May Village Board Meeting

Thursday, May 05, 2011

May Village Board Meeting

A sparsely attended meeting tonight, with few residents and even fewer candidates (two) pres­ent to hear a "courtesy presentation1" of the (sketchy so far) Gabreski Airport Planned Development District by Gregg and Mitchell Rechler.

They don't require anything of the municipal­ity, and they soft-played the critical issue of whether they will be allowed to construct the three story "anchor" hotel they insist they need to make the project viable, or will be limited to a two story structure2 as specified in the airport's Master Plan.

It was, however, impressed upon them that the Village's greatest desire is that they incor­porate some sort of "terminal" (with ample parking) for bus services such as Hampton Jitney et al.

In the public hearings portion of the meeting, a trio of local laws were amended, the most important of which updated the Village's Ethics Code and established a Committee to hear complaints.

(Such committee has yet to be appointed, but will, by charter, include one Village employee.)

In a move which clearly angered proprietor Simon Jorna, the Board put off any action on renewal of Beach Bakery's permits for Outdoor Dining and Outdoor Permits until May 18th's Work Session.

Herr Jorna called the inaction "unfair" and vowed to put out his tables and chairs anyway, and let the Village ticket him for the violations.

Among resolutions adopted was one allowing Westhampton Free Library use of Rogers Beach. Both Trustees Hank Tucker and Joan Levan3 abstained from that vote, so the newly adopted Ethics Law is already having a positive effect.

Also approved was Westhampton War Memor­ial Ambulance Association's request to use the Village Green July 27th for a CPR instruction seminar. (Deputy Mayor Toni-Jo Birk, a mem­ber of the Association, abstained.)

A Topical Survey of the Village-owned prop­erty, Picket Point Road opposite Lashley Beach, was approved at a cost not to exceed $1200.

For all the good it does, the Police Department was authorized to purchase a "Radar Trailer" in the amount of $7500.

In the public discussion portion of the meeting, one of the candidates...

(Disclosure: That candidate [me] is challenging for a Trustee seat on the Village Board in June.)

...in next month's election wanted to better understand the Village's position in respect to the Notice of Claim served on the municipality and its Police Department by former South­ampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot, but was effectively cut off by Village Attorney Richard T. Haefeli who disputed the questioner's read­ing of the legal papers.

The Village Board then entered a protracted executive session for the purposes of "discuss­ing disciplinary matters."

When the Board reconvened, a brief resolution was read authorizing the "Suspension, without pay, for up to 30 days" of a Village employee, thought to be suspended-with-pay Police Of­ficer Michael Bruetsch.

Further credence was given this belief when the motion was carried by public vote, 3-2, with Trustees Levan and Tucker opposed.

(Their old obstructionist ways endure... except now they don't have that critical third vote.)

The May Village Board meeting was adjourned shortly before 9:00 pm.

Notes
  1. My characterization, not their's.
  2. The height restriction is 35 feet, or two stories, for structures on the Gabreski property. The Rehlers are asking South­ampton Town to increase that to 43 feet to allow three-story buildings.
  3. Both Trustees also sit on WFL's Board of Directors.

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