As you get ready to vote for a Southampton Village mayor, think about our two prior mayors: It’s been “scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” government for special interests.
In 2005, our vote made Mark Epley mayor. Mayor Epley promptly handed our village over to the developers. Michael Irving continued the same trend, refusing to rein in the overdevelopment, driving out year-round residents. “Too much money at stake,” Kimberly Allan, Michael’s supporter, explained.
Michael Irving also sold out our village and the 233 residents who were vociferously opposed to subdivision of two small Paul Robinson lots. Michael changed his vote on the Planning Board from “no” to “yes” in return for Epley appointing him trustee and promising to back him for mayor. The developers thrived; the year-round residents paid for their greed with spiraling village and town property taxes.
Has Jesse Warren been a perfect mayor? Hell no. He’ll be the first to admit it. He made mistakes. He let his frustration with the pro-development-running-amuk voices on the board and in The Southampton Press get the better of him. He had a temper fit and had to apologize.
But he also did a darn good job on the pandemic, and achieved state and private cooperation for saving Lake Agawam. Haven’t you noticed the new art galleries, both local and international, and the new stores, which are enlivening our business district again, on Jesse’s watch?
And Mayor Jesse is also giving our residents a voice in their future with the new comprehensive plan. Above all, he never sold out to the special interests. Has he killed off all the corruption which Epley-Irving embedded in our village? No, but he will clean up the remaining swamp when we give him another couple of years. Remember, his mistakes have been a matter of style, not of substance.
If Michael Irving were to become mayor once more, you could wave goodbye forever to the iconic brick courtyard on Jobs Lane; that courtyard is already promised to its greedy owner who would immediately build a huge retail complex over that courtyard, in violation of New York State SEQRA law.
With Michael Irving as mayor, you would also see still more condos jammed together, like those wedged between the Southampton Inn and Whitefield. And do you really think that Michael Irving would deny the Epleys’ wish to build condos where my father’s favorite restaurant, John Duck Jr.’s, once stood?
Vote for Jesse Warren. He will preserve what may be left of our historic heritage, and he will work hard to bring back an affordable future for our beloved village.
One fine body…