The Campaign Letter

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Campaign Letter

Updated 06/11/2008 - 7:23 pm

We knew it was coming so it was simply a matter of when… the 2008 Election campaign mailing(s).

First sighting was a "joint letter" from incumbent Trustees Toni-Jo Birk and Deputy Mayor James Kametler.

Of special note is the third of Mrs. Birk's bulleted items:

  • As police liaison, enacted a schedule policy that continues the give our residents the service and protection they expect from our officers while allowing for officer well being.


This must have taken her campaign com­mit­tee's collective word skills and disingenuity to craft… a way to make her meddling in the Police Department, and micro-managing the shift-schedules, palatable to the public.

Trustee Toni-Jo Birk's "official" Village card, proclaiming that she is the "Police Commissioner." Note use of her business e-mail address instead of her Village one.

A year ago in May she announced that she was taking charge of the Police schedules, and tried to flim-flam residents with some bogus blather about "studies have shown that…."

When questioned about this and asked for the citations, she couldn't name them, but promis­ed to provide them.

When her feet were held to the flame¹ on the to-that-point non-existant studies at the May 2007 Work Session, she stammered, she yam­mered, she lied through her lip gloss… and finally resorted to "It's not 30 days yet!²"

Four days later Mrs. Birk provided several print-outs obtained off the Internet by Village PBA President Phil Havens³, none of which were on-point in respect to law enforcement shift work.

The entire "studies have shown that…" thing was a sham, and Mrs. Birk, who always speaks with great confidence, never expected to be called on it.

And it wasn't pretty when she was.

There's nothing remarkable about the Deputy Mayor's two paragraph re-election pitch… not even the painfully tortured final one:

"If there are any questions that I may be of service to you, please feel free to contact me the Village Hall at 288-1654."

Well, at least we know he wrote that himself. No one on the Village Board has written that badly since the one-term Mayor of 24 years ago… but he was dyslexic!

Some of the earlier material, however, is nothing short of risible, particularly this:

"Taxes are always a main concern and I will continue to work diligently to maintain the bottom line."

Given that Mr. Kametler doesn't pay Village taxes, and his wife doesn't seem to be paying her fair share, the only "bottom line" he's in­terested in maintaining, is his own.

Then there's this:

"As in the past, I have kept the interests of the Village residents as my main focus as your elected official."

Never doubt that Jim Kametler's "main focus" has always been on Jim Kametler.

At this point it should be known that the "dental plan" issue (full-time benefits for a part-time job) raised by former Deputy Mayor Tim Laube last year and again this year in his campaign to unseat Mayor Teller, was initiated by Mr. Kametler.

While it is closely identified with Trustee Joan Levan because of her now legendary "quib­bling about pennies" exchange with Mr. Laube, the prime mover, since it was not part of his benefits package at the time he hastily retired from the Police department, was Deputy Mayor Jim Kametler who felt that taxpayers should take care of his teeth.

Jim Kametler is, and always has been, less interested in "serving the community" than in the community serving him.


¹.- Among those who pressed Mrs. Birk on the issue and her qualifications to usurp Chief Ray Dean's decades of law enforcement experience, were former Deputy Mayors Victor Levy, Mark Raynor and Tim Laube.

².- No time-line or upset date had even been mentioned prior to that moment. It was a desperate delaying tactic.

³.- Officer Havens' gallantry in the time of Mrs. Birk's greatest need seems have have had its reward earlier this year when the Village Board cooked the man's accrued time and permitted an unusual early retirement.


1. Frank Wheeler said...

Boy, have you got Kametler's number! The grubby b****** never owned property in the Village, never paid any taxes here, and only moved here so he could run for office! He's a carpetbagger! And I see by today's Suffolk Life, the SOB STILL doesn't own property in the Village, that 24 Oak Street is owned by his wife! He didn't do very much "Protect and Serve" when he was a cop, and he does little serving as an elected official now!

How'd this bum get elected in the first place?????

Incomprehensible, isn't it!
As noted earlier, he followed the advice given him by an old time political operator when Tim Laube made his first run in 2004: "Keep your mouth shut and stand close to the other guy."
– Dean

2. Worried said...

Oh my, can Toni-Jo really be serious, taking credit for meddling in the police department. What is her experiance or education regarding police matters? How can she override the Chief's decisions. He has a record that shows he has decades on the force, held a supervisor postion for SH Town Police, graduated from James Madison, graduated from the FBI academy, was a member of the SH Town SWAT team, etc. Who is more qualified to make the schedule? She uses her undermining as a positive campaign point!
Come on, Toni-Jo! Take credit for your kiddie park in a parking lot and let it be. You are sounding like your running mates.
Too bad -- some hoped you would see the light.
P.S. - has anyone asked the Chief how things are going or does your open government prevent him from speaking, too?
As for Jim, your letter states we are all concerned about taxes; guess you are too. huh?
As far as working for the good of the Village, you have done enough for us, we have enough embarrasement from you, thank you! Do us all a favor and retire again before it gets too hot in the kitchen -- you did it before, do it again.

3. John Romo said...

Mrs. Burke can't even take credit for the kiddie park. Trustees Barnett and Laube made the original proposal in 2005. Then after taking years in finding space in this 2.9 mile Village, the space was one originally suggested by Mrs. Barnett. Then they didn't even have the courtesy to invite her to the opening of the park.

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