The Republican and Democratic parties have released their respective platforms, outlining the principles and priorities by which they say their candidates for town office would govern if elected in November. Unlike at the federal level, the split between the stated goals of the two major parties is narrow.
The GOP, whose slate is headlined by supervisor candidate Linda Kabot and Town Council candidates Jeff Mansfield and Stan Glinka, highlights plans to spur economic development, maintain conservative financial policies in the town and strengthen the proactive efforts of the town’s enforcement of safety codes. Protecting the environment and creating opportunities for affordable housing are also priorities.
“We pledge to hold the line on property taxes, while providing open, honest governance with full transparency to taxpayers,” the GOP platform says. “Proactive code enforcement [will] preserve property values and improve quality of life in neighborhoods. This issue is particularly important west of the Shinnecock Canal … and we will marshal the resources of local government to deliver more responsiveness on this front.”
The Democrats, who have cross-endorsed incumbent Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Town Council candidate Brad Bender, both registered Independence Party members, to run with their own council candidate, Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone, also tout a mission of supporting business and the East End’s tourism-based economy and the importance that protecting natural resources and community character plays in that effort.
“Thoughtful stewardship of our beaches, waters, open land, farms and historic homes is essential to strike an appropriate balance between development and our local ecology,” the Democratic platform reads. “Government must support the businesses that are the heart of our second-home and visitor-based economy. At the same time, we must preserve the town’s special character on which the success of our business relies. These goals are not mutually exclusive.”
The economic stability of the town and maintaining the sound financial condition the Town Board has restored since the tumult of the 2008-09 recession and the discovery of years of tangled bookkeeping, is a staple of both parties’ campaigns. And each platform includes some jabs at perceptions of past ills in the other’s policies.
The Democratic platform puts an emphasis on ensuring that professional accounting and financial management experts are employed to manage town finances, not “party loyalists.” The Republicans focus on austere spending controls rather than trying to “cure all of our society’s ills” with government spending, and pledge to put the weight of their efforts behind bolstering hamlet business areas and assisting small businesses.
With the campaign season now in full-swing, candidates for town offices will be coming together in a variety of forums in the coming weeks.
On October 15, the Southampton Business Alliance will host a breakfast candidates’ forum at the Southampton Inn on Hill Street in Southampton Village. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. The candidates for supervisor and town council will be in attendance and answering questions from the Business Alliance and the audience on issues surrounding the local economy. Those interested in attending should contact Sheryl Heather at 728-1929 or at email@example.com.
On October 19, the Southampton Association for Beach Access will have a meet the candidates event for the eight candidates running for the five Town Trustees seats. The event will be held at the Water Mill Bridge Club on Montauk Highway in Water Mill. The event will start at 7 p.m.
The Southampton Town Democratic Party is seeking volunteers to help with campign efforts, like telephone canvassing. To volunteer call Angela Corrano at 745-2856 or 237-4791 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.