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East Hampton town committee wants some signs in Spanish

East Hampton Town Hall in East Hampton,

East Hampton Town Hall in East Hampton, Feb. 26, 2016. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

The first request of East Hampton’s newly formed Latino Advisory Committee is for signs in Spanish warning against drinking alcohol and littering to be posted in local recreation venues.

Jaimy Hernandez, an East Hampton Town resident who serves on the 10-member committee, made the request in Spanish during the March 1 town board work session and it was interpreted for the council by Diana Walker, one of two non-Hispanics in the group.

“It was good for them to get accustomed to hearing Spanish,” Walker said following the meeting. “We want to warn against the consumption of alcohol. The fear is people will drink and drive, and generally that’s not a good thing.”

At the board meeting, Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, the council’s liaison to the group, said the request would be considered.

“An emphasis of the committee is the intense interest in recreation,” Walker said, referring to the need for the signs. “Drinking at sporting venues is definitely something to be discouraged.”

The formation of the committee was approved by board members on Feb. 4 to help East Hampton’s Hispanics become more involved in local government and the broader town community.

According to Colleen Reynolds, assistant to Cantwell, the town’s only signs in Spanish are instruction signs at the recycling center on Springs Fireplace Road.

“The next big thing for the committee will be the March 18 meeting to discuss the new local rental registry law in Spanish,” Walker, an Amagansett resident, said.

Another top concern to be addressed is the lack of affordable housing, Walker said.

Cantwell has said the committee is a good idea to help Hispanics who live and work in the town become more a part of mainstream daily life.

Angela Quintero, a Colombia native who also lives in East Hampton Town and is a co-chair of the committee, said Latinos comprise more than a third of the town residents and half of its students.

The meeting on the rental registry law will be held at 6:30 p.m.

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