Monday, April 25, 2016

Town Board Caves, Tries New Scheme

Stay tuned. Same Bat-channel, same Bat-time, same Bat-garbage. That’s right, once again Mr Feiner has set up the Town Board to help him appease the Edgemont Community and stave off another threat of secession from the Town while using the Rivertown communities in the forefront and make Edgemont appear almost secondary in his latest scheme. 

Scheduled on the Town agenda for the next regular meeting is TB-1 (below). 
 TB 1 - 4/27/16
Resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh requesting that the New York State Legislature authorize the Town Board to phase in the transitional taxes for certain residential real property that increased as a result of the Town-wide Reassessment.

If you read the wording in TB-1, you’ll realize that this scheme will allow the Town Board to approve requesting the NYS Legislature to authorize (or not) the transitional revaluation tax increases only to certain residential properties based on the recently completed reassessment performed by Tyler Technologies. ABG believes this is illegal! It is a calculated risk that Mr Feiner has decided to undertake. How so you might ask? It’s simple really. What this resolution does is give Mr Feiner the ability to say that he and his Board were trying to help the Rivertown communities, as well as Edgemont, with the Phase-In. Why?  Because the decision has already been made prior to the upcoming meeting to not move forward with the 5-year Phase-In deal! Look at TB-3 (below)

Near the top of the agenda is the heading DECISIONS Under that is TB-3. 

Obviously, Mr Feiner has told his Board they will not be moving forward with the five-year Phase-In proposal offered by Edgemont. Rather, Mr Feiner is positioning his NYS legislative friends to take the heat if the Legislature fails to approve a different Phase-In to only those people who revaluation increased their taxes! Again, ABG believes this to be illegal. But Mr Feiner will look like a hero to the recently awakened Villages, as well as Edgemont, whose appraisals have sparked discussions of mass real estate sales, and by doing this, Mr Feiner believes they might stand down. To the uninitiated Village residents, they will all look at this ploy and think Mr Feiner is truly trying to help them. The rest of us know better.

Mr Feiner had said publicly that he was for and then shortly thereafter came out against the Phase-In process. Once Tax Assessor Edye McCarthy came out publicly against the proposal, Mr Feiner reaffirmed his stance against it. Once he waffled, ABG knew this deal was dead. When the Legislature fails to either act on this or refuses to approve it, Mr Feiner can and will say he did everything possible to help those whose backs he put against a wall. And, he staves off another secession threat from Edgemont. So what you ask? So plenty.

ABG’s understanding is that approximately 27% of the revenue from the Town budget comes from Edgemont. Much, much less comes from the Villages. So while Mr Feiner can fake sincerity with the Villages by making this request, he won’t really get hurt with them if the Legislatures say, “No!” However, if they do vote against the Phase-In option, which was originally proffered by Edgemont, he can say, “I did exactly what you asked me to do. It’s not my fault.” This is why he is often referred to as Teflon Paul.  

But, this really is his fault, as well as all of the other Town Boards for the last 60 years who chose to ignore revaluation for that time period. Specific to Mr Feiner is the last 24-years while he has been Supervisor. So yes, a good part of this is his fault as well as Town Board members Sheehan, Juettner, Morgan and Jones. But, no worries. The “willfully ignorant” will re-elect them once elections roll around. You see, voters in Greenburgh have short memories and ignore bad and costly behavior by our elected officials. Need examples?

Mr Feiner and Ms Juettner were found guilty in the Fortress Bible Church lawsuit. Also included was former Board member Steve Bass who has moved up into Westchester County government. Mr Feiner specifically was found guilty of lying under oath, destroying evidence and more. Guilty verdict cost to the taxpayers: $6.5 million. Then there’s Mr Feiner’s illegal termination of the WestHelp contract with the County. Cost to the taxpayers: $1.2million PER YEAR. The list is almost endless, but we’ll stop here. This must change. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Greenburgh Is Not Kansas

Watching the meeting held in Irvington about a week ago, ABG was impressed with Mayor Brian Smith's demeanor and ability to keep the meeting on track, and allowing an interchange between him and his constituents. Smith, a Republican, is more of a Mayoral figurehead along with the Village Board, as Irvington employs a Village Manager. Regardless, the guest speakers were Mr Feiner and Ms McCarthy from the Town of Greenburgh. Their attendance was more a political calculation than a problem-solving one. You’ll recall Mr Feiner used to bill himself as a problem solver. Now, however, he is more of a problem creator.

