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Town Beach and Marina Parking Fees Upheld

Councilwoman Jane Bonner introduces resolution to withdraw the fees, but the town board votes it down.

The Town of Brookhaven on Tuesday upheld the beach and marina parking fees established about a month ago, despite an attempt by one town council member to comb through the town budget to find savings that would offset the cost of repealing the fee.

The Town Board voted 3-4 against rolling back the fee, with council members Jane Bonner, Tim Mazzei, and Dan Panico voting in the minority.

By working with various town officials, Bonner said she was able to find $625,000 in offsets within the town budget to withdraw the fee without sacrificing overtime costs budgeted for town operations. Her plan included eliminating three positions that are currently vacant due to the town's hiring freeze. She called it "painless ways to come up with the cuts that won’t be felt through the rank and file."

At the Town Board meeting on April 24, Bonner originally intended to present a resolution that would repeal the resident fee, but the town tabled the issue until the May 8 meeting to give her more time to work with various departments to achieve the necessary cost offsets. At that time, her negotiations fell $175,000 short of the $625,000 in total budget savings that would have allowed the town board to consider repealing the parking fees.

On Tuesday, town supervisor Mark Lesko said any of the savings should be banked for the future.

"Given the fiscal situation here, and I’m the chief financial officer, I have to look at the bottom line and we just can’t afford it," he said.

At least one Brookhaven resident at the meeting supported rolling back the fee. Anthony Frontino called it "a bitter reminder of Brookhaven’s inability to control spending and waste."

"[Lesko] calls it a user fee. It’s really a tax," he said.

Some in the crowd spoke in favor of retaining the parking fee.

"Let’s get real. It’s $25 for two years," said Meg Shutka, president of the CSEA white collar unit. "Expenses are increasing, revenues are down. The money has to come from somewhere...Brookhaven has beautiful beaches, beautiful parks. We need this money to keep these things that we have."

The Town Board has also adjusted the locations at which residents can purchase the parking permit; refer to the PDF attached to this article for full details.

