I’ve been a Seabrooker since 1979 when my late wife, Jackie, helped run a US Tennis Association league tournament held at Seabrook’s Racquet Club (then located in part next to the Island House. HUGO changed that). We took annual vacation trips to Seabrook, bought a condo (Courtside villa), then a lot where, in 2002, we built our home and lived, full-time. Some years after Jackie died, the widow Sally Schenck (as they wrote in the 1700s), a Seabrook resident since 2001, and I married. Sally was on the SIPOA Board for 3 years, serving as secretary for part of that time. She was co-editor of The Seabrooker and a writer for the “Tidelines Blog.” So if I end up on the Board, it’s a kind of “two-fer,” since I treasure her counsel. In 2016, we built a second home in the Berkshires where we spend summer and autumn until the leaves fall.
Thus my Seabrook experience includes renting, owning and renting a villa, full-time residence, and part-time residence.
After seven years active duty in the Navy, including teaching at the Naval Academy, I ended up in an academic career, writing about U.S. foreign policy, particularly about Churchill, Roosevelt and the Second World War. In a change of pace, I have a history of the U.S. Tennis Association coming out this autumn.
I’ve been active in the SIPOA over the last fifteen years. I worked on the Special Projects Committee (Gerry King, chair) and the finance committee before being elected to the SIPOA Board of Directors in 2009. I was re- elected in 2012. I served as Secretary and member of the executive committee for five of those six years. I was an active member of the Legal Committee, which was a wonderful learning experience.
What did I accomplish? Wrong question. What did we – the Board, the staff, the community – accomplish is the question. It’s a team effort. Establishing policy-based governance was perhaps the major change. I chaired the Sense of Place project, which initiated many changes aimed at preserving our island’s environment and beauty – all agreed to by the community, not imposed. I chaired the Long Range Planning Committee (better called the Planning Committee), which developed strategic and short-term planning so as to eliminate pet projects and to establish goals and objectives that directed the budget.
My position statement? I bring to the table common sense and experience, and a commitment to sensible compromise. I can help the POA to avoid re- inventing the wheel. I can’t say how I stand on this or that issue until I know the details. I do not believe that Seabrook needs a revolution or dramatic reforms. Our island is well prepared to meet the future, thanks to the efforts of recent Boards. Bad things happen, challenges pop up. Experience and common sense, along with new thinking from new property owners, provide the solutions.
One caveat to that optimistic statement. This autumn’s hurricane season demonstrated that, given predictions of rising sea levels, the POA (in conjunction with the Town and the Club) needs to conduct a long-range study of how our island must adjust, even rethink itself a bit, so as to survive.
-Submitted by the Nominating Committee