Failed Policy – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, September 17, 2012

Dear David,

There is a reason why Peter Kirsch is considered the rainmaker at his firm, Kaplan, Kirsch, Rockwell. Peter Kirsch is also the attorney at Naples Airport where noise-abatement policies under grant assurances have set back that municipality more than $6.6 million. After spending all that money, there are still no solutions, no end in sight for the noise.

Noise abatement is a failed policy all around this country. East Hampton Airport is not unique. Santa Monica Airport is the poster child for failed noise-abatement policies. With the strictest noise-abatement regulations and highest fines in the country, that city is considering closing the airport in 2015.

It is silly for the Town of East Hampton to spend millions of dollars to come to the same conclusion several years from now. The legal bill of $135,000, which caught the town board by surprise, will seem like a drop in the bucket if they don’t wake up. Especially if they take Federal Aviation Administration money.

Thank you for the continuous coverage on the torturous noise problems at the airport. Joanne Pilgrim is doing a fantastic job reporting on the town board proceedings.

It’s like silly season at Town Hall. It appears like an act from “The Three Stooges,” or rather, the monkeys: Hear No Evil, See No Evil, and Do No Evil. Sure, it is illegal for one board member to change helicopter routes. This is a town-wide problem that affects many of its citizens. It is a decision that requires public review. The airport manager, who designed the three helicopter routes, also had no authority to set them in place.

When I questioned Councilman Dominick Stanzione about the authority of the airport manager, he stated, “Of course he doesn’t have the authority, but he did it anyway.” Then he laughed at me.

This is no laughing matter when our right for peaceful enjoyment of our property is usurped.

If it wasn’t so silly, it would be crazy.