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Oct 6, 2010 11:54 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Throne-Holst: No layoffs in 2011 tentative budget

Oct 6, 2010 11:54 AM

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst officially unveiled a $82 million tentative 2011 budget last Friday, representing about a half-percent increase in spending over this year’s amended $79.8 million budget.

Under the spending plan, taxes would rise 2.4 percent next year, with the additional revenue going toward paying down deficits remaining in the waste management and beaches enterprise funds.

The budget does not include any layoffs or cuts in services, Ms. Throne-Holst said—although the number of Town Hall employees will drop from 523 to 499, the result of attrition and anticipated retirements.

If approved, the budget would reflect a tax rate of $3.32 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, said Town Comptroller Tamara Wright. It would represent just under a $20 increase in the tax bill from the previous year for a home assessed at $600,000, she said. The owner of a home assessed at $600,000 could expect to pay approximately $845 in town taxes next year based on the tentative plan.

The proposed budget did not come without controversy. Southampton Town Board members Nancy Graboski, Jim Malone and Chris Nuzzi drafted a letter, which they sent out through an e-mail by legislative aide Kristen M. Tuffy on October 3, criticizing Ms. Throne-Holst for intentionally delaying the distribution of the budget. They also noted they would be reviewing the document before issuing any statements on it.

“It bears noting that the supervisor promised to overhaul the process this year, to be inclusive of council members, finish the budget, and make it available sooner,” read the statement. “Despite asking for it multiple times, to receive a copy 15 minutes before it’s presented doesn’t give enough time to detail the specifics. We are looking at the budget very closely, but due to the perceived deliberate delay in releasing it and the size and scope of the content, it would be difficult to comment further at this time.”

Ms. Throne-Holst fired back this week with a scathing press release of her own, stating that Town Board members had ample time and opportunities to participate in the budget process, by invitation to meetings with department heads.

“I believe the lack of participation on the part of Council Members Graboski, Nuzzi and Malone to be a glaring reflection of their unwillingness to put party politics aside for the common good of the people we serve,” reads the statement.

Ms. Throne-Holst said the 2011 tentative capital budget would total about $15 million, which she said is essentially no increase from the previous year, with an emphasis on infrastructure improvements throughout town. At least 60 percent of the capital budget is dedicated to highway infrastructure improvements, according to Ms. Throne-Holst’s budget message.

According to Ms. Wright, the town’s revenues, such as permits, fees and mortgage tax revenue, on the whole have remained flat from the previous year. She noted that the town had budgeted on a more conservative estimate of projected mortgage tax revenue of $5,250,000 next year, down from this year’s numbers, which were less than $6 million. She also highlighted one small increase in the Southampton Town Justice Court revenues, noting that they are up about $100,000 since last year’s figures.

A plan to restructure several large departments within Town Hall is also included in the tentative budget. Some of those changes would include breaking off and redirecting some departments and divisions within the business management department—for example, the human resources department would report to the Town Supervisor’s office, and the education and government channel administration, SEA-TV, would fall under the Town Board’s supervision. The building and zoning division, which falls under land management, would become its own standalone department in Ms. Throne-Holst’s budget, with a department head, the chief building inspector, to receive a salary increase under the new title from $103,020 to $107,100. Michael Benincasa is the town’s chief building inspector.

The goal of the restructuring, Ms. Throne-Holst said, is to capitalize on some of the vacancies in certain departments, and cut back on contractual costs. In general, next year’s tentative budget represents equipment and contractual costs that have been curtailed by about $2.3 million from the previous year, Ms. Throne-Holst said.

The tentative document is also based on the expectation that at least 20 employees will retire under a New York State early retirement incentive offered to all municipalities in June. The period to opt in to retire under the program began on October 1, a day after the budget was supposed to be filed—making budgeting this year a challenge, Ms. Wright said. Town officials have had involved conversations with the individuals before factoring them into savings for next year’s budget, she said.

The total number of employees in Southampton Town will fall from 523 in the 2010 amended budget to 499, Ms. Wright said.

