To paraphrase Bobby Kennedy, when some people are confronted with a challenge they say why. Others say why not. Paul Massey is a why not guy. After selling his real estate business, he began looking for a new challenge. When an opportunity came to run for mayor of New York city, he said why not.

“I would have made a good mayor, Rick.”

“Even without previous political experience?” I asked.

“Absolutely, because it’s primarily a managerial job. It’s about filling potholes, plowing the streets when it snows, collecting garbage. I’m good at that stuff.”

“What were the issues you were concerned about?”

“Don’t put it in the past tense. I am still concerned about them because they are not going away. There is a homeless crisis in New York. We have 70,000 people in shelters, with 20,000 on the streets. Those 20,000 cycle between prison and the streets. Nothing is being done about the problem.

“Housing is expensive in the city. Everyone knows that. What people don’t know is that the housing stock is old. I mean 100 years old on average. We need a massive building program for new housing. Again, nothing is being done about it.

“I ran to provide jobs. The regulatory environment for big business is punishing. Small businesses are dying, especially in retail. The’s of the world are killing them. There are hundreds of taxi cabs sitting idle on the streets. Uber has been devastating to that business. Imagine in five years when Uber has a fleet of driverless cars.

“Our problems are interrelated. The schools are failing. Fifty per cent of high school graduates are not ready to enter college or the job market. We have 50,000 kids drop out of school each year. The result is that we have kids who are not well trained and a real shortage of good jobs. It’s a dangerous mix.”

“It must have been very difficult for you to end your campaign?”

“It was a tough day because I loved every aspect of the campaign, and I had a great staff. The problem was our money was drying up. We were spending money, but my candidacy was not gaining traction. Our poll numbers were not going up. So we had to end it.”

“Would you do it again?”

“I’m not sure what my near term future holds. As I just said, I love campaigning. I met so many great people, and there’s no city like New York. It’s simply the best. It was also a good learning experience. My early campaign speeches were a little wooden, but I got better. I am more comfortable on radio and TV. I learned how to handle the press. So, all things considered, it was a great experience.”

When Paul left our porch, I smiled thinking about his last answer. That’s the first time he sounded like a politician—cautious and somewhat disingenuous. His openness and candor throughout the interview came like a breath of fresh air. I can’t wait to learn what his short-term future holds.

Speaking of great experiences, it was impressive for me to sit through the beach club meeting last Saturday. The board has had some difficult problems to deal with, and several talented board members have come forward to resolve them.

The one problem most people were interested in was damage done to the pier as a result of two major storms this winter. The original intention was to have the damage repaired before the opening this season. Unfortunately, due to a delay in receiving new pilings, the work will have to be done this fall after the club closes. The estimated cost of the repairs is $130,000.

Now for the news you have all been waiting for. As of this writing, I have received no correct answers to the trivia question I posed last week. The current building which houses our tennis club was constructed in 1910 as the clubhouse for a golf course. The two slender yellow closets in the ladies room were used by members to store their clubs. So, while no one was able to receive a free copy of East Chop Families, you can order one by calling me at 508-693-8065.

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