The role of a professional town manager and the spectrum of ways East Hampton might use one will be discussed during a public forum on Saturday moderated by Lynn Sherr, an award-winning television correspondent and author.
The discussion, which begins at 3 p.m. at the Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street, is sponsored by the East Hampton Business Alliance, the East Hampton Group for Good Government, and the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, which has held previous forums on the subject and advocates that East Hampton Town adopt this model.
Several panelists will discuss the rationale for having a professional manager who reports to elected officials. Stephen Altieri is the administrator for the Town of Mamaroneck in Westchester County. Larry Cantwell, a 2013 candidate for East Hampton Town supervisor, is retiring from his post as East Hampton Village administrator. Zachary Cohen ran for East Hampton supervisor in 2011 and is again seeking the Democratic nomination. Howard Arden is the supervisor of the Town of North Castle, N.Y., which just hired a town administrator in the fall. Also on the panel will be Carole Campolo, a retired New York City government executive, and Barbara Jordan, a former president of the League of Women Voters.
“Many people erroneously believe that the town supervisor is the town’s chief executive officer,” Arthur Malman, co-chairman of the Group for Good Government, said in a release. “Under town law, the five-member town board, as a group, is the town’s chief executive officer. The supervisor is the town’s chief financial officer and is the presiding officer at town board meetings.”
“Having five people act as both the legislative body and the administrative body may lead to difficulties, and the actual functioning of the town board will depend on the personalities of its ever-changing members,” Mr. Malman said.
Saturday’s discussion will be taped by LTV and will be aired later on Cablevision’s Channel 20.