Lisa Grenci, the chairwoman of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committe for the last 15 years, dropped a bombshell at its meeting on Monday when she announced she was stepping down.
“I’m tired; I’m done,” she said to groans from members, who have re-elected her year after year, almost unanimously. Linda Barns, the committee’s secretary, added another unsettling note, saying she too would no longer run.
Ms. Grenci said she travels every summer and, with three growing children doesn’t have the time to devote to the committee anymore. Asked after the meeting if she would consider staying on for one more year if no one came forward to run for the position, she said no.
About 20 members of Montauk’s newest civic organization, Montauk Citizens Voice, attended the meeting, which was moved from the Montauk School’s library to the multipurpose room in anticipation of a crowd.
The group did not make a presentation, as had been expected, however. Carl Darenberg, a member of the advisory committee who is on the steering committee of Voice, said afterward that the meeting had gone on too long to do so. The new group has 40 members, it was reported and is open to anyone who wants to join. It meets on the last Wednesday of the month at Gurney’s Inn.
Besides Mr. Darenberg, the other members of the steering committee are Dan Stavola, Chip Duryea, Michael Brosnan, and Paul Monte, president of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce and the manager of Gurney’s.
Mr. Darenberg said the organization was formed to give taxpayers an alternative way to get politically involved in environmental and business issues. “We want another voice in the community to be heard,” he said.
During the meeting, Mr. Brosnan spoke about the traffic and parking problems at the west end of the business district. The citizens committee had previously discussed changes recommended by the Town Police Department at both the I.G.A. and 7-Eleven. The I.G.A. has complied with the changes, making the entrance to its parking lot one way, but 7-Eleven has not yet done so. The plan called for the entrance to its lot to be on the east and the exit to the west.
But Lt. Chris Hatch of the department told the committee that the State Department of Transportation had just issued a plan that contradicts the department’s. The discussion is ongoing, he said.
Talk turned to the Friends of Erin St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 25, which started this year at 10 a.m. instead of the usual 12:30 in order to discourage drunken revelers, who come off afternoon trains. The earlier start had worked, but some in the room said it hurt downtown business. “The downtown people were hurt by this, especially those that stay open year round and need that money,” Mr. Darenberg said.
Lieutenant Hatch said consideration is being given to an 11 a.m. start next year. As a business owner and president of the chamber‚ Mr. Monte said it may take a few years to break the cycle of drunken visitors, which will eventually get families back to the parade.
Members also discussed deer, whose numbers continue to grow.
“Something has to be done yesterday. Lyme disease is a terrible issue here. You can’t even go into the woods anymore,” Carl Reimerdes, a committee member, said. He suggested that police be employed to cull the herd and said special gun permits should be granted to property owners who want to take matters into their own hands.
When the town board’s liaison to the committee, Councilman Dominick Stanzione, said a study was under way, Mr. Reimerdes interrupted him. “Instead of studying these things it’s time to do something.”