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The Village News, Bellport's Paperless NewspaperLetters to the Editor

Letters to the editor must be submitted via email and must include the author’s name, address, and daytime phone number so that Bellport.com can confirm the source of the submission. Letters can be up to 500 words in length and should be in good taste, not libelous, and not "Fake News." We expect our readers and their letters to be civil to one another and we expect them to remember that we are all friends and neighbors and to conduct themselves accordingly. If you'd like to submit a Letter to the Editor, send your letter to letters@bellport.com.

Letters are posted as soon as they are received, not just once a week, so check back often!

The purpose of Bellport.com's Letters To The Editor section is to encourage the free exchange of ideas and experiences in our community. While Bellport.com and its staff try to make every effort to see that no libelous statements, inaccurate or misleading opinions or statements, or "Fake News" appears on Bellport.com 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. Accordingly, Bellport.com and its staff accept no liability whatsoever for the consequences of any such inaccurate or misleading opinions or statements.

In regards to elections (national, state, local), Bellport.com imposes a 48 hour “Blackout” period before Election Day. In other words, assuming Election Day is on a Tuesday, any letters from the candidates or members of the community that are received after 5:00pm on the Saturday prior to Election Day, will not be published by Bellport.com. We do this in order to prevent last minute claims being made and “Fake News” that don’t give sufficient time for which to respond.

 


 

April 7, 2018

South Country Library Trustee Election

I grew up in Bellport learning to love books as I often stopped by the South Country Library walking home from school as a child. Back then it was the little library which is currently the Village Hall. Having moved to another area of Bellport, I would often ride my unicycle there. I have lived in a number of towns, but came back to South Country School District about 20 years ago where I introduced my children to the library system to pass on my love of books.

Since being back in the area I have become quite involved in the community. I am a current Bellport Rotary member and past President. I have just completed 9 years on the Board of the South Country Education Foundation helping to raise money for programs in the district. All of these endeavors promote additional learning and educational aspects that are very important to me. I still ride my unicycle, but have not ridden it to the Library in a long time. That should change.

Geoffrey Marschall
East Patchogue, NY

 


 

April 7, 2018

South Country Library Board Election

I would like to thank the South Country Library Community for affording me the opportunity to be on the South Country Library Board for the past three years. My service on the board has been effective and very rewarding. During my term the Library has progressed in a positive and constructive direction. Some of these accomplishments include: the hiring of extremely competent and outstanding Library Director and Library Assistant Director, the “Fireside Café” was established, the Friends of the Library organization has been reinstated, and the “Little Free Library” boxes have been built around the community to offer a free book exchange. As the Secretary of the Board I was involved in creating a new Library Director’s job description, evaluation form and contract, contacting and organizing prospective Library Director candidates and recording all meetings of the Board.

As a retired High School Library Media Specialist for 33 years, my enthusiasm for the South Country Library is constantly evolving. I can imagine a Library that is vibrant and inclusive to all members of the community. Reaching out to all patrons of the library with everyone’s unique needs is one of my future goals. Another goal is to encourage and support library programs with a cost-conscious foundation. The Library is a place for everyone to feel welcome and to have the needs of patrons recognized and fulfilled.

I look forward to your vote on Tuesday, April 10th and with your support to help continue to enrich the South Country Library into a place for everyone.

Carole Gagliano
Bellport, NY

 


 

April 1, 2018

South Country Library Trustee Election

On Tuesday, April 10th the South Country Library will have an election to fill three Trustees' positions on their Board. I urge a vote for Geoffrey Marschall, Cecelia Walsh and Ada Graham.

Geoffrey Marschall is a current Bellport Rotary member and past President. He just completed 9 years on the Board of the South Country Education Foundation helping to raise money for programs in the district. Geoffrey’s previous experiences as well as his organizational skills would be a valuable addition to the Board of Trustee’s. Cecelia Walsh is a retired educator of the South Country School District with varied experiences in education working with children as well as adults. Cecelia has been a volunteer at the library serving as a literacy tutor. I believe having a experienced educator on the nine member library board would be an good addition. Ada Graham previously served on the South Country Library board including two years as the board’s treasurer. She is presently employed by the Gateway Playhouse as director of finance. Ada’s business background and strong sense of fiduciary responsibility to us taxpayers would be an asset in dealing with the library's budget each year. We are fortunate to have neighbors like these who are willing to serve their community without compensation.

The Budget Vote is also on the ballot. It asks for an increase of $48,606 over last year’s budget of $3,113,467 - I intend to YES. Voting will take place at the South Country Library, on Tuesday, April 10th, 9:30 am to 9 pm.

Larry Tierney
Brookhaven Hamlet, NY

 


 

March 13, 2018

To Be or Not to Be a “Representative” Under Village Anti-Renters Code

Trustee Bob Rosenberg finally got his anti-renters Ordinance passed albeit without the 16 day minimum which would have de facto all but eliminated most summer rentals. Strange, as 4 years ago when Bob first ran for office, one of his planks was to have a weekender on the Board – to represent short term “residents” interests. I digress; at my and Bob’s age that happens. Speaking of age, I think it’s time for all ‘baby-boomers’ to no longer sit in office. Give the roles to younger minds more in touch with current reality. Our monthly dais looks like a bingo row at a nursing home.

