Saunders, Real Estate, Hamptons

4216 Comments by highhatsize

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Report says anti-immigrant atmosphere in Suffolk County fuels violence

Not much substantiation her for hate crimes being, "rampant". One murder, a beating, and a skinhead threat, since 2005. " Sep 15, 09 8:20 PM

Arrest tape could be used in Kabot DWI case

It is hard to think of any evidence of guilt that could be more appropriate and more damning than a video recording of the erratic driving of the suspect. Were all East End police departments to equip their cars thusly, we could terminate the use of the breathalyzer and its enabling of DUI fishing." Sep 16, 09 8:09 PM

Southampton Town department heads try to dodge layoffs

I doubt that the wage freeze will fly. The only time that employees agree to such a thing is when ALL of their jobs are on the line. Town employees are aware of where they stand in seniority and the odds of their jobs being cut. Seventy-five percent, at least, are confident that any downsizing wouldn't affect them." Sep 19, 09 1:06 PM

Missing kiteboarder found; man had gone home after losing gear

This story highlights our emergency services working as we expect them to. Good work, even it turned out to be unnecessary.

No onus attaches to the kiteboarder. He was unaware that citizens onshore had called in reports that there might be a man in distress. He didn't think that he was in danger so why would he call the cops?

" Sep 19, 09 1:14 PM

Southampton Town department heads try to dodge layoffs

- golfbuddy

Union membership in the US has fallen sharply, mainly because industrial jobs have been exported. However, I expect that another reason is that unions have put the interests of the majority of their members above the concept of solidarity, most obviously in agreeing to two-tier contracts which penalize new hires. I don't expect that the Southampton Town employees union will be any different. If it is the union that must agree to the freeze, the majority of its members will instruct it to refuse the pay freeze, even if the alternative is firing brethren, particularly if they can do so anonymously.
" Sep 19, 09 4:45 PM

Missing kiteboarder found; man had gone home after losing gear

- poools8

Ccould you tell me how much the, "gear", that the kiteboarder lost would be worth? (I assume that this refers to the kite and shrouds.)" Sep 20, 09 2:27 PM

Southampton Town Supervisor Kabot, attorney give first interview on DWI arrest

A breathalyzer result would have shown nothing other than there was alcohol in her bloodstream. It would NOT have shown that she was driving drunk, despite that assumption by other posters. Breathalyzer results are commonly used by the East End police departments to validate a drunk driving stop when there was NO PROBABLE CAUSE to make the stop.

The relevant evidence in this case is Ms. Kabot's performance on the field sobriety tests. If she failed those, and if the results are on the video, it is up to the jury to decide if that indicates that she was drunk. The, "bloodshot eye", and, "smell of alcohol", are evidence that she was drinking, not that she was driving drunk. They are, also, subjective and unprovable.

This case follows the pattern of DUI arrests without probable cause. The cop claims that the motorist violated some driving law like, "failing to maintain one's lane", or, in Ms. Kabot's case, "crossing the center line when making a left hand turn". After sizing up the driver, it he thinks that he has caught a winner, he makes him complete coordination sobriety tests. Finally, if those tests are negative or inconclusive, he requests that he take a breathalyzer test.

Ms. Kabot was wise to refuse the test, and we all should, because it enables the cops in their obsessive pursuit of drunk driving busts. With no observable evidence of drunk driving, a cop can pull over any motorist he chooses, on specious grounds, and have his illegal actions validated by an inane test. As I have said earlier, it would be interesting to learn what percentage of motorists arrested for drunk driving are released without charge when the breathalyzer results shows that the fishing expedition caught another innocent victim.

I was not particularly interested in the Supervisor's race, but now I hope that Ms. Kabot wins. Perhaps her experience will result in her having the standard operating procedures of the Southampton Town police investigated." Sep 23, 09 2:46 PM

To Middleman,

It is astounding that in the computer age, with reference sources at one's fingertips, that anyone could post a critical response online that exposes his ignorance and incomprehension so clearly.

You did not read the original newspaper article with care. It was the arresting officer who said that Ms. Kabot's breath, "smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage".

Your are incorrect when you state that alcohol has no odor. "Alcohols have an odor that is often described as “biting” and as “hanging” in the nasal passages." - wikipedia

Since I believe that the smell of alcohol, (which you claim to be impossible), is poor evidence of drunk driving, why are you anxious to prove that the only attribute of alcohol that might be indicative of one's mental state does not, in fact, exist?

