Monday, November 23, 2009


The Greenburgh Town Board will vote on a pilot agreement with Regeneron on Monday evening that will result in more jobs for our community...significant building permit fees, more taxes and fewer certiorari's. Plus---we're building on the reputation we have established --Greenburgh is becoming the number one bio tech research center in the region and possibly the state of NY!
Earlier this year OSI announced plans to consolidate their headquarters in Greenburgh. They are moving to the Ardsley section of unincorporated Greenburgh.
We are thrilled to announce that Regeneron, a cutting edge biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes medicines intended for the treatment of serious life threatening conditions will be expanding their state of the art offices and lab facilites that they moved into earlier this year.
Even during these difficult economic times, Regeneron desires to expand its growing operation and has considered its options regarding expanding in Greenburgh or elsewhere, and has decided to remain in Greenburgh Regeneron currently occupies two buildings but will expand into a third building. The owner of the building has agreed to discontinue all prior certiorari proceedings, and Regeneron agrees it will not file litigation regarding said fixed assessments for the term of the PILOT agreement with the town.

ON MONDAY the Town Board will also vote on a rezone application that will enable Stop & Shop to build a major supermarket on 119. Last week the town approved another supermarket at the other end of the town: Shoprite at the Midway shopping center.

This has been the best week for the town in many years re: economic development. We're proud of the fact that Greenburgh is able to attract world class companies to our town. Special thanks to all the members of the Greenburgh Town Board (Sonja Brown, Diana Juettner, Kevin Morgan, Francis Sheehan), Assessor Edye McCarthy, Town Attorney Tim Lewis and Commissioner of Planning Thomas Madden who worked all weekend (day and evening hours ---just received some e mails and phone calls after 11:30 PM on Sunday) preparing for these votes.


Anonymous said...

Why are you taking the credit for these projects.

If the People said no it would be NO but the majority said yes.
Thank the people for what you call progress stop patting youselves on the back,

Hartsdale Home Owner said...

im so proud, i'm giving the town a 7% bonus over last year's tax payment!

Michael Kolesar said...

I have just done a quick analysis of this PILOT based upon the information posted on the Town's web site and attached to the resolution on the agenda for tonight. If my understanding is correct, what the Town is doing is only assessing the site for $871,782 as compared to a "full assessment" of $2,533,757 or a "discount" of 65.6% in year 1. The phase in period is a total of 12 years.

If the tax rate were to remain at the proposed level for 2010 (and that's not likely), the phased in discount works out to a tax break of $1,967,607. If one assumes that the average increase over these 12 years is 5% per year (and that is less than the 18 years of the Paul Feiner era), this phased in discount works out to $2,354,192.

I'd be interested if the Town has any analysis and what the Town determined this action to "cost" the Town. Anyone else interested? Don't hold your breath that the Town will make it available if it even exists.

Anonymous said...

But Michael you are so naive: hasn't the company committed to hiring hundreds of unemployed Greenburgh residents and to pay millions in dollars in NEW taxes? Didn't you read what the supervisor wrote? This was the bestest week eva'! Look for next week's announcement about rainbows, puppies and unicorns for everyone :) Happy days are here again!

Anonymous said...

The biggest loser in terms of tax revenue for this tax deal is the school district. Has the school district signed off? If so, why isn't the sign-off posted on the town's website?

Anonymous said...

These companies may say that they are creating jobs for Greenburgh residents. The truth is they don't hold the jobs open until a Greenburgh resident qualifies and/or applies. I'd like to know just how many Greenburgh residents are actually hired and in the end, is it worth the tax breaks?

Anonymous said...

The Town's willingness to be so generous in giving away future tax revenues seems to be driven by a desire to realize substantial benefits next year from building permits. Yet, Mike Kolesar's analysis shows that the giveaway far exceeds the anticipated gain. What analysis has been done to show that this deal is in the Town's best short and long term interests?

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine the smirks on the faces of the high-priced attorneys and negotiators for these companies after they leave meetings with our Supervisor and his team.

Anonymous said...

Yes. They feel bad because it's like shooting fish in a barrel!

hal samis said...

Sorry everyone had to work so hard and over the weekend too.

Maybe if the Town Board had scheduled two Town Board meetings in November and two in December, there wouldn't be such a rush.

And, if history is any indicator of the future, what happens to "good news" every time the Town Board and the Madden/McCarthy/Lewis join forces to produce a rushed Resolution?

Just another urgent matter to reduce Public Comment on yesterday's news, the 2010 Town Budget.

Fortunately, the Kapica honorarium will be removed from the Agenda and held next week at Police Headquarters.


Anonymous said...

Nice going Paul!
Regeneron uses live animals in testing - as you well know.
Please announce publicly that you have renounced your oath to PETA and will be resuming the consumption of bacon at the earliest possible moment.
That way your hypocrisy will be clear to two groups whom you have previously pandered to for support - PETA and the vegetarian left as one, and kashrut-observing elderly community members as the other.

