meghan heckman, 2019 election

Story - News

Feb 27, 2013 9:23 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town Promotes Zarro But Skips Others, Pays Sandy Bills

Feb 27, 2013 9:58 AM

The Southampton Town Board on Tuesday night voted unanimously to promote Southampton Town Police Sergeant Michael Zarro to the rank of lieutenant, but dropped two other anticipated promotions that had been slated for approval after a long discussion behind closed doors.

The promotions of police officers James Cavanagh and William Kiernan to sergeant had been on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting since February 21, but at the outset of the meeting the five Town Board members, Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato and Administrator Russell Kratoville adjourned the public portion and retreated into a closed meeting room, for what Ms. Throne-Holst said would be a quick discussion.

Nearly 90 minutes later, the group finally emerged, and when the time came to vote on the promotions of the two officers, the resolutions were withdrawn.

Also withdrawn was a resolution to hire Francisco Rivera as a minibus driver for the town’s senior citizen transportation program. Mr. Rivera had been recommended by the program director to fill a vacant position.

None of the board members would discuss the withdrawal of the resolutions or the subject matter of the private board debate, citing the legal restrictions on public discussion of personnel matters.

Lt. Zarro will become the department’s third lieutenant and first new promotion since Chief Robert Pearce took over the department last November from Chief William Wilson. There was no comment from the board on Lt. Zarro’s promotion, and neither the lieutenant nor Chief Pearce was present. Lt. Zarro will earn an annual salary of $141,916, plus benefits, starting March 1.

Sandy Bills Mounting

The checks are continuing to flow out of Town Hall for the cleanup costs from Hurricane Sandy, with still no relief from much anticipated federal aid. The cost of the cleanup has topped $3.8 million and checks have already been written for some $3.6 million of that as of Tuesday night, according to Town Comptroller Leonard Marchese. A combination of a healthy reserve fund and tight budgeting has Southampton in the enviable position of being able to bear the expense while waiting for financial relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the comptroller said.

In his monthly financial update to the Town Board, Mr. Marchese told the board that he was cutting checks for $500,000 this month so that the Town Parks & Recreation Department could begin making structural repairs to get its facilities back to working order by the coming summer season. He said that despite a joint meeting between the Town Board, town department heads and officials from FEMA and the Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management earlier this month, there has still been no movement on the effort to distribute some of the billions in aid that is slated for the region.

Mr. Marchese noted that because Southampton Town has built up its reserved fund balance in the last two years through conservative budgeting, the town is able to carry the financial burden on its own. He noted that some other towns that did not have rainy-day money set aside, and have been saddled with as much as $20 million in costs, have had to take out loans to cover the immediate costs of cleanup and recovery while waiting for federal funds.

Thus far, the town has spent about $1.8 million on debris removal, $300,000 on emergency shore protection and now the $500,000 that is going to repairing town beach facilities.

Mr. Marchese also told board members that preliminary accounting tallies from the town’s 2012 financial statements show that the town is expected to meet it’s revenue and spending goals for the year, and could wind up well in the black for the year.

“All of the funds have met or exceeded the budgetary expectations in terms of surplus,” Mr. Marchese said. “I want everyone to feel confident that our financial position is as strong as we wanted it to be, if not stronger. You should be proud of yourselves, you’ve done a good job budgeting.”

Mr. Marchese said it will still be another month or more before the town’s independent auditors are done with their own audit.

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Hmmm, not surprised that ATH & Flemming caved to the 3 amigos as usual. Wonder why the 3 amigos agreed to wait on the Kiernan & Cavanagh promotions... they normally just ram it down the impudent's throats. Must be something really bad if they backed off!
Think we will ever find out.... doubt it.
By OU812 (161), East Quogue on Feb 27, 13 9:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
A call from Spota's office put the meeting to a halt. Our DA wanted to thank the board members for the cross endorsements that they pushed his way in return for him not prosecuting any of them. The thank you's ran so long that truth be told, they forgot about the meeting. The town board secretly figured that if they let the current Sgt. list expire by next meeting that they will get less heat when they promote both Jimmy and Billy Kiernan at the same time. What a historical event that will be.
By vaquero (12), Watermill on Feb 27, 13 8:08 PM
Not sure how you know that, but you peaked my interest. It appears that they had to make Zarro now because the civil service test expires 3/1/2013 but they still have time to make Kiernan a sergeant because that is ok until 11/13/2013 is he any relation to Lt Kiernan that was all over 27east?

Interestingly, the Captains list seems to expire when Zarro's one would assume that he will be on the new list, no? This is like something out of a bad movie.



By OU812 (161), East Quogue on Feb 27, 13 10:51 PM
Yes, they are related. Brothers to be exact.
By lifesaver (118), speonk on Feb 28, 13 9:19 AM
Interesting, I will be the first to say that you can not condemn a man for the sins of his brother BUT it would be nice if the town board would at least make a veiled attempt to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
Apparently, LT Kiernan is not only a Republican committeeman but sits on the candidate screening committee. Even stretching an assumption that our local politicians are totally honorable, how could LT Kiernan not have influence over them when they need his vote to get on the republican ...more
By OU812 (161), East Quogue on Feb 28, 13 9:35 AM
Wow, most of these comment sections seem eerily quite. Where are the usual spin artists? Possibly some truth coming out and people are concerned... I have a strange feeling there are a lot of hushed meetings behind closed doors going on. This must be real bad and we residents are going to end up paying for it.

Elected officials and town employees - it is a simple equation. Earn the publics trust and maintain it by doing what is right for the residents of Southampton Town
By OU812 (161), East Quogue on Feb 28, 13 12:24 PM
RE: "Sandy Bills"...Anyone hear anything about debris pick up post Nemo? Will there be a pick up by the highway department this spring?
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Feb 28, 13 6:01 PM
OK, I know this thread is pretty dead but here we go anyway.
"Nearly 90 minutes later, the group finally emerged, and when the time came to vote on the promotions of the two officers, the resolutions were withdrawn."
So, they felt comfortable enough to promote Michael Zarro but not James Cavanagh or William Kiernan. After reading todays article and seeing how bad it looks I can not imagine what must be worse that the 3 amigos were afraid to make the other promotions. Did I move to Brookhaven ...more
By OU812 (161), East Quogue on Mar 1, 13 6:15 PM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island