How dare our President come to the land of the entitled where no one can be inconvenienced? There was a time when most would have taken pride in having our President visit our community. He wasn't my candidate but he is my President and I think it's great that he's visiting my Town to make a plea for more money to be allocated to infrastructure projects. Does anyone remember the days of FDR and putting Americans to work on infrastructure projects? This is not a photo op, it's a President trying to grow jobs and rebuild America which by the way, has been woefully neglected! Our infrastructure is falling apart and jobs are hard to come by. These long term projects help to rebuild our country and sustain American families. So you have to sit in a traffic or find an alternate route, big deal! Try getting out of your own to help someone else and stop whining. I welcome our President and hope that many others do as well. View Comment
This is the first step in a good direction. However, more has to be done to investigate for fraud and illegal actions by our elected and other public officials. Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner was found guilty by the courts of destroying public documents and violating the constitutional rights of a Baptist church. He is still in office and no one has investigated. He is suspected of rigging bids for purchase and rental of certain Town properties. Again, no investigations. This proposed law will only be meaningful if the County, the State and perhaps even the Feds do their jobs in keeping better oversight and actually conducting investigations. What's going on in Greenburgh is criminal and no one seems to care. View Comment
Are these the same parents who add the additional stress of sports competition to their childrens lives and then as grandmachis states, believes every child should be given an award regardless of whether or not they earned it? Maybe they should take the test and all receive the highest grade possible to make them feel better. What a life lesson you are teaching your children. If you can't score at the top they don't even try? Is it the testing they are afraid of or is that they think it might be a reflection on them if their children don't score high? And if they don't, so what? It might be an incentive to try a little harder or perhaps an insight to a child needing more assistance to aid them in achieving a higher result. Allowing children to opt out is hardly a solution and certainly not a lesson I would want to teach my child. If you don't apply yourself and at least try to do your best what else is there? View Comment
While I certainly don't and would never endorse this type of behavior (and also believe more than an apology is due, he should be dismissed and lose his pension) Feiner claimed to have been shocked by the allegations; some say he has been aware of it for some time as he had access to the deposition transcript. Nonetheless, Feiner has never shut anyone down for hate speech ever. There was a Town Board meeting where Hal Samis publicly insulted Councilman Kevin Morgan by tying his Irish heritage to his yes vote to approve alcohol (wine ) to be served at a Nature Center fundraiser. Feiner didn't say a word and didn't shut it down. I guess he is only selectively offended by bias and bigotry. View Comment
Paul Feiner campaigns 24/7 on taxpayer dollars. He uses Town resources to keep his name in the minds of Greenburgh voters with his constant, duplicative mailings to let us know what a great job he is doing. He campaigned several years ago for a Senate seat - I don't recall his giving back any portion of his salary while he was campaigning. More than salaries, I would love to see the time sheets these elected officials provide to the State with regard to retirement service time. I'll betcha they don't reduce their service time by campaign hours. To them it's one and the same at a drastic cost to the taxpayers not just during the time they are campaigning but well after they retire and collect their pensions. I'm not an Astorino fan but I loathe the contradiction and dishonety of Feiner more. You have to wonder what his agenda is - maybe he's planning a run for County Exec. - that would be great, we could finally rid Greenburgh of him! View Comment
Feiner speaks out of both sides of his mouth, as usual. I don't recall him giving up his salary every two years when he is campaigning 24/7. Not only does he do it on taxpayer dollars, he uses Town resources as well. Constant duplicative mailings touting the great job he is doing under the guise of "public information." - put up or shut up! View Comment
I'm "sickofmorons" like you who illegally park in spaces paid for by permit holders like me. They didn't give tickets today but should have to keep thieves like you from stealing my space. View Comment
OMG - is it only in greenburgh? God forbid greenburgh residents be inconvenienced! It's snow & ice - do you really think it won't impact mass transit? You can blame the MTA for non-weather related problems but not the weather. I can't wait to move out of this town - I've lived a lot of places but never in a place like this where people are so self serving, "entitled", incapable of handling inconvenience, etc. Stay home and enjoy your families! View Comment
This is certainly not a bad idea. However, background checks should be conducted for those who volunteer on behalf of the Town - planning boards, zoning boards, any and all advisory boards, etc. Feiner appointed a cronie to be his "deputy" supervisor - someone he knew had a felony conviction for fraud. This person actually oversees the Town's budget, has access to any and all financial files and records and interacts with town employees and the pubilc alike. He should never have been appointed to this position. Yes, he served his prison time but a known felon would not be able to sit for a civil service exam, why should this person be treated any differently? Either the background checks are conducted for any person who works for the town, regardless of whether they are paid or volunteer - otherwise the Town should move on which would be a mistake. View Comment
OMG I fell off my seat laughing at Feiner's comment. He should just shortcut the process and put down the amount of time he actually works! This guy is always in the supermarket or at one of the parks campaigning 24/7 on his own behalf! That's on top of the tens of thousands of tax payer dollars he uses for his mailings "to update the public on the wonderful work he does on our behalf." This is the same guy that ran over 20 years ago on the platform of "term limits" - given this is the only job he can land I doubt he still believes in term limits.
