Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's The Same Old Song As Another One Bites The Dust

Yes, both portions of the headline are song titles. Sadly, this post again highlights The Paul’s poor management of the Town as well as how he, the market, and other factors are driving businesses out of the Town of Greenburgh. Most recently, we’ve witnessed The Paul hand the golden goose to a company called GameOn 365, while soon-to-open House of Sports follows the rules and regulations, pays for everything required of them along the way, and have a business model that promises a positive community partnership for many years to come.

The Paul posted an announcement on his blog of the closing of the Sprainbrook Nursery. In his post, The Paul, seeming contrite and not at fault, states: 

Very sad news. Sprainbrook Nursery, located at 448 Underhill Road, Scarsdale (Edgemont neighborhood) is going out of business. Al Krautter, owner of the business sent his customers the following e mail. I, like so many Greenburgh residents, feel sick over this announcement*. Al and his nursery provided the community with exceptional service over the years. His nursery adds charm and character to our community. The nursery is an oasis of peace and beauty. His staff has always been exceptional and helpful. And--Al Krautter has inspired many residents of the community to enjoy gardening.”

It is indeed very sad news. ABG recognizes the value all businesses bring to their respective communities and the devastating affect it has when they leave. How ironic that the Town inherited a veritable gold mine when a similar nursery business, Frank’s Nursery, defaulted on paying their taxes and filed for bankruptcy, forfeiting the property to the Town for non-payment of property taxes. With little fanfare, the Town assumed ownership of this residentially zoned property of just under seven acres parcel, and then left it unattended.

In Mr. Krautter’s letter that The Paul posted, he states:
The old fashioned Garden centers concerned with plant quality, variety and a knowledgeable horticultural staff are no longer supported by the large majority of people. Garden Centers as we knew them are slowly becoming obsolete in an environment where plants are being sold at every retail outlet. Many are convenience or impulse sales outlets. However they make an impact. Homeowners are relying on two people in the family to work. They employ gardeners and when they need a plant or product they choose to have them do the work rather than buying the product or service from the Garden Center. Garden Centers are a sad casualty of the times as the pendulum swings to alternative buying patterns. In the process, a trip to the Garden Center is being bypassed.
We worked hard this year, as we knew it was a make-or-break year for us. Production was up but sales were not. We are a spring business and we rely on a good season to carry us through the year. Due to the economic recession our sales have dropped and our costs continue to rise. With health insurance, rising fuel prices, a huge jump in water bills and a very high property tax for the area we are battling huge costs before we ever open the doors.** ... The changing times have left me with no choice but to close the doors and put Sprainbrook Nursery up for sale.” Pay attention Mr. Supervisor.

Mr. Krautter’s letter is heartbreaking to he and his family as well as difficult for us all. It also expresses a very significant and salient point that ABG has espoused repeatedly. Sprainbrook Nursery’s costs have increased to the point where the can no longer afford to do business in the Town. He specifically mentions the huge jump in water bills and a very high property tax as factors. While The Paul may “feel sick over this announcement”, he still never hesitates to saddle Town residents with double-digit tax increases and 102% water fee increases. His actions have directly contributed to Mr. Krautter’s loss and the loss for the Town. Many residents are suffering the same fate. The Paul’s actions repeatedly continue to have negative consequences for the Town.

Perhaps if The Paul hadn’t been so quick to back out of the WestHelp deal with the County, the Town wouldn’t have lost a minimum of $1.2 million a year in revenue. Perhaps the “ski-jump” library should have been built to LEED standards instead of an architectural fancy. This inefficient design is costing us in a lack of new library space, promised community rooms along with budget crippling increases in heating and air conditioning costs. Perhaps The Paul and his Stepford Board should had taken the Frank’s Nursery property when it was acquired through foreclosure, prepped it and offered it for sale. Perhaps many of these repeated missteps would have kept taxes in line and allowed a neighborhood business to continue to do business in the Town. 

ABG wonders if the Frank’s Nursery people had been aware of the remediation that was needed on the sight and believed it would be easier and cheaper to simply default on the taxes and quietly shrink away. Regardless, why hasn’t our AAA Bond Rated Stepford Town Board, suffering from perpetual laryngitis and a missing ethical backbone under The Paul’s heavy hand, initiated cleanup action for the property, thus making it viable for sale and future taxes? Surely a AAA Bond Rating would be of use for this? 

