Suffolk County Executive Candidate John M. Kennedy (center) reviews reports with Brookhaven Town Councilman Neil Foley (left) and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (right) that show how County Executive Steve Bellone has regularly raided funds from the county’s Drinking Water Protection Program to plug the county’s deficits during a press conference at Corey Beach in Blue Point on August 1.
Standing at the recently closed Corey Beach, Suffolk County Executive Candidate John Kennedy says fiscal mismanagement by the Bellone administration has led to the closure of many Suffolk beaches. Mr. Kennedy was joined by Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and Brookhaven Town Councilman Neil Foley at the popular Blue Point beach.
Mr. Kennedy pointed out that Steve Bellone, the current County Executive, took tens of millions of dollars from the Drinking Water Protection Program — much of which was supposed to go towards mitigating runoff into our waterways — and used it to plug holes in his budget.
“Summer is the ideal time for tourists and local residents to go to the beach, but they can’t because Mr. Bellone raided the very funds that were supposed to be used to protect our beaches,” Mr. Kennedy said. “He could have used that money to protect our water quality, but, instead, he used it to make it look like he had a balanced budget.”
Mr. Kennedy said that these beach closures have meant loss of revenues from parking fees, but it goes beyond that. “With no beach goers, vendors are losing money,” he said. “Nearby stores and restaurants are seeing a drop in the number of customers as well.”
The biggest losers in all of this, Mr. Kennedy said, are Suffolk taxpayers. “Suffolk taxpayers are angry, not just because they cannot visit the beaches, but because they are paying for services they cannot even use, thanks to Mr. Bellone’s inability to properly handle the county’s finances.”