You win some, you lose some, as the old saying goes. But you can sometimes win by losing some — and that was proven by the win-win announcement last week of two shifts in town governance.
First came the welcome news that Kyle Collins, town planning and development administrator, was leaving [“Southampton Town Planning Administrator Submits Resignation,” 27east.com, November 25], as he stated, to “move on to the next chapter of my professional career.” For some of us, this is “déjà vu all over again,” as Mr. Collins has departed before, only to return as a consultant through his private revolving door. Let’s hope this time his exodus from Town Hall is permanent, and he is not automatically recycled as the go-to “consultant,” as he was during Jeff Murphree’s undistinguished tenure.
Mr. Collins ($230,000 salary, not including use of town car, gas and insurance) was an arrogant slacker best remembered functioning as Bonnie to Anna Throne-Holst’s Clyde. Always an enabler, often not prepared or overly concerned. I remember (not fondly) when the public, expected to answer questions and provide objections at contentious hearings, couldn’t access information because he hadn’t completed his work beforehand. When he did offer up his work, it was boilerplate, shoddy and delivered in a perfunctory, contemptuous manner.
I wish him all success as he again attempts to resuscitate his consulting company and can now legitimately represent developers. Most of all, I wish him success so he does not bounce back as a consultant or, worst-case scenario, into his old job. Good riddance!
Second was the announcement that Town Justice Andrea Schiavoni would ascend to Suffolk County Family Court [“Southampton Town Board To Appoint Town Justice In January,” 27east.com, November 19]. Ms. Schiavoni has her admirers. I am decidedly not one of them.
And while I fear for those coming before her in Family Court, where decisions are graver and life-changing — and require more level-headed judgment than my minor car accident dispute drew from her — I am nevertheless relieved that she will vacate her perch in Hampton Bays.
The word constraints of a letter to The Press do not allow a review of her performance in my case. It is my belief that she behaved in a smarmy, prejudicial manner, undeterred by facts. In a paroxysm of knee-jerk reactions she seemed to deal from a liberal deck of — reverse bigotry, perhaps — as she sought to make the shaking, sobbing, nose-streaming defendant know she was on her side. Irrevocably, as it turned out. She was guided by her obvious preconceptions and the telenovela melodrama being staged for her. She was conned; I was not. Again: Good riddance!
Let’s hope replacements for these two are chosen more judiciously and with concern for more objectivity and the common good. What are the odds of that happening?
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One fine body…