When you talk “local politics” in East Hampton and Southampton you sometimes are talking about Trustees. What exactly is a Town Trustee? The Trustees are the original governing body of both the Town of Southampton and the Town of East Hampton. The Trustee positions were created and granted sole authority over the Town of East Hampton and Southampton by King James II through the Dongan Patent of December 9, 1686. In both towns that document gave the Trustees the authority to rule the “common lands,” and the Trustees have functioned as an independent governing body, representing a most important historical link to the earliest roots of our nation, ever since.
At the moment beach access is once again an issue and hopefully the trustees can prevent the beaches of the two towns from ever becoming “private.”