L to E:  When “experience” becomes “baggage,” it’s time to vote for a new way forward

November 1, 2013
by Robin Murphy

I started attending Town Board meetings and work sessions on a regular basis a few years ago and, based on the information gleaned there and in town, I feel strongly that the Democrats’ one-party control has caused problems for our town.

I have been a resident of New Castle on and off since 1990 and I am concerned for the direction that New Castle has been heading.  Good governance, i.e., the management of government in a manner that is essentially free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard for the rule of law, is very important to me. 

Chappaqua Crossing and Chappaqua Station (or Conifer) are certainly issues that show the problems that one-party control causes, but another that is not regularly talked about is the Town Board’s lack of oversight regarding the activities in Town Hall including those of our Town Administrator and candidate for Town Supervisor, Penny Paderewski.

Deciding to write this letter has not been easy for me for several reasons including some level of concern of personal retaliation along with the fact that Penny and I have always been cordial with one another.  I’m also a bit worried that many people just accept a certain level of less-than-ethical behavior in government and my information won’t raise even an eyebrow.

Nevertheless, after a recent conversation I had with a neighbor who is a member of the Democratic Committee, it became clear that I should.  He knew that I had switched my support from Penny to Rob Greenstein and suggested that I reconsider “because Penny knows where the skeletons are buried.”  He and I clearly have different concepts of what is good for our town.  Rather than go on covering up, I choose to vote for someone who will clean up the past messes so we can start fresh.

Anti-Semitic Harassment in Town Hall

As background, I have known Penny through her position in Town Government for about 3 years.  She has always been friendly and approachable when I’ve had questions. I first made Penny’s acquaintance when I had concerns about the actions by a Town employee, Mike Molnar (who has been accused of anti-Semitic harassment of f fellow employee) and the town’s questionable handling of him (he’s still employed) and the now-former employee who was harassed (who, after many years of good reviews was fired). 

Penny’s rendition of the incidents, which I read about in court documents, have never made sense to me.  In our very first conversation, she admitted that there had in fact been anti-Semitism in our Town work force, although, according to her, that was in the past. At the time, our town had two separate lawsuits against it claiming anti-Semitic harassment—and retribution when the employees complained.  And although Penny told me that the Town had conducted sensitivity training, I was disappointed to see that our Anti-Harassment Policy is boiler plate and only addresses harassment of subordinates, not harassment by peers. 

2011 Separation Incentive Program

In August 2011, two town DPW employees, one who worked for the town for 24 years and the other 27 years, accepted the incentive offered by the town to retire early: $20,000 cash ($1,000 for each year worked up to $20,000).  According to an article in NCNOW, the incentives were being offered in response to the recently enacted 2% tax cap and Penny is quoted as saying, “the whole purpose of the Town’s 2011 Separation Incentive Program is to allow employees to self-select to leave the Town’s work force.” 

It seemed odd to me that they would willingly take those relatively small monetary packages, when they would receive their full pension, medical benefits, etc. if they stayed in their jobs for just a few more years.

I personally spoke with one of them who told me he was forced out, told by the town that they “had something on him” and he was given the choice of either taking the package or getting fired and receiving nothing. 

He assured me that he didn’t know what damaging info they could have, and that the worst thing he ever received a warning for was taking a long break.  Still, out of fear, he accepted the package even though after spending his whole adult life working for the Town of New Castle he had no prospect of another job and couldn’t even afford health insurance.  The town wouldn’t even permit him to collect unemployment because they made him sign a form stating that he was resigning. 

Days later, when I saw Penny at a Millwood Task Force Meeting, I asked about this.  She confirmed that leaving was not their choice but did not respond when I asked if their being forced to leave was to protect the jobs of others, including her son and the child of one other town administrative staff member who had only been working for the town for a few years.  (It so happens that Penny’s son did get promoted within the past few months to this open position).

Nepotism

I’ve also spoken with Penny about her son working for the town.  One conversation with her was just after learning that while driving a town truck, he hit a passenger vehicle and left the scene of the accident.  Interestingly, the police report does not mention that it was a hit and run but Penny defended his actions to me by saying that that he hadn’t realized he had hit the car.  (If that is indeed the case, one might decide that driving town trucks is not the best position for him.)

She told me that working for the Town is not easy for her son.  Other workers, she said, give him a hard time because she’s his mother.  She also said that if her son didn’t work for her or her husband, he’d be the responsibility of the state to support.  She appealed to me that “as a good mother” I should understand this. 

While I appreciate her maternal instincts, as a resident of the town, I took and continue to take exception that her personal interests are New Castle’s liability.  If Penny’s son is a solid, responsible employee, perhaps she might consider introducing him to other town administrators or DPW commissioners who might hire him without compromising their town’s employee morale.  Of course, he may not get away with the kind of behavior he has participated on the job here, which includes getting into fights, damaging town equipment, spitting in other employees’ faces, posting messages on the wall questioning a co-worker’s sexuality, etc.

