“I’ve never really had the support of the political leadership, but I’ve done well among ordinary voters because I’m always looking for ways to help any voter,” Greenburg Town Supervisor Paul Feiner told the business journal New York during a discussion. Number of town initiatives. “They have full access to me; they can call me during the day, on the weekends. We’ll have town officials come and visit them, down a block. The town is very responsive to voters.”
For Feiner and Greenburgh, businesses, large and small, as well as professional practitioners, are an important constituency and part of the town’s economic engine.
“I’ve been driving around Central Avenue, and a lot of the little shops that were vacant are now being replaced by smaller shops,” Feiner said. “We provide exceptional service, and I want people and businesses who come here to know that if they have a problem, they won’t get an answering machine or wait an hour. We’re creating a culture in town where people feel We will respond to their concerns.”
Feiner, who has noted Greensburg’s lack of a chamber of commerce, believes the chamber can be an important tool for lobbying and networking on behalf of its business members, while fostering a sense of community among businesses. He therefore proposed the establishment of such an organization and made an open invitation to a meeting.
“I’m amazed that Fort Greene hasn’t had a chamber of commerce in years. They probably tried decades ago and it never worked,” Feiner said. “One of my goals for this year is to have a very active chamber. I put up a notice and we now have about 30 volunteers.”
On January 1, Feiner’s cabinet held its second organizational meeting. 9.
“We’re going to reach out to businesses, and I hope we can help local businesses survive, take advantage of programs that can help them,” Feiner said. “There might be tax breaks; there might be marketing jobs. We might try to get students with marketing skills to help with social media. Maybe we could even create student opportunities to help students build their own businesses. If you don’t use e-commerce, you You can’t survive as a small business. We’re going to have programs, conferences and networking events. We’re going to organize street events. We’re going to have programs where residents get discounts.”
Feiner noted that many villages in Greenburg Township already have chambers of commerce serving the local community.
“The Rivertowns Chamber is great. The Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown Chamber is great,” Feiner said. “We’ll look at what they’re doing and try to do the same for the unincorporated Greenburgh businesses.”
Feiner emphasized that the town’s economic development is happening in a variety of ways, including the Regeneron’s $1.8 billion expansion project, the opening of a new ShopRite supermarket in a few weeks, planned improvements to Route 119 due to a complete street study, and the planned start of construction New affordable housing, senior housing, and market-rate housing projects.
“Fort Greene has a lot of land that can be developed,” Feiner said. “Your country club is either for sale like Elmwood or part of the property for assisted living like Metropolis. You have office space on Route 119 that can be redeveloped into mixed use. You have Four Corners in Hartsdale that can be Developed for mixed use. Great potential for development.”
Feiner envisions that some future multifamily developments may come in the form of apartments or co-ops rather than rental buildings. With that in mind, Greenburgh worked with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti last year to pass legislation they sponsored that would allow Greenburgh to assess condos and co-ops at the residential property tax rate, rather than the lower commercial tax rate it has been doing. in practice. Gov. Hochul signed the bill, which affects only Fort Greene, into law in December. 23. Existing co-ops and condos in Fort Greene will continue to be taxed at the business rate.
“We want to make sure if there is a development, we can keep the tax as low as possible. This year we lowered the tax rate by 6 percent,” Feiner said. “If we can get more revenue (from new developments), that will help all taxpayers.”
This marks the 32nd year that Democrat Feiner has served as the town supervisor of Greenburgh. He is Westchester County’s longest-serving public administrator. He previously served on the Westchester County Legislative Council and began his political career as a volunteer at the age of 12, running in the successful Ogden Reed Congressional campaign in 1968.
“The world is changing, and we have to be willing to adapt to the changing business environment,” Feiner said. “Greenburg’s location is really great. We’ve been able to lower our tax rates, but they’re going up. Our bonds are rated AAA, the highest rating. It’s not a community with financial problems.”