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May 19, 2011 2:14 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Town Board Scraps Vendor Law At Last Minute

May 19, 2011 2:40 PM

Citing a problematic bidding process, the East Hampton Town Board has decided to scrap a new system that had vendors compete for exclusive rights to coveted spots at local beaches this summer, hours before they were expected to accept bids on Thursday evening.

The Town Board convened a special meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss flaws in the bidding process that came to light in the days since the highest-scoring vendors were named at a work session on Tuesday.

Town Board members looked into the bidding process, which was used for the first time this year, after Montauk residents complained that the Ditch Witch stand lost out to Turf Lobster Rolls in its bid to have rights to a spot on Otis Road. Bid forms, Town Board members said, were flawed because they not specify the number of points criteria were worth to vendors.

Montaco Inc. won the bid for Ditch Plains Beach’s west parking lot; Paddy Wagon won a spot on West Lake Drive; Gin Beach Wagon won a spot on East Lake Drive; and Dune Doggie won a spot at Indian Wells Beach.

Those bids will now be set aside. The bids were vetted by a committee of local businesspeople based on criteria set by the Town Board, and were subject to approval by the Town Board at Thursday’s meeting.

Now that the Town Board has decided to change course, rules governing vendors will continue to be what they were last year, with vendors vying for spots on a first-come basis.

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Doh. I gues the right people din't win. Start over.
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on May 19, 11 3:01 PM
False. Its more accurate to say that the wrong people won.

But more importantly, the Town, as they do time and time again, took what was a decent idea (regulating the influx of food trucks), and completely botched it due to their continued and startling incompetence.

Well done MTK.
By tm (174), mtk on May 19, 11 3:30 PM
Yeah. I've been somewhat supportive of Wilkinson and crew, but if they allowed the Ditch Witch to be replaced by some citdiot, he'd be run out of Montauk, literally. I believe it was Prince's idea, but the whole board would take the blame.
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on May 19, 11 3:32 PM
Great news! Last night a facebook group was formed, "Save the Ditch Witch", and it gained over a thousand people in under 24 hours. Many of us called and emailed each member of the board all day today until things were set right. The Ditch Witch and the Beach Dog, among others, are a small pleasure we have been able to enjoy for decades, so who in the world would rather have a Manhattan Taco or a 17 dollar lobster roll? One can't take the opinion of four people over that of a thousand. Thank ...more
By YesYesBub (58), East Hampton on May 19, 11 3:34 PM
It unequivocally was spearheaded by Julia Prince, who took charge of re-vamping the legislation since last January (watch the tapes) . . . I would hope she takes "credit' for the incompetence, the mistake AND the "fix" as she did privately with Lili rather than allowing John Q Public to blame it on "the whole Town Board". During her time in office Julia has consistently ACTUALLY VOTED for resolutions that were enacted and then retracted her stance when the going got tough . . . a nice woman, a ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on May 19, 11 3:57 PM
The incompetence rests in the lap of whomever supervised those evaluating the bids.Who were those people? First Wilky and Quigley say tough luck, a bid is a bid ..Ditch Witch lost. Only later after a 1000 people rail against the outcome on Facebook do the politicians say.. oh, my bad....not my fault. They tried to sneak a fastball by us and we drilled one of their kneecaps.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on May 19, 11 5:02 PM
So you don't believe the problem lies with the law itself, Harbor? I haven't heard Wilky say boo about this - to his credit he's NOT dumping it on Julia, even though it was clearly her baby - so I'm glad it's "fixed" - however that happened . . .
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on May 19, 11 5:35 PM
The People Speak, and the people were heard.

And it worked!

If only we could perform like this in D.C.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 19, 11 7:11 PM
Do you think there is a chance there will be a lawsuite to follow?
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on May 19, 11 8:21 PM
The People Spoke and were heard??? ONLY because it is election year for Wilkinson and hopefully by now he realizes he can't piss off many more LOCALS!
By disappointed (96), wainscott on May 20, 11 8:36 AM

What has happened to the news of own board considering I read a few days ago---pretaining to the town board considering banning fuel trucks from bringing fuel to boats at the municipal town docks and require everyone to buy ONLY at marinas???What a BLUNDER. They are proving to be real jerks and it looks like now they are trying to cover up this brainstorm idea -- What are these leaders thinking to even suggest such OUTRAGIOUS ideas???

By pride of bonac (42), easthampton on May 21, 11 7:22 PM

Did any one else notice that the news article I am talking about has suddenly disappeared ? --
By pride of bonac (42), easthampton on May 21, 11 7:32 PM
The story can be found at http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/East-Hampton/203351/
It was not removed.
By Bill Sutton, Managing Editor (117), Westhampton Beach on May 22, 11 12:57 PM