Archive for the ‘2009 Meetings’ Category

MEETING HELD ON DECEMBER 28,2009

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A. The year end meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM

Those present were    Richard Bruce, Fred Cammann, Jenice Delano, Michael Kapon, Steve Long, Ian MacPherson, Phyllis MacPherson, Jeffrey Mansfield, John Millard, Weezie Quimby, Alejandro Saralegui, Jeffrey Vogel.

B. The minutes of the October 26 meeting were approved.

C. As officers for the year 2010 Fred Cammann was elected Chairman, Tony Lambert, Vice Chairman, and Richard Bruce,  Secretary

D. The Environmental report for MIACO, the proposed application for development at the present  Bulls Head Inn site, was  presented along with the attached response from the CAC. This response merely re- reaffirms the CAC’s  previously offered concerns  about this project. The public  response period  closed on December 28 which is why the CAC response was posted prior to this CAC meeting. The CAC affirmed the response at its December 28 meeting . In early January, 2010 the Planning Board will vote on this report. Assuming the Planning Board  concurs with the report’s  findings, the applicant will submit his application to the Southampton Zoning Board of Appeals. In that application  the owner will request that the Northern parcel be down-zoned from residential to commercial and that any other variances necessary for the completion of the project be granted  for  the resulting  two merged lots. The CAC has gone on record frequently in opposition to this plan, echoing the majority opinion of the Bridgehampton community, see the letter here

E. On December 4 the Chairman attended a meeting called by Supervisor-elect Ms. Throne Holst that covered two issues. Both concerned  establishing a more active communication base between the CACs  and the Town Government.

First. The Town will be divided into five regions and a single Town Board member  will be assigned to each region, especially to be the contact point between the Town and  each CAC within that region. Hopefully the  board member assigned to a specific region will find the time to attend most of the CAC meetings within that   region.  This plan does not mean that the whole of the Town Board  will be uninformed about the needs of the separate  five  regions, but rather it hopes to make the liason between the whole Town Board and the various parts of the town more responsive and more efficient. It was emphasized that this concept  does not preclude CAC members  from reaching out to any or all  of the Town Board members with our concerns, ideas, or requests, as we have in the past.

Second, the Town plans to  create a community organizations’ web page within the Town  website, perhaps  utilizing Facebook and Twitter elements to encourage more communication between town government and the community.

Ms. Throne Holst opined  that the Town Board  should concern itself  with factors that exist beyond the  daily issues that  concern  government attention. She feels  the Town    should also attempt  to tackle broad  issues that reach town wide in scope. To that end she asks us” to list 5 suggestions for issues and areas of reorganization [we] want to see the town address in 2010. In [our] opinion what are the 5 most critical issues facing Southampton Town? And, what suggestions do [we] have for addressing them?

F. RESPONSES From the CAC

Suggestion 1 concerns Assessments of property in the hamlets

One area of critical concern to the residents and property owners in our hamlet is the method and timing of the valuation of their homes by the Town of Southampton.While admittedly, values have increased over the last decade, the proceeding few years have seen flat to down values in real property and the future looks to be more of the same. Our experience  is that the valuation process is too opaque and skewed. In asingle neighborhood wildly different land values are used and commercial properties are not brought to market in the same manner as residential. Further there has been a big rush to annual re-mark to the market when prices are thought to be rising but a lag ordelay in bringing down values in declining markets.

Jeffrey Vogel , a member of the CAC, has performed a summary analysis of the Bridgehampton school district property tax rise over the past 7 years. We suggest that the town request the Town Assessor  meet with the CACs to explain and defend the assessment and grievance process of the Town.

Suggestion 2   That the town boards and departments concerned with permits and code enforcements develop procedures aimed at expediting rulings, inspections, application grants and amendments . Our business community and our residents are dismayed by the lengthy delays in initiations and approvals of applications. We note that the departments entrusted with these procedures are for the most part tax revenue neutral, but are financed by flexible ever increasing fees, so any added expense to the town budget  for better expedition of  these issues should not be a problem.

Suggestion 3. That the town administration and all its  departments make  an increased effort to respond to its residents by direct contact . Information sharing between town employees and residents in a personal and speedy manner will do much to prevent misunderstandings. Direct responses rather than call machine messages really make a difference.

