Missed Opportunity

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Karen Ross, Mattituck
The Suffolk Times

The following letter was published in the November 16 print addition of the Suffolk Times.


It is apparent from the results of the Nov. 7 election that the people of Southold Town don't ask much of their elected officials. If we did, we would not have opted for the status quo.

The Republican candidates swept the election by running on a platform of "proven results." What were those proven results? Before voting, or when deciding not to vote, did we not ask ourselves that question? Some of the most basic issues facing the town have not been addressed in any meaningful way in a long time. Look around you and notice how many of your friends and neighbors move away in retirement, or while raising their children. Ask business owners if they struggle to retain reliable workers because their employees can't afford to live here. And what about your children? Are any efforts being made to bring good paying jobs to the town that might offer your children a reason to stay here, or attract young families to the area? Has any action been taken to alleviate the seasonal traffic clogging our roadways? In other words, is there a plan for the future of our town or are our elected officials reacting to problems as they come up, rather than operating from a clear vision?

Contrary to what I heard from the incumbents during the campaign, there are answers -- there have to be answers. We are not the first "tourist" town to have seasonal businesses and traffic. We are not the first "local" population to become "victims of our own success" as one of the incumbents liked to say during the campaign. but, it will take leaders with the skills and imagination to look for and execute new solutions. Unbelievably, as a town we voted for the same old, same old. We are afraid of change -- but surprise! -- our town has already changed. And we have not kept up with that change.

My frustration, and the frustration of many others, lies in the fact that we missed a rare opportunity to elect bright, innovative people who would have brought energy and ideas and solutions to the complex, interrelated issues facing the Town of Southold. They were worthy candidates with a vision for the future. It would have been better for the town to have an infusion of new ideas and talents -- but we missed our chance this time. When we understand that our vote has power, we will demand results, instead of believing the rhetoric.