Monday, July 6, 2015

Critical Meeting Wednesday Sets Up Residents to Lose

Once again, the machine at Town Hall is operating in high gear. Subterfuge? Trickery? Or, just more Standard Operating Procedure from Mr Feiner, et al? Willfully ignorant residents are about to be entered into an ESCO without their permission by the Greenburgh Town Board, under the lie of helping them save money on their ConEd bill for the transmission of their gas or electricity to their homes. Transmission is the least expensive portion of your utility bill. You currently pay ConEd this fee which is billed in your monthly statement. If a resident is already a part of an ESCO, how they will be affected has not been answered. Many questions with few answers keep hounding Mr Feiner and his Town Board. We believe many of them go unanswered by choice. Regardless of the issues, we're confident that they will pass this - unless you act now!

We previously wrote about this issue in an article entitled Big Brother Creeps In on June 22, 2015. In that article, we explained how Mr Feiner had singularly decided without resident taxpayer input to enter ALL RESIDENTS into an Energy Savings Consortium Organization called Sustainable Westchester. This will be with a three-year contract with no guarantee of savings from day one through day one-thousand and ninety-five. Your utilities provider will still be ConEd. What Sustainable Westchester is providing is purely a “paper” plan which Mr Feiner continually extols the unconfirmed and unsupported claims of high savings residents will realize, up to $600! The only way these savings will happen is dependent on high enrollment numbers. Mr Feiner is guaranteeing high membership to Sustainable Westchester without having to actually guarantee any savings, service or delivery improvements for the residents. He has yet to furnish any kind of fact-based information with a firm commitment validating savings. Because it's all dependent on this outside organization, when this savings deal “goes south”, he gets to walk away clean, pointing the finger at Sustainable Westchester.

There was a meeting held at Town Hall an hour or so prior to the regular June 16th Town Board meeting. Hosted by Ken Stahn, President of the Sprain Road Civic Association, his goal was to get details of what the plan was from Sustainable Westchester and have residents' questions answered before the Town Board voted for this plan. When Mr Stahn spoke at the Town Board meeting later that same night, he told the Board he wished they would take the same time and effort as the just concluded hearing had been given with exhaustive questions (and few answers – a recurrent theme from this Board) and table the vote. Thankfully, the vote was postponed for two weeks until this Wednesday night's Town Board meeting. But, we've seen this before where the Board postpones and postpones until any opposition is reduced to a few people and can easily be dismissed and then they vote as instructed by Mr Feiner.

DON'T BE DISMISSED - YOU SHOULD COME TO THE MEETING AND BE HEARD! Tell the Town Board not to act on this until all questions can be satisfactorily answered. Demand the Board tell you what the savings will be. And, if they can't, have Sustainable Westchester tell you. Demand the Board tell you what the penalty costs are if you decide to drop out of the ESCO before they commit us to it? Tell the Board if you drop out and want to get back in, there should not be a three day window of opportunity, it should be open ended. Tell the Board you see a conflict of interest because some of the same Board of Directors for Sustainable Westchester are current and sitting Mayors and Supervisors*. Tell the Board you want the ability to opt IN, not opt OUT. Tell the Board there are other questions that need to be answered before any decision is made such as the link of Sustainable Westchester and Solarize Westchester. Solarize Westchester is another solar energy program that Mr Feiner is promoting with claims it too will save them money without telling you how much you must spend before you start saving anything.

Ask why the Town has an employee from the Department of Community Development and Conservation (a contradiction of terms?) dedicated to work on behalf of Solarize Westchester, which has ties to Sustainable Westchester? Just because these companies are not-for-profit should not make what they are doing automatically adopted. Ask the Board if Sustainable Westchester or the Town will refund the difference if Sustainable Westchester's savings don't happen and your costs increase? Tell the Board they should wait and see the savings that are proposed in the current group of Cities and Towns before we jump into this. Tell the Board the Town should not bear the cost of a Town-wide mailing to opt OUT. Rather, tell them Sustainable Westchester should do this.