Thomas Lynch May 14, 2012 at 02:38 AM
please read some of the factual posts? I am paying thoursands in town taxes, hundreds for town ramp and mooring permit usage fees already......and now i have to pay a parking tax to use the ramp and my mooring i already bought? You are missing the point, or are in denial? ALL marina and beach proceeds go to the general fund to pay for other things. not only is there a surplus of funds from the slip, mooring, ramp etc fees, this new over 1/2 million will go 100% to anywhere and everywhere but the beaches we are now paying additonal to "use" as part of this tax. The staff att he booth at Mt. Sinai hours has been CUT to 3:30. And the night time security for MILLIONS of dollars of boats we have all been paying mooring and slip fees for that use.......has been eliminated?????? and now you have to pay a parking tax tot get to your slip, or mooring, or launch your boat/ramp. Mooring and Ramp fees have gone up 20% over the last 2 years BTW.
Thomas Lynch May 14, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Its not the money - its the addtional money and the waste of the MILLIONS the harbors, marinas are already bringing in to the Town that is poorly managed like crack whores with a $20 bill,..........and now they just stole another $20? What are they gonna do with it? SAVE it? NO this beach fee 1/2 million+ was already SPENT and BUDGETED to be spent.......they can't afford to have it repealed - they STILL have a big shortfall. Unreasonable tariffs chased away Verizon/FIOS. Pigs at the trough, they are just drunk with tax dollars and can't spend it fast enough and need MORE MORE MORE. You shoudl see how dersperate and the games and positioning on the Landfill debacle and their other big "money maker". What a disaster.
Thomas Lynch May 14, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Here is a great sign of how well the Parks Commissioner, who runs the Marinas/beach who dreamed up this whole fee program for his boy Lesko, . They sold SO many Ramp permits at Cedar Beach (went up from $50 to $75 for town residence) And i use the ramp to launch my dink to get to my now $150 mooring permit/tax that also went up from $125 lasdt year) that on July 4th weekedn last year - i drove down to go to my boat out on the mooring and was told I COULD NOT LAUNCH MY BOAT => they were out of trailer/car spaces and we can't park in whiote line spaces because the "Pulbic Safety" cowards will ticket you! (also for parking your trailer wheel over the yellow line, while you are out on your boat - money making cowards) I launched my boat and drove to Old Man's and parked there and WALKED back to the ramp to my dink, etc. etc. MORONS took all the money and can't provide the services.
Thomas Lynch May 14, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Matthew let it go, they aren't smart enough to pull that off. They have the law and imminent domain to steal as much of your money as they can legislate, and that is it. This is no ACT? They are stupid pigs at the trough stealing your money........right in front of your face? No script, no conspiracy, no hidden agenda........."we are taking more of your earned money because we don't have jobs: except to take and spend your money?" that's the script? what's so complicated about that.............because they can!
Thomas Lynch May 14, 2012 at 03:10 AM
You must mean "our expense" right? WE paid for those improvements and the town collect a concession fee from their buildling. Its textbook deficit spending in Brookhaven. If I seach the Lesko family tree I won't be suprised to find a peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter taught him economics. Jimmy has now been bumped to the 2nd worst president position.
Thomas Lynch May 14, 2012 at 03:15 AM
i am with you, and know many as well are too. But since the town owns the entire pennisula at Cedar Beach for example. Unless you can "privatly" get past the gate and park on one of the business, if you park in the "Public Safety" coward zones.....you will be ticketed? It will make a traffic camara ticket feel good. You will come back to your car and WHO EVEN KNOWS what type of enforcement FEE they have dreamed up for this. So you can lie or tell the gate all you want and go on in??????? You are on the Town's turf........its NOT a beach for Towns folk anymore - its a business. You are not a voter, or taxpayer, or customer.......you are a Victim!
Chuck May 14, 2012 at 03:44 AM
It's a good sign this fee/tax, picking of our pockets, has been met with such outrage. The town recently spent tens of thousands of dollars to move three historic/ramshackle rubber factory houses a couple of blocks. They remain ramshackle at their new site in Setauket. Everyone needs to keep taking these big spending politicians to task. Stay vigilant, and stay angry.
Matthew Lott May 14, 2012 at 10:36 AM
TRUST..."What makes you say it's acting? And what does trying to repeal the beach parking fee (or tax) have anything to do with environmentalism?" These Town Board votes are not "spontaneous"...they are designed to help every Board Members cultivated "public image". If say, Lesko &Company, who knows that public employee Unions, their money, and union worker support, is the reason they are in office to begin with...and Meg Shutka of the CSEA white collars is there to support Lesko publically, and you know that Lesko has padded the vote, don't you think that, theatrically speaking, it's a "safe" public position to allegedly "speak out against" it, like some Hero ? They have to have someone in "opposition" to Lesko for the public charade that there is some kind "representation of the Tax Payers"...and Bonner ususally draws the straw as a cardboard "opposition" candidate. A perusal of campaign contributions will tell you a different story. Bonner is expert at this roleplaying...that's why District 2 is being "paved topped" ! Her public persona is as an Environmentalist...but if you take a ride in her district, and tell me if it looks like it's the face of controlling "development", like "environmentalists" are supposed to do ?
