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Long IslandNassau

Kings Point board meets behind closed doors, keeps public out

Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

The Village of Kings Point delayed a public meeting Monday by a half-hour, with no prior notice or explanation and no participation from the public.

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m., but the board of trustees was conferring behind closed doors. The public was not invited to join the discussion.

In a 10-minute public meeting that followed the closed session, the board voted 5-0 on multiple items, such as the annual fire contract with Alert Engine, Hook and Ladder, and a design proposal for East Shore Park, with no discussion. The village is in the process of creating the park by condemning and seizing 6 acres of private waterfront land through eminent domain, angering many of the property owners affected. Appraisal offers were made last week.

The documents from the meeting have not been released on the village website or made public, despite requests to village officials to do so.

Under state open meetings law, every meeting of a majority of board members must be preceded by a notice of time and place. In order to convene privately, the board must then vote in a public meeting to go into executive session.

Bob Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, said that it appeared the board “did everything wrong” and “failed to comply with the law.” Freeman added this action could lead to “a significant penalty,” including litigation brought by a resident.

Village Attorney Stephen Limmer did not attend the meeting. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

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