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Letter: County's Actions about Protecting Farmland, Not Politics

Sarah Lansdale says town officials being "disingenuous in that they have demonstrated an unwillingness to come to an appropriate and legal solution."

Dear Editor:  

As Suffolk County’s Director of Planning, I am appalled at the cavalier misstatements made by East Hampton Town officials. I’m writing to set the record straight.

The County is sympathetic to the plight of the residents of the Hansom Hills subdivision and we are convinced that working together, we can find ways to alleviate the flooding. However, we have a responsibility to Suffolk County taxpayers and to the integrity of the farmland preservation program to resolve this issue lawfully.

RELATED: Theresa Quigley Calls County's Actions 'Startling'

So, let’s go over the facts:

What is beyond dispute is that the Town of East Hampton blatantly caused extensive damage to farmland, that was preserved by Suffolk County taxpayers, by removing large quantities of valuable topsoil.  This is the first time in memory that a municipality has unlawfully violated a piece of preserved property. To make matters worse, not only did the Town of East Hampton allow a contractor to excavate the soil, but further permitted him to sell the soil, considered the finest agricultural soil in New York – the “Cadillac” of soil.  Rather than enriching the farm with the soil, the Town chose to enrich someone’s pockets.

This is the only instance anyone at the County can remember in the entire history of the 37-year Purchase of Development Rights program where a municipality blatantly violated the program and then asked the County to turn a blind eye to the law and retroactively approve an illegal action.

Such approval will not be forthcoming.

It has been stated that the County has initiated a lawsuit.  That is not true.  The County has NOT initiated a lawsuit against the Town.  We filed a ‘notice of claim’ to preserve our right in the event the Town continues to be unwilling to rectify their “mistake.” 

It has been stated that the County and Town were in communication for a two year period and “unnamed person” at the County approved the project.  In fact, the Town never reached out the County Department of Planning prior to commencing their action and we only learned of the violation from a third party. 

Although the Town continues to insist they have an easement from the owner, they do not. The person who allegedly signed their document is not the owner of the property.  

It has been stated that the County is unwilling to work with the Town.  The County has always been ready, willing and able to assist the Town in any legal manner, but will not violate the public trust and the law in the process.  The Town is seeking a retroactive approval of an unlawful action.  In fact, the County convened a meeting with the Town on Aug. 1 to explore alternatives, during which it was agreed that the Town would submit lawful alternatives.  We have received none. 

It has also been stated that the Town submitted a proposal over a month ago.  That again is incorrect.  In an attempt to retroactively gain approve of an illegal action and move forward with their plans intact, The Town mailed an application to the County on Sept. 10.

The Town is being disingenuous in that they have demonstrated an unwillingness to come to an appropriate and legal solution.  Not only has the Town Supervisor refused to return my last telephone call placed on Sept. 10, but he has willfully mischaracterized a Deputy County Executive’s invitation to talk, choosing instead to distort the gesture. 

Ironically, the fact that the Town of East Hampton has responded to our notice of claim in such a hostile manner, rather than viewing it as an opportunity to find a compromise, demonstrates the very behavior that necessitated the notice in the first place.

This is not about politics or personalities. This is about protecting the integrity of the Farmland Preservation Program. Let us not forget that Suffolk’s farmland is the most productive farmland in the state, in part due to the quality of the soil, which is considered the finest agricultural soil in the state.  Protecting this unique resource is the mission of the Farmland Preservation Program and the Development Rights process and the County is committed to remaining vigilant in this mission.  

The County stands ready to work with the Town to find a legal solution that maintains the integrity of the program and relieves flooding faced by homeowners of Hansom Hills. I look forward the Supervisor’s return call.

Sarah Lansdale

Suffolk County Director of Planning

Tell us what you think about this situation. Comment below.

