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Welcome to the Government Section

NEW: Tuesday, March 10th: A Conversation with Rob Greenstein, New Castle’s Town Supervisor


Monday, March 9, 2015
~ from Sheila Bernson and Jennifer Mebes Flagg
Co-Presidents of the League of Women Voters® of New Castle

League of Women VotersThe League of Women Voters® of New Castle invites the community to join in a conversation with Town Supervisor Rob Greenstein on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at the Chappaqua Library Theater from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

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NEW: Supervisor’s Report of November 18, 2014

November 21, 2014
~ from Supervisor Rob Greenstein

• Chappaqua Crossing update
• Chappaqua Central School District - Finance Advisory Committee

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Supervisor’s Report of November 10, 2014

November 14, 2014
~ by New Castle Supervisor Rob Greenstein

• New Business Development Advisory Committee formed
• Town Prepares for Winter

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Town Administrator’s Report of November 10, 2014

November 14, 2014
~ from Town Administrator Jill Simon Shapiro

• DOT agrees to screen its Millwood yard
• Bank of America South Greeley sidewalk replacement
• Take It or Leave It Shop wraps up its season on November 22

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Town Board will hear presentation for “Chappaqua Station, Farm-to-Town” from Chases

Saturday, November 1, 2014
by Christine Yeres

In its work session on Wednesday, November 5, the Town Board will hear a presentation from Peter and Erin Chase of their vision for the Chappaqua train station as a “farm-to-town” restaurant-bar-and-local produce space. Theirs was the only “response for proposal” submitted to the Town. According to the agenda for the work session, the 20-minute presentation is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m.

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L to E: The new Train Station RFP process should be a model of transparency

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
by Robin Murphy

Last month, the Town of New Castle released a new Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for the publicly-owned Chappaqua Train Station and the deadline for submissions was last week.  This is the current Town Board’s second attempt to find a tenant for the Train Station and by issuing the RFP in advance of all public presentation, this time they have allowed a more appropriate window (weeks, instead of days) for the submission of proposals, certainly making the current process an improvement over the prior one.  However, there is yet a lot to happen and I am concerned that the Town Board plans to keep the decision-making mostly confidential instead of being transparent and assuring that residents can be confident of the integrity of the process.

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Supervisor’s Report from Tuesday, October 14

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
~ from Supervisor Rob Greenstein

• More Town Events Coming
• Chappaqua Crossing Update
• Update on Westchester County Sewer Inclusion Project
• The ChapLine
• Master Plan Survey Update

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Monday, September 29th:  A Conversation with Rob Greenstein, New Castle’s Town Supervisor


September 26, 2014
by Sheila Bernson and Jennifer Mebes Flagg, Co-Presidents of the League of Women Voters® of New Castle

The League of Women Voters® of New Castle invites the community to join in a conversation with Town Supervisor Rob Greenstein on Monday, September 29, 2014 at the Chappaqua Library Theater from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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ZBA closes public hearing on environmental review and special permit for mosque

September 26, 2014
by Christine Yeres

The Zoning Board of Appeals conducted what turned out to be its last public hearing on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and the special permit application for a mosque in the West End of New Castle. In July, the ZBA carried over the hearing to Monday, September 22 in order to hear from residents who might have been away over the summer, then closed both hearing matters and announced that written comments could be submitted for ten days more.  Next, the ZBA will craft its “Findings” based on the FEIS.

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Town releases RFP for leasing of Chappaqua Train Station

September 26, 2014

Editor’s Note: This week an RFP soliciting candidates interested in leasing the train station appeared on the town’s website (find a link in “Read more…”). The town is “interested in all food-service proposals,” and while the town is willing to consider renewal options, the initial lease term is five years.  Morning coffee service is a must, as is the condition that restrooms remain available to the public much of the time.  Below is the town’s summary of the RFP and a link to the entire RFP text.  The deadline is noon on Wednesday, October 22.