Personal use of town vehicle by a town worker

Going into this election, I’d known all that I’ve described above.  And while I did not believe that this was acceptable behavior, Penny is very likeable and at least regarding her son, I could rationalize that she really believes she is doing the right thing for him and is blinded to the ethical problems it causes the town and the morale problems it causes other employees.  Moreover, I could not think of anyone else who would be a better Supervisor candidate.  In fact, I even hoped that the New Castle Republican Committee might cross-endorse her.  When Rob Greenstein, who I knew from the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce got the Republican party endorsement, I didn’t expect that I would change my allegiance from Penny. 

But during the course of the summer, I learned about another incident that made me confront the realization that there is a critical lack of judgment in Town Hall that puts the Town of New Castle in jeopardy.

In early August I learned that, months before, an employee in the Department of Public Works had been given permission to use a Town-owned car for his personal use.  I was told that the Commissioner of Public Works, knew that the employee would be drinking while the car was in his possession. The employee returned the car back to the Town the following morning with damage and when someone asked if there was going to be a problem, the Commissioner said, “Not as long as nobody finds out.”

The idea that an employee drove our Town-owned car, possibly while intoxicated with the permission of a top manager, caused me grave concern.  I was under the impression that Penny didn’t know this story and sent her an email with the details of what I heard. From the first email on August 8th, a dialogue ensued over the next couple of weeks.

Date: Thu, Aug 8, 2013 6:29 PM
From: Robin Murphy
To: Penny Paderewski
Subject: Question

Hi Penny.  Is there a policy about staff taking town-owned vehicles home?
I heard a “bad” story about a case where that happened somewhat recently (a few months back).  Apparently there was damage to a vehicle.  As the story goes, Anthony Vaccaro was involved.  Are you aware of this?
Robin Murphy

Sent: Thu, Aug 8, 2013 6:50 pm
From: Penny Paderewski
To: Robin Murphy
Subject: Re: Question

Only two people take home town cars because they are on call 24 hours the Chief of Police and the Commissioner of Public Works.  You would have to be specific about what you heard.
Penny

Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2013 8:46 PM
From: Robin Murphy
To: Penny Paderewski
Subject: Re: Question

Just because Vaccaro is allowed, doesn’t mean he can let someone under him take one home, right?  As the story goes, Vaccaro let Martinez take a car home and it was brought back with damage (tire/fender/bumper).  When asked about it Vaccaro said something along the lines of it’s alright as long as nobody finds out.  I don’t know the date but it was supposedly several months ago.  Not that he or anyone is going to admit it.

How can we find out if this story is true or not?  Do you have records for auto repairs over the last, say, 9 months?

Sent: Thu, Aug 8, 2013 10:35 pm
From: Penny Paderewski
To: Robin Murphy
Subject: RE: Question

Hi Robin,

This matter was handled quite some time ago.  Whoever you found out about it
from probably did not hear that it was handled.  There are two types of
employees at DPW.  Those that are “punished” and run around and complain to
everyone about it and those that are “punished” take their medicine and keep it to themselves.  I guess this was the latter case.  I guess it bothered someone at DPW who had not heard that this this might not have been handled.  To that I say they should take care of their own business.  However, you may report to them that it was handled.  This is a personnel matter and personnel matters are always handled confidentially unless the employee(s) choose(s) to discuss with other personnel.  I hope this clears this up. I hope you and Iffy are still having a great time up there!  Hope to see you soon.

Penny

Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:07 PM
From: Robin Murphy
To: Penny Paderewski
Subject: Re: Question

Penny, I had thought I sent you the following reply but just found it in my draft mail:

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

How long has the policy for staff to not take cars home been in place? I’m curious, who paid for the repairs for this “personnel matter”? 

How much money has been spent in the past year on the repair vehicles due to misuse?  As far as the punishment, was it just Martinez who was punished or the Commissioner of Public Works who allowed him to take the car home.  Are you aware of the story that Martinez was under the influence and Vaccaro knew.

Seems like the crew is rogue and it’s especially troubling considering the town has the liability

Robin Murphy

Sent: Thu, Aug 22, 2013 8:34 am
From: Penny Paderewski
To: ‘Robin Murphy’
Subject: RE: Question

Robin,
There is no policy that staff cannot take cars home.  Rather there are two people who do take cars home and I believe I told you who those are because they are on 24 hour call—Chief and the Commissioner.  However, there are times when others are authorized to use cars out of the Town confines.  If they go out of Town on Town business, e.g. Assessor’s school in Ithaca or Police officers go to training upstate.

I think I answered your other questions in my previous e-mail.

Penny Paderewski

Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:51 PM
From: Robin Murphy
To: Penny Paderewski
Subject: Re: Question

Penny,

I always appreciate your quick response.

