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May 1, 2000
Glacken Wasn't Going To Tell
Elevated Bacteria Causes Chlorination

May 19, 2000 (posted May 30, 2000)
Former Mayor's Dream Comes True

May 22, 2000 (posted May 30, 2000)
Glacken Bonds Almost 4 Million Dollars
Appears Unprepared At Village Meeting

 

May 1, 2000
Glacken Wasn't Going To Tell
Elevated Bacteria Causes Chlorination
by Stewart Lilker
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Related Articles
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Glacken Administration Maintains Secrecy April 30, 2000
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Glacken Hires $88,000 Consultant After Everybody Goes Home
April 17, 2000
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Glacken Refuses To Release Appointments April 7, 2000
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Monday nightís village board meeting was marked by the return to village hall of former village trustee, Vince Campion. He told Mayor Glacken, "I told you last time I wasnít coming back here unless there was a problem with the water and now Iím back. My wife is sick because she is allergic to chlorine and you put chlorine in the water without telling anybody."

The water quality issue was the main topic of discussion at the Board meeting. As of Monday, Freeport had been chlorinating the water supply for one week. During the public portion of the meeting, Ken Bagatelle, NW Civic Association President, asked why we were chlorinating the water. The Mayor explained, "The coliform (bacteria) level was slightly higher than normal. It has to be treated with chlorination and flushed." Glacken told Bagatelle that since the treatments began "the levels of coliform have come down to where they should be and the situation will continue to be monitored closely." We will continue chlorinating and a systematic flushing of the entire system." Glacken said that they would be chlorinating for the next thirty days, or until the health department told them they could stop.

Glacken explained how the problem was found, "We take about forty samples a month. In a couple of the samples the readings were higher than permissible." Glacken didnít know where the samples were taken. He told Bagatelle, "We shouldnít pinpoint one area as opposed to another. Itís really a system wide situation." Glacken said the water was absolutely safe to drink.

Trustee Campion asked the Mayor, "There is chlorine in the water. It's going to be there for thirty days. You donít think you have a responsibility to tell people that?" Glacken responded, "We have to give a report to the public which is due sometime in mid June giving a detailed explanation of what happened, the steps that were taken and the results."

Campion asked, "I have to wait till June to find out why?" Glacken said, "We followed the requirements of the Health Department and that includes the reporting requirements." Campion said, "If the law says you don't have to do it, you're not going to do it no matter what. The public doesn't have the right to know you're putting something into their water? My wife is home sick because of it. Last time we had a emergency, you said it wasn't. (During the last water crisis, Dr. Gaffney head of the Nassau County Department of Health had to stand up in the middle of the meeting and correct Glacken when he said that the water problem wasn't an emergency.- ed.)

Glacken explained that the village began chlorinating the water the day after Easter. Campion asked Glacken how the chlorinating was done. Glacken didn't know. Campion again asked Glacken why he didn't notify anybody. Glacken didn't answer. Campion said, "You don't understand the point. It doesn't make a difference what the law says. You are the Mayor. The people trust you. There was something wrong with the water and you didn't tell anybody."

Glacken said, "The Health Department told us what to do." We were not required to notify the residents. Nobody had to boil the water."

Campion concluded by saying, "My wife is sick from the chlorine in the water. She could have avoided that if somebody would have told her you were putting the chlorine in the water. I don't care if it's not a requirement, its just something you should do."

At the conclusion of the meeting, your reporter asked public relations person Pat Murphy why Jack Brick, the head of the water department wasn't at the meeting. Murphy shrugged and walked away.

On Tuesday, FNYN checked with the Nassau County Health Department. They confirmed that the water department routinely takes forty samples a months, explaining that seven of the routine samples came back positive. The water department was then required to re-sample. Five of those came back positive.

The Health Department further explained, "This constitutes an MCL (Maximum Contaminate Level) violation. "That is why they are chlorinating now. They have to go to public notification. They have to tell the public what happened. They donít know what happened. They have to try and identify the source. They have to figure it out. It could be a crack in the main. Any crack in a pipe could introduce coliform bacteria. It could be a problem at one of the wells or the elevated storage tanks."