Equally important, while the Fortress Bible multi-million dollar penalties are closing in, so are the traffic impact concerns from their new school and church. Wouldn't maintaining the Dobbs Ferry Road property as a residential area, encompassing the obligatory low income, Section 8, workforce, municipal, teacher, firefighter, police, county settlement, et al, housing be a better, more practical solution for the traffic heavy, church-going, school busing, nursery visiting, area? ABG believes so, even while The Paul continues his assault to push businesses out of Greenburgh.

Had the Town cleaned up the site of Frank’s Nursery and marketed it as developable property, the Town could have made several million dollars from the sale of it. Not wanting to follow any law he doesn’t like, The Paul once again ignored a County law mandating any property acquired through (e.g.) foreclosure be sold and applied the money toward Town tax relief. Town Attorney and Environmental Cleanup Specialist Tim “Yes-man” Lewis simply concurred with The Paul’s assessment and has taken to also saying, “State law supersedes the County law and the County law is invalid.” That solves that dilemma for The Paul rather simply, wouldn’t you say? Well, well, not so fast. In a letter from Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, Counselors at Law, they state their belief of what the Frank’s Nursery property proposal should and can be. Can you say lawsuit - again?

Interestingly, House of Sports, the new premier sports facility in Ardsley, is in the closing stages of construction and will be opening in about a month. They’ve almost completed
 developing a state-of-the-art training, workout and playing facility with a business model dedicated to developing young, and improving existing athletes. It will be staffed with trainers who are well recognized in the sports industry using state of the art equipment. They will be hiring over a hundred-plus full time employees once they open. They have done all that was asked of them from the Village of Ardsley or the Town of Greenburgh during their entire start-up operation. 

ABG highlights the House of Sports efforts because they are doing it right! GameOn 365’s entire building and operational premise is at the expense of the Greenburgh Unincorporated taxpayers. The Paul has decided to virtually give away the property through all kinds of rent/lease/tax abatements and considerations. When it’s all said and done, the Town will wind up assuming the liability and cost for the property’s cleanup allowing the GameOn 365 team to walk away, reimbursed for any out of pocket money. The Paul even had NYS Assemblyman Tom “Proclamation” Abinanti change the Finneran Law with an amendment pushed through during the late night shift-change in the state assembly. Will it ever stop with The Paul? ABG can’t prove anything, but it looks like a shady deal from every direction. 

It’s time for these kinds of missteps, the repeated bad decisions, and total lack of management to stop. It is time for the Paul to go! We can only hope.

*/** ABG added the bold highlight

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Players Didn’t Want To Pay

The Paul couldn’t put the “fix” in or the players didn't want to pay. Either way, we’re going back to court, yet again. Although this time, while ABG believes we will win this case, we will still wind up paying the court costs, legal fees and ultimately a tax increase to cover The Paul induced never-ending court expenses. 

The telecommunications company Crown Castle (under the name NextG Networks) has decided to sue the Town of Greenburgh, accusing that town officials had created roadblocks during the application process, keeping the company from installing their antennas and providing its services. 
Just because a company has a product they want to sell, doesn’t mean we must purchase it. 

Their lawsuit accuses that the Town of Greenburgh’s actions caused unreasonable delays with the company’s application which they filed in November of 2009. With what we hear from residents looking to make even small changes to their home, they’re right on track. They also claim that the Town had unwarranted and endless demands for increased information and analyses throughout the application process. They are asking the Court  to require Greenburgh to allow them to build and operate an antenna network within the Town. ABG agrees that the Town operated properly in refusing to grant their application and should stick to their decision. 

Crown Castle had plans to place 20, 4-foot antennas with a mounting kit atop existing utility poles with corresponding equipment cabinets mounted about halfway up the poles. The Town subsequently hired Andrew Rau, an outside counsel with cell tower usage experience to help assist in the Town’s review and decision-making process. Rau, said Greenburgh issued a well-reasoned decision based on substantial evidence that supports the proper use of local power under federal law. The Town Board last month unanimously rejected a proposal from the company to install the 20 cellphone antennas on utility poles in residential areas. Although our previous insight with The Paul’s Stepford Board also suggests that a unanimous vote doesn’t carry much weight.

