Friday, December 19, 2008

TOWN BOARD WORK SESSION TUESDAY--CAMP FEES, SIDEWALK SALES TO BE DISCUSSSED



Town of Greenburgh
Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board
Tuesday – December 23, 2008 – 2:00pm
(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 32 and are streamed live. Work Sessions and Town Board Meetings will be aired each Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:02am and 4:45pm. Each segment will run for approximately 6 to 7 hours, depending upon the length of the two meetings.)
2:00p.m. Sidewalk Sales: (Planning & Building)

Currently, permit fees are not charged for these sale days. We believe the Town could realize significant revenue if the Town Board offers the weekend sidewalk sale days each weekend from Palm Sunday weekend through Thanksgiving weekend and applies a fee of $25 for each weekend a business participates. If a business participates in every weekend, one week at a time, the amount for the entire season will be $600. There could be an offer that if a business wants to apply for all of the weekends at the beginning of the year, the fee for that business for all of the weekends from Palm Sunday through Thanksgiving will be $500. the Building Department will monitor the businesses to ensure if they have sidewalk displays they have their permit and if not they either secure the permit or receive the violations stated in 240-7(B)(4). I see nothing in this law to prevent the Town Board from acting on this proposal. Additionally, the law sunsets each December 31 so it’s not something that can’t be adjusted if there is abuse. Given the economic times we and the businesses are in I think it’s worth experimenting with.
2:15p.m Taxi Insurance Fees – Town Attorney
3:00p.m. Parks & Rec – TDYCC Summer Camp Fees
EXPLANATION: Summer camp fees at the TDYCC and Parks Dept are different. Currently camp fees at the parks dept are significantly higher than the TDYCC. We will discuss changing the fee structure so that the fees for both camps are the same or close to the same. The town will continue our policy of offering scholarships to any camper who meets scholarship criteria and is facing financial hardships. No one will be denied camp experiences because of inability to pay.
3:30p.m. Executive Session - Legal
5:30p.m. Adjourn
The Town Board approved the WESTHAB workforce housing zone change at last nights Town Board meeting and also approved the 2009 budget.
PAUL FEINER

143 comments:

Feiner to Fulton Park: Drop Dead said...

Last night's town board meeting was a disaster -- one of the worst in Greenburgh history.

Feiner, Sheehan and the rest of the town board flagrantly violated the law when they passed a completely different definition of "workforce housing" than the one that had been the subject of a prior notice and public hearing.

The originally proposed definition, designed to encourage policeman, firefighters, teachers and other members of the workforce to live in Greenburgh, said that if 80% of a building has tenants with an average income of between 60% and 120% of Westchester's median income, then the remaining 20% of the building can be leased to tenants having an average income of 30% of Westchester's median.

The town changed the definition without warning last night by defining "workforce" housing to be any housing offered to tenants having between 30% and 80% of Westchester's median. The resolution allows Westhab to rent the entire building to tenants having an income of only 30% of Westchester's median income, which turns the project from "workforce" housing into "high density, very low income housing." The upshot will destroy Fulton Park, a neighborhood of low density low to moderate income private homes and garden apartments.

Here's what the law says:

"Where a municipal legislative authority, after notice and hearing, rejects or substantially changes a proposed zoning ordinance, it may not later adopt the subject ordinance without a second hearing preceded by appropriate notice. Substantial changes made after a hearing on a proposed ordinance may be beyond the scope of the original notice and hearing, and in such case an ordinance enacted with such changes and without a second hearing will be disapproved. Wide public discussion of such changes does not obviate the necessity for a second notice and hearing."

When a town board behaves as lawlessly as Feiner's board behaved last night, it follows like night the day that such a board is totally lacking in legitimacy and not entitled to public respect.

Feiner and the town counsel, Tim Lewis, certainly knew they were violating the law. Sheehan certainly knew as well. And if they didn't know, judging from what I saw on TV last night, they were certainly put on notice by Bernstein, who is a lawyer.

Feiner pulled a similar stunt against Fortress Bible Church and the court quickly granted an injunction against the town.

But the problem with enforcing the law is that a rogue town board, which is what we have with Feiner and his cronies, will do exactly what they set out to do in the first place. Only next time, they'll dot the i's a little better.

But their contempt for the law and for the public is clear and unmistakeable.

I sure hope Feiner's friends in county and state government are paying attention. If they want the public to see why Feiner is considered such a public flake, all they need to do is show the public what Feiner did to the good people of Fulton Park last night. In clear violation of the law.

As for Sheehan, his involvement with Feiner in deliberately violating state law when it comes to a zoning change may have serious repercussions. Already there's talk of civic associations through unincorporated Greenburgh withdrawing their support for the town's comprehensive plan, a project he chairs. The argument is that a town official who willfully violates the law when it comes to zoning matters is not someone who can be trusted when it comes to putting together a comprehensive plan.

There's also talk of resignations. Again, the argument is that many people are uncomfortable volunteering their time to work with a rogue town board that thinks it can violate the law with impunity. The feeling is that such town officials cannot be trusted to play by the rules of the game, and that nothing good will come of their continued involvement.

3 million a year for nonsense said...

In all seriousness, what would we have to do do demand TDYCC closed? Do we have to vote on this? If so, what is the process?

Anonymous said...

Why can't we have the board investigated? What does it take?

Write to your state officials said...

Every resident of unincorporated Greenburgh has the right to insist that their town board comply with the law when it comes to zoning changes. Write to the attorney general, the state comptroller, your state assemblyman and state senator, and to the Governor.

No public money should be entrusted to a town government that willfully violates the law. Tell state officials not to allow funding for the Westhab project because Westhab officials were clearly in cahoots with the town board's willful violation of the law. In these tough economic times, there's plenty of other better, more well deserving places for public funds on housing to be spent than here in unincorporated Greenburgh, where we have town officials that show such demonstrable contempt for the law and the public.

TDYCC no more said...

Yes. Please explain how camp fees are significantly higher at Parks & rec when TDYCC provides a like program with more frills, free lunch and FREE transportation?

Explain please.

ROBBED. said...

Explanation: Those that have used the Parks & Rec's camps (myself) have been robbed.
Not only have we paid higher camp fees, we have paid taxes that have funded the undercharges and freebies given to campers at TYDYCC.

DISCREAMANTION:
treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit

whoops said...

discrimination

Anonymous said...

There are federal programs for free or reduced lunch programs over the summer. What is the issue -- do we not structure our program to fit federal ruels, do we not care?

Anonymous said...

Wow, hopefully is there a substantial penalty associated with violating the "Substantial changes made after a hearing on a proposed ordinance ..." clause.

Anonymous said...

I think adding a fee for sidewalk sales will result in no sidewalk sales and more animosity. As is, retail businesses have been suffering. So many have been moving out of Greenburgh already; I don't think we need to give businesses any more encouragement to move out of Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

the camp at the center is all for free.

They keep saying that there are scholorships for those that can't afford the fee tell me Feiner who pays for the scholorships.
If it is a grant we the taxpayers have to match the amount so how can you talk about fees.
You know dam well that you are robbing taxpayers money to make sure that the children in the fairview section get the camps for free.
You know people are not as stupid as you think they are.
We made you do what you wanted up to now .Now the tables have turned which means before you do something that favors one part of town you had better think twice.

Yes we do need the state government to investigate what is going on in this town .
You have made fools of each and everyone of us but now you wont be able to go to the latrine without big brother watching and taking notes.

You want to run an illegal town so now we the people want to get our town back honestly.

You have given away our money as though it was water. The first thing I will have to investigate is the reasoning behing Taxter Road so called park.
This we all know that was a favor to one of your close friends so he could have a big back yard.
The next thing is changing zoning laws without a meeting to do so.
This you did some time ago behind closed doors.

How much did Deli Delicious and the law firm affiliated with Westhab give you.
What did Cousins tell you about this Westhab project.
What was promised to you.

The meeting was disgracful to say the least.
You and this present board knew way before what the outcome would be because you worked behind the residents backs.

Now you are trying to say camp fees should be changed you never had any fees for Fairview. The taxpayers were paying for everything.
Stop the bull shit and come back down to earth.
You and your board are total frauds.

Yes you will have another law suit on your hands and if you look back at other ongoing investigations you and the entire board will have to resign for your stupidity.
You are not beyond the law so don't think that we will go away.
The fight has just started.

Anonymous said...

Bob Bernstein's screaming fit last night was highly inappropriate. Is this the way he would have acted if he was in a court of law? We can disagree but should disagree in a professional manner.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is Feiner's election year bone he's throwing to the all the Center critics: that he equalized camp fees. In reality, such a policy will be completely undercut, of course, by a very generous "scholarship" program.

Anonymous said...

Side walk sales. When will you put up breathing machines to charge the residents for the air we breathe.

Paul you have lost your marbles.
You had better seek help before the situation gets worse.

The store keepers are not making out at all and you have the nerve to charge them money to have side walk sales.

