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Nov 30, 2009 10:56 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Throne-Holst budget revisions approved by Southampton Town Board

Editor's Note: This story was published in the November 26 issue of The Southampton Press.
Nov 30, 2009 10:56 AM

The Southampton Town Board approved a 2010 budget on Friday that cuts 37 jobs, keeps the tax rate increase at 5 percent, and paves the way for an administrative restructuring plan proposed by Supervisor-elect Anna Throne-Holst.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s list of amendments to the budget were largely approved by the board on Friday. They reinstated several positions that had been eliminated due to cost-cutting in Supervisor Linda Kabot’s proposed budget for 2010, and included the first two administrative moves in a larger plan by Ms. Throne-Holst to restructure Town Hall, eliminating one post and scaling back another.

The new town budget approved by the board on Friday creates $1.4 million in new spending above the $78 million budget proposed by Ms. Kabot on September 30. Town Comptroller Tamara Wright emphasized that the $79.4 million spending plan approved Friday evening could change slightly once she works out all of the figures this week. Even with the new spending, the budget approved on Friday is still 3.8 percent lower than the $82.5 million spending plan for 2009.

Ms. Kabot noted that a majority of her spending initiatives remained intact and that the budget would put the town on the path to a “brighter and more solvent future.”

The budget sets next year’s tax rate at $1.38 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation, slightly less than a 5-percent increase from this year’s rate of $1.32 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Ms. Wright also emphasized that the $1.38 figure might be adjusted slightly on Monday after she makes her final computations.

A taxpayer whose home is assessed at $500,000 would see his or her annual tax bill increase about $33, from $660 this year to $690 next year, under the approved budget.

Although the budget for 2010 is now in place, police compensation remains an open question.

The Southampton Patrolman’s Benevolent Association’s most recent contract expired at the end of 2008. PBA members have been working without a contract, and the town and its police union are expected to begin arbitration in March 2010 to settle a dispute over pay raises in a new contract. The PBA has sought annual salary increases of 4 percent in its new contract, along with an end to rotating shifts in exchange for 12-hour shifts and more hours but fewer work days. Should an arbitrator find in favor of the PBA, the town would face an estimated $750,000 in additional salaries for 2009 and 2010—money not currently budgeted.

The approved budget does not address how the town would fund all of the possible retroactive pay for police. A $200,000 “contingency fund” for employee benefits was included in the budget, but Town Comptroller Tamara Wright acknowledged that the budget left the issue unresolved.

“We do not have a built-in reserve for arbitration,” Ms. Wright said, explaining that she recommends the board put as much money as possible into the police department budget in case the arbitration award is high.

Ms. Kabot said the $200,000 reserve can be applied to pay part of the possible arbitration award. “This was a prudent decision made by the board that will allow for a contingency,” she said.

Ms. Thone-Holst, who has said she hopes to avoid arbitration with the PBA, has said she favors bonding to pay deficits and liabilities, including any retroactive payments for the PBA awarded as the result of arbitration. Ms. Kabot has opposed bonding for the money out of concern that it would negatively impact the town’s credit rating.

Regarding the layoffs in the 2010 budget, Ms. Wright explained that of the 37 town jobs that are being cut, 11 are currently vacant. Another 10 are positions in the animal shelter, which is being privatized. The town has an agreement with the shelter that, with the exception of Assistant Animal Shelter Supervisor Christine Russell, current animal shelter employees will be given the opportunity to apply for similar jobs at the privatized shelter.

Among the remaining 16 positions, five are filled by employees who are eligible for retirement, Ms. Wright said. The remaining 11 employees will be jobless come January 1, she added.

The 37 positions cut include two in the town attorney’s office, five in Human Services, four in Land Management, three in the Building Department, two in the Finance Department, two in the town clerk’s office, two in Public Works, seven in Waste Management, two from the SEA-TV crew, one from the Hampton Bays Water District, one from the Highway Department, four in law enforcement, one in the General Services Department, and one related to the town’s Geographic Information Systems.

Ms. Kabot’s initial 2010 budget plan had called for 44 layoffs.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s plans for a Town Hall restructuring once she assumes her position in January were set into motion during the budget deliberations on Friday.

