Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I am pleased to advise you that the Town Court was awarded $22,135.00 (the amount requested) in response to our recent JCAP application. The award is for furnishing the trailers that will be installed at the Court in Spring 2009.
The trailers will provide much needed space for the court.


hal samis said...

Dear Mr. Feiner,
Please adjust the Town Capital Budget to reflect your implied cost for these trailers as $22,135 (the amount requested). No wait, you did write that this money is TO FURNISH the trailers, not to purchase them. Of course, that's what readers understood, right?
You didn't mention what the COST of the trailers was, did you?

On the other hand, if the trailers cost considerably more to purchase and INSTALL, (which they do) please fess up and tell readers how much these trailers really are costing connected to the mother building.

Please explain that they are also taking away scarce parking spaces from the limited parking at the Court/Police parking areas.

Then explain why the extra space that they provide ("much needed space" by order of the State Court system) could alternatively have been provided from the excess space at Town Hall that the Library occupied -- and the Credit Union. Then explain that the space occupied by the Credit Union which brings in only around $25,000a year in rent would generate the cost of the trailers back in about 12.5 more years (or the useful life of the trailers) had the Courts been allowed to use the Credit Union space (yes their lease can be cancelled upon notice).

Then when you rush to say that the Judges favored the trailers, please tell us their names so that bloggers can verify that statement.

And when you get finished with all of the above, then explain that the money toward building a new Court/Police Station has been taken back by the Town Board from where it had been accumulating (by the generosity of overtaxed residents for this purpose) toward the day when the Town would proceed with the expansion project. Now that you have taken this money and we're back to zero, please explain that with the remaining pennies (after the legally required balances) in the Fund Balances, that the Town's borrowing costs will be higher because the bond rating has dropped when the rating agencies realized that there was no longer any money left in the cupboard.

Oh yes, the benchmark treasury has fallen but for an apples to apples comparison let's not only look at the benchmark but at what you always point to: the bond rating.

And just to hammer home your pride on the $22,000 worth of grant, please tell taxpayers that you took the Fund Balance money to bring down the tax increase because you did not have the stomach to to make the necessary spending cuts in an election year so you thought it best to buy down the tax increase using the accumulated funds.

And then you would blame it on the economy and the bossa nova.

Anonymous said...

What is the precise expense to the town?

Anonymous said...

Everybody simply accepts the Town Court's expressed needs. In fact, the Town Court is such a mess, and the judges are responsible for it, that nobody should give them the benefit of the doubt.

After three audits they still cannot account for the money they take in. They are so busy fighting with each other, and posturing for top spot, that it is clear that they don't have a clue about how to administer a court.

They yell for a new courthouse because the three juges don't have their own private digs in it (I mean "chambers"). They don't need separate chambers because they are not there at the same time because they are each a part-time judge, but do they care about taxpayers? No, any more than they care about being respectful to each other.

Samis has a good idea. There is plenty of space in Town Hall that can be used for court files. If you do that you will have plenty of space at the courthouse and you won't need trailers. And you will save lots of money. And maybe the judges will stop their crabbing.

Listen for a change.

Anonymous said...

How much will each household be charged for this grant????

hal samis said...

Yes the Courts are a mess.
But the extra space is not an option for the Town. It is the directive of NYS that the Courts be given more space.

Starting from that point, more space can be from new construction, from the purchase of trailers which the Town Board chose to do when voting last Spring's capital budget.

Or they could have used the extra space in Town Hall but Mr. Feiner wants to protect his tenant, the Credit Union.

So he runs to let taxpayers think what a fine job the Town is doing to cut costs -- look, we're applying for more grants so that taxpayers won't be burdened.

But, as is typical of Mr. Feiner, he won't state what is public knowledge, the cost of the trailers. I know, you can know too by reading the capital budget or the Resolution approving the expenditure for the trailers. And since Feiner elected to create this post, he could easily tell taxpayers how much the trailers are costing.

But he won't because he wants to leave the impression that he is concerned about taxpayers. And if a few readers walk away thinking that the cost of the trailers was $22,000 and that this was paid by a grant, well that wouldn't upset him at all.

