The East Hampton Town Planning Board was given a major makeover this week when the town board appointed three new members at its annual organizational meeting on Thursday, January 3.
Samuel Kramer of Wainscott, an attorney and former member of the Suffolk County Planning Commission and the town Zoning Board of Appeals, was appointed to a seven-year term and named the board’s chairman.
Sharon McCobb of Springs, also a former ZBA member, was named to complete the term ending in 2020 of former chairman Job Potter, who resigned last month. Louis Cortese, of Montauk, was appointed to complete the term expiring in 2022 of Patti Leber, who also resigned last month.
Kramer replaces Nancy Keeshan, a Montauk real estate agent who had served eight years on the board.
Kramer acknowledged that the era of the major residential subdivision, which used to be the bread and butter of planning board review, is largely over in East Hampton, but he stressed that there are more than enough commercial site-plan applications to keep the board busy. “Games are often decided in the last few minutes,” said Kramer, using a sports analogy, “and sometimes those outcomes can be heartbreaking, so we have to work hard.”
Reached on January 4, Keeshan said she would have been happy to serve another term, if asked. “I enjoyed looking out for the people of Montauk,” she said. “But that’s politics.”
Although Keeshan is a Republican, Councilwoman Sylvia Overby said party affiliation was not considered in the decision to replace her.
“I’ve supported Nancy Keeshan; I voted for her to be vice chair,” Overby said. “But I think it’s good to have new and different people on the board, and she was there for quite awhile.”