A statement from Town Board member Adam Brodsky on the train station leasing situation

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
by Adam Brodsky

When I was elected to this position this past November, I can honestly say that—after my wedding day and the birth of my four children—it was one of the happiest days of my life. I was deeply honored and appreciative that the residents would come out and support me as one of their leaders to help chart a path forward. The election was a whirlwind and a tremendous challenge.

I can’t tell you how deeply I have been affected by the almost overnight turn of events that has changed the atmosphere from optimism to pessimism. Having spent untold hours with Rob and Lisa and now Elise and Jason, I can honestly say I have never met a group of individuals as dedicated to our community as this group. We may differ in our approach, and we won’t always agree on every decision we have to make, but this is a healthy and vital part of the democratic process.  What’s important is that we’re all trying our best to be responsive to the needs of our community.

Against that backdrop, I want to address the current situation with the Train Station lease. Upon taking office, I was tasked with leading the effort to negotiate lease terms with the purveyor of the Via Vanti restaurant in Mt. Kisco.  After numerous calls, emails and face-to-face meetings, we reached what appeared to be an impasse – public access to the bathrooms. The operator was insisting that commuters and the general public not be permitted to enter the depot during dinner hours solely to use the bathrooms.  The operator believed this would be disruptive to patrons eating dinner at the restaurant. 

Although the operator later indicated she was willing to accept a compromise on this issue, this episode raised doubts in my mind as to whether a full service restaurant was the best option for our train station.  I also had concerns as to whether a full service restaurant could be successful in such a small space.  Finally, I was also mindful of the historic nature of the train station depot, and the fact that permanent interior alterations to the depot would be required to make the space work as a restaurant. 

When discussions with Via Vanti faltered, the Board concluded that it would be advisable to solicit additional lease proposals for the train station depot.  The process that the Board followed, as well as the prior RFP process that actually began in April 2012, is explained in a statement that the Town posted to its website earlier today.  I encourage all residents to review the Town’s statement so they can be fully informed about the RFP process that was followed in this matter.

In March 2014, Via Vianti and three additional applicants who had stepped forward made presentations to the Town Board during a public meeting.  The Board also received RFP responses from Via Vianti and two of these new applicants—the Chases and Leslie Lampert, the owner of Café of Love.  When I balanced the merits of each respective application, I voted in favor of awarding the lease to Leslie Lampert.  I concluded that Leslie’s proposal offered the best overall value to the Town and was the best fit for the train station space.  It’s that simple.

I understand that the Chases and Via Vanti are disappointed with the Board’s decision.  Nevertheless, if their petition for a permissive referendum is successful, it will delay the occupancy of the depot for at least 4-6 months.  Residents will be denied a fantastic new amenity and the Town will be saddled with unnecessary costs.  The Board worked diligently on this matter with the hope that an operator would have the space ready this summer.  I think it would be a shame to see this goal delayed into next year.  The Board exercised its judgment and made its choice based on sound rationale.  Four Board members voted for Leslie.  Let’s move onto the pressing issues that our community faces.


Comments(101):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

After all that has happened, I cannot believe what Adam says. He and Rob are making up stories to suit their own agendas. Why Lisa is going along with this farce is beyond me.

By Resident on 06/11/2014 at 1:48 pm

“I can’t tell you how deeply I have been affected by the almost overnight turn of events that has changed the atmosphere from optimism to pessimism.”

The “turn of events”?  The pessimism is because you and your Team New Castle pals keep doing things without rhyme nor reason.  You guys talked about “transparency”. How about accountability?

By Give me a Break! on 06/11/2014 at 1:50 pm

Adam - I was impressed with this letter and your reading of it at last nights town board meeting. I have some doubts as there seems to be two very different stories circulating. I will take you at your word and we should all move on.
To your point about ” charting a path forward” and being ” responsive to the needs of our community” I hope you are true to your word on that as well. In watching last nights TB meeting I was once again disgusted by the display put on by the CC NIMBYs. They berated, they disrespected, and each and everyone of them repeated the same nonsense. They monopolized all Q&A and embarrassed themselves.
You were elected by many residents from all over our community. These NIMBYs think that because they voted for Brodsky that Brodsky must represent only their interests. 5 board members were all elected and the board must represent all of us. You must make decisions in everyone’s best interests. The loudmouths threaten to sue if they don’t get their way. Don’t be intimadated. They represent only themselves and care not for the rest of us.
Retail at CC can be a great thing for our community. The changes made so far have downsized the supermarket now Whole Foods, eliminated the strip mall, and traffic mitigation continues to improve. This can work. Be part of the solution - the NIMBYs are part of the problem.

By DD on 06/11/2014 at 2:16 pm

Why do Messrs. Brodsky and Greenstein (and others)insist on calling it a “train station depot?” It is redundant and irksome. A depot is a train station.

By It's a station or a depot or a train station on 06/11/2014 at 2:16 pm

I would like to address several areas here and break them into three posts so that they are more digest-able:

Councilman Brodsky is partly correct—we did have numerous interactions; however only two – one in person on January 7th and one by phone on January 27th,—were of substance.  All exchanges were amicable.  It is a false characterization to say we had reached on “impasse” on the bathrooms inasmuch as our last exchange on that particular topic was the councilman telling me that he understood and supported my desire to limit bathroom access to guests during dinner service.

By Carla Gambescia on 06/11/2014 at 3:03 pm

Councilman Brodsky states here that he began to lose interest in the desire to have a full service restaurant in the building around the time of the alleged bathroom “impasse”. This is in direct contradiction to both the aspirations of the Board and the positive anticipation of residents over the past two years. It is also in contradiction to the statement made by Supervisor Greenstein on March 6th to NCN regarding the possibility that the new RFP process might yield an applicant willing to invest in the installation of a gas line.

However, if this was indeed the case, then that would have been the PERFECT and totally APPROPRIATE reason for a new RFP. And, if this had indeed been the new goal, the Board should have been “fair and open to all” and stated it as part of the RFP.  They also should have made the RFP public for more than 8 days so that residents could be certain, to quote the councilman, that the Board had left “no stone unturned.”  Perhaps if the Board’s desire for a no cooking use – commuter oriented “grab n go” and take-out with limited table service – had been properly stated as the Town’s goal in the March 19th RFP, neither Via Vanti! nor the Chases would have even participated in the RFP . . . or if they had, their proposals would have been vastly different.

