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355 Comments by Publius

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

Bayman1 has asked me several times how much the police are costing:

In Price Tag Order

Southampton Overton, James $166,366 2009
Southampton Tenaglia, Anthony $162,129 2009
Southampton Hughes Jr, William $153,912 2009
Southampton Iberger, Robert $153,523 2009
Southampton Molloy, Bruce $151,241 2009
Southampton Hintze, Randolph $147,054 2009
Southampton Pearce, Robert $146,456 2009
Southampton Scott, Lewis $143,394 2009
Southampton Schurek Jr, Lawrence $140,277 2009
Southampton Miller, Steven $139,760 2009
Southampton Foster, Scott $139,121 2009
Southampton Bennett, Todd $137,693 2009
Southampton Wilson, Timothy $136,919 2009
Southampton Kiernan, James $136,823 2009
Southampton Sommer, William $136,172 2009
Southampton Britton, Walter $134,828 2009
Southampton Mazzio, James $134,738 2009
Southampton Zarro, Michael $134,089 2009
Southampton Stabile, Robert $132,593 2009
Southampton Tully, Thomas $131,794 2009
Southampton Boden, John $131,460 2009
Southampton Sharkey Jr, Charles $130,745 2009
Southampton Joyce, Michael $129,277 2009
Southampton Johnson, Herbert $128,410 2009
Southampton Ficurilli, Andrew $128,200 2009
Southampton Kuey, John $126,097 2009
Southampton Smith, Michael $124,974 2009
Southampton Gwinn, Kevin $124,914 2009
Southampton Ralph, Susan $123,743 2009
Southampton Burns, Michael $122,800 2009
Southampton Cavanagh, James $122,389 2009
Southampton Foos, Michael $122,138 2009
Southampton Wicklund, Robert $121,714 2009
Southampton Spencer, Todd $120,961 2009
Southampton Cavanagh, James $120,742 2009
Southampton Gorman, Thomas $120,732 2009
Southampton Gates, Richard $120,611 2009
Southampton Oliver, Kenneth $120,331 2009
Southampton Costa, Lisa $120,057 2009
Southampton Hawkins, Patrick $119,864 2009
Southampton De Luca, Brian $119,602 2009
Southampton Cagno, Vincent $119,334 2009
Southampton Boese, Frederick $117,908 2009
Southampton Mujsce, Kenneth $117,579 2009
Southampton Plum, Eric $117,377 2009
Southampton Peters, David $117,357 2009
Southampton Helmsteadt, Matthew $117,305 2009
Southampton Vecchio, Anthony $116,327 2009
Southampton Sickles, Eric $116,262 2009
Southampton Harrigan, Jane $115,506 2009
Southampton Carey Jr, Bartholomew $115,393 2009
Southampton Aube, Patrick $115,275 2009
Southampton Tedesco, Theresa $114,722 2009
Southampton Frankenbach, Steven $113,925 2009
Southampton Cantrell, Frederick $113,037 2009
Southampton Brown, Robert $112,774 2009
Southampton Mc Creedy-Drew, Maureen $112,339 2009
Southampton Lo Russo, Kristian $111,925 2009
Southampton Platt IV, William $111,835 2009
Southampton Gonzalez, Nelson $111,739 2009
Southampton O'Brien, Stephen $111,399 2009
Southampton Neuendorf, Eric $111,203 2009
Southampton Joseph, Doris $109,682 2009
Southampton Parker, Sherekhan $109,582 2009
Southampton Loper I I I, Herbert $109,338 2009
Southampton Kalb, Howard $109,038 2009
Southampton De Marco, Steven $107,444 2009
Southampton Giambone, John $105,976 2009
Southampton Attanasio, Michael $105,499 2009
Southampton Badagliacca, Nicholas $105,189 2009
Southampton Giardina, James $105,079 2009
Southampton Smith, Lois $101,929 2009
Southampton Manzello, Edward $99,305 2009
Southampton Nemes, Michael $96,286 2009
Southampton Smith, Lyle $95,672 2009
Southampton Arnzen, Robert $95,424 2009
Southampton Schmidt Jr, Thomas $92,830 2009
Southampton Breitwieser, Erik $87,832 2009
Southampton Slovensky, Craig $86,477 2009
Southampton Elliston, Melissa $85,829 2009
Southampton Garafola, Richard $85,135 2009
Southampton Santora, David $84,086 2009
Southampton Driscoll, David $82,264 2009
Southampton La Ferrera, Gina $77,246 2009
Southampton Burst, Christine $69,244 2009
Southampton O'Flaherty, Timothy $67,996 2009
Southampton D'arce, Joseph $66,240 2009
Southampton Kiernan, William $65,825 2009
Southampton Berini, John $64,562 2009
Southampton Davin, Jason $63,144 2009
Southampton Montalbano, Gaspar $59,246 2009
Southampton Blodorn, Andrew $51,378 2009
Southampton Henderson, Edward $51,296 2009
Southampton Jasinski, Theodore $39,855 2009
Southampton Phillips, Keith $33,521 2009
Southampton Kiernan, Wm $30,391 2009
Southampton Walsh, Michael $23,093 2009
Southampton Hughes, Ryan $22,763 2009
Southampton Spera, Richard $20,325 2009
Southampton Schottenhamel, Carl $20,063 2009
Southampton Collins, Daniel $20,063 2009
Southampton Cobb, Bryan $20,063 2009
Southampton Metcalf Jr, Donald $20,063 2009
Southampton Coleman, Carter $20,063 2009
Southampton Landrio, Jonathan $17,899 2009
Southampton Jacobsen, Thomas $17,329 2009
Southampton Hartman, Daniel $12,827 2009
Southampton Hochstrasser, Elyse $10,477 2009
Southampton Benkov, Richard $9,055 2009
Southampton Schmidt, Anthony $8,528 2009
Southampton Concannon, Daniel $8,419 2009
Southampton Petroski, Jude $5,705 2009
Southampton Padeletti, William $3,220 2009
Southampton Chiappone, Michael $2,880 2009
Southampton Mc Cormick, John $2,240 2009