Cheryl Kraft was stripped of her duties as public safety administrator, took a $10,000 pay cut, and will now hold the title of chief fire marshal. Ms. Throne-Holst said that Ms. Kraft’s new salary is on par with other department heads of her level and explained that the public safety administrator’s duties were absorbed into other town departments, including the town attorney’s office and the police department.

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Disgraceful and Shameful. The STPD is untouched. All patronage hires continue.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 21, 09 1:13 AM
Indeed! The Town Police matter was not even mentioned!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 21, 09 1:24 AM
As has been posted by others, the Praetorian Guard Rules, the feeding at the trough continues, some how they should be their own down fall & not take the town with them.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 21, 09 8:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
Why would you want to see public safety diminished?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 21, 09 11:35 AM
What Town Police matter are you reffering to?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 21, 09 11:35 AM
no one wants that but that's what a "2-3-2" 12 hour tour will do if the PBA gets it; despite their claims it will save OT it will not; crime does not stop because cops are in the last few hours of their tours; with 77 fewer appearances an officer is 33% more likely to be off duty if called in to work on a day off or called in to court; even with more non-OT call back days (should that be part of the deal) you willnot see enough savings to fund this.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 21, 09 2:59 PM
Guess that big sign the PBA had posted on their property in Westhampton supporting Throne-Holst paid off. How the largest department in Southampton Town can absorb no cuts is simply remarkable.
By Native Westhamptonite (14), Westhampton on Nov 21, 09 8:51 AM
Hey, they have got to protect us from picture takers.

It is not remarkable when you consider who is really in charge here..
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 21, 09 9:53 AM
in terms of ATH layoffs - are any union members?
Afterall she said she would try to get "concessions' - payroll lag wage deferral - both softees.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 22, 09 12:56 AM
What is budgeted for the eventual PBA settlement? If they get 4% for each year it has to add an additional hole in the budget. If I'm right hearings start in March on an award.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 21, 09 10:19 AM
You should FOIL the payments to Town labor council if you are interested in something that causes a hole in the budget.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 21, 09 11:37 AM
His name is Vince Toomey and I know his rates. He represents many governments on Long Island. I also know who represents the PBA (or did, there's a rumor he was fired but I don't really know). His name is Harry Greenberg and he has made a career representing the Nassau PBA. I know him personally and he is very good at what he does. The Town needs outside counsel on this one - and Toomey is relatively affordable given what others charge. Since the Town is now in attrition mode it does make much sense ...more
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 21, 09 2:50 PM
If you know his rates why no mention of them? You only mention the "hole" that an eventual PBA settlement would cause..... I guess attorneys fees don't cause holes in budgets just PBA settlements?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 21, 09 3:26 PM
they are budgeted for already - and Toomey happens to be cheaper than most. What's Greenberg charging the PBA? He's good - lots of experience - the Town can't afford to have a full time labor relations specialist of this caliber on full time payroll. A PBA 4%+4% will cost the Town over $1million than they have budgeted for. Toomey is no where near that.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 22, 09 12:37 AM
Funny how Ms. Wright never has the figures ready!
By LUVSH (28), Southampton on Nov 21, 09 1:30 PM
she does a great job - some of the people around her are comatose - she's injected some good ideas into the budget process.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 21, 09 3:01 PM
To Bayman1;

OK, I know that I am beating a dead horse, but Bayman1 asked.

In brief, STPD cops are hired under contracts that state that they will retire after twenty years of service. There are 27 STPD cops, bringing in $200K annually in salary and benefits apiece, whom the Town Council has opted to retain beyond their twenty year anniversary retirement date. Their total cost to the budget is $3.6M annually. SOME cops merit continued employment beyond twenty years, specifically, ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 21, 09 2:17 PM
You should post these comments in other forums so that the rest of the world knows how misinformed you are, not just people interested in eastern long island news..... Virtually every police officer in the state is eligible for retirement after twenty years of service, not just the two departments that you mentioned. And it is not contractual, it's the law as evidenced by the Article 14 provision that all PO's in NYS fall under after 07/01/09. If you care to, research it.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 21, 09 3:22 PM
ever wonder how 20 and out came to be?
Nelson Rockefeller was governor - Arthur Goldberg, just resigned from the Supreme Court to run against him, was mounting a serious campaign - Rocky went to the unions looking for support - he got it - 20 and out for the uniforms, and 25 years 55% pension for civilians (aka "Tier 1") - totally political with no real analysis to cost.
By 1973 it was obvious Tier 1 was way too expensive - Tier 2 was created (Kinzel Commission) but for the most part but ...more
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 22, 09 12:50 AM
To North of Highway:

Thanks. Very interesting.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 22, 09 1:46 AM
North of Highway,
Where is the "partially" part in your a assertion that my post was correct?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 22, 09 6:26 PM
Great job Anne
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Nov 21, 09 3:14 PM
To Bayman1:

You misunderstand. The STPD and the Westhampton PD officers do NOT have the option of CONTINUING in employment beyond twenty years of service. They MUST retire on that anniversary date unless the Town Council elects to rehire them. According to the STPD PBA consultant who appeared before the Town Council, this contractual provision is unique to Southampton Town and Westhampton Beach.

The specific Town regulation delineating this requirement was posted previously ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 21, 09 4:26 PM
Interesting point..... And what does this "rehiring" process entail? Going to the police academy again, and all the other hiring requirements? My understanding is it that the they are in fact not "rehired", but rather not forced to retire by the town board? And, parenthetically, I do not derive all knowledge of all things southampton town from posts on this site nor do I agree with the assertion on your part that you communicated your point the way you apparently think you have.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 21, 09 5:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
To Bayman1:

THE point is that, absent some affirmative undertaking by the Town Council, either permitting them to continue on the rolls or by rehiring them, the cops' job ends with their twentieth anniversary.

If you want the authoritative source for information of the twenty-year-and-out contractual provision, you will have to research the Town laws unless the former poster whom I mentioned chooses to repost the text. I suggested that you look back in the posts on this site regarding ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 21, 09 5:45 PM
Well highhatsize, at least you are consistent, albeit consistently misinformed.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 22, 09 7:53 AM
Try to stay on point, it is SHPD that has the town by the short hairs.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 21, 09 5:45 PM

My last was not directed toward you, as you can see by the time posted.
Stay on it, eventually it will get thru to some of them !
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 21, 09 5:57 PM
The town can also save a pile of cash by stopping the practice of hiring outside consulting firms, engineering firms to help them make a decision. The studies should be performed in house and the town board members should have thebackbone and confidence in their abilities to make the decision. I like the approach but with regards to stormwater before I float away, I hope that the engineer added to the highway department will be able to work on our vast drainage problem on the east end. The highway ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Nov 22, 09 8:12 AM
How would retiring the 20+ year officers, and hiring new, younger replacements diminish the public safety? I fail to see the logic there.
By Undertow (64), Southampton on Nov 22, 09 8:55 AM
new hires make more appearances in the first few years on the job per contract; obviously they are paid less while they work up through the pay chart - and cost less via OT as OT is a function of salary - clearly you do not replace all of those in excess of 20 years at once and actually many are needed, but there is a savings to be had.
Obviously this is much smaller workforce than NYC but in the City by the time an officer hits his 10th year of service he is no longer a patrolman but has been ...more
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 22, 09 2:42 PM
If you are referring to my post I was responding to highhatsize's comment: "Disgraceful and shameful. STPD untouched. All patronage hires continue"
My take on that is he believes the town board should have cut police jobs in this budget. The 20 year retirement issue is a different conversation.

By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 22, 09 11:09 AM
Do you all think that SH Town needs four justices?
Remember when the fourth was added he was just added to the rotation. We could save money there.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Nov 22, 09 12:09 PM
That fourth Justice, a Pat Heaney deal, was added for the sole purpose of giving former Town Justice Ed Burke a soft place to land because the Spitzer Administration wasn't going to reappoint him to the NY State Court of Claims where he had been a Pataki appointment.

The $68k job didn't seem significant at the time -- now it's very definitely a place where some money could be saved!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 22, 09 12:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
To Bayman1:

To hold fast to an insuperable opinion in the face of contrary proof is puerile. If one makes a mistake in an argument, one admits it an moves on. I will leave it to readers to decide which of us is, "misinformed".