But if he posted the real cost, then that might make taxpayers wonder why they are paying for trailers when there is so much space at Town Hall. And if the Credit Union was kicked out because the Town needed the space, the loss of their $25,000 even for more than 10 years of lost rent as a result of their departure, the taxpayers would still be ahead of the game if the Court took over the space instead of purchasing the trailers.

Make it easy, Paul. Just post what the trailers are costing taxpayers and include the cost to connect them to the Court building.

Anonymous said...

Hal this town has to be put on the right track which can only be done by you.

Please seek to be endorsed by a party that will enable us to vote you in.

We need honesty now . We have lived too long with just one lie after another.

Anonymous said...

I walked into Duane Reade at the four corners the other day. There, right in the front of the store, was an abundance of Coke& Sprite fridge pacs all stacked high with a big sign: "2 for $3.99" I blinked and grabbed 4 cases, ran up to the register only to find that the small print(tiny little letters) said "limit one per customer with additional $30 purchase"

The cashier said I could take them at regular price for $4.99 per case hoping I would instead of lugging them back to the pile.
I didn't buy them but felt taken anyway.

This is how our town government makes me feel.

Anonymous said...

The trailers are cost effective. Every lawyer knows that the courts need renovation and more space. The lawyers, plaintiffs, defendants, Judges are on top of each other. A trailer is less expensive than a new building. Cost effective move. Smart move. Hal: Post your negative comments on some other topic. You are dead wrong on this one.

Anonymous said...

The Town Hall now has empty space that the library has moved out. Have we examined why storage etc can not be moved from the public safety building to the Town Hall? Why are so many Police sitting around at headquarters? We need to reexamine space. NOW NOW NOW.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the money in the fund balance that was to go towards building the much needed court space?

hal samis said...

Dear 6:44,

Why am I wrong on this one? Did I write that the Courts don't need more space? Did I oppose more space? Did I not write that the Town doesn't even have a choice (given their dereliction of duty --unwritten) which made the NYS Court system step in and order the Town to provide more space. So, Mr. "I'm wrong on this one", maybe there is a reading program you can enroll in.

Ok, now we agree that more space is needed.

Let's now check and take the online vision test. Myabe you just need glasses. Put your face about 12-14 inches from the screen, open your eyes and tell me where I wrote that we should have a new building. What I did write was that the Town had overtaxed residents to accumulate money to build a new Court/Police Building and that in order to hide the real tax increase, the Town Board took this money (that accumulating for the project) to buy down the tax increase so it would appear smaller in the re-election year of Feiner, Sheehan and Juettner. See, push the button and I shall respond. And get a stronger prescription for glasses.

Regarding what I did write, I suggested that the Courts should be given the surplus space in Town Hall (surrendered by the Library) and even the space occupied by the Credit Union, if needed, since it only brings in around $25,000 a year and the occupancy for commercial use cheapens what should be a 100% municipal building. I didn't even remind residents about liability insurance should the tenant turn out to be "capital challenged" like other financial institutions today. But I did offer my estimate of how not buying trailers and using the rented space for the Courts would make up the loss of this $25,000 annual rent. I said that the savings from not buying the trailers would be the equivalent of not collecting 12.5 times the $25,000 rent.

Mr. Feiner has not bothered to add to his posting and tell taxpayers what the cost of this trailer(s) is. I pointed readers in direction that would lead to the answer.

Since Mr. Feiner is very busy misdirecting residents on other topics, perhaps he didn't have the time to respond. So lets look at the 2008-2009 Capital Budget and we find that the cost is $350,000 for the trailer. Let's assume this includes the cost to connect the trailer(s) to the existing building. 12. 5 years x $25,000 a year and we get $312,500 and the difference is the CPI lease step-ups or close enough. Meanwhile, the useful life of the trailer is declining rapidly.

Oh, you say, that's cheaper than a new building but again, who recommended a new building. For that matter a trailer is also cheaper than the new Library but why go there. And why buy a trailer when we already have the space in Town Hall.

