Contract Out for Police
Mayor Gilbride should be commended for his effort to stem the tide of a police force that presently costs approximately thirty percent of the towns budget. Greenport has had a smooth transition with Southold and I see no reason that a smooth transition should not occur with either East Hampton or Southampton.
I was dismayed to see the Sag Harbor Express editorial calling for a reality check for both sides. The fact is the citizens of Sag Harbor deserve better. Presently the police want to hold a gun to the citizens head while the mayor and trustees have our backs. Don’t you want to see what these possible proposals are? Should we just continue to have services that are out of reach of what the community can afford?
The facts are if Sag Harbor was to have services with Southampton wouldn’t our police services be better? Southampton has a larger force, many different services and a more sophisticated detective bureau. Wouldn’t we be better off with such services? We need to know the facts of what the cost would be and the benefits of sub-contracting our police services would be before any decisions are made.
But, the one clear thing is the current PBA has unrealistic expectations of what their contract should be and their current bullying tactics of the mayor and its trustees are distasteful. If and when the PBA does capitulate don’t you think we will have a very disgruntled police force? It is my hope that the mayor continues down the path of contracting out our police services; we will be better off in the end.
Close Airport for Safety Concerns
To The Editor,
On Sunday, August 26, I was part of a small group demonstrating against unusually low flying, loud and unsafe helicopters and other aircraft flying over our homes in Noyac, Sag Harbor and many other areas of the North and South Forks. While standing in front of the airport building I witnessed a single engine plane crash on the east side of Daniels Hole Road, at the East Hampton Airport. I saw the plane veer and start gliding down. Then I heard a loud banging crumpling sound and saw black smoke rising up from the site of where I thought the plane had gone down. What happened to the occupants? Did it land on a house? No one knew.
While the black smoke billowed into the air, there was complete and eerie silence. I expected to hear an emergency alarm go off; I expected to hear a loud speaker with an announcement to stop air traffic; I expected to see some kind of emergency vehicle or at least some fire extinguishing equipment. Not a sound. Nothing. There was actually no reaction from the airport. We started to run up towards where the plane crashed. Then one person dashed out of the airport, jumped in his car and drove with his hand on his horn at breakneck speed the few hundred yards towards the crash.
In the following days I have read that a young man ran barefoot to the crash scene, climbed a high fence, pulled the passenger from the burning wreckage and helped the pilot to safety. He was the lifesaver. Had it been left to a formal airport emergency response the passenger might have burned up in the plane and maybe the pilot, too.
Some minutes later the police, firefighters and an ambulance arrived. But those first seconds after the crash were the most important to saving lives. So what is the purpose of the FAA Control Tower? Didn’t the traffic controllers from their height, see the plane go down and immediately initiate an airport emergency response plan? Where was the Crash Warning Signal?? Where was the Emergency Plan to deal with crashes? Wasn’t there even an EMT on staff in case of emergencies?? Foam to put out fires? Nothing.
There was no formal airport emergency plan. Therefore the airport is not only allowing unsafe flights, it is unsafe to use because of its lack of an emergency response and plan to deal with crashes.
East Hampton Airport should be closed immediately!! No more flights in or out at least until an emergency plan is in place to deal with crashes, there are no more possible near misses resulting from dangerously low flying helicopters incoming and outgoing on the same flight path and flight paths are changed so aircraft fly over uninhabited areas.
Ellen Price Ruby
Dear Sag Harbor Express,
I could not be the only one who feels that it is impossible to hear what is going on at the Sag Harbor Village Board meetings because of the poor quality of microphones in the Municipal Building’s meeting room.
If one’s hearing is in the least bit impaired it is impossible to hear any member of the board, the village attorney or the environmental consultants or, for that matter, the members of the public who are making presentations.
When Village Mayor Pierce Hance was first elected in the 1990s, he put in the first microphone system in the building. Although it was just a little better — over not having anything at all — they were really not good enough then, and now they are simply not working. This has been going on for years, and I along with everyone in the room last night at the Planning Board meeting was ready to scream. It is simply exasperating!!
This issue has come up at every village board meeting I have attended. In other words hundreds over the years. The mikes have been tweaked by the secretary in charge, but to no avail! For all intents and purposes these meeting — as one member of the audience called out last night — might as well be secret as no one can hear a word.
I beg that the village do something about this. Although I am not a audio specialist I can only think that each member of the board as well as each of the consultants as well as those who are presenting their projects have lavaliere mikes attached to each of their lapels and that a good new microphone be bought for the podium and that everything be attached to a new working sound system, strong amplifier and large speakers.
The system as it stands now is… useless.
Concerned About Pine Neck?
To the Editor,
I have read the traffic calming article in this week’s edition of the Sag Harbor Express and I am appalled at the total disdain Mr. Gregor exhibits towards the residents of Pine Neck. The solution he envisions will require cars and trucks to drive into a very quiet community with narrow streets, no sidewalks, and many walkers, bike riders etc., both children and adults. Has a traffic study been done to determine the dangers inherent in such a plan?
That there is a problem on Noyac Rd. at this location is well known. However, while a reasonable solution is searched for, why can’t Noyac Road be widened into the property that the town owns opposite Cromer’s and Whalebone? Rumble strips would certainly slow down traffic in this location. If the road were widened, zebra stripes behind the storefront parking area (without a median) would facilitate the entry of parkers into the roadway. I attended the scoping session at the Noyac Community house and raised these issues but received no response from those running the session.
Whatever Mr. Gregor’s intentions are, the welfare of the inhabitants of Pine Neck does not seem to concern him.