Valuable Protections - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1527827

Valuable Protections

Our committee has studied the pros and cons of village incorporation, and the primary reason to incorporate is to make sure East Quogue does not become broken in the future. We have all seen areas that have been overrun with increased density, lack of investment and other issues. We don’t want that for East Quogue.

The villages are getting most of the Community Preservation Fund water quality improvement money. Villages are applying and receiving state grant money. The Villages get the benefit of village, town, county and state investment.

The town has regional and political agendas. The town is anxious to provide affordable housing and can only put it in unincorporated areas. We already have about 900 kids in the school district. We already pay one of the highest tax rates in the town. Take a look at the villages: Low taxes. Low density. Local decision-making.

Discovery Land’s proposal has been and will continue to be decided by the town, but now there are no community benefits, which would have come with the “Hills at Southampton” planned development district. We lost money for the school, connection to wastewater treatment for the school, money for septic upgrades, preservation of multiple plots of land, yearly beautification investments, a parking lot, and so many other things. There is a lawsuit because two Town Board members voted against the town’s own environmental findings and comprehensive plan.

As for Mastic, there is no comparison to our proposal. Mastic tried to do it all, losing economies of scale from their town’s services. They also could not collect taxes from the numerous rental and/or abandoned properties in their area. We are only proposing a volunteer Village Board and control of our local zoning, to protect our community character, and a Building Department, which provides significant revenues to pay for the local government. We plan to keep highway, police, parks and almost every other service with the town, like it is today. The net cost for citizens is truly negligible, but the protections are invaluable.

We invite East Quogue residents to come to a public informational meeting, Tuesday, September 24, at 7 p.m. at the elementary school. We also invite you to take a look at our proposed plan, which is posted at the committee website: eqvillageexploratorycommittee.com.

We have seen the successes of the various villages in Southampton Town, and we would like the same for East Quogue. We think the best way to ensure that East Quogue stays East Quogue is to have people with skin in the game making the decisions moving forward as an incorporated village.

Dave Celi

Karen KooiEast QuogueMr. Celi and Ms. Kooi are members of the East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee — Ed.

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