MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
As the new president of SCVOA, I look forward to continuing the important work of providing a unified voice of advocacy and information for the villages of Suffolk County. One of our primary missions for the coming year is to increase participation of village officials in SCVOA and to reach out as much as possible to the villages so we can better serve you and your constituents.
I would like to extend a heartfelt welcome and thank you to the new members of our Executive Board:
Mayor Allan M. Dorman, Islandia
2nd Vice President
Mayor Richard Smith, Nissequogue
We're very fortunate that these outstanding mayors have joined with us to meet the challenges ahead.
SCVOA is about you! We need your valuable feedback and suggestions to advance our lobbying efforts and information sharing initiatives. Please stay in touch with us and let us know what's on your mind. Educate us and make us more aware of what we can do for you.
I look forward to a productive year that will expand our efforts to meet your needs.
Peter T. Imbert
Suffolk County Village Officials Association
Peter A. Bee, Esq.
With all the talk at the State level about the need for local governments like villages to "learn to consolidate," citizens can easily be misled about how difficult "consolidation" is, versus what is already going on in "cooperation."
Consolidation is a technical legal term that can enmesh two local governments in protracted analyses of different tax bases paying for arguably duplicative capital equipment with differing original cost bases and differing remaining lives (e.g., try "consolidating" two sanitation districts into one, each original with buildings and equipment acquired at different times and with differing quality of construction, and being paid off by different groups of taxpayers at different rates of interest!). Cooperation can be targeted at specific property, equipment and/or services (rather than everything an entity owns and does), and can be accomplished through a simple contract between two local governments.
Article 5-G of the NYS General Municipal Law provides for "Municipal Cooperation." It recites a state intention to facilitate municipal cooperation in the sharing of certain equipment and services. Villages are included in the definition of "municipal corporations," and permission is given for the "joint provision of any municipal facility, service, activity, project or undertaking" where each of the cooperating municipal corporations has the legal power to conduct such service individually. For example, if two villages individually have the power to clean streets, then the two villages may contract together to clean each other's streets. This allows for the two villages to agree in advance on which services will be shared, and at what cost (thus automatically allocating to each village's tax base its contractually agreed upon share).
Many villages are already cooperating to jointly provide specific public services, and doing so without the need for the recently well-publicized but poorly understood "dissolution and/or consolidation."
Perhaps a conversation with your geographically adjoining mayors would be in order. Can you combine purchasing power to buy (and share) equipment? Can police be "rented" from a neighboring village (instead of solely rely on the County), thereby saving you the cost of creating your own department, and simultaneously saving some of your neighboring village's police costs? Street cleaning? This author suspects you are already sharing a myriad of services, and you may wish to better publicize what you are already doing (or may in the future do) in this area.
Founded in 1665 by Richard Smith and his family, Nissequogue is located on the site of the original settlement of the Town of Smithtown. The village is beautifully situated on the west by the Nissequogue River, on the east by Stony Brook Harbor, on the north by Long Island Sound, and on the south by the village of Head of the Harbor and the Town of Smithtown.
This tight-knit community was incorporated in 1926 by area residents, many of whom were descendants of Richard Smith, still living on the original lands more than 250 years after it was first settled. These residents were committed to preserving the rural character of the area, its historic significance, and its unique environment, as they are to this day. To help achieve this goal, the village has always been, with few exceptions, exclusively residential, as it contains no commercial or industrial properties. In addition, development is limited to two-acre minimum lot sizes.
Nissequogue's unique environment is home to a variety of natural settings, such as Delafield Woods, Butler Huntington Woods, the David Weld Nature Conservancy, Short Beach, and Stony Brook Harbor. Among the varied species of birds and woodland animals found here are herons, egrets, ducks, ospreys, Canada geese, owls, red tail hawks, red fox, raccoon, opossum, cottontail, and deer.
|Did You Know...?
Rich in history, Nissequogue is proud of the numerous historic houses that edge the Harbor. Many of these houses have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Stony Brook Harbor National Register District. An impressive fifty houses in the village are currently on register in Albany as either approved or potential historic sites.
Take a look at the complete applications and photographs of these homes at the Nissequogue Village Hall, the Smithtown Historical Society, and the Smithtown Library.
SCVOA Executive Board
Peter T. Imbert
1st Vice President
Ralph A. Scordino
2nd Vice President
Allan M. Dorman
Richard B. Smith
Immediate Past President
Timothy M. Hogue
Mayor, Dering Harbor
Paul Pontieri, Jr.
Paul Rickenbach, Jr.
Mayor, East Hampton
Hon. Paul J. Tonna
Former Suffolk County Presiding Officer
Hon. Peter A. Bee, Esq.
SCVOA On the Move:
Village Focus Groups
SCVOA recently hosted three focus groups for village mayors, organized regionally throughout SuffolkCounty (Holbrook, Melville, and Westhampton Beach). The discussions were very productive and provided valuable feedback and insights for everyone who attended.
Major issues of concern included the 2% property tax cap, rising pension and healthcare costs, and village police contracts. Many people expressed frustration with unfunded state mandates,
capital projects that are subjected to the 2% tax cap, and Governor Cuomo's push for consolidation among special districts, villages, and small municipalities.
On the SCVOA front, we updated attendees on our continuing efforts to inform, educate, and advocate for our 33 villages, including plans to update and expand the SCVOA Web site to a state-of-the-art, comprehensive
communications platform. In addition, we shared advice on state audits for those villages undergoing the process, and we
discussed the lever voting machine issue. We also shared our thoughts on the importance of regular information sharing on topics such as proposed local laws and solving village-specific problems.
Our second annual series of focus groups was a great success and we look forward to your continued feedback. Look for our email updates on the progress of our outreach efforts and upcoming events.
Reminder: Our popular Zoning and Planning Training is being offered again on October 17 at Hotel Indigo in Riverhead. Contact us at 516.643.9023 if you haven't received your invitation or if you have any questions.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
SCVOA Executive Board Meetings
1st Wednesday of
All are welcome!
Long Island Regional Planning Council Meetings
1st Tuesday of every month
FALL ZONING & PLANNING
5:30 - 9:30
For more information
Email or call
What's happening in your village?
Let us know!
SCVOA's mission is to inform, support, and advocate on behalf of the 33 villages of Suffolk County. The Executive Board of SCVOA works tirelessly in its commitment to create a strong, effective, cohesive organization that promotes an exchange of ideas and strategies that enable village government to faithfully serve the more than 125,000 Suffolk County village residents.