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Civic to Main Street Landlords: Clean Up Your Act

Unsightly and unsafe conditions have civic concerned, asking for action.

The Kings Park Civic Association is taking landlords and owners of several buildings on Main Street to task over poor upkeep and even dangerous conditions at their businesses.

President Sean Lehmann read a letter addressed to the building department at Tuesday evening’s meeting to members of the group, dated June 30 of this year, outlining more than a dozen offenses.

High on the list were buildings at 26 Main Street through 38 Main Street, which are occupied by stores including and in some cases house second-floor apartments. Complaints included broken windows, exposed electrical wires, cracks in the brick and stucco of the buildings and missing downspouts and gutters. Photographs of the buildings were taken in May and sent in along with the letter to the town.

Lehmann says the letter came about through comments he received on the group’s yearly membership applications and through email.

“Every year when we do memberships we get a list of concerns. We take these concerns very seriously. This is how we set up our agendas for the year. Each year it is a top concern. We have seen an increase in the amount of individual buildings we see listed on these forms,” said Lehmann.

Broken glass in the window of 26 Main Street, which is adjacent to Russ Savatt Park and Ralph’s Ices, was a top concern.

“The window is sitting over a park where children are eating ice cream,” said Lehmann.

According to records at the town tax assessor’s office, the building is owned by James R. Reilly of 48 Dogwood Court in Stamford, CT, though records at the City of Stamford tax office reflect a different owner of 48 Dogwood Court. The Town of Smithtown tax receiver’s office shows the tax bill for this property has been paid by James Reilly of 8 Main Street in Kings Park, which is the address for Flynn Realty. 

Larry Flynn, who owns Flynn Realty, said he manages the building as well as several others in the town including the buildings occupied by Fisher Books, Olde Tyme Candy and Magic Sauce. He says that the civic association has pointed out a few things, but said he is not sure that they have ever had a “meaningful conversation” about the building.

According to Flynn, the exposed wire that was hanging was disconnected 20 years ago and that some repairs have been done.

“We painted it up, put back the nails. The building dates back to 1898. I guess that anything that’s a hundred years old gets a little tired looking,” said Flynn.

Patch obtained a letter dated November 2010, in which Flynn responded to some of the complaints put forth by the civic association. In the letter, Flynn thanks Lehmann for a conversation they had on November 6 and informs him that the nails on 26 Main Street have been taken care of and that replacement of the window would be finished in the upcoming weeks.

When Patch asked Flynn about the broken window, Flynn said that he would have the window repaired.

According to records at the Town of Smithtown Building Department, no summonses have been issued to the property, but an open complaint from July 26 of this year remains. According to records, an inspector for the town noted exposed wiring and roof drainage at the time of inspection.

According to Lehmann, copies of the letter were forwarded to Councilmen Robert Creighton and Ed Wehrheim.

“There has been communication from the KPCA and building department regarding 26 to 38 Main Street, south side of the street,” said Creighton. “The building department and public safety are going to try to resolve these complaints. We are addressing it.”

