Sunday, May 18, 2008


Dear Readers:

There is a move afoot in the State Legislature to insure that no matter how severe a recession we might face, our local governments and its residents no matter how high taxed they are will continue to face higher taxes. This bill, known as a "study bill" will lock in present health care benefits for public sector unions. As there contracts come up for re-negotiation our local governments will not be able to try and get cost saving concessions from these unions. It is suppose to be a one year moratorium while these benefits are studied.

In Albany speak, these moratoriums are forever. In 1994 the New York State United Teachers got the state legislature to enact a temporary moratorium on their health-care benefits. This has been renewed every year since, hence your school taxes continue to go up as those benefit costs continue to climb as they cannot be cut back to recognize the changing economics of the region.

These unfunded future benefits are projected to cost local governments across the state 75 million of our tax dollars. As the 1994 bill has continued to be renewed, expect this to be also. When you pay your school taxes this year, you can thank Assemblywoman Galef and State Senator Leibell for the continued renewal of the 1994 measure that prevents tax relief. You who must struggle to provide health care for your family are paying locked in benefits to these public sector unions who unlike private insurances are not subject to revisions. So you pay to maintain yours at an affordable level and pay taxes at an unaffordable level.

You home owners and seniors who just love re-electing our present incumbents(Assemblyman Ball is excluded from this argument as he has not been part of this dilemma) , yet at the same time complain about how taxes are forcing you to either move of postpone retirement must face the reality that no matter how nice and friendly these incumbents are when you meet them, they have not been your friends. They are the reasons why you must now face these difficult choices on whether you can continue to afford to live here.

At a recent meeting with Assemblyman Ball, he stated he will not vote for this bill. Assemblywoman Galef was kind enough not to mention this bill to Peekskill Mayor Foster at recent fundraiser they both attended, so the Mayor thoughts on this could not be ascertained by the Assemblywoman. As for State Senator Leibel he said he was not familiar with this bill. No matter that all the major daily papers have had numerous stories and editorials on this bill all week except the Journal News. So either the Senator only reads the JN or he was shining me on. As this bill affects what our Mayors and Supervisors can and cannot do in future negotiations, I would suggest they contact our state representatives and make their feeling known. On top of that they should not endorse or campaign for any representative that votes for this bill.

Committee recommends town administrator for Yorktown
By Art Cusano

A committee appointed by the town board has recommended that Yorktown create a town administrator position.The committee presented its findings at Tuesday night’s board meeting.The committee – comprised of members Susan Siegel, Marie Panella, Gerald Knapp, Jared Feinberg, Tricy Cushner, John R. Kibbe, Anthony Grasso and Chairman Aaron Brock – said it felt a city administrator, a fulltime professional, would bring stability and experience to local government.

Siegel explained the recommendation by noting that town supervisors and board members come and go, and many of them have little experience in government when they enter office. A town administrator would give the town an experienced professional who can handle the complexities of government.

Under the policy advocated by the committee, the town would still elect a supervisor for a two-year term and councilmen for four-year terms. However, the town supervisor would become a part-time position. The committee recommended that the administrator’s position should be established in 2010, allowing time to educate the public about the move.

The committee lists the initial expense between $50,000 and $80,000, but felt that the costs would pay for themselves over time due to “increased productivity” and “cost effective measures” that the position would yield. The annual salary of the administrator was estimated by the committee to be between $125,000 and $150,000, including benefits.

Councilman Lou Campisi expressed doubt over the need of a new administrative position.
“Is there something wrong with Yorktown that I don’t know about?” Campisi asked.
Campisi insinuated that the position is similar to one held by former Yorktown Supervisor Linda Cooper in Ossining, and wondered aloud if Cooper was behind the movement to create the position for Yorktown.

Committee member Siegel said that wasn’t the case. “I was the one who brought this up at a work session last October when there was talk of changing the supervisor’s terms from two to four years,”she said.

The town said it needed time to read through the committee’s report, but felt that action needed to be taken.“We need to decide on this soon” said Councilman Matt Metz. The board will said it will likely make a decision on the matter some time in June.


No matter the denial, this was a Linda Cooper inspired committee. This is a direct attack on Supervisor Peters to allow the powers that be to put one of their own in charge of the town and neuter the position of supervisor. In fact if this administrator becomes reality, calling the supervisor a supervisor would be like calling an ox a bull, a nice honor, but the ox would rather have restored what rightfully his.