The Paul has said the equipment is purely speculative and does not meet the standard of minimal intrusiveness. We’re not sure what that is supposed to mean. After the decision, The Paul suggested Crown Castle submit a revised application that considers zoning requirements and explains why the antennas can’t be in nonresidential areas. This statement we understand.

NextG Networks, a subsidiary of Crown Castle, that submitted the initial application, has sued several municipalities in the past, including New York City, after being denied access to utility poles. What NextG doesn’t realize when dealing with The Paul and the Stepford Board, is that they spend their time and our money in court religiously and this is a minor chink in The Paul’s worn and beaten armor. Will Greenburgh win this case in court? We can only hope.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Even Yonkers Gets It!

Our “Problem-Solving” supervisor, The Paul, only solves problems that can be easily handed off to others or won’t require any real effort on his part. Call his office or cell phone and he will get back to you or actually answer - as he should. Tell him your street has a pot hole or a bush blocking a sidewalk and he’ll have three trucks and a half a dozen Town employees there to rectify your complaint - as he should. ABG believes a couple of days response is reasonable. But that won’t garner The Paul any votes. So he’ll pull crews already assigned to, scheduled for, and working at, existing projects - throwing schedules and work flow helter-skelter. Subsequently, he gains a vote and enough positive publicity spread by the caller to everyone they know, going way beyond the value of publicity that can be purchased. He couldn’t care less about any of “his” department’s efficiency.

With newly elected Mayor Mike Spano taking the reins of Yonkers’ government, he has created a website to offer information about the fiscal health of the city. If you go to: www.YonkersControlsSpending.com, you’ll encounter a simple but informative amount of financial information about the city. ABG perused the sight and found some useful information and some fields that were lacking. But ABG admires the attempt to clarify the fiscal issues of the city, even if some parts of it fall short and it might only be a pandered attempt to care.

ABG believes transparency in government is overstated, especially in the Town of Greenburgh. We believe in true transparency, not back room deals, hidden handshakes, and quick winks or a subtle nod. This is where Greenburgh suffers, as The Paul has mastered the art of the “done-deal”. If his administration was so transparent, so forthcoming with information, why hasn’t a website such as www.GreenburghControlsSpending.com ever been created? Why hasn’t The Paul’s political lap dog and confidante Alan Hochberg, been instructed to round up the usual cronies and form a twenty person committee to review and determine the need, not to actually create, just evaluate the need, for such a website? Would the forgone conclusion be that The Paul’s pseudo-open government doesn’t warrant it? Or could it not stand under the weight of all the illegalities practiced routinely by The Paul, et al? Hardly expecting the truth, the outcome would need to be a positive one for The Paul to provide him fodder for several press releases, news conferences and mailings. Plus, we could staff it with interns. More press releases, and letters to various sympathetic editors.

So the county’s largest City, known as the city of hills, where nothing is on the level, may actually be taking a small step toward accountability. The county’s largest town, the Town Greenburgh, remains shrouded in untelevised executive sessions, back room deals and developer-centric gifted decisions. It’s abandoned it’s residents and businesses, aka the taxpayers, as they are left to fend for themselves with fees, permits, red tape, departmental attitudes, annual double-digit tax increases and of course, The Paul’s numerous guilty verdicts’ which continue to cost us millions. We cannot afford to continue this path of destruction. It must change - soon. We can only hope!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Referendum Scheduled AFTER Bubble Contract Passes

Thankfully, the Town’s video system was working last night and it wasn’t necessary to go to Town Hall to witness the GameOn 365 “done deal debacle”(DDD) happen at about 9:45 PM. ABG has maintained that the GameOn 365’s recreational “bubble”, a problem-ridden concept from even before day one, was another of The Paul’s done deals. The ethics law for the Town are being “dumbed down”, eliminating a good amount of consequence for unethical behavior by Town employees. Coincidence?

Once the DDD locomotive got up to full steam, the meeting started a half an hour late, as usual. Recently, residents have been forced to endure all kinds of crazy hours for meetings with Town officials. But the conventional media never seem to question this. Why not? ABG’s guess is because as school children the “reporters” had been instructed not to question their elders and this is just a carry-over from that. It’s so sad. It’s part of the faux-learning system indoctrination our youth is being subjugated to. How nice it would be to have a reporter actually challenge The Paul and his Stepford Board.

