur than the need for a SWAT response.

If the residents don't have the money to spend on everything, then cuts have to made from someplace.
I vote to maintain a patrol force doing patrol duty all the time.
To Francis Sheehan: yes you can cherry pick from among the menu at the Police Department. Next year we will be removing the withered fruit from the Town Board.

Anonymous said...

Just let the State Police take over!
Do away with the rescue team not the swat team.
Stop paying the village police overtime for SWAT training

Anonymous said...

how long will in take a SWAT TEAM to respond at 2:00 AM ?

Anonymous said...

most of them do not live in WESTCHESTER

Anonymous said...

Anon 12/11/2008 5:30 PM:
you say most officers dont live in Westchester? Get your facts straight, 50% of the police department live right here in GREENBURGH and the VILLAGES !

something's off about swat said...

and the other 50%?

seems the swatters are protesting too much - the case has yet to be made that we need it.

hal samis said...

Dear 8:19,

If you want to swim in these waters you have to learn the rules.

The comment was made by 5:30 that "most of them (SWAT) don't live in Greenburgh".

The 6:53 poster responded that "50%of the Police Department live right here in GREENBURGH and the Villages!"

Ok, we can get over that the villages are part of Greenburgh but what you didn't see when writing your response (correct in that there is no case presented that we need SWAT) is that 6:53 answered a different question.
That question ala "JEOPARDY" (which itself is an apt reference)
was: What part of the Police Department lives in Greenburgh?

The question that still needs answering because it is an indicator is (again) what percent of the SWAT live in Greenburgh?

To those who don't get it yet, if the key component of having a homegrown SWAT is that they can respond quicker than say, the County, would be that its members live nearby.

So, again again, what percent of SWAT live in Greenburgh?

Anonymous said...

thank you hal!!!!

Anonymous said...

challenged by an earlier poster to do a google search, i found a number of interesting articles from both the right (cato institute) and the left (mother jones) objecting to the increasing organization of SWAT teams by local police departments as part of a disturbing trend of para-militarization of law enforcement in our country.

run blogger run said...

the last three bloggers have said more in three paragraphs than juettner has said in nearly 20 year on the town board.

why not just three bloggers for town council?

Anonymous said...

Stop the police EMS and rescue tech
and put the extra police on patrol.
Maybe this will happan when Chief Kapica leaves

Anonymous said...

SWAT SCHMOTT. There are some enormous non-essentials in the budget that does not seem to get enough air time. TDYCC with a 3+ million dollar expense that grows every day by way for new & fun programs. (Xposure)

When are the citizans going to demand this river of cash be stopped from flowing into it?

when you ask said...

when they get rid of

and feiner

2009 is the year.

Anonymous said...

The river of cash will stop flowing to the centers when we get rid of Feiner.

He is the one that diverted all our tax dollars to Fairview throughout his reign of terror.

If we want good government we have to vote three people out this coming election and then the other two.

Anonymous said...

All of a sudden the library became goody two shoes. No comp time for its workers.

You have bled the system dry and now you are trying to make nice nice for the up coming rounds when your speaker Jean comes crying again for more funds.

Well i think that you all will be in for a rude awakening because all the input by Samis gave this town board went to the wayside
and all his knowledge has given us all the insight of how crooked this town has been dealing with the public concerning the library.
Thanks Samis keep up the good work.

run samis run said...

run samis run.

there are hundreds if not thousands awaiting your announcement.

you are the diogenes of greenburgh.

please start your engine.

Anonymous said...