We are writing to respond to the letter from Vicki Greenbaum [“Who’s Behind It?” Letters, August 1]. Ms. Greenbaum is incorrect in all her assertions.
First, everyone who spoke at the public hearing about village incorporation was hand-delivered a copy of our lawsuit challenging the supervisor’s decision. This included people who spoke for it, against it or were neutral. It is a requirement of the law that all who were expressly involved received a copy. There was no desire to intimidate anyone, nor did we deny anyone their First Amendment right to speak.
Second, there is no impact whatsoever on those people who spoke. They are not impugned, they are not at risk, and no response is required from them.
Third, we tried to contact everyone involved in advance to explain what was required to happen by law. We did connect with Ms. Greenbaum and many others; some we did not have contact information for, and many people we did reach out to did not call or write us back.
As for her claim about “these committee members rule a village,” we want to set that record straight. Our diverse committee has done the hard work of researching the possibilities, benefits, costs and risks of village incorporation over the last two years. We have no official positions, and most members of the committee are not looking to run for office.
Anyone who would serve on an East Quogue Village Board would have to be elected by the people of East Quogue, and we don’t think that anyone looking to “rule” will be successful in East Quogue.
As for her opinion that this is “all about the golf course,” let’s put that to bed. It is not.
The decision about “The Hills at Southampton” was made by the Town Board. The decision about Discovery Land Company’s current application has been made by the Town Zoning Board of Appeals and ultimately will be made by the Town Planning Board and the state’s Central Pine Barrens Commission. Ms. Greenbaum, please take up your issues with that process and with those entities.
As for her comment about those who would benefit from incorporation, she is also incorrect. Everyone in East Quogue would be protected and benefit from local decision-making. How else can you avoid undue impacts on our school district? How else can you make sure that East Quogue gets its fair share of investment?
Our committee has merely sought to understand what it would take for East Quogue to finally get a seat at the decision-making table, which we all think is important. When the time comes, we hope residents will come vote to support incorporation and their rightful status as a village with local representation.
David CeliEast QuogueMs. Kooi, Ms. Daddino and Mr. Celi are members of the East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee—Ed.
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