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Sep 22, 2010 11:43 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town bracing for stingy 2011 budget

Sep 22, 2010 11:43 AM

Growing personnel costs, declining revenue streams and pleas to refill now-vacant positions are just some of the factors that will color Southampton Town’s 2011 budget—one of the most difficult spending plans town officials say they have ever had to craft.

Department heads at Town Hall have submitted their initial requests for 2011, the first step of the budgeting process, and Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst announced at a Town Board work session on Thursday, September 16, that the combined requests would translate into a $9 million tax increase if the Town Board adopted them as the final spending plan.

“And I say that only to get everyone ready for some hard work and hard decisions we’re going to have to make,” she added at the time.

Town officials were careful to note that the $9 million in the requested budget is not what they plan to approve in a tentative or final budget, and that the departmental requests are under review and will be modified in the tentative budget, which will be filed on September 30, and formally unveiled on October 1.

The details of the departmental budget requests are not being shared with the public. Town officials, including Ms. Throne-Holst, rejected a Freedom of Information Law request filed last week by The Press seeking a copy of the working documents that will lead to the 2011 budget. The request was accompanied by an opinion by the state’s Committee on Open Government—a state agency charged with deciding issues of public access— concluding that such documents, including the breakdown by department of the initial funding requests, are considered statistical or factual tabulation, to which the public is entitled access. The opinion referenced a ruling by Robert J. Freeman, executive director of the committee.

“I think I need to respect some of the sensitivity around it,” Ms. Throne-Holst said, referring to departmental requests for individual salaries and other items, in declining to provide the information sought by FOIL. The budget requests submitted by departments do not include any layoffs, according to the supervisor.

Town Attorney Michael Sordi issued a letter denying the FOIL request, noting that Mr. Freeman’s interpretation is “an outdated opinion.” He also upheld a memo authored by Assistant Town Attorney Joseph Burke denying the request, which essentially states that those documents are not considered to be statistical or factual information. “The nature of this information is recommendations, estimations and proposals,” Mr. Burke stated in the memo, adding that they are exempt from FOIL as a result.

The $9 million figure represents requests by department heads to refill vacancies, or to promote people to positions within the department, according to Ms. Throne-Holst and Comptroller Tamara Wright. The figure also represents rising retirement, health care and debt service costs, coupled with declining revenues, such as mortgage tax receipts, which are expected to fall short this year by $1 million.

Ms. Wright said that the 2011 requested budget is $86.8 million, up about 9 percent from this year’s actual operating budget of $79.7 million.

As the Southampton Town Board discussed the $9 million figure cited by Ms. Throne-Holst last week, Town Councilman Jim Malone asked how much of an increase that would mean in terms of the municipality’s cap on property tax increases, which limit an annual increase to 5 percent.

“So, it’s three or four times outside the cap?” Mr. Malone asked.

“Just about,” Ms. Throne-Holst replied.

“Wow,” Mr. Malone said.

Later that day, Councilman Chris Nuzzi criticized the supervisor for announcing the number and said it was irresponsible for her to bring it up. “Because in no way is that going to be the outcome in next year’s budget,” he said, adding that he could not see himself being in favor of filling most vacancies in positions.

Mr. Malone agreed with Mr. Nuzzi. “With regard to me ... it’s a nonstarter,” he said of the figure.

Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski also said the figure has little significance, since it’s simply the initial departmental requests. “It really doesn’t mean anything to me, that number,” she said. “I think if I were not an elected official and I were a local resident, and I read that, I’d be distressed. But that’s not where things are going at all. Not from where I sit.”

But this week, Ms. Throne-Holst said that she believed announcing the number serves the public’s interest. “I think it is serving the public at a level that I think they want to and deserve to be served,” she said.

Regardless, Town Councilwoman Fleming and other town officials said they realize that the town’s taxpayers can shoulder only so much of the burden. “We can’t ask the taxpayers to kick in more because they’re hurting as much as everyone else,” Ms. Fleming said. “So it’s extremely difficult. No fun at all.”

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NO INCREASE-the responsible message should be a budget under $80m.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Sep 22, 10 2:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
They need to stop making up titles at town hall and filling those positions with unqualified people.
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Sep 22, 10 4:10 PM
Are these department heads reading the news? These people are in la la land.

I would take it as an insult if the town did not propose a flat budget at a minimum. If it takes cutting services, so be it. If it takes laying people off, so be it. If it takes putting some capital projects on hold so be it.

