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Sep 2, 2019 2:39 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Quogue Residents Share Thoughts On Village Incorporation

Montauk Highway in East Quogue. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Sep 4, 2019 10:11 AM

With a vote approaching to determine whether East Quogue should become a village, residents share different opinions about what they want for the future of their beloved hamlet.

Some are in favor of incorporating the nearly 3,500-resident hamlet into a village, as an independent government could better represent the interests of the residents, but others are against it because establishing a government means more taxes.

“It doesn't make sense to me,” said Mark Schumacher, a 20-year East Quogue resident and the owner of Hampton Music and Arts in Hampton Bays. His wife, Debra DiFrancesco, voiced the same sentiment.

“If it comes up, I’m voting no. It costs more money,” she said. “It's going to gain us nothing. It's going to actually add to the tax base. People don't realize that. It's a waste of time. We're too small of a town.”

Ron Campsey, a 42-year resident of the hamlet and owner of New Moon Cafe in East Quogue, likes the village idea.

“I’ve worked hard to try and make our community a better place, and I found it to be very difficult because we never had a say of what went on in our community,” Mr. Campsey said. “And I'm not saying being a part of Southampton Town is bad, but when you have a government that's 20 miles away from you and none of them live in East Quogue, it's hard for me to believe they have our interests at heart.”

Mr. Campsey, 77, said that one of his longtime customers recently asked him what his thoughts were on the incorporation, and when he answered truthfully, the customer stormed out.

“I say to people, ‘You shouldn't ask me what I think, if you don't want me to tell you what I think,’” he said.

Mr. Campsey also supports building an 18-hole luxury golf course resort off Spinney Road in the hamlet, a controversial project that was the driving force behind the push to incorporate East Quogue.

The East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee formed in 2017 because of the town’s handling of the golf course proposal by Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, according to Greg Celi, the committee’s public information officer.

A village makes land use decisions for projects within its borders because it has its own planning board and zoning board of appeals, so East Quogue, if it were to become a village, may make determinations on Discovery Land’s proposal. But factors could influence that, such as whether the town approves the application’s restrictions in the form of a covenant or whether the new Village Board adopts its own laws within the first two years regarding its zoning and land use regulations.

Other residents are still undecided, like 13-year resident Julie Sheehan, who said she plans to attend an upcoming informational session by the East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee to learn what an incorporation would really mean. The committee has been providing educational outreach, both in person and on its website, so that residents can make an informed decision come October, when the vote is scheduled to take place.

“To me, I keep thinking, what are the benefits here, other than The Hills? Like, we're stuck with this bureaucracy once we put it in place,” said Ms. Sheehan, the director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Literature program and an assistant professor at Stony Brook Southampton. “When I look long term, I can't see — but I'm willing to be educated on what these benefits are.”

On August 23, Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman approved a petition to incorporate East Quogue into a village, advancing it to a public vote that he said will occur sometime in October, unless his decision is challenged in court.

Every person residing in the proposed village who is qualified to vote for town officers may vote in the election, and if a majority of the votes cast are in favor of incorporation, the measure will pass, according to State Village Incorporation Law.

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If you think the new village government will work for no salary's and the taxes will go down, not go up, I have a bridge to sell to you :/
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Sep 8, 19 10:34 AM
3 members liked this comment
More costs for less experienced leaders.DUH.
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Sep 8, 19 10:53 AM
2 members liked this comment
20 new employees at $110,000/year (benefits = $25,000/year) equal $2.2 million annual budget not including rent and utilities so another $300,000/year for.that or $2.5 million. 3500 residents, average 3 residents per household. Reckon about 1,000 tax paying households. $2.5 million/1,000 households means an annual tax bill of $2,500 per year or over $200/month.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Sep 8, 19 11:49 AM
4 members liked this comment
But but but....Celi, Kooi, McNamara et al *SWEAR* it's just a measly $50 more a year...
By 2329702 (67), East Quogue on Sep 9, 19 8:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Did they supply a budget? Just paying a retainer to a law firm to defend the newly incorporated village against the lawsuit from environmental non-profits for approving the golf course over our aquifer will be $100,000, and then $1000/hour for legal work on top of that. East Quogue resident taxpayers are signing a blank check.

$100,000 divided by 1,000 taxpaying households is $100 per household pee year alone.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Sep 9, 19 8:17 PM
2 members liked this comment
Where are the exact amount that SH town is charging EQ for the service that they will supply,,police ,snow removal ,road repair ,street lighting, boat ramp repair ,waste management .
Sagaponack and EQ have nothing in common to compare the population is a bit off . Sorry I don't golf ..
By jerryr (4), east quogue on Sep 10, 19 7:31 AM
2 members liked this comment
Village incorporation = signing a blank check.

PS where do you think the children of all the workers cutting grass at the new golf club and cleaning the houses of the development will go to school?

1,000 taxpaying households East Quogue. Not alot of amortization there.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Sep 10, 19 12:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
around 20 thousand a pupil
By jerryr (4), east quogue on Sep 10, 19 5:56 PM
Some of us can't afford higher taxes so a handful of special interest citizens can sell us down the river!! VOTE NO!
By Miss K. (103), East Quogue on Sep 24, 19 12:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
I grew up in East Quogue. Resident for close to 30 years. Who are the people pushing this nonsense, and how long have they lived there?
By 1barkingdog (2), Aquebogue on Oct 4, 19 9:35 PM