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A Response to Mayor Pontieri's Attack Ad: My Qualifications to be the Mayor

Why I am qualified to be the next Mayor of Patchogue Village

Mr. Pontieri recently placed an advertisement and sent a letter to residents attacking me. He will be spending a fortune in the coming weeks of his campaign because he has raised a tremendous amount of money from developers and vendors doing business with the Village of Patchogue.

Pontieri is Taking Staggering Contributions from Developers and Vendors Doing Business in Patchogue

Mayor Pontieri recently had a $250 per person fundraiser hosted by the developers who constructed the Riverwalk development on West Avenue. He raised thousands of dollars from the developers and vendors who contributed towards this fundraiser alone. Over the years Mr. Pontieri has solicited and accepted contributions from Tritec (Four Corners Development), Capital Management (Bay Village and Checkers development), and numerous other developers and vendors doing business with the Village totaling more than $60,000.

When you see Mr. Pontieri’s advertisements and receive his mailings, think about the developers paying for those ads, and consider that these developers and vendors have bought and now own Mr. PontieriThese developers and vendors now firmly control Village Hall.  

Our Grass Roots Campaign will Win on Ideas and Ideals

The Resident’s First team will not be able to compete with Mr. Pontieri’s advertising campaign. Our budget consists of our own personal contributions and the collective small contributions of Village residents and small business supporters.

Nonetheless, we will win this campaign on the strength of our ideas and integrity of our ideals.

I welcome the free exchange of ideas, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to respond to the Mayor’s attacks.  In order to give these issues the detailed response they deserve, this is a multi-part blog. 

1. Mr. Pontieri questions my abilities and experience.

I am confident in my abilities, I am proud of my experience, and I am certain that I can excel as your Mayor.   

I am a former member of the Village Board and a former member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. 

I have been involved in Patchogue’s community and government for close to 15 years, and have been a volunteer and advocate for many causes during that time.

As an Executive Vice President for a major international jewelry firm, I manage $40 million dollars in accounts – 4 times the Village budget. I give major business presentations for Fortune 500 companies in the United States and around the world.  Last year alone I secured $18 million dollars of new business for our company.

The three Mayors prior to Mr. Pontieri were hardworking individuals. No one questioned their ability or experience to do the job. One was a former school teacher, another was an insurance sales representative, and the third was an employee of the Long Island Railroad. 

Mr. Pontieri himself was a former school teacher and administrator. (He also owned and operated a small business that went out of business.)

Mr. Pontieri has announced that if I am elected the residents will have a “wife.”  Rest assured that if I am elected, the Village residents will have a Mayor, one who will stand up and fight for them, a Mayor that will put the interests of the Residents First.

2. Mr. Pontieri wonders where I will find the time to be the Mayor.

Paul Pontieri worked other full time jobs while he’s been the Mayor

Mr. Pontieri didn’t worry about how much time he would have to be Mayor when he was a full time school administrator for most of his first term as Mayor. He didn’t concern himself with the time he had to be Mayor when he took a job as a Deputy Town Supervisor for a large part of his second term as Mayor. He didn’t worry about how much time he had to be Mayor when he took a political appointment to the Suffolk Community College Board.

I have the time and the qualifications to excel as your Mayor

I have the blessing of my employer and my family, and I am committed to serving the residents of the Village of Patchogue.  

I manage my accounts and conduct business for my employer by working with and directing employees located in New York, India, China, and throughout the United States. I do all of this from my home office in Patchogue and my company’s office in New York City.   

I have had no trouble handling the rigors of the debate and fight over the future of the Four Corners; I have had no difficulty dedicating the time required to conduct this campaign; and I have plenty of time and an abundance of commitment to excel as your Mayor.  

I believe firmly that good management technique requires hiring competent, ethical individuals to work for you. You provide them with the proper oversight, you impart upon them your vision and agenda, and together you accomplish your goals. That is how I grew my accounts last year by $18 million dollars. 

I will work with my Deputy Mayor, the Village Trustees, and the dozens of hardworking, full-time Village employees, to make Patchogue the best it can be.

The Mayor’s position has historically been a part time job

The Mayor’s position has historically been a part time job. In fact, until Mr. Pontieri became Mayor, the job only paid $15,000 per year. He proposed and acquired two separate raises for himself, increasing his salary to $36,000 per year. Then, he took a job at the Town of Brookhaven making $60,000 per year, double the amount allowed under state limits.  See “Patchogue Mayor’s Town Pay Exceeds State Limits” as reported in Newsday on July 15, 2009.  www.newsday.com/news/breaking/spin-cycle-1.812042/patchogue-mayor-s-town-pay-exceeds-state-limits-1.1310180?print=true

3.  Mr. Pontieri claims that we have engaged in “dirty politics.”

All of the matters that have been raised about Mr. Pontieri are related to his performance and his actions taken in his official capacity as Mayor of the Village of Patchogue. We make no allegations about his personal life, or about things he has done outside the scope of his employment. We intend to keep it that way.

