Archive for October, 2008

East Hampton Town Board Meeting

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Jen Wilson attended the East Hampton Town Board’s budget hearing yesterday. It was open to the public, and many voices were heard. Here is what she has to say about it:

"In this very unsettled financial time, we are most likely going to have our local taxes increase as well. This will increase the burden on many families, and there will be many families who will have to take on a second job in order to survive. Builders, realtors, store owners, architects,  are just some to name a few who are beginning to feel the pain of this economy.  The spending and budgetary mistakes of the East Hampton Town Board should not be passed down to our children.
There are many programs in East Hampton Town that rely on annual money from the Town, and one of the most critical is the East Hampton Daycare Center.
The Center operates on an annual budget of approximately $1.4m, the Town contributed $100k in 2008. The Center’s other funds come from parent fees, a small State grant, the County, the Board of Education and volunteer fund raising. While the Town’s budget provides for youth, senior and disabled citizens, the only support available to our youngest citizens is the annual contribution to our Center.
Like other services and individuals, we are facing increased costs and increased pressure on income sources. Our staff has not received salary increases in two years, parent fees were raised and services were cut to keep the programs operating. We have ramped up fund raising and will continue to do so, but it is becoming increasingly clear that our award winning, excellent and affordable child care program cannot be sustained without ongoing public support.
Research findings in both education and sociology repeatedly and consistently demonstrate the need for early childhood education. Significantly (in research terms) children who do not receive necessary preparation lag behind their peers throughout their academic careers. Specifically, children need to develop attention span, the ability to follow directions and cooperate. These skills help them learn about their environment outside the home and nurture their curiosity. As well, early learning difficulties can be spotted and corrected before they become entrenched. Funding the East Hampton Day Care Learning Center is a win-win decision whereas not funding it is likely to cost an inestimable amount in social and learning problems.
The Center provides two hot meals and two snacks each day for the children of working parents. Without the Center, many of our local families would not be able to live in East Hampton. Many of those who may face taking a second job will have to rely on the EH Daycare Center more than ever. A rise in property taxes and a simultaneous diminution of child care service will harm our Town in so many ways.
We need to cry out for help from the Town as well as our citizens.  We all have a responsibility to help the children of this wonderful small town that we live in!"


Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Dow spikes nearly 900 points after plunging 700 points, skids over 200 points in the last half hour of trading… new records set — both good and bad– headlines linking current conditions to the Great Depression,, OMG! whiplash and agita.

Fortunately, East End Real Estate — Hamptons, North Fork, Shelter Island— is like bedrock. In fact, the NYT article of October 24, 2008 titled "Standing Firm In The Hamptons" states "According to a report on 10 year price trends in the Hamptons compiled by Miller Samuel, the median sales price jumped from $244,000 in 1998 to $975,000 in 2007– a 300% increase. That is a bigger increase than even Manhattan experienced– roughly a 225% jump– during the same 10 year period."

We have seen very few pull out of their deals, a small percent are renegotiating but most are closing without a hitch. The greatest trend that we are experiencing is a large population of buyers waiting… ‘waiting for the election to be over’ , ‘waiting for 2009′ , or the biggie ‘waiting for the bottom’— I’d like to remind everyone we won’t know the bottom until 6 months on the other side. Additionally, real estate is meant to be a long term investment and as we can see from the NYT article, Hampton’s real estate yields an impressive return.

In closing,, It’s important to remember– the fortunes of tomorrow will be born from the fall out of today.


Thursday, October 9th, 2008

11976,11975 & 11932 have topped 90210 & Manhattan’s ritzy zips…. codes that is.

Water Mill (11976), Wainscott (11975) & Bridgehampton (11932) have made the list of the top 25 Most Expensive Zip Codes in the United States 7/07-6/08. 

Miami Beach (33109) was #1 with a median home sale price of $3.85M.

Water Mill ranked 5th, Wainscott was 8th and Bridgehampton was 19th. I’m going to hypothesize that the incorporation of Sagaponack Village threw a monkey wrench in to the computer or Sagaponack Village would also have made the ranking.

Two other Honorable Mentions are Amagansett  (11930) at #32 and Shelter Island Heights (11965) at # 84.