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Patchogue Patch Mayoral Candidate Debate Coming March 15

Candidates from Patchogue 2012, Residents First and Progress for All parties will talk about the local issues at SJC.

Patchogue Village residents will have an opportunity hear candidates for mayor and village the board of trustees discuss the important issues at a debate sponsored by Patchogue Patch.

Candidates from Patchogue 2012, Residents First and Progress For All will be on hand at the debate on Thursday, March 15, 7 p.m. at . Open to all residents, the evening’s festivities will be held at the college’s D’Ecclesiis Auditorium in O’Connor Hall.

The debate will be held in two parts. Mayoral candidates incumbent Paul Pontieri and challengers Elisabeth McGuire and Richard Evans will discuss the key issues in their race. Following the mayoral debate, village board candidates incumbent Lori Devlin, incumbent Jack Krieger, Tom Ferb, incumbent Stephen McGiff, Lisa Ihne and Gregory Powers will debate the issues in their race.

Patch regional editor Greg Sleter will serve as moderator for the debate.

“Patchogue Patch is proud to bring all candidates together to discuss the important issues that face the Village,” said Sleter. “We also thank St. Joseph’s College for helping plan and host the event.”

What questions would you like the candidates to answer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Laureen Prendergast March 06, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Hello John, One thing the Community is doing to help the poor is Building a Community Garden. As the Building Committee Chairperson I am asking all the resident's to think of how they can help a great cause. The Leadership Team has been reaching out to numerous organizations and private individuals for donations and assistance with the project. We are going to be assisting the soup kitchens in the area by contributing fresh produce and promoting healthy eating in the schools, with the hope of educating our youth and making sure that every child has food when they go home. We welcome all volunteers and interested resident's. Our Mission: Patchogue Planting Patch Community Garden ~A Place of Beauty and Bounty, Learning and Reflection~ Our gardeners, young and old, come to this garden from all walks of life. Here we cultivate community, sharing the pleasures of gardening. We nourish our bodies and minds, sharing with our neighbors, as we work together to build a healthy Patchogue.
Rich Stevens March 06, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Just as important, He never told the Village Board about the $150,000.00 loan to Artspace. He never told the Village Board that he waived sewer hookup fees. He never told the Village Board that the village was purchasing vehicles from his brother in law. He never told the Village Board that the village was purchasing a used dump truck for $40,000.00 without following the required bid requirement. He never informed the Village Board that he was using a village owned credit card for purchases of food and gasoline. He accepted gifts valued over $25.00 a year from companies doing business with the village. This was all after presiding over 4 years of village board and other meetings without ever informing or obtaining approvals from them. Would these be continuing if it never became public.
PatchogueLifetime March 06, 2012 at 09:46 PM
All candidates should be asked if they consider the Mayor's position to be a part-time position. I'm extremely concerned at Mrs. McGuire's comments that "the Mayor's job was always part-time" - with everyone going on, and with Patchogue at the precipice of so many major developments. If she wins and kills the Tritec plan as she has solemnly sworn to do, how does she plan to get a new plan going quickly if she's planning on serving on a part-time basis? All candidates should also be asked if they favor homeowners to renters - there seems to be a lot of anti-renter sentiment coming from the entire Residents First team, and as a renter and a lifelong resident of the Village, I'm concerned that if they're elected they'll put anti-renter policies into place. All candidates should be asked about their ideas of keeping merchants in the Village, and ideas to attract new businesses -- with a party name like "Residents First," I'm concerned that slate of candidates will be unfriendly to non-residents seeking to invest in Patchogue.
PatchogueLifetime March 06, 2012 at 09:54 PM
While there are several inaccuracies/half-truths in the above statement (the $150K was never a LOAN, etc.) Honestly, I don't believe any of those incidents were done out of corruption, deceit or any other kind of malice. And yes, I am willing to forgive any of those transgressions in exchange for the remarkable progress Mayor Pontieri has made happen in our Village. I've lived here my whole life - and I've never been more proud to live here! Patchogue is a destination now - it's where you want to be. And bottom line -- none of the incredible things that have happened over the last 8 years would have happened without Paul Pontieri. Maybe he was sloppy at times about following certain protocols, and I'm certainly in favor of tightening up whatever policies to make sure all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed moving forward, but I'm sorry, even if every single thing you said is 100% true (which again is definitely not the case), I don't care. He's done an outstanding job, and if not for him, I would've left Patchogue years ago.
Rich Stevens March 06, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Mayor Pontieri's first 5 years was part time and again in 2011 when he accepted a position with Brookhaven Town. Why would you forgive him for things, when he never asked for forgiveness. He never admitted or made public any of these things, only addressing them when they were made public by others. Something is terribly wrong here. Mayor Pontieri should have been dotting his i's and crossing his t's from day one, not after being caught.
Elizabeth K March 07, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Love it.
PatchogueLifetime March 07, 2012 at 02:02 AM
For mayoral candidates: Do they plan to serve as mayor full-time or part-time?
Judy Pepenella March 07, 2012 at 06:32 AM
PatchogueLifetime - an excellent question. I too would like to know how much time each candidate will be giving to the Village. Both individuals have additional responsibilities and salaries outside the Village. I would appreciate hearing this question answered as well.
Rich Stevens March 07, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I do not know if a mayor being full or part time is that much of a concern, all of the mayors had other full time jobs, including Paul Pontieri. The Village Clerk has many duties that the general public believes are performed by the mayor. All village employees historically report to the Village Clerk that oversees the daily operation of the village. The Village Clerk is the contact person for residents that have a concern or question about village government. Maybe people should ask Rose Marie Berger, Mary Pontieri and Richard Collocola former Village Clerks about their duties.
Angry Henry March 07, 2012 at 10:51 PM
All candidates should disclose to the audience if they currently receive health insurance paid for by the village. If they are not currently serving as mayor or on the board, they should announce if they intend to receive health insurance. If they do not, they should pledge that to the audience and also renounce any kind of "buy back" of insurance they decline. This is a big deal. I received in the mail today information that McGiff's family health insurance runs $20,000 a year and is footed by us, the residents of this village. I want to know if Justice McGuire is doing the same thing and if Liz McGuire is covered under the plan. I checked and now know that teachers and administrators in Connetquot currently pay less than 20% of their insurance premiums. How much do village officials pay and will Lisa Ihne decline her state taxpayer funded insurance that she pays a percentage of for village taxpayer funded insurance if that percentage is less. I want to know what business owner Greg Powers intends to do. I'm sure he's tired of footing the bill for his insurance also. What about the Patchogue 2012 slate? This should be made CRYSTAL CLEAR to the village taxpayers. While McGiff is closing real estate deals and making money hand over fist in Manhattan, we're covering his insurance premium. Also, let's get some more details about the shady real estate deal on his office. Is there any truth to what Patchogue 2012 released today? Not cool.
Donna Bermel March 08, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Where is this Communtiy Garden going to be located?
Donna Bermel March 08, 2012 at 01:22 AM
I agree with the health insurance, what part time employee gets full health coverage. Everybody knows that a good way to get insurance is to seek employment with a public entity. I don't knock people for trying, but until medicare part E for everybody kicks in we have to accept the norms and that is that part timers do not qualify for full time packages. As far as people on the board are concerned they all have good paying jobs elsewhere.(including the Mayor). There is obviously no restriction against self-gratifying, board approved salary packages. Were is the oversight?
Bob March 08, 2012 at 01:37 AM
I would like to know about gas and credit card usage, creating jobs for family or friends, Yankee games, if there are any paid junkets such as "not in our town" movie premieres in the southwest, and about conflicts of interest in working for both the village and the town at the same time. I would also like to know who is doing the flooring and glass work in all the developments around the village. Thanks!
steven March 08, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I like that Ms. McGuire is proposing pay cuts for the electeds. Something's gotta give! At one point Mayor Pontieri was making 98k from the State, 60k from the town and 36k from the Village. That's called "triple dipping" the system and his entire living comes from taxpayer dollars. When is enough, enough?
good taste March 08, 2012 at 03:21 AM
To Angry Henry, Why is your response to health insurance one of "anger"? Do you know if the Village trustees and mayor have always had health insurance as one of the incentives for taking this job? If not, then what year did health insurance become part of the trustee and mayoral package? Health insurance is not illegal so why should anyone "pledge" not to take it if it's part of a paid position? If your employer offered health insurance you would take it, wouldn't you? Now if you think that health insurance has become too costly to be offered to the trustees and mayor, and should no longer be offered, then you have the right to your opinion. IF THIS IS TRUE, then use your indignation to try to eliminate health insurance for the village elected officials. Your comment indicates to me that you don't have ALL THE FACTS when it comes to who is receiving insurance and what it costs. I know that I don't have all of the facts. I would venture to guess that Mayor Paul has lifetime health insurance as part of his retirement package from the public school system. It's not ILLEGAL so don't ruin your health with anger. Now as far as shady real estate deals, the mayor has NERVE to bring up that subject. It's like comparing a twig to the forest.
Angry Henry March 08, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Yes, you're right, it isn't illegal. But does that make it right? What kind of part time employee is entitled to a Cadillac health insurance policy footed entirely by their employer? I guess if working 5 hours a week ignoring your constituent calls and having beers at the Brickhouse constitutes an "employee" as you put it, then yeah, you're entitled to a fully funded healthcare. What other facts are there? Please enlighten me. Look, if village officials are historically part time employees as Ms. McGuire claims, then it's a little obscene to give them all $20k yearly health insurance plans, while the village residents' taxes go up. ESPECIALLY if the village officials already do quite well for themselves as a result of their public office (Pontieri, McGiff, McGuires, etc.). McGiff has offices in two counties and is always bragging about his high profile as a lawyer. McGuires too. Real estate, Manhattan jobs, Mecedes, etc. C'mon. Me and my neighbors need to pay for your health care? In this economy? With these taxes? Give me a break.
Angry Henry March 08, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Ms. McGuire should campaign on eliminating taxpayer funded healthcare plans for all part time employees of the village. Including mayor and trustees. This wouldn't fly in the private sector. I thought she was going to bring her business experience to this village?
Angry Henry March 08, 2012 at 04:22 AM
I'd like to know more about these $20k health insurance plans the part time elected officials (all lawyers, school principals, business owners) receive on our dime? My village taxes were higher this year than ever before. How much of that went to covering big shot Manhattan-office lawyer McGiff's premium? How much of that is covering the McGuire's health care? PART TIME employees, mind you. All with their hands in the honey jar with village real estate transactions. PART TIMERS receiving full health insurance. Unreal.
florence casey March 08, 2012 at 11:48 AM
“Angry: You really are angry to attack people for the cars they drive or the assets they own and earned from working hard and being successful. I want smart and successful people running our government. Mr. Pontieri failed miserably running Quickway Courier. The only thing quick about his business was the speed with which it went out of business. I don’t want an elected official who needs to steal my gas or quietly triple his Village salary to make ends meet.
Jo Miller March 08, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Many other villages offer health care coverage to its' trustees and in some of them the trustee is required to pay the full premium
Eric Randall March 08, 2012 at 09:28 PM
If Pontieri wants to bash McGiff or any Residents First people at this late date, why doesn't he man up and put his name or his party's name on the pieces? Does he think no one will know the mudslinging is coming from him? I guess he didn't taKe his own advice about mudslinging. As far as I'm concerned he looks desperate and is grasping for any negative things he can manipulate into a story less than 2 weeks before the election. He looks ridiculous and cowardly in my opinion. Man up!
good taste March 09, 2012 at 03:04 AM
The Patchogue 2012 mailers are childish in tone, sometimes personal in nature, offensive and manipulative...oh yes, let's not forget mudslinging. I don't see Residents First using a manipulated photo of the mayor pumping gas into his jeep. That would be rude wouldn't it Patchogue 2012?
Susan Cosgrove March 09, 2012 at 11:22 AM
What do they see in the future of the Carnegie Library? Will it be sold to a private business, used as a Visitor's Center/Historical Society Museum, or demolished when the election is over?
Elizabeth K March 09, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I'd ask if any of them plan on working on more service to NYC. Many tradesmen need to get in by 6:00/ 6:30 for a 7AM Start., an early train would be great.
Fed Up Patch March 09, 2012 at 01:34 PM
How up-to-date are these lists taken from the VOP page (looks like some up-dates need to be made)? How much do these people make each year? What are their qualifications? Don't you think these boards could use some fresh faces? Did Pontieri lock in Calarco's assistance with his re-election campaign by appointing Calarco's wife to one of these boards? How ethical is that? ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW Lorice Belmonte - Chairperson Joanne Brandi Mary Kassner Melissa Gilligan Karen Zorzenon Hans Henke - Village Hisotorian Carol Giglio - Coordinator Chairperson - 1 year, Members - 3 years COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT David Reese - Chairperson Joseph E. Keyes Toni Dean Ernie Swinson Donald R. Wachsmuth PLANNING BOARD John Rocco - Chairperson Debra Davidson James Feltman Patricia Kelly Kevin Murphy Gary Rizzi Kevin Weeks Carter Biggs - Alternate Joe Buzzell (Atty) Carol Giglio - Coordinator Chairperson - 1 year, Members 3 years, Alternate 1 year ZONING BOARD Nicholas Fucillo-Chairperson Francis Buscemi Charles Burton Thomas Ferb George Homfeld Ernie Maler (Atty) Eva Rodriques-Gresoski - Alt Brian Kearns Carol Giglio - Coordinator Chairperson - 1 year, Members - 3 years ETHICS BOARD Dan Pergolizzi - Chairperson Frank Ambrosio Linda Bianca Craig (Last Name?) - Special Counsel
good taste March 09, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I would like to know if Patchogue 2012 thinks that their mailings were dignified? I would like to know if they saw any images of the mayor "cut and pasted" into a disrespectful pose by Residents First? I would like to why P2012 said that they were not going to mudsling and then they proceeded to have no integrity?
Fugu Maki March 10, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Ethics board? Have they even met in the last 2 years?
Karen Ferb March 12, 2012 at 09:55 PM
I said it before, and I'll say it again. Aside from the initial organization meeting at which a chairperson is elected and the annual recap, there is no requirement for the Ethics Board to meet unless and until a complaint has been lodged. That board is not a policing board; it is constituted to investigate when a complaint is lodged. Please refer to Chapter 40 of the Village Code, sections 40-1 through 40-24 for complete information. Has the board met in the last two years? I don't know. Has a complaint been appropriately lodged in the last two years? I don't know. I can only tell you that I have neither lodged a complaint nor heard of one being appropriately lodged. See also General Municipal Law of the State of New York.
Jo Miller March 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Added to my eaarlier question as to whether the candidates pledge to enforce the noise ordinances: Does the village have the appropriate equipment to accurately measure decibel levels?
Frank Finnamore March 13, 2012 at 04:36 PM
We had no problem when the former mayors were in office. I remember Mayor Keegan showing up for complaints at night and correcting the problems and Mayor Ihne always following up with a phone call to find out if the concern was addressed. It is frustrating when it appears that no one cares about our quality of life concerns, that normally are the easy ones to fix.

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