Mineola, NY

The Truth is Out There – WAY Out There ! !

The Ugly Side of Democracy

One of the purposes of a public meeting is to educate.  It gives residents not only a chance to air any grievances they might have, but to advise other residents about what’s going on in the neighborhood – for good or for ill.  A prime example of the good that can come from a public meeting is all the money that has been raised over the past several years as a result of Bill Urianek speaking about his mission to collect and redeem bottles and cans.  Two young soldiers and their families have received much-needed financial assistance and moral support due to people hearing about Mr. Urainek’s collections at the public hearings.  And as a result of the meetings being broadcast into other communities, a boy in Elmont was inspired to launch his own campaign at his school in cooperation with Mr. Urianek.  I guess this is most readily likened to dropping a pebble into Lake Good Karma and watching the ripples spread out.

Sometimes students from grammar schools and high schools sit in on our meetings as part of a school project.  Such was the case at the February 20th VOM Work Session and Public Meeting.  And if you’ve watched the meetings on Cablevision or Fios, you might have heard Mayor Strauss welcome these young people who were sitting among the “Sunshine” attendees.


At the Public Session Mr. Brummel, a gentleman from East Hills, returned to the podium to again urge Mineola’s Board of Trustees to issue a proclamation or possibly enact other legislation to protect a certain tree at an address on Roslyn Road.  This was the third time Mr. Brummel approached the Board, who had entertained him for just over 30 minutes at the prior meeting while others waited to speak.  That was a VERY generous amount of time.  At the February 20th session however, the mayor exhibited somewhat less patience and in his exasperation, he cut Mr. Brummel off in mid-sentence.  The tone of the meeting quickly devolved from there.

I left the session that night wondering what those high school kids were going to tell their schoolmates the next day.   Perhaps something along the line of  “I went to a public meeting in Mineola and a hockey game broke out !!”  Or maybe they just went home, crawled under their bed covers and cringed.  It was not one of our more decorous engagements.

Here’s the thing these future members of our electorate need to understand:  while democracy is a beautiful thing, the democratic process itself can be ugly.  People get their arms and legs and faces blown off fighting to preserve our way of life which includes the right to freely assemble at public meetings to voice our opinions.  And when folks exercise their rights to freely assemble at public meetings to voice their opinions, or to call attention to a situation that concerns them, sometimes tempers flare and things can turn ugly.  But the alternative of allowing ourselves to be kept in the dark as we march like lemmings, off a cliff is far uglier.

I hope our young visitors were not completely scared off by the turn the meeting took.  It IS a part of the process sometimes.

So please join us again.  We need you to be part of this exercise even if only as witnesses.  And we’ll try to keep the volume down.


March 1, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment


“Six o’clock already? I was just in the middle of a dream!  I was kissing Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream . . .”     Manic Monday (The Bangles)

At least I was.  Until somebody cranked up that jack hammer at 7:20 in the morning on Saturday, January 19, 2013.

Not that I’m complaining.

But I am.

I listened to this cacophony for an hour before I took my camera and went out in the cold to track down where the noise was coming from.  I didn’t have to go far because it was coming from behind the Brasa Rodizio restaurant located at 100 Herricks Road.  I began taking photos, and the supervisor of the crew came over.  When I asked why he started jack hammering so early on a Saturday morning he answered “This is a commercial property.”  Then I pointed out the residences just behind him and again asked why it was necessary to start SO early.  That’s when he indicated he wanted to get the work done before the restaurant opened.  I asked if he had a permit, and he said he did.  I asked to see it.  That’s when he said he didn’t have it on him, that the “owner” had it.  I don’t know if he meant the owner of the building, the owner of the restaurant, or the owner of S & J Landscaping and Construction which was the firm doing the work.  No matter.  Noise is noise.

You see, my house is 350 feet away from where these individuals were working.  And I heard it.  My neighbors who live behind me on Beebe Road heard it and their house is 500 feet away.  That means it was heard in the Richlee Court complex and, since it was a clear, cold, otherwise quiet morning, the sound probably reverberated as far as 13th Avenue on the south side of the LIRR tracks.  Of course, those folks are used to sleep disturbances considering how many years they had to put up with the noise pollution emitted from the Verizon building on that little strip of land that somehow belongs to the Village of Garden City.  That lawsuit has dragged on for 3 years now.  But I digress.

I returned home to research the Village of Mineola’s Code to see how our regulations address allowable construction times and construction-related noise.

They don’t.

