by Ray Fell

mayor, Bellport Village

I would first like to thank Bellport Village residents for allowing me to be the mayor of Bellport Village.

I’ve been blessed to call Bellport my home for over 40 years and appreciate, every day, being part of the Bellport community. As mayor, I recognize the complex and diverse village we live in and that we serve the needs of many.

I take this job very seriously and understand the consequences of every decision I make— some of them easy and some of them much more difficult. I always look first at what is best for the village. 

When I took office in 2013, along with trustees Bob Rosenberg and Mike Ferrigno, there were several key issues we wanted us to address.

And I am happy to report success in many of these areas:

Financial stability for the village

My first and foremost priority was to create a financially sound village, which I am proud to say we have achieved. This is key to the village being vital and strong. We’re in much better shape than when I took office and now have an AA+ credit rating.

We’ve been able to raise over $6 million in grant money that have allowed us to address key infrastructure issues and keep taxes from rising. We’ve turned around the ferry and the golf course from operating at a loss to now being profitable entities.

Revitalizing Main Street

When I took office, Main Street was in desperate shape — stores were empty and the sidewalks were in need of repair. Today the stores are rented and Main Street is vibrant and alive. This has been a joint effort of our administration, our Main Street Committee, the shop owners, and the chamber. Today, we can be proud of our Main Street.

Infrastructure

Through significant grants and funding, we have greatly improved our roads, sidewalks, and our storm drainage system protecting the bay and our future. The highway yard has been upgraded. Lockers and new wood walkways added at Ho-Hum Beach. Osborne Park has been totally rebuilt.

A safer Bellport

We’ve increased the man hours of code enforcement and upgraded the vehicles, and we continue to look at ways to make the village safer and feel more secure. We’ve commissioned a traffic study to support safer roads for all and reduce speeding.

Part of achieving many of these goals was to get more of our talented residents involved. Through village committees, much of the work gets accomplished by volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to making Bellport better. Thank you.

And, I’d also like to address an issue at the golf course that have some of our residents concerned. We received feedback from some concerned residents and we will not be building a driving range along the east side of the golf course.

In conclusion, I am asking for your support and your vote as we move forward and complete some of the key initiatives that still need to be addressed. The dock renovation, the pavilion, and the continued effort to secure grants and funding for the village, allowing us to live in this vibrant and active community without a significant financial burden.

The Village of Bellport will be holding a general election on June 18 for the positions of village mayor for a 2-year term, and two village trustee positions for a 2-year term. Voting will take place at the Bellport Community Center at 4 Bell Street. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Click here for additional candidate information. Fell is facing a challenger in Bob Morris. Check back for a message from Morris.