Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren has shaken things up during his first year by upending the status quo. Zachary Epley, whose father Mark served six two-year terms as mayor before stepping down in 2018, along with current board member Kimberly Allan, don’t want to be so extreme. The pair announced they will run together to be voices of opposition.
“The mayor has some good ideas, and we have some good ideas,” said Allan, who has been at odds with Warren on assorted topics, including his choosing to replace the village’s attorneys.
One idea high on Allan’s list is a permanent ban of gas-powered leaf blowers. Currently, there is a summer ban, which she was instrumental in enacting, but only Warren has the power to extend the ban.
A hot-button topic for Warren, a surfer, is to secure village beaches as a safe haven for surfing and surf schools, at least during part of the summer. Disgruntled bathers made it an issue last summer.
Zachary Epley, 32, was named to the village planning board in 2019. Epley promptly said he envisioned remaining a planning board member “forever.”
Until now. Epley and Allan are running on the “Community Party” line.
Epley’s father Mark was first elected mayor in 2005, and is the chief executive officer of the Seafield Center in Westhampton Beach, a drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation clinic. His father-in-law, George Benedict, casts a long shadow over the village, investing and developing multi-million-dollar oceanfront properties. He developed 1000 feet of oceanfront into six building lots as well the Bishops Pond condominiums.
Joseph McLaughlin, a former board member who narrowly lost in the last election, also reportedly wants back in. Trustee Richard Yastrzemski’s term is also expiring, but is said to be undecided about running again.