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Supervisor’s Report—September 23 Town Board meeting

September 26, 2014

• New Castle Launches Zero Tolerance for Distracted Driving
• Limiting Speed in Downtown
• Coyote Management Task Force / Coyote Awareness and Safety Advisory Committee
• Survey
• Millwood A&P—Keeping a Grocery
• Replacement of King Street Restaurant
• Emergency Planning Committee
• Train Station RFP Released

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Supervisor’s Report on Master Plan phone survey, savings in contracts

Saturday, September 13, 2014
by Rob Greenstein

Editor’s Note: In “Read more…” is the full Supervisor’s Report from the Town Board meeting of Wednesday, September 10, on the following topics:

• Master Plan mailing explaining phone survey, a return “How-are-we-doing?” card

• Workers Compensation Renewal, savings of $222,525 for 2014-15

• Garbage Contract, savings of $477,980 per year of seven-year contract

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Fall Program for Recreation & Parks begins Wednesday, September 3



August 22, 2014
~ from Rec & Parks

Hello from the New Castle Recreation & Parks Department!  We hope everyone is having a fun and safe summer! The Rec. & Parks Department has enjoyed seeing all the smiling faces at our day & sports camps, community center, summer concerts.  Remember that registration for our Fall programs begins Wednesday, September 3, and Senior Program Registration begins Monday, September 8. 

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Job Opening at Town Hall for Deputy Town Clerk

Tuesday, September 3, 2014

Editor’s Note:  The following “Help Wanted” notice is on the town website, advertising the search for a new Deputy Town Clerk.  The Town Clerk position, formerly held by Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, is now held by Mary Deems, formerly Jill Shapiro’s Deputy Town Clerk.  The Deputy position has been vacant since January 2014.  Applications are due by Friday, September 5.

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ZBA continues public hearings on mosque environmental review and special permit to September

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
by Christine Yeres

In an assembly room packed with West End residents, the Zoning Board of Appeals heard their fears over traffic, parking and septic capacity and property values if the mosque proposed for the eight-acre property on Pinesbridge Road is approved.

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Supervisor’s report on latest Town Board meeting

Saturday, July 26, 2014
~ from Supervisor Rob Greenstein

Editor’s Note:  Yesterday Supervisor Rob Greenstein provided highlights of last Tuesday’s Town Board meeting in the Town’s e-newsletter.  To sign up to receive the Town e-newsletter, click HERE.

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Zoning Board finds environmental review for mosque complete, sets public hearing for July 30

Monday, July 14, 2014
by Christine Yeres

The Zoning Board of Appeals’ environmental review of the Upper Westchester Muslim Society’s proposed mosque on Pinesbridge Road began in 2006; in 2012 public hearings were held on its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  Responses provided to issues raised by the DEIS took the form of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), and on July 1 the ZBA declared it complete.  On July 30 the ZBA will hold a public hearing on both the FEIS and the special permit for the mosque.  The ZBA is “lead agency” on the application.

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Planning Bd to Town Bd: Master Plan update should come before rezoning for Rosehill

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Editor’s Note: .  In a work session tonight, the Town Board will discuss the draft scoping document—a broad list of environmental impacts to address—for the Rosehill application to construct 60 condo units on the Legionaries property at 773 Armonk Road.

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Town Board rescinds Chappaqua Train Station lease

12:15 a.m. Wednesday, June 25

Editor’s Note:  Late last night after adjourning the public hearing on Chappaqua Crossing, the Town Board adopted a resolution rescinding the Chappaqua Train Station lease resolution by a 5-0 vote.  A new RFP—“request for proposals” process will begin.  Discussion of the RFP process is on the Town Board’s work session agenda for Tuesday, July 1.  Below is a statement from Supervisor Rob Greenstein as well as the text of the new resolution.

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L to E: New intended use of train station doesn’t work under County Health Code

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
by Erin and Peter Chase

One question that has not received much attention in connection with the 15-year Chappaqua Train Station lease issued to Love at 10514, is: exactly what food products may be sold there, assuming the site is kept essentially “as is”—the current plan—without running afoul of the Westchester County Health Code?  The answer: not much, actually.

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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.

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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

Following is a detailed chronology that led to the recent Town of New Castle Board decision regarding the new café that will be located in the landmarked Chappaqua train station depot.

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A summary of the budget in Town Administrator’s 2015 “Budget Message”


Saturday, December 2, 2014

Editor’s Note: The Town Board has closed the public hearing on the budget and will vote to approve it on the evening of December 9. The League of Women Voters of New Castle will hold an information forum on the budget on Tuesday, December 9th at 9:30 a.m. at the Chappaqua Library.  Town Comptroller Robert Deary, Town Administrator Jill Shapiro and Town Supervisor Rob Greenstein will be there to explain the budget and answer questions.

