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12/18/18 4:39pm
12/18/2018 4:39 PM

Greenport Village Trustee Doug Roberts, whose four-year term on the board expires in March, has decided not to seek re-election.

Mr. Roberts posted the announcement Monday night on his “Trustee Doug Roberts” Facebook page, which he has used to report village news and take in community feedback. READ

10/25/14 10:00am
10/25/2014 10:00 AM
State Senator Lee Zeldin (left) and Congressman Tim Bishop (right) took turns a podium in Polish Hall to address questions Wednesday night in Riverhead.

State Senator Lee Zeldin (left) and Congressman Tim Bishop (right) took turns a podium in Polish Hall to address questions at a debate in Riverhead.

Eighty thousand. That’s around the number of 1st Congressional District voters who went to the polls in 2012 but are not likely to cast a vote in next month’s mid-term election.

Although the number of registered voters in the district has grown by about 9 percent since Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) was first elected in 2002, turnout changes very little with each passing election. In fact, turnout hasn’t fluctuated at all in presidential election years, with about 278,000 voters casting ballots each time.  (more…)

FILE PHOTOS | Jeff Smith, left, and Terri Boyle Romanelli launched write-in campaigns for Tuesday's Mattituck-Cutchogue school board race. Mr. Smith won with 79 votes.

FILE PHOTOS | Jeff Smith, left, and Terri Boyle Romanelli launched write-in campaigns for Tuesday’s Mattituck-Cutchogue school board race. Mr. Smith won with 79 votes.

UPDATE: 2:38 P.M.

Mattituck-Cutchogue school officials released the full results of Tuesday’s write-in race for the remaining open seat on the district’s Board of Education just before noon Thursday.

As previously reported, former school board member Jeff Smith was the clear front-runner with 79 votes, which turns out to be more than double that of any other nominee.

Kelly Fogarty followed with 35 votes, and Anne Boucher with 29, according to the results released Thursday.

Terri Boyle Romanelli received 27 votes. After Tuesday’s election, Ms. Romanelli said she was concerned how her votes were counted, because she is known by several different names.

Only three other votes spelled or listed differently appeared likely for Ms. Romanelli. There were also other likely votes spelled or listed differently for other nominees.

A total of 233 votes were cast for 32 different names.

A full list of the results is below.

A district official said the school was not legally required to release the rest of the write-in results if the winner accepts the nomination.

The Suffolk Times submitted a Freedom of Information Law request with the district seeking the complete write-in results of the election shortly after noon Wednesday.


More than 24 hours after polls closed in the write-in race for an open seat on the Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education, district officials have not yet released the results of the race.

So far they’ve said former school board member Jeff Smith was elected to the open seat with 79 write-in votes, but no other results have been disclosed.

The write-in race became necessary when board member Janique Nine opted to not seek re-election. Incumbent William Gatz was the only person on the ballot and was elected to the other open seat Tuesday night.

Although Terri Boyle Romanelli also launched a write-in campaign, a district official said Tuesday night the school isn’t legally required to release the rest of the write-in results if the winner accepts the nomination.

In an interview Wednesday, Ms. Romanelli said she respects Mr. Smith and she would have voted for him if he had been on the regular ballot.

“I am happy for him if he won, but I am very competitive,” she said. “I want to see what the votes really were.”

Ms. Romanelli said she’s questioning the write-in vote total because her maiden name is Boyle and she changed it about six months ago when she married husband Paul Romanelli. In addition, her children’s last names are Ackermann.

“I have so many names,” she said. “I am trying to get the results. Maybe Terry Ackerman got 40 and Terri Boyle got 50, and I actually won.”

Mr. McKenna said Wednesday that if voters wrote in different names to identify the same person the different names would be counted separately.

“The law says it has to be the same name,” he said. “We can’t assume it’s the same person. So if you use an initial rather than a name you can’t make an assumption. It has to be identical in order to count that vote.”

A New York State Department of Education spokesperson declined to comment on the Mattituck election Wednesday. Instead, she referred to a section of the School Law Handbook, a joint publication of the NYS School Boards Association and the NYS Bar Association.

“Write-in ballots with minor misspellings of a candidate’s name should be credited to that candidate in the absence of a showing that there is another district resident with the same or a similar name,” according to the section.

The Suffolk Times submitted a Freedom of Information Law request with the district seeking the complete write-in results of the election shortly after noon Wednesday. While the district acknowledged receipt of the request, the results have not yet been returned.

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03/15/13 2:06pm
03/15/2013 2:06 PM


Thrown another name in the hat.

Riverhead Councilman George Gabrielsen says he’s interested in running to fill the North Fork’s State Assembly seat vacant since former Assemblyman Dan Losquadro was elected Brookhaven highway superintendent earlier this month.

“At this time, I’m still up in the air, but I’m definitely interested in it,” Mr. Gabrielsen said in an interview Friday. “I haven’t officially put my name in to be screened, but I put it out there to party officials that I definitely have an interest in it. I’m moving in that direction.”

