Four Commack residents are fighting back against Commack School District for the right to have their legal arguments in defense of the school in the Marion Carll Farm Lawsuit.
Vito J. Cottone, Daniel Fusco, Arthur J. Reilly Sr., and James Tampellini f brought forth by Carll's heirs against Commack School District for possession of the nine-acre historic farm. When school officials tried to prevent them as "mere taxpayers," the residents have chosen to fight on instead of backing down.
"That the District, and not the Plaintiffs, have opposed the Motion, which merely seek to assist them in defeating the Carll heirs' claim and preserve the Property as a valuable assest of the District, speaks volumes about its true intent," reads their Aug. 31 memorandum to further support the Motion to Intervene.
Commack school officials expressed a desire to prevent the four Commack residents from becoming involved in the lawsuit, filed , who seek to repossess the historic property, claiming the school district has failed to use the land for educational and public purposes.
Eugene Barnosky, attorney for Commack school district, said the Board of Education did not take a vote on whether to the residents from intervening, but rather it was an action he took on the school district's behalf as their legal counsel at their Aug. 30 board meeting.
The district's attorney said the residents are hoping to "usurp" the District right manage its affairs - including Marion Carll Farm.
On page 8 of the four resident, called Intervenors, memorendium reads:
[T]he District's assertion that the Intervenors are seekign to usurp its authority for the management of the Property is nonsense....
While the Intervenors may not agree with the way the District has managed and maintained the Property, they do not dispute its discretionary authority to do so.
The addendum to the motion also challenges the district's legal argument that despite ottone, Fusco, Reilly, and Tampellini being taxpayers, they have no real interest in the Marion Carll Farm.
The Commacck residents claim school officials are supposed to act to benefit the resident taxpayers, supposedly to represent them and their interests in this lawsuit. Plus, the historic farm was originally given to Commack School District for the public.
The possibility if Commack School District was to lose the lawsuit, it would lose Marion Carll Farm, is a bigger reason residents' say for them to get involved.
On page 6 of the resident's response to the district,
The District cannot seriously contend that a loss of the Property, without appropriate compensation, would not affect its resident taxpayers, when millions of dollars of their tax money has footed the bill over the year to cover the District's expenses associated with maintaining and preserving the Property.
Commack Superintendent Donald James said the four residents attempts to have their voices and legal arguments heard on the Marion Carll Farm lawsuit has cost the district "quite a bit in legal fees."
The exact amount this legal action has cost was not available from Commack School Districts as of Thursday night.