Is should be noted that renovations we proposed to cook fresh food in the Le Track area would NOT have in any way compromises the historic nature of the building or in any way detracted from its’ charms.  That area of the station was redone about 10 years ago and is currently not NY State Heath Code complaint to cook (ONLY non-porous surfaces – tile and stainless steel are permitted).  There is nothing historic or remotely special about the millwood in Le Track. The only changes to the ticket booth that were required was the removal of false panels to open up the space for the wine bar & mozzarella bar. 

By Carla Gambescia on 06/11/2014 at 3:07 pm

The cost to the town of the referendum is a red herring.  The Board can rescind their decision at no cost to the Town and restart a proper RFP process based in their now new objectives for use of the station.

It is not fair to the residents that the Town commit to a 15 year lease to the one and only applicant that happened to propose the use the Board was seeking but had failed to articulate publicly. 

A proper process with a clearly articulated objective, that is “fair and open to all” will yield the best result for the residents.

It should be noted that this type of use (no cooking grab & go take out etc) should yield the Town the maximum rental income as there are no build-out costs and very low operating costs Further, a long-term lease is not justified as there are no capital improvements involved which would require and extended lease to defray. 

By Carla Gambescia on 06/11/2014 at 3:16 pm

THE BOARD IS LEGALLY ENTITLED TO RESCIND THE TRAIN STATION RESOLUTION
AT ANY TIME
IF IT DOES, NO VOTE NEEDS TO HAPPEN

Once our petition is filed, pursuant to state law, it is up to the Town Board to decide whether to resolve this issue by (a) the Board, on its own, rescinding the train station lease resolution without a public vote; or (b) holding a public referendum to approve or disapprove the resolution. Section 93 of N.Y. Town Law states: “Any act or resolution of a town board may be rescinded or repealed at any time by the town board and, in case the resolution so repealed be one subject to a permissive referendum and a petition thereupon be filed, no further proceedings shall be had thereunder and no referendum shall be held.” If the Board votes to rescind, no vote is needed.

By You left out a big part on 06/11/2014 at 3:36 pm

Adam,

I posted this under the letter team green signed, but am reposting it here for you to see, because I do think that you care.


“Reading this and hearing Adam’s explanation at last evening’s town board meeting leaves me sad.
Adam is such a nice fellow and I do believe him when he says that he wants to do right by the town.  Unfortunately, this, his first challenge has brought the town less than what should be.
It is less in every way.  Less financial returns, less amenities, less service, less in beneficial upgrades to the train station.  And for ten years.  And for some reason this “deal” cost the town over $10,000 in legal fees.

Try, as Adam and the other 3 members, Elise Mottel, Lisa Katz and of course, Supervisor Grenstein may argue that this was not what the town wants and it is not a good deal.

This was a fail. A poor deal on every count.  The town board should learn to listen to the residents that it was elected to represent.  This deal does not represent their best interests”.

By less is not more on 06/11/2014 at 6:18 pm

In all due respect councilman Brodsky, you and Supervisor Greenstein with your respective letters regarding the train station lease are now making a feeble attempt to put lipstick on a pig.  This is debacle for a host of reasons which have been articulated over and over again on NCNow.  Based upon the pre and post election dishonesty of “Team New Castle”, we will never know what really transpired between the current Board and Carla other than it stinks of something very foul and unjust which a referendum will cure.  As far as the costs, delays and disruptions caused by such a referendum, you have to look no further than a mirror for the cause.

By RT 120 Resident on 06/11/2014 at 6:36 pm

Unfortunately this letter is a lame explanation of a bad deal.  To then say as Adam does that “we should now move on” adds insult to injury.

By anonymous on 06/11/2014 at 7:26 pm

Carla please, your sour grapes are increasingly bitter… Carrying so much hate within is not good for anyone-

The town board made their decision, they stand by it. There is nothing you can do to sway them into having you be there- so why try? Why can’t you just let go?

Sour grapes gone bitter- what is next?

By Bitter grapes on 06/11/2014 at 9:17 pm

Someone once told me that when someone says “honestly,” it’s a tell that they aren’t being honest.

By Honestly? on 06/11/2014 at 9:40 pm

I agree with Bitter Grapes. Carrying so much hate is debilitating. The town made their decision and while you may not agree with it, they’re standing by it. Fighting on what the town believes “is the best overall value for the town” and the “best fit for the train station space” is their decision to make. We are a community that needs to continue to support one another at the guidance of the Board. Isn’t that what community is all about?

By United we stand on 06/11/2014 at 10:07 pm

Good evening Adam,
I could not help but detect just a slight hint of sarcasm when you greeted my wife and I this morning with a booming, ” ah my good friends the Chases.” Not to worry, we still hold a special place in our hearts for you and yours.  Unfortunately, you move past us at a rather good clip, I guess you just did not want to sign our petition.  Anyway, I wanted to ask you this face to face, but as I said, you seemed rather rushed this morning.  Do you remember our two phone conversations where you said that my wife and I were your choice for the RFP, but that you were only one vote of five?  If so, were your statements blatant lies or did you simply forget that you in fact had voted for Love at Zip Code?
Have a good night’s sleep and we will see you in the morning on the train platform if you would prefer to discuss your response in person.
Peter

By Peter Chase on 06/11/2014 at 10:29 pm

Simply do not see a sound rational for this decision.  No offense to Laddle of Love, but we were supposed to get a restaurant, a place to have a glass of wine, maybe a cocktail, a place to go at night that was actually in town. Residents have waited a couple years, we can wait another few months, but please make it as close to a restaurant. We don’t need more take out. Fantastic new amenity?  Listen to your consituients rather than create a rational to justify the operator of your choice. You and you co-conspirators should lay off Carla, it is so juvenile.

By what's another few months on 06/11/2014 at 10:44 pm

Mr. Brodsky, you may wish to move on because in your view there are more pressing issues, but to many of us in the community, an RFP process with obvious irregularities is important and pressing.  A closer examination needs to take place as how the bidding was conducted and whether competing bids were shared with the winning party.  Why else does someone increase their initial bid by 32% to just barely top the losing bids.  One can well guess why you want to move on.

By Jonathan S. on 06/12/2014 at 12:34 am

It is amazing how many times items referred to the winning bidder are spelled incorrectly. Almost as amazing as how someone can ask to lay off Carla when her actions have caused the house of cards to fall. Bitterness and jealous are terrible traits and do not service the community well. Attacking the board in every capacity, petitioning for a new vote, and expecting a different outcome- clearly is the definition of insanity.

