I read, with immense concern, the Page 1 article in this week’s Southampton Press [“Ethics Board Finds Fault With Badge For Official,” September 8]. My concern escalated to disgust when I read the one-sentence paragraph on Page A7, in which our mayor is paraphrased insinuating that Joe McLoughlin accepted a PBA card so that he could get out of tickets when pulled over.
The absurdity of that paraphrased accusation cannot stand the bright light of day when contrasted with the truth: Joe McLoughlin does not drive. Joe McLoughlin has been overcoming a disability through sheer courage and love of our community. Joe McLoughlin moves from place to place with the help of a wheelchair, and with brief but difficult reliance on crutches. Joe McLoughlin needs family and/or friends to drive him wherever he has to be.
Joe McLoughlin’s mother brought Joe by car to my house on the many occasions when Joe came to lunch and to listen to — and disagree with — my view about land use and zoning in our village.
Joe speaks in favor of unrestrained rights for private property owners — the virtual sanctity of private property. Anyone who has ever read or heard me on that subject knows that I believe in the rule of law, the dominance of black letter law and case law, in support of the good of the municipality over individual property rights.
But that is not all I know about Joe McLoughlin. For years, I attended many, many regulatory board public hearings. Joe McLoughlin attended each and every meeting that I ever came to. He was brought to and taken from those meetings by car, courtesy of Kimberly Allan, until his mother had to replace Kimberly.
Joe McLoughlin’s admirable concern for Southampton Village and for its residents was evident again when Joe attended, on August 23, the otherwise sparsely attended public hearing for our controversial draft comprehensive plan.
Funny, I have never seen either Mayor Jesse Warren or any other trustee at those regulatory board meetings. Our four other trustees appear to rely on hearsay about hearings at the village’s regulatory boards rather than taking their own valuable time to attend in person.
And yet members of our Warren administration seem to have referred to the village’s Ethics Board Joe McLoughlin’s police badge (cost: $218.98), although such badges were routinely given in similar circumstances under prior administrations.
Motive? Reason for having The Southampton Press run this article on Page 1 of the September 8 issue?
I can’t imagine. But if you know why, please let me in on it.
One fine body…