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Council Seat Still Empty

Months after the death of Councilman Nicholas DiLeo left a vacant seat on the Glen Cove City Council, the seat remains open, despite the efforts of the mayor and council members to reach an agreement.

In a meeting that quickly turned from ambitious yet efficient to contentious, at points getting downright ugly, the vote to appoint Joe Capobianco to the council was ultimately tabled.

 

The resolution for the appointment was saved until the very end of the meeting, and Mayor Reginald A. Spinello announced the decision to appoint Capobianco to the seat, reading the city charter, which states that the decision is left to the council for filling the seat until the next general election. He started to call for public comments when Councilman Tim Tenke suggested that was against protocol.

 

“It’s not proper to take comments on appointments,” said Tenke.

 

Spinello then polled the council on whether or not to allow public comments. Councilman Anthony Gallo, Jr. said he thought it best to ask Capobianco if he wished to have the council members speak;

Councilman Efraim Spagnoletti said he sided with Tenke and expressed his displeasure with the method of the appointment.

 

“I have said before I felt the candidates should be vetted before the city council,” said Spagnoletti.

 

Responding to Spagnoletti, Spinello said, “Capobianco became the choice of the Republican Committee, which you are a part of...I was told there were no objections...you didn’t ask for a caucus. The public gets to make a decision in November, but not now. Now, we are obligated and get to make a choice.”

 

Spagnoletti said, “I support him as a candidate in November but not tonight. When they asked for an aye vote, I remained silent. When they asked for a no vote, I remained silent because I don’t know

Joe Capobianco or what he stands for...the candidate should be made public...it’s a fundamental principle called democracy.”

 

Spinello noted that he has had seven weeks to speak to him and ask him about where he stands.

 

Councilwoman Pam Panzenbeck, who made the motion to table to the vote, said, “I feel the mayor worked hard to find someone who would work well with all of us.”

 

Capobianco said, “I know I am a qualified candidate.” He began by saying he would not lower himself to the level of the council members, but then called out those members for not expressing the same support in public as they did to him in private, calling the behavior “disingenuous.” He said, “I’m not looking to have an agenda...I’m just here to pick up the garbage.”

 

Councilman Michael Famiglietti, a Democrat, said that while he respects and admires Capobianco, he would not have voted in favor of choosing him as a candidate for fundamental reasons.

 

“It’s very unfortunate that politics and a self-serving agenda have gotten in the way of good government,” said Spinello.

 

Resident Kathleen Lappano said, “A lot of people may not be pleased with what happened tonight, but...this is exactly what should be happening in a public forum...we have a dilemma...what I see is a government that is working despite being down one good man.” She then quoted an email that had apparently been circulating earlier in the day and said, “Give the vote back to the people of Glen Cove.”

 

Other News

The council passed a total of 18 resolutions as well as numerous appointments at the meeting, including the passage of legislation regarding sewer use and private wastewater disposal to specifically address the problems at Crescent Beach. Spinello explained that it would help make residents more accountable for their waste and any contamination they may cause. He noted the city’s service of providing annual pump-outs to those residents at no charge.

 

Erin Reilly, the city’s grants administrator, said that a lot of homeowners with cesspools do not know how to maintain them and the new code would help teach them.

 

One concerned resident said, “It’s not my responsibility  as a taxpayer to teach them how to maintain their cesspools.”

 

Grace Slezak, a local real estate agent, noted that there are 129 homes in Glen Cove who are not hooked up to sewers, and said there is no longer a sewer tax charge on homeowners’ tax bills. “Those 129 households should pay for their cesspool clean outs,” she said.

 

Spinello said, “We are trying to have clean water in Long Island Sound and make people more accountable for their systems.”

 

The council also passed a resolution to enter into an agreement with Soli DG, Inc. as ferry operator consultant; Spinello explained that this is an experienced firm that has reviewed all previous letters of interest and will put together the Request for Proposals (RFPs).


News

The 1907 Courthouse building is now known as the Marguerite and Joseph Suozzi Building, marked by a special ceremony held at the North Shore Historical Museum on Sunday, Aug. 3 to a packed house.

 

“It’s a great day for the Suozzi family and a great day for the museum. We are so grateful for the Suozzi family for this generous donation,” said Brian Mercadante, president of the museum.

 

Mercandante then gave some history on the building, which was built in 1907 by the Town of Oyster Bay, when Teddy Roosevelt was president and the Gold Coast was in its heyday. He described how it came to be a museum, explaining that Tom Suozzi came up with a plan for redevelopment during his term as mayor of Glen Cove in the 1990s.

Several local artists are featured in an exhibit hosted by LIU Post, now through Aug. 27, titled “Endless Summer – Visions of Long Island.” The exhibit is a fundraising event for the Nassau County Firefighter’s Operation Wounded Warrior (NCF-OWW), a non-profit organization centered on providing much-needed items to the wounded men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

 

 Photographer Roni Chastain of Glen Cove is one of the featured artists.

 

“I am thrilled to be participating in an exhibit to support the Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warrior,” says Chastain. “Our war veterans deserve to be supported for the work they do to protect the USA. I do believe in giving back and have volunteered to photograph several fund raising events over the past few years. This includes Komen Walk for the Cure, Hope in Motion, Kids Triathlon. I will be photographing the walk for Gift of Life in September.


Sports

Kristen Gillman earned a come-from-behind two-up victory over Brooke Mackenzie Henderson in the 36-hole championship match of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, being conducted at the 6,297-yard, par-70 Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove. The final match was held on Sunday, Aug. 10.

 

Gillman, 16, of Austin, Texas, was three down through 26 holes to Henderson, 16, of Canada. But Gillman, a junior at Lake Travis High School, birdied five of the final 10 holes to complete the remarkable rally.

Sailing fans from Glen Cove are invited to the 32nd Knickerbocker Cup, or K-Cup, Race, hosted by Port Washington’s Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, which will include three of the top-10 world-ranked match racing skippers. 

 

The racing competition will be preceded by an opening ceremony and welcome cocktail party, followed by an All-American BBQ Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m. 


Calendar

Good Reads - August 13

Sunset Serenades - August 14

Wine Tasting - August 15


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com