Bridgehampton CAC meeting of January 23, 2012

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We welcomed Kelly Harris, the Director for the Hampton Library to our meeting. We will submit her name to the Town Board  for membership to the CAC.

The CAC discussed  the then broken sidewalk in front of the Bulls Head Inn property. About a week following this meeting a repair of this sidewalk and the walkway leading North on the Sag Turnpike was started   When the repair is completed, students who wish to travel West into town will be able to use the sidewalk once again. They will use the cross-road located in front of the school to reach the North side of of the highway. On the south side of the highway the sidewalk runs from Lockwood Avenue West to the school boundary. From this point  there is no additional sidewalk running West. There is a private dwelling followed by two parcels which house the Historical Society Archive area and the Rogers House property. These latter two  parcels are owned by the Town. Alejandro Seralegui  is interested in  looking into the possibility of adding a sidewalk along this South route  because it would encourage tourist traffic to the Historical Society sites and could make crossings from the school  less dangerous than if they are limited to the North side. As noted above, when the North  sidewalk restoration is completed , students from the school may use the crosswalk in front of the school to cross to the North side of the highway and then proceed West to the  traffic controlled intersection. They may then continue  West and, using the  hamlet crossroads, may access all parts of the hamlet center. If a pedestrian controlled traffic signal was placed at the Bridgehampton School crossing, it would appear that much  of the danger  caused  by crossing at this intersection would be relieved.

Jeff Mansfield reported that the Town continues to have an interest in a plastic bag ban throughout the town. He asked the CAC for their input. A majority of the CAC supports a ban on store provided “Flimsy” plastic bags. Two members of the CAC, Michael Kapon who was present at the meeting, and Ian MacPherson, who was excused but  sent an e-mail expressing his opinion,  do not support a ban. Mr. Kapon said that such a ban could cause an unforeseen economic hardship on retailers who would have to provide more expensive paper substitutes for the plastic bags. Mr. MacPherson said that the banning of store provided  plastic bags was a convenience issue that would weigh negatively upon consumers . He  feels that there is little evidence of plastic bags being littered in the community to the extent that a ban on their distribution by retailers is warranted.

Dick Bruce started a discussion on how to make our CAC a more effective institution in our role as advisers to the Town Board. Here is a précis of his points.

“I guess what I am saying is we have to look out for ourselves..that is not a criticism of how

the town is run but simply an observation…all one has to do is look at a map of the

Southampton town borders to understand that there are a whole lot of villages to be served.  I think Supervisor, AnnaThrone Holst,  is trying to get more productivity out of the town’s employees but she has to do it on a tight budget that will remain tight for quite a while.

If we could be independent village with a stroke of the pen , perhaps that would be the way to go but barring that, we  must concentrate on making our CAC more effective.

In my opinion the CAC loses its effectiveness if:

1)      A town councilmember is not present at each of our meetings

2)      A CAC member or a guest comes with a very narrow and self- serving argument

3)       We do not have younger, newer members with fresh ideas

4)      If proposals are ignored simply because they are “new and different”.

5)      If the loudest voice is allowed to carry the day

6)      If the most articulate voice wins most of the arguments

7)      If we do not aggressively pursue our goals and objectives with the appropriate individuals in the Town

I have nothing against loud , articulate voices but if their position happens to be wrong and perhaps less articulate persons in the room.

The CAC then engaged in a spirited conversation. It is fair to say that the points made by Mr. Bruce were supported by the majority of those present. Regarding his comments about becoming an independent village we  recalled that the question of incorporation of Bridgehampton as  a village arose and was pursued a few years ago. At that time the residents of Bridgehampton did not offer sufficient support for incorporation for the proposition to be brought forward beyond the discussion stage.

We would welcome e-mailed comments on the ways to make our CAC more effective  from any and all sources . We will put them together for further comments and thinking.

Our next CAC meeting will be held at 7:00 PM at the Bridgehampton School auditorium in the main building  on Monday February 27. At that meeting Dr. Favre will present budget options for the school and will lead a discussion that will include references to the state 2% budget increase cap. Please plan on coming.

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