Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 year in review

By Paul Feiner
2009 YEAR IN REVIEW

The year of the great recession - 2009 - is coming to an end. Greenburgh, like the rest of the nation, experienced the effects of the recession: mortgage tax revenues were down by $1.4 million, sales tax revenues down by 12.5%, assessed valuations decreased by $7.6 million. NYS mandated pension contributions up 67% in A budget, pension contributions up 33% in B budget, and there were additional six figure expenses mandated such as the MTA payroll tax. The New York State Legislature reduced STAR payments – causing school property taxes to go up between $300 - $600. To offset the bad news the town is offering employees early retirement if positions are not filled. We’re seeking permission from the State Legislature to tax hotel guests (like they do in cities and counties). We are also trying to sell surplus properties that are not needed. We made significant cuts in town departments to offset the loss of revenue.
Despite the bad national economic news the town has some positive news to report.

NEW BUSINESSES. Regeneron announced plans in December to expand their space. A new building is being built in Greenburgh. The 3rd building will generate 300 more jobs. Regeneron is a bio tech company that develops and commercializes medicines for treatment of cancer and serious illness. In the early fall of 2009 they dedicated two other buildings at the Landmark in Greenburgh.

BIO TECH NATIONAL HQ - OSI. Another major bio tech company is relocating their national headquarters to Greenburgh in the unincorporated section of Ardsley. Hundreds of new jobs, relocation of employees to the Greenburgh area from other parts of the nation and state, and more ratables for our town. A minimum of 200 employees will be relocated to the headquarters shortly. OSI anticipates an additional 400 jobs at the site within 5 years. OSI strives to turn pioneering science into breakthrough therapies from life threatening diseases including cancer, diabetes and obesity.

TWO NEW SUPERMARKETS. The town will be getting two new supermarkets in 2010. Shoprite received approval for a variance to build a supermarket at Midway Shopping Center, and the Town Board approved a rezone application to allow for a supermarket (Stop & Shop) to be built on 119 near the Tarrytown border. Construction is expected in 2010. Benefits for the town: The Stop & Shop supermarket will generate more than food, taxes and jobs for the town. New sidewalks for the neighborhood will be built by the developer ($238,000). Revised plans and traffic improvements ($1.5 million), $100,000 to the town for recreation and another $100,000 to the town to reduce the town’s contributions to the comprehensive plan study. Over half a million dollars in improvements to Bridge Plaza in Tarrytown. $325,000 in building permit/storm water permit fees.


WALGREENS TO OPEN DRUG STORE ON CENTRAL AVE/ARDSLEY ROAD. The vacant old Central Square Cafe is being replaced with a Walgreen's drug store. The old restaurant was demolished in December and the new store will open in 2010. Magnetic Analysis Corp. is moving to Greenburgh from Mount Vernon – 85 jobs! A few new restaurants on Central Avenue are being built or opened up.

ARDSLEY ROAD REPAVED. The county completed a major Ardsley Road repaving and drainage initiative.

NEW COMPTROLLER, POLICE CHIEF, COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS, COMMUNITY RESOURCES. Joe DeCarlo replaces John Kapica as Police Chief. Victor Carosi is the new Commissioner of Public Works and Bart Talamini is the new Comptroller. William Carter is Commissioner of the Department of Community Resources.

BUDGET CUTS. We continue to downsize. The Town Board offered employees an early retirement incentive if they retire and if they are not replaced with full time employees.

CSEA ZERO PERCENT SALARY HIKE: CSEA members approved a contract with a zero percent salary hike in 2009.

STUDY ON FIRE DISTRICT CONSOLIDATION. The town has one police department which serves 100% of unincorporated Greenburgh, and 3 paid fire districts which serve about 73% of the unincorporated section of Greenburgh. The cost for a police department: $22 million. The cost for 3 paid fire districts which serve less than 73% of the same territory: $28 million. Alan Hochberg was appointed to chair a fire district consolidation commission. A report will be released in the spring of 2010. The New York State Legislature approved a new law that will enable voters to petition for a referendum on consolidations of fire districts. Voters, not politicians, will make the decisions re:consolidation. We also received a report from a consultant re: ways to improve efficiencies and to share additional services between the Greenburgh Police Department and the Dobbs Ferry Police.

JOB CLUB. To address the growing unemployment problem in Greenburgh I have created a job club. I post job openings on www.linkedin.com (Greenburgh jobs group). I have asked residents to notify me of job openings in their companies. My group has helped over 30 people secure employment.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING. The Village of Ardsley approved a new affordable housing overlay zone. The Town Board has received an acceptable offer from a developer to purchase the Waterwheel property on 9A for $1.2 million dollars. The town will receive a non refundable deposit –final payment will be made when approvals are granted. Some affordable housing for volunteer firefighters and ambulance corp members will be built. We also sold foreclosed property at 27 Main Street in Dobbs Ferry and rezoned property in the Fulton Park section of town for working families housing.

VETERANS COMMITTEE. A new veterans committee was formed. Among initiatives: a Veterans Day function in Hartsdale and an oral history video (in planning stages).

SEEKING NEW REVENUE SOURCE. We're going to seek permission from Albany to impose a tax on hotel guests to generate revenue for the town.