I don't know what you thought you were correcting when you said that a breathalyzer showed, "blood alcohol level", since that is precisely what I said in my post. Perhaps you overlooked the point that I was making that blood alcohol level does not measure drunk driving. Only observation of a person's driving, (or failure to perform field sobriety test), does.

I hope this addresses your confusion.

To littleplains,

While a .08 blood alcohol level is construed, by statute, to be presumptive evidence of drunk driving, one does not have to have that high a reading in order for the results to be used as evidence. If Ms. Kabot had a .06 level, the cops could claim this as persuasive, if not presumptive, evidence of drunk driving when combined with the evidence of observation of Ms. Kabot's lack of coordination. Recently, a poster said that her daughter was arrested, given a field sobriety test, (which she passed), a breathalyzer test, (which she passed), and was still charged because of the arresting officer's obsession with registering another DUI bust. (She was acquitted at trial, of course, after her name and, "drunk driver", was spread all over the news.) The arrest occurred when the cops found her in her car, stopped by the side of the road, after she had pulled over because of a migraine headache.

In Ms. Kabot's case, any breathalyzer result at all would be used to butress the cop's assertion of probable cause since the police car camera didn't capture the driving infractions that allegedly led the cop to pull her over. (Oops! Bet that happens a lot.)

Perhaps there are jurisdictions wherein chalking up DUI busts is not the be-all and end-all of the police department, but the East End is not one of them. The breathalyzer statute has transformed our cops from courteous public servants to intimidating oafs who see DUIs everywhere.

If you want to give up your Constitutional rights, perhaps you and like-minded drivers could file waivers with the police deparrtment. That way, both you and I would be satisfied.

" Sep 23, 09 5:56 PM

A breathalyzer will return a false, high reading when it has not been calibrated properly, (a maintenance that must be performed about every three months), or if the test subject has had any alcohol in his mouth, no matter how little or how briefly, just before taking the test. This is why field breathalyzer tests are inadmissible as evidence at trial. After the arrest, the subject is taken back to police headquarters where subsequent breathalyzer tests are administered after a forty minute hiatus.

If you find yourself in this situation, (e.g. you have drunk a sip of champagne in a celebratory toast.), and are pulled over a few minutes later, you will fail a breathalyzer test. Under those circumstances, you will be handcuffed and transported by police car to police headquarters. When the police headquarters breathalyzer tests return a number less than .08, you will be cut loose, at best, or busted anyway, at worst, depending on how angry the arresting officer is at your having wasted his time.

Others may think that this humiliating treatment is a small price to pay in the war against drunk driving. I do not. I have already commented on the behavioral change that it has caused in the East End police departments.

Parenthetically, as I have said before, I have never been busted for a DUI. I mention this because a few inarticulate posters chose to attack my character rather than my arguments. Do they not realize that underhanded attacks simply make their substantive comments suspect?" Sep 24, 09 6:44 PM

To yearrounder,

You are mistaken. A breathalyzer result of .08 or higher establishes a rebuttable presumption, by statute, of drunkenness. Thus, it is construed, by statute, to be a test of a condition that it really is not. Drunkenness is idiosyncratic; many motorists can drive properly with a blood alcohol content far in excess of .08. The breathalyzer standard came into existence because legslators wanted an, "objective", measure of drunkenness. This supposedly objective measure penalizes many who are innocent. It is grossly unfair, no matter how much easier it makes DUI bust for cops.

But that is the lesser of my objections to its use. As I have said, repeatedly, cops now fish DUIs from a pool of motorists who have exhibited no behavioral signs of drunken driving. They pull over drivers whom they think might be drunk based on behavior irrelevant to drunkenness. (They look tired; they are slumped in their seats; they are a particular race or age on a particular night.) Most of their incident reports are DUI arrests. As a result of this excessive behavior, they have been transformed in character from the congenial and helpful public servants of my boyhood into abusive, intimidating oafs who, "get off", on domination. Were breathalyzer evidence not permitted, they couldn't fish motorists on spec. They would no longer be able to count on a .08 alcohol level validating their arrests without probable cause. The deplorable fact that drivers of a certain age, for instance, are being arrested for no more reason than that they are driving in the vicinity of a nightclub on a Saturday night should raise the democratic hackles of any citizen.