kptree September 22, 2011 at 03:18 PM
Slumlord? Irresponsible business owner? What exactly are the dangerous conditions? The building inspectors issued no summonses after inspection. Why is this turning into a witchhunt? Kings Park is not a giant HOA. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe, up to code properties but enforcement is not the bailiwick of the general public or even the KPCA. It is really worrying this sudden passion for hectoring and publicly excoriating business owners. "Blight" legislation, this article, the comments following, etc. sounds more to me like hysteria rather than smart community decision making. The Flynns have been members of the Kings Park community since the late 1800s. While they (and certainly not one of the above commenters, either) are not saints, they have done a lot to promote Kings Park. They maintain businesses in town, they pay their taxes, they promote community organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, St. Joseph's Church, etc. and have been active in promoting the school district. I would rather give my business to a local, honest family then to business that have no investment in Kings Park. Kings Park's main street does not, nor has it ever, looked like a slum. It is what it is, a middle class town with hard working people. Too bad it suffers from an shameful sense that it is not Northport Village. I applaud the local organizers for great things like the park and music in the summer. But this goes too far
SimpleStrip September 22, 2011 at 04:05 PM
Lets stop focusing on individual property owners and start focusing on the infrastructure of the town itself. How about underground wires? Or building codes that actually improve the value and look to our town. The town should start working with existing building owners for improvement and betterments example, grants or tax breaks for - Brick facing buildings, which would create a uniform look to our town as did the town of babylon. The TOS needs to stop putting up unnecessary barriers which makes it difficult to improve the look of a building.
Steve Weber September 22, 2011 at 06:29 PM
For the record... Larry Flynn and the Flynn Family helped build this town, in thought, word and deed. No one cares more for Kings Park than Larry. He has been a driving force for positive change in this town for decades.
lisa costello September 22, 2011 at 06:55 PM
thank-you steve weber ,because i for one as a resident of kings park for46yrs am sickened by some of the comments written here!i am deeply apalled that anyone would slander the flynn family and all they have done for this community.
tv connors September 22, 2011 at 08:23 PM
Hey! Kptree, calm down. Get some O2, breath deep & veg out. The biggest "Dangerous Condition" I see is you! I don't see a lynch party. Just some good reporting & some interesting community observations. And what is this "not one of the commenters above is a saint" stuff?? You don't know us. You don't know our backgrounds. Actually many people tell me I am a saint. The only thing that has been made clear is that YOU just said, ABOVE, & I quote: " While they [Flynns] are not saints!" Read it. It's right above. Now your maligning your friends. You sinner you! Calm down and be objective & civil. And get over this Northport thing, will you. Why do some people have this secret Northport envy. Northporters actually have that elliptical shaped sticker for the back of their car "NPT". How tacky. Maybe we should get one that says KP.
Rose September 22, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Actually, Ms. tree, our downtown has always looked kind of partially slum like, or at least, seedy. Yes for Flynn, McKnight, Bagels & the Frozen Ice store. And yes further west for the block with Terminal Tackle. And yes for the butcher & investment adviser. And what a great bakery. But the area west of Indian Head road is certainly no Rodeo Drive. Closed stores, second rate store fronts, poorly maintained facades. It looks like so many of NY's upstate townships. A hopscotch of good and bad. It does NOT reflect our town. We have such great properties, parks, waterfront's, schools & a community spirit that I know exists deep into the roots of the town and reflects the heritage that has always been the background, backbone of kings park. I for one am so glad i live here. Cate Oh! Lets not forget our NEW hardware store. Break that Home Depot habit. They are not just close, they are HERE. And, they have a all of those little pesky things we homeowners need at short notice.
Al Wood September 22, 2011 at 09:56 PM
If landlords were forced to do major upgrades on their properties to improve aesthetics, the current businesses would likely be unable to afford their rent and we'd have massive vacancy. Frankly I'd rather look at occupied, but tired looking storefronts than pretty, empty stores. If you want people to fix up their buildings, deal with the parking, and ask the Town to sponsor events that draw people into the area. How about some loans to enterprising people to start restaurants and other businesses that would draw people? If this were to happen, the problem would take care of itself.
robert jennings September 23, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Robert Creighton and Edward Wehrheim need to be replaced. ======================================================= They were asleep at the switch when Hurricane Irene devastated; Smithtown, Kings Park, Commack, St. James and Nesconset with down trees, closed roads, street flooding and no electricity. . These old elected officials had NO Plan in place for the hurricane aftermath. Lights were out for 10+ days in The Towns of Smithtown. Homeowners lost hundreds of dollars in food spoilage. Businesses lost millions of dollars in sales over 10 days. The town lost their share of sales tax revenues. Main Street is now an horrible eye sore with so many “closed store fronts”. This is the early stage of blight. Store closings is like cancer disease that’s spreading. If more stores close, Main Street will get uglier and uglier Less people shopping on Main Street mean less sales tax revenue. Less sales tax revenue translates into Higher Property Taxes. Do you want that? For the past -3- years, Robert Creighton and Edward Wehrheim have done NOTHING to attract new business to Main Street. Why change?? Their 4 year vacation is over on election day. It’s time for change; We need new council members, new leadership and new ideas to move Smithtown forward, not backwards with the same old rhetoric. Thank you, Robert Jennings robertjennings60@yahoo.com
