This upcoming Patchogue Village election, on March 20, 2012, could possibly be the most important election in the history of our village. I have been evaluating the two political parties that are currently involved with the upcoming Patchogue Village election.
The Nu Village Civic Association is currently trying to smooth out what has been a rough election campaign. The "Nu Village Civic Association," in their "Declaration of Principles" statement, are in favor of a Citizens Advisory Board, maximum input from the residents, public referendums, and term limits. The "Nu Village Civic Association," does not have a slate of candidates. I did see one stated principal that in my opinion could possibly cause problems. As stated, "If any law is not currently and specifically held by the village, it is automatically deemed a right of the "people." Could this mean that I automatically get the right to display my Sherman Tank on my front lawn, because the village does not currently have a law precluding me from such an action? This statement could use some clarification. This group seems to be headed by David Kennedy, a respected community leader.
Mayor Pontieri is currently running for re-election with his "Patchogue 2012," political party; his platform is his previous track record. Mayor Pontieri and his slate of trustees have in the past, done an exemplary job at running our village. Paul Pontieri's current slate of officials consists of Lori Devlin, and Jack Krieger; Tom Ferb being a new candidate. In recent months Paul Pontieri has been accused of many alleged improprieties, which we are all familiar with. I can rationalize most of the alleged offenses to myself , but I cannot rationalize approval of the Four Corners Tritec project, without a multi-tier garage, a tower, a reception room, and a hotel. To this day I keep hoping that Tritec would either terminate the project, or provide us with the amenities that were offered to us in their original presentation.
The "Residents First," political party has introduced Lisa Ihne, and Gregory P. Powers for trustee, Stephen Mc Giff being an incumbent. Elizabeth L. Mc Guire is running for mayor. The opposition has questioned Elizabeth's qualifications to hold the office of Mayor. Elizabeth is an Executive Vice President for a major corporation. It is obvious that she is qualified for the position of Patchogue Village Mayor. Lisa Ihne is also highly qualified; she is a School Principal with a Doctorate Degree.
I do have reservations about putting new people into office, that have not lived through the crime and violence that once plagued our village, many years ago. To this day members of the Maple Avenue Neighborhood Watch are forever grateful to Paul Pontieri and the trustees for taking our village back from the criminals. I do fear governmental changes with regard to this issue; previous Patchogue Village administrations did not know how to deal with crime. It might be a good idea for any newly elected Patchogue Village Official to have a casual meeting with a few members of the local Neighborhood Watch, so that they may be made aware of what has been done in the past to discourage crime in our village.
The "Residents First," political party stated their intent to have, "Equal enforcement of Village Code," and to "Aggressively enforce the law with a fair and even hand." With a change in local government comes an uncertainty in how the law and code will be interpreted. The last thing that I want for Patchogue Village is a "Stalag 17" environment. I do not believe that village codes should be enforced dogmatically. In the past our village has allegedly been accused of being overly aggressive in its enforcement of code issues.
I can recall a neighbor complaining to the Patchogue Village Building Department, that her neighbors house was in dire need of maintenance, only to discover that the house was owned by an old lady, who barely had enough money to buy food. This issue was handled in a humane way, by redirecting this problem to the proper social institution.
I personally would rather have six people living in a two bedroom apartment, who are good neighbors, as opposed to having that apartment occupied by criminals! We have had and still do have a few over occupied apartments; but we do not have any problems with the occupants. If we don't have problems, don't try to fix it! I personally do not believe in dogmatic implementation of the law. Loud parties and trash in the street; go after them! Peace and serenity; don't try and fix it! (This does not in any way represent Patchogue Village policy; but is a statement of my personal opinion.)
I am in favor of the "Residents First Party's," policy of "resident participation." It is absolutely imperative that newly elected officials be aware of past Patchogue Village problems; I also have great hopes for the Village "Board of Ethics," which has been proposed by The "Residents First" party, the "Patchogue 2012" party, and the "Nu Village Civic Association."
Update Feb. 2 6:35 p.m.: The copy of this blog was refreshed.