Superintendent Rob Greenstein on hamlet improvements, advisory committee, master plan, train station

March 7, 2014
by Christine Yeres

Last November, the previous Town Board had it in mind to have comprehensive infrastructure and “streetscape” work done in 2015, but there is some question of whether the ancient water mains need attention sooner.  In last Tuesday’s work session, Town Board members heard a repeat presentation by one of the firms, WSP, that pitched its services in November for the $6.5 million project.  NCNOW submitted questions to all five Town Board members following the meeting; Supervisor Rob Greenstein responded to them.

Infrastructure work for the Chappaqua Hamlet

NCNOW: The Town Board heard WSP’s presentation for the second time last night, describing its services – including infrastructure work – as well as its vision for “streetscape” improvements to downtown Chappaqua.

[For an account of the first presentations, see “Town Board hears two proposals for underground and “streetscape” improvements to hamlet.  Designs for Chappaqua hamlet in 2014; work to begin 2015,” NCNOW.org, 11/8/13]

Simulated “flyover” of WSF’s proposed improvements to the hamlet:

 

Hamlet of Chappaqua Improvement Project from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

A video of the entire work session is embedded below.

NCNOW: Did VHB withdraw from consideration or has the town chosen WSP?  And is there a contract in the works?

GREENSTEIN: No contract yet.  The prior Town Board was more impressed with WSP than the other firm.  On its own initiative, WSP took a look at the town’s prior studies [Vollmer, PPS].  WSP’s price was higher than the other firm’s, but WSP subsequently lowered their price.

NCNOW:  No mention was made of cost on Tuesday.  Is the town’s budget for this work still around $6.5 million? At what point will costs be discussed more specifically?  Even though WSP is a “soup-to-nuts” provider of all the many services such a project will entail, surely the TB doesn’t just fork over $6.5 million to a firm. 

GREENSTEIN: That job has been figured out or divided up into several stages, which total $6.5 million.  And funding will be a problem.  We have money in the water department reserves for infrastructure related directly to water service, but the $6.5 million the previous Town Board mentioned last November is not actually money we’ve already bonded.  The figure is mentioned in the budget approved last year on a sort of “wish list” page, estimating that the downtown infrastructure and streetscape improvements could cost around that amount, for the various stages of the work.  It will be tricky to bond the money, since debt service—principal and interest—are counted towards the 2% cap limit.

NCNOW: During the meeting, Adam Brodsky asked WSP representatives about the cost and feasibility of burying some of the hamlet’s power lines.  WSP responded that it will help the town to estimate both, but added that it is, however, costly. Is the TB interested in considering burying the lines?

GREENSTEIN:  We’ll start with the engineering work—that money we have—then take it from there.  It’s conceivable that if the community decides to go ahead with moving town hall to the cupola building at Chappaqua Crossing and sell some town hall land, then we might not just develop the town hall location, but be able to afford the streetscape improvements – including the big expense of burying some of the power lines. 

NCNOW: What timing does the TB have in mind for this work?  Last November, the Board was thinking to start in 2015.  Since then, it seems, the infrastructure situation – water mains under South Greeley and elsewhere – has become more urgent.  Did I understand that you would like to do the work this summer, at least the below-the-street work?

GREENSTEIN: Again, the money isn’t sitting in town hall, already bonded.  And if the Board believes fixing the infrastructure is critical, we might be able to use Water Department reserves we have, and also bond some.

NCNOW: Will this interfere at all with the spring repaving of 117? 

GREENSTEIN:  No, that’s going ahead as planned—and promised—by DOT.

NCNOW: Do the following two assumptions taken from WSP’s and VHB’s presentations to the Town Board last November still hold: 

In their responses to the RFP, both firms operated under the assumptions—provided by the town—that

1. there were to be no traffic lights in the hamlet, and

2. the Y intersection leading to the Quaker Road bridge is not changeable

GREENSTEIN:  No.  We asked them to revise one of them. We explicitly asked them to discuss a traffic light.  We wanted that on the table.  This is a decision that should be discussed with the community in the outreach on the Master Plan.  There’s no reason the Town Board should make a decision on its own that there can be no traffic lights.

NCNOW:  Is the Y-intersection still off the table as far as changes to it?

GREENSTEIN:   Yes.  The Y would be much too expensive to change at this point.  But WSP is suggesting lots of streetscape improvements to the triangle—and surrounding it.