Yes, I understand that the Police Chief and Commissioner of Public Works each have cars to take home regularly and I agree it makes sense for other staff to use cars when traveling out of town on business.  Please tell me if I was wrong in my understanding that Martinez was not using the car for business.  (You mentioned that there was punishment so I am inferring that you are acknowledging there was misuse of some kind.)

The questions that you have not answered are:
• Are you aware that the employee who took the car caused damage to it while under the influence?  Was there action taken (at least a write up) for any other employees involved including the person who allowed him to use the car.
• Who paid for the damages to the town vehicle?  If it was the town, which as a business owner with a fleet of cars I expect it is, how much did the damage cost to repair?
• How much money has been paid by taxpayers for damages caused by misuse?
Penny, I have consistently expressed to you my concern about the town liability for the actions of town workers as well as the cost of nepotism to the town.  I am troubled that this appears to be yet another similar situation that has been swept under the rug.

Robin Murphy


Sent: Thu, Aug 22, 2013 1:06 pm
From: Penny Paderewski
To: ‘Robin Murphy’ 
Subject: RE: Question

Robin,

I am not going to discuss personnel matters with the public.  What I will say is that under certain circumstances decisions are made to allow employees to take Town cars home.  For example, if an employee has to be at a business meeting very early the next morning or if an employees car is
broken down at work at the end of the day.  Employee cars have been damaged in storms while parked in the DPW lots or Town Hall lots and we have allowed them to borrow a Town car to get home and to deal with the repair the next day.  Exceptions are made from time to time. 

I understand your issues with nepotism.  You have made them more than clear.  I find it very disheartening that you continue to choose the same individuals over and over and don’t follow up on other employees that have also had incidents.  Nonetheless, I will not discuss personnel issues with any
of the public.

No situations are ever swept under the rug.  They are just not hung out as laundry as some people would like.  And I might add selective laundry.

Penny

When I sent the first email, I did think I was asking about a personnel issue – I thought her staff was acting irresponsibly without her knowledge. However, damage to town property is not a personnel issue and by the time I received the last email, I realized that my concern was a leadership issue. 

This email dialogue gave me grave concerns about the judgment in Town Hall.  Prior to this email exchange, I had been supporting Penny in the race for Town Supervisor but now I was stuck wondering who is looking out for the residents—who assume the liability and bills for all Town activities including reckless ones?  The fact that the town doesn’t have an actual policy about vehicle use is very disconcerting, especially given the giant liability they are for our town.  (I submitted a FOIL [Freedom of Information] request for “All reports of damage to town-owned vehicles including dates, details of damage, responsible party(ies), photos” for a one year period and was told that there is more than 3,000 pages of documentation for the time period I requested.) 

Given the potential liability to the town and its taxpayers, cars should not be there for any administrator or other managers to play “good boss” with.  They are owned by the people of New Castle, not to be used for favors.  Why would the town residents pay for the gas and assume the liability for an employee whose own car is not available?  If Penny or her manager wants to help an employee whose car broke down, they are more than welcome to give them a ride home. In this employee’s case, he has family who works for the town, and they could have been the one to give him a ride home.  We also have a train station right there.

Furthermore, the fact that Penny perceived my concern as singling out the same two employees instead of my concern for good stewardship of our town, employees and assets, troubled me.

To be clear, I sent her the information about this incident believing that she did not know about it.  The fact that she then defended what took place caught me off guard and completely called into question my trust in her leadership and accountability on behalf of the people who own these assets and pay the employees’ salaries, we residents.  Every competent manager knows that rules need to be clear—and followed—in order to allow you to enact discipline if they are broken.

The employees I have asked her about seem to be in a protective bubble and are costing our town.  While I don’t know of “other employees that have also had incidents,” I would welcome that information as well.  At the same time, Penny telling me that there are others, further undermines my confidence in her ability to manage the workforce and has me wondering, just what is going on there?

In the months that have passed, I have been more and more troubled by this information. I brought it up to Clinton Smith who acknowledged that he knew of the vehicle damage, if not the inebriation, and I spoke with Town Board member, Elise Mottel, as well as former Town Board Member and Town Board Candidate, Mike Wolfensohn, and Democratic Committee Chair, Jerry Curran.  All three of them told me that, while they did not know it is in fact taking place, they agreed in theory that personal use of Town cars should not be permitted.  But nobody seemed to be troubled enough by what I was telling them to pursue it.  I did reach out to Mike Wolfensohn about 10 days later to see if he had spoken with his fellow slate member, Penny.  He replied “I did and she didn’t know what I was talking about so I dropped the discussion.”  I offered to send Jerry Curran the email correspondence between Penny and me so he could see it for himself, but he declined. 

So, that leads me to ask: Just who is looking out for the taxpayers?  New Castle needs a clean, honest, Town government that does the right thing for the people who live and do business here as well as those who work for the Town.

