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May 22, 2018 11:10 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Former Trustee Tells Southampton Town Trustees To Change Leadership Roles

Bill Pell demanded a walk on resolution to switch the June 4 Southampton Town Trustee meeting to a night meeting. GREG WEHNER
May 22, 2018 12:51 PM

A former Southampton Town Trustee told the current Board of Trustees members at Monday afternoon’s meeting that they should reconstitute the leadership structure of the group—because the public cannot trust them.

Former Trustee Fred Havemeyer told the Trustees that they were not functioning well as a board, and that the public’s trust was compromised when they allowed a homeowner to move onto one of the properties they own in Water Mill.

“This board cannot continue the way it is,” Mr. Havemeyer told the Trustees. “The captain has run the ship aground, the rats are jumping off it, and there has to be change.”

Mr. Havemeyer’s comments were in response to the ongoing controversy surrounding a town-owned property on Rose Hill Road, where the trustees entered into a 15-year contract with an adjacent property owner that allowed him to take over a part of the parcel to build a circular driveway in exchange for him maintaining the Trustee-owned property.

Nearly a dozen residents attended the Monday meeting, which began with Trustee Bill Pell calling on his fellow board members to hold a night meeting in June to allow more people to attend and speak out about the Rose Hill project.

Mr. Pell—who voted for the agreement on Rose Hill Road, though he later agreed with critics—demanded a walk-on resolution to switch the June 4 meeting from an afternoon meeting to an evening meeting. His motion was seconded by Trustee Ann Welker—who similarly voted in favor of the agreement but expressed regrets later. But Assistant Town Attorney Martha Reichert told the Trustees she could not present such a resolution at the meeting, because it would take time to prepare.

The board eventually took a 10-minute recess to discuss the resolution and, afterward, presented a resolution to hold its June 18 meeting at 6 p.m. instead of 1 p.m.

After Mr. Havemeyer told the board to reconstitute itself, he suggested Mr. Pell be the president and Ms. Welker be secretary-treasurer. Mr. Pell himself, before the debate over the evening meeting, told those in attendance that the board was “defunct.”

Ed Warner Jr., the current president of the Board of Trustees, pointed out that the vote on the Rose Hill Road agreement had been unanimous, and that each member had vetted it.

“Each and every individual on this board had the same amount of power as I did to say yes or no, and we all said yes,” he said.

Still, Mr. Warner admitted that he felt responsible for what happened at Rose Hill, because he was the leader. “In the spirit of what we were doing, we never thought it was going to turn out like this,” he said.

He added, “We’ve taken a step back, looked at the situation, and are trying to resolve it fairly and accurately for everybody.”

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To quote from the end of the article:
___________________________________________________

"Still, Mr. Warner admitted that he felt responsible for what happened at Rose Hill because he was the leader.

“ 'In the spirit of what we were doing, we never thought it was going to turn out like this,” Mr. Warner said. “We’ve taken a step back, looked at the situation, and are trying to resolve it fairly and accurately for everybody.' "
___________________________________________________
[end ...more
By PBR (4872), Southampton on May 22, 18 11:45 AM
... didn't an attorney look at this deal beforehand?
By William Rodney (499), southampton on May 22, 18 12:50 PM
Drain the marsh.
By Pacman (155), Southampton on May 22, 18 1:13 PM
2 members liked this comment
I believe the Trustees all saw this as a 15 yr compromise to guarantee that freeholders would have well maintained access to the water with little cost. I also understand how some feel that the land shouldn't have been given away.

Who benefits more, the dozens (more? less?) of residents who get continued, well maintained access to the water (is that not the job of the Trustees?) or the homeowner who gets slightly more room but is stuck with the bill for continued dredging and maintenance ...more
By shocean (15), Southampton on May 22, 18 2:05 PM
How much does property go for on mecox? The homeowner is stuck with maintenance? That’s a stretch.
By Fred s (541), Southampton on May 22, 18 2:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just to add, we already had access .
By Fred s (541), Southampton on May 22, 18 2:16 PM
It's nice that you want to change it over to a night meeting , but why ? To hear us all complain about this situation ? How about instead of all of that , you tell us what you are doing to correct the problem .... You will have had plenty of time to come up with a solid course of action by then .
By AndersEn (156), Southampton on May 22, 18 2:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Southampton Folly... Suffolk DA should call the ASSistant Town LAWyer...
By knitter (1352), Southampton on May 22, 18 3:52 PM
Southampton Folly... Suffolk DA should call the ASSistant Town LAWyer...
By knitter (1352), Southampton on May 22, 18 3:52 PM
Is seems that whatever "attorney" gave the green light to this scam either is incompetent and should be fired immediately or was in on the deal from the start and should be fired immediately. Adverse possession may be claimed after 7 years, why a 15 year deal? Has the property been surveyed after the landscaping and driveway were installed on OUR property? Are there provisions in the contract that impose penalties or return of our property if the homeowner fails to live up to his end of the deal? ...more
By bigfresh (3609), north sea on May 22, 18 5:43 PM
The board and more importantly Tim Maran have acknowledged that it is know that the homeowner is over encroaching. As I have stated previously almost all, if not all, of the hedge and tree privacy barrier is on trustee land. This over encroachment is ~1432 sq. ft. or an 20-25% over encroachment of what was agreed upon. The board is supposed to present a "modified" site plan at the June 18th meeting. At the VERY least, the homeowner should be forced to stay within the agreed upon encroachment. This ...more
By longtimelocal (32), Southampton on May 22, 18 7:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
Did the Town Conservation Board give an approval for all of the landscaping, it appears to be in their jurisdiction ?
By Ziggyq (6), Quogue on May 23, 18 9:37 AM
Trustees have admitted they failed / made a mistake

Time to look at voiding the agreement thru both law and equity

The equitable argument of unclean hands - fraudulent and/ or bad contract - void contract on this equitable agreement

It is a clear fact apparently that the build out exceeded the scope of the agreement - this is a default under the agreement - void the contract

The promise of dredging every 6 months is a false promise - permits will take much ...more
By Rem1618 (9), Remsenburg on May 23, 18 10:00 AM
All valid points Rem, however it remains to be seen if there are provisions in the contract that mention default, questionable since there are a right of first refusal clause which doesn't apply to public property and the 15 year time frame which allows for a claim of adverse possession after 7 years. Has the FOIL request come through yet? Seeing the contract will answer some of these questions. As to the political contributions , the Conservative Party in Brookhaven is the power broker when it ...more
By bigfresh (3609), north sea on May 24, 18 5:52 AM
Thank you for the evening meeting! See you June 18 at 6pm
By toes in the water (656), southampton on May 24, 18 7:05 AM
The voters are to blame. You local dolts insist on asking boys to do a mans job. When you elevate someone to the job of trustee because they are on their boat a lot, you get what you have now. Don’t blame them, look at your own dopey habits of electing numbskulls who mean well
By SlimeAlive (906), Southampton on May 24, 18 7:26 AM
Who wrote the agreement for the TRUSTees to sign??? No government agency was involved. Conservation was not notified. No survey?
Who is running the ship? Total stupidity or corruption...
By knitter (1352), Southampton on May 24, 18 11:49 AM
who sells seashells by the seashore?
By even flow (718), East Hampton on May 24, 18 5:18 PM
Another question that needs to be answered.
By bigfresh (3609), north sea on May 24, 18 5:54 PM
southamptons, jewelry, hamptons