kptree September 23, 2011 at 03:12 PM
Oh Tv, I am calm. Practically Zen-like. However this article doesn't display the slightest bit of "good reporting". The building inspectors documented no "unsafe conditions". Not a single summons was issued. The reporter is sensationalizing because it makes a better headline. Is the building unsightly? Perhaps to some. As far as maligning commenters or the Flynns they aren't saints. Have you or others been proven to perform miracles and been beatified? No so ergo, no saints. Just human beings. Tv, you could take your own advice about being objective and civil. Do they teach that in troll school? While you are there, you might want to take a class in reading comprehension. My remark about Northport Village was directed to those who think Kings Park is "lesser" because we are not a cookie cutter version of NPT village. I think Kings Park is a great town and has no reason to be ashamed of itself. As for Rose, have you actually ever been to a "slum"? A real, honest to goodness slum? I have and let me tell you, Kings Park is no slum. I applaud the improvements being made- the Russ Savatt park, expansion of the library, renovations done to Cafe Red, Ciro's, and the storefront by the Kings Park Meat Market. Slowly but surely Kings Park business owners are improving their properties. Hectoring and insulting individuals who are tax paying, productive members of Kings Park and reporting untrue, sensationalized headlines is not the way to go about it.
kptree September 23, 2011 at 03:20 PM
Mr. Jennings, I assume your comments are made because you care for the town. Honestly, I can't think of a more distasteful job than politician but really, a 4 year vacation? No new businesses? What about Sertino's Cafe? The Chop Shop? We are in the midst of a terrible economic crisis with the media predicting today that we are headed back into recession. Mr. Werheim and Mr. Creighton have not abandoned their responsibilities nor have they gone on "vacation". I too would love to see a change in the town supervisor. Enough is enough. Mr. Werheim and Mr. Creighton, in particular, are honorable men with long histories of public service. Polemics like yours work because no one thinks to check the facts behind them, they just get caught up in the sentiment. But you seem to be reasonable so why don't you do a little fact checking before you start maligning?
KingsParkKid September 23, 2011 at 06:47 PM
TOS makes it IMPOSSIBLE to make changes to better homes & storefronts. They are unreasonable and no one seems to know what is going on over there in those offices.. Something needs to be done. You can't rake leaves without the towns approval!!! Rediculous...
LCDR September 24, 2011 at 03:12 AM
Laurie, thank you for the most educational, thoughtful and interesting letter on the whole matter.
Denise Creighton September 24, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Dear kptree, As Mr. Creighton's campaign manager( and more significantly as his daughter), I want to thank you for pointing out that much that has been written about my father is grossly distorted and far from factual. Two points which are being circulated by his opponents need to be clarified. 1) I can assure you my father's pension is FAR less than $100,000. If there was a sincere desire to determine what his pension ACTUALLY is it would be found that his pension isn't even HALF of that. This is not difficult to determine -it is a matter of public record. A little research would easily clear that up for those who are misguided. 2) In August of 2010, my dad did have triple bypass surgery. Our family could not be more grateful to the doctors at Winthrop Hospital! Anyone who has seem my father in the past year will tell you he looks 100% better than ever. Some of his opponents have chosen to focus on inaccurate reports of his impending demise. On a personal note, I find such tactics reprehensible and somewhat disturbing. On a practical note, I suggest these misguided people start attending functions/events, Town Board meetings or community forums and witness the candidate at work. Both councilmen, Creighton and Wehrheim, can be found 5 days a week at Town Hall. There is no question as to either's devotion to his position or his abbility to perform his duties. Thank you again, kptree, for realizing that not everything that is printed is indeed fact.
Marie Vassallo-Goldstein September 25, 2011 at 12:52 AM
Really....How dare you! The Flynn Family has brought families to our community for decades. Not to mention they are wonderful fine people...from the parents to their children and to their wonderful grandchildren. So again...I say How dare you!!!
rksome September 25, 2011 at 12:59 AM
Denise Creighton again purposely misstates her facts, and creates misleading statements Creighton does receive a tax free pension in access of $66k per year. This would be ‘comparable to a taxable salary’ of apx $100K Please read, get your facts straight and stop misleading the public with your ‘jibber jabber double talk’. The earlier statement did not state your father’s health is facing ‘impending demise’ as you claim.. Another false innuendo It did state: your father had a serious operation this past August, and taking in to account his advancing age (mid 70’s) it’s quite possible he may find it difficult to full fill his future duties. Lots of hard work needs to be preformed to clean up the past 4 years of blight on Main Street. Many vacant stores need to be filled and start producing sales tax revenues. Again, you failed to mention this very important economic fact. If any one is “misguided” it’s you Denise. Trying to confuse voters your father’s triple bypass operation was not serious. Former President Bill Clinton had a similar heart operation in 2004. Spent 8 months convalescing and he was apx 20 years younger than Robert. We do hope Bob achieves a 100% recovery. It maybe his time to step down. No one likes to step down, not even Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs at the age of 56. But Job’s did the right thing. For all concerned, give your father good advice. rksome rksome@math.com
