Census takers will be going door to door in Shirley this weekend.
No, not for the U.S. Census, which is under way around the country. This group of 10 or more will be doing a separate count as part of the process for its attempt to create a village that would encompass almost all of the 11967 ZIP code -- from Sunrise Highway to Smith Point Beach.
The goal is to "take control" of the area and clean it up of absentee landlords and sex offenders, while gaining the ability to control zoning, code enforcement, economic development and federal and state grant requests, says Jennifer Hakam, one of the lead organizers for the Smith Point Village Exploratory Committee.
Supporters of a separately proposed Mastic Beach village, which would butt up against the proposed Shirley lines, have expressed similar interests.
A snow-filled winter slowed the committee's canvassing efforts, but on a good weekend day, canvassers can hit about 200 homes.
So far, the group has visited about 2,000 of the nearly 5,000 homes in the proposed village boundaries. Every house is required by state law to be counted.
Hakam, whose husband, Eric, is considered the committee's unofficial chairman, says she hopes to deliver all the paperwork to Supervisor Mark Lesko by the fall.
The committee's next meeting is Monday, April 5, 7-9 p.m., at the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library. The guest speaker is Brookhaven Tax Assessor Jim Ryan.
Fire Island and Robert Moses State Park. Photo Credit: Kevin Coughlin