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Aug 23, 2019 5:09 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Supervisor Approves East Quogue Incorporation Petition, Advancing It To Public Vote

Members of the East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee submitting the original petition to Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman in April. PRESS FILE
Aug 28, 2019 11:12 AM

After rejecting the original petition to incorporate East Quogue into a village, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman on Friday approved a resubmitted petition, deeming it legally sufficient.

A referendum of East Quogue residents will now be scheduled to decide whether the village should be formed. Mr. Schneiderman said the vote will take place in late October, unless his decision is challenged in court.

Every person residing in the proposed village, which is roughly 4.5 square miles, who is qualified to vote for town officers may vote in the election. If the majority of the votes cast are in favor of incorporation, the measure will pass, according to State Village Incorporation Law. The Suffolk County Board of Elections will conduct the vote.

Mr. Schneiderman's decision, announced Friday afternoon, explained that the re-submitted petition had complied with the requirements of the New York State Village Incorporation Law. It was signed by at least 20 percent of hamlet residents, having 719 qualified signatures out of the needed 595. It also included a full list of the hamlet’s regular inhabitants — the list was challenged in the original petition, and the reason for its ultimate rejection.

“We’re super excited. There’s a lot of chatter going back and forth and, of course, there’s a meeting we’re trying to organize at this point to make our next steps,” said Greg Celi, the public information officer for the East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee, the group that filed the petitions and has been advocating for the creation of the village.

He added that the meeting would take place next week, although an exact date has not yet been set. One of the topics at the meeting will be to discuss a lawsuit that the committee filed against Mr. Schneiderman seeking to overturn his initial petition rejection in June.

The committee has been pushing for months to bring the incorporation to a vote so that residents can have the final say. Committee members filed the original petition to Southampton Town in April, but Mr. Schneiderman rejected its validity two months later, because it failed to include a complete and up-to-date list of regular inhabitants of East Quogue. Thirty-four of those on the list were deceased.

The committee addressed the error and submitted an amended petition on July 1. A hearing was held on August 14 at the East Quogue Firehouse and community members spoke both in favor of and against incorporating the hamlet.

Mr. Celi said the committee believes most of the East Quogue community is supportive of the incorporation, but they would like to see more residents take an active interest in the endeavor.

“Our intent is to get the information out … maybe a public meeting for the community to come to, maybe at the school, like we’ve done in the past,” Mr. Celi said, noting that fundraising efforts are paying for the community outreach. “Hopefully, more people attend, whether they’re for or against. It’s not our position to sway people — it’s just to present the information for them to decide upon.”

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Jay folding to the vote... He wants to be your friend...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 23, 19 6:59 PM
I think that's great that they want to take control over their area. Taxes will increase for their vision of a quality of life, but I guess that they dont mind doing that to control it all. Hampton Bays would also be a great "Village" but with already astronomical taxes that has yet to come to pass. Yet all HB complaining has shed the spotlight their, the largest voting district and with out a village have benefited from much improvement. Parks, beach upgrades etc.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Aug 24, 19 6:02 AM
Now the Southampton Town Supervisor & Board needs to create a "Department of Public Works" and "Rid Us Forever of Alex Gregor".
Make Southampton Great Again !
By themarlinspike (542), Northern Hemisphere on Aug 25, 19 8:04 AM
Go East Quogue! Become a village and control your own destiny. Wish
Hampton Bays would do the same.
By Jimion (129), Hampton Bays on Aug 25, 19 8:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
Transparency calls for a published list of donors with $ amounts. Who is actually behind this effort? Voters have a right to know.
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Aug 25, 19 11:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
I think we all know who is funding those pushing for incorporation. The exploratory commission is comprised of those with the possibility of growing their own businesses or using their business knowledge to aid in the managing of a golf course if Discovery has their way. It is quite obvious. No need to do any research - just listen to the members of this group speak and see how they make their livings. The benefits of allowing EQ to incorporate are nebulous at best. I don't hear talk of village ...more
By zappy (65), east quogue on Aug 25, 19 3:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
Can't wait to see the results of this vote. Luckily it's only two months away.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Aug 25, 19 5:40 PM
... moving forward here, ANY meeting held by this committee should be open to all East Quogue residents - not just the committee.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Aug 28, 19 4:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
The committee will just talk about how great it is without mentioning any the negative aspects.
By 2329702 (67), East Quogue on Aug 30, 19 1:13 PM
This village idea makes me nervous. East Quogue is tiny, around 3,000 or so residents, and governing is harder than it looks. Do we really have enough capable, committed, civic-minded volunteers to fill a new layer of bureaucracy? Hampton Bays, much larger, can't get clean water out of its water agency or corruption out of its fire department. Who's going to keep an eye on these people to make sure they're not just puppets for some giant developer?
By Julie Sheehan (11), East Quogue on Sep 1, 19 10:35 AM
1 member liked this comment