Conclusion:

We assert that integrity matters. We know that elected officials don't have to break the law to be successful. We are certain that the future of the Four Corners and the are critical to our future. I will address these and other matters further in my next blog.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

JoJoCfe January 29, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I agree with thomasmcm . If this indeed happened, I think your integrity has been totally compromised.
jimmy murphy January 29, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I don't care about Patchogue First trademark or whether the mayor stole the checkbook or not. I care about my taxes and my roads. It's my money he's spending. I care that the theatre was dark again last night. Another Saturday night with no act happening. I care that they stop the 291 APARTMENT ON THE 4 CORNERS!!!!! NO MORE RENTALS AND NO SECTION 8!!!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!
John Bogack January 29, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Slight problem with ideas for the four corners: the deal is done by law. I have seen any number of posts about "redevelopment" ideas for the four corners, the Tritec New Village proposal. Missing in all of this is one 600 pound gorilla. The process for all of this is done. Tritec has legal approvals for its project. The Village is defending that legal plan in court now but hopes to win out. But for that law suit building would already be started. It is of course possible that the judge may find some legal reason for sending everything back to the drawing board. But in that case what a precedent would be made. Patchogue Village would not be seen anymore as a reliable partner for investment because what it gives one day, is taken back the next. And siince Tritec has made it very clear it does not have the money for other ideas like a hotel or condo building I really have to wonder just how they are going to be convinced to go back to the drawing board to satisfy demands that they have already rejected. My guess is they will just hold onto the land and move on to the Ronkonkoma Hub project where their involvement is wanted. In the meantime the center of the village will remain neglected for who knows how many years to come. Doesn't sound good to me.
thomasmcm January 29, 2012 at 02:34 PM
This is NOT about Patchogue First. This is about the ethics and integrity of two candidates, one being for mayor and one for trustee, and the Village Justice. Why should the residents of the village put their trust in these people when they have already let down so many of the residents of this community??
cresten January 29, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Talk about classic deflection, try and change the subject from possible theft/misuse of $17,000 and God knows what else, to a trademark issue? Your arms must hurt from flailing about in such desperation.
Bob January 29, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I agree Patchogue First is old news. It is about the Mayor and his misconduct in my book: gas, credit cards, cousins, cars, triple dipping patronage jobs and pensions, you name it. Patchogue has become Paul Pontieri's personal piggy bank and has cost the taxpayers a fortune. You say enough is enough. I say 8 years is enough! Amen to that!!!!
thomasmcm January 29, 2012 at 05:52 PM
missed the point about "integrity", "honesty", and "ethics" didn't you? ...or maybe not, talk about "flailing arms" and "deflection". you're concerned about crap that has never been proven but not about real issues that have? you're worried about 'misconduct'?? wait until Mr and Mrs Mcguire Mr McGiff and Mr. Keegan are in office...I doubt your "flailing arms" will do you any good
doug young January 29, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Paul Pontieri's personal piggy bank! I love it! Integrity,honesty and ethics? You've got to be joking.....or very high. Patchogue demands answers about the purloined gas and whatever else was stolen from the people! An immediate apology, and then resignation is long past due from mayor wonderful and his henchmen! Heaven itself won't stop these people given more time in power. End it now!
Wendy Blake January 29, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Purloined gas? Can't help wondering if that were the case, why this was not brought to the attention of the police of District Attorney, as opposed to be put out in the media and in a letter to the residents of Patchogue. First of all it is only alleged wrong doing, since I don't see that anything has been proven. Second, you have to wonder at the timing of these charges, of course brought out right before election time. And third, if this is a criminal act, why not treat it as such, go to the appropriate authorities and let them handle it. If there is so much proof that Mayor Pontieri was "purloining" gas, then it should be easy to resolve. However it should be done in the courts of law and not the court of public opinion.
JoJoCfe January 29, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Do you really want Patchogue to be Port Jefferson? Have you been there lately?
Mike January 30, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Liz - I'm no fan of our current mayor but as a home owner it just doesn't sell. All I was looking for was ANY type of IDEA that you claim to have. I don't need a formed letter or email response. It's a small community it would go very far or may even boost your campaign if you would go out and talk to people outside of your circle. Your looking for a vote don't ask people to email you come and look to you for am answer. It shows your disconnect with the community.
florence casey January 30, 2012 at 11:17 AM