Go to the Town Board meeting this Wednesday night. Tell the Board not to move this issue forward until real facts and figures are presented. It is critical that this Board “do their due diligence”, “follow the process”, “keep an open mind”, and refrain from their “personal opinions” before acting. You may recognize these catch phrases as Mr Feiner's. He uses them each time residents catch him not being truthful (lying) or violating the law. When Mr Feiner tells you he's spoken to and received emails from many residents who are in favor of this, tell him and his Board you don't care unless he's willing to provide contact information you can verify. Tell him to listen to you. Tell his Board to listen to you. Ask the Board about the Federal Government's accusation that the Town recently submitted an illegal claim for solar grant funding and are seeking reimbursement of that funding from the Town? Get involved and stop the shenanigans at Town Hall. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

* The Board of Directors for Sustainable Westchester include, among others, Noam Bramson (Mayor of New Rochelle), Chris Burdick (Supervisor of Bedford), Tom Roach (Mayor of White Plains), Nancy Seligson (Supervisor of the Town of Mamaroneck) and finally Mike Spano (Mayor of Yonkers, often referred to as the City of Hills, where nothing is on the level).

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Independence Day!














The freedoms we enjoy as Americans were (mostly) paid for by our military service people. On this day, we ask that you take a minute from the festivities you may enjoy and give silent thanks to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, their families, friends and loved ones. And of course, if you come across our service personal, say hello and thank them for their service.

Below is information that was presented by a veteran that we feel is worth repeating.


To understand what the flag draped coffin really means......
Here is how to understand the flag that laid upon it and is surrendered to so many widows and widowers.

Do you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?

Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times?

You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!
 
The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that They pledge allegiance to the flag of the United! States Of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day!

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their nations motto, "In God We Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today .

There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning. In the future, you'll see flags folded and now you will know why.

Share this with the children you love and all others who love what is referred to, the symbol of "Liberty and Freedom."
  
ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Feiner Pushes New Tax While Professing Tax Cap Compliance

The Rolling Stones' song, You Can't Always Get What You Want, sometimes rings true, except in Greenburgh. Mr Feiner has stacked most of the decks to his benefit for his own agenda. If a taxpaying resident doesn't like a zoning requirement that was created back when our leaders favored a real vision for our Town, they could move and find another place to live. If people found this planning attractive and wanted to be a part of it, they could move to Greenburgh. But nowadays, Mr Feiner and a quid pro quo handshake with developers, can and invariably does, allow it to be changed, regardless of community input. Concurrently, whatever the Planning Review and Zoning Review Boards say is only a recommendation to the Town Board and easily ignored or dismissed by at least three of the five on the Town Board providing Mr Feiner the changes he seeks. It's purely a stacked deck against the resident taxpayers. Now he's going beyond the residents.

Touting the NYS 2% Tax Cap, Mr Feiner has jumped on the "taxing bandwagon" with all of his cronies. He professes to be operating under the NYS 2% Tax Cap through semantics and a willfully ignorant electorate, but he does not actually stick to it. Our State, and in particular our County, has the highest taxes in the nation. And, Mr Feiner just asked his Albany best-buds, Legislators Stewart-Cousins and Abinanti to pass a 3% tax levy that the Town could apply to hotel rooms. What this means is the Town will get a small fee per room, a yearly "windfall" by applying this tax to visitors to Westchester and in particular the Town of Greenburgh.


What Mr Feiner and many politicians like him refuse to acknowledge is that each time another tax is added to a hotel bill, some corporate accountant sits with a calculator analyzing their traveling colleague's expense report and questioning if they really need to go there to begin with, or stay overnight. Eventually, businesses will begin to change their travel habits and affect Mr Feiner's newest cash cow. Since past performance is an indicator of future results, we know Mr Feiner will invariably have another Fortress Bible-like decision waiting against him in the wings. Here's a suggestion for Mr Feiner: stop breaking the law and you won't need your buds to create more taxes!
 

