Those Who Helped
October 25, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray:
As your paper reported earlier this month, the East Hampton Town Trustees held the 23rd annual Largest Clam Contest on Sunday, Oct. 6. This year’s event was exceptionally well attended and, we believe, enjoyable for all participants and spectators. On behalf of the board, I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank those who helped make the clam contest a success. I’ll begin with Town Clerk Fred Overton, who once again made gallons of his famous Bonac chowder, which was doled out by the bowlful to the crowd. The town Parks Department, headed by Tony Littman, provided for the beautiful grounds, picnic tables, and garbage cans. His staff also came back to help clean up and remove the items!
We were very pleased to have shellfish hatchery staff member Kate Rossi-Snook offer a fun and educational presentation of the town’s shellfish seeding programs. And, the Classic Boat Society displayed one of their beautiful handmade boats.
We’re especially grateful to the local merchants who graciously donated goods and services for us to give as prizes. They are Pepperoni’s, Springs Fireplace Video and Hardware, One Stop Market, the Corner Store, Peconic Beverage, Atlantic Wines and Liquors, Churchill Wines and Liquors, Seacoast Enterprises, the Viking Fleet, Mrs. Sam’s, and Harvey’s Bait and Tackle. And, a six-pound lobster for raffling was donated by Vincent Damm of Montauk. While Trustees Tim Bock and Lynn Mendelman doled out the clam chowder, Nat Miller, Sean McCaffrey, Stephen Lester, and Joe Bloecker were assisted by Adam Mamay, Brian Pardini, and Fred Overton in opening 2,000 Little Neck clams provided by the board as well as 400 oysters donated by the Montauk Pearl Oyster Company for a raw bar. Trustee Stephanie Forsberg collected the contestant clams from local seafood shops, got them organized and on display by harbor, then returned them to local waters after the event.
We were honored to have our pump-out boat operators, Syd Bye and Lanny Rost, as well as Mike Bye as the largest clam judges. Mike will not only assist with the operation of the boats, but will collect water samples for the trustees to augment those collected by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to reinitiate the conditional shellfish harvest program in East Hampton. Trustee Deb Klughers received and cataloged the dozen or so clam chowders submitted for tasting by the chowder judges, our esteemed secretary, Lori Miller-Carr, and Star reporter Chris Walsh. We appreciate their time and expertise!
The Largest Clam Contest would not be in its 23rd year without the continued support and help of our friends and family, like Stephanie Clark, who sold “Wanted” T-shirts, and Sue Bock, who made cookies. If there is anyone I am forgetting I hope they will forgive my accidental omission. Thank you again for this opportunity. I look forward to seeing you with your children and the community again next year!
Diane E. McNally
October 28, 2013
Last Saturday the Springs School PTA sponsored a Haunted Barn and Halloween party at Duck Creek Farm. The event was conceived when Ira Barocas of the Duck Creek Homeowners Association met with Loring Bolger of the Springs Citizens Advisory Committee and Zach Cohen of the Nature Preserve Committee to think up one more event to host at the barn before winter set in. Halloween was determined to be an appropriate theme. They contacted Liz Mendelman of the Springs School Board, and before anyone could say “boo” the project was off and running.
Liz, the most easygoing powerhouse on the planet, coordinated the event with enormous help from the PTA and her Girl Scout troop. Beth Meredith was our brilliant artistic director and provider of the creepy, icky, and occasionally terrifying Haunted Barn stage sets. Jen Lappin and Liz provided able assistance in assembling the displays along with Ira and Zach, who provided construction skills.
That afternoon, Rita Wasserman, Peggy English, Kathy Marino, and Beth Meredith gave outstanding performances as witches (Rita was deemed the most scary). Ira directed vehicular traffic and parking, and Zach managed the foot traffic of trick-or-treaters into the barn. The Girl Scouts served cider, doughnuts, and baked goods outside.
The Haunted Barn attracted over 150 children. They enjoyed not just the barn, but games and prizes on the lawn as well. Parents caught up and visited with one another while their children played in the waning afternoon light.
This community event brought pleasure to all, and we hope to produce an even more horrible Haunted Barn next year.
Thank You All
Palm Bay, Fla.
October 28, 2013
To the Editor,
The Lizza family would like to thank everyone in the community for their love, support, prayers, flowers, cards, and donations. You have all been a big part of our mother’s life as well as ours.
Thank you all for being such good friends to her. As you all know, our mother loved Amagansett, and we will all miss her.
CARLA LIZZA COSTELLO
October 28, 1998
The tiny island of Monhegan, off the coast of Maine, was once the home to 400 mostly tame deer — and lots of tourists. They slaughtered the deer a few years back to reduce the tick population. Recently I called the local inn to see how it had gone.
“Well, we don’t have many ticks now — nothing to feed on. Just muskrats and rats.”
So there they are, adrift at sea, with their rats, muskrats, and tourists.
October 25, 2013
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the residents of Long Island who have packed the house to the rafters, laughed, cheered, and even teared up a little at the Southampton Cultural Center production of “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” The cast, hailing from the North Fork to Moriches to Montauk, led by Michael Disher and featuring Valerie DiLorenzo, have been so happy with their reception and proud. Our thanks continues to the Center for their unbridled support of great shows of the last many years at this regional theater, Mr. Disher’s exquisite taste and patience, and his promise of a future of more great productions. The “Best Little Whorehouse” runs for one more week.
Protecting a Hamlet
October 26, 2013
To the Editor,
I read a very interesting article in the Oct. 26 edition of Newsday. The article was titled “Boardwalk Boon.” The article was celebrating the completion of a 2.2-mile-long and 17-foot-high boardwalk in Long Beach that was destroyed by superstorm Sandy.
The City of Long Beach had already budgeted the $42 million to replace it and build it stronger, using tropical hardwoods for the top decking. The article quotes local leaders saying: “The city has had a boardwalk for a century, and local leaders say it is critical to the city’s economic health, especially in the summer tourism season.” Sen. Charles Schumer stated that “federal money will cover the entire cost. Long Beach is getting its $42 million.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo also stated in the article that state funds would be available as well.
Now let’s look at Montauk. East Hampton residents need to demand that Montauk be protected by any means possible. We are protecting a hamlet — not building a boardwalk! I personally am sick and tired of hearing how we have to look at the cost of these projects.
Do you think there was a “budget” in place when the City of New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina? Answer: No! Was the means of construction of this boardwalk questioned by state and federal officials? Answer: No! If we need more money to do this project properly, then so be it. If the federal government can spend $42 million on a boardwalk we should be allotted any amount of funds to protect a town.
We are protecting a hamlet and a local economy that is in harm’s way. Pick the best protection available and price be dammed.
STEVEN A. GRABOSKI
October 28, 2013
To the Editor,
If you wanted to find an example of the current town board’s unwillingness to enforce the town code, look no further than the Dunes in East Hampton.
The Dunes is a high-end, for-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that has been operating a commercial facility from a single-family house in Northwest Woods without the proper approvals. It is coming up on its three-year anniversary!
After an initial application and approval that reeks of conflict of interest and ethics violations by a former town attorney, Madeleine Narvilas, and subsequent legal maneuvering, the Dunes finally appeared before the zoning board of appeals on March 12.
The Z.B.A. issued a resounding determination on June 6 that requires the Dunes to submit a site plan and apply for a special permit as a semi-public facility. In order to qualify for this special permit the Dunes would need a 40-foot variance from the Z.B.A. for their left side-yard setback and a 15-foot variance on the right side. Setbacks double when applying for a special permit in order to help protect the neighbors from the impact of having a commercial facility in their midst, and in this case the setbacks would go from 35 feet to 70 feet.
Well guess what? Almost five months later and nothing has been submitted to either the Z.B.A. or the planning board. Inquiries with town officials as to the status of the Dunes has produced what seems to be a whisper campaign suggesting that the Dunes is moving or closing. Yet the Dunes spent thousands of dollars for an ad in The New York Times on Friday advertising its services. It continues to operate with impunity, implementing its strategy of dragging its feet.
In addition to the intense increase in traffic and other impacts from this facility, it recently came to light that one of its clients was taken away naked and in handcuffs in July after threatening other occupants at the Dunes.
It is time for the Town of East Hampton to act and seek an injunction to stop operation of the Dunes now! Even if its owners intend to submit a site plan and planning application, it should not be able to operate while that process takes place.
Citizens for the Preservation of
She Will Be Missed
October 28, 2013
To the Editor:
In just a few short days, election time will be upon us and we are faced with the very important decision of who should occupy the Justice Court seat left vacant by the retirement from the bench of the Hon. Catherine Cahill. This is about as important a decision as the voters of East Hampton can make.
As an attorney who regularly practices in the East Hampton Town Justice Court, I think that any endorsement as to whom I think will be the best choice for town justice would be inappropriate. So suffice it to say the voters of this community will decide, based upon the record, visibility, and experience of either candidate, who is best suited to assume the mantle of responsibility as a sitting town justice.
The daily docket in this court is becoming increasingly more demanding and intense, and we need justices who can manage the case load, administer the law fairly and even-handedly, and maintain the level of professionalism that the town residents have come to expect. However, I hope that the residents of the Town of East Hampton and my colleagues at the bar will join me in wishing Justice Cahill the very best of luck and success in whatever path she chooses, and that she has much time ahead of her to enjoy the choices she has made.
I first met Justice Cahill before attending law school, when I was engaged in an internship with Justice James Ketcham. Justice Cahill was an assistant district attorney then, and she was a vigorous and professional one indeed. When she ascended to the bench, she began a course of constant improvement and refinement as a justice, and she has always treated every attorney and litigant, whether a defendant in criminal matter or a litigant in a civil one, with the utmost respect and courtesy. She proved herself to be no “pushover,” and woe betide the litigant, defendant, or attorney who failed to show the court the respect that is appropriate to a sitting justice.
Catherine Cahill brought a high level of professionalism, empathy, and order to the Justice Court, just as her colleague, Justice Lisa Rana, does. Those of us who regularly practice in the East Hampton Town Justice Court will miss her, and whoever takes her place has an ambitious task ahead of them in order to maintain that level of professionalism and integrity that Justice Cahill has brought to the bench.
I am certain that whatever candidate is elected to the position of town justice realizes that they have a very high standard to maintain. Catherine Cahill helped to create that standard, and she will be fondly remembered by many of us who call ourselves officers of the court, and she will be missed.
JOHN J. EBEL
On Your Ballot
October 28, 2013
Election Day is less than a week away. This is the last chance for all eligible voters in the Town of East Hampton to learn about the candidates on the ballot and the offices up for grab, including county legislator, supervisor, town council, town justice, trustees, and others. Whatever your age, occupation or political views, Election Day is your opportunity to weigh in on the issues that matter most to us.
This general election is not of national or statewide scope, but important issues and offices are involved on the county and town levels. For instance, the Suffolk County Legislature elections will result in new leadership, as all 18 seats in the Legislature are on the ballot this year. With some incumbents term-limited and some moving on, the Legislature will have new members, which may change the political balance or appointments as well as new leadership.
In East Hampton, two of the four board seats are open, as is a town justice position. Still, not everyone can personally ask each candidate their plans for addressing our community’s needs. So, where do we find these answers?
For help looking beyond the campaign rhetoric, lawn and highway signs, and advertising, go to the League of Women Voters’ nationwide voter education resource, vote411.org. It includes up-to-date information including who’s on your ballot, information about voting early or absentee and what types of identification, if any, you will need. The six New York State propositions, with pros and cons, are also there. You can create a personalized voting guide.
Voting is the one time all citizens have an equal say in determining the issues and priorities that matter most. On Election Day, vote as if our jobs, health, education, families, and futures depend on it. Because they do!
League of Women Voters
Of the Hamptons
Same Old, Same Old
October 27, 2013
The New York State comptroller has declared Suffolk County be at severe credit risk due to its excessive expenditures greatly exceeding its tax collections. While all this spending was going on, our current county representative was participating in the voting for the last 10 years and obviously did little to stop it.
So, I ask you — going forward — is it better to have that same person represent us for only two more years (due to term limits) or should we all vote for someone else who doesn’t owe the establishment any favors, is pro-tax cuts, and who can serve us going forward for many more years? My pick is Chris Nuzzi, the alternative to the “same old, same old.”
Chris can look out for us because he won’t be looking for a new job in only two short years. Chris is from the East End and he will see to it that our interests come first, and not the special interests of the current county supervisor he wants to work for in some capacity.
Chris knows how to balance a budget and how to make the tough decisions needed to maintain fiscal solvency. Chris will take the job of county representative seriously and not just see it as another stepping stone. We need someone who will care about us and our ever rising taxes, not just care about his own post-election career.
Please join me on Election Day, and vote for Chris Nuzzi on either Row B or Row C.