NCNOW: The TB is considering experimenting – for a period of around six months—with 3-hour parking limits where there are now 2-hour limits.  You said in Tuesday’s work session that if this results in more difficulty parking, we will need to create more parking.  Where?

GREENSTEIN: Look, if we find because of the 3-hour limits that there’s more demand for parking, that’s a good thing.  It means we need to make more supply.  That would be discussed in the Master Plan process.

Master Plan Steering Committee

NCNOW: Finally, the Master Plan Steering Committee has set to work going over the 1989 Town Development Plan with volunteers who will give input to the five committee members. As the TB left things at its last regular meeting, board members had not “finalized” the membership of MP Steering Committee. 

The Master Plan Steering Committee met just before your work session last week to discuss the roll-out of the Master Plan review.  Bob Kirkwood, Richard Brownell, Hala Makowska, Maud Bailey and you were present in the meeting.  You announced that you were replacing Adam Brodsky on the committee.  Is this a permanent change?

GREENSTEIN: Look, we’re trying to come up with the best way to handle a lot of really pressing issues.  To avoid controversy and keep the focus on moving this forward I’m going to be on the Master Plan Steering Committee and Adam will serve on the Hamlet Business Development Advisory Committee.

Hamlet Business Development Advisory Committee

NCNOW:  When will that list of advisory committee members’ names be disclosed?

GREENSTEIN: It’ll be coming very soon.  We just want to get it organized and make sure everyone knows that it’s a commitment and what kind of time we need from them.

NCNOW: When will the discussion of the resolution – “establishing [the committee] and appointing members”—take place?  The draft resolution you released last week sounded pretty resolved to “relocate our town hall.”

GREENSTEIN:  It was a draft.  We need to revise it.  I was worded too strongly and, actually, I shouldn’t have released it until we’d worked on it more.

NCNOW: How will this committee’s work feed into the Master Plan process that has just gotten underway? [See: Steering Committe goes to town on Master Plan review, reactivates volunteer groups, NCNOW.org, 3/7/14.]

GREENSTEIN:  The goal of the Hamlet Business Development Advisory Committee is to provide a lot of input on the economic issues, the cost-benefit of it, if, for example, the community should decide to purchase the cupola building.  These are issues of feasibility that we want these people to help us with.  Some are developers, some are merchants and property owners.  We even have a former Town Board member on the committee.

NCNOW: Do these members need officially to be appointed—that is, voted on—by the TB?

GREENSTEIN: As advisory people yes, they need to be.

Train Station Leasing

NCNOW: Adam Brodsky last reported in a TB meeting several weeks ago that he was in discussions with Carla Gambescia of Via Vanti, who currently runs the commuter coffee service at the train station, about a contract with the town to run a restaurant in the train station.  He reported that “things were proceeding” with her.

Since then, however, the town has decided to entertain other proposals for the space—including one from Gambescia, whom you have invited to again present her proposal along with all the others. The TB will hear these several candidates for the lease at its next meeting, on March 11. 

Who are the other candidates?  Did the town issue an RFP for the lease of the train station, to which the March 11 candidates have responded?

GREENSTEIN: There is no meeting scheduled to hear proposals for the train station space.  We have not issued the RFP yet.  We have a few people who are interested in the space.  As far as Carla Gambescia from Via Vanti, she had reneged on the public’s access to the bathroom.  The prior town board, as well as the current town board, made it very clear that the bathrooms must be open to the public for commuters and taxi drivers.  These are the only bathrooms at the train station.  Carla thought that point was negotiable.  It was not – it never was.  Regardless of who is the ultimate tenant, the bathrooms must be open to the public during regular business hours. Although Carla is now willing to accept that lease term, we opened the process up to the others while she was refusing to accept that requirement.  Carla may still be the ultimate tenant.  But we will now be in a better position to see the true market value of the space.  Plus, we might be able to find someone who is willing to make the capital expenditure necessary to bring gas to the building, and make it a fully functional restaurant.

Video of the Town Board’s March 4 Work Session:

 

Town Board of New Castle Work Session 3/4/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.


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

The town has already said it loud and clear. THEY DON’T WANT TRAFFIC LIGHTS!
Elise Mottel stated that they had already explored that option.  And the Town responded definitively. 

When will you take NO for an answer?  THE BOARD DIDN’T DECIDE, THE PUBLIC DID.

Stop twisting the truth and manouevering to get what YOU want!.