The New York State Legislature approved a law that authorizes the Town of Greenburgh to generate additional needed revenue by having a 3% hotel tax. This tax could generate from non-resident visitors to the Town significant revenue--probably somewhere between $200,000-$500,000 a year. There are almost 2000 hotel rooms in town. According to Mr Feiner, "The dollars received will be used to REDUCE your property tax bills and to comply with the tax cap." Really? Each time he says this he fails to produce either hard numbers or cold facts - and we never see a savings. He speaks in generalities, platitudes and what we like to call a circular conversation. You've seen him do it often. You ask a question and he has some colloquial story or personal experience and steers the conversation away from what the original topic was. Of course, there's always the, "This is just my personal opinion..." Sorry Mr Feiner, your position as Supervisor is like that of a police officer. You are always the Supervisor, just like a cop is always a cop and never really "off-duty", and saying something is your personal opinion doesn't hold water. Now, if you want to step down as Supervisor to have a personal opinion, we'd be happy to give you an open forum...
 

The Town has been seeking permission to impose a hotel tax since at least 2009. The New York State Legislature had previously authorized New Rochelle, White Plains, Rye and 43 counties in NYS to have the tax--but not Greenburgh. 46.5% of the counties that had previously been granted permission to have a hotel tax by the state have smaller populations than the Town of Greenburgh. Mr Feiner argued that NYS was not treating Greenburgh fairly. Now he knows how the residents feel.
 

The villages of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Hastings, Irvington and Tarrytown as well as villages within the Town of Mount Pleasant were also granted permission to adopt a hotel tax this week by the legislature. But most of these communities with hotels are generally used in part or total for DSS (welfare) recipients. They had formally been known as Welfare motels. So we pay top dollar for these people to live in small rooms with no conveniences beyond a bathroom. We're sure not everybody in these hotels are DSS recipients, but the fact remains that not only did Mr Feiner push for this tax increase, but we a) will not see our taxes go down, and b) in the end only increased the taxes on ourselves. We need politicians that have our best interest at heart, not theirs and the re-election campaigns. It's time for term limits in Greenburgh. Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Opposition to Zoning Change Increases

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Hartsdale Park Association (hartsdalepark@yahoo.com) sent a letter to its membership regarding the important zoning change the Town Board is considering to benefit GameOn 365, a for-profit commercial entity. It details many of the aspects this decision will have as it will negatively impact the entire Town, not just the Dobbs Ferry corridor.

Dear Hartsdale Park Residents:
Much of the discussion in the case of Game-On's request for special rezoning seems to be focused on the Game-On use of the Vizioli property, the former golf driving range. That is only part of the proposal before the Town Board. Their proposal is to insert a commercial use ( indoor/outdoor recreation center) into a residentially zoned area by special permit. Its impact goes far beyond the Vizioli property.

The amendment to the Zoning Ordinance proposed by David Steinmetz, attorney for Game-On, requires the Town Board to grant a special permit if the applicant meets certain conditions. There is no discretion involved. If the applicant meets all of the conditions spelled out in the code, the permit becomes a right.

The problem is once you allow any commercial entity in a residential zone, there is nothingto stop that use from being expanded OR for it to happen anywhere else in Greenburgh! This is a VERY dangerous precedent to set.

Suppose Game-On receives approval and builds a 107,000 sq.ft. building, then is sold or goes out of business. The community would have a huge empty building with 300 parking spaces and other infrastructure (roads, water, sewer, etc.) in place. Any number of fairly low-traffic-impact businesses might want to locate there, and depending on the financial standing of the Town, such commercial use might be encouraged. Also, there is nothing to stop other commercial uses from seeking entry into OTHER residential districts. If the Town does it once, other commercial uses will seek approval.

