One need only watch the October 8 Southampton Village Board of Trustees meeting to see the chaos and danger that dysfunctional Mayor Jesse Warren represents for this village [“Southampton Village Board Members Say They Weren’t Invited To Attend Live Meeting,” 27east.com, October 14].
The meeting started very late (apparently, the mayor has fired everybody who knew how to start a public Zoom meeting), with an agenda that was filed by the mayor at the last minute (again). He is clearly emboldened by his newly found majority, supported by “independent” (or, perhaps more accurately, “rubber-stamp”) Trustees Gina Arresta and Joseph McLoughlin, whose only public vocabulary since being elected is apparently “second” and “aye.”
This is only the beginning. If you follow the puppet strings, you would find that Mayor Warren, as well as Trustees Arresta and McLoughlin, are beholden to a small group of very wealthy and powerful second-home owners who have funded their entire campaigns, as evidenced by the huge number of full-page attack ads and mailings we were subjected to.
This group constitutes a shadow government intent on controlling the Board of Trustees to advance their slash-and-burn agenda (facilitated by the newly constituted, all-powerful and secretive Finance Committee of unelected members, including, potentially, a non-resident), treating the village as if it were a company that Wall Street raiders have just taken private. Among other things, they would have the village taxpayer pay to clean up what they represent to be the formerly pristine Lake Agawam (there is a reason it was originally known as “Jobs swamp”), despite the staggering wealth of the second-home owners whose properties surround it.
While the relationship has not always been smooth or perfect, for 150 years there has been a symbiotic balance between the interests of local full-time residents and the summer colony. That balance is now threatened by the unscrupulous motives of a powerful few who flagrantly abuse the system to advance their radical and self-interested agenda. If you don’t believe me, just ask the Suffolk County Board of Elections for a list of all newly registered voters in the village in the past six months. I think you will find the information enlightening.
Fellow residents (and voters): This is your wake-up call. Our village is being stolen from us. We have a carpetbagger for mayor who views himself an emperor, now supported by two sycophant yes-men trustees and a village attorney whose behavior in support of this mayor would put Attorney General Bill Barr to shame.
Watch this board like a hawk. Demand the transparency that they have promised. And, most importantly, mark your calendar and count the days to the next mayoral election, as it is only nine months away.
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One fine body…