The days of ever increasing government spending has to stop. We need to stop it at a local level first and then go forward from there.

By C Law (354), Water Mill on Sep 22, 10 5:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
What, a proposed 9% increase +/- and we the taxpayers are not entitled to see the working documents under the Press's FOIL request ???

This is an Equinox and Full Moon joke, right Anna, Tamara and the Town Board?

Please issue a Town Press Release inviting the public to view all working documents in Town Hall ASAP.

Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 22, 10 7:55 PM

Let's look at reducing the work force. Because most of our employees generally work less than 50% of the hours for which they are paid, a 50 % reduction is reasonable. Then we need to re-negotiate our contracts to remove pension benefits. Our employees are making excellent salaries and therefore are fully capable of funding their own retirement plans. Also the health care costs require at least a 50% contribution from our employees. While we are getting costs under control, we also need ...more
By BM (10), Southampton on Sep 22, 10 8:09 PM
3 members liked this comment
Talk about being jealous of anyone who has a good job! How about taking away all the entitlement money. What about the millions spent on purchasing more land to keep the environmentalist happy! No, governmemnt workers do not work 50% of the time, they do not make high salaries compared to what they do. They deserve their pensions and health benefits. If you want to take away their health benefits that they work for, then we should take away medicaid health benefits for those who do not work ...more
By Walt (292), Southampton on Sep 25, 10 11:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
What evidence do you have to backup workers are doing nothing 50% of the time? The Southampton Town Planning Dept. has been drastically reduced from just a few years ago. At it's peak there were 7 planners including a Chief planner (note this is current planning, not long range) - they are down to 2 now. Yes, there are less applications than in the heyday but not a big enough reduction to justify having 2 planners. The Environmental staff is also down to 4 from a high of 7 (including secretaries) ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 10 10:29 PM
The Police Department. The STPD. The 20+ yr. serving officers Retire them per contract. Replace them with new hires at 1/4 the cost. Stop embarrassing yourselves and us by ignoring the 2000 lb gorilla in the budget hearing. Supervisor Holst and Councilwoman Fleming. Tell Officer Aube that it was sweet but that it's OVER.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 22, 10 11:28 PM
Do you just wait for an issue dealing wit the PD to come up so you can blather on?
By Terry (380), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 3:33 PM
pay a cadet 40k for 6 months in the academy, then another 6 months in field training, all the while paying the retirees medical benefits and most likely pay other officers overtime to cover the sector while the cadet is being trained. Wait a few years and that cadet will be making the same salary but you'll be getting 20 years less experience from him.
By diy_guy (101), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 4:32 PM
Not to worry, Terry, with "Ms. STPD 2010" as Supervisor, the millions of dollars in PD patronage will continue without a hiccup. However, we might have to fire some more employees who are actually performing the duty that they were hired to do. Hopefully, less than forty as in the past year.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 25, 10 2:00 PM
40 people were not fired last year. 40 positions were eliminated - but they were already vacant. Get your facts straight HighHat
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 29, 10 7:25 PM
Anna needs to stay reigning in health care costs.
By Real Conservative (9), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 10 11:39 PM
Need to reign in these out of control pension costs. You shouldnt be able to accrue and cash in unused sick or personal days. They need to be reset annully use it or lose it. This is what is strangling America. Job holders should take a job for its salary there shouldnt be a huge pot of gold on th end.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Sep 23, 10 6:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
Pensions are guarenteed to all government workers and are compensation for the minimal wages civil servants receive compared to the average wages of the private sector. It is an incentive to serve your fellow citizens - without it how would the government ever find qualified workers at such low wages?

As for unused sick and personal days - that is essentially a thing of the past. Look at any contract that has been put in place in the last 3 years in any local government and you will ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 9:55 AM
That used to be the case. Now, government workers get paid a higher wage that private workers and still get the pension.

Your argument no longer holds water.
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Sep 23, 10 5:10 PM
Please supply facts that prove that. For a one or two year span during the Great Recession perhaps wages for civil servants on average were higher, but if you look at a 10 year span it is not true at all. Most Town employees make under $50,000 even after being with the Town for 10+ years.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 8:47 PM

The article is mostly about the fede3ral employee, but at the end addresses state and local governments.

