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Mar 8, 2017 11:43 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Residents Question Library's Proposed Bond Referendum As Vote Nears

Hampton Bays Library Director Susan LaVista at Tuesday night's Board of Trustees meeting. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Mar 8, 2017 11:55 AM

Tension filled the Hampton Bays Library’s main program room almost from the start of Tuesday night’s informational meeting—the only one held to discuss a proposed $9.9 million bond referendum next week that would essentially finance the gutting and complete restoration of the Ponquogue Avenue facility.

About two dozen taxpayers questioned both the estimated cost of the work and the lack of information being circulated prior to the vote.

Library Director Susan LaVista said the latest proposal—which includes creating a completely new floor plan for the 20,000-square-foot single-story library, replacing its roof, adding insulation throughout the building, and installing an energy efficient heating and cooling system—would better meet the current and future needs of library patrons.

Included in the projected costs is the proposed purchase of an adjoining half-acre lot at 3 Argonne Road for $390,000 and using the land to provide a few dozen additional parking spaces. The home itself would likely be preserved and eventually converted into additional library space or serve as an office for Friends of the Library, a nonprofit that raises funds for the library through book sales and other avenues, according to Ms. LaVista.

But many of those in attendance for Tuesday’s meeting, which was only recently scheduled and held exactly one week before taxpayers head to the polls this Tuesday, March 14, to vote on it, questioned the board’s reasoning for pitching such a costly project. They also took issue with the lack of information that has been shared with them about the bond vote, which comes nine months after taxpayers rejected a $15.8 million proposal that called for demolishing the current library and constructing a 24,000-square-foot two-story structure in its place.

“Is a $10 million renovation really the way to go?” Pat Himmel, a Hampton Bays resident, asked the members of the library’s board on Tuesday night.

Frank Adduci, another hamlet resident, agreed that the project is too expensive to support, nodding to the estimated 30-percent increase in library district taxes that both he and his neighbors would be asked to absorb for the life of the bond—which could be 20, 25 or even 30 years, as board members have not yet shared how long the bond would run.

David Zimmerman, president of the Library Board of Trustees, acknowledged the high price tag on the project, explaining that all of the work is necessary to address all of the myriad issues with the current facility instead of completing more temporary patchwork. He added that the longer his board puts off the work, the more expensive the required repairs will be. “I think delaying this is not the way to go,” he said.

The project would be financed with a $9.9 million bond that could run for as long as 30 years and with an annual debt service of $646,000, according to Ms. LaVista, who stressed that those terms have not yet been finalized.

If the bond is ultimately approved, the library tax rate would climb about 18 cents, to approximately 77 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an estimated 30-percent increase. Therefore, a person with a house assessed at $350,000 and now paying about $201 in library taxes can expect to pay an extra $64 a year for the length of the bond to finance the work.

The work would also require the closure of the library itself for several months, meaning the facility will be forced to operate from a temporary trailer during the renovations.

The need for such an overhaul was also questioned by those who frequent the library for its programs and services.

Thomas Villano of Hampton Bays, who proudly pointed out that he uses the library, said he does not see how the library needs nearly $10 million in renovations.

“It’s a lot of money, and I feel it’s like a bum’s rush,” Mr. Villano said, expressing his disappointment that Tuesday night was the first and only informational meeting about the project held by library officials.

Robert Jay added to that sentiment. “I don’t walk in this library and think, ‘This is a disaster, it has to be gutted,’” he said, noting that he is also a regular library patron.

Mr. Jay also pointed out that he supported the more ambitious $15.8 million referendum that was rejected by taxpayers in June because he feels it’s important to support your local library. Though he will still be reluctantly voting “yes” on the new plan on Tuesday, Mr. Jay told the library board and Ms. LaVista that he was disappointed that they did not make more of an effort to reach out to the community. Prior to last year’s vote, officials held more than two dozen informational meetings over the course of the year leading up to the June vote.

Mr. Zimmerman and Ms. LaVista pointed out that they shared some information with taxpayers in their last two newsletters. In the January/February version, Ms. LaVista explains that the work is needed to address basic building issues and to offer additional parking. The newsletter did not include specific plans or estimated costs.