All Quiet at 7/11 said...

Happy to report that the 7/11 on Central Ave was not (I repeat not) robbed with shots fired this weekend. It was reported that the Energy Coordinator armed with a 40 watt compact bulb and the Arts counselor armed with the golden frames were stationed undercover nearby with the Supervisor. I feel safe.

Go Green said...

What are the written rules regarding town vehicle use especially with regard to use on the weekends?

Anonymous said...

Forget jobs and taxes. I'ld be more impressed if Paul got Pathmark return to old system for giving credit for free turkeys. That would be impressive problem solving!

Anonymous said...

What kind of a comptroller do we have now .
Does he know what is going on or has he become just another patsie for Feiner and the board.

It seems that he has been covering up an awful lot of information that Kolesar found out and was ready to present this portofolio at a work session.
When I was growing up people like the ones that are supposed to represent the public were always called slime ball crooks.
Kolesar the information that you have supplied on this blog is so important to have these Greenburgh criminals behind bars.
I do hope they look good in orange.

Anonymous said...

Boy why don't you all manipulate the residents' taxes due, the way you handle big business.
Could the reason be that we do not make deals behind closed doors.
You have found so many ways to rob the public that we do need the intervention of either the county,,state or federal governments.

Pro Consolidation and Proud of It said...

Here's an idea for sharing services which will truly save money:
Merge the two (2) Town of Greenburgh departments which provide Recreation services. This will not require special legislation from the State and could be implemented immediately. The only layoffs initially would be Department Heads, Assistant Department Heads and assorted Commissioners. As none of these folks actually do the work, the delivery of services wouldn't suffer - and the layoffs would be very cost effect, removing the highest paid, least productive, employees.
Go for it Paul - deliver on consolidation NOW!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The town had the perfect opportunity to merge the two departments when the whole corruption scam at the tdycc came about. But no what did the town do. They made an assistant to the commissioner position at afv park just so they can shift some staff around and when the air was clear at the tdycc the person was shifted back whith a salary increase and poof the position gone almost as quick as it showed up out of no were. Then they hired a new commissioner at the tdycc with a nice hefty salary for a new employee. The truth is Paul keeps giving the shaft to the workers. Watch over management a little bit. Most of the time they are not at work and when they are not much town related work gets done. Don't believe it pull up a chair and watch you will see a lot of waste.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Go green:

Before March 24, 2009, I implemented a vehicle use log book that is suppossed to be completed daily and reviewed by each respective Department head once a month. The log is relatively straight forward in that it records the mileage at the start of a day and the mileage at the end of a business day. For most of the vehicles, today's ending should be tomorrow's beginning, i.e. no overnight usage. For the 10 or so vehicles that are used by employees to take home, the next day's "beginning" will record the "personal usage", which would enable the Town to possibly comply with IRS regulations. Excessive personal usage should be pretty easy to spot. The Comptroller's Office ( me ) was going to review the logs to (A) see that there were daily entries and (B) see that Department Heads were doing their monthly check. All logs were supposed to be initialed by supervisors.

Has this been done? Got me.

Go Green said...

Does the log book procedure apply to the Supervisor also? Does he follow the rules?

Taxed said...

Can I get a special tax break similar to the one described. It might me sell my house.

Hartsdale Home Owner said...

Taxed: No you can't. This is the American System where municipalities compete to give the biggest tax breaks to profitable corporations just so local pols can claim they "brought jobs and business" to their town and get ribbon-cutting photos to show when they are campaigning for re-election. This happens all over the country, not just the "80th best place to live." It's a disgrace that these companies are subsidized by the "little people" like you and me who get stuck with ever spiraling tax bills which we don't have leverage to negotiate.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Go Green:

To the best of my knowledge the Supervisor does not use a Town provided vehicle. If he is now, that's a new development and you should ask the current Town Comptroller, Bart Talamini.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Paul Feiner was driving around town this Saturday in the electric car.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why some of these 10 or so employees are allowed to take these vehicles home. All it does is supplement their very high incomes. Mike, can you name these employees if you can remember? I guarantee you that I can state why most of them are not needed to be taken home. I'll also bet you that most of them live very far away.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the sepervisor and on call people taking cars home. One issue is when you have three DPW foreman taking chevy trucks home. Are all three on call?

hal samis said...

TOG Ethics Code, 570-6
Use of Town-owned equipment or property.

"No public officer, employee or agency member shall request, obtain, permit the use of or use Town-owned vehicles, equipment, buildings, material or property for personal convenience, interest, use or benefit or the personal convenience, use or benefit of others, except when such services are available to the public generally or are specifically provided by the Town Board for the use of such public officer, employee or agency member in the conduct of official business.

The Ethics Board meets tonight in a combined session with the Town Board. Go to the Town website, bring up Board of Ethics, download complaint form and get either a notary or an attorney to vet your signature and present the completed form to either the Town Clerk or the Ethics Board itself.

Anonymous said...

