Tag Archive | "Frank Zappone"

Southampton Town Council: It’s Bender & Glinka, Unofficially

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Southampton Town Council candidates Brad Bender, Frank Zappone, Stan Glinka and Jeff Mansfield

Southampton Town Council candidates Brad Bender, Frank Zappone, Stan Glinka and Jeff Mansfield

By Kathryn G. Menu

While the results have yet to be made official by the Suffolk County Board of Elections (BOE), according to Southampton Town Democratic Party chairman Gordon Herr, it appears that Independence Party member Brad Bender and Republican Stan Glinka have held on to their Election Day leads and will join the Southampton Town Board in January.

On Wednesday morning, an official with Suffolk County BOE chairman Anita Katz’s office declined comment on the race stating official results would not be available until later this week.

However, Herr said the counting of 879 absentee ballots was completed last Wednesday and that Bender and Glinka have secured seats on the town board.

Bender and Glinka bested Bridgehampton resident Jeff Mansfield and Southampton Town Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone in the town board race.

“I am so very thankful to my friends, family, co-workers, colleagues, everyone who was so generous and encouraging during the campaign,” said Glinka, the town board race’s top vote getter, in a statement on Wednesday. “But more importantly I am thankful to the voters of this great town, my hometown of Southampton, for endorsing me with their vote. I look forward to continuing to listen to all the people and to working on finding balanced solutions to many crucial issues at hand.”

“As I committed to be your full time representative, I am currently winding down my workload and finishing off projects that are in progress,” said Bender, who is in the construction field. “I am excited about this next chapter in my life as a public servant. Working for you the taxpayers to solve problems and protect our community.”

Southampton Town Council Race Still Too Close to Call

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Heller_LWV Supervisor Debate 10-24-13_7624_LR

By Tessa Raebeck

Over a week after the election, the Southampton Town Council race remains too close to call, with 879 absentee ballots left to be counted, officials said Wednesday morning.

According to the office of Suffolk County Board of Elections Commissioner Anita Katz, counting of the absentee ballots is underway and will not be finished until as late as the beginning of next week.

No matter who wins the two open seats, each of the four candidates would be joining the town board for the first time. Stan Glinka, of Hampton Bays, and Jeffrey Mansfield, of Bridgehampton, ran together on the Republican Party line, facing challengers Brad Bender, of Northport, and Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone, of Southampton, who ran on the Democratic and Independence party lines.

According to the unofficial results released by the Suffolk County Board of Elections, with 42 of 42 districts reporting on election night last Tuesday, Glinka led the town council race with 5,857 votes, or 25.85 percent of tallied ballots. Bender is in second place, with 5,746 votes, or 25.36 percent.

If the absentee ballots do not significantly alter the results, Bender and Glinka will join the town board come January.

With 5,603 votes, or 24.73 percent, Mansfield trails Bender by just 143 votes. Behind Mansfield by 158 votes, Zappone earned 5,445 votes, or 24.03 percent.

In addition to the town council race, the official outcome of the race for five town trustee positions also hangs in the balance until absentee ballots are counted.

If the results hold, incumbents Bill Pell (8,933 votes), Eric Shultz (8,746 votes) and Ed Warner, Jr. (7,161 votes), members of the Independence, Democrat and Republican parties, respectively, will have secured the top three spots. The remaining two spots would go to Republicans Scott Horowitz (6,399 votes) and Ray Overton (5,436 votes).

Anna Throne-Holst Wins Southampton Town Supervisor Race; Town Council Still Too Close to Call

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Heller_Dems 2013 Campaign Reception 11-5-13_1172_LR

Incumbent Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst watches the election results with, from left to right, sons Sebastian and Max and daughter Karess on November 5.

By Tessa Raebeck; photography by Michael Heller

It appears Independence and Democratic Party candidate Anna Throne-Holst has secured a third term as Southampton Town Supervisor, beating Republican challenger Linda Kabot.

