A Lesson Learned - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1269350

A Lesson Learned

The decision has been made to pull the plug on the Southampton Town Trustee constituent-funded direct tax line [“Thiele Withdraws Bill To Create Southampton Trustees Tax Line,” 27east.com, May 17]. Support was divided in the Trustee camp regarding specific consequences of approving this tax line.

Trustee Scott Horowitz has unconditionally thrown his support behind approving the authorization of said tax line in a shoot-first-ask-questions-later move. Yet other Trustees are reticent in light of the fact that, if the Trustees are allowed to tax the public directly, they must forfeit many expensive core services currently provided to them gratis via the town, and would have to float them out of their direct tax line budget.

Seeing as exact numbers have yet to be crunched, and all pertinent information has yet to be provided relating to their would-be new fiscal culpabilities, it’s a very wise decision on the part of the majority of the Trustees not to simply do as they did in the Rose Hill Road catastrophe.

Rent, employees salaries and benefits, electricity, water, bay constables, equipment, materials, etc., add up quickly and get incredibly expensive. What would it take to float these variables for all of the services and projects the Trustees would provide for the taxpayers? Once they are out on their own, the costs, the rules and the tax increases to the taxpayers are unknown.

Trustee Horowitz is the Trustee secretary/treasurer and as such he should desire the future rules and costs regarding this measure be put under a microscope, in contrast to his laissez-faire perspective of simply trying to push the independent tax line through.

Should the constituents be left holding the bag on this tax line—as they have been relating to Rose Hill Road, where the incumbent Trustees blindly voted yes to give away public land and grossly reduce access to the entire publicly owned parcel there? Hell no!

Maybe, just maybe, a bit of a lesson learned by at least some of the Trustees in the form of exercising due diligence and watching out for the public on this tax line matter.

It’s a scary thought to open your tax bill and find a huge, unscrupulous line item amount for the Town Trustees just because there was no forethought, no ability to be conscientious, meticulous or fastidious for the sake of the public, whom the Trustees represent.

Unprincipled public servants do not serve the public. Town Trustees come from all walks of life. No skill set nor any education requirements are needed to run. They are charged with immensely important and complex management tasks.

Let the polls be your power this November. Who will be proper stewards of our town and our tax dollars?

Mark BarauskasWesthampton

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