A widely anticipated battle for village mayor in Greenport - between incumbent David Nyce and former Southold Town Supervisor Joshua Horton - never happened, because Horton dropped out.

That has left a contested race between three candidates for two four-year seats on the village board, with Nyce unopposed.

At a candidates' debate earlier this month, incumbent George Hubbard Jr., 51, said he wants to continue serving with Nyce, finishing renovations of Greenport's utilities and promoting Greenport as a place where businesses can thrive and tourists can visit even earlier in the spring and stay throughout the fall. Hubbard said he has worked in the past four years to develop a Little League ballfield and has worked on community beautification projects.

First-time candidate David Murray, 42, chairman of the village's historic preservation commission, largely agreed but politely declined to answer some questions from the audience, saying he has only lived in the village for 10 years and needs to do his homework before he can address every issue.

Murray did say he wants to continue the spirit of cooperation and volunteerism that has always been behind the village's growth, and is interested in expanding the village's historic district.

William Swiskey, 63, who ran the village utilities before retiring and is a former village board member again seeking election, was blunt. He said things in Greenport are terrible.

In his view, the village is facing a fiscal crisis, won't have enough money in two years to pay off its bonded debt, and has too many supervisors and not enough workers on the payroll.

Swiskey contended that, in two years, the village would be facing a 40 percent tax increase, something the other candidates denied. "This village is approaching a critical time, no matter what you hear," Swiskey said.

When asked about his reputation for being outspoken, Swiskey said: "I speak truth to power."

The candidates agreed that the village needs to be more active in dealing with code enforcement problems, and that it needs more affordable housing. And they said Southold Town should do more to help Greenport with some of its problems, because the village does not have the resources to do everything itself.

 

Mayor's record

Nyce said that in his four years in office, the village's $13.5-million debt - much of it for the development of the waterfront Mitchell Park - had been cut in half. He also said about half the $6.5 million renovation of the municipal wastewater treatment plant was completed, and that the village is about to award a $1.5-million contract to begin the $5-million renovation of its power plant.

 

Where to vote

Voting is Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the firehouse at 236 Third St.

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