I cannot think of any Town issue that is more important than the reform of the police department. We empower cops with the authority to interfere in our daily lives, lay hands on us, beat us, and kill us. If the circumstances under which they are allowed to exercise those powers are not strictly circumscribed, they come to view them as a general operating authority. This is what is happening as a result of fallacious breathalyzer evidence being accepted as probative. We have to straighten the cops up NOW before their behavior degenerates further.

It is for this reason that I support Ms. Kabot for Supervisor. Now she knows, first hand, the behavior which she has probably heard about but has, heretofore, ignored. My hope is that she will push for abandonment of the breathalyzer standard in Southampton Town. Indeed, now that video camera technology is so cheap, we could outfit all the police vehicles with constantly running video cameras which would see everything that the the cop on traffic patrol sees, and provide the objective evidence that the breathalyzer does not." Sep 25, 09 4:48 PM

To dogcatcher:

You make the following points:

1) It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. It is not a presumption of guilt.

2) Driving is a privilege, not a right. You submit to the rules in effect when you apply for a license, those rules including not driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.

3) There are hundreds of circumstances that justify a cop pulling you over.

4) The breath test has been proven to be accurate.

5) If you don’t like the drunken driving laws, change them.

6) Every police force has a few bad apples.

If I have simplified your response too much, please correct me.

To deal with your points in order:

1) The breathalyzer statute implicitly establishes presumptive guilt, even if not so worded.
(Vide: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/07/739.asp)

2) I yield none of my Constitutional rights when I apply for a driver’s license. The acceptance of a privilege does not preclude my assertion of them.

3) A cop can never pull you over unless he has PROBABLE CAUSE. If none of those hundreds of good reasons you refer to are happening, he violates you constitutional rights when he does so and his actions are illegal.

4) The breathalyzer test may be an accurate measure of your blood alcohol level. It does not measure your ability to drive an automobile with coordination.

5) I DO NOT like the drunken driving regulations. These posts are a part of my effort to change them.
6) This is not a case of a few bad apples. In my opinion, the comportment of East End cops has deteriorated over the past four decades, due to their obsession with booking dui busts, so that now they are intimidating and discourteous with citizens regardless of the cause of their interaction with them.

I KNOW that the Supreme Court does not agree with me. That is why the breathalyzer law is still in effect. However, the Supreme Court has ruled, as well, that the cops can compel you allow them to take a blood sample in a DUI stop. [SCHMERBER v. CALIFORNIA, 384 U.S. 757 (1966)] That horrible decision has caused several states to begin training their traffic cops in phlebotomy. The Supremes make mistakes.

Your post was at once verbose and shallow. The suggestion that I should gather my fellow drunks to protest is puerile.
" Sep 25, 09 11:57 PM

Residents outraged over proposed windmill plan

The critic who has organized opposition to the windmill in apparent contradiction to his organization's mission is a contiguous neighbor to Mr. Seddio? That is very illuminating. I wonder how the reporter missed it.

If it is true that the windmill is noisy and disturbs wildlife, I wouldn't want it near me either. Perhaps Mr. Siddio could mitigate the windmill's impact by locating it in front of his house, thereby creating a buffer." Sep 28, 09 9:23 PM

Former Amagansett doctor sentenced to three years in prison

A shame. This was, it appears, a flagrant and stupid scheme to capitalize on the huge profit in illegal pharmaceuticals. This doctor will be the poster boy for the DEA. They will analogize future busts of doctors to this one, regardless of the circumstances. It will further enable them to put the fear of god into honest doctors who underprescribe pain meds because the think, justifiably, that their medical license is at risk.

What would happen were we to allow recreational users of narcotics to buy drugs at will? It might lead to greater narcotics abuse, though I doubt it. However, it would certainly deprive the homicidally psychopatic organized crime groups of most of their funding. It would assure patients that they are being medicated appropriately for their condition rather than in protection of their doctors license. It would enable everyone who succumbs to addiction to seek medical help privately without first being arrested. It would spur Big Pharma to invest in narcotic drug research for compounds to make withdrawal successful. It would hugely decrease those instances wherein the police department dresses up like storm troopers and breaks into houses. It would save uncountable billions of dollars in policing and corrections. Lastly, it would bring in billions in taxes.

