Editorial: Supervisor’s hands are still all over the master plan review

Monday, September 29
by Christine Yeres

Supervisor Rob Greenstein is eager to show that his hands are off the master plan review, but last week he demonstrated again that his hands have never been off it.  Operating through the town planner, Sabrina Charney, he continues to make decisions without either informing his other TB members or consulting the Master Plan Steering Committee, whose members were appointed by the Town Board to run the master plan review. 

When asked in last week’s TB meeting whether the members of the Master Plan Steering Committee had given their input on the RFP for a professional consultant to help with the master plan review process, no TB member or its counsel seemed to know.  Yet Greenstein was prepared to issue the RFP that night.

And when it comes to the phone survey Greenstein plans to have Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) run soon—300 randomly sampled residents—he has no intention of involving the master plan professionals.  The TB has seen the survey questions, the Master Plan Steering Committee met with Charney and PSB (hooked in by phone) to discuss the questions, and the survey will proceed.

In response to an email to all TB and Steering Committee members from NCNOW the day after the meeting questioning the timing of the survey—to take place before professional master plan consultants are hired—Greenstein “replied all,” stating: 

“As far as the survey, the TB is very sensitive to being accused of tampering with the questions.  We have a hands off approach.  However, I believe there is consensus that we would like to see questions related to CC included in the survey.  We feel that the information will help us make our decision re: the zoning change.  Plus, many residents would be outraged if questions were not included.  As far as the wording of the CC questions, as well as the other questions, we believe we should leave it to the expertise of PSB.”

In the course of the September 23 meeting, NCNOW questioned the wisdom of conducting the survey before engaging professionals to help with the master plan review, and asked whether the Master Plan Steering Committee had seen the RFP.  Below is the exchange that followed:

NCNOW: Has the Master Plan Steering Committee had its say about the hiring of the consultants?  Have they had input into the RFP?

Rob Greenstein: They [the Steering Committee] wanted a consultant and they were consulted.

Jason Chapin:  We had a joint meeting with the Master Plan Steering Committee and I asked Sabrina to provide all information to all groups.  You can ask her—the assumption was that she was sharing all the information.

NCNOW:  Did she or didn’t she?

Chapin: Those were the instructions we gave her.  Your question is whether the Master Plan Steering Committee saw the RFP.  I don’t know.

NCNOW:  Are you going to authorize [the RFP] this evening?

Greenstein: Yes.

NCNOW: Do you think it’s important before doing that to learn whether the Master Plan Steering Committee has had input?

Chapin:  Yes.

Greenstein:   Christine, you want the consultant to have a bigger role.

NCNOW: I’d settle for the Master Plan Steering Committee having a bigger role.

Greenstein:   The reality is that Sabrina has a lot on her plate with a lot of different projects, and when it comes to putting this document together she needs help.  We’re not looking to have them take over the project…

NCNOW: Or to think with you . . .

Greenstein:   One of the reasons Sabrina was hired was for the fact that she can update the master plan without our having to go out and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to update the master plan.

People can disagree with this but that’s a decision that was made awhile back and Sabrina is doing it and it’s moving along very nicely and we’re going to get her some help to put together the document and that’s it.

NCNOW:  First of all, she hasn’t done a master plan before; [a review] wouldn’t cost $200,000 to $400,000 [the figures she has used are $250,000 to $400,000] as she has said; it doesn’t cost that much, and she has too much work already.  Town planners don’t do master plans. they don’t have time. You’re making it sound as though this [RFP is for] a helper for Sabrina.

Greenstein:   You’ve made your position clear for a while that you would prefer that we bring someone in to do this process.

NCNOW: But you’re saying now that you do not know whether Sabrina has solicited input from the Master Plan Steering Committee as she was asked to do and you’re considering authorizing this RFP tonight.

Chapin: Let’s ask Jill [Shapiro] to contact Sabrina, then make an informed decision; if we can’t locate her the board can wait on this.  It would be appropriate for the Master Plan Steering Committee to be aware of this RFP and weigh in on it.

Lisa Katz: I agree.

Greenstein: The consultant’s services aren’t needed immediately, so we can actually put off the decision.  Whether we vote on it now or in two weeks, it doesn’t matter because we don’t need this person’s service immediately.  It’s not going to hold up the survey.

Shapiro was unable to reach Charney and the TB put off the discussion of the RFP.

The exchange on the RFP runs from the 28-minute mark to the 43-minute mark in the video below.

Town of New Castle Board Meeting 9/23/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.


