Saturday, April 25, 2009


In recent months some bloggers have asked the town to seek an opinion from the Atty General re: sewer district. This letter was sent to the AG's office on Friday.
April 24, 2009

Kathryn Sheingold, Esq.

Appeals & Opinions Bureau

Office of the Attorney General

The Capitol

Albany NY 12224-0341

Dear Ms. Sheingold:

Pursuant to a request from a property owner who resides within the confines of Federally Assisted Sewer District #4, the Town Board is requesting an opinion from your office regarding the following issues:

Federally Assisted Sewer District #4 (“the District”) in the Town of Greenburgh was the subject of an audit by the Office of the State Comptroller (“OSC”) in June of 2008. (See Attached Exhibit “A”.) The audit examined the Town’s internal controls over construction costs for the District for the period of January 1, 1979 to September 13, 2007, and its results and recommendations have provided a resource from which the Town hopes to more efficiently manage its operations. Nevertheless, several legal issues remain in which the Town seeks your Office’s opinion and guidance.

The first issue relates to a second construction cost increase after 1982, from $1,060,500 to $1,276,728, required to complete the original sewer project. The Town acknowledges the OSC’s conclusion that, in failing to submit the approximately $220,000 second cost increase to OSC for approval, the Town Board in office in 1982 violated applicable General Municipal Law and that, in failing to conduct a public hearing and adopt an order relating to the second cost increase, the same Town Board violated applicable Town Law. The Town is now in the process of reviewing property assessments to determine if improvements to residents’ properties have taken place, updating benefit units assigned to reflect any subdivisions or improvements, and billing the second cost overrun to District residents who previously paid their shares in lump sum. The issue is whether the Town, in assigning benefit units of either 0.1 or 1.0 to lots created by subdivision after 1982, is also permitted to charge a “hook-in-fee,” or otherwise recover a capital cost contribution from the owners of these subsequently subdivided lots, so that the owners make the same capital contribution as the owners of lots that existed when the District was established.

Kathryn Sheingold, Esq.

April 24, 2009

Page Two

In examining the aforementioned issue, the Town is cognizant of the fact that Chapter 160 of its Town Code (See Attached Exhibit B) authorizes a “hook-in” fee that is intended to represent a proportionate share of the capital construction costs of establishing the sewer; we are also aware that New York State Comptroller Opinion No. 2001-7 (See Attached Exhibit C) may be in conflict with the Town’s Code. Opinion No. 2001-7 appears to authorize one-time sewer “entry fees” only if such fees are limited to costs incurred by the Town with respect to users connecting to the sewer and not when fees are used to defray prior District construction costs related to capital improvements made by original District property owners. Thus, the question related to the first issue raised is whether a circumstance exists when a town may authorize the imposition of a one-time “hook-in” or “entry fee” to be used to compensate original District property owners for their capital contributions in constructing or improving the sewer system, and, if so, whether owners of newly created lots in the District are required to make the same capital contribution as that required of the original owners who established the District.

The second issue relates to whether previous “hook-in” fees collected from new property owners who subsequently extended to the District that were never used to defray construction costs, must now be used to defray such costs, or used to offset Town expenses in inspecting user connections to the sewer or must be returned to the remitting property owners if they can be located.

Lastly, did a letter forwarded by the then Town Clerk to OSC as part of the District application process, advising OSC that the interest rate charged to residents in financing the District would not exceed 6%, preclude the Town from ever charging District residents an interest rate related to financing the District in excess of 6%. Similarly, are there circumstances which would have permitted the Town to charge District residents construction costs in excess of $334,000, when the same aforementioned letter forwarded by the Town Clerk to OSC advised that total construction costs would not exceed that amount? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, which body of taxpayers should be charged to make up the difference in actual costs?

Thank you for considering this matter. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me at the above telephone number.

Very truly yours,

TIMOTHY W. LEWIS Town Attorney


cc: Paul J. Feiner, Town Supervisor

Town Council


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the Sewer Guy! You fought the Town all by yourself and they are finally recognizing your evidence.

Anonymous said...

shows that the town listens.

Three Years Later said...

In June 2006 Tim Lewis said the position of the town board is that they did noting wrong. They've come a long way baby.....

Anonymous said...

How long did this take for the town to concede that there was something wrong with those that were responsible for this so called mistake. Well let's see how long it will take to give us back the money.

Does the decision that will be made cover the entire town ,if not that guy should continue to dig until he hits paydirt.

He did hit paydirt!! said...

