Mineola, NY

The Truth is Out There – WAY Out There ! !

GRIM FAIRYTALES

Mayor Jack Martins, Republican candidate for New York’s 7th Senatorial District seat, promised to hold a “TRUTH Conference” on Friday, October 8th in front of his Democratic opponent’s headquarters on Herricks Road.  The purpose was to call out Craig Johnson for lies the incumbent is supposedly spreading about Martins.  (If you’re looking for a good giggle, visit martinsforsenate.com, then click under News and look for the October 7th “Message from Jack.”  In case you’re wondering why I don’t just post the link, it’s because the link doesn’t work.

Martins has accused Johnson and his “Albany spin doctors” of “misinforming constituents.”  That’s really rich, coming from someone who has blatantly lied to his own VOM constituents on a variety of occasions – and on TV.  For instance, the mayor lied (on TV) when I questioned him concerning complaints he’d received about the relationship that existed (and continues to exist) between Building Superintendent Dan Whalen and now former Secretary to the BZA, Karen Calabro.  The mayor denied at first that he ever received complaints about the inappropriateness of their relationship.   (Whalen was Calabro’s boss as well as love interest).  At a later meeting (also broadcast on TV) Martins backpedaled and claimed that nobody had ever filed an “OFFICIAL” complaint with him.  Whatever that means.

Ah, lawyers!

The latest fairy-tale emanating from Jack’s mouth is that of the elimination of Karen Calabro’s position.  At the September 22nd Work Session, the VOM “Trustees” (an oxymoron if ever there was one), voted unanimously to eliminate the post of Secretary to the Board of Zoning Appeals, citing cost-effectiveness as their reason.

Poppycock!

Calabro’s position was not eliminated to save the Village money.  Nor was it eliminated due to complaints that had been brought to the mayor’s attention against her both verbally and in writing over the years.  It wasn’t even eliminated after the Trustees received proof that Ms. Calabro had defrauded the Village and Nassau County by not paying taxes on her home improvements for more than a decade.

It happened because – according to reliable sources – Ms. Calabro, feeling invincible as usual because of her “favored nation” status, was insubordinate to one of her superiors, specifically the Deputy Village Clerk.   Well, the Village Clerk then got involved.  Before you know it, Mr. Whalen – ever Ms. Calabro’s Knight-In-Shining-Armor – injected himself into the situation.  During the ensuing kerfuffle, Whalen (who seems to think he’s still working in a bar) verbally abused Deputy Village Clerk Cora Kelly.  Mrs. Kelly then filed a complaint.  The next day, Friday, September 17th, Calabro was suspended for one day WITH pay.  That’s right – SUSPENDED ONE DAY WITH PAY.  That’s one of  the luxuries of being an exempt AND unionized employee.

There are some interesting items to ponder in this whole little scenario.  Such as why the mayor waited until this particular incident occurred to take action.  He’s gotten complaints about Whalen and Calabro for years from village taxpayers and employees.  The situation has been addressed at public meetings broadcast on Cablevision Channel 18 as well as in writing.  Yet somebody has had both their backs for the longest time.  They were the Teflon® couple.

Until September 16, 2010.  That’s when they both ran their mouths off to the DVC and that’s when Mayor Martins, after “investigating” (i.e. questioning both Calabro and Whalen independently) decided he had to cut his losses.

So he hatched the perfect plan:  eliminate Calabro’s position.  It is after all, an exempt post that exists at the pleasure of the Board, and the person who fills the job also does so at the pleasure of the Board.  (The pleasure of VOM’s taxpayers apparently doesn’t count for much.)

But how to do it and save face at the same time?  Jack didn’t want to look foolish by admitting that Calabro was finally being fired for insubordination.  That would only prove that folks were right all along.  Then the light bulb came on!  That’s when he came up with the old “eliminating this position will save money for the Village” scheme.

So that’s what he – and the “Trustees” – put out there at the September 22nd work session.  But when I questioned him at the Public Hearing later that same night, Martins would have none of it.  As a Village resident and taxpayer I wanted to know if their action had anything to do with the complaint I’d filed that Ms. Calabro hadn’t paid the proper taxes on her home improvements for the entire time she was accepting salary and benefits as a VOM employee and resident.  But Jack held firm:  he had stated the reason at the Work Session and he would entertain no further questions from me on the matter.  (Sounds like a violation of my civil rights quite frankly – considering it’s a public meeting, I’m a Village taxpayer, I filled out the necessary form and I limited my topic to a matter of concern to the Village of Mineola.  But that’s fodder for another posting.)

You’ve heard that “Life is a Highway?”  Well in the Village of Mineola, life is a creepy fairy tale like something out of the Brothers Grimm.  And in the “World of Make-Believe” that exists in Jack Martins’ mind, facts are entirely optional and “truthiness” is only required of certain people, like his senate opponent.  It’s not required of him, or of certain Village employees.   So bear that in mind the next time Mayor Martins collars you at the Mineola train station to tell you how HE’S the one who’s going to bring integrity back to Albany.  Or the next time you see one of his ads on TV.

Or, you can just bury your head in the Tales of Mother Goose.

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October 10, 2010 - Posted by | 7th S.D. New York, 7th S.D. New York State, Incorporated Village of Mineola, Jack Martins, Local New York, Nassau County, Political

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