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Oct 1, 2011 7:52 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Republicans Challenge Forced Police Retirements In Southampton Budget As Political

Oct 5, 2011 11:53 AM

There was no applause after Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst presented her $80.2 million tentative spending plan to a full room at Town Hall this week. The proposed budget was balanced with the elimination of 29 staff members—a combination of layoffs and retirements.

The plan includes the forced retirement of six high-ranking Town Police officers, a move challenged by the supervisor’s critics as being politically motivated.

The budget, unveiled to the Town Board on Monday afternoon during a special meeting, is marked by no spending or tax levy increase from this year. It is largely shaped by a recently-imposed New York State 2-percent tax levy cap, which restricts the amount the town can raise in taxes. Increases in nondiscretionary costs—including insurance premiums, retirement contributions, workers compensation costs, legal fees, debt service costs and contractual expenditures—totaled approximately $5.1 million, a budget hole difficult to fill given the new state cap, officials have stated. Ms. Throne-Holst is proposing a tax levy of $57 million, which is the same as this year’s.

If adopted, Ms. Throne-Holst’s budget would raise taxes by almost 2.1 percent. Under the tentative plan, the tax rate is projected to be about $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value. That means a town resident whose home is assessed at $600,000, and who does not live in any of the incorporated villages, will pay about $835 in town taxes this year, an increase of about $18 from the previous year’s rate of $1.36 per $1,000 of assessed value. Town officials emphasized that an individual’s tax rate is unique depending on what part of town a resident lives in and what services they get.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s budget utilizes a local law approved decades ago that allows the town to separate from service police officers who have served the town for more than 20 years. Ms. Throne-Holst, under her plan, would force officers who have served for more than 25 years to retire. Six police officers with more than 25 years of service will be forced to retire, while two others—Captain Anthony Tenaglia and Lieutenant Robert Iberger—are retiring on their own next year. All of the officers would be entitled to a retirement incentive of $1,000 for every year they have served. The Town Police force would be reduced from 96 to 90 sworn officers.

Republicans in Southampton Town’s political circles this week criticized Ms. Throne-Holst’s measure to reduce the police force, calling the move political, and one reminiscent of former Town Supervisor Linda Kabot’s past budget proposals. But Ms. Throne-Holst denounced those claims, noting that reducing the town’s police force by targeting the most senior officers was the best way to reduce costs without drastically downsizing the department.

Bill Hughes, a Republican candidate for Town Board and a former Town Police lieutenant, said he saw the forced retirements as a political move because they target primarily members of the Superior Officers Association, a police union for the force’s higher ranking officers, and largely excludes members of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, the union of the rank-and-file members of the department—and a group that endorsed Ms. Throne-Holst for her election to supervisor in 2009.

He said that if the measure is intended to reduce costs, it should be based on work evaluations that could determine the most ineffective officers. “It’s biased, it’s capricious, it’s unfair,” Mr. Hughes said of the supervisor’s proposal.

Former Town Supervisor Linda Kabot, who is waging a write-in campaign against Ms. Throne-Holst, also expressed similar concerns, and said the police measure mimics one that she proposed both in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, Ms. Kabot proposed retiring six veteran police officers based on the number of days they missed over a five-year period.

“Anna’s proposal to gut the police department’s management structure effective January 1, 2012 is political payback that she is serving up on behalf of the PBA against the Superior Officers Association,” Ms. Kabot said in the statement. “She has received thousands and thousands of dollars to her campaign fund in 2009, 2010, and 2011 from the PBA … This budget proposal is not good government—this is following through with her promise to deliver on the special interest promises made to the PBA and perhaps to up-island party bosses who pushed for the new Town Chief of Police.”

Ms. Throne-Holst argued this week that Ms. Kabot’s proposal in 2008 was “cherry-picking” and would have opened the town up to potential litigation. “The significant difference is that when she tried to resort to this provision for the same reasons for necessary budget cutting reasons, she was strongly advised by labor counsel that it was not a defensible program,” Ms. Throne-Holst said.