DISCOUNTS FOR SENIORS. Town Clerk Judith Beville led a successful effort that resulted in seniors being offered a $1 discount off taxi ride fares to and from a doctor’s appointment or grocery/food shopping.

THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT EVACUATED SOME ILLEGAL HOMES. One house was occupied by 9 people on the first floor and 11 on the second floor. Other homes were also shut down by the Building dept. Electrical violations, light switches smoldering and melting. Steam irons used to provide heat. The safety of children and adults at stake.

SAD NEWS - CYCLIST KILLED BY BUS. Merrill Cassell, a Hartsdale cyclist, lost his life when a bus hit him on Rt. 119. A ghost bicycle was dedicated at the site in Merrill’s memory. The Town Board met with bicycle safety advocates and will work on making Greenburgh more bicycle friendly for cyclists.

STANDARD & POOR’S MAINTAINS TOWN’S AAA BOND RATING - HIGHEST POSSIBLE. 2009 was the year many localities around the nation saw their bond ratings decline. S & P maintained the AAA bond rating, which was just increased in 2008. Only 3% of all localities in the nation have the highest bond rating possible. This rating reduces our borrowing costs.

THE TOWN BOARD AND PLANNING BOARD agreed to use developer escrow funds to build a new playground at Webb Field Richard Presser Park, Central Ave. The playground will cost $120,000 (NON TAX DOLLARS) and be dedicated in 2010. Children will be invited to help the town select equipment options.

STORY WALK. The Greenburgh Nature Center inaugurated Story Walk, an innovative idea from Vermont. Pages of children’s books are placed on a stake and the book is spaced equidistantly along the length of a wooden trail.

CNN/MONEY RATES GREENBURGH AS #12 IN LIST OF SIX FIGURE TOWNS. The nations best places with high income.

XPOSURE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM HAS STUDENTS INVESTING IN STOCK MARKET, STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS. The Lanza Family Foundation was so impressed by the Xposure After School Program that they increased their annual donation from $170,000 to $220,000. Children, ages K-8th grade, participate in weekly finance classes. They save and invest their money in the stock market. The program was featured on the cover of Scholastic Magazine.

GREENBURGH GOES GREEN - REQUIRES COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION TO BE LEED DESIGN. The Greenburgh Town Board approved a local law amending the town code requiring commercial and multifamily buildings to incorporate LEED green building measures in new construction. We received a grant of $169,000 to install energy efficient solar hot water systems at the Theodore Young Community Center pool from the U.S. Congress and $186,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to reduce energy use and emissions by undertaking projects improving efficiencies.

100% ELECTRIC CARS. Mini’s of Westchester invited Greenburgh to test 3 of the 450 all electric cars that are being tested out around the nation for eleven months. We are providing the company with feedback on the experiences we have with the car. It is anticipated that the all electric vehicle could be available to the public within 5 years.

EAST HARTSDALE AVENUE CONCERTS. Town Clerk Judith Beville organized (at no cost to the taxpayers) weekly concerts on East Hartsdale Ave. during the summer farmer’s markets.

COURT OF APPEALS RULES FOR THE TOWN. The NYS Court of Appeals ruled that the town complied with state law re: funding of town parks.

LANZA FOUNDATION RESTORES POLICE SUMMER YOUTH CAMP. We received a $65,000 grant so we can continue the Police Camp which serves over 20 children between the ages of 12-17. It’s a junior police academy. Youngsters are placed in a setting similar to that experienced by a police recruit.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN – A draft of the Comprehensive Plan document is in preparation and will be released in 2010 for comment and approval. We anticipate that the cost of the plan will be reduced by $100,000. The town entered into an agreement with the developer of the Stop & Shop proposal to contribute $100,000 towards the plan.

U.S. AIRMARKS $118,750 TO ENHANCE EAST HARTSDALE AVE. The U.S. Congress gave the town grants for improvements at East Hartsdale Ave. East Hartsdale Ave. has experienced an economic turnaround in the past year. 2 years ago half the stores were forced to close for weeks because of flood damage after a storm. Today the main business area has one vacancy.

A special thank you to the members of the Town Board: Sonja Brown, Diana Juettner, Kevin Morgan, Francis Sheehan, Town Clerk Judith Beville & all the Commissioners and employees for their hard work during 2009. Have a happy holiday season and a great 2010.
PAUL FEINER



Energy Office 2009 Report

Allegra Dengler, Energy Conservation Coordinator

December 22, 2009

This was a very busy year for the Energy Office. The activities here in Greenburgh reflect the increased attention to increasing energy efficiency and alternative energy at all levels of government. The new Obama administration rolled out $40 billion dollars of energy conservation grants. Green job creation started ramping up, and the private sector showed serious interest in investing in all things green. The year ended with the Copenhagen conference in which the nations of the world tried to reach an international agreement to lower carbon emissions to reduce the severity of the climate impacts that are beginning to be felt worldwide. The failure to develop meaningful policies in Copenhagen means that the effort of local governments like Greenburgh are all the more important. The best energy policies improve our economy, create jobs, reduce our reliance on foreign oil and improve our chances of avoiding the worst case scenarios of catastrophic climate destabilization.

