11/04/17 6:00am
11/04/2017 6:00 AM

It’s likely that local drivers have noticed “Vote No!” bumper stickers and lawn signs around town, but what do they refer to?

New York State’s constitution requires that every 20 years the people decide if a constitutional convention should be held to consider amendments, according to the state Board of Elections.

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11/03/17 6:30am
11/03/2017 6:30 AM

In addition to the town elections, the Nov. 7 ballot will feature countywide contests for district attorney, sheriff, county legislators, state Supreme Court judges, a county court judge and a family court judge. READ

11/03/17 6:00am

Southold Town Assessor
Four-year term, two open seats
Salary: $76,707

Damon Peter Rallis

Occupation: Civil servant, Southold Town building department

Hamlet: Southold

Party lines: Democratic

About him: Mr. Rallis, 43, is a North Fork native and a 16-year employee of Southold Town. He lives in Southold with his wife, Joanna, and their two sons, Luca, 13, and Destin, 9. He is a Boy Scout Leader for Pack 51 and Troop 51 and a member of Peconic Lodge No. 349 of Free & Accepted Masons.

His pitch: Mr. Rallis said that as code enforcement officer and building plans examiner in the town building department he is the “only candidate who not only meets but exceeds the qualifications necessary to successfully perform the duties of Assessor and will be ready to hit the ground running on day one.” He said he is running with no special interests and no conflicts of interest. He points to his experience and “a verifiable record of a fair and balanced approach” to work with the people of Southold and enhance the Board of Assessors.

In his words: “A vote for me ensures success and stability in the Assessor’s office during this time of transition. I have always been there for the people of Southold and will continue to be if elected. I am proud to be endorsed by the LI Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, based on my commitment to the working families of Southold.”

Kevin Webster

Occupation: Southold Town Assessor

Hamlet: East Marion

Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Webster, 47, is in his 12th year as a member of the town’s Board of Assessors and currently serves as its chairman. He is a NYS certified assessor with more than 25 years’ experience in the appraisal and assessment industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ithaca College and is a former licensed NYS real estate salesperson and, since 2001, licensed NYS residential appraiser. He is also a state-licensed Notary and belongs to the NYS Assessors’ Association and Suffolk County Assessors’ Association.

His pitch: After graduating from Ithaca College, Mr. Webster moved back to Orient and started working in the fall of 1992 in the assessment, appraisal and real estate field.  He said it was a natural fit for him based on his education and knowledge of the area. The town assessors’ job is administrative, he said. They keep the inventory of more than 18,000 parcels up to date based on changes either through additions to the property or demolitions. In the position, he’s handled changes in ownership, processing new and recurring STAR, firefighter, veterans and agricultural property tax exemptions. Assessors process the town assessment roll, which is used to compute the tax rates that are then applied to a bill for your school, library and fire district taxes, for example.

In his words: “When I was asked to run for my current position in 2005 it seemed like a natural fit based on my 13 years’ experience in this field.”

Charles J. Sanders

Occupation: Town Trustee, associate broker at Town & Country Realty; captain, 42nd Infantry Division, New York Army National Guard

Hamlet: Greenport

Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Sanders, 49, has a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University, a Master of Arts degree from Stony Brook University and a Master of Arts degree in history from Norwich University.  He earned his real estate salesperson license in 1999 and his broker’s license in 2005. He has evaluated and sold properties from Laurel to Orient. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2012 and to  Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2015.

His pitch: The job of assessor is a local government official who estimates the value of real property, Mr. Sanders said. He said he has estimated the value of real property from Laurel to Orient and has translated these estimates into concrete sales throughout the town. He also said he has extensive experience examining building plans and surveys as a Town Trustee for the past four years. “I have exceptional organizational skills as a result of over 18 years serving in the military,” he said.

In his words: “I look forward to hanging up my hat as a real estate professional while shifting these diverse skill-sets to the job of your next Southold Town Assessor. I ask for your vote this Nov. 7.”

11/03/17 6:00am

Southold Town Justice
Four-year term, one open seat
Salary: $71,755

Eileen A. Powers

Occupation: Attorney

Hamlet: Southold

Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About her: Ms. Powers, 50, a mother of three, is a 1992 graduate of St. John’s School of Law. She served as an assistant district attorney and deputy bureau chief in the Major Crimes Unit of the Suffolk DA’s Office. She has served as an assistant, deputy and town attorney in Southampton Town, as well as attorney for the Village of Belle Terre. She has been in private practice since 2005.

