Received from Amy Marion, Sea Cliff
March 16, 2017
To the Editor:
Last night the Sea Cliff Civic Association held a “Meet the Candidate” night for the upcoming Sea Cliff Village election which will be take place on March 21, 2017.
There are two trustees running as incumbents and Deb McDermott who is running for the first time for a Village trustee seat.
Incumbent Trustee Dina Epstein stated, in sum and substance, that there was no ill-will intended by the appointment of a new Mayor, a new Trustee, and a new Public Administrator which was done very quickly and not very publicly.
Incumbent Trustee Jeff Vitale stated that he is open to hearing from the residents about any concerns, issues or ideas and suggestions which they may have.
Both incumbents seemed very sincere. There is no doubt that their hearts were in the right place when they stated that they were and are acting for the good of the Village. These motives are not disputed.
However, civics and democracy require that elected officials act for and at the behest of their constituents for the very reason that one’s individual and good intentions may not necessarily produce the choices, desires, or will of the populace.
Suggesting that residents come forth with concerns and ideas was equally sincere; however, uninformed residents cannot comment upon issues affecting their Village in a meaningful manner. For it is the role of the elected official to inform and educate her constituents about the multitude of diverse and complicated issues which the municipality confronts and deals with daily. The elected official must understand and master the subject matter so that she can then inform her public in simple and easy to understand terms. The public comes forth to comment and participate when they understand the issues and when they are aware of the impacts.
When people remain uninformed, the elected officials do not know the beliefs and opinions of their constituents. How then can they represent them or their views without knowing what those views are? The elected officials’ good-faith-position may or may not be the majority view of the Village citizenry. Without public hearings, dialogue and debate, the elected officials will always remain uninformed about the public’s opinion.
Deb McDermott is a communicator, a facilitator of dialogue, a gatherer of thoughts and ideas, an individual trained in reducing complex issues to simple-to-understand terms, and an overall motivator who is trained in listening – she has the proven experience and track record of producing great results for our small Village.
Please vote for Deb and for Deb only on March 21, 2016 – this type of single/bullet vote is necessitated by the “block” that the incumbents are running on; it is the only way that Deb can get a seat at the table.