TB member Jason Chapin objects to appointment process for administrator position . . .

. . . and points out that Greenstein’s “Thank You” was co-authored by Jay Shapiro
With 100 comments since publication
Thursday, June 5, 2014

Editor’s Note:  In a Letter to the Editor released to local media this afternoon, Town Board member Jason Chapin reiterates his objection, on process grounds, to the appointment, in January 2014, of Town Administrator Jill Shapiro and takes issue with the imminent re-appointment of Shapiro to the position for the next 18 months, as Supervisor Rob Greenstein has stated is decided, though there has been no vote yet.  Chapin also states that Greenstein’s letter in support for Shapiro—see A Thank You to Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, NCNOW.org, 5/28/14—was co-authored by Shapiro’s husband, Jay Shapiro, a former school board member.  Chapin’s letter follows, in its entirety.

Letter to the Editor


I feel compelled to share my thoughts on the recent extension of the Town Administrator’s appointment and why I do not support the decision or agree with the Supervisor’s recent letter to the editor about it. To begin with, Jill served the Town well as Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes. She has done a good job as Town Administrator for the past five months. My criticism is not directed at her. Instead, I strongly believe our “new” appointment process is flawed and lacks the transparency and integrity that residents want and deserve. 

Let me explain why. In the past, the entire Town Board always met and agreed to a process for staff appointments. Typically, the Board decided if the selection process was going to be open, if and which candidates were going to be interviewed, and whether salaries for appointed staff would be increased or decreased. Unfortunately, new board members, Rob, Adam and Lisa, made all these decisions before meeting with the old board members, Elise and Jason. I made my case as to why the “new” process would cause problems and said it was a bad policy that did not follow good government practices. I felt strongly about it. I voiced my concerns at the first board meeting in January and I abstained when the appointments were voted on.

Unfortunately, the re-appointment of the Town Administrator was as problematic as the initial appointment. The Board failed to conduct a formal evaluation of the Town Administrator as required by her contract and before deciding on her re-appointment. As well, we still lack an appointment or re-appointment process supported by the entire Board. Additionally, the Supervisor wrote in a letter to the editor saying the Board did the right thing and made a good decision – and without revealing that the Town Administrator’s husband and former school board member, Jay Shapiro, co-wrote the letter.

I believe the Board does not serve its constituents well when it conducts business this way. It would have been better to make the initial appointment an interim appointment or to extend the six-month probationary period to allow more time to consider other candidates. Ironically, the Town Administrator would have been in a strong position to be appointed or re-appointed had we gone with either of these options due to her success as Receiver of Taxes and Town Clerk and her experience working at Town Hall. I also believe that many points recently made in NewCastleNOW by Christine Yeres, Robin Murphy and others are valid and shouldn’t be ignored. Lastly, the Board must fulfill its fiduciary duties or risk losing the public trust. That is why I will continue to fight to restore transparency and integrity to the appointment process.

Jason Chapin
Town Councilman
New Castle
June 5, 2014

__________________________

In post-election Kittle House conversation, BoE members decide to write in support of Shapiro, NCNOW.org, 6/9/14

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(114):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

No wonder why Jay Shapiro left Penny high and dry in the middle of the campaign.  He was lining up his wife’s job.  Disgraceful.

By well that explains a lot on 06/05/2014 at 8:12 pm

Shapirogate!  I’m sorry, but this school board/town board/administrator/former school board member nexus is too much. You couldn’t make this stuff up!

By Our very own -gate! on 06/05/2014 at 9:04 pm

Mr. Chapin liked it better before when the entire board walked in lock-step to Susan Carpenter’s wishes, and nobody in town (us) had any idea of the board’s inner-workings. Basically he’s saying that the decision was the right one, but he doesn’t like it because it wasn’t voted on unanimously and his vote was not needed. That’s the outcome of the election, Mr.. Chapin. Disagreement among board members is not a scandal. It is just the democratic (small ‘d’) process, one we haven’t seen in our town for decades.

This “controversary” is most definitely a politically-motivated side-show. At least this subject has some substance, unlike the silly train station lease-recall effort.

For the record, I disagree with both of these decisions, but I also respect the decision making abilities of our elected officials, and I understand they have to make some tough calls under less-than-optimal conditions.

By Please on 06/05/2014 at 10:09 pm

It sounds like the three may be breaking the open meetings laws.  Too much behind the scene stuff going on.

By could it be? on 06/06/2014 at 12:52 am

Has the BoED confirmed that they also wrote a letter or have they denied it? Is their a copy of it in the public record? Ms. Yeres, have you asked the BoED why they sent it? Any comments from Mester or Visser? Do any existing members overlap with Shapiro?   

What proof does Chapin have that Shapiro wrote this letter and what proof did NCN receive before the published his accusation?

By BOE Letter facts please and backup on 06/06/2014 at 1:06 am

This supervisor out and out lies again and again. How can we put a stop to this before he runs the entire town into the ground? The arguments aren’t against Jill Shapiro or the pick of Leslie Lampert for the restaurant at the train station. It’s the lack of correct process in both instances. What is he going to do next? Move Town Hall under cover of night to Chappaqua Crossing?

By Long Time Resident on 06/06/2014 at 5:34 am

We have seen a startling pattern on disregard for process, transparency and integrity in just six months with Greenstein at the helm. The train station referendum is probably worthy on its own merits but, moveover it affords us an opportunity to say “stop the madness” to a rogue Board. We actually can do something.

By Stop the madness on 06/06/2014 at 7:00 am

There you have it folks- Team New Castle in action. Let’s not blame this just on Rob Greenstein. Brodsky and Katz must be held accountable as well. The 3 of them ran for office promising transparency. The 3 of them unilaterally made this decision and disgracefully left out the other 2 town board members. They lie, manipulate, and posture. This is what happens when 3 inexperienced people get into office.
There is a certain decorum and process even in small town government. There are rules and procedures that must be followed. Most of all there is a fiduciary responsibility to the residents that things be done ethically and fairly. Ethics, transparency , decorum, responsibility, fairness- NONE of these things apply to Katz, Brodsky, and Greenstein.
Shame on all 3 of them.

