I write this in my private capacity, and not as a representative of the town or the town planning board, which I chair.
Under the scheme to incorporate Wainscott proposed by the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, every house north of Merchants Path, every house on Cobber Lane, every house on Georgica Woods Lane, every house on Daniel’s Hole Road, half the houses on South Breeze Drive, and half the houses on Hedges Lane are excluded. C.P.W. made this choice because it failed to comply with the clear, simple requirements of the New York State Village Law in its previous proposal to incorporate.
When C.P.W. premiered its new boundary at a Wainscott citizens advisory committee meeting a few months ago, and this outrage was immediately pointed out, C.P.W.’s representative, after a few minutes, suggested that the excluded properties could be “annexed” into the new village, as if C.P.W. were ordering a side of coleslaw. It is pretty obvious that C.P.W. has now figured out that its exclusion of at least 80 homeowners from the free use of the beach closest to their homes is deeply offensive to many people not only outside the proposed village boundary but, more important, inside.
So, at this past Saturday’s Wainscott citizens advisory committee meeting, C.P.W.’s representative repeated the canard of annexation in an effort to sideline the issue. But C.P.W. failed to mention the legal decathlon involved in annexation. The New York General Municipal Law requires a petition, the approval of all municipalities involved, and, if agreement cannot be reached, the appointment of a panel of referees and then oral argument before the Appellate Division, which can “make its own adjudication and determination, on the law and the facts, on all questions presented to the referees and substitute its judgment for that of any of the governing boards…” (G.M.L. Sec. 712.10). Does C.P.W. claim to know how the Appellate Division might rule on a proposed annexation?
I think incorporation is a bad idea, regard-less of the boundary proposed by C.P.W. But, as I know I made clear at the Wainscott C.A.C. meeting, I have no patience for C.P.W.’s slick obfuscations and its shameless and repeated brushing aside of the law in its zeal to incorporate.
The supervisor may or may not find that C.P.W.’s petition is legally sufficient. But if the petition is not legally sufficient, and no election is held, it will only be as a result of C.P.W.’s failure, one more time, to do what the law requires.
Very truly yours,