A couple of recent comments on “06880” implied that there was something wrong with the Westport PAL’s sponsorship of the July 4th 2nd fireworks.

(Click here — then scroll waaaaaay down.)

The commenter complained that “many worthy organizations … could benefit from control of the beach for a night.”

He added:

It is a scarce resource owned by the town and the mandate for the PAL should be reviewed periodically.  Moreover, given the financial condition of the town, one might ask the question:  Why isn’t the town reaping the benefits instead of one special interest?

I disagree.


For as long as I can remember, the PAL has taken on the burden of sponsoring the fireworks.  They’ve organized the event — and taken a financial risk in years when it wasn’t the most popular show in town.

(The fireworks cost about $40,000.  PAL receives help from Lydian Asset Management.)

PAL has been there for the town through thick and thin (and fog and rain).

Furthermore, the PAL is hardly “one special interest.”

They run sports programs — football, boys and girls lacrosse, baseball, wrestling, cheerleading — that benefit thousands of youngsters each year.  (And they make certain their coaches are trained in CPR, first aid, concussions and youth sportsmanship.)

They run the skating rink at Longshore — a wildly popular winter project.

They provide several scholarships each year to Staples graduates.  They also contribute to Special Olympics.  And Staples Players.

And they do it all with enthusiasm, joy, and barely any thanks from anyone.

This is their major fundraiser of the year.  They nurtured it, they made it what it is, yet they don’t “benefit” from it.

We all do.

The fireworks begin tomorrow at around 9:15 p.m. — but the party starts long before that.  It’s a party the PAL helps create.

Tickets are $30 per car, and must be purchased in advance.  They’re available at Parks & Rec headquarters in Longshore during business hours, and at police headquarters any time.

If you avoid Compo traffic by parking at a friend’s nearby — hell, even if you don’t go to the fireworks at all — you should support PAL by purchasing a ticket.

Maybe an “06880” reader will even spring for one for our disgruntled commenter.

64 responses to “Be A PAL

  1. No one said there was something “wrong.”That word is yours and yours alone. The facts remain; the PAL is a special interest, the beach is a scarce public resource. The fact that the PAL has had the monopoly for years does not change those facts. Why should the town of Westport permit the exploitation of public property by only one group? Westport does not receive direstly any share of the revenues generated. The PAL allocates the funds it collect as it sees fit. The allocation is not controlled either by the public or elected officials. Is there any public accounting of how the PAL allocates the funds it collects? The PAL may have “sponsored” the fireworks for decades, but that longevity is not in and of itself a reason to allow their monopoly to continue. The fireworks are subsidized by every taxpayer in Westport, whether they attend the fireworks or not. Moreover, those citizens who live near Compo bear the burden of major disruptions. There is a need to reexamine the monopoly granted the PAL.

  2. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Ok I know this will turn Jeff’s apple cart over and his other like thinking pals…. But why don’t you move to some other town…. It seems Westport really aggravates you… You don’t like the “average at best schools”, PAL is some (my words interpreted) do no good organization, and the Town is being taken advantage of…. Actually Jeff the the fireworks and beach are free… To everyone…. They are charging cars…. They also on behalf of the town taken on a monstrous undertaking that the town doesn’t fund and if they did most likely would not happen…. Dan don’t get Jeff going on the Italian Festival and the displacement of the commuter cars for ten days plus… Let the comments fly

    • Princeton '82

      Mr Stein: I am sure you have good intentions in your philosophy but “LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT” went out in the 1970’s. This country is polarized enough without that type of meaningless rhetoric.

      • Richard Lawrence Stein

        82 Jeff and his pals are never happy and just moan on and on

        • Princeton '82

          You don’t sound so happy either. No offense. As indicated in another blog entry, Jeffxs and “his pals” are questioning “why” on certain issues. That seems to make the mainstream upset. I am not sure why? I would love to raise money for the soldiers coming back from Iraq with ALS (earlier blog on Matt McVane’s son). Can I get the beach for that??

  3. Eric Buchroeder

    Glad to see after having grown up and moved away 30 years ago that in Westport despite its having priced itself almost totally out of the reach of us natives and building stone walls that have subdivided its natural beauty almost totally beyond recognition there is still one egalitarian trait remaining in Westport that joins it with most other communities of more modest means: HORSES ASSES OUTNUMBER HORSES!!!!! Thanks Jeffxs for providing absolute proof.

