Last year we received a letter of resignation from our only court officer, and among his complaints was the safety
in the room during court, to both the employees of the town and the citizens attending. To me the Peconic  School
is a good temporary fix and we can and should move our court operations to that building immediately. If we have
to cancel or move a few programs around we need to do it.

 
First, I was told that as a condition of purchasing the building we could only use it for recreational purposes, after
spending a weekend searching through the town’s online data bank I discovered that the building was not
restricted and the use as a court facility was a legal one.  Next I was told the use of the building was restricted
because the town has spent Community Development funds to fix up the building. My personal thought on this is
that spending Community development funds should not sterilize the building from any use permitted under the
original bond.
Recently, I received the calendar of events scheduled for March and April in the Peconic School with a comment
that the building heavily used.  I studied the calendar, moved a couple programs around and found that the
building could accommodate the court without disturbing the current court schedule.  Court is in session every
Monday and Friday during the day and 1 night a month about 55 hours in all.  The recreational schedule is mostly
events scheduled at night.  I am not saying that this is a permanent solution, far from it, but I think it is a necessary
step toward making the court and town hall a safer place to conduct business while we search for a permanent
solution. Any
permanent solution should consider the court and court personal, along with storage for town r
ecords that our town clerk desperately needs. In addition, the office space we rent  in the Capital One building will
be up for renewal in 2018, we currently spend in excess of $60,000.00 in rent  to house the Building, Planning, and
Zoning departments along with the town attorney’s office.  Our goal should be to find a permanent solution that is
owned by the taxpayers.  Moving the court to the Peconic School buys us some time and makes a safer workplace
for our employees and citizens.
Southold Local Link