Government Briefs 07.25.13

East Hampton Town

Arts Council Appointments

    After establishing an East Hampton Arts Council last month, the East Hampton Town Board appointed 12 members to the group at a meeting last Thursday. The group includes visual artists and art instructors along with an art lawyer, a collector and photographer, a theater director, a writer and publisher, and owners of a gallery and a music store.

    The council, according to a resolution passed unanimously by the town board, will “advise the town on issues concerning the arts and various artists, including education opportunities, business opportunities, areas for performing and producing art, and [will] interface with various artists groups, businesses, museums, and associations.”

Seeking Pet Safety Signs

    Seeking to protect dogs whose owners might think it is safe to leave them in parked cars during hot weather, Lynn Lehocky approached the town board last Thursday about erecting signs in parking lots or along public streets reading “Warning: Heat Kills Pets in Parked Vehicles.”

    She said that state law prohibits leaving pets in cars under certain conditions, under penalty of a $250 fine. Councilman Dominick Stanzione said that he had already forwarded an e-mail about posting the signs to Pat Gunn, a town attorney and head of the public safety division. But Councilwoman Theresa Quigley protested the idea. “I think the more we assume people don’t have common sense, the more they lack common sense,” she said.

Farm Museum Go-Ahead

    Restoration of the historic Selah Lester house, on town-owned property on the corner of North Main and Cedar Streets in East Hampton, is set to proceed, following the town board’s acceptance last week of a $296,700 bid for the project. Carter-Melence, a company from Sound Beach, will do the work. Thanks to the efforts of a volunteer committee, the house is slated to become a farm museum depicting the life of an East Hampton farm family in the early 1900s.

    The Revolutionary War-era house was built for Capt. Jonathan Barnes of Amagansett and was moved to its present location in 1870 after being sold to Selah Lester. The house and barn remain on the large open lot, which was purchased by the town using the community preservation fund. After structural work on both buildings is completed, the town plans to sign a license agreement with a new nonprofit agency that will be set up for the purpose of running the farm museum.

Two Employees Suspended

    The town board suspended two town employees last week pending the disposition of disciplinary charges of misconduct and incompetence. Steve Arkinson, an electrical services supervisor in the town’s Parks and Building Maintenance Department, was suspended without pay for 10 days, while Frederick Windisch, a minibus driver for the Human Services Department, was suspended without pay for 30 days.

    Both men are entitled to request a hearing, pursuant to New York Civil Service Law. Eileen A. Powers will be assigned as a hearing officer in both cases should that take place.