Richard Rosenthal, who needs a wheelchair to get around, has a few bones to pick about East Hampton's new town hall.
The World War II veteran told officials at a town board meeting last week that the design of the complex -- which has been opening in phases for several months -- makes it almost impossible for people like him to park, that there is no accessible entrance to the new court building, and that the two handicapped spaces near the building are marked in a way that if two drivers park there, they will block each other from fully opening their doors.
Rosenthal's complaints earned him a prompt response from Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, who on Friday said he would try to have at least some of the problems fixed this week.
"I don't know what happened to our [handicapped access] committee," Wilkinson said. "This is something we should look at right away."
Rosenthal, 86, of East Hampton, said that while there is a handicapped parking space near the courthouse, there is no way to easily get to the sidewalk, 8 inches above the parking lot. Two accessible parking spaces, he said, were located at a building used by the town police, but they are far away from both the town hall complex and the court. "If you are in a wheelchair or using a walker or just an older person who finds it hard to get around, this is serious," he said.
Rosenthal also complained that there are no sound enhancement devices at the courthouse for people who are hard of hearing. After checking, it turned out that such devices are available, but there is no sign telling people where to find them.
Rosenthal, who lost much of his hearing in the war, led a boycott a decade ago that led to wheelchair access at the local movie theater.