I then began to consult the codes of all the villages along the Jericho Turnpike corridor from the Queens border to Westbury, as well as the codes of the Towns of  Hempstead and North Hempstead.  I also dug into the Rules of the City of New York.  Every municipality I looked at has a chapter in their code that is dedicated to Noise.  What’s more, every one addresses construction-related  noise and stipulates days and hours when construction may take place.

Mineola’s code, in contrast, has  NO CONSOLIDATED  regulations for noise.  Chapter 192Animals – addresses noisy animals in general (barking, whining dogs in particular), in Article II, §10.  Next, we jump to Chapter 230Business Licenses – where the Code stipulates that professional landscapers may not operate power or manual gardening equipment after 8 pm or before 8 am without written permission from the Board.  Finally, we come to Chapter 376Peace & Good Order.  Article II, §9 is titled Disturbing the Peace.  It’s very broad and generalized but was the only citation I could find that was in any way applicable for me to file a written complaint with the Building Department.  (Spoiler alert:  we also have a restriction against noise from vehicles and motorcycles.)

Let’s analyze the numbers.  Of the NINE municipal codes I researched, 3 out of the 6 villages, both Towns, and the City of New York DO NOT PERMIT CONSTRUCTION ON WEEKENDS.  If public safety is at risk, special permits must be obtained to do work on a Saturday or Sunday.  The other three villages do allow construction on Saturdays as well as weekdays as a matter of routine.  In New York City, an “after hours” permit to work on the weekends can be obtained without the pre-requisite of a public health/safety issue, but you’ll pay through the teeth.  And let’s face it, people don’t move to the city in search of peace and quiet, but if a contractor wants to disturb people on their weekends, that contractor had better be ready to ante-up.

As for construction hours, IN ALL CASES SAVE ONE, the earliest time construction may commence is 7 a.m. and that is during the week only.  The one exception is the Village of New Hyde Park which does permit construction to commence at 7 am on Saturdays as well.  (Pardon my editorializing VNHP, but REALLY???)  The other two villages that permit construction on Saturdays restrict the start time to 8 a.m. and stipulate an end time by 7 p.m.

The Village of Mineola must establish regulations to deal with construction noise so both residents and contractors know what the ground rules are.  And residents need to know who to contact when a violation is being committed so a summons can be issued right away.  In my ideal world, construction wouldn’t be permitted on weekends.  It remains to be seen if the other VOM residents agree.  But I urge the Board members, who are all Village residents and taxpayers themselves, to give this matter the serious consideration it deserves.  Mineola is the County Seat of Nassau yet it entertains a hodge-podge of a code that doesn’t properly address one of the major causes of stress and pollution we as a society face.  N-O-I-S-E.  Escaping it is one of the main reasons people move to places like this.

For anyone who’s interested, I’m providing the spread-sheet I compiled that breaks down those portions of the codes of the Villages of Bellerose, Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Stewart Manor, Williston Park and Westbury, as well as the Towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead and the City of New York, that deal with noise.  (It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re sleep-deprived.)  Click here:  NOISE CODE COMPS

BTW – I did file a complaint with our Department of Buildings citing violation of Chapter 376, Article II, §9 for this auditory assault against my somnolence.  Las Vegas bookies post my odds of getting a response at slim to none.  I’m waiting for somebody to prove them wrong.

February 17, 2013 Posted by | 7th S.D. New York State, Incorporated Village of Mineola, Mineola NY, Nassau County | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Construction Worker Injured in NJ Scaffolding Collapse Awarded $3.7M

Construction Worker Injured in NJ Scaffolding Collapse Awarded $3.7M.


More on this later.

March 18, 2012 Posted by | 7th S.D. New York State, Incorporated Village of Mineola, Jack Martins, Mineola NY | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Severely Burned Cat Continues Unexpected Recovery – WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News

You might be wondering why this is on a page that’s focused on Village of Mineola issues.  What do we have in common with Oshkosh, WI ?  Well probably more than any of us realize but definitely this:  animal cruelty exists EVERYWHERE.

Including the Incorporated Village of Mineola. 

We know that feral cats that are being cared for in one location of the village are being systematically killed off.  So it’s there.  It’s ugly – wherever it happens.  But here is one story that might actually have a happy ending.  And if you are moved to make a donation towards this cat’s care, or towards any other animal rescue organization, then this small effort is worth it.

Severely Burned Cat Continues Unexpected Recovery – WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News.

