Trap and skeet ruling 

Long Island Advance October 27, 2011

In reference to your article, “Southaven Park trap and skeet,” I find it rather amusing that Mr. Wroobel’s lawyer now insists that there are other aspects to the ruling that are more compelling than the court’s decision to allow Brookhaven to enforce its noise law; especially since the noise law is all that’s ever been at issue. Since as far back as 2003 – three years before the range reopened – Suffolk County as well as any prospective concessionaires were well aware that Brookhaven’s noise law would impact the operation of the range.

Indeed, at a meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature in May of 2003, then legislative counsel Paul Sabbatino told the lawmakers, “Whoever the vendor would be that would take over the operation of the facility would have to adhere to those Brookhaven restrictions, whatever they are.” This was cited in meeting minutes. 

Knowing that Brookhaven’s ordinance would be problematic, In 2004, County Executive Steve Levy asked Brookhaven to grant the county an exemption to the town’s noise law and Brookhaven refused. At a general meeting of the legislature in December of that year, then legislator Peter O’Leary announced that, “The position of the town, as I understand it...they’re going to go on record saying that they’re not going to adhere to the request of the county executive to waive that particular ordinance.” Again, from meeting minutes. This was confirmed by the Brookhaven Town Supervisor at the time, John LaValle, in a letter to Mr. Levy. Yet in his Request for Proposal, Mr.Wroobel wrote, “While we of course hope the County of Suffolk can wield its influence and convince the Town of Brookhaven to exempt the property from current noise control codes, we are prepared to proceed in any case.” 

So in essence, everyone involved in the reopening of the range was quite aware that Brookhaven’s noise ordinance was going to be a problem. In 2006 after the range reopened, Brookhaven began citing the range for noise violations just as it told the county it would. But now that Brookhaven’s law has been upheld by the Supreme Court, we are now treated to pap and palaver about “takings” and other technicalities.

 What I find most amusing in all of this is that over the years the supporters of the range, when speaking before the legislature or any other governing body, tend to employ the terms “lawful” and “law-abiding” more often in a single statement than most people do in a lifetime. Yet when the law presents an obstacle to their agenda, all of that law-abiding passion disappears. 

John Palasek