Comments(63):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

It seems like the NIMBY’s are concerned that the survey won’t serve their intended purpose of stopping development @ Chappaqua Crossing.  They are now faced with the choice of stopping it or discrediting it.  Since they can’t stop it, there is only 1 option.

By Enough already on 09/29/2014 at 12:03 pm

i am glad Rob Greenstein hands are ” all over” the master plan review. We need a check and balance because from what I see Katz, Brodsky and many master plan committee participants are doing everything they can to undermine a fair and even process.
I have watched and listened to meetings and every step of the way all those opposed to retail at CC have dominated and influenced the process. Brodsky owns downtown real estate- Katz lives near CC- many NIMBY residents have participated. Developer Napoli sits on he commerce committee. All of them thru their questions objections and directives try to influence the outcome. They want to control the survey questions- they challenge and undermine the traffic expert and professionaly completed studies and surveys. Even Editor Yeres ( a NIMBY) thru her headlines and articles tries to influence.
Supervisor Greenstein was elected to serve us all not just the residents near CC. I am grateful he is trying to live up to his promises. Someone has to step up. Thank you Rob.
For all you cynics - I’m not RG,not a friend of his. Just a concerned citizen.

By Rayj on 09/29/2014 at 12:14 pm

This seems very accusatory.

Has an effort been made to actually ask Charney the question that held up the vote, i.e., did the Master Plan Steering Committee see the RFP? If so, what did she answer?

Has an effort been made to discover evidence that Greenstein ordered Charney not to show the RFP to the Master Plan Steering Committee? If so, has such evidence been found?

By bob on 09/29/2014 at 12:25 pm

Christine, for some reason, you failed to include my response to hiring the consultant,  My response was included in the very same email you referenced in your article?!?!? I wrote:

It is the TB who wants to hire a consultant to help Sabrina.  Sabrina has advised us re: the phase when she could use assistance.  Although some would like us to turn this MP update over to an outside consultant, that is not our intention with this RFP.  I also don’t think it’s realistic to expect, at this stage, for the town to have defined every specific task to be assigned to the MP consultant with the type of precision currently being asked.

Editor’s Note:  I’ll respond to this on Monday.

By Rob Greenstein on 09/29/2014 at 12:30 pm

Have you ever spoken with Sabrina Charney? Do you know her at all? Sabrina Charney is one of the best employees to come into Town Hall in the past 30 years. I speak to her on a regular basis. She has a common sense approach, a common sense view of New Castle, and is only one of very few people that can shed light on a path forward without having an agenda and Team Green understands this. Take a look at how she gets ran to task by various members; don’t tell me there does not exist a mens club at town hall that just wants to pulverize the views of Mrs. Charney. Take a look at the last Planning Board meeting when they talk about parking and tell me how you feel about what transpired. We need more women on the Planning Board, they know how to get stuff done! We are all paying attention!

By Leave Sabrina alone on 09/29/2014 at 4:27 pm

How many times are we going to do this dance about the big bad bully Greenstein and the NIMBY mandate to never, ever, introduce progress to our town by just refusing any meaningful development whatsoever . . .

Under the stewardship of Supervisor Greenstein, we have achieved meaningful cost savings from re-negotiating existing town contracts and are now FINALLY moving forward in spite of continuing NIMBY opposition to meaningful, and needed development. . . perhaps you should do an “op-ed” about that

Damn those misguided NIMBY torpedoes and full steam ahead!

By Rt. 120 Resident on 09/29/2014 at 6:03 pm

Cue the nasty childish comments…

By Kreskin on 09/29/2014 at 10:29 pm

Are these the same hands that got the master plan moving after years of inaction?  My sense is that this master plan update will be a lot less controversial once Chappaqua Crossing is decided.

By Same hands on 09/30/2014 at 8:48 am

Dear Editor - I thought this website was intended to report news and share ideas. You encourage civil, civic discourse. I wrote a comment on the Napoli letter days ago. I wrote a comment on this article. Why haven’t you published comments?  It’s been days!!! Seems to me you are controlling the discourse you claim to encourage. Could it be you don’t want to give a voice to those that support CC?

By Resident on 09/30/2014 at 11:27 am

Has an effort been made to actually ask Charney the question that held up the vote, i.e., did the Master Plan Steering Committee see the RFP? If so, what did she answer? Have the members of the committee been asked if they saw the RFP?

Has an effort been made to discover evidence that Greenstein ordered Charney not to show the RFP to the Master Plan Steering Committee? If so, has such evidence been found?

