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May 3, 2017 11:18 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Michael Bloomberg Reaches Out To Southampton Town Official, Hoping To Revive Discussion Of Tuckahoe Road Reroute

Michael Bloomberg
May 3, 2017 11:20 AM

Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor, part-time Tuckahoe resident and prominent member of the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, is working to revive discussions on a proposal to reroute a portion of Tuckahoe Road that runs through the historic private club, an idea that Southampton Town officials put on hold last year.

Mr. Bloomberg last week called Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor, who would be a key decision-maker on any road change approval and so far has been a vocal opponent of the plan. According to Mr. Gregor, Mr. Bloomberg said he was going to try to be the “face” on the golf club’s efforts to make an alternative route for Tuckahoe Road around the club’s property.

Mr. Gregor has previously voiced opposition to the plan, noting drainage and clearing concerns, along with worries that the new route might be less safe for pedestrians and bicyclists. He said he and Mr. Bloomberg agreed to disagree on the subject during the phone call, and even joked about the situation.

He said Mr. Bloomberg told a story from when he was running for a third term as mayor of New York City: “George Bush asked him if he should endorse his opponent. And I said, ‘Well, in New York City, I’m sure that would do nothing but help you,’” Mr. Gregor said. “He said, ‘Well, perhaps I’ll endorse your opponent.’ I said, ‘You’re free to participate in the system like anyone else.’” He added, “There was no threat intended.

“I don’t really know the man—I think he’s entitled to kid around in his own way,” Mr. Gregor continued. “Did he raise his voice? No. Was he maybe a little distressed? I think so—but he wants to be the face behind the Shinnecock effort, so I get it.”

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, led by the club’s president, Brett Pickett, and Mr. Bloomberg, pitched a plan to the town last summer: The club would fund an estimated $5 million rerouting of Tuckahoe Road, which bisects the historic golf course. That section of road would be abandoned or used privately, and Tuckahoe Road would be rerouted alongside the golf course instead of through it. The new road then would be donated to the town road system, and the abandoned stretch of road would either be closed to traffic during the summer or removed entirely. The club added other financial incentives to the town as part of the offer.

Last November, the proposal was put on hold due to concerns about the road’s future as it applies to plans for a new Southampton Hospital. The hospital is seen as a major player, since a planned relocation to the nearby Stony Brook Southampton campus will make traffic patterns a topic of discussion, with ambulance access to the campus being key.

Also at play: The 2018 U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock Hills next June.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman confirmed that he had heard about Mr. Bloomberg’s effort to revive the conversation but noted that he has not been personally contacted—and still believes that the plans cannot be discussed until details of the hospital’s relocation are released.

“I really don’t think there’s anything going on with the road at the moment,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “My position is the same as it was.”

Mr. Pickett declined to comment, but he noted that the club’s position has not changed since last year. “From the club’s standpoint, this is in the hands of the people planning for the hospital,” he said on Wednesday. “We’re awaiting that process like all interested neighbors.”

Marsha Kenny, director of public affairs and marketing for Southampton Hospital, said traffic patterns for the proposed new campus are not on the table right now, as the hospital is still awaiting final approval of a new operating agreement with Stony Brook University Hospital, which is a precursor for any discussion of a new hospital on the campus.

“We’re not even talking about it,” she said. “It certainly is not coming up in any conversations over here.”

Efforts to contact Mr. Bloomberg for comment were unsuccessful.

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"Just say No," Mr. Gregor.

Simple.
By PBR (4895), Southampton on May 3, 17 12:01 PM
Mike is getting to be pretty damn annoying...
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on May 3, 17 12:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
Little Mike thinks he can buy anyone. He did it in NY, soros is buying the rest. Paid for protesters and stiffed them
Don't think Alex will fold. Won't fold to town board...
By knitter (1604), Southampton on May 3, 17 12:44 PM
Do NOT allow this to happen! This will open up Pandora's Box and us "common folk" will lose time and time again!
By S'hamptonNative (80), Southampton on May 3, 17 1:35 PM
Dear Mr. Pickett: It is not in the hands of the people planning the new
hospital. It is in the hands of the tax paying residents of the Town of Southampton. It is my hope the citizens of the town want the road to remain
as it is. Let's keep this beautiful roadway open with its wonderful vista open
for all the residents of the town.
By Jimion (117), Hampton Bays on May 3, 17 1:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
They should just build the road on the property already owned by the club, put it into use and the public will see the benefits of it first hand. Other than the lost view over someone else's land it will be a better roadway and tie in to 39 as well as the connection north from St Andrews out of the Village.
By 11953guest (38), southampton on May 3, 17 2:21 PM
Views are almost always over "someone else's land" and are PUBLIC assets nonetheless not to be sold off or sold out.
Speaking of it being "someone else's land," I'm more and more convinced the Shinnecock's version of history is absolutely accurate. No doubt that land was connived and stolen from them. Fast forward 100 years and S.S.D.C. (same 'stuff' different century). This Town Board is not to compound the original error with another in order to support any part-time resident's seasonal ...more
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on May 3, 17 11:18 PM
The view is the issue for me. It will be a sad day if the Town caves in and gives up this road.
By housedoc1 (8), Southampton on May 4, 17 12:50 PM
No How about we keep the road that has been on use since at least the 1600s and YOU take your disruptive and elitist ideas away.
By lo-cal (71), southampton on May 5, 17 6:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
"Other than the lost view of someone else land" ... what a distasteful remark .

