by Bob Morris

I’m running for Mayor of Bellport because we need more vision.

Our current mayor, board and staff have done a great job in securing NYS and Federal funds for dock and road repair among other things. That was essential in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. 

Now it’s time to look to the future and maximize the possibilities of this idyllic bayside village. The mayor and his trustees have focused on improving the golf course based on a master plan that would require adding to our debt with a municipal bond. There’s no guarantee this will not end up on the taxes of residents, and only twenty percent of us use the course. 

What I’m hearing is that people want a community pool at our golf club.  Children deserve a place to learn to swim and a swim team. Seniors deserve a place for water aerobics and to play cards in the summer. 

We’d also love to see sandwiches and a grill back at our beloved Ho Hum ocean beach, a lovely amenity that disappeared. We’d like to see more attention paid to the green flies that bite throughout July and August.

Towns in NJ and Maine do more to control them. Why can’t we?

Glass recycling has stopped in Brookhaven but we don’t seem to have a mayor and board that want to address that with more detailed communication. The landfill recycles glass to use on site. Yet our sanitation department won’t pick up glass even once a month. 

Is that the best our mayor can do?

Instead we hear about improving the golf course, serving so few of us. Due to a recent uprising, plans for an ill-suited driving range behind a residential street have been put on hold.

It’s a shame that residents had to waste their time fighting a plan that included 40 foot high nets not just adjacent to homes but to a wetlands with active bird life. Why plan that in the first place? 

What else do people actually want here? A gym would pay for itself. If the administration could reopen an old bowling alley, why not a gym with a savvy owner? 

Why not rethink the end of the marina parking lot as more pedestrian friendly with tables and chairs instead of parking spaces and cars “looping the D” as it’s called. That would be worth pursuing, along with the possibility of evening drinks and bites on the porch of our yacht club, which is owned by the village and goes unused most evenings. More revenues, more enjoyment of our waterfront! 

It comes down to maximizing and monetizing Bellport’s greatest assets – small town charm, walkability and waterfront. The golf course must be maintained, absolutely, but not at the cost of other projects large and small to make a better Bellport.

This is a village of caring, talented and concerned people. We have the potential to be a beacon of environmental, cultural and community mindfulness. I want to be the mayor who looks for the possibilities here while keeping traditions alive.

if you vote

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. Bob Morris is challenging incumbent Mayor Ray Fell.