By bob on 09/30/2014 at 6:21 pm

Same hands,

Rob Greenstein is in complete control of the master plan process which means that there is no way that it will be a fair and honest one.  Instead of hiring a planning firm to conduct it as towns such as Bedford and Mt. Kisco have done. he hires an assistant planner to help planner Sabrina Charney who he controls.  And again rather than hiring a planning firm to do the master plan he is hiring a consultant to aid his handmaiden Charney.
Sabrina Charney has never done a master plan. She would not be hired anywhere else to do this job. This will be good for her resume but not for the town.
Where are the other members if the town board on this ?  And where are the members of the master plan steering committee on this?
It is very strange and disappointing that the master plan steering committee has been silent on his shenanigans .
As with hiring Jill Shapiro rather than an experienced town manager, he once again sells out the town.

By resident on 09/30/2014 at 7:36 pm

you bet!

By dear resident on 10/01/2014 at 4:29 am

I am glad Rob Greenstein has his hands “all over the master plan review.” Lets remember that the majority of those pushing for this master plan review are doing so to stop development- particularly at Chapp Crossing. They are using an updated Master Plan as a foil. They hope committees, studies, and surveys will conclude that retail at CC should be blocked. This is a small but loud minority sentiment. In theory an updated Master Plan is a positive because it is a town wide study and evaluation meant as a guide for the future - for ALL of the town. In practice, it has become a rallying cry for the NIMBYs. If Supervisor Greenstein did not get involved then Town Board member and CC resident Lisa Katz surely would hijack the process. She sits on the board for one reason - to stop retail at CC. she does everything she can to stall and block progress. She demeans and unfairly criticizes the experts and studies done. Her neighbors regularly dominate meetings including master plan hearings. Greenstein provides balance and oversight. Otherwise the NIMBYs would take it over. Many times Rob appears to be the only adult in the room.
This is another smear article in a long history of Editor Yeres (a NIMBY herself) going after Greenstein because he is willing to keep an open mind, negotiate with the developer, and serve ALL residents.

By JK on 10/01/2014 at 8:17 am

Same hands,

CC is already decided.  There is no way that this master plan will not be controversial because Rob is in complete control of it.  That is the reality.  After decades of waiting we now have a tainted master plan process, thanks to Rob and the master plan steering committee who is allowing his manipulations.

By resident on 10/01/2014 at 10:01 am

Jason says that Sabrina was told to share ALL communications with ALL members of the town, planning and steering committee/boards but he does not know if she has..
Well, if he did not get any sharing then he does know and she did not.  What a surprise.

By what a surprise on 10/01/2014 at 11:15 am

Christine - as you are the editor of NCNow, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to label your opinion pieces as “Editorials”, rather than “Op-Ed”? It may seem like a trivial distinction, but this is your site and I don’t see any reason why your opinion columns should not be labeled in such a way that makes it clear that it is the editor’s opinion that is being expressed.

Editor’s Note:  Right.  I’ll change it.

By Michael Olin on 10/01/2014 at 11:38 am

Ugh. Move ON.

By Anonymous on 10/01/2014 at 4:32 pm

Editor Yeres- I am in total agreement with resident. I too posted comments days ago and you have not displayed them. In one, I supported Supervisor Greenstein and in another I took issue with Mr Napoli and his chain store aspirations.
It is crystal clear that you try to control the discourse and water down support for Greenstein and support for retail at CC. You have made it clear you are a NIMBY and now your Town Newsletter is totally biased as you edit out comments and opposing views. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

Editor’s Note: My mom broke her hip and I’m behind.  That’s what going on here.

By whats going here??? on 10/02/2014 at 10:35 am

Christine- You have a tough bunch of critics.
Take it easy guys, NC Org is a labor of love not a mercantile enterprise.If Christine walks opinionators have zero visibility.

By Mike Nolan on 10/03/2014 at 10:03 am

Supervisor Greenstein,

Please tell us where we citizens can go to see the model for what Summitt Greenfield has proposed at CC.  It is common practice for any developer to provide a model to inform the citizens regarding developments.

Thank you.

By please show us the model on 10/03/2014 at 10:16 am

“It is very strange and disappointing that the master plan steering committee has been silent…”

Did Charney show the members of the master plan steering committee the RFP or not?

Simple question.

Why are the members of the master plan steering committee engaged in a conspiracy of silence?

By bob on 10/03/2014 at 10:49 am

the entire master plan process with its committees studies and surveys is a direct result of those wishing to stop block and obstruct retail at CC. Anybody paying attention understands this. As soon as a survey question or a inkling of objectivity or support for development is presented all the obstructionists get busy. They wanted to see and control survey questions. They made disparaging remarks about already conducted studies surveys and traffic experts. Their last and only hope is that something in this master plan update will give them reason to continue to obstruct and delay.
That is why when Greenstein gets involved people get upset ( like our editor). But when Katz makes comments and tries to influence the process nobody says a word. We need Rob Greenstein involved. We need his hands on this. If not -who’ s hands? Katz? Brodsky? Napoli? Stay strong Rob!

