East Hampton Groups Will Host Forum On Town Manager Options This Saturday

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Three civic groups will jointly sponsor a panel this weekend analyzing the pros and cons of restructuring East Hampton Town’s local government to run under town manager system.

Titled “Town Manager Options for East Hampton,” the forum, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the East Hampton Emergency Services building at the corner of North Main and Cedar streets in East Hampton.

The main sponsor of the event is the East Hampton Group for Good Government. The East Hampton Business Alliance and the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons are cosponsoring the event.

“Many people erroneously believe that the town supervisor is the town’s chief executive officer,” said Arthur Malman, a co-chair of the GGG, in a press release. “The supervisor is the town’s chief financial officer and is the presiding officer at Town Board meetings. Having five people act as both the legislative body and the administrative body may lead to difficulties, and the actual function of the Town Board will depend on the personalities of its ever-changing members. Hearing direction from five people can cause problems for town employees, and East Hampton’s Town Board has set up liasion responsibilities for its board members with varying success.”

The groups will explore a model that East Hampton Village already exercises, which includes a professional manager reporting to the Village Board, which sets policy.

The forum will be moderating by Lynn Sherr, an award-winning broadcast journalist, author and former longtime correspondent with ABC-TV. Panelists will include Steven Altieri, administrator of the Town of Mamaroneck; Larry Cantwell, East Hampton Village administrator; Zachary Cohen, 2011 candidate for East Hampton Town Supervisor; Howard Arden, supervisor of the Town of North Castle, which added a town administrator six months ago; Carole Campolo, a retired New York City government executive; and Barbara Jordan, a former president of the League of Women Voters.

The event will be taped by LTV and later aired on channel 20.

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