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Great the building inspector gets a raise as contractors and builders struggle for work. Just what exactly are they inspecting. Nobody is building in this economy and the town just makes it harder with all the moratoriums and energy code requirements. Building and zoning should be down sizing at this time. Like all of us!
By Crankie (10), Southampton on Oct 1, 10 8:01 PM
2 members liked this comment
There are "only" 57 employees in the building department.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 5, 10 12:20 PM
Why was anyone given a raise. In these times they should feel lucky they even have jobs and be willing to do whatever duties are assigned to them. By giving your supervisor/cronie a raise you are sending the wrong message. Taxes had to be raised to pay back funds that you never should have been allowed to borrow. This resulted from poor budgeting in prior years. waht is to stop them from once again borrowing from other funds, in effect saddling future generations with today's bills?
By Walt (292), Southampton on Oct 1, 10 8:42 PM
3 members liked this comment
I really think the salary increase should have been put off to another time. I am glad ATH "feels very good" about the tax increase/budget."Beam me up Scotty".
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Oct 1, 10 10:38 PM
nope. not possible, i'm calling shennanigans. you cannot claim that you've not cut any services or have any lay-offs, increase taxes by 2.4% and claim that the budget is up only .5%. doesn't add up at all. words like ''re-structure'', ''breaking off'' and ''redirecting'' need to be clarified by ath. a courtsey and an ''i feel really good" doesn't cut it.
By justduckey (58), artist colony on Oct 2, 10 8:05 AM
2 members liked this comment
Let's see...Human resources under ATH's control, and the media under the Town Board's "supervision?" Am I the only one who's alarmed?
By rabblerouser (46), Hampton Bays on Oct 2, 10 11:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
I agree. Media under the supervisor's control. Now let's see, where else have I seen that? Hmmm. Perhaps Iran, China under communism. North Korea. ATH is in fine company.
By letsbehonest (4), Southampton on Oct 4, 10 2:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Interesting. Word was that lots of jobs were to be terminated. There was a good deal of angst and wrangling behind closed doors.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Oct 2, 10 11:50 AM
Fantastic - give the Building Dept. even less oversight. Cuz Mr. Benincasa is really known for his honest and fair dealings... good thing he is getting a raise too and can spend that extra money in Brookhaven Township where he lives.

ATH - why the raise? What was he going to do if you didn't give him the extra $$$, retire? Woulda saved TOS a lot of green
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 2, 10 3:07 PM
2 members liked this comment
Why you so down on Mike? He has been reasonable in all dealings I've had with him. Did I miss the memo on SHT employees having to live within the township?
The Building dept. is one of the only entities within the Town to have had a surplus, before Kabot raided it to cover deficit plagued depts.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Oct 2, 10 10:31 PM
There is no requirement, of course, to live in the Town if you are a dept. head. My point is he is not invested in the Town of Southampton. He is a Brookhaven guy (he lives there and formerly worked there). His interests are in Brookhaven - I'd rather have my Chief Building Inspector live in this Town and deal with the consequences of his decisions (like issuing a demo permit to his buddy Joe "I'm the greatest builder in the world" Farrell to knock down a historic structure on Main St. in Bridgehampton ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 10 10:59 PM

Brookhaven? You mean Crookhaven. If you examine the fiscal disaster and shenanigans in Southampton that occured in the past decade, you will find that the major players trace their roots somehow back to good 'ol Crookhaven. As they say history always repeats itself!
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 4, 10 2:46 AM

