The Back Fence

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Back Fence

It is said that in life there are only two certain­ties... Death and Taxes1.

In Westhampton Beach there's also "the back fence," whether it's over tables at Eckart's, on the steps of the Post Office, or, in this case, across Turkey Bridge in the unin­cor­porated area of Quiogue.

There was a meeting of approximately two dozen area residents at Irene Barrett's home on Notamiset Road Sunday evening, the sub­ject of which was the Hampton Synagogue's request to the Village to establish an eruv chatzerot in Westhampton Beach.

No mistaking this non-Village resident's sympathies.

Among the attendees were two Members of Village Government, Deputy Mayor Jim Kam­et­ler and another identified only as "a bald guy from the Planning Board."

Memo to Jim: You picked a great place to stump! Quiogue is out of the Village and non-residents aren't legitimate voters.

Expressing concerns about the implications of an eruv, the informal group wanted to know what the Deputy Mayor had to say on the subject, since he had seconded Mayor Teller's motion to approve the Synagogue's request, and twice voted an enthusiastic "Yes!" in support at the May 1st Village Board meeting.

Doubtless prepped for the occasion by his "baby-sitter," Mr. Kametler was ready.

"I thought I was voting on whether to have a vote."

As Warner Wolf used to say, "let's go to the videotape!" since the digital record of that May 1st Village Board Meeting is available on-line.

The portion in question2 starts at the 1:43:10 mark with the Mayor's motion to approve the Synagogue's request:

"I'd like to make a motion to add-on the agenda a resolution to approve the eruv petition."

Then, in quick succession:

1:43:20 - the Deputy Mayor's clear "Second!" is made.

1:43:24 - the Deputy Mayor's "Aye!" is cast.

1:43:30 - Trustee Hank Tucker pauses and requests clarification as to what exactly the Board would be voting.

1:43:48 - Mayor Teller unambiguously states: "I'm making a motion to approve the petition."

1:43:49 - The Deputy Mayor immediately adds "I'm seconding that motion."

After some discussion and a recanvas is under­taken, Jim Kametler, in case no one "got" what his position has previously been, states for the record:

1:45:35 - "I'm a Yes!"

Mr. Kametler, who has gone through much of his life with the unfortunate sobriquet "ce­ment­head," cannot have it both ways. Either he's a pathological liar, or he's irredeemably stupid, either of which should disqualify him from Public Office.

'Though not as old as the one about "Death and Taxes," another adage is operative here:

"How do you tell if a politician is lying?"
"His lips are moving."

Clearly, politics is a job for which Jim Kametler has been in training his whole life.

  1. A proverb attributed in various forms to both Daniel Defoe and Benjamin Franklin.
  2. If one allows the footage to "load" for five or so minutes, it can be fast-forwarded to the 1:43 hour/minute mark.


1. Victor Levy said...

In the event anyone thought I might be the "bald guy from the Planning Board," I checked out the mirror this morning and it's not me. I also try to avoid meetings where eruvphobia is the main topic.

Never thought you were… aside from the hair issue, why would you be "baby-sitting" a scrambling candidate.

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