GREENBURGH, N.Y. Since he was first elected Greenburgh Town Supervisor in 1991, Paul Feiner has helped over 80 percent of the community, he estimates. Now running for his 11th term, he said that he is confident that he can do more for the town.
The thing that I like about the job is that it never gets boring, said Feiner. Even though Ive been here 20 years, every day is exciting.
Feiner is running unopposed, again. He has the Democrat, Working Families and Indpendence endorsements. His main goals going into the 2012-2014 term are to consolidate government, bring new businesses to Greenburgh, begin mulching leaves, and to reconstruct a new Tappan Zee Bridge while making a high line out of the old one.
Feiner said that he welcomes challenges to his supervisor position, as contested elections are what democracy is all about, he said. However, this year, still no party joined the race.
As much as I had wanted to and planned to, I was forced to pull out, Tom Bock, a former New York State Assembly candidate, said ahead of the primary elections. I really wanted to kick his butt. Weve had 20 years of nothing but the same.
While Greenburgh has nearly 30,000 registered Democrats and just over 11,000 registered Republicans, approximately 60 percent of those who voted for Feiner at his 2009 Supervisor election, even though he ran unopposed.
Back in 2001, Feiner was named the most interesting politician in Westchester by Westchester Magazine. He makes house calls and has office hours on Sundays at a local market. Feiners Facebook, Twitter and blog pages are constantly updated with news about job posts and upcoming events to opening restaurants and potential law changes.
I get satisfaction from this job not with the title, but from helping people, said Feiner. I like getting the thrill of knowing Im making a difference in peoples lives. Im very accessible to people, whether theyre homeless or multi-millionaires. I really listen to the public. One of my best qualities is reinventing the status quo. I dont think Ive ever gotten stale. Im always thinking of different ways of making the town more efficient.
Before becoming supervisor, Feiner served for eight years as a Westchester County Legislator and won the right for the public to speak at legislative meetings, and asked that meetings be held at night for a larger turnout.
I want everybody to feel like Im their friend, said Feiner. No matter how successful or unsuccessful they are, I want them to feel like Ill treat them like the most important person in the world.
However, running unopposed does not eliminate the naysayers. Many residents have criticized that Greenburghs property taxes are too high and that the towns budget is not always used wisely. Some have said that Feiner diverts attention away from the real problems and only highlights the projects that make him look good.
I just look at all the failings within the town and recognize, as so many others have, that Paul lacks real-world experience as well as management experience, said Bock. Its time that we bring honesty and true open government.
The 2011 General Election will be held on Nov. 8.
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