03/13/13 12:00pm
03/13/2013 12:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Town historian Georgette Case (right) rings the brass bell as (from left) town clerk Diane Wilhelm, councilmen Jim Wooten and John Dunleavy, and Supervisor Sean Walter look on Wednesday morning.

Town historian Georgette Case stood outside the front doors to Town Hall Wednesday morning, vigorously ringing a brass bell and announcing, “Here Ye, Here Ye, Here Ye! It’s 9:30 o’clock. The stage has arrived from Albany with great news on the 13th of March, 1792.”

After celebrating the 220th anniversary of the establishment of Riverhead Town last year, Ms. Case proposed making it an annual celebration. So this year marked the first of what will be an annual reading of the law that established the Town of Riverhead.

The act in came to pass after residents of Southold Town complained of their town being “too long.”

“WHERAS many of the freeholders and inhabitants of Southold in Suffolk county have presented to the legislature, that their town is so long, that it is inconvenient for them to attend at town meetings and also to transact the other necessary business of the said town; and have prayed that the same may be divided into two towns,” the act said.

At the ceremony Wednesday in front of a handful of media members, Supervisor Sean Walter said, “We have succeeded to secede.”

photo@timesreview.com

01/17/13 11:48am
01/17/2013 11:48 AM

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Sean Walter ‘surrenders’ to Al Krupski at the Dark Horse on election night Tuesday.

“You stomped me bad.”

Those were Sean Walter’s words Tuesday night after he crashed the Democrats’ Election Night party to deliver his concession remarks personally to Legislator-elect Al Krupski.

The handshake and smile the Riverhead Town Supervisor shared with the man who had so easily defeated him was a classy and unusual move in Suffolk County politics, where typically a phone call is placed or no concession is made at all.

“I’ve never seen that before,” said deputy county executive Jon Schneider, a behind-the-scenes player on every major Democratic campaign in Suffolk County for nearly a decade.

Certainly the move, similar to one Phil Cardinale made after his defeat in 2009, was made possible by the close proximity of the two headquarters: While the Democrats laughed the night away in a private room at the Dark Horse Restaurant on Main Street in downtown Riverhead, Republicans drowned their sorrows in pint glasses filled from the taps of neighboring Cody’s BBQ.

For the past month, we’ve all heard the sledgehammer ads on the radio and listened as Mr. Walter painted himself as the loudest elected official on the North Fork, a man who’s not afraid to stand on someone’s desk to get the job done.

He’s a politician who keeps his friends close and his enemies on another continent.

In some ways, that frank approach in politics is refreshing, like an ice cold beer on a 100-degree day. Have too much of it though, and you’re left feeling dizzy.

The heads at Cody’s were certainly spinning late on Election Night, where Riverhead GOP insiders were contemplating next steps as if their guy were the one moving on. And he just might be.

“I’m not sure where this leaves Sean,” said Republican Councilman Jim Wooten, who could very well run a primary for Riverhead supervisor this year. “The party should maybe take a lesson from this to preserve [itself].

“The party is certainly going to have to sit back and evaluate where it is today.”

And Riverhead’s Democratic leader Marjorie Acevedo was quick to point out that Mr. Walter could face competition from more than just Democrats.

“He’s on very shaky ground,” she said. “Even in his own party.”

The voting breakdown in Riverhead says it all. Mr. Krupski, the first Southold Town resident elected to the Legislature, won all but three election districts in Mr. Walter’s hometown.

The only districts Mr. Walter won in Riverhead were in Glenwood Village; along West Main Street, where only 34 votes were cast; and in Calverton, where he prevailed by just one vote.

Even the folks cutting their lawns next to Mr. Walter’s in Wading River sided with Mr. Krupski.

Particularly interesting Tuesday night was the way Republicans didn’t seem to have a bad word to say about Mr. Krupski or hardly a good one for Mr. Walter.

Of Mr. Krupski, former Riverhead councilman Vic Prusinowski said, “He’s a nice guy, people voted for the guy they liked.”

Suffolk County Democratic chairman Rich Schaffer told supporters Tuesday night that the likability of the two candidates was evident from the beginning of the campaign. He said that during one endorsement screening, a union leader told Mr. Krupski that after seeing Mr. Walter earlier in the day, meeting with Mr. Krupski was like having “a cup of coffee with a friend.”

