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Oct 29, 2009 5:38 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board incumbent Christopher Nuzzi (R,I,C)

Editor's Note: Republican Town Councilman Christopher Nuzzi and Democratic Councilwoman Sally Pope, who were elected to office in 2005 and 2008, respectively, are running for reelection this year—but they are faced with two challengers. Political newcomers James Wilson Malone, a Republican, and Bridget Fleming, a Democrat, are jockeying for seats on the council, too. In 2010, a council member will earn a $60,000 salary. All four candidates answered several questions via e-mail from The Southampton Press.

Click here to download a pdf of the Southampton Town Ballot
Oct 29, 2009 5:38 PM

Age: 35

Hometown: Westhampton Beach

Education: master’s degrees in public policy, SUNY Stony Brook/B.A., psychology, SUNY Albany

Occupation: director at Skyline Title LLC

Party Affiliation: Republican, also endorsed by the Independence and Conservative parties

Political experience: first elected councilman in 2005

Do you support the proposal that the town begin charging nightclubs and taverns that are deemed “trouble spots” for the extra police coverage they require to maintain law and order? Why?

Yes and was one of the original proponents of the idea. As certain clubs and taverns require additional policing during weekend and evening hours, often with paid overtime, it seems fair to assess them a fair rate to cover the costs of ensuring the safety of the immediate roadways and patrons of the establishments. While I am in favor of having these establishments, as they are a part of our local economy, it is unfair to saddle our residents with the costs associated with continually dedicating additional police services to the select few that require it.

Do you think the town should pursue privatizing the recycling centers? Why?

No, I do not believe that privatization is in the best interests of the town and its taxpayers. The current system encourages recycling and allows for residents to make the decision on their own as to whether or not it is cost efficient for them to be self-haulers or pay a private carter. In addition, I do not believe it to be practical for a private operator to run our transfer station facilities without great expansion to the detriment of the surrounding community. As important, recent operational and budgetary changes implemented will reflect that the transfer station operations costs are essentially covered by the fees generated.

Do you think the town should pursue privatizing the town animal shelter or contracting with a company to operate it? Why?

Yes, I believe that this is one service that could be done well by an outside entity and save taxpayer dollars and would be supportive as long as proper care for the animals is maintained.

Do you think the PILOT program can be fixed in a way that benefits the town and the districts in need of relief? How?

Yes, and have worked with Senator Ken LaValle, Assemblyman Fred Thiele, school districts and environmental organizations to better identify PILOT eligible properties and reevaluate the assessments on those properties. We need to work with the state to amend state law to identify eligible districts and change the allocation formula from tax levy to tax loss. Most important, we should set in place by law a percentage (with a maximum of 10 percent) that will be allocated each year to the eligible districts in an effort to ensure that the taxpayers aren’t on a roller coaster ride from year to year, relying only on the Town Board’s discretion to allocate a percentage equivalent to the prior year.

Do you support the idea of waiving the tax cap for one year in order to eliminate the deficits and debt uncovered in the general, capital, police and waste management funds this year? Why?

No, the idea of lifting the tax rate cap applies only to capital fund deficit reduction payments and I believe that this should be a last resort. We should be looking at other ways to save money and I have proposed and/or supported hiring freezes, ideas such as departmental reorganization with management efficiencies, lag payroll, part-time board reductions, privatization of our animal shelter and other ways of cutting costs before lifting the tax rate cap and saddling the taxpayers with further financial burdens. In addition, we should look at the option of paying off this deficit over a longer term, thereby reducing the immediate cost.

The proposed 2010 budget calls for 44 layoffs. Do you think the town’s workforce and should be pared down in the coming years? Why and how?

Yes, and I was the sponsor of hiring freezes in both 2009 and 2010 where we could see 10 percent or more in overall staff reduction. Losing staff through attrition is a much more practical way of cutting government and forcing efficiencies without having to resort to mass layoffs that could detrimentally impact vital services to our residents. Forcing departmental managers to ensure that there is cross training among staff and doing more with less must be our approach in town hall-just as it is the approach taken in our residents’ homes and businesses. I do expect that some, but not all of the proposed layoffs may happen, related to privatization of the animal shelter or other departmental reorganizations.

What is the greatest challenge facing Southampton Town in the next four years?

