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.

 


 

 

NOEL FEUSTEL
208 Navy Walk
Saltaire, NY

 

A very important choice awaits you, the Saltaire voter, this Friday, May 24th.

You can say:

  YES! - To the 21.4% increase in your Village tax bill.
     
  YES! -
  
To the imposition of a 2 1/2% Real Estate transfer tax (A $400,000 house sale would require a $10,000 "farewell check to the Village)
     
  YES! -
 

To the proposed $2 million + reconfiguration/renovation of the Main Dock, proposed West Freight Dock, Bayfront area groin, and Marina reconstruction project in BayShore
     
  YES! - To a reassessment of all property in the Village
     
  YES! -
 
To a continuation of the non-enforcement of existing(and proposed) vehicle regulations within the Village.

 

A Candidates Forum was held by the SCAA this past Sunday in the Village Hall. The incumbent Mayor and two incumbent trustees PROUDLY stated they are in favor of he first four propositions. As for vehicular traffic - you be the judge. Any objective resident knows that the situation is completely out of control and the incumbent board basically acknowledges that they are powerless to control it. Our unique "roadless" paradise is becoming what Robert Moses envisioned - Fire Island, an extension of the mainland.

YOU, THE VOTER, CAN POINT THE VILLAGE IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION ON ELECTION DAY BY VOTING FOR THE CHALLENGERS AND EXERCISING YOUR "WRITE-IN" OPTION AS A WAY OF EXPRESSING A "NO-CONFIDENCE" VOTE FOR THE INCUMBENT.

Thirty years ago I ran a colorful but losing campaign for Trustee(I did win once in '87 however.) My campaign slogan, with the late Cay Gibson, was "Keep Fire Island an Island." The vehicle issue is the #1 safety concern facing Saltaire. Last June, my then three year old daughter, Caroline, was almost struck by a speeding Verizon truck on Lighthouse Promenade. I pledge to do everything in my power as a trustee, to empower security with the proper authority to crack down on vehicular and permit abuse. The incumbent board is aware of the Villages"enforcement" problem yet they chose to ignore it. My first suggestion as trustee would be to institute legal action against the National Seashore for non-enforcement of the existing vehicular regulations. I am a member of the environmental group "Bluewater Network," which has expressed interest in joining such an action.

Pocketbook issues are constantly at the top of voter concern be it a local, state or national election. My intention, if elected, is to spend tax dollars as prudently and frugally as possible. The proposed spending proposals for the Saltaire and BayShore docks, beach renourishment, and other capital projects should be put up for public referendum. Do NOT believe that current spending proposals and the consequent tax increase are the end of our financial problems.

Saltaire has always been a wonderful escape from reality. Unfortunately, the Village, that we all love, is faced with crucial financial decisions. The infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate to the point that all the bills for this neglect are coming due at the same time. These crucial maintenance and consequential financial decisions remind me of a wonderful gentleman and Mayor form my childhood, John Ludlow. His annual letter from almost fifty years ago always stated, "We do not provide luxuries amoung out public works, but we have built upon a solid economy." How times change! Cedar shake siding and new windows for the Village Hall(estimated expense $10,000) hardly meet my definition of "solid economy."

The frivolous way that money is spent in Saltaire can be viewed at the "free" Village nursery on Pacific Walk. The "free bayberry bush seedlings are not in fact cost free to you the taxpayer. Calculate the village funds spent on fencing, irrigation, stump removal, weeding by Village maintenance workers), and freight and your "free" bayberry seedlings become quite costly! Then you have to worry will your "free" seedlings die from transplant shock? What next, a collective farm to grow poison ivy?

In reference to the bayfront big ticket items - if elected, I'll favor the restoration of the current dock configuration. It is recognized as the best dock design on the Island and has served the Village well for over seventy five years. Why "fix" what isn't broken? I will support the development of a larger and safer bayfront swimming area. By enlarging and shifting those camp activities now done on the main dock you eliminate the current boards "red herring" issue of pedestrian(and camper) safety on the east dock. During my term as Trustee in the late eighties I was the driving force who succeeded in removing sixty feet of bulkhead to the east of the swim area which created the wide bay beach we all enjoy today.

My ideas are practical as well as cost effective. My plans for the reconfiguration of the BayShore parking lot will add some sixty parking spaces rather than the incumbent boards plan to accept the engineering report which would result in the loss of thirty parking spaces. Anyone that reads the Cashin report will note that the proposed installation of a five foot wide pedestrian walkway at the edge of the bulkhead will result in the consequent loss of at least thirty parking spaces when we are currently suffering from a parking shortage in the lot!

The Village is headed for trouble on the ferry and freight contracts. You do NOT, as one of the incumbent members stated in his letter, tip your hand to you adversary by telling them that you are negotiating from a point of weakness with NO backup! Fire Island Ferries knows this, knows there is not the proper lead time to negotiate and contract with a possible replacement ferry service and WILL take advantage of this weakness.

Time is running out. We have ignored the infrastructure of the Village for too long and are now forced to face major financial issues all at once. This is an important election. It will set the tone for the financial future of the Village.

Saltaire has been the focal point of my life. This is now the fourth generation to enjoy this wonderful place. I have chosen to undertake the responsibilities of again being a trustee, if you chose to elect me, out of a sense that I "pay back" to the Village, the debt that I owe it, for being my family's "refuge from reality" for close to fifty years.

My promise to you the voter, is that if elected, I will be a responsive, approachable, "down to earth" trustee that will listen to the concerns of ALL the residents of the Village. Enjoy your summer in the sun!

 

Copyright ©1998-2002 Frank Markus
Last Revised: 05/22/2002