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Bitterly Derisive

Dear Rick,

In your editorial a couple of weeks ago, more or less on the subject of the dispute over Indian Field/Deep Hollow Ranch out in Montauk, you took the opportunity to blast Lisa Grenci, chair of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee. According to you, Ms. Grenci should not have written to the Town Board concerning the matter, signing herself as Chairwoman of the CAC, because her personal lawyer, Chris Kelley, is also counsel to one of the litigants in the dispute.

You said of her, "As such, not only is her opinion worthless, she should have refrained from giving it and recused herself. The CAC would do well to find a new chairwoman, and this is yet another excellent example of why Grenci shouldn't be allowed to serve on the County Planning Commission or on any governmental body, for that matter."

You were apparently unaware that Kelley was not retained by any party to the dispute until after the Montauk CAC's letter to the Town Board was written. Hence, there was no conflict of interest requiring Ms. Grenci to recuse herself at the time she wrote it. You were apparently also unaware that Ms. Grenci was not writing to express her own opinion, but to express the sense of the Montauk CAC, as she was instructed to do by her committee. In the course of the committee's discussion, Ms. Grenci did not express any opinion of her own, and when the committee voted to correspond with the Town Board, she did not vote. That is the impartial and completely professional way in which Ms. Grenci conducts her business. It is no doubt the reason why the Montauk CAC, completely unmoved by your advice, just voted unanimously to re-appoint her as its chair.

We live in a small town where most everyone knows everyone else. By failing to follow the most basic rules of your own trade checking your facts at the source, offering your target a rebuttal you make both yourself and your newspaper look foolish and mean-spirited. You would do better not only to check your facts before expressing opinions about your neighbors, but to express yourself without the nasty, personal, and bitterly derisive tone. Then, when you make a mistake (and surely this won't be your last), it can be easily forgiven as just a mistake. All of us including you will better enjoy our shared life together in East Hampton.


Editor's Note: Rick may be a bit nasty at times (like when he runs out of his medication) but he doesn't come close to you, the man who arrogantly tried to buy East Hampton Town and continues to spend large sums of money trying to influence town government to do his bidding. There isn't an "all of us" there's us, the locals, and you, the scalawag who doesn't even live here.

As for Grenci, a letter signed by her on CAC stationery was in the file the town board reviewed last week. It didn't come with a notation stating: "Lisa Grenci `wrote' this but didn't really write it, and though her name is on it she wasn't really involved, and when they were voting she closed her eyes and she didn't say what she meant or mean what she said." The letter should have been removed from the file, period.

By the way, Grenci isn't "impartial" she's a notorious shill for the Democratic Party. The image of her remaining silent while a room full of people discuss a politically charged issue stretches the limits of even the most vivid imagination.

March 14, 2006

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