On petition day, Greenport candidate demands anchor emblem

Candidate for Greenport Mayor Zuleyha Lillis inspects her opponent George Hubbard's petitions. (Credit: Paul Squire)
Greenport Village mayoral candidate Zuleyha (Julie) Lillis inspects opponent George Hubbard’s petitions. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Greenport Village mayoral candidate Zuleyha (Julie) Lillis wanted an anchor as her election emblem. She made sure she got it.

Much of the meeting on Wednesday at Village Hall, where mayor and trustee candidates were allowed to review each others petitions, was spent debating whether Ms. Lillis had exclusive rights to using the anchor symbol.

Her opponent, village Trustee and deputy mayor George Hubbard, had previously used an anchor as his emblem.

“I deserve this right,” Ms. Lillis said at the meeting.

Both village clerk Sylvia Pirillo and Mr. Hubbard said that because Ms. Lillis filed her petition first, she could use the anchor symbol. Mr. Hubbard said he had chosen a new emblem: a scallop shell.

But that wasn’t enough.

“I need some kind of proof that he changed his emblem,” Ms. Lillis said.

The clerk photocopied an image of Mr. Hubbard’s symbol, but Ms. Lillis still wasn’t satisfied.

“I just got a picture,” she said, holding up the piece of paper with the scallop on it. “Everyone can make a picture.”

Eventually, Ms. Lillis was given a copy of the letter to Mr. Hubbard ordering him to change his symbol. This, she said, was enough proof.

The rest of the meeting was spent debating election law, led by a complaint from trustee candidate Bill Swiskey.

Mr. Swiskey said absentee votes were improperly counted when he lost in the 2013 village trustee election and claimed votes that included only a person’s name — not an address — were included in the results.

In order to be valid, Mr. Swiskey said an absentee ballot needs to also include the person’s place of residence in Greenport Village, even if they are now living in an assisted-living facility.

“Those ballots will be challenged this time, I’m telling you off the bat,” he charged. “We’re asking for a level playing field this time.”

“Are you saying it’s not a level playing field?” asked incumbent Trustee David Murray, who’s seeking re-election.

“That’s what I’m saying,” Mr. Swiskey replied.

Ms. Lillis said she agreed with Mr. Swiskey that the village previously broke election rules.

When Mr. Swiskey asked why no village residents were appointed as election officials, Ms. Pirillo said election officials were chosen off a county list.

The response didn’t sit well with him.

“I’m still waiting for an answer,” he said.

No candidate’s petitions were formally challenged at the meeting. The election is March 18.

[email protected]