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May 8, 2018 6:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Cops Called To Help Maintain Order At Southampton Town Trustees Meeting

Steve Storch spoke in opposition to the Rose Hill Road property deal between the Southampton Town Trustees and a homeowner, at the last two Trustee meetings. GREG WEHNER
May 9, 2018 10:53 AM

Police were called to the Southampton Town Trustees meeting on Monday as tempers erupted when a member of the public compared the Board of Trustees to the Nazi regime.

The charge came during a heated discussion about an ongoing controversy regarding the Trustees entering into an agreement this winter to allow a Water Mill homeowner to essentially take over a large portion of town-owned property on Rose Hill Road, in exchange for maintaining it.

Water Mill resident Steve Storch read an essay about stupidity by anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer during a portion of Monday’s meeting set aside for public comments.

As Mr. Storch read the essay, Town Trustee Scott Horowitz was overheard asking if the essay was appropriate. When Mr. Storch’s three-minute time limit was up, Trustee President Ed Warner Jr. hit his gavel and told him that his three minutes were up—but Mr. Storch continued reading.

“Thank you for your comments,” Mr. Warner told Mr. Storch, but Mr. Storch continued to read the essay.

Mr. Warner asked that the Southampton Village Police be summoned. Minutes later, officers arrived and spoke with Mr. Storch, though he was not arrested.

Before the officers arrived, Mr. Storch walked up to Mr. Warner and Mr. Horowitz and handed them a copy of the essay, telling Mr. Horowitz he should read it twice. Immediately after Mr. Horowitz was handed two copies, he crumpled them up and threw them to the side, while Mr. Warner threw his sheet forward.

A little while later, Mr. Storch left the meeting.

Mr. Storch was not alone in his frustration with the Trustees.

On February 22, the Trustees entered into a maintenance agreement for one of their properties with a neighboring homeowner, Randy Frankel, who owns a home at 475 Rose Hill Road. Until recently, the property was a rectangular 0.61-acre lot.

As part of the 15-year maintenance agreement, the Trustees allowed Mr. Frankel to encroach on part of the property to create a circular driveway. In doing so, the property was converted into a flag-shaped lot. In exchange, Mr. Frankel became responsible for the dredging of a boat ramp on the town-owned property, snow removal, landscape maintenance, and various other duties to ensure the property is kept open and usable for the public.

Phil Gay, the owner of East End Clambakes, demanded at the meeting on Monday that the Trustees rescind the agreement, and questioned why the board would enter into an agreement that seemingly benefits the homeowner.

Southampton Village resident Francis Adamczeski said he was shocked the Trustees entered into a 15-year deal as opposed to a two-year deal. Mr. Adamczeski said at least with a two-year deal, the next Board of Trustees could undo what the current board did.

Mr. Warner, who attempted multiple times to keep order at the meeting, told those in attendance that he met with a few Water Mill residents on Friday to have a “civil” conversation and to look at alternatives to what was done at the property. “They are going to form a working group and get back to us,” he said at the meeting on Monday.

Mr. Horowitz appeared to be frustrated with the crowd on Monday.

“I hear you aren’t happy with the project,” he told those in attendance. “We’re working through that now … we have to figure out the best way so that it works for everybody.”

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Hey Horowitz, what works best for everybody would be all of you undoing the horrible deal you made Frankel
By toes in the water (884), southampton on May 8, 18 7:33 PM
When David Halsey deeded the land to the Town, as a gift apparently, was there language in the deed describing the purpose of the gift or setting conditions for the use of the land?

If the deed is silent on these issues, is there any other written documentation of Mr. Halsey's intent? Even a newspaper article at the time could point in the right direction. Does the Press's morgue have anything germane?

