Solitary Minority - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1803433

Solitary Minority

During my tenure as the police liaison (previously titled commissioner, for the past 30 years), I have had the great privilege of negotiating and understanding operations as they pertain to our police department.

While many of the conversations I had with Chief Thomas Cummings are privileged, I can share that we discussed his objectives and goals. Through our discussion, it became evident that he had no intention of leaving, as he is a civil service chief of police.

In short, the main reason $200,000 was added to the chief’s payout was in order to get the chief to leave [“Police Chief Payout Details Released In Southampton Village,”, July 28]. This amount was added with the consent of Mayor Jesse Warren through his separate negotiations. There were no stipulations pertaining to the amount based on previous contracts.

To me, it doesn’t make much sense if we are going to blame past administrations for something that was developed and implemented by this administration’s own hands. Pointing the finger seems to be the way Jesse likes to govern. This goes hand in hand with the tale of the mythical “long-term debt” monster. In fact, on the subject of long-term debt, let’s look at the facts.

Through my level-headed negotiations, I saved the village hundreds of thousands of dollars. The chief was not going to leave because we removed an evergreen clause, typically called a “Triborough Amendment,” from a contract. (Personally, I think we should start using the correct vernacular so we sound educated, instead, in government and the regulations that govern us.) Before I was educated, I believed this was an abusive stipulation. Upon review of five other civil service police chief contracts, I realized it was the norm.

In the end, the chief simply retired because Mayor Warren wanted him out, so he gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

I understand that these are not in the forefront of discussion and are often lost in translation, but I won’t sit idly by while chaos ensues. As one of the only lifelong residents on the board, I know my district and what makes it great. While we may not agree with something legislatively, it doesn’t mean the proper way to address it is always at the village level. We need to work through the proper channels to bring about lasting change, and I seem to be the solitary minority who demonstrated knowledge in doing so.

I will continue to work hard for the village I love and take the hard stance to preserve my home.

Joseph R. McLoughlin


Southampton Village