Written by Jill Nossa Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Residents have to wait a little longer to start receiving FiOS service. A second public hearing was held at Glen Cove City Hall last week regarding the proposed Verizon FiOS contract, and the agreement is not yet official.
Mayor Ralph Suozzi and the city council members heard from attorneys on both sides: Cablevision was not pleased with the adjustments made and still had not had a chance to view the final agreement. Councilman Michael Famiglietti asked to table the vote until they had a chance to review the final proposal and make sure that the terms given to Verizon were equal to those given to Cablevision; the council voted unanimously to table the vote until Dec. 10.
City Attorney Vincent Taranto said the comments had been submitted to the city by counsel for both Verizon and Cablevision and the agreement has been “amended accordingly.”
“As far as I’m concerned, the two agreements are comparable from a legal standpoint.”
Prior to the hearing, the council seemed ready to enter into a franchise agreement with Verizon. However, the attorney representing Cablevision, Peter Bee, said that while “nobody is against competition, there are a number of differences between the two documents.” He had raised his concerns at the public hearing held on Nov. 12 about Cablevision’s existing contract and the terms in the proposed Verizon contract that make them unequal.
“I was not provided with a copy of the latest proposal,” he said. “Cablevision and the public should have the opportunity to see the changes before the public hearing.”
Attorney Paul Trane, representing Verizon, noted that Cablevision has “grossed more than $32 million from the community in the last four years” and has had “a monopoly for the last 30 years” in Glen Cove. “I believe it’s fair for the community and it’s time to start competition. We’re ready to start immediately.”
Councilman and mayor-elect Reggie Spinello said, “From what I understand, Verizon came in when it wanted to, no one prevented you. I’m not concerned about the years past but am concerned about the level playing field.”
The council adopted a resolution to allow the Glen Cove Volunteer Fire Department to hold a referendum vote to extend eligibility into their pension system from 25 years to 35 years. Ex-chief Tony Tripp explained that the system was created in the 1980s as recruitment and retention tool, but the department has currently found itself with 35 members who are too young to collect and have no incentive to stay active.
“With the extension, they could stay active 10 years longer...and it would take a long time and a lot of money to replace them.”
"It’s a small price to pay,” said Mayor Suozzi. “I know the risks and how hard you all work.”