It's Not Pretty - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2245240

It’s Not Pretty

Hate has talked so loudly for so long.

Greed has talked so loudly for so long.

Liars have talked so loudly for so long.

LOVE has got to stop whispering.

Those words, by Marianne Williamson, have resonated with me since I first read them.

Those words serve as our motivation for East End YIMBY and all the advocacy we do for our community.

In a media world, where “if it bleeds, it leads,” it’s tough to get the same coverage of issues when wack-a-doodles come out yelling and screaming against virtually everything. Their often unfathomable demands get center stage, while those kind and gentle people asking (not demanding) our elected officials and community to “do the right thing” often get left on the editors’ cutting room floor. “Eyeballs, my friend. We need eyeballs!” If it bleeds, it leads …

We’re at a point in Southampton Town where the inmates are running the asylum, and it’s not pretty. I’ve watched every Town Board meeting and work session in 2024, and, with few exceptions, the tone is consistently one of terror.

Most people I know have no interest in attending or speaking at these meetings, because they don’t want to be exposed to the lunacy, or are afraid that if they get up and support something these angry people are against, they’ll be attacked, or their children or business will be targeted — just like I have been at Town Board meetings and in this Letters to the Editor section. Even my lovely wife was verbally harassed at a Town Board meeting last time she spoke, and I won’t ask her to come again, because she doesn’t deserve that kind of disrespect.

There is a better way, and I won’t give up believing that we will find it. That starts with recognizing that these haters are truly a small minority of our 70,000 residents, and while we must respect free speech, they will only keep coming back if they see their terror working.

The great majority of people in our town want positive leadership and change, as was evident from the last election. I hope we will see that positive leadership take hold and cast the demons out of our hallowed halls, so it can become a place where all community members come to contribute and work collectively to find solutions to our common challenges.

Michael Daly

Sag Harbor

Daly is a founder of the organization East End YIMBY — Ed.