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Mar 4, 2009 1:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Supervisor has bone to pick over councilwoman's dog

Mar 4, 2009 1:02 PM

Former Town Councilman Dan Russo, however, was more blunt about the controversy, saying it was purely political.

“When I was in the town council office, I hardly knew Frankie was there and never once heard any complaints about him,” Mr. Russo said. “I find it suspect that she’s being criticized about this now. I’ve been on the opposite side of the supervisor’s personal attacks, and this is what happens when you start asking the tough questions.”

The supervisor said her office gets about one complaint a week, mostly from town employees, about the dog, though Ms. Kabot declined to identify who has filed them.

Ms. Throne-Holst said she did not realize that bringing her dog was problematic because she recalled coming to Town Hall when she was the director of the Bridgehampton Child Care Center and seeing Marietta Seaman, town clerk from 1994-2006, with her dogs. Ms. Seaman used to train guide dogs and would bring them to work as part of that training.

According to Town Attorney Dan Adams, the “No Dogs” signs Ms. Graboski referred to reflect town policy, not town code. As Mr. Adams explained, town policy is less formal than town code, which carries charges, fines and possible jail time for violations.

“Town policy does not carry the same weight as town code,” Mr. Adams said. “Policies do not set fines or punishment, and the adherence to them can be debated among town officials.”

The town attorney also said that there is no overarching state or county law that dictates town policy toward dogs inside Town Hall.

“We have the power to determine that policy,” he said. “At the end of the day, this is something that is going to have to be revisited by the Town Board.”

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What about common sense? Pets do not belong in the workplace. I dont know of any place of business that would allow an employee to bring a pet to the workplace. I know its the east end of Long Island and not a corporate office in Manhattan, but ther are unspoken rules of professional etiquette that should be observed. Southampton Town should not have to create a policy banning pets from the workplace. Any person with an ounce of professionalism or common sense should know that bringing a pet ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Mar 4, 09 10:50 AM
Oh, for goodness sakes - this is the stupidest issue I've seen so far in Town Hall politics. Why on earth can't we have a dog or 2 (or 3) in Town Hall? What harm can this little mutt get into? I can see if someone brought in a St. Bernard or Rottweiler, but this little guy is only 12 pounds of fluff. If anything, studies have proven that animals in the workplace actually work to bring blood pressures down. From what I've read, this is exactly what they need over there right now. I say we keep ...more
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Mar 4, 09 11:01 AM
How trivial ! Let Ms. Throne-Holst bring her dog to work !
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Mar 4, 09 11:04 AM
According to this article, Ms. Kabot said, "“I really don’t want to get involved with it as this will be considered petty at this point with the other bickering going on,” Ms. Kabot said. “There is no need to create more tension and dysfunction in town government.” Then why did you bring it up in the first place and why is it being reported in the Press. I thought the supervisor did not like airing personnel matters in the newspaper. She said that way of addressing such issues was hurtful. Are ...more
By Viewpoint (26), Southampton on Mar 4, 09 11:53 AM
Keep the dog, get rid of Ms. Kabot
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Mar 4, 09 11:55 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By NYC (7), Amagansett on Mar 4, 09 12:55 PM
just a cheap low blow by kabot to try to distract the public from the real issues like the budget fiasco thats going on!
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Mar 4, 09 1:04 PM
A Town CouncilPerson, someone in a leadership position is unaware that bringing a pet to work is unprofessional? Really, she didn't know any better? Really? Did she get the dog from ARod's cousin?

By CommonSense (71), Southampton on Mar 4, 09 1:20 PM
Your tax dollars hard at work
By lgfla (8), Southampton on Mar 4, 09 1:54 PM
Nancy Graboski! Shame on you!! Do represent town employees "Afraid of loosing their jobs"? How can you make such an accusation without ANY proof. It is obvious that you will do whatever the Supervisor wants you to do. You are both attacking the councilwomen who is asking the tough questions about the town finances. With all of the important issues the town faces, this is what you choose to comment upon.
Again, Nancy, You are such a disappointment.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Mar 4, 09 2:16 PM
O my heavens! The Town is missing how many millions of dollars, and this is a story?

