Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Budget season is here. I'm working with the Town Board and Comptroller, Bart Talamani, preparing the 2010 budget. This years budget will be released a week from Friday - October 30th. It will be a difficult budget. The town has lost substantial revenues. We're down almost 8 million in ratables (due to tax grievance challenges). Our mortgage tax revenue is down by about 1.3 million. Sales tax revenue down 12%. We're required by state law to contribute more towards the pension system (50% jump). The state now requires additional contributions to the MTA. And—that is just for starter’s.
I have been meeting with all employees to discuss the need for cuts in our spending and anticipate significant cuts will be made in 2010. Less fund balance (savings) will be used in 2010 than it was in 2009. Fund balance has been used every year to reduce tax hikes. We have to recognize the fact that our fund balance is getting smaller and we will have no fund balance left in a few years if we use it at the levels it was used in the past. The members of the Town Board (Sonja Brown, Diana Juettner, Kevin Morgan, Francis Sheehan & I) have been reviewing budget requests with department heads at work session meetings. A series of meetings will be held in the community with residents, civic associations to discuss the budget cuts and budget after the budget is presented. The first community meeting will be held at the Greenburgh Library on Thursday, November 5th from 7 PM to 9 PM. If you would like to organize a community meeting on the budget please e mail

From: Bart J. Talamini
Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 7:44 AM
To: Paul Feiner
Subject: Budget

I heard on the radio, coming in to work today, that the City of Newburgh announced an 82% tax rate increase for 2010 because they ran out of fund balance that they had always used in prior years to keep the tax rate down.
Pension Costs for Local Governments May Triple

Published: July 7, 2009
ALBANY — Local governments in New York State face an unprecedented increase in pension costs that will force them to triple their contributions to the state pension system over the next six years, according to an analysis prepared by the comptroller’s office.
By 2015, pension costs borne by local governments upstate, on Long Island and in New York City’s suburbs will exceed $8 billion a year, compared with $2.6 billion last year, under the analysis, which was circulated to legislative and county leaders and obtained by The New York Times this month.
The analysis predicts that counties will have to contribute an amount equal to nearly one-third of their civilian payrolls to the state pension system and more than 40 percent of their payrolls for police and fire departments.
County leaders fear that the soaring contributions will put heavy pressure on their budgets as they struggle to keep up with retirement promises made in times of prosperity.
And there is no clear strategy to mitigate the damage, as Gov. David A. Paterson and Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli have clashed over plans to provide even modest pension relief.
“It’s alarming, eye-popping and unthinkable,” said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties. “To manage that liability in the face of this deep decline in government revenues is going to be a challenge,” he said. “Where is this money going to come from?”
A less sharp rate of increase has been forecast for New York City, which has its own pension system, but only because it is more poorly funded than the state pension fund and already requires steeper contributions. Still, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg suggested in January that the city could face a 50 percent increase in contributions over the next six years, potentially rising to about $9 billion from $6 billion.
Much depends, of course, on how the financial markets perform: The state’s pension fund was $109.9 billion at the end of March and $153.9 billion a year earlier. It lost $44 billion in the fiscal year that ended on March 31. The loss represents 26.3 percent when considering the sharp downturn in the stock market, but does not reflect the contributions and payouts into and out of the pension system last year.
Mr. DiNapoli’s office cautioned that the figures it circulated represented only one possible chain of events, and depend in part on a healthy stock market recovery in the first half of the next decade.
The analysis envisions a market rebound similar to the one after the crash of 1987, with a return of 1.5 percent in the current fiscal year, annual returns in excess of 13 percent in the next two years and more than 10 percent in the succeeding three years.
According to the analysis, pension contribution rates for civilian employees in local governments will soar to 30.3 percent by 2015, from 7.4 percent of payroll this year. Contributions to police and fire department retirement plans are expected to increase to 41.1 percent in 2015 from 15.1 percent this year.
“It is staggering,” said Peter Baynes, executive director of the New York Conference of Mayors. “The only way they’re going to deal with it is through property taxes and reductions in the work force.”
If there is any silver lining, the trends appear to have somewhat curbed Albany’s appetite for extending pension enhancements to public employees to placate labor unions, which wield enormous clout and lobbying dollars in the capital.
“I’m alarmed,” said Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate Jr., a Brooklyn Democrat and the chairman of the Assembly’s Governmental Employees Committee, who is one of the capital’s more reliable union allies.
“Bluntly,” he said, “I’ve spoken to a lot of the union leaders and their lobbyists and said I don’t want to see bills that will cost the counties and the state millions of dollars.”
The governor and Mr. DiNapoli have wrestled over strategies to address the pension burdens. Mr. DiNapoli has proposed allowing local governments to amortize their payments: They would essentially borrow from the state to ease their payments now, and make interest payments later.
Mr. DiNapoli said his plan would “clearly mitigate the impact of rising rates on the state, local governments and taxpayers.”
But the governor, as well as local officials, have criticized it. Mr. Paterson said in May that increased pension contributions would have “a devastating impact on already overburdened local property tax payers,” adding, “the comptroller’s proposal does nothing to mitigate these additional burdens.”
Mr. Acquario agreed, saying the idea of borrowing from the state was “like buying groceries on a credit card.”
The governor has proposed limiting the pensions offered to new state workers, an idea embraced by many fiscal watchdogs. But he was working on revisions to the bill and failed to present it to the Assembly before the end of its legislative session last month, which halted action on the measure.
Pension woes are only one financial burden facing New York. This year, the governor and state lawmakers relied on federal stimulus payments and a two-year tax increase on the wealthy to balance the budget in the short term, but left large deficits in the succeeding years. Wall Street, the state’s main financial engine, has been severely weakened, and tax revenues across the board have fallen sharply and even more steeply than anticipated. Then there is the stalemate in the State Senate, which has paralyzed capital business.
For all states, sustaining traditional pensions could be difficult. “We’ve promised more than we can deliver,” said Zvi Bodie, a pension expert and a professor of finance at the Boston University School of Management. “Going forward, we’re going to have to promise less.”


