Tuesday, September 20, 2005

You be the editor

"D Day" has a good idea. If everyone who posts here picks an identity — a "handle" if you will — that will facilitate discussion. Then people could reply to each other by "name." I am changing the settings to require that you register to post a comment. All that's needed is a handle and an email address. It should be pretty painless to register. After you've chosen a user name & password, blogger asks you to name your blog. If you don't want to start a blog of your own, you can quit the registration process right then. You'll still be registered and have a user name & password for posting. If you have any problems let me know by sending me an email to denise@timesreview.com and I'll do my best to help you.

It's interesting reading some of these comments to see how certain stories morph over time as they are told and re-told. Maybe this is intentional on the part of some people with an obvious agenda. Or maybe it's just like the old childhood game of telephone. Remember that?

Here's an example. Somebody or some people have been postng about Cardinale allegedly having the parking lot of a business associate paved by the town. We've never heard THAT one at The News-Review.

But here's what we did hear, and to some extent, see.

A while back, someone sent me a photo (by email) that showed town highway department workers re-paving the driveway apron at the entrance to the parking lot of Smith, Finkelstein, Lundberg, Isler & Yakaboski. This is a law firm that's been representing the town in all different types of legal matters for as long as I can remember — but for a two-year break when a short-lived Democratic majority on the Town Board (one that consisted of John Lombardi, Rob Pike & me) fired Smith Finkelstein and hired Twomey, Latham, Shea & Kelly.

Anyway, the property being repaired by the highway guys in the photo sent to me by an angry resident (also someone I know to have an agenda of his own that goes beyond furthering "good government") was actually PUBLIC property, NOT private property and it was a driveway apron, not a parking lot. I think this is the item that morphed into what people have written about here, i.e that Cardinale used town workers to pave the parking lot of one of his business associates. Also it pays to note that the highway department is run by an independently elected official, the highway superintendent. It is not run by the town supervisor, who has no legal authority over the highway department workers or over the highway superintendent. The highway superintendent, in case you don't know, is former councilman Mark Kwasna. A Republican, incidentally.

One thing, though. At around the same time that this work was done, the town board adopted a policy that the maintenance of all sidewalks in front of businesses is the responsibility of the property owner, not the town. It's not clear to me whether the "maintenance" they're talking about here includes major repairs with cement and asphalt, though.

Question for all of you: This item was presented to The News-Review like it was some sort of a huge scandal. We decided that it had little if any news value. It was public property, after all. Should we have reported this, i.e. that the Riverhead highway department repaired the driveway apron at the entrance to a parking lot belonging to the town's longtime law firm, in spite of the town board's adopted policy requiring sidewalks in front of businesses to be maintained by the property owner? What do you think? If you were the editor receiving that email, what would YOU have done? Was this a news story? Did we drop the ball?

NB: The hIghway department also did a fair amount of repair work to the runways at EPCAL two years ago, just before the NY Air Show. That was also done in spite of a previous voter referendum prohibiting the expenditure of public funds on those runways. So maybe there's some sort of trend here... But that's another story.

7 comments:

D Day said...

Hi Denise. If I were the editor receiving that email I might have responded by telling the sender that if a story were to follow it would include the actual facts with the criticism going to the correct individual, Mark Kwasna.

Agent007 said...

C'mon Denise, spending taxpayer dollars to do work on the street at the Town's law firm was just an innocent mistake???

Like Cardinale's secret meetings
and the stop work order on his cottage....

Its symptomatic of the arrogance of the Friends and Family network that has destoyed our Town. We expected more from Mr. Cardinale We were wrong.

Fortunately, we (and others) are watching.

Denise said...

Hey, "Agent," who said anything about this being "an innocent mistake"? Don't put words in my mouth so you can spin them to say what you want, OK?

What I DID say was (1) all I'd heard of was the highway dept. fixing the driveway apron in front of the Smith Fnkelstein parking lot, not the "parking lot" of a "Cardnale business associate" as was being bandied about here; and (2) the highway department isn't even under the authority of the supervisor, rather an independently elected official, the highway superintendent, Republican Mark Kwasna.

So please don't twist my words to make your point and don't twist stories around for the same purpose.

I'd agree that there's been plenty of "insider" profiteering around Riverhead for a long time. For instance, what local landscaping company mowed the field at Grumman for the Field Day concert in 2003 for $20,000? And which Town Board member is the owner of that company related to? Coincidence? Not according to my source, who says this Town Board member "suggested" the landscaping relative. But I wasn't able to document this on the record, so I couldn't report it.