By More duplicity on 03/08/2014 at 10:37 am

So much for Greenstein’s claim that anonymous comments carry no weight.  The ones from last week seemed to carry a lot of weight (yet again)

By more of the same on 03/08/2014 at 1:09 pm

Um, excuse me, By More Duplicity, but I’ve been a resident here for close to 25 years, and I think it’s ludicrous that our town has no traffic lights. The backup of traffic waiting to make the left hand turn into town from 120 and the bridge is an accident waiting to happen.
No need for screaming- we all deserve to be heard.

By Sharon Cavagnolo on 03/08/2014 at 4:31 pm

Via Vanti! absolutely did NOT renege on its agreement with the Town and remains steadfast in its commitment to bring Via Vanti! to our beautiful landmark station.

Negotiations between Councilman Brodsky and myself were terminated inexplicably and unilaterally by him.

I only learned the Board had decided to no longer move forward with Via Vanti! and about its plans for a new RFP via an email from Mr. Brodsky on February 11th. And that email was only in response to my follow-up inquiry regarding the status of the lease. So, more accurately, if anyone has “reneged” it is the Town, not Via Vanti!

We have been working with the Town in good faith for over 13 months.  These developments and Supervisor Greenstein’s characterization of them are highly disturbing.  “Evening bathroom access” was easily addressed.  However, it now seems to have been a pretext for something else. Regardless, Via Vanti! is prepared to move forward in Chappaqua.

By Carla Gambescia on 03/08/2014 at 4:33 pm

The “No Traffic Lights” contingent was many, many years ago. I bet 99% of residents would now say YES YES YES to a light at that intersection.  It is NOT a charm-stealer.  It’s a HELP to traffic, damn it.

By YES to traffic light on 03/08/2014 at 5:13 pm

I have been a resident for many years and I still do not want traffic lights.  99% indeed!

By do a survey on 03/08/2014 at 5:51 pm

Via Vanti agreed to the bathrooms, what’s the problem?  The development of the train station has already gone on for two years.  We need something special like Via Vanti, and they seem to know how to operate in a landmarked station.  Why do Greenstein and Brodsky need to “spray every hydrant?”  It makes one wonder what they’re up to.

By J Schwartz on 03/08/2014 at 9:59 pm

I am shocked to learn of the treatment of the Via Vanti owner. After all the time, money and effort she has put into this project, this is not what she deserves. I thought the town was trying to be more business friendly!?!?

By Train station on 03/08/2014 at 10:35 pm

Why do Greenstein and co. always refer back to the former Board on everything?  This time at least it is supportive.  We have been New Castle residents for over 40 years and no Board has ever kept referring back to a former Board’s actions whether they liked them or not.  These new Board members should be looking forward not looking back.  It makes them look weak.  We voted for you.  Please don’t make us regret it.  Strong leaders do not blame others.  They look to do better and let the populace see it!

By curious on 03/09/2014 at 8:24 am

I would love to have Via Vanti at the train station.  It is dismaying that a local resident—yes, Carla Gambescia lives here—with such an interesting and proven business model has had such a hard time with this and the previous administration.  This woman came to the town in good faith over a year ago and she has not been treated fairly.  I understand that Brodsky has been designated as the boards representative and from all that I know, he has been adversarial and hard nosed.  That behavior may suit his business model, but I do not think that it suits our town.

By Jane P. on 03/09/2014 at 9:00 am

To throw in bringing a gas line to the train station in the eleventh hour as Brodsky, with Greenstein’s blessings has done, is not honorable.  So what else is new ?

By not honorable on 03/09/2014 at 9:42 am

As the 2 remaining members of the last town board, what do Chapin and Mottel have to say about this Via Vanti issue ?  Can they please tell us why Gambescia’s proposal was dragged on for so long ?  Can they please tell us why they, when they had the opportunity did not approve her proposal and why ?

By Why ? on 03/09/2014 at 9:46 am

For years and culminating with the November elections, Greenstein and Brodsky harped on how the past Town Boards made it impossible for businesses to move forward, get approvals, and thrive in our town. How many times did we hear the plight of Vinnie and his generator”? This was an example Brodksy and Greenstein used to illuminate how permits and approvals were difficult to obtain and damaged merchants. They also sighted the long delay the new ice cream/ yogurt store had which never opened.

Now we have a resident with a proven track record of running and operating a successful restaurant who had been negotiating in good faith to open her restaurant at the train station. She was notified by Brodsky via email that negotiations had ceased. No explanation was offered. To make matters worse Greenstein and Brodsky incorrectly blamed her! What happened to their promise of working with merchants and easing their paths to success. They used poor Vinnie and his generator as an example of town government getting in the way and here they are slamming on the brakes for progress at the train station.