The wages are +/- 5% of private wages. Then you add in the healthcare (20k per year) and pension bene's (20% of salary costs)

you cant exclude these in trying to make and apple to apple comparison.
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Sep 24, 10 1:20 PM
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 24, 10 4:00 PM
You have to take into consideration that a lot of the federal positions = military which = war zone. I'd hope that a cook in Iraq is getting paid more than a cook @ a crappy restaurant.

Additionally, government positions offer require more intense qualifications due to civil service tests. A Senior Planner for example needs a College degree and X number of years in planning - a Senior Planner in the Private sector has no prerequisite. The article is way too light on details to hold ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 25, 10 3:55 PM
Here we go again! keep raising taxes to solve Town problems I guess no one cares about younger families who are being driven out of here. I am sick and tired of being drained while struggling to make ends meet. This is a slap in the face. I am trying to raise 2 children in a small house and all we get for it is more taxes. I could live in a beautiful home in VA for half the taxes and twice the size. I have family here and this is our home. We don't want to leave but are being forced out. WAKE UP ...more
By Fedupin HamptonBays (18), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 7:04 AM
"Taxation without representation"? These are duly elected officials - whether you like them or not is irrelevant - they were elected to represent you.

Quick news update: it is not 1763 and we colonists are no longer under the control of King George III
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 8:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
The Supervisor is the only elected official who makes 6 figures ($102,000 in 2010) whereas the other Town Council members are making $60,000 as it is a part time job.

And as fcmcmann points out - you are well represented - it just so happens you don't like the job those who were voted in are doing.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 9:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
I was hooked until the taxation statement, but it's still a pretty good post...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 24, 10 8:52 PM
Where does the board line up on these taxes?
By Real Conservative (9), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 7:58 AM
Comments like Highhatsizes', who doesn't even identify him/herself serve no purpose. Most residents of this great Town appreciate and support the members of the PBA. The taxes one pays for the Police Department are only a fraction of what you would pay if you lived in the Police District of Suffolk County. That is a Fact! In addition, the taxes one pays for Town Services is one of the lowest on Long Island. That is a FACT! The taxes we pay for Education is one the HIGHEST on Long Island. That is ...more
By pbapres (6), Speonk on Sep 23, 10 9:15 AM
It is also a FACT that the Southampton Town Justice Court is the busiest Town court in the ENTIRE State of New York. You don't have the busiest court (especially for a relatively small township) without having a great Police Force. And I don't want to hear people saying that the police are filling "quotas" (which has never been proven to be factual) or giving out unwarrented tickets. The only ticket I got I deseverd and I've found the local police to be quite lenient and generous. Have some ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 9:51 AM
How is the Southampton Town Justice Court the busiest in NYS? Please provide some kind of evidence to back up this "fact"

The SHPD could do some trimming of the heavy administration that eats salaries that could be used to put officers on the street.

Who pays for the increased police presence needed on Sundays through the summer to babysit the Boardy Barn crowd?
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 12:15 AM
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 10 9:22 AM
Thank you, I read it and it says "The Southampton Town Justice Court is one of the busiest Justice Courts in the State". Key words "ONE OF" this doesn't mean it is the busiest court in NY State, as you stated was a fact.
It then goes on to mention all the types of cases which the SH Justice Court handles, Small Claims, Civil, Criminal, Traffic, Town Codes, and Parking Tickets of these the police have no bearing on Small Claims, Civil, Town Codes. I do agree the majority of the cases in Justice ...more
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 7:19 PM
I like what you have to say, I really do.

There have been so many times, "the cops showed up when I needed them".

HOWEVER, you cannot outpace the earning capacity of those you are sworn "to protect, and serve" in the manner many public servants do, and expect society to function at even a nominal level.

We need a SERIOUS reality check in our society when it comes to a fair day's pay, for a fair day's labor. And there are MILLIONS who would not argue such is not the case.
Sep 29, 10 8:42 AM appended by Mr. Z
The arguement here is not the quality of service, which is WELL above par, the arguement is the compensation for the rendered public service.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 29, 10 8:42 AM

Mr. Aube, your quote: "It is a FACT, that the Southampton Town Police Officers perform more work per Officer than any other Police Department. It is a FACT, that the Taxpayers get more for their money from Southampton Town Police Officers,"

