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355 Comments by Publius

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Southampton Town comptroller reappointment thwarted

Ms. Fleming graduated from a highly regarded law school. It is at least on par with Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Syracuse, and Georgetown. By "highly regarded" I mean the admissions process is very selective and only very talented people are admitted.

Then she worked in a highly regarded District Attorney's Office, an office where many talented people work, as compared to other DA's Offices where patronage considerations eclipse the requirement of talent by a large margin.

There are journeymen lawyers who learn a niche area of the law and do a decent job in such narrowly focused practice of law. Then there are the highly capable attorneys who understand the fundamental principles of law that apply across all practice areas. These attorneys bring an intelligence to any job and are the people who coordinate the work of journeymen lawyers. A journeyman works in a discrete silo. It is the lawyer's lawyer that connects them and other municipal employees to form a composite, functioning, municipality. Southampton has NOT been a functioning municipality.

Ms. Fleming is not a journeyman lawyer, she is not a Touro or Hofstra graduate, she has demonstrated she has an ability to serve in a position that requires a broader focus. When people with such talent offer their services you grab them, and thank them. They don't need us for employment, we need them for their talent.

I agree with you Ms. Fleming does not fit the bill as a "community organizer" but anyone who live in a community for 10 years has a pretty good idea of what is good for the Town.

Who else is running that can match BOTH her talent and her 10 years in the community? I agree that both considerations are critical." Jan 14, 10 8:37 AM

Trustees reject mayor's attempt to add seven resolutions after walk-out in Westhampton Beach

Hey Frank, you are a guy that wants the facts.

How about signing on to a request that the Press post the IAB report?

Maybe if enough people request it, then the Press will permit its online readers a source document that so far has only been distilled for the readers by the editorial staff. " Jan 14, 10 8:42 AM

Southampton Town comptroller reappointment thwarted

Thanks Mr. Wheeler, you have once again come around to what i said." Jan 14, 10 11:23 AM

First impressions are important." Jan 14, 10 11:24 AM

Trustees reject mayor's attempt to add seven resolutions after walk-out in Westhampton Beach

90 - 100 pages ? Does that come with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one? Never saw the length of the report given, guess I missed it." Jan 14, 10 1:10 PM

Lt. William Hughes named Republican nominee for vacant Southampton Town Board seat

A soon to be retired Southampton Town Police Officer to vote on salary increases for the boys ? Here's where we stand now:

Agency Last, First Pay Basis Rate YTDPay
Southampton Overton, James $166,366
Southampton Tenaglia, Anthony $162,129
Southampton Hughes Jr, William $153,912
Southampton Iberger, Robert $153,523
Southampton Molloy, Bruce $151,241
Southampton Hintze, Randolph $147,054
Southampton Pearce, Robert $146,456
Southampton Scott, Lewis $143,394
Southampton Schurek Jr, Lawrence $140,277
Southampton Miller, Steven $139,760
Southampton Foster, Scott $139,121
Southampton Bennett, Todd $137,693
Southampton Wilson, Timothy $136,919
Southampton Kiernan, James $136,823
Southampton Sommer, William $136,172
Southampton Britton, Walter $134,828
Southampton Mazzio, James $134,738
Southampton Zarro, Michael $134,089
Southampton Stabile, Robert $132,593
Southampton Tully, Thomas $131,794
Southampton Boden, John $131,460
Southampton Sharkey Jr, Charles $130,745
Southampton Joyce, Michael $129,277
Southampton Johnson, Herbert $128,410
Southampton Ficurilli, Andrew $128,200
Southampton Kuey, John $126,097
Southampton Smith, Michael $124,974
Southampton Gwinn, Kevin $124,914
Southampton Ralph, Susan $123,743
Southampton Burns, Michael $122,800
Southampton Cavanagh, James $122,389
Southampton Foos, Michael $122,138
Southampton Wicklund, Robert $121,714
Southampton Spencer, Todd $120,961
Southampton Cavanagh, James $120,742
Southampton Gorman, Thomas $120,732
Southampton Gates, Richard $120,611
Southampton Oliver, Kenneth $120,331
Southampton Costa, Lisa $120,057
Southampton Hawkins, Patrick $119,864
Southampton De Luca, Brian $119,602
Southampton Cagno, Vincent $119,334
Southampton Boese, Frederick $117,908
Southampton Mujsce, Kenneth $117,579
Southampton Plum, Eric $117,377
Southampton Peters, David $117,357
Southampton Helmsteadt, Matthew $117,305
Southampton Vecchio, Anthony $116,327
Southampton Sickles, Eric $116,262
Southampton Harrigan, Jane $115,506
Southampton Carey Jr, Bartholomew $115,393
Southampton Aube, Patrick $115,275
Southampton Tedesco, Theresa $114,722
Southampton Frankenbach, Steven $113,925
Southampton Cantrell, Frederick $113,037
Southampton Brown, Robert $112,774
Southampton Mc Creedy-Drew, Maureen $112,339
Southampton Lo Russo, Kristian $111,925
Southampton Platt IV, William $111,835
Southampton Gonzalez, Nelson $111,739
Southampton O'Brien, Stephen $111,399
Southampton Neuendorf, Eric $111,203
Southampton Joseph, Doris $109,682
Southampton Parker, Sherekhan $109,582
Southampton Loper I I I, Herbert $109,338
Southampton Kalb, Howard $109,038
Southampton De Marco, Steven $107,444
Southampton Giambone, John $105,976
Southampton Attanasio, Michael $105,499
Southampton Badagliacca, Nicholas $105,189
Southampton Giardina, James $105,079
Southampton Smith, Lois $101,929
Southampton Manzello, Edward $99,305
Southampton Nemes, Michael $96,286
Southampton Smith, Lyle $95,672
Southampton Arnzen, Robert $95,424
Southampton Schmidt Jr, Thomas $92,830
Southampton Breitwieser, Erik $87,832
Southampton Slovensky, Craig $86,477
Southampton Elliston, Melissa $85,829
Southampton Garafola, Richard $85,135
Southampton Santora, David $84,086
Southampton Driscoll, David $82,264
Southampton La Ferrera, Gina $77,246
Southampton Burst, Christine $69,244
Southampton O'Flaherty, Timothy $67,996
Southampton D'arce, Joseph $66,240
Southampton Kiernan, William $65,825
Southampton Berini, John $64,562
Southampton Davin, Jason $63,144
Southampton Montalbano, Gaspar $59,246
Southampton Blodorn, Andrew $51,378
Southampton Henderson, Edward $51,296
Southampton Jasinski, Theodore $39,855
Southampton Phillips, Keith $33,521
Southampton Kiernan, Wm $30,391
Southampton Walsh, Michael $23,093
Southampton Hughes, Ryan $22,763
Southampton Spera, Richard $20,325
Southampton Schottenhamel, Carl $20,063
Southampton Collins, Daniel $20,063
Southampton Cobb, Bryan $20,063
Southampton Metcalf Jr, Donald $20,063
Southampton Coleman, Carter $20,063
Southampton Landrio, Jonathan $17,899
Southampton Jacobsen, Thomas $17,329
Southampton Hartman, Daniel $12,827
Southampton Hochstrasser, Elyse $10,477
Southampton Benkov, Richard $9,055
Southampton Schmidt, Anthony $8,528
Southampton Concannon, Daniel $8,419
Southampton Petroski, Jude $5,705
Southampton Padeletti, William $3,220
Southampton Chiappone, Michael $2,880
Southampton Mc Cormick, John $2,240

How will we fare if we put this buddy on the Board to vote with Nuzzi and Malone?" Jan 14, 10 2:15 PM

No "fear" Mr. Wheeler, those salaries have been reported on the See Through NY website. I have only related them.

No "fear" it is a fact that this candidate has worked closely with the rank and file police officers. It is more of a stretch to believe that because he is older now, he wants to save money for the taxpayers.

No "fear" just don't elect someone who all they have to say when nominated is I have strong deep roots. What ability does he have compared to Ms. Fleming?

Qualifications count. Is being a cop a long time a qualification?" Jan 14, 10 4:11 PM

Ms. Fleming graduated from the highly regarded Virginia law school. It is at least on par with Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Syracuse, and Georgetown. By "highly regarded" I mean the admissions process is very selective and only very talented people are admitted.

Then she worked in a highly regarded District Attorney's Office, an office where many talented people work, as compared to other DA's Offices where patronage considerations eclipse the requirement of talent by a large margin.

There are journeymen lawyers who learn a niche area of the law and do a decent job in such narrowly focused practice of law. Then there are the highly capable attorneys who understand the fundamental principles of law that apply across all practice areas. These attorneys bring an intelligence to any job and are the people who coordinate the work of journeymen lawyers. A journeyman works in a discrete silo. It is the lawyer's lawyer that connects them and other municipal employees to form a composite, functioning, municipality. Southampton has NOT been a functioning municipality.

