This is the type of letter we should all be writing:
July 30, 2020
Supervisor Joseph S. Saladino
54 Audrey Avenue
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Subject: Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center at Bethpage
Dear Supervisor Saladino,
I am a longtime Town of Oyster Bay resident. I am the mother of two youth hockey players, a youth hockey coach and a hockey player. I would like to bring to your attention what I, as a taxpayer and longtime resident of the Town of Oyster Bay, consider a significant problem.
For approximately the past seven years, the Town of Oyster Bay has contracted the skating school at the Bethpage facility to The Rinx. I have personally observed they control approximately 60 plus hours of ice a week. I have heard from multiple sources that The Rinx pays approximately $10,000 a month for this ice. It is my understanding that the town receives zero percentage of The Rinx revenues; this is a flat fee. While these numbers may not be exact, I believe the difference to be immaterial with these numbers easily discoverable via the Freedom of Information Act.
Based on these numbers, The Rinx pays a little under $40 per hour of ice. It’s even less when you consider The Rinx has dedicated office space in the Town of Oyster Bay Skating Center at Bethpage, the building maintenance staff at its disposal, and free advertising as The Rinx programs often appear on town flyers and utilize wall space for promotional materials. I do not believe The Rinx as a corporate entity pays into the town’s tax base nor are the majority of its clients residents. This seven year relationship yields little or no benefit to your constituents even those that are members of the hockey community.
I, as a resident, can purchase ice for $300 an hour. There is very limited prime time ice available because it is monopolized by The Rinx. I am limited in what I can do with this ice because of restrictions placed as a result of this contract with The Rinx. The town would have to sell eight hours of prime time ice a week to break even with this contract. The ROI on this contract that was not only initially signed but also renewed after being evaluated by a consultant is ugly. It is either indicative of a complete lack of business intelligence or a signifier of graft that plagued the prior administration.
Supervisor Saladino, I believe you to be a man of integrity, working hard to uphold your promise to create transparency and root out corruption, and making sound fiscal decisions for the Town of Oyster Bay. On that basis alone, I have to believe you are not aware of how grossly lopsided this contract is. And if the town of Oyster Bay does not benefit, then most likely someone in your administration, (and likely held over from the prior administration), is benefiting personally at the detriment to your constituents.
I implore you to investigate this immediately so that the residents can benefit from having such a beautiful facility. As a taxpayer, I do not feel I should be forced to subsidize someone’s private business, and the people that established this precedent should be rooted out of your administration as well. Our economy is facing difficult times ahead and you cannot afford to carry anyone that puts their own self interests over that of the constituents they are supposed to serve.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. Please contact me if you would like to discuss this further.
It will be interesting to see if this letter gets a response.