Thursday, July 30, 2009


Last night the Planning Board passed a resolution recommending that the Town Board release $120,000 from the Town Parkland Fund (non tax dollars from developer fees) for building a new playground at Richard Presser Park. The new playground will replace the existing playground which was built (with community participation) in the early 1990s. This playground is located near the Highview School. Earlier this year I spoke to the children at Highview School. They asked for a new playground—pointing out that the existing playground is not in great shape.
In June, the Greenburgh Parks and Recreation Advisory Board passed a similar resolution. The playground (which my daughter has used) is wooden—does not meet current standards. It is a heavily used playground, used almost non stop on a daily basis. Tens of thousands of kids have enjoyed the playground over the years. The existing design is very well received and not too many types of playground features will be changed but the industry does have some new and exciting features we will discuss and review as a community.
The Webb Playground was the first of many new playgrounds to be built in the 1990s. It is one of the largest playgrounds in the town (Yosemite Park being the largest). Because the park is near the Highview School I would like to involve the students of Highview in helping the town decide what new and exciting features should be incorporated in the playground. The Town Board will be holding a public hearing on the playground. Wouldn’t it be great if one of the hearings can be held at the Highview School? This way the students will be able to participate in government and see how the decision making processes work. Holding a hearing at Highview School will also show the children at Highview how relevant government is to their lives.
The current playground has three sections –one of the sections is geared to children 2-5 years old. Another: 6-12 year olds. A third: 2-12 year old swing sets. If your child does not attend Highview and wants to participate please advise.


hal samis said...

Now I'm not pretending to be an expert in this area but with the existence of a Parkland fund which you want to tap for replacing an existing playground seems to denote that the fund need not be used exclusively for acquistion of new parkland but can be used for a variety of purposes -- which is fine.

And I'm not against the idea of replacing tired and worn out playground equipment but I am against the inference that you draw that because it does not meet current standards it HAS to be replaced.

Mostly I am against the idea that spending this money (a shameless ploy meant to appeal to parents in an election year) that this is "free money" and despite your own dire news released on another topic, that this money won't have any impact on taxpayers.

Because what you don't say is that this money could be used toward Park infrastructure projects that must be incurred with the next few years. Projects that you and the Town Board are well aware of and have even discussed publicly; projects like the reconstruction of the Town Pool and work needed on the Tennis Courts in lieu of a contract with an operator.

These will cost taxpayers big bucks and using the $120,000 to reduce that expense would be the mark of a Town Supervisor who has his eye on what's best for the Town, not what's best for a re-election campaign.

But if $120,000 just has to be spent, then it could also be used at Taxter Ridge, a park that taxpayers are still paying for in their tax increases -- and can't use.

But somehow the gimmick of using kids as props is a page torn from the Ray Thomas enrichment handbook so naturally it appeals to you.

Finally, I wonder if you're going to ask those kids who are White Plains residents, not just post office, who are entitled to use the Presser because of federal grant money -- what they want.

Anonymous said...

How nice of you! You left it up to the College Corners citizens to fight tooth and nail for years with you to clean up Presser but you do not invite them to give input to the redesign of the playground?

Since the playground is part of the College Corners community and virtually no children living there attend Highview, wouldn't it seem logical to engage College Corners in this matter?

Awwww hell no!

Why are you so hell bent of discriminating against those families that do not use the GC7 school district? Haven't these families contributed enough money to both the town and the school district? Why doesn’t GC7 pay for the new playground? What about Edgemont? Don't they get a say in the matter?

The children attending the GC7 school district represents less than 20% of all of the children in TOV. How many are represented at Highview? Too small to count.

What's your problem, Paul?

When are you making transportation available to all TOV children to participate in all TOV funded programs? When will all TOV kids be able to get a free lunch? Free after school? Free camp? Camp where fees are EQUAL?

Why do you deny some children access? Why do you charge more from some families? When are you going to realize that any town funded program needs to be equally accessed by all. How is this even legal? How do you sleep at night?

You want to show the children at Highview how government works. What are you teaching them? What are you teaching those children who do not attend school at Highview?

You teach them that they are zeros. They do not matter. They have nothing to contribute nor do they have any needs. You teach them that you, Paul, see no political gain in treating them any differently.

Wow. Just, wow........

Anonymous said...


We should all remember that if he does anything for this town is to look good in some peoples eyes.
They will realize that he loves to play games that will get him elected.

It will cost us today and it will cost us later on down the line.

Terry Williams said...

The Greenburgh Central 7 School District is not involved in the construction of any playground on town-owned land, and to my knowledge, there are no plans to do so. I will happily share with one and all any such information that comes before us. Speaking as one board member, I oppose any school district involvement in this project.

Anonymous said...

The few regulars who comment on the blog act like they represent Greenburgh voters. Ain't so. Paul keeps getting re-elected because he does a good job. He responds to our concerns. If so many people hate him and his views, how come he has no serious opponent?

hal samis said...

This is obviously an unfair question.

Pointing out the Supervisor's many "peculiarities" and living with the result does not mean that others should give up their private sector careers (many of which pay far more) or raise the money necessary to run against an incumbent with a a full war chest.
Also this candidate should have some smarts and an understanding of how government should be run, not how it it.

There are many factors but, for yourself, you can draw any conclusion you want. Others may conclude that his remaining in office was due to his shrewd obsrvation years ago that if he ran for this office, he could hold on to it as long as he wanted.

And even at the risk of keeping Feiner around longer, the system operates inefficiently making candidates for Supervisor run for office every two years; especially while the Town Council serve four year terms. Any incumbent Supervisor wanting to keep the job will spend a good portion of their time on the job dedicated to doing what they see as necessary to be re-elected.

Rearranging your life for possibly only one 2 year term, itself, dissuades many from running.

Hartsdale Home Owner said...

I too have children you use the Webb/Presser/Highview (whatever you call it) playground FREQUENTLY. Paul is right that it has tired, worn, ugly equipment and, worse, the surroundings are typically filthy and poorly maintained. However, I have no idea what the Highview School has to do with this issue. If any one bothers to drive up the hill, Highview, on its own property, has its own playground equipment. It is inadequate and lame, I admit, but that's the decision of the GC7 school district (to whom I pay about $8,000 in taxes annually). BTW, is Paul really sure that the Highview kids werent' complaining about the lame equipment on the school property rather than down the hill? If GC7 wants to spend its own large budget on upgrading its own playground at Highview, good for them. I don't understand, however, why it is the responsibility of TOV taxpayers, however, to build a playground specifically for the benefit of the 2nd & 3rd graders. Good, build a playground, but at least have the good sense to interface with neighborhood families that the primary users. How often do Highview teachers take the 2nd and 3rd graders down the hill to use this park during school hours? Almost none of the Highview kids live in the adjacent College Corners or Manor Woods neighborhoods, so I assume they aren't using it afterschool or weekend? I think Paul's statement just shows how out of touch and distanced he is from the property-taxpaying homeowners of Hartsdale - a demographic that obviously doesn't register in his mind.