Ms. Fleming is not a journeyman lawyer, she is not a Touro or Hofstra graduate, she has demonstrated she has an ability to serve in a position that requires a broader focus. When people with such talent offer their services you grab them, and thank them. They don't need us for employment, we need them for their talent." Jan 14, 10 4:48 PM

Trustees reject mayor's attempt to add seven resolutions after walk-out in Westhampton Beach

They were not found guilty of anything. Your concern may be that there was no hearing held to reach that conclusion, but they were not found guilty of anything.

They were apparently accused, and maybe the Press will post that report on the web so we can see what the basis for those reported accusations were.

Jean, how about signing on to the informal request on this blog for the Press to post the report?" Jan 14, 10 4:55 PM

Lt. William Hughes named Republican nominee for vacant Southampton Town Board seat

Does he retire before the results are in ?" Jan 14, 10 5:22 PM

There is something that does not sit well with the notion that a person who has been a Town employee would now be in charge of funding the very people he became friends with over the years. Human nature being what it is.

Enjoy your retirement, but even if you are a terrific guy I'm not sure continued service on the Town Board is the right thing for the Town. Thanks" Jan 14, 10 9:30 PM

You are right, my remark could use some more clarification.

I think as a country and as a town we have learned the destructive nature of political parties which more often elevate the interests of the party above the interests of the nation, or in this instance town.

Candidate Hughes has been a rank and file member of another powerful interest group, similar to a political party. This group on a town level has the capacity to be more powerful than any of the political parties. Every single member of this group is paid for their membership in this group, and their pay is increased by their loyalty to this group.

The power exercised by this group is necessary to perform an essential governmental function. This is similar to the function of our military. The group has a paramilitary organizational structure which lends to its effectiveness. I am thankful for this group's service. At the same time, we must be circumspect and compartmentalize the power possessed by this group.

This group already exercises significant political power just in the voting booth. That is proper, our officers should not be disenfranchised because they have chosen to serve our community. However, if there is any doubt about the power of this group, it is demonstrated in the salary list posted up near the top of this page. The salaries paid are well above the average for our full-time residents. The group's power must be limited.

Candidate Hughes says he knows where the perks for the police officers are. I am sure that is true and has been true for years. Now he volunteers (sort of) to serve on the governing body that, among many other things, must balance the health of this group which performs an essential function against the risk that the group becomes too powerful with a loyalty first to its own rank and file.

This group is almost like another political party, The Policemen's Party. Rather than support the rise of a new party to power, I would rather see existing Political Parties dismantled. Perhaps with the leveling forces of the internet that will be possible. That topic is a digression, perhaps for another time.

My concern is not with, as you say, a "working guy/gal" advancing in a career path. Officer Hughes has advanced admirably on his chosen career path, now he wants a different career.

Candidate Hughes may be a wonderful man and I thank him for the service he has provided to the Town, but I am not prepared to vote for him. This is particularly the case when you look at the credentials of the other candidate. " Jan 15, 10 8:39 AM

Trustees reject mayor's attempt to add seven resolutions after walk-out in Westhampton Beach

I do not propose posting the report online so that the officers can be judged. That has already happened to some degree. The submission from IAB has been presented by the Press in a manner which gives it more credence than a mere allegation deserves.

Our Trustees have said the report plainly does not merit further inquiry. That could very well be true; or as their opponents say it is a whitewash.

Personally, it seems to me that the matter of a lost and recovered gun has gotten way out of hand and is consuming to much attention. That, however, is only surmise. I think the report itself would help this community assess which elected officials are exercising the best judgment. Ordinarily, it would not even be in the public domain, but it is." Jan 15, 10 8:52 AM

Trustees reject mayor's attempt to add seven resolutions after walk-out in Westhampton Beach

No "special information" here, Mr. Wheeler.

I was drawing an inference that those who did not want to pursue this with a hearing must have made such a conclusion. I also did not hear Mayor Teller say it was a whitewash, that is another inference based upon their respective actions. I am not interested in being forced to make such inferences and would prefer the facts, in this case the IAB submission.

Is the IAB submission really 90-100 pages long, was that mere surmise, or do you have "some special information?"

As you know, I supported Levan and Tucker in the last election and did not support election of another police officer who was out on claimed disability. That, however, does not mean I will support them in the future if there are candidates who may have better judgment. I just don't know if the judgment in this case was good or bad (probably not good). I would like to see the report." Jan 15, 10 9:48 AM

Lt. William Hughes named Republican nominee for vacant Southampton Town Board seat

You are correct. It is too soon. Now enter the negotiations with Frank Mckay, another Boss of another political party that most think will tip the election.

The problem with political parties, and the allegiances to party interests first. Hopefully people will come to realize that the "Independent" party isn't Independent, it is just another incarnation of bossism. " Jan 15, 10 10:25 AM

I think the readers of this post, as well as the electorate, can only look at facts to determine whether a candidate is good for the Town. Your opinion may be very valuable to some, to those who know you, but anonymously it doesn't help much.