In Alphabetical Order


Southampton Arnzen, Robert $95,424 2009
Southampton Attanasio, Michael $105,499 2009
Southampton Aube, Patrick $115,275 2009
Southampton Badagliacca, Nicholas $105,189 2009
Southampton Benkov, Richard $9,055 2009
Southampton Bennett, Todd $137,693 2009
Southampton Berini, John $64,562 2009
Southampton Blodorn, Andrew $51,378 2009
Southampton Boden, John $131,460 2009
Southampton Boese, Frederick $117,908 2009
Southampton Breitwieser, Erik $87,832 2009
Southampton Britton, Walter $134,828 2009
Southampton Brown, Robert $112,774 2009
Southampton Burns, Michael $122,800 2009
Southampton Burst, Christine $69,244 2009
Southampton Cagno, Vincent $119,334 2009
Southampton Cantrell, Frederick $113,037 2009
Southampton Carey Jr, Bartholomew $115,393 2009
Southampton Cavanagh, James $122,389 2009
Southampton Cavanagh, James $120,742 2009
Southampton Chiappone, Michael $2,880 2009
Southampton Cobb, Bryan $20,063 2009
Southampton Coleman, Carter $20,063 2009
Southampton Collins, Daniel $20,063 2009
Southampton Concannon, Daniel $8,419 2009
Southampton Costa, Lisa $120,057 2009
Southampton D'arce, Joseph $66,240 2009
Southampton Davin, Jason $63,144 2009
Southampton De Luca, Brian $119,602 2009
Southampton De Marco, Steven $107,444 2009
Southampton Driscoll, David $82,264 2009
Southampton Elliston, Melissa $85,829 2009
Southampton Ficurilli, Andrew $128,200 2009
Southampton Foos, Michael $122,138 2009
Southampton Foster, Scott $139,121 2009
Southampton Frankenbach, Steven $113,925 2009
Southampton Garafola, Richard $85,135 2009
Southampton Gates, Richard $120,611 2009
Southampton Giambone, John $105,976 2009
Southampton Giardina, James $105,079 2009
Southampton Gonzalez, Nelson $111,739 2009
Southampton Gorman, Thomas $120,732 2009
Southampton Gwinn, Kevin $124,914 2009
Southampton Harrigan, Jane $115,506 2009
Southampton Hartman, Daniel $12,827 2009
Southampton Hawkins, Patrick $119,864 2009
Southampton Helmsteadt, Matthew $117,305 2009
Southampton Henderson, Edward $51,296 2009
Southampton Hintze, Randolph $147,054 2009
Southampton Hochstrasser, Elyse $10,477 2009
Southampton Hughes Jr, William $153,912 2009
Southampton Hughes, Ryan $22,763 2009
Southampton Iberger, Robert $153,523 2009
Southampton Jacobsen, Thomas $17,329 2009
Southampton Jasinski, Theodore $39,855 2009
Southampton Johnson, Herbert $128,410 2009
Southampton Joseph, Doris $109,682 2009
Southampton Joyce, Michael $129,277 2009
Southampton Kalb, Howard $109,038 2009
Southampton Kiernan, James $136,823 2009
Southampton Kiernan, William $65,825 2009
Southampton Kiernan, Wm $30,391 2009
Southampton Kuey, John $126,097 2009
Southampton La Ferrera, Gina $77,246 2009
Southampton Landrio, Jonathan $17,899 2009
Southampton Lo Russo, Kristian $111,925 2009
Southampton Loper I I I, Herbert $109,338 2009
Southampton Manzello, Edward $99,305 2009
Southampton Mazzio, James $134,738 2009
Southampton Mc Cormick, John $2,240 2009
Southampton Mc Creedy-Drew, Maureen $112,339 2009
Southampton Metcalf Jr, Donald $20,063 2009
Southampton Miller, Steven $139,760 2009
Southampton Molloy, Bruce $151,241 2009
Southampton Montalbano, Gaspar $59,246 2009
Southampton Mujsce, Kenneth $117,579 2009
Southampton Nemes, Michael $96,286 2009
Southampton Neuendorf, Eric $111,203 2009
Southampton O'Brien, Stephen $111,399 2009
Southampton O'Flaherty, Timothy $67,996 2009
Southampton Oliver, Kenneth $120,331 2009
Southampton Overton, James $166,366 2009
Southampton Padeletti, William $3,220 2009
Southampton Parker, Sherekhan $109,582 2009
Southampton Pearce, Robert $146,456 2009
Southampton Peters, David $117,357 2009
Southampton Petroski, Jude $5,705 2009
Southampton Phillips, Keith $33,521 2009
Southampton Platt IV, William $111,835 2009
Southampton Plum, Eric $117,377 2009
Southampton Ralph, Susan $123,743 2009
Southampton Santora, David $84,086 2009
Southampton Schmidt Jr, Thomas $92,830 2009
Southampton Schmidt, Anthony $8,528 2009
Southampton Schottenhamel, Carl $20,063 2009
Southampton Schurek Jr, Lawrence $140,277 2009
Southampton Scott, Lewis $143,394 2009
Southampton Sharkey Jr, Charles $130,745 2009
Southampton Sickles, Eric $116,262 2009
Southampton Slovensky, Craig $86,477 2009
Southampton Smith, Lois $101,929 2009
Southampton Smith, Lyle $95,672 2009
Southampton Smith, Michael $124,974 2009
Southampton Sommer, William $136,172 2009
Southampton Spencer, Todd $120,961 2009
Southampton Spera, Richard $20,325 2009
Southampton Stabile, Robert $132,593 2009
Southampton Tedesco, Theresa $114,722 2009
Southampton Tenaglia, Anthony $162,129 2009
Southampton Tully, Thomas $131,794 2009
Southampton Vecchio, Anthony $116,327 2009
Southampton Walsh, Michael $23,093 2009
Southampton Wicklund, Robert $121,714 2009
Southampton Wilson, Timothy $136,919 2009
Southampton Zarro, Michael $134,089 2009

That was for last year.

