June Village Board Meeting

Thursday, June 02, 2011

June Village Board Meeting

It was a relatively brief, if well-attended session... as those editions immediately preceding a Village Election traditionally are... and free from major controversy.

(The most significant aspect of it was that it was Joan Levan's final appearance as Trustee... an almost five year Village night­mare is soon to be over.)

Following transaction of routine business, the Public portion began with a little minuet be­tween Mayor Conrad Teller and attorney/part-time resident Mark Williams.

The Mayor read a brief state­ment prepared by the Village's Special Counsel on the E³A's law­suit, the précis of which was: "No one on the Village Board is going to say squat about any­thing to do with an eruv."

Mr. Williams, on behalf of the First Amendment Alliance, the freshly rechristened Alliance for Separation of Church and State for the Greater Westhampton Area1, read a shortened brief against the E³A's action which it wished to have incorporated2 into the Village's defense.

The Mayor thanked him and moved on.

Old Riverhead Road business-owner and seasonal Remsenburg resident Angelo dela Fuente then addressed, and dressed down, the Board for it's position on not amending the B-3 Zoning3 so as to allow supermarkets.

Señor dela Fuente was less interested in an al­ternative to the much criticized Waldbaum's on Sunset Avenue than he desired to see an en­hanced commercial area along Old Riverhead Road, and engaged in mildly aggressive col­loquy with Deputy Mayor Toni-Jo Birk.

(Mayor Teller, who is not running for re-election this month, then offered a per­sonal statement of support for the cur­rent Waldbaum's which was met with something between stunned silence and a collective gasp of disbelief.)

The Row B candidate4 in this month's Village election then reminded those in attendance that in 1997, the Village had commissioned former Southampton Town Planner David Emilita at a cost of $60,000, to research the matter of commercial zones, and survey busi­nesses throughout the Village.

The unequivocal consensus was that a super­market should remain where it was, and that no such use should be permitted in the B-2 or B-3 classifications.

I also took exception to that day's editorial in the Southampton Press Western Edition which called for a change in the B-3 Zone. I cited the experiences of, among others, Babylon, Patch­ogue and Riverhead when expanded highway usage decimated their "downtown" areas.

This position was reinforced by former Town Trustee and Village resident Bill Bennett who, for decades, operated a successful seafood market South of Main Street.

(There is a solution to the Waldbaum's dilemma, but it does not include having a large derelict store on Sunset Avenue!)

That pesky ol' Row B candidate again took to the public podium and tried to elicit a proce­dural answer related to the Village's actions on the eruv, but the Mayor took legal counsel's direction as absolute and reiterated his earlier statement that the Board would remain silent.

(Had Trustee Hank Tucker heeded the Village Attorney's plea to remain silent and not read those illegal resolu­tions4, Linda Kabot would have no basis to file a notice of claim against the Village!)

The other candidate in June 17th's election, Pat Dibenedetto, was in attendance, but didn't speak, apparently taking a cue from her run­ning mate and not going on the record in front of a large number of people.

  1. Née Westhampton Beach Alliance for the Separation of Church and State, or, the Christian Militia of Quiogue, Irene Barrett, Grand Exalted Nutburger.
  2. As an amicus curiæ?
  3. The B-3 Zone is immediately South of the LIRR tracks West of Old Riverhead Road.
  4. Disclosure: me.
  5. At the March 2010 Village Board Meeting.


1. Fran Emerson said...

Are you still beating up on Joan Levan? She's a lame duck.

Yeah, she's on the way out, but her near five-year legacy lives on and Hank Tucker is trying to carry it forward!
  • By her autocratic attitude, she dismantled a dedicated and cohesive Beautification Committee.
  • She flim-flammed people into thinking she was doing something meaningful about Waldbaum's with her cynical "Shame on Waldbaum's" ploy.
  • She has continued to obstruct the Police Disciplinary Hearings and wasted $400,000 in taypayer money in the process.
  • Her support of the March 2010 illegal resolutions drafted by shadow counsel Tom Moore has put the Village at considerable risk in pending legal actions.
Her regime as been a disaster, from the additional "full time" benefits for her part-time job to her sub-rosa attempts to purge Village Staff of anyone with whom she found personal disfavor, and her protégé Hank was with her every step of the way.

