Tag Archive | "councilwoman"

Looks to be Wins for ATH and Fleming, Scalera Leads Bender By 85 Votes

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By Claire Walla


For the duration of the night of Tuesday, November 8, Independence Party candidate Brad Bender and Republican candidate Christine Preston Scalera were neck-and-neck in the race for Southampton Town Council. And though by the end of the evening Scalera edged Bender out of the number-two spot behind incumbent Bridget Fleming, the race has not officially been called.

Incumbent Bridget Fleming (D.) maintained a steady lead as voting results continued to pour in from districts throughout the town, and she ultimately ended the evening with a predicted 27 percent of all votes cast (excluding absentee ballots). Republican candidate Bill Hughes, on the other hand, remained at the tail end of the competition, trailing Fleming by three percentage points and garnering approximately 24 percent of the votes.

While the gap between Fleming at the top and Hughes at the bottom was arguably close — representing a difference of only 655 votes — the competition between Preston Scalera and Bender was even more intense. The two candidates swapped places in the race on more than one occasion, at one point divided by a scant three votes, or .02 percent.

Though Bender showed an early lead — edging out Preston Scalera by almost three percentage points — Scalera was soon ahead by a nose. But by 10:53 p.m., with 41 of the town’s 42 voting districts accounted for, it looked to be Bender ahead by 68 votes. Finally, at 11 p.m., the competition flipped for he last time.

The unofficial results as of Tuesday night showed Fleming in the lead with 26.97 percent, Preston Scalera in second with 24.72 percent, Bender in third with 24.32 percent, and Hughes rounding off the competition with 23.94 percent of the overall vote.

“This is not over,” said Southampton Democratic Committee Chair Gordon Herr at the Democratic committee gathering, held in the large auditorium of 230 Elm in Southampton Village. “We still have 791 absentee ballots. I’m still convinced Bradley’s going to win.”

In an email response Wednesday night, Preston Scalera wrote that she is “cautiously optimistic” that the results reported Tuesday night will remain.  ”I look forward to the opportunity to be able to serve the residents of this town,” she added. Hughes did not respond to a request for comment on the election results.

But in an interview on Wednesday, Bender said a margin of 85 votes is still too small to make a final call on the race. With 271 absentee ballots yet to be counted, he added that it’s anyone’s game.

“I wouldn’t want to concede or congratulate a victory with 85 votes,” Bender stated. Now it’s just a waiting game, which Bender said he’ll take one day at a time.

“For a virtual unknown to poll within 85 votes on my first time shows how well a race I ran and what the people actually think of me,” he said. “However the people decide is how the people decide.”

Standing on the stage against a patriotic backdrop lined with her running mates, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst (a member of the Independence Party who also was endorsed by the Democrats) offered similar sentiments.

“What you’re looking at here is the new majority of the town board,” she declared to much applause from the audience composed of Democrats. The supervisor continued by saying to her constituents that while watching the election results as they were projected against the wall of the building, “a moment of true emotion came over me.”

“[I thought about] what the last two years have been,” she added, referencing the fact that she has been the supervisor in the political minority on the town board. “And I’m confident that they’re over.”

“We’re only a few votes away,” Bender added from the stage.

Councilwoman Bridget Fleming also said she felt assured Bender would pull ahead and become the newest member of the town board. But she also made sure to congratulate the election of her fellow Democrat Steve Bellone who was voted the new Suffolk County Executive, replacing Steve Levy.

“I’m looking forward to working with him and not being ignored by the county executive’s office anymore,” she declared to the sound of much applause.

By the end of the night, incumbent Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst — the only supervisor candidate officially on the ballot — gained 63.43 percent of the total votes for supervisor, while 36.56 percent of votes were recorded for write-in candidates. Presumably, the vast majority of those write-in ballots went to former Southampton Supervisor Linda Kabot who waged a strong write-in campaign against the current supervisor.

In an email response Wednesday morning, Kabot wrote, “I am proud of all the grass-roots campaign efforts and the percentage points I garnered … without even having my name listed on the official ballot line-up.”

She added, “For me, this race was all about integrity and demonstrating a tireless and true commitment to public service.”

