A Thank You to Town Administrator Jill Shapiro

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
by Supervisor Rob Greenstein
With 68 comments since publication Wednesday

Editor’s Note: At 12:42 this morning, Supervisor Greenstein sent the following statement to media outlets. His text follows.

I would like to address recent statements directed at our Town Administrator.

First, some context. As everyone is aware, three new board members, including myself, the Town Supervisor, were newly elected.  We also had new town attorneys.  Our current Town Administrator had retired and was not available to stay on during a transition period.  There was no deputy Town Administrator to step into the role.  There were no plans in place for a new Town Administrator.  For this unprecedented transition, we needed someone who knew the Town well.  Just like when the prior Town Administrator was hired, we looked to our current staff.  We did not interview outsiders.  We needed someone who could, from Day 1, run the day to day operations of our town.  We chose someone who had served the Town in a non-political role for years, and whose experience in law and government would allow us to hit the ground running.  We chose Jill Simon Shapiro. 

When we were elected, Jill was serving as the Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes. She’s modernized our tax collection, records management and parking systems.  For many residents, she was the face of our town staff. She had a long history in Town Hall.  A practicing attorney, she had been one of the first Town Prosecutors for our Town. A resident of New Castle since 1985, she’s lived in two neighborhoods in our Town.  She raised her children in our Town, they graduated from our schools, and her husband served for two terms on our school board. Jill had worked well with the prior administrations and with our staff.  We were confident that she would run the day-to-day operations of our Town while we focused on policy and larger issues.

We were correct!  The Town has a lot on its plate these days, and many challenges.  But even with a leaner employee staff town-wide, we are operating with greater efficiency.  This winter was very difficult in terms of storms, and yet complaints were at a minimum—- a great credit to Jill’s coordination and management skills.

Jill’s qualifications in her work for New Castle, her litigation experience for New York State, even her legal teaching career, supplied us with the opportunity to build just what we had promised: a transparent and efficient government. 

We also promised to grow greater and more positive relationships with the Chappaqua Central School District.  After all, our schools are our greatest asset.  It’s the very reason many chose to live in New Castle. As someone recently noted, the Town Administrator should be a best-practices, lead-by-example person, and Jill has been that person.  Jill has been instrumental in that effort, and brings to the table great personal and professional ties with the CCSD’s administrators and its Board.  Jill’s willingness to work together with our administration has returned the relationship between the school administrators and town administrators back to its historical norm, that of cooperation and in the event of disagreement, civility.  In addition, with the mandate from the state to find joint municipal savings, Jill is uniquely qualified to work with the CCSD to find those savings.  It should be noted that we recently received an email from the entire school board in support of Jill.

Someone suggested that the Town of New Castle deserves a town administrator who will address past mistakes and put new policies in place to ensure things like misuse of town property and harassment are not tolerated.  I agree 100%.  And Jill has already worked on both areas.  We already adopted a new vehicle use policy, and the Board intends to implement a revamped harassment policy.  We also adopted a new code of ethics.

It was recently noted that advertising the job is easy.  It was pointed out that the job notices are brief and straightforward.  There was even a sample ad provided.  After all, even if Jill is doing a superb job, maybe someone better exists.  That is definitely one approach.

Another approach is to say thank you!  Thank you Jill! Thank you for stepping up to the plate at a time when we desperately needed you.  Thank you for helping the town of New Castle with this unprecedented transition.  And thank you for helping me!

I’m pleased to say that a majority of the Town Board agrees that Jill has earned to remain as Town Administrator for the entire 2 years of her contract.  The Town therefore will not be conducting an interview process to replace her.  We have confidence in Jill’s abilities and we are grateful for her service.  We value the fact that our Town Administrator has those same values and comes from our Town, and fully appreciates the issues that face the Town.  Her experience has proven invaluable. We will not look elsewhere for that perfect candidate.  We have the perfect person doing the job right now.

__________________________

Op-Ed: Our TB has a duty to conduct an open search to fill the Town Administrator position, NCNOW.org, 5/24/14

Was Jill Shapiro appointed town administrator for six months or for two years?, NCNOW.org, 5/19/14

L to E: Transparency?  The town administrator’s contract was supposed to be for six months, NCNOW.org, 5/19/14

 


Comments(79):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

As with the train station decision, there was no honest process.  There is no reason to trust this board and by extension, Jill Shapiro.

Poor show, very poor show.

