I read with interest the subject article in the Feb. 19 issue of Port News. Yes, it is disturbing indeed to see so many businesses closed which has a deleterious effect not only on Port but on potential businesses/industry who might consider establishing themselves in our town. Seeing all these boarded up, vacant stores, discourages a potential entrepreneur from coming to Port.
This having been said however, I think that the BID and possibly the Chamber of Commerce as well, are falling down on their job in not guiding prospective businesses who are considering Port as their site. How many Pizza parlors, Chinese restaurants, nail salons, etc....do we need? Doesn't it stand to reason that a proliferation of these establishments will cause some of them to go out of business? The answer is obvious. If these businesses don't do the marketing study they should before opening their doors, then I think it's up to the BID and the Chamber of Commerce to provide them with that guidance.
No one needs to be reminded about Port's location as a waterfront community. Yet, we fall woefully short in exploiting what we've got here. Go to Port Jefferson and have a look at their boutiques, art stores, restaurants, etc.... along their waterfront. They seem to be thriving, pretty much all year round.
Finally. With regard to our school taxes. Yes, they continue to escalate at an obscene rate, driving businesses out of town, discouraging new ones to come in and creating an exodus of residents who just can't afford to live here any more, thus exacerbating further the tax base.
Although this may not be the proper space to address the issue of how the BOE and the school district manages our money, suffice it to say, that "running lean and mean" isn't part of their vocabulary. I am totally convinced that there are a myriad of bureaucratic functions and those that administer them, namely bureaucrats, that can and should be either streamlined or eliminated outright. No board of directors and stockholders would allow a public corporation to operate in the manner our school district does. If it did, it would disappear from the corporate world!
The above notwithstanding, it isn't sufficient for Steve Latham the president of the BID and others to complain about the soaring school taxes and the adverse effect they have on our community. Where pray tell are all of these gentlemen when the BOE and the School District discuss and formulate the school budget? They are conspicuously absent! With their absence, and silence they give tacit approval, year after year to school budgets, each of which is higher than the preceding one. Mr. Latham, Mr. LaMotta, members of BID and the Chamber of Commerce, instead of being part of the problem with your absence at the budget hearings, become part of the solution by attending them and making your voices heard!
Stanley L. Ronell