Patchogue board holds concerns over Alive After Five security costs
The Village of Patchogue held its second bi-monthly board meeting on Monday, Nov. 25 in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday. Each board member graciously wished attendees a happy Thanksgiving and kept the agenda light for the evening.
Despite the cordial and procedural agenda for the evening, it did turn contentious during Patchogue Chamber of Commerce executive director David Kennedy’s presentation, when the dates for the popular Alive After Five summer series were proposed alongside event chairwoman Jacqueline Routh.
Village mayor Paul Pontieri cited the considerable costs for policing and emergency personnel that the Suffolk County Police Department quoted in talks with board members.
“I’m not the bearer of bad news. I’m the bearer of news that concerns the public. I’m not sure if we can approve the dates without the proper communication taking place with the police department and emergency services,” said Pontieri.
The Alive After Five events would cost the police department over $20,000 per event in overtime and would likely need to pull emergency personnel from other dispatch centers to adhere to state law in anticipation of the large crowds.
Kennedy was insistent that he had tried to take the lead and communicate with specific police leaders, but was unable to establish contact, and that he had not been contacted by John Rocco, who had raised concerns about emergency personnel to Pontieri.
“Public safety is of paramount concern to me, and we are putting forth dates for the event series as a way to engage communication about policing concerns, not in blindness to them,” added Routh.
The board members and chamber representatives agreed to discuss the proposed Alive After Five dates for a later board meeting.
After the scheduled agenda ended, Beach Avenue resident Wayne Seides, in an ongoing struggle, alerted board members of suspected, continued commercial activity to his neighbor, John Ercolino, who owns a wholesale meat company, in his residentially zoned property. Ercolino has repeatedly denied commercial activity at the address. Seides had sent a video to the board of trucks coming to the property at early-morning hours. The board members assured Seides that review of this video had prompted a notice of violation and that the Building Department was pursuing active enforcement with Ercolino.
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