Thursday, January 31, 2008

COMMUNITY HOSPITAL AT DOBBS FERRY SAVED

Great news! The community hospital at Dobbs Ferry has been saved. 14 months ago NYS announced plans to close down the hospital. The entire community worked together to persuade the state that the hospital (which makes a profit) should be allowed to stay open. State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins was recognized by hospital officials at the official announcement ceremony (held at noon) for the key role she played in saving the hospital - reaching out to the Governor, state health officials and prominent lawmakers.

A special thanks to the hundreds of residents who signed or circulated petitions, wrote letters, put lawn signs on your front lawns, called lawmakers. Your voice was heard. This hospital is a community treasure. PAUL FEINER

SPEED CAMERAS SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN WESTCHESTER...REMINDER: LAST DAY TO PAY TAXES IS TODAY

The NY State Legislature should adopt legislation that would authorize speed cameras to be used in Westchester County to control speeding. Under NY State law, speed cameras cannot be used in any location outside of NYC where they are being evaluated in a pilot project. If the law would change local governments would be able to place them near schools and in areas where reports indicate that speeding has led to an inordinately high number of accidents. A news story that appeared on the TODAY show on January 31st indicated that speed cameras have cut speeding dramatically in the streets around the nation that have them.Local governments should also be authorized to utilize stop sign cameras.
I will be urging the NYS Legislature to adopt legislation that will enable every municipality in Westchester County to use speed camera’s. Those wishing to participate in the lobbying effort should e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com.
REMINDER: TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO PAY THE 2ND HALF OF YOUR SCHOOL TAXES. The Town Hall is open till 7 PM. You can also pay your school tax bill on line: www.greenburghny.com.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FREE BUS SERVICE FROM E HARTSDALE AVE/HIGHPOINT TO LIBRARY STARTS NEXT WEDNESDAY

Last night, members of the Greenburgh Town Board ( Kevin Morgan, Sonja Brown, Francis Sheehan, Diana Juettner & I ) met with residents of E Hartsdale Ave to discuss our efforts to try to encourage the Library Board to restore the cybermobile and Sunday library hours. A suggestion was made at the meeting that the town offer bus service to the library from E Hartsdale Ave and Highpoint (two locations with many senior citizens – some who don’t have cars).

As a result of the meeting – the town will begin offering free bus service to take seniors to the library/town hall from East Hartsdale Ave and Highpoint BEGINNING Wednesday, February 6th. The bus will leave E Hartsdale Ave at 10 AM and a few minutes later from Highpoint. The bus will return from the library around noon and at 3 PM. The town will use an existing bus and driver for this service so no additional taxpayer dollars (other than gas) will be spent.

Those wishing to take advantage of the service are requested to call 693-8997 by Tuesday to make a reservation. They can also e mail lmaranino@greenburghny.com If we find that seniors/residents would like the bus service expanded to more than one day a week – we will accommodate their request and expand this program.

Efforts will continue to take place to encourage the Greenburgh Library Board to restore the cybermobile and Sunday library hours

FROM LOHUD.COM--SERIOUS CRIME IN GREENBURGH AT ALL TIME LOW

Serious crime down in Greenburgh; police chief says it's the lowest in 25 years
Gerald McKinstry • The Journal News • January 30, 2008
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GREENBURGH - Serious crime in town dropped nearly 12 percent last year to a 25-year low while other lesser infractions rose.
Police Chief John Kapica said the numbers were the "best they've ever been" during his tenure. He credited "active crime prevention" efforts and aggressively pursuing less serious crimes as reasons for the decline.
"We're treating minor crime more seriously," Kapica said this week, citing vandalism as one example. "I really believe a lot of what we're doing with community policing is working. We put a lot of resources into youth programs. I think they're paying off."
There were 795 serious crimes reported in 2007, a drop of 108 since the year before, according to figures recently released by the Police Department.
Serious crime is defined by the Department of Justice as aggravated assault, burglary, homicide, larceny, motor vehicle theft, robbery and rape.
Last year, there were 903 serious offenses compared with 1,029 in 2004 and 1,108 in 2003, according to police figures.
Larceny was down significantly, as was vehicle theft, felony assault, robbery and burglary, according to the department's statistics. Homicides remained the same at one, and rapes doubled to two.
Greenburgh's overall decline mirrors other communities, including White Plains, which recently reported that serious crimes hit a 42-year low.
Greenburgh, the largest town in Westchester County and the county's fifth-largest municipality, calculates crime differently than other departments in New York that use the Uniform Crime Reporting System. The town individually counts all crime, even if more than one is committed in a given incident; most departments only list serious crime.
Arrests were up 11.8 percent to 1,376, with most of those - 1,013 - classified as misdemeanors such as assault, driving while intoxicated, drug possession and criminal mischief.
Kapica said some of those increases, particularly driving while intoxicated, drug-related offenses and prostitution, occurred because police were more aggressive with stings, task forces and investigations.
Among the largest spikes in less-serious crime was fraud and forgery, up more than 69 percent to 166 reported incidents. Kapica said that trend would likely continue, with identity theft increasing.
Police responded to 36,824 calls for service and gave out 5,893 tickets, slight increases from last year. The department has 122 members, he said.
Supervisor Paul Feiner commended the Police Department and its community policing efforts. Feiner said he was pleased with the numbers, albeit somewhat cautious, given that crime can be cyclical and affected by many other factors such as the economy.
"Every year you think it's the lowest and then it gets lower," Feiner said. "We always give the police most of the resources they request and the tools, staff and equipment. They're constantly upgrading and improving. So far, it's worked."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

