Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The town held an auction of surplus property on Wednesday. We raised $469,850 from the auction --which was disappointing. There were two major parcels of foreclosed property that we were trying to sell: 27 Main Street in Dobbs Ferry and the waterwheel in Ardsley. We sold 27 Main Street for $239,000 but did not sell the waterwheel. There was alot of interest in the waterwheel property from a number of developers. However, on Monday the Ardsley Village Board (property is located in Ardsley) rezoned the property and created an affordable housing overlay district on the property --requiring some of the units to be affordable/workforce. Some developers who had been prepared to bid on the property got cold feet and want more time to review the new affordable housing requirements. I will ask the Town Board to authorize the Commissioner of Planning to solicit RFP's for the property. It's my hope that the sale of this valuable parcel of property can take place in 2010. The minimum offer we will accept on the property is $1.2 million dollars. The goal: some affordable housing units for volunteer firefighters, ambulance corp workers. A total of 9 properties were sold on Wednesday - including a parcel of land across the street from Town Hall (Dannon building) --$200,000 for the land to be used as parking.

We plan a 2nd auction of town owned properties in 2010.



stop the sheehanigans said...

guess what town board, now its time to cut the arts council position and stop running a nutrition program that subsidizes other towns.

we cannot afford these programs.

its time to get with the program - if you are not shrinking government, you are the problem.

the taxpayers have had enough.

STOP spending. Start cutting.

Anonymous said...

why should seniors starve if they are on limited incomes? Are you heartless?

Anonymous said...

It's NOT time to cut the nutrition program! There are alot of people who rely on this vital program.

Anonymous said...

Cortlandt is a Town also, and their crime did not go up when the State and County police depts took over. Paul at least look into it!!!

Anonymous said...

What I believe the poster at 6:34 AM is referring to is the fact that the taxpayers of Greenburgh are subsidizing the taxpayers of Eastchester and Mt Pleasant. No one is suggesting that that part of the nuitrition program that serves only Greenburgh residents should be eliminated, but just get Eastchester and Mt Pleasant to pay their full fair share or cut them out of the Town's process.

Anonymous said...

No developer in his or her right mind is going to buy the "Waterwheel" property in the near term (like 2010). The Village of Ardsley doesn't do "back room" approvals before the process of going to the Planning Board, Zoning Board and truly open public meeting process unlike the way Paul conducts "business as usual" in Greenburgh (witness the recent WESTHAB process and what he tried to do to Fulton Park) There a developer "overpaid" "knowing that he had a done deal". That won't happen is Ardsley, so any developer will wait until their plans are approved before buying.

Anonymous said...

2009+2010 projected revenues land sales

Actual sales to date = $469,850

$1,780,150.00 not realized. No surprise.


Anonymous said...

Based on the actual sales,where is the missing $1.3 M dollars coming From? Are you taking it from the fund reserve? Stop tweeting, blogging ,headhunting and do your real job of providing sound financial management of our town.

about 9:18 said...

dear 9:18
great post

too bad it will fall on the deaf ears and webbed out denizens of feinerville.

Anonymous said...

There are 2 classes of people who should ALWAYS have priority in any town, village, county or state. And those are the young and elderly. These two groups must be taken care of at any expense. The youth are our future and need our guidance and support for a better tomorrow. Our elderly have made sacrifices throughout their lives and rely on us to tend to their needs. Civil societies are built on this concept.

THose of you who want programs cut which affect these two groups should reconsider your priorities.

Anonymous said...

What you say is true but our town can not be trusted to do this sensibly or fairly. This is the underlying problem for most bloggers who criticize.

In this town, whole groups of youths and seniors are left out of programs, discouraged, asked to pay more for, not made available to or just simply ignored while certain groups are "taken care of" excessly.

What gives our town politicians the right to deem one group more eligable or needy than another?

Thank God they don't choose who gets priority on organ transpant waiting lists.

Feiner should get back to work said...

Paul Feiner has no business hosting a meeting tonight on "rethinking Westchester County" when his own town budget for 2010 is dead and time is running out to come up with one that will work. Greenburgh's surplus property auction yesterday failed to generate anywhere near the $2.5 million necessary to close a budget gap in Feiner's proposed budget -- the budget upon which the 6.9% tax hike for next year was predicated. The sale yesterday generated only $439,000. Furthermore, Feiner's proposal last month to use an additional $863,000 in "unclaimed funds" to close the gap won't work either because it violates the state's Abandoned Property Law. As a result of the failure of these one-time-only budget gimmicks, Feiner is now facing a gap of at least $2.8 million for 2010. He must either cut town spending and services dramatically or draw down the remaining fund balance. This is simply no time for another Feiner publicity stunt. The meeting should be cancelled.

new york is dying. wake up said...

the arts council is an indulgence we cannot afford.

it is not the responsiblity of the taxpayers of greenburgh to subsidize meals for eastchester and mt pleasant taxpayers.

the same is true for the millions given illegally to the valhalla school district which the town board refuses to see reimbursement for.

people - wake up. people are leaving the state of new york in droves. if we dont stop taxing ourselves to death we will continue to die even faster.

our taxation scheme is unsustainable.

we are dying here and you are making grand statements about social policy.

this is a town. poverty alleviation is not a town function. providing food is not a town function.

lets get our essential services in order and cut out the frills.

we are dying. dont you get it!!

