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Pols Pick Apart Wilkinson Over Airport

Though civic meeting cut short by lack of civility.

East Hampton Supevisor Bill Wilkinson found himself under fire for his handling of the East Hampton Airport at Saturday’s meeting.

While the “meet the candidates forum” was intended to introduce this year’s candidates for local office from the Democratic and Republican parties, finger pointing took over the event.

For starters, Frank Dalene, who is the vice-chair of the Quiet Skies Coalition, a group focuses on reducing air traffic noise, grilled Wilkinson for not taking the noise seriously.

But Wilkinson pointed to layout plan which was accepted by the FAA last month and further plans for a are initiatives that have taken place under his administration.

Zach Cohen who is challenging Wilkinson for the office of supervisor promised a two year moratorium on accepting Federal Aviation Administration money for the East Hampton Airport if he were to be elected, at least until the administration came up with a plan to tackle the noise and carbon emissions problems. Cohen said accepting federal monies would limit local control.

Wilkinson thought the idea would solve nothing,  since there is no correlation between accepting the federal funds and maintaining local control, he said.

The meeting eventually ended with several walkouts and bickering over the town’s termination of the leaf removal program.

Sima Freierman October 05, 2011 at 01:26 PM
People with strong points of view for and against airport traffic or for and against the leaf pickup deserve the opportunity to come to the table and express their opinions. More importantly, they deserve real consideration and discourse from our elected officials. It's bad enough our country is deadlocked at the national level. When and how did our local citizen's meetings become so acrimonious that citizens and board members would rather walk out than engage in real discussion? I've been at meetings where fishermen from Maine to North Carolina had to work together to sustain quotas for everyone. Differences were put aside; commonality was found; nobody walked out. Temper tantrums are easy. The heavy lifting comes in finding solutions.
. October 05, 2011 at 02:03 PM
Sima: I've checked in on Patch almost every day for the past year, and I have to say your comment is one of the the most intelligent and spot-on comments I've read to date. Kudos.
fatcat October 05, 2011 at 02:13 PM
um... who exactly walked out? By not naming names the implication is it was a candidate. Clarify please.
MARTIN DREW October 05, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Town Airport is a community asset; time to allow community acess to this public space . Leases are in question ; access limited ; subdivision plans approved in layout plans ; many unanswered questions about this facility . Register to vote !
Kevin Gray October 05, 2011 at 02:24 PM
The constant sniping at the Town Board by Democratic operatives might be the reason for the percieved "acrimony." Personally I don't know how Mr. Wilkinson was able to put up with the lies and inuendo leveled at him without getting physical. His professionalism is admirable. The behavior of the local democrats is shameful.
MARTIN DREW October 05, 2011 at 03:04 PM
Professional at arrogance ; ignore local groups ; discrimination ; it is politics 101 Rep or Dem or Indy .. It is time for recognition ; acceptance ; assimilation; Airport is a noise generator ; cant accept the few and ignore a few .... Use it or close it . I lobby for use .. The leaf progran should be reinstated and urban renewal roads made part of highway system so ALL residents get leaf removal ... As a EXPECTATION in thier taxes . Private gun club ; 60 pilots association ; where is publIc benefit in Airport sight IF PUBLIC is not considered for any use at facility ... What happened to the 203 acres to be subdivided from ALP? Public benefit starts with public access ... Mr. Stanzione what is the purpose ? Where is the plan for public benefit ? Public Access ; we like to shoot guns too! The whole facility is a professional political in crowd club paid for by the public who are kept at the fences looking in. Wheres my key card to the public shooting range? Where can I play in my hobby/sport ? Public benefit my a$$. Learn to live together as a community that has control over its destiny . No more federal money unless it includes ALL aspects of public use ; yes that means a riding area for OHV & ATV users who have been outlawed from our town public trails . You get the trails ; I get a riding area .. Community accepting the other ... Pricele$$ !
Montauk Lighthouse October 05, 2011 at 03:06 PM
@ Fatcat Dalane walked out
