I want to thank all those who attended Nu Village’s issues and candidate forums recently. Each one has resulted in an honest, interesting and enlightening discussion. Each and every candidate who is running for office, including all three candidates for Mayor, has joined us and we appreciate their participation.
Our most recent forum was an issues forum held Thursday, February 23rd at the Patchogue Elks Lodge. While we had every intention to include six or more issue topics for discussion, the meeting was dominated by comments on the Four Corners/Tritec development and a general code enforcement discussion, taking up all the time we had available.
Although we would have liked to include more topics of discussion, the flip side is the discussion that did take place may have been the most open, direct, and respectful dialogue ever had by opposing points on these issues to date.
The only thing lacking was more representation from our residents. No matter who you support in the upcoming election, I can honestly say I believe each and every candidate has a deep care and concern for our community. They have shown that through their equal willingness to join the discussions we have initiated with NU Village. Now, it’s up to us, as residents, to engage them when the opportunity presents itself.
One thing that becomes clear with each gathering held by NU Village is we need more open, continuous discussions on these and other issues between residents and our officials. As an example, and without taking a position for or against, I contend that if a series of similar forums were held while the Tritec proposal morphed from its origins to its present state, the end result would have been a plan with better community consensus. This would have been created by the education and understanding these types of discussions encourage. Another happy byproduct may also have been the removal of the nasty tone in this election that both sides are guilty of setting.
The discussions that have started at the last two meetings of NU Village can be the seed to a new way of conducting community improvements, a place where ideas can percolate through the filter of expanded open discussions. Then, when these ideas are crafted into resolutions for Village Board approval, there will be a better understanding on exactly what the board is voting on. While there will never be unanimous support for every action by our Village, a mutual respect will exist when opposing view points are allowed to be fully expressed and investigated.
Certainly, this is exactly what we envision a “Community Advisory Board” to be and NU Village is committed to hold these types of forums well past election day and until a recognized advisory board is established.
To join NU Village, simply contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 631.793.6172 and I will add you to our contact list for future meetings.
NU Village has created a welcoming environment for all to share, listen and learn what is the pulse of Patchogue--and if you are reading this and have not been to one of our forums, you are a beat in that pulse that has yet to vibrate…the health of Patchogue needs you. Please join us when NU Village meets again. “Everyone is welcome…all ideas have merit” is our motto.