Guest Column: There’s much more to Summerwind stories

The Summerwind Square affordable rental building in downtown Riverhead opened Nov. 1, 2013. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)
The Summerwind Square affordable rental building in downtown Riverhead opened Nov. 1, 2013. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Re: Last week’s story about Summerwind operating without permits.

The story is much deeper than the headline reads. My wife, Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, has always been the one to work toward doing the right thing. When she found out the rental permits for the building that she is a partner in were not taken out, she urged her partners to get them, which they did. And, as much as I was against it, when she found out I didn’t follow through with the process for our finished basement and addition, she went to the town to get the process started before she ever thought about running for office.

Jodi, wanting to hold herself to a higher standard, she is the one who has brought these deficiencies to light, not the town, not her political opponents, not me.

There is more to this story, which includes a politically charged supervisor who needs to marginalize his adversary, my wife. Jodi is passionate about being an elected official and wants to be held to a higher standard which is why she pushed her partners to get the rental permits without any notification of the town to do so. However, these are all very politically motivated attacks and have nothing to do with the job she does for the town and its residents.

And that’s what bothers me the most.

My wife loves, lives and breathes her job and, to be honest, there’s not much I agree with her on except for her politics. (Just kidding, Jo.) We have paid what we are legally required to pay, and again, even though I was against it, she said she would pay back to the beginning. Let’s be honest, the overall majority of the people who finish their basements don’t get permits. The basement was finished before we were married, and before she decided to run for office.

Yeah, she has to be held to a higher standard because she is an elected official, she’ll agree, but the fact remains that she was the one who had been working to get all these issues resolved before they became headlines. Jodi running for public office has made our life an open book. No matter how good Jodi is for the town and government, this will be used against her by those who are simply just political.

On a final note, just so you know, Jodi rejected $10,000 in extra pay her first two years in office and for the last three, including this year, she rejected her pay raises. She loves this town and the people in it and works hard every day, always listening to anyone who approaches her, no matter where we are, with a smile and determination to fix the problem. This back-door public humiliation has to stop already!

Mr. Giglio is a developer and restaurant manager. He lives in Baiting Hollow.