Saturday, January 03, 2009

HAPPY 2009! WE HAVE AN EXCITING YEAR AHEAD OF US...


Just got home from a visit to my in laws. 2009 promises to be a challenging and exciting year. Members of the Town Board and I are looking forward to the challenges that face us.
Here are just a few of the items on our agenda that face us in 2009...

** Appointment of new Commissioner of Public Works to replace Al Regula who retired at the end of 2008. Al Regula is helping us with the transition.

** Appointment of a new Police Chief. John Kapica will be retiring later this year. The Chief asked the Town Board to designate a new chief early in the year. He will devote his remaining months as chief preparing the Chief designee for the job.

** Members of the Town Board and I are determined to avoid significant tax hikes in the future. There will be no double digit tax hikes in the forseeable future. We will make cuts and increase efficiencies during the year. We will review all town operations.

** A new Library Board assumed office on January 1st. I hope to work with the Library Foundation to raise private dollars for the library. Issues to be considered: Should we sell the cybermobile or continue to use the cybermobile on a limited basis? Should library hours be adjusted to include Saturday evening hours?

** The Town Board will discuss (at Tuesdays work session) camp fees at the TDYCC and parks dept. In my opinion, camp fees should be uniform for all camps run by the the town--with scholarships provided to those who cannot afford the camps. I would like to see transportation run by the TDYCC instead of by both TDYCC and parks.

** We will aggressively look for ways to reduce energy consumption in town owned facilities.

** We hope to sell the waterwheel property in Ardsley and 27 Main Street.

** I am meeting with the Ethics Board on Wednesday evening to discuss the current code. Amendments to the code will be considered after the meeting.


Those are just a few of the issues we will be discussing in the coming weeks/months. What issues would you like to see the Board focus attention on? A more comprehensive list of goals/objectives will be published shortly.

Have a great year.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

"What issues would you like to see the Board focus attention on?"

Focus on basic township responsibilities (maintenance of roadways, enforcement of codes, collection of taxes, etc.). Also, stop meddling in others' affairs (county operations, library hours, etc.).

oh by the way said...

oh - did i forget - 2009 is an election year for supervisor and two council seats....

and those pesky lawsuits - fortress bible and bernstein one are still lurking around - damn - they might just upend all my great plans to make greenburgh the most wonderful place to live in the galaxy

let my people go said...

and moses said to pharaoh - let edgemont go and make its rightful place in this world as a village

Anonymous said...

A good person to replace the Chief is a captain who retired .

His name is Joseph Deleo.

Anonymous said...

White Plains Library will be closing on Sundays. I suggest you do the same to save on part-time costs, maintenance and time and a half all full-time workers are getting now. Forget about Saturday nights. You want to add instead of subtracting hours opened. You stay open on Saturday nights and Sundays and you will get non-residents from White Plains and other areas using your budget.

Anonymous said...

how about cutting the newspaper subscriptions that many of the departments get. Some departments have 3 or more different papers delivered to them every day. I'm sorry but I don't think tax payers should pay for a commissioner or his secretary to be reading a paper when the can go to the library and read it for free on their lunch hour.

hal samis said...

If the White Plains Library is closing on Sundays, does this mean that in other communities, the Library doesn't get all that it asks for?

But I know that I don't know much about the funding and inner workings of the White Plains Library and I doubt that other unincorporated residents do either.

What I do know about is the Greenburgh Library and I (like it matters to others) would want to see attendance (not circulation) figures for all the days of the week before a decision is made to change hours.

As for Feiner's posted comments regarding the Library. Poorly conceived. First, because I don't believe that he really has the votes on the new Library Board and second because, in his assuming that he does, he has listed topics such as the cybermobile and library hours that he and the Town Board, with regard to the status of the Library (such as it is promoted to be), have absolutely no say. Good or bad as it may be perceived.

The attempt to retain some control is limited to the $50,000 of the Library budget that is being held in escrow. I would have instead preferred a memorandum of understanding ("verified") that the Library agrees to maintain their stated operating hours in return for the funding being offered.

As it is, I was at the Library this Saturday and found it to be grossly understaffed. It is my understanding that Saturday is the busiest day and I believe that the Library Director is already embarking upon the path of gamesmanship to impart to patrons that we are understaffed -- blame it on the Town Board.

