At Odds With Facts - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1999830

At Odds With Facts

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding in the air. Some of the narrative that is circulating is at odds with the facts and the history of this matter [“Gold Stars And Dunce Caps,” Editorial, July 14].

Susan Mead initially served on the Zoning Board of Appeals to a term extending through 2018, and then to a term extending through 2023, but resigned her position on July 13, 2021, when Val Florio was appointed chair.

I later called on her to step in as chair after Val resigned at the end of 2021. She agreed, and this was accomplished on January 11, 2022, at a duly noticed and convened regular monthly meeting of the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees, when Susan was appointed as ZBA chair in a term extending through July 2022. This formal resolution (No. 3 of January 2022) by which Susan was appointed as both chair and member of the ZBA specifically provided that “this term will expire July 2022.”

Then, at our statutory annual organizational meeting on July 5, the trustees unanimously ratified my recommendation of Jeanne Kane to succeed Susan, as they did all of the actions described above.

I discussed this rotation of the chair with Susan. Susan was not abruptly removed from her position, as you charge. Rather, she was simply not appointed to a new term as either chairman or member.

You are correct that there is a process for removing board members and chairs for cause — but that is not this case. Susan was not removed from her position, and certainly she was not removed for cause; rather, the term to which she was appointed in January 2022 expired per the appointing resolution. The question I faced was not one of removal, but rather of reappointment.

I fully believe in transparency in government, but it is well established that there are special considerations in personnel matters that require discretion. I am confident we made the right call under all the circumstances, and Jeanne’s fresh leadership will improve the work of arguably the most demanding of our four regulatory boards. I cannot really speak further about the details.

Some of your comments and the intensity of your language suggests to me that you may have been given an incomplete or inaccurate picture of the actual circumstances. I am sorry if that is the case, but I cannot go further than what I have shared here.

Jim Larocca


Sag Harbor Village