Mr. Gabrielsen, a Republican who owns a farm in Jamesport, was first elected to the Town Board in 2009 to fill the remainder of the term of former Councilman Tim Buckley, who resigned.

While the commute to Albany has discouraged some people from running for state office, Mr. Gabrielsen said he’ll familiar with that trip, since he owns a farm in upstate Summit, west of Albany.

“And my wife is actually from Albany,” he said. “What gives me a good advantage is that, in having a farm up there, I think I have a lot in common with some of the legislators from that area. I know some of them already and I would have kind of a heads up in negotiating with them.”

Mr. Gabrielsen believes the East End’s biggest issue is preserving open space and farmers are the key to that goal.

“We’ve really got to look for legislation to protect farmland,” he said. “Farmers been good guardians of the land. I think I have the background to truly represent the East End.”

The decision on whether to hold a special election to fill the seat or leave to the November general election rests with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has yet to indicate his preference.

The Assembly district covers Southold, Riverhead, Shelter Island and northeastern Brookhaven.

03/07/13 8:00am
03/07/2013 8:00 AM

COURTESY PHOTO | Assemblyman Dan Losquadro in November 2011.

We seem to be caught in an election cycle that never ends. Although the protracted presidential campaign finally concluded in November with Mr. Obama’s re-election, County Legislator Ed Romaine’s Election Day victory as the new supervisor of Brookhaven kicked off what became the first of several out-of-season special elections, with one more yet to come.

Mr. Romaine’s election opened up a legislative seat, which former Southold Councilman Al Krupski took by defeating Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter in January.

On Election Day in November Brookhaven’s highway superintendent won a judgeship. That set up this week’s special election for the highway chief spot, won by North Fork Assemblyman Dan Losquadro, whose victory requires yet another special vote for the Assembly post.

If the person who wins that race currently holds a local elected position, the campaign carousel will continue to spin. There seems to be no precedent on the North Fork for selecting a county legislator and a state assemblyman in the same winter — and who knows what other seat could soon be vacant.

There’s an election in the Village of Greenport on Tuesday, March 19, but it has nothing to do with officeholders moving on or out. Greenporters choose their Village Board representatives every two years and this is one of those years.

Two seats are up this year but only one incumbent, Mary Bess Phillips, is running. Trustee Chris Kempner is not seeking a second four-year term. Former trustee Bill Swiskey is looking to get back on the board and real estate agent Julia Robins is making her first bid for public office.

To hear in their own words where they stand on the issues feel free to attend that campaign’s only debate, sponsored by The Suffolk Times, at the village’s Little Red Schoolhouse on Front Street next Monday, March 11, beginning at 7 p.m. Each candidate will get the opportunity to make opening and closing statements and face questions from moderator Tim Kelly, Suffolk Times editor, and audience members.

Is the village heading in the right direction or would the community benefit from a change of course?

They’ll decide that for themselves on March 19.

11/20/12 2:47pm
11/20/2012 2:47 PM

Three candidates are running for two seats on the Mattituck Park District board in an election today, Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Voting hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. at the park district office at Veterans Memorial Park on Peconic Bay Boulevard.

Commissioner Charles Zaloom is not seeking re-election. George Lomaga, a science professor at Suffolk County Community College, and retired contractor Russell Williamson, a longtime park district volunteer, are vying for Mr. Zaloom’s seat, a three-year term.

The second seat was held by Nicholas Deegan, who had been a commissioner since 2008. But he was removed in August for failing to take the oath of office at the beginning of his second term. Mr. Deegan has been attending meetings since as a member of the public and is running to complete the remaining year of his term.

03/15/11 9:37pm
03/15/2011 9:37 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The victors: George Hubbard, David Nyce and David Murray

Running unopposed, Greenport Mayor David Nyce won re-election Tuesday with 269 votes while incumbent Trustee George Hubbard was re-elected with 253. Newcomer David Murray won the second trustee seat at stake in Tuesday’s vote, garnering 199 votes to former trustee Bill Swiskey’s 160.

“I’m very pleased and very optimistic about what this board should be able to accomplish in the next four years,” Mr. Nyce said about the results. He and Mr. Swiskey have regularly locked horns at Village Board meetings, and during the year in which Mr. Swiskey served as a trustee, the mayor tried unsuccessfully to have him removed from a meeting, complaining that he was being disruptive.

Mr. Murray credited his victory to the help of others who supported his candidacy. It was no secret in the village that most members of the current board favored Mr. Murray.

Mr. Hubbard, the top vote-getter among trustee candidates, said he had enjoyed his first term and looked forward to continuing to work on projects for the betterment of the village.

Tuesday was a topsy-turvy night for Mr. Swiskey, who thought at one point he had a 23-vote lead over Mr. Murray. He had misunderstood the order of candidates’ listings and, when village clerk Sylvia Lazzari Pirillo read vote totals for each of the lines on the voting machine, he mistook Mr. Murray’s count for his.

This was Mr. Swiskey’s third try at elective office after he won a single-year term, replacing the late George Hubbard Sr. on the Village Board, in 2008. In 2009, he lost a bid for a full four-year term.

