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56 Comments by Common Sense

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Kabot says town in the process of correcting fiscal crisis


The ignorance of many comments here is unbelievable. It is undisputed that these financial shenanigans happened in 2002, 2003, and 2006 during Skip Heaney's Republican administration before Kabot's time.

Blaming Kabot for the accounting sleights of hand when she didn't have a hand in these secret, deliberately misleading financial reporting voodoo to justify massive Heaney overspending is illogical and retarded! These facts are incontrovertible!

Typical Republican fiscal policies a la Nassau County's Gullotta which nearly bankrupted them while the rest of the country were enjoying surpluses.
Many of these comments obviously are from Heaney admirers in whose watch and administration these shenanigans occurred! Truth hurts! Better attack others to change the subject.

For the ignoramuses, all these will come out in the real audit, not from the joke firm AVZ auditing firm that is also starring in that financial catastrophe in East Hampton." May 27, 09 11:20 PM

Sorry, for the typos. I meant 2004, 2005, and 2006 for the shenanigan years. . Not 2002, 2003, and 2006." May 27, 09 11:29 PM

Newcomers join ballot in Southampton Town

Isn't it so amazing and insulting to one's intelligence how how some politicians still keep mouthing the same tired, old platitudes of smaller government, smaller spending when all their previous ideological antecedents who kept on mouthing the same things actually ran up spending and big government to the point now of virtually bankrupting Southampton Town with financial shenanigans.

They actually think voters are mindless idiots who don't know what's going on!!!" Jun 18, 09 5:08 PM

Stinchi steps aside, Wruck takes reins of town GOP

Mr. DJ1113:
Instead of spewing mindless hypocritical, ideological talking points, it will help to educate oneself so what is said makes some sense. You talk of Republican principles of smaller government and lower taxes. At least please read news reports. We all want great government that represents taxpayer interests.

For the greater part of this decade, the Republicans and Skip Heaney presided over the greatest increase in Town government in the history of Southampton leading to the explosion of Town personnel and Police Dept expenses including benefits tat tose in the private sector can only dream about. To hide these misdeeds, inaccurate financial statements were issued that totally misled Town lenders, leading to the firing of the independent auditors that allowed these misdeeds.

Consequently, forensic investigations are going on, followed up in two months with an investigation by the State Comptroller. The result of all this is massive fiscal deficits that Kabot will have to raise taxes to the maximum allowable to plug. So much for your ideological talking points of smaller government and lower taxes. We should be careful not to sound like ignorant, imbecilic simpletons!!!
" Sep 24, 09 12:12 PM

Southampton Town deputy supervisor confronts, shoves PBA president over comments about budget

SH Native: It was not a case simply of Town Hall being at fault and the Police Dept was innocent - that is a clear misunderstanding. They did get the money that they overspent. The Police Dept. gave so much remuneration to its cops way in excess of their budget by $4.5 Million, and covered their deficit spending by borrowing from the Town's general fund.

The previous administration covered this deficit by drawing cash from the general fund but did not reduce the fund balance giving the public and lenders the erroneous idea that the balance was much higher than it was. That's falsification of financial statements.

Make no mistake - the Police Dept overspent by $4.5 Million, all their fault. The apparent falsification of the Town's financial statements, omitting the funds they took to cover the Police Fund's deficit spending to show a better financial picture was the Town's fault. But the Police deficits were real, due to out of control compensation, regardless of whether they had the moey or not.

All this will come out shortly after the conclusion of the NY Attorney General's audit of Southampton's books." Oct 3, 09 11:25 PM

Southampton Town PBA to appeal ruling for police brass to separate from union

Rondo and North of Highway: Thank you for this revelation of the seeming corruption or breathtaking conflict of interest by of the PBA President Patrick Aube. Vendor purchases should always be at least arm's length and 100% above Board.

There should never be a suspicion that the highest union official is using his strategic position representing his fellow officers as a lever to enrich himself, potentially to the disadvantage of the very Officers he represents or the Town that employs him!

On the one hand, he shows potential divided loyalties, and on the other, using his Presidency to extort contracts from the Town for his sole personal benefit, and always the benefit of his rank and file! He raises the question, is he representing himself and lucrative contracts, or his colleagues.

Whatever you say Mr. Aube, this absolutely smells and should be looked at by the NY State Comptroller and the Attorney General for its propriety!

" Nov 9, 09 9:47 PM

Throne-Holst budget revisions approved by Southampton Town Board

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" of DEMANDING a 4.5% raise for 2010, and all the Town layoffs, fiscal deficits, and maximum taxpayer tax increases be damned. The average cop has a higher salary than any Town Board member and even the Supervisor.

