Focused On Village - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1779781

Focused On Village

Recent political ads and letters in this paper misrepresent the facts about the letter I sent in support of Bay Street Theater and the National Grid lot. I’d like to set the record straight.

In November 2019, National Grid told the village it was time for them to divest the old gas ball lot on Long Island Avenue in the financial interests of their shareholders. The sale price was estimated to be between $4 million and $6 million.

Given that the village had just bonded over $4 million for Long Wharf, it would have been irresponsible and most likely impossible for the village to purchase the property at that time.

In late July — before the existence of Friends of Bay Street, which was incorporated on August 20 — Tracy Mitchell, executive director of Bay Street Theatre, asked me to write a letter, as mayor, to National Grid in support of Bay Street’s bid. The letter was never hidden. It was signed and sent on June 29.

In October, Friends of Bay Street bought the 7-Eleven property. Ever since, Jim Larocca has repeatedly suggested that the National Grid lot would be a better site for a new theater — thus supporting my letter.

National Grid decided to do a long-term lease for the property. At this point the village felt it could put together a long-term bid for the property.

However, Trustee Larocca petitioned the board to postpone bidding so he could reach out to the president of National Grid to try to work out a deal for the village. After weeks of delay, he wrote to the board: “We are not going to have an outcome from National Grid prez in time for tomorrow’s meeting.”

On March 1, the Board of Trustees voted in executive session to place a bid on the property. At the end of March, National Grid awarded the property to Friends of Bay Street.

Jim Larocca claims that as mayor he will reopen negotiations for the lot. His attempt to reach out to the president of National Grid before the trustees made a bid was unsuccessful. It’s therefore questionable that he will be more successful now.

And his suggestion that it was my letter on behalf of Bay Street that is the reason the village lost the lot is disingenuous at best.

I would prefer to ignore the noise and instead remain focused on the issues that will help protect Sag Harbor and our quality of life.

The former mayor [“Who’s Side Are You On?” Letters, May 13] and the trustee’s accusations that I intentionally and secretly “threw the deal” and somehow disadvantaged the village are unfair, wrong and misleading. My interests have always been and remain entirely focused on the village’s behalf.

Kathleen Mulcahy


Village of Sag Harbor