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Overby Out With ‘Serious Medical Diagnosis’

Thu, 06/08/2023 - 10:15
East Hampton Town Councilwoman Sylvia Overby has been absent from Town Hall for the last month because of an unspecified "serious medical diagnosis," it was announced last week.
Durell Godfrey

East Hampton Town Councilwoman Sylvia Overby suffered a medical event during the town board’s meeting on May 9 and has been absent from the board’s meetings since then.

Acknowledging that “folks may have noticed that Councilmember Sylvia Overby has not been present for the last couple of meetings,” Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said at the conclusion of the board’s meeting last Thursday that “Councilmember Overby has had an unexpected serious medical diagnosis. She appreciates the good wishes that she has received from close friends but asks for privacy as she gets medical treatment this summer.”

He went on to say that Ms. Overby will participate in town duties “as much as possible in person or by Zoom. We look forward to Sylvia’s recovery and wish her the very best as she faces this most recent challenge.” He did not elaborate when asked about Ms. Overby’s diagnosis or condition on Friday.

In the latter half of the board’s May 9 meeting it was evident that Ms. Overby, 71, was not her usual self. She spoke slowly and quietly while delivering a liaison report, and her words were sometimes slurred.

Ms. Overby did not reply to a text message or email on Monday seeking more information on her condition and prognosis.

At the town board’s meeting on Tuesday, Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said that she and her colleagues have divided Ms. Overby’s liaison roles among themselves. Councilman David Lys will work with the Office of Housing and Community Development, the Sanitation Department, and the business committee. Councilwoman Cate Rogers will liaise with the Planning Department. Ms. Burke-Gonzalez will liaise with the arts council and the anti-bias task force, and the board will rotate responsibility for the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee, for which Ms. Rogers served as liaison when that group met on Saturday.

“I send prayers of strength and healing for Sylvia and her family at this time of need as we respect her and her family’s request for privacy,” she said. “We look to make a seamless transition to these assignments as we strive to honor Sylvia’s commitment and high standards. If residents have any questions or concerns that they have typically gone to Sylvia for, please contact my office, and I will see that both Sylvia and the appropriate staff member are notified of your concerns and/or your need for assistance.”


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