Anonymous said...

Budgets cuts take 2:
Let the games begin.


Dear Paul,

No sh!t Sherlock. You are lame.

You post this stuff about the fund balance as if we haven't been screaming about it to YOU for a few years. Is this an attempt to take credit for foreseeing this fund balance issue? Probably is. I'm beginning to really think you have some sort of brain damage. REALLY.

STOP using tax payers money (now fund balance money)to finance the "Paul Feiner-Robin Hood Foundation" Either close the 4 million dollar TDYCC or shut down any program that is not self sustaining including FAMILY DAY, XPOSURE, CAMP........IMEADIATLY!

Them mosey on down the block and demand rent from the Lois Bronz Children's Center.

Jump into the Feinermobile and dash over to Valhalla to GET OUR MONEY BACK.

Cut out all of the frivolous art programs and the lady who gets paid along with them.

After you finish the above, report back for a new set of assignments.


whoops! IMEADIATLY!= immediately

hal samis said...

Lots of grim news, most of it conveyed to the Town Board as early as 2-3 years before -- and ignored.

OK, let's start fresh. Mr. Feiner has indicated that he and the Town Board are in agreement that revenue is sharply lower and that you can't keep going back to tap the declining Fund Balances.

Would it be a safe assumption then that the Town Board in its "determination" to make budget cuts will determine that the Town can no longer defend the frills from more properous years or will it be more of the same old, same old.

If the Town Board really is concerned about tax increases and their effect upon residents, then these areas should be eliminated, not just lip-service curtailed. The Town's taxpayers can no longer afford:

1) the arts "council"; residents will just have to depend upon the Schools, the Library and the Supervisor's entertainment listings

2) tennis and golf instruction; these are NOT supported by fees as some would have you believe. I have no objection to allowing instructors using the facilities to teach residents, just to keeping them on the payroll

3) the elimination of the Xposure after school program
unless it is 100% paid for by private grants. The Town should not be in this business in the first place much less supporting a program that serves primarily one area.

4) maintaining the meals on wheels kitchen, especially one equipped to supply non-residents. It is time to outsource the program and limit its service to Greenburgh residents only. Let charity be the good work of the County or private organizations; not part of the tax bill.

5) eliminate ALL stipends for work which is performed by employees during the hours of the normal business day

6) revoking the Resolution which gave the Library the right to establish a capital account by transferring the excess funds gleaned from the annual operating budget. If the Library needs to consummate capital spending to alleviate the deficiencies of the expansion, let the Foundation be their first and only resort.

7) eliminate the budget line, "contingency" from the annual Library budget. Let them deal with any such afterthoughts by a) using the existing appropriated fund balance and b) the same way every other Department does especially since these Departments don't have their own fund balances

8) eliminate the Library trust and agency account

9) seek the return of the unspent "Special Project Request" allocation allowed the Library a few years ago. This was never spent on the project and unlike line items which may go up or go down, funds requested for a specific purpose but not spent for that purpose constitute a fraud.

more to follow...

Hartsdale Home Owner said...

How about making town employees not protected by union contrats contribute toward their healthcare insurance? Astorino said Mt. Pleasant does this and he would instituted this for county employees if elected.

Anonymous said...

Why not contract out for certain services such as cleaning and landscaping. The landscaping has got to cost a fortune with the amount of guys they have working.

Anonymous said...

privatize garbage pickup it would cost much less than having to maintain all of those vehicles.

Anonymous said...

It takes the building maintience crew over a week to cut the grass of 3 facilities. Any private landscaper can do all the in a day and cost what one of them earn in a year...........there are about 4 on a crew!

Feiner to blame for tax mess said...

If Feiner's email blast is any indication, it looks like taxpayers in unincorporated Greenburgh will be receiving a nasty "October surprise" next week -- much like the huge tax hike Feiner revealed two years ago on the eve of the November election -- in the form of a substantial town tax hike coupled with a further reduction in town services.

Feiner is all about blaming everyone but himself for this current state of affairs, but truth be told, he's the one to blame. He refuses to cut his $66,000"confidential" secretary, the $60,000 arts council, the $100,000 annual grant he makes to the Fairview Fire District, the millions of dollars he authorizes to support two separate town recreation departments -- Parks and Rec and the Department of Community Resources -- each with their own set of highly paid commissioners, hundreds of thousands of dollars he disburses for an after school program that serves only one school district when all town school districts have their own after school programs, the tens of thousands of dollars Feiner gives away for his "energy consultant" political appointees, and the additional tens of thousands of dollars he gives away under a town-sponsored and subsidized meals program for senior citizens living in the neighboring Towns of Eastchester and Mount Pleasant.

And these are just examples of Feiner's record of profligate waste of taxpayer money.

At the same time, Feiner can be expected to continue to cut police, sanitation, snow removal and leaf pickups.

Feiner has no other ideas for dealing with the town's dismal finances, and matters will only get worse for town taxpayers once the Fortress Bible case is decided, as there's no money in reserves to cover the anticipated $5 million judgment (and no insurance either). On top of that, the Town still hasn't settled the balance of the PBA dental claim which has an estimated $1.8 million exposure. And there's also the matter of a state's DEC consent decree requiring Greenburgh to clean up the toxic dump it created off Taxter Road -- for which Feiner hasn't appropriated any funds.

And on top of all this, Feiner has the audacity to point to his "fire consolidation commission" as a potential source of taxpayer relief, when in fact for that to occur, Edgemont would have to vote itself a 21% hike in its own fire taxes in order to subsidize Hartsdale and Fairview.

