I have been involved in a small, quiet group of people trying to ban body gripping traps here in East Hampton Town. At the Thursday night, October 19 Town Board public hearing regarding this issue, I was appalled yet not surprised, by a selfish, unprofessional and possibly career-crushing display by Councilperson Brad Loewen. I have had three encounters with Mr. Loewen and in all three he professed a disdain for the "hysterics, melodrama and bamboozling" of the general public by opponents to body gripping traps.
In public meetings his incredible arrogance and disdain for those around him are evident in his body language, his words and their tone, and the effect of his childish and selfish tantrums. He has shut down an exhibition of the traps twice and this time when the board stood up to his tirade he stomped off the bench. With this behavior, Mr. Loewen has not only shot himself in the foot but put the final nail in the coffin of his opposition. So far he is the only one in this saga who has continually presented an embarrassing display of hysterics, melodrama, bamboozling and bullying.
Trapping is not being outlawed in town. The types of traps are being restricted to those considered safe for public consumption!
I am grateful to the four board members who proved capable of asking intelligent, insightful questions regarding some other forms of traps. This proved helpful to the discussion and its outcome.
Brad Loewen seems an echo from a less gentle time, lost and ineffectual in the 21st century. He seems to flounder and flail as he attempts to establish an image of himself as a noble and staunch defender of all that is right and good. Times change. Move on! He attempted to create an angry backlash against the anti-trapping lobby and it backfired. He astounded us and had the audience laughing at him with his playing gruff prosecutor to simple-minded criminals; us!
Ms. Murphy and her dog Zephyr were not only appropriate in their use of nature preserve, but have every legal right to use the trails freely and without tether. Mr. Loewen's shameful behavior toward Ms. Murphy wherein he tried to insinuate she was responsible for the death of Zephyr disgusted the audience. Badgering her to accept that responsibility could not have been uglier or more malicious. I suggest a gander at this politician on LTV.
I have seen some dramatics from the board on the bench in my times. These include screaming matches between councilpersons and audience, crying jags from supervisors who had entered this arena not expecting to have to play hardball, offhanded comments and insults thought unheard by microphones and more.
Never have I seen this magnitude of pomposity and condescension from a board member, not in the 40 years I have kept a distant eye on local politics.
Mr. Loewen, we are not all stupid. Some of us are simply not thick-skinned enough or willing to put up with your monstrous ego and bullying.
October 24, 2006