Anonymous said...

10:05: I would qualify your argument by stating that the welfare obligations of the state apply to underpriviledged youth and the impoverished elderly. Those needs have been addressed (arguably insufficiently) by federal and state programs (welfare, medicaid, medicare, etc). Obviously these programs are much more expansive in other countries which, for example, have small defense budgets. Under the American model (but not in other countries), local communities have reserved the right to control and fund education. The responsiblity of local/municipal governments to supplement other programs - and whether to expand such programs beyond the "needy" - is an interesting debate. To accuse those who want to ensure their tax dollars are being spent efficiently of having questionable "priorities" is cheap and debate-stifling.

Anonymous said...

Since the miscellaneous was eliminated, no doubt to stop asking embarrassing questions, I have one.

Why is the collection of dues, lost books, etc, being turned over to what appears to be a private entity for the Greenburgh library? (I don't know if this affects the other libraries in Westchester so I don't want to that far yet.) Isn't the library capable of collecting the money it's owed? This will amplify mistakes since I have, as have many patrons, been occasionally flagged for something that I did return on time or didn't check out. Now we'll have another service to deal with that won't even care.

Not Feeling Safe said...

Will there be any police protection in that forgotten south area of our town, Edgemont? We have been hit with another rash of house burglaries and 7/11 armed robberies ( no topic on the Blog)while the Arts program, energy Conservation ( does not apply to the well lit Library of course) and Nutrition program for greater Westchester area continues unabated. What is the Police chief doing to protect residents in the aftermath of the 3rd armed holdup in weeks? Perhaps an unmarked car on a Saturday night might be in order.Basic safety in your home or business is a priority. These continued crimes represent a gross failure of basic government.

Michael Kolesar said...

The budget shorfall given yesterday's results is more serious than most of you understand. The gross proceeds must first go towards repaying amounts advanced by the town for school taxes or fire protection services and if the property is located in a Village, for any tax liens that the Village has on that property. The remainder is then "revenue". So while the gross proceeds have been reported as $469,850, the revenues are likely to be considerably lower.

Mr. Supervisor, here's a simple question, for the properties that were included in the $469,850, how much will be applied or remitted to a Village? The budget problem is bigger than you all think.

hal samis said...

Dear 12:20,
Did I hear my name called?

The Library was practicing live and let live for years, especially since come budget time they asked and no one questioned. Living high off the hog...

So bit by bit the uncollected fines and unreturned books mounted up. Flip ahead and we see a new Library Board acting concerned but depending on "visitors" to ask what the Library has done to collect these fines: shocked silence because the answer was nada. This all comes to light because the Library Director had been contacting some collection agencies to learn their programs. See the knee jerk response at the Library is to eventually recognize that a problem exists and then to look outside the existing staff to solve it. Ergo, let's look into hiring "experts". Probably a better alternative than their other mainstay, hire a new staffer. (see budget for new part-time events coordinator @ $28,000).
So the presentations were made and now they've signed on for a three month FREE trial with an outside vendor. But get this, the Library was cooerced into "try calling their patrons first" to see what success would come of their effort. Guess what, of the sample chosen, the Library didn't know how to reach 45% of the patrons in the sample. Maybe after the Police get over the 7/11, ATM and Donald Park embarrassments, they can try their hand at tracking down (with SWAT on standby) Library patrons. What does this mean? It means that the Library has no idea of whom their existing patrons are because when they went through the pre-referendum campaign to sign up new patrons to justify the expansion, a person could walk away with a new library card without a phone number and then check out 35 books.

So next time you see the Library staff tidying up and making sure that all five copies are next to each other, know that they are doing this because they don't have to chase their own deadbeats because the Library found it can be outsourced.

Ardsley Mayor Jay Leon said...

Post #1 - It is disappointing to read this email which reveals, after years of working together to provide affordable housing for firefighters/EMT volunteers that the G-burgh Supervisor is now pointing fingers at Ardsley because the property did not sell at auction.

It is important for Ardsley to maintain its volunteer emergency services depts, because if we are compelled in the future to employ full-time firefighters/EMTs, it will mean a huge tax increase for Ardsley residents and many Greenburgh residents who live in the Ardsley FD. This was the goal the Town and the Village had been working towards in an atmosphere of trust and mutual cooperation.

