Monday, June 22, 2015

Big Brother Creeps In

Billed as "Good News!" by the Town Supervisor, his latest move has "Big Brother" written all over it, and it doesn't pertain to the well-known television show. Mr Feiner and his Town Board have decided, on their own, to enter  ALL TOWN RESIDENTS into  an "ESCO" or Energy Savings Consortium Organization run by Sustainable Westchester. Mr Feiner sent out an email and a physical mailing to residents from the Town's snail-mail and email list, known as the GBList. This email list, by the way, was sought after by many community organizations as Town information/property and Mr Feiner refused to relinquish it when it was requested. Dorrine Livson, President of the Worthington Woodlands Civic Association, was one civic group representative that requested it under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and was turned down by Mr Feiner. She appealed the decision and was again turned down. She went to court and was victorious, finding Mr Feiner once again guilty of breaking the law! Now appealing the decision, Mr Feiner is still refusing to turn the list over to her even under court directive.

The more we talk to different people about these ESCO's, the more questions and apparent problems for residents arise than answers can be had. Mr Feiner said people that don't want to participate can opt out at any time. What we have learned is that many ESCOs have a penalty charge when you opt out. More importantly, however, we don't understand why this was not set up for people to opt IN instead of having to opt OUT? Mr Feiner repeatedly refuses to answer that question. Governing by fiat appears to be Mr Feiner's latest abuse of his power.

He says your ConEd bill can go down by hundreds, even up to $600! Mr Feiner has a history of shouting out unsubstantiated figures whenever its convenient. Could you get a better rate on your own from purchasing your power from a company other than ConEd? Perhaps. Would you prefer to be in control of your own contractual obligations, rather than having the Town be in charge of your power options? Again, perhaps. But after witnessing so many instances of financial mismanagement by this administration, its a bit scary for us to think Mr Feiner, found guilty of lying in Federal court (re: Fortress Bible decision) is even telling the truth! And after the introductory period, will your rates stay the same or change? And, if they change, is Mr Feiner going to pay the difference or work on your behalf to make sure your rates are in fact lower and you continue to save hundreds? Perhaps, but more than likely it is highly doubtful, however, excuses will be plentiful, We foresee classic Feiner double-talk with little or no relief ever coming.

So, the Town Board approved a resolution some two weeks ago that will enter all Town residents into an agreement to participate in a "community choice aggregation" program through Sustainable Westchester. Participating communities will pool resources and procure energy supplies from an ESCO. In February of this year the New York State Public Service Commission authorized Sustainable Westchester to become the first business in New York State to put out for bid the total amount of natural gas or electricity being purchased by local residents and small businesses.

The claims are that the program has some benefits: Price stability for a fixed contract term, better terms than a typical resident could get acting alone and the ability to design a program that reflects local goals like cleaner power sources. Currently, anyone can purchase their energy from an ESCO but many ESCOs don't provide fixed rates -they offer ratepayers good deals initially and then increase the rates a short time later. It's confusing to some when trying to compare the ESCOs. Sustainable Westchester has the resources to compare ESCOs and to get an agreement for a fixed term. And if you disagree with their decision, well, you'll be S.O.L. (Stuck Outta Luck - the G-rated version).

One resident and Civic Association President Ken Stahn is also concerned about many aspects of this contract. While there may be some in favor of this vote-getting ploy to tout how they've saved the taxpayer's money, too many questions linger and threaten this purported "good news!" from Mr Feiner.

Mr Stahn has set up a meeting with the group,Sustainable Westchester, regarding the Town Board Resolution of June 10th, 2015.  The meeting will take place at the Town Hall at 7 PM before the opening of the hearing on this topic when the Town Board meets on that evening this coming Wednesday June 24th,2015.

He needs to get ten positive responses regarding this meeting from people to move forward with meeting with them. His hope is to hear from concerned taxpayers by noon Tuesday June 23rd, 2015 or he will be forced to cancel the meeting.

Please reply to Mr Stahn by noon June 23rd, 2015 either positive or negative about your interest in the meeting.

Kenneth G. Stahn, 644 Ardsley Road, Scarsdale, New York 10583-1804
Cell 917-642-7516; Home 914-693-4904; e-mail

We applaud Mr Stahn for seeking answers before the Town moves on yet another "done-deal". We agree with many who say this could be good but that taxpayers should only be required to "opt IN", otherwise Big Brother will start to creep into other decisions "for us". You can help to stop this madness! Join Mr Stahn this Wednesday evening. Regardless of the outcome, stay, and during the public speaking session tell Mr Feiner and his Board, "No!" They should only move forward with this if it is "Opt IN" Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.


  1. You will get two bills one from the Energy supplier and one from Con ed for transmission services. The bills do not go down .They actually go up.

  2. I have a agreement with Con ed not to change my energy supplier without my authorization. How can this change be made.

  3. I have a agreement with Con ed not to change my energy supplier without my authorization. How can this change be made.