There is perhaps no candidate better qualified for his position in this year’s Southold Town elections than incumbent Trustee John Bredemeyer.
Ivy League-educated and armed with a résumé that boasts more than three decades of experience in the areas of public health, science and the environment, Mr. Bredemeyer is almost too qualified for the post. It’s a blessing for the people of Southold Town that someone with this type of experience has been on the Board of Trustees for a total of 14 years, having served from 1984 to 1994 before being elected in 2009 to his most recent four-year term.
Having Mr. Bredemeyer, a Republican, and Democratic challenger William Funke on opposite ends of the table during the recent Suffolk Times debate was poetic. On one end of the spectrum, Mr. Bredemeyer proved to be a passionate and knowledgeable incumbent that night, while Mr. Funke showed he was simply the opposite. He declined to answer the first question of the night and failed to offer much of anything in the way of perspective for the remainder of the debate.
“How am I supposed to know?” might as well have been Mr. Funke’s campaign slogan.
The science and environmental experience of Mr. Bredemeyer and fellow incumbent Mike Domino, a retired science teacher and a past president of the North Fork Environmental Council, are unmatched by any of the four challengers.
Of those four, we believe Mr. Wells is the best fit for the seat being vacated by Dave Bergen, a two-term Trustee who was dumped from the Republican ticket this year.
A systems and processes guy with an impressive background in corporate information technology, Mr. Wells, a native of South Africa who moved here from New York City this year, is a bright candidate who could offer a unique voice to the board. He may lack institutional knowledge of the community, but we’re confident he’d be a quick study. We’re especially curious to see what type of advancements Mr. Wells, who ran the most passionate campaign of any of the six candidates, can make in the way of technology and modernizing the Trustees’ office.
Both Democrat Joseph Finora and Republican Charles Sanders, a late addition to the ticket after original GOP nominee David Zuhoski dropped out, failed to display much passion during the election season.
The only issues raised during the campaign — both by Democrats — related to beachfront property rights and perceived transparency issues with the current board. Republicans dismissed the former as a bay constable enforcement issue and the latter as not an issue at all. We tend to agree with the Republicans on both counts.
Instead, we wish we’d heard more from both sides about the very real issue of water pollution. During The Suffolk Times debate, Mr. Bredemeyer and Mr. Domino said the board has made improvements in this area, while Mr. Wells said there’s plenty more to be done.
“Leaching is happening on a daily basis,” he said. “It is a very serious situation.”
We’d like to see those three candidates work closely together on helping to improve our water pollution problem over the next four years.