Friday, March 31, 2017

A Failed Last Chance

Thursday night’s meeting at the Seely School saw about 150 people in attendance. The crowd appeared to be split for and against incorporation. Last night's meeting may have been Mr Feiner's last chance to derail Edgemont’s incorporation. He had requested the NAACP to host a meeting, advertising how Edgemont’s Incorporation would affect the entire Town of Greenburgh. Then he invited Wespac, a social activist and anti-Israel group that we believed would be used to disrupt the meeting if all else failed. By pointing this out in a previous article, we believe we helped to derail that strategy. 

The event was moderated by NAACP President Lena Anderson who was seated at the mid-point of the dais, separating the Edgemont Incorporation Council (EIC) and the Town and anti-Edgemont Incorporation group. At 7 o'clock Ms Anderson laid out the ground rules, including once again the absurd use of 3x5 index cards for questions. We've already witnessed their failure at the "informational meeting" held at the Theodore Young Community Center on Tuesday night. She said this was not a “political” night and there should be no shouting or applause from the audience. That didn’t work out very well as some occasionally shouted from the audience and applause also took place. 

She then asked everyone to join her in song before introducing the participants at the dais. While we know Ms Anderson to be a nice and congenial person, her commentary throughout the evening frustrated many who were there to hear and discuss issues. Like the beginning of Town Board meetings crafted with presentations, poetry, awards and such designed to wear down the public’s participation, so too do we believe that this second forum meeting, with the promise by Ms Anderson of more, was another attempt by Mr Feiner to have others obfuscate and shield the Town’s lack of preparedness should Edgemont incorporate.

The EIC presenters typically quoted facts when questions about how they arrived at their conclusions were raised. They usually followed by saying that they have posted this information on their website ( and urged everyone to go there for even more information or meet with them directly. There is no web presence for the anti-incorporation contingency. When the anti-incorporation representatives spoke, they cited few tangible numbers and insisted that should the incorporation happen, things were going to be bad and many people would suffer. But they were unable to substantiate their rhetoric with facts. Michael Schwartz occasionally mentioned numbers but was so disjointed that following any rationale from him was difficult. Don Cannon, who moderated the event on Tuesday night at the Theodore Young Community Center, was almost incoherent at times. Hugh Schwartz, a member of the Greenburgh Planning Board, appointed by Mr Feiner, is against the incorporation. He stated numerous times why he felt incorporation would cost Edgemont residents more than remaining part of the Town. He also countered that Edgemont would not be able to create any affordable housing compared to the Town, which has much more developable space compared to Edgemont’s minimal available space, if any. He seemed the most lucid, also citing the EIC’s contradictory statements about housing. What he failed to mention was that he was a proponent of “Corner Modules” during the Comprehensive Plan’s Steering Committee developmental process, an idea originally proposed by former Planning Commissioner Thomas Madden. However, most residents that spoke at the assorted “Comp Plan” hearings vehemently protested them – specifically on Central Avenue – and throughout the entire Town, not just Edgemont. The idea, favored so much by Mr Schwartz, was eventually scrapped and removed from the Comp Plan because it was an idea most people did not support.

Ms Anderson has promised more forums to inform the public as to the pros and cons of incorporation. The EIC has put all of their cards on the table and been forthcoming with information. The Town and the anti-incorporation proponents have not. While we are disappointed that the Town has taken this route, sadly, we expect it. Why tell the truth when you will be reelected regardless of what you say?

We wish the anti-incorporation supporters would come to the next forum with specific information and not innuendo and fear mongering. We believe the next forum should truly seek voter enlightenment and allow each side to present their case with facts and figures and explain how those figures were secured. Next, there should be a podium set up that residents can utilize to ask direct questions. If something is unclear or not explained properly, the speaker should have an opportunity for clarification. It should be held at Town Hall so that it could be broadcast on the public access channel and truly inform everyone interested. The fact that it is not proves this roadshow is disingenuous. There should be a moderator who listens more and speaks less; let the event cover as much of the time as possible.

