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Apr 10, 2012 5:17 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Montauk Residents Support Ronjo In A Petition

Apr 10, 2012 6:34 PM

About 150 Montauk residents have signed a petition supporting a renovation of the Ronjo Motel, according to Montauk resident Kyle Paseka who attended an East Hampton Town Board work session on Tuesday.

Ms. Paseka addressed the Town Board in light of the recent controversy surrounding the sale of a town-owned alleyway to Chris Jones and Larry Siedlick, the owners of the Ronjo property. The Town Board’s Republican majority approved a resolution authorizing the sale last month despite calls from residents and fellow Democratic Town Board members to commission an appraisal of the land first. Last week, the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee submitted a petition of more than 600 signatures to force a public referendum on the measure.

Ms. Paseka said she’s worried the political quibbling over the sale will jeopardize a good project for downtown Montauk.

“I am just urging the board to do everything you can to let this project to forward in spite of all the political aggravations and upsets that are going on,” she said.

The discussion reignited a round of back-and-forth on the sale between Democratic Councilwoman Sylvia Overby and Republican Councilwoman Theresa Quigley, and also involved Rona Klopman, former chairwoman of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee. Ms. Klopman charged that the board’s Republican majority chose not to do an appraisal of the property, even though Mr. Siedlick agreed to fund one. Ms. Quigley said that Ms. Klopman was incorrect. Ms. Klopman then said the board should hurry up and hold a referendum on the sale as soon as possible to avoid delaying renovations at the Ronjo, but Ms. Quigley fired back that the demand for a referendum was actually causing the delays.

“I think this whole thing has been so blown out of proportion,” Ms. Quigley said. “It is such a waste of time. It is such a waste of taxpayer money. Move on.”

Later, Ms. Quigley accused Ms. Overby of spending time plotting against the Ronjo. “I was told by several employees that you are on the phone and in the office several hours a day going over how to get the Ronjo,” Ms. Quigley said. At that point, Mr. Wilkinson abruptly ended the conversation and said the matter was to be discussed in executive session.

“I appreciate that because I think it’s spinning out of control,” Ms. Overby said.

Outdoor Dining Discussed

The Town Board discussed a proposed law that would allow town businesses to set up outdoor dining.

Ms. Quigley, who is spearheading the legislation, said it’s modeled after similar laws in Southampton Town and East Hampton Village. According to a draft of the law, if approved, upon obtaining a license from the town, a business could set up outdoor dining on town sidewalks.

Some rules and regulations exist. There are restrictions on the number of seats and hours of operation. Also, the sidewalk dining area must be located in front of the business. It cannot be located more than six feet from the front of the building and cannot exceed the width of the building. It should also allow at least six feet of space for pedestrians to use the sidewalk. The sidewalk dining area should be open to the sky, but it can be covered with a retractable awning. The application fee for the license would be $200.