Regardless, after sitting down and hastily reading the items on the Agenda for this Special Meeting, The Paul made motions and Kevin “The Henchman” Morgan seconded them. While the vote was “unanimous”, once again Councilman Ken Jones was absent. He was also absent previously and the caused a rescheduling of an important vote on this proposal and once again he bailed. Could it be he did not like this DDD proposal and was trying to escape being cornered into a vote he didn’t want to make? We'd like to think so, but also are sure he’s already in the tank for The Paul. Council members Jeuttner and Sheehan sat by quietly, hardly squeaking out their vote in favor of this debacle. “Yes we’ll vote for it, whatever you say, M’lord. Please don’t treat us like Sonya.”

The Paul also moved to have the resolution go to a public referendum, after voting in favor of the contract! We could barely hear a few residents question him as to why they would not have the referendum first and then vote? He claimed in order to hold a referendum, there must be a contract. Don’t be fooled. Even if the referendum mandates not doing this proposal, he will say we already have a contract and it doesn’t matter! Apparently there are two types of referendums. Organizers against the GameOn 365 bubble have been acquiring signatures to force the Town to put this proposal on a referendum. By moving to do this first, The Paul again takes the power away from the people and continues to pull the strings of this game regardless of the referendum’s outcome.

The date for the next vote is August 29th, to put the GameOn 365 proposal on the ballot for a November referendum. While this is still a done deal, the kids from the traditional media are probably clinging to The Pauls every word and believing the referendum will happen, possibly even pass this, and justice will be served. But the referendum is moot. With or without it, the uninvested investors, having no skin in the game and no investment in the Town, will get their piece of contaminated and undervalued property in the center of the most expensive real estate market in Westchester County. The Town will pay for the property’s contaminated soil cleanup and then they will have a market value piece of land for pennies on the dollar. The Paul? He’s getting something, indirectly of course, that will fall through the cracks as well as the newly edited ethics law. The Paul has to go. We can only hope.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Can You Smell A Rat?

Whenever things get uncomfortable in Town Hall, The Paul switches to deflection mode and changes the subject. The media, sycophants all, play right along as if his blather reflects their personal “skin in the game.” When the buzz was that the President cleared away hurdles for a new Tappan Zee bridge, it gave The Paul a plethora of topics to expound upon. We imagine him saying “Wow! Judith, do you realize the publicity they just handed me?” to his vociferous, yet irrelevant, Town Clerk. We also can imagine the clerks office staff, the real brains of that department, rolling their eyes in disbelief,  mumbling, “Oh crap! Here we go again.”

The next phase of the deflection was to offer something so unrealistic and undoable that it would guarantee media coverage. But what could provide an unending source of coverage, and how absurd would it need to be? The Paul wrestled with this and then, realizing he was giving away untold tracts of land to developers, it hit him. Land use. A park. No, wait! Not just a park, a high-line park - whatever that is. “Judith, find me a park anywhere that was made from a bridge.” Then he found out that NYC had a high-line park and he was off! “Why not turn the old Tappan Zee bridge into a high-line park, just like NYC did several years ago?

The media jumped on this like a NYC dog walker works a pooper-scooper. His spew started and the media was all over it, buying into it without reservation. Then it spread from the local opinion and press release papers like the Westchester Guardian, the White Plains Examiner and of course The Paul’s personal media machine, the Journal News. Ultimately, it would almost go viral, but didn’t. They touted his ramblings as visionary and the stench of “Paul Poo” spread to the major media outlets in NYC. He was in pooper-scooper media heaven. Finally, when one of the major media pundits asked our presidential candidate/governor what he thought about the park idea. “Huh, high-line park? What’s that?” He originally poo-pooed (pun intended) the idea. Ever the politician, as he saw the idea gain the approval of the environmental and others fringe groups that our politicos are so used to pandering to, he did an immediate about-face! Suddenly, the idea merited consideration. Fortunately, with a record heat-wave this summer, The “Paul Poo” began to reek and the governor reversed course and abandoned the idea. What now for The Paul?

