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Long IslandPolitics

Southampton village trustees seek re-election and mayor’s post

All four Southampton Village Board trustees plan to stay in politics, with two vying to become mayor and the other two incumbents being challenged by a political newcomer.

Michael Irving and Richard Yastrzemski are running for mayor to succeed Mark Epley, who is retiring after 12 years in office. Whoever is elected on June 16 will appoint an interim trustee to fill his vacant seat until the June 2018 election.

Incumbents Nancy McGann and William Hattrick Jr., and challenger Valerie Smith are running for two trustee seats. All positions are part-time with two-year terms.

Irving, 63, is running for mayor with the Patriot Party. He has been a trustee for five years and also manages two marinas on the North Fork. He previously served on the village planning board, including as chairman.

Irving said he wants to decrease the amount of algae and revamp septic systems to help restore the natural balance in bodies of water threatened by nitrogen overload, and bring together the year-round and summertime communities.

“Being mayor would allow me to push [environmental issues] harder and allow me to control the overdevelopment on eastern Long Island,” Irving said.

Yastrzemski, 50, is running for mayor with the Citizens With Integrity Party. He has been on the board for nine years and works at his wife’s retail company, Hampton Mermaid Company. He previously worked as a financial adviser and ran for Southampton Town supervisor in 2015.

Yastrzemski said he wants to focus on “pockets” of the community that have been overlooked, such as youths, seniors and year-round residents who are not wealthy; create apartments in the downtown business district and convert a village property into a youth and senior center.

“Basically, one of the jobs I want to accomplish is an extension of what I’ve been doing,” Yastrzemski said.

McGann, 67, is running for re-election with the Citizens With Integrity Party. McGann, a partner with Town & Country Real Estate, is also a trustee of the Southampton Historical Museum.

McGann said she wants to see through a project to expand the playground at Agawam Park and work with legislators to prevent residents from being forced from their homes by rising town property taxes.

Hattrick, 81, is seeking a trustee seat for the final time with the Patriot Party. He served as mayor from 1985 to 1989, then as trustee for four years afterward. He was re-elected to the board in 2013 and previously served on the zoning board of appeals.

Hattrick, a stockbroker, said he wants to “put a lot of pressure on” town officials to open up other beaches for vehicle access in case a judge decides to prohibit village beach driving in an ongoing lawsuit.

Smith, 53, is running for her first political office with her own party, the Valerie Smith Party. The yoga teacher stirred controversy last month after she initially defended using a racial slur in a 2016 call to police.

Smith, who has since apologized, said she wants to fight litter, enforce existing codes and create affordable housing.


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