Town of Southampton Supervisor candidate Raymond B. Overton concedes that incumbent Jay H. Schneiderman has done well in his first term. The difference between them, Overton says, is one of personality: He would be a more forceful get-in-your-face-type of leader than the laid-back Schneiderman. Both men share a deep and nuanced understanding of the town. But when things are going well, and two rivals largely agree on matters of policy, it’s hard to make a convincing case for a change.
Schneiderman, 55, of Southampton, an Independence Party member who recently changed his registration to the Democratic Party, on whose line he also is running, brought vast experience as a 12-year county legislator and two-term supervisor of East Hampton Town to the Southampton post he won two years ago. That experience showed. He’s reduced taxes and debt twice, continued to make water quality a signature issue, and addressed his long-standing concerns over the lack of affordable housing on the East End by working with developer Georgica Green Ventures and community members to gain town board approval for a 38-unit workforce housing project in Speonk. Schneiderman knows that alone won’t solve the problem, so he’s worked with Assemb. Fred Thiele and the Long Island Rail Road on the plan to run trains between Speonk and Montauk for workers to reduce traffic.
Overton, 58, a Republican from Quogue who is general manager of a plumbing and heating company, agrees with Schneiderman that septic issues are at the heart of revitalizing Riverside and Flanders. He says crime in that area is worse than Schneiderman thinks, and he would push for quicker resolutions to both issues. We appreciate his impatience, but think Schneiderman is more likely to close these deals.
Newsday endorses Schneiderman.