An open letter to Glen Cove Council members:
The Glen Cove City Council meeting on April 14 resulted in several questionable actions by the mayor.
We request your responses to the following two issues of great concern to many of the residents of Glen Cove and neighboring communities.
•The YMCA has been a part of our community for over 60 years and is in jeopardy of losing its lease, which expires at the end of this year. If a new lease is not signed by the end of this summer it is likely that the Y will proceed to find another location in Nassau County for its facility. This will affect the health and welfare of more than 6,000 members, it will affect local businesses and it may affect property values.
We believe that it is essential to bring this issue up at every council meeting because this is an issue that concerns the City of Glen Cove. We also believe that we have a right as residents to exercise our right to free speech at a public city council meeting, an operation which is operated entirely by taxpayer dollars.
At the April 14 meeting, the mayor stated emphatically that he will not allow any discussions about the Y at future council meetings. Do you believe that the mayor, or any other individual, has the right to refuse residents of the City of Glen Cove the right to speak about a specific issue that concerns the city at a public city council meeting, or do you believe that is a violation of free speech? Do you believe that, even if an issue has been discussed in the past, it is the fundamental right of a concerned citizen to approach his or her elected officials with additional concerns, questions, or grievances? If not, how would you justify that?
•In the mayor’s latest attempt to silence the residents of this community who disagree with him or question his actions, he used an armed police officer to try to intimidate two of the speakers at the latest council meeting. One of these situations is clearly visible on the April 14 livestream (in the last few minutes of part two) when the police officer stood within two feet of a speaker who attempted to read a response from the YMCA to issues raised by Mayor Spinello in a recent publication.
We believe that the mayor placed the armed police officer in a possible confrontational situation for his own benefit. This is one of the many fine police officers who serve and protect the residents of this city every day.
Do you believe that the mayor acted appropriately attempting to intimidate local residents by asking one of our finest to stand near them when they were exercising their right to free speech about an issue that concerns the city?
—Ada Lopez, Jack Luterek, Steve Chinnici, Ron Menzel, John DeBiase, Sarah Swainston, Grace Slezak, Cindy Hill, Philip Dai, Kathy Vetter, Thomas Mccarthy, Whitney Mccarthy, Andrew Ritter, Jack Berkowitz, Linda DePalma, Mindy Edwards, Kevin Shaughnessy