Each series of meetings finds new catch phrases germinating from our Supervisor. ABG believes Mr Feiner hopes that others on the Board will grab them and use them in tandem with him, providing an appearance of faux-diligence. But since throwing Mr Sheehan under the bus by challenging his ballot petition signatures, challenging his character, and accusing him of lying about where he resides, the Board members appeared a bit chilly toward him at the first work session after the Democratic Primary election. It was at that Work Session that his newest catch phrase was concocted, “I just want to move this forward.” and, “I just want to appear to be moving forward.”
Even though his latest challenger for Town Supervisor lost the Democratic Primary election, Bob Bernstein appears to have damaged Mr Feiner’s thought-to-be-bulletproof armor, showing how many missteps, screw-ups and mistakes Mr Feiner has made while the two were out campaigning. Mr Feiner made multiple character attacks against Mr Bernstein that were out and out lies. Conversely, Mr Bernstein cited project after project and the illegal actions Mr Feiner perpetrated against the Town and the media let it lie dormant because they are “in the tank” for their fellow progressive.
Previous catch phrases from Mr Feiner that would be cast about were ones such as, “This is nothing more than bid rigging.” And, “We want to do our due diligence.” Or how about, “ Um, you know, this is just my opinion, it’s only my personal opinion.” As ABG has stated previously, Mr Feiner is always the Supervisor and when he sits on the Town dais it is as the Supervisor. He should never state that any of his comments are a “personal” one. By saying its his personal opinion and believing that that absolves him of responsibility as Supervisor is ludicrous. This behavior simply reinforces why term limits would be a good thing. ABG knows it will never happen, but Mr Feiner and this Board should offer a referendum for term limits.
Another interesting issue that arose at this meeting is that Mr Harris of Group MRH (we don’t believe there really is a “group”) was at this same work session requesting to renegotiate their/his contract with the Town, which has still yet to be signed, because of increased costs that weren’t anticipated by them in their original bid. At roughly the 47:00 minute-point of the meeting, Mr Feiner’s handpicked, questionably chosen, inexperienced choice and favored bidder for the WestHelp property management, bemoaned his plight of staying within the bid. Mr Feiner responded, “I understand you didn’t anticipate these additional costs during the bidding”. Really? He understands? How nice. He caused the problems and created the deal with Group MRH. Now, bidders benefitting from Mr Feiner’s bid rigging, similar in nature to the GameOn 365 sweetheart deal are saying they cannot adhere to the bid because they didn’t really know how bad the property was. Perhaps they should have toured the property with the Journal News’ Dave McKay Wilson – oh, wait a minute, he was denied access to the site.
The other bidders all bid more realistic amounts because they have the experience necessary to participate in these types of projects. Group MRH does not. What should happen now is the Town should dismiss Group MRH as the high bidder for the property management and award the bid to the next highest bidder on the list. But this is “Bizarro” Greenburgh where bad deals just get swept under the carpet. The whole idea of a bid is to get the lowest fixed price for a set amount of money and work, designed to eliminate any collusion between the parties (bid rigging). It’s one of the glaring things wrong with this administration. We’re reminded of Mr Feiner’s repeated statement that the Town must, “Do our due diligence.” Apparently, Group MRH and he should have done a bit more due diligence.
Now that the Democratic Primary election is over and Mr Feiner is the official “candidate” even though he is running unopposed and no longer a “real” candidate, he again got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. About three weeks ago, a resident found paperwork left in the Town Hall auditorium that indicated the Town has approximately $22M dollars outstanding in unpaid taxes. When ABG first learned of the revelation, we asked if we could get a copy but were unable to do so. At the September 17th Work Session, several outside accountants were presenting a report on the Town’s financial condition. Mr Feiner asked about tax amnesty and what was their experience in doing a tax amnesty program? They told him they had none. When Mr Feiner pushed them to find out if he could do a tax amnesty program, they refused to offer an opinion. Smart move as Mr Feiner must have realized the slip up.
Mr Feiner has stated he’s willing to give up the interest in exchange for the cold cash that would come in by the time the amnesty program ends on Dec. 31. That’s assuming people have the money to pay the back taxes regardless of amnesty or not. The problem with an amnesty program is that it’s a crapshoot and if people haven’t paid their taxes it’s mostly because they cannot. As Mr Feiner brags about the Town’s AAA Bond rating, he neglects to discuss the $22M outstanding, unpaid, owed back taxes throughout the Town that has been increasing yearly under his administration!
Another issue slowly percolating because of the back tax issue is that the Town stands to acquire a windfall of properties through foreclosure. We’ve witnessed for the last two years how incapable this administration is with one property they acquired through foreclosure, the former Frank’s Nursery at 715 Dobbs Ferry Road. Mr Feiner and his Board tried to illegally lease the property to another upstart, GameOn 365. When the neighbors intervened with a lawsuit, he proposed an ill-conceived Referendum in the last election. That easily passed with a majority of the voters who voted, but was left languishing, as the Democratic nominations for the upcoming elections got nearer and nearer and his opponent, Bob Bernstein, was slowly pulling the curtain back, exposing more and more of Mr Feiner’s dirty closet.
At the same time, details of Mr Feiner’s “gift” to GameOn 365, along with the property’s contamination and a surprise offer by Ardsley’s House of Sports for double the amount threw a monkey wrench into Mr Feiner’s schemes. Now instead of doing their, “Due diligence,” Mr Feiner accused the public of, “Bid rigging the process to where nobody will want to bid on Town projects.” ABG doesn’t believe it’s possible for the public to rig the bid, only the elected officials and participants of the bids can do that. If people choose to not bid on Greenburgh projects, they would do well to look elsewhere unless their has been a pre-anointed “nod” from Mr Feiner.
So while Mr Feiner has said, “It’s more important for us to get as much money in the bank,” he said. “We’ll be better off financially if we are able to collect back taxes.” He’s right. We have roughly the same amount of money being lost for the Town by Mr Feiner with bad decisions, cronyism, lost lawsuits and guilty verdicts. Greenburgh’s house of cards can no longer be sustained with his “Aw-shucks” demeanor. 400 Greenburgh property owners are delinquent on their taxes. The foreclosure process will begin for those property owners who haven’t paid their property taxes. It is estimated that at least 320 property owners will receive foreclosure notices. Can we really afford to go through 320 Frank’s Nursery scenarios?
Greenburgh needs help. ABG believes its why Bob Bernstein brought up hiring an outside Town Administrator who is not beholden to political paybacks, the politics of Mr Feiner and his complicit Board and a willfully ignorant populace. A Town Administrator is the right thing now that there is little hope for any change at Town Hall. Greenburgh residents and businesses deserve more. We deserve a better Greenburgh.