Chris Jones is learning the hard way that getting things done on the East End is sometimes damn near impossible, especially when local politics are involved. Readers will recall that Mr. Jones was the organizer of last year's ill-fated MTK Festival (and part owner of Sole East in Montauk). Undeterred by the public outcry, change of venue and eventual cancellation of that event, we noted that he and a business partner recently purchased The Ronjo Hotel with the intention of turning it into The Montauk Beach House.
However, another public battle seems to be brewing over East Hampton's decision to sell a nearby alleyway to the pair for $35K. Town Board democrats feel that number is too small and want the offer rescinded. Bill "I'm Not Here To Make Friends" Wilkinson was his usual self in response to their complaints?"What is your ultimate goal, not to sell the alleyway?"?and basically dismissed their concerns at a recent work session. Now, The East Hampton Press has taken up the cause. In an recent editorial (warning: PDF), they accuse the board of not following proper procedure, call the sale a political favor (Chris Jones' partner is a "major" donor to national Rebublican causes), and call on the public to get behind to permissive referendum which would put the sale up for a vote.
We'll be following this one closely until we learn of a resolution. In the meantime, feel free to share you thoughts on this latest political debacle in the comments.