Mr Smith opened the meeting with a briefing of why they were there and turned the microphone over to Mr Feiner and Ms McCarthy. Mr Feiner did his typical rope-a-dope, saying little that made sense and handed the microphone as well as the hot potato to Ms McCarthy. While she was speaking, many would ask questions seeking clarity about what she was saying.
“Let me finish,” was her standard response. Irvington residents aren’t used to be treated poorly by their elected officials! In Irvington, their leadership routinely engages in conversation and normal back-and-forth dialog. Some people bristled or left when this happened. Irvington residents never participated in one-sided government like Greenburgh leaders are wont to do.

At this week’s Town Board session, the Town hosted a “hearing” about whether to institute the Phase In process for the revaluation/tax assessment implementation. What the public didn’t know was that this measure, while being offered as an interim solution to ease the burden of the new tax increases to residents getting hit the hardest, is not going to be adopted. This was nothing more than another Feiner deflection so the Town leaders can make their decision at a work session and avoid the wrath of the public during this closed session! Sadly, the Irvington residents came to this hearing thinking they had a shot at relief. They should have read the never-present sign at the entrance to the Town Hall meeting room that says “et residens cave”, Latin for “let the resident beware”!

There seemed to be an even amount of residents pleading for and a concurrent amount pleading against the the Phase In option. Fulton Park Vice-President Tom Bock stated he was not only concerned for those whose taxes would be increased, but that certiorari settlements at tonight's meeting alone would be over $2million dollars! This Phase In will perpetuate these refunds and may ultimately help those hardest hit, but it penalizes those who previously overpaid as well as keeping the certiorari settlements alive. The only way to reduce them is to do a revaluation at 100% and level the playing field.

Ah, a level playing field. After all, Mr Feiner and his Board boasted that by doing this revaluation, the Town would have a certain tax fairness. But, here was another sore point that the primarily Irvington residents kept bringing up and Mr Lewis, Town Attorney and the night's referee, kept trying to steer the conversation away from. That was leveling the playing field by having all options on the table, most notably the Homestead Act! The Homestead Act deals with changing the tax rate for condominiums that were originally constructed and sold as condominiums. Apartment buildings that became condos or co-ops do not count. Currently, condos pay the commercial tax rate, which is significantly less than the residential tax rate. Mr Feiner and his Board voted to not adopt the Homestead Act option during an unimpeded work session several weeks earlier.

Valid and coherent arguments made by both sides make this issue a thorny one. Edgemont residents already know what it is like to be disappointed by this administration. Mr Feiner is nervously seeking a way to appease them. If Edgemont decides to secede from Greenburgh, incorporate and become a village, the Town loses a tremendous amount of income, which Mr Feiner cannot afford given his illegal actions and guilty verdicts. The residents of Irvington, some coming to Town Hall for the first time, believed they were making their case to a receptive group of elected officials, as they are used to in their own village. They were, and still are, in for a rude awakening. Mr Feiner has probably told his Town Board that the loss of a couple of hundred Irvington votes won't stop them from getting re-elected. It's the same old song with the other residents that will now be paying higher taxes!

ABG predicts in the end that Mr Feiner will instruct his Town Board to vote against the Phase In plan. They want to be re-elected so we believe they will go along with whatever he tells them to do or be Sonya'd. Residents of Irvington just received the Greenburgh welcome and kiss-off. Sadly, they will simply be another group that Mr Feiner has managed to offend within the upcoming seven days. ABG believes at the next work session, the Board will vote to not adopt the Phase In plan without regard to trying to see if it could work. The Master of Deflection has done it again. He put off two different groups of people who believed what he said, not knowing as the G10 does, that it was all a ploy to get away from the crowd to make the decision.