@Mike- I'm a homeowner, and just this past week, Liz McGuire came knocking on my door. She came in, and she spoke to me about my concerns. I know she must have had hundreds more doors to knock on, yet she never seemed rushed. I bet she'll be knocking on yours soon, too. I think the email invite is for people that don't want to wait. As I said before, she has my vote.
doug young January 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Same here Florence, Ms. McGuire came to my house, she was very gracious, nice and intelligent. While I may not agree with everything she said, I'll take her in a minute over Mayor Paul, who would only stop by if I was a corporate fat-cat donor. My vote is for Liz McGuire!
Elisabeth McGuire January 30, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Rest assured that I have indeed been walking the Village streets and talking to residents each and every weekend, all weekend long. I'm sorry if we missed you or have not reached your neighborhood yet. We want to be as accessible as possible. Several residents have e-mailed me at the address provided already, and I have also had lengthy phone conversations with a number of concerned residents who wanted their concerns heard. One resident had a great idea to better leverage the internet in broadcasting Village Board meetings. Another expressed her dissatisfaction with the service level she received at Village hall. Yet another told me that she cannot get answers to questions about her tax increases despite repeated inquiries. Overwhelmingly, I am hearing that high density housing tops the list of resident concerns.They are gravely concerned about the potential impact of 291 rental apartments on Main Street, and they do not want Patchogue Village to emulate Hempstead Village. They are also concerned about the Theater not being utilized to its full capacity and are disturbed when they see it dark on a Saturday night (as it was this past weekend). We are listening to all of these concerns and incorporating them into our platform. You will be hearing from us this week on the 4 corners. We are also having a Residents First Issues forum on Wednesday night, February 8th at 7:30 pm upstairs at the Brickhouse Brewery. We welcome your input and hope to see you there.
Elisabeth McGuire January 30, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I will be addressing the very complex issue of the 4 corners development in more detail this week and the rest of the issues, one by one, in the next several weeks leading up to the election. We are also having an Issues Forum that I encourage you to attend on February 8th at 7:30 pm upstairs at the Brickhouse Brewery. Regarding your question about a potential conflict of interest, I answered this question some ago. Before I announced my candidacy, my husband inquired of the chief judge for the NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics as to whether there would be a conflict of interest if I am elected Mayor. He was advised there would be no conflict of interest due the fact that it is a completely separate branch of government and a position elected solely by the Village residents. Hope this answers your question. Looking forward to meeting you all in person and discussing the issues with you!
Elisabeth McGuire January 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Craig and Chris, you and others have made some excellent points and suggestions that we will seriously consider as we continue to shape our plans for the future. I hope you are able to attend our Issues Forum on February 8th. We look forward to discussing these ideas in more detail and in person. Looking forward to meeting you.
Brian Keller January 30, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Still waiting for your ideas Liz. If you are saving for a special announcement, just save us the pomp and share what you have. If you are just now getting down to figuring out exactly what to do with the Four Corners besides leaving the old Sweezy building there, then what took you so long? I hope you didn't think you'd be able to win our votes just be exposing Pontieri. Unless you can offer a detailed plan that is better and actually do-able (and can prove it), I'll stick with Pontieri this time around. At least with him, I already know the devil I have. Also, I'd like details on your theater management plan. Are there some management companies that would be willing to take over operations at the theater? If so, who are they and what do they cost? I'm sure we residents would like to research this. What kinds of acts do they bring in (examples would be helpful)? What kinds of contracts would we be entering? How would you plan on increasing our services while lowering our taxes. Beside from the $16k you'll slash off the mayor's salary and the the $2125 in annual "purloined gas" savings, exactly where in the budget will you find the money to lower our taxes and increase our services? And finally, could you could further expound on your comments about the job of mayor being "part time"? How many hours per week do you envision this job taking up? How much of your time, specifically, do you intend to work as our mayor? This is a very important question. Thanks!
cresten January 30, 2012 at 11:02 PM
If you are willing to stick with the devil it seems you have your mind set in stone. Does it even matter to you what she has to say? I highly doubt it.
Susan Cosgrove January 31, 2012 at 02:46 AM
The Mayor’s lackey women folk sure are busy making up names and typing up a storm on here. If you look at the names, they were created just to respond to this blog. Ouch, your fingers must hurt from so much typing. Go ahead and stick with Pontieri. After all, blood is thicker than water as they say.
steven January 31, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Elisabeth I got the brochure you sent me and I like what your team is running on, integrity, lower taxes, weekly recycles again, no more big housing developments and theatre management. I love the volunteers too but we need to keep that theatre hopping every weekend. We need retail too. I don’t know if I can go to the Forum but I look forward to you all visiting my home.
