Saturday, December 13, 2008


Genie Contrata, director of the Greenburgh Library, sent members of the Town Board some photos of the library--which opens to the public on Monday morning. Hope you enjoy our new library.

PS: If you are interested in learning more about room naming/library naming opportunities (for big financial donors) please advise. If you know of people who might be interested in donating to the library - we would appreciate that information.


Anonymous said...

To contribute to the Greenburgh Library, visit the Greenburgh Library Foundation website. There, you;ll be able to make contributions online.

The Burgher

Feiner libels library in JN today said...

Today Paul Feiner is quoted in the Journal News as blaming the library for the "bulk" of the unincorporated area's 30% tax increase. Typical of Feiner that he'd choose today of all days as the day to libel the library with this falsehood. Here's how one Journal News reader reacted to Feiner's quote:

"Unfortunately by including Paul Feiner as a spokesperson for the consolidate government movement, it is the kiss of death. First, the Supervisor either can’t do simple arithmetic or has an aversion to the truth. The combined unincorporated Greenburgh tax rate has increased from approximately $120 per thousand of assessed value in 2007 to $157.5597 as currently proposed for 2009. In two years that’s an increase of 31.3%. Check the calculation, because he obviously didn’t, can’t, or won’t. Then he says that the new Library is the major cause for this increase. Again either he is uninformed, but as the Town’s Chief Fiscal Officer he should know better, or just plain can’t tell a reporter the truth. For a residential property assessed at $15,000, the 2007 Town tax bill would have been $1,800. In 2009, that same property will now have a Town tax bill of $2,363 or an increase of $563 per year. In an article published by this paper recently, The Journal News reported that the annual cost of the Library expansion was $68 per year. $68 is not the majority of the $563 two year increase. Feiner just doesn’t get it. A growing number of Greenburgh taxpayers and voters know he lies and misstates facts all of the time. Woe be it to the uninformed Westchester county residents who give Paul Feiner any credibility."

Wake up Greenburgh. Having Paul Feiner continue as our supervisor is our kiss of death.

More JN readers react to Feiner's libel said...

Here's how another Journal News reader reacted to Feiner's libel of the library today:

"If Paul Feiner said that the "bulk" of Greenburgh's 30% tax hike over the past two years is due to Greenburgh's new library, he's lying. According to the town comptroller, when this year's taxes in unincorporated Greenburgh were increased by 21%, the library accounting for only 2.8% of the increase. The same is true for 2009. The comptroller's report is available online. Why do Journal News reporters accept what Feiner says at face value without checking?

And why has Greenburgh's taxes been so out of control? It's NOT because taxes didn't increase for two years running. To the contrary, it's been because Feiner has for years been using an accumulated fund balance to disguise the costs of town government and keep increases low during election years. However, at the end of 2007, the fund balance was too low for Feiner to raid; as a result, residents of unincorporated Greenburgh finally had to pay the true cost of government in their town, and the result wasn't pretty.

The situation for 2009 hasn't gotten better. In order to keep the tax increase to around 8%, Feiner has cut essential services -- police, sanitation, snow removal and leaf pickup -- while leaving non-essential services untouched. The town is losing between 6-9 cops, bringing town police to a staffing level not seen in years, and losing 4-5 sanitation workers at a time when sanitation demands for an increasing population are increases.

These non-essential services that Feiner wouldn't touch include, for example, a $100,000 gift to the Fairview Fire Department, $167,000 for a taxpayer-funded after school program for the Greenburgh Central School District which could have been obtained tax free from the YMCA, $61,000 for a "council on the arts" (someone who hangs pictures for sale at town hall), $67,000 for Feiner's "personal secretary" which he doesn't need in the age of blackberries, voicemail and desktops, and dual day camps, recreation programs and transportation services, run by separate, largely racially segregated town departments of Parks and Rec, and Community Resources, each with its own set of highly paid commissioners, costing unincorporated Greenburgh taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. And only Feiner would have Greenburgh taxpayers actually subsidize the sale of meals to seniors that are sold to the Towns of Mount Pleasant and Eastchester. Feiner was so oblivious to the fact that he was subsidizing these meals that when confronted with financial statements showing this was so, he refused to make them public and instead quietly ordered an RFP to see if Greenburgh could outsource the meals itself.

On top of that, Feiner's got the town in a lot of legal trouble. He's been accused of violating federal anti-discrimination laws in connection with blocking Fortress Bible Church from building a sanctuary, and the town faces a potential uninsured liability of up to $5.7 million. On top of that, the Court of Appeals is about to hear argument on a long-standing complaint that the town's practice of charging only unincorporated Greenburgh for parks and rec facilities open town-wide is unconstitutional. Greenburgh's villages continue to talk of seceding from the town and Edgemont, which has been plagued by a rash of burglaries, is so fed up with Feiner's cuts to police and sanitation -- cuts that the town comptroller himself has called "arbitrary", that it has rekindled efforts to incorporate Edgemont as a village of its own.