Some man just was put under house arrest for stealing Billions of dollars from the public do you think because you are an elected official you can do the same and go scott free.

Not only are you stealing the taxpayers money now you want to go after the poor business that were cripled by your neglect of the flooding problem on Hartsdale ave.
You have got to be crazy or close to it.
Go home Paul there's a place for you to settle down to reflect the harm that you have done to the 80th
best town .

Anonymous said...

I sent my children to town camps over the years and paid more then the TDYCC families.The reason is simple;I an afford to pay more and I dont begrudge others from paying what they can afford.I pay higher taxes then other homeowners in Greenburgh.So what!!!

Anonymous said...

While I agree that the meeting last night was a disaster, it was due to the boorish behaviour of a number of residents who yelled, interrupted,jeered, cursed and acted like spoiled toddlers. You have every right to disagree with the Town Board respectfully. You have no right to disrupt a government meeting. Next time, I hope the people who disrupt the meeting are escorted out. The Town Board lets you get away with so much, This does not happen in other municipalities.

I'll tell you what said...

Dear so what,

There should be ONE camp program. I do not begrudge anyone something they NEED and can not afford. How many program fees and membership fees are not paid at TDYCC because people do not want to pay them?
Look at the demographics. Fairview is not poor! While I'm sure there are some poor living there as well as in other parts of Greenburgh, the amount of "scholarships" or "no charge" is completely disproportionate to the income levels of family who live there.

Also, we provide an abundance of services, programs, meals, transportation...... to the same handful over & over again.

We simply can not afford to "scholarship" those who truly do not qualify as needy in every single program that we offer at TDYCC.

Just like the Louis Bronze Children's center. After many years of abuse, families had to produce proof of income and it's staggering how many lied, for years. When asked to begin paying (not retroactive either) some removed thier kids and PAID to go elsewhere!

The center (rent free care of us) almost had to close its doors because of the abuse. I stop donating to the center when I found this out.

But NO! At the TDYCC if you say you can't afford it, no problem! We pay!

I want my money to go to those who really need it. We are a struggling family and when I give to the needy, I want to know that its going to the needy.

Anonymous said...

The only person last night who had a screaming fit was Paul Feiner when Bernstein caught him and Sheehan engaging in "bait and switch" with the zoning change resolution defining "workforce housing." When Bernstein pointed out, correctly as it appears, that what Feiner and Sheehan were doing was blatantly illegal, it was Feiner who began shouting uncontrollably, "Go ahead sue, sue if you want, that's what you always do, sue."

This looked and sounded to me like an elected official who doesn't have grip on reality. Bernstein was relatively calm under the circumstances. I don't know how he does it.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein was calm??? He was pacing the front of the hall, interrupted numerous times, shouted out and tried to take the microphone when he was not entitled to speak. Feiner did NOT scream, but merely tried to shut Bernstein up by saying that if he wanted to sue the Town he should do it and not disrupt the meeting any further. What a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Does Paul have to serve his entire term to get a pension? What would happen if there were a recall?

Anonymous said...

Paul illegally led the council to an secret meeting. What a disgrace. Watch it on TV. The council barely knew what they were voting on.

Anonymous said...

And Paul, dont you think Fortress Bible is going to add this incident to their appeal -- I think we all expect an appeal no matter who wins. All the people who live near where Fortress wants to build - dont think this isnt your problem.

Anonymous said...

Wow this is a first for us "Town Employees," housing with median income, we have to basically be poor to live in this place.
Second, when were they suppose to let "Town Employees" no about this housing?
Third Most Policeman are not going to live in an area that houses "riff raff."
Besides the fact, Policemen, firefighters and teachers make a good salary and "own" property...so please do not throw us into this mix of garden apartments!
I think I can speak for most of us we would not live there!

Anonymous said...

6:19,

I agree it is unlikely any police or firefighters will like their. And many other town employees will not be from one earner families and also will not qualify.

Also, did anyone listen to the Westhab people. THEY CAN NOT GIVE ANY PREFERENCE TO GREENBURGH PEOPLE.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein was wearing a shirt that said "bob the legend". He has a desire to get noticed. No one was paying attention to him so he starts screaming. Hal has had a great deal of influence on Bob's demeanor.

Anonymous said...

Hal doesn't have to wear a shirt saying "the legend" because he is the legend. He talks. Bob follows.

PSYCH MAJOR said...

I'm home from college and tuned in to the Town Board meeting last night. I enjoyed watching the Town Board meetings on TV in High School. This is the first time I watched a meeting in many months. This is what I think.
Mr. Bernstein used to be king of Edgemont. When he started his Taxter Ridge litigation a few years ago people were interested in the arguments he made.
His tirades are getting old and boring. Mr. Samis is funny (although he is also a bit off) and comes up with great one liners.
I suggest that Mr.Bernstein wants to be as loved by those who seek change as Mr. Samis is. His shirt was an attempt to get noticed. He wants to get a reaction. When that failed he tried outdoing Mr.Samis and started screaming louder than Mr. Samis ever did when I used to watch the meetings. If I was the Town Supervisor I would ignore Mr. Bernstein. It will drive him crazy.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, you didnt see Hal scream at the end, you three are out in 2008, you two in 2009. Not that I blame him. From his mouth to G*d's ear.

Anonymous said...

These personal attacks against Bernstien are par for the course for Feiner who, caught once again violating the law, he responds in the only way he knows -- by personal attack. Such a petty, venal character Feiner is. It seems Bernstein caught Feiner and Sheehan violating the law last night by deliberately changing the text of a zoning code change without telling anyone. Bernstein brought the violation to the attention of the folks from Fulton Park, who were outraged and understandably so. Had Feiner and Sheehan not violated the law, Bernstein wouldn't have had a reason to say anything at all.

Anonymous said...

Bob is elected. Head of ECC. Democratic chair in Edgemont. Tell me again who has ever voted or followed Hal.

Not happy with Feiner said...

I saw the meeting on tv last night. Bernstein spoke once during public comment and once during a question and answer session. He was wearing a shirt and a sweater. Nothing noticeable about it. His arguments were as always delivered calmly and reasonably. At the end of the meeting, I heard Bernstein say the town board was acting improperly about something but I couldn't hear what he was talking about. I then saw the Fulton Park group get out of their seats and become quite angry. I very much wanted to know what Bernstein was saying. At one point I saw Bernstein try to use a microphone, but a town employee prevented him from speaking. Now, having read the blogs, I see what the fuss was about. Fulton Park should be pleased that Bernstein was there to look out for their interests because the Town Board certainly wasn't. Feiner and his whole crew should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Hal's the leader. Bob's the follower! Hal is not a legend in his own mind. He gets noticed and laughed at by his witty comments. Hal always sides against authority. He's predictable.

Anonymous said...

Dear not happy. The archives of the meeting are not on line (unfortunately). watch the meeting. Wonder if the " bob the legend tee shirt" wording can be seen on the web. After you watch the meeting please confirm that you think the behavior was appropriate.

Anonymous said...

I saw it on TV and didnt see anything on Bob about legends. Maybe it was a golf sweater that said Legends, referring to a Golf Tournament. That would be in samll print on the front.

Anonymous said...

12;19 Give me a break, you still
have police officers living in the projects. what's up with that?

Anonymous said...

10:23 -- really -- I wonder how many report all their income and OT

hal samis said...

Memo to Town Board:
Forget about the SWAT, EMS, Navy and Tech support. If this is a "state of emergency" in Greenburgh, then Kapica should first cut the budget line for the fashion police that are writing on this blog.

Does anyone really care what Bob wears? Personally, I thought it was funny, on target and good pr for Bob. There's something fundamentally right about a person who can laugh at himself. Even Feiner tries to crack a joke from time to time but he is so insecure that he has to follow it up with announcing "that was a joke".

As for me, I was too poor to attend the Xposure School of Higher Learning and when I applied for a scholarship, I was told that I had to live in Fairview. So, I had to apply to the Mary Poppins School for Continuing Ed Krauss. After only three semesters, I passed the course: A Spoonfull of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down.

And by golly it works, last night I had Feiner laughing at my line about wishing the Town Board a lump of coal for their Christmas stockings, that he even allowed the Assessor to explain her $2.4 million mistake (someone on her staff messed up but so did four other towns in Westchester so it's ok) and I got her answer after only two months of asking. So, you see a little laughter works wonders.

Mary Poppins School also taught me two other jokes.
Joke #1
"Chim chiminey
chim chiminey
chim chim cher-oo
be dumb, drop out of school
you can be Ray Thomas too"

Joke #2
"I know a Town Councilman with fully paid health insurance named Kevin Morgan."

'What did he call his other Town insurance?'

"Double dipping insurance buyout".

