Signs of Conceit

There is one practice that bears stopping in its tracks

    Members of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee were proud last week as they unveiled large new signs at the eastern and western ends of the hamlet. For the life of us, we cannot figure out why adding to the already jumbled roadside clutter along Montauk Highway is desirable, but, if that’s what they want to do, so be it.

    While we are on the subject of signs, however, there is one practice that bears stopping in its tracks — slapping the town supervisor’s name on everything from the billboard-like placard at the airport road to the sign at the Abraham’s Path youth park.

    Try as we might, we cannot remember just when this began. Time was, you had to really accomplish something — or depart for the great beyond — before your name went up. These days, the sign painters get busy at the turn of each administration to put up the supervisor’s name wherever they can.

    What is misleading about East Hampton Town supervisors’ names on signs is that the job really does not come with much more authority than that of the other members of the town board. The supervisor gets to write the annual budget, but he enjoys precisely the same number of votes when it comes to its approval — one. And, to be honest, more often than not disaster has been the result when town supervisors have gone it alone.

    As the confident Larry Cantwell takes over, along with a new board majority, we hope he and the others will resist the siren song of such pointless self-aggrandizement. Good reputations will build themselves.