There is No "U" in Team.
23 Examples of Team New Castle Putting Team Before Town.
Because they ran as a team and often vote as a team, Team New Castle has had a virtual free hand to govern as they see fit. They're free to do the right thing, the wrong thing, the expedient thing, the inexplicable thing—anything that Greenstein, Brodsky and Katz can agree on, or that Greenstein can persuade (or insist) the others go along with.
Here are 23 actions, decisions and claims of the Gang of Three (or often just Greenstein himself), grouped by topic, that we believe were unwise, untrue, ill-considered, incompetent, contrary to their campaign promises or not in the best interests of residents.
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1. Greenstein and Katz claim they are Democrats with capital D—yet Greenstein donated money to the Republican Party, donated money to and endorsed Trump Republican Terrence Murphy, and endorsed Trump’s Local Chairman, County Executive Astorino—and refused to endorse Hillary Clinton.
2. Upon winning election in 2013, Greenstein informed the holdover board members (Democrats Chapin and Mottel) that their votes no longer mattered.
3. When bids for their Infrastructure project came in millions over estimate, TNC decided on a scaled-back project in secret, introduced it and then pushed it though on the same night without discussion, on vote of 3 to 2—suggesting they care more about “getting things done” than “doing things right.”
4. Five months after the groundbreaking ceremony, but just weeks before election day, Greenstein used town money to send every resident a postcard announcing that the Chappaqua downtown infrastructure project is "currently underway.”
5. Not mentioned on the postcard: TNC failed to budget for a construction manager (a $1 million oversight) and failed to get NYDOT approval for changes to Rte. 120, requiring that the final construction designs be re-drawn (cost unknown).
6. Early in his first term, Greenstein called the Board of Ethics a "complete joke," prompting two members to resign.
7. In the closing days of 2015 election, Greenstein accused town board candidate Jeremy Saland of ethics violations, charges that the Ethics Board later unanimously dismissed.
8. Greenstein was against allowing residents and town committee members to submit complaints to the Ethics Board before announcing that he'd been in favor of it all along. Now he’s facing an undisclosed number of ethics complaints—all from town residents.
9. After promising to interview law firms to replace the town counsel, Greenstein hired Keane & Beane, the law firm of a Republican friend, without a competitive review.
10. Greenstein pushed to appoint and later re-appoint a town administrator without a search for professional candidates, and has recommended generous annual bonuses for the administrator, without conducting a promised performance evaluation.
11. Decided on a tenant for the Chappaqua train station restaurant before agreeing to a selection process or issuing an RFP—inspiring 700 residents to sign a petition in protest.
12. Undermined the Recreation and Parks Commission by taking over decision-making on a dog park, a playground and a basketball court that now is expected to cost over $1 million.
13. After encouraging a neighborhood effort to convert the Millwood Swim Club into a community garden, Greenstein undercut the project by letting a developer explore other uses for the property without informing the volunteers.
14. Greenstein impaneled two coyote committees with different agendas, but supported only one.
Sunshine Children's Home
15. Greenstein and his lawyers secretly wrote a special provision into an agreement with the Village of Ossining creating a new water district to directly benefit the Sunshine Children’s Home. The illegal provision, which came as surprise even to Ossining's Mayor, was ultimately exposed, and the agreement was withdrawn.
15. After years of supposedly waiting for FEMA funds to repave Spring Valley Road, Allapartus Road and Hawkes Avenue, Greenstein suddenly moved ahead, not because the roads had been storm-damaged, but in anticipation of heavy construction traffic at the Sunshine Children’s Home.
17. Greenstein and Brodsky campaigned against retail at Chappaqua Crossing in 2013, before voting to approve it in 2014 (with Greenstein saying that he’d always been in favor of it).
18. Without public discussion, Greenstein earmarked a $1.5 million payment intended to mitigate the impact of retail at Chappaqua Crossing to a 1.6 mile walking trail between Chappaqua Crossing and downtown. (Just what mitigating impact a walking trail might have had was never explained, but the project was abandoned on receipt of construction estimates exceeding $10 million)
19. Before finalizing the Comp Plan, proposed moving Town Hall and the Police Station to Chappaqua Crossing claiming, without evidence, that it would help the Chappaqua hamlet.
20. Drove up legal costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting Chappaqua Crossing and Conifer (which Greenstein avidly supported before he flatly condemned it), and supporting the massive expansion of the Sunshine Children’s Home without a full environmental review —all while claiming to be saving money on legal fees.
21. Greenstein and Brodsky opposed an advisory board recommendation for once-a-week garbage pickup and lost the vote—yet they now claim the millions in savings as a TNC accomplishment.
22. Greenstein started (and jealously guards the contents of) the town e-newsletter, in order spin stories his way and put his thumb on the scale regarding topics of public interest
23. Team New Castle claims to have accomplished more in four years than previous boards did in 25 years. How wrong. How insulting to dozens of public servants. How utterly Trumpian.