Saturday, March 14, 2009

Week of March 8th: Miscellaneous

The purpose of this Miscellaneous topic is to discuss any town related issues you feel are important that are not addressed in other topics. Please post any issues you wish to discuss in the comments section of this post. Thanks!

If you have any suggestions or comments regarding the blog, please contact me at 'mherman.gny@gmail.com'. Thank you for your input.

-Marc Herman

150 comments:

tdycc - change must come said...

from an earlier post regarding the tdycc:

the Center should be either (1) folded into the Town Rec or other existing Departments (so as not to remain an independent, unaccountable patronage fiefdom); or (2) handed over to the YMCA or other non-profit independent social-service organizations with long-experience operating community multi-service centers.

Anonymous said...

The Community Center was a part of the Parks and Recreation Department until the early 1990's. Then Barbara Perry wanted to be a Commissioner and she wanted to control the Community Center, so for that bad political reason the Department of Community Resources was created and the Community Center and Yosemite Park were taken from the jurisdiction of the Parks and Recreation Department and put into the jurisdiction of the Department of Community Resources.

Bad decision. The Community Center serves a very useful purpose but it would be managed better and cheaper under Parks and Recreation, with perhaps a deputy or assistant commissioner doing the day-to-day work at the Community Center.

Anonymous said...

The TDYCC was never part of the parks dept. Ted Young was always independent of parks.

Anonymous said...

ditto comment #1

B,Perry said...

The Fairview Greenburgh Community Center was never under the department of Parks and Recreation. In the early 70's there was a failed attempt to place the Center under that department, however Supervisor Anthony Veteran, members of the town board and the community, strongly rejected that move as it would have been in violation of the Federal contract. Thus, the Center continued providing social, educational and recreational programs in accordance with the Federal Neighborhood Facilities Act,


The Community Center's board of directors had the foresight at the end of the twenty five year Federal contract to protect the Center and its mission with the recommendation to establish it under New York State Law as a Department of the Town of Greenburgh. As such, the Center which had no protection under the law at the conclusion of the Federal contract, became a Department with all the responsibilities and authority of other departments in the town. As a result, the Department of Community Resources could not become a YWCA, as some have suggested or be placed under another department. Contrary to blogger 3:32 posting, TDYCC does not work independently and is accountable to the town board. The degree to which this Department has been under the microscope leaves me wondering if other departments are under the same scrutiny. It's evident as I listen to some of the board meetings that this is not the case.

Anonymous said...

Thank you B. Perry for presenting the facts. It is always helpful to know what is real and what is fanciful.

You neglected to take the opportunity to clarify another important detail - Is the Center explicitly included under the provisions of the Finneran Law or not?

Anonymous said...

Paul: why don't you create a separate blog page for job listings? i'm sure pfeinerjobs.blogspot.com is available.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, Ms. Perry obfuscates the issue regarding the status of the center as an autonomous department. She wrote that the Board during the Federal oversight period gave a "recommendation to establish it under New York State Law as a Department of the Town of Greenburgh." How is a recommendation binding? Did NY state legislate that the Center must be administered by an independant department in Greenburgh in perpetuity? If so, please cite the statute number. As far as Center accountability, we agree with Ms. Perry that not just the Center, but ALL Greenburgh departments should be scrutinized under a microscope to ensure that the taxpayers' money is being effectively and efficiently allocated.

Anonymous said...

Dear Supervisor Feiner -
It appears your blog has become little more than a listing site for potential jobs.
There may be nothing wrong with that, but unless you take the time to verify whether the proffered jobs actually exist, you are, at best, wasting time and energy.
The job of governing the Town desperately requires your attention to myriad details - attention you have been loathe to provide. Perhaps your perusal of all those job offer websites signals your own interest in changing careers?
If so, please make sure your resume contains only true, verifiable facts - not a series of PR releases and "spins" which, when subjecting to vigorous fact checking, will not disqualify you from private sector employment. Some examples:
Claiming academic degrees and honors to which you are not entitled will cause most private sector employers to file your resume in the trash.
Taking credit for accomplishments which are either not yours, or not the result of your direct actions, like a decrease in crime which reflected a secular trend, will make private sector employers wary of the rest of your cv.
Failing to take responsibility for not completing your work assignments is also not good for your private sector employment prospects. Claiming, for example, that making sure the Town Budget is up on the website isn't part of your job description has a particularly hollow sound - especially when you seem to have no trouble in postings job opportunities for residents...
On second thought, you may currently hold the only job possible - rather like the old, tired complaints about DMV lifers - who else would have you?

Anonymous said...

It would be helpful to know whether any of the jobs you have plastered all over your blog are salaried - it seems most of them offer compensation based on earning sales commissions.
If would also be helpful to know whether any of these jobs include benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, etc.
IF YOU WANT TO RUN AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY AT LEAST DO IT THE RIGHT WAY - not the Feiner way.

dont buy perry's spin said...

the tdycc is a 4 million dollar operation that basically serves only one part of the town

this is wrong. if fairview or parts of elmsford want it - let them pay for it - let it become a special recreation area.

ms perry continues to evade the fact that the tdycc is a divisive stand alone department that is not solving any problems other than unemployment. to the contrary, it is perpetuating racial stereotypes and separatism.

more spin is found regarding the federal nature of the tdycc - only the pool was federally funded.

in fact, use of the pool and who is being charged are, no surprise, subject to much controversy.

the continued existence of the tdycc in its current format should be carefully looked at and voted on.

Anonymous said...

Options:
This blog can be used to promote negativity.
This blog can be used to help people find work.

Anonymous said...

Option 3:
This blog can continue to be used to post job listings to divert attention from the financial/ management problems with the town.

Option 4:
A separate Greenburgh jobs only blog/web page can easily be created, or more conveniently the jobs can be listed through a link on the greenburghny website.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know what the prevailing salaries will be this summer for the camp counselors at both the Greenburgh camps and the TDYCC camp? Can someone answer this question please!!!

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me what the town board is doing? Why don’t they looking into the exodus of hard working families leaving Manhattan Ave buildings. Nurses, firemen, correctional officers, mailmen are all being forced out. Due to high rents. Only to make way for section 8 tenants from any and everywhere. What is so affordable about a $2500 dollar two bedroom apartment? Where is Sonja Brown in this mess? If she is so helpful to the residents why isn’t she meeting with the few tenants that are left down there? Why isn’t she meeting with the homeowners who are upset and fearful as to what their community is becoming? WHY????????????????????????????

Anonymous said...

I don't think that job postings are appropriate for this blog.

town board - clueless said...

from tom friedman (ny times)

it’s always great to see the stock market come back from the dead. But I am deeply worried that our political system doesn’t grasp how much our financial crisis can still undermine everything we want to be as a country. Friends, this is not a test. Economically, this is the big one. This is August 1914. This is the morning after Pearl Harbor. This is 9/12. Yet, in too many ways, we seem to be playing politics as usual.

tdycc and today said...

another day
another $11,000 to run the tdycc

did you get your money's worth?

Anonymous said...

I know that Parks & Rec camp counselors get minimum wage or a lower stipend. I know one counselor that made on $900 (less than minimum wage) in 2006 for the entire camp session, full time.

Heard at a work session was Carter responding to Paul's questions something like : The workers make the same, right?" Carter looking befuddled "Um, they make minimum wage."

So, Carter never really answered Paul's question. Could be that TDYCC counselors make more than P&R's counselors.

You'll never get a straight answer.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

Why are you only reporting $23,000 in projected revenues for Xposure in 2009?

Why is there a Lanza donation for "Police Camp" aka Fairview Special Camp of $65,000 when we where told, nermerous times that police camp was cut along with DARE?

Why does the budget state that Recreation revenues will go up from $428,790 to $440,000 BUT TDYCC revenues will go down from $254,274 to 224,000 in 2009?

Why does the budget state that AFV Park fees consistently go up each year, 2009 at $410,000 YET Fairview pool revenues go down, actual 2007 $136,283; 2008 budget $117,660; and 2009 budget NOW $100,000???

HUH?

Anonymous said...

correction: numerous

paul feiner said...

This is a follow up to the comment made above.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Paul Feiner
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 11:20 PM
To: William Carter; Gerard J. Byrne; Michael Kolesar; Town Board
Subject: pay summer camp counsellors the same


The summer camp counsellors at the TDYCC and parks dept should receive the same hourly rate if they are providing similar services. Please review and report back to the board if this is not happening. PAUL FEINER

Anonymous said...

Paul I think it is great that you post all of these job openings even though this blog is beginning to look like the classifieds. My question is this why wasn't the position for senior recreation supervisor at the parks department ever posted. It is my understanding that this is a civil service job and that the position is supposed to be open competitive. Yet the position has been filled with no posting on the town web site or on the county site. Is this dirty politics, because in hard economic times at least everyone should have an equal opportunity for the position. Also this is a tested position was anyone ever tested for this position, or is this another government shoe in.

Anonymous said...

Paul,
Why are you not answering the questions that 5:10 asked?

I just watched last nights TB meeting and Bob Bernstein asked about the projected revenue drops as well.

Can you please answer why there are revenue drops across the board and budget increases for TDYCC yet you have assured the public there was to be budget cuts and fee increases?

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely disgraceful that the town perpetuates this sham of a community center. It is an incestuous extension of the central 7 school district. It is divisive.

The school district is proposing a tax hike again this year. Imagine that!