The Town Board without consulting Ardsley chose to abandon the RFP process we worked hard to develop. That process resulted in a proposal that sought development of a hybrid residential project consisting of affordable, workforce and market rate units. This configuration addressed concerns of the Town, Village, County and local residents living near the property.

Here’s why the negotiations over the RFP fell apart:

- The Town budgeted the proceeds of the sale of the Waterwheel as revenue in its '09 budget as an offset to expenditures. This violates the Town’s own policy regarding the handling of surplus property sales. It is as if you sold your car to pay your rent-next year you have no car, and you still don’t have money to pay rent.

- As a result, the Town insisted the developer remit payment in full for the property before the books were closed for 2009 (3/31/10).

- The developers were willing to place 10% down, but they were not willing to pay cash for the balance until their approvals were in place with Ardsley land use boards, which would take 12-24 months. This stipulation to condition payments pending approvals is standard and prudent from the developer’s perspective.

- The Town was unwilling to accept this demand from the developer. They insisted on cash by 3/31/10 with or without approvals. Negotiations fell apart.

- G-burgh then decided without consulting Ardsley to move to a public auction which abandoned the RFP process. This would almost certainly eliminate the provisions of the winning RFP that were attractive to everyone. The result could be a development that doesn't reach any of the goals of the Village or Town.

- The conditions of the bidding dictate that all winning bidders must pay the entire price in full within 30 days of the auction. Again, the Town placed anyone considering a bid in the position where they must front $1.2m before land use approvals. Predictably nobody bid.

Ardsley Mayor Jay Leon said...

Post #2 - The following is a direct quote from an email posted by the Supervisor 10/24 to an Ardsley Affordable Housing committee member who wrote to express dismay over the Town’s decision to abandon the RFP:

"There are some initiatives that could be taken to keep this property affordable. Here are some suggestions:
- the village could change the zoning for the property to require affordability."

Ardsley agreed. We passed a provision for the R4 district that dictates a hybrid configuration similar to the one approved by the Town during the RFP process. The provision was researched by planning consultants, and formulated based on language found in codes of many other Westchester municipalities including Greenburgh, which similarly has a supplementary reg in Section 285-41 of its code, covering 8 zoning districts.

These zoning changes protect the goals for volunteer sub-market rate housing agreed upon by the Town and the Village. There is nothing controversial with what we did. The Town’s decision to abandon years of work made it a necessity that we follow the Supervisor’s advice and pass this law.

Now the Supervisor is disingenuously blaming Ardsley for the lack of a bid. But consider that a 2nd Ardsley property was also put up to bid by G-burgh. This parcel could accommodate 3-4 homes and was not subject to the new law. It did not receive a single bid either. Obviously other factors are working here.

I have read a message from the Supervisor indicating continued interest in the Waterwheel. Ardsley will work closely with any new owner to help them maneuver through the approvals process so everyone achieves their goals. In regard to the Town I suggest that this is no way to treat Ardsley, a partner and neighbor who has worked with the Town in good faith for 4+ years.

Jay Leon

Anonymous said...

The libray lights...all of them were on to at least 2 AM. Why this sets such a poor example.

election fraud said...

sounds like we should have do-over with the election

we were duped!

recall feiner, sheehanigans and sphinxner

hal samis said...

Library lights (all) on one circuit.

Either "value engineering" or stupidity.

But who cares?

After all it's not like the Town is paying $29,000 to maintain an energy conservation staff headed by Feiner campaign contributor Allegra Dengler. Ooops!

It's not like Library Board President Musantry was also in on the Town's springtime enviro dog and pony "snow" job. Ooops again!

It's not like the Town Board wasn't warned that the building design being foisted upon the town was for one purpose: to be a billboard for the architect by being visible to cars driving on 287 at night.
Ooops redux!

It's not like the Architect and then Library Director Gerber wanted to spend $150,000 of the construction budget on getting LEED certification. Oooooooops!

It's not like the Town Board isn't going after the Architect, the Construction Manager and former Town employee, Al Regula for conspiracy to commit fraud. Oooops!!! game, set, match. This observable even without private tennis lessons.

hal samis said...

Dear Mr. Leon,

This can't be the first time you have had dealings with the Town Supervisor. And had you shown some gumption last Spring you might be having discussions with a new Greenburgh Supervisor come this January.

But nooooh. You and your villagers united always rode the Feiner motorcade when it came to your whistle stop so your scramble to neutralize Feiner in the 11th hour, although justified, falls on deaf ears for those who know the back story.

Some of us want to be prepared before the gun is revealed. And some of us remain straddling the fence until they have no choice but to act. You don't get the coveted Certificate of Appreciation for waiting until there is no other choice.