Everyone is so surprised by the bully politics being reported with Gov. Christie - hello out there...Feiner was the original bully and continues to be one. Do things his way or no way - look at what's happening with WestHelp - over a million dollars of rental income lost each year because he refused to renew the lease with the County. Why? Because he promised the neighborhood he wouldn't support it in exchange for his votes. When he came into office over 20 years ago he fired anyone who supported his opponent - he either directly fired them or "eliminated their positions" and then reinstated those same positions 6 months later with his appointees. There's a whole list of bullying that went on the last 22 years - why isn't anyone investigating him? He tried to strong arm the Fortress Bible Church to "donate" a $250,000 fire truck to the Fairview Fire Dept. in exchange for fast tracking their application. When they didn't cough it up he did everything within his abuse of power to block it. Result? The court found his guilty of violating the church's constitutional rights and for destroying public documents - hmmm, still no investigation! The church sued the Town and won a recordbreaking $6.5 million settlement against the Town, actually, against the taxpayers thanks to Feiner.
Get this guy out of office! View Comment
First of all, everyone should realize that Paul did not request a pay raise for the past several years as a strategic measure to get re-elected time and time again. His wife is a State employee so they receive full lifetime family medical coverage under one spouse and huge buyout of insurance for the other. So while he did not give himself a raise in the past they did benefit from a $10,000 annual insurance buy-out. He also kept the salary low to make it unattractive for a viable candidate to be able to run against him. Secondly, we need to address why the incorporated Villages are voting for Town elected officials. These candidates pander to them in order to get their votes. They have no jurisdiction over the villages as the villages have their own branches of elected officials. The $200-$400 annual tax to village residents is killing us. Town residents are burdened with guaranteeing payment of all of their Town, County and school taxes regardless of whether or not the Town recovers those taxes from the property owners. Of course they are going to vote for these clowns, it's the best bargain for borrowing money to assure the Villages that they receive their taxes regardless of whether or not the Town can collect on them. Add to that the "amnesty tax program" which smacks every Town resident in the face for being diligent in paying out. If you knew you could withhold payment of your taxes for 5 years or more without penalty or interest would you have paid on time or would you have invested the money instead? No one on the Town Board deserves a raise. The councilpeople are part-time employees all benefiting from full-time benefits. They all take the insurance buy-out, all are guaranteed lifetime health coverage, all are submitting bogus time sheets to the retirement system for which they will receive life long pensions...how much more do they need on top of a generous salary for part-time work. Paul & Co. have cost the tax payers a fortune over the last 20 years, they don't deserve an award for doing so. View Comment
We need to change the legislation that allows incorporated villages to vote for town officials. Town elected officials have no jurisdiction over the villages. These votes are freebies to those who can't muster the votes from the unincorporated town residents. It's time for this policy to go because all 5 uncontested officials relied on the villages to extend their terms of incompetence. View Comment
