One village trustee and a newcomer to village politics are seeking to become the next mayor of Greenport.
Voting will be conducted at the Third Street Fire Station from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.
Below are brief profiles on each of the candidates. Learn more about their stances on several key issues by listening above to their editorial board interview with Times Review Media Group executive editor Grant Parpan and Suffolk Times editor Michael White.
George Hubbard Jr.
Occupation: Owner and operator, Hubbard’s Repair Shop, Shelter Island
About him: Mr. Hubbard is a Greenport native with deep family ties to the area. After graduating from Greenport High School, he worked in his father’s garage. He then began working on Shelter Island and has owned an automotive shop there since 1995.
George Hubbard Sr. served as both mayor of Greenport and as a village trustee, a position to which his son was first elected in 2007. Since then, Mr. Hubbard has served as both trustee and deputy mayor. He is also an ex-captain of the Greenport Fire Department and has served on the board of wardens for more than 20 years.
His pitch: Mr. Hubbard says he would stress “openness” at village meetings, citing his experience running village and fire department meetings differently from the current administration. He says disrespect at meetings is “uncalled for.”
Mr. Hubbard also says that, if elected mayor, he would bring the benefit of the experience he’s gained working on budgets as deputy mayor, his familiarity with the area and his relationships in the community.
He says he would push for “even” code enforcement that would prioritize troublesome issues like overcrowding and illegal apartments.
In his words: “I think by knowing the history of how this village has been and having a vision for where it could be in the future, I bring that to the table … and I think I can get a lot accomplished with it.”
Zuleyha (Julie) Lillis
Occupation: Owner of JB Liquor Store, South Street, Greenport
About her: Ms. Lillis immigrated to America from Turkey, where she spent years working as a teacher and a local government employee, which included positions in health care and customs. After moving to Greenport, she worked as a teacher’s assistant in Greenport schools for five years. She became a business owner, taking over her husband’s family’s store, JB Liquor Store. She ran the store until last year, when she says she decided to focus her energy on running for mayor.
Ms. Lillis also recently joined the Greenport Fire Department and works part time as a Turkish interpreter for the state court system.
Her pitch: Ms. Lillis says that, as mayor, she would bring to Village Hall her experience working in government and running a local business. She also says her connections with business owners around town would help her mend ties between residents and the village administration, a relationship she says suffers from a lack of respect. She believes that if village representatives treat residents more politely, the quality of discourse will improve.
Ms. Lillis says she would seek to better communicate with residents about issues they’re having and work with the public and her fellow elected officials to address those concerns as they arise. She says Village Hall must be more “open-minded” and less “secret” in its dealings.
In her words: “I know what I’m doing and I know I can do it best.”