In last week’s Express, two of my neighbors running with me for election to the Village Board responded in an emotional (and personal) manner after I sought Board of Elections review of their nominating petitions. Rather than responding in kind, let me just say:
Come on guys, lighten up. The state Election Law didn’t ask you to compose an essay or a haiku. It was a petition—a list of names with signatures, addresses and a date. Sure, the rule may be applied strictly, but if this task cannot be accomplished due to a casual attitude or incompetence, what piece of the people’s business will or will not rate your best efforts? Of course my request for clarification was based on “technicalities,” it’s the law. Budgets, zoning codes, and affordable housing efforts are technical too. They require experience and attention to detail.
Even Mayor Brian Gilbride, a recent supporter of the pair, had a popular native son of East Hampton (Billy Mott), bounced from the ballot three years ago. He had 373 signatures thrown out because, for example, residents put “Montauk, NY” instead of “Montauk, NY. Town of East Hampton.” He offered no apology or excuse, simply stating, “I don’t make the rules; I just play by them.”
That quote stuck with me and served as a warning in preparing my own petitions. I anticipated a challenge against me and would have been ready for it. Though the mayor reviewed my petitions, they were not challenged because I personally collected more than 100 flawless signatures. They were properly dated, addressed, witnessed, and from Sag Harbor Village voters. I’m the only candidate who can truthfully say that.
Regardless of what the Board of Elections decides, this election is not going to be about the paperwork. It will (hopefully) be based on which candidate has the best combination of experience, education, and local perspective to help Sag Harbor face the many challenges still ahead. I’m ready to make that positive contribution and without the personal attacks.
Recognizing All Stakeholders
Thank you, Dr. Gratto, for publishing the results of the exit poll on the Sag Harbor School District’s website. Publishing the frank comments of those who voted for and against the budget is commendable. This transparency defines the task the board and administration must reconcile, namely to recognize all the stakeholders involved in the educational process.
End Government’s Tyranny
The political focus of our nation is now on the November elections. How many seats will Republicans pick up? Will the passion for change be sustained or will it lessen by Election Day as hoped for by the Democrats?
I am not waiting until November. I believe that the pot needs to be constantly stirred and that our politics need constant agitation or nothing will change in America. Politicians need to be aware of just how sick and tired people are of Washington’s ways. The Crown, once again, is not listening to the people.
I have a few ideas about trying to hold our representatives accountable. One of them I shall be promoting within the next two weeks. Believe me; it will surprise a lot of people. We must end the tyranny of our federal government and my idea is simply one step towards that end. The question is, fair reader, will you support this effort? This is a selfish request because I know that without you it cannot succeed.
Would you please share this with your readers.
All across America during the month of May, American Legion Auxiliaries have been asking fellow Americans to buy and wear a “Red Poppy.” Since 1919, the poppy, a small symbol of great sacrifice, has been worn over the hearts of Americans who make a personal statement, “America We Remember.” We remember and honor the sacrifices of men and women who died in defense of our nation. We remember our commitment to assist all veterans and their families.
The following poem explains “The Memorial Poppy”. I don’t know who the author is, but I’m sure we all feel the same way about our veterans.
The Memorial Poppy
For seventy years, during the month of May,
On the streets and corners of the USA
The red poppies bloom and we ask, with a smile
If you’ll wear our small flower and remember awhile
The veterans who served during all the great wars
Remember those who are injured and maimed
Mentally ill, sick and lamed
Those who gave their all on foreign shores
Made of crepe paper, our poppy so red
Reminds us of sites where our servicemen bled.
But serves us too, in a useful role,
As therapy for veterans – one of our goals
It helps us to help them in several ways
As physical therapy to exercise hands
For troubled minds, the work is just grand
Financially too, it gives them a lift
For many a veteran has need for much thrift
Our poppies bring sunshine into their days
This poppy, our flower, of which we are so proud,
A beautiful blossom – stands out in a crowd.
Whether gathered in bunches or standing alone
We happily acknowledge it “our very own”
And offer to share it each May with all others
We ask for donations, both small and great
To help our program to rehabilitate
Those veterans in need of what we can give
Things that make life a bit easier to live
And know the good feeling of aiding our veterans
The Chelberg and Battle American Legion Auxiliary will be distributing poppies on Main Street all month and also along the parade route on Memorial Day.
Please support our veterans, and let us never forget our obligation to those who have given so much and served so gallantly to protect this great land of ours and those of us who live here. It’s a small way to show our respect. Remember and wear a red poppy, for “Freedom isn’t Free.”
GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS
HONOR THE DEAD – AID THE LIVING – WEAR A PAPER POPPY EVERY MEMORIAL DAY
Deborah A. Guerin, Past President
American Legion Auxiliary Chelberg and Battle Post #388
Friday, April 23rd was a very busy night for the people of Sag Harbor. The amazing high school musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” was performed, Relay For Life was held at SYS, Stages put on “Once Upon A Mattress,” a fashion show was held in honor of Katy Stewart at the Bridgehampton School, and The Fourth Annual All For Alex Benefit was held at The Stephen Talkhouse (just to name a few)! I know it was difficult to have so many wonderful events being held on the same night, but apparently there was enough good will in Sag Harbor to go around!
At The All For Alex Benefit, The Stephen Talkhouse was once again packed by people of all ages. Wiggleboy, a band made up of teachers from Pierson High School started off the evening with a moment of silence in honor Jordan Haerter, marking the second anniversary of his heroism. Sean Kelly then led the band through a great set of upbeat cover tunes. They finished their portion of the evening with an original tune, written by Dr. Schumacher, dedicated to Alex, Cassidy and Jordan. Michael Stone, a student and great friend of Alex, accompanied Dr. Schu on ukulele. You could hear a pin drop when these two talented people were on stage.
Next came the incredible students from Pierson and Ross school, King Tut and The Rubberband, featuring another amazing set of original songs. People danced and sang along. The Glazzies, again made up of Pierson students and a student from Ross, came on next, and got the crowd on their feet. People buzzed around buying raffle tickets, hugging and feeling the love of our small town. At the end of their set, The Glazzies sang the song that they wrote the music for called “Forever Young.” Lisa Koehne, Alex’s mother had written a poem a few years ago, and The Glazzies set it to music. After this emotional end to their set, Lisa took the stage and thanked the crowd. She reminded them of all of the great things that Alex’s Promise Foundation is doing with the money they raise; a scholarship to a graduating Pierson senior, donations to St. Jude’s Hospital, and money for local families that are in need when cancer strikes.
Before a set by local favorites The Realm, we raffled off over $5,000.00 worth of prizes from the incredibly generous local merchants. We were truly amazed at how many business gave of themselves without batting an eye. As a result we made over $7,000. on Friday night.
Lastly, everyone who is involved with The Stephen Talkhouse went above and beyond to make this event so outstanding. From smilin’ Steve at the door, the wonderful soundman Cliff who made sure it sounded perfect, to bartender Phil, who won a prize, and turned it back in so someone else could win. Peter Honercamp has always supported us in all we suggest to him 100 percent. We really couldn’t do this type of event anywhere else, nor would we want to.
Although some many feel this community is divided right now, it was a very different story Friday Night. People came together to celebrate, to remember, to feel and to love. Supporting one another during the tough times is what this community is all about and one of the reasons why I love this town. I continue to be proud to be involved with so much giving, and on behalf of the members of The Glazzies, and the members of the Alex’s Promise Foundation Board, I say thank you to each and everyone who donated, who bought a raffle ticket, who came to the show, or who thought good thoughts for us. We couldn’t have done it without you!