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23 Comments by P.A.B.

East Hampton board still split on Springs Park dog plan

If Mr. McGintee is going to use the Town's liability cost as an issue, then the Board should examine the costs of carrying liability insurance at all our other town parks and nature preserves, where there are, among other activities, bow and gun hunting, rugby, softball, and skateboarding, just to mention a few activities that carry substantial liability.
Additionally,he complains that the park needs to be made "more inviting for people other than dog owners." This implies that the evolution of a special use is somehow wrong. In many other town parks and/or nature preserves, there are already specialized or limited activities. I don't see the board complaining about ball fields, children's swing sets, tennis courts, or hiking and horse trails. Many of our parks exist for just one or a few special uses and no one up until now has found that to be unfair. " Sep 15, 09 8:34 PM

East Hampton GOP candidates win critical endorsements

It is time for Ms. Carabine to drop her write-in candidacy -- which is a losing proposition -- and to endorse candidates who actually have a chance to win the race. Her endorsements for supervisor and for town board seats will definitely influence some undecided voters in addition to the small group that is loyal to her; she will be doing the town a favor by backing candidates who most represent her philosophy and her vision for East Hampton." Oct 6, 09 5:33 PM

The Wilkinson team prepares to take office

Give Ralph Lauren a sweetheart deal--a ten-year lease from the town! Mr. Lauren can rename the complex Laurenhampton, and he can move all his retail activities there. Destination shopping! In exchange, he completes a historically correct restoration, rebuilds the parking lot, provides landscaping, and replenishes our town's empty coffers." Nov 10, 09 5:28 PM

Source: Bernard will be tapped as budget officer in East Hampton Town

This is disappointing news if true. Ms. Verneuille has already been working for the town at approximately half the salary she was earning in the private sector. Her knowledge of Town finances, and her qualifications as a Certified Public Accountant, are essential if we want to complete the job of unraveling the Town's finances, bonding our debt, and developing a workable and professional financial record-keeping system for the Town.
Mr. Bernard might make a fine budget officer, but his position and abilities do nothing to negate the need for Ms. Verneuille.
Most disappointing is that The Wilkinson Team is behaving in a shabby and unprofessional manner by substantially cutting Ms. Verneuille's salary instead of thanking her for her fine work and letting her go. Instead of thanks, she is getting smacked in the face. It will look better for The Wilkinson Team if she resigns over a salary cut--at least that is what they think.
What next? I guess it's politics as usual, and the welfare of the Town comes in at a distant second to party interests. " Dec 9, 09 8:11 AM

East Hampton comptroller jumps ship for school job

It is a real loss for our town, when there is still so much work to be accomplished in untangling the chaotic, so-called bookkeeping and finance. The forty thousand dollars "savings" was never an issue, because that much and more will have to be spent hiring outside accounting consultants to complete the job. Clearly the "Wilkie Team" did not want her around, in spite of her apolitical position. The best of luck to Ms. Verneuille in her new position. We'll miss you, Janet!" Jan 19, 10 5:02 PM

East Hampton plans to cut number of departments in half, offer early retirement

A good idea to reduce staff, but why not consult with Department Heads over what positions are redundant, or can be combined? I have heard that none of the Department Heads were involved in this decision.Also, last year's Budget Advisory Committee had some sound ideas on staff reduction. Evidently those have also been ignored.
Also, if early retirement positions cannot be replaced, what about someone choosing early retirement who is in a pretty important slot, eg. what if our one accountant in the budget office decides to retire? Does that mean we cannot hire another accountant? This plan will induce chaos, and it demonstrates unimaginative and unintelligent management at the top. And, where is the rest of the Town Board on this decision? Something smells in Town Hall." Apr 6, 10 2:44 PM

Questions abound over East Hampton CPF transfers

Mr. Cohen is willing to share publicly the state of the various Town funds and the state of the various audits.
Interesting that "transparency" is coming from a private citizen and not from our Town Board or Supervisor.
I wonder if we will ever get to hear the whole story. And, since the Budget Officer serves at the pleasure of the Supervisor, I wonder if the Town Board members will even get the full story." Apr 22, 10 11:52 AM

East Hampton Village looks to liven up empty storefronts

I believe we should urge all landlords to require that their tenants remain open for all but one month during the year, at least three days a week. The "summer season" shops are ruining our village. A better solution than thinking up ways to dress the empty storefronts.
While we cannot FORCE landlords to require this of their tenants, we could shame them into being more community-minded by asking them as a community, to think of something besides their big fat wallets. It could easily be written in to future leases. Let the Hermes and the Michael Kors, etc. corporations swallow this requirement as part of doing business in the Village of East Hampton." Apr 30, 10 6:44 PM

