Thursday, June 11, 2009


In a decision dated June 9, 2009 Judge Susan Cacace of the New York State Supreme Court issued a ruling “Bernstein V Feiner II”. The decision, in its entirety, will be posted on the town web site in the near future. I would be happy to e mail copies of the decision to anyone requesting it (e mail me at
The Supreme Court made a decision in the Bernstein case. It ruled that the Theodore Young Community Center and Yosemite Park are recreational facilities, and that this is what the town had maintained. It also ruled that the town has discretion to allow reasonable access by non-residents to use the town’s park and recreational facilities, and that clears up an ambiguity in favor of the Town Board. The town has allowed village residents who are volunteer firefighters and ambulance corp members and disabled individuals to use the park. The court indicated that this does not violate the intent of the Finneran Law. The Town Board will exercise the discretion re: non non resident use very carefully, and always in the best interest and for the benefit of the unincorporated area.
The court also ruled that under the Finneran Law the tennis bubble was an unreasonable use of the town’s discretion because it permits anyone to have access to the bubble. That is unfortunate, because it robs the town of a very valuable and profitable sports facility. Sporttime had entered into an agreement with the town in December, 2007 to lease the tennis courts from the town. Sporttime had proposed to place a bubble over the tennis courts. Sporttime would have built, at their expense, a clubhouse for the town. They would have spent over a million dollars on infrastructure improvements at the courts and the town would have received significant annual income. I will urge the Finneran Amendment Committee to continue its work and to pursue an amendment to the state law so that we can hopefully have this great facility available for us during winter months in the near future. The decision by the Supreme Court provides the town with an opportunity to push for an amendment to New York State Law.
A special thanks to Town Attorney Tim Lewis, Deputy town Attorneys Richard Marasse and David Fried as wll as the legal department support staff who all contributed to and were responsible for the town’s briefs before the court.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor


questions questions questions said...

will he appeal?
or will this be another impetus to seek incorporation of edgemont?

and who vetted the tennis bubble contract?

Anonymous said...

Paul: what is also unfair is that the town took 5 acres off the tax rolls of the small village of ardsley and created a restricted park. As a result village residents are subsidizing users of the park because the users pay no taxes on this portion and ardsley taxpayers have to make up the shortfall by paying higher taxes.

Every other governmental agency who has property in Ardsley gives something back (for example, nyc leases its land to ardsley for $1 so Ardsley can have a library and the nys thruway allows Ardsley to use of its land for storing salt).

The folks in unincorporated Greenburgh should be ashamed of themselves for their ungenerous ways. At least you tried to open the park to first responders, something the court seems to have recognized as legal. Now lets get some real fairness.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein keeps losing. This is strike three. Does it mean that he was wrong to start these lawsuits? The town is worse off than before he started suing.

Anonymous said...

4:48 stop complaining or move!
Fairview has the most tax free properties that are used town wide but the villages do not pay taxes for.(police station,library, Town Hall, Rumbrook, TDYCC, Yosemite,etc.etc..
and from the county (community college, county records on (9a) they pay nothing why does Ardsley get relief from the county?

Anonymous said...

If the center and the park can be used by others why does the unincorporated area have to pay for their upkeep.

If the other town resideents are permitted to use the facilities they should all contribute to their upkeep.

Fair guy said...

Dear 5:30 PM

If villagers use town parks they do pay. They pay a fee.

That's more than TOV residents pay when they use village parks and recreation facilities, and they use plenty of those for free.

amen 6:25 said...

amen 6:25

unincorporated = free loaders

btw 4:48, its the ardsley school district that is getting some short term relief
most of the folks in that school district live outside in the village in free loader country - unincorporated greenburgh

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would Bernstein appeal? If Edgemont incorporates, it won't have to pay for the community center anymore. That's at least $4 million a year. Bernstein at least tried to get the entire town to pay, which is the right thing to do because the community center serves everybody, but if Edgemont incorporates, why would he care anymore?

If said...

IF is the question

Anonymous said...

Would be interested in reading some of the old anonymous blog comments from a few years back when anonymous was predicting a big win against the town.

Anonymous said...

How much did Bernstein spend $$$ on these lawsuits?

TOV'er said...

Dear 11:33 -
If you don't think the overturning of the deal with Sporttime is a big win, you clearly had no understanding of what Feiner was doing to TOV with that piece of chicanery.
Overturning the deal with Sporttime is a HUGE win for true Open Government.
Congratulations Mr Bernstein - and thanks for standing up for us.

Anonymous said...

Responses to 12:05 AM and 8:02 AM

To 12:05, the real question is how much did Bernstein cause the town to pay, and also the villages. It is obvious that he had no case and that it was only an ego trip.

To 8:02, are you nuts? The Sport time deal would have gotten us free renovated and enhanced tennis facilities plus hundreds of thousands of dollars in rental revenue in the TOV budget plus a year-round tennis facility. What's to complain about? And you congratulate Bernstein for losing that for us?

Anonymous said...

gee, seems a bit harsh to sue to stop volunteer firemen and ambulance workers and disabled children from using a pool.

is this type of thing celebrated in edgemont also?

legal analysis said...

the cacace decision is somewhat contradictory. its ok to allow guests and some limited categories of others (e.g., volunteer firemen) to use an otherwise restricted park. but, the tdycc is seemingly open to any non-resident so long as they pay the non-resident fee yet the bulk of the costs of operating the tdycc is on the taxpayers of unincorporated greenburgh.

also overlooked in the cacace decision is the fact that the tdycc, an alleged recreation facilty, is not part of the town's parks and recreation department.

the town's application of the finneran law is uneven.

another factor is that the mission of the tdycc is poverty alleviation. why is that a function of town government?

hal samis said...

The tennis bubble deal would have been a win for Greenburgh; not only bringing year-round tennis but also saving unincorporated residents from having to repair and maintain the courts which is both needed and costly.

