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Thank you! Now we get to work!

posted Mar 19, 2015, 6:48 AM by Doug Roberts   [ updated Mar 21, 2015, 9:30 AM ]
So I've had the words for this blog post bouncing around in my head for months, assuming it was mere folly. I couldn't possibly win an election against an incumbent Trustee and one of the most recognized names in Greenport- politics or otherwise- could I?  The fact is: I didn't do this.  You did this.  We did this.  Greenport did this.  

Many people who saw us on the street or walking around neighborhoods commented that we were working really hard and they appreciated that. I say- thanks for noticing.  But to be honest, the deeper we got into the campaign, the clearer it became that we were not just running against an incumbent and Bill Swiskey- we were running against the Village Board itself.  Between the sketchy business around voter registration and people being turned away at the polls, to half of the sitting Village Board not running in this election coming out forcefully and publicly against me- 2 of whom went as far as to imply I don't have the competence to be a Trustee- the deck was stacked against us. Jack and I are the kind of people who get motivated by adversity and I think you'll see that these next 4 years as we work for you on The Board. What did we do? We put on comfortable shoes and warm coats and we hit the streets. The results were clear: Almost 2:1, Greenport believes that it's time for a new approach.  That said, we need to let the wounds heal and build relationships with those who opposed us in the campaign so we move Greenport forward together and I promise to do this as best I know how.

This was far from easy and it was a product of the hard work of many people from November through late last night.  So I am going to attempt to list everybody here who helped out with this campaign in one way or another.  If I miss somebody I'll just come back and add them and ask for forgiveness given how little sleep I've had. We are honored to stand on all of your shoulders! Thank you to:

- My wife, Mary, and my daughter, Sarah Kelsey. Daddy will be home on the weekends again!

- My family, especially my sister, Liz and her husband, John, who did the yeoman's work on the mailing the lat week before the election.  My parents, Paul and Frances, who came out to be with us on election day.  

- Sergeant First Class, Coach, and Mr. Jack Martilotta, Jaime Martilotta, and their three kids Jackie, Sophia, and Emma.  Aside from being a great friend, Jack is going to be a great Trustee and I will never hear the end of it from him that he beat me by 22 votes.

- Trustee Dave Murray for 4 years of service to our village. We may disagree on some things but he will always have my respect as a leader in the community and as a neighbor.  I hope he might consider staying involved in some capacity- official or otherwise- and I will call him for advice if he'll let me.  

- Bill Swiskey for his undying service to this village and the commitment we share to open and transparent government. I have said many times I want to give him a prominent role in our utility work going forward and I look forward to affording him the opportunity to speak from the podium a maximum of two times for 3 minutes each at every VB meeting for the next 4 years.

- Mayor-Elect George Hubbard, Jr. for his tireless efforts for the village.  I look forward to working with him.

- Rena Casey-Wilhelm for stepping up to the plate big time and providing voters a huge service by organizing and hosting the Trustee candidate debate, with an assist to Michelle Schott.  Thanks also to both for fostering productive and respectful ongoing dialogue online that I hope will continue.

- Ted Schroeder, Teresa Taylor, Cindy and Ellen Cecaida, Imran Khan, The Whittle Family, Bob McInnis, Fred Schultz, Perry Angelson, Joe Pagano, Marta Thomas and Tom Cornell for letting me put up signs outside your house or business.

- Noah Thomas and Liz Smith, who were helpful in immeasurable ways. Noah is responsible for the signs, t-shirts, buttons, etc.  Both watched polls and helped with so many things, including ensuring that Greenporters were able to get in to Village Hall to register on the second registration day.

- Poll watchers and election day volunteers Bob McInnis, Dinni Gordon, Michael Keating, Sterling Smiley, and Val Shelby who were essential to this victory with their time and energy.

- Ray and Vicki Chute, who are so important to our family as former neighbors, friends, and Sarah Kelsey's favorite babysitters.  They also helped us on election day big time!

- The Greenport Zion AME Church for hosting fundraisers with delicious food. Mary and I will keep coming out even though the campaign is over!

- The Greenport Rotary Club for having me in to speak early on in the campaign

- The North Fork Chamber of Commerce for hosting our first formal debate

- Lisa Finn and Southold Local for hosting our final debate.

- Suffolk Times editors Grant Parpan and Mike White for braving the snowstorm to come out and host their editorial board forum in Greenport.

- Chatty Allen for all the great ideas and effort on behalf of Greenport. Please stay involved!

- Caroline Waloski for faithful attendance at Meet and Greets and participating in the campaign

- Beth Allen for letting me bend her ear on a Saturday morning in February

- Lynn Decker, Carol Mayavec, and Ann Heller for letting me pop by the Sunday before the election and for offering me tea

- Jill Wood and Julia Dickey for your passion for Greenport politics and also for offering us tea

- The Jimenez family for letting me interrupt your pizza dinner to chat about the village

- The Angevine family for letting me interrupt watching a movie to talk about village government

- Doug Moore for his support and wisdom

- Dinni Gordon for convincing me to run and providing steady feedback the whole way

- Ian Wile, Rosalie Rung, and their son, Jackson, for not only serving up delicious eats at Little Creek Oysters but for your great ideas and keen interest in Greenport's future. Look forward to working together. 

- Everybody whose parties, meals, and social gatherings we interrupted when we knocked on your doors- thanks for opening and sorry to have bothered you!

- Marc LaMaina for being my social media guru and for all the support- thanks also to everyone at Luchas and good luck with the expansion

- Chris Dowling for the long chats on winter weekdays when nobody wanted to buy any beach gear

- Freddy Schultz and Sterlington Deli for hosting our election night operation and subsequent celebration

- Dave Kapell for wisdom on village elections and the village government in general

- John Saladino, Lucille Naar-Saladino, Gary Charters, and John and Maritza Winkler for all the ideas and critiques that I fully expect will keep coming my way now that I am elected.  Thank you all for your passion for Greenport and your commitment to making it better. We won't always agree but you'll have an honest broker on this board who will listen to you.  

- Julie Lillis and David Akcay for running a spirited campaign and for great discussions early on in my campaign.

- John Gagen for always stopping to talk to me when I was pounding the pavement or standing out in the freezing cold campaigning.

- A couple of voters who will go unnamed who knew that their omission from the voter rolls was an error and demanded to be allowed to vote until they were able to do so. Your actions were heroic!

- Mrs. Mary Gilligan for letting us bend her ear for a good while on a rainy Saturday.

- Captain Sid Smith for hauling down to Greenport to vote- he got in the door at 8:45. Next time get an absentee ballot, buddy!

- All the people who responded to our mailing and flyers by calling and asking questions about my ideas and positions. 

- The election inspectors who volunteered many hours yesterday from early in the morning until 10:00 at night to make sure we could have this election.

OK this blog post is long enough but it's only so many times in your life you win an election, especially with such a big margin, so thank you for indulging me.  

What's next?

1. Some R&R the rest of the week and weekend
2. Ask for a meeting with Treasurer Robert Brandt ASAP next week to assess our financial position
3. Ask for a meeting with Mayor-Elect Hubbard to discuss plans for the new administration
4. Spend time with my family again!
5. Get back to working out again with my friends at CrossFit North Tribe to lose my 10-pound campaign baby and hopefully more!

Thank you all.  Thank you, Greenport!  They've heard our message loud and clear!

But we haven't accomplished anything yet. Deep breath...and the real work begins. Hope you will all stay active and involved. It takes a village to run a village.