Brookhaven? You mean Crookhaven. If you examine the fiscal disaster and shenanigans in Southampton that occured in the past decade, you will find that the major players trace their roots somehow back to good 'ol Crookhaven. As they say history always repeats itself!
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 4, 10 2:46 AM
Yes, quite the checks and balances going on here. So between his salary and all the little unmentionable extras, Mr.Benincasa is certainly having a good laugh at the expense of all the hard working, honest people (note, Mr. Benincasa, the key word here is honest - perhaps you should look that up in the dictionary). The beauty of this world is some day, though perhaps in the very far distance, Mr. Benincasa will get his but in the meantime he and ATH continue to play their games for their own personal ...more
By letsbehonest (4), Southampton on Oct 4, 10 2:34 PM
It sure is difficult to please this bunch!!! ATH appears to have presented a budget with a minor increase in taxes, ALL of which will go to reducing deficit created by irresponsible prior administrations. And with no layoffs to boot!
I guess if the biggest thing to complain about is a $4,000 raise to the head of a newly organized department, then it sounds like nitpicking to me.
The other thing reported by someone is an apparent lack of honest dealings by Benincasa. If that is so, I urge ...more
By baywoman (165), southampton on Oct 2, 10 8:10 PM
2 members liked this comment
I didn't say it was anything worthy of the Suffolk DA, just said that his dealings aren't honest and fair (as in, expediting someone's permit because they are a friend, or interpreting a section of code one way for person A, and a different way for person B). I'm not excusing the CBI of doing anything illegal, just not fair and honest (maybe transparent is a better word?)
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 10 10:55 PM
There are some positions which could have been cut. I won't name names, but there are deadbeats on the payroll!
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Oct 2, 10 10:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
No lay offs is ok if we cut the payroll during the year by not replacing those who leave.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 3, 10 9:17 AM
Why not retire a few of the 20 year + STPD cops as the Chief wishes? Not only would there be NO budget increase but we could use some of the savings to install always-on video cameras in every patrol car showing the view from the driver's seat and a view OF the driver's seat.

That would silence those critics who claim that the STPD routinely stops motorists for DWI without probable cause.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 3, 10 10:59 AM
2 members liked this comment
Just once, for the heck of it, try another issue Abe?
By Terry (380), Southampton on Oct 3, 10 2:10 PM
hey highhatsize - want some help beating that dead horse?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 10 2:47 PM
As baywoman rightly says, no layoffs, no service cuts, and a tax hike at less than half of the 5% cap, with the extra tax money all going to help get us out of the hole that the Republicans dug in past years. What's not to like? While posters on 27east can knock themselves out with negativity, it will be hard for the two Republicans and one Conservative on the Town Board to criticize this budget. Why is that? Because, despite repeated invitations for them to participate in the process, to take ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 3, 10 11:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
Turkey as usual you are off the mark. it is up to the supervisor and the supervisor alone to make the tentative budget. once the board is given that budget then the amendments can be made. hence why there was a nice presentation on friday to the board by the supervisor. get the facts before you go off on your talking points. now is the time the board makes inputs via resolution. and yes some board members did participate in the process thus far. you'd be surprised to see who didnt!

you ...more
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 3, 10 10:48 PM
Ridiculous, it is you who has the facts wrong. Can't say more, but that's how it is.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 4, 10 11:35 AM
One thing I can say, ridiculous, is that your comment is contradictory on its face. You say it's "up to the supervisor and the supervisor alone to make the tentative budget,", but then you assert that "some board members did participate in the process thus far." Get your story straight.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 4, 10 11:39 AM
The ToSH is a small mirror of the US gov. Systemic Corruption of our system of government starts in the Tosh and goes straight to the top of the US gov. The system is broken. Taxing and spending to subsidize pension plans at 50% and better for local, state and federal employees has been the cancer that has divstated this country.
By rrc1049 (63), Bridgehampton on Oct 3, 10 11:20 AM
That and health insurance costs underwritten by the taxpayer.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 5, 10 12:22 PM
Hands off the STPD-they need those vetearn officers
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 3, 10 1:38 PM

What the town needed was a Budget reduction not a "small increase"! The current budget contains and perpetuates the accumulated excesses of the past decade which need to be permannently reduced, not tolerated.

While many responsible towns in Long Island are now dealing with the irresponsible budget increases of the past, hidden from view by booming and unpredictable mortgage taxes, invoking significant renegotiations of massive give away employee contracts and benefits of the past ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 4, 10 3:19 AM
2 members liked this comment
SHT government is an unproductive administrative morass that devours tax money. Spend some money on fixing the roads? Sorry, not in the budget. We have to keep all these desks flying.