Bonac Refugee October 05, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Martin The gun club has been part of this town since at least 1939.It has always served the local community and has been a benifit to the town as a whole.No part of the gun club has ever been paid for with public money.All costs of the club have always been paid for by the 850 families who are members.That is a pretty good chunk of the shooting "public"The gun club's benifit to the town is provideing a place for the three east end Police Depts and the US Coast Guard to train and qualify at no cost to the town or the Federal government.In addition to the free range time it also benifits the town as these officers and Coast Guard personel don't have to travel out of the area ,a great cost saveings and keeping them close by in case of emergency.The club built and maintains the range at no cost to the taxpayers ever.All the local Boy Scout troops and several other local groups also use the club free of charge.The club also holds many benifit shoots that support local charities(ie; The Retreat,East End Hospice,Ducks Unlimited,Waterfowlers,Local food pantries and local Fire Depts and Ambulances.I could go on but you get the idea!!!!!!!! Please fill us in on the Long Island Sports Committee's benifit to the local public!!!!!!
todd October 05, 2011 at 09:47 PM
Bonac Refugee.. how does one obtain membership info for the Gun Club? I assume from your post membership is available to all local residents. Thanks.
MARTIN DREW October 05, 2011 at 10:56 PM
The Long Island Sports Committee serves publuc benefit by identifying sweetheart deals ; the public pays by loosing control of a resource to a PRIVATE CLUB. I love the fact you have a place to shoot guns . $100.00 a year for 96.7 acres ... Sweet... LIDC is focusing on some land ... Maidstone Gun Club can continue to serve the publuc by giving back 9.67 acres so locals could have their place too . The publuc benefit we seek is to obtain a dedicated site for OHV & ATV USE ... foregoing trail use ; ie the public benefit ; LISC continues to lobby for local residents who seek assimilation into our town planning processes ; politicians discriminate ; you know the story I will go on and on .. Until acceptance is par for us all . Please send me a membership application ; i shoot guns too ; make me Family 852 ; after Todd gets in of course . Public Benefit is having access !!! Your referral and we're in ? Todd ; ready the arms ; public benefit shoot in the making / so what day is public day anyway ?? NRA youth grow into NRA men . The NRA wants me to join ; the question is will I be allowed? / 4 yr waiting list last I heard ...
MARTIN DREW October 05, 2011 at 11:06 PM
Ps Bonac Refugee ; we both know the gun club has NOT been at the current locationsince 1939 ; what deal did the FAA sign off on with regard to the lease associated with the site ? FTR I was referring to other land within AIRPORT PROPERTY .. 203 acres by tennis club ... There is room for our sport too ... 10 acres isnt asking for the whole cow ; limited use ; assimilation .. Public benefit to the public long discriminated against when it comes to community planning and due process ; i will go on and on as the campaign needs transparancy for the record .... And public benefit is served . Enjoy yours we're looking for ours ... Open space is a public benefit ... We want some open space to use ... NOT TO LOOK AT OR FARM ... but to recreate ... You shoot guns .. I ride ... You get recognition ; i get discrimination ... Feel like neighbors yet ?
Bonac Refugee October 05, 2011 at 11:16 PM
Todd You are correct.The club is open to all local residents.The best way to get an aplication is ask a member or visit the club on a Sunday morning and ask for an application.You will go on a waiting list and will come in when there is space.The membership is capped to avoid overuse of the facilities.If you want ,we have a benifit shoot advertised here on Patch.You are wecome to visit. East Hampton Sportsmen's Alliance Fun Shoot Sunday, October 9, 01:00 pm
Bonac Refugee October 05, 2011 at 11:26 PM
Sorry Martin We have minute books that go back to 1939 and incorporation papers dateing to the 1950's.I have no wish to debate you.My only purpose for posting is you constantly insinuateting that there is something secret or hidden about our lease.There is not!!!!My only point was the gun club has a valid lease,is an asset to the community,is a benifit to the town and has been long before we were born and will be long after we are gone. As far as giveing up any property we have already given back part of our lease so the town could improve Emergency radio transmissions for the police and fire depts by installing a cell phone tower.We are currently useing all of our property.
rose grau October 05, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Tired of hearing about leaves.Yeah, Willy-keep up the good work. Got our vote.
todd October 05, 2011 at 11:41 PM
thanks for the info. does the gun club have space for an archery range?
MARTIN DREW October 06, 2011 at 12:00 AM