SadderBudweiser September 22, 2012 at 02:34 AM
What is it about Supervisors named Bill? You'd think we'd have learned.
Carole Campolo September 22, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Okay Ms. Lansdale. Where was the County over the last 10 years during which these homeowners and farmers have been pleading for relief? Wilkinson and Quigley were the only two elected official on either the county or local level that even tried to find a solution for these homeowners. Where was Jay Schneiderman, who was a town supervisor during that time period that nothing was done for these homeowners? And now he is up at the county and what actions has he taken to alleviate this problem? Did he not hear the pleas of these families? I guess not. I respect your claims of trying to maintain the integrity of the process, but only in the last paragraph of your diatribe against the only people that sought to do anything, the elected officials in the Town of East Hampton, do you even mention the relief for the homeowners. Suing the town, and let's not mince words, the County's action is the FIRST step of a lawsuit, will hurt the taxpayers of East Hampton and the county. A diatribe like the one you just wrote, is so blatantly political that it boggles the mind.
Preliator September 22, 2012 at 06:16 PM
We need to create Peconic County and leave the corruption of western Suffolk behind.
Debra Brodie Foster September 22, 2012 at 07:05 PM
As I have stated before, the reason the taxpayers of East Hampton , Suffolk County and the homeowners are in the middle of this standoff is because Councilwoman Quigley never contacted the Suffolk County Planning Commission before the project began after she was informed by memo from our Town Attorney that it is was required.
truth 2011 September 23, 2012 at 12:46 AM
To Ms. Foster: Getting approvals for projects is the job of the consulting engineer, town engineer or town attorney. If they sat by and watched the Town Board approve the plans and hire the contractor when they knew all the approvals were not secured then they were remiss in their duties. Why would the Town Board member be responsible for doing the staff work and securing permits and approvals - makes no sense at all. This is a political play and involves characters from different levels of government
truth 2011 September 23, 2012 at 01:09 AM
To Ms. Lansdale: You should be removed from your position. Your letter is outrageous. To file a notice of claim because the Town attempted to solve a ten year old problem adversely effecting their residents and the county's residents is beyond explainable. The county should be begging to assist the town to fix this problem caused by your land and your neglect. As someone who has seen the flooding I can tell you more farm soils have been lost to run-off the last 10 years than the digging of any sump. Have you seen the run-off? The mud slides across Rt 114? The property damage? I bet not. The county is playing politics with a serious issue that has adversely effected many residents for many years. You letter is hack job to embarrass local officials in order to benefit those running for office that your boss supports. The fact that Mr. Schneider (Deputy Exec) is a former staffer for Bishop and Wilkinson is a big supporter of Bishop's opponent is quite obvious in this entire matter. I would strongly recommend the district attorney look at this entire matter from start to finish to see who acted in good faith and in the public interest and who is now using the situation for political gain. The residents of Hansom Hills demand it. Such an investigation will start with the improper disclosure of internal privileged correspondence to Democrat activist and former Democrat Town Board member Deb Foster. The trail should be followed up the chain to see where it leads.
Carole Campolo September 23, 2012 at 04:35 AM
You know you guys are all the same. In East Hampton, when it isn't Bush's fault, it's Theresa Quigley's . Ms. Foster, I know you were a town board member years ago when these people were bailing out their basements. Why shouldn't we blame you? What did you do to help them? Apparently, nothing. Ms. Quigley tried to solve the problem. Obviously you didn't. I suppose you can be forgiven for not really knowing how government works. So here's a lesson. Now look at me. Government is very hierarchical in that basic functions devolve down (not up) the chain of command. To say that this entire problem lays at the feet of Council member Quigley is so laughable that you are embarrassing yourself. What started as a staff screw up has made political pawns of these farmers and homeowners in the middle of Bellone's, Schneider's and now Ms. Lansdale's political games. Tell me exactly how Ms. Lansdale's snotty letter to the Supervisor helps the homeowners and the farmers? Ms. Lansdale should not even be communicating directly with the Supervisor, let alone in such an offensive manner. Ms. Lansdale should appropriately be contacting Margarite Wolffsohn her counterpart. Ms. Lansdale's responsibilities in government are very different from both Supervisor Wilkinson and Council member Quigely. She apparently needs to learn the parameters of her job and her authority. So far, Bellone's choice of staff, is a big fat ZERO. Not an auspicious start.
Sandman September 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Oh how the standard gop hacks defend this and the illegal handling of the Montauk alley sale without an appraisal...This town board majority clearly thinks they are above the law. There is a very small and very loud group of meeting attenders and newly appointed gop mouth pieces who keep defending the Hubris of the special interest actions of Wilkinsen and Quigs. No shame with this group! If the independents did not put him on their ticket these things would not be happening now...15 votes, easily purchased and dirt cheap at that!
