Paul and Phyllis Torpey believe the very least we need to accomplish on 12/4 is to get the Town Board to formally establish a task force of stakeholders and regulators to hammer out an updated draft of Local Law Chapter 275, incorporating as much as possible (and repairing language) of the issues addressed by the taxpayers in SoutholdVOICE’s CALL TO ACTION document. They say:
“There are sections in Local Law Chapter 275 that strike a tone of petulance and combativeness which works against a spirit of mutual cooperation and trust that is essential for successful voluntary compliance which is at the heart of negotiated rulemaking with all the stakeholders, including the rulemakers involved.
Section 275-16 is one flagrant example of this. Granted fines are in order for persistent, willful non-compliance but the whole 275 document is so complex, has been patched so many times,
annoyingly ambiguous in places, and difficult to even understand and interpret at times. And there are also requirements within LL 275 that are judged by many of the property owners to be unfair and unnecessary. Given this state of affairs and until some of these things are fixed, it seemsto us that the “knuckle-rapping” should not be stepped up. In truth it angers people, makes them dig in and it makes a mockery of a spirit of mutual cooperation and voluntary compliance.
Along these lines, it is not clear to many of us what the thinking was in elevating fines and penalties by as much as 300%!?? Has compliance with 275 been so devastatingly bad that this is deemed necessary? If that is the case we have a much bigger problem indeed and even more work to do in fixing a flawed piece of legislation. We do believe the Trustees and/orthe Town Board has an obligation to take the taxpayers/stakeholders into their confidence and discuss with us the reasons and rationale behind these draconian increases which otherwise will lead to increasing discontent, if not hostility between the parties.
Finally, the other side of this coin is not pleasant to even suggest. That is are we creating the perception of using environmental protection mandates as a means of creating additional revenue for the Town.
We think the Town Board/Trustees should establish a Local Law Chapter 275 Reconciliation Task Force comprised of town officials and other stakeholders to take a thorough and balanced view of the whole document and come up with a new draft that reflects something closer to a reasoned consensus between all the parties. ”
Paul & Phyllis Torpey