Our kids have nowhere to play or practice sports after dark in the Town of Smithtown. The lack of adequate facilities has forced us to travel to other facilities in other towns. It should be noted that in response to this, Councilman Creighton wrote a letter to the Governor's office requesting that the town be allowed to take 55 acres of land on the south side of the of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center (KPPC) property to be developed as a recreational park. The proposed park would include areas to play or practice sports after dark in order to accommodate this ever-growing need in the Town of Smithtown. Well, without hesitation, the Kings Park Civic Association blasted the Councilman for his attempt. Supervisor Vecchio and David Ambro, of the Smithtown News, also blasted Councilman Creighton in one of Ambro’s articles.
Supervisor Vecchio and Ambro blast the Creighton plan because they are both convinced that the State of New York is going to build them a beautiful state park on the KPPC site when the demolition and clean up is finished. Believing that the State of New York, which, we might add, is on the brink of bankruptcy, is going to come in and deliver a beautiful state park is not very business savvy. Common sense dictates that this will never happen. First of all, we have a Democrat governor, a Democrat in the County Executive’s office and the most liberal President in the history of this nation. Second, the State of New York is not in a financial position to make this happen. It does not even have the money to keep Sunken Meadow open (a portion of it is completely closed) and the facility is in dire need of a facelift. Smithtown is known as a Republican strong hold, and New York State is broke. This equation does not add up to State delivering us a new park. So are we really supposed to believe that a completely broke state government led by democratic politicians is going to build a state park on one of the most expensive pieces of waterfront real estate in the nation when it can barely keep Sunken Meadow afloat? This is well beyond wishful thinking; this is plain old Easter bunny is coming crazy.
Here is a fact: well known Newsday writer Rick Brand wrote an article on August 10, 2013 titled "Suffolk Takes a Step Toward Gambling Dollars". The first line of the article reads "Suffolk County officials last week took what may become their biggest step yet toward finally getting out of their budget hole". This plan would call for a billion dollar plus project to establish a facility with over 1000 electronic slot machines along with food, drink, entertainment and shopping. Kings Park Psychiatric Center is one of five properties listed. And lets be realistic: anyone who knows the proposed properties can tell you that two of them are already out, so really KPPC is one of three. We already know what the plan is for KPPC and once it goes through we won't need the park for the kids to play ball because we will all be packing our families up and moving!
Our Town has such great possibilities. But the fact remains that the town parks are horrendous. We need well-manicured, lit facilities so area children can learn, play and enjoy athletics. Councilman Creighton’s approach would have done exactly that: provided a nice manicured lit facility for our children to use so they can grow though athletics, reach their potential, be proud of their home field and put some pride back in our community and the local athletic programs. Additionally, the plan would also bring revenue into the town. The ability to host athletic tournaments would bring new people into the town to play, eat and shop our downtowns.
In closing, we at CEG have a question for all of you: How much did the Town of Islip buy the Central Islip State Hospital property for? The Answer is one dollar. Do you know how that process was started? A call to the Governor’s office by a hungry town official! That is what effective leadership is all about. A little innovation and ingenuity from our elected leaders can go a long way towards waking up our town and bringing it back! Voting Pat Vecchio back into office is going to put us back to sleep for another four years, the stakes are just to high to risk that.