Privatize the Long Island Power Authority? That was the take-away message from the Moreland Commission, which had been asked by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to assess the utility’s preparation for and response to Hurricane Sandy. Not so fast, Long Islanders should be saying.
For evidence that the East Hampton School Board has made a serious commitment to reversing years in which the public and press were excluded from the decision-making process, one need look no further than the meetings scheduled to prepare the 2013-14 budget. Work sessions are to continue more or less every other week until the May 21 vote. Inviting the public, and especially parents, to look on as the details are worked out began last year.
Quietly late last month the East Hampton Town Trustees went to court to seek to overturn a decision by the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals giving a Lazy Point couple permission to build a sea wall, or revetment. Though as of this writing we had not seen the suit itself, presumably, the trustees are challenging the Z.B.A. ruling on two points: that required trustee approval was not obtained and that the revetment would violate the town’s own coastal erosion law.
Another week, another storm. That’s how it has seemed since at least Hurricane Sandy rolled through on Oct. 29. Early morning light last Thursday once again revealed severe dune loss in several places here, notably at Montauk and Lazy Point. And, with perhaps three more months of potential northeasters, the situation is dire.
The fact is that the number of coastal storms has not been all that out of line with historic averages. What does set the recent period apart is that the waves ride ever-higher, thanks to sea-level rise.
When it was first envisioned, the folks behind the East Hampton RECenter hardly could have expected how popular it would eventually become. Now operated by the Y.M.C.A., hundreds of people pass through its doors every day it is open, many of them headed for the center’s two swimming pools. The 300 or so swimmers there on a peak day, as estimated recently by the Y.M.C.A. director, apparently overtax the pools’ filtration and ventilation systems frequently, raising the likelihood of health risks for those who swim and work there.
In the coming days the East Hampton Town Board may appoint several newcomers to fill seats on boards that fulfill some of the most important functions of local government. Although we have not yet heard of any vacancies on the planning board, there are likely to be openings on the zoning and architectural review boards. And the supervisor and other members of the board will have the annual opportunity to name each board’s chair. Judging from the board’s record in this regard, there is reason for concern.
In keeping with an agenda-laden effort spearheaded by Councilwoman Theresa Quigley to de-professionalize government and hand policy-making over to politically appointed amateurs, the East Hampton Town Board recently discussed asking the town’s respective citizens advisory committees to develop hamlet studies.
Though an endorsement in these pages would appear to be unnecessary, East Hampton Village’s plan to create a timber-framed structure historic designation is a worthy concept. The measure appears headed for approval, perhaps as early as tomorrow’s meeting.