Finally, the one tell-tale indicator that this was not going to bode well for the residents is the fact that there was a heavy police presence at this meeting (probably on overtime). Usually there is only the police chief in attendance. We counted about a dozen officers in the auditorium and the lobby, although most were on their cell phones during their time there. Mr Feiner was afraid. But to the G10, it told us that they were there to protect him from an angry crowd. There was no need for them to be there, but it's the way Mr Feiner thinks as he has been making poorer and poorer decisions. Not to worry. He will still be re-elected as will most, if not all, of his Board, allowing more ridiculous and bad decisions to be made. It has to change. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

Jazzy Weekend At The Library

The Greenburgh Public Library has a number of terrific events always happening at the library. Once a month, Frank DeLigio leads a group of jazz fans through a marvelous journey of jazz discussions about jazz musicians, discussing the musician's life, music, contributions and participation in the industry. This weekend hold even more in store as Mr DeLigio and his participants - open to everyone - discuss the life and times of jazz pianist Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell. Below is the information for the event. Take a bit of time to kick back and have a listen and talk about what you hear. It always promises to be a fun afternoon!

On Sunday, there will be a live performance by the Art Lillard group, the On Time Trio in the large meeting room off of the main lobby. This also promises to be an enjoyable afternoon. 

See you at the library!

GPL’s Jazz Discussion Group led by Frank DeLigio
Saturday, April 16, 3:00 p.m.

This month the group will discuss the life and work of the legendary Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell
(September 27, 1924 – July 31, 1966. He was a jazz pianist, born and raised in Harlem, New York City. Though Thelonious Monk was a close friend, his greatest piano influence was Art Tatum. Guest artist, Rocco Dapice, will demonstrate at the piano what made Bud so special.  Free and open to the public!

Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

Join us for a concert by:  Art Lillard's On Time Trio
Tradition and Invention

Sunday, April 17, 2:00 p.m
Art Lillard, drums
Ted Kooshian, piano
 Ratzo Harris, bass

 An exploration into the American Songbook and its use and re-use in our country's development of jazz.   The performance will also include some of Art Lillard's original compositions.
Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Public Hearing Tonight For 5-Year Revaluation “Phase In”

Regardless of your thoughts about the proposed 5-year phase-in of the revaluation implementation for next year, many residents are trying desperately to seek some relief from the incredibly steep increases the reassessment has brought upon them. How did we get to this point? Numerous Greenburgh administrations, and most importantly the assorted Feiner administrations of the past 24-years, have all ignored their responsibility to keep the Town operating as best and as fairly as possible!

Most politicians share the mentality that some issues that are important can be ignored by them for several reasons. Mr Feiner and his Board fall into this category. One reason politicians fail to address pertinent issues is that their time there could be short and they can leave it for “the next guy”. While they leave many topics ignored, it’s not because of the failure to get re-elected. Sadly, they get re-elected in spite of their screw ups, validating their incompetent performance!

Revaluation provides several positives for the Town/community. One is it will significantly curb certiorari challenges against not only the Town, but several other entities. Here's an example of just one that will be approved tonight:

Resolution authorizing tax certiorari settlement with petitioner Pondside Village III Condo Inc. for property located at Pondside Drive. The Town’s share of the refund is $172,181±; the Greenburgh Central School District’s share is $437,737±; the County’s share is $104,100±; the Bronx Valley Sewer District’s share is $14,570±; the Fairview Fire District’s share is $133,137±; the Consolidated Sewer Mtc. District’s share is $4,515±. Refunds from all sources total $866,240±

The total certiorari refund settlements for tonight's meeting will be: $2,168,585! Had Mr Feiner not shirked his responsibility for the last 24-years, and done the revaluation in a more timely fashion, say 24-years ago, we might not be giving any certiorari monies away. Or, if we were, it would be significantly less. Another positive would be less stress for the residents in Edgemont, Hastings and Irvington (and others) who got slammed with severe tax increases while the rest of the taxpayers who were previously overpaying would have been paying a fairer/lesser share all along. Finally, had Mr Feiner and his Town Board put the Homestead Act option on the table to the public, we would have had a truer and more level playing field for everybody.

