The Northwest Alliance, a group formed to protect Northwest Creek and Harbor, Barcelona Neck, the Grace Estate, and the environmental quality of areas in East Hampton’s Northwest Woods, has asked candidates for East Hampton Town Supervisor and town board to answer a short list of questions on water quality, the dredging of Northwest Creek, and aircraft noise “in the hopes of building a consensus on the urgency of the protection of this area,” according to T. James Matthews and Patricia Hope, members of the alliance’s steering committee.
“We feel like our concerns have really been neglected for the last long while,” Mr. Matthews said Friday.
Answers from three of the five candidates, the Democrats Larry Cantwell, Job Potter, and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, have been circulated to the group’s 80 members and to the press. The Republican town board candidates, Fred Overton and Councilman Dominick Stanzione, had not responded by the group’s deadline, but said this week they planned to do so.
The alliance asked what the candidates would do to ensure that the town code adapts to changes in water quality resulting from rising sea level, wetland retreat, “compromised” septic systems, and “saltwater intrusion into our aquifer.” It questioned what they would do to address the “governmental impasse” preventing the dredging of Northwest Creek. The creek has been closed to shellfishing for several years. Were it dredged more regularly, water quality might improve significantly, but the Suffolk County Department of Public Works will “dredge based only on navigational needs,” the group’s questionnaire said.
Finally, the alliance asked, “What will you do to create and maintain a balanced and informed discussion of the issue of effects of aircraft noise on wildlife habitat protection?” The concern has to do with the routing of helicopters over the Barcelona Neck and Northwest Creek area.
The candidates’ responses have been posted in their entirety on the alliance’s Web site, northwestallianceny.org and will also be posted on The Star’s.