Nyce, Hubbard and Murray win in Greenport

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The victors: George Hubbard, David Nyce and David Murray

Running unopposed, Greenport Mayor David Nyce won re-election Tuesday with 269 votes while incumbent Trustee George Hubbard was re-elected with 253. Newcomer David Murray won the second trustee seat at stake in Tuesday’s vote, garnering 199 votes to former trustee Bill Swiskey’s 160.

“I’m very pleased and very optimistic about what this board should be able to accomplish in the next four years,” Mr. Nyce said about the results. He and Mr. Swiskey have regularly locked horns at Village Board meetings, and during the year in which Mr. Swiskey served as a trustee, the mayor tried unsuccessfully to have him removed from a meeting, complaining that he was being disruptive.

Mr. Murray credited his victory to the help of others who supported his candidacy. It was no secret in the village that most members of the current board favored Mr. Murray.

Mr. Hubbard, the top vote-getter among trustee candidates, said he had enjoyed his first term and looked forward to continuing to work on projects for the betterment of the village.

Tuesday was a topsy-turvy night for Mr. Swiskey, who thought at one point he had a 23-vote lead over Mr. Murray. He had misunderstood the order of candidates’ listings and, when village clerk Sylvia Lazzari Pirillo read vote totals for each of the lines on the voting machine, he mistook Mr. Murray’s count for his.

This was Mr. Swiskey’s third try at elective office after he won a single-year term, replacing the late George Hubbard Sr. on the Village Board, in 2008. In 2009, he lost a bid for a full four-year term.

Apparently there was some confusion for residents who had intended to cast write-in votes. They may have been misdirected about how to do so, according to one voter. Because all five write-ins were incorrectly entered, they weren’t counted, according to Ms. Pirillo. Not only did Mr. Swiskey get a write-in vote, so too did resident John Saladino; businessman and former trustee John Costello; and actor Charlie Sheen.

When Mr. Swiskey thought he might have pulled off a victory, he said he would make sure the Village Board would take steps to repay its remaining debt of almost $8 million. Much of that comes due in 2014.

After the actual winners were announced, Mr. Swiskey said he would continue to attend board meetings and work to support a plan to include the entire village in the historic district — a proposal made by Mr. Murray and the Historic Preservation Commission, of which he has served as chairman.

Those overseeing the ballot count Tuesday night failed to invite the candidates to observe the back of the voting machine as the votes were tallied. But just before the machine was locked down and while the count of absentee ballots was under way, Mr. Swiskey asked that the candidates be allowed to view the machine. The three trustee candidates all did so.

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