Tuesday, August 23, 2011

East Coast Has Earthquake - Indian Point Survives

We’ve posted before about the Supervisors desire to close Indian Point. In fact, during a Close Indian Point rally he had at taxpayer expense at Town Hall, all “presenters” stated the precarious positioning of Indian Point to the Ramapo Fault Zone line on which it sits. The northeastern corridor, as far west as Ohio, apparently felt “the big one” - yes, an earthquake. New York City buildings dwellers evacuated with haste, no doubt thinking ‘terrorist attack’, only to collectively breathe a sigh of relief upon being informed it was an earthquake.

A 5.9 on the outdated Richter Scale (now Moment Movement Magnitude calculations) for earthquakes won’t cause our bridges to collapse, roads to buckle and buildings to necessarily collapse. For a building to approach collapse, we’d need a quake of the magnitude of at least a ‘7’. But it can cause damage nonetheless. A phone call to the Westchester County’s Collapse Team referred us to the County’s Public Information Officer (PIO), who was not available to comment. A second phone call queried if their teams were mobilizing just in case they got word of something happening and we were told they were not. When we asked if there was a protocol set up to respond to an earthquake, ABG was told there is not a publicized plan that they had knowledge of, but was confident there might be something in place someone above his pay grade might be aware of. ABG asked how much he was paid and pointed out he was a volunteer, as is the entire team and he followed that it was just an expression.

A phone call to Indian Point found that all systems were unaffected by the earthquake, on line and fully operational. I’m reminded of little kids sticking their thumbs in their ears waving their fingers, saying, “Na, na, nana, naaa.” Two southern nuclear power plants have been shut down merely as a precaution, not because there had been any damage. So to Supervisor Feiner and the Close Indian Point extremists, we say stop! Let’s have a realistic discussion about Indian Point and stop creating hysteria over something that may never be an issue. While ABG is also concerned for our safety regarding Indian Point and we recognize the impact if something were to happen, we are also realistic and looking to plan long range instead of knee jerk reacting. This earthquake is probably the worst the northeast has ever experienced and there was no damage. The reactor is built to withstand an earthquake of a magnitude of 7. Let's hope we never find out if it’s needed.

Ironically, Verizon cell service went down once the earthquake happened. We’re not sure why, nor were we so concerned that we reached out to them to find out. We have cable service and were unaffected. I guess we could say, “Na, na, nana, naaa.”

Unity in the Community Day

Tthe Union Baptist Church sponsored their annual Unity in the Community parade. Two ABG staffers participated in the parade, walking the backstreets from the Dannon parking lot across from Town Hall to the Union Baptist Church, where anybody who wanted to, could participate in a barbecue afterwards in the church’s parking lot. This seemed to be more a pre-election vehicle for the Town Board than a unifying event for the community.

ABG believes the thought of a Unity ‘anything’ parade is a good one, but lacked with local inclusiveness. We know when organizing a parade, the inclusion of various organizations is paramount. This parade was led by Feiner henchman Kevin Morgan and the Feiner-annointed candidates. Noticeably absent, but riding further down the line of march in a open convertible was the Feiner-banished Sonya Brown. Also absent until the very end was the Town’s clerk, backbencher Judith Belville. Why she wasn't walking up in the front of the parade with the others escapes us. Rather, she was riding in the last vehicle, holding a hand written sign with her name on it. What doesn’t escape us is how it’s representative of her lack contributions to our town. 

An ABG staffer overheard Rhonda Nelson, a parade organizer, say to reporter that diversity was the idea of the event. “To unite all the community together, to show that we are together,” said Nelson, project manager of the Union Baptist Church, which promoted the event. We applaud the importance of trying to have, grow and maintain interest in unity for the neighborhood. But we question how many other Town and immediate area organizations were invited? Participants included The Samuel H. Dow Fife and Drum Corp, from Yonkers; the Charles W. Dickerson Fife, Drum and Bugle Corp from New Rochelle; the Band of Brothers motorcyclists from the Bronx. The El Centro Hispano kids and the Wolverines young cheerleaders represented White Plains. Are there no Greenburgh groups willing to participate? Were they even asked to?