What was NOT a win was the language of the enabling contract which put the Town in a vulnerable, financial position making it obligated to reimburse the lessee large sums under a broad range of conditions. Rushing to sign bad contracts is the hallmark of the Town government and it is consistent with how the Town writes even its own laws and codes -- including those final products that the Town Board chooses to ignore,
i.e fund balance policy.

Regarding the TDYCC, the excesses and catering to its customer base (yes, everyone can use it but...) was tolerable, if not overlooked, in the fat times of yore. In these lean times, Bernstein was right to seek redress. The Town as a whole can no longer afford its politicians who function primarily as poverty whores.

As for the Town pool, push will come to shove when already besieged unincorporated taxpayers will soon have to face a major overdue and costly pool renovation added increasing the unincorporated tax bill or whether the realities of writing a check will force the opening of the pool to all who are willing to pay for this expense.

Anonymous said...

I say raise the town pool fee to cover the cost of expenses and renovation. It's not fair for those who don't use it to have to pay for it.

is this what you want? said...

the last comment is interesting. is it suggested that all public recreation facilites operate like a private club, that is, if the membership fees do not cover the operation, the facility is closed down?

and what is to become of parks that have no membership fees?

as it is, the town pool runs at a deficit of 100s of thousands of dollars. raising memberhship fees alone will not erase that.

Anonymous said...

Mr. 12:56, would you say that only those who have children in the school should pay school taxes, and only those who have been mugged should pay for police services, and would you say ..... I can go on and on.

What do you use that others help pay for?

Anonymous said...

I pay for everything but I don't
use any of the town facilities.
Why should I pay for something that I have in my own back yard.
A beautiful park setting together with a pool.
I pay for this plus I have to pay for what others use.
Lessen my taxes and I would not mind helping out with the freebees that are given to others.

better legal analysis said...

Legal analysis needs to reread the opinion. It says that the town can allow reasonable use by non-TOV residents. It doesn't say anything about guests. It does say that volunteers and disabled, whom Bernstein wanted banned from Veteran Park, fall into the category of reasonable and have a rational basis, but it doesn't say that these categories are the only reasonable groups. Other categories which are limited and defined can also have a rational basis. What it does say, talking about the tennis bubble, that it is unreasonable to allow unlimited use of a town recreational facility because the town cannot totally disregard the residency requirement of the Finneran law.

That really raises a question. Since the TDYCC and Yosemite Park totally disregard the residency requirement of the Finneran law, do they have to be restricted to TOV residents? Hmmmm.

read the case said...

i suggest "better legal" read the one case the court cited (outside of bernstein v. feiner). that case specifically mentions that guests can be accommodated by those who can use an otherwise restricted park.

in fact cacace really made new law by allowing volunteers/disabled.

but obviously these extra users posed no burden on the pool for which use has actually gone down.

Better legal analysis said...

Dear Read the Case

I didn't say that guests aren't allowed. All I said is that Judge Cacase didn't mention guests.

Of course guests are allowed. If nothing else they are a defined and limited group that has a rational basis. Others probably fit the bill as well.

Anonymous said...

Pity. Bob B cost the town mucho dinero. Had Bob B not filed the lawsuits the town atty could have spent taxpayer time more productively.
A waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

Tired of all the "volunteer" firefighters getting freebies, insurance, pension, tax breaks, etc--what does volunteer mean????

anon is dreaming said...

the price of these so called freebies is a lot less than having to pay salaries and pensions and benefits for career fist responders

there is nothing wrong with rewarding a volunteer with a dip in the pool

the life he or she saves may be yours

stop living in fantasyland

Sparks said...

Why should a village be permitted to rely on volunteer services for a basic health and safety service?
What happens when there is a significant incident and the volunteers can't muster sufficient manpower in a timely manner?
Will the loss of several million dollar plus structures result in a lawsuit costing the village several times the savings they achieve by not funding a paid department?
Think it can't or won't happen? Look around and tell me honestly that there are no potential litigants.
When one looks at the "higher" costs of Edgemont's proposed village remember it includes one "amenity" none of the existing villages has - a paid, professional fire department.

bizarre comments from edgemont said...

one wonders where these comments are coming from
village fire departments have been in existence in some cases for over a century
the volunteers undergo extensive and constant training

through the decades they have ably handled all sorts of fires (in fact, the risk of a catastrophic fire is probably less due to deindustrialization of the rivertowns)

the edgemont area of greenburgh has a paid fire department (it also has some volunteers in these career departments). what would incorporation add to this??

i think edgemonters should be checking their water
because the utterances coming from that area of the town are bordering on the bizarre. did someone mix some weird koolaid in the metz tank?

Anonymous said...

Just because someone is not paid does not mean they are not professional. America was founded on the spirit of volunteerism. Being a volunteer fireman is one of the last segments of pure Americana left. Why waste money on unions who wind up costing taxpayers millions when for the most part, they are not used on a daily basis? I tip my cap to volunteers, there should be more of them!

Anonymous said...

Edgemont does not receive water from the metz water hole.

I'm sure that your area does.

ungenerous edgemont said...

with metz, who can be sure of anything.

is the town agreeing to hire an independent engineer to review the project?

something must be going on in edgemont for them to foment all these attacks on volunteers.

justice cacace saw what the town was doing for volunteers was reasonable. as an earlier blogger wrote, does edgemont really want to be known as trying to keep volunteer ambulance workers out of the town pool?

hartsdale's shame said...

its not only edgemont. its the mean spirited heartless people in hartsdale too who failed to speak out.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the villages have their own emergency medical services?
Why don't the villages have their own PAID fire departments?
Why do the villages insist on having their own, segregated recreational facilities?
I guess when it comes to living in the 21st century and making changes, the villages would rather not.

deluded about villages said...

dear anon
the villages have volunteer ambulance services (and many of them have saved residents of unincorporated greenburgh)
if the villages have volunteer fire depts why do they need paid fire depts?
i suggest you visit a village recreation facility and you will see that your segregated comment is delusional.

please have your water tested.

now, lets talk about the tdycc....why is that a town function?