Street drugs have never been more potent and cheaper than they are now.. This, after a century of prohibition. How much longer will we continue to allow the tail to wag the dog? If a policy has failed constantly for a hundred years, it is about time to change the policy.
" Oct 1, 09 5:07 PM

East Hampton couple returns woman's missing wallet ... and $2,400

Cindy Nicholson and Robert Walton, YOU RULE!

I remember when a television show planted a new wallet with a $10 bill in it on a NYC street. The other contents of the wallet made it clear that it belonged to a 12 year old who had just received it as a birthday present. It contained his name, something like, "Tommy Jones", address, and telephone number. Nine out of ten people who picked it up just kept the $10!" Oct 1, 09 5:23 PM

Linda Kabot's DWI case expected to be moved to Riverhead Town Court

To joulhassoul:

You continually assert that it is unprofessional for the Southampton Press to have posted the letter from an anonymous author when a simple online search would show you to be quite wrong. First, newspapers run news items from anonymous sources all the time and there is no agreement that to do so is anything other than good journalism. See, www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=159, for just one discussion of many.

Secondly, whereas newspapers generally follow a rule of requiring three separate, credible sources when they assert that a news item is factual, the Soluthampton Press made no such assertion. It simply posted a copy of the souce, (the letter), containing the allegation. It is hard to believe that anyone will see the letter for anything more than it is, a entirely incredible, unsubstantiated statement.

Whether Ms. Kabot is found guilty or not, I believe that the best outcome from this phenomenon will be a thorough investigation of the standard operating procedure of East End police departments both in their selection of motorists to be pulled over on suspicion of DUI, and in their behavior subsequently when testing the motorist for drunkenness. If true, as one poster has suggested, that the arresting officer's record of arrests will be subpoenaed to see how many suspects he has pulled over for DUI who turn out to be innocent, the scales will fall from the eyes of the general public. Of course, should my belief be misplaced, and the vast majority of suspects pulled over turn out to be drunk, police procedure will be vindicated. How could anyone object to such an investigation? " Oct 1, 09 6:09 PM

to Joelhassoul:

I posted the link to a discussion of anonymous sources that refutes the notion that you reassert but I guess that you didn't read it.

If the press received an anonymous letter suggesting that a man may have cheated on his wife, its reaction would depend on whether or not the man was a public figure and whether or not the letter was in response to an ongoing story. If he WAS a public figure and the letter WAS relevant to an ongoing story, the newspaper is more likely to publish it. However, there is no hard and fast rule.

Your belief that publishing a photo of the anonymous letter in this case was unprofessional conduct or improper journalism is not shared by journalists.

The trial will establish whether or not Ms. Kabot drove drunkenly. Absolutely. However, in defending herself against that charge, the record of the arresting police officer in similar cases is highly relevant and, I presume, his records will be subpoenaed. If such records show a history of fishing innocent motorists for DUIs without probable cause, one can only hope that a general investigation of police practices will be ordered.

Either Ms. Kabot is correct or the arresting officer is correct. The outcome of the triall will depend on the jury's belief in one or the other. So, this case is clearly about the arresting officer as well as Ms. Kabot." Oct 1, 09 7:01 PM

To Joelhassoul:

Oddly, I place much more credence in the opinions of journalists whose names I recognize than on that of an anonymous nonentity whose only citation to authority is, "Because I said so".

As to your question, "Yes", and such a letter would have the same credibility as the one about ATH.

Your notion about the proper functioning of journalism in this country is very strange.

" Oct 1, 09 9:21 PM

East Hampton couple returns woman's missing wallet ... and $2,400

To goldenrod:

The reaction of the person whose belongings you found is revelatory of his character. He suspected that you stole the leather covers because that is what he would have done, together with other valuables, and left everything else on the street. Even in the face of your selfless good deed, he was still looking for a mercenary motive." Oct 2, 09 12:01 PM

Southampton Town deputy supervisor confronts, shoves PBA president over comments about budget

Talk about hubris!

This incident would be noteworthy if it were unique. The truth is that Officers Aubé and Gwinn epitomize the entire STPD. They are so accustomed to using their arrest powers without troubling about justification that they threatened the second highest elected town official with false arrest in town hall itself! Sadly, had this incident occurred in the usual venue of their activity, an isolated traffic stop, Mr. Jones WOULD be in jail.

