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Mattituck Park District election gets thorny

Love Lane is a short commercial block in

Love Lane is a short commercial block in the heart of Mattituck Village that connects Sound Avenue to Main Road. (Jan. 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

With a total of three trustees serving three-year terms in the Mattituck Park District, voters normally get to fill just one seat each year.

But Tuesday, they will get to decide on two seats.

The odd situation was created when Nicholas Deegan was elected in November 2010, for a term that started in January, and failed to take his oath of office, a legal requirement for all elected officials. When that was discovered earlier this year, he was dropped from the Board of Trustees. He sued, claiming among other things that he was never informed he had to take the oath, and that the county clerk refused to administer the oath.

But Southold Town clerk Elizabeth Neville, who administers the oath of office to everyone in the special district, said he never came in to take it. Deegan, who ran unsuccessfully for a state Assembly seat earlier this month, is now running to regain the 13 months left on his old park district trustee seat. And, while he is the only name on the ballot for that seat, another district resident, Michael Ryan, has started a write-in campaign against Deegan.

It is unclear what effect, if any, a victory by Deegan would have on his lawsuit.

There are also two candidates for a three-year seat on the board of trustees. George Lomaga and Russell Williamson are running for the seat now held by Charles Zaloom, who is not running for re-election.

Covering about 63 acres, the Mattituck Park District operates five parks and three beaches, a social hall and a ball field, all in the Town of Southold. Its annual budget is about $500,000.

Voting will be Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the park district office in Veterans Memorial Park on Peconic Bay Boulevard.

Above: Downtown Mattituck

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