Leading the parade was a Greenburgh police car, as was the last vehicle. The Fairview Fire Department’s Volunteer members marched in the parade, with the drivers of the fire apparatus blowing the sirens and air horns. We’ve said it before, a fire department beefs up any parade and today’s was no different. Thanks to our volunteer firefighters for being there.

Washington Park, located of Yellowstone Avenue, was the location for the barbecue with hamburgers and hot dogs and drinks being served. As always, the children were anxious to get onto the two giant bouncing castles. The crowd seemed to be enjoying the gorgeous weather and the kids enjoyed playing in the park. Also in the park were tables set up by several of the parades sponsors, including Chase bank, Andre F. Baker Funeral Home and Elmsford Chiropractic Center.

The idea of unity day was a seed that germinated with collaboration between Town Judge Arlene Gordon-Oliver and the church’s pastor Reverend Verlin Williams. We recall hearing them at an event held by Councilwoman Sonya Brown when the A&P across the street had announced the closure of that store. There was a question and answer session where one woman rose to express her anger over the courts sending their kids to jail when they are arrested. Our collective concerns with the statement were addressed by both Gordon-Oliver, who said she’d be happy to sentence them to community service when applicable. The Reverend then spoke to the issue, telling parents to be more involved with what their children are doing and help to keep them doing positive things, not breaking the law, joining gangs, focusing on their education, etc. It was refreshing to hear. Gordon-Oliver directed them to the church’s Jobs for Life program, which is when they organized the first Unity event, three years ago.

Parades always have politicians. Whether they march in the parade or simply shake hands along the parade route, the politicians take advantage of a “captive” audience and we can’t stop that. But, we believe it detracts from the parade. We recall one parade where a ABG staffer saw a candidate was not campaigning. She asked him if he was there to campaign and he said no, I just came to enjoy a parade and not muck it up with politics. It was the fire department’s day and he wanted to keep the integrity of focused on the fire departments celebration. While he didn’t win, and maybe he should have campaigned, we recognize and appreciate what he was trying to. We need more politicians in unity with this and less in our parades.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's That Time Again: “I Have The Answer”

Whenever our supervisor appears to be losing visibility, he will pen another op-ed article about a topic over which he has no control, purview, responsibility or involvement. The latest one is his thoughts of how to end the great recession we are experiencing, noting that all levels of government are laying off employees and cutting back services. Much to our ceased-to-be-amazed chagrin, the Journal News published his rant. Feiner criticized the NYS legislature for approving a property tax cap, stating it will cause more layoffs in coming years. ABG is not in favor of caps, unless it’s for spending. Our reasoning is too many of our politicians will simply write another bill seeking to raise the amount when the publicity about the last cap wanes and they want to satiate their thirsty constituents begging for another drink from the same well they control the water from. The Journal News also wrote about the unpaid traffic tickets that have been languishing in boxes in an undisclosed basement vault. As expected, he avoids writing about that hot potato. The Journal News has reworked and published this same parking ticket article three times so far. Is there nothing else going on in Greenburgh?

We feel the need to comment on most of what he has to say because it is so amazingly inaccurate Feiner-speak, ABG finds it unfathomable that these media “leaders” continue to promote this blather. Our comments are in blue.