Wheres Robin Hood and his Merry Men to return the land to its rightful owners?!
By toes in the water (736), southampton on May 5, 17 7:18 AM
Anything of this nature sets a dangerous precedent.

What's next? Asking to privatize Tuckahoe Lane by the SH golf club?
By Mr. Z (10907), North Sea on May 3, 17 2:45 PM
Probably turn Meadow Ln. into a private gated community from Halsey Neck down to the inlet...get rid of us pesky beach goers once and for all.
By S'hamptonNative (80), Southampton on May 3, 17 8:20 PM
3 members liked this comment
Leave it open for the Open, easy access...
By knitter (1604), Southampton on May 3, 17 3:37 PM
Just say no! This would be a idiotic giveaway of a perfectly public scenic vista to the monied .01%. Not even the 1% gets to play at Shinnecock.
By Rickenbacker (252), Southampton on May 3, 17 3:44 PM
3 members liked this comment
OUR road is not for sale, take a hike Mike.
By bigfresh (4050), north sea on May 3, 17 5:28 PM
We need bumper stickers.

"Take a hike Mike"
By Mr. Z (10907), North Sea on May 3, 17 9:09 PM
We really need bumper stickers...
By bb (852), Hampton Bays on May 4, 17 9:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
I've not yet seen a photo of the vista that has the community up in arms accompany these stories about Tuckahoe rd. It would help to show what is at stake here if the billionaires have their way.
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on May 3, 17 6:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
These ppl dont know when to stop !
By toes in the water (736), southampton on May 3, 17 7:13 PM
2 members liked this comment
Part time resident no less. Hopefully Southampton Town Supervisor Schneiderman and Alex Gregor won't consider just one person's recommendation. I hope Bloomberg's getting the same attention us regular folks get.

By rvs (101), sag harbor on May 3, 17 10:00 PM
Is he going to try to have the Town Board ban extra large big gulps at the north sea road 7-11 and add a $3 a pack tax to cigarettes from the reservation?
By HB90 (156), southampton on May 3, 17 10:43 PM
Alex Gregor is off the reservation again!




By Frank Wheeler (1809), Northampton on May 3, 17 11:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'll miss that road
By even flow (808), East Hampton on May 4, 17 6:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By G (324), Southampton on May 4, 17 6:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
This guy is also building a massive building at the front of his property on White St. No building permits posted on the property and no evidence it ever went through the planning boards.
May 4, 17 6:45 AM appended by SlimeAlive
The property is not in the village. He paid off someone but it was not the mayor.
By SlimeAlive (1102), Southampton on May 4, 17 6:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
OH he's the idiot!! PPl are complaining about that! Musta paid off the Mayor ! Hope Ms Konrad is all over this.
By toes in the water (736), southampton on May 4, 17 6:54 AM
Ms. Konrad only fights the Village...
By Draggerman (862), Southampton on May 4, 17 7:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
Hey Dan's paper, put a map of the short cut through shinnecock gc, but go slow.
Look out next Shrubland Rd splitting National GC,,, What next???
By knitter (1604), Southampton on May 4, 17 9:27 AM
Just plain sickening. All these people who believe they are entitled to whatever they want, whenever they want it. NO, it is a community road, Mike.
By Trish (90), Sag Harbor on May 4, 17 11:07 AM
3 members liked this comment
Just plain sickening. All these people who believe they are entitled to whatever they want, whenever they want it. NO, it is a community road, Mike.
By Trish (90), Sag Harbor on May 4, 17 11:07 AM
He knows what he's doing and how to use his money. I expect he will eventually sweeten the pot with a major donation toward the construction of the new hospital in exchange for the road change.
By housedoc1 (8), Southampton on May 4, 17 1:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Rumor has it that non-profits in the vicinity of the course have already received donations.
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on May 6, 17 8:40 AM
Rich or Poor ... it's nice to have MONEY and influence.
Tell MIKE to take a jump in a pond ... Oh, no, that's not right ... the fish didn't do anything to deserve his arrogance.

