Thursday, October 29, 2009

ECC CHAIR CLARIFIES BIG SALARY HIKE CONTROVERSY IMPACTING GREENVILLE FIRE EMPLOYEES--REPORTS OF 4 AND A QUARTER A YEAR SALARY HIKES MAY NOT HAPPEN

Clarification: In recent weeks a number of town employees have expressed concern to me about a contract settlement that they had heard about impacting the Greenville fire department in Edgemont. They have been advised that a three year contract was agreed upon that would award firefighters 41/4% a year for three years (12 3/4 for the life of the contract). A number of people who write comments on this site expressed concern.
At tonights meeting of the Town Board Bob Bernstein, President of the Edgemont Community Council, indicated that he spoke with some of the fire commissioners and was advised that the agreement may not be ratified. This would be good news.
In my opinion, this is not the time to give municipal or government employees a 41/4% salary increase (some of the firefighters earn more than $180,000 a year-- others are in the $200,000+ range).
The fire district is independent of the town. The CSEA ratified a one year contract recently --and accepted a zero percent increase in 2009. If Greenville awards very high salary hikes it will make it harder to hold the line on salaries for town employees.
Many people are out of work.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

All Bernstein said is that he understood the contract was still in negotiation and that fire commissioners couldn't comment on it. He never expressed any opinion as to whether it would or would not be "ratified." Bernstein also pointed out that the labor negotiations seem to be a nonissue in Edgemont because the proposed tax hike for Greenville is 1.53 percent, a number far lower than anything being proposed next year for the Town of Greenburgh, and that at an ECC meeting earlier this week, which Feiner attended, no one expressed any opinions about these ongoing contract negotiations.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein is afraid to stand up to the union. That is why he never expressed an opinion.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Bernstein is afraid to stand up to anybody. I watched him last night stand up to Feiner for ramming through no-bid contracts from the villages for the fire protection districts. Bernstein made the point that competitive bidding would at least assure the residents of unincorporated Greenburgh who live in these fire protection districts that they are getting the best deal possible, both in terms of cost and public safety. Bernstein also made the point that it was wrong for the town board to hold a public hearing on contracts which were only released to the public minutes before the hearing began, and further, that the contracts that were produced were missing an exhibit which explained how the money the villages were making on the deal was arrived at.

All Feiner could blather in response was to launch an attack on Bernstein personally and on the Greenville Fire District which was of course not at all the subject of last night's hearing.

As a result of Feiner's antics last night, I'm not at all happy about these no-bid contracts. That and the way the Town went about holding a hearing on them last night look awfully fishy to me.

Anonymous said...

Bob indicated that the 13% salary increase for Edgemont's paid firefighters is no big deal because Greenville's tax hike is 1.53%. He's wrong.
It's not the tax hike size that counts it is the cost of running a service. Most of the fire dept's budget is personnel. If the personnel costs go up 13% in three years Edgemont taxpayers will be in for a big tax hike.

Murghk said...

Bernstein has nothing to do with the Union - and Feiner has got to stop criticizing others when so much is wrong at Town Hall.
About 10 years ago the Edgemont Board of Education recognized that the rate at which school taxes were increasing was unsustainable. Working with the stakeholders, the Board of Education embarked on a program to slow the increases and still deliver a quality education. They have been successful, but Feiner still leads an annual campaign to defeat the budget.
The Greenville Fire Commissioners also recognized that taxes were rising too rapidly. They too began a carefully thought out and very carefully monitored effort to maintain services while dramatically slowing the rate of tax increase. They too have been successful.
What did each of these groups do that Mr Feiner and the Town Board haven't done? They honestly examined what they were doing, who benefitted and where reductions could be made without sacrificing quality. Then, having done a proper analysis and presenting their findings to the community they serve, they had the courage and wisdom to say "NO!" to spending which added nothing to quality.
Mr Feiner would like his constituients to believe he is not responsible for Greenburgh's fiscal mismanagement - but he is. Trying to refocus the community away from his tax increases and onto the contracts negotiated by other governments which have successfully met their responsibilities to both their taxpayers and their employees is only part of Feiner's failure.
Feiner has never acknowledged that his failure to grow Greenburgh's tax base is as much the problem as increased spending. The growth of assessibles reduces the rate at which the tax rate must grow to support additional spending. Feiner has, instead, gone out of his way to discourage growth. He has removed properties from the tax rolls by purchasing it for parks. He has granted sweetheart PILOT's, and then been surprised when the recipients of his largesse close their facilities when their properties return to the tax rolls. He has squandered money by running two recreation departments staffed by patronage employees. He has recklessly endangered the Town's fiscal soundness by failing to carry adequate insurance - and engaging in patently illegal attempts to abridge the rights of religious institutions. He has publicly stated that he will not obey laws he doesn't "believe in" and challenges his critics to sue him.
While he will be re-elected next week, it's time to tell him that he must change his ways. When you go into the voting booth next week, ask for a pencil and vote "NO" in the write-in area. Maybe Feiner will get the message.