Factual September 23, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Hubris? Wilkinson and Quigley rescued the town from the brink of financial ruin created by Democrat ineptitude by making difficult decisions in the public interest. The problem with Sandman and others like him is they are so used to supporting pandering, slow witted, indecisive, uninformed and do nothing politicians (mostly Democrats) that they can't stand it when someone comes along and tries to get something done for the right reasons. This particular situation is one where dozens of local residents - people of all parties (in fact the area being flooded is traditionally a heavy Democrat voting area) - would be helped greatly by some positive action. Was one step missed ? Yes. Why the engineers who design these projects all the time or the attorneys allowed a Democrat Town Board member to propose the resolution to hire the contractor I do not know. But before the county started playing politics NO ONE had a problem with the sump. Before the project started I heard no one say the sump would remove "valuable" soils. The only thing anyone was saying was this action would solve a 10 year old problem and stop property destruction. Democrat County officials and Bishop's former gopher turned this into a cheap political issue. Shameful.
Debra Brodie Foster September 23, 2012 at 03:35 PM
The issue is to work together at both levels of government so this standoff may be resolved with a compromise. FACT- the County and taxpayers own the soil that was trucked off by a private contractor to be sold for a major profit. The Town Board should have been informed by Theresa that County approval was necessary. It was her responsibility to check that the Town attorney do the research and report back to her so she may inform the Town Board. The Town Board member responsible for guiding a project coordinates and communicates with all the staff involved. The Town Board member who is in charge should check that all the needed approvals are in place and easements are reviewed, then he/she asks for Town Board approval. That did not happen and that was the responsibility of the Town Board point person (In this case, Theresa). Carole, as a manager, you know that is the way the process should work. The ultimate responsibility for product research and development rests at the top. I know Theresa meant well, but when there is a breakdown in communication,she and Bill always attack the staff. Frankly, that's what bullies do on a playground. Government officials should take responsibility to work this out in a mature manner because the Hansom Hills residents are not being helped by Theresa's press release attacking the Suffolk County Planning Commission and our Town staff.
Factual September 23, 2012 at 04:14 PM
You just don't get it. It is not the Town Board member's job to secure the approvals and permits. It just is not, and you can keep saying it is but it's wrong. No wonder things were so screwed up when you were on the board. The Attorneys and engineers are there to make sure all resolutions are properly vetted. If I remember correctly a consulting engineer was fired by his firm a while back for not informing the Town Board on a matter that led the Board to award a contract to a company disbarred by the Department of Labor. I can't remember the Town Board member who oversaw the project even being mentioned as being responsible. And the State did not sue the! I'm sure the attorneys have to approve almost every resolution for adoption. If the Town depended on an elected fisherman,school teachers, or gardeners to make technical determinations and do research on approvals then I would say you are asking for trouble. Nothing wrong with a teacher or gardenner on the Town Board - but they are there to make policy based on professional staff work and information supplied.That's like saying the Planning Board members should be telling the Planning staff how to do their jobs because the members are the ones who are responsible for making sure all matters are covered.That is preposterous.You're insistence that Quigley was responsible for knowing all the technical requirements, the approvals needed, etc., is nothing more than tortured politically motivated criticism.
Factual September 23, 2012 at 04:25 PM
And the letter above is also a tortured rationalization of what was an obvious political maneuver. Again, why wasn't the Town sued or reprimanded by the State when it hired a disbarred contractor for a project when the engineer failed to tell the Town Board member of the disbarment? The answer is simple, the State did not play politics and worked to resolve the issue. The County and it's very political County Executive and Deputy County Executive decided to play politics and stick it to East hampton residents and taxpayers who have suffered for 10 years with no action. I would ask the Town Supervisor to release what he says is the "snippy" written remark by Mr. Schnieder and then release this so called memo from the Town Attorney to Ms. Quigley. Then let's get the phone logs from Ms. Lansdale, the town supervisor and town attorney and see if indeed the town was ignoring Ms. Lansdale. Let the public decide who is playing games with this matter.