Had to Be Found
October 27, 2013
To the Editor,
Now that we are in the midst of an election for some important local posts, I keep noticing in commentary and letters something which has been evident to me for some time. I have yet to read anywhere an acknowledgement that the financial problems encountered by the town during the last, Democratic, administration, had to do with anything other than the actions of various town officials. But if one examines a timeline and considers that the entire country had plunged into what is now called the Great Recession‚ which included a collapse of the financial and real estate markets, and many other effects which anyone can recall. When reasonably anticipated income from taxes on the sale and financing of housing disappeared, the town’s budget faced a genuine crisis and money simply had to be found, and it would not have mattered whether the administration was Democratic or Republican. Certainly some of the steps taken were ill-advised, but panic was gripping the entire nation, not just the Town of East Hampton.
Everyone here seems to think this was all only a local issue; it must be seen in a broader context.
October 28, 2013
Last week’s letter from Eugene DePasquale was a much welcomed endorsement for a townwide property tax reassessment. He explained how the inequities of the current system would be corrected as well as the subtle advantages of a reassessment. It was a highly educated presentation with a clear description of the process.
Studies have suggested that our town’s property taxes have a systematic bias to underassess high value homes. Because of that unfairness, property tax reassessment has populist, but not universal, support.
Eugene is the one incumbent town assessor who is running for re-election. It is refreshing to see a candidate put good policy for the town ahead of politics.
Bring to My Job
October 28, 2013
My name is Eugene DePasquale. I am the Democratic and Working Family’s candidate running for re-election this year as one of your assessors for the Town of East Hampton.
As an elected town assessor for the past 12 years and a resident of Montauk for 25 years, I bring to my job every day the experience and knowledge that comes from my qualifications as a New York State licensed certified residential appraiser and real estate broker. I have also completed the extensive education and training required to be certified as an advanced assessor in the State of New York. Some of the courses I have successfully completed include the fundamentals of assessment administration, residential real estate appraisal, mass appraisal and the reassessment process, and the principles of income property valuation‚ among others.
The role of town assessor is an important one. It requires an in-depth understanding of local market-value trends, including sales and construction. That understanding is something that I apply every day in ensuring that the assessments which I develop represent a fair and disciplined approach to the way properties are assessed.
In this economy homeowners should take advantage of every resource to keep their hard-earned dollars in their pockets. My experience and knowledge helps them do just that. I have assisted hundreds of homeowners to navigate the grievance process, a process which can be daunting. But with proper guidance, many homeowners have found that process isn’t as difficult as it seems. Also, during my time in office I have negotiated thousands of small claims assessment review cases for the Town of East Hampton, ensuring fair and equitable assessments for the town and homeowners alike.
I believe both continuity and experience in my position are key elements in this election year. My 12 years of knowledge, education, and training bring efficiency to my office. There will be no lengthy learning curve if I am re-elected. I know how to do my job. I am ready to do my job. And, more importantly, I enjoy doing my job. To sum it up, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
On Election Day I am asking people to vote for experience, education, training, and knowledge.
I am asking people to vote for me.
Town’s Legal Right
October 28, 2013
The Quiet Skies Coalition has long maintained that these are our skies and this is our airport. The airport can be financially self-supporting and the Town of East Hampton must not take any more Federal Aviation Administration money until the noise problem is solved and the F.A.A. accepts East Hampton’s reasonable aircraft access limits for noise control. Our group surveyed all four candidates for East Hampton Town Board to see if they agree with our position.
Job Potter and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez agree and therefore achieve an endorsement by the Quiet Skies Coalition.
Councilman Dominick Stanzione and Fred Overton chose not to respond to the survey. However, recent reports show Mr. Stanzione seems determined to surrender the town’s proprietary rights again, if re-elected.
Increasing use of our airport by helicopters, jets, and seaplanes has ruined the peaceful enjoyment of our homes, properties, and natural habitats, creating greater and farther-reaching noise impacts than ever before. The East Hampton Town Board can legally control noise by setting reasonable business hours and curfews, closing the airport on weekends, limiting numbers of flights in a given time period, and completely excluding some of the noisiest aircraft, but only if the town Board stops taking F.A.A. grant money.
These access restrictions must be based upon a “reasonableness” standard, a legal requirement the town must meet, by conducting meaningful noise monitoring to validate our need to limit access in order to control harmful noise impacts. Thus far, the only noise studies that have been conducted have never actually measured noise, but are only projections based on mathematical extrapolations, which outrageously conclude that there is no excessive noise off airport property. A rather liberal use of the term “study‚” this doesn’t satisfy even the most basic notion of being reasonable as not one noise monitor measuring sound impacts has been deployed or recorded!
The town currently has contractual obligations to the F.A.A., which expire on Dec. 31, 2014. Then, the Town of East Hampton, as owner and operator of this airport will finally be able to employ meaningful noise mitigation by limiting access to our airport. At that time, the town will be able to operate a safe and quiet airport, which is respectful of the rights of residents to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes and properties, without abandoning the rights of our community to another 20-year contract with the F.A.A..
Maintenance and improvements at East Hampton airport can be paid for by airport users, and not through taxpayer money, a common piece of propaganda used by aviation interests to scare the public into thinking that eschewing F.A.A. funding for capital projects means taxpayers will be charged for safety improvements. This is simply not true. The airport earns plenty of money and can support itself.
We need a town board that will manage the airport like any other business: creating a business plan that appropriately and prudently plans for and funds necessary maintenance improvements from its own revenue streams, not taxpayer dollars. Eliminating restrictions F.A.A. funding places on the town’s legal right and ability to operate our airport, finally permits the community to determine when the airport will open and close, how frequently flights can arrive and depart, and impose meaningful access limits on the noisiest aircraft.
On Election Day, East Hampton voters will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to determine town policy for managing East Hampton Airport for the next 20 years.
This is our last chance to effectively solve the problem of airport noise.
October 28, 2013
To the Editor,
If the majority of general aviation airports across the United States fund their own operations, why can’t East Hampton?
Given recent problems in Washington, is placing our airport’s future under federal control the right decision? Hardly, given that our airport, under Federal Aviation Administration obligations until December 2014, has become the poster child for noise-problem airports nationwide. And still airport proponents like Dominick Stanzione are feverishly pushing the town to request more F.A.A. money before the current term of the town board expires.
Federal grants are accompanied by written-in-stone obligations that will definitely ensure the airport remains open 24-7-365 for the next 20 years, a period during which the F.A.A. forecasts the largest growth in air travel will be private. That spells big trouble for our wealthy resort area. Our airport is being primed to become another over-trafficked resort airport similar to Barnstable Airport on Cape Cod, to name but one trouble spot. That airport installed a permanent control tower (as East Hampton did recently), and a deluge of air traffic rapidly followed, devastating residents’ quality of life as well as their property values.
The same will occur here, if Mr. Stanzione gets his way accepting F.A.A. money (reported in The Independent on Oct. 23), “I’m not going to sit on my hands waiting for someone else to come in and wreck that project for me.”
Oh, really, what’s in for him? How will his neighbors in Amagansett react when air traffic is routed around Montauk Point and over their heads into the airport? Is he leaving town, running for a higher office maybe?
Mr. Stanzione’s fervor for airport expansion is such that one must ask which commercial airline is favored by airport proponents to begin commercial flights day and night, in and out of our formerly local airport? And how will Mr. Stanzione be rewarded for his services to aviation profiteers?
If he gets his way, Mr. Stanzione will forever be linked, along with those who vote with him for F.A.A. funding, to the decline of quality of life over the entire East End.
October 25, 2013
Who would ever think that Federal Aviation Administration control of the East Hampton Airport would have anything at all to do with the problem of commercial vehicles parked all over the streets in Springs? Probably nobody. Except maybe Dominick Stanzione and his well-connected cadre of campaign financiers.
Here is what they don’t want the people of East Hampton, especially Springs, to know right before the election:
Along Industrial Road on the south side of the airport there are 32 lots totaling almost 100 acres owned by the Town of East Hampton. They are zoned for service commercial use. Some of them are already improved and have long-term tenants. There is the Animal Rescue Fund, a nursery, a preschool, an aviation concern run by a Stanzione puppeteer, a church, a map company, a drug treatment facility, our town police headquarters, and more. Perhaps the most successful of these businesses is the service commercial center on the southeast corner of the Industrial Road-Wainscott Northwest Road intersection. It is filled to the brim with thriving local service businesses whose employees work and park their vehicles there.
But many of the lots along Industrial Road are vacant, and, again, owned by the town. The service-commercial success mentioned above could be duplicated over and over again until virtually every troublesome truck in town had a potential home. Maybe that’s why they named it Industrial Road.
Here’s where it gets interesting: Mr. Stanzione and his real estate-savvy supporters know that as long as the F.A.A. has control of the airport through grant assurances the F.A.A. can also control the rents charged on these properties. Even though the town owns them, the F.A.A. insists that if they are rented it be at a market rate that they approve.
Recently the struggling venture known as Wainscott Studios, located on one of these commercial lots on Industrial Road, had its rent increased from $2,000 to $50,000. I did not make this up. Councilwoman Theresa Quigley actually said this in August at a town board meeting. She also said that when other eases came due the tenants could expect similar increases, thanks to the F.A.A. All of this was reported in an East Hampton Business Alliance newsletter.
Who can afford astronomic rents like that? Certainly not the small but growing businesses clogging up the streets of Springs. More than likely it would be out-of-town helicopter, seaplane, and jet companies just waiting to move in. Perhaps it would be wealthy friends and supporters of Mr. Stanzione and their clients? Maybe Ralph Lauren needs a storage site? Maybe all those trendy shops on Main Street need the storage space? Yes, what happened on Main Street could happen all over again on Industrial Road. Small, local businesses could be pushed out by astronomic rents. The small pool company in Springs will have nowhere to keep its trucks but, thanks to our friends at the F.A.A., we’ll proudly store sweaters made in Bangladesh.
With strong leadership and proper planning this doesn’t have to happen. Although the noise-related F.A.A. grant assurances expire at the end of next year, most of our contracts with the F.A.A. run through 2021. It may take a while, but eventually the town could regain control of its own valuable real estate and set rents so that small local businesses could prosper and grow.
Whatever the current town board decides to do about the Springs commercial vehicle problem it will be a temporary fix at best. The best long-term solution can be found at East Hampton Airport.
We need to elect representatives who will do their homework and complete a full financial study of the airport properties before one more single penny is taken from the F.A.A. Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Job Potter have stated that they will do this; Dominick Stanzione has not.
Mr. Stanzione’s strategy of spend first and beg for more without considering the consequences is both shortsighted and hurts the people of East Hampton.
New York City
October 24, 2013
To the Editor,
The Town of East Hampton and all of Long Island face a fundamental choice: Leaders can undermine the region’s economic life or foster continued economic activity and job creation. In East Hampton the issue under debate is the future of the East Hampton Airport.
To understand the economic and fiscal impacts of the East Hampton airport, New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management in collaboration with Appleseed, an economic development consulting firm, conducted a study of the direct and indirect effects of the airport. Our report highlights the interconnected character of transportation and economic activity and the vital role of aviation in emergency response infrastructure, all of which would be severely impacted by the closure of or by limited flights to the East Hampton airport.
Our study analyzed what air travel does for East Hampton. Using conservative measures, with an average flight to East Hampton airport carrying three passengers to the region, each staying for three days and spending $500 per day. Overall, local spending by airport passengers in 2011 equals an estimated $48 million and directly supports 647 full-time-equivalent jobs in a variety of local industries. In addition, the airport itself employed 65 people, with annual wages of more than $4.4 million and helped to support nearly 7.3 percent of all employment in East Hampton in 2011.
In addition, if you look at the impact to local real estate you find that 54 percent of housing units in East Hampton are seasonal or recreational homes, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. In 2010, the number of second-home construction grew by 673. Using a modeling technique widely accepted in economic impact analyses, between 2000 and 2010, it is estimated that this spending directly generated an average of 594 full-time-equivalent jobs each year in construction and related industries (such as architecture, engineering, insurance, and legal services).
Our research demonstrates that these flights are an integral element in the life of the local and regional economy and influence activities ranging from real estate to retail to hospitality. Air travel, in fact, is essential to the local economy: creating jobs, supporting local businesses, enhancing the tax base, and helping to stabilize property taxes for everyone. The East Hampton Airport serves as a vital year-round lifeline for small business owners and local residents. The airport’s existence is critical to the economic viability of the region — a link to metropolitan areas in the northeast and a crucial conduit for residents, seasonal visitors and tourists from around the world who invest in the local economy, support local schools, and ensure tax dollars stay here at home.
While the economic impact of the East Hampton Airport is substantial, there is another vital component. This airport serves as a critical element in first responders’ search, rescue, and evacuation efforts during localized crises as well as major events like Hurricane Sandy. Without the airport the region would be at significantly greater risk.