BYE, BYE EDGEMONT VILLAGE said...

If the 13% salary increases for Greenville fire fighters who earn close to $200,000 a year is ratified by Greenville's fire dept, bye, bye village.

Anonymous said...

From what it sounds like, Feiner was embarassed at the ECC meeting the other night and is now trying to save face. Keep in mind that the reason Greenville can afford to give these raises and Feiner can't is because of his mismanagement of his budget. Most municipalities who are laying off employees or refusing raises are doing so because years of overspending have finally caught up with them. If you really have a problem with any of the Greenville issues mentioned then why not go to a meeting there and find out the truth rather then read Feiner's attempts to pass the blame. This is all meaningless anyway because once this all backfires on Feiner, he will move on and try to come up with his next political blunder. In any other place in the world, Paul would be run out of town.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

You have an obsession with Edgemont. You were at the ECC meeting Monday Night. You saw how the entire community rejected your pathetic attempt to forcefully seize control of our fire department. You just don't want to listen. Good. The defeat at the polls that your political machine will suffer next November will be a model for the next time to run for re-election. Edgemont is organizing like it has never done before. Hartsdale and Fairview will not be able to consolidate without Greenville. Your hostile takeover is going down in flames. Maybe you can get Elmsford to put out the fire.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with a 4.25% pay increase - how else are people expected to pay for Feiner's 7% tax increase unless their incomes go up?

Anonymous said...

The notion of a "13% salary increase" for Edgemont firefighters is a fiction made up by Feiner who is blogging about this issue anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Paul, what have you put away in the 2010 budget for police raises? That should be interesting to see.

Anonymous said...

Paul you are a

D---------Dangerous
I---------Idiot
C---------controversal
T---------traitor
A---------arrogant
T---------turncoat
O---------obnocious
R---------reckless

I may not have spelled the words correctly but they discribe you to a tee.

Your cronies on the board also fall into this comment except one who has the moxey to stand up for what is right.
The biggest idiot is Morgan because he seems to forget that when he opens his mouth it is all recorded.
He did promise Bernstein the copies but since there is something wrong with them he made up a story and accused Bernstein for failing to get in touch with him concerning these copies.
What we will be requesting a lie detector to be in place at these meetings.
Disgusting yes.This is the way
this board is trying to pull the wool over the taxpayers eyes.

Guess what we have finally seen the light .It's too late for this election but be assured that we will make up for it in the next.

Anonymous said...

Too bad that the word dictator didn't have an S in it because you are the biggest schmuck on this earth.

You mentioned the money recieved by the Greenville fire dept. is much more than Chuck Schumer makes Pray tell what does this man do in comparison to a firefighter.NADDA.
You make it a yearly chore to go out with the DPW and sanitation ,parks dept. but I have never heard you say that you answered an alarm with any fire company.Too hot to handle!
So shut up about how much money firefightes make.
Yes there may not be that many fires THANK GOD but they are there on the double if there happens to be one..
So you and the board did not receive a raise pray tell what have you all done to believe that you should be compensated.NADDA.
Let's see if and when Sheehan's son decides to be a paid fire fighter will his father fight for or against him getting a raise.
Then the picture will change since it is hitting home.

Anonymous said...

If pandering was an Olympic Sport, Feiner, Morgan and Sheehan would be Gold Medalists.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

Instead of trying to forcibly sieze control of the Greenville Fire District (something the good people of Edgemont will never allow you to do), you should reign in your Town Attorney. Why did Tim Lewis threaten the Ethics Board? Could it be because Samis has Sheehan and Madden nailed on ethics issues?

Paul, your administration is crumbling from within. Attacking Edgemont is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

It has been reported that the supervisor is trying to bypass the referendum process of fire consolidation despite all logic and obvious numbers for Greenville to remain independent. NY State set up independent fire districts to avoid political interference. He is attempting to seize control in order to lower costs to the other districts to drive his tax hike down.

