November Village Board Meeting

Thursday, November 04, 2010

November Village Board Meeting

Full calendar, short meeting this evening as Mayor Conrad Teller prefaced the session with the announcement that there would be no discussion of matters eruvian.

One of the Village Board's resolutions, follow­ing the Public Hearings and adoptions of three Local Laws, was the appointment of former Village Attorney Anthony B. Tohill as Special Counsel to represent Westhampton Beach's interests regarding the E³A's proposed eruv.

The retirements and effective dates of a num­ber of Village employees were announced, in­cluding Clerk of the Village Kathleen McGinnis, Deputy Village Clerk Christine Owens, Confi­dential Secretary to the Zoning Board of Appeals Linda Stanton and Super­intendent of Public Works George Gordon.

It was further announced that John Kerns will be moving into the top spot at DPW, Rebecca Molinaro will assume the role of Deputy Village Clerk, and Susan O'Roarke will fill the ZBA slot to which she is no stranger.

54 Weeks... and counting

The first anniversary of the suspensions of Village Police Officers Michael Bruetsch and Joseph Pesapane, following a six months long Suffolk County Internal Affairs investigation, passed two weeks ago, and the question then, "Now What?," has yet to be satisfactorily answered.

And aside from one month each this Summer, both officers have been earning full pay and benefits while performing no services for the municipality... the cost to the taxpayers, up­ward of $250,000, is alarming.

And the disciplinary hearings drag on, in fits and starts. No one's in a hurry to wrap things up, because everyone is getting paid.

At this evening's meeting, the Village Board voted 3-to-1, with Trustee Joan Levan casting the "No" vote and Trustee Hank Tucker absent, to suspend one of the officers, believed to be Pesapane, a second time without pay, and again named arbitration specialist Stephen M. Bluth, Esq. to conduct a hearing into the new charges.

Mrs. Levan also cast the sole "No" vote on the resolution to authorize transcription services for the newest disciplinary hearing.

(The question must be asked: on whose behalf is Mrs. Levan continuing to be ob­structionist?)

No start date for the new hearing has been set, while the original hearings continue, albeit sporadically.

(In a semi-related matter, Linda Kabot's DWI trial is now scheduled to start in January... presumably of 2011.)

Now I need to prepare for Guy Fawkes Day.


1. RIRNY said...

Rebecca Molinaro was appointed Village Clerk, not Deputy Clerk.

Um, I was there and if you were, Robert, you were napping. Ms. Molinaro was in fact appointed Deputy Clerk, and Kathy McGinnis is still Village Clerk, and will be until December 28th.
– Dean

2. EastEnd68 said...

Does anyone understand Joan's reasoning for no hearing and no transcriptions of the hearings? What does she need covered up? Did she advise the officer to lie? I can't figure this out.

Mrs. Levan's initial rationale was that the disciplinary process would be too expensive, but that ship sailed long ago, and she hasn't reaffirmed that of late. Yes, it does seem as if there is a "cover-up," but it likely doesn't involve her so much as it could relate to her dupe on the Village Board and his relationship with one of the suspended Police Officers.

3. Robert L. Olson said...

Dean: Is the office of Village Clerk in Westhampton Beach an elective position? If not, then were Rebecca Molinaro to be appointed to the position of Village Clerk, would that legally preclude her from running for Southampton Town Board? Obviously, being appointed Deputy Village Clerk does not legally preclude her from running since it is not elective office.

There are only six elective offices within Westhampton Beach... Mayor, Trustee( 4) and Justice of the Peace. All others are appointments subject to Village Board approval, and that includes department heads and Clerk/Deputy Clerk.

I'm not sure, though, of the basis of your inquiry... anything to so with this from December last?

Also, you need to understand that Ms. Molinaro's appointment as Deputy Clerk, or "Village Clerk-in-waiting," is a temporary feet-wetting move necessitated by the dictates of New York State Law regarding the organizational structure of Incorporated Villages.
– Dean

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