There are 78 letters to the editor in this week’s edition of The Star, which is a record as far as I know. Who says print is dead?
The occasion for the verbosity is, of course, Tuesday’s election in East Hampton, in which control of the town board is in play. A digest of the letters might go as follows.
We start this week with several letters of thanks, support, and remembrance, one for a village employee, another for a friend, one for the 1686 Dongan Patent. Then it’s off to the races. Readers like or dislike one or the other of the highway superintendent candidates; others announce that they are candidates and seek support.
In the main event, writers decry an ad in which one side was characterized as “thugs,” while some on the other side say, yes, indeed they are. There are letters for Zach Cohen and those for Bill Wilkinson for supervisor and letters accusing each of them of all kinds of things. Letters for Mr. Cohen outnumber those in support of Mr. Wilkinson, the incumbent. Whether this can be seen as more of a reflection on the industriousness of each man’s friends we can’t know until Tuesday night.
A couple of things stand out for me among the letters. First are the new voices, many of whom identify themselves as friends of one of the candidates. After years of publishing messages from the same writers, first-timers are especially welcome. It is one of the pleasures of living in a relatively small town that so many residents know at least a handful of the candidates and are willing to vouch for them.
The top issues reflected in the letters pages this week include the East Hampton Airport, beach access, and financial management. There are letters from former and current elected officials.
It was a chore going through all of them, correcting punctuation, fixing indents, spelling out acronyms, but worth it. East Hampton is lucky to have so many who care so much, and we at The Star are proud that they choose our pages to express their points of view. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Please remember to vote.