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May 29, 2019 9:40 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Elections Heat Up As Candidate Challenges Incumbent Mayor

Jesse Warren recently announced that he will run for Southampton Village mayor on June 21. COURTESY JESSE WARREN
May 29, 2019 11:00 AM

For the first time in 12 years, an incumbent mayor in Southampton Village will be challenged, on June 21, by another candidate.

The last time an incumbent was challenged for mayor in the village was in 2007, when James McFarlane tried to unseat Mayor Mark Epley, who was first elected to the post in 2005. Mr. McFarlane failed in his attempt, and Mr. Epley continued to hold the village’s top position, unchallenged, until he stepped down in 2017.

That year, Village Trustees Richard Yastrzemski and Mike Irving went head to head for the mayor’s seat, with Mr. Irving taking the win.

This year, Mr. Irving is seeking reelection to a second two-year term, and he is being challenged by Jesse Warren, 36, of Southampton Village.

Originally hailing from Roslyn, Mr. Warren moved to Southampton nearly 10 years ago when he opened a pop-up store on Jobs Lane. The following year, he opened Tenet, a store that sells clothing and accessories for men and women, on Main Street.

Although it is Mr. Warren’s first official run for office, in 2017 he garnered 151 write-in votes for a seat on the Village Board, but that was not enough to get elected.

Mr. Warren is running under the self-created Unity Wave Party, a party that he said stands for bringing people together in the community. He said the party is not backed by any group but instead by a group of friends, volunteers and a growing team.

“No one came to me and said, ‘We want to see you get elected,’” he said on Tuesday.

Mr. Warren said he has canvassed every street in the village in an effort to meet people one at a time. On top of meeting people face to face, he has created both a website and YouTube video introducing himself and letting people know what he stands for.

As a business owner, he said, some of his concerns revolve around the vacant stores in the heart of the village and trying to figure out how to bring vibrancy back, while also expanding on the numerous arts programs.

He also said it is time to revisit the master plan and figure out how to make it work so working families can live and work in the village.

Along with those issues, Mr. Warren also wants to focus on the environment and continue working on ways to improve the health of Lake Agawam. He said there are numerous sources of money that the village could apply for, including state grants.

“The village needs to be aggressive in getting that money,” he said.

Mr. Warren serves on the Southampton Historical Museum Board of Trustees and also serves on the Southampton Village Planning Commission.

Although he was never previously interested in politics, Mr. Warren said, he got involved in the community and wants to make a change.

“I think I can win,” he said. “The support is motivating and encouraging … I’m going to keep on going.”

Along with the race for mayor, two board seats will be up for grabs in June, as two longtime members are getting ready to step down and will not seek reelection.

Bill Hattrick, who is currently serving in his fourth consecutive two-year term as village trustee—and prior to that, served as mayor from 1985 to 1989, chaired the Village Zoning Board of Appeals for 15 years, and served as a village trustee from 1989 to 1993—is not seeking re-election.

Also stepping down is Nancy McGann, who served on the board for the past 14 years.

Planning Commission member Joseph McLoughlin has already announced that he will put his name in the ring for one of the two seats that are opening up on the Village Board.

Joining him on the ballot will be Mark Parash, 48, and Andrew Pilaro, 49, both members of the Community Party for the Village of Southampton.

Mr. Parash, who helps run the Sip ‘n’ Soda Luncheonette on Hampton Road, is a lifelong resident of the village, and Mr. Pilaro, who is the president of CAP Properties Limited, moved to the village when he was 5 years old.

Both men are running on the same ticket, and on the same issues.

According to their website, thecommunitypartysouthampton.com, Mr. Parash and Mr. Pilaro plan a three-prong approach that includes conversations, connections and commitment.

They also want to create a stronger business district and a long-term vision for the village by working on the master plan, while also recognizing a need for “an equitable living and housing environment.” Mr. Parash and Mr. Pilaro also hope to look into clean water technology and updated septic technology.

