Tom Ferb is running for reelection to a four-year term as a Patchogue Village Trustee.
by Tom Ferb |
I’m proud of my service as part of Mayor Paul Pontieri’s team, eight years as a trustee and four as a Zoning Board member.
We have witnessed and contributed to the renaissance of Patchogue. We have put our village on a sustainable financial foundation. Our tax base, with a mix of residential and commercial establishments, has and will provide financial stability into the future.
One of my most important responsibilities as the “financial” trustee has been advocating for one of the Mayor’s key strategies: If you use a village resource, you need to pay for it.
Having consumers of a service pay for that service — instead of taxpayers — helps hold the line on taxes.
Some examples will make this clear:
We have required our ambulance company to bill insurance companies when taking a patron to a hospital. Formerly, the village paid $625,000 a year for this service.
Our great Patchogue Theatre collects a fee on behalf of the village for every patron who see one of their show. The theater belongs to the village. That is, the theater is the property of our residents, thus, we have a responsibility to maintain the building. The fees help cover these expenses.
Parking in the village is free, at most times and most places for our residents, but metered on Main Street and elsewhere during evenings for visitors. The parking fees help cover the costs of the maintenance and operation of our parking, as well as the acquisition of new parking facilities. Again, not a burden on residents.
We have applied the principal, “If you use it, you pay for it’.
Our mix of owner-occupied housing (a little over 50 percent), multi-family units (23 developed in the recent past accounting for 2,055, or 37 percent of our 5,419 housing units) and a thriving downtown commercial area provide a sustainable tax revenue into the future.
Our housing mix with substantial rental opportunity as well as affordable ownership has resulted in an influx of younger residents and families, vital to a prosperous community.
In the last eight years our registered voter roll has increased by nearly 2,000 voters, with 80 percent of them under age 40. This demographic trend, younger families and individuals moving to the village (median age is 36.4 versus 41 for Suffolk County), did not happen by accident.
The mayor and the boards; Trustees, Zoning, Planning, and Architectural Review, provide developers with a smooth path from project concept review to a CO (Certificate of Occupancy), with guidance and building code review and enforcement at each step.
The multi-family developments contribute disproportionately to our tax-base; contribute more for a given piece of real estate than a single-family home. These developments have also not dramatically altered the character of our village, since they all comply with the restrictions and limitations in our building codes.
I look forward to continuing this good work, in partnership with our mayor and my fellow trustees.