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Oct 21, 2008 4:56 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton fires financial consultant

Oct 21, 2008 4:56 PM

The East Hampton Town Board on Tuesday agreed to fire Nicholas Lynn, the independent financial consultant they hired just two months ago to help the town straighten out its finances, balance its budget and begin rebuilding budget surpluses.

The firing followed the leaking of an e-mail, written by Mr. Lynn on Saturday, to the Democratic Party leadership detailing what the supposedly independent consultant thought “the party” approach should be to selling the painful fiscal pill that he claimed must be swallowed by the Town Board and residents—including severe 
cuts in spending and steeper tax increases.

In the e-mail, Mr. Lynn said that he planned to embark on a public campaign this week to explain how town finances had sunk from $15 million in surplus to a $15 million in deficit. He indicated that much of the blame could be placed on former Republican supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s administration. He said he would also tell taxpayers and board members that tax increases proposed at 18 percent by Supervisor Bill McGintee should be more on the order of 25 percent.

In the e-mail, Mr. Lynn said that the public should be made aware that town taxes are a small portion of a resident’s overall tax bill compared with school taxes and accused East Hampton School District Superintendent Raymond Gualtieri of being lazy, irresponsible with district finances and of having “pissed off every feeder district.”

Supervisor McGintee and Councilman Pete Hammerle said on Tuesday that the e-mail clearly showed that Mr. Lynn’s independence from the political arena had been compromised.

“He was brought on board in a non-political role to solve our fiscal issues and he’s been great, but I guess he’s been sucked into the political vortex,” Mr. McGintee said. “Nick was very effective at what he was doing but with this political overshadowing, he would have been less effective.”

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The disclosure of that e-mail from Mr. Lynn may be said to be a career-limiting move.
By Frank Wheeler (1818), Northampton on Oct 22, 08 12:31 AM
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