One thing that stands out for us in the race for East Hampton Village trustee, a.k.a. village board member, is the quality of the candidates. Each is solid, smart, and would be a very welcome addition to local leadership.
For an in-depth review of how each of the candidates think, the Village Preservation Society posted a series of their responses to a 15-point questionnaire. The answers, at villagepreservationsociety.org, are revealing, particularly in who has paid attention to the issues and who seemingly has not. And there are bits of information to be gleaned about each.
Christopher Minardi wondered if the zoning code might be too strict and said shop owners “should be treated like royalty.” Sandra Melendez said she wanted “a more family friendly village, and the implementation of workforce housing.” Ray Harden said he would support hunting to reduce the deer population in the village; he also floated the idea of limiting left-hand turns onto certain streets as a way to reduce summertime traffic congestion, and, in a nod to reality regarding the business district, noted, “We cannot control the rent costs.”
Monday’s debate hosted by the Group for Good Government is available on its website, at ehggg.org/video (scroll way down). We have nothing negative to observe regarding any of the candidates, but a recommendation must be made.
Imagining for a moment that the election was a blank slate, the question voters should ask is who among the five candidates would best serve the interests of village residents, while bringing their own perspectives and life experiences to the role. Among a very strong field, David Driscoll and Ray Harden stand out. As a 34-year New York Police veteran with very significant time in leadership, Mr. Driscoll’s credentials are second to none. Throughout the campaign and in the G.G.G. debate he displayed awareness and a thoughtful quality regarding village matters, with a clear emphasis on residents’ concerns. Mr. Harden, arguably more than any of the candidates, has the broadest network of contacts, as a former chief of the East Hampton Fire Department and now at the helm of Ben Krupinski Construction. These roles make him uniquely qualified in two of the major responsibilities of the village government, public safety and land use.
Our confident endorsements go to Mr. Driscoll and Mr. Harden.