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Mayor Pontieri Casted Deciding Vote for New SUV for Himself

Mayor Pontieri casted deciding vote for new SUV for himself.

On December 10th 2012 at the Village Trustee Board Meeting. Mayor Pontieri and Trustees Ferb, Keyes and Krieger passed a resolution to purchase a new SUV for the Mayor. Trustee Crean asked Mayor Pontieri to wait until policies are in place before voting on the resolution. Should we have a policy in place for village owned vehicles on how they are used and who can use them? What do you think?

Please view the attached video on the resolution. 

http://youtu.be/Lhro7lhA8T0

 

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Jo Miller December 31, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Greg, thank you for calling attention to this issue. There should be policies in place for village owned vehicles. Clear policies not only benefit residents but protect elected officials from allegations of impropriety.
Frank Finnamore December 31, 2012 at 03:56 PM
This video feed is very informative. I heard the Village Board comments about using the new vehicle for business and personal use, even when personal use is prohibited. The Mayor stated that he goes to Albany and Nassau County on village business and it is costly using his own private vehicle. Well, he should use the Recreation Department's fairly new SUV to make it cost effective. Trustee Crean made reference to having vehicle logs to document mileage, driver and reason vehicle is being used. That makes perfect sense since this is already a State policy that the State requires of it's own agencies and of local government vehicle usage. My recommendation is to have a GPS installed in this vehicle, so it will be a public record and taxpayers can review the vehicle usage. Thank you Greg for filming this Board Meeting and Trustees Crean and Hilton for truly representing the taxpayers.
David Kennedy January 02, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Excellent point on GPS...having this device on publicly financed government vehicles is now common practice with most municipalities, Patchogue should be among them.
David Kennedy January 02, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Taxpayer financed vehicles for elected officials is unfortunately a common "perk." The argument, I guess, is that elected officials are required to travel to effectuate there representation, and this does include travel outside the municipality. But in a day when vehicle ownership is near universal, why vehicles should be provided to elected officials is beyond me and a practice that should end. The best way to have this practice end would be through state legislation. Regardless, Patchogue, or any local municipality, is not required to provide a vehicle for electeds, so certainly Patchogue could have chosen not to be "common" regarding this. Obviously the majority of our Village Board disagrees, which, in my opinion, is a shame. Also in my opinion, this issue over the car is a minor one in and of itself, but what concerns me is that this issue represents a continued pattern of our Village Government operating with as little transparency as possible. The Mayor, before the election, when gas usage in the Mayor's personal vehicle was an issue, announced he would create a policy committee to address these types of issues. After the election, the Mayor now states this committee is not needed.To purchase this vehicle without a policy in place is hubris at its worst. It says, "I deserve a vehicle and I'll use it as I see fit whether you like it or not." Certainly not a very good message to send to your constituents. Why the rush? Why no policy first?
Dennis Barone January 02, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Has anyone in this administration heard of conflict of interest ??????. I guess not.
Joseph Keyes January 02, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Myself and Superintendent Dean have checked into GPS and have determined that, while beneficiial for large municipalities, it would not necessarily be so for our 2.2 square mile Village. The cost of implementing and monitoring the system would not be cost-effective, and the eyes and ears of 6 Trustees, a Mayor, a Superintendent, and a Highway Supervisor offset the required need for a full-time, full-salaried GPS 'overseer', as the larger municipalities employ. I believe the issue was discussed and explained at Board meetings throughout this past year. As for the policy committee, I don't remember the Mayor saying that a committee was not needed. What I do remember is that resumes for positions on the committee were solicited (twice, I believe), and only one was received. Our Village Attorney has drafted a set of policies, which are being reviewed by each Trustee now.
Joseph Adriano January 02, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Give us a break. He is not a senator or even an assemblyman. How many times a month do you think he has to leave this 2.2 square mile village to conduct "business"? The developers all wine and dine him right here in Patch. He spends more time in King Kullen than Kings county and more time in Pete's luncheonette than in Peterboro. Frank, what do you mean personal use is prohibited? Does that mean he can't use the new SUV to go buy the gravy for his macaroni on a Sunday? Is that what you are saying Frank? And what about the limo rides he takes? Is the SUV replacing those?
Joseph Adriano January 02, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Trustee Keyes....so the Mayor doesn't need a GPS even though he claims he has to drive all over God's creation in order to be a successful Mayor? And you couldn't wait for these "policies" to be drafted before you approved his SUV? So what good is setting policy if you ignore it? And we are supposed to trust you to monitor the Mayor's actions and whereabouts? Like you did with his gas usage? Ha. What a joke.