Activities of the Energy Office in 2009

The Greenburgh Climate Action Task Force

The Greenburgh Climate Action Task Force worked many hours, meeting once or twice monthly to achieve the Five Milestones of ICLEI, as per the charge from the Town Board to the Task Force. This groundwork has already proven very valuable in supporting grant applications for energy conservation measures.

Accomplishments include:

Preparation of a GHG (GreenHouse Gas) inventory of municipal operations.

Preparation of a GHG emissions target

Preparation of a draft Climate Action Plan, ready for hearings and adoption in 2010.

Presentation by all members of the Task Force of the Draft Municipal Climate Action Plan at the Greening Greenburgh Earth Day Climate Action Summit April 22 to an audience that included elected officials County Executive Andy Spano, Legislator Tom Abinanti, Supervisor Feiner and the Town Board.

Assistance with the preparation of grant applications. The GHG Emissions Inventory and Draft Climate Action Plan were especially helpful as supplementary materials to grant applications.

Research and evaluation of energy efficient street lighting

Review of Climate Action Plans from Westchester County, Bedford and New Castle for best practices in the County

Participation in the Lower Hudson Valley Sustainability Forum at Mercy College on June 15 which included leadership from Greenburgh and all the Rivertowns, including school, business, municipal leaders, Mayors and other elected officials.

Legislation

Prepared new legislation based on LEED for commercial which was revised by Thomas Madden and passed by the Town Board.

Prepared a revision of the Energy Star for residential code to update it for safety and current standards. Awaiting adoption.

Prepared a resolution to adopt the Climate Smart Communities Pledge promoted by NYS DEC. Awaiting adoption.

Prepared a GHG Emissions Target resolution, the third milestone in the ICLEI Five Milestone process. Awaiting adoption.


Outreach

Several programs were organized by Deann Cartwright, Outreach Coordinator, until her resignation at the end of August. On Earth Day, April 22, Greenburgh was one of just 10 communities out of hundreds of participants nationwide to host a Spotlight Conversation on Climate Change. This event gathered Greenburgh elected officials, environmental leaders, civic activists and staff to encourage ongoing collaborative sustainability actions. The event was sponsored by ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, AmericaSpeaks and Earth Day Network.

In addition to the very well-attended Earth Day event in April, the Energy Office organized events at the Greenburgh library to help homeowners reduce their energy bills. An example was the program, “LEARN HOW TO REDUCE HEATING & ELECTRICITY COSTS IN YOUR HOME.” Deann Cartwright also put together the program Greening Greenburgh for Greenburgh TV.

The Energy Office regularly responded to calls and drop-ins by Greenburgh residents who requested information about energy savings.

Grants

The Energy Office worked with Winsome Gordon and the DPW to get an EECBG grant in the amount of $156,000 for energy efficient LED street lights as a pilot project for this new type of energy efficient lighting. It is estimated that energy savings will be in the neighborhood of 75%.

The Energy Office got an EECBG grant for $30,000 to supplement the activities of the Energy Office for 2010, including planning and evaluating the pilot LED project and setting up a Trust and Agency account for energy savings as called for in the grant.

The Energy Office worked with Blue Springs Energy, a consulting firm, to obtain a PON4 grant of $24,500 for energy audits of Greenburgh municipal buildings. In connection with this PON4 grant, Blue Springs will be providing a website of information for Greenburgh residents and businesses for one year. The website service is valued at $4,000 for the year. These energy audits will provide good data to use for planning and to apply for grants in the future.

An application has been submitted and is pending for $9,050 for energy efficient lighting for the Theodore Young Center and for the Parks Department.

Sustainable Energy Loan Program: Greenburgh Green Homes Project

The Energy Office prepared preliminary work for developing a program to assist homeowners and businesses in energy conservation and alternative energy retrofits in existing buildings. This is based on the Babylon Green Homes model, which provides financing for weatherization projects for homeowners. The loans attach to the homes and not the homeowner, which removes a major barrier to weatherization and alternative energy projects.

In November, New York State passed PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Finance Enabling Legislation, but it does not allow private matching funds. This is likely to be amended to make the program feasible. Without this amendment, Greenburgh would need home rule legislation similar to that of Babylon or Bedford. The Energy Office is also exploring working with the Town of Bedford, which is in the process of setting up a non-profit LDC which would provide staff for processing, marketing and quality control for a weatherization program.

Events

I represented Greenburgh at local and national events to network about best practices regionally and nationally to bring these programs back to Greenburgh, and to promote Greenburgh’s initiatives. As a consultant, I attended these events, trade shows and conferences at my own expense and no cost to the Town.

Bedford Environmental Summit, Jan 31, 2009. “Greening a Town Building Code: Greenburgh’s Experience” presentation by Allegra Dengler

AIA Energy 2 Symposium Greenwich, CT Feb 25. Presentation by Allegra Dengler, “Greenburgh’s experience with Energy Star Law”

Local Climate Leadership Summit: ICLEI Northeast Regional Conference. May 15. Rye, NY.