Alex Gregor also had a strong showing Tuesday night in the race to keep his position as Superintendent of Highways, coming out ahead of challenger David Betts.

Several races remain undecided, with 879 absentee ballots yet to be counted, town council candidate Brad Bender said Wednesday.

According to the Suffolk County Board of Elections unofficial results, with 42 of 42 districts reported, Throne-Holst secured 7,081 votes, or 58.63 percent of ballots cast. Kabot earned 4,985 votes, or 41.27 percent.

“This was a hard fought campaign and I think what I would like to say is we are now the poster child for running a clean, above board, above the issues [campaign], talking about what really matters to people and not going down in the mud,” Throne-Holst said in her acceptance speech late Tuesday night at the Democratic Party gathering at 230 Elm in Southampton. “I think people recognize that we genuinely have been there to help, we genuinely have been there to make a difference.”

Kabot conceded the race late Tuesday and said Wednesday that she was unsure whether she would seek public office again.

“I’m very proud of my grassroots campaign, we focused on the truth,” said Kabot. “We’re dealing with a well-funded incumbent who has manipulated the facts to her advantage and ultimately, the voters have made their choice, so we move forward.”

Newly reelected County Legislator Jay Schneiderman called the night “a historic moment in the Town of Southampton,” reminding the crowd that no non-Republican supervisor has had a majority on the town board since Thiele was supervisor in the early 1990s. If either Brad Bender or Frank Zappone is elected, Throne-Holst will have a Democratic majority on the board.

Heller_Dems 2013 Campaign Reception 11-5-13_1134_LR

In the highway superintendent contest, according to the unofficial results, as of Wednesday morning Gregor had secured 7,259 votes, or 61.87 percent of the vote, earning him another term while 4,470 votes were cast for David Betts, giving him 38.1 percent of the vote

In uncontested races, Sandy Schermeyer was elected town clerk and Deborah Kooperstein and Barbara Wilson were appointed to the two open town justice positions.

With the remaining districts and absentee ballots yet to be counted, the races for two seats on the town board and five trustee positions are too close to call.

As of Wednesday morning, the unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections places Republican Stan Glinka in the lead in the town council race with 5,857 votes, or 25.85 percent of votes cast. Bender, an Independence party member cross-endorsed by the Democratic party, is in second place with 5,746 votes, or 25.36 percent. Trailing Bender by just 143 votes, Republican Jeff Mansfield has so far earned 5,603 votes, or 24.73 percent of ballots cast. With 5,445 votes and 24.03 percent, Democrat Frank Zappone trails Mansfield by 158 votes.

“I think the indications are things are in a state of flux,” Zappone said Wednesday morning. “It appears as if there’s a significant number of uncounted votes — that could shift the standing significantly or not at all. It’s very difficult to tell at this point, so one has to be patient, sit back and see what evolves.”

Early Wednesday, Mansfield said he was busy driving around town picking up lawn signs and taking down billboards.

“It could be a lengthy process,” he said, “So we will respect the process and see what happens, but I think at this time it’s premature to say one way or another.”

Bender was likewise committed to removing campaign signs Wednesday morning.

“We’re going to let those people have their voice and let those ballots be looked at,” he said of the absentee ballots. “We’ll let the board of elections sort it out and we’ll celebrate when we have an actual result.”

Stan Glinka could not be reached for comment.

The race for Southampton Town Trustee, in which eight candidates vied for five available seats, also cannot be determined at this time. The candidates leading thus far are the three incumbents running; Bill Pell leads the pack with 8,933 votes, or 17.64 percent of votes cast. Eric Shultz has earned 8,746 votes, or 17.27 percent and Ed Warner, Jr. is in third place with 7,161 votes, or 14.14 percent.

Trailing the incumbents are: Scott Horowitz with 6,399 votes, or 12.63 percent; Raymond Overton with 5,436 votes or 10.73 percent; Howard Pickerell, Jr. with 5,163 votes or 10.19 percent; John Bouvier with 4,953 votes or 9.78 percent; and Bill Brauninger with 3,812 votes, or 7.52 percent.