If you fired half of the town's employees you'd get better productivity because they would only waste half as much time.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 5, 10 12:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
I don't know where the Press gets its info, but the presentation I saw on the web site says ZERO percent increase for 2011. And in any case, do any of you ever read the other statistics? Well over 80% of your taxes go to SCHOOLS. Why is nobody complaining about the ridiculous salaries of school administration?
By eagleeye (82), Sag Harbor on Oct 4, 10 10:25 AM
Page 4 of the presentation says 2.4%
Here is the link:
http://www.southamptontownny.gov/filestorage/72/837/3427/2011TentativePresentation.pdf
By BOReilly (135), 27east Web Editor on Oct 4, 10 1:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
You're correct, I see now the zero percent increase is in the Operating budget and the 2.4% increase is to pay down the prior debt. Thank you for pointing that out.
By eagleeye (82), Sag Harbor on Oct 4, 10 4:13 PM

Eagleeye: wrong again! The Budget is increasing from 2010 $79.8 Million to her 2011 $82 Million. That is not a Zero percent increase. She should have decreased the operating budget by more than $2 Million so as not to burden the citizens with another tax increase in these very difficult times, just as many competent Supervisors have done on Long Island.

Anna should have contacted these other Town Supervisors to learn how to do it as obviously it can be done. But she has no interest ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 4, 10 4:46 PM
rewriting history
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Oct 4, 10 6:41 PM

fcmcmann: I've read your posts which are normally uninformed where you make wild accusations you never back such as this one. you are like a bomb throwing gnome constantly making ignorant comments on subjects you know nothing about. Well, I will educate you for the last time as your ignorance is so tiring. I tell my children if you don't know what you're talking about, don't pontificate as you will sound like a fool, such as yourself.

Here's the true history of last year's budget ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 4, 10 8:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
touchy, touchy, touchy
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Oct 5, 10 10:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
On topic, why are you comparing the deficit-inducing budget of Kabot to this one? This budget is a direct result of mismanagement by Kabot and her predecessors.

Turkeybridge and baywoman are exactly correct, "no layoffs, no service cuts, and a tax hike at less than half of the 5% cap, with the extra tax money all going to help get us out of the hole that the Republicans dug in past years."

You are rewriting history and the vitriol with which you attack is more than just a bit ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Oct 5, 10 10:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
Progressnow, what observant is doing is no different than what the republicans are doing locally, statewide and nationally this year - trying to portray themselves as fiscally conservative, deficit-reducers when the exact opposite is true. Blame the current administration for the incompetence of the last and attempt to shirk all responsibility. Can't blame them for trying.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Oct 5, 10 11:34 AM
I don't think you can expect much from ANY supervisor.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 5, 10 12:27 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 5, 10 12:47 PM
"retarded"? Assuming you are an adult, I cannot believe you actually wrote that. You should be embarrassed especially as your childish language has completely overwhelmed any point you were trying to make.

"Quasi-moronic gangmates"? You are attacking folks who have not even posted on this topic. You most certainly do appear to have gone over the edge. You are completely out of line and your personal attacks should be removed from these boards.
Oct 5, 10 2:04 PM appended by progressnow
As observants completely inappropriate remarks have been removed, it should be noted that this comment was in direct response to that posters ad hominem attacks. Most of us posting here are adults and should be able to refrain from name calling.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Oct 5, 10 2:04 PM

Thank you,I will keep that in mind, Anna.

Now how about addressing my factual assertions about your failed budget that pales in comparison with many, many budgets of several Long Island Town Supervisors who have responsibly presented Zero tax increases and some Supervisors who even produced ACTUAL TAX DECREASES in response to documented hardships, unemployment, and losses in healthcare benefits of many regular folks in Long Island.

We have not seen economic hardship like ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 6, 10 8:56 AM
Yes, the only person who could possibly disagree with you must be Anna herself.

Those who complain about taxes are also the first to complain when their street doesn't get plowed on time or when their leaves aren't picked up. By the way, if you are that concerned about the middle class and healthcare I hope you are voting for Mr. Bishop instead of that teaparty, carpet bagger, who made millions sending jobs to India.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Oct 6, 10 7:42 PM

Peoplefirst: My main concern is the Budget, the rudder of the ship of spending! Taxes are just the concomitant aftermath of great work or sadly, disastrous incompetence.

