I’ve been fortunate enough to spend most of my quarantine back in my hometown of Southampton: golf, the ocean, my mom’s home cooking and entertaining local politics. What’s not to love?
Although I’m not a village resident, I’ve been following the upcoming election a little more closely this year, since one of my best friends, Zach Epley, is running for Southampton Village trustee next month with Kim Allan.
Zach and Kim are in the Community Party — not to be confused with the Village First Coalition, which ran a bizarre full-page ad in a recent paper attacking not just Zach but his entire family, and blaming them for everything wrong in the toxic dystopia that apparently is Southampton, New York. Yes, empty commercial space in the village, pollution in Lake Agawam — it all leads back to … increased government spending from three administrations ago!
But, seriously, we should demand better discourse in our local government, one of the few institutions in this country that still works (usually). It works because local politicians have real skin in the game — they live here, they work here, they send their children to school here. And if you happen to disagree with them, you can and should tell them, right to their face! (Respectfully, and in the appropriate forum, of course.)
That’s why it was disappointing to see an election between neighbors briefly turn into a bad imitation of our national politics, complete with incoherent straw man arguments and a graph borrowed from the president’s Axios interview last month.
Zach has spent the last decade establishing himself in the fabric of this community, and I think he will do a great job as village trustee. But if you disagree, you should write a letter — or, better yet, reach out to Zach; he’s one of the most open and generous people you’ll ever meet.
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One fine body…