The preliminary budget for 2010 provides for total compensation and benefits in the amount of $ 15,769,597" Feb 7, 10 8:47 AM

Median FAMILY Income in Suffolk County is $97,100.

Obviously, the wages reported in the previous post are for individual wage earners, and you can't really compare that to what an entire family earns annually.

This is the distorting effect of unions on wages. Good for unions, bad for everyone else." Feb 7, 10 9:36 AM

The form of the answer you demand is irrelevant.

What does it matter what percentage it is of my town tax, state tax, national tax, sales tax forked over annually, or various fees imposed as hidden taxes? That is not a measure of whether we are receiving value for the actual dollars we are paying to the PD.

Even an aggregate budget number is largely meaningless. It is when we look at the individual salaries that a taxpayer can get a true sense of the cost.

The form of the answer you demand is designed to obfuscate the issue. I won't be accommodating you effort in that regard.

PD services cost too much, and Candidate Hughes has not made a commitment to reduce those costs." Feb 7, 10 2:37 PM

http://www.seethroughny.net/" Feb 7, 10 2:38 PM

The link I just put up was taken down (probably an automated thing) So, google the phrase See Through NY and you will get the website." Feb 7, 10 2:48 PM

You are quite right. That is why there has to be published expression of intent by either candidate. Absent that, I have to go with the Candidate that was not a member of that union at any time." Feb 7, 10 3:20 PM

Yes, the how is the questions posted by highhat." Feb 7, 10 3:21 PM

Don't mention it my inscrutable friend." Feb 7, 10 4:18 PM

Westhampton Beach mayor plans to stick to his guns regarding two Village Police officers

Property values would go UP because taxes and potential civil liability would go down. (It has to be cheaper to run a couple of sector cars, than to pay for a Chief of P, and other ranking officers in the village PD.)

Lets not pretend their would be an absence of police surveillance protecting the village. The village would contract with another municipality, Southampton Town or Quogue.

Maybe it would be the first time there would be a presence of of police surveillance protecting the village (save for those who have contracted for private security all along.)
" Feb 8, 10 7:57 AM

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

You are quite right !

It is amazing how many contributors there are from the State of Virginia. I guess Mrs. Fleming made quite an impression on her law school classmates. So much so that they would support her present endeavors.

It is not so amazing that there are some from NYC where she worked in the office of the District Attorney, and from where many of our Southampton residents have 1st or 2nd homes (depending on who is numbering the primacy of the residence).

And your point is ?

Oh yes, it is that local thing. Unless your grand daddy's daddy dropped out of the birth canal her in the Town of Southampton, you ain't a local (one of us) and you have nothing of value to contribute.

I guess that's what Candidate Hughes means by having roots long and deep. He understands and is willing to play upon the bias of some, Nellie.
" Feb 8, 10 8:12 AM

Westhampton Beach mayor plans to stick to his guns regarding two Village Police officers

That is a silly remark. Greenport had crime problems both with and without its PD. If you are suggesting the self promoting posse of red berets that appeared in Greenport somehow advances your defense of the WHB PD,

I will leave it to others who read these posts to decide whether that argument has any validity at all. It could be a good measure of intelligence, or lack of it." Feb 8, 10 9:34 PM

Westhampton Beach Village Board rejects all seven resolutions pertaining to two police officers

The authority rests with the Board of Trustees to hear, or not hear, the charges. If in their discretion the allegations as presented do not merit a hearing, then it is the Board's right to dismiss the charges outright.

It makes no sense to say a Board must hear charges that it deems facially unworthy of consideration so that, in the end, it would dismiss the charges. By analogy, courts can dismiss charges, as insufficient on their face, or dismiss them in the interests of justice.

Highhat is correct, the public has not seen the written charges and has not read any report. It is therefore difficult to assess whether the Trustees are exercising good judgment or poor. That is the result of statutory right to privacy on such matters. Disclosure of the charges or the report is not an option for this Board to defend itself, or for the Mayor to justify his position.

It is true that the decision is an implicit repudiation of the Chief of Police's decision on this particular issue, but that alone does not make the Board's decision right or wrong. Similarly, for all of the reasons above the public can not discern whether the Chief was acting properly, or injudiciously.

This leaves the public only with speculation.

The Mayor's directive that the officer's not be restored to full duty and the Board's resolution passed in Dec. that directed the officers to be restored to full duty is the legal stand off that must be resolved.

The Village Attorney should issue a written opinion concerning the respective authority of the Trustees and the Mayor on this issue, and if that opinion is respected the parties should proceed in accordance.

If, the Village Attorney, as the appointee of the Mayor, renders an opinion that does not carry everyone's respect, then it is an important question which demands resolution from a court.
" Feb 10, 10 6:43 AM

The privacy right under NY Civil Right's Law belongs to the officers and can be waived by them. It would certainly shed light on this for the public, but perhaps they were acting foolishly, in a manner that doesn't warrant action, but embarrassing, nonetheless. That would be a strong course of action if the officers chose to do that." Feb 10, 10 4:10 PM

What is the Press' position on releasing the report to the public. With print limitations of the past, the decision not to publish the document was understandable.

