01/03/14 7:00am
01/03/2014 7:00 AM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Southold town council members James Dinizio (left) and Robert Ghosio at Thursday morning’s inauguration as highway superintendent Vincent Orlando looks on.

Newly elected Southold Town officials were sworn in last Thursday during an inauguration ceremony held at Town Hall.

Southold Supervisor Scott Russell greeted the newly elected officials, who took their oath of office led by Southold Justice Rudy Bruer.

Town Board members James Dinizio and the newly elected Robert Ghosio, formerly a town trustee, were among those sworn in. Mr. Ghozio said he was excited to get involved in issues beyond environmental sensitivity and wetlands.

“I think we have a few good issues this year,” Mr. Ghosio said. “Certainly we hope to resolve the issues with Vineyard 48, which seems to be moving along … and trying to start working towards a resolution to the problems that we have with the amount of deer that we have in town.

“It’s going to be a learning curve for sure. Even though I have been working in the town for seven years, now I get to learn about the other departments I never had anything to do with,” he added.

The Town Board will need to appoint a new trustee to replace Mr. Ghosio. A special election for the final year of the term will then be held in November, said Peter McGreevy. Mr. Russell said the Town Board could even appoint an interim trustee who would then step down to let all non-incumbents vie for the seat in the election.

Incumbent Republican trustees John Bredemeyer, Mike Domino and Charles Sanders were all sworn in, as was assessors Bob Scott and Kevin Webster.

Betty Neville was sworn in as town clerk, a position she has held since 1997.

Justice William Price was sworn in for his ninth term as Southold Town Justice. Fishers Island Justice Louisa Evans was also sworn in.

In a past interview, Mr. Price said this will be his last term serving as town judge.

Former councilman Vincent Orlando was sworn is as highway superintendent just in time for the impending snowstorm.

“I’m looking forward to getting the first snowstorm under my belt,” Mr. Orlando said.

[email protected]

01/02/14 5:30pm
01/02/2014 5:30 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Town Clerk Betty Neville being sworn in to a fifth four-year term Thursday morning in Town Hall.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Town Clerk Betty Neville being sworn in to a fifth four-year term Thursday morning in Southold Town Hall.

Longtime Southold Town Clerk Betty Neville is retiring — well, sort of.

She’s retiring from “the system,” she explained to The Suffolk Times in Town Hall on Thursday, just a few hours after she was sworn in for another four-year term.

That means she’ll start collecting a state pension while continuing to serve as an elected official — as is allowed under state law, she said.

“It’s my option to do that and continue; a lot of people do this,” she said.

Ms. Neville said the move will save the town money, as it will no longer be making pension contributions as part of her salary and benefits moving forward.

“Were voting on accepting the retirement of Elizabeth Neville,” said Southold Superivsor Scott Russell. “At the same time she’s just been elected to a four-year term and she expects to serve that term.”

He also said her pension is now fixed, and she cannot have it raised based on any additional earnings with the town.

Since Ms. Neville first served as a civil servant with the town, from 1968 to 1997, before getting elected and taking over as town clerk in 1998, she’s also entitled to accrued sick and vacation time that amounted to a one-time payout of $27,350.

She said she was only informed by someone about a year ago that she had an option to take her payout and pension while still serving as an elected leader, for which she’ll earn a salary of $97,181 in 2014, town records show.

The Town Board approved a resolution granting her retirement — which she applied for on Dec. 31 — at the Thursday afternoon Town Board meeting.

According to the resolution, her accumulated payout was figured using the collective bargaining agreement that was in place on Dec. 31, 1997, when she last served as civil servant as deputy town clerk. She was elected as town clerk that same year and started the following January.

She said she wanted to assure the public, however, that she is not leaving Town Hall.

“I’m not retiring,” she said. “It’s business as usual.”

Ms. Neville, a Republican, has never faced a political opponent, having been elected five times while running unopposed. She’s held her seat in Town Hall since 1997, when she was nominated to replace Judith Terry, to whom she had served as deputy town clerk.

Southold Democrats have not run a candidate for Town Clerk since 1981.

[email protected]

09/26/13 10:15am
09/26/2013 10:15 AM
BETH YOUNG FILE PHOTO | Southold Town Clerk Betty Neville in 2011.

BETH YOUNG FILE PHOTO | Southold Town Clerk Betty Neville in 2011.

UPDATE: More than two weeks after the unexpected Conservative write-in primary for Southold Town Clerk, the Suffolk County Board of Elections has released the results.

As expected, incumbent Betty Neville has secured the nomination. She received 29 write-in votes in the election, with a total of 33 votes cast. The other four votes were, one each, for Janet Healey, Ray Perini, Craig Goldsmith and Kelley (one name).

There are 447 enrolled Conservatives in Southold Town. Voter turnout was just over 7 percent.

(ORIGINAL STORY: SEPT. 10) Southold Town Clerk Betty Neville has never faced a political opponent, having been elected four times while running unopposed.

While that could change today, local political leaders say it’s unlikely.

Ms. Neville, a Republican, became the subject of an unexpected primary election being held today after county Conservative officials accidentally left her name off the nominating petitions submitted to the Board of Elections, Conservative and Republican officials said.

“There was a screw up and she was left off the petitions,” said Suffolk County Conservative chairman Ed Walsh. “There is no action being taken.”

Mr. Walsh said the party now just needs to get enough enrolled Southold Conservatives out to the polls to cast write-in votes to make sure the 16-year incumbent secures the nomination.

Southold Conservative chairman Bob Goodale said Tuesday that this year’s primary points to issues with changes in the way Conservative candidates are nominated since the nominees are now selected at the county level.

“In the old days we fielded our own candidates,” he said.

While Ms. Neville’s name was left off the ballot, Southold Republican Chairman Peter McGreevy said he has not heard of anyone contesting her nomination.

“I haven’t heard a thing about someone launching a write-in campaign,” he said. “She’s been there so long, is so well established and has such strong support.”

Ms. Neville said Tuesday that she had no hard feelings about the oversight.

“I appreciate the efforts of the Conservative Party,” she said.

Ms. Neville has held the seat since 1997, when she was nominated to replace Judith Terry, to whom she had served as deputy town clerk.

It’s been 28 years since a Town Clerk nominee has faced an opponent in Southold. The last contested race was in 1985, when Right to Life candidate Margaret Kaelin opposed Ms. Terry. The Right to Life party ran a nearly full slate of local candidates that year.

Southold Democrats have not run a candidate for Town Clerk since 1981.

Voting is taking place at the usual polling places in Southold Town.

[email protected]