Members of the Committee to Stop Airport Expansion, who have been fighting to prevent East Hampton Town from accepting Federal Aviation Administration funds to build a deer fence at the airport, had their request for a temporary restraining order rejected in court for a third time, according to a statement from the East Hampton Aviation Association last week.
Justice Peter B. Skelos, of the New York State Appellate Division, 2nd Department, rejected committee member David Gruber’s third request in three months for a temporary restraining order against the town after an hour-long hearing in Mineola. The first time Mr. Gruber sought to enjoin the town from accepting the funds was in December. He tried for the second time last week, according to the statement.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” stated Harold Levy, former president of the East Hampton Aviation Association. “And it is madness that the town taxpayers have been paying so much defending against all the lawsuits over the last decade brought against the town by Mr. Gruber.”
The East Hampton Town Board unanimously approved accepting funds for the deer fence in December. The Committee to Stop Airport Expansion wants to stop the town from accepting the money in an effort to establish local control over the airport. Its members argue that the federal funds come with contractual obligations that prevent the town from regulating air traffic and noise.
Jeff Bragman, an East Hampton attorney representing the Committee to Stop Airport Expansion, said even though the temporary restraining order was denied, there is still a pending application for a preliminary injunction to stop the town from accepting the funds. He also said a suit over the town’s airport master plan on the issue of controlling noise at the airport is also pending in court.
“We’re going to continue to make every effort to stay the town from irrevocably surrendering local control,” Mr. Bragman said.