East Hampton Planning Board rebuffs Wilkinson's request for streamlined review

Mr. Wilkinson and Ms. Quigley would have gotten a more accurate view of the cumbersome aspects of the planning process had they talked to some of the applicants and the attorneys, surveyors, and land planners who represent them. My own experience is that the Planning Department, not the Board, sent back our survey and application material several times with new requests based on follow-up site visits. Yet another tree or rock was determined to be of "importance" so we had to go to the extra time and expense of having another survey drawn up. It seems to me that the professionals in the Planning Department ought to have one clearly defined time period in which to request information and documentation and then let the applicant move forward. The process, in my opinion, was capricious and quite unprofessional. The new town Board does not seem to like committees, but in this case a committee of citizens and experts could be convened with the express purpose of analyzing the current process and coming up with some sound suggestions for improvement. What Mr. Van Scoyoc said is true. I also don't think that coordination between the departments is very good(Planning, Zoning, ARB). and that could be improved. " May 23, 10 5:43 PM

State Legislature passes financing bill for East Hampton

Let's just hope that the Wilkinson team does not try to borrow more than they need so that they can show a surplus at the end of 2011. A "sleight-of-hand" surplus would make the Republicans look very, very good. However, we cannot forget that the money borrowed puts a tax burden on every property owner out here for the next ten years. There are other options which Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. Bernard appear unwilling to discuss: for instance, a one-time tax that would raise property taxes an additional ten or fifteen percent for one year only could diminish the amount the Town needs to borrow, and diminish the tax burden hanging over the very same property owners for the ten year life of the bond.
The Town Board held a Deer Forum. Why not a Deficit Reduction Forum?" May 25, 10 8:43 PM

Energy-producing windmill would be the only one in East Hampton

Time for the Planning Department to wake up and begin establishing guidelines for the installation of windmills and other alternative energy installations in East Hampton. There are many excellent alternatives to oil and gas and the town should encourage them. Julia Prince could certainly refer our planning department to the planning departments of the towns that she has studied. Isn't this exactly the kind of thing that our planning department should do?" Jun 20, 10 2:09 PM

Parrish Art Museum will break ground on new building next week

Wonderful that this new museum will be built. Great architectural firm! A great resource for all." Jul 12, 10 5:35 PM

East Hampton budget committee to issue report

A terrific, hard-working group. Get to this meeting if you can. And ask questions!" Jul 24, 10 9:26 PM

East Hampton Historical Society seeks more control over lifesaving station

Unfortunately, the EHHS really takes this town-owned building virtually private and removes it from many possible community uses. It is a short-sighted view on the part of the town. The building is sturdy and handsome and close to ample parking. It could be utilized by a variety of community groups, as well as by community charities. We are short community space in this town. If the EHHS can apply for up to $50,000 in matching grants, couldn't another non-profit also qualify for that grant money? I realize that our town finances are in a mess, and that community uses might only be able to pay for ongoing maintenance and services, but it seems a shame to hand the building over to the EHHS for the next fifty years. Could the Town Board just take another look at this situation? How much would $500,000 cost us taxpayers over the next ten years? Community access to this wonderful building would be a plus." Aug 5, 10 11:48 AM

Saks Fifth Avenue closes Southampton store this past weekend; Water Mill's Citarella also closed

Where am I going to get my laura Mercier cosmetics?" Oct 5, 10 3:39 PM

East Hampton Town considers eliminating leaf pick-up

The Town has already collected taxes--your money and my money-- for this year's 2010 leaf pick up. Kind of nutty financing to take away the service for this year and give us back the "funds" in the form of a reduced tax bill for 2011. Here in Springs there are many small lots with a lot of trees and leaves. As is usual with this administration, the poor, the retired, and the working class will feel the brunt of this elimination of service.
Instead of taking the usual sledgehammer to this service, why not use this year to find ways of reducing the cost, for instance, announcing a schedule and visiting each neighborhood just once during the fall season. That's just one idea that has been suggested. " Oct 12, 10 9:24 AM

Village Board Suspends ParkingTime Limits on Tuesdays

Terrific idea. Perhaps advertise these special Tuesdays in local papers up the island to bring in day visitors from Western Suffolk and Nassau." Nov 24, 10 9:58 AM

East Hampton Town Whittles Away At Debt

Uh, I think the Town is legally obligated to pay back the six-odd million dollars to the CPF this year(2010). The money was illegally removed, and its absence has been continuously ILLEGAL since then. I seem to recall that one of Mr. WIlkinson's campaign priorities was to make the CPF whole as soon as possible. When ever is it going to happen?" Dec 24, 10 7:27 PM

As East Hampton Moves To Become Whole, Questions Emerge Over Accounting Of Deficit

Remember that auditors can only work with the information they are given, and they may have been working with incomplete or incorrect information. I also think there is some politics involved here: The Republicans want the deficit looming over the town to be as large as possible: for the next ten years, they can howl about the Enormous Democrats' Deficit. It would be far better to pay down as much of the deficit as possible now, particularly if there are surpluses in funds carrying their own deficits." Feb 4, 11 10:47 AM

Amagansett Festival Organizers Consider Moving Concert To Airport

Our Town Board certainly isn't doing anything to protect us from these novice event planners--where is their due diligence?
At least the airport location will keep masses of traffic from clogging 27 all the way through Amagansett. " Feb 11, 11 5:15 PM