Mayor Gump, of course.
Readers will recall that at the time of his inauguration on New Year's Day, Glen Cove's mayor appointed his wife's friend, who lives on the South Shore, to be the city's deputy mayor. That's a violation of New York State law, which requires the deputy mayor to be a Glen Cove resident.
So, the mayor proposed to change the city charter in order to get around state law. But he encountered serious public opposition to the idea of changing the charter in order to accommodate a patronage appointment.
The mayor held a "public hearing" on the matter. But, public opposition was still there. So he tabled it and then held another "public hearing," this time refusing to re-hear the opponents from the prior "public hearing." The opposition started to fade.
In previous letters, I made two predictions. First, that the City Council would not take a political bullet for this mayor and vote to change the city charter - they'd just table it into history and the matter would never come up for a vote. Second, the mayor would simply outwait the public's attention span on the issue.
Both predictions came true - with a postscript. The opposition to the patronage appointment has virtually disappeared and the proposal to change the charter is nowhere to be found. Not only is the illegally appointed deputy mayor from North Bellmore still the illegally appointed deputy mayor, now she's also interim director of Glen Cove's Community and Industrial Development Agencies.
So it's kudos to the mayor. He played the game better than his constituency did. There probably ought to be a sign posted right over the front door to city hall: "The Administration That Serves in This Building Is Like a Box of Chocolates. You Never Know Who You're Gonna Get."
Michael A. Levy
(The following is an open letter to Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi and is printed here at the writer's request.)
During the evening of April 2 my wife and I attended a presentation at City Hall sponsored by Dr. Sharon E. Harris, executive director of Glen Cove's Substance Abuse Free Environment (SAFE). This presentation typified the good job one expects from Dr. Harris and her staff.
It was gratifying to see you and Councilman Tony Jimenez in attendance in support of this valuable prevention agency and its efforts.
I'm confident you will agree that the data Dr. Bernard Gorman had gathered and presented pertaining to underage substance abuse, smoking, bullying and fear factors among young people in Glen Cove identified problems not many of us are personally cognizant of.
I believe we can be thankful for the high levels of communication, coordination and cooperation described by administrators from the Youth Bureau, Glen Cove Schools and the Police Department. These are the front-line persons who interact professionally on a frequent basis to address the consequences of substance abuse as described by Dr. Gorman. Public recognition and support is essential for their success.
Robert N. Pemberton, Sr.