Between the school district and the TDYCC untold millions are funneled into supporting a small fraction of TOV children to their betterment.

There is no outreach from either institution to the community children at large. ZERO!

TOV should hang their heads in shame at the unfairness. Both town and school government has discriminated against the very population that fought to ensure equality in this town back in the 50's & 60's.

Shame! Shame!

Anonymous said...

Shame Shame is right. I feel especially bad for Hartsdale. They had the choice a few decades ago to be part of the Fairview school district or Edgemont school district, and they generously chose Fairview. The rest of us in Unincorporated Greenburgh join in our village school districts' programs, but Hartsdale is discriminated against and basically has access to nothing. I'm surprised that Hartsdale hasn't joined the Edgemont bandwagon to secede. Actually, the two should merge to become a small city of its own.

Anonymous said...

Hartsdale is the getting the shaft there. They are a hard working, middle class, family orientated, group of families. Many stuck there as they can't afford tuition's yet can't take losses on their homes to sell or can't afford more in a mortgage to move to a better school district.

Pity that no other school district wants thier kids.

hartsdale - wake up said...

hartsdale is getting the shaft (like the hideous wall on central avenue installed by the town thankfully now falling down)

but hartsdale keeps voting for the same folks over and over.

hartsdale - get involved or keep getting a raw deal.

totally FUBAR said...

Total screw job for Hartsdale.

Lord have mercy! LLoyd Newland, President of the Central 7 BOE can't form a sentence. Heard at a recent meeting from a script" I would like to ask those that HAS a cell phone to turn IT off."

Every, single word he utters is scripted. Even "please stand to say The Pledge of Allegiance"
AHHHHHHHH!

3 BOE seats available this year including Ms. Cora and no takers!

No one thinks that our dear Ms. Cora has a conflict of interest? TDYCC? Greenburgh Housing Authority?

Heck! Why don't we move TDYCC onto the Woodlands campus and be done with it all? Let Fairview have it all!
It's all but theirs anyway. I would love to see the tens of millions of school tax dollars go bye-bye if Hartsdale left. These people wouldn't know what the hell to do? Maybe the parents would have to step up to the plate and mind their children. hahahahaha!


All of those millions and no obligation to those families that pay for private schools. It's been one giant ongoing windfall for Fairview to ineptly use to create nothing much of anything.

Hartsdale is Fed up said...

It is in the works! Signed a petition last week. There were at least 20 pages already signed.

Hartsdale School District ?

Anonymous said...

Could the residents of Hartsdale actually create their own district and stop paying taxes to GC7 ?

Hartsdale Homeowner said...

Who is walking this petition? Where did it originate from? I have not seen or heard of it.

Hostage in Hartsdale said...

6:55,

Nothing is impossible. There certainly is enough of a population in Hartsdale to support its own schools but I assure you that Fairview will do everything to prevent it from happening. Of course, they don't want Hartsdale to actually send their kids to GC, they just want the tax dollars. They'll cry segregation!! That's exactly what they did a few years back when the district wanted to reorganize the schools to better serve neighborhoods, meaning get Hartsdale kids to come back to the schools! What's entirely ironic is that the schools were then and still are segregated. Fairview does not want Hartsdale messing with "their" turf. lol Kibnda like TDYCC. haha! They take all of our money and tell us to F off. If we don't go away quietly they call us racists.

It could be done but it would take a real dedicated effort on the part of the Hartsdale people. If there were some savvy lawyers involved it would not be too hard to prove to the state mismanagement on the part of GC across the board. There certainly are enough people who TRIED to put their kids into the school district only to have experienced prejudice from school administrators. The people of Hartsdale are afraid to talk about the mistreatment by the school district!! They are afraid to be called racists.
The irony!

However, it would be so much simpler to have Hartsdale merge with another existing school district.

Oh, HELLO? Edgemont? Ardsley? Would you like to have about 35 million more a year in school taxes with only 1/4 of the population enrolling kids into your school district? HELLO?

Anonymous said...

Make no mistake Hartsdale. Pauly boy thinks the state of things in Hartsdale is just dandy! He also subscribes to "give me all of your money Hartsdale & take a hike!"
Hartsdale is like gum on the sole of the shoes of the school district and town council.

tear it down said...

hartsdale - show spme guts
tear down that wall!!
liberate yourselves from juettner

Anonymous said...

Dear Ardsley,

Oh please. The wall is the least of Hartsdale's problems.

Anonymous said...

Interesting! No word on the salaries of camp counselors. Me thinks there might be a little problem.

PAUL FEINER said...

dear 6:12 AM
I received the following clarification from gerry byrne re: your question about posting of a job


As requested by you for clarification, during the last quarter 2008 the Department of Parks and Recreation working through the Personnel Department with your permission posted the Recreation Supervisor opening. The process involved canvassing the civil service eligibility list and when the list was broken, interviews were conducted. A candidate was chosen to be offered this position last fall but due to financial constraints and budget concerns the provisional appointment was deferred and eventually written out of the 2009 budget.



Earlier this year, when the GPR Assistant to the Commissioner accepted the Deputy Commissioner position for the Department of Community Resources, the Assistant position was eliminated from the Parks and Recreation budget and the Recreation Supervisor position was reinstituted at a significant cost savings for the department. The County of Westchester required that we re-canvass the civil service eligibility list that was broken in 2008 and the person who was originally going to be offered the position was appointed on a provisional basis. Although the position was posted in the last quarter of 2008, the Personnel Department advised that through an oversight it did not post the position earlier in the year.



The Recreation Supervisor position is a competitive position and a test was offered in February by the County of Westchester. Later this spring the results will be posted and by law the Town will be required to hire a Recreation Supervisor from that list. The present provisional employee qualifies for this position and also took the examination in February.



I hope this clarifies the question that you asked me. Call me if you would like to further discuss.



Gerry

PAUL FEINER said...

Re: camp counsellor fees---
I have asked Mike Kolesar, town comptroller to evaluate all camp salaries. Camp counsellors doing the same job should be paid the same salary. PAUL FEINER

Anonymous said...

Parks and Recreation did not have an assistant to the commissioner until a little over a year ago which was a transfer from the community center, and so was the funds to fund that position. So now that the position is gone their is no true savings to the town since the position hasn't existed in the parks department in years. So maybe the general public can be fooled by the political games but lets shed some light on the situation. Is this the same department that was looking to lay off their carpenter. Now all of a sudden they have the funds to hire new employees.

Out with the old in with the new.

Stop the political games.

Time to start cleaning up shop Paul

hartsdale walled out said...

i beg to differ
the wall is a symbol of hartsdale's political decline

feiner and juettner dumped it there because they think you are powerless

the longer it stays, the more they are seen as right

Anonymous said...

Paul,
Why does Mike need to evaluate the salaries? They get paid the same hourly rate or they don't. What's this "doing the same job
thing?
It's common knowledge that TDYCC kids get extra, free, camp services like transportation, extended day programs and transportation. Does serving free lunch require a higher hourly rate as it is a more labor intensive job?

Anonymous said...

The comptroller should provide the Town Board with a report analyzing salaries for equivalent jobs. This is a valid request.

Anonymous said...

Paul you seem to answer some questions but not all.
1--What happened to the Housing Authority monies owed to the residents for private Greenburgh police protection-over one half million dollars,did you forget.
.
2--How about changing drivers of sanitation trucks so we all get equal pickup service.This was a comment a few days ago where someone on a certain road gets their garbage picked up whenever the truck passes through for garbage, recycles,garden refuse and construction debris.
Why is this happening??Was not the pickup for household garbage twice a week when permitted.

What happened to the supervisors that were supposed to check on what their personnel is doing.Nada.
The roadways are a mess now after you initiated the law of curside pickups only.
Some days I seem to be dodging empty pails on the roadway because most of the residents work and their pails stay out until they return from work.
What a shame you put through a law that made our area look worse than
a city street in some other areas.

How much have you saved?
What does the driver of the small dump truck do after he has completed his work .
It was always said that their work day ended at twelve noon,does it now end at ten.

Anonymous said...

The comptroller should provide the Town Board with a report analyzing salaries for equivalent jobs. This is a valid request.
Well then, the comptroller should also be providing the town with a complete analysis of total camp expenditures verses revenues and out of pocket expenses to tax payers for each of the two camps.
This is the only way to have a fair, unbiased evaluation for what is going on here.


I doubt we will ever see this as Paul has already put a spin on the differences between the two camps identifying TDYCC as being a "different" camp. Different meaning more for those families for less cost to them.

Hartsdale Taxpayer said...

Hartdale with its own school district? That train left the station decades ago and isn't coming back.
1. A little history:
Hartsdale, like Edgemont, had its own mini-school district into the late 60s (e.g., the Hartsdale Middle School building behind Webb Field). These districts did not have their own high schools. The high schoolers apparently scattered to Scarsdale, WP or other places. Scarsdale put an end to this in the 50s. Edge. then decided to fund and build its own high school. Whether Hartsdale had the choice of joining Edgemont's high school and paying increased taxes is unclear. Shortsightedly, for whatever reason, Hartsdale voters chose to go it alone until in the late 60s/70s, when a state supervised consolidation scheme pressured Hartsdale into joining Greenburgh Central 8. Hartsdale voters turned consolidation down for various reasons (racism may have been a factor), but the courts reconfigured the voting district to include both Hartsdale and Central 8. With this enlarged district, the initiative passed and Hartsdale was unwillingly consolidated into the renamed Central 7 in the early 70s. The phenomenon crudely known as "white flight" began at this time.