E HARTSDALE AVE SENIORS WANT BUS TO LIBRARY TILL CYBERMOBILE RESTORED

The Town Board met with residents of E Hartsdale Ave. Some seniors suggested that the bus that currently takes seniors to supermarkets also take seniors to the library--at least until the cybermobile is re-activated. Many seniors on the avenue do not have cars. This is a good idea, in my opinion. I have contacted the Commissioner & Deputy Commissioner of Parks and have asked them to consider this suggestion.

super STOP & SHOP proposal being discussed today at 2

The proposed Stop & Shop application for 119 (near Sheraton Hotel) will be discussed today at 2 PM

SUNRISE IS BACK...E HARTSDALE AVE MEETING TONIGHT...LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

TONIGHTS MEETING ON E HARTSDALE AVE WILL BE HELD AT 119 E Hartsdale Ave. Major topic: Our efforts to restore cybermobile library service, Sunday library hours. Meeting had previously been scheduled for 80 E Hartsdale Ave.
PRESENTATION & UPDATE ON LIBRARY—YOUR QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED! : Library expansion—Town Board meeting, Wednesday evening February 13. Questions that are submitted to the townboard@greenburghny.com in writing on or before February 6th will be answered at the meeting during the presentation.
NEW PROPOSAL: SUNRISE ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY ON ROUTE 119 (near Tarrytown/Greenburgh border)
The following letter was received today.
Sunrise Assisted Living, the premier national provider of quality senior living residences, would like to meet with your Board to discuss its interest in locating a facility in the Town of Greenburgh. Sunrise has located a site off of Route 119, where, we respectfully submit, both its and the Town’s needs would be well served. Perhaps most obviously, Sunrise would help the Town address its increasing need for quality senior housing. With over 25 years of experience, Sunrise prides itself in its expertise in providing dignified, nurturing environments for the elderly. To champion the quality of life for all seniors has been Sunrise’s mission since 1981. Sunrise operates more than 420 senior living communities throughout the world. The average Sunrise Senior Living Community contains 80 to 84 assisted living units and common facilities. We invite the Board to visit Sunrise’s Web site at www.sunriseseniorliving.com and to visit any of Sunrise’s existing facilities in Westchester County to learn more. The Sunrise project would yield significant tax revenue for the Town, and Sunrise looks forward to discussing with the Board other potential amenities it could offer. The benefits of the Sunrise project would come with minimal environmental impacts. Sunrise would create an attractive Victorian Style Grand Manor building with residential characteristics and a landscape to enhance aesthetic appeal. Sunrise’s landscaping usually exceeds that which is required by most municipalities, including a network of walkways and gardens to provide therapeutic and leisure areas for the residents. Sunrise has the flexibility to adapt its design to fit into any development or community and they pride themselves on the level of quality that they design and build. Notably, the grade of the Old White Plains Road property would make the Sunrise facility barely visible from nearby residences. The average age for a Sunrise resident is 85 years old, and since most of the residents do not drive, the parking ratio is very low (0.5 spaces per unit). Low traffic impacts, zero impact on schools, and the attractive design of the building’s interior and exterior, combined with beautiful landscaping and amenities provided to the seniors make Sunrise an attractive project to both the community and the municipality. Sunrise’s use of the site would be a marked improvement over other possible alternatives under the present zoning. Sunrise is anxious to engage the Town in the planning process as soon as possible.
A few years ago Sunrise had expressed interest in building assisted living at the old Town Hall, next to the library. The library objected to part of the site being used by Sunrise for assisted living and requested that the old town hall site be used for parking at the library. Sunrise withdrew their application.

Monday, January 28, 2008

DOBBS FERRY RUDY'S BEAU RIVAGE TO BECOME WINDOWS ON HUDSON---CHARTHOUSE TO BE TAKEN OVER BY HARVEST ON HUDSON

2008 marks the 40th year of a successful catering business for Rudy’s Beau Rivage. It is also a milestone year that will see the merger of two families. Silvio DiMeglio, owner of “Silvios” in Yonkers has partnered with Peter Croese, owner of Rudy’s Beau Rivage in a joint venture to eventually create “Windows on the Hudson”. The new name will not be unveiled until a multimillion dollar two year revitalization plan takes effect.
The union will enable extensive renovations to the facility both internally and externally to enhance this superior location with panoramic views of the Hudson River. The remodeling will include the outdoor terrace space, facelifts for the ballrooms and common areas along with fa├žade changes.
Another restaurant in Dobbs Ferry--the Charthouse--has been purchased by the owners of Harvest on Hudson.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

SCHOOL TAXES DUE THURSDAY--GREENBURGH DEMOCRACY--POST YOUR COMMENTS, WEEK OF JAN 28

Week of Jan 28-- Please post your comments about town issues.

REMINDER: THE SECOND HALF OF YOUR SCHOOL TAXES ARE DUE ON THURSDAY. AVOID PENALTIES.
YOU CAN PAY YOUR TAXES ON LINE!--WWW.GREENBURGHNY.COM (NO ADDITIONAL FEES)

Friday, January 25, 2008

WORK SESSION AGENDA--THIS TUESDAY, JAN 29

Work Session of the Greenburgh Town Council Members
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Channel 76)

Beginning the first Tuesday of Feb work sessions will be streamed live on the internet

1:00 p.m. Reorganization
2:00 p.m. Super Stop ‘N Shop proposal
3:00 p.m. Hastings/Irvington Fire Contracts

4:00 p.m. Streaming Meetings – George Malone
Scheduling department head meetings to discuss overtime/vacancies in their departments (months of Dec/Jan)
Requesting that Library Board, Recreation Board and Community Center Advisory Board meetings be televised
Requesting final report Carter Ledyard (5 minutes) scheduling meeting once report is finalized
4:15 p.m. Review applications for Library Board Vacancy
4:30 p.m. Update: New Commissioner/Deputy: Theodore D. Young Community Center (search committee) Audit Theodore D. Young Community Center)

4:45 p.m. Executive Session – Personnel
5:30 p.m. Adjourn
The Board will reconvene the Work Session at 7:30pm and will be meeting with residents of
80 East Hartsdale Avenue to discuss the Library Cybermobile and resumption of Sunday Library
hours as well as other concerns.

