Entitlement Mentality – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, March 9, 2015

Dear David,

Thank you for your insightful and accurate analysis of the issues in your editorial titled “A Different Noise.” You were spot on. I’d like to also thank Joanne Pilgrim for her thorough and honest coverage of airport issues especially in last week’s story on the front page of The Star.

I second David Gruber’s comments, as Joanne accurately reported. David Gruber is spot on. I’ve learned while working with him, to highly respect his analysis of the data and the facts regarding the airport.

I serve both on the airport noise subcommittee and the budget finance advisory committee’s airport subcommittee. I founded East Hampton Helicopter Noise Coalition, co-founded Quiet Skies Coalition, and I am a pilot. I want to say this in the most absolute terms possible: I do not want to shut down the airport, and I want the airport to be financially sustainable — and I believe it can be.

The airport interest attack dogs are hard at work fabricating personal attacks and promoting baseless fear-mongering and doomsday scenarios about the future of the airport.

To put to rest one conspiracy theory that is circulating about: At the first organizational meeting of the airport noise subcommittee, it was I who nominated David Gruber to chair the committee. The committee unanimously accepted the nomination. I made the nomination spontaneously without prior conversation with anyone. There is absolutely no conspiracy of collusion between David Gruber and any elected town official, period.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for 49 years. I’ve written forward-looking financial statements for publicly traded companies. The entire worldwide economic system of reporting forward-looking statements is based on making reasonable assumptions, assumptions about certain historical events that will likely continue in the future. Projecting impacts of certain inputs is common practice and the standard is reasonableness using credible analytical and statistical analysis. I believe that has been followed to a very high degree in the budget finance committee’s reports and analysis up to the end when airport interests began demanding certainty and guarantees. Nothing is certain, and there are no guarantees in forward-looking statements. I believe very strongly the airport is financially sustainable.

Furthermore, airport interests wish to make us believe the use of the airport is a right, that the town owes them a job. This is simply the entitlement mentality that pervades our society today. The existence of the airport is a privilege. The use of the airport is a privilege. The town owes no one a job. The town owes no one a living at the airport.

Helicopter pilots attacked me by targeting my house. A helicopter was confirmed by AirScene to be 10 feet above the roof of my house. Airport interests are personally attacking me as I take a stand in supporting aircraft restrictions.    It’s so silly that airport interests do the same thing over and over expecting a different result. If it wasn’t so silly it would be crazy. Wait, it is crazy!