Residents Protest Proposed Budget Cuts Before Brookhaven Town Board

Holtsville Ecology Center, Youth Bureau, Women's Services among those cuts spoke of during public comment Thursday night.

Residents and Brookhaven Town employees protested several possible budget cuts during Thursday's Brookhaven Town Board meeting.

The  closing down the Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center, discontinuing some services in the youth bureau and adult day care, is currently set to automatically be approved on Nov. 20 unless the Town Board amends it. 

Adrienne Wilber, of Holtsville, spoke during public comment period regarding the possible closing of the Holtsville ecology site, which town officials have said would save about $900,000 a year just by shuttering the zoo and greenhouse.  

"We are very disappointed about the closing. The ecology park provides much enjoyment to the area," Wilber said. "To have it close seems inappropriate and it is unfair to the middle class people in the area."

Councilman Tim Mazzei said that he did not think that the budget affects the park section of the ecology center. However, when Wilber stated that she was not sure if that was believable, Mazzei said that he could not confirm any other details and suggested she call his office in the morning.

Wilber suggested that out-of-Town residents who visit should be charged, and that perhaps the swimming pool could be closed although other residents may want to keep that open as well.

Annette Kattau, of North Patchogue, told Patch after the meeting that she has taken her five grandchildren to the park, and that its closing would be a great loss.

"These are not the things that we should be cutting," Kattau said. She also said that other areas would be more eligible to be cut, and that it also could be an option to raise taxes.

The Youth Bureau, which also faces cuts, had a large presence at Thursday's meeting.

Donna Napoli, acting director for Brookhaven's youth services and a Patchogue resident, said that the proposal takes down her department from eight full time positions to three by the end of the year.

"The biggest thing is the counseling program," Napoli said. She said its the only program in Town that talks with children in crisis. Also being cut is crisis intervention and a camp program that has been run for 35 years. Remaining would be administrative duties and programs that hold drives for holiday toys, food, prom dresses, etc.

Several members that were attending in support of the youth bureau wore a black ribbon on their arm to symbolize themselves.

Also speaking was Mickie Tinkler, the director of the adult day care program that is also facing cuts. Tinkler told Patch there are currently 50 active participants in the program, and hundreds of other families that come and go with it.

"Baby boomers are coming to the front, there's going to be a greater and greater need for these kind of programs," Tinkler said. 

Tinkler said that her program is slated to be terminated by the end of the year.

The next Brookhaven Town board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 11 at 5 p.m.

A budget hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8.

What are your thoughts on the proposed cuts? Read more about them here, and talk about it in the comments section below.

Willaim September 24, 2012 at 06:49 AM
PART3- maybe you are just a democrat (very likely assumption), BUT because most teachers today are brought into line of teacher theory by those that dodged the draft of Vietnam by staying in college, most teachers have been fed a steady diet of leftist ideas and surround themselves with people of their own ilk they know not what they preach, even when not teaching. I never said you only care about money; or that you are evil; I did say that when your profession is responsible for an avg of 60% of the taxes sucked out of us YES it is the biggest response factor for the tax problem on LI (get the attack on the system part yet?); from my HS class of over 300, maybe 30 live on LI & that number will dwindle in time for future LI HS Grads; destroy the universe? delusions of grandeur? (a unpleasant decidedly liberal trait); Great line about one child at a time, again a saul alinskyish catchy type statement. School Taxes out of control contributing to the closing of the Eco Center... YES a major contributing factor... are you being sarcastic or are you finally getting the point? Insert major eye roll back at ya...
Willaim September 24, 2012 at 06:50 AM
PART 2- PROOF there is you never condemned the teachers that dragged their contract fight into the classroom with the black bands and cancelling certain school activities such as class trips to historical sites. They should have been fired on the spot & left to fight for their jobs back (don't think it could happen? Read the Taylor Law - these teachers at a minimum should have been fined 2 days for every day they brought the work action into the classroom, that will not happen by a school board in bed with the teachers). OR #2 In pure liberal/communist fashion when one's response to an attack that is indefensible on a system they are a part of, respond on the personal level. After all, isn't it taught these days that your feelings are yours and yours a lone and therefore cannot be wrong by another person's standards? That's what my kids were taught at school. You teach anything like that? You fell right into the second playbook... as I said.. I knew the 1st to respond to what I had to say would be a teacher. While I added in some personal assumptions about you, the vast majority of what I wrote was against the Long Island School System. You may not be a commie or an admitted liberal,
Willaim September 24, 2012 at 06:51 AM
PART 1- Jamie, My very 1st post was an attack on the school systems on Long Island and their drain of money for households which leads to stress of the tax base for Town Taxes. When taxes go up unfairly in the Town or County the politicians responsible get voted out especially when services do not satisfy the tax paying base as being worth services provided. GET IT? As the school taxes are out of control and 60-65% of most people's tax bill and the product produced is not in proportion to what we are paying, i.e: Highest taxes in the country and not the highest of HS grads ready for college and/or the world. GET IT? So who do we vote out? The school board? Here the school board has residents that are teachers in other districts serving & friends / of the principles via the PTA & funded elections by the same. Can you say incestuous relationship? SO after the 1st post YOU took this exchange from an attack on the system to very much on the personal level attack on yourself - when did I ever say you were evil? Hmmmm - that means one of 2 things here. #1- If what you say is true about how good of a teacher you are, you feel guilty about your fellow teachers not doing what you do for the students, yet feel compelled to fight back on their behalf.
Willaim September 24, 2012 at 07:20 AM
MS Juanita Felice-Zwaryczuk In your reply to Jamie above, about hanging the varied reasons of why many children are not learning on the necks of teachers (paraphrased here of course), tell me: IF a teacher had say 50% of his/her students constantly failing the NYS Regents, while other teachers say have a 90% pass rate, what would happen to the 1st teacher? NOTHING is the answer. Kids fail today for many reasons not the teachers fault, BUT way too many fail because teachers are not held responsible for the kids that do fail, nor are the department heads, the principles, & the superintendent. ALL should have to explain to that child's parents why he/she failed. Leave out the PC BS and get down to brass tacks and state why. Then develop a problem to address that child's problem. You all are experts in teaching theory, right? Unless that child has a mental defect they should be abe to learn, right? But that would never happen because as we can see from Jamie's responses above it's the students and parents faults because apparently all teachers work as hard as she does (claims) and probably walk on the waters of knowledge.
Willaim September 24, 2012 at 07:37 AM
Oh by the way Jamie... As of 2010... the last census... "The median income for a household in the county was $103,900, and the median income for a family was $72,112." Household means multiple generations under one roof, or other relatives or siblings. While the typical husband / wife family (like you) is much less. With a masters degree & all your certifications claimed and 17 years experience do not even compromise your integrity by saying you and your husband make less than $72K. You make that, most likely much more by yourself. Man am I shaking my head 'no' & rolling my eyes now!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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