Were you listening?

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Regarding last week’s editorial on Bill Wilkinson’s candidacy [“Early bird,” April 2], why don’t you, for once, try to understand what Mr. Wilkinson was saying during his campaign?

During that campaign, he spoke of listening to hundreds of people, from baymen to captains of industry and learning. That was one of his management lessons: continuous learning. Maybe you should give it a try.

Were you listening when Wilkinson talked of the surplus being gone? Oh yes, you said you had heard of these things but wanted to give the supervisor, “a very decent man,” the benefit of the doubt. That same supervisor said that the town was in excellent shape in January and 10 weeks later told Newsweek it was in dismal shape.

Were you listening when Mr. Wilkinson reported the raiding of the CPF to pay for general fund budget items?

Were you listening when he was outraged with the delayed 2005 audit? My, have we all now learned why it was so delayed.

Were you listening when he said he researched six months of board resolutions and found more than 3,000 ayes and only two nays? Could you have opined about the need for debate and diversity?

Were you listening when Mr. Wilkinson spoke of McGintee’s intimidation, retaliation and arrogance; when Wilkinson spoke of the need to make our employees ambassadors; and of the need for not only professional competence but leadership skills? This retaliation and intimidation fear was repeated by his own fellow board member this past week.

Were you listening when he spoke of the erosion risks faced by downtown Montauk; the airport master plan and the need to maintain our airport; the need for proper administration and allocation of the CPF; listening to your own ethics committee; and elimination of numerous conflicts of interest displayed by the supervisor?

During the Concerned Citizens of Montauk debate, Larry Smith tried to goad Mr. Wilkinson and show his lack of community involvement in the last two years. Mr. Wilkinson responded by telling Mr. Smith of his volunteer efforts with the Montauk Fire Department, the Lighthouse Committee, the Montauk Lions Club, the American Legion and as a board member of the Montauk Beach Property Owners Association.

Your failure to observe Mr. Wilkinson listening and learning reminds me of Mr. Smith. Your failure is your failure alone. Perhaps you should have been listening to Mr. Wilkinson during the campaign. You have every right to opine but an educated opinion is so much more effective.

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