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Democratic Candidates Criticize Political Photo Op At Potentially Unsafe Baseball Fields


September 6, 2013

Democratic Candidates Criticize Political Photo Opportunity At Potentially Unsafe Baseball Fields Built By Republican Donor, Demand Immediate Testing To Protect Children From Chemical Exposure

Islip, NY- This afternoon, Islip Town Board Members Trish Bergin and Steve Flotteron will put on their best election-season smiles for the press as they ceremonially cut the ribbon at the Central Islip Little League fields on Eastview Drive in a shameless attempt at self promotion. Thanks in part to the efforts of Mr. Flotteron and Andy Borgia, the developer who built the fields, and notably donated money to Mr. Flotteron’s re-election campaign immediately after receiving his contract with the town, those who attend today’s festivities may be exposed to unsafe levels of asbestos, lead, arsenic, chlordane and other toxic heavy metals.

The Town of Islip contracted with Mr. Borgia to create a new little league complex as part of his proposed Ultimate Game Sports Complex. Newsday has reported that work on this project was proceeding without the required performance bonding for nearly a year and it has been revealed that potentially coercive donations were made from Mr. Borgia to Mr. Flotteron immediately following the signing of the contract. In the time since, Mr. Flotteron has displayed a troubling leniency towards Mr. Borgia, including allowing a substantial change in the original plans to allow the use of non-certified CCR in place of crushed stone, which selected for its permeability to allow proper drainage at the site.

“Using substandard materials was a boon to Mr. Borgia’s bottom line, but it comes at the expense of our children’s well-being,” said George Hafele. “The materials they used could potentially contain all sorts of cancer-causing toxins, and they don’t allow drainage, so the fields and parking areas end up flooded with a small rain storm.”

Newsday has reported that Mr. Flotteron received $2,000 in campaign donations from Andy Borgia, developer of the proposed Ultimate Game Sports Complex, half of which was given the day after Borgia signed a contract with the town. Questions have been raised regarding the developer’s ability to meet his contractual obligations with the town, yet Flotteron has repeatedly pushed forward with the plan unquestioningly.

“The councilman, in his own way, has put the fear of God in everyone in Planning to get the project through,” Councilman John Cochrane Jr. told Newsday. “There is an undercurrent here that we are treating someone differently. Steve might say it’s a public-private partnership, but I can’t have this partnership cutting corners where it might be unsafe for kids.”

Islip Democratic Candidates for Town Council, Astrid Fidelia and George Hafele have called for immediate testing of the material used at this facility to assure the community that it is safe and that the children using the fields will not be exposed to anything hazardous.

Astrid Fidelia added, “It’s unconscionable that anyone would allow a facility for children to be built without knowing with certainty that it’s safe for them.”