In the March/April newsletter that was recently circulated, Ms. LaVista reveals that the work is expected to cost $9.9 million and that a “special-mailing” with additional details would follow. That mailer, which Ms. LaVista said was postmarked about two weeks ago, offers additional details as well as a rough sketch of what the updated library would look like.

Earlier this week, Ms. LaVista shared with The Press a one-page breakdown of the project’s estimated costs. The document, dubbed a “concept budget” and pieced together by Sandpebble Builders of Southampton, the library’s project consultant, was also briefly discussed at Tuesday night’s forum. The document states that replacing the library’s mechanical and electrical systems, which includes installing new HVAC and fire suppression systems, would run almost $2.64 million, while the gutting of the building, and the leveling of land for the additional parking would cost about $450,000. The plan also sets aside $450,000 for new fixtures and furnishings, $550,000 to cover moving costs and setting up a temporary trailer on the library grounds, and more than $1 million for the installation of new walls and other carpentry.

The spending plan sets aside $1.5 million for “professional fees,” including architectural, engineering, permitting and construction management costs, and $1.843 million for “escalation, construction and design contingency.” Officials later explained that that budget line, the most expensive on the breakdown, is needed as many of the projected costs would most likely go up before the library board is able to lock down costs.

Still, there were some people in attendance Tuesday who said they are behind the board’s efforts.

Joe Maggio of Hampton Bays said he and his wife, Gail, will support next week’s referendum, noting that they have noticed that the library’s roof leaks and the lack of insulation throughout the building.

“This is the heart of the community—of any community … ” Mr. Maggio said of the library. “You’re investing in your own community. It’s not just the library.”

Registered district taxpayers can vote in the library’s main program room between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14.

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VOTE NO - i didn't go to the meeting since there was nothing anyone could say to convince me that this was in the best interest of the community. I attended the prior years' meetings. that was enough. SPREAD THE WORD - VOT E NO.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 8, 17 12:52 PM
3 members liked this comment
way too vague, way too much
wants are not needs.
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Mar 8, 17 3:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Definitely voting no!
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 8, 17 3:44 PM
Actual cost : $647,000.00 per year for 30 years equals $19,410,000.00. My great grandchildren will be paying this off. Hampton Bays young people can't afford to live here now. When will this insanity stop?? Check your tax bill, We are paying more for the library than police. Yes, it is true!! Hard to believe. Vote NO,NO,NO!!!!!
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 8, 17 3:50 PM
RE: Joe Maggio. The library is NOT the "heart of the community". Our HB library is more like a halfway house for convicted violent felons. Do some investigating Joe. Ask LaVista about some of the regulars who flop there. Why did LaVista find it nesessary to pay for a security guard?
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 8, 17 4:11 PM
I have known this for a long time.
By sharkbait (32), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 3:08 PM
It's taxation without representation. Unelected library trustees running a taxpayer-funded institution. The library board is probably composed of good, caring individuals. But there should be elections, just like for school, Village and fire boards, and the sitting trustees are free to run. Trustee elections can be phased, just like it's already been done at many other association libraries, to maintain continuity. Trustees should answer to the public via elections. It affords accountability ...more
By st (129), westhampton beach on Mar 8, 17 4:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
I am still baffle why we need a new roof and insulation. Although, there is not mention of insulation now. We just renovated, quite extensively, 15 years ago. Didn't we get a new roof then? No insulation? The square footage increased and we didn't update the mechanical, electrical, cooling systems? If this is an example of how they

None of the numbers thrown out in this article come near to the total amount. I hate to not support the Library, but I think this is just too flimsy.

There ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 8, 17 9:02 PM
Time to tell sandpebble thanks but we need a design that supports the needs of the library staff and patrons. It is obvious that they are more concerned with trying shove a custom heating and cooling system down our throats at a cost of 1.4 million .I urge the library to stop having a builder design and budget a project and retain the services of architect that will design to our needs rather than to sandpebbles checkbook. 2.4 million in the budget for professional services says it all
By tinboat (17), hampton bays on Mar 9, 17 6:05 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By tinboat (17), hampton bays on Mar 9, 17 6:08 AM
bb, the petition would have been meaningful if the Library Board was reasonable. They are not going to rescind the referendum. The last vote was only 700 to 500 Everyone opposed needs to spread the word and ask them to spread the word to VOTE NO. Otherwise this will pass due to voter apathy.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 7:02 AM
Unfortunately many don't even know about this...and yes the petition is a bit weak!
Additionally, many people aren't around at this time of the year. Big surprise.

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 11:15 AM
I agree - literally we all need to go though our contact list and get the word out to vote NO and tell them to go through their contact list - It is a horrible proposal - worse than the new building.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 11:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
$390,000 for the building to house friends of the library? How much do they raise? How much to repave?
Digital world now...Trying to compete with other libraries???
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Mar 9, 17 12:19 PM
The reason the library wants to do an overhaul with the roof, AC and insulation is bc the last time; the naysayers wanted to cheap it, so NOW, the community has to make up for the gosge podge job of doing it piecemeal the last time. Most people dont appreciate being cold sitting by the newspapers and room with the fireplace bc there is no insulation in the room. People, the board is not trying to gose anyone. They are there and no every crevice and problem in the building from contact with regular ...more
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 3:04 PM
Enough already with the "It's a community center" stuff. It is, or is supposed to be, primarily anyway, a library. Definition of library: "A building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow or refer to." It is also supposed to be quiet.

By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Mar 9, 17 4:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Quiet? LOL That has long gone the way of the dodo.

Don't go into the young adult section in the basement after school without ear plugs.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 9:49 PM
It is in the paper copy of the Southampton Press Western Edition this week. If you have a membership to 27east, you can read it on-line. It is not a letter to the editor, but an actual editorial.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 11:16 AM
Re: Infoseeker. What did you try to say???? Your writing skills are comical.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 3:17 PM
The 9.9 million is the loan principle. The actual cost is $19,410,000.00: $647,000.00 per year for 30 years =$19,410.00. Please read the ballot before voting. The true cost is written on the ballot. This is a 30 year bond loan. Do not burden your children with this totally unnecessary taxation. The taxpayers of Hampton Bays just voted down the 15.9 million boondoggle 5 months ago. This action by the library board is a disgrace. Please vote NO on Tuesday, March 14.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 3:48 PM
P. Revere, I think you got my point. that we should not fix the library piece meal like the last renovation so we are not left with having to do a huge overhaul. That's where we are at now. The actions by the library board are not a disgrace. People such as yourself who chime in to this as though you have merit is a disgrace. Are you actually a user of the library?. To insult the library as a refuge or halfway house for violent felons is appalling. Do you know how many of our community members use ...more
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 4:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Make HB great again? By overspending on the library? I have lived here a long time. When was it great btw?
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 5:26 PM
ouch, P Revere and everyone else, is entitled to their opinion.

The last renovation was not piecemeal. The cost was certainly not piecemeal. If the job wasn't what it should be, that is because those overseeing the project didn't do the proper job.

I missed the repeated news stories from when the roof collapsed. When exactly was this?

Issues with the building can be addressed for less than the dollar amount up for vote. The library board is shooting themselves in the ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 9:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Right, bb.
And speaking of the millions: $1.5 million for professional fees and $1.843 million for "escalation, construction and design contingency" (whatever that means) amounts to $3.343 million, or fully 1/3 of the proposed $9.9 million bond.
Really? A bit much, IMHO.
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Mar 9, 17 11:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Sorry Infoseeker, but I strongly disagree. This is a horrible proposal. The new building was over the top, but at least it was a new building. Did you see the Editorial in The Southampton Press - even they think it is horrible. The $1 million of repairs was adequate for a Library. We are leaving a 30 year debt to a digital age generation. The idea of a community center only goes so far when most classes only have 5-8 people in them. .We spend 80% of our taxes on the Hampton Bays schools when ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 9, 17 5:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
With Bookstores going out of business its hard to imagine taking on 10 Million to join the line
By dave h (193), calverton on Mar 9, 17 7:57 PM
2 members liked this comment
"Therefore, a person with a house assessed at $350,000 and now paying about $201 in library taxes can expect to pay an extra $64 a year for the length of the bond to finance the work."
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 10, 17 4:35 AM
Your point? Are you aware of house values in HB?