We need to reestablish in our police officers a constant consciousness of the narrow and unambiguous circumstances in which their power to arrest may be exercised legally. It is not a lever to raise dubious incidents to criminal acts, and it is certainly not a tool to assuage upset egos.

This was a fortunate encounter, however disagreeable. The lack of self control and the abuse of their authority by the officers in question was witnessed by many. Perhaps now the Town Council will seriously look into complaints of police transgressions.

" Oct 2, 09 11:36 PM

Westhampton Beach Police remain mum on ongoing internal investigation of incident

One can only hope that the incidence of DUI traffic stops without probable cause is one of the areas that the SCPD Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating. If would certainly be fortuitous if the report were released before the Nov. election." Oct 2, 09 11:49 PM

Your assertion that the cops must be following proper procedure in DUI busts because there are so many innocent people being killed by drunken drivers is nonsensical, truly." Oct 3, 09 1:46 PM

Southampton Town deputy supervisor confronts, shoves PBA president over comments about budget

To Terry,

To Terry:

I don't have, "issues", with the police department. I believe, specifically, that police officers routinely abuse their arrest powers when they pull over motorists for suspicion of DUI without probable cause. Officer Aubés threat to arrest Bill Jones without cause exemplifies their attitude.

I do not believe that requiring STPD officers to obey the law themselves would be, "clipping their wings".

" Oct 3, 09 2:04 PM

I was mistaken when I referred to Mr. Jones as an, "elected", official.

As clarification, I have but one, "issue", with the police department, that issue being that their obsession with booking DUI busts has caused them, as standard procedure, to pull over motorists who manifest no signs of drunkenness, relying on a breathalyzer test to validate at least a portion their arrests. As a result of their habitual arbitrary exercise of the arrest power in DUI busts, they now rely on self-assertion rather than objective evidence in other circumstances when it suits them, and have become truculent generally in their interactions with citizens.

Officer Aubé's behavior at town hall exemplifies this attitude perfectly.

" Oct 3, 09 6:09 PM

Tthis is the third time that I have had to state that I have never been arrested for DUI in answer to a baseless allegation. It would behoove posters such as JimmyKBond to learn the difference between a principled argument and an ad hominem attack. If you cannot make a reasoned response, casting aspersions on the person with whose point of view you disagree simply shows that you have no case to make." Oct 3, 09 6:17 PM

According to the news article, Officer Aubé said, to Officer Gwinn, "I'll lock him up.", and then said, to Mr. Jones, "Your are going to jail". One can interpret this as advice that, ". . continued behavior like that could result in an arrest.", as you suggest. However, a more plausible interpretation, I believe, is that Officer Aubé was going to arrest Mr. Jones imminently. Had he done so, the arrest would have been thrown out as soon as it came before the district attorney. No doubt it was Officer Aubé's last second realization of the farcical and damning publicity about this very public abuse of his authority that stopped him from carrying through on his threat.

Seeing that Officer Aubé came within a hair of arresting Bill Jones, one can only ask what led him to believe, even if but for an instant, that it was proper to do so and that the arrest would withstand legal scrutiny. Could it be that this behavior replicates his behavior in traffic stops where no crowd of onlookers is witness?

" Oct 3, 09 6:49 PM

To eagleeye:

Could you post a link to the videos that you mention. I can't find them on the town's website. Thanks." Oct 4, 09 5:56 PM

Never mind. I found it. You get access through the Town Clerk's Citizens Portal." Oct 4, 09 6:04 PM

What does, "discon", mean?" Oct 4, 09 10:31 PM

To eagleeye:

Thanks for the information that town council meetings are available on the town website. I took a look at the August 26, 2008 video and it was a revelation.

Officers Aubé and Gwinn were again in attendance, this time protesting a suggestion by the Supervisor that, for budgetary reasons, the town consider not continuing the employment of cops who have served twenty years. (The terms of a cop’s contract are that they retire after twenty years but the town MAY continue their employment thereafter if it so wishes.)

According to Officer Aubé who was first to speak, the town CANNOT decline to continue cops employment because there is a state law that forbids governments from diminishing employees’ pensions .(?) (Yes, its complete poo, but he said it.)