So who are Mr. Walter’s friends?

Anthony Coates, who has served as a political adviser to the supervisor for the past several years, was speaking Wednesday as if the political faction he and Mr. Walter belong to is unrelated to the local GOP.

“The national Republican party doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo that it lost handily in November; the local party cannot make that same mistake,” Mr. Coates, himself a declared candidate for Riverhead Town Board this coming November, said in a statement. “True change comes by humbling oneself, taking inventory and acting decisively. Riverhead Republicans need to understand that they need to change their ways to keep the public’s trust.”

Mr. Coates’ remarks certainly signal that Mr. Walter is prepared to move on without the help of his “friends” if he’s going to be re-elected come November.

While it might be true that the local and national GOP is in need of some real reform to keep up with the times — the crowd at Krupski headquarters was certainly much younger than at the Republican event — it’s hard to believe they’ll be taking suggestions from Mr. Walter and Mr. Coates.

True change, as Mr. Coates said, certainly does come by humbling oneself. Hopefully, Tuesday night’s handshake was a starting point for Mr. Walter.

gparpan@timesreview.com

12/27/12 8:00am
12/27/2012 8:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead councilwoman Jodi Giglio, right, and Supervisor Sean Walter, center, didn’t always agree in 2012.

There were some public apologies made in 2012 after disputes within the all-Republican Riverhead Town Board.

After a simmering feud between Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilwoman Jodi Giglio boiled over in June with a Walter tirade in Town Hall, it was the supervisor who apologized during a Town Board meeting days later for “being out of line” for screaming and cursing at Ms. Giglio. According to several accounts, Mr. Walter lost his temper with the councilwoman while suspecting her of working behind his back to get his friend and adviser, Anthony Coates, banned from town cars and Town Hall.

Ms. Giglio called the public apology “nice,” but never said she accepted it. She later filed a harassment complaint against Mr. Walter with town police, though she reportedly asked for no charges to be filed and requested the report “for documentation purposes.”

Things quieted down for awhile — at least publicly — until three council members, Ms. Giglio, James Wooten and George Gabrielsen, pulled a controversial resolution off the floor, meaning it wasn’t on the agenda, at a Nov. 7 Town Board meeting.

The resolution called for the sudden firing of Town Board coordinator Linda Hulse, whom Ms. Giglio said lost some councilmembers’ trust.

“This is an evil act right here,” Mr. Walter said of the measure, lamenting the fact that Ms. Hulse was never told ahead of time.

“How many other employees are you planning to fire this way?“

Mr. Walter tried to stall the vote and sway some minds as the board argued publicly for over an hour, but to no avail. The move passed 3-2.

Mr. Dunleavy, who voted against the firing, said he was never informed of the plan and said Mr. Hulse should have been told, too.

“This is a coward’s position to let them go without talking to them,” he said.

Mr. Dunleavy then accused Mr. Wooten of being “rude” ever since he got elected. “That’s not true,” Mr. Wooten responded.

At the start of the next week’s more cordial Town Board work session, a regretful Mr. Wooten apologized for the way the firing was handled.

“I was reminded last night it was very unprofessional,” he said, choking up a bit. “It wasn’t businesslike, and for that, I’m sorry.”

Ms. Giglio and Mr. Gabrielsen offered no apologies.

At an event in Jamesport that same night, where Mr. Coates announced plans to run for Town Board in 2013, Mr. Walter said “Giglio is toast.”

mwhite@timesreview.com

12/18/12 1:30pm
12/18/2012 1:30 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Reko, a 5-year-old male American Staffordshire Terrier, when he was in the shelter in 2010.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Reko, an American Staffordshire Terrier, at the dog shelter in 2010. He was later sent to the Kent Animal Shelter for adoption.

After more than a year of on-again, off-again negotiations, Riverhead Town is set to privatize its animal shelter under an agreement with a nonprofit group, officials said.

The shelter on Youngs Avenue, which is run through the Riverhead police chief, will be run by employees with the North Fork Animal Welfare League, a nonprofit group that currently runs the Southold Animal Shelter — if the deal is approved, officials said.

The Town Board will vote on a resolution to accept the contract at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“This is huge news,” said Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter. “The animals are dancing in their kennels.”

