A Candid Conversation with Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer: Challenges, Resilience, and Community – an Interview with I Love Babylon

3 February 2021

Technical Glitches and a Warm Welcome

The interview with Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, hosted by I Love Babylon’s Ryan, began with a few technical difficulties. After some back-and-forth, the two were able to establish a clear connection, and the conversation began in earnest. Schaffer greeted Ryan warmly, and the two quickly delved into the topics at hand.

Blizzard Conditions and Personal Responsibility

One of the first topics discussed was the recent blizzard that had hit the area. Schaffer explained the challenges the town faced in dealing with the harsh weather conditions. He emphasized that, due to the blizzard, work couldn’t be done on Monday, but workers were working around the clock to address the situation.

Schaffer also touched on the importance of personal responsibility in today’s society. He expressed concern that many people are quick to blame others or external circumstances for their problems. Schaffer, who considers himself “old school,” called for a return to a sense of accountability and responsibility within the community.

Climate Change, Government Structure, and Schaffer’s Background

The conversation then shifted to the impact of climate change on coastal towns, with Schaffer noting the rising sea levels and the challenges faced by communities in Florida and around the world. He also mentioned the loss of Ralph Scordino, a beloved community member, and how it affected the town.

Schaffer took the opportunity to explain the structure of the town government and how it is set up to provide basic services to the residents of Babylon. He emphasized the responsiveness of the town government to residents’ needs and concerns. Specifically:

    The Town of Babylon is set up to provide basic services to its residents.
    The town has approximately 215,000 to 220,000 residents (as of the time of the interview).
    The town is awaiting updated population numbers from the new census.
    The Town of Babylon is made up of hamlets.
    Each hamlet is a part of the larger town.
    The town government consists of a town board.
    The town board is composed of five members, including the Town Supervisor.
    The Town Supervisor is one of the five members of the town board.
    The Town Supervisor does not have veto power over measures from the state legislature or county legislature.
    The five members of the town board must work together to move things forward.
    Each member of the town board is directly responsible to all the residents of the town.
    This structure makes the town government highly responsive to residents’ needs and concerns.
    Residents can reach out to any of the town board members for assistance.
    The town government is distinct from other levels of government, such as state or county government.
    The Town Supervisor does not have the same veto power as a governor or county executive.

The Town Supervisor also shared his background as an attorney and how he got involved in local politics. He credited local figures like Pat Halpin and Sandra Bakker for inspiring him to get involved and emphasized the importance of local government in people’s lives.

COVID-19, Natural Disasters, and Empathy in Public Service

The COVID-19 pandemic was a major topic of discussion, with Schaffer detailing the town’s efforts to support not-for-profits and small businesses during the crisis. He praised the work of the Industrial Development Agency, which provided financial assistance to those affected by the pandemic.

Schaffer also reflected on the town’s response to natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. He spoke about the importance of learning from such experiences and the need for empathy and understanding when dealing with people who have suffered losses.

The conversation also touched on the challenges of communication and understanding in a polarized society. Schaffer stressed the importance of finding common ground and fostering civil discourse, even when people have differing viewpoints.

Looking Forward: Upcoming Events and Closing Remarks

Schaffer provided a sneak preview of upcoming events in the Town of Babylon for 2021, including alternating concerts at the beach and town parks. He expressed excitement about the return of community events and the opportunity for residents to come together and enjoy themselves.

As the interview drew to a close, Schaffer expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to speak with Ryan and the audience. He emphasized his commitment to serving the residents of Babylon and working to make the town a better place for all.

Ryan thanked Schaffer for his time and for sharing his insights and experiences with the I Love Babylon community.

The interview provided a candid and insightful look into the challenges and opportunities facing the Town of Babylon. From weathering natural disasters to fostering a sense of community, Supervisor Rich Schaffer’s dedication to public service and the well-being of Babylon’s residents was evident throughout the conversation.

We invite you to watch the full video of this engaging interview with Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, hosted by I Love Babylon’s Ryan O’neil Wiliams, by following the link below:

Watch the Full Interview on YouTube

About Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer

Rich Schaffer is the Town of Babylon Supervisor, a position he has held since 2012. He has also served as a councilman and deputy supervisor for the town. Schaffer is an attorney by profession and has been actively involved in local politics for many years. He is known for his dedication to public service and his commitment to the residents of Babylon.

We encourage you to watch the full video of this engaging interview and join the conversation about the future of the Town of Babylon.

Watch the Full Interview on YouTube

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