  4. Dick Alley

    PAL has sponsored the fireworks since before I joined the department in 1959.PAL and the fireworks were started by WPD veterans like Carmine DeMattio, Bill Smith, Joe McAleenan, Joe Renzulli and others. They started the organization to help Westport kids and the fireworks came about as a way to fund the many activities. Dan mentioned a few. PAL is a volunteer organization. The event itself involves many hours of planning and organizing. While it’s true that “any” private organization could hire a fireworks company to provide the main event, the cost of any other organization doing it and providing the same level of security and traffic control would likely cost far more than the money received by the volunteers who work so hard to bring Westport a top-notch display each and every year. The PAL fireworks entertain the community and provide funding for their many activities. It’s a winning combination.

  5. Richard; The fireworks are not “free.” Evidently your concern for your neighbors does not extend to the huge inconvenience the celebration presents to those who live down by the beach. Second, you ignore the opportunity cost of the present arrangement.

    You and Eric and Dick have nothing of import to offer so you offer sophomoric ad hominem arguments. How typical.

    • Jeff: Sounds like you live near the beach. When you were considering buying there, did your realtor pull a fast one by telling you it was a private beach? Did he or she claim that the public was not allowed there, or anyone near? When you looked around, did you not notice parking areas, a concession stand, picnic tables, etc.?

      Every year, I attend a party on Soundview Drive — one of many there. It is a joyful occasion. The homeowners revel in the fact that thousands of Westporters are having a great time on their “front lawn.” It’s the biggest day of the year for them, and they love it.

      They don’t love picking up the garbage (though Parks and Rec does an amazing post-fireworks job — you’d be amazed at how clean things look at dawn the next day). They accept it, as part of the “cost of opportunity” of living on the beach.

      The fireworks are over about 10 p.m. It’s noisy as people leave the beach — and some folks linger at parties. By midnight, though, things are pretty much back to normal.

      It’s noisy other times too. Cars drive too fast up and down Soundview — often. Some play music too loudly as they drive by. Parents yell at their kids on the beach. Lifeguards blow their whistles. (Sometimes it’s noisy at my house, too. I can hear the music from the Levitt most nights, from June through August. Do I wish I didn’t? Sure. But I figure it’s part of the sounds of summer, and it’s making plenty of people happy.)

      Some of the people on Soundview bought their homes in quieter, less crowded times. Most are more recent arrivals. None were forced to buy there, and none have been prevented from selling their homes. (I know at least two families who have moved recently because of the noise.)

      It’s a beautiful area. It’s one of Westport’s jewels. I would give anything to be able to afford to live there, and see the water and smell the salt air every day. I would be glad to see so many other people enjoying it too. I would consider it a privilege to be there. And if I was so upset by the fireworks, I’d spend that night elsewhere.

  6. Dan: You are avoiding the issues. The beach is a scarce public resource. The PAL has a monopoly. Try and deal with the issues.

    If the disruptions were restricted to the beach, where thousands gather and not a few drink adult beverages in violation of town statutes, the inconvenience would not be as large. However, if you live down here, and make the mistake of trying to return home after 7PM you are confronted with closed streets and long lines waiting to pass through the PAL check points. When I bought my home I assumed that the streets wiuld not be closed on a whimsical basis.

    When the fireworks end, I have the peasure of cleaning up discarded beer cans and all sort of garbage from my lawn. I assumed that the people of Westport were more considerate and responsible, but I was wrong.

    Your willingness to impose costs on others to further your interests in this case is consistent with your behavior elsewhere.

    Again, try and deal with the issues. Thus far you have not.

    • 1) The streets are not closed “on a whimsical basis.” They’re closed once a year for a townwide gathering. I do not doubt it is an inconvenience to return home after 7 p.m. But it is something you know about and can plan for. Maybe 1/365th of the year you can be a little bit flexible?

      2) I don’t think I am trying to further MY interests. We’re talking about a celebration that thousands of people of all ages enjoy. YOU are the one who is looking out for your own interests — a beach resident grumbling about non-residents enjoying the beach.

      3) I can’t believe I’ve been drawn into an argument like this.

  7. Dan: You started the thread. Your position is quite clear; YOU like the current set up and you are not willing to consider other arrangements or the costs to others. Very ego centered. I have not objected to anyone enjoying the beach. That is a straw man. It may be that the town’s best interests might be served by another arrangement, and by opposing any examination of alternatives, you have contradicted your expressed concern for the best interests of Westport.

