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Jan 29, 2019 9:54 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town CPF Manager Mary Wilson Retires

Mary Wilson is retiring from the Town of Southampton as the Community Preservation Fund manager. PRESS FILE
Jan 29, 2019 3:39 PM

Nearly 17 years as Southampton Town Community Preservation Fund manager, Mary Wilson is stepping down from the position.

At a Town Board meeting on January 22, Southampton Town Board members accepted Ms. Wilson’s retirement, effective January 31.

“With a little sadness, I’ll accept her retirement,” Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. “She will be very missed, and our environment is better off because of her service. Our water quality is better. Our historic buildings inventory is better off because of her service. She has been, really, a very valued employee here, and we wish her the best.”

Ms. Wilson was hired in May 2002 to replace Randall Weichbrodt, who resigned from the position just three months prior.

In the beginning, Ms. Wilson was given a salary of $60,000 per year; in 2018, she had a base salary of $103,936.

A graduate of the Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, she worked in the Southold Town attorney’s office before taking the position with Southampton Town, and before that, she was a staff attorney at Florida Rural Legal Services.

Ms. Wilson helped preserve hundreds of acres of farmland and wetlands, along with many historical buildings.

“I can look at Southampton and see that we have succeeded, to some degree, in truly preserving our community character,” she said in an email on Monday. “I will miss working with so many different landowners to preserve properties.”

Mr. Schneiderman said the search is on for someone to fill Ms. Wilson's position. The town is looking for someone who has a law degree, at least five years’ experience with real estate closings, and a passion for preservation.

Mr. Schneiderman said people are already lining up to interview for the position, and he hopes to have it filled in a month.

In the meantime, he added, the town attorney's office will handle any CPF contracts that come through.

Ms. Wilson did not say why she was retiring from the town, but said on Tuesday that she will receive a pension for the 20 years she worked under the New York State and Local Retirement Sytem. She also said she plans to move to Florida, where she will seek similar work, as nothing in the retirement package prevents her from doing so.

“It is bittersweet to leave,” Ms. Wilson said. “I absolutely love what I do for a living, and I will certainly miss having such a tangible and profound impact on the preservation of lands in the town.”

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CPF Money$$$ How is this money being spent???
Jay, don't depletet all that's there, it's not your personal account...
By knitter (1656), Southampton on Jan 29, 19 1:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
CPF money has been spent on night clubs and other commercial properties that contribute nothing to clean water. Same for agricultural land that is then used for Polo Farms for the super rich - and to which public access is restricted (the Polo Farms would have been built elsewhere anyway - they did not need public subsidies). This department was not managed for the common good, not at all.
By Funbeer (257), Southampton on Jan 29, 19 10:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
This non local gal took a lot of undeserving private properties off the tax rolls and caused our long time & somewhat fair home assessments to now be double the actual value. Wherever she goes she's gonna cost some simple soul a lot more extra money than should be. They can have her.
By themarlinspike (253), southampton on Jan 31, 19 9:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
She did a Great Job against Difficult Odds Preserving Thousands of Acres of Farmland and Wetland including Historical Buildings sought after by Out of Area Developer/Investors. Just One Example... If it weren't for Her there would have been 32 small lot Houses on a Piece of Property in EQ which is Now Preserved.
People fail to realize that the Farms were Lost to cleverly Written Inheritance Laws by our Albany Law Makers. In NYS when one Passes The Bar Exam, The Attorney is handed a Notary License ...more
By Brady (13), Southampton on Jan 31, 19 4:40 PM
She did not do her job fairly and with honesty in at least some circumstances I have first hand knowledge of. I lost all respect for her and the town after that. Lying is no way to achieve the outcome you want.
By Cercis (5), hampton bays on Jan 31, 19 5:55 PM
I think All of Us have lost much Respect for the way our Town Government has been managed over the years. Eastern LI is not what it used to be.
The Replacement Should Be Interesting.
By Brady (13), Southampton on Feb 1, 19 6:27 AM