Saunders, Real Estate, Hamptons

534 Comments by Board Watcher

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East Hampton Town budget is up 4.6 percent; taxes up 10 percent

The over-due audits have been the bane of Town budgets ever since the Dems took control of the Board -- I think the Wilkinson Team has fugured out the smoke screens and "politics" of it all and ANTICIPATES what is happening rather than ruminating on "How could this be?!?" or "This is someone else's fault". Reality, transparency, change. Let's see how Pat, Julia, Pete, Bill and (groan) Brad react to the proposal by Wilkinson, Dominick and Theresa. Zwirn's reaction will also be telling - if it picks it apart rather endorsing those parts that make sense . . . I guess that will say it all - won't it? Can only hope that the current Board doesn't leave the future one (AND US!) in the lurch -- it may be too much to expect - but is it too much to ask?" Oct 3, 09 12:43 AM

Thiele leaves Republicans, joins Independence Party

Good for him -- any one who merely votes the party vs. the person, in my opinion, is too dogmatic to make practical, reasonable, equitable choices because the "choice" will always be determined by a party's agenda vs. what that individual really believes . . . you can vote for the person for what they say, or what they do - and only hope that they say what they mean and do what they say. Fred has my vote. " Oct 4, 09 12:37 AM

Text of McGintee resignation letter

I would be happy if Bill McGintee agreed to return his salary for the last six years (OK - the last four years? the last two?) to the Town coffers - rather than seeing it go to attorneys to work out a "deal". That money is our money - his police pension is enough for the family, isn't it? While i do feel sorry for them, I don't feel sorry for him. Shame and embarrasment (not that I have really seen any from him) is one thing - exploiting a fiduciary duty an elected official has to his/her constituents is another. He not only raised his salary and that of his cronies while he was in office - his resignation assures him a pension and/or health care benefits from the Town regardless of the outcome of the grand jury investigation. Same was/is true for Ted Hults. Discouraging to learn first hand - in a small town - that it really can be all about money, power, and absolute arrogance rather than what is best for the hard working residents of the Town. Very scary. " Oct 5, 09 11:33 PM

East Hampton GOP announces financial action plan

I don't understand why people are not focusing on the plan itself - and why the proposal is not published for people to see? Was it not submitted to this paper?! If so - where is it?! If not - why not? I have been reading that a copy was given to Town Board members - and no one has anything to say about it?!? Especially The Press? WHAT IS UP WITH THIS? If you don't have a copy I recognize that you can't print it - but if you DO - please share. Inquiring minds would like to read something that could truly be discussed -- maybe! Have to see it first . . . " Oct 5, 09 11:44 PM

Oops - just read that the proposed budget is almost 72 million - not 69 something - but what's another 3 or 4 million?!? I can see that the latest and greatest budget didn't come out until after this article is printed -- but either Wilkinson's plan is available publicly or it isn't - I haven't seen it myself although i guess i could FOIL it . . . will wait for you to. Thanks." Oct 5, 09 11:49 PM

Thiele leaves Republicans, joins Independence Party

Thank you freesia - well said!" Oct 6, 09 11:13 PM

Quogue Village mayor pleads guilty to securities fraud

Highhatsize: Is this the same Motz as the judge in your neighborhood? And doesn't their son have some kind of tax-paid job? If so - and I admit I am not all that familiar with Quogue - East, the Village, or otherwise - why is NO ONE mentioning these facts?!? Unless I am mistaken - and if I am - this so-called "newspaper" should print disclaimers about the relations. Enlighten me, please." Oct 13, 09 11:05 PM

Vice President Biden visited Hamptons over Columbus Day weekend

This is news? Joe Biden might as well be Hillary Clinton, Billy Joel, Alec Baldwin et. al. This is a nice place to visit (or even live here!) if you have enough money, isn't it? Is this National wanting to be Local? What a mess. No thanks." Oct 14, 09 10:18 PM

Quogue Village mayor pleads guilty to securities fraud

Thanks for the update on how everyone is related, and how they are getting paid and by who (read: taxpayer dollars). The hypocricy of those who benefit directly from fraud (yes, gasp! monetarily!) and then stand by their "fallen" family members never ceases to amaze me. A simple resolution for all of those "mea culpas" is for all to give back the money that "they" - YES - AS A FAMILY - benefitted from. Shaming isn't working, evidently, since we continue to the pay the price. I work for my money, honestly. When did this concept get thrown to the wind?! " Oct 14, 09 10:40 PM

