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Welcome to The Leader Online

The newspaper that serves the North Shore communities of Locust Valley, Oyster Bay, Glen Cove, Bayville,
Centre Island, Mill Neck, Lattingtown, Matinecock, The Brookvilles, and Muttontown

   The Leader has been an institution on
Long Island's North Shore for longer than
a half century, now serving the expanded
areas north of Northern Boulevard,
from Manhasset to Huntington.

Calendar of Events

Last Updated: October 6, 2015
 The following article - and more - can be found in our print edition: 

A Quieter Meeting in Bayville

• Loriann Cody

The Village of Bayville General Meeting that took place on Monday, September 28th, was much quieter than previous meetings, with enough seats in Village Hall to accommodate all the interested residents who attended. The Village Trustees and Mayor Paul Rupp went through each agenda item swiftly, noting the “serious drug problem” facing the village, referencing the recent break-in at Marty’s Party. It was Mayor Rupp’s understanding that the youth responsible was arrested, and that there are 3-4 undercover police officers in town watching a few specific houses.

At 7:50 PM the meeting was opened for public discussion. First to speak was Frank Bates, who introduced himself as the Vice President of Save Bayville Now. Having been away during the summer for several weeks attending the birth of his grandchild, he asked for clarification on what he heard was the reason that his group was not allowed to have their meeting at the Bayville Firehouse as originally planned. Back in August, Save Bayville Now, a civic organization, scheduled a meeting at the Firehouse, but at the last minute was forced to hold their meeting in the parking lot of St. Gertrude’s when the Firehouse rescinded their invitation. Mayor Rupp explained that he personally spoke with a few members of the Fire Department and expressed his displeasure about the group meeting for free at the Firehouse. Bates said that money was not the issue, that he would have paid the firehouse for the use of the space. Without going into a ‘he said, she said’ Bates and the Board agreed to a meeting between them and representatives from the Firehouse for clarity.

The next speaker asked about the $3000 monthly fee the Village pays the public relations firm Zimmerman and Edelson. Was there a bidding process? Why is a PR firm necessary? Trustee Taylor answered that the PR firm was hired to 1) promote businesses in Bayville and 2) correct misinformation that was published in the local papers, including The Leader, in anonymous letters to the editor and articles with no bylines, and 3) correct misinformation in pamphlets left on car windshields and being handed out around the Village, and on facebook pages. There was no bidding process, and that $3000 is a bargain for the professional services rendered. Further discussion with a different speaker clarified that there was only one anonymous letter.

Michele Principe asked about the contract with Wall’s Wharf for using the beach parking lot and Mayor Rupp confirmed that the Village received $5000 for the use of the beach parking lot. Ms. Principe asked if the Board could look into making the contract fee a percentage of the profits instead of a flat rate. She also noted a noxious scent emanating from the back of 14 Ludlam Avenue, and formally asked the board to take samples and have them analyzed.

Frank Bates took the podium again and asked about a letter that was sent to the Building Inspector and Mayor Rupp and the Board of Trustees about the 13 alleged code violations at 14 Ludlam Avenue. Village Attorney Keith Corbett answered that he has advised Mayor Rupp not to be speak about anything concerning 14 Ludlam Avenue, and that there would be no response forthcoming on the matter of 14 Ludlam Ave.

Earlier in the day, the Mayor and the Trustees were served with court papers concerning the legality of recent zoning changes, and this lawsuit was referenced as a reason for not answering, ‘due to pending litigation.’


Glen Cove: Significant Fiscal Stress

• Christine Loring

In late June 2013, Glen Cove was ranked as the most fiscally stressed city on Long Island, and number 9 in the state. Glen Cove was considered to be in “moderate fiscal stress.” NY State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, used a scoring system that ranked counties, towns, villages and cities based on high levels of debt, operating deficits and high fixed costs. The report analyzed 1043 entities. The City of Glen Cove had a debt service of more than $9 million, 17% of its total revenue, which factored heavily in the comptroller’s findings. Former Mayor Ralph Suozzi said at that time he was not surprised by the findings in the report. He acknowledged the city’s financial troubles predated his election in 2005, and he had been reducing the deficit since October 2006.

Fast forward to September 23rd, 2015 and the City of Glen Cove is on the list for the third year. The city is among 15 entities to receive the highest designation of “significant fiscal stress.” This includes the counties of Monroe, Broome, Nassau, St. Lawrence, Franklin and Rockland; the cities of Glen Cove and Albany; and the towns of East Fishkill, Jasper, Ramapo, Pierrepont, Coeymans, Cherry Valley and Parish. DaNapoli is concerned about, among other things, the city’s operating deficit, and a high percentage of debt compared to revenue. Glen Cove was among only three municipalities to move into a worse category of stress in 2014.

Mayor Reggie Spinello says the reported findings from the 2014 fiscal year do not accurately portray Glen Cove’s current financial status. Spinello and City administrators are reasoning that, “City tax bills issued on 12/1/15 are due without penalty until 1/10/16. Many taxpayers, especially the banks paying taxes from escrow accounts wait until the last week to make their payment. Payment made after 12/31/14 can only be recorded in January 2015. Because over $6.5 million dollars of tax payments were received in January 2015, our cash position at 12/31/14 was less than the prior year and caused our stress scores to jump from moderate to significant fiscal stress.”

In a press release, City Councilman Tony Gallo said, ”The City’s credit ratings agency warned Glen Cove about using debt to cover refunds, which could lead to a downgrade to junk status and lead to an increase in taxes. Why didn’t this timing problem affect the 1,000 other municipalities in the report with the same tax calendar? And why would our fiscal health be deteriorating so rapidly year-over-year, when the tax calendar hasn’t changed? The mayor’s excuses make no sense and his unwillingness to confront this problem or even discuss it candidly are just as troubling as his inability to manage the City’s finances.”