Again, Mr. Feiner, see if you can get the three Judges to say that they told you they didn't want the Town Hall space. You say they didn't but let's allow for the Feiner Fios Factor, the variations in story when adults sit in a circle repeating the message to their neighbor to pass on, or stand outside a supermarket playing "telephone".

So with this information in the open, please run by readers again why the trailers are "cost effective". And just for laughs, run by readers why "I am dead wrong on this one". Or was that a threat?

It sure is puzzling why people who know that they are right refuse to sign their name. The only thing I can hazard as a guess is that they know they are either wrong or half dead. Signing off right now to find some garlic and wolfbane.

Anonymous said...

The administrative Judge of the state court system sent a representative to look at town hall space. Found that the space at town hall was inadequate for the courts needs.

hal samis said...

What space was the administrative judge shown?

What new brand bs are you peddling?

The combination of the training room upstairs (former children's room) + the cafeteria/office (former library stack area) + the second floor space occupied by the Credit Union is inadequate because it is five times the amount of space as that provided by the trailer(s) -- ALL of this is inadequate. However a trailer(s) is?

Readers would do well to ask: how come every statement purporting to know the definitive answer as though it came from a government insider is written by anonymous?

Because, who do I skewer when I've got the proof that shows these anonymous "statements" to be false?

If I showed the administrative judge a broom closet, I would expect the inadequate response.

The same as if anonymous dropped trou.

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

Real buildings last longer than trailers - when determining what is less expensive, you must remember to compare useful lives of assets.
Of course no one on the Town Board gives a hoot for anything lasting longer than his/her term of office - which means our children and grandchildren will not be able to afford to live here.

Anonymous said...

A new courthouse would cost over $30 million. Trailers are better!

Anonymous said...

It isn't a question of trailers versus a new courthouse.

We don't need either one. We have plenty of room for storage in Town Hall.

Listen to the judges and we will have another boondoggle like the new library.

Anonymous said...

Who said that we needed a new building.

What we need is storage space.
After visiting the library there is so much wasted space that will never be filled .

Town hall has plenty of space that can be used for the many files that need storage.

Between the two the library and town hall we could save plenty of money.

Anonymous said...

Does it make sense to put court records in another building away from the court? Don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Yes Mr. 10:21, it makes sense. The records that need to be stored are old files that must legally be saved but which are extremely unlikely to ever be looked at again. In the rare cases where a look is necessary it is no big deal to get the file from Town Hall.

Law firms store their old files in warehouses for that reason. When those files are needed, a simple call gets them back to the law office.

But forget about the Library. The Library Board cooperates with nobody, and they probably won't acknowledge that they have much unused (wasted) space.

hal samis said...

To 10:21,
It makes sense because it saves dollars.

Guess what, there are devices called computers and scanners in the world and active files can be accessed by applying one's fingertips to the keyboard, much like the one in front of you.

However much of the storage problem of files at the Courts is that of inactive files that cannot be thrown out. Just in case, one of their parking ticket decisions wends its way to the Supreme Court.

However, there is still a place for original hard copies; that place is called Town Hall where residents are already paying debt service on the bonds issued to acquire the building's surplus space. I don't question the building's purchase, its size or the price paid to acquire it. I am merely reminding readers that since we already had a building with excess space suitable for storage, then it was stupid to spend $350,000+ for trailers.

Even more stupid from a Town Board which travelled all over Greenburgh to learn that residents didn't want to suffer rising taxes.

Clearly, not only were the Judges not shown all the space that was available because Mr. Feiner is in big "love" with the Credit Union, but because it is just one more of those things that he defends tooth and nail rather than ever admit that he was wrong. It does not work to Greenburgh's advantage to have a Town Supervisor who has never grown up and gotten past the foot stamping stage of human development.

And to save anonymous the result of being slapped in the face, the rent not received is less than the cost of the trailers. Not to mention the notion that Town Hall is not a commercial building -- and should not be competing with office buildings whose owners pay taxes.

Another ill-timed result from the Feiner team which only pretends to be intersted in keeping your taxes down.
Nothing about the worldwide economy can justify this reasoning which add to your tax bill.

