Letters To The Editor
Publication The News-Review
Date October 13, 2005
Time for some input
To the Editor:
Bravo, Phil! Your decision to table the Wilpon deal was the right thing to do.
And your decision to reopen the RFP (Request for Proposals) is also encouraging.
However, you're still overlooking one major point. The most important one. Community input.
And I'm not talking about a half-hour comment session at a Town Hall meeting after the board has already made its choice and put the wheels in motion. I'm referring to real community involvement.
Granted, you're an elected official and you aren't expected to get the public's blessing with every decision. But the sale of 755 acres at EPCAL is not exactly a routine matter. Neither is the rezoning of 600 acres that was supposed to be used for recreation and open space (not necessarily sold to the highest bidder).
I personally think these two EPCAL decisions warrant a referendum.
Or, as an alternative, the Reuse Plan should be revisited before the RFP goes out and before the 600 acres are rezoned. It's time to stop putting the cart before the horse. Make sure it's what the people want first.
You (yes, you, Phil and Town Board members) have to empower the residents somehow on these very critical issues.
You profess open government. That doesn't necessarily mean telling everyone what you're going to do. It's more like the other way around.
Get the people involved in the process. The tail should not wag the dog.
P.S. I am still an advocate of establishing a 300-acre zoo and animal sanctuary on Long Island, preferably at EPCAL. See www.calvertonzoo.com for details.