And the others...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

And the others...

...i.e., the rest of The Southampton Press' picks for the Town Board and Supervisor.

And, miracle dieu!, if the Editorial Board didn't exactly get it right, they sure did a much better job than they did last week!

Their solid support of incumbent Linda Kabot and their enumerated reasons for that support, are spot on... and demonstrates that the guys on Windmill Lane really have been paying attention.

In truth, their lengthy editorial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Supervisor Kabot and challenger Anna Throne-Holst, and the compelling reasons for keeping the two women right where they are at present, is worth the price of this week's edition.


"[A]t a critical moment in the town's history, it is essential that Ms. Kabot be given the opportunity to complete the work she has started in righting the listing ship of state."


"Ms. Kabot has understood the problem the longest, has taken the most decisive steps to address it, and has the most coherent and responsible plan to resolve it."

And here's perhaps the crux of the paper's support for the incumbent, citing Ms. Throne-Holst's recently introduced (one week ago) "Municipal Government Reorganization and Service Provision Improvement Plan:"

"[L]ook closely at the plan, and it evapo­rates. There are a great many wishy-washy verbs scattered throughout the plan—promises to 'analyze' and 'review' and 'assemble' and 'develop'—but achingly few specifics."

Those are very tough words for the linchpin of a strategy upon which Ms. Throne-Holst had placed such stock.

But then, someone always has to speak up and tell the rest that the Emperor has no clothes.

Will this carry the race for Mrs. Kabot?

Probably not... history shows that people vote personalities over politics and positions, and the incumbent has rubbed many the wrong way with her personal style. The key word "feisty" for some is a code word for something far less attractive for others, and that will be tough for her to overcome.

(She pulled it off two years ago because the sheen had long worn off incumbent Patrick Heaney and Democrat Jim Henry, who, when he wasn't shooting him­self in the foot, came off as arrogant.)

In this instance, Executive Editor Joe Shaw and his crew "get" it and got it right with their choice of Mrs. Kabot. Their conclusory words in support of her are compelling:

"[T]he house is on fire. It's not time for an architect; what's needed is a firefighter."

Their selections for the contested Town Council seats, however, while they may be right, they are murky... it's hard to tell, and I've re-read it three times.

While there's a clear "Yea!" for Chris Nuzzi and a "Sorry kid, this ain't your year" for his run­ning mate Jim Malone, it seems to be a rail­bird's "Pick'em" for the two Democratic gals.

Calling short-term incumbent Sally Pope "a spark plug who has clearly taken to her new post on the Town Board," the paper concludes:

" far her effectiveness as an elected official has been less than promising."

As for newcomer Bridget Fleming, their view is that she "shines in exactly the ways that em­phasize Ms. Pope's flaws," adding:

"She seems to have all the attributes of a Town Board member who deserves a seat at the table, and a voice in the various debates."

While it's a bit on the soft side, it "seems" they prefer Ms. Fleming to Ms. Pope.

I'll not quibble with the Councilmatic picks. The analysis and clear insights into the race for Supervisor is so comprehensive and logical... as opposed to last week's choices for Highway Superintendent and Town Trustees... as to excuse their lack of a more definitive choice between the ladies Fleming and Pope.

But then there's the caveat of which we in the West end of Town are all too aware... "the Curse of the Chronicle!"

I think it started under Michael Pitcher's editorship of the old Hampton Chronicle-News... the newspaper's endorsement of a candidate in Westhampton Beach was more often than not, the kiss of death.

I've never clocked this outside the Village, so I don't know if it holds on a Town-wide basis.

What I do know is that Linda Kabot faces an uphill battle of her own making, but for those who haven't been polarized by her Labor Day DWI arrest or their own party affiliations, read today's "We Mark Our Ballot, Part II."

Rare is such clarity on an Editorial page.


1. Jimmy Bond said...

It is amazing how local media turns its back on corruption and our beloved blogger forgets his roots....

Which corruption? What roots?

2. Hampton West said...

As you said people vote for all sorts of reasons. I think Linda has the issues right but she needs to go to charm school.

I think its going to be close.

Charm school? I don't think Dale Carnegie could help that woman.

3. Matlynn Carville said...

I'll make up my own mind, thanks. Their last week's picks were SO sloppy and ill-reasoned, I have decided I can't pay attention to other people's conclusions.

It worked for me voting for Obama, didn't it? Against all odds is a challenge, not a sentence.

How is one to respond to that?!

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