Her pitch: Ms. Powers said her experience, background and commitment to the town make her the right choice. As the deputy bureau chief for Major Crimes and a leading trial attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, she prosecuted hundreds of criminals for crimes including robbery, vehicular manslaughter and homicide.

In her words: “I will use my experience and work hard at being a fair judge to all who come before the court.”

Robert R. Meguin

Occupation: Attorney and counselor at law

Hamlet: Southold

Party lines: Democratic

About him: Mr. Meguin, 69, is the chairman of the Southold Board of Ethics and is a former Village Justice for the Village of Lindenhurst. He was the principal legal adviser to five Superior Court judges and has been an attorney at law since 1975. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1974 and Boston University in 1970. He is married to Kathie Meguin, and they have two children, Christopher and Kacey.

His pitch: Mr. Meguin said he has the necessary qualities and skills to be the next Town Justice: broad legal experience, fairness, integrity, intelligence, community awareness and extensive knowledge in criminal law as a trial lawyer, author of numerous opinions and decisions and arguing appeals successfully in the appellate courts. He is admitted to practice law in the Federal and State Court.

In his words: “Electing a judge is an important choice. Real judicial experience matters.”

11/03/17 6:00am

Town Trustee
Four-year term; three open seats
Salary: $19,371

Derek Bossen

Occupation: Landscape designer, horticulturist

Hamlet: Southold

Party lines: Democratic

About him: Mr. Bossen, 47, lives in Southold with his wife and two sons. He is an Eagle Scout and serves as a Cubmaster and Little League coach. He is a 13-year volunteer member of the Southold Town tree committee and a past member of the town Conservation Advisory Committee. He also runs a small home-based business.

His pitch: Mr. Bossen said he is running because it’s time for new faces. We “can’t sustain a one-party rule system; it’s time for new blood,” he said. He is a lifelong environmentalist, and spent  summers on the bays and beaches of Long Island, working for the LI State Park Commission, for a decade before moving to the North Fork 17 years ago.  He said his practical experience with tree care, invasive plant species management and methods of re-vegetation prepare him to evaluate proposals to the board. He has made multiple presentations to the Southold Town Trustees over the last 13-plus years for clients throughout the North Fork, he said.

In his words: “My continued dedication to protecting the coastal environmental with proven scientific methods and results will bring about a renewed energy to the Trustee board.”

John Bredemeyer

Occupation: Retired from Suffolk County Health Department Division of Environmental Quality; adjunct science faculty member, Suffolk County Community College.

Hamlet: Orient

Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Bredemeyer, 66, is a Cornell University-educated scientist. He has been a Southold Trustee for 18 years and a member of the Peconic Estuary Program for 25 years. He is chairman of Southold Town’s shellfish advisory committee.

His pitch: A “science baby,” Mr. Bredemeyer said he has been blessed by the support of family, community, scientist-educators, colleagues and medical professionals who have enabled him to continue a life of public service as a scientist, educator and elected official. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil, he assisted in public health and agriculture programs, while seeing the destruction of the Amazon region first-hand. He later served 35 years in the Suffolk County Department of Health where he was a member of the Peconic Estuary Program team, and performed more than 15,000 hours of technical microscopy on harmful algal blooms, receiving training from some of the best marine scientists in the world. The PEP database is one of the most complete surface water quality records ever created, enabling sound science-based policy decisions on such problems as nitrogen reduction.

In his words: “If you appreciate science in the public interest and experience working for you, I ask for your vote.”

Michael J. Domino

Occupation: Retired earth science teacher, real estate property manager

Hamlet: Southold

Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Domino, 73, has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Adelphi University, a master’s in education, also from Adelphi, and a master’s in applied science, from the School of Engineering at Stony Brook University. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1968. He has served on the Southold Town tree committee, the town Anti-Bias Task Force and  the North Fork Environmental Council, and taught earth science at Rocky Point High School for 31 years. He has been married to his wife, Joy Elizabeth, for 51 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.

