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Oct 17, 2013 4:12 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town Board, Supervisor Candidates Debate Code Enforcement In Hampton Bays

Oct 23, 2013 9:20 AM

All four Southampton Town Board hopefuls and both supervisor candidates debated issues of town code, quality of life and general governance in Hampton Bays during a debate last Wednesday night.

Hosted by the Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays and held at the Hampton Bays High School, the debate focused primarily on issues of code enforcement and policing in the hamlet, with each candidate discussing—with varying degrees of specificity—strategies for improving enforcement efforts.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who is running for reelection on the Democratic and Independence party lines, said the town has made strides to improve code enforcement during her tenure as supervisor by adding the equivalent of two-and-a-half full-time positions to the code enforcement department, and relocating its headquarters from Hampton Bays to Town Hall in Southampton Village.

Ms. Throne-Holst said she also was responsible for upgrading the technology used by code enforcement officers to improve efficiency and increase communication with the town fire marshal and building inspector.

“The period of January 1st through August last year versus January through August this year, beginning with the implementation of this reorganization, we have tripled the number of enforcement actions and the number of violators who have been taken to court,” she said, adding that fines for certain violations, namely the over-occupancy of single-family homes, have almost tripled.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s challenger on the Republican and Conservative lines, former supervisor Linda Kabot, challenged the decision to move code enforcement to Town Hall, maintaining that it should have remained in Hampton Bays where she felt it is most needed.

“Hampton Bays is at a crossroads and we need to marshal the resources of code enforcement to deal with it, to deal with the public safety concerns, the blight, the overcrowding, the fire safety concerns, the overcrowded schools and all the rest that comes with it,” Ms. Kabot said.

She added that she wants “more boots on the ground” for code enforcement and improved coordination between community members and schools to identify overcrowded homes. She said she wants to have public hearings to address code violators and create a “wall of shame” and a blotter of code violators to “embarrass these people into getting into compliance.”

Frank Zappone, a Town Board candidate whose name will appear on the Democratic and Independence lines next month and who is the current deputy town supervisor, echoed Ms. Throne-Holst’s opinion that code enforcement belongs in Town Hall so it can be better supervised, but he said the department still is in need of improvements.

“Code enforcement needs a complete and total organizational overhaul,” Mr. Zappone said. “It’s not managed correctly, it’s not held accountable for the tasks that it does and it collects no data to manage its own performance.”

Republican-Conservative board candidate Stan Glinka said Hampton Bays has long been “the dumping ground” of Southampton Town and he wants to target repeat offenders with prosecution. Mr. Glinka, who lives in Hampton Bays and serves as president of the hamlet’s chamber of commerce, also discussed his party’s platform objective of creating a night court to specifically deal with code violators.

“Many of them who own these homes don’t live in this area and if they do, the work all day like many of us do,” Mr. Glinka said. “I think [night court] would alleviate the backlog and also begin the solution of having the repeat offenders and getting to the core of the problem.”

Mr. Glinka said he also wants to look into local businesses and individuals that employ day workers, many of whom congregate near the United Artists movie theater on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays to see if these laborers have documentation to work and live in the area as a way of getting back to the source.

Mr. Glinka’s running mate, Jeff Mansfield, said he would like to look into budgetary offsets to make it financially feasible to hire more code enforcement workers, at least for part-time positions. He said he’d also like to see building inspectors work as code enforcers as well.

Mr. Mansfield, who said he is not as familiar with certain issues in Hampton Bays as he is with other areas of the town, said most of the issues facing the hamlet, including quality of life and the illegal conversion of motels into permanent residences, relate back to code enforcement.

“We’d like to take the government to the people,” he said, “We’d like to have ... code enforcement hearings in the hamlets where most of these violations occur so that the people that are being affected by them can come out and testify as well as those accused of being offenders.”

Brad Bender, who’s is Mr. Zappone’s running mate and also has the Democratic and Independence party lines in next month’s election, said the owners of single-family homes that are being rented out to multiple families need to be targeted and fined harshly.

