Fithian Bows Out

Independent/Stephen J. Kotz

East Hampton Village Superintendent of Public Works Scott Fithian, who retired at the end of June, was honored Friday, June 21, with a proclamation from the village board and an impromptu roasting by Hugh King, the director of the Home Sweet Home museum.

“We are going to lose the very proficient, professional services of Scott, who has been our DPW supervisor for many years now,” said Mayor Paul Rickenbach before presenting Fithian with a proclamation.

Fithian worked 34 years for the village, 22 of them as superintendent of public works. The board also announced that David Collins would replace him as superintendent.

Fithian thanked the village board for the opportunity to work for the village, although it appeared he was not prepared for the surprise roasting from King, who typically addresses the board at the start of its meetings. King said he couldn’t talk about his favorite subject, John Howard Payne, who wrote the famous song for which the museum is named, “because I have to talk about another ‘pain,’ Scott Fithian.”

Turning serious for a moment, King said that Fithian exemplified the kind of teamwork that makes the village run so smoothly and lauded Fithian for always being available when the Home Sweet Home museum needed something done.

He added that Fithian was also dedicated to the Hook Mill, one of the village’s main tourist attractions, pointing out that it was the only mill on eastern Long Island that is still occasionally put into operation.

King, who was once Fithian’s grade school teacher, also joked about his former student’s performance in the classroom. “All these years, I’ve been telling people that Scott didn’t turn in his spelling homework,” he said. “I was wrong. It was English, social studies, and science.”

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