All elected officials will take office on January 1, 2014.

Sag Harbor CAC Sets Sights on Regional Issues

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The Sag Harbor Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to the Town of Southampton has no intention of resting on their laurels following the town’s adoption of the Sag Harbor Gateway Study – a project they championed for years. Fueled by the momentum of a newly formed cooperative of citizen committees in the eastern half of the town, last week the CAC committed itself to supporting a similar land use study for County Road 39, and called for greater dialogue between citizen groups and both the town board and planning board.

The Sag Harbor CAC was instrumental in the creation and recent passage of the Sag Harbor Gateway Study, a years-long endeavor to ensure the gateway to the village would not be developed in the same fashion as County Road 39 in Southampton. On Friday, April 3 the committee welcomed Frank Zappone, chairman of the Southampton, Tuckahoe, Shinnecock Hills CAC whose own committee is concerned by a recent decision by the Southampton Town Board to lift a building moratorium on County Road 39 while a land use study is completed for the corridor. According to Zappone, the action is symptomatic of a larger issue in town government, where citizen advisory groups can find their voices fall on deaf ears, whether in front of the town board or when they step in too late on a project in front of the planning board. 

In addition to serving as chair of his CAC, Zappone is also acting chairman of the Coalition East – a union of citizen groups east of the Shinnecock Canal formed to provide a support system between organizations and allow the groups to tackle regional issues in the town. He has also sought the vacant town planning board seat over the course of the last year and a half – a position that has yet to be filled.

According to Sag Harbor CAC chairman John Linder, the meeting is one of two sessions meant to focus on the town’s planning board and planning department. On Friday, May 15 the committee will welcome the Group for the East End, who will unveil a proposal to incorporate citizen committees in the planning process.

On Friday, ensuring CACs are heard cooperatively and individually, town planning was at the forefront of the discussion.

 “John and I have talked periodically and lately more and more about the frustration of being in a CAC and getting people involved to make a truly meaningful impact,” said Zappone on Friday.

Zappone expressed frustration at the lack of notice citizen groups are given on development projects coming before the planning board. He said even when the CAC is given plans for projects in its jurisdiction, often the projects are so far down the pipeline it is nearly impossible to play a meaningful role in shaping a development to suit both the project sponsors and the community.

“After the horse is out of the barn why are you asking us for input,” he mused. “It serves no useful purpose at that point.”

Zappone admitted he has sought the vacant seat on the board for some of these very reasons, but has yet to even have his application acknowledged.

“Should we not look for some balance,” he wondered, adding it could be beneficial to have the planning board comprised of residents throughout the town or require a couple of members represent the minority political party.

“We are also concerned about the length of terms,” said Zappone, noting planning board members are appointed to seven-year terms with no term limits. “Two terms is 14 years. A particular mindset can dominate for an extended period of time without limits.”

Zappone expressed real frustration at the town board’s decision to lift a moratorium on development on County Road 39 while the town finishes its second land use study on the corridor – a study similar to the Gateway Study, albeit for a much larger gateway to the eastern side of Southampton.

 “Take the pressure away and there is no reason to finish it quickly in terms of the commercial needs of a community,” explained Zappone, who added the moratorium also protected any projects from slipping in before any zoning changes could be made as a result of the study. While the board cited the economic crisis and a need to stimulate the economy through building projects, Zappone asked for a longer view, noting a number of establishments on County Road 39 are empty, seeking tenants.

“We can’t just look at one slice of the pie,” he said. “We have to look at the whole picture.”

“This just makes me mad as heck,” said committee member Priscilla Ciccariello. “I think as a neighbor CAC we should make this one of our issues. We should write a letter asking why the board lifted the moratorium, when the study will be completed and what will be done with it.”

Linder assured the moratorium had support from a number of CACs and community groups.

“We all use that highway,” agreed Ciccariello. “That is the entrance to this whole area and it has been years we have been saying we need to do something about this.”