This past week the Islip Bulletin spoke to local leaders and groups about what they hope to accomplish this year.
Robyn Silvestri and Save the Great South Bay
Silvestri, the executive director of Save the Great South Bay, said the organization has three specific goals for 2022. The first goal is that the organization plans to host 51 creek cleanups in honor of the 51st anniversary of Earth Day this year. Silvestri noted that the group already has 18 cleanups on the schedule between now and the end of April. The big push for cleanups tends to happen in the spring before the green comes out and then again in the fall, Silvestri said. The second goal for Save the Great South Bay is to plant a minimum of 50,000 oysters in their sanctuary. The third goal the organization has for 2022 is to establish three new pollinator gardens within the South Shore Estuary Reserve or the areas around the creeks that lead into the bay. Silvestri said that Save the Great South Bay is working on the sites right now with local towns and would love to have at least one site in each town: Brookhaven, Islip and Babylon.
In addition, Save the Great South Bay will be an advocate for sewering and cesspool upgrades in 2022, Silvestri said.
Brightwaters mayor John Valdini
Mayor Valdini said that this year he and the board of trustees have a few projects they plan to accomplish. The first is the restoration of the two gazebos at the top of the canal as well as the restoration of the bathrooms at Walker Beach to make them handicap accessible.
In addition, the mayor said the board is working to create a community space in the lower level of Village Hall, where residents can bring and sort through historical artifacts from the village. Valdini noted that currently, all of the historical documents and artifacts from the village are spread out at multiple locations, and creating the community room would bring them all together. The mayor also noted that it’s important to him to keep all of the village residents informed, so he hopes to get more residents to sign up for the village emails so that they can stay up to date on information pertaining to the village.
Suffolk County Legis. Steve Flotteron
Legislator Flotteron said that one of his biggest goals for 2022 is to help the historic Sagtikos Manor become more visitor-friendly and become a bigger tourist destination. The manor, which dates back to the 1600s, is extremely historical and contains a multitude of original historical artifacts, unlike other sites which are staged. Flotteron noted that it can be hard to bring school buses to the site currently and that he would like to work on having the bathroom renovated. He has also been working on making the carriage house on the site a visitors’ center.
Another goal of Flotteron’s is to continue working on wastewater management for Fire Island. Flotteron noted that Fire Island is an internationally known vacation destination and it is vital to keep the Great South Bay clean for environmental and economic reasons. The wastewater system on Fire Island is antiquated and it takes days for waste to leach into the bay rather than the years it would take on the mainland. Ocean Beach currently has a sewage treatment station, but they are the only village on Fire Island to have one, Flotteron noted.
In addition, Flotteron said that as the chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, he plans to work on raising the county’s bond rating.
Liz Mayott, Islip Chamber of Commerce
Mayott said the chamber already has two events lined up for this year, including the 22nd Islip Chamber Street Fair on Sunday, June 5. The festival hasn’t happened since 2019 due to COVID. In addition, on July 28 the chamber will host the second annual Dine and Shop event on Main Street. Last year’s event featured the band Tradewinds and allowed for residents to shop and eat along Main Street. Mayott noted that the Dine and Shop event may have a “Christmas in July” theme and serve as a fundraiser for the chamber to buy new holiday decorations come December. Once it hits July, Mayott said the chamber would begin planning events for the next half of the year.
Town of Islip supervisor Angie Carpenter
Carpenter has quite a few goals she would like to accomplish in 2022. Carpenter noted that the challenge of 2022 was the question of how to maintain services in an era of rising prices without increasing the burden on residents and taxpayers. Carpenter aims to make government more easily accessible this year to the average resident and continue the town’s social media and website preference. Carpenter also said she wants to evaluate internal space needs and find solutions to meet those needs. In addition, Carpenter wants to add more airlines and nonstop destinations to the offerings at Long Island MacArthur Airport, create turf fields in town parks and continue to improve road and drainage infrastructure in the town. On a personal note, Carpenter said she wants to be grateful for something every day of 2022, such as the town employees who truly care about the town.
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