You might ask how Feiner can get away with this financial chicanery year after year. The answer is that newspapers and other media don't report it. Instead, they focus on Feiner's attention-grabbing attempts to divert attention from these growing problems -- and his quixotic crusade against county government is the prime example."

Get it? Feiner lies to the Journal News about Greenburgh and its library figuring no one in Greenburgh would notice.

Anonymous said...

You know what SALMIS was right to say Wollford and Jachobs should go. What a disgrace for Wollford to air her dirty laundry for not being reappointed. She did make a mistake the whole board gave her the boot not just three members. Ask anyone who attends their meetings like I do and you will see the control freak who has to have it her own way. The reopening was for a good cause not a political attack session. Thank god they will be gone soon. Evil will go. SPANO what a joke start worrying about your tenure . And yes the library is responsible for increased taxes not a dispute

CSEA Charley said...

Dear Supervisor Feiner (writing as Anonymous at 3:22PM) -
Veritas vos liberabit.
The truth shall make you free - and free the Town from you.

Anonymous said...

Feiner wanted to sell the old Town Hall. That would have generated at least a few million dollars to the town. Sunrise would have paid the town annual taxes. The combination of the sale and the annual taxes would have resulted in reduced tax hikes.

feiner cannot act alone said...

feiner is just one vote
bloggers who ignore that are as misleading as feiner is on certain issues

feiner doesnt pass the budget
feiner plus two others pass the budget

the two others up for re-election in 2008 are
juettner and sheehan (now known as francis sheehanigans)

correction said...

correction - up for re-election on 2009 not 2008

Anonymous said...

If the town had sold the old Town Hall for $5 million to Sunrise...

If the town had received taxes from Sunrise each year as Feiner suggested...

If the library expansion was smaller...

would our taxes be less than they are today?

ed krauss said...

First, allow me to repeat what I wrote on this blog months ago: the tax payers of the unincorporated section of Greenburgh are and will continue to pay upwards of $20+ million for the library, so it should be named after its benefactors, THE GREENBURGH TOWN LIBRARY. All other contributions pale by comparison to the obligation taken on by those of us who live in the TOV. So enough of
the "graceful" attempt at selling off what we pay for.

Additionally, if there is a contribution, who is vested with the responsibility of naming?

Who creates the much for a shelf; a group of books; a room; a wall plaque; etc.?

Why wasn't $20+ million sufficient to do all these wonderful things?

When is enough, enough?

It seems, greed is indeed incredibly pervasive.

It's not exactly, "let them eat cake," time.

P.S. To those annointed folks blessed with the opportunity to get a first look (yet another FIRST for the Feiner ego) at the new library, you missed a hell of a Jet game.

To the rest of us, listen to Tennessee Ernie Ford's "16 Tons." A song of my youth which never gets too old.

Anonymous said...

The woman who spoke at the library ceremony today (she did not get to keep her job and was mad) should not have aired her dirty laundry at a happy ceremony. She came off poorly.

Feiner came off the worst today said...

No, the person who came off poorly at the ceremony was Paul Feiner himself, whose name was not mentioned at all until 55 minutes into the ceremony, when Regent Harry Phillips mentioned his name in passing. Feiner was probably the least welcome person at the ceremony. The people who spoke the best were Susan Wolfert and Howard Jacobs, who spoke elequently about their efforts to get the library project off the ground despite efforts by Feiner to trash them at every opportunity. Ms. Wolfert never mentioned Feiner by name, but everyone knew who she was talking about.

VMcD said...

The idea is good.

From the NY Public Library we receive large amounts of fundraising literature, all with good fundraising ideas.
I think the Greenburgh Library Foundation will be wisely guided to pick up some of those NYPL ideas and use them locally.

Well, Bernie Madoff, Mort Zuckermann and others will not be able to give much this season.

About all the whinners of the new library: the voters spoke in 2005, thpose interested as you are, voted for or against, the Yes won!

Now, it is time to help make it better withposistive attitude.
We have enough critics and underminers.

CSEA Charley said...

