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Petrone, Cuthbertson, Berland Slam Republican Minority Over Failure to Vote on Bond Refinancing

Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone and Town Council Members Mark Cuthbertson and Susan A. Berland charged today that the Town Board minority has jeopardized the Town’s financial health by failing to vote on a resolution that would save residents $700,000 by refinancing the Town’s debt.

“By their actions, Councilmen Mark Mayoka and Eugene Cook have politicized a good government effort whose only goal was to save taxpayers money. Instead, they have sent a message that could have serious repercussions for Town finances projecting years into the future,” Supervisor Petrone said.

Councilman Cuthbertson added, “Their blatantly political grandstanding conveniently ignores the fact that the information they said they needed before they voted was actually contained in a resolution they voted for at the first Town Board meeting this year. In addition, waiting until the Town Board meeting to raise questions shows that they really didn’t want the answers. This is a sad day for Huntington residents.”

“Huntington’s informed voters will see through this costly political ploy and understand that if we don’t work together in Town Hall, all Town residents will come out losers at the end,” Councilwoman Berland said. “Not only does their failure to vote on the refinancing potentially cost taxpayers money, it sends a negative message to the financial community that could affect the AAA bond rating the Town has worked so hard to achieve and maintain and could deter investors from buying Town bonds. And in fact, rebonding at lower interest rates saves taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, It’s a no-brainer.”

At issue is a resolution to refinance $24 million in bonds issued from 2002 to 2005 to achieve a lower interest rate. The refinancing was recommended by New York Municipal Advisors Corporation, the Town’s fiscal advisor for bonding issues. NYMAC projected the refinancing would save taxpayers $100,000 a year for the remainder of the life of the bonds, or more than $700,000 overall.

In 2009, NYMAC recommended a similar refinancing of $13 million of other Town debt that also saved taxpayers about $700,000.

Mayoka and Cook abstained on the resolution, which by law required four votes – a “supermajority” – to be approved. As a result, the resolution failed.

In explaining their failure to vote, Cook and Mayoka cited lack of knowledge of some facets of the refinancing – facts they should have known. For example, despite their contention that they had never heard of NYMAC, both Mayoka and Cook voted to retain the firm in a resolution approved at the Jan. 10 Town Board meeting.

Additionally, as was pointed out to Councilman Cook at a previous Town Board meeting, the State Comptroller’s office must approve any bonding resolution. That approval includes the fees paid for the bond counsel and financial advisor. In the 2009 refinancing, those fees totaled $55,000.  One fee not required at that time was insurance because of the Town’s strong bond rating, according to the Comptroller’s Bureau of Debt Management.

“NYMAC makes these recommendations so we can undertake the refinancing at the optimal time,” Supervisor Petrone said. “By refusing to vote, and delaying the refinancing, Councilman Mayoka and Cook have taken the risk that this favorable window will close. This gambling with public money represents the height of irresponsibility.”

“Unlike Mayoka and Cook, we view our responsibility to taxpayers first and to the political process second,” Councilman Cuthbertson said.

“I view my job as 24-seven, and I know that I have to spend the weekend before each board meeting studying agendas and resolutions and preparing for the meeting. Councilmen Mayoka and Cook had plenty of time to review the rebonding resolution and to ask questions in advance.  If any of us have questions, it is our responsibility to seek answers before the meeting,” Councilwoman Berland said.





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31 comments to Petrone, Cuthbertson, Berland Slam Republican Minority Over Failure to Vote on Bond Refinancing

  • urban

    Do any Huntington public schools offer a course in speed reading with comprehension?

  • Three Stooges

    OK whatever Moe, Larry and Curly.

  • Mr Pissed Off

    Now the tattler posts everything directly from town hall like Newsday and the Patch. Aj Carter in there pocket too.

  • Anonymous

    Boo Hoo…

  • Touche`

    Keep up the good work, Mark and Eugene. We’re counting on you guys!!!

  • Huntington Station

    Finally Mr. Mayoka has someone in his corner, always helpful when having to deal with bullies.
    He has been treated with open contempt and disdain by other board members at many public meetings, reminiscent of school yard bullying.

  • anonymous

    maybe the 3 stooges should concentrate more on the town audit.

    TOH saving taxpayers money?? let’s not open up a can of worms.

  • Huntington Resident

    Thank you Mr.Mayoka. Thank you Mr.Cook.
    I for one am sick and tired of Petrone, Cuthbertson, and Berland “because I said so” attitude.

  • AAA Bond rating

    I am sick of hearing about this. They are refinancing debt year after year and tacking on more debt to refinance. Eugene and Mark M want us out of debt and to re-stabilize our finances. If your finances are sound your AAA Rating is not at risk.

    More smoke and mirrors.