Debra Brodie Foster September 23, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Ms. or Mr. Factual, Three facts: 1.Theresa was informed that approval from the County was required 2. (We agree on this one) It is not her responsibility to do technical work that should be done by the professionals (ie,Town Attorney).3. It is her job as liaison to oversee the professionals and see that their assignments are done before she brings it to the Town Board for approval. Here's the sad irony, not so long ago SHE was Town Attorney so she should have known that Suffolk County permission is needed when county taxpayers paid millions to preserve the soil. Instead that valuable public soil that was trucked off by Mr. Grimes to sell for his profit one day before the stop work order. That's a fact.
Carole Campolo September 23, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Ms. Foster, I was a deputy agency head and I had staff that did the basic requirements like getting approvals, making everyday budget decisions, etc., and they were terrific. While I managed the process, I did not secure those approvals, or do the everyday budget work. I also had an boss, who was a commissioner, and I had a 5 member board, one whom was the President of Fordham University and another who went on to become a Supreme Court Justice. If my staff had failed in their jobs to get whatever approvals were needed for our agency to make a decision or take an action, to reprimand my board members or even my commissioner would be laughable. If someone wanted to reprimand me, as the deputy, that makes absolute perfect sense. But, my board members? Are you kidding me? If my staff failed to perform I would advise them of that error. And if they continued to make the same types of errors, I would note that in their yearly personnel evaluation. As I understand it, because of a decision made by a previous Town Board, and who knows maybe it was the one that you were on, East Hampton Town staff are not allowed to get personnel evaluations. In the real world, this is unheard of. And what you get are staff that don't have to perform rigorously and do not have to be accountable to anyone, least of all the taxpayers.
Carole Campolo September 23, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Look, you guys are looking to pin anything you can on Theresa. She really gets under your skin because she is so smart and cannot be intimidated. And so, she has become the Democrats punching bag. If as you say, everyone should work together, then why did you traffic in and illegal privileged communication? How does that help the Hansom Hills people? If you are truly concerned about the people in Hanson Hills, you will advise Mr. Bellone, and quickly, that he should pull back from any legal action he has begun. Tell him and his cronies to stop politicizing this incident and do everything in their power to help these residents. Again, it is not the Town Board members job description to oversee the department staff. In this town that would be the department head's job. And whoever that person is screwed up big time. Since, many of these department heads also have civil service protection and have been in those positions for many, many years, I am stunned that something this routine was overlooked. But, again since they are accountable to absolutely no one, they don't have to perform well.
jsb September 23, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Hansom Hill residents will be heard from on this! Why hasn't the County helped? Why hasn't the State helped? Where are our County and State elected officials? Why is the County suing the Town for helping? Is the County serious about lost farm soils when tons and tons and ton and tons, or to put it differently, thousands and thousands and thousands of cubic yards of soil have been washed away in 10 years? Is Sarah Lansdale serious? If this was about preserving soil and preserving Hansom Hills property then I would hope the County would be knocking on the door at Town Hall asking how they can help. We can only conclude that this is a political move to embarrass local East Hampton officials, and that Ms. Lansdale is pathetic! Get ready for the law suit against you for allowing your property to be washed into our neighborhoods and DESTROYING OUR PROPERTY!!!!. Capice??????
Factual September 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM
1. How was she informed and exactly what was said? 2. Was there and should there be an assumption that when a professional staff person says something needs to be done, and that they will do it, that they will not allow anything to go forward without finishing the task (if the attorney or engineer knew a County approval was needed and that it had not been obtained then why weren't they jumping and shouting to top when resolutions were being adopted to move forward)? 3. Now you say it is her responsibility to oversee the assignments of professionals, but when she tried to do that on several occasions with the Planning Dept. management you and others screamed and criticized her for interfering - can't have it both ways. Also your willingness to stretch facts is illustrated by your statement "not so long ago SHE was Town Attorney." That was nine years ago! Nine years!!!!! Are you kidding????? When this all gets investigated we will find out who acted improperly, who did and did not do their jobs, and how politics has driven this entire issue.
Debra Brodie Foster September 24, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Carole, what you are describing is a manager to oversee department heads for the Town Board. Guess what? You and I agree! I supported the recommendations from the League of Women Voters to create a position for a professional, non-political Town manager. The current set up that each Board member serve as a liaison to certain departments has it's limitations. Hey, I thought you guys thought there should less government positions.
Carole Campolo September 24, 2012 at 03:21 PM