Monday thru Friday there are many more employees in evidence and I suspect that much of the "back room" functions could be performed on Saturday where this staff could also be on tap to handle the patron's needs, not just the management's adherence to "the way we were".

An observation: part of the wait on the checkout line is due to the problems of the original bad decision to have the main floor a level above the entry. This puts a strain on those manning the "circulation" desk who tend to be stuck with handling all the problems -- such as issuing new library cards or renewing old cards. Given: that the return function has been largely shunted from their workload (return books through the wall slot on the way in {where they remain for hours} --while those patrons, who ignore this depersonalization and go instead to the circulation desk, they could have their returns, not checked in immediately by staff but accepted for return by staff and placed on a convenient shelf for later check-in when there is no line of patrons behind) IF the humans having to enforce this were willing to deal with humans who would be "miffed": the circulation desk (under budget constraints) should be used solely to get media and patrons out quickly and all other functions such as cards or placing reserves should be directed upstairs where this is more staffing. Of course, if this were the plan, the Library would have to acknowledge the problems with the building's design AND that from the beginning they should have warned residents that operating the larger building would require more staff, maintenance and hence a larger operating budget. Either the Library Trustees were stupid, hard of hearing when they were warned or deliberately adopted a "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" stance (choose the one that fits) in the end (now, even before the future arrives) the public is going to pay the price for the Trustees' callousness.

One thing to note as the public ooohs and ahhs its way around the new Library. Take note of all the wasted space that will never serve a useful purpose. At the top of the stairs, look left, look right -- it has to remain that way because this is what must remain open space since what can be placed in front of an active stairway and an active elevator, some space is required but not what the Library is stuck with. Oh, and why if you take the stairs do you have to go through a closed (you'll need a free arm so limit your book checkouts) door? Not just because to close the Library off after hours if an event were happening below (a rope across the lower steps would suffice -- there would be a guard because of the media on the lower level) but because the noise from downstairs is said to seep upstairs. On the ground level, in the back office area (behind the circulation desk), all that space (and the space that exists out of view to the right) is stretched out to fill the footprint. And this area doesn't even house the Library Director (located far from the public in additional back office areas behind the training room across from the circulation desk) or the Assistant Library Director's office on the second floor.

Think about it what do the Patrons get from the half of the building that is on the entry floor. A circulation desk, a computer training room, an auditorium with gallery walls and the most popular items, dvds and bestsellers, so Patrons don't have to ever use the upstairs. Other than the children's enormous play area, this is the real Library of tomorrow, occupying the same square footage of the old Library.

And while you're still on the ground floor, near the circulation desk. Take another look at the circulation desk. Memory leads me to state that this was the result of a grant of $125,000. Grants come from your NYS taxes so they are not free. All the circulation desk is (nice woods, yes) is a table top to host some computer terminals and devices to neutralize security devices for checkout. Yes or No, this desk is worth $125,000?

But take joy in knowing that the Library has three times the parking of the old Library. Guess what, if patrons had been willing to park in the spaces belong to the old town hall, on top and below, they would have almost the same number of spaces without lifting a shovel. But patrons never wanted to walk to these far-off spaces. Now they are willing to do so, cheefully?

Is the Library finished? Not at all, even the work that is still to be done and there are funds allocated. The "Grand Opening" was merely the ceremony so the outgoing Trustees could receive their thanks and the public would think the construction clock had stopped by seeing that the building was mostly functional. No one really wants to pay Al Regula $90 an hour to repeat that the project is on budget and on schedule.

The glass to reduce the noise spillover from the children's area?
On order. Part of the project from the beginning (ground-breaking January 2007, contracts awarded December 2006. Fortunately, the glass for the other interior walls such as the Assistant Directors office, the still not ready local history room and the reference section office had been ordered or we wouldn't have them in place. Staff versus patron needs, another illustration of priorities.

Oh there's so much more and that's why I have a "coming year ahead of us". Readers may think that the project has now been capped at $20.2 million (after the near $4 million of already built-in cushion within the original $19.9 million) but I can assure you that it is not.

