Positive Commentary - 27 East


Positive Commentary

Regarding Stephen Kotz’s April 18 article on the North Haven budget approval [“In a Split Vote, North Haven Village Board Approves 9 Percent Spending Hike, While Holding Tax Rate Steady With Use of Surplus Funds” 27east.com, April 16], he cited all the residents who spoke at the hearing. All, except for me. I spoke, yet my comments were unreferenced in the paper.

I have encountered omissions by Stephen Kotz in the past when fellow residents and I attended public hearings and meetings and expressed support for the North Haven Village government. Our commentaries were never published. Perhaps they weren’t juicy enough? They did not provoke or attack. There were no accusations, demands, harsh criticisms, or threats?

It is a sad state of journalism, when a community member attends a public meeting, sits and listens for two to three hours, conveys approval, offers suggestions, and is not counted alongside the critics who also attend and speak. To me, this is biased reporting. This is tabloid reporting.

After last week’s publication, I wrote an email to Mr. Kotz. I asked him why he’s never recorded my positive input, does he think my civic contributions are invalid or frivolous? He never responded.

While I respected my fellow speakers’ requests and concerns at the budget meeting, I also verbalized a valid point.

[Southampton Town ] Councilman [Tommy John] Schiavoni questioned the village’s ability to develop Lovelady Park with only $60,000 allocated in its budget for parks and recreation, some of which will be applied elsewhere on North Haven parkland.

I approached the board and the councilman stating that since the Community Preservation Fund has asserted itself in the production of Lovelady Park and the Town of Southampton owns the land, can the CPF grant additional funding to North Haven?

My focus is on the parking. Once the CPF approves the final plan for Lovelady Park, could they fund the ADA-compliant parking lot, so all visitors feel safe when driving up to enjoy the park amidst the peripheral whirlwind of speeding traffic? With the CPF’s help, the essential parking area can be completed quickly, providing an insulated canvas for our park. Then, the nonprofit can privately fundraise the rest of the park plan elements.

I beseech local journalists to portray an accurate picture of the panoply of residents who attend these meetings. The East End’s temperature is rising along with the country’s temperature. And climate change is not to blame. My hope is for a kindred person to attend a public meeting and say to the board: “Thank you for all your hard work!” And just maybe, those neighborly sentiments of kindness and appreciation would be noteworthy and even make the paper.

Camille Petrillo

North Haven