2. Neighborhood schoolsin GC? Fuhgeddaboudit. One of the founding philosophies of the Greenburgh Central 8 district was desegregation. Remember that Westchester in the 50s was almost as segregated as the South (some would argue that continues). Central 8's district was a patchwork of mostly minority neighborhoods left out of other surrounding predominantly white districts. Greenburgh community leaders (led by local ministers) in the 50s and 60s insisted on unifying the elementary schools precisely to prevent the emergence of any de facto segregated neighborhood schools. This philosophy was not going to be abandoned in the early 70s with the new influx of white students brought in under the Hartsdale consolidation. As shown by the reaction to the proposal to reintroduce neighborhood schools about 5 years ago, there is no way anyone currently in charge of the GC district is going to take responsiblity for reversing this historic policy. Maybe if Hartsdale took over the Board, but not otherwise.
3. The state isn't going to allow a new school district, especially one that cannot support a high school, or likely even a middle school. The movement in Albany is toward further consolidation. You are more likely to see consolidation between Greenburgh and, say Elmsford (another underpopulated "small" district), before you see a new Hartsdale district.
4. Edgemont to the rescue? Don't count on it. The Country Club Way case before the state Board of Ed about a decade ago established that GC has the right to determine its best interests in preserving its tax base and not allowing houses to secede to neighboring school district, even when those neighboring districts are willing to accept redrawn district lines.

The solution: I hate to admit it, but Paul is right: if you want change in GC stop whining (and posting anonymously on blogs) and run for the School Board, organizing bloc voting for approved candidates who pledge support to your cause. So few residents vote in these elections that it should be easy to "take over." The downside is that individuals with the courage and commitment to stand up and devote time must emerge.
That's the ONLY way (and its democratic too!).
Sorry for the very long post, but Hal has been quiet lately.

another solution said...

another solution.
take your losses and
move.

a hartsdale continues its decline, why should you suffer?

what is hartsdale? said...

other than a train station and a census designated place - what is hartsdale?

it has lost its connection to a school district. it has no elected government.

does anyone disagree?

Anonymous said...

There are rumors that Greenburgh Central 7 will cease to exist. We all know that any district with enrollment under 2000 is on a watch list and that means several in the area. GC being a poor performing school district with the highest spending per pupil is being watched very closely.

Rumor has it that GC will be split up to White Plains, Ardsley, Elmsford & Edgemont.

So, it may not be up to the public and it may not matter what the history is.

rumor has it (not) said...

rumor?
where have you heard this fantasy other than here?

Anonymous said...

Early on the merged school system was one that was admired across the country. Educational standards were high and the population of students was diverse. There were relatively few children attending private and parochial schools in those days. But as the school's began to lower their standards there was not only white flight but there was middle class flight of all racial groups, even of those residents of Fairview. How sad it is to see the decline in the student body of a system that haw enough money to be a top notch system. For all those residents who have children, you must get involved; demand a better system; run for the school board and turn things around. As tax payers you owe it to yourselves to change the image; improve the educational system; and get your money's worth.By the way the District was never the Fairview School System. It was Greenburgh Central eight system prior to the merger.

hal samis said...

Oh, the blog has returned or what remains after the Supervisor has removed all the "on target" comments. I too thought I had landed on the help-wanted pages.
Maybe those looking for a job could register with the Supervisor and get his posting directly and spare the rest of us, more fortunate, or not, as we too live in Greenburgh.

Let's try this one out. Not having the stomach to attend the Wednesday night Town Board meeting, I stayed home and watched it for a change. Sound and picture ok. And despite the two opening acts, it was a fast moving meeting as even the Supervisor and the Town Board remarked. Was it because I wasn't there? Do I really cause the meeting to last another two hours? Or was it because there was nothing on the Agenda and the only Town stuff out there is bad news so why bother to discuss it on camera.

But look what I missed. The chance to be bored in person by a lot of environmental buzz words in rapid succession regarding an upcoming meeting that won't be held until the end of April. The last time so many words were spoken in tongues about the environment, the Town ended up with Taxter Ridge. Of course, like the Comprehensive Plan, none of these forthcoming conclusions are going to cost the Town money to implement, right? And wasn't it just a month or so ago that Avalon reported that they vetoed a renewable energy source because it was too expensive and the Town Board never said boo after Ms. Juettner managed to let them take bows for providing energy star appliances -- required by law.

And, of course there was the goodbye for Al Regula. His one undisputed accomplishment is that he lasted, indeed prospered, through a bus load of departing, former Town officials. And it was during this living eulogy that the night's biggest whopper was made by the Town Board member who lately is making a habit of telling whoppers: Francis Sheehan. Did he actually say that Al Regula saved the Library project a million dollars? This from the man who committed the project to spending $175,000 on a unneeded handicapped ramp, Francis is in no position to make any statement regarding savings. However, Francis, if you're out there, please explain your statement; give us some proof to support what is certainly the most ridiculous, voluntarily rendered piece of gibberish you've yet uttered.

And as for the citizen who came to the podium to express her concern that volunteers on committees should be exempt from critcism while having the bad taste to quote JFK as though he were on her side, she makes a fool of herself on her own and doesn't need any further assistance from me.

Anonymous said...

Watching the Tow Board meeting on Wednesday was a pleasure for a change. And perhaps, as one has commented, is WAS BECAUSE someone was NOT there to cause ONLY negativity and waste our time and money.

Anonymous said...

To quote some here:

Stupid is as stupid writes.
In this case stupid is 9:22.

Anonymous said...

the Town Board meeting was refreshing because people were not nasty. The meeting was dignified. Hope this is the start of something positive.

Anonymous said...

There wont be any forced mergers. Brodskys kids go to Elmsford, which is smaller than GC, and he wont stand for it.

Anonymous said...

6:43,
Rumors.

Perhaps it's the "New World Order"

rip said...

well its official
hartsdale is dead
rip hartsdale

i agree said...

i agree
that silly wall on central is its tombstone

Anonymous said...

The lady that gave a sermon as what should be said and not tobe said about volunteers should stay away from public speaking.
She is a monotone and because of this no matter what she says is quite boring.

She is an intellegent person but she has to take some lessons in public speaking to hold the attentions of the public.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hal Samis,

This person chooses Door "A" becaus YOU WERE NOT THERE.

Anonymous said...

The woman who lectured about not saying nasty and negative things - her name is Lorraine something - thinks it is bad if someone else does it but OK for her. I have seen her rage after people and condemn them, starting with the TDYCC temporary head.

It may be legitimate to criticize the TDYCC tempoirary head, but then don't complain about those who criticize others, just because you have worked yourself into being an insider.

Worst of all is the literary pretensions of this Lorraine woman. She seems to collect phrases from other speeches and puts them into her statements even though they don't fit.

hal samis said...

Taxes are up 30% in the last two years -- even before the hardships of the tanking economy. Even this large increase was the result of reducing the Fund Balance to lower a called for higher increase. Guess what, the excess of the Fund Balance is no longer there for the taking. Oh, and remember the cost of the Library construction -- a big factor in the increase -- the final large batch of bonds hadn't even been sold, as previously thought, in 2008 or 2009 yet, so look for this to hit the books soon because it didn't factor in 2009 calculations.

Why am I mentioning this? Because it must be the fault of all those
Town Board meetings that weren't "refreshing". The tax increases must be the result of "negativity".

Let's see how silly anonymous bloggers can be. Would you rather have refreshing Town Board meetings with no negativity and 15%annual tax increases or would you prefer to hold the Town Board to the flame?

Would you rather have "affordable and/or workforce housing (or worse)" spring up all over Town because the Town Board has opened Pandora's Box or would you rather take the Town Board to task?

Would you rather have a rushed scheme to put into law Business Permit fees or would you rather that the Town Board thought it through before attempting to create such a law. That the idea was withdrawn as quickly as it was launched was the result of a lot of "negativity", not because of a wiser Town Board. And behind all the rush was the still unpublished, approved final Town Budget with the income notation of $200,000 from Business Permit fees to offset the cost of the Comprehensive Plan. No law, no $200,000.
Not a problem. All that matters is that the tranquility of the Town Board meeting be preserved.

And, if the meeting hadn't started with a tribute to Al Regula and the energy meeting preview, the whole Town Meeting including 3 and 5 minute public comment would have been over in less than 90 minutes.
Certainly with nothing of consequence going on in Town, there was no need for anything else of substance to be included on the night's Agenda. After all, the Town Board is doing another tour of communities (aka election year whistle stop) to find that people are unhappy paying higher taxes; that they are unhappy with garbage pick-up (swell job, Mr. Regula) and that the library is terrific (after spending over $20 million, what did they expect? I argue that people don't recognize a $17 million library masquerading as a $20+ million library and that the $20+ million library is not near the one originally proposed.

Yes, these and the other minor matters that get lost in the shuffle, they are merely trifles to all taxpayers and residents. What is most important is that the Town Meetings run smoothly and that everyone is on their best behavior.

