Find out the candidates Newsday's editorial board selected on your ballot: newsday.com/endorsements2023
The Town of Southold keeps striving to maintain its rural way of life in the face of 21st century changes. More and more, that challenge involves protecting the water, improving infrastructure, and adding housing. The supervisor’s job demands someone with experience, focus, and a deep understanding of North Fork communities.
Scott A. Russell, the seasoned Republican supervisor of the past 18 years, whom we’ve endorsed in the past, decided earlier this year to forgo reelection to another four-year term. Albert J. Krupski Jr., 63, a Cutchogue Democrat and a fourth-generation local farmer, seeks to succeed Russell. He’s leaving the Suffolk County Legislature after a decade representing its 1st District.
The Republican candidate is Donald J. Grim, 66, of Cutchogue, who operates a local towing and trucking company, manages a recycling yard and has long been a contractor for the county. He ran unsuccessfully for town highway superintendent two years ago.
Krupski’s intent to shift roles from county to town government, where he served before as trustee and then town board member, gives him an extra edge, since many key town and county governance issues — from sewers to waste disposal to tourism, traffic and roads — are inextricable. As nine-year chairman of the legislature’s public works committee, he knows the details of wastewater treatment and the need to convert septic systems for waterway protection. “It needs to be addressed. Yes, it’s a Suffolk County issue, but the towns play a role as a partner,” he told Newsday’s editorial board, expressing disappointment at the legislature’s failure to put the Water Quality Restoration Act on the county ballot.
On affordable housing, he poses the question: “What mix of incomes are you going to try to accommodate with housing so that you have your workforce in town?” Krupski sees the need for a mix — for both lower-end laborers and professionals such as nurses and emergency medical personnel — and talks of adding housing above stores. He shows a rooted awareness of how Southold’s growing needs blend with the region’s: roadway redesigns, some forced by climate change; maintaining a commercial waterfront; and preventing lithium battery fires. And he speaks of getting the Long Island Rail Road to better serve as a local transportation alternative, and keeping an eye on how federal plans may proceed on Plum Island.
Candidate Grim didn’t offer a comprehensive platform. He shares a suggestion worth discussion: Get high school guidance counselors to connect graduating seniors with local elderly in need of home health care — a paid job that could start young people toward further training in the medical and social work fields in need of qualified employees.
Newsday endorses Krupski.
ENDORSEMENTS ARE DETERMINED solely by the Newsday editorial board, a team of opinion journalists focused on issues of public policy and governance. Newsday’s news division has no role in this process.