In the comments that followed a recent article in New City Patch several serious questions were raised by Clarkstown taxpayers concerning the Town's decision to eliminate the position of Deputy Town Attorney, Marsha Coopersmith, and outsource her work to the White Plains law firm of Joseph J. Savino for the Town’s tax certiorari matters.
Surprisingly there has been no response from the Town to any of the questions that were raised. So on behalf of my fellow citizens I call upon the Town Supervisor, Mr Gromack, to provide his responses to the following:
1) Councilwoman Hausner voted against the outsourcing proposal. Why?
2) The Town employs six Deputy Town Attorneys with salaries in 2011 totaling $537,383. They are: Keith Cornell - $73,841, Richard Glickel - $102,428, Jessica A. Hauser - $75,777, Daniel N. Kraushaar - $98,248, Jeffrey T. Millman - $88,841, and Paul K. Schofield - $98,248. Why is one or more of these attorneys not qualified to handle the work now being outsourced to Joseph Savino for a 'retainer' of $87,000?
3) Mr Savino resides at : 1959 Colden Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462. Why is the Town outsourcing work and Clarkstown's tax dollars to an individual who, according to his voter registration file, does not claim residence in Clarkstown or indeed in Rockland County?
4) Was a bidding process used to hire Savino's law firm? How many Rockland County law firms were invited to bid?
5) I do not know Ms Coopersmith personally but if her job was eliminated solely as a "cost savings" it can be assumed that her work for the Town was competent and satisfactory. This raises the question as to whether she was offered the option to supply the same services to the Town as an external contract employee working on a 'retainer' for the same fee as Mr Savino?
6) Further, now that the Town has set a precedent in outsourcing legal/tax work for the purpose of cost savings, is the Town examining its options to outsource the work of the remaining six Deputy Town Attorneys who are costing the Town over half a million dollars for their in-house services?
Sam Donaldson once remarked that questions never do damage but the absence of satisfactory answers do.
The questions are asked. The anwers are awaited.
Michael N. Hull