Glen Cove City Council and Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi paid tribute to eight longtime employees of the city.
As with any public government gathering, this week's Glen Cove City Council meeting included compliments and complaints. Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi and the council began the session honoring several individuals and ended the session speaking to illegal building and housing concerns. The council also voted on and discussed changes to city golf course fees and employees.
The Glen Cove City Council wanted to take time to pay tribute to eight longtime workers who have recently left the city's employ. Suozzi said that mayors and councils come and go, but city employees put in many years of important work.
The Glen Cove City Council voted on several resolutions at the Jan. 13 meeting. First, regarding the Glen Cove Master Plan, they voted YAY to initiate a state environmental quality review process. This will result in an environmental impact statement on the plan, which will be made public when completed.
Several golf course related resolutions were passed. The city will hire Elm Consulting Group to manage the Glen Cove Golf Course. Their fee is not to exceed $3,500 a month. The contract will be effective Jan. 14 and is open to including other services from Elm.
Greens fees were voted up. Suozzi said that rates were not raised in 2008 and it was time to raise them. Weekday and weekend fees for residents will go up between one to two dollars.
The City of Glen Cove has resolved to enter into contract with James M. Gilhooly, RA as Interim Building Department Administrator, effective Jan. 14. He will work approximately 10 hours per week at a rate of $85 per-hour.
During the public comment period of the meeting, a group of Glen Cove citizens raised concerns about illegal building and illegal housing, as well as code enforcement in general.
They listed several houses where they said construction was being done without a permit and several where people were living illegally in large numbers.
The mayor said that his office is working to "redefine the process" of code enforcement in Glen Cove. He stated that, in general, the building department was designed for the way the city worked 80 years ago. He would like to create an administrative head and hire an architect among other changes. Regarding improvements to the code enforcement process, he said he would like to make that function directly accountable to the mayor's office.
On illegal housing, Suozzi said that Glen Cove needs to move from a "violation posture" into a "warrant posture." As it now stands, the legal process gives landlords too much time to react and hide what they are doing before they can be punished for breaking the law. A warrant posture would enable the city to do more surveillance and catch the landlords and tenants in the act.
"You can't just go in there like Eliot Ness," he said about busting illegal tenants. Therefore it is hard to make an impact because if a landlord is given a violation, they have plenty of time to clear out the premises and hide what they are doing wrong so the problem is never rectified, he explained.
On both illegal building and housing, the mayor said that the city is appointing a former member of the Glen Cove Police Department who, "Knows the law and is familiar with the players." They also plan to stagger the hours that code enforcement works so they can catch violations committed at night.