To be fair, the issue of noise is serious; it can and should be resolved through direct and transparent negotiations by all the parties involved. However, to hold this vital economic infrastructure hostage as a negotiation tactic puts at risk the very economic and emergency response foundation of the entire region.
For the long-term future of the local economy, it is imperative that the East Hampton Airport remain open — a solution that can be achieved through negotiation and by all stakeholders. By continuing to find ways to work together, minimize noise, protect jobs, and provide a crucial safety net in case of disaster, we can come together to do what is best for everyone by keeping the airport open and the region safe and thriving.
The Rudin Center-Appleseed study was paid for by a coalition of airport users and businesses, including Sound Aircraft and the Eastern Region Helicopter Council. Ed.
October 28, 2013
Please excuse the use of this quote again but I can’t help myself after seeing several full-page color ads in The East Hampton Star by the East Hampton Aviation Association: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” — Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), Mark Twain (1906).
Lies: “East Hampton Airport is getting smaller.” Shortening and eliminating one runway does not make the airport smaller. The airport property is the same size. Dirty, noisy helicopters don’t need runways, only the tarmac, to land. Since 2002, dirty, noisy helicopter traffic has expanded exponentially. We already proved the God-forsaken, unreliable air traffic data spewed by the airport manager, James Brundige, is grossly inaccurate.
Damned lies: “East Hampton Airport is quieter.” Household noise complaints from the noise hotline are neither scientific nor reliable to measure noise in the neighborhoods that are tortured and tormented by dirty, noisy helicopters (from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Tim Bishop’s joint press release). I made over 400 documented phone calls in one year; now I don’t make any more phone calls. That may make up the 60-percent decrease in complaints quoted in the association ad.
Aircraft noise is the number-one issue in East Hampton. Aircraft noise is the number-one issue at the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee. East Hampton Airport and aircraft noise is the number-one issue in this year’s campaign. We, the people, need to vote the bums out!
Statistics: “According to New York State, the airport adds 91 jobs and $12.6 million to the local economy.” The association ad wishes its readers to believe New York State conducted a study of the financial impact of the East Hampton Airport on the local East Hampton economy. This is a lie based on the misuse of statistics based in propaganda.
The New York State Department of Transportation issued a report citing the economic impact of the New York State economy. Sikorsky helicopters have several operations in New York State that are located in Horseheads, N.Y., Wappingers Falls, N.Y., and Big Flats, N.Y. Except for Benny Krupinski’s helicopter, all dirty, noisy helicopters are based outside of East Hampton, in areas such as New Jersey, Dutchess County, and Westchester County.
Reputations take a lifetime to build. Integrity can be lost in a second. It is silly the board of the East Hampton Aviation Association lent their personal names to the full-page ads. Strictly by association, the folks named in this ad are now known as liars. Who can trust them anymore?
The time has come for we, the people to speak on Tuesday. It will be silly to vote for anyone who was in office that didn’t resolve the number-one issue in East Hampton, who served on the town board and didn’t stop the torture and torment. It will be silly to vote for anyone who commits to take Federal Aviation Administration money and cede control to the F.A.A. for another 20 years. It will be silly to vote for anyone who promises to continue the status quo, to continue the pain.
If it wasn’t so silly, it will be crazy to do otherwise on Tuesday. Vote for those who are willing to serve you.
October 24, 2013
Well there’s no doubt that it is election time and airport opponents are not going to miss an opportunity to once again influence public perception of East Hampton Airport. Considering the close similarity of the wording of most of their letters to the editor this week, it’s obvious that there is concerted and well-organized effort to once again mislead the public.
It should be known that the town board’s vote to move ahead on the deer fence project is nothing new; it was previously and unanimously approved by all members of the board in December of 2012.
Despite their claims of “out of control noise and expansion,” traffic is down up to 30 percent since 2008, and noise complaints this past summer season down 60 percent.
The control tower, in addition to improving safety, has helped to direct traffic away from noise-sensitive areas in both East Hampton and Southampton.
That is not to say that more can’t be done to better address the concerns of those affected by airport operations as long as Federal Aviation Administration guidelines are complied with. The ability of the town to impose reasonable restrictions at the airport is no different whether it accepts federal funding or not.
This has been independently affirmed by two well-respected and experienced aviation attorneys, one hired by the town and one by the East Hampton Aviation Association. The F.A.A. has the ultimate authority over air operations at all 3,500 public-use airports and has never allowed municipalities to override that authority. The town board’s best chance at resolving any of the noise issues at the airport rests with cooperation with the F.A.A. and the start of a Part 150 noise study.
I would hope that the majority of East Hampton voters will make their decisions based on the facts and not exaggerated and hysterical claims by a well-organized and well-funded minority.
Insults My Intelligence
October 27, 2013
When the East Hampton Republican Committee gave away its majority, I could almost hear my checkbook groan in pain.
It’s okay though because the difference is now, when the majority reach into my pocket (and make no mistake they will reach deep), they are going to do it with a smile. All in the name of improving my “quality of life.”
Kathy Burke-Gonzalez from Springs: The problem? Too much smoke and mirrors. Lack of substance. All those years on the Springs School Board passing increasing budgets year after year, and yet claiming that by negotiating to pay less exorbitant budgets she has saved the Springs resident money. How can you begin to claim saving when we, the Springs taxpayers, continue to pay increasing school taxes every year. The answer: You can’t. It just doesn’t work. Play with the language all you want. The numbers and history do not lie.
I’m also interested in why Ms. Burke-Gonzalez is against taking the Federal Aviation Administration money regarding the airport. The Springs residents I’ve spoken with agree that by taking the F.A.A. monies Springs residents would benefit by not having to see taxes increased, as opposed to the town running the airport independently. Wouldn’t a true fiscal champion of the Springs see and acknowledge this?
I’m not buying it, friends and neighbors. In my opinion it’s clear that Ms. Burke-Gonzalez is not being put up for town board to fight for Springs as much as she is to be a rubber stamp, another vote so the majority can claim they have a mandate to tax and spend.
As for Job Potter: The last time around you campaigned and talked about how you wanted to do something for the Springs. Well Springs is no better off; in fact, things only got worse for the working class. The old tactic of scaring voters with tales of environmental ruin is starting to show its age, Job. Real ideas and acknowledgment of the working class is what’s called for. You have a record and a legacy of preserving open space, but once that space is off the tax rolls, where does that loss get absorbed? The workers of Springs, of course. Sorry Job, to some it’s a fine noble legacy to have, but my neighbors and I can’t afford your legacy.
So think, friends and neighbors. Think and remember what the candidates say or more importantly what they don’t or won’t say. Over the next two years monies are going to be spent, all in the name of improving our collective “quality of life.” It’s a nice slogan; it looks good on campaign ads. I just wonder how much say are I and my neighbors going to have in these improvements, and how much is it going to cost.
Even the 2 a.m. TV huckster, trying to convince me that purchasing a Sham-Wow will improve my quality of life, insults my intelligence less than the Democratic Party.
KEVIN M. BYRNE
Getting to Yes
October 28, 2013
In the coming years, East Hampton must develop and implement legislation to deal with many challenging issues. Arresting coastal erosion, protecting fisheries and water supply, preserving open space, and maintaining residential quality of life while supporting tourism are only some of them. Many interests are at stake, and reaching consensus on approaches will not be easy. Hard work, good ideas, and the patience and willingness to communicate with the public and colleagues will be essential tools.
Job Potter has shown that he has the experience and qualifications needed. Job is respectful of the different perspectives and concerns of East Hampton residents and committed to serving all of us. Courteous, patient, and determined to reach solutions to tough problems, he has a record in eight years on the town board of “getting to yes” on land preservation, affordable housing, historic preservation, and many other issues. We need his dedication, imagination, and calming influence on our town board. I am proud that the Democrats nominated him, and I know he will serve us well.
Ms. Frankel is chairwoman of the East Hampton Democratic Committee. Ed.
Really Stands Out
October 27, 2013
The election is almost here, and the sweeping change is being welcomed with open arms. Despite the tug-of-war between party lines, we free thinkers should forget the town board candidates’ affiliations and just evaluate their abilities to govern and their desire to improve our finances and the quality of life here in East Hampton.
It’s too bad that we are still subjected to some of the tainted ads that appear every week, especially when a simple look into candidates’ actions will reveal where their loyalties lie. Without going into the boring bullet lists for each one, let’s take a look at their tailored biographies on both of the Republican Web sites (includes the Indepublicans) and the Democrats’ Web site.
Starting with the man that nobody seems to know anything about, Mr. Overton, it appears that he has been around since 1988 and yet the only thing in his bullet list that looks interesting is his technical input into the town Web site. If he is the one responsible for the town’s computer information system, then I wonder why the taxpayers paid thousands of dollars to a computer consultation-development company. Did Mr. Overton request that some “enter” buttons be moved to a different part of the screen? As far as his town clerk responsibilities go, insiders say that it was his assistant, Carole Brennan, who has been doing the bulk of the work anyway. Thankfully, she is nominated to run for and will hopefully fill his position.
In his favor, though, is his relaxed, mild-mannered temperament, a big contrast to his partners Bill Wilkinson and Theresa Quigley. Even with that I must say witnessing his performance in two debates left me cold and uninspired. Is this a man with convictions and passion for anything East Hampton? We still don’t know. The overall impression is that he will be collecting a salary and not much else.
Then we have Job Potter whose profile seems very modest considering the selfless and all-encompassing projects that he undertook during his seven years of service under three supervisors. This is a man who sees the whole picture for the long-term health of East Hampton.
We are now learning that soon our water may not be drinkable, yet years ago it was Job Potter who had the foresight to save thousands of acres of open space, the only way to protect our drinking water. He is also responsible for saving and completing the affordable housing complex, as well as overseeing services for senior citizens and the disabled, and still the list goes on and on with good things that benefit us all. Without embellishments in his biography, Mr. Potter really stands out.
There is not enough room in this paper to filter through the amount of fluff and half-truths we find in the Web site biography of Mr. Stanzione. As a member of the Wilkinson-Quigley-Stanzione team he voted to sell off important town assets, including Fort Pond House, until a lawsuit, citizens groups, and an upcoming election embarrassed him into voting against it at the last minute. The reality was much different than stated on the Web site.
He was also eager to take the credit as head of the state-mandated program’ meant to stop road runoff from further polluting our waters, yet he kicked the can down the road for four years so that the funding would be not be calculated into the W.Q.S. team’s budget, leaving some of our harbors and shellfish areas vulnerable to more runoff and pollution.
It’s also funny how the bio skipped his prior campaign pledge to remove the zoning that prevented these mega-mansions from consuming half-acre lots and forever destroying community character. The list goes on and on with questionable decisions by this man made to benefit a handful of people. Did I mention the $56,320 he just racked up for airport consultations without prior board approval, and again the W.Q.S. team just voted to pay it with your money? Not seen in the bio either. Hmm.
New to the political arena but seasoned in East Hampton with 17 years of living, including the nine years serving on the Springs School Board, is Kathee Burke-Gonzalez. Her bio is simple and straightforward but shows how hard work and dedication in a tough school district where budgets and test scores used to be a challenge pay off. Many say that her understanding of how a community functions is long overdue on our town board. If you have the chance to observe her interact with people while on the campaign trail you will see sincere concern and intellect in action. Her abilities and energy are needed and refreshing in comparison to that of the W.Q.S. team. When you meet her, I think you will agree. She will even call you to discuss your issues if asked.
So without mention of political affiliations, we have some candidates who will be devoted to you, the taxpayer, and some who will be devoted to someone else! You decide. Vote on Tuesday.
October 27, 2013
It was a pleasure to meet with all of you last week when you, Carissa, Joanne, Stephen, Amanda, and Christopher screened the four candidates for town board.
Undoubtedly, each of the candidates sees our problems and possible solutions to them through his or her own lens. As I am the only woman running for town board, 10 to 15 years younger than the other candidates, and the only one with school-age children still at home, I think I bring a different and important perspective to the discussion.
I believe Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said it best when she remarked, “Oftentimes we (women) see the problem differently, we see the solution differently, and so by bringing that perspective to the table, you will have a more holistic approach. You will have an approach that is 360 degrees. For example, women are often very good listeners, often consensus builders, often able to compromise, and reach across party lines, able to forge deals and reach better solutions. So I just think by nature we often are very good at consensus building.”
I agree with Senator Gillibrand. And I know from experience that it does make a difference. As president of the Springs School Board, faced with a budget shortfall, I created a method for community participation in decision-making that allowed parents, residents, educators, and staff to communicate their educational priorities to the board. It had never been done that way before. That enabled us to close an $800,000 gap with the full support of the community. The voters then approved the budget by more than three-to-one.