By resident on 05/28/2014 at 7:05 am

This winter was tough with snow.  I recall an ambulance wasn’t able to get to a house because of the poor conditions of the road.  I recall that the train station wasn’t plowed well.  I recall that a police office spent a snowy day issuing tickets for people whose meters were covered with snow instead of activities that would insure safety.  All that falls under our Town Administrator. Someone in comments to an Op-Ed article on this subject gave high marks to Mrs. Shapiro for responding to emails quickly.  I’d say that a lot more should be required of someone in the top administrative position of this town. 

Rob, your responsibility is to the people of this town and not to your friends and their friends.  If Jill is the best candidate, that will be obvious when you can compare who else is out there.

By xyz1 on 05/28/2014 at 7:08 am

Greenstein- why don’t you at least try to be honest when you write these things. You write -“we also had new town attorneys”.  You conviently omit the fact that these new town attorneys were hired because they were friends of yours and without proper procedure and vetting. Just as Ms Shapiro may very well be the best Town Administrator these lawyers may also be appropriate but you and the town board have an obligation to seek out the best and be TRANSPARENT. That is what you promised. 
You write that ” our current town administrator (Penny) had retired and was not available to stay on during the transition period”. Penny ran for Supervisor which indicated her willingness to remain active in town government. Had her opponent -YOU - and his running mates Team New Castle ran an honest and respectful campaign, She might have stayed on as administrator or assisted during the transition. Be cause of your attacks , insults and deplorable behavior Penny understandably wanted nothing to do with you and Team New Castle.  Because you pushed her out you now have to replace her. The least you could do is conduct an appropriate search as most towns do. You took the easy way out. 
You say the majority of the town board agreed that Jill be hired just as you stated in another article that the majority of the town board agreed to award the train station space to Ladles. I assume the majority was Team New Castle voting yes and the two normal ones voting no?

By Resident on 05/28/2014 at 7:27 am

I think anyone would “step up to the plate” for a $27,000 salary bump.

And which board members voted in favor of her?

By c'mon man! on 05/28/2014 at 7:43 am

Since the mud slinging has been going on now for months, and it really looks like election soar grapes to the average resident, why don’t we get to a better source of information and ask Jill her opinion.

She was part of the ‘prior administration,’ and so should carry weight with those that hate Greenstein, and ask her what happened. My guess is that she’s staying on in her new capacity because the facts are as presented by Mr. Greenstein, and no deep, dark, secret agenda as some posters have suggested is transpiring.

Sometimes things are more complex than we like, as in the need for immediate supervisor skills to be in place.

By Let's ask Jill on 05/28/2014 at 7:51 am

“Jill’s qualifications in her work for New Castle, her litigation experience for New York State, even her legal teaching career, supplied us with the opportunity to build just what we had promised: a transparent and efficient government.”

Rob, you know your government is not transparent and there’s no way you can know that it’s efficient.

By Not on 05/28/2014 at 8:36 am

The entire school board sent you an email in support of Jill Shapiro as the town administrator? Who asked them to do that? Former member Jay Shapiro? So glad to see such good relations between town board and school board.

By Real cooperation on 05/28/2014 at 8:40 am

I would like to know how many times Katz and/or Brodsky have voted against Greenstein - on any matter.  Is this on the record somewhere?

By I'll bet I know on 05/28/2014 at 9:09 am

Another “great” decision from the “majority” of the Board!

By bad decision on 05/28/2014 at 9:15 am

I have been following this since last week. Funny that we hear about this right after this topic gains traction in the press.  This reeks of backroom politics. This hiring process is flat out wrong.

By Josh on 05/28/2014 at 9:34 am

Rob Greenstein has articulated clearly all the reasons that Jill Shapiro is a good choice.  She is superbly qualified and has done a fine job so far.  Let’s stick to the issues and stop the anonymous personal attacks.  No town official can consult everyone in town, especially with all the conflicting opinions expressed with such a lack of civility, before acting on anything, particularly in personnel matters.

By Marian and Gray Williams on 05/28/2014 at 10:12 am

When 550 votes is interpreted as a mandate.    Almost every decision has been a farce—not transparent, not examined, just decided upon by the Great and Knowing Oz.

By This is what happens.... on 05/28/2014 at 10:21 am

I can certainly see the outrage regarding all of this, but would very much appreciate being enlightened as to what exactly is the issue people have with Jill.  Do people always work under 2 year contracts in this position?  If that’s the case, was there an interview process every 2 years when Penny’s contract was due to be extended?  For all of us not working under a contract, I guess you are fully aware that your employer is constantly engaged in interviews to find a better person to fill the job.  Sounds good in theory, but it’s just not how the real world works.