Isn’t her contract up at the concession stand? Didn’t she threaten the town that she would sue them if they had her leave even though her contract was up? Hasn’t she gone back on her word and repeatedly lied to the same community that she is trying to represent? Wow- how could anyone think to endorse someone who has caused such problems for the town.

Spell Check, Reality Check- you and your “juvenile” and “inappropriate behavior” are simply never going to be wanted. Sour Grapes, Bitter Grapes- you have left behind a bad taste in this community. And poor Erin & Peter- they run a completely professional business and they will forever be associated with someone like you. What a shame for them, what a shame for the town that you even live there- quite the embarrassment you have become.

By spell check-reality check on 06/12/2014 at 7:50 am

When you guys came into office you didn’t have to mess with this train station leasing thing. No one was complaining. If you thought you could get more $$ then you could have done that, with the threat of re-opening the RFP process. Instead, you just surreptitiously collected other applicants, then slipped out of the almost-contract with Via Vanti on the pretext of bathrooms. This mess didn’t have to happen. Team NC was elected because people who didn’t want retail at ChappaquaCrossing voted for you. Everything else is risky for you to touch (and you’re throwing over the people who voted for you, so you’ve messed up even that).

By Trouble you didn't have to have on 06/12/2014 at 9:28 am

Mr. B, you got off on the wrong foot by calling the train station “our crown jewel” - since when? That was an exaggeration that caused skepticism from the get-go. That was like a marketing campaign that people who live here know was just made up!  Crown jewel?

And the people I know wanted a place to stop to enjoy drink or two and something to eat.We didn’t want carry out.

By Come on - "crown jewel"?????? on 06/12/2014 at 9:38 am

Adam,

What becomes more and more clear is that for some reason the new members of the town board decided to get rid of Carla.  You helped them in this devious mission.  Why you would calls into question your good judgement and you integrity.  The same for
Lisa Katz and Elise Mottel.  Rob Greenstein is the puppet master and you all are his puppets. 

Only Jason Chapin, again acts with integrity.

By Adam, Lisa, Elise ? on 06/12/2014 at 9:41 am

I am nauseated. I cant believe all this. The train is the “blood artery” not a jewel.

A plague on you all. I avoid downtown at all costs (except for susan Lawrence )  I only go to Armonk now….until CC

By The crown jewel will be cc on 06/12/2014 at 9:43 am

Adam, it can only be taht this was part of RG’s plan to demonstrate that “New CAstle is open for business!” by undoing anything and everything the democrats before you had done.

It was probably part of the big deal you guys made about the “joke” ethics committee that existed BEFORE you.  But ya know what?  Now you’ve got a new ethics code but you have zero - Z-E-R-O - idea of how to conduct yourselves honestly.  And THAT joke’s on all of US.

Plus, you got the school board burnt in the process! This is better than an HBO series!

By Get a grip on yourselves, town bd ! on 06/12/2014 at 10:38 am

The question as to which board member lacks integrity is very much open to debate.

By bob on 06/12/2014 at 11:10 am

Dear trouble,

Check the district-by-district voting results. Team New Castle won the election by a wide margin in every neighborhood in New Castle.

They most certainly got some votes from CC opponents, and a boost from CC neighbors. They also got votes from CC supporters. I for one support retail at Chappaqua Crossing, and I also supported Team New Castle. The claim that this board was elected solely to prevent retail at Chappaqua Crossing does not hold water.

 

By Team New Castle Supporter on 06/12/2014 at 2:01 pm

Please concentrate on reducing, eliminating, and destroying red tape in town hall. While everyone is getting heated over this issue, I believe that you and team Green are becoming distant and distracted in one of your platform agendas to make New Castle more merchant friendly with the goal of attracting more and different kinds of businesses. Downtown Chappaqua is not doing well, the merchants and the landlords are taking big hits. Since 2008 how much value has the downtown area of Chappaqua lost? How much total square feet of retail, commercial, medical, office space exist, and what is the per square foot decline of value? This hurts our School budgets and our own personal home values. So please, assign the issue of the Train Station to someone else, and get on with why you were voted into office.

By For Team Green on 06/12/2014 at 2:02 pm

I too wish they would deal with important issues but they have to do so ethically and with respect for process. The train station handling was a major disappointment because they met neither criteria. I also don’t like how they seem bent on harming the via vanti owner. Things have to change.

By Town resident on 06/12/2014 at 4:13 pm

Team New Castle Supporter,

No one has said that they were elected “solely ” to prevent retail at cc.  That is exactly the sort of lie and distortion that Rob and bob engage in.

By more team green lies on 06/12/2014 at 4:17 pm

I very much appreciate Mr. Brodsky’s letter and take him at his word.  I have lived in Chappaqua for decades and can tell you what is clear from all of these hostile remarks is that the New Castle Democrats have a little too much time on their hands and need something to do…

By Long-Time Resident on 06/12/2014 at 4:34 pm

What a disappointment Team New Castle has been.

They refuse to listen to an engaged town. They set the tone from day one by not involving the existing board members in important decisions that needed group input.

Now they rope the crown jewel of Chappaqua our schools into their mess with the administrator.

This group always has something to say after they ram through their agenda.

Robert G. represents Robert G. Adam and Lisa should wake up and start representing the people not Robert’s ego maniacal agenda. 

By Former Team New Castle Supporter on 06/12/2014 at 7:02 pm

That’s it. Call everyone you disagree with liars. Nice.

By bob on 06/12/2014 at 7:07 pm

What is going on in this Town? There has never been this kind of behavior.  The newly elected Supervisor and Board members are a disgrace to us.  People are talking about us from other Towns.  There is already a list of things they are mismanaging, no-process is at the top of the list.  From the appointment of the attorneys, to the appointment of an inexperienced Town Administrator, to the mishandling of the train station concession, to the School Board letter,  to little regard for resident’s wants, the list goes on and in such a short period of time. At the very top of the list, however, is their bad and disingenuous behavior.  Heaven help us and New Castle.

By someone who loves New Castle on 06/13/2014 at 7:41 am

Reading about this issue is like watching the Jerry Springer show.