The theatrics surrounding these forums are nothing more than just that, theatrics. As we exited the meeting, we asked several people if they were for or against incorporation. They said they didn’t know and that’s why they attended, but that they were disappointed because no real information was given, no cogent arguments made and it seemed like a waste of time. The informational process can work for both sides. Currently, however, it’s extremely lopsided and unlikely to get better any time soon. It could be an excellent opportunity for the anti-side to make their case. They should make a concerted effort to keep focused and present real information. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Edgemont Destiny Continues

Our previous article discussed the meeting Mr Feiner crafted as his unofficial anti-incorporation event. It's no secret that Mr Feiner is against the Edgemont Incorporation although in the next breath claims to not have a position. The last meeting utilized Councilman Ken Jones as Mr Feiner's understudy, making several comments that can only be interpreted as being against the incorporation. Regardless, there is another meeting tonight that promises to be interesting, if not informative.

We believe the tactic for tonight’s meeting will be orchestrated by Mr Feiner, even if he is not present, to somehow accuse the Edgemont Incorporation Group of discrimination. It's not about discrimination. Rather, it is to get out from under the Town’s mismanagement and control. Regardless, once it is refuted by the Edgemont Incorporation leaders, he will need something else to deflect away from his cavalier approach to the incorporation and the Town’s lack of preparedness. He has arranged for Wespac to be present. WesPac, a social activist and anti-Israel group, will give him the added conflict and deflection he desires once the discrimination issue is eliminated. The meeting held Tuesday night is the exact representation of why Edgemont residents are looking to incorporate.

Tonight's meeting begins at 7PM at the Seely School. We urge you to attend. It will make for A Better Greenburgh.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Questions Were Well Written, But The Answers Were Not

The meeting at the Theodore D. Young Community Center (TDYCC) was billed as one of providing information to the Town’s residents regarding the impact on Town operations should the Edgemont Community incorporate and become a Village within the Town. The dais was represented with commissioners from each of the Town’s departments as well as the Town Attorney, Tim Lewis and Town Board member, Ken Jones. The consensus in the audience was that as Mr Feiner’s appointees, they were instructed to be there. Chairs were set up in the gymnasium for about one hundred or so people. Many of the seats remained unused.

André G. Early, the Commissioner of the Department of Community Resources, welcomed everyone and turned the microphone over to Don Cannon, a Feiner-sycophant, who has obediently served his padrone in several capacities. Tonight, his apparent task would simply be to spread misinformation, false facts and obfuscate any discernable information to the Town residents, a task he executed well. And, when he didn’t know how to answer a question, or it was specific to one of the department heads, they were offered the microphone to give the seemingly agreed upon answer, “I don’t know.”

The short presentation made by Mr Cannon regurgitated information Mr Feiner has touted but never verified, qualified or detailed beyond his typical sensationalism. Those who follow Town affairs know Mr Feiner typically throws out unrealistic numbers and bogus information, hoping something “sticks”. Here, it was a rehashing of the anti-incorporation numbers that he has maintained as accurate. We might believe him if he would explain and quantify how he arrived at them. But, he never does…

That leaves us with the numbers he’s created. At every opportunity Mr Feiner has said the Edgemont incorporation would mandate drastic cuts throughout the Town. He claims that Edgemont’s incorporation, parroted by Mr Cannon, will cause the Town budget to lose $17.5 million dollars, increase taxes to Unincorporated Greenburgh residents by 30%, layoff 30% of Town employees and cut services by 30%. Our first question, read last, asked how they arrived at these numbers? Our second question was if the new Village of Edgemont contracts all of the same services with the Town, how do the numbers change? Mr Cannon answered the question with a technically correct but invalid answer. He said, “I got those numbers from the Town budget.” The second question’s answer was brushed aside with the standard answer, “We don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.”

The numbers are important for several reasons. First, the standard answer was always, “We don’t know or we’ll have to wait and see.” Councilman Jones, an attorney, seems to have studied at Mr Feiner’s “dance” school. When he didn’t have a tangible answer, he said an awful lot of “um’s and ah’s” and just kept dancing around not providing any answers, eventually just turning off the microphone. Second, the 500 pound elephant in the room was simply: how can you tell us we’re going to lose $17.5 million dollars, increase taxes to Unincorporated Greenburgh residents by 30%, layoff 30% of Town employees and cut services by 30% and then claim you’re unable to substantiate how you arrived at those numbers? And, since the proposed Village of Edgemont representatives have consistently stated they always planned to purchase services from the Town, which they will be paying for, how will these numbers be changed? “We don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.”

