The Mast-Head: Summer Indicator

The Taiani affair perhaps illustrates the lengths to which some might go to obtain one of the village’s coveted passes.

   You know the summer season is approaching when the national media stories start appearing about places like East Hampton. This week it was a brief ripple in the Internet blogosphere that the village’s 2012 nonresident  permits for beach parking were selling out earlier than usual.
    A senior editor at CNBC.com wrote that the fact that the maximum number, 2,900, sold quickly this year could be a positive indicator for the housing market.
    Never mind that sales of luxury goods, such as these $325 parking permits, have been strong despite the prolonged recession. Another factor in the preseason rush could be mass e-mails sent out by real estate agents warning those who want East Hampton Village permits to get their orders in early lest they be reduced to biking, or, shudder, beaching it in the town.
    I was surprised recently to see in a town justice court report that a man who had placed a forged village sticker on his Range Rover and was caught back in July had gotten off easily. Andrew Taiani of Blauvelt, N.Y., had been hit initially with a felony, but on Feb 23 the matter was adjourned and will be dropped altogether if he stays out of trouble.
    The allegation itself was interesting, though. Police said at the time that the suspicious-looking sticker on Mr. Taiani’s Range Rover had a plate number on it that corresponded to a Lexus. No one was around when they made this discovery, so the cops hauled the vehicle to the impound yard. A couple of days later, Mr. Taiani turned up at police headquarters to turn himself in — and pick up the Range Rover. I was curious about what Mr. Taiani had to say about the allegations, but he never returned my calls.
    Certainly the nuisance of returning to East Hampton for a court appearance, and, presumably, hiring legal representation, was punishment enough for Mr. Taiani, but I was surprised that the prosecutor agreed to a no-fine deal.
    The Taiani affair perhaps illustrates the lengths to which some might go to obtain one of the village’s coveted passes. There was no word from Mr. Taiani as to whether he was among the 2,900 lucky car owners who managed to secure one this year.