Pointless and immaterial to life on earth

By Wasting time on 06/13/2014 at 7:43 am

Its gratifying to see that now, after months of your anti CC postings, that you are now on board and that you see it as the positive step that it is.

By Dear Bob on 06/13/2014 at 7:50 am

Adam- your opening comments speak to ” dedicated to our community” and to be “responsive to the needs of our community”.
You/ your family own an abandoned and decaying downtown building. It has been an eyesore all the years I have lived here. How is that being community minded and responsive to our needs?
I watched the painfully long Tuesday town board meeting. Once again, the agenda was dominated by the same small vocal group of NIMBYs repeating over and over again their unsubstantiated claims and fear mongoring. You would think that there are no other issues that the TB deals with. Their ringleader and your Team New Castle running mate Lisa Katz continued her objections and her line of questions/statements to SG and the traffic expert were not constructive. If anything they were detrimental to progress and certainly not dedicated to the “community"at large.
While I am no fan of R Greenstein at least he did an outstanding job with the Chamber of commerce and so far has kept his promise to be a tough negotiator with SG and impact positive changes at CC.
You guys fumbled the train station lease and the Shapiro appointment. You have excluded and alienated other board members and you have not been transparent as promised.
I suggest you work for the entire community and stop the madness of this continued obstruction at CC. Deliver a well planned complex with a Whole Foods. That is what the “community” wants. Work as 5 person board and remind Katz that the town is comprised of more than the few blocks in her neighborhood. You need to get back the confidence of the community if it’s not already too late.

By Resident on 06/13/2014 at 8:59 am

How long has the train station sat empty?  Way before those recently elected came into office.  I am glad to see movement and the idea of take-out is perfect for that location.  How much conversation do we need to have before a decision is made?  It is the inaction that has caused us to be where we are today.

By Enough already on 06/13/2014 at 9:39 am

Adam - I believe Resident has articulated how many of us feel. Do the right thing for the entire community- that means fulfilling your promise to be transparent and a “new approach”. New approach does not mean excluding other board members, secret invitation only meetings with CC Nimbys at Kittle House and agendas dominated by the same people.
After watching almost 3 hours of the Tuesday town board meeting (I turned it off at 11:45pm) I am again disgusted by the NIMBYs and their self centered and horrible behavior. After a few comments and letters on other topics (train station, parking permits, etc) the topic turned to retail at CC. After a presentation by the developer rep and traffic expert the NIMBYs paraded up to the microphone and repeated over and over what they have been saying for months and years. The emotional and irrational arguments continue. The fear mongering like “ambulances stuck on 117”, pedestrians getting hit by trucks, property value decline, were repeated. The entire board meeting and public comments were AGAIN monopolized by this small selfish group. It is as if the town and residents have no other issues no other concerns to focus on. Jessica Riemann threatened legal action and referred to “our attorney”. She was ridiculous in bringing large blown up photos of Whole Foods in Yonkers, White Plains and PortChester as if the Whole Foods design/architecture at Chapp Crossing will look anything like those-they wont and she knows it!Once again, I implore our town board to make decisions based on what is in everyone’s best interest; this small vocal, militant and rude group speak only for themselves. You the TB must represent all of us. The COMMUNITY.

By I agree on 06/13/2014 at 12:23 pm

Enough already,

Why would you or anyone use the terrible performance of the previous town board to support the poor decision of the new town board ?  A takeout that closes at 8 PM is NOT what the town needs, wants or was promised.  Why would it.  You make no sense at all.  Period.

By enough already makes no sense on 06/13/2014 at 12:36 pm

I agree with “enough already”, a full service restaurant is the last thing we need at the train station. Let’s move on please and stop the whining.

By Same old new castle on 06/13/2014 at 1:42 pm

Take-out is just fine for the train station.
Surely those ranting here don’t want the board to eliminate public comment. If one can talk, all can talk no matter what they say and even if they are foolish. They get to have their say even if some individuals don’t like it.

By bob on 06/13/2014 at 1:50 pm

Although I agree with retail at Chappaqua Crossing the lack of transparency with Team New. Castle has been appalling. Downtown Chappaqua needs a real plan and I do not trust this Pace process.  I’ve been evolved with the consultant model in many capacities and whoever hired them influences their decisions.  Team New Castle hired an attorney they knew and Pace to try to get out of the mess they created.  Ladle of Love is over priced and will not bring people to New Casttle. We want to lure the younger families to homes that are trying to sell and we need a vibrant town. If we had one then another destination at CC would not be a bad idea. The more good and trendy restaurants you have the more people are abuzz about a town. A take out place does not do that. Thank goodness for Desires and the French restaurant because people heard of them.  When people have a reason to visit a town they think about moving there. Ladle of Love will not do that.

By Enough of Team New Castle on 06/13/2014 at 1:51 pm

Dear Editor- I depend on you for community news and updates. Uncharacteristically you have no article or report from Tuesdays Town Board meeting. A few comments above indicate SG had a traffic expert make a presentation and several residents spoke. Any update?

Editor’s Note: For Monday, I hope.

By NCN Fan on 06/13/2014 at 2:44 pm

Same complaints, same lectures, same wining, same stomping on the board- we are going into graduation and Father’s Day weekend- can’t the town just calm down and stop arguing and insulting each other.

We are presently- the farthest thing from a community.  Decisions have been made, let’s just move forward and get to the next battle. Most of the soldiers are already beaten up. How do you expect the board to handle other problems if all of their time is devoted to one situation?

The situation is exhausting- let’s turn the page and move on and try to repair this community!

By Exhausted on 06/13/2014 at 2:47 pm

I generally give TNC the benefit of the doubt, but the following caption raises concern:

“Although the operator later indicated she was willing to accept a compromise on this issue (the bathroom), this episode raised doubts in my mind as to whether a full service restaurant was the best option for our train station.  I also had concerns as to whether a full service restaurant could be successful in such a small space.  Finally, I was also mindful of the historic nature of the train station depot, and the fact that permanent interior alterations to the depot would be required to make the space work as a restaurant.”

Either you are negotiating in good faith on the bathroom issue or you are not.  I am not sure how the “episode” leads to all these other concerns (by the way, I don’t see among them concern regarding the operator’s willingness to negotiate in good faith).  When I read these words, they essentially say that the bathroom issue was used to pursue a different outcome than the one arrived at by the prior board.  Perhaps for all these reasons all could agree this is what is best for our town, but it does no good to sugar coat the chain of events.

