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The East Hampton Independent Editorial of 8/9/2000

It's Potter's Field


For the third time in recent months, Councilwoman Pat Mansir has done an "end run" into Councilman Job Potter's territory. Curious that she's looking for more to do when she has her own committee assignments to look after, including being liaison to the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee and rarely brings its concerns to the Town Board.
The last two incursions into Potter's territory were with the Post Office vote and the moving of the Hampton Jitney stop, both in Amagansett. In the first instance, Mansir reported the contents of a discussion held by the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee -- to which Potter is liaison -- and in the second instance she simply told of a "very serious situation" in Amagansett, that a home owner's driveway is blocked by Jitney buses when they stop. Tom Field, the home owner and ACAC member, brought up his complaint to ACAC and didn't get its support for moving the Jitney stop. The Town Board subsequently voted for the move, despite ACAC opposition.
Last week it was time to intrude on Potter's field again. This time, at a public forum Mansir offered a four-page, single-spaced letter from Field to Supervisor Jay Schneiderman that listed a host of complaints and perceptions. Oddly, the Councilwoman neglected to do any investigation, did not consult with Potter, and presented the letter knowing Potter was out of town. Sylvia Overby, the ACAC chairwoman, who is harshly criticized in the letter, was also not asked for an input by Mansir.
The Councilwoman hasn't been at an ACAC meeting since being elected to the Town Board three years ago, yet suddenly it's okay to bring attention to the unsubstantiated and uninformed musings of a disgruntled ACAC member. Her willingess to bring this letter -- which contains numerous misperceptions and downright falsehoods -- to a public forum, thus giving it some credibility, is at the very least an unnecessary distraction for Town Board members in addition to stabbing ACAC and Potter in the back. Let's remember that thus far Mansir has displayed a total misunderstanding of the most basic concept of cell tower regulation, yet she is supposed to be the town point person, that is, the board "expert," on the issue.
Mr. Field's letter is as rife with misrepresentations as it is laden with sarcasm and near character assasination. The letter writer contends that he's been active in Amagansett matters for years, but we were unaware of such until he came to the Historic District meeting spouting about how people who weren't born here shouldn't have a say in how things are run. He's brought nothing but hostility and obstructionism to ACAC since appointed by the Republican majority this past springs. Field has brought no issue to the table that didn't personally affect him. The letter shows more than anything -- that he still hasn't got a clue as to what the function of ACAC is and what his role in it is.
Potter and the rest of the Town Board were blindsided by Mansir's incursion and championing of the letter. As a result, Amagansett and those who volunteer on its Advisory Committee are being used as a pawn in back-room politics.