The East Hampton Town Trustees could use a workshop on civility. For those who are not clear about what the trustees do, think of them as the stewards of much of the town’s waterways, some of its beaches, and a few woods roads. They oversee mooring permits outside of Lake Montauk and have a say on where docks and aquaculture projects are allowed, as well as on beach driving.
One might think that of the town’s various public boards, given their purview, the trustees would be among the most peaceable. Think again. For some time now the meetings have been way too long, up to three-plus hours, and marred by sharp words and intemperate outbursts. Partisanship plays a part, as do long-held grudges about the nature of trustee authority.
Though the trustees are among the lesser-known arms of town government, they are nevertheless expected to behave in a dignified and respectful manner. Those who get into frequent conflicts with other members might want to ask themselves if they really should stay in office.