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

Southampton Town Board candidate Jim Malone (C,R,I)

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: 48

Hometown: Hampton Bays

Education: juris doctor, Touro Law School, B.S., engineering and industrial management, Clarkson University

Occupation: senior deputy county clerk and director of finance for Suffolk County

Party Affiliation: Conservative, endorsed by the Republican and Independence parties

Political experience: First run for public office

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, because many of the establishments that would be subject to this cost sharing are situated alongside major roadways, a public safety concern attaches when the volume of customers impacts traffic flow and pedestrian safety. Additionally, the increased customer volume invariably occurs during evenings and weekends. As such, the town resources must be allocated with an added expense of overtime. I support the hospitality industry, and appreciate the important economic value they bring to our local economy. I grew up in the restaurant business, and know firsthand the valuable employment benefit each business brings to our community. As we consider this cost sharing measure, we must be mindful not to overburden these establishments, while applying an even standard of application to those who might be subject to this policy.

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

No, my perspective is that privatization of our recycling centers is not in the best interest of our residents. Our residents presently enjoy the choice of either self hauling or hiring a private carter. That choice should remain with our residents. The system of choice encourages recycling, and we must foster such environmentally sensitive initiatives wherever we can. In addition, I have every confidence that now that we are appropriately charging each of our town’s departments for the services that our recycling centers provide them, operations within our Waste Management Department will be either in balance or positive.

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

Yes, so long as the safety and well-being of the animals is maintained, we should. We are extremely fortunate to have an individual within our community that is willing to support the continued operation of our shelter, with her private resources. I remain grateful to her for her generosity.

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 need to support and encourage our state lawmakers in their work amending state law which identifies eligible districts and changes the allocation formula from tax levy to tax loss. Senator Kenneth LaValle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele have led the way in community preservation, setting the model for the rest of the state. Their work continues, and their amendments will improve the process dramatically.

In addition, we should never find ourselves in a position whereby we would have to go to the General Fund to pay CPF debt service obligations. We must develop a seven year plan that sets aside the full amount of annual debt service obligation and places it in a locked reserve account. At present, that debt obligation is approximately $10,000,000 per year. Setting aside just over $1,400,000 per year from the annual CPF revenues over seven years provides for full coverage of present obligations that are outstanding as a result of preserved properties we have financed.

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, I do not support lifting the tax rate cap. Raising taxes cannot be a first choice, it must always be a last option. I believe that creative minds and cooperative efforts can come together to rein in costs, develop ingenious ways to increase revenues without raising taxes, and avoid further burdening our residents during these most difficult of economic times.

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, I support the hiring freeze sponsored by Councilman Christopher Nuzzi, and I support the extension he sponsored carrying the freeze into 2010. Imposing a freeze provides a “natural” staffing reduction that will result in a smaller and more efficient government, without mass layoffs. As individuals move on through attrition, each department will necessarily employ cross training practices that will enable us to continue to provide the services our town needs, while reducing the size and cost of government.

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

The single greatest challenge of our time is our economy. The obligation we all have, inside and out of government, is how we might contribute to helping grow our local economy and enhance sustainable job creation. Government’s role is to foster an environment that welcomes investment and economic diversification. We can no longer rely on only the building and trades community, or the hospitality industry to fuel our economic engine. Developing new enterprise zones and new economic hubs must be our highest priority. The Enterprise Park at Gabreski Airport provides a perfect platform to welcome the movie industry, light industry alternative fuel companies, green technology companies and many others. We must also rebuild the heritage economy that sustained us for centuries. Fostering and reinvigorating the Fishing and Farming sector of our community is within our reach. It only takes representatives with a proactive approach and a living appreciation of our rich history.

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Apparently Mr. Malone can say yes and no, sounds refreshing. Apparently going to the citizens for more money is not his choice good, The CPF idea for paying down its debt is refreshing and if we can get the rest of government to pay as its goes within defined parameters without debt and long term bonds which ultimately increase the tax burden then we can really grow.
By tom (53), Hampton Bays on Oct 29, 09 6:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
Instead of perpetuating town debt, why not get rid of it?

Vote for someone who will address the budget problems now rather than kick them down the road. We're already $20 million in the hole.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 29, 09 9:30 PM
Malone has addressed how he will get rid of some of the town debt...all others just state "it will go down" without telling us how. Malone tells how...no one else in town hall has ever stated it more to the point. Honesty is always the best policy.
By UNITED states CITIZEN (207), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 29, 09 10:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
If you read the famous ATH 13 step plan...she plans on putting off paying the debt to around 2012 when people HOPEFULLY begin to retire
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 30, 09 11:58 AM
Did you not look at the proposed 2010 budget?
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Nov 1, 09 12:37 AM
Another one on the dole with County taxpayers paying his way ... did he ever have a real job? I mean is he going to continue to ask the County Chair how to vote?
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Oct 29, 09 10:10 PM
on the dole? what and which person are you talking about ?? not Malone-he has told everyone what his job was and what he plans todo....what is your job?
By UNITED states CITIZEN (207), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 29, 09 10:36 PM
I still haven't heard or read a direct commitment from Jim Malone to leave his County job if he's elected to our Town Board. Mr. Malone's s website says that he is the "Senior Deputy Clerk and Chief Fiscal Director"for Suffolk County, and that he "manages over 130 government employees and hundreds of millions of dollars a year."

Assuming the candidate is not exaggerating his position, this is a big and presumably time-consuming job, a government job in which Jim Malone is not his own boss ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 30, 09 10:59 AM
I know you want a written letter from Mr Malone directly to you Turkey, but when asked in the SH Press, he stated he would leave the County position. Now twist that to say he didnt respond to YOUR question.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Oct 31, 09 7:43 AM
Please tell us where this statement is reported in the Press, either online or in the print editions. I haven't seen it.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 31, 09 9:38 AM
Come on Turkey
Both Pope and ATH work part-time at best. Who are you kidding.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Nov 1, 09 12:39 AM
Golfbuddy, you have more than once responded to comments by saying that the commenter obviously doesn't know Linda Kabot. It seems that you don't know much about Sally Pope or Anna Throne-Holst, either.

First, neither of them has any kind of outside job, much less the sort of big-time, full-time, demanding government job that Jim Malone has. My understanding is that the only current Town Board member with outside work is Chris Nuzzi, who must have flexible hours, since he shows up for ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Nov 1, 09 10:09 AM
Nobody wants to raise the tax cap, but they can't say where they will find needed funds without. No more part timers on the board.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Oct 30, 09 12:29 PM
No one has said where they will find the needed funds because they have two choices raise the tax cap or do the lay-offs. Both are unpopular with voters. My guess is the council members will finally grow a pair an make a decision after the election.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Nov 1, 09 12:48 AM
Let's see, it's now 5:17 PM on the night before Election Day, and we still don't have a public statement from Jim Malone that he will work full-time for Southampton Town if he joins our Town Board. Guess he just can't let go of that big Suffolk County job.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Nov 2, 09 5:19 PM
Congratulations! The best candidate for any of the open positions has won.
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Nov 4, 09 7:56 AM