By Resident on 10/03/2014 at 12:37 pm

ATTENTION NEW CASTLE TOWN BOARD - in your haste to mollify those committed to delay and halt development you have given in and are wasting money on a survey. Your timing could not be worse and I question the judgment of the professional survey company we are paying!
We are a month away from Nov midterm elections. New Castle has little going on but County and State races are heating up. In the last 2 days my wife and I received 5 calls from pollsters and campaign reps. All calls were identified on our caller ID as “private” or “unknown”. We generally do not answer these type calls but we know New castle has commenced a telephone survey. So we answered. One identified herself as conducting a survey about state and local issues. I asked if this was the New Castle survey and they told me no - so I hung up.
My wife and I have decided we will go back to our policy of not answered blocked calls. When our answering machine picks up - they hang up.
MY POINT - I am positive we are not alone in our practice of not answering and participating in these type of calls. most people find them annoying and intrusive - and ignore. If you must conduct a survey of 300 residents at least do it at a time when people might answer. Right now the Nov elections has all our telephones ringing from candidates and from surveys. This is a TERRIBLE time to conduct a survey. I suspect those with an agenda (dare I saw it…..nimby) will wait it out and answer the survey. The rest of us will ignore and get on with our lives.

By Attention New Castle Town Board on 10/03/2014 at 1:42 pm

Enough already,

The master plan will show whatever it shows.  What are you afraid of ?  I say enough of your carping against a fair process.  We know what you want .

By we know what you want, enough on 10/03/2014 at 3:15 pm

I totally agree with JK.
Thank goodness Rob Greenstein is involved in the MP process. He doesn’t own downtown property and he isn’t a NIMBY like the other 2. He has no personal agenda and has grown into his role.
Would we be better off if Lisa Katz had her way? Rob has shown that his motivation is directed towards making Decisions and setting policy that benefits all of us and not just a small and loud group.
Think about it- since taking office Greenstein detractors have largely been those opposed to development at CC. They voted for him believing they had him in their pocket ( along with Katz). The Supervisor serves us all and RG recognizes this fact. The detractors - NIMBYs feel betrayed and now Everything and anything RG gets involved with ( like the MP) is questioned. 
This headline alone -“Supervisors hands are still all over master plan review” Is disrespectful and inflammatory. That’s because the author/ editor is a NIMBY.
I wish she would write articles and headlines about Brodsky and Katz conflicts of interest. Katz Has frequently misspoken and attempted to steer dialogue and questions to favor the anti retail at CC theme. But no story then. Only when Greenstein shows bAckbone Do we get an editorial.  Editor continues to provide a pulpit for developer Napoli But never questions or writes editorials about his ridiculous development. He will ruin downtown with his plan but he continues to lobby without any pushback from NCN.

By Chapp 10514 on 10/03/2014 at 3:59 pm

We also received several calls from blocked numbers this week. They all were involved in politics and the upcoming election. At least 2 of them wanted “a few minutes of your time” to get my opinion on state and local issues.
I politely declined these callers. 3 weeks until elections and I bet more robo calls and surveys are coming.
It’s a really bad time for a random telephone survey of 300 New Castle residents. Many people don’t answer unknown callers. Shouldn’t the professional survey company understand this and recognize the poor timing of this survey.
It certainly gives pause to the process and the judgement of all involved.

By Me Too- private number on 10/03/2014 at 6:30 pm

makes you wonder about the ” professional” survey company our town board hired if they aren’t smart enough to understand that it’s election season and its a bad time to try to call folks and have us participate in a 20 minute telephone survey. The election is almost a month away and we have already been bombarded with calls from candidates and pollsters. I don’t answer any of them and that will include the town survey.
What are they thinking?

By I don't answer from unknown caller on 10/04/2014 at 1:58 am

I received at least 4 calls thurs- sat that were looking for my participation in some sort of political poll or survey.  None of the callers were identified by my caller ID. Normally we don’t answer such calls. Because we were forewarned that a New Castle survey had commenced we picked up the phone. Total waste of my time and I Went back online to re- register on “do not call” list.
Political solicitation thru robo calls and polls have gotten out of hand. For New Castle to attempt a survey during election season is a mistake. It’s poorly timed and calls into question the judgement of the firm we hired.
If I happen to be one of the random 300 people called I won’t be answering.