Even though she fetched an impressive 3,602 votes compared to the supervisor’s 6,349, that count was still not enough to tip the scale and oust Throne-Holst from office.

Also celebrating victories Tuesday night were Southampton Town Trustees Fred Havemeyer, Eric Shultz and Bill Pell — all Democrats — who joined Throne-Holst, Fleming and Bender on stage when the unofficial results were revealed. Across town, at the Republican celebration in Hampton Bays, trustees Ed Warner, Jr. and John Semlear cheered on victories of their own.

The three candidates challenging the town’s trustees in this year’s election race — Scott Horowitz, Janet Beck and Edmund Pavlak — were left out of the running when the final votes were tallied.

Finally, a Southampton Town proposition pertaining to PDD (Proposed Development District) legislation passed with 79 percent of voters voting “yes.” The proposition will make it so that a super majority of town board members will be required to approve all non-agrarian PDD applications in the future.

Southampton Town Swears in a Pair of Ladies

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On Friday, between light snowfall at Southampton Town Hall Supervisor Linda Kabot honored two democratic women as they took their oaths of office. Andrea Schiavoni, a North Haven resident, and Sally Pope from Remsenburg were sworn in as town justice and town councilwoman, respectively.
“Andrea and Sally really know how to pack a house,” Supervisor Kabot said to the brimming meeting room of over 70 guests.
Firstly, the supervisor acknowledged Schiavoni for her hard work and dedication along the campaign trail as she competed for the fourth seat on the town justice.
“Schiavoni’s professional skills as an attorney, mediator and arbitrator will aid her seamless transition into the role of Town Justice,” the supervisor said.
Schiavoni worked in Miami and represented more than 1,000 clients. In 1997, she took over her father’s business when he passed away, and became president of the firm, then renamed, Harum & Harum.
“I always hoped I would follow in my father’s footsteps,” she said on Friday holding back tears.
In 2001, Schiavoni changed the focus of that business to mediation and moved back to Sag Harbor, a place where she spent many summers as a child.

During the 2008 campaign trail, Schiavoni won the endorsements of the Working Families Party, the Independence Party and the Conservative Party. Republican Incumbent Tomas Demayo later challenged her to a primary election where he was able to win back his Conservative Party endorsement, which in the end, did not help him to maintain his seat.
On Friday, Schiavoni thanked her friends, family and colleagues alongside her husband and campaign manager, Tom Schiavoni and two children and said she will take all the “blessings she has been given with her to the bench.”
“We appreciate her gift of service to our judicial system and the people of Southampton Town,” Supervisor Kabot said.
“We also thank Sally Pope for her desire to make a difference on the local political landscape and contribute to the town’s governance,” Kabot said as she acknowledged Pope for her civic interests and executive experience with not for profit organizations.
Pope worked as a corporate attorney on Wall Street and in the publishing business. Later, Pope started her own private practice as an attorney and mediator. Pope mediated controversies for a wide variety of people, including school board members and teachers, governmental employees, workplace teams, business owners, families with estate problems, parents and children, divorcing couples and arguing neighbors.
“She’s also a mother and a grandmother – and wow – look at all the woman in public service these days,” Kabot said. With the addition of Pope there is now four women on the five seat town board.
After acknowledging Pope for her successes in her career, Kabot asked Schiavoni to perform her first duty as a town justice and swear-in the new town councilwoman. After taking her oath, Pope thanked friends, family and colleagues and said to her audience, “By simply electing me, my job is not done, I have a job to do and I hope you can help me do it.”
Pope also announced that she will be looking at producing round table meetings among members of the community.“We will publicize open doors and round tables and that’s the start we are looking forward to.”
Kabot welcomed Pope and joked that the town could use “lots of mediation and conflict resolution.”
Pope narrowly defeated republican incumbent Dan Russo by 832 votes in the 2008 election. Russo was appointed to the seat left vacant by Kabot when she was appointed town supervisor.
“As we look to Andrea Schiavoni and Sally Pope today,” said Supervisor Kabot, “we acknowledge their own commitment to the public’s welfare and the betterment of our community.”