For those watching and waiting because they don't have a horse in the race, what the waterwheel represents is just more water over the damned.

Anonymous said...

The energy coordinator was conducting an energy audit at 2 AM with the Arts Counselor and having a snack with the Town Nutrition manager and a few Eastchester and Mt Pleasant taxpayers laughing at the Greenburgh Fools

hal samis said...

And from the Agenda (at last) for the Town Board meeting on Monday (one of the two remaining meetings for 2009)

It's not like there isn't anything important on the Agenda that might concern all residents.


Jelyn Milan Brown, 13 year old Town of Greenburgh resident, launches a toy/clothing drive to provide gifts for homeless children

Stormjames Lipton – Town of Greenburgh Boy Scout – Bike Safety Rodeo

Equinox Fuel Cell Vehicle Program – Chris Colquitt and Vic Carosi


Comments are welcome from all

Oh yeah, there's also a Public Hearing on the 2010 Town Budget.

Hold that thought. How about holding the Public Hearing first and the Presentations AFTER?
I'll accept that.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Jay
Don't you understand, the supervisor does not follow any of those troubling rules or annoying laws he does not believe in. He has stated this policy repeatedly.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mayor Leon,

Maybe you now understand never to trust Feiner, Morgan or Sheehan.

juettner is bad news too said...

and dont forget ardsley's own
diana sphinxter

ardsleyans, lets run her out of the village.

Anonymous said...

As an Ardsley resident, I am very disappointed by Greenburgh's actions. They are not trustworthy and show a callous disregard for our village.

Anonymous said...

Juetner doesn't do anything. She just takes up space. You can't really blame her for anything because she doesn't DO ANYTHING!

I hope someone can list the intiatives that Diana Juetner has spearheaded in the last twenty years.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Feiner have a breakdown of how much of this money from the auction goes to the villages or the library?

Anonymous said...

Re: Waterwheel Jay Leon comments.

Proves without a doubt what an incompetent Supervisor we have.

Anonymous said...

Rumors were circulating at a meeting tonight that Feiner had some meetings earlier today with at least two affordable housing developers who were interested in purchasing the waterwheel property. A December surprise!

Anonymous said...

If the waterwheel does sell won't it make all of us who are blasting Feiner look stupid?
Is this a setup to make the bloggers look bad?

Anonymous said...

Negotiating a back room sale out of political and financial desperation, which is what Feiner appears to be doing, does not bode well for town taxpayers. Every time he's allowed to do a deal like this it turns out bad.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Feiner already had another developer (friend?) waiting in the wings.

Dear Ardsley, Will you NOW stop voting this guy into office?

Anonymous said...

Wake up bloggers. The TOV voted for Feiner over Berger in 2007. He didn't need Ardsley or any of the villages.

Anonymous said...

Does Feiner have the sophistication to conduct negotiations of this sort on his own?

Anonymous said...

But Danny Gold, a huge Feiner supporter now has a big back yard.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Mr. Gold is looking to expand upon his back yard.

Anonymous said...

Please comfort this forlorn taxpayer: Can Paul's supporters point to any successes he has achieved through such back channel negotiations?

hal samis said...

Here's a rumor that I just heard.

Retiring Chief of Police Kapica, aware of the interest in the 2010 Town Budget, doesn't want to take away from the importance of the Monday Town Board meeting and therefore requests that any well-wishers hold their comments to the end of the meeting or speak to him privately. He too noticed that the added line "Comments are welcome from all" on the Agenda seemed to be there specifically to encourage people to speak with the result of limiting the Public Hearing on the Town Budget to late at night when no one is watching.
Although not a Greenburgh resident, he feels he owes it to the residents not to stand in their way for ceremony and doesn't want his successor to have to spend his first days on the job investigating complaints of "stolen speaking time".

However, you how it is with rumors.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone will ask the Chief about his noose comments.

Anonymous said...

Gold asked for a big back yard and got it.
The people have spoken that this land will never be parkland but because of Golds ties with feiner it will remain a sink hole at taxpayers expense.
The church made a good tax deal but were the taxpayers informed NO NO NO but you could bet your bottom dollar that Gold was informed by the church and he was the go between.

hal samis said...

Ders dems that have a personal Town Supervisor and doz dat dont.

As for little lambs that eat ivy, youse either is or you ain't with the flock.

For everyone else: Mary had a little lamb and the doctor fainted.

hal samis said...

Before I sign off for today (got a life you know) I just wanted to tell my friends in Edgemont that there's good news ahead (Feiner style) if only they can hold off until then.

There's a new 7/11 coming to North Central Avenue in White Plains (across from the Harley store), probably opening in the Spring.
And given the popularity of Harleys, they always be a few cops hanging around.