And, all of this discussion is the result of Mr. Feiner writing a post to brag about receiving a grant to furnish the trailers. I understand that your contribution toward State taxes which provide this grant is minimal; I just want to make the point that here is more good money thrown after bad and that the Supervisor still doesn't get it. He thinks that getting this grant somehow makes up for the Town Board's stupidity (some might argue cupidity) in buying the trailers in the first place.

And, once more until readers get it. In "logic" there is something called a "straw man" argument. It is used to defend a weak original premise by diverting the discussion away. A straw man is an even weaker substitute for the premise. Something that can be blown away or defeated easily. Those creating straw man arguments do so to take the "heat" away from the undefendable premise. In other words, they shift the attention away from what can't be argued over to a topic that is a loser from "go". The object is to defend the original premise by offering up a sacrifice so that everyone will be debating the sacrifice. Mr. Feiner's anonymous defenders do this all the time.

On this topic, they have tried to shift the attention from discussing costly trailers vs. free space in Town Hall to -- trailers cost less than a new building. That is why they write as anonymous: so you won't call them stupid to their face(s).

Anonymous said...

Hal Samis is right. Again. And again.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Samis: have you ever been to the town court? Have you observed the overcrowding conditions?

hal samis said...

I have been to Town Court although not during sessions,

And your point is that more space is needed?

Have I disputed this?

Be careful around lit matches.

Herb Rosenberg said...

The Greenburgh court is the biggest Town Court that I have seen. I have been in the court office and it has plenty of room, both in the court and in the court office. There is storage room in the basement, and old files that don't fir in the basement can easily be stored in other available space, such as Town Hall. I don't think that trailers are necessary, but if they are so be it. But there would have to be an honest showing that trailers are the only method available to store files, and I'd bet the ranch that this cannot be done. I do have some knowledge about these things.

The problem, which the Town Board refuses to face or admit, is with the judges and especially with the Chief Clerk. The judges fight with each other and do not cooperate. The law makes them equal, but there is competition as to who is more equal than the other, with the result that everything is a melodrama and a dishonest melodrama at that. The Chief Clerk has been a disater from day one, but one of the judges has referred to the Chief Clerk as "she is like a daughter to me" and so stuff piles up, the files are in disorder, money is missing or unaccounted for and three or four audirs have failed to fix the problem, that is how screwed up it is. It is almost a safety net for the Chief Clerk -- since the financial records are so bad that they can't be figured out where the money belongs and why the books are in such disarray, she is OK because nothing can be pinned on her.

Some years ago there was a push to fire the Chief Clerk, but the judge who sees her as "like a daughter" prevented the firing, so we still have this mess. And naturally it is blamed on things that have nothing to do with the mess, like the absence of storage space.

Don't excpect a solution. The Town Board refuses to get real about it.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it make sense to find out why the office of administrative Judge of the state court system recommended the trailers? They looked at town hall as an option and rejected it.

hal samis said...

"Wouldn't it make sense to find out why the office of administrative Judge of the state court system recommended the trailers? They looked at town hall as an option and rejected it."

2/08/2009 8:58 PM

Here readers go believing everything they read. The correct question is: what space were they shown at Town Hall? And if Town Hall was ruled out because it was not next to the Courts themselves, then there would have been no need to look at Town Hall.

However since Mr. Feiner is the champion of the Credit Union, I very much doubt that the availability of this space was included as part of the tour.

In any case, I believe the trailers have already been purchased, for cash (not bonding) on hand as per the statement in the capital budget. That's why this topic started as news of a grant for furnishing them.

And very likely a similar grant could have been applied for to retrofit Town Hall space.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Herb Rosenberg with regards to the Chief Clerk of the Town Court, Cecile Sia. SHE HAS TO GO, PERIOD!!! The way she treats her staff and others is terible. She is nasty and minserable individual. Why she is still there is beyond me. She plays the judges against each other and forces her staff to take sides; which is completely unprofessional. I have seen her do this, personally.
If she left, the court would approve dramatically.