Last Thursday night’s Greenport candidates’ forum sponsored by The Suffolk Times revealed why villagers would be well served by choosing George Hubbard Jr. and David Murray as trustees when they go to the polls next Tuesday, March 15.
Mr. Hubbard has emerged as a thoughtful voice on the Village Board, demonstrating that he does his homework and puts in the necessary long hours not only to bring ideas to the table, but to shepherd them through to completion.
David Murray took the reins of the Historic Preservation Commission two years ago when very capable veterans were dropped because they lacked village residency. In his hands, the commission has continued to be a vital force in protecting the historic nature of Greenport. Mr. Murray understands how to achieve balance between the concerns of those who fear that expanding the historic district to the entire village could be costly for residents who want to make changes to their property and the interests of maintaining architectural integrity.
Our concern with former trustee Bill Swiskey comes down to temperament. He clearly cares passionately about the village in which he has lived most of his life. But he also demonstrates what has become obvious in recent years: He’d rather fight than legislate.
Sometimes putting a proverbial fox in the henhouse can help keep everyone on their toes. But during the year Mr. Swiskey served on the Village Board, he was more disruptive than constructive. He’s quick to quote figures, but they’re often out of context, and even when presented with information disputing his claims, he holds firm to his original opinions.
Mayor David Nyce has no opposition and, short of an unexpected write-in vote, will continue at Village Hall for another four years. He demonstrated last week that he, too, has grown in the job, is fully aware of the many challenges the village faces and has the will and energy to address them.
Running a small government isn’t easy under the best conditions. And in tough times, especially, the community needs a Village Board working under the understanding that the common welfare must outweigh and overshadow personal differences and disputes. We’re not suggesting that every meeting must be filled with sweetness and light. Board members will debate, argue and sometimes fight, but all that energy needs to be focused on goals. That’s making a great village even better.