You must think we were born yesterday with your collection of supposed "facts". Anyone who has looked at the STPD pay figures and has also compared them and the required work and Southampton crime rates and compared them to the NYC Police Department ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 29, 10 11:07 AM
So far Tamara Wright has spent almost $300,000. on "help" for the job she was hired to do at an inflated salary. The Town Planning Dept. is keeping a host of outside "consultants" busy doing the work they were hired to do at inflated salaries. There should be a moratorium on hiring outside consultants and other forms of non-salaried help. I am not surprised that the Town is ignoring a Freedom of Information Request from the Press. Whispers, little coteries and viperous cliques are the norm at ...more
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 10:22 AM
2 members liked this comment
'my' house was appraised at 53% of the town's assessment
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 23, 10 3:24 PM
Do we need four judges?
They each work one week out of every four. I hope that the board remembers that when we got the fourth judge, he was just rotated into the schedule without adding any new time on to the court docket.
The board needs to look into this if the board is looking to save money.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 5:05 PM
2 members liked this comment
The Town has night court now - and I believe they hear more cases/day since moving to the new facility. They aren't paid all that much since they are part time essentially.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 8:10 PM
Wrong Nature! Look at their salaries and then do the math considering they part time they are actually by far the highest paid individuals in the town. The dockets at the court are the same size, so they don't hear more cases.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 12:20 AM
night court very rarely happens. the judges work one week a month and travel to nice conferences on the taxpayers dime.
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Sep 24, 10 12:39 PM
The majority of your taxes go to the school. The schools need to cut their budgets by getting rid of the collection of superintendants they have making over 100k each and don't have any direct involvement with students. That is just a start. Clean house and get rid of all the made up positions and you would see your taxes go down.
By lifesaver (118), speonk on Sep 23, 10 5:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
Leave the schools alone. If America is to compete, we need to educate our kids and the LAST place we should cut is schools
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 8:00 PM
She didn't say cut teachers! She said cut the unnecessary administrative bloat. This would not negatively affect the education of the students in any way.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 12:22 AM
Did I mention teachers? No. I said leave the schools alone. By the way, the school's administration has a direct and measurable effect on students' education.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 8:29 AM
As a former school board member, I agree that the a school's administration has a direct and measurable effect on students' education, mostly in the form of money spent on overinflated administrators' salaries and benefits rather than on education. But teachers are over-paid and over-benefited, too, and protected by a tenure system that is like hitting the lottery.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 10:45 AM
2 members liked this comment
"In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else."

Lee Iacocca
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 10 12:18 PM
so bridgehampton needs a school superintendent making 200k to oversee approx 300 students?
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Sep 24, 10 12:41 PM
4 members liked this comment
Nope. The superintendent is head of the district. There is a principal at $150k+ to look after the students.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 11:42 PM
Peoplefirst is right!

Though we are paying more than double per public school student, per year, than the next highest spending nation in the world (Switzerland, btw), Long Island schools are putting out the best educated students in the world. Oh, uhm, forget that. Anyway, ignore that union thug in the corner and stop crying about your taxes, after all, it's for the children.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Sep 23, 10 10:26 PM
It is always the people who don't have kids or whose children perform poorly that complain about education spending, unions and test scores instead of looking in the mirror.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 10 8:32 AM
Looking in the mirror? What the hell are you talking about? Yes, I object to having the highest paid teachers in the nation, and probobly in the world, who aren't delivering world class results.

I suppose for you, schools will never have enough money as long as any taxpayer has $1 left in their pocket.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Sep 24, 10 12:33 PM
The state with the highest average teacher salary was Connecticut, at $57,760. California was a very close second, where the average teacher salary is $57,604. New Jersey teachers make approximately $56,635 per year. Rounding out the top five were Illinois and Rhode Island, with the average teacher salary at $56,494 and $56,432, respectively. The state with the lowest average teacher salary was South Dakota, at $34,039.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 10 1:17 PM

fcmcmann: You obviously are a teacher or former teacher with vested interests who has a knee jerk reaction to the slightest criticism of the teaching profession. You condone some of the highest teacher salaries in the nation and black shirted union teachers (why limit it to the top five rather than the more accurate percentile basis which would clearly show Hamptons teachers are some of the highest paid and many of these school districts here test atrociously in state tests!).

You ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 26, 10 9:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hah! I am not a teacher, but someone who respects educators. My kids did great when they were in elementary school and they are doing even better now, perhaps yours aren't hence your obsession with test scores and your disrespect for the teaching profession. I don't dismiss test results, I dismiss you interpretation of those results.

