Tag Archive | "Tim Bishop"

Demos Bows Out of Congressional Race

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It’s official. The race for the 1st Congressional District will be a rematch.

On Friday, Ronkonkoma attorney George Demos officially dropped out of the race to be the Republican candidate who will attempt to unseat incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop, a Democrat, this fall.

Demos was set to face off against St. James businessman Randy Altschuler in a battle for the Republican seat next month and has sharply criticized both Altschuler and Bishop in campaign literature over the last several months.

In a press release issued Friday, Demos cited his upcoming nuptials to Chrysa Tsakopoulis as the impetus for his decision to withdraw himself from the race.

“Everyone who knows me knows of my deep commitment to public service and to being a strong voice for the conservative cause,” said Demos. “Equally, everyone who knows Chrysa and me, knows of our deep commitment to each other and the joy we are sharing in preparation of our wedding a week from now. These two facts have now come together. Both my impending marriage and my race for Congress are deeply important to me. But our marriage comes first. Therefore, today, I am going to set aside my political aspirations for a while so that I can focus on our family. Both Chrysa and I look forward to reentering the political debate in the near future and fighting for the conservative Republican values we share.”

Altschuler Nabs Independence Party Endorsement

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Last week, the New York State Independence Party announced it would endorse St. James businessman Randy Altschuler as its candidate for the 2012 Congressional First District in New York.

The party backed incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop in 2010.

Altschuler, a Republican, will have to face off against Ronkonkoma attorney George Demos for the Republican nomination, although he has received the support of the Suffolk County Republican Committee. That primary is slated for June 26.

This will be Altschuler’s second run for Congress. In 2010 he narrowly lost to Congressman Bishop by just 593 votes. Of the 196,000 ballots cast, Bishop earned 7,370 on the Independence party line.



Lighthouse to be Designated as a National Historic Landmark Today

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According to a spokesperson for New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the United States Department of the Interior will designate the Montauk Point Lighthouse – New York State’s oldest lighthouse and one of the first seacoast lighthouses authorized by Congress —as a National Historic Landmark some time Monday afternoon.

Since last year, Senator Gillibrand has urged Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior Ken Salazar and the National Park System (NPS) Advisory Board Landmarks Committee to designate the site as a National Historic Landmark.  The Lighthouse would be the twelfth place in Suffolk and Nassau counties to achieve landmark status.

“This is great news,” said Senator Gillibrand in a press release issued Monday morning. “The importance of this iconic lighthouse, which helped make New York Harbor the nation’s premier port, is indisputable. Montauk Point Lighthouse can finally take its rightful place as one of our National Historic Landmarks.”

Last November, Senator Gillibrand wrote in a letter to Ronald James, Chair of the NPS Advisory Board Landmarks Committee, “I strongly encourage you to recommend that the Montauk Point Lighthouse be designated as a National Historic Landmark to Secretary Salazar after the Advisory Board’s upcoming meeting… The Montauk Point Lighthouse has a rich history and continues to serve as a vital navigation feature to this day.  In 1969, the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and the time has come for this iconic structure to be designated as a National Historic Landmark.”

The designation was also strongly supported by Congressman Tim Bishop, a native of the East End.

With Montauk Point Lighthouse becoming an iconic part of Suffolk County’s landscape, Senator Gillibrand pointed out that the landmark status would have the potential to greatly enhance tourism and economic activity in the surrounding area. The National Historic Landmark designation would provide greatly needed resources to preserve this site, which played a pivotal role in America’s history, guiding ships from Europe to New York. Built in 1796, the Montauk Point Lighthouse promoted New York as the receiving port for British manufactured goods in America.

East Hampton Republican, Conservative & Tea Party Leaders Endorse Altschuler for Congress

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At Hook Mill on Friday, East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson and Councilpersons Dominick Stanzione and Theresa Quigley endorsed St. James businessman Randy Altschuler’s second campaign for New York’s First Congressional District.

East Hampton Republican Party Chairman Kurt Kappel, East Hampton Town Conservative Party Chairman Vincent Downing and East End Tea Party Chair Lynda Edwards also endorsed the candidate who is vying for the Republican Party line in hopes of facing off against Congressman Tim Bishop for a second time. George Demos, a Ronkonkoma attorney who waged a primary battle against Altschuler in 2010, is also running for the seat.