    Susie even goes so far as to say “they should work together” wasn’t she just having a major meltdown and waving her cell phone around saying “I have texts from you, don’t make me use them”? She is coming apart at the seams and should stop texting her hubby Sandy at Town Board meetings and perhaps her demeanor will change. I doubt it though, as since she got re-elected she has become even more of a blithering idiot than she was before. If that is even possible.

    • who?

      Susan said she had texts from who?

      • Susie Q Homemaker

        I think she said Mr Cook. That woman is out of her mind & out of control. It was when that poor woman spoke about her dog dying when it ate bamboo. So it was during the bamboo debates.

        • Buddies

          Dont be fooled. They are buds. Her husband did pro bono work for him. And come here to Town Hall -he is in her office all the time. Amd he made a deal with her last summer during the campaign that he would not do anything negative to her while she sandy and schenky threw all the mudd but not at him.

          • strange sightings

            V.Wong and S.Berland together in Huntington.

            There is not much else to say about that besides who is using whom?

  • and Berland says

    “Councilmen Mayoka and Cook had plenty of time to review the rebonding resolution and to ask questions in advance. If any of us have questions, it is our responsibility to seek answers before the meeting,” Councilwoman Berland said.”

    At last months meeting Mr Cook presented a resolution for the audit. They have a meeting before the meeting to bring up any questions. The new resolution offered by Petrone was NEVER presented to them until that night at the actual board meeting. Petrone’s resolution passed with Mr Mayoka and Mr Cook abstaining because they had not read it and did not know what was in it.

    Good for the goose but not the gander?

  • Dumb & Dumber

    I beginning to wonder if Mr. Mayoka and Mr. Cook can read and if so how is their comprehension. This vote was a no brainer save taxpayers money. Perhaps they need to be educated in bonds and debt 101. Democrats, please make keep this in the press and in campaign Lit. We need to oust these two out of office before they destroy our town which is in great financial shape just because they want to grandstand and be devisive.

  • Thanks for the Article

    They truely are Dumb and Dumber. It seems like the Huntington tattler has upset Mr. Mayoka and Mr. Cooks Fan base. And from a quick look at the comments their suppporters are just as uninformed as they are….thanks for printing the facts!

  • Thanks for the Article

    It seems like the Huntington tattler has upset Mr. Mayoka and Mr. Cooks Fan base. And from a quick look at the comments their suppporters are just as uninformed as they are….thanks for printing the facts!

  • I am a fan

    and not at all upset by this article!

    I am rather pleased with Mr Cook and Mr Mayoka.

  • concernedcitizen

    I am not sure why the Democrats characterized this as political. I didn’t get that from the article. I know the two who did not vote are not Democrats but does that make it a political vote? Refinancing costs money, there are fees involved. Sometimes it makes sense to incure those fees and refinance. Sometimes it does not. I am glad that someone is taking a good hard look at it. In refinancing, you usually extend the term of the debt being refinanced so that can be a negative consequence.

  • Anonymous

    Get rid of the HART busses and save millions !!!

  • The Community needs to know

    Unlike most people who post on this blog Huntington residents know about reoccurring debt and how to try and mitigate it, unlike Dumb & Dumber. I am a Republician these two do not stand for Republician principals. We are only in May and Mr. Cook is screwing up every month, I don’t know what his party affiliation is but it is definetly the wrong one.
    I was Happy when both of these men won their elections because I believe one party shouldn’t control the whole town, but these two are a disgrace.
    If this is what we have to look forward to bring back the democrats!

    • BS

      If you’re a republican in this town you know Mr Cooks party affiliation is Independence and was backed by the Republicans and Conservatives.

      • Disgusted +

        Cook is not a republican. He is an I and a member of the Tea Party. Many pubs had several other choices in mind rather than him. He won because he had three lines –

  • @concernedcitizen

    We are talking Bonds here not refinancing your home!

    • concernedcitizen

      we are talking fees here too. Do you know how much it costs to engage bond counsel? If you think I thought we were talking about home refinance, then you have a screw loose. But if you think all of this refinancing doesn’t come at a price, I have a bridge I would like to sell you (and it sounds like you might offer to buy it)

  • Veritas

    Reality Check-

    So so true.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Mr Cook and Mr Mayoka!

  • Lene is Berland Obsessed cause she wants to be her friend

    lene give it up looking up at the time stamping you are hitting the booze again. Everyone knows your fake newspaper is funded by Cook. You still upset Berland and Johanna never invited you to party? Town Hall employees still laughing at you bringing Berland balloons and champagne when you tried to buy her friendship. You and your husband are laughable weren’t you moving to Maine? Instead you worked hard to get Cook elected because he promised to make your husband Head of Planning. How is that working for you?

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