Southampton Town Board

October 28, 1999

That one-party rule should have gone out with the Soviet Union has been illustrated by the Republicans' lock on Southampton Town government. Despite the absence of a strong opposition party in the last few years, the board has splintered into back-stabbing factions.

Against that backdrop, Steven T. Kenny, a Suffolk County College economics professor and former Town Planning Board chairman under the Southampton Party, is a welcome breath of fresh air on the Democratic ticket. He will bring a reasoned, intelligent approach to the job and should be supported.

The Democrats' other Town Board candidate, Carolyn Zenk, lacks Mr. Kenny's broad-based appeal. She has been strident in her efforts as a former attorney for the Group for the South Fork and would seem to have few credentials beyond her degree in environmental law.

With Southampton divided by the Shinnecock Canal - in ways that go beyond geography - we would like to have representation from our neck of the woods. Frederick Havemeyer, who lives in Bridgehampton and who won the Republican primary against Steven S. Halsey, another Bridgehamptonite, seems to have a broad independent stripe, and deserves consideration.

Mr. Havemeyer campaigned first and foremost on a platform of fiscal responsibility, but he has recognized that his would-be constituents are concerned about the brisk pace of development and says he is willing to consider a short-term moratorium. Republican voters already have spoken for Mr. Havemeyer over Mr. Halsey, who is running on the Conservative and Right to Life lines.

That leaves Jim Drew out. A Hampton Bays Conservative who argues almost exclusively against bonded indebtedness, Mr. Drew is an affable board member who seems to enjoy his job but has shied away from taking a leadership role.