Frank Finnamore January 02, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Mr Keyes, I am concerned with abuse of taxpayers money, just like the mayor taking village gasoline without permission, GPS systems are monitored not by full time employees but with a computer program, that can be accessed or printed out with a simple computer command that takes seconds. You mentioned a 2.2 square mile village does not justify a GPS system, well about the hundreds of thousands gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel used by the village each year. Maybe you and Superintendent Dean should look for ways to save taxpayers money with doing more with less. Start with the HIghway Department, that used to have two workers in one truck performing job tasks, not like the two workers in two vehicles performing the same tasks today. How about making employees shutting off vehicle engines when they leave them to go into village hall, working on roads or outside of their vehicles. How about assigning all vehicles as pool cars instead of issuing them to individuals. Maybe the taxpayers would like to know how many vehicles the village owns and who uses them. It is amazing that all this started from a mayor, taking gas and getting caught. Not being able to legally get village gas for his private vehicle. Having his old vehicle sold to the village, since he needed a newer one. A finally now needing the taxpayers to purchase him a new one and provide insurance, maintainance and fuel. How about being Honest.
Jean January 02, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Mr. Keyes since you brought up the idea of cost-effectiveness in your response did you and the board look into whether it was practical to purchase a new SUV for the Mayor? Mr Finnamore brought up a great idea of sharing a vehicle with other departments. That to me seems like a much better idea than purchasing a new SUV. Mr. Keyes I think it’s very good that you and Superintendent Dean look into a GPS system for the village. I understand how important it is for you to make sure your prudent with taxpayer money. I would like to know where I can get a copy of your finding on the GPS system and was the whole village board of trustees informed of the results? If there is no report please explain to us briefly your finding. Looking to see if it’s Cost-effective at spending our taxpayer dollars is important in saving money for the village. Thank you Trustee Keyes for your response and all the hard work you and Superintendent Dean and all village employees do for us.
Joseph Adriano January 02, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Isn't Superintendent Dean the one driving the Mayor's old car that the Mayor sold to the Village that you speak of? You really think he is going to do anything to control or monitor the Mayor? Oh please.
PatchawgFatGuy January 03, 2013 at 12:11 AM
I am a sanitation worker in the city and every vehicle has been equipped with GPS locators. There is a computer program that allows my supervisor or any officer above him to bring up my whereabouts for my entire shift. So, you do not someone to monitor the mayors movements in real-time.
Tom Olsen January 03, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Why don’t we just pay for the Mayor’s mortgage and living expenses too? He deserves it….and why not also pay his heating and electric….gas for all….and gym memberships for the entire family, vacations to the Caribbean…..meals out….a personal assistant, a housecleaner or two? You can live high on the hog as Mayor of a 2 square mile village….can’t you? Who is going to stop him? Not Keyes and the others obviously….
Bob January 03, 2013 at 02:48 AM
GPS systems are very inexpensive these days. With all the wasteful spending going on at Village Hall they can’t spring for a GPS? That is nonsense.The mayor just doesn’t want to be monitored is all. These trustees should have minds of their own and stop doing everything he tells them to do. Get him a GPS whether he likes it or not.
Geezer January 04, 2013 at 12:50 PM
They said it would cost $20,000 to video the meetings, now they are being videoed for free. Now they say too expensive to put GPS in the vehicle, the mayor needs one not the entire village. 2.2 miles does not include Albany, if he wants to sit on that excuse put in the GPS. Shining example of how our entire government is shattered!
Michael Jorgens January 04, 2013 at 08:07 PM
GPS isn't a bad idea. Saw an official Patchogue Village SUV with two occupants pull up the Best Yet supermarket in Oakdale yesterday at around 1:30pm. What official business the village had with a supermarket in Oakdale is anyone's guess.
jimmy murphy January 05, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Pontieri voted for a new car for himself. Shouldn’t Pontieri have abstained from voting? What does the village attorney think about that policy of the mayor voting for his own perk it is a joke indeed
Cynthia Lindner, MS January 05, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Should we have a policy in place for village owned vehicles on how they are used and who can use them? YES!
John Bogack January 05, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Cynthia, right on! This recent episode involving the purchase of a new car for the Mayor has exposed the lack of reliable policies regarding the use of village cars and trucks. Missing from the above discussion is something I also find troubling: the Mayor's new car lacks not only official plates but more importantly does not have a village seal on any of its doors. That seal is an important tool to hold the driver of a village owned car accountable and the Mayor should be leading the way in that regard always. Fortunately the Board of Trustees are on the brink of formulating a car use policy at long last. Let's hope that they take into account the various comments from the public made here which in the end can be boiled to one over riding concern: we must have an honest government in village hall. More good news is that videos of Board meetings that have been originating out of the volunteer efforts of the Citizens Campaign for Open Village Government of which Greg Powers and myself are included, will continue and allow the residents of the village the right to see how their elected officials do resolve the issues involved here. And of course if any person is so motivated they can appear at village hall any day the Board is meeting and comment directly during the public portion something I do recommend for anyone who has the time and passion to do so. People should not underestimate their power to effect change by doing so. It does exist.
Patchogue Snoop March 08, 2013 at 07:40 PM
The car is for Cousin Pauli NOT for the benefit of the Village! He is the King of DogPatch. Gasoline, new cars, triple his salary, lying on expense accounts, free meals, games, shows, trips, additions, paint jobs, penison credits, tripple dipping..... this is the best example of small town politics gone bad I have ever seen. And this guy thinks he deserves it...no demands it... all on your dime! I haven't had a new car in my life!!!! This is a perfect case against big and growing bigger government. Is the Village any better since PP took the reigns with his claim of "Residents First". WOW! Just my observation but maybe he should give the car back and start walking....he looks too heavy.

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