So, this happened, which has come as a shock to many, though I prefer for obvious reasons to parse this in terms of the many silver linings.
As I pointed out earlier today to an intrepid RTC commenter, after seeing all but one incumbent run out of office in 2011, gambling and losing badly on proposed changes to Ordinance 109 in that same election and being firmly trounced in attempts to appoint one of their own to the 34th district seat in 2012, there was literally nowhere for East Hampton’s beleaguered Republicrats to go but up.
Truly, credit should be given to them for prevailing and at long last getting their respective acts together after more than four years in the figurative wilderness. Apart from two incumbents, both party slates wisely ran candidates largely unconnected (at least publicly) to their 2009 counterparts. To do otherwise would have rightly opened them to criticism — often made here and elsewhere — of the utter tone deafness of East Hampton’s power brokers to their own constituents. This, as well as their inability — prior to this election at least — to field electable candidates and run campaigns based on something other than negativity and distasteful appeals to what we have come to call “East Hampton Nativism.”
By far the most important comparison one can make between this and the 2011 election is the state of town government being left behind by the outgoing Councillors. No one can deny The Chatham Party inherited an intimidatingly woeful mess in 2011, one that was entirely of their predecessors’ making. They did not hesitate to strike out and make good on their campaign promises, this despite near-total obstructionism and obfuscation from the council minority members. Eventually the drama with the police chief was wound down and a qualified Town Manager was hired.
There are other accomplishments, really too many to list, but the simple point is that Susan Weintraub, Kyle Dostaler, Glenn Suprono, and Derek Johnson left town government much, much better than they found it and for that, the entire town can and should be grateful. I certainly am. Your Dude (retired) raises a White Russian to you all as you depart office with your dignity and consciences intact.
I can only hope their successors show wisdom and grace in their victory, and will remain mindful of the very costly lessons they appear to have learned.
Time indeed will tell.