“We need to make sure we’re getting them into the court system and that we’re hitting them in the pocket, Mr. Bender said. “It can’t just be the cost of doing business. Fifty dollars here, $50 there, and $100 here, $100 there, does not do anything to someone that’s got a house that’s paying them thousands and thousands every year.”

Mr. Bender said the town also needs to ensure that these issues, once in justice court, are not continuously adjourned as frequently happens now. “We really need to take action on this,” he said. “And it would be my duty to make sure that these types of actions are being taken care of.”

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Code enforcement, what code enforcement?
By tyspapa (10), Westhampton Beach on Oct 17, 13 4:59 PM
2 members liked this comment
If the majority of illegally overcrowded rental homes are occupied by "Latinos", then nay attempt at code enforcement would be racist.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Oct 17, 13 5:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
Wrong. The owners are white guys.
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Oct 18, 13 9:31 AM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Oct 20, 13 12:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
"Wall of Shame" Great idea.
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Oct 17, 13 6:21 PM
Are you kidding? Walls of shame have never worked for anything. Ever. More Vendetta-Girl crap from Kabot. She needs to get over that vindictive streak. She was asleep at the wheel for her 8 years on the town board while the finances were going to heck in a handbasket and was a wreck in 2008-2010 making blunder after blunder. And now she just blares opposite speak. Says her plan was the "heavy-lifting" only thing heavy about it was the giant plunk sound it made hitting the garbage pail when the ...more
By beachmama (3), East Hampton on Oct 28, 13 2:57 PM
"Says her plan was the "heavy-lifting" only thing heavy about it was the giant plunk sound it made hitting the garbage pail when the Republican majority REJECTED it as a fairytale.

Beachmama, you sound like Skip Heaney with all that "vindictive" stuff. You rejected her, not the Republican majority which supported her in a Primary against Heaney, and then again in a general election against Heaney. Who's really making up stories.

And finally, her narrative was totally backed up ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 29, 13 10:37 PM
Its funny at election time every candidate is concerned about Hampton Bays. When the election is over you can't even get a candidate to stop in Hampton Bays. Another group of disingenuous politicians it's been happening for decades.Its time to form a new village.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 17, 13 7:55 PM
Chief1 you seem to have intimate knowledge of every hamlet in the town. Once again you are wrong on so many levels. Be they Republicans, Dems, Indies, or blank, can you tell us of a civic function in Hampton Bays where they did not appear? ( with the exception of course of Pool Boy Malone who is usually at his other job)
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 18, 13 9:38 AM
The point isn't wether they show up it is what do they actually do for Hampton Bays. If you haven't noticed main st HB looks like a third world country. The houses have multiple families is lip service from town officials. Just about every candidate for townl government said they will be pushing for more code enforcement in Hampton Bays. Let's see what happens after the election.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 19, 13 1:33 PM
Nothing that Code Enforcement does will change the look of Main St. That's up to the individual business owners and landlords. Hampton bays has the largest voting block in the town and is quite capable of turning elections. If the residents there allow what you perceive as inaction to continue, its their own fault.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 13 5:09 PM
Being the sole incumbent (5 yrs. +), Anna Throne-Holst alone of all the candidates can claim responsibility for the quality of life that Hampton Bays residents enjoy.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 18, 13 12:45 AM
3.7 years. After battling with the town board for 3 years Ms. Throne-Holst finally dragged them into the 21st C to triple code enforcement violations so far this year over last year. We all have to agree that quality of life was worse during the Kabot years from 2002-2009, when she raised our taxes by 15-16% and still left us with a $5 mil deficit from YEARS of mismanagement she was a part of as a councilwoman since 2001.
By beachmama (3), East Hampton on Oct 28, 13 2:48 PM
Right! I do see the town starting to act on these issues. Understanding that, the failure to fully take control of it relied on Kabots lethargic control of the helm and supervisors in the past
By khan (36), hampton bays on Oct 18, 13 3:05 AM
2 members liked this comment
Code enforcement is a complete joke and the person who is running for highway superintendent ( Mr. Betts) is in charge of it. That should tell us something as residents of the town of southampton. Mr. Betts has done nothing but a terrible job in code enforcement and it would hurt me to see this man in charge of the highway department. Also everyone out there go see why Mr. Betts lost his job at the Southampton Village Police Department and that should tell you all something about this man. This ...more
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Oct 18, 13 6:00 AM
3 members liked this comment
Code Enforcement is an issue everywhere, and if it was fucntionong so well in Hampton Bays it wouldnt have needed to be moved. Locating to Town Hall places it in eye sight of the Town Board where it should be. In North Sea there are many illegal rentals including two behind me. Both absentee landlords. In one they park in the rear yard what was once alawn to hide the number of cars. I have counted up to 7 for a three bedroom house. Code needs to be better managed to meet the qualityof life issues ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Oct 18, 13 6:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
How can we eliminate overcrowding in Hampton Bays? I suggest using the term "Winter Shares." Over the past twenty years, code enforcement has worked hard to eliminate overcrowded share houses during the summer months. I have vivid memories of every car parked at a share house in my neighborhood receiving tickets early one Sunday morning a few years back. However, summer shares brought business and much needed funds to the town. The overcrowding at issue not only affects quality of life, but also ...more
By BaymenNYC (59), Manhattan on Oct 18, 13 11:01 AM
Debate here was held by Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays (CCHB), formed last year in desperation because Republican stalwart Dave Betts, the Code Enforcement Chief, wasn't doing his job.