Following was his sidekick, Gwinn, in full regalia, (badge & bars), and backed by two like uniformed cops, who castigated Supervisor Kabot for her lousy management skills, ending with the line about her having a, “short”, career as Supervisor. As he left the podium, the cops behind him applauded vigorously, joined loudly by the uniformed cops who had packed the audience. (That this was the case was made apparent by a speaker from the Southampton Business Alliance who had remarked earlier on how safe she felt in the room that night; that it must be all the, "Blue".) Supervisor Kabot asked the audience to curtail their applause to preserve the decorum of the room. At this, Officer Gwinn TOOK BACK THE MICROPHONE and criticized her for her request.

Such disrespect by a cop to an elected official that employs him is outrageous!
These cops have shown that they are at ease both in providing disinformation and in being offensive, traits that correlate inversely with good policing.

It is up to the reader to decide the propriety of uniformed cops appearing en mass at a town council meeting where their continued employment in under discussion. However, I can think of a few historical legislative assemblies whose decisions were coerced by the intimidation of uniformed attendees.
" Oct 5, 09 1:16 AM

Here is a link to the stunning salaries of the town police. (pps. 6 - 9): http://www.town.southampton.ny.us/2009Budget/2010-TENT-town-police.pdf

Contrast these figures with Officer Gwinn's melodramatic claim that the Supervisor's budget cuts would, "destroy families". If anyone destroys officers' families it will be their fellow officers who refuse to accept a modest reduction in their extraordinary compensation rather than have some of the lowest rankers terminated." Oct 6, 09 12:59 AM

Kabot DWI case moved to Riverhead Town Justice Court

I first began posting about Supervisor Kabot when she was arrested for a DUI in Westhampton Beach. I thought that this might be another example of cops pulling over an innocent motorist without probable cause. However, I dismissed the idea that the arrest was conspiratorial. Cops know that it is a bad career move to arrest political big wigs in traffic stops, and professional courtesy doesn’t extend to busting people to benefit cops in departments other than one’s own. I still do not think that Anna Throne-Holst had any involvement.

However, since then I have become better informed of the animus that the STPD holds against Linda Kabot and of its affection for Anna Throne-Holst. Supervisor Kabot has twice in two years proposed that the STPD bear some of the pain of the town’s economic problems. The first time, in August, 2008, resulted in a packing of the town council meeting by uniformed cops and an insulting monologue by the vice-president of the STPD PBA directed at Supervisor Kabot. In the second instance, at the last board meeting, the same officer again denigrated her disrespectfully. The STPD cops really hate this woman.

By contrast, Anna Throne-Holst has shown herself to be a patron of the STPD, protecting them from any diminution of their pay or threat to their jobs due to budget cuts. Her affection is reciprocated. They have endorsed her and sponsor an ATH cutout in front of PBA headquarters. Her election would restore the STPD budget to the sacrosanct status that it has traditionally occupied.

But the STPD and WBPD are two separate departments. Why would one party engage in a conspiracy if it helped another department but not its own?

The answer is to be found in a piece of information incautiously revealed by an expert(?) witness who spoke for the STPD at the August, 2008 town council meeting. At that time the STPD PBA was fighting the suggestion that they be retired involuntarily after twenty years, a condition of their employment. According to their witness, ONLY the STPD and the WBPD, of all police departments in NYS, have this provision in their employment contracts.

If the WHB cops are as generously salaried as STPD cops, doubtless there are many officers there who, like their STPD brethren, anticipate continuing on the payroll at salaries north of $200K for as long as they wish. Facing the loss of millions of dollars is a certainly a plausible reason for engaging in a conspiracy.

Supervisor Kabot is the only official of either town who has threatened this idyllic vision of elder employment shared by the STPD and the WBPD. Knocking her out of office by means of a phony DUI bust would end the anxiety that has produced the vitriol exhibited by the STPD at town board meetings. Moreover, the cause of her demise would not be lost on future heads of government in either town. The danger to both town cops’ future prosperity and happiness would be erased, now and forever.

And what better means of accomplishing this than by a DUI bust, a procedure that the cops have been finessing for so many decades that they have absolute confidence in their ability to fabricate a believable scenario.

There is a good reason that Supervisor Kabot has never suggested this possibility, even though it is the obvious reason for her refusal to take a breathalyzer test, (a test whose result would be preordained). No doubt she realizes that, if she gives voice to her suspicions, the cops and their allies will ravage here for, “trying to deflect her guilt onto a noble police officer.”

