The Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee held its last meeting of 2023 in person at the Wainscott Chapel on Saturday, taking the opportunity to thank three officials who are retiring.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, the town board’s liaison to the committee, attended the meeting, as did Sara Davison, the outgoing executive director of the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation.
Sally Sunshine of the C.A.C. read a proclamation for Ms. Davison, who was the foundation’s executive director for eight years and attended virtually every committee meeting during that time. Among other initiatives, she “educated the committee about water quality and other environmental issues in and around the pond,” Ms. Sunshine read, “constructively participated in all stages of the Wainscott hamlet plan,” and “galvanized members of the community to provide seed money for the town’s acquisition of the parcel now known as Wainscott Green-Rick Del Mastro Memorial Park.”
Ms. Davison also “organized the community to effectively push back against the Wainscott Commercial Center, a proposal for 50 new commercial-industrial parcels . . . that would have deleterious effects on water and traffic.” On top of all that, she “offered good will, generosity, insight, determination, and continual public support.”
“You are an extraordinary group of people,” Ms. Davison said, “and you have been thrown many, many challenges in the last eight years.” The group has “dealt with it, almost every time, with great intelligence and thoughtfulness and resolution.”
The committee’s Jose Arandia called Mr. Van Scoyoc and Ms. Overby “two committed citizens who’ve left an indelible mark,” citing their ability to “balance professionalism with a genuine interest and commitment to our shared goals.” He recalled the town board’s efforts to protect residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, conduct the Wainscott hamlet study, and establish a water supply district after some private wells in the hamlet were found to be contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals.
“In the face of challenges,” Mr. Arandia said, “your calm and composed manner have always helped us reach a ready solution.”
Mr. Van Scoyoc said it quickly became “very clear to me that people had very, very, very deep concern, interest, and love for the hamlet of Wainscott. That’s an extraordinary thing to experience, and I really appreciate you allowing me to represent you.” Receiving input directly from citizens through the citizens committees, he said, “is a very important means of understanding the community, what the needs and desires are.”
Ms. Overby told the members that “you’ve made this community embraceable. . . . What’s come out of this C.A.C. in particular is a sense of wanting to embrace your history more and make sure that you honor that history, that you want to make sure that you’ve got an environmentally friendly place to live.”
The committee will have a new liaison to the town board in 2024. That person has yet to be named, but Ms. Overby said Tom Flight, who was elected to the board last month, “is more or less taking my place, and then there will be an appointment of another town councilperson,” as Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez’s election to supervisor creates a vacancy on the town board. That appointment is expected to be made next month.