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April 30, 2000
Glacken Administration Maintains Secrecy
April 17, 2000
Glacken Hires $88,000 Consultant After Everybody Goes Home
April 10, 2000
Glacken Refuses To Return Surplus Fees To Homeowners
April 7, 2000
Glacken Refuses To Release Appointments

 

April 30, 2000
Glacken Administration Maintains Secrecy

by Stewart Lilker
The secretive ways of the Glacken administration continue unabated. As usual, contrary to the lawfully passed resolutions of the Board of Trustees, Mayor Glacken refuses to release the board agendas by the close of business on the Friday preceding the Monday night board meetings. Glacken, backed by his brother in law, Village Attorney Harrison "Joe" Edwards, has ignored this requirement since he took office over three years ago. This past Friday, April 28th, proved no different, with the Mayorís secretary announcing that agenda would not be ready until Monday, possibly by 12 oíclock.

Not coincidentally, Mayor Glacken has refused to release the Village Board minutes since March 13, 2000. He has kept his organization night appointments a secret, refusing to release the list, which would be attached the to minutes of April 6th. Village Clerk, Anna Knoeller, has repeatedly announced that she sees that the minutes are sent to the Freeport library as soon as they are approved. Despite her proclamations, she has not done so since March. Both of Glackenís brother in laws, Village Attorney Edwards and chief of staff Ray Straub, have looked the other way as the residents have purposefully been kept in the dark by the Mayor and the Village Clerk.

April 17, 2000
Glacken Hires $88,000 Consultant After Everybody Goes Home
by Stewart Lilker

Tonight, the Mayor and the board breezed through the evening's agenda in thirty minutes. The trustees, as is usual in the Glacken administration, had no comments or questions.

During the public participation portion of the meeting, Louise Simpson reminded Mayor Glacken of the time that Mayor Storm had an open door policy on Fridays and that anyone could come in and speak with her. Ms. Simpson asked Mayor Glacken if he would consider having a similar policy and if he wouldn't, he should consider it. Ms. Simpson, referring to residents who had inquired of her regarding the mayor's policy, said, "I'll tell them you are thinking about it."

Glacken laughed, telling Simpson that he has a lot of appointments during the week. He explained, "Rather than set aside one full day, we try to accommodate people with respect to the hours they can meet." FNYN has spoken to many people who have tried to make appointments with the Mayor and have been ignored. A tenant of the housing authority said, "If Glacken doesn't like you, he just ignores you."

Vincent Greco of Bedel Street, asked the Mayor to see to it that power plant number two was shut down until some pollution controls were installed. Mr. Greco said, "There are no emission controls installed on this plant." Mr. Greco claimed that the DEC stated in a letter that re-timing of the engine in the power plant, which was done, will increase the emissions. Mr. Greco said that thirty years ago we didnít know about carcinogens and now we do, imploring the Mayor to do something. FNYN has learned that most of the pollution from power plant number two is blown into Merrick.

FNYN asked the mayor if he planned to do anything about the acoustics in the main conference room in Village hall. The Mayor said he is considering hanging draperies in the niches. FNYN volunteered to give the Mayor a tape recording of the next meeting, made in the back of the room, to demonstrate that from that location, most of the Mayorís and everybody else's words are incomprehensible.

FNYN asked the Mayor who makes the complaints about the defective sidewalks. Glacken said, "Anyone can turn in a notice of defective sidewalk. Itís up to the superintendent of public works to have an investigation conducted." FNYN asked if there is a record of who notifies the village of the unsafe sidewalk conditions. The Mayor said that a record is kept. Village clerk, Anna Knoeller, said she has the names, but they are not released.

FNYN asked Glacken if a Village employee, in the course of his work, turns in a notice of an unsafe sidewalk, "Does the public have a right to know the name of that employee, or can the Village keep it a secret?" Knoeller said she had the names in her files. Glacken said they donít have to release the names of those employees advising the village of the unsafe sidewalks. Glacken stated, "We donít release anybodyís name."

FNYN asked Glacken, "What is the basis of your withholding an employee's name who advises the village of an unsafe sidewalk condition." Glacken answered saying, "I answered the question." When it was pointed out to him that the deputy village attorney, Howard Colton, might shed some light on the issue of the secret names, Glacken ignored Coltonís presence, reiterating his position that when a village employee, in the course of his duty, makes a complaint against a resident, the village has a right, even though the employee is known to the village, to keep that personís name a secret.

Glacken refused to comment about the police contract negotiations, falsely claiming that the law doesnít allow him to say anything. FNYN finally did get Glacken to say that he thought an agreement would be reached soon.

At the conclusion of the public comment portion of the meeting at 8:23 p.m., the board adjourned into executive session for three personnel matters and five real estate matters. One hour later the board reconvened into what Glacken calls the "second session." It has been at these "second sessions," out of the public eye and after the public has gone home, that the Republican Glacken administration has done the business they want to keep from public scrutiny.

Without any discussion, the board established the position of clerk, grade eight, in the electric department. The Mayor then proposed a motion to enter into a consulting agreement with a group, whose name he intentionally appeared to mumble.

