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Letter: Candidate behavior raises concern

Opinion / Letters February 16, 2022

Dear Editor:

As a resident of Northport who has been attending the village meetings consistently, I have to express my disgust with the behavior that has been displayed by some of the village residents. I’ve been particularly taken back by the conduct of one of the candidates for this year’s mayoral race – Donna Koch.

In The Observer piece "Let the race begin" dated November 18, 2021, Ms. Koch stated that no matter who the opposition is, she intended to run a clean campaign and not sling any mud.

Since her announcement to run for Mayor, she has done the opposite of that. I have been appalled at the lack of respect she displays during the meetings, specifically to one of the current Trustees who also happens to be her opponent in this year’s mayoral race, Dave Weber, Jr.

I have witnessed when Ms. Koch is demanding an opportunity to speak or comment, she is badgering, argumentative and campaigning for herself. This type of behavior not only causes disruption and negativity in a public forum, it has me really concerned about her abilities to collaborate and work alongside folks she may not like or agree with. I have left the meetings wondering… if she is this abrasive during a community forum, how will she handle her role in leadership? If elected, will she be able to communicate respectfully? How will she work with the current Board, specifically the Board of Trustees if she cannot control her emotions?

The ability to work with folks is a primary function in government, especially in leadership, and I don’t see Ms. Koch’s ability to shine here.

I commend Trustee Weber for his ability to look beyond this and continue to serve the community and its members while having to be verbally harassed and criticized not only in a public forum, but in ongoing letters to the editor. If you ask me – THAT is the leadership I want for Northport and which is, again, why I will be voting for Dave Weber, Jr. on March 15.

Nicole Augustino, Northport