The PBA is truly a fiscal Black Hole in a sky of fiscal crises, suffering taxpayers and demoralizing municipal government deprivation all over Long Island. Nice job, fellas!!!
" Nov 23, 09 10:31 PM

Wind turbine hearing is pushed back to January


This hopefully is not a story of possible corruption in the inspection department of the Town's Planning Dpartment. How could a wind turbine, a specifically prohibited construction under the Town's zoning laws even get a sign off from the Planning Department and the Zoning Board to get to this point!

It should have been a swift turndown as it is a proscribed installation without any compelling community redeeming value. It will save more energy for the Seddios to install geothermal heating and cooling and the use of R70 insulation all over their mansion!

This is prcisely the type of "fix" that wealthy people get through our politicians by contribution to their political coffers. I would like to know how much in political contributions the Seddios and their relatives and companies have given to Southampton politicians the last 5 years!.

I suspect the answer to explain a lot of what's een going on! But I suspect a lot of people know that already! The good ol' boy Southampton network is alive and well." Nov 23, 09 10:55 PM

Throne-Holst budget revisions approved by Southampton Town Board

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 where they really have crime, not country club security duties and it's absurd. Is the average cop more important than a Town Councilman or the Supervisor who really run the Town and get less money? All with only a high school education required?

That department is so ridiculously compensated that they eat aout 32% of the total Town budget and growing! Consequently taxes keep rising at the legal maximum!" Nov 24, 09 7:17 PM

"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 over and give whatever the PBA demands!! Soon it will become 10%raises, 15 % raises as there's no opposition anyway.

You have a PBA mind that goes against the interests of most hardworking taxpayers!

" Nov 27, 09 10:33 AM

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 difficulties!

The hell with the Southampton PBA and their callous avarice and disdain for people's hardships in these trying times for Southampton citizens. Let the PBA find jobs in a Town that will always give them what they demand, no matter how disgusting, even if it means their salaries, benefits, and pensions make the very hardworking top officials of Southampton look like pathetic peons!

The hubris and greed of the Town PBA (and yours frankly) are insufferable!" Nov 28, 09 2:37 AM

Questions are raised over Town Board candidate's fund-raising restrictions

The fact that Mr Hughes is an existing Police Officer with all the power that entails
(like arresting political candidates they don't like for DUI in the midst of an election season) campaigning while on the Town payroll is inherently controversial. That's why laws were passed to prohibit potential abuse of power - such as receiving money "for campaign contributions".

Considering the inherent controversy, it was a severe absence of judgement for Mr. Hughes not to even undertake a simple legal due diligence to determine if a cop running for office can receive cash or checks. This is not rocket science. Whatever, Mr Hughes violated the law, and AS COPS LIKE TO REPEAT AD NAUSEAM, IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE!!

THIS LACK OF JUDGEMENT (IF INDEED ASSUMING IT WAS MERELY THAT) IS NOT REASSURING IN AN ELECTED FIDUCIARY POSITION REQUIRING THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF JUDGEMENT, ESPECIALLY AS IT INVOLVES MONEY!" Feb 4, 10 8:37 PM

Folks: DJII13 and Terry are not interested in rational discussions on facts. They're just extreme partisans clinging to any rationale for the behavior, however far fetched. Save your breath and move on. This discussion has long since gone beyond the point of diminishing returns.

Save your discussions with people with oen minds." Feb 6, 10 1:29 PM

Folks: DJII13 and Terry are not interested in rational discussions on facts. They're just extreme partisans clinging to any rationale for the behavior, however far fetched. Save your breath and move on. This discussion has long since gone beyond the point of diminishing returns.

Save your discussions with people with oen minds." Feb 6, 10 1:29 PM

DJII13: Everytime I check the posts to see a new point of view, i end up up with one of your ubiquitous nth post all over the place (along with another apologist). Are you a member of Mr Hughes campaign war group? Your defense is getting very shrill.

You claim ad nauseam that monumental legal research was done on the propriety of his campaign funds management inspite of public record that his home was his camaign office where naturally checks or cash in campaign contributions could be sent, the grease of any political campaign; that multiple AG opinions indicate that Mr. Hughes campaign finance system is unquestionably legal, a no-brainer!

The article reports "William Hughes, the Republican Party’s nominee for the open Southampton Town Board seat in next month’s special election, is stepping back from the financial management of his campaign this week after questions were raised over whether he is breaking state law by accepting political donations while serving as an active member of the town’s police force."

If it were such a legal no-brainer and totally acceptable with no potential problem as you insist, why would he "step back"? You might deny he is stepping back but he didn't vociferously deny the report either!

