For Immediate Release
Contact: Doreen Niggles, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Thursday, February 25, East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc concluded a hearing on the petition by Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott (“CPW”) to incorporate a little over one-half of the territory – but all of the beachfront – of the Wainscott hamlet as a village (the “Petition”). The hearing under New York Village Law §2-206.1 was to allow the Supervisor to hear and rule on objections as to the legal sufficiency of the Petition.
The public voiced a wide range of objections to the Petition, giving the Supervisor ample reason to find it legally insufficient. Among the objections is one that points out that neither the Atlantic Ocean nor Georgica Pond is a “navigable water” under New York Law and, therefore, that the village boundary drawn by CPW based on pond and ocean shorelines does not comport with the requirements of the section of the Village Law under which CPW drew its boundary.
A second objection notes that the statutorily required list of “regular inhabitants” of the territory to be incorporated includes persons who are not, in fact, inhabitants and excludes persons who are, in fact, inhabitants. The list also fails to provide accurate names of numerous inhabitants. A third objection identifies defects in signatures on the petition as well as duplicate signatures, improper notarizations and questionable dates and signatures from CPW’s hand-picked witnesses to Petition signers.
Promptly after the hearing closed, and before any decision or even hint of decision was announced, CPW attacked “the behavior of the Supervisor and his allies” and issued a press release calling the Supervisor “petrified,” “pathetic” and “partisan.” In doing so, CPW followed its usual practice of questioning, in advance and with no evidence, the motives of those who might dare to oppose it and making false claims and personal attacks.
CPW’s release went on to disparage all of the objections as “preposterous,” “bizarre,” “not legal” and “meritless.” CPW’s overheated rhetoric is wearing thin with Wainscott residents. It has become increasingly obvious to all that CPW is more interested in trafficking in imagined slights and grievances than in addressing the doubtful merits of its incorporation proposal. If the Supervisor finds that the Petition is not legally sufficient, CPW will undoubtedly head to the courthouse again rather than accept the reality that its plan to defeat the South Fork Wind Farm by incorporating has failed and that all that is left is a battle that will only further divide the community for no discernible purpose.
Wainscott United is confident that the Supervisor will follow the Village Law, come what may, and that he will not be intimidated by CPW’s threats of endless disputation. We are equally confident that if the Supervisor finds the current or a future Petition for incorporation to be legally sufficient, Wainscott voters will resoundingly reject incorporation in favor of having the community come together to work collaboratively with the Town to address Wainscott’s development and other issues.