I think we need diverse voices on the East Hampton Town Board, including women and people who are still in the working part of their lives and raising a family in East Hampton. It is a point of view that needs to be included if we are to find balanced solutions to the problems we face. If you think so too, I ask for your vote for town board on Election Day.
Record of Service
October 27, 2013
To the Editor:
A couple of recent events seem to indicate that the local Democratic Party has not been chastened at all by the misdeeds and malfeasance of its activities during the McGintee mess. An attempted ambush of Town Clerk Fred Overton at a recent town board meeting, an ambush clearly coordinated by irresponsible members of the audience and the two sitting Democratic board members, was thwarted by Mr. Overton’s calm and professional demeanor, a performance that put on display the qualities which make Mr. Overton the clear choice in the coming election.
And now we have Alec Baldwin’s Conservator Political Action Committee caught illegally endorsing individual political candidates, which violates the group’s status as a PAC. Mr. Baldwin’s disregard of the niceties and strictures of law and custom are world famous, and his claim that his PAC endorses only Democrats because only they care about the environment is laughable on the face of it and even if true would not justify illegal behavior.
Perhaps Mr. Baldwin and his group have forgotten that it was during the six years of Democratic control of Town Hall that all sorts of games were played with community preservation fund money and that Job Potter, one of the people endorsed by Mr. Baldwin, was in the thick of that C.P.F. scandal, both as a board member and afterward as a financial consultant hired by Mr. McGintee. Mr. Baldwin should also note that in the four years before the McGintee reign, the Republican-led town board purchased more open space than during any comparable period.
Mr. Overton has a long record of service to his town, his community, and his country. And Dominick Stanzione has shown over the past four years that he is an energetic and responsible member of the board. I don’t have anything like the kind of money and influence of PACs like Mr. Baldwin’s, but for what it’s worth, I urge my fellow citizens to vote for Mr. Overton and Mr. Stanzione.
Would Be an Asset
October 28, 2013
How do I know that Kathee Burke-Gonzalez will be a good member of our town board? Because two years ago I asked Kathee about the proposal to cut the Springs School athletic budget by 50 percent. She did not look at all happy about having to do that and said, “Barbara, there are just too many people financially hurting in our district right now, and we need to make cuts wherever we can this year.” I admire her for taking a stance that was unpopular with many parents out of respect for what was best for all her constituents. (And I was pleased that the funding was restored the following year.)
I also appreciate her not selling Springs kids down the river by bowing to a small but vocal demand to get rid of pre-kindergarten. Several years ago, I also thought that parents should pay for their kids’ pre-K programs, just as we did. But changes in our economy and school standards have made me realize that is just not possible. It is bad enough that Springs kids are behind the curve in music (I was shocked at my first high school concert when I realized that other schools had strings programs) and in language (who knew French was available elsewhere?) without having an extra struggle in early education that our neighboring districts avoid.
Kathee’s ability to be impartial would be an asset our board. Rather than someone with a personal agenda, I just want someone who can look at whatever situation our government is in and figure out in a rational and sensible manner what to do about it. And that I know Kathee can do.
Checks and Balances
October 28, 2013
Before East Hampton residents go to the polls next Tuesday, I hope they will consider the ramifications of electing a potential oligarchy. The long-term effects of electing people of like mind who will tacitly approve the mandates of a leader put at risk the American system of checks and balances.
It is my hope that the voting public will elect Fred Overton and re-elect Dominick Stanzione to the town board so that all voices of the community can be heard.
October 28, 2013
I am supporting Kathee Burke-Gonzalez for East Hampton Town Board. She is direct, honest, and focused on real issues that affect the quality of our life in the Town of East Hampton. I have listened to her at debates and other candidate venues. If she doesn’t have the facts she needs to take a position on, she readily admits it and sets about getting the information she needs. If she has developed a solution, she states it clearly and provides the rationale behind her thinking.
I value ethical behavior and a productive approach to problem solving very highly. Kathee Burke-Gonzalez exhibits both.
October 28, 2013
I have known Kathee Burke-Gonzalez for over 10 years. She is a hard worker, a great mom, and a dependable friend. I have known her in the capacity of trustee, vice president, and president of the Springs Board of Education. She was a dedicated community representative in those positions, and she will work very hard for you and the greater good of East Hampton as a member of the town board.
Kathee delivers! She is smart, honest, and ethical and has always brought to the board of education a “thinking out of the box” level of governance. She is level-headed and works well with other members of the board. Seriously this is an important skill considering the past board’s history. She takes her job seriously.
Kathee knows about accountability, something she learned in her many years in advertising. Kathee is a leader who is unafraid to make tough decisions, even when it may anger special interest groups or make her unpopular with certain members of the community. Her priorities are about the entire community, not her own personal or professional needs. She sees the big picture and is not swayed by public criticism when she has to make tough decisions.
There have been negative letters in the press about Kathee’s lack of experience. These claims are ridiculous. While she was on the board of education the Springs district saved money and improved education standards in an ever-changing and growing environment.
East Hampton needs Kathee’s enthusiasm, her visionary thinking, insight, and good judgment on the town board. I’ll be voting for Kathee Burke-Gonzalez on Tuesday. I am hoping you will choose her too.
Into the Future
October 26, 2013
To the Editor:
I cannot believe that after almost 40 years working as a federal and state government manager I am actually penning a letter in support of a candidate for office, and a local candidate at that. This is a first for me. However, after working in government and with elected officials at all levels, I feel compelled to endorse Kathee Burke-Gonzalez for the East Hampton Town Board. To me, she stands well above all of the other candidates running for the board, be they Republicans or Democrats.
The key attributes for an elected official are rational and unbiased decision-making, accountability, and the ability to listen to facts before acting. In all of these areas I believe Ms. Burke-Gonzalez to be far superior. As an example, while presiding over the Springs School District, she was forced between a rock and a hard place with strict spending caps and little opportunity to make pervasive changes that would either save money or radically change the quality of classroom education.
Notwithstanding, she crafted a path forward that provided the mandated austerity not under her control without sacrificing educational standards or children’s health and safety. Her solution saved the district and taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and at worst may have inconvenienced a few soccer parents. For this she gets criticized, and the facts of the matter are misstated by her opposition to denigrate her.
I use this as an example to show that Kathee is a leader, does listen and understand the facts, and is willing to make decisions that may be unpopular or uncomfortable to her politically. The reality, looking into the future for the town, and that is what this election is about, is tight finances and a diverse amount of pressure to spend more and in new ways.
With that reality, I want Kathee Burke-Gonzalez on the town board. I think she stands heads and shoulders above the rest of the candidates, all of whom I have met in my 35 years as a resident here. A nicer group of guys you couldn’t find. Let’s, however, consider each as a candidate.
One has written a letter to this very paper advocating getting “the town board down off the dais and let them work around a table (as they used to).” Sounds like a step back to unaccountable, closed door, decision-making to me. He further uses as his rationale that it is a “mistaken idea that half-baked pieces of legislation should be brought to a hearing ‘to see what the public thinks.’ ” I have trouble with a candidate who doesn’t think it is important to have a public airing on half-baked legislation (and even those that are fully baked) and would send the town board back into closed sessions in no-smoke filled rooms. Please pardon the aphorism but I do work for the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Then we have the candidate who led the town board in abstentions over the recent past. I think that says enough. Lastly, there is the candidate who has been a government manager and has yet to point to one policy action or opinion of his own, proving it is possible to be connected with town government for 25 years and say nothing in a full-page campaign ad.
I think for East Hampton’s future we need somebody who can make tough and sometimes unpopular decisions, in the rude gaze of public scrutiny, after listening to what the public thinks. As such I’d like to see Kathee Burke-Gonzalez elected to the town board and leave the nice guys to finish last.
Note: In accordance with the federal Hatch Act, it must be noted that the opinions contained herein are mine. My endorsement of Ms. Burke-Gonzalez does not constitute an endorsement of her by the federal government or the United States Environmental Protection Agency, of which I am the chief of the radiation and indoor air branch in the New York regional office.
Balanced the Budget
October 28, 2013
The Republican and Independence Parties campaigns have been reduced to talking nonsense. Witness the suggestion that a town board led by Larry Cantwell, as supervisor, will need their candidates as members to guarantee fiscal responsibility.
Larry balanced the budget of East Hampton Village annually for over 30 years and maintained a financial surplus every year for three decades. He doesn’t need reminders to stick with sound financial management, and, at every speaking opportunity, he’s made it absolutely clear that he intends to do so.
For fiscal responsibility and a government that listens to the people, voters should stick with Larry and his running mates for town board, Job Potter and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez.
Very truly yours,
Truly Been Humbled
October 27, 2013
For the vast importance that we place on time, I’ve arrived at the mindset that time is merely an agent of humility. That thought has really resonated over the last nine months, that is, the period of time in which my wife, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, has been running for the office of town board here in our home of East Hampton.
Fancying myself a true 2013 dude, one of the first things that I did was Google “how to run a political campaign.” Wow, little did I realize that as daunting as some of the articles made running for office sound, it was actually more challenging than depicted. My thought process was that Kathee would tackle the issues one by one and get up to speed on them and develop a position. We would go out and campaign in the community, get her message out, and then let the voters decide.
I’m embarrassed at how naive I was. Now I understand why some friends were asking, “Why is Kathee doing this?” Misconceptions have been forwarded, misrepresentations have been presented, and lies have been penned. Phantom writers have even forwarded some of these falsehoods. Yet, Kathee’s resolve has been strengthened and her convictions buoyed by these attacks.
Witnessing firsthand how the myopic minions have attacked my wife, I feel compelled to offer a hearty thank you to all the candidates that are running in this election. I thank the candidates and their families for having the courage to stand up and be counted.
On my end I have truly been humbled by the support that has come Kathee’s way during this phenomenal journey. People from all walks of life have voiced their support of Kathee’s candidacy. The gay man, the Ecuadorian cleaning woman, the African-American custodian, the lesbian author, the Jewish lawyer, the insurance guy, the real estate woman, the single mom, the groovy dude who loves to eat chicken at my workplace, the young Bonacker who cuts lawns for a living, the working mom, the surfers, the conservative Republican, people who preach the gospel, small business owners, big business owners, the farmers, the teachers, the school administrator, the folks whose last names are on our street signs, and, yes, even the men and women who seek their livelihoods on our beautiful waters. At last count there were 17 past and present school board members from all the districts here in East Hampton who support Kathee.
The issues are many and the challenges appear Herculean for the incoming town board. Still I confidently ask for your support of Kathee. She has the ability to build consensus. She has enormous comprehension skills. Her business acumen has been built with over 30 years in the advertising business, as an account manager. Her managing skills have gone to another level, with her nine years’ experience on the school board, the last two as president. As a fiduciary helping to oversee the Springs School budget, she was instrumental in saving the district over $4 million. Yep, I said $4 million.
The vortex of circumstances that has gotten Kathee to run for office started with a simple school board meeting ten years ago. Kathee and I attended the meeting in hopes of advocating for a teaching assistant in our son’s kindergarten class. We were pretty much dismissed with an attitude that said, “You are new here and we know what is best.” While I went home hoping to catch the rest of the Monday night football game, Kathee went home to think about it. When we were met with the same attitude at the next month’s meeting, I thought, okay that was a good try. Kathee, on the other hand, decided to step up and run for the school board. Therein lies a very important difference between Kathee and numerous residents in this town. When Kathee sees a problem she will work to find a solution, not just blow hot air at it. On Nov. 5, I humbly ask that you vote for Kathee.
A Better Place
October 28, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
I hope you’re feeling better. I assume you’ve had a cold recently or some unpleasant stomach discomfort due to fluctuating temperatures coupled with a shellfish incident. If not, I still hope you’re feeling better. You look fine, but should consider walking straighter and not slouching so much in front of your keypad.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of campaigning with Kathee Burke-Gonzalez near the entrance to the post office in Amagansett. As you know Kathee is running for a position on the East Hampton Town Board, and I believe she is an outstanding candidate for that important seat. Not since my school days, in the Kennedy era, have I ever campaigned actively for an individual. I’ve written letters, signed petitions, sent in my contribution, but never gone out there for the face-to-face. It’s a great experience, a feeling of participating in our town democracy in a deeper way than just mailing it in.
It was also an opportunity to talk about someone other than myself for a few hours. I prayed it wouldn’t kill me, and it didn’t. I’m here, Mr. Rattray, alive and typing. I introduced Kathee to dozens of my fellow Amagansett residents and promised them that East Hampton would be a better place when she took her place on the board. I also promised that she would make our beaches wider from Wainscott to Montauk, which caused her to stare at me in a moment of disbelief. Hey, it’s a campaign! (I also told people to vote as often as possible.)
