I never thought I would say that I was happy about being defeated in the last village election, but I must admit that it might have helped me, this time around, to strengthen my resolve and set my course by watching the meltdown from the sidelines.
The Press has been full of the news of anger, imperiousness, schoolyard bullying and vendettas. This is not news to me. Or to anyone who attends or pays attention to the meetings.
From the continuing police chief saga, to legal action taken by the village administrator against the mayor, to the explosions and silences, it does not serve the village residents well — and that is what these people are sworn to do, and what I tried to do when I was a board member. Some residents have referred to what is going on as a “circus”; others, a “reality show.” Others just turn away and shake their heads.
The ability to compromise, in conjunction with being able to make hard decisions in the public’s interest despite consequences or perks, is what makes good leaders and good leadership. Clearly, the village is suffering from a lack of both.
The Press editorial “Reversal of Fortune” [February 2], exposing the fault lines that have formed within the Southampton Village Board over the past few years, hit like a bomb. Everyone was talking about it. And it has affected the staff, too — just look at the turnover.
The optics are bad, but the reality is worse. The grandstanding and gridlock have to end. The Village Board needs to get back to the business of running the village for village residents — or to step down and let others do that job.
Thanks to The Press for calling it like it is.
Joseph R. McLoughlin
McLoughlin was a former member of the Southampton Village Board — Ed.
One fine body…