Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bad Behavior at the Public Safety Commission

The last Public Safety Commission meeting, on September 19 came to a screeching halt when Chairman and Common Council member Bob Santangelo stalked out of the meeting after resident Sal Caracoglia accused Santangelo of having a conflict of interest in a matter on the Commission's agenda.

With Santangelo gone, the Commission was without a quorum (members Tom Serra and Hope Kasper had left earlier, when Caracoglia first began speaking during the public hearing portion of the meeting.) Though there was still business to discuss on the agenda, the meeting abruptly ended with Commission member Santangelo exiting, and Common Council member Phil Pessina stating, for the public record that the meeting was ended improperly. Two high school students, monitoring the meeting for their class were in attendance, along with representatives from the Middletown Police and Fire Departments.

The video below, obtained recently by the Middletown Eye in a Freedom of Information request to the Police Department, shows the pertinent segment of the meeting.


Anonymous said...

It's a shame to see the decline of the Eye from relevant community news blog into the Fox News of Middletown.

This "article" has no context, no interview of Santangelo, and no analysis of Caracoglia's request.

It's shoddy work at best. And don't tell me it's because the Eye is a "collective." The real reason is that most - not all - of the writers of the Eye have taken on a decidedly GOP perspective lately.

This article is a hit piece and nothing more and anyone who labels himself or herself a so-called "citizen journalist" should be ashamed to be publishing this type of stuff.

For it's first few years, the Eye was my go-to source for local news.

Now, it's where I go when I want to know what the Republican party is thinking.

Anonymous said...

Correction - Tom Serra, not Joe Serra, is a member of Public Safety.

Laura Wilson said...

This meeting is above and beyond the most immature, ridiculous, and unprofessional thing I have ever seen in local government. I am dumbfounded that these people are allowed to get up in the middle of a meeting and walk out because they do not like what is being said. I am still at a loss as to why Ms. Kasper and Mr. Serra left to being with. I am also in shock that Bob Santangelo questioned the integrity of Phil Pessina in such a defensive and aggressive way. It was brought up by the Cheif that Mr. Caracoglia had the right to speak. If Mr. Santangelo thought what was being said was inappropriate, then it should have been addressed in a more proficient way. I am also personally embarrassed that two students, learning about the way government works, had to witness this. People of Middletown, please look and listen to what the Democrats are doing. This is not the Republicans making false accusations! It is right here before your eyes! Is this an effective way to run Middletown? I think NOT!

person of interest said...

My question is why did Ms. Kasper and Mr. Serra leave before the meeting truly started. While they might not like what Mr. Caracoglia has to say, he is entitled to his three minutes in the public forum section of the meeting. No instead they basically shut down public safety meeting when Mr. Santangelo walked out.

Is this how city business is being done, or in this case not done being done.

Laura Wilson said...

Shoddy work? Are you kidding me? This is EXACTLY what the citizens of Middletown NEED to see. Not everyone has time to watch every meeting that is broadcast in Middletown. I believe if the voters saw the things that are really going on at these meetings, they would have a new perspective! How are members, Dem or Rep, of a committee walking out of a meeting not an important issue? Especially when their behavior caused the meeting to have to shut down. Recently, at another meeting, a Democratic member stood up and shut off the live feed so the public was unable to see or hear what was being said. This is appropriate behavior? I am proud of the EYE for reporting these stories, as the public has the right to know! As for your comments about the Republican perspective, if the Republicans were the ones behaving like this, I'm sure you would have a much easier time accepting the story.

Anonymous said...

Geez, I've never seen that camera view. Is that on a secure in house video system ? Wonder who gave the clearance for that and what IT employee copied it to supply it for here.

Darrell Lucas said...

I need to attend more meetings. This is like a living soap opera.

Anonymous said...

Notice how Anonymous 7:10 p.m. attacks the source of the information rather than presenting an argument as to what is factually incorrect in the article. Does the commenter disagree the behavior displayed in the video is "bad behavior" or just that it was made public? As an Eye reader, I would argue they have "taken a decidedly GOP perspective." The Eye and Patch have broken from the vice grip of Democrats and allowed for different points of view to be published. I guess if you've held a monopoly on the press for so long one may be a bit disgruntled at seeing a platform for balanced reporting. Video doesn't lie - citizens can see for themselves what transpired.

Anonymous said...

to Anon 7:10

what context is needed?

The video speaks for itself and it shows our council members refusing to do their job.

Only a hard core supporter of those in power would come up with a 'blame the press' excuse.

