Should Be Commended

  

a letter to the editor of the East Hampton Star

Dear David,

On January 18, 2018, I had the privilege of being appointed to the East Hampton Town Board by the majority of the other four members of the town board at that time; but not unanimously. At this meeting there was a wonderful showing of support for my family, myself, and the East Hampton community in the filled meeting room at Town hall. It was a glorious day and one that I am very proud of and will always be thankful for.

Just two weeks prior to my appointment there was also another swearing-in ceremony of two elected town councilpersons and also for Peter Van Scoyoc for his first term as the newly elected East Hampton Town supervisor. It was that January that signaled the start of a new chapter in the history of the town of East Hampton’s government and one that I had been preparing for and eagerly awaited to get to work on.

Unfortunately, what started at my Jan. 18, 2018 swearing-in ceremony by a councilman’s remarks and still to this day was a divisiveness and discourse in politics that was largely present on the national political stage at that time but not as much in East Hampton. I was called names by letter writers and on signs, and many untruths and falsehoods were written about me and my family for the only reason that I can determine would be for some individual’s political gain.

To myself and my family it was saddening to see people judge someone so harshly that they never met and because my appointment wasn’t politically aligned with their political motivation. Needless to say, I was able to push the negative aside and work tirelessly at the job of town councilman to produce results that are high in standards and sum.

The past 20 months of the pandemic have tested the readiness of elected officials all over the world and most importantly in our Town of East Hampton. The need of leadership to be strong, adaptable, and ever present for a once-in-a-hundred-year world emergency that we have been dealing with, was exactly what Peter Van Scoyoc displayed to me and our community.

Peter navigated the fine line of a public health emergency and the balance of the economic needs of East Hampton like an experienced and skillful manager. It was due to his quick thinking that our town’s Covid transmission rate was one of the lowest for a township on Long Island and also had one of the highest vaccination rates in the same geographic area.

Peter was on daily emergency calls with all of the elected leaders in Suffolk County, advocating for the protections that East Hampton’s residents deserved and needed at the height of the pandemic. It was my pleasure to join these calls and listen to Peter advocating effectively, not because I had to but because I wanted to do so as your elected official. Sadly, one of Peter’s opponents never took the time to join in on these daily calls that were held for months on end. 

During the pandemic Peter has also successfully continued to move other important projects along through outreach and fact finding that will pay dividends for the township for years to come. Whether it was leading the purchase of multiple properties for affordable housing projects, advocating for the Fire Island to Montauk project, supporting public beach access, or protecting the environment through water quality projects, Peter was able to continue to move these progressive projects and legislation forward at the same time as managing the greatest health emergency in multiple generations. For this he should be commended and deserves another chance to lead the township as our supervisor.

What I ask for you as a voter is to look at the entire body of work of the candidates prior to voting. How has that individual led the community in a better way than the current town supervisor, Peter Van Scoyoc, has? If you look deep, the work ethic and the results over the past four years of Peter’s opponents don’t come close to comparing to the successes and efforts that Peter has accomplished for East Hampton.

Lastly, I ask you to determine the future leadership of East Hampton from a candidate’s record and performances and not a yard sign. And most important, participate in our great country’s democracy and vote on Tuesday or earlier.

Respectfully,

DAVID LYS

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