In a world which makes it possible for the Maydoffs (Enron, Bear Stearns, AIGs, Fannie Maes et al) to thrive, is it not possible that a two decade old Ponzi scheme variation is afoot here in dogpatch?
Removing the negativity leaves only the smiling faces, sometimes.
And WHEN the other shoe falls, the smiling faces will be just as outraged as those already wearing frowns. But don't worry, be happy. To the negative few, a short Town Board meeting is not a sign of prosperity and well-being. If the rest of the country is experiencing upheaval, does it seem reasonable that the only problem that the Town Supervisor can latch onto is running duplicative help wanted notices (hey, looking for a job, go to the Library), attacking County government and promoting Green -- all distractions from Greenburgh's real and immediate problems. Do readers really think that all is well because it was a short and pleasant meeting? Again from "The King and I"

'Yes, your majesty. No, your majesty. Give us a kick if it please your majesty. Ooooh, that was good, your majesty.'

If you really believe that all the problems are under control and that a short Town Meeting is the goal, then let me pose this question: on the Agenda was the notation that the Cablevision franchise agreement was again held over till April. Now about to start its third year of talks, does the Town Board have anything to report why it is still not a done deal? Yes, eventually we shall witness a document and Mr. Sheehan will be thanking all those who worked so tirelessly and spent so many hours producing it...and I'm thinking that will be the tell tale sign to run up the "negativity" banner. But on that night, the offset saving grace will be that there will be no time for 5 minute public comment.

And what happened to the expressed interest by all parties in the Town going to the debt markets for selling bonds while rates are low. Isn't the Town Supervisor going to take the next step -- he says he wants to do it quickly and that he is unconcerned with the political side of how the bond raters now view the Town. So, how about telling us what's happening with that, or not -- because it would add another 5 minutes to the meeting length.

Yes there are lots of little things that don't get discussed at the Town Board meeting because the Town Board doesn't think the Public would be interested or because the Town Board doesn't want the Public to know. What would be most damaging would the third possibility; that even the Town Board doesn't know. For example:

Remember that as far as the Town Board knows "officially" is that the Library project is on schedule and on budget. "Beautful and wonderful" and any other adjectives that may be ascribed to the Library, on schedule and on budget are not the words of art but are words of artifice yet the Town Board likes to take refuge and disguise their own cuckoldry by hoisting these banners upon a public sedated by the reborn library function.

So, yes, if quiet, dignified and short Town Board meetings are what you seek instead of openess and frankness, then mark last Wednesday's Town Board as the high water mark of what a meeting should be. And, if you find that come budget time (after the Democratic September Primary) and you are facing another big tax increase, take comfort in the certainty that the Town Board will come to your living room to find out that you are unhappy. And if your thoughts then turn negative, at least they won't be broadcast over cable to others too stricken to sit politely and quietly at a Town Board meeting and do the right thing -- think positively.

Those in government (and their toadies) who fear the truth are like "The Wiz", 'don't anybody bring me no bad news'. And to put the best spin and hence the evil eye on the nayknowers, the game is to cast them as purveyors of "negativity" or that which takes away. In other words, despite the fundamental underpinnings of the United States, in Greenburgh only one point of view is tolerated, contrarians are just those who throw moneky wrenches in the well-oiled machinery of government. And the selected oilers of this government are Kevin Morgan and the dais bookends, Tim Lewis and Judith Beville. Mr. Sheehan works from his own script as he has to coming from the ranks of the public. As for Ms. Juettner, well silence has been her golden. The Town Superviser is and never has been more than a slogan maker; the details bore him and that he surrounds himself with yes men, albeit second raters, is his Achilles weakness. That Town Comptroller Kolesar is doing his job and telling the emperor that the times and fashions have changed (Mr. Supervisor, it is time to drop the clothes and stand naked before the crowd) is one small voice which is shunted aside because it demands that the bad news be outed and made public.

So, all is not well in Camelot. And the mounted effort to block the release of bad news continues straight from the handbook. Attack the attackers and keep them busy defending their rights but without time to press their issues.
This is how open government works in Greenburgh. And to celebrate a short meeting duration amidst all of this is the most ludicrous aspect of a ludicrous cancer. The odd thing is that the defenders of the faith are willing to pay higher and higher taxes themselves just to be appointed to committees.
Much can be learned about egotism and self love from really listening to what they preach about negativity. Love me, love my government or love not at all.
Feiner has been saying it his way for years: my way or the highway.
Unfortunately, too many have chosen to stay.

Anonymous said...

Well it did not take long for the town crier to post another long list of negative statements. Doesn't he realize that things are accomplished IN SPITE of him, NOT because of him?

Anonymous said...

When is there going to be a job opening for Greenburgh Town Supervisor? Heard from a little birdie that you decided not to give your CSEA employees a raise this year and making them sweat it out for a raise last year that you gave to everyone else. What a wonderful boss they have!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It is true. No salary increases are being offered in 2009. Management and elected officials did not receive any salary hike in 2009.

Anonymous said...

Your Police Department, however, got a nice 4.1% raise this year. There's equality for you.

samis has to run said...

hal - welcome back
we need you on the town board - fast!

Anonymous said...

I AGREE WITH 1:42PM... GOOD TO SEE YOU ARE BACK ON THE JOB, AND KEEPING OUR TOWN HONEST.

hal samis said...

Dear 12:28,

I am quite happy to give the Town Board full credit for what they have accomplished. That is precisely my point.

Anonymous said...

The police contracts were negotiated prior to the economic crisis.

Anonymous said...

The 3:49PM comment made absolutely no sense.... But then again, neither does the author.

Anonymous said...

Hey 12:48PM. That is NOT the town crier.... He's the Town Jester.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, 3:57 they saw it coming back in 2007. Don't let the Town fool you. The Police are their pets. You carry a gun, you get a raise. Wait and see next year. But good answer anyway, Paul.

hal samis said...

Dear Frick and Frack,

Care to dispute anything I wrote or just whether someone has the balls to write it?

I know you don't like the message and find it easier to shoot the messenger, but again, help all of us out and point out where I'm wrong.

They we can all learn. That would allow some good to come from writing as anonymous. Do it now out of respect for of all your anonymous brethern.

ed krauss said...

To 3/14 12:28PM, and all his square earth mongers

The four ships Columbus sailed to America: the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria and the "one that fell off the edge of the earth, isn't really true.So, get over it.

Hal takes a great deal of time to write a well written ACCURATE critique of what is wrong with Greenburgh and you and your ilk take him to task for telling what you know, or should know, to be a fact but, for some unfathomable reason, try to bury. Are you all masochists, or like to be told what to think, when to speak, what is permissable speech and/or let the board do the talking for you?

The ability to disagree with government is the very foundation of a free democracy/"OPEN GOVERNMENT.

Your "hero" drops that phrase "OPEN GOVERNMENT" more often than a "terminal wimp" says, "I'm sorry."

Hal and all those who point out the consistantly inconsistant policies of our town government are not negative.They are opposed to poor, ill-thoughtout, inefficient, ineffectual policies, financial decisions, poor zoning decisions and actions which are damaging to the people of Greenburgh.

If you disagree with what Hal writes, rebut what he has to say,or,better yet implore your legislative heroes to show him where he's wrong.

Opposing stupidity should be rewarded. not mocked.

Anonymous said...

Ed: One reason why you are not taken as seriously as you would like to be taken is because of the tone of your commentaries. You don't have to be angry. The facts you present, if presented in a more respectful manner, will stand a better chance of being read.
Angry people don't get respect.

Anonymous said...

Difference of opinion is very healthy and is what this country was built upon. Hal should take what 11:19PM said to heed. Your tone turns people off. Your thoughts, and facts, may be true, but they are overshaddowed by your ego for the grandstanding. GET OFF THE STAGE and calmly make your point without bashing anyone.

PS - Hal, when have you EVER joined a committee, or volunteered your time, to make a contribution, or try to change some of the "WRONGS" you angrily state? Inquiry minds want to know.

ed krauss said...

11:19 I understand and even empathize with ignorance. Stupidity, repeated again and again makes me angry. I'm surprisedit doesn't make yu and every intelligent person in this town angry.

Doesn't it bother you, even a tad,there are people (maybe Feiner, Sheehan and their worshippers) who continuously defend the indefensible. Ths town is being run into the ground. Millions of dollars have been "urinated" away with no reason other than incompetent "mismanagement."

We have a board clueless on the one hand, and highly political on the other. We have a clerk who either has no idea that her job spec are,doesthe bidding of her benefactor(PF),or is so arrogant she makes up her own policies. We have a town attorney who is an embarrassment to his profession and isreally the town "board's" attorney. And that's the part of the "iceberg" that's visible.

Eighteen years of this can make even the most phlematic of us angry.

Why aren't you angry? You sound like an intelligent, level-headed person.

We lost millions on the "tree" case; more millions on capital projects that were mishandled; more millions on the library construction- and Francis Sheehan has the affrontary to say,"Al Regula 'SAVED' the town a $million. And thisfrom the man who singlehandedly cost the town $175,000for a superfluous "ramp,' which he "justified" by saying "if even one person uses it...."




please, please tell me what to substitue for my anger/frustration. How do you think I'll feel or better yet, how will you feel when the courts award the Fortress Bible Church $$$$$$$$$(millions) because Paul the "problem solver," put his foot i his mouth yet once more, and the "other four on the dais at the time," went along with him.

When will it end? Please tell me. I objectively await your reply.

Anonymous said...

Fortress Bible Church.

This negativity effects GC school taxes as well.

hal samis said...

"I'm angry as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore".
from the movie "Network".

