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Jun 17, 2016 10:30 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Newcomer Stephen Frano Wins Seat On Westhampton Beach Board Of Trustees

Officials count the ballots at Westhampton Beach Village Hall. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Jun 21, 2016 1:05 PM

Newcomer Stephen Frano and incumbent Ralph Urban both won seats on the Westhampton Beach Village Board on Friday, with Mr. Frano besting incumbent Charlie Palmer by 28 votes to lay claim to the second seat in the three-way race.

Trustee-elect Mr. Frano, the former head of code enforcement for Southampton Town who has been a member of the village’s Planning Board since 2011, finished in second place with 126 votes. Mr. Palmer, a senior accountant with the Suffolk County Police Department, received 98 votes to finish out of the money.

Meanwhile, Mr. Urban, a retired music teacher, finished with the most votes, 132, among the three village trustee candidates to win reelection for the second time. Mayor Maria Moore, who was uncontested in her first reelection bid Friday, also received 132 votes.

“I’m looking forward to working with everyone,” said Mr. Frano, moments after learning he won his first two-year term on the Village Board on Friday night. “I’m looking forward to getting things done the next two years.”

Mr. Frano, who ran as a member of the Ocean Party, is expected to take his oath of office during the village’s annual organizational meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, July 5, at 7 p.m. at Village Hall. He must also step down from his position on the village’s Planning Board, though it was not immediately clear when he would do that.

Prior to winning election Friday, Mr. Frano said he would focus on reinvesting money and energy to complete upgrades to Main Street and look for ways to limit pollution.

Ms. Moore, who ran on the Progress Party, and Mr. Urban, who ran as a member of the Key Party, said Friday night that they are both looking forward to their next two years in office.

“We’ve been a good team these last few years,” Ms. Moore said. “I’m going to miss Charlie Palmer, but I am looking forward to working with Steve.”

Mr. Palmer, who ran as a member of the Progress Party, said he enjoyed his time on the board and thinks his replacement, as well as his soon-to-be former board colleagues, will continue to advance improvements in Westhampton Beach.

“It was a privilege to serve the last four years,” Mr. Palmer said. “I think this board will still make this a successful, prosperous village.”

As with Mr. Frano, Mr. Palmer stated during a previous interview that the most important issues facing Westhampton Beach focus on the downtown business district, and include following through on a proposal for a sewer district and completing upgrades to Main Street, work that could include burying power lines.

Mr. Urban, who will complete his fourth year on the board on June 30, said he thinks that he and his board counterparts can live up to Mr. Palmer’s expectations.

“We are going to live up to his initiatives,” Mr. Urban said. “I look forward to working on it.”

Uncontested elections were also held on Friday in the neighboring villages of West Hampton Dunes and Quogue.

Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius secured his fourth two-year term on Friday, finishing with 32 votes. Trustee Kimberley Payne earned his fifth two-year term with 39 votes, while fellow Village Trustee Jeanette Obser was elected to her seventh two-year term with 32 votes.

Mr. Sartorius, Mr. Payne, and Ms. Obser all ran as members of the Liberty Party.

In the oceanfront Village of West Hampton Dunes, Mayor Gary Vegliante—the municipality’s only mayor in its history—retained the municipality’s top seat with 26 votes, securing his seventh four-year term of office.

Incumbent Trustee Michael Craig secured a four-year term with 23 votes while newcomer Barry Goldfedder, who replaced longtime Trustee Catherine Woolfson on the ballot after she opted not to seek reelection, finished with 22 votes to secure a four-year term.

West Hampton Dunes Village Justice Gair Betts retained his seat with 25 votes.

Mr. Vegliante, Mr. Craig and Mr. Goldfedder all ran on the Beach Preservation Party line.

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2 more years of Moore and she is next to go. The Oneck Party is losing its grip.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jun 17, 16 11:02 PM
And 209 votes in with only 132 Voting for Mayor Moore. 37% of the ultra low turnout decided not to vote for her and it was an uncontested race. In 2014 she received 284 votes out of 471 total cast. I guess the public is realizing her accomplishments are cosmetic, her command of the public meetings are pitiful, and her platform will eventually cost us taxpayers greatly. As it is the "studies" on the sewer district are approaching $100,000 for an eventual sewer system that will run in excess of $50 ...more
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jun 17, 16 11:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
She is a puppet. She was asked to run by people who wanted someone who looked good on paper. At the time, she knew nothing about the village.

No one should run unopposed, for any office. It is un-American.
By freelance (21), Westhampton Beach on Jun 19, 16 7:26 AM
She looks pretty good in her photographs, too.

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jun 19, 16 11:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
congratulations Steve!
By Born in EQ Local (8), East Quogue on Jun 18, 16 5:58 AM
It's not just Main Street. The only way we will be able to keep Moniebogue and the surrounding Bays clean is to have the whole village become a sewer district.
By tenn tom (259), remsenburg on Jun 18, 16 6:03 AM
Congrats Steve
By Shawn Ethier (10), Westhampton Beach on Jun 18, 16 8:26 AM
Congratulations Ralph, Steve and Maria.

Voting is an American right and privilege, one that many have fought and died for. Trustees of taxpayer funded governments and institutions should be elected.

Which brings us to the hypocrisy in this Village. Westhampton Free Library Board President Tom Moore, appointed by resigning Joan Levan on 10/30/15, used tax dollars to hire a top tier labor attorney to deny Library taxpayers their right to vote for Library trustees. (Visit www.wflelectedboard.org ...more
By st (129), westhampton beach on Jun 18, 16 9:40 AM
Congratulations, Steve!
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Jun 18, 16 10:27 AM