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Opinion

Although Deputy Mayor Luntey says that the recent Sands Point Referendum to spend $5 million more on the golf course is a strong indication of Village support, he does not mention that 23 percent more opposed this referendum than the original one. Consequently, the decision to spend $5 million more has been endorsed by less than half of village residents, hardly a strong indication of support.

Equally lamentable is the fact that one-third of the golf members are not residents, and few are from Port Washington. Members belong to 28 other communities, including New York City. The dining room has been opened to Knickerbocker Club members in an attempt to curtail the large losses in the food operation.

Although no more than 150 acres should have been necessary to build a first class 18 hole course, the mayor has not revealed how many acres will be required. The club has been in operation for four years, but it has yet to disclose its master plan, and it has not yet completed the State Environmental Quality Review. The cost of the course could have been sharply curtailed, if not completely met, by the sale of acreage that should not be needed. This has not been considered because of the mayor's desire to build a so--called "championship" course, and because the configuration of the property is not well suited to an 18 hole course. Substantial sums will have to be wasted for this reason. There had to be a reason that IBM never built a second 9 holes.

Large sums have been wasted, including $800,000 to build a swimming pool in a village where 50 percent of the residents already have one; $200,000 was spent in accomplishing a subdivision of the Harriman acreage because the mayor was fighting with his own planning board. Two longtime members opposed the subdivision, which ended with three lots instead of the four sought by the mayor, and the fill was cut to 13,000 cubic yards from the 19,000 sought by the mayor. No resident has ever been permitted more than 2,000 cubic yards. To weaken the planning board, jurisdiction over filling was taken from it and given to the board of appeals. The approval was an environmental disgrace.

On Oct. 1, Deputy Mayor Luntey sent a libelous letter about me to all village residents in which he charged that my actions put the future of village government in doubt. While I have not yet determined if I will take legal action against him, I have sent a letter to all residents challenging his multifarious statements in detail. Had I known I had such power, I would have run for president.

Norman E. Blankman



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