May Village Board Meeting

Thursday, May 03, 2018

May Village Board Meeting

A well-attended meeting considering that there was no pressing issue(s) to draw people to watch their local Goverment in action, passing 31 Resolutions, holding one Public Hearing, and having perhaps four attendees rising to speak during the Public Discussion portion.

But by the time Mayor Maria Moore called the meeting to a close and moved into Executive Session, I was left with a large question mark floating above my head and the words "Cui bono?" in my ear.

This was occasioned by three of the perfunctorily adopted Resolutions:

    resolved, that the Westhampton Beach Histor­ical Society is hereby authorized to use the Great Lawn on Saturday August 4, 2018 a Civil War Encampment from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

When asked about Westhampton Beach's relationship to the War between the States, Mayor Moore deferred to the current President of the Historical Society, Jon Stanat, who rose to note that the Village had a number of residents who served during that period, some of who were buried in the local cemetery where their names were memorialized on a monument.

He further offered that the Society had previously sponsored a Revolutionary War Encampment which had proved popular.

    resolved, that the Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce is hereby authorized to use the Village Green on Saturdays starting May 19, 2018 and ending October 27, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for the seasonal Farmers Market with approved signage limited to 1 on-site location sign only.

Whoa! This is a significant departure from the status quo!

After almost two decades of being located in the Municipal Parking Lot on Mill Road behind the Historical Society's Foster-Meeker Heritage Center, the market is being given use of the Village Green for half-a-year's worth of weekends, Spring through Fall!

What of the Arts and Crafts Show, traditionlly the first weekend of June or the Village Green, and the Mary O. Fritchie Outdoor Art Show the first week of August?

(The Arts and Crafts exhibit apparently has been bumped to the Great Law, but whither the Art Show, which dates back to the '50s?)

More importantly, as was learned from Historical Society Trustee Dot Berdinka, the relocation of the Farmer's Market came as a complete surprise to that organization.

The original sponsor of the event before it was ceded to the Chamber, moving it several blocks away to the Village Green, Dot explained in a barely constrained emotional voice, negatively impacts the valuable exposure the Historical Society receives from visitors and shoppers.

  1. resolved, that the Westhampton Beach PAC is hereby authorized to use three (3) parking spots on the east side of the performing arts center marquee on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and May 27, 2018 for a Porsche display and test drives.

Upon inquiry, it was learned that this was part of a Performing Arts Center fundraiser, and the municipality has always given deference even though turning over three (3) parking spaces on Memorial Day weekend might be considered an inconvenience to some business owners in that area of Main Street.

(But hey....)

Questions must be asked.

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