February 5th Work Session (tentative)

• Theodore D. Young Community Center Needs Assessment – Carla Rubinger
• Permanent citizens budget committee to address E. Hartsdale Ave. parking (representation to include parking authority, residents, businesses
• Should E. Hartsdale Ave. sidewalk sales be expanded to include more weekends as was the case last year?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

SUPER STOP & SHOP ON TOWN BD WORK SESSION AGENDA TUESDAY

The Greenburgh Town Board will hear a very brief presentation from the applicant of the super Stop & Shop store –Tarrytown/119 this Tuesday January 29th at 2 PM at Town Hall. This meeting will be televised live on public access TV and archived on the town web site: www.greenburghny.com (archives-Town Bd). There is no need for residents who support or oppose this application to attend this meeting unless they want to since public hearings, information meetings will be held in the evening at future dates. It is usually the practice of applicants to provide the Town Board with a courtesy meeting at the very beginning of the process.
White Hickory Associates LLC is proposing to build a Super Stop & Shop along the Tarrytown-White Plains Road/Route119 corridor in Greenburgh. The White Hickory proposal calls for a 75,000 square foot, state of the art, full-service Super Stop & Shop supermarket to be built next to the new Sheraton Hotel at 600 White Plains Road. The proposal also includes an additional 50,000 square feet of office space, 15,000 square feet of general retail space and approximately 8,600 square feet of other free-standing commercial space for the remaining portion of the site, along with ample parking. At approximately 150,000 total square feet, the White Hickory proposal is still 40% less in size than the 250,000 square feet of office space that was previously approved for the site.
A high-end, full service supermarket such as Super Stop & Shop would provide a greatly needed service to area residents who presently do not have such an establishment in close proximity to their homes. In addition, the supermarket and other anticipated uses would offer convenient and quality shopping for area office workers. The White Hickory proposal is also situated in an appropriate location, given that White Plains Road is an established commercial corridor on a state arterial highway with ample capacity to serve any additional traffic generated by the project. Aesthetically, the proposed supermarket, office and retail uses will be set back and lowered below-grade from Route 119 so they have a minimal visual impact, coupled with tasteful and compatible architecture. The White Hickory proposal is presently before the Town Board for full zoning, planning and environmental review

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT --BDS AND COMMISSIONS

This letter is going to be sent to the chairs of all the Greenburgh Boards/commissions.
The Greenburgh Town Board will be considering a proposal to require members of all boards/committees to attend a certain percentage of the Board meetings of Boards they are appointed to. If a member misses more meetings than authorized by the new law – the seat would become vacant and the Town Board would appoint a replacement.

I would appreciate your discussing this proposal with members of your Board. I would also appreciate your providing me and members of the Town Board with feedback. Do you have attendance problems with Board members? What do you think would be an appropriate attendance requirement? What, if any exemptions (such as illness) should be authorized if a new law is approved?

If any member of your Board has an attendance problem – I would also appreciate it if you would ask if he/she is still interested in serving?
PAUL FEINER

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

LIBRARY CAN RESTORE CYBERMOBILE AND SUNDAY HOURS--LOOKS LIKE THEY HAVE A NICE SURPLUS FROM 2007

Fyi. If the library wants to keep the library open on Sunday’s and to restore the cybermobile—this is one way you can make this happen. PAUL FEINER
-----Original Message-----
From: Bart J. Talamini
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 2:12 PM
To: Paul Feiner
Subject: RE: library budget--do they have a surplus
Paul,
The library administration submitted their budget for 2008 showing an addition to their fund balance of $ 1,288 (see page 135 of the adopted budget under the column heading Estimate 12/31/07). As of 1/23/08, the library’s actual addition to their fund balance for FYE 12/31/07 is $107,000, however, the books have not been closed out
for the fiscal year ended 12/31/07. Specifically, all of the revenue & expense items for 12/31/07 have not been posted to the library accounts as of 1/23/08 because
we are still processing (accruing/recording the expense) invoices for 2007 expenditures. This is a normal year end procedure that we follow. We will have a better idea
of what the library’s 2007 surplus will be in another week or two. If the library does finish out the year with a surplus, they can certainly apply that surplus to the operation
of the cybermobile.
BT--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Paul Feiner
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 9:16 AM
To: Bart J. Talamini
Cc: Town Board
Subject: library budget--do they have a surplus
Bart: Can you provide me and members of the Town Board with the following information:
Does the library have a surplus from the 2007 operations? My recollection was that you mentioned that the surplus was $239,000. Can you provide us with the information before tonights meeting.
What is being done with the surplus funds?
PAUL FEINER

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

E HARTSDALE AVE FLOOD STUDY A FEW WEEKS AWAY

Last year the Town Board commissioned a study of the E Hartsdale Ave flooding. Al Regula, Commissioner of Public Works, advised the Board today that the study should be complete --with recommendations in a few weeks.