One-party rule has taken its toll on our town and I am looking forward to casting my vote on Tuesday, November 5, for Rob Greenstein along with Lisa Katz, Adam Brodsky and Stu Miller.

I believe they will bring with them new leadership with diversity of opinion, a small business mindset, a commitment to transparency and accountability as well as a positive energy and community inclusiveness that have been lacking.

The Democrats have been running on their experience—but experience can also be baggage. It’s time to start fresh with Team New Castle.

 


Comments(62):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

Speaking Truth to Power!

By Courageous letter! on 11/01/2013 at 7:19 am

It’s interesting that you are involved in local politics when you are open that you spend the majority of your week living in your home in another town. I assume that you are registered to vote in Chappaqua, but I am curious why you are heavily involved in Chappaqua politics if you don’t really live her. Thank you.

By do you live in Chappaqua? on 11/01/2013 at 7:53 am

@do you live in Chappaqua?,

Did Zuch appoint you to the geography police?

By bob on 11/01/2013 at 8:10 am

So “By do you live in Chappaqua?”

What do you think of the content of the letter?

or is just that you don’t like the letter’s content so you Attack Attack Attack the messenger…

Status Quo has got to go!

By Penny's gotta Problem on 11/01/2013 at 8:12 am

Your letter is extremely well documented.  Thank you for actually taking the time to research this and presenting it in such a well documented way.  I commend you for your courage.

By kudos to a brave letter on 11/01/2013 at 8:38 am

In response to the question asking me for my thoughts about the letter (thank you by the way for asking), I think it’s a tremendous waste of our taxpayer dollars to have town hall staff engaging in long email exchanges. Penny was kind enough to respond to Ms. Murphy’s numerous emails on her own time, but come on folks - let our town employees do their work. Please know that I think questions are fine, but at a certain point it is a waste of our taxpayer dollars if the employees spend their days (and nights) responding to emails.

Mr. Greenstein said that he’ll hire a communications director (I think that’s what he called it), so if elected, I guess he will not have to engage in these emails that Penny has been kind enough to answer.

By do you live in Chappaqua? on 11/01/2013 at 8:45 am

That’s all your letter is. Harmful Gossip.

By Gossip on 11/01/2013 at 8:51 am

Jaw dropping! Penny’s actions are disgraceful! If she were in the private sector she would have been fired for actions like this.  Employees allowed to “borrow” a town vehicle….And she admits it!!!  Are you kidding me? Town vehicles are for taking care of the business of New Castle not for Penny to provide favors to town employees.
I had no idea that Penny’s family works for the town. Very poor leadership decision to move forward with that. This is not a family business….Salaries and benefits of town employees are paid for by the taxpayers of New Castle. We should hire those most qualified not just those that are connected to the power structure.
This letter is very concerning for all New Castle residents.
Our town and our town employees deserve answers.

By Poor Leadership Penny on 11/01/2013 at 9:10 am

Thank you for your comprehensive letter, Ms. Murphy,

It is indeed troubling that the powers that be don’t have a handle on the car-related liability our town faces and the expenses our town incurs.  By the way, I very often see an older gentleman driving an older woman around the area in a Town of New Castle station wagon.  I have seen this car idling in the parking lot of the A&P in Mt. Kisco, among several other locations.  It may be completely warranted but it certainly looks odd. 

Bravo to you for your relentless albeit frustrating follow-through.

By station wagon? on 11/01/2013 at 9:11 am

I am homeschooling my daughter and this year we have decided to split our time between our house and a house in a rural town.

Nevertheless, even though we are 90 minutes north half the week, Chappaqua is still our “home”. I care very much about this town and my friends and neighbors.  I have continue to attend the Town Board meetings too but I really don’t think of this “politics” but rather being involved in my community.

By Robin Murphy on 11/01/2013 at 9:11 am

Very disappointing take on our current town government.
Sad to see no action taken even when these concerns were raised to the a current town board member.

It sounds like Penny may have become too comfortable in her role and lost sight of who she works for.

Penny will not be getting my vote on election day

By Oh Penny.... on 11/01/2013 at 9:18 am

It’s letters like these that make me ashamed to be part of this community.  Whether all of this is true or not, I actually don’t care.  While many have cheered the fact that there is a contested election, to me all that this has done is allow people to tear each other apart.  I have seen this numerous times, both here and on the various facebook pages.  Sometimes these comments are made in the middle of the night!  I’m glad that people are so content and fulfilled with their lives that they have ample time to do this.

I get that this is politics, and that elected officials are often held to a higher standard.  Guess what - they have faults and have made mistakes, just like the rest of us have. 

It really doesn’t matter who wins this election.  With this constant negativity within the community, we lose either way.

