Dear Supervisor Horton,

In an email dated 2/10/03 you wrote:

> Good day,
> Please know that I have faithfully worked with the
> NFAWL toward a good relationship and new shelter.
> I hope to continue this into the future.
> Be well,
> jYh

At the February 25, 2003 Town Board meeting Frank Carlin gave a speech. He began by saying that he had lost his campaign for election to the North Fork Animal Welfare League Board of Directors. He then said:

"A woman came out to a car and she swore at us. I would like to tell you what she called us, but there are children here, I believe, and I am on TV, and I don't want to put my 1st class FCC license in jeopardy, because I might be in violation by swearing over public television. But it wasn't nice. And that made me decide that I am going to take this now as a personal offensive."

It just so happens I was there. The woman was talking to me, she was saying that although the "Sunshine" candidates lost they would probably sue the North Fork Animal Welfare League again. Mr. Carlin interrupted her with the comment "Isn't suing the American way?" She called him "a big mouth". He responded by saying that she had a big mouth. No swear words were exchanged.

At the Town Board meeting when Mr. Carlin stated: "I am going to take this now as a personal offensive." You should have stopped him at that point. Instead you allowed him to continue to make a malicious rambling attack on the NFAWL for over 15 minutes. Nothing he said had anything to do with building a new animal shelter.

I am not a genius. But I am not selfish, stupid nor dishonest. Mr. Carlin misquoted my letter to the Suffolk Times editor published on 2/13/03 twice. First he took one of my statements out of context and inverted my meaning. Then he questioned my statement regarding donations by asking Councilman Moore if it had not been established that donations could not be made to NFAWL. Councilman Moore never answered the question. In fact, the Raynor donation was made directly to the Town, but it was given based on the work record of the NFAWL. Telling people not to donate to the NFAWL is tantamount to telling them not to donate to the Town.

When he finished you stated:
"I am going to attempt to bring this meeting back to order. On behalf of the Board, the Board recognizes how helpful you have been in giving guidance and direction towards achieving the goal of a new animal shelter." and then you thanked Mr. Carlin stating "I appreciate your comments" and repeating "I appreciate your comments" then saying "Thank you Mr Carlin, Thank you sir."

Is this how you intend to continue to "faithfully work with the NFAWL" ?

With all due respect I believe you and your fellow Town Board members made a huge mistake. You also prevented anyone at the Town Board Meeting from responding to Mr. Carlin saying that any response would not be relevant to Town Business.

However, when Gunther Geiss took the floor you permitted him to continue attacking the NFAWL for another 12 minutes. His comments, like those of Mr. Carlin included nothing which contributed any guidance or direction toward the goal of a new animal shelter. In his introduction Mr Geiss stated that he was prevented from speaking at the NFAWL meeting and so had nowhere to speak except at a Town Board meeting. Excuse me, but how do internal conflicts within NFAWL become Town business only when raised by the Sunshine group?

Responding to each and every lie and distortion of fact presented by Mr. Carlin and Mr. Geiss as representatives of the ironically called Sunshine and Fresh Air for Sheltered Animals would invite further debate on their gossip, lies and factual distortions obviously intended to tarnish the good reputation of NFAWL.

For the record it should be noted that NFAWL does an exemplary job of operating a Town facility which should have been replaced well over a decade ago. Before you were elected, the Southold Town Board determined that the animal shelter facility is beyond repair and must be replaced. The allegations of a failure of the NFAWL to maintain the facility were obviously intended to blame NFAWL for the failure of the Town to provide a decent facility. Anyone who has ever visited the shelter knows that the hearsay accusations that animals are being mistreated were malicious lies. Contrary to the alleged failure of the NFAWL to be fiscally responsible, the fiscal management provided by the volunteer NFAWL Board of Directors meets the highest standards of being successful and above even any legitimate appearance of impropriety.

I hope and pray that you will correct your mistake, publicly apologize to the NFAWL and withdraw your endorsement of the statement of Mr. Carlin and implied support for the statement of Mr. Geiss. I will be at the next Town Board meeting to witness whether or not you correct your mistake.

Apparently several members of the Southold Town Board are working closely with the so called "Sunshine and Fresh Air for Sheltered Animals" group. I do not believe that this group was formed to improve the conditions of the animals at the shelter. This group attempted to take control of NFAWL and I believe their real purpose is to attempt to transfer the NFAWL endowment to Southold Town for a new Town owned animal shelter facility. NFAWL has already contributed time and money towards planning a new animal shelter. As you know the Town contracts with NFAWL to provide services to the town. For members of the Town Board to join and support an organization operating with the purpose of taking over the NFAWL is a conflict of interest.

Benja Schwartz
1845 Fleetwood Road
Cutchogue NY, 11935

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