Some time around June, The Paul found himself needing another deflection as his transgressions within the Town were catching up to him and getting increased media coverage - just not the kind he was used to. Sure, the Journal News would report on some of it but it buried it on the inside squeezed between a Sleepy’s and Atlantic City casino ad, and never on the front page. After all, that just wouldn’t do. The Paul and his Town Boards were found guilty on seven counts in the Fortress Bible Church decision, he was found guilty of the WestHelp payoff to the Valhalla school districts, which is costing the Town a minimum loss of $100k per month which should have been a guaranteed income. Now that other politicians had co-opted his high-line park idea, he was no longer in the favored limelight.

He decided to to revisit the Tappan Zee bridge, an old stand-by for him, but with a different twist. His ability to generate media buzz is his greatest talent. “This time I’ll be against the bridge!” he thought, “but what can my reason be? Hmmm...it has to involve mass transit so I’ll appear green! They’re such suckers!” With the new twist determined, he landed on the all-or-nothing side of a mass transit component for the new bridge. He went public touting he was now against the Tappan Zee bridge and began writing letters to editors, knowing they would all be published, aired or talked about. He was right. Because the talk had been about building the new bridge without a mass transit component, The Paul announced he was against building the bridge if there would not be a mass transit portion built into it, and like that, he was back in the news. Governor Cuomo already said the bridge would not be able to have the mass transit portion included as it was a) too costly and would b) slow the progress he felt we were making. He never mentioned that we’re coming up to an election year and they need these bridge jobs as a key campaign issue for all the politicians to be a part of and to use.

Once The Paul started to get traction with his “Don’t Build The Bridge” campaign, and the media coverage he wantonly craves, he got another visit, although this one unwelcome. It was from a rat! The union rat, to be specific. The unions that would be involved in building the new Tappan Zee bridge wanted the project to move forward. The Paul was spearheading it’s demise. Now that he infuriated the parent union bosses, and is already extremely disliked by the Town’s CSEA members, it was time for payback. During July, the union planted their inflatable rat outside of Greenburgh Town Hall, aimed at The Paul, who by default with his new position is against the union and in this case union jobs! We’re sure you didn’t see this in the Journal News or the other papers.

About a week and a half ago, the same rat showed up outside of The Paul’s expensive Boulder Ridge housing development. In fact, we were informed the residents were instructed to stay indoors for their safety. Ironic that The Paul would have a significant police presence at the open forum he held at the former Frank’s Nursery for GameOn 365, but not offer Boulder Ridge residents the same protection. We know the union members at Boulder Ridge were not a threat to anybody’s safety. It was a “cheap shot” to tell the residents there to stay inside for their safety, as well as unnecessary. We tried to get a flyer they were handing out but were unable. Our union contacts inform us they have a plan for the rat and to continue protesting The Paul and his anti-bridge position.

While ABG wonders if the rat will accomplish much for the union’s cause, we do support the union and the jobs that will be created for everyone with this project. Stay tuned, as we learn more, you’ll learn more.

As always, we hope our readers will forward information they may learn or receive regarding this and any other news within Greenburgh’s borders to us at ABetterGreenburgh@gmail.com.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

County Law May Burst Bubble

The following information was received in an email to one of ABG’s staffers. We felt it warranted posting as ABG is dedicated to improving the Town of Greenburgh. This information is pertinent to the proposed Game On lease at 715 Dobbs Ferry Road, on the former Frank’s Nursery site, which the information asserts makes this proposal and land usage illegal! Even though the evidence seems to support this, we know that the law has never been an impediment to The Paul and his projects.

Section 283.611 of the Westchester County Code (Purchase and Sale of Tax Lien Property) states that the Town Supervisor shall (meaning “must”) sell any property acquired by the town by reason of any tax lien.  As such, the land cannot be leased to anybody, as this would be illegal for the Town to do. Lawsuits await.

Text from the email reads:
It is unbelievable that the Town of Greenburgh’s Town Attorney Tim Lewis, Community Development Commissioner Thomas Madden, and other lawyers such as Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and Town Councilman Ken Jones were not aware of this law (or chose to ignore it) and were about to sign an illegal lease. Even more shameful is the amount of time and money that was wasted on an invalid RFP process and numerous lease negotiations/drafts over these past 18 months.

