Government Briefs 08.08.13

East Hampton Town

A Poxabogue Sale Go-Ahead

    State legislation needed for East Hampton Town to move forward with the sale of its share of the Poxabogue Golf Center in Sagaponack to Southampton Town, the joint owner, has been passed and signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The sale had previously been held up when the town discovered it needed state permission, through the “alienation of parkland” provision of the law, to divest its ownership in the recreational facility. While East Hampton purchased its share using municipal funds, Southampton Town used money from its community preservation fund; consequently the property will be preserved into the future. The second state legislative act was needed to clarify the metes and bounds of the property, which had been inaccurately described in the first law.

Hearing on ‘Light Trucks’

    The town board will hold a hearing next Thursday night on an amendment to the zoning code designed to help ordinance enforcement officers prosecute those who use residential properties as a base for commercial activities.

    While the code prohibits the establishment, in neighborhoods, of businesses, and the parking at houses of commercially registered vehicles, it allows business owners to park “light trucks” at their residences. However, because there is no specific definition in the law of what a light truck is, the board has been told by Patrick Gunn, the chief public safety officer, that it is difficult to cite people who, for example, park numerous large trucks, landscaping equipment, and the like at their houses, using them as a home base for businesses.

    The proposal under discussion would define a light truck as a commercially registered motor vehicle of not more than 25 feet in length and with a gross vehicle weight rating, as specified by the manufacturer, of 10,000 pounds or less. While the code change will not enact a new ban on businesses in residential areas, it would allow for increased enforcement of the law. Councilwoman Theresa Quigley has expressed concern about its impact on business owners. The hearing will begin at 7 p.m.

LTV Contract Talks

    East Hampton Town is poised to renew a contract with LTV, the cable station that is the town’s public access provider, after a hearing last Thursday at which numerous LTV producers spoke about the nonprofit organization’s value. The station receives an annual grant from the town, a percentage of the franchise fees paid by Cablevision, and provides coverage of education and local government on Channels 20 and 22.

    Town board members agreed Tuesday to provide a total of $682,000 to the station this year, and then to set a base amount of $550,000 annually. The need for any budgetary requests beyond that would have to be proven by LTV, under a “zero-based budgeting” model.

Ping-Pong Donation

    The Amagansett Youth Park will get an outdoor Ping-Pong table, thanks to a donation by Khanh Ngo of Khanh Sports in Amagansett, Councilwoman Sylvia Overby announced Tuesday. The donation was set in motion by a constituent who inquired about adding the equipment to that already provided for youngsters at the park, Ms. Overby said.    J.P.

New York State

Thiele on the 2013 Session

    The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons has invited Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. to speak to the public Monday evening in Bridgehampton about the “highlights of the 2013 legislative session.” Mr. Thiele, a member of the Independence Party after having switched from the Republican Party in 2009, has represented the East End for the past 18 years and serves on the State Assembly’s Education, Election Law, Environmental Conservation, Transportation, Ways and Means, and Oversight, Analysis, and Investigation Committees. What’s more, he was recently appointed chairman of the Assembly Task Force on University-Industry Cooperation.

    Mr. Thiele, a native of Sag Harbor, will speak at the Hampton Library at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served at the beginning of the talk, and there will be a question-and-answer session afterward.

‘Pets in Cars’ Bill Gains Ground

    Fines for those who leave companion animals in cars during extreme hot or cold weather conditions would be increased, and police officers authorized to remove endangered animals, under a bill being sponsored by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. in the State Legislature. In a release, Mr. Thiele noted that during the heat wave in July, a number of cases of animals confined in vehicles were reported to his office, and that “many local governments are taking steps to educate the public about the danger of such confinement.”

    Several citizen activists have recently petitioned East End governments for permission to purchase and install signs to be erected in parking lots warning of the dangers of leaving animals in cars, and of the penalties for doing so. The East Hampton Town Board, in the face of opposition to the idea by Councilwoman Theresa Quigley, took no action after hearing the appeal several weeks ago.

    If adopted, the assemblyman’s bill would increase the fine for a first offense from between $50 and $100 to $250 to $500; the fine for a second offense could rise to $1,000. In addition to authorizing officials to remove an endangered animal, the bill would amend the current law to provide that a prosecutor need not prove that the driver of the vehicle had knowledge of the dangerous confinement — only that the animal was confined in dangerous conditions.