Dan’s Papers November 26, 2010 danspapers.com Page 17
Bob’s Wharf If You Buy Long Wharf You Could Name It After Yourself By Dan Rattiner Long Wharf is the centerpiece of Sag Harbor. It is as important to that town as the Montauk Lighthouse is to Montauk, the Hook Mill is to East Hampton, the War Memorial is to Bridgehampton, the Brooklyn Bridge is to New York City and the College Windmill is to Southampton. It is a precious thing. You don’t mess with it. Or maybe you do mess with it. Wanna buy the Brooklyn Bridge for a dollar? How about buying Long Wharf for a dollar? Well, it’s for sale for that. And unlike the Brooklyn Bridge, when you pay the dollar you actually get the Wharf. The seller of Long Wharf is the County of Suffolk. Like everybody else, they are sucking air for money, and although getting a dollar isn’t going to make much of a dent in the deficit, the potential cost of painting it, repairing it and,
after waves buffet it, reconstructing it can be quite daunting. They don’t want to pay those costs. On the other hand, they are presenting the wharf as all shined up, in perfect condition and a terrific gift to any lucky new owner. Just shows you what one shiny dollar gold piece can get you these days. What in the world is the County of Suffolk doing owning Sag Harbor’s Long Wharf, you may ask? That’s a good question. Shouldn’t the Village of Sag Harbor be owning it? Well, the Village of Sag Harbor DID own it until 1939, when, fearing the future costs of repairs and maintenance which that village could ill afford in those years, they sold it to the County. Did I say that the County now wants to sell Long Wharf back to the Village and nobody else for that dollar?
So the Village is considering it. Hmmm. We couldn’t afford it and so sold it to them. Now they can’t afford it and want to sell it back to us. Let’s form a committee and investigate. Give it a few kicks. Is it steady? Will it hold up? Hmmm. “It looks okay for now,” said Ben Zwirn, the official charged with selling the village the wharf. “I want to know what it will look like in five, 10 and 20 years from now,” said Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride. The history of Long Wharf and its ownership is fascinating. It was built back in colonial times so oceangoing sailing ships could have a place to tie up when they got here. It was owned by the King of England. Later, but still before the revolution, the various towns and villages were formed. Lines were (continued on next page)
CAN’T RAISE THE BRIDGE? LOWER THE WATER By Dan Rattiner Last week Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a proposal to build part of the New York City subway system out beyond the confines of New York City. If he has his way the city will spend $6 billion over the next five years to extend the Number 7 line out underneath the Hudson River and off into New Jersey to end at Secaucus. The Mayor is proposing this in order to reduce the congestion on the Hudson Tubes, which shuttles commuters from New Jersey into Manhattan and then back home at the end of the day. It is an excellent idea. And at $6 billion, it is less than half the price of what it would cost to expand the Hudson Tubes.
This plan is also very good news for the eastern end of Long Island. Digging a tunnel to Secaucus serves as a precedent for what would elegantly solve an unfair payroll tax which the Mayor inflicted on us last year. Dig west? Why not dig east? Back then, with money tight for his MTA, Mayor Bloomberg announced and then put into effect this tax. It’s paid by all workers and employers in the metropolitan area. And though it’s solved the MTA’s problem, it’s worsened ours. The MTA is the agency that runs the city’s subway system, trains and bridges. The Mayor did not want to raise fares. Why not hit up the people who live outside of the city but
use the MTA to commute? The Mayor should have drawn a circle with a 60-mile radius around Manhattan when deciding who to hit up for this tax—an amount paid by both the wage earner and the employer and deducted from all paychecks. Sixty miles would make sense. Beyond that, well, you don’t put an MTA tax on the payrolls of people who work in, for example, Philadelphia or Boston. Instead, however, although Mayor Bloomberg allowed that this circle should indeed be 60 miles in radius, he’d hit up East Enders all the way to the Montauk Lighthouse, a total of 110 miles out, too. (continued on page 20)
Published on Nov 26, 2010
Published on Nov 26, 2010
Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...