By Resident on 06/06/2014 at 7:10 am

Jason- thank you for standing up to the 3 amateurs who have clearly abandoned any sense of transparency and proper protocol. I can’t help but thinking that this behavior will continue for as long as they are in office.  What can be done to stop them? Have they broken any rules or laws of governing? If so let’s “impeach” them or throw them out of office. There must be written rules that dictate how decisions get made. It doesn’t seem appropriate or legal that they can make decisions without a full town board vote.
I am grateful that you have the conviction and courage to call them out on their deplorable behavior.

By What can we do now? on 06/06/2014 at 7:18 am

The new board was elected by many based on their promises for an open and transparent government.  Yet that never happened.  In fact, it seems the new board conducts itself with even more cronyism than before.  “Meet the new boss.  The same as the old boss” should be the song playing in the background in town hall.  Not that it will help the lower than low morale there.

By Wanted: New New Approach on 06/06/2014 at 7:28 am

Would love to know the selection “process” for prosecutor Stuart Miller.

By same old, same old on 06/06/2014 at 7:45 am

You are inaccurate in much of what you wrote.  For example, look at the voting history of the past Board.  The facts are the facts.  Look at their votes on the big issues confronting the Town today.  Look at their votes on Chappaqua crossing and Conifer.  Look at their votes on smaller issues.  You just want to support your friends but at least do so with facts.  The way this inexperienced group is going will cause grief at a minimum and lawsuits if they are not careful.

By Please, know the facts on 06/06/2014 at 7:53 am

What does it really matter when compared to the CC and conifer issues?

By ok so he lies on 06/06/2014 at 8:11 am

Yes, why has the school board been silent on this ?  They have an obligation to publicly state why they wrote this letter in support of Jill Shapiro.  Since her husband was a past member, it is cronyism.  Greenstein has written that they have done this.  Is this another one of his lies, or is it true ?

Every member of the school board owes the town a clear answer to this question.
Why are they silent ? 

By tax payer on 06/06/2014 at 8:45 am

This letter to the press is below the belt.  You don"t like what is happening because you are not getting your way.  Re:the Train Station-what are the rules for any interior changes because of prior funding sources.  Extensive redo is not a possibility.
Personnel matters are decided in executive session and are not food for public fodder.

By JSP on 06/06/2014 at 8:52 am

Good for you, Jason, for publicizing this miscarriage of justice. We all suspected that when Jay Shapiro suddenly resigned as the chair of the local Democratic Campaign a month before the election that something fishy was afoot. It appears that Greenstein lured him away using the prize of a better job and big salary increase for his wife. I am glad this is all coming to light. Greenstein thinks he can do things as he wishes without following rules or consulting with the other board members. I for one have had enough of his shenanigans.

By Thank you Jason on 06/06/2014 at 9:08 am

Ms. Yeres, I hope you will reply to my questions.

By Facts please on 06/06/2014 at 9:09 am

Rob aka Please,

What you make clear from your ridiculous post is that you do not understand what democracy
means.  It does not mean that you, Rob Greenstein can do whatever you want.

Thank god for Jason Chapin.  You have much to learn from him and his integrity, but I will not be holding my breadth.

BTW, Jason did not vote in lockstep with Carpenter nor did he say that the decision was the right one. Do you think that we residents cannot read ?  You lie with impunity and for some reason Elise Motell and Lisa Katz say nothing. 

By anonymous on 06/06/2014 at 9:55 am

Looking forward to November 2015 when we will hopefully have the Right Approach instead of the New Approach.

By can't come soon enough on 06/06/2014 at 9:57 am

Amazing…...and not in a good way. People wonder why some posters do not use their real names? When you see Rob will do something this unethical not to mention STUPID you realize he will go to any lengths to make his point. I think he is corrupted by this modest position of power. I can’t come up with any other explanation. Insanity or personality disorder are in the mix though.

By MB on 06/06/2014 at 10:08 am

Mrs. Shapiro and her husband have been less than honest about how she was chosen for the job.  Rob may have made the offer but read Mrs. Shapiro’s contract.  It is clear that they made sure Jill would have this job for two years.

By it is about the Town Administrator too on 06/06/2014 at 10:12 am

Mr. Chapin, I feel compelled to edit your lettet:

I have no problem with Jill.  Jill served the Town well as Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes. She has done a good job as Town Administrator for the past five months.

But, I don’t like change. In the past, the entire Town Board was controlled by the hand picked Democrats.  Unfortunately, we now have 3 new board members, Rob, Adam and Lisa are not listening to me.  I do not like Jay Shapito.  He quit the New Castle Democrats in mid election.  I cannot support his wife. 

By resident on 06/06/2014 at 10:36 am

Although this is hard to believe, I have to assume Jason means what he says.

By Resident on 06/06/2014 at 11:22 am

One call to Jeffrey Mester of the School Board could clear this up.  He could confirm whether the School Board did in fact write a letter in support of Jill Shapiro or if Rob Greenstein/Jay Shapiro wrote it on their behalf.  Either way, it’s bad form.  But I am sure that the School Board members have enough integrity to tell us what they did. 

Editor’s Note: As of 1:25 p.m. today, June 6, 2014, I have not had an on-the-record response from Board of Ed President Jeffrey Mester.  And when I emailed Vicky Tipp to ask about the email/letter, she referred me to Jeffrey Mester as official spokesperson. 

John Chow, CCSD Superintendent for Business (and the FOIL point-person for the district) has my Freedom of Information Law request asking for a copy of the email/letter in question and on June 5 sent me the following pro forma response:

“I am in receipt of your FOIL request of May 29, 2014.  I am reviewing your request and I will provide either the requested information or the reason why your request could not be fulfilled within twenty business days.”

By Thanks Mr. Mester on 06/06/2014 at 11:48 am

While at first I thought it was a good idea to install Jill Shapiro as administrator and even thought that she might be a good replacement for Penny AFTER an honest search, I have changed my mind.

She has participated in this back room deal with Rob Greenstein. Her husband has been working behind the scenes to unduly influence this choice. Jill certainly knew about all of this. She should have competed honestly.  She did not.  She is tainted and no amount of spin changes that.  She does not deserve the position.  This was another dishonest maneuver by the supervisor.

The whole sorry mess stinks and so do the Shapiros.
Elise Motell, Lisa Katz, Adam Brodsky and the entire school board are covered with fleas.

