Greenport Village Board Trustees will run unopposed next month

Just two petitions to run for Greenport Village Board were filed last Tuesday, both by incumbent board members.

Longtime Trustee Mary Bess Phillips is seeking a fourth term and said that, since first being elected in 2009, the village has undergone a transformation.

“We dealt with upgrading our wastewater treatment plant, electric department and we’ve moved forward into the 21st century of communicating with the community,” she said.

Ms. Phillips, who owns Alice’s Fish Market in Greenport, said an important issue is preserving the working waterfront and sense of community within the village. “With changes on our East End, I want to make sure that the Village of Greenport still stays the waterfront jewel that it is,” she said.

In addition to balancing residents’ quality of life concerns with those in the business district, Ms. Phillips said the top issues facing the village include encouraging membership in the fire department, having frank discussions about accessory uses in residential areas to address affordable housing and continuing roadway infrastructure projects in residential areas.

Ms. Phillips also said that in light of the pandemic, the Village Board must be “very conscious” of its finances moving forward.

“I hope people understand that I care a lot and I have a great love for this community and its people,” she said.

Trustee Julia Robins, who was first elected in 2013, is seeking a third term. Ms. Robins is a salesperson at Albertson Realty and currently serves as the Village Board’s liaison to the Greenport Business Improvement District.

Ms. Robins said she looks forward to serving residents of the village.

“Public service is one of the most meaningful things in my life,” she said in a statement. “There are many challenges that we face, as we are in a new era due to the pandemic. The pandemic will pass but the changes it has brought to our village will remain. There is a housing crisis that we must address. How we adapt to these changes will be my work for the next four years. We need to make sure that our fire department, service businesses and volunteer organizations can be here for our residents,” Ms. Robins’ statement also noted. 

This year’s trustee election will be quieter than in recent years as both incumbent candidates run unopposed. In 2019, five candidates vied for two open seats on the board while Mayor George Hubbard Jr. ran unopposed.

The village election will be held Tuesday, March 16, at the Third Street firehouse from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Under an executive order issued last month by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, voters may also cite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as an illness for the purpose of requesting and receiving an absentee ballot.

Ahead of the election, Greenport will hold two voter registration days at Village Hall. The first will be held Thursday, March 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a second will follow on Saturday, March 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.