Tonight’s Town Board meeting promises to have many people coming to speak about the Phase In option that Mr Feiner was originally in favor of and is now against. If he stands firm against it, he risks alienating the Edgemont community. That’s not a smart move for him. He’ll have Town Assessor Edye McCarthy, also against the Phase In, speak as well as representatives from NY State. He’s circling all the wagons in hopes that this latest political gamble, 24-years of his making, will not be pinned to him and his Board, costing them future elections. We know the party faithful will re-elect him. This is his latest Fortress Bible Church guilty verdict. Let’s see what people say tonight and watch how Mr Feiner will dance and his Board remain silent. This has to change. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Town Knew They Would Lose $1 Million

The Town of Greenburgh, Ardsley and Hastings entered a decision with Forest City Ratner a number of years ago to fund repairs to various roadways. Forest City Ratner was the Ridge Hill developer, who agreed to pay an award of $5 million dollars to the three communities. One catch was that the money had to be put in an escrow account, with an expiration date of March 18, 2016.  That deadline passed three weeks ago and the money in that account reverted to the developer. Some of the work had been done and the funds spent with money left in the escrow account.

Paul sent an e-mail out in March of 2009 discussing this agreement. The entire document can be accessed through the link below.  We've inserted his two paragraph statement here:

Possible intersection improvements RIDGEHILL $5 million settlement
Release Date: March 30, 2009
When it became clear to Greenburgh, Ardsley & Hastings officials that we could not legally stop the Ridge Hill development from being approved by Yonkers we entered into an agreement with the city and Ridge Hill developers. Ridge Hill would contribute $5 million towards road improvements. A committee made up of representatives of Greenburgh, Ardsley & Hastings has been meeting. This committee has been reviewing various traffic safety options. This is a summary of the committees’ most recent meeting, as reported by Thomas Madden, Commissioner of Planning.

At the March 19, 2009, Ridgehill Intersection Improvement Committee, discussed and classified the twelve project study areas into three categories, in order better allocate resources when studying the intersections and road segments. These categories are 1) Intersections that would benefit from further study and have the most impact; 2) Intersections or improvements that should be sent to the State or County as a report and analysis for future road work considerations; and 3) No improvements needed until 2028. 

Read the entire document at:

What was left of the funds were to be used to improve the conditions to and from Ridge Hill, Jackson Avenue at Saw Mill River Road (9A) and a widening of 9A in downtown Ardsley. To be applied as intended, the $1million balance was to be used to straighten a section of Jackson Avenue near Sprain Ridge Road. Even though that money is now gone due to a contractual clause, leaders with the Town claim the reconstruction of that section of road will still take place – even without the $1million in funds!

A memo dated March 17 from Greenburgh Planning Commissioner Garrett Duquesne was sent to Mr Feiner several weeks ago warning that County Planning staff were continually objecting to all plans put forth by the Town for this small strip of property, siting the removal of trees, grading and other disturbances that would be made to the property. The changes were adding costs to this project and delaying a resolution of it. It was Duquesne who has said the project will continue forward. However, the Town cannot proceed without the County’s approval. In fact, the Town Board had already passed a resolution (below) committing funds to complete the project in January 2016!

According to County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky, the fatalities in this area mandate that this work gets done. She also stated that the Deputy County Executive is committed to finishing this project as well. Sadly, the fact that the Town Board passed a resolution to fund this without mentioning forfeiture of $1million is almost like not informing the public at all. It perpetuates the phony “open and transparent” government pablum being spouted from Town Hall. This is a serious amount of money that the Town failed to act promptly on and is most likely the reason it is now gone. Mr Feiner was against developing this area with a proposed Target store in addition to the Stew Leonards, Home Depot and Costco. Could this have been his solution to slow that down?

We’ll never really know the truth from Town Hall as to why the funds had not been used before the deadline was reached. Clearly, the Town Board all knew what would be happening with the $1million funds. Also clear is that they didn’t care. This cavalier approach to taxpayer funds has to stop. Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.

Friday, April 8, 2016

ESCO Hell in Greenburgh

It should not be this difficult or, in fact, shady. But this is a case of deflection whose timing played right into Mr Feiner’s (aka Mr Transparency) hands. We’ve written previously about why we believe joining the Sustainable Westchester ESCO is a mistake. ESCO is short for Energy Savings COmpany. 
Unfortunately, Mr Feiner disregarded all input from the public and ABG believes instructed his Town Board to approve this measure. They did so unanimously. What they didn’t do was any due diligence, follow the process in place to qualify the vendor or invest the effort to answer questions and issues raised by the G10 and the public at large. They couldn’t vet the company as they are an experimental startup. Experimental in that it is a group of lawyers, with a Board of Directors comprised of local politicians.