You know that these DPW vehicles that are taken home in the winter are being used for their own convenience for plowing their own driveways. They live so far away that no one wants to catch them in the act.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear 8:54 AM:

Since I don't have a complete list, I'd rather not mention those that i do and omit others. Clearly Payroll has such a list, so I would advise you to FOIL for it.

One of the things that the vehicle use log would reveal is how much if any "personal" usage there is. In one instance that I recall, an individual who took a Town Vehicle home at night was supposedly provided this vehicle because they might be called out at nights / weekends, etc. This individual is covered by a collective employment agreement. In my 53 weeks as comptroller, this individual never was paid for 1 hour of overtime. Now maybe they were being kind and not putting in for the pay because they had the vehicle. I don't know. I also don't know whether there were any records of this individual ever being called.

Lastly, in addition to the 10 vehicles or so that I mentioned, I believe that there are 4 unmarked police vehicles that are taken home at night for the Chief and the three Captains and they are essentially on call 24/7 365.


overpaid your taxes and are entitled to a refund, but the Town wants to include that money in its 2010 budget and won't tell you about it.

Fortunately, the Edgemont Community Council today posted on its website a list of all Greenburgh taxpayers who are owed refunds by the town as a result of overpayments of their school, town or county taxes. Feiner has proposed including $836,000 of such funds as "revenue" in his 2010 budget. Unless that money is claimed, it may be lost forever.

However, the Town's receiver of taxes has said he will issue refunds to anyone on the list who can show that they are entitled to the money. Therefore, anyone who has paid Greenburgh taxes should check the list to see if they, or one of their friends or neighbors is owed money. Some are your neighbors are owed thousands of dollars. Many of those on the list live in the villages.

The ECC obtained the list at its own expense from a Freedom of Information Law request. The Town itself has not posted the list anywhere on its website, and apparently doesn't plan to do so. This may therefore be your only chance to get what you are owed

Anonymous said...

hal Im glad you brought up TOG Ethics Code, 570-6
Use of Town-owned equipment or property. A guy I work with reported what he believed to be miss use of a town vehicle by his superintendant. I believe he reported it to the deputy commissioner of parks. He said in response the deputy commissioner compared it to town employees picking up a slice of pizza while in route from one job site to another. I was wondering if you think this would be breaking the code. It is alleged that this town vehicle was used more than once for the driver to get a hair cut. Does this sound like something that should be allowed, or should both men be brought up on some kind of disciplinary action.

hal samis said...

Forget the pizza analogy. Let's deal with the haircut.
Was the haircut on the way between jobs?
And forgive me in advance if I sound like Judge Judy.
The issue that first comes to mind is getting the haircut. Was this during a recognized break period, lunch, for example?
If taking the break would have meant returning to home base to pick up the privately owned vehicle to get the haircut or lunch and then back to home base to pick up the town vehicle to proceed to the jobsite, I would say not a reasonable complaint. It would seem to be adding extra miles and going out of the way just to exchange modes of transportation.
But the key element is whether the haircut was on town time.
However, the Ethics code is just one part of the puzzle. In a practical sense, the Ethics Board is an understaffed Board of volunteers (4 of 5 authorized members) who do not currently receive any support from the Town Board (itself a violation of the Ethics Code). Meeting but once a month, ten months a year, they will not pursue just any complaint that comes their way; it also needs to have some clout behind it to garner their enthusiasm. Some of my complaints are growing whiskers. At the end of the day, whatever the Ethics Board decides, the Town Board must concur.
This by itself is the fatal flaw in the entire process. The guilty are judging themselves. And whatever their redeeming virtues may otherwise be, the Ethics Board is not composed of fighters who are willing to take on the Town Board.

ed krauss said...

A plethora of new businesses coming to Greenburgh, and Paul takes FULL credit for it.

I wonder what part Teri Wydala, the head of the Westchester county Industrial Development Agency, had to do with OSI and Regeneron coming here. I'll bet the Lion's Share.

As for Paul's input, how about a Photo Op.

I've used it before, but it seems most appropriate. Which two brothers hold the major league record for hitting home runs, and what's the number?
The borthers are the Aaron brothers, and the number is 756. Hank hit 755, Tom hit the balance.

Just thought I'd give Teri a kudo, because she works her tail off getting and saving businesses for Westchester.

Paul on the other hand, makes Teri look like a PR Release neophyte.

Myndi said...

Dear Mr Feiner -
As you well know, having heard it from both of the Citizens' Committees you appointed more than a decade apart - *CERTIORARIS WILL DECLINE ONLY WHEN THE TOWN UNDERTAKES A SIMULTANEOUSLY REVALUATION OF THE ENTIRE TAX ROLL*
Trying to assign a value to property built or updated now as if it were built or updated in 1959 is absurd. At the current equalization rate, a $1 error in valuation is about a $35 difference in expections of its current market value. Applying that formula to the 80th Best Place to Live gives us a ranking around number 2,800.