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A Look Back at Town Government in 2012

Hurricane kept Huntington workers busy; town won Avalon ruling.

Patch looks back at some of the top news about Huntington's town government in 2012.

Town Takes On Hurricane

The town declared a state of emergency ahead of the Oct. 29 hurricane, opened warming centers and shelters, pursued LIPA and brought in experts to help homeowners cope with FEMA and insurance problems. Meantime, the highway department estimates that Hurricane Sandy left seven times the mess created by Hurricane Irene last year and is still busy clearing away debris left by the  storm.

Court Backs Town on Avalon Approval

A court ruling in November upheld the town's 2011 approval of the rezoning that permitted the Avalon Bay project to go forward. Justice Joseph C. Pastoressa rejected a number of objections to the controversial 379-unit multifamily development.

Cook Joins Town Board

Gene Cook took his seat in January as a member of the Town Board.  An independent backed by the Republican Party, Cook defeated Glenda Jackson in the 2011 election.

Changes at Town Hall

Tracy Yogman, director of the Department of Audit and Control, resigned in April. Yogman has accepted a position with an unnamed not-for-profit organization, according to a town press release. And town attorney John Leo resigned in December after he was elected to a judgeship.

Petrone, Naughton Reach Agreement

Supervisor Frank Petrone backed off efforts for a governmental reorganization that would have abolished the elective office of highway superintendent, saying agreements had been reached on other ways to achieve savings.

Liquor Store Owners Block Another From Opening

A group of Huntington liquor store owners won support from the Town Board and later the State Liquor Authority to block the opening of another such store in Huntington Station.  At the Sept. 24 meeting of the Town Board, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson sponsored and enacted legislation to limit the number of retail liquor store licenses that can be issued within a geographic area and to set standards defining “saturation” for the purpose of limiting the number of retail liquor store licenses.

Bamboo Law Rejected Again

The Huntington Town Board voted down legislation meant to curb the rampant spread of bamboo for the second time on Tuesday. The legislation, sponsored by Councilmember Susan Berland, was voted down 3-2 with Berland and Supervisor Frank Petrone in favor.

Did we leave one out? What do you think were the year's biggest town government stories? Please tell us in the comments.

JSC December 26, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I realize other town boards probably do this as well, but being allowed to vote yourself a raise just seems so wrong on so many levels. And now Huntington has the dubious "honor" of having the highest paid Supervisor! Frank just gave himself a raise and has once again sweetened his pension pot - when is he leaving?????
Jonathan Kavner December 26, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Can you explain the benefit of eliminating the public accountability of this position? Doesn't that positions job security depend on the satisfaction of the voters? (Not throwing bricks, just trying to learn of the benefits of making such a change)
Laura December 26, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Berland needs to give up. We want lower taxes. We want jobs. Small business owners need a break. Town Hall listen to us please !
Robert W December 26, 2012 at 09:29 PM
How about the Democrats on the board voted themselves a raise while Cook and Mayoka proposed a paycut! I really hope these 3 get voted out next time around!
tony December 26, 2012 at 10:09 PM
@Jonathan Kavner: The elected position of highway superintendent is an archaic elected office that has way too much power in terms of hiring (patronage) and control over the budget both of which rightly belong to the elected chief executive of the town. Several towns accross Long Island and many accross the state and country have already converted to appointed superintendents. Ask yourself, if it is logical to have an elected town highway superintendent why is it that the county and state do not elect those officials? They are, in fact, appointed by the County Executive and Governor respectively.

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