Freeport Money Grows On Trees
By Stewart S Lilker
Freeportís Republican Mayor,
William F. Glacken and his Republican Board of Trustees have
recently come up with another scheme to part the village
taxpayers from their tax dollars. In their latest Ponzi like
scheme, the village residents are really getting slammed. The
rueful story inside Freeport Village Hall is leaking out, as the
Glacken Administration spends money without any thought to the
taxpayers ability to keep paying ever increasing tax bills.
After suffering a 62.5% tax
increase in the past five years, many village residents have
expressed a need for a tax break. Unknown to most of the village
residents were the words of a NYS Senator to this reporter, who
said about Glacken Administration, "These guys have no
It appears in order to raise
money, Glacken and his Mob/Village Attorney brother in law, the
unelected de facto ruler of the village, are double speaking and
double dealing to raise money from anywhere to pay their ever
The latest Glackenite scheme to
raise cash by bonding money they already said they have,
involves Glackenís pet project, the replanting of the village
On March 25, 2002, the village
awarded its annual tree planting contract for $202,000 to the
lowest bidder, Truegreen Landcare of Melville, NY. At that time,
Glacken and the board were questioned about the financing of the
contract. After it became clear that neither Glacken, nor any of
the Glackenite trustees had any idea where the money was coming
from, Superintendent of Public Works, Lou DiGrazia, jumped in to
save the day. He pointed out there was $100,000 dollars coming
from the municipal budget; $100,000 from Community Development
from previous years and $48,000 remaining in a capital account.
When your reporter pointed out
that the total was $248,000, a surly Glacken said, "Any
money that is not used this year, can be used next year."
DiGrazia explained there were a
thousand trees in the bid. He said, "You donít have to
plant a thousand. You can plant less. Itís a requirements
Your reporter asked, "The
202 thousand [dollars] is to plant a thousand trees?"
At the April 29, 2002, village
board meeting, the Glackenites approved bond resolutions
totaling over $10,000,000, bringing their five year total to
$65,000,000. Buried among those resolutions was the tree bond,
authorizing the "sale of $350,000 in municipal bonds for
the removal, rehabilitation and replacement of ornamental shade
trees within the Village."
On May 6, 2002, your reporter
questioned the board regarding the $350,000 tree bond
authorization, passed the week before. By this time, the record
clearly showed that the village had reserved $248,000 for trees
and that the contract for tree planting was only $202,000.
Your reporter told the Deputy
Mayor, Renier Frierson, who was chairing the May 6th meeting in
Glackenís unexplained absence, "Iím a little confused.
Maybe you can help me?"
Frierson explained, "The
money that was voted on last week was for both tree planting and
removal and project management and engineering costs associated
with tree planting and removal."
Your reporter followed up,
"You said you already had $248,000. Can you tell me how it
is going to cost $350,000 to remove the trees and
Frierson, showing here annoyance
at being questioned, responded, "If you are going to twist
everything we say, what is the point of answering a question?
The bond we voted on last week was for $350,000. That bond was
to include tree planting at an estimated cost of $250,000. Tree
removal at an estimated cost of $95,000. Project management at
an estimated cost of $2,500. Engineering at an estimated cost of
$2,500 for a total of $350,000.
Your reporter asked, "Three
weeks ago the village said we already had the money for tree
planting, so Iím a little confused. Why is anybody bonding
money for tree planting, when you already said we had the money?
Maybe you could explain that?"
Frierson asked, "Do you
have another question?"
Your reporter asked, "You
canít explain that?"
Frierson answered, "Do you
have another question?"