ICLEI National Conference. May 18 to 20. Washington DC

Lower Hudson Valley Sustainability Forum. June 15. Mercy College. An inter-municipal Rivertowns forum to implement sustainability efforts collectively by sharing experiences and information. The Greenburgh Climate Action Task Force participated, along with experts, staff and elected officials like Drew Fixell, mayor of Tarrytown and Chuck Lesnick, City Council President of Yonkers.

USGBC Urban Green Expo 2009. Sep 22. New York City

Sustainable Hudson Valley. Community Based Climate Change Strategies. Oct 20 New Paltz

Greenbuild Phoenix. Nov 2009. This is the premier green building conference in the US, sponsored by the US Green Building Council. This year speakers included Al Gore, who called for a green building revolution. Gore said, “ We have a climate crisis at the same time we have an economic crisis at the same time we have a national security crisis. We need to create millions of good new jobs. Well, I know where we can get at least 2.5 million good new jobs: by building green buildings and retrofitting.”

Green2010 Green Buildings and Energy Conference: Education and Workforce Development for the 21st Century Economy. Dec 4. Hudson Valley Regional Council. Cary Institute for Ecological Studies, Milbrook.

Westchester County Climate Change Advisory Council, WMOA Municipal Officials Committee and others: Frequent meetings, including a summit with ICLEI, County Executive Andy Spano and countywide officials at the Westchester County Center on May 12.






Allegra Dengler
Energy Conservation Coordinator
Town of Greenburgh
993-1649

34 comments:

klondike bar said...

i was driving down central avenue and what did i see?

a sign announcing a rotary clublike lunch meeting at la stazione restaurant

that restaurant went out over a year ago. but this sign and many like it that are old, faded and damaged remain.

just like much of the waste in the budget - arts council, swat team, two recreation departments, poorly run tax dept, absurd nutrition program that subsidizes other towns.


the sad thing is paul probably believes his own press releases.

more and more, fewer and fewer are buying feiner and his town board's sheehanigans.

Fed Up With Feiner said...

Mr. Feiner is soooooooo good at tooting his own horn and taking credit for the efforts of others.

There isn't one single thing in his list that he should or could take credit for. Yes, they are great accomplishments but thanks should go to those who actually made them happen.

Feiner is FAKE!

hal samis said...

Gee, whatever happened to the ENTIRE post regarding the Hartsdale Parking Authority?

Is this a prime example of how transparency works in 2009?

When the going gets hot, Feiner flees, or leapfrogs over to vanishing trees.

P.Leavy said...

Oh wow. Thanks for deleting the entire thread regarding the HPPD along with my extensive comments. Way to go Paul.

GOD said...

Paul, my son,
My feelings are hurt too.
Regards,
God

Hoo Hoo Hoo said...

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town

a creature was stirring, and it was a mouse;

The shotguns were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that a burglar would not soon be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of a lean Christmas danced in their heads;

And mamma in her parker, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down without heat, we can’t afford that,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my laptop to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The glare from high tension wires on the new-fallen trees

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my exhausted eyes should appear,

But a thief named Paul, and 4 tiny insincere,

With an old line of BS, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be a trick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called us by name ;

"Now, Edgemont! now, Hartsdale! now, Fairview and Dobbs!

Yo, Hastings! Yo Tarrytown! Yo, Ardsley and BOB!

To your check books now go! Don’t stop, don’t stall!

Now your cash I take! Cash I take! Cash I take all!"

As dry leaves before the randomly left behind piles fly,

When Paul meets with an obstacle, he chooses to lie,

So up to the courts the outraged they flew,

With the sleigh full of evidence, against Paul whoo hoo!.

And then, in a twinkling, we heard from the bench

The smashing of the gavel, our necks started to rench

As we drew in our heads, and was turning around,

Down the aisle Paul came with a bound.

He was dressed all in arrogance, from his head to his foot,

but his rep was all tarnished with tyranny and crooks;

A bundle of credits he had flung at the pack,

And he looked a bit shifty even from the back.

His eyes -- how they bore! his dimples how scary!

His cheeks were all flaccid, his nose a bit hairy!

His droll little mouth was drawn up in a sneer,

And the point of his chin was drawn up towards the air;

He slapped himself on the back and shuffled his feet,

And barked self accolades while taking his seat;

The judge looked down at this little strange fellow

That shook, when he looked at him like a bowlful of Jello.

He was righteous and impressive, that judge was an elf,

And we gasped when we saw him, in spite of ourselves;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And wiped the courtroom with that little jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up from the bench he rose;

Paul sprang to his feet, to his team gave a whistle,

And they all flew away from him so fast fo’ shizzle!

And we heard Paul exclaim, as he was lead out of sight,

Happy Holiday to all, and to all a good……….....WAIT! I’ll be back I’m above it aaaaaalll! I’m a victim I swear! Look at all of the goooooood deeeeeeds I’ve doooooone. ME! ME! It’s all about meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I’m a good guy! REALLY! Ask anyone. I am! REALLY! I’m melting! Oh what a world, what a wooooooorld……..

Anonymous said...

Paul, why di you delete the comment from "Anonymous" ? If this is not a site to discuss good and bad, just post an answer and we'll all be gone.

klondike bar said...

