No time for politics

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We are somewhat perplexed by the negative spin proffered by Southampton Village Trustee William Bates [“The time is now,” Letters, March 27] concerning the Request for Proposals (RFP) that the Planning Commission has prepared.

During the past year, the Planning Commission held numerous public meetings seeking input regarding the scope of the project. Most village trustees and some concerned citizens attended these meetings regularly.

At the last Planning Commission session on March 6, the third and final RFP draft was presented to the public, Mayor Mark Epley and the village trustees. A slide show was presented outlining in detail the positive and negative attributes of the village center. The general impression received from all those who attended was affirmative, and we were asked by the mayor and the attending trustees to submit the RFP for approval. Trustee Bates was present at this last meeting and also had encouraging words concerning the scope of the RFP.

We might add that the draft RFP was discussed with the trustees for their consideration at their board meetings on at least two other occasions.

We would like to reiterate that this is a request for a proposal to initiate a public design process. At this stage we are simply asking for proposals from experts to undertake the task of defining the parameters through public discourse, to be followed by the design of the village center’s Master Plan.

The RFP requires the village planning and technical analysis to be formulated, developed, and refined by the professionals with the input and engagement of the public during the initial phase of the project.

However, time is of the essence, and a Master Plan needs to be put in place to confront the challenges to the infrastructure and architecture of the village center.

The purpose of the Master Plan is to make sure that any future development reflects our village’s beloved characteristics. This is not a time for political posturing but a time to take proactive and enlightened action to protect and enhance the historic character of our village center, so endearing to residents and visitors alike.

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