The contract will have the town pay $223,000 — $5,000 more than the town had budgeted to run the shelter itself — to NFAWL to run the animal shelter, Mr. Walter said. The group will staff and supply the shelter while the town will cover utilities and maintenence, he said.

“We’re going to pay the heat and the lights, similar to the contract that Southold has,” Mr. Walter said.

The town’s two full-time shelter employees will be encouraged to apply for other possible positions within the town, officials said.

The town will also provide a vehicle to the nonprofit group so they can pick up stray animals, explained Councilman John Dunleavy.

“This is a good deal for the town and a good deal for the dogs,” Mr. Dunleavy said.

NFAWL would take over the shelter starting Feb. 1, Mr. Walter said.

The group will continue to run the Southold shelter in addition to the Riverhead shelter, allowing them to “tap the donor and volunteer base in both towns,” Mr. Walter said.

NFAWL has run the Southold animal shelter since 1980 through a mix of town contract money and private donations.

Mr. Walter said if the deal is approved, it will good news for all North Fork animal lovers.

“It’ll make Southold shelter better and it’ll make our shelter 100 percent better,” he said.

Volunteers at the shelter have long criticized the town about the shelter’s operations, arguing that more employees and better conditions are needed for the more than dozen dogs that are usually there at one time.

Since late 2011, town officials had held several meetings with the group to hammer out a deal, most recently on Friday, officials said.

NFAWL executive director Gillian Wood Pultz was not immediately available for comment.

The board’s resolution to approve the contract was not available.

psquire@timesreview.com

12/07/12 9:26pm
12/07/2012 9:26 PM
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Supevisor Sean Walter (left) and Councilman George Gabrielsen during a recent Town Board meeting.

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Supevisor Sean Walter (left) and Councilman George Gabrielsen during a recent Town Board meeting.

So Riverhead Councilmen Jim Wooten and John Dunleavy have already said they’d be interested in running for supervisor if incumbent Sean Walter gets elected to the county SLegislature on Jan. 15.

And Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said she isn’t interested in running for supervisor — unless she was asked to.

But what about Councilman George Gabrielsen?

He’s not ruling it out either.

He said in an interview that if he doesn’t feel the right person is running, he would seek the position himself.

“The biggest thing facing the town right now is that the supervisor has to be someone who is fiscally conservative,” Mr. Gabrielsen said. “Because by the year 2015 or 2016, we’re going to be out of reserve funds.”

Mr. Gabrielsen said he thinks Mr. Walter is fiscally conservative and has the town on the right path financially, having shrunk the size of government and concentrated on getting the Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) redeveloped.

But if Mr. Walter wins the Legislature seat, the town needs someone to follow the same path, Mr. Gabrielsen said.

“The EPCAL subdivision must be finished, and we may have to downsize government,” he said.

Mr. Gabrielsen said he is very busy right now, with the town position, his farm, and land he owns upstate.

“I’m working 10-12 hours a day,” he said. “But there comes a point where you see where the town is going, and if I feel that person (running for supervisor) wasn’t going to get the job done, then you have to sacrifice your lifestyle to save the Republic, so to speak.”

The councilman said the town supervisor must come from a business background.

“I know I could do it, it’s just the commitment needed at this point in my life,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll find that candidate.”

Town assessor and outspoken opponent of the county’s homeless sex offender trailer parked outside the Suffolk County jail said Thursday night he wouldn’t rule out a run either — given the right circumstances.

He said many people have brought it up to him.

“But right now, Sean hasn’t even won,” Mr. Haas said. “So it’s really too early.”

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio also left open a possibility that she might run for supervisor if Mr. Walter is elected to the county seat.

“I have no intentions of running for supervisor at all, but if the party came to me and say we want you to run, then I might consider it,” she said in an interview.

“But as of now, I have no intentions of running. I love my job as councilwoman and I love my private sector work.”

Ms. Giglio had sought to be the Republican party’s candidate for town supervisor in 2009, when it appeared she and Mr. Walter might be headed for a primary.  But in a last minute agrement at the Republican committee’s nominating convention, she agreed to run for council, while letting Mr. Walter run for for supervisor.