Nevertheless, this means robbers will probably divide their efforts between the two locations so that means 50% less "incidents" starting sometime 2010. Thus crime in Edgemont will have dropped by 50%. Good work Greenburgh PD.

But don't complain you weren't warned: good news FEINER STYLE.
That's the same logic template for the Preliminary Town Budget (aka the Pre-Election Day Budget) if you thought the reasoning seemed familiar.

Anonymous said...

I was in Ardsley this afternoon. Rumormill is correct. The sale of the waterwheel may happen before the end of the year. Housing will be affordable.

Anonymous said...

Sale of waterwheel will be good for Greenburgh. If rumors are true glad it is happening. Smart negotiations.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Feiner will present Chief Kapica with a gold noose and a gold watch at the meeting.

Anonymous said...

Hal Hal Hal,

Sounds like you are in the fotune telling business now as well. Or is the sky falling around us? Tell us Oh Knowing One.......

Anonymous said...

200 new jobs coming to Greenburgh, thanks to town leadership.

Anonymous said...

800 families leaving Greenburgh because of ever higher taxes.

Anonymous said...

I think Paul is confused between his tweets and blog postings.

Anonymous said...

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hal samis said...

Isn't it interesting that "anonymous" is spelled the same in any language.

Just like 0 (zero) is universal.

Now all this blog needs is someone to cut and paste some good recipes.

For Sale said...

275 houses unable to be sold

Anonymous said...

fantastic news. awesome government

ed krauss said...

Regarding the "vest pocket, backroom deal" Feiner
allegedly "negotiated'for the ARDSLEY Water Wheel property, unlike his(and his Stepford board of lackeies) perfidious Fulton Park deal, the ground rules for 100% cash up front are not dependent on Greenburgh land use board approvals, but rather Ardsley approals. So, despite the fact Ardsley would like the procedes generated, they will not genuflect to the whim of the Super if it doesn't comply with Ardsley's ground rules.And,I doubt that, unlike the boards controlled by Paul, Ardsley will not rubber stamp a backroom deal before the "I's" are dotted, and the "T's" are crossed.

Kudos to Jay Leon for having the gumption to write the TRUTH, thus showing the readership of, at least, this blog the every day Standard Operating Backroom Treachery as practiced by Paul Feiner and "accepted" by his board.

As an aside, I would like to know how much of the $1.2 million belongs to Ardsley, and what the ACTUAL net will be left for distribution. Because, I am certain even if the "sale" goes through in time (highly doubtful) to be in the 2010 budget, far less than $1.2 million will be realized by the town.

I'm also certain, Dobbs Ferry will get a piec of the 27 Main St. sale, as will other villages in which "surplus" property in their village is sold.

In short, what is the net usable revenues from the "$2.5 million price tag"if everything is sold, AND WHY WASN'T THAT NUMBER USED IN THE BUDGET?"

Anonymous said...

If the waterwheel sells soon and if some of the units are assigned to volunteer fire and ambulance corp workers, the town will have kept their end of the agreement.

Anonymous said...

To Ed Krauss, the sale proceeds from these properties goes first to pay school taxes, county taxes, and village taxes. If the town made up the school taxes and county taxes, as it probably had to, then the money goes to the town except for the village taxes which are probably large after all these years on non-payment.

Anonymous said...

1041 Paul
At least you are blogging on your own time. Why were you texting while driving on Old Army Rd Sat morn in the town car again? Do you disagree with this law also so you put others at great risk? Were you plugging another book with your name in it?

Michael Kolesar said...

There is a further "wrinkle" to the Waterwheel property. In 1993 the Town entered into an IMA with the Village of Ardsley which states that after all of the items cited by Anonymous 1:25 PM, all "net" proceeds are split 50 / 50.

The Village of Ardsley itself is owed as of some recent data approximately $150,000. Just for discussion purposes, let's say the school, County and town taxes add another $300,000. Let's say the property sells for $ 1.2 million. Therefore the "revenue" to the Town will be 50% of $ 750,000 ( $1,200,000 minus $ 150,000 minus $ 300,000). In cash terms, the Village of Ardsley would get $ 525,000 and the Town gets $ 675,000. The Town's cash represents repayment of school taxes, etc of $ 300,000 and revenues of $ 375,000.

Hope this clarifies the situation. Of course, the Town should be able to tell all where this currently stands.

In addition, the "negotiations" may be another violation of State law. But why should the Supervisor care about this.

hal samis said...

I don't understand.

The "Waterwheel" is put up for sale with an "upset" price which is at least the amount of the unpaid taxes which are in arrears. I assume that if the upset price is higher, this reflects a default to an independent appraisal of its market value and some input provided by the Assessor thrown in for good measure.

Apparently this input did not bring home the bacon.

