Not a Statesman - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2053281

Not a Statesman

Leaders need many qualities, but underlying all is good judgment. Edmund Burke, Irish-born British statesman, in his speech to the electors of Bristol, in 1774, stated: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment.”

As the curtain slowly closes on our current supervisor’s last term, the electorate in Southampton Town should consider a few issues.

The current supervisor has received huge campaign contributions over the years from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his family. Bloomberg persuaded the city council to amend the term limits law, without voter approval, permitting him to run for a third term. Despite the current supervisor’s promise not to extend his reign, the voters in Southampton should be vigilant that he does not take a page from Bloomberg’s playbook.

If one reflects on the current supervisor’s leadership, two items illustrate his lack of good judgment. During the height of the pandemic, he not only permitted a huge concert but played the drums at the event. Obviously, a public health crisis was not considered as important as a concert event.

More recently, he failed to read the contract for a consultant hired to provide services in the furtherance of resurrecting the Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District zoning code, which clearly stated that the voice of the opposition would be “neutralized” in a harsh manner. The fact that Southampton Town paid a company to speak disparagingly about taxpayers is unacceptable.

Leaders with sound judgment tend to be good listeners and readers. The current supervisor is not in touch with the lives and outlooks of ordinary people. As he enters the twilight hours of his days in Town Hall, he has failed to exercise good judgment, while being unwilling to curtail spending.

As the economy takes a turn for the worse, our taxpayers will regret his desire to spend their money without considering the consequences. His lack of fiscal prudence and responsibility will impact the town’s financial future.

This supervisor will be remembered as a politician, but certainly not a statesman.

Greg Robins

North Sea