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Dick Sheehan recently wrote an opinion piece in which he endorsed my candidacy for Highway Superintendent.
This expression of support meant a lot for a few reasons:
  • We had worked together for several years when I was Executive Director of the Town Transportation Commission, and he was a member of the Commission (he remains on the Commission). His opinion was based on our practical experience working together on transportation matters.
  • It was so well written; this is not a surprise to those of you who have had the opportunity to read the many well-crafted ‘letters to the editor’ he has written to the Southampton Press.
  • In the piece he referenced Peter Drucker, a highly regarded management consultant and author.
  • The reference to Peter Drucker brought back memories of a work-time management course I took years ago. One of the course exercises called for us to create a box matrix with four quadrants. We wrote the word “Important” across the top of the box; “unimportant” was written at the bottom; “urgent” on the left side of the box and “not urgent” at the right hand margin. We were asked to make a list of all our current work tasks and projects and mark where they were in our box based on these criteria.  We then talked about where they should be.
It was a great way to practice prioritizing, as we all found too many “not important” projects had landed in the “urgent’ area of the grid, for one reason or another.  Putting out fires often becomes the norm instead of the exception.
If elected Highway Superintendent, here is a starting list of goals I hope to keep in the Important and Urgent quadrant of that box:
  • Communicate and coordinate with Town residents, other Town Departments, the Town Board and outside agencies
  • Plan, advocate for and implement select road and intersection improvements
  • Implement ways to reduce the Highway Departments carbon footprint; support additional Town efforts to meet our sustainability goals
  • Make sure our Highway Department employees understand that they are important to the Town; and that the productive work they do is necessary and appreciated
Photography: Ian Schneider




About Tom Neely
Tom was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa.  After attending college in Ohio and working for several years in New York City and Boston, he moved to the South Fork in 1987.
From 1987 to 2004, Tom was a Vice President at Hampton Jitney, a multi-faceted transportation company serving Long Island, New York City, and markets all along the east coast. While working at the Jitney, Town served as President of the Southampton Chamber of Commerce and on the Sag Harbor Chamber Board; was appointed by the Town Board to the Southampton Town Comprehensive Plan Committee, Transportation Advisory Task Force; and Town Business Advisory Council.  During his free time he coached his sons in soccer and Little League in Sag Harbor.
In 2005, Tom was appointed Southampton Town Director of Intermodal Transportation and Traffic Safety.  In that position, he has served as Executive Director of the Town Transportation Commission and as Chair of the East End Transportation Council.  Tom has been deeply involved in a variety of regional and Town transportation, traffic, and roadway   projects; successfully working with residents, Town departments, outside agencies and other east end municipalities.
In April 2021, Tom retired from his position as Town Transportation & Traffic Safety Director.