All of you who are so concerned about what Bob wears might want to ask, if the Town finances are in a state of emergency, why Diana Juettner, Francis Sheehan and Kevin don't just give back their insurance buyouts since DJ and Sir Francis already have health insurance from their day jobs while Kevin is already covered as a retiree of the Police Department. Won't save taxpayers that much, but certainly enough to keep the Hartsdale sculpture curator in business and since this is so important to the Town Board who voted last night during the "emergency" to pay her, wouldn't it be a nice gesture if these three said to residents:
"you know this is such an important item, that the three of us are not going to pocket our insurance buyouts; instead we'll donate them to the curator's cost so the taxpayers won't have anything to complain about".

See another joke that you didn't see creeping up on you.

And what I think has really got some of the anonymous posters on this blog laughing all the way to Feiner HQ is the thought that if Bob and I continue to agree on some things, this would be such a humorous idea that Feiner & Company would laugh till tears came. It looks to me that an effort is underway to prevent that from happening and all because Bob innocently mentioned that he finally heard me say something that he could agree with. That really has the Town Board groupies in a state of panic. Fortunately no one has to waste anytime discussing who on the Town Board is the leader and who are the followers. The thing about calling yourself the Feiner team from the start is that no one has any doubts about who calls the shots. Or about which team members will do anything for fear their option won't be picked up next year.

But hey, while I've got your attention, what should I wear on MY sweat shirt? I'm waffling back and forth between: "Just three votes" and "2009 Is the Year". What do you think?

Anonymous said...

What would a Judge do if Bob started yelling at the Judge during court, liked he ranted during last nights Town Bd meeting?
We expect that kind of juvenile behavior from Hal but not from Bob.

Anonymous said...

Greenburgh should build the same ratio of affordable housing than the rest of the bordering towns.
No more no less.
The reason Greenburgh continues to build subsidized housing is simple, Scarsdale doesn't, Elmsford doesn't and more low income workers are need in Scarsdale than in unicorporated Greenburgh to provide service jobs, such as cleaners, cashiers, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hal is being very gracious to the 'legend in his own mind'

Anonymous said...

So Hal it sucks when your attacks go down the toliet. Does your employer pay your benefits when you spend hours during the day on the blog. If you throw enough crap against the wall something may stick. When you met secretly with Brown to stir the pot it back fired. When you make baseless attacks who really listens to you? Bob, Ella , ??? Fustration is the word. You backed Feiner and did not get your way. What do you see in the mirror other than an angry man??? I guess when Morgan does not listen to you, you need to throw stones . Glad to see new blood not tainted by your crap. Must irk you when they do not let you play with their ball. Brings back memories of your school days dosent it.

Anonymous said...

JOKE #3 halllllllllllllllll

Anonymous said...

Feiner got caught in his bait & switch and them proceeds to blog here bashing Bernstein & Samis to distract.

It won't work

a real joke - juettner said...

a real joke - diana the sphinx juettner - 18 years in office and not one accomplishment


when thousands of new yorkers are losing their jobs and health insurance - she gets paid for not using the town's health insurance because she gets it from her employer.

how does she sleep at night? oh she probably doesnt - she sleeps on the job.
three votes that need to be

Anonymous said...

Watching the work budget work-sessions is scary. On numerous occasions, Mike points out the danger of raiding the fund balance and Feiner uses it as an opportunity to say "people are watching this on TV" I don't want then to be upset. There will be no double digit tax increases in 2010"

Feiner excuses away the loss of our bond rating if we raid the fund balance with" it's hard times" like as if he can change the rules to suit his needs.

Mike is 100% correct. We will NEVER be able to restock the fund balance, we will only be looking at a huge tax increase in the very near future because Feiner does not cut non-essentials and only picks scabs off of departments.

TDYCC needs to go! We simply can not afford it and we will go broke playing this game with Feiner over it.

Notice how TDYCC has yet to offer up substantial cuts? Actually, there has been NO CUTS offered up. Paul only refers to how the could possible generate more income (raise camp fees, solicit donations....)

This is Paul's doing. He will let us all go down in flames to not touch a single hair on his baby TDYCC.

We need to demand that the center is closed or taken over by another agency.

We can not afford over 3 million dollars per year to this center!!!

Anonymous said...

Personally, what I find the most offensive is that Paul thinks the Greenburgh citizens are simple minded and treats and talks to us this way.

He makes no sense to me. He can not complete a thought, he can't communicate clearly, he shows a lack of intelligence and takes no responsibility for anything except some nifty fun idea he comes up with.

Success for all starts at the top. You must ask yourselves, what company would ever have this many running their operations?

Damned if I know.

Anonymous said...

We will discuss changing the fee structure so that the fees for both camps are the same or close to the same. The town will continue our policy of offering scholarships to any camper who meets scholarship criteria and is facing financial hardships. No one will be denied camp experiences because of inability to pay.

In other words, we will make it look like we are going to collect more money for this program when in fact, we will give it away.

Anonymous said...

They said they will discuss. Big deal. Will they also discuss why TDYCC counselors get paid more?

Anonymous said...

I am glad that the Town Board & Feiner is going to tackle this. They are addressing the issue by bringing it to our attention. They deserve to be commended.

Anonymous said...

Feiner has been in charge of TDYCC for years. CITIZENS HAVE BEEN COMPLAINING. FEINER DESERVES NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

Was the big guy who prevented Bernstein from coming up to speak the same Town employee who is targetting Fulton Park employees for building code violations in retatliation for opposing Feienr?

Anonymous said...

Please be more specific. Everyone is a big guy next to Bernstein.

Anonymous said...

Typical comment by Paul and the Paullettes. Putting some one down on the basis of height.

Anonymous said...

I assure you that there will be very, very little if no cuts to TDYCC. "Discuss" "Could" "Might"

These are the very passive words used when any discussion out TDYCC cuts happens.
Paul would like us to believe that "if" they bring fees in line to what that SHOULD have been or "if" they reduce salaries that have been OVER PAID, he is cutting the budget. He's not cutting anything. He's just stealing less.

Anonymous said...

MONEY MAGAZINE-Greenburgh #80 best place to live.
STANDARD & POORS--AAA Bond rating for Greenburgh
MOODY'S BOND RATING--Greenburgh "Prudent Fiscal Management"
They are not anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul @ 12:45
Kiss it all goodbye in 2009.

You can't play the shell game any longer.

Happy Holidaze everyone! said...

Over the river & through the garbage
to the house of Feiner we go
The horse knows the way, to carry our say
Into bankruptcy we goooooooo!

Over the river & through the mud
Oh, how the $hit does blow
By this time next year
We’ll be singing good cheer
As the people will say NO!

Open season for lawsuits said...

Can I sue? Can I? OH! OH! Can I?!

Why should Bernstein have all the fun?

Please Paul, tell me, can I sue you too?

Anonymous said...

Correction 10:17, noone prevented Bernstein from speaking. He spoke during the meeting. What you are referring to is the point when the public speaking portion of the meeting had ENDED and the gentlemen properly did not hand the microphone to Bernstein to permit him to continue to interrrupt, even though he had rushed up to the dais (with Samis) in an effort to interfere.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Let's be clear about this Bernstein business.

What he did was unlawful, right?

NO!

What the board did was unlawful, right?

YES!

So let's keep talking about Bernstein to divert conversation from CRIMINAL ACTS, right?

Yep yep.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein did not break any laws. He did a Samis and acted like a jerk when he tried to disrupt the Town Board meeting. He lost the respect of many people.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul @ 3:31,

And you won the respect of the Greenburghpopulation that night?

Anonymous said...

GO AHEAD! SUE ME! SUE ME!!!

lol

Anonymous said...

Well, he only lost the respect of those who had repected him in the past. No one accused Bernstein of committing a "criminal" act 2:17, so it is funny that you should raise that now. By the way, no matter how many times you repeat the mantra, the Town Board did not commit a criminal act. Moreover, just because YOU and Bob repeatedly claim that the change was "substantial" doesn't make it so. Bob has been terribly wrong about the law before.

Anonymous said...

MONEY MAGAZINE-Greenburgh #80 best place to live. Yeah, but Money magazine had Greenburgh in the wrong category and also didn't do reasonable "due diligence", like confirming the local real sales tax.

STANDARD & POORS--AAA Bond rating for Greenburgh. - Read the whole report. They gave that rating on the basis of a fiscal policy statement that said that the Town wouldn't use fund balances to balance its operating budget. What has this Board done? Violated it twice in a row. On the plus side for this rating, read the comment that they included about the "new" Comptroller. A real pro and they recognized that.


MOODY'S BOND RATING--Greenburgh "Prudent Fiscal Management" - See above re Standard & Poor's

Anonymous said...

He has not lost my respect but YOU only try to divert away from the real issue.

NO CAN DO.

Anonymous said...

Oh good grief! This is most laughable.
This is yesterdays news. Toay's news is not so flatering.

Moody, Standard, Poor & Money Mag don't live here. They can't vote for you.

Feiner, Council Lied said...