I really just don’t get it.  It’s like some contrived self-loathing that somebody already here can’t possibly be good enough for the position.  Reminds me of the process that preceded Lynn McKay’s appointment.  Thank goodness the crazies didn’t get their way on that one.  For all the noise here (and the 3 separate columns on the topic), I have yet to see one concrete item that would lead one to believe that Jill is not capable for the role.  Just give me something, anything.  Maybe on paper she doesn’t have the perfect profile, but the experience with the town and years as a resident are far from trivial considerations.  People get moved into jobs internally all the time for which they would not have had a prayer as an external candidate.  That does not necessarily make that a mistake, it’s just a choice, and one that can work out very well.

By Confused on 05/28/2014 at 10:26 am

Enough with the sour grapes. Never heard complaints when prior town board made appointment of Penny.  At one time she had many other hats-did she actually have training as an administrator?  Some one should stop throwing stones.  Prior town attorney
was at one time a town supervisor-he replaced an attorney who died.  No complaints with
how that was done.  Those of you whom have come lately to town are unaware that at one time the town had a full time supervisor who did everything.  As town grew, the need for a shift to part time and some one to run the every day operations was a prior board decision.  Time to say thank you for all the hard work Jill has done.

By KNJ on 05/28/2014 at 10:34 am

The School Board has no place in this decision.  If they indeed did write this letter in support they have overstepped their role.  This needs to be investigated.  Did Jay Shapiro orchestrate this ?  More and more this smells to high heaven.

Along with the new attorneys, cronies, this is a disgrace and I am astounded that the school board would mar their good name in this fashion.  It is wrong !

By say it ain't so, school board on 05/28/2014 at 11:05 am

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Gray,

Jill Shapiro is a friend of yours. We get that.  Of course you are entitled to your opinion, however the town is entitled to an honest, open process.  There was none.  That is the problem.  That you two would swallow Rob Greenstein’s “reasons”. calls into question your good judgement.

I will remain anonymous, thank you very much.

By anonymous on 05/28/2014 at 12:03 pm

Once again, most people are afraid to disclose their names when they express their opinions on this forum (with the notable and refreshing exception of Marian and Gray Williams).  And once again, I would like to register my strong opposition to this practice.  Perhaps there would be less mudslinging and greater civility without the cloak of anonymity.  What is everyone afraid of?

By Barbara Kornreich on 05/28/2014 at 12:08 pm

To KNJ,

Penny served as the deputy town administrator for years.  She had excellent experience and people skills.  She always promptly returned my calls as well as my emails and helped me to resolve more than a few issues.

Jill Shapiro should have been made to compete in an open search.  That would have been the best and ETHICAL way to go.  This was another back room deal.  No one can credibly argue otherwise, no matter how much they like Ms. Shapiro.

By longtime resident on 05/28/2014 at 12:10 pm

Note to naysayers, if you sound insane, it doesn’t help your cause.  So the school board has no place in this decision?  This needs to be investigated?

So let’s just say for the sake of arguement that the school board has worked closely with Jill and coordination between the board and town has improved, which by the way is something that all have been clamoring for.  Now let’s further assume that for whatever reason the board really does have a preference for Jill in that role.  What do they do, just sit on their hands?  This is not information relevant to the process?  Still just very confused here.  So please explain to me what exactly the school board did wrong and how this is a disgrace that mars their good name (honestly, hard for me to even write that with a straight face).  But like I said, those with sanity issues are likely best served by stepping away from the keyboard.

By More Confused on 05/28/2014 at 12:27 pm

I think people are confusing critisicm of our town board with critisicm of Jill Shapiro. I have nothing against Jill. In fact she might be highly qualified for this job. However, because of the lack of transparency and utter distrust of this town board her appointment becomes suspect. First we were told it was a sixth month trial period which made sense since the new board had just come in. But in fact she was awarded a 2 year contract. Why the lie and deceit?

Secondly it is standard operating procedure for elected officials to advertise job openings, seek most qualified, competent, and experienced people - then interview several of them to choose best fit. Bronxville and Mt Kisco just did this with very similar positions to fill.

Lastly this new slate of town board members, aka Team New Castle , ran on a platform of transparency and end of status quo. They promised no back room deals. What do you call this? If Jill Shapiro is most qualified it will be obvious after interviewing other candidates. In the meantime telling residents she was only given a 6 month trial when in fact it was a 2 year back room deal raises suspicions.

School superintendent McKay was chosen by the school board AFTER interviewing several other candidates. Town Administrator is an important and high paying job. The least our town board could do was interview a few candidates.

As another person stated,  Penny would have been the perfect transitional person or even would have stayed on in the role if Greenstein, Brodsky, and Katz had not been so rude and obnoxious. I don’t trust them and we should all continue to comment and scrutinize them because it will only get worse.