I do know this, Jason Chapin does not lie or distort.  While I may not have agreed with every vote that he has taken, he is an honorable man.  I say a hearty thank you to Jason.

By Thank you Jason Chapin on 06/06/2014 at 12:00 pm

One has to wonder what the now banished “Concerned Journalist” would make of the use of the words “points out” in the sub-headline of this article instead of, say, “charges” or “contends” or “maintains.” Printing an allegation as fact without any evidence or explanation of that allegation’s factualness is shoddy journalism.

By bob on 06/06/2014 at 12:04 pm

Most troubling to me is how Katz and Brodsky just seem to blindly follow along with whatever Greenstein says/wants.  At least Chapin speaks up when he disagrees.  Someone please tell these people that the election is over and “Team New Castle” doesn’t exist anymore.

By just plain sad on 06/06/2014 at 12:28 pm

Concerned Journalist, you were benched.  You may contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

By Pathetic on 06/06/2014 at 1:16 pm

Sadly after reading many articles from this publication, and their associated replies, it is quite evident Supervisor Greenstein brings out the worst in everyone, from both his friends and foes . . .

By Observant Resident on 06/06/2014 at 1:24 pm

My first reaction to the appointment of Jill Sjapiro was one of acceptance as I understood she has done a solid job in her previous town hall role. I accepted that the new board had transitional issues and they didn’t want to put more on their plate by having to search and interview candidates. HOWEVER-now that additional information has come to the forefront it us impossible to understand and excuse the behavior of Team New Castle. 
First we were told that MsShapiro was given a 6 month contract when in fact she was awarded a 2 year deal. Why the lie- deception? We now find out that Brodsky Katz and Greenstein made this decision without discussing the appointment ( her contract amount, contract duration, etc) with the 2 other board members. 
Greenstein writes a letter circulated to the media in which he praises Ms Shapiro,  refers to CCSD school board endorsement , but never explains why he Brodsky and Katz chose not to post the job opening and interview candidates as is normal operating procedure. In his letter he never mentions the fact that Team New Castle made this call without input from the 2 other board members.
Lastly we learn that MR Shapiro helped write the Greestein letter supporting his wife. We learn that MR Shapiro weeks before the election suddenly resigns his position and his support for Penny. Now his wife gets a big promotion and big raise. It is hard not to think that Team New Castle had something to do with his withdrawn support in exchange for the promise that his wife gets rewarded.
I know it sounds cynical of me but given Team Green behavior nothing would surprise me. They are without a moral compass. They have no regards for rules, protocol, or fair play. If they have done anything illegal they should be thrown out of office. Certainly smells of corruption on many levels.

By This s too much on 06/06/2014 at 1:25 pm

To Team New Castle- to Rob, Adam and Lisa - to Greenstein, Brodsky and Katz!!!!!!
Is this what you meant by ” A New Approach” ? Is this what you meant by “Transparency? Is this what you mean by ” the end of the status quo”?
To think it was only 6 months ago when you regularly appeared at town board meetings berating and chastising the previous town board. You ranted and raved accusing them of back office deals, of not serving the residents, and of self serving agendas. You won the election with a promise of a new approach and transparency. You are no better. You are far WORSE. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.
Even if Jill Shapiro is the best and most qualified candidate for Town Adminstrator , the way in which the 3 of you appointed her has left her tainted and compromised.
You could have avoided all of this had you simply followed a few rules. Posted the job, interview a few candidates and announce that ” after a search and interview process we concluded Jill is best suited for the job”. That’s all you needed to do. Instead you lie about her contract, you write a bogus letter mentioning the school board, her husband is now dragged into this, and that opens up this can of worms.
Many had predicted it and they were right. Your lack of experience and disregard for protocol should have eliminatedall of you from contention from town government. But you fooled many. Now we all suffer.

By Throw the bums out on 06/06/2014 at 1:47 pm

Was an extensive search conducted when Penny was promoted to administrator and at a much higher salary than that of Jill Shapiro?

Or is “process” the new buzzword we whine about now that one-party rule has been repudiated.

By bob on 06/06/2014 at 2:02 pm

We are at a tipping point with Team Green ... this is really pathetic and beyond the pale. We are being lead by a man who is little more than arrogant bully.  His team “mates” support his dishonorable words and deeds making them no better Thank you Jason

By Tipping Point on 06/06/2014 at 2:11 pm

bob,

One wonders at your association with concerned journalist.  Could it be that you are one and the same ?

Having read your comments, I say that I believe Jason.  It is you who is lacking.

Why not write a letter of your own and sign your name ?

By could it be ? on 06/06/2014 at 3:13 pm

Jason Chapin writes an enlightening letter, well articulated, and from one who knows - not some of the speculation that goes on in these comments. Jason ends his letter with the following sentence - “That is why I will continue to fight to restore transparency and integrity to the appointment process”. I call your attention to the words INTEGRITY and TRANSPARENCY.
Wasnt that the campaign promise of Moe , Larry and Curly - aka Team New Castle? How ironic that it is Jason that must right the wrongs created by Team New Castle. The lack of integrity and transparency has already become the hallmark of Greenstein, Katz, and Brodsky on multiple issues - and they have only been office 6 months.
Keep up the good fight Jason. And if you find out that Team New Castle has broken any laws, or violated and rules or regulations please bring it to our attention. That will be a well attended town board meeting. You could sell tickets for it!

By Isnt it ironic...... on 06/06/2014 at 3:59 pm

This IS too much.  Are they breaking any meeting laws? Either they text or email each other a lot or they must be meeting.  And if the three are deciding on things by text or email, is there are recourse? I would say no because they most likely using their personal email addresses and not the Town’s.

By Correctly stated on 06/06/2014 at 4:09 pm

It is time for the school board to make public the email that the supervisor says that they wrote. Why the delay ?  Why should anyone have to go to the trouble of foiling it ?

By Why ??????? on 06/06/2014 at 4:11 pm

bob- what if no extensive search was done when Penny was appointed ? If that is true and I have no idea if that is accurate - the point is that Team New Castle won the election promising residents a new approach. They promised the end of status quo and back office dealings.
This is not better. This is not a new approach. This is not transparency.
Regardless of how Penny was appointed years ago these 3 liars promised they would be better. They are far worse.

