I have been quite surprised over the last few weeks to see Mayor Jesse Warren’s attacks on Southampton Village Trustee Kim Allan concerning an environmental item on the village budget.
Over the last three years, I have had occasions to call her about a variety of environmental issues. She was always immediately responsive, interested in the problem, and willing to spend time and energy trying to solve it. You could always count on her to care about the environmental issues in the village. She was a big supporter of the legislation concerning leaf blower use, as well as the protection of trees in the village.
I have also found Mayor Warren to be accessible and helpful. The dispute was apparently not about protecting the environment, but rather how and where it was stated on the various line items in the budget and who would be in control of them. Both Mayor Warren and Trustee Allan care about and work hard to solve our environmental problems.
This is no time to have local elected officials attacking each other. Our country is in crisis. We are approaching 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. People are out of work, children are out of schools, and even the need to feed people has quadrupled at the local food pantries.
We need to be able to disagree on such things as on which budget line the environmental money belongs without being disagreeable. With all the tension in Washington, D.C., where disagreements always seem personal, we cannot afford it in our small community.
On the East End, we all need to pull together to work on our problems and not make personal attacks if you disagree on something. No one has the perfect answer. This is a very difficult time for our community, and it takes everyone’s support to try to solve issues.
Both Mayor Warren and Trustee Allan have worked hard for the village to solve many problems and have cooperated with the Town of Southampton and the county on many issues, including the coronavirus.
I implore all elected officials to stick to issues they were elected to solve and forgo personal attacks. With everyone under such stress now, it is your duty to bring calmness, respect and reason to all your encounters.
All of the citizens I’ve talked to are concerned and unhappy about the infighting that is playing out in the media every week. No one was elected to engage in personal disputes, but to solve our problems in a collegial way.
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One fine body…