New East Hampton supervisor: No more 'walk-on' resolutions

East Hampton Town supervisor Larry Cantwell is shown East Hampton Town supervisor Larry Cantwell is shown in this file photo. (July 17, 2013) Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

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Newly elected Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said he plans to eliminate the practice of last-minute "walk-on" resolutions that have left an impression of closed-door decision-making by the East Hampton town board.

Last year, almost every town board meeting ended with votes on walk-on resolutions not on the agenda, most of them involving minor actions such as accepting a bid or issuing a permit for a beach party.

At times, a half-dozen or more of the resolutions would come up, sometimes causing board members to complain they had not read them before being asked to vote on them.

Cantwell, whose first official meeting was Thursday, said the board will improve transparency by having all resolutions posted on the town website two days before a meeting.

He said any walk-on resolutions would have to be time-sensitive, such as to meet a filing deadline for a grant, and would have to be approved by a unanimous vote of the town board to get on the agenda.

Coming into office with a 5-0 Democratic majority, Cantwell and other town board members said they hoped to end the partisan bickering that marked last year's town board meetings. The new supervisor also used his first meeting to outline several goals for 2014. They include:Having the town housing authority work with not-for-profit housing groups to come up with new affordable housing opportunities to meet the needs of working families and seniors.

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Conducting a financial analysis of the operation of the town-owned East Hampton Airport to determine funding for capital improvements, and also finish a noise analysis to come up with aircraft noise mitigation restrictions.

Get town officials to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a plan to protect downtown Montauk from beach erosion.Have code enforcement and other town officials focus on quality of life violations such as illegal overcrowding of houses. "We take seriously the quality of life of our residents," Cantwell said. "We seek cooperation in the first instance. ... Failing this, we expect the town code to be enforced."And, he told the board, they should not be surprised if they drive past a town park and don't see his name on a sign in front of it. "It is not because the parks department forgot. ... I asked they not waste time and money preparing these signs."

Cantwell said he will have his name in one place -- at town hall.

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