November 13, 2013

Negative Tactics

Dear Rick,

It is my belief that there is a certain honor in trying and losing, and there is no honor in not trying.

A sincere thank you to all of my supporters for voting for me for Southampton Town Supervisor!

Whether you placed a sign on your front lawn, attended a fundraiser, helped to make phone calls, handed out literature, stuffed envelopes or just called or emailed to say "Good luck, you've got my vote!" – please know that I sincerely appreciate everything that was done to support my candidacy during the months and weeks leading up to Election Day!

It was truly an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to offer voters a choice in this year's General Election. Despite all of the misleading, negative tactics from the opposition, my grassroots campaign remained focused on the truth, calling for more responsive government based on a platform addressing the important challenges facing the Town.

For me, this race was all about demonstrating my commitment to the ideals of good government and truly representing the needs of the everyday people who live and work here.

Please also accept my heartfelt gratitude for your kind words and expression of thanks for my past public service as Supervisor and Councilwoman. I also appreciate all the good wishes for my family! I could not have accomplished all that I have for the good people of Southampton Town over the years and during this campaign without the love and support of my husband Lance and my sons Jeff, Zack, and Connor.

I want to applaud all of the candidates for their courage and for the stamina needed to run for public office. It is not easy to put yourself out there, given the intensity of the schedule and all of the political drama that comes with running a campaign. Thank you to all of you for stepping up to offer your candidacy and providing a choice to the voters for the 2013 election.

May those who have been elected to serve in local government do so with honesty, integrity, and strength of character, being ever mindful of our community's best interests.


Pleasure To Serve

Dear Rick,

I want to thank the voters of East Hampton for electing me to be their next Town Justice. I also want to thank The Independent for its endorsement for this position.

It is an honor to be taking the seat held by Justice Cathy Cahill. Judge Cahill has served the Town of East Hampton for the past twenty years, and has set a very high standard of excellence and professionalism. It will also be a pleasure to serve along side incumbent Town Justice Lisa Rana, who has served for the past 10 years with distinction.

I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve the public in this role.


In Real Time

To the Editor,

This letter is in response to the recent editorial in The Independent which criticizes two alleged debate practices: giving candidates questions ahead of time and having a large group of audience members asking pre-planned, skewed questions. Your editorial states: "The League of Women Voters approve questions to be asked in advance . . ."

The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons agrees that candidates need to respond in "real time" as you state. Our questions, therefore are never given to the candidates beforehand, nor could they be since they are chosen at the time of the debate itself.

As for approving questions in advance, the League during the debate, i.e. "in real time," asks the audience to submit questions and a panel vets those questions to avoid repetition, to select ones with more general interest and rarely to simplify or clarify.

There are three sources of the questions at a League debate: the audience, the League and invited media members. The media representatives come with their own questions which the League has no knowledge of prior to the event and only confer "in real time" with other panel members so that each asks different ones, reflecting the vetting standards. This has been the practice of the League for at least 10 years.

We regret the fact that the representative of The Independent misunderstood these practices and, as a result, declined to participate in our important, respected and well-attended debates.



Editor's Note: Thank you for the clarification. But why does the public have to be vetted? Our point was people should be allowed to ask any questions they want.

Totally Unjustified

To the Editor,

Another fine and funny column by Jerry Della Femina, spoiled by a gratuitous and false comment about the TEA Party.  TEA goons?  Please!  Name the TEA Party events or individuals that act like goons. SEIU and Occupy, yes, with their violence, trash and disrespect of our country, but not TEA Party events.

Maybe a couple anarchist plants, with obnoxious signs, who were asked to leave, otherwise we cannot find any reports of "goon-ing", i.e. violence.

We are peaceful, happy, law abiding advocates for liberty; try attending a few of our events instead of reading the New York City newspapers. These swipes at the TEA Party are totally unjustified.

This disinformation campaign belies the facts, the great work we do in our communities, and helping to remind the populace of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Indeed, a recent poll of Independent voters shows they are becoming more conservative and support the TEA Party by a wide margin.

Why are newspapers and TV news at all time lows? Are we enlightening too many that the media can't control?

As head of our local TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party, I ask you, Mr. Della Femina, to reassess your opinion, based on our record - not the ongoing media smear, whose chorus you seem to have joined.


A Referendum?

To the Editor,

In his bid for reelection to the Town Board, Councilman Dominick Stanzione's profound defeat at the polls last Tuesday was, in effect, a referendum by the voters of the Town of East Hampton on aircraft noise policy.

The message was loud and clear: the public wants the Town to run an airport that ensures the safety of airport users while it simultaneously respects the noise impacts of those airport users on East End residents, properties, and ecosystems. In spite of critics claims to the contrary, these are not mutually exclusive goals!

East Hampton Town Board can legally control noise by setting reasonable business hours and curfews, 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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant money.

The Town currently has contractual obligations to the FAA, which expire on December 31, 2014. Then, the Town of East Hampton, as owner and operator of this airport will be able to act and the town will be able to operate a safe and quiet airport paid for by airport users.

The voters have spoken. Let the outgoing town board continue to hear the message of the Quiet Skies Coalition and let the newly elected members embrace this message as well.


Editor's Note: With all due respect the airport was not a major issue with most voters. The candidates told us taxes, illegal apartments, litter, and traffic were among the issues that would-be voters brought up the most.

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