Government: East Quogue Petition Rejected, Affordable Housing Forum, Grant Targets Suicide Prevention

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Southampton Town Hall

Petition for Incorporation of East Quogue Rejected by Supervisor

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman determined on Monday, June 10, that a petition for incorporation of East Quogue submitted on April 3 does not meet the legal requirements under state village law.

According to a press release from the Supervisor’s office, specifically, the petition’s required list of “regular inhabitants” was inaccurate, including a number of deceased individuals.

Under state village law, the Supervisor alone has sole authority to rule on the sufficiency of a village incorporation petition. Petitioners do have 30 days in which to challenge the Supervisor’s determination.

League to Host Affordable Housing Forum

The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons will host a public forum, “Affordable Housing: Needs and Availability” on Monday, June 17, at 7 p.m. at the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton.

Speaking at the forum will be Southampton Housing & Community Development Director Diana Weir, Southampton Housing Authority Executive Director Curtis Highsmith, Jr., East Hampton Housing Authority Executive Director Catherine Casey and Tom Ruhile, Director of the East Hampton Office of Housimng & Community Development.

The four panelists will describe the varieties of public and private affordable housing, both rental and for-purchase units; affordable housing needs and availability; types of funding such as federal, county, town, private and other sources; and progress to date.

For more information, call the League at (631) 324-4637 or visit lwvhamptons.org.

Grant Awarded to Target Suicide Prevention in Suffolk Count

The Suicide Prevention Center of New York (SPCNY) was awarded a grant from the New York State Health Foundation to develop, test, and refine a formal in-depth suicide review process in four counties in the state greatly impacted by suicide, including Suffolk County.

Other counties in the state that will also benefit from the grant including Erie, Onondaga and Westchester. The purpose of the grant – “Learning from Loss: Using Suicide Fatality Reviews for Effective Prevention Activities” – is twofold: first, to ensure accurate and complete data collection by coroner/medical examiner office investigations of suicide deaths; and second, to conduct in-depth community reviews of suicide deaths looking for systemic patterns.

A total of $340,000 has been awarded by the Health Foundation to support the two-year project, which officially began last month. The New York State Office of Mental Health is matching Health Foundation funds going to the four participating counties. Each county will receive $100,000 over the course of the project.

“We are thrilled to receive the financial support from both the Health Foundation and OMH to pilot this innovative model in New York State,” said Brett Harris, director of public health initiatives at SPCNY and the project director of the grant.

This model being piloted in New York is based on a program successfully implemented in a Washington County, Oregon where a multidisciplinary team with representatives from the medical examiner’s office, healthcare providers, law enforcement, crisis workers, clergy, and other community partners share information during in-depth reviews of suicides after obtaining permission from next of kin. Looking for patterns, the Oregon review team discovered that several individuals had dropped off their pets at animal shelters just before killing themselves. Armed with that data, they moved quickly to train animal shelter staff who have already intervened in several instances. At a time when the nation’s suicide rate keeps rising, the county in Oregon where this model has been implemented has seen the number of suicides drop over each of the last three years.

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