In countries that we hold up as examples of the best educators in the world, Findland, for instance, educators are considered the most valuable professionals ...more
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Sep 28, 10 1:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
One thing I noticed about parents who don't respect educators - their children don't either and when the child brings that parent's anger and bias to class it is definitely an impediment to learning. There is no question that there is a clear and direct correlation between a parent's attitude and their child's performance.

It is possible to disagree with educator while still being respectful, but some are just too mean and angry to allow themselves to think rationally. If you look ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Sep 28, 10 2:26 PM
ATH - Where oh where is the transparency you spoke of bringing to the town board? You would do well to honor the FOIL and try to salvage some of your integrity by doing so!
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 12:25 AM
taking a play from the obamas...its only transparent when it looks good!
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Sep 24, 10 12:43 PM
With statements like that, ridiculous is a good name for you. Bush was the most secretive president - and ran the most secretive government - in US history.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 11:45 PM
he didnt run on a platform of transparency did he?
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Sep 25, 10 10:12 PM
The real inequity is when people with no retirement plan or health insurance coverage pay taxes so that civil servants can have them.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 10:47 AM
Single payer is the only answer
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 10 12:17 PM
I ain't askin' for entitlement, just reasonable pay scales.

Respectable day's pay, for an honest day's work.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 24, 10 8:59 PM
Yes, I am sure you and Palin, Christine O'Donnell, Sharon Angle, Rand Paul, Dick Armey have all the solutions.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 10 10:10 PM
Neither have massive tax cuts for the rich and two unfunded wars. Or a deregulated financial sector, or unregulated insurance sector or ...
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 29, 10 7:00 PM
Tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefited the highest-income households — those least in need of additional resources — at a time when income already is exceptionally concentrated at the top of the income spectrum.

Congress hasn't funded ANYTHING. That statement implies that THEY are paying, when it is taxpayers who fund EVERYTHING.

Insurance (health) was entirely unregulated until the health care bill was passed. Unfortunately, the bill only serves to increase profits for insurers ...more
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 1, 10 10:36 AM
"But teachers are over-paid and over-benefited, too, and protected by a tenure system that is like hitting the lottery." Very true, Noah Way. Few others have their gold plated protections and it's time that ended. My kids were good students, but definitely encountered a few teachers who did not do their jobs well and should have been let go. Tenure protected them and our local taxes paid their salaries.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Sep 24, 10 12:38 PM
2 members liked this comment
A new law was passed this summer by the NYS Legislature and it basically makes tenure irrelevant. If a teacher is observed and gets two bad write ups in I believe 30 days they can be let go tenured or not. I will check with the friend of mine who is the teacher who told me about it.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 7:25 PM
Don't report hearsay as fact.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 11:47 PM
I will report whatever I choose. When I get the number of the bill I will post it so anyone wishing to verify may do so.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Sep 25, 10 1:51 PM
There's not a lack of capital here, ther's too much spending. In these challenging economic times, we are all forced to live within our means, there' no excuse for our employees, that's right, the town govt. works for us, not to do the same. There should be no budget increase, period, make do with the money you have. Queen Anna and company suffer from a severe case of cranial rectal inversion if they think they can ramrod a tax increase down our throats. We have been TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY!!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 25, 10 8:53 AM
3 members liked this comment
Publsh the ACTUAL personnel costs of the P.D. in the last fiscal year, (NOT just the PROPOSED budget that vastly understates true costs). With this figure at its disposal, the citizenry will have NO doubt as to where the cuts should come from.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 25, 10 11:31 AM
Bigfresh, your right. My husband is a local electrician who works inside and outside the Town area. When he is forced to use the Towns Building Department Electrical Inspectors, it takes two weeks for an appointment when a local private agency takes appointments within 24 hours. It costs my husband three times the price for inspections using the Towns Inspectors. They need to cut costs in Land Management and use private agencies so the contractors and tax payers are not subject to these excessive ...more
By Yearround Resident (23), Southampton on Sep 25, 10 5:03 PM
Let me translate the first paragraph of this story: taxes down, payrolls up and more payroll looking to be added. that means - YOUR PAY DOWN, THEIR PAY UP. There is an OUTFLOW problem, not an INCOME deficiency. These hacks running this town need to stop treating this like a status symbol and start running this like a darn business. this is part of the whole ''time to sacrifice'' message from on high, while the duds who ride the wave of rich benefits and long smoking breaks on our backs. every ...more
By justduckey (58), artist colony on Sep 26, 10 7:48 AM
Well, she got your attention, didn't she? That is all Anna Throne-Holst was trying to do, and I quote from the above piece: "And I say that only to get everyone ready for some hard work and hard decisions we're going to have to make." Contrary to all the hand-wringing and fulminating by posters here, the lady didn't say taxes are going up, she just said they would go up, by $9 million, IF the department heads' initial requests are granted. This is only the first round in a negotiating process ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Sep 26, 10 10:20 AM

