This letter was prepared because I was unable to attend the 1-23-2013 National Park Service meeting concerning the future plans for decommissioned Ft. Hancock at Sandy Hook.
I have followed and been critical of the National Park Service’s improper and illegal attempt to outlease the Ft. Hancock properties, which resulted in the NPS entering into an ill conceived 60 year arrangement with Sandy Hook Partners, LLC, an offeror which had neither the required corporate experience, nor the funding, the money, to pay for labor and materials.
After a period of over 10 years, during which the NPS permitted Sandy Hook Partners to attempt to secure funding, Sandy Hook Partners, LLC’s actions became such an embarrassment to the NPS, that the lease was terminated and Sandy Hook Partners, LLC was shown the door, hopefully never to return.
This shameful, protracted chapter in the NPS’s mismanagement of Fort Hancock must not be repeated. But as I review the selected members who now sit on the newly established commission for planning the future of Ft. Hancock, I do not see any of the members of the conservation organization once known as Save Sandy Hook, LLC. This organization, led by its late president, Judith Stanley Coleman, brought to the public’s attention, the many environmental and procurement improprieties the NPS had committed in its attempt to conduct this ill conceived proposal which was ultimately terminated.
During this procurement the NPS failed to abide and adhere to one of its basic founding tenets, namely, that the only commercial ventures allowed on National Park land are those that enhance the recreational experience of park patrons, even after it was plainly and clearly brought to their attention.
It is said that those who ignore history are bound to repeat its mistakes. I sincerely hope that the NPS does not fall into that trap. National Park land is a rare and all too valuable asset to be wrested from the control of it rightful owners, the people of the USA.
To assist in Ft. Hancock’s future planning, I propose that former members of Save Sandy Hook, LLC be added to your commission as members. Two such citizens who did attend your meeting are Mrs. Tara Ryan (Highlands, NJ) and Mr. George Moffatt of Oceanport, NJ. Both are known for their conservation efforts and are well regarded. They also are former members of Save Sandy Hook, LLC.
Peter P. O’Such, Jr.
Retired Federal Procurement Officer, and former member of Save Sandy Hook, LLC