In truth, Kathee is a serious woman with a world of experience volunteering her time and energy to our community as both a member and past president of the Springs School Board. If you want to feel even better, Mr. Rattray, hang out at the post office in East Hampton this Friday and pass out her brochure. And if you feel that might be inappropriate for a newspaper editor, by all means resign from The Star and hit the campaign trail.
Late Saturday afternoon I attended a Democratic Party rally at the Neighborhood House in East Hampton. There was live music, pizza, beverages, and a lot of happy folks enjoying each other and their candidates, including Jay Schneiderman, Job Potter, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, and, of course, the unchallenged candidate for town supervisor, Larry Cantwell. (I know you’ve often wondered how I won the election for president of the Treasure Island Drive Association, Mr. Rattray; I ran unopposed.)
The room was filled, of course, with the faithful. Few opposing viewpoints, you might rightly assume. And though it might be a stretch, I sensed something similar to what many people seem to be feeling in New York City right now: that the change almost certain to come to the mayor’s office will be a good thing. That the timing is right. Another demeanor, another personality, another community perspective is exactly what’s needed right now.
Still, I want to offer Mr. Cantwell and the others who will soon occupy their offices in Town Hall a suggestion: A democratic election, however overwhelming the results, is not a coronation. It’s job placement by the majority — the opposite of how it works in the corporate world. Don’t feel the need to “clean house” before you’ve had the chance to meet and speak with every member of that house. Because every one of those folks employed by the town — by us — deserves the chance to show their diligence, their work ethic, and their willingness to make you look good in your new job. A great place for the newly-elected to start, in fact, would be making their workplace a happier, more positive place to be. Everybody wants to feel better, don’t you think, Mr. Rattray?
Me too. Now stand up straight!
Community Is Fortunate
October 28, 2013
To the Editor,
As I consider myself among the countless who are disenchanted with the state of our political system, it is both an unusual and welcome occurrence that I find myself writing in support of a candidate for public office. When a candidate comes along that doesn’t have an agenda to push or an axe to grind, but has a track record of dedication to improving the lives of those in our community, I find myself compelled to write a letter of endorsement. Accordingly, I hereby unequivocally express my support for the most promising candidate I can recall for our town board, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Ms. Burke-Gonzalez over the past several years addressing the single most important issue to me: my children. As a devoted and, some may say, an overly passionate parent, I’ve had considerable interaction with our school’s board of education over the years and I have only positive things to say about my experiences with Kathee.
As a devoted and fair member of our school board, Kathee has earned my respect and admiration, not only in her ability to manage and preserve a high-caliber educational program during times of extreme financial challenges, but in her day-to-day interactions with staff and parents alike in addressing concerns as they arise. I have found Kathee to be an advocate for our children, yet a good steward of our community’s resources, knowledgeable and thorough in her research, yet open-minded to others’ viewpoints, and, moreover, a tireless leader able to find solutions through consensus rather than divisive dictation.
I have every confidence that Kathee, given the opportunity to serve as a board member, will succeed in addressing the critical issues facing our town, and will do so in a manner void of the political gamesmanship that leaves me more than disappointed with our system of governance. To have someone in office who truly is of the people, by the people, and for the people would be a breath of much needed fresh air.
Our community is fortunate to have someone as talented and dedicated as Kathee willing to serve us. I encourage you to give her your support when entering the polling booths next week.
JENNIFER J. HAAGEN
Isn’t the Party
October 28, 2013
An off-year election, with no Washington ingredients, coupled with the strange sight of a blank Republican nominee for supervisor, can be the recipe for an apathetic electorate. Failure to take this election seriously could result in missing an opportunity to put a team of experienced dedicated people on the town board next week.
As has been seen, reviewing the last two administrations, it isn’t the party that makes the difference — it is the quality of the individual board members independent of affiliation that is the key to our future.
I believe that I speak for the overwhelming number of all three parties in applauding the excellent choice of Larry Cantwell as supervisor, but he has stated many times he will need all the support, experience, and dedication from his board members that he can get to aggressively study and solve the wide range of issues that the town is now facing. I believe that type of support is available if you vote for Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Job Potter.
Kathee served nine years on the Springs School Board, two as president, building and managing a $25 million-a-year budget with steadily improving results.
Job served eight years on the town board, participated in the design and adoption of the comprehensive plan, and made major contributions to open-space preservation and affordable housing.
October 28, 2013
There are so many important issues facing the Town of East Hampton. Three of these concern water: potable water, clean water in our bays and ocean, and the most eminently pressing of all is the issue of coastal erosion.
While the focus has been on Montauk, our coast extends from the farthest tip of the famous end to Wainscott and actually even beyond, because it really is all one coast. While there have been discussions by some local groups, we have seen the gang of three act as they have always acted, in haste and without seeking expert advice. How many times have we witnessed the Republican majority take an action without weighing facts, pursuing serious deliberation on a course of action, and seeking expert opinions? A familiar story! They are like the Republicans in Congress.
But these are the times that try our souls, and I, for one, think we need to clean house and get the people elected to the town board we deserve who are proven problem-solvers, instead of one who was a yes man for three and half years to the Wilkinson-Quigley axis of power and the other an invisible man until it was time to run for office. It isn’t thinking out of the box, a popular cliché, we need, it’s just plain old-fashioned thinking.
I want that all-Democratic board, which has been bantered about and condemned by those who have been seduced by promises, promises. That board will have people on it who have varied backgrounds, strong resolve, and each having a point of view that is their own based on their unique life experiences. We don’t have time to waste with any of the two Republican candidates who are both incapable of the job of serious crafting of laws. There is just too much at stake, summed up in three key words‚ quality of life.
In referring to Dominick Stanzione, I simply must quote a gentleman’s letter from last week, which sums up the Republicans and is the best line of the campaign: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, babble them with bullshit.”
Out of Touch
October 28, 2013
Why would anyone vote for an incumbent who does not listen to the voices of his constituents? Dominick Stanzione has strongly declared that, in his opinion, the 555 Montauk Highway luxury condominium project is a grand idea and that the area should be rezoned.
I had a one-on-one conversation with this candidate for re-election after the last Montauk work session of the board. At this meeting, the Planning Department presented reasons why this development is a poor plan for Amagansett and that a rezoning should not be established there. Contrary to the goals of our comprehensive plan, such rezoning would allow for significant increases in density on property that is marked by its prime agricultural soil.
In the conversation, I learned that Mr. Stanzione had already made up his mind to vote for rezoning, discounting planning board recommendations, and said that he would love to live there himself. What he is not listening to is the affordability issue. The 555 developer, reacting to the strongly negative reactions of the Amagansett community, to his plans, said he would include eight “affordable” apartments of 645 square feet each to be available for $550,000. Half a million dollars is affordable housing?
I urge Amagansett residents not to return to office a councilman who is so out of touch with his community.
Time and Effort
October 28, 2013
To the Editor,
I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you of the complete respect that I have for Kathee Burke-Gonzalez.
Whenever I have questioned Kathee about an issue, I have been amazed by the wealth and depth of information she responds with. I’ve known her to put incredible time and effort into understanding the issues at hand.
She has worked tirelessly on the Springs School Board for nine years without compensation. I think she deserves respect and your vote on Election Day. Her dedication and integrity will not disappoint.
ALISON PITCHES LEDDA
October 28, 2013
Dominick Stanzione touts his alleged fiscal smarts as a reason to vote for him for town board. As reported in last week’s paper, Dominick, as airport liaison, allowed the airport to run $300,000 over budget. The overage went to pay consultants for dubious projects and self-serving advice — and to cover unauthorized expenses for Dominick’s own phone, food, hotel rooms, and travel.
If we elect Dominick, who’ll keep tabs on his expense account?
Real Problem Solver
October 28, 2013
The campaign for town government is just about over. East Hampton’s voters have had months to listen to the candidates, read their positions, observe their manner and style, evaluate their activities in the community. Now it is time to vote for those who excel.
Kathee Burke-Gonzalez has made it clear that she is superbly qualified to serve on the town board. Nine years of dedicated service as a productive member and leader of the Springs School Board are actual proof of her intelligence, collaborative skills, high energy, and commitment. And, in sharp contrast to the outgoing members of the town board, Kathee has demonstrated that she is a real problem solver in a manner that is calm, reasonable, and mature.
A woman who understands the challenge of earning a living and raising a family in East Hampton, she is rightly concerned that this town re-establish its notable quality of life while developing solutions to the looming problems of coastal erosion, maintaining the purity of ur water, protecting our fisheries, beaches and open space and our local businesses.
Now is not the time to ration skill and experience on our town board. Elect Kathee Burke-Gonzalez.
October 28, 2013
As the election for East Hampton Town Board approaches, we wanted to highlight the attributes with which Kathee Burke-Gonzalez can lead. As we just observed on the national scene, it was the women of the Senate who received bipartisan credit for the consensus building skills required to end the government shutdown.
Kathee will be the much-needed consensus builder for East Hampton. She is intelligent. She is a listener. She is reasonable. She is patient. She is a role model for girls and women who want public servants who can earn respect through collaboration and civility.
Go Team Kathee!
JOYCE and OLIVIA McFADDEN
Will Serve Well
October 28, 2013
To the Editor,
Having petulance, arrogance, condescension, and incompetence in one sentence to describe our town board is almost too much for the electorate to read, nevermind to comprehend. Watching the town board in action is even worse; it’s almost painful to observe.
Now that the board, in our wonderful democracy, is going to change, we need emotionally stable, intellectually coherent, logically consistent, experienced, and cooperative personnel to run our town government. Who better than Fred Overton!
A Springs firefighter for over 40 years, Fred is trained to make decisions in emergency conditions, whether it be to rescue people or to extinguish fires.
Fred Overton’s calm demeanor and determination, honed over those 40 years, is exactly what the town board requires.
He has served in the U.S. military and still gives inordinate amounts of his time serving at the American Legion.
He has been town clerk for over a decade, doing a remarkable job with his usual steadfastness, knowledge of the operation, and has a willingness to work well with others to get the job done. We couldn’t ask for a more qualified person to be on our town board at this time.
Politics is the art of compromise. Fred Overton is the embodiment of that philosophy and during this time of tumult in our town, he will serve well as a member of the town board.
October 25, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
We would like to voice our support for Kathee Burke-Gonzalez for East Hampton Town Board. Our reasoning being that we’ve observed her work with true leadership for the good of our Springs community during some of the most challenging times we’ve faced recently. Kathee has always been calm, considerate, inquiring, and intelligent in her approach and strategy for problem solving. We believe in her passion for taking on the tasks at hand for our entire community and support her in her efforts as she looks to serving our community.
One of the most important things when someone steps into public service is listening with integrity. Kathee holds both of these traits and we hope that others in East Hampton will get to know her and cast their vote for this woman who is sincere, ethical, thoughtful, and completely approachable.
KATE MUETH and
October 27, 2013
Before announcing my candidacy for town board in June, I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to continue in elective office after serving the town for 25 years as a trustee, an assessor, and as your town clerk. After considering that question for over a year and a half, my answer was, and is, yes!
First I discussed this decision with my family, and then with Carole Brennan, the deputy town clerk, who, I am pleased and grateful to know, is cross-endorsed by all parties and will take over my position as town clerk in January without missing a beat.
Carole has my full support as the new town clerk, and I hope to continue working with her to improve the inner workings of our department when I am elected to the board on Tuesday. This will include making good on my campaign promise to reduce walk-on resolutions by fulfilling the duties of my job as a town board member and getting proposed resolutions to the clerk’s office no later than the Friday before the next scheduled Tuesday work session.
The town is currently at a crossroad. I believe now, more than ever, that East Hampton needs and deserves balanced government that can provide common-sense solutions to the challenges that face a small, hard-working, year-round community. As our year-round population continues to increase, I know I can work with other elected officials to ensure that the infrastructure of the town will be taken care of in an efficient, financially sound manner.
I’ve listened to and served the public as a party-blind public servant for the last 25 years. I want to be the people’s voice of reason and experience. I’m used to rolling up my sleeves and getting the job done in a thoughtful, civil, and respectful way.
No other town board candidate has the combined historical perspective, institutional knowledge, and commitment I have to humbly serve the town’s citizens today. I don’t require on-the-job training or a refresher course in municipal government. I’m looking forward to raising my right hand in January and vowing to continue to serve the people of this wonderful town in the best way I know how, using the knowledge and wisdom I’ve gained throughout the years fairly, respectfully, and honestly.
To make this happen, I need your vote on Election Day.
Republican, Independence, and
Conservative Candidate for
East Hampton Town Board
Would Be Honored
October 28, 2013
Election Day is Tuesday, and I want to thank everyone I’ve met during this campaign. People have been unfailingly courteous and many have shared their concerns.
Two subjects kept coming up. The first relates to how some town board members treat the public, the town employees, and each other. I believe that with Larry Cantwell’s leadership, we will see a rapid return to a style that puts listening and respect at the top of the agenda.