Changing the definition of workforce housing from requiring at least 80% of a building have tenants earning between 60% and 120% to the average median income in Westchester County to allowing a minimum income for the entire building of only 30% of the average median income means that the project no longer qualifies as workforce housing as that term has been defined by the Urban Land Institute. The change the town board made was obviously substantial because the project was always marketed by Feiner and Westhab as "workforce housing." Even Sheehan, who apparently drafted the original proposed definition (and took it from the Urban Land Institute), told Feiner at the work session on December 9 that the change would be substantial. Feiner said he didn't care. The board was either "going to vote for affordable housing or it wasn't." It turns out this was never about workforce housing at all, but something very different. Feiner got caught lying about the project and the people of unincorporated Greenburgh got yet another lesson in why Feiner doesn't belong in public service. The sad part is that people who should know better like Sheehan, or even Morgan who assured voters that he was his own man, went along with what Feiner insisted they do. Now no neighborhood in unincorporated Greenburgh can be certain that these bozos will tell the truth much less comply with the law.

ed krauss said...

To all of you who justify what the Town Board did at the last board meeting by shifting the blame to the residents,"because they disrespected the board;" "acted unprofessionally;" 'acted boorishly;" " yelled, cursed, etc.

How about the Board who acted ILLEGALLY, DISRESPECTED THE TAXPAYERS, ACTED UNPROFESSIONALLY, and yes, YELLED?

(How about Feiner inviting Bernstein to sue, the same word that got us into Bernstein's Article 78? Again, Feiner's uncontrolled mouth got us into that mess; the Fortress Bible mess; and I predict the forthcoming Fulton Park mess. The child/man really doesn't learn.)

There is no rationale for what the board did to the Fulton Park residents, and by extension the rest of the Town... no matter what they say. Who in Hades can believe anything they say anyway?

To get respect, you must show respect.

To 12/20 12:17 AM. The "big man" preventing Bernstein from the mike, which he had no right to do, was the guy who LIED about the geothermalwells on the library site plan.

He, as well as, the rest of them "are just following orders," or anticipating what will make "Kaiser Feiner gemutlicht (happy.)

Anonymous said...

Kolesar at 3:48 pm: The Town of Greenburgh used fund balance before you got here and they continued to use fund balance after you got here. A "real pro" that can't control the Town's budget any better than the previous comptrollers could.S & P/Moody's will likely conclude one "pro" doesn't make a difference, ergo, downgrade.

Anonymous said...

This year the three budget hearings the Town Board held were lightly attended. Only a handful of people spoke. For good reason: The budget, as proposed and adopted, is a fiscally responsible budget. There are some cuts, reduction in personnel without layoffs and a tax increase that compares favorably with many surrounding jurisdictions. I am proud of our town government.

Anonymous said...

Dont be afraid to mention the guys nme that prevented Bernstein to speak at the podium was none other than Tom Madden.

By the way he was the first to yell for the chief for assistance.

What a whimp.

Anonymous said...

Paul stop lying there are no fees paid at the center.

As for the parks dept. the amount of paid customers is less than one third.

So the camps are a freebee .
We the taxpayers pay with our taxes.
Why can't you tell the truth as to where and how our dollars are spent.

You have taken advantage of us for too long now it's pay back time.
How many groups are banning together to get you and the rest of the board out of office.
You will be on line some where looking for a job.

Anonymous said...

Camp fees the biggest joke in Greenburgh.

The camp at the center is free.
The other camp has few paid campers.

What ever fees you say that you charge will not help the taxpayers.
We have been raped year in and year out for the campers.
The rec.dept spent last year $10,000.00 for just one trip.
Did they receive money from the campers to cover this NO.

Paul stop the bull you can't fool us anymore.

Anonymous said...

There are 90,000 people who live in our town. How many people were critical of the 2009 budget and spoke out at the hearing? Six or Seven?
Need I say more. Most of us are pleased with the town administration.

Anonymous said...

10:01: How many people in Greenburgh pay attention to the Board on a weekly, let alone monthly , basis to know that there have been budget hearings, or even what the proposed increase is? 9 or 10? Its' not a topic of conversation on the train. Whenever I speak with my young neighbors, none have any idea what's going on in local government, most only have a vague idea of what Feiner's job is: they are all too busy working long hours in the city and raising families. The dirty secret of suburban govt is that "while the cat's away, the mice will play." While the people with professional careers are busy in the city, our mediocrities have free reign. So if 6 or 7 people - probably 70% of the residents who actually monitor the situation - are riled enough to object at Board meetings, I'm impressed (and I've never attended a board meeting - i prefer to spend the time with my young children, but i do vote).

Many opposed the budget said...

The Edgemont Community Council, which represents 8000 residents of Edgemont, held a meeting with the town board in early November to discuss the budget where more than 80 residents turned to protest cuts in essential services, like police, sanitation, snow removal and leaf pickup, while the board hadn't first cut a number of non-essential services. When by early December the town board hadn't responded with any changes, the ECC passed a resolution objecting to the budget, which was read at a town board meeting. Its president also spoke out against the budget at several of the hearings. The Edgemont Association, one of the civic groups under the ECC umbrella, representing about 200 homes, prepared its own letter objecting to the budget, which was also read at the hearing. The Council of Greenburgh Civic Associations also had representatives speaking out against the budget.

Not one single person at any of the budget hearings spoke out in favor of the budget. The town board also made clear it wasn't interested in what the public had to say, regardless of how it felt. Budget hearings were put off until after 10 pm, residents were never given updates on the budget, and residents who wanted to comment in late December were given the same budget information that was distributed in late October.

Anonymous said...

"MONEY MAGAZINE-Greenburgh #80 best place to live." That was rescinded/corrected shortly after the mistaken designation. Weird that the town still promotes it.

Anonymous said...

The Board allows minimal resident input. At the meeting held in Edgemont, open to all and attended by people from Hartsale and Dobbs Ferry, along with others, there was universal displeasure with the budget. That meeting did allow residents to speak. The only one in favor was a person on Xposures payroll.

MONEY MAG WEBSITE STILL LISTS GREENBURGH AS THE BEST said...

Dear 12/21: You claim that MONEY MAGAZINE rescinded Greenburgh's honor of being named one of the top places in the United States to live. I checked the MONEY Magazine website today and Greenburgh is still listed as number 80. This is what I found:
Top 100
Rank City Population
71 Clarkstown 82,600
59 Clay 58,800
80 Greenburgh 89,000
46 North Hempstead 222,600
Other cities

Tax payers be informed said...

Budge lines for TDYCC are deceptive. You must add in the $744,888 (Fairview Greenburgh pool) to the Centers budget- $3,066.600

2008 Grand total-$ 3,811,488

Budgets for ALL other parks and recreation COMBINED (AFV, Hartsbrook, Rumbrook, Taxter, Webb/Presser, Nature Center...)

Grand total- $2,621.871

Am I the only one who sees something very, very wrong here?

There have been NO CUTS to the TDYCC yet. We need to demand a minimum 40% cut or close it down. We can not afford this and it is unnecessary, totally outrageous and must come to an end.

Educate your neighbors and encourage them to look at the budget for 2008 and keep abreast of the proposed FAUX cuts.

Anonymous said...

The Town Comptroller Mike Kolesar was asked at a work session of the Town Board if the TDYCC made cuts. He confirmed that over 7% (think it was closer to 8%) was cut. You are wrong.

Anonymous said...

not only is tdycc budget bigger than parks and rec. It is in one location. Parks and rec maintains many locations, has way more pools, has great staff, and seems to be fiscally managed way better than the tdycc.

Anonymous said...

Mike did not say there were cuts. He said it was difficult to determine becuase of changes in presentation (another town game).

no secret said...

No cuts presented. Only suggestion to increase fees (then give programs away, blah, blah)

The 3,811,488 show by the above blogger DOES NOT include other expenses that were added throughout the year, Xposure to name one.

7, 8, 10, 20, 25 % decrease in this budget would never be enough.. We simply can not afford this kind of money, frivolously spent. PERIOD.

TDYCC needs to be exposed for what it really is and what it really is costing the tax payers.

Paul does not want us to know!

BE INFORMED!

Anonymous said...

No services or outreach programs for the children who do not live in Fairview. NONE!

Paul is quick to say TDYCC is open to all but there is nothing there for all.

NO OUTREACH TO ANY OTHER CHILD IN GREENBURGH.

He assumes that if you're white you have no social issues, drug problems, financial problems, eating disorders or any needs at all!

He axed the only drug program that was offered to all children & refuses to replace it was any other program.

No teen center, no nothing.

He can't say it's available at TDYCC. TDYCC is NOT EVERYONES NEIGHBORHOOD!

He does everything possible to NOT REACH OUT TO FAMILIES AND CHILDREN WHO DO NOT LIVE IN FAIRVIEW!

Hell, not one little slip of paper hits a desk at any private school in Hartsdale announcing a program for their students.

Scarsdale encourages all students attending any school in Scarsdale to participate in all programs offered by the village, whether you live in Scarsdale or not. They invite them by way of reaching out!!

$3, 811,488 and not one thin dime is spent on the approximately 1100 children who live in and/or attend private school in Unincorporated Greenburgh outside of Fairview!

