Police Layoffs Not Imminent, Mayor Says

    The Sag Harbor Village Board has held a few “special” meetings recently in addition to its monthly session, with regard to village employees, committee members, and volunteers. One such meeting, held on Dec. 28 at 8 a.m., included a discussion of the village police force, which the board has talked of cutting or even disbanding.
    Mayor Brian Gilbride said on Friday that negotiations between the village and the Police Benevolent Association  are currently at arbitration level. “I am keeping my eye on the situation,” he said, mentioning overtime in particular. In view of vacations, leaves of absence, and the like, the mayor said layoffs were not imminent. The specter of layoffs was put on the table after no member of the force accepted the village’s offer of early retirement incentives.
    Police Chief Thomas Fabiano reported at Tuesday’s regular meeting that 172 arrests had been made during 2012, including 36 for driving while intoxicated. A total of 1,568 summonses were issued. There were 263 requests for aid, he reported, and 169 motor vehicle accidents. In December, the chief said, the department responded to 259 calls for service, 21 requests for aid, and 7 motor vehicle accidents. There were 5 arrests for aggravated unlicensed driving, 4 D.W.I. arrests, and 2 arrests on charges of harassment.
    During December’s special meeting, the board appointed new members to fill unexpired terms. Steven Clarke was named to the Harbor Committee, Tim McGuire to the Zoning Board of Appeals, and Penny Ludwig to the Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board.    
    Mia Grosjean of Save Sag Harbor questioned the board on Tuesday about its own open seat, asking if it would be filled before June 18, the date of the next scheduled election. Mayor Gilbride responded that there are “no plans on filling it right now.”
    Also on Tuesday, the village accepted the resignation of three of its Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps members, Richard Ryder, Andrew Fallia, and Alexandra Sidor, and removed them from the insurance rolls. Edmund Downes, president of the corps, wrote in his year-end recap that members had 744 emergency calls in 2012, 52 worknights, 24 meetings, 86 training sessions, 2 drills, 16 work details, and 2 parades.
    The board set a date for residents to complain about their taxes — the so-called Grievance Day — on Feb. 19 from 1 to 5 p.m. It also okayed the use of Long Wharf and the village streets for the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce’s third annual Harborfrost festival, to be held on Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., the day after in case of rain. The event will feature a polar bear plunge at Windmill Beach and an ice-carving demonstration on Long Wharf, followed by fireworks.
    Ms. Grosjean and another Howard Street resident expressed serious concern about an abandoned house on their block, which she said has an abandoned car in the driveway with animals living in it. In her 15 years of residence, she said, she has never seen the owner. Another neighbor said he’d taken it upon himself to turn off the house’s electric and water.
    Mayor Gilbride promised to have Timothy Platt, the building inspector, and/or code enforcement have a look at the situation.