Two Incumbents Running Unopposed In Southampton Village

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Two incumbent Southampton Village trustees are running unopposed to retain their seats for another two-year term.

Registered voters will be able to cast votes for current Deputy Mayor Richard Yastrzemski and Trustee Michael Irving on Friday, June 20. Polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. at the Southampton Cultural Center on Pond Lane.

Richard Yastrzemski

Mr. Yastrzemski, 47, is seeking his fourth term as trustee. Having already served six years, Mr. Yastrzemski said he loves the job, particularly being able to interact with village residents about issues that are important to them.

“We have made many changes through the board, and I have experienced many things that, quite honestly, I might not never have had the opportunity to do,” he said last week. “I feel I am a better person for it, and I would like to think that I have been serving the village well.”

In his next term, Mr. Yastrzemski said there is still much work to be done, particularly in zoning regulations. Mr. Yastrzemski said there has to be a proper balance between moving forward and not changing the parts of the East End that residents and the visitors have come to love. “Everything must be kept in scale,” he said.

A big project to look forward to, he said, will be moving forward with a sewer system in the village. Mr. Yastrzemski said the system—which if approved and funded would hook the business district to an underground sewer system with a treatment facility—would revitalize the downtown area, making it possible for businesses and restaurants to expand, and for apartments to be created on the second floor of the commercial buildings.

“It has taken almost six years to get some people to understand the needs for downtown and to nurture the area,” he said. “The second leg of that focuses on the residential needs and to focus on the needs of the people as much as possible.”

Michael Irving

Mr. Irving, 60, is seeking his second term on the board. Last week, he said he is looking forward to it, saying that a large part of the first term is learning the ropes. Now, he said, he is more equipped to make changes in the village, and hopes to be able to work on more projects.

“I strongly feel you need at least two terms to accomplish anything,” he said. “It is in your second term that you should really be able to do that.”

The biggest issue the village is facing, Mr. Irving said, is in the Building Department. He said the village needs to control the building boom that is ongoing by creating regulations to better restrict height scale, and size of what are often second homes being constructed.

“There are certainly some zoning issues that have to be reviewed,” Mr. Irving said. “There is already a reflection of a lot of changes to these laws and heights of homes, and this is and will continue to be a big discussion in the village of Southampton.”

Mr. Irving said he agrees with Trustee Yastrzemski about the importance of the sewage treatment facility. Aside from making it possible for businesses to expand on Main Street and Jobs Lane, he said it is crucial to the quality of life that the waterways are protected. The sewage treatment facility, which will most likely be installed on Windmill Lane, will decrease the amount of nitrogen leaked into such bodies of water as Lake Agawam, restoring water quality at the same time, he said.

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