The Paul stated, “Every layoff has a ripple effect, creating more unemployment.” This sounds like a Yogi Berra-ism if ever there was one. Layoffs do create unemployment, but it also helps business adjust with outdated operations, positions, and non-performing workers. Sometimes layoffs are good for a business. 
“One approach the federal government should take to address our unemployment problem is to provide assistance to local governments to fix our infrastructure.” Incredible as this sounds, the two are unrelated. The infrastructure should be addressed with local budgets and bonds if and when needed. The Paul has no problem urinating away our money for everything else but our infrastructure. 
“Century-old water mains at the local level are breaking, underground drainage pipes are collapsing all over the nation and many of our bridges are structurally unsafe.” He's correct that some of the piping is centuries old. Some fall under the state to maintain but most fall under the local government. He should have been addressing these issues for the last 20 years he's been in office - plenty of time to repair and replace most if not all of the aging components. BTW, our primary concerns are what’s happening in Greenburgh. “Local, county and state governments are not allocating adequate resources to correct this national problem. In addition, state, county and local governments are not appropriating the necessary funds needed to repave our pothole and decaying roads, or to maintain older government buildings.” He’s shirking his responsibility while it clearly falls in his lap. His delinquency with infrastructure maintenance is part of his lack of management ability and skills. ONE example is the Town pools, which each year he claims need to be replaced. ABG doesn't know much about pool maintenance, but his solution this year after ignoring the pools for now five years in a row, is to patch them. Either replace them or stop using this as an escape topic when residents are holding your feet to the fire about something else. 

I got my start in politics in the 1980s. The commuter trains from Westchester to NYC kept breaking down at the tunnel near Grand Central Station. They still do. Members of our office use the trains daily and have “routinely” encountered failed equipment. Commuters were packed like sardines in trains (windows did not even open). The Paul should take a train during regular rush hour periods. Not only are the passengers still packed like sardines and suffering often from no air conditioning, two of our staffers now carry collapsible camp seats with them for the commute to ensure a seat. Westchester residents could not rely on public transportation. The public transportation in Westchester wasn’t as critical back then as Westchester was more rural than suburban and most who lived here drove personal cars. I started a commuter bus system that provided commuters with a choice: bus or rail service. And, also filed numerous small claims actions against the railroad --which helped push our officials to provide funding for new equipment, new commuter trains and better infrastructure. The ABG offices can find no record of this. But, as The Paul knows, we don't have to. He’ll say anything, whether fact of fiction, to fit his opportunistic ego, without being called to task my the ‘lame-stream’ media. Service dramatically improved and we have a dependable train system. The dependability is still an issue. Passengers say they’re used to hearing about equipment issues during the cold weather. Now those same equipment failures in the winter are now happening during the summer weather. Changes have been happening not because of him, but more a result of changes from within NYC, the MTA and a customer base that demanded it. I'm afraid that the budget problems everyone is now experiencing will result in our rail service going backwards-to the days when service was not reliable. Show us proof of this outrageous statement. This is pandering that won’t be refuted by anyone - because it a cleverly stated ploy to elicit fear without fact.

Our Congressional representatives could help create jobs, reduce the unemployment problem and address important infrastructure needs by setting aside significant dollars to local, county and state governments, school districts for our infrastructure. The Supervisor has again lumped several issues into one sentence. First, government cannot create jobs, except for more government jobs that we probably don’t need. Second, government can reduce unemployment by lessening the taxes and fees that are crippling New York business, forcing them to leave New York. Third, setting aside significant dollars for infrastructure is not the job of the state, rather, it’s the responsibility of local government. The ripple impact of a national infrastructure-maintenance program would be enormous on job creation We doubt it. Architects, engineers, secretaries, lawyers, contractors would be hired. While government cannot create jobs, the mandates, requirements and archaic rules they must then follow, will be busy. Notice he hasn’t mentioned anything about labor. The Architects, engineers, secretaries, lawyers, contractors won’t be busy building anything, just filling out and filing paperwork about it. This is not what is needed during this “great” recession. What’s needed is not found anywhere in his statement: a leader with experience in the real world of business. Our Supervisor has never had a job in the private sector and as a career politician is a big part of the problem. Maybe this November will help him experience the private sector?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Undocumented Immigrants Get More Than Just Tuition Breaks

An article in the Journal News with the title, Undocumented Immigrants Getting Tuition Breaks, caught our attention. This is the very type of issue and wrong-sided position that is part of what’s wrong with our current crop of legislators and media. This issue can be morphed into a Town of Greenburgh issue. Maryland, Illinois and Connecticut are all poised to allow illegal immigrants, undocumented workers, aliens, etc., the ability to go to school, as are Oregon and Rhode Island. While the need for an education is paramount to all, it should be to all in New York and the United States if they are legal, tax paying residents.

