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Freeport Village News

January 2002

Glackenites Put Motorcycles Before People January 28, 2002
Glacken Boosts Taxes 16.2%
Frpt Takes It On the Chin Again
January 14, 2002
PSC Hearing  Wednesday, January 9th
7.1% Electric Increase On the Line
January 4, 2002
January 28, 2002 (Posted Feb. 2)

Glackenites Put Motorcycles Before People ē Frivolous Spending Continues

by Stewart S Lilker

The January 28, 2002 Village Board Meeting took on a familiar ring as the Board was mostly unintelligible past the second row in the conference room.

When the president of the NW Civic Organization asked which sidewalks were being paved, Mayor Glacken answered in what has become his usual surly responses to long time resident, Ken Bagatelle.

Glacken began to count, "Well one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight," -- unintelligible--.

Deputy Mayor Frierson then said something which was also unintelligible from this reporterís seat in the first row.

When your reporter told Trustee White that not one word of his was intelligible from the first row, all White could do was grin.

When your reporter told the Board that he didnít see what was so funny, Glacken interrupted, telling your reporter that this was not an item for discussion.

After the meeting, a resident told FNYN that she could only understand about 10% of what the clerk read.

The evenings major topic of discussion was the Police Departmentís request to trade in its two Harley Davidson motorcycles for new ones.

When your reporter asked Glacken, "Can you tell me how many miles are on the motorcycles?" Glacken stared blankly into space for a moment and then yelled for help to Deputy Police Chief, Arthur Burdette, who was sitting near the back of the room.

Glacken inquired, "Chief, are you aware of that?"

Burdette yelled back across the room, "No, Iím not. I donít have the exact --unintelligible --."

Your reporter asked the Chief, "Could you speak up, please?"

Burdette repeated himself, "I do not have the exact mileage -- unintelligible --. I could get it for you."

Glacken, reading from the agenda said, "Oneís a 1995 and oneís a 1994."

Your reporter asked, "You donít know how many miles they have and youíre going to trade them in?" Glackenís response was totally unintelligible.

Your reporter asked the Mayor and the Board, "Can you tell my when was the last time you looked at these motorcycles, Your Honor, or any body on the Board? Can you tell me what is wrong with them?

Glacken responded, "Iím not a mechanic. Iím relying on the Police recommendation. I donít have that information in front of me."

Your reporter asked the Board, "Does anybody on the Board know what is wrong with them?" The Trustees stared blankly into space. Not one of them could answer.

Deputy Chief Burdette then made his way to the front of the room. He stopped in the dead zone, which made it almost impossible to understand him. Burdette explained that they tried to rotate the motorcycles every five or six years because of the resale value and that he was using asset forfeiture money to replace them.

Your reporter asked Burdette, "Could you tell me what is wrong with them?"

Burdette answered, "I donít want to give you the wrong information. Tomorrow I will give you the information."

Your reporter smiled at the Mayor. Glacken said, "The Chief has given an adequate explanation."

Your reporter responded, "He said he doesnít even know how much mileage is on them."

The horrible acoustics left Glacken struggling with the few residents in attendance. Apparently, not able to hear the Chief, Glacken said, "The Assistant Chief already told you that they are subject to some fairly high mileage in the course of the year. He said that."

Your reporter asked Glacken, "Can you tell me what the motorcycles looked like the last time you saw them?"

Glacken answered, "Iíve seen them on the street."

Your reporter told Glacken, "The last time I saw one, it looked brand new. I am asking you what it looked like when you looked at it?"

Glacken responded, "They are well maintained, but they do have some fairly high mileage on them."

Your reporter asked, "Do they have over ten thousand miles on them? Glacken didnít know.

Your reporter asked Glacken, "Can you tell me how many times they use the motorcycles?" Glacken stared blankly.

Your reporter followed up, "Chief? Anybody know on the Board?

Burdette explained that recently several officers learned to operate the motorcycles and that the motorcycles patrol and do traffic enforcement in clear weather, when the roads are safe.

Your reporter asked Burdette, "Can you tell me how many times a year you use those motorcycles?"

Burdette said, "I will gladly give you a print out of that."

Glacken then gave a typical Glackenite explanation for the squandering of Village funds. "The $13,480 is coming from the asset forfeiture funds. So it is not village money."

Your reporter, who is also a resident, told Mayor Glacken, "You could spend that money on something a lot more appropriate."

Glacken responded, "Like what?" and then told the clerk to poll the Board.

The Board, without one word of discussion, voted unanimously for new motorcycles.

Resident Umberto Thomas told FNYN, "Itís real strange that nobody knows the mileage of the motorcycles."

After the meeting, FNYN spoke with Freeport resident, Ann France. She said she had a lot of trouble hearing what was going on. She further explained that, "Two years ago, I wrote the Mayor a letter. I told him it was very difficult to hear. A couple of weeks later he wrote back to me and apologized for my not being able to hear. He never said he would fix it."