I've been at this regularly since 1969, and there has been no more divisive and self-serving Trustee in my recollection.

2. Crabby said...

Just who is this DiBenedetto candidate besides a Hank hanger-on? You know, Tucker, the guy who lost to an octogenarian mayoral candidate because enough of us had grave reservations about whom he "serves," himself or us?

Consider this: Hank is on two Boards that control a lot of tax money in this community: the Village and the Library Board. That's not right. And some of us are still scratching our heads regarding the propriety of the Library bidding procedures. Who benefitted from the wanton, spendthrift actions of Library Trustee Tucker and Treasurer Levan, on "stuff" like computers?

You should know that a certain home on Lilac has been visited by many of the same dark forces who are opposing the Speir candidacy. It should be "amusing" to see what sort of stink bomb they drop right before Election Day.

Caveat Emptor people. Consider your source!

Go get 'em Speir. You've got my single vote -- whoever comes in second after you doesn't matter. You have the skills and intellect to be an asset to this community; not an embarrassment, financial beneficiary, or out of control power freak. ROW B!

Gosh, you are especially "crabby" today!

But people should stop asking me about Pat Dibenedetto... ask her!

Enough "single votes" such as yours and I will succeed. Got a question? Call me.

3. FirstHampton said...

Is this the first time DiBenedetto has shown up at a Village Board Meeting?

No... she showed up last December to complain that the new Hampton Arts Cinemas marquee was too bright, was "spoiling one of the entrances to the Village," and "could be seen from Dune Road." After I gave her a little geography lesson about Westhampton Beach, she didn't come back 'til now.

4. Seeker said...

Residents need to demand that Board candidates pledge to "first do no harm" to the Village. Then, when elected, new Board members could sign a clearly spelled out ethics agreement. (The Levan years are the ultimate example of the totally unacceptable!)

On the topic of Pat DiBenedetto running unopposed (or anyone without a challenger at the polling place) -- a write-in campaign has plenty of time to be developed and acted on. In past years that choice has been available but only half-heartedly put in play.

  1. Wonderful idea! "Do not harm!" I'll sign that plade in my own blood!
  2. Pat Dibenedetto is not "running unopposed" as long as I'm a candidate, damnit! I'm on the ballot on Row B and this is an "at large" election, three of us for two seats. Top two vote-getters on June 17th are the winners.

5. Shorewood said...

She must have been with Obama when he visited all 57 States!


6. Seeker said...

Are we talking "bullet-voting," perchance?

I'd accept a "bullet-vote" anytime, and this election it seems to be a good strategy!

For those unfamilar with this term, bullet voting is a tactic by which the voter only selects one candidate, despite having the option to indicate some preference for other candidates.

7. Shorewood said...

Whattya mean "Wha-at?!?" Here's a candidate in need of a geography lesson!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Got it!

8. Crabby said...

I see a non resident (who would be a voter) has pasted four Tucker/DB signs in front of his business on Old Riverhead Road. Not one. Four! In the space of a few feet. Does Ms. DiBenedetto object to their tasteless spoiling of the entranceway to the Village?

I think that Mrs. Dibenedetto's concerns about "the entranceway to the Village" are situational... but that's a good point.

9. Terry Smith said...

Asking questions about how your tax money is being spent at the Library makes good sense. Your next opportunity according to the Library’s Website is Thursday, June 23rd at 9:30am, their next board meeting. It also says "Meetings of the board of trustees are open to the public. All are welcome to attend."

They'd plotz if even ten people showed up!

10. Hampton West said...

OK - I got the "Waldbaum's call" even though I am not in the Village.

But think of this - Old Riverhead Road is a major way into the Village; you have to pass the "Gazza Strip" (as in Joe Gazza, aka "Pine Barrens Joe") along the West side of Old Riverhead Road (County Road 31) - do do you want the same thing South of the tracks?

A supermarket or shopping center in that location would create a traffic flow nightmare.

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