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3730 Comments by highhatsize

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Kabot DWI case moved to Riverhead Town Justice Court

I first began posting about Supervisor Kabot when she was arrested for a DUI in Westhampton Beach. I thought that this might be another example of cops pulling over an innocent motorist without probable cause. However, I dismissed the idea that the arrest was conspiratorial. Cops know that it is a bad career move to arrest political big wigs in traffic stops, and professional courtesy doesn’t extend to busting people to benefit cops in departments other than one’s own. I still do not think that Anna Throne-Holst had any involvement.

However, since then I have become better informed of the animus that the STPD holds against Linda Kabot and of its affection for Anna Throne-Holst. Supervisor Kabot has twice in two years proposed that the STPD bear some of the pain of the town’s economic problems. The first time, in August, 2008, resulted in a packing of the town council meeting by uniformed cops and an insulting monologue by the vice-president of the STPD PBA directed at Supervisor Kabot. In the second instance, at the last board meeting, the same officer again denigrated her disrespectfully. The STPD cops really hate this woman.

By contrast, Anna Throne-Holst has shown herself to be a patron of the STPD, protecting them from any diminution of their pay or threat to their jobs due to budget cuts. Her affection is reciprocated. They have endorsed her and sponsor an ATH cutout in front of PBA headquarters. Her election would restore the STPD budget to the sacrosanct status that it has traditionally occupied.

But the STPD and WBPD are two separate departments. Why would one party engage in a conspiracy if it helped another department but not its own?

The answer is to be found in a piece of information incautiously revealed by an expert(?) witness who spoke for the STPD at the August, 2008 town council meeting. At that time the STPD PBA was fighting the suggestion that they be retired involuntarily after twenty years, a condition of their employment. According to their witness, ONLY the STPD and the WBPD, of all police departments in NYS, have this provision in their employment contracts.

If the WHB cops are as generously salaried as STPD cops, doubtless there are many officers there who, like their STPD brethren, anticipate continuing on the payroll at salaries north of $200K for as long as they wish. Facing the loss of millions of dollars is a certainly a plausible reason for engaging in a conspiracy.

Supervisor Kabot is the only official of either town who has threatened this idyllic vision of elder employment shared by the STPD and the WBPD. Knocking her out of office by means of a phony DUI bust would end the anxiety that has produced the vitriol exhibited by the STPD at town board meetings. Moreover, the cause of her demise would not be lost on future heads of government in either town. The danger to both town cops’ future prosperity and happiness would be erased, now and forever.

And what better means of accomplishing this than by a DUI bust, a procedure that the cops have been finessing for so many decades that they have absolute confidence in their ability to fabricate a believable scenario.

There is a good reason that Supervisor Kabot has never suggested this possibility, even though it is the obvious reason for her refusal to take a breathalyzer test, (a test whose result would be preordained). No doubt she realizes that, if she gives voice to her suspicions, the cops and their allies will ravage here for, “trying to deflect her guilt onto a noble police officer.”

In fact, Supervisor Kabot has comported herself with distinction throughout this entire imbroglio, neither making accusations that cannot yet be supported, nor responding in kind the disgraceful STPD PBA attacks at town board meetings.

Those concerned with the escalation of the cost of local government should take a look at the salaries of these twenty year + cops:

(http://www.town.southampton.ny.us/2009Budget/2010-TENT-town-police.pdf ) (pps. 6-9)

Now imagine that ALL of the cops in the department make that much money. Does the cost of this gilt-edge police protection appeal to you? Do you like the idea that 50+ year old cops predominate on the force?

There are two good reasons for requiring cops to retire after twenty years. Those reasons are: a) cost, and, b) declining physical ability. But if Linda Kabot is removed from office, neither consideration will ever again have any place in determining the composition of the STPD.
" Oct 6, 09 6:49 PM

Kabot's proposed $78 million budget will eliminate 48 town jobs next year

The Town does not need to cut ANY money from Animal Control or to fire ANY employees because of budget restrictions. $3.6M is available that could make both these steps unnecessary. The proposed budget allocates it to the STPD.