I assume that if it sells, the existing "arrears" are first deducted and the remaining proceeds are split between Ardsley and the "Town". However, these amounts have not yet been realized so that is why the Town will not state how many or few dollars are available to adjust the preliminary Town Budget (and the longevity of the pre-election tax increase) projection, although obvious to all but oblivious to the Town government, that if the sale were 100% successful, the Town would still need to adjust the Budget because all of the $2.5 million proceeds would not be available for 2010 expenses.

But what does a Public Auction mean if "deals" can be arranged after the Auction? Maybe this was known before to a few? Shouldn't there be a new Auction, perhaps with a lower upset price or changed terms so that any and all interested parties would have an equal opportunity.

Golly, WESTHAB paid upfront and look what happened. If there's one thing (good or bad, your choice) about the Supervisor, when he makes a deal, he sticks by it.
Which is why he is so well regarded by developers that even those without Greenburgh projects contribute heavily to his campaigns. (Don't worry, I'm on this).

However if there really is a "deal", I presume it would be at a lower price; that it did not sell at the higher price would be given as the "justification". If sold at the upset price or higher, why wasn't it done at Auction?

If non-monetary terms or conditons have changed following the Auction, wouldn't that be reason to re-offer the parcel to all bidders (there might have been or yet be new bidders were all the facts known).

If select interested parties had prior knowledge of what might be in the offing after the Auction, would that be reason enough for them not to bid at the Auction with the result that no sale would occur; thus paving the way for a post Auction "negotiation"?

All in all, I just don't get why the property is not being put up for Auction in the future; a deal made in chambers is a deal that will always look "funny" given the parties doing the negotiation. It would be simple enough to thwart the Auction if the intent from the get-go were to deal in private.

And this is where anonymous starts with moving the scrutiny off topic to "conspiracy theories" and not upon what is going on.

That is, if any deal has been made.

Anonymous said...

Mike: Ardsley receives 25% of the proceeds from the sale, not 50%.

Michael Kolesar said...

Anonymous 5:46 PM

From the IMA (page 3),

" IV. It is mutually acknowledged and agreed that where surplus proceeds, if any, remain following the sale of any particular parcel in excess of taxes and assessments due the Town, Village or other tax district, such proceeds shall be divided equally between the Town and Village."

What document and section are you reading? ( I just love answering Anonymous posters who if they are not correct can just keep quiet and never identify themselves. Isn't this fun?)

Michael Kolesar said...

Yesterday, the Supervisor posted the following on the Ardsley chat room.

"Please be advised that the town attempted --many times-- to encourage the preferred developer to give us a 10% non refundable deposit. We agreed to give him time (sometime during 2010) to come up with the balance of the $1.2 million. We waited...waited..waited. No deposit. We then decided to auction off the property. I have always supported the proposal to build affordable/workforce housing for volunteer firefighters and ambulance corp members on this property. However-- the town needs to be paid the appraised value for the land ($1.2 million).
I met with other possible developers since the unsuccessful auction and believe that there is a very good chance that the property will be sold in the near future (and that we will receive the 10% deposit). I also believe that the town will receive the entire payments in 2010 from the purchaser of the property. The town has a responsibility to all our taxpayers to sell surplus, unneeded property and to get the property back on the tax rolls. It's not in the town's interest to hold the property for a developer without getting paid for the property --especially if we feel there is a possibility that the development won't materialize because the applicant doesn't have the financial resources to build the project.
When we do sell the property we will make sure that the purchaser is aware of the new Ardsley affordable housing zoning requirements which the Village Board approved on Monday night."

See the next item for my response.

Michael Kolesar said...

Part 2 my response;

The Town Supervisor’s response of November 21 warrants some comments and generates additional questions. First as background, readers should be aware that this property was acquired by the Town through a tax foreclosure in 1993 or prior.

The Supervisor wrote “The town has a responsibility to all our taxpayers to sell surplus, unneeded property and to get the property back on the tax rolls.” Fair statement. Since the Town acquired this property at least 16 years ago, why didn’t the Town dispose of it years ago and live up to its responsibility to all taxpayers? Why doesn’t the Town have a policy and commitment to dispose of all surplus properties on a timely and consistent basis? Why this property now? Why did the Town reject an offer made by the developer, whom the Affordable Housing Committee was working with, to purchase the property for $ 1 million in 2005, if the Town had a responsibility to “…get property back on the tax rolls”? ( I saw that offer letter when I served as a Village Trustee.)

