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Letter to the Editor: Bill Snyder on Proposed Hospital Addition PDF Print Email
masterpenandquille

June 29, 2011: Editor's Note:  Below is a letter to the Bronxville Planning Board written by William B. Snyder.  A copy was sent to MyhometownBronxville for publication.

Members of the Bronxville Village Planning Board
200 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, NY 10708

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I and my family have lived in Bronxville for over 50 years.  Our three children were born in Lawrence Hospital, and the entire family have all benefited from any number of elective and emergency services at Lawrence.

I presently live in Eastbourne, across Pondfield Road from the hospital, so I have a continuing interest in the well-being of the Village and the hospital from several viewpoints.

We have over the years seen the North wing, the power plant, and two parking decks built, plus numerous other improvements, all of which projects were evaluated and approved by our neighbors who were on the board of governors at those times, myself included.

All these additions and improvements were accomplished in the effort to keep Lawrence up to date and competitive with other area and New York City hospitals.

Each addition involved a certain amount of disruption to Village life for a period of time, but has proved worthwhile, nevertheless.

I appreciate that this proposed project is a major step forward in keeping Lawrence financially and physically viable, and feel if we want to continue to benefit from our own hospital, governed by our neighbors with no hidden agendas, we should put up with the disruption and loss of open space and support the project as best we can.

Sincerely,

William B. Snyder
Eastbourne
June 21, 2011

 
Letter to the Editor: Mary Neagle Smith on 'Repeated Break-ins' and Changed Locks at Eastchester Fire Department PDF Print Email

masterpenandquille

 

Dear Editor:

I have regularly followed the "behaviors" (and I use that word deliberately) of the Eastchester Fire Board on the local government channel.  The $14.5 million Eastchester Fire District budget (Bronxville, Eastchester, Tuckahoe) is a property tax levy determined by this Board.

In a troubling and bizarre set of circumstances, the locks to the "front office" of the Eastchester Fire District were changed in March, locking out Fire Chief Grogan.

Supposedly this happened not because Chief Grogan unearthed financial irregularities (which he did), but because the front office was broken into "5 or 6 times" over a year and a half.

According to EFD Commissioner Richard Steigelman, "Every morning she'd come in and the doors would be unlocked with folders all over the desk," referring to Cara Piliero (EFD Secretary/Treasurer).

Despite the repeated break-ins, the police were not informed and there are no police reports; indeed there are no EFB records or any communications regarding any break-ins (according to FOIL response).  One might ask, why not?

Regarding the lock change, purportedly there are no records regarding any communication from the EFB or any Commissioner authorizing a change of lock, expenditure for new locks, or any new policy limiting the Fire Chief's access to the front office.

So, the question remains, who did authorize the expenditure, installation and limited access to the front office? In short, who locked the Fire Chief out, and why?

According to NY Town Law 176-a: the Fire Chief "shall also have supervision...of all officers and employees of the fire department." How can the Fire Chief be "responsible for the overall operation of the Fire Department," (taken from Eastchester Fire District's description in the Eastchester Town website) when he is locked out of the front office?

When refusing to answer a direct question regarding the new lock installation by Fire Commissioner Winter, Ms. Piliero seemed to smirk.

What's so funny?

I hope that public pressure continues so that the Eastchester Fire Board will become transparent in its operations, follow best business practices, and adhere to laws and regulations.

Mary Neagle Smith
Bronxville, June 22, 2011

Editor's Note: MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.  Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
Letter to the Editor: Helen Levitz on Lawrence Hospital's Proposed Addition PDF Print Email

masterpenandquille

Dear Editor,

Regarding your May 18 article on the May 11 Planning Board meeting and Lawrence Hospital Center's Major Hospital Expansion proposal, we [Alger Court residents] would like to note that construction is only one aspect of our concern.  I would like to make the following clarifications:

The proposal is no longer for the Radiology Oncology Center LHC has emphasized in its marketing and press materials.  The current project is for a three-story, 42,000 sq. ft. addition, bordering a residential neighborhood, in which the new Radiation Oncology Center would occupy only one third of the added space.*  The Village's Zoning Code allows a special permit applicant (such as a hospital) to build a 5,000 sq. ft. addition. LHC is asking the Village for variances to add more than 8 times the allowed square footage as well as to build out to the sidewalk at the traffic circle and on the edge of a residential neighborhood just 15 yards away.  With respect to frontage on the street, currently our Zoning Code allows for 50 linear feet.  The LHC addition will be at least double that length on the Pondfield Road side.

LHC's neighbors are not against LHC adding a Radiology Oncology Center.  LHC has other alternatives on its campus for adding this new service, along with the requisite new equipment.  The neighbors are opposed to LHC's blurring of the vastly expanded project and marketing the proposal as if it were only a "modest addition" for a radiation therapy/cancer center.  In fact, the footprint of the proposal is ¾ of an acre** which represents 20 percent of the entire LHC campus.  Moreover, the proposed three-story addition will be constructed to support six floors and will include two new six-story elevators, in order to accommodate future expansion of the hospital.  In Westchester County this sort of project is generally allowed only in commercially zoned areas or on the campuses of institutions with very large acreage (Phelps Memorial Hospital/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Sleepy Hollow has 69 acres.)  None of this is in keeping with the Village's Community Plan 2009.

Sincerely,
Helen Levitz
Alger Court
June 8, 2011

*LHC's April 4, 2011 Certificate of Need filing with the NYS Department of Health and the February 4, 2011 Application for a Building Permit filed with the Village of Bronxville.
**LHC permit filing with the Village states ".73 acres of disturbance."

Editor's Note: MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.  Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
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