“the study of the rights and duties of citizens and of how government works”
As you may have read in our local papers, live music is not dead yet in East Hampton.
- East Hampton Star : “A Chorus of Nays on Music Permit Proposal”
- The Independent : “Is It ‘Taps’ For EH Music Permit Revision?”
- Sag Harbor Express : “East Hampton Board to Revisit Music Permit Changes After Public Outcry”
The overflow crowd at East Hampton Town Hall on March 21st was a testament to the power of public hearings and the transparency of government with our East Hampton Town Board. It was a civics lesson in action.
For those unfamiliar with how our local government works, here is a simple description of the process:
- The Town Board meets regularly and publishes the meeting agendas, minutes and videos of each meeting on the town’s website: https://www.ehamptonny.gov/385/Town-Board
- Issues are brought to the attention of the Town Board … any citizen can attend a Town Board work session and address the board members with their concerns.
- Issues and topics are discussed openly and are televised live on LTV channel 22 (https://www.ltveh.org/ch-22-government-educational)
- Any issue that results in a resolution to be voted upon by the board will first be put to a public hearing, where again, any citizen can voice their opinions for or against the resolution. Each public comment is well documented in the minutes of the meeting.
- When all voices are heard, the Town Board will either vote on the legislation or table it until further investigation of the issue can shed more light on their decisions.
Transparency of our local government is predicated on passionate public engagement – which was evidenced by the recent music permit debate. This was true democracy in action and culminated with Supervisor Van Scoyoc suggesting:
“We have an arts council for fine arts. Why not have a committee formed with musicians that can inform the town board how we can help you, your livelihoods, how we can make adjustments to codes to promote live music and do so in a respectful manner to the whole community but give more opportunities for small businesses that are music related?”
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