Montauk is outraged by news that the Ditch Witch take-out wagon was run out of its long time beach end, in part because of new legislation the town passed that concession stands have to bid for the right to do business.
A Facebook page, "Save the Ditch Witch," is up to 740 followers on Wednesday morning less than 24 hours after it was started.
It began when Lili Adams, who owns the Montauk-based institution, told The Feast blog that she wouldn't be setting up shop this summer at the entrance to .
To deal with the popularity of food trucks, the East Hampton Town Board passed legislation that required vendors submit bids for certain beach ends. The bids were not just monetary, but based on a points system where monetary, experience, and other factors were weighted. The board chose a handful of residents to look at the bids to value them and the bids were announced on Tuesday. The board will vote to officially accept the bids at their meeting on Thursday night.
Adams told The Feast that after her bid lost by just three points, "One of the town board members I know was in my driveway, crying. She started smoking again, she says this was the worst day of her life."
Her truck will be replaced by one that sells lobster rolls.
Adams told The Feast the problem started when Montaco, a taco cart based in Manhattan, came to Montauk. It now will replace the Beach Dog food cart, which has been there for 30 years.
"Save the Ditch Witch" followers said they won't take the decision lying down. Many have already sent letters to Town Hall pleading with Supervisor Bill Wilkinson and the board to prevent the replacement from happening.
Kate Soroka, who sent a letter, said she received this response, in part, "The Ditch Witch’s bid was not the high bid. That is not something we as a town board did, it is something that her bid did not do."
"Nonetheless, we hear the lament, and will discuss today, with our Town attorney, what the options are, given the law was enacted and the bids were submitted," the town's response said.
Meanwhile, on the page, people are voicing their support and are planning a protest on Saturday morning.
Annie Armstrong wrote, "That's like saying The Yankees will be replaced by The Boston Red Sox in NY. It's just wrong my heart goes out to Lil!"
Sarah Hubbard Vonfrank said she left the town five years ago and, "It is for actions like these that I'm glad I left. I watched, for years, the town of East Hampton trying to squeeze out the people who made it livable for those of us who had to work our butts off in order to live in what was a wonderful place to grow up. I am not happy about the prospect of visiting in the future."
Lou Corradi wrote, "I like to think that Montauk has character which is one of the reasons so many of us have chosen it as a place to live & spend our R&R time. The Ditch Witch is one of those little nuances that add so much depth & character to the town & Ditch beach. If it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT!"