Letters to the Editor 11.03.11


Financial Soundness
    East Hampton
    October 26, 2011
Editor Rattray:
    Zach Cohen, supervisor candidate, whose indefatigable and undecipherable letters analyze the town’s finances, now finds himself the recipient of a Sept. 30 letter from the New York State comptroller telling him to stop calling himself a financial analyst [for the comptroller’s office] in his campaign literature.
    And there is more to the saga of Zach Cohen, alleged financial analyst. The Oct. 25 Star had this story:
    “On June 27, 2010, Ira McCracken, chief examiner for the Office of the State Comptroller, responded to Mr. Cohen’s accusations that Nawrocki Smith had botched some of the figures in the audit of town finances rather severely. ‘As you know when we certified the debt, we worked with Nawrocki Smith, we had no issues with their work.’ ” Mr. McCracken wrote.
    Clearly Zach Cohen severely botched his analysis of Nawrocki Smith’s work.
    Not only is Cohen not an financial analyst, he has never been paid by anyone to be financial analyst. After reading the above, we now know why.
    On Election Day, East Hampton voters will chose whether to continue on a path of financial soundness or turn over control of our town board to those same Democrats who have destroyed our town finances and plundered the community preservation fund for the benefit of a select few Democrats.
    Will the voters of East Hampton turn the town’s finances over to this self-proclaimed financial analyst and watch the town sink into the typical Democratic town board financial morass?
    The history of the financial incompetence of Democratic town board is not a matter of legend but of fact. Tony Bullock sold town-owned open space in 1991 for about $400,000 to close a budget gap. Cathy Lester left office with $20 million of unfinanced capital projects, forcing the Schneiderman administration to borrow in order to fund them. Newsday accused Lester of running the town as if it were “a mom and pop candy store.”
    The Republican-controlled town board, inheriting a financial mess, using prudent long-term financing and careful fiscal management, raised the town’s bond rating from an A1 to an Aa2, the highest on Long Island, and left a $10 million surplus.
    The McGintee administration took this surplus and with Democratic magic turned it into a $20 million deficit, not counting the hole in community preservation trust fund while having the town’s budget director arrested. The Democrats not only illegally used community preservation fund monies to fund town operating expenses but used the funds to buy properties owned by favored Democrats or represented by favored Democratic lawyers, and these abuses have been well documented in the pages of this paper.
    The Star is outraged that Republicans call Overby and Van Scoyoc thugs because of their behavior on the planning board. I have seen the videos cited and so can the reader by going to the LTV Web site. The video of the Sept. 17, 2008 meeting shows David Eagan, a respected local lawyer, asking Sylvia Overby for a statement, on the record, on why a decision was made. Ms. Overby tells him to put it in writing. As Mr. Eagan persists, Peter Van Scoyoc gets up from his chair, goes to the back of the room, and then suddenly appears next to Mr. Eagan demanding that Mr. Eagan leave the room. Reader, you watch, you decide.
    The other meeting folks are talking about is the Dec. 10, 2008, meeting, which shows an out of control Ms. Overby conducting a planning board meeting. Reader, you watch, you decide.
    I am not sure that I would call Ms. Overby or Mr. Van Scoyoc thugs, but I would say they are rude, crude, and most unattractive.
    The Democrats, as usual, offer no financial plan for the town because they do not have the ability make one.
    If past is prologue, and with these Democratic candidates, we can look forward to an other town board unable to manage town fiances, a town board as rude and more quick tempered than McGintee and the C.P.F. funds once more being plundered for favored Democrats and Twomey town lawyers.
    Respectfully,
    Tim Sullivan



Nastiest
    Amagansett
    October 30, 2011
Dear Editor,
    As a life-long Republican and 30-year town employee (retired) in East Hampton Town, I am very disappointed with the direction of the Republican Party. The 2011 campaign has been the nastiest campaign in my memory. The present town board as it seems has done everything possible to hurt not only the employees, but the senior citizens and young people of the community.
    After watching the Town Board meetings for the last year and listening to all the fighting, I will not be voting on the Republican line. I will be supporting Bill Mott and Marilyn Behan for town board and Zach Cohen for supervisor.
    Sincerely yours,
    EUGENE SHAW



