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For Supervisor

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 13:59

David Gruber makes a good case for himself — for some public role, but not the role of town supervisor. Foremost among our concerns is his temperament: We have never known Mr. Gruber to admit he has been wrong, and he can be relentless in his attacks on those who differ with him. These are not helpful qualities in an elected official, much less the de facto leader and chief spokesperson for the town. A supervisor must be not just a combatant, but a skillful peacemaker, too.

Also concerning is the protean nature of his interests. Once Mr. Gruber saw the East Hampton Airport as public enemy number-one; now, perhaps because he felt it expedient to align himself with a dissenting mood in some quarters of town, he has sunk his teeth into the wind farm — and also come out vociferously against a new shellfish hatchery at Three Mile Harbor (an issue that is a priority to a minuscule constituency of at most a handful of nearby residents). He has spent some $76,000-plus on his own campaign, and we still do not have a clear picture of what he stands for, only what he stands against.

While it is true that, like Mr. Gruber, the incumbent might be more effective if he learned to tone down his sharper comments, Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc has presided over a relatively orderly East Hampton Town Hall.

In a second term, Mr. Van Scoyoc should be willing to really take on the tough issues: climate change, shoreline retreat, work-force housing, and summertime crowds. He should also pay close attention to the needs and desires of residential and second-home taxpayers, and pay a bit less heed to the squeaky-wheel business

community, whose interests do not always necessarily align with those of the people who trusted him with public office. A secret meeting he held with the developer of the new Duryea’s Lobster Deck in Montauk, for which a town attorney took the fall, is a case in point. Despite this, Mr. Van Scoyoc remains the only reasonable choice for supervisor.

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