“I am very grateful for the endorsement and support of East Hampton’s most important elected officials and party leaders,” said Altschuler in a statement. “East Hampton, under Bill Wilkinson’s leadership, is a model for the country. In the midst of the Obama-Bishop national economic calamity, Bill Wilkinson, Theresa Quigley and Dominic Stanzione have rescued East Hampton from fiscal ruin and the irresponsible management practices of the past. I also acknowledge the efforts of Vince Downing, Lynda Edwards, and Kurt Kappel, whose steadfast support of the Wilkinson administration’s policies are critical to East Hampton’s continued success.”

“[Randy Altschuler} will bring to the United States Congress, extraordinary intelligence, integrity and a solid record of job creation success,” said Supervisor Wilkinson.

Weir Tapped to Lead Altschuler’s 2012 Campaign for Congress

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Wainscott resident Diana Weir, a longtime public servant on the East End of Long Island, has been tapped to lead Randy Altschuler’s 2012 Congressional contest campaign, according to a press release issued by Altschuler’s office on Monday morning.

Altschuler, a Republican, narrowly lost his first bid for a Congressional seat against incumbent Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop in 2010.

Altschuler cited Weir’s “deep roots in the community and vast private, public and political experience,” as the reason he has selected her to serve as his campaign manager in his second bid for a seat in the United States House of Representatives.

Weir is the former Executive Vice President of the Long Island Housing Partnership and is currently a member of the Long Island Power Authority Board of Trustees.

She was the first Hispanic councilwoman elected to the East Hampton Town Board and formerly served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Michael Forbes, directing his offices in Washington and Long Island before resigning when Forbes became a Democrat in 1999. Most recently, she has served as the chairwoman of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to the East Hampton Town Board and is also a new member of the town’s planning board.

“Diana is widely-respected across Long Island in the private, public and political arenas,” said Altschuler. “I am thrilled to formally announce her hiring today as the person leading my team on the ground. Today’s news continues the positive momentum my campaign has demonstrated since I announced my plans to seek a rematch against Congressman Bishop last spring.”

Prior to serving in government, Weir served as Senior Vice-President at the Bank of The Hamptons, and prior to that, as Senior Vice-President and Corporate Secretary for Smithtown Bancorp. Weir was appointed by Governor Pataki to the SUNY Stony Brook Council, served as a Suffolk County Human Rights Commissioner and co-chaired the Economic Development panel at the Long Island Hispanic Leadership Summit. Weir’s honors include New York City El Diario / La Prensa’s “Distinguished Latinas,” Suffolk County Hispanic Heritage Month’s “Hispanic Role Model” and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Small Business Minority Advocate of the Year.”

“Given the depressed state of our local economy, Long Island is in desperate need of a representative with Randy’s business experience and proven track record of creating jobs,” said Weir. “Raised by a single mother, Randy overcame his humble beginnings to turn himself into a successful entrepreneur. Randy embodies the American Dream and I couldn’t be more excited to take on this challenge and lead the charge to defeat Tim Bishop in November.”

Congressman Tim Bishop Talks Candidly About the Future

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By Claire Walla

New York Congressman Tim Bishop doesn’t seem the type to lounge around. He commutes between offices in Southampton, Patchogue and Washington D.C., and attends events across the state and across the East End, where he represents nearly 700,000 people.

But last Tuesday, October 18, Bishop sank comfortably into the cushions of a big white couch in a house off the Bridgehampton Turnpike and, surrounded by a dozen of his constituents, he began to chat.

The purpose of his visit was as part of the Bridgehampton Children’s Center’s series: “The Politics of it All.” (Past guests have included State Assemblyman Fred Thiele and County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.) And although the conversation hinged on politics, Bishop spoke candidly about his positions on all topics raised that night, from early childhood education to what he called the “repulsive” tactics of the Tea Party Movement.

While casual, the tone of the evening was relatively dour as those who attended the discussion looked to the congressman for answers to what they see as glaring inefficiencies within the U.S. political system.

