Opinion

A statement made by me at the Cold Spring Harbor School Board meeting on Dec. 9, 2008:

At the school board meeting last December 2007 just before Christmas, mention was made that a new field was going to be donated and the board would accept that donation.

No mention was made after that until a hastily scheduled meeting - not a regular board meeting was scheduled in September 2008 - where it was stated that the plans for the field were sent to Albany, approved and the board was voting on those plans.

It was mentioned by the board that 50 feet of trees would be left and a letter would be sent to notify the people of the project.

An architect and a surveyor would know how this project would affect the neighbors. They would understand the significance of the plans. I wonder if anyone on the board knew how this project would affect the houses bordering it. That the planned field was high above those homes and those people's privacy and enjoyment of their property would be taken from them.

We pay big taxes here and everyone in the community should be notified when a project of this size is planned. There should be informational meetings before the plans are sent to Albany so that the community can have input before the plans are approved. We pay the taxes and we should be involved in the decisions. Perhaps if many eyes were looking at the project, the outcome could be a win-win situation. Those who border the field and those who will use it would both be happy with the results.

Although the field is donated, the taxpayers have to pay for its upkeep forever. I see the rich earth being trucked away. Will we have the same problem we had with the last field where there was no topsoil and it was dangerous to play on it?

What happens if the company involved does not do the drainage correctly and the homeowner's land is flooded and landslides bring dirt down to their homes? Who will be responsible? The taxpayers should have a say in these decisions; they pay the bills.

The school should respect the neighbors who pay some of the highest taxes in the country; the school should not ruin people's property even if they have the power to do so. Just because it is legal does not make it right. (Dec. 9, 2008)

Mary Jo Molloy


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