On December 30, 2020, Wainscott moved a step closer to incorporation. More than 200 residents submitted to Town of East Hampton Supervisor Van Scoyoc a petition seeking to establish a new Village of Wainscott. Nearly a third of registered voters in the proposed territory have requested an official election to create the 33rd village in Suffolk County. That strong support – despite the limitations of gathering signatures imposed by COVID-19 concerns and holiday travel – clearly demonstrates the public desire for self-determination and self-rule. This push reflects many of the same underlying reasons that spurred an early home-rule movement in Wainscott in the 1990s. The petition was organized and delivered by Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott. Its Chairwoman, Gouri Edlich, released the following statement:
“The strong response to the petition sends a clear message that the people of Wainscott support creation of a new village,” said Gouri Edlich, Chairwoman of the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott. “At a time when too many government leaders want to nullify the will of the people, we expect Supervisor Van Scoyoc to take a different path and move promptly to call the public hearing and set the date for an election. In the end, all the registered voters in the proposed village should decide this question, not one man. While early indications from the Supervisor are concerning, we hope that he will now embrace the democratic process and passion so evident in Wainscott.”
It didn’t happen overnight, but rather it has taken twenty-five years to get to where we are today. Looking back at the meeting minutes of February 4, 1995, we read that “Donald Petrie proposed that the WCAC consider the incorporation of Wainscott.” At the time, the WCAC voted to form the Incorporation Village Sub-committee chaired by Rick Del Mastro, a mentor and dear friend. It was a shock to our community that Rick passed away earlier this year. The committee also included Eric Bregman, George Biercuk, Cam Gleason, and my splendidly discerning husband, David Fink. The insuperable obstacle then was not having 500 registered voters. Now, the Village of Wainscott will have closer to seven hundred registered voters.
Just the idea of forming a new Village of Wainscott has already brought our community closer together. There has been a dedicated team of people including the Wainscott CAC and its Co-Chair Carolyn Logan-Gluck and original WCAC member Dennis D’Andrea who have been working behind the scenes, tirelessly. The movement to incorporate continues to grow and gets stronger every day. For the first time in decades, residents living in Wainscott will make decisions concerning Wainscott. It will be a wonderful beginning to a new year of hope that will present an opportunity of working together.