By a real shame on 11/01/2013 at 9:25 am

Because one party has been there too long town hall is unable to see how it looks to a disinterested person.  They’re all good people, but they’re too used to their own input to,from,with each other.

This is not gossip. It’s behavior that’s been going on a long time.

By Not gossip at all on 11/01/2013 at 9:25 am

If you take in consideration that Penny threatened a local Chappaqua merchant with a boycott his store simply because he displayed her opponents community meeting flyer… You get a clear picture of an individual that is confused on what right and wrong. This odd behavior shows that Penny is person with serious “control issues”. 

This letter is eye opening and sheds light on the inner workings of out town. We need change in a big way at town hall. 

By Penny's threatened a boycott of a merchant on 11/01/2013 at 9:47 am

A very well thought out letter.

The ball is in the town board and Penny’s court… 

 

By Accountability on 11/01/2013 at 9:54 am

I agree with “a real shame”.  It’s a real shame when the truth hapens to be all negative.  That’s when you know it’s time for change.

By The Real Shame on 11/01/2013 at 10:02 am

Ms. Murphy,

I commend you for your courage.  Never easy to disclose this type of information in the town where you live and expose yourself to the backlash after.  Hopefully, you will not experience what the unfortunate apothecary owner did….

By Very Brave Letter on 11/01/2013 at 10:08 am

If Penny’s son didn’t work for the town then the state would have to support him? So what Penny is saying is that her son could not get a job in the private sector. We the tax payers of New Castle should not be saddled with this baggage.

By My Gawd !! on 11/01/2013 at 10:32 am

The DPW commissioner lives across the river in Orange county.  Why should the tax payers provide him with a vehicle just because he has a 24 hour job.  It is HIS RESPONSIBILITY to report to work when required however he chooses it is not the responsibility of the taxpayers to provide him with transportation.

By WDM on 11/01/2013 at 10:36 am

do you live in Chappaqua?,

You write: “I think it’s a tremendous waste of our taxpayer dollars to have town hall staff engaging in long email exchanges.”

What a perfect reflection of the town administration’s attitude toward the public it serves! If you don’t already work for Penny, you will surely get a job offer.

By bob on 11/01/2013 at 11:31 am

Robin Murphy,

I fear you will face retaliation for speaking the truth and exposing how deeply corrupted the current administration is. I hope you don’t but if you do, please write here and let everyone know. Information will eventually lead to better government.

By bob on 11/01/2013 at 11:37 am

Great letter Robin Murphy,

Thank you for including such a detailed and thoughtful play by play of your experience with local government.

It’s a real eye opener. Very unsettling read but we can’t fix anything if we don’t know what the problems are. I think you clearly identified some big problems.

By Great Letter!!!! on 11/01/2013 at 11:38 am

A few years back I was (legally) parked in a town lot. There was a severe blizzard. No cars were on the roads. The DPW plowed the lot. The next morning I discovered that my car’s rear door was bashed in. The collision mark was high up on the door. It could not have been made by another car, but could have been made by a truck with a plow. A DPW truck was cleaning up the lot some more, and I asked the driver if it looked as if my car had been hit will a truck with a plow the night before. He agreed it did and suggested I get in touch with the town. I did and got a letter back saying get lost or sue us. No attempt was made to question anyone in the DPW. Of course, as I had no eyewitnesses or positive proof (except the confirmation of the DPW driver), I had to turn the mater over to my insurance company.

By DPW hit and runs are common on 11/01/2013 at 11:48 am

Robin is a taxpayer in this town.  She, therefore, has full rights whether she has a second home or not.  There are many people in this town who have second homes.  That does not make them second class citizens.

It is pathetic that some can only comment on her second home ownership when she has disclosed corruption and antisemitism in the DPW of our town. Instead of wanting to do something about the corruption and antisemitism that a Jewish emplyee of this town suffered, they resort to attacking the messenger on a non-issue.

By Let's stick to the issue on 11/01/2013 at 1:16 pm

So, who paid for the vehicle repair?  Penny never answered the question.  I don’t much like Rob Greenstein’s ways, but at this point I would vote for anybody but Paderewski.  Did these anti=Semitic actions take place while Penny was president of her temple?  It is a shonda.

By Prudence on 11/01/2013 at 2:10 pm

Editor’s Note: Enough with the references to Mr. Zuch.

By where's zuch? on 11/01/2013 at 2:21 pm

Editor,

Did Mr. Zuch complain to you?

Editor’s Note: No, I’m complaining to YOU.  You can counter what someone says—but quit the teasing.

By where's zuch? on 11/01/2013 at 2:46 pm

Thank goodness that the election will finally arrive on Tuesday so NCN can stop publishing the rants of someone who just wants to advance the Team Chappaqua…oops Team New Castle agenda.

By We get it already!! on 11/01/2013 at 3:19 pm

Editor,
Understood. And thank you.