By Long time Chapp resident on 05/28/2014 at 12:55 pm

We dodged a bullet not getting the current North Castle adminstrator who is embroiled in her own set of controversies. She is quoted as saying she was contacted about our position. We have enough to deal with already.

By Anon on 05/28/2014 at 1:22 pm

I heard that Jill Shapiro’s husband quite the local Democratic party during the last election.  I suspect this explains the animosity of her appointment.  I see no other plausible explanation since she is doing a fantastic job.

By Political Nonsense on 05/28/2014 at 1:29 pm

short memories abound-healthy choice pharmacy issue,using town time for answering face book posts,and last but not least conflict charge from the town administers group!

By KNJ on 05/28/2014 at 2:44 pm

During the election process Supervisor Greenstein and the rest of “Team New Castle” exhibited extreme smugness, deceit and downright arrogance the likes of which we have never seen before in this town.  Not much separated them from bullies.  Nevertheless, given a strong minority disdain for CC development, and their buying into of Team New Castle anti CC development snake oil, they got elected.  Folks, we got what we elected, snake oil salesmen who operate on the my-way-or-highway principal cause they know better than us (heck, they even repeatedly told us how smart they were) . . .

By Smarter than Us on 05/28/2014 at 3:24 pm

This publication is on a downward spiral.  We will never be civil to each other as long as a forum for anonymous comments exists.  The election was 7 months ago. Get over it!  We are finally moving in the right direction.

By Downhill spiral on 05/28/2014 at 3:24 pm

More confused, aka Rob,

Funny for you to question anyone’s sanity , but no one ever questioned your hutzpah.

The School Board has no place in this process.  If they, as individuals wish to weigh in, that is one thing, but to send a letter is completely inappropriate .  Yes, it should be investigated.  Was this letter they signed composed by Jay Shapiro ?  I. do not know much about the other School Board members, but am quite surprised that Vicky Tipp, who I have come to regard highly would participate in this maneuver. 

This may be a laugh for you Rob, but it is no laughing matter.

By no laughing matter on 05/28/2014 at 3:28 pm

Just to set some things straight.  Penny, like Gerry Faiella and Joe Chiseri before that, was appointed every year.  Check the Town Board Organizational Meeting Minutes.  That meeting takes place every January.  Second the three of them were professionally trained and all had Master Degrees in Public Administration.

By for the record on 05/28/2014 at 3:29 pm

Marian and Gray Williams,

Tell us all please, are you satisfied with Greenstein’s reasons for the train station selection, his choice of the new town lawyers,  the extra town prosecutor,  etc, etc, etc ?

Surely you can voice full support for your friend Jill Shapiro and an open fair process as well. 

I know you both only in passing, but this is really eye opening.  Maybe you might want to revisit your original comment and adjust it ?

By longtime resident on 05/28/2014 at 3:36 pm

This letter made me teary eyed.  Very touching.

By Thank you, Rob! on 05/28/2014 at 3:51 pm

It is obvious that Penny & Co thought they would win the election.  Penny had hand picked Joan Goldberg to be the next Town Administrator.  When they did not win, they left the incoming Town Board high & dry.  The incoming town board was left with no choice but to pick someone with institutional knowledge.  Just be happy that Joan Goldberg is not our Town Administrator.  North Castle can have that controversy.  We have enough of our own.

By Marc L. on 05/28/2014 at 4:38 pm

Marc L.,

If that had happened there would have been the same outcry for an honest, open search.

I do not know why you thought Penny was so sure about winning.  I will give you this, she ran a lousy campaign.

By dear Marc L. on 05/28/2014 at 5:05 pm

Again, I say thank god for NCNow.  And for a place for residents to voice their views, anonymously or otherwise.

By Thank god for NCNow on 05/28/2014 at 5:10 pm

Really, school board? You endorsed a candidate (the wife of a former school board member) appointed by three members of a town board without consultation - without any consultation - with the other two members? All five of you? Do you have any idea what it’s like to have three members cut out two? 

Disgusting.

By I'm ashamed of you school board members on 05/28/2014 at 5:16 pm

When did this ever happen and how?  What does this mean? It sounds like campaign talk:

“Jill has been instrumental in that effort, and brings to the table great personal and professional ties with the CCSD’s administrators and its Board.  Jill’s willingness to work together with our administration has returned the relationship between the school administrators and town administrators back to its historical norm, that of cooperation and in the event of disagreement, civility.

When was the relationship outside its historical norm? What historical norm? What is Greenstein saying here?