As background readers may be interested in how $750,000 came to be included in the 2009 Town entire (“A”) budget. On Monday, September 8, 2008, I met with the Supervisor to review both the projected 2008 revenues for the Town “A” and “B” budgets as well as offer him some preliminary ranges of revenues for 2009 based upon what the town comptroller’s office was seeing at that time. The schedule presented the 2008 budget, our (my) current projection for 2008 and a range for 2009, the range being low (conservative), middle, and high (aggressive). No matter how one looked at it, 2009 was projecting to be a significant decline in revenues ( and that was before anyone except some very good hedge funds had any real idea as to what was to come). In almost every choice, the Supervisor choose the middle for the basis for his tentative budget which was ultimately released on October 30th, as per state requirements. Seeing these results he asked the Town Assessor who participated in the meeting, if there were any other sources of revenues. She responded that the Town could sell surplus property. He inquired as to which properties she was thinking of. She replied the Waterwheel, the main street property in Dobbs Ferry and a parcel at the intersection of Secor Road and Saw Mill River Road, just north of the Village of Ardsley’s village limits. He then asked if the Town could get $1 million. She replied that she thought that that was too high. He then said what about $ 500,000. She replied that she though that that was too low. Viola !
$750,000 appeared in the 2009 budget. There was never a detailed analysis to support that amount . Furthermore, I don’t believe that the Supervisor ever communicated to either Ardsley’s Mayor nor the individuals from the Village’s Affordable Housing Committee that he was planning to dispose of the waterwheel property in 2009 (any member of the Affordable Housing Committee care to comment?)

Michael Kolesar said...

Part 3

The Supervisor wrote “We agreed to give him time (sometime during 2010) to come up with the balance of the $1.2 million.” What specific time did the Town indicate that it would give the developer? When was this offer made? Is this timetable the same as that which the town is going to grant to a new purchaser? If not, might not the Town face some possible litigation for not offering the same terms to all?

The Supervisor wrote “) I also believe that the town will receive the entire payments in 2010 from the purchaser of the property.” What are the exact terms that are being considered (yes, yes, it’s a matter of “negotiation” and thus confidential, but these “private” negotiations may also be a violation of State laws and thus further expose the Town to litigation. There’s a reason for public auctions or in the alternative, an open and public sealed bidding process.)

Form your own opinions. Having some additional facts and background information may be helpful. To paraphrase the recently departed Sy Syms, an educated citizen / voter is our best customer.

Michael Kolesar

Anonymous said...

And what if the Town can't get $1.2 million. It's only an appraisal, not a contract. Sell it for what you can get.

ed krauss said...

To: 11/22 1:25PM

Thanks to Mike Kolesar, I have the approximate "how much" will $1.2 million yield, netted out.

My other question which you facilely passed over is, if the town knew, and it had to know, that some or much of the $1.2 million, and/or the $2.5 milion surplus land proceeds were encumbered, how in good conscience( that's rhetorical of course) could they use the TOTAL amount as revenue?

1:25PM, you seem like an intelligent Anonymousan, so what is your answer? To me the answer is all too obvious. As it should be to all readers. Another Slieght of hand from the "more pure than Ceasar's wife," town board.

How many other ephemeral revenue entries are there in this "fantacy finance," budget?

If 1:25PM is not up to it, maybe another Anonymousan could help us out.

Will the REAL 2010 BUDGET DOLLARS please stand up and wave.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear 6:49 PM:

The developer that the combined Village of Ardsley and Town of Greenburgh Affordable Housing committeees was working with, I believe had already agreed to this amount ( The Town could release whatever the tentative agreement was, so no one would have to guess. This "deal' is now out the window.). What he wouldn't do is "buy" the property until all of the necessary approvals were completed and in today's world with the recent County "agreement" on affordable housing, that might include the County. Unlike the buyers of the property in Fulton Park who knew that there was a "done deal" and paid I believe $ 2 million for a smaller parcel than the Waterwheel, this developer is prudent and financially sound. He offered to pay $1 million for this property back in 2005.

Now the property will be sold, but will it be sold to the highest bidder in a public sale or to one of the Supervisor's "friends" at a bargain price. At this stage, the Village of ardsley doesn't care. We have our zoning in place. Let the buyer beware that the Supervisor and Town Board have left a very bad taste in the mouths of many in Ardsley. I wouldn't be surprised if the approvals take 5 years. there's a property down the street from me that has been in the "planning" stage for at least 15 years and is going nowhere quickly. We're a small community and word gets around very quickly. I do not sit on either the Planning or Zoning Boards.

Anonymous said...

Mike, good info on the IMA
A question, why would Greenburgh give a 50 % stake of the proceeds to Ardsley since the town has paid the school taxes owed. I think Ardsley should get perhaps 20-25 % but 50 % seems to be too high.

It's too late said...

Mr. 9:25, contracts are contracts. This contract was made many years ago for good reasons. It isn't something for you and Mike Kolesar to negotiate now.

Anonymous said...

Mike: You obviously hope that the waterwheel property doesn't sell. good news for the town is bad news for you.

Anonymous said...