The second concern is quality of life, the need to preserve our neighborhoods, and to keep a balance between good commercial practices and exploitation. The issue is code enforcement and rigorous application of the zoning code as we struggle with what feels like over-population (for example, we have more people than our existing, affordable house stock can accommodate). In summer people feel we have an excess of everything — noise, big events, improper use of public lands, and as always, too much traffic in the air and on the roads.
As we address these issues, we must remember to protect our natural assets, our groundwater, our harbors and bays. Apart from beach erosion, environmental protection has been the quiet issue this year, but it is a critical responsibility of government.
I would be honored to have your support on Election Day. Don’t forget to vote!
Democratic and Working Families
Candidate for East Hampton
Supporting Job Potter
October 24, 2013
I have observed Job Potter over the years and have a high regard for his integrity and abilities. As a councilman, he led the community preservation fund effort that produced 120 individual purchases of open space for the town. He worked successfully with New York State and Suffolk County nonprofits, landowners, and, most needed right now, his fellow board members of both parties.
As a real estate professional, I understand what it really means to accomplish 120 closings; each deal has its individual challenges, personalities, and negotiations to a fair price. It takes cooperation, patience, vision, and determination.
I am supporting Job Potter on Election Day and am asking my friends to do so as well.
Town Is a Mess
October 26, 2013
I beg to differ with those who advocate we should elect to the town board at least one Republican. (Or maybe he is an independent. Who knows? Who’s on first? What’s on second? Does it really matter?) It’s hard to know whom you are voting for when the stripes start changing and recent history gets rewritten, and, oh yes, the facts get muddled and the flipper flops.
For four years this Republican “independent” has been a lap dog and a yes man for the quacking lame ducks, and just recently, in the last five months, the worm has turned; he has finally seen the light. In order to get re-elected, he has embraced East Hampton’s quality-of-life issues, as well as other issues important to the town, and he plays the swing-ka ching-ka ching vote on the board. How clever. How convenient.
The current board has turned a blind eye to our problems, and now is the time to elect board members who have proven their worth and have a track record of participation in the community. We need to elect people from Springs to the town board. We have not been adequately represented for the last four years. We desperately need good government, not fly-by-nighters, not by which way the winds blow types, not the my way or the highway group, and not by walk-on resolutions by the gang-up gangster gang of three. We need a town board made up of civil and dedicated community leaders with a proven record of community participation and involvement.
Watching the current town board is like watching a bad psychodrama. Who wants to go to town board meetings! They are painful to watch.
I read in last week’s Star the endorsement by Cile Downs for Job Potter, it was graceful and eloquent, and the sincere endorsement of Kathee Burke-Gonzalez by Liz Mendelman — both residents of Springs and both committed to the area by their hard work and contributions to the community.
If we had had adequate and effective representation on the board we would not be in the pickle we find ourselves in. We still have deteriorating neighborhoods, overpopulation, a school that is overflowing and over crowded and property values dropping with increased taxes. It’s not pretty, and where were they? Why were these issues not taken seriously? This board stonewalled the issue for four years, refuted the facts, some board members remained mute, and some were nasty, to boot. Make no mistake, I am speaking about the whole board. A pox on both their houses.
Now, all of East Hampton Town has quality-of-life issues. Montauk has many of the same problems as Springs plus a mega beach erosion problem. Even proper and almost-perfect little Amagansett has been affected.
East Hampton Town is a mess and we need honest good government with civil and intelligent board members to turn the tide. We don’t want 555, we don’t want more airport cost and noise, deals made in private, and cost overruns. We don’t want any more gang of three walk-on resolutions. I wonder at what price that vote came. It is just not good government. That overrun might have covered the cost of some decent code enforcement, if it is possible for this town to enforce code — that is still in question.
Please consider and elect Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Job Potter to the town board. We need them. Some may consider this letter partisan rhetoric; I consider it about good government vs. bad government and about transparency and core values.
October 28, 2013
Dominick Stanzione, when re-elected to serve another term as an East Hampton Town councilman, can continue to follow through on important issues regarding East Hampton Town, issues such as the town’s deer management plan and a plan for our town’s scavenger-waste treatment plant. The economically sound pro-airport, pro-federal funding for the airport stance that he has taken has the taxpayer’s best interest, and as a member of the Amagansett Fire Department he knows the importance of our airport and how vital it is to our safety when needed during emergency and rescue operations.
Councilman Stanzione has the financial know-how for East Hampton Town to be run as a business and through his hard work that shows. He is a Renaissance man, so to speak, who with his approachable nature can appeal to all voters. What interests you interests him.
DEBORAH ANN SCHWARTZ
The writer is a member of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee
Has the Talent
October 26, 2013
Vote for Kathee! She will work for you, and she knows what needs to be done. I just got back from the post office, where Kathee was out front, energetically seeking election. She is all over town every day. That extra e in her name must stand for energy.
Electing Kathee will also keep the gender balance on the town board somewhat balanced. Half of the town’s voters are women, it seems only fair that half the board members should be female. Gender aside, Kathee is the right choice for the job. Kathee has the talent and the drive and the experience to do a great job as your town board representative.
Please vote for Larry Cantwell and the town board candidates he has endorsed: Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Job Potter.
Continue to Care
October 25, 2013
Since I am a resident of Southampton Town, I cannot vote for Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, but I wish I could.
As the fifth-grade teacher of both her children, I had frequent contact with Kathee. We laughed and shared observations as partners between school and home. She became a board member of the school and in that role, she gave back and supported all the children and families of the community.
I believe she can make tough decisions when they are necessary; that is part of the job of a school board member, especially during tough economic times. Calm during storms or challenges, she keeps her own opinions or emotions in check. We look to our leaders to do that, as it builds trust and is reassuring. I repect Kathee’s ability to listen carefully and to patiently research all angles of issues.
Besides caring for kids, Kathee has a special relationship with the older generation. She visited my husband at our home right before he died and sat listening to him tell some favorite “fish stories.” I observed them together and realized that she has a genuine appreciation for those who have lived long and interesting lives.
If she is elected to serve the town, I believe Kathee Burke-Gonzalez will continue to care for and serve the needs of all the people, young and old and in-between.
October 25, 2013
A recent article by Debra Scott in The East Hampton Star quotes Tom Ruhle, East Hampton’s director of Housing and Community Development, as saying “There are single family houses in Springs with so many illegal tenants they are tantamount to apartment buildings.”
Huntington, Southampton, Islip, Riverhead, Babylon, and Brookhaven have similar problems and have responded strongly. They have instituted rental registries which require landlords to obtain a permit in which they are legally obligated to obey all town occupancy and safety laws. No Democrat on the current board and no candidate running on their ticket has acknowledged the potential value of such a permit, except Larry Cantwell who has acknowledged it to me.
If you live in East Hampton, particularly, though not exclusively, in Springs, you should know that Dominick Stanzione and Fred Overton (Republican and Independence candidates) published their platform well before the Democrats did, and, unlike the Democrats, it included a rental registry.
Why the Democrats don’t support a rental registry is hard to understand. Perhaps ideology is trumping reason. Or, maybe they are just unaware of all that a rental registry can do.
While it may not be a silver bullet, it would serve as a cornerstone along with other policies (i.e., increasing fines on violations) that would help to resolve the issue.
Here are a few advantages of a rental registry, but first let’s clarify the main criticism of some who are resistant. There is nothing unconstitutional about a rental registry. The Supreme Court has stated clearly, in the event of evidence of a safety or health hazard a search warrant can easily be issued for entry and inspections.
Here are some of the benefits. It would discourage landlord rent gouging, house packing, and tenant abuse; improve safety for tenants; identify problem properties; establish a landlord database with current contact information; improve life for neighbors near these properties; raise property values and decrease school taxes by deterring overcrowding; provide greater protection for water quality at risk due to overtaxed septic systems; deter realtor rental abuse; a notarized letter would be required from landlords where they agree to obey all safety and occupancy laws; enhance the enforcement of standards for construction, heating, plumbing and sanitary equipment, and protect the character and stability of our residential neighborhoods.
For those concerned about the costs of administering a rental registry, be assured that a revenue stream generated by fees and fines would more than offset any costs.
Protecting our house values and quality of life may mean voting for our community’s best interest instead of that of our party. When our party fails to favor our community we would be foolish to favor them. Focus on that before you heedlessly cast your ballot!
FRED J. WEINBERG
October 28, 2013
As we approach Election Day, I realize how pivotal the outcome of the choice for town board members is for now and in the future relative to the preservation of the East Hampton we know and love. The health of the residents of our community is likewise at stake.
This may sound overly dramatic, but it is not. The issues are the preservation of open land so as to ensure the quality of the water we drink and the vitality of the magnificent bays and estuaries that surround us. With these considerations in mind I commend to my fellow East Hamptonites the candidacy of Job Potter.
During his eight years as a member of the East Hampton Town Board he was at the forefront of motivating the town to acquire land with the community preservation fund, and his track record during that time says more than anything else about what he will do for us if elected.
Mr. Potter was instrumental in protecting over 2,000 acres of forest for groundwater protection, prime-soils farmland, fresh and saltwater wetlands, historic buildings, a golf course (not C.P.F.), beachfront and accesses, a tennis club, and a recreational horse farm. There were 120 individual closings, and this was all accomplished through cooperation with conservation nonprofits, New York State, Suffolk County, and the property owners.
It is uncontroverted that the best protection for our underground aquifer is the preservation of open land, which functions as a natural filter system. The underground aquifer is the source of our water supply, whether we have individual wells or public water from the Suffolk County Water Authority. The construction of houses on open land has the opposite effect: more demand for water and less filtration. Ultimately, a threat to the quality of our drinking water is a threat to the value of our properties, and so we should be cognizant of guarding against risking our health as well as our financial well-being.
Over the last four years the Republican majority made no effort to acquire land. Accordingly, we need a strong Democratic majority led by Job Potter to guarantee the future well-being of our water supply. We can also be assured that other issues that come before the town board that have an environmental impact will be dealt with by Mr. Potter with the same sensitivity and commitment that he brought to land preservation.
I believe it is imperative that he be elected so as to ensure stewardship of sound policies to protect our environment.
DAVID J. WEINSTEIN
Misuse of His Position
October 28, 2013
I just realized that your next issue of The East Hampton Star will be released on the eve of Halloween. With that event and the election to be held next week I thought I might take this chance to warn your readers that there is at least one ghastly event coming up that they really should be wary of and perhaps stop from happening.
I know there have been a few letters to you in support of one or another candidate up for election on Tuesday next. The ghastly event I refer to is the reelection of Dominick Stanzione to the East Hampton Town Board.
This last year has been filled with accounts of his inactions, position changes from one week to another, spending of hundreds of thousands of town money with no input from fellow board members before the fact, and collusion with Republican board members after the fact to railroad through his actions. This seems to me to be one of the most gross misuses of a board position that has occurred in a great many years. He seems not to care that the money belongs to the entire town community and was not put there for him to use willy-nilly. I cannot conceive of this as his concern for what the rest of his constituents would like to accomplish. At its simplest, it is a misuse of his position and fiscally irresponsible.
Why ever would we consider returning him to a position that he treats as his personal fiefdom? It is truly Halloween scary!
H. DAVID WILT
October 28, 2013
The beauty of our town, our open space, and our clean beaches and waterways are among the main reasons that people purchase house shere, move here, and visit here on vacation. If we lose our environment, our economy will follow.
Too often the current administration has scorned the rule of law and turned its back on the environment in the name of business. They have also ignored many zoning laws intended to protect the quiet and charm of our neighborhoods.
East Hampton has been growing rapidly for decades and has changed a great deal during my lifetime. But the one constant has been that our environment has been protected for generations. It only takes one misguided generation to lose it forever and then we can never get it back.
Protecting the environment and our quality of life and promoting business are not mutually exclusive. This is something that Job Potter and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez understand. They will strike the right balance between the environment and business so both flourish. Please vote for them on Election Day.
More Vital Now
October 28, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
I’m sure this will be a big week for letters. Having been longwinded in the past, as friends and others have noted, kindly or not, I’ll keep this brief.
Trustees are in many ways more vital now to the life and future of East Hampton than they have been throughout their greater-than-350-year history. Trustees are the guardians of the public’s rights of free access to our beaches and the stewards of the health and vitality of your common lands, waterways, bottomlands and their bounty — the essential components of the environment that makes us all “local” by choice.
