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Oct 29, 2009 5:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board incumbent Sally Pope (D,WF)

Editor's Note: Republican Town Councilman Christopher Nuzzi and Democratic Councilwoman Sally Pope, who were elected to office in 2005 and 2008, respectively, are running for reelection this year—but they are faced with two challengers. Political newcomers James Wilson Malone, a Republican, and Bridget Fleming, a Democrat, are jockeying for seats on the council, too. In 2010, a council member will earn a $60,000 salary. All four candidates answered several questions via e-mail from The Southampton Press.

Click here to download a pdf of the Southampton Town Ballot
Oct 29, 2009 5:26 PM

Age: 68

Hometown: Remsenburg

Education: BA, Carnegie-Mellon University; M.Ed.,

Cornell University; JD, University of Michigan Law School

Occupation: attorney-mediator (private practice, retired); adjunct law professor (various law schools, still on faculty at Hofstra, but inactive this year); mediation trainer

Party affiliation: Democrat (endorsed by Working Families)

Political experience: elected to Town Council 2008

Do you support the proposal that the town begin charging nightclubs and taverns that are deemed “trouble spots” for the extra police coverage they require to maintain law and order? Why?

Yes. This will help with the expenses incurred by the town, but it may not help the neighbors of these nightspots. We also need to find ways to address their needs: to encourage reduction in the decibels of the music and the troublesome behavior in neighborhoods of these clubs. I believe these clubs want to be good neighbors and want to work with us. That would be my goal.

Do you think the town should pursue privatizing the recycling centers? Why?

No. We should first pursue good oversight of the management of our recycling centers and run it like a good business. Southampton has received low grades in recycling—it was rated 10th out of 12 East End Towns by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment in its September 2009 Report Card. We do not publish or post any requirements to separate the kinds of plastic, much less separate metal from plastic or glass. This is the kind of thing we could improve under new leadership with an interested and active board liaison.

Do you think the town should pursue privatizing the town animal shelter or contracting with a company to operate it? Why?

Yes. In spite of close supervision by Anna Throne-Holst this year and innovative efforts, the shelter has been extremely costly to operate. There is a committed community group ready to take it over and this seems to be moving along. That is a positive direction.

Do you think the PILOT program can be fixed in a way that benefits the town and the districts in need of relief? How?

Yes. We will obviously need to do this. An audit by the New York State Comptroller is being conducted, and we will pay attention to the recommendations to come. In addition to looking at the PILOT payments themselves and doing the best we can for the school districts going forward, CPF funds are not forever, and local support for efforts to reform school financing to reduce the property tax burden should be underway.

Do you support the idea of waiving the tax cap for one year in order to eliminate the deficits and debt uncovered in the general, capital, police and waste management funds this year? Why?

No. However, it is one alternative. We also have other alternatives: we could issue a bond for deficit financing and spread the cost over several years, or we continue the extreme cuts in services and employees. There is no easy answer. There is already a lot of anxiety and suffering in our community, particularly for those immediately affected by the cuts taking place. The question we need to hear discussed in the upcoming public meetings is: what are the priorities of the community?

The proposed 2010 budget calls for 44 layoffs. Do you think the town’s workforce and should be pared down in the coming years? Why and how?

Yes. The exact number is not so important as to have procedures in place to make sure that all employees are productive and doing the best job for the town that they can do. All employees should be earning their salaries. I have proposed a management audit of each department within the town, that we could conduct without hiring a consultant, and this review and oversight should continue on a regular schedule.

What is the greatest challenge facing Southampton Town in the next four years?

The town is at a crossroads. The economy has changed. The culture is changing. The financial chaos as a result of mismanagement over many years is going to take more than a few years to correct and stabilize. We need competent people in Town Hall who will bring real-life experience into the town and new ideas about how to meet the on-going challenges. We particularly need to come together as a community to discuss our priorities and work from there.

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bye Sally
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 29, 09 9:12 PM
How refreshing, a forward looking politician.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 29, 09 9:32 PM
She has been useless during our fiscal fiasco with Kabot ... vote her OUT
By JimmyKBond (155), Hampton Bays on Oct 29, 09 10:11 PM
Sally Pope has delivered time and again in her nine short months on the Town Board, initiating a State Comptroller's audit of the Town's disastrous (Republican) finances, instituting monthly budget reports (which should have been required all along) to keep close control and prevent recurrence of the money mess, obtaining real reform of the Planning Board to ensure community input before (not after) an environmental determination is made, standing alone against runaway development on County Road ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1868), Quiogue on Oct 30, 09 10:24 AM
Theres no monthly budget reports, so she can't be credited. Once a new computer financial reporting system is finally fully functional there will be monthly reports. She could gladly meet with department heads like other board members to discuss montly budget numbers!
A contract wasn't fullfilled for paving i.e. the town spent no more money. no money was lost. the price of asphalt spiked and would have driven the LOCAL asphalt company under and a LOCAL business and LOCAL people would have been ...more
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 30, 09 11:39 AM
I'm glad to be reminded of yet another gross shortcoming of the long-time Republican administration: not only did they fail to make monthly budget reports the way any business larger than a hot dog stand does, but when they were finally forced to do it by Sally Pope, they weren't able to implement the policy because they'd fallen so far behind the technical curve that the Town's antiquated computers couldn't generate the reports. This is municipal negligence so bad it would be laughable if it ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1868), Quiogue on Oct 30, 09 10:16 PM
In just 10 months on the SH Town Board Sally Pope has done more than Nuzzi did in his first 3-1/2 years. Sally Pope is smart and deliberate in her thinking. She has no political boss to kow-tow to and thinks very much on her own. When Nuzzi felt threatened about losing the election he suddenly "Got Religion" and began to introduce bills at a rapid pace. Maybe he thought he could make up for all the lost time. A good number of them were ideas that appeared to come out of the blue but in reality were ...more
By barberosa (39), Watermill on Oct 31, 09 10:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
Anyone endorsed by the Working Families Party should be voted out. This organization is as ethical as ACORN. They were involved in a voter registration fraud in Upsate NY recently where they fraudulently signed absentee ballots for people who were alive and dead. That is what the dmocratic party has come to stand for, Chicago style policis where farudelent votes in large numbers are used to ensure their liberal views are imposed on everyone.
By Walt (274), Southampton on Oct 31, 09 12:01 PM
Wow -- Glenn Beck is posting here now under the name WALT.

Funny how "liberal" views are about giving people choices and "conservative" views are about taking them away.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Nov 1, 09 4:00 PM
Sally has proven over and over again that she is for the working class. she has shown so many that she is truly a caring individual that we need in our town government.
By local (106), north sea on Nov 1, 09 8:27 PM