Fidelis, your confidence in ATH is admirable but uninformed. You are theorizing that ATH is courting outrage from the people with the clueless attempt by the Dept Heads to increase the budget and taxes by $9 million, which she will presumably slash to smithereens to reduce or hold taxes steady as she should.

Trouble is her record shows no attempt to ever cut the budget or taxes regardless of how dire the fiscal problems are. When Kabot slashed the budget last year from $83 Million ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 29, 10 10:35 PM
Contraery to what highhat thinks the PD is not the problem. They deserve what they make and deserve minimal raises. Their willingness to stay on the job and not retire after 20 years is a good thing. A force of 47 rookies will lowere costs but it will also lower the quality of our police protection. STPD is on of our best assets.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Sep 26, 10 10:31 AM
nice use of fulminating. now, i don't know about all that nonsense but when services are cut and property assessments increase for a time period that clearly saw a decrease in real estate values, it doesn't matter what ath or any political wannabe says. politicians don't hide from foil requests when they have nothing to hide. what you will see if you look closely is waste the likes of which you couldn't begin to imagine, salaries for part time jobs that would make you spit up and frivolous spending ...more
By justduckey (58), artist colony on Sep 26, 10 12:22 PM
2 members liked this comment
All I can say, is taking home a pay package at least three times the average of the constituents you serve is a serious problem.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 26, 10 6:59 PM
Exactly why the unions have to go as well .
By 27dan (2854), south hampton on Sep 27, 10 12:46 PM
2 members liked this comment
Every power structure is intended to concentrate power (wealth) at the top. Political, religious, corporate, you name it, they are all the same.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 29, 10 7:04 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By They call me (2826), Delta Quadrant on Sep 27, 10 7:51 PM
To Patrick M. Aube, STPD:

It is also a FACT that your Vice President led an en masse, in-uniform intimidation of a Town Council meeting when the then-Supervisor dared to propose discussion of retiring six of your superannuated officers whom the Chief said he could do without. Not only did the Council NOT sanction those off-duty cops, it did NOT discuss the proposal thereafter.

The product of THAT FACT, and the message that it sent to you, is the FACT that we pay a million dollars ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 28, 10 7:57 PM
2 members liked this comment
As I stated above:

"you cannot outpace the earning capacity of those you are sworn "to protect, and serve" in the manner many public servants do, and expect society to function at even a nominal level."

Do we know "when to say when"?

By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 29, 10 8:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
let it go or do something real about it - not whine behind a mask on a comment board.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 29, 10 7:23 PM
I've found in my time on this earth, most people don't think like me.

The best I can do right now, is share my point of view.

And, by the way, my moniker is INCREDIBLY obvious.

You just have no idea who I am...
Sep 30, 10 9:24 PM appended by Mr. Z
By the way, "Nature" was born and raised in North Sea. I checked, and you ain't him. Borrow someone else's moniker...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 30, 10 9:24 PM
Erm... my comment was to Mr. HighHatSize. I in general have nothing against you or your posts as they are matter of fact and not confrontational for the purpose of being confrontational.

And I'm not sure what you mean about 'Nature'...elaborate? Are you saying I hijacked someone's handle?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 30, 10 10:54 PM
Well, technically you did, but he's from another neighborhood.

His name was Kurt Billing, and he was from North Sea. Grew up on Big Fresh, as a matter of fact. He was one of the first Lyme Disease patients, before anyone even popularly knew what it was. He taught generations of local children to swim, and appreciate the natural world around him. It came to the point where his condition was too much to bear, and he left this world of his own accord, on his own terms. Many of us miss ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 1, 10 3:38 PM
Public servant is an oxymoron.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Sep 29, 10 7:01 PM