40 Acres
    Amagansett
    October 31, 2011
Dear David,
    Why is there so much confusion about the community preservation fund being  exchanged during the election debates? Not much is being said about the $20 million currently in the fund waiting to purchase open space while land prices are at an all-time low.
    We almost get the feeling that some board members could be trying to quietly kill the program through inaction. Our supervisor promised to get us back on track with land preservation but he’s done just the opposite. It appears he and the deputy supervisor, Theresa Quigley, don’t want to use the preservation fund for its intended purpose at all.
    There was a political ad several weeks ago that I was unclear about. It claims that Mr. Wilkinson and Ms. Quigley have preserved 130 acres of land since 2010, yet the town’s Web site lists only 40 acres. Where are the other 90 acres?
    By the way, 28 of the 40 acres listed on the town’s Web site are the Boy’s Harbor property that was already a done deal by the previous administration; Bill had no choice but to go through with the purchase. I hope he is not claiming that.    The two most recent purchases were a practically unbuildable parcel next to a high-use marina and the other was acreage with the dog kennel next to Ms. Quigley’s house.
    It appears that he agrees with the Republican myth voiced by such “experts” as Trace Duryea and others back in 2008 during the preservation fund budget and management public hearing. They have a misinformed idea that purchasing land with C.P.F. money is bad for the town’s economic well-being. Meanwhile, it has been proven many times throughout the country that open space prevents tax increases while at the same time increases property values. As everyone knows, the beauty of East Hampton’s protected natural landscape is the backbone of our economy!
    Sincerely,
    JAMES MacMILLAN



On the Brink
    East Hampton
    October 28, 2011
To the Editor,
    There is an adage that says, “Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them.” It would seem that the current administration in East Hampton Town is determined to disregard that adage.
    In the not too distant past, a previous administration chose to ignore the importance that planning and zoning has in a rural community such as ours. They even had the temerity to abolish the Planning Department at the behest of those who would benefit most from such an egregious act. The resulting backlash from the residents of the town resulted in a dramatic change in town government that is still felt today.
    In light of the attitude of the current administration that the planning process is nothing more than an annoyance to those who would circumvent the zoning and planning regulations, I am led to believe that town government may be on the brink of making the same mistake again.
    If ever there was a maxim that should not be ignored, it is that the people of the Town of East Hampton have the right, indeed, the responsibility, to ensure that the quality of life we all enjoy here is preserved through responsible planning and zoning regulations.
    At a time when huge numbers of people across the country are losing their homes to foreclosure, it is evident that development in the affluent Hamptons continues apace. It is now that planning is more important than ever and that we not be fooled by the powers that be into believing that disregarding these regulations is in our best interest. Anything less I fear will lead to a situation where we will, as the old Joni Mitchell song says, have “paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
    Respectfully,
    JIM ASH



Dragged Their Feet
    East Hampton
    October 31, 2011
Dear David,
    Next week, our votes for town supervisor and board members will seriously affect the future of East Hampton. Many citizens are disappointed with our current town officials in the way they have handled multiple issues including loss of town jobs, noise from the airport, violations at Montauk bars and clubs, proposed sales of town properties, discontinued leaf pickup, etc. However, in my opinion, the most blatant fault of the sitting supervisor and his “team” has been their lack of support for the town trustees in their efforts to protect beach access on Napeague.
    East Hampton is first and foremost a beach town. The majority of full-time residents, weekenders, summer residents, and visitors alike come and stay here because they love our beautiful beaches. Our livelihoods and quality of life all revolve around our natural environment and our freedom of access.
    Many citizens have risen up over the last year or so in protest over a “land grab” lawsuit which threatens to privatize a section of Napeague beach, traditionally a haven for local families. Although town trustees have been putting up a good fight, East Hampton’s current supervisor and board have dragged their feet to take a stand or get involved. Some of us resorted to a letters-to-the- editor campaign and local media worked hard to keep public focus on the beach access issue.
    At least one organization, CfAR — Citizens for Access Rights, was started to support public access issues and to encourage town leaders to take a proactive stance in supporting the trustees. When town board members attended one of CfAR’s first meetings in March, they said they viewed the lawsuit as “unwinnable” and said the trustees were going against legal advice by defending the lawsuit. They continued by stating that a settlement should be considered and pursued.
    When asked about the town’s position and the possibility of beach condemnation as a response to the Napeague lawsuit, Bill Wilkinson was quoted in April in The Star, saying it would be cost-prohibitive. He thereby took a valuable bargaining chip off the table, weakening the trustees’ position instead of fortifying it.
    To clarify the position of town government, CfAR then presented a resolution asking for the supervisor and board to declare their support. Months later and despite numerous appeals, the sitting town government did not sign that resolution or react until about two weeks ago, coming out with a watered-down resolution saying they would use the power of eminent domain “if appropriate,” which is not the same as “if necessary.” It appears their 11th-hour resolution may be nothing more than political theater.
    On the other hand, the Democratic ticket of Zach Cohen, Sylvia Overby, and Peter Van Scoyoc have publicly and repeatedly stated they will do everything necessary to ensure continued public access to our beaches, including condemnation as a last resort. They have my support, and I truly hope that everyone who cares about the future of East Hampton and public beach access will vote in a new supervisor and the rest of his team so that those who legitimately support public beach access will hold a voting majority on the town board.
    Respectfully,
    JAY BLATT