This is citizen journalims at its best. THe reader (or viewe) can draw their own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:54

Our astute members of the Public Safety Commission, who meet in the room regularly, surely have read the sign posted in the PD that say that this room, and other public spaces in the PD, are monitored by cameras.

If they didn't know that, perhaps it's why they acted with such arrogance, thinking that no one would ever see it

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:10

Odd you claim there's no context (read "spin") while the entire story is in the video. All the facts you need are available for your own eyes and ears to analyze.

Uncomfortable for the Democratic Commission members? Definitely.

So the facts, present before your eyes and ears, are embarrassing to the Dem's, and that colors the Eye with "a GOP perspective?"

I wonder what the Dems would say if it was Pessina who stalked out?

Surely an investigation would be called for.

Why is Serra so afraid of Caracoglia?

Maybe that's were the "context" lies.

Councilman Phil Pessina said...

What was more egregious was the fact that there were two high school students who were from a government class at Middletown High School who viewed Councilman Serra & Kasper leave the meeting and had to listen to Councilman Bob Santangelo's verbal triade.

Bob was so focused on the topic of the investigation and directed accusations against my integrity, that he never knew that the students were in attendance nor observed them come into the meeting shortly after it had commenced.

After the meeting was abrutly ended, I immediately spoke with the two students and apologized to them on behalf of the Public Safety Commission, Councilwoman Kleckowski and myself for the inappropropriate verbal outburst and behavior of Councilman Santangelo. I explained to them that due to Councilman Serra and Councilwoman Kasper walking out of the commission meeting in protest to what was being stated, we could not conduct city public safety business due to a lack of qurom.

It was quite apparent that Serra, Kasper and especially Santangelo did not review there commission packet prior to the meeting which was recieved the end of the previous week. This was evident by Councilman Santangelo's question to me as to how this report got back on the agenda. This review is normally done to prepare for any questions or additions.

I was taken back and disappointed by Councilman Santangelo's behavior, accusations and lack of self control during the beginning of the meeting. It should be noted that at our September Community Council Meeting none of the Democractic Council members were in attendance, except for the Republican Minority Members.

Councilman Santangelo's actions led to the inability of the Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs of the Fire and Poice to conduct the business portion of the meeting with the commission members.

It is very clear in this video which shows Councilman Santangelo's intent to stop the meeting, with total disregard for his responsibilities as Public Safety Commission Chairman and the need to conduct a very important part of our city goverment.

As we were leving the meeting and Council member Serra, Kasper & Santangelo returned to the room, I overheard them questioning Acting Chief McMahon as to how this report got onto the agenda.

On behalf of myself and Councilwoman Kleckowski I apologize to you the public for the actions of my collegues on that evening.

Councilman Phil Pessina

Anonymous said...

a non Serracrat perspective? So what if it is GOP? Time for citizens to rise up and stop these loser from running our City.

Anonymous said...

So why didn't the press cover this? It is not about party lines its about the ol' guard covering this behavior up- dump Frechette, Serra, Kasper, Santangelo- because with them in power nothing gets done and this is the behavior you get- Vote them back in with Drew and any BOE member or Councilman they can keep under their thumb and get to drink the Kool-aid and this is what you get- if you vote for it you deserve it Middletown! Kick Radzka off as chair and CHANGE

Anonymous said...

If we as citizens are paying these folks a 6k a year stipend to do their jobs and represent us i want a REFUND!!! Serra, Kasper, Santangelo- how dare you walk out on your JOB?

Thank you Middletowneye for exposing the truth - Forget the Middletown Press- this is MY go to source for TRUTH

John Brush said...

Truly a disgraceful performance by Chairman Santangelo and members Kaspar and Serra! Their arrogance and disdain for decorum and civil discourse indicates they are not fit to represent the citizens of Middletown.

Karen Swartz said...

to anon710- I am not ashamed of this or any Eye posting. You are making assumptions, and it sounds like you're just unhappy about the Eye exposing some bad behavior. It is what it is. Criticizing the messenger is not going to change that. And to anon354am it does not matter what individual provided this footage to the Eye because it was obtained under the jurisdiction of the Freedom of Information Act, a federal law.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon710

You tone also sounds as if you are looking for revenge on the person that gave up tape. Get a life!


Anonymous said...

If I, or anyone else, behaved that way at work we would be fired.

Basic civil discourse is a requirement of the workplace and should be a requirement of those in political power.

Anonymous said...

DREW? Put Drew in office? The Frechettes are out campaigning for him, calling teachers to vote for Drew so Frechette will be taken care of. Make sure you get the whole picture - It's Serra, Raczka and Drew protecting Frechette!

Anonymous said...

Pessina hasn't changed... ask any cop who worked with him. He will always be a politician.