The trustees, your representatives, will continue to work against limitations of your access rights, encroachments on your properties, and for the health of our precious environment, as I’ve learned over the last two years. I have also come to believe the trustees have a critical role to play in our town’s future decisions dealing with erosion, climate cycles, commercial usage of the beaches, the health of our ground and surface waters, and the interplay of the various negative factors that detract from the quality of our lives — from noise and air pollution to overcrowding and ill-conceived coastal development at great present and future public expense. To do that, they, and I hope I, will need your support. What can we do to help to ensure this beautiful town remains so now, and for our children and theirs? We can vote Tuesday for nine effective trustees to represent our interests and guard our rights in these matters.
Your ballot will have 18 trustee candidates’ names, many repeated, appearing on up to three party lines. Seven incumbents are running for re-election, and neither the Democrats, the party running me, nor the Republicans have seen fit to cross-endorse them, or any of the other trustee candidates. You can pick any nine different names, on any line you choose, and in any column, or even only one. Each of us is running against each other, regardless of party. (There were no parties as we currently have when the trustees first began.) The top nine vote-getters are elected. Sorry to say, you can only vote for me once, but I hope you do. I look forward to being your advocate and serving as one of your trustees.
CAPT. IRA BAROCAS
Heart and Soul
October 28, 2013
I have run many races in my life — from the Fifth Avenue Mile to the Boston and New York Marathons — but this is the first time I’ve run for a political office. I’m running for East Hampton Town trustee because the trustees are in a unique situation to help protect our beaches and waterways: the heart and soul of our community.
My work experience in East Hampton includes wildlife research, environmental planning, aquaculture, ocean lifeguard, and writing and teaching about our natural resources and waterways. I’ve grown and harvested oysters in Napeague Harbor, paddled on and written a book about all our trustee waters, and designed and written about many of the trails in our town trail system which includes many trustee roads.
Over the past 25 years, I have worked with many public officials from the village to federal levels on a wide variety of issues, and I’m honored to have the following endorsement from the very best of the lot, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.
“Mike Bottini has a mix of education and life experience that make him uniquely qualified to be an East Hampton Town trustee. An accomplished naturalist, author, and community activist, Mike has been at the forefront of every major environmental issue on the South Fork over the past 25 years. Protecting our open lands and waterways isn’t about politics, it’s about commitment and qualifications. I heartily endorse Mike for town trustee.”
October 23, 2013
When I first ran for trustee in 2011, I hoped to restore eelgrass beds and enhance our fisheries. I wanted to reduce marine debris and clean up our beaches. Extremely concerned about marine pollution emanating from chemical pesticides, stormwater, and wastewater, I desired to enlighten the public on these important issues, and lighten the loading of these contaminants into our ground and surface waters. I vowed to protect and promote access by all user groups to our beaches and common lands, and planned to help implement comprehensive dredging and excavation of our bottomlands in order to maintain healthy ecosystems and support maritime navigation. I also intended to make decisions that would promote sustainable shoreline protection and restoration.
Since taking office as a town trustee, I have brought Cornell’s Marine Meadows program to East Hampton, where we restored eelgrass beds in Napeague Harbor, which increases habitat for finfish and shellfish, fights erosion, and removes nutrients from our waters. I helped organize beach cleanups on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Napeague and Accabonac Harbors, where we collected close to 20,000 pounds of debris from our beaches.
I secured the Fishing for Energy partnership for Montauk’s commercial fishing fleet so that the fishers can dispose of unwanted gear at no cost to them or the town. This program disposed of 30 tons of discarded gear in 2012, and I expect 2013 to be similar.
I have actively sought alternatives to the use of methoprene, a chemical mosquito larvicide used by Suffolk County Vector Control in our estuaries. A bill by County Legislator Jay Schneiderman to restrict its use is now pending. I have written numerous online blogs and many letters to this and other newspapers on these and other important subjects.
The trustees have approved or initiated a number of bottomland excavations and dredging of our harbors, and hopefully we will see one of the first permits issued for “environmental” dredging to Northwest Creek in the near future.
After a series of devastating storms in late 2012, the trustees’ workload tripled in 2013. We had some hard decisions to make as a board and worked together to help restore our shorelines, always with the knowledge and understanding that the public property needed to be protected, as the private property owners rebuilt. I have promoted public access to our beaches and common lands, and have fought hard to maintain and increase access for all user groups.
I hold a master’s degree in marine conservation and policy and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with minors in both marine science and sustainability studies from Stony Brook University. I am a certified rescue diver, a state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator, and a rescue and transport volunteer for the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons. I am a member of the board of directors of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. I promote hunting, videotape government meetings for LTV, and am a beekeeper. I have four children who have all graduated from the Springs School and East Hampton High School.
I have been an active member of the trustees who knows how to get things done. As one of your incumbent trustees, I ask you to consider the good work I have done for East Hampton since taking office, and that you cast your vote for me on Election Day 2013.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve East Hampton, I hope to continue to do so in 2014 and beyond.
October 25, 2013
To the Editor,
Who better than Dennis Curles to serve as a town trustee? He is a true East Hamptonite, with an extraordinary love of the environment and a history of caring for his fellow citizens. Serving the community for many years, he is a proven champion of fair play. All politics aside, it would benefit all voters to opt to vote for Dennis Curles.
October, 25, 2013
To the Editor,
I have been following the local political races with more than passing interest. One of the candidates is a man known to me for more than 30 years. While not a born-and-bred Bonacker, he is an individual well worthy of your vote.
Character (and I mean strength of character) is a quality in short supply and even rarer in the political arena. Having together sailed stormy seas, dived deep oceans, and relied on each other in difficult times, Ira Barocas has always been the strong, reliable voice of reason, and further knows when action is needed and when it’s not. I believe that these are important skills in public service as well as at sea.
He has adopted East Hampton as his home as a sailor home from the seven seas. The wide experience and first-hand knowledge of what can go wrong with a coastline and waterway enable him to bring some practical knowledge and hands-on management to our most precious local resource.
I urge you to meet with Ira at any local campaign event and to vote for him for East Hampton Town trustee on Election Day.
A Cautionary Citation
October 31, 2013
We could be facing the following: “Oh, Diana, what a lovely thought, but Winthrop and I are spending the weekend at our house on the revetment!”
“Come on, kids, get your gear together. We’re going down to the revetment!”
“White Revetment Motel. We serve lunch right on the seawall!”
“I have 100 days to make my money. That’s when the tourists come here for the revetments.”
The East Hampton Town Trustees common whipper’s (corrections position downsized a few centuries ago) advisory board has decided to award a cautionary citation to the East Hampton Town Hall (three officials may have to abstain) and to the village and town zoning boards for shortsightedness. East Hampton Town Hall and the zoning boards condoned private seawalls and revetments without considering the standing of the beaches’ owners: the Trustees of East Hampton, on behalf of its residents.
We, the residents of East Hampton Town, should be rightly pissed at the threat to our beaches and the affected private citizens should rethink their public responsibility.
All good things,
October 28, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
I am writing this letter in support of my husband, Carl Irace, for East Hampton Town justice. I am an attorney practicing in East Hampton, and I know how badly our court needs a skilled attorney like Carl to serve as justice.
He knows pretty much everything there is to know about criminal law — I mean it. Nine years in the Bronx District Attorney’s office will do that. They don’t give you tough cases in your first few years as an assistant district attorney because only those strong enough to handle the difficult cases last longer than that.
An East Hampton justice needs a strong understanding of the underlying zoning laws that comprise zoning violations. After 400 East Hampton Town zoning board hearings, Carl understands zoning laws and knows how the process works. This will give him a significant advantage, if elected.
Carl knows how to conduct trials and will not be afraid to set a case down for trial when necessary. Trials are rare in our court, and few actually know how to conduct them, but Carl has conducted many, many trials.
On a personal note, I am a steadfast Democrat, from a family of Democrats. I will vote for Carl without hesitation because he is the most progressive, open-minded man I have ever met.
I hope your readers will join me in voting for Carl Irace for East Hampton Town justice on Election Day.
Sling Their Mud
October 27, 2013
I didn’t want to write this letter. I had hoped that, even in the corrosive world of East Hampton politics, a judicial campaign would have been run in the dignified way the position itself requires. One based on the extensive actual courtroom experience of the one candidate versus the lackluster, general household practice legal experience and local connections of the other. However, last week The Star published a vicious, personal, attack letter purporting to expose facts about one of the candidates.
I am not naive enough to believe that such letters don’t initiate in the opposition camp. The victim of this smear is a member of my family. Should any voter actually give consideration to such an obviously biased personal attack, let me set the record straight. Carl Irace was appointed to a two-year term as assistant town attorney based on merit, not political connections, by the newly elected Supervisor Bill Wilkinson. After 12 months, he was promoted to deputy town attorney, again based on merit.
After the ensuing election, Mr. Wilkinson appeared to have lost. For two months, it went back and forth, each being up or down by a few dozen votes. During that time, Mr. Irace, having a house and mortgage, made personal and financial commitments to go into the private practice of law, regardless of the outcome, and to leave the town at the end of the two-year commitment he had made.
The subject letter then went on to present the distorted view of a disgruntled litigant in a contested estate. The writer had anticipated being the beneficiary of one of two life-partners’ estates. Unfortunately, hers died first, and the second partner left the combined estate to his own family upon his death. Mr. Irace had been named as an alternate executor in the will. When the dispute turned ugly with claims and counterclaims and disputed facts from both sides, Mr. Irace resigned as alternate executor on his own motion. He did so because his job was to protect the estate and contested litigation would cost the estate money. He did his job.
With the coming edition of The Star being the final opportunity for political campaigns to sling their mud, I expect that the other candidate’s operatives will try to expand on the now planted seeds of hate and distortion that my letter addresses with a barrage of their own letters. David, I certainly hope this does not happen. I also hope that this letter — that I didn’t want to write — will not need to be published.
For the Better
October 28, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
I am proud to write this final letter before the election in support of my son-in-law, Carl Irace. Carl has demonstrated a commitment to change our justice court for the better. He has campaigned tirelessly because his message is positive and it is for everyone.
I have been overwhelmed by the outflowing of support for Carl’s campaign. So many people have reached out to tell me they support him, have thrown events for him in their homes, and some have even told me they enjoyed my letters. I’m pleased to know that these people see all of the wonderful qualities that I see in Carl.
I know he will make a great town justice. I hope you will join me in voting for him on Tuesday.
BOBBIE GAIL COOLEY
October 27, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray:
Thank you for this opportunity to answer the question that you posed in your editorial about the race for town justice.
I am running for town justice because I can do a better job, and the people who use our justice court deserve better. I can remember covering justice court duties as an assistant and deputy town attorney. I thought that it was very inefficient compared to other courtrooms where I worked. I thought maybe all local justice courts were that way.
The day’s proceedings dragged on too long, and too many cases had too many adjournments, often with little change from court date to court date. I also realized that the results were often inconsistent, where similar cases didn’t have similar results.
I started my own practice, and I realized that other justice courts in neighboring towns ran smoothly and reliably. As a courtroom attorney, I ran into many former colleagues. I was proud to tell them that I started my own practice near my home in East Hampton. Colleagues answered with praise but so many often asked me what was wrong with our court.
Over lunch in East Hampton, a respected nonlawyer colleague asked about my practice. I told him my observations, and he said, “If you think that you can do a better job, then you should run.”
To answer the question: Yes, I can do a better job. I can do a better job making sure that everyone’s rights are protected equally, giving all sides to any matter equal opportunity to be heard.
We need phones to be answered, Web sites to be useful, and the doors of the seventh-busiest justice court in New York State need to be open. Our court needs to be accessible to the people to be fair.
We need more efficient practices throughout the courthouse. More efficiency means two things. First, it means that the people who have to use our court are waiting around less. Second, it means that the court staff is available to work on new matters. That will free up the staff’s time to bring back youth court and to start a much needed drug treatment court in East Hampton.
With no expectation of any significant budget increase for justice court, the only way to modernize out court is to work better and smarter with what we have. We have a dedicated staff that works very hard. Let’s make their jobs easier by running our court more efficiently, reducing the backlog of cases, and reducing the likelihood of future backlog.
I have been in hundreds of different courtrooms, and not 30 years ago. I know how courtrooms work, and I know how to make them work better. When our court works better, we will reduce the backlog of cases, improve the function of the staff, reduce unnecessary waiting and return trips to court, and have important programs like youth court and drug court.
I have answered the call of duty to help our court become a better resource for our community. A vote for me is a vote for a better court.
Yours very truly,
October 27, 2013
Sometime around 2005, when the Montauk Fire Department was working on the repositioning of their driveway, they found out that their driveway and landscaping and the drive to get into the playhouse (town land) intertwined. The Fire Department asked me if I could do something to straighten it out as they were working to complete their enhancements and needed to get landscaping into the ground before winter — and do it on their own property.
I contacted Steven Tekulsky, as he himself was a fireman, and I felt that would be a good match. He was to review the maps provided by Montauk Fire Department and the town maps of the Playhouse and the projected improvements outlined.
