It is said that the true test of leadership is how well one excels in a time of crisis.
And I must take the time to commend Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren for his true and exceptional leadership over the last eight weeks during the COVID-19 crisis.
His communication, early and often, was reassuring. His fundraising drive in collaboration with the Hamptons Health Society to help deliver ventilators, oxygen helmets, oxygen tanks and hard-to-find gowns to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital was extraordinary.
His distribution of tens of thousands of free surgical masks to residents across the East End without spending a dollar of taxpayer money was deeply appreciated by all, and set an example for every other leader across the county. His delivery of free laptop computers equipped with Microsoft Office to students who could not use the now-closed libraries went above and beyond. And his setup of the first East End viral testing site drew bipartisan praise from County Executive Steve Bellone, Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, County Legislature Bridget Fleming and U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin. His Spanish outreach to the Latino community was strong, and he delivered personal protective equipment to the Shinnecock Nation.
And he did this all while the Southampton Village Community Party trustees were spending the crisis publicly criticizing him.
In the words of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.”
And that is exactly what has unfolded. Thank you, Mayor Jesse Warren, and thank you to all of our health care heroes.
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One fine body…