Hit the Jackpot - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2209749

Hit the Jackpot

Matt Parsons and I met under the Ponquogue Bridge over 20 years ago. We became scuba diving buddies that day, and, long story short, we are (three kids, a dog, cat, home, business and campaigning) deep into a wonderful marriage.

Matt is running for Southampton Town Trustee. Of course, all the candidates want better water quality and better economic viability of our bays. But having had an up close and personal experience with Matt’s character, work ethic, professional life and passion for the bays, I would like to tell you what makes Matt perfect for this position. He’s never been one to brag about himself, so I am going to do it for him.

He is a marine biologist, professionally and at heart. When I ask him the age-old question, “What are you thinking about?” the answer is invariably something that has to do with the water. Over the years, it’s been about how to solve a problem with the water quality, an aggressive fish or plumbing in a client’s aquarium, or something more broadly, like how to clean and filter the bays so that their vitality can be restored, like it was when we were kids. He has been discussing living bulkheads and oyster revitalization plans with me for years. (If you want to learn more about either, he has an educational blog on his website, mattparsons.info.)

He has also been bay scalloping for over a decade. I’ve watched him hone his craft, becoming more intimately aware of every nook and cranny of his harvesting spots, fixing his own gear, and making friends within the commercial fishing community. He even shares this love with friends and family, taking us out to let us try pulling dredges, scout new spots and eat scallops raw, right out of the sea.

If Matt is elected, he will be the only marine biologist helping protect the thousands of acres that the Trustees manage. He has had years of hands-on experience working on, near and under the bays and developing and managing underwater ecosystems with his aquarium business.

For those reasons alone, he would make an excellent Trustee, but what I believe makes Matt a great candidate is his character.

Matt is a great listener, and he is a doer. He is trustworthy, having had many of the same aquarium clients for years who trust him in their homes and offices. And, as any married couple knows, things can happen in life that require great patience and wisdom. Matt has demonstrated over the years that he has both.

As a wife, I know I hit the jackpot. And I know that if you elect Matt Parsons, you will have hit the jackpot, too.

Vanessa Parsons

East Quogue