The clock on the wall in the Hampton Bays Public Library hit 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night and a few Hampton Bays Citizen Advisory Committee members trickled into the basement meeting room. By 7:05 p.m. only six of the 16 CAC members were present. By 7:10, seven members were seated, but not nearly enough to hold a meeting.
"It looks like we are going to have postpone our meeting until February," said Tony Filorimo, recording secretary, looking at his watch.
In order to hold a meeting, Filorimo said that according to the group's bi-laws, at least ten members must to be present to have a voting quorum.
Filorimo quickly phoned Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and told her to turn around — there would be no meeting.
Slated on the CAC's agenda for the evening was the election of new officers, including a vote to re-elect Sam Lamagna as chair and a ballot to approve Valerie Zuccarelli as the group's recording secretary.
The election of officers, said Filorimo will have to wait until the next scheduled meeting, which will be Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. That is, if the quorum requirement can be met.
"We need more members," said Zuccarelli, who was filing in for Lamagna, who was not able to make the meeting.
Filorimo seconded the need for volunteer members. "We are looking for civically-minded community members to join us," he said.
Most needed, said Zuccarelli are young people.
"We need more of them," she said.
"Yes," agreed Filorimo, "We would love to have more young people. They are our future."
The CAC, said Filorimo, is a direct-line of communication to the Town of Southampton. When the CAC speaks, he said, the town listens.
As was its intent: The town board created Community Advisory Committees for each hamlet within the Town of Southampton with the aim of getting a better understanding of community issues. In return, community members can speak and actually be heard.
Because of its clout, Filorimo says the Hampton Bays CAC, has been able to influence change on both major and minor issues within the hamlet.
For example, the CAC spoke up after Stop and Shop submitted its site plan application.
"There were public access and landscaping issues with it," said Filorimo.
However, after discussing the problems with its members, Filorimo said the CAC presented viable options to the town that would improve on Stop and Shop's site plan.
In the end, a scheme that was suitable to all was developed.
Canoe Place Inn has been another discussion point among CAC members and Filorimo believes that without the CAC and other local, including the Hampton Bays Civic and Beautification Committee, the historic structure would have been long gone.
The long-anticipated Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Hampton Bays, which will guide the future of the hamlet, is another major topic that the CAC has been involved in.
That topic will continue to sit at the top of the CAC's agenda as it goes to public hearing on Feb. 1.
To become a member of the CAC, Filorimo, says civic-minded individuals should contact the town supervisor's office and state their intent to join.