Open Letter to the Community:  Our petition is filed. “Thank you” to everyone who participated.

June 20, 2014
by Erin and Peter Chase

On June 18, 2014, we filed a Petition for a Permissive Referendum relating to the lease of the Chappaqua Train Station with the Town Clerk of New Castle.  The filed Petition consisted of 520 signatures on 89 pages, well exceeding the minimum number, 347 signatures, required under the formulation set forth under Article 7 of New York Town Law.  Considerable effort was made to confirm the signatures against the most recent Westchester County Board of Elections voter list.

In the course of gathering these signatures, we and other volunteers routinely heard residents express genuine concern about the train station Request for Proposal (RFP) process, as well as the overall direction of the community.  This included many people who supported the purpose behind the petition even though they, for their own reasons, declined to sign the petition itself, some stating they feared repercussions from Board members.

Much has been written in local media about the events that gave rise to the petition.  While we are not going into all pertinent details in this release, in essence, a 15-year lease of the Chappaqua Train Station, a Town-owned property, was awarded to a tenant after a highly irregular RFP process.  Among other issues, that RFP was open for only 8 days, an impossibly short period of time for a business to learn about the opportunity, visit the site, prepare business and architectural plans, and submit a thoughtful written proposal.  Not a single new entity came forward as a result of the RFP. Not a single one! The only three entities to submit written RFP’s were involved well before the RFP was issued.  From our perspective, what transpired during the process was far less than this community deserves and our motivation throughout the petition effort has been to achieve a re-opening of the RFP process in a manner that is truly full, fair and open.

The Most Obvious Contradictions

We began the petition process three weeks ago, as a direct result of an ad hoc RFP process, inept negotiations, and illogical justification behind the Town Board’s decision to lease the station to Love at 10514, owned by Leslie Lampert. There are numerous reasons as to why we believe the process was flawed, the most concerning of which are as follows:

1. The entire Request For Proposal failed to conform to standard procedures in that all presentations were made prior to the Board’s eventual issuance of an RFP.  Once tacitly announced on the Town’s website, under the guise of developing a more robust pool of candidates, a mere 8 days were afforded any new parties interested in submitting, of which there were none.

2. We proposed the highest rent at $3,246 per month.  Ms. Lampert proposed the lowest at $2,500 per month, yet was the only applicant that the Board chose to negotiate with.  We fully expected that our monthly rent would increase through the process of negotiation.  Our broker, who made us aware of the space, had mentioned that the town was looking for a figure in the $5,000 per month range, but this is when the Board mistakenly believed that the square footage was much larger than it actually is and, further, we were informed there was a large basement storage area that would be included in the lease (there is none, the space is used for mechanicals and the remainder is just crawl space).  The monthly rent we proposed does not reflect our planned improvements to the Train Station, which would be in excess of several hundreds of thousands, and include, among other things, equipment and structural upgrades.  In contrast, Ms. Lampert is not providing any capital improvements other than minor electrical work.  She explicitly said she would do “nothing” to the space other than refreshing such as painting and buffing of the floors, and the installation of a salad station and a steam table used to reheat pre-prepared food.

3. The Board stated it believed a full-service restaurant was not suited for the space, which is one of the Board’s main justifications for its selection of the commuter-oriented “grab and go” concept put forth by Love at 10514.  However, we never proposed a “full-service” restaurant, but rather a food market concept during the day and a bar & small plate venue at night. 

4. The Board did not want the millwork in the current Café La Track space removed because of its purported “historic” value.  Actually, the majority of the millwork inside this space is not original, having received a $1 million renovation in the last ten years.  The only reason some of the millwork in the La Track space needs to be replaced is to make it support the preparation of fresh food.

5. Board member Adam Brodsky stated that the reason we were not selected was because, “no one knows who Erin and Peter Chase are.  You are not a known quantity.”  To this point we argued that we are residents as well as taxpayers and that our 25+ years in the restaurant industry was clearly detailed in our written proposal as well as in our televised presentation.  To which Brodsky responded, “our hands are tied” which one would easily deduce meant that they were going to honor the prior Board’s agreement with Carla Gambescia.  However, after finding out the lease was actually awarded to Love at 10514, Adam Brodsky, explained to us, “that he loved our concept and he did vote for us, but that he was only 1 of 5 votes”.  After reviewing the resolution, we now realize this was not true, as Jason Chapin was the only Board member who did not vote for Love at 10514.