See Southampton Press 7/11/13, "Llist Leads To Action," for story of how CCHB, on their own, compiled a list of 536 properties in violation. Last winter, they handed this list, in binders with spreadsheets, on a silver platter to Dave Betts, but as of July he still hadn't done the job, even with their ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 18, 13 11:27 AM
2 members liked this comment
I just went and double-checked, and think I actually agree with Mr. Lynch on this one, something I rarely do no matter what name he's using here.

But at the same time, Readers Beware, Turkey Bridge has a singled minded agenda -- elect as many Democrats as possible no matter how competent the GOP Candidate.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 18, 13 1:37 PM
If he wasn't doing his job, why didn't Anna kick him in the ass?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 18, 13 3:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Because Anna is his boss. Think about it. Nothing happens if she says so.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Oct 18, 13 6:58 PM
Mr. Wheeler, thanks for the support, but I have to point out a couple of things. First, I haven't posted under any name but Turkey Bridge for years, except twice, by mistake which I immediately and publicly corrected.

Second, I do favor Democrats, but not 100%. In this year's local election, I'll be voting for Republicans Sundy Schermeyer for Town Clerk and Barbara Wilson for Town Justice. Likewise I'll support Independence Party members Jay Schneiderman, Anna Throne-Holst, Brad Bender ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 19, 13 11:11 AM
Glaring omission above -- forgot to list ALEX GREGOR among my Independence Party picks. Perdone, Alessio.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 19, 13 5:28 PM
In the interest of fairness, TB, it should be pointed out that the Dems are not running anyone in opposition to Sundy. Further, it appears that both major parties have come to their senses when it come to the Town Justice Court. There are two Dems and two Republicans now serving, one of each are up for reelection, so I guess and omission when you did not include Judge Kooperstien as worthy of your vote. All of your Independence Party candidates are also the Dems picks.
How long after the Dems ...more
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 13 9:05 AM
Deborah Kooperstein, whom I warmly support, wasn't an omission. I was, if you recall, listing non-Democrats for whom I'm voting, and the judge is a Dem.

How long for the Dems to go bad? Hard to say. The GOP has been in power forever around here. I wouldn't give the Dems that long, but let's get them started and see how it goes, eh?
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 20, 13 12:35 PM
Fair enough, wait and see.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 13 3:25 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By moonpie (43), Southampton on Oct 18, 13 3:45 PM
From what I have heard on the streets it is the truth and it makes me sick!!!
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Oct 18, 13 8:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
> "From what I have heard on the streets......."

