The Southampton Town Trustees, officially known as the Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of Southampton, were established in 1686 and are the oldest continually elected board in North America. Elected to two-year terms, and with annual stipends of approximately $27,000, they are the stewards of Southampton’s shores, waterways, marshes, and bottomlands.
In all, nine have tossed their hats into the ring. Voters will be asked to choose five.
Andrew Brosnan has captained research vessels for SUNY Stony Brook Southampton, an experience that has provided him with in-depth knowledge of the local marine environment. Describing himself as “deeply involved in local environmental advocacy,” he served as chairman of Surfrider Foundation’s Eastern Long Island Chapter for four years, helping to spearhead environmental awareness campaigns.
Incumbent Bill Pell has been a trustee since 2009. A resident of Southampton Town for more than 40 years, he grew up on the East End and spent his younger years in the seafood industry at Pell’s Fish Market and then Pell’s Dock in Hampton Bays. He has owned a commercial fishing vessel, managed a commercial fish dock, owned a marina, and, most recently, raised oysters from seed. Nowadays he manages local properties and performs geese control with his dog, Hank. He has been cross-endorsed by the Republican committee.
Ann Welker was the first woman elected to serve as a Trustee. She joined the body in 2017 and is responsible for the eastern section of the town, encompassing the hamlets of Water Mill, Bridgehampton, Noyac, Sag Harbor and Sagaponack. The area includes Mecox Bay, Sagaponack Pond and the coastal ponds found in the Long Pond Greenbelt. She participates in the community oyster gardener program at the town facility at Tiana Bayside in Hampton Bays in partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Division. Welker also volunteers with the Peconic Estuary Partnership and Seatuck Environmental in the Long Island Volunteer River Herring Survey, a citizen science project where volunteers monitor runs of river herring, also known as alewives, as they migrate and spawn in streams throughout Southampton Town.
Martha Reichart is an attorney who, as a one-time assistant town attorney, was counsel to the Town Trustees. She says she’ll bring experience with the challenges and issues that the Trustees currently face in addition to a familiarity with their history, rules, regulations, and procedures.
Working in the public sector, she was involved with the town’s efforts to reduce single-use plastics and helped craft legislation restricting the use of plastic straws, polystyrene, and balloons in the town. Protecting and expanding beach and water access and public outreach and educational programs that will prepare the next generation of coastal stewards are important measures for her.
Will Peckham is a North Sea resident, commercial shellfish farmer and president of West Robins Oyster Company. He moved to Southampton in 2016 and started a local farm with the mission of improving its community through water-quality enhancement while providing consumers with high quality locally-grown shellfish. Today, the company employs four and distributes shellfish to the public and restaurants on the East End and in Manhattan.
Scott Horowitz is currently serving his fourth term on the Town Trustees. A boat captain and one-time bay constable, he has a degree in environmental studies and is a founder of the annual Hamptons Offshore Invitational Fishing Tournament, which benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island where he is a board member. He takes pride in the ability to work across party lines and establish successful relationships with a diverse group of community members.
Ed Warner Jr. is a local bayman with a degree in marine technology. An incumbent and 60-year resident of Hampton Bays, he carries on the legacy of his father, having helped to save and restore the fishing pier at the park named for his father at Ponquogue. Warner filled the vacancy created by the death of Edward J. Warner Sr. in 2006. Dredging projects for enhanced navigation have been a focus for Warner Jr.
William “Bill” Parash is seeking his first term as a Trustee, following in the footsteps of his uncle Paul Parash, who was a Trustee from 1986 to 1993. An attorney, Parash was a Southampton Village Police officer before pursuing his law degree at St. John’s University. If elected, he hopes to focus on the town’s continuing efforts to restore shellfish population, as well as fishing rights, water protection and water quality, plus beach access.
Robert “Bob” Savage is an avid fisherman, sailor and residential oyster fisherman. He’s lived in Southampton for 17 years and his three children spent childhood summers on Noyac Bay. After acquiring his captain’s license in 2015, he’s logged thousands of hours on local waters. Savage has given back to the community as a member of the board for the Henry Viscardi School in Nassau County for 10 years. He believes his expertise in the high-tech field, which dates back to the early days of Microsoft, will be an asset to the elected body.