By I'm not home on 10/05/2014 at 7:48 am

Wait a few weeks after the November elections end before conducted the Chapp telephone survey. Otherwise the results will be challenged as meaningless because many of us aren’t answering calls from strangers with blocked numbers especially during elections.
I agree that the judgement of this professional survey company we are paying should be questioned. What are they thinking?

By Wait on 10/05/2014 at 9:29 am

Please show us the model is correct.  It is also common practice for town representatives I.e. town and planning boards to DEMAND that the developer provide these models for the community to understand what is proposed !!!
Once again, where are our representatives ??

By agree with please show us the model !! on 10/05/2014 at 2:00 pm

Instead of an overpaid “Planner” and now an assistant as well, why not go back to our old planning consultants and hire someone who knows what they are doing to do the master plan? Then at least when you pay for expertise- you might get it.

By Sometimes the old way was better on 10/05/2014 at 9:48 pm

My daughter is using the ongoing ‘Pee"ing on a Spark Plug” insults between Bob and Christine in her Journalism class at college….the material never gets old and she said they love the small town bickering
from ‘Clintons Home Town”

You two need to stop. It’s embarrassing. It’s especially embarrassing there basically a class reviewing your ongoing blogs and email at an Ivy league school. 

Christine..you need to step back. Your once fine web/email paper is now just another National Inquirer rag based on hear say and innuendo. Statements such as “he has no intention of involving the master plan professionals” isn’t reporting, it’s your interpretation and mind reading and to be candid, it has diminished your credibility over the past year.

Editor’s Note:  Watch the video. My statement, “he has no intention of involving the master plan professionals,” is absolutely reporting.  So let me understand: you’re amused that NCNOW supplies your daughter’s class with material “that never gets old,” but you believe I should be embarrassed by that material.  I’m not.  Let them read or not read it—Ivy League or not.  What’s clear is that you don’t think the master plan review process is significant.  That’s your opinion.  Mine is different.  You also describe Rob and me as “trading insults.” It’s a conversation.  Or perhaps an argument.  Completely appropriate in my view.  If it embarrasses or distresses you, don’t read it.

By Great Reading on 10/06/2014 at 6:22 pm

@ Great Reading:

“Small town bickering”?!  Small or big, it’s YOUR town, YOUR quality of life, YOUR property values on the line. She is fighting for your interests.

This village has found its idiot.

 

By Think again on 10/06/2014 at 10:28 pm

as far as Christine is concerned, it’s ok when Lisa Katz does everything she can to block stall and delay thru her questions and challenges. No headlines there! But when Greenstein asserts himself its a headline with a story. I agree with Great Reading - this rag was once an informative town ” newspaper”. It’s now become a forum for the NiMbys vs everyone else and Greenstein has now been categorized as pro CC.
Where is the story aBout a town board member ho owns vacant downtown property and his very obvious conflict of interest? Where is the story about an assistant supervisor that is closed minded and sits on the town board for the singular reason to block developent at CC? No story there because that’s the editors viewpoint too.

By Resident on 10/07/2014 at 7:06 am

@Great Reading,

Good thing Ivy League schools don’t require parents to submit their IQ scores as a basis of their kids’ admission.

By bob on 10/07/2014 at 7:41 am

To Good Reading— I hope your daughter is learning to have a better appreciation of the value of journalism than you seem to have.  What’s embarrassing is your characterization (or your daughter’s?) of useful information as “peeing on a spark plug.” How does your daughter’s Ivy League journalism class feel about anonymous comments by parents of its students?

By Bad Reading on 10/07/2014 at 9:00 am

To Great Reading: See Greenstein’s own comment above where he says:

“Although some would like us to turn this MP update over to an outside consultant, that is not our intention with this RFP.”

What exactly is your problem with Christine’s reporting of this?  I’m not Ivy League and I think her report was accurate.  Maybe your daughter’s class is more interested in the “small town bickering” than in understanding the “small town” issues we have to deal with. Please tell her that understanding our issues is the more important part of journalism.