Was that $20,000 a fair price? Was it inflated and "shared" with the referring town offical? One has to wonder, doesn't one?

And yes, I, too, hoped for more from Cardinale. Not sure I would go so far as to say I "expected" it, though.

Agent007 said...

Your cynical view, especially about Cardinale, is most appropriate.

Seems like his most signifiant vote was abstaining on Spanish do not litter signs.

We can't take two more years of this charlatan

Agent007 said...

We read with amusement the report that Cardinale believes an ethics complaint should be filed against his opponent Ed Densieski because he has a link to his website from the Town's website.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Aside from the fact that the real issue in the campaign is whether voters can swallow two more years of Cardinale's ineffective leadership, let's reflect on some of Slick Phil's embarassing lapses:

Cardinale has no problem with the fact that his handpicked deputy left to work with a former criminal trying to get Town approval for a Pine barrens Gargage train in Calverton,

Cardinale's legislative aid was indicted for grand larceny,

Cardinale's new deputy town supervisor still runs his law practice while collecting a $75,000 town paycheck and benefits,

Cardinale asked the same law that is doing the Wilpon real estate contract to issue an opinion on whether Wilpon is qualified,

Cardinale's son-in-law has been representing clients before the same zoning officials appointed by supervisor

Cardinale spent months jerking around a multiplex developer when Cardinale's family owns the other moviehouse down the road,

Cardinale has usurped the Town's Putting Riverhead First logo for his own personal political campaign

Sorry, Mr. Cardinale, you should know better.

D Day said...

TO 007:
I really have better things to do than read all of this crap but nothing more worthwhile than responding to it. So here goes.
I would guess that Mr. Cardinale would think that an ethics complaint should be filed against Mr. Densieski. The fact is that not only did Mr. Cardinale think so but when Ed pulled this unethical nonsense the last time around Koz made him remove the link to his campaign. HE KNEW IT WAS WRONG and clearly, so did Ed who did it again anyway!
Mr. Cardinale has accomplished an extraordinary amount of good during the past two years in spite of the fact that he does not have a majority on the board. That is because when you are trying to do the right things, most people with the right motives will go along with you regardless of their politics. While we are at it, you should know how ridiculous it sounds for you to refer to Mr. Cardinale as 'Slick'. He is smart, he is honest, he is hard working, he is frugal, he is focused but the only thing slick about him is sometimes his hair. Calling him that may actually lend something of an attractive bad boy image which some might find appealing..
I'll bet Mr. Cardinale does have a problem with the departure of his former deputy. I'm sure it does not please him that she and her felon cohort are working to put his opponent, Mr. Densieski in office. But of course you are aware of that, aren't you? They are hoping that he will lay the tracks for the garbage train. She betrayed Phil. Would that make you happy?
Response to lie #3: The Supervisor does not have a legislative aid.
The Deputy Supervisor is an attorney. In previous administrations we have had secretaries in that position who may not have had more than a high school education. We are getting great value for the money. Do you want him to give up his career as well? Although this is not an hourly position the Deputy does not run his practice during office hours at town hall. What a deal for us!
I do not have enough information on the Wilpon transaction to comment on it except to say that your opinion is likely a pack of lies like the rest of your post.
Regarding the Zoning Board: They are group of Republican Appointees who are hopefully able to summon enough objectivity to give Mr. Cardinale's son-in-law and his clients a fair shake in spite of his family ties. They are not there at Mr. Cardinale's pleasure. Of that I am certain.
Zoning for movie theaters was previously restricted to Main St. The Town Board, of which the Supervisor is a member, amended it to allow that use on Railroad Ave as well. Your complaint is what? That it wasn't done with the stroke of a wand?
And this is my favorite. You say, {Cardinale has usurped the town's Putting Riverhead First logo for his own personal political campaign}. That phrase was first used by Mr. Cardinale during his run for office. He conceived it, designed and paid for the banner and brought it with him. The thing you are missing is that it is not now and never was a campaign slogan. It is a mission statement! It is a policy that Mr.Cardinale hoped would inspire all of those working for the town. It was meant as a reminder to all including himself, of why they were there and what was expected of them. He knows that most people want to do the right thing but sometimes need to be reassured that they will not be ostracized for doing it. You know, like Rose and Barbara were. So perhaps they now need to be reassured that the right thing is the right thing and worth doing even if you are ostracized for it.
Now dear 007, I am trying to determine if you are : a) being paid to promote these lies
b) ignorant of the facts
or c) stayed too long at the bar again
My vote goes to 'a'. Maybe 'a' and 'b'. Oh well, don't want 'c' to feel lonely. How about all of the above?

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