Village of Saddle Rock Mayor Dan Levy thinks Great Neck resident Steve Reiter should be elected to the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District but doesn’t want anyone to know – other than all those attending last week’s village board meeting.
Levy endorsed Reiter in his challenge of five-term incumbent Jane Rebhuhn at the Wednesday board of trustees meeting, stating he wrote him a letter of support and he feels it is time for a change at the district.
He is “very frugal” and “hands-on,” Levy said of Reiter.
Levy also expressed admiration for Reiter, the president of business consulting firm Creative Media LLC and the chairman of the sewage treatment committee for his condominium board in Montauk.
The mayor encouraged those in attendance to vote for Reiter in the district election on Dec. 11 at the E.M. Baker School.
While making his endorsement during the village board’s meeting, Levy said his comments were “off the record.”
New York Open Meetings Law states that all public meetings are subject to both recording and transmission.
“A meeting held in accordance with open meetings law is an open forum. Whatever is said and heard is fair game,” said state Committee on Open Government executive director Robert Freeman. “To suggest that a comment may be off the record, in my opinion, is of no significance or important.”
“There’s no such thing as off the record at a public meeting,” said Great Neck News publisher Steven Blank. “And I have advised our staff accordingly.”
The water pollution control district, which is responsible for water treatment in Great Neck, is currently renovating its sewage treatment plant to reduce levels of nitrogen dumping in the Long Island Sound, as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Levy said Reiter’s election would also save the district money, since Reiter already has medical insurance and would not have to rely on public benefits.
“He won’t have to tap us for $30,000…he is not asking for benefits at all,” Levy said.
Levy also stated that Reiter would not have to be at the district on a daily basis, resulting in not having to draw a daily paycheck.
Regarding the district’s recent $60 million improvement project, Levy said: “With better supervision, I think they could have spent a lot less and done a good job.”
Rebhuhn, a past chair of the Great Neck Plaza Board of Zoning Appeals and a member of her co-op’s board of directors, has said that her experience overseeing the years-long overhaul of the district’s sewage treatment plant makes her best qualified for the position.
Levy praised the district’s role in Saddle Rock, explaining how it cleans the village’s catch basins when they are full.
“This saves our village thousands of dollars,” Levy said.