Any such written condition in the deed would "run with the land," wouldn't it, ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 8, 18 8:03 PM
Could it be another example of a local using an inferior local attorney to accomplish important business? A popular activity in these parts but never a wise choice.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on May 9, 18 7:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
The location of the meeting is in the Village of Southampton, thus the Southampton Village police were called.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on May 8, 18 8:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
These Trustees cannot be "trusted " with our public lands. They have set a very dangerous precedent. They all need to go. They don't understand the job description.
By clamdigger (85), Quogue on May 8, 18 8:32 PM
Dangerous indeed. "We don't agree with you so we are calling the police" Keep the pressure on them. The sweat on their brow is sure to form.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on May 8, 18 9:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
It has to do with a person not respecting their time limit after multiple warnings. Yes taxpayers have a right to the meeting and speech but they aren't supposed to be exclusive and when over the limit it would have been more respectful to hand over his essay and walk away. However to continue on is disruptive and then it becomes another point, but not the point he was trying to make.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on May 8, 18 9:25 PM
You are not entirely correct. The reason for the three minute time limit, which by the way was instituted for this particular meeting, was because of the 32-35 people in attendance in order to allow all to speak. The audience asked to remove the 3 minute limit because we were all there for the same reason and we wanted to hear what each speaker had to say regardless of the amount of time. In the end Steve did give each trustee a copy, one of which was crumbled and tossed away.
By EA Yastrzemski (5), Southampton on May 9, 18 7:55 AM
here is the essay in full. at the end there is a brief bio on Bonhoeffer. i thought it pertinent to read this to the trustees due to Bonhoeffer's familiarity with over reaching power. his formation of thoughts and threading his ideas together is genius. i find hime very inspiring. i felt compelled to share so as to possibly open minds and hearts to a more communal way of thinking. i never referred to the trustees as nazis, i said that Bonhoeffer was a nazi dissident. you can watch the replay ...more
By sstorch (49), water milll on May 8, 18 10:43 PM
Wow! Great essay. "Neither protests nor the use of force accomplishes anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears"

The essay you read clearly fell on deaf ear and they chose to use force by having you removed from the podium. Stupid is as stupid does.

Bravo to you sstorch and thank you for sharing this essay. Excellent choice! It SHOULD have been included in the article!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on May 9, 18 7:10 AM
2 members liked this comment
Jay Schneiderman?????????
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 8, 18 11:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
By loading... (601), quiogue on May 9, 18 8:06 AM
What the trustees did should be illegal and voided. THIS IS PUBLIC SPACE

By rvs (106), sag harbor on May 8, 18 11:35 PM
WHO PROPOSED THE DEAL IN THE FIRST PLACE?! Something is not right with this whole scam.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 9, 18 5:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE is the term that describes my intent on this issue. three minutes? i would meet with the trustees and talk about this for hours. it is they that need the three minute limit and are not forthcoming with answers to any questions.
By sstorch (49), water milll on May 9, 18 5:21 AM
I hereby bequeath you my three minutes.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 9, 18 7:06 AM
1 member liked this comment
I think this entire situation has rendered a need for a meeting at a feasible time of day such as 6pm. The courtesy was extended to an upset community regarding the Picnic Area lawsuits with 5pm and 6pm start times and the same should be extended to the community regarding this major upset.

Do the right thing. Next meeting should be held @ 6pm.
By toes in the water (884), southampton on May 9, 18 7:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
At least you're honest. Seeing as though civil disobedience was your only intent on this issue, it was wholly appropriate that you were removed by the police so that the meeting could continue. In fact, you should be barred from future meetings. Storch fancies himself a sort of mystic mad of the dirt i.e. his description of himself from his webspage: "Steve Storch is a renaissance man. He is of modern times, but retains a wealth of historical and spiritual wisdom." Steve is a lot of things, ...more
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on May 9, 18 9:59 AM
Time for the people vote them out!!!
Next election will be very interesting
The whole thing is a scam
They all know it
By Local247 (39), Southampton on May 9, 18 6:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
This is not a generous act by some sort of benefactor. It is a quid pro quo, plain and simple. It is immoral, it is unethical, and should be fought tooth and nail.

This act lacks scruples on a level which is beyond disturbing.

By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 9, 18 6:59 AM
The video is posted online. Mr. Storch is the only speaker that gets cut off at exactly at 3 minutes. Other speakers (even one who drops an F-bomb) get to not only speak past their limit, but go up to speak multiple times. That's wrong.
Also, I found the statement by the lawyer retained by the neighbor to the North to be VERY interesting. He listed multiple reasons why this "deal" is illegal. One of them being that if the Trustees were going to enter into a land use agreement with anyone there ...more
By cmac (184), East Quogue on May 9, 18 7:01 AM
2 members liked this comment
Oh get outta here. No lunatic who reads an out of context Nazi story deserves the time of day. I totally disagree with the Trustees but this fascination with nazis and the lazy tendency to revert to that type of rhetoric is useless and a waste of time for everyone in that room. If Storch was interested in discussing a solution he would have taken a different tact. Since he was clearly not interested in that he was rightly cut off.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on May 9, 18 7:09 AM
Several people received the three minute warning and several people also received a 30 second warning. Steve was the only person who received the gavel slamming the desk and the police summoned.
By EA Yastrzemski (5), Southampton on May 9, 18 8:07 AM
Can you post a link. Looked for it but couldn't find it.
By longtimelocal (59), Southampton on May 9, 18 10:33 AM
Damn, I like your drivel by accident. Guess you didn't bother reading the essay. Why am I not surprised?
By Arnold Timer (327), Sag Harbor on May 9, 18 1:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
Political Suicide 101
By AndersEn (174), Southampton on May 9, 18 7:25 AM
...instead of a cop,
should have called a 'Godwin'.
By loading... (601), quiogue on May 9, 18 7:59 AM
How many people used the picnic area ....just curious ...
By Sturgis (611), Southampton on May 9, 18 8:39 AM
Lots of people use the area, it is beautiful, peaceful and sacred land !
By Globetrotter (5), Southampton on May 9, 18 8:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
The real article should be about how the people were hoodwinked by all these crooked politicians
By Local247 (39), Southampton on May 9, 18 8:52 AM
Check out the new asphalt road and crushed shell parking area. Haven't been down there in decades, but the public area sure is smaller!

