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Jun 16, 2015 12:28 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Village Board Challengers Promise Faster Results

Westhampton Beach Village Board candidate Brian Tymann. KYLE CAMPBELL
Jun 16, 2015 4:45 PM

Introducing new ideas and having a businesslike approach toward governance are the shared platform staples of the two challengers seeking election to the Westhampton Beach Village Board.

Our Village Party running mates Rob Rubio and Brian Tymann are hoping to unseat veteran board members Hank Tucker and Patricia DiBenedetto in this Friday’s village election. The two men are promising a more efficient government, more transparency and tangible results—namely, the eventual installation of a sewer system and a rejuvenated Main Street.

Trustees are elected to two-year terms, paid an annual stipend of $5,710 and given health benefits by the village.

Both men are longtime village residents and graduates of the Westhampton Beach High School. Both also own local businesses: Mr. Rubio, 49, has owned and operated Rubio Premier Motors on Montauk Highway in Westhampton with his wife, Stacy, since 2008, while Mr. Tymann, 39, co-founded the Hampton Cigar Company last year and owns BGT Consulting, a solar energy consulting firm.

Mr. Tymann said they want to facilitate more of a partnership between the village and its residents as well as with the business community. “We’ve been using the term ‘fresh perspective,’” Mr. Tymann said. “Rob and I agree that we could provide a common sense approach to government.”

Mr. Rubio said his main goal is to make the village as accommodating as possible to those looking to set up shop here, adding that many of the people he’s spoken with on the campaign trail say Westhampton Beach has a reputation of being uncooperative when it comes to giving out permits.

“People want to do projects and it takes six months just to get things moving,” Mr. Rubio said. “You should walk in and say this is what I want to do and have the village say, ‘Here’s your packet, fill it out. If you have any questions call me,’” and not wait months and months and months to go to meetings.”

While both are seeking their first term on the Village Board, neither is new to the political scene.

Mr. Tymann served more than two years with the Southampton Town Trustees. He was appointed in August 2007, won election to a full two-year term that fall and was voted out in 2009. Mr Tymann, who previously ran as a Republican, also managed campaigns for friend and fellow Westhampton Beach resident Chris Nuzzi when he ran for Southampton Town Board and, most recently, the Suffolk County Legislature.

Mr. Rubio was part of a field of six candidates who fought for two spots on the Village Board in 2005 and finished tied for last with 147 votes. His wife was elected to the Westhampton Beach School Board last month.

Mr. Rubio has three sons—twins Chase and Reid, 16, and Gage, 12. Mr. Tymann and his wife, Kerri, have an infant daughter, Calla.

The challengers are adamantly in support of creating a sewer district along Main Street as a means of both protecting nearby Moniebogue Bay from harmful nitrogen loading and allowing for more bars and restaurants to open in the village, using Patchogue and Sag Harbor villages as examples of thriving downtowns bolstered by sewage treatment facilities.

Mayor Maria Moore has made the pursuit of a sewage treatment facility a priority since entering office last summer and the board has followed suit, requesting that 50,000 gallons of capacity within the sewage treatment plant at the Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton be reserved for future village use. Mr. Tymann said he believes he can get the project moving quicker by using connections he’s made with those at the state and county levels to secure grants to help pay for the project.

Mr. Rubio said getting a sewer district in place will make it easier for owners of vacant properties along Main Street to find willing renters because more uses will be available. He noted that creating a vibrant downtown will attract more visitors throughout the year, which will, in turn, allow existing businesses to thrive.

In his opinion, Mr. Rubio said, the current board spends too much time studying issues instead of listening to their constituents and taking action. He said he would like to increase outreach by mailing out information and surveys to residents to gauge their thoughts on various topics, adding that he feels like he has a good read on the pulse of the village.

“I probably know more about the community having not sat in on board meetings,” Mr. Rubio said. “When you go to the board meetings, you only hear what [board members] want you to hear, you really don’t know what’s going on.

“If I get elected in there, I’m gonna be at the board meetings, but I’ll also listen to the people and what they want,” he continued. “These people don’t listen to anyone else, they just make assumptions on it,” he added, referring to the current board. “I mean these people sit in here for a year and don’t make a decision—the same thing they’re dealing with 12 months later.”

Mr. Tucker and Ms. DiBenedetto, as well as others in the village, have criticized Mr. Rubio and Mr. Tymann for not attending the meetings, saying they are not aware of the undertakings of the current board. Mr. Tymann defended his absences, equating that his presence ahead of time would be like showing up for a job in the private sector months before one’s start date. He said he prefers to keep up with current events by reading newspapers and talking to people.

He also noted that he is looking forward to getting up to speed with various projects, such as the reexamination of the B-2 and B-3 business districts and working with current board members on addressing resident issues, such as the current state of the Waldbaum’s and the stalled redevelopment project at the old bowling alley, also on Sunset Avenue.

“I’m not one of those people who thinks, ‘I’m gonna come in and re-create the wheel,’” Mr. Tymann said. “There’s been a lot of work done on a lot of things, like zoning and even the sewer district, so I want to work collaboratively with people to pick up where we’re at right now and not come in [guns] blazing thinking I’m going to solve the world’s problems.”

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This Village really needs business men with some new viable ideas.As far as going to the meetings to hear resolutions being read, both Rob and Brian have listened to the people in the Village and I am sure have gleaned more from that than they would sitting in a 22 minute Village Board meeting. Our Mayor was criticized for not attending meetings before she ran for office, and by doing exactly what Rob and Brian are doing, she came into office with fresh ideas,and a new perspective. I am sure they ...more
By 313758 (8), westhampton on Jun 16, 15 3:11 PM
yea. google Rubio & Westhampton Coachworks and see the quality the Village will get with that name. Couldn't manage a business and now wants to run a Village. Get ready for the Rubio ride
By realistic (468), westhampton on Jun 16, 15 7:51 PM
That's a pathetic comment, whether made out of ignorance or intent to mislead. The first names are different, this is not the same person; different man, different business. So which is it, "realistic," lying or ignorant?
By VOS (1230), WHB on Jun 16, 15 9:11 PM
Really. His business profile states he was general manager of the business in charge of fiscal and budget decisions. Business is one of the 250 largest delinquent taxpayers to the state. Connect the dots. Next time check your facts and don't waste my time having to do it for you.
By realistic (468), westhampton on Jun 16, 15 9:53 PM
If you're going to use a Linked In profile for evidence you should understand it's not. You should also see that he left there over seven years ago, long before they closed.
By VOS (1230), WHB on Jun 17, 15 2:01 PM
Hey I ve read some of your other posts. You seem like a well to do person. I have a real cool bridge for sale. Special price for you. You Game?
By realistic (468), westhampton on Jun 17, 15 8:40 PM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island