The upcoming Westhampton Beach Village mayoral race has already promised more excitement than last year’s uncontested election, with the revelation this week that attorney Maria Moore is collecting signatures to place her on the ballot.
Ms. Moore, a Lilac Lane resident, said on Tuesday that the nominating process should gauge the climate in the village and whether the residents are eager to see a new leader take the helm.
“If it demonstrates that the residents are ready for a change, then I’m certainly in,” she said on Tuesday, regarding the process of collecting signatures.
Petitions are due on May 16, and candidates are required to gather at least 50 signatures to be placed on the ballot.
Her term as treasurer of the Westhampton Free Library Board of Trustees ends on July 15, 2015. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Maureen’s Haven, a nonprofit dedicated to providing shelter and support for the East End’s homeless population.
Mayor Conrad Teller, who has held the seat since 2006, said Monday that he would “absolutely” seek reelection in June. He offered a simple response when asked to comment on Ms. Moore’s possible run: “No problem,” he said.
Mr. Teller succeeded Robert Strebel as mayor in 2006. He defeated Tim Laube, who was serving as deputy mayor at the time, for a second term in 2008, and defeated Trustee Hank Tucker to retain his seat in 2010. The mayor ran unopposed in 2012.
Though a run in the election on June 20 would be her first foray into local politics, her husband, Thomas Moore, a law clerk, resigned in 2010 from his seat on the Westhampton Beach Village Zoning Board of Appeals, three years before his term was set to expire. He stepped down after authoring a handful of contentious resolutions, including one that barred then Village Attorney Bo Bishop from sharing his legal opinion in public, and one seeking records from the Village Police Department in the midst of a controversy over an officer’s missing handgun. The Board of Trustees approved the resolutions, and Mr. Bishop subsequently resigned.
Ms. Moore said earlier this week that it was too premature to discuss her reasons for seeking the mayor’s seat.
Deputy Mayor Ralph Urban and Trustee Charlie Palmer are both up for their second two-year term in June, and both said this week that they intend to seek reelection. Mr. Urban squashed rumors, however, that he, too, would run for mayor.
“I discussed it with the mayor and I decided I’m a little too inexperienced, yet,” he said.
Village Clerk/Treasurer Elizabeth Lindtvit said in an email that she could not share whether others were circulating petitions for the Board of Trustees or mayor until they are turned in next month.