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Freeport Village News
June 2002

June 29, 2002

Village Finalizing Day Worker Shape Up Site

by Stewart S Lilker

On Monday, June 24, 2002, Freeportís secretive Mayor, William F. Glacken and his Glackenite Board, passed resolution number 3(c), donating an additional $10,000 to Catholic Charities from Freeportís Community Development funds. This additional $10,000 contribution laid the final groundwork for opening up the South Shoreís first day worker shape up site. Glacken has had a news blackout about this project since its inception.

The secretive Glackenites have ignored Glen Coveís La Fuerza, Long Islandís model day worker program and facility, and instead, availed themselves of their long standing affiliation with the Catholic Church and reached out to Catholic Charities to facilitate Freeportís day worker site. Glacken has had two stories regarding Catholic Charities involvement with the project: one, in which he called Catholic Charities for help and the other in which Catholic Charities called him and volunteered their services.

On April 15, 2002, without one word of public discussion or debate, the Glackenites awarded Catholic Charities $10,000 in Community Development funds from the 28th Program Year (2002-2003). The exact purpose and nature of this grant was never revealed by the Glackenites.

On April 22, 2002, FreeportNYNews reported that resident Georgia Prunty addressed her concerns about the day workers directly to Glacken, telling him, "I am against this. What is the position of the village?" As usual, the Glackenites had nothing to say, staring at Prunty in icy silence.

Before the Glackenites voted on June 24th to give the $10,000 to Catholic Charities, both Glacken and Freeport Community Development Director, Ellen Kelly, misrepresented that the funds that they were awarding came from this years Community Development, when in reality, they were redirected from last yearís budget.

Your reporter had the following Q&A with the Mayor regarding the day worker project:

FreeportNYNews (FNYN): Could you tell me what that $10,000 is for?

Mayor Glacken: Itís for rehabbing the trailer and for electric and water hookups.

FreeportNYNews: To rehab the trailer? What trailer is this?

Mayor Glacken: I understand the trailer has been donated to Catholic Charities. It needs some rehab work, which will be about five thousand the other five thousand will be used for the electrical and water hookups. And they will be paying electric and water bills.

FreeportNYNews: When you say $5000 for electric and water hookups ---

Mayor Glacken: Thatís an approximate breakdown. They have the --unintelligible--

FreeportNYNews: The $5000, thatís to make the hookup on the village property?

Mayor Glacken: Yes.

FreeportNYNews: Could you tell me where this property is, please?

Mayor Glacken: The parking field across from Home Depot, at the end of Bennington Avenue.

FreeportNYNews: Could you tell me when the trailer will be there?

Mayor Glacken: Very soon. I donít have the specific date. It is going to be very shortly.

FreeportNYNews: Thank you. Could you tell me what is going to go on in that trailer?

Mayor Glacken: It is going to be a facility where the day laborers will be able to meet and be able to go out from and eventually, I expect that --unintelligible-- and leadership programs and maybe a health clinic at some point, maybe immigration counseling. That is something that will be up to Catholic Charities.

FreeportNYNews: Thatís going to be a shape up site, your honor?

Mayor Glacken: I donít know if thatís the correct characterization, but they are going to be there, instead of Dunkin Donuts.

FreeportNYNews: Will there be rest rooms in the trailer?

Mayor Glacken: There will be rest rooms.

FreeportNYNews: Who is going to pay the rent? This will be on village property.

Mayor Glacken: They are going to pay a nominal rent.

FreeportNYNews: Do you have any idea of what the rent is going to be?

Mayor Glacken: Not at the moment.

FreeportNYNews: Can you tell me how it is going to be decided what that rent is going to be?

Mayor Glacken: I think it will be determined to some extent by the amount of space that is going to be taken up. They will be paying utilities.

FreeportNYNews: They will be paying for the utilities that they use?

Mayor Glacken: Thatís correct.

FreeportNYNews: Will there be a lease for the property?

Mayor Glacken: I believe there will be.

FreeportNYNews: Can you tell me how long the lease will be?

Mayor Glacken: Not at the moment.

FreeportNYNews: Do you have any idea?

Mayor Glacken: Well, itís supposed to be a temporary solution until a more permanent home can be found. So, it could be a year. It could be two years. It depends.

FreeportNYNews: So the lease hasnít been drawn up yet laying out the terms?

Mayor Glacken: Well, there may be a draft that hasnít been finalized.

FreeportNYNews: --- and there will be nominal or no rent?

Mayor Glacken: I didnít say none. We have to work it out.

FreeportNYNews: Is that in the lease agreement?

Mayor Glacken: It will be.

FreeportNYNews: Thank you. What about insurance for the workers and the contractors?

Mayor Glacken: They have to get insurance. Itís their problem. The money will --unintelligible-- and the hookups.

FreeportNYNews: Thank you. Will the village have any liability regarding what goes on in that parking lot?

Mayor Glacken: They have to provide --unintelligible--. They have to meet the same requirements as anybody else that uses village property.

Since the inception of the concept of an official shape up site in Freeport, Glacken has refused to negotiate directly with the workers or their representatives, the Work Place Project. Instead, Glacken has chosen to make Catholic Charities the lead agency. Glacken has explained that his reason for this is that Catholic Charities set up the day worker project in Glen Cove and in other places.

Carlos Canales, director of the Work Place Project, was arrested last year by the village while he was trying to protect the workersí right of public assembly. While Canales refused to comment on the record regarding Glackenís refusal to negotiate directly with the workers, on Friday, Canales told FNYN, "We are negotiating with Catholic Charities for some way to share power with them. For now, I am glad the workers will have a safe place to assemble. Eventually, the goal is to have the Work Place Project and the workers run the center."

 

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