On Thursday afternoon, Deputy Chief Burdette told FNYN that "they" wouldnít allow him to release the information (regarding the motorcycle mileage, etc.) without a FOIL request.


January 14, 2002 (Posted Jan. 18)

By Stewart S Lilker

One week ago, Republican Mayor William F. Glacken, and his Republican band of Trustees raised taxes for what amounted to a real increase of 62% since Glackenís been in office. This Monday night, January 14, 2002, oblivious to the needs of the working people of Freeport, the Glackenites kept on borrowing and spending.

NE Park's locked tennis courts photographed this past July. While they the courts are not brand new, they are certainly serviceable.

For a moment, the tennis courts in North East Park took center stage, as Freeportís residents sat astounded, while the Glackenites considered spending $229,956 to resurface tennis courts that are locked most of the time and are still serviceable.

Long time resident Alan Jay, tongue in cheek, told the Board, "I am an ex-tennis bum for thirty three years. I love the game and I love the sport, but I am opposed to resurfacing the tennis courts after a 16.2% tax increase. We just canít afford it."

Jayís words fell on deaf ears. Without one word of discussion, the Glackenites voted unanimously to sink Freeportís residents another $229,956 in debt.

Barbara Daley told FNYN, "I donít understand it. They donít ask questions about anything. They just vote and spend the money."

The big ticket item on the eveningís agenda was garbage, item 3 (c), a million dollars worth.

Since 1997, the Villageís garbage has been picked up by Allied Waste Industries, Inc.

Last year the Village put the garbage contract out to bid. SMP Sanitation came in with the low bid of $998,898 for the first year of the contract.

Your reporter asked the Mayor, "Can you tell me how much less this is than we are paying now?"

As usual, Glacken and the Board were in the dark. Glacken called out to the Supt. of Public Works, Lou DiGrazia for help. DiGrazia told the Mayor, "This year the current price is about 1.68 million dollars."

Your reporter asked Glacken, "That is a pretty big reduction. Do you think they will be able to perform this contract?

Glacken replied, -- unintelligible -- "They are servicing two districts in the town of Huntington."

Your reporter followed up, "Do they service any other communities on Long Island?"

Glacken responded, "I donít know."

Your reporter asked Glacken and the Board how many trucks the carter had. Again they didnít know.

DiGrazia came to the Boardís rescue again, explaining that while he didn't know how many trucks the carter had presently, they would be running five trucks for refuse everyday, along with maintaining two backup trucks, two recycling trucks and one bulk metal truck.

DiGrazia said that the contract was $680,000 less than the present one.

Your reporter asked Glacken, "Can you tell me Your Honor, do you expect to see a reduction in the garbage fee charged to the residents, based on the savings?"

Glacken responded, "Iím not going to discuss rates tonight, itís not relevant."

Your reporter asked, "Not relevant?"

Glacken shot back, "No, its not relevant."

The Board finished up their business and went into executive session.

After spending an hour and a half in executive session, the Board came back out, into what Glacken has called the "second session." The Glackenites plan these second sessions to do more spending and pass more resolutions out of the public eye. This night was no different.

In a room where the acoustics are worse than that of the Grand Canyon, Glacken mumbled through three resolutions. Most of what he said was intentionally unintelligible. What could be understood revealed why the Glackenites wanted to be sure that everyone had gone home.

Glackenís first resolution called for spending $283,000. It was impossible to make out any of Glackenís descriptive words.

Glackenís second resolution was mostly unintelligible. All that could be made out from the first row was that it was a contract with a Gary (somebody) for $35,000, which had something to do with Freeport Electric.

The third resolution was some kind of mumbled and unexplained agreement between the Village and Systems Software for $126,000.

Earlier, FNYN asked Jeanette Letavec about the Boardís performance. Her comments echoed those of many of Freeportís residents. She said, "You ask them questions and it doesnít make a difference. It just goes in one ear and out the other. They just do what they want."

January 5, 2002

Glacken Boosts Taxes 16.2%
Frpt Takes It On the Chin Again

By Stewart S Lilker
Freeportís secretive republican mayor, William F. Glacken, Jr. [photo] and his trustees are keeping Freeportís residents in the dark about their impending 16.2% budget increase and hearing. The Glackenites, who have been in power for the past five years, have raised taxes in this working class community 62 %.

As Gov. Pataki, New York Cityís Mayor Bloomberg, and Nassau County Exec. Tom Suozzi have called for freezes, reductions and holding the line, the Glackenites have decided to give themselves raises.

This yearís budget workshops were held two weeks before the village was required to file their tentative budget with the state. Glackenís chief of staff explained to the department heads that they were expected to "hold the line." The President of the NW Civic Association, Ken Bagatelle, asked to see the draft budget documents. He was told there werenít any. Bagatelle told FNYN, "This is the first time in thirty years that they havenít had some kind of draft documents to look at."