Anonymous said...

Start checking how long Feiner has been in office and you will see what way and how the tax dollars were spent.
The money went into peoples pockets and Feiner did nothing.
Everyone had their fingers in the pot at both centers.

Money and food went missing and Feiner kept his big mouth shut.

He knows dam well that both centers cannot be subsidized anymore but since he needs the votes he will still rob us all deaf dumb and blind.

The centers have no budgets or cuts because they make sure that they receive all the money that they demand and this supervisors grants them what they request.

It's time to start campaigning to get him out.
There has to be someone that could very well represent us to bring back an honest government.

He is nothing but a racist. He should resign for all the damage that he has done to this one time great town .

Anonymous said...

According to our supervisor the only poor people are in the Fairview section.

Anonymous said...

I will concur with 10:27 and add that if your teen wants to work as a counselor at AFV camp it's virtually impossible. Jobs are offered to Fairview first.

Anonymous said...

11:05,

And they get paid more than equivalent camps.

If they wont play fair -- SHUT EM DOWN.

Anonymous said...

Be serious. Does anyone think our politicians have the courage to take on the patronage fiefdom that has become institutionalized in the TDYCC? Do any of them want to face angry residents who will be mobilized to appear en masse at board meetings to protest threatened program cuts? Feiner and friends know full well that the reaction engendered from touching this sacrosanct "community resource" will eclipse the rantings they face at meetings from Bernstein and Samis. Look at the abuse showered on the few GC residents who tried to take on the GC establishment and re-localize elementary schools a few years ago. This is Feiner's nightmare - he will never go near this radioactive subject in any substantive way. Who can blame him?

Time for major changes said...

Feiner and the town council will never take on TDYCC spending, that's true. But if Bernstein wins at the Court of Appeals, then he's all but certain to get a court order requiring all TDYCC expenses to be paid for by the entire town, including villages. Will the rest of unincorporated, plus the villages, continue to stand for the abuses at TDYCC if we all have to pay? I doubt it.

If Bernstein loses, and unincorporated must continue to foot the bill for TDYCC, look for Edgemont's incorporation effort to start up again. Not for TDYCC abuses necessarily, but for all the other grievances that Edgemont says it has with the town. Once Edgemont withdraws its tax dollars from TDYCC, who else will pay?

Yup, that means the rest of us in unincorporated will pay. Unincorporated needs to work together with Edgemont, the villages, law enforcement, the attorney general, the state comptroller's office, the Justice Department and anyone else who will help us stop what we can't seem to get town government to stop. We need to get rid of Feiner, to be sure, and the town council members who vote with him (Sheehan and Juettner this coming year), but we also need to find candidates who will give us real change and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Anonymous said...

Memo to Bernstein: How come residents of Edgemont pay as much for fire district services as they do for town services (garbage, police, recreation, water, snow removal, pools, and much more). Aren't Greenburgh taxpayers getting value for their dollar? The fire districts offer residents one service: fire protection. The town offers a host of many services. It costs taxpayers about the same.

Town up 7.8%; E'mont fire up 2.9% said...

Memo to Feiner et al: Edgemont residents do NOT pay as much for fire protection as they do for town services. The fire protection budget is around $6 million. Edgemont's 22% contribution to unincorporated Greenburgh's $48 million tax bill for next year is nearly $10.5 million. On an average assessment of $30,000, Edgemont residents pay around $1,500 more per year for town services than they do for fire services. Town taxes account for around 17% of Edgemont's tax bill; fire services account for around 11% of the Edgemont tax bill.

Edgemont's fire protection is provided by the Greenville Fire District It has an annual budget of around $6 million. Unlike the Town, Greenville runs a balanced budget. Its budget (and tax increase) for 2009 will increase by only 2.9%. By contrast, the Town's tax increase for 2009 will go up 7.8%, but without the $5.1 million subsidy from the fund balance, the actual increase in taxs would ahve been around 14%. The town comptroller is already on record that for 2010, assuming only a modest 3% increase in spending (like Greenville FD had this year) unincorporated Greenburgh's town tax hike will be at least 11%!

The Town obviously does not have its fiscal house in order. And the more Edgemont taxpayers are being asked to pay for town services, the more they will ask whether they can get better value for their tax dollar if, like they do with their school and fire districts, they were managing the taxing and spending for municipal services themselves.

That doesn't mean that Edgemont has to replicate town services. It means that Edgemont, may want to take the millions of dollars it gives to Greenburgh annually and instead use it to purchase more and better municipal services from elsewhere, led by an Edgemont elected government that, unlike Greenburgh's government, knows how to manage money and be responsive to its constituents.

Anonymous said...

This is Feiner's nightmare - he will never go near this radioactive subject in any substantive way. Who can blame him?

He goes near it alright. He keeps funneling more & more money to the center every year. He's not afraid of Fairview. He agrees with them that they should have the very best and that the rest of us should pay for it.


We can not be bullied by one community. We can not afford over 3 million dollars each year for the center. Substantial cuts must be made or more & more people will call for its closing.

Anonymous said...

the only people who want TDYCC closed are people whose names are anonymous. Profiles in courage!

Anonymous said...

I like to live the way that I have been doing for years.

Feiner is a very vindictive man who will stop at nothing to get even..

He's got a lot of growing up to do .

ed krauss said...

12/21, 5;43PM
You say "the only people who want TDYCC closed are anonymous. Profiles in courage."

You're anonymous.

Am I wrong, but you must want TDYCC to remain open, yet you're anonymous.

Does that mean, people who want TDYCC to remain open-like you, are anonymous too?

That's a hell of a conundrum.

Who's left.

We have the "CLOSED" spoken for...by YOU. And we have the "OPEN" spoken for by you.

Are you a Profile in Courage, or just another "person" who wants to protect his/her privacy?

Anonymous said...

The people who want to close the TDYCC are very vindictive and will stop at nothing.
Protect my privacy!

Anonymous said...

The Town Board appointed the right guy, Bill Carter, as commissioner of the TDYCC. He will make us proud.

Anonymous said...

Blah, Blah, Blah whine baby whine. Sorry Hal, Bob , Ella you did not get your way again so now the TDYCC is on your sights. You all and Eddy are pathetic. Go to Fairview and call them Ghetto's call them tax waste, call them a misuse of tax dollars, Gutless at best. Bob show the town where you get all these FREE services from the Y. Get rid of your paid fire service and save the equivalent to the county or town tax, look it up. Bob you are the only one who wants to be a village, we all hate your here you COST us tax money. So on to the next fight you will lose. Happy holidays

Anonymous said...

Typical Feiner garbage - blame the messenger AND make vicious personal attacks.
When Mr Feiner chooses to govern in accordance with the law, Bernstein, Preiser, Krauss, O'Shea, and the host of other courageous people will have achieved what they seek.
Until that time, Mr Feiner will have to face criticism from those who believe he is human and makes mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein has spoken and written frequently on the subject of the TDYCC. He says TDYCC does a great job of providing social services to residents of the town in need, but the cost of providing those services, which are available to everyone in town, should be paid for by the entire town, including the villages, since residents in need in the villages can take advantage of those services too. That said, unlike Feiner and the rest of the town board, Bernstein opposes duplicative and racially segregated camps, recreational programs and transportation services run by Parks and Rec and Community Resources, each with its own separate set of commissioners. In addition, unlike Feiner and the rest of the town board, Bernstein opposes the Xposure after school program. He says such programs are school programs that shouldn't be paid for by the town at all, but by the school districts, and that such programs are offered tax free to area schools by the YMCA of White Plains, which will come to the school, charge the parents for the services, and offer financial aid to anyone who needs it.

hal samis said...

Sorry but I feel left out in the cold since this topic has become all TDYCC. This is an issue that I just haven't gotten around to yet other than the Xposure funding and the Whitehall fumble.

Of course the budget adoption is by now old news and the Town Board's costly dodge of using Fund Balance under a state of emergency resolution is just so typical of how they avoid dealing with problems. Essential vs. Non-essentials in an emergency and of course the arts consultant, the nutrition program for non-residents, the private tennis lessons, the town clerk stipends, the energy czarinas, the Xposure program, the Hartsdale sculpture curator, the cars taken home overnight, the SWAT, EMS, Navy, etc. survive while the threat is aimed at the essential services.
Who benefits from another $100,000 in police overtime -- is it to be disbursed solely for increased patrol officers or does it join the pool of funds that can be used for SWAT and EMS also?

How much do departments cost taxpayers? Since the Town CHOOSES (not by law) to separate the capital budget and discuss it in the Spring, the cost of trucks, cars, equipment for individual departments is never discussed as the TOTAL departmental expense. Add the two together and you will get a true picture of what the DPW, Parks and Police really cost taxpayers.

But my interest here is the short, last paragraph of Feiner's topic:
the throwaway item regarding the WESTHAB zoning change. The Journal News did its usual lackluster reporting but they do have their own blog at lohud.com (lower hudson) where you can access the story be going to the lower portion of the homepage and using the drop-down menu for Westchester and then selecting Greenburgh and their stories (by headline) in reverse chronological order will appear. Click on the story and the blog comments will appear.