Lasting Impact
    East Hampton
    October 31, 2011
Dear David:
    This election will have a lasting impact on East Hampton. The elected officials and their appointees to the planning and zoning boards will be making fateful decisions on the last remaining unprotected open spaces and the ultimate buildout of the town. The land available for development and redevelopment along Montauk Highway, for example, could change the character of East Hampton from the existing intimate, small-scale developments to a congested strip auto mall.
    Some have complained that regulations have blocked our freedoms, are too costly and time consuming. We should examine these statements critically as serious issues of flooding and drainage, water quality, and infrastructure challenge our ability to develop land without proper regulations.
    Natural resource-based programs are far cheaper than engineered solutions. They are a worthy investment; they require continued commitment, constant vigilance, open debates, and strict planning standards. We cannot afford to relax our standards now.
    It is no coincidence that many of the natural and cultural features no longer evident in other places on Long Island are protected here. With all the talk about budgets, I can’t help but feel that our long-term financial security will depend on the investment in our natural resources, our unique character, and our citizens.
    Sincerely,
    LISA LIQUORI

    Ms. Liquori is a former East Hampton Town planning director. Ed.




Only Takes Three
    Springs
    October 28, 2011
Dear David,
    The town board candidates with hands-on experience with the current outdoor lighting code are supportive of it (Sylvia Overby, Peter Van Scoyoc, Zach Cohen). Those who have had no experience or who have an overriding ideological bias against zoning codes (Bill Wilkinson, Bill Mott, Richard Haeg), are not in support.
    The majority on the board are now poised to throw out our code in favor of one written by Theresa Quigley that will only add to excessive, unnecessary, misaimed, and unshielded night lighting known as light pollution, resulting in glare, light-trespass, energy waste, and sky glow that obliterates the stars. It only takes three people to change our good zoning codes.
    I would like the opportunity to educate more people about this issue. There is a 22-minute video airing on LTV on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. I have an informative PowerPoint presentation that I would like to deliver to any group, including the Business Alliance (which has not yet accepted my offer).
    Legitimate concerns of those few businesses that require longer periods of time based on return on investment for retrofits to control glare and light trespass could easily be accommodated by permitted extensions.
    Thank you,
    SUSAN HARDER
    Dark Sky Society


Republicans Go Wild
    East Hampton
    October 31, 2011
Dear David,
    In the heat of the campaign, it is interesting to recall the frustration of Trace Duryea, chairwoman of the East Hampton Republican Committee, at a town board meeting some months ago. She stood up and demanded that the people present be more “civil,” “not so political” about everything! This obviously meant that no one should disagree with Bill Wilkinson or Theresa Quigley or even argue their point of view. Then she went so far to declare that we should all act “like Christians” (I guess, even if we weren’t.)
    The end of the campaign has seen the Republicans go wild in their advertising. Most shocking was Trace’s decision to permit her team to call two Democratic candidates, “thugs” for calling for order in their respective meetings.
    Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc are two outstanding citizens of our community, whether you are voting for them or not. They have brought up their children here, have volunteered in the community, and have and are holding important positions. They are the kind of citizens who any community would be proud to have. To call them thugs, when all Mr. Van Scoyoc said was, “Sit down, sir” is abominable.
    Yours truly,
    NAOMI SALZ