Anonymous said...

Deluded is right, with one addition.

The villages do get EMS service from the town, and they pay the town for it. Anon 12:01 should learn to read the town budget.

To add to 12:01, most of the village parks are open to everyobdy. Just ask the TOV residents who use all the Ardsley parks, for instance, and participate in Ardsley's recreation programs. And unlike the pettiness of Edgemont people, both Hastings and Dobbs Ferry allow non-resident memberships in their municipal pools.

Anonymous said...

It ain't Edgeont keeping folks out of Veteran Park. It's a particular resident of unincorporated Greenburgh living in the Ardsley School District who is being responsive to his "constituients" living in other parts of unincorporated Greenburgh. Not only do most Edgemont residents not care, they would actively welcome others willing to share the upkeep.

Want to know said...

Name this guy.

"It's a particular resident of unincorporated Greenburgh living in the Ardsley School District who is being responsive to his "constituients" living in other parts of unincorporated Greenburgh."

ecc leading the charge said...

according to the cacace decision, it was mr bernstein who sued to stop the town from letting vounteers and families with disabled children from using veteran park. other ecc officials have also said the villages should never get access to veteran unless they pay for the whole unincorporated greenburgh park system.

Anonymous said...

who in edgemont has the guts to denounce someone who seeks to stop volunteers and the disabled from using a town pool. shame on edgemont for allowing this.

weems said...

curious: did weems support what bernstein did?

Anonymous said...

Dear 4:21PM
He has the ability to ask Finneran be repealed and replaced by the creation of a Town-wide Parks and Rec department. He chooses not to.
He could exercise discretion and allow Ardsley to pay for only memberships at Veteran. He chooses not to.
Why not? Well, it would really screw up his relationship balancing the "villages first" policy with the "anything needed for Fairview" policy.

huh? said...

thats somewhat humorous
most villagers have never heard of fairview or even the tdycc (or even weems, who edgemont supports)

fairview has its pool and community center (paid for of course largely by others)

a villages first policy does no harm to fairview (unless you happen to be drinking from weems' cup)

the villages have no interest or reason to be part of a townwide parks and recreation system. ill bet edgemont is not opening its recreation program to outsiders either.

Anonymous said...

6:43 is the typical TOV idiot who doesn't know what he is talking about but talks nonsense anyway.

Feiner doesn't have the ability to have Finneran be repealed. Only the combined application of the Town Board and the villages can get a change in Finneran, and the villages won't do it. Why should they? Why should they ask to be taxed for both their parks and the town parks.

He and the Town Board didn't have the legal discretion to allow Ardsley to pay for memberships at Veteran, but under the ruling last week Feiner and the Board do have that discretion. Maybe they will do it and get some more money into the TOV budget.

But 6:43 shouldn't confuse his dislike of Feiner with factual information.

Anonymous said...

the villages get ALS EMS service from the Town for a fraction of the cost the unincorparated part of town pays. they get civillian medics and we get police medics for twice the price.

Anonymous said...

If Edgemont wants to go, let them go! While they claim their taxes are disproportionate, so too are the services they receive. Yes, their taxes are the highest in the Town but so too are their property values. So long, good luck & good-bye. No one is forcing them to stay.

As for the tennis bubble, this is a loss for the Town. The contract however is plagued with items that could cost the Town a bundle. The Town needs better lawyers - this contract should never have made it to the Town Board for consideration - it should have been rejected by our brilliant legal team as it was not written in the best interest of the Town.

Other laws? The problem with adopting/amending Town codes is that many them are being drafted by Councilman Sheehan (as are almost all of the Town Resolutions) - problem is he's not a lawyer. Why is he allowed to draft laws and resolutions? Every one of them is plagues with problems. Why do we have staff lawyers? We have a large legal department yet they don't draft laws & resolutions and most of the big lawsuits against the Town are farmed out to paid consultants. What's wrong here?

Anonymous said...

7:53 -- what does Edgemont get from the Town???

the answer said...

police, dpw (garbage pickup/recycling) , tax collection, parks and recreation, library, water, zoning, planning, etc

feiner v. weems (you decide) said...

feiner and the town board really came out smelling like roses by opening up the park to lifesaving volunteers and the disabled.

contrast that with weems' folks who wanted to keep them out.

Don't understand court ruling said...

Smelling like a rose you say? Only if you live in a village. The courts said under Finneran no village residents could use the parks unless the village governments agreed on behalf of their residents to pay their fair share of the costs. That means village residents who are disabled or who are volunteer firemen shouldn't be able to use the parks unless their village governments said they could. But they chose not to do so. Since when does the court have the right to decide from the bench that if the village governments turn their backs on their own disabled and volunteer firefighters, it's okay for the residents of unincorporated Greenburgh to pick up the tab for them?

the answer said...

why? because it has been the law in new york state for decades that any restriction on use of a public park has to be reasonable and that opening a park to a limited class of people who fall outside the formal restriction is permissible if rational. the volunteers and the disabled are not free loaders, they are paying the same fees as everyone else. thats also why guests are allowed in"restricted" parks.

one is consistently amazed at the callousness and greed of some folks in the unincorporated area.

feiner showed leadership in rejecting these shrill voices. and lets not forget that these same folks are in an alliance with pat weems.

Anonymous said...