This is taken from the sewer guy's website:

The Town has not complied with the State Comptroller's Report. This failure to comply has triggered violations of New York State Law, namely:

Town Law Article 3A Title 5 Section 54 Special Districts
Town Law 202 Expenses of Improvement - How Raised
Town Law 236 Completion of Improvements
Town Law 244 - A - Apportionment of Completed Local Assessment Upon Subdivision or Sale of Land Affected

It is our opinion that the Town has also broken the law by Filing a False Certificate, namely the Schedule of Assessments and Tax Rates that thousands of Greenburgh residents received with their taxes.

How much more paydirt do you want? Don't you think this is why the Town is making nice nice to him after all these years?

Anonymous said...

the town is seeking an opinion from the AG. they are being responsive

Anonymous said...

The Town is being reponsive to some of the issues raised years ago. The four New York State laws that were boken as well as Filing a False Certificate are recent abuses of the law that were triggered by the Town assessor failing to do her job.

Anonymous said...

If she did not do her job she should be fired.

How much punishment must the residents take for someone not doing her job which causes higher sewer taxes.

Anonymous said...

It goes to show that we do not have human beings manning the respective jobs but they are all puppets. Feiners puppets.

In this town telling the truth is a capital sin.
Keep lying and you will have a position until death. A good example is our present supervisor.
He exists on lies.

Anonymous said...

We is getting robbed left to right.

Could it be possible that there is no one that could run against Feiner.

Jim Lasser how about trying again.

Anonymous said...

The sewer guy has taught us that being honest is a great reward.

He not only sought to be compensated for his own taxes but he fought for all of us.

Kudos go out to this gentleman.

Paul, please answer this.... said...


why does the town assessor continue to hold her present position? She made a $2.4 MILLION DOLLAR error on the Star taxes that wound up costing taxpayers untold thousands and now she has refused to properly assess homes on sewer districts. The talked about figure is that she has cost upwards of 800 HOUSEHOLDS money in erroneously high taxes.

Why is she still on our payroll? For $130,000 a year, can't we get someone better?

Paul, you need to answer these questions.

Anonymous said...

Paul you aqre proving your guilt by removeing so many comments from this and other blo0gs that tell you what is going on here which are illegal plus what has gone on in the past.

You will be facing the music sooner or latter.
An awful lot was and is going on during your watch.

I do think that you should retire at this point with some dignity.
It is a good way to go when maybe someone may say a little something good about you.

You have failed big time and the only thing that you could do is say mabe I shouda or maybe i shouldn't have done or say what I did.

Anonymous said...

Paul you have deleted a comment that critisized the assessor and the so called retired back again DPW commissioner.

The two have caused us the taxpayers mega bucks and they will stay do the same as long as they remain in the Greenburgh picture.

You were told to question some of the employees concerning both individuals but you refused.
Too bad that they did not take pictures of the day,the time and the locations.

You refuse to admit to the truth that both have and will still costs us money.
Keep taking this off but we as the ones that have been affected by what they did and are doing know the truth.

As someone stated people have been carcerated for doing much less than you and these two individuals.
Where is there justice here in Greenburgh.

They go about their business we keep paying them and in the end we are wrong for making true statements.

Read & Learn said...


Have you ever read the sewer guys website? You really need to. The assessor has completely ignored the remedies from the State Comptroller. Why? How is it that this assessor commands so much power?

How are you going to give back the money that you owe the 800 different taxpayers? This was entirely caused by her negligence.

Paul, you really need to think this one over. The assessor has not done a good job and I am sure we can find someone who is better.


ed krauss said...

The attorney's letter is 3 years late and at least $77,000 short. If I'm correct, that's the amount of money taken illegally and no one in gvernment "seems" to know what happened to it.

Full disclosure is too much to ask for. So how about answering some of the questions posed by posters to this blog?

The "sewer district screw up" continuously buried and covered up, is but thetip of the ice burg.

If this is deleted, mild as it is, Feiner should be made to answer for it.

TRUTH should not be censured...even if written by Ed Krauss.

Krauss is Right On!!!! said...

You're right Ed,

Tim Lewis KNOWS the sewer guy has the Town on misappropriation of funds. If one reads the letter to the AG closely, Lewis seems to be hoping that the State will say that the Town does not have to return the money collected to the public. Essentially, Lewis is arguing against the Town's own laws. We all can only hope and pray that the AG does not go for this, and will instead move to prosecute town officials.

I hope that citizens of Greenburgh write to the AG to voice their opinion. The sewer guy has done a great job by himself but it is tough to fight a large town like Greenburgh all by yourself. He needs all our help.

Anonymous said...

How can this guy be reached to give him any assistance that is needed.
Yes we should all follow up with the Attorney Generals office to explain to them as to what has been done that is illegal that the town is trying to cover it all up.

