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Montauk-based community group nears goal of signing up 1,000 members

Tom Bogdan, a retired business owner who has

Tom Bogdan, a retired business owner who has lived in Montauk for 45 years, announced the Montauk United effort in a full-page ad in the July 30, 2015 edition of The East Hampton Star.

The organizer behind the Montauk United effort said he is close to reaching his goal of signing up 1,000 members to help officials in East Hampton Town address quality-of-life issues in the hamlet during the summer.

Tom Bogdan, who in late July announced the effort, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that the group has 847 members and that they plan next month to begin making suggestions and presentations to the town board on issues as taxi services and overcrowding at share houses in summer.

"People are turning houses into bed-and-breakfasts overnight," Bogdan said of the properties, which he described as being at the root of a lot of Montauk's problems. "These houses become party houses packed with 20 or 30 people disturbing the neighborhood and making a general pest of themselves."

Bogdan, a retired businessman who has lived in Montauk for 45 years, said there are all walks of life represented among the membership, including retired police officers.

"There's strength in numbers," Bogdan said of setting the membership number at 1,000.

The group has already been hard at work coming up with ideas to recommend to the board, he said. The first will be "zero tolerance plans," defined on the group's website -- -- as an "efficient, effective and municipally proven plan to counteract and eliminate late-night disturbances of crime, outrageous behavior and generally intolerable mayhem that has become an unwanted part of the Montauk summer culture."

The website also has a button for reporting violations. Users are instructed, "If you see or hear anything, anything at all, which would appear to be a violation of the Town Code, it is our responsibility to report it to the proper authorities. This is the only way we can begin to take back control of our village."

Bogdan said other suggestions that will be made by group members over the next few months involve a taxi management proposal to make sure only locally licensed drivers are operating in Montauk, and a ban on late-night outdoor music. He added that members will also weigh in on a rental registry law that is being considered by officials despite opposition from some property owners.

Bogdan said details of all the group's proposals will be submitted to board members first before being shared publicly.

East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell said Wednesday that he welcomes the group's efforts.

"Any organizations that help make Montauk a better place are good," he said.


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