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Leadership = Communication

posted Jan 28, 2015, 5:41 AM by Doug Roberts
Firstly, I hope everybody got through the storm ok. If you watch national news it would sound like we just went through some wild crisis, and friends of ours who live in warmer climates have been sending us concerned messages inquiring about our well-being.  We're Greenporters.  We can deal with a little weather.  I'm glad that it seems that there were no injuries and big and heartfelt thanks go out to our village employees who cleared roads and sidewalks, kept the lights on, kept the water running and kept the sewer pumping.  

On Monday, I got calls and social media messages from the leader of every political unit to which I belong.  Obviously, Governor Cuomo had multiple press conferences, even coming out to LI to deliver some of his briefings.  I got a robo-call from County Executive Bellone warning us to stay off the roads and prepare for the worst. And Supervisor Russell was communicating with us via the local press and the town website.  We elect these folks to look at for us at times like this.  We are deserving of their concern and thoughtfulness in helping us feel safe.  

So, don't we deserve the same as residents of The Village of Greenport?  Where was the communication from Village Hall?  If The County Executive can put together methods for reaching a significant portion of the 1.5M residents in Suffolk County, Greenport can certainly come up with a communication approach that scales to 2,000+ villagers, including folks who are away for the winter or who own property here but don't live here.  Those people deserve to hear news from their elected leaders that all is OK, the houses haven't fallen into the Bay, and the village snow cleanup crews are doing their usual amazing job.  

The men and women of our utility and road crews, as well as our fire department, work their behinds off to make sure the rest of us are safe during these times.  They deserve leadership that honors their work! And while I was glad to read tweets from Clerk Pirillo's account reminding us to kindly remove our cars from the street, it was a little jarring to see the "kindly" morph quickly into "move your car or we're towing it" on the day the snow hit.  Look, it's illegal to park your car on the road during a storm, and the Twitter account is right to remind us all of that.  But the elected leaders of this village needed to be hammering us with this message days ago. How about comments on the Suffolk Times website, or a call-in to WLNG, or more frequent broadcasts on Twitter and on the website.  To find the information on the website about the storm you have to practically use a magnifying glass and wade through information about us winning an award from the Suffolk Times last year, the rental permit law, and a bunch of other stuff.  

I've been beating this drum loudly since the power outage debacle last summer and you'll hear me beat it even louder when I am your Trustee.  If I can't get our Mayor and colleagues on The Board to agree on a communication strategy, I'll go rogue and do my best to get you information on my own. I will take my role as an elected public servant and leader seriously, especially in times of weather or other emergencies. This is part of the commitment I believe I am making in running for this position. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up to join the campaign mailing list to stay in touch about this and other issues!  

I know I've said it a few times, but I want to make sure the message is heard loud and clear: we are very lucky to live in a village with such dedicated crews to clear our roads and keep our utilities working during these storms. I've lived other places and nothing compares to the service we get here, and I don't take them for granted.  

Now, stretch well and lift with the legs with those shovels.