The two Democrats on the Town Board are complaining that some town employees are less than polite on social media, an accusation town spokeswoman Lauren Lembo disputes.
Council members Mark Cuthbertson and Joan Cergol submitted an op-ed to HuntingtonNow.com, noting that some constituents have complained to them and on social media about the way the town has responded to complaints about town policies and actions.
In particular, Cergol and Cuthbertson said, they objected to responses involving the operator of the Huntington farmers market and the president of the Huntington Lighthouse MusicFest. “The posts were inappropriate,” they wrote.
Lembo said the town’s response on the farmers market complaints “was factual and proportional in light of the repeated false statements put out by Ms. (Ethel) Terry,” and on the MusicFest comments, “The Town simply responded with facts to the preposterous false claims on the Lighthouse Preservation Society’s website blaming the cancellation of their MusicFest on a lack of a relationship with the Town.”
Below is the town’s response in full.
The Lupinacci Administration communicates with residents on social media — and in a meaningful way on issues that impact their lives — more than the Town has ever done before; we would rather err on the side of transparency and accessibility — including addressing false statements with facts — than continue the closed-door policies of the past.
The Town’s response to the Farmers’ Market was factual and proportional in light of the repeated false statements put out by Ms. Terry over the last two years despite the fact that the Town has always worked diligently and cooperatively to make the Farmer’s Market a success. The Town posted the response on social media due to the number of emails and phone calls we received and answered on the Monday after the market’s opening weekend, time we could have spent conducting the Town’s business instead of dispelling false rumors.
The Town simply responded with facts to the preposterous false claims on the Lighthouse Preservation Society’s website blaming the cancellation of their MusicFest on a lack of a relationship with the Town; Acting Maritime Director Dom Spada has been planning for the event since May and he and his team in the Harbormaster’s office have been prepared to assist and facilitate a successful and safe Lighthouse MusicFest, as they did last year; I don’t see how one can interpret that post as a “personal attack.”
(Town’s post on Farmer’s Market: https://www.facebook.com/HuntingtonNewYork/posts/10161753816410305?__tn__=-R)
(Town’s post on Lighthouse Musicfest: https://www.facebook.com/HuntingtonNewYork/photos/a.10150219652165305/10161818982620305/?type=1&theater)
Meanwhile, the town announced late Wednesday afternoon on Facebook that Lupinacci has just executed a contract with Long Island Growers Market, which requires 50% of the growers to be from Long Island, and now allows 50% of the growers to be from elsewhere in New York State. Declining participation in the farmers’ market was behind most of the complaints about the farmers’ market.