How did Edgemont manage to keep their school district from merging with the Greenburgh districts back in the 70's? Somehow they managed to keep their district from becoming desegregagated even though they are as much a part of Greenburgh as Hartsdale, Fairview, Poets Corner, College Corners, etc. Did you ever try to get an Edgemonter to admit they live in Greenburgh? Nearly impossible. One woman spoke at a Town Board meeting and stated that she lived in the "Town of Edgemont". If they want to incorporate as Village, let them. If they don't we should investigate their school system. The excuse of only Edgemont residents pay for Edgemont schools doesn't fly. The Edgemont schools should be merged into the Central 7 District and all Greenburgh residents should be assessed accordingly. They complain that their taxes are higher - well yeah, that makes sense since their homes are assessed at higher values and sell for higher prices. All they do is complain - let them go. The rest of can do very well without them. I'm sick to death of Bernstein's frivolous lawsuits against the Town. He is costing us a fortune in legal fees. Go, begone already, go!

Anonymous said...

Pat Weems is a nice lady but I don't think she has the experience to run our Town. We need a fiscal manager, a person who knows how to work the red tape and who won't be bought out by developers. Maybe it's time to seek a full-time Town manager and reduce the Supervisor to a $35,000 per year part-time position. Feiner is obviously overpaid and has overstayed his welcome because there is no where else for him to go. There is no higher level of incompetence for this guy! I am a lifelong Dem but would vote for a Republican Supervisor in a heartbeat if he/she had the experience to run our Town. Feiner actually gloated over his loss of votes from the Dems; he more or less is sticking his finger in our eyes because he knows he has a huge war chest to pretty much buy his re-election. Let's stick the finger back in his eye - please...there must be one person in this Town who can outshine him!

nice lady? said...

if pat weems supported the lawsuit to ban volunteers and the disabled from a town park, then she is not a very nice lady.

rumor has it that weems has been a big no show at the meetings of the council of greeenburgh civic associations (the umbrella group for civic associations in unincorporated greenburgh).

so much for her hectoring fulton park that everyone should work together. weems has been missing in action.

critics of bernstein off base said...

the bernstein lawsuits have been handled ably by the town's attorneys, so they have not really cost the town anything. in fact, bernstein was ordered to repay the town for its costs incurred in the taxter ridge case.

the lawsuits have served a salutary purpose of clarifying what finneran means and how it should be administered.

the lawsuits have not been frivolous. his arguments were rational but ultimately not convincing enough for the court to accept them.

its not easy to fight town hall. bernstein should not be chided for seeking redress for his community through the courts.

Anonymous said...

It is one thing if Paul allows attacks on his record on his website; it is entirely another and disgraceful manner if he hosts attacks on his political opponents on his personal webpage.

weems folk having doubts? said...

why is that?
weems is running for town supervisor. seems her supporters are concerned that voters will find out what she stands for and who is backing her.

the question has been asked what is weems' position on finneran and whether she backed bernstein's suit to bar volunteers from veteran park.

weems is free to respond here.

Anonymous said...

If the appellate court said that restrictions on use of town parks was mandatory unless a village government agreed in exchange for access that its residents would pay their fair share of the cost, why is it that it's suddenly okay for the Town Board to decide that any village residents can use these parks without say-so and agreement to pay from their village governments? Look, Finneran may be a bad law, but until we get rid of it, if village residents are legally excused from having to pay for town parks, then the town board shouldn't have any right under Finneran to allow any "class" of village residents to use the town parks, no matter what. If we're talking about a village's volunteer firefighters who live in the villages, why shouldn't village taxpayers provide them with their own recreation facilities? If we're talking about village people who are disabled, why shouldn't the village governments enter into a municipal agreement with the Town to provide access? If the Finneran Law says we shouldn't have to, why should unincorporated take it on the chin here?

Anonymous said...

to anon 2:20

unincorprated isn't taking anything on the chin. it doesn't cost unincorporated taxpayers anything to have volunteer firemen and disabled to use the pool. they pay membership fees, so the village has additional income without any additional expense.

you are lstening to too many chicken littles who are telling you that the sky is falling.

cold hearted attitude said...

re: If we're talking about a village's volunteer firefighters who live in the villages, why shouldn't village taxpayers provide them with their own recreation facilities?

typical bad tov attitude.

these volunteers serve areas where many unincorporated greenburgh residents live.

how mean spirited can you get?

tov benefits said...

actually the town gets more revenue
not the village if the volunteers and disabled use the town pool

And the town needs it.

greedy tov crowd said...

tov residents use village facilites free of charge.

tov obviously never learned the golden rule.

accurate legal analysis said...

the taxter ridge case involved a park where all village residents were allowed to use it because they paid for 1/3rd of it. that is not the case with the cacace decison.

the use issue was not before the appellate court, only the issue of allocation of costs.

finneran bars charging the villages for unincorporated's parks unless a village opts in.

even a park that is supposed to be restricted can be open to non-residents so long as its not open on a wholesale basis (thats why the court struck down the tennis bubble contract).

so the cacace decision is well grounded on who can use an otherwise restricted park especially on the issue of volunteers who in fact serve the unincorporated areas and who pay a membership fee.

disabled and veteran said...

allowing the disabled to use the park was a humane gesture and respectful of the town board (as the elected representatives of the town) to excercise discretion to allow such limited use (especially where the town park sits in part on village land where no taxes are paid). plus as noted by others, the town gets a financial benefit for doing so.

Anonymous said...

These comments criticizing TOVers are just bizarrre.

Village residents didn't pay one-third of Taxter Ridge. That's just crazy talk.

And what's this nonsense about even parks that are restricted in use can be open to village residents -- as long as it's not done on a wholesale basis. I don't see that written anywhere in Finneran, the law says "shall be restricted," and if that's what Cacace held, she certainly didn't apply the law even-handedly.