I believe our greatest challenge will be to grow our local economy in the coming years in the midst of an economic downturn, but believe that we are well positioned to do it and can do so in a way that respects the character of our community. Supplementing our tourist and second-home industry should be the promotion of green jobs, the motion picture industry and other commercial businesses that could be located in enterprise zones like the Enterprise Park at Gabreski or in the Riverside Industrial Planned Development District. We also need to continue to promote agriculture and water-dependent businesses and strengthen our hamlet centers. Most important, we need to respect what makes this area so special, our natural environment, and understand that our community will always be desirable as a place to call home or as a destination point for vacationers or second-home owners from all over the world. We have seen some relatively small but positive signs of recovery on a local level recently and I believe the future holds much promise.

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Nuzzi "we need to respect what makes this area so special" doesn't get that growth has just about killed what makes this area so special. He is a stooge for developers and continued growth.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 29, 09 7:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
II wonder why Chris Nuzzi did not include his time with the Brookhaven Republicans. He was Brookhaven Supervisor John Jay LaValles special assistant during the scandals of that town. In fact that supervisor was forced to resign.
Hey Chris I would not bring that up either if I were you.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Oct 29, 09 8:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
LaValle was NOT forced to resign, SHNative! That's garbage!

Why are you lying about that? Is that the best you can do with your mud-slinging?

Interestingly, LaValle, who for years ago opted to not seek a third term as Brookhaven Town Supervisor, was last month elected Suffolk County Republican chairman.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 30, 09 12:33 PM
Nice kid ... clueless ... needs to be retired
By JimmyKBond (156), Hampton Bays on Oct 29, 09 10:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why is "growth" a bad word. If you don't grow, you rot. You wouldn't be driving a car if someone said "no growth". Go to the third world, see what "no growth" policy does. Growth raises money. Growth creates jobs. Growth, done properly, improves quality of life. Don't complain about lack of services and higher taxes on one hand, and stop "growth" on the other. Take an economics course.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Oct 30, 09 7:32 AM
Look at what unrestrained growth has done to the east end: horrendous traffic, soaring taxes, overstressed police and fire services, and so on. A municipal sewer is probably next, and the taxes to pay for it.

Unrestrained growth is also call CANCER.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 30, 09 2:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Chris Nuzzi has been a disappointment from Day One of his four years on the Town Board. Mostly, it has been a matter of inaction, saying little and doing less. Chris Nuzzi never questioned or challenged a Republican budget or financial resolution during all the time that the Town got deeper and deeper in its $20 million-dollar hole. By contrast, Anna Throne-Holst and Sally Pope started asking hard questions and probing as soon as they joined the Board. Chris Nuzzi was more like Linda Kabot -- ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 30, 09 10:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
Regrettably, Sally Pope's Sign Dogs are back again, pulling out opposition signs and throwing them in the woods. Even if she didn't start it, Sally can make it stop, and he needs to do that, or we'll all think she's OK with this infantile cheating.
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Oct 30, 09 12:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
Sauce for the goose!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 30, 09 12:25 PM
Don't believe it, Mr. Wheeler; it's not true.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 30, 09 1:10 PM
May you never miss a STOP sign as badly as you missed the point of the Comment by Ridiculous, TB.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 30, 09 4:43 PM
Don't know why there are not more women posting on these boards. Oh well, Good-bye, Chris. You won't be missed
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Oct 30, 09 12:25 PM
Signs are "missing" from everyones campaign and you very well know that. It is indeed infantile but it is a very unfortunate part of the process.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Oct 30, 09 7:41 PM
Terry, all I know is that I've never touched an opposition sign, and I don't believe anyone on our side has done that this year -- I can't speak for past years, because I wasn't involved then. For the same reason, Mr. Wheeler, I truly did miss the point of the comment you're talking about. As far as I'm concerned, it's not true. If it had some point other than to state as fact something which isn't fact, it went right by me.

I note that none of you is addressing the serious criticisms ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 30, 09 9:58 PM
I didn't accuse YOU of taking any signs. Whether they are hooligans on either side or just miscreants, it it occurring against both political sides, and your accusations that Chris or anyone else is involved is incendiary.
As to your others comments, they are just fluff from Sally's campaign manager.
No specifics, just broad based attacks. I note that no one has attacked Sally, as you have attacked Chris. How long did you spend in public relation or as a media spin miester ...more
By Terry (380), Southampton on Oct 31, 09 7:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well said, Terry -- but I WILL make an accusation: Turkey Bridge (and others like PeopleFirst) are Kool Aid drinkers. You'll note that there's very little thinking, just ad hominem attacks with little if any substantiation.

