Hardy Plumbing
April 27, 2011

Dems Debut Town Board Slate



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There's a lot of people jockeying around for positions, but this isn't the Kentucky Derby; it's East Hampton Town. And those jockeying for position aren't riding horses, they're town board hopefuls.

Traditionally the period of time before the two major parties host nominating conventions is rife with rumors of who's running, who wants to, and who's being passed over.

This year, East Hampton Democrats broke out ahead of the fray, and were the first to announce a slate recommended by their screening committee.

While the ticket will be finalized when the committee hosts its nominating convention next month, the rank and file rarely opposes screening committee choices.

Businessman Zach Cohen of Springs has his eye on the top spot, and the Democratic line for town supervisor. Running mates Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc are making bids for town board.

Cohen is a registered "blank," and believes "because of my independence I can appeal to all voters who are concerned East Hampton is headed in the wrong direction." Best known locally for his work helping to unravel the town's books during the waning years of disgraced former supervisor Bill McGintee's administration, Cohen lists his work on the town's nature preserve committee as most rewarding so far.

Overby and Van Scoyoc both have lengthy records of public service and community activism. Overby, who ran unsuccessfully for town board in 2001, was named chair of the town planning board, where she served for close to a decade. Van Scoyoc also comes to voters from the planning board. He was appointed to that body in 2006 following service on the Zoning Board of Appeals (1995 to 2000).

"We are very excited about this slate. It meets all the needs of East Hampton. Our candidates are people of high competence and fine character, with a profound understanding of issues and how to balance love for our environment and history with the needs of the present."

Republicans so far have remained coy about their picks for town board. They are expected to continue screening potential candidates later this week.

Supervisor Bill Wilkinson was endorsed for re-election earlier this month. Potential running mates include local party co-chair Rich Haeg and author Steven Gaines, both of whom Wilkinson introduced as town board candidates at his campaign kick off. Sag Harbor resident David Lee has also tossed his hat into the ring for consideration. Bill Mott, who was passed over in favor of then-party chair Bill Gardiner in 2003, has screened with the GOP and may return for the callbacks. He's already been selected to run on the Independence Party line. (See coverage of their convention elsewhere in this edition.)

kmerrill@indyeastend.com

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