I don’t usually wander into the local political waters: It’s a small town, and many times I have friends or people I respect on both sides.
This year’s Southampton Village trustees election is no different. Gina Arresta, Joe McLoughlin, Kimberly Allan and Zach Epley are all high-character people who care deeply about this village. It’s a miracle anyone wants to run for any political office in this country in this current environment.
I have, however, watched one particular candidate grow into a man who would serve this village well. I also can no longer stay silent on the character attacks his family has had to endure.
Zach Epley, I believe, is the man ready to take on this challenge, and I support him as a candidate.
Zach has followed his family’s commitment to their community in serving its needs in many capacities. Whether it is coaching our youth, serving on the board of the History Museum and Southampton Youth Services, or serving with the Southampton Fire Department, this young man has always put family and community first.
Over the years, I have read these pages with a mixture of bemusement and anger at the mud that has been slung in their direction. Yes, they have been successful; last I knew, smart business decisions and hard work got rewarded in this country.
However, for almost 30 years, I have watched the Epley family do everything from run sports programs and build rec centers to mentor those fighting addiction. Eventually, they became stewards of our community. Have a child playing sports? Ever needed an EMT or a fireman? Chances are, an Epley was there.
They have never been afraid to lead, which is why I believe Zach is the right person in today’s political climate. It’s one thing to sit by the glow of a computer, typing accusations and innuendo with fancy words and perceived knowledge of impropriety; it’s quite another to put yourself in the line of fire. The Epleys have led with their collective chin.
Making tough and unpopular decisions comes with the territory. I feel Zach has the experience and personality to make the personal connections needed to build unity and get things done. That is a lost art these days.
As someone who was brought home to one of the first houses in Rosko Drive 60 years ago, I have watched Southampton go from an agricultural-based community with a sleepy summer colony to the phenomenon that is now the Hamptons. Thinking one family is responsible for all of that is both unfair and ludicrous.
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One fine body…