If residents are cynical, it's because they have every right to be.

ed krauss said...

Will that Community meeting at the library to discuss the budget be cablecast? If not, why not?

Talking about cable, it's been over 20 years ince cable came to Greenburgh. In each of those years part of citizens' cable bills were for monies given to the town to improve cable service- audio and video. As a rough estimate, my guesstimate is approximately $1,000,000 were siphoned into the coffers of the town's General Fund, or some other safe place. I would love to see an accounting of what happened to that money; how and where it was spent; to whom was it paid and, since the two decades worth of problems-audio and video are still with us, why is the Town Clerk receiving a stipend of several thousands of dollars for being responsible for cable...?BTW, on how many other budget lines is she receiving EXTRA MONEY?

If as I've been told, our town salaries are much lower than comparable salaries in other Westchester communities, why are our taxes as unconscionable as they are? Is it poor management,administration,a lack of financial acumen or are we getting what we pay for?

It seems to me, Teflon Paul doesn't take a hit for any of it. Hence his run unopposed. Ditto Sheehan and Juettner.So all of the excellent ideas for making the budget more palatable are cyber suggestions which evaporate after election day, and we have 2 or4 more year of the same.

The simple truth is Feiner knows the vast majority of elegible voters don't vote, or pull the lever by rote. So unless there's a a "Spitzer-type,"sighting in Greenburgh, the handful of Bloggers with spot-on evaluations will remain frustrated and our rudderless government will sail on.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Edgemont's had enough and is ready to incorporate.

Anonymous said...

By the way Paul You and the board fired Kolesar because he told you step by step the mistakes that you all were making to put us in this predictament.

Thanks the news is not new you were told over and over again by many at the town board meetings but it went to deaf ears.

You have plenty of money in the street that is owed to the taxpayers.RETRIEVE IT.
Get rid of both centers and a few parks.
You cannot burden the taxpayers with a tremendous hike.

Kolesar thank you for trying to save us money .Your honesty went array with much coverups by the board.

You purchased Hartsbrook and Thaxter park. WHY.
One has dogs running loose all over the place as far as the private retreat on the grounds and the other a vast forest land that will never be of use except to a developer.
THese two parcels alone would have bought in plenty of revenue.
You all have ruined Greenburgh and because the democratic party has no one honest to run against you all we have to put up with you
all for another two years.

Michael Kolesar said...

In 2001, the Town ( Mr. Feiner) paid for a study of ways to cut costs. The cost of this study was $70,000. It sat in the files of the Town until a taxpayer alerted me as the then Town Comptroller to its existence. I requested the records office to find it. It took them less than a day (two hours as I recall). FOIL for it.

Nothing, not one single recommendation was followed up on or implemented. It is very interesting reading. I believe that the latest "iteration" of the Citizens Budget Committee ("CBC") has received a copy.

This is all smoke and mirrors. And the unincorporated Greenburgh Democrats who are unhappy with Feiner have no one but themselves to blame. They are dysfunctional. They were offered a choice and they passed. Good luck. No skin out of my check book.

Anonymous said...

You are just a bitter ex appointed employee, everybody in your office was jumping for joy when you were let go.

Anonymous said...

So they were jumping for joy that's what you say could it be that none of them live in Greenburgh.
Let's see how they jump up now hearing about the hike-- that is if they live here in this disfunctional town.
What will they say when the time comes arround for a raise?
What will they say when they get paid with paper money?
What will they say when they have to look for a job?

They had a good person in charge that would have tried to make a big difference BUT our town board didn't want the taxpayers to know how we were all geting raped.

Anonymous said...

Jumping for joy? Really? Who does this?

Must be a bunch of unprofessional morons at town hall.

Good grief.

hal samis said...

Of course the morons were jumping for joy, with Mr. Kolesar gone they could breath easier. In a reversion to form, by getting rid of Kolesar and choosing the waiting in the wings Talamani, the dysfunctional government that rules the town was preserved and all the Department heads could count on their fealty to the Town Supervisor as their insurance policy for holding on to their jobs.

Can anyone think of any other appointed official who dares to rock the boat? Of course Kolesar had to go and all the new hires are people who have pledged allegiance to the Supervisor. No one expects Feiner to know everything which is why we pay for department heads and assistant department heads and often assistants to assistant department heads. But since the Town is going downhill fast (not one of the town's "distinctions" fits the criteria had anyone at the publications taken the trouble to verify the applications) and that would be down the steep slope of ratables all the way down to poverty row which is where many residents will be headed after hit with this year's tax increase (following the two year 31% increase).

In fact, following a perverse logic that only a die hard Feiner foil can follow, having such items like a one person arts council or private tennis lessons is an affirmation that things must not be so bad -- otherwise why would the Town Board continue to retain such a frill. Yes Feiner has a confidential secretary but her job is not secretarial; her job is to keep her mouth shut.

Yes, Feiner has created the mess and continues to pass the buck to all the external forces beyond his control. Whether or not fire districts should merge, whether or not firemen as a group are overpaid, these are the decisions of those in the respective districts. That Feiner, who can't solve any problems in the areas over which he has authority to preside, is reason enough for him to divert attention away from his own misadventures. Fire Districts indeed. Feiner doesn't even know how to turn a stove off.

Michael Kolesar said...

To Anonymous 7:19 PM:

Bitter? Hardly. My taxes as a resident of a Village might go from $90 to $180. Big Deal. I bet the $ increase in unincorportaed Greenburgh is many times that.

I am sleeping through the night, something I didn't do for most of the 53 weeeks that I worked for all of the people of Greenburgh, both Village and unincorporated alike. The Town Board is so scared of the information and analyses that I prepared that they won't release the contents of my own files to me. I FOILed for them on March 27th and to this day not one single file / analysis has been released. Bitter? Sorry. Your loss.

Anonymous said...