Janet May 14, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Matthew, They just started no security at night this year. Also, we are supposed to have water and electric starting May 12 and we don't have that either with no explanation as to why or when we will be getting the services we are paying for. And the reason we are there is because there are no other choices in the vicinity. We would have to go east and pay triple the fees. It's also funny that Lesko calls it a "users" fee. When I called the town I was told it's not for beach access it's a parking fee. And if all of you are outraged at this tiny fee how do you think my husband and I feel. There is a boating group who would meet with the town to express their concerns but now the town doesn't even show up at the meetings any longer because "they don't have the manpower to attend"-translation who cares what you want, we'll give you what we feel like.
Matthew Lott May 14, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Janet, publishing what's going on is a good first step. Spread the word and your greivances on the internet...start a Facebook page...contact the other local media and again, spread the word. Believe me they are very sensitive...much more than you realize. And they will start showing up at the meetings.
Matthew Lott May 14, 2012 at 02:17 PM
PS Find out who is responsible for security, and have a "sit down" with a rep from the local police precinct to discuss your issues. I am aware there are a certain amount of cameras at the location of the beach parking, because, especially across from the beach, is a favorite for suicides. Just how effective it is...You might want to get your insurance companies involved in the security issue...I don't think they would like the Town's attitude about pulling security...someone has to be responsible...that they can just end it, sounds "funny" to me.
brookhavenconfusing May 14, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I don't pretend to be any great fan of politicians, but you've got an awfully cynical view of how the Town Board operates. I'll ask again, I don't suppose you have any proof of these allegations that the Board votes are staged. You make them sound like pro wrestling matches, and I mean "proof" proof - please don't tell me to just look around because it's obvious, that's not proof. And I still don't understand what environmentalism has to do with the beach parking fees.
RockyPointDiver May 14, 2012 at 03:27 PM
"Bonner ususally [sic] draws the straw as a cardboard "opposition" candidate" Once again the voice of the Ray Negron flunky weighs in to bash the incumbent with nonsensical allegations pulled out of thin air. It's not cynicism, it's a planned attack. What you have to understand is that as Crazy Ray prepares to launch yet another futile campaign, he's got the multiple permutations of "Matthew/Michaelaw1/Mike Wilcox" out on point to make whatever baseless accusations the situation offers in the hope enough people night believe them. And Bonner is almost always the target because she's the incumbent in the district Ray lives. You remember Ray, right? The guy who was turned down by every major party in the town until he finally had to resort to a legal challenge to force a Republican primary... where he got his clock cleaned.
Matthew Lott May 14, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Feel sorry for RockyPointDiver. He has a lousy job, because remember, he has to go back to his Town Bosses on Independence Hill and deliver bad news, that people are not buying the "user fee" thing. But also remember they are very sensitive to what you say here, and elsewhere locally. Expect some kind of media event to smooth things over with Tax Payers...But NO rollback of the "user fees" !
Matthew Lott May 14, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Trust, I am not going to convince you of anything, if you have a naive outlook on politics, especially on politics in Brookhaven. It's out there, if you have the "eyes" to see it. Just remember, they didn't nickname it "Crookhaven" for nothing !
Thomas Lynch May 14, 2012 at 06:21 PM
supposedly somebody "stole" te waer connections. new ones will be put in. i'll bet with water meters on them so you can pay more at our slip, Janet? (I am joking but its geeting that stupid they will probably do it.)
Matthew Lott May 14, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Thomas, so this is More Money...what would you estimate water would cost you, extra, if it were metered ?
Alicia Palifka May 23, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Hum..I am thinking "Matthew Lott" is a lawyer...Just sayin..Seems like there is an ax to grind here.
Thomas Lynch May 31, 2012 at 04:14 PM
PAID/Stickered: $ 150 Mooring Tax, PAID/Stickered: $ 75 Ramp usage Tax, PAID: $ 2,170 Town Tax; PAID/Stickered: $ 25 Beach/Marina Parking Tax. Then I get to sit in this EVERY DAY over Memorial Day Weekend to USE the facility? http://youtu.be/WQfK_WQ1_1c
