Aug 20, 2007
The vast majority of you - my American and world-wide readers -
will have never heard of Paul Feiner. Understandable - you don't
live in the town of Greenburgh, a few miles north of New York City,
where my wife and I and family have lived since the summer of
But if you want know a local champion, a tireless fighter for everything that's good in suburban/urban life, then you'd benefit from knowing Paul J. Feiner. He's been Town Superviser of Greenburgh, New York - a two-year, elected position - since 1991. He ran twice for Congress - as a Democrat in what was then a highly Republican district - and lost ... Greenburgh and America's loss.
I've always voted for Paul Feiner, but got to know him really well last year. Verizon was offering fiber optic service in Greenburgh (I'm using it right now in this connection), and needed Town Council approval to offer television service through the fiber optics. Unsurprisingly, Cablevision, which had a monopoly on cable service in this area, opposed Verizon's request.
Feiner, with a mostly balky Town Council baying at his every point, stood up and courageously argued for freedom of choice in television providers in Greenburgh. This might not seem like such a controversial point, but if you've ever been to a local Town Council meeting you'll know that everyone on the council has an opinion, and it's usually not in favor of getting things done.
I was in favor of giving Greenburgh residents a real option in television, I wrote a few editorials arguing for that, but it was Paul Feiner's determination that got this to happen.
And he has been that way on every important local issue. Do you like being woken up all too early on weekend mornings by someone blowing leaves or mowing the lawn at decibel levels that could split your eardrums? Feiner doesn't like that either, and he's doing what he can to keep the noise down. He stays on top of utilities like Con Ed to make repairs today, not tomorrow, after storms. He's advocating wi-fi for a major street in Hartsdale - he wants it for the whole town, every inch of it, and the Hartsdale street would be the start. Paul J. Feiner is on the right side of every issue - meaning, he's positions are ones which I already have - be it nature or high-tech, communication to the world-at-large from your laptop or just dozing on your porch on a quiet Saturday morning.
So, yes, I'm voting for Paul J. Feiner for another term of Town Supervisor. I saw him in front of the A&P last week. And I told him, hey, I not only hope you win, but give that run for Congress another shot some day.
Read more about Paul J. Feiner on his Wikipedia entry.