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Updated: 11/20/2008 - 4:17 AM



Wilhelm named Town Clerk
Grattan honored for years of service
  10 comments below

News-Review photo by Barbaraellen Koch
Riverhead Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm
Diane Wilhelm was appointed Riverhead Town Clerk in a split vote last Wednesday as board members bid an emotional goodbye to her predecessor, longtime clerk Barbara Grattan,

Ms. Grattan had been Town Clerk since 1992 and a town employee since 1978. She resigned for undisclosed health reasons and was unable to attend last the meeting Wednesday's, the day her resignation took effect.

Ms. Wilhelm has been deputy town clerk for the past few years and has worked in the Town Clerk's office for several years.

News-Review photo by Tim Gannon
Town clerk employees Muriel Froehlich and Juliann O'Neill (not pictured) held a banner that showed their appreciation for former Town Clerk Barbara Grattan, who resigned, effective last Wednesday, due to illness.
Her appointment, which had been tabled at the previous Town Board meeting where Ms. Grattan's resignation was accepted, was opposed by Councilmen Jim Wooten and John Dunleavy.

Mr. Wooten, saying his vote was no reflection on Ms. Wilhelm, opposed the appointment because the position is an elected one that he said a deputy can fill in until the political process takes place.

Mr. Dunleavy said he can't see giving Ms. Wilhelm a $30,000 raise "when we're looking to pinch pennies."

'I hope she gets the sense of how strongly everybody in this town feels about her' ¬­¬­--Phil Cardinale
"The citizens will be well served by Diane," Councilman Tim Buckley said.

"I enthusiastically support filling the position with Diane," said Councilwoman Barbara Blass.

Supervisor Phil Cardinale said Ms. Wilhelm's salary will be $4,824 less than Ms. Grattan's, and the town will not fill the vacant position in the clerk's office.

He said Ms. Wilhelm was recommended for the clerk post by Ms. Grattan, and that having someone from inside move up into the clerk position will stabilize the office.

Prior to last Wednesday's meeting, town employees from every department were present as the board presented Ms. Grattan's children, Joe and Lori, with a proclamation declaring "Barbara Grattan Day" in Riverhead. Her coworkers held a banner that read, "We Love You, Barbara."

Joe Grattan said people have been very generous, sending flowers, cards and letters to his mother.

"This does not go unnoticed," he said. "Especially by her. We'd like to send out thank-you notes to everyone, but it's a little impossible. But it means an awful lot to our family."

"I hope she gets the sense of how strongly everybody in this town feels about her," Mr. Cardinale said.

