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A Response to Trustee Mackin’s Letter to the Editor

October 18, 2017

I’m writing this Editorial in response to a “Letter To The Editor” we received from Bellport Village Trustee Steve Mackin.

Trustee Mackin wrote, “Will Struyk’s Editorial on Speeding. Mr. Struyk I have read most of you [sic] editorials.”

Trustee Mackin, this is an Editorial. An Editorial is written by the Editor of a publication expressing his or her own personal opinions, views, or concerns.

On the other hand, as it states on our “Letters To The Editor” page, “We wish to make it clear that the opinions expressed in the letters, articles, correspondence, etc. herein are the responsibility of the contributor and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Bellport.com and its staff.” In addition, anyone reading your letter on our Letters To The Editor page can see that our policy is to in no way edit or change the Letters To The Editor we receive. We print them the way we receive them.

I don’t think your attack of Mr. Struyk was called for. Mr. Struyk wrote his letter out of frustration with his Elected Officials. He didn’t attack you. He wanted to share with his fellow residents the difference in the response he had received from the Mayor, Village Clerk, and Trustees from that of his County Legislator, Kate Browning regarding a very serious problem that has existed in Bellport Village for many years, speeding. He was contrasting the very thorough and concerned response he had received from Kate Browning’s office from, in his opinion, the lack of a response he had received from the Bellport Village Board.

Under the First Amendment, Mr. Struyk has every right to voice his opinion without expecting the kind of sarcasm you expressed in your letter. In fact, within some limits, that is exactly what a Letter To The Editor page is for, exercising your First Amendment rights to express your opinions without reprisal.

I know the Village Board is frustrated by the speeding in town, but you can’t give up. We’re not talking about the 31 to 38 MPH you mention in your letter and seem to accept. It’s the 50 to 60 MPH speeding that goes on in front of my house every day.

And while we’re at it, what kind of message does it send to the speeders in town when the Village Court plea bargains their speeding tickets down to parking violations and the Village Attorney suggests we complain to the Suffolk County District Attorney if we’re not happy with it?

Our understanding is that Trustee Mackin is the one Village Official who has spent the most time trying to come up with a solution to the speeding problem in town and he should be praised for it. Maybe that’s why he reacted the way he did to Will Struyk’s perceived criticism of the Village Board. However, 30 years ago, in the Bellport Village Master Plan of December 1988, speeding was identified as a significant problem that needed to be addressed by the Village Board. Given the span of time, the Village Board should try to understand where the criticism now comes from and maybe Trustee Mackin should try to work with Mr. Struyk and involve him in the process of trying to come up with a solution to the speeding problem in the Village.




If you have a comment and would like to respond to any of the above, we'd be glad to consider printing your response. Please send your comments to larry@bellport.com. You can read the comments we receive on our Letters To The Editor page.


Sincerely, 

Larry Sribnick
Larry Sribnick
Editor/Publisher, Bellport.com, LLC