The community center, which Cacace said is a recreational facility, is open to all village residents on a wholesale basis -- and unincorporated only still has to pay. Something doesn't sound right here at all.

nothing wrong here said...

nothing is wrong here
the appellate division said finneran does not require a villages to pay for unincorporated parks unless a village opts in.

bernstein sued to get the villages to pay for facilities that are allegedly open townwide like the tdycc

finneran does not allow that.

maybe bernstein should hire a new lawyer as he seems to bringing the wrong type of case.

taxter and the villages and more said...

two thirds of taxter was paid for by state and county money paid for by taxpayers in the villages

so villagers paid for two thirds of taxter

the other third was paid for solely by unincorporated

the appellate division held this benefitted unincorporated because they got taxter without having to pay the full price

it also held that taxter was a finneran property so far as future obligations for upkeep and debt service on the bonds the town issued for its share which means they have to be paid for solely by the town outside the villages

the recent case involved an attempt to stop the town from letting a small class of villagers use veteran as well as trying to foist the cost of the tdycc on the villages. the court said tdycc like taxter is a finneran property so only unincorporated can be taxed

tdycc - why its open to all said...

tdycc has two tiers of membership fees
resident and non resident
this enables the town to keep many programs available and ongoing by increasing the number of people who can use them

another example of the town board acting rationally and reasonably with respect to a generally restricted to tov facilty

also the pool was funded by the feds so it has to be open to everyone.

Town lying about TDYCC fees said...

The "two tiers" of membership fees supposed charged at TDYCC does NOT enable the Town to keep any programs available and ongoing. This is evident by the fact that TDYCC raises only about 10% of its operating costs through fees, and almost none of it comes from non-residents. Residents should demand that the Town put its money where it mouth is when it makes false and misleading statements like this. All you have to do is look at the town budget and you can see for yourself that there is no such revenue coming in to support continuing any such programs.

Anonymous said...

Tom Boch of Fulton Park should run for Town Supervisor, not County Legislator. He's a smart guy who can run this Town efficiently - he also won't be swayed by developers - run for Town Supervisor - please!

Anonymous said...

If the Town Board can open up restricted to TOV parks and rec facilities simply by charging village residents a non-resident fee and claiming they're doing unincorporated residents a favor, then Finneran's residency restrictions, which are supposed to be mandatory, are meaningless. Hey Edgemont, once you incorporate as a village, can the rest of us in unincorporated join you?

Anonymous said...

Dear 3:07PM on 6/16 -
Having been escorted from the waterfront park in Irvington because I wasn't a resident of Irvington (my children and ex-wife were and I was taking the kids to the park) - I can tell you first hand TOVer's are NOT WELCOME.
I can't swim in Hastings pool, enjoy the waterfront for which the TOV budget provides a marine police patrol in any of the villages.
It is simply time to dismantle the village/town patchwork of parks and pools. Place all of the facilities under a single Parks and Recreation Department at the Town level, tax the Town entire for the costs and let the villages remove the expenses from their budgets. The consolidation of personnel into a single, larger organization is EXACTLY what "intergovernmental sharing of services" means. If you are enthusiastic about consolidating fire districts, consolidating Parks and Recreation departments should make you swoon with delight.
Not only would the larger entity save money on personnel costs, there would no longer be the costs associated with Bernstein and his litigations...

Village resident said...

The 9:00 AM blogger is mostly wrong, and his good idea won't work.

First, his complaint about being excluded from village facilities.

1. He may have been excluded from one Irvington park, the one which was a gift from a deceased wealthy Irvington resident which has a restrictive covenant that says it can be used only by Irvington residents. But right next to that partk is another gorgeous watrefront park which is open to everyone. So his complaint is a little suspicious.

2. The Hastings pool, and also the Dobbs Ferry pool, now sell some non-resident memberships, along with resident memberships. Unless one is a member one cannot use the pool. This is just like the pool at Veteran Park, you have to buy a membership to use it even if you are a TOV resident. Maybe Mr. 9:00 just wanted to go in without being a member. Tough luck.

3. There are plenty of places from which to enjoy the waterfront. Quit the phony griping.

As far as consolidating all the village and town parks and recreation facilities, that sounds good and might even be good. But it isn't necessary. Foir the most part, everything works OK, and I don't think that amy village wants to be depoendent on the town, with all the complaints the town receives. We in the villages get along fine and we don't want to be part of the anger and fighting in the town.

Anonymous said...

I understand the lack of appeal of the Supervisor job and why it's hard to find someone qualified to run against Prince Paul XVIII: $105,000 per year cannot sustain a family in lower Westchester and it's hardly worth the headaches. Why doesn't someone run on a platform of reducing the roles (and salaries of) Supervisor and Board positions and replacing them with a full-time professional manager? I would vote for such a candidate. Any thoughts?

Hartsdale Home Owner said...

People like village resident at 9:43 who oppose consolidation of services obviously don't object to paying the highest property taxes in the United States.

tdycc is the problem said...

the real issue behind this griping is the fact that the tdycc costs anywhere from 4 million to 12 million dollars a year and its function is poverty alleviation.

that is not the role of town government (or village government) and the sooner the tdycc is transferred to a not for profit Y and is funded by member dues and grants, the better everyone in unincorporated will be.

political reality said...

the high taxes are found in unincorporated greenburgh not in the villages.

over the last two years the taxes in hartsdale have gone up over 30%.

village increases have been lower than inflation for the most part.

sadly, hartsdale has let a few angry folks create dissension between it and the villages with the result being the villages are basically re-electing the current board to keep unincorporated far away from its borders.

Anonymous said...

TDYCC may claim to be open to everyone but when TDYCC only provides busing to its facility to children and adults who only reside in one area or attend only one school, I think the "open to everyone" argument doesn't hold up.

Clearly by providing limited transportation access to only a small population there is a case to show the centers intended use and for who.

I will cite Paul's invitation to the Obama Inauguration. First the Washington bound bus. Those plans thwarted when a request to have a bus pickup those in Hartsdale too. Then a revised event at TDYCC. Only kids from GC7 where asked to participate, bus to pick them up at school.

edgemont/hartsdale scared of tdycc said...

anon is basically correct
even in the town code the facility is the fairview community center.

thats who is it for and in reality thats who should pay for it.

but dont hold your breath.

non-fairview folks are too chicken to call for the tdycc to be closed or transferred to an organization unaffiliated with the town.

