Getting up to speed

File photo

Getting up to speed

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
1/17/2019


BRIGHTWATERS VILLAGE—In December, the Department of Public Works replaced the 30 miles per hour speed limit signs in the village with others reading 25 miles per hour. The idea, which was introduced in August by the village board at a public hearing, was intended to help make neighborhood streets safer. It was approved by the board in September and then given approval by Albany as well. However, there was a technical error in the plan and so now the village is straightening it out.

Mayor John Valdini sent out a notice to all residents explaining what had transpired. He noted that the initial proposal that was prepared by the village attorney, Charles Castalano, had received positive feedback from the community. But no sooner had the signs been installed than a Bay Shore resident questioned whether it should have been done at all. 

“The village clerk and I made a call to the [New York Conference of Mayors] to speak with General Counsel on the matter,” wrote Valdini in the notice. “At that time we were told that since we are a village with a population of less than 50,000, we could not do a full village-wide reduction [in speed limit] without listing all of the streets involved.”

At the Jan. 7 board meeting, another resolution was drafted to address the proper procedure for reducing speed. However, it was quickly discovered that plan did not satisfy the requirements either. “So now… we will have to go back to square one,” he added.

“At our February meeting, we will make a motion to repeal the original local law to reduce the speed limit to 25 miles per hour village-wide and hold a public hearing on the newly proposed local law listing each street that will be changed to 25 miles per hour and then take a vote.” 

Valdini is working on a new proposal with the village clerk treasurer, Nicolle Rhodes. He said that once the board approves the new resolution, it would be resent to the NYS Department of State, Division of Corporation, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code in Albany. He expects the entire process to take around two months. In the meantime, the old 30 miles per hour signage will be replaced, which he expects will be accomplished in a half-day with two village employees.

Valdini said he has found the entire misstep to be very frustrating, especially since the village attorney and Albany approved the original proposals. Rhodes shared that sentiment. “No one picked up on [the mistake],” she remarked.

“As mayor, I take full responsibility for the matter,” Valdini added. “We’re trying to [correct the mistakes] and move forward. Our goal every day is to do what’s right for the village.”