He may be out of the race for Greenport mayor, but former Southold Town supervisor Josh Horton harbors some strong opinions about what he sees as shortcomings of the current administration.
He’s offering his assistance to the Village Board on a voluntary basis to tackle some of those issues.
Mr. Horton, a two-term town supervisor, announced last Friday that he was dropping his run for mayor only two weeks after entering the race. The decision to withdraw was dictated by the recognition that his time belongs to prior commitments, he said.
“I had to put my career and family first,” he said Tuesday. Mr. Horton manages three Corcoran real estate offices and said those responsibilities wouldn’t mesh well with serving as Greenport’s mayor.
But he has concerns about two major issues facing the village — finances and zoning — and said he’d like to be involved in addressing both.
“I thought my knowledge and expertise and leadership as it relates to municipal finance would enhance the village’s condition,” Mr. Horton said.
On zoning, Mr. Horton said there are “fundamental flaws in the zoning code pertaining to the business district.” For Greenport to prosper, a zoning code has to be implemented that facilitates the ability of businesses to expand, he said.
The development of Mitchell Park under former mayor Dave Kapell was a major investment in the downtown area, drawing hundreds of thousands of people, Mr. Horton said. But with zoning that limits growth, downtown merchants are hurting, he said.
“I absolutely will look for opportunities as a volunteer to be a voice in addressing these matters with the current village board,” he said.
Mr. Horton initially deflected a question about whom he favored for the two open trustee seats on the Village Board, saying he didn’t know enough about the candidates.
But he’s since said he “most certainly” backs former Trustee Bill Swiskey’s bid to return to the board. Mr. Swiskey had supported Mr. Horton’s candidacy.
“He has committed both personal and professional time to making the village a better place,” Mr. Horton said.
The other candidates in the running for two four-year trustee seats are incumbent Trustee George Hubbard Jr. and Historic Preservation Commission chairman David Murray.
All three trustee candidates and Mr. Nyce are to take part in a Suffolk Times-sponsored candidates’ forum at Greenport United Methodist Church next Thursday, March 3, at 7 p.m.
Mr. Nyce has said that although he faces no formal competition in his bid for a second four-year term as mayor, he has no intention of suspending his campaign because there’s always the chance someone will wage a write-in campaign.
“I’m not taking anything for granted,” the mayor said. “I still need to get the message out as to what has been accomplished.”
On the short-lived Horton campaign, the mayor said, “I wish Josh well and I’m sorry he’s dropping out of the race. Competition makes us all stronger.”
Voting takes place Tuesday, March 15, at the Third Street firehouse from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
GREENPORT CANDIDATES FORUM
Sponsored by the suffolk times
Greenport United Methodist Church
Thursday, March 3, at 7 p.m.