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Interesting comment: ".....longest-serving officers, many of whom serve in positions of rank....." Without experienced supervisors how do you suppose the rank and file personnel will react? Of course ATH will then promote, I suspect, those from the PBA who supported her candidacy.
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on Oct 1, 11 9:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
if she forces retirement to those who fall under her plan, she will have to promote to fill most of those vacancies, does anyone not put a price on expierence? what will the town be gaining ? just a ploy to get unions to agree to more give backs to close the gap ...and I am sure they will play ball if its going to force those over 20 years out...what they save by forcing them to retire they will pay double with the lawsuits stemming from those with little or no expierence, and with not being supervised ...more
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 1, 11 11:10 AM
Didnt Kabot have a very similar plan a few years back and the cops were protesting in front of Town Hall? and than publicly endorsed ATH pretty much because of that? I'm confused..its ok now?
By srk (15), southampton on Oct 1, 11 11:30 AM
4 members liked this comment
This sure sounds like Kabot’s budget from two years ago, I wonder if it was implemented a few years ago the Town might not have to take the drastic measures that are being taken today? Couldn’t you at least give Linda some foot note credits in your budget, eh Anna?
By jimmyk24 (13), east quogue on Oct 1, 11 12:39 PM
5 members liked this comment
A very well thought out plan. Now we need to elect Linda to implement it.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 1, 11 3:24 PM
Vote Kabot - together we can restore integrity.
By Steven (113), Westhampton on Oct 1, 11 4:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
kabot is not the answer here....not even a little bit...now she will come back with an ax to grind...
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 1, 11 6:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
I wonder how you would react under the same set of citcumstances, WHB-PD follows you for a substantial distance and watches you roll through a Stop sign that a large percent of the public also roll through all the while placing phones calls to union leaders and town officials. Be arrested on an extremely questionable DWI offense and not only have your career and reputation destroyed but have to spend an enormous cost to you and your family and finally be quickly found innocent in a court of law. ...more
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on Oct 3, 11 4:30 PM
2 members liked this comment
ATH is non-union correct? I guess SHT isnt in that bad of shape if shes laying off 15 people but giving herself a 2% increase...what a crisis!!!!
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Oct 1, 11 10:22 PM
3 members liked this comment
im sure theres some higher ranking positions that they wont be replacing
By WESTEND (15), quogue on Oct 2, 11 3:22 PM
Please enumerate how many superior officers have less than 20 years of service?
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on Oct 2, 11 5:55 PM
im sure not many
By WESTEND (15), quogue on Oct 2, 11 7:59 PM
I hope before any employee are laid off, the Supervisor (ATH) has done some down sizing of her own. Has ATH personnel staff been downsized, do we really need deputy supervisors, more than one secretary in her office? Are all those department heads that retired and now back working as consultants been eliminated. (Mr. Blowes, Jackson, etc.) If we really need them, then the ones that were placed in there positions, are not doing their jobs. Do we really need to operate two town clerks offices? ...more
By trurepublician (53), hampton bays on Oct 2, 11 8:07 PM
She has only reorganized her staff under other departments (so it looks like she has given up a position) and gave them duties that already being done by qualified union staff.
By scotlandrd (2), sag harbor on Oct 3, 11 8:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Qualified union staff? What concessions have any of the unions made this year. The answer is none. I see plenty of "qualified union staff" that are dead wood in town government and are only around due to bump and retreat non sense. Good bye to the unions! The best is the stellar highway staff who "prep" their trucks for 2 hours in the morning before hitting the roads to the local deli's for their breakfast - on the clock and then its off to actually doing some work! The unions get no sympathy from ...more
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 5, 11 8:06 PM
absolutly right 4 people in parks have got notice thats almost 1/3 of the department and just a few years back we cut nearly 4 people whats left?
By redtransam89 (4), east quogue on Oct 9, 11 3:16 PM
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Oct 3, 11 6:20 PM
Unlike alot of career politicians ATH comes to the table with years of running a multi million dollar business where budgets had to be balanced. She comes to the table with real world experience and the ability to make the tough decisions which may not be political. In the private sector one has to make the decisons that the public sector complains about, yet in the private sector its small print. Working in the public sector is not the golden bb that it used to be. Times have changed and municpal ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Oct 3, 11 9:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
What was the business she ran?
By srk (15), southampton on Oct 4, 11 8:12 AM
to skr:

Here's the answer that golfbuddy posted to that question some time ago:

"Years ago Ms. Throne-Holst AKA Anna Gerschman and her estranged husband raised $1.2 million dollars at a private fundraiser at their ...more home in BH. They buy a piece of property; build the Hayground School down the road from another private school. Bingo Co-Founder of a very prominent school. Needless to say the other school was not very happy about the competition or the coup this group pulled ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 4, 11 8:46 AM
Please clarify what multi-million dollar business and her real world experience. As far as I have learned, so far, her real world business experience is limited. However ATH has become, it appears, a career politician with an ego to match.
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on Oct 5, 11 9:16 AM
A raise for ATH?! You are kidding,right?
By maggieb (11), sag harbor on Oct 4, 11 3:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes ATH qualifies for a 2% raise. It is well deserved for the great job she has done. She actually deserves more. Thanks Anna
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 5, 11 2:57 PM
Actually there are no raises proposed for any Elected Officials in the 2012 Budget so that is incorrect.
By Theresa Kiernan (26), Southampton on Oct 5, 11 3:31 PM
Good! Thanks for clearing that up!
By maggieb (11), sag harbor on Oct 5, 11 4:40 PM
can one define for me " an upisland party boss " .....Buhler ? Buhler ? anyone ? anyone ?
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 5, 11 5:29 PM
I can shed no tears for officers making 140k a year with having many sick days, vacation days, and personel days. Basically working 160 days a year with full benefits to which they contribute zero. A retirement after 20 years, and a union that thinks they are above the rest of town employees. There is low crime on the east end, and we have an abundance of law enforcement. The New York State Police, Sheriffs, County Police, Village Cops, plus Railroad, and park police. The officers will telling us ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 5, 11 5:57 PM
No dude. We can afford these guys. We can't afford the county fees. It would triple my police tax in a year. Lots of these guys are former city cops too.
By mightycolemack (15), Hampton Bays on Oct 6, 11 11:30 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 5, 11 5:57 PM
Wait isn't the Supervisor supposed to be in the hip pocket of the PBA? So how do you explain police layoffs? Cmon people it's a pretty decent budget, the cops have nothing to do (except bust Linda Kabot) and all have 2 or 3 side businesses.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Oct 6, 11 11:40 AM
And that will make 270 stupid comments above.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Oct 6, 11 7:37 PM
I really shouldn't laugh at that, but...


C'mon, there's some substance here and there. I've read intelligent thoughts, each drawn from our own experience, or in some cases possibly the aether.

It's up there, just look for it...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 6, 11 9:34 PM
Where does Vince Toomey fit into this mess?
By Wow (2), Islip on Oct 6, 11 12:27 PM
Yes the PD is over payed by far, BUT this is a bad move because like the article says, the longest members of service at the PD. We lost the useless Chief Overton but now were getting rid of all the knowledge... You need some people in there with years of knowledge and experience with our Town and "locals". We need there "brains" to pick while there still with the department because they have pertant information regarding things within the town that have been going on forever that new hire isnt ...more
By SHTownHB (75), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 11 9:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
Enough already! You all spout such nonsense! Where is the research in your unintelligent postings? Chief1.......160 days? where did you come up with that number? Oh wait....I can probably guess....never mind.

Here are some FACTS for you......2009 adopted tax rate PD=.53% (notice the point) @100% equalization per $1,000. dollars assessed value. Now follow along...2009 rate=.56, 2010=.522and 2011 was .507.....with me so far? Oh and by the way, All this is coming from past budgets....I just ...more
By Bama-Slama (41), Hampton bays on Oct 7, 11 10:46 AM
2 members liked this comment
SO, how do we get it down to a quarter per day, per capita?

$91 a year per capita, sounds alot better in these lean times than $208 a year per capita...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 8, 11 11:33 AM
First of all, let's remember that this is a PROPOSAL. It's nice that p.d. patronage has finally been recognized as a problem, it's another to actually compel some of these overstaying cops to retire.

My guess is that the ranks have already been canvassed and six officers have been found willing to retire for an extra $$25K. In the end, they will probably "voluntarily" retire (if at all), thus avoiding both SOE and PBA objections to the precedent of actually enforcing the law.

Regardless, ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 7, 11 10:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
Really? Any idea how many superior officer there are at SHTPD?
Do you realize that ONLY superior officers are effected by this?
Do you also realize that SHTPD is one of only 2 police departments throughout New York State that is covered by this section of retirement law?
Watch out, your tin foil hat is falling off.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 11 12:25 PM
But I'm a Blank: Thank you. I suggest that highhatsize stop using the cheap tinfoil and go back to the Heavy-Duty Reynolds wrap, it works better agains those "mind warps" from Mars.
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on Oct 7, 11 3:44 PM
Starting salary $42,000* annually. After five (5) years of service, the base salary is $108,608*
*Under 2010 labor agreement

Full salary and benefits during entire training period.

