By Ellen Frankman
The four candidates for Southampton Town Council joined the Noyac Civic Council (NCC) Meeting on Tuesday, July 16 at the Old Noyac School House.
In November, voters will elect two councilmen, filling spaces left vacant by Councilman Jim Malone, leader of the Southampton Conservative Party who chose not to seek re-election, and Republican Chris Nuzzi, who cannot run for town board again due to term limits and instead has mounted a campaign for Suffolk County Legislature.
The candidates were each given 15 minutes to present their platforms and to answer both local and regional questions from the Noyac Civic Council members.
Stan Glinka, of Hampton Bays, received the Republican nomination in May, and led his introduction on Tuesday evening with a focus on his community service experience.
Glinka serves as President of the Rogers Memorial Library Foundation, Director of Dominican Sisters Family Health Services, President of Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce, and Vice President of the Rotary Club of Hampton Bays. He is also treasurer for the Southampton Town Business Alliance and the Good Fellows of Suffolk County.
“I’ve always been inclined to try to make a difference with the civic organizations,” said Glinka. “This past year I started to ask questions about taking it a step further and running for Southampton Town Council. It was just a natural step for me to take.”
Glinka has had a long career in local banking, and currently works as a vice president at Bridgehampton National Bank. While he recognized that there may be certain conflicts of interest going forward, he assured the Noyac Civic Council that he has communicated openly with Bridgehampton National Bank about any foreseeable obstacles, and would abstain from any decisions if need be.
“My main concern is the helicopter noise,” said Noyac resident James Ding. “Are you willing to fight for us?”
Glinka said his primary role as councilman would be to serve the people and to fight on their behalf.
“I am educating myself on each area as I am starting this endeavor,” said Glinka. “We have to be able to understand what the community is looking for. I listen across the board and want to work with everybody.”
Jeff Mansfield, of Bridgehampton, also comes from a finance background, and spent 15 years on Wall Street working for Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch. Mansfield, endorsed by the Republican Party, holds both a law degree and Masters in Business Administration from Syracuse University, and is a member of the Southampton Town Audit Advisory Committee. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee.
“My parents taught me the value of what hard work is,” said Mansfield, who was born and raised in Southampton. “There is where I have my roots, where I have wonderful childhood memories, and I want my children to have the same experiences I had.”
Mansfield says his number one priority to is to be fiscally responsible.
“There is no allowance, not even the smallest mistake, when handling other people’s money,” said Mansfield.
Mansfield is a newcomer to politics, and has never before held a public service job, which he believes is to his advantage.
“I think the problem with a lot of elected officials is that the day they get elected they are looking towards the next election,” said Mansfield. “That’s not what I plan to do.”
The Southampton Town Independence Party and the Democratic Party have endorsed Frank Zappone for town council. Zappone currently serves as the Deputy Supervisor to Anna Throne-Holst. He told Noyac Civic Council members that he has decided to run to be able to cast a vote when the board weighs issues, which he currently cannot do.
“I have worked very hard on a number of policies or pieces of legislation that were not passed because they fell short by one vote,” said Zappone.
Zappone, who is a retired public school administrator, said the issues he would most focus on are the quality of the bays, the quality of drinking water, tick-borne illness and economic revitalization.
Zappone also spoke to an issue that was hotly contested earlier in the evening at the meeting, traffic calming.
“I personally have always been supportive of a more measured approach to road calming so that we can see what the impact is and then go from there,” said Zappone. Civic Council Members nodded their head in approval.
Brad Bender, of Northampton was the running mate of Throne-Holst and Councilwoman Bridget Flemming in 2011, but narrowly lost out to Republican Councilwoman Christine Scalera. An Independence Party member, Bender has the support of his own party as well as the Democratic Party in Southampton.
Bender is a self-employed home improvement contractor, who has lived in Southampton Town since 1986. He serves as Vice-President of the Flanders Riverside Northampton Community Association and on the Affirmative Action Task Force and the Riverside Economic Development Committee.
Bender told attendees at Tuesday’s meeting that public service is where his heart is. He has experience working with the Business Improvement District in Riverside and believes that prioritizing small business is necessary for Southampton Town.
“Rents are continuing to drive small businesses away,” said Bender, who suggested the town offer an incentive for start up businesses, a balance of small mom and pop shops and a push towards the creation of more affordable housing.
“I want to give you your money’s worth in town hall,” said Bender. “Most people consider the position of councilman a part-time job. This would be my full-time job.”