Denise Creighton September 25, 2011 at 01:43 AM
There is absolutely no debating the FACT that Bob Creighton NEVER had a heart attack. It is a FACT that he had surgery over a year ago..not in August. It is a fact that his pension is well under the stated $100,000. It is repulsive that this is the political tactic his opponents are taking. Twist the truth and think the residents will take their words as truth. Don't underestimate the voters of Smithtown,rk!
Steve Weber September 25, 2011 at 03:19 AM
This has to stop. Enough of misrepresenting the facts attacking some of the finest people in Kings Park. Bob Creighton is the most honorable, honest and hardworking man I know.
The Smithtown Avenger September 25, 2011 at 03:48 PM
How did we get so off topic?
diane tabone September 25, 2011 at 06:13 PM
@ Smithtown Avenger....exactly...maybe thats why we get nothing done on those buildings.
jack September 26, 2011 at 12:22 AM
Denise, I’ve know you a long time. You dad is an older senior citizen, with health conditions. You must accept this. My dad is also the same age has slowed down and needs several naps a day. He doesn’t have the vigor of a younger man nor does Robert. You must cease from twisting the truth, confusing voters and damaging your dad’s good name. The pension comment if you read it correctly states your dad receives a 'pension' greater than Ed's. Robert's pension “equates to” a taxable income of $100K. Doesn’t state he receives a $100K as you allude to. You’re hurting Robert’s chances of re election by mincing and twisting words. Please, stop this already.
Denise Creighton September 26, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Anyone I know doesn't hide behind anonymous screen names. . When you are able to reveal yourself, I will gladly have a discussion. Btw to get back to topic...just had a great dinner at Cafe Red. Hoping that Kings Park and the general Smithtown area will continue to attract nice establishments despite our country's horrible economy.
Jack Hesel September 27, 2011 at 11:55 PM
WOW!! Who would have thought this item would generate so much controversy, so much polarization of the community in Kings Park. In resonse to jack, not me, I am a year older than Bob Creighton, having graduated from the same High School that he did. I don't think that his surgery made him any less capable of doing his job. But, I don't have his political enemies. As for the controversy on Main Street, the approach has to be one of measured compilation of the facts, reports of the Public Safety Department and Building Departments rather than a rush to judgement. My experience in Kings Park and the greater community of Smithtown is that evolution is a more practical solution than revolution. By keeping a light on the problem without confrontation seems to be a better approach than putting a lot of people on the defensive. The overwhelming influence of public opinion does do a better job of bringing about change. Keep the dialogue going but try to avoid trying to place blame on anybody.
JohninKP October 09, 2011 at 10:54 PM
Old Carlson house. Doesn't he own that? He should fix it up. I'm sure he is getting a nice rent out of it. Ongoing battle with Smithtown? Did you look at the photos? The buildings look horrible. It looks like whoever owns them just let them get that way and did not care.
JohninKP October 09, 2011 at 10:59 PM
I completely disagree. Every landlord should keep his buildings in good condition. Did you look at the photos? Broken windows, missing siding, wiring? Are you kidding me? I applaud whoever reported these. Just like you can report a neighbor for anything, anybody should have the right to report these horrible conditions in downtown. It looks like someone asked you to post your comment which does not reflect what I see in the pictures.
JohninKP October 09, 2011 at 11:04 PM
What does your comment even mean? I have lived here in Kings Park for 46 years and I'm trying to figure out what you are talking about. For the record? What has been built? Town looks almost the same as it did when Imoved here except for all the failed business through the years.
JohninKP October 09, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Slandering anyone is not good but neither is not fixing a broken window or fixing faulty wiring.
JohninKP October 09, 2011 at 11:15 PM
This is just complete garbage. I do not know Bob Creighton other than a hello and so forth, but he does not deserve nasty comments about this or his health for that matter. He is a good man who was an honest cop. His family has always been friendly to everyone. Sounds like a few democrats are looking for anything to even get a vote in the election. I don't think these buildings are anyone's fault but whoever owns them. It is true that it does not look good that both councilman's signs are in front of the many houses on Pulaski Road who all have extra apartments. Maybe they should get more involved in downtown conditions but accusations about health or anything else is way out of line.
JohninKP October 09, 2011 at 11:16 PM
Well said this time.
JohninKP October 09, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Just a quick question? Didn't they get paid a nice healthy commission to bring all these families into Kings Park? Why is it that all the For Rent signs in town are Flynn signs? Aren't apartments illegal here in Kings Park?
Steve Weber October 10, 2011 at 12:07 AM
John, I would be glad to answer your question and reply to your comments, I just ask that I know who am I talking too?

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