By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 9, 18 9:01 AM
1 member liked this comment
slime alive His story was about how people are followers and shouldn't be sheep when it comes to goverment
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 9, 18 9:03 AM
The man clearly wrote, just above, that his only goal was civil disobedience. That is neither the time, nor the place for a story about how people are followers and shouldn't be sheep. It was a trustees meeting to start a dialogue towards a solution. Save it. The man comes off as unhinged and incoherent.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on May 9, 18 10:01 AM
"Intent" is not a "goal".
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 9, 18 3:34 PM
By sstorch (49), water milll on May 9, 18 10:20 AM
He comes across as unhinged and incoherent? More unhinged then elected officials “giving” away public property?People have different ways of expressing themselves, they all don’t conform to everyone’s expectations.Mr. Storch is exercising his rights, you can agree or disagree with his methods. He is still within his rights.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on May 9, 18 11:11 AM
Can any rational person see this scam as reasonable ? The claim that this is a cost cutting measure to offset the limited user fee increase doesn’t hold water. What happens when the homeowner isfound to have planted over the agreed upon property line, is there wording in the “deal” that voids it if the homeowner does not comply to stipulations contained therein? What if he can’t get permits to dredge? Any penalties incurred? What about the 90 day clause Ed? Is the Town Attorney ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 9, 18 11:42 AM
OK , how do we get out of the school and get OUR property back?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 9, 18 2:03 PM
Scott Horowitz should have been replaced years ago. His view regularly clash with public opinion and yet he keeps getting elected. MAKE A STATEMENT and get rid of this detrimental trustees. Its time we got someone who actually cares about our community.
By Corwin1879 (40), Southampton on May 9, 18 4:04 PM
Everyone cares about the community. That's the least of what should make up a trustee. We've got this all wrong. Caring about your community or having a family that came here a long time ago is not a ''qualification''. Caring isn't a skill. Owning a boat doesn't make one an expert of the water. Driving on the beach doesn't make one an expert in beach access. Surfers aren't experts in the ocean. We've gotten this all wrong.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on May 11, 18 6:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
why does the headline use 'cop' rather than 'police' or 'police officers' ? What's a cop?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on May 9, 18 6:05 PM
Every speaker at a meeting who chooses to ignore the time limitations afforded to comments does so because he thinks that his opinion is SO IMPORTANT that he is entitled to consider himself excepted from the rules. It is this solipsistic attitude that causes public meetings to run so far over their scheduled time, sending attendees home in disgust and dissuading them from attending any future meetings. If sstorch thought that it was essential to acquaint residents with Bonhoeffer's epistle, he ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on May 9, 18 7:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
Bravo Sierra O Pompous One, were you there? Many of the Freeholders there have been to many of these meetings and will continue to attend. There has never been an "allotted time" for a Trustee meeting, not has there ever been a time constraint on those wanting to exercise their right to be heard at these meetings. Steve's input was spot on and was quite germane to the discussion.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 9, 18 7:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
Oh, my! Whom to believe? The Press reporter ("Mr. Storch’s three-minute time limit was up") or a poster who habitually plumps for opinion over mere fact.

