An Insistent Rush - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1725238

An Insistent Rush

Pandemic reluctance and restrictions notwithstanding, the Southampton Town Board continues its relentless push to change the Community Preservation Fund law by holding truncated, disjointed public hearings, the aim of which is to appear inclusive of the public, but really to grease through an inappropriate, egregiously ugly two-story sports complex on traffic-choked County Road 39 and Magee Street.

On land fought for and saved from a shopping mall by taxpayer purchase for traffic calming and preservation, this change would violate the letter and spirit of the CPF law, as well as negatively impacting all surrounding village streets. The fact that the village contributes more to the CPF with almost no return makes this a travesty.

Traffic is the outstanding issue, with a recurring rationale being glibly offered by pool proponents: Since it is so bad already, adding to it won’t make a difference. Wha?

Glossed over is the projected $600,000 annual maintenance cost added to the $25 million construction cost, and the outlandish STAR claim that “no tax money will be used.” Prove it! The bulk of it will be inserted into school budgets and become school taxes to be borne by the already over-taxed residents of Tuckahoe.

But at least one glaring question has been satisfactorily answered.

“Why,” people asked — since a STAR aquatic pool double the size (but on half the acreage) was approved, the land in Red Creek purchased with taxpayer money, and this greeted with hosannas by STAR — “is there an insistent rush now to put it in Tuckahoe?”

The answer to that question was made clear in a Spur podcast interview with Kim Foulkes, newly hired to market the pool. With Red Creek securely in their pocket, she decided, in marketing speak, to “change their branding,” which included looking around for an area that might “provide a potential to raise more support,” which, translated, means more money from richer donors.

And it gave heft to her paid position as well. The self-described “beautiful donor booklets” and sanctimonious “character building through swimming laps” jargon and boilerplate (albeit probably expensive) plans have been morphing to the needs of privileged adults, with children as an afterthought. More needy children in Southampton and eastward than Hampton Bays westward? Demographics?

Another lie: STAR maintains that there is no opposition. The Town Board closed the public hearing, but written comments will be accepted until October 13, when this comes up at the Town Board at 1 p.m.

Please make your voice heard. Send written comments to the town clerk, to be distributed to the Town Board and made part of the record. Reference: “Resolution to Add Pool to CPF Classification, Magee Street.”

Better yet, come out to say no!

Frances Genovese

Southampton

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