By Good reporting on 10/07/2014 at 9:20 am

To Good Reporting- the problem with Christine’s reporting is that it is always highly selective and skewed towards marginalizing and embarrassing those that support retail at CC or in Greensteins case - someone willing to keep an open mind, keep his promise to be a tough negotiator and bring us progress and resolution at CC ( which has been ongoing for almost 10 years!). She never misses a chance to catch him or expose something he says out of context.
She is entitled to do this but at the very least she should apply the same standards to other TB members. I recall Lisa Katz grilling the traffic expert and demanding he come back with another traffic study based on smaller stores at CC. As Greenstein said, the town has no intention of relaxing the restriction and will not allow more small stores. So then what is the point of doing a study on something that will never happen? You didn’t ” report ” that. You didn’t report didn’t do a story on the clear conflict of interest Brodsky has EVERYTIME he speaks up about development. You continue to give Napoli a platform to promote his development and never asked him to clarify. After 2 years he finally admitted his development for downtown includes chain stores. Why didn’t you report his 2 year misrepresentation and trickery when all along he wants chain stores. Seems like a story to me.
If you agree with the Editor and oppose retail at CC you get the silk glove. If you support CC or are willing yo keep an open mind you get lambasted.

By It's not Fair or even reporting- it's biased on 10/07/2014 at 12:52 pm

It’s not fair or even reporting,

Any reading of this paper shows what you say to be bull.  Sorry, but it is you who is biased.
If you have something to say, write an article yourself.  Bet she would be happy to publish it.

We are very grateful to the editor because without her we really would not know what is going on in this town.  I know that is the way that you would like it to be.

By Jane P. on 10/07/2014 at 2:57 pm

i might think the master plan process is important if it were a true effort to map out and guide the future direction of our community. The problem is the people yelling the loudest and demanding this MP process , like you, are doing so in hopes of getting some result that will stop retail at CC. You are hardly interested in some grand plan for our town. If retail at CC didn’t exist this entire charade and costly MP process would not be happening.
The MP is not the only important process that is worthy of your reporting. To the point….
At a board meeting weeks ago before the topic of CC came up on the agenda and before the usual cast of NIMBYs paraded up to the microphone a fellow resident made a moving and heartfelt presentation about distracted driving. He had lost a son due to texting and had started a campaign that has taken on national attention. You only reported on the Chapp Crossing portion of the meeting.
We have a TB member that is involved on choosing the appropriate train station restaraunt tenant. In effect he is going to be part of the process to determine what will be best for our downtown. You have done no story and no reporting on the fact that this TB member - his family that employs him- owns a decades old vacant downtown building that has been an eyesore. How can he decide what is in our downtowns best interest when his property sits decaying? You didn’t report that.
As stated above, Ms Katz has made many comments that would be worthy of your scrutiny and reporting ( just as you do with Greenstein) but you don’t report it because she is a CC neighbor. Maybe you can interview the survey company and report back to us on the horrible timing during elections for their telephone survey.

By Dear editor on 10/07/2014 at 5:30 pm

NEWSFLASH: All news media is biased; pick up the times, turn on foxnews/msnbc/etc they are all biased.

Don’t forget the “O” in NOW

Christine does great work, despite her unfortunate anti-CC tilt.  Ignore the haters. 

The ivy-league journalism class thing is the real story here.

Editor’s Note:  Chris, show me the “tilt” in what I have written on CC.

By Chris Roberta on 10/07/2014 at 9:28 pm

Chris Roberta,

As a member of the master planning steering committee will you tell us if you had any input in choosing the survey company or the questions that they will be asking.  If you have when and how were you contacted in regard to the above.

Have you been working on any part of information gathering or analysis in the last month ?  Have you met with the other members of the steering committee in the last month?  If so, how and when ?

Thank you.

By thank you on 10/07/2014 at 10:27 pm

That’s just the vibe I have gotten

Editor’s Note:  Show me—in the pieces I’ve written.

By C.R. on 10/07/2014 at 10:59 pm

This is a very weird discussion.  Chris Roberta, you’re on the steering committee for the master plan review, aren’t you?  I’ve been watching not only New Castle Now but our planning board as well.  First of all, how we use the Reader’s Digestproperty is probably THE biggest decision this town has ever faced.  I don’t think anyone should be talking about anything else.  And certainly everything else should also wait for a master plan guide. 

Second, the coverage in New Castle Now has reported the concerns of the planning board.  if you’re calling Christine’s coverage “tilted” against CC, then you must also describe the planning board as tilted against it.  Do you believe taht the planning board is tilted against CC?  From all I’ve seen and heard, the planning board is pointing out drawbacks that are important to consider.  But they have also consistently called for a master plan first.  If the last town board and the present one had listening to the planning board, the master plan review would have taken place already.  If Christine has a tilt, it’s for completion of the master plan first.  It’s a crime - on the part of the previous board AND the present one -that this hasn’t been done.