Perhaps the most outspoken attendee that evening was Randall Dobler, who before he spoke distributed a five-page document titled “Randall Dobler Economic Recovery Plan.”

He asked Bishop why — especially if the United States is looking to create more jobs and lessen its dependence on foreign oil — the U.S. government is not moving faster to promote the use of natural gas as a clean energy alternative.

Bishop’s answer turned out to be the relative mantra for the evening: “political opposition.” In the case of natural gas, he said many members of Congress who have thus far been opposed to passing legislation that would give American families the economic incentive to switch from heating their homes with oil to natural gas object to the part of the proposed bill that would put a tax on carbon-based fuels. According to Bishop, they maintain that the free market economy should reign supreme.

While political opposition is nothing new in Bishop’s line of work, the assemblyman’s critique of the current political climate went far deeper than typical party spats. For example, he said there’s “no political will” among many conservative members of Congress to move away from carbon-based fuels. And then, raising the pitch of his voice in frustration, he added: “Many members [of Congress] don’t even believe in climate change!”

Bishop reaffirmed what many in the room seemed to already believe, that such fundamental differences between members of Congress have created a vast schism within government, which has steered the country to where it is now: at a relative stalemate.

After the group lamented the woes of the American work force — which event organizer Bonnie Cannon said is worrisome because it’s been flooded with many college graduates who can’t find employment — attendee Lucius Ware, head of the East End chapter of the NAACP, drew comparisons between today’s problems and the American workforce in the 1950s and 60s. The so-called “space race,” he said, “kicked the workforce into high gear.”

“This is our Sputnik moment,” Bishop agreed. “But the environment could not possibly be more adverse to get that done.”

Bishop said he is baffled by the notion that certain measures he feels would bolster the American economy — like bills to boost spending for infrastructure that would create jobs — have been shot down by Congress in large part because Republicans are unwilling to budge on the issue of raising taxes in any way, shape or form. Referencing a Republican debate back in August during which the eight candidates stated they wouldn’t even consider raising taxes $1 for every $10 of spending cuts, Bishop said, “That’s lunacy!”

“I hate to say it,” he continued, “But [the conservative right] is not about to give [President Barack Obama] a win. That sounds hopelessly partisan, but I believe it’s right.”

Bishop explained that there are currently 25 million Americans under or unemployed in the United States, and he feels there is “no chance” the conservative right will accept the president’s spending plans, which currently propose $50 million for infrastructure and $35 million for schools.

“I see intransigence on the part of Republicans,” he added. “And a total unwillingness to move [on these points].”

The group went on to discuss government cuts to early childhood education programs, including Head Start. Bishop complained that the budget passed by Congress last April included 25 percent cuts to the program. To which Bridgehampton Head Start Manager Daphne Gil, who shared the couch with Bishop that night, noted that such cuts actually have an adverse affect on the work force as a whole.

“You have to allow people to let their children go to daycare and go to school so that they can go to work,” she said.

Bishop sympathized with her complaints and said, of the cuts, “there’s not logic to it.” Bishop added that he believes these programs should be restored, and said the country needs to put more effort into bolstering math and science programs, because this, he noted, is where the future of the job market will be.

In the midst of such a seemingly bleak forecast, Cannon made an attempt to shift the discussion.

“I’m feeling a bit down,” she said with an ironic laugh. “Can you tell me there’s some light at the end of the tunnel?”

Without being specific, Bishop offered an analysis of the current political climate.

“At the root of everything is fear,” he explained. “Fear of not having a job, of not being able to send your kids to college… and that leads to resentment, resentment leads to distrust, and distrust leads to anger. And that is one of the forces at play that I think is very debilitating.”

As an antidote, Bishop said he is advocating passion; people in politics “who think we can do better.” As for how the U.S. gets to a place where passion overcomes anger, “It’s hard,” he added. “But it’s important for people to say: this isn’t the country we had in mind.”

Hard to Find Anti-Nuke Rep

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By Karl Grossman

The 1st Congressional District of eastern Long Island has a long record of opposition to nuclear power. It is here that because of citizen and governmental opposition, a completed nuclear power plant, Shoreham, was stopped from going into commercial operation–a first for the United States.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex disaster has, according to polls, increased the negative stance on nuclear power in the U.S. causing a majority to now be against it. In eastern Suffolk, with a majority already against nuclear power, that  majority is likely to have grown.

