Southampton Town faces myriad problems. Some issues are blatant; for example, traffic. Other concerns are more subtle.
If you are a “self-hauler” and use the Hampton Bays, North Sea or Westhampton recycling centers, you are surrounded by mountains of yard waste. These huge piles never leave and seem to grow exponentially.
As the town works to solve groundwater issues in East Quogue and Noyac, the town remains blind to its own massive potential pollution of our drinking water. The fire that destroyed the town’s tub grinder has exacerbated the crisis.
Our town supervisor is unlikely to frequent our recycling centers and appears to prefer looking out the window of Town Hall. A photo op at a town beach or on the steps of Town Hall is not seeing a problem firsthand. The failure to address the odor, the fire threat and the pollution at these town facilities is the supervisor’s responsibility.
Although, our supervisor often talks about thinking outside the box, it is usually only rhetoric. The time to be creative is now. It is imperative that our town supervisor have the political will to act.
A possible solution might be to reach out beyond the department heads and confer with the private sector. Once upon a time, our supervisor was a Republican, and he might recall the private sector. Now a Democrat, such an approach might not be to his political advantage. The town supervisor must be an innovator, not an imitator.
In the case of yard waste, Long Island Compost has assisted other Long Island municipalities in new methods to dispose of organic materials. In response to the urgent call for affordable housing, the Long Island Builders Institute might prove a valuable resource.
The supervisor should stop patting himself on the back long enough to pick up the phone and seek solutions. His suggestion to simply increase fees on town residents is a disservice to our taxpayers.
Gregory G. Robins
One fine body…