Greetings from Village Hall-Special Report
A special thanks to all those who wore their "pink shirts" to the meeting. It was a nice show of solidarity to Maura and myself and we thank you.
Village Employees Forming a Union
In other news, the village employees are supporting the formation of a union.
You, the public, you, the public, might hear that the employees wish to form a union out of "fear" of Trustee Spery and myself. When you consider that I never go into the office that's an incredible claim.
The real reason the staff wishes to unionize is twofold; retirement/pension issues and pay inequities between female and male employees.
For example: The Mayor hired a male Deputy Clerk, who has absolutely no administrative qualifications at $22/hr when the last Deputy Clerk, a female, was making $15/hr for the same job. When you consider the bulk of the office staff is female and have been stuck at a pay rate of $16/hr for three years—and now have to assume the administrative duties of the new Deputy Clerk on top of their own duties when he is making 50% more then they are—you can begin to understand the employee frustration and resentment that has led to the desire to form a union. It has nothing to do with fear of Maura Spery or Bruce Summa.
The only people who I thought needed to be replaced were the "appointed" officials like the clerk and code supervisor. Both have been replaced with excellent choices who are both competent and service oriented. The new clerk posts the minutes within two weeks as required by law and the new code supervisor has impounded three dirt bikes from 53 Spar and 33 Gooseberry in just six weeks on the job. I am proud of these replacements.
We shall see what happens with the formation of the unions and how that will affect our budgets in the future.
DASNY or Town to Administer Storm-water Funds
The last Mastic Beach Village Crier that came to your inbox, stated that we are supposed to get a million dollar grant to repair our storm drain system but we are not allowed to administrate the money ourselves but have to either use the Town of Brookhaven or the Dormitory Authority of the State of NY (DASNY).
This has ruffled some feathers. Keep in mind, it is not my or Trustee Spery’s fault that the State does not allow the money to be released to, or administrated by, the village. The State of New York obviously considers the Village's ability to administrate this grant as "questionable" and has offered the Town of Brookhaven or DASNY as administrators.
Again, this is not the fault of Trustee Spery or Summa.
A possible explanation could be the lawsuit between the Village and the Mastic Beach Property Owners Association which has dragged on for almost four years now, horribly dividing our community, with no resolution to date. At a "Meet the Candidates Night" on October 7th, which I attended, Ed Hennessey our Assemblyman in Albany said, "...the single most pressing factor preventing the flow of money from Albany to our village is this lawsuit."
The MBPOA has been willing to mediate this lawsuit for over a year and Maura Spery and I have sought to seek out a compromise, as did former Trustee's Carol Bissonette and Bob Morrow much to their credit in 2013. It is only since the Judge had not ruled in the village's favor, and Sandy money has been withheld because of the lawsuit, that the majority of the village board has finally chosen the path toward settlement.
So I would say, in my humble opinion, that this lawsuit and ALL THOSE who supported the destruction of the Mastic Beach Property Owners Association through this lawsuit, should look in the mirror and take a measure of credit for our village being unable to administrate this grant and preventing the flow of much needed money to our village.
Sorry people but if the "shoe fits wear it" and as Forest Gump would say,"Stupid is as stupid does!" It's time to stop being stupid.
Enhanced Security Camera Weather Monitoring System Meeting is TONIGHT
I received this invitation as an email just like you.
The Village of Mastic Beach, in conjunction with the Suffolk County Police Department, will be hosting an educational seminar on the enhanced monitoring system proposed for the Incorporated Village of Mastic Beach. All residents are encouraged to attend. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.
DATE: Tuesday, October 21st
PLACE: Paca Middle School Auditorium
Unfortunately, I cannot attend. So I need the readers of The Mastic Beach Village Crier to ask questions on my behalf. We need to get the who, what, when, where, why and how much, questions answered.
Let's start with "Why"?
The grant for these cameras says they are for "Enhanced Weather Monitoring".
Now lets look at "What?"
The grant comes from the States Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management through FEMA, and the grant says the cameras will, "Enhance the local governments ability to monitor rain, streams and/or tides and will provide other situational awareness during a disaster."
What's the "How"?
The grant says, "...the village will be able to monitor these conditions, mainly water conditions and wind speeds, that create catastrophic conditions and put citizens in harms way...and when predetermined ranges are met in the community, the citizens will be alerted and emergency communications can be gotten by every citizen of the community, which will give emergency directions for them to follow."
Only the mayor and deputy mayor will have access to these cameras "after the fact". These cameras will not be monitored 24/7 by the police or anyone else.
Here's the "Where"?
We now know where the cameras will be placed. See the map below, What do you think the different colored thumb-tacks represent? Also see the longitude and latitude positions. Again, I am curious why the Mayor and Deputy Mayor's homes aren't by a camera.
Now the real question, "How much"?
The grant is for $504,400 to buy and install hi-definition, real-time VideoIQ cameras using Verizon 4G Radio with water level alerts and wind alarms, and to set up data services. The Village buy-in on this grant is 25% of the projects total cost $126,100. That comes out of our taxes and is non-refundable.The cost for the cameras will be $24,000/year not including extra charges incurred to access and review any film footage which could easily past $30,000/year.
Here's the kicker.
Maura and I are constantly being told there is no money in the budget for a comprehensive plan. Can't be done, we're to cash strapped." Yet, we have the money to monitor for "weather events" in residential neighborhoods. Where exactly will they get the money to maintain this system?
I am not against security cameras. I think every homeowner that wants them should install them. I support license plate readers at all our points of entry to our village and cameras in our business districts and parks. But I have a big problem with buying stuff we can't afford that has limited uses and basically provides the community with a false sense of protection.
Mastic Beach Village Crier - Endorsement
The Mastic Beach Village Crier endorses local hometown military veteran, LEE ZELDIN, for
United States Congress.
GET OUT AND VOTE on Tuesday, November 4th.
Remember, you have a advocate in village hall with Bruce and Maura. If you have a formal complaint and are unable to fill out a form for fear of retribution, you may contact us and we will report it to the proper authorities for you.
God Bless, Bruce
Click the link to follow me, Bruce Summa, on Facebook for updates on village happenings as they occur.
The Mastic Beach Village Crier has been created to be your voice in a village that seems to have forgotten the wants of their own citizens!
We are here to remind our Village Board that their job is to listen to the residents, make Mastic Beach a better place to live, and NOT line their pockets!
Be sure to let us know what you think the Village of Mastic Beach should be doing to make The Incorporated Village of Mastic Beach a better place to live and work. Tell us how the Village has made your life better or worse.
If you have a problem with the Village of Mastic Beach, please let us know and we will do our best to take care of it for you.
Bruce Summa the editor and publisher of this site and is a Trustee in the Village of Mastic Beach.