By where's zuch on 11/01/2013 at 3:56 pm

It has occurred to me that Penny’s bid for supervisor may be to protect her son’s employment.
From what is now know,  it is unlikely that he would be employed elsewhere.

By jane p. on 11/01/2013 at 5:19 pm

Our town needs leadership the town board level. Penny, Mike and John are not the solution. This letter is getting talked about a lot today among friends and neighbors. It is sad and stunning at how poorly our town is run.

By Great letter! on 11/01/2013 at 6:14 pm

Well written letter Robin.  I know it took a lot for you to write it, and you were brave and courageous, as who knows what cowardly, mean spirited posts were to come!

By Kimber Frank Sanseverino on 11/01/2013 at 7:07 pm

Robin Murphy, thank you for being relentless in your search for answers from Ms. Paderewski; our elected officials have a requirement to answer to the people. As another person who has always voted for democratic candidates; there is just too much baggage this time around. New Castle government needs a make over, there is just too much going on that I do not like. My mind was made up to vote for Mr. Greenstein prior to your revelation but it confirms that my decision was the right decision. What Paderewski supporter had the audacity to question your principal residence; I know people who spend a good deal of time in their NYC apartments but consider themselves New Castle residents and vote in New Castle. The Paderewski campaign is bleeding and they will attack anybody who dares to provide unflattering information about their candidate.

By New Castle voter on 11/01/2013 at 8:40 pm

Penny actually wrote that someone who is punished should “take their medicine” and be quiet about it???  Imagine the hand wringing that would go on if Rob Greenstein had said something like that.

By Penny is no saint on 11/01/2013 at 9:06 pm

Robin

My impression was that you had valuable opinions but you have shown your true colors.  Funny how you held your outrage at this “baggage” in the bag until after you see your candidates are losing steam after their stance on CC isn’t as one sided as they would like people to believe and their actions and behaviors are questioned.  So all that is left for you and your comrades is the hatchet. Frankly its disgusting already. Perhaps next time you could give equal time to giving us some background to the malpractice claims asserted against Mr. Greenstein’s law firm that were the subject of a case in the state appellate court just last year. Or is that too transparent ?

By Hatchet Job on 11/01/2013 at 9:12 pm

Here is RM flying the flag of fairness and justice. She uses personal conversations and information from disgruntled employees as the basis for most of her accusations. Her toxic letter falls far short of the values she thinks she is embraceing. I am surprised that the moderator allowed this gossipy and hurtful letter to be published. It is just one more example of how TNC has brought out the worst in people.

By It's Toxic on 11/01/2013 at 9:23 pm

@Hatchet Job,It’s Toxic,
You are Dead wrong about Robin….. I have been saying the same thing as Robin has stated on here. I have even posted everything on Facebook ( New Castle For Confidence in Government) Go read it and than come tell me what you think…... . I use to work for The Town Of New Castle and know just what type of person Penny Paderewski is. Also I have friends that have worked there and still do that also know the Truth about Penny. You want Transparency I will give it you any time anywhere…same goes anyone else that wants to attempt to try to damage or judge Robin and others that have tried to tell the truth about Penny and her players…...
Disgruntled I think Not. I can prove that too if you want me to.  Name the Time and Place for the Event. If you Dare. But just like Penny and her players you are Cowards and hide behind lies and Deceit and will not use your Real names.

Ever wonder why no one has come after me for False Accusations? Hmmm..
 
Thank You,
Jeffrey S. Chiara

By Jeffrey S. Chiara on 11/01/2013 at 11:19 pm

Why should Ms. Murphy care about looking into Rob G’s law firm, she isn’t paying taxes to support his business? 

As far as “personal conversations and information from disgruntled employees,” it seems as if she discussed it all with Penny and given that Penny’s emails are written on her town email address, they don’t qualify as personal conversations but town conversations. 

I for one am happy that these bad practices have been revealed.  Sounds like she didn’t wait until the last minute to talk with the town lawyer and town board member and candidate (and if they had acted on the info, there would be no letter). 

Let’s just hope that whether Penny or Rob wins on Tuesday, this info is not put to bed until the problems are addressed properly.

By To Hatchet Job & It's Toxic on 11/01/2013 at 11:29 pm

Robin thank you!  As a long time resident the town deals with DPW problems, but tries not to tell us what is going on.

By NJH on 11/02/2013 at 10:28 am

It’s obvious by this letter that you are getting your information from the rumor mill. Your facts or half truths do nothing but show what a little person you are Robin. How many times must you be told that that matters have been handled. And if I were you I would be careful, you may just find yourself being sued for slander.

By anyone on 11/02/2013 at 3:46 pm

I sincerely appreciate the time you took to share your concerns in a factual manner. The supporting documentation of the exchange of emails between you and Penny speaks for itself.