By Pretext? on 06/13/2014 at 2:47 pm

Adam Brodsky/ his family owns a commercial piece of downtown Chapp. It has been unoccupied / abandoned for more than decade-once occupied by Bistro Maxime. It is a blight on downtown.
This is the person that stands in judgement and decided on which tenant should occupy OUR train station.

By Really????? on 06/13/2014 at 3:46 pm

People, just stop with all of your hating. We get it. You are angry that Robert Greenstein is our supervisor. Your candidate lost. But this is not Washington D.C. This is not a death match. The over-the-top statements of these commenters speak for themselves.

By Deep breaths everyone -- everything will be okay on 06/13/2014 at 4:02 pm

I think the lesson here - for school board members, town bd members,RFP applicants and people who live here - is that whether you play with Greenstein or oppose him you get hurt. So if you guys are agreeing to stuff because you’re afraid of him or you think you owe him ...... don’t.

By Man, will somebody put a bell on this cat? on 06/13/2014 at 4:03 pm

“the [very legitimate] bathroom issue was used to pursue a different outcome than the one arrived at by the prior board.”

So?

By bob on 06/13/2014 at 4:14 pm

Rob Greenstein wants to e-communicate with everyone and have a new town e-newsletter and e-mails and Facebook and stuff. Did he think that all this e-power goes one way? Residents expect to be consulted now, not just e-communicated at. You guys are pumping all this e-stuff out but you’re not really listening to anybody. Bell/cat is right. Greenstein only has 1.5 years left in office. He’s in a hurry to do stuff and that’s not safe for anyone around him. Board members, do your jobs, not Greenstein’s bidding!

By Greenstein is a big problem on 06/13/2014 at 4:17 pm

Greenstein doesn’t listen? He holds meetings with the neighbors of big projects to hear their gripes and complaints. If you have seen a TB meeting, that sure takes patience. Did Carpenter ever meet with neighbors? No. Then after Greenstein meets with and hears concerned residents, the New Castle Democrats scream that he had “secret” meetings.

By bob on 06/13/2014 at 5:54 pm

bob, so so much you say as fact is not fact.

By bobbing on 06/13/2014 at 6:44 pm

Bob—are you blind, or do you just refuse to see? What has been painfully obvious for some time is the bathroom issue was ruse to get rid of via vanti since adam thought he could bring something in for BIG bucks.  From everything that has been written adnausem about this, your guy ... oops ... Rob’s guy, Adam was in charge of this start to finish dishonorable fiasco.  Adam seems to have been careless and clueless; he didn’t know there was a prior RFP, never bothered to read the lease draft, was either too lazy or just too impolite to call carla before he sets up meetings for new applicants, calls the station the crown jewel (the perfect venue take-out), calls himself a true fiduciary of the town, decides a restaurant with bar is not a good idea but doesn’t bother share his feelings. Then he brokers a deal with the low bidder who only plans to buff the floors. This requires the town to make a 15 year commitment (vs. 10 years per the RFP) just so the monthly rent doesn’t look too embarrassing compared to the other proposals or raise too many eyebrows.  All this costs the town bucks in attorney’s fees.  Then he naively wonders about the shift in mood.  And this is just the train station. We MUST NOT as a community sweep this under the rug and just move on.

By Bob, are you blind? on 06/13/2014 at 8:20 pm

No one is blind, people are just refusing to see the truth. Everyone who has been nasty to the board and has scrutinized every word is because they are unhappy with the board’s decision. As with any vote in this country, there are winners and there are losers. It is impossible to please every individual. Enough said to these posters that slam the board- you are beating up the people who you may need some day for a more important matter.

The decision was made, the town board has said they will not change their mind. If you are dissatisfied with the decision that is on you. We are not talking about curing cancer or having someone on trial for murder- we are talking about a decision the board soundly made about who will open up a restaurant in the train station and keep the station in tact for it’s historical beauty.

People seem to have nothing to do but take a magnifying glass and try and pull apart things that other people have said. Just put on contact lenses and you should be able to see clearly what everyone else sees. The town board did nothing wrong- they chose a winner- the town will go ahead as planned with the transition- in a few months everyone will be past all of this- and then maybe we can restore this community.

By contact lenses on 06/14/2014 at 5:07 am

Hey bob- why are you defending secret meetings? I agree that a town board member(s) should be accessible to members of the community but in this a case a select group of NIMBYs used a public restaraunt and it was invitation only. It was not anyone or everyone from the CC community. It was a hand picked group and some people, certain people were intentionally not invited.
I am curious as to who organized it and who decided who got invited and who didn’t get invited. what criteria were used ? If I had to guess they only wanted the strongest anti retail at CC people. The most militant that hired a lawyer. Reasonable and open minded CC residents hurt their cause so they were not invited.
You really think town board members should take part in such a meeting? You think its fair open and transparent?
Lastly, Editor Yeres was not invited. She lives in the CC community and generally has been opposed to retail at CC. I assume the reason she was left off the invite list is hey were afraid she might report the event in NewCastleNow. That should prove something is fishy otherwise why be afraid of the publicity.

By It's not right on 06/14/2014 at 10:57 am

Fact: “In an email sent to former Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter on November 28, 2013, Carla stated that keeping the restrooms open to the general public after 11:00 a.m. on weekdays was ‘not a workable condition for us as it will be disruptive for our guests and an ambiance killer.’ ”
Fact: Carla brought a lawyer to a board meeting and threatened to sue, and at that point it had nothing to do with vacating the morning concession because no winner had been chosen then.

By bob on 06/14/2014 at 11:07 am

Adam- this is a solid attempt to explain your position on the train station lease. I am still concerned that the applicants have such a different version.
You are in desperate need to repair the image of Team New Castle before it’s too late. For some it is already too late. You need to start to showing results in open and transparent methods. Based on Tuesdays TB meeting it’s only getting worse. Here’s an example of the incompetence -
When SG requested a lift on restrictions for small stores your partner Lisa Katz told them that she would want to see updated studies and data on the changes impact to CC and to downtown Chapp. Your other partner, RGreenstein then said to Katz that since the town was NOT inclined to grant the change request there would be no need to conduct a new study. He is right. Why study the impact of something that you have no intention of approving? It’s a waste of time and money. Katz response ” because I want to know”. What she really means is I want to continue to throw as many obstacles in the way and stall, delay and continue to obstruct.
Everybody sees through that and it’s getting tiresome. She is your team mate. You guys have a fiduciary responsibility to work for all of us. To use your exact words “to be responsive to the needs of the community”.
Who is served when one our our town board members wants to study something that we are not going to do anyway? See what I mean…?

