East End residents who might be intimidated to speak at municipal public hearings will have an opportunity this Friday night to air their grievances and have questions answered at a town hall-style meeting with local, state and county officials at LTV studios in Wainscott. Questions are to be submitted in advance and will be read by a moderator, allowing questioners to just sit and listen.
New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, East Hampton Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach, and East Hampton Town Board members Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc will be part of a panel discussion called “Poles, Planes, Postcards and Politicians.” The event will take place at 6 p.m. at LTV’s Studio 3 and will run approximately until 7:30 p.m.
“People might be intimidated to stand in front of the Town Board,” said LTV Executive Director Seth Redlus, adding that it puts people at ease to be able to submit a question in advance. “It’s a different way for people to discuss things that they are not going to discuss at Town Board meetings. It’s a chance for the community to ask questions about whatever they want to ask about.”
The questions would most likely include ongoing issues such as the East Hampton Airport, PSEG utility poles and various political topics.
“It’s a chance for our local community to come to the village green of LTV and to ask a broad panel of our leaders about the issues that matter to them most,” LTV Chairman and host Robert Strada said in a release.
Residents are asked to submit their questions in advance by email or by calling the studio. The questions will be read to the panel and audience by Mr. Strada.
This is not the first time that LTV Studios has offered such a format for residents. A series called “Hot Topics” was also a popular way for residents to become involved in group and panel discussions at the studios. “We’re slowly reviving those,” Mr. Redlus said. “This is really the first in the new Hot Topics series.”
According to Mr. Redlus, LTV has already received several questions for Friday night’s event on a variety of issues not usually discussed at Town Hall. “There’s definitely some topics there that I have not heard at Town Board meetings,” he said.
The evening is expected to begin with a presentation by Richard Barons, executive director of the East Hampton Historical Society, who will use a large projector to share old photographs and rare postcards of East Hampton in earlier days. “That’s where the postcards come in,” Mr. Redlus said, referring to the title of the event.
The program will be broadcast live on Channel 22 for East Hampton residents.
“I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” Mr. Cantwell said. “I look forward to the dialogue and the public participation. I think that’s what makes an old-fashioned, New England-style town hall meeting. People can comment on whatever they’d like.”
Questions or comments for Friday night’s discussion can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (631) 537-2777, extension 122.