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Sep 25, 2015 3:59 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Trustees Win Right To Control Finances

Sep 28, 2015 9:48 AM

A State Supreme appeals court reversed course this week, deciding that the Southampton Town Trustees are a separate government entity from the Southampton Town Board, a decision which will allow the Trustees to maintain control over their own finances.

According to the State Supreme Court Appellate decision, the Trustees are not required to turn over their revenues to the custody of the Southampton Town Board, as was mandated by a January 2014 court decision labeling them a division of the Southampton Town government. With the successful appeal from the Trustees, the agency will not be subject to certain statutes that apply to the Town Board.

The decision maintains some of the rights of the board of Trustees, saying they have the right to control their own income which, primarily, derives from permits and dock fees, and money collected from selling dredged sand.

“They will not have to turn over their finances,” Richard Cahn, attorney for the Trustees said of the decision on Friday. “They do not have to report to the Town Board, they do not have to follow the board’s instructions, they have complete autonomy.”

An injunction was issued in February 2014 freezing the Trustees’ bank accounts after a group of residents of West Hampton Dunes—several of which were embroiled in another suit against the Trustees—won a January 2014 decision that said the Trustees were not an autonomous board and that the Trustees violated state law when they failed to give their financial gains to the town as part of the official town budget.

The decision this week overturns the January decision, and makes it clear the Trustees board has the authority to handle its own financial decisions.

At the time the suit was filed, the Trustees maintained nine bank accounts containing close to $1 million. It is unclear how much is in the accounts now.

The lawsuit was painted by the Trustees as an attempt to rob them of the funding necessary to continue fighting other legal battles with West Hampton Dunes. If the 2014 decision had stood, the Trustees would have had to ask the Town Board’s permission before spending any money, and would need the board to allocate funds to fight several lawsuits the Trustees are embroiled in.

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By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 25, 15 4:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
another win for the good guys
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Sep 25, 15 6:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Fantastic.......I would like the SHT Trustees weigh in on the proposed development, "The Hills."
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Sep 25, 15 6:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Excellent!!!! Now they have to win the appeal that's pending!!! It's a biigy!!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Sep 25, 15 6:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
In your FACE, Gary Vegliante!

Now, let's devote our lives to assuring that the trustees are not seduced by money as the town board has been.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 25, 15 7:04 PM
get a life
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Sep 25, 15 7:09 PM
2 members liked this comment
Obviously HH you just can't let the little things go. AS bad a decision as this was, it ain't over till it's over. BTW the decision before this one was far more devastating to the Trustees than this one, but no one commented???
By veggary (45), West HamptonDunes on Oct 6, 15 3:44 PM
Great news! Congratulations, Southampton Trustees!
By debklughers (2), East Hampton on Sep 25, 15 8:14 PM
Too late-- Horowitless and Warner the Clam already gave away the store to the town
By PoliticallyIncorrect (45), earth on Sep 25, 15 8:50 PM
after the beach access Trustee meeting held in Town Hall , I spoke with Trustee Horowitz on this very topic. He said that it was a good thing for the Trustees to be tied to the Town Board stating that it would provide "transparency" and would elevate the Trustees' standing when dealing with the state. Bravo Sierra Scott! Bravo Sierra! Your actions while Trustee have hurt the board and our rights, hope you do better in your next elected position.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 26, 15 9:11 AM
And just where did you spend your growing up, learning years? Tell me it was on Big Fresh!
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Oct 1, 15 3:33 PM
He was right....They WON. and the community gets accountability and transparency. The Town board never had any "permissive role" in the Trustee finances, just use of technology and expertise from comptroller. In addition the town board agreed to fund 50 % of the hardened structures in the village verdict appeal. Furthermore, the measures that were put in place to assure proper handling of funds and procedures that assure compliance with general municipal law, will strengthen the trustees, when the ...more
By 007 (45), East Quogue on Sep 26, 15 10:26 AM
Scotty "James Bond" Hororwizzzz!! Enjoy your last few months in office Double O Zero
By PoliticallyIncorrect (45), earth on Sep 30, 15 8:44 AM
It's hard to express how pleased I am by this decision. Let's hope it is the turning point, not just the beginning of the end of West Hampton Dunes' cynical attempt to cut off the trustees' litigating funds, but the Churchillian "Hinge of Fate" in the long, long war waged on the Trustees by diverse nefarious parties. These include the empire-building Southampton Town administration that would absorb the Trustees (I'm talking to you, Anna), oceanfront homeowners who would hard-structure their own ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 26, 15 2:58 PM
3 members liked this comment
Hey, forgot two whole categories of nefarious anti-Trustee parties -- all those beachfront owners who don't want their expensive Atlantic view spoiled by a crowd of messy common folk in their 4x4s, and the many, many developers salivating to do shorefront and upland damage without interference by those meddling Trustees (I'm talking to you, Arizona Development, aka The Hills). Lot of badasses out there, hard to keep track of them all.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 26, 15 6:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
That "whoosh" that you heard was Gary's ego rapidly deflating--it seems that the pot of gold he was hoping for turned out to be fools gold. I hate when bad things happen to such a nice person. [sarcasm intended]
By cedric (22), Southampton on Sep 28, 15 12:31 PM
Thank You Mr. TB for telling the truth here in this so very important news. Yes This bunch of newbies since the 1980's are out to ruin (unaware as they are of just what their selfish actions will do to the ocean front beaches). Many years ago back when the first wave of New Yorkers came out on the train from the city the village had a tough speaker for the rights of the locals. Wish that fisheman and his friends were here today.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Oct 1, 15 3:52 PM
C, don't worry you don't have to feel bad, things aren't as bad as they seem. Unless your speaking about the decision before this one, wow talk about a devastating loss, all brought on by lawsuits THE TRUSTEES initiated themselves. Now that's something you should feel bad about(no sarcasm intended).
By veggary (45), West HamptonDunes on Oct 6, 15 3:57 PM
Chuck Todd: Clinton's Favorability Numbers Are So Bad "I Thought I Was Misreading It"
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Sep 26, 15 4:45 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 27, 15 5:27 PM
Hey, Bill, granted I lost it there, but how about taking down 27dan's comment above as being off-topic. I can't see any possible connection to the topic of this article, can you?
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 28, 15 3:13 PM
Hey Dan, Maybe T B is scared they may put the Trustees in charge of the bribed funds collected by the Clinton Foundation.
Sep 29, 15 11:09 AM appended by They call me
Turkey Bridge, Your Fired !
By They call me (2826), southampton on Sep 29, 15 11:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
This is a great victory for the great majority of people in Southampton against the destructive sellout of Anna Throne Holst and Thone Holst, Brad Gilbert and the rest of the Republican cabal in the Town Board who have shamelessly and systematically cut off the independence and effectiveness of the increasingly progressive bipartisan elements of the Trustees whose loyalty belonged to the people than to the developers and the moneyed waterfront owners.