TOWN BD DISCUSSES WAYS TO SAVE CYBERMOBILE AND SUNDAY HOURS

The Greenburgh Town Board discussed, with representatives of the Library Board, ways to save the cybermobile and Sunday library hours.
Winsome Gordon of our philanthropy/grants office advised that the town is reaching out to possible private funders ---there are at least two good possibilities.
A suggestion was made to rent out the cybermobile for birthday parties--the library would make stops at the birthday party's house. The cybermobile could also be rented out --the library would make stops at churches, synagogues, other locations. Naturally, the costs of this service would be assumed by those renting the bookmobile.
Another suggestion--reach out to elected officials at the federal, state & county levels. Ask them if they would be willing to use the cybermobile as a mobile office. Their names would be placed on the outside of the bus, their office materials placed on the cybermobile. Their office would pay a fee to the town -- they could assign staff to drive around with the cybermobile. Rent for the town. Visibility for the elected official.
We discussed accepting advertising on the exterior of the bus --the library insisted that the advertising would have to be tasteful.
Another suggestion--reach out to independent living facilities/nursing homes around the town (outside of unincorporated Greenburgh). They could be invited to rent out the cybermobile - the cybermobile would make stops at these locations. Revenue for the town. More services for senior citizens.
A follow up meeting with the Library/Town Board will be held on Feb 12.

CLARIFICATION; BUDGET COMMITTEE

i have created two task forces-- one temporary to pre-screen candidates for comptroller and the other-- a citizens budget management task force that will develop a road map that will enable the town to conduct a comprehensive management review. The permanent committee will be formalized by the Town Board in the near future.

Monday, January 21, 2008

GREENBURGH DEMOCRACY--POST YOUR COMMENTS--WEEK OF JAN 21

Please continue to feel free to post your comments about town issues. What can we do to make Greenburgh better?

TODAY: REFLECT on the life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr
TUESDAY- Work session begins at 1 PM. Ends at 5:30 PM TELEVISED LIVE
WEDNESDAY- Town Board meeting 7:30 PM
CITIZENS BUDGET COMMITTEE is continuing their interviews with possible Comptroller candidates.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

TOWN BD TO DISCUSS FINANCIAL ADVISORS RECOMMENDATION TO REFINANCE BONDS ON TUESDAY- SAVINGS COULD EXCEED $211,000

The Town currently has potential refunding savings from four different bond issues which were sold in the years 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000. .

Based on interest rates of January 16, 2008, a refunding of the four bond issues noted above results in budgetary savings to the Town of $211,663. The present value of these savings are $174,633 or 3.36%; the bonds to be refinanced and 3.37% of the proposed refunding bonds. As a benchmark, many issuers of tax-exempt bonds use a minimum of 3% savings to gauge the cost effectiveness of a refunding transaction. These savings are net of the costs of issuance (underwriter, bond counsel, financial advisor, ratings, etc.) and will be realized over the next nine years ending in 2016. Annual savings will average about $19,000 a year but close to $25,000+ for the first seven years. The true interest rate for the refunding bond is 3.19% which compares to average coupon on the refunded bonds of 4.55%.

Certain data for the proposed refunding is as follows:

Debt Debt %
Service Service Savings
Bond Amount Refunded Refunding Refunded
Issue Outstanding Bonds Bonds Savings Bonds

1996 $1,555,000 $1,901,076 $1,809,474 $ 91,602 4.87%
1997 775,000 869,550 854,006 15,544 1.58
1999 1,615,000 1,900,375 1,839,919 60,456 2.89
2000 1,250,000 1,497,926 1,453,865 44,061 3.20

Totals $5,195,000
$6,168,927
$5,957,264
$211,663
3.36%

In my opinion, the assumptions used for the refunding plans and the estimated savings are reasonable. The assumed interest rates are in-line with current conditions and the costs of issuance are comparable or better than competitive borrowings the Town has done in the past. For example, the underwriters’ proposed or discount $4.50 per $1,000 of refunding bonds. The underwriters’ discount for the Library bonds sold in 2007 was approximately $11.40 per $1,000. The markets have been extremely volatile over the past few months due to the ongoing subprime mortgage loan problems. There is certainly no guarantee that a refunding would produce the results noted above. However, we will have the flexibility to postpone the sale of these bonds if the results do not match the current estimates. I would recommend that the Town adopt the necessary refunding bond resolution as soon as possible. Once the authorization is in place, the Town will be able to move quickly to take advantage of favorable market conditions. Prior to the actual sale of the bonds, the underwriter will provide continuous updates monitoring the markets and keeping the Town informed on the status of the refunding.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

library drop off box saved..bd meeting tuesday to discuss cybermobile/sunday hours

GOOD NEWS... LIBRARY DROP OFF BOX SAVED! The Greenburgh Library has reconsidered their plans to remove the library drop off box on E Hartsdale Ave. This convenient box is located across the Hartsdale train station. Library patrons can drop off library books/video's that were taken out. Thank you--Greenburgh Library for continuing this service.
CYBERMOBILE/SUNDAY HOURS NEED TO BE RESTORED? The Greenburgh Town Board will discuss the need to restore the cybermobile/Sunday hours at our work session this Tuesday at 2 PM. Meetings are open to the public and are held at Town Hall. Work sessions are now televised on local public access TV.
SHOULD ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE SOME OVERSIGHT OVER NON ELECTED LIBRARY BD MEMBERS---One of the issues that must be discussed is the roles of the elected Town Board and the unelected Library Board. The elected Town Board provided the Library Board with funding for the cybermobile and Sunday hours. The unelected Library Board decided to use the funds allocated for the cybermobile/Sunday hours for other purposes. I believe that some of the library purchases/spending could be deferred until after the new library opens. The Library claims that under NYS law they do not have to listen to the Town Board. They can shift funds for any purposes --even if the Town Board disagrees. How can elected officials oversee budgets if we have no control over significant aspects of town budgets? If the Town Board objects to out of state travel expenses, salary increases over the cost of living, additional hirings - we cannot do anything about our concerns --according to the Library Board. The law should be changed.
If the Library Board wants to be independent of the Town Board they should create a special library district. I would support a Library district. It would remove the library from political interference. Library Board members would be elected by the people. Library budgets would be voted annually by the people. The library would be accountable to you, the taxpayers.
PAUL FEINER

Friday, January 18, 2008

TWO NEW OPEN GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES FROM THE TOWN CLERK

Two new open government initiatives--thanks to Town Clerk Judith Beville:
1) summaries of previous work session posted on work session agenda.
2) Residents who complete a form to speak at Town Board meetings can check off a box. If they have a question and want it answered (assuming the question is not answered on the spot), they can give their name, contact info and the question will be answered by a town official. In addition, residents who speak at Board meetings can provide the clerk with a summary of comments which will be included in the Board minutes.