The current all-Republican board has had a number of public disagreements since then, many of them involving disputes between Ms. Giglio and Mr. Walter.

tgannon@timesreview.com

Additional reporting by Michael White

12/05/12 1:00pm
12/05/2012 1:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Councilman James Wooten (from left), Councilman John Dunleavy and Supervisor Sean Walter in Town Hall.

The Suffolk County Legislature on Tuesday set Jan. 15 as the date of a special election pitting Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter against Southold Town Councilman Al Krupski to fill the county legislature seat recently vacated by Ed Romaine’s election as Brookhaven Supervisor.

And while the election is still more than a month away, candidates are already lining up to fill Mr. Walter’s shoes, should he win.

Riverhead Councilmen Jim Wooten and John Dunleavy both said this week that they would be interested in running for Riverhead Town Supervisor if Mr. Walter gets elected to the Suffolk County Legislature.

Mr. Dunleavy threw his hat in the ring during a brief conversation with reporters during a break at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting.

Mr. Dunleavy was lamenting the fact that decisions where being made without anyone telling him, such as the decision to remove a resolution Tuesday calling for a settlement with a developer who had sued over a planned project in Calverton.

“That’s why I’m going to run for supervisor if Sean gets elected to the county,” he said. “But it’s too early to say now, because if he doesn’t get elected, he’s still supervisor.”

In some towns, like in Brookhaven, the town code requires special elections be held to fill vacancies within 60 to 90 days of the vacancy occurring, Mr. Dunleavy said. But not Riverhead.

“We don’t have that,” he said. “That’s why we went without a councilman for almost a year [when former Councilman Tim Buckley stepped down].”

Mr. Dunleavy also said that the cost of a special election is borne by the county, not the town.

“Everyone thinks the town pays. They don’t,” he said. “The county does.”

Mr. Dunleavy’s fellow Riverhead councilman, Jim Wooten, also said he’d be interested in running for supervisor, if a vacancy arises.

“I’ve always had an interest in serving in that capacity,” Mr. Wooten said. “I think I have that skill set.”

If Mr. Walter is elected to the county Legislature, it would take three votes on the Town Board to appoint a deputy to fill in until a special election is held, and it would up to the Republican committee to decide who the party’s candidate for a special election would be, Mr. Wooten said.

“I’ll cross that bridge when I get there,” he said. “Right now, I think all hands are on deck to support Sean and get him elected to the Legislature.”

Mr. Wooten said he doesn’t want it look like “it’s me against John,” but he added, “if the opportunity arose to run for supervisor … I would want to be considered.”

Meanwhile, Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who has expressed interest in running for supervisor in the past, said this week that she is not interested in running for supervisor, unless she is asked to do by the Republican party.

Ms. Giglio and Mr. Dunleavy both were screened by the Republicans to run for the legislative nod, which ultimately went to Mr. Walter.

Riverhead Councilman George Gabrielsen, who thus far has not sought to run for any other positions, could not be reached for comment.

Riverhead’s current deputy supervisor, Jill Lewis, is not an elected official and would not be able to vote on issues if the supervisor left.

tgannon@timesreview.com

12/03/12 8:00am
12/03/2012 8:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town’s animal control building on Youngs Avenue.

A little over a month ago, the Riverhead Town Animal Shelter was staffed by a full-time animal control officer, a part-time ACO, and a full-time and part-time kennel assistant.

But after the head of the shelter was mauled by a pit bull in October and two others resigned this past weekend, only a full-time kennel assistant remains working at the shelter as of Monday morning.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Animal control officer Jessica Eibs-Stankaitis earlier this year with a dog from the Riverhead Town shelter.

Most town officials said they recognize the issues at the shelter and are working to quickly hire replacements to fill the vacant positions.

But some shelter volunteers and residents say the situation there is troubling, citing an incident where dogs were left alone in the kennel for 24 hours Thanksgiving night into the next day.

Sunday was the last day at work for part-time animal control officer Maureen Schneider, who has worked at the shelter for nearly two years. She left Riverhead Town Animal Shelter to accept a position as the head of Brookhaven’s animal shelter, a much larger operation, she said.

“I cried all the way here this morning, because I’m leaving my babies,” Ms. Schneider said Sunday afternoon.

