By Stan Loucks
Let’s return to a small high school in Cherry Valley, near Cooperstown, where I was an all-county athlete in three different sports. The school was small, and the village was also small, to the extent that I could not fulfill my goals to work with and help people and different organizations.
After high school graduation, I went to SUNY Cortland, where I majored in physical education and health education. This was perfect. I knew this would lead me to a career that would also allow me to work with children and adults. As a senior, I was fortunate to meet Peggy Ulmer, who eventually became my wife.
Graduation came quickly, and I landed on Long Island, where schools were expanding and springing up all over Nassau and Suffolk counties. I took a position in the Plainview-Old Bethpage school district as a physical education teacher. Wow, 13 schools and over 10,000 students. Indeed, it wasn’t Cherry Valley.
Over the next 34 years in Plainview, I moved from teacher to athletic director of the junior high to athletic director of the high school and eventually to districtwide director of athletics. Every day of every year, I was doing what I loved, working with youngsters and adults in classrooms and various athletic facilities.
In 1980, we bought land and built our home in Port Jefferson. This was one of the best decisions we ever made. I immediately joined the Port Jefferson Country Club to play tennis and golf. I volunteered to serve on the tennis board and eventually became its chair. I also ran for a position on the board of governors, was elected and became the chair of that board. I was forever expanding what I loved doing, giving my time to make things better.
Then in 1995, retirement came along. Now what? A major part of my time became open and empty. I turned to the country club, where I volunteered to work as chair of the greens committee. That committee work eventually led to my appointment to the country club’s management advisory committee. I was elected chair of that committee in 2005 and served until Mayor Margot Garant finally twisted my arm enough to run for village trustee. I am at a point now where I am asking to continue working for the betterment of our community.
I often hear the comment, “I want to finish what we have started.” Well, I know that there is no finish. A challenge is always waiting to be solved, fixed, improved or implemented. I welcome each one and will work tirelessly toward success. Do we always reach what we want? No, but I guarantee 100% effort.
My vision going forward involves maintaining our infrastructure, providing a safe community through solid code enforcement, providing an all-encompassing recreation program, upgrading our beautiful parks and beaches, finding new sources of revenue and working to keep our budget under control. These items are the responsibility of the entire board of trustees.
More specifically, each trustee is the liaison to a different facet of our village government. Currently, I am the liaison to the parks department, which includes all of our parks and beaches, and liaison to the country club. I know that many of you have never had the opportunity to see the entire club, and I would love to show it to you. Call me at 631-275-3730 or email me at [email protected], and I will give you a tour of your club.
The country club serves over 500 members, runs on a $2.9 million budget, increases all of our property values and costs the nonmember resident zero dollars. Yes, your country club is totally independent while still being a wonderful village asset.
We are working on expanding the social aspect, which should be present at the club. We have constructed a beautiful patio with a barbecue station and a separate patio that contains a firepit.
The club employs two full-time certified PGA professionals who offer group and private lessons and clinics, and camps for all ages. These camps, clinics and lessons are available to everyone.
We are excited that we will have access to East Beach this summer. To that end, the parks department is renovating both bathrooms at the beach and also bringing those kayak racks back into our system. To learn more about your club and parks, visit portjeff.com or portjeffcc.com.
So, we not only found out how I became a trustee, but we discovered what I have done, what I am doing and what I can do moving forward.