Forgive an onlooker who thought the “Summer Squash” on the agenda was going to be a discussion about the creamy soup served at some of the village’s finest restaurants during the high season.
Actually, professional squash is a booming sport, akin to tennis, and played worldwide. And Sayed Selim wants to bring it to Southampton Village this summer.
“I have a dream to make great events and bring business,” he told the Southampton Village Board on February 25. Spectators would come to see world-class players, tournaments would be held, and courts would be set up. Hopefully, he said, visitors “would do a little shopping and eat at restaurants.” Perhaps dining on summer squash soup.
A glass-enclosed court would be set up at Dozier Park to house the matches, Selim said. Among the highlights planned for the summer would be a junior tournament, a senior tournament, and exhibition matches.
“I’ve gotten to know him and I invited him to speak. They are offering to pay for everything and it’s something offered for children, and I like that idea,” Mayor Jesse Warren said.
Selim has the creds. An Egyptian-born former professional squash player, he once coached the Egyptian National women’s team, and more recently stars like Cameron Munn, Ryan Murray, Olivia Robinson, and Morgan Huberman, when they were juniors.
Warren asked if town board approval would be needed. Board members had questions as well. Village board member Richard Yastrzemski asked about the duration of the squash events. “Other people use the park. How many would utilize the courts?” he asked. Yastrzemski said the park “also gets marshy in spots” and is hard to traverse.
Stephanie Janus, an associate of Selim, said she would compile more information and address all of the board members’ concerns.
A week earlier the village board voted 4-0 — Yastrzemski was absent — to hire Brian Egan of Egan and Golden LLP to serve as village attorney. He graduated on the dean’s list from St. John’s University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1999. He has served as village attorney for Mastic, Patchogue, and Port Jefferson, and hails from Patchogue.
Warren ruffled some feathers when he engineered the departure of Wayne Bruyn and Bo Robinson, the former Southampton Village attorneys, shortly into his first term. Mark Parash and Kimberly Allan balked. Egan has experience as a village mayor and also experience with the topic of sewer systems. Warren said he found it “unusual” the board initially blocked Egan’s hire.
This time around, differences were apparently hashed out in executive session and the vote to hire Egan passed 4-0. (Yastrzemski was absent).
Egan will earn $3000 a month to attend two meetings, draft resolutions and the like, and an additional $225 an hour for other legal assistance.
The board’s next meeting is Thursday, March 12, at Village Hall.