  8. Ann Bacharach

    So, are the fireworks a commuity event or a commodity? As someone who has attended Wesport’s fireworks off and on for the last 50 years( jeez, I’m old), I vote for community event.

  9. Ann; The community event has a cost; to the town and to individual residents. Could there be a better use of the facilities? Why are so many unwilling to even discuss the possibility? Very emotional responses thus far.

  10. Catherine Davis

    Mr. Jeffxs, Re your last post, I’m curious about what you perceive to be the “town’s cost and individual’s cost”? If it’s cleaning up the beach, they do that anyway, if it’s having to use an extra garbage bag for your front yard, no sympathy there. Other than that, what cost to the taxpayer is there? PAL pays for the police time. Earlier you mentioned “Exploitation of public property by any one group”. The PAL rink at Longshore is not exploitation. It is a wonderful way to get one’s whole family away from computer screens in the winter, although I do wonder if the town is paid a nominal “rental fee”. But then do the farmers’ markets on various properties pay rental fees? How about the Italian Festival? That’s on town property. So the town’s properties are being “exploited” by other groups, too. PAL has provided the Town with a major service especially over the last 15 years as our youth population has exploded. There is no way the Town could handle all the additional programs for kids that PAL (and Westport Soccer Assoc who use town fields) supply. If they did, Parks and Rec would need to double their payroll which WOULD cost the taxpayers. Perhaps a member of the BOF is reading these posts and will look into “rental income of town properties” and report back to us. Now, tell us about something you DO enjoy about Westport and we can all move on.

  11. No Catherine I will not. You have not understood one word I posted. There is an opportunity cost to the town that needs to be explored. The cost to those who live by the beach is the inconvenience, and disruption caused by an event run by one special interest group. The town does not clean up the garbage deposited on my lawn by some of those who attend the fireworks. Your lack of sympathy is duly noted, as is your selfishness. The exploitation is obviously the exclusive use of scarce public resources; the beach and the parking areas around the beach, not to mention the ability to close public access to a large portion of the town. Now, why don’t you tell us of one thing you don’t like about Westport? And then try and reread my posts.

  12. Sensible One


    Your argument is technically correct. But, if we take it one step further, and award the fireworks to another group so that the monopoly element goes away – then make sure all the accounting is first rate and the Town reaps the financial rewards – presumably to benefit our town, your situation will not improve. Regardless of who runs the event, throngs of people will be at the beach to enjoy the fireworks and the parties will go on. Or am I to surmise that you would rather that the fireworks don’t take place at all?
    Our town has definitely changed – my family has lived here since the mid ’80s. There used to be peace and quiet – at least, some of the time. Now we have the lawn services mowing all over town – all at different times so you hear machines non-stop, to say nothing of the leaf blowers.

    Since Main Street has morphed into an outdoor mall, I rarely see anyone I know – most I think are from other towns. The standard question in most of the stores is – “What is your zip code”? I rarely hear “06880”. There is hardly a week goes by that someone hasn’t thrown beer bottles, cans, fast food wrappers – (I’m assuming from moving cars) on the street.

    I totally understand that you are upset Jeff.

    As for Eric’s comment that Westport has “priced itself almost totally out of the reach of us natives”, that is the result of pure economics – land does become more valuable as time goes on especially if you are in a location such as ours – beach, close to the city etc. The same thing has happened to our neighboring communities – Darien, New Canaan, Fairfield.

  13. Catherine Davis

    One of the things I don’t like about Westport is the population of residents who have passed along their sense of entitlement to their children and if they don’t have children, the residents who cannot see beyond their own personal agenda and comfort zone. If it’s not good/ convenient for me, then it’s no good and who cares about the enjoyment of others? I’m ignoring all your gratuitous insults (am I selfish because I like iceskating? I actually don’t like the fireworks) and duly note that you didn’t address any of my points beyond your precious beach, including my nod to you that maybe someone would tell us about rental income for town properties. That was my way of saying you had a good point. Perhaps I should conclude that you “have not udnerstood one word I posted”.

  14. Sensible: I would be much more willing to sustain the inconvenience if a more rational process for awarding the franchise was evident. Thus far; the only defense of the current process is feeble. BTW if Dan and his buddies don’t like the lunches in the schools or the high fences, or the prohibitions against drinking on the beach, or the high prices of homes in Westport, why don’t they leave town? It is a foolish line of argument isn’t it?