The number of promises broken and lies told by these Team New Castle bandits is unconscionable. We were warned by the anti Team New Castle folks that this new group had their own agendas and should not be trusted. The NIMBY Chapp Crossing folks voted them in and ignored their tactics and their deplorable behavior.

I anxiously await a letter or comment from Ed Frank, Greg Bresner, Cindy Lupica et al on what they think of Team New Castle now.

By More lies and deception on 03/09/2014 at 11:04 am

Dear Carla - please write a letter to NCN and let us hear what happened. In 2 short months we have gotten a horrifying look at the unethical behavior of our new board members. If you say Brodsky/ Greenstein reneged on their agreement and they accuse you of reneging we believe you. This is a perfect example of the conflict of interest that Brodsky and Greenstein have. I think they they have different plans for the train station - there own agenda. Maybe Greenstein will include it as part of a package offered to a developer like Napoli or Summit Greenfield. Maybe Brodsky has designs on the space for his own plan for downtown. What happened to transparancy?

Dear Editor- please do a little “investigative reporting” on this matter. Too many important issues are not transparent as promised and this is a clear case of he said she said.Carla says she was prepared to allow bathroom access and did not renege. Brodsky/ Greenstein say she did renege. Please get to the bottom of this.

By Roger on 03/09/2014 at 11:17 am

Chappaqua has always had the reputation of not being ‘business friendly’ and I hope this board can change that. Business owners MUST be given every opportunity to succeed, especially when a majority of downtown business are not thriving. Residents and the town hall should simplify the process and make things easy, not create more difficulty and let these things drag on. A proven business women like Carla should be fast tracked in a town like this, not hindered. There are too many business that have closed or are currently for sale in Chappaqua. People aren’t running to this town to open small business, so when you have somebody like Carla, she should be given the green light and fast tracked.

By Concerned on 03/09/2014 at 12:30 pm

This via vanti thing is ridiculous. I would love to have it here. And that station is no prize from the perspective of running a business. Cab drivers having access to the barhrooms whenever they want!  Is that really a condition?  That is the reason we cannot have a lovely addition to or town by spring?

By Anonymous on 03/09/2014 at 12:54 pm

Via in Mt Kisco is a BIG draw with a LOT of fans. People want something other than a spa/nail salon. Here it is. She is a town resident and a successful businesswoman too. What a loss for us. Also, I think she is being treated horribly from what i see above. The town board should know better and act better. You guys want another lawsuit….

By Sarah L on 03/09/2014 at 1:22 pm

Team New Castle has been a disappointment to me.  They act too impulsively and then try to backtrack, whether it’s making rude comments about the ethics board, making Brodsky the head of a committee and then reversing that, and also saying it was their goal to move town hall, only to now say “if that’s what the community wants”.  This is not a game of playground kickball where you get repeated do-overs. Think before you act.  Our taxes are paying your salaries and we deserve better.  The grace period is over.

I agree with “curious” above - I really don’t care what the prior board did or did not do.  You knew what you were getting into when you ran 4 months ago. If you’re really a bunch of smart lawyers, FIGURE IT OUT and stop blaming others for the issues in front of you.

I’m also wondering exactly what Lisa Katz is bringing to the fight, other than a “no” vote against anything at Chappaqua Crossing. It was painful to watch Chapin have to explain acronyms to her at a board meeting about a month ago. You can’t just show up once a week to meetings - there is homework required in this position.

By frustrated on 03/09/2014 at 1:22 pm

I agree with so many of the comments above but have to reiterate one point- Via Vanti is a fantastic restaurant with an even better owner. Carla is just the kind of person we need running our local businesses- she has new and exciting ideas, cares about her town and community, and is an honest and generous business owner. We have waited long enough for Via Vanti to come to Chappaqua - it can only do great things for the town!

By Sarah on 03/09/2014 at 2:39 pm

I agree with many of the comments above and would like to reiterate that Via Vanti is exactly the kind of business that is needed in our community. Carla is a generous and honest businesswoman who cares about her community. She brings fresh ideas and creativity to all her endeavors and it would be a LOSS to the community if she was unable to open at the Chappaqua station. We have waited long enough- this is ridiculous!

