The East Hampton Village Board of Trustees, in a unanimous decision on July 31, amended the village code to eliminate the residency requirement for full-time employees.
In a public hearing held prior to the board’s decision, no one spoke in opposition to the proposal.
Mayor Paul Rickenbach said the village was aware of the high cost of living. “The fact is,” he said, “it’s very expensive to live here and we’re just hoping that in some fashion, we will be able to encourage and retain qualified employees because of their ability to live close by.”
Also at the village board meeting, Michael Tracey, who had previously been the acting chief of police, was officially given the position on a permanent basis. Board members said Tracey had met the challenge, despite working with two fewer offices. Chief Tracey, in accepting his appointment, thanked his wife and two children for their support.
The village’s historic services director, Robert Hefner, then took to the podium to recognize a $50,000 donation from the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation. The funds were allocated to the purchase of five 19th Century paintings that will be on display at the restored Gardiner Mill Cottage at 36 James Lane.
The gallery is expected to open during the Columbus Day weekend of this year. Both the historical society and the village board thanked the foundation for its contribution.