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  •     Although the so-called 555 luxury housing project aimed at over-50 buyers in Amagansett is said to be dead, town board hearings on the creation of a new zoning classification for senior citizens, and on applying that zone to the roughly 25-acre 555 site, may well continue in the new year. The developers have not gone away and could be expected to consider alternate plans.

  •     Online petitions and a well-funded legal challenge aside, South Fork local officials who are moving toward large-scale killing of deer, politely called culling, have a difficult time ahead. Leadership is never easy when policy gets mixed up in emotion, and wildlife management is one of the most emotional aspects of government. Few other issues draw as much attention and heat from the public, making the job of deciding how to proceed fraught with tension from the start. But rational, dispassionate policy-making must be foremost in such instances.

  •     Supervisor-elect Larry Cantwell announced the names of the new East Hampton Town attorney’s office staff this week. While judgment must be reserved until the public gets to know Elizabeth Vail and the members of her team, their résumés appear to be strong. Next comes the task of sorting out the town’s appointed boards, in particular deciding who should lead them.

  •     It is unfortunate that the final days of the East Hampton Town Board’s Republican majority have come down to this: a poorly considered proposal to amend the town’s zoning code in a way that would violate the comprehensive plan and, perhaps, state law.

  •     As if traveling along the scorched shoreline of the River Styx, we were dismayed recently by what we saw among the wrack at Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett. The season’s first meaningful storm had dredged up a summer’s worth of bonfire remains. Blackened logs and chunks of burned wood littered a full third of a mile to the west — in December.  

  •     While this area’s needy food pantries draw a large measure of the public’s attention and contributions, there are also any number of other outreach efforts that are worth acknowledging. And there are those that could stand a lot more notice — and charity.

  •    The Star suggested last week that an ombudsman (or woman) — independent, forthright, and tough — might well be worth considering for an East Hampton Town government that has suffered from inappropriate or incompetent leadership for nearly a decade. That observation was made before county officials delivered a stunning repudiation last week of a Town Hall plan to create a new high-density housing zone for wealthy, over-50 residents and to apply it to a site in Amagansett.

  •     Where to start? That question has to be swirling around as a new East Hampton Town Board majority prepares to take over in the new year. Unfortunately, because many protections were ignored during the Wilkinson years, there will be a lot of work to do just to bring the town back to a regulatory baseline.

  •     Members of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee were proud last week as they unveiled large new signs at the eastern and western ends of the hamlet. For the life of us, we cannot figure out why adding to the already jumbled roadside clutter along Montauk Highway is desirable, but, if that’s what they want to do, so be it.

  •       In the waning days of the Wilkinson administration in East Hampton Town Hall we have found ourselves wondering if anything could be done to prevent future town leaders from amassing similarly flawed records. The answer may lie in something other local governments have had for years — an ombudsman whose responsibility is vetting residents’ complaints and weighing in on whether proper procedures are being followed.