Gordon Bowling, an East Hampton resident, has called for Andrew Goldstein, chairman of the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals, to recuse himself in a proposal pending before the board. The application was submitted by John and Suzanne Cartier, Mr. Bowling’s neighbors, who are seeking to construct an “accessory building with living accommodations” on their two-acre Main Street property.
At a two-and-a-half hour hearing on the plan last month, mired in debate over interpretation, Mr. Goldstein mentioned that he was “good friends with John Cartier,” adding, “I don’t feel compromised in my ability to rule against him.”
Mr. Bowling wrote to the board on July 31 questioning the chairman’s ability to be objective. In that letter, which he provided to The Star last week, he suggested that Mr. Goldstein recuse himself from future debate on the Cartier application “so as not to stain the reputation of the chairman, the Z.B.A., and the East Hampton government.”
“Most residents of East Hampton would agree with me that any chairman of the Z.B.A. who might be ‘good friends’ with an applicant should recuse himself from such cases,” he wrote. “Appearances matter and reputations matter. . . . In a small village like ours, conflicts inevitably occur, and this is the reason we have appointed alternatives.”
In addition to his Z.B.A. position, Mr. Goldstein is the chairman of the Village Preservation Society, which was founded by Mr. Cartier, who is on its board.
It is up to Mr. Goldstein to decide whether his relationship with the Cartiers warrants recusal. In 2010, he recused himself from the East Hampton Library’s expansion application subsequent to making strong statements at Z.B.A. and preservation society meetings against the project.
At the second hearing, tomorrow, Mr. Goldstein is expected to state his intentions.