I love how 7:09 can consider mike a bitter x employee. Someone trying to save the town money by pointing out truths must be a very bitter person. Why not call him disgruntled also and maybe even cancer, because this is what department heads do in the town to take away the true picture. Speak the truth and it shall set you free, in this case it sure did set mike free.

Anonymous said...

Feiner, Sheehan & Juettner have got to go!

Anonymous said...

Feiner is not only inept, he is corrupt. He uses Town resources to benefit his campaign. His constant mailings "to keep us up to date" are nothing more than Town sponsored campaign literature to keep his name in our memory. If I hear one more nut tell me they thinks he's great because he returned his phone call I think I will just hang myself. Are we really that stupid? So he returned your call! What did he actually do about your problem other than give you a number to call or take credit for an ordinary solution that was accomplished by one the Town departments?

If you look at the times of his blogs, tweets, facebook, etc., you will see that he spends most of his day campaigning on our dime.

I don't need someone to call me back with you really need to pay him over $130,000 per year to call you back when his $70,000 secretary can give you the right number to call?

We need a fiscally savvy Town manager who has the skills to not only oversee our money but to also be able to motivate his employees. We need someone who isn't swayed by campaign contributors in the guise of active developers and/or their attorneys.

Here's the unfortunate truth. He will be our supervisor for another 2 years and that may be it for him. He'll move on to a higher level of incompetence and leaving us to clean up 20 years of his mistakes. The stakes are high and we haven't seen anything yet. The last 20 years will cost us considerably as he has neglected the entire Town infrastructure and also depleted a good portion of our fund balance. His antics have generated numerous lawsuits that no double will be paid for long after he is gone.

Don't vote for Feiner, Sheehan and Juettner. Send a message of no support.

Anonymous said...

6:20 you are the cancer not Kolesar.

Kolesar tried to put this town on the honest and right track but because of all the dishonesty within the walls of town hall he was fired.

Well the person was fired but his pen still carries on.
His findings will be brought to light one day and boy will you be surprised.

Chemo or radiation will not help you at this moment but I do hope that you will see the end results of Kolesars reports when all is revealed.
Yes we have to get higher and higher taxes before all the treatments are completed.

Keep listening to Danny said...


Do you regret the purchase of Taxter Ridge now???? I bet a Golf Course and fifty multi million dollar homes would have brought in nice tax revenue for the Town. Do bad that when Danny Gold orders you to jump, you and the Paulettes say "How high!"

Anonymous said...

Feiner is absolutely shameless. How dare he outline these shortfalls as though they come as a surprise to him! He was warned about this last year when Kolesar was preparing the tentative 2009 budget. Did they listen? Of course not.

We could have save $65,000 - that's what they spent on a drainage study after the 2007 flood. The study was wrong yet they accepted it as complete, paid for it and parked it on a shelf! PS - they were informed nearly 2 years before the flood that the drainage pipes were blocked. Did they do anything? Of course not.

We are spending $500,000 on a Comprehensive Master Plan - it is in year 2, yes year 2 and not even close to being complete. It will be outdated before it is finished. A half million dollars - that's OK, we're paying for it.

Taxter Ridge - yup - we paid for it as we did for Hartsbrook. We continue to pay to maintain these facilities. How many people actually use them. Let me rephrase, how many Unincorporated Greenburgh residents use them? Not many - we're paying to maintain parks that are open to the general public.

The dog park; bark! I love dogs but in these hard economic times one has to ask if one is necessary in the suburbs. Most dogs in Greenburgh have back yards. Do we really need to subsidize a dog park?

Xposure Program - we're paying for an educational after school program that is not limited to children of Unincorporated Greenburgh. Why? Because Paul likes the program.

Ratables are down due to tax certs! Maybe they shouldn't be so quick to approve the refunds at each and every meeting - they don't even discuss them. Actually, they're not even discussed at work sessions. The Town Attorney puts them on the Agenda and the Town Board approves them, no questions asked.

Keep voting for these morons. I have not once in twenty years voted for any of these three. Unfortunately they will be back for another 2 year run! Where will we be 2 years from now?

ed krauss said...

10/21 7:09PM You are a sleazy illegitimate mass of protoplasm who doesn't know his "Ace" from a hole in the wall.

The only person who will make all town employees jump for joy when he leases is Paul Feiner. This mild mannered geek terrifies town employees due to two problems of his. (1) he doesn't know how to manage, and (2) he's getting back at all his peers growing up who tormented him emotionally and possibly physically.

As to you I wish you get treated like the diaper of an untoilet trained child.

Disgruntled Greenburgher said...

Start the budget cuts by eliminating one of the two "separate but equal" recreations/parks departments.
The Warren court overturned Plessy v. Ferguson in 1954 - word of this decision is only now, 55 years later, reaching the Supervisor. His excuse for not knowing? He hadn't been born yet.
Mr Feiner's contempt for the law and court decisions has cost the Town more money than his pennypinching has ever saved.
Because he didn't want to pay an additional $1000 insurance premium, the Town entire got to pay $5 million on a claim. Because he couldn't keep his mouth shut and deal honestly with Fortress Bible's application, the Town entire will get to pay another $5-10 million. (No insurance can protect against a willful act and Feiner claims he was acting not as Supervisor but as, um, ah, ya know, like er,a um, ya know a sort of citizen, not in his ah, er, um, ya known, ah capacity as town supervisor.)

Anonymous said...

Dear Disgruntled Greenburgher:

Not so fast that the Town Entire will pay for the Fortress Bible fiasco. Where were the Town's Planning and Zoning Boards, staffed solely of unincorportaed residents? They didn't speak up. They didn't do their duty.

It is sometimes uncomfortable to do the right thing. Just look at some actions within the Town in the last 12 months.

Anonymous said...

Waves to Paul 10/22/2009 6:54 PM

Anonymous said...