By Chappaqua Mom on 11/02/2013 at 5:34 pm

To Anyone:

My take is entirely different. Robin Murphy makes clear that these are issues she has brought up and discussed directly with Penny Paderewski. These are matters Ms. P acknowledges as “issues.”  Just because Ms. P chooses to persist in the behaviors that benefit her or her son or her budget lines doesn’t mean they aren’t real problems.

THe most telling part, for me, in Robin Murphy’s letter is that Mottel, Wolfensohn and Curran all utterly declined to consider these as problems. Why? Because they all “understand” that they are all “good people” and therefore they don’t need to worry about how things might “appear” to citizens.

It’s clear from Robin Murphy’s letter that she has tried to bring up these problems with Penny herself as well as with other Democratic committee members. This is no “rumor mill” behavior.  The Democrats may defend themselves by calling these the products of a “rumor mill”, but it would not be true.

By No "rumor mill" about Robin's letter on 11/02/2013 at 8:19 pm

Robin Murphy, as you probably expected, if you dare to speak the truth about Penny, the Penny police bullies will be out in force against you. These cowards gang up on you spewing their vitriolic baseless accusations against you; do not take them seriously, you do not even need to defend yourself, your well known fine reputation speaks for itself. The poster who wrote “And if I were you I would be careful, you may just find yourself being sued for slander,” takes the prize as a belittling bullying fear monger. As I wrote before, the Paderewski campaign is bleeding and they will attack anybody who dares to provide unflattering information about their candidate.

By New Castle voter on 11/02/2013 at 11:39 pm

Interesting that it wasn’t until the weekend before the election that Ms Murphy decided to share this. These emails are from August. If she was so enraged, why wait so long to release to the public?  NCN has been used as a stooge and shame on them for not seeing through it

By Timing on 11/03/2013 at 7:16 am

@anyone,

You write, “And if I were you I would be careful, you may just find yourself being sued for slander.”
Your threat makes you a bully of the highest order. It also doesn’t hold water. The defense against libel is truth. And Robin Murphy has spoken the truth. Has Penny denied writing this emails? Have the other party hacks even rebutted anything she has said? Perhaps it is you who should be careful.

By bob on 11/03/2013 at 8:16 am

so much for the part hacks and their attacks:

http://chappaqua.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/campaign-practices-group-sides-with-greenstein-on-2-of-3-complaints

By how penny works on 11/03/2013 at 9:09 am

Dear Timing,

I’d say that the answer to why Robin Murphy waited until now is that

1. it sounds as though she tried for a very long time, directly with Penny and directly with TB members and Dem Com person to have an answer.  What she got was the brush off.  Stonewalling. and

2. she may have learned that the ONLY TIME people in office (or candidates for office) answer residents’ questions is when they are running for office.  Otherwise, The Brush.

So now is Robin Murphy’s time - our time, really, to make town government better. Thank you, Robin Murphy.

By The Brush on 11/03/2013 at 10:00 am

The leadership of the Democratic controlled board has a long record of failing in its responsibilities to the taxpayers.

Several years ago a high ranking police official was accused of falsifying police time cards which enabled a fellow officer to get a full pension although he actually worked only 19 of the required 20 years. The officer who falsified the records was allowed to plead no contest to these serious charges. His punishment was that he had to take an 8hr. ethics course. The town board then voted to reimburse him his legal defense fees in the amount of $120,000.  The reasoning behind this was that he committed the offense in the course of his police duties and therefore the town was responsible to pay his legal defense bills. 

Fast forward to a couple of years ago when a police sergeant reported for duty on the midnight shift visibly intoxicated. He was written up by his supervisor the Lt. in charge of patrol. The outcome was that the patrol supervisor was removed from his post and reassigned to ordering new police cars, while the offending officer had his record wiped clean after staying out of trouble for 1 year.

There is something very wrong with the leadership of the town of New Castle.  God help this town and it’s workforce if Penny gets elected. Her reign of terror will go unabated.

By Long memory on 11/03/2013 at 11:51 am

@Long memory,

Glad you reminded everyone. The police department and the DPW need, um, attention. And the problems surely reach into the rest of the administration.

By where will it end? on 11/03/2013 at 1:02 pm

Anyone,

You are absolutely correct. Robin is reaching conclusions based on what she is hearing from the rumor mill. The only fact she has is what Penny wrote in her emails:

“This matter was handled quite some time ago.”
“I am not going to discuss personnel matters with the public.”

Maybe Robin is not aware that public sector employee have rights to due process and privacy rights are protected by law. Penny responses dutifully protect the employees rights and protect the Town from a lawsuit they would not win.

In my opinion Robins willingness to name and condemn employees without being able to provide any facts other than what she heard is not courageous, it is reckless.

By I'm Anonymous on 11/03/2013 at 1:28 pm

@I’m Anonymous,

Let’s take another look at the facts of what Penny wrote in her emails:

“Those that are “punished” and run around and complain to everyone about it and those that are “punished” take their medicine and keep it to themselves.”

