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Story - News

Jun 19, 2018 4:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Residents Come Out In Support Of Rose Hill Deal

Captain Jamie Hummel said he supports the changes made on a Southampton Town Trustee-owned property on Rose Hill Road in Water Mill. GREG WEHNER
Jun 20, 2018 10:36 AM

The consensus of those who have spoken up previously about a controversial deal between the Southampton Town Trustees and a homeowner on Rose Hill Road in Water Mill, allowing him to encroach onto the property in exchange for maintaining it, was that it was a bad deal.

But that all changed at a board meeting Monday night, when members of the public supporting the project spoke up.

One bayman, Captain Jamie Hummel of Hampton Bays, told the five-member Board of Trustees that he appreciated all the work they do, including working with the Water Mill homeowner to maintain a boat ramp that the board cannot afford to keep up on its own.

“If the guy improves the ramp and makes it really good, I don’t care—let it happen,” Mr. Hummel said. “I mean, we launch real boats there, not little rowboats, you know, and we need to be able to get in and out of there. As a launching ramp, it’s important. It’s one of the few access points for the bay there, and it’s the only way we can get in and out.”

On the northern edge of the bay and located near the end of Rose Hill Road is a Trustee-owned property known as Hayground Cove, a 0.61-acre property with a boat ramp. The property was recently obtained by the Trustees from Southampton Town in a land swap for a parcel near the traffic circle in Riverside, and the intent was to create a town park.

After obtaining the property, concerns grew over the cost of maintenance and the Trustees’ inability to staff a park. So they inked a 15-year agreement with the adjacent homeowner, Randy Frankel, handing over the day-to-day responsibilities of the parcel. In exchange, Mr. Frankel agreed to dredge the boat ramp, which fills with sand regularly, and to plow the snow, pave the driveway and parking area, and care for the landscape.

Mr. Frankel was permitted to move a line of trees down the middle of the Trustees’ property and utilize nearly a quarter of an acre to set up a circular driveway.

Once the deal became public, at a number of Trustee meetings members of the public have spoken out against it, calling on the Trustees to find a way to get out of the deal. But on Monday—a night meeting called specifically to discuss the Water Mill deal—in addition to those who have criticized the deal in the past, the Trustees found some support.

“I don’t really like these agreements as a whole, but I understand why it was done,” Mr. Hummel said. “Everybody voted for it, so they must have saw something there they like, and we know they wanted the money to do their projects in this town that will benefit everyone in the town, not just one homeowner in Water Mill.”

Nearly a half dozen other residents spoke in favor of the agreement, including Ann Thomas of North Sea, who said the project should be given a chance to succeed or fail instead of “being played out like mud wrestling.”

But some people in the room questioned why supporters had suddenly appeared for the special meeting.

“This stinks from the beginning to the end,” said former Trustee Fred Havemeyer, who has spoken out against the deal. “I think it’s very revealing that we all came here tonight to discuss this issue and, hopefully, make some headway. Instead, what are we faced with? A pushback from the other side.”

One Trustee suggested privately that the Republican Trustees had sent an email to party members, encouraging them to attend the meeting in support. After the meeting, Trustee Scott Horowitz, when asked if the room was stacked in favor of the deal, walked away without commenting.

Mr. Havemeyer told the board members they committed a crime by allowing the homeowner to encroach onto the property, which belongs to the people of Southampton.

“Let’s cut through all of the BS and let’s solve this problem,” Mr. Havemeyer said. “Get rid of this in 36 hours with one payloader and one bulldozer, put it back the way it was, and allow the people to enjoy the property that is theirs.”

Trustee President Ed Warner was largely silent during the hearing, because legal action has been threatened against the board as a result of the agreement. He said as soon as he has a plan, he will present it to the public.