Will the old standard for reporting persist in the internet age when a website such as this has, in effect, unlimited space ?

Why not post the full report as a link for this story as a pdf ?

The Press reported on Parts of the report, and it even editorialized on what to do about the report ?

Has that report even been given to the officers so that they can defend themselves ?

There is a pernicious aspect to partial disclosure. As you can see, some posts seem to think that the report has been substantiated. BUT, what you have is the very body that made the accusations, is saying that their own accusations have been substantiated. That should not be satisfying to anyone.

From your reporting, there was never a resolution concerning the question of how the uncharged officer lost his gun and then later found it. So this isn't about the problems that did or did not occur in the WHB PD, it was an accusation by an investigating agency that it was making on its own accord.

Please publish the full document, don't just take the position that the community must trust you editorial skills when page constraints no longer weigh in favor of that request.


" Feb 11, 10 12:57 PM

Jean, you have assumed that the lost weapon was a prank, and not just a lost weapon. The report from Suffolk County did not reach any conclusions on whether that officer negligently lost his weapon, or whether he was the victim of a theft.

If theft, charge the officers with the theft. Mr. Spota would prosecute a petit larceny, if there was such proof.

You have agreed in the past that the report should be released, lets insist on the release of the report before we draw any conclusions about who is right and who is wrong." Feb 11, 10 1:22 PM

As reported in the press, there was no resolution of the manner in which the gun came to be lost.

As reported in the press, the report stated that the 2 officers lied to those who made the report, then those who wrote the report that their own allegations of lying were substantiated by their own report. THAT is what I say should be unsatisfactory. The report claims to be self-proving.

I have repeatedly requested that the report be released so that this community can judge for itself whether the report mandates further inquiry which the Board of Trustees has declined to do. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

Right now people are making serious judgments and are acting with less information than the Trustees.

If this community could see the report it could make its own assessment of whether the Trustees have a duty to inquire further. Maybe it is loaded with illogical junk, maybe it is compelling. I know that I don't know.

I know that I have repeated requested in be published here.

" Feb 12, 10 8:03 AM

The introduction of this matter into the public when it is legally privileged has created a quandary.

1. If the Trustees were to have a hearing (whether by themselves or a hearing officer) the final determination remains the Trustees. A Trustee determination rejecting the charges would carry no weight now.

2. If the Trustees were to find the officers guilty some or all of the charges, then any punishment less than dismissal would be privileged and the public would never know that there had been any punishment at all and would not know that there had even been a determination that the officers were or were not guilty.

3. The only result of a hearing, of which the public could become aware is a determination of guilt together with the punishment of either dismissal, or at least a suspension that was long enough so that fellow officers would know the result by the absence of the two officers.

4. A determination of guilt and a reprimand, or docking pay, would be an unknown result.

That is a quandary, when action is demanded of the Trustees, yet if they were to act in accordance with the demand, there is only one result of the action of which the public would become aware.

This is a product of the statutory secrecy that has been obtained by police, firefighters', and teachers' unions.

The only way the Trustees get off the hook is for both of the the officers to waive their privacy rights and get it in the open.


" Feb 12, 10 9:24 AM

The Trustees could, but they have apparently decided that the charges that were preferred by the Chief of Police, do not merit further prosecution.

Can it be that when the IAB report is read, it just does not support action ?

Can it be that there was clear in-fighting in the Department and while 2 officers may have been guilty of some infraction, that the Trustees see that charges are being preferred against some select few, while others get a complete pass ?

We have a pretty good idea that the Chief of Police does not enjoy the confidence of the Board of Trustees, he filed a notice of claim against the village last summer.

What we don't know, and unfortunately probably won't know, is why the Trustees have chosen this course.

Ordering a hearing at this time, when the Trustees have effectively declared there is some impediment to punishing these officers, can not be reversed simply because the Mayor is intransigent." Feb 12, 10 3:59 PM

From NY State Village Law:

§ 8-804. Discipline and charges

1. Except as otherwise provided by law, a member of such police force or department shall continue in office unless suspended or dismissed.

***
The BOARD OF TRUSTEES or municipal board shall have power and is authorized to adopt and make rules and regulations for the examination, hearing, investigation and determination of charges, made or preferred against any member or members of such police force or department. ***

Except as otherwise provided, no member or members of such police force or department shall be fined, reprimanded, suspended, removed or dismissed until written charges shall have been examined, heard and investigated in such manner or procedure, practice, examination and investigation as the board may by rules and regulations from time to time prescribe.

Any member of such police force or department at the time of the hearing or trial of such charges shall have the right to a public hearing and trial and to be represented by counsel at any such hearing or trial, and ANY PERSON WHO SHALL HAVE PREFERRED SUCH CHARGES OR ANY PART OF THE SAME SHALL NOT SIT AS JUDGE UPON SUCH HEARING OR TRIAL...

***Such BOARD shall have the power to SUSPEND, without pay for a period not to exceed thirty days, PENDING THE TRIAL OF CHARGES, any member of such police force or department. If any member of such police force or department so suspended shall not be convicted by such board of the charges so preferred, he shall be entitled to full pay from the date of suspension, notwithstanding such charges and suspension.


Here the Mayor suspended the two officers in the first place. Yet Village law vests suspension authority in the BOARD OF TRUSTEES !


The very Board with the duty to make the final determination concerning the charges preferred by Chief Dean, has voted against advancing the charges - whatever they are- and the Mayor insists on a new type of punishment, desk duty.

The Mayor plainly judged the officers without a hearing because he suspended the officers when he had no legal authority under the Village Law to suspend the officers.

Is it surprising that the Mayor persists in punishing the officers without a hearing?

