We thank you for attending the annual meeting and sharing your thoughts and concerns. In addition to our annual reports the meeting provided opportunities for open dialogue between community members.
Many of you may have heard statements criticizing the New Suffolk Civic Association’s (NSCA) involvement in serious issues concerning the wellbeing of our Community. We have been criticized by some for expressing our position on different issues; therefore it is time to remind each other what is the real function of a NSCA?
In order to clarify the mission of the NSCA, we need to revisit our purpose as stated in our by-laws.
- to protect, conserve and, if possible improve the rural atmosphere and unique beauty of this village
- to protect, maintain and promote the property values situated within its boundaries
- to secure the maximum amount of public services from the state, county and town agencies for the village and it's residents
- to stimulate the public interest in civic affairs and to encourage and sponsor such social activities for the members of the association as in the judgement of the Board of Directors may tend to advance the purpose of the association.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Initially the NSCA was in support of the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund’s (NSWF) project as demonstrated by a $2,500 contribution from Italian Night in September of 2012. Dozens of NSCA members, residents, families and friends volunteered time, effort and considerable financial support to aid the mission of the NSWF.
At that time, the NSWF leadership professed their desire to conserve and protect the land of the downtown area with minimal commercial development. The NSCA began to seriously question the NSWF’s intent when their subsequent request for approval of a 66 seats restaurant was granted by Southold Town and the County Health Department.
It was clear that our hamlet and rural environment would be compromised by additional septic systems, water quality, parking, traffic, noise and litter.
The community was then made aware of the NSWF's plan to sponsor special private outdoor tented events at their property on First Street and downtown area in order to financially maintain their goal. In addition to the community’s clear desire not to have a destination restaurant, there was also a strong resistance to private outdoors events. As per NSWF newsletter dated fall 2014, they stated outdoor private events were not needed to cover yearly operating expenses. The question of transparency of the NSWF, which had been troublesome in the past, once again rose to the surface.
The Town Supervisor quoted in Southold local dated November 5, 2014, these large destination events lead to concerns related to parking “This has gone beyond the scope of what we locally envision, it’s become an industry, and it’s problematic. "
NEW SUFFOLK CIVIC ASSOCIATION LOOKS FOR ANSWERS
In order to develop a better understanding of the community's thoughts the NSCA developed a survey which was distributed to all New Suffolk residents, businesses and property owners. The survey had a large response with clear preferences.
These results were OPENLY shared with the community at a public meeting on September 13, 2014. Based on the strong community opinion the NSCA could not in good conscience support the NSWF and its project.
Once again, looking at our purpose statement, the NSCA continues to protect and support our hamlet in a variety of ways. Proceeds from annual events, such as yard sale, bake sale, community table have been donated to the school via New Suffolk Enrichment Fund for the past three years, including this year. 2013, 2014 have been earmarked the playground. The same thing will be done with this year’s donation.
Beyond the school playground repair and replacement, the NSCA efforts include:
- Contributions have been made to the school enrichment fund to support educational opportunities for our students.
- Donated ice cream coupons to all students for opening day of the New Suffolk School.
- Donated books to all students at the New Suffolk School for a Halloween celebration.
- Provided a science/horticultural experience to all students through a local field trip to plant hydrangea seedlings.
- Presented gifts and citations to graduating students of the school.
- Supported pancake breakfasts throughout the years.
- Involved the students in our annual spring clean-up.
- Promoted New Suffolk school activities such as Mother’s day plant sales and book sales.
- Continued previously established community activities such as spring cleanup, annual social events (winter pot-luck, 4th of July parade, summer and winter gatherings).
- Presented the annual New Suffolk Spirit Award and recognized our new Post Office employee with letter of commendation to the USPS.
- Received permission from the New Suffolk School Board to refurbish the baseball field at no cost to the school district or New Suffolk tax payers.
- Contributed to the Friendship Walk at the Cutchogue-New Suffolk by purchasing a brick in the name of New Suffolk.
- Continued to keep lines of communication open between community members and the civic association through surveys, meetings, newsletters and the development of on line accessibility to the NSCA website.
The North Fork is undergoing serious changes, some are good, some are questionable, Civic Associations throughout the North Fork are involved in similar issues, and we must remain vigilant.
The NSCA has never wavered in its mission or purpose. Its financial transparency is clear. With all due respect, the NSCA is and will continue to work in the best interest of our residents, families, friends and visitors.
It is our sincere hope to come to some kind of productive, constructive understanding so we can begin to open a true communication between everyone concerned.
At the Southold Town meeting of June 30, 2015 the town board rejected any idea of the waterfront using the public beach parking lot for their events stating, “The waterfront has a site plan that includes parking and should not host events that exceed their parking capacity”.
THE ABOVE LETTER HAS BEEN COMPOSED AND SUPPORTED BY THE PRESENT OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS OF THE NSCA. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR TIME AND INTEREST IN KEEPING OUR CHERISHED COMMUNITY A PRIORITY.