To Anonymous at 3:42 on Sunday -
Your statement about Sunrise paying taxes on its proposed facility on the old Town Hall site is a bit off. Even before it was ready to purchase the site at a very much below market rate, Mark Weingarten (Sunrise's attorney) told then members of the Town Board, including Mr Feiner, that Sunrise would need to negotiate a payment in lieu of taxes to keep costs at a level which would permit Sunrise to earn an acceptable profit. Mr Feiner indicated that as the property was currently not paying taxes, even a token payment would be acceptable.
When discussing how much the library has added to the current budget please remember that Mr Feiner told the TOV taxpayers that the purchase of Taxter Ridge would add less than $30 annually to our tax bills - because the $10 million was going to be borrowed and paid off over 20 years. And the Town wasn't even a AAA credit yet. Our AAA credit should allow the Town to borrow $20 million for less than twice as much - meaning the additional taxes for the library might be as much as $60 per taxpayer. Or has the financial mis-management of Greenburgh been so bad that we have to pay cash for everything?
Sorry Mr Feiner - you can't have it both ways. If protecting Danny Gold's backyard was worth $30 a year surely a library, even if only used by Fairview is worth about $1 per week.

juettner's taxing mess said...

taxter ridge has been a very divisive and expensive purchase

outside of mr feiner and danny gold, does anyone feel it was worth it?

also - can anyone (outside of mr gold) provide directions as to where it is?

any can anyone show me a picture of diana juettner ever having been to taxter ridge before she voted to buy it?

shockingly juettner, a village resident, is town board liaison to unincorporated greenburgh's parks and recreation dept!

you cant make this stuff up.

hal samis said...

Yesterday the Library put on its "Grand Opening" for a select group of well-wishers.

However, what is apparent is that even though the basic library functions are restored, the Library building is not finished. And I'm not talking about the items lacking funding either.

What yesterday represented was the culmination of the strategy to "open" the building while the three most guilty Library Trustees were still around to revel in the misguided pats on the back. Think, "I'll pat your back, you pat mine".

If you know what to look for, you know that the Library is still a good two months from completion. But, it was politically strategic to open in 2008 vs 2009.

Money sure doesn't go far if the circulation desk at the entrance consumed $125,000 of a grant. Or doesn't go far if you are shopping with the Library Trustees.

Perhaps because of my real estate background I think in terms of square feet however; on that basis the children's library is about 2000 feet too large. They are swimming in unused space.

Note too that the main reading area contains fewer work spaces at tables than were available in the old library. This is the result of an awkward design by vampires which just sucks up the doubled size of the new building and spits it out as unusable for any practical purpose.
Consider all the space acting as a second floor buffer between the tot/ya/teen area and the rest of the adult library.
Consider all the extra hvac and light needed to fill the extra height reading room (swoop), the extra cost in window washing and the extra time needed to obtain the building's zoning height variance. Consider all the space wasted on the ground level, space which may one day contain tables for the cafe but if that vital need was the basis for an excessive building size, then the architect should be taken out to the woodshed and flogged. And, maybe if you are a favored person, you can get the tour of the space that is not for the public but for the library staff. There is probably an EXTRA 3000 square feet that serves no purpose other than it can't be used for anything else.
More meeting rooms than the old library? Where are they? Of course there is a back of the house (still unfinished) conference room for the library staff but the public would have to go past the staff only door, walk the employee hall of lockers to get there. The much promoted electronic display screens are far too undersized to be of much use; what should be bigger is smaller and the reverse being true is the overall theme of the library of tomorrow.

Anyone up for holding the special olympics competition on Sheehan's folly, the ramp from nowhere? Wave goodbye to your $175,000 taxpayers.

There is just so much to point out to readers who likely don't recall two years later what the library used to be. "All those books and dvds" were sitting on the shelves of the old building.

I've already made known my thoughts on the limitations of the new auditorium and limited parking for the pre-referendum "cultural center" of this library of tomorrow. Those who attended yesterday might rightfully question where patrons using the library will park when there is an event being held in the auditorium.

Susan Wolfert, outgoing (not in the sense of friendly) Library Trustee VP oozed sour grapes, a theme more broadly hinted at by outgoing Trustee Prez Howard Jacobs. All of the other speakers from politicos to professional library supporters all welcomed this long time coming day and spent their speaking time falling over each other with praise for each other. Not so much self love since the revival of Hair.

And, if you're looking for the $50,000 "special project" asked for (actually asked for $75,000) in their 2007 budget, you won't find it. It seems that this was just another bogus entry to sucker punch the Town Board into providing more funding.

I'll return to the opening and what it portends in 2009 later.

Anonymous said...

Hey Samis -
You're bitching about the limited number of taxpayers and residents who could be accomodated at the library opening - AND - You're right about it.
NOW - how about noting that while the Theodore Young Community Center's celebration of the Presidential Inauguration is "open" to anyone, the number will be restricted to the first 200 people on line when the doors open on January 20th at 9AM (for a noon event!) Naturally the 200 places will be reduced by the number of places "reserved" by Feiner and colleagues for their friends, TDYCC employees and their families and "community" seniors.
Want to hazard a guess how many spots will be left for the taxpaying community members who are footing the bill?

Anonymous said...

Hal attended the opening of the library and was well behaved!

Anonymous said...