Why is there so much more concern over the form rather than the content? Why is the messenger the focus of scorn rather than the message? Deflecting the eye or ear away from the facts is the strategy followed by those who have much to hide. And we see it used again and again.

If one has a strong belief or passion in a position, and they choose to express it by words, not by fists or guns or bombs, why is this such an offensive and vile trait to....a few in Greenburgh?

What makes a glass half full such a more accurate description than a glass half empty? The quantity of the contents is exactly the same.
The way I view it in local terms as befits this blog is: If residents are taxed for a full glass, then it is reasonable cause to point out that they're not getting their money's worth. Optimist or pessimist POV re the glass...that is not the issue. The issue is that residents are being short-changed (the optimist view) by those on the dais. Or overcharged (the pessimist view).

And it is time to look past the folklore and the groomed facade of a well-meaning schlub stumbling around trying to do the right thing. Everything that happens is deliberate; everything that defends this is the spin.

I hate to have to wave the flag but this Country was founded, in part, to give birth to freedom of speech. That's why all of us on this blog can express our opinions (to some degree) and our facts. Even earning extra credit for those who criticize me, Ed or others. But mostly bloggers note that those whom we upset so much are so proud of their observations that they seek to avoid praise for their contribution so they sign in as anonymous.

What is so bad about anger or passion when it finds its venue through words, typed or spoken. If the sum of these words is foolish, then who would reasonably adopt their conclusion? Even 11:19who might be offering his/her opinion on how to get a message across with higher fidelity has still read Ed's comments and reacted. And the curious aspect about this anonymous comment is using Ed's post as the sticking point, what was so offensive or angry in what he wrote?

It's getting so that bloggers see an author's name and that itself is all that is needed to remount the Abbott & Costello "Niagara Falls" routine.

There's a lot going on that many residents are unaware of and as the months advance toward the
"summer" and a abbreviated Town Board meeting schedule, there will be lots to talk about and bring to the public. Residents may be lulled into thinking that "all is well" because the Town Board pretends that all is well and the flip side "out of sight, out of mind"...but I assure you that this is miles from the truth.

The Feiner blog and even the Town Board meeting are not holy places, they are not the Supreme Court. They are venues where commoners assemble to hawk their viewpoints.
That they most often are critical or contradictory of those of the administration comes with the territory. But holding and expressing an opinion is a political tradition and the suspect attempts to preach conformity by characterizing opposition as negativity is the cesspool of the intolerant and ignoble. Again, words themselves are merely printed or spoken symbols; that they may become more powerful is first due to the stimulus that causes them to be written or uttered and, second, if they are believed by the intended audience.
Mostly this blog witnesses the attempts by those with little to no basis of defense other than to attack the messenger.

And this is the crux of the matter.
Democracy is an expensive process. It is one of the items that this Town Board has removed from the Budget to keep your taxes down. SWAT yes, open government no. In the evolution toward fascism, can anyone else step back and view this trend as seen from the benefit of a wider angle.

Fulton Park is a watershed event. It cannot be hidden in the shrubbery of A and B issues. So it must be hidden by the trick of dressing up a wolf in sheep's clothing; in this case by hiding among any of the buzz words (supply your favorite) conveying the impression of providing housing for those less able to afford market rates.

But what it really represents is the abandonment of the assumed protection of existing zoning laws and the contempt for due process by the Town government. The developer, WESTHAB paid a high price for a tiny piece of land that would produce a negative return if developed under the allowable zoning. WESTHAB knew this but closed and took title comforted by the foreknowledge that they would obtain "favorable" treatment from the Town. That Feiner may have signalled his support in advance is a gimme but his was just one vote out of five. WESTHAB must have had assurances that at least three votes were in the bag before proceeding. And that knowledge makes all that follows a sham as was apparent from the public hearings -- no matter what was said or introduced -- the fix was in and WESTHAB triumphed. Even now, WESTHAB, in its funding applications, is proceeding with what appears to be a commission of fraud and enabled in doing so by the passive compliance of the Town Board.

System breakdown? Benevolent despot? Social Democracy? Sellout?

One thing is certain. Those directly involved, the neighborhood are not happy. NIMBYism might be construed if their objections were to an "as of right" proceeding but in this case, a zoning change was necessary.

What is undisputable is that a lot of bulk is being allowed on a very small parcel. And the fiction that they reduced the size from an unallowed 44 units to an unallowed 28 units is not the most endearing argument. If a bank robber steals $44 but has second thoughts and leaves with only $28, isn't it still robbery?

Everything about this charade stinks. But what do the stops along the way matter if the result was already assured before the sales contract was signed? All the fender benders along the road are the unavoidable price tags to be torn off or marked down; the real crime was committed months before and this was not the one on display as "open government" in practice.

The public sideshow is really no different from the blog and its anonymous attacks of writers of differing views. Both the Fulton Park and the blog comments are examples of ways to hide the reality. One by covering it under wraps and creating a diversion on camera and the other by brazenly hiding it in plain sight. Readers can choose.

However, both share the common ground that the concerned public is kept at arms' length from the issue. Managing the truth is perhaps the most capable accomplishment of the Town government.

hal samis said...

Dear 9:07, (no friend of mine)

Since our postings crossed, let me respond directly to you.

I don't need your assistance in how to build a case. I write for those who may not be aware of the history and its larger perspective. My market is not exclusively those "au courant".

While it is easy enough for me to dismiss you by saying as I have in the past, just scroll down and don't waste your time reading my ego. Still your shallow attempt to deride was amusing and easy enough to throw back in your face.

"Your thoughts, and facts, may be true, but they are overshaddowed by your ego for the grandstanding. GET OFF THE STAGE and calmly make your point without bashing anyone."

Now is that damning praise or not?
If my thoughts and facts may be true, then why isn't that enough?
You may buy into what I write but then reject it because of my ego? What does that say about your intellectual depth or openess? And presenting facts is to present only the actions and events but not WHO is responsible for them. My topics are not written to protect the guilty.

So what you've said so far is to grudgingly concede that my thoughts and facts MAY be true but they are overshadowed by my ego and I shouldn't identify those responsible as the subjects of these thoughts and facts. And your degree to do my make-over is
from the Professor Henry Higgins School of Sweetness?

So, if the above wasn't humbling enough, then you add:

"PS - Hal, when have you EVER joined a committee, or volunteered your time, to make a contribution, or try to change some of the "WRONGS" you angrily state? Inquiry minds want to know."

Note the use of "angry" and the slip by using "Inquiry" instead of "inquiring". Inquiry is really the theme and Inquisition is really the tactic.

Nevertheless, I take the premise to mean having thoughts and facts which may be true isn't enough, you've got to join a committee to be of any use.
Spoken like a member of a committee complimenting themselves on being a member of a committee.

Committee time is so exalted that an hour spent attending a committee meeting as a member contains an additional 37 minutes of credit than an hour spent attending a committee meeting as a private citizen.

Attending and participating at Ethic Board meetings does not earn me any credit in your book because I am not a member of the Ethics Board.

Attending and making limited comments at the Library Board of Trustees meetings does not earn any credit because I am not a member of the Library Board. Incidentally, I did refuse an appointment because being one voice of seven were not good odds to change some of the WRONGS. On the other hand, I think I have been quite effective in bringing Library WRONGS to the public's and the Town Board's attention. But you would argue that only by being on the Library Board could I make changes.

But what you are saying whether you recognize it or not is more of the same old herd mentality. It is only by submerging your identity within a group and bending your views to the group is the way to go. Independent thinking and, worse, trying to communicate these thoughts to a larger public, is wrong and foolish. One must join to have ideas and the group's weight will carry the ball to the goal.

Egos and individualism is wrong while rubber stamping is right. Volunteering my time (you don't count my time speaking at Town Board meetings for no pay -- is that volunteering my time) or writing on this blog doesn't qualify because neither count toward making a contribution because it is not for a Committee.

Clearly your post is absurd but I have taken the time to respond to point out again to readers how every means of attack is employed against those who write against the government and its dupes and little is written about the "opinions and facts" that are presented.

And since being on a Committee is such a litmus test for credentials,
perhaps instead of anonymous, the author of 9:07 might want to establish their bonafides and sign in not as a mystery guest but as
"John or Jane Doe, ______ Committee

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the residents are not praising guys like hal samis and Mike Kolesar, These two men are pointing out all of the waist in this town and residents bash them for it. Both of these men may come off a little strong but how else can you get your point across when everyone else wants to just except things for what they are. If you want to keep throwing away your tax dollars just scroll past post from guys like bernstein, samis, kolesar, and krauss but if you care about the community listen to their message. Sometimes it is better to shut up and listen. Look at the guy who pointed out Madoff, what did they call him, a WHISTLE BLOWER, i bet the people he made off with money whish they had heard that whistle blowing a littler earlier. And to the people who actually read this blog these guys are the whistle you should be listening to but most of you ignore.

Anonymous said...

Samis,

Keep it up!!!

So far, you have give us the most reliable information about our TOV.
I agree with some of the comments about your harsh style of presentation.
Your delivery style diverts the focus from the comments, ideas, good assesments you present us to your bursting and abrasive reactions.
Another unsolicited view.
CBB

hal samis said...

1:39, Don't have a clue.

There was an earlier rumor before the "harsh" economic times commenced, that both the Attorney General and State Comptroller were going to open a shared regional office in Greenburgh.

