I have sat back and listened to Evelyn Konrad attack my father, the former mayor of the Village of Southampton, Mark Epley, since I was 12 years old. After reading her letter “Fill in the Blanks” [Letters, May 7], I can no longer bite my tongue — because she is now attacking my brother, Zach Epley, who is running for Southampton Village trustee.
It is very evident that Ms. Konrad does not know the Epley family and has quite the misconception. I can tell Ms. Konrad directly that the Epley men are the smartest, most community-driven and honest people I have ever known (besides my incredible husband, Richard Fowler, of course).
Ms. Konrad states that working at a family business shows a lack of independent thinking. This is an insult to many local businesses, including Hildreth’s, Catena’s, Sip’N Soda, Brockett’s, SFA, Paul’s, La Parmigiana, Gubbins, Clamman, Schmidt’s, Sean’s, Corwin’s, Ralph’s, The Morley Agency, Herbert and Rist, Fowler’s Garden Center, as well as many others.
Being pregnant with twins who will have the last name Fowler but will be in every way an Epley, too, I hope my children see the hard work that gets put into Fowler’s and want to continue that tradition like many locals have done to keep their own families’ dreams alive — including Zach. These multi-generation business family members made a choice to work in the family business and are cornerstones of our wonderful village.
Ms. Konrad also asks my brother Zach about his “lofty degrees.” I ask, what are the “lofty degrees” of the candidate she supports? Zach attended Union College, one of the country’s premier colleges. He majored in political science and played four years of varsity football. He was president of his fraternity, Theta Delta Chi, for two years, which was recognized as the most improved fraternity nationally while he was president.
Since college, he has worked at Seafield for 10 years, managing budgets, people and a wide variety of situations. Seafield Center, or, as Ms. Konrad crudely refers to it as, “whatever it is,” is an alcohol and substance abuse treatment facility that has helped over 200,000 people.
Zach has coached baseball and football in Southampton. He is on the board of SYS, a volunteer fireman and served on the Village Planning Board. Most of Ms. Konrad’s irrelevant questions could be answered by a simple Google search, or by having a conversation with Zach. Zach would love to speak with anyone, especially about the village he grew up in and loves.
Instead of responding with another insulting letter, perhaps Ms. Konrad should consider writing a thank you letter to the volunteers and essential workers in our community, or something positive for a change.
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