Candidates from both sides of the met at the in the on Thursday, discussing the organization’s principles that they agree and disagree with.
The new civic association lists 10 principles on its website that include the creation of its own board where members would be selected randomly and serve one-year terms.
Representing was their mayoral candidate Elisabeth McGuire, incumbent trustee candidate Stephen McGiff and trustee candidates Lisa Ihne and Greg Powers. was represented by incumbent trustee candidates Jack Krieger, Lori Devlin and trustee candidate Tom Ferb. Incumbent Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri, also on Patchogue 2012, was out of town and could not attend.
While neither party fully endorsed the principles, there was a consensus amongst the candidates that the basis of the Nu Village principles were something that should be considered by members of the local government.
“All of us have reviewed the declaration of principles that serve as the foundation of Nu Village, and although we agree that some bear merit there are others that we do not endorse in their current interpretation,” Krieger said. “We must look at your principles as a whole and not individually in order to make a determination as to whether they are compatible with our own principles and what we believe would be better to govern the residents of Patchogue.”
While neither party made specific claims against any of the principles they both agreed on getting residents involved in the process.
“One of the reasons we call ourselves Residents First is we think the residents should have a say,” McGuire said. “It shouldn’t just be the village officials sitting up in the ivory tower making decisions. The residents everyday should be voicing their concerns and should be a part of the decision making process.”
Ferb said that having the civic association around is not necessarily a bad thing, that having resident input is crucially important. However, he also took issue with the wording of some of the principles, calling them “accusatory.”
“Some of these principles are valid and reasonable but they need a lot more input before anyone can really endorse them,” Ferb said. “When I first read these principles – what I saw was a political platform that morphed into a civic association.”
While Nu Village has since that they will not be running candidates nor endorsing any, they had previously advertised candidate screenings on their website.
When the floor was opened up to residents attending the forum, the most hotly talked about issue was communication between Village officials and the residents.
“It’s a question of communication and the communication starts with the people that we’ve elected to run our village to disseminate that information to us,” Pamela Barr, a former Patchogue trustee said. “And, ultimately, it’s up to us as the citizens to grab hold of that information and make use of it.”
It was a general consensus that more information including legal notices, agendas to upcoming village meetings and openings on village boards needed to be more readily available for residents. Currently they are typically posted to the Patchogue Village website, and in local news sources such as and .
The of village meetings, which Krieger said had been discussed by the current administration, was also something that some residents would like to see to help improve communication.