Letter To The Editor: ELECT BRIAN STALEY POLICE COMMISSIONER

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It is time to return PWPD to the Residents of PW and Return Brian Staley to the PW POLICE.

Brian Staley, PWPD Retired Deputy Chief knows the pulse of Port with 32 years in patrol, supervision and administration of the PWPD. Brian has been a key player in developing our unique Police District. This together with 38 years of diverse PW activities has prepared Brian for this Port Police Commissioner leadership position.

Brian Staley is trustworthy, honest and truly transparent with exceptional communication skills. He has the enthusiasm for working with the community, bringing together the many talents of our diverse population for the betterment and security of all Port residents. Staley will work with people to get results. Brian wants to call back the highly qualified building committee that worked to develop alternatives for a new PWPD Headquarters. This committee of local, prominent, and caring highly qualified professional volunteers was disbanded by our current commissioner, Tom Rice who proclaimed that he knows what PW needs and doesn’t want to hear or see what a committee or past professional reports developed. Now Rice erroneously also claims to have formed that committee, which issued plans well before Rice took office. Tom Rice ran on a platform to move quickly on a new headquarters; now 3 years later he still has not presented any clear viable or economically feasible plan.

We can’t afford Tom Rice and his seemingly unilateral running of the department. Most recently he put together an ill-conceived plan and purchased property adjacent to Port Police. While there could be a plan that would have worked, this fiasco was presented at an angry, poorly planned resident meeting. The headquarter plans were lacking in design, thought, and with unnecessarily high costs. Within a few weeks Tom Rice announced at yet another tense PWPD meeting that the plan would be cancelled and the property put up for sale. We cannot have a commissioner who shoots from the hip with rash decisions followed by panic backtracking for damage control.

Indications at that announcement were that the other Commissioners were not fully aware of the reversal ahead of the meeting. This was not the first time Rice seemingly did not follow the Charter rules to fully work with the other 2 commissioners. At another meeting he even announced that his statement to the public was news to even the rest of the Board of commissioners. We cannot tolerate unilateral decisions or actions by any Commissioner. An additional questionable statement in a Rice ad stated that “As commissioner Tom has made all PWPD board votes public, including decisions made in executive sessions.” This is a violation of the NYS Open Meeting Law. Votes cannot happen in executive sessions, but only in public session. Here we have a few examples of possible law suits against the PWPD which we cannot afford.

Brian Staley has fiscal responsibility. He spearheaded a $10 Million revitalization project here in Port and successfully secured $3.1 Million for COVID-19 relief funding in Port and Nassau. This compared to Rice’s claims for getting grants but little or no major funding has been seen for PWPD. We need BRIAN STALEY, an experienced professional who will act and create policies that reflect not only the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law.

Please join me on Dec. 8, noon to 9PM at The Polish American Hall on Pulaski Place in Voting for BRIAN STALEY PW Police Commissioner

-Steve Kaplan

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