Selfish, maybe; futile? We folded like a wet hanky

Not to be built

Not to be built

A reader inquires about the identity of the Bill Effros who’s providing so much information here on the ongoing MISA fiasco and asks,

Is this the same Mr. Effros whose pursued the selfish and futile litigation over the GHS fields’ lights for years? Became so personally obsessed with the football team playing 3 or 5 night games annually on the GHS site that the town was obliged to obtain an injunction prohibiting him from disrupting town meetings on the topic?

Yes he is, but if you want to know the result of that “futile” litigation, he sets it out here. What the hell was the town thinking to agree to this?


The “Stadium Lights Settlement” proposed by the Town of Greenwich and accepted, without modification, by neighbors, is quite specific. In essence, neighbors dropped 3 lawsuits blocking installation of the light poles, in return for stipulations by the Town of Greenwich that the entire property could not ever be rezoned from R-12 and R-20, and that all restrictions placed on the entire property, since it was assembled as a High School, would be strictly enforced, in perpetuity, with the exception of the use of the Stadium Lights and walkway lights which could be used on 3 Friday nights a year, for regular season home varsity football games.

The high school is in a “dark zone”. It cannot be used at night. It must remain dark, even when the 3 permitted football games are played.

When Town attorneys presented this Settlement to Stamford Superior Court, the Judge was incredulous, and refused to believe The Town was prepared to give up so much, to get so little; notwithstanding assurances from Town Attorneys they had authority to sign the Stipulations and Court Ordered Judgments.

I’m not sure, but I think I might have soiled my pants when I learned from my attorneys The Judge had not accepted The Settlement as presented, and had instructed Town Attorneys he would not accept the Settlement until the ramifications were explained, in detail, by The TOG Legal Department, in Executive Session, to The Board of Education; The Selectmen; The Superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools; The Planning and Zoning Commission; The Wetlands Commission; and The Representative Town Meeting; and voted on by those town agencies in recorded votes.

Town Attorneys returned to Court on 3 occasions to request a waiver of the “vote” requirement. The Judge refused, and threatened to send out marshals to round up Board members who had not yet voted on the Settlement. He would not authorize the Settlement until Town Attorneys could prove all parties to the various suits understood and approved it in recorded votes.

It took 6 months before all the required votes were taken. The Judge told me and my attorneys to go into an antechamber where the Town Attorney would tell me and my attorneys exactly what he had told Town Agencies, to ensure we all had the same understanding of the implications of the Settlement, before he handed down 3 Stipulations and Court Ordered Judgments on July 22, 2003.

I have remembered that judge in my prayers, every night since.

Bill Effros


Filed under MISA

27 responses to “Selfish, maybe; futile? We folded like a wet hanky

  1. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. New England is full of mad men.

  2. Demmerkrat Patriot

    Three words: fear of litigation.

    So many decisions made about our Town and our school system are to avoid litigation. A good example: redistricting. Much of the school system’s inequities are due to this fear of lawsuits over redistricting. Sadly, this mind set remains pervasive throughout the Town administration and elected officials.

  3. Whack job yes….loveable ….not so much, from the taxpayers’ point of view.

    Mr. Effros seems to be crowing that his expensive litigation compelled the town to obey its already-in-effect, longstanding zoning regs …..AND compelled the high school to use the night lights at the stadium for ….[drum roll]… high school night football games!

    Are taxpayers, high school parents and students supposed to applaud?

    If these were the “achievements” of the lawsuit, may we inquire how much taxpayer money had to be pissed away litigating these minutiae, because Mr. Effros thought we ought to? And what about the injunction, please?

    It’s 2013 in America, where every complaint (particularly those related to real estate) gives rise to obsessive, endless, mindless, interminable litigation. Should this be encouraged or discouraged?

    As we enter the second decade of one person’s GHS site obsession, what’s the endgame, Mr. Effros? Or is this just a sport?

    • hmmm

      Are you the chair of the greenwich rtc? We know you are a rino and stand for nothing…

    • Balzac,

      We are all taxpayers, and we are all entitled to equal enforcement of longstanding zoning regulations. It should not be necessary for some of us to have to sue the Town, just to get it to obey its already-in-effect laws and regulations.

      You are quite right, my litigation forced the Town to do just that. It did not compel the Town to use the lights. In fact, if light poles are visible from the Post Road, it compels the Town to take them down. Take a drive past the fields and tell me what you see.

      My litigation was not interminable. I filed in late 2001. The Town offered to settle in 2002. The Town elected not to litigate. It made stipulations the court agreed to enforce in perpetuity.