@Bonac Refugee ; 96.7 acres for $100.00 ; no secret about it . The lease was modified to accomodate a cell tower ; true ; however (2) 30 year options to renew where given to the gun club in return ; along with 250. Gate keys to the electronic gate ; Your first lease is up in Nov 2012 . FAA ... $100 a year is NOT fair market value for 96.7 acres of land ; BASED IN PUBLIC BENEFIT .. Membership is capped to maintain Private club status. Sweetheart deal as the day is long .. Community means access by all ; until town residents can come with ID and enter ; use facility; there is limited public benefit ; in the current deal ... The facts speak volumes ; present fact. ; not convienent interpretations ; We want our 10/20 acres for $10&$20 a year ... Private status ... Public days ... A club to manage our way ... Using public benefit as the underlying reason ... Hey Dominic ; ask Bill for 23 acres of the 203 to be subdivided ? ; its only 10% of the land .. $23 bucks a year ...save the trails for public benefit ... Can i get a second ... So moved .. Passed and carried .. Assimilation for LISC user group ... Equality is the new way ; FAA will answer to the public ; transparency is lacking especially as it relates to Airport as a whole ... And the public it serves ..
Bonac Refugee October 06, 2011 at 12:16 AM
Todd We have an archery range Martin Our rent is suppling a range facilty paid "for by "us for the town police and Coast guard to use at absolutly no cost to the town taxpayers. You have been offered the same deal we have at a town work session a few months ago.Prove that Long Island Sports Committe acually exists,present them with a viable plan for a BMX facility and they are open to finding a spot for you.We leased our property thirty years ago.It was nothing but woods.No power no roads nothing.We built it into one of the finest shooting ranges on the east coast.No sweetheart deals here,just a lease from the town like most others around the airport.
todd October 06, 2011 at 01:12 AM
Gun club pays no rent at all for the use of public land? That doesn't seem fair during this period of austerity when the town is discontinuing programs and selling assets. Let the feds pay the club for use by the Coast Guard and donate time to the local police. Unfortunately, the town can't afford to give freebies anymore.
Phyllis Mallah October 06, 2011 at 02:20 AM
I think the helicopter crash yesterday says a great deal about aircraft in populated areas. When the poeple who live near the airport bought their houses wa the airport as busy as it is now? Of course not, Who could predict how busy it would beccome. I live miles away in Springs but I often hear low flying airraft, even very late at niight..Don't be so callous. That is their style of this administation --callous to the needs of the people.
todd October 06, 2011 at 03:20 AM
At a time when the town is terminating services and selling assets it seems unfair that the gun club pays no rent for the substantial acreage it uses. I understand it offers its facility free of charge to local police but that should not exempt it from paying a reasonable fee. At minimum the facility should be open to the general public for some time each week.
Carole Campolo October 06, 2011 at 03:47 AM
As someone who lives in Springs, the amount of air traffic is minimal. I bought in Springs knowing that my taxes would be higher because of the Springs school, but the price of my house was much less than NorthWest Woods or the Village. And so it was for the people that bought at the airport. I got my house at less than was the prevailing price in NW woods BECAUSE I knew my taxes would be higher. And those people that bought near the airport, they got a deal because they were near the airport, and now they are "bitching" about the noise. PULEEZE. That airport is critical to business, commerce and emergency evacuation and also emergency supplies that need to be brought in should we God forbid we have a CAT 5 or even 3 hurricane or some other emergency. Those people that capitalized on their purchase price now want to shut down the airport for the rest of East Hampton. How typical. And how selfish. They got a deal, and we now all have to pay for it. BS. Grow up. The amount of airport traffic is minimal. It's not like you guys live hear LaGuardia or Kennedy Airport. The traffic gets busier during the summer and then drops off precipitously during the rest of the year. Given how much you have saved on your house, you should be grateful. I do not want to pay for your bargain house price with my taxes or my life. IF you don't like living near the airport MOVE!!
Kevin Gray October 06, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Thank You, Carole...couldn't have said it better.
todd October 06, 2011 at 12:56 PM
How is the airport critical to biz and commerce? That's such nonsense. You're telling me that people won't come here unless they can arrive by jet? Are the days of chauffeured limos over? The airport traffic is minimal? Really? Maybe if you live in the Springs. Spend a couple hours on Industrial Road on a weekend during the summer and say that with a straight face. I agree that those who recently bought houses near the airport have less to complain about. But those who bought there years ago when traffic was just a few light planes have a beef. Why you can't understand that is baffling.
Montauk Lighthouse October 06, 2011 at 02:20 PM