By Hey bob on 06/06/2014 at 5:47 pm

For Jason Chapin and his Rumpelstiltskin minions the emphasis on so-called process is only a smokescreen to make personal attacks on Jill Shapiro. For some it is personal dislike. For others it is an inability to get over the fact that the last election overturned the one-party rule that ill-served the town for so long. And an inability to tolerate anyone who deviated from the old party line. These people all sound alike, say the same things over and over. They are upset that Jill Shapiro and others are trying to rectify the misguided way town hall has long worked. They fail to see that Jill Shapiro working with (rather than trying to dictate to) the school board helps taxpayers because in order to qualify for the state rebate next year not only must governing bodies stay within the tax cap but also must make strides with shared services. Let’s see some proof that a search was conducted when Penny was promoted land overpaid.

By bob on 06/06/2014 at 5:48 pm

@could it be?

Thanks for the advice.
But wait. You forgot to sign your name.

By bob on 06/06/2014 at 7:37 pm

I am troubled by Mr. Chapin’s letter.  It is very clear that he, like Nancy Pelosi, simply cannot tolerate being a politician in the minority.  Mr. Chapin, it is time to face up to the fact that our Town voted in a new majority and you can no longer simply execute the New Castle Democratic agenda by default.  There is only one thing in my opinion that is worse than a limousine New Castle democrat - that is a whining limousine New Castle Democrat.  Perhaps it is time for you and Elise to step aside and create two available positions for representatives who can function as true fiduciaries for our community and not as puppets for the far left DeBlasio style agenda….If I were you, I would start focusing on dealing with the bloated budgets you helped create and the mandates that you support rather than whining about semantics… Enough already…

By Honestly Jason on 06/06/2014 at 10:57 pm

“It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time…You can even fool some of the people all of the time…But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Abraham Lincoln

By the jig is up on 06/07/2014 at 1:16 am

blah, blah bob,

Let’s see, over $10,000 to the new lawyers to negotiate a deal with Leslie Lampert that brings the town less money in everyway than the other 2 applicants.
Jill Shapiro has shown that she is nothing more than Rob’s personal assistant.  At every meeting she has had no, or erroneous answers.  There is no way that she is the best choice.  None.
As usual, you are full of bull.  Something that the supervisor already provides aplenty.

By hey bob on 06/07/2014 at 6:11 am

You were benched. Contact me to learn why.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

By Chapin is the problem on 06/07/2014 at 8:05 am

Sums it up for you honestly Jason.  You know not what you speak about.  Jason is a stellar member of the Board and community.  Look at his voting record.  Look at how he comports himself.  You want more Rob’s, Adam’s and Lisa’s lack of ability to run a Town.  Thank God you only get one vote.  They are ruining this Town at so many levels.

By tea party in new castle on 06/07/2014 at 8:29 am

Town hall is finally being cleaned up.  New policies are being put in place.  A new vehicle use policy. A new harassment policy. A new code of ethics.  Appointments are being made on a timely basis.  Town Board members are working more closely with the various advisory boards, committees and groups.  Town Board meeting are more welcoming.  Communication with residents has never been better (enewsletter).  Potholes are being repaired (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).  The web site will soon be revamped.  3 hour parking was a huge success. Greenstein worked with Whispering Pines to find new space after her fire.  The Chappaqua train station will have a restaurant. Research has begun to revitalize downtown Chappaqua which would include traffic lights & bury wires.  A feasibility study was authorized to study a transit oriented development at the train station and moving town hall to the cupola building.  After years of inaction, the Master Plan process is finally moving ahead. Pace was hired and is going a great job.  Cooperation with the Chappaqua Central School District is finally amicable.  The new Take it Or Leave it Shop is a huge success.  We have a town administrator who is not on Facebook all day.  We have a Supervisor who responds to emails.  Despite all the noise from a bunch of sore losers, we are moving in the right direction.

By Change is hard on 06/07/2014 at 8:40 am

To those of you struggling to justify the no process approach of the TB, you merely are spin doctors and apologists for Rob, Adam and Lisa.  That or you have no understanding of good goverance practices, which would include Rob, Adam and Lisa.  This conduct is wrong and is harming our town. Send a message to the TB this is NOT OKAY!  Sign the petition this weekend. There is not much time left.

By Joanie on 06/07/2014 at 8:41 am

Rob doesn’t listen.  He just refuses. He says what he wants to say when he wants to say it.  We can all see that by now. He seems sort of proud of it too.  It is a sad state of affairs that Jason feels he has to take this path but I agree with him. A united front has not worked. I think everyone who fundamentally disagrees with this conduct has to speak out and do it now.  Otherwise I will conclude they support it. Elise? Adam? Lisa?  Silence will not serve you well at this juncture.

By Townee on 06/07/2014 at 8:58 am

Chapin writes Jill served the Town well as Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes. She has done a good job as Town Administrator for the past five months.

Elise initially voted for Jill.  Elise knew she was the right choice.  Jill has proved to be the right choice. 

You were wrong Jason.  Do not hide behind this process nonsense.

By You were wrong Jason on 06/07/2014 at 8:59 am

“Or must risk losing the public trust.”

Does Chapin have some bizarre thought that Carpenter and her one party crew had even a tiny bit of the public’s trust. Lets go forward please because any comparison with the past makes anything happening now look good. The behavior of the previous administrations is why we are here to begin with. They sent SG down this road to retail. They couldn’t fix the train station in time to lease it out before their terms ran out. Troubling behavior, certainly. Lose the public trust, please get serious.

By that's funny (not) on 06/07/2014 at 9:25 am

If you want Jason Chapin to be honest, why don’t you sign your name.  And own up to your involvement?

