The analogies put forth in Mr. DePietto’s letter [“Feiner is doing Greenburgh no favor with his planned appeal,” June 5] are simply nonsense. Comparing either President Xi reneging on a promise to allow Hong Kong some independence, or the fascist president of Brazil threatening martial law, with Edgemont getting to vote on incorporation demonstrates a total lack of perspective. What has happened is simply that the petition must comply with the law before the issue gets on the ballot.
The first time around, Mr. Feiner rejected the petition on legal grounds. The petitioners then filed an Article 78 and that court overturned Mr. Feiner’s ruling. The town, along with numerous other objectors, appealed the ruling to the 2nd Department who unanimously overturned the lower court ruling and reinstated Mr. Feiner’s decision. Well before the lower court had even decided their Article 78, the petitioners started a second petition finally filing it almost two years later. Mr. Feiner rejected that petition on similar grounds (plus other grounds) to the first. The petitioners again filed an Article 78 and again the lower court ruled in their favor. The town (and other objectors) are now simply exercising their legal right of appeal.
Mr. DePietto’s assertion that Mr. Feiner rejected the petition for personal gain is equally suspect. First of all, Edgemont’s incorporation would not change the voter base since the election is townwide anyway. The only way incorporation would hurt Mr. Feiner is because of the damage it would do to the town. While even the petitioner’s own analysis demonstrated that significant damage to the town is likely to happen if Edgemont incorporates, this was clearly not the basis for Mr. Feiner’s decision as upheld by the 2nd Department the first time around and yet to be decided this time. Mr Feiner’s decision was based on the insufficiency of the petition relative to the law. That is all.
Finally, assertion that I, in my previous letter (written by me personally, not the town), was using COVID-19 as an excuse not to have a vote does not stand up either. The economic impact of COVID-19 is a reality and its long-term economic impact is largely unknown. It is having a severe direct impact on our businesses and consequently our tax base. That affects the town, as well as the school and fire districts. We need all hands on deck to deal with this issue. Trying to formulate a new government from scratch at this time would only detract from this effort and run up additional debt the community simply cannot afford. Further, incorporation, even if it were a great idea, cannot and would not have a positive impact on the COVID-19 crisis. It would be two years or more before a village government would be formed, village trustees elected, services completely taken over from the town, and a new village code drafted and implemented.
It is simply not the right time for incorporation.