Flanagan/Fitzpatrick Sponsor Smithtown Library District Bill

ALBANY, N.Y. — Sen. John J. Flanagan (R,C-East Northport) and Assemblyman Michael J. Fitzpatrick (R,C-Smithtown) today announced passage of legislation requested by the Smithtown Library Board of Trustees that would move the library budget deadline from the spring to the fall and change the start of trustees’ terms of office from July 1 to Jan. 1. In addition, the measure would clarify the boundary issue among the library district and the Three Village and Sachem school districts.

The measure was sponsored by Assemblyman Fitzpatrick in the Assembly and Sen. Flanagan in the Senate.

"Understandably, the library was experiencing difficulties preparing an annual budget in the spring which is not implemented until the following January. The board of trustees and the Suffolk County Cooperative Library System asked that their elections be moved to late fall and their administrative year be changed to begin on Jan. 1. By moving the election to the fall, the trustees will be placing before the voters a budget that will be prepared much closer to the time of its implementation, thus allowing for greater accuracy and reliability. The fiscal and administrative years will now coincide," said Sen. Flanagan.

Assemblyman Fitzpatrick noted he was pleased to be able to assist the community’s library, an institution which he helped oversee during his 15 years on the Smithtown Town Board. The library was then a part of the township.

"I am happy to carry helpful, appropriate legislation for this important community asset," said Assemblyman Fitzpatrick. "I look forward to continuing to work with the library trustees as they complete their long-range plans to enhance the services of the Smithtown Library’s branches, including what I hope can be a shared vision of using the Nesconset Armory site for recreation and library purposes."

In addition, the board of trustees, Sen. Flanagan, Assemblyman Fitzpatrick and the Suffolk County Cooperative Library System agreed they should attempt to settle, once and for all, the lingering boundary issue.

"This legislation overrules an advisory opinion given by the Office of Real Property Services which recommended that the Smithtown assessor continue to include in the Smithtown Special Library District residents of the Three Village and Sachem school district libraries, despite the clear intent of the 2001 legislation which excluded them," Sen. Flanagan said. "Now residents of Smithtown who reside in the Three Village and Sachem school districts will no longer be subject to the possibility of double taxation for library services. What the people voted for in 2001 will now be fully implemented."

"Simply put," Assemblyman Fitzpatrick agreed, "there should be no more confusion regarding boundaries and appropriate taxes."

The bill will be sent to Gov. George E. Pataki for his signature so it may become law.