There’s recklessness for you, but that’s your Penny. I think we anonymous commenters need to hide.

By bob on 11/03/2013 at 2:37 pm

I’m Anonymous,

Please read the comment above by No “rumor mill” about Robin’s letter.  You are not only anonymous, you are clueless.  Deliberately and dishonestly clueless. 

Also take a look at “Long memory” and all the rest of the posters who have contributed facts, not fabrications.  This election is about policies, not personalities.

By I'm listening on 11/03/2013 at 3:15 pm

Wasn’t there a lawsuit by a police officer who was bullied because of his religion by others in the department. Does anyone remember the case?  Was he let go after he complained and did he sue like the two workers in the DPW?  How many labor-related lawsuits have we had?  It’s strange, I thought the board was desperately trying to avoid lawsuits at any cost.  Perhaps, they don’t like lawsuits from developers bcause they are more costly.  Although, isn’t the town covered by insurance for legal costs if sued?

By Anyone have any answers? on 11/03/2013 at 5:12 pm

In my mind the worst thing about Penny Paderewski’s candidacy is that she supports our town board’s votes on the Conifer approval and the CC zoning change. The town board cast these votes in direct opposition to what our planning and architectural review boards said.  Do we really want a supervisor who not only ignores the residents, but our advisory boards as well ?

By is this what we want ? on 11/03/2013 at 6:17 pm

Is it true that mr ‘merchant,’ greenstein, is really a representative for the super rich hakim family which owns the downtown chappaqua real estate that is the subject of this debate?  Greenstein’s running mate/political partner ,Brodsky, is married to hakim’s daughter. Since the success of the downtown merchants financially benefits Brodsky’s family fortune (his wife ), no wonder greenstein is the head of the chamber of commerce and fighting tooth and nail ostensibly for the good of merchants. He is actually fighting for his political partner’s father in law’s profits.  If there is retail at CC , the super rich greenstein -hakim- Brodsky extended family stands to possibly lose millions. THAT is the apparent reason for greenstein’s staunch opposition to retail at CC and the benefits that will inure to the town.

Brodsky-greenstein-super rich landlord Hakim appear to have manipulated the entire debate. Why this has not been the subject of a news story, I do not know.  It all makes sense now.  Greenstein is fighting for the super rich landlord’s pocket.

Does or has Green stein represented hakim I legal matters and received legal fees? Are these legal fees genuine or are they a subterfuge for political contributions to scuttle CC?

Please everyone rethink how you feel. Don’t let the Brodsky hakim fox into the chicken coop ie. the town board. Since greenstein = Brodsky and Brodsky = landlord hakim, only safe thing is to keep all three of them out of running the town. Even if you have any doubt, you just simply cannot take the chance.

All that greenstein “passion ” nonsense was passion to get landlord control of the town board. Please please consider this. Even if I am half right, it is still not worth the chance to let such an unwholesome element run our genteel town . This is post is opinion about public figures and names previously used in prior postings and information found on the Internet.

By Is it true? on 11/03/2013 at 7:40 pm

Yes, a Jewish police officer sued the town several years back charging religious discrimination. The town of New Castle brought him up on disciplinary charges and fired him. But since he had enough time on the job to retire the termination was moot in some respects. However since he was terminated before he had an opportunity to submit his retirement papers the town denied him medical benefits that would be due a retiree.  He sued the town on this issue and prevailed. I believe the original lawsuit brought by the officer was dismissed.  Yes we in New Castle have a very happy work force !!!

By Long memory on 11/03/2013 at 8:00 pm

That former police officer, Steve Kaufman, was awarded his medical coverage in court but last I heard (which was days ago), our town has yet to send him the money they owe him to repay for his out of pocket medical coverage before the court ruling. Meanwhile interest accumulates every day.

By More on the police officer denied medical benes on 11/03/2013 at 9:37 pm

since this letter was published has anyone from town hall reached out to you ms. murphy?

By Result of this letter on 11/04/2013 at 9:21 am

“Even if I am half right, it is still not worth the chance to let such an unwholesome element run our genteel town .”

How can ugly anti-Semitism like this go unchallenged?

By shame on 11/04/2013 at 11:23 am

More than time to pay this bill. Shame on the town for letting this drag on and on. Out of pocket when it should have been covered. Now we are also paying interest!  Will this go on to infinity?

By NJH on 11/04/2013 at 4:30 pm

THANKS ROBIN FOR STICKING YOUR NECK OUT, I’M SURE IT HELPED.

By You helped on 11/06/2013 at 8:01 am

THANKS ROBIN FOR STICKING YOUR NECK OUT, I’M SURE IT HELPED.

DITTO

By bob on 11/06/2013 at 12:50 pm


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