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Town Board makes it official: New Castle has a “Business Development Advisory Committee”

Brodsky promises to work closely with Master Plan “commercial development and hamlets” group
Saturday, November 15, 2014
by Christine Yeres

The Town Board officially enlisted local brain power to serve on a Business Development Advisory Committee (“BDAC”) headed by Town Board member Adam Brodsky. The group is charged with assisting the Town Board “by identifying and recommending policy initiatives that will strengthen our existing businesses, attract new and desirable businesses to New Castle, and help our community revitalize our existing business hamlets.”

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Opening for part-time position as Town Information Officer

Saturday, November 1, 2014
~ from the Town of New Castle

The position is responsible for all areas of public relations, including serving as the Town’s Public Information Officer. In addition, the position is responsible for the maintenance of the Town’s various social media outlets, including its Facebook page.

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Local architect returns with affordable housing plan for land behind town hall

toscano
September 26, 2014

Editor’s Note: Local architects Wallace Toscano and Bill Spade paid a visit to the Town Board work session of September 16 with plans Toscano developed in Spring of 2012 for 36 units of affordable housing on 1.3 acres of town-owned property behind town hall.  He presented the plans as a better alternative to the one-third acre Hunts Place property that Conifer, a Rochester-based affordable housing developer, was proposing.  At the time, then-Supervisor Susan Carpenter and former-Supervisor Barbara Gerrard stated that wetlands issues would prove a deal-breaker.  But recently Toscano and Spade have run the plans past the town’s Environmental Coordinator, Steve Coleman, who believes that existing wetlands shouldn’t make for an automatic “No.” 

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A Summary of Summer

What happened while you were away…
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Editor’s Note: There won’t be any exam, but for those of you who’ve been away in mind, body, or both, here’s a cheat sheet of what happened over the summer.

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Sustainability Board’s recommendations for 2015 waste contract

Monday, September 15

Editor’s Note:  The town’s Sustainability Advisory Board members reviewed waste disposal bidders, weighing the cost-benefits of the once-per-week pickup versus twice-per-week and of dual-stream versus single-stream recyclying.  Below are their conclusions.

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Board of Review denies seven of eight variances needed for Conifer’s Hunts Place project

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
by Christine Yeres

In a 4-0 vote today, the state’s Regional Board of Review denied seven of the eight building and fire code variances requested by Conifer for its affordable housing proposal of 28 units in four stories built from edge to edge of the one-third of an acre at Hunts Place.  [See a statement from Supervisor Rob Greenstein in “Read more”.]

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A statement from Town Board member Adam Brodsky on the train station leasing situation

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
by Adam Brodsky

When I was elected to this position this past November, I can honestly say that—after my wedding day and the birth of my four children—it was one of the happiest days of my life. I was deeply honored and appreciative that the residents would come out and support me as one of their leaders to help chart a path forward. The election was a whirlwind and a tremendous challenge.

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L to Ed: What went wrong with the Train Station process, and what we can do about it

Monday, June 9, 2014
by Carla Gambescia, Erin and Peter Chase

A request for proposal, typically referred to as an RFP, is a formal solicitation made by a governmental entity or company interested in procuring a product or service or valuable asset through a competitive process.

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In post-election Kittle House conversation, BoE members decide to write in support of Shapiro

Monday, June 9, 2014

Editor’s Note: In a May 28 press release, A Thank You to Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, Supervisor Rob Greenstein wrote, “It should be noted that we recently received an email from the entire school board in support of Jill.”

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Board of Ed response to publication of its letter to TB supporting Shapiro

Monday, June 9, 2014
~ from Jeffrey Mester, President, Chappaqua Board of Education

The letter we wrote to the Town Board speaks for itself.  The letter, by its tone, was obviously meant to be private, but the School Board has no objection to the message in the letter being made public.  While sending a letter to a public board has no expectation of privacy, we did expect discretion.

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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

What is past is past, and, whether you believe it is right or wrong, the current Board is confident that the process that is presently underway will be open and fair to all applicants.

~ Town of New Castle Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz (NewCastleNOW, March 28, 2014)

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L to E: Some problem dog walkers in our parks need to obey the law

May 30, 2014
by P. Cullen

This is an accident, or worse, a law suit waiting to happen.  For quite some time, professional dog walkers have been taking over the town parks.  There is the possibility that if one of these dog walkers causes an accident (if one of their charges bites a resident/visitor), the town could be sued.  When bite incidents have happened in the past, the Town Board has considered the possibility of banning all dogs from town parks.

