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Councilwoman Overby Returns to Town Hall

Tue, 09/12/2023 - 15:02
Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, center, thanked her colleages on the East Hampton Town Board for taking on her responsibilities while she was on medical leave.
Christopher Walsh

East Hampton Town Councilwoman Sylvia Overby returned to Town Hall on Monday, four months after a medical event she experienced during a May 9 town board meeting. On Tuesday, she attended and participated in the town board's meeting for the first time since May.

"It's really wonderful to have you back, Sylvia," Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said at the start of Tuesday's meeting. "I know that you've faced significant challenges, and we've had you in our thoughts."

Ms. Overby acknowledged that "there are a lot of people guessing what had happened out there." The diagnosis is cancer, she said. "It's been a really hard summer for me. It included surgery and hospital visits several times. I am sorry to have missed being here; I'd much rather be here than where I was."

She is responding positively to treatment, she said, "so I'm very grateful, very blessed that I can be back here in pretty much full force." As her treatment is ongoing, Ms. Overby said that she may miss future meetings, "but I hope to continue coming here until my retirement," on Dec. 31. Early this year, Ms. Overby announced that she would not seek re-election to the board. 

"Again, thank you to the community for all their good wishes," she said, noting receipt of flowers, cards, emails, and prayers, "and I think all of that was very helpful, knowing that I'm part of this incredible loving and caring and kind community. It has really been helpful. So thank you all."

Ms. Overby was evidently not her usual self in the latter half of the board's May 9 meeting, which did not escape her colleagues' notice. At the board's June 1 meeting, Mr. Van Scoyoc said that she had had an unexpected serious medical diagnosis and asked for privacy as she received treatment. 

Her colleagues divided Ms. Overby's liaison roles among themselves. On Tuesday, she told The Star that she would resume those duties as her treatment regimen allows. Later in Tuesday's meeting, she thanked her colleagues for filling those roles during her absence, and issued a belated thanks to the East Hampton Ambulance Association for their assistance on May 9. 

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