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Policy in Private

Wed, 04/27/2022 - 18:16


An exchange during last week’s East Hampton Village Board meeting about selling alcohol at Main Beach has brought to light something that had been generally known but not really talked about in the open — that important decisions are being made behind closed doors and without the full board’s knowledge.

The effect is a kind of one-man rule, in which Mayor Jerry Larsen works out policy changes in advance with the village’s department heads then brings it out of the back room for a vote. It almost need not be said that the people who lead the various divisions within village government do so at the mayor’s pleasure and are not likely to want to anger him. Mr. Larsen also did away with the board’s monthly work sessions, at which, in the past, such issues could be hashed out in public.

Secret government is bad government, and the sooner village business is brought out in the light, the better.

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