By Tilted to master plan is OK on 10/08/2014 at 6:09 am

What tilt? Paying attention to what’s going on is a tilt? All this progress Greenstein claims has been made on the master plan? What are the committees doing?  Chris Roberta, you’re on a committee, aren’t you? What are you doing? What have any of you done since the Pace sessions?  Do you care that Greenstein was ready to sendout an RFP for a consultant without consulting the master plan steering committee?

If you think calling out Greenstein is a “tilt”, then it’s you who’s tilted.

By Tilted yourself on 10/08/2014 at 6:20 am

The “tilt” is very obvious as pointed out by several comments above including but not limited to ” Dear Editor” and “Resident”. Read them again if you are still confused by “tilt”. It’s a very obvious bias against those you disagree with. The tilt is obvious based on the stories and headlines you choose to print vs the ones you ignore. Ever since you realized Greenstein was no longer in the pockets of the NIMBYs you have not missed an opportunity to go after him with headlines and stories.  But you conduct no such scrutiny with Katz and Bridsky with their issues. So that bus a clear tilt.
Get it?

Editor’s Note:  What,exactly, about Katz and Brodsky?

By I agree on 10/08/2014 at 9:38 am

Why will no one ask or answer the obvious underlying question?

Chris Roberta: Has the master plan steering committee seen the RFP for a consultant?

A simple yes or no is all that is required.

By bob on 10/08/2014 at 10:28 am

Christine has done a great job and worked tirelessly as editor of NCN. She has provided a tremendous service to the community. HOWEVER, she is a NIMBY and has not kept it a secret that she is against development at CC. REMINDER, she was front and center years ago in opposition to a new middle school at Greeley too which was part of the reason the school board changed the location to 7 Bridges.
It is only natural that her reporting would have a bias “tilt”.
To Christine- you are a hard working intelligent woman. Clearly you must understand the meaning of tilt - when you write to Chris Roberta and say “show me the tilt on what I have written on CC”. You take every opportunity to highlight and headline any statement or position that helps your cause. You ignore the positions and statements that support CC. Just look at the headline of this story - “Supervisors hands are all over MP review”. That is inflammatory and misleading. Certainly you can also find instances when Lisa Katz’s hands have been all over committee meetings and town board hearings as she makes it difficult for the developer. You write no story then. Summit Greenfield has hired experts and commissioned studies. The companies they have used are highly regarded and have impeccable records. You wrote nothing about that but gave plenty of ink to those that questioned and criticized them. That’s TILT.
The Napoli plan is out of character. It is dangerous to middle school kids and will bring terrible traffic to an already congested area. You write no op-ed and write no story about the negatives because it is not in your backyard and Chuck (like you) is anti CC. that is TILT.

@Tilted Yourself - The master plan and the accompanying process is a sham and a joke. Anybody paying attention (and most are not) understands that the people that demand an updated master plan are doing so in hopes of preventing progress at CC. The master plan is not the holy grail - it is not a legally binding document - its only a guide. If you are paying attention you will recognize the usual suspects withy their hand s all over the MP committees and agenda and they are mostly NIMBYs.
CC has been almost empty for 8 years. Studies have been done by both the developer and the town. They conclude CC can handle retail. Surveys have been done and they conclude majority want this. The master plan update is the last hope for NIMBYs and even that should cast doubts will still not stand up in a court of law should the developer sue the town and our residents. Planning board and steering committees are volunteer appointed people - they are not experts in retail/commercial development and municipal law. It has been shown that many of these volunteers come to the process with an agenda. I wish Madame editor would report on the bias of the participants. There is an expression I learned in grad school GIGO- garbage in - garbage out. It describes the results of a flawed process. MP=GIGO

By long time resident on 10/08/2014 at 10:35 am

Really Christine- ever since Rob Greenstein won the election and acknowledged that we must work with the developer and find a solution at CC you have gone after him. You and your neighbors believed if Team New Castle won the election that would mean an end to CC. That was the reason you all voted for them. You ignored their lack of experience and you ignored some of their clear conflicts of interest. All you folks were interested in was blocking retail at CC. You ignored Greensteins campaign promises to be a better negotiator than Carpenter - you ignored his pledge to move town hall to CC and you ignored his repeated idea to bring Whole Foods to CC. Once in office he was advised by new lawyers and they agreed with our previous lawyers that the developer had a very strong lawsuit if we didn’t work to find a solution. He is now workng for all residents and trying his best to find a solution. For NIMBYs the only solution is to block retail at CC.
So you feel betrayed - we get it. But you have used this blog to attack and demean the Supervisor every step of the way. That is what people mean by your ” Tilt”. It’s very obvious.