Victor Rojas, 16 years old, of Greenburgh, was recently arrested for hosting an underage drinking and drug-use party in Greenburgh. Police arrested Rojas and charged him with underage drinking, hosting a party with alcohol, assault of a police officer and more. One young girl was found by police passed out on the floor. Rojas’ parents were also charged. Interestingly, he gave his address as 21 McKinnley Street in White Plains. The other crime here, beyond the drugs and alcohol usage is that he and his family were scamming the White Plains School District using his aunt’s address in White Plains as his permanent address when it really wasn’t his address and attending the White Plains schools instead of the Greenburgh schools. His mother would drive him to and from school daily. The crime? Falsely attending one school district’s school while living outside the district and financially defrauding them by attending their school.

Many would say it’s no big deal. But it is. These same people would say the undocumented immigrants vis-รก-vie illegal aliens, need an education too. In fact they’re entitled to it. While that’s debatable, who pays for it is not up for debate, so in fact, they are not entitled. The taxes to fund our school systems are paid by taxpaying property owners – nobody else. The school taxes are paid by legal citizens. If immigrants are legal and property owners, who followed our rules and regulations about being here, they have a say in the issue. As such, these are the people that should be making these decisions, not some vote-hungry politician who knows if it’s presented in their liberal state, not enough people will rise up and vote against it.

We’ve seen an increase in the Hispanic population in Westchester County based on the governments census reports. If the increased Hispanic immigrants are here legally, we welcome them. If they are not here legally, they should be arrested and deported quickly as soon as they are discovered and the system can process them. While we respect every immigrant group’s heritage, we also ask that they assimilate into our culture while we respect theirs. America is no longer the melting pot we used to be. We’ve got community leaders pushing individualism. We have politicians pushing class warfare and we have illegals invading our borders (and its not just the Hispanics). So what do the politicians do? They slap every legal immigrant who came here legally in the face and force the taxpayers to pay more while the illegals get a free ride!

Politicians, as Paul Feiner has done, create sanctuary communities. Such is the case with the Town of Greenburgh, with The Paul telling it’s employees to turn and look away regarding overcrowded housing, unsafe occupancy and other blatantly illegal acts. Now our congressional representatives are seeking to reintroduce the previously killed DREAM Act, basically allowing amnesty to those illegals already here. The number bandied about is roughly 12 million illegal aliens in the US, concentrating in the metropolitan areas. They prove there is safety in numbers. “Undocumented worker” is just a politically correct term for illegal aliens. As a rule, we will not use undocumented worker as it reduces the severity of their actions.

Times are especially tight for Greenburgh’s tax-paying residents now. Instead of politicians trying to see how they can get another vote with a backdoor purchase, perhaps they should focus on Economics 101. We need to develop jobs in New York and Westchester. We need to reduce taxes, some regulations that hinder business and become competitive again. Lets stop pandering to special interests and focus on whats good for all residents. We need politicians who will look to cut spending instead of increasing it. Unfortunately, ABG believes things will have to get worse before they get better. Let’s pray we can at least maintain what we have.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Making Change Happen – What it Takes

By now everyone is aware of the financial turbulence we’ve been experiencing. Everyone is also aware that the solutions provided by many of our political leaders are woefully inadequate and prospects of useful solutions seem to be as elusive as lower taxes. In the Town of Greenburgh, our failed leaders have stumbled meekly with marginal solutions such as attrition, reduced purchasing and of course, tax increases as their offering to good government. Their failures translate into a perennial assault on our wallets. Each year it’s a bit more than last. With a record amount of double-digit tax increases, why is the electorate so complacent? It could be they’re simply tax-numb.

