An effort to respond to coastal erosion and flooding in low-lying areas here took a step forward recently when East Hampton Town made exploratory buyout offers to property owners. This is an important development that responds to the increasing threat to the waterfront and the concomitant certainty of losing public beaches if seawalls and other permanent structures are allowed.
That East Hampton is divided into two camps these days — those who want to live here and those who simply want to make a buck — is worthy of particular concern as summer approaches. Finding a balance between them is what makes the job of those in Town Hall and the village’s Beecher House so tough. It is up to them to make decisions about the direction of the community and to keep in check those of a more, shall we say, extractive mind-set.