The following is my blog entry regarding the Journal News story on the WESTHAB vote.

"Once again Mr. Sheehan has lied in print ("this was a good compromise") knowing that (1) most of those who read this newspaper do not venture further than the printed story (2) that the reporter could be misled and (3) that the next Town Board meeting to set the record through public comment (albeit after the law was passed) straight is about a month off.

Compromise is a tricky word and is often used by very tricky people. Know that the word can be used to describe the process whereby opposing forces meet, assumed to be at or near the middle AND it can used to describe the process whereby those effecting them lose touch with a recognized system of values as in "compromising themselves". The Developer purchased this tiny sliver of land paying far above the value of the property were it to be developed solely within the as-of-right zoning limititations existing at the time. Generally a developer needing a variance will pay top dollar when he has a purchase contract subject to his obtaining the needed variance. In this case, the purchase contract had no such "buyer's out" and the developer "took a chance", paid the $2 million and closed. Such an unusual circumstance would be understandable if the buyer had some foreknowledge being confident that he would be granted (aka "in the bag") such a variance. As it turns out, this was the case with the Town Supervisor and his robot Board going against the ruling of the County and the Town's Planning Board. Undeterred by these bit players, the Town Board fought against the Fulton Park neighborhood and fought against sympathetic Greenburgh residents who saw that changing the zoning law for this parcel meant changing the zoning law for all parcels townwide located in the same zone. Open about their intentions from the start, the Town Board made no bones that they were going to ignore the residents who lived nearby and instead vote for the benefit of the Developer.

So when the word "compromise" is used, readers should understand that if the Developer asked for more buildable footage than was allowed (be it reasonable or outrageous), anything less than his original request would qualify per Sheehan to be called a compromise under one use of the word. Ask for the stars and settle for the moon. Big deal. That the Developer asked to build 43 units and settled for 28 in no way addresses the circumstances of a parcel that the existing zoning allowed about 17. Either 43 units or 28 units -- both are more than the then existing code allowed so calling the 28 units a compromise is disingenuous to say the least. As for height, the height is the function of what was necessary to build 43 units on the parcel and three floors is the height necessary to build 28, both assumptions based upon the building's footprint. We are not talking about any kindness on the part of the developer.

Now, another bit of nonsense is the controversy over work-force housing and affordable housing with a little bit of homeless fears thrown in for good measure. The tenancy of the development does not define the zoning decision. An apartment is an apartment, a square foot is a square foot and the number of floors is the number of floors. All of this was blowing smoke to hide the zealousness of the Town Board to tolerate making a mockery of the Town's existing zoning code, its forthcoming Comprehensive Plan and the Board's need to save the Town Supervisor from his secret promise made to the Developer. It was this "deal" that gave the Developer the assurances to proceed with an otherwise uneconomic land purchase.

But now we have something called work-force housing to be built and based upon income levels set by the County for a family of FOUR. Anyone on the Town Board troubled about the apartment layouts of this 28 unit development? Anyone on the Town Board troubled about 12 studios, 13 one bedroom units and just 3 (THREE) two bedroom units? And these are under-sized units in square footage as well. Playing the game of using a family of four to define the occupancy is another compromise, not one of real estate but of whatever integrity the Feiner team might have had.

It certainly doesn't speak well of the Developer to have on the "record" that he has compromised truth as well. What his intentions, to the Town (per formal application) and the Fulton Park neighborhood were, depart sharply from what his intentions were (per formal application) when applying for financing. And, on the "record" is not something that should be glossed over lightly either. The "record" in this case is the REQUIRED Public Hearing which was CLOSED some weeks before the December 10 vote. Not shown on the evening's Agenda to be known by residents in advance as a public discussion, but happening because the Town Board wanted to perform their dirty work with the cooperation of the Journal News reporter who could be led to believe Mr. Sheehan when he told her that "all parties had an opportunity to express their concerns at the meeting." The reporter, Stacy Anderson, has been on the Greenburgh beat for almost a year now and still hasn't learned who Mr. Sheehan really is. In this case, what Mr. Sheehan neglected to say was that anything said at the meeting was not on the record, the hearing having already being closed. So, big deal about allowing the easy questions from the Town Board to the Developer who came prepared to answer . However, the Devloper had to scramble for answers when the gates grudgingly were opened to allow the public to ask questions. At some cost too, now the Fulton Park residents would have to remove "you won't answer our questions" from their appearances in Town Hall.
So, perhaps allowing the public to ask after the Town Board had already made its mind up is another of Mr. Shehan's "compromises" this time to openess. But what you think you see is not what you get when Mr.Sheehan is dealing the cards. It gets better.

The Town Board and the Developer knew something the public didn't know. That one of the Resolutions to be voted upon that night was different from the Resolution that existed for the purpose of public comment during the Public Hearing when it was still open. Thus, the "switch" (discovered by purposeful accident by Edgemont resident, Bob Bernstein) further increased the rights of the Developer to rent his units to those who may not be part of the original limitations of workforce as defined in the public documents. The Town Board went ahead and voted for this Resolution over the objections of the last-to-know public in attendance. Here we have evidence of another "compromise" by the Town Board; this time they compromised the statuatory requirements having to do with the process of changing Town code.

So, whereas "compromise" oftentimes denotes events leading to a generally positive outcome; whereas "compromise" generally results in opposing sides yielding to an acceptable midground conclusion, however grudgingly; what happened December 10 in no way fits this description. This was a dispute between informed residents of Greenburgh (including those who know that more than just this parcel is at stake) and the neighborhood civic association together vs. the Developer with the Town Board in his hand. With the vote(s) concluded, we only find the Developer and his Town Board happy. Trying to defuse the bitter aftertaste, Mr. Sheehan is peddling to readers and residents his notion that the Town Board has achieved a compromise. Readers knowing only from the story and this post will have to come to their own conclusion; Fulton Park residents already know the glum truth.
Hal Samis
12/21/2008 2:44:23 PM Once again Mr. Sheehan has lied in print ("this was a good compromise") knowing that (1) most of those who read this newspaper do not venture further than the printed story (2) that the reporter could be misled and (3) that the next Town Board meeting to set the record through public comment (albeit after the law was passed) straight is about a month off.

Compromise is a tricky word and is often used by very tricky people. Know that the word can be used to describe the process whereby opposing forces meet, assumed to be at or near the middle AND it can used to describe the process whereby those effecting them lose touch with a recognized system of values as in "compromising themselves". The Developer purchased this tiny sliver of land paying far above the value of the property were it to be developed solely within the as-of-right zoning limititations existing at the time. Generally a developer needing a variance will pay top dollar when he has a purchase contract subject to his obtaining the needed variance. In this case, the purchase contract had no such "buyer's out" and the developer "took a chance", paid the $2 million and closed. Such an unusual circumstance would be understandable if the buyer had some foreknowledge being confident that he would be granted (aka "in the bag") such a variance. As it turns out, this was the case with the Town Supervisor and his robot Board going against the ruling of the County and the Town's Planning Board. Undeterred by these bit players, the Town Board fought against the Fulton Park neighborhood and fought against sympathetic Greenburgh residents who saw that changing the zoning law for this parcel meant changing the zoning law for all parcels townwide located in the same zone. Open about their intentions from the start, the Town Board made no bones that they were going to ignore the residents who lived nearby and instead vote for the benefit of the Developer.

So when the word "compromise" is used, readers should understand that if the Developer asked for more buildable footage than was allowed (be it reasonable or outrageous), anything less than his original request would qualify per Sheehan to be called a compromise under one use of the word. Ask for the stars and settle for the moon. Big deal. That the Developer asked to build 43 units and settled for 28 in no way addresses the circumstances of a parcel that the existing zoning allowed about 17. Either 43 units or 28 units -- both are more than the then existing code allowed so calling the 28 units a compromise is disingenuous to say the least. As for height, the height is the function of what was necessary to build 43 units on the parcel and three floors is the height necessary to build 28, both assumptions based upon the building's footprint. We are not talking about any kindness on the part of the developer.

Now, another bit of nonsense is the controversy over work-force housing and affordable housing with a little bit of homeless fears thrown in for good measure. The tenancy of the development does not define the zoning decision. An apartment is an apartment, a square foot is a square foot and the number of floors is the number of floors. All of this was blowing smoke to hide the zealousness of the Town Board to tolerate making a mockery of the Town's existing zoning code, its forthcoming Comprehensive Plan and the Board's need to save the Town Supervisor from his secret promise made to the Developer. It was this "deal" that gave the Developer the assurances to proceed with an otherwise uneconomic land purchase.

But now we have something called work-force housing to be built and based upon income levels set by the County for a family of FOUR. Anyone on the Town Board troubled about the apartment layouts of this 28 unit development? Anyone on the Town Board troubled about 12 studios, 13 one bedroom units and just 3 (THREE) two bedroom units? And these are under-sized units in square footage as well. Playing the game of using a family of four to define the occupancy is another compromise, not one of real estate but of whatever integrity the Feiner team might have had.

