Gurney's Inn
September 25, 2013

Nary A Word

Dear Editor,

Wow! What condescension displayed by town board Democrat candidate, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, in her 9/18/13 letter, toward town clerk and town board Republican candidate, Fred Overton. All simply because she thinks his memory differed from hers concerning her statement at the Duck Creek Association candidate get-together. Ms. Burke-Gonzalez is 1/3 of the Democrat ticket running on a platform to bring back civility to town hall.

The Democrat statement of purpose signed by all three candidates, including Ms. Burke-Gonzalez, on August 12, states that she believes in "civil discourse" and that no matter who you are "you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect." Sounds like Madam Burke-Gonzalez may need some "dignity," "respect" and "civility" lessons before taking a seat on the Board.

She lectured Fred – town clerk for 14 years -- on whether he knows the difference between resident and non-resident beach parking permits; and, get this, that he "just wasn't paying close attention" to what she said.

It has been confirmed by others at the get-together that after Ms. Burke spoke about additional non-tax revenue the Democrat candidates were exploring for the town, including beach parking permits, Fred countered with his view that resident beach parking permits were simply a hidden tax on the residents of East Hampton, as well as a very unpopular, failed idea from the last all-Democrat administration.

He spoke with first-hand knowledge as the person who had to issue those permits to a very disgruntled citizenry. When Fred finished his response that was the time for you, Ms. Burke-Gonzalez, or either one of your fellow candidates to stand up and say: "No the reference was not to resident beach parking permits." Nary a word came out of the mouths of any one of the three Democrat candidates, including Ms. Burke-Gonzalez. Indeed, after I wrote my first letter on this topic a few weeks ago, it was only candidate Larry Cantwell who responded and not Ms. Burke-Gonzalez.

The "dignified," "respectful" and "civil" thing to have done in her letter would have been for Ms. Burke-Gonzalez to have said, "I made a mistake," or, "I wasn't clear enough in my presentation." Instead, she attacks our town clerk, Fred Overton, as incompetent.

When Ms. Burke-Gonzalez has served 25 years of elective office in East Hampton Town; and for 48 years of her life has exhibited a spirit of volunteerism dedicated to the East Hampton community, as has Fred Overton, then, and only then, in my view, can she even begin to think about belittling a valued public servant and exemplary volunteer, Fred Overton.


A Bit Different

Mr. Della Femina and Mr. Murphy,

My name is Ray Overton and I am one of the Republican nominees for Southampton Town Trustee (with a cross endorsement from the Conservative Party). As a first time candidate in Southampton Town, I know there is very little information out there about me and I would like to try to set up a time to meet with you to discuss my candidacy.

Quick bio info - I am a local from Westhampton and am the Director of Operations for Ross School in East Hampton. Unlike many candidates, past and present, I do not nor have I ever made my living off the water. I did, however, grow up on the water, doing everything kids in the late 60's and 70's were able to do on our oceans and bays - surfed (badly), waterskied, clammed, crabbed, fished, sailed (again badly), swam. I am vested in these waters as much as anyone else.

I am involved locally as a volunteer firefighter, member of Westhampton Rotary, member of Westhampton Cultural Consortium (summer concerts on the green in Westhampton Beach), lector at my church, and volunteer with Maureen's Haven.

I am told my views are a bit different. I agree with all other candidates on the important issues facing our bays, but I think I bring a different insight on actually how to do something. 

I would look forward to meeting with one or both of you at your convenience. 


Damage Control

Dear Mr. Murphy,

How surprised I was by Kathee Burke Gonzalez's letter claiming she was very clear at the Duck Creek Association about including only non-residents in her advocacy for increased beach fees. If she was as clear as she now claims she was, why didn't she leap up out of her seat and correct Fred Overton when he opined about what a spectacularly bad idea this was saddling East Hampton residents with this hidden tax?

Larry Cantwell and Job Potter who were both in the audience didn't correct the record either. I know because I was there and Kathee was responding to a question I asked about non-tax revenue. But now, Cantwell and Burke-Gonzalez are desperately trying to do post gaffe damage control by claiming things that never happened. If Burke-Gonzalez made a mistake she needs to admit it and move on. Voters don't need any more disassembling or cover ups by Democrats, especially given their ethically challenged history when last in office.


Happy To Announce

Dear Editor,

The Donald T. Sharkey Memorial Community Fund is grateful to the Red Knights Chapter 25 and Bridgehampton Fire Department members for helping us organize and participate in the Third Annual Don Sharkey Motorcycle Ride on Sunday, September 15, 2013. We would also like to thank the East Hampton Town and Village Police Departments for their assistance with the ride, as well as Cyril's Fish House, Goldberg's Bagels, and Hampton Market Place for donating food and refreshments throughout the event. It was a beautiful day.

Thanks to the 50 plus motorcycle fire department members and bike enthusiasts, over $2,000 was raised and will be given directly back to the local community.

We are happy to announce that the money raised from this particular event will be earmarked for a second DTSMCF Scholarship, which will be awarded locally to a person who commutes to school and who wishes to pursue a higher education, be it at a college/university, community college, trade school or continuing education classes.

There were some at the Ride who did not know Don Sharkey, and many who did know him and had not seen each other in years. For those of us who knew him, it was a wonderful tribute and a time to remember a kind, generous, smiling friend who helped many in times of need.

We send special thank you to all who participated in this charitable event which helps others in our community in his name.

We hope to see you all next year, around the same place . . . around the same time -- cheers!


The Bad Old Days

To The Independent,

It would be a good thing to remember, as we get nearer to the East Hampton Town Election, the lock step unanimity of the Democratic Town Boards of the McGintee era when Job Potter was there. It is pertinent for two reasons, the resurrection of Job Potter, a complicit Councilman from that period, and the lemming-like voting records of those town boards.

On the incompetent budgets, they voted together, and on buying Keyes Island they voted alike. They all refused to allow the public to vote on that sandbar purchase. They actually discarded a validly subscribed petition for a referendum on that issue. They went to court to defend ill -considered legislation, unanimously, and lost to the Oil Heat Institute by summary judgment. On the "Veggie Law" that limits the rights of homeowners, they all voted together.

They cancelled a public hearing on the Coastal Erosion Hazard Act, and then rejected an East Hampton Town Trustee request to discuss this.

The bad old McGintee days of unilateral action, were the bad old days of Democratic Party rule. Did anyone on those town boards ever look to see that they were going off a fiscal cliff?

This must be why Democratic Party activists shoot at Councilman Domininck Stanzione for being independent. They hated that trait among their elected officials then. They hate that trait now.


Check And Balance

Dear Editor,

After having lived through the McGintee era, I for one do not want an all Democratic Town Board.  Actually I would not want an all Republican Board either.

I think the people of East Hampton are best protected when there are both Democrats and Republicans serving together.  That way they act as a check and balance against each other.

There is no question that as it stands today, there will be three Democrats on the next Board.  I think that is enough.


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