The health department told FNYN, "If they want to get their chlorination waiver back, they have to identify the source. They have to prove to the health department they have cleaned it up and have fixed it. Then they go on a trial basis requiring a lot of samples. Upon a demonstration to the health department that all is OK, they can get their chlorine waiver back." FNYN asked if they might not get their waiver back. "There may be reasons that they donít get their waiver back. It wonít be until thirty days, but chlorination could continue for up to a year. Each case is taken individually."

The Health Department further explained that the water regulations can be found in the state sanitary code, part 5. Public notice is required within 15 days and individual consumer notice is required within 45 days. Public notice can be a notice buried among the legal notices.

FNYN was unable to contact Jack Brick, the Village water department head, on Tuesday.

Other issues discussed at Monday nights meeting were the pollution from power plant number 2, the closing of the end of Miller Avenue to parking and the lack of police presence in the central business district.

The regular session of the Board meeting ended at 9:30 p.m. As usual, the trustees of the Glacken administration had no comments, other than trustee Miller explaining that if you put your water in the refrigerator, the chlorine will turn to gas.

 

May 19, 2000 (posted May 30, 2000)
Former Mayor's Dream Comes True

by Stewart Lilker

Former Mayor Arthur Thompsonís dream of a revitalized Woodcleft Avenue finally came true with the official dedication of the Nautical Mile on May 19th. The Nautical Mile project began years ago with Mayor Thompsonís securing a Federal grant to begin the revitalization. After Mayor Thompsonís death in July of 1995, Mayor Wissler continued the project. Wissler had many meetings with the local business people and many community meetings regarding the Villageís Comprehensive Plan. Residents gave their input into the Woodcleft Avenue area, as well as all the other areas in the Village. Glacken, who had run unsuccessfully against Wissler, did not attend any of the Comprehensive Plan community meetings. One local businessman, who did not want to be identified, recently told FNYN, "I always thought this area was going to be designated as a Business Improvement District (BID). I thought that would have been fair and so did many of the other merchants on the canal. Iím not going to complain about all the residents paying for this improvement." Although the Glacken administration has been less than forthcoming with the actual amount spent on the Nautical Mile so far, it appears that the amount is approximately ten million dollars, with the funding evenly split between grants and the Village taxpayers.

The morningís festivities began after a brief, nonalcoholic cocktail hour. Trustee Bill White Jr., on the left,  introduced Freeportís Mayor Glacken, calling him "the architect of what you see here today." Mayor Glacken began by stating that the project began in October of 1998. He thanked all the officials attending. "I publicly want to thank all the Federal, State and Local representatives, who helped in the revitalization project. Without their assistance, we could not have accomplished so much, so quickly."

Town of Hempstead Supervisor, Richard Guardino, commenting on the Woodcleft revitalization project said, "This is a great day in the Village of Freeport. It really is fantastic. It just looks terrific." Guardino continued, "The idea of encouraging revitalization, while trying to preserve whatever remaining open space that we have here in the town and in the Village is so very important."

After County Executive Tom Gulotta was introduced by the Mayor, Gulotta, picking up a giant plastic lobster claw, told the amused audience that some of the wild days of his youth were spent right here in Freeport. "I caused more havoc here than anywhere else." 

Gulotta said that the Village of Freeport "has a heritage that is truly second to none. The history of Freeport is an incredible story, that is really worth reliving. In the process of revitalizing Woodcleft Avenue, this is probably one of the finest examples of what can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time, with all levels of government, of all party affiliations working together to place the interest of the citizens first, before politics."

NYS Secretary of State, Alexander Treadwell, came to Freeport for the occasion and commented on the fine job by saying, "Waterfront revitalization is what the Nautical Mile is all about."

