Endorsement: Scott Russell for Southold Town Supervisor

Scott Russell is seeking his fifth term as Southold Town supervisor. He points to his achievements, and the reasons voters should reelect him: The town’s Aa1 fiscal rating, his record on the environment and his and the Town Board’s ongoing effort to save more land than is developed each year. 

Mr. Russell touts a formula of 38-1 — 38 acres saved for every one lost to development. That is a significant achievement. We would argue that the first job of the town supervisor and the Town Board is to save as much as possible of what we have left. Fiscal responsibility, which has been Mr. Russell’s strong suit, and a host of other critical issues in the town all flow out from preservation. Lose what we have, and our future is imperiled.

For many Southold voters, holding on to what we have is goal No. 1. Look to the west to see the consequences of taking your foot off the preservation gas pedal. Our Big Three — farmland, salt creeks and bays — are what make Southold Southold, and anyone who doesn’t work to protect them should be voted out of office. Of course, these are not the only issues facing the Russell administration and the two GOP Town Board members also seeking reelection, Jill Doherty and William Ruland.

This election cycle’s Democratic candidates — Greg Doroski for town supervisor and Sarah Nappa and Robert Hanlon for the Town Board — have pointed out that the Russell administration should be more aggressive in fighting for water quality and preservation, in combating nitrogen pollution, in helping the farming and business communities grow and succeed and in the critical areas of affordable housing and job growth. They have been particularly critical that affordable housing is lagging far behind need. Mr. Doroski’s motto has been “we can do better.”

Mr. Russell’s record in the supervisor’s office shows that he has worked hard in all those critical areas. Based on his overall record, Mr. Russell should be granted the privilege of a fifth term. He has earned it. Mr. Russell has been a strong steward of the town, fiscally and environmentally. We endorse Mr. Russell for re-election.

Mr. Doroski has worked hard this cycle to bring critical issues to the forefront. To use an old-fashioned word, Mr. Doroski is a gentleman, and he has conducted a solid, challenging and honorable campaign.

He has everything to be proud of, and we say this with the hope that he will, in the future, perhaps run for Town Board or the Trustees, which would be a particularly good fit for him and where the front lines of climate change will be fought.