Leadership or arrogance?

Long Island Advance April 24, 2008

Mr. Levy,

your response to my letter in The Long Island Advance was so far off the topic it scares me.
I wrote about how the Brookhaven Town Assessor recently determined that 228 homes have been negatively affected by the noise generated by the Trap & Skeet Range here in Yaphank that you were so adamant about reopening. Your pet project will now deprive the South Country School District of nearly $200,000 each year in needed tax revenue.  This, in addition to our daily concerns regarding lead pollution, lead dust, and how it affects all of us, as well as the fragile Pine Barrens and groundwater the range operates atop—groundwater that Suffolk County’s own documents acknowledge are threatened with lead contamination.

But instead of addressing the issues in my letter, you wrote about your proposed over-the-top affordable housing project which we call Levy World. You seem more interested in protecting or defending your image than simply admitting that some of your decisions have adversely affected people and children, ruined the quality of life for thousands, threaten the very environment you claim to want to protect, and were unwise and blatantly self-serving. Part of good leadership is the ability to admit when you’re wrong, but you seem incapable of such an emotion. Yes, leadership takes courage, but it also requires listening, and your arrogance in that regard is obvious when it comes to issues here in Yaphank.

Before you respond so imperiously, you should do your homework and also take your own advice and respond to the hundreds of residents’ calls, emails, and invitations extended to you through our civic association. If done properly, then maybe you could address the problems you’ve created if you weren’t so full of yourself. Instead, you’ve created a fiefdom wherein you see yourself as the omnipotent ruler and people such as Brookhaven Town Supervisor Brian Foley are merely water bearers for your special interest collusion. All of this is happening because you chose to appease a handful of your buddies by reopening the shooting range and in the process you’ve trashed an entire community, a county park and continue to poison the environment as well as the very water we all drink. Sorry, but that doesn’t seem like leadership to me.

Deborah O’Brien