Anonymous said...

If political reality doesn't recognize that even the villages - like all of Westchester Co. - pay the most excessive property taxes in the U.S., then obviously he has never never lived outside of Westchester-Nassau -NYC. Check any listing of national tax rates and you'll see we have the worst situation.

Anonymous said...

The real chickens here are those running and advocating for the TDY Center. They hide behind the open to all mantra while planning to spend all of that 4 million on services that suit one community.

They are the true wimps. They are very, very afraid to call it what it is.

Listen carefully to Brown and Carter. They almost can't contain themselves from saying it. Brown "We don't want to make our camp look like a parks and Rec camp. I'm concerned...."
Carter:" I'm afraid that if we raise the fees people won't be able to sign up" (said regarding non-resident AA kids living in Elmsford Village.)
Only busing kids to the center from GC for Xposure or other offered services.
Less than 1/3 of the kid population in TOV attends GC. 90% live in Fairview.

They should be afraid to openly say it out loud. It's illegal.

call the feds then said...

if you are suggesting we have a separate but equal facility in greenburgh or some variation of that, then file a complaint with the obama justice department.

Anonymous said...

What's happening to the $300,000 plus that the Greenburgh Housing Authority owes unincorportaed Greenburgh?

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that no one responded to the inquiry about desegregating Edgemont schools? Some claim that TDYCC is only for the black community (even though they don't come right out and say it) - Edgemont Schools are only for the white community. If we really want to be serious about a unified Greenburgh we should merge Edgemont School District with Greenburgh Central 7 and should eliminate the commissioner & deputy commissioner of TDYCC and have them overseen by the commissioner of parks & rec which is how it should be. If Town parks are to opened to village residents then village parks should be open to unincorporated residents - One for all and all for one.

Anonymous said...

Edgemont declines to participate in Greenburgh Parks and Recreation. They formed their own Edgemont Rec recreation Corp, run their own programs yet use Veterans pool for camp. This not only cuts into general free swim time at the pool, we pay them to do it. Yes, pay them.
The premise is that it costs the rest of TOV less because we can't accommodate all of the Edgemont kids in classrooms for camp,*pauses and laughs* so they get reimbursed "rent".

I've heard other arguments as well as to why this is an acceptable practice but rest assured they are all thinly veiled disguises of why those kids can't mix it up with these kids.

We pay a private cooperation (EDGMT Rec) to assist in running its own program because they decline to participate in what the rest of the schleps have available to them.

So, there are 3. Parks and Recreation (all of TOV pays for) TDYCC (all of TOV pays for)EDGMT Rec Corp (Edgmont pays for a TOV pays a small part of)

PS Edgemont Recreation donates some of their money to Scarsdale Teen Rec Center and some back to the EDGMT schools. So if you live in TOV that's were some of your money goes.

Hard to believe, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

There should be one TOV Recreation for everyone.

We should not be forced to pay for private clubs or centers that discriminate.

End this madness NOW!

We can not force Edgemont to be good citizens but we certainly shouldn't be supporting them and assisting them. It's shameful.

As for TDYCC, almost 4 million dollars a year? Do a center audit and see which families reap the benefit of this outrageous sum of money. It will all be there in black & white.

There are families in TOV with serious financial problems and they do not see TDYCC as means of assistance. They believe that TDYCC is for one community. They are correct in that perception.

Rosa Parks changed the bus ride.

I doubt she intended her actions to mean segregated free bus, paid for by everyone, to camp for those in Fairview. Full fare bus to camp for the rest of TOV.

It's time to put a stop to this.

very good idea said...

if you are suggesting we have a separate but equal facility in greenburgh or some variation of that, then file a complaint with the obama justice department.

There should be one source for recreation in unincorporated. All requirements for programs and financial assistance should be standardized.
To require different fees, offer different levels of services, different proof of eligibility to one TOV family and not the other, is a civil rights violation.

tov still a mess said...

on lohud someone made the good point that bernstein was bringing the wrong lawsuit.

he should have sued to shut the tdycc down (and dissolve the department of community resources) or to suspend all spending on parks and recreation until the town treated everyone in unincorporated equally. of course, this would have impacted on edgemont's private recreation operation.

instead he tried to stop the town from letting volunteers and the disabled use the town pool.

he failed to realize a court would be reluctant to do that.

pendulum swings wildly said...

Ironic that on a day where the Senate considers apologizing for the use of Jim Crow laws, we find ourselves questioning whether this town has secretly and unofficially enacted the very same discriminatory policies in reverse against another group.

I believe that Bernstein's suit was the wrong one to bring. There is no question that people are treated unequally here by both the schools and by the town.

The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans. In reality, this led to treatment and accommodations that were usually inferior to those provided for white Americans, systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages.

It's an embarrassment.

right under our noses said...

Greenburgh 7 Board and Greenburgh Town Council compete neck and neck on dubious behavior.

A few years back at school budget vote time, the school board threatened to remove busing for kids that attend private schools if the proposed budget did not pass.

This caused a wild frenzy in Hartsdale as over 95% of the kids living there go to private schools.

The Hartsdale parents came out in droves to vote “yes” to the budget as they were panicked.

Guess what?

The school district is legally required to provide the busing. It is the law. What the school district did to mislead the parents and get the budget passed was illegal. To this day parents in Hartsdale still believe that if they don’t vote the budget in, they will lose the busing!

This particular situation well documented.

pardon me said...

This particular situation IS well documented.

Anonymous said...

is there anyone higher than judge Carcace in the supreme court that we can communicate with to expess our concerns concerning the law that states that we in the unincorporated areas of Greenburgh are to pay for the purchasing of open space plus the maintenance.

edgemont and central 7 said...

if any of bernstein's law actions caused the edgemont school system to be integrated with central 7, his neighbors would strangle him. notice how we didnt sue to get a level playing field for all of the tvo so that everyone pays the same under the same rules. thats because he is protecting edgemont recreation, a private corporation that gets money from the town.