Over a period of roughly five years, Heaney went on an orgy of unbridled budgets and expenditures that saw Total spending GO UP BY ROUGHLY 40%, NO JOKE, AND FURTHER CREATED ROUGHLY AN ADDITIONAL $19 MILLION OF CAPITAL DEFICITS, ACCORDING TO TE FORENSIC ACCOUNTANTS AS REPORTED BY THE SOUTHAMPTON PRESS! and we are ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 7, 10 2:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
So, observant, me and my "quasi-moronic gangmates" (only one of whom I actually know and she has not even posted on this topic) have "driven you over the edge", huh? That was one short trip. By the way, the use of the word "retarded" is beyond childish and offensive.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 10 12:52 PM
Interesting photo of ATH.
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on Oct 4, 10 2:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
The root of all dishonesty in this town hall is Mike Benincasa. So it certainly makes sense to give him a raise and full autonomy. Bravo ATH, way to go.
By letsbehonest (4), Southampton on Oct 4, 10 2:39 PM
Town of East Hampton's proposed budget is 11% less than 2010. It would be interesting to see how much they increased their chief inspection officer's salary vs. ATH.
By letsbehonest (4), Southampton on Oct 4, 10 2:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
This looks like a personal feud. Letsbehonest only joined us for the first time yesterday, and three of his four comments so far have been attacks on Mike Benincasa. "The root of all dishonesty"? Really? It would almost be funny if it weren't so irresponsible to slime someone without citing specifics.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 5, 10 12:11 PM
The chief bldg inspector position in EH is vacant.
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Oct 4, 10 8:25 PM
The Press might want to look into who's being pushed into unwanted retirement so ATH doesn't seem to be "firing" anyone. Not good.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Oct 4, 10 10:09 PM
This is meant to be informative - not argumentative. The state issued a new retirement incentive plan, which many municipalities picked up (Southampton Town being one of them) without getting into the minutia, it lets many people retire before they would normally be eligible without any penalties. So if someone only has 25 years in (but they are 55) they can retire as if they had 30 years in... this isn't a situation where people are really being forced, an incentive was created to get them to ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 4, 10 10:17 PM
Like Richard Blowes, who was "retired" by ATH without his knowledge. Power does indeed corrupt, though it usually takes a little longer. But Anna has clearly set her sights on higher office, so perhaps she may be excused for cutting a few corners as she claws her way up.
By rabblerouser (46), Hampton Bays on Oct 5, 10 10:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
Would people prefer that others lose their jobs?
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Oct 5, 10 11:04 AM
Unwanted retirement is the accurate term here. Nothing to do with incentives.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Oct 5, 10 12:00 PM
What are you basing that on? ....facts?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 5, 10 12:18 PM
Nothing like having no health insurance and no retirement and paying taxes to provide them to town employees who have nothing to do but pretend to look busy.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 5, 10 12:15 PM
Congressman Bishop received a failing grade for his tax and spending votes in Washington on a Congressional Scorecard just released by the National Tax Limitation Committee (NTLC). Committee President Lewis K. Uhler commented, "Congressman Bishop received a score of 0 out of a possible 100 points which translates into a grade of "F". Congressman Bishop has not only voted against the interests of taxpayers in his district but he has tried to pull the wool over the taxpayers' eyes about his stance ...more
By justduckey (58), artist colony on Oct 6, 10 6:47 AM
But we can afford to elect politicians who made millions shipping American jobs to India?

By the way, the National Tax Limitation Committee, thought it may sound like some official government body, is nothing more than a far right conservative political organization founded by Reagan lackey Lew Uhler, a right-wing ideologue trying to advance his extremist agenda which is to increase the power of corporations over our government. Laughable that you would quote his "study"

By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Oct 6, 10 8:37 AM
WARNING: This justduckey person must be one of Randy Altschuler's cybergoons. He put up the same comment under a piece on Richard Blumenthal, the guy who's running for Assembly. It didn't have anything to do with that article, and it doesn't have anything to do with this one. They're just trying to beat up on Bishop wherever they can.
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Oct 6, 10 1:03 PM
Hey, I just checked out justduckey's comments. The man has posted exactly the same speech under 4 articles, this one, the one on the East Hampton budget, the one on Blumenthal, and the one on the Army corps and sand removal. This is like, Taliban tactics or something.
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Oct 6, 10 1:08 PM
Yo, justduckey is now up to 5 of these robo-call posts. There's one under the piece on Saks closing, too. What a jerk!
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Oct 6, 10 1:45 PM
justduckey,

Please disclose your relationship to Mr. Altschuler, and why (assuming the posts above are correct) you posted the same post in 5 different articles.

