Tuesday, December 1, 2015

“Deflection Mode” Media Blitz Underway

In classic style, Mr Feiner has spent the last week or so bemoaning the need for sidewalks in our Town. Never one to let a “good” crisis go by without comment, he has engaged a complicit media with email and snail mail press releases about the death of Mount Vernon resident Herbert Wesley, age 57, on Grasslands Road in Valhalla, on November 17th. It’s been reported that Mt Pleasant police received several phone calls of an intoxicated man, who turned out to be Wesley, who could be seen walking along Grasslands Road. He was struck and killed by an SUV at about 7 p.m. The driver of the SUV was not identified by police and is not facing charges but did remain at the scene.

After this happened, Mr Feiner sent out numerous letters to the editors of area newspapers. In them, he states, “The pedestrian death... highlights the need for sidewalks to be built on streets leading to the community college.” What he failed to mention was that this accident might not have happened had he not postured several years ago and acted in earnest on the request made about two or three years ago by a young college student from Westchester Community College. He appeared before the Town Board meeting holding a hand-made sign asking for sidewalks from the college on both Grasslands and Knollwood Roads, citing the hazardous walking conditions along the sides of each road compounded by a high volume of traffic.

As usual, the Town Board bristled, as here before them was a novice, young, idealistic voice of a new constituency, untainted and unmarred by Greenburgh’s demagoguery. Mr Feiner engaged him in a conversation, giving Mr Lewis the “secret signal” to allow the exchange. You see, when things get prickly for Mr Feiner, Mr Lewis is right there to stop the exchange and has even fallen on the sword when necessary to spare his boss self-inflicted embarrassment. At the end of this exchange and even with a brief interview by a news reporter, several long-time residents eventually informed him that nothing would come of his pitch to them and the exchange that followed. That’s politics kid!

On November 14, 2015, ABG wrote about another pedestrian struck by a car that went unreported by other news media. Here’s an excerpt:
“According to Police Chief McNerney, ‘On November 24th, at approximately 6:55pm, a pedestrian was struck on Joan Avenue at the intersection of Knollwood Road. The pedestrian was crossing Joan Avenue, from the north side to the south side and was struck by a vehicle that was traveling south on Knollwood Road, making a right onto Joan. According to the report, the pedestrian suffered minor injuries.’ This piece of information was unreported to the media.” What we had learned at the time from a police officer was that Mr Feiner called the Police Chief and asked him to withhold the information from the press. You see, many newspapers, including the Journal News, will call daily all of the Westchester police departments and ask if they have any news to report. We believe that is what he asked him to withhold.

Looking back through the ABG archives, we found another story from Friday, February 8, 2013 about a pedestrian struck on Knollwood Road. Here’s that excerpt:
“At about 2PM today, Friday, a pedestrian was struck by a car walking on Knollwood Road at the entrance to the Westchester Community College. There is no sidewalk. At the other end of Knollwood Road, the new Greenburgh Health Center has opened. It’s only a matter of time that a pedestrian gets hit by a car at this new address. The old Community Health Center on Rt 119 across from the former A&P in the Crossroads Shopping Center, found many of it’s clients crossing Rt 119 with kids, strollers and shopping bags, etc., in all kinds of weather and traffic. The dangerous situation that existed at one area has been shifted to another. Even though it is a different area, the same risk still exists for the health center’s clientele, just at their new home. There is no sidewalk.”

ABG has followed numerous requests for sidewalks for years from the North Elmsford, Fulton Park, Worthington Woodlands, and the Broadview Civic Associations to name a few. No responses or action have taken place by the Town to those requests. Although Broadview has been pushing the argument that the Town dropped the ball by not enforcing the agreement that the Greenburgh Health Center, owned by the Mount Vernon Health Center, and the condominium next to it have failed to honor their agreement to build sidewalks in front of their respective property. Our research also found two additional pedestrian deaths on Rt 9A in 2008.

The only response for sidewalks made thus far has been to the Edgemont Community Council’s request for sidewalks at Seely Place, where there is a school. ABG believes the only reason Mr Feiner worked towards getting them sidewalks is the looming secession they have held over him. Should Edgemont secede, the Town and Mr Feiner would lose a tremendous portion of income for his budgets, pulling back the magic curtain and exposing the shell game Mr Feiner has run for years. Let’s not forget the money lost by his breaking the contract with Westchester County for WestHelp to the loss of $1.2 million per year. Let’s also not forget the guilty verdict by a Federal Court against Mr Feiner, Ms Juettner and the Town for $6.5 million of which the taxpayers must pay $5.5 million!

Last year, the village of Ardsley built a sidewalk on Heatherdell Road leading to the Ardsley High School using federal dollars. What Mr Feiner fails to mention is that only Ardsley’s elected officials secured the funds without Mr Feiner or the Town's involvement and built their sidewalks in record time. ABG has learned that each time the State has had funds available for sidewalks, Mr Feiner has never “stepped up” to try to secure those funds for sidewalks in any portion of the Town! If only Unincorporated Greenburgh residents had a Mayor like Ardsley things might be different.

What Mr Feiner typically does is act like the Town Crier (no pun intended) and then say that other politicians should pay for what he says we need. It’s the classic bait-and-switch scheme that frankly, has gotten old and worn out under this administration. It’s time for real leadership in Greenburgh. Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.

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