By We are not blind on 10/08/2014 at 11:06 am

Alter your question, bob, from this:

“Has the master plan steering committee seen the RFP for a consultant?”

to this:

“Did the master plan steering committee see the RFP BEFORE the supervisor brought it up for approval on Sept. 23?”

Because they may indeed have seen it since.

By Before or after? on 10/08/2014 at 11:28 am

Did you really ask - What about Katz and Brodsky?  Read about 5 comments above that point out Katz/ Brodsky situations worthy of an op-Ed or story by you.

By Really? on 10/08/2014 at 12:02 pm

Blind,

Yes, you are blind.

By blind on 10/08/2014 at 12:16 pm

Ok. I will alter the question:

“Did the master plan steering committee HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO see the RFP BEFORE the supervisor brought it up for approval on Sept. 23?”

They may have been given it to read but not bothered, which would not be surprising.

And if anyone has evidence that Greenstein ordered Charney not to show it to the steering committee, they should bring it forward by all means.

By bob on 10/08/2014 at 12:44 pm

blind and l t res,

What a crock.  there has been post after post in this publication depicting the Hakim/Brodsky
connection and background. Because I learned that he is their lawyer and of his family’s disdain for the community I did not vote for him.  After seeing his disastrous handling of the train station lease, I was not wrong. 

What are you looking for as far as Lisa Katz ?  She ran and was elected.  I see no subterfuge
or dishonesty there.  I voted for her but would not again.

All this BS by you is because you want nothing to stand in your way of bringing a shopping mall to CC.  What you want is for this town to sell out to a Whole Foods.  That is sickening.

It is very clear that even though Greenstein ran on and was elected in large measure because he was against retail at CC and for a real master plan he does not have the cojones to go against Summitt Greenfield and is manipulating the master plan process to support exactly what he wants to do.

Anyone who is against a true and transparent master plan process has their own agenda and is working against the best interests of this community.  It is all about them.  That is also sickening.

By really ? on 10/08/2014 at 1:35 pm

Rob Greenstein has messed up the master planning of our town. He’s contaminated the process.  It was more important than ethics board, train station or coyotes and he ‘s wrecked it.

By Greenstein wrecked the process on 10/08/2014 at 8:23 pm

Christine, thank you for everything you do.  IF it weren’t for you, we’d be getting our local news from the town’s press releases and Nixle.

By Robin Murphy on 10/08/2014 at 11:10 pm

To Really- there may have been post after post about the Hakim/ Brodsky real estate relationship and that is the point. Those posts were by readers writing comments. What story and what op-ed by the editor was written to point out the conflict of interest. The editor questions the accusation of her bias tilt. The Hakim/ Brodsky situation is certainly worthy of a story not just anonymous posts.
The point is if Greenstein had such a family connection and clear conflict of interest you can bet your bottom dollar thatt the editor would relentless is reporting it.

By Resident on 10/08/2014 at 11:49 pm

I’m sorry but I just cringe when I hear the words “Brodsky” and “downtown” in the same sentence.  Sadly, Greentstein has turned this into a 2-person board.  So much for the “group hug” that Brodsky proposed back in January.

By what a town on 10/09/2014 at 9:06 am

To those posters accusing this Editor of bias, your comments are self-refuting. 

How come she prints your vicious personal attacks on her?  How could anyone be more fair and unbiased?!

By Give me a break! on 10/09/2014 at 11:15 am

Resident,

The Editor covers governmental meetings in New Castle.  She holds our elected officials accountable to what they have said and what they do.  That is very different from what you are asking for.  Sorry but you are wrong to suggest that all have not been treated fairly or held to the same standards.  She does not investigate or report on peoples families.

On the other hand if you have a column to write then you should submit it.

By roberta galant on 10/09/2014 at 11:19 am

To Resident,

Really?!  You expect her to cover everything?  She goes to all the meetings, reports and even sometimes videotapes them, edits, reports, writes, publishes, covers and reports town events, does her own photography, does her own technology, and so on and so on.  If you want certain coverage, why don’t you get off your hind legs and write it?  But then you would have to sign it.  You contribute nothing but negative criticism. 

She does it as a service to this community.  What do you do?

By Tired of Reside on 10/09/2014 at 12:32 pm

Resident,

If and/or when anything that Adam Brodsky does or says shows a conflict of interest regarding his elected position and this town, I bet that it will be covered.

By really ? on 10/09/2014 at 12:39 pm

“Did the master plan steering committee HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO see the RFP BEFORE the supervisor brought it up for approval on Sept. 23?”

C’mon. Man up. Answer a simple question.

By bob on 10/10/2014 at 4:35 pm


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