Local Details: Tuckahoe has Broken Voting Booth Lever, Southampton Signage Wrong

Here’s some niggly little things that went wrong in Southampton last week.

BROKEN LEVER

Last month one of those little yellow levers inside a polling machine broke screwing up a vote on Proposition 2 at the Tuckahoe School. Because the lever broke in such a way that it could not be seen from the outside, it now is believed it may have reversed the outcome. This proposition asked the citizens to vote yes or no on whether the Tuckahoe School District should authorize the expenditure of $465,000 from the district’s capital reserve fund to replace deteriorating heating pipes in the crawl spaces of the school. The vote was tallied late that evening after the polls closed and the vote was 120 for and 222 against. So, the proposition failed.

Because of the way the lever broke, school board officials initially had no knowledge of that fact and were just baffled that a simple proposition to fix worn out pipes could have failed to pass.

The next day, still clueless about this odd outcome, The Southampton Press reported that School Board Chairman Robert Grisnik, thinking the board was being sent a message from the people, said he thought it now necessary for the school board to better educate the citizens on the importance of capital projects such as this.

Then, somebody got the idea that maybe there was something wrong with the polling machine.

There were two machines. They wheeled them out of the storage room. The first polling machine, the one used by citizens who’s last name was from M to Z showed that there were voters who approved of the expenditure and some not. Then, they looked at the second machine. Every single citizen who voted on this machine voted No. This couldn’t be just chance. It was either a kind of flashmob conspiracy among the citizenry whose last names begin with A to L, or there was something wrong with the machine.

They opened the back. When they pressed the yellow lever down to vote no, it recorded the no vote back there. When they pressed the yellow lever to vote yes, no yes vote was recorded.

Who would tamper with a machine involving a proposition to replace worn out heating pipes? Nobody.

Both polling machines were then put back into the storage room, one with a note on it about the need for repair by the polling machine repair company in Woodside, and the other without a note.

A re-vote on this proposition has been rescheduled and if the lever is not repaired in time, they will only use the single working polling machine on June 19.

SIGNS SCREW UP

Meanwhile in Southampton Village last week, the Village Board received a scathing 15-page parking ordinance analysis pointing out numerous discrepancies in the signage about parking on many streets in the community. The Southampton Press broke this story.

On the whole one block length of Jagger Lane, for example, the Village code says there should be one hour limited parking from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. between May 1 and September 30 except Sunday but most signs are missing and those still up say cars may be parked for two hours all year long.

There’s a mix-up on Nugent Street where there should be a 15-minute parking sign in front of the Astoria Bank but there isn’t. According to Ordinance Inspector Angel Perez, this should be a “No Parking” sign. And, there’s another mix-up in front of the Arrow Laundry building on Main Street where there are supposed to be two 15-minute parking spaces with two signs but there is only one space and one sign.

There was some discussion about people being able to go to court to overturn parking tickets they got. The feeling around the table was there would really not be any avalanche of such things, so what they should do is just work these out on an as you go basis. It might be a long-term project.

“It’s a pretty interesting project,” Mayor Mark Epley told The Southampton Press

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