Hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving as we look forward to the upcoming holiday season.
We hope that you were able to attend some of our Fire Place History Club events during the past year. These included a presentation on the human and cultural history of Carmans River, the restoration and rededication ceremony of the Rose Cemetery, a bike tour of our historic cemeteries, and, just this month, John Deitz's "Brookhaven Hamlet Cultural History 101." We plan to do several new presentations in the upcoming year, and I will send you announcements beforehand.
The FPHC board has also been spending much of its time this year mowing, cleaning and maintaining the eight larger historic cemeteries – all work that Brookhaven Town is required by NYS law to do, but refuses to. Recently, we received some help from the Bellport High School History Club, and you can see pictures at this link:
We see the cemeteries as a vital component of our historical and cultural heritage, and we have submitted a grant proposal for $11,000 to repair and restore them. However, all of this money and work will be in vain if Brookhaven Town doesn't commit to a long-term maintenance program. Much of the deterioration to these cemeteries was caused because of the Town's failure to maintain them. We have been pleading with the Town to do this minimal maintenance for many years to no avail. Now we are asking for your help: Please, send either an e-mail or letter, sample below, to our Town Council members asking them to order the Town Parks Department to do their mandated job by mowing the lawns in our Brookhaven Hamlet historic cemeteries a few times a year and doing the minimal maintenance to ensure their conservation.
Sample letter or e-mail:
Dear Councilman/Councilwoman ________,
I am writing to urge you to preserve Brookhaven Hamlet’s unique history by ordering your Parks Department to do its job and maintain our historic cemeteries, which are deteriorating rapidly since the Town stopped maintaining them. If the 75 people employed by the Parks Department say that they don’t have enough personnel to do this, then the work should be done contractually.
Our Town representatives can be contacted with the e-mail addresses below. Thank you in advance for your help.
Brian Foley <bfoley@BROOKHAVEN.ORG>
Keith Romaine <councilmanromaine@BROOKHAVEN.ORG>
Jane Bonner <councilwomanbonner@BROOKHAVEN.ORG>
Constance Kepert <councilwomankepert@BROOKHAVEN.ORG>,
Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld <fiore-rosenfeld@BROOKHAVEN.ORG>
Jim LaCarrubba <jlacarrubba@BROOKHAVEN.ORG>
Kathleen Walsh <kwalsh@BROOKHAVEN.ORG>Timothy P. Mazzei <TMAZZEI@BROOKHAVEN.ORG>