Editorial: Let’s hear from the public on for-profit races

05/16/2013 10:00 AM |

GLEN GOLDSTEIN COURTESY PHOTO | For-profit events such as the North Fork Century ride (pictured) are no longer allowed in Southold Town.

Should for-profit races be held on local roads in Southold Town?

That’s a question the Town Board asked — and answered — during the same meeting last week at which they banned such events.

It’s a fair decision in a community constantly struggling to maintain its rural character as more and more people flock here each year.

We don’t have a large enough police force to meet the demand of securing the growing number of events during the busy summer season. And as we become a more health-conscious society and races like the Survival Race held earlier this month in Riverhead grow in size, the need to control the number of events held here will only become more pressing.

Eliminating for-profit races seems like a logical place to start.

We do, however, take some exception with the way the board handled this particular policy change.

It was only after the measure was approved that the town said it plans to open the floor to public comment “in the coming weeks.”

“We can always amend the law,” board member William Ruland said, leaving open the possibility of making future changes.

But shouldn’t policy amendments be fully vetted with the public before being approved?

We hope the town doesn’t make a habit of passing legislation first and seeking public input later.