By To Gregg Bresner on 06/07/2014 at 9:26 am

It is quite remarkable how, in a very short time period, the team of Greenstein, Brodsky and Katz completely lost the trust of the community.  I cannot think of time when this otherwise relatively passive New Castle community has had such reaction.  On top of the current situation with Jill Shapior, there have been unprecedented screaming matches from this team (Greenstein in particular) at town meetings; the object of his venom a longtime resident of the community.  I have nothing against Jill Shapiro per se and would prefer not to Shapiro-bash.  But it is clear that the community does not support her appointment, it has never supported the Crossing development and the efforts to redevelop downtown Chappaqua are financially questionable at best.  It also is clear that the Greenstein, Brodsky Katch team is determined to move ahead in-spite of community opposition.  At first I hoped the discourse would right these elected officials but it seems they are on their own mission for their own benefit.  And the community is, rightfully so, suspicious of their motives.  Maybe it is time for a recall.

By The facts on 06/07/2014 at 9:41 am

go to chappaqua.dailyvoice.com and read the comment from chappaqua 101. He/she
reminds us about approval of Conifer and the mess that has ensued. No board is perfect-hidden agendas of past boards were not always known.  Today with Facebook and instant
communication the times have changed and not always for the better.

By LCC on 06/07/2014 at 10:21 am

“Change is hard” sums up the state of affairs in town remarkably well, and shows why the vast silent majority has nothing but praise for Jill Shapiro. The sore losers rant and rave among themselves and fail to convince the people.

By bob on 06/07/2014 at 10:22 am

It seems that something is seriously broken in town government—whether its the appointment process or the train station lease.  The permissive referendum sounds better and better because it will put the TB decision making process under a microscope.  The only member of the Town Board that cares about transparency is Jason Chapin at this point.

By Jonathan S. on 06/07/2014 at 11:48 am

Jason,

I thank you for providing the public with this important information and for your principles. 
I hope that all of the other members of the town board will take this as an opportunity to reflect .  I hope they will take this as an opportunity to examine the part that they have played in this flawed process.  It is not too late for them to correct course, to conduct themselves with integrity and to act in the best interests of the town.

By Roberta Galant on 06/07/2014 at 11:56 am

bob,

Is that you hearing things again ?  Why are we not surprised ?

By hey bob on 06/07/2014 at 12:00 pm

From day one Rob thought he could do what he wanted. It goes on. But now people are paying attention and it isn’t so easy. Posters here are trying distract from the issue of good governance practices and get people fighting about irrelevant issues.

By John on 06/07/2014 at 12:18 pm

How about Rob providing all his e-mails, text messages and dtafts sent to or received from Jay Shapiro? Jay is not an employee of or consultant for the Town or the BEO. Shouldn’t they be availsble to the public?

By Mel on 06/07/2014 at 12:28 pm

Bob u r just making up “facts” as u go along. Very much like our supervisor. He uses tbe silent majority claim a lot too. In the election and now.

By Hmmm on 06/07/2014 at 12:40 pm

The Daily Voice comment is not easily found. Here it is:
chappaqua101:
No big deal, nothing different than how the previous Supervisor Susan Carpenter ran the town business. Do you not recall her approval of the design of the Conifer building presented by Kitchen Associates as she turned to Councilwoman Elise Mottel to acknowledge her approval, and of course Mottel approved in concert as she always did and Carpenter could could care less whether any of the other council members had an opinion. Nothing different here, just the players are different, sometimes you’re in with the crowd, sometimes you’re outside looking in. Jill Shapiro has been an excellent town employee and has stepped into her new position flawlessly. Time to move on to the more important issues facing the town.

By bob on 06/07/2014 at 1:19 pm

“good governance practices” = a return to one-party rule and lock-step agreement with the party machine.

Brilliant.

By bob on 06/07/2014 at 1:53 pm

bob,

Get a clue.  I know many people who voted for members of the new team, myself included who are completely disgusted with how they have been governing, a word that I use loosely here.  We are not outsiders.  We are residents who care about the town and the disastrous path we find ourselves on.  It seems to me that you do a good bit of projection on how you think others feel.  You are wrong, as usual.

Jill Shapiro may have been a fine clerk, but her part in this underhanded back room deal is enough to disqualify her for the post of town administrator.  Did you see the contract that they devised?Too bad that she and her husband took the low road.  Character matters.

By hey bob on 06/07/2014 at 3:06 pm

@ tea party in new castle


I think you meant to write that Jason is a stellar member of the New Castle Democratic Committee.  Look at his voting record.  Look at how he comports himself with the New Castle Democrats.  You want more Rob’s, Adam’s and Lisa’s independence.  They are ruining one party rule in New Castle.

By Democratic machine on 06/07/2014 at 4:50 pm

Those calling for governmental transparency under anonymous posts are hypocrites and cowards.

By anonymous of course on 06/07/2014 at 5:19 pm

bob you should join Team New Castle if you haven’t already or if you are not a member already!

By Suggestion on 06/07/2014 at 5:44 pm

Mrs. Shapiro will show her worth over time.  bob, what makes you so knowledgeable? Could you be Mr. Shapiro supporting his wife?h

By come on on 06/07/2014 at 6:37 pm

Team New Castle is disingenuous and then some.  Something stinks in the appointment of Jill and her husband’s role in it.  Jill does not have the educational background, management training,
or temperament to do the job.  She is being paid what she is worth.  She should not be paid more.  Administrators in New Castle heretofore all had Master Degrees in Public Administration and years of management experience.  If Jill stays in the position, which it appears she will, get her management training.

By bottom line on 06/07/2014 at 6:46 pm

Rob doesn’t understand the boundaries of his position as supervisor.  What will be next?

By Problems on 06/07/2014 at 7:53 pm

Jill Shapiro’s contract pales beside the $170k plus you guys were paying Penny during the recession.

By bob on 06/07/2014 at 9:05 pm

Councilman   Chapin’s letter on the appointment of Town Administrator ignores the past history of the Town.  Running a Town at this level is running a business and it is not necessary although in many case it is desirable to run multi interviews.    As an extreme State Law at one time mandated that the Town Engineer had to be a PE and live locally.  Since we only had one individual who was interested and meet that criteria there was never any interviewing.  When the Town switehed from an elected Town Clerk and Supt of Highways to appointed positions extensive interviews were run with multi candidates and multi Town Board members involved.    In other cases individuals have been moved up to replace employees leaving with little discussion as it was felt they were doing a good job.  For the past 20 plus years of one party rule the Town Board has done all interviews and hiring in executive session.  If a formal evaluation of a position or individuals has ever been made it is impossible to tell because of the closed information process.    The use of executive session government in the past has been abused with zero transparency, despite Councilman Chapin’s comment, of which he has been a party.