Do you honestly believe that an structure built today, is going to meet our needs 30 years in the future or will the Library have again needed more work, renovations, expansions etc. This last expansion (yes that is what it was) was 15 years ago.

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 10, 17 4:09 PM
Libraries are good things and should be embraced. However this librarys site is small limiting its use and expansion. I think that for the money requested, especially in Hampton Bays where the real estate price points are lower, should seek out an alternate location and could possibly put it all together for what they are asking in the bond. A lot of people are picking the bond components apart, but you need to remember that this is a municipal offering and they have to follow prevailing wage rules ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Mar 10, 17 6:28 AM
Yes they should be embraced.

I am well aware that they library needs to follow guidelines for municipalities. The numbers still are much too vague.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 10, 17 4:11 PM
Tell the library they can't have a $10 million after giving the school $17 million to buy a turf field and a bulk up the cafeteria, Southampton gives $7 million to the fire department to build a garage and lord knows how much to build police departments, town halls and other outrageously priced civic hallways.

We're on Mars here in the Hamptons.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Mar 10, 17 6:38 AM
Vote No!
By Jimion (129), Hampton Bays on Mar 10, 17 8:58 AM
INfoseker, breaking it this boondoggle of a project to dollars per day is irrelevant. This is a waste of $10 million dollars.PERIOD I can think of a lot better things to do with $10 million in Hampton Bays. VOTE NO - and then figure out how to get rid of this Board.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 10, 17 9:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
Everyone please read the Southamton Press editorial. They too are against this 19 MILLION DOLLAR TAX placed upon the HOMEOWNERS of Hampton Bays. Please vote NO on Tuesday.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 10, 17 2:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
The Editorial in the Press made it pretty clear that they believed this proposal seems to have been thrown together and is wrong for the community. VOTE NO
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 10, 17 4:52 PM
Do you have the link for the editorial?

By T818 (11), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 10:50 AM
For some reason, my post is above. The Editorial is in this week's paper copy of the Western Southampton Press. You can read it on-line if you have a subscription to 27east
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 12:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why is this on the property tax bill? Is there any way to get the Town government to remove the ability to remove these tax burdens? The school, fire and library are all out of control. Merely putting all healthcare insurance off limits for inclusion on budgets for current employees and pensions would reduce taxes 30%, freezing salaries like the current school contract in Quogue would reduce them another 20%. Let's cut taxes in half.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 10, 17 6:09 PM
Let's start with voting NO for this and take it from there.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 10, 17 7:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
If healthcare is an expense to the school, town or library, how can you remove it from the tax bill?
Are you going to suddenly take those benefits from employees to reduce expenses?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 2:36 PM
Yes -- strip healthcare costs from all municipal labor contracts. If the unions don't like it, feel free to strike for as long as you like. Create an East End Healthcare Cooperative with admitting to the Peconic Bay and/or Southampton/Stony Brook systems and access to all the doctors that admit to them. This would disintermediate the insurance companies. In place of piecemeal labor contracts each with a different healthcare option, we can then force all municipal workers into a single healthcare ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 11, 17 5:08 PM
You should run for King.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 6:38 PM
Thanks that's great advice, here's some for you:
do NOT wait for that third billy goat gruff to come over your bridge.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 12, 17 12:12 AM
The problem with your scenario is that those benefits are by law, contract or maybe even codfied somewhere.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 7:07 PM
To change your board you must convince and persuade your self-appointed trustees to vote to change the library's bylaws to allow for trustee elections.

Though directly taxpayer funded, Hampton Bays and Westhampton libraries still maintain a self-appointed trustee governing structure. Only 29% of LI association libraries remain appointed. It's a private, closed, arbitrary club with no overseeing authority because association libraries were established as private corporations.

