The Case Against Gregor

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Case Against Gregor

In July OtBB referred to perennial other-than-Republican candidate for any Southampton Town elected office Alex Gregor as the "Y2K edition of J. Russell Patterson," for just that reason.

Gregor cares little what position it is, only that it's on the public teat with health benefits and a pension.

Small surprise that, as he did in 2005, Gregor is again run­ning for the position of Superintendent of the Department (Highways and Public Works) that fired him eight years ago.

Records obtained from the Town under a Freedom of Information request reveal that on September 25, 2001, Alex Gregor's employment as Automotive Mechanic II in the Highway Department was terminated due to "Excessive absenteeism."

That resolution, #1473-2001, cited §73 Civil Service Law which provides that...

"An employee ... who is voluntarily on leave by reason of a non-occupational in­jury or disease, may be termi­nated after a continuous absence of one year."

This was confirmed by a member of the Highway Depart­ment during Gregor's short (approximately four years) term of employment:

"'Excessive absenteeism?' He just stopped coming to work for over a year! Called in each morning and said he wouldn't be in!"

Exit Alex from the Highway Department and into the politi­cal arena as he has vied each election year to get back on the public dole.

Aside from his unsuccessful try for Highway Superintendent in 2005, Gregor has run for Town Council (2001), Town Trustee (2003) and Town Supervisor (2007).

Alex Gregor campaign adv. with question marks added.

Representative of this year's campaign, all featuring the same photo, was this:

  • Ability to do what? Get out of bed and get to work would be a good start!
  • What sort of experi­ence?? Where's the ré­sumé? And it better not suggest four years on the Highway Department!
  • Results? What results exactly?!? Where are the specifics?

Lately Gregor's pitch has been that he will "Save Taxpayers Money," but still offers no specifics.

(If fairness, Gregor's pledge to "Complete Paving and Road Improvemebts on the Town's schedule, not on the paving companies'," is a good one and refer­ences a fiduciary blunder by retiring incumbent Bill Masterson.)

But otherwise, it's all vague and essentially meaningless.

Alex Gregor is a very personable fellow, and might seem like a good choice 'til one looks at his track record, or speaks with any of those who worked with him while he was draw­ing a Town paycheck.

Tellingly, Pete Collins who serves as President of the Southampton Town CSEA, last week wrote a letter to The Southampton Press highly critical of Gregor, and putting the lie to a number of his campaign claims.

"I have kept silent for far too long. I am writing to dispel one large myth who has been crusading like Don Quixote for the office of superintendent of highways. While campaigning for this most important position, Alex Gregor has betrayed the voters with numerous distortions of the truth.

First and foremost for me, as president of the South­ampton Civil Service Employees Association, he has asserted that there is no training for CDL licenses for upgrades to AED or HED. This is an absolute untruth. In 2007, I was able, through the Long Island Feder­ation of Labor, to secure a grant to pay for such training. To date, six individ­uals have received said training at a sav­ings of $12,000 to the taxpayers.

Next, he claims to be able to conduct training through Local 138 for free—this is not true. Local 138 has an apprentice training program for its members, not ours. There is no free lunch with Local 138—there would be a charge for any training they conduct, which won't be happening, as we use different equipment. Once again, Mr. Gregor goes unchallenged on these points.

Mr. Gregor states that he doesn't need $50 million to fix roads (as approved by voters in a bond). How does he intend to fund this activity, through donations and bake sales?

Listening to Mr. Gregor speak of his vast business acu­men, I wonder, where does it exist? Is it in his mind? I know he worked for the town for a year or so—why is he not expounding on that? In his verbose resume, he touts his last attempt at this position. He is a 'Jack of all trades, and master of none.' Hardly the type of individual we need in this spot.

Let us address the 'vast municipal experi­ence' he claims. He would have you believe that he blasted out of the womb driving a bulldozer. He started this campaign with 20 years' experience, and at this point claims 30 years' experience—by the end of the campaign in two short weeks, he will be up to 40.

Southampton Town has enough problems to over­come. Please don't add to the problems by elect­ing someone who has nothing to offer, can't produce and must embellish his past to reach his own selfish goals because of a need to be vindictive.

I will add in closing that while I find Alex to be enter­tain­ing, he is lacking in substance, qualifications and experience. He is not what he portrays himself to be."

Gregor's Conservative/GOP challenger John McGann has run a lackluster campaign, but one devoid of empty pledges. Yeah, he's stumbled along the way as a result of some over-enthusiastic supporters, but he would step into the Highway Department with the managerial experience that Gregor cannot begin to replicate.

More importantly, Mr. McGann would not come with the ten year old "baggage" Gregor would bring.

For me, this is one of the clearest choices in this Tuesday's election.


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