By Erik Nicolaysen, past New Castle Town Councilman on 06/07/2014 at 9:25 pm

Let’s see.  Jill works for the Town 10 years.  Penny worked for the Town almost 28 years.  Jill is an attorney.  Penny has a master’s in public administration.  Penny was the comptroller and deputy town administrator.  Jill was a prosecutor and Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes.  Education, training, and experience should count.  Jill makes $135,000. Penny made $170,000. Should Jill be paid what Penny made given this information?  I think not.  Roberta, oh I mean bob, get off Penny’s case.

By enough on 06/07/2014 at 10:15 pm

Thank you Eric!  getting tired of holier than thou attitude of Jason.  There are serious issues facing all residents-making petty things into big problems does all of us a disservice.

By JJS on 06/07/2014 at 10:43 pm

Dawn, Roberta isn’t bob.

By bobbing on 06/08/2014 at 7:24 am

Let’s see.  Penny was on Facebook all day and was more concerned with protecting her son than looking out for the best interests of New Castle.  Jill is all about the best interests of New Castle.  But, enough with Jill.  This is not abdout Jill.  This is about 1 town board member having a hard time adjusting to the end of 1 party rule in New Castle.  It’s about 1 town board member using this blog so his coward friends can support him and criticize Greenstein anonymously. Sad.  Very sad.

By Marc L. on 06/08/2014 at 8:31 am

The position of deputy administrator was abolished, showing just how pressing having such a redundant position was all along. We should get our money back.

The sore losers can stamp their feet all they want, but the fact remains that we now have a smart and nonabusive town administrator who is trying to clean up the mess left by 20 years of one-party rule.

By bob on 06/08/2014 at 8:51 am

Being a busy person I find myself removed from town affairs. After reading these comments I know now just how much the town board has accomplished in a very short time.  It also validates my decision to end 1 party rule in New Castle.

By Thank you, Jason on 06/08/2014 at 8:57 am

To all New Castle Town Board members—For the sake of the community, please think and vote independently. You represent all of us and we are concerned with more than the newest master plan, CC, local appointments or the downtown business community. We live in a charming, small town American community and that’s why we moved here. We are a community that deserves caring, thoughtful and flexible leadership.

By Voice of Reason on 06/08/2014 at 10:10 am

Obviously, I can only speak for myself. I voted for Rob; I might have voted for Jason, I can’t remember. For me, the pattern of conduct of the board is extremely concerning and is not even close to what I expected. I wanted a board that functions according to established procedures. So many oddities came out of the prior board which Jason was part of that I hoped for a new, more open approach. What we have is a board run by Rob and Adam who it seems are annoyed by things like the open meeting law. I am certain they play games with that. They also do not respect process particularly if it works against them. When Jill was appointed in January Elise and Jason made it clear that discussion among the full board had not occurred. Okay there was a lot going on I thought at the time and they will get around to properly addressing the administrator post. However, it has not happened. Instead Rob has determined she is right for the position and Adam and Lisa I assume followed. Then, bizarrely, Rob has Jill’s husband help write Rob’s letter about the selection. That in itself is disturbing. What exactly does Rob think he is doing?  This is not a courtroom where “winning” is the goal. This is governance which should mean proper representation of our community with an eye on the common good. NOT what Rob wants or Adam wants. But that is what is going on here when you cut through everything. They are leading this community down a very slippery slope. I thank Jason for this letter. I do not always agree with him but this time I do.

By Pollyanna on 06/08/2014 at 10:27 am

“I do know this, Jason Chapin does not lie or distort.”

In light of what Mr. Nicolaysen has revealed, the above statement needs serious reconsideration.

By bob on 06/08/2014 at 11:23 am

Dear Supervisor “Marc L”—-

You say—- “This is not abdout Jill.  This is about 1 town board member having a hard time adjusting to the end of 1 party rule in New Castle.  It’s about 1 town board member using this blog so his coward friends can support him and criticize Greenstein anonymously.”

And your post is about you, RG, using this blog so you can be your own “coward friend” and support yourself (and criticize the “1 town board member” who won’t play dirty) anonymously.  Come on, RG, If this isn’t you I’m a horse’s ass.

By Your own "coward friend" on 06/08/2014 at 11:32 am

bob you are back! I have wondered where you have been all these months. You were one of Greenstein and Company’s biggest, vocal and certainly most prolific supporters. Now you reappear when they really need support after a few disasterous months in office. You are loyal indeed. Perhaps bob is really Rob. We know that Rob wrote many of the nasty anonymous responses to his detractors.
I did not vote for Team New Castle. I saw right through them. I am surprised that more people didn’t. They were rude, arrogant, inexperienced and ran a nasty campaign. I asked them a question at the train station the night before the election and when I was leaving I turned around and they were all laughing at me. Who do they think they are? We don’t deserve this kind of attitude and governance.  January 2016 can’t come soon enough in my opinion.

By EW on 06/08/2014 at 12:00 pm

To BOE letter and bob,

Rob sent a support letter for Jill to board members on May 22 to consider signing. I asked Rob who wrote the letter. He said Jay Shapiro helped him.

By Jason Chapin, Town Board on 06/08/2014 at 12:03 pm

Hey Busy Person!  If the takeaway for you “after reading these comments” is “just how much the town board has accomplished in a very short time” then you must be one of 3 new people on the town board. 

And you saying “It also validates my decision to end 1 party rule in New Castle” narrows that down to 1 of 3 new town board members - the megalomaniac supervisor.

By Blue Detective on 06/08/2014 at 12:06 pm

Would Mr. Chapin care to address the points made by Mr. Nicolaysen?

By bob on 06/08/2014 at 12:22 pm

I completely support anonymous posting on this site. Sometimes though posts under different names are so obviously from the same person or group of people working together that it should be noted. Above, within tbe space of 26 minutes this morning, posts were made under different names pushing the team new castle talking point in response to Jason’s letter: Jason is just bitter at the end of “1 party rule”.  Each post uses that exact phrase by the way. Every time team new castle is criticized, it perceives itself as being attacked, regardless of whether there is any truth to the criticism, it goes on the attack here, pushing a specific talking point rather than address the situation on the merits, openly and honestly. With Carla who had the nerve to stand up for herself, it is the bathroom issue and posts that she had better be careful or her business will suffer. For the referendum effort, it is the Chases and Carla are sore losers. Now with Jason he is bitter. I hope people see what is going on here with team new castle. Very concerning conduct.

