Greenburgh Town Board Remarks 6-9-04

Statement to the Town Board

June 9, 2004 Meeting

East Rumbrook Park

Submitted by

Richard J. Garfunkel



My name is Richard J. Garfunkel; I am a resident of Tarrytown, NY. I am a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which serves as an advisory board that works to assist the Parks and Recreation Department. We meet once a month and our advisory board considers problems that range from budgets, to evaluating needs assessments, park-naming policy and oversight regarding the condition of the parks. I also serve, at the pleasure of the Supervisor as a deputy town supervisor regarding his liaison program, and I have been personally working on the creation of a beautification foundation for the Town of Greenburgh and the establishment of a task force on alternate sources for energy.


With regards to statements about the condition of Travis Hill Park, made at our last Town Hall meeting, on May 26, 2004, I was asked by Supervisor Paul Feiner to make a personal inspection and report on the condition of that park. With the knowledge of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Chairperson, Mr. Howard Kaplan, I drove to the park the next day, I personally toured the park on my own and with the assistance of two senior Park’s department staff.


In deference to statements made about the condition of the park; vis-à-vis, the fields, the trees, the bathrooms, the utility building, the benches, the grills, the tennis and basketball courts, the water fountains, the walkways, the garbage pick-up, and the lighting, I determined visually the following;


a)      The grass and ball field was cut and maintained well on a ten-day rotation.

b)      The basketball and tennis courts were in excellent shape along with its fencing, there was a slight bit of bicycle marks on the basketball court, and there was graffiti on the hand-ball court wall. I was informed that the wall would be re-painted.

c)      The toilets were working and they will be sanitized and the walls will be touched up. They were adjusted to come into compliance with ADA regulations.

d)      There are six park benches, and four are of a new plastic composite that are clean. The other two park benches are of wood and will be eventually replaced under normal rotation.

e)      The outdoor grills are typical of open park grills.

f)        The fountains are shut off in the winter and are being turned on. One was in the process of being repaired.

g)      There was no garbage or litter and the parks are cleaned on a regular schedule.

h)      New lighting was put in on a walk path adjacent to the courts.

i)        The trees have grown in, to buffer the neighborhood, after the removal of diseased hemlocks.


Overall I found the park in excellent shape and maintained quite well. Every park, including this one, always needs some improvements, and I do take note regarding the condition of the outdoor grills, and the bathrooms. The Chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board invited individuals to attend the monthly meeting of the Advisory Board at the Multi-Purpose Building at Veteran’s Park. At that meeting I presented my report, which is available to the public and the Town Board. Because of time considerations, the report was not analyzed or approved by the Board before my report. I had submitted my report to the Park Commissioner, Mr. Gerry Byrne’s office on the 28th of May, last Friday. Mr. Byrne was out of town at that time and we did not speak about the report before the meeting.


At the meeting, Ms. Thelma Washington, who was a critic of the park’s condition attended, made her comments, and was engaged in questioning by Advisory Board members, including myself. As a consequence of those interchanges, both the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Advisory Board placed perspectives on the table for review.


In conclusion, as a member of the Advisory Board, I have full confidence that the both the Department and the Board will examine closely criticisms made about the park. But I certainly believe that with regards to spending and maintenance of this and every other park, no prejudice, or favoritism has influenced the policy or direction of either the Department or the Board.





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