April 7, 2017
We know you are a strong proponent of cleaning up our water and appreciate the magnitude of the undertaking. As such, we appreciate the attention you have given our septic waste improvement plan for the town’s watersheds, but we think you have missed a couple of important points that create the wrong impression of our goals and methodology.
Therefore, the purpose of this letter has a specific goal. We want to set the record straight regarding the representation you made in the second paragraph of your editorial titled “Town and County Target Wastewater Pollution.” You stated, “East Hampton Town Republicans have weighed in, presenting a plan of their own that calls for inspection of private waste systems by a new town employee.”
In point of fact, that draft plan states at (1) a, “with the inspection [to] be performed at the time of the pump out by a town certified private inspector.” The plan carefully avoids using any town employee to inspect during pump outs of pre-1995 non-county-approved septic systems, which is why the word “private” has been used to modify the word “inspector.” So on this point, our plan actually proposes exactly the opposite of what you included in your editorial.
With regard to the staffing of the plan, we do propose the addition of a licensed professional engineer to the town’s engineering department to maintain the database that would be created through this plan and to prepare funding requests to the state and Environmental Protection Agency revolving fund. But again the plan clearly identifies this addition would be made through the reprogramming of resources (See Item 7). I would call your attention to “Objectives of the Plan.” At (2) it states, “It can be carried out without increased town personnel costs using a re-programmed position.”
One of the keystones of our Republican platform is that water quality is a major issue in East Hampton. Water quality degradation issues won’t be solved with the resources provided through the 20 percent set aside from the community preservation fund, so we must tap a much larger $2 billion fund. To think otherwise is like believing in the Tooth Fairy. That is why our party’s position on addressing the issue without increasing the East Hampton Town budget is crucial. We would ask that you carefully avoid representations that would have your readers think otherwise. That is why we believe that such errors, though probably unintentional, need correcting.
To facilitate a better understanding of this plan, I have tried to meet with you and/or your editorial board, beginning last fall. On Oct. 24, 2016, I sent you an earlier draft of this plan and requested the opportunity to explain it to The East Hampton Star editorial board. Subsequently, I actually discussed this matter with one of your staffers, who indicated you were apparently unavailable. More recently, on April 2, 2017, Manny Vilar, Jerry Larsen, and I met with Christopher Walsh of your staff and discussed this very proposal. We believe Mr. Walsh clearly understood the key elements I have covered herein. On Monday, The Star received our press release on the most recent edition of this plan. We think this issue is too important not to have it accurately portrayed.
Again, I will make myself available, as will Manny and Jerry, to specifically discuss with you our plan to reverse East Hampton’s water quality degradation and to improve our town’s waters. Other weekly newspapers have done the same. I don’t think this sets a bad precedent and I don’t think this is an unreasonable request considering your sponsorship of “Paradise Lost.” This issue is far too important to get it wrong. Let’s talk so we can work together to get a conversation started on whether we will need $5 million or much more than that to assure clean water for East Hampton, as our plan’s objective hopes to accomplish.
Manny Vilar and Jerry Larsen, who are running for East Hampton Town supervisor and councilman, co-signed Mr. Giardina’s letter. Ed.
The Republican Team
April 9, 2017
Dear Mr. Rattray,
On April 5, the East Hampton Town Republican Committee formally endorsed its candidates for East Hampton Town Board: Manny Vilar for supervisor and Paul Giardina and Jerry Larsen, respectively, for town board members.
One of the most qualified teams ever to run for East Hampton Town government, the trio has deep roots in the East Hampton community. The candidates collectively have over 100 years’ management experience in federal, state, and local government. Moreover, I believe, the Republican team has more hands-on experience dealing with environmental issues than any town or state elected official currently representing the East End of Long Island.
Vilar, Giardina, and Larsen have all worked as senior managers, negotiating and administering multimillion-dollar operating budgets, working with multi-level professional and line staff and senior government officials at the highest levels.
In the last decade, East Hampton Town government has become more dependent on various intergovernmental agencies on many issues, but in particular on critical environmental and water issues. Just in the past few weeks, we have seen our local fishermen and lobstermen trying to navigate the complex issues associated with a projected Atlantic Ocean wind farm that will affect their livelihoods, even as these wind farms might provide additional energy to the East End. This is a critical issue that will affect the lives of all East Hampton residents.
The Republican team is uniquely poised to tackle this issue. Mr. Giardina has over 45 years’ experience in environmental issues. He has served as a federal regional E.P.A. director. Overseeing the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act was among his many responsibilities. He has extraordinary professional contacts in federal and state government. Mr. Vilar, as president of the fifth largest state Police Benevolent Association, represents, among a myriad of police agencies, the New York State Conservation Police, the State Parks Police, and forest rangers. An advocate for his union members, he is a fixture in Albany and knows firsthand the consequences of how legislation and environmental projects affect the working men and women of New York State, whose voices sometimes cannot be heard above those of the special interests. And Mr. Larsen, the former East Hampton Village Police Chief, has stood on East Hampton’s front line, enforcing very complex environmental laws, regulations, and real-life situations for decades.
We Republicans are energized and proud of our town board candidates, and we look forward to introducing our terrific candidates to the people of East Hampton. The team already has been meeting and greeting residents at local restaurants on Sunday afternoons. Stay tuned, as the team visits each hamlet to talk with and listen to the concerns and the hopes of East Hampton Town residents.
East Hampton Town
April 9, 2017
Last evening my husband and I attended the public forum “Candidates for Our Future” at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Amagansett. Sponsored by the East Hampton Democratic Committee, our elected town board members and representatives of the town trustees encouraged the audience of about 80 to participate in our local government. A diverse community, it is hoped that residents who have a passion to foster and implement change in our local government will come forward and become involved. Whether it be volunteering on a committee or running for a particular elected position, our town government will best be served when we the people engage.
As a community, we have a common goal: to preserve, protect, and enhance. By working together, party affiliation aside, all of us can and will make a difference. The future of our town depends on all of us and each of us has something valuable to offer to our community.
Many thanks to everyone who participated in this evening’s informative event.
SUSAN McGRAW KEBER
Supporting Zach Cohen
April 7, 2017
Last week, Zachary Cohen announced his candidacy for a seat on the East Hampton Town Board. I am delighted at this opportunity for our community.
As chair of the Springs Citizens Advisory Committee, I have had plenty of occasions to see Zach at work for all of us, volunteering tirelessly to help make our town a better place to live, work, and raise our families. For many years, he has been a thoughtful participant in the work of many boards and committees.
He sits as the chairman of the nature preserve committee, is the vice chairman of the Springs Citizens Advisory Committee, and is on the community preservation fund’s opinions board and the Latino advisory committee. He has been advising the airport management advisory committee on technical issues and is working on the confounding problems that threaten our water quality.
An independent Democrat, Zachary is always working to bridge the gaps that divide us and to find reasonable, implementable solutions to environmental, social, and economic problems. I urge you to join me in supporting him for the East Hampton Town Board.