TOWN BOARD UPDATES
•The Town Board, with the help of the Natural Resources Department, leapt into the future with the installation of an electric vehicle charging station. The station located in the front of the Police Station was paid for by two grant from New York State totaling $12,000. Sylvia Overby, the Board’s Liaison to the Energy Sustainability Committee said that the station was part of the Town’s commitment to energy independence.
•An operating budget of $71.5 million for 2015 has been adopted by the Town Board for the upcoming year. It will include increases of $2.1 million. The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada bestowed an award upon the Town for the quality of its annual financial report.
•The Scavenger Waste Plant has been closed and will no longer function as a transfer station. Expecting that this action will save the Town close to $800,000, it was one of the recommendations of consultant Pio Lombardo hired during the past administration who has compiled an extensive Waste Water Management Plan for the Town.
•A grant of $250,000 has been won through the efforts of our natural Resources Dept., Planning Dept., and CCOM to examine erosion risks, storm vulnerability, and natural recovery. Resiliency of our coast in line with the LWRP (Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan) will be the goal of the grant.
•Through the work of Kim Shaw of the Natural Resources Department assisted by the Nature Conservancy, the Town was awarded a grant of $9.9 million from the US Department of Agriculture Emergency Watershed Protection Program, which will provide substantial monies to purchase permanent easements from landowners in the areas of Mulford Lane and Bayview Avenue. The goal will be to restore floodplains from Napeague to Lazy Point.
•At the end of 2013, the CPF Advisory Board under the leadership of Scott Wilson, the Director of Land Acquisitions and Management, evaluated where the CPF monies could do the most good. Meeting with the Planning and Natural Resources Departments it was decided that the health of the waters was the most pressing issue and that while many of our bodies of water were at risk, Lake Montauk the most endangered. They agreed to purchase as much of the vacant land in the Lake Montauk’s watershed as possible. Once the information was presented to the current Town Board, they agreed. Property owners were then approached and a resounding 40 per cent agreed in a no obligation situation. They would sell only if the Town’s offer was to their liking. These lands are presently in negotiation with offers either outstanding or accepted, or in contract
•Less than fifty people attended the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Project Forum presented by Pio Lombardo on Tuesday, September 23rd at the Village Emergency Management Building. An initiative to push for a comprehensive study of ground water and our waterways to be conducted by Pio Lombardo began in the Wilkensen administration by Sylvia Overby when she was the liaison to the Scavenger Waste plant, and was supported by her two colleagues, Peter Van Scoyoc and Dominick Stanzione. Mr. Lombardo laid out a series of his many reports, which indicated the most troubled areas in East Hampton, including solutions to these problems. The talk, including a discussion of the proposed measures, lasted two and a half hours. The present administration, which has been tackling one issue after another and realizing the importance of our precious water, portable as well as recreational, will present this talk again in Montauk and Springs.
•The Town Board has passed landmark legislation, and a first of its kind on the East End, a formula store law whose goal will be to insure that East Hampton maintains it rural character. The law will restrict the suburbanization of the town by having all applicants interested in developing a commercial establishments go through a process which includes review by the Town, including a traffic study.
• In the six and a half months the Town Board has been in office, it has purchased 48.33 acres of open space at a cost of $15,854 million. The careful and complicated process is headed by Scott Wilson who presents to the Board properties that suit the specifications of the CPF law. The Board must then decide to accept or reject his recommendations. Presently, there are 21 additional properties in contract, which will add another 67.7 acres costing $18.7 million. Another 16 other properties are in the process of Board resolutions town and/or accepted offers of some 19.83 costing $15.3 million. Quite an accomplishment!
•The Town Board’s Committee on Energy & Sustainability, with its liaison Sylvia Overby, have urged the town to seek viable clean renewable energy in the form of solar and wind power to supply the electrical needs of East Hampton by 2020. Presently the Town is exploring places to set up solar panels.
•The Town’s website will now include a code enforcement form that can be filled out on line and submitted in that manner.This will enable people to report violations they see in their neighborhoods promptly and conveniently.
DEMS ON THE JOB
•Samuel Kramer, a Democratic Committeemen, has resigned his position in order to assume a seat on the Suffolk County Planning Commission. During his tenure as an East Hampton Committeeman Kramer served as the party’s treasurer. He will assume the position vacated by John Whelan who has become the chairman of the Town Zoning Board of Appeals. East Hampton’s Dems loss is Suffolk County’s gain.
•The Litter Committee, headed by Deb Klughers, one of our Democratic Trustees and whose liaison is Sylvia Overby, has broadened its focus by including recycling as its next mountain to climb, so they are now the Recycling & Litter Committee. This month has been declared Recycling Awareness month in East Hampton. Although, the slogan Reduce, Reuse, Recycle began in eighties, it is as vital now as it was then; maybe more so.
ABOUT TIM BISHOP
Tim Bishop was honored at the annual holiday party held on December 5th at the Palm, Tim Bishop was praised by all in attendance for his twelve years of extraordinary dedication to role of Representative from the first district of NYS to the US Congress. It was with a great deal of sadness Betty Mazur, our Vice Chairman, presented the Congressman with a crystal paper weight embedded with the East Hampton Dems’ logo inscribed with the words ‘with love and admiration’ citing his service to East Hampton. Tim graciously thanked the committee for their tireless effort on his behalf. The evening’s festivities ended with one of Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc’s original humorous ditties he is known to produce. Diana Walker wrote an original skit in which she played Speaker Boehner and Phyllis Italiano was Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The End of the Bishop Era: Although Tim Bishop won East Hampton by a resounding 63.4%, he was unable to stem the tide of the nationwide Republican Congressional gains in the November 4th mid-term elections, and went down to defeat at the hands of a state senator from Shirley, Lee Zeldin. Monies from outside and unknown sources poured into the race to support the Republican candidate. Although Bishop appeared the stronger of the two in all the debates, in the final tally, Congressman Bishop a native of Southampton lost by almost 10% . He was a strong advocate for all East Hampton issues, from PSEG to the beaches of Montauk, and served us well. He will be sorely missed.