By Lori Brown
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS April 21, 2006 Many local people who were upset about the recent Rally New York road race shared their opinions at Monday nights Town of Liberty board meeting.
The Rally NY event was held on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 along a course that wound its way through several of Sullivan Countys towns and hamlets. Among the places the rally cars drove through were some of the back roads within the Town of Liberty, including roads in Parksville and White Sulphur Springs.
Of the 21 people who spoke at Monday nights meeting at the White Sulphur Springs Fire Department, only two women had good things to say about the recent Rally NY event.
Town of Liberty Supervisor Frank DeMayo allowed everyone to express their concerns about the race.
But DeMayo and his fellow town board members seemed overwhelmed by all of the negativity flowing throughout the room.
During the meeting, Curtis Parks of White Sulphur Springs, who lives on Dessecker Road which was one of the roads used for the Rally NY race handed a petition to DeMayo. The petition to actively oppose any further events of this kind in Sullivan County was signed by 230 people.
Curtis and other members of the community stated that these races pose a real danger to humans, pets and lawns.
We are guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and we are not getting any of these, said Peter Stettner, who lives on Willi Hill Road in White Sulphur Springs.
During some heated discussions, several people said that they felt like hostages in our own homes during the two-day Rally NY race.
Some of the people who live near the areas where the races took place said that they were not informed of when the roads were going to be closed. Other residents complained about the sanitation and the fact that garbage was left on their lawns.
The residents other concerns included sections of blacktop being uprooted and destroyed as well as the safety of the drivers and spectators when the rally cars reach speeds close to 100 mph.
DeMayo said the idea behind hosting the Rally NY race was to help the local business community.
Local restaurants profited from this event, he said.
We are going to reevaluate the road rally and we appreciate the publics concerns, DeMayo added.
However, DeMayo was very upset about the actions of the crowd when Ivan Orisek, who is the Coordinator for Rally New York USA, spoke during the meeting. Many of the audience members were very disappointed with the answers they got from him regarding the race.
As Orisek began to speak, several people in the crowd interrupted him by adjourning the meeting in their own way simply by getting up from their chairs and leaving the firehouse.
We are looking hard for economic development, if not road races, then something else!, DeMayo said.