Written by Jill Nossa Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00
The Glen Cove City Council convened in the main chambers of City Hall Tuesday night for the first meeting of the year, and the first meeting with newly elected Republican councilmen Reginald Spinello and Anthony Gallo, Jr. A moment of silence was held before the meeting began for seven people connected to Glen Cove who recently passed away.
A number of resolutions were on the agenda, including the authorization of the city to enter into annual contracts with certain professional firms; the appointment of the Glen Cove Fire Company officers for the year; an authorization for non-union full time employees to receive benefits consistent with those provided for full time union employees under the CSEA contract; and an authorization to enter a lease agreement with Proper Futbol Holding, LLC for use of the Coles School gym facilities, for a fee of $3,750 per month, plus 5 percent of net profits for a term between four and six months long. The mayor explained that this fee would cover the cost of maintenance and utilities for the gym facilities only.
All of the resolutions were passed, though Spinello did vote against authorizing full time non-union employees receiving benefits, stating that the increase in medical benefits is too high and “not sustainable” for the residents of Glen Cove.
Resident Kristina Heuser, who ran for city council last fall, took up several issues with the council. She said she thought it would be better for the public if the Pre-Council meetings were eliminated and that all discussions among the council members took place in the main chambers so that more people would know what is being discussed.
“The Pre-council meetings last anywhere from an hour and a half to four hours, and a lot of the discussion involves appointments and new hires…the public is not allowed to comment at these meetings but of course they are open to the public,” said Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi.
Councilman Nick DiLeo agreed, saying, “It is important to continue the tradition of Pre-council, and all are welcome to attend.”
The appointment of contractors for the city raised questions from some members of the audience.
“The sheer number of contractors is outrageous,” Heuser said. “A blanket resolution to hire them all does not make sense.”
Suozzi explained that most of the professionals under contract are only paid when a job arises, but that it is important to know who to go to when specific issues arise.
“All of them have specialties…we hire them for a certain reason,” he said.
Another resident asked how the contractors would be paid, and if the fees increased at all this year from what the city was charged last year.
“For some of the firms we pay as we go, others have an hourly rate,” Suozzi replied. “There was no increase in fees.”