August 6, 2011 Posted by | Incorporated Village of Mineola, Mineola NY | , , , , , , | Leave a comment



The Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution states:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

There are truly criminal deeds like murder, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and the like.  And if you commit one of these deeds and get arrested, you’ll spend time in jail until your trial – unless you make bail or post bond.  According to Article 30 of the NYS Criminal Procedure Law (Timeliness of Prosecutions and Speedy Trial), prosecution for Class A felonies, 1st degree rape, sexual assault etc can be commenced at any time.  So you can be sitting in the clink for a good long while awaiting trial if there’s a serious backlog and you’ve been denied bail or don’t have the money to pay it.

But what about trials for petty offenses and misdemeanors?   Say a Building Code Violation?  Well §30.10 of the CPL addresses those as well.  Prosecution for a petty offense must be commenced within one year of  “the commission thereof” while prosecution for a misdemeanor must be commenced within two years of  “the commission thereof.”  That gives a certain amount of flexibility to the variety of jurisdictions in New York State some of which are fairly small whereas others, like NYC are fairly large.

One might expect that in a Village such as Mineola having fewer than 20,000 residents (a number of whom are children and not likely to be involved in petty crimes and misdemeanors) it wouldn’t be that hard to obtain a speedy trial for something like an alleged parking violation, or for having illegal tenants living at your property, or for having a non-drivable car parked in your driveway.  Most people who receive summonses in this Village for parking or Building Code violations don’t fight them.  They pay them outright or go to conference to strike a plea deal.  So when we have an individual who answers his court summons and demands a trial for a Building Code violation, doesn’t it strike you as odd that FIVE MONTHS after the fact he still has not been given a court date?  In this dinky little village?  Well if you’ve lived in Mineola long enough, nothing should surprise you.  But yet it does.

Such is the situation for Sal Cataldo.  The man is over 80 years old, and is a Korean War veteran who is very active in veteran and community affairs.  He’s also a Village taxpayer, and a pistol to boot.  Mr. Cataldo was issued a Notice of Violation early in the year, went to the Village’s Justice Court and filed a plea of “Not Guilty” and requested that the matter go to trial.  And he’s waiting.  And waiting. . . . .  At least he’s not sitting in a jail cell.

Maybe the “Powers That Be” at 155 Washington Avenue figure if they can just stick it out, Sal will die first.  That doesn’t surprise me either.  I’ve lived in this Village long enough.

Are you on Facebook?  Join the group Justice For Sal and tell the Village Administration to get this show on the road!


August 4, 2011 Posted by | 7th S.D. New York State, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Law, Incorporated Village of Mineola, Mineola NY, Nassau County, NYCLU | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IT’S UP TO YOU ! ! ! !

I hear complaints about this village from ALOT of people.  Most of those complaints center around the Building Department.  So I was amused when I read an article in the March 13 issue of Newsday that discussed the various village elections taking place tomorrow.  There’s quite the kerfuffle going on in East Hills, our neighbor to the north where three rabble-rousers are running against three incumbents, calling for “ethical accountability” among other things.  According to Newsday these three upstarts, Matthew Weiss (for mayor), Jonathan Penn and Gregg Resnick (for trustee) are running under the East Hills Advocacy Group banner.  They want to make village decisions more open to the public and create a “friendlier atmosphere when dealing with the Building Department !!!!”    http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/north-hempstead-village-races-heat-up-1.2745301

WOW ! ! !  Fancy that ! ! !

What is it exactly, about Building Departments that ticks taxpayers off?  Because I know a hernia-load of taxpayers in the Village of Mineola are not happy with our Building Department personnel.

And what is it with village officials trying to keep all their wheelings and dealings on the down-low?  Because whenever somebody shone a light on Jack Martins’ manipulations he didn’t like it one little bit.  He did whatever he could to obfuscate, and certain people in Village Hall are still covering things up for him.

We have our own entrenched party here in Mineola:  the New Line Party.  Their slogan is “HONESTY – INTEGRITY – ACCOUNTABILITY” but all three of those have been in seriously short supply during the reign of Jack Martins.  Current ad-hoc mayor Larry Werther is one of three candidates running for TWO trustee spots.  He claims to be the logical choice for the voters because during his tenure the Board reduced waste disposal fees (we’ll see how that pans out over the years), decreased the budget deficit and made government more accessible.

Which is why the Mineola Board took the Public Meetings off the air when heat was applied about Conflict of Interest issues in – wait for it – THE BUILDING DEPARTMENTAnd which is why they only brought the broadcasts back after they came up with their Speaker Request Sign-In Sheet.  And which is why they violated the First Amendment when I tried to raise a question about a union action against the village.

