Where We Stand
Comments made by David Doty, EH Conservators executive committee member, at Town Board Meeting, June 17, 2010.
Good evening, Mr. Supervisor and Members of the Town Board—
My name is David Doty, and I am here to speak as a town taxpayer, for the East Hampton Conservators as its treasurer, and as someone who has come to love the natural beauty and rural character of our town.
We support the efforts of those of goodwill who will do their best to concentrate on and get us out of the short-term fiscal problems of the town. We encourage you to focus transparently on that, and to call together an open and frank strategic discussion on how the whole town can come together to solve our common problem.
However, we do not and cannot support by secretive last-minute decree the sale of our open space and parkland—it belongs to the town and its taxpayers, not to those elected to serve us.
We want and expect the public notice and public input guaranteed us by law, by tradition, and by goodwill. You’ve heard that from the fishermen of Montauk and, again, you are hearing it tonight. At least you are being told, I don’t know if you are actually hearing it.
The continued assertion we’ve heard that some sort of “self-defined” mandate allows this town board to do ANYTHING, and do it in secret, just doesn’t hold water.
You were elected by a majority of the town to get our fiscal house in order not to mess with the town code, not to sell off our land and heritage at fire-sale prices for short-term gain.
Selling Fort Pond House was not on your platform, you did not tell the public about that, nor about your three-year plan recently judged inadequate by the state.
Financial crises must be addressed, but we have faith they are temporary—but the sale of our land is permanent.
Taxpayers for the last 40 years have wholeheartedly supported preserving the town, preventing runaway development and eschewing the kind of creeping suburbanization that has characterized UpIsland political decisions.
That kind of destruction of what makes East Hampton special we cannot afford—it threatens our property values as well as our moral values and what we pass down to future generations.
We want to see a full-out strategic fiscal plan. We do not believe in one-off secret measures that are pennywise and pound foolish and that assault the very soul of our town.
Thank you. Please preserve Fort Pond House.