For all the drum-beating and Chicken Littlesque exhortations by Elyse Richman, this evening's monthly meeting of the Westhampton Beach Village Board was only modestly attended, with no one speaking about the proposed tax cap circumvention mechanism.
This issue was one the Main Street businesswoman had hoped would fill the room with her fellow Village residents, all in opposition to any such legislation.
No one, not even Elyse (who missed the start of the meeting) rose to speak against "Piercing the Tax Cap" because the only related item on the agenda was a Resolution to...
"Schedule Public Hearing of Local Law to Authorize Property Tax Levy Limit Override"
...and that is now set for the April 5th Board Meeting.
In fact, the only colloquy on the issue came in the form of a question from former Deputy Mayor Mark Raynor about where the Village was in relation to the New York State mandated limitation.
"We're close to being under the 2%," Mayor Conrad Teller responded.
The Public Hearing that was held had to do with new Legislation, subsequently adopted by unanimous vote of the Board, intended to curtail the disposal of household garbage in municipally-maintained refuse receptacles.
(Now that it's on the books, the issue will be one of enforcing the law... but at least there is now a mechanism for it.)
The Public Discussion portion of the evening was dominated by the on-going "supermarket by the LIRR" matter prosecuted by Andrew Mendelson again whining that the Village won't add "two little words" to the permitted uses in the B3 and I1 districts.
"It will affect only 12 pieces of property in the Village, and I own two of them."
The words Mr. Mendelson is demanding be included: "Grocery Store."
The Westhampton resident and developer, with his attorney Frank Isler, represented that he's spent a considerable sum of money gauging the feelings of some 700 residents in both the Village and the surrounding areas with a professionally-conducted poll, and the municipality is simply digging in its jack-boot heels in thwarting his plans and the desires of an overwhelming number of people.
For all his bleating and attempts to put public pressure on the Village to change its zoning to benefit his own bottom line, Mr. Mendelson is still resisting going through the accepted process of making an application.
It suggests that he is well aware that in undertaking a formal application, the review and hearings would reveal that the achievement of his objective would affect, not as he asserts, "only 12 pieces of property in the Village," but, adversely, the entire B1 downtown commercial district.
Mr. Mendelson and his attorney are working very hard at framing their objectives so that the public will "ignore the man behind the curtain."
I could not agree with your analysis more, Dean. This is more of a case of what he isn't saying as opposed to what he is saying.
After all, if it were not such a big deal, he would have filed a formal application a long time ago.
And no one has answered the question about why anyone who lives outside of the Village boundaries should have their opinion counted in his survey.
I don't think that, assuming half of his respondents were in the Village, 350 people makes a majority of Village residents. It sounds an awful lot like the smoke and mirrors Riverhead Town Hall has accepted for years. And yet, it still has the lowest median household income of any town on Long Island.
But I am just a simple country disc jockey. What do I know ?