Anonymous said...

We should assist Bernstein with whatever ammunition is needed to take the Finn law off the books.

Whomever introduced this law must have been either drinking or taking something to injure their thinking.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Edgemont Rec needs protection. They are entitled to have their private club but they can not accept money or services from TOV.

Interestingly, when these little fishy things gets exposed here, Paul goes running off to quasi correct them. The money TOV gives Edgemont Rec was exposed a few years back right on this blog, but, I believe it has either been reduced or eliminated. They still claim the pool for there private little camp though.

Same thing with the camp fees. The discrepancies between Parks & Rec fees and TDYCC? Paul scurried off to make it look like it was more equatable, Corrected. It was not.

What's great about this blog is that there is a paper and cyber trail of all of these little very questionable issues. Paul can never say he didn't know......

Too bad "we" have to uncover all of the ugliness and theft before something gets changed and even then, it never really does change, does it?

That's ok. There will come a day when this little cyber trail will be the nail in the coffin.

Gotta love the internets! Thanks Al

finneran aint going away said...

the finneran law will not change unless the villages consent to the change

in fact it is named after a state assemblyman from irvington

the problem for unincorporated is that the villages do not like bernstein and they probably dislike the tov's finneran committee even more

further, the town board has defended the finneran law over and over and the town's interpretation as to what it mean has proven to be correct

the finneran law is there to protect the villages and if you think they will give up that protection because of what bernstein wants, then you are blogging on drugs

Anonymous said...

Actually, Mr. Finneran lived in TOV, not the village and the law was requested by Mr. Veteran, but nice try at revisionist history 8:45pm.

Anonymous said...

To 4:28 blogger.

Yes there is someone higher than Judge Cacase. It is the Appellate Division. It ruled that when the town board decides to buy open space in the TOV area it is paid for by the TOV, and the Court of Appeals affirmed it.

It would be nice if people wrote with intelligence instead of with anger.

New to blog said...

What does TOV stand for?

tov explained said...

tov is the town oustide the villages also known as unincorporated greenburgh

roughly just over half of the residents of the town of greenburgh live in incorporated villages such as hastings, dobbs ferry, ardsley etc

the rest live in unincorporated greenburgh and live in neighborhoods/hamlets/ census districts like hartsdale, edgemont, fairview, north elmsford, manor woods, fulton park, boulder ridge

the villages have their own police and fire depts
their own elected officials, their own library, dpw, and parks and recreation

the entire town including the villages elects the supervisor (mr feiner) and the four other town council members

the budget for the unincorporated area is called the B budget which pays for all services to the unincorporated areas

the budget for the entire town is called the A budget and pays for the townwide services such as road striping, animal control, tax collection and all town board salaries and benefits

facts on finneran said...

the finneran law was put in place at the request of the villages except for ardsley which opposed it

this was back in 1982

no one cared about it until the town bought taxter ridge and only charged unincorporated taxpayers for greenburgh's share of the cost and future maintenance of the park/preserve

the courts ruled that under finneran, the costs for a park or recreation facility in unincorporated greenbrugh cannot be charged to the villages unless a village consents to be charged

meshuganah said...

who cares if anyone outside unincorporated greenburgh uses the tdycc.

the key point was that the town has no business being in the poverty alleviation/cultural deprivation business.

thats what bernstein should have sued for or made a political issue in unincorporated greenburgh.

amazing he is still seeking to stop volunteers from using veteran park. has he no sechel?

some folks are gluttons for punishment.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if anyone outside unincorporated Greenburgh uses TDYCC?

Well, if you lived in unincorporated Greenburgh, and were required to pay for it under a law that says it shall be restricted in use to unincorporated area residents -- you'd care a lot -- especially when the community center is open to residents of the villages, White Plains, Mount Pleasant and Mount Vernon, and it costs more than $5 million a year to operate.

As for those "volunteers" who get access to Veteran Park -- they are first and foremost village residents, and the Appellate Division said Finneran does not permit village residents to use TOV-restricted town parks unless their village governments give the okay and agree to pay their fair share of the taxes.

If the town board can decide on its own to avoid these restrictions on residency when it is politically expedient for them to do so, then Finneran's residency restrictions are pretty meaningless, don't you think?

Notice that no "volunteers" who reside in unincorporated Greenburgh get any comparable benefits from either the town or from the villages. Volunteer firefighters who live in unincorporated Greenburgh pay the same as everyone else in unincorporated Greenburgh to use Veteran Park.

Anonymous said...

Just curious: I attended the Juneteenth Parade in White Plains this past Saturday. There were a number of Greenburgh town buses parked at the starting point. Does anyone know why?

weems and edgemont said...

this is getting fairly petty

so close the tdycc to non-tov folks
just do it

the only facilites the volunteers use is the pool which the tov already has access to

the appellate court did not have the use issue before it in the taxter case - only the funding issue. in any event, justice cacace ruled correctly that even a restricted use can accomodate a small class of outsiders.

the big picture is that the tdycc should not be a town function.

and it wont be if edgemont leaves becomes a village.

so candidate weems, do you support edgemont becoming a village?

Anonymous said...

It's not up to candidate Weems whether Edgemont becomes a village any more than it's up to candidate Feiner. Whether Edgemont becomes a village is entirely up to the residents of Edgemont. Why is that such a hard concept for villagers to grasp?

Anonymous said...

Why is that such a hard concept for villagers to grasp?


stop censoring weems said...

most villagers could care less.

but candidate feiner and candidate berger (yes, you remember her) were not in favor of it. they both called it devastating to the town.

are weems' edgemont supporters nervous about what weems' views are?

edgemont incorporation is an issue for the tov. even as remote as it is, the tov is entitled to know where she stands.

