Mayor Jesse Warren frequently refers to himself as the “CEO of Southampton Village,” reinforcing his responsibility and oversight of all village departments.
As for his oversight of the Southampton Village Police Department, this meant that Mayor Warren would sit down in the chief’s office and discuss the proposed budget, line by line, and understand running expenses. This also would have been a great opportunity for him to ask questions regarding resource utilization and overtime control.
So how can Mayor Warren raise issues about excessive overtime, when he was the person in charge these past two years, had the most intimate knowledge of the department workings and costs, and signed off on all its expenses?
Instead, Mayor Warren caused much of the overtime by not recruiting and hiring employees for budgeted replacement positions, even in the face of mounting desperation by the department heads and the Board of Trustees.
So, let’s address his comments about nepotism.
The police department does not establish nepotism — it is created by the hiring of family members, and this can only occur when the mayor puts forward the hire recommendation that is approved by the Board of Trustees.
I was a sitting trustee at the time Police Chief Thomas Cummings’s son was hired. Mayor Warren put forward the recommendation to hire Chief Cummings’s son. He had spoken to no one — it was his idea, all by himself.
A request was made to Mayor Warren to obtain an ethics opinion prior to the vote, but he moved forward on the resolution that same day. And then he voted to approve it.
So, after voting to hire Chief Cummings’s son, why is Mayor Warren now accusing the police department of nepotism — but the police department does not do the hiring?
Mayor Warren’s approach is a tsunami of misinformation, always peppered with a bit of truth but leaving out important context.
We are in a transitional moment offering us a great opportunity for change. Is Mr. Warren’s approach the right one for us to be successful?
Ms. Allan is a former member of the Southampton Village Board — Ed.
One fine body…