  15. Catherine: I understood that they were not relevant. Your willingness to impose costs on others to further your own interests is typical of many Westport residents who feel entitled.

  16. Innocent Bystander

    Having been a product of many PAL activities while growing up, I can appreciate their efforts.
    However, during my youth I was not aware of any cost factor. Now, I learn that many of such sports functions are big revenue producers and often push those on a tight budget to the brink,especially if they have several youngsters. Futher, I grew up here and only learned the other day that there was a charge for the 4th fireworks. I am not sure that sits well with me either. If I want to have a music festival on the beach to benefit Cory Stalling for one evening, will I acquire a permit and usage?

    The fact that we have to pay for the support for the fireworks is wrong, I do not care if we like many other communities with loose the fireworks, who needs the noise and hassle every 4th. And who really cares about the bottom line reason of INDEPENDENCE DAY, that is so history old news. And while we are at it I think it is a crime that the town allows its buildings to occupied by other “Businesses” like affordable housing , art, and daycare, why should we be forced to subsidize that ? And on that subject what’s up with those illogically high School budgets. Give me a break claiming that it is what keeps property values high, it is the beautiful redesign of the town by “new blood” that rids us of those crappy old houses and has created a whole new generation of spacious houses of interesting design. We do not need to cater to the kids as has been suggested, lets concentrate on #1 , ME There you go I said it. And if you old timers do not like it MOVE OUT you probably cannot afford this town anyway and you drive too damn slow !

  18. Princeton '82

    It would seem from the commentary set forth above that the PAL is really an arm of the town, performing many tasks that Westport chooses not to perform or does not want to enter into the cost of doing so. In that sense, I see nothing wrong with charging cars for attendance at the 4th of July celebration. However, as Jeffxs pointed out on the earlier blog subject, I do think their books should be open to scrutiny. Wasn’t it not long ago, that we found out that the CEO of United Way was making 1/2 million dollars a year? Whose do say that PAL is putting all their income back into the town functions?

  19. The Dude Abides

    Put the alarm on your house, man and come over to the the 12th tee at Longshore and burn a few. Avoid the hassle. Stress kills.

  20. Gary Singer

    Just opened my email. Can’t believe what I’ve read above. Sounds like a chapter out of Max Shulman’s “Rally Around the Flag, Boys!” Just another reminder of how Westport has morphed from the friendly, neighborly community where I grew up, to
    the “me first” entitled, angry, stressed-out
    folks that live there today. It’s July 4th. It’s family fun. It’s fireworks. Leave your troubles on the bar car, people, and go enjoy!

    • Carl A. Swanson

      Gary: It is also a very different world in which we live and Westport, since the 1950’s, has been a hot bed of dissent and argument. Beneath all the rhetoric, however, lies hearts of gold. Still much the same.

  21. Richard Lawrence Stein

    The attitudes and feelings here are just very sad….me me me how can it be that we turn everything into I and not us…pathetic… Home is where the heart is seems like Westport has many heartless people…

    • Carl A. Swanson

      The opposite of love is not hate. It is apathy. And, thankfully, we don’t find too much of that on this blog or in this town. That is why it is special.

  22. Those who decry “selfishness” are themselves demonstrating the characteristic. The issue is not “I” versus “we”, the issue is whether or not the town is using scarce public resources optimally. In the course of the thread, it has been made clear that those who want the status quo have offered up all manner of sanctimonious (there’s that word again) twaddle. It all boils down to the same argument; they want it and they don’t care what it costs, or who pays the cost. An attitude the is more often associated with a spoiled two year-old.

    • Jeffxs – You’re wrong. And here only to make a stink.

      Do this. Don’t reply. It won’t help your cause or change a thing. Instead, enjoy the holiday weekend. Be grateful for where you live and the opportunities it affords you. And think of this post when the corners of your mouth, your wife’s mouth or children’s mouths turn up as the first fireworks explode over Compo. I can’t believe all the complaining you’ve done over an event you surely enjoy.

      In the mean time, if you have an idea that will bring as much fun and joy to Westport residents as the fireworks — well, then pitch it to the town and hold your event at the beach. If you get turned down, then, and only then, will you have something to complain about.

  23. Dan:

    Read your column. Wow. PAL getting slagged by someone who has obviously never had a clue about PAL’s good works in the community over decades. Some of my best memories in high school and summers in college hinged upon the Labor Day Road Race (my flat feet have never recovered) and the 4th at Compo. I still can conjure the concussion of that final array of sky bombs as the evening finale erupted overhead. Put me down for thirty bucks…I’ve got more than that in Memories that will last a life time.