Freeportís County Legislators, David Denenberg and Joe Scannell, and Hempstead Town Councilwomen Dorothy Goosby and Rita Kestenbaum were also present. Councilwoman Goosby, commenting on the contribution of the residents, told FNYN, "This project showed the concern and determination of the citizens of Freeport. They raised over five million dollars to assist in the revitalization of the Nautical Mile." Ms. Goosby did not comment on the failure of any of the speakers to actually make mention of the residentís contribution. Pictured left to right are Councilwomen Goosby, Mayor Glacken and Councilwomen Kestenbaum.

At the conclusion of the festivities, the dignitaries were treated to rides up and down the Nautical mile in the trolley car pictured here. The Village Trustees had recently agreed to rent the trolley car for four hundred and seventy five dollars an hour. These funds were not aidable by the state and the trolley car rental was paid for by the Village taxpayers. The so called official Village web site, FreeportNY.com, made no mention of the planned Nautical Mile festivities nor invited the residents of the Village, who funded half of the project. Freeport Fire Department tour busses sat parked by the curb, as the meter ran on the trolleys that carried the invited pubic officials up and down the Nautical Mile.

 

May 22, 2000 (posted May 30, 2000)
GLACKEN BONDS ALMOST 4 MILLION DOLLARS
APPEARS UNPREPARED AT VILLAGE MEETING

Go to Agenda
by Stewart Lilker

 

On Monday night, The Board of trustees approved, among other things, the bonding of $1,465,000 to be spent on the Villageís water system. Last year, the water system also had serious problems, which resulted in a water emergency. At the Village meeting in which discussion regarding the past emergency took place, Dr. Kathleen Gaffney, the Commissioner of the Nassau County Department of Public Health, had to stand up in the audience and correct Mayor Glacken after he said that incident was not an emergency. Dr. Gaffneyís exact words were, "Mayor Glacken, this was an emergency."


Is the Glacken Admnistration coming clean on the Village's water problems? Many residents don't think so.

Resident Alan Jay, apparently with last yearís water crisis in mind, asked Mayor Glacken, "Is this scheduled maintenance, or is this a result of the recent problem with the water?" Mayor Glacken was not able to answer the question and deferred it to his brother in law, Village Attorney Edwards. Edwards answered, "These are not a result of the recent water problems. These are scheduled maintenance items, some of them are upgrades." Glacken added, "We have to update our wells. We may have to drill some additional wells and we may have to install equipment on some of the existing wells." Mr. Jay said, "We donít want to go the way of Nassau County and over bond ourselves."

Your reporter then came to the microphone to ask the Mayor and the Board about many of the items being bonded at the request of Village Counsel Edwards. FNYN asked what in the Water Department was being bonded for $515,000 and which wells were being reconstructed or rehabilitated. The Mayor responded, "I donít have that in front of me right now and Mr. DiGrazia is not here." From way in back of the conference room, Mr. Olin of the Water Department advised the Mayor and the Board which wells were being reconstructed and rehabilitated. Mayor Glacken never invited Mr. Olin to the microphone and after Mr. Olinís explanation, the Mayor was still confused regarding which wells were to be rehabilitated.

Your reporter then asked the Mayor and the Board if they knew of any reason that the Superintendent of the Water Department, Mr. Brick was not in attendance. When it became clear that the Mayor was stonewalling the question, your reporter asked, "Mr. Brick is still head of the Water Department, is he not?" The Mayor responded, "What relevance does that have to what is going on here tonight?" Your reporter responded, "We are spending an awful lot of money tonight on the Water Department, it would have been nice if he was here." Glacken said, "He is not here tonight." Upon further questioning, the Mayor refused to answer whether or not Mr. Brick was still the head of the Water Department. FNYN has recently learned that the Nassau County Health Department called the Village looking for Mr. Brick. It appears that they were also told that Mr. Brick was not available.