Yes all the town residents are to get back some money.
Will this happen that remains to be seen if we all don't act asap.

The DPW official and the assessors office knew very well what was going on.
Yes where are the funds for that small amount which covers very few homes.
There is more money out there because there were many many other homes built thru out the years.

Folks if we do not ban together on this one issue then we will never be winners .
This will prove to the town attorney and the board yes these were the laws that you all saw fit to disregard.
Yes we do want an account as to where this money is.
Yes we do want to know who is solely responsible for this problem.
above all if there were any wrong doings those in the know should be punished .

The comptroller has all the records that should be made known to all of us.
Kolesar was fired because he was honest.
Let's see how far honesty will go with this comptroller.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to write into the same attorney that Lewis did. Civic Associations, Bernstein, Krauss, Samis, all must join together.

Anonymous said...

Nows the time to work together to get this town working in an honest manner.

We have had a government that did not give a dam to how our money was spent.
Commissioners were given a power to do what they wanted no questions asked.
If we want to get our town back let's start it the right way.
We must be told what Kolesar was ready to report to the board concerning his recent findings.
The new comptroller knows and he has the obligation to all of us to reveal it's contents.

We must get the proper agencies to investigate every department which has asked for more money than what was spent.

We must make sure that those who are being paid to do their job to the fullest are on the job five days a week and putting in the hours that they are getting paid for.

So let's start the ball rolling to get back what we paid for all these years but above all an honest form of government .

There is a saying that says a fish starts stinking from the head.
Need I say more.

Anonymous said...

The sewer problem is probably just one of the most dishonest thing to happen to us here in Greenburgh BUT we must keep digging since Kolesar had over fifty pages of wrong goings on so there has to be more .

The town has been spending money without the accountablity needed to substainuate the spending.
Money was given as though it was a prize.
Just take note of the library how many changes were made after the fact. How much more money were we charged after the budget was voted upon.
Who made these changes it was not the board they knew nothing until it was mentioned at a work session.

Get every department head investigated. There is too much going on that need clarification.

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword said...

Here is the address folks, GO TO WORK:

Kathryn Sheingold, Esq.
Appeals & Opinions Bureau
Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol
Albany NY 12224-0341

Anonymous said...

We could all follow Kolesar lead he opened the door for each one of us to see that yes there is something radically wrong here in Greenburgh.

The town board cannot punish us more than they have done in the past years.They cannot fire us as they did Kolesar so let's complete the work that he started.
We have to remember that his report was over fifty pages.
Fifty pages covered a multitude of problems.
If we want justice we have to take matters in our own hands.
Our elected officials don't give a dam for any of us until election time comes arround and then and only then do they make appearences in the neighborhoods.
I'm sure if a few letter go to the state we will be making them aware of the misfortunes that we as residents have encountered with this present town administration.
We can try --someone has to listen,
sme one will listen.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein, Samis, Preiser, Krauss, Lasser and everyone else, now is the time to act. Write letters to the Attorney General. Filing a False Certificate is a FELONY! Misappropriation of Funds is a FELONY! Speak up now or forever hold your peace!

Anonymous said...


We need some action taken as soon as possible.
This government has been getting away with murder.
The more letters to the proper authorities the better.
We should not forget the court system complaints.
yes we should take up where Kolesars'career ended because he was stating all his findings.
If we have to be whistle blowers to get an honest government SO BE IT.

Anonymous said...

Write? Are you kidding? No one will write to the attorney general because it was not their issue. This is how Paul stays in office. His enemies are split. They don't join forces. Don't hold your breath expecting a letter from anyone.

Anonymous said...

4:31 you may not live in the sewer guys district but I'm sure you had new homes built in your area,if so did you get your sewer tax lowered
because of the hook ups charges if not then you should be the one to write a letter to the atorney general expressing the fact that you too were short changed and are still paying a higher tax rate since you received no credit for the hook up.

Anonymous said...


Are you writing to someone? If not, don't be critical.

Anonymous said...

my sewer tax was less by five dollars. We had plenty of construction in my area that We should have had lower sewer taxes. this did not happen.
Yes I will be writing to the attorney generals office to explain that there is something wrong in this town. I do hope that they will investigate every department from the day that Feiner took office to see if we were all treated fairly.
We have to see the sunlight somwhere along the line.

It was brought to my attention that since Feiner was elected we have had five or six comptrollers Could it be possible that all of them knew when to quit before the you know what hit the fan.
They did not have the guts to confront the supervisor with their findings so they quit but the last one had so much moxey that he was fired.

Dear 8:45 said...

