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Letter: Open Letter to the Residents of the Village of Farmingdale

Dear Village Residents,

After much thought and consideration I have decided not to seek re-election in March. It has been truly an honor and a privilege to serve the community I love. Between the toll on quality family time and the economic tsunami my business has been slammed with, the tough, but right, decision was obvious.

There are a number of serious issues my board and I will be dealing with before my departure. Consolidating water services to secure long-term water resources and lower rates is one important issue. Having full-time fire dispatchers at our firehouse when 46 other departments in Nassau County use 911 is another. Can we afford this obvious duplication of service while the unsustainable costs to provide vital services outstrip our taxpayer’s ability to pay? The first of many applications for new smart growth projects will be coming to the Board this winter. Don’t let naysayers like my good friend John Venditto in Oyster Bay claim “urbanization” to scare you. Tearing down old warehouses and blighted vacant buildings is not urbanization, its revitalization. The village will have more green space; a much more beautiful downtown and a new lease on life. As other downtowns die a slow death due to high taxes and rents, Farmingdale will be a model and a roadmap to change.

Lastly, we must hold all of those elected to adhere to the new 2 percent tax cap. We are the highest taxed county in the country. The party is over and we can’t afford this distraction any longer. The time has come to rethink how we teach our children and provide basic government services.

I believe this has to be a grassroots effort. Farmingdale Village has stayed under the tax cap over the four years I have been your Mayor. The Board and I are making the tough decisions. It can be done!

Again, it has been an honor to serve you these past six years. To my faithful constituents, your support has meant a great deal to me; to my dedicated board members, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and hard work. And, to my wife, Patti and my kids, Hank, Heather, Lucas and Nicky, thank you for your patience, love and support. I could not have embarked on this journey without it.  

Once a Daler, always a Daler. See you down on Main Street.

George ‘Butch’ Starkie
Mayor of the
Village of Farmingdale