The relevancy of Mr. Storch's comment is not at issue.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on May 9, 18 10:34 PM
and neither is anything you have to offer.
By sstorch (49), water milll on May 10, 18 7:25 AM
Scott wants the GAVEL... How could the trustees give it away without bids??? The family to the north would like the other half, John Bennet is the agent.
Next the airplane ramp, north sea and what next? Annget with the program and don't be led down the path by the boys....
By knitter (1941), Southampton on May 9, 18 7:47 PM
They raised all of our permit fees. They are giving away our public lands to the rich for a couple of dredgings. The trustees need to be disbanded and let the Town Board control our public lands.
By Gillnetter (105), Hampton Bays on May 9, 18 8:17 PM
2 members liked this comment
Not so fast, the Trustees have , for the most part , been staunch defenders of OUR RIGHTS as Freeholders. This scam is an anomaly for the most part.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 9, 18 8:30 PM
Any conflicts of interest on this deal? Who is Randy Frankel's insurance agent?
By Oilbird19 (8), Southampton on May 9, 18 10:20 PM
27east is not posting my comments
i wrote three thoughtful replies that were not posted, one was up momentarily
and now it is down. thanks for correcting the article.
By sstorch (49), water milll on May 10, 18 6:03 AM
The trustees are not doing what is good for the freeholders. Their lawyers should be fired for not researching where the property came from.
The trustees had the land for a few months and say the maintenance is EXPENSIVE? This is the quickest deal ever done. Very suspicious with the time line. Has anyone got that type of service at town hall or the trustees?
Just think about it???
By knitter (1941), Southampton on May 10, 18 9:47 AM
Nothing gets the citizens of Southampton's blood boiling more than when the Trustees screw up something a 3rd grader could have handled better. Another mistake exposed for not electing Tim Corwin.
By niblicksreach (14), Southampton on May 10, 18 12:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
Corwin is more of the same. He’s a jeweler with a boat and an ego. That doesn’t make a trustee. We need lawyers and scientists from Cornell and environmental specialists.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on May 11, 18 6:08 AM
Has anyone looked at the code of ethics for Southampton ? It is
a real eye opener..!!!people we need to stick together
Its on the towns website ..
By Globetrotter (5), Southampton on May 10, 18 12:03 PM
The 3 minutes rules is in effect during all public comment periods for all board meetings. Although, it arbitrarily enforced depending on whether or not board members like what they are hearing.
A way around this 3 minutes is to bring residents with you who can then yield their time to you.
The Trustees have been doing Shady backhanded deals for decades. They don’t face reality. People go read the Dogan Patent and comeback and tell me where it says they are in charge of the beaches. ...more
By ICE (1214), Southampton on May 10, 18 12:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
Greg, COPS CALLED. One very nice patrol person who did not have do do anything.
Greg, headline says a lot, but not the real news...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on May 10, 18 2:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
Was there a vote on this deal? Lets name and sham them and at next election we will remind them of ROSE HILL ROAD.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on May 11, 18 5:02 AM
Giving away a large piece of this park like space was unprecedented, any commentary from our Trustees about that? How are they working to right this wrong?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 11, 18 5:44 AM
This can’t be reversed. We are stuck with it. The last meeting was for show.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on May 11, 18 6:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
Couple of observations. First, this wasn’t the first time Steve dominated a meeting for an extended period of time. It’s one of the reasons the Trustees adopted the same 3 minute rule as the Town Board. I certainly understand public concern for a decision such as the Rose Hill one, but re citing an anti-Nazi statement insinuating the Trustees are Nazis is not a proper means to do it. The decision by the trustees was reached as a means to maintain the boat ramp at Rose Hill for public ...more
By roverton (64), Westhampton on May 11, 18 8:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
Underfunding? Are you a sheep? Giving away a park because you cant cut the grass? They just took the property over in December 2017 and never spent a dime so it is a lie. Wake up pal.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 11, 18 11:26 AM
2 members liked this comment
Just yesterday I endured another public meeting in which an annoying egoist chose to oppose self-assertion to the rules of procedure. In that case, public comment was limited to ONE question at a time (but attendees could ask additional questions after every individual's initial question had been heard.) We spent five interminable minutes listening to one blowhard argue that HE should be allowed to ask MORE than one. The amount of time that was expended to shut him up was probably more than the ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on May 11, 18 9:00 AM
Sounds utterly painful. There's always one.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on May 11, 18 1:50 PM
The agreement calls for dredging of the boat launch which is considerably greater than mowing grass. Understanding the challenges is critical to understanding actions.
By roverton (64), Westhampton on May 11, 18 4:35 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By roverton (64), Westhampton on May 11, 18 4:35 PM
Does the agreement have a clause rendering it null and void if the homeowner doesn't live up to his end of the "bargain"?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 11, 18 6:11 PM
Roverton? dredging? You can barely put a boat in mecox bay never has this been much of a problem. You dont know the facts the property has been maintained more by residents than the town since 1928. The trustees took it over in Dec 2017 and had a deal before they even had it without Watermill residents input. Sneaky deal all behind closed doors. Wake up and learn
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 12, 18 9:36 AM
Chief1, I am well aware of the condition of Mecox as well as our other waterways that have now suffered from decades of maintenance neglect. Flushing the Bay periodically addresses only the immediate water quality, not the overall health of the Bay
By roverton (64), Westhampton on May 12, 18 9:46 AM
The health of Mecox Bay began to deteriorate after the Trustees began begging the DEC for "permission" to open the cut!! There was a law passed in the late 1880's that expressly allows the trustees to open the cut at their discretion whenever needed. The current Board has given the State powers over OUR waters that they don't actually have. Fear of lawsuits has partially paralyzed them , it's a shame that they may be sued by the Freeholders over this scam.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 12, 18 10:04 AM
The Trustees have been strong arming freeholders who need to replace bulkheads along the north shore of Shinneckcock Bay by hold permits hostage unless the homeowners recognize an illegally relocated right of way which they flooded when the canal was opened in 1892.
They sued a homeowner back in the 1970’s trying to claim ownership and jurisdiction to the then high tide line. They lost and then lost upon appea in State Court of Appeals. It was determined that since avulsion doesn’t ...more
By ICE (1214), Southampton on May 12, 18 5:51 PM
An allegory on government exceeding it's authority is not necessarily inappropriate.
As to the 3 minutes, Horowitz filibustered for about 10 minutes rather than answer very simple questions on the deal.
The unwillingness of any of the Trustees to answer any questions or provide transparency into the exact nature of the deal, only compounded the frustration over the outcome at the property.
This property should have stayed with the town and maintained by the parks dept. at a nominal ...more
By smacw (240), New York on May 13, 18 8:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
The "attorney" representing the Trustees is also culpable if the property owner claims adverse possession! Reading the agreement , singing off on it and recommending the Trustees sign it is criminal.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 14, 18 5:39 AM
Seems as if under NY law a person may attempt to file for adverse possession after TEN YEARS!!! Negligence by to attorney representing the Trustees
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 14, 18 1:18 PM
Now talk about what "adverse" requires.