If you take on a new screen name(s) to avoid disclosing the information requested above, please post these new screen names here.

Thank you.

PS - could you please let us know if you are located in the United States of America, or perhaps India?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 6, 10 6:35 PM
Justquackey and his phony tax study have been exposed
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Oct 6, 10 7:55 PM
Taxes going up 2.5 % and ATH is pleased with that?? What does she care, she rents.
Not only is Benincasa getting a raise but many others as well.
This information is available on the town web site, look to the left of the front page and click on the link 2011 Tentative Budget operating
then go to Salary charts

Parks Maintenance Supervisor from $69,810 to 75,500 (2011)
Deputy Town Comptroller " $80,000 to 90,000 "
Senior Justice Clerk ...more
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Oct 6, 10 8:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
"What does she care, she rents." You really are ignorant of basic economics, aren't you, reg rep? What do you think a landlord does with a tax increase, eat it? They pass it right on to the renter, of course. Renters are just as affected by real estate taxes as anyone.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 6, 10 9:38 PM
While your point is well taken - please understand that there are reasons for some of these raises and new positions. For example, a Grants Coordinator (something every town should have) will pay for itself many many times over with all of the money they bring in for Town projects.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 10 9:21 AM
Actually, a renter is impacted MORE by a property tax increase than a person living in a house they own. The renter does not get the income tax benefit an owner-occupier does.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Oct 8, 10 1:48 AM
i believe some of these raises are due to new contracts- these mgt positions have a different contract than the lower level employees- ie highway workers. it would be interesting to know the terms of their contract- the mgt level employees that is.

also i think the new position for Director of parks facilities is to replace the higher paid position of allan jackson, retiring parks superintendent.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Oct 9, 10 7:25 AM
I think it is you Turkey who is ignorant and blind when it comes to your buddy ATH.
Anything she does is ok with you even if it includes more taxes.
BTW who is her landlord? If you know, do you think her rent will increase?
Oct 6, 10 9:58 PM appended by reg rep
Also, maybe she has a 5 year lease that would add up to no increase. The truth I post really hurts huh?
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Oct 6, 10 9:58 PM
Turkey you are such a hyprocrite when Kabot proposed her $78 mil budget this is what you had to say in your comment Oct 7, 2009

" What's really unfortunate is that it's the little people who will pay the price -- low-level Town employees who are losing their jobs, and already-struggling taxpayers who will have to shoulder higher property taxes to fill the hole that the political fat cats have dug for us."

Higher taxes were not ok when a republican did it but its ok for your good ...more
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Oct 6, 10 10:36 PM
2 members liked this comment
I really push your buttons, don't I, reg rep? Good. Be aware, though, that as baywoman and I pointed out above, this budget calls for no layoffs, no cuts in services, and a 2.4% tax hike, which is less than half of the 5% cap on tax increases. Not bad. We also noted that all of that extra tax money is going to fill the hole that the Republicans, not ATH, dug for us. Just look at the 2nd paragraph of this article. It refers to the 2.4% tax increase, and says "with the additional revenue going ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 7, 10 11:16 AM
1 member liked this comment

Turkey Bridge: You are absolutely correct that the massive fiscal Bloat, fiscal Deficits and conseqent tax increases (esp the horror show smokescreen accounting system that hid these abuses) were not created by ATH. That's true and fair.

