Back in 2003, locals began going before the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals, proposing to expand the hamlet's library by about 6,000 square feet. And now that the ZBA has rejected the expansion, proponents are bringing out the big guns. One source told the Post, "The old guard is scared that the Latino kids and their parents from Springs are going to invade their precious downtown area. It’s really that simple."
To be fair, the ZBA's language didn't do much to refute the claims of racism. In their 13-page rejection letter, they say that "an undesirable change in the character of the neighborhood and detriment to nearby properties would result from the proposed expansion," and the "expansion would bring more people to the library, which is across from Guild Hall in one of the most congested areas in the village." The library board has organized a public referendum on the issue later this month, and library director Dennis Fabiszak said, "I think we are going to get a lot of support. People are pissed off. This really is village politics at their worst."
However, Jeffrey Bragman, an attorney for the Village Preservation Society says it's the library that's being exclusionary. The society says the proposed expansion of the childrens section will cause unneeded congestion, but the problem of needing more space could be solved by building an annex in the Springs section of East Hampton. He said, “A big glamorous Robert A.M. Stern building in the heart of the village where it’s hard to walk and park...is exclusionary. It’s a poor way of delivering library services." At least one thing is clear—somebody in the Hamptons is racist.