Residents Pack Auditorium, Demand Action Over Blight, Homeless

Some 260 residents attended the first Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays meeting.

Standing before 260 residents on Wednesday night, Michael Dunn, president of the new organization, laid out his new group's mission — by ridding the area of illegal housing, homeless shelters and tackling issues, like blight and the degradation of the bays.

"'Not in my backyard' stops today. Hampton Bays is now all of our backyards," Dunn said. "Simply put, we have a goal to aggressively recruit members and build a force to tell town leaders that we want Southampton Town to listen to us."

Dunn's comments were met with a thundering applause as were statements made by Dunn's fellow board members, Eve Houlihan and Robert Liner. Also making up the Concerned Citizen's board is Dan Aube and Simone Scotto.

"We need to turn the tide," said Houlihan. "We don't need more studies and task forces. Logic dictates the following: halt illegal use of transient units."

"We are not asking for the moon here," she said.

Liner also rallied the audience, saying, "Are we part of the Hamptons? Or have we been left to fend for ourselves? We can't do this alone. Help us restore Hampton Bays."

Urging residents to participate, Liner laid out a plan to create subcommittees within the organization, including ones that would work on the development of a website, recruitment of members, fundraising, public relations, monitoring environmental and code compliance and statistics.

Statistics, said Dunn, is what the group is basing its actions on, pointing out that Hampton Bays has the highest population in the Town of Southampton with 13,603 residents. That number, he said, translates to a density factor of 1,075 people per square mile as opposed to 339 people per square mile in every other hamlet in the town.

The high density, said Dunn, directly relates to the school district, taxes and a negative effect on the areas' waterways.

Residents in attendance agreed that the time is now to do something with one resident standing to ask for the phone numbers of officials that need to be contacted to fix the problem.

He said, "Let's bombard their phone lines."

Others offered up ideas on how issues could be addressed, including strengthening penalties against absentee landlords who rent to multiple families and using those fines to hire for more code enforcement officers to oversee Hampton Bays.

Also on hand during the meeting was Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who assured the residents that she is 100 percent behind them and asked them to stand with her in the town's fight to take back the Hidden Cove Motel from the county.

The motel is — a use that have area residents seeing red.

"You need to go and barnstorm the county. I can’t stand by myself," said Throne-Holst.

Throne-Holst told residents that the town is also actively pursuing illegal housing in Hampton Bays and efforts have been ramped up. The problem, she said, is tie-ups in the court system and landlords that live in other states.

"We can't go after the landlords that live in Florida. That is out of our jurisdiction," she said.

Throne-Holst said she is in support of providing code enforcement officers that would specifically work in the hamlet of Hampton Bays, but she said that will take money.

The other issue with code enforcement, she said, is retention.

"We don't pay our code enforcers enough. They make less than they do in other municipalities, so we lose them and continuity is very important when it comes to code enforcement"

Also she said, the town needs code officers that are bilingual.

"Many times they go in to a home and the people live there don't understand what is going on," she said.

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Will you join the Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays? What did you think of the group's first meeting? Comment below.

