Islip Arts Council honors longtime friends
(L-r): Town board member James O’Connor, Suffolk County Legis. Tom Cilmi, IAC director Lynda Moran, Rich and Carolyn Dahab, Legis. Flotteron and George Munckenbeck.


Islip Arts Council honors longtime friends


EAST ISLIP—A number of people attended the Islip Arts Council’s annual Directors Reception that was held last Thursday evening at Brookwood Hall on Irish Lane. This year’s honorees were longtime Brightwaters residents Carolyn and Rich Dahab, Suffolk County Legis. Steve Flotteron (R-West Islip) and Islip Town Historian George Munkenbeck. 

Flotteron, a former Islip Town councilman who was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature last year, moved to the community with his wife, Ellen, in 1995, while Bay Shore was experiencing its tough economic period. Over the next 10 years, Flotteron served on a number of committees, including the Bay Shore Summit Council and the Code Enforcement Committee, before being elected to his previous post with the town in 2005. 

Flotteron often makes balancing the budget of whatever unit of government he serves one of his top priorities. He has also spearheaded numerous improvements to local infrastructure, including the Bay Shore Marina, West Islip Beach/Marina, the Brookwood Hall restoration and garden, and the Grange in Sayville 

Many of these improvements, according to Flotteron and other officials, were accomplished with no cost to taxpayers. “Maybe it’s the conservative in me, but I don’t think we need to create a new tax bill [for every project undertaken by the community],” Flotteron said, adding that local residents, along with people as far as Deer Park, donated their time and money to see Brookwood Hall restored. 

“I always saw the beauty in this place,” he said, regarding the historic building’s ballroom, where last week’s ceremony was held. Flotteron also recalled Frank Szemko, a former resident of Brookwood Hall from when it was an orphanage. Szemko went on to become a community advocate and saw to his former home’s renovations before passing away in recent years. 

The Long Island Tourism and Convention Commission, also known as Discover Long Island, has cited the Islip Arts Council’s programs as being “most beneficial to the quality of life of all residents in the Town of Islip and surrounding communities,” along with the rest of Suffolk County. 

IAC director Lynda Moran said none of this would be possible without the support of the recent honorees.

IAC have called Rich and Carolyn Dahab “longtime supporters” of their programs. Carolyn, according to information provided by IAC, has been active with the council for more than 20 years, serving as secretary for much of that time. Rich served as president of Seatuck Environmental Association and a board member of the Long Island Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. 

During the ceremony, Moran said Munkenbeck has “revolutionized” the town records, adding that he often works from home. Munkenbeck, a Long Island native who currently lives in West Sayville, has participated in American Civil War and Spanish-American War reenactments for 30-plus years. 

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter attended the event, along with Councilman James O’Connor and Department of Public Works Commissioner Thomas Owens. Suffolk County Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-East Islip) and New York State Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville) were also in attendance.