By Sarah G on 03/09/2014 at 3:45 pm

I am shocked to learn the deal with Via Vanti has collapsed.  Small town government needs to focused on the needs of the town, not creating another stalemate like DC. The lost money and time can not be recovered.  NC needs to be focused on helping the small business owner, not letting empty space sit wasting away.  This town needs to be more business friendly.

By David H on 03/09/2014 at 5:15 pm

The addition of Via Vanti to the train station would be wonderful for this community. I am sure many would like the opportunity to have a place like Via Vanti to stop into during their daily commute.  Carla clearly states the bathrooms are NOT an issue. She is a warm and welcoming member of our community who wants to do something good for us.  So what is the hold up?

By Marcie on 03/09/2014 at 7:42 pm

Reneging on the agreement wit Carla for Via Vanti at the station is typical of the neanderthal practices of doing business with the town.

Its embarrassing that every other town can develop their station and Chappaqua has been stagnant for years. And shameful that this is being done to a local resident.

 

By David S. on 03/09/2014 at 7:48 pm

Did the full board vote to end negotiations on the train station.  If not how can they be ended.  The Town Supervisor does not have any more power then any other member of the Board to approve or disapprove a contract.  Team New Castle seems to be a team of three and ignores the other tow members and others who did not agree with them. 

As for what the old Town Board did or did not do is meaningless.  Elections have consequences. So stop blaming and start governing and do it openly as you promised.

By Steve Goldenberg on 03/09/2014 at 10:31 pm

I agree with the eloquent comments of By frustrated, where is Lisa Katz on these issues?  She was elected to represent the voters on all issues, not just her beloved Chappaqua Crossing.  This is an extremely divided Board.  Greenstein and Brodsky clearly feel they run the town.  If you are silent, it is nothing more than tacit approval. If so, shame on you.  So Ms. Katz where do you stand?  We can recall you with the rest of them.

By Stephanie S. on 03/09/2014 at 11:17 pm

Wasn’t this Team New Castle Brodsky Greenstein supposed to be business friendly? They chided derided and insulted the last town board for among many things, being too slow to meet the needs of businesses and merchants. Too much regulation too much red tape too many delays they said. Now they are in charge and Carla’s train station plans have been delayed, terminated etc. it’s deplorable that Greenstein accuses Carla of reneging when it us clear he and Brodsky have a hidden agenda and most certainly have designs on that property. Actually, I stand corrected. There is nothing hidden about their agenda. They are painfully transparent in their desire to take over the town board and ram thru THEIR vision of what our town should be. Their financial interests and ownership of property are front and center.

By Mindy on 03/10/2014 at 6:43 am

I was thoroughly disappointed to learn of the “derailment” the Chappaqua version of Mt. Kisco’s terrific Via Vanti!  Carla is a stupendous businesswoman and great asset to that community.  As not only a member of OUR community but as a woman with a proven successful business model,  I am saddened!  We need this kind of food establishment in our LITTLE HAMLET….with virtually few dining options.  The untraditional nature of her food would make this a destination as well!!

http://www.viavanti.com/

By Leslie H on 03/10/2014 at 6:59 am

I have been following the posts regarding the Train Station and Via Vanti. The Town Board was in discussions with the purveyor and very close to finalizing the lease. However in the interim, a number of other prospects have approached the Town regarding leasing the Station. Some with more advantageous terms. Let me assure the community we only want the finest tenant occupying the Crown Jewel of our Town. No decisions have been made and we are considering all options. We are acting as true fiduciaries to ensure we not only get the best business deal, but also the best operator. We have invited Via Vanti to be included as one of the prospects. This is a long-term commitment the Town is making and we need to make a thoughtful decision based on the best prospective tenants and best financial terms.

By Adam Brodsky on 03/10/2014 at 7:40 am

Mr Brodsky- thank you for looking out for the town and our best interests in regards to renting out the train station facility. You/ we should strike the best deal for all concerned.
Your explanation makes sense and should be accepted by all.

HOWEVER, if this is the reason that Via Vanti project has been delayed or even canceled then what explanation do you have for Mr Greensteins accusation that Carla “reneged” on her agreement with the town? Carla is a wonderful person, very capable, and very honest. Town Supervisor Greenstein and your fellow town board member makes a slanderous comment in a town publication is totally inappropriate. You are all lawyers ( team new castle) - shame on you.