This is truly another Feiner Fiasco to be added to his resume of Taxter Ridge, Valhalla WestHelp and the upcoming $5 million uninsured lawsuit to Fortress Bible.
Here is a link to the Westchester County Code:

We have included the text of the statute from the above link to facilitate your reading. If you click on the link above, you must choose between two methods of how you want your screen to display the information. Either choice will produce the same result and only relates to that site and does not change any settings on your computer. ABG has highlighted what is believed to be the pertinent requirements of the statute for this property and proposal. This should not imply the rest of the statute is without merit.

Westchester County Statute:

Purchase and sale of tax lien property.  

[§ 580 of the Laws of 1948, Ch. 852]
Upon the foreclosure of any tax lien or transfer of a tax lien held by the town, the supervisor shall have the right to bid in and take title on behalf of the town, of the property so sold, provided always that the amount of the bid does not exceed the amount it would be necessary for the property to bring in order to protect the interest of the town, after paying all previous charges in accordance with the terms of the judgment.
The town board shall have the right and is hereby authorized to grant by resolution easements to the owner or owners of abutting properties in, over, under and across any such lands, property and real estate which may have been heretofore or may hereafter be so acquired by the town.
The supervisor shall sell, either at public or private sale, as the town board may by resolution direct, and upon such terms and conditions and for such sum or sums as the town beard shall by resolution approve, fix and determine, any property or any part or parts thereof acquired by the town by reason of any tax lien or transfer of tax lien and convey title thereof in the name of the town. Deeds and conveyances thereof shall be by bargain and sale deed without covenant against grantor and shall be executed on behalf of the town by the supervisor. Upon any such sale the supervisor, when so authorized by resolution of the town board, shall have the right and is hereby authorized to take back in the name of the town a purchase money bond and mortgage or bonds and mortgages as a part of the consideration therefor in an amount or amounts not to exceed 60 percent of the sale price and upon such terms and conditions as may be authorized and fixed by resolution of the town board and in enforcing the lien of any such mortgage the town shall have and be entitled to all the same rights and remedies as an individual or private corporation under the provisions of the Real Property Law and the Civil Practice Act and Rules of the State of New York.
Any such property may be sold on an installment contract of and, in that event the property so sold shall be assessed on the next succeeding tax roll. Upon any property so sold the contract of sale shall provide that the purchaser, in addition to making the installment payments, shall pay as they become due all taxes and assessments so assessed. The town shall not permit the subordination of any mortgage it may hold or subsequently acquire.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Not Acting Like We Need More Parks

Municipalities are exempt from property taxes if the property is used for the benefit of the public. If that same property is owned by a town or government but leased to a private company to operate a business, it is no longer tax exempt and will incur the appropriate taxes.

A devalued property, with fixed amounts in their lease for, say, fifteen years will be getting a much greater financial (i.e. 1% rental increases for each of ten years) and operational advantage than say a private company which rents space from a private landlord. Herein is the gist of what is happening with two similar companies within the Town.

House of Sports, located in Ardsley, NY, has asked for nothing, received nothing and played by the rules creating their business. They are in the final stages of building construction of a 120k square foot, multi-story building in a commercially zoned section of the village. It sits at the same location the former Selecto food warehouse had been, between a motel and I-87 and is accessible via Rt 9A. There are several other businesses nearby, such as RSA Computers, a car wash and others. It blends with the surrounding area.

Image taken from House of Sports Website

GameOn 365 is offering to lease the property at the former Frank’s Nursery location on Dobbs Ferry Road. The facility GameOn 365 wants to open is a bubble which will provide 79k square feet of indoor recreational room. What their website does not provide is the square footage with the courts and additional structures on the site. This makes an apples-to-apples comparison difficult. They are asking for a zoning change from residential to commercial use. It will invariably require additional zoning and other variances. 
It does not blend with the surrounding area.

Image taken from Westchester Field House Website

While these two companies may be competitors by nature, that point is less significant than the unbalanced theatre of operations with which these two businesses will be performing.There are numerous issues surrounding the proposal that residents, civic associations and others have vociferously complained about. We’ve posted before about them and will not repeat what’s already be said. Suffice to say that the change of zoning is a significant one which will have repercussions for at least 15 years to the area. 

