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Dissenting Views Essential on Town Board

Thu, 10/28/2021 - 11:10


East Hampton Town government has been firmly in the grasp of the local Democratic Party in recent years. This is a result of the electorate shifting to the left and a lack of quality candidates from Republicans. There are several interesting scenarios in how Tuesday’s election will play out; the one with the greatest probability is that the establishment Democrats will expand to hold all five board seats. But voters who have yet to go to the polls should think hard and ask themselves if this is a good thing.

While still less than perfect, among the eight people in the running the most appealing configuration is John Whelan and Cate Rogers, both newcomers to elected office, as board members, and Jeff Bragman as supervisor. None of the Republicans is qualified, and the negatives of the present supervisor, Peter Van Scoyoc, outweigh his positives.

Other formulations, such as Ken Walles winning as supervisor and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Ms. Rogers rounding out the board, would be all but unworkable. Voters might instead opt to put George Aman and Joseph Karpinski, the Republicans, in as board members with Mr. Van Scoyoc remaining supervisor, but that seems a long shot.

Monolithic power is to be avoided in a democracy no matter what side one supports. Too much control breeds complacency, the way mosquitoes thrive in a stagnant pool. Dissenting views are the best disinfectant.

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