By Huh? on 05/28/2014 at 5:43 pm

Did you know that Jay Shapiro ran Penny’s campaign and then all of a sudden decided to pull out…

By get the facts on 05/28/2014 at 7:01 pm

I got teary eyed reading that 2 members of the town board feel left out. Very sad.  Things change.  Times change.  Tis’ life.

By Teary eyed on 05/28/2014 at 7:34 pm

Did you know the town is taking legal action against Penny? How much is that costing us?

By Marc L, wrong. on 05/28/2014 at 8:57 pm

Huh,
Sounds like another one of Greenstein’s lies and straw men.  He is a pro at both.

Get the facts,
Very interesting info, certainly adds light to this scheme.  And were it not for NCNow the public would not know any if this.

Certainly agree that it was highly inappropriate for the school board as a body to campaign for Jill and against an open search

By anonymous on 05/28/2014 at 9:32 pm

I could not understand why anyone would oppose Jill Shapiro.  Now it makes sense.  The three incoming town board members knew Jill was the perfect candidate but the 2 sitting members were upset with her husband for leaving their party during the election. It makes perfect sense now. I’m not happy with this pettiness but can’t say I’m surprised.

By By George I think I've got it on 05/28/2014 at 9:36 pm

The issue is not Jill Shapiro. The issue s the process.  First of all I thought equal opportunity would require advertising for the different positions.  Jill may be qualified and maybe she is the best for th town with her knowledge of the town but it is how she was picked.

The board or should I say the Team New Castle does not know much about openness.  How was it that some people were prepared to present plans for the train station within a week or more of telling the original applicant she would not get it.  You can’t prepare plans like that so fast.

Openness would solve a lot of problems of Team New Castle.  Public discussion leads to public understanding

By Steve Goldenberg on 05/28/2014 at 10:10 pm

By George I think you have it wrong,

Could it be that Jay Shapiro left Penny’s campaign AFTER he made a deal with Greenstein to anoint Jill with her new job.  Sounds plausible to me and exactly the way Greenstein operates, and I do mean operates.

By could it be ? on 05/28/2014 at 10:26 pm

Does it take more than 3 votes to approve a town administrator? Why does any of this matter if you don’t need their votes?

By Still confused on 05/28/2014 at 11:02 pm

Greenstein writes a heartful thank you and it deteriorates into a battle of anonymous comments.  My good feeling from this letter quickly evaporated after reading these comments.

By David O'Connor on 05/28/2014 at 11:37 pm

New Castle deserves an open search to fill the administrator position.

By The town has been cheated on 05/29/2014 at 2:20 am

Ms. Shapiro’s husband left Penny high and dry to distance himself to set his wife up with Greenstein. .. need anyone say more?

By What was the motive? on 05/29/2014 at 7:19 am

To Marc L—you are terribly misguided. You incorrectly state that when Penny did not win the election she/ they ” left the incoming town board high & dry”. What a crock!
Team New Castle ran a dishonest and ugly campaign. They lied, misrepresented, attacked, and bullied all who disagreed and got in their way - including Penny. Team New Castle won the election on false promises and lies while personally attacking Penny. Did you expect Penny to stay on in her job and work for them? Clearly Penny was prepared to continue in government service because had she won she would be Supervisor today. She “retired” after the election because she could not possibly work for and with these three amatuer pit bulls.
Had Team New Castle run an honest, respectful, and fair campaign Penny might have assisted in transition.  She may have even stayed on in her role as a Town Administrator.  Then again had Team New Castle been honest they would have never been elected. 

By Resident on 05/29/2014 at 8:27 am

Why is Greenstein mentioning the CCSD school board and their endorsement of Shapiro? Why is this relevant? Was this endorsement before or after Greenstein announced that Shapiro was given a 6 month trial period but was in fact awarded a 2 year contract without ever interviewing other candidates.

It is difficult not to associate Mr Shapiro’s affiliation with this endorsement. Once again, Greenstein muddies the waters and resorts to misdirection and distraction. Will he now look for CCSD board endorsements for Police or DPW appointments. After all , the police protect our students too. The DPW keep our roads safe and our students bus and drive to school.

This appointment is unfair to Ms Shapiro. If she is the best and most qualified person then let that come out thru an open and transparent process. This letter only serves to raise more questions than it answers.

By Parent taxpayer on 05/29/2014 at 8:34 am

As a retiree of the Town of New Castle who spent 35 years as an employee I
have seen many boards come and go as well as administrators , town
supervisors etc   It has been a new experience following the community news
via internet that was never before possible. In all my years in town hall I
saw firsthand that Jill Shapiro was outstanding in all she did. That feeling
was shared by many.  She is able to relate to employees , boards , residents
and beyond . She is sincere and passionate about her work and the town she
serves . She is a top notch professional and New castle’s shining star .She
will enthusiastically serve the community well.

