Lunar eclipse in cards for cops

07/29/2010 12:00 AM |

Southold Town is planning to prevent its police officers from moonlighting at any establishment that has a liquor license, in hopes of avoiding a conflict of interest for officers who must enforce DWI laws by day but might contribute to alcohol use when they’re off duty.

Though town Supervisor Scott Russell said the new policy was aimed at keeping police officers from working as private security personnel at events and festivals, he said at a Town Board work session Tuesday that it would also preclude them from owning, or working in, any establishment that had a liquor license, including wineries, even as parking attendants.

The town attorney’s office plans to prepare a proposal establishing the policy for a vote at the board’s Aug. 10 meeting.

“The local police officers could even challenge this, but let them go to court,” said Mr. Russell. “If you want to go to work in another town part-time, that’s your business. In this town, it should be a very clean distinct line.”

Beach Sticker Blues

About two dozen residents have called Supervisor Russell since the beginning of the summer, he said, to complain they’d had no idea they couldn’t buy beach stickers at town beaches.

“People have gone to the beach and there’s not a beach attendant there, and now they’re getting tickets for $75,” the supervisor said at Tuesday’s work session. “I don’t think the intent was to keep local people off of local beaches.”

The Town Board decided this year to stop allowing young beach attendants to sell stickers. All stickers must instead be purchased at Town Hall.

At Mr. Russell’s suggestion, the board agreed to let the town attorney cancel any tickets people had received for parking without a sticker if they had later purchased beach stickers. He said that he would let the town justices know about the amnesty program.

“When you’re asking people to change their habits, you need to work with them,” Mr. Russell said. “It was my job to let the public know. I didn’t do that and I’ll take responsibility for it.”

Orient’s fire rescue boat

The Orient Fire Department was the highest bidder on a surplus 1989 24-foot Boston Whaler that was used by the Southold Police Department but the Town Board may sell the boat to OFD for a lower price.

The fire department bid $16,125. Five other bids were received, ranged from $1,000 to $6,000. Mr. Russell suggested Tuesday that the town sell the boat to Orient for $10,000, if an independent broker advises him that $10,000 is fair market value.

“We’ve done our job. What we got is one very high bid and five lower bids. To split the difference, I don’t have a problem with that at this point,” said Mr. Russell.

His suggestion came after a contentious meeting two weeks ago at which Orient’s fire commissioners requested that the auction be stopped and the boat be sold to them because, they said, Orient is in desperate need of a fire boat. Mr. Russell was not at that meeting.

“I thought it would be a good time to start building bridges,” he said. “Let’s just break bread and move forward.”

Members of the board were split on his suggestion.

“It’s a public process. I’d love to give it to Orient but we can’t,” said Councilman Al Krupski Jr.

“Because they’re using it as a rescue boat, I would go with what the supervisor said,” countered Councilman Vincent Orlando,

Councilman William Ruland said that residents of other fire districts would, in effect, be subsidizing the Orient Fire Department if the town sold the boat for less than what it could charge.

“Have you ever been involved in a taxpayer suit? That’s why I’m not willing to bend,” he said. “They’re rare but I was involved in one.”

Mr. Russell said that he would seek the appraisal and continue the discussion at a future date.

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