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This Democrat stunt is disgusting. A great project for Montauk is jeopardized because the puppet Dems on the Town Board (Overby and Vanscoyac) are controlled by the Dem Committee and their people (Kloppman, Frankle, Cohen et. al.) and the non-elected Dem bosses decided playing politics with the business life of individual entrepreneurs and a local community was a good political ploy. If given another week I am told Montaukers could get well over 1000 signatures in support of the Ronjo and condemning ...more
By hohum123 (91), springs on Apr 10, 12 6:23 PM
If Wilkie consents to appraisal the issue is history. You support the idea that elected officials can make up selling prices for public land? Wow.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Apr 10, 12 9:31 PM
Hey Willie: we gots a bridge here we's lookin to sell and we donate to your campaign. What'll ya give us fer it?
By we could run this town! (129), the oceanfront trailer park on Apr 11, 12 12:31 AM
I have never heard anyone involved in this issue state that they wish anything other than the best of luck and great financial success for anyone who is willing to make a substantial monetary investment in Montauk provided, however, they understand they must abide by the Town laws and development rules and regulations. Moreover, I have not heard any elected official or political partisan rule out the prospect of eventually selling the portion of the Town-owned Alley that bisects the former Ronjo ...more
By davbud (127), east hampton on Apr 11, 12 1:37 AM
I don't think this is about the alleyway anymore. I think this is about political revenge and twisting the "system" to political advantage. And if a couple of guys who may have made some mistakes along the way, including as you say "receiving erroneous advice" get screwed then "so be it." After all in politics it doesn't matter if it's fair - it only matters if your side wins. On another note - Do you think it's right that an elected official, Sylvia Overby, is using her position to allegedly intimidate ...more
By MTK (10), Montauk on Apr 11, 12 7:47 AM
"MTK" you appear to be Kyle Paseka [Drumm], who is described in today’s EH Star as being “the operations manager for the [Ronjo or TMBH ?] hotel”. Am I right? If so, you observed first hand at Tuesday’s Town Board Work Session that Ms. Overby flatly deny the naked, unsubstantiated allegations of "intimidation" of town employees that were made by Ms. Quigley. Is someone suggesting Ms. Overby somehow "tricked" the new owner into flagrantly violating the terms of its Building ...more
By davbud (127), east hampton on Apr 12, 12 11:08 AM
Sorry not the Paseka guy - just a Montauk community member who runs a business and thinks both political parties of our town board are not acting in anyone's best on this one.
By MTK (10), Montauk on Apr 12, 12 1:49 PM
I agree - its not about the alley. My friend works in town hall and it's all over the place that Ms. Overby has got in for these guys for political purposes which is not right. I heard that her verbal abuse is so bad that some people are physically sick from it. Its a wonder that no one has filed a complaint with the Labor Department or DA about the hostile work environment. It makes me sad that this how our government works.
By Sad In Montauk (1), Montauk on Apr 11, 12 12:39 PM
Sad in Montauk - you must be talking about Quigley. You nailed it. She's a screamer that's for sure. I work at town hall and the atmosphere since Ms. Overby arrived and took office is a much HAPPIER place. Less abuse from Quigley and her screaming at people.

Ms. Overby is the only person who is a "true" friend of town employees. She is pleasant, works hard and asks questions. Thank God we have her. Overby is the polar opposite of Quigley who is always scheming. I smell a smear campaign. ...more
By ehranter (5), East Hampton on Apr 11, 12 6:58 PM
WilkQuig are toast in the next elections IMO.

Shameful leadership in a Constitutional Democracy.


Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Apr 11, 12 7:16 PM
OMG! It is Quigley and Wilkinson that make town employees physically sick and scared about losing their jobs! Just ask the latest town employee, Pat Breen, who was fired last week thanks to a vote by Quigley, Wilkinson and Stanzione. Overby and Van Scoyoc stood up to their terror and tried to save town jobs. Physically sick are fired town employees Steven Lester, Kathy North, Warren King and Larry Penny. And don't forget Edna Steck, Audrey Gaines and so many more who were forced to take retirement ...more
By ehmom (4), east hampton on Apr 11, 12 9:18 PM
OMG!!!!!What a misleading post. Warren King fired? I know Warren and he wasn't fired. Civil Service rules is why Warren had to leave, and the Wilkinson administration (not the personnel staff and not the Dems), the Wilkinson administration, did everything possible to help him keep his job because he was a productive employee - just ask Warren. Edna Steck and Audry Gaines retired according to three different articles I went back and read, and Edna Steck got almost $100,000 in leave payout plus ...more
By hohum123 (91), springs on Apr 16, 12 8:23 PM
Why, EHMom, should government jobs be "saved" when everyone else is trying to save their own AND try and pay for someone elses? We all know McGintee blew up the payroll to the tune of 50 + people in 6 years (inlcuding his own payraise and those of "political favor" positions like Deputy Supervisor getting 12,000 raise, Parks "Commissioner" getting another 12,000 ... "Land Acquisition" having four paid employees instead of two, and it went on and on and on ... still can't figure out what Bill Taylor ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Apr 19, 12 6:08 PM