Night shift payments.

All uniforms and equipment are supplied by the Department.

Yearly uniform cleaning allotment

Paid family dental, optical and medical plans.

Thirteen (13) paid holidays.

Fifteen (15) paid vacation ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 8, 11 11:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thats the scpd contract I believe the SHPD is very close. How many of you regular non cops have a contract like that living on the east end? Not many I bet. How do you like the 27 vacation days 26 sick days, 5 personal days, and 13 paid holidays. WOW! They say returning US serviceman have a 25% unemployment rate. Lets sign them up and show our appreciation.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 8, 11 11:24 AM
I can't say I get benefits like that.

I don't even get a full week's vacation for another six months, and have no sick, or personal days accumulated right now. That's right, ACCCUMULATED with clock hours of service. Not doled out like candy on Halloween.

Where did you find that?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 8, 11 11:28 AM
OK, why would you post suffolks contract? Because you BELIEVE it to be close? Again, you post misinformation and Mr. Z follows behind tail wagging. Maybe you should have taken a test if your so jealous of what they get. I posted the FACTS above....wipe your eyes and take a look. What are you the chief of anyways?
By Bama-Slama (41), Hampton bays on Oct 8, 11 2:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Tail wagging, eh?

Jealous? BULL****.

Tired of paying for compensation, and benefits that exceed the private sector by leaps and bounds?

You bet your posterior.

Still out cold, and believing in the "American Dream', eh?
Oct 8, 11 5:23 PM appended by Mr. Z
Peas in a pod, from the 99%: "History buff who believes this nation’s ideals are Justice, Equality, Diversity, Community and Human Rights. Not Plutocracy. Not Corporatocracy. Not Aristocracy. Not Oligarchy."
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 8, 11 5:23 PM
And you'll continue to do so......wagging your tail. Last I checked private sector got us in this mess, then we the people gave up billions for them to cash out as bonuses. Go stick your head back in the sand.
By Bama-Slama (41), Hampton bays on Oct 9, 11 12:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
I've been speaking out against the "elite" for over a decade. I was an ardent opponent of the GLBA, and the whenever I did speak about it, I got the nominal "sheep" response, "Things are great!", when all I saw was a train headed for a wreck at high speed.

I have spoken out against over-development since the nineties, and have even had letters published in print, in this very paper. My first one submitted, and put into print was about the destruction of "The Bridge".

Maybe if ...more
Oct 11, 11 9:59 PM appended by Mr. Z
Aug 3, 09: Standing on the bruised backs of the majority does not a strong country make. Nor a happy country. Thomas Jefferson once warned about corporations becoming the next aristocracy. If you take a good look around, through HIS eyes, and point of view, from his world's perspective historically, was his fear unfounded?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 11, 11 9:59 PM
"and have even had letters published in print, in this very paper."

Wow, now there is an accomplishment. Let me guess, that article is pasted on the fridge right next to your third grade reoprt card, eh? Your a real superstar, according to yourself. You should probably stick to the well paying google moderating job, your starting to unravel around here. It is kinda funny how you claim to work for google, google is a large corporation (currently trading at $550.00 a share) and feel .57 cents ...more
By Jimmy MacDoogan (43), Flanders on Oct 12, 11 10:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
to But I'm blank!:

There are 25 superior officers in the STPD including detectives. Reducing the strength by six positions would leave 19, or 21% of ninety, a ratio of 1 manager (or foreman) to 4 workers, a more-than-adequate number.

While this proposal only affects SOA cops, the PBA is equally opposed to it. They are equally subject to the town code and could be targeted in the future (or right now if the Town Council buys the SOA claim that they are being discriminated against.)

Only ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 8, 11 12:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nothing like a retort, that requires a copy of Webster's to read.

Well, for the intended, anyway...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 8, 11 5:30 PM
"OOOHHHHH Goody, another poster I can tag along with because 2364 of my postings are responses to other posters as I am not clever enough to post an original thread." says Mr. Z as he waits with baiting breath for the next post to hit.