We ...more
By st (129), westhampton beach on Mar 11, 17 12:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
The library board recently (December) voted a 5 year extension to the head librarian's contract. 5 years! Then they immediately out this boondoggle out for another vote with Sandpebble presentation no where posted online. There is no shame in this town. Did that fat thief from the water department pay back the scholarship money he stole from the High School?
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 11, 17 1:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
I have spoken to many Hampton Bays residents who are registered voters. Many of them did not know about the library bond vote. Everyone said they would vote NO. Please, ladies and gents, inform your neighbors, friends and relatives about this outrageous 19 MILLION DOLLAR TAXATION without representation. The library empolyees, LaVista and the library board are well organized. A propaganda compaign is being conducted by LaVista and the board. Signs produced at taxpayer expense. Having the vote ...more
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 1:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Vote YES to improve our towns's access to information and services. It's a long-term investment.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 4:04 PM
Did you find those references to the roof "collapsing"?

What is the purpose of purchasing the building next door? Is that for the 'access to information and services'? Or for offices for the Library administration or was it for the Friends of the Library? Parking space? How much will renovations be for that? Obviously, one would need to know what is going to be held there before they can figure out renovations costs. Since you obviously work at the library, please do us all a favor ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 5:38 PM
Infoseeker, this "investment" for access to information? Are you serious? Do you still have 8-tracks and a VCR? I am a senior citizen and I don't use the library. This is the digital age - we all need to get used it it. Use the computers in the Senior Center like the rest of us. Sorry that Susan LaVista went to school for something that is becoming obsolete. The Board members need to "age out" if they can't "keep up".
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 6:23 PM
2 members liked this comment
"I am a senior citizen and I DON'T USE THE LIBRARY. This is the digital age - we all need to get used it it. Use the computers in the Senior Center like the rest of us. Sorry that Susan LaVista went to school for something that is becoming obsolete"

Ok, so HB Proud doesnt use the library. Feels the Senior Center is adequate with their 3 computers and limited hours to service both children, families and adults for all their informational needs. Thinks GOOGLE is the perfect source for accurate ...more
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 7:39 PM
Infoseeker, Where are you now using the computer and getting your information - I think the library is closed now, right? Where do most people get their information and use the computers. the School has a library and computer center. The library is leaving a 30 year debt to a generation that may never know a library. They should be involved in the type fo community center they want since they are paying for it For the handful of people you are referring to, there is no need to burden over 5,000 ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 8:11 PM
I made an educated decision before the last referendum. Not only did I personally observe the lack of alleged overcrowding, I spoke with several patrons that used the library more than I did - no one confirmed the alleged overcrowding. The Library is "right sized" admittedly needing some repairs. There is no need to burden a generation with a tax for a building that they may or may not need or use. VOTE NO
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 8:35 PM
2 members liked this comment
And you think the only way anyone can learn to use a computer is at the library? Silliness. You make it sound as though there are crowds of people every day all day at the library vying for your knowledge. In today's digital age, most learning can be done via your website in the comfort of one's own home. Surely you realize that. Why expand a building for people to access programs from their homes or other venues? I am not taking away from the library and what they have to offer. But, you, ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 10:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
Infoseeker: Highly likely that you work in the computer room at the desk . The computer services you listed will still be provided without taxing the Hampton Bays homeowners 19+ MILLION DOLLARS. We are not trying to close the library. Your actions WILL close the library. How long will the library be closed while it is being "gutted". Where will the cons and derelicts hang out. You know who they are and so do I. I have investigative skills and many resources including criminal data bases, ...more
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 12, 17 12:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
Infoseeker: To answer your question, yes, I do use the library, alot. You know me by sight, trust me, you do.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 12, 17 12:50 AM
bb, I didn't go to the recent meeting, but a friend did. There were apparently some people familiar with renovation costs there that tried to get explanations for the repairs and costs without much success. .Apparently, Mr. "Sandpebble" was there but didn't identify himself to the group until the end and didn't answer questions. I am not a Library-hater, but I think the Library is "right-sized" the way it is for the community, but needs some repairs and realignment to programs. The cost of this ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 12, 17 8:15 AM
2 members liked this comment
I wonder what will happen with the snowstorm?
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 12, 17 8:15 AM
I was wondering the same thing. Conering how quick everyone is to close in the face of snow these days, I'd imagine that it will close and reschedule the vote. Even if it doesn't close, it should be rescheduled. It shall be interesting.

