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Jun 14, 2011 5:09 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Town To Partner With Family Service League, Office To Move

Jun 14, 2011 5:32 PM

The social services organization Family Service League might relocate its East Hampton office to the town-owned Podell House and focus its work on youth and senior mental health services, representatives from the town and the organization said during a Town Board work session on Tuesday.

The proposed move, which was presented by Councilman Dominick Stanzione and League President Karen Boorshtein, is part of an agreement between the organization and the town made the wake of deep funding cuts by the town in recent years. Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson described the agreement as a “public-private partnership” that would ensure residents would have access to social services as the town becomes less able to contribute to the league and has reduced the size of its own Human Services Department in budget cuts.

If the plan is approved by the Town Board, the local league office would move from Newtown Lane to the Podell House on Accabonac Road. Employees with the town’s Human Services Department worked at the house until the department was restructured last year, leaving it vacant.

As per the plan, the Family Service League also would focus its services in East Hampton on youth crisis intervention and geriatric mental health services, supplementing the work of the Human Services Department, Ms. Boorshtein said.

The organization, a non-profit, offers counseling and services for people with addictions or mental illnesses, the homeless, the elderly, the unemployed and at-risk youth at 15 offices throughout Suffolk County.

The town would charge the organization rent of $37,500 per year, which is less than the organization is currently paying, Mr. Stanzione said. The town has cut its contributions to the league by about 50 percent in recent years, to a current amount of about $50,000, according to Ms. Boorshtein.

Divvying Charity Funds

The Town Board also began putting together its recommendations for distributing a $100,000 donation pledged by organizers of the MTK: Music To Know festival among a slew of local charities and non-profit organizations, but left the work session with only a draft spreadsheet.

In early discussions, Town Board members proposed funneling half of the money to three organizations: $20,000 for East Hampton Day Care Learning Center and $15,000 each for The Retreat, a haven for domestic violence victims, and Project Most, an after-school learning program. They also suggested directing $12,000 of the donation to East End Hospice.

While initially proposing to direct $15,000 to Phoenix House, a drug addiction treatment center, Town Board members began to debate whether to include the organization on the list at all. Councilwoman Theresa Quigley questioned whether the non-profit was truly local, pointing to its presence in multiple states. Councilman Dominick Stanzione argued in favor of directing money to the organization, saying that while the local residential program consists mostly of out-of-town patients, its outpatient program serves almost exclusively locals. Supervisor Bill Wilkinson questioned whether the town could earmark its donation for the local outpatient program, or whether it would just go to into the national organization’s coffers.

The board also proposed directing smaller infusions of money, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, to a long list of other organizations, including local food pantries, Katy’s Courage Foundation, Bay Street Theatre, the Amagansett Lifesaving Station, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons and The Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation, among others.

Board members also brainstormed a few potential additions to the list, including You For Vets, a non-profit benefitting local veterans that was started by East Hampton Town Sanitation Department employee John J. Kremm, Maureen’s Haven, East Hampton Youth Court, Music for Montauk, and East End Special Players. The Town Board will also set aside additional contingency funds in case any late additions emerge.

The board pulled back from its initial proposal to direct funds to school music programs in Sag Harbor, East Hampton and Montauk, because the schools are already funded by taxes. Board members expressed similar concerns about a proposed donation to the East Hampton Library. The board also tentatively struck Wings For Haiti and Children’s Museum of the East End from the list for being not quite local enough.

Board members agreed to continue the discussion at a later date.

The organizers of the MTK music festival, which will bring 18 bands to East Hampton Airport on August 13 and 14, pledged the $100,000 donation as a condition of the Town Board’s approval this winter. The donation was designed to provide a community benefit to the town in return for the use of its property and inconveniences to residents for the duration of the festival.

