It Takes a Village

Rules matter

When East Hampton Village officials told the folks at c/o the Maidstone hotel that a late-night burlesque show had to be shut down for want of the proper permit, the reaction from those not directly involved were smirks of amusement and snickers about the authorities being prudes. There is more to be taken from the episode, however: Rules matter and sometimes it takes a village to enforce them. (Sorry, we know, we know, but we couldn’t resist.)

East Hampton Village law concerning restaurants and other places of public assembly may need fine-tuning, but residents have made it clear they do not want to see drunken bacchanals like those that plague Montauk to spread, and officials have acted in keeping with that opinion. As uptight as the village might appear to be about public performances, it is what villagers want.

A similar example can be found in Sagaponack, where residents formed their own village not too long ago when they were faced with a movement to loosen coastal building restrictions. And in Sag Harbor, an effort to beat back excessive character-changing redevelopment is nearing completion. 

To their credit, East Hampton Town authorities have made great strides in taming noise created by East Hampton Airport in response to an outcry. By contrast, it is fair to say Town Hall has accomplished little to truly to control noxious nightlife, and it remains to be seen if the milquetoast, if controversial, town rental registry will tamp down on summer crowds, party house mayhem, and permanently overburdened neighborhoods such as in the Springs and East Hampton School Districts.

From where we sit, we think East Hampton Town should take a page from the village’s books, so to speak, and get tougher still. One twirl of the burlesque pasties does not a crisis make, but a whole summer of them may not be in the community’s interest.