Richard Steiber, 56, a member of the American Legion Hand-Aldrich...

Richard Steiber, 56, a member of the American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924 and a resident of Hampton Bays. (June 19, 2012) Credit: Amy Onorato

Community Association: Steiber, 56, is incoming commander of American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924

How long have you lived in the Hampton Bays?

I moved here in 1994 and I’ve been living here ever since.

Where did you live before?

I grew up in East Patchogue, but right before I moved to Hampton Bays, I was stationed in the Navy in Japan. I was there for 17 years.

What made you decide to move to Hampton Bays?

When I left East Patchogue for the Navy, it was a nice, small town. When I came back, the place was unrecognizable — the population boomed and I didn’t like it. I came out here to raise my family instead.

How has the community changed over the years?

It used to be a big summer resort area over here. In the summer the place still gets packed, especially by the bars, but it’s not the same.

What makes Hampton Bays special?

There’s all sorts of stuff to do around here. There’s roller hockey and beaches. It’s nice that this is the type of place where you can let your kids go out into the street and play in the backyard without worrying. It’s good that they can be outdoors and enjoy it.

What challenges does the community face?

I mean, it’s expensive to live out here, but that’s just New York. You can’t get a hoagie and a soda for three dollars anywhere.

How would you define the character of the community?

I’d call it a hometown. I mean, just look around! It’s a beautiful, friendly little village. It’s that type of community where people really help each other out.

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