Situation Unchanged
    Amagansett
    October 31, 2011
Dear David,
    The Wilkinson team likes to brag about its accomplishments, so it was interesting to read in Joanne Pilgrim’s article last Thursday that its latest boast, the 2011 “tax cut,” amounts to $8.12 for the owner of a $1.8 million market-value house and $2.32 for a wage earner with a $500,000 property. The claim far exceeds the achievement.
    This disparity is not surprising to those who compared what the Wilkinson-Quigley board (hereinafter, W.Q.) said it would do and what it actually did over the past 21 months. Here’s what they promised and what actually happened:
    • Permit a paintball contest on a nature preserve. Permit withdrawn after public protest.
    • Scrap and replace our lighting law. Proposal withdrawn because didn’t make sense.
    • Transfer control of site plan review from planning board and professional Planning Department to politically appointed building inspector or architectural review board. Blocked by legal objections and public protest.
    • Replace current zoning board of appeals chairman with political representative. Thwarted by respected chairman’s right and commitment to stay.
    • Cut expense without layoffs. Promise breached: Two people laid off and others, per judicial ruling, “coerced” to leave.
    • Sell town docks. Proposal withdrawn after fishermen protests and negative legal opinion.
    • Permit a 9,000-person rock concert on Amagansett public highway. Permit transferred after public outcry and litigation.
    • Turn historic Coast Guard station into a wine bar. Dropped after public protest.
    • Rezone Amagansett landmark for commercial use. Outvoted.
    • Control disgraceful Montauk club scene. Situation unchanged.
    W.Q.’s failure to achieve their avowed priorities is the community’s good fortune. However, if we re-elect Mr. Wilkinson with Ms. Quigley still there, we may not be so lucky. They will be back at their old tricks, and if they do their legal homework and ignore public outcry they may succeed where they’ve failed so far with even worse to come. We need to stop them in their tracks. We must elect Zach Cohen, Sylvia Overby, and Peter Van Scoyoc to keep the public in the picture and preserve our town.
    Sincerely yours,
    JEANNE FRANKL

    Ms. Frankl is the chairwoman of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. Ed.



Stealth Tax
    Wainscott
    October 27, 2011
Dear Editor
    As the fall season descends upon us again the stealth tax heaped upon us from the “I don’t give a crap” majority on the town board rears its ugly head. Senior citizens, fixed income residents, and working families will bear the brunt of this cost to save a paltry $14 per household — smoke-and-mirror-trick tax cut on paper but up to a 40-percent increase in the out-of-pocket expense paid to pick up leaves. Of course Disney World, where he worked for a few years, is a fantasy place, not real life as we live it every day. The Magic Kingdom surely knows better than we do what is best for us.
    Fuel oil for heat is bordering at $4 per gallon. Food costs are up 26 percent. Energy costs are up 12 percent. Gasoline is $3.89. School taxes are up and now this burden in these troubled economic times. We need a government to help us calm the financial hardships, not heap this burden upon us year after year to save a measly $14 per household.
    Two years of Wilkinson’s financial wizardry will cost me $1,136 — some tax cut! That’s why I gave the town the check to refund the bottom line that has still not been cashed.
    Well, we can lower the thermostat to 50 and wear insulated underwear in the house, fast one day a week, and let our properties decay to look like the South Bronx.
    The lack of interest commonly displayed by Mr. Wilkinson is evident. However, that decision was already made in Montauk where he holds court knowing that working families cannot attend and he slides in his hidden agenda where Dominick Stanzione and Theresa Quigley rubber-stamp his wishes. Boredom with the lowly us is blatant.
    Then the dog-and-pony show held last year: An overflowing crowd came to voice its displeasure. Mr. Stanzione pats me on the back and tells me to present only “facts and figures.” He didn’t have the backbone to tell me it was already a done deal and that all of us were wasting our time. So much for transparency.
    The proposed fire sale of the town docks, Fort Pond House, and now the golf course at a $1 million loss, the failed concert, well I guess the self-anointed C.E.O. of East Hampton thinks he was elected emperor. And yet he kisses the feet of the special-interest groups that he is indebted to. He left Montauk out to dry with the club scene. His teeth were on fire to move the disastrous MTK concert to Wainscott with no public hearing — nothing except his arrogance and know-it-all attitude.
    The stealth tax last year cost me $568. Then I was given the wonderful opportunity to donate to the party in question. In May I sent a letter requesting that my name and address be deleted. The reply letter I have reads, “If you paid that much you got ripped off. There are plenty of ‘popup entrepreneurs’ who would have been cheaper.” I thought contractors had to be licensed and have insurance. The licensed and insured are the only ones allowed on my property.
    It is bad enough that we already have a troika that disregards us. Can you imagine if there were no possibility of checks and balances? Then for sure the “For Sale” sign would go up at the entrance to the town.
    To the Wilkinson team: No vote for you!
ARTHUR J. FRENCH