Under the terms of his contract, an STPD officer acknowledges that his employment will terminate with his retirement after twenty years of service. This has always been the policy of the Town. The very first contract that an officer signs with the Town contains this provision.

Currently, there are 27 STPD officers who have been employed in excess of twenty years. Collectively, they are paid $3.6M annually. We can no longer afford the largesse of retaining them beyond their normal retirement year. The officers in question should understand this. While the Town may need to offer contracts to some of these officers for pragmatic reasons of effective policing, most of them need to accept retirement as they agreed.

Were these officers to retire and be replaced by 27 newly hired officers, the town would still have $2M left to fund Animal Control and to mitigate the termination of other town employees whose contracts do NOT contain a twenty years retirement provision, (and whose relatively low pay rates reflect this.)

The STPD PBA can be counted on to revive their morality play featuring valiant officers treacherously betrayed if the Town Council adopts this budget solution. However, if the Council makes it clear that these officers have been retained until now IN FACE OF their contractual agreement to retire after twenty years, AND that their continued employment will cause forty other employees , (who made no such agreement), to lose their jobs, the public will see the fairness of their decision.
" Oct 8, 09 12:56 AM

Southampton councilwoman mulls bids to privatize town animal shelter

Were the Town Council to decline to employ the 27 SCPD cops who have exceeded the twenty years service limitation of their contracts, $3.6M would be freed to maintain the ST Animal Shelter and to mitigate the 40 firings of town employees currently proposed. " Oct 8, 09 1:07 AM

That should be sTpd. I mean Southampton Town, not Suffolk County." Oct 8, 09 1:08 AM

Grace's Hot Dogs founder Grace Amond dies at Manorville home

To Jennett Meriden Russell:

I think that the, " Peggy Cass", whom you mention in the article was the theater and tv actress and long time Hamptons resident. I used to see her on the Jitney. Cass Elliot, (Mama Cass), of The Mamas & The Papas, died in 1974." Oct 8, 09 1:33 PM

Kabot's proposed $78 million budget will eliminate 48 town jobs next year

Look at the pages cited above by golfbuddy. See how many of those officers have served more than twenty years. Lax management has permitted TWENTY-SEVEN to extend their employment beyond their contractual retirement date. Their salaries are now $3.6M/year. Perhaps this generosity arose in the past because the Town Council thought that the town was flush with cash, but today we are in dire straits. We cannot afford this multi-million dollar generosity.

Especially galling is that forty-eight other town employees are going to lose their jobs in large part because these twenty-seven cops are being employed despite their agreement, by contract, to retire years ago. Moreover, if the cops retire, they will receive in excess of $100,000 annually in benefits. The other employees will receive nothing. Which group do YOU think deserves to stay on the job?

It is going to take a Supervisor with a spine to put an end to this debilitating practice. LK has shown her metal in standing up to the arrogant and abusive PBA reps. They really hate her. On the other hand, the PBA loves ATH. They have her picture up in front of their headquarters. Which candidate do you think is more likely to stop the gravy train? " Oct 8, 09 8:44 PM

Dune Road neighbor arrested for trespassing; claims he was protecting feral cats

The sad truth is that if you are kind to a predatory species it will be attracted to your neighborhood and destroy life. But even ignoring them won't necessarily keep lawyers out." Oct 8, 09 9:28 PM

Kabot's proposed $78 million budget will eliminate 48 town jobs next year

The examples of poor management or purchase decisions or construction decisions that posters lay at the foot of Linda Kabot are HISTORY.

The $3.6M annual expenditure on the salaries of police officers who should be retired is the FUTURE.

Unless a Supervisor and Town Board adopts the policy that formerly prevailed of not offering continued employment to most cops who have passed their contractual twenty year retirement date, we will spend $3.6M next year, and the year after, etc.

Now that the scandalous mismanagement of the Town has been exposed, public outrage will prevent the old unsound business practices from occurring again, (or, at least, so we can hope.)

BUT, unless those holdover cops are retired, that $3.6M+ budget item will suck the life out of all other Town programs every year. No level of managerial skill will overcome the drag of that $3.6M anchor. This year it's Animal Control. Next year it will be health services. The next, youth services. It takes a lot of program cuts to add up to $3.6M.

