Letters to the Editor: 6/13/19

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Keep it Simple

Dear Kathryn,

Your recent reporting on the current Village Board elections highlighted three topics that drew substantial discussion: long term planning, management and transparency.

On May 6, 1986, the Village adopted a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (subsequently approved and concurred at the state and federal levels).  This Plan has been subsequently added to by the adoption of the Harbor Management Plan and amended- it is still in affect today.  The candidates should get out these documents and read them, see how we have done v. the policies and objectives and consider what needs to be added or adjusted for today.  This would save them a lot of time and the taxpayers a lot of money.  It’s a good read.

We elect the mayor and trustees to manage and administer the Village, not to hire other people at taxpayer expense to do it. We have competent, dedicated and hard-working full-time staff.  Put in the time and effort to assist them to get the job done.  Do the job.

Transparency, among many things, means making the public aware of the issues that the board is considering and the alternatives for addressing them.  This can be done very simply at monthly board meetings which are reported by the press. It is not accomplished with non-public meetings and discussions that reach conclusions that are only presented to the public after the fact and without public input.  Public input is not an inconvenience that is allowed only at the end of a meeting.  Put the public first.

We need more K.I.S.S. theory and less rhetoric from our candidates.

Sincerely yours.

Pierce W. Hance

Sag Harbor

 

Vote Mulcahy, Plumb and Corish

Dear Editor,

I urge all Village residents to vote on June 18th for Kathleen Mulcahy for mayor, and Aidan Corish and Bob Plumb for trustee. These three candidates, with your help, can keep our Village on a safe and prosperous path. They are all knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated. I believe that the recent administration of our Village has been inadequate to cope with the pressing issues we face today. Our Village has experienced inappropriate overbuilding. These candidates will be effective in their ability to protect and preserve our Village for today and tomorrow.

As a long time resident of the Village, a former board member of Mashashimuet Park, a former member and chair of the Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review for more than a decade, and a former board member and president of the John Jermain Library during its recent renovation and expansion, I am aware of the many complicated issues we face.

I applaud these candidates for their effort and interest in our Village.

Sincerely yours,

Christopher Leonard

Sag Harbor

 

Administration’s Approach is Scattershot

Dear Kathryn,

I am a candidate for Village Trustee on June 18th.

I have lived in the Village for over 40 years, and both of my children grew up here.

I started, and have run, a construction business since then. I can bring all technical, organizational, permitting, contractual, budgeting and financial skills to the job.

I have been on the ZBA for 4 years, where I have learned a lot about how the Village functions. Unfortunately, I have also seen how dysfunctional it has become. The current Mayor’s office has become opaque and unreachable. This must change.

For example, from time to time, the ZBA comes across areas of the code that are either conflicting or even silent on code issues. We ask the Village Attorney to pass these on to the Board for review or possible code revision. To my knowledge, not even one of these has been acted on. This same thing has happened to proposals from the Harbor Committee and the planning board.

The tipping point for me was the proposal for the 2 West Water Street condos, which no one will admit to having negotiated.

The developer was given dozens of variances, but the fact that the very top of a 20’ high cupola (added on after the original building was built) was construed as the height of the existing building left me stunned. This puts the height of the new condos roughly as tall as the Municipal Building Cupola!

This can’t happen again.

I intend to introduce a new section of the code addressing proposals over a certain square foot size, which would require a public hearing on the applications.

Protection of our waters, beaches and soil, parking and continued upgrades and studies on the water treatment plant (currently being expertly and enthusiastically pursued by Trustee Corish) are areas that need to be publicly debated and, as importantly, acted on.

The proposal to place eight, 15-minute parking spots in the center of Town, first proposed by the traffic study group over three years ago, is a good start, but coming two weeks before the election, strikes me as an example of the scatter shot approach of the current administration. There has been no cohesive, long term planning for the Village, and the need for that is obvious.

Also obvious, in my opinion, is the need for a Village manager. The staff at Village Hall is dedicated and hardworking (a special shout out to Beth Kamper, who can routinely be found in the office after 7 p.m.!). I think that a qualified individual, possibly chosen from among the Village population, would more than pay for themselves, by allowing a more persistent effort at obtaining grants, less dependence on outside consultants and in-house tracking of RFP’s and contracts.

I also believe that the Board needs to reach out to the SANS communities for input, particularly since their New York State Historic designation is in place.

Thank you,

Bob Plumb

Sag Harbor

 

Thanks for Article

To the Editor:

I wish to thank Peter Boody for the great article on my brother, Staff Sergeant Edwin Bill (in the May 23 edition).

Edwin was a great man and a great brother. He was the oldest of five children: Edwin, Lawrence, Thelma, Barbara and Frances.

My parents did not believe in flaunting the death of their son. They felt that losing a child was a private and personal affair. My father always said it is not an honor for his son to die. It would be an honor for him to serve his time and come home alive.

Thanks again for the article.

Barbara Bill Roffi

Bedford Hills, NY

 

Line of Vision Obstruction

Dear Editor:

I am sure that most of us have encountered the situation of approaching an intersection or a curve in the road where our view of oncoming traffic is obscured by the outgrowth of bushes, tree limbs, etc. The inability to see the cross traffic approaching as we ease out into a cross street creates a dangerous situation for drivers, bikers and pedestrians.

It is a problem that can be easily remedied by the property owner. They can assess the presence of such a condition, get out the clippers, or instruct their gardener to cut the overgrowth back. With all the hazards that we encounter in our travels, this one can be eliminated.

If a property owner doesn’t realize the problem exists, or doesn’t really care, then the Village can bring it to their attention and make sure the hazard is eliminated. I would hope that the Village could do a survey to identify the problem areas and give the property owner notice to make the necessary corrections.

Respectfully submitted

Tom Halton

Sag Harbor12

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