With a minimal amount of effort, we found these two web sites below. They both allow you to search for ESCO’s in New York and specifically, by your zip code, to see the rates charged/available and by what companies. We found there were many other choices available to consumers. These were never presented to the public by Mr Feiner or the Town Board. Go ahead, check them out...

ABG has maintained why we have been steadfastly against remaining in the Sustainable Westchester ESCO. First, Mr Feiner and his Town Board enrolled all 90,000+ residents into it without their authorization or approval. Second, he and his Board passed a law forcing ConEd, most likely your current supplier, to release your information to this group of lawyers. Third, with the radical drop in energy cost within the last several years, there is little gain by joining an ESCO. You can equate this to home heating fuel. Many homeowners that heat with oil will pre-purchase their oil at a pre-season rate, hoping if the price goes up, that they guessed correctly and locked in with a better rate. Fourth, we shouldn’t have to opt-OUT of this program; rather, we should have to opt-IN. This would be democracy at its finest. Instead we get “Feiner democracy.”

So, what is shady about all of this? About half of the Board of Directors for Sustainable Westchester are comprised of Mayors and Town Supervisors. They include but are not limited to: Noam Bramson (Mayor of New Rochelle), Chris Burdick (Supervisor of Bedford), Tom Roach (Mayor of White Plains), Nancy Seligson (Supervisor of the Town of Mamaroneck) and finally Mike Spano, Mayor of Yonkers. 

ABG still cannot understand how these leaders can be on the Board of Directors of a company doing business with their town or city? 
Once again, the Master of Deflection will get his way due to his choreographing something else to take the heat: revaluation. Sadly, Mr Feiner’s days are planned around different schemes. Some hold water, most don’t. For right now, he’s on a roll and the taxpayers are paying for it. We believe he will also be offered a Directorship position with Sustainable Westchester. Then everything will have gone full-circle. It has to stop. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Propaganda Scramble

Now that Mr Feiner has alienated his loyal base of Village residents via the revaluation, said to have been handled ineptly by Tyler Technologies, he is scrambling to validate the increased taxes the Villagers will be paying in their next tax bill. But is it enough? This same voting base were his guaranteed votes that would routinely put him back into office year after year.

The Jefferson project proposed at the Ardsley and Dobbs Ferry border between Rt 9A and the Saw Mill River Parkway is just one example. He has rallied against it. Why? We believe he did so because it would increase his school taxes. As you may know, about 60% of your property taxes is school taxes. He also did this on behalf of Ardsley resident and Greenburgh Town Board member Diana Juettner. He did the same thing against an assisted living facility proposed in North Elmsford’s Payne Street area. The location is in the backyard of Greenburgh Town Board member Kevin Morgan. He’s also fought the Yonkers development of a big box store in his own back yard as part of the Stew Leonard’s property expansion claiming traffic concerns. When Greenburgh residents have the same concerns about projects in their neighborhoods, they are summarily dismissed and told to suck it up. Can you say Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY)? Meanwhile, they routinely tell all of us how good this is for the Town, the neighborhoods, the residents, etc. Ultimately, it is not.

Roll Camera. In spewing his “what we’ve done for you lately” propaganda, there are some truths but also a great deal of unsubstantiated showmanship. First, he makes sure that someone else is to blame by saying the Villages are part of the Town because of state law. Second, he provides a breakdown of the taxes Villagers pay, claiming only 2% of their entire tax bill goes to the Town services. Again, according to him 60% goes to school tax, which the Town is obligated to collect. The rest of his tax collection speech is him doing the Feiner vamp, saying nothing and  proving politicians can speak without saying anything. Stop camera.

He says:

What does the town do for the 2% of your entire tax bill? ABG provides a closer to the truth answer to each point.

1. We offer advance life support (ALS) and paramedic services which has a proven record of repeatedly saving the lives of village residents. Hopefully, you won't need them, but if you do these services are ready to respond to your call 24 hours a day.