It certainly doesn't speak well of the Developer to have on the "record" that he has compromised truth as well. What his intentions, to the Town (per formal application) and the Fulton Park neighborhood were, depart sharply from what his intentions were (per formal application) when applying for financing. And, on the "record" is not something that should be glossed over lightly either. The "record" in this case is the REQUIRED Public Hearing which was CLOSED some weeks before the December 10 vote. Not shown on the evening's Agenda to be known by residents in advance as a public discussion, but happening because the Town Board wanted to perform their dirty work with the cooperation of the Journal News reporter who could be led to believe Mr. Sheehan when he told her that "all parties had an opportunity to express their concerns at the meeting." The reporter, Stacy Anderson, has been on the Greenburgh beat for almost a year now and still hasn't learned who Mr. Sheehan really is. In this case, what Mr. Sheehan neglected to say was that anything said at the meeting was not on the record, the hearing having already being closed. So, big deal about allowing the easy questions from the Town Board to the Developer who came prepared to answer . However, the Devloper had to scramble for answers when the gates grudgingly were opened to allow the public to ask questions. At some cost too, now the Fulton Park residents would have to remove "you won't answer our questions" from their appearances in Town Hall.
So, perhaps allowing the public to ask after the Town Board had already made its mind up is another of Mr. Shehan's "compromises" this time to openess. But what you think you see is not what you get when Mr.Sheehan is dealing the cards. It gets better.

The Town Board and the Developer knew something the public didn't know. That one of the Resolutions to be voted upon that night was different from the Resolution that existed for the purpose of public comment during the Public Hearing when it was still open. Thus, the "switch" (discovered by purposeful accident by Edgemont resident, Bob Bernstein) further increased the rights of the Developer to rent his units to those who may not be part of the original limitations of workforce as defined in the public documents. The Town Board went ahead and voted for this Resolution over the objections of the last-to-know public in attendance. Here we have evidence of another "compromise" by the Town Board; this time they compromised the statuatory requirements having to do with the process of changing Town code.

So, whereas "compromise" oftentimes denotes events leading to a generally positive outcome; whereas "compromise" generally results in opposing sides yielding to an acceptable midground conclusion, however grudgingly; what happened December 10 in no way fits this description. This was a dispute between informed residents of Greenburgh (including those who know that more than just this parcel is at stake) and the neighborhood civic association together vs. the Developer with the Town Board in his hand. With the vote(s) concluded, we only find the Developer and his Town Board happy. Trying to defuse the bitter aftertaste, Mr. Sheehan is peddling to readers and residents his notion that the Town Board has achieved a compromise. Readers knowing only from the story and this post will have to come to their own conclusion; Fulton Park residents already know the glum truth."

Anonymous said...

sO WHY DID BERNSTIEN NOT LET THE TOWN KNOW ABOUT THE Y SERVICES. YOU KNOW WHY BECAUSE HE WANTED TO KEEP IT TO EDGEMONT. NOT MOTIVATED BY RACE YEAH RIGHT.

Anonymous said...

Hal you are nuts. The rambling of a mad man. So you tipped your hand the next attack is the TYDCC lets see how big your balls will be when you attack them. Maybe Anderson from the journal news is being unbiased and fair in her articles and tells it as she sees it not how you or others want it. Get a life. Ho Ho Ho bah humbug

Anonymous said...

dear 11:19
You make no sense. Everyone knows about the services at the Y. Go look at their website.
Why would you think it's Bernstein's job to inform you about it?

Anonymous said...

Hal your diartibe's are long and physcotic. You must have a lot of free time at work to write. Business must be slow.

change needed said...

I agree with Bernstein’s assessment of TDYCC.

Since currently, it is only paid for by Unincorporated Greenburgh, we must look at it as we do any budget line.

Personally, I would not like to see the center closed but it is in much need of a complete overhaul in both how it handles its programs, its staff, and its budget.

We simply can not afford it to be run as it does now. Also, it must change its character and reflect the current climate and not be run as a charitable organization for those who do not require charity.

If it doesn't, or if in the future the law dictates that the villages must pay for it, it will surly be the demise of the center.

Why can't those who support the center recognize this? It is the pure stubbornness of Paul & those involved in the center that will ultimately cause its downfall.

The supporters of the center need stop the nonsense and duplication of services, reevaluate center business and formulate a new plan that includes services that appeal to all.

Anonymous said...

They have to stop taking from the pot.

I for one do not want to contribute to something that is handeled the way it has been running since el capitan Feiner came into office.

He has allowed them to mishandle funds from the begining.
We dont udse it we dont want it.

Anonymous said...

What's this nonsense about Bernstein never telling the town board about the Y's after school program that school districts can get for free, with a monthly charge to parents and financial aid for those who need it? How many times do he and others have to tell the town? It was discussed at length at the November 3 meeting of the ECC, which all town board members attended, at several town board meetings after that, in letters to the editor of the Journal News and in several articles and an opinion piece in the Scarsdale Inquirer.

There was no opportunity for the public to debate the Xposure contract because when it was proposed and entered into, the town board that night did not allow public comment - probably for good reason, as the public was just beginning to learn what a scam Xposure really is.

Anonymous said...

The YMCA does not turn down any child for any program (including sleep away camp) who can not afford to pay.

the problem is that financials must be disclosed (unlike at TDYCC) before assistance is rendered.

I support the Y and donate to them every year. I do not want to be forced to "donate" my money to those who do not need it.

Our fund balance (rainy day money) is going to be raided to support those who use the center for services that can be obtained outside.

This is WRONG.

Demand that the budget for TDYCC be dramatically reduced and that the "needy" get the services.

hal samis said...

Dear 11:27,

Business IS slow, particularly at year end and especially this year.
Are you writing because you are concerned or you don't like what I write.

But, in any case, I posted the "long diatribe" on Saturday afternoon. Does that make my comments more or less valid?

Deep cuts to TDYCC NOW said...

Raiding the fund balance to keep TYDCC operating at this level would be akin to my cashing in an IRA to take a 10 day, top shelf, vacation at Disney.

Dumb, irresponsible, selfish, not fiscally prudent, it will cost me dearly in the near future.

we are on to you said...

feiner, sandborn and miller (and juettner and sheehan) should be sentenced to living with level one sex offenders.

wake up town board and westhab - the whole town is watching what you are trying to do to fulton park.


you cannot fool all the people all the time. your political days are numbered.

Anonymous said...

A Level 1 offender means that the court has determined that there is a low risk to commit another sex crime.

For all you know, one lives next door to you now.

Anonymous said...

Westhab won't offer apartments to level one sex offenders if they can legally do so. Watch the Town Board meeting. They said so publicly and the Town Board memorialized this agreement in a resolution senet to the Planning Board.

Anonymous said...

But that is a non-answer answer. The chances are that if the state gives funding, they will require them to allow level 1 sex offenders. That is why the phrase "if they can legally do so" means nothing.

Anonymous said...

The Y does not offer financial assistance. The county DSS offers financial assistance for after school programs.

how to stop westhab said...

often a level one sex offender is a level two - or worse

it all depends on who the district attorney can get to testify

fulton park residents exposed westhab and miller and sanborn for the fakes they are

now - tell us how to stop their funding - who at dhcr or in business do we contact?

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:37,
Lifted from the Greater NY Y website:
Financial Assistance
Through the generosity of YMCA contributors, our goal is to have sufficient funds to ensure our YMCA remains available to all. Thanks to our generous donors to our annual Strong Kids Campaign, we are able to make the YMCA accessible through our Financial Assistance Program. These gifts provide scholarships for individuals and families who want and need YMCA programs but cannot afford them.

Raising camp fees another Feiner gimmick said...

Just saw the town's work session on raising camp fees. It seems Feiner isn't serious about raising the fees at all. He just wants to issue a press release in early January announcing that he's doing it because it will "look like I'm being proactive." But TDYCC doesn't want to increase fees unless everyone gets scholarships because it will drive away campers and leave them with nothing to do all summer, and no reason for TDYCC to hire anyone either, and Parks and Rec is only willing to increase fees on non-residents because Parks and Rec doesn't expect it will have any non-residents this summer.

So the whole "let's show we're serious about our budget problems by raising camp fees" was nothing more than another Feiner PR gimmick.

Oddly enough, there was someone missing from the whole charade, and that was the town comptroller. One would think that if anyone knows what the true costs of Greenburgh camps are to the taxpayers, he would know. But he doesn't even seem to have been in the room.

Guess that shows that a farce this raising camp fees nonsense truly is.

Doesn't it bother anybody that Greenburgh runs two sets of camps, one by Parks and Rec and one by TDYCC, each with its own commissioners? Seems no one at the town board level is willing to take on that much more fundamental waste of taxpayer money.

BOLOGNA said...

