01/07/14 10:29am
01/07/2014 10:29 AM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO |  Robert's Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store last Thursday morning.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Robert’s Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store last Thursday morning.

After days of anticipation, the results are officially in: for the first time in the 21 years Robert’s Jewelers has run its “Snowfall Madness” promotion, the Southold shop is now obliged to pay out to 153 lucky customers who correctly guessed it would snow more than three inches on Jan. 2.

“It did hit,” storeowner Robert Scott announced in a live WLNG broadcast this morning, saying he received verification from weather officials that it snowed 3.67 inches between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight on Jan 2. “We have 153 people that should be exceedingly happy at this point — I mean, exceedingly happy.”

“Snowfall Madness” makes this deal with customers: buy any piece of jewelry before the holidays and then choose from a selection of dates in late December or early January, the promotion’s rules state. If it snows three inches or more between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight on your chosen date, Mr. Scott will refund your purchase.

By Mr. Scott’s admission, customers have alternately called him both ‘stupid’ and ‘brilliant’ for coming up with the idea. But to his credit, the odds had been in the longtime local jeweler’s favor these two-plus decades, with him never having to make a single payout.

That changed Jan. 2, when eight inches of snow fell on Long Island.

“Do you know how long I’ve waited for this to happen?” he said. “Twenty-one years. And people said it was a stupid event. I’ve had nothing but phone calls.”

Mr. Scott explained he is partially insured by his insurance company and is waiting for them to send him a check before he begins making cash payouts to the 153 customers, all of whom must claim their prizes to receive any money. Payouts will begin Feb. 1 and run through Feb 15, Mr. Scott said.

While he wouldn’t disclose just how much money he needs to lay out — “It’s a lot,” he said with a chuckle — Mr. Scott did say one of the winners included a man who purchased a $7,000 engagement ring.

At the time, Mr. Scott wasn’t ready to cut any checks just yet: he explained Friday that he needed verification from Weather Command, an Illinois-based environmental and forecasting service Mr. Scott said monitors snowfall at Brookhaven National Lab in Upton.

With the snowfall confirmed, Mr. Scott said in an interview this morning he feels “exceedingly happy.”

“Now the fun begins,” he said.

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01/03/14 10:45am
01/03/2014 10:45 AM
Robert's Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store Thursday morning.

Robert’s Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store Thursday morning.

The madness still isn’t over.

After a snowfall brought eight inches — as of 7 a.m. today — to the National Weather Service monitoring station in Upton, the owner of Robert’s Jewelers in Southold said he’s not writing any “Snowfall Madness” checks to lucky customers just yet.

According to a NWS spokesman, 3.7 inches of snow fell between the hours of 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. in the area. However official measurements were not taken at 6 p.m. and midnight sharp.

In a phone call this morning, Mr. Scott explained that his insurance company must receive verification that it snowed at least three inches between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight Jan. 2 not from NWS, but from Weather Command, an Illinois-based environmental and forecasting service Mr. Scott said monitors snowfall at Brookhaven National Lab in Upton.

Due to inclement weather conditions, Brookhaven National Lab is closed today.

“We won’t know positively for at least one or two days,” Mr. Scott said of snowfall measurements. “I have the feeling we hit it, but it’s close.”

Snowfall Madness, a promotion Robert’s Jewelers has run for the past 21 years, makes this deal with customers: buy any piece of jewelry before the holidays and then choose from a selection of dates in late December or early January, the promotion’s rules state. If it snows three inches or more between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight on your chosen date, Mr. Scott will refund your purchase.

Yesterday, the longtime jeweler said at least several thousands of dollars were on the line.

“I have one gentleman who bought a $7,000 engagement ring who’s going to get his money back if it snows,” he said.

Last night, Mr. Scott said, he was glued to his television set watching weather reports.

“I stayed up till 12 o’clock and listened to every news organization that I could listen to,” he said. “And nobody could give me any definite answers as to snowfall amounts.”

Joe Picca, a NWS spokesman, said that much like Mr. Scott, he believes a payout will be coming soon after hearing about the promotion.

“Based upon what we’re seeing across most of Suffolk it looks like it met the criteria,” Mr. Picca said.

On Jan. 3, Mr. Scott said he has “mixed emotions” about the extreme likelihood he will, for the first time in the two-plus decades he has run the promotion, be obliged to refund eligible customers. But, he said, he’s excited by the prospect.

“It would be nice to pay out,” he said. “It really would.”