The Ordinance requires a homeowner to appoint a “Representative” to do what -- the Ordinance doesn’t say, but I suppose to interface with renters and our Chief of Code Police/staff.

Reasons Why a Person Would Agree to be a Renter’s Ordinance Representative:
1. You are on daily doses of Thorazine.
2. You think Monty Python and his Silly Walk bureaucrats (? our Administration’s model) was a serious British drama.
3. You are willing to be sued by disgruntled renters for Invasion of Privacy.
4. You want to get a neat badge as an auxiliary “noise control officer”.
5. – 10 more, but you get the idea.

Seriously, any person asked to be a rented house Representative should require:
1. A salary of $1000 per week (risk and hassle pay).
2. A contract whereby the lessor hiring you agrees to fully indemnity you and hold you harmless for any legal liability and legal fees and expenses incurred as a result of performing your role.
3. A contract which permits you the right to enter the rental property including bedrooms anytime of the day or night. This provision should also be duplicated in the lease signed by the renters.
4. Clarify how/when your home address or phone numbers disclosed to the Village may be used (I suspect the Code Police will be calling these Reps ad nauseam.)
5. Confirm with your insurance company if your umbrella policy will still cover you if you are deemed to be acting in a municipal role (I suspect NOT).
6. – 10 get the idea ?

The Ordinance requires these Reps to be within 4 miles of Village Hall. Our bloody ambulances are farther away! How much help does the Code Police force need to do their job?

I (and I bet most trustees) have not read the entire what 30-ish pages of this Ordinance, but I was told it DOES NOT contain a NOISE CONTROL provision. Could that be true after more than 2.5 years of dealing with Bob’s rent control idea? If it is true, don’t pay the law firm drafting it. Also, summaries of the Ordinance excludes nieces, nephews and domestic partners as “immediate family”, so your sister’s kids cannot come, nor your son or daughter’s mate with whom they may be living for years. Send those brats and hussy to a motel, says our spanking new Bellport law. Please, you cannot make this narrow-mindedness up by yourself; it comes from Monty Python and his Board. Hence, again my call for these old baby-boomers to resign and “go fishing”.

In the meantime, two weeks we had the 4th horrible collision on SoCoRd by the golf course and So. Howells Point in five years. 2.5 agonizing years messing on Bob’s anti-renter’s law. Zilch on in town speeding. Good Job Boys; you sure are earning your salaries.

Will Struyk
Bellport, NY

 


 

Editor's Note: Click here for the Editorial referred to in the letter below.

March 6, 2018

Re: Editorial on the South Country Ambulance Building, 20 December 2017

You made the following claims in your article,

1) A small group opposed to the new building caused the project to be delayed for two years.
2) The original project was re-evaluated and scaled down.
3) The re-evaluation contributed to the delay.
4) The cost of the project increased because of delays.

None of this is true.

1) There is no evidence that a "small group" in any way hindered the Town from proceeding with this project. Time was spent evaluating potential locations and acquiring the land. There was never any court-ordered stay against the project.

2) The Town Board approved the original project in October 2015, based on plans presented by Mr. Miglino in June of that year. According to the plans, which were presented in Power Point and with no dimensions, the building would occupy 26,000 sq ft. Before voting on the bond issue in October, the Board produced a "Feasibility Study" (with NO drawings of the new building) to support the need for an increase to 29,000 sq ft.

As far as one can tell, the plans from 2015 are identical to the plans released for bid in 2017. The building will have a First Floor, Mezzanine, and Second Floor totaling 26,000 sq ft. The same as Mr. Miglino's original. This does not include the 3,900 sq ft basement or the 4,400 sq ft attic! (Fun fact, you could fit the current Mastic Beach Ambulance Headquarters in the attic of this place.) This project was never "scaled down".

3) The "delay" to be considered is the time between the two cost estimates, the first in October 2015 and the second in November of 2017. The project was not re-evaluated after October 2015, so re-evaluation did not contribute to the delay.

4) In June 2015, the architect estimated he could build the 26,000 sq ft building for $400/sq ft. The cost increase of 20% approved in 2017 implies a new, inflated rate of around $480/sq ft. Construction for a new Mastic Beach Ambulance Building began in September 2017. That building is going to cost $390/sq ft, not $480. At the Board Meeting in December 2017, the architect admitted he recently built a fire station for $380/sq ft. What's going on here?

At the December Meeting, Supervisor Romaine announced that the Mayor of Bellport and a Village Trustee would be speaking in support of the new building. That didn't happen. Instead, the attorney for the ambulance company read a message from Mr. Trotta. He tells the same tale that Mr. Miglino and Mr. Romaine have been telling for close to three years, i.e. that the ambulance taxes we pay now are low, and that the new building is going to cost "pennies per day". Let's be clear. The South Country Ambulance District's annual assessment of $1.7 million is the highest of any of the nine ambulance districts in Brookhaven. It looks like our assessment is going to go up to $2.6 million, a 56% increase which is going to be on our backs for the next 20 years. Should we live that long.

Kim Woodle
Bellport Village