Huntington Notebook: Motivation of Board Member Questioned

Supervisor Frank Petrone accuses Board Member Mark Mayoka of politically motivated positions.

Supervisor Frank Petrone accused lone Republican Town Board Member Mark Mayoka of taking politically-motivated positions at a Town Board meeting Tuesday.

At several points during the meeting, Mayoka's persistent questions were met with from Petrone and Town Board Member Mark Cuthbertson.

"I am not going to agree with you to harass these employees anymore or this board and to take the positions you take because they are strictly political," said Petrone during one debate.

Rejecting a proposal for the approval of up to $37,800 in funding to QScend Technologies, Inc. for a town website re-design and authorization for the execution of a $385,000 settlement agreement and release in the matter of the Town of Huntington against Metro Fuel Oil Corp regarding a 2004 fuel spillage at a town bus facility, Mayoka was the only board member to vote against any agenda item Tuesday.

"There is no politics positions," said Mayoka. "I was elected by the residents to save money and I'm doing the best I can."

In recent weeks, Mayoka has concern with town finances and those who place too much emphasis on the town's AAA bond rating. At the meeting, he cautioned against the town's accrual deficit, which he said was $179 million.

Town Comptroller Tracy Yogman was called on by Petrone at the meeting to explain auditing procedures. She downplayed the $179 million figure, saying it would only be used if the town were shut down.

Rejecting Mayoka's concerns, Petrone noted that only 8 percent of the town's budget is devoted to debt servicing. He also cited a recent 2.8 percent town bond rating as a good sign that finances are in order.

Also at the meeting, a hearing was held to discuss a possible traffic code amendment to place no standing parking restrictions on Prime Avenue, a popular spot for parking near Heckscher Park. Only one resident spoke out against the idea Tuesday.

Additionally, residents spoke mostly in favor of a proposal by the town to increase penalties for operators of dirtbikes, minibikes, all-terrain vehicles, motorbikes and snowmobiles in town parks. 

Town proclamations and certificates went to: The Blue Sky Rain Band was for playing for free to raise funds for Marine Lt. James Byler who was severely wounded in Afghanistan; Aidan Dwyer for winning the 2011 Young Naturalist Award for his study of the Fibonacci sequence in trees; and Emily Tyree and Kelly Gubatosi for raising $10,000 by turning their birthday parties into fundraisers for the Making Headway foundation.

Approved by the Town Board:

  • An agreement for the use of the property located on the northeast corner of Broadhollow Road and Plainview Road along Route 110 for fall festival daytime parking.
  • An extension to the requirements contract for removal of scrap metal with Gershow Recycling Corporation. Board Member Mark Cuthberson recused himself from the vote because of ties to the company.
  • A $145,000 contract with L.K. McLean Associates, P.C., for the design services for the reconstruction of the Woodbine Marina in Northport.
  • An agreement with artist Madeline Weiner of Denver, Colo., for up to $65,000 for the design and installation of a public art project for the Huntington Station Plaza.
  • A contract with Interfleet , Inc. to provide short-term global positioning system services for town vehicles.
  • A licensing agreement with the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce to hold the Long Island Fall Festival to be held on Sept. 30.
  • An extension of a permit for a "Haunted House" operation at 26 Pinelawn Road in Melville from Sept. 30 through Oct. 21.
  • Permission for use of Huntington Station commuter parking lots and garages from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the Sept. 17 Huntington Awareness Day event.
  • The reappointment of Brian Orange to the audit committee.
Vaughn Fritts August 12, 2011 at 01:26 PM
I'll put down the Tea Party any chance I get. They are bad for middle class America. They're all about protecting the rich and putting the onus of taxes on the middle and lower classes. Despicable.
Bobby Jaxx August 12, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Then apparently, you aren't paying attention, but that's okay; it's your right to be wrong
Tom S August 12, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Political gain? He's already in his position as a board member. When the majority of a town speaks up against something and they are ignored by the people who were placed in a position to respond to our community, well that goes against the whole ideal of a democracy. I would love to see everyone get what they want "but" the missing piece is how do you pay for it, especially in this economic downturn. People like you are more about winniing a debate than looking at the future of our community and the children that live here.
Tom S August 12, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Acorn is OKAY? The Tea Party is a group of people from every part of society wealthy to lower middle class, and yes even poor people know better because they want to believe in the American dream. If you know of any poor people that are hiring let us know because there are so many looking for work. Or they can work for the town Govt.etc. and then your taxes go up and you'll have less to spend. The Constitution has taken us a long way and trying to fix something that is not broke is not too smart.
Tom S August 12, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Your point? That's what a democracy is all about, "the people have spoken" rule, have an amendment to make changes, that's a good thing I guess. This new Progressive Liberal attitude is to do whatever you want. Just look at the way things are going in politics today. Telling people in Congress to vote to pass a bill and read the documents later. Is this a fiction story? I still find it hard to believe. Both parties are losing peoples support.
Vaughn Fritts August 12, 2011 at 09:12 PM
"This new Progressive Liberal attitude is to do whatever you want." Not by a long shot. Most of us want more oversight on large corporations and for the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes. The middle class is in shambles thanks to the GOP.
Tom S August 12, 2011 at 09:37 PM
We all want everyone to pay their fair share of taxes, I am for a flat tax or a consumption tax. But when you look at the American Dream are we saying there is a line in the sand, wealthy people risk their capitol, they create jobs and therefore increase the tax roll for goverment. Big corporations and small ones too also donate to their choice of the needy in society. This is done during the year, when you do your taxes it adjust your gross income. If you did not make donations to a 501C the goverment makes you pay more taxes. It's not a perfect world but it works. The rest of the world is having problems too, I know, I know it's Georges fault. All I know is that if you were getting a job done and the contractor said to you" $30,000 total cost, but give me cash and I'll do it for $ 25,000 , you would save yourself $5,000. Then you shorted the goverment the taxes due on the $30,000 income tax.
Vaughn Fritts August 12, 2011 at 09:55 PM
Good points, all. But this business of considering corporations as "people" and all the offshore hiding of assets is killing us. Where is the patriotism of corporate America? They'd rather profit than so what's right for the country.
Tom S August 12, 2011 at 11:03 PM
No One Replied, what about the $30K or $25K, you save $5K and your contactor works tax free, he lives in great home, big boat, nice car and vacations. You save $5K and deprive lower income people of goverment stipends. Truth is we are all looking out for # 1.
Bobby Jaxx August 13, 2011 at 01:11 PM
Well, I see that this has completely escalated since yesterday..... A couple of things to remember; the Republicans (aka GWBush) did not get the country into this financial mess - even with the Iraq war (which was unjustified in my opinion). The congress, who decided that EVERYONE has a RIGHT to own a home and forced Freddie and Fannie to give mortgages to people who obviously couldn't afford them, caused the housing crisis, which directly caused the banking crisis (and no, they aren't clean of this mess either), which caused the stock market crash. Now, those of you who think that rich Republicans are the ones who don't want to pay their fair share, how many rich liberals and Dems are out there squirreling away their money too? How about our loud mouthed actors, like Baldwin and Sarandon? You don't think that their accountants find loopholes for them? How about Sorros? How about Gore? ARE YOU PEOPLE KIDDING ME????? Now, to answer Kim's question to me; I am not going to get into a debate about what specific spending we should cut, mostly because, well; I have a life and work and have things to do with my kids, so I am not going to stay on the computer all day. But if you think that we can't cut spending here and in Washington, then you have not only drunk the Kool-Aid; you have main-lined it. ' Myoka is doing exactly what the people ELECTED him to do. Isn't that what our politicians are supposed to do; work for us??
Bobby Jaxx August 13, 2011 at 01:16 PM