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01/02/14 12:47pm
01/02/2014 12:47 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Robert's Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store Thursday morning.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Robert’s Jewelers owner Robert Scott, snow shovel in hand, at his Southold store Thursday morning.

Update: With number still unofficial, ‘madness’ continues

For the past 21 years, Robert’s Jewelers of Southold has made a deal with customers as part of its “Snowfall Madness” promotion.

Buy any piece of jewelry before the holidays and then choose from a selection of dates in late December or early January, the promotion’s rules state. If it snows three inches or more between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight on your chosen date — according to the National Weather Service’s Upton station — storeowner Robert Scott will refund your purchase.

Mr. Scott clarified on Friday that while the numbers are taken at Upton, the snowfall data must be confirmed not from NWS, but from Weather Command, an Illinois-based environmental and forecasting service Mr. Scott said monitors snowfall at Brookhaven National Lab in Upton.

By Mr. Scott’s admission, customers have alternately called him both ‘stupid’ and ‘brilliant’ for coming up with the idea. But to his credit, the odds have been in the longtime local jeweler’s favor these two-plus decades — indeed, he’s never had to make a single payout.

But now, with weather forecasters predicting up to 10 inches of snowfall for Long Island by the end of tomorrow, Mr. Scott’s lucky streak may be over.

“I’m pretty sure it’s going to hit,” he said this morning of the predicted snowfall from behind the counter of his Route 25 store. “I’m not a great weatherman, but I’ve been watching every weather forecast I can.”

If the right amount of white stuff sticks tonight, eligible customers will receive a 100 percent cash refund for their purchase, before sales tax, Mr. Scott said. As an incentive to keep shopping at Robert’s Jewelers, Mr. Scott will offer those same customers a 20 percent credit on top of their refund for a future purchase.

“What’s better than spending $100 and getting $120 back?” he said. “Valentine’s Day is coming.”

Mr. Scott said he and his staff haven’t yet counted how many customers selected Jan. 2 as their “snow date,” but can confirm there are at least several thousands of dollars on the line.

“I have one gentleman who bought a $7,000 engagement ring who’s going to get his money back if it snows,” he said.

That’s a thrilling prospect for the customer, but why would Mr. Scott take such a risk in the first place?

“I’m trying to make it a reward for you shopping with me,” he said.

Despite the interest “Snowfall Madness” drums up each year, Mr. Scott said he plans on running the promotion one last time, in 2014, before putting a stop to it.

But don’t worry: he has something up his sleeve.

“I have a new idea that’s been eating at my brain for the past eight or nine years,” Mr. Scott said. “It’s so neat. I want to keep it a definite secret because it’s going to be different.”

“People will say I’m crazy then, too,” he said. “But I enjoy it.”

[email protected]

11/02/13 2:01pm
11/02/2013 2:01 PM

Southold_Town_Hall-web1

TOWN ASSESSOR
Four-year term, two open seats
Salary: $72,638

Marie A. Domenici
Hamlet: Mattituck
Occupation: Self-employed consultant
Party line: Democratic

About her: Ms. Domenici, who declined to give her age, said she has a wide range of business experience in both the private and public sector. A Mattituck resident, she worked for a Fortune 500 company for 15 years and later for an alternative energy startup. After leaving the startup, she was hired as an office manager and legislative aide to New York State Assemblyman Marc Alessi. She is the former chair of Southold Town’s renewable energy committee and also served on the Town’s stormwater run-off committee and the Citizen’s Committee for a Comprehensive Plan for Southold Town. Two years ago, she ran unsuccessfully on the Democratic line for a seat on the Town Board.

Her pitch: Ms. Domenici said her first priority is community collaboration and satisfaction. If elected, she hopes to organize educational meetings to inform the community about the way the assessor’s office functions.

In her words: “What I bring to this position is the ability to communicate and collaborate well with people. I am the candidate who will bring creative ideas and fairness to the office of the Assessor.”

Terry Hofer
Hamlet: Southold
Occupation: Interior stylist, self-employed
Party lines: Democrat

About her: Ms. Hofer, 59, moved to the North Fork as a child in 1964 and has lived most of her life here, raising two children in the Mattituck-Cutchogue community. She is a former owner of the Down Home Store in Cutchogue, which she operated for seven years. She later enrolled in adult education and went to work for Crate & Barrel, where she was quickly promoted to assistant manager at the national retailer’s flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City and later worked as store manager at a location in Westchester. Her civic and community volunteer experience includes service as a member of the Southold Historical Society, a Community Action Southold Town volunteer and as a member of the Harvest Gospel Choir of the East End Arts Council.