So it is surprising that Representative Tim Bishop of Southampton, in a letter earlier this month to a long-time environmental activist, educator and leader in the fight against the Shoreham plant, would declare his support for nuclear power.

“Nuclear energy is clean burning, offers little in the way of emissions, and creates an abundant supply of energy independent of the influence of foreign governments and their policies,” wrote Congressman Bishop in a September 1 letter to Peter Maniscalco of Manorville. Mr. Bishop went on, “I agree with the [Obama] Administration that it should remain part of our domestic energy portfolio in the short and long term, and therefore merits support from the American people.”

“The recent crisis in Japan,” Mr. Bishop continued, “underscores the significant risk posed by the failure of radiation containment systems at nuclear plants. Drawing lessons learned from the crisis in Japan, we must reevaluate the safety of our existing nuclear facilities and whether effective plans are in place for protecting the public if radiation is released. Security policies must be updated to reflect not only the possibility of natural disasters but also the heightened risk of a terrorist attack on nuclear facilities in the U.S. Specifically for our area, the response plan for a potential release at Millstone must take into account the population density within a twenty mile radius of the plant and the limited routes for evacuation from Long Island.”

“I support robust new standards for proper siting, safety, and community input for new nuclear plants,” said the congressman. “Although it is impossible to guarantee the absolute safety of nuclear facilities, our safety advancements must match our nuclear ambitions.”

The letter was prompted by a letter sent to Mr. Bishop by Mr. Maniscalco stating that “the earthquake and ongoing nuclear catastrophe in Japan must be a wake-up call to us all. New nuclear reactors in the United States are unacceptable. It is impossible to imagine given the images from Japan that anyone could ever again confuse nuclear power with ‘clean’ energy.
Please end — immediately — all taxpayer subsidies for nuclear power. I do not want one more penny of my tax dollars going to this dangerous, dirty, and wholly unnecessary industry.”

Commenting on Mr. Bishop’s reply, Mr. Maniscalco said: “Has Congressman Bishop learned nothing from Fukushima? Didn’t Fukushima prove that nuclear power is neither clean nor safe? … He still believes the arrogant assurances of nuclear scientists — like those at Brookhaven Lab, where a new nuclear division has opened.”

“If Representative Bishop can’t hear the arguments of nuclear opponents, maybe he should listen to Wall Street and its many investment bankers who consider nuclear power an investment that is too risky and too costly,” Mr. Maniscalco went on. “But it appears that Mr. Bishop is unwilling to turn away from nuclear power, so he supports publicly subsidizing the construction of new nuclear plants.  Why should taxpayers underwrite the costs of filthy, risky, deadly nuclear power?”

As to Mr. Bishop’s reference to “population density within twenty miles” of the two Millstone nuclear plants across the Long Island Sound and evacuation of the public, Mr. Maniscalco noted that the U.S. government directed U.S. citizens within 50 miles of the Fukushima plants to evacuate. That’s a distance which, if there were a major accident at Millstone, would cover most of eastern Long Island — including all of Sag Harbor and neighboring communities.

If voters in the 1st C.D. don’t like Democrat Bishop’s position on nuclear power, their voting options are likely to be limited in the next Congressional election. Of his leading Republican challengers, Randy Altschuler of St. James declares on his website that he is for “greater use of safe nuclear power,” and George Demos of Ronkonkoma says “nuclear power is essential to our energy independence.”

New Coalition Seeks to Limit Aircraft Noise

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By Claire Walla

In the height of the summer season, when many of the city’s Hamptons-bound denizens take to the skies to circumvent traffic, local discontent over noisy aircraft tends to bubble to the surface.

Two weeks ago, these sentiments coalesced in the form of a new organization called The Quiet Skies Coalition (QSC).

“The amount of traffic using the airport uncontrolled is mind-boggling,” said QSC member Bob Wolfram, a resident of Carlisle Lane in Sag Harbor.