Neither candidate was available for comment.

The election will take place on Friday, June 21, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Levitas Center at 25 Pond Lane. A debate, co-sponsored by The Press and the Southampton Association, will be held June 7, at 5 p.m., at the Arts Center.

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Is Mr. Warren doing this on a dare?
By even flow (894), East Hampton on May 30, 19 6:34 AM
2 members liked this comment
Even flow, I am not. I believe the Village needs new leadership, and I am willing to work extremely hard in order to do so. Feel free to call me anytime, and I will share my platform and strong commitment to the Village and to service. I understand that this will not be an easy job, but I am willing to make the sacrifices needed to do it.
By JesseforMayor (3), Southampton on May 30, 19 8:10 AM
You got my vote.
By even flow (894), East Hampton on May 30, 19 11:08 AM
Warren moved from Rosyln 10 years ago. 36years old. Came here chasing money to run high end clothing stores. Thanks but no thanks. Certainly not the right fit imo.
By toes in the water (878), southampton on May 30, 19 7:09 AM
Since when has running a retail business become an unsavory endeavor? Also, it sounds like you are against young people moving here and getting involved in the community. Do us all a favor, take your toes out of the water, and stuff them in your mouth.
By gusef (51), Southampton on May 30, 19 7:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Right back at you Gusef McNasty! Its about inexpierence at 36 years old and lack of an understaing of this area. Massive difference from Roslyn to Southampton Village. And you must be a friend of Mr Warrens. sooo if thats the case, my vote is for Irving.

Im ALL for keeping the young local people here.
By toes in the water (878), southampton on May 30, 19 7:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
To Toes in the Water, thank you for sharing your comments. I am running for Mayor because I think the Village needs change and should be inclusive in its local government. While 27East decided to write the article in a certain way, Southampton is my home, and I care deeply about it. I also volunteer at the History Museum, work with the Chamber of Commerce and serve on the Village Planning Commission.

I collected over 200 signatures from Village voters, so that I can appear on the ballot, ...more
By JesseforMayor (3), Southampton on May 30, 19 8:01 AM
What is the right fit?

Based upon your comment it sounds like you think the mayor should be: Old, Unambitious, Born in Southampton.

Now, that sounds like the wrong fit to me!
By Agawam Yacht Club (69), Southampton on May 30, 19 9:50 AM
Lol!! Thanks Jesse But there isn't anything that you can say or do to alter my feelings or opinion.
By toes in the water (878), southampton on May 31, 19 6:24 AM
LOL, if thats what you took from my comment , than so be it.
By toes in the water (878), southampton on May 31, 19 6:26 AM
I personally think young blood will be good for the village. Time to get the old folk out and have a young gun in the position that will actually do something.Good for you Jesse don't let these negative people and comments bring you down. I wish you luck and I hope the outcome is in your favor Jesse. Meanwhile someone is saying negative things sitting behind a key board and hasn't done anything for its community. Keep looking at your toes in the water instead of helping your community out. Warren ...more
By watchoutnow968 (53), Southampton on Jun 2, 19 8:19 AM
2 members liked this comment
If you're all for keeping young local people here, what exactly do you consider local?
By Enviro Guy (44), Southampton on Jun 13, 19 8:56 PM
Yes, they are doing business in Roslyn, as opposed to being a ghost town. Furthermore, running a business here gives you quite a understanding of the area. Yes, you are all for “keeping the young local people here”, you just don’t want any newcomers, I get it. Yes, you should vote along Southampton Association party lines, as your exclusionary views are right in line.