PAUL FEINER said...

I will not support any consolidation of the Greenville fire district if it results in tax hikes for Edgemont residents. I will only support any consolidation effort if a referendum is held and if residents of the affected areas have the ability to determine whether they want to proceed with consolidation. The people of Edgemont should be able to determine whether they want their own fire district or a less expensive, consolidated fire district. It's not my choice. It's the taxpayers.
PAUL FEINEr

doc stockmann said...

Calling all cars...
All points Bulletin!!!

Be on the lookout for any investment bankers and/or hedge fund managers who reside in Edgemont.

Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has requested the Police Department to seek out and detain for questioning in regard to being possible accomplices to new Town laws making it a crime to approve raises in independent fire districts and/or being the recipients of large bonuses from their place of work.

Both actions were recently classified as crimes against the state under a new statute passed at a Special Town Board meeting held the Sunday before Labor Day.

According to a Press Release circulated at the time, the Town Board recognizes that these are harsh economic times which demand an equally a harsh response. Insofar as town employees might be encouraged by such unpatriotic and provocative raises granted by outside entities, be they municipal, cooperative or private, these actions will henceforth be viewed as crimes against the Town and its citizens which if unchecked will lead to chaos being construed as the rallying point for similar, excessive and unreasonable demands for parity by the Town's employees.

Town Attorney Tim Lewis referred to broad, existing laws detailing the defining signs and resulting sanctions from "inciting to riot". Mr. Lewis advises that "inciting to seek higher salaries" can be viewed, in his opinion, as an offshoot of the same line of reasoning which could result in rioting and destruction to public and private property were matching raises not granted.

Town Supervisor Feiner explained his action at the Town Board meeting held last night. "What we do in Greenburgh sets an example for the County, the State...the United States. If we continue to permit disruptive elements to run school boards, parking districts and fire districts their own way, this can only have negative implications for the entire Town. Furthermore this kind of activity only serves to undercut the fine job that the Town government and its Department heads are doing to keep taxes down.

"Accordingly, I have already begun a series of actions which when completed will place all dissenting opinions and their advocates under house arrest. To do this, I have recruited my aide de kamp, Alacky Hockeypuck, and joke of all trades, Frank Monotony to head up a newly created organization of former military and paramilitary friends who will be trained and ready for mobilization early next year. This volunteer army will be maintained at no cost to the Town by a generous grant from the LaMancha Foundation of the Blind.

"Separately, the Town Board has just voted to renew the contract with the Xpo Cankersore After Skul Program. Xpo Founder, Doubtful Thomas, indicated that this year's program will be adding a new gimmick, the Xpo Youth who will be trained in Double Talk, the Town Board's official language. Students wishing to enroll in the program will be requested to submit the $300 fee directly to Mr. Thomas however, children of Town Board members and their support group are excused from this requirement. And, thanks again to the LaMancha Foundation for the Blind for providing the official school uniform of brown shirts and liederhosen."

Anonymous said...

Doc Stockman,

I tip my cap to you. The best stuff I have ever read on this blog!

Paul, How do you know that Consolidation will create a cheaper fire department? Hochberg is not done with his inquisition yet! Could it be the you and Hochberg have already planned for mass layoffs of paid firefighters in the new Greenburgh Fire Department to be replaced with the ever willing and supposedly able Elmsford Volunteers????

Feiner's Big Lie said...

Consolidating the fire districts will result in a 21% increase in Edgemont's fire tax to subsidize the Fairview and Hartsdale fire districts. The only way fire taxes in Edgemont will be kept flat is by cutting $4.8 million from the combined $28 million budget, which will compromise public safety.

Feiner knows all this, but persists in repeating the big lie that consolidation will result in a consolidated district that is "less expensive."

Residents of Edgemont should tell Feiner what they think of him and his "big lie" tactics.

Anonymous said...

Should Hertsdale and Fairview vote yes on the Feiner/Hochberg proposal they will be opening themselves up for massive layoffs of firefighters. Hartsdale and Fairview have an almost identical tax levy per thousand. The ONLY way to save money is to fire paid fireman. This in turn will severely compromise public safety. Of course Feiner, Morgan, Sheehan, Hochberg et al. don't care about public safety. They have already cut the Police Department budget during a time of widespread home invasions in Edgemont. They don't care about public safety. They care only about getting re-elected.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

Why are you blogging here during the day. You are on OUR TIME during 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM I for one do not appreciate you WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS by spending time on your blog. Don't you have better things to do like thinking of what paid position to give Alacky Hockeypuck in the New Greenburgh????

