The S.C.A.A. has invited the candidates for Village office to submit statements concerning their candidacies.
The S.C.A.A. does not support or oppose any candidate.
The content of this statement has not been edited except as necessary to post it on the Internet.

 


 

 

Frank Markus

 

 

 

Fellow Saltairians,

Two years ago, you elected me to the Board of Trustees. I am running for reelection based on my record. This letter is a report on my two years in office.

In short: I had successes and a few frustrations, I learned a lot and I never quit.

In my first year, I was appointed finance trustee. My most important contribution in that role was forcefully to bring to the Board's attention the reality that Saltaire - without federal assistance -- will have to pay to rebuild our dunes. I suggested that we start funding the cost of the project immediately in order to moderate the impact on taxes when our dunes fail. It was not good news, but it was better than just waiting and reacting. Happily, the Board listened and has acted.

I proposed three laws that were adopted. Two concerned fire safety and the third, creating space for wagons on the dock and for chairs in the sheds.

This past year, I was put in charge of recreation and health. I cannot take credit for Saltaire's wonderful camp program. But I did involve myself actively and I am confident that the camp will be better than ever this year.

Combining my interests in finance and recreation, I pushed to raise money from those who could afford to have large boats and swimming pools with the intention of keeping down the charges for the camp. I also proposed raising the camp charges for children from neighboring communities. The logic was simple: Saltaire taxpayers should not subsidize the higher rents and house prices in other communities generated by their access to our camp.

I also lost a few. I proposed a more restrictive building height law than found favor with the Board. Neither my initial proposal nor my suggested compromise was adopted. In the future some houses in Saltaire will be taller than I consider desirable. Time will tell if I was right.

I should add that I am grateful to Frank Wolf for his efforts to moderate the more extreme proposals in this area and to craft the compromise that was finally adopted. Frank has not asked me to urge his reelection but I will vote for him and I suggest that he has earned your vote as well.

What of the next two years?

We will have to fund dune reconstruction, our new dock, a new pumper for the Fire Company and re-bulkheading the parking lot. Taxes have had to go up but less, I hope, than if I had not proposed action while we still had time to structure our response.

Last fall, the Board used a termination provision in the current ferry/parking contract in order to negotiate better terms - mainly concerning the Saltaire parking lot - for the Village. We must ensure that the contract is fair to us but I see no real alternative to Fire Island Ferries. These are the reasons:

  • Saltaire alone cannot support an efficient off-season ferry service.

  • Saltaire is too small for an efficient independent freight operation.

  • Saltaire residents must have access to the main terminal parking lot. Many residents of the East End use it year round because they use the Fair Harbor ferry and all Saltaire residents use it in the off-season.

  • Spare boats are required for maintenance and emergencies.

  • If we try to go it alone and fail, I am certain that we would find it impossible to negotiate a contract with FIF that is as favorable to the Village as that we have now.

 

Financially, Saltaire is generally in very good shape. The tax increase was less than it might have been and taxes should remain stable for many years.

The recreation program will remain a source of pride (and joy) to Saltaire. We have a great camp and great lifeguards. This will not change.

I take pride in the successes that the Village has enjoyed in the past two years. With the benefit of my experience on the Board I expect to be even more effective in the future than I was in my first term. Realistically, I will not win every time. But this I promise: I will keep listening, keep working hard and I will not quit.

I am asking for your vote. I hope that I have earned it.


 

 

Copyright ©1998-2002 Frank Markus
Last Revised: 4/30/2002