ATH thinks that everything is just peachy in the STPD. She has seen how the PBA dumped on LK and has pulled her head firmly in. She won't change a thing. But the cops already hate LK for raising this issue. She has nothing to lose by going forward with this necessary reform. No one else is in the same position." Oct 8, 09 11:11 PM

To tookatz:

It's not like the Town has to put fliers up in slums in order to attract candidates for the STPD. STPD officer is a highly desirable and highly competitive appointment. The position offers a good starting salary, and astronomical increases by grade and seniority, for a job that doesn't require a college degree. By the time a STPD cop retires after his twenty, he will have earned more than the average worker does after forty. He will retire on a pension and benefits that would allow him to live out the rest of his life. However, most ex-cops actually get new lucratively paid positions for which their twenty year resume now qualifies them. It's a terrific deal.

If the position didn't expose the officer to a danger of maiming and death, the pay scale be the same as that of a clerk or a gardener. So it is disingenuous to allege that those of us who point out that some cops are working past their retirement date do not respect the danger or the demands of the job. We do, just as the cops do. It is the reason for their extraordinary pay scale." Oct 8, 09 11:30 PM

After delay, Girl Scouts get green light for Westhampton Beach mural

Reports that Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company executives begin each day by hitting each other in the head with a brick have NOT been confirmed." Oct 9, 09 2:31 AM

Kabot's proposed $78 million budget will eliminate 48 town jobs next year

PRECISELY! Those 48 fires will, with one or two exceptions, be employees at the very bottom of the pay hierarchy in Southampton Town. THEY will have no savings or safety net of any kind to fall back on and will have difficulty finding another job.

By contrast, the 27 STPD cops serving supra-contractually beyond their designated retirement year would have a $100,000K pension and benefit package annually AND the credentials to secure lucrative employment in the private security sector.

If those cops retired, EVERY SINGLE town employees could keep his job.

This trade-off is so sensible, reasonable, equitable, compassionate and OBVIOUS that the failure of any candidate for Southampton Town Council in this election to raise it damns them all." Oct 9, 09 3:04 PM

To Sam:

I really know little of Chris Nuzzi, as I knew little of Linda Kabot and the STPD payroll padding until her DUI arrest attracted my interest.

However, the list of Nuzzi's campaign benefactors suggest that he is another in the long line of Town Council members whose hearts are with the building trades. ( http://www.elections.state.ny.us:8080/reports/rwservlet?cmdkey=efs_sch_report+p_filer_id=C21689+p_e_year=2008+p_freport_id=K+p_transaction_code=B)

It is traditional in Southampton to hand out Republican Town Council nominations to pleasant party apparatchicks who can be relied upon to protect construction industry interests. The only complaints that I have read about Nuzzi is that he has enunciated the Republican party line at community meetings.
" Oct 9, 09 3:38 PM

A generation under globalization

A nice, impartial essay. Friedman himself says that he isn't advocating anything. He just is presenting his perspective of an interesting phenomenon.

However, a discussion of the appropriate national response to this phenomenon would be more engaging.

We are the most powerful nation in the world with the largest economy and the biggest consumer market. Our centibillion dollar annual military expenditures keep the free global market free. We appear to be in the enviable position of CHOOSING our response to globalization rather than having to react to it. Under these circumstances should our nation ALLOW an Indian boy from the slums of Mumbai to compete against an American for a job produced by our national economy? Considering our unique status as the biggest boy on the block and the cost of our international peacekeeping, (that benefits all nations), are we not entitled to protect our citizens against that competition for the sake of their prosperity and happiness?

Free market economists would say that our wishes are irrelevant; that we either engage in a free market or our economy will decline. But is that true? The EEOC doesn't. It seems to be doing fine. And if it is true, is there a point to being a nation if that nation does not favor its own citizens over foreigners?

Friedman is right. This topic is fascinating. The national weltanschauung has changed dramatically since the Vietnam War." Oct 9, 09 6:42 PM

Southampton Town deputy supervisor confronts, shoves PBA president over comments about budget

You are probably unaware that 27 of the STPD cops have been on the job for more than twenty years, the anniversary date on which their contracts require that they retire. Their salary tab is $3.6M annually. While a few cops are always retained beyond twenty years, the majority don't make the cut and retire. However, the Southampton Town Council has generously retained in employment officers who should have been replaced by new hires, (at less than half their pay).

