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Campaign Practices Group Sides with Greenstein on 2 of 3 Complaints

Penny Paderewski (second from left) and Rob Greenstein (right) at the committee meeting in Scarsdale.
Penny Paderewski (second from left) and Rob Greenstein (right) at the committee meeting in Scarsdale.
A group that hears disputes about campaign conduct sided with Team New Castle supervisor candidate Rob Greenstein on two of his three complaints he brought against Democratic opponent Penny Pederewski and the New Castle Democratic committee, making findings that deemed each to be "unfair."

The Westchester Fair Campaign Practices Committee announced its findings on Saturday afternoon after hearing from Greenstein and Paderewski at a morning meeting at the Scarsdale Public Library.

One action that the group declared "unfair" involved a complaint brought from Greenstein about a mailer stating: “The Republicans have proposed to demolish government buildings and build new ones, and the taxpayers will have to foot the bill.”

The committee declared that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the claim. Brought up when the claim was discussed was a July letter to New Castle NOW written by Team New Castle council candidate Adam Brodsky, where he suggested working with a developer to replace town hall in Chappaqua with a multi-use building that included a grocery store, government space and affordable housing. 

Greenstein contended that what would be supported is working through a public-private partnership system, which would be an alternative to raising taxes. He also mentioned this during a recent candidates' night held by the League of Women Voters of New Castle, which was also brought up.

Also deemed "unfair" was a complaint from Greenstein claiming that a mailer stated the following: “Choose the Republican candidates…[i]f you agree that you want to risk that our school taxes…are spent on non-educational purposes.”

The committee's ruling was based on on the fact that the Town of New Castle and the Chappaqua Central School District are separate entities for taxation.

During the meeting, former school board member Jay Shapiro, present on behalf of Paderewski, mentioned how the tax certiorari process works, in which the school district would be responsible for paying out. Evidence of the certiorari process that was considered included recent litigation from Chappaqua Crossing owner Summit/Greenfield requesting reductions in property assessments. If Summit/Greenfield were successful, then the school district and the town would each be responsible for refunding shares of the differences. 

The committee sided with Paderewski and the Democratic committee on one count, which was a complaint from Greenstein that Democratic candidates inaccurate described their Team New Castle counterparts are "the Republicans." The group declared it "fair" because the candidates' names will be on the Republican ballot line.

Team New Castle, which also has the Independence Party ballot line, has candidates with a mix of party affiliations. Greenstein and council candidate Lisa Katz are registered Democrats, Brodsky is non-affiliated while town justice candidate Stuart Miller is a Republican. Greenstein preferred that his group be referred to as the Republican candidates or the Republican slate, for clarity.

Among the documents submitted included legal documents from Summit/Greenfield, Brodsky's letter, and various reports from local news organizations on Chappaqua Crossing.

Two members of the committee with connections to New Castle, former planning board member and Republican candidate Robert Kirkwood and former supervisor Polly Kuhn, recused themselves from reviewing the complaints.
Bassett November 03, 2013 at 08:36 AM
Good to see the Democratic slate and committee called out for the liars they are. They lie, just like the sitting board. Good riddance to them all this Tuesday !!!!
David Browde November 03, 2013 at 10:48 AM
As a relative newcomer to Chappaqua - having lived here for only nine years - I find the level of vitriol at the local level to be truly unfortunate, mirroring that which we see in Washington. Frankly, under these circumstances I can't see much positive in any of these candidates.
Bassett November 03, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Mr. Browde, I respectfully suggest that you learn the issues before the town in this election rather than throwing in the towel and condemning them all. It is not too late to inform yourself.

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