Election 2013: Meet Your Candidates for Town Council

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Town board candidates debate winery regulation and deer management during Tuesday's forum.
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Town board candidates debate winery regulation and deer management during Tuesday’s forum.

Four-year term, two open seats
Salary: $33,218

James Dinizio Jr.
Owner, Sterling Communications Inc.
Hamlet: Greenport
Party lines: Conservative, Republican, Independence

About him: Mr. Dinizio, 59, is a lifelong resident of Greenport, where he lives with his wife and has raised two children. He worked in the cable television industry for two decades before founding his own communications company 19 years ago. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served from 1972 to 1975. A past member of several town committees — including the code, planning and zoning committees — he was appointed to the Southold Town Zoning Board of Appeals in 1988. He served 25 years on the ZBA, including one year as chairman. He was appointed to a vacant seat on the Town Board in February and is now seeking election to the board for the first time.

His pitch: He believes his experience working with the town code can be an asset to the Town Board and his past experience with the planning and zoning departments can help streamline the process for applicants and taxpayers. He says he’s concerned about the pressure to allow more commercial uses in residential zones, which he believes would impact the overall quality of life in the town.

In his words: “If elected in November, I will use the experience I have gained during my years on the ZBA to insure that any new code changes with respect to zoning will respect the sanctity of the neighborhoods we live in.”


Mary Eisenstein
Owner, Melmar Enterprises
Hamlet: Mattituck
Party lines: Democrat, Working Families

About her: Ms. Eisenstein, 64, has been a Mattituck resident for more than 20 years. She runs a communication skills development training company, specializing in conflict resolution, mediation and emotional intelligence skills. In that capacity, she has designed programs for hundreds of companies and conducted seminars, workshops and training programs for major airline, government, military, human resource, health care, library, education, banking and retail organizations.

Her pitch: She believes her professional skills have prepared her to listen to the community’s concerns and give it a voice on the Town Board. She said the Town Board is in need of new people from outside local government who can bring fresh ideas. She hopes to help agricultural and other small-business owners across Southold Town prosper while ensuring the town maintains its cultural heritage.

In her words: “A diverse board that more adequately reflects the community will make Southold stronger and enable us to find better solutions to future issues. Let us all work together to maintain our good neighbor approach to living in Southold Town.”


Robert Ghosio
Occupation: Management, heating and air conditioning industry
Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Ghosio, 50, has lived with his wife and raised two sons in Greenport since 1998. He earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Oswego State before pursuing graduate studies in divinity at Drew University. He worked as a manager at Burt’s Reliable for 15 years before going to work at Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning earlier this year. He is in his seventh year on the Southold Town Trustees, to which he was first elected in a 2006 special election. He had previously spent six years on the town’s Conservation Advisory Council.

His pitch: He believes his experience as a Trustee and his time on the CAC have prepared him to serve on the Town Board. Mr. Ghosio counts land preservation, controlling development, environmental conservation and keeping taxes down among his top campaign issues.

In his words: “[My experience] representing my constituents and administering our town’s natural resources codes while also immersing myself in the internal processes of local law-making, code enforcement, planning and administration of the town, gives me the background and necessary experience with issues critical to the future of our town.”


Ronald J. Rothman
Occupation: Owner, Rothman’s Department Store
Party lines: Democrat, Working Families

About him: Mr. Rothman, 58, is a third-generation Southold resident and the current owner of the family business founded in 1918 by his grandfather, David Rothman. He attended Southold schools, graduated from Williston-Northampton School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Alfred University in 1977. He has worked with arts organizations, established his own gallery and performed and exhibited his work across Eastern Long Island.

His pitch: As an outsider to local government and politics, Mr. Rothman believes he can bring a sensibility to government that reflects the local perspective and a love of Southold Town. He said his experience as a local business owner who has worked with residents, other local businesspeople and the agricultural community gives him special insight into what it takes to thrive on the North Fork: grow businesses, serve the community, support the schools, preserve the environment and maintain a high quality way of life in an open and transparent way.

In his words: “I am committed to preserving the natural beauty and the lifestyle of Long Island’s North Fork for future generations and to bringing my experience, expertise and sensibilities to our town to add some balance to our local government.”

Read our endorsements for town council here