By Pollyanna on 06/08/2014 at 12:36 pm

I want to hear what Jill Shapiro and Jay Shapiro have to say about this. Have they made any statements one way or the other?

By Indie on 06/08/2014 at 2:49 pm

Facts:May 22 was a Thursday.  A letter was circulated to the town board.  Jason, you complain about being left out and that you are not happy because you are not included in a process. Was the information you were given to be broadcast?  Certain information is for town board members only and should stay that way. Enough, get on with the serious issues facing our town.

By HMN on 06/08/2014 at 3:08 pm

Thank you Erik Nocilaysen for offering your perspective of town governement. But your experience was years ago and things have changed. While it appears you accept the practice of appointments for important town positions based on your past role as town councilmen you ignore the fact that these 3 new TB members promised a new approach, transparency and a break from past practices.  The Shapiro appointment was counter to all they had promised.

As you point out from your TB experience these appointments were often done in executive session with full town board participation. So how would you have felt if 3 Town Board members made these decisions on their own and without participation of the full board? In other words, they excluded you from the process.

I find it interesting that you and others appear to support the ” end of one party rule” in New Castle. It is true Team New Castle ran on a Republican ticket to oust the Democrats, but Greenstein and Katz are registered Democrats ( Brodsky is Independent). Did we really get something new? Seems like we still have Democrats running town hall.

Based on Team New Castles behavior, their wanton disregard for procedure and protocol, and their broken campaign promise of transparency and ” new approach” , it certainly seems like we have a worse situation than before.

The Shaprio appointment may have been acceptable when you were on the TB but I bet you would not have approved of excluding 2 board members and I am sure you would not have tolerated the husband of the appointed ghost writing a letter of support for the sitting Supervisor.

By Resident on 06/08/2014 at 3:47 pm

If you want to see exact phrases being spoon fed among Jill Shapiro’s detractors, do a quick search for these: “process,” “good governance,” “inexperience.” These and other catch phrases are used continually by the person or persons supporting the failed polices of the past. If you want to play detective, my friend, play fair.

By bob on 06/08/2014 at 3:57 pm

No matter how the appointment was made , let me remind you guys that the job of town
Administrator is problaby more important that the job of an elected Supervisor , in my
Humble opinion a Town like New Castle should have a professional with at least a degree in Public Administration ,this in divi dual has to be able to write Grants, deal with
The Dept . of Public Works ,deal with the trade unions , attend meetings with other
administrators all over the state of NY not just Westchester County , deal with the
Rating agencies ,deal with the Police Dept and their contracts,etc , etc , I am sorry Mr .
Greenstein but you are wrong on this one ,the best administrator we ever had was
Mr. Jerry Fiaela ,he was a professional and those were the best years in New Castle
He realy new his bussines .Ms Shapiro was an excellent receiver of taxes but the Town Administrator job is not for a lawyer ,but I suppose politics always win and not
Common Sense! Sincerely ,T.B.

By T.B. on 06/08/2014 at 4:53 pm

To bob- the reason those catch phrases regularly appear - like process, good governance, and inexperience is because the apply to the current situation. The new town board members ran and won the election based on transparency. Nothing they are doing is transparent. I disagree with you. You are wrong when you say those people using theses phrases supported the failed policies of the past. I wanted a change from those past policies too. I regrettably voted for Team New Castle precisely because they promised a new approach and a change to the status quo. So when their behavior exposes them as liars it is appropriate to point it out.
It’s funny bob - you were a big Greenstein supporter before and during the election. Then you went radio silent? Was it Team New Castle deplorable and indefensible tactics that forced you back into the hole you just crawled out of?

By Get a grip bob on 06/08/2014 at 5:54 pm

To bob and Erik Nicolaysen - regardless of your opinion about the Shapiro appointment and regardless of past policies and past town board practices, this appointment smells!
The full town board was not involved. It was represented that the appointment was a 6 month trial (” during transition”) when in fact a 2 year contract was offered. The Supervisor lied to the community and misrepresented the terms of the deal. Why the lie? Why the deception if this was all above board?
The Supervisor wrote a letter of support for the new Town Administrator and circulated it to the media. In it he claimed that the CCSD school board endorsed the new appointment. Why is that relevant- why was it mentioned, why wasn’t the endorsement made public? The husband of the newly appointed administrator , a former CCSD board member himself, assisted the Supervisor in writing the endorsement letter. Certainly smells fishy to me.
Erik - would you have tolerated such behavior when you served as councilmen? Could you have defended it?

By The fish smells from the head down on 06/08/2014 at 6:20 pm

bob you are the cheerleader of Team New Castle.  Wait until you don’t agree with them. In the meantime none of us want to hear your venom.

By what about bob? on 06/08/2014 at 6:41 pm

All of this may be true or false or somewhere in between. I suggest that we withhold judgment until Ms. Shapiro tells us her side of the story.  To do otherwise is not fair to her.  If her husband is ghost writing recommendations for her, that’s not appropriate. If he’s not, then let’s move on.

By Facts First on 06/08/2014 at 6:41 pm

No detective work needed, bob. It was plain as day. Thanks for the confirmation anyway.

By Pollyanna on 06/08/2014 at 8:10 pm

T.B., why don’t you ask Jerry Fiaela if he thinks Jill Shapiro is qualified and is doing a good job.

By Ask Jerry on 06/08/2014 at 9:33 pm

Any rational person reading this thread can determine for themselves where the venom is coming from.

By bob on 06/08/2014 at 10:29 pm

Rob you will soon learn you are not in a position of control.

By Your future on 06/08/2014 at 10:43 pm

You still have one party rule. I believe all the board members are Democrats.  Though we really never had one party rule.  The Democratic committee never took positions on Town Board matters nor did we ever tell a board member how to vote.  The old board had all democrats and they all did not vote the same way.  the three new members all vote the same way and they most likely violate the open meetings law by the three discussing things in person or by e mail.