Her pitch: Ms. Hofer believes her experience as a small-business owner and a manager of a major retailer makes her an ideal candidate for assessor. She says she has the interpersonal skills and the ability to build and develop relationships necessary for the job.

In her words: “I’m approachable, hard-working, detail-oriented, decent and experienced.”

Robert I. Scott Jr.
Hamlet: Orient
Occupation: Incumbent Southold Town Assessor
Party lines: Republican, Conservative and Independent

About him: Mr. Scott, 65, is a Greenport High School graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Davis and Elkins before serving as an officer in the U.S. Army. A past president of the Greenport Rotary, he lives with his wife in Orient. He spent 18 years working as a real estate broker. He has been a member of the Orient Fire Department for 29 years, including 14 as chairman and three as a commissioner of the fire district. He was the department’s Fireman of the Year in 2003. Mr. Scott has served six terms as a Southold Town Assessor and is the office’s current chairman. In 1993 he was granted the New York State designation of Certified Assessor Advanced. He has also served as president of the Suffolk County Assessors Association. If re-elected, he said this would be his final term.

His pitch: Mr. Scott believes his experience, and that of his running mate, Kevin Webster, should be strongly considered when casting a vote this Election Day. He pointed to their first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day business of an assessor as key differences between them and their opponents. He said maintaining a level of continuity is important in an office where another longtime assessor already retired earlier this year.

In his words: “Kevin Webster and I have tried to continue the ‘open door’ accessibility to all the public when it comes to assessment questions — whether it’s agricultural, senior citizen or STAR exemptions, deeds, estimates on future construction, etc. It is our hope to be seen as uniform and fair in any assessment situation.”

Kevin W. Webster
Hamlet: East Marion
Occupation: Incumbent Southold Town Assessor
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative and Independent

About him: Mr. Webster, 43, grew up in Orient and graduated from Ithaca College in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He has lived in East Marion with his wife and son for the past 15 years. He worked for 14 years in the appraisal, real estate and assessment industry, completing the New York State real estate sales agent and appraisers’ courses in that time. He has been a member of the East Marion Fire Department since 2004 and is currently its chairman. Mr. Webster was first elected Southold Town Assessor in 2005 and has served two terms.

His pitch: Mr. Webster believes that with the evolution of the job of assessor to include appraisals, exemption and tax return analysis and increased interaction with the public, he and running mate,Bob Scott, are best suited for the position.

In his words: “Our complete knowledge of all hamlets of the town, from Fishers Island to Laurel, allows us to help every one of our homeowners in a personal manner.”

TOWN ASSESSOR
Two-year unexpired term, one open seat
Salary: $72,638

Richard L. Caggiano
Hamlet: Southold
Occupation: Financial analyst
Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Caggiano, 64, moved to Southold with his wife, Susan, in 1985. The couple has three children. He studied teaching at St. John’s University and taught in New York City schools. He later changed careers and entered into the financial industry, opening an office in Southold. Mr. Caggiano has served on the Southold school board, the Greenport/Southold Chamber of Commerce, the Southold Town Planning Board, the town supervisor’s Tax Council and the Southold Hamlet Stakeholders.

His pitch: Mr. Caggiano said the assessor position requires interaction with the public on a daily basis, often in a contentious atmosphere, and he believes his 25-plus years of experience in the corporate, small business and governmental sectors qualify him for the job. He said his background includes proficiency in budgeting, forecasting, financial and operational analysis, management, governmental contracting and grants and procurement.

In his words: “Through my years of service, both volunteer and professional, I have developed the ability to be fair, balanced and respectful toward everyone, resulting in successful outcomes.”

Jason A. Petrucci
Hamlet: Southold
Occupation: Food service industry
Party line: Democratic

About him: Mr. Petrucci, 29, is a Mattituck High School alumnus who studied political science as an undergraduate at Drew University and did graduate studies at the University of Maryland. Mr. Petrucci has served on the town’s Conservation Advisory Council, participated in the Blue Ribbon Commission and served as an intern for Comgressman Tim Bishop. He currently works at Friar’s Head Golf Club in Riverhead.

His pitch: Mr. Petrucci said he was surprised to learn that property owners of merged substandard lots in pre-1971 subdivisions are assessed for the value of two separate lots. He believes there needs to be better communication between the assessor’s office and other town departments in order to prevent redundancies and the over-assessment of properties.

In his words: “My long experience [studying] town planning department subject matter and publication procedures gives me a practical perspective that I know the Board of Assessors would benefit from.”