Experience Needed - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2260116

Experience Needed

On Wednesday night, The Press hosted a debate for the Southampton Village election this month for two trustee positions. Do try to watch it on TV. It clarified which candidates were most qualified.

All four are longtime village homeowners who clearly care about the village. Two had devoted many years of volunteer work to organizations that make significant contributions to our village. I was shocked to hear Josh Belury and Edward Simioni support eliminating elections for the very positions for which they are running and having items like $35.871 million budgets managed by volunteers. They also felt it would be best for the board to have 3-2 votes, not 5-0. This idea would return the village to the contentious fighting boards of the past.

What we need to run our village are the most qualified candidates. It is imperative that we have a trustee with significant financial experience. That is Len Zinnanti, who was a financial manager for New York City, The Metropolitan Opera, and Hunter College, as well as our village in recent years. For the first time, the village received a Triple A rating from Moody’s.

The most important issue for our future is the environment. Gina Arresta has made it her specialty on the board to pursue a variety of projects, including the cleaning up of Lake Agawam, building of an unobtrusive solar field that provides solar energy to the police and ambulance buildings, environmental assessments of all village buildings with plans to install new heating systems to bring the village into compliance with state requirements.

The board has transformed North Sea Road into a more beautiful gateway with new trees, flowers and lighting. This board is undertaking long overdue repairs to village buildings such as Southampton Arts Center, which had a leaky roof with catch buckets among the art.

It is vital that at this vulnerable time we need experienced people to be elected to run the village. It is also obvious that the village cannot function without all the volunteers who contribute so much to village life, safety and quality. It is imperative that we elect the most experienced candidates, Gina Arresta and Len Zinnanti, while retaining our dedicated volunteers.

Mackie Finnerty

Southampton Village