Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine was joined by state and town officials during a press conference on August 22 at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in Port Jefferson Station to voice their objection to the planned closure of the office.
Suffolk County currently has only four NYS DMV offices serving a population of over 1.5 million residents. The Town of Brookhaven has established an online petition at www.BrookhavenNY.gov/Petition so residents can voice their opinion about New York State Governor Kathy Hochul’s planned closure of the Port Jefferson DMV.
“Governor Hochul’s decision to eliminate the Port Jefferson DMV is ill-conceived,” Romaine said. “It will greatly inconvenience tens of thousands of Brookhaven Town residents who will now have to travel to Smithtown, Riverhead or Medford. I thank Senator [Anthony] Palumbo and Assemblyman [Ed] Flood for their support by standing up for the residents of Brookhaven Town and I ask the governor to reconsider this action and keep the Port Jefferson Station DMV open for business.”
Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico said, “There needs to be a greater collaborative outreach by State of New York to all the local towns on Long Island, this is yet another example of that need. State representatives of both parties have been blindsided and shut out of the decision-making process on issues far greater than this potential closure of the DMV. The last time the governor was in Brookhaven, she had to tell local officials about how a mandate was coming to build tremendous housing complexes. That’s not how representative government works at any level, and it can change with cooperation.”
Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich called the proposed closure “a misguided and foolish decision. A quick glance at a map should be enough to tell you that closing this branch makes no sense. The trip to the Medford branch will add 40 minutes of round-trip travel for our residents and this is simply not acceptable.”
Councilwoman Jane Bonner said, many of my constituents she knows do business at the Port Jefferson Station DMV. “They will be greatly inconvenienced when it closes,” she said. “Many are seniors who don’t normally drive beyond a comfortable distance from their home.
“I strongly oppose the plan to close the Port Jefferson DMV at a time when more residents will need to utilize their services for REAL and Enhanced ID,” Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) added. “The Port Jefferson branch provides important and convenient services to residents throughout the area, especially seniors, and helps to reduce wait times at other local branches. With Suffolk County being home to nearly 1.5 million residents and growing, the state should be expanding DMV services, not contracting them and placing burdens on area families and seniors.”
Flood (R-Port Jefferson) said his constituent will be forced to use other DMV branches, “many of which are not prepared for a sudden influx of people. As a resident myself, I am concerned with this decision and the repercussions at hand as inconveniencing residents and DMV workers can be avoided if this option is reconsidered.”