I love Southampton, loved growing up here, and I love the place my family holds in its history. Community has always been important to us, so when my mom suggested planning safe events for kids this summer, I knew it was something we had to do.
We quickly put together the Southampton Village Youth Task Force with other representatives from organizations in town. We aren’t elected officials; we all just wanted to do what was right for kids in Southampton during what was sure to be a very different summer.
Village Board member Kimberly Allen stepped in to help bring our plans to fruition. She was a partner every step of the way, participating in and promoting the many free and low-cost events we planned. Anything we came up with, she supported and made it happen.
She greeted Youth Ambassadors with enthusiasm and gratitude, she stood with us as we welcomed families to programs, and she facilitated the use of Downs Family Park for movie nights. Kim didn’t do any of this because she’s running for office — she did this because she is already serving that office dutifully, and she used that position to advocate for our local families.
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Kim this summer, and get to know her. She cares about this community and listens to residents when making decisions. She asks questions and appreciates feedback and input. She is open and honest, and that is what we need in our village.
We also owe gratitude to Zach and Brittany Epley, who generously sponsored one of our movie nights. Again, this was not a campaign move; instead, as parents of young children, Zach and Brittany saw how important these events were for families. Brittany often joined us for our activities and consistently offered to help. They were not looking for accolades — they simply care about our community.
People have a romanticized view of what it means to be an elected official. The truth is, it’s a thankless job in which you inevitably anger someone with every choice you make. It’s hard work and long hours, something that both Kim and Zach are well aware of, and yet still they seek these positions, because they care about our community.
I don’t wish to disparage the other candidates in any way, as I know all too well the effects a negative campaign can have on not only the candidate but their family. And I am certain they too care about our community.
However, this is a time when our leadership should be focused on the job at hand, not railing against those that are brave enough to stand up and get involved.
Meghan M. Bishop
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