Anonymous said...

Paul,

Edgemont spanked you Monday Night and now you have been getting spanked all day long on your own blog. How does it feel? Get used to it because it is only the beginning. Just think what will happen when it gets out about Chief Kapica!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL US WHAT KAPICA SAID???

Anonymous said...

bet ya that anonymous is only one or two people!

Anonymous said...

Get me the transcripts of Bernstein's comments last night at the Town Board meeting. When I watched the meeting it seemed like Bernstein was suggesting that the salary increases would be rejected by the Edgemont fire commissioners. I was pleased.

Feiner doesn't listen said...

Anon at 3:34 (Feiner blogging anonymously again on taxpayer time) should really pay more attention when Bernstein speaks. All Bernstein said was that he understood the fire district's collective bargaining agreement was still being negotiated, that the fire district commissioners told him they couldn't comment on the agreement or its terms until the negotiations had concluded, and most importantly, that the issue of whatever increase is ultimately agreed to has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand, which was whether the town should be issuing the villages no-bid contracts for the unincorporated area's fire protection districts.

Feiner's diatribe against the Greenville Fire District last night was completely out of order. He embarrassed himself and the town.

feiner follies said...

bernstein is the president of the ecc, not the chair.

Anonymous said...

Feiner attacks firemen for a 4% raise but no mention of the $2.7 million dollar purchase of Taxter Ridge. How come Paul??? Has Feiner's folly finally come back to haunt you? It would have been nice to have that world class golf course producing revenue for the Town wouldn't it Paul? Too bad you listened when Danny Gold ordered you to purchase it so that he would not have to deal with the traffic. You screwed the rest of Greenburgh but Danny pledged his ever loving loyalty (votes) to you.

So Paul, why do you go after firemen, some of whom served the Country near ground zero on 911 but fail to mention Feiner's Folly. You should be ashamed of yourself!

Michael Kolesar said...

This whole episode is like Feiner repeatedly quoting how in the Spring of 2008 the Citizens Budget Committee came up with a projected tax increase for unincorporated Greenburgh of about 17% and shortly thereafter the Town Comptroller came up with about 20%. Feiner then "crows" see the actual tax increase was only about 7.7%. What he clearly and materially omits is that both projections stated that there would be no use of fund balances (in accordance with the Town's financial policy adopted the previous December). In addition, the 2009 budget had more than $ 1 million in questionable revenues. For Paul Feiner, half a fact is more convenient than the whole truth.

Anonymous said...

Mike's the guy who predicted that the 2009 and 2010 tax hikes would be double digit. He was wrong last year. He probably will be wrong this year (assuming that the announced single digit tax hikes are real.

Go Hal said...

Hal,

What about a new ethics charge against Feiner, blogging while on taxpayer time!!!!

Anonymous said...

NYS Legislation enacted to protect special districts from political takeovers is flapping in the wind - it hasn't stopped Feiner or the other TB members. They've made such a mess of Town government that they have to shift our attention to areas of government they do not and should not control.

Michael Kolesar said...

To Anonymous 10:52,

Clearly if you support the Supervisor you would have the "courage" to identify yourself. But for readers who want to make up their own minds, FOIL for the documents, my memo to the Town Board in May of 2008 and the Citizens Budget Committee report. The Town Board said they wouldn't use fund balances for operations. I didn't. There was no indication of a "looming" economic crises in the Spring of 2008. The Supervisor likes to say he "keeps his word". Hah, but I am not the only person who knows that's a lot of bunk.

Believe what you will anonymous, the record is printed and clear. You just can't handle the truth.

As to this year's projection without using fund balances, it was 15 - 17% and it came from Bart Talamini, the NEW Comptroller.

Citizens of Greenburgh Beware said...

Paul Feiner, the man who has destroyed the fund balance, who has increased your taxes close to 40% (including this year's increase) in a few short years, who has cut garbage service, who has cut police service, now wants to seize control of your fire service.

Ask yourself this question: Do you trust Paul Feiner with your life and the lives of your family?

Anonymous said...

Well I guess you and the two cronnies running with you have nothing to worry about for this coming election.

Not even a reminder to the residents that election is right arround the corner.