! ! ! !SAY NO TO THE RE-ROUTE.! ! ! !

If the wealthy golf players can't wait for a car to pass, let Mikey dig them a tunnel to traverse under the road.

By jediscuba (56), Suthampton on May 4, 17 2:29 PM
3 members liked this comment
Wow, next Maidstone???
By knitter (1604), Southampton on May 4, 17 5:30 PM
Eminent domain. ..can use a cell tower on that golf Club property !
..
What is Southampton GG opinion on neighbor Mike ensuring that their best most secluded hole should also have a busy road next to it ...
By dave h (192), calverton on May 4, 17 7:26 PM
Bravo, Mr. Gregor����.
Hope you run for Town Supervisor if current one sells us out.
Do not waiver, Mr. Schneiderman. You represent the people and not the 1%, please remember that.
By sak (5), sag harbor on May 4, 17 8:59 PM
3 members liked this comment
To offset Bloomberg cash going to Alex's opponent, contributions to Alex's campaign can be sent to:
Friends of Alex Gregor
8 Lincoln Drive
East Quogue NY 11942
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on May 5, 17 6:00 AM
2 members liked this comment
I did not read that Alex plans on running again nor did I read who his opponent might be.
By auntof9 (135), Southampton on May 8, 17 6:54 PM
You know how many politicians a $1,000,000,000 can buy? We're about to find out.
By SlimeAlive (1102), Southampton on May 5, 17 7:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
( id guess 4 .. no one would take less than 250 )
By david h (405), southampton on May 11, 17 6:29 PM
More progressive entitled wealthy bad ideas that only benefit the 1% but not all of us deplorables.
By patriot50 (39), sag harbor on May 5, 17 8:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
You know, PQ1, if you "like" a post like this, a post that uses a red-flag word like "deplorables," then you lose a lot of people who might otherwise have responded to your appeal for Gregor contributions just above. I'm not saying that you or Alex is a direct friend or supporter of the rabid anti-Hillary crowd who are rubbing her (and our) nose in that ill-chosen word, but tell me your company and I'll tell you who you are.
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on May 6, 17 11:28 AM
You know, TB, it's possible to "like" something without loving all of it.
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on May 6, 17 3:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
A tunnel under the road will solve the "problem", buck up Mike!
By bigfresh (4050), north sea on May 6, 17 7:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
Mike will try to buy any election, between him and soros they lost everyone. Tried to buy the national election, but didn't succeed.
Alex stay in there, it's the citizens voting...
By knitter (1604), Southampton on May 9, 17 5:37 PM
I support the transfer of the road.

$2.25 billion would be a fair price.

Mike should have whip-round of the members at lunch some day and this whole controversy can be put to bed.
By highhatsize (3886), East Quogue on May 9, 17 6:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Mikey, cheaper to make bridges like Augusta. Pickett bridge, Bloomberg bridge and a Jay bridge. Heard greagor wants to widen the road, side walks and rest stop with a view...
By knitter (1604), Southampton on May 12, 17 8:15 AM
Close the road during the PGA Event. Leave it open to the public the rest of the time. Who the hell does Michael Bloomberg think he is? His house is just down the road and VERY secluded - he has a vested interest in keeping his road even MORE private - so he is no disinterested party - right? Whatever in the world does money for the hospital have to do with the road the club would prefer to build - is it quid pro quo? Whole issue prevents one of the most spectacular bike rides from being open ...more
By Vikki K (487), Southampton on May 12, 17 10:29 PM
Tuckahoe homeowners already underwrite the golf courses to the tune of millions each year. We are taxed as if on January 1st of each year someone was standing at the end of our driveways with unlimited cash to buy our homes. I understand the golf courses are allowed to operate as not-for-profits like the NFL. In fact their property taxes are paid on a small fraction of their land's actual market value. While Bloomberg is willing to put his "face" on this deplorable land grab from the public, they ...more
By TheTurtle (138), Southampton on May 13, 17 6:57 AM
I've been driving that road and taking some pictures. It's a goner. Mikey doesn't ask for anything twice without getting it.
By even flow (808), East Hampton on May 13, 17 7:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
Is there a legal way for a sitting Town Board to sell one of OUR roads?
By bigfresh (4050), north sea on May 13, 17 7:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
The sense of entitlement insults me. The chutzpah is galling. Because they have money, the rich not only believe they can buy anything but begin to believe they are entitled to buy anything they want. The people have been loud and clear in saying "no" but the golfers think they can wear them down or buy them off.
Even though it's not totally apropos, I'm reminded of a poem. I forget the author's name. It was written before the enactment of child labor laws. But it does show the same lack of ...more
By baywoman (162), southampton on May 13, 17 9:26 AM
2 members liked this comment