Being Downgraded
    Springs
    October 31, 2011
Dear David,
    I believe that it is important for Springs residents to be made aware of how the value of our homes is being downgraded by the current Wilkinson administration.
    My wife contacted East Hampton code enforcement several times in the past five months regarding a nearby house where there are four to five commercial, oversize dump trucks parked in the driveway overnight with assorted commercial machines, such as cement mixers, wood chippers, and other various landscaping and masonry devices.
    Code enforcement followed up on our concerns by sending an officer to our home to state that it is perfectly legal to have commercial trucks in a residential area as long as they were under the weight requirement. We were told by the code enforcement officers that these enormous trucks overflowing with debris could possibly be used for personal use and that the people living at this home were very nice.
    My wife and I met with four officials representing code enforcement and the Planning Department. After showing them photos of the property we were told that even if they got rid of the trucks the house would still be a mess.
    Since the meeting several weeks ago even more power equipment has been brought to the property. Not only is this property a safety issue for the children living there, it grossly depreciates the value of all the houses surrounding it.
    We are so disappointed by the disintegration of Springs. We bought our house here because of its quiet, provincial beauty and quality of life. I was once proud to say I live in Springs, but not so anymore. We will both be voting for Zach Cohen on Tuesday.
    Sincerely,
    R.J. GARSETTI



Listed as $0
    East Hampton
    October 29, 2011
Dear David:
    The newly released 2012 Wilkinson budget has again targeted the Human Services Department. Part-time salaries in the amount of $66,836 in the 2011 budget are listed as $0 in 2012. This means that these lines have been eliminated, along with the services that these workers provide.
    The adult day care program and in-home services program have been drastically reduced — adult day care by 74.8 percent and in-home by 68.9 percent. Further, the mission statement for Human Services includes only senior services. In the past, the department had included programs for individuals and families of all ages. Likewise, the transportation mission statement indicates that transportation for disabled people under the age of 60 will no longer be provided.
    The Star article of Oct. 27 (“Budget 2012: Last Year’s Cuts Here to Stay”) quoted [Councilman] Dominick Stanzione as saying that in-home services and transportation for the handicapped “will continue as before but with a higher degree of efficiency.” How can this be true in the face of these huge cuts? Taking away services that so many frail and disabled people count on is heartless. What is also heartless is the fact that I know of at least one worker who learned that her job is being eliminated by reading the new budget: No one bothered to mention it to her.
    Your readers may recall that Nicole Kopf, an East Hampton resident who recently passed away, willed $367,000 to the town to be earmarked for the seniors programs within the Human Services Department. What happened to that money? It was nowhere to be found in the 2012 budget. It stands to reason that Ms. Kopf so valued these programs that she wanted to ensure that others would continue to benefit. How ironic, rather than bolstering services, the current administration is cutting them.
    Mr. Wilkinson has applied his human resources mentality to his management of our town. In spite of what he claims, people are losing their jobs, and East Hampton residents are suffering the consequences. Mr. Wilkinson brags about cutting taxes. Let’s look at what else he’s done: abolished the leaf pick-up program, allowed the Montauk nightclubs to make life miserable for their neighbors, failed to vigorously fight for public beach access, attacked the Planning Department through his most recent [East Hampton Town] Zoning Board of Appeals appointee, and cut even more Human Services programs.
    The time has come to send the message that enough is enough! Electing Zach Cohen, Sylvia Overby, and Peter Van Scoyoc on Nov. 8 is the only way to stop this dangerous runaway train.
SUE AVEDON



