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Apr 7, 2010 1:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tucker says he will challenge Teller in Westhampton Beach mayoral election

Apr 7, 2010 1:32 PM

A total of seven village board seats, including both mayoral posts, are up for grabs this year in Westhampton Beach and Quogue and, at least in the very early running, it looks like the incumbents will be dominating the June ballots.

On Wednesday morning, Westhampton Beach Village Board member Hank Tucker, the owner of Holey Moses Cheesecake in Westhampton, confirmed what has been rumored for months when he announced that he intends to challenge Mayor Conrad Teller, who will be seeking reelection in June.

Mr. Tucker, who has been at odds with the mayor for months, said he plans to challenge Mayor Teller because he thinks the board will be better served if the trustees worked together.

“The residents of the village deserve government that works for them,” said Mr. Tucker who was first elected to the board in 2007 and won reelection last year. As a result, he has a safe run this year, meaning that even if he loses in June, he will still retain his trustee seat for at least another year.

Mayor Teller, when reached Wednesday morning, said that he plans to seek reelection based on his credentials, which includes a long career in law enforcement. He served as the chief of police in both Westhampton Beach and Southampton Town.

“I have been mayor for almost four years, and I think I’ve done a good job,” Mayor Teller said. Referring to Mr. Tucker, he added, “I wish him luck.”

Potential candidates in both villages can start collecting signatures for their petitions this week, and they must be filed by Friday, May 14, with their respective municipalities. The elections in Westhampton Beach and Quogue are both slated for Friday, June 18.

In Westhampton Beach, Village Board members Toni-Jo Birk and Jim Kametler are also up for reelection. They, along with Mayor Teller, ran under the First Hampton Party banner two years ago, but that alliance appears to have fallen apart, and the party appears to be no more.

Mayor Teller and Ms. Birk, who have served in their posts since 2006, intend to seek reelection this time as members of the Village Unity Party. And they will be joined by first-time political candidate Leola “Sue” Farrell, if she garners the 50 signatures required to get on the ballot.

It is not clear if Mr. Kametler, who was first elected in 2004, will seek reelection to the five-member board as he has not returned calls to The Press for several weeks. He narrowly won reelection two years ago when he bested former Fox 5 anchor John Roland by three votes after an official recount was conducted by the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Ms. Farrell, 67, said she decided to run for public office because she wants to see a change on the Village Board. She also said she is in favor of holding disciplinary hearings for Westhampton Beach Police Officers Michael Bruetsch and Joseph Pesapane, who were suspended by Mayor Teller in October after being accused of lying to their superior officers about the circumstances surrounding a fellow officer’s missing handgun. The board later agreed to drop the charges and reinstate the officers, who have since threatened to sue the village.

“Let’s have a hearing,” Ms. Farrell said. “This has got to get done ... We need to get things straightened out.”

Mayor Teller and Ms. Birk have been pushing for the disciplinary hearings but, to date, have been stonewalled by Mr. Kametler and fellow board members Joan Levan and Mr. Tucker.

Ms. Farrell bought her house in Westhampton Beach in the 1970s and has lived here full-time since 1997. She now works as the director of business development for Conference Direct, a meeting and planning company based in California. Prior to that, she worked as a real estate agent on Long Island.

To date, no other candidates have announced their intention to run for office in Westhampton Beach.

In Quogue Village, three sitting trustees, as well as new mayor Peter Sartorius, are all up for reelection in June. This week, all four candidates confirmed that they would be running. As of Tuesday, April 6, no potential challengers had picked up petition forms, according to Village Clerk Marcia Rose Koziarz.

Mr. Sartorius is running in his first mayoral election. He was appointed to the position in November to complete the term of former Mayor George Motz, who resigned in October, days after pleading guilty to securities fraud in federal court.

Before he was appointed mayor, Mr. Sartorius had served as a Village Trustee since 2008. If elected, he will serve a two-year term.

Village Board members Jeanette Obser, Kimberley Payne and Ted Necarsulmer will also be seeking reelection in June. Ms. Obser, who was first elected to the board in 2002, and Mr. Payne, who came on board in 2006, will both be running for two-year terms. Mr. Necarsulmer, who was appointed in December to fill the seat vacated by Mr. Sartorius, will be running for a one-year term—the remainder of Mr. Sartorius’ term as a trustee. If elected, Mr. Necarsulmer would face reelection again in 2011.

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Apr 7, 10 12:35 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Apr 7, 10 12:37 PM
looks like a real donnybrook in the Village! Let the games begin!!!!
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Apr 7, 10 12:37 PM
looks like the "submit " key got stuck

sorry folks
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Apr 7, 10 12:39 PM
Time for WHB to get rid of this board and the so-called police force
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on Apr 7, 10 2:15 PM
North of Highway's "submit" key stuck, and sjd's needle is still stuck... in the same groove for the past year!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Apr 7, 10 5:31 PM
and Frank is still the biggest bag of air around
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on Apr 8, 10 9:19 AM
Well, SJD, that was something new at least.

See, I knew you could do it if you really tried.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Apr 9, 10 6:10 PM
In WHB, who is running on the Dysfunctional Party line?
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Apr 8, 10 1:04 AM
Joan owns the Dysfunctional title-no one else can use it.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Apr 8, 10 7:41 AM
3 members liked this comment
And now the Cheesecake Party? I almost want to move to WHB just to vote against him!
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Apr 9, 10 4:38 PM
The thought of Hank as our mayor,is like the smell of rotting cheese-----HORRIBLE!!!!
By curious (77), westhampton beach on Apr 9, 10 6:44 PM