Hardy Plumbing
April 27, 2011

Silence Isn't Golden

To the Editor,

Senator Ken LaValle is pushing legislation which would cap local real estate taxes.

I think this attempt to micromanage the finances of local government is outrageous in itself, but coming from our state senator who has never spoken out on the dire financial situation of our state nor the profligate spending by our state legislature makes his action particularly odious.

Furthermore, he supported the proposed amendment to the state constitution which would have denied the governor the power to veto the budget proposed by the state legislature.

Below is my response to his email about caping real estate taxes.


Our State and County face serious fiscal problems and your brainchild during this era of revenue short fall is a real estate tax cap.

You, sir, are clearly an advocate of giving folks the kind of government and schools they would like without the residents having to pay for these goodies.

You and the former Senator Bruno would have done all of us a great service if you had worked to control state spending and you should have alerted your constituents to the coming state fiscal crisis.

Instead, you supported Bruno's and Silver's power grab by proposing an amendment to the state constitution which would have denied the governor the power to veto the budget passed by the state legislature.

Your silence on the state's fiscal distress makes one believe you think you are still living in the era of Nelson Rockefeller and his moral obligation bonds.

With your history of fiscal fecklessness, I think it wrong for you to try to impose a real estate tax cap which is the major source of revenues for towns and school districts and should be policed by the local taxpayers who may have a greater interest in fiscal restraint than you have demonstrated.

Instead, you were busy passing special legislation favoring the East Hampton Library for your boss Tom Twomey at whose law firm you are of counsel. You were not alone. Fred Thiele, Jr., was your accomplice in trying to circumvent the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals. Thiele, Jr. has now left the Republican Party and joined the Independence Party which will enable him to caucus with Assembly Democrats and work more arduously for the interests of Twomey Town.

You could have demanded an investigation into why McGintee was not indicted for signing false financial statements needed for East Hampton Town's municipal bonds.

I am sure that folks other than myself wonder if you and Fred Thiele, Jr. joined the Twomey cabal in reaching out to the Suffolk County DA's office in order to pressure that office not to indict McGintee."

I believe it is time for Senator LaValle to retire.


School Board Ballot

Dear Editor,

My name is Arthur Goldman and I am running for the school board in Springs. My ties to this community are as diverse as they are deep. My wife Eileen and I moved to Springs in 1992 and both our children attended and graduated from Springs school. My wife is a teaching assistant in Springs, and I am a history teacher at East Hampton High School.

As a member of the school board, I will have a responsibility to all members of our community. That responsibility means managing school resources in the most prudent and effective way for the benefit of our children and community.

Many of the expenses that school districts face are not controlled by school boards. State and federal mandates without additional funding from these sources place a greater and greater burden on local school districts. Taxpayers caught in this squeeze play are rightfully outraged. Such circumstances make it even more important that board members be able to bring a broad range of experience and knowledge to fiscal oversight responsibilities.

I have the knowledge, experience and commitment to openness and compromise that are required both to assure parents that their children will receive only the highest quality education and to assure taxpayers that their dollars are well spent in this pursuit.

I urge all Springs voters to vote yes on the Springs School budget proposal and to vote for Arthur Goldman on the school board ballot.


Making A Difference

To the Independent,

My name is Patricia Hope, and I am running for a seat on the East Hampton School Board. Having worked for the district for 33 years as a science teacher and department chair, I know what the educational issues are; a classroom full of students is not an abstract concept to me, and I have ideas about improving student performance.

I am an informed taxpayer and, like my fellow citizens, I am concerned about waste, cost overruns, and unwise spending. I can bring common sense and illumination to the deliberations of the board.

I believe in transparency, civility, clarity, dedication, open communication, and outreach to stakeholders.

Please vote for me on Tuesday, May 17, at the high school. I can make a difference.


Casual Corruption

Dear Mr. Murphy,

To more completely understand casual corruption in Southampton, one must review zoning. Southampton embraces a practice known as spot zoning which allows the town to randomly re-zone individual parcels. This type of zoning is not practiced by any other East End town, to the extent of Southampton.

The main characteristic of spot zoning is that it is used to increase density. Therefore spot zoning can reward real estate investors who may further profit from the cronyism embedded in the zoning "process" described in my previous letter.

Southampton justifies spot zoning by alleging it provides a common good, however recent investigations into one type of spot zoning, Planned Development Districts or PDDs, demonstrated that the common good is debatable. Even more debatable is a type of spot zoning known as Planned Residential Developments or PRDs created by Southampton to allegedly preserve open space or agriculture.

Southampton's argument that by increasing density, one preserves space or agriculture is simply illogical. PRDs cause negative environmental impacts and they deprive school districts of tax revenue. Further, PRDs were reviewed by the Suffolk County Planning Commission which recommended against their use, a recommendation that Southampton's Planning Board ignored.

Therefore, once again, I must point out a lost opportunity by Steve Levy (as Suffolk County Executive) to challenge a Southampton practice that harms school children and homeowners.


Ticks: Small But Dangerous!

Dear Editor,

Can diseased ticks kill you?

Ask someone who knows.

As a volunteer with Southold's Conservation Advisory Council, I know the dedicated members do a considerable amount of surveys and inspections of properties for the town.

From my observations and experience, the deer population is definitely growing, along with their dangerous, disease-bearing ticks.

Yes, ticks can transmit not only Lyme disease, which is bad enough, but, as I found out, another tick transmitted disease called Babesiosis. I survived, but it can really do a job on you!

So, watch out and be careful!


President's Past

Dear Editor,

Here's my question: Why can't the public in general have access to our president's biography? How can we follow him with conviction? We do not know about him and his past. There is something under every rock. All you need to do is pick it up, and then all doubts would disappear, once and for all. Did we really have to wait for "The Donald" to ask? We know where our birth certificate is . . . top dresser drawer? See how easy that was?

We are a nation of gossip. Just go by any newsstand, you'll know what I mean.

Doesn't he have a family photo album with family pictures? School photos? Christmas? The prom? Vacations? Some memorabilia of a family life? If not for us, for his children to see as they grow up.

You know, you have to know the past. You have to know where you've been to plan the future.

We could always ask Laverne and Shirley to contact the Big Kahuna in Hawaii. He's all knowing. I'm losing confidence. We are all about family. Aloha. I've been there. I have photos. Very delicious pineapple.


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