I love the library! That does not mean that we need to just pay for boondoggle.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 12, 17 12:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
The library board may want to use the Act of God snowstorm to re-schedule and re-think.
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Mar 12, 17 8:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
..or have 10 resident employee board members and employees vote FOR it and have it pass. There is no minimum number of votes required.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 12, 17 8:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
We shall see.
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Mar 12, 17 11:54 AM
I will be voting NO. It's a lousy plan. The community has nothing to lose by destroying this on Tuesday and forcing the Library board to come up with a 3rd plan, and hopefully with an attractive price tag with a reasonable amount of work. Once the place is gutted, everything will need to be rebuilt according to town code... and we don't need a new sprinkler system, new walls, floors, etc. Don't be shy people... VOTE NO... and don't assume they will close for a little snow.
By sharkbait (32), Westhampton Beach on Mar 12, 17 3:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
If you are from Westhampton, you can't vote. The vote is held at the Library which may close with the bad weather the way the school and Town Hall does. We will see.. It is will be once again a black eye for the Library Board if they force people out of their homes unnecessarily in a blizzard.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 12, 17 5:21 PM
Or if there is confusion as to whether or not it is closed and the vote will be rescheduled. They tend to close quickly, as do the schools and the towns, so people would figure it is closed. But, who knows if that will be the case.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 12, 17 6:35 PM
So it's 9:20 am on the day before the snowstorm and I call the library and the director isn't even in yet. Call back later in the afternoon I'm told.
Wish I had those work hours!
Vote No!
By kelli2885@yahoo.com (5), hampton bays on Mar 13, 17 9:26 AM
That is an invasion of personal privacy and you should be ashamed. This is not about a single person or about some snowstorm that has you hysterical. Get your sh*t together and come up for a thoughtful reason someone should vote no, rather than your insolence.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Mar 13, 17 9:32 AM
Invasion of privacy? How is asking someone who works in a public building when they are working an invasion of privacy?

Kelli didn't mention what way there are voting, they asked when the library director would be in.

What rude post.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 10:53 AM
Oops, they did say Vote No! Sorry I missed that the first time. That said, they are entitled to their opinion and your post, even flow, is unnecessarily rude.

Knowing whether the vote shall be held snow or not is an important question.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 10:56 AM
Posting that an individual is not at their office yet is a personal invasion of privacy that has NOTHING to do with the story. You're so hysterical, your reading comprehension of of a 4 line comment failed you. Perhaps a visit to the library is in order.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Mar 13, 17 10:59 AM
Hysterical? LOL The only thing hysterical is your rude responses.

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 11:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
Actually with a 5 year contract renewal just this last December probably one of the only ways to get rid of Ms. LaVista would be for gross negligence or dereliction of duty. Conviction of a felony would be cause as well although hard to say without the contract or the Charter for the library to provide guidance for removal. Certainly conviction of a felony not a path to termination at the Water Department.

Holding the vote on a snow day would be a brilliant coup for this $10 million ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 13, 17 10:41 AM
even flow, "invasion of privacy" - what does that mean? The response Kelly received is indicative of any questions that were asked about the building repairs. The employees "clam up" like they were told to "shut up". I went to two meetings and Ms. LaVista read from script prepared apparently by Sandpebble and could not answer any questions. It seemed to me that she didn't even understand what she was saying. She doesn't live in Hampton Bays so what does she care about the community or the taxes. ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 11:05 AM
1 member liked this comment
First off, because the director was not there at 9:20 am, does not necessarily mean she is not working. She could very likely be at a meeting off site. It's amazing reading these assumptions. Oh, and the horror, the Board had the audacity to renew her contract for 5 more years!
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 12:13 PM
Yes, she may have been. Typically, the employee would have known that, possibly said that, and been able to give an approximate time when she would be in. That's the way a good business is conducted. No one said she wasn't working, they said she wasn't there and they didn't give a time when she'd be back. Hence, if anyone chose to call her, they shouldn't bother until later in the day. Why so defensive?