Suggestion 4. That the Police Department and Transportation Department address the totally seasonal traffic problem as it affects the lateral roads to the Montauk Highway. Cooperation with and by the  Town and County Transportation Departments and the  Police Department and Policemen’s Union should surely be able to develop  seasonal employment of officers to address the alarming scale of moving traffic violations during the busy summer tourist and summer resident period.

Suggestion 5. That there be a serious attempt to identify the hunger problem that probably exists in Southampton, particularly during the off seasons when employment opportunities  lessen. Questions that arise are: Is there a substantial number of  residents and/or itinerant persons who suffer from hunger at any time that they are located within the town boundaries? Are there agencies that presently serve adequate nourishment to those that are hungry? What additional agencies and financial sources are required to serve adequate nourishment to the hungry? Will the town take a leadership role in finding the sources to provide adequate nourishment to the hungry, as other communities have, including  the City of New York?

F. The Children’s Museum of the Hamptons is inviting suggestions for cooperative bond funding opportunities to support town based  non profit  organizations. Since the  amounts usually sought are lower than is normally practical for a municipal offering, the  thought is proposed to combine the needs of a number of  organizations into a combined offering. The CAC also suggested that that there were  opportunities for special  low capital bond offerings marketed by investment institutions through private placings.

G. The Poxabogue Golf Course  Restaurant located in Sagaponack  has long been an affordable  establishment, serving the East End and particularly its neighboring hamlets with one of the very few  moderate priced  eating spots in the area. Since the golf complex and golf course were purchased by the Towns of Southampton and East Hampton using tax payer revenues from the two towns, the CAC feels it would be wrong to deny Southampton and East Hampton  tax payers the value of one of the only two  affordable eateries in the near neighborhood. Indeed, if Community Preservation Fund dollars were  involved in the purchase, the CAC questions the legality of a projected  plan to replace this restaurant with an “updated,” perhaps,  but certainly less affordable establishment. The purchase of this business and property was intended, properly, to serve the communities that supplied the funds. There appears instead a serious goal by the probable applicant to market the restaurant lease for a quick profit rather than to encourage the present tenant to continue to serve the community affordable meals as he has for a number of years.

This report is submitted by Fred Cammann, Chair of the Bridgehampton  CAC hacres@optonline.net

October 26, 2009 meeting report

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Guests:  Jay Schneiderman, Jim Malone ,Sally Pope

The CAC expressed its gratitude  to the present members of the Town and County Government Departments  and to the candidates for positions in those entities for coming to our meeting. We wished all present good fortune in the upcoming elections.  Throughout the year at every one of our meetings the opportunity to interact with elected and appointed members  from local, county, and state  government organizations is not only welcome but invaluable for us. These discussions give us a deeper understanding of the issues the various boards grapple with and allow us to make, we hope positive, contributions to the debates from the prospective of our Bridgehampton hamlet.

Aboutbridgehampton.com new website:  Mr. Vogel requested that all who care about our hamlet, please visit  and register on the site , The CAC has placed its meetings “on line” at this site, thereby opening  a line of communications with our residents who do not attend our monthly meetings. Most importantly, we are reworking the hamlet study for the Town of Southampton the  better to inform  the Planning and ZBA boards about the needs  and hopes of our residents. The initial draft of this document is on line and is open for comments, revisions,  and suggestions from the concerned residents.

We ask all who are interested please to register on the site to make your comments. We will also be opening a general forum where items of community interest may be discussed and brought to the CAC’s attention.

The Chair welcomed and recognized Ms. Mary  Schellinger Chairwoman of the Southampton Disability Advisory Committee and Ms. Virginia Bennett  from the Department of Human Resources. The members of the Advisory Committee asked that the Bridgehampton CAC work with them in an effort to work out a program to incorporate Basic Access  elements in construction designs for all new homes, additions, and renovations. in Southampton. They stressed that according to the year 2000 census there were 5877 disabled residents  between 5 and 65 in age  and 2571 over 65 in Southampton Town. Since the senior population is growing at three times the rate of general population, these numbers are far larger now and are growing. The goal of the committee is to get the recommendations into the hands of all contractors and those who have property in the town , especially any who are planning revisions or  new construction. The committee has prepared an excellent  pamphlet that explains the 3 uncomplicated elements that work to provide Basic Access for all regardless of  most  disabilities.  The CAC offered to assist the Disability Advisory Committee in its outreach goals. The Chair will ask a couple of the CAC members to work with him on this project.