There aren't 2 Greenburgh recreation departments. There is one. A fine one too. The other "recreation department" is a town run charity benefiting Fairview and Elmsford at TDYCC. However Edgemont has its own recreation dept too. Paid for by the good folks of Edgemont. This makes any whining by Edgemonters about parks & rec costs kinda weird and amusing.

The public not only pays for Greenburgh recreation by way of taxes they then pay again to participate in programs offered. They pay the full freight. No "scholarships" No reduced fees. And, what about the TDYCC revenue? What about those deep cuts Paul said was made to TDYCC? Go look at the information in the budgets.

Maybe Kolesar can shed more light on this issue as well, if he cares to.

Another Feiner gimmick in 2009; raise TDYCC fees, call it tax cuts then give it all away.

Anonymous said...

Edgemont doesn't have its own recreation department.

Because the town's two recreation departments have never served Edgemont residents (despite the fiction that they do), a private non-profit company -- Edgemont Recreation Corp. -- was started years ago to provide Edgemont kids with organized recreation programs. Edgemont Rec's programs are successful because they are located at the Edgemont schools, which are convenient to Edgemont residents. The programs at the two town recreation departments are nowhere near Edgemont homes, making them inconvenient.

The costs of Edgemont Rec are funded entirely these days by the kids' parents. Edgemont residents have every reason to complain about the Town's two recreation departments because they not only are paying for them whether they use them or not (and most do not), but they must also pay separately for any Edgemont rec programs their kids may join.

And because Edgemont Rec's costs are not taxpayer subsidized, their costs are substantially higher than that offered by either of the Town's two departments. This is one of the many reasons Edgemont residents are once again considering incorporation. As a village, they would be exempt, like all of the town's villages, from having to pay for the Towns' two recreation departments and could consider either continuing to use Edgemont Rec or maybe establishing a village recreation department of its own in its place.

Anonymous said...

The Fortress Bible damages should be funded by the entire town because if there's liability, and it's likely there will be, it will be because Feiner and the other town-wide elected town board members acted improperly in violation of Federal law. Unincorporated didn't elect these officials; they were elected by the entire town, and when they screw up, the entire town should be liable. The trial showed that the wrongdoing was not wrongdoing by either the zoning board or the planning board. It was Feiner himself that provided the damning evidence in the form of his correspondence seeking ways to circumvent the federal law and his less than candid testimony when he took the stand. Unincorporated isn't responsible for that. The entire town is. Or should be.

Michael Kolesar said...

To 10/22 7:48 PM:

I'm not sure exactly what you want me to shed light on. Can you expand?

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea Paul. Since all blue collars workers waste at least one hour per day leaving the yard in the morning and getting back so early in the afternoon, cut their hours to seven hours per day instead of eight. You will save at least one million dollars per year. Figure it out.

Anonymous said...

Reminder that an article in the Scarsdale Inquirer this summer quoted Paul Feiner as promising to have a lower tax increase this year than last year.

Edgemont lala land said...

Edgemont Rec's programs are successful because they are located at the Edgemont schools, which are convenient to Edgemont residents, which are convenient to Edgemont residents.

Um, busing is provided to park & recs run camp programs. Is that not convenient? As for other P&R programs mostly run at Veterans, I would venture to say that Edgemont is in fact closer to the facility than a great deal of others living in TOV.Programs at TDYCC? If TDYCC were right on Central Ave and Old Army, you wouldn't set foot in it. You'd make it your mission to close it down.

The costs of Edgemont Rec are funded entirely these days by the kids' parents. Edgemont residents have every reason to complain about the Town's two recreation departments because they not only are paying for them whether they use them or not (and most do not), but they must also pay separately for any Edgemont rec programs their kids may join.


What bunk! This is the weird and amusing stuff. If you don’t want your kids to ride steerage, you must pay more for a ticket to ride with the swells. Stop your bellyaching you elitist schmuck! It’s bad enough that this little slice of organized prejudice is sanctioned by the town, but to complain that YOU and not the rest of TOV pays for it, is despicable.

And because Edgemont Rec's costs are not taxpayer subsidized, their costs are substantially higher than that offered by either of the Town's two departments. This is one of the many reasons Edgemont residents are once again considering incorporation.

Click your heals three times and repeat the above. LOL.

Personally, I wish for nothing more than Edgemont incorporation. You’ll pay dearly for it and then you’ll be forced into providing low income housing (BOO) and I won’t have to support people like you, who debase our town, any longer.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the planning and zoning boards for Fortress Bible - they had nothing to do with this lawsuit. This is squarely on Feiner who interjected his opinions and will where he shouldn't have. He jumps ahead of the these boards and tries to negotiate with the applicants & their attorneys. ILLEGAL! Doesn't matter, he doesn't respect any law.

Disgruntled Greenburgher said...

Dear 8:12 -
Your screed is so inaccurate and biased its hard to know where to be a critique.
I'll settle for one simple item: busing.
Busing is provided ONLY from specified Central 7 schools to Town funded programs. Xposure is a prominent, current example. There was neither thought given, nor a plan created for including Edgemont students. Sadly, neither the Town's politicos nor its "underprivileged" residents cares about Edgemont - though both groups are shocked when Edgemont cares about itself.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:00

Busing to Greenburgh Park & Rec camp is provided to anyone in TOV as long as they pay for it.

Busing to Xposure and other programs at TDYCC is provided to Greenburgh Central children only, free of charge.

TDYCC is NOT Parks & Recreation.

You seem to have a problem seperating the two.

Anonymous said...

Paul, leave the Fire Dept's alone and cut the waste at the Police dept and Close TDYCC

question for mike kolesar said...

doesnt edgemont rec get money from the town? i remember reading they got about $50,000 to help run their program.


Michael Kolesar said...

