Councilman’s commutes from Florida wind down

03/09/2011 6:15 PM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO Councilman John Dunleavy (second from left) at a budget work session last fall.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO Councilman John Dunleavy (second from left) at a budget work session last fall.

Councilman John Dunleavy will return to Riverhead “for good” on Friday after having vacationed in Florida since early February, he said in a phone interview.

During that time, he flew back to attend three Town Board meetings but he will have missed five Thursday work sessions by his return.

This winter marked the first season that Mr. Dunleavy, a Republican now in his sixth year in office, had spent so much time in Florida, where he has had a second home since 2006. Previously, he had gone to Florida for about one week each month during the winter.

He defended his absences this week, saying he had worked hard while he was away and had been responsive to his constituents by phone and e-mail.

He stressed that he had not missed any crucial Town Board votes.

“I really don’t think this should be an issue. My duties have not been hampered,” he said.

“I have missed work sessions but I catch up with e-mails and I discuss with the Town Board members on the phone,” he said. “My secretary lets me know if anyone calls me and I call them back as I would have done while in Riverhead.” If someone calls his cell phone, “I answer, like I just did with you.”

Vinny Villella, who heads the Riverhead Democratic Committee, acknowledged that Mr. Dunleavy’s elected position is officially part time, but added, “I don’t think it’s right because it’s almost like a full-time job now, the council position. The perception is it doesn’t look good,” he continued. “He flies back for the meetings but the work sessions are very important.”

Mr. Dunleavy, 69, is a retired Riverhead police officer who earns $47,598 annually as an elected official. A Calverton resident, he was reelected to a second four-year term in 2009 as the top vote=getter in the council race. Aside from attending Town Board meetings in February and March, he said he also handled other town business during his two-day trips back to Riverhead from Hudson, Fla.

“Out of five years, this is the first time I’ve been away on a good, long vacation,” he said. “I assure you, it’s cost me more money flying back and forth to these Town Board meetings but it’s worth it to go back and show my support and vote for things that are happening. And I haven’t missed a vote.”

mwhite@timesreview.com

Comments

comments

21 Comment

  • Way to copy stuff from Riverhead Local’s website, lol. What a ripoff! Pretty pathetic.

  • Copycat,

    We were already working on this pretty obvious story. We did not write it in response to the anonymous letter (I’m going out on a limb assuming Lincoln S. Muckraker is not a real person) published on Riverheadlocal.com.
    With three news sources in a small town, we’re all going to have similar content and we’ll all be following each other’s lead from time to time. Although it’s certainly subject to debate that our editor writing a bylined story could even be called following someone’s lead, when all they did was publish an anonymous letter.
    The Riverhead News-Review is proud of the fact that we have been publishing more Riverhead content than any other news source online or in print for more than 100 years.

    Sincerely,
    Grant Parpan, Web Editor

  • Copycat,

    We were already working on this pretty obvious story. We did not write it in response to the anonymous letter (I’m going out on a limb assuming Lincoln S. Muckraker is not a real person) published on Riverheadlocal.com.
    With three news sources in a small town, we’re all going to have similar content and we’ll all be following each other’s lead from time to time. Although it’s certainly subject to debate that our editor writing a bylined story could even be called following someone’s lead, when all they did was publish an anonymous letter.
    The Riverhead News-Review is proud of the fact that we have been publishing more Riverhead content than any other news source online or in print for more than 100 years.

    Sincerely,
    Grant Parpan, Web Editor

  • UNACCEPTABLE

  • Shame on the Repulsive Walter for attacking an elder statesman who has served the Town for 40 years for taking some time with his family in his twilight years and then being diligent enough to fly up at considerable expense to attend meetings.

  • Councilman article:
    what is Mr.Villella’s real opinion. First he says its a part time position ,then he says its”Almost a full time position”.Seems he can’t make up his mind which it is. Or is he just trying to create trouble for no reason. Councilman Dunleavy should be commended for traveling back and forth because he operates in this positon as a full time elected official.I have never know Mr. Dunleavy to sherk his responsibility and to insinuate such is an insult to his integrity.
    The political silly season seems to be starting early.Focus on nonsense instead of the real issues’ Thanks, Bob

  • Dumpwalter am I missing something what does Sean Walter have to do with any of this ? Lol

  • mr dunleavy gets more done being out of town than therest of the town board gets done being in town

  • Perhaps Mr. McKenna (and the other administrators for that matter) should take a salary freeze since he is asking all CSEA employees to take one!

  • Good luck with that. Remember a few weeks ago when he told us to “walk a day in his shoes” before we asked him to take a pay freeze. He is securing a big payday for his pension and laying local people off. Remember it in May with a big “NO” vote

  • he is the only East End Superintendent who is not taking a freeze this year. It was reported here last week that Mr. Gamberg has volunteered for a freeze for two of the three years he has been Superintendent. Greenport Sup. has done the same.

    Sounds like he is trying to run the bill up so he can retire with a bigger amount. I’d love to walk a day in his shoes, would make some big changes pretty quick. Hard to believe he will risk the budget passing for his own additional benefit.

  • Another keyboard jockey who complains.

    Drop the mouse and go pick up a tire, like the 13 year olds in the photo. When you’re done with that, post a comment.

  • There was also Cub Scouts from Mattituck/Cutchogue Pack 39 there to help. It takes a Community to help keep our beaches clean. Everyone has to do their part.

  • I am sorry I missed this example of youth initiative and expression.

    Was it documented and will there be a permanent exhibit online?

  • I just heard it on the radio that “Penny Health Insurance” can offer health insurance for just $1 a day any one aware of this ? have anyone purchased insurance through them. I did search for them and found them online.

  • The Country has a 14 Trillion debt thanks to those like Congressman Tim Bishop who spent stimulus money on “pretty” signs up and down Rte 112. What a waste. Now we don’t have the money to take care of basic human needs. I blame the liberals for spending our money on nonsense like rebuilding the 1000 sq ft Mott House instead of having more consideration for our tax dollars. If you can read this thank a Teacher, if you can read this in English thank a Soldier, if you have a job Thank a Republican.

  • It’s a shame that the County is making these cuts that will mean the end of the health center. People pay cash here, and now they’ll be forced into emergency rooms where many of them will not be able to pay, and/or have to claim bankruptcy. It’s a sad reality. The Health Center does an amazing job, and if Levy wants to trim from the budget or send a message to Cuomo, this is NOT the way to do it.

    If any of you have time, please check out David Perry’s facebook page. He’s running for Jack Eddington’s legislative seat, and he is pledging to support the Health Center throughout his run for office. He was also the ONLY candidate who showed up to the rally!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Perry-for-Suffolk-County-Legislature-7th-District/132660350131579

  • Roberta Davis, who is screening for the 4th district Town Council position also was at the rally for almost its entirety, Her husband Jeff a candidate for Longwood School Board was also in attendance