Village Board: San Simeon can’t use Mitchell Park for fundraiser

TIM KELLY PHOTO | San Simeon held a fundraiser earlier this year at Mitchell Park.

By a unanimous vote, with Trustee Chris Kempner absent following the recent birth of her second daughter, the Village Board turned down a request from San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation to use Mitchell Park for a fundraiser on July 29, 2012.

“It’s not that the board doesn’t see San Simeon as a worthy cause,” said Mayor David Nyce. But opening the park for annual events not related to Greenport Village could result in the public park being unavailable to villagers all summer, he said. San Simeon won board approval for its fundraiser this past summer but was told at the time that it had to seek another venue for 2012.

San Simeon lies just outside the village limits.

San Simeon’s development director, Andrea Parks, and development chair Nancy Morrow stormed out of the meeting following the board vote. But Ms. Parks acknowledged that she spoke with the mayor following the meeting. She declined further comment.

Ms. Morrow issued a written statement Tuesday saying, “San Simeon is disappointed that the village has decided to cancel our annual fundraiser in Mitchell Park. We were hoping to return in the summer of 2012 after having hosted a very successful event in July this year.

“The proceeds of the event are used to enhance the quality of care including the purchase of much needed new beds,” Ms. Morrow said. “As a Greenport Village resident and board member of San Simeon, I am saddened that the Village Board has chosen to reject such a worthy undertaking.”

More than 200 people participated in this summer’s fundraiser, Ms. Morrow said.

“We supported all the local businesses by utilizing local service providers and many of our guests stayed on to frequent the local shops and restaurants,” she said.

The mayor pointed out that in the past year, the board had made a similar decision and for the same reason turned down a request from Sts. Anargyroi & Taxiarhis Greek Orthodox Church to use Mitchell Park for its annual summer festival.

Trustee Mary Bess Phillips again prodded her colleagues to develop a clear policy on how the park, financed with federal, state and local tax funds, can be used.

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