This is a sad day for Greenburgh or for any municipality with uncontested races. I can't speak to the specifics of the others, but in Greenburgh we've been had. Feiner is the master of solving problems one on one thereby assuring his votes. Are we really that stupid? I guess so. Every person who has been trained to call him directly regarding garbage pick-ups, pot hole repairs, snow removal, etc. should ask themselves why they are calling him and not calling the department itself? You would get the same result as it's their jobs to take the call and remedy the situation. The fact that Feiner intercepts the process is his way of creating a free political campaign - what fools we are! And yes, while he may have solved your individual problem has he solved any big problems that affect every taxpayer? Our infrastructure is falling apart because he doesn't want to damage his AAA Credit Rating - a rating by the way that in itself is suspect with regard to how it is evaluate and granted. He has exposed us to lawsuits that are costing us millions. He was found guilty of destroying public documents yet he remained in office. He has impacted our tax revenue by millions of dollars each year visa vie the unrented WestHelp property and unsold Frank's Nursery property - both properties where he involved himself in rigging the leases and/or sales to political allies - thankfully neither went through but we're still stuck with the properties and a growing loss of tax revenue. He pushed through an amnesty program for delinquent tax payers by waiving penalties and interest to the tune of several million dollars. Why did I bother to pay my taxes for the last five years when I could have invested it and earned money on it had I known the town would give me an interest & penalty free loan for five years? Someone should go through that list to see exactly who benefits from the amnety program. This man is corrupt and inept yet he keeps getting re-elected. All it takes is a snow angel program and an extra garbage pick-up to get the trick done! View Comment
The Building Inspector has his own methods for interpretation, I think based mostly on dollars although those victimized fear coming forward to validate this statement. His more recent definition of an "as-built" is rediculous but the Town lets him get away with it. Go back and look at "as-builts" before Mr. Lucido took office and you will see what an "as-built" should actually look like.
I don't wish to let the Library Board off the hook but quite honestly, they are an advisory board with little or no experience in construction. They can provide a wish-list if they like but ultimately it's up to our elected officials, Feiner and Town Board, to make sure that only the most qualified are hired to oversee a $20 million project. Feiner pushed for Al Regula, the commissioner of DPW to oversee construction. This is the same guy who supervised the construction of the DPW garage. When all was said and done we ended up with a brand new garage that was too small to house sanitation trucks. It's a nice building for lockers, however. How they determined that a DPW employee had the expertise to oversee the library construction is beyond me. I also question whether additional monies were paid to him for this project as he retired soon after construction was completed. Take the money and run!
I'm not a big fan of the library board, per se. I don't think they advocate well for the library and also believe they don't know much of anything about libraries at all. When you put together a board you should be looking for people who have some kind of expertise and/or experience with the subject before them. While I believe some of their ideas with regard to the new library were hair brained, the bottom line is that the Town Board approved their hair brained suggestions and should have known better. Feiner was so angry that Howard Jacobs pushed through on the referrendum that he went out of his way to make sure the construction failed; he put an inexperienced DPW commissioner in charge of construction oversight. Enough said.
The bottom line is that we spent the $20million and should have learned a lesson. Now that we are faced with repairs and yet more improvements, one would hope that they will hire professionals and not rely on DPW as they seem to be doing once again. They need to hire professionals to determine what went wrong and how to proceed to remedy the situation.
