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Difficult Work Ahead

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 18:16


If Democratic primary voters are still undecided about whom to back for supervisor, consider East Hampton Airport. The current supervisor, Peter Van Scoyoc, made his preference for back-room deals and deference to the ultra-wealthy obvious by his involvement in a secret settlement scheme with the billionaire owner of Duryea’s Lobster Deck in Montauk. We wonder whom residents would rather have lead the town’s fight plan on the airport, him or Jeff Bragman, an experienced, if acrimonious lawyer, who has staked out a career standing up to powerful players seeking to bend the town government to their own benefits. One does not have to like Mr. Bragman personally to believe he is the right choice for the difficult work ahead.

Before joining the town board, Mr. Bragman represented residents concerned about the controversial Dunes drug rehabilitation facility in a residential section of Northwest Woods and neighbors battling the East Hampton School Board’s plan for a bus storage and maintenance facility on Cedar Street in East Hampton. In the 2017 election, Mr. Bragman (and Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez) had the endorsement of the Quiet Skies Coalition. Subsequently, both won praise for their sharp questioning of consultants brought on to try to win Federal Aviation Administration approval of new restrictions. These are two players able to manage the taming of East Hampton Airport.

In addition to Mr. Bragman and Ms. Burke-Gonzalez, we suggest that primary voters select the very capable John Whelan, who has distinguished himself as zoning board chairman. Cate Rogers’s candidacy is welcome, but Mr. Whelen’s background, education, and record make him the better option.

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