O, is that so?

You're from Hampton Bays, you've made a grand total of three comments, all in this thread, and all in service to assassination Betts' candidacy.

I don't know Betts or anything about his personal life, but but here you repeat (or, more than likely, invent) a scurrilous rumor, and then in your very next comment, present as fact.

You're the one who sounds "sketchy," and that's being kind!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 18, 13 11:56 PM
You saying its not true. I'm actually looking to see if it is the truth or not. Sorry Frank Betts didn't mean to upset you.
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Oct 26, 13 1:07 PM
The incident in question was extensively covered by the Southampton Press, Western Edition: 9/11/1997, 10/2/1997
Eastern Edition: 9/11/1997 (front page), 9/18/1997, 10/2/1997, 10/30/1997
Dave Bett's then wife lodged a criminal complaint against him after what is described in the paper as "a serious domestic dispute." Lieutenant Betts was made to relinquish his weapons and then took what is described as a "vacation." The criminal case was subsequently and mysteriously sealed. Any woman should ...more
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Oct 26, 13 1:08 PM
Cant believe a party would endorse such a guy with such terrible behavior. These people need to be checked out before a party just tries to throw them into office. The republican party should of done there homework before putting him up Someone just doesn't lose there police job for nothing that isn't serious. I heard everything was swept right under the carpet and to me the public needs to know the truth about this guy before he is in charge of some of the tax payers money. To me he sounds sketchy!
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Oct 18, 13 8:14 PM
He's already in charge of tax payer money as top of code enforcement. It appears to me that islander is totally against Mr Betts for whatever unknown reason or is just completely out of the loop. I'm thinking the latter. I do believe code enforcement has to be difficult trying to please everyone and I can understand his attempt to make a move to the highway department. I had someone call code enforcement for a campfire on me. Get real people, when did we lose our right to make a fire in our backyard ...more
By khan (36), hampton bays on Oct 19, 13 1:33 AM
The incident in question was extensively covered by the Southampton Press, Western Edition: 9/11/1997, 10/2/1997
Eastern Edition: 9/11/1997 (front page), 9/18/1997, 10/2/1997, 10/30/1997
Dave Bett's then wife lodged a criminal complaint against him after what is described in the paper as "a serious domestic dispute." Lieutenant Betts was made to relinquish his weapons and then took what is described as a "vacation." The criminal case was subsequently and mysteriously sealed. Any woman ...more
By rabblerouser (46), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 13 9:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
Yes it was covered but the press still removed Moon Pies account of it.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 19, 13 9:34 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 20, 13 8:10 PM
FRANK ZAPPONE INDICTS ANNA THRONE HOLST'S CODE ENFORCEMENT PERFORMANCE, ALONG WITH DAVE BETTS' FOR CODE ENFORCEMENT DISASTER!

""Code enforcement needs a complete and total organizational overhaul," Mr. Zappone said. 
"It's not managed correctly, it's not held accountable for the tasks that it does and it collects no data to manage it's own performance."

This is in direct and stark contradiction of Anna's statements quoted in this article about her superhuman efforts and ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 20, 13 7:51 PM
2 members liked this comment
Crybabies and Pikers! If you are so concerned about Hampton Bays, why don't you contribute to the Supervisor's campaign fund? Anna will always harken to the petitions of those who show that they care.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 20, 13 11:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Oct 21, 13 9:16 AM
Once again, any woman should have GRAVE reservations about voting for Dave Betts. It's frankly amazing how far he's gotten with all that baggage.
By rabblerouser (46), Hampton Bays on Oct 26, 13 11:21 AM
Resounding silence on this issue. Interesting. Why did it get buried? Who's covering up for him?
By rabblerouser (46), Hampton Bays on Oct 26, 13 9:11 PM