To Question For Mike Kolesar:

Prior to 2009, my recollection is that the Town of Greenburgh paid about $24,000 to Edgemont Rec and I seem to recall it was ostensibly for transportation. This was in the Parks Budget under Gerry Byrne. In 2009, I believe that Mr. Byrne "negotiated" an end to this in exchnage for some non-cash give ups by Edgmont Rec. The best source for this would be Gerry Byrne.

Michael Kolesar said...

To OMGFTFBBQ posted 10/21/2009 12:26PM:

You wrote - "Them mosey on down the block and demand rent from the Lois Bronz Children's Center."

Here's one where the Supervisor could have responded with facts, but he's too busy posting job leads and not responding to taxpayers questions.

New York State sold (donated) the Children's Center to the Town of Greenburgh for $1 on two conditions as I remember. First, it must always be used for day care / as a children's center or else the facility reverts back to the State and second no rent.

I think that if you don't like those terms your "beef' is with your state legislators.

Hartsdale Home Owner said...

Mike: If you were supervisor, how would you approach the town's looming financial crisis?

ed krauss said...

10/23 8:12AM

Calling someone a SCHMUCK implies the the SCHMUCKEE is a male. You should make your comments gender neutral, unless you're positive about their SEX.

Additionally, you should not wish for things, because your wish may be answered.

If Edgemont were to incorporate( your wish) the disproportionate amount of Town revenue derived from Edgemont's taxes would, absent those dollars, create a monumental problem for the B budget. Replacing those lost funds would necessitate a hugh tax increase for the remaining TOVers.

So think before you wish for something...and you, as well as other Edgemont-hostile bloggers, should get off Edgemont's case.

As an Edgemont resident, I would LOVE for us to incorporate, if for no other reason than to get Feiner and his "dependent-incompetents off my back.

Maybe, like the USSR, all the sections of Greenburgh should incorpoate, leaving Feiner as the supervisor of his household...unless his wife runs against him.

Have a good day, 8:12AM.

Anonymous said...

What's the downside of an Edgemont-Hartsdale incorporation?

Anonymous said...

Could Krauss be more Crass?

P. Leavy said...


Happy to see you blogging here so people can get some straight answers to questions. I have a few if you don't mind.

If the town can not charge the center rent but yet it rents out part of the building to St. Johns, does this effect the agreement with NY State & the town?

There is a budget of $142. 587 allocated to “30 Manhattan Ave” for electric/heat/maintenance….it does not specify if it’s for L.Bronz or St. John’s(page 38)

The only revenue in the budget that “might” look like the rent from St John’s in on page 85 , $125,000. Of course it’s not itemized. No way of knowing what this rent revenue is from.
So, who is paying for heat/electricity……for either Lois Bronz or St. Johns?

Also, just to add to the confusion, this expenditure of $142K is listed on the “town budget at a glace” as “day care center”

Can you explain what’s what for me?

Anonymous said...

The upside of an Edgemont-Hartsdale incorporation is that it would provide a larger tax base upon which to pay for services. The downside is that Edgemont taxpayers would have to subsidize the Hartsdale Fire District which, like the Greenville Fire District, would automatically merge upon incorporation and become the new village fire department.

P. Leavy said...

Camp! Parks and Recreation! My favorite subjects! 1) There is only one Greenburgh Recreation Department. 2) There is a privately run Edgemont Recreation Corporation.

Yes, town tax money was paid to ERC to "compensate them for a lack of space for thier children at Greenburgh Rec camps per G. Byrne & D. Juttner. I think this practice has ceased as I may have asked too many questions about it specifically why this was done in the 1st place. After all, if Greenburgh P&R needed to rent space to accommodate all TOV campers, why not just do that and not separate the kids? And since this was a "camp" issue, why the need to completely separate all other programs? I could go on but I'll stop here.

Also, ERC donates money to both the Edgemont Schools and to the Scarsdale Teen Center. So.....that's where TOV tax money was going. Um…..?

TDY is a whole other animal.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Ms. Leavy:

Item 1 - you wrote "If the town can not charge the center rent but yet it rents out part of the building to St. Johns, does this effect the agreement with NY State & the town?"

I don't have a copy of the agreement with State and will also not provide "legal" opinion, but the rental of the "surplus" space dates back into the mid 1990's as I recall and the State has not questionned it. Whether there is / was a letter in the files from the State acknowledging and approving this rental, I do not know.

Item 2 - "There is a budget of $142. 587 allocated to “30 Manhattan Ave” for electric/heat/maintenance….it does not specify if it’s for L.Bronz or St. John’s(page 38." It is for the total facility

On this page in the budget, there is a footnote that states that the rental income from St. John's is budgeted at $142,070 ( Budget A.24.2410.01). By concidence for 2009, this just happens to almost exactly equal the costs. In prior years, the revenue exceeded the costs. Beginning in 2005, the Town failed to renew a formal lease with St. John's. The prior lease contained a provision for an increase in rent tied to any change in the CPI. St. John's became a month to month leasee. The failure to enter into such an agreement has cost taxpayers more than $50,000 since January 2005. Notwithstanding the Town Attorney's comments as a recent work session, I'll bet St. John's doesn't pay any retroactive increases. They stated so in a meeting I attended in the summer of 2008.

Item 3 - "The only revenue in the budget that “might” look like the rent from St John’s in on page 85 , $125,000." This income is I recall from the rental of certain facilities to ATT and another provider(s) of cellular telephone services. They have cell towers on certain property. It is not related to the Children's Center building

Town Runs Two Rec Dep'ts said...

Sorry Ms. Leavy, there are TWO town recreation departments, the Greenburgh Parks and Rec Department and the Town's Department of Community Resources. As a taxpayers in unincorporated Greenburgh, you pay for both departments, each with its own set of highly paid commissioners, camps and programs.