Your reporter, who is also a resident, asked Glackenís chief of staff, Ray Straub, if the mayor and the board were getting raises this year. Straub said, "I donít know. He (Glacken) hasnít told me anything."

On December 20th, the day of the mandatory budget filing with the state, Mayor Glacken revealed his 8% pay raise. Not to be left behind, the trustees followed up with 8.3% for themselves. Factoring in these current raises, the Glackenites have given to themselves in the past three years, 25% for Glacken and 54% for the trustees, while the CPI is under 3%.

Glacken has consistently blamed his predecessor, Mayor Wissler, who served for only eighteen months, for Freeportís past and current budget woes and tax increases. As chief budget officer, Glacken has presided over the past four village budgets, boosting village expenses into the stratosphere.

The chief beneficiary of the Glackenite largesse has been Mayor Glackenís brother in law, mob/village attorney Harrison J. Edwards. When Wissler left office in 1997, the Village Attorneyís rate of compensation, including additional income from community development was approximately $120,000, plus benefits.

In March of 1997, Glacken decided to subcontract out the office of Village Attorney to Edwards, claiming that the village would save money. Glacken explained that Edwards would be paying for his own health insurance. That year Edwards billed the village for at least $300,000 and appears to be continuing at the same rate. Glacken still refuses to release an accounting of the actual amount Edwards bills the village.

Over the years, other village employees have also faired very well. When Glacken came into office, the Police Chief was earning $102,000 and his deputy was earning $98,000. This year the Chief is budgeted at $142,213 and his deputy at $142,800. These amounts do not include holiday pay.

The Village Clerk jumped from $45,000 to 65,000. The Asst. Supt. of Bldgs., not to be left behind went from $65, 678 to $90,100. Leading the pack was Public Works, where the depart head went from $65,400 to $105,600.

Freeport continues to loose Public Works employees and canít keep itís streets clean because it canít pay its maintenance people competitive salaries.

Glacken and his trustees have gone out of their way not to inform the public of the mandatory budget hearing scheduled for Monday, January 7th at 8 p.m.. in Village Hall. Both the official village news letter and web site have been silent on this yearís budget, the increase and the day and time of the hearing. As the Glackenites have steadfastly refused to repair the acoustics for the past four years, most of what will be said will be the way they want it, unintelligible.

January 4, 2002 

PSC Hearing  Wednesday, January 9th
7.1% Electric Increase On the Line

By Stewart Lilker

The New York State Public Service Commission is examining a proposed rate increase requested by Freeport Electric. The Municipal Electric Company is seeking to increase its revenues from electric base rates by $1,385,100 or 7.1% for the year ending April 30, 2003. (Base rates do not include Fuel Adjustment Clause charges.) The Commission may adopt or reject the proposed terms in whole or in part.

To help guide its decision-making, the Commission seeks the public's views. Day and evening public statement hearings will be held before Rafael A. Epstein, the Administrative Law Judge assigned by the Commission to hear this case on Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 1:00 p.m. and 7;00 p.m. at the Municipal. Building, 46 North Ocean Avenue, Freeport, NY.

Each of the two public statement hearings will remain open for at least one hour and will continue until everyone wishing to speak has been heard or other arrangements are made. Staff of the Department of Public Service will be available for informal discussion of the proposal.

If you wish to speak at the hearings, your comments will be transcribed and become part of the Commission's formal record. You do not need to make an appointment in advance or present written material.

Persons requiring special accommodations for physical access to the hearings should call the Commission's Compliance Officer at (518) 473-8869, or, for a sign language interpreter, call (212) 290-4292 collect, as soon as possible. These numbers operate from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

In addition to attending the hearings, or as an alternative, you. may comment by mail to Janet Hand Deixler, Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350; by e-mail through http://www.AskPSC.com, by clicking on "Contact Us" and then "Comment Form"; and by telephone to the Commission's toll-free Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. Comments should be received by February 6, 2002. For additional information, you may call the Commission at 1-800-342-3377.

An evidentiary hearing will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2002, beginning at 1:00 p.m. or as soon as public statements are completed. The principal purpose of the evidentiary hearing is to receive into evidence position statements and exhibits regarding the settlement proposal; and to provide an opportunity for parties to cross-examine witnesses, and for the Judge to ask questions about the proposal. Your reporter has been granted intervenor status by the Judge and will also be able to ask questions of the witnesses. At this time, it appears that there are only two witnesses being called. They are Hub Bianco, Superintendent of Freeport Electric and Steven Kramer, a staff counsel for the Dept. of Public Service.

It is unknown at this time whether or not the Glacken administration, will, after promising for four years, finally repair the acoustics in the conference room, so that those in attendance will be able to clearly hear the proceedings.


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