Whether the Mayor is correct and the officers are guilty of some offense, that has not been determined, and it was not within his authority to punish the officers without that determination.

The initial mayoral suspension, which cost the taxpayers a nice buck, has been followed by more punishment without a hearing, and that too is costly.

We can't judge the Trustees from what is in the public record. We can judge the Mayor, look at the law.

Ask the Mayor where he got his authority to suspend the officers in the first place.

Ask the Mayor where he gets the right to order desk duty for the officers when the Trustees ordered that the officers be restored to full duty.

Ask the Village Attorney both of those questions." Feb 12, 10 4:07 PM

The Press says it receive a copy." Feb 12, 10 9:26 PM

If there was such a crime committed, the officers would be looking for bail on an indictment. If there was proof of any crime, then the allegations would have made it out of the privacy of the Civil Rights Law.

No criminal charges, including no charge of perjury should give people pause." Feb 12, 10 9:28 PM

If you were a professional conducting an investigation wouldn't the first thing you do when speaking to Police Officers is first put them under oath ?

If that were the case, the lying would be perjury, and it would be off to the DA.

This all seems it may be a little loosey-goosey as the basis for punishment.

Of course that remains hard to discern when the Press has not published the report which it said it possesses.

Come on Press guys/gals, you read the comments posted.

If you won't post it, at least state the policy reason behind that decision. This is particularly important when the Press wrote an editorial taking the Trustees to task." Feb 12, 10 10:16 PM

Next to last paragraph in the print edition on this story, indicates Mayor made this decision.

If the Chief did it, he could be charged himself with insubordination. As it stands, it is the Mayor causing a stand off." Feb 14, 10 8:33 PM

Still, no report published, and numerous people here have concluded that a particular action must be taken on a report they have not seen.

Note to Mr. Wheeler, Ms. Birk said "I want these guys cleared." It is evident she thinks the report is junk, and only wants a hearing for political cover to reach that conclusion.." Feb 14, 10 8:34 PM

Mr. Wheeler, my repeated comments on the unpublished report are both to call for its publication, and to

Remind those who post here that conclusions about the Trustees' actions, made in the absence of the publication of that report, are conclusions without foundation.

I don't claim to know whether the Trustees acted with great judiciousness or otherwise. Many post here act as if they know." Feb 14, 10 9:26 PM

"What is most interesting is that after initial actions had been undertaken -- mostly by the majority Trustees -- that everyone has NOW researched the applicable laws and the Mayor and his private counsel have concluded that earlier actions were illegal, a conclusion the majority faction aren't debating so much as they are taking a hard line in resisting."

The Village Attorney was appointed by the Mayor. He has never failed to do everything within his ability to serve his master. Yet, the Village Attorney does not declare that the Trustees have done anything illegal here.

The Village Attorney, who should be well versed in Village Law, and completely conversant with the facts has not support the Mayor-master on this one.

Frank, it is plain you are shilling for the Mayor-Chief (yes they are as one, remember the Mayor undertook his own, unauthorized and secret "negotiations" with the Chief on the Chief's contract when the Trustees did not authorize it.

If that is not violating his fiduciary duty to the Trustees and the people of this village, I don't know what is. You and Jean will defend him at all costs.

I supported Tucker and Levan in the last election over a cop who was out on a claimed disability. As of this writing, without the report published, they have not lost the respect they are due.

The Mayor is another story.

" Feb 15, 10 10:20 AM

Thank you Mr. Shaw for posting the Press' position on this issue.

I will not get into a back-and-forth on the subject; I only encourage you to be robust in your reporting and take every advantage of the internet resources at your command. It is a remarkable new age for reporters and citizens alike and we are all trying to figure it out.


For those interested in this topic the following is New York State's shield law, which protects both confidential information and confidential sources.

NY CLS Civ R § 79-h (2010)

§ 79-h. Special provisions relating to persons employed by, or connected with, news media

(a) Definitions. As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) "Newspaper" shall mean a paper that is printed and distributed ordinarily not less frequently than once a week, and has done so for at least one year, and that contains news, articles of opinion (as editorials), features, advertising, or other matter regarded as of current interest, has a paid circulation and has been entered at United States post-office as second-class matter.

(2) "Magazine" shall mean a publication containing news which is published and distributed periodically, and has done so for at least one year, has a paid circulation and has been entered at a United States post-office as second-class matter.

(3) "News agency" shall mean a commercial organization that collects and supplies news to subscribing newspapers, magazines, periodicals and news broadcasters.

(4) "Press association" shall mean an association of newspapers and/or magazines formed to gather and distribute news to its members.

(5) "Wire service" shall mean a news agency that sends out syndicated news copy by wire to subscribing newspapers, magazines, periodicals or news broadcasters.

(6) "Professional journalist" shall mean one who, for gain or livelihood, is engaged in gathering, preparing, collecting, writing, editing, filming, taping or photographing of news intended for a newspaper, magazine, news agency, press association or wire service or other professional medium or agency which has as one of its regular functions the processing and researching of news intended for dissemination to the public; such person shall be someone performing said function either as a regular employee or as one otherwise professionally affiliated for gain or livelihood with such medium of communication.

(7) "Newscaster" shall mean a person who, for gain or livelihood, is engaged in analyzing, commenting on or broadcasting, news by radio or television transmission.

(8) "News" shall mean written, oral, pictorial photographic, or electronically recorded information or communication concerning local, national or worldwide events or other matters of public concern or public interest or affecting the public welfare.

