The Village News: Editorials

February 15, 2015

January 2015 Bellport Village Board Meeting Held on February 9, 2015


EditorialBecause of the bad weather in January, the January 2015 Bellport Village Board Meeting was held on February 9, 2015. Some very important issues regarding very large sums of money were discussed and voted on by the Village Board. The following are some of the points covered, in the order they came up, that I thought you would be interested in learning more about.

Please click here for a copy of the Village Board Meeting Agenda.

The meeting opened with a “Public Hearing on Property Maintenance of Vacant Homes.” There were no comments from the public so that Board voted to change the Village Code to allow the Village to do any necessary maintenance and then bill the property owner.

Open to Public: An update on the downtown business committee’s meetings. Please click here to read my Editorial and comments regarding this item.

Funding for Ho Hum Beach and the new Gazebo: The Board voted to go ahead with a “BAN,” in the amount of $650,000, for the work at Ho Hum beach. Click here for a copy of the Legal Notice the Village published regarding the Board’s actions.

I took this Legal Notice to a respected attorney in town, who is now retired, and asked him what it all meant. He told me should hold a contest giving a free cup of coffee to the first person who could explain, in ordinary language that we’d all understand, what the Legal Notice meant. There seems to be a 20 day period that limits some kind of action, but damned if I know what it is. So, there’s your challenge. Let us know what the Legal Notice means and there’s a free cup of coffee at the Bistro waiting for you!

Next, regarding the Golf Course, Mayor Fell was very clear at the meeting. He wanted to replace the Union Workers at the golf course with an outside Private Company to do the greens maintenance, and he did. It seems the Village was able to find other positions in the Village for all but one of the golf course workers. Unfortunately, that person lost his job and being that the house he lived in belonged to the Village, he lost his home too.

Now, there are several strange things about all of this. First, the Mayor has been denying for some time that he has been in discussions regarding privatizing the golf course operation. At this meeting he admitted that he has been having discussions regarding privatization and we can only assume that this is simply the first step in that direction. Time will tell.

We’re talking about an $825,000 contract for this Private Company. Thank goodness it’s only for one year. The Legal Notice regarding the Village’s search for a Private Company to do this work was published on Thursday, January 29, 2015 and it called for the bid to be opened five days later, on February 3, 2015. That’s right... only five days between the publishing of the Legal Notice and a company having to have an $825,000+ bid together if they wanted to participate. Does it sound to you like Village Hall already knew who the bid was going to go to? Does it sound like a lot of negotiating had already gone on? Do you think any other company really had a chance of winning the bid? Is this REALLY competitive bidding?

A single Voter Registration Day was set for Saturday, June 6, 2015 and Election Day was set for Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

Open to Public: Only one question was asked in the second Open To The Public portion of the meeting. A resident wanted to know why the “Under Construction” signs were still up on South Country Road at the east end of the Village. The Village Board said they would look into it.

The meeting ended 47 minutes after it began and the Village Board went into Executive Session.



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Larry Sribnick

Larry Sribnick