Flanders, Riverside, Northampton residents came out in force to the FRNCA monthly board meeting Monday night at the Crohan Community Center in Flanders to meet the candidates running for Southampton Town trustee, highway superintendent, town clerk and Suffolk County legislator this fall.
Nine people are running for five open seats on the Southampton Town Trustees.
The Democrats are running former FRNCA president Ron Fisher of Flanders, who was recently appointed to the Riverhead school board, Gary Glanz, Ann Welker and are endorsing incumbent Bill Pell, an Independence Party member who also has the Republican Party endorsement. If elected, Welker would be the first woman to ever serve as a town trustee.
“I think the moment is right to have change from the top,” said Fisher. “We can’t have bad water quality. Water and bodies of water such as beaches and the bay are an economy driver.”
On the Republican slate are incumbents Ed Warner Jr., the current board president, Bruce Stafford, Scott Horowitz, Pell and Don Law, a charter boat captain from Hampton Bays, who ran and lost in 2015 .
“My passion is the bay,” said Law. “I want people to keep enjoying it safely,” he said.
Trustees serve two-year terms.
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, a Democrat, is also seeking re-election. A former Southampton Town councilwoman, she was elected to the county legislature’s second district seat in 2015.
Fleming was hoping to meet her opponent Monday night, Republican candidate Heather Collins, but Collins did not come to the meeting.
“It is very important for me to be here and to be connected to the community,” Fleming said.
As a former town liaison for the Flanders, Riverside, Northampton area, Fleming was an integral part of several initiatives, such as the new proposed sanitary sewer service in the area, as well as the planned improvements to the Riverside traffic circle.
Members of the community had several heated questions for highway superintendent candidates incumbent Democrat Alex Gregor, who is seeking his fourth term, and Republican Lance Aldrich, who had been deputy superintendent under former superintendent Bill Masterson.
“You are the first superintendent to take care of Flanders and to care about this community,” Flanders resident Susan Tocci told Gregor during the meeting.
“I have lived here for over 20 years and when you first came to tour the area with us you said you would pave my road and the roads around it, four years later I’m still waiting,” FRNCA treasurer and Flanders resident Doris Dacus said.
Gregor, who had a printed list of all roads paved in the area, explained that as superintendent his department had paved over 100 miles of road and taken care of drainage issues all over, a major issue for Riverside, Flanders resident who complained about their streets flooding frequently.
Southampton Town Clerk Sundy A. Schermeyer, who has held her position since 2006, was also present Monday night and is seeking reelection this November. She is running unopposed.