SINCE JUDITH BEVILLE ASSUMED OFFICE ON JAN 1 SHE HAS...
arranged to televise work sessions live ... NEW
posted agenda notices re: work sessions on Friday before Tuesday meetings NEW


COMING SOON
TOWN BD WORK SESSIONS AND BD MEETINGS TO BE STREAMED LIVE ON THE INTERNET

Thursday, January 17, 2008

CAC: BAN LEAF BLOWERS

Review of Leaf Blower Impact
January 15, 2008
The Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) was requested by Supervisor Feiner to study the impact of leaf blowers in the community and make recommendations as to how and if the existing Town of Greenburgh regulations of leaf blowers should be changed.
The existing law regulates the noise level generated by leaf blowers and other equipment and sources.
§ 380-7. Prohibited acts and associated sounds.
H. The operation of gasoline-powered power lawn mowers, leaf blowers or other gasoline-powered lawn or garden equipment or construction tools between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. any weekday, before 9:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. Saturday or any holiday or before 11:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. Sunday. Operation of a gasoline-powered power lawn mower, leaf blower or other gasoline-powered lawn or garden equipment or construction tool in a residential zone may not exceed 75 dBA at any time. Operation of gasoline-powered leaf and garden blowers in excess of 55 dBA is prohibited from May 1 through October 1 of each year
The CAC considered information obtained from the following sources.
• Scientific commentary on the negative health effects of leaf blowers
• Scientific commentary on the negative environmental effects of leaf blowers
• Letters sent to the City Council of Yonkers identifying the negative effects of particulate pollution caused by leaf blowers
• Letters sent to Supervisor Feiner by Greenburgh residents complaining about leaf blower noise levels
• Public comment offered at the July 8, 2007 CAC meeting
• Laws regulating the use of leaf blowers in other Westchester communities
• Westchester Co. laws regulating the use of leaf blowers
• Chief John A. Kapica’s response to CAC inquiries about noise code enforcement history and problems
The CAC concluded that there are significant negative effects to health and the environment associated with the use of leaf blowers. Health is impacted negatively by;
1. Deteriorated air quality resulting from engine exhaust,
2. Deteriorated air quality resulting from particulates blown into the air,
3. Hearing deterioration resulting from exposure to loud noise,
4. Increased health issues associated with exposure to loud noise.
The environment is impacted negatively by;
5. Carbon exhaust that contribute to global warming,
6. The impediment of the formation of organic materials necessary to regenerate the soil, thus impeding the promotion of healthy vegetation useful to control flooding and water purification.
The CAC’s review established that all surrounding communities regulate the use of leaf blowers. The use of leaf blowers is completely banned during the summer month in Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, Larchmont, Pelham and Yonkers. The negative effects are greatest in hot humid weather. There exist alternatives for ground maintenance that can be used during the summer months. It should be remembered that prior to the 1970’s there were no leaf blowers.
During the time of the CAC’s study Westchester County adopted legislation regulating exhaust levels of leaf blowers. By 2009 almost all leaf blowers will have to be in compliance. The county law wouldn’t apply to landscapers who only do commercial properties. It does not apply to home owners. The CAC believes this law will mitigate negative effects one and five.
The CAC believes the only way to mitigate the remaining negative effects is to reduce the use of leaf blowers. An all out ban during the summer months would cause the least inconvenience and provide the greatest benefit. Chief Kapica has indicated that a complete ban would be the easiest to enforce.
At its June 11, 2007 meeting, the CAC voted to recommend that the Town have a total ban on the use of leaf blowing equipment from June 1 to September 30. After the review of additional information, the CAC at its meeting on Dec. 10, 2007 again voted to recommend the total ban from June 1 to September 30, The CAC hopes that the Town Board will adopt this recommendation swiftly so that it can be implemented for the 2008 landscaping contract period.

CITIZENS BUDGET COMMITTEE BEGINS INTERVIEWS OF COMPTROLLER CANDIDATES

The newly formed Citizens Budget Committee started to interview candidates for the position of Comptroller tonight. They will pre-screen applicants and recommend finalists. The Town Board will review the recommendations of the committee and make the final decision.

THE TOWN BOARD IS GOING TO REVIEW ALL OVERTIME EXPENDITURES WITH DEPT HEADS--STARTING IN EARLY FEBRUARY. WE WILL BE RECEIVING A LISTING OF OVERTIME BY EMPLOYEE EVERY TWO WEEKS. JUST ONE OF MANY INITIATIVES BEING TAKEN TO CONTROL COSTS.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WESTHAB TO TURN FORMER HOMELESS SHELTER INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR WORKING PEOPLE

WESTHAB PLANNING TO DEMOLISH OLD HOMELESS SHELTER AND TO TURN IT INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR WORKING PEOPLE
APPLICATION FOR ZONING AMENDMENT FILED - TOWN BOARD TO REVIEW PROPOSAL

WESTHAB is proposing to demolish the old WESTHAB homeless shelter and to construct a new six story multi family dwelling. The proposed project would have about 42 dwelling units, 17 studio apartments, 15 single bedroom apartments and 10 two bedroom apartments providing workforce housing to members of the community. There will also be an elevator, laundry facilities, a community room and a fully landscaped green roof that is intended to provide outdoor passive recreation space for resident use.
Access to the property will be from existing curb cuts on Tarrytown Road and County Center Road. 51 park spaces are being proposed, 30 at grade level and 21 parking spaces below grade level.
This proposed housing will be only be for people who work. In the past the property has been used as a homeless shelter. An amendment to the zoning laws are required. The application must also be reviewed by the Planning Board.
If you want to be kept informed of this application please e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com. Or….drop me a note and I’ll advise you of all public hearings on this application. I would welcome the opportunity to speak to you personally to discuss the proposed application in greater detail.
Your input is always appreciated.

