Not The Bad Guys - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2007725

Not The Bad Guys

I am reading sensational articles concerning undocumented workers living in squalor in the Hamptons while they try to serve the rich.

I am appalled at the distasteful references to “the rich.” Not everyone in the Hamptons is rich. Many are hardworking and community-minded folks who grew up here, raised wonderful families, and for generations were amazing stewards of the land and waters. Many of their progeny are not able to find reasonable rentals or homes for sale and are being forced out of their homeland.

The fact that others who have left their homeland to work and send money home is not the news. The news is in the fact that our local governments are doing nothing to help the local workforce stay in their homeland.

Our government is touting “affordable housing projects.” The reality is that these projects contain state and/or federal monies, which will not allow the local folks to get preference.

By letting more and more folks come out to the Hamptons, you are losing your volunteers and those community-minded people who were born and bred here and have the old fashioned and wonderful ethic of volunteering in the ambulance, fire department, Little League — you name it.

This area was not always “The Hamptons.” Once that moniker was cloned, the demise of life as we knew it started.

The rich, as the news categorizes the affluent, are wonderful, giving humans who support the area through donations, taxes, buying local, and hiring local folks.

I was lucky to have experienced East Hampton since I was a month old. My family built a home when I was 2 (1,300 square feet, with a fireplace to provide heat), and I was fortunate to spend summers here all my life. I have been a full-time resident for 30 years. I grew up knowing and appreciating the local people.

I have also known and loved a lot of affluent families here. In fact, as a volunteer EMT with East Hampton Village Ambulance, one of my patients sent the corps $10,000 that we could use for extra education or special equipment. Being rich is not a problem.

I would hope that the news would include that our local governments are the bad guys, not those who have more than others. Our infrastructure is crumbling due to the lack of affordable places for our teachers, plumbers, electricians, volunteers … on and on.

If we take all of the energy that is put out to fight everything and redirect it to enjoying each other and making affordable homes and rentals available to our local professionals and workers, the news could be more soothing, less sensational and still interesting.

Mary Ellen McGuire

East Hampton