We in Southampton are at a crossroads. I have seen this crossroads coming for years but its advent has been sped up dramatically by the pandemic. The direction we take will define and even redefine our town.
Our winter population has jumped this year from its usual average of 85,000 residents to over 235,000 residents. Numbers usually experienced for the defined summer season, are now full time.
As a local real estate attorney, I have closed on well over 2,000 homes in the last decade, from Sag Harbor to Westhampton, from Tuckahoe to Flanders, from Hampton Bays to Bridgehampton, in every area of our town. Working with clients from one end of town to the other, I have gained valuable insight into the commonalities and differences within our hamlets and villages.
As a member of the Southampton Town Planning Board for the last five years, I have seen the changes in the landscape of our town, and the increasing challenges. The common thread to the projects before the board is weighing the delicate balance between development and environment, economy and community. I understand that balance because I have studied the laws, the projects, the interrelationship of government, while considering the needs of the residents and our environment.
We are at a crossroads. Our present infrastructure cannot take the pressure and stresses of a continued full time residency at the levels we are currently experiencing. If that’s what it is going to be, how do we plan for that? How do we make our infrastructure equal to the strain?
None of this is happening because we have failed in any way. On the contrary, it is because of our success. We have provided excellent municipal services and maintained a uniquely beautiful human and natural environment, while staying fiscally responsible. That’s powerfully attractive to people.
Relief is on its way in the form of federal, state and county funding. Money in, problem out is not exactly how it works. It will take having the right people in place in government to plan for the future as it is unfolding and to apply the funds as they become available fiscally, responsibly and effectively.
My background and skill set is exactly what we’ll need going forward.
I am an experienced public servant on multiple levels. I learned about integrity in government as the chair of the Suffolk County Board of Ethics and housing needs as a member of the Southampton Town Housing Authority, and later on the Town Planning Board.
I am a small business owner in my local real estate law practice, living the demands and challenges on our business community.
I have town-wide knowledge. My government and business background embraces all of Southampton Township, not just one or two communities.
I am a problem solver who works with officials at the federal, state, county and local levels.
We are at a crossroads. The pressure is on our capacity to provide all things that local government does… housing, transportation, public safety and health services. These are the great challenges of the near future for Southampton. I bring the know-how, the background and the dedication to meet them.
I’m Robin Long and I am running for Southampton Town Council. Run with me and we’ll do this together.