Former East Hampton Town Board member Job Potter was named the chairman of the town Planning Board at the town board’s annual organizational meeting on Tuesday.
Councilman Fred Overton cast the sole dissenting vote against Mr. Potter’s appointment. Mr. Potter, a member of the board since 2014, replaces Reed Jones, whose term on the board expired, as chairman. Mr. Jones has served on the board for seven years, six as its chairman.
Randy Parsons was appointed to a seven-year term on the board to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Jones’s departure.
Supervisor Larry Cantwell gave his State of the Town address on Tuesday. His message focused on the town’s financial stability as well as its efforts in preservation and environmental initiatives in the face of global warming and rising sea levels, capital projects, challenges restricting the town’s airport use, and planning and zoning issues, including coastal erosion and hamlet re-zoning.
“In the short term, the Fire Island to Montauk Point Plan (FIMP) may provide some help in downtown Montauk if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers includes the town’s recommendation for a full-scale beach nourishment project consisting of over 750,000 cubic yards of sand distributed over a longer area of shoreline and adding over 400,000 cubic yards once every four years,” said Mr. Cantwell of coastal erosion prevention efforts. “But, in the longer term, I think it would be a mistake not to believe our community faces a certain inevitability. We are only one serious hurricane event or several years of continuing erosion away from overwhelming destruction of development along some areas of our coastline. We need a new plan that will remove some of the most vulnerable development on our coastline, replacing it with natural sand dune protection, and land use and redevelopment plans to replace the most essential uses in less vulnerable areas.”
Mr. Cantwell closed with a message for unity. “The hate and violence in our country witnessed in the past year tears at the very fabric of our society,” he said. “We must all be accountable for our words and actions so each of us does not contribute to these destructive forces. Civil discourse and debate is a right we as Americans enjoy and many have defended with their lives. With it comes a responsibility to express our views in a way that promotes peaceful disagreement and respect for one another. We can end this unconscionable hate and violence when all of us—and especially our leaders—use our words and action for positive change.”