Sometimes, and rarely, the system ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Sep 26, 15 6:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
How wonderful! I think if there is one group of electeds people trust, it is the Trustees.
By baywoman (165), southampton on Sep 27, 15 12:11 AM
This is very good news that the independence and autonomy of the Trustees has been upheld!
By InnerBay (72), Southampton on Sep 27, 15 6:41 AM
That's great news for SH, as the sell out of the Town Board to developers has been appalling and needs a counter.
By dej731 (1), jersey city on Sep 27, 15 1:20 PM
Awsonus Maximus! Hooray for our side!!!
By Tuckahoe Ted (53), southampton on Sep 27, 15 1:38 PM
Well I guess we are going back to the days of one light bulb per house and out houses

now I must go back to reading the news , see you later Turkey,

Obama has turned Putin into the world’s most powerful leader
By Benny AvniSeptember 29, 2015
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Sep 29, 15 11:02 AM
Two things come into my mind......First, Obama making dismissive and snarky remarks to Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential debate, when Mitt said he felt that Russia is a serious threat.

Secondly, the skit where Clint Eastwood was talking to an empty chair. The left had a field day making fun of Mitt and Clint. Today, Putin is slapping Barry around like a petulant child
By They call me (2826), southampton on Sep 30, 15 3:29 PM
to 27dan:


("The Trustees - - - so that the mad Press censors don't delete this.)
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 29, 15 2:04 PM
Good Grief now you can all go back to collecting mushrooms and sipping country time lemonade on the porch while the world passes you by
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Sep 29, 15 6:08 PM
BREAKING: Teamsters Withhold Endorsement for Hillary - - - Want to Meet With Donald Trump

Jim Hoft Sep 29th, 2015 5:45 pm


Teamsters officials met behind closed doors today. The union refused to endorse Hillary Clinton for president.

The officials told James Rosen they want to meet with Donald Trump.
Sep 30, 15 12:04 AM appended by 27dan
highhatsize: meuuu meuuu meuuu
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Sep 30, 15 12:04 AM
Jim Hoft, Sept. 30th, and all the rest of you partisans, You are off topic! This news item is about the Southampton Town Trustees and in their job of taking care of the waters they are non partisan, though sadly maybe with some exceptions. All you newbies coming out to "the Hamptons" are intent on ruining what my ancestors tried so hard to save.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Oct 1, 15 3:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
You dont even live here anymore lol
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Oct 1, 15 5:51 PM
Gee, I wonder if you ever formed a relationship with your childhood home?
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Oct 3, 15 4:36 PM
Off topic I'm sorry . Farrel builders gets their backing from Michael Bloomberg the same nanny moron who doesn't want you to drink a large coke but it's ok for him and joe farrel to destroy and over develope the east end and this to me is the biggest impact to the east end and over population due to illegal immigrants who are working for few builders destroying this island and yes the building permits coming out of town hall is out of control STOP THE BUILDING NOW
By Eeuu (12), Hampton bays on Oct 1, 15 10:42 PM
On what grounds? People own building lots and they build on them. Is the town, county, state responsible for buying every last lot left?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 2, 15 10:25 AM
Oregon sheriff wrote, 'Gun control is NOT the answer,' and residents agree

John Hanlin, Douglas County's sheriff and the public face of the community since the shooting, is also an outspoken critic of increasing gun control.

He asked that Biden "NOT tamper with or attempt to amend the 2nd Amendment," and informed the vice president he didn't plan to enforce any laws he found unconstitutional. His deputies wouldn't either.
Oct 5, 15 11:42 PM appended by 27dan
When gun are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Oct 5, 15 11:42 PM
Very much on topic.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 14, 15 11:18 AM
Great victory for the trustees... Don't think they know what the Dongean patent says. Lost the best trustee to politics and party politics... Our ramps are the worst on long island...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 6, 15 8:10 AM