April 12, 2006
In Southampton: ullivan To Screen For Town Clerk?
Despite denials from Republicans, The Independent has learned that Sandy Sullivan, legislative director for the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees, hopes to screen for the position of Southampton Town Clerk on the GOP ticket.
Southampton Town Clerk Marietta Seaman and Town Republican Chair Marcus Stinchi both adamantly deny any screening is planned. "There is no vacancy for town clerk right now, so until there becomes a vacancy there is no screening," said Stinchi.
Still, an early screening would indicate that Seaman is up for an appointment, which would require an immediate departure from her current position. If she were to run for a position and win, Seaman would complete her term through December.
According to sources within the party, Seaman has been tapped to take over as vice president of the Suffolk Off-Track Betting Corporation when former Suffolk GOP chairman Anthony Apollaro retires. Political appointees fill most OTB jobs -- the VP draws a salary of $150,000 annually.
"Is there a chance she will go there? Yes. Is it a likely chance? Yes. But if there is no vacancy and she hasn't moved there than that doesn't trigger anything. We can't screen for a position that doesn't exist," Stinchi said this week.
Originally, the town clerk was among those vying for the Suffolk County Clerk seat made vacant when Ed Romaine was elected first district legislator. Governor George Pataki selected chief deputy clerk Judy Pascale instead. She'll have to run this November to retain the seat. Vivian Viloria Fisher, the deputy presiding officer of the legislature, is rumored to be the Democratic candidate for the slot.
If Seaman goes to OTB, the South-ampton Town Board could appoint someone to fill her seat until a special election is held in November.
"I don't know when and if it truly will happen, but if it does, then the leadership is going to have to screen a lot of people," said Seaman. Councilwoman Linda Kabot was reportedly considered for the position, but declined. She prefers her seat on the town board, and may even have her eye on the town's top spot, according to sources. Supervisor Patrick Heaney is eligible to run for a fourth and final term.
Additional reporting by Kitty Merrill