The only objective measure I see is their respective credentials. Candidate Hughes' tenure on the Town Police force may speak volumes towards his ability to do police work.

and People may like to malign attorneys, but they perform very important roles in our community and bring an ability to solve problems legally. Ms. Fleming has this demonstrated ability. It will be for the community to assess whether they want a 4th R on the Board.

Are you proposing a new political party "People for Hampton Bays ?"

What does 9/11 have to do with being a member of the Town Board ?" Jan 15, 10 11:56 AM

Suffolk County will stop using East End trailers to house homeless sex offenders

I'm going to buy a barge, fill it with cots, take every crazy dime this County will give, and hope nobody gets mad and sinks it. But hey, I'll make sure it is insured." Jan 15, 10 4:43 PM

Southampton Town allows litigation on Aldrich Lane park to continue

"[A]cting Town Attorney Kathleen Murray said this week. Ms. Murray said that the litigation, which has been ongoing since 2007, had been handled exclusively in-house, but complex appellate and procedural issues involving the restraining order would be better handled by an outside firm. She refused to disclose how much it will cost the town to hire him."

In the print edition of the paper, Ms. Murray said the fees would not be disclosed on the grounds of attorney client privilege.

The Court has held otherwise. See Orange County Publications v. Orange County, 637 NYS 2d 596. The people in our community have a right, under the Freedom of Information Law, to know what this litigation will cost." Jan 15, 10 11:14 PM

Lt. William Hughes named Republican nominee for vacant Southampton Town Board seat

That isn't necessary. I am sure Mr. Hughes is intelligent and probably very nice as well.

But do compare the respective qualifications of the candidates. They aren't in the same league for the job of Town Board member. Just as Ms. Fleming would not be in the running for a job on the police force. They are two very different skill sets.

When that is added to the natural allegiances that accumulate over the years when a person works in and with the ranks of the police union, Mr. Hughes is just not right for this particular job.

We can appreciate the service he has provided in his chosen vocation, and it is in no way demeaning to say that someone else is better suited to service on the Town Board." Jan 16, 10 10:47 AM

The point being made by reference to his "perk" remark is that he always knew about them, and now he has found religion, or maybe he hasn't." Jan 17, 10 11:28 AM

You are right. There is no reason that pensions could not, by contractual agreement in the future, be calibrated to the relative cost of living for the locale where the retiree takes up residence. But then you are into questions of residency, always a problematic thing. But it doesn't mean a smart person can't come up with a way to make it work.

Always good to think out of the box. Don't let rude naysayers bother you." Jan 17, 10 5:11 PM

New Southampton supervisor lays out initial changes

Why the new format for the Town web page ? It is difficult to find some of the information that was easily accessible before, don't even know if it is still there at all.

What deficiencies were addressed by this change ?

highhatsize raises an important question and I went to the Town webpage to see what I could see and found that there was less available than before, or at least it seems to be the case. Why?" Jan 20, 10 9:07 AM

Turf talk gets serious in Westhampton Beach

"[T]he cost of the artificial field forced them to put the project on hold last year.

Now it is about 33 percent more -- $1,600,000.00

and the Superintendent says if the voters approved this expenditure in May it "would be very cool."" Jan 22, 10 12:22 PM

Commissioners say renovations are needed at Westhampton Beach Firehouse

As copied from the Fire District webpage

"2007 Notable Events

October 16 - Budget Hearing
December 15 - Fire District Election"

http://www.whbfd.com/fire-district.php

It does not appear that the District has updated its webpage since some time in 2007

However, Under the Open Meetings Law

§104. Public notice.
...
5. When a public body has the ability to do so, notice of the time and place of a meeting given in accordance with subdivision one or two of this section, shall also be conspicuously posted on the public body's internet website.

It is the obligation of the government to make it accessible to everyone under the Open Meetings Law. And no, it does not mean we have to attend every meeting, but we should have an agenda posted so that both we as individual citizens / taxpayers, and the press, can determine whether attend.

If the public is aware sooner rather than later, it is easier to gain support for a worthy project; or to discover early on that there is significant opposition to an additional spending program.

These days no government official wants to be invited to a Tea Party. " Jan 28, 10 8:57 AM

Southampton Town Board comes to compromise on committee

Any board member who has a resolution should be able to submit it and expect it to be on the agenda for a vote.

It is certainly prudent for each resolution to be reviewed by various Town Hall personnel so that the respective expertise can be considered by the elected official who is proposing the resolution. It might compel the proponent of the resolution to modify it, withdraw it entirely, or pursue it as originally intended.

