Our Mandate - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1730603

Our Mandate

We each decided to run for Southampton Village trustee after watching last year’s overly political trustee meetings. All too often, the majority of the trustees sought to score political points, including refusing to compromise on almost any issue the mayor proposed.

As a result of petty politics, the trustees voted against common sense proposals such as hiring a treasurer or allocating about 1 percent of the village’s more than $30 million budget to begin the long process of cleaning up the village’s lakes and ponds.

Our campaign platform promised to make village government more efficient so we could stop the inexorable increase in taxes, to begin to clean up our lakes and ponds, and to revitalize our business district, which has lost a step to Sag Harbor.

To achieve these goals, we pledged to work collaboratively with the mayor and all of the trustees.

Our message of putting our village first resonated. The voters elected us by a landslide. The voter turnout was the greatest in village history, with 1,569 ballots cast — almost twice as many as in 2019. Since each voter can vote for up to two trustees, a total of 3,079 votes were cast, including 803 absentee ballots. We received 42 percent votes more in total than the Epley-Allan ticket, 1,806 votes versus 1,273 votes.

The voters have spoken. We now have a duty to each village resident to deliver on our promises, and we hope that the other trustees will listen to the voters. We all can agree that a more efficient government, cleaner water, and a revitalized downtown will serve our village’s best interests. We should put aside petty feuds to work together and end dysfunction and division.

There have been two trustees’ meetings since the election. We were pleased that the mayor and trustees voted unanimously to hire Charlene Kagel-Betts, an experienced and much needed treasurer, who also will serve as our village administrator and clerk.

We have voted unanimously to appoint highly qualified village residents to fill vacated seats on the Board of Architectural Review and Historic Preservation, and planning and zoning boards, which perform a critical role in protecting our village from overdevelopment.

Among many projects, on our docket are plans to understand the inefficiencies in village government and to work with the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Town Trustees and the Lake Agawam Conservancy to begin cleaning up Lake Agawam and other water bodies.

The village has our commitment to make tangible progress on our goals. We pledge to work hard, transparently and cooperatively with the mayor and other trustees.

We hope that the trustees who opposed our election will recognize our mandate and work with us to put our village first.

Joe McLoughlin

Gina Arresta

Trustees

Southampton Village

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