Southold Voters Guide 2014: A closer look at the ballot

so trustees debate

Southold Town Trustee

David Bergen, 59, (R-Cutchogue) is a native North Forker who works as an associate dean at Suffolk Community College and has served on the Board of Trustees for nine years.

A graduate of Southold High School, he holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Miami and a master’s degree from Texas A&M.

Mr. Bergen is involved in the Peconic Bay Sailing Association and the Cutchogue Cemetery Association and is a former member of a citizen advisory committee for the Cutchogue Fire Department.

The appointed incumbent, who was previously elected but did not receive a nomination in 2013, has centered his campaign on his experience in office.

He points to his work helping to squash the state’s proposed saltwater fishing license program and authoring a law requiring safe disposal of prescription drugs as examples of the positive work he has done. He has also promoted the use of copper-free paints on boats, gotten three local creeks added to the county’s dredging list and secured grants to purchase pump-out boats in an effort to prevent boat effluent from being flushed into surface waters.

Abigail Field, 43, (D-Cutchogue) is an attorney who runs a small local practice.

She graduated from NYU Law School and holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Connecticut.

A town Democratic committeewoman, she moved to Cutchogue in 2011 from Shelter Island, where she had lived for four years.

Ms. Field said she left her job at a New York City law firm to become a “public advocate” in New Jersey, where she helped pass laws and write regulations. She also previously worked for two years as an environmental consultant, assessing soil and groundwater contamination, and was involved in a Long Island Sound cleanup campaign in Connecticut.

A freelance writer with website experience, she has made increased transparency a cornerstone of her campaign. She points to a recent meeting in which duck blind regulations were amended with little public notice or participation as a way the Trustees have failed to properly inform people of their actions.

She also thinks the Trustees could make better use of their website, social media and email lists to engage the public and share important information about key votes, public hearings and changes in regulations. Showing the shoreline boundaries between public and private property on the Trustees’ website is one place to start, she says.