I seem to have stepped on the nest. In my defense of the orderly, lawful, carefully-studied decision-making policy being pursued by the Sands Point Board of Trustees, I have, inadvertently, brought upon myself a plaque of hornets. Annette Oestreich and Adam Hanft, who often use this space to voice their opinions, have, again, used it, this time, to attack me personally. I didn't even mention them or anyone else, but they identified themselves as special, personal interests by their vehement responses.
Mrs. Oestreich called me "untrustworthy, nonobjective, biased, patronizing, insulting, parochial, confrontational, entrenched, intolerant and anti-democratic." Adam Hanft, in his classic, accused me of "catering to a few "duffers," being rambling, disingenuous, whining, blustering, posturing, bruting, with a proclivity to distort, shameless exaggeration, carefree and joyous disregard of the truth, misrepresentative, improperly acting, thuggishness, poor planning and profligacy." And a party "shameless and unnecessary expenditure of funds" in following the letter of the SEQRA process. He ascribes to me a "dangerous traffic plan."
I forgot how young he is. He, apparently, didn't know that the club property was all one acre zoning, originally, and that there could have been some 180 to 200 homes on the 209 acres. The three models now occupied were built to that zoning. When IBM had the property it was two acres zoning which would have allowed some 80 homes. His charge of "shameless exaggeration emblematic of proclivity to distort the facts with a carefree, if not joyous, disregard of the truth" hardly seems justified. I think, maybe, he was just trying to call me a liar. All that in one issue of this newspaper.
Even my wife, Beverly, of 52 years didn't know I was that bad. I guess I can be glad no one found out when I was CEO of Brooklyn Union for 11 years and chairman of Long Island University for five years. I must be very lucky. And, Hanft suggested, not too kindly, that I should get out of the kitchen and into the pasture.
I want to thank them both for their detailed analysis of my character and for spelling my name correctly nine times. My point was that one needs to be somewhat crazy to take this kind of unjustified abuse from a vocal few while trying to uphold the oath of elected office and act with careful consideration on what one honestly believes is best for the village to which one is elected. I think I'll stay in the kitchen for a little while, although the pasture looks awfully good some times.
Village of Sands Point