Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Town's Largess Is Costing All of Us

There are several bulk mailing rates that the Town uses for their snail-mail mailings. One piece of mail in a business envelope goes for $.23; another goes for $.46.5. This costs all tax payers a lot of money during the course of a year each time a mailing is done. Why are these mailings done and why so often you may ask? Simply, it’s politics. It’s a cost free way for Mr Feiner, albeit the Town Board, to campaign without using his/their own money, campaign funds or donations. As long as it can be done under the pretext of providing information to the public, there are no campaign finance laws broken nor are any election bank accounts emptied, drained or depleted.

When there is an issue Mr Feiner wishes to promote, you might receive almost daily mailings arriving to you at either rate. We witnessed this numerous times in the past. One recent proposal has been Mr Feiner’s push for the ill-conceived and zoning deficient assisted living facility by the Formation Shelbourne organization where the current Sprainbrook Nursery sits. They are seeking to build a four-story, 94-bed facility on less than four acres of property and roughly 6,000 feet from a County of State right-of-way roadway – requirements under the two-year old zoning law recently adopted by Mr Feiner and his Town Board.

Mr Feiner has taken to endorsing projects that are primarily commercial by nature, regardless of whether they are built in a commercial or residentially zoned area. There are several examples that come to mind. The first was Westhab which he suggested to then County Legislator Lois Bronz be built on the former Kings Inn Motel site in Fulton Park. That was a transition parcel of land that was zoned half commercial and half residential.  But he didn’t care about zoning. By making the Town Board the lead agency for the project, they were able to disregard any and all legal standings previously maintained and allowed building to proceed. Mailings were done throughout the Town seeking support of this project. People sympathetic to Mr Feiner in the neighborhood also received these mailings. The rest did not. However, the multiple mailings cost us a significant chuck of money. Shouldn’t the Supervisor remain neutral about any projects?

Another project was the GameOn 365 proposal in the former Frank’s Nursery property on Dobbs Ferry Road. Emails acquired under the Freedom of Information Law confirmed Mr Feiner promised in private meetings with the GameOn 365 principals that he’d push the project through. When the area neighborhoods learned of the proposal, they revived their civic association to fight the 8-story sports bubble Mr Feiner felt was okay to build in this residential neighborhood. You see, the zoning had been allowed for a commercial establishment years ago. When Frank’s Nursery defaulted on the mortgage, they went into foreclosure and the Town acquired the property. Instead of selling it within the first 6-months of acquisition, as required by County and State law, Mr Feiner decided to hold onto it. Consequently, the zoning for the land reverted back to residential zoning. Had he not begun playing politics with the property and simply sold it, it would have been “grandfathered” to remain commercial. Not only were there multiple mailings supporting this project, he did separate mailings about holding a referendum, poorly written by his administration, in hopes of getting a passing vote. It worked but he ultimately lost because all of the neighborhoods stood united to only have residential housing built there. There were so many mailings for this project it’s actually hard to tally it all up.

Next up was the Brightview Assisted Living facility at Rt 119 and Benedict Avenue in the Glenville section of Unincorporated Greenburgh. This small tight knit neighborhood would soon be overwhelmed with a building that a) doesn’t fit the neighborhood; b) looms over Rt 119 and the beginning of Benedict Avenue; c) does not allow the average Greenburgh senior citizen on Medicare to live there; and d) could wind up following suit as so many other assisted living facilities and go bankrupt and need to repurpose itself into a condominium or co-operative apartment. Could this entire assisted living facility be a pretense to build an assisted living facility where apartment buildings would not be allowed due to zoning? We don’t know but wonder. There were numerous mailings from the Supervisor pushing the Brightview project. All we wonder is at what cost was all of this done and why was the Supervisor so invested in promoting it?

Beyond the major projects such as mentioned above, and there are more, he goes out of his way to do mailings vis-à-vis advertising for private companies and corporations. The latest recipient of Mr Feiner’s largess is the Hartsdale Kumon Center. While this may be a terrific business doing great work with kids needing additional help with their schoolwork for a fee, it is not the job of the Town to do a mailing or advertising blitz throughout the Town for private, for profit businesses. At $.46 per piece mailed, this is an unnecessary expense for taxpayers to bear and must stop. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Town of Greenburgh's National Night Out

The Town of Greenburgh Police Department is proud to announce the hosting of this year’s Town Of Greenburgh National Night Out 2016 on Tuesday, August 2nd, starting at 6:00 pm and ending at 9:00 pm. We encourage you to come out to our Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Avenue, White Plains, NY and join your neighbors in participating in this community partnership about crime and drug prevention event.

National Night Out involves over 15,325 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world. In all over 37.1 million people are expected to participate in this year’s National Night Out.

National Night Out is designed to:
- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships;
- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
- Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; and
- Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Along with the traditional display of outdoor lights on front porches, cities, towns and neighborhoods 'celebrate' NNO with a variety of events and activities such as: Cookouts - Parades - Youth Programs - Vehicle Larceny Prevention- Burglary Prevention - Fire Prevention. There will be local vendors donating food and activities for children.

During the event, residents in neighborhoods throughout the Town of Greenburgh and across the nation are asked to turn on their porch lights, lock their doors and spend the evening outside with your neighbors, police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

National Night Out is a great crime prevention tool that encourages you and your neighbors to get together. When neighbors know each other and pay attention to their surroundings, they are more likely to recognize and report suspicious people or vehicles to law enforcement. The more you know about your neighborhood, the more you can do to keep it safe.