This fiscal bloat took more than 5 years to create and it will also take more than 1 year to solve. But it is ATH's responsibility to keep cutting until Town Hall is right sized into an efficient, manageable bureaucracy rather than a gigantic tax ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 7, 10 2:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
What are the tax rate changes in Southampton? I looked at the budget on line and I can't find how the budget will impact the tax rates for village residents, non village residents, etc. I think the tax dollars collected will go up by a couple of percentage points, but how does the added tax dollars, nontax revenue and spending all come together to effect the tax rate on my property? I can't find it in the budget. Can someone help me out?
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on Oct 6, 10 10:58 PM
Mr. Mako is absolutely right. The supervisor does not include the past and present tax rates, past and present budget figures, only revenues for the different funds, or any of the other breakdowns he's asked for--BUT WHICH WERE INCLUDED IN PRIOR BUDGETS. As a "semi-full-time resident," the budget (and my tax bill) is the biggest thing I pay attention to (literally, haha).

From a quick glance, it contains at least three LIES in the budget message or accompanying charts/documents:

...more
By BobbyH (44), Southampton/NYC on Oct 7, 10 1:05 AM
3 members liked this comment

Reg Rep, you are absolutely correct in calling out the fiscal impropriety of Her Royal Highness Queen Anna's giving these crazy raises in these times of fiscal crises. We had to borrow a lot of money to fund past deficits and we still have more capital fund deficits to borrow for.

In addition, we have had to raid our Reserve Fund to try to stabilize our fiscal position. This Reserve Fund NEEDS TO BE BUILT UP AGAIN. So creating new bureaucratic positions and give these crazy raises ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 7, 10 1:23 AM
3 members liked this comment
It is past time for this local government to reduce spending. All departments should be required to make 10% reductions. They will be amazed how easy it is.
By SHPredatorDept (72), Southampton on Oct 7, 10 3:02 PM
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It's nice to see that some people get it. We cannot and should not be taxed again, cuts should have been made in this budget.
ATH as been on the Town Board as Councilwoman for 2 years and Supervisor (Chief Financial Officer) now for a little less than a year, the buck stops with her and it is her responsibility to reduce spending.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Oct 7, 10 5:12 PM
Ok..first of all "Obbservant" or should we say Linda, when are you going to give it up?
Anna means well...but who in GOD's name would hand out RAISES in this economy? Just an indication that she has no idea what's going on.
Especially now she's raising taxes for the masses, many of whom have lost their jobs. I haven't had a raise since 2007..but now my taxes are going up.
All these department heads should be lucky to be employed, with health insurance...NO RAISES!!!
By lucklucy (9), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 10 9:58 PM
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I don't think Anna means well. But I agree that she has no idea on what's going on. In other words she has no clue and will not make the hard decision to reduce spending. EH did it, don't we deserve better?
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Oct 7, 10 11:00 PM
Hey, maybe we can get Wilkinson to run against Anna. All he has to do is rent a place in Southampton..lol
By lucklucy (9), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 10 10:03 PM
Well that explains it . Our "tenant supervisor" apparantly never sees a tax bill so she can feel "good" about this budge/tax increase. Are there any other "tenant" Board members we taxpayers need to be worry about??? Easthampton's budget really makes our situation look pathetic. There should be no increases for anyone until this budget mess is corrected.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Oct 7, 10 10:08 PM
Any kind of tax increase in this fiscal environment, and to have the audacity to present it as not being an increase, is irresponsible and arrogant. Handing out raises to ANYONE in this fiscal environment is irresponsible and arrogant; therefore, by default, the Supervisor is irresponsible and arrogant. It's too bad she uses the performance of her predecessors as the standard of prudent performance; what she needs to do is THINK, OBSERVE and REACT to all the suffering that is taking place in our ...more
By realdeal (23), Southampton on Oct 8, 10 11:02 AM
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Whoa...tax increases on properties that are assessed now at an inflated amount? Didn't the Hampton Bays School district tell the residents that we would see little increase with the school budget because our assessments would decrease? Where did they come up with their information? Go back and look at the Press's issues prior to school budget votes..these people should be help accountable for the false information they provide to voters. Now we are providing salary increases during a time when ...more
By BeachGal (72), Hampton Bays on Oct 8, 10 8:31 PM
At the meeting, Business Administrator Larry Luce explained that the sharp increase in the projected tax rate—which is expected to jump from $9.21 to $10.91 per $1,000 of assessed value—is due to a number of outside factors, including a drop in state aid and other revenues, and the recent reassessment of properties in the district by Southampton Town. The town said that properties in the district will be worth about 10 percent less next year, meaning that district taxpayers’ assessments are expected ...more
By BeachGal (72), Hampton Bays on Oct 8, 10 8:41 PM
I still can't find out what my tax rate changes are in the Southampton budget. Can someone tell me what the tax rate change for someone living outside a village will be in Southampton Town...please.
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on Oct 10, 10 9:24 PM
By the way I can find out what I will be taxed for the property I own in East Hampton.
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on Oct 10, 10 9:27 PM
Ive been quite on this one so I thought I would have the last WORD
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Oct 10, 10 10:46 PM
Let's look at the facts. Costs which can't be controlled increased by $5m million for Southampton Town this year. Also, mortgage tax revenue dropped dramatically, and assessed property values went down in most districts. This is what the Town administration was faced with before writing even one line of a proposed budget.