In speaking with former Justice Herb Rosenberg after the meeting, he stated, “The questions were well written, but the answers were not,” referring to the 3x5 index cards that residents and attendees were required to fill out with their questions. Sadly, because this meeting was not about sharing and presenting facts to the residents, the evening turned into a colossal waste of everyone’s time. Many residents left early as they slowly realized they were being pandered to and not getting any real information. Many began shouting questions from the floor, obviously frustrated by the card-controlled questioning process. In fact, the Journal News reporter who was at the meeting left about halfway through it.

As we were leaving, we passed Mr Feiner in the lobby area and overheard him asking someone how the evening went? They asked why he hadn’t been here for the meeting and his answer was that he was at another meeting. We don’t know if it was about Edgemont Incorporation or not, but we believe he accomplished his goal of limiting transparency and obfuscating information against the Edgemont Incorporation effort. The outcome would have been the same had Mr Feiner been present, so it’s no loss that he wasn’t in attendance. Again, people wanted to know why no action had been taken by the Feiner Administration for the Town to be ready should incorporation proceed long before this meeting. The answer given by Mr Cannon was that a Citizen Task Force was being formed to address the incorporation. What’s next, using interns?

There is another meeting this Thursday night at the Seely School. We hope this will provide real, forthcoming information. The Town officials claim to be neutral in this entire episode – but they obviously are not. Mr Feiner has invited WesPac, a social activist and anti-Israel group to the meeting. He’s done this before with them. Last time caused Town Hall to be shut down earlier in the day about a year ago after Mr Feiner allowed them use of Town Hall for free, costing taxpayers a lot of money for police overtime and allowing Mr Feiner to subsequently create phony cause to keep neighborhood organizations from utilizing Town Hall for meetings. Why do we mention this? 

We believe the tactic for this Thursday night’s meeting will be orchestrated by Mr Feiner to somehow accuse the Edgemont Incorporation Group of racial discrimination. We honestly do not believe they are doing this to keep anyone out of Edgemont. Rather, it is to get out from under the Town’s mismanagement and control. Regardless, once it is refuted by the Edgemont Incorporation leaders, he will need something else to deflect away from his cavalier approach to the incorporation and the Town’s lack of preparedness. This meeting at the Theodore Young Community Center had a specific intent. It could not be recorded or televised as it should have been and is why it was not held in Town Hall – which we know was available since no one is allowed to use it any more. Regardless, WesPac will give him the added conflict and deflection he desires once the discrimination issue is removed. The meeting held Tuesday night is the exact representation of why Edgemont residents are looking to incorporate. This type of bad behavior from Town leadership needs to end. Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Traffic Nightmare Scheduled

Many residents who don’t travel on Payne Street in the north Elmsford part of Town may be unaware of the impact that halfway-point roadway may soon have on the Town. Traveling east and west through the Town has limited thoroughfares available to you. There is also a limited amount of “cut through” side streets that can be used but still empty to them. It exemplifies a lack of planning from Town leaders back when the Town was slowly beginning its growth and up until now. But what is it that Payne Street residents need to know about? Well simply, it will be affected because of the Sprain Brook Parkway.

When the Sprain Brook Parkway was built, an overpass was created at Payne Street, as well as other areas. What many people don’t know is that the Sprain Brook Parkway runs parallel to the Catskill aqueduct for a limited distance. Additionally, there is a tremendous amount of daily traffic that crosses that overpass mostly during the day that adds to the amount of emergency services responses for every community that the roadway passes through. In fact, monitoring a scanner of area police and fire departments between Yonkers to Hawthorne promises at least one emergency call, if not more, per day on that roadway. More importantly, when there is an accident and traffic halts, the exits and area roadways quickly fill up with additional traffic as motorists seeks alternate routes to escape the parking lot syndrome.

Several months ago a piece of the Sprain Brook Parkway roadway fell, collapsing over the Payne Street overpass that has been there since the late 1970s. No one was injured. Emergency repairs were quickly performed and the traveling public was not inconvenienced too much. Below the overpass however is a somewhat different story. Shoring was installed as a temporary fix which you can see as you drive under the affected area on Payne Street.

At the March 8th Town Board meeting (, a permanent repairs plan to this now-temporarily repaired bridge was unveiled by two representatives from the New York State Department of Transportation out of Poughkeepsie, NY. Most of the presentation was made by Paul Tirums whose title is Regional Structures Engineer. His presentation included discussing what happened, what the current temporary fix was and what they plan to do this spring/summer to permanently repair the bridge. They had prepared and showed how Payne Street and those residents would be minimally affected during the repairs. Many questions were raised by residents, but mostly about traffic, traffic delays and accessibility during construction.