Hint: a grant by agreement is not adverse to the owner.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on May 14, 18 1:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
A "maintenance agreement" should not allow for personal use of the property. That would be like the guy who mows your lawn coming by on Sunday, setting up a bar-b-que in your yard and inviting 10 friends over.
Assuming this arrangement is even desirable for the community [it's not] you would lease it to the neighbor for his use during the term of the lease. The lease would include a finite expiration date and a restoration clause.

it seems real estate expertise is severely lacking at ...more
By smacw (240), New York on May 14, 18 8:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
If the Trustees can't fund a legal defense against a lawsuit claiming adverse possession , whether the suit has merit or not, the homeowner will retain use of the property.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 14, 18 7:02 PM
Why is the Trustee for the Quogue area doing deals in Water Mill without stakeholder/community input?
By smacw (240), New York on May 14, 18 8:47 PM
Locals need to stop using local lawyers when the issue at hand is critical. We are getting creamed in the courts and when we're not, it's because we've luckily drawn a benevolent Judge. Go west young man.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on May 16, 18 7:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
I bet this deal has to do with them getting the tax line!!!!
By Local247 (39), Southampton on May 16, 18 8:43 AM
Who's Randy Frankel's Insurance Agent? Asking for a friend.
By Gillnetter (105), Hampton Bays on May 16, 18 8:57 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on May 16, 18 6:17 PM
And these guys want the right to TAX us without any oversight! They need to be held accountable! We need to stop the madness and make them represent our needs or elect representatives that will.
By veggary (45), West HamptonDunes on May 17, 18 11:38 AM
Suffolk County DA should investigate the trustees, the trustee lawyer and the town board.
This changed hands, sh town to the trustees and to owner like a hot potato. Deal was worked out back at the town level and passed on.
Too much corruption in our government. You see it every day in the papers...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on May 18, 18 1:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
They should investigate all of them...town & village boards; town & village cops; and the $eventy-million dollar $chool districts too. The corruption and nepotism is rampant. You don't see it all in the papers...only what they want you to.
By deepchanel (89), Hampton Bays on May 18, 18 4:45 PM
MEETING SH Town hall 1pm Today/momday. Find out the real story...
By capt rich (12), Southampton on May 21, 18 10:49 AM
JUNE 18, 6 PM ,TRUSTEE MEETING, so many questions for our board. Why did the Trustee's attorney sign off on a 15 year "deal" when after 7 years the home owner may claim adverse possession??!! I she incompetent or is she complicit in giving away OUR property, remember the Trustees don't own the land WE DO, they hold it in trust for us!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 22, 18 5:50 AM