Thank you, Joe Shaw and The Southampton Press, for hosting a really great candidates’ roundtable debate on Friday. Thanks also to everyone who participated, those running for office and the villagers who came to enliven the discussion. We had a great turnout, a gracious and civil exchange of ideas, and it emphasized the value of citizen participation in government at every level.
My name is Joseph R. McLoughlin, and I am running for Southampton Village trustee. As a lifelong Southampton Village resident, I, along with you, have seen much change and much loss over the years, and at times some serious lack of governance.
For these reasons, I decided to immerse myself in public service. Early on, I began volunteering and attending as many meetings in the village and the town as I could. It was an education! I learned firsthand about the problems of increasing taxation, vanishing land, overdevelopment, loss of valuable cultural landmarks, and the anger and despair of people without lawyers and endless resources trying to stop it. Often, they were making their case to indifferent or agenda-driven officials. This made me commit to working in public service and to define myself by that effort.
If elected, I pledge to learn and to listen. I know growth and change are inevitable, but they must be approached judiciously and guided by concern for the common good, the commitment to existing zoning, the value of experience, transparency and the inclusion of the public in the deliberations. If I am elected, I will work to make this happen.
If elected officials come together with the public in good faith, we will have less need of “experts” to tell us who we are and what we need. We can figure it out ourselves. While there is no cookie-cutter solution for the economic and environmental pressures impacting the village, with hard work and proper discourse, I know we can come together to preserve the best of Southampton and fix the rest.
I look forward to having the opportunity to serve you, and I hope to have your vote on Election Day.
Joseph R. McLoughlinSouthampton
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