FNYN tried to ask a question about the hiring of this consulting group. Glacken attempted to evade the question by stating, "Itís a personnel matter. Itís a determination on a personnel matter."

FNYN, stated this was a public meeting and asked, "Itís a consulting group, you said?" Glacken answered, "Yes. Theyíre going to review the village's computer system. Weíre hiring them as a consultant for a period of approximately one year at a cost not to exceed eighty eight thousand dollars."

FNYN asked if it was a personal service contract. Glacken answered, "It is a professional services contract." FNYN asked if it was put out to bid. Glacken answered, "It doesnít have to be." An unconfirmed village source said that this eighty eight thousand dollar contract was a renewal and appeared to be for the services of only one individual.
Go to Agenda

 

April 10, 2000
Glacken Refuses To Return Surplus Fees To Homeowners
by Stewart Lilker

Monday night, the Village Board buzzed through the evenings agenda in thirty minutes. As usual, all the votes were unanimous and no Trustee had any comment or question. Teresa Baldinucci of the Mayor's budget office spent ten minutes explaining to Mayor Glacken some of the details of agenda item 7a, which requested a resolution by the board transferring funds in the 1999-2000 budget to various accounts. When your reporter asked how much was being transferred, the Mayor and the rest of the board seemed to have no idea of the amount, nor were they in possession of any documentation supporting the resolution they were about to approve. The Mayor did explain that this was a traditional end of the year transfer used to close out the prior years budget. Glacken said he thought they were transferring money on about one hundred and fifty lines and stated that he was not going to say what they were, explaining that, "The amounts would be revealed in the annual report, probably available at the end of the month."

Your reported asked the Mayor if he knew the total amount of the transfers. He deferred to Ms. Baldinucci. She said it was about two million dollars. Your reporter asked for the five largest amounts. Glacken allowed Baldinucci to answer. She said the largest amount was $411,583 for uncollected taxes transferred to judgments and claims. Another amount was the transfer of $191,130 from the police retirement account to hospital and health coverage. Baldinucci explained the transfer of $169,000 from refuse collection fees to major medical.

The refuse collection referred is a non tax-deductible user fee each homeowner must pay with his taxes. This money is earmarked to the private village carter. Previously, Glacken stated that even though this is a fee for service, the homeowners who are being charged this fee cannot choose their own carter or alternative means to dispose of their own garbage.

Your reporter asked the Board, "Does this mean we collected too much for refuse disposal?" Glacken responded, "No." Your reporter asked if the village would return the over collected fees to homeowners who paid it. Glacken said they could, but they wouldnít. After further questioning from FNYN the Mayor finally said he would look into the issue of the over collection of refuse fees in the future.

The Board adjourned into executive session at 8:15 for three personnel matters and one real estate matter. At 11:24 p.m. the Board came out from the Mayorís office and reconvened the meeting into open session, the Mayor yelling downstairs to someone, is it open? Before anyone would have had a chance to make it back up stairs to the conference room, Glacken moved the following resolution to, "Enter into an agreement with Cash Point to allow electric customers to pay electric bills at I think CVS, a check cashing place and a location in Merrick." Without any prior pubic discussion and with no one questioning the location of the check cashing place and the location in Merrick, the Board with deputy mayor Frierson-Davis now present, passed the resolution unanimously.

The Board reconvened back into executive session and adjourned for the evening at 11:45.
Go to Agenda

April 7, 2000
Glacken Refuses To Release Appointments

by Stewart Lilker


Yesterday, April 6th, the most secretive Mayor in Freeport's history refused to release his organization night appointments to Ken Bagatelle, the president of the Northwest Civic Association.

After Monday's April 3d ceremony, FNYN had asked for a copy of the list of appointments the Mayor and the rest of his inside staff were reading from. His PR person, Pat Murphy, told FNYN, "We don't have a copy for you." When your reporter asked if she had a copy for anyone else, Murphy said, "You heard what I said. We don't have a copy for you. You can read it in the paper."

Interestingly, while the Leader's reporter, Jim Golding, was absent from Monday's organizational Village meeting, a partial list of Glacken's appointments did show up in the April 6th edition. The so called official village web site, run by the Mayor's brother, fails to give any indication that the Mayor even made any appointments.

It appeared on Monday night that the Mayor once again appointed his brother in law, the highest paid village attorney in the land, Harrison Edwards, to another term of Village Attorney. Interestingly, he was absent from the festivities and was not publicly sworn in for the third year in a row. The Mayor appears also to have appointed another brother in law, Ray Straub, as some kind of research assistant to the trustees. Straub works as the Mayors chief of staff and is director of personnel. The Mayor's official photographer, Pat Murphy came unprepared to the meeting without a camera and was unable to take an official photo of the Mayor's swearing in ceremony.

Late yesterday, acting under orders from the Mayor, the Mayor's secretary, Julie O'Toole refused to release the list of Village appointments to FNYN. She said she would ask the Mayor if she could release the list. Your reporter left her his fax number. At 9:30 a.m. this morning, almost a week after the Mayor made his appointments, Glacken, for some unexplained reason, still refuses to make the complete list of his appointments available to FNYN or the residents of the Village. Go to Agenda

 

 

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