Citizen Involvement - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2231570

Citizen Involvement

I was encouraged to see Tisha Collette’s willingness to get involved with potentially amending or streamlining Southampton Village’s code and approval process regarding signage [“Proactive Solution,” Letters, February 8]. This sort of participation by citizens and business owners is exactly what keeps any village vibrant and improving.

Of course, there is already a committee tasked with these sorts of things, the Architectural Review and Historic Preservation Board, and Ms. Collette and others should consider approaching that board to undertake the review she proposes, or to establish a task force. She may also approach the trustees if she prefers.

In villages with vibrant and engaged chambers of commerce, the chamber often has a municipal affairs committee for just this type of engagement, and it come with the gravitas of the entire business community, not merely someone who is ticked off at being cited. Businesses and, indeed, all of Southampton Village would benefit from a more visible and engaged chamber of commerce.

Ms. Collette correctly states that the code (116-13-H) encourages muted colors; considering that history is rife with citations of gold’s showiness, it is hard for me to consider it a muted earth tone, but that’s for the ARB to determine.

The code Ms. Collette does not cite is the most relevant, namely, 116-13-C(3): “The awning graphics shall indicate only the name, type of business and/or address of the enterprise or premises.” This directs that words are the only acceptable graphics on an awning. Logos like those on Ms. Collette’s awnings are not permitted.

Also: “The lettering shall be on the bib of the awning only and shall be a single line of lettering not exceeding 6 inches in height.” Placement of graphics on the main panel, as Ms. Collette has done, is not permitted.

Several awnings in the village run afoul of one or both of these provisions. While some may be grandfathered, I suspect many are illegal, and collectively they detract from the look and feel of the village. I hope our code enforcement team works to identify and correct them.

I can’t speak for Walter Deane, whom Ms. Collette accuses of being a surrogate for Bill Manger [“Wrong Approach,” Letters, February 1], but, with the possible exception of our previous mayor, every holder of that office I have had the privilege to know has had much better things to do with his time than to ask others to reply to unfounded, ad hominem attacks in The Press.

It seems more likely to me that Mr. Deane was doing what thoughtful citizens do in such circumstances, and that is to speak up. That’s certainly what I am doing — and, no, Mr. Manger did not ask me to write this.

Rob Coburn

Southampton Village