Columns

Guest Spot: New Trustees must get code changes

Over two years ago, on Oct. 7, 2019, The Suffolk Times printed an opinion piece written by Trustee Nick Krupski. Nick was running for reelection to the Board of Trustees and was calling for change. The article upset the GOP leadership. They asked Trustees to write a rebuttal. No one complied. Nick had written an accurate description of the Town Board/Board of Trustees dynamic.

Nick stated what we all knew to be true: The Trustees were swamped with 60-plus wetland and administrative permit applications per month; the code as presently written was not sufficient to deny some applications of dubious value; only the Town Board (not the Board of Trustees) can revise or write code; and no changes had occurred during the previous four years despite repeated requests from the Trustees for help. 

No one was telling the code committee “help these people out.” No one was saying “don’t criticize the Trustees for not doing more, give them the tools to do the job.”

Apparently by Nov. 3, 2021, a sufficient number of voters recognized the need for a change in town government. The candidates that ran on a platform calling for data-based — not party directed — decisions were successful. Those candidates, along with like-minded Board of Trustee President Glenn Goldsmith and Vice-President Nick Krupski, understand that without “new tools in the toolbox” there is no way to effectively combat the Hamptonization of Southold. They understand that the obstacles to code revision must be removed, and soon.

Supervisor Scott Russell has a long record as a successful supervisor who understands that the preservation of ground and surface water goes hand in hand with the preservation of farmland and preservation of our quality of life. John and I believe he will continue to be a part of the solution. So as we step down as the more “senior” Trustees, we remain very hopeful.

We are hopeful because we know Glenn and Nick are supremely qualified Trustees. We know Eric Sepenoski, Liz Gillooly, and Elizabeth Peeples will quickly master the job. We know the only thing needed now is for the Town Board to direct the code committee to work with the new Board of Trustees and adopt those changes deemed necessary to cope with these challenging times.

We’re asking the new Town Board to get on with it and to work more closely with the Board of Trustees than has been the custom the last four years.

Mr. Domino and Mr. Bredemeyer, longtime Trustees, retired from the board this fall.