Astorino 2009 is the story not feiner's self serving press releases

already we are seeing great things with the cessation in county government of the non-essentials that feiner loves.

when edgemont joins the villages (a necessity not an option), paul and his pals, including detective double dip, will be wondering - is that all there is (left...)

hal samis said...

Whatever happened to Mr. Open Government?

"Another Paul Feiner initiative to make Greenburgh the most open government in the United States! Be part of the Dialogue...participate...tell us what's on your mind...!"

That's what it says at the top of the Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh blog.

Today the leader of the most open government removed his entire posting about the Hartsdale Parking Authority because he didn't like that those who participated didn't agree with him.
He didn't like that his candidate was outed.

But he has also removed the entire posting on the deal that was worked out by Hampshire Management so they could ignore Town noise laws with impunity -- even earn recognition at a forthcoming Town Board meeting for doing so.

Apparently is ok with the Supervisor to allow private parties to violate Town laws. This blog too didn't work out so well for Supervisor Feiner and so it too vanished without forwarding address.

Perhaps the new Police Chief can instruct his Department to search for missing blog postings...that is when they aren't soclose to catching bank robbers or stealing headlines from the Yonkers Police.

Maybe the Supervisor forgot to mention that the perps from the Donald Park home invasion are still at large -- even though the Greenburgh Police, the Yonkes Police, the State Police and a NYC helicopter were on the scene.

But if you want to see the 2009 year in review bite the dust, perhaps there are some comments to be made about the nonsense that he is currently tacking on to Allegra Dengler's name. It looks like she is being lionized by Mr. Feiner, perhaps because he is so grateful to her and her husband for giving him $350 in campaing contributions around the time she was appointed.
There are few investments available that produce as big a return as giving money to Feiner.
Unlike Madoff, your money is safe with Feiner; the only losers are taxpayers.

klondike bar said...

funny
no mention of what the ethics board did this year...

correction - sad. because they found lots of things wrong in greenburgh but even those who passed the tough ethics law act like it was never enacted.

hal samis said...

In fact, those who passed those tough ethics laws now join Feiner in seeking to make them less so -- if ever they really were.

Can ethics laws ever be too tough?

Ask Mr. Sheehan and, of course, Mr. Feiner who now find the laws to be applied (to them) in ways they never imagined. Hence, too tough.

When the going gets tough in Greenburgh, that means what is tough must be gone.

Let's see if Feiner toughs it out in 2010 and sticks with his candidate for Hartsdale Parking.

Let's see if Feiner still wants to praise Beville and Hampshire Management in 2010 for conspiring to violate the Town noise laws.

It's a long and winding road to travel when ignoring, violating and changing laws to suit. Not what suits the Town but those who are good Friends of Feiner.

GOD said...

Paul,
In this season of reflection, Christian or otherwise, you must take stock of your feelings. Your true intentions.
You appear to be a genuine, giving person but yet you leave out the little ones who truly suffer. "Suffer the little children". Suffering knows no color boundaries.
Paul,
Take this holiday season to reflect, you have hurt the aged and small, the poor here in Greenburgh with your self serving ways. Reflect, reflect, reflect.....people are hurting. YOU can make a real difference. Reach out.
Have a peaceful evening.
Regards,
God
ps
Happpy New Year.

klondike bar said...

paul could not do his pandering without able assistance from

1. detective doubledip
2. francis sheehanigans
3. diana sphinxter

klondike bar said...

courtesy of russ douthat of the new york times on liberal government - does this sound familiar greenburgh taxpayers?

" a racket rigged to benefit privileged insiders and a corrupt marketplace floated by our tax dollars."

Fed Up With Feiner said...

Feiner had to delete the HPPD thread as it was a 100% outright lie. He and the Town Board did not do their homework, no one checked the legislation and this was nothing more than a political appt. Ruth Jacobs should sue the Town for discrimination as one of the stated reasons (stated by both Feiner in a work session when he didn't think anyone was listening and repeated by his appointee on more than one occasion) that he doesn't like having an all female board. His appointee actually said that he was being brough in to break up the hen club! Not a good reason to remove a volunteer who has served for 11 years! He didn't seem to mind when it was all men.

If you play back the work session of Dec. 22nd you will hear Feiner state that spouses should be treated as one when it comes to ownership of property; even though everything is in the wife's name the husband should be able to make the claim that he too is an owner. I bet the appointee wouldn't feel that way if he was being sued which is why most professionals put their properties in the name of their spouse - I'm sure his wife wouldn't like it either. But let's say he is treated as equal - then Feiner would have an ethics problem because the appointee's spouse has made contributions to Feiner's election campaign - before the appointment of her husband. This is in direct violation of the Ethics Laws. But then again, laws mean nothing to Feiner.

Feiner is not the only one to blame. The entire Town Board is to blame. They can't say they didn't know about the law, it was brought to their attention a couple of years ago when Feiner tried to make another unlawful appointment.

Now is threatening legal action against the HPPD. The HPPD didn't create the law. The STATE and the TOWN created the law. Is he going to bring action against the Town taxpayers?

This is what we get when we have no term limits. Feiner, Sheehan and Juettner have been in office so long that they think they own our Town and are above the laws of our Town and our State.

Fed Up With Feiner said...