What is baffeling is that (even if you bought years ago) is to Note the name of the road INDUSTRIAL. That alone should be telling. And as far as chauffeured limos, they still exhist-But look at the age we live in. Everything must be the fastest why should transportation be any different. For those that can afford to take the 15 minute heli ride out from the city do it- I know I would. We all benefit - one may not like people as individuals but I know most enjoy touting that they live on the East End and what their house is worth. Its the same in montauk where all these people are up in arms about a few sucessful businesses. The ones that are the loudest in complaint are the ones that rented the homes to these businesses to house thier employees - they didn't mind taking the money that way. Why not? Again these are other businesses located on a road called INDUSTRIAL road. Interesting...
Carole Campolo October 07, 2011 at 04:00 AM
Todd, please read today's East Hampton Star, page A14. IN THE STAR NO LESS. According to a 2010 report prepared by the FAA and the NYS Department of Transportation, the airport generates 91 jobs and $12.6 million in revenue, it houses 18 separate and distinct businesses, it brings in tourists, to the Hamptons Film Festival and the horse show. If these guys can afford to fly in private jets they can afford to spend lots and lots of money in our stores and restaurants. They can afford to buy luxury homes and rent luxury homes. They can afford to hire staff to cook, to clean, landscapers, painters, plumbers, electricians, woofers, etc. That's business and that's commerce. Anything else Todd? Let's not even discuss emergency situations where critical supplies might need to be flown in if your family and mine and the other 22,000 full time residents, and during the summer 110,000 visitors need food and water and medicine, blankets, etc. Get my point. And typically I have heard that the Democrat candidates, in particular, Ms. Overby are all for shutting down that airport. Yeah, these guys should elected. Talk to the 91 people that will lose their jobs and what about their families. Give me a break guys.
Carole Campolo October 07, 2011 at 04:01 AM
Todd, please read today's East Hampton Star, page A14. IN THE STAR NO LESS. According to a 2010 report prepared by the FAA and the NYS Department of Transportation, the airport generates 91 jobs and $12.6 million in revenue, it houses 18 separate and distinct businesses, it brings in tourists, to the Hamptons Film Festival and the horse show. If these guys can afford to fly in private jets they can afford to spend lots and lots of money in our stores and restaurants. They can afford to buy luxury homes and rent luxury homes. They can afford to hire staff to cook, to clean, landscapers, painters, plumbers, electricians, woofers, etc. That's business and that's commerce. Anything else Todd? Let's not even discuss emergency situations where critical supplies might need to be flown in if your family and mine and the other 22,000 full time residents, and during the summer 110,000 visitors need food and water and medicine, blankets, etc. Get my point. And typically I have heard that the Democrat candidates, in particular, Ms. Overby are all for shutting down that airport. Yeah, these guys should elected. Talk to the 91 people that will lose their jobs and what about their families. Give me a break guys.
Carole Campolo October 07, 2011 at 04:03 AM
See what happens when you type fast. I meant ROOFERS. But, if they install stereo equipment as well then they will put in woofers.
todd October 07, 2011 at 04:21 AM
Carole.. the same wealthy people would come here with or without jets. Your delusional if you think otherwise. They spend the same amount of money if they come by jet or by car. I don't think anyone is in favor of shutting down the airport. I'm not. The businesses you refer to are in the airport district not necessarily airport services related.
Carole Campolo October 07, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Todd, if you had lots of money would you rather sit in traffic on the LIE for hours or fly to your Hampton getaway? Sitting on the LIE or flying to the Vineyard, the Cape, Maine, wherever. They definitely will go elsewhere. Why cede this town to our resort competitors by tying our hands behind our backs? And BTW Ms. Overby has said she wants that airport shut down. She either means it, or she is just pandering for votes. Either way, her statements are naive at best and totally irresponsible at worse. Many of those businesses ARE airport related. Car rentals being a perfect example. I sympathize with your noise issue. I really do. East Hampton as far as I am concerned is paradise on earth. Our vistas, sunsets, gentle breezes and the beautiful smell of the ocean, are marred and violated with jet and helicopter noise. I get it, I really do. But, our sleepy little village hasn't been sleepy or little for a long time. Bill Wilkinson is trying to come up with a responsible approach to this issue. Unfortunately, he was beset by a crusading mob the other day. How juvenile and how 60's. Really, these people have to grow up. Either that or they should join their rioting grandchildren in the shadow of the World Trade Center in NYC.
Steve June 03, 2012 at 01:51 PM
What are the rules at the gun club? Its Sunday morning, 9:30, and I can hear them shooting.

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