Paul Feiner argues that Dobbs Ferry Road is already a recreational and/or commercial corridor - Frank's, East Rumbrook Park, Carlson's Nursery, Elmwood Country Club, Elmwood Day Camp, Fairview Fire House. All of the uses cited (other than Frank's Nursery) -- parks, farms, membership clubs, camps, firehouses -- are allowed in one-family residence districts as permitted uses or by special permit. They are listed as the residential and related uses Zoning Ordinance. Fully enclosed commercial recreational facilities are differentiated and listed as "commercial.”

The focus of our opposition must be on not introducing any kind of commercial use into residentially zoned districts. Once they get a toe in the door, there is no going back!
Some may argue that we already have done this when assisted living facilities were introduced into residential zones. However, "health care facilities” have been Special Permit uses for more than two decades and these are residential uses. The principal change in recent years was to allow them on lots of four acres instead of requiring ten acres.

Creating a new zone is a discretionary act by the Town Board. If the Board chooses not to entertain a requested rezone, there is nothing an applicant can do. In other words, the Town cannot be sued in court.
The proposed change is not only about the Vizioli property. It affects all properties zoned R-30 that are greater than 20 acres on a state road. Thus, the Elmwood Country Club Property across from the Vizioli properly on Dobbs Ferry Road and the Knollwood Country Club property on Knollwood Road would also be able to request special permits if the code amendment is approved. Furthermore, if this code amendment is approved by the Town Board properties that are not 20 acres or are not located on a state road could seek variances from those provisions. Sunningdale Country Club on Underhill Road is a good example, though it is more than 20 acres in size. As an example, Mr. Steinmetz was successful in getting a code change to permit assisted living facilities (Brightview) on properties of four acres or more located within 200 feet of a state road.

I attended and spoke at the April 8, 2015 Town Council meeting. I was present for the entire meeting, which lasted for over 3 hours. During the public comment portion the ONLY people to speak IN FAVOR of Game-On were soccer coaches from Tarrytown!

As President of your Hartsdale Park Civic Association I am urging you to contact Supervisor Feiner and the Town Council Members immediately if you object to Game-On’s request for this “special consideration.”

Game-On is welcome to come to Greenburgh, BUT NOT on Dobbs Ferry Road. There are many other sites, including several in Tarrytown, already zoned for commercial use where this type of facility is more appropriate. We say, “Game-On please GO THERE!”

Here are the Town Officials’ email addresses for your convenience:
Supervisor Paul Feiner - pfeiner@greenburghny.com
Town Council Members: 
Kevin Morgan - kmorgan@greenburghny.com, 
Ken Jones - kjones@greenburghny.com, 
Francis Sheehan - fsheehan@greenburghny.com, 
Diana Juettner - djuettner@greenburghny.com

This is an extremely important matter to all of us. Your support is needed and much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,
Celia P. Novo, President
Hartsdale Park Civic Association

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sustainable Westchester Q&A Meeting Moved

The meeting scheduled by Ken Stahn for residents to discuss the Sustainable Westchester ESCO at the Town Hall Cafeteria at 7 PM. before the Town Board Open Hearing on this topic has been moved to the Town Hall cafeteria. Everyone is welcome to attend and ask questions. 

Mr Feiner and his Town Board have decided, on their own, to enter  ALL TOWN RESIDENTS into  an "ESCO" or Energy Savings Consortium Organization run by Sustainable Westchester. This is an important meeting that we urge residents to attend!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Big Brother Creeps In

Billed as "Good News!" by the Town Supervisor, his latest move has "Big Brother" written all over it, and it doesn't pertain to the well-known television show. Mr Feiner and his Town Board have decided, on their own, to enter  ALL TOWN RESIDENTS into  an "ESCO" or Energy Savings Consortium Organization run by Sustainable Westchester. Mr Feiner sent out an email and a physical mailing to residents from the Town's snail-mail and email list, known as the GBList. This email list, by the way, was sought after by many community organizations as Town information/property and Mr Feiner refused to relinquish it when it was requested. Dorrine Livson, President of the Worthington Woodlands Civic Association, was one civic group representative that requested it under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and was turned down by Mr Feiner. She appealed the decision and was again turned down. She went to court and was victorious, finding Mr Feiner once again guilty of breaking the law! Now appealing the decision, Mr Feiner is still refusing to turn the list over to her even under court directive.

