The room slowly filled beyond capacity as the 8PM hour approached. By 8:15 you could feel the electricity in the air as mostly Edgemont residents began to fill the room. Although residents from other neighborhoods and civic associations joined in. As usual, the Town Board entered late, except Councilman Sheehan, who came in on time and took his customary seat. The actions tonight would be the first time many would see their Town Board in action. This would be the microcosm of what this Board is really like and how they think of and treat their constituents.
Once Mr Feiner entered the room, the crowd erupted with, “Boo’s.” Mark Lafayette of Edgemont was handing out “Impeach Paul Feiner” buttons and had several hand-made protest signs that he distributed to various audience members. Three Greenburgh Police Department officers were present presumably for crowd control. They weren’t needed. But ever since Mr Feiner allowed Hamas members the use of Town Hall for an anti-Israel group rally, and the police had been called in to subdue a small riot – again brought about by Mr Feiner, he feels the absoluteness of power slipping away and needs more and more protection. This is what third world nation despot wind up doing just before they are overthrown. Hmmm.
After the cacophony of boos, the crowd began chanting, very loudly, “Let us vote, let us vote!” While all of the meeting room seats were taken, the back of the room and then the lobby area filled up with more and more people who were chanting. They clearly were in violation of the fire ordinance limiting the amount of people who could be in the space. We saw members of the Edgemont Incorporation Committee (EIC), the Hartsdale Neighborhood Committee as well as civic association leaders in attendance. Another chant that was used was, “Shame, shame, shame.” There were even a few catcalls and names shouted out to the Board members that we will not repeat.
Once the crowd quieted down, but not for long, Mr Feiner said they would let anyone who wanted to speak have two-minutes to do so – down from the very generous three minutes usually proffered at regular Town Board meetings. Jeff Sherwin, of the EIC, was the first to speak. His initial question was, “Why was this meeting being held today, on Father’s Day?” As Mr Feiner did his usual rope-a-dope, the crowd wasn’t buying it and booed him again and shouted, “Answer the question,” and“You’re corrupt!” Still, he did not provide an answer.
Then Jeff laid out a scenario and asked, “If this was to be their legacy, to suppress voter rights?” No one answered. They were probably thinking, “Hell yes, otherwise Paul will have me Sonya’d.” For the uninitiated, Sonya Brown was a Town Board member originally supported by Paul Feiner until she stepped away from the Feiner reservation and was shunned while she completed her term and then tossed aside for Ken Jones in the subsequent election. So, no Board member is willing to give up the position simply by doing the right thing or going against Mr Feiner and risk being “Sonya’d”.
Ken Stahn also spoke as the President of the Sprain Brook Road Civic Association President and said, “Since 1999 he has been listened to by this Town Board but has never been heard.” Telling to say the least. Again, after another speaker reflected leaving a communist county to come to America seeking freedom and finding fault with the Board’s actions, the crowd again took to chanting. This time they chanted, “USA, USA!”
The entire meeting, which officially started late at 8:30PM and ended about 9:46PM, was exemplified by the cowardly move by the Board to go into Executive Session. Usually this is reserved for personnel issues and legal issues concerning the Town. This time, we believe it was to get out of the public scrutiny and decide who would fall on the sword for Mr Feiner this time. It was Councilman Ken Jones. He took off his glasses, an obvious tactic he’s done before to avoid eye contact with those he’s sworn to serve, and said that after conferring with Town Attorney Tim Lewis in their back room, blah, blah, blah, they all voted to support the resolution. He might as well have turned to Mr Feiner and asked, “Did I do it the way you wanted, sir?”
This is about suppressing voters rights only in the Town of Greenburgh. Mr Feiner said this would be good for all of NY State. But it won’t. The bills introduced by Tom Abinanti and Andrea Stewart-Cousins are slated to be voted on tomorrow. You must take action and contact them if you are against this travesty. Maybe they will listen, but we don’t have much confidence in them either to do the right thing. Reach out anyway and maybe we can get A Better Greenburgh.
How can you help?
Attend town board meetings @ Town Hall - 177 Hillside Ave and express your displeasure.
Fill out this New York State form to oppose the bill:
Call your state elected representatives and voice your opposition to these two bills. But hurry - votes are scheduled for later today!
Senate: refer to bill S6728 sponsored by Sen. Stewart-Cousins
- Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins 914-423-4031 518-455-2585
- Sen. John Flanagan
He's president of the state senate and head of the rules committee 518-455-2071
- Sen. George Latimer
He's the Dem nominee to run for county Supervisor against Astorino this fall 518-455-2031