No, Ms. Foster, we don't agree. Taxpayers do not need an expensive so-called non-political town manager and another layer of government. Fix what you have first. Department heads should be the primary town managers. They get paid to manage their departments and have the institutional knowledge to ensure that routine and not so routine functions are performed to the highest professional standards. To do that you need managers and staff that are engaged, responsible and held accountable. Professionals should welcome performance transparency. Annual merit based standards and performance reviews should be instituted for every town employee. Taxpayers in Hansom Hills have every right to expect that not only elected officials are responsive to their issues but town employees as well. Taxpayers can vote out unresponsive elected officials. In East Hampton, there is no recourse for non-responsive employees. But, this is a policy discussion that East Hampton taxpayers need to have. As of today, all this chatter has not helped the people in Hansom Hills. We have a contract that has been stopped for political reasons. And this soil nonsense, is just a red herring. I will say it again, Bellone and his cronies need to knock off their political stunts and get these people relief. Period.
Debra Brodie Foster September 24, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Again, I agree. Each layer of government needs to communicate in a respectful, co-operative manner to come to an agreement that is lawful and meets the needs of the residents and taxpayers. It is the paragraph on Theresa's defensive press release that blamed staff which concerned me. When you have the Town Engineer, Planning Staff, Town Attorney, etc involved in a project, who did Theresa( as co-ordinator) assign to get County approval?
Carole Campolo September 24, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Council member Quigley should not have had to assign anyone to get County approval. The department responsible for getting that approval should have done it, as a matter of course. And if the appropriate department dropped the ball, then the Town executive, Bill, should have a serious discussion with that department head. This is not the first time County approval was required for this type of issue. You don't re-invent the wheel each time the Town has a project like this. There should be a process and if there isn't then this Town government is really screwed up.. If Council member Qugiely, or any council member is supposed to reach down into the ranks of a department to assign a task as low level as getting county approval, then these elected officials would not have time for anything else. Because the level of micro management you are suggesting would not be just for county approvals, it would include a myriad of other functions. For example, who is responsible for ensuring public notices for RFPs get in the newspapers? Should the Council members be assigning staff for that? To say so would be ridiculous. Again, let's keep our eye on the ball and that is getting help to these residents. So, again, I ask you to tell Bellone and his cronies to knock off this political BS, work with the Town and get these people relief.
Debra Brodie Foster September 24, 2012 at 10:21 PM
I have never met Steve Bellone or talked with any of his staff. I want good government as much as you do. Any one of those department heads could have submitted an application for approval on behalf of the Town Board. You are right, we do not have a formalized procedure to put a large drainage basin on preserved farm soils that have been protected by millions of dollars of taxpayer money.
jsb September 25, 2012 at 01:49 AM
You never met Bellone Ms. Foster? Do you know Mr. Schnieder, Bishop's ex staff director and now Bellone's guy and the person who wrote the snippy comment on the notice? By the way Ms. Landsdale you say the supervisor did not answer your "last" call on September 10, so did he answer previous calls? And then within 48 hours of your "last" call your attorney writes up a notice of claim? I was told you actually sat down and met with town officials on the matter and have had communications with town staff throughout. You say the deputy county exec extended an "invitation to talk". A note attached to a blue back legal document that says something like "best regards" according to the supervisor in your opinion is an invitation to talk? Do you think we are stupid? First of all I have never heard of attaching anything to a formally served legal document - so if anyone is being disingenuous it is you and the county. I would go a little further and say you seem to be intentional misleading. I hope we all get to see a copy of the note. A FOIL of town documents should also show if you met with town officials in person to address the issue. The people of Hansom Hills thank councilwoman Quigley and supervisor Wilkinson for trying to get something done to get us some relief.
Carole Campolo September 25, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Ms. Foster, I think you do yourself and injustice. You are a former elected East Hampton Council member and you are very much an influential and well known member of this community. I am sure Mr. Bellone would take your call.
P. Loke September 25, 2012 at 05:27 AM
But Wilkinson probably wouldn't. Maybe the real issue here is how arrogant and rude our Supervisor is to those he deems unworthy of his time. If he had even tried to acknowledge the town's oversight and attempt to negotiate a solution we might not even be here. And Ms. Campolo and Factual- why do you resort to name calling, insulting comments and calling for people to be fired! This off with their heads mentality reeks of the culture of blame that this administration has created at Town Hall. This was a Town Board project, initiated in the style of jumping to action with incomplete information and then blaming someone else if the details are not fully vetted. The staff soon to be investigated are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Perhaps adopting a continuous quality improvement philosophy would prevent issues like this one and avoid the so blatant dis-acknowledgement of staff. But that would mean that the process would be looked at and policy and procedure reviewed and implemented instead of blame and retribution- If things are getting a little smelly remember that a fish rots from the head first!
