One thing should be clear to anyone in the audience (or watching on LTV). After yet another East Hampton Town Board meeting turned debacle it is more than time for Supervisor Bill Wilkinson and Councilwoman Theresa Quigley to call it quits. For all intents and purposes, they already have.
Considering the evident contempt with which they greet those with whom they do not agree, or whom they perceive as adversaries, and that both appear to be itching for their terms to end at the end of this year, resignation would be appropriate and the best thing for the Town of East Hampton.
We do not make this recommendation lightly. Nor do we expect either will at this late date suddenly heed our advice. Because board meetings are dysfunctional as well as embarrassing when they are in the room, however, little to nothing will get done in Town Hall while they remain in office.
Yet there is more: Mr. Wilkinson’s leading the way on demoralizing town employees, weakening zoning, allowing code enforcement to slow down, promoting blatant cronyism, encouraging the apparently illegal expansion of erosion-control structures, and abandoning key infrastructure spending have set him up for an arguable legacy as the worst East Hampton Town supervisor of all time. If you take away the much-vaunted Wilkinson “miracle”: restoring town finances after the discovery of a giant internal deficit — which was actually put in place in a state-approved plan well before he took office — there is not much in his record on the positive side of the ledger.
As to Ms. Quigley, she has been prone to divisive outbursts, threatened to walk off the job, personally managed poorly thought-out projects, and has seemed only interested in serving the interests of those constituents whose political outlooks mirror her own. Note her “yes” vote recently, with Mr. Wilkinson, on an absurd plan that would have allowed a problematic Napeague bar and restaurant in a fragile environmental area to legalize its many illegal additions and make it permanent as a source of perennial litter and traffic problems.
Mr. Wilkinson and Ms. Quigley have so damaged the once-proud Republican Party brand in East Hampton that the only person said to be considering a run for supervisor is a partisan activist who may well be the supervisor’s last remaining public supporter. Just about the only thing Mr. Wilkinson and Ms. Quigley could do now to salvage what is left of their reputations, and help their party’s prospects in November, is to step aside.
At a May 16 town board meeting, Mr. Wilkinson and Ms. Quigley made it clear they were counting the days till their terms were up. We think they should go one step further. If nothing else they owe it to the voters who expected, wrongly it turns out, that they could do the jobs they were elected to do without drama, condescension, or anger. If they do not want to be there, East Hampton Town residents and taxpayers should not want them there either.
Thanks for the effort you’ve put in, folks, voters might say, but now it’s time to go.