A new town assessor
By RICK CHALIFOUX
ISLIP TOWN—At the Islip Town Board meeting Tuesday night, the board voted to appoint former senior assistant town attorney Anne Danziger as its new town assessor, rendering her the first female to fill the title in town history. Danziger was selected to replace 27-year veteran Ronald Devine, who is joining Brookhaven Town next week. However, the vote generated some controversy among board members who felt that the hiring decision was not properly discussed beforehand.
Danziger, a Bohemia resident, will make $101,000 annually, which is up from $82,000 per year in her former position. According to her resume, she earned her law degree at Pace University School of Law in White Plains and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. She has been working in the Islip Town Attorney’s Office for the past 20 years and was selected to complete the remainder of Devine’s six-year term, which ends on Sept. 30, 2019.
While Supervisor Angie Carpenter, Councilman Steve Flotteron and John Cochrane Jr. voted to approve Danziger’s appointment, Councilman Anthony Senft Jr. made a motion to table the appointment, citing a need for more “transparency.”
“I didn’t have the opportunity to look at all of the applicants at this particular time,” said Senft.
“This is in no way an observation of Ms. Danziger’s qualifications… but it appears to me at this point that we’re circumventing the established process… Therefore, I’d like an opportunity to not only review Ms. Danziger’s resume, but all of those that have applied.”
Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt subsequently seconded Senft’s motion, which ultimately proved unsuccessful. Carpenter motioned to approve the original resolution, which ultimately passed with three votes (Carpenter, Cochrane and Flotteron) and two abstentions (Senft and Bergin Weichbrodt).
In other business, the board listened to varying concerns from residents including vacant or misused properties, block parties and noise complaints.
During the public portion of the meeting, a group of residents living on Manor Lane in Bay Shore came forward to address concerns regarding the state of two separate properties located at 885 Manor Lane and 873 Manor Lane.
Rose Taylor, who lives on the block, voiced complaints about both properties.
“The house [at 885] is full of mold, it has water in the basement, and the house is falling apart,” said Taylor. “If we are going to solve it by putting boards up, that is not the answer. It is a dangerous house. I saw it myself…and I’ve seen kids there making drug deals.
“[Regarding 873], that house has a business running out of it,” continued Taylor. “They’re selling cars all day and all night. People that don’t live there are coming up and down our street looking for the house… Not only is he selling cars out of his home, he’s also renting space in his house for people to live there.”
“The house at 885 has been dilapidated and overgrown since I moved in 15 years ago,” said Kathy Weber. “We’ve made phone calls and written letters and nothing gets done… At this point, I just want to move and get out of there.”
A resolution to board up and/or clean up the vacant premises of 885 was later passed, while town officials sought to gather additional information about 873. Regarding 885, Cochrane said that he had “real concerns” about the location, noting that it was “ridden” with raccoons and rodents, and opted to formulate a plan of action to ultimately demolish the structure, which generated applause from the group of neighbors.
Willow Avenue resident Stephanie Casagrande voiced complaints about a block party held on her street on Sept. 13, 2014 that she said lasted two days before road barriers were removed.
“Block parties shouldn’t go on for two days,” said Casagrande. “They’re supposed to start at 10 [a.m.] and end at 11 [p.m.]. I’d like to know who’s in charge of removing the barriers, because if you leave it up to the residents, they’re not going to do anything except continue to party.”
Islip resident Nora Sundin also came forward to reiterate complaints about what she deemed to be excessively high levels of noise emanating from the Sunset Restaurant at Islip Beach—which features live music and serves alcohol—near her home. She said that she had filed a noise complaint against the restaurant a year ago that “still has yet to be heard.
“Is this happening, or am I being strung along for another year?” asked Sundin. “It’s really not a joke. [Noise] really impacts people’s quality of life. And not to be able to go out in my backyard during the summer is unbelievable. Several of my neighbors have been impacted as well, and they just don’t bother to come here because nothing is ever done. It just continues on.
“I’m asking you for the 50th time to please help rectify the situation,” continued Sundin. “I understand that you’re business-friendly, but you need to be neighbor-friendly because our neighborhood is being impacted and no one seems to care.”
The board unanimously passed a resolution allowing the Blue Star Mothers, a nonprofit organization with local offices in Sayville, to hold a charitable event named “Bottles for the Brave” on selected Saturdays at Byron Lake in Oakdale and Town Hall West in Islip. The fundraiser will feature the collection of redeemable plastic water bottles for the benefit of local military families.
The next Islip Town Board meeting will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m., featuring a celebration of Hispanic History Month.
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