Supervisor Feiner’s global email regarding a lack of cooperation by the board on budget preparation cannot go unanswered. Facts must matter.
At Tuesday’s (9/25/07) work session, Supervisor Feiner told the Town Council he needed a Certified Public Accountant to help him prepare the budget and that he wanted to hire a particular person who was a CPA. I was troubled that Supervisor Feiner wanted to give a $5,000 no-bid contract to a person who had publicly endorsed the Supervisor and his team in the recent election. Such a contract could be perceived as a reward. Nevertheless, I was impressed the Supervisor had set a high standard and called for the assistant to be a CPA. So that it would not be a no-bid contract, members of the Town Council recommended a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from other CPAs. To demonstrate our cooperation, we agreed to a fast turnaround RFP that would require responses by next Tuesday (10/2/07). Supervisor Feiner agreed to this process. The Town Attorney was directed to prepare a resolution that the Town Board could approve at Wednesday (9/26/07) night’s Town Board meeting.
At the Town Board meeting, Town Council members learned that Supervisor Feiner had no intention of honoring the process he had agreed to the previous day at the Tuesday work session. Instead, on the same day as the work session, the Supervisor had directed the Town Attorney to prepare an alternate resolution so the Supervisor could immediately hire the person he wanted without doing any RFP. The Supervisor did not share this alternate resolution with the board until Wednesday night when it was time to vote on the RFP resolution. Board members also learned the person the Supervisor wanted to hire was not a registered CPA, and to practice a CPA must be licensed and registered. Nevertheless, the Supervisor decided to lower the standard so he could still give the person he thought was a CPA a no-bid contract. After lengthy heated discussion, the Board passed a resolution to issue an RFP, answerable by Tuesday. The Supervisor voted against the resolution he agreed to the day before. The Board passed another resolution to set a Special Meeting for Tuesday to consider the responses to the RFP.
Supervisor Feiner planned to have a confrontation during the meeting and he was successful. I believe the public is tired of these orchestrated events, followed by global emails to ensure as many people as possible know about the confrontations. The loser in this case was the person the Supervisor wanted to hire. It was truly unfortunate that it became public knowledge he is not a registered CPA at this time.
I have repeatedly offered to work with the Supervisor. I am good with details; he admits he is not, but he has lots of ideas. It seems like a good match. However, the Supervisor cannot mislead me into thinking we have an agreement and then behind my back create an alternate resolution that is contrary to that agreement, and then expect me to rubber-stamp the alternate. Anyone who watches the replay of the 9/26/07 Town Board meeting will see that my description of events is accurate.
The public wants civil debate based on reason and logic, not confrontation. I am willing to work with the Supervisor and give him the tools needed to do his job. I call upon the Supervisor to extend similar courtesies to me and other members of the Town Council.
Francis Sheehan, Councilman
Town of Greenburgh