At 10:55 AM July 1, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman accepted an amended East Quogue village incorporation petition. The revised petition was signed by Dave Celi, Maria Daddino, and Karen Kooi, the same individuals who signed the original petition for incorporation submitted April 3. The boundaries of the proposed village are East Quogue School District and the East Quogue Fire District.
The supervisor announced the insufficiency of the initial petition back on June 10. In a nine-page decision, Schneiderman concluded the failure was due to the list of regular inhabitants not meeting the legal requirements. There were at least 34 people on the list found to be deceased.
“In the case law that I reviewed particularly for the second department, which is the jurisdiction where Southampton is located, it was clear that an inaccurate list does not qualify,” Schneiderman said. “Cases with far fewer deceased individuals were ruled to be inaccurate and ineligible for incorporation vote.”
The supervisor wanted to ensure a decision he made abided by the law, so it would be sustained if challenged, although the East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee had the option, should it have chosen, to take Schneiderman’s ruling to court.
The town attorney’s office and town clerk’s office will assist Schneiderman in reviewing the amended petition, pursuant to the terms and conditions of Article 2 of New York State Village Law. He will call a public hearing on the sufficiency of the petition on a date and location to be announced.
The petition was resubmitted with the original 780 signatures backing up the group.
“We’ve stood up at many meetings and said this is how we feel, and no one’s ever had the ability to ascertain what we wanted,” Celi, a committee co-chair, previously said. “We feel we have no voice. We feel Southampton Town is not listening. It’s time East Quogue takes its future into its own hands.”
The 15-member group began working together in November 2017 on trying to figure out a way to be heard, but found it difficult when there’s no East Quogue representation on the town board, and the hamlet only makes up eight percent of the town’s voting population.
The main objective has been a thin layer of government — a village with a hall, planning board, zoning board, and code enforcement that would rely on the town for police coverage and public works.
“We’re so proud of what we’ve accomplished and so pleased that we’ve got to this point,” Kooi, also a committee co-chair, said previously. “We planned everything. This group pulled it off.”
Copies of the petition will be available for viewing inside the clerk’s office in Town Hall, located at 116 Hampton Road, Southampton, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the town clerk’s Annex Office, located in the Hampton Bays Community Center on 25 Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays.