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City Honors Arlene O’Dell at Council Meeting

CSEA Holds ‘Silent Protest’ At City Hall

In honor of Women’s History Month, Arlene O’Dell, executive director of the Glen Cove Youth Bureau, was given special recognition and presented with a citation from the city at the March 22 Glen Cove City Council meeting in City Hall.

“Thank you for the youth and families you serve,” said Mayor Suozzi.

The Civil Service Employees Association held a “silent protest” during the meeting. A number of union employees complained that the union and the city have failed to agree on a contract, holding signs reading “Show Some Respect” while standing in the back of the room during the meeting.

During the public discussion period, CSEA President John Shepherd said, “We’re here tonight because of the 15-month non-contract situation, and it’s up to you to end it.”

“I believe this could all get worked out,” said Glen Cove CSEA Vice President Kevin Monahan. “Look at the men and women here tonight. We’re the heart of the City of Glen Cove. We had an agreement, but then we go to negotiations and I feel like we got kicked in the teeth.”

 “You were in the negotiations in the beginning,” he said to the mayor, “and the next thing I know, an attorney was hired for $40,000 to negotiate with peanuts, yet other contracts were signed by you.”

“It’s not like we’re trying to crush the union,” said Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi. “We come to the table; we set ground rules, which we did. Some side violated, not here.”

He continued, “The city publicly commends all CSEA employees all the time. You all should come to some of the meetings down here. I went to school with some of you, your brothers, sisters, parents, but some people who write letters and speak at this meeting would have us go back to the feudal system of the 14th century, rich and poor. I’m on your side; we are not trying to hurt the CSEA union; I always defend the civil servants of the city, and the hard work they do. This is much ado about nothing.”

Resident Glenn Howard said, “I find it very interesting to see all the signs to show some respect, and the first thing I hear is a total lack of it. It’s very disturbing to hear that in the union negotiations, someone is slipping out the door and spreading rumors, and if I was the head of the union, locally or nationally, or head of the city council, I would be looking for that person, find out who it was, who is trying to destroy us, as a group. There is no doubt in my mind that people are doing that deliberately to destroy the negotiation, and destroy the best thing that could happen between the union and the city. Those people are a danger to you and the union. It’s very disturbing to hear this is happening.”

Resident John Doxey of Doxside Industries addressed the council regarding an eminent domain claim to his one-acre property on Garvies Point Road. He said he was waiting for a check from the city that was supposed to arrive in early March.

“How can you break a federal court order? I’ve left the property; where is the money?” Doxey asked.

“The money was deposited and an authorization to release the amount. It is out of our hands now – talk to your attorney,” the mayor responded.

Doxey also defended himself against claims that his business has contaminated the land and that he has failed to pay taxes on the property.

“I continued paying my property taxes, I am not a polluter. Anything I consider owning, I pay for,” he said.