Graham Takes a Seat at the East Hampton Village Board Table

Rebecca Molinaro, the village clerk, swore in Arthur Graham to the East Hampton Village Board, on Wednesday. Christopher Walsh

“This is a brand new day, with a brand new member of the board of trustees, the rookie,” Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said at the East Hampton Village Board’s organizational meeting yesterday. The so-called rookie is Arthur Graham, who was elected to the East Hampton Village Board last month and took a seat among his colleagues yesterday.

Mr. Graham, who is known as Tiger, defeated Philip O’Connell, who had been appointed to complete the term of Elbert Edwards following his death in October. After being sworn in, Mr. Graham paid tribute to Mr. O’Connell, who had previously served as a member and then chairman of the planning board. Mr. O’Connell has agreed to continue as the village’s representative on the town’s community preservation fund advisory board. “We’re happy that he’s willing to consider staying on in that capacity,” the mayor said.

Directing his remarks to Kathleen Cunningham, executive director of the Village Preservation Society of East Hampton, the mayor said a questionnaire will be mailed to village residents next week concerning deer. “It goes without saying that the over-burgeoning population of deer” presents “a public health hazard, public nuisance, and quality of life issue.” Based on the hoped-for response from residents, the village will decide on what its next effort to control deer should be. “We certainly want to work in partnership with the V.P.S.,” he told Ms. Cunningham. 

Also at its brief meeting, the board accepted Mr. Graham’s resignation from the planning board, of which he was chairman, but did not announce an appointment to take his   place. The board also reappointed the members of the design review board, zoning board of appeals, and the planning and ethics boards.

On other matters, the board approved a two-year agreement with the United States Geological Survey for extensive water quality monitoring and testing services at Hook Pond, which will cost $97,650. At a meeting last month, Rebecca Hansen, the village administrator, had described the federal agency’s plans to monitor six locations in the pond to help identify needed remediation.

The agency will gather data on chlorophyll, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorous in the locations, which it has identified as “hot spots,” Ms. Hansen said. Agency representatives will meet with village officials on a quarterly basis to share their findings and will deliver a final report at the contract’s expiration. The agency will also install a telemetry device that will sample and record the water level and temperature in the pond every 15 minutes, similar to a buoy in Georgica Pond.

The board set two public hearings for its July 31 meeting. One is on a proposed change in the zoning code that would amend the definition of gross floor area; the other would amend the code to prohibit parking at all times on the east side of North Main Street between the intersection of Main Street and the railroad trestle.

Barbara Borsack, a trustee who also is an emergency medical services volunteer, thanked emergency services and Highway Department personnel for their work over the four-day Independence Day weekend. “Everybody does a great job over these busy holiday weekends,” she said.