By Resident on 03/10/2014 at 10:20 am

So much for doing “what the community wants”

By it goes on and on and..... on 03/10/2014 at 10:31 am

Mr. Brodsky,

Seems to me that more than a year after this applicant came to the town with a serious, full fledged proposal that by now , it should have been approved.  Why should she be at a disadvantage because the town has been so tardy ?

By jane P. on 03/10/2014 at 10:31 am

Mr Brodsky - your comment- explanation above is acceptable and makes good sense.
Your partner in crime Rob Greenstein ought to think before he speaks. His explanation for what is happening at the train station is that Carla Gambscia reneged on a promise. That is a totally seperate and completely different explanation than the one you just provided. I know Carla and I know she broke no promises and did not renege.

Your association and affiliation with Greenstein is undeniable. You now are on the town board together. Perhaps you two should speak to one another and get your stories straight before he insults a fine upstanding lady and business woman who also is a resident and taxpayer.

By Karen on 03/10/2014 at 10:35 am

What incredible duplicity, Mr. Brodsky.  In your comment above you state,  “The Town Board was in discussions with the purveyor (Via Vanti) and very close to finalizing the lease. However in the interim, a number of other prospects have approached the Town regarding leasing the Station.”  Please tell me how this fits with Mr. Greenstein’s interview above where he states, “As far as Carla Gambescia from Via Vanti, she had reneged on the public’s access to the bathroom.”  Can’t you two get your story straight?  She was award the lease for the train station, and it is very clear form your comments that it is the Town that reneged.

Is this what you think fosters a better business environment in Chappaqua?  Do you attempt to do this in your own personal business dealings as part of the Hakim Organization too?  Shame on both of you.  You both should be recalled. 

By J Schwartz on 03/10/2014 at 12:31 pm

Brodsky - who is giving you PR advise?  You just admitted to reneging on Via Vante This entire situation is appalling.  True fiduciaries ?  Your sanctimony sickens me. Have you no honor?  Everyone who voted for you, Greenstein and Katz, including myself,  should be ashamed.

By Robin on 03/10/2014 at 12:33 pm

For as long as the well-documented land ownership of Brodsky’s family/employer continues, I will not be able to shake the feeling that every decision he makes is somehow related to that.  It just bothers me.

By ulterior motive on 03/10/2014 at 12:36 pm

In the name of transparency- who are these other potential tenants?  The prior process was open- all applicants presented at a town board meeting - so where are these new prospects?  The best tenant should be someone the town wants- not necessarily one of your friends.

By to Brodsky on 03/10/2014 at 1:52 pm

Adam, thank you for weighing in. I think you are in a position to clarify a few things. Rob says no RFP has issued.  Since those comments,  has a new RFP for the train station issued?  If it has, on what date? Who are the other businesses to which you refer above?  We all know one is Via Vanti but the public as far as I see does not have the other names. Rob says above in his interview there is no meeting scheduled on this. Since the interview has a meeting been scheduled? If so, when is it?  If it has not been, will the public learn of it in advance?  Obviously there is an awful lot of interest as you can see above. I would like to hear the presentations. Thanks

By Joan S. on 03/10/2014 at 1:58 pm

I am very offended by the clear implication of Mr. Brodsky’s comment that Carla Gambescia and her Via Vanti restaurant does not have a sufficiently high enough reputation for our train station as a business enterprise. The comments on this post alone show just how people in the area feel about her and not one expresses anything other than support for her. We would be lucky to have her in Chappaqua. By the way, it is not good faith to string a business along for more than a year, having it commit oodles of time and dollars to the project and then to engage behind its back in dealings with johnny come latelies. Why would any business engage in dealings with our town if good faith goes out the door on the whim of a board member or two.

By Joan Frances on 03/10/2014 at 2:46 pm

Mr Brodsky- maybe you and your team New Castle member, Supervisor Greenstein ought to communicate with each other before making public statements. Greenstein says “As far as Carla Gambescia from Via Vanti, she had reneged on the public’s access to the bathroom”. He says ” Carla thought that point was negotiable” and “we opened the process up to others while she was refusing to accept the requirement”.  This is Greensteins explanation as to the update on the train station. This after you told us a few weeks ago that things with Carla were proceeding. Carla steadfast denies she reneged.
Your explanation is more plausible claiming that better offers and better tenant may be out there. We understand the fiduciary responsibility you have to get and keep the best tenant with the best venue. But what about the conflicting message? Which is it? Did Carla renege as Greenstein claims, or are you shopping around for the best deal.
Either way it appears you at not negotiating in good faith with Carla and Greenstein once again insults and abuses people.
You promised transparncy and a new approach. Is this your new approach?