The Paul has stated that we don’t need more affordable housing in Greenburgh and that there is a glut of it already and that’s why we should support this proposal. Perhaps he is correct that there is a glut throughout the Town of affordable housing. Our objections aside, we also felt that remediation of the property, a genuine effort to sell or lease it – not to the lowest denominator but rather the highest – must be from a position of strength. Gerry Byrne, one of two of our Recreation Commissioners stated at one Town Board meeting that we are always scrambling for open parks for recreational activities. If that’s the case, what is happening here doesn’t support his statement. Clean the property up, make it usable for the Town’s Recreation Department and we all benefit and the tax issue disappears.

Experts in real estate have spoken at the numerous forums and suggested we as a Town could do better. ABG knows they are correct. The Paul and his Stepford’s know they are correct. Slow down this express locomotive and let’s finally do better. We can only hope.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Circling The Wagons With Lies

The Paul loves the media. The media loves The Paul. It’s one big happy kumbaya moment after another followed by an equally ersatz group hug. Unfortunately, they never question, challenge or investigate what he says and just publish his press releases or speeches unencumbered with facts, figures or real information. If they had followed through just a bit, they would have known what he said about Thursday night’s vote was a lie!

When asked about the vote the Town Board needed to make, a) to keep their positions; and b) endorsing and entering into a contract with GameOn 365, The Paul lied and said the vote would be taking place on Thursday night, at 10PM at Town Hall. Okay, “a) to keep their positions” was not officially on the agenda. When an ABG staffer arrived, she could see there were three people in the lobby, Town Planning Commissioner Thomas Madden, two others and a man having just exited. When she asked him as she was walking up the sidewalk if they were in a back room as the meeting room wasn’t fully lit and appeared empty, he said that Madden stated they were in executive session. For the uninitiated, executive session is where the Board goes to avoid the public with sticky, thorny and/or unpopular positions The Paul has taken and mandated to his Stepford Board. Usually, these go against the public will and the well-being of the Town. Most significant was The Paul going unchallenged by the media that the Board was taking a vote on Thursday night. If they were voting on the GameOn 365 proposal, it must be publicly posted and done in a public forum! As an aside our staffer didn’t bother entering, stating she was not in the mood to wait it out, which was at about 1:30AM.

This is the type of “open government” touted by The Paul. Because of this faux-openness,  the media adores him. Gannett, who brings you the Journal News, lohud.com, and now the dailyvoice.com vis-à-vis the greenburgh.dailyvoice.com, all currently serve as The Paul’s media machine and press release portal with a hands-off, see-no-evil approach. They endorse any hare-brained idea that he regurgitates regardless of how much content is fiction. Fortunately for the residents, not everyone buys his carefully crafted hapless persona and requisite stupidity, hook, line and sinker. 

The Paul is happy to postpone the GameOn 365 vote yet again, claiming it will show the public that he and his Stepford’s aren’t rushing into a deal with GameOn 365. The reality of it is, he and his Stepford’s are trying to anticipate the impending lawsuits against them once they sign the contract and how it will affect them, along with any new ideas rookie Councilman Ken Jones may offer. After five postponements, something is definitely askew in The Paul’s plans. By now, he would have typically endorsed, voted approval, waived zoning restrictions and released press announcements, etc., all while claiming how this one deal is paying down Greenburgh’s debt and he’s ready to move on to his next big “whatever”! 

The Paul has announced that The Board will hold a vote on the lease on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at Greenburgh Town Hall. This is when the contract will go through as there will not be any more changes made – The Paul has pledged this deal will save the Town, lower taxes and reinvent canned food. More likely, The Paul has pledged this property to GameOn 365 and is getting pressure from them to deliver. While The Paul has said the finalized lease would be available for public review before the vote, it undoubtedly doesn’t matter. Contaminated land or not, undervalued rent or not, too long a contract or not, $5k a year in rent or not, The Paul is circling the wagons with lies. Because he wants this terrible deal whether we agree to it or not means we will get it. This proposal should not be done anytime soon and especially by August 13th. It certainly needs more work by qualified people before anybody signs anything. This is just one of the sad states of affairs for Greenburgh. Can this be rescued before it is too late? We can only hope.