The Town code states that police officers are obligated to retire after twenty years. They could be replaced by inexpensive newly-hired officers. No postions need be, "cut".
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 22, 09 2:29 PM
Would you happen know what section of the town code that is in highhatsize? And thank you for the clarification.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 22, 09 5:28 PM
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Nov 22, 09 5:38 PM
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Nov 22, 09 5:42 PM
Frank....I am speechless...the situation that you describe is hard to believe. I hope that the SH Town board revisits the "fourth Town Justice" position.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Nov 23, 09 10:05 AM
Since you had introduced the subject, I figured you already knew most of that. I was just filling in the number and the proper noun.

Don't look for the Town Board to reverse this... Eddie Burke is a popular guy, and the family has clout.

But if you look at that deal, when they four Town Justice position was created, it not only added another $68k + the cost of benefits to the Justice Court budget, it also provided the three existing Justices -- then Wilson, DeMayo and Kooperstein ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 23, 09 11:27 PM
INS feel free to take on the DEC and the long process of obtaining NYS and Federal grants for stormwater work. It takes years to get the money and proper DEC approvals. But why would you know that
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Nov 23, 09 6:26 PM



By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 23, 09 6:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
Good to see ath is sticking to her campaign promises of bringing back youth services personnel and staffing the supervisors office with one person. So far shes hired 3 people for her staff. She plans on paying for this rather than having a balanced budget but to continue with deficit spending and to float bonds for deficit payments.

Business as usual
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Nov 23, 09 6:29 PM
At Tuesday's town board meeting, resolution # 1286 is to accept the disability retirement of a sergeant. NY city guys used to go for at least 3/4 on the disability.

What are the chances of Walter coming back as a consultant, the southampton school board pays $1,000. per day for a dual language consultant.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 23, 09 6:39 PM
that's tax free - no federal, no state,no local
regular retirement is taxed at the federal level only

yep, at 75% of final average salary
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 23, 09 7:22 PM
By T.J. (31), WHB on Nov 23, 09 8:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 23, 09 8:56 PM
This particular individual may very well be entitled to a disability pension and if that's the case - all well and good. That is what the law is there for. However, the overall ability to recieve disability pensions needs to be closely examined as evidenced by the revelatioons at the Long Island Rail Road.
In the long run the employer pension contributuon to the State Retirement System as calculated by the actuaries will reflect the frequency of disability retirements as a whole.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 24, 09 9:40 AM
North of Highway and Highhatsize: Thank you for the informative posts. Throne Holst's virtual "benign neglect" of the 800 lb gorilla in our fiscal crisis, the PBA, is not an encouraging development at all. There is no operating dept that had as great an accumulated multi million dollar fiscal deficit in the last 5 years as the Police, centered on their ever increasing compensation!.

Rather than share the pain and burden of cost cutting and layoffs of the Town government, they have the "hubris" ...more
By Common Sense (56), Southampton on Nov 23, 09 10:31 PM
Common Sense, North of Highway, Highhatsize,
Go dig up your tax bills, (assuming that you own homes and in fact pay taxes) and then go dig up a your cable TV bills for the year. Compare the police portion of your tax bill to your yearly cable bills. You will in all likelihood, like I did, that what you pay for police protection is significantly less than what you pay for cable. I know in my case I pay roughly three times as much for cable than what I pay for police protection to the Town of ...more
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 24, 09 5:30 PM
If you paid the actual cost of police protection your taxes would be much higher. your taxes do not match the expenses
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Nov 24, 09 8:03 PM
taxpayer since 1977; no cable - I find it too expensive.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 25, 09 12:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 25, 09 1:46 PM
Good for you!
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 25, 09 1:47 PM
For an easy economic lesson in employee contracts based upon fixed benefit (as opposed to the fixed contribution plans most non-unionized, non-governmental employees participate in) retirement programs that both our police and teachers enjoy, take a quick look at GM, Ford and Chrysler. These systems are unsustainable without ever increasing taxpayer contributions. Police and teachers already enjoy annual step increases based upon length of service. Each time a contract negotiation yields a higher ...more
By Native Westhamptonite (14), Westhampton on Nov 24, 09 8:36 AM
The State of Michigan was the first state to go to a defined contribution plan - I recall it was for all new hires after 1997. At that time the employees who were still under the defined contribution plan were offered the chance to switch - only 6% did.
The Michigan plan as I understand it has the State contributing as much as 7% of salary to the individuals equivalent of a 401K and the employee can contribute a few percentage points more (I'm not 100% certain on this but I think I'm close). ...more
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 24, 09 10:02 AM
Bayman 1: What does the cable bill have to do with the price of beans in Lima, Peru, or Police compensation for that matter or outrageous PBA greed as other Town employees are losing their livelihoods. The more the Police get, the more layoffs will be required!