The Chair  welcomed and recognized  Mr. Peter Wadsworth, Chairman of the East Hampton Airport Noise Abatement Committee. For the past four or five years this group has  worked to improve traffic conditions at the East Hampton Airport. High in priority has been relocating the flight paths of  ever increasing helicopter  traffic  which cause  a serious noise nuisance  for all who live below  the flight paths. Mr Wadsworth said that recent efforts of his group have  been placed on the back burner  by the East Hampton Board, but he hoped that with the upcoming election completed the new board would return to the issue. He remarked that it was necessary for a united  effort be made on behalf of the various East End Town Boards and hoped that  Southampton would continue in its cooperative efforts. Recent communications with the Southampton Town Board indicated that this spirit of cooperation is expected to continue.

Over this past summer  our subsidiary roads have been filled with vehicle traffic that mostly seeks to bypass the heavily traveled Montauk Highway. Frustrated motorists have  caused  a huge increase in  moving traffic violations, and higher than normal vehicle accidents. Local residents have endured dangerous traffic incidents in their neighborhoods. As one result of a discussion with Captain Tenaglia of the Southampton Police Department  at the  August CAC meeting a stepped up program of enforcement softened the traffic problem over Labor Day. Later meetings between Bridgehampton residents and Town authorities concerning their specific  neighborhood roads have resulted in a series of recommendations for traffic enforcement signs along these specific avenues. The CAC was recently contacted by Captain Tenaglia  concerning the results of the late August effort to control the traffic in the byways. It is clear that there was a definite improvement in motorist activity during and after the  increased Police Department effort. The CAC expressed its gratitude  It is the CAC’s concern  that the Water Mill traffic light at the Citarella intersection plays  a role in the extreme traffic tieups during the summer months. Mr. Schneiderman recommended that our CAC contact the Water Mill CAC as well as the town transportation office regarding the timing of this light and specifically whether a continuous blinking yellow light might help alleviate the  tieups.

The CAC remains very concerned , that the economy not withstanding, mishandling of town accounts may result in an additional tax assessment.

Steve Long and Alejandro Saralegui  expressed the need for community support for regional cultural entities: for example,  the Children’s Museum of the East End, The Bridgehampton Historical Society, Bay Street Theatre, Local Radio Station WLIU, the group of publicly viewed garden sites, and  park sites. They made the point that even in this weakened economy these treasures must be allowed to survive and the economic wellbeing of the East End attraction for visitors depends in many instances  upon the continued availability of these attractive tourist entities. Mr. Schneiderman expressed his interest in seeking county support for   Bridgehampton not for profit organizations.

Mr. Schneiderman said that he has been working with the Children’s Museum  to create an imaginative use for the portions of the Museum property that are currently vacant semi woodland. He also reported that the Sagg Turnpike sidewalk program that he has championed in recent years is coming to fruition. He is working with Vice Chair Tony Lambert on this project.

Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting August 24, 2009

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Guests: Chris Nuzzi, Nancy Grabowski, Tom Nealy, Amy Halsey, Officer
Tom Schmidt and Captain Anthony Tenaglia

The meeting was entirely devoted to the subject of traffic control in   Bridgehampton, in particular, the “back roads”.  Several local citizens made comments and observations regarding  speeding vehicles on Butter Lane, Lumber Lane , Scuttlehole, Millstone, Ocean and Lockwood and other roads in Bridgehampton.It was agreed that the problem is largely the result of folks using the back roads to escape the heavy traffic on Montauk Highway,  especially in the summer months.  It was also agreed that the problem is exacerbated by the fact that many of our roads have no shoulders,  have curves that are not conducive to high speeds and bushes and hedges that may create some “blind spots”.The CAC is asking the police department to have more of a presence in Bridgehampton as we believe the amount of traffic on our back roads is   apt to increase each year and residents and non-residents alike are apt to drive at unsafe speeds unless there is a deterrent. We recognize that all of our police officers have many duties in addition to traffic control.  Further we realize that budgetary  concerns may limit an increase in police staffing.  To that point we would argue that the safety of our citizens and the quality of life in  our villages should be given high priority.  It was suggested that, to  lessen the cost,  the town should consider using part-time auxiliary  officers and give them the authority to issue tickets for speeding violations and have them  position their vehicles on our back roads   rather than in the center of town or at our beaches.

register to comment on local isssues or CAC meeting

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we encourage all Bridgehampton residents to register with us using the appropriate page, Please use your real name and address so that we can keep this a civil community of neighbors and friends where your comments are timely and considerate in nature, However all opinions are welcome and self edited.