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What an excellent idea! If the Town has the space and the FSL is paying rent somewhere it seems as though this is a win/win situation . . . those services are very much needed in this Town -
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jun 14, 11 11:17 PM
Lets think about this "excellent idea". For 25 years the town provided services to youth in crisis, geriatric mental health issues, counseling for addiction and the mentally ill, the homeless, youth, elderly, and the unemployed through its Human Services Dept. as the FSL does now and they often worked together to compliment each others efforts. The taxpayer expressed their compassion for those in need by supporting both the town dept. and FSL with tax money. The Podell family donated the Podell ...more
By facts man (148), east hampton on Jun 16, 11 11:03 AM
I don't know who the "we" and "us" is in your diatrabe un-facts man, but it seems you may have supported the top-heavy Human Services Department "at all costs" - so to speak! I've been paying taxes here for a long time and am thankful you don't have your hand in my pocketboook and don't represent "me" in any capacity! The Podell House was originally used to house run-a-way and troubled youths, if I remember correctly, and was "closed" for that purpose long before this Board was elected. And while ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jun 17, 11 10:21 AM
Just a technical point. The Podell House was used for a varity of diffrent services right up to the time Wilkquig pulled the plug. And yes the Senior Citizen Center is there for seniors to be fed a meal. I guess thats enough for you so I'm happy to not count you in the "we and us" of this community. Iv'e lived here all my life and payed taxes all my adult life. As a child I was taught by my family, my church, my community, and my God you take care of people in need "at all cost". I don't think ...more
By facts man (148), east hampton on Jun 17, 11 4:15 PM
"Just a technical point" - so I suppose it's not a "fact" then? You ARE funny! And what, pray tell, were those other "services" the building was being used for? Non-facts man, I, personally give to all kinds of charitable causes here - either out of my own pocketbook or with my time, as I am sure from your post that you do too. What is cynical, hypocritical AND disingenuous are your apparent personal grudges against these two (Republican?) elected officials. . . after all - there ARE 3 other ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jun 17, 11 6:26 PM
A technical point is a fact. I'm not disingenous at all. I'm stating for all to see how I feel about Wilkquig I'm not hideing or rationalizing. Wilk & Quig are one and the same so I lump them together. They get their way at all times because Stanzione votes in lock step. In this case they all have to live with themselves but WilkQuig is the only one up for election therefore his cynicism and hypocracy. Why don't you researsh what activities were at the Podell House. I suggest you ask former srevice ...more
By facts man (148), east hampton on Jun 18, 11 11:30 AM
Well we agree on something then Facts Man! It is abundantly clear how you "feel" - I "feel" like that person at the post office wasn't very nice to me today, or I don't "feel" like working but . . . well, you know! Feelings aren't facts, Non-Fact-Man! And I hate to state the VERY OBVIOUS, but there is no "proving you wrong' until you say what your "facts" are . . . !! I don't know what the 'activities" were at the Podell House other than the one I knew about regarding local teenagers, and the ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jun 19, 11 6:43 PM
What the hell are you talking about? I've stated fact in a straight forward genuine manner. I've stated honestly how I feel about Wilkquig. You've only said I'm a "non-fact-man" with no counter "fact" to make a debate. My facts are stated here in my writing of June 16, 11:03 AM. If what I said isn't the truth tell us all where I'm wrong. I'm man enough to take it. If the best you can do is call me names your on the same level as Wilkquig and you deserve each other. Fact
By facts man (148), east hampton on Jun 19, 11 8:29 PM
My question to you is also straightforward and genuine: what were the "needed services" that the Human Resource Department "provided" at the Podell House (other than those mentioned and agreed upon) that will no longer be provided to Town residents by the Family Service League (a not-for-profit agency) on Town owned property, at a reduced rent to the FSL, which will benefit all? It's not rocket scientry non-facts-man, it's a win/win situation. Have town employee positions due to retirement incentives ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jun 19, 11 10:30 PM
The services provided by the EH Dept of Human Services spanded a range as stated in my statements of 6/16- a fact. The Podell House was used for run away shelter but also other youth services, senior health services, transportation services, and other services. Fact. It was more then a senior lunchbox and an expensive duplicate to the senior citizens center as you suggested. Because of actions of Wilkquig the budget for Human Services was slashed and a number of services providers retired (some ...more
By facts man (148), east hampton on Jun 20, 11 11:42 AM
Again - what specific "youth services, senior health services, transportation services, and other services" were provided out of the Podell House at no cost (or at a cost?) that have been "elimiinated" because of this win/win situation where the FSL 'takes up the slack" (not via tax dollars - AND pays less as a 503 agency than it was before which may, presumably, allow them to add ADDITIONAL services? As far as the "needy" go- I am well aware of those who are truly "needy" in this community - ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jun 20, 11 2:02 PM
The Retreat provides a "service" to abused women and children. Firemen provide a "service" as do EMTs. Police the military and the YMCA, Salvation Army, and Red Cross provide a "service" and if you can't accept that a "service" is exactly what it is and need names and dates to make it real you have a problem. Either that or your being pedantic in an attempt to justify your lack of fact and argument. In any case your not worth my effort. So you and Wilkquig sleep well after you've defined the "truly ...more
By facts man (148), east hampton on Jun 20, 11 4:49 PM
We were talking about the use of the Podell House . . . was it being used by the Retreat and other non-for-profits right under my nose and I didn't know it?!? Or are you just being diversionary Feelings Man . . . nice chatting with you - keep up the good work!
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jun 21, 11 9:55 AM
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