A public meeting about a comprehensive wastewater management plan for East Hampton Town is set for Monday, August 26, at 1 p.m. at Town Hall, although some Republican Town Board members this week voiced displeasure that the meeting was announced by a consultant, not the board itself.
Lombardo Associates was hired by the town to study and present on the town’s management of wastewater and scavenger waste, as well as its monitoring of water quality. The goal is to focus on those three areas to improve the environment, clean up the town’s impaired waters and protect its aquatic resources.
The company announced the meeting in a recent email to a group of recipients made up of government and business officials and a few local residents—but Town Councilwoman Theresa Quigley took issue with this list during a work session on Tuesday.
“In the end, it will impact every single resident in this town,” she said of the importance of the plan, as it will affect every single septic system. “Where is Joe Public?”
She criticized that the announcement was not also sent to the leaders of the local citizens advisory groups, among others. Further, she said, the firm could not adequately answer her questions about how it chose its email recipients.
Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson also criticized the announcement and said it should have come from the Town Board. “It is totally wrong for a consult to send out the kickoff notice on this meeting,” he said in a raised voice, adding a stinging aside: this will all change in five months, he said, when the Democrats are expected to make up the board majority, and consultants can then do everything.
Councilwoman Sylvia Overby and Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc, both Democrats, said they agreed with the way the meeting was announced, as the consultant did its job, and those who received the email could then pass along the notice to the public.
As part of the plan, a project advisory committee is to be formed and public meetings are to be held monthly during the six- to eight-month project duration, the announcement states.