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.

1 comment:

  1. 1) Feiner's "termination" of the WestHELP Lease was neither illegal or even an act of termination. What he did, harmful as it was to Greenburgh finances, was not meeting with the County and WestHELP to discuss extending the EXPIRING Lease. Please get your facts straight.

    2) Edgemont taxpayers will pay 27% of taxes ONLY when 100% of Edgemont taxpayers pay 100% of what is going to be their higher taxes. Since the whole issue of the phase-in of tax increases is really an issue of tax amnesty (if you pay 20% of the increase the first year, you are NOT paying 80% of the increase) and this unpaid portion will be made up by shifting the tax burden to the usual unsuspecting suspects...

    3) With the annual Summer hiatus just ahead for NYS legislators when this session ends in June, I'm sure that they have nothing else to do but drop trousers to handle an urgent request from local floor "powerhouses" Abinanti and Cousins. LOL. Particularly since the 3 year request would be a last minute unique to Greenburgh. What should be understood is that what is called a 5 year phase-in (unfair as it is to those who do pay their taxes in full) is really a 4 year program: in year five the transition period has ended and taxpayers must pay their full share. Thus, when a 3 year phase-in is proposed by Feiner, does he really mean 3 or 2 years of tax amnesty? Whatever the outcome, be certain Feiner will exploit it. This should not come as a surprise nor is it unique to him.

    4) Is ABG now a believer that Edgemont residents favor incorporation? That the Town should take some action believing hyperbole is fact? On whose say so? That Mr. Bernstein writes petitions are starting to circulate? One would have the source of this allegation do what he most often advises the Town to do: post their documents on the Town website. What's good for the goose is good for the gander; therefore let the ECC post the "petition" on its own website (Facebook page) so all Greenburgh residents can be on the same page and read the language. And if the ECC Facebook page really is read by Edgemont residents, what better medium exists to maximize efficiency when reaching out to all of its citizenry?