Those of you who know me, know that I am not the type of person to sit down and write one of these letters to the newspaper during campaign season. However, this time I feel I have no choice.
Unfortunately, the candidates for Town Board and supervisor running on the Democratic line have resorted to the type of unfounded accusations, misinformation, and win-at-all-costs politics that we see all too often these days at the national level.
For them, it is all about political affiliation. Regardless of what it is, if it just so happens the person taking action is a Republican — it is bad.
When the Town Board recently proposed code changes to provide additional affordable housing opportunities, we were accused of moving too quickly. When we elected to update the Town Comprehensive Plan with town staff instead of expensive outside consultants — which led to saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and unprecedented community involvement — we were accused of moving too slowly. Then, unbelievably, when the final draft was complete and the Town Board started moving toward adoption, we were once again accused of moving too quickly.
While they are quick to criticize, what I have not heard in all of their political rhetoric are any ideas on how to improve the lives of the residents of Southold.
One of their campaign slogans has been “We can do better.” When it comes to this type of politics, they are right. We can do better. We should do better. The people of Southold deserve better than this type of partisan politics.
I am proud to run with my fellow Town Board members on our record of putting the people of Southold before politics. We do not take action because it is good for Republicans, we take action because it is the right thing for all of Southold.
As your Town Board, when we appoint people to boards or committees it is because we believe that person is the best person for the job, regardless of political affiliation. We have appointed individuals who are Democrats, and even those who ran against us on the Democratic line, to critical positions on key boards and committees because we thought it was the best choice for the people of Southold. We also work with elected officials from different levels of government for the betterment of Southold regardless of their political affiliation.
As a Town Board, we have exercised fiscal responsibility which has led to the town’s highest ever credit rating. We have pursued the purchase of development rights and adopted code changes to maintain the rural character of Southold and to help keep agriculture viable in Southold town. We have also worked to increase business and affordable housing opportunities in our hamlet centers. At the same time, when it became clear that the hamlet of Mattituck was at a critical crossroads, we put in place a moratorium, so we could study the area and stop the Love Lane area from turning into something no one wants to see. We have also increased code enforcement personnel and adopted code changes in order to maintain the quality of life of our residents.
Southold Town is a special place. But that does not mean there are not challenges we must face. As a working mom who raised her children in Southold Town, I know the challenges faced by working families and young people in the Town of Southold. I pledge to continue to work on ways to create opportunities so our children can live, work and raise their families in this special place we all love. I will continue to fight for all the people of Southold Town and to continue to put the people of Southold Town before politics.
Ms. Doherty is a Republican Southold Town Council member and is seeking reelection.