In your letter to the Attorney General I would reference the sewer guy's website Hopefully, someone at the AG's office will look at the evidence that is presented there and do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Have you checked your tax bill carefully.
Did you do the math as to how much you have paid throughout the years.
Were you told that it would cost you so much for thirty years.
Check all your statements and you will notice that you have paid over ten thousand dollars extra and you may have another ten years to go or maybe more depending as to when you hooked up to the main sewer lines.

If you think that there is a great mistake then you too should write to the attorney generals office because you already have been overcharged plus you did not receive the credit due you for any new houses built in your area.

In plain english the town has robbed us .

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

Once a complaint is received, the Investigations Unit may:

Conduct a preliminary investigation;
Open a full investigation;
Refer the complaint to the proper agency or authority; or
Close the case.
Individuals who make an allegation may remain anonymous. Individuals should view the Comptroller’s privacy policy before submitting a complaint.

Anonymous said...

The following staff are paid extra money. Note; these extra tasks are within their normal work schedule, are non-competitive,no standard nor criteria by which the extra money was allocated exists,and no one else was considered or even interviewed for these stipends.

Bell,Marcia Town Clerk 750. Acting Deputy Town Clerk Real title;Senior Office Asst.
Cioce,Ken Engineering 3,775 Deputy Town Engineer, Real Title Sr. Civil Engineer
Gordon,Winsome Philanthropy 1,200 Minority Business Officer, Real Title Staff Asst.
Lee, Judith Community Center, 3,862 Registrar Coordinator, Real Title Staff Asst.
Sia,Cecile Justice Court 8,000. Court Administration, Real Title Court Clerk
Zacarolli,Anthony Building Dept, 9,570. Acting Deputy Real title Maintance Supervisor
Valerie Whitehead Community Center, Real Title; Staff Asst. Stipend; 30,000 for the temporary assignment

4/29/2009 7:12 PM

Anonymous said...
Dear 4/29 7:32 PM:

Re the various "stipends" you are not even close. Here are some additional compensation that you missed:

Web Master (Joe Lucasey) $4,456
Data Processing in Assessor's Department (D. Pandya) $6,180

Asst Comptroller Personnel (P. Kirkland) $7,416

F Asst Comp Personnel $1,291

SS Asst Compt Personnel $ 464

Town Clerk - records Access Officer (J. Beville) $ 4,000

Town Clerk - Custodian of Elections
(J. Beville) $5,500

Town Clerk - Custodian of Elections (M. Bell) $3,500

Total of the above 2 = $9,000 budget line A.1450.100.1

First Deputy Town Attorney (D.Fried) $8,742 budget line A.1420.101.1

The Court Clerk's stipend is actually $8,488 not $8,000

In addition, Mr. Lucasey receives "subsidized" housing in the form of 50% of estimated FMV for performing certain caretaker tasks at Hartsbrook Park in the amount of approximately $11,000 annually.

I know I've missed one or two, but close enough.

4/29/2009 8:48 PM

Anonymous said...
Thanks for the update Mr. K.

4/29/2009 10:53 PM

Anonymous said...
Paul I would like to know what your answer is to the list with all the extra compensations you are giving to the employees.

But above all with all these give aways you refuse to give the union members their money.

You are the most dispicable person alive. These people that receive these so called bonuses make a dam good salary but these union workers need every penny to make ends meet.

I would like for you to explain to us the taxpayers why the extra compensation.
This is another factor that should be repoted to the state since you have so much money to give away why do you accept grants that have to be repaid by us.
You are taking away grants that are needed in some other part of the state.
How low can one get.

4/30/2009 10:33 AM

Dear 9:30 said...

You talk the talk but do you walk the walk??????????????

Have you contacted the State Comptroller yourself or are you waiting for others?????

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should start kissing ass like all these other people do. I can see if they all had something to offer the Town but they really don't. It has been going on for years and it won't ever stop. I blame the Department Head for all of this. They are the ones asking for all these stipends for their workers. What about the hiring freeze. All Departments stated that they would not hire any new employees in the open positions. Well, let's take another look at this. Recreation, DPW, Community Center, Law office, etc. etc. All new people were hired, DURING A HIRING FREEZE. How can Paul and the Town Board allow this. There is a lot of explaining to do but no one wants to fess up. Depends on who you are and how far you go within the Town. Sound like a lot of bull to me. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

Terry Williams said...

The New York State Comptroller has once again ruled that the WestHelp Educational Grant that Paul Feiner would like to award to the Valhalla Union Free School District does not serve a “legitimate Town purpose.”

I would urge Mr. Feiner to stop entertaining/refrain from making these proposals and focus his attention on managing the affairs of the town for the benefit of all of its residents.

Paul, in the interest of full disclosure, you should post a copy of the comptroller's letter to your blog.