At East Hampton Town Hall these days, when you think you have seen it all, someone down there on Pantigo Road goes and does something really unexpected. This time it involves a dead whale, heavy equipment, and who pays the bill.
When a 58-foot-long dead finback washed up on the Napeague beach on Jan. 13, it was a minor sensation. Crowds came for a look; the Riverhead Foundation red-jackets swooped in to give the leviathan a final exam. Then, Town Hall decided to have the fetid mass of bone and blubber cut up and carted away. Problem is, the $7,500 bill ended up being handed to the East Hampton Town Trustees, even though the trustees, a separate elected body, had apparently not been consulted about disposing the whale. The trustees were predictably surprised and upset.
This comes at a moment when the trustees have brought suit against the town zoning board, seeking to reverse approval of a Lazy Point sea wall, which was backed by one of East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson’s closest political cronies. Could sending the bill to the trustees be payback? Ya think?