The following is a new column by Lake Grove Mayor Robert Scottlaine …
What does it mean to be the Mayor of an Incorporated Village? I guess that depends on the individual. I consider myself to be a conscientious individual that can be construed as being a micromanager at times. I believe the reason for this is that everything that occurs in our Village is a reflection of how well I do my job. The job that many of you have entrusted me with.
What being the Mayor means to me is having not only a responsibility, but an obligation to try to create a better Village than the one I inherited. Ten years ago the board first appointed me Mayor when the former Mayor resigned to take on a new position within the Village. Through no fault of that administration, the Village faced some challenges. There were blighted properties in some of the most visible areas of our Village. To those that only passed through our Village on Middle Country Road, this was a very negative representation of how beautiful our Village actually is. While we do not have the benefit of a true “downtown” area we still have one of the larger shopping districts in Suffolk County.
Our location is ideal if you are commuting by railroad, car, or even by air. We are close to several wonderful medical facilities. Diverse, well-manicured developments provide housing for almost every working class of people. Clean and well maintained parks are the envy of surrounding areas. All of these benefits make our Village a very desirable place to live and raise a family.
What we have done to create a positive impression of a Village that cares, is to hold developers and retailers to a higher standard. Architecture, design, square footage, signage and location are all seriously considered before allowing projects to go forward. Gone are the abandoned service stations. The blighted lots that became dumping grounds now have attractive buildings with beautiful landscaping. Developers are also told once they are built out, “If you want to add square footage somewhere on your parcel, you must eliminate an equivalent amount of building square footage” on that parcel. We already have more than our share of traffic.
Our Department of Public Works has been completely overhauled with new equipment having very little impact on our general fund. Efficient vehicles and lower maintenance cost along with impact fees have helped to create a department that is not only fully prepared for the day to day maintenance of our Village, but one that is fully prepared to handle some of the more common and uncommon storm issues that we may need to deal with.
Being the Mayor to me is being a part of making all of the above happen. None of this happens just because of me. Holding an executive position, it is important to remember that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. From the Village Board to the office staff and the DPW staff, I am surrounded by the best. I remind them all of that very often.
I am very proud to be the Mayor of the Incorporated Village of Lake Grove. I realize that I have been given a wonderful opportunity to serve this community. Along with the Village Board and our employees, I hope to continue to serve and to improve the quality of life here in Lake Gove, as that is my obligation to the residents for allowing me represent them for as long as I have. As I have said, it may mean different things to different people, but to me being re-elected five times as Mayor since my original appointment means that the residents care about how much I care, and for that I am very grateful. It means that I must live up to that trust and serve for all of the right reasons, sincerely, honestly and maybe with just a bit of micromanaging.
Very Truly Yours,
Robert J. Scottlaine, Mayor