The next two items of the eveningís agenda also were for the bonding of various items in the Water Department. One was for a $200,000 Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA), which is an electronic monitoring system for the Village water wells. The Mayor explained that we do not have an electronic monitoring system now. The other was for $50,000 to construct chemical transfer stations. Mr. Olin explained, again barely audible from the back of the room, that these stations were required by the Department of Environmental Conservation and were not presently in the Water Department.

Also requested was $100,000 to purchase two new trucks for the Water Department. One of the Freeport High School students attending the meeting told FNYN, "No one ever said that the trucks they were replacing werenít running. They just said they were old."

Mr. Edwards also requested $600,000 "for water mains." Once again the Glacken agenda gave no indication if this was for repair or replacement, and if this covered the cost of the reconstruction of the roadways. Your reporter commented to the Mayor, "It almost looks like you are rebuilding the whole water system here. Do you know why none of this was ever done before? You were here." Glacken replied, "I canít answer why it was never done before. All I know is that we are doing it because we need to." Your reporter asked the Mayor if he knew if all the water mains in the Village would have to be replaced or if he had any idea what percentage was being covered by the $600,000. Mayor Glacken said, "No, not at this time."

Also on the evening's agenda was a requested $1,300,000 bonding for the "Improvement of Various Highways and Roads." The administration made no effort to put the names of these streets on the agenda. It was impossible to tell if the Deputy Mayor or the other Trustees knew what they were, as they sat in their usual silence. When questioned by FNYN, the Mayor seemed confused as to which roads were being improved, so Village Attorney Edwards volunteered that the following roads would be improved: Brookside, Hampton Place, Florence, Jeanette, and Westside. Then the Mayor added Sterling Avenue to the mix, along with South Brookside and South Bayview.

Also requested was the authorization of $425, 000 to improve "Various Village Parks." Once again, Glackenís administration made no effort to advise the public what these improvements were. The agenda was void of any explanation. It was only after the questioning of the Mayor that it was discovered that the improvements were to be made in North East Park and Martin Luther King Park. The Mayor explained that the tennis courts in NE Park had to be completely reconstructed due to an unsatisfactory job by a previous administration. When the Mayor was questioned about the courts always being locked he responded that he didnít know if use of those tennis courts was by permit or if they were open all the time. Nobody else in Glackenís administration appeared to know, either. FNYN asked the Mayor, "How do we find out if they are supposed to be locked?" The Mayor ignored the question and answered by repeating that the courts were reconstructed a couple of years ago "by the prior administration." When FNYN pointed out to the Mayor that it was not the administration, but a contractor that reconstructed the court, the Mayor ignored the clearly shoddy workmanship and explained that he was "doing the whole thing over again."

The Mayor also explained that the $425,000 bond would also pay for the replacement of the fences, the lighting of the ball field area, renovation of the bathrooms and renovation of the playground area. Glacken explained that the lighting would cost $100,000. He asked Mr. Cappozili, a member of the Department of Public Works, if he had a breakdown of the costs. Mr. Cappozolli responded, "I donít have a breakdown, just a total."

Glacken explained that the playground at MLK Park would be renovated. He said, "We are basically rebuilding all the parks in town, from scratch. This is not maintenance."

FNYN asked the Mayor, "Would you expect the tennis courts to be unlocked after they are renovated?" The Mayor refused to answer, threatening to go to the vote unless FNYN asked another question. A Freeport High School student commented after the meeting, "This Mayor is unbelievable. I donít believe that he didnít know if the tennis courts were unlocked or not. He was just trying to avoid the question."

After a public hearing, in which it was approved that 53 Roosevelt Avenue should be demolished, the Board adjourned into executive session to discuss three personnel matter and one litigation matter.

About an hour later, Ray Straub, Glackenís Chief of Staff, entered the main conference room and announced that the Board would not be reconvening into open session, or the "second session" as Glacken calls it. FNYN asked Straub if the Board voted on anything while they were in executive session. Straub replied, "Not anything they had to vote on out here."

The Village Board is now on summer hours and the next meeting is scheduled for June 12th.

 

 

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