Government Briefs 07.31.14

Local government notes

East Hampton Town

151 Signs

Signs illegally placed on the public rights-of-way have been removed by East Hampton ordinance enforcement officers and other personnel, Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell reported last week. Mr. Cantwell said that to date, 151 signs have been removed.

Leber on A.R.B.

Patti Leber was appointed to the town’s architectural review board by a unanimous vote of the town board on July 17. Ms. Leber, a Montauk resident and one-time candidate for town board, will fill the term vacated by Ruth Vered, who resigned. It extends through 2016.

Plastic Bags Survey

The East Hampton Town Litter Committee is asking residents and business owners to complete a survey regarding the use of disposable plastic bags. Bans on the thin bags, designed for a single use, have been proposed or enacted in other communities, including East Hampton Village.

The survey, which can be completed online at surveymonkey.com/s/CHMQVY7, inquires about one’s use of plastic bags, and seeks opinions regarding a plastic bag ban, a fee on single-use bags of plastic and paper, and a possible credit for bringing one’s own reusable bag to a store.

Plastics do not biodegrade and never completely disappear from the environment, the survey says. The number of plastic bags used annually by Americans has been estimated at 100 billion.

The results of the survey will be discussed by the committee on Aug. 14. The group is hoping that more business owners will provide input between now and then.

Airport Matters

The East Hampton Town Board met on Tuesday in executive session with the town’s outside counsel on airport and aviation matters, Peter Kirsch, to discuss a legal matter, according to Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

The board’s steps toward enacting airport use restrictions to reduce aircraft noise — particularly that of helicopters — after agreements with the Federal Aviation Administration expire in January have recently prompted a campaign by the aviation industry, including the Eastern Region Helicopter Council and its executive director, Jeff Smith, to raise concerns about the airport’s future. In interviews in several publications, he has questioned the town’s strategy, implying that the ultimate goal is to close the airport, and asserting that it will have a devastating economic impact.

Town officials have said that the goal is not closing the facility, but rather the autonomy to make decisions about operating the airport, in order to assist residents beleaguered by noise.