No Joking Matter - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1730468

No Joking Matter

The congenitally facetious Jay Schneiderman “quipped,” “That went swimmingly,” after he led his compliant board to unanimously vote to add “pool” to the Community Preservation Fund usage, which will grease the way for a two-story sports complex to be built off County Road 39 on Magee Street [“Southampton Town Board Unanimously Agrees That Aquacenter Is Permitted Use On Magee Street CPF Land,” 27east.com, October 13].

Simultaneously, his water carriers, Julie Lofstad and John Bouvier, tried to gull the public into believing that this vote of approval was separate and apart from the STAR Aquatics proposal that they have all been pushing for. This was belied by STAR advocates crowing all over town that they were well on their way now.

Of what value are Schneiderman’s words? In 2018, he vociferously backed building this pool at Red Creek, saying it would be “a real game-changer for Hampton Bays” and that it would raise property values. He also conjectured an arrangement in which the town provides “some funding” in exchange for affordable rates for residents, while stating that no money would be forthcoming from the Town.

Flash-forward to 2020: Now he is doing his utmost to push the pool onto the parcel in Tuckahoe (where the supermarket was previously shot down because of the traffic problems). Tactics include fast-tracking public hearings — during a pandemic — refusing to answer questions, and feigned ignorance. All of which he obviously considers a joking matter.

He is following the lead of Jo DeVincenzi, president of STAR and the subject of an out-sized interview and photo op in The Press [“Q&A: Dr. Josephine DeVincenzi On The Proposal By STAR For A New Pool Facility In Tuckahoe,” 27east.com, October 16]. Ms. DeVincenzi reiterates ad nauseam the epiphany that got her started, along with character-building goals straight out of Charles Atlas’s playbook, along with empty marketing verbiage.

Vague or just not answering, she skirts who STAR pays, and how much; how much was paid to consultants/pool developers; future sustainability; what is left of the $600,000 donation from a “very, very rich woman” — nor does she fill in gaps in the public’s knowledge of her group. Instead, she slyly reprises sour, racist gossip from a time when, by her own admission, she was “still in high school” (in Boston?). Finding innuendo more useful and diverting than fact: It is reprehensible that The Press printed it.

While keeping a lock on the Red Creek property, STAR’s hired marketing gun, Kim Folks, glommed onto the CPF property in Tuckahoe as well, because, as she said, there were more big-money donors there. Children are not “at the heart of this” — money is.

And Schneiderman, with his smarmy, self-interested double-talk, making light of opposition, ducking questions, and exploiting the public’s reluctance to engage in these Town Hall charades during a pandemic, is just the person to grease this proposal through.

Frances Genovese

Southampton

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