You Had To Be There - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1823404

You Had To Be There

LTV Chairman Steven Olken mentioned a variety of people and their, plus his, issues in a recent letter to the print media. I will try to break it down for those who care about what is really going on. It is one of those you-had-to-be-there kind of things. I was.

Apparently, Republican East Hampton Town Council candidate Joe Karpinski touched Olken’s nerve by mentioning that LTV, the recipient of town funds to conduct the Town Board’s endless Zoom meetings, might be able to confirm the whereabouts of council member Sylvia Overby last winter as it relates to her professional responsibilities. This is done easily by confirming where her computer was when she joined the Town Board meetings by looking at the computer’s IP number.

However, instead of matter-of-factly telling Joe Karpinski that they would not reveal that information, Olken has become highly defensive of LTV employees and of the town liaison to LTV, Jeffrey Bragman. We all know that Bragman is in a war of words with Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, and that he is running against both the supervisor and Ken Walles for the supervisor position on November 2.

In his letter, Olken reveals in print what he believes is Walles’s personal medical information: He says that because Ken Walles is not vaccinated, he may not enter the LTV studios. Olken disclosing anyone’s medical information, and especially that of a candidate in a political race with his own LTV town liaison, is a reprehensible act worthy of blame and censure at the very least.

Ken Walles has repeatedly stated that he is not in favor of the Zoom debate. In fact, Ken Walles and the other Republican candidates believe that putting technology between the voters and their paid elected officials is good for only the present Town Board and their reelection campaign. It stifles free speech and is undemocratic. The voters are the losers here.

I have one thing to add: I was with Ken Walles on June 9 at LTV for a tour and a discussion about doing a show. We met with Michael Clarke, who was very professional and helpful.

However, there was a woman at the desk when we walked in. She rushed to get my driver’s license and vaccine card. I handed both over before thinking about why or if I should. She or LTV did not need to know my personal medical information on June 9, when you could walk into Town Hall without a mask.

What is to become of my personal information? Will it appear in a letter to the local media outlets?

I think it is time to take the politics out of LTV. Put the public back in public television.

Julie Evans