(b) Exemption of professional journalists and newscasters from contempt: Absolute protection for confidential news. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or specific law to the contrary, no professional journalist or newscaster presently or having previously been employed or otherwise associated with any newspaper, magazine, news agency, press association, wire service, radio or television transmission station or network or other professional medium of communicating news or information to the public shall be adjudged in contempt by any court in connection with any civil or criminal proceeding, or by the legislature or other body having contempt powers, nor shall a grand jury seek to have a journalist or newscaster held in contempt by any court, legislature or other body having contempt powers for refusing or failing to disclose any news obtained or received in confidence or the identity of the source of any such news coming into such person's possession in the course of gathering or obtaining news for publication or to be published in a newspaper, magazine, or for broadcast by a radio or television transmission station or network or for public dissemination by any other professional medium or agency which has as one of its main functions the dissemination of news to the public, by which such person is professionally employed or otherwise associated in a news gathering capacity notwithstanding that the material or identity of a source of such material or related material gathered by a person described above performing a function described above is or is not highly relevant to a particular inquiry of government and notwithstanding that the information was not solicited by the journalist or newscaster prior to disclosure to such person.

(c) Exemption of professional journalists and newscasters from contempt: Qualified protection for nonconfidential news. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or specific law to the contrary, no professional journalist or newscaster presently or having previously been employed or otherwise associated with any newspaper, magazine, news agency, press association, wire service, radio or television transmission station or network or other professional medium of communicating news to the public shall be adjudged in contempt by any court in connection with any civil or criminal proceeding, or by the legislature or other body having contempt powers, nor shall a grand jury seek to have a journalist or newscaster held in contempt by any court, legislature, or other body having contempt powers for refusing or failing to disclose any unpublished news obtained or prepared by a journalist or newscaster in the course of gathering or obtaining news as provided in subdivision (b) of this section, or the source of any such news, where such news was not obtained or received in confidence, unless the party seeking such news has made a clear and specific showing that the news: (i) is highly material and relevant; (ii) is critical or necessary to the maintenance of a party's claim, defense or proof of an issue material thereto; and (iii) is not obtainable from any alternative source. A court shall order disclosure only of such portion, or portions, of the news sought as to which the above-described showing has been made and shall support such order with clear and specific findings made after a hearing. The provisions of this subdivision shall not affect the availability, under appropriate circumstances, of sanctions under section thirty-one hundred twenty-six of the civil practice law and rules.

(d) Any information obtained in violation of the provisions of this section shall be inadmissible in any action or proceeding or hearing before any agency.

(e) No fine or imprisonment may be imposed against a person for any refusal to disclose information privileged by the provisions of this section.

(f) The privilege contained within this section shall apply to supervisory or employer third person or organization having authority over the person described in this section.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a person entitled to claim the exemption provided under subdivision (b) or (c) of this section waives such exemption if such person voluntarily discloses or consents to disclosure of the specific information sought to be disclosed to any person not otherwise entitled to claim the exemptions provided by this section.

Thank you Mr. Shaw" Feb 15, 10 2:00 PM

Two construction workers injured in fall after scaffolding collapse in Water Mill

Hope that they were not seriously injured.

It is because of the dangerous nature of doing work at a elevation that NY passed its scaffold law:


§ 240. Scaffolding and other devices for use of employees

1. All contractors and owners and their agents, except owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work, in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the performance of such labor, scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed.

No liability pursuant to this subdivision for the failure to provide protection to a person so employed shall be imposed on professional engineers as provided for in article one hundred forty-five of the education law, architects as provided for in article one hundred forty-seven of such law or landscape architects as provided for in article one hundred forty-eight of such law who do not direct or control the work for activities other than planning and design. This exception shall not diminish or extinguish any liability of professional engineers or architects or landscape architects arising under the common law or any other provision of law.

2. Scaffolding or staging more than twenty feet from the ground or floor, swung or suspended from an overhead support or erected with stationary supports, except scaffolding wholly within the interior of a building and covering the entire floor space of any room therein, shall have a safety rail of suitable material properly attached, bolted, braced or otherwise secured, rising at least thirty-four inches above the floor or main portions of such scaffolding or staging and extending along the entire length of the outside and the ends thereof, with only such openings as may be necessary for the delivery of materials. Such scaffolding or staging shall be so fastened as to prevent it from swaying from the building or structure.

3. All scaffolding shall be so constructed as to bear four times the maximum weight required to be dependent therefrom or placed thereon when in use." Feb 15, 10 3:53 PM

Westhampton Beach School Board expects to approve artificial turf resolution soon

It looks like it is time for a Tea Party

School Board Seats that are up this year: Bryan Dean and Clint Greenbaum are up for election, if they run again.

The turf question will be on the ballot in one form or another. Taxpayers need to know tax rate will go down if it is not spent on turf. In spite of what Mr. Terchunian says.

Taxpayers should go to the State Comptroller's website and read about school budgeting.

Be informed, Be engaged." Feb 15, 10 4:50 PM

Two construction workers injured in fall after scaffolding collapse in Water Mill

At a fall from 13.8 feet, with acceleration due to gravity, a body at the time of impact is travelling at a speed of 20 mph. Not as bad as a fall from 20 to 25 feet, but still really hurts, and depends how you land." Feb 16, 10 9:58 AM

Glad to hear that, and glad to read in the paper that we have resources to give great care." Feb 16, 10 10:28 AM

Westhampton Beach Village Board rejects all seven resolutions pertaining to two police officers

Maybe Ms Martin can check to see whether the Trustees ever changed their December resolution from restore to full duty to return to restricted duty. The story seems to be in error on this point. If order to restricted duty came from Mayor, as it appears from the print article, it is important to know if this will continue indefinitely until the Trustees capitulate and order a hearing, and know what this is costing the Village" Feb 16, 10 7:18 PM

Disciplinary charges were preferred by the Chief of Police already. The Trustees directed him to withdraw them, I think they really meant they were dismissed and it is a matter of semantics.