They have created the largest deficits the last 5 years among all Town departments for no good reason except pad their compensation, overtime, and pension benefits all at taxpayer expense. Compare their compensation to NYC cops ...more
By Common Sense (56), Southampton on Nov 24, 09 7:17 PM
Well Common Sense, the point is that people pay more for cable than police protection, an interesting point I thought, apparently lost on you. And as far as "they creating the largest deficit the last 5 years among all town departments." "They" are not the PBA, the PBA does not plan, budget, or run the department as I am sure you already know. And, to compare the caliber of the candidates that apply for police jobs in Suffolk County vs. NYC is absurd as you probably know as well........And ...more
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 24, 09 9:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
The most recent class of NYPD recruits has just under one half with an associate degree or a BA - and this number increases with each class.
Given the recent antics of some of our East End officers you should not try to say the caliber of recruits here is better than NYC. Furthermore many East End officers started out in NYC and then transferred out East - some to save on the commute and some for the pay. The fact that NYC has something like 30,000 cops and all of the rest of LI might approach ...more
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 25, 09 11:28 AM
Interesting point. I am still waiting for Vince Toomey's rates, which you claim to know. I would love to know what they are.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 25, 09 1:55 PM
His law firm usually bills at $140 an hour - nor much more than your local mechanic; this is considerably less than the others in the business. What his actual arrangement with the Town is in terms of of doing an impasse I am not sure.
I don't know what Greenberg charges the PBA. Some of these guys get a ton of money. In a recent NYCPBA inpasse the firm of Linn and Green reportably got over $1 million from the PBA and the Lord only knows what Proskauer Rose charged the City of New York. Greenberg ...more
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 25, 09 2:54 PM
Yes, based on your description it sounds like one. And then the Town still has to pay the PBA at the end of arbitration, which only gives you a two year contract, which will then be expired, so it 's right back into negotiations and the attorney's bills start all over again......... So I guess the argument behind the Town saving money by going to arbitration is really a farce? Wouldn't you agree?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 25, 09 4:58 PM
nope. If the Town rolled over and played dead as the union would like then the average pay would be $200,00 a year, they would make perhaps 90 appearances a year and the night shift would be paid as OT. Samuel Gompers put it well when asked what is the purpose of a union. He answered with one word; "More"
the unions won the war in the last century - they gave us good things - but they have now evolved into nothing more than any special interest group.

By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 25, 09 10:45 PM
Interesting, I was not aware the PBA had proposals to make average pay $200,000.00 for 90 days work. I would love to see copies of those proposals. Is Samuel Gompers on the PBA negotiating committee?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 26, 09 7:35 AM
"So I guess the argument behind the Town saving money by going to arbitration is really a farce? Wouldn't you agree? "