"Since a disproportionate amount of our day is spent reviewing Greenburgh resident complaints, it was determined that it would be less costly to service Greenburgh locally from a dedicated office. Costs of maintaining the office would have been split among the State, Richard Brodsky (personally) and Andrew Spano (personally)."

Of course, that was then and this is now. Although having both an Attorney General and a Comptroller located within the town limits might have been enough juice to bump Greenburgh up to at least the 73rd best place to live.

Anonymous said...

Wasteful spending of taxes....library, multi-purpose center at Veteran Park .....with duplication of services.....pools galore, more than six.....Of course this was Paul Feiner's baby.......can't even get to them......What nest to get some votes......inquiring minds want to know......????????????Lately, hearing a lot about tdycc.

Anonymous said...

Why did the town board go back on the CSEA contract that they had agreed to?

Anonymous said...

Some blog posters should sign up for anger management.

Anonymous said...

Read the comment about CSEA negotiations. The Town Board recognizes the need to save jobs. Read the following report from the ABA Journal

Home » News » Partner Ousters Double or Triple the Pace of Two Years Ago, Consultant Says
Layoffs
Partner Ousters Double or Triple the Pace of Two Years Ago, Consultant Says
Posted Mar 12, 2009, 07:33 am CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

Few U.S. law firms are acknowledging partner cuts, but they are happening and could gather steam if firm leaders foresee a long recession.

Consultants tell the Daily Journal (sub. req.) that partner terminations are on the upswing and, if the downturn continues, they will likely be made in a proportion that is at least half that of associate layoffs.

One law firm that has recently acknowledged partner ousters is White & Case, which has pledged to restructure its partnership, resulting in “a reduction in the number of partners.” Two other law firms—Holland & Knight and McDermott, Will & Emery—have also acknowledged laying off some partners, but did not provide specifics.

Legal consultant Blane Prescott of Hildebrandt International told the Daily Journal that partner terminations have “definitely increased.”

"I'd say the pace is easily twice the pace of two years ago. Maybe three times," Prescott said.

Tony Williams of London-based Jomati Consultants told the publication that firms are likely considering partner cuts to preserve associate-to-partner ratios. A firm that has laid off 10 percent of its associates will consider cutting at least 5 percent of its partners—and probably more, he said.

Williams said firm leaders won’t cut partners unless they believe the downturn will persist into late 2010, since severance costs can equal a year’s salary for equity partners.

Several U.K. firms have also announced partner layoffs, the Daily Journal says. They include Allen & Overy, Linklaters, Ashurst and Addleshaw Goddard. U.S. firms making partner cuts in 2008 and prior years include Jenner & Block, Mayer Brown, Winston & Strawn, and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.

Comments: 13 E-mail / Share Permalink Print Reprint E-Mail This Story

Recipient's E-mail:
(Separate multiple addresses with a comma.)

Your E-mail:
Your Name:

Subject:
Your Message: I thought you would be interested in reading this article from the ABA Journal:

Partner Ousters Double or Triple the Pace of Two Years Ago, Consultant Says

Read the complete article at: http://www.abajournal.com/news/partner_ousters_double_or_triple_the_pace_of_two_years_ago_consultant_says/

---------------------------------------------------------------
Visit ABA Journal at http://www.abajournal.com for breaking legal news updated throughout the day, plus analysis from more than 2,000 legal bloggers who are experts in their practice areas.

© ABA Journal | Privacy Policy http://www.abanet.org/privacy_statement.html




Share This Story
URL to share: http://www.abajournal.com/news/partner_ousters_double_or_triple_the_pace_of_two_years_ago_consultant_says/

Title: Partner Ousters Double or Triple the Pace of Two Years Ago, Consultant Says

Related Stories
Law Firm Layoffs (and Alternatives) Create Litigation Risk
Mar 13, 2009, 09:00 pm CDT
Former Client Seeks Punitives, Claims Hogan & Hartson Aided Competitor
Mar 13, 2009, 08:23 pm CDT
Dewey Cuts 66 Partners’ Pay—By As Much as 80 Percent
Mar 13, 2009, 07:24 pm CDT
Federal Auto Task Force Hires Willkie Farr’s Feldman
Mar 13, 2009, 04:54 pm CDT
Related Topics
Careers
Layoffs
Law Firms
Partners
Law Practice Management

we are not alone said...

March 16, 2009 2:59 PM EDT
SEARCH SUBSCRIBE
LOG IN EMAIL ALERTS





Weather Forecast
Next 5 Days

News Calendar Public Notice Events Target Publications Services Classified Advertise TDR Sites Home









Salisbury mayor: Malicious blogs endangering city
Associated Press
March 13, 2009
SALISBURY — In her final State of the City address, Salisbury Mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman warned residents of what she sees as a great danger to the city: malicious bloggers.

Tilghman said in her address Thursday that over the last five years, the presence of a small group of suspicious, mean-spirited people focused on the negative has grown, endangering the city's vitality.

Tilghman says some people are avoiding serving their city because it's not worth chancing the scorn of bloggers. But Tilghman says they need to stand up for the city.

Tilghman's final day in office is April 19, but she says she plans to remain active in the city. She says she plans to give a less formal farewell address before leaving office.




SEARCH RELATED STORIES Email the Editor
Submit letter to the Editor
Order a Reprint
Print this story
Email this story


OF INTERESTPopular Stories
Engagement letter capped firm’s fees
Boom-years borrowing hits churches
Legal Opinions - U.S. Supreme Court - Carcieri v. Salazar, S. Ct. No. 07-526
Senator closed for business
Legal Opinions - Md. Court of Special Appeals - Frey, et al. v. Comptroller of the Treasury, CSA No. 1360, Sept. Term 2007


Services
Subscribe
Get Our Email Alert
ARTICLE TOOLBOXResize Text A A A
Article Tools
Sponsored by:


News · Calendar · Public Notice · Events · Target Publications · Services · Classified · Advertise · TDR Sites · Home

boycott the blog said...

feiner is censoring the blog
comments 91 and 92 were deleted

paul - what are you afraid of?

answer - the truth!

Here's a reprint of Comment 91 said...

The following is a reprint of Comment Number 91, which Feiner deleted from his blog. As readers can see, this blog entry discusses serious policy issues. There are no personal attacks. But the policy issues are, of course, embarrassing to Feiner and the other elected officials which is presumably why Feiner deleted them.

If Feiner can't stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen, or at least stop pretending that this blog provides residents with an open forum to discuss important policy issues in the town.

Here's verbatum what Feiner deleted:

Why is there no agenda posted for tomorrow's town board work session?

Is it because the town board does not want the public to know what it is being discussed? Rumor has it that the town board is planning to discuss in secret with Westhab's director, Robert Sanborn, Fulton Park's discovery that Paul Feiner failed to disclose to DHCR that Westhab's application for funding requires it to violate the conditions for the town's zoning change it received, namely, that there were to be no homeless residing at 22 Tarrytown Road. Is that true? It sure seems that way.

Based on what was discussed at last week's town board meeting, it seems Westhab has already agreed with the county, as part of its funding application, to violate an agreement between the Town and the County not to allow any further homeless housing within a 2 mile radius of WestHELP. And it looks like Paul Feiner has gone right along with it -- hello, Andy Spano, are you listening? Guess that agreement with Feiner doesn't mean anything any more, now that Feiner has opened the door to Greenburgh as the county's new home for the homeless.

And rumor also has it that the Town Board is planning to meet secretly tomorrow to ratify its having reneged on the CSEA agreement. That's pretty shocking given that raises were given to all town employees in 2008, except CSEA employees, and given that money for CSEA raises was reserved in the 2008 budget -- and carried over to the 2009 budget.

And while the Town is crying poverty, rumor also has it that the Town Board tomorrow is planning to ratify a new very expensive deal with the police concerning their dental plan -- a deal that will cost unincorporated Greenburgh plenty in higher taxes.

No wonder there's no agenda for tomorrow's work session meeting. In an election year, work like this, for Feiner and his friends on the board, has to be done secretly -- in violation of the state's open meetings laws.
1. 3/16/2009 11:18 AM

Work session agenda finally released said...

It appears that the agenda for tomorrow's work session has been posted, but there's no mention of the Fulton Park/Westhab problem, even though town board members, like Sheehan, said last week they'd discuss it at the work session tomorrow. So much for the ability of town council members to raise issues -- even once-independent Sheehan gets shut down.

There's also no mention of the CSEA or PBA matters. That's understandable if these are still being negotiated but, without revealing the town's negotiating position, the public is at least entitled to know what's involved, particularly when there are millions of dollars in tax money at stake here.

Instead, we're told the "Greenburgh Housing Authority" is on the agenda - but there's no mention of the amounts owed for police coverage. Doesn't the public have a right to know where that matter stands? Apparently not with Feiner in charge it doesn't.

We're also told that the "WestHELP status of letter" is on the agenda. What's to discuss? Feiner wants an opinion that the Town can continue to give away millions of dollars of town revenues to the Valhalla School District. Opponents of that crazy idea prepared letters, at Feiner's direction, in the beginning of February. Those supporting Feiner's idea have been given nearly two months to come up with their own letters. Once again, given the huge amounts of money at stake, the town should be upfront with this. But we're left to guess.

And then we're told there's an item about "handscanning." That's the buzzword for device to be implemented at the Community Center to prevent employees from cheating on their time cards.