Residents continued to question not only how traffic would impact their quality of life with the three month disruption, but where would school, camp and private buses turn around, do pickups and drop offs safely and effect their lifestyles? While the engineers who spoke gave their answers, many in the audience were not satisfied. As always, Mr Feiner side-stepped away from his responsibility and asked the Payne Street Civic Association if they would be the conduit between the neighborhood and the construction company doing the work. Our belief is that is exactly the job of the Town administration, specifically Mr Feiner and his Board. While we appreciate the relationship between a community and their respective civic associations, it’s the responsibility of government to look out for and help its constituents. Mr Feiner should be in contact with the residents as well as the civic association. It is the perfect scenario for him to campaign through email blasts and snail-mailings under the guise of keeping the neighborhood informed. We also believe the civic association will receive more accurate information from the residents due to a level of trust that doesn’t exist with this administration.

The main complaint about traffic still needs to be addressed. What wasn’t thoroughly discussed was the impact to the surrounding area once the construction starts. The residents are concerned, and rightly so, about the impact on themselves. But, once traffic on Payne Street is stopped during construction, it will back up even more on Rt 9A in both directions dramatically. Then, with a bit less traffic, Knollwood Road will begin to back up. As this road backs up in both directions, it will impact the exits on I-287 at several exits. Next to get backed up will be Grasslands Road, which parallels Rt 119, the final piece of the backed up puzzle. We should also see an increase in motor vehicle accidents.

There are limited roadway options to travel north and south through the Elmsford and northern Unincorporated Greenburgh area: Rt 9A, Knollwood Road and a few local “cut through” streets, that again still empty to both these roads. East and west has Rt 119 (Elmsford’s Main Street), Payne Street, and Grasslands Road, again with a few local “cut through” streets. An improved and better flow through of traffic on a few of these roads has been talked about for the last 50 years and yet we have not seen any solutions from any of our legislators or local politicians. Now that these repairs must be made, their lack of solutions and inaction will highlight their ineffectiveness as leaders. So while these “leaders” hold rallies advocating defiance of immigration laws or their hatred of our president, our neighborhoods, taxpayers and residents continue to suffer. This needs to end. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Town Reacts After Screw-Up

After many battled with the Feiner Administration for over two years, the Town finally adopted a law regulating massage establishments – not to be confused with massage parlors. What’s the difference? Massage establishments offer legitimate massage and massage therapy services, usually by licensed massage therapists. There is little or no objection to these types of establishments or the massage therapists working there.

The law that was proposed initially and crafted by Robert Bernstein, after highlighting the issue of massage parlors brought to the forefront at an Edgemont Community Council meeting, was left untouched (no pun intended) by the Town Board. Despite regular discussions of the subject at regular Town Board meetings and various civic association meetings, no action was taken. Eventually, with the assistance of Mr Bernstein, a bill was introduced. Sadly, Town Attorney Tim Lewis was against it, saying he didn’t think it was legal.  In fact, before the Town Board would vote the bill into law, he altered it.

Mr Bernstein, an attorney now practicing law in Scarsdale, NY, complained about the changes, stating that they actually weakened the bill and would have a deleterious effect on the police department’s ability to enforce it. It would also not afford protection to the young women working in these locations, whether by choice or not. It has been claimed that many of these “spas” are nothing more than facades for prostitution, sex slavery, and more. By having a watered-down law such as what Mr Lewis ultimately passed on to the Board, helping these young women would be more difficult.

At the last Town Board meeting, Mr Bernstein commented that while the Town had actually passed the Massage Establishment law, Mr Lewis determined they should remain open while their appeals for being shuttered were decided. Ironically, the Town Board condoned Mr Lewis’ action by postponing the appeals process which was supposed to be addressed at that same meeting but was put off until March 14th!

A mere two days following the Town Board’s blatant disregard for the law, a hallmark of Mr Feiner’s career as Supervisor with the Fortress Bible discrimination verdict, WestHelp, Dromore Road, Frank’s Nursery, GameOn 365 to mention just a few, Mr Feiner sent out an email blast announcing that four massage establishments had been shuttered. The charges were unauthorized practice of a profession and prostitution. The first charge was based on the fact that several employees were allegedly operating as licensed massage therapists and were not. The second charge does not need clarification. These are just charges at this point and it remains to be seen if the participants are found guilty and what the punishment might be.