By Roslyn Robinson on 05/29/2014 at 9:28 am

Forget about Greenstein, he suffers from Napoleon Complex but what’s with the others?  Did Lisa and Adam not understand the job that they were seeking would actually take time, effort and interest in doing the right thing for the town? I gave Lisa more credit than that. Clearly more credit than she deserved. 

It’s not like the past town boards did things better, just nobody was paying attention but many of us were thinking we were electing something different.  It’s more of the same, only it feels worse.

How do we get good people who really want to do the right thing?

By mornig on 05/29/2014 at 9:44 am

Jill Shapiro is a victim. She will probably be a great town administrator. But because the way in which she was appointed and the people that appointed her can not and should not be trusted. Team New Castle have already proven that their inexperience and dishonesty will haunt them and therefore our town suffers.

Greenstein and his 2 sidekicks promised transparency, the end of status quo, and an end to closed door and behind the scenes back office dealings. In a few short months they have broken all promises. Whole Foods and retail is coming to CC, secret negotiations and deals with developers continue ( CC , Legionairres), train station lease dishonesty , decision making without full town board participation, town lawyers hired who are friends of the supervisor, on and on and on.

Ms Shapiro, we were told,  was hired on a 6 month trial basis thru transition. In fact, she was given a 2 year contract. If she is qualified as many suggest (and I have no reason to believe otherwise) than why didn’t Team New Castle simply be honest and appoint/endorse her then? Greenstein needs to include a school board endorsement as if that is at all relevent in town government appointments. That just clouds the issue and gives people pause and reason to be suspicious.

Ms Shapiro and the town would have been better served if an open and transparent process had been implemented. Because Team New Castle is such a mess of inexperienced amateurs that seem to have no problem manipulating and lying, Shapiro’s appointment is understandably called into question.

By A fish stinks from the head down on 05/29/2014 at 9:49 am

This is like the tale of 2 cities.  We have the anonymous world where Greenstein is vilified.  Then we have the real world where Greenstein is doing exactly what he said he would.  He has increased communication.  He is engaging with residents.  He is bringing vision and fresh ideas to New Castle. He is being transparent.  He is fighting for what’s best for our community. 

His attackers appear to be those who feel betrayed because he is not doing exactly what they want even though they supported him during the election.

Greenie, no one ever said being independent is easy. 

Keep it up, my friend.

By Keep it up Greenie on 05/29/2014 at 10:00 am

It is very unfortunate that there are those who believe that this is a popularity contest.  It is not .  This is about finding the absolutely best qualified person for this important job.

It is about doing the right thing for the town.

Why would anyone not want a fair, open search.  The sort that towns regularly conduct.
Why should we be less than ?  I do not understand. Why would Jill Shapiro herself not be I favor of one? 

This last election was one of transparency and better government. Rob Greenstein has done exactly the opposite of what he ran on.  So far, so bad.

By anonymous on 05/29/2014 at 11:30 am

@ Still Confused asked if it takes more than three votes to approve a town administrator?  The answer is no.  I can understand why all board members would want their views to prevail however Democracy can be a frustrating and disappointing business.  This is especially the case when those in the minority are accustomed to being the majority.  Cast your votes and move onto the next issue.

By Don't be confused on 05/29/2014 at 11:34 am

Jill was a good Town Clerk.  The only position you experienced her in.  What interactions did you have with her other than greetings and perhaps some bus parking issues?  You have no reference point about her skills.

By wrong Roslyn on 05/29/2014 at 1:10 pm

Why in the world would the Town be taking legal action against Penny?  Greenstein and his crew should leave her alone.  Haven’t they been horrible enough to her?

By what? on 05/29/2014 at 2:10 pm

From the town web site:
We are sorry to announce the passing of Selma Simon, the mother of Jill Simon Shapiro, Town Administrator of New Castle. Thank you all for your kind wishes during this difficult time.

Editor, have you no decency?

By bob on 05/29/2014 at 3:36 pm

enough with all the rude comments.  Jill is doing an excellent job.  In two years the next board can decide to hire from within or advertise.  It seems that someone has a friend that they want to have this job. way too much pushing on this topic.  Also, what are people posting about a law suit against Penny.  If this is fact, let the cat fully out of the bag please.

By JJS on 05/29/2014 at 3:56 pm

bob,

Is there a point to your post, or is this just another way to attack the editor ?

