What Do You Think Are The Biggest Issues In Southold Town?

WIth Southold Scott Russell giving his state of the town address Tuesday at 7 p.m., Patch wants to know what issues you believe are most critical.

With Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell is poised to give his fourth annual State of the Town address on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room, what issues do you think are most critical to the own?

Meant to inform the public and staff about the town's accomplishments in 2012, as well as goals for 2013, highlights of the address will include a discussion of the impact of Superstorm Sandy, the town’s fiscal status and implications of governing within the two percent tax cap, legislative updates, environmental and planning initiatives and planned future efforts to foster greater community discussion and representation, according to the supervisor.  

Written reports from town departments will also be discussed and distributed, Russell said.

“I am very pleased to share with residents our many accomplishments as well as the challenges that lie ahead," the supervisor said.

What do you think are the biggest issues and challenges facing Southold Town? Tell us in the comments section.


LuciR March 05, 2013 at 07:04 PM
The inequality in property taxes. Many of the homes on the water are paying way below the amount they should be. Town needs to do a town wide revaluation of all the properties. My newer ranch on a typical street shout NOT be paying more taxes than a waterfront house worth much more.
JollyRog March 05, 2013 at 08:12 PM
@LuciR: I suppose you should be in charge of making sure everyone's taxes are "fair" so long as yours are lower? Nassau county went to a "Fair Market Valuation" assessment system and it just resulted in higher taxes for everyone across the board. My brother pays nearly $15k/year for a 1950s split on a tree lined street on a 60x100 lot with suburban sprawl left, right and center. You want those kinds of taxes? My family has lived on the water in Southold for 40 years and my taxes are high enough, thank you. How does my home's location or value impact the number of services I use from the town in any meaningful way? It doesn't. I know you probably want to dip your hands into the pockets of the seasonal homeowners, but the seasonal folks pay taxes and use even fewer services. Plus they keep businesses like mine viable on The North Fork. Have you looked at the beautiful schools built in the Town of Southold over the past 40 years? Do you think they would be built, staffed, and maintained if seasonal home owners actually used the services they are paying for? If you think your property taxes are too high and you have a case, file a tax certiorari petition and have them reduced. It won't cost you a nickel to try. In the meantime, enjoy the excellent schools, low crime, paved roads, and beautiful environment. Just keep your hands out of my wallet, I'm doing everything I can to get by too.
JollyRog March 05, 2013 at 09:40 PM
1. DUI/DWI -- Still too many drunk drivers on the road. We went from 28 Summer DWIs in 2011 to 42 in the summer of 2012. We need to keep enforcement up, but we can't arrest our way out of this deadly problem. Can we come up with a solution to stop folks who have have been drinking from driving home? Can we work towards a public/private partnership with the Vineyards, Restaurants and Bars to establish a safe ride program? I fear for my kids and grandkids lives, especially during the summer months. 2. Get a comprehensive _REGIONAL_ Waste/Sanitation plan together, already. The yellow bag solution worked well in the past, but is no longer the best way to handle our sanitation needs. Plus it's costing our tax payer dollars to fight legal challenges. Let's get a solution for the next 20 years in place. 3. Tighten the codes and regulations regarding cesspools and septic systems. Our most valuable asset is the environment. Polluted water kills marine life, the fishing industry, and our economy. The recent algae blooms are proof that we need to do more.
Jim March 05, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Sure hope he at least mentions the little girl who is missing and re-assures us they are doing everything thye can!
LuciR March 05, 2013 at 11:14 PM
Taxes will be fair when they are directly related to the market value of the property ..all property. I would guess your brother's school taxes are a large addition to his tax bill. Also Nassau provides some services we don't get. No one is suggesting that the value of your home impacts the number of services you use. That is not the basis of how taxes are determined. There is no correlation between service usage and property taxes. I have no children yet have paid school taxes for many, many years. It sounds like you want to give tax incentives to seasonal home owners. That's not how our system is designed.
Tom March 06, 2013 at 04:10 AM
Taxes, Taxes, and then Taxes, in that order. If this man can restrict or prevent the expansion of government and the expansion of government payroll then he will have my vote for as long as he wants. That, and some decent code enforcement would be nice... but I hear that is in the works, so I am more than satisfied.
Alex March 06, 2013 at 11:21 AM
