The owners of The Arcade in Greenport, which was shut down by the village May 1 for illegal rental apartments in the building and for multiple building and fire safety violations, have been fined $5,000 by Southold Town Justice William Price. READ
Update: On Friday, the state budget passed, including a change to allow for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised. READ
The Southold Town judge who had released without bail the man whom police say immediately fought with officers after he was freed Monday said in court he wasn’t aware of the full situation before setting no bail. READ
A former Southold Town senior court clerk accused of stealing more than $230,000 in bail funds pleaded guilty to a grand larceny charge Jan. 14. READ
Newly elected Southold Town officials were sworn in last Thursday during an inauguration ceremony held at Town Hall.
Southold Supervisor Scott Russell greeted the newly elected officials, who took their oath of office led by Southold Justice Rudy Bruer.
Town Board members James Dinizio and the newly elected Robert Ghosio, formerly a town trustee, were among those sworn in. Mr. Ghozio said he was excited to get involved in issues beyond environmental sensitivity and wetlands.
“I think we have a few good issues this year,” Mr. Ghosio said. “Certainly we hope to resolve the issues with Vineyard 48, which seems to be moving along … and trying to start working towards a resolution to the problems that we have with the amount of deer that we have in town.
“It’s going to be a learning curve for sure. Even though I have been working in the town for seven years, now I get to learn about the other departments I never had anything to do with,” he added.
The Town Board will need to appoint a new trustee to replace Mr. Ghosio. A special election for the final year of the term will then be held in November, said Peter McGreevy. Mr. Russell said the Town Board could even appoint an interim trustee who would then step down to let all non-incumbents vie for the seat in the election.
Incumbent Republican trustees John Bredemeyer, Mike Domino and Charles Sanders were all sworn in, as was assessors Bob Scott and Kevin Webster.
Betty Neville was sworn in as town clerk, a position she has held since 1997.
Justice William Price was sworn in for his ninth term as Southold Town Justice. Fishers Island Justice Louisa Evans was also sworn in.
In a past interview, Mr. Price said this will be his last term serving as town judge.
Former councilman Vincent Orlando was sworn is as highway superintendent just in time for the impending snowstorm.
“I’m looking forward to getting the first snowstorm under my belt,” Mr. Orlando said.
Southold Town Justice William Price said Monday that his next term will be his last.
The 62-year-old judge, who will be sworn in for his ninth term in January, said he does not plan to seek re-election in 2017.
“I’m not running ever again,” he said.
When asked why, he simply replied, “I’ll be 66 years old.”
Mr. Price, a former Republican, was first elected in 1981 when he defeated Democrat John Lee with 61 percent of the vote to replace Republican Justice James Rich, who did not seek re-election that year.
In office for 32 years, Mr. Price was dropped from the Republican ticket in favor of Mattituck attorney William Goggins this spring. But after receiving Democratic backing for the first time in his career, Mr. Price handily defeated his opponent with 59 percent of the vote.
Immensely popular, Mr. Price has only been challenged four times in his political career. After winning re-election by 70 percent of the vote in 1989, he ran uncontested in five consecutive elections prior to this November.
Four-year term, one open seat
William C. Goggins
Party lines: Republican, Conservative and Independence
About him: Mr. Goggins, 53, is a 1978 Mattituck High School graduate and an Air Force veteran with degrees from the University of Massachusetts and Bridgeport Law School. He opened a private law practice in Mattituck more than 23 years ago.
His pitch: He believes he could create efficiencies, and therefore savings, within the Southold Town Justice Court. As an attorney practicing law in various courtrooms across Suffolk County, he says he’s noticed the court in Southold has not updated its administrative functions in more than 20 years. He pointed to the lack of a computer in the courtroom, the way defendants are walked past a jury and the lag time in arraigning defendants as changes he’d like to make.
In his words: “As an attorney, I see inefficiencies at the town court, which is causing a burden on our police resources and our town resources. I believe I can institute changes … to make [the court] function much better, by making it more efficient. Efficiency saves us all money as taxpayers.”
William H. Price Jr.
Occupation: Incumbent Town Justice, attorney
Party lines: Democrat, Working Families
About him: Mr. Price, 62, is a Greenport native who attended Greenport Schools, Mount Hermon School, Boston University and Albany Law School. He opened a private law practice in Greenport in 1977 and served as Greenport’s village attorney from 1978 to 1979. First elected in 1980, he has served as a Southold Town Justice for nearly 32 years, having been re-elected to seven consecutive four-year terms. He also serves as a Drug Court Judge at no additional compensation. Additionally, he has served as a director of the Suffolk County Magistrates Association and is a former director of the NYS Magistrates Association.
His pitch: Mr. Price believes residents should re-elect him based on his record of serving with “integrity and independence” for more than three decades.
In his words: “As a Town Justice, I have had to make the difficult decisions concerning individuals’ liberty and property rights. I understand the implications of my decisions. I have presided over more trials than I can count. I have had to send people to jail and fined many people. I have had to decide not to send people to jail. My years of judicial experience benefit all of the people of the Town of Southold.”
To the editor:
William (Bill) Price, after having served for 32 years as town justice, has been kicked to the curb by the Southold Republican committee. The committee selected Bill Goggins as the Republican nominee for town justice.
GOP chair Peter McGreevy stated, “While no one doubts that (Judge Price) has served this town well, the committee thought it was time for a change and acted upon it.”
Bill Goggins is quoted as saying Judge Price “has been there too long, has lost touch with the committee and the voting public and it was just time.”
Those kinds of comments reek of political favoritism.
Justice Price has served this community well, not only as a judge but as a citizen. He quietly has supported and volunteered for many local causes, because he believes it is the right thing to do.
Mr. McGreevy is quoted as saying, “I don’t think you can flip from a Republican judge to a Democratic judge and keep a straight face.”
I’ve always believed that justice was supposed to be apolitical. People are supposed to be judged impartially, regardless of political affiliation.
It’s clearly apparent that Bill Goggins believes that keeping in touch with the Republican committee is a crucial requirement to sit on the bench in Southold Town. I don’t think the voting public would agree.
Bob Feger, Mattituck
To read more letters to the editor, pick up a copy of this week’s Suffolk Times or click on the E-Paper.
Republican Town Justice William Price, who was denied the GOP nomination to run for a new term in the fall, has agreed to accept the Democratic Party’s endorsement, town Democratic leader Art Tillman said this week.
Mr. Tillman said he spoke to Judge Price, who is in his 32nd year on the bench, Tuesday morning. The Democrats will hold their nominating convention in Cutchogue Wednesday evening.
“He’s got an excellent reputation for fairness and non-partisanship,” said Mr. Tillman. “Often we didn’t even field a candidate against him. We’re looking for the best candidates. If they happen to be Republicans we don’t mind.”
Regarding a registered Republican running as a Democrat, Mr. Tillman added, “Everybody in our party is quite happy about it.”
Aware of the coming floor fight between the incumbent and Mr. Goggins, the Democrats offered the nod to Judge Price before last week’s GOP convention, Mr. Tillman said. “All along he said, ‘Not at this time,’ ” the chairman said.
Judge Price was out of town and unavailable for comment this week.
In a move that rocked the Southold political establishment, the town GOP selected Mattituck attorney William Goggins over the incumbent during the party’s May 21 convention. The party also snubbed incumbent Trustee Dave Bergen, going instead with political newcomer Dave Zuhoski of Cutchogue.
Mr. Tillman said he could not comment on whether his party might extend a similar invitation to Mr. Bergen, other than to say several party members have expressed an interest in running.
“It should be an interesting convention,” he said.