Caring Community
    East Hampton
    October 31, 2011
Dear David,
    Campaigning for East Hampton Town Board has been filled with rewarding experiences. The six months between accepting the nomination and Election Day have passed much faster than I imagined they would. During this time I have received kind words and encouragement from so many people and made many new friends and acquaintances. I am reminded that greatest aspect of living here is community.
    You may know me as the owner of a residential construction company and a seasonal charter fishing service or as a coach for Little League, girls softball, or youth soccer in Springs and East Hampton. This is my sixth year on the town planning board, and I also served five years on the town zoning board of appeals, my last year as chairman.
    I have worked hard to protect and preserve our quality of life, promote and strengthen local businesses, and balance the needs of the community and our environment. Having attended over 700 public meetings and hearings in the last 16 years, I have gained experience in working effectively and fairly with the public.
    There are many challenges that we face. We all have been forced to make difficult choices and figure out how to get by with less. While knowing the cost of something is important, understanding its value is crucial.
    We have the best beaches, viable estuaries and bays, fields, farms, woodlands, and a caring community that has existed for over 350 years. If we protect and take care of what we have, East Hampton will continue to sustain us. If you elect me to serve you as town councilman, that is what I will do. I urge you to also vote for Sylvia Overby for town board and Zachary Cohen for supervisor. Their knowledge, experience, and hard work make them well suited for service on the town board.
    Thank you,
    PETER VAN SCOYOC

    Mr. Van Scoyoc is a candidate for East Hampton Town Board on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines. Ed.



Love and Passion
    Amagansett
    October 31, 20011
Dear Editor,
    In everything she does, Sylvia Overby shows her love and passion for the Town of East Hampton.
    Sylvia’s knowledge of East Hampton, her expertise as a planning board member, and her ability to articulate issues make her one of the best candidates for the East Hampton Town Board.
    Vote for Sylvia. I know I will!
JOAN TULP



Will Listen
    East Hampton
    October 31, 2011
Dear David,
    I am writing this letter because I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who have helped with and contributed to my campaign. If elected, I will use the knowledge I have acquired while consulting with the business community over my lifetime to work on fixing the night club problem in Montauk. The skills I have learned as investigator I hope to use to relieve some of the density in Springs.
    I will listen to what the community is saying and do my best to resolve their issues. I have been a protector of people’s rights and I will continue to fight for them as their councilman.
    I will bring common sense to the board in order to eliminate nonsense in our future.
    RICHARD HAEG

    Mr. Haeg is a Republican and Conservative Party candidate for East Hampton Town Board. Ed.



A Town in Need
    East Hampton
    October 31, 2011
Dear David,
    Asking each of us to cast a ballot on Nov. 8, 2011, six candidates compete for the two open [East Hampton] Town Board seats. Seeking to persuade us by talking about the issues and their personal lives, the candidates compete against their own party running mates as well as the opposition.
    There is a rigor and discipline necessary to open yourself up to the general public and generally the candidates have a respect, begrudging as it may be, for their fellow candidates.
    This family’s thanks go to Bill Mott and Peter Van Scoyoc for running and giving us an opportunity to vote with enthusiasm on Election Day. Common sense, dirt under their fingernails, Bill and Pete have each known a job where lives are at stake when a decision is made. Bill and Pete understand responsibility and now ask us for the authority to help a town in need. There exists a sense to repay this town for all it does for them.
    Whatever happens to Bill and Pete, Abby and I are pleased to know the quality of their effort in this campaign offering us the opportunity for sharp, calm, common-sense representation.
    Mott and Van Scoyoc will give gravity to the deliberations of the town board, and Mott and Van Scoyoc sound like a great team.
    Very truly yours,
    WILLIAM J. FLEMING