The world around us is suffering, although its not much consolation. These same politicos tell us to be happy, that it’s not too bad and their increase is only a couple of percent and no one had to lose their job. Terminating employees is the hard decision they simply didn’t want to make and took the easy way out, dodging the re-election bullet they desperately seek to avoid.

In the last national election, tea party candidates, independents and people whom never before sought public office, ran for office and won! Now, like spoiled brats, the media is vilifying these new politicians as they attempt to vote following their principles and conviction – challenging the old guard. The media is complicit because they want to be on the inside track for information, press releases and breaking stories. To accomplish this, they’ve sold their soul to the devil politicians for it. Their responsibility should be with the public, challenging the politicians over policies and decisions, keeping them honest. Remember Woodward and Bernstein and All The Presidents Men? We’re a far cry from those days.

Reinventing government services for cost savings can seem daunting at first. Before the first steps can be taken, the organization needs to develop a comprehensive strategic vision for the enterprise. This needs to address the realities, goals, needs, constraints and challenges of all parts of the organization. It is vital that this plan take an integrated approach across all aspects of what and how services are provided. Fixing one aspect in isolation won’t solve the problem. In fact, isolated priorities and one-dimensional thinking played a large part in creating the problem in the first place. Sound familiar? It’s should, it’s right out of our Supervisors playbook.

Greenburgh embarked on a Comprehensive Plan study several years ago. Now, when one asks of its status, the preordained response from the Supervisor or the Town Board members is, “It’s almost ready”. It was supposed to be completed and ready for implementation in two years. Neighborhood meetings were scheduled and took place, sometimes with standing room only. Many of the meetings resembled each other, with residential commonalities and input requesting smaller not larger buildings be built when an existing building was torn down; less impervious space (note: think flooding in your Greenburgh neighborhood), sidewalks, less traffic, bike lanes and paths, and so on. The Paul may talk green but knows it doesn’t help him get donations from developers. Relax, just take a picture of him on his bicycle and do a press release. Don’t forget to mention something about open government.

Once government has a solid strategic roadmap, the focus can shift to finding the smartest, most direct and most cost-effective path to get there. Since governments have spent so much time maintaining old systems and comparatively less on new projects, this effort will also involve a shift in mindset. It is important for government to assess the skills needed for modernization and to bring in a fresh perspective. Too often projects and procurements have lofty goals painting a bright future, but are held back by detailed requirements that are firmly planted in the past. More importantly, those in charge simply ignore their constituents and their neighborhoods because ‘they know better’. Hogwash!

Finally — and perhaps most fundamentally — governments need a deep willingness to change. Constituent demands and today’s budget challenges aren’t going away. Smart government leaders from policy to administration need to be willing to embrace new mindsets and boldly seek out the benefits of change. But the change must be valued change to all the voters, not marginalizing some to pander to others. Change can be bad if it’s a fight the entire way. It can be good if it’s collaborative. Supervisor Feiner seems less interested in having collaboration than talking about it. It’s time for a change in Greenburgh.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cha-ching, Cha-ching - There It Goes

ABG has previously written of the monthly certiorari adjustments the Town has scheduled for each public Town Board meeting. They average $100,000 in refunds per meeting. They are primarily being filed for, and granted to the larger businesses in Greenburgh. The adjustments are available to the smaller businesses as well as homeowners who typically don’t have the time, financial wherewithal or the staff of attorneys to do the paperwork to get the adjustments. Some may even believe it’s their civic responsibility to pay their fair share and don't mind paying a bit more. The problem with the adjustments isn’t about paying a fair share, but rather, paying double what you should!

Forty percent of the Town of Greenburgh is tax-exempt - 40%! Think about it; just under half of the Town’s properties are tax-exempt. That also means the balance of taxable/ratable property owners must make up the difference. Just imagine if your local taxes were half of what you are currently paying. You’d be in a much better position to purchase, donate, travel, go out, renovate your home (more purchasing), save or simply stay put in a home you may have spent most of your life in. But you can’t. In fact, to make sure you can’t, Supervisor Feiner penalizes Town residents with even higher, double-digit tax increases each year.