Real Answer: They do provide this. However, the Villages pay the Town for this service. What he doesn’t mention is that the Village Ambulance Corps augment the Greenburgh ambulances by responding to Greenburgh calls when requested through Mutual Aid. And while Greenburgh is the “owner” of the call and bills for its services, they do not share any of those monies collected with the ambulance corp or fire department ambulances they used.

2. The town's town wide senior program serves or delivers over 30,000 meals to village seniors each year. The program provides a hot meal five days a week to eligible seniors. We have three nutrition sites - in Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown and unincorporated Greenburgh. Our home delivery program provides delivery services to seniors who cannot come to one of these sites.  

Real Answer: Mr Feiner habitually throws out numbers hoping some of them will “stick”. Sadly, while he is telling you they deliver 30,000 meals to village seniors, we know it's simply not true. No matter how we did the math, there seems to be about 120 seniors out of about 92,000 total residents who are are getting meals from the Town. And there is no informational breakdown available between Town and Village recipients.

3. The town has a recreation program for developmentally disabled residents.

Real Answer: This may be, but we could find nothing about this on the Town website.
4. The town's animal control department responds to calls for service within the villages. If there is a stray or injured animal the animal control unit will respond. We transport the animals to an appropriate medical facility for care.

Real Answer: This is sort of true. Animal Control is only available between 9 to 5, if the animal control people are available/working. By the way, they won't take every type of animal.
5. The town's civil defense unit provides civil defense services during natural disasters and other major events, such as post 9/11 and during blackouts. These services include coordination of communications for police, fire, paramedics and refilling of air packs and fresh air for specialized rescues. The unit also responds to refill the air tanks of village volunteer firefighters during fires.

Real Answer: While we applaud the work performed by the Civil Defense, this is an extremely small group of volunteers without the personnel necessary to do a lot during an emergency. In fact, they are augmented by the Town's C.E.R.T. group. They DO go to fire scenes and fill air tanks for any firefighters who request them. The paid fire departments have their own systems and don't utilize them. In fact, there's a move now by the paid departments to replace all of their air packs which will require that they purchase new refilling systems. If they didn't use the Civil Defense's system for free, they could go to the Westchester County Fire Training Center in Valhalla and refill their air tanks there 24-7-365 at no charge.

6. The town's highly trained and specially equipped special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team is available 24/7 to respond to emergencies. Officers from throughout the town who meet very rigorous standards are readily available to respond to emergencies in the villages.

Real Answer: This is true. The Town's special operations groups are comprised of the paid fire department members and the police department members and require overtime that the taxpayer must pay. Once dispatched, their positions are required to be "backfilled" by off-duty members. This is mostly billed as overtime to the taxpayers. The County has the same special operations teams that can be called out at a moments notice and at no charge to the community and have much more resources available to them.
7. The town's road striping unit is responsible for striping roads, including the center and side lines and crosswalks on roads in all six villages.

Real Answer: While valuable, we're guessing this is not vital. What is vital is to have more police officers on the road, patrolling our communities.

8. The town acts as a collection agent for the schools and county. The town guarantees 100% of the taxes to both entities. If you do not pay your school or county tax bill the town pays it for you. The town then has to use its offices to pursue collection of all unpaid taxes.

Real Answer: This is true, the Town is obligated by law to collect these monies. They don't do because they want to help the Villages out.

9. The Town Clerk
• Responds to FOIL requests from residents town-wide; and provides…

Real Answer: All government agencies are required to respond to FOIL requests. The Town of Greenburgh seems to take an inordinate amount of time fulfilling this obligation while other communities seem to do this more quickly and at less cost to the taxpayers.

• dog licenses to residents, town-wide;

• marriage licenses to residents, town-wide; New York State Licenses: Fishing, Hunting, Handicap Parking Permits;

• Town of Greenburgh Licenses: Cabaret, Canvassing/Peddlers & Solicitors, Filming, Sanitation (private), Taxicab and Taxi Driver;

• Senior Citizen Rent Abatement Program (ETPA) for qualified town residents;

• Management of all vital records (marriages and deaths) that occur in the Town of Greenburgh;

• Sales Tax Letters to residents and businesses for correct Sales Tax amount for the town; and several other miscellaneous services.