So what did Anna Throne-Holst and company do? They came out with a Tentative Budget that has no reductions in services to taxpayers, no layoffs, and a very moderate ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 11, 10 9:08 PM
What's the beef about Mike Benincasa's raise? The man's not just the building inspector any more, he picked up code enforcement and the fire marshals in the reorganization, so yeah, he gets paid some more. He should.
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Oct 11, 10 9:18 PM
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Would he step down if he wasn't given the raise? Not likely (and if he did, it would benefit the town for a variety of reasons). In hard economic times, those at the top need to make a sacrifice. He is not in a union and has no guarentees - he is an appointed official. Sure, the raise doesn't amount to much, but multiply it by the other dept. heads that are getting raises and year after year it adds up. The Town could dump him and hire someone new for whatever amount they want (but even $85,000 ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 12, 10 11:16 AM
A few posters are comparing the ATH budget unfavorably with what's been done in East Hampton. They don't know, or won't say, that while Southampton will have no service cuts, East Hampton is eliminating its Human Services Department entirely, and is slashing many highway services, including no more leaf pick-up. (No more leaf pick-up. Where are my pills?) And, bottom line, Southampton property taxes under this proposed budget are 25% less than East Hampton property taxes (and 50% less than Riverhead's, ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Oct 11, 10 9:40 PM
ATH doesn't get it. We are all hurting out here. And she still doesn't downsize government and raises taxes anyway. The Electrical Inspectors need to go especially when there are private agencies that can do the same job for alot less cost to the homeowners. SAME OLD TOWN HALL
By Yearround Resident (23), Southampton on Oct 12, 10 8:15 AM
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It is totally irresponsible for any raises to be given out while the economy is in the toilet...you try to have a sound budget where your spending does not hurt the average homeowner. These budgets no matter what town you live in are OUT OF CONTROL...government is not run like a business as it should be. Life is tough...and if cutting services are a necessity..maybe it is time everyone realizes that the town can not afford all these parks that have cropped up over the past several years, etc. Yes, ...more
By BeachGal (72), Hampton Bays on Oct 12, 10 10:12 PM
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Fidelis, East Hampton is a very apropos comparison because they are both in the Hamptons (EH is smaller and has a lower budget), they both had scandalous financial wrongdoing and the comparisons invoved percentages compared to the previous year's budget.

In fact, Southampton was in much better shape relatively since Linda Kabot gave ATH a good running start by chopping off $4.5 Million from the previous budget. But both times, ATH simply decided to increase budgeted expenditures.

So ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 13, 10 12:56 PM
A lot of capital letters don't make it so, Obbservant, and neither do a lot of monarchical references. Style aside, your credibility suffers a heavy initial blow when you lead off with a whopper like "Linda Kabot gave ATH a good running start." An $8 million deficit is not a good running start. (I was tempted to capitalize "not" but demurred since I criticized you for the practice.) Granted that Linda wasn't the Republican principally responsible for the shortfall -- that was the fault of her ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Oct 19, 10 3:22 PM