Greenport mayor tells students he may not seek re-election

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Greenport Mayor David Nyce at a 9/11 anniversary event last month.

Only five months into his second four-year term as Greenport mayor, David Nyce told sixth-graders Wednesday morning at Floyd Memorial Library that he doesn’t plan to seek re-election when his term expires at the end of March 2015.

“My feeling now is no,” Mr. Nyce said, responding to a question from a student during a library program. He acknowledged that 3 1/2 years is a long time away but said he feels that if he hasn’t been able to accomplish his goals in what will then be eight years in office, it would be time someone else took the helm.

Among the major goals he set for himself from the outset was to upgrade the sewer and electric departments. A major upgrade of the sewer plant is nearly complete, and much of the cost was met with a federal stimulus grant the mayor secured with the help of Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and other officials. Efforts are under way to tackle work at various pump stations around the village. At the same time, work is slowly getting started on improvements to the electric department.

The part-time job, which pays $18,000 a year, isn’t really part-time, Mr. Nyce told the students. He said he sees public service as important and doesn’t think the mayor’s position should offer higher pay.

The mayor’s statement is unlikely to surprise villagers as he has long hinted he wouldn’t seek more than two terms.

At the same time, he told the students there are no term limits in Greenport and officials can continue to serve as long as voters want them to. His predecessor, David Kapell, was first elected mayor in 1993 and chose not to seek re-election in 2007.

Another question from students was whether Greenport has ever had a woman mayor.

“I don’t think there’s been a woman mayor in the village,” Mr. Nyce said. “I think there should be.” He noted that two women — Trustees Mary Bess Phillips and Chris Kempner — now serve on the Village Board.

There have been hints that Ms. Phillips, who will seek re-election to her Village Board seat in 2013, is eyeing the  mayor’s seat in 2015.

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