A Collaborative Effort - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1704776

A Collaborative Effort

It’s nice to have good news to report. We really appreciated last week’s article, “‘Monster’ Utility Poles Finally Removed In Eastport” [27east.com, June 1]. Fighting “city hall” or a giant corporation isn’t easy, but it can be done — provided you have the kind of support we received to create the groundswell of opposition needed to make a difference.

It truly was a collaborative effort. The Eastport community was strongly supported by civic leaders and residents of neighboring hamlets. Residents of East Moriches, Center Moriches, Speonk, Remsenburg, Westhampton and Riverside joined in, along with the Southampton Sustainability Committee and the Associated Brookhaven Civic Organization, to advocate for removal of the poles. We were supported at every step of the way by Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, Town Councilman Dan Panico and State Assemblyman Fred Thiele.

At the end of the day, it was the timely and necessary legal actions taken by Brookhaven Town, supported by the Town of Southampton (thank you, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, John Bouvier, Tommy John Schiavoni, Julie Lofstad and Christine Scalera) and the Suffolk County Legislature (thank you, Bridget Fleming and Al Krupski) that brought LIPA/PSEG to the negotiating table. Town Board members of both towns voted unanimously for the litigation.

We were disappointed that all of the 200-plus poles weren’t removed, but LIPA and PSEG representatives removed the most egregiously placed poles, those in Eastport’s hamlet center, on schedule, and undergrounded the transmission cables there. Their efforts took away the industrial look and helped bring back the hamlet center’s rural character.

At each step of our campaign, we benefited from important print support provided by The Southampton Press (Brendan O’Reilly, Michael Wright and Greg Wehner, among others) and Newsday’s Mark Harrington, as well as multiple stories broadcast by News 12 Long Island. The combined media efforts really helped.

Special thanks go to Assemblyman Fred Thiele and Senator Ken LaValle for sponsoring and passing legislation that was quickly signed by Governor Cuomo. It will help ensure that, in the future, no other community is surprised to find their streets marred by similar enormous poles.

Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard to restore the gateway road to Eastport.

Roy Reynolds

President

East Moriches Property Owners Association

Jim Gleason

Vice President

East Moriches Property Owners Association

Pete Kassebaum

Eastport Green Project

Andrea Spilka

President

Southampton Town Civic Coalition

Board Member

East Moriches Property Owners Association

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