No. 6 Story of the Year: School bonds passed in Greenport, voted down in Southold

12/27/2010 8:03 AM |


In Charles Dickens’ words, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times,” for local officials who asked voters to approve bonds to fund public projects in 2010.

In October, Southold taxpayers turned thumbs down on a proposal to bond up to $6 million to pay for a $7.1 million addition to their library. The balance was to come from contributions. Voters said no by a vote of 582-402 and it was back to the drawing board for the library, according to its director Caroline MacArthur.

But then Greenporters in December delivered an early Christmas present, voting resoundingly in favor of two bonds — one for $7.48 million for major repairs to the 1938 school building and the other for a $1.27 million green energy initiative. It will include a 50 kilowatt solar system on the school roof and a 250 kilowatt wind turbine on the northwestern edge of the ball field. The vote was 371-55 in favor of the building bond and 332-90 in favor of the green energy bond.

In Southold, the library’s board of directors had put building expansion plans on the back burner for more than two years because of the recession. But this year, the board hoped that, with some early signs of an economic turnaround, it might move forward. No sooner was a vote announced to approve a $7.1 million bond than critics said the library was big enough and it was not the right time to hit taxpayers with an estimated $18 per $1,000 of assessed valuation increase in their taxes. Ultimately, it proved to be more than most Southold voters could swallow.

In Greenport the bond wasn’t for expansion, but critical repairs, including replacement of a 38-year-old boiler and a new roof. Superintendent Michael Comanda succeeded easily in selling what he called a “no fluff” bond to the community.

School Board members, fearing too many voters would object to the green energy project, broke it out from what had originally been a single bond of $8.75 million. But taxpayers said yes to both initiatives, drawing a big sigh of relief from Mr. Comanda and board members.



28 Comment

  • They really should be putting one up by North Country Rd and 25 talk about a dangerous intersection. People are running lights there allthe time.

  • I did not know they record video! I am in favor of anything that makes our roads safer. I hope it reduces the number of accidents.

  • OH please safety. You would think Rocky Point would be HONEST!


    Most RLV crashes are plus 5 seconds into red (many have secondary themes like DUI, fleeing police, not paying attention, medical/mechanical THAT A RLC WILL NOT STOP!).

    But what RLC really cite for are technical fouls like making a right turn on red or stopping just over the stop line!

    Nevermind the fact that most straight thrus are under a second and LONGER AMBERS WOULD STOP THAT!


    Ban the CAMS!

  • The money for this installation would be better used to improve the signals. Presently there is no red light for drivers turning west on to 25a, the arrow changes to a green light. This certainly leads to crashes between vehicles turning west onto 25a in front of vehicles traveling south on Rocky Point Rd.

  • Just another way to get more $. How about improve light traffic, and roads. Have police sit by dangerous intersections. I live in area and NEVER see any police in area, except in parking lot of Majestic Gardens. Unfortunately they cant see anything from back part of lot. The # of drivers has increased , and the infastructure of our roads have not.

  • its a money scam they make the yellow shorter and colect $50 a pop pay or pay
    pay ticket $ 50 fight ticket and win pay $50 court fee
    if they wanted to be honest all yellow lights should be the same +1 second grace to be fair

  • Coming home from friendlys I got one oops, but the yellow to red seems to be really fast now. I will have to pay but they need to do something for weather issues.

  • Ok, let’s see now, this interection has many of our High School teens crossing when school releases. I stopped one of “Suffolk’s Finest” and carried on a discussion regarding this intersection. I was told that many police officers have put in suggestions that a “Crossing Guard” be there during those dangerous times. In their words, “it is necessary.” That’s up to the Board of Education – School District.”

    Ha! Reminds me of a kid’s joke: “What human is strong enough to stop a speeding car?”

    Nope, not Superman

    The answer: A cop!

    Any driver that blows through this light gets a $50 fine. That’s all. According to recent published statistics for Nassau County, there is a sizeable number of those drivers that DO IT AGAIN and, still, although fewer with a 3rd offense and 4th!

    GEEZE! For a total of $200 in fines, they get 4 chances at hitting someone! Let’s see now, like target practice? Odds? Cest of 4 attempts?

    Now, let’s think “out of the box” for a minute….

    Park in any of the parking lots at the intersection. Observe and count. I have. During any 1 he time frame, you’ll see no less that 6 police cars cross the intersection on regular patrol. It’s not a big deal or ANY EXTRA cost to taxpayers to assign a detail to one of those during the scholl release hours.

    How much are these cameras?

    Spread sheet analysis:

    1. a: Cost of camera, installation, monitoring, less “tickets for profit”
    b: Total benefit to safety, how many drivers get points and could lose license: NONE

    2. a: Cost of police at intersection during school release and rush hr: NONE
    b: Total benefit to safety, how many drivers get points and could lose license: 100% of VIOLATORS
    c: BONUS!!!!!! Convictions generate a higher revenue, much higher fines with surcharges!

    The choice we have with red light cameras vs proper observation and strong humans that can stop cars is:

    Police officers are in place to PRVENT ACCIDENTS for strategic times, usually 1 hr slots.

    Police officers dispatched to accident scenes with an array of emergency response vehicles for hours to process and accident or worse yet, bodily injury to pedestrians or passengers of victim vehicles.

    Add to that, property damage, injury losses, lawsuits and higher insurance rates to all.

    I am convinced that there’s TWO, not one LOBBY for cameras:

    1: Selling millions of dollars of equipment, monitoring and processing.
    2: Millions of dollars in Government INCOME.

  • “The intersection, which is listed in Brookhaven Town’s Route 25A Corridor Study as one of the most dangerous intersections along the north shore’s major artery, is the first red light camera location on Route 25A in SunLand.”

    Ok, where are the signs that say:

    “CAUTION! Appoaching Dangerous Intersection”

    Is this some sort of “denial” or is it about spending $18.5 million for the 25A Corridor Study?

    Is this “blind negligence” or “head in the sand” approach being used to allow for “supporting statistics” to start compiling? If so… that would be pretty “sick” wouldn’t it…

    Just a few hundred dollars each, these could be up today (one time cost!) …. and could save lives!

  • I’m really lovin these red light catchers. Now all we need to do is get those law breakers on “Stop” signs.