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just change the law so this can't happen again without public notice.what's done is done and let it play out.mr hummel has a conflict of interest since he profits from the bay.
By BrianWilliams (87), on Jun 19, 18 7:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Instead of using a grant for personal gain, a picnic grove would have been nice.
By Mr. Z (11550), North Sea on Jun 19, 18 8:47 PM
6 speakers out of how many Greg?! The vast majority who attended the meeting realize that this deal is a scam .
By bigfresh (4537), north sea on Jun 20, 18 6:28 AM
3 members liked this comment
It's obvious this is going to stick . What else is obvious is that this is going to be a stain in the next election .
By AndersEn (173), Southampton on Jun 20, 18 8:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
How much do you want to bet that most of the people that spoke up in favor of the Rose Hill land give away are plants that are either politically connected to Horowitz, Warner and Stafford or buddies of Horowitz, Warner and Stafford given a script to read to take the heat off of the trustees?
By Gillnetter (105), Hampton Bays on Jun 20, 18 9:07 AM
2 members liked this comment
What would possibly make you think that? The political endorsements seemed so natural. NOT!
By rv (36), watermill on Jun 20, 18 9:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
Odd and totally misleading headline. Really disappointing.p and inaccurate.
By rv (36), watermill on Jun 20, 18 9:33 AM
4 members liked this comment
The “candidate” that spoke read a script that could have been written by the troika themselves. Why no mention of Stanford being a snarky tool to some of the folks there? Damn near fake newsGreg
By bigfresh (4537), north sea on Jun 20, 18 10:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Local247 (36), Southampton on Jun 20, 18 11:17 AM
What a terrible account of what went on at this meeting, yet again - if you're going to attend to cover the story, DO IT, don't take the story one of the trustees would have thrown at you. This is not the first time, and will not be the last that a story like this is rushed out to confuse the community even more. The people the spoke out in favor of what happened clearly had been invited to attend, to throw off the painstaking hours spent in the past few months fighting this preposterous situation. ...more
By raywellen (2), Water Mill on Jun 20, 18 12:21 PM
3 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By knitter (1850), Southampton on Jun 20, 18 12:51 PM
Where was the SABA president? This issue is all about ACCESS
By bigfresh (4537), north sea on Jun 20, 18 1:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
Over 400 people have now signed the petition calling for returning this property to the Town residents. This deal was done without a public hearing, without discussion at the WMCAC, without proper public notice. The public has called for the Town to restore the boat ramp to its fully open and accessible condition. WMCAC has called for full and transparent disclosure of how this agreement came to be.
By WMCAC Member (5), Water Mill on Jun 20, 18 1:45 PM
3 members liked this comment
The 'candidate' that spoke is a Republican stooge. Ive been told that the Ann Thomas quoted in the story is on the executive board of the Southampton republican party. This is the party of Werner, Horowitz and Strafford. The entire meeting was a farce set up to make it look like the Trustees giving away our lands was a good thing. It is not. The Board of Trustees needs to be disbanded and the Town Board should be responsible for our access.
By CleanWaters (79), Southampton on Jun 20, 18 2:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
We need Democrats controlling our boards to protect and preserve our precious environment.
By CleanWaters (79), Southampton on Jun 20, 18 2:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
Cleanwaters, on a national level we have Scott Pruitt protecting our waters and environment. That should make you sleep better.
By Fred s (3004), Southampton on Jun 20, 18 4:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
Vote out those Trustees who you disagree with Cleanwaters, the Board as an entity is crucial to keeping what access we do have.
By bigfresh (4537), north sea on Jun 20, 18 4:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Cleanwaters Democrats need control?? If memory serves me the Rose Hill ramp deal was voted on in favor unanimously?? Trustees should be about electing good people from our town regardless of political party! Funny also how people are telling others in town to mind there business if not from water Mill. Now you know how East Quogue felt with everyone chiming in about the Hills golf coarse.
By Say What (14), southampton on Jun 21, 18 5:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
https://youtu.be/NPtoXgdPl1A