Monday, January 14, 2008

LIBRARY TOUR--PAY STATIONS FOR PARKING FOR NON RESIDENTS...RENTING SPACE?

I spent some time this AM touring the new library --which is under construction. Insurance and utility costs are going to be high. Some suggestions for discussion:
1)Instead of placing parking meters at the parking area - we might want to consider having less expensive pay stations (similar to the pay stations that are located all around the county). Residents of unincorporated Greenburgh could receive either a free parking sticker or pay a nominal fee for an annual sticker. Non residents would pay a larger fee for an annual sticker or pay at the pay station every time they use the parking facilities at the library. I anticipate that many people who use the library will not be Greenburgh residents. Yet--Greenburgh taxpayers are footing the bill for the new library.
2)The library will be very big. We should consider renting space to a bookstore, to computer companies, etc... to help offset costs --and to help us maintain the level of services residents expect.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

HASTINGS CONSIDERS BANS ON LEAF BLOWERS--SHOULD GREENBURGH DO THE SAME?

the village of Hastings is holding a hearing on Tuesday night to consider adopting a ban on leaf blowers. Should Greenburgh do the same?
The Public Hearing is first, on the Leaf Blower Ordinance.
Very briefly, the Ordinance proposes limiting leaf blower use to:
Fall - October 15 to December 15 (2 months)
Spring - April 1 to May 15 (6 weeks)
For more details:
There are two versions - the Board has yet to decide on enforcement - who should be fined in the event that the Ordinance is not respected - the homeowner or the landscaping company. All the other items are the same.
I have asked the Conservation Advisory Council to make recommendations on this matter.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

LIBRARY BD CUTS DROP OFF BOX ON E HARTSDALE AVE--UNNECESSARILY

I just learned that the Library Board has eliminated the drop off box service on E Hartsdale Ave. Another unnecessary cut. The library and town should be service oriented. This box provided commuters and residents of the town with excellent outreach.

I am researching whether the Town Board can expand the number of members of the Library Board. The Library Board claims they are independent of the town. In recent weeks they have eliminated some important services:
CYBERMOBILE
SUNDAY HOURS
DROP OFF BOXES

Friday, January 11, 2008

A & P RESPONSE TO SELLING OUTDATED FOOD

I received the following letter from the A & P concerning a complaint that 433 outdated items were found at the A & P Tarrytown Road store. Many cheese, yogurt, and vacuum packed meats were sold after the expiration date.
I am asking residents to help make sure that this does not happen again. Please advise me if you see outdated items at any supermarket in Greenburgh. My e mail is pfeiner@greenburghny.com. I believe that stiff penalties should be imposed on supermarkets or stores that sell outdated items.

January 11, 2008
Paul J. Feiner
Town Supervisor
Town of Greenburgh
177 Hillside Avenue
Greenburgh, New York 10607
Dear Mr. Feiner –
I hope you’ll pardon the relative informality of an E-mail, but I wanted to communicate promptly regarding your letter to our store manager Gino Maselli, regarding to the code dating issues at the store that came to light recently – and also ask if you would be kind enough to forward this note to Mr. Gary Brown, Director of Consumer Protection.
Although we appreciate your invitation to attend a future Town Board meeting, the fact is that the corrective actions to remedy the unacceptable situation at that store – and at other A&P-operated stores that were included in the County Executive’s survey – have already taken place.
As we said in our statement to media last week, the issue is for the most part one of discipline regarding the regular inspection of display cases to ensure the removal of items before their “sell-by” dates expire. Our operations management was disturbed by the findings of the survey and embarrassed by ensuing publicity, which we acknowledge was justified under the circumstances. We immediately deployed field management and store associates to correct non-compliance issues across our store operations in the area, which of course included Greenburgh. Going forward, Mr. Maselli – and his counterparts in sister stores – are under instruction to make ongoing vigilance of code date compliance a priority consideration, as of course it should be.
From the standpoint of our customers and your constituents, the real proof our commitment will be the ongoing maintenance of our store and the products we sell, to ensure the quality standards we demand, and our customers expect and deserve. We certainly invite you to hold us to that standard in the future, and stand ready to directly answer any additional questions you may have.
Thanks in advance for your consideration and understanding.

Sincerely yours,
Richard P. De Santa
Senior Director, Corporate Affairs
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc.
2 Paragon Drive, Montvale, NJ 07645
201-571-4495



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Thursday, January 10, 2008

CON ED RATE HIKE HEARING..BRONX RIVER VIADUCT UPDATE

Consolidated Edison filed an application with the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) to increase rates for its electric service. The Company has proposed to increase its annual electric revenues by $1.225 billion. According to the Company, the increase is needed to support investments in the electric delivery infrastructure, demand reduction and energy efficiency initiatives, among other areas. A public hearing is being held on:
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
4:30 pm
and
6:30 pm
The Westchester County Center
98 Central Avenue
White Plains, New York 10606

Writing: Those who cannot attend or prefer not to speak at a public statement hearing may comment by writing to Jaclyn A. Brilling, Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350. Your comments should refer to "Case 07-E-0523 Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Rates."

