Free Village Hall - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1784721

Free Village Hall

In 2005, a new mayor helped by three cronies passed bad local laws, embedded corruption in village government and silenced voices of opposition. The residents of Southampton Village are paying for the greedy foursome to this day.

Paul Robinson, then a trustee and Epley buddy, lacked the legal right to cast the decisive vote for the draconian new zoning code. His eight village properties were immediately enhanced in value by his vote.

How often have I told you that the zoning code also was illegal because (1) it was the subject of a vote in a meeting not covered by any minutes; (2) it had not been subjected to a SEQRA review, required by New York State law; (3) it violated the Comprehensive Plan of May 2000, although zoning is mandated by law to implement the latest Comprehensive Plan.

Then Mayor Mark Epley immediately stuffed the three village regulatory boards with his cronies who would have erected the Taj Mahal on Main Street if he had asked him to.

The two lawyers, paid by village taxes but committed to then Mayor Epley, immediately wrote restrictive new laws that gave only four immediate neighbors of an applicant a bare 10 days to organize opposition. Furthermore, the chairs of the three regulatory boards limited opponents to three minutes for voicing their protest, while allowing unlimited time to the applicants and their strident hired guns.

Then Assistant Village Attorney Elbert W. Robinson Jr. misled the three boards into believing that they had to grant each application, because the zoning code alllowed it. He emasculated the regulatory boards, who alone have the power and discretion to grant applications.

On June 18, the residents of our village will be heard once again: Whom will we trust to get rid of the corruption that still infects our regulatory boards and our Building Department: Michael Irving, who sold out dozens village residents to approve the greedy Paul Robinson subdivision applications for Little Plains and 245 Old Town Road? Past performance is the best predictor of the future! Michael also kept Epley cronies on the three regulatory boards, often guaranteeing their tenure well into the mayorality of his successor.

Or, Jesse Warren, who has promised to implement the voice of village residents in a new, long-delayed Comprehensive Plan? Unlike Mayor Epley, Mayor Jesse will implement the voice of the people in a new zoning code. He repopulated the three regulatory boards, not realizing that procedural obstacles made it impossible for new brooms to sweep clean. Let’s give him the time to get rid of the bad practices still Eembedded in our government.

Evelyn Konrad

Attorney at law