A few weeks ago, The Keuka Boardroom set up a meeting with our county constituent liaison representing Senator Rich Funke. We organized this meeting in order to ask some questions about Bill S7392, which concerns the future of wakesurfing within New York State. Big G and Brooke met with Jake Chard, who graciously listened as we voiced our many concerns about the legislation. Here are some important notes from our encounter:
This bill originated in Senator O'Mara's county. Although Funke did not originate the bill, he voted to push it forward through the legislative process. When asking about the research behind this decision, about the letters and emails that must have been sent to warrant such a bill, and about the wording of the bill, we were continually directed to Senator O'Mara. We have every intention of following through to meet with him.
One of our greatest concerns was as to why surf boats were singled out in this bill, when there are plenty of other boats (cabin cruisers, cigarette boats, barges, etc) which create far more significant waves. The Keuka Boardroom has our suspicions that this bill originated due to a few people being fed up with loud and impolite surfers who disrupt the calm nature of the lake. This is only a rumor, which is why we wanted to see the original letters and emails that led to this bill. Jake posited that perhaps wakesurf boats are the subject of S7392 because the founders want to slow down this quickly-growing industry. We want to emphasize that none of these motives are confirmed in any way -- though we intend on getting to the bottom of this issue.
All the research that has gone into the justification of S7392 is, in the words of our liaison, kept "behind closed doors." (We appreciate Jake's candidness in telling us this.) There have never been any links distributed, no data made publicly available for the citizens of New York to pore over. When Brooke asked why the research can't be made available to us, Jake said that it could be, but we would have to go through O'Mara himself. We are not afraid to jump through these hoops in order to find the truth behind this bill.
The office has received no memos of support or opposition to this pending legislation. We suspect this is because very few people know about this bill, and that is another one of our concerns. The bill has no co-sponsors, and was "quickly introduced".
Though Bill S7392 is still in its early stages, there is plenty of potential for it to be passed. If you want to help us fight against this bill, we encourage you to write a memo of opposition. For more information, visit these links:
We will keep you updated as our journey continues.