Internet: Comments may also be submitted via the "PSC Comment Form" in the "Consumer Assistance" file accessed through the Commission's website at http://www.dps.state.ny.us/ or via the "Contact Us" link in the banner area at the top of the page.
All comments submitted via one of these alternative means should be submitted or mailed and post marked no later than February 8, 2008. Commission's website Case 07-E-0532, Con Ed Electric Rate Case.
(http://www.dps.state.ny.us/Case_07-E-0523.htm).
The Westchester County Department of Public Works invites you to attend the Public Meeting and Project Briefing for the reconstruction / replacement of the Crane Road Viaduct on the Bronx River Parkway over the Bronx River and Metro-North Railroad at Crane Road.
This event takes place on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 with an open house at 7:00 p.m. and a presentation at 7:30 p.m. at the Westchester County Center, 198 Central Avenue, White Plains.

REVENUE SUGGESTION- SHOULD THE TOWN RENT AN ADDITIONAL ROOM AT TOWN HALL ONCE LIBRARY VACATES?

Should the town rent out the training room (now the children's room) at town hall once the library vacates after October? Should we start reaching out to realtors to help us rent the space?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

MEETING TOMORROW RE: citizens budget management review committee

On Thursday, January 10th at 7:15 PM there will be a meeting to establish a citizens budget/management review committee. The committee will help the Town Board review management procedures and will develop recommendations to make town government more efficient. We want to carefully monitor all spending in the town, look for ways to save money, make the budget much more transparent. The meeting will take place at Greenburgh Town Hall. This meeting is open to the public.
On Tuesday, January 15th at 7:15 PM there will be a land use summit meeting with the Town Board, Zoning Board & Planning Boards. The purpose of the meeting: to review existing land use policies. This meeting is also open to the public and will be held at Town Hall.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

WESTCHESTER LIBRARY SYSTEM ON POWERS OF LIBRARY BDS

Dear Supervisor Feiner:
Not meaning to be contrary, but NYS Education Laws are pretty specific regarding the roles and responsibilities of library boards. They don’t “wish to be independent” of their funding bodies they absolutely are independent of their funding bodies. Of note, trustees of public libraries derive their “powers” from the NYS Board of Regents and it is the Board of Regents that defines the roles and responsibilities of public library trustees. Under Public Library Law(s) library boards have broad and almost exclusive powers and authority to administer the library. The funding agency – in this case the Town of Greenburgh - appoints or approves the recommendation of individuals to the library board. Once that individual becomes a board member and takes their oath to uphold the federal and state constitutions they become a member of an independent body receiving public funds.
Local Laws have no impact on the overall governance of the library since libraries are State chartered organizations.
It is the ultimate responsibility of the Greenburgh Board of Trustees to effectively allocate the budget which meets minimum standards of the State as well as deliver library services which meet the needs of the broadest constituency given challenging budget scenarios.
I have spoken with Tim Lewis and pointed out sections 259 and 260 of the Public Library Laws of New York State which deal with the creation of public libraries and the roles and responsibilities of public library trustees.
Hopefully this information is helpful. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to call on me.
Siobhan A Reardon
Director
Westchester Library System
540 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, New York 10591-5110
Tel: (914) 231-3223

Fax: (914) 674-4185

Email: sreardon@wlsmail.org

GREENBURGH DEMOCRACY--SAY WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT OUR TOWN!

Greenburgh Democracy--say what you want about our town.

TUESDAY (TODAY)
TOWN BOARD WORK SESSION 2-5:30 PM Executive session resumes at 8:30 PM

WEDNESDAY (TOMORROW)
TOWN BOARD MEETING
SWEARING IN CEREMONY

THURSDAY 7:15 PM
INITIAL MEETING OF CITIZENS BUDGET/MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Town Hall

Sunday, January 06, 2008

SHOULD CYBERMOBILE BUS ACCEPT ADVERTISING? SHOULD THE BUS BE SHARED WITH OTHER MUNICIPAL LIBRARIES?

In the event that the Greenburgh Library Board decides not to reinstate the cybermobile and if the Town Attorney finds that the Library Board does not have to listen to the elected Town Board (which supports the cybermobile)--what are the options?
Should the Town Board contact neighboring communities and offer to share the cybermobile with them? The cybermobile could continue to serve the neighborhoods that made the most use of the cybermobile (E Hartsdale Ave, Westchester Meadows, Highpoint). The town could generate additional revenue by renting out the cybermobile to other communities part time (when our bus is not in use).
IN ADDITION- should the town accept advertising on the outside of the bus? Many businesses might be interested in using the cybermobile as an advertisement (similar to the advertising on county buses). What do you think?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

REQUESTING TOWN ATTY TO ISSUE FORMAL OPINION RE: library bds decision to cut cybermobile and sunday library hours

