Editorial – Fitting tribute to Milteer

Published 6:27 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Whaleyville Recreation Center was something former Councilman Curtis Milteer Sr. had championed and was proud to cut the ribbon for when it opened in January 2015.

Now, some nine months after his death at age 91, the building bears Milteer’s name.

A Friday ceremony officially christened the Curtis R. Milteer Sr. Recreation Center after a prior City Council vote to name it in memory of the longtime city council member.


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Milteer served as the representative for Whaleyville Borough on the Suffolk City Council for 40 years and was elected to 10 consecutive terms by voters who trusted him implicitly to represent their interests at City Hall.

“Everybody knows my father, and what he was about,” his son Anthony Milteer said at Friday’s ceremony. He’s right. The Milteer name is synonymous with rural southern Suffolk.

The recreation center was converted from the old Robertson Elementary School, which closed in 2011, and the school division handed the building over to the city. It was originally called the Whaleyville Community Center before becoming the Whaleyville Recreation Center.

“This center is going to be a success,” Milteer said at the time of its opening, “because we’re going to make it a success.”

Such was Milteer’s determination, a confidence that never bordered on arrogance.

At a council meeting soon after Milteer’s death, longtime colleague Leroy Bennett remembered Milteer’s persuasiveness.

“I’ll miss him calling and saying, ‘Hey young man, I want to run something by you.’ And usually when he called you to say he wanted to run something by you, he was trying to get you to agree with whatever he wanted to run by you,” Bennett said.

We commend the City Council’s decision to pay permanent tribute to a man who served Suffolk and Whaleyville faithfully and effectively.