Two years will go quick. Hopefully someone is starting up a campaign right now to oust Paul, Kevin and Sonja in 2012. Then we can work on Juettner and Sheehan. We need to push for NYS Town Law reform and enact term limits. The Villages should not be voting for our Supervisor and Town Board - we don't vote for their Mayors and Trustees and our administration has no legal jurisdiction over the Villages other than to tax them to death. The dictatorship of Feiner and Friends is ruining our Town.

Fed Up With Feiner said...

The HPPD legislation is not unconstitutional - actually two constitutional lawyers have reviewed it probono and both have said with near 100% certainty that it is most certainly constitutional. What did they base their determination on? The most important reason is that the HPPD is not taxpayer subsidized. It is solely user subsidized. It's operations hinge on the deeds and the intended use of the all the properties as outlined in the deeds. In order to establish the district, acquire the properties and develop the properties, The HPPD assumed debt through the issuance of bonds guaranteed by the Town taxpayers. Should the HPPD default on this debt (now around $8 million with interest), the Town taxpayers would have to repay that debt. Renters, as Feiner has claimed, would not be subject to this liability. TAXPAYERS would be which is why the legislation requires that commissioners be residents and be property owners with their names appearing on the tax assessment roles of the Town. Feiner doesn't understand this concept. His claim that the law is racist and prohibits minorities from serving on the HPPD board is rediculous. More than 50% of our Town property owners are of one minority or another - they should be insulted that Feiner has never made such an appointment to the HPPD Board. He is using this claim to defend the appointment of Mr. Kessler? What does that have to do with minorities? He is just being divisive, mean spirited and vindicitive. He has only 2 reasons for removing an 11-year volunteer; 1. She is female and 2. her husband was chair of the library board who pushed against Feiner for the expansion. If that isn't childish and vindictive, what is? You had to see the termper tantrums when things didn't go his way.

klondike bar said...

the villages have every right to vote for feiner and his crew.

its a little principle called taxation entitles you to representation.

the villages pay for all the salaries of the town board as well as ms beville and others.

we even pay for the town engineer who does nothing for the villages.

we pay for (and receive) a handful of town services such as road striping and sign making.

most villagers would be happy to dispense with the town but ny law requires a village to be in a town.

Fed Up With Feiner said...

Klondike - that was my point exactly. You're taxed to death but get nothing for it. Wouldn't it be better to not to vote for those who do nothing for you anyway?

Fed Up With Feiner said...

Don't vote for them and sever the villages completely from the town - you're better off. Don't forget, Feiner tried to sue the Villages to have them pay into a $9 million lawsuit settlement. The accident was on Central Avenue @ Ardsley Road - no where near the villages yet he thought the villages should pay part of the settlement. Does that make sense to you?

GOD said...

Goodness!
Hell has no fury like a parking district scorned!

Fed Up With Feiner said...

Has nothing to do with being "scorned" - has everything to do with expecting that our elected officials have some regard for the laws they took an oath to uphold.

Murghk said...

The Town-wide participation in the settlement on Central Avenue was a simple matter. The Town (entire) contracted with the Cotswold Association to maintain the trees. The money received in payment of the contract went into the Townwide (A) budget, making the Town entire the beneficiary of the payment. The Town failed in its contractual duty - and the tree fell killing one poor soul and severely injuring another. As the tax rate for the Town entire was reduced because of the contract revenues, the Town entire is legally obligated to the settlement. The situation is exacerbated by the Supervisor's failure to obtain adequate liability coverage - which is why anybody beyond the Town's liability carrier has to pay anything.
The decision to save a couple of thousand dollars in liability insurance premiums (the sole difference between prudent coverage and accepting additional risk) has cost MILLIONS!
Professional town managers know better - our amateur socialist doesn't. He'd rather tout his feelings than trust good business judgement.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Murghk:

If only one part of your posting were not incorrect. The revenuies for the Cotswold Park district are not in the "A" or Town entire budget. I challenge you to show me where they hve been. In fact these "revenues" are in a separate special district, shown in the budget in the "S" section and neither in the "A" or "B" budgets.

The rest of your statement about the woeful mismanagement of the Town's insurance coverage was right on.

hal samis said...

You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Paulident.
Yes, even those that support the Supervisor (by hitting below the belt) are ashamed of what they posted and afraid to let him know their real names by identifying themselves during blog registration. What kind of relationship is it when you fear the one you're with.
Certainly, for certain members of the administration, lacking this outlet it's back to work.
And for the Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk, its stipend as usual for work no longer performed. Even in a tough economy those sentimentalists on the Town Board were loathe to eliminate the Greenburgh version of no-show jobs.
Meanwhile the Arts Counselor continues along her merry way; generously paid for a part-time job to hang pictures so that "artists" can have a place to sell their work. Do I suggest a word, kickback, inferred ot otherwise?
You see, the spirit of Tammany still is alive and well and living in Greenburgh.
But every dog has its day or dogpark and coming in 2010 to a town hall near you is the evidentiary reason why the Town Supervisor has been working overtime to promote the ersatz side of the Town Clerk.
But we shall see that behind every global email there's a story.
2010 may be starting with a whimper but it will end with a bang.

Fed Up With Feiner said...