Oh and one more thing, because I can almost sense the replies already ( in a Carnac kind of way); I know that the deficit was growing under GWBush. He was not much of a conservative in that sense, but..... it has TRIPLED under Mr. Obama's watch. His stimulus plans have failed big time. His Health Care bill has made companies not hire people because they don't know what the bill will mean to them. Still, I think we should keep this on a local level, as this is what Patch is all about. Escalating it to country-wide politics will only serve to distract us from what is happening right in front of our eyes. Hope you ALL have an excellent weekend!!!
Bobby Jaxx August 13, 2011 at 02:54 PM
All I am saying is that if Mayoka questions the amount of monies being spent on this and that, it is because that is what we hired him to do. As for the GOP holding the line on taxes; people automatically assume it is because they don't want to raise taxes on "their friends" which is absurd because there are as many - if not more - wealthy Dems out there (again, look at the entertainment industry alone). The Republican's opinion is that the wealthy Americans (and notice they say "Americans" and not "Republicans" are the ones that create jobs...and let it be known that under many of the Obama plans, the so-called 'rich' are people who make $250,000 a year. That includes alot of small business owners. So if a) you raise taxes on them, then b) they won't put their money into their businesses, like hiring new employees or opening new stores, etc etc etc. Whether you agree with that opinion or not; it is still a valid opinion. Look at how many corporations are moving out of the country because it is cheaper for them. Do I think it is right? No. Is it a truth? Yes. On a local level, this administration has done its best to make Huntington into a little version of Queens. In many ways, they have succeeded, and we can see the fruits, and awful ramifications of it. Again, have a great weekend. I'm off to hang with my kids
Vaughn Fritts August 13, 2011 at 03:17 PM
The cover article in the September issue of The Atlantic explains the class divide in the country. Everyone should read it.
Bobby Jaxx August 13, 2011 at 08:59 PM
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance." ... Cicero , 55 BC
Vaughn Fritts August 13, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Oh, the old saw that people are poor and living on the public dole because they're lazy and actually enjoy ripping off the system. Geesh. We are not living in 55 BC. We are moving toward a global economy, whether you accept it or not.
Bobby Jaxx August 14, 2011 at 04:14 AM
That is just part of the problem and part of the message I posted, but when I see illegals driving new SUV's and not paying taxes while living twenty to a house, or people going to free clinics while wearing really expensive sneakers, or people use food stamps to buy things they aren't going to use and try to return them for cash, then yeah; they are trying to rip off the system.......whether you accept it or not.
Vaughn Fritts August 14, 2011 at 09:59 AM
I don't think I've ever seen "illegals driving new SUV's" or any of the other imagined scenarios you are describing. You have no first hand knowledge of any of this. Stereotypes, all.
Bobby Jaxx August 14, 2011 at 02:32 PM
I have no first hand knowledge? Are you kidding me? I LIVE in Huntington Station! I see it ALL THE TIME. And if the illegals aren't driving in brand spanking new SUV's, they are still driving late model ones. All of them? No, but quite a few. As for the people misusing the Food Stamp (or SNAP program, as it is called now), those scenarios - as you call them - are absolutely happening every day in our supermarkets. You are obviously not paying attention, or looking the other way, or don't know what you are talking about, because all that is true, and we all know it, and I DO have first knowledge of it. Are Illegals crowding into Illegal apartments, twenty people at a time a stereotype? Is the fact that they are ruining those houses and neighborhoods a sterotype? Is a person trying to buy cigarettes or liquor using food stamps a stereotype? No Sir, those are FACTS.
Vaughn Fritts August 14, 2011 at 03:00 PM
I think your prejudice has got the better of you. Even if the poor do abuse the system, why does this raise your hackles more than the enormous abuses visited upon us by wealthy corporations?
Buddy August 14, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Did anyone notice the town is paying $65,000 for an out of state artist to do a project at a Huntington Station plaza? First of all considering the state of our infrastructure and taxes around here can we afford this? And why are we not using a local artist for a lot less money for this. There are plenty of starving (and talented) artists around here that could use the work.
Kyle August 14, 2011 at 08:07 PM
Yes, I found that kind of unsettling myself, seeing how there are so many talented local artists. How did someone from Denver, Colorado even know about it, let alone be ultimately contracted to do the job? What was the criteria and who made the decision?
Bobby Jaxx August 14, 2011 at 09:13 PM
Explain to me what abuses? I think your blind liberalism has got the better of you.
Bobby Jaxx August 14, 2011 at 09:14 PM
Hey Kim, here's a waste of money right here! $65,000 for a piece of art in the so-called Huntington Station Plaza. Really? This is necessary?
Bobby Jaxx August 14, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Actually, don't bother explaining them to me. Anyone who decides that I am prejudiced just because I have the audacity to point out the truth isn't someone worth debating with. Certain people like to attack the person and not the message, and I find myself going down to your level. So, I withdraw from this conversation as talking to you is wasting my time and energy
Vaughn Fritts August 14, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Bernie Madoff ripped off more people than those food stamp pirates could manage in several lifetimes. Look at the influence buying of the evil Koch brothers. What about Rupert Murdoch and his unscrupulous hold on the media. And these aren't even corporations. The power of money corrupts absolutely.
Vaughn Fritts August 14, 2011 at 11:31 PM
Hey, Bobby, would $65,000 be ok if the sculpture were in the "good" part of town?
JSC August 14, 2011 at 11:59 PM
Kim, if you recall I had sent an e-mail to Mayoka asking him very nicely what piece of land he was referring to with the $3 million revenue... I still have not received a reply. Kind of disheartening, I thought he'd be the "good guy" and send an answer.
Tom S August 15, 2011 at 01:16 AM
I think Yes, 65,000 could be better spent in Huntington Station for a volunteer program, run by ordinary people with skills looking to help people who want to help themselves in the form of reading, writing and math skills and computer help.
Tom S August 15, 2011 at 01:19 AM
$65,000 art work will depreaciate faster than a new car's sticker price as years go by.
Dan N. January 27, 2013 at 05:43 PM
$65k seems excessive, and whatever the cost, a LOCAL artist should absolutely be contracted for this assignment. We need to keep money IN OUR COMMUNITY!


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