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Jun 17, 2009 12:25 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village candidates face off on Friday

Jun 17, 2009 12:25 PM

Three candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for two trustee seats on the Southampton Village Board this year.

Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Southampton Cultural Center on Pond Lane this Friday, June 19, for voters to chose from the incumbents, Citizens with Integrity Party candidates Nancy McGann and Paul Robinson, and challenger Christopher Broich of the Southampton Traditional Party. The top two vote-getters will earn two-year terms.

Nancy McGann

Ms. McGann, 59, is a managing partner at Town & Country Real Estate’s Southampton Village office. She joined Town & Country last spring following two years as a broker with Corcoran Group Real Estate and 25 years with Allan M. Schneider Associates.

She said she would like a third term on the Village Board because she enjoys being a trustee and the feeling of accomplishment she derives from it. The Village Board has only scratched the surface of many topics and there is much more to get done, she added.

With so many initiatives underway and more in the works, the board cannot always turn to the village taxpayers to foot the bill, Ms. McGann said. That being the case, she said she’s glad Southampton has found grant writer Jennifer Mesiano, who has secured more than $2 million in county, state and federal grants for Southampton. Ms McGann said she is hoping for more grants to help the village pay for stormwater drainage projects to help ailing Lake Agawam.

She said she is also excited about the environmentally conscious direction the village has taken with its new green committee, Southampton Advocates for the Village Environment. She said the village Parks Department is using more organic projects and that if the village goes through with building a new firehouse it will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified.

Ms. McGann said she has worked on many improvements in the village that residents can feel in their everyday lives, chiefly when it comes to beautifying the business district. She said she gets many compliments that the village looks nicer each year.

The trustee said she is also focused on the proposed new master plan for the business district, which she said was necessary to ensure that, if the village goes forward with installing a sewage treatment plant, the subsequent development that arises is controlled by a set of rules the village proactively put in place. “We all love the historic flavor of our community, and we don’t want to see that change,” she said.

Also, were she to be elected for another two years, Ms. McGann said she would like to explore ways to increase the accessibility of affordable housing for people that provide vital services to Southampton, like fire and ambulance volunteers and teachers.

Ms. McGann, originally from Fresh Meadows, Queens, has lived in Southampton Village full time for the past 31 years and has spent her summers in the village since childhood. She is a widow with a 33-year-old son, Evan.

Paul Robinson

Mr. Robinson, 62, a former administrator for the Suffolk County Department of Social Services, is retired and now manages eight rental properties that he owns in the village.

During his first four years as a village trustee, he has been active in health and safety issues. He is the village’s fire and ambulance commissioner and recently pointed out that during his tenure the volunteer ambulance membership has doubled and the fire department membership has also risen. Mr. Robinson successfully pushed the Village Board to approve $1,000 medical reimbursements for volunteers to help them afford their health care costs as a means of recruiting and retaining more volunteers.

The ambulance service also upgraded from basic life support vehicles and training to advanced life support.

The Village Board has been able to keep the budget under control and watch out for taxpayers without sacrificing health and safety or other village services, Mr. Robinson said.

The trustee said that one of the most important things to him is open government and he pointed out that all televised village meetings are now posted to southamptonvillage.org and accessible by anyone at any time.

One of his latest projects is planning improvements to the North Sea Road entrance to the village, including adding a pedestrian island in the middle of the road to make it easier to cross. He is also working on implementing affordable housing initiatives, he said.

Mr. Robinson is originally from East Hampton and moved to Southampton with his family when he was around 15 years old. His family ran a restaurant in Southampton from 1960 to 1973 called Ebb Tide, in the building that now houses Barrister’s.

His wife of 34 years, Joan, is a retired Suffolk County probation officer. He has two daughters, Polly, 28, and Sarah, 29.

Mr. Robinson graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural business management and marketing and from Stony Brook University with a master’s degree in liberal studies.

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The Southampton Village elections are tomorrow Friday June 19, 2009. I have followed the local campaigns, which were relatively quiet this year.

I do have a comment in reference to Mr. Broich’s candidacy. The editorial in Southampton Press does not endorse Mr. Broich; however they do acknowledge that he appears to have an agenda with regards to the police department. I find it somewhat hypocritical that he now advocates a platform of police salary reform when he benefited from being ...more
By K Aventi (33), Southampton on Jun 18, 09 1:22 PM