Merry Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.
May this year bring us all an abundance of Love, Peace, Happiness, Health and Prosperity.
I’d like to thank everyone for your support, hard work and dedication in ensuring that Southampton Town remains one of the most beautiful and sought-after places in which to live and visit. Our 1999 Comprehensive plan says it best:
Southampton’s unique scenic quality and sense of place is derived from the interrelationship between rural farmlands, areas of undeveloped open space, water frontage . . . and the hamlet centers. This rural character, graced with significant natural and historical resources, is the quality that maintains its vitality as a resort, second home and visitor attraction, and an attractive place to live and work.
I’d also like to take this opportunity of applauding and thanking our two great Democratic elected officials, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, for their years of dedicated service for all the residents of Southampton Town. Under Anna and Bridget’s leadership, the Town and the Democratic Party have thrived. Starting in 2007, with Anna’s election to the Town Council and then with Bridget’s success in the 2010 special election, we have seen a dramatic turn-around in the Town finances, culminating in 2014 with Standard and Poor’s highest possible AAA credit rating. Other major achievements over the last eight years have been:
Environmental protection, including a regional ban on single-use plastic bags, the Sustainability 400 + program, designed to address the issues brought about by population growth and environmental degradation, implementation of Green Building codes, the continued protection of our open spaces by utilizing the Community Preservation Funds and the clean water/water quality incentives supported and partially funded by the County Executive and the Governor and advances in the formulation of the Southampton Water Protection Program. Furthermore, we made major advances with our Clean Fill Law and the Solid Waste Management Plan.
Economic development and infrastructure improvements, including the Riverside revitalization project, infrastructure repair and maintenance plans and a broad range of projects established in various hamlets throughout the Town.
Making Town government more effective by enhancing Town Hall administration, making changes in department heads which represented a significant shift in the culture of Town Hall and in attitudes and capabilities of its top administrators. Furthermore, there are now more women in department head and senior positions and salaries have been adjusted to ensure pay-parity, which affects women in particular.
Affordable housing needs started to be addressed, with the unanimous approval by the Town Board of the Sandy Hollow Affordable Housing project and by the creation of a separate Town Housing Authority.
Historic Preservation Efforts to protect and preserve the rich cultural heritage of our Town and a stronger role for the Landmarks and Historic District Board in this effort.
ALL IN ALL, WE HAVE A GREAT DEAL TO BE THANKFUL FOR AND WE SHOULD BE ESPECIALLY GRATEFUL FOR THE OUTSTANDING SERVICE OF ANNA AND BRIDGET.
As you all know, Bridget is our newly elected County Legislator, representing LD 2, and I’m sure that we are going to see great things from her. Please join me in wishing her well and great success in everything that she does. As our County Legislator, Bridget’s in-depth knowledge of our new leadership team’s goals, perfectly position her to expand on her legacy while helping to create a new one for herself and our newest Democratic board members.
Anna will be running for the Congressional seat in CD 1 and I’m sure we will hear much more about her campaign in the coming months. Once again, please join me in wishing her well and great success in her endeavors. Anna hopes to return the home of the first Congressional District to Southampton Town, by defeating Tea Party favorite Lee Zeldin. Her ability to effect positive change will serve her well.
So, please accept my personal good wishes for you and your family – and as Bob Dylan wrote:
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young