Staff review allows the decision making process to be better informed from the outset, but such institutional review can not rise to the level of veto authority.

I am glad that ATH and Ms. Graboski were able to come to an understanding.

There is a common misconception about the authority of the Supervisor. With respect to the overwhelming majority of the Town's business, the Supervisor has only one vote of five, and has the added duty of executing the will of the majority of the board. The notion that the Supervisor is a third co-equal branch of the government like the US President is a gross overstatement of the Supervisor's authority.

Glad the wrinkles are getting smoothed out, glad the Press reported on the resolution, and hopefully Board members will realize that every disagreement is not a battle of wills or a personal attack.

On some things calm discussion will resolve differences into a new and improved consensus, sometimes no consensus is possible - majority gets its way- and if it is a position supported by the electorate at large, the majority keeps that position in the future, if not, not." Jan 29, 10 8:12 AM

Suffolk County judge overturns East Quogue marina application approval

What a foolish waste of Town resources to appeal. There is an environmental review process that must be undertaken no matter what, the judge said do it in the first instance, not later down the line.

That is good for everybody. Now there is in effect a do over because it wasn't done up front. If the SEQRA review says it can't be done, then isn't it better to know that sooner rather than later ?

The property owner's quote "It’s meaningless to me" is very telling. I am in favor of property owner's rights, but it really isn't so much about the use of the property as to how that use affects the adjoining waterways which are a natural resource we all have a stake in.

Is the Town going to fund such an appeal ? If so why ? Regardless, of whether it is an in house attorney, it is still a cost. He could be doing something else.

Bad, bad idea to appeal, Trustees do the SEQRA process, it has to be done no matter what (it is a cost born by the developer) and it makes all parties consider things up front, not later. " Feb 3, 10 12:03 PM

I disagree with the assessment of "fault." The SEQRA process as enacted by the State Legislature has determined that environmental considerations must be part of out decision making process. What happened here was that the Trustees went through its own environmental style process, as you point out Mr. McAllister didn't like the conclusion.

Dockers was going to have to do the SEQRA process, so isn't it better to have one, unified, process with one set of rules rather than two - the Trustees process followed by SEQRA? Or just SEQRA from the outset.

The Trustees power which relates back to a patent granted by a Governor appointed by the King of England, remains one of the perverse vestiges of colonial America. When do you suppose we re-think that?

No reason to appeal, do the SEQRA process with the Trustees (developer will like that, do you think the Trustees are going to say, oh no, look how wrong we were?)

Assistant Town Attorneys should be doing other things." Feb 3, 10 12:48 PM

The Trustees should have settled the case in the first instance and accepted the position as lead agency to do the SEQRA process, being the entity responsible for that determination is to be the entity with the power.

Instead, by divesting themselves of that authority the Trustees LOSE power. It means another Town agency will visit the question of environmental impacts, and may that other agency may reach a conclusion that disapproves what the Trustees approved.

So now, the Trustees want to appeal a determination, which if they win, will reduce their power.

That is a gross waste of time and money that has been caused by the Trustees determination to fight in order to have LESS power. It makes no sense.

Going back to the Trustees themselves and the relationship with the Town Attorney. Who makes the decision to use taxpayer resources to fight the battle? The Town Board ? The Trustees? Must the Town fund any mission the Trustees want to undertake.

The autonomous role of a board of Trustees that are nothing but a historic artifact of our colonial roots should be ended." Feb 3, 10 1:48 PM

The waste has been occasioned by the refusal of the Board of Trustees to take on status of lead agency and do the review from the outset.

A legal action based upon SEQRA does not grant Mr. McAllister veto power, it is a legal action that requires boards with decision making authority to consider the wider impacts of such a project. The authority still rests with the Board, they just have to do their job and SEQRA is a comprehensive process that helps boards to make better decision based upon more complete information.
" Feb 3, 10 1:52 PM

Questions are raised over Town Board candidate's fund-raising restrictions

Besides being the campaign manager, who is Alfred Hobbs?

Obviously the rule that the candidate not be permitted to handle the campaign contributions arises from a concern that the candidate could abuse his current position of authority in order to raise funds.

Having the money handled by Mr. Hobbs only works if there is an assurance that the identity of the donors either will not, or can not, be disclosed to the candidate prior to the election.

Then you have the problem that the electorate also would not know who is supporting a particular candidate as can be viewed on the county boe website.

Bottom line, retirement should be effective before nomination can be made to run for public office, otherwise there is a huge risk of abuse of power. " Feb 3, 10 2:04 PM

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