East Hamptoners and a number of town trustee candidates agree that the panel’s terms of office should be staggered so that voters are not asked to decide among 18 or more hopefuls for nine seats. If that were to happen, it would be too late for this year, of course, so we have our picks. Here they are in the order their names appear on the ballot: Francis Bock, Bill Taylor, David Talmage, Susan McGraw Keber, Tim Garneau, John Aldred, Stephen Lester, Mike Martinsen, and Jim Grimes.
Mr. Bock has a proven, steadying hand on the tiller as the trustees presiding officer. Mr. Taylor keeps a sharp eye on the waterfront as the town’s waterways management supervisor and is effective at the all-important skill of bureaucratic navigation.
David Talmage previously served two terms as a trustee, both in leadership roles. Ms. McGraw Keber’s boundless energy keeps issues of importance on the front burner. Mr. Garneau, with three school-age children, is well known among younger families and has dived deep into ecological and access issues. Mr. Aldred, a former town shellfish hatchery director, is restrained and handles thorny questions with scientific discipline.
Mr. Lester was a trustee for six terms before being forced to step aside due to now-resolved health concerns. Mr. Martinsen runs a successful oyster aquaculture business out of Lake Montauk and hopes to make reopening closed shellfish areas a priority. And Jim Grimes, the only trustee candidate with the backing of the two major parties, is a dedicated incumbent who brings his native-plant landscaping expertise and no-nonsense demeanor to the job.
No doubt, other candidates for trustee are good choices, but we believe the above group has a diversity of backgrounds and views to serve the town best.