He pointed to the very first QSC meeting to illustrate his point. When founding members of the grass-roots coalition were gathered in QSC Chairman Barry Raebeck’s backyard (a two-minute drive from the airport), Wolfram said he counted precisely 12 small planes, five jets and two helicopters, all of which flew over the property in the course of the two-hour meeting, from 10 a.m. to noon.

“We had to stop talking when they flew over,” he said.

While local efforts have voiced strong opinions against aircraft noise for years, Raebeck said this coalition (which already has about 140 members) represents a stronger, more far-reaching alliance, all united under the notion that airplanes and helicopters “are an aural and visual blight to the East End,” Raebeck explained. “They are for the benefit of a wealthy few, at the expanse of everyone else.”

East Hampton Town has currently set recommended restrictions on airplane travel between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. And it encourages planes and helicopters to travel no lower that 2,500 feet for as long as possible before reaching the East Hampton tarmac.

“They have recommendations, but no one is enforcing them,” Raebeck continued.

For members of the Quiet Skies Coalition, many problems with the airport stem from the fact that the town has collected grant money from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which in effect bars the town from regulating any of these restrictions. “The town has abdicated all responsibility. [The East Hampton Airport] is legally and technically an ‘uncontrolled airport,’” Raebeck said.

Airport manager Jim Brundige confirmed that airport regulation is in the hands of the FAA, which forbids the town from limiting access to the airport, even imposing time restrictions. The town accepted money from the FAA as recently as 2001 for minor repairs like repaving, Brundige explained. And because FAA grants carry a stipulation that binds airports to federal aviation regulations for a 20-year period, this means East Hampton Town must adhere to FAA rules through 2021.

Congressman Tim Bishop — who has been involved with efforts to regulate helicopter noise on the East End — said the town will have to decide, once the 20-year period is up, whether or not to continue receiving grant money.

“If they don’t, then the obligation would fall to the tax payers of East Hampton,” he explained.

In general, Bishop said FAA regulations are reasonable. However, “I don’t want to say aircraft noise needs to be reduced, but it needs to be regulated in some way.”

According to East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione, that’s exactly what he, as the airport liaison, has been working on for the past year.

“Helicopter traffic is a regional problem that starts in Manhattan,” Stanzione explained. Along with elected officials in Southold, Shelter Island, Riverhead and Southampton, he said he’s reestablished the town’s relationship with the FAA to establish a southern route to the airport. (He said the town would officially announce the new route in the next couple of weeks.) Stanzione estimated this would cut traffic over the northern communities down by about 60 percent.

“We call it burden-sharing,” he added.

Stanzione also said the town is working with the FAA to get permission to place a seasonal control tower at the airport, as well.

“If we have permission to install this seasonal control tower, then we will have effective control in and around East Hampton,” he said. In the end, he added, “I suspect the town’s new relationship with the FAA will provide helpful improvements with noise management, and provide the best possible solutions for our neighbors.”

But the QSC is calling for more than just an additional southern route. Airplanes and helicopters, the group contends, carry more burden that noise pollution. They are also hazardous to the environment.

“It’s a quality of life issue,” QSC member Bob Wolfram continued. “The East End of Long Island is a beautiful place. [Little pieces] get chipped away over time,” he admitted. “But the growth of the airport has taken a big hunk out of our quality of life.”

Demos Announces Candidacy for Congress

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Republican and former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer George Demos officially filed papers this week to run for Congress, sending an email and video to supporters and media Monday morning announcing his decision.

Seeking to unseat Congressman Tim Bishop, Demos will have to face off in a primary next year against Saint James businessman Randy Altschuler, who bested Chris Cox and Demos in a primary battle in 2010. Altschuler narrowly lost to Bishop in one of the closest elections races in the country last year.

“More than ever we see how important it is, not just to elect someone with an R next to their name, but to elect a real Conservative with steely determination who will not fail us, who will not falter, and who will not waiver when he gets to Washington,” said Demos in a statement.

Altschuler, who announced his decision to run for Congress in 2012 in June, already has the garnered the support of the Republican and Conservative party leaders in Suffolk County.

