Three Southampton Village residents are running for two open trustee seats, and Mayor Michael Irving will be challenged in the upcoming June 21 election.
A two-year Village Planning Commission member, 29-year-old Joseph McLaughlin; co-owner of Sip N’ Soda Mark Parash, 48; and president of CAP Properties Limited Andrew Pilaro, 49, have thrown their hats in the ring while incumbents William Hattrick, who has spent almost two decades in local politics as trustee and mayor, and Nancy McGann, who served seven consecutive terms, have chosen not to seek reelection.
Parash and Pilaro, who have said they’re running mates, are looking to brighten up Main Street and liven up the downtown area. A sewer system, says mayoral candidate Jesse Warren, a 10-year Main Street business owner, is a big part of that.
Warren, the founder of Tenet, said he’s been involved in the sewage treatment project since 2014, and accused the board of not having the will or energy to get the project off the ground, saying that Westhampton Beach Village Mayor Maria Moore attended many of the meetings between H2M architects + engineers and Southampton Village and take the plans back to her village, and get a project underway in her village.
While McLoughlin believes a centralized wastewater treatment system is not the way to go, Pilaro and Parash did side with his sentiment that cluster systems would work best, especially because it could aid increasing dining and upstairs apartment options..
Irving said there have been 20 new businesses recently built in the village, including two new restaurants, two exercise facilities, and 16 retail locations.
The current mayor had also been challenged by Warren over water quality, especially in Lake Agawam, where Irving said a four-phase project was completed in May. Parash and Pilaro would like to see the lake dredged. Warren believes more needs to be done to tackle blue-green algae, along with maintaining the historical integrity of the village. Warren would also like to integrate more technology advancements and utilize social media to connect with younger generations. Irving said he’s put pieces in place to tackle water quality, zoning, sewers, and quality-of-life issues, and would like another two years to see them through.
The 36-year-old Warren will take part in the second contested mayoral race in a decade, the first being in 2017, when Irving ran against Richard Yastrzemski after Mark Epley, who served 12 years, chose to step down. Warren received the third-most votes as a write-in candidate for trustee that year, garnering 151 votes. If elected, he’d be the youngest major in village history.
Voting will take place 9 AM to 9 PM at the Southampton Cultural Center on Pond Lane.