It's not too late to list another accomplishment...how about making the owner of the road between 180 and 190 E. Hartsdale Avenue repair the the huge pot holes. The road is owned by 180 E. Hartsdale (a multi-family cooperative). While it is a "privately owned" road, the previous owners (Scarsdale Leasing) granted a public right-of-way to the Town of Greenburgh. The deed requires that the owners (180 EHA) maintain the road. The Town has been sued several times as a result of the non-maintenance of this road. I guess this is our taxes at work. One should ask why the Town is not enforcing the law in this matter. Could it be that the cooperative is financially supportive of Feiner and friends...several of the residents have made contributions to Feiner's campaign fund. FIX THE ROAD before someone really gets hurt!

hal samis said...

sent to Town Supervisor et al
"I don't suppose that you have read the complete email chain with Mr. Musantry.
However its importance for the Town (and you) is far more significant than my and his traditional exhange of pleasantries in that it does wave a red flag to the Town and its taxpayers.

The Library maintains that it is completely independent of the Town and that the Town Board has no direct control over its activities. It claims it holds this status because it falls under State Department of Education rulings; however, there are those of us who dispute this based on contradictory evidence (not an independent district, does not levy taxes). This request for Town Board action is not to revisit this battleground but merely to remind the Town government that the Library does claim control over its budget and its operations and that is an unsatisfactory assumption based upon the actions of the current Board and its predecessor Board.

There are those among residents/library patrons who are not satisifed with the decision of the Library Board to close on Sunday. We are not satisfied because we believe that this was not only an unnecessary response to its 2010 budget but also because it is unwise, serves only the convenience of the Library staff and sharply reduces the use of the Library to those who work during the week to pay the taxes which support the Library operations and the recent expansion. And that were this a true response to the budget, there were other options in closing which were not chosen because of a material misrepresentation of the facts which led to this decision (i.e. comparing Sunday's 4 hours as less "circulation" with that of an 11 hour weekday).

I remind you of the Library Board's actions in eliminating the cybermobile and Sunday hours in 2008 when it claimed similar poverty and thereafter ended the year with a surplus of over $200,000, while having spent considerably more on the acquisition of materials that year than it feels it can purchase in 2010.

The Greenburgh Library is listed on the Town website as a Town Department. Historically the Town has selected a member of the Town Council to act as the liaison to the Library, a position that individual Council members fulfill for all of the other official Town boards. Although I have not been satisfied by the job performance of the Town Council member, Diana Juettner, who is charged with this responsibility, at the least the Town Board can "legally" claim that it is exercising some limited degree of diligence over the Library and how the residents money is being spent. On the other hand, the position can exist to advise the Library Board of local law and any potential synthesis of actions or activities vis a vie the Town government and its other operating units.

Now, under the guise of the result of reducing Library operating hours, the Library Board has voted to change its one monthly meeting schedule from Thursday night to the fourth Wednesday of the month. Such a change is "unfortunate" in that this is the same night that the Town Board meets.
Thus, the Town Board liaison must choose between attending the Town Board meeting and the Library Board meeting. I think we agree which presence will be the greater priority.

hal samis said...

cont.
According to the Library Board President (your appointee, Frank Musantry) the change was discussed at the December 17 meeting (done so before the new Trustee appointments take effect) and it was decided that only this fourth Wednesday was "convenient". This was done under the assumption (not by any exisiting regulation) that the Trustees have to meet within the Library building and during its hours of operation. When accepting their appointments, did the new but yet unseated Trustees do so with the knowledge that they would have to attend monthly meetings? Did they do so assuming the Thursday schedule which was then in place and before any discussion and vote to change the date? Do those who volunteer for Boards do so with the fore knowledge that they may have to arrange their schedules to appear at just one two hour meeting each month? If so, then it would seem to be arbitrary, if not argumentative, to maintain that the only time the Library Board can meet is the fourth Wednesday of the month--when the Town Board meets.

Whereas it may not be logical to keep the building open solely for the pleasure of the Library Board, it also follows that alternative meeting venues and dates do exist but not apparently within the lexicon of the Library Board, a group whose attendance at meetings already does not rise to exemplary status. And given the public announcement of the commitment of the Library Board to undertake "paperless meetings", this "green" and budget consciousness should parry objections as to the necessity of holding their monthly meetings convenient to files (can exist on computer) or a nearby copier (contrary to "paperless").

I have suggested to Mr. Musantry that the Library use one of the meeting rooms at Town Hall so as to maintain their existing meeting schedule (Thursday night). I have suggested that the Library Board meet another Wednesday of the month. These and other possibilities (i.e. the TDYCC) for holding meetings exist and would allow for the Town Board's liaison to continue to provide "due diligence" as the position does exist for other boards.

And all of this (the potential for unlawful or immoderate behavior) exists against the backdrop of the Library Board's refusal to post notice of their monthly meeting on the Town website's page of meeting schedules where all the other official Town boards do so. Without a Town Board liaison and without providing adequate notice (at no charge to the Library) of their meeting, how can the Town Board presume that it is following any reasonable course of due diligence for the protection of its citizens.