“We need to learn from last year’s mistakes and not let divisions within our own party allow Tim Bishop to sneak back into office again,” said County GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle said in a statement released to media on Monday. “Our country is in the midst of a severe economic and fiscal crisis, and we need a business leader like Randy Atlschuler in Washington to fix it.”

“Today’s announcement by George Demos has no impact on our strategy moving forward,” said Altschuler spokesman Chris Russell. “Randy is humbled by the broad support he’s receiving from Republican and Conservative Party leaders, and he’s focused on holding Tim Bishop accountable for the mess in Washington and defeating him next November.”

Bishop, currently serving his fifth term, has already said he will seek a sixth term in 2012.

26 Acres in Wainscott Purchased by East Hampton Town

The East Hampton Town Board approved a $3.2 million purchase of 26-acres in Wainscott through the Community Preservation Fund after holding a public hearing during its Thursday, August 4 meeting.

The property consists of exactly 25.7 acres at 198 Six Pole Highway near the intersection of Route 114, just outside the Village of Sag Harbor. The purchase was supporting by the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society at the Thursday evening meeting.

An additional acre on the same property has already been promised to an adjacent cemetery, which will be given the land through a lot line modification, according to a resolution passed by the board on the purchase of the land.

Thiele Continues to Survey Local Gas Prices

In his ongoing crusade to bring fair gas prices to the East End, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. submitted a third report this week to the State Attorney General detailing illegal zone pricing of gasoline on the Twin Forks.

However, according to the survey, gas prices have become more equitable and have stabilized over the last two weeks when compared to other regions in New York.

In the August 7 survey, the most prevalent price on the South Fork for gasoline was $3.99 a gallon or lower at nine stations located on Montauk Highway between East Hampton and Sunrise Highway. The lowest price was $3.97 and the highest $4.09. The average price is about $0.05 lower than the Long Island Average, and $0.04 more than the state average.

“Gasoline prices are still too high,” said Thiele in a written statement. “However, they have remained stable over the last two weeks. The differential between the South Fork and the rest of Long Island remains small with prices between East Hampton and Southampton slightly lower than the Island-wide average. The differential with the North Fork, which has the lowest gasoline prices on Long Island, was around $0.35 on the South Fork on Memorial Day. It is now about $0.10.”

However, the Assembly added that Amagansett and Montauk continue to face higher gas prices than the rest of the region. There, according to Thiele, gas prices are more than $.30 cents above the Long Island average.

“Amagansett and Montauk are clearly paying too much,” said Thiele. “This is why we need a stronger zone pricing law and open supply legislation.”

Thiele first contacted the attorney general’s office after Memorial Day weekend gas prices on the South Fork remained at $4.25 cents per gallon, while the rest of Long Island averaged around $4.08, and the rest of New York State averaged $4.02.

Thiele has also sponsored legislation to strengthen New York’s existing law on zone pricing of gasoline – when an arbitrary price is assigned to gasoline based on geography rather than the wholesale or legitimate cost of the product.

Thiele has also sponsored open supply legislation that would enable gas stations to purchase cheaper motor fuel on the wholesale market from alternative suppliers and pass the savings on to the consumer.

Governor Signs Southampton CPF PILOT Legislation

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that resolve some of the issues raised in a state comptroller’s audit of the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) PILOT payments by the Town of Southampton.

The legislation was sponsored by New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and New York State Senator Ken LaValle.

The audit, completed in November of 2010, found that in the years 2008 and 2009 the Town of Southampton had made payments from the CPF to school and special districts that exceeded the amount permitted by State law by $664, 647. In particular, the Riverhead School District and the Eastport-South Manor School District received excessive payments, according to the report. The State Comptroller directed the town to resolve the issue in his report.

Under the proposed legislation, the overpayments would be legally validated and the school districts would be absolved from having to make any repayment. The town will be legally responsible to restore the excess payment to the fund either by dedicating land or providing non-CPF funds equal to or greater than the overpayment.

“The Town of Southampton made overpayments of CPF monies for PILOTS in 2008 and 2009,” said Thiele “This has been confirmed by the state comptroller. It was imperative that these funds be restored to be used for the rightful purpose of land preservation. This legislation insures that will happen. It also insures that local school taxpayers will not be punished for a mistake that they did not make. The school districts will be held harmless. Further, the Town will be permitted to use funds, such as impact fees collected from developers, to replenish the fund. This legislation will maintain the integrity of the CPF, while insuring that neither school nor town property taxpayers have to bear the burden of the repayment.”