Apparently Feiner wants the town to spend tens of thousands of dollars on these devices, but he won't release to the public the reason why such devices are even necessary. He could start by releasing the police report on the TDYCC investigation. If the DA isn't going to prosecute, which is apparently the case, the Town could easily release the information and white out the names of any individuals who were the subject of the investigation.

But no, this is a Town government that has to keep all of its public information about its continued mismanagement and financial messes under wraps.

Paul Feiner said...

At last weeks meeting of the Town Board (work session) the Board rejected the proposed contract with the CSEA. I had advised the leadership of the CSEA of my position before town representatives negotiated the settlement. Although I believe that town employees are doing a terrific job, we cannot afford to approve any salary increase in 2009. I would support a two year agreemetn for 2008 and 2009, giving CSEA a retroactive increase of 3% -which is what management received in 2008 (elected officials received no salary increases in 2008 and in 2009). The 3% retroactive and zero percent 2009 should be approved at the same time.
I hope this will help us avoid layoffs. It's difficult to find work. Other municipalities around the country are imposing salary freezes, laying off employees, requiring employees to defer a weeks salary until they retire, etc.. The town is trying hard to be fair to our workforce.

Anonymous said...

on the backs of the csea congratulations be fair across the board

Feiner playing fast and loose said...

It sure doesn't look like Feiner is being fair to the CSEA, certainly not when the PBA is at the very same time getting the Town to agree to a very expensive dental plan which will cost unincorporated Greenburgh taxpayers millions of dollars. And when Feiner says the Town can't afford to give the CSEA increases in 2008 and 2009, how much money is he really talking about here?

Sure looks like Feiner's trying to use money set aside for the CSEA for other purposes. And it also looks like the Town's got no plan for how to deal with its employees.

Telling the Town's workers that the economy is bad and that they should be grateful they've got a job is no answer. The workers and the taxpayers in this Town are entitled to some straight talk here -- not this BS about it being bad all over. How much money will their raise cost? How much money has been reserved to cover the cost? How many jobs will be lost if the raise were agreed to? How many jobs will be lost anyway through attrition?

Why must town officials, starting with Feiner, continue to play fast and loose when it comes to town finances? What are they trying to hide from us?

Feiner Censor Watch Part II said...

Feiner's censor sensor already seems hard at work. This morning he deleted a comment entitled, "Feiner Censor Watch" which pointed out the comments he had censored overnight, none of which, as it turns out, were personal attacks. Instead, they were each comments about policy and his unwillingness to tolerate criticism.

Anonymous said...

Very bizzare behavior in deleting those comments. I read them myself and none were personal attacks.

I don't know what disturbs me more. The escalation in removing random , innocuous comments or that our supervisor spends inordinate amounts time doing this on our dime.

Anonymous said...

The blog should be about issues, not vendetta's.

Anonymous said...

It's time for a new independent blog, uncensored and uncontrolled by the politicians. Anybody ready to take the plunge?

Disgruntled Greenburgher said...

Dear Mr. Feiner -
At 4:43 you clearly state you informed the CSEA leadership of your position on the contract. (By the way, were you for or against it?)
You then immediately state that you did this BEFORE the Town's representatives negotiated the matter.
Do you not understand that once you delegate authority to negotiate to a committee, you must step aside and not undermine their efforts?
Your actions might well be interpreted by the CSEA as an indication the Town (which is apparently represented by both the Board and you personally, simultaneously) is not negotiating in good faith. That constitutes an improper labor practice, and the fine the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) can levy will represent yet another Feiner cost.
Please, learn to do your job or take your marbles and retire. You cannot be in the position of undercutting your negotiating team - ever, ever, ever. Your personal "feelings" are irrelevant - and your lack of respect for the law is showing yet again. Stop now before you cost the taxpayers even more.

Anonymous said...

*taps foot and waits*

Gee whiz! It certainly takes a very long time to analyze camp counselors salaries!

Anonymous said...

http://freegreenburgh.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

If the Town is trying to be fair to ALL it's employees, and the Town has no money, why did the Town hire 4 new employees and looking to hire 2 more?

Anonymous said...

What has the chief got to do with tdycc investigation that is a problem.

Why are these questions being raised?

These questions continue to rise.

Is there not anyone who can end this so that we can move on?

Sounds pretty fishy.

Anonymous said...

Your town attorney knows nothing about laws.

The state comptroller stated in his investigation that the money given to the Valhalla School district was illegal.
Why has he,Lewis have to question the answersw given tohim over and over again.
Does he not look stupid in DiNapoli's eyes.?
What does he need to understand that the money should have been spent town wide and not squandered the way of cruises,operas and the such.
Lewis get lost .We do need someone that has the moxie to stand for laws voted upon by the board some time ago where they stated no no no and anither no to giving Valhalla the money.

I was happy to hear that there will be some more law suits forthcoming because of the way this and many other things have been handled in this town.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the money owed the taxpayers for private Greenburgh police protection at the Housing authority complexes.

HAVE YOU ALL FORGOTTEN THE AMOUNT DUE OVER, ONE HALF A MILLION DOLLARS.
WHAT ARE YOU ALL WAITING FOR TO COLLECT THE SAID AMOUNT PLUS INTEREST.

Anonymous said...

hand-scan. I can't wait to hear what's going ti happen at TDYCC with that in place.
The foxes are watching the hen house up there. How can we spend thousands of dollars on this when we have not addressed who was on the watch when the problems, that prompted this hand scan action, took place.

tdycc - why why why said...

why is unincorporated only paying for the tdycc?

poverty alleviation is not the job of a town let alone only a part of a town.

Problems in Greenburgh said...

Problems in Greenburgh.

Need Answers 12:55 said...

Good question 12:55pm relative to who was on watch at tdycc.On watch were Supervisor Paul Feiner and the chief of police who is soon to retire who initiated the investigation. The delay in the DA's report is to save possible embarassment of those that are in the position to stop it's release. It's not only X-posure at the tdycc, but there needs to be exposure of the town's handling of the completed report by the D.A. What are they hiding?

Anonymous said...

Go read the history of the center - including the biography of the man for whom it was named.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you enlighten everyone on the biography of Ted Young, one of Greenburgh's most model citizens.

Anonymous said...

let ted young's family pay the bill

copied from another post said...

and BTW, here's something interesting; we can all go to this Xposure School Greenburgh website and buy an Xposure 2009 Science Book, "Xposure Foundation Inc.'s very own science book created by 4th-8th grade students. Filled with experiment ideas, mind blowing facts and info on minority scientists." Written by " "Professor" Chelsea Schinker
Xposure Science "Doctors"(our kids?)
Cost $30.60
Promoted at the Greenburgh Xposure website:
http://www.xposureschools.com/greenburgh/home_news.php?id=23

AND, it appears that Xposure now refers to our program as a "school" for the economically disadvantaged in Greenburgh that sells books about minority scientists. It's nice to know that we gave them the money to ramp up thier business. The business that serves every single child in Greenburgh!

http://www.xposureschools.com/greenburgh/schools.php

3/18/2009 7:23 PM

Arthur Manor said...

Sadly it all comes back to a question of management.
Supervisor Feiner is/was very concerned and compassionate. These are excellent qualities - but are not a substitute for managerial ability.
Over the past 18 years Greenburgh has nearly quadrupled in size - and the skills which were barely adequate to keep a Town with only about 22,000 in total population are completely inadequate to manage a Town with a population of more than 87,000.
Mr. Feiner has failed to improve/upgrade his management skills. His reliance on his "feelings" and disdain for accounting, once tolerable quirks in a small setting, have become disasters in a larger one.
Laws, about which Mr. Feiner has frequently expressed his disrespect, are the only way to fairly and consistently govern. Benevolvent sovereigns are no substitute - and those sovereigns rarely remain benevolent as they age and the problems become more complicated.
Greenburgh needs a new government - this one is outdated and damaging those it should be helping. Just ask the people who live in Fulton Park.

Anonymous said...

Where is Garfunkel these days? Is he saving his energy for the sure to be nasty Fall campaign ahead?

juettner said...

what about diana juettner?

what skills does she bring ??

does she deserve another 4 year term?

Anonymous said...

There is lots to criticize Juettner for, but not for the Valhalla deal. She is against giving money to Valhalla. Check out this week's work session.

juettner in office too long said...

is juettner interested in getting the money back from valhalla?

when a mob from valhalla came to a town board meeting, juettner showed cowardice.

juettner failed to investigate the legality of giving money to valhalla in the first instance.

and this is after being in office since 1991!

Anonymous said...

College degree. At ;east four serving on town board have college degrees, with a few advanced degrees; not sure about Keven. So what do all of those degrees prove when you run around looking like frik and frak. Probably the X-posure leader is smarter than Paul and all the members of the town board put together. Remember Bush....he had several degrees. There are very wise and smart people in this world who have never put a foot into college. And then there are people like George and Paul and Geo. Bush. New leadership is needed in this town that makes sense. and it doesn't require a college degree,

Anonymous said...

3.4% proposed Greenburgh school tax increase with a threat of more if the budget isn't voted in.

How thoughtful of them.
http://www.lohud.com/article/20090320/NEWS02/903200344/1018/NEWS02

Anonymous said...

Sure. Like this was Juttners brainchild?

We will be giving Valhalla the money thanks to Paul.

GC fund balance raided. Town fund balance raided. Tax increases. Services cut.

