If the vote to sell EPCAL were held today, we know how it would go. Supervisor Jens-Smith and Councilwoman Kent, who bring a new perspective to Town Hall, are opposed. While hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents have been provided by the potential buyers, they have either ignored or declined to answer far too many specific financial questions. That alone would cause many to deem them unqualified and ineligible to purchase our greatest asset.
But Councilman Jim Wooten says he’ll vote yes because he’s tired of talking about it.
Councilman Tim Hubbard says he’ll vote yes because he thinks the financials look okay. One has to imagine he’s not looking at them as intently as the rest of us.
And Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, having been opposed until her private meeting with the Triple Five principals, is now surprisingly fully in support.
Ms. Giglio defended her actions, saying that she was doing her due diligence. But this inability to admit wrong-doing is nothing new. She has taken the same stance when faced with other indiscretions.
When it came to light that her downtown apartment building operated without rental permits for 14 months, she stated she’d been told they weren’t necessary.
Before that, when building permits had lapsed and fines were left unpaid on her own home, Ms. Giglio’s defense was that she never got those letters.
And then there was the approximately $12,000 in taxes that she and her husband didn’t pay on their Baiting Hollow home. Does it even matter how she defended that?
What does matter is that she clearly sees herself as above the law. Or perhaps just outside of it. And while a private meeting with the applicants in the midst of eligibility hearings isn’t illegal, it is likely a violation of her oath of office to “faithfully and impartially perform and discharge the duties of the office.”
And what does it say about the principals that they would knowingly side-step and disrespect the rules of public hearings?
Triple Five and Councilwoman Giglio have embarrassed themselves and the Town of Riverhead skirting the rules for their own benefit. While Mr. Wooten’s lack of interest and Mr. Hubbard’s lack of research are both shameful, Ms. Giglio’s blatant disregard for following the rules, respecting the process and disregarding her fellow board members for her own interests show her to be unqualified and ineligible to conduct a fair hearing to determine the future of the EPCAL property.
Ms. Giglio needs to recuse herself from any further involvement with this potential sale.
Marjorie Acevedo is chairwoman of the Riverhead Town Democratic Committee
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