ABG was incensed to learn of a $2,250,000 certiorari tax adjustment filed in 2005 on behalf of 200, 220 and 230 White Plains Road, challenging the assessed values for the 200/220 White Plains Road properties from 2005 to 2011; as well as the 230 White Plains Road property from 2001 to this year. If you need a point of reference to know where the area is, it’s where the TGI Fridays restaurant and other office buildings are, south of Rt 119. The buildings fall in the unincorporated portion of Greenburgh and the Irvington School Districts. School Board President John Dawson claimed that these buildings were overtaxed through no fault of theirs (the school district) and that, “It’s great having corporations in your school district in good times, but in the bad times it hurts.” The schools district is a taxable entity, which ensures income for the district but relies on the Town's assessments for the amount.

The next major certiorari concession takes place in an already thorny area of Central Avenue on the opposite side of the Town of Greenburgh that affects the Edgemont School District. Thorny because Edgemont and the Town Supervisor are always at odds with each other. Challenging the six years of taxes paid from 2003 to 2009, is Dilmaghani & Company, at 540 Central Avenue, which maintain they should be refunded $434,106. The carpet store property abuts the European Health Spa building. It’s the round concrete building that’s been vacant for at least fourteen years and is a negative focal point to the community and Central Avenue. It's difficult to fathom why it has been allowed to remain in this condition for so long.

To add insult to injury, the owners of the property at 520 Central Avenue are expected to receive $115,000. The total of the two properties is $424,106. When you take that figure and add it to the other certiorari adjustment, we’re looking at just under $3,000,000; actually it’s $2,924,106. If everyone was paying their fair share of taxes, and the amount was evenly distributed amongst us all, it would be a bit less painful. So, whatever your hear proffered from our Supervisor, which we're sure he'll say isn't his fault, imagine only having to pay half as much.

We can stop paying these crippling certiorari adjustments if the Town would just perform a revaluation of the Town’s properties. But The Paul won’t do this. The reason he doesn’t do it comes down to the rule of threes: the first group will pay less in property taxes, the second group will remain unchanged, and the third group will see an increase in their property taxes. The third group typically consists of our senior citizens, whose property was last assessed when it was purchased way back in the day or whenever they might have added onto their home.

Certiorari adjustments are good things for those who get them. They’re not so good for the people who have to pay them - us. It’s time to stop the ‘giving away’ of our Town to developers, large corporations and anyone with unlimited funding for their attorneys, and do a revaluation. We can save our Town from imploding. We just need to get some responsive and responsible leadership. It’s time for Paul Feiner and his Board to go.

Monday, August 1, 2011

GPD Officer Hits Pedestrian With Patrol Car

It’s a challenge to drive in our area with the high volume of traffic we experience daily. Add to that the various road blocks, traffic congestion, road construction, alternate routes, drivers on cell phones, etc., and you have some insane driving situations. Now imagine being a first responder and having to navigate all of this in an emergency situation and still get to your intended scene. It’s a difficult situation at best and worse during certain times of the day, such as rush hours and lunch hour.

Accident scene in the Village of Elmsford during police investigation

This past weekend, a Greenburgh police officer responding to a call in a police cruiser through the Village of Elmsford,  apparently not speeding according to eye witnesses, struck an elderly male pedestrian during his response. As expected the Greenburgh officer called his headquarters to report his accident. The Elmsford Police and Fire Departments responded, with the fire department ambulance also called to the scene. Greenburgh and Elmsford Police units congested the scene and the ambulance was unable to get close to the accident. It didn't matter in the end as Greenburgh’s ambulance transported the victim to the hospital.

Witnesses nearby said the victim was mostly bleeding profusely from the back of the head, although he had other injuries that apparently were not as serious. A police EMT explained that head wounds and trauma of this nature tend to bleed a lot. The victim was taken to the Westchester County Medical Center to be treated. The officer, who we’re told was visibly shaken, was taken to White Plains Medical Center for observation. Since the names of both the victim and the officer were not readily available to us, we were unable to get any more information on their respective conditions.