By Terribly dysfunctional on 06/14/2014 at 11:19 am

Dear Mr. Brodsky, votes for you in the election were not so much FOR you as they were AGAINST the incumbents. Don’t flatter yourself

By clear memory on 06/14/2014 at 11:29 am

Until you can address how friends of yours knew Via wasn’t getting the lease and happen to show up at town hall that same night with power point proposals you have Zero credibility.  Town codes are there for a reason and not for you to abuse. I’m sickened that I fell for team new castle’s bs

By Adam come clean on 06/14/2014 at 2:43 pm

As a longtime resident, I am disgusted with all this bickering. The new town board was not given a mandate for change, they won by default. They won with a traditional anti-establishment theme against an unpopular board that dealt with unpopular issues. However, instead of bringing the town together after the election, the new board has alienated many in the community. I hope this is a wake-up call to both the Democratic and Republican parties for future elections. Our lovely town image is being tarnished and this impacts all of us.

 

By A Voice of Reason on 06/15/2014 at 10:39 am

The voices of many have been silent as the anger and blasting comments have come from a handful of angry people. I cannot understand hor much anger is in these people. Is there nothing else going on in your mind other than hate and resentment. The town board has done an excellent job in representing the community and it’s best interests. While you may not agree with their decisions, you still gave to accept them.  I was approached on the platform at the station the other day and was told I needed to sign the petition. I don’t need to do anything of the sorts- and how dare these people be stalking us and bad mouthing the board in an effort to convince us to turn against our own town?
Life is what we make of it ~ you can move forward or hang onto the past. I choose to move forward- I am one of the voices of many that simply do not engage in slamming the board- life goes on, decisions will be made, and at the end of the day nobody knows what it is like to be in their shoes and have to make these decisions. They feel they did the best for the town- we voted for them- therefore we support their decisions!

Go Team Green! I am just one of the voices of many who respect your decisions!

By Voices of many on 06/15/2014 at 11:28 am

As citizens of this great democracy, why shouldn’t residents be able to express their anger, indignation and their thoughts?  One of the great things about our Country is that we have elections.  Just because individuals win does not give the right to behave badly or that their decisions are the right ones.  We also have the right to circulate petitions when we think that a bad decision has been made.  We also have the right not to sign a petition.  Thank you Mrs. Here’s for keeping this going.

By Glad we are on tne USA on 06/15/2014 at 12:31 pm

As a long time resident I want to say how embarrassed I am for this town. I have never seen such behavior with name calling and accusations. It is a disgrace-

My wife went to the farmers market yesterday was told she should sign the petition. She didn’t- and nor would I. It is getting to the point where you can’t even go out in public without getting stopped. Behavior like this is just not needed. Trust the system, trust the people you voted for, trust their outcome. And stop stalking people into signing those papers for you- this behavior is juvenile and the farthest thing from bringing your community together.

By Long time resident on 06/15/2014 at 12:49 pm

You are truly a voice of reason. A voice of the silent majority, which, I am mocked, as being a non-existent population.

The anti development cabal has tunnel vision and a one track mindset. The do not want CC, period. No amount of fact based reason will change their minds.

That I, as an unaffiliated individual, want Whole Foods, the luddite faction calls me a “selfish person” simply because I would like a supermarket in town.

I am afraid to walk in town or talk to anyone for fear that, whomever I bump into, is waiting to proselytize about “Satan” Greenstein. The more apt comparison is to liken Rob to Moses who is trying to lead us out of our supermarket desert. The NIMBYS, are probably good with that so long as it takes him 40 years to make the journey.

P. S. I am really not a TNC or RG fan, but they are the elected board and, so long as they follow the rules (EIS and SEQR), what they say goes and let the NIMBYS waste as much of their time and money to prove to anyone who listens that 1 + 1 = 3.

By Dear voices of many on 06/15/2014 at 1:20 pm

Voices of many,

I do not know how many people contribute their comments here, nor do you.  I do know that everyone I know reads them.  That is what is important to note, that the residents read these articles and the comments. That is the only way that they have to learn and to follow what is happening in our town.

You may believe that the new town board has the support of the majority of the town, but you would be mistaken.  No, we do not accept their decision.  Why would we ?  It was wrong.  There will be a Permissive Referendum, because unlike yourself, person after person has been delighted to sign the petition.  I know that I was.

By delighted to sign the petition on 06/15/2014 at 2:19 pm

It remains to be seen how many people will be duped into signing such a misguided petition. More important of course will be the determination of just how many of these signatures will prove valid once the proper scrutiny is brought to bear.

By bob on 06/15/2014 at 3:38 pm

Hey Bob, I respect your common sense statements- you don’t snap at people, you don’t blast the board, and although everyone knows about Carla’s constant fibs- you don’t mention them over and over. I agree with you about the poor people duped into signatures- but people sometimes make impulsive decisions. Oh well, if it goes to a referrendum it goes- no biggie- as all of the truth will come out then. Sometimes people hold their cards and don’t show them until they want to- instead if when they feel pressured to. Life is funny Bob, the town board has a plan and obviously would never vote on either of the losing candidates again-but hey, if they want to keep trying and waste their money on attorneys and the tax payers money- then that is on them. When all if the information is out in the open, I am sure those who felt obligated to sign will wake up and realize their first response was irrational and compulsive. They can read all about it and know what the real deal is.
Thanks Bob- always a pleasure to read your posts!

By To Bob: thank you! on 06/15/2014 at 4:15 pm

Voice your opinions.  The person who wrote about our rights is correct.  You don’t want to sign a petition, you don’t have to.  The most ridiculous comment here is they may not be legitimate signatures.  Of course the Board will check them if the petitioners get the requisite number of signatures.  It’s the democratic process.  It’s great to see democracy at work!

By Do the Right Thing on 06/15/2014 at 4:40 pm

i’m curious how many signatures they’ll have too.  doubting that they will get even the minimum.  then again, rob greenstein can’t wrong by me.  if he wants a supermarket, so do i.  if he wants jill shapiro, so do it.  i’m hoping this’ll be put to bed quickly cause i’m looking forward to love at the train station opening asap. 

nothing is better than warm soup when i get off the train on a hot summer night. nothing.

go greenie!  keep being independent even tho it’s hard.

