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Foster for East Hampton

“..some day residents and visitors will survey the significant open land and clean waters remaining in East Hampton and say that Debra Poster was the most effective public servant of her time” - Star Editorial 1/6/94

“As a Planning Board member then as Chair, Debra Poster stood her ground, withstanding nasty personal attacks and other intimidation tactics… with awe we view Debra's tenure…determination and resiliency for 15 years.” - Independent Editorial 12/15/93

“the right person at the right time”

June 2003

Dear East Hampton Neighbor,

So many people are telling me things have gotten worse in East Hampton over the last four years, not better. My name is Debra Foster. I'm running for a scat on the town board because I believe ‘can make a difference.

I've lived here over 34 years. Serving on the town planning hoard, (a Springs School teacher appointed originally by a Republican Town Board), ‘helped produce the 1984 Comprehensive Plan update at no extra costs to the taxpayer with our own gifted local people who knew the Town.

During my planning board tenure, ill-considered development schemes faced East Hampton. We fought against powerful out-of-town developers to maintain our small town interests, to defend East Hampton’s fragile resources, to protect our tourism based economy for local jobs, to keep the waters clean for our fishermen, to prevent the best farmland in the world from growing row houses

We held the line (reducing by 90,000 the then maximum Town build out population, saving millions of dollars in school taxes alone) We did it by using sound planning, zoning and town codes to protect our resources and our small town way of life; we did it by listening carefully to people We did it together.

In 2001, after two years in power, the town board majority was stalled in their promise to update our 1984 Comprehensive Plan. To work with them, together with other members of the local community, a plan oversight committee formed which I co-chaired. But, the board majority hod a different agenda, going off totally in another direction,

Then, I understood the delay. What I saw scared me. They wanted to change East Hampton,

Disguised as swan growth, which doesn't work for East Hampton and is really a blueprint for increased development in our hamlets, major development schemes again raised their head in our town

Wrongheaded goals, ignorance of our codes, disregard for our small town standards were back. policies once again threatening our people, our fragile resources and the very foundations of our tourism based economy (No one wants to go to Brookhaven for vacations, said one local men to the town board recently).

Why doesn't so called smart growth work for East Hampton? Over development, over-crowding. over densities place demands and burdens on a town — more schools, roads, police, firemen, ambulance services, city water hookups, sewers, garbage issues — lea ding to soaring taxes that our working people and our senior citizens cannot afford

I don't have to tell you that after four years the town is worse off than before. East Hampton is changing before our very eyes. You can feel it and see it every day when you leave the house.

Four years are used up and a half million dollars of taxpayer money wasted on out-of-town consultants who advocate out-of-town ideas — hike developing second hamlets in town, a commissioner of sewers, major traffic corridors on narrow residential neighborhood lanes, transitional study zones marked for future development in Montauk, Springs, Amagansett, and Wainscott.

After four years. we still do not have an updated comprehensive plan designed to save East Hampton. What we do have is an election year outline with none of the tough decisions made, a so called smart growth plan that destroys established neighborhoods.

What scares and angers me is, to push their own agenda, this majority town board over the last four years has systematically dismantled our planning and zoning boards and the planning department — a move tried before, by the way — taking out our experienced local people who know East Hampton, who worked hard to keep our small town character.

They were often replaced with up-island people who don't know East Hampton, who are inexperienced, who might rubber stamp their so-called smart growth schemes. (Sag Harbor lost Gayle Pickering; Amagansett, Larry Cantwell; Springs, Heather Anderson; the planning department, Lisa Liquori; the removal of veteran Rick Whelan as planning board attorney . . . the list goes on.)

This election year summer when people are busy and don't have time to pay attention, ‘fear the town board majority will ram these things through. But busy or not, guarantee you every time this administration steps out of line, telling us to get used to becoming another Brookhaven, they will hear from me.

This election is a power struggle to put absolute control of the future of East Hampton in the hands of a few people (who haven't listened to the community) and their big money supporters. That scares me, too, and that's why I'm writing you so early and so long.

I know we can salvage our small town way of life. If I didn't believe this I wouldn't be running for Town Board. I hope in the following mouths earn your vote. Working together we can get the job done.


Deb Foster
Running for Town Board on the Democratic and
Bonac Preservation lines