Even Though a Petition Has Been Filed, a Vote Does Not Have to Take Place under the Law

  §  93.  Repeal of acts or resolutions of town board. Any act or resolution of a town board may be rescinded or repealed at any time by the town board and, in case the resolution so repealed be one subject to a permissive referendum and a petition thereupon be filed, no further proceedings shall be had thereunder and no referendum shall be held.
Under §93 of N.Y. Town Law, above, even though a petition for a permissive referendum has now been filed, the Town of New Castle still has the legal option of rescinding the train station lease resolution, meaning no referendum vote has to happen.  Although the Town has stated that a vote must take place, that simply is not what the law says.

A board-initiated rescission is exactly what transpired, under similar circumstances, in the community of St. Armand, N.Y. in July 2012.  The referendum petition there pertained to a May 8th resolution authorizing the construction of a new masonry-wall highway garage which the town board approved 3-2.  However, a significant portion of the community felt that the board had not considered alternative construction methods and materials for the garage before settling on masonry walls and wanted that analysis to be restarted so that a “cross-section of options” could be considered.  Once a petition for a permissive referendum was filed bearing the signatures of more than 70 town residents stating they were against that decision, three board members decided that the resolution should be rescinded which resulted in the board taking a formal vote on the rescission that was unanimous.  As reported by the local press:

The board withdrew the May 8 resolution by a unanimous vote at its meeting Tuesday night, according to Town Supervisor Joyce Morency….  “It doesn’t mean that (the masonry-style building) may not be one of the buildings we go out to bid on.  But it means we withdrew (the May 8 resolution), so we don’t have to have a referendum…. [T]he bottom line is majority rules, and three of the board members wanted a second choice and possibly a third choice, so that’s what we’re doing.”

One of the two town councilmen who opposed the original May 8th resolution said that the goal of the community members who filed the referendum petition had always been to “take a broader look at things … just to ensure we were looking at all the options.”  He also noted that the debate over the highway garage had created friction on the town board,  “What I’m hoping for is that once we do get all the options out there, then we can work a little bit better as a group,” he said. “I hope we do patch up and get beyond the conflict. I’m hopeful the public will see that and we’ll get some confidence back because this has been a rough time.”

Rescission of the Resolution Is the Right Course of Action to Protect Community Interests

As the events in this upstate community illustrate, situations involving significant community concern over a town board determination as to the use of taxpayer assets are not unique. Neither is the use of the permissive referendum procedure set forth in Article 7 as a mechanism for voters to have a say in that process.  It has been used in many towns and villages throughout the state and it will no doubt be used time and again going forward.  In our case, the highly irregular RFP process leading to the lease of the train station, a valuable Town-owned asset in the center of our downtown, has deprived the New Castle community of the opportunity to have a broad cross-section of options considered, in good faith, by the Board before making what is possibly a 15-year commitment.

Hopefully, the Town Board will take notice of this significant community concern shown through the petition support and, as permitted by law, rescind the resolution in order to conduct a new RFP process that is full, fair and open as to the Chappaqua Train Station lease. 

On election night in November 2013, prior to the final vote count, current board member Adam Brodsky declared, “I just think it’s unbelievable. We have such a mandate from the community. We’re going to really undo the status quo and take our community in a wonderful direction.”  At that point, current Supervisor Robert Greenstein and Brodsky were ahead of their opposition by just 342 and 196 votes, respectively.  If, in Team New Castle’s view, their numbers suggested they had a mandate, then, what do the 520 signatures on our petition convey? 

We sincerely thank everyone who joined in this petition effort.

Erin and Peter Chase

_______________________

Related: 

A statement from Town Board member Adam Brodsky on the train station leasing situation
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Selection of a Tenant for the Chappaqua Train Station Depot: What Residents Should Know
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
~ from Supervisor Robert J. Greenstein, Councilwoman Lisa S. Katz, Councilman Adam M. Brodsky

L to E: Train station leasing “process”—“Welcome to the House of Mirrors”
Saturday, June 7, 2014
by Carla Gambescia, Founder and Owner of Via Vanti

 


Comments(74):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

This is getting ridiculous. The Chases and Carla want a do over for obvious reasons. They were not selected. What’s going to happen when they are not selected for a second time? Are they going to call for another do over? Do we really want these contentious people running our commuter food service? I believe the board acted responsibly and thoughtfully picking the vendor they felt would be best. We elect the board to make these decisions and we should honor them. Carla and the Chases had the same opportunity to put together a presentation as anyone else.  The playing field was level. This process is not serving the community it is only serving Carla and the Chases’.

By Untitled on 06/20/2014 at 2:28 pm

Looking forward to eating at Leslie’s new place in Chappaqua! She’s terrific. Her food is great. She acted in good faith and made a deal that’s better for the Town. These important facts have been lost in the noise.

We all lose a few. Time to grow up and move on. Carla never finalized a deal and has no legal or moral rights to anything. Too bad so sad. Enough already. Don’t waste our precious time or resources.