No one in the unincorporated area received any kind of a notice.
I do know that there is no one that wants to fill your stinking shoes but it goes to show us that you can pick up all the votes from the villages and who needs the rest.

Prepare yourself fully for the next election. This one is a freebee but the next will be a
different story..

Anonymous said...

10:40: while i completely agree with your oppostion to the Feiner administration, your empty threats make us look laughable. Anyone else remember this past spring Hal's prediction of "big surprises?" for the upcoming election? He sure dropped that quietly. The truth is the opposition is fractured and impotent and Feiner knows that. Lasser, Greenawalt and Berger all went down in flames (anyone else remember Hal's last minute endorsement of Paul over Berger?). Paul will be Prince of Greenburgh Villages as long as he wants.

DUCHESS said...

It's Friday! Where is the 2009 Budget as promised, or are we too busy posting feel good blogs on my time (as well as the rest of the Greenburgh Tax Payers), instead of doing the business at hand that you were elected to do?

why things remain the same said...

actually greenawalt came within 200 or less votes of defeating feiner in the primary.

berger was crushed. she leads the town democrats. no wonder feiner will be the supervisor for life if he chooses.

Feiner Hypocrisy said...

Here's a good one. While Feiner complains about 4% raises for firefighters, he's proposing to increase the salary for the commissioner of public works from $121,223 to $141,917. That's 20 grand in a single year or 17%.

And the deputy commissioner of public works gets his pay hiked from $106,590 to $130,000, which at nearly 24 grand amounts to a 22% raise.

Yeah, times sure are tough

Anonymous said...

But there salaries are lower than fire chiefs, fire captains and firefighters in Edgemont--some who make 200 grand, over 60,000 more than the police chief.

Anonymous said...

Waves to Paul at 11:47. What's your obsession with Edgemont's firefighters? You lie about their salaries, they make less than firefighters from Hartsdale and Fairview, and you don't seem to be complaining about what they make. And if you were to add "overtime" to what the police in Greenburgh make, plus take into account the retirement and health benefits the police receive, you'd see they make about the same.

Anonymous said...

During Feiner's regime, we have witnessed about five police officers GETTING ARRESTED themselves. Not only do the police make the same money as the firefighters legally as 6:14 AM brought out, but some of them were caught with ILLEGAL BUSINESSES as well. Way to manage things Paul!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Paul at 11:47

Your anti-firefighter diatribes fall apart with the revelations of the massive pay increase at public works. With management getting this immense pay increase during these trying times aren't you going to cause ALL Town Department Heads to seek the same using Public Works as an example? Then the employees under them will follow suit. Paul, you are the king of misleading people, you have no shame and you are just plain wrong most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Feiner has still not condemned the racist statements by Chief Kapica, his employee. Why not?

Anonymous said...

whatever the chief said, Paul might agree with it.
WHAT DID HE SAY ???

Anonymous said...

Feiner will tell you after the election.
If this was made known he would loose the Fairview area.
He already has lost Edgemont and Hartsdale so he is hoping that the news does not break before the election.

Waiting said...

The supervisor's silence is deafening.

Anonymous said...

Hint Hint .....

Chief Kapica wished he was in the South during the days of Bull Conner and before. He seems to want for the days of using "nooses" on African American prisoners.

Paul, Sheehan and Morgan know about it but are covering it up.

Anonymous said...

Oh goody. Fairview anonymous is calling Kapica racist. Put your name on this accusation, wimp. What a wonderful town we live in.

Anonymous said...

7:57,

Detective Double Dip himself!!! Up early Kevin on your way out to Church to confess your sins????? You should resign your position and save yourself the embaressment of what is going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Kevin
Do you deny Kapica's racist statements ?

Anonymous said...

Kevin probably wasn't there. He was too busy planning how he is going to spend the second half health plan buyout of $1,000 that he is "owed". It's Kevin's individual economic stimulus action. Hopefully it will be spent in the Town of Greenburgh and not on a vacation to someplace overseas.

Write in Campaign said...

When you go into the voting booth the area for write ins is at the top of the panel. Just slide the window open and write in your choice. The windows have numbers that correspond to the position you are voting for. The Supervisor is 10 and the Town Council is 11 and 12.

Lets send a message!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's voice our opinion by write in votes

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Too bad others on this slate have to suffer by not getting enough votes to win.

This too will show them that running with the Greenburgh slate is a hinderance to their winning.
This will open their eyes that running with idiots is a bad choice an d a sure way to loose..