If the Supervisor was asked to list his top 5 accomplishments in his 18 years, what would he list (and I mean HIS accomplishments, not the AAA rating that is the result of taxpayers paying their taxes)?

Michael Kolesar said...

To Anonymous 9:56 PM:

Why to you address me by name and informally at that when you won't identify yourself? What are you all afraid of? I am a Vietnam era veteran who has served our country so you have free speech among many other rights. Show some respect and stop hiding.

What I jhope for is open and honest government. What i indicated is what I'm "hearing' around the Village of Ardsley. At no time did the Town tell the community that there was a deadline on "selling" the property. If the Town has / had concerns about the financial viability of the developer who was moving ahead on the project, there are a number of ways to satisfy oneself ( D&B reports, etc.)

If the appraisal of $1.2 million is fair, even iof this developer dropped out and the only reason he would drop out is because he didn't get his approvals, then the next person would pay it, unless one of the reasons that one couldn't get an approval has to do with the NYC water tunnel that runs through a portion of the Village and that would impact the appraisal. But given that there is development both north and south of this parcel, that is unlikely. My understanding is that the Village will not be a party to this new deal. Let the Town Board comply with all applicable laws and sell it for fair market value.

But do tell all - no back room arrangements that could cost all taxpayers in the town money from future litigation.

Anonymous said...

Vietnam "era". Clearly he served his time in Germany or Guam.

Anonymous said...

9:46, did you serve? Anywhere? In the armed forces or in our town government? If you did either one, you wouldn't be so snotty.

Still Asking said...

To 9:35 Pm
The question remains despite the unfortunate signed contract, Why would the Town give away 50 % of its rightful monies? Is it another gift to Ardsley from Paul in return for 18 years of votes.

Anonymous said...

Dear Still Asking:

It's a small gift to the Village of Ardsley for giving up taxable property so that there would be an easy access to the AFV park complex and the resultant traffic that came with it for all these years and then having a former Town Councilman turned State senator turn around and exclude the Village from access to and use of the park unless the Village agreed to very onerous financial terms.

Seriously, the Village of Ardsley could have proceeded to tax foreclosure and then paid the school taxes, but kept all of the proceeds from its ultimate disposition. Who got what?

Maria Gomez said...

Kill four birds with one stone Paul!!

Sell the Water Wheel property to WestHab.
1. Ow income people would have some where to live.
2. Would fulfill the affordable housing need for Ardsly.
3. help fill the gap in your failing budget.
4. Make the unincorperated residents see that you care for once.

hal samis said...

"How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down...

She'd outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is kind!
She's a riddle! She's a child!
She's a headache! She's an angel!
She's a girl.

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?"

Maria, welcome to the Blog.

Anonymous said...

At the time the town agreed to share the proceeds of the waterwheel sale with Ardsley, the town was making an effort to promote village/town cooperation. The land is in Ardsley. The promise must be kept.

Maria Gomez said...

Promises are made to be broken for the greater good!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The land may be in Ardsley but the Town owns it and has carried the expenses of the vacant property for years. The essential question remains, Why would the town give a financial interest away especially in difficult financial times. It defies financial logic. BTW, we paid for the Veteran park access years ago. It is history.

Maria Gomez said...

Cut your losses and SELL it to a Developer (WEstHab) who wants to build affordable housing and Ardsly who needs it. Ardsly rezoned it for the purpose of affordable housings.
WestHab would have a better chance to gain funding if It built in a location that won't cause them to be tied up in zoning issues infront of the ZBA or maybe (if needed) the Supreme Court. God knows how long that may take.
The Town needs the fluidity of funds for the budget. The town needs to stop maintaining a property they can't afford to keep.Lets do something right for once and have it be a win win for all!

Anonymous said...

Maria Gomez 4 Town Supervisor

Michael Kolesar said...

To 11/24 3:42 PM:

The agreement in question was entered into in 1993. One question all taxpayers should be asking Feiner et al is why did they not take action on this and many other properties years and years ago? Feiner wrote on the Ardsley chat room that "The town has a responsibility to all our taxpayers to sell surplus, unneeded property and to get the property back on the tax rolls." When the same question that i have repeated above was posted, suddenly the Supervisor can't remember how to type. Maybe on this blog we will all get a response, but don't wait too long

As to AFV, what exactly did the Town pay for the property that became the access road?

The issue with AFV is that the Village leadership was inept at the time. From what I have learned and it happened before I moved into the Village, the Village Board thought that there was an agreement that Ardsley would have access to this park in return for the access road. What they failed to do was get it in writing. Then Tony Veteran and his pal Mr. Finneran pulled the double cross and made it financially impossible for Ardsley to join the park unless Ardsley picked up the costs for the other five Villages, all of whom had no interest in using the park. Of course Ardsley had to pass. That's the story some people have told me who have been around longer than I have been here.