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Nov 13, 2012 4:20 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Cops Called To Westhampton Beach Village Hall After Bakery Owner Refuses To Leave Without Permits

Nov 14, 2012 1:00 PM

Westhampton Beach Village Police were called to Village Hall on Friday afternoon to escort Beach Bakery owner Simon Jorna from the building when he refused to leave after being told that his demolition and building permits—documents needed to begin renovating his Main Street eatery—were still not ready.

Westhampton Beach Building and Zoning Administrator Paul Houlihan said he called Police Chief Ray Dean to the building department a few minutes after 4 p.m. Friday when Mr. Jorna refused to leave the office, which closed for the day at 4 p.m., after being told that his permits were not finalized. No charges were filed.

Village Board members signed off on Mr. Jorna’s site plan last month, years after he submitted his first set of renovations plans that have been modified many times since. He hopes to start the work this fall and reopen by Memorial Day.

On Tuesday, Mr. Houlihan explained that he could not immediately authorize the permits because he still needs to process paperwork that Mr. Jorna only submitted to his office early last week. “It is just another case of his nonsense and I am sick of it,” Mr. Houlihan said.

According to Mr. Jorna, he submitted the required paperwork—final signatures on documents, including those of a neighboring business—on Monday, November 5, and he is insisting that there is no valid reason for the village not authorizing the permits by the end of last week. Mr. Jorna said Mr. Houlihan is holding up the process and delaying when ground can be broken on the bakery’s expansion project.

“It is pure bureaucratic bull----,” Mr. Jorna said in an interview this week. “It is just obnoxious behavior from Paul Houlihan.”

Mr. Houlihan said he has no reason to delay the process. He confirmed that Mr. Jorna submitted the paperwork last Monday and it had to be sent to the village attorney, Richard Haefeli, for a final review. Because the village office was closed last Tuesday for Election Day, the documents were returned to Mr. Houlihan late last Wednesday once they were approved by Mr. Haefeli. Mr. Houlihan said he did not have time between then and last Friday to review the documents, noting that he has been tied up completing inspections along Dune Road following Superstorm Sandy, work that, he said, will allow the Long Island Power Authority to reenergize homes there.

Mr. Houlihan added that he is aware of Mr. Jorna’s time constraints, and that he expects to authorize the permits by next week, provided that all the documentation is correct. He said he called police only because Mr. Jorna refused to leave his office.

Mr. Dean said Mr. Jorna left the building without incident. A police report was not filed.

“I was called at the request of the building inspector because [Mr. Jorna] was refusing to leave the building,” Mr. Dean said. “He left and that was it—nothing earth-shattering.”

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Just an observation from me observing local politics and local government over the last six years......THEY ARE THE PROBLEM....the bureaucratic bull----,” that goes on at every level is just obnoxious behavior and it HURTS the local economy in a significant way....the piles of paper work that eventually passes but just sits in a pile on a desk for WAY TO LONG . The bureaucratic bull----,” that goes on at EVERY level of government is killing the towns, counties,states ,and country.....There ...more
By twc24 (3), Westhampton on Nov 14, 12 1:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
On the other side of the coin Simon is not exactly a people person
By 5-0 (44), Montauk Point on Nov 14, 12 2:59 PM
To 5-0
I must disagree... I've been dealing with Simon for years and he's always been courteous and friendly. I will say this, I deal with a lot of Europeans. Many times people mistake their interpretation of the english language as rude or off-putting. Simon is straightforward and respectful... Look at the crowds at his place in the summer. He picked the wrong business if he didnt want to be around people.
By Soundview (89), Hampton bays on Nov 15, 12 10:04 AM
I just get peeved when he flags other countries flags higher than the US flag....he had remedied this last September but he has certainly done it many times before!
By Hambone (497), New York on Nov 15, 12 2:28 PM
Same here in EH..power trippping planning boards and lengthy processing costs everyone more time and money. Its is such BS..
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on Nov 15, 12 2:54 PM
In my experience singing with the Bobby Nathan Band as a guest performer, he's been nothing but courteous, kind, funny and a down to earth dude.
By Allergic2Stupidity (77), Riverhead on Nov 15, 12 5:23 PM
"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely"
Lord Acton
By loading... (547), quiogue on Nov 14, 12 1:55 PM
Govt asks us to play by the rules, then makes the rules too ridiculous and time consuming, so not playing by the rules becomes the better choice.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 14, 12 3:07 PM
> Mr. Dean said Mr. Jorna left the building without incident.