Most of you miss the issue. It is not Jill or Penny. It is the process how the administrator position was filled.

Most of you who scream about one party rule most likely never split there vote and vote one party.

By the way, if you do not use your full names why should we take you seriously.

By Steve Goldenberg on 06/08/2014 at 11:10 pm

Mr Goldenberg is correct. We have 4 Democrats and one independent on the TB. The town board is still dominated by democrats.
These 3 new board members have very definitely violated open meetings law as they have made decisions and a.ppountments and voted among themselves without full board participation.
They pushed the envelope recently when they held a clandestine meeting at Crabtree Kittle House resteraunt with Chapp Crossing community. 2 of the board members were in attendance and reported back to the third. Had all 3 attended they would have been in clear violation. They are not fooling anybody with their back door deals, votes, appointments, and secret meetings inviting only NIMBYs.

By Resident on 06/09/2014 at 6:45 am

One more thing to add.  We appreciate your efforts Jason.  You are the eyes and ears of the New Castle Democratic Committee.

By Steve Goldenberg on 06/09/2014 at 7:02 am

Intelligent voters always split their vote whenever an election calls for it.

An entrenched party committee need not bother about telling a board member how to vote on a particular issue as it’s that very committee alone that hand picks the people who will serve. Which of course leads to something very near totalitarianism.

Evidence of board members violating the law should be brought to the attention of a district attorney.

By bob on 06/09/2014 at 7:32 am

Steve Goldenberg,

I appreciate your input, however it is not necessary for comments to have names to be take seriously.  They all stand on their content, not on their signature.  Actually, there have been more than a few signed comments that after reading, I did not take seriously.

By Anonymous on 06/09/2014 at 9:32 am

Politicians always make campaign promises that they know they cannot keep. NYC Mayor DiBlasio promised that he would tax the rich knowing fully well that he had no authority to raise income taxes. DiBlasio turned against his supporters by eliminating funding for Charter Schools. Mayor DiBlasio ignored traffic signals because he thought who the hell he was.

President Obama campaigned on the promise of being out of Afghanistan within 6 months if he was elected and here it is 6 years later and the troops are still there. And your talk about Greenstein taking charge, what about Obama’s 1 for 5 prisoner exchange, breaking the rules by not first notifying Congress.

So all you complainers what’s the problem, this is small town politics, not the big stuff.

By Focus on the big stuff on 06/09/2014 at 11:09 am

Dear “Focus on the big stuff,”

Your examples seem fair enough but your conclusion strikes me as very peculiar indeed.  Are you suggesting that we turn a blind eye to hypocrisy and deception close at hand among our local elected officials because so much hypocrisy and deception can also be found in “bigger” orbits at a greater remove? 

I wonder how that kind of mindset would translate to child-rearing…

And who says a response to one precludes a response to the other?  (That, after all, is your premise.)

But maybe reform needs to START at home.  At least here we have a better shot at making a positive difference more quickly concerning matters we also care about and that affect us most directly.  The train station lease referendum comes to mind.  It addresses issues (lack of transparency, proper process and basic ethical standards) that seem to be playing out in more and more areas with this new town board.

Of course we could just wait, as you suggest, until all the “big” messes in DC, Albany and NYC get cleaned up before we attend to the “small” messes right under our noses.  When that comes to pass we just won’t be around anymore and so won’t have to worry about the train wreck of this town board that we chose to ignore.  Nice legacy for the kids.

By An Ostrich by Any Other Name on 06/09/2014 at 1:58 pm

Dear Ostrich,
You are so right, “Focus on the Big Stuff” is clearly a terrible parent and his post will only serve to create more hypocrisy and deception that is sure to harm our CHILDREN. Yes, it is the CHILDREN people. If only we could have issued a proper job search for a new town administrator, then our CHILDREN would be saved. Our town would have remained without sin. No worry that the town might hit an iceberg in the meantime. We would sink together knowing we had done the right thing for our blessed Chappaqua offspring.

By Condor on 06/09/2014 at 4:17 pm

As someone who is not formally affiliated with any party, the concept that someone thinks Jason’s role on the board is to be the eyes and ears of the NC Democratic Party is very troubling and I hope is simply a poor choice of words. Whether I agree with someone or not, I certainly hope that they are seeking to represent all of the residents of our town. What issues does either party want to claim as single party issues? On the eve of the State Board of Review’s decision on Conifer’s request for several life safety variances, the ongoing existence of that type of thinking is certainly troubling. Once again, I hope it was simply a poor choice of words.

By Robert Fleisher on 06/10/2014 at 12:23 am

Robert Fleisher,

With the exception of Jason Chapin, the members of this board do not represent the town as a whole.  They make deals with each other to get what they want.  That is the re-e-a-i-ty.
Rob is the deal meister. Chapin is the one member who stands alone, he does not play Rob’s game. 

Sickening, but true.

By Anonymous on 06/10/2014 at 9:22 am

Robert Fleisher,

Why do you need to inject Conifer into this discussion? It is not relevant here.  If I recall, you were one of Team New Castle’s biggest supporters.  Why can’t you come to terms with the fact that Team New Castle’s bahavior has been such that they need a watchdog?

By face the facts on 06/10/2014 at 12:51 pm

“Why do you need to inject Conifer into this discussion?”

Chapin voted for the zoning change that then foisted Conifer on all of us.

By bob on 06/10/2014 at 2:54 pm

Jason did not vote for Conifer.  Check the record.

By wrong bob on 06/10/2014 at 11:52 pm

Bit hypocritical that Jason is calling out others on this issue while he sat by and watched Susan and other board members put through a long process that was sneaky and secretive and set the table for the Hunt’s Place project. Was he present for all of Susan’s conversations with the developer and their lawyer (former board member of her employer)?  I doubt it.

By Third thought for the bobs on 06/12/2014 at 12:45 pm

From NCN:
“With zoning change, Town Board takes another step towards clearing a path for Conifer project
July 26, 2013
by Christine Yeres
Four Board members voted to approve the zoning changes; however, Jason Chapin noted that in voting Yes on the zoning changes he was not voting for the proposal or the project.  John Buckley voted No.”

As I have stated and so the record shows.

By bob on 06/13/2014 at 5:19 pm


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