Election Guide 2015: Southampton Town Supervisor


The supervisor in Southampton is the chief administrative and fiscal officer of the 295.6-square mile town. The terms are two years long in Southampton, as well, and candidates may serve four terms. The salary last year was $104,040.

Jay Schneiderman (D, I, WF, WE)

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman during a Southampton Town Supervisor Meet the Candidates question-and-answer session at Southampton High School on Monday night, 9/28/15

After serving as county legislator for the 2nd Legislative District for the past 12 years, Mr. Schneiderman is running for Southampton Town supervisor. A native of Montauk, Mr. Schneiderman began his career as a science teacher at the Hampton Day, Waterfront and Ross Schools, before getting involved in politics and serving two terms as East Hampton Town supervisor. For the past nine years, Mr. Schneiderman has lived in the Town of Southampton, where his two children attend school.

Among his qualifications and achievements, Mr. Schneiderman mentioned both his track record holding the line on taxes, and his success expanding the county bus system. In terms of further improving local public transportation, he suggested the town could work with the Long Island Rail Road to run frequent local trains, which would alleviate traffic, he says.

Another way to ease traffic and take commuters off the road is to create workforce housing closer to work. “The way we’ve been dealing with affordable housing so far hasn’t been working effectively,” he said this week.

What he and his running mates have proposed is an amendment to the accessory apartment law to help homeowners build small apartments within their houses that working people could rent.

He and his running mates have proposed a moratorium on proposed development districts in order to tighten up the law, and make sure it is still achieving its original intention.

Among those who have endorsed Mr. Schneiderman are Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., former Congressman Tim Bishop, the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, the Civil Service Employees Association and the Southampton Police Benevolent Association.

Richard Yastrzemski (R, Ref, C) 

Richard Yastrzemski, a lifelong resident of Southampton Village, has served on its village board for the past

Southampton Town Supervisor candidate Richard Yastrzemski during the first debate of the season on Monday night. Photography by Michael Heller.

eight years. A financial advisor for the past 30 years, Mr. Yastrzemski said he has been approached several times to serve at a town level but the time hadn’t been right—until now.

“I base my decisions on what legacy will be left for my children,” said Mr. Yastrzemski, whose son and daughter both attend school in Southampton.

Mr. Yastrzemski said this week one of his qualifications is that he’s been doing the same work, in the same community, albeit on a smaller scale—and that a lot of the projects he has overseen could perhaps work in the town, as well.

For example, he said, the town could look to the village’s solution to affordable or workforce housing, which built affordable homes in the village. The secret to that success was the local businesses and contractors that donated their time and material to keep the project low-cost. Teachers, police officers and other local professionals, who work in the community but were in danger of being priced out, were then were able to move in. “That’s how you market it properly,” he said.

Public safety is an important issue for Mr. Yastrzemski, who would like to fill some gaps he sees in the town budget and would like more foot patrols. In terms of water quality, Mr. Yastrzemski pointed to Sag Harbor, and how the vibrant nightlife and restaurants are able to thrive, thanks in large part to the sewage treatment facility. “Take a look at what the villages are doing,” he said, and implementing an incentive program for new systems would be a good place to start.

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