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May 19, 2010 11:19 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Six candidates are seeking election in Westhampton Beach; Quogue races are unopposed

May 19, 2010 11:19 AM

The lineup of candidates for next month’s village election in Westhampton Beach is now official, after a previously unannounced candidate threw her hat into the ring late last week.

Meanwhile, next month’s election in neighboring Quogue Village should prove to be far less dramatic, as all four incumbents are unchallenged in their reelection bids, according to officials.

A total of six candidates—including Mayor Conrad Teller and his challenger, current Village Board member Hank Tucker—will be vying for three open seats on the Westhampton Beach Village Board on Friday, June 18.

Michelle Bugge, 50, is the latest of four candidates to announce that she will be running for one of two open trustee seats on the Westhampton Beach Village Board. She is campaigning on the Sunshine Party line, according to her petition that was received by Village Clerk Kathy McGinnis on Friday, the last day petitions could be filed for next month’s election.

But Mayor Teller challenged Ms. Bugge’s petition, charging that errors were made. He filed his general objections Monday with Ms. McGinnis, and followed up with specific objections, which include duplicate signatures among other complaints, Wednesday. His challenge was forwarded to the Suffolk County Board of Elections, also on Wednesday.

“There are irregularities in it that should be reviewed,” Mayor Teller said of Ms. Bugge’s petition, declining to elaborate further.

Ms. Bugge said this week that she was not aware that her petition, which included 64 signatures, or 14 more than required, was being challenged. She added that she went door to door collecting signatures like all the other candidates. “I wasn’t aware that there was anything that needed to be challenged,” she said.

Ms. Bugge, who is a housewife and sits on the Westhampton Beach Beautification Committee, said she decided to run independently for a seat on the five-member board because she wants to make a difference in the village she’s lived in for the past 11 years.

“There needs to be a new set of eyes, a new outlook,” she said. “I just want to make a change.”

Toni-Jo Birk, who has been a trustee since 2006, will seek reelection, running alongside political newcomer Sue Farrell. They are running with Mayor Teller on the Village Unity Party line. Ms. Birk is a real estate agent, and her family owns Bike and Kite on Potunk Lane in the village, while Ms. Farrell is the director of business development for Conference Direct, a meeting and planning company based in California.

Charlie Palmer, a municipal accountant, is the final candidate seeking one of the trustee seats on the Village Board. Mr. Palmer, who is running on the Liberty Party line, did not return calls seeking comment this week.

Ms. Farrell, who is running for public office for the first time, said her group is already hitting the streets and encouraging residents to head to the polls on June 18.

“We’re going to be pounding the pavement from Dune Road to Hazelwood Avenue,” she said. “We’re going to speak to the people and answer their questions.”

Ms. Birk, who also volunteers with Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance, said she and her running mates are confident and ready to answer whatever questions village residents might have.

Mayor Teller, who was first elected mayor in 2006, will be challenged by Mr. Tucker, who said he is running independently on the Lightning Party line.

“I’m looking forward to talking with the residents of the village and letting them know what direction I’d like to take the village in,” said Mr. Tucker, who owns Holey Moses Cheesecakes in Westhampton.

Mayor Teller, who has lived here all his life, said he would like to continue the programs in Westhampton Beach that make the village a “viable resort town.”

Trustee Jim Kametler, who has sat on the board since 2004, is not seeking reelection.

All terms on the board are for two years.

In neighboring Quogue Village, three sitting trustees and Mayor Peter Sartorius are all running unopposed in next month’s election, also scheduled for Friday, June 18.

Mr. Sartorius is running in his first mayoral election. He was appointed to the position in November to complete the term of former Mayor George Motz, who resigned in October.

Before he was appointed mayor, Mr. Sartorius had served as a village trustee since 2008. If elected mayor, he will serve a two-year term.

Village Board members Jeanette Obser, Kimberley Payne and Ted Necarsulmer will seek reelection next month. The three trustees are running alongside the mayor on the Liberty Party line.

Ms. Obser, who was first elected to the board in 2002, and Mr. Payne, who joined the board in 2006, are both running for two-year terms. Mr. Necarsulmer, who was appointed in December to fill the seat vacated by Mr. Sartorius, will be running for a one-year term—the remainder of Mr. Sartorius’s term as a trustee.

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Jim the Gun is running for cover
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on May 14, 10 8:06 PM
Why do you call him Jim the Gun?
By CoweeDewey (110), East Quogue on May 22, 10 7:25 PM
Who's Michelle Bugge?
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on May 14, 10 10:09 PM
lets us know what you find out
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on May 14, 10 10:46 PM
Michelle Bugge's name appeared on a letter along with some members of the Beautification Committee taking Mayor Teller to task for planting trees at Village Hll without getting their permission. The committee, mostly Levan's friends & admirers, several not even Village taxpayers, are under the delusion that somehow "they" decide what work the DPW performs and how Village $$ are spent. If Buggee is elected Trustee, you can imagine the control Trustee Levan will have over her. Also,as a newcomer ...more
By beachgirl11978 (18), Westhampton Beach on May 15, 10 7:27 PM
Really? One of Joan Levan's toadies? Why hasn't the Beach Blogger discussed this? He loves that sort of thing!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on May 16, 10 9:52 AM
is it true that local businesses were encouraged / told to use only white lights for christmas decorations?
By quioguebirder (11), on May 15, 10 11:01 PM
So again maybe with all this crap foing one someone can tell me why we need this board or this do nothing police department
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on May 16, 10 12:58 AM
Its really sad and tells the tale when people you are trying to get into office have to run on a seperate party line to hide their realtionship too you.
Joan Levan obtained most of the signatures for both Charlie Palmer and Mrs. Bugge.
If you were friends with this lady and she was asking you to run for office along with her running mate Hank Tucker, wouldn't you ask the question of why you have to run on a seperate line to hide your association with her and Hank. The answers are there ...more
By The Truth (15), Westhampton on May 16, 10 3:04 PM
1 member liked this comment