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David Kapell, Mayor of Greenport
March 18, 2005 @ 12:00 am EST
Our speaker this morning was Greenport mayor, David Kapell.
In my promotion of this morning’s meeting I promised an interesting meeting. I can reassure it was an understatement. The audience was impressed.. Comments like “Mayor Kapell should teach a required course on governing to the rest of Long Island’s elected officials” were heard. Mr. Kapell is an understated man, with lots of content and no bombast.
Here is a man with a sense of adventure that lets him see opportunity to improve the village, where others see unnecessary risk. When Grumman closed its’ nearby facility there was a picnic ground that included a carousel. Mayor Kapell is a romantic. He likes carousels, so he asked Grumman if the village of Greenport could have it. Grumman agreed, and through LIMBA board member Dick Dunne the transfer was made. The carousel is now a charming addition to the village. It is located in Mitchell Park which is another coup for David and the village. The blighted area which was the location of Mitchell’s Restaurant, a famous landmark before it burned down, was an eyesore for years until the mayor persuaded the village board to buy it for what turned out to be “peanuts,” one million dollars. There is also a skateboard park and an ice skating rink at that location.
There must still be a child inside the mayor. His philosophy is that “if it’s good for children, its good for the village. But beyond this romantic image is a man of enormous resolve. After he first took office the village was being written about in the newspapers because of corruption in the police department. He realizing that the surrounding town must legally provide police protection if the village just got rid of the police department. He showed the leadership to bring the issue to a vote and the people dismissed the police in a 2 to 1 landslide. This move saved the village millions of dollars.
Another controversial, but very successful move was the legalization of auxiliary apartments in all parts of the village. This relieved pressures on housing and increased the value of home ownership in the village. It also helped retired people with limited income to remain in the village that they loved.
After the meeting new member, and AMSOIL dealer, Jim Baumert, asked if he could donate the lubricants for the carousel. The mayor graciously accepted. David stayed in the room for at least another 1/2 hour to answer more questions and to interact with the people who attended.
(John Howell helped with the notes for this report.)