The legislation also establishes additional requirements for PILOT payments in the future to ensure that such overpayments never happen again. The new law provides that in determining payments to each school and special district, each parcel eligible for a PILOT payment shall be assessed in the same manner as state land is and that the assessment for each parcel is approved by the state. The new law also states that not more than ten percent of the CPF may be used for these purposes. The maximum percentage of 10% for such purposes may be reduced by a proposition approved by the voters.

Finally, the new law requires the town board to adopt an annual plan, after input through a public hearing, which specifies each eligible parcel and provides the amount of payment for each eligible parcel.

Bishop: Reid, Not Boehner

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Congressman Tim Bishop on Tuesday announced he would not support a new debt proposal by United States House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and would instead “reluctantly” support a plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Bishop said that supporting Boehner’s proposal would be tantamount to supporting cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, while preserving tax loopholes, assuring the country’s credit rating would be downgraded and “the specter of government default” would continue to haunt the country.

“I cannot vote for something that is so damaging to the middle class families I was elected to fight for and so contrary to every value I believe in,” said Congressman Bishop in a statement. “My line in the sand is that I will not support a deal that asks Medicare recipients to sacrifice, but does not ask for an ounce of sacrifice from big oil companies and hedge fund managers. It is long past time to find a reasonable compromise and then get on to the business of helping Americans find jobs.”

Under Boehner’s two-stage plan to help increase the $14.3 trillion federal debt limit, Congress would immediately cut $1.2 trillion in domestic discretionary spending over the next 10 years. That would reduce the debt ceiling for six months, when Congress would have to take up the issue again.

Bishop said the plan would then require Congress to cut an additional $1.8 trillion in spending over 10 years without any increase in revenues, which would lead to cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, as outlined in the budget passed by House Republicans in April.

The White House has also come out against the Boehner plan, with President Barack Obama stating the plan offers only a temporary solution, which could lead to market instability, wounding an already delicate economy.

In his statement, Bishop said that should the nation be subjected to another “debt limit showdown” in six months time, bond rating agencies, including Standard & Poor’s, have said they might still reduce the country’s AAA bond rating to AA despite the extension of the debt ceiling.

Such an historic cut would mean higher interest rates on everything, said Bishop, from the debt paid by the government to mortgages, credit cards and student loans — essentially imposing a tax on all Americans, he added.

Bishop said he has consistently advocated for a balanced approach in deficit reduction, combining spending cuts with revenue increases by eliminating loopholes and “waste expenditures” in the tax code.

Bishop said he would “reluctantly” vote for a proposal by Senate Majority Leader Reid, despite the fact that his plan does not seek to close loopholes in the tax code, in an effort to avoid a government default.

According to Bishop, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake in an address to Congress last week said that failing to raise the debt ceiling by the August 2 deadline would “no doubt have a very adverse effect very quickly on recovery.”

The government would have to cut 40 to 45 percent of federal outlays, said Bishop, potentially jeopardizing Social Security benefits, paychecks for members of the military, and the nation’s ability to pay interest on outstanding debt.

With that knowledge, Bishop has decided to support the Reid proposal to cut $2.7 trillion over 10 years with no revenue increases or cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. The plan also takes into account $1 trillion in savings in reduced costs relating to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

However, after Bishop released his statement, on Tuesday night House Republican leaders were forced to delay a scheduled vote on the Boehner plan to Wednesday or Thursday, as Republican House leaders scrambled to revise the proposal after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said his plan would cut spending by $850 billion over the next decade. That is about $150 billion less than the $1 trillion increase proposed for the debt limit.

The Congressional Budget Office also released its findings on the Reid proposal on Tuesday morning, stating it would actually save $2.2 trillion over the next decade, not $2.7 trillion as Reid has stated.

President Obama has said he will veto the Boehner plan if it passes both the House and the Senate and arrives on his desk. Pundits in Washington have stated the Reid plan has little hope of making it through a conservative House of Representatives.