The NY State Board of Elections says: "John Conklin, a spokesman for the New York State Board of Elections, said that Mr. Hughes, a lieutenant with the Southampton Town Police Department who recently filed his retirement papers, can legally run a political campaign and raise funds, as long as he does not handle the money himself."

It is largely irrelevant whether he or his wife receives the campaign funds if it goes to his home. If one gives illegal funds to a person in his home, personally or by mail, constructively, will it matter to a judge whether it is given to the wife instead of directly to him? I of course know you will say that is a big difference! And you may even claim that his wife, the Treasurer, does not even let him know who the contributors are as it's all a big secret! That's OK.

To most reasonable people, Mr. Hughes would seem to know that perhaps at least, the public response and the Board of Elections statement puts his odus operandi in question, which I am certain you will say is totally untrue!

As Gertrude said to Hamlet: "Me thinks the Lady doth protest too much."

" Feb 7, 10 12:30 AM

Staff housing coming soon to The Bridge


Another golf course decimating the tax base and area revenues for the benefit of a few. To add insult to injury, the staff will likely have children who will add to the taxpayers' increasing school burden by further increasing enrollment and costs to the local school district, a double whammy!

How long must taxpayers put up with this as golf courses in our area continue to destroy the critical revenue sources municipalities need to survive?" Feb 16, 10 1:00 AM

Southampton Village denies request for police records


When the Police, Village Management, and certain commenters all refuse to reveal the truth, regardless of whether they are required by law as they clearly are under FOIL, it is obvious they are trying to keep something inherently rotten from public view.

Pay no mind to the cops and their relations constantly commenting to prevent any sunshine to shed light on their many questionable practices they are trying to keep from view. They are protecting their sweet turf they have squeezed from suffering taxpayers all these decades. It's always the same old suspects. Truth dissemination is their greatest enemy. It's getting to resemble tactics of organized institutions we all know well.



" Feb 21, 10 5:58 PM

Southampton Village asks attorney for opinion on releasing cops' secondary employment information


"Village Treasurer/Clerk Stephen Funsch denied that request, and a subsequent appeal, saying that the information was protected by Civil Service law, that it is part of the officers’ personnel records and therefore exempt from the state’s Open Records Law and that the Southampton Village Patrolman’s Benevolent Association had threatened to sue the village if it is released."

When public officials paid by taxpayer money conspire to keep critical information that could potentially involve serious conflicts of interest from the public they are sworn to protect, it looks like they are up to no good! The Police are required to enforce innumerable laws equally with no other concern. It's a slippery slope when they have to enforce it against a second employer.

The public has a right to know which employers have an inherent potential advantage over ordinary citizens in police enforcement in the real world, among many other tricky issues including divided loyalties.

Going to great lengths at public expense to keep basic public information that the State Committee on Open Government already says should be released is shameful and egregious behavior by public officials who are getting paid to serve the public!

I ask these paid public officials: WHO ARE YOU SERVING ANYWAY?" Feb 26, 10 3:50 PM

Southampton Town Board candidates face off in final debate


Terry and Bill Hughes: "Duty, Honor, Country". Spare us the out of place, ultra-Conservative, pulled out of the sky, knee jerk, out of context right wing false patriotism!

Totally out of context. Are you suggesting that those three meaningless platitudes as setyoufree properly points out, sets Hughes apart from Bridget; or that Bridget has done something that could remotely be considered anti-duty, anti-honor, or anti-country? Did Bill have any reason to even suggest that somehow those characteristics he has over Bridget.

No sir, pure right wing platitudes one pulls up when one cannot talk about enough differentiating issues. And you throw in MacArthur to boot to aggravate the out of context remarks!

MacArthur's address was to a military academy about to send many of its graduates in 1962 to war at the very beginning of the Vietnam War, right at the peak of the all consuming Cold War, delivered by an admirable warrior, but one who was fired for wanting to start World War III by nuclear bombing China, sure to elicit nuclear retaliation from Russia and China. Totally out of context.

Terry this is little Southampton, trying to solve unprecedented large deficits created by your fellow Conservative Heaney who likewise loved talking about right wing platitudes, small government, reduced spending, fiscal responsibility, while presiding over the worst fiscal mismanagement, biggest increase in Town government and expenditures, and deficits, in the history of Southampton.

Sorry, this is not a Tea Party forum for right wing platitudes. As Samuel Johnson said: (False) "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel!"

And you forgot that Mr. Hughes never fails to add "God". Now you've got everything covered.