Even the Library's newest friend, Supervisor Feiner, and being no stranger to bait and switch himself, acknowledges that this is not the Library promised from the Trustees' neighborhood meetings. Clearly the missing cost(s) lies (one word, noun and verb) ahead and to participate in the cover-up, please contribute generously to the Greenburgh Public Library.

And in the space provided, please write your own opinion of the outcome of a meeting between Supervisor Feiner and the Library Foundation. _ Thanks.

sheesh said...

Cut the malarkey about the camp fees and show us CUTS TO THE TDYCC BUDGET!

PS. MYOB re: Library

Anonymous said...

How about co-operation -- how about we close on Saturday, and open Sunday, so that there is always a local library open.

Jumped over the moon said...

Hey diddle diddle,
The Supervisor played the fiddle,
The people all jumped to his tune.
The little folks grew up & said “what the heck?”,
And 2009 was the year of his ruin.

National Enquirer said...

Is it true Feiner and his wife have a marriage of convenience. She needs a husband for appearances in her law firm and he needs a wife so tongues don't wag in Greenburgh.

It's a great cover for two gay people.

Anonymous said...

So now we have the latest slime written by an unidentified slimer.

Anonymous said...

6:39

You are a disgrace. Maligning gay people everywhere.

Anonymous said...

What about taking care of all the neglected matters from 2007 and 2008 before we get too excited about 2009.

ed krauss said...

It's very difficult for me to have any empathy for someone who I know has no redeming qualities.

However,whoever National is, irrespective of the veracity or not, of his posting, he should be ashamed of himself.

Feiner is a public figure and subject to an open season of any kind of criticism relating to his job performance.

His wife is not.

Anonymous should be eliminated from this blog.

Anonymous said...

Stop the bull about Feiners personal life.

He was elected to serve the people where he has failed tremendously.
He has listened to Regula in passing a law for all garbage to be picked up curbside.
He passed this law and Regula resigns.
Smart move .
Does Regula think that he is off the hook for initiating this final screwing to the public.
By no means.
He's still young and needs to work .
His previous failures and there are many will keep following him from one place to another.
This fight is not over yet Paul.
Since you decided to go along with this law WE who have been putting our garbage curbside should get a reduction in taxes by $300,00 since you are charging this amount to the residents that fail to abide by your crazy law.
We have been saving right along for this service .
Remember Paul payback is sweet.
We are coming into an election year for three of you which will not be a happy one for you all but happy for us the residents.
You will have your fun for this year but we will have the law changed next time arround.

Anonymous said...

Commissioner Carter a VAST IMPROVEMENT!

Educated, approachable, smart, and nice! The Search Committee did a great job!! Much Congrats Mr. Carter.Nice to see such a mood change in that building.

hal samis said...

Dear Town Board,

In your rush to pay Mr. Regula $90 an hour, will he billing the Town portal to portal pay?

In your rush to pay Mr. Regula $90 an hour, is that because he left his Department in such good shape that there is no one else in each division that can run their shop even temporarily? That would be a good excuse to fire not to rehire him.

In your rush to pay Mr. Regula $90 an hour, is that because when it snows two inches, no one would know what to do if it snowed four inches? Do we spread sugar or salt? Do we spread chicken soup or sand? Does the plow go on the front or the rear of the truck?
Do we mix the glass bottles with the milk cartons? These are tough questions that need an expert since apparently the Town Board believes that everyone in DPW is doing their job for the first time.

Maybe Feiner could fill in for Regula and earn the $90 himself. He once rode on a garbage truck.

And Paul also thinks the Library has been finished on time and on budget.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to the great Al Regula, Paul and the other four you know who I mean these five have become gluttons for punishment.

We as tax payers allowed them to pay for all the errors that Regula made during his working years here in Greenburgh.


Good coverup guys and you have the nerve to hire him at $90.00 an hour.

You allowed him to impliment a law for curbside garbage pickups only ..to save money,then why the hell did you hire him partime .
you could have saved all this money.
He didn't do things right then how in the hell will he do anything right now.
.

Anonymous said...

What about the orange monstrosity on Central Avenue?

Anonymous said...

ooooooh please let Edgemont go those people think their better than the rest of greenburgh residents you hear them M.O. edgemont resident not greengurgh resident but edgemont oooooooh boy they are full of themselves