The Dude is In
Matt Bevin speaks truth to power

I’ve thus far kept silent on recent events out of respect for the difficulties faced by citizens of East Hampton.  The loss of the Bevin building is a terrible blow to a village center that has been barely hanging on for years.

One thing jumped out at me from this morning’s coverage (here and here) of last night’s Council meeting:

For too long, Bevin said, the council and really the town at large have allowed themselves to become divided over minor issues that were allowed to take on a greater significance at the expense of other, more important matters.

“This town has probably had more attention paid to us than we deserve,” he said, adding that the town “has been its own worst enemy for the last couple of years.”

As he pledged to reopen the bell manufacturing operation in town, Bevin called upon the council to work with him.

“I’m challenging the town council tonight: let’s not blow this,” Bevin said.

And lest you be somehow mistaken as to whom this comment is directed towards and once again attempt to displace blame:  Tissa and your posse of haters, Matt Bevin is talking to you.  Not the Chatham Party.  Not me or the other contributors here.  Because we didn’t make the mess.  We didn’t waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and squander all our political capital on a witch hunt against Matt Reimondo.  You love to blame everything on the Chatham Party or “outsiders” without ever realizing that you all are the one who made such things necessary when you failed to listen and honor the intentions of your constituency.  

This longer quote from Matt Bevin in the Patch article minces no words:

“We have an opportunity to work together, to be of like mind, to rally around something that has nothing to do with partisanship, it has nothing to do with politics, it has everything to do with doing the right thing,” he said. “It’s bigger than us, we’re a little bell company. We have two businesses under that roof. We made pressurized cylinders at PSI, we made bells at Bevin Bros. Manufacturing Company. It’s so much bigger than these two little companies. We have 26 employees, there’s thousands of people in this town. … Every great thing turns on something. Every great chance to turn something around begins with one event. I’m asking the people of this town to rally around everyone whether you voted for them or not. I’m asking for the people on this council to work together … and give this town a chance for a do over. There is no reason why the town of East Hampton can not become a beacon for what it means to live the American dream. To rally around a cause, whatever that cause is.

Back at the MP, this quote from the Council Chair speaks directly to type of leadership that has heretofore been absent:

“We want to help you in any way we can” so that the company’s 26 employees “can become 52,” council chairwoman Susan B. Weintraub said Tuesday.

In recent weeks Susan Weintraub, Derek Johnson, Glenn Suprono, Kyle Dostaler and yes, even Ted, Babs and George seem to have finally knuckled down and found a way to work together. Soon East Hampton will at long last have a permanent Town Manager.  The budget passed on the second try and not too much fuss.  Everybody gave up something; its not perfect, but its progress.  In general people seem to be banding together to get things done.

To all of you I say: keep up the good work.

To the haters I say: can we now, at long last, in the face of this tragedy, put aside the pointless bickering and tit-for-tat and be about the people’s work?  I’m guessing you won’t, but I just thought I would ask.  I would love nothing more for you to surprise us all by rising to the occasion.

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