Times have changed for the East Hampton Town Trustees, with ever-greater pressures on our shorelines from businesses and homeowners at the same time global warming is causing ecological changes. By the middle of the 21st century, sea level is predicted to rise by as much as 12 inches, inundating more low-lying areas and sorely testing local governments, which will have to cope with a slow-moving but potentially overwhelming disaster.
The challenges mean that the trustees, who manage the town’s beaches, bays, and harbors outside of Montauk, will be required to deal with problems of ever-increasing complexity and potential cost to taxpayers. At the same time, the trustees will have to balance increasingly intense desires of waterfront property owners and residents’ traditional pursuits, such as commercial fishing, shellfishing, and recreation.
Fulfilling the role of trustee is difficult now, and it is only going to get tougher. Successful trustees not only have to know their stuff, they have to be tenacious. No longer can their election be decided simply by who’s the most Bonac. By a quirk of the law, all nine of the trustee seats are in play at one time. In making our picks we looked for capability and dedication.
Of the incumbents, we enthusiastically endorse Stephanie Talmage-Forsberg, Diane McNally, Joe Bloecker, and Lynn Mendelman. Among the challengers, we endorse Deborah Klughers, Ray Hartjen, Stephen Lester, Sima Freierman, and Nathaniel Miller.
Among this excellent group can be found more graduate degrees than in any other town race this year, and even a doctorate, as well as plenty of relevant life experience. Our choices would make for a strong, balanced panel, one best able to meet what lies ahead.