March Village Board Work Session

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March Village Board Work Session

A full Westhampton Beach Village Board held a two-hour plus Work Session this evening that covered a broad range of subjects, from requests from Westhampton Free Library holding 7:00-9:00am Yoga Sessions at Rogers Beach on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, to adding a (trans­planted from West Hampton{sic} Dunes) 5K Race for a Reason on behalf of Backpacks for Fellow Students, to the Fall schedule.

(My compliments to Director Danielle Waskiewicz for turning the library into an active community center.)

Backpack mommy Nancy DeMattei made the pitch for September but was informed by Police Chief Trevor Gonce and Trustee Ralph Urban of a new policy by the Village regarding a pass-along cost... perhaps $5000 for this event... because of the added expense of Police overtime.

(The sense here is that there will be a meeting of the minds after the Backpackers meet with Chief Gonce to discuss race route alternatives which require less Police presence.)

There was also extended deliberation about a Labor Day weekend event, Saint Mark's Church Paragon Art Show, which last year caused a problem for both Police and the Department of Public Works when event organizers placed flags and signs all over the Village to advertise the show.

It was decided that it would be stressed with the event personnel that there was not to be any repeat violation of the agreement.

The "Petty Hardware" zone change... actually a shift in the lot line at 133 and 137 Montauk Highway... was discussed with the applicant's attorney, and it appears an approval will be forthcoming at the April 7th Village Board meeting.

(The application for first floor retail use and second floor apartments can then proceed to the boards of Planning and Architectural Review.)

Also discussed was the Cesar Millan performance on the Great Lawn this July under the aegis of Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.

There was extended, often acrimonious, colloquy about Mayor Maria Moore's idea for the Village to operate the Rogers Beach snack bar itself rather than bid it out as a concession as has been done for the past four decades.

Her reasoning: "People have been making money there in the past. We think the Village should be making that money."

Trustee Urban was supportive, "I think we should give it a try."

Trustee Brian Tymann was less enthusiastic, especially after the bulk of the remaining attendees raised questions about the Mayor's proposal, starting with the utter lack of a business plan and upon repeated questioning, no sense of what the Village might realize from such endeavor.

Adding to the inquiring voices of Elyse Richman and Phil Grossman were those of former Trustee Joan Levan and the blogger, both of whom were demonstrably alarmed at finding themselves on the same side of an issue.

(The Dowager Empress of Oneck left the meeting im­mediately after that, presumably to go home, pour herself a large glass of wine and slip into a hot bath to ponder the implications of such unprecedented accord.)

For my part, I consider the Village's notion short-sighted and avaricious. The purpose of a Government is to govern, and not to go into business competition with any of those it governs.

It appears, however, a "done deal" and too late in the season to reverse course.

Instead of banking the concession bid money... last year it was $14,000... and getting back to running the Village, the Board must now learn everything it can about operat­ing a snack bar in the next nine weeks.

To that end, Village Clerk Elizabeth Lindtvit noted that she will be applying for a Sales Tax license this coming week.

In another thorny matter, due to the Southampton Town Trustees discontinuing the issuance of Beach Permits for Vehicles, the Village is considering issuance of its own per­mits for the limited access point at Lashley Beach. What will be required, at the very least, is a change in the language of Village Code §182-5.

Mayor Moore called the meeting shortly after 9:00 pm so that the Board could enter into Executive Session for the purposes of discussion "personnel matters."


1. Nutbeem said...

The only way to learn to operate a snack bar in nine weeks is to decide at the outset to do it very badly. Mediocre food anyone?

If the Village were an applicant for its own concession, surely it's application would begin with words to the effect of, "Prior experience: None."

It seems the race to the bottom has already been won.

In fairness, the chef will be TDY from the school cafeteria for the beach season, so the quality of the food shouldn't be a problem... the management is!

2. Crabby said...

Wait a minnit. "Quality food" and "school cafeteria?" I believe that's an oxymoron.

I think what you're looking for is "mutual exclusivity." But yes,, that's a conventional viewpoint.

3. Coach K said...

Nothing beats school cafeteria food.


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