Writing in the first person, East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc issued a rare press release this week listing some of the things he has been up to since the Covid-19 crisis began. Perhaps it was coincidence, but this came as grumbles began to mount about Town Hall all but missing in action for the last month.
As several readers of The Star have suggested, Mr. Van Scoyoc’s prolonged absence is in sharp contrast with Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, who has seemed to be everywhere. This week’s Trumpian missive from East Hampton Town Hall came after a long gap beginning on March 27, by our count, after which no public statements emerged. It was informative after a fashion, consisting of a long list of all the action taken by the town since the pandemic struck our region, but it also missed the point entirely.
In times like these, the public naturally looks to elected officials for leadership and moral support. East Hampton Town has had Police Chief Michael Sarlo emerge as a lone comforting voice. Otherwise, the town went underground except for a few regularly scheduled board meetings broadcast online and LTV Channel 22 on cable. The town’s social media presence has, if anything, been worse.
Whatever has happened, or not happened, in the past four chaotic weeks is now history. Going forward, East Hampton residents need to hear more, and more frequently, from Town Hall. Sometimes people are not looking for answers, just a little reassurance.