I had the opportunity to attend the Freeport Town Council meeting on Aug. 10 and the primary subject was amending the recent TIF application for movie theaters. For various reasons, including default by the prior movie vendor, the developers now plan a six-screen theater versus the original one. Six movie screens in Freeport?
The discussion of the revised TIF obviously left several councilors in the dust from a knowledge standpoint. Mr. Migliaccio and Mr. Pandora seemed to focus on the real issues, while most other members yawned, stared at the ceiling or just into space. It was apparent that the chairman, Mr. Muldoon, had no idea what was being suggested by the two knowledgeable members.
Mr. Muldoon was also rude and out of line in shutting other councilors off from expressing ideas. Several times he said “I will not allow debates,” even though councilors represent various constituencies. I’d suggest that behavior that is total control-based is unhealthy for the town, the governing body and most importantly the voters of Freeport. It seemed as though Mr. Muldoon wanted to rush through the TIF issue, probably because he didnt want to appear ignorant about the subject.
I congratulate Mr. Migliaccio and Mr. Pandora for standing in the face of rudeness by the chairman. What will happen when the next applicant wishes to develop a project that is somewhat outside the TIF policy?