Some in Edgemont argued recently in the courts that the Department of Community Resourcs was really a social service organization that served the entire town (and should be paid for by the entire town), but the Town insisted that no, it was a recreation department just like its parks and rec department, and should be paid for only by unincorporated, and the Town prevailed. The courts ruled it was a recreation department.

So, like it or not, that's what you're paying for, two separate municipal recreation departments, and the total costs each year are as high as $10 million. This is incredibly wasteful and morally offensive, yet apparently tolerated.

Edgemont has a privately run not for profit corporation that administers recreation programs for Edgemont children at a cost per child that exceeds any of the programs or camps offered by either of the two town recreation departments that Edgemont taxpayers pay for as part of unincorporated Greenburgh.

Edgemont Rec no longer receives any tax dollars from the Town, and the $24,000 stipend it received was quite small compared to the millions of dollars that Edgemont taxpayers pay to support the Town's two recreation departments that don't serve Edgemont kid.

Edgemont Rec obviously serves a demand for recreational programs for Edgemont kids or it would not exist. That demand might not exist today if either of the Town's two recreation departments had offered programs that welcomed Edgemont kids, but it never did.

Eliminating the modest subsidy that the Town gave to Edgemont Rec underscores the unfairness of now requiring Edgemont to pay for programs and services it does not use, while requiring them to pay extra, on a user basis, for the programs it needs. At least when Edgemont's town taxes were subsidizing Edgemont Rec, the Town could argue that Edgemont residents were getting something for the money they were paying the Town.

Now the Town can't make that argument and, as a result, Edgemont residents are wisely thinking that its past practice of subsidizing the rest of the Town for its two separate recreation departments that it doesn't need or use should come to an end as well.

Anonymous said...

Town runs,

I have no need to travel Edgemont streets, can I argue that I should not pay for them?

Anonymous said...

The Town's villages argued that they had no need for Greenburgh's parks, and the state legislature said that's fine, they didn't have to pay for them. Edgemont challenged that in court and lost. Lesson learned: if you can become a village in Greenburgh, you should.

Anonymous said...

How come the ECC is trying to squash information about the 4 1/4% annual salary increase given to all fire fighters in Greenville?

Anonymous said...

How exactly is the ECC "squashing" anything? Aren't they holding a public meeting Monday with Greenville fire district officials? Won't there be a public question and answer session? Didn't the ECC send written notice of its meeting with the fire district to every single Edgemont household?

Sounds to me like someone doesn't like the fact that the fire district's tax hike next year is only 1.53% -- a far cry from whatever the Town plans to come up with -- with no reduction in service. Sounds also like someone doesn't like the fact that Feiner's proposal to consolidate the career fire districts would result in Edgemont's fire taxes increasing 21% to subsidize Hartsdale and Fairview.

Anonymous said...

Lesson learned: if you are not a village, you should stop pretending that you are.

Anonymous said...

5:23 You should stop being so concerned about the greenville firefighters and worry about the waste of money the town is spending, on training your buddies in the police dept for tech rescue.
Talk about duplication of service!
All the FD's are trained already

Anonymous said...

The Greenville fire district may be increasing taxes a little. Why does it cost so much to run a fire district that has so few fires? How can anyone justify 41/4% salary hikes for employees earning more than $200,000?
This is criminal.

Anonymous said...

Greenville's firefighters earn substantially less than $200,000, their salaries are competitive with other career firefighters in Westchester, and the Greenville Fire District costs taxpayers in Edgemont substantially less than either the Fairview or Hartsdale Fire Districts. Therefore, there doesn't seem to be a problem with the Greenville Fire District.

The problem is that Feiner's proposed consolidation of the three career fire districts would raise Edgemont's fire taxes by a whopping 21% to subsidize Fairview and Hartsdale. Edgemont residents aren't stupid. They know that Feiner's proposal is just another attempt to take the heat off himself for failing to address the Town's dismal finances. After all, no other municipality in all of Westchester County except for Greenburgh has had a tax hike these past two years in excess of 31%. And another big one is coming.

While Feiner can be expected to cut police and sanitation this year, as he has done in the past, he can't seem to find a way to cut his $66,000 confidential secretary, the unnecessary SWAT team, the police marine unit, the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on an after school program for only one school district, the two town recreation departments, each with its own set of highly paid commissioners to oversee separate camps, programs and services, the $60,000 arts "council," the tens of thousands of dollars paid to a couple of "energy consultants" who are nothing more than political friends, the money used to subsidize meals for seniors who live in Mt. Pleasant and Eastchester, and the list goes on and on.

That seems to be far more of a problem than anything going on in Greenville.

ed krauss said...

Some anonymous blogger calls some one a schmuck,and you ask if I could be more crass.

That reminds me of the thousands of rockets launched from Gaza at defenseless Israeli villages and when Israel had had enough, they went into Gaza to stop the rockets. They do everything in there power, unheard of in the history of warfare, to avoid killing innocent Gazans. For this, a UN Goldstone report condemns Israel for human rights violations..without once mentioning the thousands of rockets fired at Israel.

YES I CAN BE MORE CRASS, however I've used self-restraint especially with people like you.


Anonymous said...

A 41/4% salary increase for three years for Greenville fire fighters is obscene. Many Edgemont residents are out of work and you're OKing pay hikes for municipal employees that exceed what everyone else is making. Give me a break.
If Edgemont secedes our village government will become so costly it will drive most of us out of Edgemont.
Chief Raftery earns more than $210,000. How much does Chief Kapica make? Much less for much more work.

Anonymous said...

Feiner's Police Chief made racist comments that he had to apologize to several leaders in the African American Church community for. More than a handful of police officers have been arrested during Feiner;s reign. It is the Police Department that is out of control, not the Fire Departments.

hal samis said...

For Krauss sake!