Anonymous said...

Edgemont's incorporation is, by law, an issue solely for the residents of Edgemont to decide, and no one else. Residents of the rest of unincorporated may be hurt by the loss of Edgemont's tax revenues, but that's one of the well foreseen consequences of a court ruling the town fought for that says village residents can use the town's park and rec facilities, but don't have to pay for them.

Anonymous said...

PORT CHESTER - Former elected officials from the village who served 10 or more years will no longer be receiving lifetime health benefits.The village board has eliminated health insurance for eight former trustees, a move that will save the village $70,000 a year and up to $1.8 million in future payments, the board said.

Anonymous said...

good luck edgemont
hope you are more successful than bernstein was in his suits

Anonymous said...

Bernstein made the case for Edgemont's incorporation by establishing that village residents can legally use town parks without paying for them. Sounds like Bernstein accomplished what he set out to do.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Bob. Whatever you say.

Anonymous said...

excuse me, villagers who can use veteran park pay a membership fee

this "dont have to pay for them" line is pure bs

if thats the best argument bernstein has for incorporation, then incorporation will never happen.

true said...

i think you are right. edgemont folks have no burning desire to incorporate.

they are too busy doing what everyone else is doing, getting their kids ready for camp.

Plenty of reasons to incorporate said...

There are plenty of reasons for Edgemont to incorporate.

First of all, town taxes have gone up by more than 31% in the past two years, and next year's projection is for town taxes to go up by another 15-17%. In the meantime, the town has no plan in place to control spending. Edgemont residents have shown with their school and fire district that they can do much better.

At an all-Edgemont meeting last November, the Town Board rejected every single suggestion made by Edgemont residents to cut non-essential spending. Instead, the Town Board voted to cut spending on police, sanitation and snow removal, the three essential services that Edgemont residents count on the most.

The Town is also planning to change the zoning in Edgemont to increase population density along Central Avenue, without regard to the impact this would have on the school district and school taxes.
The only way to stop this insanity, which would destroy Edgemont's schools and property values, is to incorporate and control Edgemont's own planning and zoning.

And, to make matters even worse, in order to shift attention away from his own fiscal mismanagement, the supervisor is now on a crusade to consolidate Edgemont's fire district with that of Fairview and Hartsdale. That will raise Edgemont's fire taxes, while it subsidizes these other districts. It will also result in services being cut back. Incorporation will guarantee that Edgemont remains in control of its fire district.

And town officials have made one blunder after another in Edgemont. The Metz reservoir project is just the latest example. Officials nonchalantly said this $5 million project would have no effect on the environment or on neighboring properties. Yet after this week's downpour, water was flooding neighboring property and the genius who signed the site plan waiver -- the planning commissioner -- refused even to get involved in the mess, telling residents in writing that "stormwater management" was just not his responsibility. No Edgemont officials would ever act so cavelierly when it comes to overseeing Edgemont properties.

Edgemont residents have plenty of reasons to incorporate, and oh yes, it's now clear that once Edgemont becomes a village, it can avoid the same taxes that the rest of Greenburgh's villages are able to avoid -- which was one of the questions raised in Edgemont's study of incorporation back in 2005.

Anonymous said...

ok bob, start your engines running.

wonder if edgemont folks are ready to live under mayor bob

Anonymous said...

you mean mayor bob who was paralyzed a while back and who tried to stop the town from humanely opening its pool to families with disabled children?

what is wrong with edgemont that they dont evict this mean spirited petty man?

Anonymous said...

Does Mayor Bob really think that if the Edgemont schools had a few children of color this would "destroy Edgemont's schools and property values?" How sad.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Enough with this Edgemont talk. It's a school district. Not a country. They will always be just a school district in TOV. Too bad. They'll just have to get over it.

Anonymous said...

someone break the news to bernstein.

Anonymous said...

Why no complaints from Fairview about the lily-white Irvington schools?
Where are the protests over an all-white Ardsley School District?
How come no one in Fairview is enraged by the segregated Village pools in Hastings and Dobbs Ferry?
And why does the black community dismiss the very substantial Asian and Indian communities in Edgemont as "white"?
Because ambition and self-reliance are dirty words in the mouths of the pandering political hacks who rely on the poor and uneducated for their re-election year after year. Improving the taxbase so that the schools in Greenburgh 7 have an adequate revenue stream is the furthest thing from the politicians' minds. Removing properties regularly to provide "free" services is more effective as a tool to enslave the black community than the Jim Crow laws ever were. Keep'em poor and dumb was the strategy used in the South for more than a hundred years - and it WORKED!
Where are the responsible members of the Greenburgh community, both black and white, who will stand up for real tolerance, real improvements and real growth?

Anonymous said...

Why no complaints from Fairview about the lily-white Irvington schools?
Where are the protests over an all-white Ardsley School District?
How come no one in Fairview is enraged by the segregated Village pools in Hastings and Dobbs Ferry?
And why does the black community dismiss the very substantial Asian and Indian communities in Edgemont as "white"?
Because ambition and self-reliance are dirty words in the mouths of the pandering political hacks who rely on the poor and uneducated for their re-election year after year. Improving the taxbase so that the schools in Greenburgh 7 have an adequate revenue stream is the furthest thing from the politicians' minds. Removing properties regularly to provide "free" services is more effective as a tool to enslave the black community than the Jim Crow laws ever were. Keep'em poor and dumb was the strategy used in the South for more than a hundred years - and it WORKED!
Where are the responsible members of the Greenburgh community, both black and white, who will stand up for real tolerance, real improvements and real growth?

Anonymous said...

Paul why is it that all your efforts are put into action to harm the residents.

Take a good look as to where you are spending all the taxpayers money.

You have divided this town into what the previous commentors have written on this blog.
You have created this black and white issue.

To those that think all the schools in Greenburgh are segregated take some time to check them out.