The more we talk to different people about these ESCO's, the more questions and apparent problems for residents arise than answers can be had. Mr Feiner said people that don't want to participate can opt out at any time. What we have learned is that many ESCOs have a penalty charge when you opt out. More importantly, however, we don't understand why this was not set up for people to opt IN instead of having to opt OUT? Mr Feiner repeatedly refuses to answer that question. Governing by fiat appears to be Mr Feiner's latest abuse of his power.

He says your ConEd bill can go down by hundreds, even up to $600! Mr Feiner has a history of shouting out unsubstantiated figures whenever its convenient. Could you get a better rate on your own from purchasing your power from a company other than ConEd? Perhaps. Would you prefer to be in control of your own contractual obligations, rather than having the Town be in charge of your power options? Again, perhaps. But after witnessing so many instances of financial mismanagement by this administration, its a bit scary for us to think Mr Feiner, found guilty of lying in Federal court (re: Fortress Bible decision) is even telling the truth! And after the introductory period, will your rates stay the same or change? And, if they change, is Mr Feiner going to pay the difference or work on your behalf to make sure your rates are in fact lower and you continue to save hundreds? Perhaps, but more than likely it is highly doubtful, however, excuses will be plentiful, We foresee classic Feiner double-talk with little or no relief ever coming.

So, the Town Board approved a resolution some two weeks ago that will enter all Town residents into an agreement to participate in a "community choice aggregation" program through Sustainable Westchester. Participating communities will pool resources and procure energy supplies from an ESCO. In February of this year the New York State Public Service Commission authorized Sustainable Westchester to become the first business in New York State to put out for bid the total amount of natural gas or electricity being purchased by local residents and small businesses.

The claims are that the program has some benefits: Price stability for a fixed contract term, better terms than a typical resident could get acting alone and the ability to design a program that reflects local goals like cleaner power sources. Currently, anyone can purchase their energy from an ESCO but many ESCOs don't provide fixed rates -they offer ratepayers good deals initially and then increase the rates a short time later. It's confusing to some when trying to compare the ESCOs. Sustainable Westchester has the resources to compare ESCOs and to get an agreement for a fixed term. And if you disagree with their decision, well, you'll be S.O.L. (Stuck Outta Luck - the G-rated version).

One resident and Civic Association President Ken Stahn is also concerned about many aspects of this contract. While there may be some in favor of this vote-getting ploy to tout how they've saved the taxpayer's money, too many questions linger and threaten this purported "good news!" from Mr Feiner.

Mr Stahn has set up a meeting with the group,Sustainable Westchester, regarding the Town Board Resolution of June 10th, 2015.  The meeting will take place at the Town Hall at 7 PM before the opening of the hearing on this topic when the Town Board meets on that evening this coming Wednesday June 24th,2015.

He needs to get ten positive responses regarding this meeting from people to move forward with meeting with them. His hope is to hear from concerned taxpayers by noon Tuesday June 23rd, 2015 or he will be forced to cancel the meeting.

Please reply to Mr Stahn by noon June 23rd, 2015 either positive or negative about your interest in the meeting.

