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Opening a Door

Posted on 01 May 2009

If Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot lives up to the promise she made at the Bridgehampton CAC meeting, then CACs across the East End will soon achieve one of their ultimate goals — they will have a formalized role in local government. East End CACs have come a long way since their infancy more than a dozen years ago. Once made up of small groups of concerned citizens, they are now formal committees and often forces to be reckoned with.

If it were not for the work of the Sag Harbor CAC the Gateway Study would still only be a nice idea. We understand the town is taxed on resources and manpower, and that is why CACs — comprised of people living in local communities — are needed to call attention to problems the town may not even be aware of.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and the onus is now on CAC members to remain current and well informed. If they are to be the representatives for the community at large, they must be sure they are representing the voice of a wide range of residents. If they are asked to weigh in on a development project, they must be well-versed on the points of procedure for an application. CACs cannot call for denial of a building plan simply because it means more development. They need to construct sound arguments and concrete reasons for their opinions based on zoning laws and codes that are in place.

We welcome a future partnership between local government and the CACs, but ask the members of these committees to brush up on their homework.

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