We still don’t know the reasons Mr Lewis did not want these massage establishments closed as each time there is a supposed discussion about his rationale, it’s behind closed doors – another hallmark of the Feiner administration’s "open government” policy. These types of discussions, along with the back room deals, phone conversations that cannot be reviewed under the Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL), and more must end. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Budget and Personnel Cuts Feed Doom and Gloom

The Hartsdale Neighborhood Association meeting recently held at the Highview School to inform people about how the impact of the Edgemont incorporation may affect them may have raised more questions than answers. It may have also inadvertently pointed to the incompetence of the Feiner administration with their cavalier approach about the Edgemont Incorporation.

During this meeting of over a hundred people in attendance, Jason Muldoon queried the crowd as to how people learned of the meeting? It seemed the majority were from the email blast sent out by Mr Feiner. That shows his power to draw his supporters in when he needs them. Many people showed up at 7PM even though the meeting was scheduled for 7:30PM. Those same people raised their hands having been notified of the meeting by Mr Feiner’s email.

Our previous article describes how Mr Feiner showed up early and was talking about the Edgemont incorporation. When asked to stop, he shouted at one of the organizers that he had a first amendment right to free speech even though she asked him to respect that this was their meeting not his, forcing Police Chief McNerney to intervene and diffuse the situation. As an aside, residents are permitted and limited to speak for 3 minutes at a Town Board meeting. If they go beyond the allotted time, or are part of the G10, he has Mr Lewis interrupt them and shut them down or they are banned from speaking, such as was done to vocal critic and resident Mr Hal Samis.

There were rumblings about the upcoming elections by some, but Mr Feiner knows it’s just talk and is not threatened. He garners 7,000 votes when he runs unopposed and works relentlessly to disqualify ballot signatures. In fact, to deny culpability, he even utilizes other Board members’ family members to do that dirty work. One time that he did feel threatened was in a debate/forum in Hastings on Hudson, a normally safe haven for him. The forum was against Supervisor candidate/challenger Robert Bernstein during a Supervisor’s race several years ago. He became rattled as Mr Bernstein threw too many truths at him and he slowly unraveled, with spittle flying from his mouth and hands shaking as he held up papers yelling, “I have proof of what I’m saying right here!” Still, he won the election, with his biggest support coming from those who he does not govern, the Villages, and those that he does, Fairview. Well played.

During the Q&A period at the end of the meeting Mr Feiner was asked what contingencies had been put in place should the incorporation happen? He said none. He was asked if he had talked to the Edgemont community about what he could do to change their minds and he said no. However, in all fairness, he had gone to Edgemont Community Council meetings with some frequency and heard regularly of complaints from their past presidents and current President Bob Bernstein. In fact, when the Town’s now-adopted Comprehensive Plan was still being developed, many Edgemont residents chimed in often complaining of misguided directions the group was favoring. More significantly, when the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee was holding hearings, an inordinate amount of Edgemont residents participated, giving feedback that was both positive as well as negative. Many believe the Comp Plan Steering Committee listened but didn’t hear what was being said. Please realize that while the Comprehensive Plan could have provided a valuable road map to the future for the Town, it became an extremely politicized exercise to the point where two of its members refused to sign off on final approval! It was adopted in spite of what many believe were valid objections.

Mr Feiner desperately needed to placate the Edgemont Community to keep them from or at least slow them from moving incorporation forward, knowing he could lose millions of dollars for the Town if they succeeded. He had already lost $1.2 million per year for the Town by illegally and intentionally breaking the Westhelp contract with the County. That source of revenue was gifted to the Town requiring minimal effort from the Town. He also cost the Town $5.5 million dollars when he was fined after being found guilty in federal court for discrimination in the Fortress Bible Church case.

He continued offering to build sidewalks in multiple locations, including Seely Place, along with others in Edgemont. What’s ironic here is that some time earlier he had visited the Seely Place neighborhood telling those residents they should not ask for sidewalks because they would be responsible for maintaining them!  In fact, he sent an accusatory letter to Fulton Park residents stating their Civic Association Vice-President asked the Town to put in a sidewalk on Old Kensico Road at those residents’ expense and maintain it - which was a lie!