JJS,

What rude comments do you mean ?  Friend, what friend ?  I would like to know about any legal action regarding Penny .

By dear bob and JJS on 05/29/2014 at 5:00 pm

Why are we still discussing the election?  Time to move on everyone.  Nice letter, RG.  Keep up the good work, Jill.

By M. Bernstein on 05/29/2014 at 6:27 pm

I am very sorry for Mrs. Shapiro’s loss and hope she is spending time with her family and not reading these comments.  At the same time, I do not think that any of the criticism is directed to Mrs. Shapiro but rather the town board.

By Misuse of town email/texts on 05/29/2014 at 7:39 pm

The statements to which the supervisor refers were to the process not to the town administer.  His very first statement is a lie.  Is there anymore to say ?

By ugh ! on 05/29/2014 at 10:18 pm

OK, I’m finally getting to my emails.

Rob, drop the spin.  You write “I would like to address recent statements directed at our Town Administrator.”

Nobody’s directing “statements” at the T.A.  The statements are all directed at you and the process by which you appointed the T.A. It’s you who have put her in a awkward position. You, not herself. Well, herself for accepting the job in this way, with you spinning it to slip her in and keep her in it.

By Not her, Rob -- it's you we're all talking about on 05/29/2014 at 10:19 pm

TB should have simply interviewed a few other people to keep their campaign pledge and then kept Jill if that is what they saw fit to do.  It could have been one pledge kept with an hour’s work.

Yes the election will never end.  Especially with the Dem’s out of power.  As long as you don’t screw up CC and Hunt’s Place, all is forgiven.  If either one of those ends up a stinker, the gig is up.

By Real issues on 05/30/2014 at 1:12 am

Greenstein- your entire letter is based on a false argument. You again use the tactic of straw man argument by starting with a premise that is incorrect. There were no “statements directed at our Town Administrator”.

The statements and critisicm are directed at you and the Town Board for taking the easy way out, for not dedicating any time to properly appoint a town administrator. A public advertisement for the job, review of candidates credentials and a few interviews would have sufficed. If Jill is your choice then you simply announce to the community that ” after a search and review we conclude Jill Shapiro is our best candidate”. You and Team New Castle wanted to be on the town board and you have an obligation to do it correctly.

The rest of your letter is deflection and off topic. The school board endorsement is irrelevant as are other extraneous things you mention. You write ” we also had new town attorneys” and totally ignore that these new attorneys are your friends and appointed by you. You write ” our current town administrator had retired and was not available to stay on during transition period”. Penny was available but understandably was never going to work for you and Team New Castle after the way you treated her and your delplorable campaign tactics. It was your behavior that created this void and you write as if you inherited this situation. It was self inflicted. Penny ran for supervisor-she was prepared to continue her service to the people of New Castle. Retiremnt was not her first choice. Had you treated her-treated everyone with respect and honesty she might have lost the election but may have stayed on.

This letter is a poor attempt by you to cover up your incompetency by defending Jill Shapiro when she need not be defended. Perhaps in your next letter you will explain why the town board didn’t take the time to review candidates while telling us that Jill was hired for a 6 month trial period when in fact you awarded her a 2 year contract.

By Shame on Greenstein on 05/30/2014 at 8:14 am

Greenstein writes as if a vote in an executive session is meaningful.  But it’s not.  Shapiro’s contract says that a review will take place on June 30th.  That’s a whole month away.  Now is the time for the board to do the right thing and put out a public call for other interested parties.  If there is no time to find someone, at least start the process and determine whether it is worthwhile and figure out whether to keep Jill on or to take on an interim administrator.  One who could do a review of all the town functions with a clear head and nothing owed to anyone already would be a very good investment in our town.

By Do the Right Thing on 05/30/2014 at 9:04 am

@ Do the right thing: Why is a vote in executive session not meaningful?  Personnel discussions are supposed to be in executive session.  Are there minutes for the executive session?  Even if there are no names, if an official vote was held, there should be a record of that vote either redacting the employee’s name or using some other non public device like an employee number.  How soon does the town have to release minutes of meetings?

By lost in the 10514 on 05/30/2014 at 10:29 am

My understanding is there needs to be notice given and votes are in public sessions (Town Board or Work Sessions).  Would be nice if someone confirmed this.

By Do the Right Thing on 05/30/2014 at 11:33 am

Voting needs to be done in public.

By Voting on 05/30/2014 at 2:04 pm

Discussions can be private when talking about legal issues and personnel, but a vote should be public.  The vote on Shapiro would come toward the end of June when her 6 month trial is up.  Does anyone expect the vote to be anything but 5-0?