If you were the Town Board, would you really want to do business with these people?

By Spread Love Not War on 06/20/2014 at 3:39 pm

@ Untitled and Spread,

Well more than 520 residents are against the town board’s poor process.  Badgering the Chases and Carla because they stand up for good government does not do you credit.

I am sure we will get many more of Rob’s comments under many more of his aliases but that does not make what the town board did right.  There was nothing responsible about it.

I hope that Carls sues the town.  She has cause.  I understand that Lampert is now on facebook saying she will do a wine bar and small plate menu in the evening hours.  Wow, how cheesy can she get ?

By Resident on 06/20/2014 at 5:49 pm

I don’t get how anyone can be ok with the completely inappropriate unethical and slimy way these other two candidates were treated. I commend the decision to protest our town government’s arbitrary and capricious behavior with the permissive referendum.  If they get away with doing this to a potential tenant who knows what they will try to get away with next? With all the big decisions to be made in the next few years, the mismanagement of this issue is a giant red flag. Enormous. Huge.

By No transparency here. on 06/20/2014 at 6:10 pm

Will Carla and the Chases pay for the referendum and reimburse the town for the rent we are all losing?

By Who is footing the bill? on 06/20/2014 at 6:17 pm

Everybody wants someone else to pay for their desires.  If the board has the authority to lease it out, let it do so .  No referendum can undo contracts entered into in the ordinary course.  Let her seek a stay and post a bond.

By Yes, pay rent on 06/20/2014 at 7:15 pm

whatever food vendor ends up in this train station won’t last!
there is no parking anywhere near the train station M-F from 4:30pm to 8pm. its slow speed train traffic mayhem!

By no parking on 06/20/2014 at 7:22 pm

Rob Greenstein, Adam Brodsky, Lisa Katz and Elise Mottle should foot the bill. The process they ran was not proper. I’m glad the Chases and Gambescia are following up on this. Sounds to me as though they care whether they get the space. They want a fair process followed. And I do too.

By I do too! on 06/20/2014 at 7:29 pm

This is democracy at work.  If we don’t like what government is doing, we have a right to speak out and protest.

By Good to see on 06/20/2014 at 7:31 pm

Why should they pay???? Every one who voted for Greenstein-Katz-Brodsky should pay.  And we will!  And we’ll pay for more than that. THese people are laughable as elected representatives.

By We deserve to pay - for voting for these people on 06/20/2014 at 7:35 pm

bill,

The better question is why Leslie Lampert cost the town $10,00 to negotiate her lease ?

By better question on 06/20/2014 at 7:42 pm

Hello NC!!!!  I just won election and I am so excited to cut through all the red tape and just start making decisions, let’s go!!! First order of business, let’s put something in the train station.  I like this person, let me sign a lease with her (enter stage right, town legal counsel)...ah excuse me, we have a candidate that the previous town board already selected and she has been paying rent and serving commuters for the past year.  Cut to supervisor:  I don’t care, I want this person.  Back to counselor: but she participated in a fair and open RFP and was selected in a fair and unbiased vote.  How will it look if we just go with someone else?  Supervisor:  don’t worry, we’ll come up with an irrefutable reason to end talks, maybe something to do with toilets.  Counselor: that seems like a good plan, perhaps we could simultaneously find some chumps to be part of a staged proposal process that we may or may not call and RFP until after everyone presents to us.  To be continued, maybe…

By Act 1 on 06/20/2014 at 7:42 pm

Greenstein and Lampert cronies are out in force. By the number of signatures, it is clear many people think that the town board conduct was unacceptable. And that doesn’t include those who agree that the process was wrong but fear retaliation from the self-nicknamed “Greenie”.

People say Leslie Lampert is classy but she’s yet to prove it.

By Out in force on 06/20/2014 at 7:56 pm

Who really knows whether the contract required $10k plus in legal fees or if it’s just a Thank You gift to Ed Phillips?  Greenstein is spending other peoples’ money.

By Question about legal bill on 06/20/2014 at 8:20 pm

Top 10 observations ...all painfully obvious if you have been paying attention:

1) There was no need for the new RFP to begin with;  the public bathroom issue was manufacturered to give Rob and Adam cover to do was they pleased 2) Team Green wanted nothing to do Carla so her proposal was DOA 3) The Chases - super qualified “unknowns”—were pawns to create the sense of a “real” competition 4) Lambert made a low ball bid with a proposal and presentation that lacked the thoroughness of the other two either because she didn’t care that much or she knew she would be helped though the “process” 5) The Town had to give her 5 more years just to get the rent up to where it was not a red flag 6) Brodsky totally botched this soup to nuts 7) Team Green will seek to demonize the Chases and Carla to distract from their dishonorable actions and total lack of transparency 8) Lisa Katz continues to hide behind the desk 9) There is an opportunity for the Board to show some real leadership and admit that things were not done properly and rescind their vote 10) Rob is hard wired not to back away from any fight and would prefer to divide the community than to do the right thing.

