|Posted by joan on July 19, 2015 at 7:55 PM|
The Montauk Crisis
July 17, 2015
To the Editor,
The present and past East Hampton Town Board administrations have had varied and disparate approaches to the major civic crises confronting the citizens of Montauk. One policy was mean, the other nice. One argumentative, the other polite, one insulting and dismissive, the other courteous and attentive. Unfortunately, neither one has been in any way effective in coming to Montauk’s aid. Both have failed through neglect, insubstantial effort, and what appears to be a general lack of actual productive action in coming to grips with Montauk’s problems.
In the final analysis, both approaches have been abject failures and an insult to the faith Montauk citizens have placed in their elective officials. While acknowledging the problems are large, complicated, and not easily solved, Montauk deserves a higher form of political representation and protection then has been offered in the past.
As a surprise to absolutely no one, without effective positive action neither mean nor nice works. What will work is courage. Courage and conviction. To have the political courage and sincerity to confront these serious problems and the conviction to do what is necessary to solve them. To have the courage to go beyond the excuse and protective cover of an endless series of why-we-cant’s, and to have the conviction to create and implement effective and innovative strategies. The courage to do the right thing, to place blame where it belongs and to strike to the very heart of the problem, rather than meandering around the ineffective and peripheral. The town board must realize that while Montauk appreciates your good wishes, and believes your expressions of sympathy are sincere, we demand more. Much, much more. We demand courage. The courage to:
• Define publicly what the board believes to be the main problems confronting Montauk.
• Design, explain, and implement innovative and effective measures, and publicly present these solutions in terms of a planned series of goals, both short- term and long-term.
• Appoint individuals and/or committees who will have the authority, responsibility, and motivation for implementation.
• Establish objective timelines and periods of and for public appraisal.
• Make the information available to the public in a timely and easily accessible manner in terms of the success or failure of the plan.
• Have the guts to follow through on all of the above, no matter the political consequences.
At the July 14 meeting in Montauk, a remarkable amount of suggestions and requests were met with “can’t dos” by the town board, for various and sundry reasons. This may be an indication of the council’s lack of experience, or general befuddlement in effectively dealing with this type of civil crisis. If this is indeed the case, it is strongly urged and suggested that an outside experienced task force and/or consultant be hired to deal with the problem. It would be of no shame to delegate the issue to a more appropriate, experienced, and effective body — the very same approach that was employed in the strategy concerning recent East Hampton Airport issues, where no more than 3 percent of the general town population was affected, as compared to 20 times that number in regard to the Montauk crisis.
No matter what the approach, the responsibility is, of course, the town board’s to effectively confront this crisis. The vast majority, if not all, of Montauk citizenry is prepared and ready to stand by the board in all their efforts. In order to assist the town board, a citizens’ action committee is being formed, the details of which will be made public in the coming weeks. Anyone wishing to participate in this important effort is invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Never before has Montauk been faced with such a serious social problem. Never before have Montauk’s citizens stood as one in their outrage of the civil abuse and incredible bad behavior that, if left unabated, has the real potential to destroy the very special fabric of our community. Let us face this problem together as one united, organized force. Together, we have the will, strength, and power to prevail.
Categories: Letters to the Editor