By P. Houston on 05/30/2014 at 3:43 pm

Hey Christine, Charge a penny a word on your postings. This way they people who have nothing better to do than waste readership time can contribute to NCN’s needed mission to the town.

Does anyone claim that Jill is NOT good for the job?

By What is the big deal? on 05/30/2014 at 5:28 pm

What has every other Town Administrator been appointed for a 1 year term at the Organizational meeting but we are giving someone with no previous experience a 2 year deal???  I’m under the impression a contract vote must be public is that true and if so is it on the agenda yet?  How can Czar Greenstein be soooo dumb as to come out and say it’s her job before the vote? Is he breaking open meetings laws again with his team new castle bunch?? Nice to see the openness I voted for great work team new castle

By 2 Years Really? on 05/30/2014 at 7:32 pm

The June 3rd TB meeting has 2 different exec sessions on the agenda to discuss personnel.  Draw your own conclusions, they are free.

By 914-238-xxxx on 05/30/2014 at 9:46 pm

To be clear, the real issue is not with Ms. Shapiro.  She may or may not be amply qualified for the position of Town Administrator.  Instead, the issue is with actions taken by the Town Board.  While their appointment of Ms. Shapiro and subsequent obfuscation may be legal, it is by no means transparent or ethical.  This is classic back-doors politics.  By being disingenuous in their governing regarding this issue, Chappaqua Crossing rezoning,  the selection of the Ladles of Love, TIOLI, the appointment of the new DPW commissioner, and the “need” for new town counsel, they have cheapened our town, and the character of people like Ms. Shapiro.  Regarding the Town Administrator position, run an open appointment process.  Conduct a search and interview process.  The final candidate may indeed be Ms. Shapiro, but run the process.  Also, make it a requirement to publicly post any open town positions and conduct an interview process moving forward.  Finally, regarding the letter from the Chappaqua School District, allow Ms. Shapiro to add that to her portfolio for her interview process.  Beyond that, it deserves no further mention unless the letter itself is going to be made public.

By Kate Brady on 05/30/2014 at 11:07 pm

Does it really matter? Let her agree to a one year contract and the problem goes away for now

By tempest in a tea pot on 05/31/2014 at 5:46 am

The letter from the school board must be made public.  It was unethical for the school board to lobby for Jill Shapiro, or any candidate .  It is even worse because Jay Shapiro, Jill’s husband, was a past member if the school board .  This is cronyism.  The school board has sullied its good name.

By cronyism on 06/01/2014 at 8:30 am

Team New Castle is not serving the residents as they were elected to do.  From the appointment of Jill Shapiro, to the train station lease, to the appointment of the new, very expensive lawyers (someone needs to look at what they have been charging), to the handling of CC, the treatment received when people speak up….the list goes on and on.  And if anyone thinks that those focus groups will have any impact on their final decision making, well good luck.  Lawsuits, possible permissive referendums, and more to come, etc.  This is no way to lead or run a Town.  And it is really too bad that Katz and Brodsky cannot become independent of their team leader.  New Castle is in trouble.

By to sum it all up on 06/01/2014 at 9:58 am

This post was written by Rob Greenstein. How do I know?  Because I have heard him say the same words come out of his mouth:

“This is like the tale of 2 cities.  We have the anonymous world where Greenstein is vilified.  Then we have the real world where Greenstein is doing exactly what he said he would.  He has increased communication.  He is engaging with residents.  He is bringing vision and fresh ideas to New Castle. He is being transparent.  He is fighting for what’s best for our community.

His attackers appear to be those who feel betrayed because he is not doing exactly what they want even though they supported him during the election.

Greenie, no one ever said being independent is easy.

Keep it up, my friend.

By Keep it up Greenie on 05/29/2014 at 10:00 am”

By By RG for RG on 06/01/2014 at 11:57 am

Greenstein is not doing what is best for our Town, Greenie.  He is going to make a lot of problems.  Transparent, new ideas, vision????????

By Just Wrong on 06/01/2014 at 2:06 pm

Ms. Shapiro should never have been appointed.  Residents and workers alike have complained about her in Town.  The new counsel of the Town should have been part of an open process not just Greenstein’s friends.  What about the additional prosecutor that was hired?  What about Greensteen’s total disrespect for people who disagree with him.  Watch his recent dismissal of Mrs Weitz at a Board meeting.  She is a resident and should be allowedher opinion.  Things are not going well in New Castle and contrary to what someone wrote that rob said it is not a tale of two cities.  Rather it is a group elected to do the right thing and they just don’t know how or even want to.

By things just do not sit right with me on 06/01/2014 at 4:04 pm


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