I cannot believe that the Town Board is content to turn over $3 million of taxpayer funds to a group of appointees who conduct Library business, including the disposition of these funds, without the presence of any elected Town official, despite her or (his) failings. If liaisons are no longer viewed as functional positions, why continue them at other Town boards which do not even have budget proceeds to disburse?

It is necessary for the Town Board to play hardball because it has its rules too."

Fed Up With Feiner said...

Comment to Hal: While I agree with you that closing the library on Sunday is a bad decision, I disagree with you about the liaison. So far I have not seen anything positive come from having liaisons appointed to various boards and agencies. If you asked the liaison to the parking district board to explain anything about the operations I would bet she wouldn't be able to. They all seem to be very silent about their assigned boards because I don't think they pay much attention. They should be giving an oral report at each Town Board meeting about the operations of their respective department and agencies. I don't think I've ever heard any of them report on any meetings they've attended as liaisons. One of their roles as liaisons is to gather information and bring it back to the Town Board AND the public. When was the last time Sheehan attended a planning board or zoning board meeting?

Back to the libary - why not close it on a Monday or a Wednesday? Not only do working residents lose one of two days that they can use the library, but our school and college children do as well. Sunday is a vital day to those of use who can't get there during the week when we're usually working or in school or both.

hal samis said...

Dear Fed Up,
For the appetizer,
keep in mind that in mid 2009 they added a $26,000 PART-time employee to payroll for the purpose of coordinating programs in the meeting room. This is an insult to taxpayers when at the same time they are closing the Library earlier some nights and entirely on Sunday -- thus reducing the hours to mount programs. Does it help any to explain that the new employee is the husband of the Children's Room Librarian. "You've got to have friends..."
For the main course,
despite their take on why they are closing Sunday (I can face-to-face with them dispute their probable answer), the reason they say they are doing this is to reduce the operating expense in the most effective manner. This assumes that the budget they have been handed is insufficient to meet the costs. What this really means under their mask is that their 2010budget reflects normal operations at normal hours; however it no longer provides the fluff so that they can spend as they choose (move money to a capital account to buy what's missing from the "on-budget" expansion) and have done in the past. The past not only includes their 2008 deception but also a period when the Trustees granted the previous Library Director (Gerber) annual increases of 6 to 9% so that in a six period her salary went from $93,000 to $117,000. Once securing a splendid retirement level, she immediately quit before the first expansion shovel went into the ground.
And, now we have a doubled in size new Library building which will be open fewer hours than the old building. I'm sure there is a calculation to me made that will show something akin to productivity. However, the old Library Board ignored my advice that the larger building was going to cost more to operate.
For dessert,
despite the Architect's success with promoting his design to publications that take his word without understanding the design and its flaws, have you seen the new movable panel which is against the circulation desk at the building entrance? This is library of the future technology to ward cold air drafts which affect those who work at the circulation desk. At the same time, the panel also obscures their view of the entrance/exit.
Only incompetence places the circulation desk alongside a door set which open in tandem. Maybe not such a problem in the South but our Architect is based in the North.

ed krauss said...

Happy New Year.

hal samis said...

sent to the usual suspects...

"As we end the naught decade and commence the next....
Is there any reason, with all the money collected and paid to the Town (PEG fees for example), and with negotiations with one cable vendor still underway, why the Town Hall conference rooms cannot be equipped with overhead cameras and sound so that meetings in these rooms can be televised?

In Town Hall, in particular, the conference room off the Town Clerk's office is used by the Ethics Board and other groups. Why can't their meetings be televised -- or at least the technological capability to do so?

In Town Hall, in particular, the conference room behind the Town Hall auditorium is used by the Zoning Board for deliberations. As these deliberations are open to the public, there is no secrecy requirement and when the Zoning Board meeting adjourns offscreen to this room for their deliberations, there is nothing but "dead air" being televised and viewers have no idea of what progress is being made and are unable to judge when the ZBA will return to the dais and programming will resume.

These matters strike at the heart of open government and would seem to be the essence of what a progressive government cable channel can provide.

In conjunction with this, the multipurpose room at the Greenburgh Public Library is rumored to be the preferred venue of onsite live programs. At least to the extent that a program coordinator has been hired. Why can't this large room be similarly equipped (wags would comment that it should have been if not already) like the auditorium at Town Hall and done with the PEG money?
Even though there is supposedly an effort underway to rent the room out to groups, all "programs" open to the general public should, by right if not a condition, be televised. In fact, one might go so far as to suggest that this large room (and the internal conference room located behind it and beyond that, the empty interior loading dock) should be used as a permanent cable access studio (note that the Library computer/internet control room is located directly across the hall--shared broadcast facility space?).

It is now time that some of the wasted space at the Library be put to good use and a cable production area is neither an intrusive nor undesirable use while arguably a congenial fit."

Mr. Cinque said...

Would you want to be heard or seen making under the table deals ?

ed krauss said...

Would that I had all the free time Paul has to write so many half truths, so I could add the "other half" and give the reader, to quote Paul Harvey, "the rest of the story.'

With all the time Paul (Feiner not Harvey ) spends on this blog, I wonder TIC (tongue-in-cheek) when he has time to administrate (you know, the job he gets paid for.)

I just had an epiphany. He DOES'T!!!! That's why we are where we are.