The village of Mastic Beach will be holding a vote on Nov. 16 in order to decide whether or not it dissolves back into the Town of Brookhaven, village board officials said.
Residents of Mastic Beach were able to gather over 1,000 signatures asking for the village to dissolve. According to New York State law, a village can hold a referendum to dissolve itself if at least 10 percent of its registered voters sign a petition calling for the village’s dissolution.
Mastic Beach Mayor Maura Sprey says that the village itself, which was founded six years ago, never had a full grip on its budget as unrealistic promises were made during its incorporation campaign.
“They promised to increase housing units, which were actually illegal rentals, and now we have a problem with vacant zombie homes,” she said as she explained the faults in the village’s start up, which included spending over $70,000 on cleaning the streets once.
Mastic Beach had only six full-time and 18 part-time village employees, and it needed to pay Brookhaven employees time-and-a-half to provide services like highway maintenance, Sprey added.
The increasing taxes to pay for these services is one of the reasons why the Dissolve Mastic Beach group assisted in collecting signatures for the dissolution petition. Their website lists increasing debt and infighting among board members as additional reasons for the village to dissolve. The group could not be reached for further comments.
If the village were to dissolve back into Brookhaven, it would be the first village to do so on Long Island in 26 years, the last of which was Pine Valley in 1990, according to the New York State Department of State Local Government Services.
The Town of Brookhaven says it will not comment on the vote.
Sprey says that going back to Brookhaven would actually be a cheaper alternative than having Mastic Beach continue as its own village.
“This is really about whether people are willing to vote to pay $2,000 a year in taxes.”