Letters to the editor: Mr. Vail has got it all wrong


Mr. Vail has got it all wrong

A response is warranted to Carl Vail’s assertions in his resignation letter as parks commissioner. The current parks commissioners were not involved in the decision to close off the “makeshift” parking area located at the top of the bluff overlooking the bay a few years ago. To reestablish the former parking area would require that it be made Americans with Disabilities Act accessible. Mr. Vail stated that this was not true. So we obtained counsel from the Office of Civil Rights, who confirmed with certainty that to reestablish the parking area would require it to conform to present ADA standards, which include specific space dimensions, specific parking surface, signage and lines. 

Our legal counsel concurred with this opinion and advised us that the reestablishment of the old parking area would additionally subject the proposed work to review by and permit(s) from agencies. A Southold Town Trustee permit would be required due to its location within Trustee jurisdiction, plus an application with the state Department of Conservation would also be required for their review. Placing a paved parking area at this location could require the installation of a drainage system for environmental reasons. 

Mr. Vail stated that we should ignore the advice of counsel, the Office of Civil Rights, and a review by local and state agencies. He simply wanted to reestablish the parking area as it was. Our insurance carrier advised us that should the parking area that Mr. Vail desired be built, the roadway to the location would need vehicle protection barriers on both sides. This would bisect the park into two distinctive and smaller areas. It would also result in a significant reduction in “green” space plus result in increased construction costs. Having vehicles drive through the park without a barrier would create a significant health and safety risk for all park users, including children. Mr. Vail’s response was that it had been like that for years with no reported accidents, so the concern for safety was without merit.

The commissioners have a fiduciary responsibility to operate parks that meet county and local requirements regarding safety and environmental standards. At the last meeting, Mr. Vail put forward a motion to stop the construction and start a procurement process to award a contract to have what had been built torn out and the area replanted at an additional cost to the taxpayers. His motion was not supported by his fellow commissioners. The new parking area is fully ADA compliant. To state that it creates a greater challenge for the disabled is simply false, misleading and inflammatory. This parking area was a compromise to meet the demands of the community for ADA-compliant parking with the minimal loss of green space. We thank Mr. Vail for his year of service and wish him well.

Dave Bergen

Mr. Bergen is chairman of the Cutchogue-New Suffolk park district commissioners.



I am writing this letter to express my enthusiastic support for Olivia Misiukiewicz and her pursuit of excellence in the high jump. As someone who has observed her dedication, skill, and passion firsthand since she was a child, I believe she embodies the qualities of a true athlete and role model. Olivia has consistently demonstrated remarkable commitment to her sport. Her relentless work ethic and determination have been evident in training herself to be the best.

Moreover, her support is not only dedicated to her own growth and development but also to supporting her competition, Kayleanne Campbell from Riverhead who finished second. Students that aim to uplift and empower others lead by example to impact our community. Congratulations to Oliva, Kayleanne and Cameron Stanton on their success and good luck in the upcoming championships. I have no doubt that you will all continue to inspire and achieve great things both on and off the field.

Teresa Pogorzelska


Mr. LaLota: Please support Ukraine

I’m sure the courageous people of Ukraine will take great comfort from your anticipated support, Mr. LaLota, of Rep. Bacon’s (R-Nebraska) pared down support package in their desperate struggle to exist as a free nation. Remember Ukraine gave up their nuclear arsenal (third largest in the world!) when they accepted the assurance of the U.S., the UK and Russia’s pledge to refrain from threat of military force. Then in 2014, Putin invaded Crimea and eastern Ukraine, which he would not have dared attempt if Ukraine had retained their nuclear deterrent.

What does the U.S. gain in supporting Ukraine? 90% of this spending stays here, creating jobs — Javelins built in Alabama; missile launch rocket systems built in West Virginia, Arkansas, Texas; medical supplies, ammo, etc. produced in 50 states. Shipments are largely draw down from existing dated equipment resupplied domestically. 

Our allies are paying their fair share. The EU countries contribute 20% more than we do relative to their GDP, with Estonia far in the lead, followed by Denmark, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland — 21 countries listed above the US. Cambodia, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Ireland, Switzerland, Albania, Montenegro and others share the world’s outrage over Putin’s brutal aggression and support Ukraine. 

Mr. LaLota, will you do the right thing — before all blood drains out of Ukrainian veins, more children are kidnapped, more women and children are murdered in their beds, blown to smithereens or raped by a licentious soldiery — and display the leadership we expect from you and committ to sign the discharge petition and vote for Ukraine’s survival? Will you vote for Ukraine or just fool us with talk of “support?”

Tom Morgan


The IDA didn’t care about quality of life

Michael Levy’s letter to the editor hits the nail on the head (“The IDA should go,” March 7). Americans are losing their freedom to control their own communities to bureaucratic entities created by our representatives so they have someone to blame when things don’t go as planned or to say “we” can’t interfere. Example: The Federal Aviation Administration and our helicopter noise issue.

These created agencies get a mission statement and that becomes their sole purpose of existence. In this case I believe the community’s rejection of the Enclaves is warranted. Why do we need this facility or, if we do, as IDA suggests, why in that location?

The town has a white elephant just around the corner where this type of facility makes more sense. The vacant building (for years) just east of the railroad station is, in my opinion, perfect for this type of conversion.

Our representative on the County Legislative body needs to introduce a change in the IDA mission statement to include “to emphasize as a high priority” the quality of life as defined by the local community, not as determined by the IDA.

Had this wording been in place, Southold would not be saddled with a facility in a bad location and a tax break handed out.

This may be closing the barn door after the horses ran out but it is necessary not just for Southold but for all of Suffolk County. I’m not sure the IDA even visited the site or the town itself, and they certainly did not take the quality of life into consideration.

Bob Bittner