While he was offering Edgemont sidewalks to get them to put their guard down and feel like he was working with them, he was secretly making backroom deals with Jim Kane of Formation Shelbourne, LLC., to build an assisted living facility on the current Sprain Brook Nursery property. The proposal is not only too large for the parcel of land they seek to build on, it requires several variances to comply with the two-year old Assisted Living law written by the Brightview Assisted Living attorneys for themselves that the Town adopted as its own. One of the variances that Shelbourne needs for this project is a 3000% variance to accommodate the requirement of being within 200 feet of a state right of way. It’s absurd to even entertain this outrageous accommodation.

At the Hartsdale Neighborhood meeting, the uninitiated took Mr Feiner at his word as being truthful when he said the Town could lose $17 million dollars if Edgemont incorporated, forcing, “Police services, um, you know taxes, uh, water rates may go up,” and, “it would require major reorganizing of the Town of Greenburgh.”( . The point here is that if the Edgemont incorporation proceeds forward, several things will stay the same for Edgemont and several will change. One thing is fire protection, provided by the Greenville Fire District. Instead of billing the Town of Greenburgh for fire protection, they will bill the Village of Edgemont. Sewer districts will remain the same as will costs. Although, we’re unable to verify if billing will stay the same or change. Public Works services, such as trash and garbage pickup, snow plowing, road maintenance, etc., will change in that it will be a contracted service from the Town (according to what was said by the HNA leaders). Of course, they might be able to secure a better price and service from Scarsdale or Yonkers. However, if that doesn’t happen, and the Village of Edgemont seeks to keep the current status quo with services, the Greenburgh budget may see a slight shift, but nothing as doomsday-ish as Mr Feiner is saying. If the Village of Edgemont is able to acquire better pricing from Scarsdale or Yonkers for example or a private company such as Waste Management, then the Town’s budget might take a significant but not as crippling a hit as has been perpetuated by Mr Feiner.

While we are cautiously optimistic about how this will turn out and might change the budget and services for Unincorporated Greenburgh, it’s nice to see more people are paying attention. Several people in the audience were part of the G10. Most, however, have never gone to a Town Board meeting to see how the Town is run, residents treated and developers courted. Perhaps it’s time. Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Edgemont Destiny

The evening started out as a contentious one when it was advertised to be simply one of discussion. Upon our arrival at approximately 7PM, we found Mr Feiner already engaged in conversation with another attendee regarding the Edgemont Incorporation. It was then that Karen Kelly, one of the organizers, asked him to stop “politicking”. Mr Feiner claimed he had a right to speak to whomever he pleases. She loudly told him that this was not his meeting, it was a Hartsdale residents’ meeting and he would be given a chance to speak. He shouted back that he had a first amendment right to free speech and she said he should respect that this was their meeting not his. At this point, Police Chief McNerney intervened and tried to diffuse the situation. It would have been more cordial of Mr Feiner to have respected her wishes and the organization and stepped outside to have a private conversation.

The meeting began late as the members of the Hartsdale Neighbors group that organized it scrambled to find and set up more chairs as the growing audience eventually exceeded 100 people. Three members of the Hartsdale group ran the meeting. Dan Weinfeld first explained the ground rules: this was not a night for political discussion, it was not about attacking the Edgemont group seeking incorporation and that everyone should remain civil to each other. It was an informational session. Mr Feiner would be given five minutes at the end to make a statement, as would Edgemont Incorporation member Jeff Sherwin. You may recall that Mr Sherwin made two unsuccessful attempts the previous week to deliver the incorporation petition signatures and the $6,000 filing fee to Town Hall, being told that the only person allowed to receive them was Mr Feiner - who was on vacation!

No other Town Board members were in attendance, although Town Attorney Tim Lewis and Town Clerk Judith Beville were there. There were several police officers whether on duty or as community members, one of whom asked legitimate questions. The standing room only audience remained mostly quiet, respectful of any speakers, only occasionally asking them to speak louder as there was no microphone or amplification available.