By green/soup lover on 06/15/2014 at 4:48 pm

Given who is circulating the petitions, who their advisers are, and how people have been harassed and intimidated into signing, it will come as no surprise that signatures will be found to be invalid.

By bob on 06/15/2014 at 5:25 pm

Dear Long Time Resident, thank you for your comment. I too am embarrassed by the commentary on this board. I think it is just a few of the same people posting over and over again. For example, the person who always strings four adjectives together and uses an Oxford comma… she’s been doing it since well before the election last Fall. The words are usually things like NASTY, DISGRACEFUL, DECEITFUL, and DISGUSTING (LIARS!).

When I see such words used carelessly, I know to ignore the comment. This is the same tactic that some people used in the election, and it failed! Just calling someone nasty names doesn’t work, folks. You have to have a substantive argument, or at some point your claims ring hollow.

This is a small local issue and it truly does not deserve so much ink. I hope that the petitioners fail to achieve the required # of signatures. I hope people realize this isn’t high school and you don’t just sign a petition because someone hands you a piece of paper.

By Another long-time resident on 06/15/2014 at 6:17 pm

Will there be a referendum to sell our town hall property or the recreation playing field.
Our property, our choice; or is it?

By Just wondering on 06/15/2014 at 7:12 pm

I fear that many who post here will not even understand what you mean by the Oxford comma. Bravo to you.

By bob on 06/15/2014 at 7:48 pm

Yes- absolutely nothing like coming off the hot train to some soup! They have the most amazing chilled Gazpacho, I bought two quarts yesterday! They also had a chilled sweet pea and I heard someone request their chilled cantaloupe that they had gotten at the shop the other day. You are right, it will be the perfect end to a hot day to have their chilled soups!

By Agreeing with by green / soup lover on 06/15/2014 at 7:57 pm

I also will not be signing any petitions.  For all I know this may be the best outcome for the town.  But what continues to concern me is in the caption I highlighted above.  Even if legitimate, the bathroom issue seems like is a complete red herring in all of this.  The logic that this somehow led to consideration of other concerns is sort of like saying “it was raining outside, so I began to reconsider my career direction.”  Sounds good in writing, but completely disconnected.  Basically, beyond all the words, it would appear the board reconsidered simply because they could.  After a year of engagement with the operator, this is the approach that raises concern and certainly should be of concern to future prospective merchants.

By Pretext? on 06/15/2014 at 8:25 pm

Who are “their advisors”?

By to bob on 06/15/2014 at 8:37 pm

Will the bullying and threats never end with Rob?  What are you so afraid of?

By Another long timer on 06/15/2014 at 10:19 pm

Dear “Bob”

Thank you for keeping us advised (and regularly reminding us) of Team New Castle’s talking points.

By TRJ on 06/15/2014 at 10:58 pm

This issue diverts us from chap crossing and conifer. One restaurant vs another?

This entire situation reminds me if the movie"the Caine mutiny “. A ship was turned upside down looking for a non existent , trivial key.

That sums up this silly debate over which restaurant to have at a particular location.
And…....you all want an election (referendum) on this small item?

You all are ridiculous. Sheesh

By Observer on 06/16/2014 at 1:27 am

It is not rocket science to determine which pols are advising Carla et al. in their misguided efforts. Think about it, my friend.

And talking is so much saner than screaming.

By bob on 06/16/2014 at 11:09 am

If your interests are Conifer and CC, then this referendum should appeal to you because it is about “process” and how the board does not adhere to established procedure and process when it doesn’t want to. Conifer too is about process—that is what an Article 78 proceeding is all about, “process”. CC is about process as well. That site was exempted from the master plan on the say-so basically of our prior town board and now the debate about findings etc is inextricably interwoven with issues of “process”. This is only about the train station in terms of the referendum because the law is very particular as to which board decisions may be subject to this action. You can’t have a referendum expressly on the issue of process but that is at the heart of this matter. I suggest you use a very critical eye to wade through the true distractions floated by a very nervous, angry and defensive supervisor and lend support to this fight to get our wayward town board to adhere to proper governance. It is something we all deserve and should stand up for.

By Observer Think Again on 06/16/2014 at 11:24 am

Observer,

Your powers of observation fail.  A ten year lease for less that the other 2 applicants and a dishonest process is what is ridiculous.  It is not small and it is not silly. 
Rob / bob may wish to characterize it as that, but it is not.

By really ? on 06/16/2014 at 11:27 am

Why, thank goodness we can’t have a referendum on buzzwords like “process”!

By bob on 06/16/2014 at 11:45 am

To Observer:

Please look a bit more carefully. 

The train station lease controversy and referendum initiative aren’t about “one restaurant vs another” as you put it, or about any of the other, yes, silly issues that Team Green and/or their mouthpieces are putting out there to draw attention away from the real issue.

The real issue here is simply this: the creation and oversight of an unfair and non-transparent process by board members that led to a decision which defies all common (AND fiduciary) sense.

That is the “key” here, and it is neither non-existent nor trivial. In fact it’s part of a larger pattern of behavior (non-transparency, disregard for fair process, etc.) that has sadly come to characterize this new board. 

You can choose to condone such behavior now, but then don’t expect that behavior to magically disappear when some issue you consider “big” comes before this board. 

On the other hand, you can choose to tell the board NOW that you care about openness and fairness in all they do. Since the Chappaqua train station is town property, the currently circulating petitions for a permissive referendum (which can only be triggered by the sale or lease of a town property) offers you a unique opportunity and powerful legal mechanism to do just that.

By Keep Your Eye on the Ball on 06/16/2014 at 12:16 pm

Referendums are expensive to taxpayers and should be used sparingly.
The issue here is that some allege the “process” used in the train station leasing was flawed, and a great majority believes the “process” was just fine.

By bob on 06/16/2014 at 12:40 pm

To Agreeing with by green / soup lover

Um, isn’t the train air conditioned these days?

By Joe cool on 06/16/2014 at 1:17 pm

bob does not understand or does not wish to understand the importance of process in honest, transparent government.  Instead he trivializes good government practices.  Anyone else surprised ?

