Duty To Inform - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2005823

Duty To Inform

The village’s haphazard practice of last-minute notifications and schedule changes disadvantages the public.

On July 21, I — now a bona fide member of that public — planned to attend the Southampton Village trustees’ work session scheduled for 6 p.m. When I got to Village Hall, the meeting had already taken place. I later found out that the meeting had taken place at 4 p.m., despite the fact that it was scheduled for 6 p.m. via resolution.

So, why was it moved up? Anyone’s guess.

Fortunately, I was able to catch the meeting on YouTube afterward. It was, for those of the public who might have been interested and who might have shown up at 6, a discussion of the village’s consideration to institute paid parking in the parking lot behind Rite Aid and at the Southampton Arts Center. This was followed by Trustee Robin Brown listing upcoming events taking place in town.

Even though the agenda was, for the most part, business as usual, the public should have been given the correct information necessary for them to attend. Paying for parking in the village is not without its opponents, I would guess.

It is the duty of the village to present advance announcements of actions to be considered so that the public can also consider them. Correct scheduling that is held to is the minimum due the public. It is unprofessional and bad form to change scheduled times on a whim, then provide the bare minimum of notice of a time change, if at all.

During my time as village trustee, I always understood that every proposal, and every decision I made, whether it was voting to pass legislation or hiring a part-time employee, had an impact on the taxpayers.

As a common courtesy, the public should be uppermost in anything planned, and included in the process. Participation should be encouraged, not frustrated.

We owe it to them to include them.

Joseph R. McLoughlin