Tag Archive | "Sag Harbor PBA"

Letters to the Editor (2/28/13)

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Effect of Airport Noise

Dear Editor,

The complexities of manmade borders have always been problematic to some degree on the East End; but with recent population/commercial expansion, some border issues have escalated into serious multi-town crises. I am referring to the East Hampton Airport noise control controversy and who gets to decide what amount of noise pollution is acceptable to homeowners other than the homeowners themselves. Shockingly the East Hampton Town government pays no heed to the greater East End area surrounding the airport and furthermore that what they decide about the future of the airport affects only them. They need to hear from Southampton residents that helicopter noise is intolerable and that all flights in and out of the airport need thoughtful community-minded noise abatement management. And to all Southampton residents, you may be unaffected by these hourly sonic boom shockwaves right now, but when property values start to fall as a result, it will certainly affect us all.

John N Linder

Sag Harbor

 

Rallying for Safety

Dear Editor:

We like safety. We, neighbors in Noyac, are deeply invested in seeing a safe, smart solution to the mess in the Cromer’s / Whalebone parking area that bleeds onto Noyac Road, and now, if plan 7A is implemented, will instead bleed into Pine Neck. In the quiet months before seasonal influx of visitors hungry for summer fun, we can vividly imagine the rumblings of back hoes and cement mixers revving up, and while we chat on the street or in the Noyac Civic Council meetings or in the Southampton Town Hall or over coffee at Cromers, we discuss the alarming calming-one-safety-problem-while-creating-another-problem plan for Noyac Road known as plan 7A. And though it may appear that the deed is done and the opportunity to de-fund the Noyac Traffic Calming “solution” (good luck to those new to the project who will try to dig up plan 7A online) has passed with only an ineffectual Memorializing Resolution issued, we still sense opportunity.

There’s opportunity to know our neighbors and their concerns, to understand the diverse Pine Neck community of ‘year-rounders’ and garner support for amending this plan. Some of us have lived many places, some of us grew up here and stayed, all of us appreciate the rare ‘untouched’ nature of Circle Beach and the boardwalk-like approach to it via Noyac Avenue. This is a diverse neighborhood economically and politically,  a neighborhood of artists, musicians, former CEOs and tradesmen, of dog walkers ambling and first time bike riders pushing off, and parents watching from a distance their child’s first strides of independence while pretending not to watch, because it’s safe.

There’s opportunity to stand up for a broader consideration of safety that includes Pine Neck pedestrians and Noyac Road bike riders, and to see Noyac neighbors coalesce around challenging the excessive expenditures of tax-payer dollars in an overblown plan that compromises the character of a neighborhood without due consideration of environmental impact and pedestrian/bike commuting safety. We can take a step back and do the proper studies that include environmental impact review (SEQR) and make informed choices.

There’s opportunity still to seek efficient, lasting solutions with the community and with Superintendent Alex Gregor, who, though it may be the 11th hour, has graciously met with a few neighbors recently to discuss the ‘concept’ renderings, and who concedes there have been less disruptive (to Pine Neck) plans developed that were shelved. Make no mistake Mr. Gregor is behind the current plan and will be seeking a bid and he has the last word as the project is funded. But I for one left the meeting feeling that he is a good man with a bad plan, and that this push forward has more to do with battle fatigue, and resistance from commercial interests, than with what’s best for Noyac. We remain convinced that there is still opportunity to reach out for public support for a win-win solution, one that addresses the big picture of Noyac’s evolution towards street safety and recreational flow, and hopefully opportunity to undo the mischaracterization of Pine Neck residents as self-serving resistors to a safe solution. I’m proud to see my neighbors are part of the solution and not part of the problem, part of the smart solution, that is.

Respectfully,

Susan Bachemin

Noyac

 

Show Up

 

Dear Bryan,

In his recent letter, the Sag Harbor PBA President wrote that I have an “agenda,” but did not explain what he thinks my agenda is concerning the PBA, contracts, and local government. In the interest of full disclosure, Mr. PBA President, what is my agenda?

It is now one month later and still no reply to my simple request to be informed by the PBA President as to what my “agenda” is regarding police unions. I am not surprised, but no matter.

On Saturday, March 9th at 10 a.m. come hear me make my case. I have secured the Pierson High School auditorium and paid for the liability insurance to host this event.  Hey, the least you can do is show up. If nothing else, it will be great theater.

Bottom line….I’m putting myself  “out there” on behalf of local governments across Long Island versus the tyranny of police unions and their destruction of our communities. Because I love government and because I accept our individual responsibility to it, I will have done my part. All you need to do is show up.

Bill Jones

Hampton Bays

 

 

 

Culver Resigns from Sag Harbor Village Board

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On Tuesday afternoon, just minutes before the Sag Harbor Village Board was scheduled to hold a special meeting in executive session, village clerk Beth Kamper was sent a letter of resignation from trustee Tim Culver.

Culver, whose wife Samantha grew up in Sag Harbor, said on Tuesday night he resigned because he and his family have decided to move permanently into a North Haven Village home they bought earlier this year.

The Culver family continues to own two additional properties in Sag Harbor Village.