*This retort does not require anything and is well intended. Wag Wag Wag.........
By Bama-Slama (41), Hampton bays on Oct 9, 11 9:06 AM
Now thats a good retort Bama!
By Jimmy MacDoogan (43), Flanders on Oct 9, 11 5:30 PM
2 members liked this comment
I stated months ago that Mr. Z was a lap dog.....guess I am not the only one......I wonder if he realizes they are training monkeys to transfer data in computer pipe lines by the using different color lights and buttons....times might be getting harder on him.
Oct 9, 11 9:19 PM appended by Bayman3142
using of....wouldn't want Mr.Z to make this a grammatical thread as he has in the past....often to deflect the attention from his own inadequacies.
By Bayman3142 (249), Southampton on Oct 9, 11 9:19 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 11, 11 9:46 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Jimmy MacDoogan (43), Flanders on Oct 11, 11 10:10 PM
"If I say something about grammar, diction, or spelling, it is because I ABHOR it's (sic) slaughter so."

Oh, how I love to snicker at the holier than thou!
By VOS (1241), WHB on Oct 11, 11 10:50 PM
you existence is inadequate the day you have to explain why it isn't. Glass plus or windex when you do windows?
By Bama-Slama (41), Hampton bays on Oct 12, 11 9:15 AM
Maybe if you keep listing how awesome your are, someone will agree with you, but to me, your village is still looking for you. I found that letter the bridge you wrote and am pasting below to share with all our readers....

"The Bridge"

By Mr. Z

London bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down,

London bridge is falling down, my fair lady.

very original if I do say so myself, you must have spent some time away from your google moderating job to ...more
By Bayman3142 (249), Southampton on Oct 12, 11 9:44 AM
No HighHat,
Once again you make up facts to back up your stand. There are 3 Lts, and 12 Sergeants. That's 15 total in the SOA. Detectives are not superior officers, here or anywhere else in New York State. The three Lts are in executive staff positions and do little in the way of supervision. 10 Of the Sergeants are in the Patrol Division, 5 as Desk Sergeants and 5 on the road. 2 Sergeants are assigned duties other than patrol .
All of this, and your glee in what you think is going to ...more
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 8, 11 10:32 PM
to But I'm Blank!:

Unlike you, I don't have personal inside knowledge of the STPD. I must rely on published data. According to the salary chart on the Town website, there are 19 SOA officers on the payroll.

Detectives are superior officers in all but name. They are paid as stupendously as superior officers; they enjoy the elite status of superior officers; and they achieve their rank only after years of service in subordinate positions like superior officers. It is difficult ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 9, 11 10:13 AM
"Detectives are superior officers in all but name. They are paid as stupendously as superior officers; they enjoy the elite status of superior officers; and they achieve their rank only after years of service in subordinate positions like superior officers. It is difficult to conceive of an affect of theirs which is NOT that of a superior officer other than that they have chosen to remain members of the PBA".
They didnt "choose" anything. They is no such rank of Detective within Civil Service, ...more
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 11 2:13 PM
to But I'm a blank!:

I yield to your personal, intimate knowledge of the STPD hierarchy. Those of us who are not cops/former cops/spouses of cops/relatives of cops/friends of cops/cop groupies must rely on public data rather than information acquired from the horse's mouth or from our workplaces.

In any case, even after removing detectives from the roster of superior officers, we still have a ratio of 1 superior officer (manager) to 6 patrolmen (staff), still more than adequate.

As ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 10, 11 10:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
Nothing of what I posted is bushwa. You, however have taken what you think to be true, or what others have posted, and claim the facts to be authentic.
I'm done now, you bore me.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 10, 11 12:06 PM
2 members liked this comment
70% of your $5000 tax bill goes to the school board. But we worry about a 2% increase on the 30%. Wow, $40 a year to keep the police veterans, the guy cutiing grass for the parks dept., the code enforcement officer making 40g, a planner, abuilding inspector, an environmental analyst, cops on the beat, etc. Did you question the Fire District purchase?
We cannot pay for what the Wall Street theives, and the Barney Franks, and the mortgage broker frauds, have stolen. Btw, 2billion a week in ...more
By kelbas (30), Southampton on Oct 11, 11 8:57 PM
Should have become a cop. nice deal.
By ride the truth wave (125), southampton on Oct 12, 11 2:53 PM