East Hampton Town Board discusses staff cuts in closed session

So Code Enforcement Department Head Dominick Schirrapa was the first to go. Before Lynn Ryan?!? Wow. Guess he and Pete and former Code Enforcement Officer Julia Prince just didn't get along, and perhaps Bill protected him a bit? Personal politics sure can be a dirty business. Time to get rid of all of it! " Oct 15, 09 11:00 PM

Ad calls GOP candidate's personal finances into question

Factsandtruth is absolutely correct. As an aside - anyone that has a business knows that a lien is not a "judgment". So why is Bill Taylor mischaracterizing this? And Chris Kelley, who knows better as an attorney, didn't explain this not-so-subtle distinction to his Democrat Party Chair? I can see the Dems are still spending money foolishly and are not to be trusted to state facts or tell the truth. Time for a change. " Oct 17, 09 4:16 PM

Quogue mayor resigns days after pleading guilty to felony fraud charge

I am baffled by all of these remarks . . . truly baffled. I too could be the kindest, most benevolent, most "giving" person if only I didn't have to worry about how to support my self, my family, and those who are truly in need in the community. Former mayor Motz's family did, indeed, benefit from his illegal activities. Nice guy? Many people think that about Bill McGintee because they "know him". HINT - if you are going into public service do not try to decieve those who you have a fiduciary duty to serve. Enough already! " Oct 18, 09 10:00 PM

Springs and East Hampton school districts at odds again over tuition

Apparently Chris Kelley has not been doing his job either." Oct 19, 09 12:00 AM

Ad calls GOP candidate's personal finances into question

Well call him up and ask him Phins!! He has an e-mail - you may just have to use your real name! By the way - John Whelan who is running for Town Council was arrested on the midemeanor charge of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in April of this year, if anyone truly cares. Of more interest (if people are really going in this direction) may be the fact that the candidate for Supervisor quietly obtained a Certificate of Occupancy for an illegal pool that was at his home since 1979 and for a deck which existed on the property since 2002 THIS JULY. Most likely, his home has been underassessed tax-wise for almost thirty years. Now there's a stellar example of "do what I say not what I do" if I've ever seen one. Do you think he offered to pony up back taxes? Probably not . . . " Oct 19, 09 4:15 PM

East Hampton Town candidates focus on the issues

I was there - Zwirn supporters laughed at an un-called for dig at Wilkinson - but there were no "boos" in the literal sense - just groans and murmmerings on the nastiness of the remark. To be fair - and in case I just didn't hear the "boos" - perhaps this paper could refer people to the locations that this debate is being televised so they can decide for themselves what really happened rather than relying on this reporter and the paper's "observations". Just a suggestion - it would cut out a lot of subjectiveness - wouldn't it? " Oct 21, 09 12:11 AM

Where they stand: Town finances

THE primary difference between Wilkinson's plan and Zwirn's "plan" is that Zwirn's "plan" does nothing to address the true deficit of the Town. While "A Supervisor for Supervisor" was actually a Supervisor in North Hempstead from 1990 to 1993 - he left the Town with a deficit. Something he acknowledged at this debate but "poo poohed" by saying "yes there was a need to raise taxes" or something like that (I urge everyone to look at the tape) "but it only required residents to pay $21.00 a year more in taxes per resident - either you left a deficit or you didn't -- we don't need more mumbo jumbo! " Oct 21, 09 12:24 AM

Where they stand: The arts

Why is there no reporting of the fact that at this "debate" Ben Zwirn, when questioned about affordable housing, stated that a legislative change could be made to put affordable housing (for artists or otherwise) at Boys Harbor? Is this position not "newsworthy"? Those who are hoping that CPF funds will be used for "passive" vs. "active" use should have been there . . . and if they weren't you should have reported it. Pandering to an immediate audience is not a trait I want in the next Supervisor. We have had enough of that, no? " Oct 21, 09 12:36 AM

