What Has Changed - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1835825

What Has Changed

The expensive, two-year-long effort to clean out the pollution from Old Town Pond will be a totally wasted effort if the Southampton Village Planning Board’s grant, in January 2021, of a subdivision for former Trustee Paul Robinson’s 245 Old Town Road substandard property is allowed to stand.

Even though this too-small-for-subdivision property is located just 50 yards uphill from Old Town Pond, the then-chair of the Planning Board muscled through the grant for a subdivision, having been forced to rescind the board’s fatally flawed negative declaration, which simply omitted the existence of Old Town Pond, located right between the Robinson property and the Atlantic Ocean.

Roy Stevenson, then-chair of the Planning Board and now village trustee, declared, at an early 2021 public hearing of the Planning Board, that “nothing has changed in the past 10 years, right?” That public hearing, no longer available on the village’s official website, was attended by one neighbor who protested the subdivision, but not by Jay Diesing, Southampton Association president, who had originated the petition against this Robinson subdivision, signed by 233 Southampton Village residents one decade earlier, even then for a variety of environmental problems.

With a voice vote, Roy Stevenson substituted the defective negative declaration of 10 years earlier (which ignored the voice of 233 petitioners) for the fatally flawed 2021 negative declaration he had to rescind in answer to an emailed demand by the undersigned attorney.

But what has actually changed in the past decade and what currently contributes to the deadly pollution of Old Town Pond?

Three enormous new mansions have been built on the land slightly uphill on the western shore of Old Town Pond, less than 10 years ago.

Four new roads, perpendicular to Old Town Road on the eastern border of Old Town Pond, have just been cut through to allow car traffic from the recently developed subdivisions on the eastern edge of Old Town Pond.

Our mayor recognized, in his State of the Village Address earlier in 2021, that Old Town Pond is terminally polluted and requires expensive and long-lasting remedial action. Our mayor did not mention that, according to the Doctrine of Respondeat Senior (taught in first year law school), he, as head of the village government, is responsible for and has liability for any lawless actions taken or decisions cast by local government bodies operating under his authority.

As for newly elected Trustee Roy Stevenson: Remember, Southampton Village voters, he is not Santa Claus. Roy Stevenson is just a guy who owns a toy store and a broom for sweeping lawlessness under the rug.

Evelyn Konrad

Attorney at law