A Delicate Balance - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1825594

A Delicate Balance

People want to live here. Our successful stewardship of our environment has made the Town of Southampton highly desirable. It is our commitment to preserving green spaces and farmland, clean air and water, and fostering clean energy that has graced us with higher home prices, vibrant business and cultural communities, and an increasing year-round population.

No good deed goes unpunished, though.

Our town is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis that is worsening by the year. We sadly witness people who live and work in our community move away, we suffer increased traffic congestion as people travel to our town for work, and we feel helplessly caught between two untenable positions.

So, we ask: When the protection of the environment is the clarion call from which our fortunes flow, how do we bend to address our need for development? Or do we?

Solutions aren’t black and white. It would be easy to imagine that to solve one problem we need to capitulate to another and throw the baby that is the environment out with the bathwater. Our challenges in the town today require a more complex and nuanced approach, to be sure, if we are to evolve as a community while continuing to conserve the precious land that we inhabit. We require creative and sophisticated answers that are effective because they are evidence based and grounded in reality.

Enter Robin Long. Ms. Long, running for Town Council this election, gets it right when she states that “what is right for the environment is good for the town.” She gets it right when she describes our immediate need to address affordable housing and infrastructure. But, above all, she gets it right when she describes her approach to finding solutions to these challenges: making current housing stock affordable rather than relying solely on new development; reaching out to county and state housing departments to foster meaningful multi-jurisdictional solutions; encouraging green new development through planning policy, grants and laws; working with all departments in local government to analyze and address traffic burdens posed by new projects both private and public.

Ms. Long has the experience we need. Ms. Long speaks from many years of highly relevant experience and selfless public service. A resident of Hampton Bays with a decades-long transactional real estate practice in the Village of Southampton, Ms. Long has served on the Suffolk County Ethics Board, the Southampton Housing Authority and for five years on the Town of Southampton Planning Board.

The Town of Southampton needs to strike a delicate balance between preserving the environment and development in the years to come and Robin Long is the candidate who will do just that.

John J. Leonard

Attorney at law

Sag Harbor