Make perfect sense why we should be giving them the money.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know what's going to happen at the TDYCC pool next fall since we don't have a pool advisory committee and no one to speak for the lap swimmers or those involved in activities other than the swim teams.

I am hoping against hope that the evening shift of swimmers will have more pool time so that the lap swimmers aren't crowded and the aerobics classes aren't crowded when it comes to sharing the pool. The same goes for the swimming classes. But, given the records of Gay Silverman, Sonja Brown, and Paul Feiner, I doubt that this will occur. What does Gay Silverman do that the Fast team doesn't? (And don't say it's choice. That's a red herring if I ever saw one.)

fed up said...

By September 2009 every single school age child living in the Greenburgh Central 7 school district should be enrolled there.

Let the BOE and Mr. Smalls spend their Summer trying to figure out how to handle the 1600 extra kids. At the going rate of $25,664 per that would mean they need to come up 40 million more dollars. haha.

People! Enroll your kids!!!Send them where ever you like but enroll them in the GC7 school district for the year 09-10 and teach this out of control school district a lesson once and for all.

And while you're at it........go up to TDYCC and enroll them into Xposure and camp. Tell them you can't pay, Paul said your kids can go for free.

hal samis said...

Isn't it interesting that this blog is so much the "go to" place that not only at 1:16 AM is there is an illiterate, incomprehensible blogger exercising free speech but also 7 minutes later there is an equally illiterate, incomprehensible blogger exercising free speech.

However, free speech is apparently something that Town employees, particularly Comptroller Kolesar, must surrender.

And, the ideal to preserve is that all Town employees must work together; this is a much loftier achievement than actually doing good work.

As for your alleged family ties and alleged Ardsley residency, your writing skills are reason enough not to disgrace your family more and thus writing as anonymous. Apology understood.

Herb Rosenberg said...

I have seen Kolesar-bashing from the day he took on the position of Comptroller, but the two postings at 1:16 and 1:23 are among the lowest.

If you don't like Mike Kolesar, that is your right. Even mouthing off garbage is your right in a free country.

But just because you have the right doesn't make it right for you to slam the person who is trying to correct the unmitigated disaster and collection of problems left behind by the recent Comptrollers and the independent auditors who seem always to look the other way. Not to mention the laxity that exists in several town departments.

Sure, get your team player who is always covering up, but then don't complain when costs and taxes go up and up for lack of serious controls and professionalism. Keep in mind, however, that the Comptroller is supposed to watch over what is being done financially, and sit down hard on those who are not doing it, and being a team player -- at least what you seem to think a team player is -- guarantees the kind of financial disasters that the town has suffered in recent years. You live in Ardsley, and don't suffer the consequences as do residents in unincorporated Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

If ANY ONE PERSON needs to STOP his antics, that IS YOU HAL... YOu are so disrespectful towards others, it makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

Why ask Larry if you are right .Do you forget that Larry has a terrific past.
Do you think that he has nothing to hide.
He too was part of the town of Greenburgh team and he did a miserable job. Stop throwing stones at Kolesar.

If we have to start throwing mud arround it will get very dirty,so I suggest you get off of mud slinging and see what comes out of the way Kolesar handles the check and balance lines in this town.

He has the guts to stand up to the board and I'm sure that he is the one to put some internal controls that will be beneficial to all the residents.

Judge you are right ,they were after Kolesar from day one.
Maybe they realized that their goose was cooked.
TOO BAD

ed krauss said...

1:16AM, my we're crancky aren't we. Also disingenuous, and above all full of it.

you don't use your name because you have "family ties to this community.' I lived in Ardsley for 20 odd years and never met a rattlesnake without rattles. So where in the community does yours slither?

Mike was not run out of town. He decided he wanted to spend more time with his wife and child, so he run. As to the board being better for his absence, I don't think the board would agree.

Maybe if you dispensed facts, got more sleep and learned to put an English sentence together correctly, people might believe you.

But I seriously doubt it, because bottom-feeders like you, who crawl in he mud are too dirty to touch, no less listen to.

P.S. If you want to suck up to Paulie, use your name...he'll protect you and your family ties.

Anonymous said...

THEODORE D. YOUNG COMM. CTR. – 989-3600

TY 1 – 3/25/09 Resolution authorizing a license agreement with Chef Yousef Al-Emin to provide food and refreshments at the Theodore D. Young Community Center CafĂ© (January 15, 2009 – December 31, 2009) with 30% of the gross proceeds, as determine by the Town, used toward the purchase of food and supplies and the remaining 70% of the gross proceeds distributed equally between the Chef and the Town, with Chef Al-Emin retaining 35% of the gross proceeds and the Town using its 35% share of the gross proceeds for youth programming at the Theodore D. Young Community Center

hal samis said...

Dear 2:29,

Sorry to hear you are sick.
Take 200 aspirins and stay off the blog.

Anonymous said...

Those 200 aspirins are ONLY used for the headaches I get when TRYING to make SOME sense of what you write. But alas, the bitterness and the anger within you overshadow ANYTHING you say. And as for staying off this blog. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TO ATTEMOT TO GIVE ORDERS? THat is SOOO UNAMERICAN... And shows me that YOU ONLY WANT TO BE HEARD, not disputed. YOu prefer bashing ANYONE and EVERYONE, regardless of what is done or said. Perhaps it is you who should think twice about returning to this blog.

Go in peace, my son.

hal samis said...

once

hal samis said...

twice

hal samis said...

revised rx
take 400 aspirins and stay off this blog

Anonymous said...

Hal,

You are OBVIOUSLY disturbed. Like you, I will blog where ever and when ever I like.... FREEDOM OF CHOICE....And I don't mind the differences of opinion. But in your case, you may try finding an opinion FIRST.

Rest in peace.

hal samis said...

zzzzzzzzz!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Paul finally deleted those two comments (the 1:16 and 1:23 semi-literate postings) attacking Kolesar. But why has he twice deleted my comments insisting that he remove them? Paul, could you answer? I only suggested that it was hypocritical of you to leave the comments on the blog when you had consistently written you would not tolerate personal attacks and had deleted other posts you considered unfair. Now you have corrected your earlier omission.

Anonymous said...

State Comptroller DiNapoli is working to find and fight fraud at every level of State and local government. The public’s help is needed in this fight. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud, corruption or abuse of taxpayer money by calling a toll-free hotline at 1-888-OSC-4555 (1-888-672-4555).

The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by experienced investigators from the Investigations Unit of the Legal Services Division of the Office of the State Comptroller. New Yorkers may also file an online complaint, print a complaint form or send an e-mail to investigations@osc.state.ny.us.
Individuals who make an allegation may remain anonymous. Individuals should view the Comptroller’s privacy policy before submitting a complaint

Dear 7:01 said...

I don't know if you watched today's work session, but the information concerning misappropriation of funds because of the way the Town processed hook in fees certainly fits into the category of a major felony. Tens of thousands of dollars were not returned to the public as required. People need to notify the State about this. The individual who spoke today is clearly well versed on the subject but it is impossible to fight a municipality by yourself. He needs all our help. Give the State Comptroller a call as well as the State Atorney General Public Integrity Unit.

Anonymous said...

Goodbye to another nattering nabob of negativism.

Anonymous said...

What you call negativism, some would call abuse of the public trust.

Anonymous said...

Why Kolesar was fired?

Anonymous said...

Read last week's Scarsdale Inquirer article. Kolesar said the town lacked internal financial controls. The article was too embaressing for the town.

Anonymous said...

So Kolesar was let go.

He unearthed so much wrong doing with the towns way of trying to run a this place that the town board could not take chances with what he found out.

Paul and the board should be ashamed of this firing.
Here goes our fredom of speech.
Internal processes are not to be found. This town has done what they wanted for some time.
Kolesar did not have the manerism to smooth out the problems to the likening of the board but he knew what he was doing.
Too bad he could have been the person to try to put this town back on the right tract.
The handwritting was on the wall for some time but the article where Kolesar had to defend his finding did him in.
Two freedoms taken away so far Freedon of speachand Freedom of the press.
WHats next . I think we do have too many yes men and women who have failed over and over again,how come they are still collecting a pay check.
Well I think honesty in Greenburgh is not tolerated..

To mike I wish him the best. We needed just a few more months to
get the town on a some what good
accounting path.
I guess the heat got too hot for the supervisor and the board.
.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that you never fired the previous comptrollers for incompetence .
Here we had a person who was not afraid to divulge his findings and the methods of making corrections and you let him go,
I guess to be in your good standings one has to be an ass kisser.

Anonymous said...

Wahhh, Wahhh Kolesar was a terrible choice. We got rid of him in Ardsley and he has never stayed anywhere long. Long overdue by the town. Just ask all of the village managers , just ask all of the elected officials in the villages. When given a chance by the board they were called crazy for hiring him. He still didn't get it and never worked his fellow commissioners. So where will the complainers get their secret info from now. They are the reason he is gone.

Anonymous said...

When was Mike Kolesar fired? Paul is vicious when it comes to anyone disagreeing with him even when it's in the best interest of the town. The landscape or exit door is littered with x-employees who have tried to do their jobs professionally and ethically.All that matters to Paul is his round the clock campaigning and the next election. Why can't he keep a comptroller?

Anonymous said...

The 'Town Jester' or 'Town Crier' or one who is encouraged to join a board or run for office should first and foremost own property in said town and actually be a town property tax payer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Offering volumes of opinions does not make one eligible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!