Monday, October 26, 2015

Kathleen Leck Eldridge: Wild for Greenport

Q.  Kathleen Leck Eldridge is running as an Independent for Town Council in Greenport and is backed by the Greenport Democrats.  We wanted to ask her a few questions about her background and her thoughts on town issues.

Kathleen Leck Eldridge.  I was born and raised in Greenport in the family home on Milo Street that my father John Leck built in 1946.  It still stands strong.  My mother Gertie still lives there.  Growing up and watching Greenport develop while I was young, I never saw the problems that face us today.  Kids played outside and came home when the street lights went on.  We would sleigh-ride on the big hill near our house and skateboard right down our street.  We had scraped knees and bruises, and we had fun.  We were happy and never worried about the issues that confront us now. 

For one, if elected, I would push for weekly meetings, not just the monthly ones that happen now.  I would even schedule them more often than weekly if they were needed to accomplish what's important.  

I want solutions to problems from dirty water right down to the need for a stop sign. If, at the end of half a year, there are no solutions presented because of foot dragging, I will go public and let everyone know why and who is stopping the process. 

I want the comprehensive plan for Greenport to have a solid structure on which to build, not just a plan that sounds good or looks good on paper.  We need a tangible plan that is workable and affordable. 

These are the duties of the Greenport Town Board. 

My Dad always said that Greenport never kept up with its own growth and no one was paying attention to it.   This, he warned, would lead to more and bigger problems that would get out of control very quickly.  How right he was. 

Q. What made you decide to run for Town Council? 

Leck Eldridge.   As a contender for a Greenport Town Council seat, I ask myself not only what can be done, but what hasn't been done and what is being ignored?  I found that when asking a town department head about a problem, typically he blamed it on another department head who isn't in charge and has little or nothing to do with the issue. So finally, after attending one more frustrating Greenport Town Board meeting, I came home and said, "I need to run. Not away but to the Town Board." People who know me don't ask why I am running, because they know the answer.  

Q.  What challenges do you face in this campaign?

Leck Eldridge.   It has been said that I was wild when I was younger.  Define wild...better yet, define wild at 18 and then again at 59.  At 18 most of us tend to be reckless and at 59 our body remembers that recklessness.  So we slow down.  For me being wild now means that I have earned a college degree, own two homes and a new car, and I have a great credit score.  And I'm a registered nurse at an assisted living facility.

To attack someone's youth when there is so much important work to do is intended only to distract the voters from real issues.  I do not want my name attached to lies or misleading information, nor will I attack someone else for my own benefit.  This is dirty politics. and to play the same game is to have the same dirt kicked up in your face.   None of us wears a crown of thorns, but we can try to do what is right.

I am still wild, just about different things. Today I am wild to improve this town. 

Q.  What are is basic goal if you win this race? 

Leck Eldridge. I am running in this year's race to make a difference.  Flat out, to make a difference!!  I have told my running mates, on all sides, that this is my intention. They need to be on board with this and to work as hard as I want to. I am not trying to get elected to sit back and add this to my resume. I didn't even know it was a paid position when I decided to run. I want to make a difference and make Greenport a solid, well-functioning town. 

Q. How are you intending to make a difference?

Leck Eldridge.  There's been a lack of transparency from the current Town Board, and we need to find out what's behind it.  I want people at the Town Board meetings to hear us.  I want public input and committee participation.  

Some people might be afraid of honesty and integrity, which I intend to restore. Further stated, if any town leaders do not drag themselves into this mess -- as I want and will do -- then I will drag them into it myself.  

I certainly look forward to working with the people of Greenport.  As with any election, the winners or losers are the people's choice.  But I want to say thanks to that man I ran into the other day in the store, who pointed to his friend and said, "If she wins, we win."

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