Real Answer: While all of this is true, it's our understanding that these services take up a miniscule part of the Clerk's office time and frankly, that's their job, regardless of the Villages' usage of it or not.
10. The Town's Sewer Department responds to calls for service from the villages for sewer emergencies 24/7, which require the use of The Town’s jet/vac truck and operator.

Real Answer: While it is available, our understanding is that it is not used that often.
Because the Theodore Young Community Center was paid for with federal and state tax dollars, residents of the villages have the ability to use the indoor pool at the Theodore Young Community center and to participate in their programs.

Real Answer: While true, most people are unaware of the center because of where it is and if they are aware of it, find there is very little time available to use it because there are daily programs already filling their burgeoning calendar.

The above are some highlights representing the services offered to village residents. I hope this information answers some questions. Feel free to contact me with any further questions.

Real Answer: While these services may be available to the Villages, it hardly justifies the significant tax increase revaluation is placing on many residents. This is pure Feiner Deflection, changing the subject from the original discussion to something unrelated. It has to stop. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sustainable Westchester Executive Director Out

In 2014, a town resident, filed a Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL) request for the Town’s GBList. The GBList is the Town of Greenburgh’s E-Mail list that Mr Feiner and his Board use at their discretion for whatever they deem appropriate. The resident’s argument, made in court and agreed to by the courts with their verdict, found that the request to be able to tell “the other side” of the story that Mr Feiner was telling was a reasonable one. However, even after being told to turn over the coveted email list, he refused. The legal department scrambled and filed an appeal at the eleventh hour. So, now the resident is forced to wait even longer.

Mr Feiner has posted jobs that he learns about on a private site he maintains. Another way to garner email addresses is for those out of work people to sign up. He doesn’t screen the positions, he doesn’t get paid for sending candidates, qualified or not, and he doesn’t guarantee your success. What he does guarantee is the growth of his contact list, including email addresses! His real fear with releasing the GBList is that he will be called out when he says something that is not true - which at times is often.

In a recent “post” for a position, really a self-promotion campaign for name recognition, he sent out the position of Executive Director for Sustainable Westchester. Below is the opening portion of the blurb that goes with the job description. We’re not posting it because we don’t want your email information, and have no ulterior motive. If you think you are executive director material and the position may be for you, click on the link below and get the entire picture. 

Executive Director
Sustainable Westchester
Sustainable Westchester, a not-for-profit organization, is a membership-based consortium of municipalities that addresses critical sustainability concerns within Westchester County. Formed from the merger of the Northern and Southern Westchester Energy Action consortia in 2014, Sustainable Westchester’s membership has rapidly expanded to include the membership of virtually every municipality in Westchester County and now serves more than 900,000 residents.
The organization provides a forum for communities to share ideas, develop programs and procedures, and formulate effective responses to important sustainability-related opportunities. It convenes and provides support to individuals in member municipalities through volunteer-led Working Groups. Presently there are four Working Groups: Land Use/Transportation, Energy, Materials Management, and Water.  The Working Groups set the strategic direction for initiatives in these areas based on the needs and opportunities presented to the member municipalities.   Website:

We’re not sure why the previous Executive Director of Sustainable is no longer in that position. Could it be that he didn’t move the process along quickly enough for their Board of Directors and they gave him “the boot”? It reminds us of Westhab in Fulton Park. Their Vice President of Real Estate had sealed the deal with Mr Feiner and his Board and then hit all kinds of roadblocks from the neighborhood associations when the neighborhood associations actually did better research on the zoning, covenants, etc., than Westhab did, causing an over two year delay and significant reduction in the size of their project! Could it also be that due to the delay, the lower cost of fossil fuels and the lack of return once proffered by ESCO’s that Sustainable Westchester is not the Golden Goose it once was thought to be? ABG thinks so.

Below is a letter written by the Mayor of Scarsdale that appeared in the latest edition of the Scarsdale Inquirer about questions surrounding Sustainable Westchester. There are other communities as well who did not drink the KoolAid and go along with this. Rather, they asked the hard questions, studied the facts and made an informed decision with their community. This is the way government should work. When it does so in our Town, we'll finally get A Better Greenburgh.