By Look in the mirror. on 03/10/2014 at 2:53 pm

Adam, please answer the questions about the names of the other businesses and when the meeting is for their presentatioms or even discussion about the train station.  I am posting at 7pm and so if you already did answer and I just can’t see it, I thank you.

By Long Timer on 03/10/2014 at 7:03 pm

I have lived in Chappaqua on and off for 24 years and I want at least one traffic light, at the King/Greeley intersection.  Not only are unfamiliar drivers typically confused when driving down King Street, there was a death at that very spot which likely wouldn’t have occurred had there been a light. That’s reason enough to have a light.

By Robin Murphy on 03/11/2014 at 1:17 am

Sounds like games are being played and am really appalled by the treatment of Via Vanti’s owner.  The town would be lucky to have her restaurant there.  Looks like out of the blue a decision was made to look for other tenants.  Totally unfair and a horrible way to attract businesses that have only been fair.

By Marie S. on 03/11/2014 at 8:31 am

There is a boarf meeting tonight. This is not on the agenda. Is it going to be addressef?

By Anon on 03/11/2014 at 9:47 am

I dine at Via Vante often, and know Carla well. Not only is she an honorable person but she’s one heck of a business woman.  Look what she has done with the Mount Kisco Train Station!
I am very disappointed in the new Town Board. Where is all this “Transparency” they promised?
There is still time for “Team New Castle” to do the right thing!

By Angela G on 03/11/2014 at 3:25 pm

Its on the agenda for tonight press release/revised adenda issued some time this afternoon. 7pm. Short notice huh?

By Resident on 03/11/2014 at 6:32 pm

Having witnessed this evening’s board meeting, I was once again appalled (but not surprised) by Brodsky’s and Greenstein’s behavior in how they treated Carla.  And once again Lisa Katz just sits there speechless.  Hopefully the editor will summarize, but I don’t think it was an accident Via Vanti was mysteriously added to the agenda at the last minute.

And really nice of Greenstein to acknowledge that he wasn’t communicating with Mottel and Chapin.  How about apologizing for once?

By J. Lyman Stone on 03/11/2014 at 10:34 pm

I do not believe Adam Brodsky and it is a mistake for the supervisor to blindly support him.
There is something very smelly about this Via Vanti debacle and I do not fault Carla.

By debacle on 03/12/2014 at 11:07 am

The Via Vanti developments make no sense. It is clear there was a deal the bathroom use was either an honest misunderstanding or a convenient excuse to make way for someone who knows someone on the board.

By Louis F on 03/12/2014 at 12:14 pm

How did last night’s train station presentations suddenly “materialize”? How and when did Carla and the other presenter receive notice of the meeting?

Inquiring minds what to know.

Doubtless, some time before the press release and revised agenda yesterday afternoon ...  I agree with debacle’s comments above, this is very fishy.  Carla, please tell us what is going on (at least tell us what is happening to you), the community needs to know more.

By Inquiring Minds on 03/12/2014 at 3:38 pm

The Via Vanti developments make NO sense at all.  The restaurant in the Mount Kisco train station allows the public to use the restrooms.  I am appalled and embarrassed for our town.  Perhaps Greenstein and Co. should have had some experience before they ran.

Via Vanti is one of my favorite restaurants and Carla is wonderful. I was really looking forward to having them in town. 

When did they take office? Two months ago?! Wow.

 

 

By love Via Vanti on 03/12/2014 at 4:14 pm

Another fish tale ...

Brodsky says in his post above that: the Town and the “purveyor” had come very close to finalizing the lease but in the interim, a number of other prospects seem to have just “materialzed” and approached the Town regarding leasing the Station.

This insults me; this insults all of us ...that he actually expects us believe that. 

Really Adam?

By Inquiring Minds on 03/12/2014 at 6:09 pm

I’m reading dozens and dozens of comments in favor of Via Vanti moving into the train station. Everyone is in favor, except perhaps Mr. Greenstein and Mr. Brodsky, for personal reasons? We should be told those reasons! Ms. Gambesci has gone through every step of the process diligently for the past year and a half, and now a roadblock is being put up. This is the best possible scenario for the train station (for all the reasons stated above) and if Via Vanti becomes frustrated and withdraws their application, what will you get there? And when? certainly nothing that could be better than Via Vanti!

