By Kathryn G. Menu
It appears that East Hampton Village administrator Larry Cantwell has secured the two nominations he hoped to carry into this fall’s race for East Hampton Town Supervisor.
After earning the Independence Party nomination earlier this month, on Monday the East Hampton Democratic Committee announced it would recommend Cantwell for its party endorsement at its convention next Wednesday, May 15.
According to Betty Mazur, the committee screening chair, it was a unanimous decision.
The screening committee has also recommended Kathee Burke Gonzalez and former East Hampton Town board member Job Potter for town council seats. They will face retiring town clerk Fred Overton and incumbent Republican town councilman Dominick Stanzione — both of whom have secured local support from the Republican committee and Independence party.
Eugene Di Pasquale will be supported to keep his position as one of the town’s three assessors and will face Republican Joe Bloecker. Steven Tekulsky has been asked to accept the support of the committee for town justice in the wake of Justice Cathy Cahill’s announcement she will retire this year after 20 years of service. Tekulsky will face attorney Carl Irace, who has the endorsement of the Republican committee and the Independence Party.
If formally endorsed at the nominating convention next Wednesday, Carole Brennan will have earned the support of the Democratic, Republican and Independence parties in her bid for town clerk, replacing the retiring Fred Overton who is running for town council on the Republican and Independence parties ticket.
The screening committee recommended cross endorsement of incumbent Republican Steven Lynch for Highway Superintendent.
The screening committee has not yet settled on its full slate of trustee recommendations.
“East Hampton Democrats were proud of the roster of fine people who came to us to screen for the supervisor and council positions this year, although it required some difficult decisions,” said Mazur in a press release issued Monday. “In Larry Cantwell, Kathee Burke Gonzalez and Job Potter we have recommended a group of seasoned leaders with diverse experience, expertise and connections to our community, all committed to our Democratic principles and known for their ability to work effectively with others. With current Democratic Councilpersons Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc, they will be make up an effective team for solving the challenging problems facing our town at this time.”
Cantwell has close to 40 years of experience in local government including as a member of the town council from 1976 to 1982, and has served as village administration in East Hampton since he left that post.
“I am proud and humbled to receive the recommendation of the Democratic screening committee,” said Cantwell. “I look forward to earning the support of the full Democratic Committee. I will work hard to gain the support of the people of East Hampton and address the challenging issues of coastal erosion, groundwater protection, fiscal responsibility, and protecting our residential neighborhoods.”
Burke Gonzalez, an account director with Blumenfeld and Fleming in Montauk, has served as a member of the Springs School Board as its president since 2011, first elected to that body in 2004.
“I believe that 30 years as an advertising professional coupled with nine years of service on the Springs UFSD Board of Education, the past two as board president, have given me the skill set to tackle the critical issues facing our town: skills such as listening to colleagues and the community; gathering the facts; finding common ground and building consensus,” she said.
Potter is no newcomer to the political arena in East Hampton. He served on the East Hampton Town Board from 1998 to 2005 and was a member of the town planning board from 1994 to 1997. He has also served on the town budget committee, the Suffolk County Planning Commission and the Suffolk County Farmland Advisory Board, and was a board member of the Amagansett Historical Association. Prior to the board years, he worked on commercial draggers out of Montauk, on two charter schooners, and at a boatyard, then as a real estate appraiser for eight years. He has also worked as a property manager and has a license as a real estate broker with Sotheby’s.
“It was a great satisfaction to me to serve East Hampton on the town board and planning board in past years, and I look forward to more hard work and substantial accomplishments,” said Potter. “Among my first goals will be restoring civility and bi-partisan cooperation on the town board and the practice of treating employees and the public with respect and consideration. Other priorities are refocusing the town planning process on the comprehensive plan and LWRP and applying the zoning code fairly and equally, which will mean working out a better system for interpretation of the code by the building inspector’s office. Working with the trustees to protect the beaches and public access, getting the planning going on future affordable housing projects, and strongly defending peace and quiet in the neighborhoods are among my other priorities.”
None of the nominating committee’s selections will become formal endorsements until the Democratic Committee’s nominating convention next Wednesday, May 15.