So Many Questions - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1740033

So Many Questions

Ever the shill, Jay Schneiderman raced through his latest resolution clearing the way — and the land — for the proposed two-story sports complex on County Road 39 and Magee Street, a patch of Southampton crippled with traffic gridlock and safety problems.

What isn’t clear, and gets murkier by the minute, is who has vested interests in this “sports complex” parading as a pool for children? What prompted the move from Hampton Bays?

Schneiderman’s informed opinion: “The Magee Street site is really accessible.” And why are Dr. Josephine DeVincenzi’s evasions, half-truths, prophecies and assurances of future donations, which she spews from Naples, Florida, being used as the basis of pushing a development on land purchased for conservation of open space, with taxpayer money — and a traffic trouble nightmare as well?

And what is the role of Counsilman-Hunsaker, a Midwestern pool and sports complex inspirational, design and management company supposedly hired to guide Ms. DeVincenzi in her renewed fervor for the rejected “pool.” Who is working for whom in this quagmire?

When asked, point blank, “How much money have you raised?” DeVincenzi equivocated: “Well, we’ve only raised a small amount … Without getting into specifics, we spent basically the last two years … trying to find a fundraising company that would professionally handle this” [“Q&A: Dr. Josephine DeVincenzi On The Proposal By STAR For A New Pool Facility In Tuckahoe,” 27east.com, October 16]. Getting “into specifics” is exactly what the public wants to know — down to the penny — and what the town refuses to ask for.

She then dissembles and meanders: “We entered into an agreement … down the road, it was not only where we were going to have to pay them an enormous amount of money, but we were going to also have to hire someone who was locally based.”

Enter Kim Folks, who flitted to Tuckahoe, where “the big-buck donors are.” What money pays for her (and why) and the “feasibility study,” and the securing of Tim Rumpf, landscape architect, for a “professional analysis,” and maintains their website, and produces glossy brochures and mailings? How much was in the “pot of money” she refers to, and how much is in it now?

The initial “pool” proposal (for children) from 1989 has been rejected and shot down at every turn. That is, until Schneiderman began banging the drum for it. Now, the pool has morphed into a proposed two-story airplane hangar, taken from the community who wants it to where it is perceived there is more free-flowing money, and reflecting the priorities of an older, richer community, with scant attention to sustainability and environmental problems.

Now it is imperative to demand: Who is behind, and who benefiting from, this proposal? And the answers must be given with accounts and documents, not empty marketing drivel or Schneiderman’s snarky side comments.

Frances Genovese

Southampton

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