It’s also why they are stonewalling my request to view Justice Court records.



Well I’ll tell you what I know, and what I don’t know.

I don’t know Scott Strauss.  I only know of him.  I know he served in the NYPD and he’s put his life on the line in some pretty serious circumstances to help other people.  He’s got STREET CRED.

I don’t know George Durham, although I did serve with him on the Fence Committee a few years back.  He seemed like a reasonable human being then and he’s probably still a reasonable human being.

I don’t know Chris Wales – the dark horse candidate running on the aptly-named Mustang ticket.  This guy has come out of the clear blue sky and is giving it his best shot.  What I do know is that it takes moxie to run for office on a wing and a prayer.  I know he represents a breath of fresh air and has brought some life to this race.  He also presents a serious threat to incumbent Larry Werther.

Ah, Larry.  The only holdover from the Martins regime to be running this year, and the third of the New Line candidates.  I do know Larry- not personally mind you, but just on the basis of my experiences with him as a trustee.  His plans to run for Mayor were squashed when the New Line party refused to endorse him and put up Mr. Strauss instead.  So he concocted a story about work conflicting with his ability to attend Wednesday night meetings were he to be elected mayor.  These are the same Wednesday night meetings he’s been attending for 8 years as a trustee.  And the same Wednesday night meetings he’ll have to attend if he gets re-elected.  Larry, who at Village meetings proudly extols his Catholic upbringing every chance he gets, yet who has referred to the homeless individuals who sometimes populate our streets as “Human Garbage.”  Larry, who backed up everything Jack Martins ever said no matter whether it was the full truth, a half-truth, or an outright lie.  Larry, who smirked and giggled when I rebuked the Board of Trustees about the way he violated my First Amendment right to ask a question at a Public Meeting.

Larry.  I don’t fully believe that he acts out of maliciousness, but out of cluelessness.  And arrogance.  He has so outraged people over the years with the things that have come out of his mouth, yet I don’t think he understood the full impact of his behavior until Jack Martins kicked him in the teeth in December when his senate win was finally certified.  Now it just might be too late.

So there is stands.  One incumbent clinging to his Board position for dear life.  Three newbies – two of whom carry the baggage of running on Jack Martins’ party line and one who carries the baggage of being a complete unknown.

So it’s up to you.  Vote.  Don’t vote.  But if you don’t vote, don’t complain – especially to me.  The mayoralty is a done deal for good or ill.  But the trustee positions are still up for grabs.  So roll out of the recliner and Watusi on down to Village Hall tomorrow to flip those levers and cast your ballots.  It’s your right.  It’s your duty.  It’s your choice.

March 14, 2011 Posted by | 1st Amendment, 7th S.D. New York State, Freedom of Speech, Incorporated Village of Mineola, Jack Martins, Mineola NY | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

13th Street vs Verizon

aka David v. Goliath

This is an old article from the Williston Times.



March 13, 2011 Posted by | Incorporated Village of Mineola, Jack Martins, Mineola NY | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Isn’t it interesting how the Mineola American isn’t covering this?

People have been asking me if I know anything about the lawsuit brought against Verizon by the residents of 13th Street.  Why isn’t the Mineola American or Mineola Patch covering this?  Probably because it doesn’t make Jack Martins look good.  So go.  Read already!


March 13, 2011 Posted by | 7th S.D. New York State, Incorporated Village of Mineola, Jack Martins, Mineola NY | | Leave a comment

♪ ♫ The Times They Are a Changing ♫ ♪ (Maybe. . .)

The Village election is March 16, 2011 and while it will be a one-horse race for mayor, there is some doubt about how the race for the Trustee positions will end.  The new Mustang Party is represented by Christopher Wales of Jefferson Place.  The old New Line Party has put up Larry Werther, and George Durham is replacing Tom Kennedy on their ticket.  So there will be changes, but before they take place, I’d like to give my fellow taxpayers some food for thought.

