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Newcomers and incumbents face off in Greenport Village election

Greenport Village will see a contested election this year as two newcomers and one incumbent battle for two trustee positions. 

Lily Dougherty-Johnson and Cindy Pease Roe announced plans to run alongside incumbent Jack Martilotta, whose four-year term on the Greenport Village Board expires this March. Both Ms. Dougherty-Johnson and Ms. Pease Roe said they’re collecting 50 signatures from village residents to meet the requirement to run. 

A trustee seat will be open to replace Doug Roberts, who announced last month he’s not seeking re-election. 

Candidates have to file for the position between Feb. 5–Feb. 13. Polls will be open for voters from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 19 at the Fire Station on Third Street. 

Ms. Pease Roe, who has had an art business in Greenport for 10 years, said she wants to run to give back to the Greenport community.

“I have two businesses and I’m not going anywhere. It’s good timing for me,” she said. “I feel like I’ve settled down. It’s all part of a whole system — when you’re working in a community, if you can take that extra time to work on things and help out, I think it’s important.”

Ms. Pease Roe, 59, said if she’s elected, she aims to address issues within the marine environment, a topic she’s known for in the Greenport community. Some of her sculptural art utilizes beach debris to make statements about marine issues. 

“I come from a family of boat-builders,” she said. “All my studios have been on the water, and I care deeply about the marine environment.”

Ms. Dougherty-Johnson, 38, who grew up in Greenport, offered a similar sentiment: If elected, she hopes to tackle environmental and big-picture issues.

“We need to look at things on a larger-scale, considering where we want to be in 20 or 50 years,” she said. “I know the Village has done that, but it’s important to change and think. I’m concerned about our waters, our land, how we’re managing litter on the streets and how we think about being proactive about issues that will only get worse.”

Ms. Dougherty-Johnson, who volunteers at the Greenport Farmers’ Market, said she’s looking forward to being a voice for the Greenport community if she’s elected. 

“I just want to be a voice for some people,” she said. “I’m still in the younger generation than other people in the village, and I feel it brings some diversity in perspectives.” 

She said she wanted to be involved in local government for a long time. When the opportunity presented itself after Mr. Roberts announced he would not run, she took it. 

“I’ve always been interested in local news, what’s going on, connecting with neighbors and having some sort of opinion,” she said. “It’s something I’ve kind of been doing already, just not in a formal way.”

Mayor George Hubbard Jr., who was elected to a four-year term in March 2015, will seek re-election this March. No opponent has come forth.

Trustee Mary Bess Phillips, who has been serving since 2009, and Julia Robins will remain in their positions after retaining their seats in the 2017 election.

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Photo caption: Incumbent Mayor George Hubbard and trustee Jack Martilotta said they’d both seek re-election in March. (Kate Nalepinski photo)