Reality Check September 25, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Thank you, P. Loke. Wilkinson, Quigley, and Stanzione are consistent in one aspect: whenever something goes wrong, they lay off responsibility and blame onto everyone but themselves, whether it is trying to sell our Town Docks, or in this case, not practicing due diligence in initiating the 114 sump project. Their dishonesty, their duplicity, and their harsh treatment of Town employees are disgusting traits not befitting elected officials.
Factual September 26, 2012 at 12:19 AM
To P. Loke - I just expect competency from people who are being paid with my tax dollars. There nothing wrong with having an expectation of performance. If you go back a review the articles this project was in the works for well over one year before any contract to do the work was awarded - ONE YEAR.! Is that not enough time for the staff to get everything in order to do the project that would solve a ten year old problem? How long should it take - 2, 3, 4 years to get it done? I hope any investigation looks at EVERYTHIING - there are at least 7 town board resolutions adopted unanimously related to this project that were prepared by the professional staff that the Town Board relies on. I would love to have all those resolutions, what they said, what they allowed, and the supporting documents reviewed. I guess that will tell if the staff work was acceptable. If it proves that the staff work was accurate, complete and thorough I will give credit where credit id do. The documentation, and not anything I say, or you say, or anyone says, will tell the story.
Factual September 26, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Were docks sold? No (a truly bogus issue). Due diligence in this case? Really? Seven Town Board resolutions related to easements, hiring a consulting engineer, adopting the environmental impact statement, and more, were adopted. Taking well over one year from start to hiring a contractor - that is 12 months plus. Meetings with the State DOT, neighbors, property owners, outside engineers, farmers - all taking place during that year - no due diligence? Seriously? After pulling up the resolutions that have been adopted related to this matter (which anyone can do on the town website) I noticed that a resolution was adopted late in the process approving an environmental assessment report I believed prepared by the Planning Department and reviewed by the Town Attorney (who wrote the resolution). I went to the DEC website to see what is on that review form and noticed that the form asks if permits are needed from other agencies (like the county). If the Planning Department and Town Attorney did their job properly wouldn't they have stated that a County approval was needed? I mean it IS the Planning Dept. and Town Attorney's responsibility to complete this review form accurately so the Town Board doesn't approve anything erroneously. How did the Planning Dept and Town Attorney complete this form? Wouldn't this clear up this entire matter? After all the Planning Dept. and Town Attorney had over one year to prepare this form. Any one know about this?
Factual September 27, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Any one know about the Environmental Assessment Report? Ms. Foster, you were a planning official, do you know if that form should indicate whether county approvals or a a permit was required? Since the Planning Dept. and Town Attorney were responsible for the completion of the form and the resolution shouldn't they have indicated a county permit was needed but not yet received? Did you also see that form Ms. Foster, like you saw the internal staff memorandums? What was indicated?
Factual September 29, 2012 at 01:35 PM
As I explore the Environmental Assessment Review Form issue more closely the more I discover THE STAFF should have loudly alerted the Town Board that County issues needed to be addressed. Regardless of what some MAY have THOUGHT others MIGHT be doing, bottom line is the Environmental Assessment Review Form (and Town Board resolution accepting it) prepared by staff should have clearly indicated that County approval was needed but not yet obtained. My question is was the form completed accurately by the staff? Why didn't the staff wave a BIG RED FLAG that the County approval was still missing? Why isn't anyone out there responding to this question? Before you blame Quigley or Wilkinson I think we need to know if the staff work was even complete let alone acceptable. This is not the blame game it is simply whether the process used in every case where the Town Board relies on staff to make sure everything is addressed and complete and resolutions are based on thorough and accurate staff work was done here. If the staff process breaks down, then the entire decision making process gets tainted. To Overby and VanScoyac - in 9 months how many resolution have you approved where you depended on staff work to guarantee what you approved had been fully vetted? Both of you voted to adopt the Environmental Assessment Review Form on this project. If staff had told you County approval was needed before that vote what would you have done? What happened here?

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