When it was brought to the Board’s attention that a Building Department employee and Village resident had not been paying the proper taxes on her house for years, they took it in stride.  They all marched in lockstep behind Jack Martins, allowing this individual to continue to collect salary, medical and pension benefits.  Then one day she pushed the envelope so far that even Jack Martins finally felt compelled to get rid of her.  That’s when he convinced the Board to eliminate the position of Secretary to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

This in fact, WAS NOT the reason her position was eliminated.  This employee already had a written complaint filed against her for insubordination and for leaving her post unattended in January 2010, yet she was not brought up on charges with the union at that time.  Then the Board was advised that she and her ex-husband had made certain improvements to their home in Mineola without proper permits or inspections; that the improvements were never recorded with either the Village or the County and thus went untaxed for more than a decade; AND that the house was up for sale with these unpermitted improvements still in place.  The Trustees remained unfazed, and again, no disciplinary action was taken against the employee.  However, on September 16, 2010 she apparently upset the wrong person in the administration.  On the 17th she was suspended for one day with pay, and at the September 22nd Work Session the Board eliminated her position, using the rationale that it would save the village money.

The employee immediately filed a grievance with the United Public Service Employees Union, a grievance that we have to defend.   See the UPSEU’s press release on Scribd at http://www.scribd.com/doc/38096489/Union-files-Against-Martins

At the November 3rd Work Session, the Board approved Attorney John Spellman’s motion to appoint Gerard Loughran as “Special Hearing Officer” for the Village.  Co-incidental?  Maybe.  But it could turn out to be a fairly expensive co-incidence for us because according to Mr. Loughran’s resume with the NYS Employment Relations Board, his per diem fee is $1000.

The Job

In 2002 the Colbert administration, of which Jack Martins was a Trustee, eliminated a competitive clerk/typist position to create the position of Secretary to the BZA.  And because the Civil Service classification for the title is “Exempt,” no civil service testing is required.  The employee had previously been working in the Building Department in a non-competitive messenger post for which there was also no testing required.  When she was given the title of Secretary to the BZA she received a pay hike of nearly 26%.  By the time the job was eliminated, she was earning $24.64 an hour, nearly $45,000 a year.  AND as a union employee, she was eligible for paid overtime as well as the medical and pension benefits we provide.  This information is obtainable from the Nassau County Civil Service Commission.

The House

One of the improvements made to the home this employee co-owned with her former husband was a ½ bath on the first floor for which there was no permit application and no Certificate of Approval whatsoever.  The other improvement was a 3-piece bath in the cellar, which is a non-habitable space.  The only way out of the cellar is by a staircase that leads directly into the house.  Per a drawing submitted with the cellar bath plumbing application, the windows are too high off the cellar floor and too small to escape from.  Nor are there any exterior window wells.  No firefighter can get into or out of that cellar by a window.  The area does not even meet the criteria to be used as a recreation space, much less a habitable space, so why was a Certificate of Approval issued  by the Building Superintendent?  Or was one issued??

The Building Superintendent at the time, Steven Siwinski, issued a plumbing permit with the stipulation that an Electrical Certificate had to be filed in order to “close out the permit.”  There is no such Electrical Certificate for that bathroom among the documents in the building file.  If the permit was not closed out, how can the bath be legal?    In fact, there is no Certificate of Approval for the cellar bath.  There wasn’t one last year when I first reviewed the file and there still isn’t.  There is only the plumbing permit application with a notation of  “Issued as per Steve” on it.  When I reviewed the file in January 2010, the cellar bath did not appear on the record card in the file nor did the first floor 1/2 bath.  Mysteriously, that card was not made available to me when I reviewed the file again this January.

But there’s more.  Upon doing further research it appears our current Building Superintendent, Mr. Whalen, did not issue a Notice of Violation against the owners when the issues were brought to light, nor does it appear that any fines were levied against them for installing a powder room without a permit, or for not having an electrical underwriter inspect the wiring for their cellar bath.  All Whalen required them to do, AFTER the matter was brought to the Board’s attention, was take out a retroactive plumbing permit for the ½ bath for which they paid $175 in “CASH.” And the sale of the house was allowed to go through in August 2010.

The Upshot

We have a Building Department employee with a history of insubordination, who did not pay Village or County taxes on the improvements to her home for over 10 years, who was apparently not assessed any fines, who is now collecting unemployment because her job was eliminated to “save the Village money,” and who has filed a grievance against us that we must now defend because the Board did not do things the correct way.  There’s a right way and a wrong way to get somebody off the Village payroll when you are dealing with unionized workers.  The Board, by cow-towing to the former Mayor as they always did, did not handle this particular employee problem correctly.  It has been costing us for years and I fear it will continue to cost us in the future.