Kenneth G. Stahn, 644 Ardsley Road, Scarsdale, New York 10583-1804
Cell 917-642-7516; Home 914-693-4904; e-mail kgstahn@aol.com

We applaud Mr Stahn for seeking answers before the Town moves on yet another "done-deal". We agree with many who say this could be good but that taxpayers should only be required to "opt IN", otherwise Big Brother will start to creep into other decisions "for us". You can help to stop this madness! Join Mr Stahn this Wednesday evening. Regardless of the outcome, stay, and during the public speaking session tell Mr Feiner and his Board, "No!" They should only move forward with this if it is "Opt IN" Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

HazMat/WMD Full Scale Exercise

Westchester County has the highest taxes in the United States. We also have the highest threat assessment according to many, with perhaps the possible exception being Washington DC. So it was no wonder that with funds secured from tax dollars elsewhere, which of course we still all pay for, Westchester County's Department of Emergency Services hosted a Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Exercise. In all, 56 agencies participated. An unofficial breakdown was 42 paid agencies and 14 volunteer agencies for the 6-hour exercise.


Members of the HMRT getting prepped to respond into the "hot" zone.




















Part of this scenario was some sort of bus incident that the Valhalla Fire Department responded to and immediately called 60 Control, the communications arm of DES, for assistance. 

In this photo above, members of the Westchester County all-volunteer Hazardous Materials Response Team get prepped to suit-up to make entry into the hot zone consisting of some sort of release of an unknown chemical. Once they were suited up and the totally encapsulated Level A suits were sealed, two team members went into the scene to do an evaluation. Armed, literally with pH tape on their sleeves for gross reactive readings, along with other metering devices to assist these HazMat responders, they went into the "hot zone". Initially, two responders from this team went to see if they could identify what the chemical agent being used might be. Then two more followed to assess the damage and wounded.

As the event unfolded, different emergency response agencies, mostly comprised of fire and police departments responded to the scene. In an event such as this, given the extreme weather we were experiencing, many of the responders were "recycled" through a rehab station and then allowed back into the event. With all of the departments being brought in, there was an abundance of equipment and personnel. In fact, many said there was too much of everything being brought in to the scene and that would be one of the points mentioned in the "after wash" critique.

While the responders were doing what they do, there were other staffers from a number of agencies monitoring all of the events, taking copious notes. While our taxes may not be lowered anytime soon, we can rest assured that we are well protected.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Remembrance Service

Remembrance Service
Sunday, June 14th
4:00 PM

at the
Corner of North Goodwin
and Main Street,
Elmsford

In Remembrance of
Army Specialist Michael Arciola

United States Army Specialist Michael Arciola, a resident of the Village of Elmsford, sacrificed his life on February 15, 2005 in action while serving our Country in Ramadi, Iraq. Please join us on Flag Day, Sunday June 14, 2015, as the Village of Elmsford Community comes together to honor Michael..

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fulton Park Vindicated Over Westhab & Town Violation

In late 2008 and early 2009, the residents of Fulton Park received a letter from Mr Feiner stating that he had agreed to the demolition of the old Kings Inn Motel and construction of a seven-story Westhab facility. At that time, the motel was serving as a transitional halfway-house for ex-cons recently released from prison. The neighbors in Fulton Park had often complain of noise at all hours of the day and night, sex with prostitutes in cars on the side streets, drinking and drug use. Remnants of crack vials, used condoms and alcohol bottles could be found almost daily on residents front lawns or by the curb. Complaints to the police department resulted in a periodic patrol which consisted of a Greenburgh patrol car driving by. Other complaints went to the County Police as the County was in charge of the facility security - or lack thereof. 

Proposals were understandably met with resistance by the neighborhood because the industrial looking building did not fit in at all. Residents met and complained with Town Board members who were blatantly lied to by Mr Feiner and other Board members, who each said no decision had been made yet. This lie was later exposed when County documents were acquired under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Those documents showed Mr Feiner's involvement with then County Legislator Lois Bronz, County funding as well as other funding that would help pay for the building. Curiously, before the plans were approved, the Town Board adopted a LEEDS certification for all new buildings within the Town. Westhab was not held to that standard, yet Mr Feiner still touts how "green" the building is. 

The residents were never against building something there, but only asked for a building that was not a huge, 7-story, out of character building that would not blend with the neighborhood. Their requests were ignored and Westhab went with their cookie-cutter gulag approach, justifying it as being patterned after area buildings. The only building it comes close to emulating is the old phone company building across the street with its design from circa 1960. An out-of-date design was used for a new building. 