Her sudden resignation is the second loss to the shelter in the past few days after a part-time kennel attendant quit the job Saturday. The departures come as the shelter is already short-staffed while head animal control officer Jessica Eibs-Stankaitis recovers from a mauling in late October.

On Oct. 26, Ms. Eibs-Stankaitis was walking a pit bull at the shelter about 3 p.m. when the dog attacked her, biting her face and latching onto her hip, Ms. Schneider said.

Ms. Schneider was working at the time of the attack and used a snare pole to pull the dog off Ms. Eibs-Stankaitis, who is on medical leave while she recovers. Town officials said she will be out on leave for at least the next two weeks.

The two resignations also happened little more than a week after the 14 dogs at the shelter were left in the kennel for 24 hours, volunteers and town officials said.

Ms. Schneider said she came in at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving and worked at the shelter until 1 p.m., but because of short-staffing due to Ms. Eibs-Stankaitis’ injury, no one was able to come to the shelter to walk, feed or care for the dogs until Ms. Schneider’s next shift at 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Ms. Schneider said she was sorry to leave the shelter for the Brookhaven job, though she was confident the town would fill the open positions at the shelter to prevent what happened from occurring again.

Town Councilman Jim Wooten, who serves as the liaison for the Town Board on animal control issues, said he was aware of the incident at the animal shelter over Thanksgiving, and said the situation was being handled.

He also denied rumors that two dogs were being euthanized at the shelter due to short-staffing. Mr. Wooten said the two dogs were deemed dangerous by both shelter workers and a veterinarian, as per town policy, and the dogs were planned to be put down long before the sudden resignations.

Though Mr. Wooten, Ms. Schneider and several volunteers at the shelter all confirmed dogs had been left in their kennels unsupervised two weeks ago, Police Chief David Hegermiller, who oversees the shelter, denied there had been a problem at the shelter over Thanksgiving, saying the dogs were cared for each day.

“Obviously, we haven’t let the dogs down yet and we’re not going to let the dogs down in the future,” Mr. Hegermiller said. “As far as I’m concerned, nothing happened.”

When asked whether the town was looking to hire part-time kennel attendants to help at the shelter during Ms. Eibs-Stankaitis’ absence, Mr. Hegermiller said: “I mean, obviously that makes sense,” adding the town was already in the process of looking for new hires.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Mr. Wooten said the town has put out an advertisement for part-time kennel attendants and has received some replies already. Interviews will be conducted Monday, and the town could hire new kennel attendants as early as Tuesday, he said.

But Mr. Wooten argued that the town should also take more “radical” steps now that they are in the current situation. He advocated for privatizing the shelter, an idea discussed last year that would see the North Fork Animal Welfare League take over control of the shelter from the town’s police department.

But contract talks stalled, and town officials could not provide an update on the negotiations.

“I think now’s the time to hire a [shelter] director,” Mr. Wooten said. “We should strike while the iron is hot.”

Meanwhile, volunteers said the shelter’s dogs are paying the price for the town’s indecision.

“It’s just beyond despicable … and the ones who are suffering are the animals,” said Linda Mosca, a volunteer who works with the Responsible Solutions for Valued Pets, a Riverhead-based advocacy group that has clashed with town leaders for years over the animal shelter.

“Nothing changes because the town simply doesn’t care,” she said. “This has been going on, nobody stays, everybody leaves and nobody cares.”

Vince Taldone, who volunteers at the shelter, was not so quick to blame a specific person in town government. Instead, he said that while he believes Mr. Hegermiller shares some of the fault for the shelter’s shortcomings, the police chief is ultimately bound by the budget the Town Board sets.

“I don’t even know who to blame,” Mr. Taldone said.

Mr. Taldone said he is concerned that the full-time kennel attendant who remains at the shelter now will be overwhelmed with responsibilities and will not be able to care for the dogs adequately in the wake of the most recent resignations.

“How is [the attendant] going to do everything?” he asked. “If she gets two calls in the office, she’s stuck.”

psquire@timesreview.com

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained a typo that incorrectly stated the remaining employee at the shelter was a part-time kennel attendant. The worker is a full-time employee.

11/08/12 10:24pm
11/08/2012 10:24 PM

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Former Riverhead Town Board coordinator Linda Hulse, who was fired Wednesday.