The town approved. The Fire Department approved. Tekulsky was interested and agreed to do the work. The determinations needed to be done legally in order to proceed. He came into my office to visit about two times after he had all of his information and I asked how he was doing.
Each time he explained he hadn’t started yet but was going to delve into it. I told him that our town attorney was a source if he ran into trouble. He said there was no problem or confusion.
Time went on and on. Planting season and the end of paving weather was approaching. Additional weeks went on, Montauk Fire Department was patient all along. Finally, they asked me to come by the Fire Department. I did, and over coffee, they indicated that it was taking too long to get their irrigation and landscaping and paving even planned.
They needed to know where their drive could go. They asked if we were committed to working with Tekulsky. I said that I didn’t know what was causing the delay, though I had talked to him and he seemed still interested though more than five weeks had gone by, and I had nothing. I checked with our people to see if anything was being done that they were aware of. I checked with Tekulsky.
I then apologized to Montauk for such a nonproductive delay and we agreed to have the job done by their attorney. I believe it was Frank Yakabowski. This was especially hurtful because I am committed to the completion of every job I start and I had let down the very people that were committed to me.
East Hampton Town
October 28, 2013
I have known Steve Tekulsky for more than 20 years as a friend, lawyer, and fellow member of the East Hampton Fire Department. During those years, I have seen Steve in situations where he has had to make decisions involving people with whom he had a personal relationship. In every instance, I believe he was able to put this relationship aside and make well-thought-out, fair decisions based entirely on the facts and applicable rules. Steve has earned an excellent reputation for his personal integrity and I am certain that he will bring that quality, along with his years of legal and life experience to East Hampton Town Justice Court.
Thank you for this opportunity to express my opinion.
Man of Principles
Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
October 27, 2013
To the Editor,
Please accept this letter as my wholehearted endorsement of Steve Tekulsky for the elected position of town justice.
I have known Steve for over 23 years. I first met him when I joined the East Hampton Fire Department in 1990. Our kids (now young adults) are the same age, and we watched them grow up together. I know Steve well and consider him a good friend.
I had the good fortune to spend 30 years in the East End educational arena: five years as assistant principal in the Springs School District and 18 years in the East Hampton School District, serving as assistant middle school principal, high school interim principal, and director of health, physical education, and athletics. I retired in January 2012 as principal of John M. Marshall Elementary School. During this period of time I was fortunate to work with many fine professionals, students, parents, and many community members. I believe these experiences have allowed me to have a pretty accurate sense of the East Hampton community and its needs.
East Hampton is at a crucial time in its long and storied history, facing an array of innumerable challenges. That being said, East Hampton needs people in elected and appointed decision-making positions who have shown a love of and connection to this community, who are intelligent, quick thinkers, and great listeners who are not afraid to make tough, yet well-informed decisions. Most importantly, East Hampton needs people in these positions who are part of the community and sensitive to its needs.
Steve’s abilities fit the community needs perfectly. For over 25 years, Steve has shown a true love of, connection to, and knowledge of this community and its people. He has dedicated over 25 years of service to the East Hampton Fire Department. He has been chief for two terms, filling a voluntary position of immense responsibility. Steve did a great job overseeing the training, safety, and Firematic principals and protocols of and for over 140 men and women who comprise the department.
As chief, he had to make many quick and important decisions, many of them having significant consequences. As with any strong leader, some of these decisions were not popular. Steve always made those decisions based on what he thought was the right thing to do within the fire department protocols and without regard to his personal relationship to the parties involved. He is a man of principles and integrity that served honorably and competently and in doing so, earned the respect of an eclectic mix of volunteers — an awesome achievement.
Steve is an incredibly bright individual with an excellent legal mind. He has an outstanding knowledge of state and local legal laws and issues. He served as an assistant district attorney in New York County, before establishing a local legal practice 25 years ago in East Hampton. Steve’s varied experience and proven administrative and decision-making ability have well prepared him to handle and decide every issue that will come before the town justice.
Steve has also been appointed to the East Hampton Town Board of Assessment Review. He has long served as a pro bono legal advisor for Citizens for Access Rights. Steve will not say this publicly, but I can state with utmost certainty, that he has donated hundreds of pro bono hours to many families and individual community members in need of legal advice who can not afford legal representation.
To summarize: Steve Tekulsky has a brilliant legal mind. He has the ability to think quickly on his feet, and has shown he is a fair, well-informed, and strong decision maker. He has shown a true love and commitment to this community, and he will make an excellent town justice.
October 10, 2013
I was a bit taken aback by your editorial description of Carl Irace’s experience as assistant town attorney and deputy town attorney. It seemed rather uninformed and meanspirited.
I served on the zoning board for five years with Phil Gamble first as a member and later as its first vice chair. I don’t believe any of your editorial staff ever served on the board and that’s perhaps the reason they clearly misunderstand the role of the attorney.
We had various attorneys when I was a member and, with one or two exceptions, they did a good job. But it’s important to know what the job is, and what it is not.
The job of zoning board attorney is not to control the board with legal acuity. Any good board would put a stop to that at once. And the job is not to impress with legal flourishes or fits of rhetorical brilliance. Who needs that? Nor is the job of attorney to be a sixth member of the board.
The role of the zoning board attorney is principally to be a legal advisor to the board, whose task it is to make sure, where possible, that hearings and notices conform with the law, that decisions are made on a sound legal basis and are not internally inconsistent, i.e., “arbitrary and capricious.” Sometimes the board overrules the attorney’s advice, which can lead to trouble via lawsuits and adverse judicial decisions.
I’ve read Phil Gamble’s assessment of Carl Irace’s job performance and if Carl Irace was good enough for Phil Gamble, then he’s certainly good enough for me and anyone else looking at the situation objectively.
I have heard that the management style in Town Hall leaves something to be desired, with a lot of confrontation and screaming. One high official told me this rumor is more than true. Isn’t that, in fact, one of the main issues in this year’s election campaign?
I don’t know why Carl Irace moved on from Town Hall to private practice, but, while there, the town board promoted him. They must have been happy with his job performance to do that. And it can only be to Carl Irace’s credit that he had enough self respect to leave a very toxic atmosphere behind and move on. Others don’t seem to have had the courage to do that. Carl did.
October 27, 2013
Every once in a while a candidate comes along who is very qualified for the elective office that he seeks. Carl Irace is such a candidate seeking the position of East Hampton Town justice. He has been a trial attorney for the past 12 years. He served nine years as a New York City assistant district attorney, two years as East Hampton Town deputy attorney, and two years as assistant town attorney.
Carl and his lovely wife, Alice Cooley, live in Springs. They are thrilled to be part of the East Hampton community. Carl is a dedicated public servant having provided pro bono counsel for the Amagansett Life Saving and Coast Guard Society, Ladies’ Village Improvement Society, and the Retreat.
I have walked districts with Carl over the last few days. He is a caring, affable young man who cares deeply about his profession and his clients. I believe that he would be an outstanding judge for all East Hampton residents.
When you go to the polls on Election Day, please support Carl Irace for East Hampton Justice.
MARY A. FALLON
Not the Credentials
October 28, 2013
I hope that everyone intending to vote for East Hampton Town justice be respectfully guided by this letter.
I have been a practicing criminal law attorney for the past 40 years. Our town court is the seventh busiest in the state, handling felonies, misdemeanors, traffic, and zoning violations, etc. I know how important it is to have a qualified and experienced candidate to fill the position of town justice.
My experience as a trial attorney who is admitted to the New York, federal, state, and local courts in addition to having appeared as a criminal justice expert before Senate and House committees, the International Bar Association, representative to International conferences, and a Court TV trial expert for the last 20 years permits me to fully assess the two candidates running for East Hampton Town justice.
Similarly, as a former Democratic committeeman for 20 years in Nassau County who was a campaign manager for Congressional, State Senate, county clerk, and town supervisor campaigns, I know how important it is to have a candidate who is qualified and electable for this position.
Frankly, I am bewildered and disappointed that the East Hampton Democratic Committee nominated Steven Tekulsky for justice. In my opinion he is neither qualified nor experienced for this position. His 35 years of practice may entitle him to a gold watch but certainly not a judgeship where important decisions have to be made regarding the freedom of citizens.
A judge must be experienced in the jury selection process, the arraignment of defendants, the ability to rule on objections, evidence, and points of law at trial, to decide probable cause hearings, to rule on search warrants, bail applications, sentencing, etc., etc.
My investigation clearly determines he is not a qualified candidate for this position. I rely on the following facts:
He is not a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association, which has a membership of almost 3,000 lawyers and which provides updated cases, decisions, points of law, and other information to keep lawyers current with the changes in law.
He is not listed in the “New York Lawyers Diary and Manual” (the “Red Book”), which lists most of the practicing attorneys in New York and their professional information.
He has no actual law office in East Hampton.
Incredibly, East Hampton court records show that in this past year he has had only two misdemeanor cases, both vehicle and traffic code violations.
To the best of my knowledge he has no town court jury experience.
These are not the credentials that display the experience and professionalism that is required of a judge who must oversee experienced attorneys who practice locally. I am shocked the town Democratic Committee overlooked these glaring deficiencies in their nomination of him. Certainly there must have been other more qualified attorneys who were interviewed for the judgeship nomination.
He is a former fire chief and is a volunteer fireman. I respect his contribution to the East Hampton community, and I believe his continued service in this position is where his experience will be an asset to our town. In other words, let’s not lose a good fireman!
In conclusion, his opponent, Carl Irace, is a former assistant district attorney, a former deputy town attorney, and who is presently in private practice. He is experienced in felony and misdemeanor trials, zoning cases, traffic violations, etc.
My vote is for Carl Irace, his qualifications and experience are what is required for East Hampton Town Justice.
Mr. Tekulsky is a member of the Suffolk Bar Association, the State Bar Association, and is listed as a practicing attorney by the State of New York courts system. He works from a home office on Cedar Street in East Hampton. Ed.
Knows His Town
October 28, 2013
I am writing this letter in support of a good friend of mine who is running for the office of town justice in East Hampton.
Steve Tekulsky reminds me of the justices we used to have. I remember clearly the days of Shep Frood and Ed Hulse, who were not lawyers but whose justice was meted out with common sense, compassion, and a deep knowledge of their town and its residents. They served our town well for many years.
I know Steve as a dedicated father, loving husband, and a fellow volunteer fireman. I have served with Steve on the East Hampton Town Assessment Review Board for the past five years, where he has fairly and impartially made many decisions that impacted the residents of our town. Sure he knows the law, but more importantly, he knows his town and its residents.
If you know Steve as well as I, you know he will be fair to everyone and compassionate. He also has a great sense of humor that will serve him well at this most local level of the courts system.
I hope many of my friends will support my good friend Steve on Election Day.
DICK WHITE JR.
For All Seasons
October 28, 2013
I am writing to endorse my friend, Carl Irace, for East Hampton Town justice. I am an East Hampton-based musician and realtor. I have called East Hampton home for most of my life, and I have two young boys I intend to raise here. I have known Carl for over 30 years. He is smart, thoughtful, and genuinely interested in people from all walks of life as he has demonstrated over the course of his many years in public service.
Like almost everyone I know, I am generally disgusted with politics and politicians, but when Carl asked me for my support I had to give it to him. Long before Carl was asked to run for justice, I had the notion that he was a man who could bring about real change. He is never one to act, speak, or, for better or for worse, get dressed without thinking, and I believe that his interests in his personal and professional life are other-centered.
He is truly a man for all seasons (with a pair of pants for all occasions), and armed with 13 years in criminal law, Carl is well suited to be a trial judge in our town. Carl Irace will have my vote for East Hampton justice on Nov. 5.
Appreciate His Candor
October 21, 2013
To the Editor,
Just a few days ago, I received a visit from Carl Irace, a candidate for town justice, at my door. I must say that it is refreshing to be able to meet the candidate on a one-on-one basis instead of having the candidates all grouped together interrupting my day outside the CVS, while they shove brochures in my hand during our five-second interaction.
Mr. Irace and I spoke a long time about many local issues that I’m passionate about. I appreciate his candor and the fact that he was more than happy to talk to me as long as he did.
In contrast, at a local pub where I was having dinner, Steven Tekulsky was able to remove a loud and drunken patron from the restaurant, and when the hero returned, the bar loudly sang his praise. Mr. Tekulsky didn’t let that moment pass without informing the entire crowd that he indeed was running for office. If there was any charm in that moment, Mr. Tekulsky ruined it by his machismo.
Other than that bar, where I found Mr. Tekulsky, I don’t see him knocking on my door, and I certainly don’t see him outside any local establishments trying to get my vote. All I see is a whole lot of his signs throughout the village.
I cannot reward locals who think they can get elected simply by their name or by how many years they have lived here. Carl Irace is working hard for my vote, and I will give it to him.