I visited the Greenburgh Library today. It is a large imposing structure at first glance with a soring roof that extends into the abyss. Enter and one feels loss in the emptiness of space which lacks warmth despite efforts of the staff's greetings. Sorry. but the architect failed. Check out the White Plains library about a mile away, which Greenburgh residents are eligible to use. Now, that's a state of the art structure, that is inviting, beautiful and practical. By the way Paul who is going to wash all those useless high rise windows? Another needless, thoughtless job for the lowest bidder which is an added expense to tax payers. And then there is the cost of heating and cooling the massive empty space from floor to ceiling. Whoever approved the design for Greenburgh library should be tarred and feathered and dragged through the streets of our town.

look in the mirror said...

unincorporated deserves this disaster.

they voted for juettner for 18 years.

they let this village resident be the town board liaison to the library even though she doesnt pay one dime for it.

this was wrong but the self appointed leaders of unincorporated greenburgh thought juettner was a friend (meaning she would oppose feiner) and let her be.

juettner screwed up in so many ways on thelibrary that even hal samis is tearing what is left of his hair out.

enjoy this white elephant.

juettner is a disaster. unincorprated greenburgh is a collection of fools without a poltical clue.

Anonymous said...

Another post from the Ardsley crowd who wants use of Veterans without paying. How transparent.

Anonymous said...

Pay no attention to the Village Idiot.

case closed said...

the last two posts should be marked as exhibit A as to why unincorporated greenburgh is the fiscal disaster it is.

hide your head in the sand.
keep voting for juettner.
i guess you believe like cheney there really where weapons of mass destruction in iraq.
enjoy another two years of feiner and his foursome - the names change the bad policies dont.

Anonymous said...

The last time Diana Juettner ran for town council her highest percentage of victory came from, yes, you guessed it, the Village of Ardsley where she lives. Keep it up, village idiot.

sticks and stones said...

to claim that juettner needs ardsley to retain her seat is laughable.

ardsley is a small voting district and in the scheme of greenburgh voting means very little.

Anonymous said...

The same may be said for Edgemont, village idiot, which has only 8% of the vote town-wide.

poor unincorporated soul said...

doesnt it sound like someone has village envy?

villages mean representative government run by people who live in your community, send their kids to your school - all with professional management

your jealousy is quite transparent

marco polo said...

*splashes chlorinated water on 3:21 to make him/her feel less deprived and cheated*

Hey Ardsley! said...

The Weckqueskecks want their land back! Give it up!

regarding marco polo said...

i think marco polo is drinking some of that clorinated water.
enjoy it while it lasts.

regarding hey ardsley said...

its quite obvious you are a "graduate" of central 7 or its equivalent to make such a silly statement.

i thought unincorporated greenburgh was stuck in the 50s, 60s and 70s. - now it seems some of it residents are stuck in the 1600s.

the case for the villages leaving greenburgh is getting stronger each day.

enjoy your marlon brando shrine.

hey stupid said...

further to the idiotic post of hey ardsley - please read this (if you can read) from wikipedia and look at the side panel of any of unincorporated greenburgh's vehicles:

Hartsdale's earliest settlers were the Weekquaeskeeks (sometimes spelled Weekquasgeeks), a sub-tribe of the Algonquin tribe which lived in most of southern New York from Westchester down through Manhattan. Weekquaeskeek is an Algonquin term believed to mean "place of the bark kettle", and this kettle appears in the Greenburgh town seal today.

no fun said...

Relax Ardsley! Have a sense of humor! Maybe a little swim the a pool could help alleviate your stress?

enjoying life said...

which pool is that?
the one subsidized by ardsley taxpayers but closed to them?

im pretty relaxed, i dont live in unincorporated greenburgh where juettner and feiner have been in office since 1991!

Anonymous said...

There is a company that will like to make necessary changes at the library so that the great roof can be used as a ski slope and skate boarding.

They want to practice for the coming olympics.
They would like to use the ramp for bob sleding.
Paul you could make some money from this rental.

hal samis said...

Dear Roof Swoop Surfers,

What's under the roof. That fabulous design which would let oodles of light into the main reading room and reduce lighting expenses because of all that glass letting light in...

Even putting to the side that there are cloudy days, rainy days, snow days, night (George Carlin weather forecast for the evening, dark followed by darker) and night coming early in winter,
Even putting to the side that the extra height requires more installed lighting to fill the room and more HVAC to maintain a steady indoor climate,

Let's update this and go inside where we discover that the high roof (requiring a zoning variance) isn't as high as it appears because guess what, inside is a dropped roof, effectively blocking most of the light from the glass panels of the external high roof.

Not unlike the assumed brains of the Library Board of Trustees (Howard Jacobs, Susan Wolfert and Estelle Palevsky) contruction committee: blocked off from seeing the light.