    Let me know where to mail it or can I go on line. I’ll be the phantom 40 ford coupe rumbling into a parking spot before the skyworks begin.

    Love and peace,

    Charlie Taylor

  24. Innocent Bystander

    I agree with Jeff and not sarcastically as CHIP above so mentions. I DON’T think anyone is advocating the discontinuance of the beach’s 4th of July celebration nor the PAL benefiting from it for use in town programs. However, he makes a point that PAL is not a quasi-governmental institution. It is a private non-profit (I assume) entity. Therefore, one: their books should be open to the public as to the proceeds derived from use of public lands and
    two: other entities should be provided the same access and availability to raise funds in similar fashion. I am not sure why all the hoopla over a very baited introduction by Mr. Woog and the cries of sadness, alienation and dismay over the comments of a citizen who is simple asking some very unique questions that apparently have never been addressed before.

    • Every year, the PAL sends a letter to Parks & Rec requesting the opportunity to sponsor the fireworks (including paying for them, and for insurance). Every year (usually February or March), their request is put on the public agenda. It is published and noticed. Every year, there is an open hearing on their request.

      • Innocent Bystander

        That is fine. Can I petition as well and have a fundraiser for a cause I feel deeply about?
        I am sure I can but will be declined as I did when I tried to get a simple golf tournament for my father’s 90th birthday.

  25. Innocent: You do get my point. Many appear to be threatened by obvious questions. Why?

    • Because you’re questions intend to drag a good organization and joyous occasion through the mud. I mean, you’re Glenn Beck-ing the Westport PAL? Come’on man.

      Let me give you a piece of advice. Don’t ever ask a question you don’t know the answer to. Because when it’s answered — and the answer doesn’t support your point — you look like an idiot. See Dan’s comment above.

      • Princeton '82

        Wow: I grew up with PAL, love the beach, love the 4th of July. But why is it Glen Beckish to ask for an open accounting by PAL or why they have an exclusive use of the beach??? Your advice is cliche: taught to every first year law student in America. Idiot is not nice.

      • Now you’re Glenn Beck-ing Glenn Beck.

    • Carl A. Swanson

      Jeffxs: This is the same question that I asked in an ending to a previous blog discussion on the beach. I am not sure “WHY” is so flagantly annoying to most? Is it fear of change? Of breaking tradition? Of questioning what we have been taught to believe for decades? You have mellowed since your days of cafeteria food and open doors downtown my friend, but stick to your guns. As our beloved Westporter, Mr. Newman once said: “If you don’t have any enemies, you probably don’t have much character.”

  26. Wow: You should heed Lincoln’s advice about opening your mouth and removing all doubt. Are the PAL’s books open for inspection? Where? Idiot? Look in the mirror.

    • Look Jeffxs, it was your point that “…the mandate for the PAL should be reviewed periodically.” As Dan has pointed out, “Every year, there is an open hearing on their request.” All I’m saying is that maybe you shouldn’t take such a hard line before doing a little research first.

      Anyways. Now you’re changing your argument from being inconvenienced by the trash on your lawn to accusations of fraud with no basis to make such claims. That’s “why [it’s] Glen Beckish” ’82.

  27. After reading through this you’ve got to admit that Jeffxs makes a decent point. Great works aside – and I don’t think anyone has posted that PAL doesn’t provide great service to the community – we should have full transparency into the numbers to make sure the town is benefitting fairly from this transaction.

    Think about the YMCA. Again, it’s hard to doubt the great work they do and the invaluable services they provide – but the town has been quick to protect any encroachment on town property when it comes to trying to keep them downtown. Although Gordon will sell Baron’s South to the highest private bidder as soon as his Senior Housing gets past P&Z.

    So why not open up PAL to some scrutiny? It might not be the worst thing and it might put its critics at ease. Or it might expose an Old Boy Network double standard that might need to finally be shut down.

  28. Jim Lapley

    I concur with David and the thoughts expressed by Innocent and Jeffxs. There is a lot of money involved here and unfortunately, in recent years, we have learned that without transparency, greed can run amuck. Of course, as we learned with Enron, there are the books for the public and the real books. Spread sheet, please PAL.

