Dispatcher Promoted, Lot Purchase Okayed

P.J. Cantwell, third from left, an East Hampton Village public safety dispatcher, was promoted to supervisor, and was honored at the village board meeting on Friday by acting police chief Michael Tracey, Richard Lawler, a village board member, and Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. Christopher Walsh

“Every now and again we have a special day where a village employee is going to be recognized. That’s going to happen today,” Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said at a brief East Hampton Village Board meeting on Friday.

Richard Lawler, a member of the board who serves as commissioner of the East Hampton Village Police Department, then joined the mayor at the lectern, announcing that P.J. Cantwell, a longtime dispatcher, would be promoted to supervisor. Michael Tracey, the acting chief of police, followed him.

Mr. Tracey said Mr. Cantwell had “excelled in his job due to his dedication and working on projects that go beyond his regular duties.” During 17 years as a village employee, Mr. Cantwell has been a role model and mentor for new dispatchers, he said, and was instrumental in the development of an in-house mapping system and mobile first responder app. “It’s been a great benefit,” he said.

The dispatch center, Mr. Tracey said, “plays an important role in this community, and since it is our primary 911 center for the entire Town of East Hampton going back to 1990, it’s a central part of public safety for all of us. I’m proud of the men and women of our dispatch center. . . . We know P.J. Cantwell will do well in his new role as a supervisor.”

The mayor then thanked all the dispatchers. “Many times you’re the unsung heroes, the first ones to take a call, and it’s how you mandate, dictate, and unravel the call that allows certain things to fall into place, so God bless you.”

Noting that it was National Police Week, Mr. Lawler said police, fire, and ambulance personnel “do a fantastic job in keeping our community safe” and “make a tremendous amount of sacrifices in doing so.”

In other news from the meeting, the board authorized the purchase of 8 Osborne Lane, a parcel at the corner of Newtown Lane and adjacent to the Long Island Rail Road tracks, for $989,000. The house there is to be demolished and the land used for parking. Additional parking, the mayor said, “is a critical need at all times. That should assist some of the commercial business activity that takes place on that portion of Newtown Lane.”

The board also authorized the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation, a group that since last year has sponsored an effort to remove macroalgae from the pond with an aquatic weed harvester, to occasionally put the harvested material on village property at the end of Cove Hollow Road. Decaying macroalgae is believed to be among the contributing factors to the cyanobacteria blooms that have afflicted the pond in recent summers. The harvested material will remain at the Cove Hollow Road site for no more than a day before being taken to the town’s landfill, according to Sara Davison, the group’s executive director. The project is to start this month and conclude at the end of August.