I am a seasonal resident and its by the water and no sense to raise my taxes. I do not use the services the town provides such as public schools etc, basically I am an asset to the community.
brian hansen March 06, 2013 at 12:59 PM
we need to build a ymca so people can have something to do besides drink and drug its long overdue
brian hansen March 06, 2013 at 01:03 PM
brian hansen March 06, 2013 at 01:07 PM
brett hamilton March 06, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Noise codes for the illegal catering halls calling themselves. Vineyard's playing music and yelling crowd's till midnight every weekend to be enforced
Ashley Loreto March 06, 2013 at 01:51 PM
i think a YMCA or a town facility is an EXCELLENT idea!
Ellen Wexler March 06, 2013 at 03:36 PM
1. Lyme disease, ticks, destruction of woods and eduction of other wildlife due to extreme over population of deer. 2. High real estate taxes due to over spending by local governments.
JET March 06, 2013 at 06:18 PM
SUBURBAN SPRAWL (Save What's Left), Enviornmental issues, and Deer Overpopulation without increasing bow and arrow hunting PLEASE! Noise ordinance enforcement..
Joan March 06, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Um… Tom… do understand that government jobs are still jobs? The reduction of government payroll will have an undesirable affect on the local economies. Those people that you want to put out of government jobs will not have money to put back into the economy by no longer having purchase power. Thereby goes the local merchants. They may not be able to pay their mortgages, hence no property taxes will be collected. They will be just more people looking for work in an environment of no work. What we need is not less government jobs but MORE. We desperately need infrastructure repair. The government can stimulate the economy by putting people to work on our roads, bridges, parks etc. And we desperately need jobs for people so that they can be productive doing jobs that are needed. Politicians are not needed and we have far too many of them. THOSE are the jobs and salaries that need to go away. We could put at least two people to work by getting rid of one politician. The government cannot run without tax money. The problem is not taxes but the inequality of tax collection. Those who have more should pay more. The people who are not job creators but wealth creators (only for themselves of course) need to pay their fair share. Everyone needs to pay their fair share. Not more, not less.
Joan March 06, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Absolutely!! Having a Y will benefit everyone.
Joan March 06, 2013 at 06:49 PM
There is always an overpopulation of deer, rabbits and other prey animals when man has killed all of the natural predators either with guns or poisons or the destruction of their habitat. This is the affect of too many humans populating the earth.
Joan March 06, 2013 at 06:52 PM
If you want to have a prosperous town you must allow for some things. The businesses that are noisy are bring a lot of money into your town by virtue of their success. If you buy a home near an airport expect to hear airplanes.
Joan March 06, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Agreed. The schools are public property and should be open to youth activities and no fees should be charged to residents to use the fields. That's double dipping and should not be allowed. In fact the schools should be responsible for creating youth activities at the schools both indoors and outdoors.
Tom March 07, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Joan, Apparently you missed my use of the word expansion. Nowhere did I say that I wanted to put people out of government jobs. I want to prevent more people from getting government jobs... as in, restrict expansion. Now, as for the remainder of your comment, we obviously differ on how or if government spending on payroll can impact the economy. I, for one, am not in favor of hiring more workers on the Southold Town budget to either repair our infrastructure, or on the blind hope that said hirings will be a positive impact on our local economy. Personally, I believe that Southold Town's infrastructure is in fine shape, and overall needs no significant improvement. If it did, I would still rather see money spent hiring private contractors, than hiring new town employees who will launch into a 30 year career in Southold Town, complete and replete with salary, benefits, and retirement. You see, we simply differ on that position, and I'm fine with that. As for Southold Town having too many politicians, I beg to differ. We have a small town board, a handful of trustees, a single elected highway superintendent, and a short handful of others. If you look at the salaries of absolutely any of them, you would find that they are eclipsed by relatively young police officers, town attorneys, and a few others. Eliminating the entire board of trustees salary would equate to less than the salary of one single police officer. So that math doesn't work.
Tom March 07, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Which is absolutely bizzarre, because 30 years ago when we had a whole lot more open farmland here and a whole lot less people, we had a whole lot less deer. We did, however, have a whole lot more bunnies. But no turkeys. We seem to have a whole lot more of them now.


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