I have lived in Southampton Village for over 30 years. Not once have I have ever written a politically based Letter to the Editor. So, this serves not as much as a politically based letter as a humanity-based letter.
I was undecided about writing this letter until I got a postcard in my mailbox. This ad campaign sickens me to my very core. Rarely have I seen such a malicious ad campaign as that put forth by the Village First Coalition. All politics aside, I could never support anyone who spewed such negativity and who deliberately misled the constituents.
These disappointing ads are full of misinformation, and even suggest embezzlement. According to them, one family is single-handedly responsible for overdevelopment, empty storefronts and toxic lakes. That is simply not the case. How very sad that some people can only focus on mudslinging! Wouldn’t we all be better served by focusing on what could be done to correct the situations?
Overdevelopment in the Hamptons was an issue when I was a child. That was over 50 years ago. It is hardly the fault of one family. Perhaps one could more properly fault exorbitant inheritance taxes for development. Farmers are especially hard hit by those. Surely high rents and the plethora of online shopping opportunities have much more to do with empty storefronts than one family. As for the toxic lake, isn’t the runoff from surrounding households more responsible than that one family?
Finger-pointing is both useless and hurtful. However, acknowledging the problems and strategizing their resolution is neither useless nor hurtful. Boy Scouts are taught to always leave a campsite better than they find it. Shouldn’t we all aspire to be Scout-like?
Candidates, please stop the nonsense. Please stop the mudslinging. Stick to the facts. Tell us what you have done for the community. Tell us what you can do to help, not what everyone else did wrong.
First and foremost, and most especially during these trying times, shouldn’t we be kind to one another? Shouldn’t we put our heads together to see how we can help each other? To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, ask not what your village can do for you, but, rather, ask what you can do for our village.
I have never seen our village so divided and so hurt. Can’t we please work together? There is never room on my ballot for negative ads and mudslinging.
Margaret H. Fowler
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