Bayman 1: Are you a cop? Your arguments defy all logic and reason. You are suggesting that because the PBA has learned to game the arbitration system to always favor them regardless of economic suffering of taxpayers in a disastrous economy, regardless of layoffs of other Town workers partially due to the humungous deficits the PBA have incurred, that the Town just roll ...more
By Common Sense (56), Southampton on Nov 27, 09 10:33 AM
No, actually my arguments don't defy reason or logic:
If there is great cost to arbitrate, roughly $80,000 to $1000,000 from what I am told AND the Town must pay the PBA anyway at the end of arbitration then I think that it would seam logical that there is savings to be had by NOT arbitrating; a logical conclusion.
Based on my research, raises given to police unions on Long Island have steadily decreased over time, not increased as you suggest, roughly 6-7% in the early nineties to 3-4% ...more
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 27, 09 11:05 AM
... and the PBA (and its regular demands for pay increases) is not part of the deficit? I know it's in your interests to believe this, but it is scarcely believable. Keep in mind that a large, increasing percentage of our national and local populations are unemployed; they'll have little under their Christmas trees while you 'cave in' with your 3-4% increases and what other vestiges of greed you can come up with. Comparisons to cable bills and former increases are laughable.
By realdeal (23), Southampton on Nov 27, 09 5:00 PM
3 members liked this comment
......Comparisons to cable bills and former increases are not so much laughable as factual. MY POINT is that the $100,000.00 that the Town will throw away in arbitration could be put to better use, namely using it to keep positions that are slated for elimination. I don't know what the sticking points on either side of the bargaining table are, but that money could certainly be put to better use .....If you read the preceding posts you will see that I am responding to supposition and conjecture, ...more
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 27, 09 7:47 PM
You started your thread with some good comments and thoughts and now you have resorted to distorting what I said. These will be my last comments.
Saying I only pay $600 dollars for police protection and I pay something more for cable somehow translates into a reason to give more pay for cops makes no rational sense; you give raises for for other reasons, like cost of living for example. It would be nice to say the STP are highly compensated for the service they provide (and don't get me wrong, ...more
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Nov 30, 09 5:08 PM
Bayman 1: I believe the Town Board should draft a citizen referendum on eliminating the Southampton Police Department with its incessant deficits and negotiate with Suffolk County to extend their police coverage to Southampton Town if we can reduce our police fees by at least 50%.

At least the Suffolk PBA is more responsive to citizen hardships and display a lot less greed and rapacity. They have actually agreed with Levy in these trying times to givebacks to help the County in their budget ...more
By Common Sense (56), Southampton on Nov 28, 09 2:37 AM
You should bring that up at the next Town Board meeting, if you are going to, please let me know I would like to be there
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Nov 28, 09 7:35 AM

Cheryl Kraft should have taken a $100,000. cut in her salary of $110,000.+. And, been given a salary of $10,000 a year for her services even though that would be too high for the job she does. She has been supported by the taxpayers for a token job for years. Why is this woman still pulling in $100,000?
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Nov 30, 09 3:37 PM
I'm in complete agreement with you & there is more like her.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 30, 09 4:29 PM
& there are more like her.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 8:13 AM
Following is the relevant Town law regarding the compulsory retirement of STPD officers after twenty years service:

Authorization for Southampton Town Police Officers to Continue in Service After Completion of 20 Years of Service

Status Adopted
Department Personnel
Meeting 11/20/2008 10:00:00 AM
Category Personnel

WHEREAS, Subdivision m of section 384-d of the retirement and social security law, as added by chapter 1117 of the laws of 1971, ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Dec 1, 09 1:31 AM
Nice work and this does ring a bell.
If I remember correctly section 384 contains a number of sub-sections, "d" being one of them - and its probably the half pay provision after 20 years. I would have to assume a state senator or assemblyman from the area tacked that little piece on as a quid pro quo - we'll buy into the half pay after 20 years but you have to retire if not extended. Pretty amazing given the clout unions have in Albany and someone had a pretty good ideas to include this.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 12:13 PM
It seems Thiele has a bill in the hopper that would modify this - it takes away the mandatory age 55 requirement and makes it optional at the Board's choice just like the 20 year clause.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 12:19 PM
So many have their disability "injuries" in place in their files, plus the last year's "load up" on overtime, like the acceptance of disability retirement of a sergeant by the town board at the 11-24-09 meeting. Is it 3/4 or more ? Some warrant it, most do not.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 1:59 PM
i guess this is the start of "a southampton government like we've never seen before - ath" basically means spending will go up! so much for those campagin promises. how many patronage jobs has she created already.... 3 in supervisors office and one deputy highway superintendent.....and shes not even in office
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Dec 6, 09 9:10 AM