REQUESTING A FORMAL WRITTEN OPINION THAT CAN BE SHARED WITH THE PUBLIC REGARDING POWERS OF LIBRARY
OPINION SHOULD BE RELEASED ON OR BEFORE WEDNESDAY NIGHTS TOWN BOARD MEETING
TO: TIM LEWIS
Dear Tim: Last month the non elected Greenburgh Library Board ignored the clear mandate of the elected Town Board that the Greenburgh public library provide cybermobile and Sunday library services to Greenburgh residents. The opinions cited by the Library Trustees don't make practicable sense. The elected Town Board should have some discretion as to how taxpayer dollars are spent by the library. Some of the members of the Town Board, including me, feel that the Library can make other cuts and still maintain the cybermobile and Sunday hours. I have suggested, for example, that purchases and spending be deferred until after the new library opens and that salaries of all library employees stay within the cost of living increases that other town employees are receiving.
I am requesting that on or before Wednesday's Town Board meeting you release (to the public & Town Board) an opinion listing both the applicable NYS laws and the NYS court decisions interpreting those laws. Does the Town Board have the legal power to direct the Greenburgh Library to spend a designated allocation only on the cybermobile/Sunday hours? Can we tell the library that if they do not use the funds for these purposes that the funds will not be released to the Library for other purposes? Can there be conditional appropriations (the library gets the funds but conditions are attached to the funds)?
Can the Town Board amend any local laws to give us additional oversight of the library budget?
If the Library Board wants to be independent of the town government they should create an independent special library district, which is authorized by NY State law. The Library Board of Trustees members would be elected and their budget would be submitted to the people for a vote each year. If the Library Board wants to stay a part of the town government - the elected members of the Town Board should have a say as to how taxpayer dollars are being spent.
I am sending a copy of this e mail to the Town Board, Library Board chair and vice chair and the Westchester Library System. They are invited to submit legal opinions to the Town Board as well.
PAUL FEINER

CNN: WORK FOR TAXES --"A TERRIFIC IDEA"

CNN broadcast a story today about the proposed Greenburgh work for taxes initiative. They also interviewed participants in other communities that have this program. The news anchor called the concept "a terrific idea".

Friday, January 04, 2008

AN ECO FITNESS AREA AT GOLF RANGE? what are your thoughts?

I have always encouraged resident feedback about proposed developments BEFORE applications are submitted. Early feedback provides potential applicants with the ability to determine whether it's worth spending their time and money submitting land use applications. I received the following e mail from Jeff Binder. John Lucido, Building Inspector, advises that this proposed use may be possible with a change in the Ordinance. Currently, the Ordinance permits a facility which includes; ice-skating, tennis, swimming and similar facilities on land containing 5 acres in residential districts by Special Permit, however, they are only permitted in association with “Private clubs or social clubs operated by nonprofit membership corporations exclusively for members and their guests.” What has to be established is if the person who is interested wants to run it as a private membership club or if it is to be open to the general public. If that’s the case then there needs to be a modification in the Special Permit language to allow it.
PAUL FEINER
PROPOSAL FOR ECO FITNESS AREA AT GOLF RANGE
I have a client who is interested in developing a portion of the Westchester Driving Range site on 100B into the area's first "Eco-Fitness" venue which would include indoor multi-sport, tennis, pool, fitness and organic foods restaurant. The complex would be located on about 6 acres of the 32 that was at one time proposed as a residential subdivision site (a no longer viable deal apparently).
Solar, biodiesels, and geo-thermal would help provide power to run the facility. Local produce would also be served at the restaurant.
Before we go much further with the transaction, we wanted to get a general sense from you whether you thought this would be a positive project for that location and the Town.
Jeffrey Binder, Esq. PS -- I can be reached at (914) 946-3191 as well as e-mail binderlaw@hotmail.com.

WORK SESSION AGENDA ON WEB, AS PROMISED, TOWN BD WORK SESSIONS TO BE TELEVISED

Greenburgh Town Clerk Judith Beville kept her promise and posted the Town Board work session agenda for Tuesday afternoon (beginning at 2 PM) on our web site. The work session will start at 2 and end at 5:30. In the future Town Board work sessions, which will be televised on cable (new!) and streamed live on the internet by the end of the month (also new!) will be held from 1 PM to 5:30 PM.

All tentative work session agendas will be posted by the end of business on the Friday before the Tuesday meeting. A final agenda will be posted no later than Monday at noon.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A & P on Tarrytown Road HAD 433 outdated items

Westchester County's consumer chief says a check of 59 supermarket dairy cases found an average of 88 outdated items per store, including some cheddar cheese that was eight months past its prime.

An A&P in Greenburgh on Tarrytown Road had 433 outdated items, says Gary Brown, the county director of consumer protection. An A&P in Mamaroneck, a Food Emporium in Yorktown and a Shop Rite in Bedford Hills (where the cheddar cheese was found) all had 247 or more products that were being sold after their ``sell-by'' date.

Nearly half of all the expired products has passed their date by 10 or more days, he says. Cheese, yogurt and vacuum-packed meat were most commonly expired.
I intend to invite management of the A & P to an upcoming Town Board meeting to discuss what happened and what actions are being taken to make sure that this never happens again. PAUL FEINER

ALTERNATE MEMBER OF PLANNING BD --new law to be introduced

Introduction of a Local Law establishing a new chapter in the Town Code of the Town of Greenburgh entitled “Planning Board, Alternate Members” permitting the appointment of alternate members to serve on the planning board when regular members are ill, on extended vacation or find they have a conflict of interest on a specific matter before such board.
This will be on the agenda of the Town Board meeting on Wednesday. A public hearing will be scheduled.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

SHOULD LIBRARY BD MEETINGS BE TELEVISED?

The Town Board televises our Board meetings. The Zoning Board & PLanning Board also televise our meetings. Should the Library Board televise their meetings? I think the answer is yes.
Last week the Library Board (without any advance notice) advised the Town Board that they were eliminating the cybermobile and closing the library on Sunday's. The Town Board had funded both the cybermobile and Sunday hours. I do not support these cuts.
If the Library Board would have televised their deliberations it would have provided the public with an understanding of the reasons behind their decision. Who recommended the cuts? Were these cuts made for political reasons? Were other cuts considered? WHy did the Library Board decide to increase some salariesof employees by more than the cost of living when other town employees only received a 3% increase? Could the library have deferred spending/purchases until after the new library opens? Did the library board act violate their own rules/regulations and the NY OPen meetings law when they made the cuts without advance public notice? Does the Library Board have the ability to spend funds allocated for one purpose (cybermobile) on other initiatives without consulting the Town Board?