The Hamptons Police were called to maintain order at last Tuesday’s public meeting of the Hamptons Dress Code Council.
The meeting was attended by a large number of residents who have been angered by the recent decision, just announced by the Council, to allow a hot dog concession to operate rent-free out of the Council’s town-owned headquarters on Napeague’s Main Street. That surprising decision, which many residents complain represents an unconscionable favoring of a particular business owner over the rights of taxpayers, was made at a closed-door meeting of the Council last month and wasn’t made public until last weekend.
In announcing the move, Ryan Bonfleur, the chairman of the Dress Code Council, explained that the decision was made primarily due to practical considerations.
“We really don’t use the space that much,” Bonfleur said. “I mean, it’s nice that we have a dedicated space to do our Dress Code work, but, come on, I mean we barely set foot in it most of the year. In our long periods of absence, the place becomes a target for vandals and any number of pests that might break in.”
Bonfleur cited the recent example of a family of raccoons that had taken up residence in the building, and which cost the town $15,000 to eradicate.
“So when this enterprising hot dog guy approached us with a proposal to use it as a hot dog stand, it solved a lot of problems: he’ll maintain the space, make sure the vandals and raccoons don’t take over, and generally be a good neighbor.”
When pressed on the matter, Bonfleur did admit that, under the terms of the agreement, he and his fellow members of the Dress Code Council would get free hot dogs on demand for themselves and members of their families whenever the stand is open.
“Look, all jobs come with their perks,” Bonfleur said. He was clearly uncomfortable discussing the topic. He said that the free hot dog aspect had been a fairly unimportant part of the deal for him. “You know, I don’t really like hot dogs that much.”
Not surprisingly, the most vocal critics of the decision were a group of competing hot dog vendors. “You know what sauerkraut smells like when it goes bad?” asked Randy Saveloy, the proprietor of Duke’s Dogs in Napeague and the unofficial spokesman of the group. “Well, that’s what this deal smells like to me. How’s a legit businessman supposed to compete when the Dress Code Council is doling out favors to its friends? Who died and made them the weenie kings?”
The police were able to keep the meeting peaceful, and it ended without incident.