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Letter: Newsletter Sent to Residents Is Wrong

Recently a bulk mailing was sent under the heading “The Eye On The Village.“  The person behind the mailing has been an unsuccessful candidate for the position of Farmingdale Village Trustee.  I always knew when I ran for public office that things could be “dirty” and people can spin information to support an idea or position and leave out important details that don’t tell the whole story. That is fair game in the world we live in today and I can accept that as part of the job.

What I will not accept are lies that cut right to the heart of who I am as a person. I have worked all my life in Farmingdale; “living the dream.“  As a child from a working class family, I have become a successful businessman who felt it was time to give back to the community that has given me so much. In this trash mailing was a statement with the word “Fact”:  “Starkie Brothers, Inc. was awarded a (no bid) village tree planting contract two years in a row.”  Quite the contrary.  

My brother John was the successful bidder for tree planting in the village.  He was one of five companies who responded to the public bid resulting in substantial savings for the village.  We had been paying over $50 more per tree from the company that had the contract prior to my brother’s bid.

John and I ran a successful partnership for over 30 years together. In May 2005 we parted ways but chose to keep the name Starkie Brothers because it took a lifetime to build the good will and trust in our community. How can you divide that?

He owns Starkie Brothers Custom Landscaping Inc. and I own Starkie Brothers Garden Center Inc.  By just saying Starkie Brothers in this bulk mailing I had many of my customers and constituents questioning me having a contract with the village while I am serving as village mayor.  Sadly, I had to explain to people that this was not the case. The bid was conducted, following all legal procedures. This “fact” statement was done to harm me personally and I had to respond.

I brought all the relevant documents to Monday’s board of trustees meeting and offered copies to the person who did this. She left without taking the documents.

I ran out of cheeks to turn and hope that this smear stuff can stop. This does nothing to improve government. It makes people who have the ability and desire to serve not participate in government.

Mayor George “Butch” Starkie