The Town can no longer afford this largesse. Were these officers retired, many of the other town employees scheduled for the axe, who did NOT sign contracts with a term limit, could be retained." Oct 9, 09 10:11 PM

You are missing THE important point. Each police officer, when he first signs on, agrees to a contract stipulating that after twenty years, he will retire.

The brouhaha at the August 26, 2008 Town Council Meeting, where cops appeared en mass in uniform, occurred because Linda Kabot dared to suggest that six of the supra-contractual cops should be retired. The Chief had recommended these six for retirement of all the cops who have worked beyond the twenty year maximum. Since it is the chief who decides who stays on beyond twenty years, one can assume that he thought that theses six, while initially worthy or continued employment, no longer merited the exception.

The high salaries of cops, per se, is not in issue." Oct 10, 09 5:48 PM

Proposed change to Southampton Village code would allow archers to shoot deer on their property

As an arch bunny hugger and vegetarian, I oppose any proposal that allows sentient animals to be killed, period. There is no animal population that cannot be controlled by non-lethal methods. Deer can be trapped, darted, neutered and ID chipped.

I know that we are a predatory species and that it is normal for us to kill other animals to eat or wear or just for fun. Fortunately, until now, local law has prevented this from being done outside my window.

I suggest that the towns submit deer control proposals to the populace in a referendum. Let the voters choose killing, neutering, (with the advice of PETA and other animal welfare organizations), or continuing with the status quo in which we allow killers to enjoy themselves in specific seasons. Let's find out what the people would prefer.

" Oct 11, 09 3:39 AM

Dune Road neighbor arrested for trespassing; claims he was protecting feral cats

From the description in the article, I believe that ALL of the traps were kill traps. The only,"body-grab", traps that I know of strangle the animal and fracture its spine. Had the traps been humane, no-kill models, the Jacobis would have said so. Instead, they are finessing us; pretending that they, "wouldn't hurt any animal - ever.", (except for the two kill traps that they acknowledge).

They were probably surprised when the reporter contacted them. Had they had a few minutes to get their stories straight, they would have referred to all five traps as, "relocation traps".

Were I Mr. Young, I would consider relocating myself, (literally, not euphemistically). The neighborhood has gone to hell.


" Oct 11, 09 3:58 AM

Southampton councilwoman mulls bids to privatize town animal shelter

It is serendipitous that STPD supra-contractual hires turn out to be the proximate cause of the closing of the Animal Control division..

When I started researching the STPD as pertains to its interactions with Supervisor Kabot, I was unaware of the, "twenty years and out", provision of STPD employment contracts, and that 27 cops were still on the payroll years after they were supposed to have retired.

Since the cops AGREED to retire after twenty years when they signed on, what could be more equitable than to require that they honor their agreement.

The choice before the Town Council seems clear to me. Fire forty-eight employees; close the Animal Control Department - OR - retire all the cops unnecessarily continued on the payroll beyond their twenty year anniversary.

You characterize my observations about the STPD as, "complaining". I see them as a SOLUTION. Have you an alternative?

" Oct 11, 09 4:34 AM

Kabot DWI case moved to Riverhead Town Justice Court

To Turkey Bridge:

The most important question that the candidates have to answer is whether or not they will vote to retire some of the 27 STPD cops who are being employed supra-contractually after over twenty years on the job.

Be you Democrat or Republican, it is clear that the fairest way to release money to mitigate the termination of forty-eight town employees which the budget envisions is to require those cops who are not essential to retire.

The argument that you make is relevant only AFTER a candidate has stated his position on this issue. If he is too timorous to support this obvious, (if only partial), solution, he deserves nobody's vote." Oct 11, 09 5:20 AM

Proposed change to Southampton Village code would allow archers to shoot deer on their property

To Frank Wheeler:

You libel PETA which is not on any terrorist watch list. Ditto for The Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association which would be happy to provide information on humane population control. There are many others.