I like dogs, but they don't belong in the workplace, much less Town Hall! And is sure does seem like the Councilwoman has a sense of entitlement!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Mar 4, 09 2:20 PM
Ms Graboski, were you really fearful for your job, you couldnt talk until now, wouldnt it have been less humiliating for you to not have this go public?????? this is such a ridiculous article, I think Holst handled it beautifully.
By leavingli66 (8), southampton on Mar 4, 09 2:39 PM
A bunch of cats fighting over a dog. Professionalism has sunk to a new low at Town hall along with transparency, good governance, fairness and competency.
Send all of them to the pound and get a new breed!
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Mar 4, 09 2:42 PM
keep dog send throne holst home!
By native son (9), Cutchogue on Mar 4, 09 3:27 PM
Wow! One would have thought that a single mother raising 3 teenagers, with a full time job in public service would also be allowed to have some concern for animal rights too. Unless there was a public outcry against small pets in the work place, I would rather have a public servant working 16 hours a day, then have her rush home to have to take care of her pets. When I lived in Washington DC all the public servants left the office at 4.55pm, you have someone working to 9pm every night and you ...more
By PhilippeB (1), west palm beach on Mar 4, 09 3:34 PM
Why don't we just hire another employee to look after the dog!!!!
By eastender09 (29), southampton on Mar 4, 09 4:22 PM
Ms Kabot, to claim you don't want to bring up something 'petty' because it would cause further 'dysfunction?' Then, why did you?

You're not your sister's keeper? Well I do think you are in charge. Seems like you could have quietly mentioned this to Ms. Throne Holst when it first came to your attention and she would have obliged.

Whether you like it or not, any management job, and I am assuming that's what a Town Supervisor position is considered, requires dealing with petty and ...more
By RealLocal (76), Bridgehampton on Mar 4, 09 4:31 PM
Are you kidding me? Ms Kabot-please go away. You just made yourself look the fool here in a big, bad way. Shouldn't you be worried with more important issues involving the actual town? Get a clue! You obviously have some sort of personal vendetta with this woman and you shouldn't be dealing with it this way. As town supervisor it's your job to ensure the success and survival of its residents, not to worry about a tiny canine that has nothing to do with the proposal this woman created. If ...more
By eastendgolf (28), Manorville on Mar 4, 09 5:33 PM
Wow, yet a new low. Every dog should have its day. Since when did sniping slip onto the town agenda?
By JVB (7), Westhampton on Mar 4, 09 8:09 PM
i have a solution. hire a man.
By hamptons surfer (79), southampton on Mar 5, 09 6:56 AM
i have another solution. a no holds jello wrestling match. both of my suggetions would reflect the seriousness of this situation adequately.
By hamptons surfer (79), southampton on Mar 5, 09 6:57 AM
Everybody bring their dog! Bring your kids! Bring your pet Monkey. It's a workplace you idiots. You see people in charge breaking protocol and it undermines the system.
By lirider (288), Westhampton Beach on Mar 5, 09 6:59 AM
This is Linda Kabot trying to drag others down. It is her leadership style. By the way, well said, PhilippeB.
Now...can our chief financial officer, Linda Kabot, please justify our capital budget and stop sniping and do your job.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Mar 5, 09 8:18 AM
If SH Town sold tickets to the jello-wrestling..............but seriously, Kabot is an embarrassment and a hack. This is not only tax dollars at work - it is our votes at work, which makes it even more pathetic. What's next - will Gal Friday have Code Enforcement bust down the door to Annas office and arrest her?

