Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bravado Through The End The Year

Mr Feiner rarely disappoints us. Wait! Please do not misinterpret that statement to believe we are pleased with Mr Feiner’s behavior. Quite the contrary, we are not! The fact that he would write a Letter to the Editor of the area’s only daily newspaper complaining that County Executive Rob Astorino is contemplating a campaign run for Governor borders on incredulous! And while its sad that Mr Feiner would attack Mr Astorino for something he himself has done, Mr Feiner’s bad behavior, political opportunism and partisan politics goes beyond acceptable. We’re sure his diatribe has also gone to the weekly papers to be printed as  “news” (read: propaganda). It’s also the expected Feiner Deflection as he tries to distance himself from the WestHelp debacle, water rate increases, 3.4% tax increase and of course, the $6,500,000 settlement he and his Board made with the victorious Fortress Bible Church – although nobody really won. However, Fortress Bible Church pulled off a major feat never-before-seen in Greenburgh: they got the Town to pay for their new church and school’s construction costs! To paraphrase Mr Feiner, “Good news! We’re number one in lawsuit settlement payouts in NY!” 

Mr Feiner wrote this Letter to the Editor bemoaning County Executive Rob Astorino’s exploration for a run for Governor. He complains that Astorino should have told everyone before the election that he was interested in running for Governor. Really? What about when Mr Feiner ran for Congress after being re-elected for Town Supervisor? He never informed the Greenburgh residents to not elect him as he would be throwing his hat into the Congressional arena. Mr Feiner also refused to attend the Council of Greenburgh Civic Associations candidate forum, choosing instead to campaign at a supermarket. And how about Mr Feiner’s “best-bud”, Tom Abinanti? He did the same thing, running for County Legislator and almost immediately after being re-elected and accumulating 20 years in office, announced his candidacy for State Assemblyman. Where was Mr Feiner’s outrage then? Since there was no political capital for him there and there was no benefit for Mr Feiner, there was no verbal or written outrage.

While denouncing Mr Astorino, Mr Feiner also insults County employees, in particular, the County Legislators, stating, “If County Executive Astorino runs for governor in 2014, Westchester will have no functioning county executive during the duration of the campaign. We will still be paying his full-time salary, but not getting full-time attention. Mr. Astorino will be traveling the state, not tending to county business.” It was Mr Feiner who has repeatedly stated that we don’t need County Government. And, if Mr Astorino were away, would everything cease to operate in the County? Hardly, the County Legislators, Commissioners and managers would continue to do what they do. And, whether you like County government or not, there is a Deputy County Executive who can and often does fill in for the County Executive. But won’t statements such as this one above cause more damage and inflict less cooperation from other levels of government and individuals? You decide.

In fact, if Mr Feiner really cared to learn what takes place when he’s away, he might ask his Commissioners and Department Leaders what they do when he isn’t in –beyond celebrating. Or, when Mr Feiner is away holding press conferences on topics he has no authority over, no involvement in or is of no interest to the Town. Topics such as closing Indian Point, saving the rusty, decrepit Tappan Zee Bridge as a park because the maintenance will magically cease to be an issue if the State makes it a Highline Park. Mr Feiner really doesn’t know much about maintenance as witnessed in the Town’s infrastructure which seemingly never requires maintenance nor receives any from Mr Feiner. We’d venture to say our Town operates better and more efficiently when Mr Feiner is not here.

Mr Feiner continued, “Communities like Greenburgh could suffer because we won’t get needed county cooperation when we need it.” To be clear, Greenburgh could more likely suffer because of statements Mr Feiner makes like this one than anything else. He continues, “For example, the town still has not received permission from the county executive’s office to lease the former WestHELP property for affordable housing. We’ve been waiting months for an OK. We’re still waiting.” It should be noted that Mr Feiner let the contract lapse after being prodded to re-sign by the Spano and Astorino administrations. Other elected officials, specifically the Republicans, will undoubtedly continue to work with Mr Feiner while his own Democratic party won’t. 

Even as he is disavowed by the Democratic leadership, he continues to rub salt in the “County wound” to get back in the good graces of the Democrats, audaciously throwing the lack of County approval out as the reason for delays to leasing the WestHelp property. The shine from his brass set is blinding! Mr Feiner created the issues surrounding WestHelp and the delays are because he violated the contractual agreements the Town entered into years ago with the County. Shame on him for trying to deflect attention away from his wrong-doings and blame someone else again. It’s all on him.

He then mentions the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) money not making its way to Greenburgh because the County Executive has a dispute with HUD regarding the affordable housing settlement. Mr Feiner complained that the County Executive wasn’t active, then he complained because the County Executive is active. What’s it going to be? If he’s active and money is withheld, wouldn’t that suggest you would want him inactive and have money flowing? But Mr Feiner contradicts himself, apparently not wanting either. Mr Feiner’s lies, deflections, missteps and screw-ups are finally taking their toll. Taxpayers in Greenburgh know all about this. He complains that we would be paying for Mr Astorino but he wouldn’t be here working. That’s kind of funny coming from Mr Feiner. At least Mr Astorino didn’t vote to increase his salary by 10% as Mr Feiner and his Board unanimously recently did.

The taxpayers in Greenburgh are slowly watching their Town decline into Detroit with over-paid, patronage, do-nothing jobs, wasteful spending, spot-zoning and more. Our taxes are increasing by 3.4%, beyond the 2% NYS tax cap Mr Feiner insists we are below. We have guilty verdicts from multiple lawsuits, lost revenue, certiorari adjustments that look like the budgets for small nations, disappearing assets right from under everyones noses and there continues to be no accountability. It has to change. Maybe 2014 will be the year. We can only hope. It’s time for A Better Greenburgh.

Read Mr Feiner’s letter here:|newswell|text||s

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