We still have a great library - the staff is professional and they provide a lot of services to our Town with less and less funding. Let's hope the Town does right by us and takes the time to map out solutions before they jump the gun with their famously expensive lawsuits that result in only lost tax dollars. View Comment
If you go back and research the original site plan, the Planning Board was not sold on the geothermal proposal and so indicated in their recommendations to the Town Board. You can't blame the Library Board - these approvals were made by the Town Board. The Town should be looking at a back-up generator that can be utilized to power a supplemental heating/cooling system during extreme weather conditions. You'll get more for your money as the back-up generator can provide power during outages and provide a heated/cooled location for residents during these situations. The Planning Board approved a plan that differed signaficantly to that which was actually constructed in terms of the geothermal wells. Not surprising since most of the large scale plans approved by the Planning Board end up being constructed much different than what was approved (Westchester BMW - building was higher than approved, Greenburgh Library - layout and construction of geothermal wells were changed by Town staff who determined that since the wells couldn't be constructed as deep as proposed they would simply add additional shallow wells which obviously cannot produce the same results, Ray Catena Lexus - building currently under construction is much higher and bigger than that which was approved) - why have planning board review if the Town staff has no respect for implementing the actual recommendations and approvals? You almost have to think that something else is going on...maybe someone should be checking financial information of Town staff, Town Officials (particularly campaign funds), etc. I don't think this is just a matter of stupidity - I think someone is getting something they shouldn't be getting. When so many things go wrong one has to ask the hard questions. View Comment
This is so bad on so many levels. First of all, Phil Reisman is hardly objective - he'll support anything Feiner proposes. The issue here isn't Ferncliff. They are a wonderful facility and they provide an excellent service. They are in an unfortunate situation thanks to Feiner and now Reisman.
You need to go back to the beginning to understand what is happening. Whether you like Feiner or don't like him doesn't change the fact that this man simply refuses to follow laws, regulations, deeds, leases, etc. He will not stop at anything to get his own way.
This is just another effort on his part to placate the local neighborhood. And to be clear, the neighborhood is taking a bashing thanks to him as well. There are a handful of residents who protested the original lease with WestHelp because they didn't want homeless people in their neighborhood. The majority of the neighborhood understood that this was not a homeless shelter. It was affordable, transitional housing for those in need.
In order to get that "handful" on board, Feiner negotiated what the NYS Supreme Court has deemed an illegal contract to pay off the Valhalla School District, thus reducing the school tax for that same "handful." I believe there were less than 3 students at any one time impacting the Valhalla School District but somehow that equated to a multi-million dollar pay-off. The money wasn't used for eduction however. It was used for retreats, cruises, meals, etc. The Court ruled and Valhalla and the Town made a pennies on the dollar settlement to reimburse Greenburgh tax payers.
Feiner dragged his feet in renewing the lease with Westhelp two years ago. While he denies doing so, correspondence relating to that delay have surfaced. Liar, Liar...Anyway...Westhelp walked away due to the delay which cost the Town taxpayers $1.1 million dollars in rental income from this property. So what does he do next? He finds a tenant that will be less offensive to the "handful" - Ferncliff. Again, they're the victims in this. He went to them, they didn't come to him. But, they are a private for-profit agency and don't fit the protocol for the use intended by the lease with the county which was that this site shall provide affordable housing and if not, the lease would end and the use would be determined by the County, not Paul Feiner. Ferncliff would have to demolish the existing buildings (which by the way are the hallmark for what affordable housing can and should be). The taxpayers paid for the construction of these affordable housing units but somehow Paul Feiner and Mr. Reisman thinks it okay to demolish housing that is less than 25 years old in order to make way for a private for-profit use.
The County said no to do this proposal and demanded the Town, specifically Paul Feiner, respect the spirit of the lease. So now what? Paul Feiner decides that the Town will no longer maintain the structures while they stand vacant even though the lease requires that he do so. The units were abandoned by the Town - no maintenance and left unsecured. Units were flooded and are now moldy. Appliances and tubs and sinks have been stolen from most of the units. If he wasn't allowed to raze the structures to make way for Ferncliff in his effort to placate the "handful" he would let the property fall into disrepair so there would be no alternative but to demolish it.
This is who he is and this is what he does. He does it at the expense of all Greenburgh taxpayers except for the "handful" who don't care about the rest of us. So, Mr. Reisman can write all the lovely articles he likes about Ferncliff - how about writing the truth about Paul Feiner?
