I have been a resident of Southampton Village for all of my 82 years, and my family enjoyed the community for many years before. As I read our local papers and some of the Letters to the Editor, stating all of the accomplishments of previous administrations, I can’t help but be amazed.
The poor zoning of the past is inexcusable. Beautiful homes are torn down and replaced by massive McMansions. In my area, five houses have been demolished and replaced by oversized five-to-six-bedroom homes, with pools, pool houses and garages, each parcel just 1/3 of an acre. Great for the spec developers who were allowed to overbuild, but not great for the neighborhood — my taxes have doubled in a few short years, and locals have been pushed out.
Former Mayor Mark Epley and George Benedict are blessed that they have the finances to invest in homes, commercial properties, restaurants, multifamily rentals and condominium projects for themselves, their children and grandchildren. However, all of us need to remember that there are many residents (be they retirees, working families, children of longtime residents or new residents) who live in Southampton because it is a community, not just a commodity. My wish is to have people in office who can and will represent all of us in a fair manner, without conflict of interest.
That is why I am supporting Gina Arresta and Joe McLoughlin, because I know they have no agenda and will be ethical in every way. Furthermore, I do not think four members from the same party will be conducive to working with our duly elected mayor, as this past year has shown.
For too long, our village government has ignored the problems facing local and senior residents. We need Gina and Joe to be elected to add balance, action and, most importantly, independence to village government.
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One fine body…