By Top 10! on 06/20/2014 at 9:17 pm

Councilman Brodsky - alleged real estate attorney can’t even get the square footage right of our “crown jewel”.  Councilman Brodsky - the true fiduciary for the Town sees that there are negotiations only with the low bidder (as in lowest rent, as in the least revenue for the community and, as in no capital improvements). What is up with that Adam? These were not sealed bids right? Why weren’t the bids played off of one another? This absolutely doesn’t look right. Adam and Rob blathering about the millwork is idiotic.  You can’t cook commercially in a kitchen with woodwork - just look around at dunkin donuts or Starbucks. This clearly needs to be a DO OVER. Hope there’s a vote of the people and a vote against the last 6 months of blatant hypocrisy. We deseve better as a community. Right on Erin, Peter and Carla.

By True Fiduciary on 06/20/2014 at 9:45 pm

If the vote doesn’t go your way, you get upset and leave, taking your ball with you, ending the game for everyone.  This is exactly what Carla & the Chases did.  The train station is empty thanks to them.

By Take your ball and go home on 06/20/2014 at 9:53 pm

Whatever lack of respect for ethics we Chappaqua accept from our board will one day bite each of us in the behind. A fish rots from its head.  This lease situation does not resonate with you?  Just wait. Next time you want a certificate occupancy, a tree removal permit, a building inspection that you think was wrongfully withheld. Remember what happened here with the little train station petition that could.  What they are doing is important to us all.

By Resident on 06/20/2014 at 10:50 pm

What a colossal waste of time.

By Sour grapes sour grapes sour grapes on 06/21/2014 at 1:16 am

The train station is empty because of Elise K. Mottel, Robin Stout, john Buckly, Rob Greenstein, Lisa Katz and Adam Brodsky.

By resident on 06/21/2014 at 7:16 am

Rob or someone that sounds like him wrote above that Leslie Lampert acted in good faith. For the life of me, I don’t see how that is true. Rob or someone who sounds like him, please explain that. No need to go into all the good community deeds she’s performed (in communities other than Chappaqua). Just explain how she acted and is acting in good faith with regard to the train station.

By Say whaaa???? on 06/21/2014 at 10:03 am

This has been a broken process from start to finish and a disgrace to the community.  Despite every attempt to focus attention on the Chases and Gambescia as sore losers, the fact remains that every tenet of good government was broken.  An existing contract negotiation and RFP award with Gambescia were terminated without written notice.  The new RFP was held open for only six business days.  Presentations only took place before the RFP terms were made public.  Negotiations only took place with the lowest bidder, who miraculously increased her bid by 32% to win by a mere $50 per month. No value was given to capital improvements in the non-landmarked interior.  The lease was extended in negotiations from ten to 15 years without reason.  Why should the Chases or Gambescia pay for a referendum?  There would not be a need for a referendum if the Town Board had acted appropriately.  If the Town Board wants to save the cost of a referendum, then they should rescind the RFP and have a new, open process.  The rest of the noise directing personal attacks against the Chases and Gambescia is just that—noise.  As lawyers Greenstein and Brodsky know, if you can’t argue a case and win based on the facts, you need to direct the jury’s (electorate’s) attention to something else like a personal attack.

By Jonthan S. on 06/21/2014 at 11:24 am

This Town Board doesn’t have a sense of what is right and what is wrong.

By Right vs. Wrong on 06/21/2014 at 11:54 am

The movie I am Named after involved at fierce heated battle that , in the end, was tragically meaningless

By Pork chop hill on 06/21/2014 at 1:25 pm

I have little interest in who operates a restaurant at the train station. I have no interest if it is a sit down restaurant or a grab and go establishment.

But I am greatly interested in how our town government operates especially since the new TB members promised a new approach. They promised fair and transparent processes. Nothing about this selection was fair or transparent.

How is Brodsky the point person on the leasing of town property when he and his family allow their own downtown property to sit empty and rotting. He can’t even rent/ sell his own Chapp building and now he decides who occupies our train station. I don’t get it.

Months ago Lisa Katz wrote a letter explaining the boards action in regards to this train station lease. Now she is not heard from again.

We need honest and trustworthy people making decisions. Instead we have tools with their own agendas.

By Resident on 06/21/2014 at 2:11 pm

oh where oh where is Lisa Katz, oh where oh where has she gone.  Stand up dear Lisa, stand up and say something, please?