By Bobbe on 03/12/2014 at 9:53 pm

To the anonymous person who seems to love to keep throwing my name out there…...feel free to state your name and ask me a question.  If you can’t put your own name down then please stop throwing mine around.  I have always signed my posts and when I feel I have something substantial to say I will…...unlike yourself.

By Cindy Lupica on 03/12/2014 at 10:14 pm

Rumor is that the owner of Via Vanti is a very close friend of Susan Carpenter and Ms. Yeres the Editor of NewCastleNow. Susan gave her a sweetheart deal well below market and truly did not look for any other operators. Thankfully we have Brodsky and Greenstein who are opening the process and truly finding out what the station is worth. They are getting the best and most professional operators to make proposals. They should be commended for looking out for our interests, no ridiculed!

Editor’s Note:  Feel free to commend them, “Real Story.”  But neither Susan Carpenter nor I are “close friends” with Carla Gambescia. I think each of us has eaten at Via Vanti.  And at some time after the Flying Pig gave up on the place I mentioned to Carla Gambescia that “the Flying Pig had flown” and referred her to my article in NCNOW.org. 

Rob Greenstein and Adam Brodsky—and those who are in their confidence—may believe that Carla was given a “sweetheart deal” (these are their words) by Susan Carpenter, but I watched the process.

The previous Town Board took a very long time to investigate what rent the place might yield (and I don’t even know what rent they arrived at with Carla). All I know is that it was at least double the $1250 two guys offered to run a juice bar there.  It’s not an easy place to estimate.  And I saw that the town took an unconscionably long time to procure contractors—the third one was finally able to do the work—to fix the bathroom floors of the train station. 

The previous board was not adept at this kind of thing, but they were straightforward about what they were doing.

By The Real Story... on 03/13/2014 at 11:04 am

Brodsky stated that there will be at least 2 other restaurants making presentations.  And one of the reasons is to try and get more $$$$$$$

Editor’s Note: I’m not sure where you heard this, but on the other hand, Rob Greenstein has said that it was not about the money, but all about the bathrooms for commuters.

By what a shocker on 03/13/2014 at 12:32 pm

Editor:

At 51:00 of the board meeting video, Brodsky says “we have to maximize the revenue”.  Maybe Greenstein and Brodsky should get their stories straight, although I’m not sure I believe what either one says at this point.

By shocker II on 03/13/2014 at 2:25 pm

Hey Real Story, your biggest problem is, THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENED! Your entire post is a lie,a deliberate one too,

By Ted on 03/13/2014 at 9:08 pm

“commended”, really ? please spare us. 

Here’s a vexing contradiction: The Real Story tells us “they are getting the best and most professional operators to make proposals” while Brodsky himself states that “prospects have approached the town” ... mysteriously ... after months of nothing, qualified prospects start coming out of the woodwork just when the Via deal is about to close

Real Story—who ever you are—you are completely missing everyone’s point. Brodsky is Greenstein are being ridiculed for their lack of transparency.  Via Vanti is just the tip of the iceberg

By Inquiring Minds on 03/13/2014 at 11:41 pm

I dont believe that after all this time out of nowhere three other purveyors interested in the train station materialized. I think Adam Brodsky knew one them and the other two were located partly to cover his tracks.

By Jane S on 03/14/2014 at 7:04 pm

I completely agree with Jane S.  Everything about this Via Vanti thing smells foul. 

“Purveyors” just don’t just appear when a deal is basically done. 

Greenstein and Brodsky are probably counting on people to not be paying close enough attention, or that they can somehow change the subject, like the silly bathroom canard

By Robin on 03/15/2014 at 2:35 pm

Where was the public outcry when the old board and admin took years to fix the station?

By Double Standard on 03/20/2014 at 10:39 am

Double standard,  I believe the contractors that were supposed to fix the floor (underneath, the infrastructure) were the problem.  Check with the Town Clerk.  I think one or two backed out and the project had to be re-bid.  I think one even said they were going to do the job and never showed.  But please check on this.  Thank you.  Perhaps the Editor has the actual facts
  I seem to remember she may have written something about this. 

Editor’s Note:  The first bid the town accepted was for $40,000.  The third bid was for more like three times that.  Clearly, the first was a low-ball.
.

By get the facts on 03/21/2014 at 8:36 am


Post a comment:

Display Name*:

Your Display Name will be associated with this comment on NewCastleNOW.org. We encourage commentators to use their real name or initials.

We encourage civil, civic discourse. In other words, be pithy and polite. All comments will be reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.