" Feb 26, 10 8:33 PM

Southampton Village asks attorney for opinion on releasing cops' secondary employment information


Mr. Shaw: We thank you for taking your indispensable role as the Fourth Estate seriously. Communities only work for the people when sunlight is focused on the natural inclination of those in power and those who exploit the voter derived power to abusively corral advantages of power and incumbency.

Many Police Officers have used their positions to acquire lucrative second jobs that may interfere with their duties or open up thriving security related companies that benefit from their position as cops. Sometimes these just skirt the law as when these security businesses obtain contracts with the Town or the Police Department.

And having public officials who go to great lengths to hide theses activities from the public need to be exposed and shown to their betrayed citizens the next time they run for public office for proper accountaility!

Again, thank you for your public service. Just ensure you coverage is balanced and fair." Feb 27, 10 9:25 AM

Southampton Town Board candidates face off in final debate


Terry: You sound like a member of Mr. Hughes campaign staff instead of an independent mind like you want us to believe. If you insist on inappropriately and "out of context" using historical references to beef up Mr. Hughes' image, you should at least know what you're talking about and not limit your political history to those of certain political persuasions only. I suggest you do further historical readings.

You state: "That General MacArhtur was a flawed human being (as we all are) is also known to me. That he was fired for wanting to start WWIII? A complete falsehood, He was fired ... more by President Truman for insubordination." You read history material probably of a certain persuasion that distorts the truth!

http://everything2.com/title/MacArthur+and+dropping+the+bomb+on+China

"He made a field decision to continue to drive northward, which was within his realm of authority. Communist China responded by sending masses of ground troops into North Korea, overwhelming MacArthur and driving him southward. MacArthur then openly declared this to be a "new war" and suggested, to keep U.S. ground troops out of further danger that mainland China should be assuaged with nuclear bombs. President Harry Truman refused. MacArthur then publicly decried being hamstringed by a civilian government. Truman responded by firing MacArthur and the Korean War was eventually settled with the modern borderlines between North Korea and South Korea."

MacA was indeed at times, filled with pompous hubris and was insubordinate with his Commander in Chief, but it was not the reason he was fired! So much for that.

Then you say: "This is "little" Southampton? With a "little" 80 million dollar budget?"

As for Southampton and its $80 Million budget: All money is relative. !But you choose to bring in "Duty, Honor, Country", with the implication that those who value these platitudes should simplemindedly vote for Mr. Hughes (otherwise, what's the point of invoking those virtues), So if you're invoking the good 'ol USof A with such platitudes, I am saying you are comparing one with a $3.5 Trillion budget with an $80 Million budget. So yes, I say "little'! And definitely out of context.

And you are correct - I find those who use platitudes for political claptrap and vote-snaring in election season undeserving of consideration. But that's me. I prefer candidates who live and perform their avowed virtues in real life FOR THE PUBLIC TO ACKNOWLEDGE, NOT FOR POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND THEIR CAMPAIGN STAFF TO TRUMPET IN DEBATES.

And I don't forget Mr Hughes throws in "GOD" as well publicly for good measure in case some members in the audience find that impressive..
" Mar 1, 10 1:15 AM


DJII13: "I am sure you do not mean to come off sounding that uneducated yearrounder, but you said the stimulus saved the economy and by creating jobs. Pre-stimulus unemployment was at 8%, now its 10+%"..

I have a BA and Masters in Economics, with my thesis on Business Cycles and took doctorate level courses in Macroeconomics. And I assure you it is not yearrounder who sounds uneducated. You misinterpret Macroeconomics and are repeating Fox News right wing talking points.

This Great Recession started in December 2007 due to Bush's economic policies (Official NBER pronuncement) and the economy was in economic freefall that accelerated in the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009. The Stimulus Act was only passed in Feb 2009 and the first stimulus checks sent out toward the end of March.

Just as the GDP had strong downward momentum, unemployment numbers likewise had a strong upward momentum as companies had to lay off massive millions due to massive losses. Nevertheless 4 months later Oama turns around the economy with GDP growth turning positive in the quarter Jun- Sep 2009, that continues till today(with the quarter ended Dec 2009 growng a whopping 2.9% (the highest in 6 years, arresting almost two years of devastating Bush recession.

And here is why your accusation of "uneducated" backfires on you. Because you have no understanding that it is very typical in a massive Recession for companies to continue to layoff people even after the aggregate economy starts to recover, because companies continue to slim down, lay off and get their cost structures down to survive.

In the initial stage of economic recovery from a massive Recession, companies don't hire, they make do with less, and when the sales begin to surge, they hire temps until they start producing solid profits and are convinced it won't be a double dip Recession like what happened in the late 70s and early 80s. So unemployment could easily go up as the economy picks up and starts growing - a very normal early stage development. Employment is a lagging figure!