By oh where oh where on 06/21/2014 at 4:46 pm

Since there was such a tiny turnout of signed petitions the town board should just speak up and defend their choice and end this nonsense. If eight thousand people signed I would say this would be cause for a new RFP- however the signatures collected don’t even make up five percent of the town. The other 95 percent or more is on the side of the town board-it is just this handful of percent that can’t seem to get what everyone else does!

The people that signed will keep wanting new RFP’s because they will never be chosen to move into the train station. They are not victims of a poorly run system- they just didn’t win and are angry. Silence these tiny bunch of people and send a solid explanation as to why you made your selection. If this keeps up the RFP’s can go on for years or until the tiny group loses their supporters interests. Nothing will change, except more time will pass by with uncollected rent.

Let’s move forward by working together and not against each other. The town elected you- now explain to the town your decision!

By Chrissy on 06/21/2014 at 5:50 pm

Chrissy,
8,000 seems a little high given that a mere 1,035 residents turned out to vote on really important issues like school budget and elections this past spring.  The fact that the Chases were able to get more than half as many without the technology and school voting stations is a massive.  All this with only a couple of weeks.  Yeah, I for one think this is a tremendous statement for change.  Let’s see you get a larger bunch of registered voters to turn out for something.  It is easy to play the part of the critic, but not so easy to act.

By 8,000, what a joke on 06/21/2014 at 9:33 pm

Chrissy, do you really think every voter in New Castle was presented with the petition? I would think the vast majority weren’t. I think your percentages have to be inaccurate.

By Petition on 06/21/2014 at 10:13 pm

Chrissy is right.

By bob on 06/21/2014 at 11:08 pm

Chrissy,  NYS says that 5% of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election need to sign the petition to call for a vote. Forget about 8,000, not even 7,000 voted in that election. As for “the other 95%” on the side of the town board, that wasn’t the case for those I spoke with who chose not to sign. Rather, all but one told me that they weren’t signing because either they feared some sort of retaliation from the supervisor regarding a project they are involved in (nice, huh?) or are on a town committee.

 

By Robin Murphy on 06/21/2014 at 11:44 pm

To: by 8,000 what a joke- you just made an amazing statement “that a mere 1,035 turned out to vote on really important issues like school budget and elections ” is this an admission by you that the train station selection is not important?

To: by petition- everyone in the town did not need to be presented with a petition in order to sign one. A Facebook page was created, people were trying to get signatures at schools, the train station, farmers market , the library, and at via Vanti. Seeking the permissive referendum was also published and that there would be volunteers willing to drive to your house to get the signatures. Therefore, with all of these possible ways to get signatures- I remain firm that thousands and thousands could have and should have been collected if the town truly believed the system broke down and that the town board was at fault.

To Robin Murphy- I do not believe that people did not sign the petition out of fear. No one is on trial for murder- there is nothing to be afraid of at all. That is a ridiculous excuse to not have signatures.

The town board was elected by the town- they need to address the public about this issue, resolve the matter, and then get onto the next subject. Enough time spent on this matter with people who are not able to see that the bulk of the town is not interested in changing the boards decision.

By Chrissy on 06/22/2014 at 6:32 am

Regardless who ultimately gets the railroad station lease, I can never patronize that location because, for me, there can not be enjoyment. The pall of extreme dissension and ugliness will always be there. The 5 minute drive to Mount Kisco Main Street ‘drama free’ 6 restaurants, with ample parking is fine.

Dear petition proponents, you may become ‘dead’ right, as my late father would say. Winning your point but losing more in the end.

By I will always feel uncomfortable on 06/22/2014 at 8:09 am

School election turnouts are notoriously low and a poor metric for judging voter turnout in general.

When being harassed to sign a petition, most people who disagree with the issue presented will make an excuse for not signing that they know will go down well with the signature gatherers and thereby avoid lengthy and overzealous harangues.

Chrissy is right.

By bob on 06/22/2014 at 8:25 am

Rob is quoted as saying the town is considering its option in light of the petition. In his mind: option 1—attack the chases; option 2.—attack carla; option 3—make sure to remain crazily angry and antagonistic towards everyone involved; option 4—don’t do what normal would do.

By Resident on 06/22/2014 at 10:58 am

Hey Town Board members. Yes, all FIVE of you (not the usual committee of 2). Take a few steps back and look at what is happenig here.  The community has spoken. The legislature said the 5 percent formula is sufficient enough. This means not half, not a quarter. Why fight people who are pursuing a right they have been given by the state?  That is not your job. If you are devoting any money to lawyers seeking to attack the filing, that is not your job either.  Anyway before you know it the legal fees will be more than the money it will cost for a vote the way our attorneys bill. Enough already. Rescind the lease resolution as the law permits and stop lying about that too. If you are so blind that you won’t rescind have the vote. Enough already with the unending antagonism towards people in the community and stupid, wasteful decisions.