Mr Dan Weinfeld gave a brief video presentation explaining the makeup of the Town’s Unincorporated sections of Greenburgh, focusing primarily on the Hartsdale and Fairview sections of the Town. He explained the makeup of the river town villages, including Ardsley and Elmsford, populations of both the Villages and the Unincorporated Town, and the services used by all. It was a very encompassing presentation and well-received. During his presentation, Mr Weinfeld stressed that all of this information is on their website ( or on the Edgemont Incorporation site (

After Mr Weinfeld concluded his portion of the presentation, Mr Luis Polit presented a breakdown of the financial facts of what is currently being collected in revenue to the Town, Edgemont’s portion of it and the projected changes should Edgemont incorporate and become the Town’s 7th village. Once he concluded, another of the citizen organizers, Jason Muldoon, stepped in and explained that Mr Feiner and Mr Sherwin would be speaking next, reiterating that this is not a political discussion. He also did a quick show of hands to see how people found out about this meeting. Clearly most were there through Mr Feiner’s GBList email notifications

He then offered Mr Feiner five minutes to speak. He addressed the crowded room by giving an example of a Village that had incorporated in 2010 without stating it was Mastic Beach. He then proceeded to either find fault with the Edgemont incorporation or say why it wouldn’t work. As is often the case, Mr Feiner deflected away from the topic at hand, changing his story, only to refer to his sheet of talking points to return to his reasons why the Edgemont incorporation was not going to work. After five minutes, Mr Muldoon cut Mr Feiner off, stating his five minutes were up – a bittersweet moment for those who attend Town Board meetings and are only given minutes to discuss anything in front of his Board.

Mr Sherwin was the last speaker who took the opportunity to quickly debunk Mr Feiner’s example of Mastic Beach, which had incorporated and then several years later voted to undo the incorporation. Mr Sherwin pointed out that it was not a fair or accurate comparison as the population of Mastic Beach was 12.8 thousand versus Edgemont’s 7,300 and the disparity in revenues was equally different. Mr Feiner often relies on incorrect information for shock value and doesnt often encounter immediate and correct informational challenges.
Mr Sherwin proceeded to read a prepared statement, thanking the Hartsdale and Unincorporated residents for allowing him the opportunity to speak. He mentioned that like the Hartsdale group, they were just a group of citizen volunteers seeking to control their community’s destiny as the Town has not worked with them multiple times, citing the Dromore Road and Shelbourne projects as two recent and drawn out examples. The focus was also not as much about saving money for Edgemont taxpayers, although that would be a benefit based on their calculations, but about their destiny, zoning and development considerations.

Once the speakers concluded, Mr Muldoon opened the floor to questions. Many of the residents seemed to focus on information as to how they would be affected financially, through tax increases and personnel cuts should incorporation move forward. One gentlemen, who is obviously one of Mr Feiner’s supporters began to raise political points and was quickly shut down. One woman asked Mr Feiner if this information was on the Town website. Mr Feiner did not directly answer her and when pushed by others who followed up said he would have to discuss it with his Board. Mr Sherwin said that the information, feasibility study and more is on the EIC website as well as the Hartsdale Neighbors website. ABG would suggest in the interest of fairness that the Town at least publish a link on the Town’s website to these other two sites.

Occasionally, a question would arise that the Hartsdale members could not answer and they were very candid and simply said so. Mr Sherwin seemed well prepared with facts and figures and offered information numerous times without seeming to be adversarial or confrontational. It was a relief and pleasant to see both sides working together even though they have different interests and outcomes at heart. Also in attendance were several people who claimed to be from Edgemont who did not favor Edgemont incorporation, including Mr Hugh Schwartz, a Feiner appointed Planning Board member. And while they were able to make their points behind their rationale, it never became a tug of war between the two factions.

Several questions were directed at Mr Feiner, asking what contingencies the Town had planned should the incorporation move forward, as it was obviously doing? Mr Feiner stated that he sent an email and snail mail out to constituents asking for volunteers to serve on a Citizen Task Force to work with his Commissioners on this. Long-time Greenburgh Central School Board President Terry Williams asked why the Town was not hiring professionals to address this. He said that that may be the Task Force’s recommendation and direction they go. Several followed up on that and asked why something wasn’t done sooner. Mr Feiner ultimately fell back to his position that he didn’t believe the incorporation would happen but never gave an tangible answer. 

In the end, this will be decided by only Edgemont residents in the Town who can vote for incorporation. Many believe Mr Feiner will increase his email blasts and snail mail mailings to thwart the EIC's efforts all on the taxpayer dime. Regardless, it promises to be an interesting ride for the next several months. While we too are anxious about how the incorporation will financially impact the unincorporated Town, we applaud both groups for their respective efforts and civility. This is what helps to make A Better Greenburgh.