YouTube link to the meeting, interpret the situation for yourself.
By raywellen (2), Water Mill on Jun 21, 18 6:47 AM
Horowitz, Warner and Stafford are republicans and conservatives that control the trustees. Bill Pell is not a true democrat, he is another one of these independence party interlopers like Alex Gregor, Jay Schniderman and Anna Throne Holst that use our Democrat party for personal gain. As for Ann Welker I can forgive her mistake as being new to the position and subjected to the white male privilege and patriarchal dominance of these horrific Trustees on her first days on the job.
By CleanWaters (79), Southampton on Jun 21, 18 8:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
Again all trustees voted yes! Welker recused herself from the budget adoption because she was new and didn't have the info needed. Why not on this? Again good people are needed regardless of political affiliation
By Say What (14), southampton on Jun 21, 18 9:01 AM
Ann is in deep water and the tide is rising, in over her head. Seems like the rest of them don't get it? Time to clean the swamp...
By knitter (1850), Southampton on Jun 21, 18 9:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
You're just snarky and bitter. She is not.
By even flow (939), East Hampton on Jun 21, 18 12:57 PM
Ann is not in over her head, smart knowledgeable woman. She learned a valuable lesson with this whole fiasco.That whole drain the swamp line is old and tired. For years we’ve had baymen sitting on the trustees board, if that’s not a slight conflict of interest I don’t know what is. I’m sure they all take the position seriously, but they screwed this decision up. Time for people with some kind of science background to lead, not people who know where clams are.
By Fred s (3004), Southampton on Jun 21, 18 12:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
I agree that Ann is a smart lady and will do well representing us as a Trustee. Having a bayman on the Board is not a bad thing , first hand knowledge is priceless and in no way a conflict of interest. Your elitist attitude is indicative of a typical East End liberal.
By bigfresh (4537), north sea on Jun 21, 18 12:55 PM
Bigfresh, that’s the reply I expect from you. It was fine when are bays and ponds were in pristine condition. Now with pollution and algae blooms in every body of water, the same old is not helping. I know baymen have knowledge of the bays, it’s not helping trying to figure out how to stem the tide. Further more, elitist liberal? Get a grip on yourself. I’m the least elitist person out here, because I have a difference of opinion, I’m evil. Stick to your guns, your comical.
By Fred s (3004), Southampton on Jun 21, 18 1:35 PM
The issue with Mecox Bay stems from the Trustee's inability to open the cut at will . The same old , same old worked well before the DEC got involved and certain Trustees presently on the Board gave them authority they don't actually have. Let me explain, there is a NY State law from the late 1800's giving the Trustees the right to open the cut at their discretion , the cut was opened when needed , there's that pesky bayman knowledge again, now they go hat in hand and damn near beg for a permit, ...more
By bigfresh (4537), north sea on Jun 21, 18 4:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
I strongly agree with bigfresh that the Board of Trustees as an entity is crucial to keeping access to east end waterways! I also agree that the Trustees functioned much better when they were allowed to work independently, before the lawsuits from Westhampton Dunes et al. The Dongan Patent is essential to keeping the East End ecologically intact. Public access to waterways is more important than ever, with "temporary" emergency erosion control turning centuries old dunes into bluffs that drop ...more
By Aeshtron (385), Southampton on Jun 21, 18 5:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
Well stated!
By bigfresh (4537), north sea on Jun 21, 18 5:07 PM
I wasn’t arguing that baymen don’t know anything. It’s that so much has changed in the last 20 yrs . Mecox is now ringed with houses , all the creeks are ringed with houses. The whole drainage system in the bay is altered. When I was a kid Bill Bennett was the only guy digging soft shell clams in mecox. He’d bring them back to his shop and filter them for sale. I see baymen out in mecox in the winter clamming, it’s a very hard job. The way everything out here is changing, ...more
By Fred s (3004), Southampton on Jun 21, 18 6:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
What happened to the money given to the TRUSTees for the dredging the national inlet???
By knitter (1850), Southampton on Jun 22, 18 11:15 AM
What happened to the money given to the TRUSTees for the dredging the national inlet???
By knitter (1850), Southampton on Jun 22, 18 5:34 PM
That's the 12 thousand dollar question
By bigfresh (4537), north sea on Jun 24, 18 9:22 AM
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