Wouldn't that be "Chief Dean?"
By Frank Wheeler (1790), Northampton on Nov 14, 12 3:10 PM
Looking forward to a new bakery coming to town.
By Steven (113), Westhampton on Nov 14, 12 3:21 PM
"Mr. Houlihan said he has no reason to delay the process."

Except for his ego.
By VOS (1089), WHB on Nov 14, 12 11:06 PM
Seems Mr. Jorna got a taste of a long line and middling service. Now he might know how the people feel on the other side of his counter. Will Chief Dean remove all the people in front of me at the Bakery?
By Hambone (497), New York on Nov 14, 12 11:14 PM
It seems to me that the town should be enabling business not hurting it.
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on Nov 15, 12 8:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
Exactly. Understanding the storm has delayed a lot of things, this is a local business so why couldn't he take an hour (what happens after 4:00 opm?) to review them. This is one of the most frustrating things about government on the local level - I expect the state and feds to be nameless but I expect my local govt to help (many of us are neighbors).
By zaz (194), East Hampton on Nov 15, 12 4:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
He was the most hated building inspector in Southampton Town making people wait 8 weeks for a building permit. He went on his own expeditions of trying to close restaurants and bars in Hampton Bays now he is doing the same nonsense in WHB. The bakery application was approved by the board couldn't he spend one hr and approve it? He knows Mr Journa has a limited window to get his project finished before the summer. This building inspector is the poster boy of a no rush no urgency municipal worker.
By chief1 (2452), southampton on Nov 15, 12 9:13 AM
1 member liked this comment
In my last run in with a vaunted town official (not Houlihan but still part of that ilk), they stopped me when I was getting my mail and threatened to write me up for violations because a bush had overgrown the fire hydrant. It had but it wasn't egregious nor was it unexpected given that ti was a wet spring. I was greatly taken aback by his hostility and threat to fine me. I countered that I did not own the land nor the bush. My property line was further back. it wasn't as if there was an easement ...more
By Hambone (497), New York on Nov 15, 12 9:40 AM
So how can you blame Simon when you've experienced the same thing?
By Allergic2Stupidity (77), Riverhead on Nov 15, 12 5:25 PM
You're contradicting yourself, hambone
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Nov 15, 12 6:41 PM
Not at all. Different day, different post. Additionally, the thoughts are not mutually exclusive. If you note my comment on Mr. Jorna it was more about the mayhem on the customer side of the counter rather than the poor young ladies and men who deal with that throng. As for my SH experience it was not Mr. Houlihan but indicative that the mentality is pervasive. I consider it to be like a security guard...you know he is an authority figure because he has one of those long flashllights filled ...more
By Hambone (497), New York on Nov 16, 12 12:05 PM
Good Luck to Simon on his expansion of his business, He has been in business in this village for a long time, he does a great job , With his tanacity and vision he can now do what he planned to do. Support our local Main St,
By Shock (40), on Nov 16, 12 11:53 AM
It would be great if Main Street got a restaurant or coffee shop that served healthy food. Cake and cookies are really fattening and a lousy source of nutrition, as is ice cream. I wish there were more choices.
By Steven (113), Westhampton on Nov 18, 12 3:28 AM
So start a biz if you think there is a market. Personally, knowing a little about human nature I'd bet you'd sell 15 donuts for every celery stick. But give it a go, Steven. Nobody is stopping you.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Nov 20, 12 7:54 PM
Steve, you can look to the negative or look to enjoy the healthy choices, that our village has to offer Simon is a bakery, there are choices you can make when you are there, my ice cream shop has many variety of sugar free ice creams and toppings I , give my customers many choices that they are very happy to have in this village we carry no fat frozen soft serve yogurt with very few calories per serving, Shop Locally this Holiday Season !!!!,
By Shock (40), on Nov 18, 12 12:19 PM
It is time to dump these arrogant stupid officials with their passive aggressive behavior. Not all towns are like this go to Southampton village or Quoque village, and they are more than happy to help you. As for Paul Houlihan he could care less what your problems are, and the best part is you have to support him for life for his lousy job.
By chief1 (2452), southampton on Nov 19, 12 4:17 PM
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