Thursday, December 19, 2013

Power Brokers Destroy Town Assets & Trust

What’s going on with the Town administration is not only reprehensible, but wasteful. The Town Board has looked the other way and perhaps initiated the the censorship and altering of official documents. They have sanitized documents to deflect attention from Mr Feiner and Ms Juettner’s guilt with the Fortress Bible guilty verdict. At the last Town Board meeting, with one goal of voting to pass resolution AT-1 as hastily as possible, Mr Feiner changed the order of the agenda so the altered documents could be adopted as quickly as possible and leave to visit his hospitalized father. AT-1 was the resolution authorizing the Town to pay the fine of $6.5 million as settlement for being found guilty of lying under oath, violating the civil rights of a church and more. If Mr Feiner had left prior to the rushed vote, it would have been a tie vote with Councilmen Morgan and Jones voting in the affirmative and Juettner and Sheehan (who was delayed by traffic) voting nay. Sheehan explained while speaking with us after the meeting that they felt the decision to settle was a hurried one and a less costly amount might have been had with better negotiations.

Back in 2012, computers used by the Xposure program at the Theodore Young Community Center (TYCC) were stolen from the facility. The public was told that security cameras in the facility recorded some of the theft but not enough to make an arrest. The stolen computers were never recovered. The Police Department investigation, led by our new police chief, then Captain McNerney, said they could find little if any real evidence of the theft and let the matter drop after questioning employees there. The entire issue was slowly allowed to slip from public consciousness. The excuse used was insurance that had been purchased by the Xposure Program’s organization for the computers will pay for their replacements. As far as Mr Feiner is concerned, “no harm, no foul”.

During the floods from Super storms Irene and Sandy, flood water damage affected the TYCC. The flooring in the gymnasium buckled and warped, looking like an undulating floor in an amusement park. Almost immediately, the Town claimed there were no funds available in the capital budget and that FEMA funds would pay for a new floor. Ironically, residents throughout the Town would be forced to wait months for a simple determination on their own FEMA claims. It would then take several more months to actually receive a check if qualified to even receive money from FEMA insurance claims. Normally, those who had flood insurance and did receive FEMA payments did not receive replacement value costs, as promised, had a $5k mandatory deductible and did not receive enough to replace their damaged homes or businesses. While residents languished, funds for the TYCC were doggedly pursued by Mr Feiner.

But why is the TYCC is different. Because it’s Mr Feiner’s personal campaign tool in Fairview and he had to take care of them immediately. So while this and other special interest groups of Mr Feiner’s were taken care of, taxpaying residents were ignored – until Mr Feiner learned the media would be in those neighborhoods. Then he made a beeline to be there promising to have FEMA purchase their flooded homes. He knew the Town would be required to institute a host of changes to receive consideration for this and his were lies of false and empty promises. What did he do to help them? After the TV cameras and reporter left, so did he, never to be seen or heard from again in those neighborhoods.

During the cleanup of the flooded gym at the TYCC, Town officials made the decision to store the TYCC bleachers at the Frank’s Nursery site. While its an interesting, albeit stupid idea, there must be other spaces available they could have been taken? But whomever made this decision somehow thought it was a smart move to store them in, to quote GameOn 365’s Martin Hewitt and cohort, Mr Feiner, “A dilapidated building”. It was only smart if the intent was to “lose” the bleachers or have them get additionally damaged so they could justify replacing them, creating another media event entitled, Look What I’ve Done For You Today. After all, they replaced the floor, the lights (unscathed by flooding), added solar panels and more. Who is authorizing these bad decisions?

The G10 and other residents have consistently question the Town Board at meetings as to what happened to the bleachers from the Theodore Young Community Center. They would never receive an answer. It begs the question as to why the bleachers were stored at the former Frank’s Nursery location to begin with. If it was simply because of the size and quantity of the bleachers, why not rent a few CONEX storage containers to put them in and place them in the parking lot at 715 Dobbs Ferry Road? Too much common sense seems to be wasted with this Board. So why Mr Feiner and his Board schemed with taxpayer assets yet again, intentionally forcing their ruination, Mr Feiner’s next press conference/release will be that FEMA money (our money) will be replacing the bleachers damaged by the flooding. Another lie? You decide.

The Town Board has implemented numerous methods of skirting, ignoring or simply “blowing off” constituent taxpayer questions. The most common is to never engage the public in discussion, unless it’s someone sympathetic to one of Mr Feiner’s causes, not a G10 member, or will allow Mr Feiner to discuss a topic such as our triple-A bond rating, mulching leaves, installing solar powered garbage cans or staying within the NYS 2% cap with only a 3.4% tax increase – which may go higher due to the $6.5 million Fortress Bible guilty verdict levied against Mr Feiner, Ms Juettner, et al. Almost all other Town and Village Boards engage the taxpayer in conversation at their meetings, taxpayers they represent.

The Power Brokers at the top level of our Town government are seemingly untouchable, unaccountable, virtually invincible, and they know it. They are routinely hiding information from the public, moving equipment and assets from one location to others ill-suited to store anything in hopes of destroying it. As Mr Feiner and his administration continues to cost us money through “lost” equipment, he will send out press releases, watch for the mailings that advertise the Town has purchased new bleachers for the TYCC. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. This is one of the problems that might be cured with term limits.  Things must change in Greenburgh and fast. Otherwise, we may never see A Better Greenburgh.

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