And TB's numerous copying and pasting of the identical defamatory charges about "Nuzzi Sign Dogs" on the past several days reveals his current strategy: a disinformation campaign.

He speaks to "the serious criticisms I directed at Chris Nuzzi," but got back ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 31, 09 9:14 AM
"Sauce for the goose", I think someone said up above.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 31, 09 9:33 AM
Which, apparently, you STILL don't understand.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 31, 09 10:39 AM
Oh, I think I do understand it, very well. I tell you what else I understand, Mr. W. I understand that Chris Nuzzi's attempted purge of the Planning Board was not a response to the Supervisor's budget as you suggest, but his own resolution, doing the bidding, of course, of the Republican bosses.

Please note, I said it wasn't all inaction with Chris Nuzzi. When he wasn't playing the Great Silence, he tried capers like this Planning Board thing and blocking the dark skies legislation, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 31, 09 2:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
If things are so bad here, Turkey, why do your NYC people keep retiring out here?

Just to run for office, and further the left wing agenda of President Obama?
By Terry (380), Southampton on Oct 31, 09 3:14 PM
Yeah, that's it. NYC people like Dennis Suskind, who when the republicans rejected him was accepted by the democrats because he was self-financing. And who is now one of the area's biggest developers, if not the biggest. And I'm not talking about his waistline.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 31, 09 5:27 PM
Have you noticed that he is claiming credit for things that he had absolutely zero input on? Yes, that's the mark of a true political player - take the credit for what others have done. Real classy that act of his. He learned it from the best.
By barberosa (39), Watermill on Oct 31, 09 4:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
Nuzzi is endorsed by the STPD PBA. The STPD currently enjoys a $3.6M annual perk enabling them to employ 27 cops beyond their contractually mandated retirement date. Were those cops retired, (on $100K annual pensions), we could continue the employment of the forty-four Town employees and fully fund the Town Animal Shelter and still have $1.1M in hand.

Don't vote for Chris Nuzzi, and for goodness sake don't vote for Anna Throne-Holst who is virtually the Town police mascot. Vote for Linda ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 31, 09 9:37 PM
He learned from his days in Crookhaven....I did not see that on any of his bullet points of his mailers....hmmmm.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Nov 1, 09 12:11 AM
Chris Nuzzi listens and trys to get answers. He wants to do a good job and make everything work. Some recetnly elected retired persons need to be replaced with people who work..
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Nov 1, 09 6:45 AM
Chris Nuzzi is the sole survivor of the Skip Heaney Good Ol' Boys who ran Town Hall, (into the ground), for years. He will preserve the special relationship with the STPD that gives them $3.6M/yr. for cops who should have retired years ago as their contracts stated.

Just thinking about misfeasance of that group evokes the gag reflex. Does anyone actually want a return to the fictitious budgets of the Heaney era?

Linda Kabot will attack the police patronage scandal because ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Nov 1, 09 4:58 PM
I'm looking at the comment by SHNative above, Oct. 29 at 8:54 PM. It's news to me that Chris Nuzzi was Special Assistant to Brookhaven Supervisor John Jay LaValle. It's also news to me that this was during a time when LaValle was implicated in behavior that caused him to resign. Is this true? Is this what people mean when they talk about the "Brookhaven scandals"? It wouldn't necessarily mean that he was involved, but is it true that Chris Nuzzi was right there in the middle of all this? Can ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Nov 2, 09 5:30 PM
Turkey Bridge - may I make two recommendations? 1. Get a life. 2. Find a hobby. This hobby of being an obnoxious political sycophant isn't helping anyone, including yourself.
Feel free to dislike Chris Nuzzi all you want. I don't always agree with him either to be honest - I don't care about that. But, you're worse than a 5 year old! And I happen to know how old you are! It's really sad.
I don't waste my time on these sites, nor did I bother reading more than a few of your 129 comments ...more
By WHB Resident (9), WHB on Nov 3, 09 4:43 PM