" Feb 16, 10 10:13 PM

Mr. Wheeler, your reference to "Westhampton Beach Village Law" as a font of authority for the Chief of Police is mistaken.

My citations have been to New York State Village Law which vests authority to suspend an officer pending a hearing, to hold disciplinary hearings, and to punish after a disciplinary hearing in the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees serves as a Board of Police Commissioners, and the Mayor is but one of the Commissioners.

The Mayor has cited section 30 of some 1964 regulation adopted by the Board of Trustees to support his argument that he is in control now.

However, it is the Board of Trustees that has the authority to make and amend those regulations as circumstances dictate. Whether those circumstances are present here remains an open question.

The Press has told us it will not post the full report. I have a great deal of respect for the men and women at the Press, they do a difficult job. However, I know that there are people in our community who can bring a very different skill set to the critical examination of such a report.

As a result, it is not a fully informed public opinion that has been, or will be, weighing in on these issues.

The Trustees and the Mayor will have to sort out their respective rights and duties and seek a resolution of who has the authority to punish the two officers in the absence of a hearing (No One) and whether the Chief of Police or the Mayor can mandate that a hearing be held (Doubtful).
" Feb 17, 10 1:25 PM

Judgment favorable but does not restore Stony Brook Southampton

The link to the August 30th decision is below:

http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/fcas/fcas_docs/2010sep/51001924420101sciv.pdf

It is a public record posted on the court systems website.


" Sep 18, 10 7:32 AM

Hospitals And Bishop Applaud Supreme Court Ruling; Altschuler Vows To Work For Repeal

Obamacare makes young healthy people buy insurance at community rates so their premiums will pay for aging boomers who have never paid in enough for the benefits they are demanding now that they are becoming decrepit.

I might support it if the rates young people paid reflected accounted for their own health care, but it is designed to make them pay for everyone else too. " Jun 28, 12 8:18 PM

I know, we should ask Nancy Pelosi." Jun 29, 12 7:53 AM

New Affordable Housing Project Pitched For Westhampton

Affordable housing is available when you let market forces match the housing to the income profile of a community. The subprime crisis was created when housing costs were artificially elevated by guaranteeing loans to people who could not afford to pay the mortgages.

When we don't give away property to subsidize housing, then builders will build more modest homes. Or, heaven forbid, people live in an affordable home in another community and commute to work.

Foreclosures also offer opportunities to let market forces reset housing prices in line with the local income profile. But, of course, in the great Democratic state of NY every road block is thrown into that process.

I am looking for an Affordable Home on Fifth Avenue across from the park, what are my chances? If not there, how about Water Mill from whence Ms. Lewis hails?" Jul 17, 12 10:52 PM

Grand Jury Fails To Indict Hampton Bays Man Who Killed Cabbie

Why "Fails" to indict? What does the Press know that the grand jury didn't know?" Jul 18, 12 6:57 PM

New Affordable Housing Project Pitched For Westhampton

Has anyone checked the tax exempt status of "We Build Communities" on the IRS webpage Exempt Organizations Select Check? I can't seem to find it." Jul 19, 12 5:45 AM

Government subsidized "Affordable Housing" is a fraud. It raises property taxes on some making their homes unaffordable, and gives those taxes away to people who are in the government's good graces (in this instance Joe Gazza and players to be named later). Socialism.

It is remarkable that some people think a commute to work is unfair. Look at the Long Island Railroad, it is a commuter train. People travel to where the work is and live where they can best afford to live.

If you want to make housing affordable then reduce the property tax burden. Every home "owner" realizes that, in truth, he only rents from the government because property taxes can escalate and make his home unaffordable and force him to move away.

I always wonder whether not-for-profits like WE BUILD COMMUNITIES (According to the NY Department of State created in November of 2001, and still, apparently, without an IRS tax exemption) is just a front, or created by a well intended but unwitting dupe.

Here, someone with a PO Box in Water Mill has created a corporation and argues that we should have housing in Westhampton so that people who could afford to live in Riverhead or Mastic can move into Westhampton on the cheap. Maybe it is Water Mill that is having trouble getting workers to commute that far so the goal (besides Gazza's) is to set up cheap housing in Westhampton so workers are willing to commute to Water Mill.

Whatever, its wrong to do it." Jul 23, 12 6:55 AM

Judge Dismisses All Charges In Fatal East Quogue Crash

Two teenage boys are out joyriding, yes, acting negligently, and there is horrible crash where one of the two friends is killed. When such conduct carries with it the risk of immediate death and still teenage boys do it, the threat of criminal conviction will not change the conduct. The remedy is not to bludgeon the survivor of the crash in criminal court, there is no remedy.

We have to look to preventive medicine. Why are our cars produced to travel at speeds in excess of 60 mph? Why, with GPS technology available cheaply aren't speeds in cars mechanically governed in residential areas? These are societal questions directed to reducing the risk of such fatalities. The next time it might not be a joy rider that passes away, but someone who was not a participant and not even in the car.

It is too simple to turn to the teenage boy after it is all done and wag the finger. When are the adults in our community going to look to real preventative measures that protect everyone?" Jul 26, 12 8:57 AM

Most In Westhampton Beach School District Will See 6 Percent Increase In School Taxes

If your assessment went down, then your taxes went down, but because on the whole assessments went down then the taxes you thought would go down, won't.

This story is just stirring the pot. Yes, schools have to be careful with the expenditure of tax dollars, but tax assessments have nothing to do with school governance." Oct 10, 12 3:35 PM

This story is not really about school board spending or about the school board anticipating what assessments will be.

Property Assessments simply decide how responsibility for a tax levy will be distributed in a community.

If you find that your tax bill is going up more than your neighbor, then you can take some small solace that the value of your property (at least in the eye of the assessor) did not decline as much as others in the community.