Honor to Serve
    Amagansett
    November 1, 2011
Dear David,
    If elected to the East Hampton Town Board, I will work to ensure a level playing field. No games, no favors, no political litmus test. Everyone will be treated with respect, their concerns taken seriously, and their input valued.
    I will continue to work for the protection of our environment. Our environment is our economy. East Hampton’s community character should never be put up for sale or legislated away.
    Through thoughtful legislation, I will work to protect our local businesses from the invasion of chain stores with deep pockets that could price local entrepreneurs out of the market. Our fishing heritage, commercial and sport, is a sustainable industry that needs proper assistance to remain viable. Farmers need vigorous support with real planning reform legislation as proposed by the Democratic candidates in July.
    The elimination of the leaf-pickup program has cost many, particularly seniors, more out-of-pocket money than they realized in any tax cut. With my running mates, Peter Van Scoyoc for town board and Zach Cohen for supervisor, we will reinstate the leaf-pickup program.
    A dialogue that draws in those affected by an issue will result in the best results for the town. This was certainly true in producing the 2005 comprehensive plan and the local waterfront revitalization plan. These guiding documents took many years to produce with volunteer help and ideas of hundreds of local citizens. A transparent government is one that listens and responds, not produces and dictates.
    My husband and I raised our two sons here. They graduated from East Hampton High School and I credit their friends and families with a positive and encouraging influence on their lives. East Hampton is a close-knit community, one piece of cloth with many patterns.
    If elected to the East Hampton Town Board, it will be an honor to serve this community that has given me and my family so much.
    Sincerely,
    SYLVIA OVERBY



Great Leadership
    Springs
    October 29, 2011
To the Editor:
    I grew up in East Hampton and despite the fact I am no longer a year-round resident, I feel a deep connection to the town, its people, and the community’s well-being. My parents still live in Springs and over the past several years I have seen and heard about the town that I still consider home experiencing some tough times, affecting the quality of life for all residents.
    The time has come to bring new leadership to our town board. For this very reason, I support Sylvia Overby for town board. Growing up, I had the opportunity of being around Sylvia and her family. Over the years, I was able to see Sylvia’s deep appreciation for our town, commitment to land conservation in order for all to enjoy the natural wonders of the East End, her deep interest in bettering our school systems, her caring nature of helping others in need and a clear understanding of fiscal priorities.
    As the first in my family to apply to college, Sylvia helped me understand the process, worked with me as I filled out applications, and most important explained to me the arcane and complex system of financial aid. The best piece of advice I received during that process was to learn how to save, don’t borrow more than you need, and make a commitment to repay whatever you owe as quickly as possible in order to get ahead in life. To me, these are lessons our town could learn from.
    In order for our town to regain its footing and begin moving in the right direction, we need individuals to get involved and make a difference. Sylvia is a great individual who brings great leadership qualities and a deep understanding of how our town works. We need Sylvia Overby on our town board so that we — as a community — have the right advocate who will fight to better East Hampton for us, and future generations, to enjoy the place I consider home.
    Sincerely,
    OZZIE PALOMO



Extraordinary Woman
    East Hampton
    October 30, 2011
To the Editor,
    There is nothing new or shocking about political slander on signs or in the local newspaper a week or so before an upcoming election. Minions of political adversaries run about busily pulling up signs, disparaging their friends’ views, and writing abusively to local papers about candidates who dare to run for public office.
    In this, the last week before our local 2011 election, I wish to rebut all of the derisive comments made by those who have not taken the time or trouble to acquaint themselves with the Democratic candidates, particularly Sylvia Overby. She is an extraordinary woman and a born leader. She also, quietly and with no fanfare, has helped a number of East Hampton students achieve a college education, a master’s degree, and a bright future.
    From the days of her first arrival in East Hampton, Sylvia has worked to make her adopted town a better place through the schools, community action, and volunteer work. She deserves all the praise we can give her and, on Election Day, everyone’s vote. Our town needs her intelligence, experience, and compassion.
    AVERILL D. GEUS



Steven Gaines
    Springs
    October 26, 2011
Dear David.
     I couldn’t think of voting for a Republican these days (or any days since at least Roosevelt, T.R., that is). I like the idea, however, of voting for someone locally on a local party ticket.
    That’s why I’m voting for Steven Gaines, whom I’ve known and respected for many years, on the Opportunity Party ticket. Perhaps in future elections for town board, all candidates can dissociate themselves from national party labels.
        RICHARD M. DUNN
12-Month Economy
    East Hampton
    October 27, 2011
Dear Editor:
    Steven Gaines for Town Board: Mr. Gaines continues to outshine other candidates in public debates. His lifetime of communication skills gives him an advantage in the debate format, but aren’t these the communication skills a board member needs? The answer is yes.
    Steven Gaines shows his skills more and more with each debate, and I encourage everyone to listen to him on the LTV replays or online.
    Steven Gaines, in those debates, outlines a vision for the town where we break our bad habits that perpetuate our seasonal economy. He astutely states that only by breaking this cycle can we bring a 12-month economy that can sustain young families and keep our citizens from leaving.
    This trend affects the entire region, and it is once again time for East Hampton to take the lead, as we did in the early stages of local environmental regulations. We need to embrace Steven Gaines’s vision and make East Hampton a paradigm for other communities to follow.
    Steven Gaines will bring this to the town board. Please join me in his support.
NANCY MONTGOMERY


