Meanwhile, down on Dune Road:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meanwhile, down on Dune Road:

Updated 06/18/2008 - 12:25 PM

…the conflicted little Incorporated Village of West Hampton Dunes held their municipal elections today, and surprise!  

Unofficial results of the 2008
West Hampton Dunes Village Election
Office Candidate Votes
Mayor Gary Vegliante 169
Mayor Lanny Lambert 63
Trustee Catherine Woolfson 165
Trustee Michael Craig 163
Trustee Arnold Perlman 71
Trustee Jack Clancy 64
Justice Richard Agins 98
Justice Gair Betts 106

And if anyone was wondering the nature of the "surprise," it was that Mr. Betts beat a sitting Village Justice and not only wasn't even on the ballot, he wasn't even announced as a write-in candidate.

Gary Vegliante, the only Mayor in the history of West Hampton Dunes, was swept back into office along with his first-time running mates, Trustees-elect Catherine Woolfson and the high-strung Michael Craig. He admitted that he engineered the ouster of Justice Richard Agins by running a stealth campaign on behalf of Mr. Betts who has served as Westhampton Beach's Associate Justice for the past dozen years, an annual appointment.

Prohibited political actiovity?

While it was not im­mediately known what Mr. Agins, a resident of Westchester Coun­ty, had done to incur Mayor Vegliante's en­mity, one of the de­feated New Wave can­di­dates, Jack Clancy, suggested that it was because Agins' second home in West Hampton Dunes had displayed two "New Wave" political signs.

"Someone's gonna wake up in Scarsdale tomorrow morning and find out he lost an un­contested election," Mayor Vegliante's nephew, election law attorney Steven Veg­li­ante chortled as the manual vote tabulation was being completed around 11:00 pm.

(The heroines of the evening were Board of Elections workers Bonnie Brophy and Irene Barrow, and Village Clerk Laura Dalessandro, each of whom performed their functions without benefit of any mechanical assistance. The polling place being the second story living room of a home at 906 Dune Road, it had been felt that the deck would not bear the weight of a voting machine.)

Mayor Vegliante's opposition came from more than the upstart New Wavers; an unrelated Website, West Hampton Dunes Coalition for Choice, mounted by part-time resident Ron Comito, is clearly on the Vegliante administra­tion's case over questions of ethics and pro­pri­ety, stopping just short of charging corruption.

Just how tightly Mayor Vegliante controls all that happens within the 0.9 square mile con­fines of the 15-year-old Village was evident during the tabulation process. While New York State Law (Article 15-124) provides that the Village Clerk is the Chief Election Officer¹, Ms. Dalessandro seemed unaware of her authority, as Village Attorney Joseph Prokop took charge of the "counting room." And the few times he seemed uncertain on any point, he deferred to Steven Vegliante.

It has always been thought that, in this area, the 80-year-old Village of Quogue held the closest control over its local political process, but it could learn a thing or three from new­comer West Hampton Dunes.

But then, the bare-knuckle style at the West end of Dune Road might not appeal to old-line Quogue.


¹.- §15-124 provides that "the village clerk shall be the election officer of the village and shall have the responsibility for the general con­duct of all village elections and shall have vested in him all authority…."


1. Clamqueen said...

Wow, the wild west right here in Westhampton Dunes.

Careful now, my little bivalve sovereign, lest you incur the enmity of the ruler. When I noted with some amusement that the Board of Elections had published their Voter Registration Rolls, the name had been spelled "Westhampton Dunes," Mayor Vegliante asserted that he has purposely listed it as "West Hampton Dunes" in the papers of incorporation so as to "distinguish it from the other Hamptons."

2. George L said...

West Hampton Dunes without Gary is like an oil tanker operated by a drunken captain. The people should thank their lucky stars that Gary is here for another four years!

So you're of the "by any means necessary" school of thought? S'all right with you, s'all right with me.

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