I could join you in objections about school spending, but this story is not that story." Oct 11, 12 12:50 PM

Accounting Errors Prompt Westhampton Beach Village To Hire Attorney To Review Finances

15 months - that says the village's outside accounts didn't catch this.

15 months - that says it was done properly before that, who changed the the way payments were made, and why?

Day in and day out the clerk is supposed to do this job; day in and day out the Mayor is supposed to check the bills; month in and month out the trustees are supposed to oversee the payments. That is the order of responsibility - Clerk, Mayor, trustees.

Notice the Mayor says the Clerk is okay, blames the trustees and votes against them.

Enough already Conrad, we're on to you. " Oct 14, 12 9:05 AM

UPDATE: Sears To Remain In Custody, Orders Of Protection To Be Requested For Children

Assuming for the moment the truth of the allegations.

The accusations present a question concerning mental illness; and the extent to which that mental illness presents a danger to other people.

Our laws are ill equipped to deal with mental illness, mostly because the community at large is ill equipped to deal with mental illness, mostly because we don't really understand it.

I am not so sure this is victimless; we don't let people use our images for commercial purposes without consent, why are private purposes okay? But the prohibitions on commercial use of images is handled with civil remedies, and mental illness is often dealt with most effectivley with civil, not criminal law.

The posts here are all over the place, mine included, mostly because... see above.

" Jan 30, 13 8:27 AM

Westhampton Beach Police Investigate Alleged Teacher Misconduct

There is a remarkable double standard at work here.

I am heartened to see that so many people are fully aware that an accusation is nothing until it has been supported by evidence that has been subject to full scrutiny.

At the same time, every day ordinary citizens are accused, arrested, even jailed on accusations that have yet to be subjected to the scrutiny that many are demanding here for this school teacher.

Is there a reason for the kid glove treatment?

Secrecy is dangerous in a democracy. If we are adults and recognize that there is an important presumption of innocence, then all such information should be available to the public. In some cases a member of the public may have relevant information that could prove decisive.

Just remember the police officer indicted for getting sexual favors from a DWI arrestee, once it became public there was an entire host victims who came forward and there cases were then examined, and corroborating details strengthened the case of the single victim who would have otherwise been alone.

Or perhaps, when there is a person we know who has been accused we will have greater understanding of the plight of the accused and be more willing to insist that reasonable bail be set for all, and that the presumption of innocence be observed in every instance.

...and then maybe there will be justice for all

" Mar 12, 13 9:15 PM

Attorney Accuses Westhampton Beach Village Trustees Of Altering Audit

Looks like they ARE records that should be disclosed -- it fits the category of an external audit.

While somewhat convoluted, the statute below says the Village does not have to disclose stuff the agency has not finished, except external audits....

PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW
ARTICLE 6. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW
NY Public Officer’s Law § 87 (2012)

2. Each agency shall, in accordance with its published rules, make available for public inspection and copying all records, except that such agency may deny access to records or portions thereof that:…

(g) are inter-agency or intra-agency materials which are not:
i. statistical or factual tabulations or data;
ii. instructions to staff that affect the public;
iii. final agency policy or determinations;
iv. external audits, including but not limited to audits performed by the comptroller and the federal government;…

4… (c) The court in such a proceeding may assess, against such agency involved, reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred by such person in any case under the provisions of this section in which such person has substantially prevailed, [fig 1] when:
i. the agency had no reasonable basis for denying access; or
ii. the agency failed to respond to a request or appeal within the statutory time.

And from the Village Code

§ 134-2. Designation of records access officer.
A. The Village Clerk's office shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and shall designate one or more persons as records access officers by name or by specific job titleand business address, who shall have the duty of coordinating the response to public requests for access to records. The designation of one or more records access officers shall not be construed to prohibit officials who have in the past been authorized to make records or information available to the public from continuing to do so.

§ 134-5. Requests for access to records.
A. All requests for records shall be made in writing.
B. Requests for records shall be honored within five business days of receipt of such request.
C. Requests shall reasonably describe the record of records sought. Whenever possible, the request shall specify dates, file designations or other information that might help in describing the record sought.
D. Should the Clerk fail to provide or deny access to the records sought within five business days of the receipt of such request, the Clerk shall furnish a written acknowledgment of receipt of the request and a statement of the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied. Failure of the Clerk to either grant or deny a request within 10 business days after the date of acknowledgment or receipt of a request shall be construed as a denial of access that may be appealed.

§ 134-7. Denial of access; appeals.

A. The Board of Trustees shall hear appeals or shall designate a person or body to hear appeals regarding denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law.

B. Denial of access shall be in writing stating the reason therefor and advising the person denied access of his or her right to appeal to the person or body established to hear appeals, and that person or body shall be identified by name, title, business address and business telephone number. The records access officer shall not be the appeals officer.

C. If an agency fails to respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request as required in § 134-5D, such failure shall be deemed a denial of access by the agency.

D. Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of a denial.

E. The time for deciding an appeal by the Board of Trustees shall commence upon receipt of a written appeal identifying:
(1) The date and location of a request for records.
(2) The records that were denied.
(3) The name and return address of the appellant.
F. The Board of Trustees shall transmit to the Committee on Public Access to Records copies of all appeals upon receipt of an appeal. Such copies shall be addressed to:

Committee on Public Access to Records
Department of State
162 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12231

G. The Board of Trustees shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Public Access to Records of its determination, in writing, within seven business days of receipt of an appeal. The determination shall be transmitted to the Committee on Public Access to Records in the same manner as set forth in Subsection F of this section.

H. A final denial of access to a requested record, as provided for in Subsection G of this section, shall be subject to court review, as provided for in Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
" Mar 13, 13 6:06 PM

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