(pot to kettle department)

Ed, now you're being called crass.
How clever of the poseur 10/23 @ 1:23. And a great contribution to the discussion as well.

I must warn you Ed, from one who's been banished there already, that the next step down is crude and from there's it just a hop, skip and a jump to rude. So if you want to continue paying taxes in this Town, you'd better stick with vanilla because ordering chocolate, cherry, pistachio or banana, even in jest, can get you into a lot of trouble with the anonymous taste police.

Anonymous said...

How many police officer's work inside of police Hq's everyday? 20-30? that's obscene. put them on the road!

Anonymous said...

10/24/2009 3:11 PM,
How do you know that number is correct? How do you expect detectives to interview people and conduct investigations?
Police work now involves huge amounts of paperwork.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Paul Feiner spoken out against the disgraceful racist outburst by Chief Kapica ?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


You now understand that Chief Kapica's racist comments are known to people outside of your close circle. You need to address these at the next town board meeting.

Anonymous said...

What did he Say???

Anonymous said...

There are lots of cuts he can make - he can eliminate deputies in each of the departments. Stop hiring back retirees as part-time employees as they have not replaced full-time employees - they have merely added to the payroll. The TDYCC should fall under the control of Parks & Rec - no need for another commissioner & deputy commissioner. Increse user fees for parks & rec - they are rediculously low. Increase parking fines like Scarsdale & White Plains. Do more enforcement of moving violations - this generates income and makes our Town safer. Install a cafe at the Library and have it run by a private vendor with a percentage to go to the Town. Maybe do the same at Town Hall - don't know if there's enough business but that's something the Town could explore. Stop authorizing useless studies. We are the Town of high cost "bookshelf" studies - we pay for them and park them on a shelf. Cut benefits for Town Board - they are part-time employees and should not receive benefits. Stop hiring outside counsel or trim the existing legal department - why do you need both?

There are plenty of savings to be had if the Town Supervisor and Town Board had the courage to make them.

Anonymous said...

The Hartsdale Public Parking District passed a 2010 Budget calling for no increases in permit rates or meter rates. Granted they are much smaller than the Town. The Supervisor is trying to take over control of the district - all should beware as it will lead to double digit increases just as he has done with the Town.

It's important that appointments to boards and commissions be discussed in public and not in executive session. The new appointee to the district board is a crony of Feiner's. It's his first step to taking control. These individuals represent each and every one of us and we should know who they are and what their agendas are. The appointments should be made in a back room where no one can question the person seeking appointment. The public has a right to now. They are not employees...they are volunteers and therefore not protected by the "personnel" shield of executive session. The public should have some say in these appointments.


Anonymous said...


The Hartsdale Public Parking District passed a 2010 Budget calling for no increases in permit rates or meter rates. Granted they are much smaller than the Town. The Supervisor is trying to take over control of the district - all should beware as it will lead to double digit increases just as he has done with the Town.

It's important that appointments to boards and commissions be discussed in public and not in executive session. The new appointee to the district board is a crony of Feiner's. It's his first step to taking control. These individuals represent each and every one of us and we should know who they are and what their agendas are. The appointments should NEVER be made in a back room where no one can question the person seeking appointment. The public has a right to now. They are not employees...they are volunteers and therefore not protected by the "personnel" shield of executive session. The public should have some say in these appointments.


Anonymous said...

*waves to Stephanie*

Anonymous said...

At today's work session, the Supervisor indicated that the "A" (Town Entire) tax rate would be high single digit ( my guess 9.5%) and the tax rate increase for "B" (unincorporated) would be about 7%.

Given the revenue declines and cost increases from health care and pensions, my guess is that there will have to be a substantial use of fund balances once again for the fifth year in a row to get to these results. 2011 will be a disaster.

Anonymous said...

So much for Sheehan's policy to not use fund balance to offset tax increases. We will pay dearly for this over the next few years. They also are ignoring capital projects - we have a failing infrastructure that has been ignored for 20 years. The costs to repair and improve it only get more expensive. I would like to know what the tax increase would be without use of the fund balance.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, not Stephanie

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner made the comment at the Poets Corner Civic Assoc. meeting last week that the tax inresase for 2010 would be 6 or 7% without using any of the fund balance. If that is not true then he is a liar!!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you didn't listen to or watch the work session yesterday - he indicated 9% or better - that's with all his so called budget cuts & using an unspecified amount of the fund balance (funny how they omit some facts when they know they're being listened to!).

Anonymous said...


What is it with your obsession with the library? Several of your 9 suggestions focus on the library. Does your attitude stem from the fact they don't seem to want you in their mix? I recall you whining several times about not being considered for a spot on the library board, have already responded to that in a separate blog.

It is really ironic that you suggest in #1 that the town actually "use" the library for information.

What do you care that the library has the ability to move money? Is there not an approval chain/sign off policy around this? If you think they are moving it into their own pockets then say so.

As far as #4 goes - speak for yourself. I want my tax dollars to go for something like this. If you want to limit it to only Greenbugh residents then we should d*mn well pay for it. What we should be doing is seeing if we could be renting it out for other groups to use.

I don't have time right now to continue dissecting your rant (and as usual it has given me an excedrin headache)but I will be back later.

Anonymous said...

We may very well have 2 parks & rec departments. So what? I'm not sure what is meant by neither serves Edgemont children and neither has programs to welcome them. What does that mean? Edgemont chooses not to participate in the programs. You can decide why for yourself. It's the same with Central 7. Stop squalking about how bad the schools are - take your kiddies out of the private schools and put them in the public schools. If everyone did this we would have a more diverse school and it would benefit everyone.

put the pipe down 12:42 said...

Riiight! Hartsdale should put their kids into an under-performing school district to get a bad education so that they can stop whining about high taxes and maybe pay for Edgemont to run it's own recreation when because we have a perfectly fine Greenburgh parks & rec.