This call happened during the afternoon. The County Police were called in to conduct an unbiased  investigation of the incident. Our photo was supplied many hours after the accident happened. We wish the victim and the officer well.

Whenever you hear sirens, please slow down, pull over to the right and leave a clear path for the emergency vehicles to travel. Your actions may just save a life!

Eyesore On Old Army Road & Central Avenue; Tarrytown Road & Old Kensico Road

At a recent Town Board meeting, Supervisor Feiner discussed the boarded up former Gulf gas station located at the south east corner of the intersection of Central Park Ave at Old Army Road/Underhill Road. He claimed, “The station has been boarded up and reminds me of the Old South Bronx. Empty buildings do not generate the same revenue to the Edgemont school district, town, fire district as revenue producing buildings.” Why doesn’t the illegal boarding-up and signage at the Deli Delicious site not invoke the same sympathy? It’s probably because the deli is still in operation behind the boards and it’s owner Ernie Tartaglione has contributed to Feiner's multiple campaigns.

The Town Board held a public hearing to consider a special permit application from Cumberland Farms Inc to operate a gas station/convenience store. The service bays will be demolished and a 1,697 square foot convenience store will replace the repair station. In addition Cumberland Farms would remove one existing gas dispenser and the related dispenser island. There would be substantial landscaping improvements on the property. The school distict, fire district, town will generate more tax dollars. More importantly for Greenburgh residents is they will have another place to get coffee, milk and lottery tickets. Wait a minute... Greenburgh doesn't need a food store in that area, but does need it at the other end of Central Avenue nearer the recently abandoned neighborhoods formerly served by Pathmark and the A&P.

Apparently, there is a controversy as some residents have highlighted that under the town code if a gas station on Central Avenue is closed for more than six months the station loses their right to operate as they are non conforming usage (Central Avenue only). Cumberland Farms representatives claim that they never intended to discontinue the use of the property as a gas station. They temporarily closed the station to do some repairs to the property. The owners of the property claimed to always maintain a gas station at the location. The Supervisor is for this project. So it stands to reason the Town Attorney’s office and Building Inspector agree with Cumberland Farms interpretation.

Supervisor Feiner said, “I am speaking personally. There are a number of vacancies on Central Ave. I believe that if we reject the application the property will likely remain vacant for a while. I do not think this is good for property values in the immediate neighborhood. Would you like to live near a boarded up eyesore? I also think that the town should try generating revenue from this property. If the property is developed the town and Edgemont school district will receive needed tax dollars (substantial cuts in services can be expected in the future due to the tax cap). Another concern of mine: the town is trying to encourage new businesses to open up on Central Ave –to replace the vacant stores. If the town turns down this application –will we be sending the wrong message to the potential new tenants that the town is a difficult place to do business in? Will a rejection of this application hurt our efforts to attract new stores to our business districts? Look at the Dilmaghani property (the abandoned spa on Central Ave—it’s been empty for many years). One of the biggest eyesores on Central Ave and in the entire town is the Gulf gas station located at the south east corner of the intersection of Central Park Ave with Old Army Road/Underhill Road. The station has been boarded up and reminds me of the Old South Bronx. Empty buildings do not generate the same revenue to the Edgemont school district, town, fire district as revenue producing buildings.”

It's interesting to ABG as we try to understand the supervisor’s rationale for how he treats one neighborhood to another. Why is it acceptable for Deli Delicious to be boarded up and not an impact on the neighborhood but the same situation is at another part of town? Could it be a powerful and vociferous community group and their strong neighborhood association? We believe that is part of it. ABG believes the supervisor picks and chooses who should succeed and who can fail based on neighborhoods, votes, income and his control as the lead agency as well as influence over other Town resources. This is just another example of his poor, misguided governance. It’s time for Paul Feiner to go!

We’d like to hear from you about other communities Paul Feiner, the Town Board and others have treated unfairly. E-mail us at ABetterGreenburgh@gmail.com