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posted Dec 4, 2014, 5:00 AM by Doug Roberts   [ updated Dec 5, 2014, 5:23 AM ]
Since announcing my candidacy for Village Trustee, I've heard a fair amount of comments around town, most of them positive and supportive, which has been really nice.  Others have reached out to share ideas and ask me to look into various concerns they have with things around town, which is precisely what I hoped would happen and I will see that Greenporters are able to continue to communicate with their government after I am on The Board.  

But the most surprising feedback I've received now from several people who've seen me about is: "YOU ARE CRAZY!!"  My response is always "What do you mean?"  I don't realize yet that they are talking about my run for Village Trustee, and I'm wondering what I am doing at that moment that makes me seem insane.  Then they explain "You're crazy if you want to go be on THAT Board!"  That's when it sets in- if it is a Greenporter talking, they are embarassed by our Village government.  If it's somebody from outside The Village, they are mocking us.  That's when I say- "This is exactly why I am running- so that a year from now the Village Board is not a joke."   

When people around here talk about gang activity, drugs, or crime, they instantly zero in on Greenport, despite the fact that there are also crime, drugs, or gang activity in other hamlets on the North Fork.  Greenport is the crown jewel of the North Fork, a vibrant waterfront village with the best public spaces probably anywhere on the east end.  We have world-class restaurants, we have a significant recreation program providing after school and summer camp services to many local kids, we host major events several times a year that draw people from all over the NY area.  We've got a group of kids building an underwater robot to explore our bay, we have an electric launch that provides free conservation-focused tours of the bay to kids, we host a major marine contractor, we've got one of the fastest growing businesses on LI in the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company...I could go on and on about Greenport.  

And our Village Board has done some good things over the past few years, and some folks have put in a significant effort. But without transparency in our government, nobody hears about the positive things. As Trustee, I will work hard to improve this communication between the board and the public.  No one Trustee can instantly or single-handedly change the perception of a government agency in the eyes of the public.  But effort, creativity, consensus-building, and strong communication between the Board and those who elect them can go a long way toward improving how Greenport's government is perceived.  

I am not crazy to think that we should have a government that commands the respect of those who don't live here, and that earns the trust of the Greenporters it serves.  If you agree, tell your friends who vote in The Village: Re-tweet, Share on Facebook, email, do whatever you have to do to let people know that they need to vote Roberts on 3/18 to restore integrity to Greenport.