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Southold GOP chooses its slate; tax receiver won’t seek re-election

02/26/2019 6:37 AM |

The Southold Town Republican Committee nominated a slate of mostly incumbents to run for office this year. 

Supervisor Scott Russell, Council members Bill Ruland and Jill Doherty, Trustee Glenn Goldsmith, and Assessor Rich Caggiano, all incumbents, were again nominated Monday night at the committee’s convention at the Southold American Legion.

Incumbent Justice Brian Hughes, who is not registered with a political party, had been elected with Democratic backing four years ago, but will now run on the GOP line.

Not seeking re-election this year is longtime tax receiver George Sullivan, who will be replaced on the Republican ticket by Kelly Fogarty, a certified public accountant.

The committee has not yet chosen a second trustee candidate.

Southold’s Democratic Committee will pick its slate Wednesday.

Ms. Fogarty has been a CPA for 30 years and lives and works in Mattituck. She is treasurer of the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce and is involved in the Friends of the Mattituck-Laurel Library, a past president of the library board and a member of the North Fork Environmental Council.

“We have a fine slate of candidates this year that exemplifies depth of knowledge and experience in this town,” said town GOP chairman Peter McGreevy. “They have community service and past activities in our town and government.”

This group of candidates, he said, “is one that is going to carry the town forward and shape the future of our town.”

Mr. Russell, Mr. Ruland and Ms. Doherty all spoke of the need to strike a balance in interviews following the nominations.

“I will be approaching my job the same way I have done for the 14 years I’ve been there,” Mr. Russell said. “And that is to approach everything with balance.”

The big issues?

“Right now, I would say affordable housing is a crisis,” Mr. Russell said. “It impacts business, it impacts volunteer groups, it impacts fire departments, it’s impacting the schools. Young people are leaving. I’ve said in the past, I think young people are Southold’s biggest export, and that’s unfortunate.”

Mr. Russell said three years ago he set a goal for creating 50 units of affordable housing and that goal was met.

Mr. Ruland also spoke of the need for balance.

“There are people that see things differently from people who, maybe, have lived here a long time,” he said. “Striking a balance and trying to find a common ground, so you can please as many people as possible. I realize you’re not going to please everyone. But if you can get the majority, you’ve done well.”

Mr. Ruland is a farmer who has been on the Town Board since 2008 and was on the Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education for 24 years, including 13 as its president.

Ms. Doherty has been on the board for eight years and also works as an office manager for a landscaping company. She said she’s been working on a lot of town code issues.

“Our code is originally from the 1980s and lot of it doesn’t make sense anymore,” she said.

Agriculture is a big issue in the town, she said.

“We have to adapt to the different times,” she said. “Farmers have to get creative and they are limited by our code, so we want to make the code easier to work with and give farmers the opportunity to be flexible in their business.”

Housing is another big issue, she said. While the town banned rentals for less than 14 days, it still didn’t have a code to require rentals to get permits and have inspections to ensure they’re safe, she said. The town passed such a code in December.

Prior to being elected to the Town Board, she was an elected town Trustee for six years, and prior to that, she worked as secretary to the trustees for 12 years.

CORRECTION: Rich Caggiano’s title was incorrectly listed in the original version. He is the incumbent assessor.

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