Montauk residents fight for beach access

I am going to write this again, paraphrased, and if it is not published I would appreciate Joe Shaw letting everyone know why. Questions: In this article Ben Zwirn is quoted as saying “Yes, we can buy it,” I ask, tongue in cheek, with what money, Mr. Zwirn, the profits from the sale of your familiy business? And shouldn't we, as taxpayers, have concerns about buying "a spit of land" for (at least or more) 2.2 million dollars (shades of Keyes Island?) without a darn good reason to do so (i.e. one that benefits the whole Town?) And what private property owner would negotiate with someone who says “Peter Kalikow is not the easiest guy in the world to get along with, but we can gang up on him” at a televised debate?? Apparently Ben Zwirn will say anything to anyone to get a vote. It's called "pandering to special interests" - and it worked for Mr. "Come and See Me" McGintee and his supporters. For a while. It is unfortunate that the Trustees do not have jurisdiction in Montauk and that the Town did not take advantage of this opportunity years ago. Ben Zwirn is saying what "could be done" and "he will do it" to anyone who asks. If the Town had an extra 3 million in CPF funds hanging around I too, would say, "Buy at all costs!!!" if that's what was being asked of me. But that type of reckless spending is what got us to the dismal point that we are at. I like the cause - but don't have the patience for one who creats false hopes, makes empty promises and panders to special interests for votes.

" Oct 21, 09 1:05 AM

Where they stand: The arts

This paper reports:

"Both men had taken a stand against the [motel] tax." That is patently false. Ben Zwirn went to Albany and lobbied FOR it because, he says, it was included in his duties as a deputy county executor. It was only AFTER he lobbied for it that he said he was really against it. Bill Wilkinson wrote letters and went to a Legislative session to speak out against the tax. The "Steve Levy made me do it" excuse is so lame that this paper should have reported these "facts" as they are - not as Ben Zwirn wishes they were. When are we going to get the truth from the Press? " Oct 23, 09 10:53 AM

East Hampton Town candidates focus on the issues

I am positive that it is not Beth Young who should take the brunt of any patent "slant" or lack of investigation that this paper produces and publicizes as the "truth" without digging further or printing real facts. Ms. Young's editor has individuals running for Town Board, and a publisher who may or may not have an agenda politically. It is a shame because reporters should not only have the wherewithall to "dig" a little - the newspaper should have the gumption to report facts. If Ben Zwirn admits during a debate that when he - a "Supervisor for Supervisor" - left his former position - there was a five million dollar deficit in North Hempstead. I would think that someone would pay attention to that fact. This is not a "political" opinion - it is a fact. Unfortunately, it is one that is not reported by this paper. By not investigating the Q & A during the debate fully - or following up on the "news" as it unfolded - this newspaper aids and abets those who would prefer that the truth not be known. Very sad. " Oct 23, 09 11:36 PM

Ms. Young's editor has individuals WHO ARE RELATIVES running for Town Board . . . " Oct 23, 09 11:41 PM

East Hampton Town Board members walk out on budget talks

Ben Zwirn has been described as a maverick, a political spoiler, and an angry man in all sorts of quotes from all sorts of sources. Just google his name. Steve Levy appointed him and said Zwirn would ride into Town and "shake things up" and "turn things around" or some other such nonesense (Steve Levy also said Bill McGintee would make a "fine" candidate for the County Legislater against Scneiderman in 2008 when McGintee was being harangued by Republicans about the budget crisis). I wonder what Steve Levy has to say about Ben Zwirn after he flip-flopped on the motel sales tax and made a big to-do about returning errant taxpayers money from the county coffers? Zwirn has publicly stated that he will not work with Pete Hammerle. I, for one, will not be voting for him or any other candidate that the Democrat Committee seeks to control in the future." Oct 24, 09 11:07 PM

Dear Dissappointed - vote the Independence line or for the people who make the most sense given all that has happened in the last six years. It doesn't have to be "Dems against us" or "Us against Dems", which are exteremely narrow-minded positions in my opinion. Point in fact - I was speaking with a lovely, hard working young man in the restaurant business (from the UK, I believe) who hasn't lived in East Hampton for very long - two years maybe? - although he worked in the city for many, many years. We talked about how he was voting this year and and why. I was interested in his views. He told me that he normally "votes the party line" because he believes in "democracy" and "open space" and is against "overdevelopment" and "greedy corporations". Although he makes quite a bit of money (more than enough to pay his rent and go on "vacation" when he wants to - ahh, to be young and have no reaponsibilities!!) he thinks that "health care costs too much". After a nice conversation, he said that, while he loves East Hampton, he has not truly been "effected" by anything that is happening locally (i.e. he doesn't own a home or a business, and his employers pay for his housing). He said, and I quote, "I suppose if I owned the business or house I would pay more attention to what the local issues are." I thanked him for voting, and sharing his opinions and himself in an open, honest, friendly discussion. " Oct 26, 09 8:34 PM

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