One of the many conditions that was challenged by residents was their incorporation of the existing Town road that ran between the Kings Inn Motel and the Fulton Garden Apartments, named Fulton Avenue. In typical Town Board style, they ignored the two-way road that had been there from at least 1938 and used by everyone in the neighborhood. The Town ignored all maps and findings the Fulton Park Civic Association and other Associations furnished and accepted it as Westhab's. This allowed its use and could be part of the parking space count that was necessary for their project to move forward. When Mr Feiner wants a project to go forward, mere laws will not stand in his way, as was proven here again. 

Fast forward some seven years later with a lawsuit by the owners of the Fulton Garden Apartments against Westhab because Westhab paved over property that Fulton Garden Apartments has had as an easement for over 30 years. Basically, the property where the parking spaces are, which had been argued about repeatedly by the Fulton Park Civic Association, the Fulton Garden Apartments, the Greenburgh Council of Civic Associations and others, was not Mr Feiner's to give away. But when he favors any project, as long as its not in his neighborhood, all bets are off. Well, Fulton Park Civic Association, the Fulton Garden Apartments, the Greenburgh Council of Civic Associations and others are about to be vindicated even though the damage has been done. 

On the June 17th agenda for the Planning Board is an appeal from Westhab to change the one-way roadway back to a two-way road. Here's the agenda item:
Case No. PB 15-13 Westhab/Fulton Gardens, 22 Tarrytown Road, P.O. White Plains, N.Y. – Amended Site Plan
A work session to discuss an amended site plan application for a proposal to allow two-way vehicular traffic from a previously approved one-way driveway at an existing multi-family building known as Westhab. Presently, vehicles are restricted from entering the Westhab property from County Center Road. The proposed site modifications would provide direct access to an existing parking lot used by residents and visitors of the adjacent multi-family complex known as Fulton Gardens. Currently, the only access to this parking area is from Rt. 119 (Tarrytown Road). The Westhab property consists of approximately 30,492 sq. ft. (0.78 acres) and is situated on the west side of Old Kensico Avenue [sic]  approximately 210 feet from the intersection of Tarrytown Road and approximately 0 ft. from the intersection of County Center Road. The Westhab property is located in the M-174 High-Rise Multi-Family Residence District and is designated on the tax map of the Town of Greenburgh as Parcel ID: 7.500-310-2.



This is significant for several reasons. First it vindicates everyone, the Fulton Park Civic Association, the Fulton Garden Apartments, the Greenburgh Council of Civic Associations and others who did their due diligence and sought the truth. Mr Feiner and his Board, untouchable as they run for re-election unopposed, simply ignored what was right and did what he wanted. The Board knows they should go along or they will be "Sonya'd". Second, Mr Feiner gives carte blanche to developers at the expense of all the neighborhood residents throughout the Town and this practice needs to stop. But this is part of his warped scheme to fundamentally change the makeup of the Rt 119 corridor. He knew that the old phone company building would be taken over by Westchester County's Department of Social Services and its proximity would facilitate Westhab residents who need to report in to DSS regularly by being close by. Third, traffic has increased and backs up substantially from the traffic lights, as residents complained it would. Fourth, when Deli Delicious reopens as a fast food service restaurant, traffic will continue to be a nightmare for residents already living with an F-rating from the flawed traffic study. And finally, to avoid going to court and being found guilty of violating the easement that the Fulton Garden Apartments has for the property Mr Feiner "gave away" to Westhab, they have decided to acquiesce and turn the road back to a two-way lane. This is being done by Westhab to avoid going to court and being found guilty!

It's a shame that Mr Feiner's politics have trumped residents on the right side of the law. It's a shame that the residents of the Town remain willfully ignorant and stand by as Greenburgh crumbles. This laissez faire attitude with Town government must end. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.