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Op-Ed: Our TB has a duty to conduct an open search to fill the Town Administrator position

Saturday, May 24, 2014
by Christine Yeres

The January appointment of Jill Shapiro to the position of Town Administrator for a term of six months was perhaps understandable in terms of smoothing the transition for a Town Board with three new members, but it should have been accompanied by an open search to fill the position longer-term, along with an invitation for Ms. Shapiro to reapply for the job herself.  There’s still time to do this.

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A Thank You to Town Administrator Jill Shapiro

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
by Supervisor Rob Greenstein
With 68 comments since publication Wednesday

Editor’s Note: At 12:42 this morning, Supervisor Greenstein sent the following statement to media outlets. His text follows.

I would like to address recent statements directed at our Town Administrator.

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Open Letter to TB members: New Castle doesn’t deserve “good”—it deserves “great”

Applicants for train station lease gravely disappointed in the process and final decision
Monday, May 19, 2014
by Peter and Erin Chase

Dear Mr. Greenstein & Town Board:

Our family moved to Chappaqua because we fell in love with the small town feel and sense of a strong community.  We immediately knew we wanted to open a small restaurant and be a part of this community.  For almost a year we have been working with a local broker trying to find a space to lease.  In February we were made aware, by our broker, that the train station was possibly available, as negotiations were breaking down on the lease.

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In email exchange with Greenstein, Chases characterize town’s process as “no process”

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Editor’s Note: In a follow up to Open Letter to TB members: New Castle doesn’t deserve “good”—it deserves “great”, NCNOW.org, 5/19/14, by Peter and Erin Chase, Supervisor Rob Greenstein emailed the couple to explain the Board’s thinking in choosing Leslie Lampert’s proposal for the use of the Chappaqua Train Station space. His email and the Chases’ email response follow.

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Was Jill Shapiro appointed town administrator for six months or for two years?

Monday, May 19, 2014
by Christine Yeres

In January when three new members joined the Town Board, there was some confusion as to how the initial appointment of Jill Shapiro as Town Administrator had occurred.  Board members Elise Mottel and Jason Chapin had been left out of the decision, they said, and Supervisor Rob Greenstein had announced even before the new Board’s first meeting that “Our new Town Administrator will be Jill Shapiro.”  Shortly after, it was explained that her appointment would be for a six-month period.

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L to E: Transparency?  The town administrator’s contract was supposed to be for six months

Monday, May 19, 2014
by Robin Murphy

Dear Editor:

Although I voted for Rob Greenstein as well as the other Team New Castle candidates, Adam Brodsky and Lisa Katz, I have been disappointed that their promises to bring “small business mindset” and “a new approach” to New Castle town government have so far been empty.  The appointment of Jill Shapiro as Town Administrator—with no attempt to invite other candidates to apply—raises serious questions.

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WED: Much about Armonk Road cell tower—both law and community character—is up in the air

The ZBA continues its discussion on Homeland cell tower Wed. May 28 @ Town Hall

A rendering of the tower by Homeland-Verizon showing three of six possible arrays of antennae
Saturday, May 24, 2014 [Originally published on Tuesday, April 22, 2014]
by Christine Yeres

When Planning Board members speculated during last week’s as to why Homeland Towers and its client, Verizon, were not interested in pursuing alternatives to the 150-foot cell tower Homeland is proposing for Armonk Road, an attorney for residents of Whippoorwill Lake Road was ready with an answer: “Because Homeland Towers doesn’t make money doing that.  Homeland makes money building towers like this.”

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Town plan for maintenance of local roadways: a little repaving, a lot of pothole repair

April 11, 2014
by Anthony Vaccaro, New Castle Commissioner of Public Works

I maintain a comprehensive road rating system to rank roads based on their traffic volume and extent of deterioration.  I have tried over the years to distribute road resurfacing projects equitably throughout our Town addressing the highest-ranked roads, within our yearly budget.  Our budget this year can support paving two to three miles. (The town has 120 miles of road, or 240 lane miles.)  This year’s focus should be the westerly part of Town.  Spring Valley Road is a high priority and is currently being considered by FEMA for grant money as part of their Hazard Mitigation program.  I am hoping to hear from them soon so the Town can decide where to spend its road paving budget.

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