There was a buzz in the community about “these people” and “overdevelopment” and how it would change this quiet, tucked-away and relatively unknown area called Remsenburg. I had experienced this type of buzz before, when Manorville “grew up,” and I was not looking forward to the experience a second time.
I went to a meeting of the local Civic Association to get a better understanding of what was really going on. This is where I met Craig Catalanotto, a soft-spoken, unassuming gentleman who appeared to be if not in charge then certainly the most knowledgeable on the subject of “the buzz.” I quickly realized that this time my experience would be different.
Getting to know Craig and watching him in action was a positive experience and, in the end, brought a successful resolution for all involved. Welcoming all who had an interest, both positive and negative, and especially those who simply wanted to understand what the issues were, Craig did not take sides. He explained what he knew, and I was impressed how he listened with an open mind to concerned residents, asked questions, and proposed potential solutions to bring people and ideas together as opposed to dividing them.
Eventually, he united the multiple local civic associations to work with the Town Board and developer. Craig clearly articulated the real threat and concerns the local residents had about the overdevelopment of the North Phillips corridor to the Southampton Town Board. I saw him work tirelessly to organize meetings and keep the community informed. He understood the delicate balance of workforce housing needs while controlling density and preserving our precious open space. He continues to look out for the community’s best interest with his involvement in the work of the CAC-West.
As a local business owner, Craig has invested countless hours of his time in our community, putting the community’s best interest at the forefront. He has taken away time from his business and young family to dedicate his time to bringing people together and creating solutions.
My personal experience with Craig is that his actions are consistent with the statements and responses he had in the two-hour debate held by the Hampton Bays Civic Association and as represented in The Press [“Southampton Town Candidates Put Best Foot Forward In Hampton Bays Debate,” 27east.com, September 24].
I can think of no better individual to represent us as our councilman in the Town of Southampton.
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