By Townee on 06/22/2014 at 11:30 am

Chrissy and (of course) “bob”,

Before any signatures were sought, Team New Castle and/or their mouthpieces were saying here that the required number of 350 would never be obtained.  No way, no how.

Now that 50% MORE signatures were obtained than were required for a permissive referendum, the same cast of characters (never constrained by reality) is saying that those 520 residents are all outliers whose opinions are not shared by any other residents.

Well, I guess we’ll see about that.

By Your Alternative Reality on 06/22/2014 at 1:15 pm

It is not true that I said “that the required number of 350 would never be obtained.” And it is false to imply I did.

Nor have you successfully rebutted Chrissy’s cogent explanations of why most people in town reject the idea of a referendum also based on falsehoods.

Editor’s Note:  Why doesn’t everyone stop guessing about “why” or “how many” people are thinking whatever you say they’re thinking?  No one can know.  These are not “explanations”—they are “theories.”

By bob on 06/22/2014 at 2:14 pm

520 signatures is a very respectful showing of residents who are protesting what this town board has done. If there were more time there would have been many more signatures.  If you read the Chase’s letter it is clearly spelled out.  These few Greenie cohorts do not gainsay that this was a terrible process.  It was.

By resident on 06/22/2014 at 2:18 pm

Chrissy, are you seriously asking why the petitioners didn’t collect thousands of signatures?  There was a time constraint, and they only needed between 300 and 400.  And they must have needed some cushion number of signatures because YES there are people who don’t know whether they’re registered or not to vote.

Why would they try to get thousands?  The law is set up to permit the referendum with fewer.

Secondly, you’re very bitter about what the referendum people are doing.  You and some others seem to like to warn them that they’ll pay somehow for this, that they’ll be sorry. That’s thuggish sounding. 

They have every right to challenge a highly flawed RFP process. Adam Brodsky ran it ineptly, period.  And for your convenience this should be overlooked?

By It's time for YOU to get over your bitterness, Chr on 06/22/2014 at 2:28 pm

I personally believe that Chrissy’s theories are cogent and convincing.

By bob on 06/22/2014 at 3:21 pm

Why does the type of restaurant and who runs it matter so much? Please do not include the “process” in the answer to this question,

By whydoes it matter so much on 06/22/2014 at 6:22 pm

Beyond whether this RFP should have taken place in the first place,  it is clear it was ineptly administered and the deal that resulted was not in the best financial interest of the residents.  Working only with the low bidder, not playing one bid off against the others, and granting an addition 5-year lease extension option for a total 15 year commitment lends a very disturbing appearance to the deal beyond the obvious deficiencies of the process.

Chrissy and Bob, 520 signatures is remarkable. I am impressed and would have signed if petitions had been more accessible.  Getting highly intelligent residents to sign an actual petition (not electronic) regarding a complicated matter in such a short period of time is a remarkable accomplishment, IMHO

By Alan G on 06/22/2014 at 6:39 pm

This petition carries weight. Less than 3 weeks. All volunteers. No political organization to help it says something.

By Impressed on 06/22/2014 at 7:22 pm

To resident: who could get through the chase’s letter? I found I was rubbing my eyes after the first few paragraphs and yawning by the fourth.

To Alternative Reality: why would you say Team New Castle and or their Mouth Pieces? And cast of characters? Are you unable to post comments without insulting people?

To Townee: why would you be addressing the board as a committee of 2? It takes three votes to win- or were you not given 30 days notice on this and will that be a cause for the next “letter to the editor”.

To By It’s Time to get over your bitterness: 30 days is a very long time! To say there was a time constraint is just a way out of not being able to get more signatures. And as an FYI I am not bitter about the referendum or what those few people are doing at all. I do feel however it is a waste of time as the people who were not chosen have spent so much of their time insulting and attacking the very people they would need votes from! Note to self should have read: stop insulting people-it ensures a loss!

The bitterness lies in those who want what they can never have! Kind of like when Joan Crawford snipped apart her rose bush screaming “box -office poison” as she didn’t get the oscar….

To Bob: good for you-especially using the word harassed - as I was harassed at the train station.  It’s one thing to go and find someone to partake in something, it is another to be approached over and over when you don’t wish to participate in their cause.

To all: let us not forget that we are all members of the same town and we should be acting more like neighbors and friends- the insults and the name calling are really making the town look bad…

By Chrissy on 06/22/2014 at 10:27 pm

If there is a referendum, how will we know how/where to vote?  I did not sign the petition, but I want to vote!

By we need to know on 06/22/2014 at 10:57 pm

I am not convinced by the theory that no political organization helped with the petition.