The announcement comes a week after Sag Harbor Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Milazzo questioned whether or not Culver should be allowed to sit on the village board, citing his home in North Haven and the fact it appeared as if the Culver family had settled there.

Culver recently emerged as one of the staunchest supporters of exploring the costs of police services as the contract between the Sag Harbor PBA and the village has been sent to arbitration.

According to New York State laws which affect public officials in incorporated villages, “in addition to any other legal requirements or prohibitions, no person shall be eligible to be elected or appointed as mayor, trustee or member of any board or commission, and, no person, if elected or appointed to such office, shall be eligible to continue to serve therein, who is not a citizen of the United States of America, at least 18 years of age, and a resident of the village.”

Last week, Culver said he and his family were still deciding where they intended to reside and while he had tried to resign from the board earlier this summer, he was persuaded to remain a trustee, not just by members of the village board, but also by village residents.

“Clearly I stayed as long as I have because people asked me to,” said Culver on Tuesday night. “I want to serve my community, be helpful and being on the village board has been a truly enjoyable experience.”

Culver said he does intend to stay involved in the village, noting he is still a Sag Harbor taxpayer and therefore does have a vested interest in the village. He has no intentions of seeking office in North Haven, he added.

“But we are excited about this new opportunity,” said Culver. “My kids are thrilled about the house.”

One person not excited about this change is Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride.

On Tuesday night, trustees Ed Gregory, Robby Stein and Kevin Duchemin accepted Culver’s resignation with Mayor Gilbride voting against the measure.

“Tim has done an excellent job for the village and his heart is here,” said Mayor Gilbride. “It’s unfortunate the way this all had to go down.”

As for how the village board will address the empty seat on the dais, Mayor Gilbride said he was unsure how that process would unfold, but would likely raise the issue at the board’s September meeting.

“If you are wondering if I will appoint someone right away, the answer is no,” said Gilbride. “I will talk about it though and make it a very open process.”

In other news, Mayor Gilbride said the attorney for the Sag Harbor PBA has approached him and that a late September meeting has been scheduled between the village and the PBA. In the meantime, the village is continuing to explore the cost of having outside police agencies provide service in Sag Harbor. A proposal has been submitted by the East Hampton Town Police Department, said Mayor Gilbride, and the village is waiting on additional proposals from the Southampton Town Police Department and the Suffolk County Sherriff’s Office.

On Tuesday night, the village board also named Joe Faraguna as the assistant dock master for Harbor Master Bob Bori. Mike Cohen was also named as an assistant labor crew leader to Superintendent of Public Works Dee Yardley.

Sag Harbor PBA Files for Arbitration; Village Looks Towards Towns

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Officers with the Sag Harbor Police Department have been working without a contract for over a year now.

And it appears likely that is not going to change any time soon.

After fruitless mediation talks were held between the Sag Harbor Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and the Village of Sag Harbor on June 26, this week PBA president Patrick Milazzo said the association has filed for arbitration — a binding contract negotiation handled by a third party.

At the same time, at the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night, trustee Tim Culver said it was time for the village to lay all of its options on the table and reach out to both East Hampton and Southampton towns to see what the cost would be for their police departments to service Sag Harbor Village.

“We are in a unique position,” said Culver. “This is not a comment on the quality of the police department, but a question of dollars and cents and if an arbiter comes back with a number we cannot afford, we cannot afford it.”

“It’s the single largest line item in the budget,” added Culver. “They do a great job. The question is, can we afford it?”

Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride noted a state mandated two-percent cap on any increases to the property tax levy binds the village in terms of what it is able to spend.

“We don’t have any wiggle room,” he said.

“I think it is a great idea,” said Milazzo on Wednesday morning. “I think the village should absolutely look into what the cost is to provide police services. They will have to consider what they will be getting in terms of service, but this is a suggestion I made months ago.”

Milazzo said without a significant reduction in the kind of police services currently offered, he doubted the village could find a more affordable police force, noting Sag Harbor Village operates one of the most cost effective village police departments on the East End.

“So how they will be able to achieve cost savings with a more expensive labor pool, I don’t know, unless they are willing to reduce services,” said Milazzo. “How you would police one municipality with two police departments is another thing I am not sure of.”

Milazzo said the Sag Harbor PBA originally asked for a contract that included a 4.5-percent increase — similar to the raise they were given in 2006.

“It was an aggressive proposal,” said Milazzo, noting it was a wage increase presented by the PBA’s attorney and not one he came up with on his own. “No one is expecting a 4.5-percent wage increase.”

Milazzo said ultimately the increase the department hopes for will largely be based on other terms of the contract including requests for increases in sick days, a death benefit clause and how much officers in the future will be asked to pay into their health care benefits.

At the mediation table, the village offered a zero percent increase in wages for 2011, a one-percent increase for 2012 and a two-percent increase for 2013. New officers would be required to pay 25-percent of their medical insurance costs and current officers would be required to pay half of any increase in premium prices for insurance.

The PBA did not accept the offer.

According to Milazzo, it could likely be January 2013 before the PBA and the village formally meets with the arbiter for the first time. Once a contract is worked out, he noted, the PBA and the village will be right back at the negotiation table looking at the next police contract.