Thanks, Jesse - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1831737

Thanks, Jesse

Congratulations and big thanks to Mayor Jesse Warren for his patient implementation of a long-term strategy to save the iconic brick courtyard on historic Jobs Lane by applying our own Village Chapter 65, Sections 10 and 11 [“Village Takes On Courtyard,” October 28].

Our mayor expressed his intent to defeat the wrecking ball being launched by Gil Flanagan’s client, the owner of 38-42 Jobs Lane, out of greed and disregard for thousands of fans of that courtyard. That courtyard had been popular public space for more than three decades, until the owner filled it with broken flamingo statues in disregard to popular outcry and closed off that popular brick courtyard with an illegal fence.

The owner’s permission from the village to build that courtyard with its surrounding stores had been based on the fact that it would be, by sensitive architecture, a development contributing to the historic street. Indeed, Jobs Lane is one of the few streets in the entire country that has been in continuous use since colonial days. Its historic value to our village and to our country is recorded in the National Register, and it is undeniable.

Having failed to get the Planning Board to rescind its negative declaration to avoid a full SEQRA review of the iconic brick courtyard, I had appealed for help to our then-new young Mayor Jesse, pointing out that our own Chapter 65 was a legitimate tool for saving the courtyard, even if the Planning Board refused to use SEQRA. The mayor’s response was instant, and with his help the publicity was major and helpful.

Nonetheless, Mayor Jesse’s determined efforts were undermined for months by our developer-friendly then-village lawyer, Wayne Bruyn, and our equally obstructive building inspector, Christopher Talbot, who recently resigned. Both refused to apply our own local law, Chapter 65, which I had brought to our mayor’s attention.

As one trustee told me recently, the owner of 38-42 Jobs Lane and his supporters had been overheard in front of the fence closing off that courtyard telling each other that defeat of our mayor in the then-upcoming election was essential to their getting permission to replace that beautiful brick courtyard with an oversized retail emporium, out of scale, out of history, and out of anything other than greed.

Again, Mayor Jesse, you are doing exactly why we voted for you this July with such overwhelming confidence that you would end the era of giveaways to developers that has cost our village so dearly.

Thank you.

Evelyn Konrad