By hey bob on 06/16/2014 at 1:18 pm

Hey bob,

The town board’s poor process cost the tax payers more than $10,000 in negotiations with Lampert to give the town less.  How is that fine and who is this majority you mention ?
If you are referring to the voters who elected these boobs,  I know none who voted for them who still support them.  Why not stick to what you do know ?

By hey bob on 06/16/2014 at 2:00 pm

“bob” ...

This from your latest love note:

“The issue here is that some allege the “process” used in the train station leasing was flawed, and a great majority believes the “process” was just fine.”

Would you care to share your polling numbers with the rest of us?

By Care to Share? on 06/16/2014 at 2:36 pm

If you also remember the last scene in the same movie when the lawyer, speaking of Captain Queeg: “Either he has the authority or you’re no good” (speaking to the officers).

Greenstein and co are in power. Just like we must wait out Obama and his “I want to spend your hard earned money to help people who do not work” ideas , we must wait out MR. G. Neither of them has yet to make an impeachable offense (close, but not yet).

This is a free country. Everyone has the absolute right to be wrong and to waste his or her own time and money…..but not my time and money. You “mortally offended” bloggers must wait Rob out also. And guess what, there will be an anti tea party backlash against obstinacy and absolute selfishness. (in this case tea party is NIMBY and progress deniers) Rob may even win a squeaker re-election when WF opens and the NIMBYS start shopping there. The silent majority is fed up with those who are idealistically offended. They (we) are too focused on pocket book items and raising our families.

The silent majority works every day and wants shopping. It really don’t care which restaurant is where, so long there is a restaurant that is a closer alternative than MT. Kisco, which is not far away.
So there is, in fact, no substantive big deal. Knock yourselves out.

A constructive suggestion: don’t waste your time with liberal blog ooze, make more money and work to stop conifer. Conifer is the thin edge of the destructive wedge that will wound the town. CC pulls it out of a recession. Downtown can help itself. The landlords have more than enough financial strength to tend to their own houses.

 

By observer on 06/16/2014 at 2:46 pm

Thanks bob for highlighting the strengths of the petitioners position by your off the charts responses.

By Grateful for bob on 06/16/2014 at 2:50 pm

The majority believes the “process” was fine because there is no other rational conclusion. Ask around when you calm down and take a break from ranting. The New Castle Democrats who are posting all the nonsense here are still fighting the last election, in which they were humiliated. They don’t care about open or good government. If they did, we would not have Conifer, for example.

By bob on 06/16/2014 at 3:34 pm

Mention has often been made here that the town’s lawyers billed $10,000 in connection with the train station lease. Is there a link to these bills somewhere on the town’s web site so we can all examine them for ourselves?

Editor’s Note: The attorneys’ bills are included in the town board work session packet, available on the town’s website.

By bob on 06/16/2014 at 3:41 pm

We will see what happens when the board’s entire “build it as we go” RFP process see’s daylight. This process will be deconstructed and it will be clear how unprofessional this current town board is.

By the people on 06/16/2014 at 5:50 pm

@ observer,

How will CC pull the town out of a recession?  Have you looked at the financials ?

By .???? on 06/16/2014 at 5:57 pm

“almost overnight turn of events”  Do you mean not engaging other board members in your first few weeks on the job?

“Let’s move onto the pressing issues that our community faces.” Like transparency? 

By your words Mr. Brodsky on 06/16/2014 at 5:57 pm

Watching these boards requires a bucket of pop corn as the posts are more silly by the second. What I find ridiculous is that there are people running up and down driving to people’s houses and stalking them at the market or train station for signatures for a referrendum that they know they can never win. ( the board can keep throwing out decisions, but I am sure all of you - hey Bob, did you hear this Bob, oh yeah Bob- already know this ).

What is sad is that all of the is attention and frantic behavior could be focused on real problems. Why not create a fund raiser for the local boys and girls club? Why not organize an event to raise awareness for texting and driving? Why not put your attention towards something more meaningful like “relay for life”. Instead, you are walking around trying to get people to go against the very person they elected- based on the words of someone who has repeatedly evaded the truth and mislead the town.

How about the children in Brooklyn that were stabbed, or the family that just perished in a house fire? What about the millions of people on unemployment facing foreclosure with hungry children?

It seems that these “non green-team people” could be doing something far more valuable for their town and others than what they are concentrating on!

By Real problems on 06/16/2014 at 6:39 pm

To Real Problems:

This is NOT about which restaurant proposal you personally favor, nor is it this about are you pro-Rob et.al. or anti-Rob.

It does happen to be about the importance of transparency and ethical conduct and whether we intend to hold our elected officials (who eagerly promised these very things when campaigning) accountable. 

To be resigned to slap dash / unfair process, a hard to understand, let alone justified decision, dishonorable treatment of good people to cover one’s mistakes and an overt disdain for the value of integrity is something I personally cannot abide.  Call me idealistic, but this matters. This IS a real problem. And this IS an opportunity to send a message and try to nip it in the bud. 

Of course the kids stabbed in Brooklyn are a tragedy, unemployment and foreclosures are tragedies too and there far too many children who go to bed hungry. Sadly there is less I can do about that. But I can demand that the elected officials of my town set a proper example for my own children. You should too.  We all should.

By Start at Home on 06/16/2014 at 11:52 pm

I do believe that most parents set an example for their children by not condoning lying as well.

By bob on 06/17/2014 at 7:48 am

“bob”—

Spare us the mini-lecture on truthfulness until you can address these assertions from your team:

- The RFP process would leave “no stone unturned” (Brodsky, in February)

- The process would be “open and fair to all applicants” (Katz, in March)

These words of assurance blatantly belie Team New Castle’s subsequent actions.  Team New Castle has been trying mightily to change the subject away from “the process” ever since.

By TRJ on 06/17/2014 at 2:17 pm

So please fill us in, as sanctimoniously as you can, on your initiatives to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club, tackle the problem of texting while driving, help the families in Brooklyn etc. 

By To Real Problems on 06/17/2014 at 11:06 pm

CC will be a third hamlet/business center, which will be a new revenue producing part of town a la Greenwich and Scarsdale. It will be self sustaining. Even if the taxes are only a wash, it stops the tax losses. Breaking even usually is better than having losses. Having a supermarket and kids’ hangout 30 minutes total driving time closer than Rocky’s promotes safety and convenience.

But then again, the naysayers, NIMBYS and luddites will nit pick it and paint a doomsday scenario. Go Rob!

By financials do not say it all on 06/18/2014 at 9:35 am


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