By bob on 06/23/2014 at 7:20 am

Sorry I think I am missing something. Why are we discussing this. The petition was filed already so why are we discussing the petition. It’s in the towns hands now. People signed. More signatures were collected than were required. Our town is run by lawyers they know what they can and can’t do. Do we even need to discuss this?

By Confused on 06/23/2014 at 8:57 am

what is the difference in income to the town, on a monthly basis, between the two leases?,,that has some people in a twist?

By what is the difference? on 06/23/2014 at 9:07 am

To mobilize over such a trivial thing, in the face of everything else to worry about, shows the upside down nature of the people in this town

By Not impressed on 06/23/2014 at 9:08 am

I got some signatures and I too heard so much negative about our inappropriate and nasty supervisor I was surprised. Also a number of people thought if they signed they would be targeted by him.

By Anon on 06/23/2014 at 9:42 am

500 signatures is nothing when you consider all those helping & the interests involved.  The petition was to give Chase & Carla a second chance, and send a message to Team New Castle.  This motivated:

1) The Chases who has lots of friends
2) Carla who has lots of friends & customers who she continues to lie to  
3) New Castle Democrats who want to embarrass Team New Castle after their thumping & have been focusing on 2015 ever since their unprecedented loss
4) Robin Murphy who wants to embarrass Greenstein because she didn’t get her way with the Town Administrator selection
5) LOCAL who is afraid of competition from Leslie & drives their customers into Kent to sign the petition
6) Chuck Napoli who was Carla’s architect and Greenstein no longer supports his plan

They also have the benefit of this publication who ran about 10 stories on this issue.  They a paid Via Vanti employee at the train station for over a week, they were at the Farmer’s Market for weeks and they had Robin Murphy harassing people @ Lange’s and attending lots of community events to gather signatures.  Lots of people decided not to sign the petition.

By Definitely Not impressed on 06/23/2014 at 9:56 am

The Chases have shown themselves to be honorable and reputable people.  What a stark contrast to the town board members , Jason Chapin excluded, and their apologists.  I wish that the Chases were running our town.

By thank you Chases on 06/23/2014 at 11:58 am

FYI The reference to committees of 2 relates to this board’s frequent efforts to avoid having to allow the public at discussions. Two of them meet to discuss and basically make a decision, then one of the two meets with the third who is told the decision of the first two, and then when the board is all together the three vote together. Voila another “board” approval. Jason and Elise, starting way back in January, complained that decisions were being made without full board discussions. That continues.

By Townee on 06/23/2014 at 1:31 pm

We are discussing this because the board has told the community a vote must happen even though the law says different. The Chases’ article quotes the law. Read it yourself. A majority of our board does not care what the law says. I also think they don’t do a good job of lawyering in the context of town government. Rob consistently behaves according to a win at all costs mentality. Adam seems to think he is a legal powerhouse but he keeps botching things even in his area, real estate. Lisa is passive which may work in trusts and estates. Elise seems to waffle between trying to follow procedure and then not. Is Jason a lawyer?

By Townee on 06/23/2014 at 1:46 pm

Love it bob when you make statements without any truth which shows your voice is not genuine but just to create issues out of nothing.  No, sorry, no political party was behind the petition. Some people signed it from the dems or repubs in town but they did so as individuals. I am sure there is a long line of people unhappy with team green. There is plenty there to chew on for all different appetites.  But as for the petition, it was a grass roots effort bringing together people from all perspectives. So wrong again bob and thanks for confirming what you are all about.

By ResidenT on 06/23/2014 at 2:52 pm

Chrissy, are you married to bob?

By Q on 06/23/2014 at 3:26 pm

I signed the petition at the station and watched over the course of only a week dozens of residents each day—none who seems to know Carla or the Chases —signing petitions because they seem to have read the fact sheet and were in agreement that the RFP process and decision were unfair. It all seemed very orderly and rational.  The facts are compelling.  The Board has done nothing to address the facts—the process irregularities or why the Board only chose to negotiate with the low bid and grant a 15 year vs 10 year lease. After two years of wanting a restaurant to enliven downtown certain Board members suddenly discover the “virtue” of commuter grab and go—how does that happen?  Nice that at least Jason Chapin has integrity.  Greenstein and Brodsky totally blew this (why? for what purpose?)and shame on Lisa Katz and Elise Mottel.  Kudos to the Chases and kudos to Carla for standing up for fair play and being willing to stand up to the neighborhood bullies.

By Alison K on 06/23/2014 at 5:06 pm

To Definitely Not Impressed and anybody else who questions my motives,

Do you think my suggesting that our town could do better by having an open interview process for the town administrator position in anyway benefits me personally (any more than it would benefit the entire town)?  The answer is no. I have absolutely no personal agenda with regard to this or any other town issue I have spoken up about. 