Riverhead Town Board members argued for almost an hour Tuesday over a resolution to immediately fire the Town Board coordinator, Linda Hulse, with Supervisor Sean Walter publicly calling three fellow Republicans “cowards” and suggesting that Ms. Hulse was being fired for being a whistleblower.

The resolution, which was eventually approved by a 3-2 vote, was brought “off the floor,” meaning it wasn’t on the board’s printed agenda, and it had the support of council members Jodi Giglio, George Gabrielsen and Jim Wooten.

Supervisor Walter and Councilman John Dunleavy both voted against it, and both said they had no idea the resolution was being voted on Tuesday.

Mr. Walter called it “the most insensitive thing I’ve ever seen” to terminate an employee without discussing it with the board in executive session.

(See our live blog coverage from the meeting.)

While Ms. Giglio attempted to have the issue voted on without being discussed, the board ultimately ended up discussing it in public for close to an hour, with Mr. Walter saying he wanted the vote tabled to another meeting, and that he wanted to discuss the issue in executive session, which is closed to the public.

Ms. Giglio, Mr. Gabrielsen and Mr. Wooten refused, saying they wanted it voted on immediately.

Mr. Walter and Ms. Giglio have been at odds before on issues before the Town Board. Ms. Giglio has at least twice accused the supervisor of trying to intimidate her, and one time even filed a police report for harassment.

“She tried to have me arrested,” Mr. Walter said Tuesday of that incident. The board, despite being all Republican, has had public disagreements over many issues in the past three years.

Ms. Hulse was appointed to the post in 2011 after the previous town board coordinator, Donna Zlatniski, resigned. Ms. Zlatniski later filed a lawsuit claiming she was “coerced” into doing campaign work for Mr. Wooten, and that she was fired to give the job to Ms. Hulse, who is the wife of Republican town assessor Paul Leszczynski, and who also was the Republican candidate for town clerk in 2009, when Democrat Diane Wilhelm defeated her in that year’s election.

Ms. Hulse currently is also the president of the Riverhead Rotary Club.

Mr. Walter said publicly of Ms. Hulse, “I personally happen to believe she’s a whistle blower and has raised a complaint against a board member and you’re looking to get rid of a whistleblower. This is retaliation for her actions.”

He didn’t say what the complaint was.

Ms. Giglio said the firing had nothing to do with Ms. Hulse being a whistleblower, something she, Mr. Gabrielsen and Mr. Wooten said they did not know about.

Mr. Gabrielsen said their concerns with Ms. Hulse are not due to any one issue.

“It started six to eight months ago, some of the board members lost that confidential trust [in her],” he said.

“We have had this employee for a year, it’s not working out and the majority of the board would like to move in a different direction,” Ms. Giglio said.

Mr. Walter said every other employee the town has terminated was spoken to beforehand.

“This is an evil act right here,” he said. “How many other employees are you planning to fire this way?”

“I come from a business community and anytime we had to let someone go, we called them in to talk with them,” Mr. Dunleavy said. “This is a coward’s position to let them go without talking to them.”

“The three of you are absolute cowards,” Mr. Walter said. “A real man sits down and talks to the employee.”

Ms. Giglio said Ms. Hulse was hired “at will,” meaning she is not a member of an employees union and not a department head under contract. Because of this, Ms. Giglio said, the board majority can fire her at any time.

Mr. Gabrielsen said the Town Council didn’t interfere in the selection of employees in the supervisor’s office, and the supervisor shouldn’t interfere with the selection of a Town Board coordinator.

At one point in the meeting, after it was clear the board majority planned to fire Ms. Hulse and refused to table the resolution or discuss it in executive session, Mr. Walter insisted on discussing the resolution publicly, something the three board members who backed the firing opposed.

“Can we filibuster?” Mr. Walter asked.

Town Attorney Bob Kozakiewicz also suggested that the board discuss the resolution in executive session before voting on it in order to protect the town in litigation.

Mr. Dunleavy said that if he knew the reasons for the firing, he might support it.

“But I don’t know the reasons,” he said.

Ms. Hulse could not be reached for comment and had left before the meeting ended, which was after regular hours at Town Hall.

Mr. Walter said he refused to call a vote on the resolution and is asking Mr. Kozakiewicz to investigate whether the vote is legal without his having called the vote.

tgannon@timesreview.com