Van Scoyoc Joins Vilar in East Hampton Town Supervisor Race
By Kathryn G. Menu
East Hampton Town Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc officially threw his hat into the town supervisor’s race on Monday, announcing he would run for the position in this fall’s election.
Mr. Van Scoyoc has screened with the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee to run for town supervisor. On Tuesday, chairperson Jeanne Frankl said that body was continuing its screening process for several town posts, and would formally announce its slate in early May after a vote of its full convention.
On Wednesday morning, Mr. Van Scoyoc said he was anxious to get the word out about his candidacy.
“There is a process that takes place, and I respect that, but I just wanted to make my intentions known to everyone,” he said. “The campaign has already started and I want to be a part of it.”
Mr. Van Scoyoc, a former member of the town’s zoning board of appeals and planning board who has served on the town board since 2011, currently serves as deputy supervisor under Larry Cantwell, who announced earlier this year he would not seek another term.
“Leading the community as supervisor requires even more than the experiences of raising a family and earning a living here,” Mr. Van Scoyoc said in a release announcing his decision. “Most importantly, I offer a vision for the future of the Town of East Hampton. A future that is forever diligent about protecting our natural resources, open space and environment. A future that includes more opportunities for our residents who want to live and work here and have a place to live. And a future where we accept our diversity, understand our differences and work together for the betterment of our community.”
Mr. Van Scoyoc has two years left on his four year term as a Councilman. Councilman Fred Overton, the lone Republican on the board, has announced he will not seek re-election. Democrat Kathee Burke-Gonzalez is seeking a second term on that board, and this week, Zachary Cohen — who failed to unseat former supervisor Bill Wilkinson in 2011 — announced he would also run for town board in the November 7 election.
On Wednesday, Mr. Van Scoyoc said he supports Ms. Burke-Gonzalez in her bid for re-election.
While the Democratic Committee has yet to formalize its slate, the Republican Party in East Hampton finalized its nominations for town board and supervisor last month.
Springs resident Manny Vilar, 52, a sergeant with the New York State Parks Police, is the party’s supervisor candidate, and is joined on the ticket by former East Hampton Village police chief Gerard Larsen, and Paul Giardina, who worked for the Environmental Protection Agency for over 40 years.
“I have lived in East Hampton since I was five years old,” Mr. Vilar said. “I am a founding president of the PBA of New York State, which is the fifth biggest police union in the state outside of the New York City police unions. I have had one foot in the political arena for some time now, granted in Albany, and dealing with issues in the state legislature.”
Mr. Vilar said he believes his experience working with various government bodies would aid him, if elected, and that he has the management skills and government experience to succeed in the job.
“I think the people working in the town are all wonderful people, I just bring a different skill set,” he said. “I have an understanding of the complexities of local, state and federal government, and I think I can bring that back to the Town of East Hampton and make that work on a local level.”
East Hampton Republican Committee Chair Reg Cornelia announced this week the committee would open a new headquarters at the Red Horse Market complex, which is expected to have a grand opening some time in the next two weeks.