In my life time the town has survived with the present form of government that I see no need to change it now. On top of that it would put another layer of govenment between the elected representatives and the people. As now constituted, our government allows direct redress to elected officials by the voters for the actions the council takes. A town administrator would shield those officials from accountability to the voters.

In talking to former Supervisor Aaron Bock, who favors a town administrator now that he is out of office, he told me of his accopmlishment of getting neighboring towns to cooperate in sharing certian sevices. It seems he did not need an administrator to handle these complcated discussions. He smile when I pointed this out to him.

As I said, this is a political hit on Don Peters who is a businessman, not a good old boy politician. He is a loose cannon with pricipals which is despised by the powers that be where control is the name of the game. His independence is an anthama to the establishment, but an asset to the voters. Leave this present form of government alone.


Attached Message
From: Bernard, Tara
Subject: Bandito Taxi - Airport Tkt
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 08:22:47 -0400

Hi Andy,

Hope all is well with you. I spoke with Barbara Monahan (Executive Director, TLC) on Michael's behalf, and she advised me that the ticket was indeed issued in error and that it has been dismissed by the court.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,

Tara Bernard
Aide to Mr. Kaplowitz


Spoke with Mike this morning and he told me this was taken care of and at this point did not think we needed to introduce any particular legislation. It is clearly though an example of a government out of control, seeking to squeeze every last dollar out of the hard working citizens.

Hope this takes care of the ariport situation. Thanks to you, this got nipped in the bud! Otherwise, who kows how many honest hard working stiffs would have gotten snagged and had to pay these unjust and outragous fines.




This is the resolution of the Taxi and Limousine issue at the airports. I hope this helps other taxi companies that are licensed in Peekskill.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.




Looks like the problem is resolved. Thanks for keeping me in the loop.


GUEST COMMENTARY: Don’t change firehouse plan

By John Testa

There has been considerable discussion about the new location for the Centennial Firehouse in Peekskill. Inexplicably, the majority of the present City Council has taken it upon themselves to radically change the course of the multi-year process that has been in place to relocate and restore the historic firehouse and create the Lincoln Depot Museum and Plaza.

This concept was a major focus of the city’s waterfront revitalization efforts over the past six years and because I was closely involved in its conception and development, many have asked me to set the facts straight related to the firehouse and the plans to use it as part of a larger Lincoln Depot Historic Site.

1. The Route 9 bridge project forced us to develop a plan to preserve the firehouse. We accepted this challenge as a unique opportunity. Most important was to preserve a building that has been part of Peekskill’s history for over a century and to adaptively reuse the structure as part of a historic complex.

2. The location for the firehouse was chosen two years ago with a specific site plan developed by Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, the architects who were hired for the Lincoln Depot restoration and the Lincoln Plaza design. In order to gain Department of Transportation (DOT) approval and an agreement to pay to move the building, we were required to have a commitment that the building would be restored and used. The DOT would not pay a substantial amount of money to move a building that would sit vacant and deteriorate further.

3. In 2006 we were able to obtain the commitment of Governor Pataki for $8.3 million in grant funding to complete Lincoln Depot Project. One million dollars of the funding was dedicated to the preservation of the firehouse to fulfill the DOT requirement.

4. As required by the grant, SHPO (N.Y. State Office of Historic Preservation) approved the location across the street (Lincoln Plaza) after careful review and assurance of its reuse as part of the Lincoln Depot Historic Site. Both archeological and environmental studies were conducted as required by law, taking considerable city time and expense to complete.
5. N.Y. State DOT obtained possession of the privately owned firehouse in late fall 2007. The city was ready to move forward with the relocation in 2008 as agreed. Inexplicably, the new administration delayed contacting the utility companies and movers, thus jeopardizing the project. The building could and should already be in its new location on the Lincoln Plaza.
6. The present administration has created a smokescreen by manipulating the grant language, saying other locations must be considered, a process that was completed two years ago! The grant states that the building must remain within 500 feet of its original location. The Lincoln Depot Plaza site falls within that requirement. The buildings compliment each other; they were built close to the same time and from similar materials. All sight line issues were also addressed at that time. The firehouse would contain the required visitors’ center and administrative offices for the Depot Foundation. It would include historic Peekskill firemanic memorabilia, especially from the Centennial Company. Utilizing the firehouse was an obvious choice because it prevents the need for constructing a new building on the site. There is a $350,000 NYS EPF Grant in place for this.

