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May 15, 2017 2:40 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Trustee Eric Shultz Will Not Seek Reelection

Jul 19, 2017 12:03 PM

Southampton Town Trustee Eric Shultz announced on Monday that he would not be seeking reelection to the 330-year-old board this November, as a new opportunity has come his way.

Mr. Shultz told board members at the meeting on Monday that he received a job offer from a large corporation, which would require him to travel extensively, and he has decided to accept it.

"I've spent a lot of time on this board and it's time to move on," Mr. Shultz said.

After his announcement not to seek reelection, Town Trustee President Ed Warner Jr. thanked Mr. Shultz, and congratulated him for his service on the board.

With his 11th 2-year term as a Town Trustee coming to a close, it seemed that Mr. Shultz had always worked for the municipality to some degree. At the age of 17, he was made a member of the Town Conservation Board. He spent a total of 20 years on the board, and an additional 13 years on the Town Planning Board.

As a Town Trustee, he helped get treated lumber banned in town waters, fought the state’s position on a tax on saltwater fishing and worked to convince the state to recognize the Trustees as a municipal corporation so they could buy land from the county to preserve and create additional access for the public.

Even as of late, Mr. Shultz has continued to fight for the bay bottoms which are owned by the freeholders of Southampton, refusing to fully acknowledge the Trustee’s need to obtain a permit from the State Department of Environmental Conservation to open the Mecox Cut, because of laws put in place in the 1800s.

Mr. Shultz most recently ran for his position as a Trustee in 2015, as a member of the Democratic Party, but that was not always his party line. In fact, prior to 2012, he was a member of the Republican Party, but switched because of increased tension amongst board members. That tension led to the appointment of the current president, Mr. Warner, a Republican, in 2015, by a primarily Republican-run board.

The leadership change did not appear to be solely politically motivated, as members of the majority also pointed to a desire to see a change in the relationship between the Trustees and other government entities, and an overhaul in the way the board manages its financial accounts and checkbooks.

At the time, Mr. Warner sought to seek an agreement with Town Comptroller Len Marchese to oversee the Trustees’ finances. Mr. Shultz said he thought the Trustees’ finances should have remained independent from the town’s bureaucracy to protect their sovereignty.

The split signified political maneuverability not typical within the board, and the fracture has remained.

In the 2015 election, Mr. Shultz, narrowly retained his seat over former Town Trustee Ray Overton by 82 votes, after 666 absentee ballots were counted.

During his latest term, Mr. Shultz watched the Town Trustees get stripped of their authority over ocean facing beaches within incorporated villages, and in particular, their authority over erosion control devices on these beaches. He’s also watched the board’s authority over the beaches and bay bottoms slowly diminish.

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Losing Eric is a blow for both the Board of Trustees and the residents and freeholders of the Town of Southampton. He has been a voice of reason and a fierce defender of OUR rights and his vast knowledge of both the Trustees and Towns' history. is irreplaceable. In the factionalized makeup of the current Board losing Eric creates a power vacuum that does not bode well for us. This coming election is the most important one in memory, we all need to make our choices wisely , ignore the pontification ...more
By bigfresh (4173), north sea on May 15, 17 5:24 PM
Gee. How will the Trustees continue their hapless charade without the one with the most serious facial expression!?

Uselessness isn't just for breakfast anymore!
By SlimeAlive (1143), Southampton on May 16, 17 5:36 AM
I think it would be fair for Greg to include the reasons why "Mr Shultz watched the Town Trustees get stripped of their authority over ocean facing beaches....." rather than to close the article on such a note that leaves the public wondering if they did something wrong.


Thanx alot Mark
By toes in the water (758), southampton on May 16, 17 7:56 AM
Best of luck Eric, well deserved. Trustees loss.
By Resident tax (153), Hampton bays ny on May 16, 17 10:12 AM
Time for some local knowledge again, Fred...
By knitter (1624), Southampton on May 16, 17 10:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
Mark is new to the job and has been regurgitating what he's been told. No research or independant thought, just info put out by the 3 majority members. Hopefully he will do some investigating into potential conflict of interest on the board .
By bigfresh (4173), north sea on May 16, 17 2:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
who are you talking about?
By CaptainSig (702), Dutch Harbor on May 18, 17 6:45 AM
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