Beyond Repair - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2016382

Beyond Repair

I am not surprised at last week’s debacle concerning the contract between the town and the too-often-used consulting firm of Nelson Pope Voorhis [“‘Regrettable’ Contract Passage Seeks To Discredit Opponents Of Hampton Bays Overlay District,”, August 24]. I believe a goal of these firms is get development projects pushed through irrespective of the wishes of the taxpayer, irrespective of what is best for the town and the environment and solely for the benefit of their clients — developers.

Has there ever been an instance where a consulting firm has told a developer that what they are asking for is too big, too harmful or goes against the grain of the character of the town? I think not.

So why would we expect them to do anything less than “neutralize” those who oppose their client’s project? It is what they do — it is what they are paid to do.

This instance shows a consulting firm that is too comfortable with those whose job it is to oversee development. The supervisor, four Town Board members, the town attorney, as well as the town land management development administrator all viewed the contract and “missed” this? Hard to believe. Did they look the other way, or are they incompetent?

The process is too broken to repair; it needs to be changed.

There is too much at stake with these major projects being given a cursory view or none at all. The condo plan on Shinnecock Canal was not delivered as promised, and the Town Board bailed them out without a question as to what went wrong. The golf course fiasco under litigation in the Pine Barrens in East Quogue has now proposed a sewage treatment plant with eight open sewage pools in front of the homes on Spinney Road, where taxpayers have lived for decades. The same consulting firm is part of all three projects.

I shake my head when I see these same consultants and attorneys sitting in regulatory board meetings representing local municipalities, and the people they are attempting to “neutralize,” when, at the same time, pushing these massive development projects. You can’t have it both ways. The same professionals who profess to be protecting the town initiate ludicrous lawsuits, effectively shutting down any positive discourse, if they do not get their way. This needs to end.

I hoped one of the elected officials or town employees had said they read the contract with all its vindictive wording and thought it was not a problem. That, while unacceptable, would be less odious then all involved admitting they missed it.

Moving forward, I can’t believe a word any of them say — and that is horrendous.

William R. Kearns

East Quogue