That's real economics (pls show this to an Economics professor), not a Fox News political interview from which you seem to get your economic views!


" Mar 4, 10 11:57 PM


Sorry for the typo. The economy for the quarter ended December 2009 grew a whopping 5.9%, not 2.9%, the highest in 6 years, after almost 2 years of the worst Recession (from Dec 2007) since the Great Depression, due to 7 years of moronic economic policies.." Mar 5, 10 12:05 AM

Southampton Village releases some secondary employment information


Why a seeming huge conspiracy of resistant public officials paid by the public to serve the public in Southampton Village to prevent public documents from being seen by the rightful eyes of the public demanding to see them? What is there to hide, fellows?

As Marcellus said, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"!



" Mar 5, 10 5:46 PM


Bayman, I firmly believe that you are much brighter than that question indicates.

Your posts just indicate you will attack any suggestion that the cops can possibly commit the slightest action that that can prevent their beatification by the Pope - even while they are still alive, even as they overstay beyond their 20 years, costing embattled taxpayers millions of dollars, year after year." Mar 7, 10 4:02 PM

IRS says Southampton Town comptroller owes $650,000 in back taxes


Pressguy, sorry, the reporter is correct. An IRS lien is a contingent liability, or contingent debt. Since Wright is an accountant, I would say that in preparation of a personal financial statement or financial disclosure, such a major amount (600% of her annual salary) would have to be disclosed as a contingent liability.

An IRS lien is very, very serious that could point to a moral dysfunction, something in an individual you would not want personally handling the disbursements of of millions of dollars of a Town." Apr 23, 10 4:43 PM

Developer made campaign donations as project came before board


Everyone interested in honest government and transparent governance ought to pull out all stops to defeat Anna Throne Holst in the next elections.

She has a history of voting against public interest for her very political objectives, eschewing even her supporters - just ask the still shocked Highway Dept. Head and many members of the Democratic Committee that actively supported her!

The Community doesn't matter, just Queen Anna as she plots her next political move way beyond just Southampton. He cynical and laughable public protestations that one of the biggest donations to her campaign made after the elections had nothing to do with her decision is ludicrous, juvenile and transparent.

One of her first moves as Supervisor was to limit public disclosure re campaign contribution! Absurd! She will lie without second thoughts while batting her big beautiful blue eyes!" Jun 18, 10 11:53 PM

Southampton Town planner defends Tuckahoe planned development district


Thanks for that new information that reveals corrupt politics and clearly unethical behavior, if true, not only by his wife but by Mr. Murphree who should disclose his close personal relationship with the petitioner (his own wife and his obvious economic personal interest) and publicly announce he is recusing himself from the decision process - EVERY SINGLE TIME IT HAPPENS!

BUT EXPECTING ETHICAL BEHAVIOR FROM MANY TOWN ADMINISTRATORS IS MORE OFTEN THAN NOT OXYMORONIC.

Only citizen vigilance and political involvement is our only insurance against rapacious and corrupt public servants!" Jul 11, 10 1:32 AM


fcmcmann: Save your breath. you know how the community unanimously feels about this. When you hear Throne Holst in her finest WANTON DEVELOPER-SPEAK TALK ABOUT THAT MASSIVE PARKING LOT DOMINATED PROJECT AS A "VALUABLE AND INTERESTING METAMORPHOSIS" (har, har har), you know the fix is in and you know who is buttering her bread!

So she's pulling out the heavy artillery and making her hopelessly conflicted Planning Dept Head carry her water in the guise of an independent, professional Planner who only cares for the best interests of the community!

I would leave it at that and just make Throne Holst pay during her reelection bid!

" Jul 11, 10 2:01 AM

I posted the message once and I am not responsible for whatever software glitches there may be in the system. Happens many times at Yahoo.

As far as this project is concerned, all Throne Holst has to do is say she is strongly opposed to this project and it is dead, what with the avalanche of community opposition! But she hasn't said that has she? Instead, we hear from her praises about the many benefits of this project to the community, which we in the community know is hilarious!

As for my agenda, all I want is for this project to go away, and would welcome more rational thoughts from ATH, who is seemingly ramming down this project down the Community's throats.

Now really, who is irrational and who has an agenda. It is clear to everyone." Jul 12, 10 8:47 AM

Tuckahoe School Board Sticks With Referendum Plan


HEADLINE:

KING ROBERT GRISNIK TO TUCKAHOE TAXPAYERS: GO JUMP IN LAKE AGAWAM!!!" Dec 14, 10 7:07 PM

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