Since it is you and Mayor Epley who are attempting to change the status quo by initiating bow hunting of deer in the village , how am, "I' attempting to, "impose my beliefs on all others". Rather it is you two who think that allowing bloodsports on the streets of Southampton is a reasonable suggestion.

One need not be a vegetarian to oppose exposing one's family to the awful site of gentle creatures dying painfully in front of their eyes.

" Oct 11, 09 9:29 PM

To Frank Wheeler:

You state that PETA is on a terrorist watch list. This is false – and libelous. You equate it with two notional organizations without members in whose names activists commit illegal acts to protect animals, also untrue.

You say that killing is the only effective way of controlling the deer population. Also false. Killing is just the cheapest way. I have already stated the humane alternative.

You state that deer hunting is not a, “blood sport”. False again.

You assert that I should not voice my opinion of killing deer with bows and arrow in Southampton Village because I don’t live there. The 1st Amendment dealt with that notion in 1792. Also, remember, “Civics”.

Finally, a rigorous humane control of the deer population will decrease deer/auto accidents just as effectively as an inhumane one. It is the control that is important, not the method.

Libel , Error, Ignorance. Before you hit the, “Submit”, button, you should consider what your post says about you rather than what you say about other people in it.
" Oct 12, 09 2:01 AM

To Frank Wheeler:

__________________________________________________________ (Insert name of terrorist watch list and security organization that compiled it here

You compound your libel. Your first assertion that PETA was on a terrorist watch list can be ascribed to ignorance and carelessness. Now, though, you have been informed that your claim is false and you, “stand by your word”. Your citations are ALL irrelevant. They are nothing more than complaints by, or catalogues of complaints by, people who do not like PETA. (The, “activistcash”, citation is superannuated. Time to update your material.)

Here is a link to a Cornell University report that summarizes deer population control methods, including both sterilization and killing. It is not surprising that the NYS DEC would be ignorant of its existence. The s.o.p. of deer control has been hunting. It is a system that the DEC is familiar with. Sterilization would be entirely novel and would be expensive. Bureaucrats do not like to change the way they have always done things.

(http://www.dnr.cornell.edu/ext/chdp/Control%20Method%20compare.pdf)

An immediate reduction in deer/auto accidents could be effected by the installation of, “Strieter-Lites”, as in East Hampton.

(http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/18/nyregion/long-island/18deerli.html effected)

In any case, I was unable to find any news articles that reported, “. . .a loved one in a horrendous vehicular wreck caused by deer.”, as you describe, nor any reports of fatalities or serious injury to motorists locally. Basically, deer/auto accidents cause car body damage.

“Blood sport: a sport or contest (as hunting or cockfighting) involving bloodshed”. Can we finally put this discussion to rest. Merriam-Webster agrees with ME.

(http://www.aolsvc.merriam-webster.aol.com/dictionary/blood%20sport)

You stand by a statement that is false and libelous. If you want to retract your statement, now is the time to do so. Did you mean to say that PETA is a, “domestic terrorist support group”, as you later phrased it, (since it contributed to the defense fund of an animal rights activist), rather than that it is on a, “terrorist watch list.”? Then do so now. The latter is a grave accusation. The former is semantic fluff.

Beyond this, you continue to state erroneous beliefs after they have been shown erroneous by citation, mislead readers about the damage that deer cause, and list citations that do not support the point for which you list them.
" Oct 12, 09 2:49 PM

“Blood sport: a sport or contest (as hunting or cockfighting) involving bloodshed”.

(http://www.aolsvc.merriam-webster.aol.com/dictionary/blood%20sport)

" Oct 13, 09 4:08 AM

Quogue Village mayor pleads guilty to securities fraud

Copy editor:

". . . a practice in which a person executes trades without assigning those trades are executed without being assigned to a specific trading account." " Oct 13, 09 8:40 PM

Andy Hammer: A new challenger

Speaking Latin will help with the Latinos. - - - Ba-dum-BUMP!" Oct 13, 09 8:46 PM

Couple are 'a perfect match' in more ways than one

Best Wishes to both on your wedding. Great story!" Oct 13, 09 9:05 PM

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