On Friday, between light snowfall at Southampton Town Hall Supervisor Linda Kabot honored two democratic women as they took their oaths of office. Andrea Schiavoni, a North Haven resident, and Sally Pope from Remsenburg were sworn in as town justice and town councilwoman, respectively.
“Andrea and Sally really know how to pack a house,” Supervisor Kabot said to the brimming meeting room of over 70 guests.
Firstly, the supervisor acknowledged Schiavoni for her hard work and dedication along the campaign trail as she competed for the fourth seat on the town justice.
“Schiavoni’s professional skills as an attorney, mediator and arbitrator will aid her seamless transition into the role of Town Justice,” the supervisor said.
Schiavoni worked in Miami and represented more than 1,000 clients. In 1997, she took over her father’s business when he passed away, and became president of the firm, then renamed, Harum & Harum.
“I alwaysÂ hoped I would follow in my father’s footsteps,” she said on Friday holding back tears.
In 2001, Schiavoni changed the focus of that business to mediation and moved back to Sag Harbor, a place where she spent many summers as a child.
During the 2008 campaign trail, Schiavoni won the endorsements of the Working Families Party, the Independence Party and the Conservative Party. Republican Incumbent Tomas Demayo later challenged her to a primary election where he was able to win back his Conservative Party endorsement, which in the end, did not help him to maintain his seat.
On Friday, Schiavoni thanked her friends, family and colleagues alongside her husband and campaign manager, Tom Schiavoni and two children and said she will take all the “blessings she has been given with her to the bench.”
“We appreciate her gift of service to our judicial system and the people of Southampton Town,” Supervisor Kabot said.
“We also thank Sally Pope for her desire to make a difference on the local political landscape and contribute to the town’s governance,” Kabot said as she acknowledged Pope for her civic interests and executive experience with not for profit organizations.
Pope worked as a corporate attorney on Wall Street and in the publishing business. Later, Pope started her own private practice as an attorney and mediator. Pope mediated controversies for a wide variety of people, including school board members and teachers, governmental employees, workplace teams, business owners, families with estate problems, parents and children, divorcing couples and arguing neighbors.
“She’s also a mother and a grandmother – and wow – look at all the woman in public service these days,” Kabot said. With the addition of Pope there is now four women on the five seat town board.
After acknowledging Pope for her successes in her career, Kabot asked Schiavoni to perform her first duty as a town justice and swear-in the new town councilwoman. After taking her oath, Pope thanked friends, family and colleagues and said to her audience, “By simply electing me, my job is not done, I have a job to do and I hope you can help me do it.”
Pope also announced that she will be looking at producing round table meetings among members of the community.“We will publicize open doors and round tables and that’s the start we are looking forward to.”
Kabot welcomed Pope and joked that the town could use “lots of mediation and conflict resolution.”
Pope narrowly defeated republican incumbent Dan Russo by 832 votes in the 2008 election. Russo was appointed to the seat left vacant by Kabot when she was appointed town supervisor.
“As we look to Andrea Schiavoni and Sally Pope today,” said Supervisor Kabot, “we acknowledge their own commitment to the public’s welfare and the betterment of our community.”