His pitch: This past January, the Trustees asked Mr. Domino to become their president. They recognized his work in developing a local emergency response to superstorm Sandy, his 100 percent attendance record at all Trustee field inspections, work sessions and public hearings and his commitment to working across party lines to balance town goals with environmental preservation, he said. He has been the chief advocate for the Coastal Contractor Registry, designed to protect constituents from unscrupulous contractors. Repeat offenders will no longer find it easy to pay a small fine and ask for forgiveness. As a NYSDEC certified water sampler, he works closely with the Trustees’ vice-president, John Bredemeyer, the town engineer and members of the shellfish advisory committee to improve water quality to allow the reopening of creeks to shellfishing. He said he will continue to advocate for advanced wastewater treatment systems that help lower nitrates and contaminants in our surface water and groundwater without increasing housing density in order to protect our quality of life.

In his words: “I will continue to work with other organizations — Peconic Estuary Program, Save Our Sound, etc. — and other elected officials committed to improving water quality.”

Elizabeth C. Smith

Occupation: Environmental economist

Hamlet: Greenport

Party lines: Democratic

About her: Ms. Smith, 43, is an environmental economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. She has worked on conservation issues, water quality policies and resource management. She is a member of the Conservation Advisory Council.  Liz and her partner, Noah, put down roots in Greenport, buying their first home in the village. They can often be found on or near the water with their two dogs in tow.

Her pitch: The Southold Town Board of Trustees is a team and every team needs a diversity of skill sets to execute most effectively, Ms. Smith said. She said the current Board of Trustees makes decisions without expertise in considering the short- and long-term costs and benefits of their decisions – without the economic analysis background that she said she brings to the table. “I am uniquely qualified to provide this perspective to the permitting issues the Trustees face,” Ms. Smith said. She added that protecting our waters is not a “political stepping stone” for her.

In her words: “This is the work I do every day and I ask for your support so I can use my years of experience for Southold. Vote for me because I am experienced and passionate – I will represent you and fight to protect one of Southold’s main assets, our waters.”

Greg Williams

Occupation: Owner, Country Time Cycle, Mattituck

Hamlet: Cutchogue

Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Williams, 45, grew up on New Suffolk Avenue in Mattituck. As a kid, he spent most of his free time on or in Deep Hole Creek developing both a knowledge and love of the creek and bay.  With an interest in the outdoors, he purchased Country Time Cycle in 1997. He and his wife, Karen, married in 1997 and are raising their children, Connor and Ainsley, in Cutchogue.  The family spends their free time boating, fishing and enjoying the local beaches. Mr. Williams is involved with many local organizations, including Southold Town CAC, CYO basketball, Knights of Columbus, Scouts, CAST and others.

His pitch: Having been a lifelong resident of Southold Town, Mr. Williams points to a hands-on knowledge of the town, its residents and unique way of life. Through his work at the bicycle shop, his involvement with many local organizations and his family’s local roots, he said, “I know the people of our town and they know me.”  The North Fork is going through tremendous change, he said, and it is vital that the right people are in the local government guiding this change to protect the quality of life, waters and lands. He said that being on the Conservation Advisory Council and hands-on experience working with the current Trustees has positioned him to serve in that capacity.

In his words: “Owning a business in the outdoor recreation business, I am fully invested in the future of the North Fork.”

11/03/17 6:00am

Town Board
Four-year term, two open seats
Salary: $35,078

James Dinizio

Occupation: Self-employed

Hamlet: Greenport

Party lines: Conservative, Republican, Independence

About him: Mr Dinizio, 63, was born and raised in Greenport. He is married with two children. He worked in the cable TV industry for 17 years and is the owner of a local business that installs alarm and phone systems. He served in the U.S. Navy Seabees. A member of the Southold Town ZBA for 25 years, he has served on the Town Board for five years.

His pitch: Mr. Dinizio said that as a lifelong resident of Southold Town he has participated in many of the committees and organizations that have helped to preserve it. He said he believes that his 30 years of experience in land use issues in the town make him qualified to help solve the growing problems the community faces today with traffic and “special events.” During his tenure on Town Board, he has supported upgrading the police radio system and dispatch room, increasing police force manpower to the recommended standard and increasing code enforcement on weekends. He said he believes this had a positive effect on the closing of a “rogue tasting room” in town.