And why in the world would I want to embarrass Rob Greenstein?  I was emotionally invested in the Team New Castle campaign, applauded the candidates’ win, and had high hopes and expectations for a town government that was, at long last, open and honest.  What a disappointment. We’ve got nothing even close.

By Robin Murphy on 06/23/2014 at 5:42 pm

LOL, 500 registered NC voter signatures is nothing? If 500 people voted against Team New Castle they would have lost the election. If you are not impressed with 500 signatures of your neighbors, taking the time to talk to your neighbors, mobilize a communitywide effort, have the media pick up this…..Well then you need to get off the blogs.

I applaud that Chases, Carla. and their volunteers.

I love community involvement and that they are forcing the board to be transparent. Truth to Power!
Robin Murphy and Chuck Napoli are great voices in our community. Thank you both for having the courage to speak up and engage our community on issues that matter.

Good luck all and so happy for your victory smile

By Power to the people, I am impressd! on 06/23/2014 at 6:11 pm

Bob, the petitions are public property. You can view them at town hall to see who carried them and be sure that all the Dem committee members who signed and/or were witnesses.

By the way, Greenstein has appealed to the Dem committee to endorse him next election.

By Bobbin on 06/23/2014 at 6:13 pm

Bobbin, I am impressed by your extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the New Castle Democrats and their committee. You did yoeman work on the petition.

By bob on 06/23/2014 at 7:42 pm

What is the dollar difference to the town between the two leases?

By Still waiting for an answer on 06/23/2014 at 9:17 pm

If this is what we know about and it is so botched, think of what we do not know about. Really amateurish and careless stuff is going on at best. Unethical and deliiberate at worst.

By JFL on 06/23/2014 at 10:59 pm

Still waiting,
If you think it’s the monetary lease differential that’s important, your focus is off.

bob,
you couldn’t be further from the truth, though you no doubt speak of yeoman’s work from your own experience on this blog.

By Bobbin on 06/24/2014 at 6:38 am

I heard Rob tell someone he wants to run as a Democrat and is courting the Democrats to put him on their ticket.  Where are the Republicans on this?  He sure used that group.  If Greenstein is put on the democratic ticket, shame on the Democrats.  This person has been in office for 6 months (with 18 months to go) and he is already thinking about running again?

By Cannot believe it! on 06/24/2014 at 8:43 am

What would happen if, say, the supervisor had to (chose to or even was forced to) step down? 

Would there be a special election or would the deputy supervisor be promoted?

By Wondering Out Loud on 06/24/2014 at 9:35 am

It’s pretty amazing that a person can have detailed inside knowledge about the workings of town hall, the operations and discussions of party bosses, the private conversations of town officials, the content of leases, the minute terms of employee contacts going back years, etc. etc. and yet sill claim that he’s not politically motivated.

By bob on 06/24/2014 at 11:59 am

bob,

You are projecting.  Unlike yourself there are many people who are looking at what are the best interests of the town.  They are not political interests but you would not recognize that because you are so wrapped up in your own political motivations.  You have never been an honest observer or broker.  Much like the man you consistently champion,  Greenie himself.
That is why you have absolutely no credibility.  None.

By bobaloo on 06/24/2014 at 12:40 pm

I have lived here a long time and have never been involved in politics before, but this underhanded operation of the board really got to me. I was one of the people walking around with the petition and I think I got at least 30 signatures. I didn’t harass anyone. Some people were just not sure about signing, others were friends of the parties involved. Face it, the people of this town are fed up with our new board and are just wondering what they will do next. They seem to be doing their best at causing disagreements. Thank god it’s only a 2 year term.

By Long Time Resident on 06/24/2014 at 3:39 pm

People get so angry when presented with a view that disrupts the way they have been running—and ruining—things for years and years. Not healthy.

By bob on 06/24/2014 at 7:30 pm

Thank you bobaloo.  This so needed to be said.  Thank you.

By Right on on 06/24/2014 at 11:15 pm

That’s what greenie has. He is damned all ways

By Tiger by the tail on 06/25/2014 at 9:04 pm

If carla wins will the chases do another petition!!!  if the chases win will carla do another petition.  Will Leslie do a petition, she certainly knows 337 people.  As i have stated in many of my posts this is ridiculous.  I am a GREENSTEIN supporter and think no matter who is in office the same whiny complaining people would have something negative to say.  Welcome to the world of Free speech and the internet.  I wonder what half of you would do if you could not complain and see your writing on different posts or blogs!!
the hell with it, just leave the train station empty and lets move on and stop wasting Money and time

By Marc L on 07/01/2014 at 2:06 pm


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