Positive Campaign
    Montauk
    October 30, 2011
Dear David:
    In the election on Nov. 8 we have choices that may not seem as obvious to others as they do to me. I agree with Fred Thiele that the Independence Party candidates for town board, Marilyn Behan and Bill Mott, are simply the best candidates in the field. I have been critical of both Republicans and Democrats, and now it is time to sum up.
    The Democratic candidates for town supervisor and town board have tried and failed to make a case on a lot of issues. But their parties’ record on budget matters is abysmal, their record on trustee matters is poor, and they just seem like the wrong people at the wrong time.
    The Republican candidates for supervisor and town board have run a vapid campaign which was at first based on team advertisement — “the Wilkinson team.” These ads implied that one should vote for people you barely know, or haven’t heard of, because they are part of the team. They also suggest that the voters want a whole lot more than what we have been getting. I don’t think that either the implication or the suggestion is valid.
    We are fortunate that we can reject both the Democratic Party’s candidates for town board and their Republican counterparts and restore some balance and integrity to Town Hall by electing Bill Mott and Marilyn Behan. We have no third choice in the supervisor’s race. But I believe Bill Wilkinson is the better choice anyway. My criticisms of Bill Wilkinson will not be quickly forgiven or forgotten, but they were things that had to be said — and forcefully. We can only hope that Bill Wilkinson makes the needed changes in tone, style, and substance in response to these criticisms.
    With regard to the Highway Department race, I cannot at all agree with your statement that “voters should not be swayed by the unpleasant allegations by some workers.” We are not talking about boorish behavior like a winning candidate parking a truck on his defeated opponent’s lawn. No, we are talking about allegations of racial bias, racial discrimination, alleged physical abuse, and unfair hiring practices alleged by a union.
    How much voters take these matters into account is their business and based on what kind of people they are. If the voters are not to take seriously such allegatons, just where and when, in the East Hampton Star’s opinion, should they be taken into account. Whom you choose to endorse is your business, but you do a disservice to the community by saying nothing happening here, don’t pay any attention to what you’ve seen and heard.
    Finally, your editorial about truth in political advertising gave another reason to vote for Marilyn Behan and Bill Mott. You scolded the Democrats and the Republicans for their conduct, but Bill Mott and Marilyn Behan have run a clear, clean, and positive campaign. It is people like this we need on the town board.
    JIM DEVINE
    PS. I really want to know who in the Democratic Party in East Hampton destroys and vandalizes signs on public and, in the past, private property. This person, if acting alone, or this party, if an organized political “activity,” needs help.  



What It Takes
    Montauk
    October 30, 2011
Dear Editor:
    This is my first time speaking out for a political candidate, but I feel very strongly about one of this year’s candidates. I have known Marilyn Behan for 24 years and was part of the team that hired her as executive director of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. During that time I came to know her as an employee who performed her job with the utmost professionalism.
    During her tenure she was extremely organized, she did her homework, and she was the consummate multitasker. She balanced home and career and at the same time supported her husband, then-Assemblyman John Behan, in his political career. She has lived the political life for many, many years and knows what it takes to get the job done.
    Now as her friend, I have watched Marilyn over the past eight months as she began her campaign for town board. She has worked tirelessly and endlessly during her campaigning. She’s doing her research. She’s networking. She is reaching out to everyone she meets listening and weighing opinions. This is exactly what to expect once Marilyn is elected to the town board. She will be working for each and every one of us as hard as she can.
    Marilyn is truly an independent person. She loves this community, and she will protect our rights, our accessibilities, and our quality of life working for all of us to ensure that we remain protected.
    I urge you to cast your vote for Marilyn Behan on Tuesday.
    Sincerely,
    DIANE M. HAUSMAN