July 27th report

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A Discussion with Mr. Robinson  about the interaction with the public at the Bridgehampton Post Office.

The CAC wished to discuss the problem we  face concerning  the disposal of duplicate, unsolicited,  and unwanted bulk mail from our mailboxes. We know that the Post Office  is not suited to be a receiver of waste material, but frankly it is  a real problem for our residents not to have a way of disposing of unwanted and unsought  bulk mail. We understand that the  post office itself has a limited amount of lobby space, but for all time, until recently, we have accommodated each other as neighbors and users facing a common problem. We would like to  pursue with the Post Office  a way of resuming a way of on premises disposal of unsolicited and unwanted bulk and third class mail  without creating a mess in the Post Office  lobby.

The CAC  understands that some one of the community deposited a sandwich or some other unsuitable object in the disposal containers.

Mr. Robinson first introduced himself as the new Office in Charge of the Bridgehampton Post Office. He is a veteran of 30  years in the Postal service. His  presentation was both instructive and interesting.

First of all Mr. Robinson said he was impressed  with the staff in the Post Office, a sentiment shared by the members of the CAC. He then described the quandary that the Postal Service in general and the Bridgehampton Post Office  in particular share.

Dating from before the present economic downturn, the Postal Service has endured a profound decrease in the quantity of first class mail, resulting in a sliding source of revenue. The increasing abundance of commercial advertising mail, periodicals, and other bulk mail has become the main  source of income for the Postal Service. Indeed generators of this class of mail  have been offered large incentives to in crease tha volume by the National Postal Service.. A resulting problem is that in districts that do not enjoy home delivery but require customers to pick up mail from their local post offices, there has arisen a severe problem of disposal of unwanted bulk mail.  Part of the quandary is that a large proportion of the  mail in question is unsolicited by the recipients and  a large portion consists of  duplicate pieces of mail. Obviously recipients have no incentive to carry this material home and burden their own  trash containers.

The Bridgehampton Post Office  premises offer limited space for the sorting and disposal of this mail; hence the Post Office has taken steps to severely restrict the on premises sorting and disposal of unwanted piece by the members of the hamlet

The members of the CAC were quite sympathetic to the disposal problem, but it is their opinion that the responsibility for maintaining a clear and clean environment rests on the shoulders of the Postal Service, including providing adequate disposal facilities. The CAC feels that the problem is self inflicted since the Postal Service encourages the volume of unsolicited and unwanted bulk mail in order to improve its balance sheet. In other terms the Postal Service has created its own “attractive nuisance” and can request assistance from its public clients in resolving the issue, but the facts remain that the responsibility for solving the problem remains squarely in the Postal Service’s court.

On the other hand the CAC understands fully the quandary and will pursue the issue with the Southampton Waste Management Department, asking that the town furnish adequate disposal  and pickup service  to recify the problem. In fact during the week following the July CAC meeting, members did meet with the Waste Management Department on this issue and received an agreement  that the Town would “see if they could help”.

5. Mrs Quimby sent the CAC an email concerning the general problem of trash disposal in the town and particularly the hamlet. The CAC enthusiastically approved her comments and asks for the Town’s cooperation in publicizing the solution to proper trash disposal.

In general  Mrs. Quimby points out that  the trash problem gets worse every year. For example, Starbucks reports that increasing amounts of household garbage are hoisted in their bin and stuffed in their trash cans. Apparently there is an ordinance against this dumping in East Hampton, but there is not a similar one in Southampton.

In addition, the town does a poor job of educating people  about the use  of the transfer station  on the Sag Turnpike. Every new and old homeowner should be given a roll of bags and directions to this transfer station, including the schedule and  hours that the station is open. .