Karen Jepson June 01, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I was so disappointed in the Town of Brookhaven when I recently tried to park in the Davis Park ferry lot and was charged. In years past, going over to Davis Park, I would tell everyone how great it is that we are given this service for free. I stopped going to the Bay Shore Fire Island terminals because the parking cost was out of control. So what exactly do my property taxes go for? What a shame, it is a no wonder that people are fleeing Long Island, a beautiful place but very expensive to live. Karen Jepson
Matthew Lott June 01, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I just found out today that All "businesses" in the Town of Brookhaven are being invoiced $50.00 to register their businesses with the Town and the respective fire department that serves their immediate location. Failure to pay this $50 fee will result in a $1500 fine. So with this, we businesses now have to pay, what is for all intent, is a "Town business license" for fire protection. Of course this is above and beyond what property owners pay for fire protection. What are they going to call it...another "user fee" ?
Local shop owner June 01, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Give it a name..A Tax is a Tax.
Matthew Lott June 02, 2012 at 10:26 AM
Local shop owner, this is something other than a "tax"...this is a shameless money grab. Can you hear The Silence of your Town Board Councilperson on this "hold up" ? I guess they figure since it's a business, you don't Vote or pay other taxes and business related levys, and it doesn't affect your Customers ?
Local shop owner June 02, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Matthew,I agree ..Taxation with out representation or as you say Money grab.
Matthew Lott June 02, 2012 at 10:59 AM
The non business owner forgets until they get to the checkout counter, that what affects a business affects them, eventually. And the business "takes the blame for it" ! Pols know this, as it deflects blame from them...in the end, the whole community is affected, but by then the Politician thinks you are going on to something else. It's shameless, and The Silence of the Town Government "leaders" is shameless.
lara buscatelli June 03, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Considering the town general tax is only 8 per cent of our tax bills and hasn't gone up in 17 years, it is no wonder they are searching for all these fees. They should just finally increase the taxes instead. It's unbelievable that the tax has remained stagnant for this long and they can balance the budget. I guess that's why service and maintenance will start disintegrating.
lara buscatelli June 03, 2012 at 11:50 PM
If you want elaborate amenities, then I suggest a private marina. Let's see instead of $64 a ft. it would be $200 a ft. So deducing from your fee that you pay $2,000, your boat is about 31'. A 31' boat at let's say Danfords would cost you $6,200. You are saving $4,200 a yr. Are we taxpayers subsidizing you to have your boat? Just saying, be thankful and appreciate what you have.
Melodie Tegay June 10, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Even more shameful is the orchestrated way the Board majority hoodwinked the public into thinking the tax REPEAL was a done deal. If you were there at the April Town Board meeting to address the issue -you were sold a bill of goods which defines the term deception. The Board KNEW that alot of people had signed up to speak AGAINST this back door tax because you have to "sign in" in order to be recognized during the public session. After 1 and 1/2 hour of "other business",the "CONCERNED" board members cautioned that they might not "get around" to the FEE issue til 9:30PM, sooo as NOT to make all the good citizens wait until such a late hour, when the "likelilhood was, it would be tabled anyhow"...we were basically told to GO HOME! This was followed up with their promise to revisit the issue at the next town board hearing in May. BUT before leaving, we ALL heard how Ms Boner had been working her you biddy off to find funds to offset the fee. We were also told that the gap was very small (I don't want to misquote the exact amount) and in fact it looked like this money would be forthcoming from, I believe, the Highway Dept. THEREFORE, "we probably would not even need to come to the next meeting, because the repeal was imminent." SO when NO ONE shows up in May-having been lulled into a false sense of complacency-suddenly there is still a LARGE shortfall, a 4-3 vote,and Lesko pockets the proceeds of Bonner's efforts. The moral is: DO NOT BUY STICKERS and VOTE the 4 OUT!
Thomas Lynch June 11, 2012 at 05:01 PM
exactly Melodie.....spot on.
Tom G October 13, 2012 at 08:16 PM
This Bill is still considered a travesty by many. I used to visit Pt Jeff at least 2-3 times a week, eating in restaurants and visiting the local shops. I no longer visit Pt Jeff, someting I enjoyed doing for many years and even more so, now that I am a retiree. I was wondering if anyone has surveyed the business community to determine if the bill imposing fees has had any impact on the economy of the local businesses. Has this been done or is anyone going to explore the impact of this outragios bill? Does anyone in government care or do they simply want to increase their coffers. Just wondering!

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