Bob January 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Ms. McGuire, thank you….I just sent you an e-mail with my contact info in case I miss you on the weekend. I have concerns about where I live in South Patchogue that have been ignored up until now. I will also be at the Issues Forum. We need more Community Forums so the residents can pitch in with our own ideas. Thank you.
jimmy murphy January 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Senator Lee Zeldin won his election by pledging to repeal the MTA tax that no one wanted but that Pontieri's pal Foley pushed through. I believe Liz McGuire will win by pledging to repeal the 291 apartments that no one wants but that Pontieri pushed through. Stop it first and the rest will come. We dumped Foley now let's dump his friend Pontieri.
Sal Minardi February 14, 2012 at 05:58 PM
I agree the Mayor and trustees jobs are part-time and the salaries should be rolled back. I have lived in Patchogue 61 years and have watch a small village become another Queens. More is less. The more Patchogue village grows the less money I have in my pocket because my Taxes keep going up. I would like to know what your plan is for Sweezy building. I would like to know who pays for the light display down north ocean ave. I also believe government from the national level to the village level has become self serving. It is easy to take from the taxpayers pockets with no accountability to us. The only good thing about our village is our sanitation dept. I have not decided who to vote for yet, because mud slinging doesn't get any thing done. Government needs balance to order to accomplish its goals. SM
Eric Randall February 14, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Read her blog about the 4 corners. Makes a lot of sense to me. I would love to see a Trader Joes or a Kohls there but there probably wouldn’t be enough parking for them. If anyone can meet with these retail giants and talk it over it would be her. No more apartments! Patchogue has almost 50% rental already and they are not all rented out. My neighbor has an accessory apartment and it’s vacant. It’s too much, too soon. Too dense. Pontieri did no planning, he just said yes to every developer that greased his palm. Even the condos aren’t moving. There is only one or two that have sold on West avenue so far. And the road looks like a badly designed parking lot. What happens when those condos don’t sell? They will rent them of course. And what happens when they don’t rent for the money they are asking? Section 8!
PatchawgFatGuy February 15, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I recently moved to Patchogue from Brooklyn. I thought I left behind urban over development of any open areas in the city. You see in the City any empty lots are bought-up by companies looking to turn a profit w/o thought to the community in which they build.Three and four family homes are shoe-horned into the space where a one family used to be.The houses often are rented to people who have no connection to the neighborhood,therefore they don't respect the traditions and institutions of the community.I feel that the addition of 291 rental apartments can only lead to the saturation of a housing market that already has many vacant residences in the Village and in order to fill those empty apartments the management will turn to section 8 housing to fill them. This will be the end of the Renaissance that patchogue has been in for the past few years, and be in the same shape it was in 10 years ago.
John Bogack February 15, 2012 at 09:34 PM
PatcawgFatGuy. I would like to ask you what does a Section 8 person look like to you?
feduponbay February 16, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Does Skel ring a bell, google it
Patchogue Girl February 24, 2012 at 01:25 AM
It's not even about the people who need assistance... the people RUNNING Section 8 are obnoxious! I'm a landlord, and I agreed to meet with some Section 8 folks to see if they'd be a good fit for my apartment... and the people running Section 8 called them and told them they could drive on over and MOVE IN! No paperwork had been signed, there was no money in my hand, I hadn't even met the family yet. What a racket... never again.
matthew simpson March 11, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Patchogue has and always will be a small village. I am deeply saddend by the tone on this blog. Evryone here thinks the government is going to solve all your problems. Not so fast people. My recollection of Patchogue history is that village hall was the reason that patchogue decayed as fast as it did in the 80's and 90's and then compounded the problem by not enforcing the existing housing code. Thereby allowing many illegal apartments to be built. The developer driven political climate is exactly what got us i nto this bind in the first place. Pontieri has been MAyor two terms and really hasn't accomplished much. He should gracefully depart and give some one else a chance to lead. UNfortunately some people feel like turning main street into CAnary Row is the way to the promised land. Patchogue needs opportunities for economic revitalization not short term politically driven get rich quick schemes. I am sure the Mayor offered a boat load of tax incentives to get this project going otherwise the developer would have walked away. The discourse should be on an economic revitalization not completing an ill thought out plan.
Robert Garcia March 12, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Just wondering how many people who commented actually can vote in the village elections?

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