There are important facts Islanders should know about Edward Hindin, the project manager of the town’s Comprehensive Plan initiative: His roots here go deep.
Mr. Hindin and his wife Patricia became full-time residents last year upon his retirement, but he has been coming to the Island to sail its waters regularly for 30 years. Since 2005, the Hindins have been seasonal residents until they chose the town for permanent residency last year.
It was on a trip to Montauk that he discovered Shelter Island and “fell in love” with its beauty, he said.
He also wants Islanders to know he’s not a one-man band. His title is project manager, but he credits Councilmen Mike Bebon and Albert Dickson with forming a solid leadership group for the Plan that is expanding to involve 12 residents of varied experience and backgrounds to begin the process.
Mr. Hindin note that he’s keenly aware — thanks to both his education and professional experience — that it’s critical to build consensus among constituencies with different opinions.
He completed a master’s degree at Rutgers University in regional planning and later completed his certification in executive coaching in 2003 with the Newfield Network based in Colorado.
His municipal planning career started in the 1960s and he has worked primarily in New Jersey, New York, rural Virginia and Chicago.
During President Lyndon Johnson’s term of office in the 1960s he became involved with the Model Cities Program, which was part of that administration’s Great Society and War on Poverty.
For close to five years, he helped in New Jersey to review applications for grants aimed at lifting people out of poverty.
Most of his career has been in the health care field, dealing with many of the same issues — how to set goals and bring about consensus for meeting those goals from a wide array of people, each with their own agendas and interests.
He formed his own company in Hoboken, N.J., Hindin Health Care Advisors. There are real parallels between his work with hospitals and medical groups needing to consolidate for financial reasons and constituencies in the town with disparate interests, he said.
He recalls one early experience he had in working on an effort to unite health care organizations, saying it continues to inform his approach to bringing about consensus.
While planning to affiliate some smaller hospitals with a larger facility, which would result in a fiscally-sound organization, a woman involved told him despite the apparent wisdom of the plan, she didn’t know how she was going to explain to neighbors why she was “giving away” the local hospital to the larger group.
That has affected his approach to his work and will be critical to the committee’s success in reaching consensus on a plan for Shelter Island.
That plan must take into account economic development, health care, education, housing and taxes, Mr. Hindin said.
A working committee of 12 and its three leaders will reach out to involve residents who hold their own opinions about what direction Shelter Island should take in the future.
The Comprehensive Plan is not a book to put on the shelf, but should be a day-to-day guide to identifying the town’s needs and responding to those needs. It must be a living document, Mr. Hindin said.
He sees the current Town Board as truly committed to what he acknowledges will be a challenging process he hopes can be successfully completed by the end of 2021.
12 Named to Comp Plan Advisory Board
Twelve residents were named at Friday afternoon’s Town Board meeting to serve on the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee working with Project Manager Edward Hindin and Town Councilmen Mike Bebon and Albert Dickson.
The 12 members tapped from among 38 town residents who expressed interest in serving on the committee are Peter Beardsley, Kathleen DeRose, John Kerr, Jo-Ann Robotti, Jay Card Jr., Benjamin Dyett, Meg Larsen, Petra Schmidt, Sean Clark, Lily Hoffman, Rebecca Mundy and Wendy Turgeon.
The next step is to identify a professional consultant to guide the effort.
The Town Board could name a consultant soon from among those it has vetted. But Mr. Hindin has said that even after a consultant is named, the consulting firm that placed second could emerge if the original consultant pulls back from the assignment for any reason.
The Advisory Board will also reach out to others who had expressed interest in serving to get them involved in various aspects of the effort.
By involving a wide range of people in the effort to create the plan, the Advisory Board would hope to create a consensus that can ensure a successful Comprehensive Plan will emerge, Mr. Hindin said.