The East End is home to beautiful, quaint villages that many of us call home. Each is unique in their own way. Among them is the Village of Westhampton Beach, which is home to some of the nation’s most beautiful beaches, waterfront properties and summertime attractions.
What it also has, however, is a mayor committed to progress in the village and growth toward the future. Mayor Maria Moore, an attorney by trade and the former treasurer of the Westhampton Library, assumed office in 2014, after defeating a four-term incumbent. Her sails are propelled by the winds of change.
Moore, in her seventh year as mayor, has overcome unique challenges. During her current term, the coronavirus pandemic brought specific challenges to Westhampton Beach—not the least of which was the influx of full-time residents escaping New York City.
Mayor Moore rose to the occasion during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the four dedicated trustees, establishing protocols which best suited the residents and their safety. Moore took decisive action to ensure that all of the governor’s guidelines were met and maintained, earning her acclaim from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
“This has been a trying year during which every resident has had to adjust, and I am proud of our community for the way it has pulled together,” says Mayor Moore. “As we move into the spring, residents and visitors alike can count on the Village of Westhampton Beach to remain a refuge from the noise and distractions that seem to fill our days. As a village, we’ve shown over the last year that it’s possible to be safe and still enjoy everything that Westhampton Beach has to offer.”
She did not, however, allow the pandemic to derail her objectives for her third term in office. In fact, she was able to accomplish one of the largest projects in Westhampton history—a major priority for the village—despite the restrictions of the pandemic.
The Westhampton Beach Main Street Reconstruction Project, an $11 million undertaking, got underway in 2019 and sought to improve the downtown shopping district in the Village’s main business region.
The project was far more than a beautification project, and included underground utilities, replacement of all drainage structures, wider sidewalks and curb extensions, LED streetlights, and several other measures that were intended for public safety, functionality and environmental quality. The project was funded by the village, Southampton Town’s Community Preservation Fund, Suffolk County and New York State revitalization funds.
“It’s incredible what has been accomplished in just eight months,” says Moore. ”As a result of the project, there is so much outdoor dining now and the new green spaces provide a breath of fresh air to our community and those who come to share it with us.”
As the finishing touches are being put on the Main Street project, the progress continues in the form of a long-awaited sewer project that will help purify local waterways and give Westhampton Beach greater room to grow.
While Mayor Moore is the chief executive of the Village of Westhampton Beach, she is a resident, first. In 1996, she and her husband Tom made the village their home, and raised their two daughters Elizabeth and Jacqueline there. She loves the village for the same reasons that so many Long Islanders live and visit there.
“When I first came to the village, I felt calmed by the relaxing atmosphere that exists here,” she says. “We are so lucky to have such beautiful beaches, great dining and entertainment, all while maintaining that small town feel.”
While she can’t say just what her favorite spots are in the village, she does say that she thinks that Westhampton Beach is a perfect getaway for a family looking for a staycation.
“Some of my favorite pastimes in the village are enjoying live music on the green and along Main Street, watching outdoor movies on the Great Lawn, window shopping with an ice cream cone in hand, picking up fresh ingredients for dinner at the farmer’s market, and playing bocce in the park,” she says.
Outside the demands of the job, she makes sure to take time to enjoy the natural beauty of the village through every season.
“I always try to see the village through fresh eyes, and I can honestly say that serving as its mayor is a privilege for which I am grateful every day,” she says.
Westhampton Beach to her is: “A place of simple pleasures.”
An insight to which many surely agree.
Tod Shapiro is a award-winning publicist and associate publisher of Dan’s Papers.