7. Four members of the present council were also members of the previous council who unanimously approved the present plan. Of the four, only Councilwoman Pisani continues to support the plan that took four to five years to develop. No one raised any concerns about the plaza relocation site during that entire time.

8. It is clear that the plan is to thwart the hard work of many individuals who developed this project. Changing the plan will mean the destruction of the building and the loss of millions of dollars in funding. These funds are project and site-specific and cannot be reassigned.
9. SHPO and DOT recently stated they were not informed about the change of plans and expressed the folly in such an action. SHPO will not approve another location and will not allow the grant funds to be used. Also, a new site would mean at least three years of warehousing the building on cribbing and a second move to whatever location is selected. Experts laugh at this idea and emphatically state that the building will not survive. Importantly, the costs incurred with this ridiculous plan will not be covered by the grant and will rest on the shoulders of the local taxpayer. The city would need to purchase property with local taxpayer funds, removing it from the tax rolls.

10. Time is running out. The building must be moved across the street now and restoration must begin. There is no other honest course of action that has any hope for success. To begin the discussion as if the previous planning never happened is disingenuous. To say that other locations need to be considered is foolish!

11. It is obvious what the community wants. Many individuals have expressed their desire to see the firehouse restored on the Lincoln Depot site. Major community groups such as the Lincoln Society and Historic Peekskill Inc. have publically expressed the same support. In fact, Historic Peekskill, Inc. has taken extraordinary steps to point out the facts, and had outreach to officials in the N.Y. State DOT and SHPO offices to confirm that the plans are in place and why they must be followed. Unfortunately, this input has been completely ignored by the mayor and council majority.

It is not truthful for anyone to portray that the choice was not officially made for the relocation of the firehouse. There is no legitimate reason for changing the plan. When asked why they will not follow the approved plan, the mayor and council members give no answer. The question remains, if the plan for the firehouse is changed at the 11th hour, what is the future for the entire project? There is a $1.135 million Empire State Development Grant in place for the plaza. Are those plans going to be allowed to continue, or is the real plan to prevent the entire project from being completed?

The approved project should be implemented immediately. The plan and money are in place but it seems the Foster Administration’s will is not.

John Testa is the former mayor of Peekskill

News from
Oros for Congress


CONTACT: Angela Flesland
Friday, May 16, 2008

PEEKSKILL, NY- Republican Congressional Candidate George Oros on Barack
Obama’s statement that the United States should reason with terrorist

“America should not and will not negotiate with state sponsored
terrorists. This is not a matter of politics; it’s a matter of national
security. Obama needs to explain to the American people why he feels we
should reason with a terrorist organization that denies the Holocaust
and wants to obliterate Israel. The people of the 19th Congressional
District need to hear John Hall stand up and denounce Senator Obama for
these statements,” Oros said.

George Oros is the Minority Leader of the Westchester County
Legislature and is seeking the Republican nomination for Congress in
New York’s 19th Congressional District

Former Peekskill Mayor John Testa has started his cable show "On Topic with John Testa". It airs Thursdays 9:30PM on chanel 15 in Peekskill and Cortlandt. This week he covers the hot topic of the Centenial Fire House



here is the upcoming schedule of guests and when the shows will air.
Volpe Report- hosted by Domenic Volpe
Public Accces Channel 15
Thursdays 8:00pm

Mary Foster, Mayor-City of Peekskill
May 15, 22, and 29

John Sloan, Town Coucilman- Cortlandt
June 5, 12, and 19

Our recommendations for Peekskill school board
• May 15, 2008

Three candidates are vying for two open seats on the Peekskill school board; that ensures that district residents will get new voices and new ideas on the board. What they won't get is education novices.

The candidates are John "Sean" McGuinness, a longtime former board member; Joseph Urbanowicz, an Ardsley school district official with a quarter-century of school-administration experience; and Douglas Glickert, a veteran public school teacher in the Bronx who has a long history of Peekskill youth and civic service, to go along with a pair of advanced degrees in education.

All three have deep personal and family ties to the district. While McGuinness' past service has been commendable -it was on his watch that Judith Johnson was hired as superintendent - our backing goes to Urbanowicz and Glickert, for the out-of-district vision and perspective they would be able to provide the Peekskill district.

Glickert hails from a New York City school system that has seen monumental change. He wants to continue to look for ways to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom; exploit alternative energy sources, for benefit of the environment and the cost-savings; develop better character-education programs; and build on the district's academic gains. He told the Editorial Board that he was proceeding with no specific agenda, but wanted to listen to parents to discover what their needs are. He has served on parent committees, the Peekskill Education Foundation and directed other youth-centered initiatives for Peekskill youth.

Urbanowicz is the Ardsley school district's director of facilities and construction. His wife is a former teacher in the Peekskill district. Over the years, he has served on a number of Peekskill district and board committees, including the long-range planning, facilities, reorganization and athletics, and a search committee for facilities director. In the Ardsley district, he supervises large capital projects without the assistance of outside project managers; he thinks his talents would serve Peekskill on its outstanding building projects. He has also has coached Peekskill sports.

McGuinness served on the Peekskill board from 1994-2002; he was board vice president in 1995 and president from 1996-97. He helped hire Johnson, easily one of the most dynamic school chiefs in Westchester, and the purveyor of a $60 million facilities-improvement initiative that included a new middle school - a project on which work continues. His top issues: integrating the sixth grade into the middle school; getting the most utility out of the remaining grammar schools, and closing the achievement gap.

There is no question that McGuinness has much to offer the district; he has remained active in school circles since leaving the board, serving as a director of the Lower Hudson Valley Education Commission, which lobbies on behalf of Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Dutchess school boards. But we think Peekskill voters should jump at the opportunity to bring the talented new voices of Urbanowicz and Glickert, and their new ideas, into the fold.

A Journal News editorial

Dear Readers:

This week I discuss how Legislators' Oros and Kaplowitz fought for us. You can read my column on this topic exclusively on line(see link below)or in this weeks NORTH COUNTY NEWS on sale now. I am worth the seventy-five cents. Look for my column IN MY OPINION(page 10) in the editorial section. Better yet as this column is exclusive to the North County News on a regular basis and will be covering the local political scene, take out a subscription. Click on the North County News link below and go to Subscribe. Between this blog and The North County News you will have all the information to make a vote based on substance.

Dear Readers:

This gives me a chance to plug my business ATOM TAXI INC. As you are planning your holiday or business or vacation travel? Instead of the headache of trying to find Airport parking, we do Airport Service to The Westchester County Airport(and ALL other airports) 24/7. Just call 1(914)879-6121 and my partner Tommy, will be glad to take you in our Airport Taxi. You will also be provided with a free copy of your local paper of record The North County News. If this is a business trip we also provide a professional receipt, just tell Tommy at the time of booking. The cost of a one-way trip to LaGuardia Airport the cost is Ninety dollars plus tolls. The cost to JFK and Newark Airports is one hundred-twenty-five dollars plus tolls. The tolls are $10.00 Westchester County Airport and Stewart cost $75.00. We do not take credit cards, sorry.

Dear Readers:

It has come to my attention the difficulty in posting a comment on this blog. If you wish to comment, e-mail me at the link posted below, putting "Manifesto Reader" in the subject matter, and I will "cut and Paste" your comments myself. If you DO NOT wish your comments posted, but just wish to communicate with me, please make your wishes known in the e-mail.

LINKS: this a yahoo address make sure you put an underscore (-) between atom and taxi)

For immediate reply:










ON POINT ON PEEKSKILL: Every Tuesday at 8PM channel 15 (Peekskill only)

DON PETERS AND YORKTOWN: Every Tuesday at 10PM channel 74
Hosted by: DON PETERS

YORKTOWN WATCHDOG: Every Friday at 9:30 PM on channel 74

LEGISLATORS REPORT: Saturday and Sunday at various times on chanel 20

THE VOLPE REPORT: Thursadys at 8PM chanel 15 (Peek. and Cort.) 74 (York.)
Hosted By: Dominec Volpe

THE ISSUES: Thursdays at 9:PM chanel 74
Hosted by; Sam Davis

ON TOPIC WITH JOHN TESTA: Thursdays at 9:30PM chanel 15 (Peekskill & Cortlant)
Hosted by: John Testa

CARS & US: Fridays 10 PM chanel 15(Peek. & Cortlant) 74(York. & Put. Valley)
Hosted By: Dennis Tate
All articles re-printed in this blog from the North County News are with the permission of Bruce Apar Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

BAZZO 05/18/08

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