Hampton Bays has no local government — we are not an incorporated village — so we must rely on community groups to advocate for the hamlet of Hampton Bays.
The Hampton Bays Civic Association, one would think, would be such a community group. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The organization as it now appears has become more interested in perpetuating its leadership than being an advocacy group for the community. The HBCA, it seems, has unfortunately become confused about its mission.
This was very evident in the HBCA meeting held on Monday, November 28 [“Members Only Meeting Sparks Tumult in Hampton Bays,” 27east.com, November 30]. It was supposed to be election night, and the leadership was intent in controlling the results. The election really was not an election: There was but one candidate per open position, so the outcome was never in doubt.
The HBCA enlisted the help of the Town of Southampton government. The Town Police were deployed and were used to enforce a members-only rule for admittance. Many residents were intimidated; some who left should have been admitted.
Shouldn’t the HBCA want as much resident participation as possible at its meetings? Never mind that no one could ever remember a members-only meeting, and that the HBCA seemed not to be following its own bylaws. The leadership wasn’t taking any chances that a democratic process might prevail at the meeting.
All some hope for was to get some new members on the board to nudge the HBCA to be more focused on Hampton Bays issues and become more of an advocate for the hamlet. A candidate must be vetted by a nominating committee, and none of us made it that far.
This effort was put down with paranoid efficiency. The Town of Southampton, it appears, supplied the enforcement element to accomplish that effort. The Chinese Communist Party would blush with pride at their efforts.
The big loser of the evening was the hamlet of Hampton Bays. Many issues which need to be address now will not be given the attention they require. Some of these issues are new sidewalks, the Bel-Aire Cove property, private road maintenance, effective code enforcement, protecting our beautiful Good Ground Park from developers, and, of course, our high rate of property taxation.
The other big issue that needs to be addressed is government structural reform for our town. I will have more on that later.
It was a terrible night for our community in many ways. Those who perpetrated this outrage should be ashamed of themselves.
Pro bono publico.
One fine body…