The sun has finally set...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The sun has finally set...

...on the most divisive Village Board in the 41 years I've been clocking Westhampton Beach government.

With the retirement of Trustee Jim Kametler and the election of Sue Farrell, the obstruc­tionist troika becomes the symbiotic twosome of Joan Levan and failed mayoral candidate Hank Tucker, and they are now, mercifully, in a minority.

Which is not to suggest that the serpent has been de-fanged or otherwise milked of her venom. In the words of MacBeth: "We have scotch'd the snake, not killed it."

But the dawn breaks today on a Planning Board sans Ralph Neubauer, a Levan appoint­ment which even she would be hard-pressed to credibly defend, and a new Chairman in the offing with the chops to not only provide the necessary leadership to resolve some dire difficulties, but close the debilitating "leaks" which have sapped the Board's effectiveness.

And if there's anyone more crest-fallen than the Empress of Oneck at the loss of her sleazy political operative, it would have to be the Muchnicks and the Winhaven Realty folks.

(Mrs. Levan's buttboy actually did some back-channel lobbying in an effort to be reappointed! As the kids like to say: "As if!")

Neubauer may be gone... with prejudice... but remnants of his promiscuous E-mailing may linger to the detriment of the Village.

"What do we do now?" Robert Redford's title character famously asked as the final frame froze in 1972's "The Candidate."

Tonight's annual Organizational Meeting will prove instructive as to the direc­tion Mayor Conrad Teller's refurbished Village Board will be taking.

Yes, the long-obstructed Police disciplinary hearings will be scheduled, but what is notable is that the rumored resignations of four Senior Officers have now been confirmed as "beer hall bravado."

(And one of the suspensions has been rescinded as the matter was quietly handled intra-departmentally.)

And Police Chief Ray Dean will again assume control of that department, something which has been denied him over the past three years. There will be shake-ups of both personnel and policy, and while not all will be happy at what transpires, they have but themselves to thank.

And down the line, the Police Department, the single largest budgetary item, will have some fat lopped off which will make tax day next July 1st, considerably less onerous than it has been.

Yup, there's a new optimism in the Village that a two-three year nightmare is in the process of dispersing.

It now remains for Mayor Teller and Deputy Mayor Birk to not forget why they were re-elected two weeks ago.


1. Eileen Dover said...

Good riddance to Ralph! He bugged the crap out of me!

His appointment was a blunder only Joan Levan could have allowed.

2. Seeker said...

Regarding now ex-Planning Board chairman Ralph Neubauer. I have ZERO desire to defend Joan Levan, but she was not alone in the appointment of Neubauer, and others must also shoulder responsibility for that decision as well.

Let me add that Neubauer was first introduced into the political mix by Angelo De La Fuente, a long-time friend - Joan came later. [Its interesting how, at least in the past, Angelo has been able to exert political influence in the Village without being able to vote here. Looks like his lucky streak broke this year.]

I also have to say that, at least initially, Ralph had the grace to express being uncomfortable about replacing Vic Levy - who apparently he considered a friend. The thing I find most amusing about Ralph's current outrage about not being reappointed Planning Board chairman is how he seems to have complete amnesia about how he got the job in the first place, and over whose body (so to speak).

On the whole things are as you tend to see 'em and write 'em, but there are always nuances that get lost along the way. Since I was unfortunately a player in bringing the folks who turned out to be the Village Horror Show, including cast members Joan, Hank and Ralph, I apologize for my part in such poor casting, failure to conduct psychological profiling, and the lack of a certified crystal ball!

I am fervently hoping that we've moved onto a better script for the Village, but as you said, it remains for Conrad and Toni-Jo to remember their lines and motivation... I'll do my best to prompt from the wings, as I'm sure you will as well.

Stay cool.

Smartly observed.

No, Mrs. Levan was not alone in engineering Ralph Neubauer's entrance into, and rise through, Village Government... as always, there had to be a seconding voice and a third vote.

But he was her guy, and most recently carried her freight on the Winhaven Realty application(s).

Señor dela Fuente? He is quite the "fixer," isn't he?

"Ralph had the grace to express being uncomfortable about replacing Vic Levy?" I was there that evening, and I didn't buy that act for one instant... I'd already seen how he works... he is scheming and duplicitous.

Pfffuuuui on "psychological profiling, and ... crystal balls!" Two minutes of Ralph and any mystery should be over!

I hope you're not serious about Ralph expressing "outrage" about not being reappointed! Given his track record on the Planning Board, and his not-very-far-behind-the-scenes political activities... dangerous ones, at that... what could he reasonably expect?

Please do continue "to prompt from the wings," sotto voce, of course.

For my part, I'll continue on, right here, callin'em as I see'em.

3. HDHouse said...

"Dire?" Ahh quick, the dictionary please...

–adjective, dir·er, dir·est.
1. causing or involving great fear or suffering; dreadful; terrible: a dire calamity. 2. indicating trouble, disaster, misfortune, or the like: dire predictions about the stock market. 3. urgent; desperate: in dire need of food.
Any Village that plunks down $1.6 mil on a football field is in dire need of nothing.
Common to many, even those who live in the area, is confusion about political subdivisions and taxing districts.

Suffice to say, this Village did not "plunk down" a farthing for any sports facility!

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