"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 email@example.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.