      The settlement is contained in a deed restriction on the entire GHS property. It is made part of the GHS site plan, by stipulation. It survives me, and it survives my ownership of my property. It is binding on the Town forever. Endgame is simply enforcement of longstanding zoning regulations.

      I am not responsible for the Town illegally dumping toxic waste on its own property, nor am I responsible for the cost of cleaning it up.

      There is no “injunction”. The Town falsely arrested me in 2009 to keep me from monitoring the high school fields in order to fight “MISA”.

      Taxpayers might take note of the P&Z “final site plan” approval for MISA, which stipulates the building must comply with R-12 and R-20 zoning regulations, and must be erected without variances.

      Taxpayers might also take note of the fact that closing the high school will cost a fraction of trying to remediate it to standards that will allow its continued use as a school.

      Bill Effros

  4. Walt

    Dude –
    Firstly, and touché, and forever more, ad hominid, ibid, etc cetera, if your name is Bill Frigging Effros, you are a loser. He bought next to the High School, at a discount, to look at all the poodle sweater wearing cheerleaders, and now he expects a premium? SCREW HIM. The demented little pervert.
    It was there when you bought it. You didn’t see it, you frigging nimrod? You sicken me.
    Your Pal,

    • Walt,

      You can do better than that! I’m insulted at your lack of effort.

      There is no question I bought my home at a discount, but that discount was due to a zoning change permitting the YMCA to build a new facility right next to my property, on the corner of Old Church Road and the Post Road. We all know how that turned out.

      I could neither see nor hear the high school when I moved in because there was a large woodland swamp between me and the school, which, I was told, could never be altered. Occasionally I would hear the distant sound of children playing on the one field permitted for curriculum-related activities, located at the northern end of the high school property, more than a quarter mile away.


  5. Greenwich Gal

    You are so wrong here. Bill Effros – crazy or not – has every right to defend his rights and his property values. GHS looks like the freakin’ Bronx and is doing no favors for the town of Greenwich much less the immediate neighbors. Fight away Bill Effros! Someone at TOWN of GREENWICH needs to be responsible for the cesspool that GHS has become.

  6. Greenwich Gal

    Pucker up Walt, you hilarious old fart!
    (Secretly, I am hoping you are a young, hot, hedge fund stud who used to wrote jokes at Harvard’s Lampoon for laughs…)

  7. Greenwich Gal

    “write” I mean – WRITE! Jeez. I can’t see the type -o’s anymore. I think I am going to break down and have to buy – gasp – readers!
    “guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses…”

  8. towny

    The Greenwich Real Estate Mafia Posse is after Bill Effros.

  9. Greenwich Taxpayer

    What is most disturbing is that our Town Attorneys were looking for a waiver of the vote requirement. Another attempt at a back room deal gone awry. It also points to how inept our RTM is. They had the power to nix the deal but, once again, they rubber stamped the deal. When will the RTM wake up and serve as the “checks and balance” body it was meant to be? Not in my lifetime. Look at the MISA mess. No one to blame but the RTM, a body that could have ended it before it was started. So sad.

  10. Jason Blair

    The RTM never voted on any such thing. The RTM’s only involvement with litigation is to approve payment of any funds needed for a settlement. There were no monies paid to Effros, and no RTM involvement. Is it asking too much for citations to official minutes (that are available online) to support statements such as were made? And if this piece of information is wrong, how do you know any of the claim is correct? What nonsense that a Superior Court Judge would do what Effros claims. But this is a blog. No cite checking necessary.

    • I sued the RTM, and the RTM was required to approve the Settlement offered by The Town, notwithstanding the fact no money was involved.

      The Town Attorney told the Judge The Moderator of the RTM had asked that the RTM vote be delayed until September to avoid calling the RTM into special session in July. The Town Attorney also told the Judge the Moderator of the RTM had the authority to accept the settlement on behalf of the RTM prior to the vote.

      Funny you should mention the “official minutes”. The Town Attorney submitted “official minutes” of the May 2013 RTM meeting to the Freedom of Information Commission that don’t match the video of the meeting, submitted at the same time.

      The “official minutes” claim the RTM added a $9,660,000 bond authorization for MISA PCB Remediation in “Item 4” to the $47,653,000 bond authorization approved in “Item 3”.

      “Let’s go to the videotape!” (as a former Town resident used to say.)