Apparently there was some confusion for residents who had intended to cast write-in votes. They may have been misdirected about how to do so, according to one voter. Because all five write-ins were incorrectly entered, they weren’t counted, according to Ms. Pirillo. Not only did Mr. Swiskey get a write-in vote, so too did resident John Saladino; businessman and former trustee John Costello; and actor Charlie Sheen.

When Mr. Swiskey thought he might have pulled off a victory, he said he would make sure the Village Board would take steps to repay its remaining debt of almost $8 million. Much of that comes due in 2014.

After the actual winners were announced, Mr. Swiskey said he would continue to attend board meetings and work to support a plan to include the entire village in the historic district — a proposal made by Mr. Murray and the Historic Preservation Commission, of which he has served as chairman.

Those overseeing the ballot count Tuesday night failed to invite the candidates to observe the back of the voting machine as the votes were tallied. But just before the machine was locked down and while the count of absentee ballots was under way, Mr. Swiskey asked that the candidates be allowed to view the machine. The three trustee candidates all did so.

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01/20/11 4:05pm
01/20/2011 4:05 PM

JUDY AHERNS FILE PHOTO | Then-newly elected mayor David Nyce (right) and then-newly elected trustee George Hubbard, Jr. congratulate each other on their victories as trustee Michael Osinski looks on after the 2007 election.

Less than eight weeks before the March 15 Greenport election, there’s a battle brewing among four candidates seeking two trustee seats, but as of this week, no one has stepped up to challenge Mayor David Nyce, who is seeking a second four-year term.
That could change between now and Feb. 8, the deadline for candidates to submit nominating petitions.

Mr. Nyce announced his candidacy to Peconic Landing residents last week in response to a question after delivering a state of the village address. Mr. Nyce has obtained an election petition form and needs to file 50 signatures to gain a spot on the ballot.

During his Peconic Landing appearance and at a recent Village Board meeting, the mayor made the case for his re-election, saying his administration has made substantial progress on upgrading its waste water treatment plant and is about to embark on upgrades to the electric department. The village also has repaid almost half of the more than $13 million debt he says his administration inherited. But he credited some of the debt pay-down to his predecessor, former mayor Dave Kapell, who obtained grant funds. Mr. Nyce also says his administration has streamlined Village Hall operations with improved checks and balances and the board has kept tax increases to a minimum.

“It’s been an immense amount of work,” he said. “It would be nice to see things through and hopefully it will lend some stability.”

In the race for the two trustee seats, four candidates have picked up petitions, indicating their intent to run. Incumbents George Hubbard Jr. and Michael Osinski are seeking re-election. Board critic and former trustee and Bill Swiskey is campaigning for one seat, and newcomer David Murray, who has served on the village’s Historic Preservation Commission for three years and became its chairman last spring, has also secured a petition.

Others could jump into the race for either mayor or trustee before the Feb. 8 deadline. There’s also the possibility that a potential candidate is collecting signatures without using the village-supplied petition form, which is permitted.

Mr. Osinski previously hinted at leaving the board at the end of his current term. He has made reference recently to his days as a public official being numbered and has expressed frustration on the slow pace of government actions. He and Mr. Nyce, who ran together four years ago, have locked horns with some regularity, particularly in the past year.

Mr. Osinski said he’s not challenging Mr. Nyce because “I don’t have the time for mayor.”

He says he decided to seek reelection to work on creating jobs.

“The bay is under-utilized,“ Mr. Osinski said. The former Wall Street IT expert is one of three oyster farmers working the western shore of Greenport Harbor. The board needs to look at what makes the village thrive and realize that tourism might be the driving force in the summer, but oyster farming would create year-round jobs, he said.

Mr. Hubbard, who won handily four years ago with support from Greenport Fire Department members, also complains about government red tape and the slow pace of getting work done. He was involved in the $9 million waste water treatment project and says he wants to see that project through to completion. The same holds true for the electric department upgrade project just about to start.

“I don’t like what I see,” is how Bill Swiskey described his reason for running. “I don’t understand the whole mentality of the village.”

He was elected to the board in March 2008 for a one-year term after the death of veteran trustee George Hubbard Sr., but he lost his bid the following year for a full four-year term.

A former long-time village utilities chief, Mr. Swiskey has been critical of how the board has handled the waste water treatment plant project and plans for the electric plant upgrade.

Mr. Murray credits his experience on the Historic Preservation Commission with whetting his appetite to get more involved with village issues. He says he has a special interest in fostering more youth programs. Mr. Murray is basketball coach for the St. Patrick’s CYO fifth grade boys’ team. His wife, Lisa Murray, is a member of the Greenport Board of Education.
Mr. Murray also wants the board to begin investigating ways to refinance some of its remaining debt if ways can’t be found to pay it off by 2014, he said.

As chairman of the HPC, Mr. Murray supported expanding the historic district beyond its current borders to encompass the entire village. Present boundaries make it difficult for many homeowners to know whether or not their properties are within the historic district, he said. The HPC has no formal control over the downtown area although projects in the business district are often sent to the commission for informal review.

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