Election 2023

Election Guide 2023: Meet the candidates for Southold Town Council

Election Day is Nov. 7. All this week, meet the candidates.


Party: Democratic, Working Families

Hamlet: Mattituck

Occupation: Former superintendent, Mattituck-Cutchogue School District

Anne Hession Smith, 67, and her husband, Ron, came to Mattituck in 1985 and raised their family. She retired as superintendent of the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District in 2018, having previously served as assistent superintendent and elementary school principal.

Post-retirement, she continued as chair of the North Fork Coalition for Behavioral Health, advocating for local mental health services for families. Ms. Smith was president of the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association and a member of the Southold Town Police Review Task Force. She received the Helen Wright Prince Award in 2017, and is proud to be endorsed by Eleanor’s Legacy and the Long Island Sierra Club.

Pitch: Ms. Smith is committed to fostering community engagement to address the pressures of development and climate change. She will support, sustain and advocate for local businesses. Ms. Smith is committed to supporting local law enforcement and will ensure that Southold Town police and related services have the resources and training they need. She will bring consistent communication between the Southold Town Board and each of the groups advising the town.

In her words: “Community matters. When community exists, we care for each other, our environment and the future.”


Party: Democratic, Working Families

Hamlet: Cutchogue

Occupation: Legislative aide, Suffolk County Legislature

Ms. Schroeder, 63, is a fourth-generation Mattituck High School graduate with deep roots on the North Fork. A respected, longtime environmental advocate, she spent a decade working for North Fork Environmental Council, becoming the group’s executive director. Ms. Schroeder helped pass the original Community Preservation Fund and was the key staff person for the Save What’s Left Campaign. She has served on several nonprofit boards and is proud to have been endorsed by the Working Families Party, Long Island Federation of Labor, Eleanor’s Legacy and the Long Island Sierra Club.

Pitch: Unprecedented challenges face Southold, which threaten the region’s natural beauty and shutout working-class and young people. As an aide to Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski for the last 11 years, Ms. Schroeder will bring a visionary approach to town government and work to address the challenges the community faces. Her main priorities are environmental protection, creating sustainable affordable housing, keeping the community diverse and working for a more responsive and effective town government.

In her words: “The North Fork has been discovered by wealthy investors, and this is changing the landscape. The people who work in our town should have some opportunity to live here.”

Jill M. Doherty

Party: Republican, Conservative

Hamlet: Cutchogue

Occupation: Town Board member, bookkeeper

Jill Doherty, 59, was raised in East Marion and has been a full-time Southold resident for more than four decades. Growing up, Jill attended community college while working in restaurants. She raised two children in the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District, served 26 years with the Mattituck Fire Department Auxiliary and worked for local banks and as a bookkeeper before coming to Southold Town Hall as a clerk to the Board of Trustees. Jill has previously been elected to the Board of Trustees and served as its president before becoming the most senior member of the Southold Town Board.

Pitch: After living, working and raising a family in Southold Town her entire adult life, Ms. Doherty feels she still has much more to give the community that gave her everything. She has a reputation for being fair and open-minded. She believes she has the experience and institutional knowledge necessary to guide Town Hall through the rapid changes in Southold. She is committed to bringing common sense and a steady hand to this job and will continue to put her all into this position for every resident and help preserve Southold’s future.

In her words: “I have the experience in making the tough decisions that are necessary while keeping what we love about our town.”


Party: Republican

Hamlet: Mattituck

Occupation: Attorney

Mr. Kiely, 48, is a 15-year resident of Southold, where he and his wife, Julia, are raising their four children. He is currently the Shelter Island town attorney, the Mattituck Park District attorney and has been a municipal lawyer for several East End towns including Southold and Southampton and the Villages of Greenport and Westhampton Dunes, as well as an assistant district attorney. He is a former Mattituck Chamber of Commerce board member and is a current member of the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association. He is also a CYO basketball and PAL lacrosse coach.

Pitch: Mr. Kiely is running because he feels that at this point in Southold’s history, qualifications are more important than ever. The next Town Board is going to rewrite the zoning code and be tasked with making expenditures from the Community Housing Fund, with the potential to dramatically reshape the town. Mr. Kiely said he is the only Town Board candidate who has actually written zoning legislation (including provisions of the Southold zoning code) and enforced same, as well as helped draft the Community Housing Plan for Shelter Island. He is confident that his expertise and tenacity will ensure that Southold remains Southold.

In his words: “Southold’s agricultural soul must be safeguarded from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s high-density housing and battery storage mandates, and those locally who would support or acquiesce to such properties. Our small-town character and economy depend upon it. I possess a unique set of skills which I have acquired over a 20-plus-year municipal law career, which I will use to ensure that Southold is not dragged ‘forward,’ but rather is kept rural and safe.”