The Suffolk County Village Officials Association (SCVOA) was established more than 60 years ago as the professional organization for Suffolk County’s incorporated villages. With government issues and municipal management becoming more complex in recent years, SCVOA has grown into a public policy advocate for the county’s villages.
Suffolk’s incorporated villages represent the foundation of the county’s economy and residential development. Most of the early Suffolk County settlements — some which pre-date the Revolutionary War — were shoreline communities that grew into thriving downtown centers and became the economic backbone of the county for many years. Post World War II suburbanization shifted commerce and residential developments away from many of these bustling communities and towards malls and tract development housing, bringing a host of new survival challenges for many Suffolk County villages.
Today, SCVOA represents the county’s 32 incorporated villages, ranging from Lindenhurst, one of New York State’s largest villages with a population of nearly 28,000, to Dering Harbor, the state’s smallest village, with just 13 year-round residents. In total, village residents account for about 10% of the county’s population or more than 125,000 people.
SCVOA hosts meetings with informative guest speakers and noted experts to help provide village officials with timely and useful information on cutting-edge public policy issues. In addition, annual legislative receptions help the Association develop and foster productive relationships with other levels of government.
SCVOA works in partnership with other associations to help coordinate its advocacy efforts. Its participation in the Tri-County Village Officials Association — which also represents Nassau and Westchester Counties — allows these three populous downstate suburban counties to work as a single, united force when issues of common concern arise. SCVOA’s strong alliance with NYCOM — the New York Conference of Mayors — brings member villages a wealth of information and support about how Albany actions affect local municipal governments.