And what of Mr. Whalen, who had me wait three weeks on two separate occasions to review the file for this particular property, and who did not see fit to issue a Notice of Violation or levy fines against his subordinate and her former husband for these Code violations?  He was also allegedly a participant in the incident that led to her dismissal in September, yet he continues to collect a six-figure salary, medical, and pension benefits at our expense.  Oh yes – and the car!  Let’s not forget the car he gets to drive courtesy of our tax dollars!

Click for Full View

Years ago, village residents complained to Jack Martins about the relationship between the Building  Superintendent and his subordinate, the Secretary to the BZA.  They voiced their concerns to him privately about Conflict of Interest issues and the effect the relationship was having on employee morale.  These complaints went unheeded until there was nothing left to do but question the Mayor at a public meeting.  And when this was done, he and the Board decided to pull the plug on the broadcasts for over six months.  They then instituted a policy requiring us to submit “Speaker Request Sign-In” sheets.

Most recently in October, after I dutifully submitted a “Speaker Request Sign-In Sheet” indicating I wanted to address a union issue, I was not allowed to step forward.  The NY Civil Liberties Union took this very seriously and addressed the matter in writing.  They are still waiting for the courtesy of a response from the Village administration.

Click for Full View

Add to that a village attorney who apparently didn’t read a Metro PCS contract and who put US in the position of having to defend HIS error in Federal Court.  And who then goes on to crow about how good he was at costing us only $5000 instead of $60,000 in plaintiff’s court costs.

I hope my fellow taxpayers will keep all of this in mind when they go to vote on March 16th.  Keep it in mind too, when you have to pay your school taxes in April and your Village taxes in June, and your general taxes in July.

And if you’ve EVER had to answer a summons and/or pay a fine for a violation issued to you by THIS village especially by Mr. Whalen’s building department, think about it real hard while you’re writing those tax checks.

March 3, 2011 Posted by | 1st Amendment, 7th S.D. New York State, Civil Liberties, Incorporated Village of Mineola, Jack Martins, Mineola NY, NYCLU | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Slander, Libel, and Talking to the Hand

Well it’s been a while since my last posting as I’ve been a busy little bee, doing research and gathering information.  So I haven’t had the chance to address an insight that somebody shared via the “Comment” section of my last posting regarding the First Amendment.  This individual, going by the name of Herneola stated:

“You seem fairly sure you know the first amendment and all it’s protections.  Now go learn about slander and libel.  You’re guilty of both.”

The Bill of Rights

So I went back and looked at my postings, and I’m not really sure what was slanderous or libelous about anything I’ve said.  But if I’ve missed something, I’d like to know what it is.  As a matter of fact I tried to contact this person using the e-mail address they provided when they submitted their comment, but it came back as a discontinued account.  In other words, Herneola created an e-mail account to submit his/her comment, and then deactivated it so he/she couldn’t be contacted.  And that’s fine.  Whatever.

Just so we’re clear, my goal is to get at the truth, which has been in EXCEEDINGLY short supply in this village for many years now.  If employees have not done right by the taxpayers of Mineola by abusing their positions within the administration, by lying, by deliberately misinterpreting laws and regulations, by not reviewing contracts, or by covering up the illegal actions of others; and if by my due diligence, which involves the investment of MY time and MY money, I can investigate and document these things and bring them out in the open, then where is the slander and where is the libel?  Where is the problem?


One problem lies with those who have engaged in abuse of power, lies, patronage, harassment, discrimination, cover-ups and other acts of malfeasance.  The other problem is with those who refuse to remove their rose-colored glasses to look at the cold, hard facts.  They’re akin to kidnap victims who bond with their captors – a well-recognized survival strategy known as Stockholm Syndrome.  Like a battered woman who keeps allowing her abuser back into her life, these people would rather live in denial than accept that their employees have abused their trust.  It’s much easier to shoot the messenger.

Then of course, there are those residents who have everything to gain by maintaining the status quo.

So Herneola et al,  if you’ve done your due diligence; if you’ve gone through files at Village Hall, and the County Clerk’s office and the District Court; if you’ve used the resources that are available to all of us through the Federal and State FOILS, the UCC, the UJC and the plethora of other laws that grant us access to public information; then please share your knowledge with me.  If I’m wrong then I must correct myself.  However, if YOU aren’t willing to put the same amount of time, effort and personal resources behind your comments as I’ve done over these past few years, then pardon me as I invite you, with the utmost respect, to “talk to the hand.”

But thanks for the comment.  You gave me something new to write about.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | 1st Amendment, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Law, Freedom of Speech, Mineola NY, Nassau County, NYCLU | , , , , , , | 4 Comments