Dear mislead 6:01,

1)Feiner doesn't want to raise the camp fees for budget reasons, he wanted to bring the TDYCC camp fees in line with Parks & Rec.
2) Park & rec camp fees reflect the true cost of running the camp program there. Everyone pays for it. There is no transportation provided unless you pay a few hundred extra AND the counselors make make chicken feed.
3) TDYCC camp fees are substantially less but who cares, no one pays for it. Transportation is provides for all. No charge! Counselors make far more than those at Parks & rec.
4) IMPORTANT! Pay close attention:
Feiner is pretending to make it look like he is killing 2 birds with one stone while still giving the shop away. He wants it to LOOK LIKE he's being fair by bring TYDYY fees in line with what the rest of us pay for camp while making it LOOK LIKE he's helping with the budget.

He does neither as no matter how high they raise camp fees for TDYCC, camp will be free AND TDYCC has yet to make one single cut to its nearly 4 million dollar budget.

Feiner fools no one.
One big insulting FARCE.

Oscar Meyer said...

Pardon me. That would be "Dear Misled @ 6:01"

Anonymous said...

The center belongs to the Fairview community.

Over and over again the new commissioner referred to the center as being Fairview center,
he repeated it a few times.
Sonya and the one town clerk that should keep her mouth shut were only interesrted in the children from Fairview.

Why should the residents pay for this center when it belongs to the Fairview community ,used by the Fairview community who receive the camp program for free at taxpayers expense.

Feiner kept talking about scholorships, tell me something who pays for this.

He kept saying that if they can't pay he will screen the applicant and no one would know about it.

Paul you are trying to pull the wool over the residents eyes again.

We pay for everything they pay for nothing because they cry poverty with a loaf of bread under their arms.

Paul raise the fees to amount that the rec. department charges.
Why should those that use the center get free lunch and transportation and God knows what else.
This new commissioner is not for the center,
He cannot come up with figures for the budget.
The only thing that he was interested in was that raising the fees will chase the patrons away.
Who is he kidding?????

They have not been paying ,we the residents pay.
We told you over and over again we cannot afford this center .

The commissioner was saying that the kids would be in the streets if fees are raised.Can you tell me where are their parents.

Paul stop trying to look good in the eyes of the residents. We are tired of your games.
You as the BOSS can raise the price to the standards of the rec. fees.

The three- commissioner,Sonya and the town clerk who should keep her mouth shut when it comes to town matters were and are looking out just for the Fairview children.

How could you say that the center is for all the residents when you keep saying the Fairviews' center..
They too know that the rest of the town is not welcomed but our money is wanted for them to stay afloat..

Anonymous said...

Why is it that so many laws are being passed at work sessions???

We know that the publics input at regular town meetings is being cut out but I do not think that this is good government that laws are passed without any one voiceing their opinion.

Anonymous said...

Raise the caamp fee to the same fees charged by the recreation department.
Why should the center be treated differently.
Either you raise the fee or just heve one camp under the good eye of Jerry Byrne.
He knows what he is doing ,the new guy does not know which end is up.
He blamed the people who use the internet for wanting to raise the camp fees.

Does Johny come lately realize that it is our money than is used to run that center.
We want to see a profit.
The center has been running in the red for over twenty years.
Dont you think it's about time that someone listens to the residents that it should be closed your not making money for us in fact we have been paying for the upkeep

The time is coming that we will have to call it quits. Money has run out ..

ella preiser is dumb said...

feiner could do nothing unless his gang agrees
that means juettner and sheehan have to be defeated in 2009 with the other two dolts to follow in 2011.

unincorporated wake up - you need village support to make this happen -

admit that you theft of the old town hall was wrong - and pay for your use of veteran park-

otherwise you will continue to sink and your houses will be unmarketable

stop listening to no nothings like preiser
she is stuck in the past
you dont need good punctuation - you need political allies

memo to fulton park said...

good point - smart folks like herb rosenberg have seen that areas like fulton park are being abused even though he has no stake in that battle.

fulton park should build alliances with the villages.

fulton park - make you tubes of the town board meetings

put ads in the enterprise and educate the town about what feiner juettner and sheehan are doing to you!

Anonymous said...

Todays NYTimes has an article about overbuilding and excess inventory in housing, with Westchester mentioned as having more than our share. Good work Paul and the Paulettes -- the only people who will want to rent at Westhab in Fulton Park will be section 8. Every one else has seen it coming. But you guys dont care.

Anonymous said...

The entire board knows where this project is going.
They know dam well that section eight will be renting almost all the apartments

Why is it that Sonya is fighting so hard for this to go forward..

They all think that we are dumb but they are only fooling themselves.

If the project ever gets off the ground how can the board face the residents of this town since they have lied over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Sonya is a complete waste, all she worries about, is free or below market housing

Anonymous said...

Naa, she also cares about TDYCC -- with its no-show jobs, no-bid contracts etc. Man has she been a change.

ed krauss said...

Sadly, 7:46, you have answered your own question. They lie over and over again, and they still sit up there facing us. It's our fault allowing them to do it.

You've heard this from me many times before, the only way to stop the lying and the depreciation of our assets in Greenburgh- TOV and the villages, is to rid ourselves of this metastasizing Cancer, by cutting it out completely.

The Fulton Park rezoning has shown us that we not only need competent leadership,and knowledgeable leadership, but we need MORAL leadership. Elected officials with a conscience.

Duplicitous, perfidious, people whose only objective is being reeleced and to hell with the electorate, are or should be verboten.

As things stand,four days before a new year,and a bit over 10months before an election effecting a majority of the board, Paul Feiner sits smugly knowing there is as yet no candidate ready to run against his "wallet" or his alleged "electability."

Four years ago, if not for the treachery of Sheehan, aided and abetted by Juettner, Bill Greenawalt- a man of competense and character, nearly beat Feiner. This time around, a unified group from all constituancies, working toward ridding our community of this know-nothing threesome,will not be blindsided by the likes of Sheehan and Juettner.

Fortified by a total team effort, we can prove neither Paul Feiner nor anyone else CAN BUY THE ELECTION in Greenburgh.

Come, let's work together in a synergistic fashion; viallges, TOV, civic associations,individuals. Everyone and anyone interested in reclaiming OUR town.

STOP THE LYING!!!

STOP THE MISMANAGEMENT!!!

STOP THE ARROGANCE!!!

STOP THE SELLING OFF OF GREENBURGH TO UNWORTHY DEVELOPERS!!!

STOP THE "JOKE" THAT IS OUR NON-SUPERVISOR!!!

STOP THE LAPTOP-DICTATOR-IN-WAITING, AND THE SPHYNX-THAT-SNORED!!!

Enough is enough!!!

Anonymous said...

Ed,

All 5 must go, but only 3 up for election this year.

Anonymous said...

A large fund-raising effort is needed!

Anonymous said...

What about Cliff Abrams secretary - a part time summer workers still employed at TDYCC $20/hr - An a low level activity supervisor (Abrams) making $66,000 a year salary plus a secretary - Under Hopeton White there was only one secretary in the building - Another (2) Valerie Whitehead unnecessary employees still working at the TDYCC. Can Abrams pass the civil service exam without a high school diploma???? NO
Feiner politi-tricks along with Sonja Brown and Valerie Whiteheads wasted taxpayer money - They all need to go NOW!

12/28/2008 11:44 PM

Anonymous said...

Trying to convince Feiner and company that the center is a disaster is not going to happen.

This is their ace in the hole for reelection.
They don't give a dam as to who is stealing the money or which way this crime is being done.
They need their vote.
If the people had to pay for everything they get and will get this slate of representatives on this board will loose big time.
Give them what they want and we will have the position go against them and we will be out on our asses.

Maybe it will be a good idea if county government took over this town .It cant get any worse than what it is now.

Anonymous said...

Why should we the taxpayers keep paying for the center and Bronze center.

She suggested that the county go into chapter 11 why has she not suggested this for both centers that we the tax payers are being raped in paying for their failures.

Both these places are not paying for themselves we the fools give them over three million dollars without any accountability because the board needs them.
we do not need them or this present board.

Why should I pay to send these children to camp when I have to pay to send my own children to camp.
Paul enough is enough you have played your cards for too long now it's up to us to give the cards a good shuffle to come up with some winning hands.

The people wjho send their children to the center or rec.dept camp know dam well what they are doing. Yes making fools of us in the amount of taxes we pay.

It's time to ban together and have this stopped and have the centers as a bad history lesson closed.

Anonymous said...

My friends seem to like living in Greenburgh. I do too. What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

My friends seem to like living in Greenburgh. I do too. What am I missing?

Clearly you have not read the blog comments or you are Paul.

ed krauss said...

7:51PM

SANITY!

A TRIPLE DIGIT IQ

A MISSED APPOINTMENT WITH REALITY

OR...SPENDING MORE QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR WIFE AND DAUGHTER, INSTEAD OF WASTING YOUR TIME BLOGGING FANTACIES.

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON KRAUSS.