In fact, Supervisor Kabot has comported herself with distinction throughout this entire imbroglio, neither making accusations that cannot yet be supported, nor responding in kind the disgraceful STPD PBA attacks at town board meetings.

Those concerned with the escalation of the cost of local government should take a look at the salaries of these twenty year + cops:

(http://www.town.southampton.ny.us/2009Budget/2010-TENT-town-police.pdf ) (pps. 6-9)

Now imagine that ALL of the cops in the department make that much money. Does the cost of this gilt-edge police protection appeal to you? Do you like the idea that 50+ year old cops predominate on the force?

There are two good reasons for requiring cops to retire after twenty years. Those reasons are: a) cost, and, b) declining physical ability. But if Linda Kabot is removed from office, neither consideration will ever again have any place in determining the composition of the STPD.
" Oct 6, 09 6:49 PM

Kabot's proposed $78 million budget will eliminate 48 town jobs next year

The Town does not need to cut ANY money from Animal Control or to fire ANY employees because of budget restrictions. $3.6M is available that could make both these steps unnecessary. The proposed budget allocates it to the STPD.

Under the terms of his contract, an STPD officer acknowledges that his employment will terminate with his retirement after twenty years of service. This has always been the policy of the Town. The very first contract that an officer signs with the Town contains this provision.

Currently, there are 27 STPD officers who have been employed in excess of twenty years. Collectively, they are paid $3.6M annually. We can no longer afford the largesse of retaining them beyond their normal retirement year. The officers in question should understand this. While the Town may need to offer contracts to some of these officers for pragmatic reasons of effective policing, most of them need to accept retirement as they agreed.

Were these officers to retire and be replaced by 27 newly hired officers, the town would still have $2M left to fund Animal Control and to mitigate the termination of other town employees whose contracts do NOT contain a twenty years retirement provision, (and whose relatively low pay rates reflect this.)

The STPD PBA can be counted on to revive their morality play featuring valiant officers treacherously betrayed if the Town Council adopts this budget solution. However, if the Council makes it clear that these officers have been retained until now IN FACE OF their contractual agreement to retire after twenty years, AND that their continued employment will cause forty other employees , (who made no such agreement), to lose their jobs, the public will see the fairness of their decision.
" Oct 8, 09 12:56 AM

Southampton councilwoman mulls bids to privatize town animal shelter

Were the Town Council to decline to employ the 27 SCPD cops who have exceeded the twenty years service limitation of their contracts, $3.6M would be freed to maintain the ST Animal Shelter and to mitigate the 40 firings of town employees currently proposed. " Oct 8, 09 1:07 AM

That should be sTpd. I mean Southampton Town, not Suffolk County." Oct 8, 09 1:08 AM

Grace's Hot Dogs founder Grace Amond dies at Manorville home

To Jennett Meriden Russell:

I think that the, " Peggy Cass", whom you mention in the article was the theater and tv actress and long time Hamptons resident. I used to see her on the Jitney. Cass Elliot, (Mama Cass), of The Mamas & The Papas, died in 1974." Oct 8, 09 1:33 PM

Kabot's proposed $78 million budget will eliminate 48 town jobs next year

Look at the pages cited above by golfbuddy. See how many of those officers have served more than twenty years. Lax management has permitted TWENTY-SEVEN to extend their employment beyond their contractual retirement date. Their salaries are now $3.6M/year. Perhaps this generosity arose in the past because the Town Council thought that the town was flush with cash, but today we are in dire straits. We cannot afford this multi-million dollar generosity.

Especially galling is that forty-eight other town employees are going to lose their jobs in large part because these twenty-seven cops are being employed despite their agreement, by contract, to retire years ago. Moreover, if the cops retire, they will receive in excess of $100,000 annually in benefits. The other employees will receive nothing. Which group do YOU think deserves to stay on the job?

It is going to take a Supervisor with a spine to put an end to this debilitating practice. LK has shown her metal in standing up to the arrogant and abusive PBA reps. They really hate her. On the other hand, the PBA loves ATH. They have her picture up in front of their headquarters. Which candidate do you think is more likely to stop the gravy train? " Oct 8, 09 8:44 PM

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