Written by Karen Gellender: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 13 April 2012 00:00
Residents of Muttontown would like the Syosset Fire Department to contact the Muttontown Police Department whenever a fire is reported in the area. That way, MPD officers who may be patrolling right nearby can immediately be of aid to residents and the firefighters themselves. However, for some reason, the Syosset Fire Department Board of Commissioners denied a request from the village for this communication…or did they?
It was a matter of some debate at the Monday, April 9 SFD Board of Commissioners meeting, when a contingent from Muttontown, including Mayor Julianne Beckerman and Police Chief William J. McHale, requested answers from the board during the Audience to the Public segment. Beckerman and a group of concerned residents wanted to know why the request was denied, but according to Chairman of the Board Giovanni Graceffa, it was only denied because it wasn’t considered a formal submission in the first place.
“We don’t have any formal correspondence from yourself on the matter, and the only thing we had was one or two lines on an email…to our superintendent,” said Graceffa to Beckerman, asking the mayor to put the request in writing so the board could consider it.
Beckerman agreed to do so, “But we are asking for no more than the same type of communication that was given to the Old Brookville Police Department, and is currently given to the Oyster Bay Cove Police Department,” she said.
“We should be able to be of assistance to you in these circumstances,” added McHale to the commissioners. “and as you well know, Muttontown is a bit of a unique village in the sense that it can be difficult to navigate—even navigating the properties themselves can cause problems,” he said.
Commissioner Robert E. Swanson asked Beckerman if the village had a similar procedure with any of the other fire departments that cover parts of Muttontown, and Beckerman said that indeed, Muttontown has similar relationships with both the Jericho and East Norwich Fire Departments.
If what happened between the Village of Muttontown and Syosset Fire Department was no more than a routine miscommunication, in all likelihood Beckerman’s request will be approved at a subsequent board meeting; if not, Muttontown residents, some of whom attended the meeting to testify as to the efficacy of their police department, will likely demand a thorough explanation for the board’s refusal.
After hearing from the public, the board went into executive session, only to reconvene approximately an hour later to cover the rest of the evening’s agenda, including an approval of a rotary club request for cones and barricades for the upcoming Syosset Craft Fair and an approval of an agreement for fire hydrant rentals with Plainview Water District.
In the wake of the recent audit from the state comptroller’s office that criticized the district for lacking a competitive bidding process, multiple bid amounts were listed for all projects discussed at the meeting, large and small. Among other items, flower and photography services for the 2012 Installation Dinner were sent out for bidding, with three bids received for each. The commissioners also noted that in the event that they didn’t go with the lowest bid for any project, they would provide documentation as to the reason why.
The next meeting of the SFD Board of Commissioners will be held on Monday, April 23 at department headquarters at 50 Cold Spring Road.