  29. Wow: You seem unable to follow the thread. The isuue reamains the efficient use of scarce public resources. The mention of garbage was in response to posts that ignored the burden born by some so that others may benefit. It was not in anyway a contradiction of my original point, nor was it anything more that a response to an usustainable pposition.

  30. Without a complete account of the uses to which the funds raised are put, how can Parks and Rec make an informed decision vis-a-vis the PAL’s request to hold the event?

    • They don’t make an informed decision. It has always been this way and will continue to be so. It is called the “Good Ole Boy’s Club.” Look at the morons who attacked you with no knowledge at all. Need a few good women to shake the tree.

  31. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Jeff I am going to actually agree with you…. On the point of accounting… It would only seem right and fair to know all costs and earnings for the event…

  32. Richard: I think we all deserve a look at the accounting.

  33. Innocent Bystander

    Lord, Richard Lawrence Stein and Jeffxs actually agree on something!!! It is the beauty of this blog that intelligent communication and dialogue can actually reach such compromises. Now, of course, we can all go back to the World Cup and forget about any such accounting. I would bet that the PAL loses their shirt on the 4th celebration with insurane and all. But they make it up on uniforms and the frills for all the athletic leagues they run.

  34. Staples 2011

    Does this mean we can’t drink at the beach?

  35. Sybil: The consequences of many decisions made with respect to the governance of Westport support the conclusion that the decisions were made by the ill informed.

    • Not only the ill informed but the very few. I have been around since Herb Baldwin, who was a saint with a good agenda. The rest – – – Westport Rec, PAL, P&Z, Board of Education — have been and will always been a bunch of morons.

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  37. Sybil:

    As opposed to complaining, why don’t you run for office or join PAL? You could run on your platform that all of the current and past office holders are “morons” . I am sure you would be overwhelmingly elected and then we can send comments to 06880 about how we replaced the morons with the queen of the morons.

  38. Too old and confined to this wheelchair. I held office for years that is why I know they are all morons.

  39. Sybil and all who take these comments seriously: it’s a joke. Many of the writers commenting are the SAME guy. I refuse to be taken in by one saying “I agree with X” when he is X. Thanks to those who make a logical argument, so don’t get insulted by the people slinging trash.

  40. I’ve been around for awhile and the only one talking garbage is you moron.

  41. “Oppertunity Costs of Scarce Resources”
    This is rich. Dick Alley explained everything we need to know as to why it will be PAL and always has been PAL.
    Its clear that Jeff is part of the horde of “New Westporters” that come in and gain the entitlement bug instantly.
    I don’t care if you try and spin the argument after the fact that it was all about “accounting” it was first a foremost about your “inconvenience” and the fact you didn’t care for all the ruckus near your expensive beach home.

    • The Dude Abides

      I believe Jeffxs said that he had lived here quite awhile. And while Dick Alley’s “explanation” was illuminating to a newcomer, it hardly diminishes a demand for transperancy and accounting. PAL runs everything from the beach fireworks to the PAL cheerleading to football to baseball to ad nauseam This has become, since 1959, a very big operation involving a rather large amount of revenue from Westporters, including the 4th of July celebration. Since it takes on a quasi-governmental role in its intent to give back to the town (in return, I assume, for various favoritism) why can’t we see exactly how much is going where??? But to say, they have been doing it since 1959 and anyone questioning such is part of the new breed of “entitled”is absurd. I have been here since 1953 and I would like an accounting and perhaps competitive bids.

    • You just don’t get it. It is a scarce resource, and there is no proper accounting. Nothing you have posted, including your insults changes those fact. The mention of inconvenience was in response to the claim that the use of the beach was costless. Of course it is not. Moreover, not everyone appreciates the chaos, incivility, and general disturbance that accompany the PAL’s exploitaion of a public resource every year. Your lack of interest in a proper accounting might reflect a self-interest, but I won’t leap to judgement as you have. BTW I have lived in Westport since 1978. How about you?

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  44. PAL’s use of Compo Beach is reviewed and approved every year by the Parks and Recreation Commission, as is any other use of a Town park by an outside group, such as golffundraisers at Longshore. This review is done in a public meeting after public notice of the agenda containing the request for approval. If the public has questions about the “transparency” of this process or the suitability of an event or an organization holding the event they are free to voice their opinion at these meetings–but they rarely do

  45. Arthur Champlin

    George: Good point. Perhaps as a result of the blog discussion here, maybe more will be interested and speak up. I would be interested to know, if you know, whether competitive bids are taken for the 4th of July celebration and related fireworks?????