Bridgehampton CAC meeting of March 26, 2012

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Request for Additional Deer Crossing Signs: One of our members reported a collision  he had suffered  while driving  on the North  of the hamlet. Mr. Neely said he thought that the problem was so endemic throughout the Town, as well as in the hamlet, that the addition of more deer signs would only serve to add signage to the highways and really have no effect  in solving the problem. He agreed to discuss the problem with his colleagues . The CAC members tended to agree with his analysis

Possibility for Landscape Protection at the Traffic Circle at Mitchell Lane and Scuttlehole Road . Mr Neely remarked that his department was aware that larger vehicles, particularly those with trailers, are unable to complete turns within the bounds of this circle without encroaching its boundaries. This is a common problem with most traffic circles in the town. It was suggested  by the CAC that a better design of the bordering materials might direct offending wheels away from the  sides of the roadway and the tight perimeter. It is obvious there is not enough room at this site to support a wider traffic circle. Mr Neely said he would look into this possibility and perhaps some non-intrusive landscaping

Relief for Long Term Parking at the Rear Lot Behind the Candy Kitchen for Permit Holders. Mr. Neely: In 2005 a town resolution  made a number of changes  to the parking regulations. One   prohibits long term parking in the municipal lot behind the Candy Kitchen between May15 and October 15. It is probable that at this site permit free overnight parking had been permitted  prior to 2005. Since 2005  only permit based  long term parking has been allowed between October 15 and May 15. In recent years the number of permit based  long term parking spaces has been increased by 12 – about a 50%  addition. Mr. Neely’s department is considering introducing an experimental program for this summer which will extend the long term parking by permit program throughout the summer months at this location. CAC members suggested the Town require a separate, additional permit for those seeking to park overnight  during the summer months .

Councilwoman Scalera reported that there will be a public hearing concerning limitations that are proposed  for parking in the Community House driveway. The CAC supports  limitations at this site.

Remarks from Members of the CAC in regard to the Presentation made by the Bridgehampton School District  on February 27, 2012. Subject: Forecast of the Economic Status  and Future Budget Requirements for the School District.

On February 27  eight members of the CAC met at the Bridgehampton School with members of the school administration and the school board to hear a presentation outlining the the present economic status of the district and proposals for addressing a potential shortfall in funding. . Dr. Lois Favre, the school Superintendent, led the discussion. Members of the CAC who were present were grateful for the presentation, and subsequently decided that they would like to respond  at their March 26 meeting.

Eight members of the CAC were present at the February meeting; an additional five members attended the March 26 meeting; one member attended a meeting held at the school in January. Comments from individual members of the CAC have been varied, as have opinions expressed   publicly and privately concerning the School District in recent years.  Each member present at the CAC meeting  on March 26 was asked whether they wished to make comments on this issue.

One member presently has children in the elementary division of the school. He expressed his full support for the school in every way, commenting on the “warm and friendy” environment of the school and the positive education experience he felt his children were experiencing . He particuarly lauded the warm and helpful interaction between students and teachers and among  students themselves. He commented that members of the community who launch criticisms of the school program were not familiar  with the school and stated that before questioning the quality of the school’s educational programs critics  should get involved with the school, spend time at it to better acquaint themselves with the positive educational experience and family environment provided by both  teachers and students.

Three CAC members who were present expressed views that strongly questioned the quality of education offered to  and the paucity  of opportunities for members of the High School population to  expand socially because of the very limited size of  the   High School student body. Each of the three members addressed  the issue of  limited  education and maturing  opportunities for students in the High School from their own different professional and personal perspectives. All three emphasized that the size of their annual school tax obligations had no consideration in their observations. Each stressed that effective High School educational experiences are  usually  delivered in a school environment that serves  a larger student  population -  an environment that offers  greater education and extracurricular experiences  than  is possible in Bridgehampton directly   because of  the limited population of the  Bridgehampton High School.

Three members of the CAC present  remarked that they did not feel knowledgable enough about the School District to offer  comments, but that they were moved by and supported the comments of the parent member.  They felt that the school was striving to cope with its financial burdens.

One member expressed her great enthusiasm for the interactive programs shared by the Hampton Library and the students of the school. Another member opined that analysis of the finances based upon a cost per student methodology  was a flawed approach to determining the validity of the proposed budget.  One member commented by email that it was clear the school simply did not have the money to pay for itself .

Two members have questioned the decision  taken by the school board and the administration that precluded  the Bridgehampton School District from participating in an application  proposed by *Seven East End  school districts and the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Services which will ask New York State  to fund an efficiency study that would consider whether they should engage in shared services and even weigh the possibility of consolidating some of the districts in the group

(Starred and underlined portion quoted from Column One,  front page of the Southampton Press March 12, 2012 issue)

Members of the School Board and Mr. Hauser, the school’s business manager listened patiently to our comments on March 26 and previously addressed email submissions. They  expressed their opinions that the discussion had been useful. They  stated that the school district indeed had met with other districts a number of times to explore common services that could be consolidated. They said that  the proposal for a coordinated application from  the ten districts  on the East End had been debated by the School Board and the administration and they had decided  that it was not appropriate for the Bridgehampton School District to  participate in framing the application.

The next meeting of the Bridgehampton CAC will take place  on Monday, April 23 at 7:00 at the Bridgehampton Bank . For any suggested agenda subjects please send them to Steve Steinberg. His email address is lawhampton@yahoo.com

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