Purchasing the bags can be a nightmare because there is little  in the way of convenient ways to learn where these bags can be purchased. Indeed merchants are penalized for carrying them in stock and presenting them for public sale because the commercial stores  are not allowed to offset the cost of  stocking and selling the bags. As a result the bags are regularly stored  in areas that are out  of the normal shelf traffic, in many cases.making it difficult for  the public to find them. There is no rational reason why a merchant should have any interest in carrying and selling these bags, and it is crazy that they are not available for sale at the transfer station. No wonder frustrated members of the community resort to dumping.

6. 5. Old Business

At our last meeting we discussed the need for a stop sign on Norris Lane  to slow down  cars that are taking a short cut to Sag Harbor. Councilwoman Nancy Graboski says a public hearing  at the Town Board  meeting  will be held in mid August  to deter speeding cars and utility vehicles. This week the CAC received a similar request from residents on Lockwood Avenue . This is being used as a bypass  to avoid the  Monument light  going East. Big trucks and speedy cars.  Lots of bypass trouble. More generally, the CAC  feels we need MUCH more police presence on the roads in Bridgehampton  . The CAC requested the chair to ask Supervisor Kabot to request a  Police Department  Official to meet with the CAC at its August 24 meeting  to discuss our concerns about the coverage  devoted to traffic safety in our hamlet and on the neighboring roads. letter to Supervisor

June 22nd Report

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FROM THE BRIDGEHAMPTON CITIZENS’ ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The June meeting of the Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee was held on June 15 at 7:00PM at the Bridgehampton Bank meeting room. Besides members of the committee, Town Councilwoman, Nancy Graboski, was present. The meeting was mostly concerned with the looming financial problems that Bridgehampton, along with the rest of Southampton, will be facing because of the Southampton Town budget deficiencies that are slowly but surely coming home to roost. when she attended our May meeting, Supervisor Linda Kabot discussed the findings that have been uncovered, It is clear that the initial revelation of eight million dollars that was improperly retained in the Town General fund and then spent over the past few years is but one of three financial shortfalls that will impact the whole town. We can expect additional shortfalls this year of another eight to ten million dollars due to reduced revenues in spite of property appraisals that still reflect the prosperous economy of former years. In 2010, however, appraised property values will come way down, mirroring the decline of the economy. The result could be an additional budget hit of eight to ten million dollars. Thus the true reduction of revenue for the town could well exceed $20,000,000 by the end of next year.

The Town Board is starting to address this problem, but its steps thus far have been tentative. Wisely the Supervisor has formed a committee of business -experienced citizens to determine the level of financial exposure and to recommend steps to correct the shortfalls. Two members of the Bridgehampton CAC are on this committee The CAC commented on a revised application that is before the Planning Board concerning the property located on the northwest corner of the intersection of the Montauk Highway and the Sag Harbor Turnpike. This property has a number of business ventures that will be impacted by any development plan . The committee wondered whether the owner of the property would be willing to meet with members of the CAC to discuss the planned development of the property. This intersection is highly sensitive; it carries more traffic than any other crossing in the hamlet. The CAC is concerned about the potential impact from additional traffic congestion and parking required for the multiple businesses.

The CAC suggests that the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals make use of an extended town website to communicate with the citizenry and receive comments from the various CACs as well as from other community groups . It seems this method of civilized conversing would be have the benefit of lessening the number of what are often confrontational, time consuming public discussions at board meetings. CAC member Ron White introduced the need for a stop sign on Norris Lane to protect residents from accidents caused by cars that use this lane as a bypass to the Sag Turnpike. The CAC discussed this issue in the context of a whole list of similar locations that serve as bypasses in the hamlet. Ms. Graboski said that the process of placing stop signs is complex and time consuming. The CAC felt that the real issue is the need for much more police activity in directing traffic and enforcing existing traffic laws. Members felt that police activity is too much devoted to the minor problems associated with parking violations and sticker problems, which although useful in producing revenue for the town, divert police from adequately controlling the roadways. The CAC feels we need much more police presence on the roads of Bridgehampton to deter speeding cars and utility vehicles. and to stop the increasing number of dangerous moving violations in the hamlet.

The next meeting of the CAC will be at 7:00 PM Monday July 27 at the Bridgehampton National Bank meeting room. All who are interested in coming are warmly invited. We hold an open meeting and invite public comments and introduction of any issues that pertain to Bridgehampton.