April Village Board Meeting

Thursday, April 03, 2008

April Village Board Meeting

Packed house at Village Hall tonight as the proposed 2008-2009 Budget was introduced, commented on... and passed.

Under the heading of Better-Than-a-Poke-in-the-Eye-with-a-Sharp-Stick, the tax rate went down a skosh, but that probably had more to do with the increased commercial assessments than any major cost-cutting on the part of this administration.

While the Village Police budget decreased, that was directly attributable to attrition... one area which increased in that department was the police dispatchers! The Board is converting the part-timer into a third full-time position, bringing the total dispatch nut to almost $210,000. The improved alternative would have been to kept the part-timer on, and put the two full-timers on permanent furlough.

Señor de la Fuente

In the culmination of a years-long process, the second story living quarters at 30 Old River­head Road have finally been legitimized, so the current ad­ministration's senior "dirty tricks­ter," Angelo de la Fuente, can now legally have people in an apartment over the tire shop. The resolution passed unanimously, and the lack of any abstainers caused some raised eyebrows.

(Speaking of which, when acceptance of the final assessment roll was voted on, Trustee Joan Levan was one of two ab­staining Board Members. The Em­press of Oneck apparently learned her lesson from last year, and won't have to lie about whether or not she voted for her own assessment reduction this time around.)

Although it was not on the agenda, the in­creasingly contentious matter of Westhampton Beach's special "permissive Orthodox Jewish activity" zone was discussed at length, and some in attendance were quite vocal in questioning both the Board and the Syna­gogue's counsel for this application, former Village Attorney Richard T. Haefeli, and expressing their reservations.

Mr. Haefeli showed the Board exactly what the "eruv chatzerot" would be constructed of, and then, along with Village Attorney Hermon Bis­hop, attempted to clarify some misconcep­tions surrounding what the eruv was all about.

Perhaps the most important distinction es­tablished by Mr. Bishop was that the eruv was not a religious symbol or totem, but the celebration of a tradition among Orthodox Jews. While this may not unreasonably seem to many like splitting hairs of the Payes, I actually understand it.

But... this ain't over by a long shot!

Trustee Toni-Jo Birk


In the evening's im­portant news, first term Trustee Toni-Jo Birk sported yet another new coiffure... and possibly the best one yet. Full and flat­tering, the "upgrade" was so appealing, one would suspect that she's either got a boyfriend or she's running for re-election.

April 16th can't come soon enough.


1. Shepard M. Scheinberg said...

Hey Dean, what do you know about payes?

Only what they look like, Shep… from my time buying tee-shirts in bulk quantity on Orchard Street 35 years ago.

2. Specialist said...

Hey Dean, Haven't had a chance to get to the board meeting. I was wondering if you could give us more information on the Police Budget. You said that they are going to make a 3rd full time dispatcher. I would assume that since the budget crisis that forced the demotion of Ex-Lt Gonce is over, that he has been promoted again. Also, you stated that the Police budget went down and that this is due to attrition. Why are we losing cops and why aren't they being replaced? Any info would be great.

No, they haven't put Trevor Gonce back at his rightful position… stupid kid made two cardinal errors! He was actually doing police work when he was on duty (which made some of the others look bad), #1, and, #2, he actually passed the Lieutenant's Exam, the only one to do so… TPTB had to abolish the position.
As for the attrition issue, that's not such a bad thing. One left for grave health reasons, and that's unfortunate. The other should have been put out to pasture years ago! He's gone, it's a good thing, and we'll let it go at that… unless he resurfaces as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the municipal in a sleezy effort to get some more money out of us.

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