      The RTM Moderator plainly states, in the video of the meeting which can be found on-line, in answer to a point of order, that all bond authorizations are contained in “Item 3” and that “Item 4” is solely an appropriation.

      I will be sending a FOIA request to TOG Comptroller Mynarski on Monday asking for a copy of the 2014 Greenwich General Obligation Bond Offering to see if it claims an amount greater than $47,653,000 has been authorized by The RTM, and also to see if the MISA PCB contingent liability is disclosed in the bond offering as required by SEC regulations.

      Did anyone look at the “Official Minutes” of the May 2013 RTM Meeting prior to their approval? Town Regulations require the minutes to be kept pursuant to Roberts Rules of Order. The May 2013 RTM Meeting minutes aren’t even close, failing to restate motions, inserting motions never made, omitting points of order…

      I’ll send Chris a copy of my FOIA request when it goes out.

      “Official Minutes”! What a joke!

      Bill Effros

      PS — Have you seen the “Official Minutes” of the April 24, 2013 Special BET meeting??? Those clowns haven’t a clue as to how a meeting is required to be run, But, hey, it’s just a $350 million budget, and taxpayers don’t really care what happens to their money…

      • Anonymous

        The RTM is not a legal entity and cannot be sued. If your lawsuit actually survived, it would have to have been a claim against the Town of Greenwich. How about a docket number, so our journalistic blogger can verify your claims? When you make up your facts, can you at least be consistent? First, the settlement had to await a September RTM meeting so the full RTM could vote to approve it. (Never mind that only the Claims Committee which meets whenever necessary handles any litigation settlements, in lieu of 230 members discussing confidential matters on TV.) Then, you say the Moderator approved the settlement. So apparently there was no RTM “vote.” Of course, the Moderator has no authority to approve a litigation settlement. But why let the facts get in the way of a dreamer’s vision? I’m sure you actually believe your made up facts.

        • “The RTM is not a legal entity and cannot be sued.”

          Do you mean the RTM is a figment of my imagination?

          According to Article 13 of The Greenwich Town Charter, sections 167 through 175, the RTM (Defined as “Representative Town Meeting of the Town of Greenwich” ) is a legal entity, and as such can be, and was sued, along with The Town of Greenwich; The Town of Greenwich Board of Education; The Town of Greenwich Planning and Zoning Commission; The Town of Greenwich Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals; and The Town of Greenwich Public Schools; by me.

          With regard to whether or not the RTM voted in September, 2003, or whether or not, The Moderator of the RTM had the authority to approve the Settlement, it’s a bit late to bring this matter up with Stamford Superior Court which was told by The Town Attorney he did, and it would, but maybe that’s what the RTM wants to do, and that’s fine with me.

          All of the artificial turf fields were installed based on The Town Attorney’s assurance the RTM would approve them at the September, 2003 meeting, along with the 3 Court Orders handed down by Stamford Superior Court on this matter; and that the Moderator of The RTM had the authority to speak for the RTM before the matter was put to a vote.

          The docket numbers are CV-01-0186121-S; CV-02-0187823-S; and CV-02-0190416. If you would like to see the copies signed by the judge, you must ask the Stamford Superior Court Clerk; the copies held in the Town of Greenwich Legal Department bear only my signature, my attorney’s signature, (I think), and the signature of the Greenwich Town Attorney.

          Bill Effros

  11. Once

    I think someone is being unfair to the National Ukraine Tek college:

  12. Greenwich Gal

    So where does one read the decision re: GHS and Effros decision for themselves?

    • Anonymous

      you dont

    • Ask the Town Attorney for a copy.

      There is nothing “formal” about FOIA requests. You can do it by email as long as you make clear what document you seek.

      Don’t ask to see a “decision” — this is a “Stipulation and Order of Judgment” commonly known as a “Court Order”. William Effros v. Town of Greenwich; Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals; Greenwich Board of Education; The Representative Town Meeting of the Town of Greenwich; The Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Greenwich, and The Town of Greenwich.

      There are actually three of them, one bearing Docket number CV-01-0186121-S; one bearing Docket number CV-02-0187823-S; and one bearing Docket number CV-02-0190416. If you would like to see copies signed by the judge, you must ask the Stamford Superior Court Clerk.

      Bill Effros

  13. Anonymous

    You guys are getting him excited. Mr. Effros pants and stretches out his slacks when people think he’s important by suing. He’s wasted hundreds of thousands of his dollars and yours for absolutely nothing. But you can bet he refreshes his browser every minute or so to check the progress of this thread. Just think how he feels the shudder down his thigh when he wrote the posts above.