Paul Feiner actually had the audacity to take credit for this action on his blog. What a pig this guy is. The County was already working towards the cancellation. Does it ever end with this media hog? View Comment
Vicki Simmons has been an outstanding community volunteer. She has served Greenburgh residents well, particularly those in Fairview who are affected by fire district taxes. All fire district taxes are going up. Could there be more cost cutting? I'm sure there can be but the day to day operations aren't what's hurting the budgets. The retirement system has to change. As with all NYS agencies, the retirement system needs to be looked at. It's clear that many abuse the system with high overtime numbers to bump up their pensions. The system itself needs repair or perhaps even replacement. Those managing the investments haven't been doing a great job which is why the employer expense is so high. Changes can only be made ligislatively on the state level. There has to be more control and oversight on investments from the fund, reducing the amount of overtime that can be calculated towards pensions and perhaps even giving municipalities the option to opt out of the State Retirement system and allow them to offer 401k's. This is a tough one for our State leaders - the taxpayers are choking on this one huge budget expense but changing it could be political suicide due to the unions throughout the state who will be affected by it. Reform of the system is the only thing that will work. The question is whether or not we have State leaders who are willing to put their necks out for their constituents. View Comment
I don't know why I always say I'm amazed when it comes to Feiner's actions. This man has absolutely no respect for the law and does only what it is in his best interest. This is yet another attempt by him to placate the Mayfair Knollwood neighborhood who faught, and unfortunately won, in this instance to not have affordable housing in their back yard.
The WestHelp campus was a shining example of what affordable housing should look like. The units were beautiful. And, up until the Town lost the lease with them, they were well maintained. I will correct myself, the Town didn't lose the lease, they took every step possible to not renew the lease with the County.
Like the immature moron that he is, when Feiner didn't get his way with the County to raze the building for private use he took the low road and let the units fall into disrepair so that they would have to be razed. Is it just me? I don't understand why every citizen in this Town is crying foul. This is how Feiner operates time and time again. When he doesn't get his way he takes every opportunity to do things in an underhanded way so that it has to work out his way, legal or not. It was the same with Fortress Bible. He wanted a fire truck (a truck that even the fire department didn't request) in lieu of property taxes because the Church is exempt. He destroyed evidence in the case and was found guilty of this by the State courts. Has anyone pursued this? At the very least the State Attorney General should have reacted to the Court finding that Feiner and Company acted illegally. Not only should he have been removed from office, he should have faced criminal charges. Could it be the fact that his wife works for the NY State AG that blocked the course of legal action? Probably.
The fact that he has allowed a million dollars of income fly out the door in this case with WestHelp is yet another example of his poor management of our Town. The fact that he has allowed the structures to deteriorate is shameful. 2013 will be two years in a row now that he has not allocated one single penny in the Town budget towards the upkeep of this facility. The County should sue the Town for the costs to renovate and break the lease with the Town. I say this as a taxpayer and know that it will cost me but the law is the law is the law. At some point even Feiner should be made to respect and abide by the laws that govern all of us. View Comment
Our residents assist each other without the need to have Paul Feiner soaking in the glory. I want to speak to WestHelp. The reason it is uninhabitable is because Feiner wants it that way. He has allowed it to, rather has aided in the lack of security which is why sinks and bathtubs and stoves, etc. are missing. The units were left unlocked so everything was stolen. The Town is responsible for the property yet he has not diverted any manpower to maintain the units. Why? Because he wants it to fall into a state of disrepair in support of his want to demolish the existing units so that he can lease the property to an assisted living and/or facility for the disabled at half the rent he was receiving from Westhelp. Why, again? Because this is his way of saying "I'm sorry" to the immediate neighbors of the property who lost in the lawsuit against Valhalla schools. Don't forget, Greenburgh taxpayers paid to have the Westhelp property constructed for affordable housing, yet Feiner wants to tear it down for a private for-profit use. He might be the only knuckleheaded elected official who wants to tear down beautifully constructed affordable housing when everyone is trying to figure out how to build such housing. THIS MORON NEEDS TO GO. He is out of touch, insensitive to those in need (even though he claims to be the "angel" for the disinfranchised, LOL), inept, irresponsible, corrupt, etc., etc., etc. Dirtbag is the best word I can find for him right now. View Comment