Jennifer Maertz, a candidate for New York State Senate, slammed Democratic primary opponent Bridget Fleming this week for favoring litigation against , which was cited for and — according to Fleming — is posing a threat to Shinnecock Bay by overwhelming the restaurant's septic system.
On Tuesday, specifically chastised Fleming for voting for legislation that allows the to enter into litigation against the restaurant, whose owner,David Hersh, says he has submitted zoning applications to remedy issues, including seating capacity.
In a statement sent to the media, Maertz, of Rocky Point, said , a Noyac resident who sits on the Southampton Town Board, "is essentially working to put a local small business out of business during difficult economic times."
She said, "The owner of Rumba’s has been going out of his way to cooperate with the town, yet Fleming would rather enter into costly litigation than try to work this situation out with this local business owner. This is contrary to the actions of those who pride themselves on their mediation skills."
Flemming rebuffed the statement when reached by phone on Tuesday. She said, "This is a serious matter for the constituents I serve so I took responsible action to support the health of our waters."
According to Fleming, there are a number of issues at Rumba, including a question as to the seating capacity of the eatery, as well as septic loading.
"There is a real concern about the septic load. I am committed to reducing the impairments of our bays," said Fleming, who added that Maertz' press release is a game of political football.
"I am going to keep my focus on what is right for the town," Fleming said.