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HBBooster August 30, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Many thanks and congratulations to Mike Dunn and his tireless team for last nights presentation. Eventhough there are many issues that involve "quality of life" in our Hamlet,the overpopulation and the use of illegal rental units,either large or small,is hurting our community. The fact that our town officials allow this use of Hampton Bays as a dumping ground for everything from homeless shelters to court offices is upsetting and needs to cease. Please take a moment to talk about this with your friends and if you are able join the CCHB. HB has been without a voice for too long and we deserve better. We are a generous , hard working community , which has always wanted our families and children to prosper. We have supported our schools, our Fire Deptartment and our Community groups. It is time we take that energy to the next level and look out for our Hamlet as a whole. Thank you again for getting the ball rolling.
T818 August 31, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I live in Hampton Bays. I get the Patch in my email everyday. I would like to know why the Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays meeting was not FRONT and CENTER on the Westhampton-Hampton Bays home page on this medium. Certainly this meeting ranks higher as news that affects our community than the dummies that got stranded on a sandbar ( funny but not--- completely indicative of the lack of responsibility that the voting generation have been installed with ). I only found this article by pulling up the Patch from someone else's computer in Westhampton ...... makes me think about the local media ... slanted?
T818 August 31, 2012 at 12:51 AM
I meant to sign off as - Tricia Murphy/ T818. God Bless America and all that America stands for... If you are not sure what America stands for... ask your grandfather.. .. and listen to what he says. He fought ( be it at war or life ) for your right to be who you are.
Erica Jackson (Editor) August 31, 2012 at 01:06 AM
T818 - Thank you for reading Patch and for your comments. The article announcing the meeting was at the top of our homepage most of the day on Wednesday. It did not appear in the newsletter because of the time it was published.
Connie Schneider August 31, 2012 at 01:40 AM
I live on gravel hill rd. My husband filled in paperwork and complained to town officials about a garage that we believe has illegally been turned into housing and the house that was a one family that now has 4 apts in it. There are 8 - 10 cars and trucks parked there every night. NOTHING has happened.
tom August 31, 2012 at 12:51 PM
many of the issues we're mentioning and observing are enabled by other locals/neighbors who are profiting financially from the decisions they make and that we have to experience the consequences of.....if money wasnt involved I dont think we'd be seeing many of these issues. the oweners of therse houses aren't aliens , theyre folks who look like us....i wonder how following the money trail would play out...I pay taxes on money I make , I wonder if they do.....
Hbjoker August 31, 2012 at 02:34 PM
hb will never change, the folks with money in the surround villages are seeing to theat! they do not want it in their backyard. If you think i am wrong, do yourself a favor andrive the montauk highway from each border (East & West) the highway is clean, beautiful with freshly painted lines and new pavement exept all of hampton bays, part of east quogue. Instead we have the emerald highway with a green line? 3 different color pavement? and lines that look as if they have been there since the 80's. I commend these folks for trying but it is not going to change unless Hampton Bays completely seperates from the town of southampton and becomes it's own town.
A.K. August 31, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I've lived here for almost 40 years and none of these things have ever changed .....these problems are not new and I'll be surprised if anything is ever done to fix it. Get ready HB you are the next Shirley Mastic of the south fork.
free wheeling September 02, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Congratulations on a superb turnout and a clear, dynamic platform. Ms. Houlihan is absolutely on target. No more studies, surveys, reports, task forces and all the rest of the trappings of stone walling. Apply common sense and stop ignoring the public. How likely is this? I'm afraid not very with the current board. We need a new crop of better people to run for office out here. And by the way the enforcement officers, many of them on their second lap after retirement (and benefits) are paid enough for what they do.
hampton bays resident September 06, 2012 at 03:28 AM
When you get a phone call from Social Services to rent your house or hotel to Section 8 its tempting. They tell you its a guaranteed check every month but forget to tell you what they do to your home. We all have to make phone calls. A few years ago the traffic coming off Sunrise was all backed up. Now no one wants to come to Hampton Bays. There are no stores to shop in and the ones that are there have to be updated. Lets clean up a once great town. Get after the homeowners , there are a lot of empty run down homes.
hampton bays resident September 06, 2012 at 11:10 PM
its starting to look like them now.
Jim September 27, 2012 at 06:00 AM
"We can't go after the landlords that live in Florida. That is out of our jurisdiction," she said. Throne-Holst said she is in support of providing code enforcement officers that would specifically work in the hamlet of Hampton Bays, but she said that will take money. What is she talking about? If they live in Florida it doesnt matter their property is here. Fine them. Put a lien on their property, evict tenants from overcrowed and unsafe houses. DO YOUR JOB. Excuses excuses. One family houses mean one family not 4. Tip toeing around people that dont speak English. Let them hire a lawyer to interpret, why do we have to hire bilingual enforcement? Grow a pair honey, people are fed up with double talk and excuses. SHPD was asked years ago by Steve Levy to arrest people standing on streetcorners for vagrancy. Their answer " we are not immigration". Since when do illegal immigrants have civil rights? Their are all groups breaking the laws, enforce them equally and its not a problem. For too long our elected officials have looked the other way, worrying about being politically correct. God forbid someone should accuse someone of racism. These illegals are destroying the fabric of this community. Wake up.
joe hampton December 15, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Hers a better question how come The SH Press refuses to cover the story at all. They ran a quickie about it and DEEPLY suppressed it on the web site the very next day.


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