Bringing Insight - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2165105

Bringing Insight

I’d like to applaud Trustees Robin Brown and Roy Stevenson’s performance in last week’s Southampton Village trustees debate [“Watch: Southampton Village 2023 Trustee and Mayoral Debates,”, June 1].

Toward the end of the debate, opposition candidate Greg Centeno opined that the “Better Together” candidates spoke with “anger,” a judgment with which I strongly disagree. Brown’s response demonstrated her strong character and measured attitude: “We must not confuse passion for anger.”

The “Better Together” ticket is aptly named: Far from being angry, the two trustees voiced their deep respect and care for all village residents, regardless of whom they support.

The fact is, though, that Robin and Roy would have good reason to be frustrated. They have watched from within as Mayor Jesse Warren eroded relationships with village employees, incited conflict where it need not occur, and disregarded due process, chain of command and civility. But instead of anger, they bring renewed enthusiasm for securing a bright future for the village. The very act of running for a second term is testament enough to the passion, not anger, with which they approach their work in Village Hall.

Palmer Hudson emphasized his technical background and his ties to Southampton Village as key selling points for his candidacy. But he only registered to vote in Southampton Village just a few weeks ago, having graduated from college this past December. Since he was attending college in D.C. for the past four years, he has not been privy to recent issues affecting our village. He has not been exposed to village affairs in the same way as Robin and Roy.

Additionally, I am concerned about having a 22-year-old member of the board. As a recent college graduate, Palmer does not have any full-time job experience. The role of trustee is a demanding one, even for seasoned government officials. How can we be certain that he will be able to handle its responsibilities? I worry that he will not bring an informed, experienced perspective to the board. His background in IT and computer science, while impressive, is not relevant to the trustee position.

Greg Centeno has lived in the village for a while but only registered to vote in the village three years ago, and has only voted once since then, raising questions about how deep his involvement to the community really is. He also lacks any political experience. His background in architecture, while indeed impressive, would be more useful on the Architectural Review Board than as a trustee.

Trustees Brown and Stevenson gave ample evidence in the debate of their extensive knowledge of the issues affecting Southampton Village, having lived and worked here for over half a century. I encourage all residents to consider these insights at the ballot box next Friday, June 16.

David Wagener

Southampton Village