Monday, September 29, 2008

The "Master Plan" Story – A New and Urgent Chapter

By Howard Meinke

Supervisor Scott Russell is forecasting a budget for next year that is markedly higher than this year. You know the insanity that accompanies a budget increase, “Cut, Cut, Cut” regardless of logic is always the mantra. To ensure that a Comprehensive Master Plan survives this budget insanity we must rally behind it!

Russell has put a Master Plan proposal from former town planner Valerie Scopaz, reported to be $70,000, in the budget. In addition, Heather Lanza, the current director of planning, is submitting a manpower budget and a subcontract budget for a Master Plan to the supervisor. We don't know with any certainty how this information appears in the budget.

What we do know is that there is a budget hearing scheduled for Thursday, October 2nd at 3 pm at Town Hall. There is another hearing on Thursday, October 9th at 3 pm at the Town Hall annex. Southold citizens must be there to support a Master Plan and to hammer on the urgency of doing it before the economy inflates again. We can also make the point that there is room in the planning board agenda now to do a good part of this work with current town employees and that we should be able to squeeze prices for any outside work.

This is extremely important. Please attend, we need bodies at the hearing and cogent comments to insure a good result.

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