I have never met Mr Warren, or been to his store.
By gusef (51), Southampton on May 30, 19 7:33 AM
I certainly feel like spending a decade building a business in our town can teach a person an immense amount about the area. He lives and works here, and wants to see real change for the better. He values the historical integrity of Southampton and he’s also young enough to know there’s an app for that! If you want young people to live and work in the town, you’re going to have to stop being so weird about people moving here. He’s smart, went to Brown and Oxford for Gods ...more
By bwm (2), Southampton on May 30, 19 7:58 AM
It is increasingly difficult to keep a small business open year round in Southampton Village. Jesse has done so for over a decade. He has great ideas about how to bring life back to a village now overwrought with vacant store fronts. Time for change!
By Mcate (2), Southampton on May 30, 19 10:02 AM
2 members liked this comment
So excited to finally see new leadership in Southampton. Thank goodness!
By Local45 (2), Hampton Bays on May 30, 19 2:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
I like Warren, Parash, and Pilaro. I think this could work well. Relatively young blood in the political community.
By Lets go mets (374), Southampton on May 30, 19 5:59 PM
2 members liked this comment
I like Warren, Parash, and Pilaro. I think this could work well. Relatively young blood in the political community.
By Lets go mets (374), Southampton on May 30, 19 5:59 PM
I get it. Local businessman wants to become mayor to drive downtown economy. Frankly, I'm happy with Southampton Village the way it is. Maybe some business owners feel like they are losing money to Sag Harbor and Southampton, but how many of those are village residents? I'm sure some are, but I'm sure plenty are not. As a year round resident I'm happy our summer nights aren't the zoo that Sag Harbor has become. The village is a great place to spend evenings at the beach or with friends and family ...more
By ArturoBandini (29), on May 30, 19 6:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
A few typos above:
I get it. Local businessman wants to become mayor to drive downtown economy. Frankly, I'm happy with Southampton Village the way it is. Maybe some business owners feel like they are losing money to Sag Harbor and East Hampton, but how many of those are village residents? I'm sure some are, but I'm sure plenty are not. As a year round resident I'm happy our summer nights aren't the zoo that Sag Harbor has become. The village is a great place to spend evenings at the beach or ...more
By ArturoBandini (29), on May 30, 19 6:49 PM
Arturo, he’s pushing for more locally owned small businesses. And if you like the beaches and waterways, you should note that our water is the most polluted and toxic in all New York State (Lake Agawam). Warren will help address our environment and waterways versus the current mayor who did not even apply for NY State grants to do so. I agree with you, but I don’t think you do.
By Local45 (2), Hampton Bays on May 30, 19 7:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'd just like to mention that not once on his website does he mention "locally owned small businesses". I'm not saying he's not pushing for them, but the idea you mention is not stated. What alarms me is "We need to bring vibrancy back to Southampton Village with a focus on wet use". Here I disagree strongly. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I will vote for what makes sense to me. It says you're in Hampton Bays? My guess is that you won't be eligible to vote.
By ArturoBandini (29), on May 30, 19 7:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
What exactly are Mr. Pilaro's qualifications? Using family money? What kind of work and government experience does he have? Resident since he was 5 years old?
By localcitizen (106), Southampton on May 31, 19 6:01 AM
Time to unwind the tentacles of the Southampton Association, their mayor, their cutesy reps and their backroom deals to undermine the local citizens.
By even flow (894), East Hampton on Jun 1, 19 6:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
It will take years to undo the damage done by the current administration.
By Draggerman (924), Southampton on Jun 3, 19 7:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
Do all of the candidates own real estate in the Village?
By 11953guest (44), southampton on Jun 1, 19 7:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
I admire any person willing to running for an elected position. But it takes more than guts - much more. With no experience, he has not realized the years the past and current government have worked with the CPF to obtain purchases of land in the village. For decades the village has worked with small village business to bring shippers to Main Street and Gin Lane and they’ve been success - very successful. And so we go with each of this candidate’s topics. This is a hallow man without ...more
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Jun 3, 19 8:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By deepchanel (82), Hampton Bays on Jun 4, 19 9:15 AM
Community Party? Remove a Y, Slide over that T, and Insert an S beforehand and you got the Communist Party. Oof.
By FarOutEast (14), Southampton on Jun 7, 19 2:58 PM
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