Supporters, Opponents Voice Views On Game On Referendum

  • Comments (8)
Dorrine Livson, Worthington-Woodlands Civic Association president, said The Westchester Field House doesn't belong in a residential area. Photo Credit: Contributed
Martin Hewitt, Game On 365 project manager, said The Westchester Field House will bring money to Greenburgh and provide a year-round sports facility for children. Photo Credit: Contributed

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Today is the last day Greenburgh voters can mull over whether the construction of The Westchester Field House on Dobbs Ferry Road is a good idea.

On Friday, both sides of the issue were given the chance on GATV to voice their opinions on whether a lease with Game On 365 to build a 94,000-square-foot sports complex should be supported. In case you missed the airings, here are links to each side:

Martin Hewitt, Game On 365 project manager, joined several Greenburgh residents supporting the lease, stating The Westchester Field House will provide Greenburgh with revenue and a year-round facility for their children to train and practice.

"Over the next 15 years, Game On 365 will provide to the town of Greenburgh over $5 million in taxes and rent payments," Hewitt said in the video supporting the lease.

Several Greenburgh residents also spoke on the video — some saying the complex could not only provide part-time jobs to local students and revenue to the town, but also would allow the schools's student-athletes to practice year-round.

Some simply said they were tired of paying taxes for a site that wasn't being used.

Representatives of Greenburgh's local civic associations said the lease was too economically and environmentally risky. On the opposing side of the lease was Bob Bernstein, Edgemont Community Council director; Tom Bock, Fulton Park Civic Association vice president and Dorrine Livson, Worthington-Woodlands Civic Association president.

Livson said she didn't want to see her quiet community be disturbed by an 80-foot-high complex or its traffic. She's not against the facility — her kids grew up playing sports in Greenburgh — but against its location.

Because the former site of Frank's Nursery frequently used pesticides and insecticides, it could be a dangerous place for children to be, she said.

"This structure does not belong in this community," Livson said in the video. "We have to make it safe for the children to play in these fields if it is going to go through."

Bernstein said the lease also is an economic risk and called Hewitt's insistence the town will gain more than $5 million in revenue "shenanigans."  He said $1.4 million in back taxes plus interest still needs to be reimbursed from the foreclosed property.

"This is a terrible proposal for Greenburgh tax payers," said Bernstein, a local attorney, in the video. "The economics make no sense. The money to be received is going to be offset by the taxes that have to be paid by the town in back rent, back taxes, interest on back taxes and future taxes."

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Comments (8)

teevoz:

Stop the fear-mongering, scare tactics and name-calling. It weakens your position and makes me suspect your motives.

halmarc45:

The simple fact is that the soil used as landfill (from White Plains) is contaminated. Have either Feiner or Sheehan brought this to voters' attention?
Has Feiner, who transmits his every sneeze, over the Town email list brought to voters' attention all the negatives brought out by the Phase ll study -- even as little as it was limited to. Or the additional cost. Even the Resolution passed at a Special Town Board meeting omits the $dollars.
In short, the consultants recommended that further study be conducted.
While you are free to question my motives to your heart's content, Feiner's motives are clear -- not to release any negative information ahead of tomorrow's vote. Clearly an educated voter is not his best customer.
How does that grab you?

teevoz:

That's better than "child killer". What I have noticed over 20 years of living here is that there are a few people, including you, who accuse Feiner of being the devil incarnate on every issue, related or unrelated, from bringing in cable competition to handling real crises to this. I never hear any praise for him from that group, so it appears to be more of a vendetta against him than a reasoned give and take on issues - this makes me hesitate to jump to the conclusion you have. Returning to more civil discourse would be a step in the right direction, and would allow residents to actually examine the issues without being turned off by your noxious rhetoric. I don't actually know what the truth on this is, but I find the accusation that Feiner doesn't care about the health and safety of the children of Greenburgh to be absurd and defamatory and, frankly, shameful. Nothing he has done or said since taking office would suggest anything at all like that, and I think you ought to rethink your approach and that of your cohorts. Your predictable attacks, again, weaken your arguments and render them ineffective. After that ridiculous comment I can't believe anything you say - and while I know that sometimes you may be right, I wouldn't know when. Think about it, neighbor.

halmarc45:

Always nice to hear from an anonymous neighbor who grants that "sometimes I may be write", let's be specific in this dialogue. Obviously you are voting in favor of the Referendum. Pick one reason (hit me with your best shot) why you think it's a good thing and I'll respond trying to ignore the Town Supervisor even though he is the Town Supervisor and the chief architect of this disaster.

teevoz:

Actually, I have not decided yet on how I'm going to vote (on the referendum, that is) - which is why I found your comments so unhelpful. When you blame one person for everything, as I mentioned before that I've seen you do - no matter what the topic - it makes me think that you're just anti-Feiner and anything he tries to do. That's your right, of course, but it doesn't help to convince me which way to vote. I'll do my own reading and will come to my conclusions, but you ought to think about it. That's all I'm saying.

halmarc45:

Well thanks for being so helpful. I'll think about it. Done thinking. Feiner is the problem.
And since you claim you're so uncertain, I'm assuming that you have no reason that you want to see demolished on this website AHEAD of the vote.
At the risk of making up your mind, let me leave you with this thought:
a vote yes is a vote for risking the health of Greenburgh's (and elsewhere) children. Ooops! I let Feiner's secret out of the bag. Now go ahead and vote Yes. That'll "larn" me. Tarnation!

halmarc45:

Why are Feiner and Sheehan hiding the bad news that the conclusions reached by the consultants, Woodard & Curran, say the problem is bigger and more costly than the Town has been telling residents?

Why are Feiner and Sheehan hiding that they knew this bad news as early as last week when they met with the consultants on Wednesday, October 26 -- well before Hurricane Sandy arrived?

Is this what Feiner calls making the all the facts available to the Public.
Or is just news that could cause kids to get cancer from using the outdoor playing fields? Contaminated landfill is now known to exist; the same killer as caused the death of three children, so far, in Briarcliff.

Is this not news that might be of interest to those voting?

Voters need to know that Feiner needs the "win" tomorrow so that he can go before the Court which is ruling on the legal grounds of leasing vs. sale and say that the "people" have voted in favor. Even if those voting yes did so because Feiner hid the truth.

Alternatively, if the Referendum fails and the Court should rule that leasing is a valid option, Feiner would have the means to break the signed lease. And, were he truly concerned but still wedded to the idea of the sports facility, he could resubmit a new lease to GameOn 365: one which recognized the true cost to Greenburgh to allow this bubble to exist and one which reflects a better deal for taxpayers than exists now.

All this could have been avoided had Feiner not signed the Lease until the Phase ll results had been announced. Something that Feiner still has not done in any detail.

And, if still in contention, the additional time would benefit GameOn by giving them more time to roundup investors.

But isn't it a disgrace that Feiner and Sheehan are proceeding without telling voters the bad, bad news BEFORE they vote tomorrow.

They've earned the right to be called "Child Killers".

Hal Samis

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