In his words: “If I am re-elected some of my goals are: Insure that our police department becomes accredited, work toward a solution to the ‘pumpkin’ traffic, finally define what a ‘farm’ is with respect to zoning. I would greatly appreciate your vote on Nov. 7.”

Mary Eisenstein

Occupation: Certified mediator; professional trainer, facilitator and coach

Hamlet: Mattituck

Party lines: Democratic, Independence

About her: Ms. Eisenstein, 68, and her husband of 34 years, Mel Morris, have lived in Mattituck for over 25 years. She has over 30 years of professional experience in facilitating training programs. She introduced mediation to the Southold Town Justice Court and volunteered her services  for five years. She founded the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association.

Her pitch: As president of the civic association, Ms. Eisenstein developed forums with over 20 community leaders and experts in town government, affordable housing, land use, planning, zoning, water management, agriculture, code enforcement and transportation. Ms. Eisenstein said she is running for Town Board to “protect and preserve our way of life and the rural character of Southold Town.” She said she created the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association because she saw a need for the community to have a voice in its changing landscape, with increased traffic, new building and proposals that change the landscape, water quality, agritainment and nowhere for young people to work or affordable workforce housing to stay local.

In her words: “I will continue to be a proactive and collaborative leader that helps manage change and facilitate communication with the community as we plan for strategic growth and the community feels like they are being heard.”

Bob Ghosio Jr.

Occupation: Managing partner, Jarzombek Energy Fuel Oil; service/sales manager,Flanders Heating and Air Conditioning

Hamlet: Greenport

Party lines: Republican, Conservative

About him: Mr. Ghosio, 54, lives in Greenport with wife, Gail, and their son Zachary. His oldest son, Bo, lives in Houston. Mr. Ghosio has a degree in zoology from Oswego State; he did graduate studies in theology at Drew University. He was a Town Trustee from 2006 to 2013 and has been a town councilman since 2014 to present. He has been a manager at Burt’s Reliable in Southold for 16 years. He is a member and former vice-president of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Aquebogue.

His pitch: Mr. Ghosio said that since he was first elected in 2006, he’s always tried to be fair and thoughtful in anything he’s done as Town Trustee and Town Councilman. He pointed to his focus on environmental protection, land preservation and supporting local agriculture — all things he said he believes are critical to honoring the heritage of the town. He said he is proud that since joining the Town Board in 2013, 228 acres of farmland and open space have been preserved. Recently, he urged the town to sue the EPA for allowing dumping of potentially hazardous dredge spoils in Long Island Sound. He’s also advocated for additional police and code enforcement, served on the helicopter noise committee, hired a wildlife manager to help with the deer and tick problems, advocated for a new short-term rental code and established a water conservation committee.

In his words: “I believe I bring years of experience, critical thinking and the management skills to continue to effectively represent all people in our town. I would be truly honored to be re-elected.”

Debbie O’Kane

Occupation: Office administrator, North Fork House Calls program director, North Fork Environmental Council

Hamlet: Orient

Party lines: Democratic, Women’s Equality

About her: Ms. O’Kane, 61, is a 25-year resident of Southold Town. She has managed several not-for-profit organizations and been employed at a number of local businesses — from retirement counselor and marketing coordinator to office and retail manager. She is a member of Southold Rotary, president of North Fork Audubon Society and a member of Southold Town’s Housing Advisory Commission.

Her pitch: Ms. O’Kane said she believes the skills, knowledge and experience she’s gained as a community leader over the past 22 years make her an ideal candidate for Town Board. She said some of her most important work has been at the North Fork Environmental Council, where she’s served as educator and advocate, operated on a shoestring budget, organized major fundraising efforts, written grants, drafted public policy and represented åresidents at the town, county, state and federal levels. She helped spearhead the Community Preservation Fund campaign, protecting thousands of acres in the town. She was also chosen and funded by Bridgehampton National Bank to attend Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management Leadership Development Program.

In her words: “As Town Board member, I will focus on innovative solutions to our traffic crisis [and] our lack of housing for young people while balancing environmental protection with economic growth and job creation. I’m confident that my passion, education and experience will serve you well.”