Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman on Tuesday May 29 announced he would run for Suffolk County comptroller in November, seeking to take the seat now held by Republican John M. Kennedy Jr. There has been speculation for months that Schneiderman, who recently won his second term supervisor and changed his party affiliation from the Independence Party the Democratic Party, would consider a run for countywide office.
In a press release, Schneiderman, who also served stints as East Hampton Town supervisor and Suffolk County legislator, pointed to his strong fiscal record as a public official, including the town’s most recent AAA bond rating.
“This is an unprecedented time in the history of Suffolk County,” he said in a press release. “Our finances are in critical condition and Suffolk County residents need a comptroller who will help get the county back to fiscal health. “
Schneiderman said his experience as the chief financial officer of two towns and his 12 years in the county legislature, which included a stint as deputy presiding officer would allow him to be “an independent voice and vigilant fiscal watchdog for the taxpayers of Suffolk.”
He said the county is borrowing nearly $500 million a year in future revenues to get through the current fiscal year, a practice he called unsustainable. Schneiderman promised to help the county establish a structurally balanced budget and said he would participate in regular meetings of the county’s Audit Committee and work to find ways to save taxpayer dollars.
“I have the experience of delivering 18 consecutive years of not raising property taxes,” he said in a press release.
Schneiderman was born on Long Island and lived for many years in Montauk, where he remains involved in his family motel business. He now lives in Southampton Village with his two children.
Schneiderman made his first foray into government service when he became a member of the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals in 1991, becoming chairman in 1996. He was elected town supervisor in 1999 and served two terms before running for the county legislature in 2003, where he was reelected five times before reaching his term limit and running for Southampton Town supervisor in 2015.