Your sarcasm doesn't further your cause.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 12:23 PM
It depends what was in the 5 year contract whether or not it's reasonable although by itself 5 years seems excessive. The President of the United States only serves for 4 years at a time. It would be interesting to FOIL the contract and see what's in it.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 13, 17 1:02 PM
It's too bad the Director didn't work harder to get the word out to the taxpayers prior to the many complaints that forced her to call an informational meeting one week before the vote. The board keeps referring back to the meetings they held last year, like we're all stupid. And what kind of Board holds a vote like this during the winter; certainly not one that cares about the community.
By sharkbait (32), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 3:03 PM
I agree. This was poorly presented and I think there would have been more support had it been presented in a well informed manner instead of what feels like a slipshod manner.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 4:55 PM
There are lawn signs all over Hampton Bays for the St. Patrick's Day parade, but not a one for a $10 million tax increase referendum. Not even an "act of God" seems to be cancelling this vote. I guess we need to go to a higher source when this is all done - "the State Attorney General".
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 2:59 PM
Guess what HB Proud and fellow taxpayers of association libraries that cling to their founding charters from previous centuries (Westhampton's is from 1897, for example). The State Attorney General will do nothing and has no authority.

Last year WH taxpayers wanted to put out their own referendum to the community—Yes or No? Do you want an elected board of trustees at the taxpayer-funded WH Library? We were told we aren’t allowed to do that because the library is a private ...more
By st (129), westhampton beach on Mar 13, 17 4:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
Looks like the vote is cancelled - can someone confirm? Spoke to several friends that requested absentee ballots several weeks ago, but never received it. Oversight or purposeful?
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 5:02 PM
I know someone who requested an absentee ballot and received it within three days.
By kelli2885@yahoo.com (5), hampton bays on Mar 14, 17 10:12 AM
I just looked at their website and there is a 'tweet' saying it is postponed.

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 5:11 PM
a "tweet" for a $10 million referendum. Very professional. How about an official Press Release?
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 13, 17 5:25 PM
HB Proud: The principle is 10 MILLION, the total cost over 30 years is 19+ MILLION. I have taken a good look at the 12-13 year old roof. Wish mine looked that good. If there is a leak then fix it for a couple thousand. Dont believe anything the board and LaVista claim. They exaggerate and lie. The homeless bums go in there to get warm. There is plenty of heat and A/C. What time did LaVista finally get to work yesterday . Re: Even Flow, " Invasion of privacy", I laughed out loud on that one.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 14, 17 8:27 AM
Thank you for clarifying. I will double check myself. but that makes sense.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 14, 17 1:11 PM
Who needs a library? It would be cheaper to buy those who use it an ipad and internet connection.
By BruceLee (3), on Mar 14, 17 4:43 PM
How does a non-elected, appointed board qualify for Grants since they don't hold democratic elections?
By sharkbait (32), Hampton Bays on Mar 15, 17 12:42 PM
This was my Letter to the Editor of the Press. It was printed in January. It still holds true today. In addition, the Westhampton Library president, at the February meeting, actually said that the board is looking for the person with the right "temperament" as well. Six self-appointed individuals alone determine who is deemed worthy to serve alongside them in their private club funded by millions of taxpayer dollars. Only 6 of 19 Suffolk County association libraries still maintain self-appointed ...more
By st (129), westhampton beach on Mar 15, 17 5:18 PM
When is the vote?
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 16, 17 5:33 PM
Vote was rescheduled for Tuesday April 4.
By sharkbait (32), Hampton Bays on Mar 19, 17 4:17 PM
The same residents who vote "No" on this bond referendum are those who vote "No" on every school budget.

The library is the intellectual heartbeat of the community. Without it, there is no community center and no direction to efforts to provide Hampton Bays' residents with the resources to enlarge the scope of their enjoyment of their lives and to provide them, locally, with the knowledge that will enable them and their children to understand and control the forces that affect their ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Mar 19, 17 4:54 PM