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vmZdzthRdGdRocBkU : 6/5/2012
Dr_Tad wrote as follows:I fear your acopraph starts by raising the white flag in the first instance. That’s where we really disagree, I think.Really this discussion is a contemporary analog of the old debates that socialists used to have between those who saw themselves as the Maximalists and the Minimalists. The Maximalists used to harangue the Minimalists as selling out and abandoning positions too cheaply. The Minimalists would respond that progress was to be had by manoeuvering with the capitalist class. Which was correct? Sadly, both were correct, and neither. There is no absolutely reliable way that one can draw a fixed line for all times and places and declare one side of it principled and the other treasonable, one side of it outlandish and counterproductive and the other practicable. In the end, those who stand for human progress need to make a judgement about which ends are worthy, attainable and can become the basis for further advance and those which sell humanity too short. That in turn entails a judgement about the human and material resources one has or can contrive, the coherence and of one's own coalition and of the resources and coherence of those arrayed against you.Those of us who argue a materialist view of history set great store by features of human social organisation that derive from factors that stand above human consciousness. Marx would speak of the conflict between the forces and relations of production. When the relations of production became a constraint of the development of the productive forces, the basis for new relations of production existed, and old ways of doing things would be cast aside, and a new humanity would be authored. Very neat. If so however, one might well wonder why one would need revolutionaries at all. Indeed, one might wonder why human social organisation didn't advance everywhere at much the same rate. The problem of course was, as it is now, the question of human agency the subjective element in history. We humans are not merely the flotsam and jetsam of the conflict between the forces and relations of production. We are both authored by them and their authors. Not merely progress and retreat is possible. The boss classes rule, not merely because they control the disposition of productive assets, but because the working people do not as a whole, see any way in which to collaborate effectively to appropriate production to their needs and the boss classes, whatever their conflicts, have sufficient common interest to regulate their rivalry through the agencies of the state and its coercive mechanisms. If we wish to challenge the boss classes of the world from the standpoint of the interests of working humanity, then we must find ways to disrupt the unity of the boss classes, and increase the political coherence of working humanity. Above all we must engage working humanity in the kind of learning that strips from the boss classes their apparent standing as the only possible form of rulership over production. There's simply no evading that task.Roughly 100 years ago, Bernstein (for us serious leftists, the archetype of all revisionist sell outs) declared: the movement is everything. The goal, nothing The position, extravagantly expressed, was a blank cheque for the complete dissolution of socialist activity into whatever was going on at the time. The ALP could well use it today, if they were interested in socialist history.As wrong as he was, he did have the kernel of a point. To put the working people and their allies together in a common struggle is an indispensable condition for success. Not a sufficient condition, but a necessary one.A sufficient condition of course is to articulate a maintainable program for equitable governance on a world scale that this movement accepts. Yet we are a very long way from even acopraphing the first of these conditions.It's in this light that we can revisit the question of compromise. It is very clear that all policies short of the abolition the wage labour system and the achievement of ubiquitous satisfaction of all human want, the dissolution of the state and complete human freedom (i.e. communism) are a compromise. Rational folks ask themselves: if this is simply impossible, what then?That is where we all stand. We note that in the long run, we are all dead, and in the short run, we all have needs and ask ourselves what is possible, now, tomorrow, and for the remainder of our lives. We strive not merely to serve working humanity in the long run but working humans in the short run. We want to know how to achieve as much equity and empowerment now as we can without foreclosing more equity and empowerment later.That is a judgement call. Yet it is clear to me that given that we who side consciously with working people are (if we flatter ourselves) but a tiny minority and the working people are, by and large, in political thrall to one or other of the servants of the boss classes of the world, that we ought to be very focused on the hard grind of weakening the boss classes, of staying their pernicious acts of commission and omission if necessary by manoeuvering the state and sections of the bosses against each other, in the process allowing the workers to see the system and its arrangements as they really stand.No movement that is not a bona fide expression of the interests of a politically empowered and engaged working humanity can hope to step into the breach created by the failures of the market system and devise a set of inclusive governance arrangements with the coherence needed to reconfigure the productive forces efficiently to the service of all of us.So it is not a case of running up the white flag . Every strike that is settled this side of socialism involves the workers returning to be exploited and the bosses continuing to exploit. In some cases, the workers lose and to avoid catastrophe must surrender as this is the lesser evil. This has happened often. The truth, bitter as it is, remains that the boss classes are in charge and the working humanity currently has very little to say about it. If we cannot find a way to stop the boss classes from destroying the biosphere, barbarism beckons.It is the case that the bulk of working people believe that the market system, in some form, is inevitable. Those three words are key. For the foreseeable future, they are absolutely right, because we have no means to sweep it aside without a catastrophe ensuing. Yet what does it mean in practice to say the market system will survive in some form? Surely that form must serve equity? That is something every rational person can agree on. Surely it must not allow destruction of the commons? Again, all rational people can agree with that. And if it is indeed the case that the market system is the most efficient and effective allocator or public goods, as so many from the boss classes assert, then what better mechanism for resolving an obvious market failure could there be than a market solution? Are we not bound to openly test this hypothesis, and allow the working people of the planet to test the claim themselves?We may well say that the market system is imperfect, but it would be better for working people to discover the quality, kind and extend of these in practice than to be lectured on the matter by us. To propose a market solution is not at all to raise the white flag. It is to challenge the boss class to defend its claim to rule, by meeting standards that working people accept. We concede no ground we hold this way, but if we are certain that we are right, then only the rule of the boss classes can be weakened by this response.




Promotion : 5/5/2012
I came across this article and found it very disturbing that elected officials of Cardinale, Buckley, and Blass would do something of this nature. It goes with the saying: "Politics rule!" As far as Ms Wilhelm is concerned she was groomed for the position and knew immediately upon job placement on her day of employment that she was the chosen one in the Town of Riverhead Town Hall. I know the family she came from and they are cheaters all the way. They don't care who they step on as long as they get THEIR WAY!




Promotion : 2/15/2010
It doesn't surprise me. She came from a family loaded with money, thus money comes to her very, very easily. She never had to break her back for any type of job she held.




Promotion : 2/15/2010
Diane Wilhelm has always gotton everything her way. No one stands in her way. If only the rest of us could get what we want, the way we want, when we want, and by the people we know.




Diane Wilhelm's Promotion : 11/22/2009
As usual Riverhead Town has a designated person for each town job. In this case its Diane Wilhelm. I agree with Mr. Wooten wholeheartedly. In addition, Mr. Dunleavy raises a good point. Mrs. Wilhelm was placed by her friend Laverne Tennenberg in the position of Receiver of Taxes, Deputy Town Clerk, and now Riverhead Town Clerk. Guarantee that Mrs. Wilhelm will run unopposed in all her races. How wonderful!




Barbara Grattan : 11/14/2008
Riverhead has been blessed with a few standout public servants. Barbara Grattan is one of them. Like her husband Joe, the former police chief, Barbara is a true Riverheader. She provided an intangible feeling when one entered Town Hall that good people work there, and you could get what you needed done, despite the frustrations with some other departments. Like her predecessor, Irene Pendzick, she made the Town Clerk's office one where people saw the face of Riverhead government as a pleasant, competent one. Town Hall won't be the same. We were lucky to have her service. Thank you from all of us, and good luck,Barbara!






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