Kabot should just resign, if she wants to stay in Politics, let her run against Mayor Mini Madoff Motz in Quogue - where she lives. I think it was 80 votes to get elected and then ...more
By G (342), Southampton on Mar 5, 09 11:52 AM
hey why not have the dog become the auditor for the books? he'll do a better job than Kabot's Klowns
By littleplains (305), olde england on Mar 5, 09 2:17 PM
I cannot even believe I am reading this story. It's small, narrow minded and a waste of time! This is an embarrassment to everyone that lives in Southampton Town. Ms. Kabot and Ms. Graboski focus on the issues! This just shows how low you both are.
By powerwalker (52), Southampton on Mar 5, 09 9:50 PM
Good Heavens! If little Frankie is in training as a therapy dog, why shouldn't he be allowed into Town Hall as any other service dog?
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Mar 6, 09 9:20 AM
didn't the former town clerk, marietta seaman, bring her puppies to work? and weren't they being trained as service dogs? never heard a peep about marietta's dogs. so maybe this isn't really about dogs at all.
By easthamptoner (34), easy hampton on Mar 6, 09 2:48 PM
I agree with Councilman Nuzzi, is this really a pertinent issue right now? It's a small dog in an office, get over it.
By EQ Local (4), East Quogue on Mar 6, 09 3:36 PM
There are alot more important things that LInda Kabot should be worrying about in town hall. If no one complained then there should be no reason for this argument. If someone was affraid to speak up about it than maybe ther shouldn't be working for the town because maybe they will be affraid to speak up about other matters. I can think of alot easier and nicer ways to ask someone to stop doing something than bringing it up to public. I can see if she was asked several times to not bring the dog ...more
By courtesy (43), Southampton on Mar 6, 09 6:01 PM
It is amazing that there is so much free time at town hall that Anna Throne -Holst and Marietta Seamen can care for her dogs at work . Can anyone bring there dog to the town hall? Is there a size requirement? Who pays if someone is bitten or trips over a dog? How much do these people get paid? I agree with the other comentators where are these peoples mannors. This is a place of bussiness.
This sounds like a case for Pat Lynch it could keep her busy and away from the Southampton Town Animal ...more
By M (2), Southampton on Mar 6, 09 9:27 PM
Seems more than a little unfocused, not to mention mean spirited of Ms. Kabot to go after a harmless little dog during a budget discussion and use it to try to make a colleague look incompetent.

How petty. Does anyone remember Bebe, the Post Office dog? He is burried at the P.O. What a great ambassador for the place he was.

I'm not advocating that everyone starts bringing their pit bulls to work, but small, friendly creatures do no harm, might do some good in the stress ...more
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Mar 7, 09 6:51 AM
It seems lately, that if it is not a dog fight in Town Hall ,it is a cat fight
There is the medical issue and concern of allergies and asthma! Public officials should view how their behavior impacts others--not all about her desires and the dog's well being. A dog's dander can trigger an asthmatic attack and aggravate allergies.
The public and town employees using the building for a short amount of time or a longer period can have health problems from a dog's presence. And I agree, the employees will be reluctant to "rock the boat" about a superior's behaviors--the ...more
By sb (1), Southampton on Mar 7, 09 9:21 AM
34 comments! Good lord - and I'm dumb enough to be #35 - well shame on me - but the 34 previous - yea - the fault is with her Press - who the h##l cares?
Just give me some tax relief. Anybody - please - Linda - don't be distracted
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Mar 8, 09 10:37 PM
Dogs rule! It sounds like a lot of people drool
By clamman (1), Westhampton on Mar 9, 09 2:52 PM
I think the issue here is that Ms. Throne-Holst is putting herself above everyone else! What happens if everyone employeed at Town Hall brings thier pet to work? Or perhaps every visitor brings in thier pets when they have business at Town hall. While I love being with my pets, and do bring them to work with me periodically that is why I chose the profession I did so I would be given that opportunity. Perhaps Ms Throne-Holst should start working at the animal shelter on a daily basis so she can ...more
By animalcaregiver (14), sag harbor on Mar 9, 09 4:27 PM
By kkathkon@aol.com (3), Flanders on Mar 9, 09 11:35 PM
"What happens if everyone employeed at Town Hall brings thier pet to work," animalcaregiver?

The mean IQ inside Town Hall would rise considerably!

Taxes, people! Taxes! And that missing $19 million!

Who votes these people into office?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Mar 10, 09 7:58 PM
Dogs do not belong at work. Ms. Seaman was a "puppy walker". The dogs wore a vest that identified them. These dogs are not pets, they are guidedogs in training. If Ms. Throne-Holst's dog was a true service dog, it would be identified as such. What she said is she may use the dog in this capacity. Her reason for bringing the dog to work is she doesn't want it to be at home while she works. There are thousands and thousands of people across the country who work long hours and have dogs and ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 09 8:44 PM